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Sample records for gregarious desert locust

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

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    Liesbeth Badisco

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

  2. Discontinuous gas-exchange cycle characteristics are differentially affected by hydration state and energy metabolism in gregarious and solitary desert locusts.

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    Talal, Stav; Ayali, Amir; Gefen, Eran

    2015-12-01

    The termination of discontinuous gas exchange cycles (DGCs) in severely dehydrated insects casts doubt on the generality of the hygric hypothesis, which posits that DGCs evolved as a water conservation mechanism. We followed DGC characteristics in the two density-dependent phases of the desert locust Schistocerca gregaria throughout exposure to an experimental treatment of combined dehydration and starvation stress, and subsequent rehydration. We hypothesized that, under stressful conditions, the more stress-resistant gregarious locusts would maintain DGCs longer than solitary locusts. However, we found no phase-specific variations in body water content, water loss rates (total and respiratory) or timing of stress-induced abolishment of DGCs. Likewise, locusts of both phases re-employed DGCs after ingesting comparable volumes of water when rehydrated. Despite comparable water management performances, the effect of exposure to stressful experimental conditions on DGC characteristics varied significantly between gregarious and solitary locusts. Interburst duration, which is affected by the ability to buffer CO2, was significantly reduced in dehydrated solitary locusts compared with gregarious locusts. Moreover, despite similar rehydration levels, only gregarious locusts recovered their initial CO2 accumulation capacity, indicating that cycle characteristics are affected by factors other than haemolymph volume. Haemolymph protein measurements and calculated respiratory exchange ratios suggest that catabolism of haemolymph proteins may contribute to a reduced haemolymph buffering capacity, and thus a compromised ability for CO2 accumulation, in solitary locusts. Nevertheless, DGC was lost at similar hydration states in the two phases, suggesting that DGCs are terminated as a result of inadequate oxygen supply to the tissues. © 2015. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  3. Phenotypic transformation affects associative learning in the desert locust.

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    Simões, Patrício M V; Niven, Jeremy E; Ott, Swidbert R

    2013-12-02

    In desert locusts, increased population densities drive phenotypic transformation from the solitarious to the gregarious phase within a generation [1-4]. Here we show that when presented with odor-food associations, the two extreme phases differ in aversive but not appetitive associative learning, with solitarious locusts showing a conditioned aversion more quickly than gregarious locusts. The acquisition of new learned aversions was blocked entirely in acutely crowded solitarious (transiens) locusts, whereas appetitive learning and prior learned associations were unaffected. These differences in aversive learning support phase-specific feeding strategies. Associative training with hyoscyamine, a plant alkaloid found in the locusts' habitat [5, 6], elicits a phase-dependent odor preference: solitarious locusts avoid an odor associated with hyoscyamine, whereas gregarious locusts do not. Remarkably, when solitarious locusts are crowded and then reconditioned with the odor-hyoscyamine pairing as transiens, the specific blockade of aversive acquisition enables them to override their prior aversive memory with an appetitive one. Under fierce food competition, as occurs during crowding in the field, this provides a neuroecological mechanism enabling locusts to reassign an appetitive value to an odor that they learned previously to avoid. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Acute and chronic gregarisation are associated with distinct DNA methylation fingerprints in desert locusts.

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    Mallon, Eamonn B; Amarasinghe, Harindra E; Ott, Swidbert R

    2016-10-18

    Desert locusts (Schistocerca gregaria) show a dramatic form of socially induced phenotypic plasticity known as phase polyphenism. In the absence of conspecifics, locusts occur in a shy and cryptic solitarious phase. Crowding with conspecifics drives a behavioural transformation towards gregariousness that occurs within hours and is followed by changes in physiology, colouration and morphology, resulting in the full gregarious phase syndrome. We analysed methylation-sensitive amplified fragment length polymorphisms (MS-AFLP) to compare the effect of acute and chronic crowding on DNA methylation in the central nervous system. We find that crowd-reared and solitary-reared locusts show markedly different neural MS-AFLP fingerprints. However, crowding for a day resulted in neural MS-AFLP fingerprints that were clearly distinct from both crowd-reared and uncrowded solitary-reared locusts. Our results indicate that changes in DNA methylation associated with behavioural gregarisation proceed through intermediate states that are not simply partial realisations of the endpoint states.

  5. Rapid behavioural gregarization in the desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria entails synchronous changes in both activity and attraction to conspecifics.

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    Rogers, Stephen M; Cullen, Darron A; Anstey, Michael L; Burrows, Malcolm; Despland, Emma; Dodgson, Tim; Matheson, Tom; Ott, Swidbert R; Stettin, Katja; Sword, Gregory A; Simpson, Stephen J

    2014-06-01

    Desert Locusts can change reversibly between solitarious and gregarious phases, which differ considerably in behaviour, morphology and physiology. The two phases show many behavioural differences including both overall levels of activity and the degree to which they are attracted or repulsed by conspecifics. Solitarious locusts perform infrequent bouts of locomotion characterised by a slow walking pace, groom infrequently and actively avoid other locusts. Gregarious locusts are highly active with a rapid walking pace, groom frequently and are attracted to conspecifics forming cohesive migratory bands as nymphs and/or flying swarms as adults. The sole factor driving the onset of gregarization is the presence of conspecifics. In several previous studies concerned with the mechanism underlying this transformation we have used an aggregate measure of behavioural phase state, Pgreg, derived from logistic regression analysis, which combines and weights several behavioural variables to characterise solitarious and gregarious behaviour. Using this approach we have analysed the time course of behavioural change, the stimuli that induce gregarization and the key role of serotonin in mediating the transformation. Following a recent critique that suggested that using Pgreg may confound changes in general activity with genuine gregarization we have performed a meta-analysis examining the time course of change in the individual behaviours that we use to generate Pgreg. We show that the forced crowding of solitarious locusts, tactile stimulation of the hind femora, and the short-term application of serotonin each induce concerted changes in not only locomotion-related variables but also grooming frequency and attraction to other locusts towards those characteristic of long-term gregarious locusts. This extensive meta-analysis supports and extends our previous conclusions that solitarious locusts undergo a rapid behavioural gregarization upon receiving appropriate stimulation for

  6. Preventing desert locust plagues: optimizing management interventions

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    Huis, van A.; Cressman, K.; Magor, J.I.

    2007-01-01

    Solitarious desert locusts, Schistocerca gregaria (Forskål) (Orthoptera: Acrididae), inhabit the central, arid, and semi-arid parts of the species¿ invasion area in Africa, the Middle East, and South-West Asia. Their annual migration circuit takes them downwind to breed sequentially where winter,

  7. Eggs and hatchlings variations in desert locusts: phase related characteristics and starvation tolerance

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    Koutaro Ould Maeno

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Locusts are grasshopper species that express phase polyphenism: modifying their behavior, morphology, coloration, life history and physiology in response to crowding. Desert locusts, Schistocerca gregaria, epigenetically modify progeny quality and quantity in response to crowding. Gregarious (crowded females produce larger but fewer progeny than do solitarious (isolated ones. The variability of progeny quality within single egg pod and the reasons why gregarious progeny have a better survival than solitarious ones remains unclear. This study investigated 1 the effects of rearing density on the variation in egg size within single egg pods 2 the starvation tolerance of hatchlings from mothers with different phases and 3 the physiological differences in hatchling energy reserve. Isolated females produced smaller but more eggs than did crowded ones. The variation in egg size within egg pods was greater in the latter than in the former. A negative relationship between egg size and number of eggs per egg pod was observed for both groups. Under starvation conditions, gregarious hatchlings survived significantly longer than solitarious ones. Among the solitarious hatchlings, the survival time was longer as hatchling body size increased. However, small individuals survived as long as large ones among the gregarious hatchlings. The percentage of water content per fresh body weight was almost equal between the two phases, before and after starvation. In contrast, the percentage of lipid content per dry body weight was significantly higher in gregarious hatchlings than in solitarious ones before starvation, but became almost equal after starvation. These results demonstrated that female locusts not only trade-off to modify their progeny size and number, but also vary progenies’ energy reserves. We hypothesized that gregarious females enhance their fitness by producing progeny differently adapted to high environmental variability and particularly to

  8. Transcriptome analysis of the desert locust central nervous system: production and annotation of a Schistocerca gregaria EST database.

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    Badisco, Liesbeth; Huybrechts, Jurgen; Simonet, Gert; Verlinden, Heleen; Marchal, Elisabeth; Huybrechts, Roger; Schoofs, Liliane; De Loof, Arnold; Vanden Broeck, Jozef

    2011-03-21

    The desert locust (Schistocerca gregaria) displays a fascinating type of phenotypic plasticity, designated as 'phase polyphenism'. Depending on environmental conditions, one genome can be translated into two highly divergent phenotypes, termed the solitarious and gregarious (swarming) phase. Although many of the underlying molecular events remain elusive, the central nervous system (CNS) is expected to play a crucial role in the phase transition process. Locusts have also proven to be interesting model organisms in a physiological and neurobiological research context. However, molecular studies in locusts are hampered by the fact that genome/transcriptome sequence information available for this branch of insects is still limited. We have generated 34,672 raw expressed sequence tags (EST) from the CNS of desert locusts in both phases. These ESTs were assembled in 12,709 unique transcript sequences and nearly 4,000 sequences were functionally annotated. Moreover, the obtained S. gregaria EST information is highly complementary to the existing orthopteran transcriptomic data. Since many novel transcripts encode neuronal signaling and signal transduction components, this paper includes an overview of these sequences. Furthermore, several transcripts being differentially represented in solitarious and gregarious locusts were retrieved from this EST database. The findings highlight the involvement of the CNS in the phase transition process and indicate that this novel annotated database may also add to the emerging knowledge of concomitant neuronal signaling and neuroplasticity events. In summary, we met the need for novel sequence data from desert locust CNS. To our knowledge, we hereby also present the first insect EST database that is derived from the complete CNS. The obtained S. gregaria EST data constitute an important new source of information that will be instrumental in further unraveling the molecular principles of phase polyphenism, in further establishing

  9. Transcriptome analysis of the desert locust central nervous system: production and annotation of a Schistocerca gregaria EST database.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liesbeth Badisco

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The desert locust (Schistocerca gregaria displays a fascinating type of phenotypic plasticity, designated as 'phase polyphenism'. Depending on environmental conditions, one genome can be translated into two highly divergent phenotypes, termed the solitarious and gregarious (swarming phase. Although many of the underlying molecular events remain elusive, the central nervous system (CNS is expected to play a crucial role in the phase transition process. Locusts have also proven to be interesting model organisms in a physiological and neurobiological research context. However, molecular studies in locusts are hampered by the fact that genome/transcriptome sequence information available for this branch of insects is still limited. METHODOLOGY: We have generated 34,672 raw expressed sequence tags (EST from the CNS of desert locusts in both phases. These ESTs were assembled in 12,709 unique transcript sequences and nearly 4,000 sequences were functionally annotated. Moreover, the obtained S. gregaria EST information is highly complementary to the existing orthopteran transcriptomic data. Since many novel transcripts encode neuronal signaling and signal transduction components, this paper includes an overview of these sequences. Furthermore, several transcripts being differentially represented in solitarious and gregarious locusts were retrieved from this EST database. The findings highlight the involvement of the CNS in the phase transition process and indicate that this novel annotated database may also add to the emerging knowledge of concomitant neuronal signaling and neuroplasticity events. CONCLUSIONS: In summary, we met the need for novel sequence data from desert locust CNS. To our knowledge, we hereby also present the first insect EST database that is derived from the complete CNS. The obtained S. gregaria EST data constitute an important new source of information that will be instrumental in further unraveling the molecular

  10. Extra Molting and Selection on Nymphal Growth in the Desert Locust.

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    Benjamin Pélissié

    Full Text Available In insects, extra-molting has been viewed as a compensatory mechanism for nymphal growth that contributes to optimize body weight for successful reproduction. However, little is known on the capacity of extra-molting to evolve in natural populations, which limits our understanding of how selection acts on nymphal growth. We used a multi-generational pedigree, individual monitoring and quantitative genetics models to investigate the evolution of extra-molting and its impact on nymphal growth in a solitarious population of the desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria. Growth compensation via extra-molting was observed for 46% of the females, whose adult weight exceeded by 4% that of other females, at a cost of a 22% longer development time. We found a null heritability for body weight threshold only, and the highest and a strongly female-biased heritability for extra molting. Our genetic estimates show that (1 directional selection can act on growth rate, development time and extra-molting to optimize body weight threshold, the target of stabilizing selection, (2 extra-molting can evolve in natural populations, and (3 a genetic conflict, due to sexually antagonistic selection on extra-molting, might prevent its fixation. Finally, we discuss how antagonistic selection between solitarious and gregarious environments and/or genetic correlations between growth and phase traits might also impact the evolution of extra-molting in locusts.

  11. Dynamics and stability of directional jumps in the desert locust

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    Omer Gvirsman

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Locusts are known for their ability to jump large distances to avoid predation. The jump also serves to launch the adult locust into the air in order to initiate flight. Various aspects of this important behavior have been studied extensively, from muscle physiology and biomechanics, to the energy storage systems involved in powering the jump, and more. Less well understood are the mechanisms participating in control of the jump trajectory. Here we utilise video monitoring and careful analysis of experimental directional jumps by adult desert locusts, together with dynamic computer simulation, in order to understand how the locusts control the direction and elevation of the jump, the residual angular velocities resulting from the jump and the timing of flapping-flight initiation. Our study confirms and expands early findings regarding the instrumental role of the initial body position and orientation. Both real-jump video analysis and simulations based on our expanded dynamical model demonstrate that the initial body coordinates of position (relative to the hind-legs ground-contact points are dominant in predicting the jumps’ azimuth and elevation angles. We also report a strong linear correlation between the jumps’ pitch-angular-velocity and flight initiation timing, such that head downwards rotations lead to earlier wing opening. In addition to offering important insights into the bio-mechanical principles of locust jumping and flight initiation, the findings from this study will be used in designing future prototypes of a bio-inspired miniature jumping robot that will be employed in animal behaviour studies and environmental monitoring applications.

  12. Dynamics and stability of directional jumps in the desert locust.

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    Gvirsman, Omer; Kosa, Gabor; Ayali, Amir

    2016-01-01

    Locusts are known for their ability to jump large distances to avoid predation. The jump also serves to launch the adult locust into the air in order to initiate flight. Various aspects of this important behavior have been studied extensively, from muscle physiology and biomechanics, to the energy storage systems involved in powering the jump, and more. Less well understood are the mechanisms participating in control of the jump trajectory. Here we utilise video monitoring and careful analysis of experimental directional jumps by adult desert locusts, together with dynamic computer simulation, in order to understand how the locusts control the direction and elevation of the jump, the residual angular velocities resulting from the jump and the timing of flapping-flight initiation. Our study confirms and expands early findings regarding the instrumental role of the initial body position and orientation. Both real-jump video analysis and simulations based on our expanded dynamical model demonstrate that the initial body coordinates of position (relative to the hind-legs ground-contact points) are dominant in predicting the jumps' azimuth and elevation angles. We also report a strong linear correlation between the jumps' pitch-angular-velocity and flight initiation timing, such that head downwards rotations lead to earlier wing opening. In addition to offering important insights into the bio-mechanical principles of locust jumping and flight initiation, the findings from this study will be used in designing future prototypes of a bio-inspired miniature jumping robot that will be employed in animal behaviour studies and environmental monitoring applications.

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

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    Sidi Ould Ely

    2011-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1988-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1991-01-01

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

  16. Biological half-life of radiophosphorus in desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria Forskal (orthoptera:acrididae)

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    Ulagaraj, S.M.; Singh, K.M.; Sethi, G.R.

    1975-01-01

    Adult desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria Forskal were fed with cabbage leaves, painted with carrier free 32 P 1mCi/ml. Radioactivity of five adults of both sexes and of feces was measured daily for 28 days. The amount of radioactivity appearing in the feces of males was consistently below that found in female locusts. The mean biological half-life of 32 P for males and females were 35.04 and 15.01 days, respectively. (author)

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

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

    2017-07-18

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

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

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

    2005-01-01

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

  19. Relationships between food quality and fitness in the desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria, and its distribution over habitats on the Red Sea coastal plain of Sudan

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    Huis, van A.; Woldewahid, G.; Toleubayev, K.; Werf, van der W.

    2008-01-01

    The effect of millet, Pennisetum typhoideum Rich. (Poaceae), leaf nitrogen content on fitness parameters of the desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria Forsk. (Orthoptera: Acrididae), was studied under laboratory conditions. Locusts reared on high-nitrogen leaves were larger, developed faster, had

  20. Desert locust populations, rainfall and climate change: insights from phenomenological models using gridded monthly data

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    Tratalos, Jamie A.; Cheke, Robert A.; Healey, Richard G.; Stenseth, Nils Chr.

    2010-01-01

    Using autocorrelation analysis and autoregressive integrated moving average (ARIMA)modelling, we analysed a time series of the monthly number of 1° grid squares infested with desert locust Schistocerca gregaria swarms throughout the geographical range of the species from 1930–1987. Statistically significant first- and higher-order autocorrelations were found in the series. Although endogenous components captured much of the variance, adding rainfall data improved endogenous ARIMA models and r...

  1. Kinetics of penetration of methyl parthion in desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria Forskal

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sethi, G.R.; Garg, A.K.; Bhatia, P.; Mehrotra, K.N.; Bigley, W.S.

    1985-01-01

    Studies on the rate of disappearance of 14 C-methyl parathion, applied topically on the mesonotum of desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria Forskal revealed that the penetration of this insecticide did not follow the first order kinetics and showed a biphasic pattern. The faster phase of penetration lasted upto 120 min from the time of application (half-life 74+-18 min) whereas, the slower phase which was observed from 120 min to 24 hr had a half-life of 338+-130 min. (author)

  2. Time-varying span efficiency through the wingbeat of desert locusts.

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    Henningsson, Per; Bomphrey, Richard J

    2012-06-07

    The flight performance of animals depends greatly on the efficacy with which they generate aerodynamic forces. Accordingly, maximum range, load-lifting capacity and peak accelerations during manoeuvres are all constrained by the efficiency of momentum transfer to the wake. Here, we use high-speed particle image velocimetry (1 kHz) to record flow velocities in the near wake of desert locusts (Schistocerca gregaria, Forskål). We use the measured flow fields to calculate time-varying span efficiency throughout the wing stroke cycle. The locusts are found to operate at a maximum span efficiency of 79 per cent, typically at a plateau of about 60 per cent for the majority of the downstroke, but at lower values during the upstroke. Moreover, the calculated span efficiencies are highest when the largest lift forces are being generated (90% of the total lift is generated during the plateau of span efficiency) suggesting that the combination of wing kinematics and morphology in locust flight perform most efficiently when doing the most work.

  3. Effect of ionizing radiation on tissue proteins of the desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria Forskal

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    Rao, P.J.; Singh, Y.; Mehrotra, K.N.

    1981-01-01

    Effect of gamma radiation on the protein concentration of thoracic and mandibular muscles and midgut of adult male desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria Forskal at 2.5, 5.0 and 7.5 Krad doses was studied. The protein concentration of thoracic muscles was the highest on a μg/mg wet tissue basis, followed by the mandibular muscles and midgut. Considerable increase in protein concentration of the tissues on 5th and 9th day and depletion on 7th day suggests the existence of a circadian rhythm like phenomenon in tissue proteins. The effect of radiation on protein concentration of thoracic and mandibular muscles was comparatively more pronounced than midgut tissue and was generally dose dependent. (author)

  4. Altered immunity in crowded locust reduced fungal (Metarhizium anisopliae pathogenesis.

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    Yundan Wang

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The stress of living conditions, similar to infections, alters animal immunity. High population density is empirically considered to induce prophylactic immunity to reduce the infection risk, which was challenged by a model of low connectivity between infectious and susceptible individuals in crowded animals. The migratory locust, which exhibits polyphenism through gregarious and solitary phases in response to population density and displays different resistance to fungal biopesticide (Metarhizium anisopliae, was used to observe the prophylactic immunity of crowded animals. We applied an RNA-sequencing assay to investigate differential expression in fat body samples of gregarious and solitary locusts before and after infection. Solitary locusts devoted at least twice the number of genes for combating M. anisopliae infection than gregarious locusts. The transcription of immune molecules such as pattern recognition proteins, protease inhibitors, and anti-oxidation proteins, was increased in prophylactic immunity of gregarious locusts. The differentially expressed transcripts reducing gregarious locust susceptibility to M. anisopliae were confirmed at the transcriptional and translational level. Further investigation revealed that locust GNBP3 was susceptible to proteolysis while GNBP1, induced by M. anisopliae infection, resisted proteolysis. Silencing of gnbp3 by RNAi significantly shortened the life span of gregarious locusts but not solitary locusts. By contrast, gnbp1 silencing did not affect the life span of both gregarious and solitary locusts after M. anisopliae infection. Thus, the GNBP3-dependent immune responses were involved in the phenotypic resistance of gregarious locusts to fungal infection, but were redundant in solitary locusts. Our results indicated that gregarious locusts prophylactically activated upstream modulators of immune cascades rather than downstream effectors, preferring to quarantine rather than eliminate pathogens to

  5. CRF-like diuretic hormone negatively affects both feeding and reproduction in the desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria.

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    Pieter Van Wielendaele

    Full Text Available Diuretic hormones (DH related to the vertebrate Corticotropin Releasing Factor (CRF have been identified in diverse insect species. In the migratory locust, Locusta migratoria, the CRF-like DH (CRF/DH is localized in the same neurosecretory cells as the Ovary Maturating Parsin (OMP, a neurohormone that stimulates oocyte growth, vitellogenesis and hemolymph ecdysteroid levels in adult female locusts. In this study, we investigated whether CRF-like DH can influence feeding and reproduction in the desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria. We identified two highly similar S. gregaria CRF-like DH precursor cDNAs, each of which also encodes an OMP isoform. Alignment with other insect CRF-like DH precursors shows relatively high conservation of the CRF/DH sequence while the precursor region corresponding to OMP is not well conserved. Quantitative real-time RT-PCR revealed that the precursor transcripts mainly occur in the central nervous system and their highest expression level was observed in the brain. Injection of locust CRF/DH caused a significantly reduced food intake, while RNAi knockdown stimulated food intake. Therefore, our data indicate that CRF-like DH induces satiety. Furthermore, injection of CRF/DH in adult females retarded oocyte growth and caused lower ecdysteroid titers in hemolymph and ovaries, while RNAi knockdown resulted in opposite effects. The observed effects of CRF/DH may be part of a wider repertoire of neurohormonal activities, constituting an integrating control system that affects food intake and excretion, as well as anabolic processes like oocyte growth and ecdysteroidogenesis, following a meal. Our discussion about the functional relationship between CRF/DH and OMP led to the hypothesis that OMP may possibly act as a monitoring peptide that can elicit negative feedback effects.

  6. Sky Compass Orientation in Desert Locusts-Evidence from Field and Laboratory Studies.

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    Homberg, Uwe

    2015-01-01

    Locusts are long-range migratory insects. At high population density, immature animals form marching hopper bands while adults take off and form huge swarms of millions of animals. At low population densities animals are solitarious, but likewise migrate, mostly during the night. Numerous studies aimed at predicting locust infestations showed that migrations both as hopper bands and as adults are largely downwind following seasonal shifts of the tropical convergence zone taking the animals to areas of rainfall. Only a few studies provided evidence for active orientation mechanisms, including the involvement of a sun compass. This scarcity of evidence stands in contrast to recent neurobiological data showing sophisticated neuronal adaptations suited for sky compass navigation. These include a special dorsal eye region with photoreceptors suited to analyze the polarization pattern of the sky and a system of topographically arranged sky compass neurons in the central complex of the brain. Laboratory experiments, moreover, demonstrated polarotaxis in tethered flying animals. The discrepancy of these findings call for more rigorous field studies on active orientation mechanisms in locusts. It remains to be shown how locusts use their internal sky compass during mass migrations and what role it plays to guide solitarious locusts in their natural habitat.

  7. Sky compass orientation in desert locusts – evidence from field and laboratory studies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Uwe eHomberg

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Locusts are long-range migratory insects. At high population density, immature animals form marching hopper bands while adults take off and form huge swarms of millions of animals. At low population densities animals are solitarious, but likewise migrate, mostly during the night. Numerous studies aimed at predicting locust infestations showed that migrations both as hopper bands and as adults are largely downwind following seasonal shifts of the tropical convergence zone taking the animals to areas of rainfall. Only a few studies provided evidence for active orientation mechanisms, including the involvement of a sun compass. This scarcity of evidence stands in contrast to recent neurobiological data showing sophisticated neuronal adaptations suited for sky compass navigation. These include a special dorsal eye region with photoreceptors suited to analyze the polarization pattern of the sky and a system of topographically arranged sky compass neurons in the central complex of the brain. Laboratory experiments, moreover, demonstrated polarotaxis in tethered flying animals. The discrepancy of these findings call for more rigorous field studies on active orientation mechanisms in locusts. It remains to be shown how locusts use their internal sky compass during mass migrations and what role it plays to guide solitarious locusts in their natural habitat.

  8. Ultrastructure of GABA- and tachykinin-immunoreactive neurons in the lower division of the central body of the desert locust

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Uwe Homberg

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available The central complex, a group of neuropils spanning the midline of the insect brain, plays a key role in spatial orientation and navigation. In the desert locust and other species, many neurons of the central complex are sensitive to the oscillation plane of polarized light above the animal and are likely involved in the coding of compass directions derived from the polarization pattern of the sky. Polarized light signals enter the locust central complex primarily through two types of -aminobutyric acid (GABA-immunoreactive tangential neurons, termed TL2 and TL3 that innervate specific layers of the lower division of the central body (CBL. Candidate postsynaptic partners are columnar neurons (CL1 connecting the CBL to the protocerebral bridge. Subsets of CL1 neurons are immunoreactive to antisera against locustatachykinin (LomTK. To better understand the synaptic connectivities of tangential and columnar neurons in the CBL, we studied its ultrastructural organization in the desert locust, both with conventional electron microscopy and in preparations immunolabeled for GABA or LomTK. Neuronal profiles in the CBL were rich in mitochondria and vesicles. Three types of vesicles were distinguished: small clear vesicles with diameters of 20-40 nm, dark dense-core vesicles (diameter 70-120 nm, and granular dense-core vesicles (diameter 70-80 nm. Neurons were connected via divergent dyads and, less frequently, through convergent dyads. GABA-immunoreactive neurons contained small clear vesicles and small numbers of dark dense core vesicles. They had both pre- and postsynaptic contacts but output synapses were observed more frequently than input synapses. LomTK immunostaining was concentrated on large granular vesicles; neurons had pre- and postsynaptic connections often with neurons assumed to be GABAergic. The data suggest that GABA-immunoreactive tangential neurons provide signals to postsynaptic neurons in the CBL, including LomTK-immunolabeled CL1

  9. Density-Dependent Phase Polyphenism in Nonmodel Locusts: A Minireview

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hojun Song

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Although the specific mechanisms of locust phase transformation are wellunderstood for model locust species such as the desert locust Schistocerca gregaria and the migratory locust Locusta migratoria, the expressions of density-dependent phase polyphenism in other nonmodel locust species are not wellknown. The present paper is an attempt to review and synthesize what we know about these nonmodel locusts. Based on all available data, I find that locust phase polyphenism is expressed in many different ways in different locust species and identify a pattern that locust species often belong to large taxonomic groups which contain mostly nonswarming grasshopper species. Although locust phase polyphenism has evolved multiple times within Acrididae, I argue that its evolution should be studied from a phylogenetic perspective because I find similar density-dependent phenotypic plasticity among closely related species. Finally, I emphasize the importance of comparative analyses in understanding the evolution of locust phase and propose a phylogeny-based research framework.

  10. Predicted buffer zones to protect temporary pond invertebrates from ground-based insecticide applications against desert locusts.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lahr, J.; Gadji, B.; Dia, D.

    2000-01-01

    To estimate safe downwind distances (i.e. buffer zone widths) for temporary ponds from ULV-treatments with current locust insecticides, experimental trials with two ground-based sprayers, the hand-held Micro-Ulva® and the vehicle-mounted Ulva-Mast® X15 Mark I, were conducted with fenitrothion

  11. MicroRNA-276 promotes egg-hatching synchrony by up-regulating brm in locusts

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Jing; Chen, Qianquan; Wei, Yuanyuan; Jiang, Feng; Yang, Meiling; Hao, Shuguang; Guo, Xiaojiao; Chen, Dahua; Kang, Le

    2016-01-01

    Developmental synchrony, the basis of uniform swarming, migration, and sexual maturation, is an important strategy for social animals to adapt to variable environments. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying developmental synchrony are largely unexplored. The migratory locust exhibits polyphenism between gregarious and solitarious individuals, with the former displaying more synchronous sexual maturation and migration than the latter. Here, we found that the egg-hatching time of gregarious locusts was more uniform compared with solitarious locusts and that microRNA-276 (miR-276) was expressed significantly higher in both ovaries and eggs of gregarious locusts than in solitarious locusts. Interestingly, inhibiting miR-276 in gregarious females and overexpressing it in solitarious females, respectively, caused more heterochronic and synchronous hatching of progeny eggs. Moreover, miR-276 directly targeted a transcription coactivator gene, brahma (brm), resulting in its up-regulation. Knockdown of brm not only resulted in asynchronous egg hatching in gregarious locusts but also impaired the miR-276–induced synchronous egg hatching in solitarious locusts. Mechanistically, miR-276 mediated brm activation in a manner that depended on the secondary structure of brm, namely, a stem-loop around the binding site of miR-276. Collectively, our results unravel a mechanism by which miR-276 enhances brm expression to promote developmental synchrony and provide insight into regulation of developmental homeostasis and population sustaining that are closely related to biological synchrony. PMID:26729868

  12. RNAi-mediated knockdown of SPOOK reduces ecdysteroid titers and causes precocious metamorphosis in the desert locust Schistocerca gregaria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sugahara, Ryohei; Tanaka, Seiji; Shiotsuki, Takahiro

    2017-09-01

    The Halloween gene SPOOK (SPO) is involved in the production of the active metabolite of ecdysteroid, 20-hydroxyecdysone (20E), in insects. A previous study showed that RNAi-mediated knockdown of SPO in Schistocerca gregaria last instar nymphs markedly reduced the hemolymph 20E titer, but did not affect metamorphosis. In the present study, the effects of SPO interference on development were re-examined in this locust. Injections of SPO double-stranded RNA (dsSPO) into nymphs at mid and late instars significantly delayed nymphal development and interfered with molting. The 20E levels of dsSPO-treated nymphs were generally low, with a delayed, small peak, suggesting that disturbance of the 20E levels caused the above developmental abnormalities. A small proportion of the dsSPO-injected nymphs metamorphosed precociously, producing adults and adultoids. Precocious adults were characterized by small body size, short wings with abbreviated venation, and normal reproductive activity. Fourth instar nymphs that precociously metamorphosed at the following instar exhibited temporal expression patterns of ecdysone-induced protein 93F and the juvenile hormone (JH) early-inducible gene Krüppel homolog 1 similar to those observed at the last instar in normal nymphs. Adultoids displayed mating behavior and adultoid females developed eggs, but never laid eggs. JH injection around the expected time of the 20E peak in the dsSPO-injected nymphs completely inhibited the appearance of adultoids, suggesting that appearance of adultoids might be due to a reduced titer of JH rather than of 20E. These results suggest that SPO plays an important role in controlling morphogenesis, metamorphosis, and reproduction in S. gregaria. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Deserts

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  14. Dop1 enhances conspecific olfactory attraction by inhibiting miR-9a maturation in locusts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Xiaojiao; Ma, Zongyuan; Du, Baozhen; Li, Ting; Li, Wudi; Xu, Lingling; He, Jing; Kang, Le

    2018-03-22

    Dopamine receptor 1 (Dop1) mediates locust attraction behaviors, however, the mechanism by which Dop1 modulates this process remains unknown to date. Here, we identify differentially expressed small RNAs associated with locust olfactory attraction after activating and inhibiting Dop1. Small RNA transcriptome analysis and qPCR validation reveal that Dop1 activation and inhibition downregulates and upregulates microRNA-9a (miR-9a) expression, respectively. miR-9a knockdown in solitarious locusts increases their attraction to gregarious volatiles, whereas miR-9a overexpression in gregarious locusts reduces olfactory attraction. Moreover, miR-9a directly targets adenylyl cyclase 2 (ac2), causing its downregulation at the mRNA and protein levels. ac2 responds to Dop1 and mediates locust olfactory attraction. Mechanistically, Dop1 inhibits miR-9a expression through inducing the dissociation of La protein from pre-miR-9a and resulting in miR-9a maturation inhibition. Our results reveal a Dop1-miR-9a-AC2 circuit that modulates locust olfactory attraction underlying aggregation. This study suggests that miRNAs act as key messengers in the GPCR signaling.

  15. De novo analysis of transcriptome dynamics in the migratory locust during the development of phase traits.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shuang Chen

    Full Text Available Locusts exhibit remarkable density-dependent phenotype (phase changes from the solitary to the gregarious, making them one of the most destructive agricultural pests. This phenotype polyphenism arises from a single genome and diverse transcriptomes in different conditions. Here we report a de novo transcriptome for the migratory locust and a comprehensive, representative core gene set. We carried out assembly of 21.5 Gb Illumina reads, generated 72,977 transcripts with N50 2,275 bp and identified 11,490 locust protein-coding genes. Comparative genomics analysis with eight other sequenced insects was carried out to identify the genomic divergence between hemimetabolous and holometabolous insects for the first time and 18 genes relevant to development was found. We further utilized the quantitative feature of RNA-seq to measure and compare gene expression among libraries. We first discovered how divergence in gene expression between two phases progresses as locusts develop and identified 242 transcripts as candidates for phase marker genes. Together with the detailed analysis of deep sequencing data of the 4(th instar, we discovered a phase-dependent divergence of biological investment in the molecular level. Solitary locusts have higher activity in biosynthetic pathways while gregarious locusts show higher activity in environmental interaction, in which genes and pathways associated with regulation of neurotransmitter activities, such as neurotransmitter receptors, synthetase, transporters, and GPCR signaling pathways, are strongly involved. Our study, as the largest de novo transcriptome to date, with optimization of sequencing and assembly strategy, can further facilitate the application of de novo transcriptome. The locust transcriptome enriches genetic resources for hemimetabolous insects and our understanding of the origin of insect metamorphosis. Most importantly, we identified genes and pathways that might be involved in locust development

  16. The analysis of large-scale gene expression correlated to the phase changes of the migratory locust

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kang, Le; Chen, Xiangyong; Zhou, Yan

    2004-01-01

    The migratory locust is one of the most notorious agricultural pests that undergo a well known reversible, density-dependent phase transition from the solitary to the gregarious. To demonstrate the underlying molecular mechanisms of the phase change, we generated 76,012 ESTs from the whole body...... functional implications that numerous molecular activities are involved in phase plasticity. This study provides ample molecular markers and genomic information on hemimetabolous insects and insights into the genetic and molecular mechanisms of phase changes in locusts. Udgivelsesdato: 2004-Dec-21...

  17. A locust-inspired miniature jumping robot.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zaitsev, Valentin; Gvirsman, Omer; Ben Hanan, Uri; Weiss, Avi; Ayali, Amir; Kosa, Gabor

    2015-11-25

    Unmanned ground vehicles are mostly wheeled, tracked, or legged. These locomotion mechanisms have a limited ability to traverse rough terrain and obstacles that are higher than the robot's center of mass. In order to improve the mobility of small robots it is necessary to expand the variety of their motion gaits. Jumping is one of nature's solutions to the challenge of mobility in difficult terrain. The desert locust is the model for the presented bio-inspired design of a jumping mechanism for a small mobile robot. The basic mechanism is similar to that of the semilunar process in the hind legs of the locust, and is based on the cocking of a torsional spring by wrapping a tendon-like wire around the shaft of a miniature motor. In this study we present the jumping mechanism design, and the manufacturing and performance analysis of two demonstrator prototypes. The most advanced jumping robot demonstrator is power autonomous, weighs 23 gr, and is capable of jumping to a height of 3.35 m, covering a distance of 1.37 m.

  18. Gregarious nesting - An anti-predator response in laying hens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Riber, Anja Brinch

    2012-01-01

    Gregarious nesting can be defined as a behaviour that occurs when a laying hen (Gallus gallus domesticus) given the choice between an occupied and an unoccupied nest site chooses the occupied nest site. It occurs frequently in flocks of laying hens kept under commercial conditions, contrasting...... the behaviour displayed by feral hens that isolate themselves from the flock during nesting activities. What motivates laying hens to perform gregarious nesting is unknown. One possibility is that gregarious nesting is an anti-predator response to the risk of nest predation emerging from behavioural flexibility...

  19. Methodological Analysis of Gregarious Behaviour of Agents in the Financial Markets

    OpenAIRE

    Solodukhin Stanislav V.

    2013-01-01

    The article considers methodological approaches to analysis of gregarious behaviour of agents in the financial markets and also studies foundations of the agent modelling of decision making processes with consideration of the gregarious instinct.

  20. Paternal epigenetic effects of population density on locust phase-related characteristics associated with heat-shock protein expression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Bing; Li, Shaoqin; Ren, Qiang; Tong, Xiwen; Zhang, Xia; Kang, Le

    2015-02-01

    Many species exhibit transgenerational plasticity by which environmental cues experienced by either parent can be transmitted to their offspring, resulting in phenotypic variants in offspring to match ancestral environments. However, the manner by which paternal experiences affect offspring plasticity through epigenetic inheritance in animals generally remains unclear. In this study, we examined the transgenerational effects of population density on phase-related traits in the migratory locust Locusta migratoria. Using an experimental design that explicitly controls genetic background, we found that the effects of crowd or isolation rearing on phase plasticity could be inherited to the offspring. The isolation of gregarious locusts resulted in reduced weight in offspring eggs and altered morphometric traits in hatchlings, whereas crowding of solitarious locusts exhibited opposite effects. The consequences of density changes were transmitted by both maternal and paternal inheritance, although the expression of paternal effects was not as pronounced as that of maternal effects. Prominent expression of heat-shock proteins (Hsps), such as Hsp90, Hsp70 and Hsp20.6, could be triggered by density changes. Hsps were significantly upregulated upon crowding but downregulated upon isolation. The variation in parental Hsp expression was also transmitted to the offspring, in which the pattern of inheritance was consistent with that of phase characteristics. These results revealed a paternal effect on phase polyphenism and Hsp expression induced by population density, and defined a model system that could be used to study the paternal epigenetic inheritance of environmental changes. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  1. Locust Collective Motion and Its Modeling.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gil Ariel

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Over the past decade, technological advances in experimental and animal tracking techniques have motivated a renewed theoretical interest in animal collective motion and, in particular, locust swarming. This review offers a comprehensive biological background followed by comparative analysis of recent models of locust collective motion, in particular locust marching, their settings, and underlying assumptions. We describe a wide range of recent modeling and simulation approaches, from discrete agent-based models of self-propelled particles to continuous models of integro-differential equations, aimed at describing and analyzing the fascinating phenomenon of locust collective motion. These modeling efforts have a dual role: The first views locusts as a quintessential example of animal collective motion. As such, they aim at abstraction and coarse-graining, often utilizing the tools of statistical physics. The second, which originates from a more biological perspective, views locust swarming as a scientific problem of its own exceptional merit. The main goal should, thus, be the analysis and prediction of natural swarm dynamics. We discuss the properties of swarm dynamics using the tools of statistical physics, as well as the implications for laboratory experiments and natural swarms. Finally, we stress the importance of a combined-interdisciplinary, biological-theoretical effort in successfully confronting the challenges that locusts pose at both the theoretical and practical levels.

  2. Annotation of novel neuropeptide precursors in the migratory locust based on transcript screening of a public EST database and mass spectrometry

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    De Loof Arnold

    2006-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background For holometabolous insects there has been an explosion of proteomic and peptidomic information thanks to large genome sequencing projects. Heterometabolous insects, although comprising many important species, have been far less studied. The migratory locust Locusta migratoria, a heterometabolous insect, is one of the most infamous agricultural pests. They undergo a well-known and profound phase transition from the relatively harmless solitary form to a ferocious gregarious form. The underlying regulatory mechanisms of this phase transition are not fully understood, but it is undoubtedly that neuropeptides are involved. However, neuropeptide research in locusts is hampered by the absence of genomic information. Results Recently, EST (Expressed Sequence Tag databases from Locusta migratoria were constructed. Using bioinformatical tools, we searched these EST databases specifically for neuropeptide precursors. Based on known locust neuropeptide sequences, we confirmed the sequence of several previously identified neuropeptide precursors (i.e. pacifastin-related peptides, which consolidated our method. In addition, we found two novel neuroparsin precursors and annotated the hitherto unknown tachykinin precursor. Besides one of the known tachykinin peptides, this EST contained an additional tachykinin-like sequence. Using neuropeptide precursors from Drosophila melanogaster as a query, we succeeded in annotating the Locusta neuropeptide F, allatostatin-C and ecdysis-triggering hormone precursor, which until now had not been identified in locusts or in any other heterometabolous insect. For the tachykinin precursor, the ecdysis-triggering hormone precursor and the allatostatin-C precursor, translation of the predicted neuropeptides in neural tissues was confirmed with mass spectrometric techniques. Conclusion In this study we describe the annotation of 6 novel neuropeptide precursors and the neuropeptides they encode from the

  3. Effect of heterogeneity of nest boxes on occurrence of gregarious nesting in laying hens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Clausen, Tina; Riber, Anja Brinch

    2012-01-01

    Gregarious nesting, where hens select already occupied nest boxes even when other nest boxes are unoccupied, is an unwanted behaviour in laying hens that may reduce animal welfare and pose a financial cost to the producer. It has been suggested that gregarious nesting is caused by the difficulties...... nesting was higher in experimental groups compared to control groups (P right were higher compared to nest boxes positioned...

  4. Behavioral Relevance of Species-Specific Vasotocin Anatomy in Gregarious Finches

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aubrey M Kelly

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Despite substantial species differences in the vasotocin/vasopressin (VT/VP circuitry of the medial bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BSTm and lateral septum (LS; a primary projection target of BSTm VT/VP cells, functional consequences of this variation are poorly known. Previous experiments in the highly gregarious zebra finch (Estrildidae: Taeniopygia guttata demonstrate that BSTm VT neurons promote gregariousness in a male-specific manner and reduce anxiety in both sexes. However, in contrast to the zebra finch, the less gregarious Angolan blue waxbill (Estrildidae: Uraeginthus angolensis exhibits fewer VT-immunoreactive cells in the BSTm as well as differences in receptor distribution across the LS subnuclei, suggesting that knockdown of VT production in the BSTm would produce behavioral effects in Angolan blue waxbills that are distinct from zebra finches. Thus, we here quantified social contact, gregariousness (i.e. preference for the larger of two groups, and anxiety-like behavior following bilateral antisense knockdown of VT production in the BSTm of male and female Angolan blue waxbills. We find that BSTm VT neurons promote social contact, but not gregariousness (as in male zebra finches, and that antisense effects on social contact are significantly stronger in male waxbills than in females. Knockdown of BSTm VT production has no effect on anxiety-like behavior. These data provide novel evidence that species differences in the VT/VP circuitry arising in the BSTm are accompanied by species-specific effects on affiliation behaviors.

  5. THE GREGARIOUS BEHAVIOR OF INVESTORS FROM BALTIC STOCK MARKETS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pece Andreea Maria

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available The main objective of this research is to investigate market participants’ gregarious behaviour in Baltic stock markets, namely Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia during the period January 2003-December 2013. The herding behaviour derives from the investors’ irrationality, who trade financial assets based on their positive expectations about prices future growth, generating manias among other market participants, thus ignoring the real return rates and the risk levels of their investments.The investors’ irrational behaviour is influenced by actions, feelings and impulses that are intertwined: mimicry, fear, trust, greed, optimism, pessimism, euphoria, panic. These features highlight an erroneous perception of investors in point of unsustained increase in prices, which has been generated by the stock prices deviations from their fundamental value.Under these premises, optimism, overreaction and speculative bubbles are appearing on the market and may constitute triggering factors of a financial crash.The probability of the occurrence of the speculative bubbles and financial crashes is influenced by the continuous entry on the market of new investors and less informed participants, which often act based on impulse, following a benchmark, without considering their own analysis and information that they hold. The existence of a “collective behaviour” of the investors, which is manifested by their tendency to imitate other market participants actions and to “follow the herd”, so ignoring their own beliefs, may increase market sensitivity to shocks and the probability of the occurrence of the systemic risk.In order to identify the investors’ herding behaviour, I have applied an adjusted CSSD model proposed by (Yao, Ma, Peng He, 2014, which implies the inclusion of two additional variables, the first one, to reduce the effect of multicollinearity and a second one, a lag term of the dependent variable, in order to improve the power of the

  6. Individual gregariousness predicts behavioural synchronization in a foraging herbivore, the sheep (Ovis aries).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hauschildt, Verena; Gerken, Martina

    2015-04-01

    Diversity of animal personalities has been proposed to arise from differences in social attraction, and to enhance behavioural flexibility of a population. The present study evaluated gregariousness as a personality trait in 14 ewes kept on pasture. Gregariousness was defined based on the frequency of having a close neighbour (behaviour was recorded individually every 15 min. Each session lasted 2.5h (08.30-11.00 h or 14.30-17.00 h, respectively). Behavioural synchronization was highest when the group consisted only of HG individuals (κHG=0.69, κLG=0.31; t=5.29; pbehavioural synchronization in sheep. Though sheep are generally recognized as a highly gregarious species, HG and LG individuals could be differentiated clearly and consistently. Research on animal personality might help explain social influences on behavioural synchronization. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Thermal ecology of gregarious and solitary nettle-feeding nymphalid butterfly larvae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bryant, S R; Thomas, C D; Bale, J S

    2000-01-01

    Group-living in animal populations has many possible ecological and evolutionary explanations, including predator evasion and feeding facilitation. In insects, the thermal balance of solitary and gregarious larvae is likely to differ and may thus have important ecological consequences. The abilities of the larvae of four species of nettle-feeding nymphalid butterflies to thermoregulate were quantified in the field. Larval surface body temperatures of the gregarious Aglais urticae (small tortoiseshell) and Inachis io (peacock) and the solitary Polygonia c-album (comma) and Vanessa atalanta (red admiral) were measured for each instar, in both sunny and overcast conditions, over a seasonal range of temperatures. The results suggested two distinct larval thermal strategies. In the presence of direct sunlight, the exposed gregarious larvae of A. urticae and I. io regulated body temperatures at 32.5 and 31.5°C, respectively, while the temperatures of concealed larvae of P. c-album and V. atalanta were largely dependent on ambient temperatures. In the sun, the range of body temperatures recorded for A. urticae and I. io larvae was fairly narrow relative to ambient temperatures. This suggests a high degree of thermal control in these species. Modal body temperatures coincided with the temperature at which development rate is maximal. Regardless of whether changes in thermoregulation are a cause or consequence of the evolution of gregariousness, the combination of behavioural thermoregulation and gregariousness in larval insects has important implications for voltinism patterns and range extension (via increased development rates). Distributional responses of gregarious and solitary larvae to climatic warming may differ as a result of changes in cloud cover as well as changes in temperature.

  8. Management of black Locust (Robinia pseudoacacia L.) stands in Hungary

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2002-01-01

    Black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia L.) was the first forest tree species to be imported from North America to Europe at the beginning of the 17th century. It is the most important fast-growing stand-forming tree species in Hungary . Black locust plantations can be successfully established in response to arange of economic and ecological opportunities. Plantation survival and productivity are maximized by matching the species' growth characteristics with silvicultura l options and land management needs. In the paper the sequence of forest tending operations in black locust stands is proposed, based on results of long-term st and structure and forest yield trials. Implementing good silvicultural plans and models will lead to profitable black locust stands and greater acceptance of the species by land managers. Black locust would also beavery useful species for energy productions as the related research results have been shown in the paper .

  9. Development with age of nest box use and gregarious nesting in laying hens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Riber, Anja Brinch

    2010-01-01

    in position (left + corner, middle, and right). Nesting behaviour was video recorded for 5 days in each of five distinct periods: age 20, 26, 32, 38, and 44 weeks. The total number of visits and the number of gregarious visits were higher in the left nest box than in the other two nest boxes at all ages...

  10. Gregarious settlement in cypris larvae: the effects of cyprid age and assay duration

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Head, R.M.; Berntsson, K.M.; Dahlström, M.; Overbeke, J.C.; Thomason, J.C.

    2004-01-01

    Gregarious behaviour of marine larvae is perhaps most clearly associated with finding a suitable habitat in a changeable or restricted environment, or with finding other conspecifics with which to mate. Prior work has shown that in settlement assays using cypris larvae of the barnacle Balanus

  11. Intrinsic competition among solitary and gregarious endoparasitoid wasps and phenomenon of resource sharing

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Magdaraog, P.M.; Harvey, J.A.; Tanaka, T.; Gols, R.

    2012-01-01

    1. Intrinsic competition was compared in three species of braconid wasps, the solitary Meteorus pulchricornis Wesmael, and the gregarious Cotesia kariyai (Watanabe) and Cotesia ruficrus Haliday in caterpillars of their common host, the armyworm Mythimna separata Walker. Competition was determined in

  12. Intrinsic competition among solitary and gregarious endoparasitoid wasps and the phenomenon of ‘resource sharing’

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Magdaraog, P.M.; Harvey, J.A.; Tanaka, T.; Gols, R.

    2012-01-01

    1. Intrinsic competition was compared in three species of braconid wasps, the solitary Meteorus pulchricornis Wesmael, and the gregarious Cotesia kariyai (Watanabe) and Cotesia ruficrus Haliday in caterpillars of their common host, the armyworm Mythimna separata Walker. Competition was determined in

  13. Receptive fields of locust brain neurons are matched to polarization patterns of the sky.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bech, Miklós; Homberg, Uwe; Pfeiffer, Keram

    2014-09-22

    Many animals, including insects, are able to use celestial cues as a reference for spatial orientation and long-distance navigation [1]. In addition to direct sunlight, the chromatic gradient of the sky and its polarization pattern are suited to serve as orientation cues [2-5]. Atmospheric scattering of sunlight causes a regular pattern of E vectors in the sky, which are arranged along concentric circles around the sun [5, 6]. Although certain insects rely predominantly on sky polarization for spatial orientation [7], it has been argued that detection of celestial E vector orientation may not suffice to differentiate between solar and antisolar directions [8, 9]. We show here that polarization-sensitive (POL) neurons in the brain of the desert locust Schistocerca gregaria can overcome this ambiguity. Extracellular recordings from POL units in the central complex and lateral accessory lobes revealed E vector tunings arranged in concentric circles within large receptive fields, matching the sky polarization pattern at certain solar positions. Modeling of neuronal responses under an idealized sky polarization pattern (Rayleigh sky) suggests that these "matched filter" properties allow locusts to unambiguously determine the solar azimuth by relying solely on the sky polarization pattern for compass navigation. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Effectiveness of Locust Bean Pod Solution (LBPS) in the Production ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Akorede

    KEYWORDS: Cement, compressive strength, locust bean, sandcrete blocks, building. [Received ... necessitates the need for alternative low cost walling material. (Aguwa, 2010) ... of 1920 to 2080 kg/m2 and may be solid or hollow. Dense solid.

  15. Economic analysis of locust bean processing and marketing in Iwo ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Economic analysis of locust bean processing and marketing in Iwo local government, Osun state. ... Majority (78.3%) of the processors and marketers were making profit; 95.0% operate ... EMAIL FREE FULL TEXT EMAIL FREE FULL TEXT

  16. Sexual harassment and female gregariousness in the South American sea lion, Otaria flavescens

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cappozzo, Humberto L.; Túnez, Juan I.; Cassini, Marcelo H.

    2008-07-01

    Most colonial pinnipeds form extreme clusters of breeding females that cannot be entirely explained by the distribution of sites for reproduction. Avoidance of male harassment has been postulated as an important determinant of reproductive aggregation in this group of mammals. Female gregariousness can reduce harassment by resident males by two mechanisms; directly by the ‘dilution effect’ or indirectly because resident males that defend large female groups are less harassing. In order to investigate the relationship between male harassment and female gregariousness in relation to the size of breeding groups, we analysed the behaviour of dominant males and their females in a breeding colony of Otaria flavescens. Females in large breeding groups received less harassment by resident males due to dilution effects and because males that defended a large group interacted less frequently with females than males with small groups.

  17. Animal behavior frozen in time: gregarious behavior of Early Jurassic lobsters within an ammonoid body chamber.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klompmaker, Adiël A; Fraaije, René H B

    2012-01-01

    Direct animal behavior can be inferred from the fossil record only in exceptional circumstances. The exceptional mode of preservation of ammonoid shells in the Posidonia Shale (Lower Jurassic, lower Toarcian) of Dotternhausen in southern Germany, with only the organic periostracum preserved, provides an excellent opportunity to observe the contents of the ammonoid body chamber because this periostracum is translucent. Here, we report upon three delicate lobsters preserved within a compressed ammonoid specimen of Harpoceras falciferum. We attempt to explain this gregarious behavior. The three lobsters were studied using standard microscopy under low angle light. The lobsters belong to the extinct family of the Eryonidae; further identification was not possible. The organic material of the three small lobsters is preserved more than halfway into the ammonoid body chamber. The lobsters are closely spaced and are positioned with their tails oriented toward each other. The specimens are interpreted to represent corpses rather than molts. The lobsters probably sought shelter in preparation for molting or against predators such as fish that were present in Dotternhausen. Alternatively, the soft tissue of the ammonoid may have been a source of food that attracted the lobsters, or it may have served as a long-term residency for the lobsters (inquilinism). The lobsters represent the oldest known example of gregariousness amongst lobsters and decapods in the fossil record. Gregarious behavior in lobsters, also known for extant lobsters, thus developed earlier in earth's history than previously known. Moreover, this is one of the oldest known examples of decapod crustaceans preserved within cephalopod shells.

  18. Animal behavior frozen in time: gregarious behavior of Early Jurassic lobsters within an ammonoid body chamber.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adiël A Klompmaker

    Full Text Available Direct animal behavior can be inferred from the fossil record only in exceptional circumstances. The exceptional mode of preservation of ammonoid shells in the Posidonia Shale (Lower Jurassic, lower Toarcian of Dotternhausen in southern Germany, with only the organic periostracum preserved, provides an excellent opportunity to observe the contents of the ammonoid body chamber because this periostracum is translucent. Here, we report upon three delicate lobsters preserved within a compressed ammonoid specimen of Harpoceras falciferum. We attempt to explain this gregarious behavior. The three lobsters were studied using standard microscopy under low angle light. The lobsters belong to the extinct family of the Eryonidae; further identification was not possible. The organic material of the three small lobsters is preserved more than halfway into the ammonoid body chamber. The lobsters are closely spaced and are positioned with their tails oriented toward each other. The specimens are interpreted to represent corpses rather than molts. The lobsters probably sought shelter in preparation for molting or against predators such as fish that were present in Dotternhausen. Alternatively, the soft tissue of the ammonoid may have been a source of food that attracted the lobsters, or it may have served as a long-term residency for the lobsters (inquilinism. The lobsters represent the oldest known example of gregariousness amongst lobsters and decapods in the fossil record. Gregarious behavior in lobsters, also known for extant lobsters, thus developed earlier in earth's history than previously known. Moreover, this is one of the oldest known examples of decapod crustaceans preserved within cephalopod shells.

  19. Interspecific competition for shelters in territorial and gregarious intertidal grazers: consequences for individual behaviour.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Moisés A Aguilera

    Full Text Available Experiments have shown that interspecific interactions within consumer guilds can alter patterns of distribution, abundance and size of species. Plastic behavioural responses can be modulated by agonistic interactions. In many cases, consumers compete for space and shelters, and these interactions change the manner in which they exploit food. This study investigates the consequences of competition in the spatial and temporal organization of behaviour of intertidal grazers, which share algal resources and the use of rock crevices while resting, but exhibit different body sizes, spatial behaviour and foraging modes. We evaluate interaction strength between small gregarious Siphonaria lessoni and the larger territorial keyhole limpet Fissurella crassa and between S. lessoni and the medium-size gregarious chiton Chiton granosus. Using field manipulations and artificial arenas in the laboratory, we tested whether the use of crevices, micro-spatial distribution and activity are modified by the density of conspecifics and the presence of heterospecifics. Our results show that small-scale spatial segregation observed in the field between S. lessoni and C. granosus result from species-specific differences in habitat use. In turn, we found evidence that spatial segregation between F. crassa and S. lessoni results from highly asymmetric interference competition in the use of shelters. The presence of F. crassa reduced the use of crevices and growth rates of S. lessoni. Effects on growth rates are assumed to result from exposure to harsh environmental conditions rather than food limitation. Thus, neither gregarious behaviour nor differences in activity were sufficient to prevent competition with the larger grazer. Our study illustrates the importance of competition for shelters, which results in behavioural changes of the smaller-sized species, and how these plastic responses can translate into differences in growth rates. Use of shelters can thus be

  20. Area-wide pest management of locusts and grasshoppers: The striking similarities of problems and solutions in Africa and the United States

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lockwood, Jeffrey A.

    2000-01-01

    Grasshoppers and locusts are among the most devastating pests of human agriculture. These insects cause serious damage to crops and forage on every arable continent, and their depredations have become the basis for legends, myths, and (in recent times) complex political and economic programmes. No pest problem spans such immense areas, with up to 8 million ha treated for rangeland grasshoppers during outbreaks in the US and 16 million km 2 prone to outbreaks of the Desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria Forskal, alone. The traditional management approach has involved extensive, regionalised control programmes, but recent trends suggest a decentralised future for grasshopper and locust management. Hence, we have a dynamic situation that presents the opportunity for a comparative analysis of the costs and benefits of an area-wide approach to pest management at different scales. As political, cultural, and communication barriers between scientists dissolve, the possibility of learning from one another's experiences (both failures and successes) promises to dramatically accelerate the rate of innovation, progress and discovery in pest management. For example, the recent advances in Reduced Agent-Area Treatments (RAAT, in which insecticide is applied to swaths, separated by untreated swaths or buffers) for management of rangeland grasshoppers in the US (Lockwood and Schell 1997) are based on the adaptation of tactics developed by African, Australian, Asian, and European scientists (Rachadi and Foucart 1996, Musuna and Mugisha 1997, Scherer and Celestin 1997, Wilps and Diop 1997, Launois and Rachadi 1997). The key to successful adaptation of management methods must begin with intellectual modesty and nationalistic humility so that the insights of non-scientists and experts from outside one's country are given respect and serious consideration. It is subsequently necessary to recognise the essential similarities and differences between land use systems and understand the

  1. Larval vision contributes to gregarious settlement in barnacles: adult red fluorescence as a possible visual signal

    KAUST Repository

    Matsumura, K.

    2014-02-26

    Gregarious settlement, an essential behavior for many barnacle species that can only reproduce by mating with a nearby barnacle, has long been thought to rely on larval ability to recognize chemical signals from conspecifics during settlement. However, the cyprid, the settlement stage larva in barnacles, has one pair of compound eyes that appear only at the late nauplius VI and cyprid stages, but the function(s) of these eyes remains unknown. Here we show that cyprids of the intertidal barnacle Balanus (=Amphibalanus) amphitrite can locate adult barnacles even in the absence of chemical cues, and prefer to settle around them probably via larval sense of vision. We also show that the cyprids can discriminate color and preferred to settle on red surfaces. Moreover, we found that shells of adult B. amphitrite emit red auto-fluorescence and the adult extracts with the fluorescence as a visual signal attracted cyprid larvae to settle around it. We propose that the perception of specific visual signals can be involved in behavior of zooplankton including marine invertebrate larvae, and that barnacle auto-fluorescence may be a specific signal involved in gregarious larval settlement.

  2. Regulation of glycogenolysis in the locust fat body during flight

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Marrewijk, W.J.A. van; Broek, A.Th.M. van den; Beenakkers, A.M.Th.

    1980-01-01

    Glycogen reserves in the fat body of Locusta migratoria decrease dramatically during the first two hours of flight. In fat body of rested locusts only 10% of glycogen phosphorylase occurs in the active form. The enzyme is activated significantly during flight, when up to one-third of the total

  3. Lipase Activity in Fermented Oil Seeds of Africa Locust Bean ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    acer

    was determined. The peak lipase activity for fermented Africa locust bean, Castor seed, and African ..... Lipase by Penicillium restrictum in solid state ... sp. Rev. Microbiol. 28(2): 90-95. Martinek, G.H. (1969). Microbiology and amino acid ...

  4. Comparative Evaluation of Nutritional Composition of African Locust ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The most logical approach towards the improvement and efficient use of indigenous fruits to supply nutritional requirement for human diet is through the investigation of their nutritional values. This study was carried out to investigate the nutritional value of African locust bean (Parkia biglobosa) fruit collected from two ...

  5. [Phosphorus transfer between mixed poplar and black locust seedlings].

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Wei; Jia, Liming; Hao, Baogang; Wen, Xuejun; Zhai, Mingpu

    2003-04-01

    In this paper, the 32P radio-tracer technique was applied to study the ways of phosphorus transfer between poplar (Populus euramericana cv. 'I-214') and black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia). A five compartment root box (18 cm x 18 cm x 26 cm) was used for testing the existence of the hyphal links between the roots of two tree species when inoculated with vesicular-arbuscular (VA) mycorrhizal fungus (Glomus mosseae). Populus I-214 (donor) and Robinia pseudoacacia (receiver) were grown in two terminal compartments, separated by a 2 cm root-free soil layer. The root compartments were lined with bags of nylon mesh (38 microns) that allowed the passage of hyphae but not roots. The top soil of a mixed stand of poplar and black locust, autoclaved at 121 degrees C for one hour, was used for growing seedlings for testing. In 5 compartment root box, mycorrhizal root colonization of poplar was 34%, in which VA mycorrhizal fungus was inoculated, whereas 26% mycorrhizal root colonization was observed in black locust, the other terminal compartment, 20 weeks after planting. No root colonization was observed in non-inoculated plant pairs. This indicated that the mycorrhizal root colonization of black locust was caused by hyphal spreading from the poplar. Test of tracer isotope of 32P showed that the radioactivity of the treatment significantly higher than that of the control (P mycorrhizal fungus was inoculated in poplar root. Furthermore, mycorrhizal interconnections between the roots of poplar and black locust seedlings was observed in situ by binocular in root box. All these experiments showed that the hyphal links was formed between the roots of two species of trees inoculated by VA mycorrhizal fungus. Four treatments were designed according to if there were two nets (mesh 38 microns), 2 cm apart, between the poplar and black locust, and if the soil in root box was pasteurized. Most significant differences of radioactivity among four treatments appeared 44 days after feeding

  6. Grip and detachment of locusts on inverted sandpaper substrates

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Han Longbao; Wang Zhouyi; Ji Aihong; Dai Zhendong

    2011-01-01

    Locusts (Locusta migratoria manilensis) are characterized by their strong flying and grasping ability. Research on the grasping mechanism and behaviour of locusts on sloping substrates plays an important role in elucidating the mechanics of hexapod locomotion. Data on the maximum angles of slope at which locusts can grasp stably (critical angles of detachment) were obtained from high-speed video recordings at 215 fps. The grasping forces were collected by using two sensors, in situations where all left legs were standing on one and the right legs on the other sensor plate. These data were used to illustrate the grasping ability of locusts on slopes with varying levels of roughness. The grasping morphologies of locusts' bodies and tarsi were observed, and the surface roughness as well as diameters of their claw tips was measured under a microscope to account for the grasping mechanism of these insects on the sloping substrate. The results showed that the claw tips and part of the pads were in contact with the inverted substrate when the mean particle diameter was in the range of 15.3-40.5 μm. The interaction between pads and substrates may improve the stability of contact, and claw tips may play a key role in keeping the attachment reliable. A model was developed to explain the significant effects of the relative size of claw tips and mean particle diameter on grasping ability as well as the observed increase in lateral force (2.09-4.05 times greater than the normal force during detachment) with increasing slope angle, which indicates that the lateral force may be extremely important in keeping the contact reliable. This research lays the groundwork for the probable design and development of biomimetic robotics.

  7. Group size effects on survivorship and adult development in the gregarious larvae of Euselasia chrysippe (Lepidoptera, Riodinidae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    P. E. Allen

    2010-01-01

    Caterpillars living in aggregations may derive several benefits that outweigh the costs, including better survivorship and improved growth rates. I tested whether larval group size had an effect on these two vital rates in Euselasia chrysippe. These caterpillars feed gregariously during all instars and move in processionary form over the host plant...

  8. Nutritional composition of the African locust bean ( Parkia biglobosa ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Nutritional and anti-nutritional composition of the African locust bean (Parkia biglobosa) fruit pulp were determined using standard methods. Results showed a moisture content of 8.41%, protein 6.56%, fat 1.80%, crude fibre 11.75%, ash. 4.18% and carbohydrate of 67.30%. Sugar content was found to be 9.00 °Brix; total ...

  9. Effect of Storage on the Shelf life of Dehydrated Fermented Locust ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Fermented locust bean is used as a flavour intensifier for soups and stews. As beneficent as it is, problems still exist about its preservation using appropriate and affordable technology. Little is known about the shelf life of dehydrated fermented locust beans. This study aimed to investigate the effect of polythene packaging ...

  10. Characteristics of the cocoon and natural history of the gregarious Meteorus restionis sp. n. (Hymenoptera, Braconidae, Meteorinae) from Costa Rica

    OpenAIRE

    Barrantes,Gilbert; Triana,Emilia; Shaw,Scot; Jones,Guinevere

    2011-01-01

    A new species of a gregarious Meteorus wasp (Braconidae) constructs an unusual cocoon mass. Meteorus restionis sp. n. is described and distinguished from similar species. Cocoons of M. restionis are dark-brown, ovoid, and they are attached perpendicularly by their posterior end along a long, suspended cable. The cable is formed by intertwined, independent threads which are glued together at irregular intervals along its length, suggesting a certain degree of cooperation or at least tolerance ...

  11. Personality is Tightly Coupled to Vasopressin-Oxytocin Neuron Activity in a Gregarious Finch

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aubrey M Kelly

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Nonapeptides of the vasopressin-oxytocin family modulate social processes differentially in relation to sex, species, behavioral phenotype, and human personality. However, the mechanistic bases for these differences are not well understood, in part because multidimensional personality structures remain to be described for common laboratory animals. Based upon principal components (PC analysis of extensive behavioral measures in social and nonsocial contexts, we now describe three complex dimensions of phenotype (personality for the zebra finch, a species that exhibits a human-like social organization that is based upon biparental nuclear families embedded within larger social groups. These dimensions can be characterized as Social competence/dominance, Gregariousness, and Anxiety. We further demonstrate that the phasic Fos response of nonapeptide neurons in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus and medial bed nucleus of the stria terminalis are significantly predicted by personality, sex, social context, and their interactions. Furthermore the behavioral PCs are each associated with a distinct suite of neural PCs that incorporate both peptide cell numbers and their phasic Fos responses, indicating that personality is reflected in complex patterns of neuromodulation arising from multiple peptide cell groups. These findings provide novel insights into the mechanisms underlying sex- and phenotype-specific modulation of behavior, and should be broadly relevant, given that vasopressin-oxytocin systems are strongly conserved across vertebrates.

  12. Multiple differences in calling songs and other traits between solitary and gregarious Mormon crickets from allopatric mtDNA clades

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bailey William V

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In acoustic species, traits such as male calling song are likely to diverge quickly between allopatric populations due to sexual selection, and divergence in parameters such as carrier frequency, chirp structure, and other important song characters can influence sexual isolation. Here we make use of two forms of Mormon crickets to examine differences in a broad suite of traits that have the potential to influence speciation via sexual isolation. Mormon crickets in "gregarious" populations aggregate into dense migratory bands, and females are the sexually competitive sex (sex-role reversal. There is also a non-outbreak "solitary" form. These two forms are largely but not perfectly correlated with a significant mtDNA subdivision within the species that is thought to have arisen in allopatry. Combined information about multiple, independently evolving traits, such as morphology and structural and behavioural differences in calling song, provides greater resolution of the overall differences between these allopatric populations, and allows us to assess their stage of divergence. We test two predictions, first that the forms differ in song and second that gregarious males are more reluctant to sing than solitary males due to sex role reversal. We also tested for a difference in the relationship between the size of the forewing resonator, the mirror, and carrier frequency, as most models of sound production in crickets indicate that mirror size should predict carrier frequency. Results Multivariate analyses showed that solitary and gregarious individuals from different populations representing the two mtDNA clades had almost non-overlapping distributions based on multiple song and morphological measurements. Carrier frequency differed between the two, and gregarious males were more reluctant to sing overall. Mirror size predicted carrier frequency; however, the relationship between mirror size and surface area varied between

  13. Pengaruh Cekaman Kekeringan terhadap Perilaku Fisiologis dan Pertumbuhan Bibit Black Locust (Robinia pseudoacacia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Novita Anggraini

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia is a native species from North America and it has spread to Europe and Asia. Black locust is also one species used for land rehabilitation in semiarid and arid areas. However, adaptability of black locust on their distribution area is quite disturbing due to its invasive potential that tends to suppress the growth of native plants. The purpose of this study is to examine the effect of drought stress through watering volume and watering intervals treatments on physiological behavior and growth of black locust seedlings, and to analyze the level of black locust on drought tolerance through water use efficiency (WUE character and chlorophyll content. The watering volumes are 30-40 % of field capacity representing drought conditions and 70-80 % of field capacity representing good water conditions, while the watering intervals are 1, 3 and 7 days. Trend analysis is used to analyze the data. The results indicate that the lower watering volume (30-40 % and the longer the watering interval (for 7 days, the lower the photosynthesis and transpiration rate, stomatal conductance and growth (height, diameter, shoot dry weight and root of plants, but the higher the WUE and chlorophyll content. Increasing WUE and chlorophyll content are two indicators indicating that black locust is able to adapt (tolerant to drought stress situations. Therefore, the use of black locust for dry land reclamation requires special attention and careful strategy to avoid its invasive impact in the future.

  14. Research Concerning the Shearing Strength of Black Locust Wood

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mihaela POROJAN

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available The paper presents the experimental resultsobtained for the shearing strength of black locustwood (Robinia pseudacacia L. harvested from twogeographical areas (North and South of Romania.Wood is subjected to shearing stress when usedwithin different fields, and especially inconstructions. Tangential stresses are produced inthe shearing sections and they are influenced by thestructure of wood through the position of theshearing plane and of the force direction towards thegrain. Accordingly, several shearing types arepossible. The shearing strengths for the three mainshearing types, both on radial and tangentialdirection were determined within the present study.The evaluation of data was achieved by using theANOVA analysis, in order to test the level ofsignificance depending on the shearing planeorientation and the harvesting area. The obtainedresults were compared to the values mentionedwithin reference literature for this wood species andtwo other hardwood species with similar density. It isworth to be mentioned that the shearing strengths ofblack locust wood from Romania (both from Northand South are generally higher than those indicatedby reference literature for oak and beech. Thisrecommends black locust wood as constructionwood and for other applications where wood issubjected to shearing stress.

  15. Stress preconditioning of spreading depression in the locust CNS.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Corinne I Rodgers

    Full Text Available Cortical spreading depression (CSD is closely associated with important pathologies including stroke, seizures and migraine. The mechanisms underlying SD in its various forms are still incompletely understood. Here we describe SD-like events in an invertebrate model, the ventilatory central pattern generator (CPG of locusts. Using K(+ -sensitive microelectrodes, we measured extracellular K(+ concentration ([K(+](o in the metathoracic neuropile of the CPG while monitoring CPG output electromyographically from muscle 161 in the second abdominal segment to investigate the role K(+ in failure of neural circuit operation induced by various stressors. Failure of ventilation in response to different stressors (hyperthermia, anoxia, ATP depletion, Na(+/K(+ ATPase impairment, K(+ injection was associated with a disturbance of CNS ion homeostasis that shares the characteristics of CSD and SD-like events in vertebrates. Hyperthermic failure was preconditioned by prior heat shock (3 h, 45 degrees C and induced-thermotolerance was associated with an increase in the rate of clearance of extracellular K(+ that was not linked to changes in ATP levels or total Na(+/K(+ ATPase activity. Our findings suggest that SD-like events in locusts are adaptive to terminate neural network operation and conserve energy during stress and that they can be preconditioned by experience. We propose that they share mechanisms with CSD in mammals suggesting a common evolutionary origin.

  16. Locust bean gum: processing, properties and food applications--a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barak, Sheweta; Mudgil, Deepak

    2014-05-01

    Locust bean gum or carob gum is a galactomannan obtained from seed endosperm of carob tree i.e. Ceratonia siliqua. It is widely utilized as an additive in various industries such as food, pharmaceuticals, paper, textile, oil well drilling and cosmetics. Industrial applications of locust bean gum are due to its ability to form hydrogen bonding with water molecule. It is also beneficial in the control of many health problems like diabetes, bowel movements, heart disease and colon cancer due to its dietary fiber action. This article focuses on production, processing, composition, properties, food applications and health benefits of locust bean gum. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Late Pliocene and Quaternary Eurasian locust infestations in the Canary Archipelago

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meco, J.; Muhs, D.R.; Fontugne, M.; Ramos, A.J.; Lomoschitz, A.; Patterson, D.

    2011-01-01

    The Canary Archipelago has long been a sensitive location to record climate changes of the past. Interbedded with its basalt lavas are marine deposits from the principal Pleistocene interglacials, as well as aeolian sands with intercalated palaeosols. The palaeosols contain African dust and innumerable relict egg pods of a temperate-region locust (cf. Dociostaurus maroccanusThunberg 1815). New ecological and stratigraphical information reveals the geological history of locust plagues (or infestations) and their palaeoclimatic significance. Here, we show that the first arrival of the plagues to the Canary Islands from Africa took place near the end of the Pliocene, ca. 3Ma, and reappeared with immense strength during the middle Late Pleistocene preceding MIS (marine isotope stage) 11 (ca. 420ka), MIS 5.5 (ca. 125ka) and probably during other warm interglacials of the late Middle Pleistocene and the Late Pleistocene. During the Early Holocene, locust plagues may have coincided with a brief cool period in the current interglacial. Climatically, locust plagues on the Canaries are a link in the chain of full-glacial arid-cold climate (calcareous dunes), early interglacial arid-sub-humid climate (African dust inputs and locust plagues), peak interglacial warm-humid climate (marine deposits with Senegalese fauna), transitional arid-temperate climate (pedogenic calcretes), and again full-glacial arid-cold climate (calcareous dunes) oscillations. During the principal interglacials of the Pleistocene, the Canary Islands recorded the migrations of warm Senegalese marine faunas to the north, crossing latitudes in the Euro-African Atlantic. However, this northward marine faunal migration was preceded in the terrestrial realm by interglacial infestations of locusts. ??? Locust plagues, Canary Islands, Late Pliocene, Pleistocene, Holocene, palaeoclimatology. ?? 2010 The Authors, Lethaia ?? 2010 The Lethaia Foundation.

  18. A case study of the Australian Plague Locust Commission and environmental due diligence: why mere legislative compliance is no longer sufficient for environmentally responsible locust control in Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Story, Paul G; Walker, Paul W; McRae, Heath; Hamilton, John G

    2005-07-01

    The Australian Plague Locust Commission (APLC) manages locust populations across 2 million square kilometers of eastern Australia using the aerial application of chemical and biological control agents to protect agricultural production. This occurs via a preventative control strategy involving ultralow-volume spray equipment to distribute small droplets of control agent over a target area. The economic costs of, and potential gains stemming from, locust control are well documented. The application of insecticides, however, to fragile arid and semiarid ecosystems is a task that brings with it both real and perceived environmental issues. The APLC is proactive in addressing these issues through a combination of targeted environmental operational research, an ISO-14001-aligned Environmental Management System (EMS), and links with environmental regulatory and research institutions. Increasing due diligence components within Australian environmental legislation dictate that mere legislative compliance is no longer sufficient for industries to ensure that they meet their environmental obligations. The development of external research links and the formulation of an EMS for locust control have enabled the APLC to identify environmental issues and trends, quantify objective environmental targets and strategies, and facilitate continuous improvement in its environmental performance, while maintaining stakeholder support. This article outlines the environmental issues faced by the APLC, the research programs in place to address these issues, and the procedures in place to incorporate research findings into the organization's operational structure.

  19. Characteristics of the cocoon and natural history of the gregarious Meteorus restionis sp. n. (Hymenoptera, Braconidae, Meteorinae from Costa Rica

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gilbert Barrantes

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available A new species of a gregarious Meteorus wasp (Braconidae constructs an unusual cocoon mass. Meteorus restionis sp. n. is described and distinguished from similar species. Cocoons of M. restionis are dark-brown, ovoid, and they are attached perpendicularly by their posterior end along a long, suspended cable. The cable is formed by intertwined, independent threads which are glued together at irregular intervals along its length, suggesting a certain degree of cooperation or at least tolerance among larvae during the construction of the cable. Intertwining and gluing the individual threads in a single cable presumably gives it a greater resistance against wind and other environmental stress. Prior to emergence the wasp cuts a neat, circular cap at the anterior end of its cocoon, and the cap remains attached by some threads to the rest of the cocoon.

  20. Autoradiographic study of nuclear protein acetylation during Locust spermiogenesis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bouvier, D.; Chevaillier, P.

    1975-01-01

    Autoradiographic studies, at the light and electron microscope level, demonstrate that spermatid nuclei of the Locust Locusta migratoria incorporate 3 H-acetate, especially during the first stages of spermiogenesis. The highest level of acetate incorporation is observed during stage II of spermiogenesis. During this stage and the following, the spermatid nucleus undergoes a number of structural and chemical modifications: chromatin decondenses and somatic histones are progressively replaced by newly synthesized arginine-rich proteins. Therefore, the higher degree of acetylation of nuclear components coincides with chromatin decondensation and precedes the protein transition occurring in later stages. Cytochemical and autoradiographic tests have been realized so as to localize 3 H-acetate in the nuclear components. Trichloracetic acid was used at various concentrations: the action of hydrochloric acid, pronase and DNase was also tested. The results support the idea that proteins, and among them histones, are the only nuclear components to be acetylated during spermiogenesis. Thus, histone acetylation seems to play an important role in modulating histone-DNA interactions and allowing histone replacement [fr

  1. Monitoring grasshopper and locust habitats in Sahelian Africa using GIS and remote sensing technology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tappan, G. Gray; Moore, Donald G.; Knauseberger, Walter I.

    1991-01-01

    Development programmes in Sahelian Africa are beginning to use geographic information system (GIS) technology. One of the GIS and remote sensing programmes introduced to the region in the late 1980s was the use of seasonal vegetation maps made from satellite data to support grasshopper and locust control. Following serious outbreaks of these pests in 1987, the programme addressed a critical need, by national and international crop protection organizations, to monitor site-specific dynamic vegetation conditions associated with grasshopper and locust breeding. The primary products used in assessing vegetation conditions were vegetation index (greenness) image maps derived from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration satellite imagery. Vegetation index data were integrated in a GIS with digital cartographic data of individual Sahelian countries. These near-real-time image maps were used regularly in 10 countries for locating potential grasshopper and locust habitats. The programme to monitor vegetation conditions is currently being institutionalized in the Sahel.

  2. Comparison the biodiversity of hardwood floodplain forests and black locust forests

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bazalova, D.

    2015-01-01

    The introduction of non-native species starts in the context of global changes in the world. These nonnative species, that have come to our country, whether intentionally or unintentionally, are responsible for the loss of biodiversity, changes in trophic levels and in nutrient cycle, hydrology, hybridizations, and at last could have an impact on the economy. The species black locust (Robinia pseudoaccacia) was introduced to Europe in 1601, first for horticultural purposes, and later broke into forestry. However, due to its ability to effectively spread the vegetative and generative root sprouts seeds and without the presence of natural pest may be occurrence of black locust in European forests highly questionable. Primarily we tried to identify differences in species composition and biodiversity among indigenous hardwood floodplain forest and non-native black locust forest based on numerical methods. In the results we were able to demonstrate more biodiversity in hardwood floodplain forests. (authors)

  3. Lut Desert, Iran

    Science.gov (United States)

    1981-01-01

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

  4. Desert Pavement Studies

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Haff, Peter

    2003-01-01

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

  5. Desert Pavement Studies

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Haff, P

    2003-01-01

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

  6. Black locust - successful invader of a wide range of soil conditions

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Vítková, Michaela; Tonika, J.; Müllerová, Jana

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 505, FEB 1 (2015), s. 315-328 ISSN 0048-9697 Grant - others:AV ČR(CZ) AP1002 Program:Akademická prémie - Praemium Academiae Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : plant invasion * black-locust * physical-chemical sdoil characteristic Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 3.976, year: 2015

  7. Identification of a functional homolog of the mammalian CYP3A4 in locusts

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Olsen, Line Rørbæk; Gabel-Jensen, Charlotte; Nielsen, Peter Aadal

    2014-01-01

    is specific to the cytochrome P450 enzyme 3A4. Using high-resolution mass spectrometry coupled to ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography, we have detected metabolites identical to human metabolites of terfenadine. The formation of human metabolites in locusts was inhibited by ketoconazole, a mammalian...

  8. Effects of diet on the chemical composition of migratory locusts (Locusta migratoria)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oonincx, D.G.A.B.; Poel, van der A.F.B.

    2011-01-01

    An experiment was conducted to determine the effects of diet on the chemical composition of migratory locusts (Locusta migratoria L.). Fresh and dry weight and the contents of dry matter, ash, lipid, protein, Ca, K, Mg, Na, P, Cu, Fe, Zn, retinol, lutein, zeaxanthine, cryptoxanthin, carotenes,

  9. Heat-induced chemical and color changes of extractive-free Black Locust (Rosinia Pseudoacacia) wood

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yao Chen; Jianmin Gao; Yongming Fan; Mandla A. Tshabalala; Nicole M. Stark

    2012-01-01

    To investigate chemical and color changes of the polymeric constituents of black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) wood during heat treatment, extractive-free wood flour was conditioned to 30% initial moisture content (MC) and heated for 24 h at 120 °C in either an oxygen or nitrogen atmosphere. The color change was measured using the CIELAB color system. Chemical changes...

  10. Environmental controls on sap flow in black locust forest in Loess Plateau, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Changkun; Luo, Yi; Shao, Mingan; Li, Xiangdong; Sun, Lin; Jia, Xiaoxu

    2017-10-13

    Black locust accounts for over 90% of artificial forests in China's Loess Plateau region. However, water use of black locust is an uphill challenge for this semi-arid region. To accurately quantify tree water use and to explain the related hydrological processes, it is important to collect reliable data for application in the estimation of sap flow and its response to environmental factors. This study measured sap flow in black locust in the 2015 and 2016 growth seasons using the thermal dissipation probes technique and laboratory-calibrated Granier's equation. The study showed that the laboratory calibrated coefficient α was much larger than the original value presented by Granier, while the coefficient β was similar to the original one. The average daily transpiration was 2.1 mm day -1 for 2015 and 1.6 mm day -1 for 2016. Net solar radiation (Rn) was the key meteorological factor controlling sap flow, followed by vapor pressure deficit (VPD) and then temperature (T). VPD had a threshold control on sap flow at threshold values of 1.9 kPa for 2015 and 1.6 kPa for 2016. The effects of diurnal hysteresis of Rn, VPD and T on sap flow were evident, indicating that black locust water use was conservative.

  11. A bait for locust (Locusta migratoria migratorioides) suitable for oral application of juvenile hormone analogues

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Němec, Václav

    2003-01-01

    Roč. 58, č. 1 (2003), s. 287-290 ISSN 0006-3088 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z5007907 Keywords : locust control * bait * oral application Subject RIV: ED - Physiology Impact factor: 0.183, year: 2003

  12. Effect of Cement–Locust Bean Waste Ash Blend on the Gradation ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    OPC) and up to 8% locust bean waste ash (LBWA) by dry weight of soil to investigate its effect on the gradation and plasticity characteristics of the modified soil. Test results generally show that the gradation and plasticity characteristics of the ...

  13. Locust Control in Transition: The Loss and Reinvention of Collective Action in Post-Soviet Kazakhstan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kazbek Toleubayev

    2007-12-01

    Full Text Available The inability to organize collective action for pest control can lead to severe problems. This paper focuses on the locust management system in Kazakhstan since the formation of the Soviet State. During the Transition Period after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Plant Protection Service disintegrated. The principles of central planning were replaced with individualistic approaches with little state involvement in pest control activities or pesticide regulation. The financial and ideological reasons for dismantling the existing pest control system did not recognize the potential impact that policy-induced changes in agro-ecological conditions and control practices would have on pest development. Nature hit back at the induced institutional change that occurred in the Kazakh pest control system: an extremely harmful locust plague took the country by surprise between 1998 and 2001. This paper examines from an interdisciplinary perspective the co-evolution of locust populations, land use systems, knowledge about locusts, campaigns against them, and institutions in Soviet times and in the Transition Period. It argues the need for collective action theory to extend its present focus from local level institutions for resource management to higher level social-technical systems.

  14. Improved Water Consumption Estimates of Black Locust Plantations in China’s Loess Plateau

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kai Schwärzel

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia L. is a major tree species in China’s large-scale afforestation. Despite its significance, black locust is underrepresented in sap flow literature; moreover, the published water consumption data might be biased. We applied two field methods to estimate water consumption of black locust during the growing seasons in 2012 and 2013. The application of Granier’s original sap flow method produced a very low transpiration rate (0.08 mm d−1 while the soil water balance method yielded a much higher rate (1.4 mm d−1. A dye experiment to determine the active sapwood area showed that only the outermost annual ring is responsible for conducting water, which was not considered in many previous studies. Moreover, an in situ calibration experiment was conducted to improve the reliability of Granier’s method. Validation showed a good agreement in estimates of the transpiration rate between the different methods. It is known from many studies that black locust plantations contribute to the significant decline of discharge in the Yellow River basin. Our estimate of tree transpiration at stand scale confirms these results. This study provides a basis for and advances the argument for the development of more sustainable forest management strategies, which better balance forest-related ecosystem services such as soil conservation and water supply.

  15. Hydroponic screening of black locust families for heavy metal tolerance and accumulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Župunski, Milan; Borišev, Milan; Orlović, Saša; Arsenov, Danijela; Nikolić, Nataša; Pilipović, Andrej; Pajević, Slobodanka

    2016-01-01

    Present work examines phytoextraction potential of four black locust families (half-sibs 54, 56, 115, and 135) grown hydroponically. Plants were treated with 6 ppm of cadmium (Cd), 100 ppm of nickel (Ni), and 40 ppm of lead (Pb) added in Hoagland nutrient solution, accompanying with simultaneously applied all three metals. Responses to metals exposure among families were different, ranging from severe to slight reduction of root and shoot biomass production of treated plants. Calculated tolerance indices are indicating tested families as highly tolerant (Ti > 60). Family 135 had the lowest tolerance index, pointing that it was highly susceptible to applied metals. Comparing photosynthetic activities of tested families it has been noticed that they were highly sensitive to stress induced by heavy metals. Net photosynthetic rate of nickel treated plants was the most affected by applied concentration. Cadmium and nickel concentrations in stems and leaves of black locust families exceeded 100 mg Cd kg(-1) and 1000 mg Ni kg(-1), in both single and multipollution context. On the contrary, accumulation of lead in above ground biomass was highly affected by multipollution treatment. Tf and BCF significantly varied between investigated treatments and families of black locust. Concerning obtained results of heavy metals accumulation and tolerance of black locust families can be concluded that tested families might be a promising tool for phytoextraction purposes, but it takes to be further confirmed in field trials.

  16. Strategies, systems, value judgements and dieldrin in control of locust hoppers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gunn, D L

    1979-11-20

    The physiology and field biology of locusts have been extensively studied, and ecological control of Red Locusts has been investigated by field experiment. No fruitful or even promising non-insecticidal method of control has emerged. An effective and economical system requires an insecticide that is: (i) effective at very small area dosages, as a stomach poison placed on the natural vegetation can be, if it is also cumulative; (ii) persistent enough in sunshine and rain to retain effectiveness over the locust's non-feeding periods; (iii) capable of being well distributed by well-tried methods; and (iv) not dangerous to users or consumers and posing a minimal overall risk. Only one insecticide, dieldrin, satisfies all these requirements. Dieldrin is not in the small class of insecticides that are dangerous to man by skin absorption (such as parathion, arsenicals, DNC) and, at the area dosages needed for locust control, is not dangerous to stock. The Sayer exhaust sprayer in a Land Rover, with work rates of the order of square kilometres per hour is excellent for many situations; aircraft spraying at he rate of square kilometres per minute is quicker and less subject to difficulties of terrain, but requires trained and appropriately directed aircrew. Apart from checking, aircraft methods require no party on the ground to find, assess and control locust hoppers. Several ideas about dieldrin are found to be based on insufficient evidence and are probably not true: for example that dieldrin in the atmosphere at a few parts in a million million (10(12)) becomes concentrated in a food web and harmful to man, or that dieldrin is carcinogenic in man. It is noteworthy, however, that one species of antelope in South Africa is exceptionally susceptible to dieldrin poisoning, though harm occurs at area dosages considerably greater than are required in the method of aircraft spraying of Courshee & McDonald (1963). To attack tsetse flies, emissions two orders of magnitude greater

  17. Minerals in deserts

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Smith, G.I.

    1982-01-01

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

  18. Activity patterns and fine-scale resource partitioning in the gregarious Kihansi spray toad Nectophrynoides asperginis in captivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rija, Alfan A; Goboro, Ezekiel M; Mwamende, Kuruthumu A; Said, Abubakari; Kohi, Edward M; Hassan, Shombe N

    2014-01-01

    Understanding the behavior of species threatened with extinction is important for conservation planning and for solving problems facing species in captivity and the wild. We examined diurnal activity budgets and habitat use of the extinct in the wild Kihansi spray toad to provide insights into ongoing conservation initiatives for this species. Observations on eight target behaviors were made each morning and evening for 14 days, in two subpopulations at Kihansi and University of Dar es Salaam captive breeding centers. There were significantly more bouts of resting than calling, amplexing, hunting, walking, climbing, or feeding. There was no difference in mean time spent in each activity between the two subpopulations. The use of habitat was variable between age classes, subpopulations and sampling time. Young toads spent significantly more time resting at the top of vegetation and on walls while adults rested more on logs. Further, adults foraged more on the walls and vegetation in the morning and on the ground in the evening. Contrastingly, young toads foraged more on the ground in the morning and switched to elevated patches during evening. The similarity of the toads' behavior suggests that important biological traits are still maintained in captivity and retained across toad generations. Furthermore, temporal and spatial variations in the use of habitat structures between age groups suggest fine-scale resource partitioning to reduce competition in this gregarious species. These results highlight the importance of maintaining diverse habitat structures in captivity and are useful for planning species reintroduction and future restocking programs. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  19. Gopherus agassizii: Desert tortoise

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1989-01-01

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

  20. Tuning of the Preferred Optic Flow Axes of Locust and Blowfly Visual Interneurons to Their Preferred Modes of Flight Behaviour

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Krapp, Holger G; Bomphrey, R. J; Laughlin, S. B; Taylor, G. K; Wuestenberg, D. G

    2008-01-01

    This report results from a contract tasking Imperial College London as follows: The grantee will investigate the sensory mechanisms of gaze stabilization and flight control on insects (flies and locusts...

  1. How desert varnish forms?

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-09-01

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

  2. An experimental evolution study confirms that discontinuous gas exchange does not contribute to body water conservation in locusts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Talal, Stav; Ayali, Amir; Gefen, Eran

    2016-12-01

    The adaptive nature of discontinuous gas exchange (DGE) in insects is contentious. The classic 'hygric hypothesis', which posits that DGE serves to reduce respiratory water loss (RWL), is still the best supported. We thus focused on the hygric hypothesis in this first-ever experimental evolution study of any of the competing adaptive hypotheses. We compared populations of the migratory locust (Locusta migratoria) that underwent 10 consecutive generations of selection for desiccation resistance with control populations. Selected locusts survived 36% longer under desiccation stress but DGE prevalence did not differ between these and control populations (approx. 75%). Evolved changes in DGE properties in the selected locusts included longer cycle and interburst durations. However, in contrast with predictions of the hygric hypothesis, these changes were not associated with reduced RWL rates. Other responses observed in the selected locusts were higher body water content when hydrated and lower total evaporative water loss rates. Hence, our data suggest that DGE cycle properties in selected locusts are a consequence of an evolved increased ability to store water, and thus an improved capacity to buffer accumulated CO 2 , rather than an adaptive response to desiccation. We conclude that DGE is unlikely to be an evolutionary response to dehydration challenge in locusts. © 2016 The Author(s).

  3. GOPHERUS AGASSIZII (Desert Tortoise)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1997-01-01

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

  4. DETERMINATION OF THE SEEDLINGS QUALITY CLASSES OF BLACK LOCUST (Robinia pseudoacacia L. ORIGINS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    İbrahim Turna

    2000-04-01

    Full Text Available classification criteria is the assesment of height and root-colar diameter together. newly seedling quality classification (YS have highly first grade seedlings. The most important According to the results of this study, all the origins determined with respect to either TSE or determined by using factor analysis. Furthermore the morphological characteristics that affect the seedling quality classification were diameter. The resulting seedling quality classification were controlled by using discriminant analysis. determined according to height, root-colar diameter and combination of both height and root-colar provenances were soved in KTÜ Nursery. One year later, these seedlings were lifted. Quality norms in KTÜ Nursery were used. Eighteen different origin seeds of Black locust of which eleven are egzotic In this present study, 1+0 Black Locust ( Robinia pseudoacacia L. seedlings grown

  5. Interactive Sonification of Weather Data for The Locust Wrath, a Multimedia Dance Performance

    OpenAIRE

    Lindborg, PerMagnus

    2016-01-01

    To work flexibly with the sound design for The Locust Wrath, a multimedia dance performance on the topic of climate change, we developed a software for interactive sonification of climate data. An open-ended approach to parameter mapping allowed tweaking and improvisation during rehearsals, resulting in a large range of musical expression. The sonifications represented weather systems pushing through South-East Asia in complex patterns. The climate was rendered as a piece of electroacoustic m...

  6. Population, desert expanding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1992-01-01

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

  7. Physiological adaptation in desert birds

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

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

  8. Honey locust (Gleditsia triacanthos l. (Fabaceae)) invasion effect on temperature, light and metabolism of a Pampean Stream

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Giorgi, Adonis David; Vilches, Carolina; Rodriguez Castro, Maria Carolina; Zunino, Eduardo; Debandi, Juan; Kravetz, Sebastian; Torremorell, Ana

    2014-01-01

    The establishment of invader species in a region generally modifies the ecosystems where they are introduced. In this study we analyze the effect produced by a gleditsia triacanthos (Honey locust) invasion on a Pampean Stream. This organism modifies the temperature and the light reaching the stream. Thermal range shows significant differences between reaches but mean tem between 85 and 95 % down the trees. These modifications reduce the primary gross production of 2.7 to 1.7 g 02. M"2 at spring and of 25 to 20 g 02. M"2 at summer. Respiration in spring and summer is halved at invaded reaches, but net ecosystem metabolism is similar in both reach and seasons. Moreover, the reach invaded by honey locust show scarce macrophytes. We argue that the honey locust reduces the diversity by reduction of macrophytes and their associated organisms but also reduce the primary production causing changes in the food web

  9. Supersymmetry without the Desert

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nomura, Yasunori; Poland, David

    2006-01-01

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

  10. Economic analysis of locust beans processing and marketing in ilorin, kwara state, Nigeria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C.O. Farayola

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available This study was designed to estimate the economic analysis of locust bean processing and marketing in Ilorin, Kwara State, Nigeria. Primary data was used and purposive sampling technique was adopted to select the respondents used for the study. A total number of 60 respondents were interviewed. The data collected were analyzed using inferential statistical tool such as regression analysis. Budgetary analysis technique was also used to analyze the profitability of locust bean processing and marketing in the study area. Majority of the processors and marketers are making profits; 68.3% operate above breakeven point while 26.7% operate at breakeven point and the rest 5% was below the breakeven point, this indicates that they neither profit nor lost. The regression analysis result shows that quantity processed, family size and years of experience in processing are significant at 1%, 5% and 10% respectively while education level and stall rent is negative and significant at 1% and 5% respectively. F- Test also explained that independent variables are jointly significant at 1% probability level with an adjusted R2 of 78.9%. The overall rate of return on investment indicates that average rate of return is 0.5 (50%, which is positive. It is therefore concluded that profit made by the processors and marketers can be improved on by increasing the quantity of locust bean being processed through adoption of newly discovered method of processing and improved method of preservation, packaging and marketing of the product to international standard by reducing the odour of the product without the loss of essential nutrients and palability in order to generate foreign exchange. Also, rules and regulations against cutting of economic trees for alternative uses should be enforced to maximize their values.

  11. Cold acclimation improves chill tolerance in the migratory locust through preservation of ion balance and membrane potential

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Mads; Folkersen, Rasmus; MacMillan, Heath Andrew

    2017-01-01

    potential (Vm). Several studies have therefore suggested a link between preservation of Vm and cellular survival after cold stress, but none has measured Vm in this context. We tested this hypothesis by acclimating locusts (Locusta migratoria) to high (31°C) and low temperature (11°C) for 4 days before...... revealed that cellular injury during cold exposure occurs when Vm becomes severely depolarized. Interestingly, we found that cellular sensitivity to hypothermic hyperkalaemia was lower in cold-acclimated locusts that were better able to defend Vm whilst exposed to high extracellular [K+]. Together...

  12. Radio-telemetric evidence of migration in the gregarious but not the solitary morph of the Mormon cricket (Anabrus simplex: Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lorch, Patrick D.; Gwynne, D. T.

    The Mormon cricket, Anabrus simplex, is one of just a few species of katydids (or bushcrickets, Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae) that, like migratory locusts, appear to have solitary and migratory morphs. Using radio telemetry we studied movements of individuals of two morphs of this flightless species. Individuals within each migratory band had similar rates of movements along similar directional headings whereas solitary individuals moved little and showed little evidence of directionality in movement. Our results also add to other recent radio-telemetry studies showing that flightless insects of 1-2g in mass can be tracked successfully using these methods.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oldemeyer, John L.

    1994-01-01

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

  14. Black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) beloved and despised: a story of an invasive tree in Central Europe

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Vítková, Michaela; Müllerová, Jana; Sádlo, Jiří; Pergl, Jan; Pyšek, Petr

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 384, JAN 15 (2017), s. 287-302 ISSN 0378-1127 R&D Projects: GA ČR GB14-36079G EU Projects: European Commission(XE) 278065 - LONGWOOD Grant - others:COST(XE) FP1301; AV ČR(CZ) AP1002 Program:FP; Akademická prémie - Praemium Academiae Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : black locust * Central Europe * plant invasion Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour OBOR OECD: Ecology Impact factor: 3.064, year: 2016

  15. Characterization of k-carrageenan/Locust bean gumbased films with b-carotene emulsion

    OpenAIRE

    Martins, Joana; Silva, H. D.; Rojas, R.; Aguilar, Cristóbal N.; Vicente, A. A.

    2014-01-01

    New bio-based materials have been exploited to develop biodegradable and edible films as an effort to extend shelf life and improve quality of food while reducing packaging waste. The objective of this study was to investigate physicochemical properties of k-carrageenan/locust bean gum (k-car/LBG) films with different bcarotene emulsion concentrations. To prepare oil-in-water emulsions, b-carotene (0.03% v/v) was dissolved in mediumchain triglycerides (MCTs), and the solution was mixed ...

  16. Obolodiplosis robiniae (Haldeman (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae: A new invasive insect pest on black locust in Serbia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mihajlović Ljubodrag

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Locust gall midge Obolodiplosis robiniae (Haldeman originates from Pennsylvania, USA. It was introduced to Europe in 2003, to Italy, Veneto. Its spreading was very fast and in the following year it was identified from the Check Republic and Slovenia. In 2005, it was recorded from South Tyrol and in 2006 from Hungary, south Slovakia, Germany, Croatia, Ukraine and Serbia. During 2007 it was identified from Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia & Herzegovina, France, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Poland, Switzerland, Russia and UK. The expansion of locust gall midge was also recorded in Japan, South Korea, where it was identified for the first time in 2002, and in 2005 it was identified from China. The first finding from Serbia was recorded in the autumn 2006 in the surroundings of Šabac. During 2007, it was identified from Belgrade, and in the same year and the following year (2008 it was found at numerous sites in Serbia, the Republic of Srpska and Montenegro. This study presents O. robiniae biology, method of distribution, natural enemies and the ecological significance.

  17. Formation of cereulide and enterotoxins by Bacillus cereus in fermented African locust beans

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thorsen, Line; Azokpota, Paulin; Munk Hansen, Bjarne

    2011-01-01

    Afitin, iru and sonru are three spontaneously fermented African locust bean Benin condiments. The fermentation processes are exothermic, with temperatures mostly being above 40 °C. A total of 19 predominant Bacillus cereus isolates from afitin, iru and sonru, were investigated. The enterotoxin...... genes nhe (A, B, C) were present in all 19 isolates, the hbl (A, C, D) in one (afitin), and the cytK gene in three isolates (afitin). Levels of cytotoxicity to Vero cells and NheA production in BHI-broth was within the range of known diarrheal outbreak strains. Autoclaved cooked African locust beans...... inoculated with emetic (cereulide producing) B. cereus Ba18H2/RIF supported growth at 25, 30 and 40 °C with highly different maximum cereulide productions of 6 ± 5, 97 ± 3 and 0.04 ± 0.02 μg/g beans, respectively (48 h). For non-autoclaved cooked beans inoculated with 2, 4 and 6 log10 B. cereus Ba18H2/RIF...

  18. Multithreshold Segmentation by Using an Algorithm Based on the Behavior of Locust Swarms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erik Cuevas

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available As an alternative to classical techniques, the problem of image segmentation has also been handled through evolutionary methods. Recently, several algorithms based on evolutionary principles have been successfully applied to image segmentation with interesting performances. However, most of them maintain two important limitations: (1 they frequently obtain suboptimal results (misclassifications as a consequence of an inappropriate balance between exploration and exploitation in their search strategies; (2 the number of classes is fixed and known in advance. This paper presents an algorithm for the automatic selection of pixel classes for image segmentation. The proposed method combines a novel evolutionary method with the definition of a new objective function that appropriately evaluates the segmentation quality with respect to the number of classes. The new evolutionary algorithm, called Locust Search (LS, is based on the behavior of swarms of locusts. Different to the most of existent evolutionary algorithms, it explicitly avoids the concentration of individuals in the best positions, avoiding critical flaws such as the premature convergence to suboptimal solutions and the limited exploration-exploitation balance. Experimental tests over several benchmark functions and images validate the efficiency of the proposed technique with regard to accuracy and robustness.

  19. Remote Sensing Field Guide - Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    1991-09-01

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

  20. Toxin profiles of Bacillus cereus occurring in high numbers in spontaneously fermented African locust beans (Parkia biglobosa)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thorsen, Line; Azokpota, Paulin; Hansen, Bjarne Munk

    The microbiology of the naturally fermented African condiments Afiitin, iru and sonru produced in Benin from locust beans, has recently been studied showing high Bacillus cereus counts of log7CFU/g (Azokpota, 2005). A total of 19 B. cereus strains isolated from the three condiments showed...

  1. The role of Staphylococcus species in the production of iru during the fermentation of African locust beans (Parkia biglobosa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amao, J.A.

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Staphylococcus spp. are regularly isolated from iru, but the role(s they play in the fermentation process has not yet been determined; this work thus seeks to determine if Staphylococcus spp. isolated from iru play any role in the fermentation of African locust bean. Bacillus spp. and Staphylococcus spp. isolated from spontaneously fermented African locust bean (iru were used to ferment African locust beans. The temperature, pH and moisture content were determined as fermentation progress while the total soluble sugar and total free amino acid were determined after fermentation. The microbial load for the three iru products increased gradually until the end of fermentation. The total free amino acids increased in all three iru (1.10, 1.51 and 2.35 mg leucine ml-1 for Staphylococcus spp. iru, Bacillus spp. iru and iru produced with combination of the two species of bacteria when compared with that of the unfermented bean, while the total soluble sugars reduced after fermentation with Staphylococcus spp. iru having 3.84, Bacillus spp. iru has 3.60, and the unfermented bean has 5.30 mg glucose ml-1 total soluble sugar. The increased free amino acids in the iru fermented with Staphylococcus spp. and the ability of the Staphylococcus spp. to produce lipase showed that Staphylococcus spp. isolated from iru has the ability to ferment African locust bean and carry out the lipolytic activity during the fermentation.

  2. Spectroscopic analysis of the role of extractives on heat-induced discoloration of black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yao Chen; Yongming Fan; Jianmin Gao; Mandla A. Tshabalala; Nicole M. Stark

    2012-01-01

    To investigate the role of extractives on heat-induced discoloration of wood, samples of black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) wood flour were extracted with various solvents prior to heat-treatment. Analysis of their color parameters and chromophoric structures showed that the chroma value of the unextracted sample decreased while that of the...

  3. Yield prediction of young black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia L. plantations for woody biomass production using allometric relations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian Böhm

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia L. is an increasingly popular tree species for the production of woody biomass for bioenergy generation with short rotation coppices. Due to its potential to produce large amounts of biomass yields even under unfavourable growth conditions, this tree species is especially suitable for marginal sites, such as can be found in the post mining area of NE-Germany. Current research aims to reliably predict the yield potential of black locust short rotation coppices, but suffers from a lack of sufficient exact allometric functions until recently. This is especially true for the early growth years, which are of special importance for short rotation coppices. The objective of this study was to develop allometric equations based on tree height and shoot basal diameter (SBD for estimating yields of young black locust plantations. Therefore, dendrometric data were collected in a two, three, four and fourteen years old black locust short rotation forest located in the reclamation area of an opencast-lignite mining area in the Lower Lusatian region (Germany and used for equation developing. Until measurement, none of the plantations had been harvested. Closed correlations between SBD and tree height were observed, as well as between these parameters and single tree mass. The scattering of single tree masses could be explained slightly better by the SBD than by the tree height. In the year before a harvest an even better prediction probability of woody biomass was obtainable when both parameters were simultaneously interrelated with the single tree mass. The results illustrate that the woody above ground biomass of young black locust plantations can be estimated sufficiently precisely based on the easy determinable parameters tree height and particularly SBD.

  4. The effects of temperature and body mass on jump performance of the locust Locusta migratoria.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edward P Snelling

    Full Text Available Locusts jump by rapidly releasing energy from cuticular springs built into the hind femur that deform when the femur muscle contracts. This study is the first to examine the effect of temperature on jump energy at each life stage of any orthopteran. Ballistics and high-speed cinematography were used to quantify the energy, distance, and take-off angle of the jump at 15, 25, and 35°C in the locust Locusta migratoria. Allometric analysis across the five juvenile stages at 35°C reveals that jump distance (D; m scales with body mass (M; g according to the power equation D = 0.35M (0.17±0.08 (95% CI, jump take-off angle (A; degrees scales as A = 52.5M (0.00±0.06, and jump energy (E; mJ per jump scales as E = 1.91M (1.14±0.09. Temperature has no significant effect on the exponent of these relationships, and only a modest effect on the elevation, with an overall Q10 of 1.08 for jump distance and 1.09 for jump energy. On average, adults jump 87% farther and with 74% more energy than predicted based on juvenile scaling data. The positive allometric scaling of jump distance and jump energy across the juvenile life stages is likely facilitated by the concomitant relative increase in the total length (L f+t; mm of the femur and tibia of the hind leg, L f+t = 34.9M (0.37±0.02. The weak temperature-dependence of jump performance can be traced to the maximum tension of the hind femur muscle and the energy storage capacity of the femur's cuticular springs. The disproportionately greater jump energy and jump distance of adults is associated with relatively longer (12% legs and a relatively larger (11% femur muscle cross-sectional area, which could allow more strain loading into the femur's cuticular springs. Augmented jump performance in volant adult locusts achieves the take-off velocity required to initiate flight.

  5. From individual to collective behaviour of coupled velocity jump processes: A locust example

    KAUST Repository

    Erban, Radek; Haskovec, Jan

    2012-01-01

    A class of stochastic individual-based models, written in terms of coupled velocity jump processes, is presented and analysed. This modelling approach incorporates recent experimental findings on the behaviour of locusts. It exhibits nontrivial dynamics with a pitchfork bifurcation and recovers the observed group directional switching. Estimates of the expected switching times, in terms of the number of individuals and values of the model coefi-cients, are obtained using the corresponding Fokker-Planck equation. In the limit of large populations, a system of two kinetic equations (with nonlocal and nonlinear right hand side) is derived and analyzed. The existence of its solutions is proven and the system's long-time behaviour is investigated. Finally, a first step towards the mean field limit of topological interactions is made by studying the efiect of shrinking the interaction radius in the individual-based model. © American Institute of Mathematical Sciences.

  6. Aspects of cuticular sclerotization in the locust, Scistocerca gregaria, and the beetle, Tenebrio molitor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andersen, Svend Olav; Roepstorff, Peter

    2007-03-01

    The number of reactive amino groups in cuticular proteins decreases during the early period of insect cuticular sclerotization, presumably due to reaction with oxidation products of N-acetyldopamine (NADA) and N-beta-alanyldopamine (NBAD). We have quantitated the decrease in cuticular N-terminal amino groups and lysine epsilon-amino groups during the first 24h of sclerotization in adult locusts, Schistocerca gregaria, and in larval and adult beetles, Tenebrio molitor, as well as the increase in beta-alanine amino groups in Tenebrio cuticle. The results indicate that nearly all glycine N-terminal groups and a significant part of the epsilon-amino groups from lysine residues are involved in the sclerotization process in both locusts and Tenebrio. A pronounced increase in the amount of free beta-alanine amino groups was observed in cuticle from adult Tenebrio and to a lesser extent also in Tenebrio larval cuticle, but from locust cuticle no beta-alanine was obtained. Hydrolysis of sclerotized cuticles from locusts and Tenebrio by dilute hydrochloric acid released a large number of compounds containing amino acids linked to catecholic moieties. Products have been identified which contain histidine residues linked via their imidazole group to the beta-position of various catechols, such as dopamine, 3,4-dihydroxyphenyl-ethanol (DOPET), and 3,4-dihydroxyphenyl-acetaldehyde (DOPALD), and a ketocatecholic compound has also been identified composed of lysine linked via its epsilon-amino group to the alpha-carbon atom of 3,4-dihydroxyacetophenone. Some of the hydrolysis products have previously been obtained from sclerotized pupal cuticle of Manduca sexta [Xu, R., Huang, X., Hopkins, T.L., Kramer, K.J., 1997. Catecholamine and histidyl protein cross-linked structures in sclerotized insect cuticle. Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 27, 101-108; Kerwin, J.L., Turecek, F., Xu, R., Kramer, K.J., Hopkins, T.L., Gatlin, C.L., Yates, J.R., 1999. Mass spectrometric analysis

  7. Preparation of a specifically tritiated locust adipokinetic hormone analog with full biological potency

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Muramoto, K; Ramachandran, J; Moshitzky, P; Applebaum, S W [Hormone Research Laboratory and Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, University of California, San Francisco, CA, USA and Department of Entomology, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Rehovot, Israel

    1984-01-01

    A synthetic peptide related to locus adipokinetic hormone (AKH) and shrimp red pigment concentrating hormone (RPCH) containing a tyrosine residue in place of phenylalanine was iodinated and the 3,5-diiodotyrosyl derivative was isolated by reverse phase HPLC. Catalytic dehalogenation of the diiodo derivative in the presence of tritium yielded the tritiated AKH analog which was isolated by gel filtration on Sephadex LH-20 and reverse phase HPLC. The tritiated peptide was formed to be identical to AKH in its ability to stimulate lipid release into the hemolymph of locusts in vivo where the diiodotryrosyl derivative was inactive. The specific radioactivity of the tritiated peptide was 57.2 Ci/mmol, or 99% of the theoretical value.

  8. From individual to collective behaviour of coupled velocity jump processes: A locust example

    KAUST Repository

    Erban, Radek

    2012-11-01

    A class of stochastic individual-based models, written in terms of coupled velocity jump processes, is presented and analysed. This modelling approach incorporates recent experimental findings on the behaviour of locusts. It exhibits nontrivial dynamics with a pitchfork bifurcation and recovers the observed group directional switching. Estimates of the expected switching times, in terms of the number of individuals and values of the model coefi-cients, are obtained using the corresponding Fokker-Planck equation. In the limit of large populations, a system of two kinetic equations (with nonlocal and nonlinear right hand side) is derived and analyzed. The existence of its solutions is proven and the system\\'s long-time behaviour is investigated. Finally, a first step towards the mean field limit of topological interactions is made by studying the efiect of shrinking the interaction radius in the individual-based model. © American Institute of Mathematical Sciences.

  9. Preparation and characterization of tragacanth-locust bean gum edible blend films.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mostafavi, Fatemeh Sadat; Kadkhodaee, Rassoul; Emadzadeh, Bahareh; Koocheki, Arash

    2016-03-30

    The present work introduces the structure and physicomechanical properties of a novel blend film made from binary solutions of gum tragacanth (GT) and locust bean gum (LBG) at different mixing ratios. Apparent viscosities and surface tensions of individual and blend gum solutions were also investigated. The viscosity data indicated that there was a distinct synergism between the two gums at all mixing ratios. FTIR spectra showed the existence of noncovalent intermolecular interactions between gums. The surface tensions of binary solutions were significantly lower than those of individual gums which is advantageous for coating applications. All films had homogenous and smooth surface morphology and their transparency, water vapour barrier and mechanical properties were improved by incorporating LBG in blend. The results of this study suggest that GT-LBG blend film, owing to its desirable properties, has the potential to be used as a new degradable food packaging material. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Productivity of black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia L. stands on chernozem in Vojvodina

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrašev Siniša

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents the elements of growth of black locust trees and stands in 15 sample plots in Vojvodina, at the age of 21-68 years. In each sample plot, based on soil profile horizons the determined soil type was chernozem as well as its lower systematic units (subtype, variety and form, according to the Škorić et al. (1985 classification. On the basis of the mean stand heights (hL, the stands on the subtype of chernozem on loess and loesslike sediments belong to height classes I-IV, and stands on calcareous aeolian sand to classes II-V (according to R e d e i et al. 2014, which indicates their considerable variability with respect to productivity within the determined subtypes of chernozem. Significant differences at the level of chernozem subtypes were found between the mean heights (p = 0.032, but not between the mean diameters (p = 0.083. The mean diameters at breast height in the studied black locust stands were on average lower than the models of diameter growth for the appropriate height classes and determined by a larger number of trees per hectare than in the tables (R e d e i et al, 2014. The volume per hectare is higher than in the tables also being conditioned by the large number of trees per hectare. [Projekat Ministarstva nauke Republike Srbije, br. III43007: Istraživanje klimatskih promena na životnu sredinu: praćenje uticaja, adaptacija i ublažavanje

  11. Intricate but tight coupling of spiracular activity and abdominal ventilation during locust discontinuous gas exchange cycles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Talal, Stav; Gefen, Eran; Ayali, Amir

    2018-03-15

    Discontinuous gas exchange (DGE) is the best studied among insect gas exchange patterns. DGE cycles comprise three phases, which are defined by their spiracular state: closed, flutter and open. However, spiracle status has rarely been monitored directly; rather, it is often assumed based on CO 2 emission traces. In this study, we directly recorded electromyogram (EMG) signals from the closer muscle of the second thoracic spiracle and from abdominal ventilation muscles in a fully intact locust during DGE. Muscular activity was monitored simultaneously with CO 2 emission, under normoxia and under various experimental oxic conditions. Our findings indicate that locust DGE does not correspond well with the commonly described three-phase cycle. We describe unique DGE-related ventilation motor patterns, coupled to spiracular activity. During the open phase, when CO 2 emission rate is highest, the thoracic spiracles do not remain open; rather, they open and close rapidly. This fast spiracle activity coincides with in-phase abdominal ventilation, while alternating with the abdominal spiracle and thus facilitating a unidirectional air flow along the main trachea. A change in the frequency of rhythmic ventilation during the open phase suggests modulation by intra-tracheal CO 2 levels. A second, slow ventilatory movement pattern probably serves to facilitate gas diffusion during spiracle closure. Two flutter-like patterns are described in association with the different types of ventilatory activity. We offer a modified mechanistic model for DGE in actively ventilating insects, incorporating ventilatory behavior and changes in spiracle state. © 2018. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  12. Aborigines of the nuclear desert

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rujula, A. de

    1985-01-01

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

  13. Russian deserters of World War I

    OpenAIRE

    Os'kin Maksim

    2014-01-01

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

  14. Effects of xanthan, guar, carrageenan and locust bean gum addition on physical, chemical and sensory properties of meatballs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Demirci, Zeynep Ozben; Yılmaz, Ismail; Demirci, Ahmet Şukru

    2014-05-01

    This study evaluated the effects of xanthan gum, guar gum, carrageenan and locust bean gum on physical, chemical and sensory properties of meatballs. Meatball samples were produced with three different formulations including of 0.5, 1, and 1.5% each gum addition and gum added samples were compared with the control meatballs. Physical and chemical analyses were carried out on raw and cooked samples separately. Moisture contents of raw samples decreased by addition of gums. There were significant decreases (p meatball samples formulated with gum when compared with control. Ash contents and texture values increased with gum addition to meatballs. Meatball redness decreased with more gum addition in raw and cooked meatball samples, which means that addition of gums resulted in a lighter-coloured product. According to sensory analysis results, locust bean gum added (1%) samples were much preferred by the panelists.

  15. Mapping the Global Potential Geographical Distribution of Black Locust (Robinia Pseudoacacia L. Using Herbarium Data and a Maximum Entropy Model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guoqing Li

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia L. is a tree species of high economic and ecological value, but is also considered to be highly invasive. Understanding the global potential distribution and ecological characteristics of this species is a prerequisite for its practical exploitation as a resource. Here, a maximum entropy modeling (MaxEnt was used to simulate the potential distribution of this species around the world, and the dominant climatic factors affecting its distribution were selected by using a jackknife test and the regularized gain change during each iteration of the training algorithm. The results show that the MaxEnt model performs better than random, with an average test AUC value of 0.9165 (±0.0088. The coldness index, annual mean temperature and warmth index were the most important climatic factors affecting the species distribution, explaining 65.79% of the variability in the geographical distribution. Species response curves showed unimodal relationships with the annual mean temperature and warmth index, whereas there was a linear relationship with the coldness index. The dominant climatic conditions in the core of the black locust distribution are a coldness index of −9.8 °C–0 °C, an annual mean temperature of 5.8 °C–14.5 °C, a warmth index of 66 °C–168 °C and an annual precipitation of 508–1867 mm. The potential distribution of black locust is located mainly in the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, Switzerland, Australia, New Zealand, China, Japan, South Korea, South Africa, Chile and Argentina. The predictive map of black locust, climatic thresholds and species response curves can provide globally applicable guidelines and valuable information for policymakers and planners involved in the introduction, planting and invasion control of this species around the world.

  16. Growth and Nutrient Status of Introduced Black Locust (Robinia pseudoacacia L.) Afforestation in Arid and Semi Arid Areas of Iran

    OpenAIRE

    Moshki, A.; Lamersdorf, N. P.

    2011-01-01

    Under global climate change it is expected that many arid regions in the world will experience enhanced desertification in the next decades. Black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia L.) is a one commonly used species for afforestation projects in arid regions of Iran due to its soil rehabilitation capabilities. This study aims to characterize how Robinia growth parameters and nutrient status interacted and were influenced soil properties. The experiment was conducted at three Robinia plantations in...

  17. The Effect of Heat Treatment on the chemical and color change of Black Locust (Robinia Pseudoacacia) wood flour

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yao Chen; Yongming Fan; Jianmin Gao; Nicole M. Stark

    2012-01-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of oxygen and moisture content (MC) on the chemical and color changes of black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) wood during heat treatment. The wood flour was conditioned to different initial MCs and heated for 24 h at a constant temperature of 120°C in either oxygen or nitrogen atmosphere. The pH values and...

  18. Evaluation of a Novel, Natural Locust Bean Gum as a Sustained Release and Mucoadhesive Component of Tizanidine Hcl Buccal Tablets

    OpenAIRE

    Harikrishnan.V

    2015-01-01

    Mucoadhesive polymers that bind to the gastric mucin or epithelial cell surface are useful in drug delivery for the purpose of increasing the intimacy and duration of contact of drug with the absorbing membrane. Mainly synthetic polymers are in use for this purpose. Probably the biodegradability of the synthetic polymers are questionable, In the present work mucoadhesive buccal tablets of Tizanidine hydrochloride (TZD HCl) were prepared by using locust bean gum that have better mucoadhesive p...

  19. Performance Evaluation Of Africa Elemi Melon And Africa Locust Bean Oil As Potential Quenchants For Medium Carbon Steel

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. S. Ibeh

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available A qualitative and comparative study was carried out on some locally sourced oils melon oil Africa elemi oil and Africa locust bean oil to evaluate suitability as substitute quenching media to mineral-based oil. The cooling ability of the oils was investigated using AISI 1034 medium carbon steel. The effect of heat transfer coefficient on quench severity mechanical properties of the quenched specimens were investigated in the course of the study. Results showed that the peak rate of heat extraction of melon oil Africa locust bean and Africa elemi oil were higher than that of mineral oil. Higher heat transfer coefficient of 1463 1023 Wm2k were obtained for melon oil and Africa locust bean Africa elemi and SAE 40 oil have heat transfer coefficient of 982 and 469 Wm2k respectively. The selected oils can be used as quenchants for medium carbon steel since the oils exhibits better cooling properties and mechanical properties than mineral-based oil.

  20. The effect of microbial inocula on the growth of black locust, Siberian elm and silver maple seedlings

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hajnal-Jafari Timea

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Growth and development of forest plants depend mostly on the soil microbial activity since no mineral or organic fertilizers are applied. Microbial processes can be activated and conditions for plants development improved with the introduction of selected microorganisms in the soil. With the aim of obtaining quality planting material in a shorter period of time, the effects of Azotobacter chroococcum and Streptomyces sp. on the early growth of black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia, Siberian elm (Ulmus pumila and silver-leaf maple (Acer dasycarpum were investigated in this study. Microorganisms were applied individually and in a mixture (1:1. Plant height was measured on the 90th, 120th and 180th day after planting. Plant diameter, as well as the number of actinomycetes and azotobacters was measured at the end of the vegetation period (180 days after planting. Applied microorganisms had a positive effect on the seedling height in all three plant species, with the best effect found in the black locust. Effectiveness of applied microorganisms on seedling diameter was the highest in the silver-leaf maple. The largest number of azotobacters was found in the rhizosphere of black locust. Number of microorganisms from both groups was increased in the inoculated variants. [Projekat Ministarstva nauke Republike Srbije, br. III 43002

  1. Desert Pathfinder at Work

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-09-01

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

  2. Influence of surface roughness of a desert

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1984-01-01

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

  3. Challenges to assessing connectivity between massive populations of the Australian plague locust

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chapuis, Marie-Pierre; Popple, Julie-Anne M.; Berthier, Karine; Simpson, Stephen J.; Deveson, Edward; Spurgin, Peter; Steinbauer, Martin J.; Sword, Gregory A.

    2011-01-01

    Linking demographic and genetic dispersal measures is of fundamental importance for movement ecology and evolution. However, such integration can be difficult, particularly for highly fecund species that are often the target of management decisions guided by an understanding of population movement. Here, we present an example of how the influence of large population sizes can preclude genetic approaches from assessing demographic population structuring, even at a continental scale. The Australian plague locust, Chortoicetes terminifera, is a significant pest, with populations on the eastern and western sides of Australia having been monitored and managed independently to date. We used microsatellites to assess genetic variation in 12 C. terminifera population samples separated by up to 3000 km. Traditional summary statistics indicated high levels of genetic diversity and a surprising lack of population structure across the entire range. An approximate Bayesian computation treatment indicated that levels of genetic diversity in C. terminifera corresponded to effective population sizes conservatively composed of tens of thousands to several million individuals. We used these estimates and computer simulations to estimate the minimum rate of dispersal, m, that could account for the observed range-wide genetic homogeneity. The rate of dispersal between both sides of the Australian continent could be several orders of magnitude lower than that typically considered as required for the demographic connectivity of populations. PMID:21389030

  4. Emulsifying properties of maillard conjugates produced from sodium caseinate and locust bean gum

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. A. Perrechil

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Emulsifying properties of sodium caseinate -locust bean gum Maillard conjugates produced at different temperatures (54 - 96 ºC, protein/polysaccharide ratios (0.3 - 1.0 and reaction times (1 - 24 hours were evaluated. Conjugate formation was confirmed by formation of color and high molecular weight fractions and the decrease of the αs- and β-casein bands. The emulsions stabilized by Maillard conjugates showed good stability. The mean droplet diameter (d32 tended to decrease with the increase of incubation time and temperature, except at extreme conditions (24 hours and 90 ºC or 96 ºC when the partial degradation of the conjugates was probably favored, resulting in phase separation of emulsions. The emulsion viscosity decreased with the increase in the protein/polysaccharide ratio and with the degradation of the conjugates. The conditions used in the experimental design made the optimization of the conjugate production viable, which showed greater emulsifier properties than the pure protein under acid conditions.

  5. Controlled release of Lactobacillus rhamnosus biofilm probiotics from alginate-locust bean gum microcapsules.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheow, Wean Sin; Kiew, Tie Yi; Hadinoto, Kunn

    2014-03-15

    Chitosan-coated alginate microcapsules containing high-density biofilm Lactobacillus rhamnosus have been previously shown to exhibit higher freeze drying- and thermal-tolerance than their planktonic counterparts. However, their cell release profile remains poor due to the capsules' susceptibility to the gastric environment. Herein the effects of adding locust bean (LB) and xanthan (XT) gums to alginate (AGN) capsules on the stress tolerance and cell release profiles in simulated gastrointestinal fluids are investigated. Compared to the AGN-only capsules, the AGN-LB capsules exhibit improved stress tolerance (i.e. ≈ 6x for freeze drying, 100x for thermotolerance, 10x for acid), whereas the AGN-XT capsules only improve the acid tolerance. Importantly, the AGN-LB capsules possess the optimal cell release profile with a majority of cells released in the simulated intestinal juice than in the gastric juice. The AGN-LB capsules' superiority is attributed to their stronger interaction with the chitosan coating and high swelling capacity, thus delaying their bulk dissolution. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Effect of xanthan and locust bean gum synergistic interaction on characteristics of biodegradable edible film.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurt, Abdullah; Toker, Omer Said; Tornuk, Fatih

    2017-09-01

    The present study was aimed to use different combinations of xanthan (XG) and locust bean gum (LBG) in the biodegradable edible film preparation by benefitting from their synergistic interactions for the first time. Concentrations of LBG, XG and glycerol of the optimized film sample were found to be 89.6%, 10.4% and 20%, respectively. At the optimum point the WVP, TS, E% and EM values of film were found 0.22gmmh -1 m 2 kPa, 86.97MPa, 33.34% and 177.25MPa, respectively. The optimized film was characterized for its physical, thermal and structural behavior. The scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) analyses exhibited miscibility and presence of interaction between polymers. In conclusion, XG and LBG interaction was used successfully to get biodegradable films and coatings with improved characteristics. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. The effect of gamma irradiation on guar gum, locust bean gum, gum tragacanth and gum karaya

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    King, Karen; Gray, Richard

    1993-01-01

    Changes in rheological properties, as measured by viscosity, of two galactomannans (guar gum and locust beam gum) and two acidic polysaccharides (gumtragacanth and gum karaya) were studied at a range of irradiation doses o C for 1 h was determined over a wide shear rate range. All samples showed pseudoplastic behaviour which approached Newtonian with increasing irradiation dose. Viscosities were calculated at a shear rate of 54 sec -1 to enable comparison across the samples. Both galactomannans showed a decrease in viscosity with increasing γ irradiation independent of temperature and a hypothesis is proposed that at low γ irradiation doses (<2 kGy) there is a reduction in polymer aggregation in solution, whereas at higher doses polymer hydrolysis occurs. Electron spin resonance spectroscopy data supports this hypothesis, with the detection of different free radicals at low and high irradiation doses. The viscosity of the acidic polysaccharides, gum karaya and gum tragacanth, following γ irradiation at low doses (<1 kGy) was unchanged or slightly higher when compared to the unirradiated control samples. Above 1 kGy dispersion viscosity decreased with increasing dose. For these polysaccharides chain hydrolysis seems to occur during irradiation at all doses resulting in an increase in the amount of soluble polymer and hence increased viscosity at low doses, whilst at high doses viscosity decreases due to extensive polymer hydrolysis. Similar electron spin resonance (ESR) spectra were obtained at low and high doses with a stronger signal at the higher dose. (Author)

  8. Water adsorption isotherms of carboxymethyl cellulose, guar, locust bean, tragacanth and xanthan gums.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torres, María D; Moreira, Ramón; Chenlo, Francisco; Vázquez, María J

    2012-06-20

    Water adsorption isotherms of carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC), guar gum (GG), locust bean gum (LBG), tragacanth gum (TG) and xanthan gum (XG) were determined at different temperatures (20, 35, 50, and 65°C) using a gravimetric method. Several saturated salt solutions were selected to obtain different water activities in the range from 0.09 to 0.91. Water adsorption isotherms of tested hydrocolloids were classified like type II isotherms. In all cases, equilibrium moisture content decreased with increasing temperature at each water activity value. Three-parameter Guggenheim-Anderson-de Boer (GAB) model was employed to fit the experimental data in the water activity range and statistical analysis indicated that this model gave satisfactory results. CMC and GG were the most and the least hygroscopic gums, respectively. Sorption heats decreased with increasing moisture content. Monolayer moisture content evaluated with GAB model was consistent with equilibrium conditions of maximum stability calculated from thermodynamic analysis of net integral entropy. Values of equilibrium relative humidity at 20°C are proposed to storage adequately the tested gums. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Discovery of a rare pterosaur bone bed in a cretaceous desert with insights on ontogeny and behavior of flying reptiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manzig, Paulo C; Kellner, Alexander W A; Weinschütz, Luiz C; Fragoso, Carlos E; Vega, Cristina S; Guimarães, Gilson B; Godoy, Luiz C; Liccardo, Antonio; Ricetti, João H Z; de Moura, Camila C

    2014-01-01

    A pterosaur bone bed with at least 47 individuals (wing spans: 0.65-2.35 m) of a new species is reported from southern Brazil from an interdunal lake deposit of a Cretaceous desert, shedding new light on several biological aspects of those flying reptiles. The material represents a new pterosaur, Caiuajara dobruskii gen. et sp. nov., that is the southermost occurrence of the edentulous clade Tapejaridae (Tapejarinae, Pterodactyloidea) recovered so far. Caiuajara dobruskii differs from all other members of this clade in several cranial features, including the presence of a ventral sagittal bony expansion projected inside the nasoantorbital fenestra, which is formed by the premaxillae; and features of the lower jaw, like a marked rounded depression in the occlusal concavity of the dentary. Ontogenetic variation of Caiuajara dobruskii is mainly reflected in the size and inclination of the premaxillary crest, changing from small and inclined (∼ 115°) in juveniles to large and steep (∼ 90°) in adults. No particular ontogenetic features are observed in postcranial elements. The available information suggests that this species was gregarious, living in colonies, and most likely precocial, being able to fly at a very young age, which might have been a general trend for at least derived pterosaurs.

  10. Comparison of reproductive traits of regular and irradiated male desert locust Schistocerca gregaria (Orthoptera: Acrididae: Evidence of last-male sperm precedence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Severin Dushimirimana

    2012-02-01

    The sterile insect technique (SIT is increasingly used to control pest insect populations. The success of SIT control programs depends on the ability to release sterile males and on the capacity of sterile males to compete with wild males to inseminate wild females. In this study, we evaluated the mating performance of Schistocerca gregaria (Försk. males irradiated with 4 Gray. We compared reproductive traits, such as duration of precopulation time, mating duration, quantity of sperm stored by females after copulation, number of females mated successively and postmating competition of irradiated males with non-irradiated males. Irradiated males were able to mate but the resulting number of offspring was dramatically reduced compared to the average number of offspring observed during a regular mating. During a single copulation, irradiated males transferred fewer sperm than regular males but, theoretically, this quantity is enough to fertilize all the eggs produced by a female during its reproductive life. Irradiated males also had the ability to remove sperm from a previous mating with unirraditated males. This new information on the mating strategies helps explain the post-copulation guarding behaviour of S. gregaria.

  11. Morphological analysis of the cellular interactions between the eugregarine Gregarina garnhami (Apicomplexa) and the epithelium of its host, the desert locust Schistocerca gregaria

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Valigurová, A.; Koudela, Břetislav

    2008-01-01

    Roč. 44, č. 3 (2008), s. 197-207 ISSN 0932-4739 R&D Projects: GA ČR GD524/03/H133 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60220518 Keywords : Gragarina garnhami * Schistocerca gregaria * epimerite * detachment of trophozoite * cellular interactions Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 1.000, year: 2008

  12. The Riparianness of a Desert Herpetofauna

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charles H. Lowe

    1989-01-01

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

  13. Microrheology and microstructure of water-in-water emulsions containing sodium caseinate and locust bean gum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moschakis, Thomas; Chantzos, Nikos; Biliaderis, Costas G; Dickinson, Eric

    2018-05-23

    The mechanical response on the microscale of phase-separated water-in-water emulsions containing sodium caseinate (SCN) and locust bean gum (LBG) has been monitored by confocal laser scanning microscopy and particle tracking microrheology. Mixed biopolymer systems exhibiting phase-separated micro-regions were enriched in either protein or polysaccharide in the continuous or dispersed phase, depending on the weight ratio of the two biopolymers. Measurements of the tracking of charged probe particles revealed that the local rheological properties of protein-rich regions were considerably lower than that of LBG-rich domains for all the biopolymer ratios examined. At pH 7 in the absence of added salt, the viscosity of the protein-rich regions was little affected by an increase in overall LBG concentration, which is consistent with the phase separation mechanism in the mixed solution of charged (SCN) and uncharged (LBG) biopolymers being dominated by the relative entropy of the counter-ions associated with the charged protein molecules. Addition of salt was found to produce an enhancement in the level of thermodynamic incompatibility, leading to faster and more pronounced phase separation, and altering the micro-viscosity of protein-rich regions. At high ionic strength, it was also noted that there was a pronounced accumulation of incorporated probe particles at the liquid-liquid interface. The microrheological properties of the SCN-rich regions were found to be substantially pH-dependent in the range 7 > pH > 5.4. By adjusting the acidification conditions and the biopolymer ratio, discrete protein-based microspheres were generated with potential applications as a functional food ingredient.

  14. The effect of gamma irradiation on guar gum, locust bean gum, gum tragacanth and gum karaya

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    King, Karen (Department of Agriculture for Northern Ireland, Belfast (United Kingdom) Queen' s Univ., Belfast, Northern Ireland (United Kingdom)); Gray, Richard (Department of Agriculture for Northern Ireland, Belfast (United Kingdom))

    1993-02-01

    Changes in rheological properties, as measured by viscosity, of two galactomannans (guar gum and locust beam gum) and two acidic polysaccharides (gumtragacanth and gum karaya) were studied at a range of irradiation doses < 10 kGy. Powdered samples were irradiated, and the viscosity of a 1% dispersion prepared at room temperature or by heating to 80[sup o]C for 1 h was determined over a wide shear rate range. All samples showed pseudoplastic behaviour which approached Newtonian with increasing irradiation dose. Viscosities were calculated at a shear rate of 54 sec[sup -1] to enable comparison across the samples. Both galactomannans showed a decrease in viscosity with increasing [gamma] irradiation independent of temperature and a hypothesis is proposed that at low [gamma] irradiation doses (<2 kGy) there is a reduction in polymer aggregation in solution, whereas at higher doses polymer hydrolysis occurs. Electron spin resonance spectroscopy data supports this hypothesis, with the detection of different free radicals at low and high irradiation doses. The viscosity of the acidic polysaccharides, gum karaya and gum tragacanth, following [gamma] irradiation at low doses (<1 kGy) was unchanged or slightly higher when compared to the unirradiated control samples. Above 1 kGy dispersion viscosity decreased with increasing dose. For these polysaccharides chain hydrolysis seems to occur during irradiation at all doses resulting in an increase in the amount of soluble polymer and hence increased viscosity at low doses, whilst at high doses viscosity decreases due to extensive polymer hydrolysis. Similar electron spin resonance (ESR) spectra were obtained at low and high doses with a stronger signal at the higher dose. (Author).

  15. Development and optimization of locust bean gum and sodium alginate interpenetrating polymeric network of capecitabine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Upadhyay, Mansi; Adena, Sandeep Kumar Reddy; Vardhan, Harsh; Pandey, Sureshwar; Mishra, Brahmeshwar

    2018-03-01

    The objective of the study was to develop interpenetrating polymeric network (IPN) of capecitabine (CAP) using natural polymers locust bean gum (LBG) and sodium alginate (NaAlg). The IPN microbeads were optimized by Box-Behnken Design (BBD) to provide anticipated particle size with good drug entrapment efficiency. The comparative dissolution profile of IPN microbeads of CAP with the marketed preparation proved an excellent sustained drug delivery vehicle. Ionotropic gelation method utilizing metal ion calcium (Ca 2+ ) as a cross-linker was used to prepare IPN microbeads. The optimization study was done by response surface methodology based Box-Behnken Design. The effect of the factors on the responses of optimized batch was exhibited through response surface and contour plots. The optimized batch was analyzed for particle size, % drug entrapment, pharmacokinetic study, in vitro drug release study and further characterized by FTIR, XRD, and SEM. To study the water uptake capacity and hydrodynamic activity of the polymers, swelling studies and viscosity measurement were performed, respectively. The particle size and % drug entrapment of the optimized batch was 494.37 ± 1.4 µm and 81.39 ± 2.9%, respectively, closer to the value predicted by Minitab 17 software. The in vitro drug release study showed sustained release of 92% for 12 h and followed anomalous drug release pattern. The derived pharmacokinetic parameters of optimized batch showed improved results than pure CAP. Thus, the formed IPN microbeads of CAP proved to be an effective extended drug delivery vehicle for the water soluble antineoplastic drug.

  16. Indication of bioactive candidates among body volatiles of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Gregarious adult locusts are believed to release many bioactive volatiles from their bodies for the mediation of their biological characteristics. The determination of these bioactive body volatiles can contribute to the development of new, environmentally benign methods of locust control. An important locust, Locusta ...

  17. Rural childhoods in Egypt's desert lands

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Adriansen, Hanne Kirstine

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

  18. Russian deserters of World War I

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Os'kin Maksim

    2014-10-01

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

  19. Intracisternal granules in the adipokinetic cells of locusts are not degraded and apparently function as supplementary stores of secretory material.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harthoorn, L F; Diederen, J H; Oudejans, R C; Verstegen, M M; Vullings, H G; Van der Horst, D J

    2000-01-01

    The intracisternal granules in locust adipokinetic cells appear to represent accumulations of secretory material within cisternae of the rough endoplasmic reticulum. An important question is whether these granules are destined for degradation or represent stores of (pro)hormones. Two strategies were used to answer this question. First, cytochemistry was applied to elucidate the properties of intracisternal granules. The endocytic tracers horseradish peroxidase and wheat-germ agglutinin-conjugated horseradish peroxidase were used to facilitate the identification of endocytic, autophagic, and lysosomal organelles, which may be involved in the degradation of intracisternal granules. No intracisternal granules could be found within autophagosomes, and granules fused with endocytic and lysosomal organelles were not observed, nor could tracer be found within the granules. The lysosomal enzyme acid phosphatase was absent from the granules. Second, biochemical analysis of the content of intracisternal granules revealed that these granules contain prohormones as well as hormones. Prohormones were present in relatively higher amounts compared with ordinary secretory granules. Since the intracisternal granules in locust adipokinetic cells are not degraded and contain intact (pro)hormones it is concluded that they function as supplementary stores of secretory material.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sadiq Ali Shah; Yang Zhang

    2011-01-01

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

  1. Assessment of an in-channel redistribution technique for large woody debris management in Locust Creek, Linn County, Missouri

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heimann, David C.

    2017-10-24

    The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Missouri Department of Conservation and Missouri Department of Natural Resources, completed a study to assess a mechanical redistribution technique used for the management of large woody debris (LWD) jams in Locust Creek within Pershing State Park and Fountain Grove Conservation Area, Linn County, Missouri. Extensive LWD jams were treated from 1996 to 2009 using a low-impact technique in which LWD from the jams was redistributed to reopen the channel and to mimic the natural geomorphic process of channel migration and adjustment to an obstruction. The scope of the study included the comparison of selected channel geometry characteristics and bed material particle-size distribution in seven LWD treatment reaches with that of adjacent untreated reaches (unaffected by LWD accumulations) of Locust Creek. A comparison of 1996 and 2015 survey cross sections in treated and untreated reaches and photograph documentation were used to assess channel geomorphic change and the stability of redistributed LWD. The physical characteristics of LWD within jams present in the study reach during 2015–16 also were documented.Based on the general lack of differences in channel metrics between treated and untreated reaches, it can be concluded that the mechanical redistribution technique has been an effective treatment of extensive LWD jams in Locust Creek. Channel alterations, including aggradation, streamflow piracy, and diversions, have resulted in temporal and spatial changes in the Locust Creek channel that may affect future applications of the redistribution technique in Pershing State Park. The redistribution technique was used to effectively manage LWD in Locust Creek at a potentially lower financial cost and reduced environmental disturbance than the complete removal of LWD.A comparison of four channel metrics (bankfull cross-sectional area, channel width, streamflow capacity, and width-depth ratio) for individual treatment

  2. Multilocus sequence typing of Metarhizium anisopliae var acridum isolates as microbial agents for locust and grasshopper control. Genbank Accession numbers FJ787311 to FJ787325

    Science.gov (United States)

    A growing interest in the biological control of locusts and grasshoppers (Acrididae) has led to the development of biopesticides based on naturally occurring pathogens which offers an environmentally safe alternative to chemical pesticides. However, the fungal strains which are being sought for biop...

  3. Primary structure of a 14 kDa basic structural protein (Lm-76) from the cuticle of the migratory locust, Locusta migratoria

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Jens S.; Andersen, S O; Højrup, P

    1993-01-01

    The complete amino acid sequence of a 14 kDa structural protein (LM-76) isolated from pharate cuticle of the locust, Locusta migratoria, was determined by Edman degradation of the intact protein and enzymatically derived peptides. Plasma desorption and electrospray mass spectrometry was used as a...

  4. Deserts

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Graulund, Rune

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2003-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Jari Ojala; Jaakko Pehkonen; Jari Eloranta

    2013-01-01

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

  7. Isoprene emission and photosynthesis during heatwaves and drought in black locust

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bamberger, Ines; Ruehr, Nadine K.; Schmitt, Michael; Gast, Andreas; Wohlfahrt, Georg; Arneth, Almut

    2017-08-01

    Extreme weather conditions like heatwaves and drought can substantially affect tree physiology and the emissions of isoprene. To date, however, there is only limited understanding of isoprene emission patterns during prolonged heat stress and next to no data on emission patterns during coupled heat-drought stress or during post-stress recovery. We studied gas exchange and isoprene emissions of black locust trees under episodic heat stress and in combination with drought. Heatwaves were simulated in a controlled greenhouse facility by exposing trees to outside temperatures +10 °C, and trees in the heat-drought treatment were supplied with half of the irrigation water given to heat and control trees. Leaf gas exchange of isoprene, CO2 and H2O was quantified using self-constructed, automatically operating chambers, which were permanently installed on leaves (n = 3 per treatment). Heat and combined heat-drought stress resulted in a sharp decline of net photosynthesis (Anet) and stomatal conductance. Simultaneously, isoprene emissions increased 6- to 8-fold in the heat and heat-drought treatment, which resulted in a carbon loss that was equivalent to 12 and 20 % of assimilated carbon at the time of measurement. Once temperature stress was released at the end of two 15-day-long heatwaves, stomatal conductance remained reduced, while isoprene emissions and Anet recovered quickly to values of the control trees. Further, we found that isoprene emissions covaried with Anet during nonstress conditions, while during the heatwaves, isoprene emissions were not related to Anet but to light and temperature. Under standard air temperature and light conditions (here 30 °C and photosynthetically active radiation of 500 µmol m-2 s-1), isoprene emissions of the heat trees were by 45 % and the heat-drought trees were by 27 % lower than in control trees. Moreover, temperature response curves showed that not only the isoprene emission factor changed during both heat and heat

  8. Isoprene emission and photosynthesis during heatwaves and drought in black locust

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I. Bamberger

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Extreme weather conditions like heatwaves and drought can substantially affect tree physiology and the emissions of isoprene. To date, however, there is only limited understanding of isoprene emission patterns during prolonged heat stress and next to no data on emission patterns during coupled heat–drought stress or during post-stress recovery. We studied gas exchange and isoprene emissions of black locust trees under episodic heat stress and in combination with drought. Heatwaves were simulated in a controlled greenhouse facility by exposing trees to outside temperatures +10 °C, and trees in the heat–drought treatment were supplied with half of the irrigation water given to heat and control trees. Leaf gas exchange of isoprene, CO2 and H2O was quantified using self-constructed, automatically operating chambers, which were permanently installed on leaves (n = 3 per treatment. Heat and combined heat–drought stress resulted in a sharp decline of net photosynthesis (Anet and stomatal conductance. Simultaneously, isoprene emissions increased 6- to 8-fold in the heat and heat–drought treatment, which resulted in a carbon loss that was equivalent to 12 and 20 % of assimilated carbon at the time of measurement. Once temperature stress was released at the end of two 15-day-long heatwaves, stomatal conductance remained reduced, while isoprene emissions and Anet recovered quickly to values of the control trees. Further, we found that isoprene emissions covaried with Anet during nonstress conditions, while during the heatwaves, isoprene emissions were not related to Anet but to light and temperature. Under standard air temperature and light conditions (here 30 °C and photosynthetically active radiation of 500 µmol m−2 s−1, isoprene emissions of the heat trees were by 45 % and the heat–drought trees were by 27 % lower than in control trees. Moreover, temperature response curves showed that not only the isoprene emission

  9. Locust bean gum as an alternative polymeric coating for embryonic stem cell culture

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Perestrelo, Ana Rubina [Regenerative Medicine Program, Departamento de Ciências Biomédicas e Medicina, Universidade do Algarve (Portugal); IBB - Institute for Biotechnology and Bioengineering, Centre for Molecular and Structural Biomedicine (CBME), Universidade do Algarve (Portugal); PhD Program in Biomedical Sciences, Universidade do Algarve (Portugal); Grenha, Ana [IBB - Institute for Biotechnology and Bioengineering, Centre for Molecular and Structural Biomedicine (CBME), Universidade do Algarve (Portugal); Rosa da Costa, Ana M. [Centro de Investigação em Química do Algarve (CIQA) and Departamento de Química e Farmácia, Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia, Universidade do Algarve (Portugal); Belo, José António, E-mail: jose.belo@fcm.unl.pt [Regenerative Medicine Program, Departamento de Ciências Biomédicas e Medicina, Universidade do Algarve (Portugal); IBB - Institute for Biotechnology and Bioengineering, Centre for Molecular and Structural Biomedicine (CBME), Universidade do Algarve (Portugal); Faculdade de Ciências Médicas, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Campo Mártires da Pátria 130, 1169-056 Lisboa (Portugal)

    2014-07-01

    Pluripotent embryonic stem cells (ESCs) have self-renewal capacity and the potential to differentiate into any cellular type depending on specific cues (pluripotency) and, therefore, have become a vibrant research area in the biomedical field. ESCs are usually cultured in gelatin or on top of a monolayer of feeder cells such as mitotically inactivated mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFsi). The latter is the gold standard support to maintain the ESCs in the pluripotent state. Examples of versatile, non-animal derived and inexpensive materials that are able to support pluripotent ESCs are limited. Therefore, our aim was to find a biomaterial able to support ESC growth in a pluripotent state avoiding laborious and time consuming parallel culture of MEFsi and as simple to handle as gelatin. Many of the new biomaterials used to develop stem cell microenvironments are using natural polymers adsorbed or covalently attached to the surface to improve the biocompatibility of synthetic polymers. Locust beam gum (LBG) is a natural, edible polymer, which has a wide range of potential applications in different fields, such as food and pharmaceutical industry, due to its biocompatibility, adhesiveness and thickening properties. The present work brings a natural system based on the use of LBG as a coating for ESC culture. Undifferentiated mouse ESCs were cultured on commercially available LBG to evaluate its potential in maintaining pluripotent ESCs. In terms of morphology, ESC colonies in LBG presented the regular dome shape with bright borders, similar to the colonies obtained in co-cultures with MEFsi and characteristic of pluripotent ESC colonies. In short-term cultures, ESC proliferation in LBG coating was similar to ESC cultured in gelatin and the cells maintained their viability. The activity of alkaline phosphatase and Nanog, Sox2 and Oct4 expression of mouse ESCs cultured in LBG were comparable or in some cases higher than in ESCs cultured in gelatin. An in vitro

  10. Locust bean gum as an alternative polymeric coating for embryonic stem cell culture

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Perestrelo, Ana Rubina; Grenha, Ana; Rosa da Costa, Ana M.; Belo, José António

    2014-01-01

    Pluripotent embryonic stem cells (ESCs) have self-renewal capacity and the potential to differentiate into any cellular type depending on specific cues (pluripotency) and, therefore, have become a vibrant research area in the biomedical field. ESCs are usually cultured in gelatin or on top of a monolayer of feeder cells such as mitotically inactivated mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFsi). The latter is the gold standard support to maintain the ESCs in the pluripotent state. Examples of versatile, non-animal derived and inexpensive materials that are able to support pluripotent ESCs are limited. Therefore, our aim was to find a biomaterial able to support ESC growth in a pluripotent state avoiding laborious and time consuming parallel culture of MEFsi and as simple to handle as gelatin. Many of the new biomaterials used to develop stem cell microenvironments are using natural polymers adsorbed or covalently attached to the surface to improve the biocompatibility of synthetic polymers. Locust beam gum (LBG) is a natural, edible polymer, which has a wide range of potential applications in different fields, such as food and pharmaceutical industry, due to its biocompatibility, adhesiveness and thickening properties. The present work brings a natural system based on the use of LBG as a coating for ESC culture. Undifferentiated mouse ESCs were cultured on commercially available LBG to evaluate its potential in maintaining pluripotent ESCs. In terms of morphology, ESC colonies in LBG presented the regular dome shape with bright borders, similar to the colonies obtained in co-cultures with MEFsi and characteristic of pluripotent ESC colonies. In short-term cultures, ESC proliferation in LBG coating was similar to ESC cultured in gelatin and the cells maintained their viability. The activity of alkaline phosphatase and Nanog, Sox2 and Oct4 expression of mouse ESCs cultured in LBG were comparable or in some cases higher than in ESCs cultured in gelatin. An in vitro

  11. Desert potholes: Ephemeral aquatic microsystems

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  12. Vegetation - Central Mojave Desert [ds166

    Data.gov (United States)

    California Natural Resource Agency — The Department of Defense and the other desert managers are developing and organizing scientific information needed to better manage the natural resources of the...

  13. Microbial ecology of hot desert edaphic systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-03-01

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

  14. Canopy transpiration of two black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) plantations with different ages in semi-arid Loess Plateau, China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiao, L.

    2015-12-01

    Black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) was widely planted to control soil erosion and restore degraded ecosystem in Loess Plateau. The water use of the plantations was concerned due to its potential effects on hydrological cycle and regional water resource. Although some studies estimated canopy transpiration (Ec) of the mature black locust plantation, variation in Ec in plantations with different ages was not clear. In this study, we selected two plantations with different ages (12 years and 27 years, denoted as young stand and mature stand, respectively) in similar topographical conditions in Yangjuangou catchment in the central of Loess Plateau. Sap flux density (Fd) and tree biometrics were measured in each stand during the growing season in 2014. Soil water content (SWC) in each plot and meteorological variables in the catchment were simultaneously monitored. Tree transpiration (Et) was derived from Fd and tree sapwood area (As). Canopy transpiration (Ec) was estimated by a product of mean stand sap flux density (Js) and stand total sapwood area (AST). The mean Fd of mature trees was 2-fold larger than that of young trees.However, tree-to-tree variation in Fd among sampled trees within mature stand was evident compared to that within young stand. Mean Et in mature stand was higher than that in young stand. Ec in mature stand was significant higher than that in young stand,with cumulative value of 54 mm and 27 mm respectively. This is attributed to higher Js in mature stand although AST in young is slightly higher than that in mature stand. The patterns of daily Ec during the growing season were similar in both stands during the study period. A exponential saturation model can explain the responses of Ec to vapor deficit pressure (VPD) and solar radiation (Rs) in both stands.The relationship between Ec and SWC was not detected. Our finding suggested that stand age should be taken into consideration when estimated vegetation water use in this region. Further

  15. In vitro germination of desert rose varieties(

    OpenAIRE

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

    2015-01-01

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

  16. Late Quaternary history of the Atacama Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  18. Food deprivation and prior anoxic coma have opposite effects on the activity of a visual interneuron in the locust.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cross, Kevin P; Britton, Samantha; Mangulins, Rebecca; Money, Tomas G A; Robertson, R Meldrum

    2017-04-01

    We compared how different metabolic stressors, anoxic coma and food deprivation, affected signaling in neural tissue. We used the locust's Descending Contralateral Movement Detector (DCMD) interneuron because its large axon, high firing frequencies, and rapid conduction velocity make it energetically expensive. We exposed locusts to a 30min anoxic coma or 1day of food deprivation and found contrasting effects on signaling within the axon. After a prior anoxic coma, the DCMD fired fewer high-frequency (>200Hz) action potentials (APs) (Control: 12.4±1.6; Coma: 6.3±0.9) with a reduction in axonal conduction velocity (CV) at all frequencies (∼4-8%) when presented with a standard looming visual stimulus. Prior anoxic coma was also associated with a loss of supernormal conduction by reducing both the number of supernormal APs and the firing frequency with the highest CV. Initially, food deprivation caused a significant increase in the number of low- and high-frequency APs with no differences observed in CV. After controlling for isolation, food deprivation resulted in an increase in high-frequency APs (>200Hz: Control: 17.1±1.7; Food-deprived: 19.9±1.3) and an increase in relative conduction velocity for frequencies >150Hz (∼2%). Action potentials of food-deprived animals had a smaller half-width (Control: 0.45±0.02ms; Food-deprived: 0.40±0.01ms) and decay time (Control: 0.62±0.03ms; Food-deprived: 0.54±0.02ms). Our data indicate that the effects of metabolic stress on neural signaling can be stressor-dependent. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Desert basins of the Southwest

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2000-01-01

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

  20. Characterization of midazolam metabolism in locusts: The role of CYP3A4-like enzyme in the formation of 1'-OH and 4-OH midazolam

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Olsen, Line Rørbæk; Gabel-Jensen, Charlotte; Wubshet, Sileshi Gizachew

    2016-01-01

    ) were in the same range as reported in humans (in locusts: 7-23 and 33-85 µM for the formation of the 1'-OH and 4-OH metabolites, respectively). 3. The formation of hydroxylated metabolites could successfully be inhibited by co-administration of ketoconazole, a known CYP3A4/5 inhibitor. 4. Besides phase...

  1. The addition of locust bean gum but not water delayed the gastric emptying rate of a nutrient semisolid meal in healthy subjects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Björgell Ola

    2003-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Most of the previous studies regarding the effects of gel-forming fibres have considered the gastric emptying of liquid or solid meals after the addition of pectin or guar gum. The influence of locust bean gum, on gastric emptying of nutrient semisolid meals in humans has been less well studied, despite its common occurrence in foods. Using a standardised ultrasound method, this study was aimed at investigating if the gastric emptying in healthy subjects could be influenced by adding locust been gum, a widely used thickening agent, or water directly into a nutrient semisolid test meal. Methods The viscosity of a basic test meal (300 g rice pudding, 330 kcal was increased by adding Nestargel (6 g, 2.4 kcal, containing viscous dietary fibres (96.5% provided as seed flour of locust bean gum, and decreased by adding 100 ml of water. Gastric emptying of these three test meals were evaluated in fifteen healthy non-smoking volunteers, using ultrasound measurements of the gastric antral area to estimate the gastric emptying rate (GER. Results The median value of GER with the basic test meal (rice pudding was estimated at 63 %, (range 47 to 84 %, (the first quartile = 61 %, the third quartile = 69 %. Increasing the viscosity of the rice pudding by adding Nestargel, resulted in significantly lower gastric emptying rates (p p = 0.28 compared to the GER of the basic test meal. Conclusions We conclude that the addition of locust bean gum to a nutrient semisolid meal has a major impact on gastric emptying by delaying the emptying rate, but that the addition of water to this test meal has no influence on gastric emptying in healthy subjects.

  2. EFFECT OF SOAKED AND FERMENTED AFRICAN LOCUST BEAN (Parkia biglobosa SEED MEAL ON GROWTH PERFORMANCE, HAEMATOLOGICAL PROFILE AND NUTRIENT DIGESTIBILITY OF BROILER CHICKENS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M.S. Tamburawa

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available African locust bean (Parkia biglobosa seed is rich in protein and has recently found its way into the feed industry. This research was conducted to determine the growth performance, haematological profile and nutrient digestibility by broiler chickens fed diets containing soaked and fermented African locust bean (Parkia biglobosa seed meal (SFALBSM. Five diets were formulated in which SFALSBM was included at graded levels of 0, 7.5, 15, 22.5 and 30% designated as T1, T2, T3, T4 and T5 respectively. Two hundred and twenty five (225 day old broiler chickens (Marshall Strain were fed these diets in a completely randomized design and each treatment was replicated three times with 15 birds per replicate. The experiment lasted 8 weeks (4week starter phase and 4week finisher phase. The results of performance of broiler chicks at starter phase showed there were differences (P0.05 on digestibility of dry matter, crude protein and ash. The crude fibre, ether extract and nitrogen free extract digestibility were affected by treatments (P<0.05. Birds fed T3 had highest crude fibre digestibility value (P<0.05. It was concluded that soaked and fermented African locust bean seed meal can be included in broiler chickens diets up to 15% dietary level at the starter phase and 22.5% at the finisher phase without any adverse effect on performance, haematological profile and nutrient digestibility.

  3. Oxalosis in wild desert tortoises, Gopherus agassizii

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  4. Jojoba could stop the desert creep

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1982-03-25

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

  5. CAMEL REARING IN CHOLISTAN DESERT OF PAKISTAN

    OpenAIRE

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

    2009-01-01

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

  6. Distribution of ectomycorrhizal and pathogenic fungi in soil along a vegetational change from Japanese black pine (Pinus thunbergii) to black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taniguchi, Takeshi; Kataoka, Ryota; Tamai, Shigenobu; Yamanaka, Norikazu; Futai, Kazuyoshi

    2009-04-01

    The nitrogen-fixing tree black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia L.) seems to affect ectomycorrhizal (ECM) colonization and disease severity of Japanese black pine (Pinus thunbergii Parl.) seedlings. We examined the effect of black locust on the distribution of ECM and pathogenic fungi in soil. DNA was extracted from soil at depths of 0-5 and 5-10 cm, collected from the border between a Japanese black pine- and a black locust-dominated forest, and the distribution of these fungi was investigated by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis. The effect of soil nutrition and pH on fungal distribution was also examined. Tomentella sp. 1 and Tomentella sp. 2 were not detected from some subplots in the Japanese black pine-dominated forest. Ectomycorrhizas formed by Tomentella spp. were dominant in black locust-dominated subplots and very little in the Japanese black pine-dominated forest. Therefore, the distribution may be influenced by the distribution of inoculum potential, although we could not detect significant relationships between the distribution of Tomentella spp. on pine seedlings and in soils. The other ECM fungi were detected in soils in subplots where the ECM fungi was not detected on pine seedlings, and there was no significant correlation between the distribution of the ECM fungi on pine seedlings and in soils. Therefore, inoculum potential seemed to not always influence the ECM community on roots. The distribution of Lactarius quieticolor and Tomentella sp. 2 in soil at a depth of 0-5 cm positively correlated with soil phosphate (soil P) and that of Tomentella sp. 2 also positively correlated with soil nitrogen (soil N). These results suggest the possibility that the distribution of inoculum potential of the ECM fungi was affected by soil N and soil P. Although the mortality of the pine seedlings was higher in the black locust-dominated area than in the Japanese black pine-dominated area, a pathogenic fungus of pine seedlings, Cylindrocladium pacificum, was

  7. Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Symbiosis Alleviates Salt Stress in Black Locust through Improved Photosynthesis, Water Status, and K+/Na+ Homeostasis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Jie; Zhang, Haoqiang; Zhang, Xinlu; Tang, Ming

    2017-01-01

    Soil salinization and the associated land degradation are major and growing ecological problems. Excess salt in soil impedes plant photosynthetic processes and root uptake of water and nutrients such as K+. Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi can mitigate salt stress in host plants. Although, numerous studies demonstrate that photosynthesis and water status are improved by mycorrhizae, the molecular mechanisms involved have received little research attention. In the present study, we analyzed the effects of AM symbiosis and salt stress on photosynthesis, water status, concentrations of Na+ and K+, and the expression of several genes associated with photosynthesis (RppsbA, RppsbD, RprbcL, and RprbcS) and genes coding for aquaporins or membrane transport proteins involved in K+ and/or Na+ uptake, translocation, or compartmentalization homeostasis (RpSOS1, RpHKT1, RpNHX1, and RpSKOR) in black locust. The results showed that salinity reduced the net photosynthetic rate, stomatal conductance, and relative water content in both non-mycorrhizal (NM) and AM plants; the reductions of these three parameters were less in AM plants compared with NM plants. Under saline conditions, AM fungi significantly improved the net photosynthetic rate, quantum efficiency of photosystem II photochemistry, and K+ content in plants, but evidently reduced the Na+ content. AM plants also displayed a significant increase in the relative water content and an evident decrease in the shoot/root ratio of Na+ in the presence of 200 mM NaCl compared with NM plants. Additionally, mycorrhizal colonization upregulated the expression of three chloroplast genes (RppsbA, RppsbD, and RprbcL) in leaves, and three genes (RpSOS1, RpHKT1, and RpSKOR) encoding membrane transport proteins involved in K+/Na+ homeostasis in roots. Expression of several aquaporin genes was regulated by AM symbiosis in both leaves and roots depending on soil salinity. This study suggests that the beneficial effects of AM symbiosis on

  8. Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Symbiosis Alleviates Salt Stress in Black Locust through Improved Photosynthesis, Water Status, and K+/Na+ Homeostasis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Jie; Zhang, Haoqiang; Zhang, Xinlu; Tang, Ming

    2017-01-01

    Soil salinization and the associated land degradation are major and growing ecological problems. Excess salt in soil impedes plant photosynthetic processes and root uptake of water and nutrients such as K + . Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi can mitigate salt stress in host plants. Although, numerous studies demonstrate that photosynthesis and water status are improved by mycorrhizae, the molecular mechanisms involved have received little research attention. In the present study, we analyzed the effects of AM symbiosis and salt stress on photosynthesis, water status, concentrations of Na + and K + , and the expression of several genes associated with photosynthesis ( RppsbA, RppsbD, RprbcL , and RprbcS ) and genes coding for aquaporins or membrane transport proteins involved in K + and/or Na + uptake, translocation, or compartmentalization homeostasis ( RpSOS1, RpHKT1, RpNHX1 , and RpSKOR ) in black locust. The results showed that salinity reduced the net photosynthetic rate, stomatal conductance, and relative water content in both non-mycorrhizal (NM) and AM plants; the reductions of these three parameters were less in AM plants compared with NM plants. Under saline conditions, AM fungi significantly improved the net photosynthetic rate, quantum efficiency of photosystem II photochemistry, and K + content in plants, but evidently reduced the Na + content. AM plants also displayed a significant increase in the relative water content and an evident decrease in the shoot/root ratio of Na + in the presence of 200 mM NaCl compared with NM plants. Additionally, mycorrhizal colonization upregulated the expression of three chloroplast genes ( RppsbA, RppsbD , and RprbcL ) in leaves, and three genes ( RpSOS1, RpHKT1 , and RpSKOR ) encoding membrane transport proteins involved in K + /Na + homeostasis in roots. Expression of several aquaporin genes was regulated by AM symbiosis in both leaves and roots depending on soil salinity. This study suggests that the beneficial

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

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

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

  10. Liquid Water Restricts Habitability in Extreme Deserts.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

  11. Abiotic drivers of Chihuahuan Desert plant communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laura Marie Ladwig

    2014-01-01

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

  12. Reclaiming freshwater sustainability in the Cadillac Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  13. Geology and geochemistry of the Atacama Desert.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-02-14

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

  14. THE EFFECT OF HEAT TREATMENT ON THE CHEMICAL AND COLOR CHANGE OF BLACK LOCUST (ROBINIA PSEUDOACACIA WOOD FLOUR

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yao Chen,

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of oxygen and moisture content (MC on the chemical and color changes of black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia wood during heat treatment. The wood flour was conditioned to different initial MCs and heated for 24 h at a constant temperature of 120ºC in either oxygen or nitrogen atmosphere. The pH values and chromaticity indexes were examined. Diffuse reflectance UV-Vis (DRUV and Fourier transform infrared (FTIR spectra were used to characterize the changes of chromophores upon heating. The study demonstrated that the pH values decreased after heat treatment, and it was lower when the heat treated was in oxygen than in nitrogen. The L* decreased significantly, while a* and b* increased. The total color difference ΔE* increased with increasing initial MC until a plateau was reached after 30% MC. The color change was greater in oxygen than in nitrogen. The hydroxyl groups decreased after heat treatment. The releases of acid and formation of quinoid compounds and carboxylic groups during heat treatment were confirmed. Discoloration of wood is due mainly to the condensation and oxidation reactions, which are accelerated by oxygen. Higher MCs are required to obtain the greatest color change of wood in inert atmosphere.

  15. Outbreaks, gene flow and effective population size in the migratory locust, Locusta migratoria: a regional-scale comparative survey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chapuis, Marie-Pierre; Loiseau, Anne; Michalakis, Yannis; Lecoq, Michel; Franc, Alex; Estoup, Arnaud

    2009-03-01

    The potential effect of population outbreaks on within and between genetic variation of populations in pest species has rarely been assessed. In this study, we compare patterns of genetic variation in different sets of historically frequently outbreaking and rarely outbreaking populations of an agricultural pest of major importance, the migratory locust, Locusta migratoria. We analyse genetic variation within and between 24 populations at 14 microsatellites in Western Europe, where only ancient and low-intensity outbreaks have been reported (non-outbreaking populations), and in Madagascar and Northern China, where frequent and intense outbreak events have been recorded over the last century (outbreaking populations). Our comparative survey shows that (i) the long-term effective population size is similar in outbreaking and non-outbreaking populations, as evidenced by similar estimates of genetic diversity, and (ii) gene flow is substantially larger among outbreaking populations than among non-outbreaking populations, as evidenced by a fourfold to 30-fold difference in FST values. We discuss the implications for population dynamics and the consequences for management strategies of the observed patterns of genetic variation in L. migratoria populations with contrasting historical outbreak frequency and extent.

  16. Population explosion in the yellow-spined bamboo locust Ceracris kiangsu and inferences for the impact of human activity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhou Fan

    Full Text Available Geographic distance and geographical barriers likely play a considerable role in structuring genetic variation in species, although some migratory species may have less phylogeographic structure on a smaller spatial scale. Here, genetic diversity and the phylogenetic structure among geographical populations of the yellow-spined bamboo locust, Ceracris kiangsu, were examined with 16S rDNA and amplified fragment length polymorphisms (AFLPs. In this study, no conspicuous phylogeographical structure was discovered from either Maximum parsimony (MP and Neighbor-joining (NJ phylogenetic analyses. The effect of geographical isolation was not conspicuous on a large spatial scale.At smaller spatial scales local diversity of some populations within mountainous areas were detected using Nei's genetic distance and AMOVA. There is a high level of genetic diversity and a low genetic differentiation among populations in the C. kiangsu of South and Southeast China. Our analyses indicate that C. kiangsu is a monophyletic group. Our results also support the hypothesis that the C. kiangsu population is in a primary differentiation stage. Given the mismatch distribution, it is likely that a population expansion in C. kiangsu occurred about 0.242 Ma during the Quaternary interglaciation. Based on historical reports, we conjecture that human activities had significant impacts on the C. kiangsu gene flow.

  17. Determination of locust bean gum and guar gum by polymerase chain reaction and restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, K; Rosa, C; Hischenhuber, C; Meyer, R

    2001-01-01

    A polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was developed to differentiate the thickening agents locust bean gum (LBG) and the cheaper guar gum in finished food products. Universal primers for amplification of the intergenic spacer region between trnL 3' (UAA) exon and trnF (GAA) gene in the chloroplast (cp) genome and subsequent restriction analysis were applied to differentiate guar gum and LBG. The presence of guar gum powder added to LBG powder was detectable. Based on data obtained from sequencing this intergenic spacer region, a second PCR method for the specific detection of guar gum DNA was also developed. This assay detected guar gum powder in LBG in amounts as low as 1% (w/w). Both methods successfully detected guar gum and/or LBG in ice cream stabilizers and in foodstuffs, such as dairy products, ice cream, dry seasoning mixes, a finished roasting sauce, and a fruit jelly product, but not in products with highly degraded DNA, such as tomato ketchup and sterilized chocolate cream. Both methods detected guar gum and LBG in ice cream and fresh cheese at levels <0.1%.

  18. Effects of locust bean gum and mono- and diglyceride concentrations on particle size and melting rates of ice cream.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cropper, S L; Kocaoglu-Vurma, N A; Tharp, B W; Harper, W J

    2013-06-01

    The objective of this study was to determine how varying concentrations of the stabilizer, locust bean gum (LBG), and different levels of the emulsifier, mono- and diglycerides (MDGs), influenced fat aggregation and melting characteristics of ice cream. Ice creams were made containing MDGs and LBG singly and in combination at concentrations ranging between 0.0% to 0.14% and 0.0% to 0.23%, respectively. Particle size analysis, conducted on both the mixes and ice cream, and melting rate testing on the ice cream were used to determine fat aggregation. No significant differences (P ice cream mixes. However, higher concentrations of both LBG and MDG in the ice creams resulted in values that were larger than the control. This study also found an increase in the particle size values when MDG levels were held constant and LBG amounts were increased in the ice cream. Ice creams with higher concentrations of MDG and LBG together had the greatest difference in the rate of melting than the control. The melting rate decreased with increasing LBG concentrations at constant MDG levels. These results illustrated that fat aggregation may not only be affected by emulsifiers, but that stabilizers may play a role in contributing to the destabilization of fat globules. © 2013 Institute of Food Technologists®

  19. Desert wetlands in the geologic record

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  20. Biology of the Central Desert of Oman

    OpenAIRE

    GHAZANFAR, Shahina A

    2004-01-01

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

  1. Joint by Design: The Western Desert Campaign

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-05-21

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

  2. Extrafloral nectar fuels ant life in deserts

    OpenAIRE

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

    2014-01-01

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

  3. Liquid Water Restricts Habitability in Extreme Deserts

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

  4. The Palm Desert renewable [hydrogen] transportation system

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1998-08-01

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

  5. ON PHYTOCOENOTICAL MAPPING OF CASPIAN DESERT REGION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I. SAFRONOVA

    2004-05-01

    Full Text Available The phytoecological map (l :2.500.000 for Desert Region, including the Caspian Lowland and the Mangyshlak. has been compiled. It gives an idea of latitudinal differentiation cf vegetation. Edaphic variants and lithological composition in low mountains. The legend has been constructed according to zonal-typological principle e using an ecological-phytocoenotic classification. Heterogeneity of vegetation is reflected by means of territoria1 units (complex, series, combination and additional marks above the vegetation background. In the northern subzone vegetation is fairly monotonous and characterized by prevalence of wormwood communities (Artemisia of subgenus Seriphidium, joined in three formations: Artemisia lerchiana, A. arenaria. A. pauciflora. Small areas are occupied by shrub deserts of Calligollum aphyllum and Tamarix ramosissima. To southward of 47° N in the middle subzone on the Caspian Lowland the communities of halophyte perennial saltworts essential1y dominate, and to less extent-wormwood communities of hemipsammophytic Artemisia terrae-albae and psammophytic Artemisia arenaria and A. lerchiana. Deserts of Mangyshlak are much diverse. Dwarf semishrubs are presented by species of perennial saltworts (Anabasis salsa, Nanophyton erinaceum,Arthrophytum lehnwnianum, Salsola orientaUs and wonnwood (Artemisia terrae-albae, A. gurganica. A. santolina. To southward of 43° N in the southern subzone dwarf semishrub Salsola gemmascens and Artemisia kemrudica corrnnunities prevail.

  6. ON PHYTOCOENOTICAL MAPPING OF CASPIAN DESERT REGION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I. SAFRONOVA

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available The phytoecological map (l :2.500.000 for Desert Region, including the Caspian Lowland and the Mangyshlak. has been compiled. It gives an idea of latitudinal differentiation cf vegetation. Edaphic variants and lithological composition in low mountains. The legend has been constructed according to zonal-typological principle e using an ecological-phytocoenotic classification. Heterogeneity of vegetation is reflected by means of territoria1 units (complex, series, combination and additional marks above the vegetation background. In the northern subzone vegetation is fairly monotonous and characterized by prevalence of wormwood communities (Artemisia of subgenus Seriphidium, joined in three formations: Artemisia lerchiana, A. arenaria. A. pauciflora. Small areas are occupied by shrub deserts of Calligollum aphyllum and Tamarix ramosissima. To southward of 47° N in the middle subzone on the Caspian Lowland the communities of halophyte perennial saltworts essential1y dominate, and to less extent-wormwood communities of hemipsammophytic Artemisia terrae-albae and psammophytic Artemisia arenaria and A. lerchiana. Deserts of Mangyshlak are much diverse. Dwarf semishrubs are presented by species of perennial saltworts (Anabasis salsa, Nanophyton erinaceum,Arthrophytum lehnwnianum, Salsola orientaUs and wonnwood (Artemisia terrae-albae, A. gurganica. A. santolina. To southward of 43° N in the southern subzone dwarf semishrub Salsola gemmascens and Artemisia kemrudica corrnnunities prevail.

  7. CAMEL REARING IN CHOLISTAN DESERT OF PAKISTAN

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

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

    2009-05-01

    Full Text Available The camel is one of the typical and the best adopted animals of the desert, capable of enduring thirst and hunger for days and is the most patient of land animals. For desert nomads of Pakistani Cholistan, it is a beloved companion, a source of milk and meat, transport facility provider and a racing/dancing animal, thus, playing an important role in the socioeconomic uplift of the local community. Camels of Marrecha or Mahra breed are mainly used for riding and load carrying but may be trained for dancing or racing. Berella is another heavy and milch breed of camel famous for milk production and can produce upto 10-15 liters of milk per day. This breed is also suitable for draught purpose, though comparatively slow due to heavy body. The present paper also describes the traditional camel rearing system used by nomads of Cholistan desert. Some aspects of camel health, production, feeding, socio-economic values, marketing and some constraints and suggestions are also given so that the policy makers may consider them for the welfare of this animal.

  8. Study of the biological impact of Pseudomonas spp.fluoresents on hemolyphatic metabolites and histology of the digestive tract of larvae 15 migratory locust Locusta migratoria

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Oulebsir- Mohan, H.; Doumandji-Mitiche, B.

    2012-01-01

    This study allows to test the effect of entomopathogenic bacteria of Pseudomonas fluorescens bv III and Pseudomonas fluorescence bv V on the haemolymph of Locusta migratoria metabolites, namely proteins and carbohydrates as well as on the histology of the digestive system of fifth stage larvae of migratory locust Locusta migratoria. The results show an important decrease of haemolymph protein concentration compared to controls with an increase in carbohydrate concentration. Examination of histological sections of various parts of the digestive tract showed some changes in treated. (author)

  9. 77 FR 65133 - Revisions to the California State Implementation Plan, Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-10-25

    ... the California State Implementation Plan, Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District AGENCY... limited disapproval of revisions to the Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District (MDAQMD) portion of.... * * * * * (c) * * * (379) * * * (i) * * * (E) Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District. (1) Rule 1159...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mao, Xuesong; Wang, Fuchun; Wang, Binggang

    2011-07-01

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

  11. The provenance of Taklamakan desert sand

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Morais Mendonca Teles, Antonio

    2016-07-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Johnson, J. Andrew.

    1991-01-01

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

  14. Are Wildlife Detector Dogs or People Better at Finding Desert Tortoises (Gopherus Agassizii)?

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Nussear, Kenneth E; Esque, Todd C; Heaton, Jill S; Cablk, Mary E; Drake, Kristina K; Valentin, Cindee; Yee, Julie L; Medica, Philip A

    2008-01-01

    .... Recent studies highlight the effectiveness of trained detector dogs to locate wildlife during field surveys, including Desert Tortoises in a semi-natural setting. Desert Tortoises (Gopherus agassizii...

  15. Allometric Models to Predict Aboveground Woody Biomass of Black Locust (Robinia pseudoacacia L. in Short Rotation Coppice in Previous Mining and Agricultural Areas in Germany

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christin Carl

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Black locust is a drought-resistant tree species with high biomass productivity during juvenility; it is able to thrive on wastelands, such as former brown coal fields and dry agricultural areas. However, research conducted on this species in such areas is limited. This paper aims to provide a basis for predicting tree woody biomass for black locust based on tree, competition, and site variables at 14 sites in northeast Germany that were previously utilized for mining or agriculture. The study areas, which are located in an area covering 320 km × 280 km, are characterized by a variety of climatic and soil conditions. Influential variables, including tree parameters, competition, and climatic parameters were considered. Allometric biomass models were employed. The findings show that the most important parameters are tree and competition variables. Different former land utilizations, such as mining or agriculture, as well as growth by cores or stumps, significantly influenced aboveground woody biomass production. The new biomass models developed as part of this study can be applied to calculate woody biomass production and carbon sequestration of Robinia pseudoacacia L. in short rotation coppices in previous mining and agricultural areas.

  16. Physiological conjunction of allelochemicals and desert plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  17. Physiological conjunction of allelochemicals and desert plants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Avital Yosef Friedjung

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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

  20. Pastoralist rock art in the Black Desert of Jordan

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Brusgaard, N.O.

    2015-01-01

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

  1. Pastoralist rock art in the Black Desert of Jordan

    OpenAIRE

    Brusgaard, N.O.

    2015-01-01

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

  2. The politics of accessing desert land in Jordan

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Naber, Al Majd; Molle, Francois

    2016-01-01

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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

  4. The Desert and the Sown Project in Northern Jordan

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kerner, Susanne

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  6. Algae-production in the desert

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hildebrand, H.

    1988-11-01

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

  7. Background aerosol composition in the Namib desert

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

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

  8. Fog water chemistry in the Namib desert, Namibia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eckardt, Frank D.; Schemenauer, Robert S.

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  10. Evolutionary hotspots in the Mojave Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  11. Landscape Sustainability in a Sonoran Desert City

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chris A. Martin

    2008-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Offer, Z.Y.; Goossens, D.

    2001-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    McKay, Christopher P.

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-05-25

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

  16. In vitro germination of desert rose varieties(

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tatiane Lemos Varella

    2015-08-01

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

  17. Properties of Desert Sand and CMAS Glass

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bansal, Narottam P.; Choi, Sung R.

    2014-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2013-01-01

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

  19. Degradation of proteins during the fermentation of African locust bean (Parkia biglobosa) by strains of Bacillus subtilis and Bacillus pumilus for production of Soumbala

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ouoba, L.I.I.; Rechinger, K.B.; Barkholt, Vibeke

    2003-01-01

    Aims: To examine isolates of Bacillus subtilis and B. pumilus predominant in Soumbala for their ability to degrade African locust bean proteins (ALBP).Methods and Results: Agar diffusion test in casein and ALBP agar was used for screening of isolates. The profiles of water-soluble proteins and free...... amino acids (FAA) during the fermentation of ALBP by the Bacillus isolates were studied by SDS-PAGE and cation exchange chromatography. The profile of soluble proteins changed with the fermentation time and varied depending on the isolate. The quantity of total FAA and essential FAA such as lysine...... was increased sharply between 24 and 48 h of fermentation and differed among the isolates. Simultaneously, a pH increase was observed. Cysteine, methionine, leucine, isoleucine, tyrosine and phenylalaline appeared during fermentation.Conclusion: The Bacillus isolates studied degraded ALBP leading to a profile...

  20. Fog deposition to the Atacama desert

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-07-01

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

  1. Desert ants learn vibration and magnetic landmarks.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cornelia Buehlmann

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

  2. African Locust Bean

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Erah

    2010-09-09

    Sep 9, 2010 ... Lower levels of low density lipoprotein-cholesterol (91± 36 vs. ... 6 mg/dL, p = 0.028), and higher levels of high density lipoprotein- .... Total cholesterol (TC) and triglycerides (TG) ... mg/dL, p < 0.001) and LDL-C/HDL-C ratio.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gonfiantini, R.

    1992-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gonfiantini, R.

    1981-01-01

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

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lew, V.

    1980-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-10-21

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

  9. Desert Peak East Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) Project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zemach, Ezra [Ormat Technologies Inc., Reno, NV (United States); Drakos, Peter [Ormat Technologies Inc., Reno, NV (United States); Spielman, Paul [Ormat Technologies Inc., Reno, NV (United States); Akerley, John [Ormat Technologies Inc., Reno, NV (United States)

    2013-09-30

    This manuscript is a draft to replaced with a final version at a later date TBD. A summary of activities pertaining to the Desert Peak EGS project including the planning and resulting stimulation activities.

  10. Water appropriation and ecosystem stewardship in the Baja desert

    OpenAIRE

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    1981-01-24

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Lei Huang; Zhishan Zhang

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2000-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Betancourt, J. L.

    2007-12-01

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

  15. Enhancing and restoring habitat for the desert tortoise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abella, Scott R.; Berry, Kristin H.

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-09-01

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

  17. Copper isotope fractionation by desert shrubs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  18. Status of the Desert Fireball Network

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  19. Water Sources for Cyanobacteria Below Desert Rocks in the Negev Desert Determined by Conductivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKay, Christopher P.

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher P. McKay

    2016-04-01

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

  1. Monitoring of desert dune topography by multi angle sensors

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-12-01

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

  2. Tree planting in deserts and utilization of atomic energy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1991-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-09-01

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

  4. Tree planting in deserts and utilization of atomic energy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1991-06-01

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

  5. Production of desert rose seedlings in different potting media

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ronan Carlos Colombo

    2017-09-01

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

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

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Elliott, Doyle

    2003-01-01

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

  7. The Ocean deserts:salt budgets of northern subtropical oceans and their

    KAUST Repository

    Carton, Jim

    2011-04-09

    The Ocean deserts: salt budgets of northern subtropical oceans and their relationship to climate variability The high salinity near surface pools of the subtropical oceans are the oceanic deserts, with high levels of evaporation and low levels of precip

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

    KAUST Repository

    Al-Naimi, Ali Ibrahim

    2017-01-01

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

  9. X-36 in Flight over Mojave Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    1997-01-01

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

  10. Cryophenomena in the Cold Desert of Atacama

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buchroithner, Dr.; Trombotto, Dr.

    2012-04-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yuanming; Belnap, Jayne

    2015-01-01

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

  13. Strategy for the development and management of deserts

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1978-02-01

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

  14. Concentration of plutonium in desert plants from contaminated area

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Williams, JB; Tieleman, BI; Shobrak, M

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

  16. 76 FR 8730 - Desert Southwest Customer Service Region-Rate Order No. WAPA-151

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-02-15

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

  17. 76 FR 29153 - Revisions to the California State Implementation Plan, Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-05-20

    ... the California State Implementation Plan, Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District AGENCY... approve revisions to the Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District (MDAQMD) portion of the California... approving with the dates that they were adopted by the Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District (MDAQMD...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1986-01-01

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

  19. Natural product diversity of actinobacteria in the Atacama Desert.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rateb, Mostafa E; Ebel, Rainer; Jaspars, Marcel

    2018-02-14

    The Atacama Desert of northern Chile is considered one of the most arid and extreme environment on Earth. Its core region was described as featuring "Mars-like" soils that were at one point deemed too extreme for life to exist. However, recent investigations confirmed the presence of diverse culturable actinobacteria. In the current review, we discuss a total of 46 natural products isolated to date representing diverse chemical classes characterized from different actinobacteria isolated from various locations in the Atacama Desert. Their reported biological activities are also discussed.

  20. Winter precipitation and fire in the Sonoran Desert

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1987-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lægaard, Sune

    2012-01-01

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

  2. The PM1 neurons, movement sensitive centrifugal visual brain neurons in the locust: anatomy, physiology, and modulation by identified octopaminergic neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stern, Michael

    2009-02-01

    The locust's optic lobe contains a system of wide-field, multimodal, centrifugal neurons. Two of these cells, the protocerebrum-medulla-neurons PM4a and b, are octopaminergic. This paper describes a second pair of large centrifugal neurons (the protocerebrum-medulla-neurons PM1a and PM1b) from the brain of Locusta migratoria based on intracellular cobalt fills, electrophysiology, and immunocytochemistry. They originate and arborise in the central brain and send processes into the medulla of the optic lobe. Double intracellular recording from the same cell suggests input in the central brain and output in the optic lobe. The neurons show immunoreactivity to gamma-amino-butyric acid and its synthesising enzyme, glutamate decarboxylase. The PM1 cells are movement sensitive and show habituation to repeated visual stimulation. Bath application of octopamine causes the response to dishabituate. A very similar effect is produced by electrical stimulation of one of an octopaminergic PM4 neuron. This effect can be blocked by application of the octopamine antagonists, mianserin and phentolamine. This readily accessible system of four wide-field neurons provides a system suitable for the investigation of octopaminergic effects on the visual system at the cellular level.

  3. The Urban Environment Can Modify Drought Stress of Small-Leaved Lime (Tilia cordata Mill. and Black Locust (Robinia pseudoacacia L.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Astrid Moser

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available The urban environment characterized by various stresses poses challenges to trees. In particular, water deficits and high temperatures can cause immense drought stress to urban trees, resulting in reduced growth and die-off. Drought-tolerant species are expected to be resilient to these conditions and are therefore advantageous over other, more susceptible species. However, the drought tolerance of urban trees in relation to the specific growth conditions in urban areas remains poorly researched. This study aimed to analyze the annual growth and drought tolerance of two common urban tree species, namely small-leaved lime (Tilia cordata Mill. (T. cordata and black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia L. (R. pseudoacacia, in two cities in southern Germany in relation to their urban growing conditions. Marked growth reductions during drought periods and subsequent fast recovery were found for R. pseudoacacia, whereas T. cordata exhibited continued reduced growth after a drought event, although these results were highly specific to the analyzed city. We further show that individual tree characteristics and environmental conditions significantly influence the growth of urban trees. Canopy openness and other aspects of the surrounding environment (water supply and open surface area of the tree pit, tree size, and tree species significantly affect urban tree growth and can modify the ability of trees to tolerate the drought stress in urban areas. Sustainable tree planting of well adapted tree species to their urban environment ensures healthy trees providing ecosystem services for a high quality of life in cities.

  4. Development and Evaluation of a Novel Set of EST-SSR Markers Based on Transcriptome Sequences of Black Locust (Robinia pseudoacacia L.).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Qi; Wang, Jin-Xing; Su, Li-Zhuo; Lv, Wei; Sun, Yu-Han; Li, Yun

    2017-07-07

    Black locust ( Robinia pseudoacacia L. of the family Fabaceae) is an ecologically and economically important deciduous tree. However, few genomic resources are available for this forest species, and few effective expressed sequence tag-derived simple sequence repeat (EST-SSR) markers have been developed to date. In this study, paired-end sequencing was used to sequence transcriptomes of R. pseudoacacia by the Illumina HiSeq TM2000 platform, and EST-SSR loci were identified by de novo assembly. Furthermore, a total of 1697 primer pairs were successfully designed, from which 286 primers met the selection screening criteria; 94 pairs were randomly selected and tested for validation using polymerase chain reaction amplification. Forty-five primers were verified as polymorphic, with clear bands. The polymorphism information content values were 0.033-0.765, the number of alleles per locus ranged from 2 to 10, and the observed and expected heterozygosities were 0.000-0.931 and 0.035-0.810, respectively, indicating a high level of informativeness. Subsequently, 45 polymorphic EST-SSR loci were tested for amplification efficiency, using the verified primers, in an additional nine species of Leguminosae, 23 loci were amplified in more than three species, of which two loci were amplified successfully in all species. These EST-SSR markers provide a valuable tool for investigating the genetic diversity and population structure of R . pseudoacacia , constructing a DNA fingerprint database, performing quantitative trait locus mapping, and preserving genetic information.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  6. Provenance and recycling of Arabian desert sand

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-05-01

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

  7. Apparent Brecciation Gradient, Mount Desert Island, Maine

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-05-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Williams, JB; Tieleman, BI

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-11-12

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robert L. Minckley

    2013-01-01

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

  14. Electricity from the desert; Strom aus der Wueste

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schwarzburger, Heiko; Ullrich, Sven

    2013-06-15

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

  15. Cutaneous adenocarcinoma in a desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ashraf Abu-Seida

    2013-06-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    B.B.S. Kapoor* and Shelja Pandita

    2013-01-01

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

  17. Energetics and water relations ofN amib desert rodents

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, G. M.; And Others

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  20. Reestablishing healthy food retail: changing the landscape of food deserts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karpyn, Allison; Young, Candace; Weiss, Stephanie

    2012-02-01

    The term "food desert" was formally introduced into the lexicon in 1995 and has come to describe areas with limited access to affordable nutritious foods, particularly areas in lower-income neighborhoods. The definition has led to the development of national and regional maps that focus efforts on equity in food access. Recognition of food deserts also marks a strategic change in public health's approach to obesity prevention. Today's emphasis on prevention has shifted away from individual responsibility to the role of the environment in health promotion. A number of solutions are underway to address food deserts, including public–private financing programs, industry commitments, as well as local and regional efforts to put healthy food within reach. The promise of financing programs to facilitate development of healthy food markets in underserved communities is rooted in their potential to alleviate the grocery gap and address underlying environmental contributors to obesity and diet-related diseases, such as obesity and diabetes. As food desert mapping and related interventions expand, there remains a need for ongoing investigation of impacts and the mechanisms by which impacts are achieved.

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

  2. Learning Desert Geomorphology Virtually versus in the Field

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Susan E. Meyer

    2011-01-01

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

  5. Ecology and utilization of desert shrub rangelands in Iraq

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Thalen, Derk Catharinus Peter

    1979-01-01

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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2003-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belnap, Jayne; Weber, Bettina

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laila M. Bidak

    2015-01-01

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

  11. Effects of subsidized predators, resource variability, and human population density on desert tortoise populations in the Mojave Desert, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esque, Todd C.; Nussear, Kenneth E.; Drake, K. Kristina; Walde, Andrew D.; Berry, Kristin H.; Averill-Murray, Roy C.; Woodman, A. Peter; Boarman, William I.; Medica, Phil A.; Mack, Jeremy S.; Heaton, Jill S.

    2010-01-01

    Understanding predator–prey relationships can be pivotal in the conservation of species. For 2 decades, desert tortoise Gopherus agassizii populations have declined, yet quantitative evidence regarding the causes of declines is scarce. In 2005, Ft. Irwin National Training Center, California, USA, implemented a translocation project including 2 yr of baseline monitoring of desert tortoises. Unusually high predation on tortoises was observed after translocation occurred. We conducted a retrospective analysis of predation and found that translocation did not affect the probability of predation: translocated, resident, and control tortoises all had similar levels of predation. However, predation rates were higher near human population concentrations, at lower elevation sites, and for smaller tortoises and females. Furthermore, high mortality rates were not limited to the National Training Center. In 2008, elevated mortality (as high as 43%) occurred throughout the listed range of the desert tortoise. Although no temporal prey base data are available for analysis from any of the study sites, we hypothesize that low population levels of typical coyote Canis latrans prey (i.e. jackrabbits Lepus californicus and other small animals) due to drought conditions influenced high predation rates in previous years. Predation may have been exacerbated in areas with high levels of subsidized predators. Many historical reports of increased predation, and our observation of a range-wide pattern, may indicate that high predation rates are more common than generally considered and may impact recovery of the desert tortoise throughout its range.

  12. 76 FR 50493 - Notice of Availability of the Record of Decision for the Desert Sunlight Holdings, LLC, Desert...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-08-15

    ... DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management [CACA-48649, LLCAD06000 L51010000 ER0000... right-of-way (ROW) application CACA-48649 for the Desert Sunlight Solar Farm Project (DSSF). The DSSF is... (CACA-052682) where the project would interconnect with the SCE regional transmission system. The DSSF...

  13. Mineral compositions and sources of the riverbed sediment in the desert channel of Yellow River.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jia, Xiaopeng; Wang, Haibing

    2011-02-01

    The Yellow River flows through an extensive, aeolian desert area and extends from Xiaheyan, Ningxia Province, to Toudaoguai, Inner Mongolia Province, with a total length of 1,000 km. Due to the construction and operation of large reservoirs in the upstream of the Yellow River, most water and sediment from upstream were stored in these reservoirs, which leads to the declining flow in the desert channel that has no capability to scour large amount of input of desert sands from the desert regions. By analyzing and comparing the spatial distribution of weight percent of mineral compositions between sediment sources and riverbed sediment of the main tributaries and the desert channel of the Yellow River, we concluded that the coarse sediment deposited in the desert channel of the Yellow River were mostly controlled by the local sediment sources. The analyzed results of the Quartz-Feldspar-Mica (QFM) triangular diagram and the R-factor models of the coarse sediment in the Gansu reach and the desert channel of the Yellow River further confirm that the Ningxia Hedong desert and the Inner Mongolian Wulanbuhe and Kubuqi deserts are the main provenances of the coarse sediment in the desert channel of the Yellow River. Due to the higher fluidity of the fine sediment, they are mainly contributed by the local sediment sources and the tributaries that originated from the loess area of the upper reach of the Yellow River.

  14. Dramatic Demand Reduction In The Desert Southwest

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2015-07-06

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1999-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. S. Arya

    2012-09-01

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

  18. The Plant Genetic Engineering Laboratory For Desert Adaptation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kemp, John D.; Phillips, Gregory C.

    1985-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1987-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1993-01-01

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

  1. Who Needs Religion When You Have The Desert?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sørensen, Bent

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

  2. Biotechnological Applications Derived from Microorganisms of the Atacama Desert

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Armando Azua-Bustos

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The Atacama Desert in Chile is well known for being the driest and oldest desert on Earth. For these same reasons, it is also considered a good analog model of the planet Mars. Only a few decades ago, it was thought that this was a sterile place, but in the past years fascinating adaptations have been reported in the members of the three domains of life: low water availability, high UV radiation, high salinity, and other environmental stresses. However, the biotechnological applications derived from the basic understanding and characterization of these species, with the notable exception of copper bioleaching, are still in its infancy, thus offering an immense potential for future development.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  4. Field Performance of Photovoltaic Systems in the Tucson Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-10-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    1991-01-01

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

  7. The Mystery of the Gun Turret in the Desert

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2015-11-30

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

  8. Precipitation Dynamics and Feedback mechanisms of the Arabian Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-05-01

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

  9. Ground-water quality and geochemistry, Carson Desert, western Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lico, Michael S.; Seiler, R.L.

    1994-01-01

    Aquifers in the Carson Desert are the primary source of drinking water, which is highly variable in chemical composition. In the shallow basin-fill aquifers, water chemistyr varies from a dilute calcium bicarbonate-dominated water beneath the irrigated areas to a saline sodium chloride- dominated water beneath unirrigated areas. Water samples from the shallow aquifers commonly have dissolved solids, chloride, magnesium, sulfate, arsenic, and manganese concentrations that exceed State of Nevada drinking-water standards. Water in the intermediante basin-fill aquifers is a dilute sodium bicarbonate type in the Fallon area and a distinctly more saline sodium chloride type in the Soda Lake-Upsal Hogback area. Dissolved solids, chloride, arsenic, fluoride, and manganese concen- trations commonly exceed drinking-water standards. The basalt aquifer contains a dilute sodium bicarbonate chloride water. Arsenic concentrations exceed standards in all sampled wells. The concen- trations of major constituents in ground water beneath the southern Carson Desert are the result of evapotranspiration and natural geochemical reactions with minerals derived mostly from igneous rocks. Water with higher concentrations of iron and manganese is near thermodynamic equilibrium with siderite and rhodochrosite and indicates that these elements may be limited by the solubility of their respective carbonate minerals. Naturally occurring radionuclides (uranium and radon-222) are present in ground water from the Carson Desert in concen- tratons higher than proposed drinking-water standards. High uranium concentrations in the shallow aquifers may be caused by evaporative concentration and the release of uranium during dissolution of iron and manganese oxides or the oxidation of sedimentary organic matter that typically has elevated uranium concentrations. Ground water in the Carson Desert does not appear to have be contaminated by synthetic organic chemicals.

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    董光荣; 陈惠忠; 王贵勇; 李孝泽; 邵亚军; 金炯

    1997-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1991-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-11-20

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  14. Study of the microwave emissivity characteristics over Gobi Desert

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yubao, Qiu; Lijuan, Shi; Wenbo, Wu

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-09-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2009-07-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. Osses

    2009-09-01

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

  18. Transitory microbial habitat in the hyperarid Atacama Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-03-01

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

  19. Palynology in a polar desert, eastern North Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Funder, Svend Visby; Abrahamsen, Niels

    1988-01-01

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

  20. Microbial communities in a High Arctic polar desert landscape

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Clare M McCann

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available The High Arctic is dominated by polar desert habitats whose microbial communities are poorly understood. In this study, we used next generation sequencing to describe the α- and β-diversity of polar desert soils from the Kongsfjorden region of Svalbard. Ten phyla consistently dominated the soils and accounted for 95 % of all sequences, with Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria and Chloroflexi being the dominant lineages. In contrast to previous investigations of Arctic soils, Acidobacterial relative abundances were low as were the Archaea throughout the Kongsfjorden polar desert landscape. Lower Acidobacterial abundances were attributed to the circumneutral soil pH in this region which has resulted from the weathering of the underlying carbonate geology. In addition, we correlated previously measured geochemical variables to determine potential controls on the communities. Soil phosphorus, pH, nitrogen and calcium significantly correlated with β-diversity indicating a landscape scale lithological control of soil nutrients which in turn influenced community composition. In addition, soil phosphorus and pH significantly correlated with α- diversity, specifically the Shannon diversity and Chao 1 richness indices.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Toderich, Kristina; Tsukatani, Tsuneo

    2005-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

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

  3. Mapping of Grocery Stores in Slovak Countryside in Context of Food Deserts

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kristína Bilková

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The paper is focused on mapping grocery stores in the Slovak countryside with an emphasis on identifying potential food deserts in rural areas. Grocery stores are analyzed in the time period 2001–2011. Food deserts in rural areas are identified by two accessibility measures. The results show the development of food retailing in the Slovak countryside and in potentially threatened localities which can be defined as food deserts.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    1983-01-01

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

  6. Medicinal flora of the Cholistan desert: a review

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zaigham, N.A.

    2002-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fenstermaker Lynn

    2012-01-01

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

  9. Potential for deserts to supply reliable renewable electric power

    Science.gov (United States)

    Labordena, Mercè; Lilliestam, Johan

    2015-04-01

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

  10. [Soil organic carbon mineralization of Black Locust forest in the deep soil layer of the hilly region of the Loess Plateau, China].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Xin-Xin; Xu, Ming-Xiang; Yang, Kai

    2012-11-01

    The deep soil layer (below 100 cm) stores considerable soil organic carbon (SOC). We can reveal its stability and provide the basis for certification of the deep soil carbon sinks by studying the SOC mineralization in the deep soil layer. With the shallow soil layer (0-100 cm) as control, the SOC mineralization under the condition (temperature 15 degrees C, the soil water content 8%) of Black Locust forest in the deep soil layer (100-400 cm) of the hilly region of the Loess Plateau was studied. The results showed that: (1) There was a downward trend in the total SOC mineralization with the increase of soil depth. The total SOC mineralization in the sub-deep soil (100-200 cm) and deep soil (200-400 cm) were equivalent to approximately 88.1% and 67.8% of that in the shallow layer (0-100 cm). (2) Throughout the carbon mineralization process, the same as the shallow soil, the sub-deep and deep soil can be divided into 3 stages. In the rapid decomposition phase, the ratio of the mineralization or organic carbon to the total mineralization in the sub-deep and deep layer (0-10 d) was approximately 50% of that in the shallow layer (0-17 d). In the slow decomposition phase, the ratio of organic carbon mineralization to total mineralization in the sub-deep, deep layer (11-45 d) was 150% of that in the shallow layer (18-45 d). There was no significant difference in this ratio among these three layers (46-62 d) in the relatively stable stage. (3) There was no significant difference (P > 0.05) in the mineralization rate of SOC among the shallow, sub-deep, deep layers. The stability of SOC in the deep soil layer (100-400 cm) was similar to that in the shallow soil layer and the SOC in the deep soil layer was also involved in the global carbon cycle. The change of SOC in the deep soil layer should be taken into account when estimating the effects of soil carbon sequestration in the Hilly Region of the Loess Plateau, China.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1990-01-01

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

  12. Description of plant communities on the Red Sea costal plain of Sudan

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Woldewahid, G.; Werf, van der W.; Sykora, K.V.; Abate, T.; Mostofa, B.; Huis, van A.

    2007-01-01

    The coastal plains of the Red Sea constitute an important breeding area for the desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria. Vegetation analysis was undertaken in the coastal plain of Sudan to provide a frame of reference for studies on desert locust ecology and distribution. Vegetation relevés (>60 in

  13. Sympatric cattle grazing and desert bighorn sheep foraging

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ronan Carlos Colombo

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clarke, Frank Eldridge

    1979-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-10-01

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

  19. Total vertical sediment flux and PM10 emissions from disturbed Chihuahuan Desert Surfaces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Desert surfaces are typically stable and represent some of the oldest landforms on Earth. For surfaces without vegetation, the evolution of a desert pavements of gravel protects the surface from erosive forces and vegetation further protects the surface in arid and semi-arid rangelands. The suscep...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bozinovic, Francisco; Gallardo, Pedro

    2006-01-01

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

  1. 76 FR 28767 - Desert Southwest Customer Service Region-Rate Order No. WAPA-152

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-05-18

    ... DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Western Area Power Administration Desert Southwest Customer Service Region..., Desert Southwest Customer Service Region, Western Area Power Administration, P.O. Box 6457, Phoenix, AZ... Customer Service Region, Western Area Power Administration, P.O. Box 6457, Phoenix, AZ 85005-6457, (602...

  2. 75 FR 13805 - Aspen Group Resources Corp., Commercial Concepts, Inc., Desert Health Products, Inc., Equalnet...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-03-23

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

  3. Translocation as a conservation tool for Agassiz's desert tortoises: Survivorship, reproduction, and movements

    Science.gov (United States)

    K. E. Nussear; C. R. Tracy; P. A. Medica; D. S. Wilson; R. W. Marlow; P. S. Corn

    2012-01-01

    We translocated 120 Agassiz's desert tortoises to 5 sites in Nevada and Utah to evaluate the effects of translocation on tortoise survivorship, reproduction, and habitat use. Translocation sites included several elevations, and extended to sites with vegetation assemblages not typically associated with desert tortoises in order to explore the possibility of moving...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  5. Cytogeography of Larrea tridentata at the Chihuahuan-Sonoran Desert ecotone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robert G. Laport; Robert L.. Minckley

    2013-01-01

    The long separation of the Chihuahuan and Sonoran Deserts is reflected in the high species richness and endemism of their floras. Although many endemic species from both deserts reach their distributional limits where the Sierra Madre Occidental massif fragments into smaller mountain complexes in northern Mexico and adjoining areas of the United States, indicator...

  6. Resistance to invasion and resilience to fire in desert shrublands of North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matthew L. Brooks; Jeanne C. Chambers

    2011-01-01

    Settlement by Anglo-Americans in the desert shrublands of North America resulted in the introduction and subsequent invasion of multiple nonnative grass species. These invasions have altered presettlement fire regimes, resulted in conversion of native perennial shrublands to nonnative annual grasslands, and placed many native desert species at risk. Effective...

  7. 76 FR 45606 - Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan, Habitat Conservation Plan and Possible Land Use Plan...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-07-29

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robert L. Minckley; John S. Ascher

    2013-01-01

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

  9. 76 FR 29182 - Revisions to the California State Implementation Plan, Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-05-20

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

  10. 77 FR 11990 - Revisions to the California State Implementation Plan, Mojave Desert Air Quality Management...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-02-28

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

  11. 77 FR 11992 - Revisions to the California State Implementation Plan, Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-02-28

    ... the California State Implementation Plan, Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District AGENCY... limited disapproval of revisions to the Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District (MDAQMD) portion of...,'' Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management, December 2000. B. Does the rule meet the evaluation...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2000-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-07-01

    Desertion of clutch (or brood) by both parents often leads to breeding failure, since in vast majority of birds care by at least one parent is required for any young to fledge. Recent works in a highly polygamous passerine bird, the Eurasian penduline tit (Remiz pendulinus), suggest that biparental clutch desertion is due to intense sexual conflict over care. However, an alternative yet untested hypothesis for biparental desertion is low offspring viability so that the parents abandon the offspring that have poor prospect for survival. Here we test the latter hypothesis in a common garden experiment by comparing the viability of deserted and cared for eggs. We show that embryonic development does not differ between deserted and cared for eggs. Therefore, sexual conflict over care remains the best supported hypothesis for biparental clutch desertion in penduline tits. Our work points out that conflict over care is a potential - yet rarely considered - cause of biparental nest desertion, and a strong alternative for the traditional explanations of low offspring viability, human disturbance or deteriorating ambient environment. Apart from a handful of species, the intensity of sexual conflict has not been quantified, and we call for further studies to consider sexual conflict as a cause of nest desertion. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2004-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    J. Dan Abbe

    2007-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

    Anthropogenic development has great potential to affect fragile desert environments. Large-scale development of renewable energy infrastructure is planned for many desert ecosystems. Development plans should account for anthropogenic effects to distributions and abundance of rare or sensitive wildlife; however, baseline data on abundance and distribution of such...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  18. Giant desiccation fissures on the Black Rock and Smoke Creek Deserts, Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Willden, R.; Mabey, D.R.

    1961-01-01

    Open fissures, from 100 to several hundred feet apart, that have produced polygonal patterns on the Black Rock Desert, Nevada, are believed to be giant desiccation cracks resulting from a secular trend toward aridity in the last few decades. Similar features on the Smoke Creek Desert probably have the same origin.

  19. Seeing desert as wilderness and as landscape—an exercise in visual thinking approaches

    Science.gov (United States)

    John Opie

    1979-01-01

    Based on the components and program of VRVA (Visual Resources Values Assessment), a behavioral history of the visitor's perception of the American desert is examined. Emphasis is placed upon contrasts between traditional eastern "garden-park" viewpoints and contemporary desert scenery experiences. Special attention is given to the influence of John...

  20. Influence of shrubs on soil chemical properties in Alxa desert steppe, China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hua Fu; Shifang Pei; Yaming Chen; Changgui Wan

    2007-01-01

    Alxa desert steppe is one of severely the degraded rangelands in the Northwest China. Shrubs, as the dominant life form in the desert steppe, play an important role in protecting this region from further desertification. Chemical properties of three soil layers (0 to 10, 10 to 20 and 20 to 30 cm) at three locations (the clump center [A], in the periphery of shrub...

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

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Hydrological indications of aeolian salts in mid-latitude deserts of northwestern China. B Q Zhu. Supplementary data. Figure S1. Photograph views of Quaternary and modern sediments of aeolian and lacustrine/fluvial facies that consisted of clay and sand/silt sand alternations in the Taklamakan and Badanjilin Deserts.

  2. 78 FR 143 - Desert Mining, Inc., Eagle Broadband, Inc., Endovasc, Inc., Environmental Oil Processing...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-02

    ... SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION [File No. 500-1] Desert Mining, Inc., Eagle Broadband, Inc., Endovasc, Inc., Environmental Oil Processing Technology Corp., Falcon Ridge Development, Inc., Fellows... that there is a lack of current and accurate information concerning the securities of Desert Mining...

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    1989-01-01

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

  4. Analysis of desert rose using PIXE and RBS techniques

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1993-01-01

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

  5. Robot Science Autonomy in the Atacama Desert and Beyond

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, David R.; Wettergreen, David S.

    2013-01-01

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

  6. Impact of Precipitation Fluctuation on Desert-Grassland ANPP

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liangxu Liu

    2016-11-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Farag, Mohamed Ibrahim Abdel-Fattah Ibrahim

    2010-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2004-01-01

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

  9. Invited Commentary: More Surprises From a Gene Desert

    OpenAIRE

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

    2012-01-01

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

  10. Desert pioneers go high tech in uranium project

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1988-01-01

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

  11. Variation of Desert Soil Hydraulic Properties with Pedogenic Maturity

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-12-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Griggio, Matteo; Matessi, Giuliano; Pilastro, Andrea

    2005-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-14

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tahiri, Abdelouahid; Diouri, Mohamed

    2018-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2000-01-01

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

  17. Microenvironments and microscale productivity of cyanobacterial desert crusts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia-Pichel, F.; Belnap, Jayne

    1996-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2000-02-07

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2005-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2005-11-15

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belnap, Jayne

    2001-01-01

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

  3. Spatial variation in the storages and age-related dynamics of forest carbon sequestration in different climate zones-evidence from black locust plantations on the Loess Plateau of China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Taijun; Ren, Bowen; Wang, Dahui; Liu, Guobin

    2015-01-01

    Knowledge about the long-term influences of climate change on the amount of potential carbon (C) sequestration in forest ecosystems, including age-related dynamics, remains unclear. This study used two similar age-sequences of black locust forests (Robinia pseudoacacia L.) in the semi-arid and semi-humid zones of China's Loess Plateau to assess the variation in C stocks and age-related dynamics. Our results demonstrated that black locust forests of the semi-humid zone stored significantly more C than did forests in the semi-arid zone, across the chronosequence (p zone, while the semi-arid zone had a capacity of only 79.4 Mg C ha-1. Soil organic C (SOC) increased continuously with stand age in the semi-arid zone (R2 = 0.84, p = 0.010). However, in the semi-humid zone, SOC declined sharply by 47.8% after the initial stage (5 to 10 y). The C stock in trees increased continuously with stand age in the semi-humid zone (R2 = 0.83, p = 0.011), yet in the semi-arid zone, it decreased dramatically from 43.0 Mg C ha-1 to 28.4 Mg C ha-1 during the old forest stage (38 to 56 y). The shift from being a net C sink to a net C source occurred at the initial stage in the semi-humid zone versus at the old forest stage in the semi-arid zone after reforestation. Surprisingly, with the exception of the initial and later stages (55 y), the patterns of C allocation among trees, soils, understory and litter were not statistically different between the two climate zones. Our results suggest that climate factors can alter the potential amount and age-related dynamics of forest C sequestration.

  4. Spatial Variation in the Storages and Age-Related Dynamics of Forest Carbon Sequestration in Different Climate Zones—Evidence from Black Locust Plantations on the Loess Plateau of China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Taijun; Ren, Bowen; Wang, Dahui; Liu, Guobin

    2015-01-01

    Knowledge about the long-term influences of climate change on the amount of potential carbon (C) sequestration in forest ecosystems, including age-related dynamics, remains unclear. This study used two similar age-sequences of black locust forests (Robinia pseudoacacia L.) in the semi-arid and semi-humid zones of China’s Loess Plateau to assess the variation in C stocks and age-related dynamics. Our results demonstrated that black locust forests of the semi-humid zone stored significantly more C than did forests in the semi-arid zone, across the chronosequence (p zone, while the semi-arid zone had a capacity of only 79.4 Mg C ha−1. Soil organic C (SOC) increased continuously with stand age in the semi-arid zone (R2 = 0.84, p = 0.010). However, in the semi-humid zone, SOC declined sharply by 47.8% after the initial stage (5 to 10 y). The C stock in trees increased continuously with stand age in the semi-humid zone (R2 = 0.83, p = 0.011), yet in the semi-arid zone, it decreased dramatically from 43.0 Mg C ha−1 to 28.4 Mg C ha−1 during the old forest stage (38 to 56 y). The shift from being a net C sink to a net C source occurred at the initial stage in the semi-humid zone versus at the old forest stage in the semi-arid zone after reforestation. Surprisingly, with the exception of the initial and later stages (55 y), the patterns of C allocation among trees, soils, understory and litter were not statistically different between the two climate zones. Our results suggest that climate factors can alter the potential amount and age-related dynamics of forest C sequestration. PMID:25799100

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eldegard, Katrine; Sonerud, Geir A

    2009-05-07

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1982-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  9. Loess deposits since early Pleistocene in northeast China and implications for desert evolution in east China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Miao; Zhang, Xujiao; Tian, Mingzhong; Liu, Ru; He, Zexin; Qi, Lin; Qiao, Yansong

    2018-04-01

    Loess deposits and deserts are regarded as coupled geological systems and loess deposits on the periphery of deserts can often be used to reconstruct desert evolution. Previous studies of desert evolution in Asia are mainly concentrated in northwest China and the China Loess Plateau, and little is known about long-term desert evolution in east China. In this study, we selected the Sishijiazi loess section in the Chifeng area in northeast China to study the long-term evolution of the desert in east China. A high-resolution magnetostratigraphy combined with optically stimulated luminescence dating indicated that the age of the section base is approximately 1.02 Ma. The Brunhes-Matuyama boundary is at the depth of 39.8 m in loess unit L8, and the upper boundary of the Jaramillo Subchron is at the depth of 60.8 m in paleosol S10. The results of grain-size analysis indicate a coarsening grain-size trend in the past 1.0 Ma. In addition, based on grain-size variations, the desert evolution in east China since ∼1.0 Ma can be divided into three stages: stability from 1.0 to 0.8 Ma, desert recession from 0.8 to 0.5 Ma, and gradual expansion since 0.5 Ma. Our results further indicate that the evolution of desert in east China was mainly controlled by changes in global ice volume, and that the uplift of the Tibetan Plateau may have had an additional effect.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joyce Slater

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: "Food deserts" have emerged over the past 20 years as spaces of concern for communities, public health authorities and researchers because of their potential negative impact on dietary quality and subsequent health outcomes. Food deserts are residential geographic spaces, typically in urban settings, where low-income residents have limited or no access to retail food establishments with sufficient variety at affordable cost. Research on food deserts presents methodological challenges including retail food store identification and classification, identification of low-income populations, and transportation and proximity metrics. Furthermore, the complex methods often used in food desert research can be difficult to reproduce and communicate to key stakeholders. To address these challenges, this study sought to demonstrate the feasibility of implementing a simple and reproducible method of identifying food deserts using data easily available in the Canadian context. Methods: This study was conducted in Winnipeg, Canada in 2014. Food retail establishments were identified from Yellow Pages and verified by public health dietitians. We calculated two scenarios of food deserts based on location of the lowest-income quintile population: (a living ≥ 500 m from a national chain grocery store, or (b living ≥ 500 m from a national chain grocery store or a full-service grocery store. Results: The number of low-income residents living in a food desert ranged from 64 574 to 104 335, depending on the scenario used. Conclusion: This study shows that food deserts affect a significant proportion of the Winnipeg population, and while concentrated in the urban core, exist in suburban neighbourhoods also. The methods utilized represent an accessible and transparent, reproducible process for identifying food deserts. These methods can be used for costeffective, periodic surveillance and meaningful engagement with communities, retailers and policy

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  12. CO2 EFFECTS ON MOJAVE DESERT PLANT INTERACTIONS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2004-01-01

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

  13. Transport aloft drives peak ozone in the Mojave Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    VanCuren, Richard

    2015-05-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martina Köberl

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1990-01-01

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

  16. Biotic Processes Regulating the Carbon Balance of Desert Ecosystems - Final Report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nowak, Robert S [UNR; Smith, Stanley D [UNLV; Evans, Dave [WSU; Ogle, Kiona [ASU; Fenstermaker, Lynn [DRI

    2012-12-13

    Our results from the 10-year elevated atmospheric CO{sub 2} concentration study at the Nevada Desert FACE (Free-air CO{sub 2} Enrichment) Facility (NDFF) indicate that the Mojave Desert is a dynamic ecosystem with the capacity to respond quickly to environmental changes. The Mojave Desert ecosystem is accumulating carbon (C), and over the 10-year experiment, C accumulation was significantly greater under elevated [CO{sub 2}] than under ambient, despite great fluctuations in C inputs from year to year and even apparent reversals in which [CO{sub 2}] treatment had greater C accumulations.

  17. A preliminaryfloristic checklist of thal desert punjab, pakistan

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shaheen, H.; Qureshi, R.

    2014-01-01

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

  18. The desert environmental effect on the photovoltaic performance analyzing

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  19. Endocrine responses to water restriction in desert sheep

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ahmed, Muna M.M.

    1994-01-01

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

  20. Physiological adaptation for milk production in desert ruminants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shkolnik, A.

    1981-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  2. Water and water quality management in the cholistan desert

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2005-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Garty, J.

    1999-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1999-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-09-01

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

  8. Density currents as a desert dust mobilization mechanism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Solomos

    2012-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. J. Hernández

    2016-06-01

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

  11. Desert Cyanobacteria under simulated space and Martian conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-09-01

    The environment in space and on planets such as Mars, can be lethal to living organisms and high levels of tolerance to desiccation, cold and radiation are needed for survival: rock-inhabiting cyanobacteria belonging to the genus Chroococcidiopsis can fulfil these requirements [1]. These cyanobacteria constantly appear in the most extreme and dry habitats on Earth, including the McMurdo Dry Valleys (Antarctica) and the Atacama Desert (Chile), which are considered the closest terrestrial analogs of two Mars environmental extremes: cold and aridity. In their natural environment, these cyanobacteria occupy the last refuges for life inside porous rocks or at the stone-soil interfaces, where they survive in a dry, dormant state for prolonged periods. How desert strains of Chroococcidiopsis can dry without dying is only partially understood, even though experimental evidences support the existence of an interplay between mechanisms to avoid (or limit) DNA damage and repair it: i) desert strains of Chroococcidiopsis mend genome fragmentation induced by ionizing radiation [2]; ii) desiccation-survivors protect their genome from complete fragmentation; iii) in the dry state they show a survival to an unattenuated Martian UV flux greater than that of Bacillus subtilis spores [3], and even though they die following atmospheric entry after having orbited the Earth for 16 days [4], they survive to simulated shock pressures up to 10 GPa [5]. Recently additional experiments were carried out at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) of Cologne (Germany) in order to identify suitable biomarkers to investigate the survival of Chroococcidiopsis cells present in lichen-dominated communities, in view of their direct and long term space exposition on the International Space Station (ISS) in the framework of the LIchens and Fungi Experiments (LIFE, EXPOSEEuTEF, ESA). Multilayers of dried cells of strains CCMEE 134 (Beacon Valley, Antarctica), and CCMEE 123 (costal desert, Chile ), shielded by

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Yong Chong; Xu, Li Shuai

    2017-04-18

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    El-Baz, F.

    1989-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jason P Block

    2015-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1997-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foster, Kennith E.

    1980-01-01

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

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

    KAUST Repository

    Serag-Eldin, M.A.

    2010-01-01

    The paper presents a conceptual design and thermodynamic analysis of a solar-powered desert home. The home is airconditioned and provides all modern comforts and facilities. Electrical power, which drives the entire energy system, is generated

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vyacheslav V. Zharkov

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    KAUST Repository

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  4. Soil stabilization by a prokaryotic desert crust - Implications for Precambrian land biota

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, S. E.

    1979-01-01

    The ecology of the cyanophyte-dominated stromatolitic mat forming the ground cover over desert areas of Utah and Colorado is investigated and implications for the formation of mature Precambrian soils are discussed. The activation of the growth of the two species of filamentous cyanophyte identified and the mobility of their multiple trichromes upon wetting are observed, accompanied by the production and deposition of a sheath capable of accreting and stabilizing sand and clay particles. The formation of calcium carbonate precipitates upon the repeated wetting and drying of desert crust is noted, and it is suggested that the desert crust community may appear in fossil calcrete deposits as lithified microscopic tubes and cellular remains of algal trichromes. The invasion of dry land by both marine and freshwater algae on the model of the desert crust is proposed to be responsible for the accumulation, stabilization and biogenic modification of mature Precambrian soils.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kamel, S.M.; Dahl, C.

    2005-01-01

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

  6. 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...

  7. Are Wildlife Detector Dogs or People Better at Finding Desert Tortoises (Gopherus Agassizii)?

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Nussear, Kenneth E; Esque, Todd C; Heaton, Jill S; Cablk, Mary E; Drake, Kristina K; Valentin, Cindee; Yee, Julie L; Medica, Philip A

    2008-01-01

    ...) are cryptic and difficult to detect during surveys, especially the smaller size classes. We conducted comparative surveys to determine whether human or detector dog teams were more effective at locating Desert Tortoises in the wild...

  8. Anthropogenic water sources and the effects on Sonoran Desert small mammal communities

    OpenAIRE

    Aaron B. Switalski; Heather L. Bateman

    2017-01-01

    Anthropogenic water sources (AWS) are developed water sources used as a management tool for desert wildlife species. Studies documenting the effects of AWS are often focused on game species; whereas, the effects on non-target wildlife are less understood. We used live trapping techniques to investigate rodent abundance, biomass, and diversity metrics near AWS and paired control sites; we sampled vegetation to determine rodent-habitat associations in the Sauceda Mountains of the Sonoran Desert...

  9. Exploring the Limits to Photosynthetic Life in the Hyperarid Atacama (Chile) and Taklimakan (China) Deserts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warren-Rhodes, K.; Ewing, S.; McKay, C. P.; Rhodes, K. L.

    2003-12-01

    Photosynthetic microbes inhabiting the cracks or fissures (chasmoendoliths) and undersides (hypoliths) of translucent stones function as the sole primary producers in the world's driest deserts. This poster reports on our studies of the distribution and survival of these microorganisms in the hyperarid core of the Atacama Desert--an extreme environment previously considered too dry to support photosynthetic life--and the Taklimakan Desert in China--one of the oldest and driest deserts on the Earth. In both deserts, we measured colonization rates and microclimate variables across natural precipitation gradients in order to investigate the role of moisture in the ecology and survival of hypolithic and chasmoendolithic microorganisms. Our results show 1000-fold variations in colonization rates--from 12% in the wettest portions of the Taklimakan Desert to 3000 y. At slightly wetter sites in the Atacama, Δ 14C of hypolith soils was progressively more enriched in proportion to increased MAP, with corresponding turnover times of >600 y (Δ 14C = -73 ‰ at sites with ˜5-10 mm MAP and ˜1 y Δ 14C = +12 ‰ ) as annual rainfall increased to ˜25 mm. At all sites, Δ 14C signatures of non-hypolith soils corresponded to turnover times that were longer by an order of magnitude, indicating significantly slower OC cycling by non-hypoliths. In the hyperarid core of the Atacama Desert, the prolonged lack of rainfall (decadal scales of a few millimeters) is responsible for possibly the lowest hypolithic and chasmoendolithic colonization rates observed in deserts on the Earth. Microclimate data for rock and soil surface moisture from rainfall, dew and frost suggest the particular form of moisture and its frequency may also explain observed differences in hypolithic versus chasmoendolithic colonization modes. These results hold theoretical and practical considerations for both terrestrial ecology and as analogs for possible life on Mars.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2016-01-01

    Global warming is projected to continue, leading to intense fluctuations in precipitation and heat waves and thereby affecting the productivity and the relevant biological processes of grassland ecosystems. Here, we determined the functional responses to warming and altered precipitation in both typical and desert steppes. The results showed that watering markedly increased the aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP) in a typical steppe during a drier year and in a desert steppe over two ...

  11. Unravelling the secret of the resistance of desert strains of Chroococcidiopsis to desiccation and radiation

    OpenAIRE

    Billi, Daniela; Fagliarone; Verseux, Cyprien; Mosca, Claudia; Baqué, Mickael; Wilmotte, Annick

    2017-01-01

    Chroococcidiopsis is a unicellular cyanobacterial genus that is growing in extreme dry conditions, either in low or high temperatures. At the lower end of the spectrum, they live as cryptoendoliths in rocks of the Mc Murdo Dry Valleys in Antarctica where they were discovered by Imre Friedmann, while at the higher end, they grow as hypoliths/endoliths in hot deserts, e.g. Negev, Gobi, Atacama (Friedman, 1980). The capacity of desert strains of Chroococcidiopsis to stabilize their sub-cellul...

  12. Effect of Atmospheric Conditions on Coverage of Fogger Applications in a Desert Surface Boundary Layer

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-01

    Salyani, T. W. Walker, M. Farooq ABSTRACT. Near-ground aerosol fogs were applied in the Chihuahua Desert of New Mexico, which has widely spaced, low...Approved for public release; distribution unlimited 13. SUPPLEMENTARY NOTES 14. ABSTRACT Near-ground aerosol fogs were applied in the Chihuahua Desert of...1.6° surrounded by sparse Chihuahua De- sert vegetation approximately 2 m tall (fig. 1). The vegeta- tion was primarily mesquite and creosote bushes

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Malhotra, N.

    1985-01-01

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

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

    KAUST Repository

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  17. Are wildlife detector dogs or people better at finding Desert Tortoises (Gopherus agassizii)?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nussear, K.E.; Esque, T.C.; Heaton, J.S.; Cablk, Mary E.; Drake, K.K.; Valentin, C.; Yee, J.L.; Medica, P.A.

    2008-01-01

    Our ability to study threatened and endangered species depends on locating them readily in the field. Recent studies highlight the effectiveness of trained detector dogs to locate wildlife during field surveys, including Desert Tortoises in a semi-natural setting. Desert Tortoises (Gopherus agassizii) are cryptic and difficult to detect during surveys, especially the smaller size classes. We conducted comparative surveys to determine whether human or detector dog teams were more effective at locating Desert Tortoises in the wild. We compared detectability of Desert Tortoises and the costs to deploy human and dog search teams. Detectability of tortoises was not statistically different for either team, and was estimated to be approximately 70% (SE = 5%). Dogs found a greater proportion of tortoises located in vegetation than did humans. The dog teams finished surveys 2.5 hours faster than the humans on average each day. The human team cost was approximately $3,000 less per square kilometer sampled. Dog teams provided a quick and effective method for surveying for adult Desert Tortoises; however, we were unable to determine-their effectiveness at locating smaller size classes. Detection of smaller size classes during surveys would improve management of the species and should be addressed by future research using Desert Tortoise detector dogs.

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

    KAUST Repository

    Osman, Jorge R.

    2016-04-08

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  1. Spatial variation in the storages and age-related dynamics of forest carbon sequestration in different climate zones-evidence from black locust plantations on the Loess Plateau of China.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Taijun Li

    Full Text Available Knowledge about the long-term influences of climate change on the amount of potential carbon (C sequestration in forest ecosystems, including age-related dynamics, remains unclear. This study used two similar age-sequences of black locust forests (Robinia pseudoacacia L. in the semi-arid and semi-humid zones of China's Loess Plateau to assess the variation in C stocks and age-related dynamics. Our results demonstrated that black locust forests of the semi-humid zone stored significantly more C than did forests in the semi-arid zone, across the chronosequence (p < 0.001. The C carrying capacity of the plantations was measured at 166.4 Mg C ha-1 (1 Mg = 106 g in the semi-humid zone, while the semi-arid zone had a capacity of only 79.4 Mg C ha-1. Soil organic C (SOC increased continuously with stand age in the semi-arid zone (R2 = 0.84, p = 0.010. However, in the semi-humid zone, SOC declined sharply by 47.8% after the initial stage (5 to 10 y. The C stock in trees increased continuously with stand age in the semi-humid zone (R2 = 0.83, p = 0.011, yet in the semi-arid zone, it decreased dramatically from 43.0 Mg C ha-1 to 28.4 Mg C ha-1 during the old forest stage (38 to 56 y. The shift from being a net C sink to a net C source occurred at the initial stage in the semi-humid zone versus at the old forest stage in the semi-arid zone after reforestation. Surprisingly, with the exception of the initial and later stages (55 y, the patterns of C allocation among trees, soils, understory and litter were not statistically different between the two climate zones. Our results suggest that climate factors can alter the potential amount and age-related dynamics of forest C sequestration.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Eldegard, Katrine; Sonerud, Geir A.

    2009-01-01

    In species with biparental care, one parent may escape the costs of parental care by deserting and leaving the partner to care for the offspring alone. A number of theoretical papers have suggested a link between uniparental offspring desertion and ecological factors, but empirical evidence is scarce. We investigated the relationship between uniparental desertion and food abundance in a natural population of Tengmalm's owl Aegolius funereus, both by means of a 5-year observational study and a...

  3. Analyzing energy-water exchange dynamics in the Thar desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raja, P.; Singh, Nilendu; Srinivas, C. V.; Singhal, Mohit; Chauhan, Pankaj; Singh, Maharaj; Sinha, N. K.

    2017-07-01

    Regions of strong land-atmosphere coupling will be more susceptible to the hydrological impacts in the intensifying hydrological cycle. In this study, micrometeorological experiments were performed to examine the land-atmosphere coupling strength over a heat low region (Thar desert, NW India), known to influence the Indian summer monsoon (ISM). Within the vortex of Thar desert heat low, energy-water exchange and coupling behavior were studied for 4 consecutive years (2011-2014) based on sub-hourly measurements of radiative-convective flux, state parameters and sub-surface thermal profiles using lead-lag analysis between various E-W balance components. Results indicated a strong (0.11-0.35) but variable monsoon season (July-September) land-atmosphere coupling events. Coupling strength declined with time, becomes negative beyond 10-day lag. Evapotranspiration (LE) influences rainfall at the monthly time-scale (20-40 days). Highly correlated monthly rainfall and LE anomalies (r = 0.55, P < 0.001) suggested a large precipitation memory linked to the local land surface state. Sensible heating (SH) during March and April are more strongly (r = 0.6-0.7) correlated to ISM rainfall than heating during May or June (r = 0.16-0.36). Analyses show strong and weak couplings among net radiation (Rn)-vapour pressure deficit (VPD), LE-VPD and Rn-LE switching between energy-limited to water-limited conditions. Consistently, +ve and -ve residual energy [(dE) = (Rn - G) - (SH + LE)] were associated with regional wet and dry spells respectively with a lead of 10-40 days. Dew deposition (18.8-37.9 mm) was found an important component in the annual surface water balance. Strong association of variation of LE and rainfall was found during monsoon at local-scale and with regional-scale LE (MERRA 2D) but with a lag which was more prominent at local-scale than at regional-scale. Higher pre-monsoon LE at local-scale as compared to low and monotonous variation in regional-scale LE led to

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-12-01

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

  5. Leather quality of some Sudan desert sheep and goats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammed Alhadi Ebrahiem

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available This trial is aimed to study leather properties that produced from Sudan Desert sheep and goats in relation to breed type and age category. Thirty pieces of fresh sheep and goats skins were collected randomly (15 for each during January 2015. The collected skins were tanned and the produced leather properties were studied. The Statistix 8 program for variance analysis was used for data analysis. The study samples were taken according to the Complete Randomized Design. Sheep leather results revealed that, lamb's skin was significantly (P ≥ 0.05 produced better quality leather than ram's and ewe's skins in elongation (%, tensile strength (kg/cm2, cracking load (kg, thickness (mm, tear load (kg/cm, flexibility and moisture%. While it was yielded leather with the same characteristics to ram's and ewe's leather in Ash (%, fat (% and chrome (%. Leather properties [elongation (%, tensile strength (kg/cm2, cracking load (kg, tear load (kg/cm, flexibility and Ash (%] were significantly (P ≥ 0.05 affected by breed variation. On the other hand thickness (mm, moisture (%, fat (% and chrome (% were not significantly (P ≥ 0.05 affected by breed. Ram's skin was produced better quality leather than ewe's skins. Goat's leather results revealed that, kid goat's skin was significantly (P ≥ 0.05 produced better quality leather than bucks and doe's skin in tensile strength (kg/cm2, cracking load (kg, thickness (mm, tear load (kg/cm and flexibility degree. But kids and buck's skins were produced the same quality leather in elongation % and moisture% with significant variation (P ≥ 0.05 to doe's leather. Kid's skin yields leather with the same characteristics to buck's and doe's leather in Ash (%, fat (% and chrome (%. Generally Desert goats produce slightly better quality leather than Nubian goats. Leather prosperities [cracking load (kg, tear load (kg/cm, and Ash (%] were significantly (P ≥ 0.05 affected by breed variation. Elongation (%, tensile

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  7. Observed 20th century desert dust variability: impact on climate and biogeochemistry

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. M. Mahowald

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available Desert dust perturbs climate by directly and indirectly interacting with incoming solar and outgoing long wave radiation, thereby changing precipitation and temperature, in addition to modifying ocean and land biogeochemistry. While we know that desert dust is sensitive to perturbations in climate and human land use, previous studies have been unable to determine whether humans were increasing or decreasing desert dust in the global average. Here we present observational estimates of desert dust based on paleodata proxies showing a doubling of desert dust during the 20th century over much, but not all the globe. Large uncertainties remain in estimates of desert dust variability over 20th century due to limited data. Using these observational estimates of desert dust change in combination with ocean, atmosphere and land models, we calculate the net radiative effect of these observed changes (top of atmosphere over the 20th century to be −0.14 ± 0.11 W/m2 (1990–1999 vs. 1905–1914. The estimated radiative change due to dust is especially strong between the heavily loaded 1980–1989 and the less heavily loaded 1955–1964 time periods (−0.57 ± 0.46 W/m2, which model simulations suggest may have reduced the rate of temperature increase between these time periods by 0.11 °C. Model simulations also indicate strong regional shifts in precipitation and temperature from desert dust changes, causing 6 ppm (12 PgC reduction in model carbon uptake by the terrestrial biosphere over the 20th century. Desert dust carries iron, an important micronutrient for ocean biogeochemistry that can modulate ocean carbon storage; here we show that dust deposition trends increase ocean productivity by an estimated 6% over the 20th century, drawing down an additional 4 ppm (8 PgC of carbon dioxide into the oceans. Thus, perturbations to desert dust over the 20th century inferred from observations are potentially important for climate and

  8. Gregarious Convection and Radiative Feedbacks in Idealized Worlds

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-08-29

    water,’’ PW, a very strong predictor of deep moist convection [Bretherton et al., 2004; Neelin et al., 2009]. These papers freely interchange VIMSE and...exist neither on the globe nor within the cloud model. Since mesoscales impose great computational costs on atmosphere models, as well as inconven...continuity. Bottom-heavy or ‘‘ shallow ’’ circulations are especially effective at transporting moisture (since it is concen- trated at low altitudes

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Chávez Oyanadel, R.O.

    2014-01-01

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

  10. Thirteen years of Aeolian dust dynamics in a desert region (Negev desert, Israel): analysis of horizontal and vertical dust flux, vertical dust distribution and dust grain size

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Offer, Z.Y.; Goossens, D.

    2004-01-01

    At Sede Boqer (northern Negev desert, Israel), aeolian dust dynamics have been measured during the period 1988–2000. This study focuses on temporal records of the vertical and horizontal dust flux, the vertical distribution of the dust particles in the atmosphere, and the grain size of the

  11. Soil seed bank in different habitats of the Eastern Desert of Egypt.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gomaa, Nasr H

    2012-04-01

    The floristic composition and species diversity of the germinable soil seed bank were studied in three different habitats (desert salinized land, desert wadi, and reclaimed land) in the Eastern Desert of Egypt. Moreover, the degree of similarity between the seed bank and the above-ground vegetation was determined. The seed bank was studied in 40 stands representing the three habitats. Ten soil samples (each 25 × 20 cm and 5 cm depth) were randomly taken per stand. The seed bank was investigated by the seedling emergence method. Some 61 species belonging to 21 families and 54 genera were identified in the germinable seed bank. The recorded species include 43 annuals and 18 perennials. Ordination of stands by Detrended Correspondence Analysis (DCA) indicates that the stands of the three habitats are markedly distinguishable and show a clear pattern of segregation on the ordination planes. This indicates variations in the species composition among habitats. The results also demonstrate significant associations between the floristic composition of the seed bank and edaphic factors such as CaCO3, electrical conductivity, organic carbon and soil texture. The reclaimed land has the highest values of species richness, Shannon-index of diversity and the density of the germinable seed bank followed by the habitats of desert wadi and desert salinized land. Motyka's similarity index between the seed bank and the above-ground vegetation is significantly higher in reclaimed land (75.1%) compared to desert wadi (38.4%) and desert salinized land (36.5%).

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2009-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bueno Prieto, J. E.

    2009-12-01

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

  14. Water use, productivity and interactions among desert plants

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ehleringer, J.R.

    1992-11-17

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ehleringer, J.R.

    1992-11-17

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

  16. Airborne desert dust and aeromicrobiology over the Turkish Mediterranean coastline

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griffin, Dale W.; Kubilay, Nilgün; Kocak, Mustafa; Gray, Mike A.; Borden, Timothy C.; Shinn, Eugene A.

    2007-01-01

    Between 18 March and 27 October 2002, 220 air samples were collected on 209 of 224 calendar days, on top of a coastal atmospheric research tower in Erdemli, Turkey. The volume of air filtered for each sample was 340 liters. Two hundred fifty-seven bacterial and 2598 fungal colony forming units (CFU) were enumerated from the samples using a low-nutrient agar. Ground-based dust measurements demonstrated that the region is routinely impacted by dust generated regionally and from North Africa and that the highest combined percent recovery of total CFU and African dust deposition occurred in the month of April (93.4% of CFU recovery and 91.1% of dust deposition occurred during African dust days versus no African dust present, for that month). A statistically significant correlation was observed (peak regional African dust months of March, April and May; rs=0.576, P=0.000) between an increase in the prevalence of microorganisms recovered from atmospheric samples on dust days (regional and African as determined by ground-based dust measurements), versus that observed on non-dust days. Given the prevalence of atmospherically suspended desert dust and microorganisms observed in this study, and that culture-based studies typically only recover a small fraction (

  17. Suicide of the old: The unwilling desertion from life

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Knežić Branislava

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available The following text is an attempt to turn the attention of profession and science to those who impelled by infirmity and broken will for life, choose the only option they are left - voluntary but cruel desertion from life. It's about depressed, lonely, disappointed, desperate, helpless and often sick old people, who are frightened by present and disquieted by future, so when they make their life balance the only solution they find is to terminate their existence. Their motives and reasons are numerous, and for some of them we can only surmise, but the result indicates that fear from life overcomes fear from death. Who, When, How, Where and always the most important and the most difficult - Why a man quit his life, are the questions that occupy not only science (philosophy, psychiatry, psychology, sociology, law, andragogy, antropology, suicidology... but also religion, literature and art. Regardless of variety of literature and answers on suicide the question and dilemma that occupy the profession and science still remain: Why a man judge on himself? For those unsatisfied by explanations the weak comfort is that the secret (causegoes to grave. This is the reason for greater methodological grounding of researches of this complex phenomenon.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2017-08-17

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scherer, P.; Delisle, G.

    1992-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-09-29

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2016-09-29

    The temporal dynamics of desert soil microbial communities are poorly understood. Given the implications for ecosystem functioning under a global change scenario, a better understanding of desert microbial community stability is crucial. Here, we sampled soils in the central Namib Desert on sixteen different occasions over a one-year period. Using Illumina-based amplicon sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene, we found that α-diversity (richness) was more variable at a given sampling date (spatial variability) than over the course of one year (temporal variability). Community composition remained essentially unchanged across the first 10 months, indicating that spatial sampling might be more important than temporal sampling when assessing β-diversity patterns in desert soils. However, a major shift in microbial community composition was found following a single precipitation event. This shift in composition was associated with a rapid increase in CO2 respiration and productivity, supporting the view that desert soil microbial communities respond rapidly to re-wetting and that this response may be the result of both taxon-specific selection and changes in the availability or accessibility of organic substrates. Recovery to quasi pre-disturbance community composition was achieved within one month after rainfall.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  5. A New Infrared Desert Dust Index over French Guyana Rain forest: First results

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molinie, J.; Barnacin, E.; Henry, J. L.; Gobinddass, M. L.; Panechou-Pulcherie, K.; Feuillard, T.; Nagau, J.

    2017-12-01

    Recently a NASA researcher showed the role of desert dust contribution for the Amazonian rain forest. In another hand, desert dust impact population health when PM 10 level reached values around and upper the PM 10 threshold of the 50 µg m-3, established by the World Health Organization (WHO). Infrared Desert Dust Index (IDDI) developed by Legrand with Meteosat infrared images, allow the following of desert dust plumes over semi-arid land. In French Guiana the WHO threshold is currently overpass in measurements done by ORA air quality network, in the two main towns located close to the coast. For inland population, it is very difficult to have continuous dust measures due to the low infrastructure supplies. We need to develop a tools in order to follow the crossing of desert dust over the French Guyana rain forest, from the coast to inland villages. Following the IDDI concept and comparing with VIIRS AOT EDR result over the same area, a modified IDDI for Amazonian region (IDDI_A) has been proposed to identify the dusty pixels over the forest. Despite of high cloud presence, a good correlation between AOT EDR and IDDI_A was obtained. The IDDI_A calculation has been applied over French Guiana area for different PM 10 level at Cayenne, a town along the coast.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marc Tollis

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-06-01

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

  8. Diurnal pattern of the drying front in desert and its application for determining the effective infiltration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Y. Zeng

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Located in western Inner Mongolia, the Badain Jaran Desert is the second largest desert in China and consists of a regular series of stable megadunes, among which over 70 permanent lakes exist. The unexpected lakes in desert attracted research interests on exploring the hydrological process under this particular landscape; however, a very few literatures exist on the diurnal and spatial variation of the drying front in this area, which is the main issue in the desert hydrological process to characterize the movement of water in soil. In order to understand the drying front in the Badain Jaran Desert, a field campaign was conducted by the observations of soil physical parameters and micrometeorological parameters. With the field data, the performance of a vadose zone soil water balance model, the HYDRUS, was verified and calibrated. Then, the HYDRUS was used to produce the spatial and temporal information of coupled water, water vapour and heat transport in sand to characterize the variation pattern of the drying front before, during and after the rainfall. Finally, the deepest drying front was applied to determine the effective infiltration, which is defined as the amount of soil water captured by the sand beneath the deepest drying front by infiltrating water of an incident rainfall event.

  9. Windblown sediment transport and loss in a desert-oasis ecotone in the Tarim Basin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pi, Huawei; Sharratt, Brenton; Lei, Jiaqiang

    2017-08-10

    The Tarim Basin is regarded as one of the most highly erodible areas in China. Desert comprises 64% of the land use in the Basin, but the desert-oasis ecotone plays a prominent role in maintaining oasis ecological security and stability. Yet, little is known concerning the magnitude of windblown sediment transport in a desert-oasis ecotone. Therefore, aeolian sediment transport and loss was assessed from a desert-oasis experimental site located near Alaer City in the northwestern Tarim Basin. Sediment transport and factors governing transport were measured during three high wind events in 2012 and four events in 2013. Sediment transport was measured to a height of 10 m using passive aeolian airborne sediment samplers. The mass flux profile over the eroding surface was well represented by the power-law (R 2  > 0.77). Sediment loss from the site ranged from 118 g m -2 for the 20-24Apr 2012 wind event to 2925 g m -2 for the 31Mar-11Apr 2012 event. Suspension accounted for 67.4 to 84.8% of sediment loss across all high wind events. Our results indicate the severity of wind erosion in a desert-oasis ecotone and thus encourage adoption of management practices that will enhance oasis ecological security.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura Musacchio

    2004-06-01

    Full Text Available Since the late nineteenth century, landscape protection in the deserts of the Southwest, United States of America, like many places worldwide, has been driven by the conservation of landscape icons, such as unusual geological features in wilderness areas. Yet, in the past two decades, leading conservation scholars worldwide have called for a shift in this paradigm to one that emphasises landscape systems, which is based on holistic landscape ecology. The shift in emphas is to landscape systems opens new opportunities to protect desert landscape systems at the regional scale rather than just remnant patches at the local scale. In this paper, the authors present, for public consideration, a typology of the five major desert landscapes that can be used as the bas is for protecting regional landscape systems in the deserts of the Southwest. As a case study, several representative examples of recent regional open space plans from the Phoenix metropolitan area are analysed and compared with the typology in order to understand how successfully the projects have addressed protection of the regional landscape system in the Sonoran Desert.

  11. Characterization of the Sonoran desert as a radiometric calibration target for Earth observing sensors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Angal, Amit; Chander, Gyanesh; Xiong, Xiaoxiong; Choi, Tae-young; Wu, Aisheng

    2011-01-01

    To provide highly accurate quantitative measurements of the Earth's surface, a comprehensive calibration and validation of the satellite sensors is required. The NASA Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Characterization Support Team, in collaboration with United States Geological Survey, Earth Resources Observation and Science Center, has previously demonstrated the use of African desert sites to monitor the long-term calibration stability of Terra MODIS and Landsat 7 (L7) Enhanced Thematic Mapper plus (ETM+). The current study focuses on evaluating the suitability of the Sonoran Desert test site for post-launch long-term radiometric calibration as well as cross-calibration purposes. Due to the lack of historical and on-going in situ ground measurements, the Sonoran Desert is not usually used for absolute calibration. An in-depth evaluation (spatial, temporal, and spectral stability) of this site using well calibrated L7 ETM+ measurements and local climatology data has been performed. The Sonoran Desert site produced spatial variability of about 3 to 5% in the reflective solar regions, and the temporal variations of the site after correction for view-geometry impacts were generally around 3%. The results demonstrate that, barring the impacts due to occasional precipitation, the Sonoran Desert site can be effectively used for cross-calibration and long-term stability monitoring of satellite sensors, thus, providing a good test site in the western hemisphere.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ouahrani, Djamel

    1999-07-01

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

  13. Biodiversity of Myxomycetes from the Monte Desert of Argentina

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lado, C.

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available A biodiversity survey for myxomycetes was carried out in the Monte Desert (Argentina and surrounding areas in November 2006 and late February and March 2007. Specimens were collected in seven different provinces (Catamarca, Jujuy, La Rioja, Salta, San Juan, San Luis and Tucumán, between 23º and 33º S latitude, and a total of 105 localities were sampled. Cacti and succulent plants were the most common type of substrate investigated, but shrubs and herbs characteristic of this biome were also included in the survey. Almost six hundred specimens of myxomycetes from 72 different species in 22 genera were collected either in the field, or from moist chamber cultures prepared with samples of plant material obtained from the same collecting sites. The results include 1 species new to science, Macbrideola andina three more species recently described based on material from this survey, 5 species cited for the first time for the Neotropics, 11 new records for South America and 38 new records for Argentina. Taxonomic comments on rare or unusual species are included and illustrated with photographs by LM and SEM. Data are presented on the development of some species and microenvironmental factors are discussed. An analysis of the biodiversity of myxomycetes in this area, and a comparison with other desert areas, are included.

    Con el objetivo de estudiar la biodiversidad de Myxomycetes en el Desierto de Monte (Argentina y áreas circundantes, se realizó un muestreo en los meses de noviembre de 2006 y febrero y marzo de 2007. Se recolectaron especímenes en un total de 105 localidades pertenecientes a siete provincias (Catamarca, Jujuy, La Rioja, Salta, San Juan, San Luis y Tucumán, situadas entre los paralelos 23º y 33º de latitud sur. Los cactus y plantas suculentas fueron los tipos de sustratos más estudiados, pero también se analizaron arbustos y plantas herbáceas características de este bioma. Casi 600 especímenes de mixomicetes

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ouahrani, Djamel

    1999-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-12-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joachim eWink

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohammadipanah, Fatemeh; Wink, Joachim

    2015-01-01

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

  18. Water use, productivity and interactions among desert plants

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ehleringer, J.R.

    1992-11-17

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2002-06-01

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

  20. Controls on desert dune activity - a geospatial approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lancaster, N.; Hesse, P. P.

    2017-12-01

    Desert and other inland dunes occur on a wide spectrum of activity (defined loosely as the proportion of the surface area subject to sand movement) from unvegetated to sparsely vegetated "active" dunes through discontinuously vegetated inactive dunes to completely vegetated and degraded dunes. Many of the latter are relicts of past climatic conditions. Although field studies and modeling of the interactions between winds, vegetation cover, and dune activity can provide valuable insights, the response of dune systems to climate change and variability past, present, and future has until now been hampered by the lack of pertinent observational data on geomorphic and climatic boundary conditions and dune activity status for most dune areas. We have developed GIS-based approach that permits analysis of boundary conditions and controls on dune activity at a range of spatial scales from dunefield to global. In this approach, the digital mapping of dune field and sand sea extent has been combined with systematic observations of dune activity at 0.2° intervals from high resolution satellite image data, resulting in four classes of activity. 1 km resolution global gridded datasets for the aridity index (AI); precipitation, satellite-derived percent vegetation cover; and estimates of sand transport potential (DP) were re-sampled for each 0.2° grid cell, and dune activity was compared to vegetation cover, sand transport potential, precipitation, and the aridity index. Results so far indicate that there are broad-scale relationships between dunefield mean activity, climate, and vegetation cover. However, the scatter in the data suggest that other local factors may be at work. Intra-dune field patterns are complex in many cases. Overall, much more work needs to be done to gain a full understanding of controls at different spatial and temporal scales, which can be faciliated by this spatial database.