WorldWideScience

Sample records for gromphadorhina portentosa desert

  1. Foot Morphology and Substrate Adhesion in the Madagascan Hissing Cockroach, Gromphadorhina portentosa

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Casteren, Adam; Codd, Jonathan R.

    2010-01-01

    Insects are successful terrestrial organisms able to locomote over a wide range of obstacles and substrates. This study investigated how foot morphology (tarsal structure) correlates with substrate adhesion and ecological niche in the Madagascan hissing cockroach, Gromphadorhina portentosa Schaum (Blattaria: Blaberidae). Using light and scanning electron microscopy, the morphology of the different structures of the tarsus of G. portentosa was analysed. Using an Instron® universal testing machine, a series of peak force experiments were then conducted to record the force required to lift the cockroaches off different substrates. G. portentosa was pulled off 10 different substrates, which consisted of smooth Perspex; Perspex scored at 1cm intervals; Perspex hatched at 1 cm, 0.5 cm, and 1 mm intervals; Perspex abraded with fine grade sandpaper; Perspex abraded with coarse grade sandpaper; wood; glass; and Teflon. A clear relationship was seen where an increase in scoring on the Perspex caused a decrease in adhesive ability of G. portentosa. This may be due to there being adequate contact area for the attachment of the pads and to allow the claws to engage. The results obtained suggest that to achieve the greatest adhesion to substrates, G. portentosa uses a combined effect of both adhesive pads and pretarsal claws. Adhesion to a wide range of substrates appears to be an adaptation to life as a wingless forest floor dweller. PMID:20575737

  2. Alteration of carbohydrates metabolism and midgut glucose absorption in Gromphadorhina portentosa after subchronic exposure to imidacloprid and fenitrothion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sawczyn, Tomasz; Dolezych, Bogdan; Klosok, Marcin; Augustyniak, Maria; Stygar, Dominika; Buldak, Rafal J; Kukla, Michal; Michalczyk, Katarzyna; Karcz-Socha, Iwona; Zwirska-Korczala, Krystyna

    2012-01-01

    This study was undertaken to test the hypothesis that following exposure to insecticides, changes take place in the metabolism of carbohydrates and absorption in the midgut of insects. The Madagascar hissing cockroach (Gromphadorhina portentosa) was chosen for the experiment as a model organism, due to it being easy to breed and its relatively large alimentary tract, which was important when preparing the microperfusion midgut bioassay. In each group of cockroaches treated with imidacloprid and fenitrothion, absorption of glucose, expressed as the area under the curve (AUC), was elevated compared to the control group. Glucose in the hemolymph of the examined insects was present in a vestigial amount, often below the threshold of determination, so the determinable carbohydrate indices were: hemolymph trehalose concentration and fat body glycogen content. The level of trehalose found in the hemolymph of insects when exposed to fenitrothion, and irrespective of the level of concentration mixed into food, were significantly lower when comparing to the control samples. Imidacloprid acted analogically with one exception at the concentration of 10 mg·kg(-1) dry food where trehalose concentration did not differ from the control values. Coupling with fat body glycogen concentration was less visible and appeared only at the concentrations of 5 and 10 mg imidacloprid·kg(-1) dry food. As described in this study changes in the sugar distribution and midgut glucose absorption indicate that insects cover the increased energy needs induced by insecticides; also at the gastrointestinal tract level. The result indicates that the midgut glucose absorption parameters could be considered as a non-specific biomarker of insecticide toxicity.

  3. Endogenous and environmental factors influence the dietary fractionation of 13C and 15N in hissing cockroaches Gromphadorhina portentosa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCue, Marshall D

    2008-01-01

    Since DeNiro and Epstein's discovery that the (13)C and (15)N isotopic signatures of animals approximate those of their respective diets, the measurement of stable isotope signatures has become an important tool for ecologists studying the diets of wild animals. This study used Madagascar hissing cockroaches (Gromphadorhina portentosa) to examine several preexisting hypotheses about the relationship between the isotopic composition of an animal and its diet. Contrary to my predictions, the results revealed that the tissues of adult cockroaches raised for two generations on a diet of known isotopic composition did not demonstrate enrichment of heavy stable isotopes. Moreover, the (15)N signatures of cockroaches were neither influenced by periods of rapid growth (i.e., 300-fold increase in dry body mass over 120 d) nor by imposed periods of starvation lasting up to 80 d. The offspring born to mothers raised on known diets were enriched in (15)N. Diet-switching experiments showed that turnover times of (13)C were highly correlated with age and ranged from 9 to 10 d to 60 to 75 d in subadults and adults, respectively. Adults subjected to diet switches differed from the subadults in that the adults achieved equilibrated isotopic signatures that were shifted approximately 1.0 per thousand toward their respective original diets. Lipid fractions of adult cockroaches averaged 2.9 per thousand more depleted in (13)C than in lipid-free fractions, but no changes in (13)C were observed in aging adults. Exposure to reduced ambient temperature from 33 degrees C to 23 degrees C over 120 d did not influence isotopic signatures of tissues. Overall, the results of this study reveal that different endogenous and exogenous factors can influence the isotopic signatures of cockroaches. These findings reinforce the need to conduct controlled studies to further examine environmental factors that influence the relationships between the isotopic signatures of animals and their diets.

  4. Non-linear scaling of oxygen consumption and heart rate in a very large cockroach species (Gromphadorhina portentosa): correlated changes with body size and temperature.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Streicher, Jeffrey W; Cox, Christian L; Birchard, Geoffrey F

    2012-04-01

    Although well documented in vertebrates, correlated changes between metabolic rate and cardiovascular function of insects have rarely been described. Using the very large cockroach species Gromphadorhina portentosa, we examined oxygen consumption and heart rate across a range of body sizes and temperatures. Metabolic rate scaled positively and heart rate negatively with body size, but neither scaled linearly. The response of these two variables to temperature was similar. This correlated response to endogenous (body mass) and exogenous (temperature) variables is likely explained by a mutual dependence on similar metabolic substrate use and/or coupled regulatory pathways. The intraspecific scaling for oxygen consumption rate showed an apparent plateauing at body masses greater than about 3 g. An examination of cuticle mass across all instars revealed isometric scaling with no evidence of an ontogenetic shift towards proportionally larger cuticles. Published oxygen consumption rates of other Blattodea species were also examined and, as in our intraspecific examination of G. portentosa, the scaling relationship was found to be non-linear with a decreasing slope at larger body masses. The decreasing slope at very large body masses in both intraspecific and interspecific comparisons may have important implications for future investigations of the relationship between oxygen transport and maximum body size in insects.

  5. Fine structural description of the compound eye of the Madagascar 'hissing cockroach' Gromphadorhina portentosa(Dictyoptera: Blaberidae)

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Monalisa Mishra; Victor Benno Meyer-Rochow

    2008-01-01

    The compound eyes of the wingless adults of the Madagascar' hissing cockroach' Gromphador hina portentosa Sachum, 1853 were examined by light and electron microscopy.Each eye contains 2 400-2 500 mostly hexagonal facets. However, irregularities affecting both shape and size of the ommatidia are relatively common, especially towards the margins of the eye. An individual ommatidium of this eucone type of apposition eye contains eight retinula cells, which give rise to a centrally-fused, tiered rhabdom. The distal end of the latter is funnel-shaped and accommodates the proximal end of the cone in its midst. Further below, the rhabdom (then formed by the rhabdomeres of four retinula cells) assumes a squarish profile with microvilli aligned in two directions at right-angle to each other. Cross sections through the proximal regions of the rhabdom display triangular rhabdom outlines and microvilli (belonging to 3-4 retinula cells different from those involved in the squarish more distal rhabdom) that run in three directions inclined to one another by 120°. Overall the organization of the eye conforms to the orthopteroid pattern and particularly closely resembles that of the American cockroach Periplaneta americana. However, since G.portentosa possesses fewer ommatidia, this could be a consequence of its inability to fly. On the other hand, the large size of the facets and the voluminous rhabdoms suggest considerable absolute sensitivity and an ability to detect the plane of linearly polarized light. Based on the pattern of rnicrovillus orientations in combination with the crepuscular lifestyle G. portentosa leads and the habitat it occurs in, the prediction is made that this insect uses its green receptors for e-vector discrimination in the environment of down-welling light that reaches the forest floor.

  6. Adhesion and friction of the smooth attachment system of the cockroach Gromphadorhina portentosa and the influence of the application of fluid adhesives

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oliver Betz

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Two different measurement techniques were applied to study the attachment of the smooth foot pads of the Madagascar hissing cockroach Gromphadorhina portentosa. The attachment of the non-manipulated adhesive organs was compared with that of manipulated ones (depletion or substitution by artificial secretions. From measurements of the friction on a centrifuge, it can be concluded that on nanorough surfaces, the insect appears to benefit from employing emulsions instead of pure oils to avoid excessive friction. Measurements performed with a nanotribometer on single attachment organs showed that, in the non-manipulated euplantulae, friction was clearly increased in the push direction, whereas the arolium of the fore tarsus showed higher friction in the pull direction. The surface of the euplantulae shows an imbricate appearance, whereupon the ledges face distally, which might contribute to the observed frictional anisotropy in the push direction. Upon depletion of the tarsal adhesion-mediating secretion or its replacement by oily fluids, in several cases, the anisotropic effect of the euplantula disappeared due to the decrease of friction forces in push-direction. In the euplantulae, adhesion was one to two orders of magnitude lower than friction. Whereas the tenacity was slightly decreased with depleted secretion, it was considerably increased after artificial application of oily liquids. In terms of adhesion, it is concluded that the semi-solid consistence of the natural adhesion-mediating secretion facilitates the detachment of the tarsus during locomotion. In terms of friction, on smooth to nanorough surfaces, the insects appear to benefit from employing emulsions instead of pure oils to avoid excessive friction forces, whereas on rougher surfaces the tarsal fluid rather functions in improving surface contact by keeping the cuticle compliable and compensating surface asperities of the substratum.

  7. Relationship between atmospheric ammonia concentration and nitrogen content in terricolous lichen (Cladonia portentosa)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Knud Erik; Andersen, Helle Vibeke; Strandberg, Morten Tune

    2014-01-01

    From April 2006 to April 2007, the geographical and seasonal variation in nitrogen content in terricolous lichen (Cladonia portentosa) and atmospheric ammonia concentrations were measured at five heathland sites. The seasonal variation in the nitrogen content of the lichen was small, even though...... there was a large seasonal variation in the air concentration of ammonia. A sizable local variation in the nitrogen content of the lichen was found even at the scale of a few kilometres. The nitrogen content in the lichen showed a high correlation to the yearly mean value of the measured ammonia concentration...

  8. Cold induced changes in lipid, protein and carbohydrate levels in the tropical insect Gromphadorhina coquereliana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chowanski, Szymon; Lubawy, Jan; Spochacz, Marta; Ewelina, Paluch; Grzegorz, Smykalla; Rosinski, Grzegorz; Slocinska, Malgorzata

    2015-05-01

    Insects cope with thermal stressors using mechanisms such as rapid cold hardening and acclimation. These mechanisms have been studied in temperate insects, but little is known about their use by tropical insects in response to cold stress. Here, we investigated whether cold stress (1×8 h and 3×8 h at 4°C) triggers a metabolic response in the Madagascar cockroach Gromphadorhina coquereliana. We examined the effects of cold on the levels of selected metabolites in the fat body tissue of G. coquereliana. After cold exposure, we found that the quantity of total protein increased significantly in the insect fat body, whereas glycogen decreased slightly. Using antibodies, we observed upregulation of AQP-like proteins and changes in the HSP70 levels in the fat body of G. coquereliana when exposed to cold. We also examined the content and nature of the free sugars in the G. coquereliana hemolymph and discovered an increase in the levels of polyols and glucose in response to cold stress. These results suggest an important role of the fat body tissue of tropical insects upon cold exposure. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Identification and characterization of uncoupling protein 4 in fat body and muscle mitochondria from the cockroach Gromphadorhina cocquereliana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slocinska, Malgorzata; Antos-Krzeminska, Nina; Rosinski, Grzegorz; Jarmuszkiewicz, Wieslawa

    2011-12-01

    We have identified and characterized an uncoupling protein in mitochondria isolated from leg muscle and from fat body, an insect analogue tissue of mammalian liver and adipose tissue, of the cockroach Gromphadorhina coquereliana (GcUCP). This is the first functional characterization of UCP activity in isolated insect mitochondria. Bioenergetic studies clearly indicate UCP function in both insect tissues. In resting (non-phosphorylating) mitochondria, cockroach GcUCP activity was stimulated by the addition of micromolar concentrations of palmitic acid and inhibited by the purine nucleotide GTP. Moreover, in phosphorylating mitochondria, GcUCP activity was able to divert energy from oxidative phosphorylation. Functional studies indicate a higher activity of GcUCP-mediated uncoupling in cockroach muscle mitochondria compared to fat body mitochondria. GcUCP activation by palmitic acid resulted in a decrease in superoxide anion production, suggesting that protection against mitochondrial oxidative stress may be a physiological role of UCPs in insects. GcUCP protein was immunodetected using antibodies raised against human UCP4 as a single band of around 36 kDa. GcUCP protein expression in cockroach muscle mitochondria was significantly higher compared to mitochondria isolated from fat body. LC-MS/MS analyses revealed 100% sequence identities for peptides obtained from GcUCP to UCP4 isoforms from D. melanogaster (the highest homology), human, rat or other insect mitochondria. Therefore, it can be proposed that cockroach GcUCP corresponds to the UCP4 isoforms of other animals.

  10. The physiological role of fat body and muscle tissues in response to cold stress in the tropical cockroach Gromphadorhina coquereliana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chowański, Szymon; Lubawy, Jan; Paluch-Lubawa, Ewelina; Spochacz, Marta; Rosiński, Grzegorz; Słocińska, Małgorzata

    2017-01-01

    Protective mechanisms against cold stress are well studied in terrestrial and polar insects; however, little is known about these mechanisms in tropical insects. In our study, we tested if a tropical cockroach Gromphadorhina coquereliana, possesses any protective mechanisms against cold stress. Based on the results of earlier studies, we examined how short-term (3 h) cold (4°C) influences biochemical parameters, mitochondrial respiration activity, and the level of HSPs and aquaporins expression in the fat body and leg muscles of G. coquereliana. Following cold exposure, we found that the level of carbohydrates, lipids and proteins did not change significantly. Nevertheless, we observed significant changes in mitochondrial respiration activity. The oxygen consumption of resting (state 4) and phosphorylating (state 3) mitochondria was altered following cold exposure. The increase in respiratory rate in state 4 respiration was observed in both tissues. In state 3, oxygen consumption by mitochondria in fat body was significantly lower compared to control insects, whereas there were no changes observed for mitochondria in muscle tissue. Moreover, there were cold-induced changes in UCP protein activity, but the changes in activity differed in fat body and in muscles. Additionally, we detected changes in the level of HSP70 and aquaporins expression. Insects treated with cold had significantly higher levels of HSP70 in fat body and muscles. On the other hand, there were lower levels of aquaporins in both tissues following exposure to cold. These results suggest that fat body play an important role in protecting tropical insects from cold stress.

  11. Desert Scrublands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, L.L.C.; Halama, K.J.; Lovich, R.E.

    2016-01-01

    Desert scrublands comprise the lower to mid-elevation portions of four different ecosystems including the Chihuahuan, Great Basin, Mojave and Sonoran Deserts. Together the area inside their outer boundaries includes over 8% of the surface area of the United States. Despite significant differences in the flora and fauna of these bioregions they all share the common trait of being arid shrub-steppe ecosystems, receiving, on average, less than 254 mm of rain per year. The austere nature of these landscapes belies their significant biodiversity, the amazing behavioral and physiological adaptations of the biota, and the fragility of the ecosystems to human disturbances. For example, the Mojave Desert alone has at least 250 species of ephemeral plants, mostly winter annuals, and up to 90% are endemic.

  12. Desert Shield and Desert Storm Emerging Observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    1991-10-07

    by identifying activo component an civilian maintenance instructors to replace active component instructors receiving orders for war or other PCS sites...STORM Desert scenarios in UCOFT 81619 /61WY (00687) DESERT STORM Activo Tank Table 911 816sy 90990 (006m) DESERT STloM Degraded Mode Guoery WS1W 4042iA

  13. Sensors for Desert Surveillance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B. S. Chauhan

    2005-10-01

    Full Text Available Various types of sensors-visible, passive night vision, infrared, synthetic aperture radar, etc can be used for desert surveillance. The surveillance capability of these sensors depends to a large extent, on various atmospheric effects, viz., absorption, scattering, aerosol, turbulence, and optical mirage. In this paper, effects of various atmospheric phenomena on the transmission of signals, merits and demerits of different means of surveillance under desert environmental conditions are discussed. Advanced surveillance techniques, ie, multisensor fusion, multi and hyperspectral imaging, having special significance for desert surveillance, have also been discussed.

  14. Look at That!: Using Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches to Develop and Enhance the Scientific Inquiry Skill of Observation in Middle School Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wagler, Ron

    2011-01-01

    Middle school students can develop and enhance their observation skills by participating in teacher-guided scientific inquiry (NRC 1996) activities where they observe animals that tend to act in known, predictable ways. Madagascar hissing cockroaches ("Gromphadorhina portentosa") are one such animal. This article presents beginning, intermediate,…

  15. Chow Down! Using Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches to Explore Basic Nutrition Concepts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wagler, Ron

    2009-01-01

    The Madagascar hissing cockroach ("Gromphadorhina portentosa") is one of the most exciting and enjoyable animals to incorporate into your science curriculum. Madagascar hissing cockroaches (MHCs) do not bite, are easy to handle, produce little odor compared to many terrarium animals, have a fascinating social structure, are easy to breed, teach…

  16. Ecoregion sections of California deserts

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — The dataset delineates ecological sections within California deserts. These deserts occupy the southeastern portion of California and include two ecoregional...

  17. Journeying the Redshift Desert

    CERN Document Server

    Renzini, Alvio

    2009-01-01

    The cosmic star formation rate, AGN activity, galaxy growth, mass assembly and morphological differentiation all culminate at redshift $\\sim 2$. Yet, the redshift interval $1.4\\lsim z\\lsim 3$ is harder to explore than the closer and the more distant Universe. In spite of so much action taking place in this spacetime portion of the Universe, it has been dubbed the ``Redshift Desert'', as if very little was happening within its boundaries. The difficulties encountered in properly mapping the galaxy populations inhabiting the Desert are illustrated in this paper, along with some possible remedy.

  18. Southwestern desert resources

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halvorson, William L.; van Riper, Charles; Schwalbe, Cecil R.

    2010-01-01

    The southwestern deserts stretch from southeastern California to west Texas and then south to central Mexico. The landscape of this region is known as basin and range topography featuring to "sky islands" of forest rising from the desert lowlands which creates a uniquely diverse ecology. The region is further complicated by an international border, where governments have caused difficulties for many animal populations. This book puts a spotlight on individual research projects which are specific examples of work being done in the area and when they are all brought together, to shed a general light of understanding the biological and cultural resources of this vast region so that those same resources can be managed as effectively and efficiently as possible. The intent is to show that collaborative efforts among federal, state agency, university, and private sector researchers working with land managers, provides better science and better management than when scientists and land managers work independently.

  19. Aquaporins in desert rodent physiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pannabecker, Thomas L

    2015-08-01

    Desert rodents face a sizeable challenge in maintaining salt and water homeostasis due to their life in an arid environment. A number of their organ systems exhibit functional characteristics that limit water loss above that which occurs in non-desert species under similar conditions. These systems include renal, pulmonary, gastrointestinal, nasal, and skin epithelia. The desert rodent kidney preserves body water by producing a highly concentrated urine that reaches a maximum osmolality nearly three times that of the common laboratory rat. The precise mechanism by which urine is concentrated in any mammal is unknown. Insights into the process may be more apparent in species that produce highly concentrated urine. Aquaporin water channels play a fundamental role in water transport in several desert rodent organ systems. The role of aquaporins in facilitating highly effective water preservation in desert rodents is only beginning to be explored. The organ systems of desert rodents and their associated AQPs are described.

  20. Physiological adaptation in desert birds

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2005-01-01

    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

  1. Contact solid-phase microextraction with uncoated glass and polydimethylsiloxane-coated fibers versus solvent sampling for the determination of hydrocarbons in adhesion secretions of Madagascar hissing cockroaches Gromphadorrhina portentosa (Blattodea) by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerhardt, Heike; Schmitt, Christian; Betz, Oliver; Albert, Klaus; Lämmerhofer, Michael

    2015-04-03

    Molecular profiles of adhesion secretions of Gromphadorrhina portentosa (Madagascar hissing cockroach, Blattodea) were investigated by gas chromatography mass spectrometry with particular focus on a comprehensive analysis of linear and branched hydrocarbons. For this purpose, secretions from the tarsi (feet), possibly contributing to adhesion on smooth surfaces, and control samples taken from the tibiae (lower legs), which contain general cuticular hydrocarbons that are supposed to be not involved in the biological adhesion function, were analyzed and their molecular fingerprints compared. A major analytical difficulty in such a study constitutes the representative, spatially controlled, precise and reproducible sampling from a living insect as well as the minute quantities of insect secretions on both tarsi and tibiae. Thus, three different in vivo sampling methods were compared in terms of sampling reproducibility and extraction efficiency by replicate measurement of samples from tarsi and tibiae. While contact solid-phase microextraction (SPME) with a polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) fiber showed higher peak intensities, a self-made uncoated glass fiber had the best repeatability in contact-SPME sampling. Chromatographic profiles of these two contact-SPME sampling methods were statistically not significantly different. Inter-individual variances were larger than potentially existing minor differences in molecular patterns of distinct sampling methods. Sampling by solvent extraction was time consuming, showed lower sensitivities and was less reproducible. In general, sampling by contact-SPME with a cheap glass fiber turned out to be a viable alternative to PDMS-SPME sampling. Hydrocarbon patterns of the tarsal adhesion secretions were qualitatively similar to those of epicuticular hydrocarbon profiles of the tibiae. However, hydrocarbons were in general less abundant in tarsal secretions than secretions from tibiae.

  2. Ecological zones of California deserts

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — The dataset delineates ecological zones within California deserts. We derived ecological zones by reclassifying LANDFIRE vegetation biophysical setting types, plus...

  3. Remote Sensing Field Guide - Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    1991-09-01

    sea in North America is in the Gran Desierto of northern Sonora, Mexico, which extends northward into the Yuma Desert of Arizona and the Algodones...parallel to the dune chains. PATTERN INDICATOR SHEET - DESERT DUNES PHOTO: AERIAL (OBLIQUE) STAR - COMPOUND LOCATION: Mexico (Northern) El Gran Desierto ...dunes. This field is in the central part of El Gran Desierto about 20 km south of the Arizona-Mexico border Photo B (on back) is a closer view. For orien

  4. Desert and desertification in Iran

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bahrami, M.

    2009-04-01

    One of the greatest environmental concerns in Iran as in other arid and semiarid countries is the transformation of once productive, or marginally productive, land to deteriorated land and soil unable to support plants and animals. Because the land becomes barren and dry, the process is described as desertification, which occurs as a sequence of events. The area of deserts in Iran is about 340,000 Km2 (less than one fifth of its total area), of which 100,000 Km2 is being used for some cultivation, 120,000 Km2 is subjected to moving sands about 40 % of which is active sand dunes. Most of features and processes usual in world famous deserts are also observed in Iran: low precipitation, high evaporation, poor or lack of vegetation, saline and alkaline soils, low population and small and sparse oases. The deserts of Iran are generally classified in the subtropical, warm, arid and semiarid group, but the effect and presence of some geographical and geoclimatical factors such as height, vicinity to Indian Ocean and so on do some changes in climatic conditions and geographical features causing some local and regional differences in them. Geographically, two groups of deserts have been known in Iran: (1) Coastal deserts which, like a ribbon with variable width, stretch from extreme southeast to extreme southwest, at the north parts of Oman Sea and Persian Gulf. One important feature of these deserts is relatively high humidity which differentiates them from other deserts. This causes an increase in vegetation coverage and hence a decrease in eolian erosion and also a dominance of chemical weathering to that of physical. (2) internal deserts, which rest in central, eastern and southeastern plateau of the country and in independent and semi dependent depressions. This situation, which is due to the surrounding high mountains, blocks humidity entry and causes the aridity of these deserts. Wind as a dominant process in the area causes deflated features such as Reg (desert

  5. Recommended Cross-Desert Driving Route

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2004-01-01

    Beijing - Duolun - Dalai Nur- Hexigten Banner -Saihanba - Weichang - Luanping - Miyun - Beijing. Along this 1,600-kilometer route is a 150-kin section(between Duolun and Darhan) of desert with no surfaced road - a paradise for desert drivers.

  6. Stone structures in the Syrian Desert

    CERN Document Server

    Sparavigna, Amelia Carolina

    2011-01-01

    An arid land, known as the Syrian Desert, is covering a large part of the Middle East. In the past, this harsh environment, characterized by huge lava fields, the "harraat", was considered as a barrier between Levant and Mesopotamia. When we observe this desert from space, we discover that it is crossed by some stone structures, the "desert kites", which were the Neolithic traps for the game. Several stone circles are visible too, as many Stonehenge sites dispersed in the desert landscape.

  7. Phytoremediation for Oily Desert Soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Radwan, Samir

    This chapter deals with strategies for cleaning oily desert soils through rhizosphere technology. Bioremediation involves two major approaches; seeding with suitable microorganisms and fertilization with microbial growth enhancing materials. Raising suitable crops in oil-polluted desert soils fulfills both objectives. The rhizosphere of many legume and non-legume plants is richer in oil-utilizing micro-organisms than non-vegetated soils. Furthermore, these rhizospheres also harbour symbiotic and asymbiotic nitrogen-fixing bacteria, and are rich in simple organic compounds exuded by plant roots. Those exudates are excellent nutrients for oil-utilizing microorganisms. Since many rhizospheric bacteria have the combined activities of hydrocarbon-utilization and nitrogen fixation, phytoremediation provides a feasible and environmentally friendly biotechnology for cleaning oil-polluted soils, especially nitrogen-poor desert soils.

  8. Desert Environmental Handbook. First Edition

    Science.gov (United States)

    1977-11-01

    Department of the Army, February 1972. 2. Analogs of Yuma Climate I-XI, US Army Natick Laboratories, Natick, Massachusetts, 1958-60. 3. Kolb, C. R.; Dornbusch ...Station Atrea, Arizona, Purdue University, March 1955. Kolb, C. R.; Dornbusch , W. K. Jr.; 1. Analogs of Yuma Terrain in the Middle East Desert; 2

  9. On a Crowded Desert Island.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rothstein, Samuel

    1989-01-01

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

  10. Women in the Gobi Desert

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    1999-01-01

    THE plane flew for about an hour,transporting me from Beijing to adeserted land,the Gobi desert,where sits the China Arms Testing &Training Target Field.For about 40 years,thousands of scientists and technicianshave made hundreds of greatachievements in the history of Chinesearms testing;among them are a lot ofunusual women making their own quietcontributions.

  11. On a Crowded Desert Island.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rothstein, Samuel

    1989-01-01

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

  12. 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

  13. Exercise Desert Rock Letter Orders. Army, Camp Desert Rock, Nevada.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1957-08-01

    WILF.iED J MSGT A19032i3 HJ;,ŕWAY, ELLafGzJN 8FC Xf,37791267 INOZ W, P. 1. PVT2 US52401808 KELLEY, JESSIE J SFC R1� EVaS, LOUIS PFC .,53073109...Ord Co (HAM) Camo Desert Rock, Nevada You will preeeed to Reynolds Funeral Vome, Sigourney, Iowa 0/a 24 AU ist 1957 for apprx fourteen (14) days to

  14. Seed dispersal of desert annuals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Venable, D Lawrence; Flores-Martinez, Arturo; Muller-Landau, Helene C; Barron-Gafford, Greg; Becerra, Judith X

    2008-08-01

    We quantified seed dispersal in a guild of Sonoran Desert winter desert annuals at a protected natural field site in Tucson, Arizona, USA. Seed production was suppressed under shrub canopies, in the open areas between shrubs, or both by applying an herbicide prior to seed set in large, randomly assigned removal plots (10-30 m diameter). Seedlings were censused along transects crossing the reproductive suppression borders shortly after germination. Dispersal kernels were estimated for Pectocarya recurvata and Schismus barbatus from the change in seedling densities with distance from these borders via inverse modeling. Estimated dispersal distances were short, with most seeds traveling less than a meter. The adhesive seeds of P. recurvata went farther than the small S. barbatus seeds, which have no obvious dispersal adaptation. Seeds dispersed farther downslope than upslope and farther when dispersing into open areas than when dispersing into shrubs. Dispersal distances were short relative to the pattern of spatial heterogeneity created by the shrub and open space mosaic. This suggests that dispersal could contribute to local population buildup, possibly facilitating species coexistence. Overall, these results support the hypothesis that escape in time via delayed germination is likely to be more important for desert annuals than escape in space.

  15. Network topology of the desert rose

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sigmund Mongstad Hope

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Desert roses are gypsum crystals that consist of intersecting disks. We determine their geometrical structure using computer assisted tomography. By mapping the geometrical structure onto a graph, the topology of the desert rose is analyzed and compared to a model based on diffusion limited aggregation. By comparing the topology, we find that the model gets a number of the features of the real desert rose right, whereas others do not fit so well.

  16. Off-Road and the Fragile Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stebbins, Robert C.

    1974-01-01

    Part one of a two-part article sets forth the dimensions and the political-cultural aspects of the use of off-road vehicles in desert areas. Presents arguments for and against off-road vehicle use on national-resource land as exemplified in the California Desert. (Editor/JR)

  17. A River in the Desert

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    杨仲言

    1994-01-01

    The Arabian Peninsula today is a barren desert. But 6,000 yearsago, says Farouk El-Baz,a river ran through the heart of the peninsula.From the Hijaz Mountains in western Saudi Arabia, it flowed 530 milesnortheast, emptying into the Persian Gulf through a delta that coveredmost of present day Kuwait. The Kuwait River, as El-Baz has dubbedit, averaged 5 miles wide and 50 feet deep along its entire length, and itcarried gravel from the Hijaz all the way to Kuwait. "It must have been amighty river, "says El-Baz.

  18. Simplified analysis of naturally ventilated desert buildings

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mathews, E.H.; Richards, P.G.; Rousseau, P.G. (Pretoria Univ. (South Africa). Dept. of Mechanical Engineering); Etzion, Y.; Erell, E. (Ben-Gurion Univ. of the Negev, Sede Boqer (Israel). J. Blaustein Inst. for Desert Research)

    1992-10-01

    The verification of a simplified thermal analysis procedure and its application to naturally ventilated desert buildings are discussed. Measurements for buildings in the Negev Desert, made independently by the Desert Architecture Unit of the Jacob Blaustein Institute for Desert Research, were inter alia used to verify the simplified thermal analysis procedure QUICK, developed by the Centre for Experimental and Numerical Thermoflow. As detailed information for validation purposes is not always readily available to researchers, the measurements as well as the buildings' descriptions are given in detail in this paper. The effect of natural ventilation strategies on the indoor air temperatures is also investigated for the desert buildings. A simplified but novel procedure to calculate the air change rates through the building from the measured wind speeds, building geometry and surroundings is proposed. Hourly air change rates determined with the proposed procedure are employed in the simulations with QUICK. (author)

  19. 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...

  20. 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...

  1. Microphytic crusts: 'topsoil' of the desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belnap, Jayne

    1990-01-01

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

  2. Desert National Wildlife Range Wilderness study summary

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This document is a summary of a wilderness study done of the Desert National Wildlife Range pursuant to the Wilderness Act of 1964. It provides information as to the...

  3. Proposed Desert Pupfish Preserve : Supplemental LARC Report

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This document contains supplements to a previous report on the desert pupfish preserve proposal. The attachments are titled: “Vertebrate Animals and Vascular...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-01-01

    In Chile, the prevalence of teenage pregnancy is 17%. To assess relationship between adolescent pregnancy and school desertion. At the Hospital Guillermo Grant Benavente's Departament of Obstetrics and Gynecology, in Concepción, Chile, 2001 a comparative, cross sectional and correlational study was conducted. The study group were pregnant adolescents who deserted from school system, divided in two subgroups: 86 adolescents who deserted before pregnancy and 130 who deserted during pregnancy. Twenty percent of teenagers that deserted from school before pregnancy belonged to a sublevel of poverty, compared with 5% of those who deserted during pregnancy. Flunk was frequent in both but higher in girls that deserted before pregnancy (46.5 and 36.9% respectively, (prelationship between teenage pregnancy and school desertion. Adolescents who deserted from school before pregnancy are more vulnerable.

  5. Desert dust hazards: A global review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Middleton, N. J.

    2017-02-01

    Dust storms originate in many of the world's drylands and frequently present hazards to human society, both within the drylands themselves but also outside drylands due to long-range transport of aeolian sediments. Major sources of desert dust include the Sahara, the Middle East, central and eastern Asia, and parts of Australia, but dust-raising occurs all across the global drylands and, on occasion, beyond. Dust storms occur throughout the year and they vary in frequency and intensity over a number of timescales. Long-range transport of desert dust typically takes place along seasonal transport paths. Desert dust hazards are here reviewed according to the three phases of the wind erosion system: where dust is entrained, during the transport phase, and on deposition. This paper presents a synthesis of these hazards. It draws on empirical examples in physical geography, medical geology and geomorphology to discuss case studies from all over the world and in various fields. These include accelerated soil erosion in agricultural zones - where dust storms represent a severe form of accelerated soil erosion - the health effects of air pollution caused by desert aerosols via their physical, chemical and biological properties, transport accidents caused by poor visibility during desert dust events, and impacts on electricity generation and distribution. Given the importance of desert dust as a hazard to human societies, it is surprising to note that there have been relatively few attempts to assess their impact in economic terms. Existing studies in this regard are also reviewed, but the wide range of impacts discussed in this paper indicates that desert dust storms deserve more attention in this respect.

  6. Desert Amplification in a Warming Climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Liming

    2016-08-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. Ecological stability of Tarim Desert Highway shelterbelt

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHOU Zhibin; XU Xinwen; LEI Jiaqiang; LI Shengyu

    2006-01-01

    The Tarim Desert Highway shelterbelt,located in hinterland of Taklimakan Desert, is irrigated by underground saline water, with three to thirty gram per litter mineral degrees. The sustainability and stability are affected by multifarious stress.The structural and functional characteristics of shelterbelt are studied to probe into correlation between environment and shelterbelt. On basis, decision analysis is applied to study ecological stability of the Tarim Desert Highway shelterbelt, to screen out limited factors, to establish general index system, and to evaluate the stability of the shelterbelt nowadays.Finally, the concept of ecological stability is utilized to manage the artificial ecosystem. The results show that the artificial ecosystem is relatively flimsy, whose stability can be increased by adjusting stand structure and improving the nutrient cycle.

  9. Rural childhoods in Egypt's desert lands

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Adriansen, Hanne Kirstine

    . Many settlers move to the Mubarak villages in order to give their children a good start in life. The desert villages are associated with a type of ‘rural idyll’. The process of settling in the desert impacts upon the children’s possible pathways to adulthood and their identities and social...... relationships. Not only do the children grow up in a different physical context, they are also exposed to new norms, values and behaviour that influences their everyday life and shape their identity. Especially the change from living in large, extended families to living in nuclear families as well as women......’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...

  10. Long-term accumulation of atmospheric dust in rocky deserts

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Goossens, D.; Offer, Z.Y.

    2005-01-01

    The spatial pattern of long-term (hundreds to thousands of years) accumulation of dust in rocky deserts was investigated in the northern Negev Desert of Israel. The concentration of dust in the desert subsoil was measured at 41 locations in a 53 ha test area for which detailed information exists on

  11. The Punitive Paradox: Desert and the Compulsion to Punish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clear, Todd R.

    1996-01-01

    Explores the concept of a "just deserts" justice paradox in which carrying out a deserved penalty breaches the values that undergird the theory of just deserts. Examines whether it might ever be proper, from a desert perspective, to choose not to impose a deserved punishment. (KW)

  12. 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.

  13. New Insights in Preservation of Meteorites in Hot Deserts: The Oldest Hot Desert Meteorite Collection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hutzler, A.; Rochette, P.; Bourlès, D.; Gattacceca, J.; Merchel, S.; Jull, A. J. T.; Valenzuela, M.

    2016-08-01

    Terrestrial ages of a subset of a chilean meteorite collection have been determined with cosmogenic nuclides. We show here that provided the environnement is favorable enough, hot desert meteorites can survive over a million year.

  14. Microflora in soils of desert regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cameron, R. E.

    1970-01-01

    Desert soil samples, collected using aseptic techniques, are low in organic matter and cation exchange capacity. Aerobic and microaerophilic bacteria are most abundant, next are algae and molds. Chemical and physical properties are determined by standard procedures, including the Kjeldahl method and the use of Munsell soil color charts.

  15. From desert to deluge in the Mediterranean

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    McKenzie, Judith A.

    2002-01-01

    Some time between five and six million years ago, the Mediterranean Sea became isolated from the Atlantic Ocean. In consequence some areas dried out -- hence the title of Kenneth Hsü’s book The Mediterranean was a Desert 1 -- and large salty lakes recharged by rivers flowing through deep canyons rep

  16. Extrafloral nectar fuels ant life in deserts.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-11-07

    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 desert of northwestern Argentina, we surveyed the richness and phenology of EFN plants and their associated ants and examined the patterns in ant-plant interaction networks. We found that 25 ant species and 11 EFN-bearing plant species were linked together through 96 pairs of associations. Plants bearing EFNs were abundant, representing ca. 19 % of the species encountered in transects and 24 % of the plant cover. Most ant species sampled (ca. 77 %) fed on EF nectar. Interactions showed a marked seasonal pattern: EFN secretion was directly related to plant phenology and correlated with the time of highest ant ground activity. Our results reveal that EFN-mediated interactions are ecologically relevant components of deserts, and that EFN-bearing plants are crucial for the survival of desert ant communities. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Annals of Botany Company.

  17. 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%.

  18. 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%. PMID:21149727

  19. Spectral reflectance in the Tunisian desert.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Epema, G.F.

    1992-01-01

    .Satellites provide the possibility to give a synoptical view of the earth surface at regular time intervals. Satellites operating in the optical wavelengths have however as disadvantage that monitoring of the surface characteristics becomes impossible as soon as clouds are present. Deserts and dese

  20. Liquid Water Restricts Habitability in Extreme Deserts.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

  1. Preventing desert locust plagues: optimizing management interventions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  2. Habitat selection by juvenile Mojave Desert tortoises

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  3. Wood decay in desert riverine environments

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  4. Snow, the Great River, and the Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rango, A.

    2005-12-01

    While many major rivers around the world originate from alpine snowpacks in mountain regions, some experience the extreme contrast of flowing through harsh desert environments downriver. One such stream is the Rio Grande which rises in the San Juan and the Sangre de Christo mountains of southern Colorado and northern New Mexico. Eventually, the snow fed Rio Grande flows through North America's largest desert, the Chihuahuan Desert in New Mexico, Texas, and Mexico, and simultaneously becomes part of the border between the United States and Mexico. As is often true, urban areas develop along the river corridors rather than in more inaccessible mountain regions. This demographic preference tends to isolate the vast majority of population in the Rio Grande, who are dependent on water for their livelihoods, from the mountain snowpacks where the flow is generated. Ironically then, snow is seldom viewed as the source of the much needed water flowing through the desert by the majority of the basin's population. In arid regions of the western U.S., water demand far exceeds the water supply, and water use is apportioned under the doctrine of prior appropriation with the oldest right getting the first use of water. The increasing population in urban areas does not usually have a right to use the water flowing through the desert unless water rights have been purchased by municipalities from the major category of water user in these basins, namely, irrigated agriculture. In the entire Rio Grande basin, irrigation makes up 80% of the consumptive use of water. Additionally, basin compacts and international treaties apportion water between states and countries. Because these formal agreements were based on above average runoff years, there is little flexibility in changing the use of water, particularly in dry to normal runoff years. Most of the older water rights in the Rio Grande, especially the upper basin, are supplied by snowmelt. This leaves the lower basin to depend upon

  5. High performance robotic traverse of desert terrain.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Whittaker, William (Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA)

    2004-09-01

    This report presents tentative innovations to enable unmanned vehicle guidance for a class of off-road traverse at sustained speeds greater than 30 miles per hour. Analyses and field trials suggest that even greater navigation speeds might be achieved. The performance calls for innovation in mapping, perception, planning and inertial-referenced stabilization of components, hosted aboard capable locomotion. The innovations are motivated by the challenge of autonomous ground vehicle traverse of 250 miles of desert terrain in less than 10 hours, averaging 30 miles per hour. GPS coverage is assumed to be available with localized blackouts. Terrain and vegetation are assumed to be akin to that of the Mojave Desert. This terrain is interlaced with networks of unimproved roads and trails, which are a key to achieving the high performance mapping, planning and navigation that is presented here.

  6. Himalayan Mountain Range, Taklimakan Desert, China

    Science.gov (United States)

    1991-01-01

    Looking north from Kashmir India (27.5N, 76.5E) into the Tibetan Plateau and beyond, the Taklimakan Desert of far western China appears to be covered with an extensive layer of haze that blankets the entire region. Reaching even into the western Siberian Plains of the CIS. This rugged land is one of the world's richest treasure troves of mineral wealth but the accessability into this remote area is so difficult that it is not yet economically feasible.

  7. Expansion and contraction of Chinese deserts during the Quaternary

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    刘东生; 孙继敏

    2002-01-01

    Episodic dune formations during the Quaternary are found in many deserts of China.The causes of desert expansions on different time scales are not the same. Desert extension atabout 1.1 and 0.9 Ma ago were the response to the active tectonic movements, whereas the de-sert evolutions on the ten-thousand years time scale were the response to the orbital scale climaticchanges. Spatial scale studies on desert evolution indicate that desert margins shifted greatly dur-ing the last glacial maximum (LGM) and the Holocene optimum, its changing from 125°E of theLGM to 105°E of the climatic optimum. Historical desertification in the semiarid China is not a re-sponse to climate drought but largely associated with the human impacts (mainly over-cultivation)since about 2300 years ago, which leads to the reworking of the underlying LGM sands.

  8. Wind modeling of Chihuahuan Desert dust outbreaks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rivera Rivera, Nancy I.; Gill, Thomas E.; Gebhart, Kristi A.; Hand, Jennifer L.; Bleiweiss, Max P.; Fitzgerald, Rosa M.

    The Chihuahuan Desert region of North America is a significant source of mineral aerosols in the Western Hemisphere, and Chihuahuan Desert dust storms frequently impact the Paso del Norte (El Paso, USA/Ciudad Juarez, Mexico) metropolitan area. A statistical analysis of HYSPLIT back trajectory residence times evaluated airflow into El Paso on all days and on days with synoptic (non-convective) dust events in 2001-2005. The incremental probability—a measure of the areas most likely to have been traversed by air masses arriving at El Paso during dusty days—was only strongly positively associated with the region west-southwest of the city, a zone of known dust source areas. Focused case studies were made of major dust events on 15 April and 15 December 2003. Trajectories approached the surface and MM5 (NCAR/Penn State Mesoscale Model) wind speeds increased at locations consistent with dust sources observed in satellite imagery on those dates. Back trajectory and model analyses suggested that surface cyclones adjacent to the Chihuahuan Desert were associated with the extreme dust events, consistent with previous studies of dust storms in the Southern High Plains to the northeast. The recognition of these meteorological patterns serves as a forecast aid for prediction of dust events likely to impact the Paso del Norte.

  9. Adsorption of dyes on Sahara desert sand.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Varlikli, Canan; Bekiari, Vlasoula; Kus, Mahmut; Boduroglu, Numan; Oner, Ilker; Lianos, Panagiotis; Lyberatos, Gerasimos; Icli, Siddik

    2009-10-15

    Sahara desert sand (SaDeS) was employed as a mineral sorbent for retaining organic dyes from aqueous solutions. Natural sand has demonstrated a strong affinity for organic dyes but significantly lost its adsorption capacity when it was washed with water. Therefore, characterization of both natural and water washed sand was performed by XRD, BET, SEM and FTIR techniques. It was found that water-soluble kyanite, which is detected in natural sand, is the dominant factor affecting adsorbance of cationic dyes. The sand adsorbs over 75% of cationic dyes but less than 21% for anionic ones. Among the dyes studied, Methylene Blue (MB) demonstrated the strongest affinity for Sahara desert sand (Q(e)=11.98 mg/g, for initial dye solution concentration 3.5 x 10(-5)mol/L). The effects of initial dye concentration, the amount of the adsorbent, the temperature and the pH of the solution on adsorption capacity were tested by using Methylene Blue as model dye. Pseudo-first-order, pseudo-second-order and intraparticle diffusion models were applied. It was concluded that adsorption of Methylene Blue on Sahara desert sand followed pseudo-second order kinetics. Gibbs free energy, enthalpy change and entropy change were calculated and found -6411 J/mol, -30360 J/mol and -76.58 J/mol K, respectively. These values indicate that the adsorption is an exothermic process and has a spontaneous nature at low temperatures.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Sonoran Desert: Fragile Land of Extremes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Produced and Directed by Wessells, Stephen

    2003-01-01

    'Sonoran Desert: Fragile Land of Extremes' shows how biologists with the U.S. Geological Survey work with other scientists in an effort to better understand native plants and animals such as desert tortoises, saguaro cacti, and Gila monsters. Much of the program was shot in and around Saguaro National Park near Tucson, Arizona. Genetic detective work, using DNA, focuses on understanding the lives of tortoises. Studies of saguaros over many decades clarify how these amazing plants reproduce and thrive in the desert. Threats from fire, diseases in tortoises, and a growing human population motivate the scientists. Their work to identify how these organisms live and survive is a crucial step for the sound management of biological resources on public lands. This 28-minute program, USGS Open-File Report 03-305, was shot entirely in high definition video and produced by the USGS Western Ecological Research Center and Southwest Biological Science Center; produced and directed by Stephen Wessells, Western Region Office of Communications.

  13. Aerosol direct radiative forcing in desert and semi-desert regions of northwestern China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xin, Jinyuan; Gong, Chongshui; Wang, Shigong; Wang, Yuesi

    2016-05-01

    The optical properties of dust aerosols were measured using narrow-band data from a portable sun photometer at four desert and semi-desert stations in northwestern China from 2004 to 2007. Ground-based and satellite observations indicated absorbing dust aerosol loading over the region surrounded by eight large-scale deserts. Radiation forcing was identified by using the Santa Barbara DISORT Atmospheric Radiative Transfer (SBDART) model. The ranges of annual mean aerosol optical depth (AOD), Angström exponents, and single-scattering albedo (SSA) were from 0.25 to 0.35, from - 0.73 to 1.18, and from 0.77 to 0.86, respectively. The ranges of annual mean aerosol direct radiative forcing values at the top of the atmosphere (TOA), mid-atmosphere, and on the surface were from 3.9 to 12.0, from 50.0 to 53.1, and from - 39.1 to - 48.1 W/m2, respectively. The aerosols' optical properties and radiative characteristics showed strong seasonal variations in both the desert and semi-desert regions. Strong winds and relatively low humidity will lead dust aerosols in the atmosphere to an increase, which played greatly affected these optical properties during spring and winter in northwestern China. Based on long-term observations and retrieved data, aerosol direct radiative forcing was confirmed to heat the atmosphere (50-53 W/m2) and cool the surface (- 39 to - 48 W/m2) above the analyzed desert. Radiative forcing in the atmosphere in spring and winter was 18 to 21 W/m2 higher than other two seasons. Based on the dust sources around the sites, the greater the AOD, the more negative the forcing. The annual averaged heating rates for aerosols close to the ground (1 km) were approximately 0.80-0.85 K/day.

  14. 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.

  15. The Palm Desert Renewable Hydrogen Transportation System

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lehman, P. [Humboldt State Univ., Arcata, CA (United States)

    1996-10-01

    The present paper describes, for purposes of the Department of Energy (DoE) Hydrogen Program Review, Schatz Energy Research Center (SERC) progress on the Palm Desert Renewable Hydrogen Transportation System Project for the period January through June 1996. This period represents the first six months of the three year project. The estimated cost over three years is $3.9M, $1.859M of which is funded by the DoE ($600 k for fiscal year 1996). The goal of the Palm Desert Project is to develop a clean and sustainable transportation system for a community. The project will demonstrate the practical utility of hydrogen as a transportation fuel and proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells as vehicle power plants. This transportation system will be developed in the City of Palm Desert in southern California and will include a fleet of 8 fuel cell powered vehicles, solar and wind powered hydrogen generating facilities, a consumer-ready refueling station, and a service infrastructure. The system holds the promise of a clean environment and an energy supply that is predictable, domestic, safe, and abundant. During, the first part of 1996 SERC has nearly completed building a fuel cell powered personal utility vehicle, which features an upgraded safety and computer system; they have designed and built a test bench that is able to mimic golf cart loads and test fuel cell system auxiliary components; they have begun the design of the solar hydrogen generating station; they have worked with Sandia National Laboratory on an advanced metal hydride storage system; they have increased the power density of the SERC fuel cell by as much as 50%; and they have reached out to the rest of the world with a new fact sheet, world wide web pages, a press release, video footage for a television program. and instruction within the community.

  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. 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

  19. 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...

  20. From desert to deluge in the Mediterranean

    OpenAIRE

    McKenzie, Judith A.

    2002-01-01

    Some time between five and six million years ago, the Mediterranean Sea became isolated from the Atlantic Ocean. In consequence some areas dried out -- hence the title of Kenneth Hsü’s book The Mediterranean was a Desert 1 -- and large salty lakes recharged by rivers flowing through deep canyons replaced the previously marine basins. During this time, the remaining bodies of water were either too salty or not salty enough for normal marine fauna to flourish. This was the so-called Messinian s...

  1. Morphodynamics of Planetary Deserts: A Laboratory Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia, A.; Courrech Du Pont, S.; Rodriguez, S.

    2014-12-01

    Earth deserts show a rich variety of dune shapes from transverse to barchan, star and linear dunes depending on the history of wind regimes (strength and variability) and sand availability [1]. In desert, exposed to one wind direction, dunes perpendicular to the wind direction are found to be transverse or barchans, only sand availability plays a key role on their formation and evolution. However, the evolution time scale of such structures (several years) limits our investigation of their morphodynamics understanding. We use here, a laboratory experiment able to considerably reduce space and time scales by reproducing millimeter to centimeter subaqueous dunes by controlling environmental parameters such as type of wind (multi-winds, bimodal, quasi-bimodal or unidirectional wind) and amount of sediment [2,3]. This set up allows us to characterize more precisely the different modes of dune formation and long-term evolution, and to constrain the physics behind the morphogenesis and dynamics of dunes. Indeed, the formation, evolution and transition between the different dune modes are better understood and quantified thanks to a new setting experiment able to give a remote sediment source in continuous (closer to what happens in terrestrial desert): a sand distributor that controls the input sand flow. Firstly, in a one wind direction conditions, we managed to follow and quantify the growth of the instability of transverse dunes that break into barchans when the sand supply is low and reversely when the sand supply is higher, barchan fields evolve to bars dunes ending to form transverse. The next step will be to perform experiments under two winds conditions in order to better constrain the formation mode of linear dunes, depending also only on the input sand flux. Previous experiments shown that linear "finger" dunes can be triggered by the break of transverse dunes and then the elongating of one barchan's arm [4]. These studies can farther explain more precisely in

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  3. 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

  4. 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 hab

  5. The Solar Spectrum in the Atacama Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cordero, R. R.; Damiani, A.; Seckmeyer, G.; Jorquera, J.; Caballero, M.; Rowe, P.; Ferrer, J.; Mubarak, R.; Carrasco, J.; Rondanelli, R.; Matus, M.; Laroze, D.

    2016-03-01

    The Atacama Desert has been pointed out as one of the places on earth where the highest surface irradiance may occur. This area is characterized by its high altitude, prevalent cloudless conditions and relatively low columns of ozone and water vapor. Aimed at the characterization of the solar spectrum in the Atacama Desert, we carried out in February-March 2015 ground-based measurements of the spectral irradiance (from the ultraviolet to the near infrared) at seven locations that ranged from the city of Antofagasta (on the southern pacific coastline) to the Chajnantor Plateau (5,100 m altitude). Our spectral measurements allowed us to retrieve the total ozone column, the precipitable water, and the aerosol properties at each location. We found that changes in these parameters, as well as the shorter optical path length at high-altitude locations, lead to significant increases in the surface irradiance with the altitude. Our measurements show that, in the range 0-5100 m altitude, surface irradiance increases with the altitude by about 27% in the infrared range, 6% in the visible range, and 20% in the ultraviolet range. Spectral measurements carried out at the Izaña Observatory (Tenerife, Spain), in Hannover (Germany) and in Santiago (Chile), were used for further comparisons.

  6. Dew condensation on desert beetle skin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guadarrama-Cetina, J; Mongruel, A; Medici, M-G; Baquero, E; Parker, A R; Milimouk-Melnytchuk, I; González-Viñas, W; Beysens, D

    2014-11-01

    Some tenebrionind beetles inhabiting the Namib desert are known for using their body to collect water droplets from wind-blown fogs. We aim to determine whether dew water collection is also possible for desert insects. For this purpose, we investigated the infra-red emissivity, and the wetting and structural properties, of the surface of the elytra of a preserved specimen of Physasterna cribripes (Tenebrionidæ) beetle, where the macro-structure appears as a series of "bumps", with "valleys" between them. Dew formation experiments were carried out in a condensation chamber. The surface properties (infra-red emissivity, wetting properties) were dominated by the wax at the elytra surface and, to a lower extent, its micro-structure. We performed scanning electron microscope on histological sections and determined the infra-red emissivity using a scanning pyrometer. The emissivity measured (0.95±0.07 between 8-14 μm) was close to the black body value. Dew formation occurred on the insect's elytra, which can be explained by these surface properties. From the surface coverage of the condensed drops it was found that dew forms primarily in the valleys between the bumps. The difference in droplet nucleation rate between bumps and valleys can be attributed to the hexagonal microstructure on the surface of the valleys, whereas the surface of the bumps is smooth. The drops can slide when they reach a critical size, and be collected at the insect's mouth.

  7. Scorpions and scorpionism in Iran's central desert.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nejati, Jalil; Saghafipour, Abedin; Mozaffari, Ehsan; Keyhani, Amir; Jesri, Nahid

    2017-02-01

    Venomous scorpions have extreme importance in field of medicine and public health. This descriptive - analytic study was done to identify scorpion fauna, their ecological aspects as well as scorpionism for risk management and prevention of this health problem in Iran's central desert. Four urban and fifteen rural areas with various climates and topography locations were selected for monthly scorpion collection through a randomly cluster sampling in 2013. The clinical data was obtained from questionnaires provided in 2009-2014. Totally, 1481 scorpion sting cases were recorded. The majority were treated less than 6h after the sting. Statistical tests showed significant difference between season, scorpion's color, living place of patients and scorpionism cases. Plain areas had the most occurrence of scorpionism followed by foothills. Moreover, 311 scorpion samples belonged to 7 species of Buthidae were collected. Mesobuthus eupeus was the dominant species in both rural and urban areas. Most of the collected samples were from indoors, yards and around the houses. The most scorpion activity was recorded in the summer. The studied areas had rich scorpion fauna due to various climates and topography locations. Scorpion stings can be important and fatal in this area, particularly in the plain regions with semi-desert climate. An investigation for assessment of peoples' awareness on prevention methods of scorpionism and also the determination and the assessment of effective factors on reducing the elapsed time between scorpion stings and receiving medical care are here recommended.

  8. Evolutionary Hotspots in the Mojave Desert

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sharyn B. Marks

    2013-04-01

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

  9. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  11. Evolution and Functional Classification of Vertebrate Gene Deserts

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ovcharenko, I; Loots, G; Nobrega, M; Hardison, R; Miller, W; Stubbs, L

    2004-07-14

    Gene deserts, long stretches of DNA sequence devoid of protein coding genes, span approximately one quarter of the human genome. Through human-chicken genome comparisons we were able to characterized one third of human gene deserts as evolutionarily stable - they are highly conserved in vertebrates, resist chromosomal rearrangements, and contain multiple conserved non-coding elements physically linked to their neighboring genes. A linear relationship was observed between human and chicken orthologous stable gene deserts, where the human deserts appear to have expanded homogeneously by a uniform accumulation of repetitive elements. Stable gene deserts are associated with key vertebrate genes that construct the framework of vertebrate development; many of which encode transcription factors. We show that the regulatory machinery governing genes associated with stable gene deserts operates differently from other regions in the human genome and relies heavily on distant regulatory elements. The regulation guided by these elements is independent of the distance between the gene and its distant regulatory element, or the distance between two distant regulatory cassettes. The location of gene deserts and their associated genes in the genome is independent of chromosomal length or content presenting these regions as well-bounded regions evolving separately from the rest of the genome.

  12. Browning in Desert Boundaries in Asia in Recent Decades

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Desert Research and Technology Studies 2005 Report

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ross, Amy J.; Kosmo, Joseph J.; Janoiko, Barbara A.; Bernard, Craig; Splawn, Keith; Eppler, Dean B.

    2006-01-01

    During the first two weeks of September 2005, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Johnson Space Center (JSC) Advanced Extravehicular Activity (AEVA) team led the field test portion of the 2005 Research and Technology Studies (RATS). The Desert RATS field test activity is the culmination of the various individual science and advanced engineering discipline areas year-long technology and operations development efforts into a coordinated field test demonstration under representative (analog) planetary surface terrain conditions. The purpose of the RATS is to drive out preliminary exploration concept of operations EVA system requirements by providing hands-on experience with simulated planetary surface exploration extravehicular activity (EVA) hardware and procedures. The RATS activities also are of significant importance in helping to develop the necessary levels of technical skills and experience for the next generation of engineers, scientists, technicians, and astronauts who will be responsible for realizing the goals of the Constellation Program. The 2005 Desert RATS was the eighth RATS field test and was the most systems-oriented, integrated field test to date with participants from NASA field centers, the United States Geologic Survey (USGS), industry partners, and research institutes. Each week of the test, the 2005 RATS addressed specific sets of objectives. The first week focused on the performance of surface science astro-biological sampling operations, including planetary protection considerations and procedures. The second week supported evaluation of the Science, Crew, Operations, and Utility Testbed (SCOUT) proto-type rover and its sub-systems. Throughout the duration of the field test, the Communications, Avionics, and Infomatics pack (CAI-pack) was tested. This year the CAI-pack served to provide information on surface navigation, science sample collection procedures, and EVA timeline awareness. Additionally, 2005 was the first

  16. Desert disturbance assessments of regional oil exploitation by Aster and ETM+ images in Taklimakan Desert China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ouyang, Wei; Hao, Fang-Hua; Fu, Yongshuo; Zhang, Jiaxun

    2008-09-01

    To feed its rapidly growing energy demand, oil exploitation in China has never been more intensive. The most obvious characteristics of oil exploitation are progressive and regional, which can be monitored by remote sensing, such as land use and cover change, either perpetual or temporary, during oil field development such as construction of oil well, roads, transportation systems and other facilities. In this paper, the oil field located on the north edge of Taklimakan Desert, in the Tarim River watershed in northwest of China. The disturbance effects of regional oil exploitation were the main content of regional environmental managements and monitoring. Based on Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+) and Aster images, analyzed regional land use and landscape change from 2001 to 2003. By the comparison, it can be concluded that the ecological quality was deteriorating in these 3 years. The woodland was degrading to grass and desert. The area of woodland dropped from 9.06 km(2) in 2001 to 3.24 km(2) in 2003 with a 64.23% decrease. At the same time, the area of shrubbery lessened 18.23%. On the other hand, the whole area of desert and Saline soils inflated from 15.08 km(2) in 2001 to 25.36 km(2) in 2003. The patch number of bare land did climb dramatically, but single patch area increased. The research demonstrated that desert and Saline soils patches were activated by the human behavior and climate change. The information from the ETM+ and Aster images was proved be an effective and efficient way to be applied in regional environmental managements.

  17. Aesthetic value of aeolian geomorphosites in the Kumtagh Desert, China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    JinFeng Wu; Xin Wang; Feng Guo; Lei Li

    2014-01-01

    Tourism development of aeolian geomorphosites in the Kumtagh Desert is beneficial to both harmonious development of human-nature relationship and the sustainable development of the tourist industry in the Kumtagh Desert and its sur-rounding area. This paper adopts some research methods including field observation, expert assessment, and systematic investigation to analyze and evaluate the aesthetic value of aeolian geomorphosites in the Kumtagh Desert from three aspects of"Beauty of Morphology","Beauty of Color"and"Beauty of Forms". This research is a creative work in the field of aeolian geomorphosites combining the method of aeolian geomorphology and tourism geography.

  18. Holocene climatic change in Hunshandake Desert

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    JIN Heling; SU Zhizhu; SUN Liangying; SUN Zhong; ZHANG Hong; JIN Liya

    2004-01-01

    Research on the geological data of Hunshandake Desert in China monsoon region revealed that Holocene summer monsoon had experienced six prevailing periods and seven weakening periods. The climatic humidity and the vegetation had also undergone the similar periodical variation influenced by the monsoon periodicity. The period when summer monsoon prevailed or winter monsoon weakened and climatic humidity and vegetation coverage relatively increased, corresponded to the global warming events;whereas the period when summer monsoon weakened or winter monsoon prevailed and climatic humidity and vegetation coverage relatively decreased, corresponded to the arid events in middle to low latitudes and the cold events in North Atlantic. As for the changing regularity of summer monsoon intensity there were two distinct periodicities of 1456 years and 494 years, also these two periodicities had global significance.

  19. Thermodynamic and pedogenic differences between desert microsites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, Michael; Caldwell, Todd; Lin, Henry

    2014-05-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. Belowground productivity of two cool desert communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caldwell, M M; Camp, L B

    1974-06-01

    A new technique based upon the dilution of C (14) /C (12) ratios in structural carbon of root systems during the course of the growing season was used to evaluate belowground turnover or productivity of two cool desert communities in northern Utah, USA. This technique provides a measure of turnover of the root system of established perennial plant communities avoiding many of the disadvantages of other techniques. Adjacent communities dominated by Atriplex confertifolia and Ceratoides lanata both exhibited belowground productivity values exceeding aboveground production by three-fold. The greater belowground turnover of the Atriplex-dominated community may be a factor contributing to the maintenance of a greater quantity of aboveground biomass and prolonged periods of active photosynthesis during the driest portions of the year when Ceratoides becomes largely photosynthetically inactive.

  2. GPUs: An Oasis in the Supercomputing Desert

    CERN Document Server

    Kamleh, Waseem

    2012-01-01

    A novel metric is introduced to compare the supercomputing resources available to academic researchers on a national basis. Data from the supercomputing Top 500 and the top 500 universities in the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) are combined to form the proposed "500/500" score for a given country. Australia scores poorly in the 500/500 metric when compared with other countries with a similar ARWU ranking, an indication that HPC-based researchers in Australia are at a relative disadvantage with respect to their overseas competitors. For HPC problems where single precision is sufficient, commodity GPUs provide a cost-effective means of quenching the computational thirst of otherwise parched Lattice practitioners traversing the Australian supercomputing desert. We explore some of the more difficult terrain in single precision territory, finding that BiCGStab is unreliable in single precision at large lattice sizes. We test the CGNE and CGNR forms of the conjugate gradient method on the normal equa...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-03-13

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

  4. Oregon High Desert Interpretive Center : Economic feasibility and impact analysis

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This is a proposal to construct a High Desert Interpretive Center to inform visitors to Harney County, Oregon of the opportunities for education, recreation and...

  5. Final Critical Habitat for the Desert pupfish (Cyprinodon macularius)

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — To provide the user with a general idea of areas where final critical habitat for desert pupfish (Cyprinodon macularius) occur based on the description provided in...

  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. Proposal for multi-agency facility : High Desert Interagency Partnership

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This is a proposal to construct a multi-agency facility to house the High Desert Interagency Partnership. The facility would be on federally owned land in Hines,...

  8. Annual plants in arid and semi-arid desert regions

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Xuehua LI; Xiaolan LI; Deming JIANG; Zhimin LIU; Qinghe YU

    2008-01-01

    Annual plants are the main vegetation in arid and semi-arid desert regions.Because of their unique traits,they are the optimal experimental subjects for eco-logical studies.In this article,we summarize annual plants' seed germination strategies,seedling adaptability mechanism to environments,seed dispersal,and soil seed banks.We also discuss the biotic and abiotic factors affecting the composition and dynamics of annual plant populations and communities.Because annual plants have important ecological functions in desert vegetation systems,this study on annual plants will be of great bene-fit to the conservation and restoration of desert ecosys-tems,the rational utilization of resources,and the sustainable development of desert regions.

  9. The Trail Inventory of Desert NWR [Cycle 2

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — The purpose of this report is to create a baseline inventory of all non-motorized trails on Desert National Wildlife Range. Trails in this inventory are eligible for...

  10. The Trail Inventory of Desert National Wildlife Refuge [Cycle 1

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — The purpose of this report is to create a baseline inventory of all non-motorized trails on Desert National Wildlife Range. Trails in this inventory are eligible for...

  11. Final Critical Habitat for the Desert Tortoise (Gopherus agassizii)

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — To provide the user with a general idea of areas where final critical habitat for desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) occur based on the description provided in the...

  12. Species status assessment for the Sonoran desert tortoise

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — The Sonoran desert tortoise (Gopherus morafkai) occurs in various habitat types in Arizona and northern Mexico. It was made a candidate for listing in 2010 by the...

  13. Final Critical Habitat for the Desert yellowhead (Yermo xanthocephalus)

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — These data identify, in general, the areas where final critical habitat for the Desert yellowhead (Yermo xanthocephalus) occur. The geographic extent includes...

  14. 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.

  15. Ecophysiology of two Sonoran Desert evergreen shrubs during extreme drought

    Science.gov (United States)

    Recent drought across the arid Southwest US may be especially problematic for evergreen desert species that maintain leaves through dry periods. In July, 2002 we compared the ecophysiogical performance of the microphyllous creosotebush (Larrea tridentata) to broadleaved jojoba (Simmondisa chinensis...

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  17. Recovery and vulnerability of the Mojave Desert ecosystem:

    Data.gov (United States)

    Oak Ridge National Laboratory — Desert surfaces are inherently fragile, and many land uses disrupt the thin crusts that typically protect the landscape from wind and water erosion. Depiction of the...

  18. Prediction of Dust Propensity for Military Operations in Desert Areas

    Science.gov (United States)

    1988-11-01

    FWE GOPI TECHNICAL REPORT EL8-1 PREDICTION OF DUST PROPENSITY FOR of Eginers’.MILITARY OPERATIONS IN DESERT AREAS by William K. Dornbusch , John N...11 TTLE~ ~I IAT40 30/069 Prediction of Dust Propensity for Military operations in Desert Areas 12. F"RSONAL AVTNO9(%) Dornbusch . William K.; Strange...Harrison was Chief, EL. The study was performed and this report was written by Messrs. William K. Dornbusch , John N. Strange, and Allen D. Rooke, Jr

  19. A Future for the Past of Desert Vernacular Architecture

    OpenAIRE

    2011-01-01

    Desert vernacular architecture has always been the product of a sustainable building cycle. People inherited the traditional way of building from their ancestors and the knowledge was transferred and developed from one generation to another. Inhabitants responded to their environment and climate through trial and error in a way that satisfied their needs and aspirations to create a developing building tradition. This natural and cultural cycle is about to disappear in many desert vernacular s...

  20. Ecological and evolutionary physiology of desert birds: a progress report.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Joseph B; Tieleman, B Irene

    2002-02-01

    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 their environment, occupy these desert climates because of the possession of physiological design features common to all within the class Aves. We review studies that show that desert birds may have evolved specific features to deal with hot desert conditions including: a reduced basal metabolic rate (BMR) and field metabolic rate (FMR), and lower total evaporative water loss (TEWL) and water turnover (WTO).Previous work on the comparative physiology of desert birds relied primarily on information gathered on species from the deserts of the southwestern U.S., which are semi-arid habitats of recent geologic origin. We include data on species from Old World deserts, which are geologically older than those in the New World, and place physiological responses along an aridity axis that includes mesic, semi-arid, arid, and hyperarid environments.The physiological differences between desert and mesic birds that we have identified using the comparative method could arise as a result of acclimation to different environments, of genetic change mediated by selection, or both. We present data on the flexibility of BMR and TEWL in Hoopoe Larks that suggest that phenotypic adjustments in these variables can be substantial. Finally, we suggest that linkages between the physiology of individual organism and its life-history are fundamental to the understanding of life-history evolution.

  1. Contraction of the Gobi Desert, 2000–2012

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Troy Sternberg

    2015-01-01

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

  2. Making silica rock coatings in the lab: synthetic desert varnish

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perry, Randall S.; Kolb, Vera M.; Philip, Ajish I.; Lynne, Bridget Y.; McLoughlin, Nicola; Sephton, Mark; Wacey, David; Green, Owen R.

    2005-09-01

    Desert varnish and silica rock coatings have perplexed investigators since Humboldt and Darwin. They are found in arid regions and deserts on Earth but the mechanism of their formation remains challenging (see Perry et al. this volume). One method of researching this is to investigate natural coatings, but another way is to attempt to produce coatings in vitro. Sugars, amino acids, and silicic acid, as well as other organic and (bio)organic compounds add to the complexity of naturally forming rock coatings. In the lab we reduced the complexity of the natural components and produced hard, silica coatings on basaltic chips obtained from the Mojave Desert. Sodium silicate solution was poured over the rocks and continuously exposed to heat and/or UV light. Upon evaporation the solutions were replenished. Experiments were performed at various pH's. The micro-deposits formed were analyzed using optical, SEM-EDAX, and electron microprobe. The coatings formed are similar in hardness and composition to silica glazes found on basalts in Hawaii as well as natural desert varnish found in US southwest deserts. Thermodynamic mechanisms are presented showing the theoretical mechanisms for overcoming energy barriers that allow amorphous silica to condense into hard coatings. This is the first time synthetic silica glazes that resemble natural coatings in hardness and chemical composition have been successfully reproduced in the laboratory, and helps to support an inorganic mechanism of formation of desert varnish as well as manganese-deficient silica glazes.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Searching for Life in Death Valley (and Other Deserts) - Microchemical Investigations on Desert Varnish

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andreae, M. O.; Al-Amri, A. M.; Jochum, K. P.; Kappl, M.; Kilcoyne, A. D.; Macholdt, D.; Müller, M.; Pöhlker, C.; Weber, B.; Weigand, M.

    2014-12-01

    Desert varnishes are thin, shiny, blackish to brown coatings frequently found on the surfaces of exposed rocks in deserts around the globe. They have been proposed as terrestrial analogues of superficial hematite enrichments observed on Mars. While the first scientific studies of such varnishes go back to Darwin and von Humboldt, and intensive studies by a variety of techniques have been conducted over the last few decades, their origin is still a matter of debate. Microscopic and molecular studies have shown the presence of fungi and bacteria, but it is still unclear whether they are involved in the formation of the varnish material or just opportunistic colonizers on available surfaces. We have analysed samples of desert varnish from sites in Death Valley, the Mojave Desert, the Negev of Israel, Central Saudi Arabia, and the Succulent Karoo by a variety of microanalytical techniques. Measurements by UV-femtosecond Laser Ablation Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry show enrichments of manganese, iron, barium and other elements. Isotopic and trace chemical signatures show that these enriched elements cannot originate from the rocks that form the substrate on which the crusts have been deposited, but most likely are the result of (bio?)chemical transformation of windblown material. For a more detailed investigation of the internal structure of the crusts, we prepared ultra-thin sections (~100 nm) using focused ion beam slicing and analysed them by Scanning Transmission X-ray Microscopy with Near-Edge X-ray Absorption Fine Structure spectroscopy (STXM-NEXAFS). This technique revealed layered or chaotic structures consisting of alternating Mn and Fe-rich zones. Some of these layers are enriched in organic carbon with spectral features dominated by aromatic and carboxylate functionalities, indicating a biological origin of some of the crust material. Some crusts also show cavities that are lined with similar organic material. Since the age of these crusts is

  6. 76 FR 59682 - Desert Southwest Customer Service Region-Western Area Lower Colorado Balancing Authority-Rate...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-09-27

    ... Area Power Administration Desert Southwest Customer Service Region--Western Area Lower Colorado... the Western Area Power Administration's (Western) Desert Southwest Customer Service Region (DSWR... Murray, Rates Manager, Desert Southwest Customer Service Region, Western Area Power Administration, P.O...

  7. Assaying Visual Memory in the Desert Locust

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Senne Dillen

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available The involvement of associative learning cues has been demonstrated in several stages of feeding and food selection. Short neuropeptide F (sNPF, an insect neuropeptide whose effects on feeding behavior have previously been well established, may be one of the factors bridging feeding and learning behavior. Recently, it was shown in Drosophila melanogaster that the targeted reduction of Drome-sNPF transcript levels significantly reduced sugar-rewarded olfactory memory. While Drosophila mainly relies on olfactory perception in its food searching behavior, locust foraging behavior is likely to be more visually orientated. Furthermore, a feeding-dependent regulation of Schgr-sNPF transcript levels has previously been observed in the optic lobes of the locust brain, suggesting a possible involvement in visual perception of food and visual associative memory in this insect species. In this study, we describe the development of a robust and reproducible assay allowing visual associative memory to be studied in the desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria. Furthermore, we performed an exploratory series of experiments, studying the role of Schgr-sNPF in this complex process.

  8. Determination of bioclimatic comfort in Sirjan desert

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tayebeh Mahmoodi

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Climate plays an important role in assessment of quality of outdoor built environments and bioclimatic comfort physiologically influences on human body's characteristics. In this paper, we present an empirical study on bioclimatic comfort in Sirjan desert located in the province of Kerman, Iran. The results of our study shows that velocity of air can reach one meter per second during the daily hours only during the month of September, which causes comfort on people's body. However, even this velocity cannot cause comfort during the night. During the months of March, April and October, whether maintains a velocity of 0.1 meter/second, which brings comfort and it is possible to live with simple dress. During the months of May, June and July it is possible to reach comfort with simple cover during the night. It is possible to reach the same condition with thicker coverage in nightly hours during the months of May and September. However, it is not possible to reach comfort with thick dress any nightly hours of year.

  9. [Estimation of aboveground biomass of desert plants].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Chengyi; Song, Yudong; Wang, Yuchao; Jiang, Pinan

    2004-01-01

    Based on the research of plant quadrate in Sangong River Basin in Xinjiang, the fitted equations were given, which could be used to estimate the aboveground biomass of typical desert plant by using the thicket characteristics such as length of crown diameter, width of crown diameter, number of basal branch, length of new branch, basal diameter (D) and plant height (H) as parameters. Using the length of crown diameter and the width of crown diameter as parameters, the fitted equation was set up and tested for estimating the aboveground biomass of Reaumuria soongorica Maxim. It had a relatively high accuracy and a fine linear relationship between the predicted values and measured values. Its coefficient and relative standard deviation was 0.9989 and 4.79%-10.12%, respectively. The results indicated that the fitted equation was easy and available for estimating the aboveground biomass of Reaumuria soongorica Maxim in large scale. The fitted equations were also set up and tested for estimating the aboveground biomass of Haloxylon ammodendron and Tamarix ramosissima by using the basal diameter and height of plant as the parameters. The coefficients and relative standard deviations of these equations were 0.9902, 0.9875 and 6.87%-19.22%, 7.49%-18.47%, respectively. Therefore, estimating the biomass of Reaumuria soongorica in large scale through crown characteristics was available, and estimating the biomass of Halaxylon Ammodendron and Tamarix ramosissima through crown characteristics would produce certain error.

  10. Copper isotope fractionation by desert shrubs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Navarrete, Jesica U., E-mail: jnavarrete2@miners.utep.edu [University of Texas at El Paso, Department of Geological Sciences, 500 W. University Ave, El Paso, TX 79968 (United States); Viveros, Marian; Ellzey, Joanne T. [University of Texas at El Paso, Department of Biological Sciences, El Paso, TX 79968 (United States); Borrok, David M. [University of Texas at El Paso, Department of Geological Sciences, 500 W. University Ave, El Paso, TX 79968 (United States)

    2011-06-15

    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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 77 FR 65133 - Revisions to the California State Implementation Plan, Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-10-25

    ... Identification of plan. * * * * * (c) * * * (379) * * * (i) * * * (E) Mojave Desert Air Quality Management... AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 Revisions to the California State Implementation Plan, Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). ACTION: Final rule. SUMMARY: EPA...

  15. 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

  16. Desert Tortoise Head-start Program at Twentynine Palms Marine Base

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-04-02

    Hillard. Shell hardness measurement in juvenile desert tortoises, Gopherus agassizii, Herpetological Review, (09 2011): 0. doi: 07/23/2012 2.00...yearlings released to the open desert. Herpetological Conservation and Biology.

  17. Complex Fault Interaction in the Yuha Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kroll, K.; Cochran, E. S.; Richards-Dinger, K. B.; Sumy, D. F.

    2012-12-01

    We determine precise hypocentral locations for over 3,600 aftershocks that occurred in the Yuha Desert (YD) region following the 4 April 2010 Mw 7.2 El Mayor-Cucapah (EMC) earthquake until 14 June 2010 originally located by the Southern California Seismic Network (SCSN). To calculate precise hypocenters we used manually identified phase arrivals and cross-correlation delay times in a series of absolute and relative relocation procedures with algorithms including hypoinverse, velest and hypoDD. We used velest to simultaneously invert for station corrections and the best-fitting velocity model for the event and station distribution. Location errors were reduced with this process to ~20 m horizontally and ~80 m vertically. The locations reveal a complex pattern of faulting with en echelon fault segments trending toward the northwest, approximately parallel to the North American-Pacific plate boundary and en echelon, conjugate features trending to the northeast. The relocated seismicity is highly correlated with the mapped faults that show triggered surface slip in response to the EMC mainshock. Aftershocks are located between depths of 2 km and 11 km, consistent with previous studies of seismogenic thickness in the region. Three-dimensional analysis reveals individual and intersecting fault planes between 5 km and 10 km in the along-strike and along-dip directions. These fault planes remain distinct structures at depth, indicative of conjugate faulting, and do not appear to coalesce onto a through-going fault segment. We observe a complex spatiotemporal migration of aftershocks with individual fault strands that are often active for relatively short time periods. In addition, events relocated by Hauksson et al., (2012) that occur in the two-year period following the 15 June 2010 M5.7 Ocotillo earthquake show majority of seismicity occurred along the Laguna Salada-West branch. At the same time, seismicity along the Laguna Salada-East and other faults in the Yuha Desert

  18. 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.

  19. Snails, stable iostopes, and southwestern desert paleoclimates

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sharpe, S.E. [Univ. and Community College System of Nevada, Reno, NV (United States); Whelan, J.F.; Forester, R.M.; Burdett, J.

    1995-09-01

    Modern and fossil molluscs (snails) occur in many localities in and semi-arid regions throughout the desert southwest. Live terrestrial snails are found under rocks and in forest litter and aquatic taxa inhabit springs, seeps, and/or wetlands. Molluscs uptake local water during their growing season (spring and summer) and incorporate its delta 180 signature into their shells. Preliminary 180 analysis of modem shells from the southern Great Basin indicates that the shells probably reflect meteoric water 180 values during the growing season. This provides a way to estimate the delta 180 value of precipitation and, thereby, the source of the moisture-bearing air masses. Significant 180 variability in shells analyzed include geographic location, elevation, taxonomy, and habitat (terrestrial, spring, or wetland). We found a rough inverse correlation with elevation in modem shells from the Spring Range in southern Nevada. The delta 180 values of modem and fossil shells are also very different; modem values in this location are much higher than those from nearby late Pleistocene-age molluscs suggesting that the Pleistocene summers were variously colder and wetter than today or less evaporative (more humid). Assuming shell material directly reflects the 180 of the growing-season environment, comparison of modem and fossil shell delta 180 values can potentially identify changes in air-mass moisture sources and can help to define seasonal precipitation change through time. Comprehension and quantification of community and isotopic variability in modem gastropods is required to create probabilistic valid transfer functions with fossil materials. Valid inferences about past environmental conditions can then be established with known confidence limits.

  20. Pattern and mortality in Colorado Desert plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wright, S J; Howe, H F

    1987-10-01

    We tested for intraspecific interference among Colorado Desert shrubs using an integrated analysis of spatial pattern and juvenile mortality. The data set included 7,000 woody perennials of 24 species in a mapped hectare of Joshua Tree National Monument, California. The site is dominated by Ambrosia dumosa (62.0% of the stems), with Larre tridentata a conspicuous secondary species (2.3% of the stems). Analyses of static pattern for common species showed: (1) aggregated adults and juveniles for Ambrosia dumosa, Erigonum fasciculatum, Mirabilis bigelovii, and Sphaeralcea ambigua, with more aggregation among juveniles than adults; (2) randomly distributed adults and juveniles for Krameria grayi, Opuntia rasmosissima, Simondsia chinensis, and Yucca schidigera. The summed volumes and distances between nearest conspecific neighbors were positively correlated for Ambrosia dumosa and Larrea tridentata, but not significantly correlated for eight remaining species with ≥100 individuals. Static pattern suggests only weak evidence for negative interactions in Ambrosia and Larrea, and little evidence for other species. Alternative mechanisms other than negative interaction that could give rise to these static patterns are discussed. Juvenile mortality was documented for four common species (Ambrosia dumosa, Eriogonum fasciculatum, Mirabilis bigelovii, and Sphaeralcea ambigua) that experienced substantial mortality. Analyses show: (1) the proportion of individuals that died was independent of the initial density of conspecifics; (2) distance to conspecific adults did not differ for juveniles that died versus those that survived; and (3) death was no more likely for juveniles that contacted other plants than for those that were isolated. The exception was a vine, Mirabilis bigelovii, whose juveniles survived better in contact with other plants. In sum, neither spatial pattern nor patterns of mortality showed clear evidence of negative intraspecific interference.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Dubiec, Anna

    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...

  2. Responses of Plants’ Phenology to Climate Warming in the Desert Area in Northwestern China

    OpenAIRE

    Zhaofeng Chang; Shujuan Zhu; Fugui Han; Shengnian Zhong; Qiangqiang Wang

    2013-01-01

    With climate warming, plants’ spring phenology has advanced while autumn phenology has delayed. How does the phenology of desert plants respond to climatic variation? To reveal it, this study analyzed the phenological data of 22 desert species growing in the Minqin Desert Plants Botanical Garden located in the typical desert area in northwest China. The data was observed during the year 1974-2009. Results revealed that comparing with the literatures available, the temperature in the study are...

  3. Dating climatic change in hot deserts using desert varnish on meteorite finds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, M. R.; Bland, P. A.

    2003-01-01

    A thin coating of desert varnish occurs on Forrest 009 and Nurina 004, both equilibrated ordinary chondrite (L6) finds from the Nullarbor Plain, Australia. This finely laminated deposit is chemically and petrographically comparable to the varnish found on terrestrial rocks. Forrest 009, which has a terrestrial age of 5.9 kyr, has a 100-130 μm thick coating of desert varnish that has a laterally consistent chemical microstratigraphy comprising a narrow Ba- and Mn-poor lower region, a thick Ba- and Mn-rich central area and a narrow outer zone almost devoid of both cations. The interior of the meteorite contains Fe-oxide and oxyhydroxide veins that have formed by chemical weathering of metals and sulphides. As these veins do not cross-cut the varnish, it must have accreted rapidly relative to the weathering rate of the meteorite. The ≤70 μm thick varnish on Nurina 004, which has a terrestrial age of 33.4 kyr, lacks a consistent chemical microstratigraphy, but it is cross-cut by Fe-oxide and oxyhydroxide veins, some of which have supplied Fe to the varnish. This implies that the chemical weathering rate of Nurina 004's interior was slow in comparison to the accretion rate of the varnish. The petrography and chemical composition of varnish on Forrest 009 indicates that this meteorite may have resided in a relatively humid environment for most of its 5.9 kyr terrestrial history and that the Nullarbor recently became more arid. This conclusion supports results from an analysis of Fe-bearing weathering products in the interior of the meteorite by Mössbauer spectroscopy, which also indicate that Forrest 009 experienced an early period of rapid weathering under relatively humid conditions. The petrography of varnish on Nurina 004 shows that the interior of the meteorite weathered relatively slowly, probably because it fell during an arid time, which is again in agreement with previous Mössbauer spectroscopy results. Results from both meteorites are in agreement with

  4. Advance agriculture in the desert:the Israeli case story

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Raanan Katzir

    2015-01-01

    The Israeli Desert constitutes 60%of the country's total area. Regional annual precipitation is 100–200 mm and evapora-tion reaches 2,500 mm. Traditional desert agriculture of rain fed wheat and sheep, goat and camels grazing is common. Despite the harsh climate conditions, advance agriculture is concentrated in foci where water resources exist. Desert ag-riculture takes advantage of the winter (October–April) due to a mild climate season for growing vegetables, flowers, herbs and fruit which are mostly exported to European countries. The key factor is the sustainable management of the local natural resources. The regional research and development (R&D) system is generating adequate local knowledge and technologies. The most important key factor is developing water resources, and using irrigation saving water systems such as drip irrigation. Technologies of protected agriculture such as greenhouses and plastic tunnels are used. The unfit desert soil is substitute by sand and artificial growing media. For gaining market purposes, introduction of botanical species was implemented for various flowers and vegetable varieties, avocado, pitaya, and jojoba. Controlled drip irrigation and drainage helps to solve salinity problems. Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is used to overcome plant protection issues. Advance raising of milking cows was developed by using reduction heat stress methods. Tilapia are raised in open ponds and greenhouse ponds, and ostriches adapted to desert conditions were introduced. On the southern Judean hills where precipitation is 250 mm, through soil conservation and rain harvesting, significant afforestation is changing the desert scenery. The human factor on this process such as farmers, agricultural extension agents and research scientists is the leading factor.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-02-15

    ... Area Power Administration Desert Southwest Customer Service Region-Rate Order No. WAPA-151 AGENCY..., Regional Manager, Desert Southwest Customer Service Region, Western Area Power Administration, 615 South... the Desert Southwest Customer Service Regional Office, 615 South 43rd Avenue, Phoenix, Arizona. FOR...

  6. 76 FR 28767 - Desert Southwest Customer Service Region-Rate Order No. WAPA-152

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-05-18

    ... Area Power Administration Desert Southwest Customer Service Region-Rate Order No. WAPA-152 AGENCY.... FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Darrick Moe, Regional Manager, Desert Southwest Customer Service... moe@wapa.gov , or Mr. Jack Murray, Rates Manager, Desert Southwest Customer Service Region, Western...

  7. 40 CFR 81.167 - Southeast Desert Intrastate Air Quality Control Region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... Air Quality Control Regions § 81.167 Southeast Desert Intrastate Air Quality Control Region. The Southeast Desert Intrastate Air Quality Control Region (California) consists of the territorial area... 40 Protection of Environment 17 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Southeast Desert Intrastate...

  8. 76 FR 29153 - Revisions to the California State Implementation Plan, Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-05-20

    ... taking direct final action to approve revisions to the Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District... approving with the dates that they were adopted by the Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District (MDAQMD... AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 Revisions to the California State Implementation Plan, Mojave Desert Air...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Williams, JB; Tieleman, BI; Shobrak, M

    1999-01-01

    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

  10. 77 FR 47536 - Revisions to the California State Implementation Plan, Mojave Desert, Northern Sierra, Sacramento...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-08-09

    ... Desert Air Quality Management District. (1) Rule 1116, ``Automotive Refinishing Operations,'' amended on... AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 Revisions to the California State Implementation Plan, Mojave Desert, Northern... to the Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District (MDAQMD), Northern Sierra ] Air Quality...

  11. Chemical mass balance source apportionment of fine and PM10 in the Desert Southwest, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    The Desert Southwest Coarse Particulate Matter Study was undertaken in Pinal County, Arizona, to better understand the origin and impact of sources of fine and coarse particulate matter (PM) in rural, arid regions of the U.S. southwestern desert. The desert southwest experiences ...

  12. 78 FR 5196 - Meeting of the California Desert District Advisory Council

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-24

    ... meeting will include a focus on renewable energy, including the proposed Desert Renewable Energy... Bureau of Land Management Meeting of the California Desert District Advisory Council SUMMARY: Notice is hereby given, in accordance with Public Laws 92-463 and 94-579, that the California Desert District...

  13. 76 FR 45606 - Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan, Habitat Conservation Plan and Possible Land Use Plan...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-07-29

    ... Bureau of Land Management Fish and Wildlife Service Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan, Habitat... Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969, as amended, for the proposed Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP... proposed Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP). The EIS will be a joint Environmental...

  14. Researchers Reveal Ecological Roles of Biological Soil Crusts in Desert

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2005-01-01

    @@ Biological soil crust is a complex organic integrity of cyanobacteria, green algae, lichens and mosses, fungi, and other bacteria. This is a common and widespread phenomenon in desert areas all over the world. Biologically,this kind of soil crust differs a lot from physical ones in terms of physical and chemical properties, and become important biological factors in vegetation succession. Despite its unassuming appearance, the crust plays a significant role in the desert ecosystem, involving the process of soil formation, stability and fertility,the prevention of soil erosion by water or wind, the increased possibility of vascular plants colonization, and the stabilization of sand dunes.

  15. 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

  16. 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...

  17. Late pleistocene history of coniferous woodland in the mohave desert.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wells, P V; Berger, R

    1967-03-31

    Seventeen ancient wood-rat middens, ranging in radiocarbon age from 7400 to 19,500 years and to older than 40,000 years, have been uncovered in the northeastern, north-central, southeastern, and southwestern sectors of the Mohave Desert. Excellent preservation of macroscopic plant materials (including stems, buds, leaves, fruits, and seeds) enables identification of many plant species growing within the limited foraging range of the sedentary wood rat. An approximately synchronous zonal differentiation of vegetation in response to a gradient of elevation on limestone in the northeastern Mohave Desert is apparent from the macrofossil evidence, preserved in wood-rat middens and ground-sloth coprolites, covering a time span bracketed by radiocarbon ages of about 9000 and 10,000 years. XerophilQus juniper woodlands descended to an elevation of 1100 meters, some 600 meters below the present lower limit of woodland (1700 meters) in the latitude of Frenchman Flat. But desert or semidesert shrubs coexisted with the woodland trees throughout much of the span of elevation corresponding to the pluvial lowering of the woodland zone, and the more mesophytic phase of pinyonjuniper woodland was evidently confined to montane habitats at elevations above 1500 meters. Joshua trees, accompanied by desert shrubs, prevailed down to about 600 meters at Gypsum Cave, Nevada, but only the shrubs of the existing warm-desert vegetation occurred at 530 meters near Rampart Cave, Arizona. Pleistocene middens from the southeastern Mohave Desert record a relatively large downward shift of the pinyon-juniper woodland zone, paralleling the remarkably low minimum elevation of the existing woodland zone in that area. The macrofossil evidence speaks for former continuity of the many disjunct stands of woodland vegetation in the Mohave Desert region, at least along the higher divides connecting most of the ranges. However, there is no macrofossil evidence of pluvial continuity of range for the more

  18. Distribution of Natural Perchlorate in a Desert Landscape-Amargosa Desert Research Site, Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andraski, B. J.; Jackson, A.; Welborn, T.; Stonestrom, D. A.; Bohlke, J. K.

    2011-12-01

    Knowledge of perchlorate (ClO4-) occurrence is important due to health concerns, evolving groundwater-protection regulations, and for forensic investigations. The distribution of natural ClO4- is being studied at the U.S. Geological Survey's Amargosa Desert Research Site to improve understanding of factors that influence its accumulation and cycling in a desert landscape. The first part of the study evaluated the effect of plants on shallow (0-30 cm) soil concentrations in three settings-shoulder slope, footslope, and valley floor; samples were collected adjacent to plants and in interspaces 2.5-5 m from plants. For the valley-floor, there was a 17-fold decrease between interspace (5.0 μg/kg) and plant-adjacent (0.3 μg/kg) ClO4- concentrations. Chloride (Cl-) concentrations also showed large differences and indicated salt accumulation beneath the interspace desert pavement, but localized leaching adjacent to plants. For the shoulder and footslope, differences between interspace and plant-adjacent ClO4- concentrations were smaller (two fold on average) and inverted (interspace 2.0 μg/kg; plant-adjacent 3.8 μg/kg), and differences between interspace and plant-adjacent Cl- were negligible. Shoulder and footslope indications of a localized increase in ClO4- adjacent to plants suggest a cyclic mechanism of plant uptake, bioaccumulation, and leaf drop. The second part of the study examined ClO4- variability across a 9-ha hillslope. Data first were analyzed by assigning each sampling point to one of three elevation bands-upper, middle, or lower. Soil and plant data both showed trends of increasing ClO4- with decreasing elevation. Concentrations were, for soil (μg/kg): upper (1.6) middle (3.9) > lower (3.6). Multiple-linear regression analyses also were used to explore the relative importance of soil, plant, and terrain variables that influenced ClO4- concentrations across the hillslope. Important explanatory variables for soil ClO4- are land-surface elevation and

  19. Determination of actual evapotranspiration and transpiration in desert sand dunes (Negev Desert) using different approaches

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Thomas Littmann; Maik Veste

    2006-01-01

    In an arid environment, especially in sandy areas where surface runoff is of no practical importance in the hydrological budget, it is rainfall, dewfall and evapotranspiration that become the most important variables. To assess actual evapotranspiration,several methods (flux-gradient, BREB, eddy correlation) were applied to data from the Nizzana experimental site in the northwestern Negev Desert. Additionally, a model specifically designed for arid environments is introduced in this paper. This zero plane model shows the most reasonable results compared with the other methods, which overestimate evapotranspiration to a large degree. It is shown that plant transpiration is the dominant process in total evapotranspiration while advective processes do not play a major role in the near-ground boundary layer, although the study area is influenced by a sea breeze. Actual transpiration of Artemisia monosperma was measured in a field experiment to validate the calculated evapotranspiration. The vegetation contributed 41% of the calculated total evapotranspiration in a single month.

  20. 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.

  1. Radiotelemetry Study of a Desert Tortoise Population: Sand Hill Training Mea, Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    1998-05-01

    monitoring landscape integrity and ecological viability. Desert Tortoise Ecology and Behavior The desert tortoise is a herbivorous reptile ...specialized invertebrates. The burrows provide permanent homes, escape from predators, thermoregulation and maintenance of homeostasis, and hiberna...desert reptiles has long been appreciated (Cowles and Bogert 1944). The importance of burrow microclimates to desert vertebrates and invertebrates, and

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Williams, JB; Tieleman, BI

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

  3. Solar power at the edge of the Sahara desert

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bresler, Ines

    2012-07-01

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

  4. Potential of energy farming in the southeastern California desert

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lew, V.

    1980-04-01

    The California Energy Commission is currently analyzing the use of energy farms to provide future sources of energy for California. Energy farms can be defined as growing plants and converting them to various forms of energy. The use of marginal desert lands in southeastern California for the siting of energy farms using acacia, Eucalyptus, euphorbia, quayule, jojoba, mesquite, or tamarisk is considered. Two hypothetical scenarios using either rainfall, or rainfall and groundwater as water sources were described to determine the maximum amount of energy produced from estimated amounts of suitable land in this area. Considering both scenarios, the maximum range of energy produced is .03 to 0.4 Quads. It is recommended that (1) genetic research be continued to increase biomass yields of these and other candidate plants grown in the desert; and (2) small test plots be established at varying desert locations to collect yield growth, and survival data. Once this information is known, the identification of the best plant(s) to use for energy farming in the California desert area will be known, as well as the cost and quantity of energy produced.

  5. Collection Development "Southwest Gardening": The Desert Shall Bloom

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charles, John; Mosley, Shelley; Van Winkle, Sandra

    2008-01-01

    Gardening in the American Southwest (SW) is an extreme sport. Not only are gardeners challenged by geographic extremes from tropical deserts to subalpine locales, they must also deal with a wide range of climates. Winter in the mountains and higher regions means heavy snows, frozen soils, and temperatures that can dip below zero. In contrast,…

  6. Dynamic response of desert wetlands to abrupt climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Springer, Kathleen B; Manker, Craig R; Pigati, Jeffrey S

    2015-11-24

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

  7. AMPHIBIAN DECLINES AND ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE IN THE EASTERN "MOJAVE DESERT"

    Science.gov (United States)

    A number of amphibian species historically inhabited sparsely distributed wetlands in the Mojave Desert, USA, habitats that have been dramatically altered or eliminated as a result of human activities. The population status and distribution of amphibians were investigated in a 20...

  8. Sand harm in taklimakan Desert highway and sand control

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    HANZhiwen; WANGTao; SUNQingwei; DONGZhibao; WANGXunming

    2003-01-01

    Reputed as a wonderful achievement of the world’s highway construction history,the Taklimakan Desert highway is nor facing serious sand drift encroachment problems due to its 447-km-long passage of sand sea consisting of crescent dunes,barchan chains,compound transverse dune ridges and complex megadunes.To solve some technical problems in the protection of the highway from sang drift encroachment,desert experts have been conducting the theoretical and applied studies on sand movement laws;causes,severities and time-space differentiation of sand drift damages;and control ways including mechanical,chemical and biological measures.In this paper the authors give an overall summry on the research contents and recent progress in the control of sand drift damages in China and hold that the theoretical researc results and practices in the prevention of sand drift encroachment on the cross-desert highway represnt a breakthrough and has an cpoch-making significance.Since the construction of protective forest along the cross-desert highway requires large amount of ground water,what will be its environmental consequence and whether it can effectively halt sand drift encroachment on the highway forever are the questions to be studied urgently.

  9. Dynamic response of desert wetlands to abrupt climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Springer, Kathleen; Manker, Craig; Pigati, Jeff

    2015-01-01

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

  10. 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…

  11. Characteristics and source of black carbon aerosol over Taklimakan Desert

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    FU; S.Joshua

    2010-01-01

    Black carbon(BC) and PM10 in the center of the Taklimakan Desert were online monitored in the whole year of 2007.In addi-tion,TSP samples were also synchronously daily collected by medium-volume samplers with Whatman41 filters in the spring of 2007.BC in the dust aerosol was up to 1.14%of the total mass of PM10.A remarkable seasonal variation of BC in the aerosol was observed in the order of winter>spring>autumn>summer.The peak value of BC appeared at midnight while the lowest one in the evening each day,which was just the reverse of that in the urban area.The contribution of BC to the total mass of PM10 on non-dust storm days was~11 times of that in dust storm.Through back trajectory and principal component analysis,it was found that BC in the dust aerosol over Taklimakan Desert might be attributed to the emission from the anthropogenic activities,including domestic heating,cooking,combustion of oil and natural gas,and the medium-range transport from those oases located in the margins of the desert.The total BC aerosol from the Taklimakan Desert to be transported to the eastward downstream was estimated to be 6.3×104 ton yr-1.

  12. An Examination of Family Adjustment among Operation Desert Storm Veterans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taft, Casey T.; Schumm, Jeremiah A.; Panuzio, Jillian; Proctor, Susan P.

    2008-01-01

    This study examined interrelationships among combat exposure, symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and family adjustment in a sample of male and female Operation Desert Storm veterans (N = 1,512). In structural equation models for both male and female veterans, higher combat exposure was associated with higher PTSD symptoms, which in…

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Williams, JB; Tieleman, BI

    2002-01-01

    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 thei

  14. Desert soil collection at the JPL soil science laboratory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blank, G. B.; Cameron, R. E.

    1969-01-01

    Collection contains desert soils and other geologic materials collected from sites in the United States and foreign countries. Soils are useful for test purposes in research related to extraterrestrial life detection, sampling, harsh environmental studies, and determining suitable areas for training astronauts for lunar exploration.

  15. Ecophysiological responses of Chihuahuan desert grasses to fire.

    Science.gov (United States)

    To better understand the effects of fire in the Chihuahuan desert, gas exchange characteristics of two dominant grass species, Bouteloua eriopoda and Aristida purpurea, and soil nitrogen availability were studied in response to prescribed fire at the Jornada Experimental Range in southern New Mexico...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-02-01

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

  17. Who Needs Religion When You Have The Desert?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sørensen, Bent

    In my paper I propose to read so-called ‘post-ironic’ texts by authors associated with the Blank Generation and Generation X (including Bret Easton Ellis and Douglas Coupland, as well as less well-known authors such as K.S. Haddock) and examine their use of the desert as a trope for identity test...

  18. Enhancing and restoring habitat for the desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abella, Scott R.; Berry, Kristin H.

    2016-01-01

    Habitat has changed unfavorably during the past 150 years for the desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii), a threatened species with declining populations in the Mojave 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 re-applying topsoil using effective techniques is among the more ecologically beneficial ways to initiate plant recovery after severe disturbance. Some plant species provide better-quality forage than others. Tortoises selectively forage on particular annual and herbaceous perennial species, such as legumes, with favored plants varying with phenological stage within years. Non-native grasses are non-preferred 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 non-native grasses are priorities for restoring most desert tortoise habitats. Reducing herbivory by non-native 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 re-contouring road berms to reestablish drainage patterns, vertical mulching ("planting" dead plant material), and creating barriers to prevent trespasses can assist natural recovery on decommissioned backcountry

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1993-12-31

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

  20. Diversity and Ecology of Viruses in Hyperarid Desert Soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zablocki, Olivier; Adriaenssens, Evelien M.

    2015-01-01

    In recent years, remarkable progress has been made in the field of virus environmental ecology. In marine ecosystems, for example, viruses are now thought to play pivotal roles in the biogeochemical cycling of nutrients and to be mediators of microbial evolution through horizontal gene transfer. The diversity and ecology of viruses in soils are poorly understood, but evidence supports the view that the diversity and ecology of viruses in soils differ substantially from those in aquatic systems. Desert biomes cover ∼33% of global land masses, and yet the diversity and roles of viruses in these dominant ecosystems remain poorly understood. There is evidence that hot hyperarid desert soils are characterized by high levels of bacterial lysogens and low extracellular virus counts. In contrast, cold desert soils contain high extracellular virus titers. We suggest that the prevalence of microbial biofilms in hyperarid soils, combined with extreme thermal regimens, exerts strong selection pressures on both temperate and virulent viruses. Many desert soil virus sequences show low values of identity to virus genomes in public databases, suggesting the existence of distinct and as-yet-uncharacterized soil phylogenetic lineages (e.g., cyanophages). We strongly advocate for amplification-free metavirome analyses while encouraging the classical isolation of phages from dominant and culturable microbial isolates in order to populate sequence databases. This review provides an overview of recent advances in the study of viruses in hyperarid soils and of the factors that contribute to viral abundance and diversity in hot and cold deserts and offers technical recommendations for future studies. PMID:26590289

  1. 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.

  2. Ice nucleation of natural desert dust including organics sourced from nine deserts worldwide

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boose, Yvonne; Welti, André; Atkinson, James; Danielczok, Anja; Bingemer, Heinz; Plötze, Michael; Lohmann, Ulrike; Kanji, Zamin A.

    2017-04-01

    The extraordinary high ice nucleation (IN) potential of microcline, a K-feldspar mineral, at temperatures (T) above 248 and up to 271 K has been show recently. However, it is unclear if microcline is also found at the surface of airborne mineral dust particles or if chemical and mechanical aging processes lead to its destruction or shielding and thus reduced IN ability in the atmosphere. It is suggested that instead organic material mixed with inorganic minerals is responsible for cloud glaciation at T ≥ 253 K. We collected airborne Saharan dust at 4 locations at different distances from the desert and 11 samples from the surface of 9 of the major deserts worldwide. We studied immersion IN on these samples between 235 - 263 K using the IMCA-ZINC (immersion mode cooling chamber - Zurich ice nucleation chamber) setup and the FRIDGE (Franfurt Ice Nuclei Deposition Freezing Experiment) instrument run in droplet freezing mode. By correlating the results with the bulk mineralogy of the dust samples, determined by X-ray diffraction analysis, we show that at 253 K, K-feldspar indeed predicts best the IN behavior of the samples. At lower T (238 - 245 K) however, quartz and the total feldspar contents correlate best. Furthermore, microcline is only found in one of the airborne Saharan dust samples (3.9 wt%) while in the others the amount is below the detection limit or completely absent. Relative humidity (RH) scans at constant T = 238, 240 and 242 K were additionally performed with the portable ice nucleation counter, PINC. Above and below water saturation a similar prominent role of quartz is found as in the immersion mode. To investigate the role of organic material on the IN ability, we heated some of the samples at 573 K for 10 h and repeated the RH-scans. Furthermore, we performed thermogravimetric analysis of the dusts. The two tested airborne Saharan samples loose between 2.8 and 7.5 % of their mass at T ≤ 573 K, partly due to water release, partly due to

  3. 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.

  4. Inversion of the asymmetry factor for desert areas of China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2010-01-01

    Deserts,which have high surface albedo and wide area,are important components of the earth system.It is very important for the research of surface radiation and energy balance to understand the anisotropic scattering of desert areas.The emergence and development of multi-angle remote sensing made possible the inversion of the anisotropic scattering of desert areas at the regional or global scale.Firstly,this paper explored the accuracy of the inversion of asymmetry factor using the Hapke model and the simulated single-and multi-phase MISR data.Based on the results,the asymmetry factor of representative surface of desert areas in northwestern China was retrieved.The values of the asymmetry factor retrieved from MISR data were compared with the values retrieved from the laboratory data.The results showed that the single-phase MISR data could be used for the inversion of asymmetry parameter of desert areas.The sign of the asymmetry parameter for the laboratory measurements was positive,which suggests that the surface of laboratory samples is forward scattering.The sign of the asymmetry parameter for MISR data was negative;that is,it is backscattering.The values of the asymmetry parameters retrieved from MISR data were related to the character of the land surface.At Loulan,where the surface was smoother than other sites,retrieved values exhibited the largest negative values of asymmetry factor,suggesting the strongest backscattering.The sand dune area of the Kumtag Desert,which has the greatest roughness,had only slightly negative asymmetry factor values.These findings indicated that at the sensor scale,a rough surface(e.g.,dunes) does not necessarily mean more backscattering than a smooth surface.This finding has significant implications for empirical methods(e.g.,using the normalized index of backward-scattered radiance minus forward-scattered radiance as an indicator of surface roughness),which should be used carefully for analyzing surface roughness from the remote

  5. Dynamics and Resilience of Desert Ecosystems under Changing Climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stewart, J.; Wainwright, J.; Parsons, A. J.; Okin, G. S.; Bestelmeyer, B.; Fredrickson, E. L.; Schlesinger, W. H.

    2008-12-01

    Ecological models have been used to probe the causes of spatial complexity and predict specific responses of desert ecosystems. However, many models have been limited in their focus: models of dynamics have been developed with no consideration of the inherent patchiness or patterns in the vegetation, or else models have been developed to generate patterns with no consideration of the dynamics. Models that attempt to address both pattern and dynamics have been qualitative and descriptive. Furthermore, if, as is commonly believed, both dynamics and patterns/patchiness are a function of resource (specifically water) limitation, then there has been little integration of this relationship into such models. Consequently, these models have limited utility for understanding resilience of desert ecosystems. Here we present an integrated approach to the observed patchiness and dynamics in desert vegetation that is based on a sound process-based understanding and is formulated to accommodate previous conceptual models within an overarching framework. This framework is implemented as a mathematical model. Our contribution represents an advance over previous work in that we propose a general model framework for the analysis of ecosystem change in deserts that explicitly considers spatial interactions among multiple vegetation types and multiple resources, and predict specific responses to a variety of endogenous and exogenous disturbances. We present an application of this model to investigate conditions the conditions that would result in observed desert vegetation patterns in south-western desert systems of North America. In particular, we investigate the encroachment of shrubs (Larrea tridentata) into formerly pure stands of grass (Bouteloua eriopoda). We present the results of simulations that rest on rainfall data that was reconstructed for the Jornada Basin Long-Term Ecological Research site in southern New Mexico, USA based on 300-year tree- ring records. The results

  6. Eastern desert ware : traces of the inhabitants of the eastern desert in Egypt and Sudan during the 4th-6th centuries CE

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Barnard, Hans

    2008-01-01

    Several sites in the desert between the Nile and the Red Sea, in Egypt and Sudan, as well as in the Nubian Nile Valley have produced the sherds of decorated hand-made cups and bowls, now identified as Eastern Desert Ware (EDW). Because of their small number and enigmatic origin these sherds have bee

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Biotechnological Applications Derived from Microorganisms of the Atacama Desert

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Armando Azua-Bustos

    2014-01-01

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

  11. Desert wetlands—Archives of a wetter past

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pigati, Jeffery S.; Springer, Kathleen B.; Manker, Craig R.

    2015-12-16

    Scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) are finding evidence of a much wetter past in the deserts of the American Southwest using a most unlikely source—wetlands. Wetlands form in arid environments where water tables approach or breach the ground surface. Often thought of as stagnant and unchanging, new evidence suggests that springs and wetlands responded dynamically to past episodes of abrupt climate change. Multiple cycles of deposition, erosion, and soil formation show that wetlands in the southwestern United States expanded and contracted many times during the past 35,000 years or so, before disappearing altogether as the last glacial period came to a close. USGS scientists are now studying the deposits to determine how closely conditions in the desert were tied to regional and global climate patterns in the past, and what it might mean for the fragile ecosystems in light of anticipated climate change in the future.

  12. A probabilistic model of insolation for the Mojave Desert area

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hester, O. V.; Reid, M. S.

    1978-01-01

    A discussion of mathematical models of insolation characteristics suitable for use in analysis of solar energy systems is presented and shows why such models are essential for solar energy system design. A model of solar radiation for the Mojave Desert area is presented with probabilistic and deterministic components which reflect the occurrence and density of clouds and haze, and mimic their effects on both direct and indirect radiation. Multiple comparisons were made between measured total energy received per day and the corresponding simulated totals. The simulated totals were all within 11 percent of the measured total. The conclusion is that a useful probabilistic model of solar radiation for the Goldstone, California, area of the Mojave Desert has been constructed.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1993-12-31

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

  17. 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.

  18. The solar zenith angle dependence of desert albedo

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Zhuo; Barlage, Michael; Zeng, Xubin; Dickinson, Robert E.; Schaaf, Crystal B.

    2005-03-01

    Most land models assume that the bare soil albedo is a function of soil color and moisture but independent of solar zenith angle (SZA). However, analyses of the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Bidirectional Reflectance Distribution Function (BRDF) and albedo data over thirty desert locations indicate that bare soil albedo does vary with SZA. This is further confirmed using the in situ data. In particular, bare soil albedo normalized by its value at 60° SZA can be adequately represented by a one-parameter formulation (1 + C)/(1 + 2C * cos(SZA)) or a two-parameter formulation (1 + B1 * f1(SZA) + B2 * f2(SZA)). Using the MODIS and in situ data, the empirical parameters C, B1, and B2 are taken as 0.15, 0.346 and 0.063. The SZA dependence of soil albedo is also found to significantly affect the modeling of land surface energy balance over a desert site.

  19. Satellite-Derived Extinction at A Desert Site

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, P. L.; Blomshield, F. S.

    2002-12-01

    We have been conducting research aimed at enabling determination of desert optical environments from meteorological and satellite observations. To this end we have been making Rotating Shadowband Radiometer measurements, collecting aerosol size distributions, visibility and meteorological data continuously for the past 2 years in the Indian Wells Valley of the Mojave Desert of California. These data present an opportunity to validate satellite retrieval of atmospheric optical depth. Specifically, MISR-derived optical depths are compared to those derived from Shadowband measurements. A crude measure of extinction can be made by dividing the optical depth by the height of the mixing layer. The validity of this procedure is determined by comparison with extinction directly measured by nephelometers and calculated from measured aerosol size distributions.

  20. Ancient Leishmaniasis in a highland desert of Northern Chile.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Antonietta Costa

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Leishmaniasis is an infectious disease endemic today in many areas of South America. METHODOLOGY: We discovered morphologic and molecular evidence of ancient infections in 4 female skulls in the archaeological cemetery of Coyo Oriente, in the desert of San Pedro de Atacama, Northern Chile. The boney facial lesions visible in the skulls could have been caused by a number of chronic infections including chronic Leishmaniasis. This diagnosis was confirmed using PCR-sequenced analyses of bone fragments from the skulls of the affected individuals.Leishmaniasis is not normally found in the high-altitude desert of Northern Chile; where the harsh climate does not allow the parasite to complete its life cycle. The presence of Leishmaniasis in ancient skulls from the region implies infection by the protozoan in an endemic area-likely, in our subjects, to have been the lowlands of North-Eastern Argentina or in Southern Bolivia. CONCLUSIONS: We propose that the presence of the disease in ancient times in the high altitude desert of San Pedro de Atacama is the result of an exogamic system of patrilocal marriages, where women from different cultures followed their husbands to their ancestral homes, allowing immigrant women, infected early in life, to be incorporated in the Atacama desert society before they became disfigured by the disease. The present globalization of goods and services and the extraordinary facile movement of people across borders and continents have lead to a resurgence of infectious diseases and re-emergence of infections such as Leishmaniasis. We show here that such factors were already present millennia ago, shaping demographic trends and the epidemiology of infections just as they do today.

  1. Topographic Signatures of Geomorphic Processes at Desert Piedmonts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farr, T. G.

    2004-12-01

    Geomorphic processes operating on desert piedmonts leave their mark in the topography of the piedmonts, measured at a range of scales. For example, at the km to 10's of m scale, slope, curvature, and dissection give clues to the relative importance of erosional, aggradational, and transport processes. When a desert piedmont is dominated by erosional and transport processes, a pediment is formed. Conversely, when aggradational processes dominate, alluvial fans are formed. The relative rates of uplift vs. aggradation determine the slope of the fan and whether the fan is dissected. Changes in uplift rate or climatic conditions can lead to isolation of the currently forming fan surface through entrenchment and construction of another fan either further from the mountain front (decreased uplift or increased runoff) or closer to the mountain front (increased uplift or decreased runoff). Fitting 3-dimensional surfaces to alluvial fan units allows parameters for the apex position, slope, and radial curvature to be compared with unit age. The topographic signature of individual fan units will help in regional correlation of fan surfaces and may assist in separating the effects of climate and uplift. At scales of m to cm, processes such as salt weathering, aeolian deposition, and desert pavement formation dominate. The lithologies that make up the piedmont determine their susceptibility to processes of disintegration due to salts (e.g. coarse-grained rocks) or dissolution (e.g. limestones). The composition of the source areas also helps determine the relative importance of debris and mud flows. Resistant lithologies tend to form desert pavement surfaces with time, caused by infiltration of aeolian dust below a monolayer of resistant pebbles to cobbles. This leads to local relief of a few cm, while surfaces composed of easily weathered lithologies have much lower relief at that scale. Work performed under contract to NASA.

  2. Stone circles on the harraat of Syrian desert

    CERN Document Server

    Sparavigna, Amelia Carolina

    2012-01-01

    Recently some stone structures covering the harraat of the Syrian desert had been investigated using satellite imagery (arXiv:1106.4665). Dispersed in an arid landscape, they were probably made during the Neolithic period. Some of these structures are here discussed, which display a possible use as ancient sun observatories. For the analysis, a freely available software is used which can be quite suitable for evaluating the effect of solar radiation on physical features of natural structures too.

  3. Seed Mucilage Improves Seedling Emergence of a Sand Desert Shrub

    OpenAIRE

    Xuejun Yang; Baskin, Carol C.; Baskin, Jerry M.; Guangzheng Liu; Zhenying Huang

    2012-01-01

    The success of seedling establishment of desert plants is determined by seedling emergence response to an unpredictable precipitation regime. Sand burial is a crucial and frequent environmental stress that impacts seedling establishment on sand dunes. However, little is known about the ecological role of seed mucilage in seedling emergence in arid sandy environments. We hypothesized that seed mucilage enhances seedling emergence in a low precipitation regime and under conditions of sand buria...

  4. Ancient Leishmaniasis in a Highland Desert of Northern Chile

    OpenAIRE

    Maria Antonietta Costa; Carney Matheson; Lucia Iachetta; Agustín Llagostera; Otto Appenzeller

    2009-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Leishmaniasis is an infectious disease endemic today in many areas of South America. METHODOLOGY: We discovered morphologic and molecular evidence of ancient infections in 4 female skulls in the archaeological cemetery of Coyo Oriente, in the desert of San Pedro de Atacama, Northern Chile. The boney facial lesions visible in the skulls could have been caused by a number of chronic infections including chronic Leishmaniasis. This diagnosis was confirmed using PCR-sequenced analyses...

  5. 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).

  6. 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.

  7. Source identification of coarse particles in the Desert ...

    Science.gov (United States)

    The Desert Southwest Coarse Particulate Matter Study was undertaken to further our understanding of the spatial and temporal variability and sources of fine and coarse particulate matter (PM) in rural, arid, desert environments. Sampling was conducted between February 2009 and February 2010 in Pinal County, AZ near the town of Casa Grande where PM concentrations routinely exceed the U.S. National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for both PM10 and PM2.5. In this desert region, exceedances of the PM10 NAAQS are dominated by high coarse particle concentrations, a common occurrence in this region of the United States. This work expands on previously published measurements of PM mass and chemistry by examining the sources of fine and coarse particles and the relative contribution of each to ambient PM mass concentrations using the Positive Matrix Factorization receptor model (Clements et al., 2014). Highlights • Isolation of coarse particles from fine particle sources. • Unique chemical composition of coarse particles. • Role of primary biological particles on aerosol loadings.

  8. 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.

  9. Comparing three models to estimate transpiration of desert shrubs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Shiqin; Yu, Zhongbo; Ji, Xibin; Sudicky, Edward A.

    2017-07-01

    The role of environmental variables in controlling transpiration (Ec) is an important, but not well-understood, aspect of transpiration modeling in arid desert regions. Taking three dominant desert shrubs, Haloxylon ammodendron, Nitraria tangutorum, and Calligonum mongolicum, as examples, we aim to evaluate the applicability of three transpiration models, i.e. the modified Jarvis-Stewart model (MJS), the simplified process-based model (BTA), and the artificial neural network model (ANN) at different temporal scales. The stem sap flow of each species was monitored using the stem heat balance approach over both the 2014 and 2015 main growing seasons. Concurrent environmental variables were also measured with an automatic weather station. The ANN model generally produced better simulations of Ec than the MJS and BTA models at both hourly and daily scales, indicating its advantage in solving complicated, nonlinear problems between transpiration rate and environmental driving forces. The solar radiation and vapor pressure deficit were crucial variables in modeling Ec for all three species. The performance of the MJS and ANN models was significantly improved by incorporating root-zone soil moisture. We also found that the difference between hourly and daily fitted parameter values was considerable for the MJS and BTA models. Therefore, these models need to be recalibrated when applied at different temporal scales. This study provides insights regarding the application and performance of current transpiration models in arid desert regions, and thus provides a deeper understanding of eco-hydrological processes and sustainable ecosystem management at the study site.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-02-01

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

  11. Fungi and bacteria involved in desert varnish formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor-George, S.; Palmer, F.; Staley, J. T.; Curtiss, B.; Adams, J. B.; Borns, D. J.

    1983-01-01

    Desert varnish is a coating of ferromanganese oxides and clays that develops on rock surfaces in arid to semi-arid regions. Active respiration but not photosynthesis was detected on varnished rock surfaces from the Sonoran Desert. Light microscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) observations, and cultivation experiments indicate that both fungi, primarily dematiaceous hyphomycetes, and bacteria are found on and within desert varnish coatings from the arid regions studied. Some fungi grow as microcolonial fungi (MCF) on rocks, and microscopic observations suggest MCF become incorporated in the varnish coating. SEM-EDAX (energy dispersive X-ray systems) analyses indicate the MCF contain 3 of the characteristic elements of varnish: iron, aluminum, and silicon. In some locations, MCF are also enriched in manganese relative to the rock substratum. Furthermore, some of the dematiaceous hyphomycetes that have been cultivated are able to oxidize manganese under laboratory conditions. It is possible that manganese-oxidizing bacteria, which are found in varnish, also play an important role in varnish formation.

  12. Patton's tracks in the Mojave Desert, USA: An ecological legacy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belnap, J.; Warren, S.D.

    2002-01-01

    Recovery of soil properties from World War II-era military training exercises in the Mojave Desert was measured approximately 55 years following disturbance. Tracks from military vehicles were still visible, particularly in areas of desert pavement. Soil penetrability was much lower in visible tracks than outside the tracks. Soils in tracks had fewer rocks in the top 10 cm of the soil profile than adjacent untracked soils. Larger particles (> 4.8 mm) formed a moderately well-developed pavement outside of the tracks, while smaller, loose particles (???4.8 mm) dominated the surface of the tracks. The time required to restore the desert pavement is likely to be measured in centuries. Based on biomass estimates, the cyanobacterial component of biological soil crusts had recovered 46-65% in tracks, compared to outside the tracks. Overall recovery of lichen cover has been much slower. Under plant canopies, cover of Collema tenax was not significantly different between areas inside and outside the tracks; however, recovery of Catapyrenium squamulosum was only 36%. In plant interspaces with less favorable moisture and temperature conditions, C. tenax showed a 6% recovery and C. squamulosum a 3% recovery. Assuming recovery of the biological soil crust is linear, and complete only when the most sensitive species (C. squamulosum) has fully recovered in the most limiting microhabitats (plant interspaces), it may require almost two millennia for full recovery of these areas.

  13. Desert shrub stemflow and its significance in soil moisture replenishment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    X.-P. Wang

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Stemflow of xerophytic shrubs represents a significant component of water replenishment to the soil-root system influencing water utilization of plant roots at the stand scale, especially in water scarce desert ecosystems. In this study, stemflow of Caragana korshinskii was quantified by an aluminum foil collar collection method on re-vegetated sand dunes of the Shapotou restored desert ecosystem in northwestern China. Time domain reflectometry probes were inserted horizontally at 20 different soil profile depths under the C. korshinskii shrub to monitor soil moisture variation at hourly intervals. Results indicated that 2.2 mm precipitation was necessary for the generation of stemflow for C. korshinskii. Stemflow averaged 8% of the gross precipitation and the average funnelling ratio was as high as 90. The soil moisture in the uppermost soil profile was strongly correlated with individual rainfall and the stemflow strengthened this relationship. Therefore, it is favourable for the infiltrated water redistribution in the deeper soil profile of the root zone. Consequently, stemflow contributes significantly to a positive soil moisture balance in the root zone and the replenishment of soil moisture at deeper soil layers. This plays an important role in plant survival and the general ecology of arid desert environments.

  14. THE STRUCTURE OF THE DESERT ECONOMY: RISKS AND STRATEGIES FOR LONG-TERM SUSTAINABLE GROWTH

    OpenAIRE

    Rola-Rubzen, Maria Fay; McGregor, Murray J.

    2009-01-01

    The Australian desert economy is a $90 billion dollar economy. However currently, there is a reliance on a few industry sectors in delivering its output. About 60% of the gross revenue of the desert comes from only three sectors - mining, manufacturing and agriculture. This can pose a risk in light of climate change, increasing interconnectedness of financial markets and the fact that the resources boom is unlikely to be an on-going phenomenon. How can desert economies mitigate risks associat...

  15. Vegetation analysis and soil characteristics of five common desert climbing plants in Egypt

    OpenAIRE

    El-Ghani, Monier Abd; EL-KHEIR, Mahmoud ABO; ABDEL-DAYEM, Mahmoud

    2011-01-01

    This study aimed to characterise Egyptian desert vine flora and compare it with that of deserts in other continents, such as Australia and North America. Specifically, 5 common climbing desert plants (Citrullus colocynthis, Cocculus pendulus, Cucumis prophetarum, Pergularia tomentosa, and Periploca angustifolia) were selected for this study. The floristic composition, vegetation heterogeneity, and chorological affinities of the associated species of the studied climbing plants were quantitati...

  16. Global Strategic Mobility: A Decade After Desert Storm. Are We More Capable?

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-11-02

    USAWC STRATEGY RESEARCH PROJECT GLOBAL STRATEGIC MOBILITY: A DECADE AFTER DESERT STORM. ARE WE MORE CAPABLE? by Lieutenant Colonel Dean A. Nelson...2. REPORT TYPE 3. DATES COVERED (FROM - TO) xx-xx-2002 to xx-xx-2003 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Global Strategic Mobility: A Decade After Desert Storm. Are...Air Force TITLE: GLOBAL STRATEGIC MOBILITY: A DECADE AFTER DESERT STORM. ARE WE MORE CAPABLE? FORMAT: Strategy Research Project DATE: 30 January 2003

  17. Validation and Development of a Certification Program for Using K9s to Survey Desert Tortoises

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-08-01

    Esque, and K. Nussear. Humans vs. K9s: Is fear warranted in the race to save the desert tortoise? 91st Annual Ecological Society of America , August 6-11...desert tortoises, other reptiles (Schwartz et al., 1984; Engeman et al., 1998), or even to 10 distinguish cancer in human subjects (McCulloch et...has yet to be validated in mammals. Therefore, it is not possible to explain precisely how dogs use scent to find desert tortoises, other reptiles

  18. 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.

  19. Study on the Land Reclamation of Oilfield of Gurbantunggut Desert in Junggar Basin

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Liang; LI; Xuezhong; ZHENG; Xusheng; SHAO; Caichuan; WANG; Min; Xu

    2013-01-01

    The exploration and development of oilfield results in damages to land resources. Along with the further development of petroleum in the Gurbantunggut Desert, the fragile ecological environment and land resource was suffering much more damage. Vegetation degradation and desertification become more prominent. In response to the damage to the fragile ecological environment and oilfield in the Gurbantunggut Desert, limit condition method was used to evaluate the suitability of land reclamation suitability. Results suggested that the main restraining factors for land reclamation were soil condition and water resources. Based on the effect and shortage of oilfield in the Gurbantunggut Desert Oilfield, the reclamation of oilfield in the Gurbantunggut desert was discussed.

  20. Species composition,distribution patterns and ecological functions of biological soil crusts in the Gurbantunggut Desert

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2010-01-01

    As one of the most important biological factors that maintain the stability of the largest fixed and semi-fixed desert in China,the Gurbantunggut Desert,the biological soil crusts (BSCs) develop well and play critical ecological roles in the desert ecosystem. In this paper,we briefly summarize our research findings since 2002 including species composition,distribution pattern and ecological functions of BSCs in the desert. Our results indicate abundant species diversity of BSCs in the Gurbantunggut Desert in comparison to other deserts in China. At the scales of sand dune or whole desert,the distribution patterns of BSCs are location-specific. The existence of BSCs in this desert could:(1) accelerate the formation of desert soil and the weathering of minerals; (2) accumulate organic matter in surface soil through related species in soil crusts; (3) enhance the abilities of sand surface to resist wind erosion; (4) influence seed germination of vascular plants; and (5) enhance the production of dew deposition on sandy soil surface.

  1. On scientific expedition tourism of desert region: a case of eastern Ulan Buh Inner Mongolia

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2008-01-01

    Desert-based adventure tourism is a rapidly expanding tourism market segment after the late 20th century around the world.Perhaps the most significant factor in the development of desert adventure tourism is the extent to which common tourists are really engaged in scientific expedition.Inner Mongolia has long been considered as the resources accumulation area of desert tourism.The investigation on the Ulan Buh Desert has discovered that the desert animals,the vegetation,the insects,the fungus,the landform and the climate are impressive for both the researchers and the mass tourists.After the resources investigation a survey was carried out in 2007 to get the detailed information of the tourists attitude toward the planning desert scientific product in the Ulan Buh Desert.Based on the resources and market analysis,this paper tries to make a planning of the desert scientific expedition tour of the Ulan Buh Desert.The planning includes the functional division,expedition route design,tour-explaining system,facility of safety guaranty and service planning,and the professional training base.

  2. Regular Cosmogenic Nuclide Dosing of Sediment Moving Down Desert Piedmonts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nichols, K. K.; Bierman, P. R.; Hooke, R. L.; Eppes, M. C.; Persico, L.; Caffee, M.; Finkel, R.

    2001-12-01

    Low-gradient alluvial piedmonts are common in desert areas throughout the world; however, long-term rates of processes that modify these landscapes are poorly understood. Using cosmogenic 10Be and 26Al, we attempt to quantify the long-term (>103 y) behavior of desert piedmonts in Southern California. We measured the activity of 10Be and 26Al in three samples of drainage basin alluvium and six amalgamated samples from transects spaced at 1-km intervals down a piedmont in Fort Irwin, Mojave Desert, California. Each transect sample consists of sediment from 21 collection sites spaced at 150 m intervals. Such sampling averages the variability of nuclide activity between sub-sample locations and thus gives a long-term dosing history of sediment as it is transported from uplands to the distal piedmont. The piedmont is heavily used during military training exercises during which hundreds of wheeled and tracked vehicles traverse the surface. The piedmont surface is planar, and fan-head incision is minimal at the rangefront decreasing to zero between the first and second transects, 1.5 km from the rangefront. 10Be activity increases steadily from 5.87 X 105 atoms g-1 at the rangefront to 1.02 X 6 atoms g-1 at the piedmont bottom. Nuclide activity and distance are well correlated (r2 = 0.95) suggesting that sediment is dosed uniformly as it is transported down piedmont. We have measured similar increases in nuclide activity in transect samples collected from two other Mojave Desert piedmonts, those fringing the Iron and Granite Mountains (Nichols et al, in press, Geomorphology). These piedmonts have nuclide activities that also correlate well with distance (r2 = 0.98 and 0.96, respectively) from their rangefronts, but nuclides increase at a lower rate down piedmont. Modeled sediment transport speeds for the Iron and Granite Mountain piedmonts are decimeters per year. The regular increase in nuclide activities down three different Mojave Desert piedmonts suggests that

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Compte rendu de: Maggie Morrow, Mike Morrow, Tony Judd, & Geoff Phillipson 2010. Desert RATS. Rock Art Topographical Survey in Egypt's Eastern Desert. Oxford: BAR International Series 2166, 254 p.

    OpenAIRE

    Le Quellec, Jean-Loïc

    2011-01-01

    International audience; Compte rendu de: Maggie Morrow, Mike Morrow, Tony Judd, & Geoff Phillipson 2010. Desert RATS. Rock Art Topographical Survey in Egypt's Eastern Desert. Oxford: BAR International Series 2166, 254 p.

  6. Parallel Study on Potential and Existing Geographical Distribution of Haloxylon Dominated Desert Vegetation in China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    GUO Quanshui; WANG Chunling; TAN Deyuan; MA Chao; WANG Xiangfu; HAO Jianxi; HE Hongyan

    2006-01-01

    By applying ARC/INFO(NT version)of the GIS software package,we extracted the existing geographical distribution of Haloxylon dominated desert vegetation and produced a thematic map of geographical distribution of the existing Haloxylon dominated desert vegetation based on the newly published Vegetation Atlas of China;we defined the adaptive parameter range of geographical and climate of Haloxylon dominated desert vegetation to generate the potential geographical distribution map of Haloxylon dominated desert vegetation with the support of GREEN software.We then sliced and compared the existing and the potential distribution maps.The results show that the potential geographical distribution areas of Haloxylon ammodendron and Haloxylon persicum dominated desert vegetation accord with the existing distribution areas in the administration division,and the topographic types in both the distribution areas are similar.However,the borders of different directions of the potential H.ammodendron dominated desert vegetation distribution has surpassed 0.4°to 5.9°of the existing borders.The borders of different directions of the potential H. persicum dominated desert vegetation has surpassed 0.9°to 3.3°of the existing borders.In China,the existing geographical distributional area of H.ammodendron dominated desert vegetation accounts for 9.1% of the potential one in China and the proportion of the existing H.persicum dominated desert vegetation distribution area to the potential area is 34.1%.The result of comparison of the potential and the existing distribution area of Haloxylon dominated desert vegetation can provide important scientific basis for the recovery,reconstruction and introduction of Haloxylon dominated desert vegetation.

  7. Deserts of the southwestern United States, for the Death Valley regional ground-water flow system study, Nevada and California

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — This digital data set defines the boundaries of the deserts of the southwestern United States. Those deserts include the Great Basin, Mojave, Colorado, and Sonoran...

  8. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christofer Bang

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

  10. Virome Assembly and Annotation: A Surprise in the Namib Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hesse, Uljana; van Heusden, Peter; Kirby, Bronwyn M.; Olonade, Israel; van Zyl, Leonardo J.; Trindade, Marla

    2017-01-01

    Sequencing, assembly, and annotation of environmental virome samples is challenging. Methodological biases and differences in species abundance result in fragmentary read coverage; sequence reconstruction is further complicated by the mosaic nature of viral genomes. In this paper, we focus on biocomputational aspects of virome analysis, emphasizing latent pitfalls in sequence annotation. Using simulated viromes that mimic environmental data challenges we assessed the performance of five assemblers (CLC-Workbench, IDBA-UD, SPAdes, RayMeta, ABySS). Individual analyses of relevant scaffold length fractions revealed shortcomings of some programs in reconstruction of viral genomes with excessive read coverage (IDBA-UD, RayMeta), and in accurate assembly of scaffolds ≥50 kb (SPAdes, RayMeta, ABySS). The CLC-Workbench assembler performed best in terms of genome recovery (including highly covered genomes) and correct reconstruction of large scaffolds; and was used to assemble a virome from a copper rich site in the Namib Desert. We found that scaffold network analysis and cluster-specific read reassembly improved reconstruction of sequences with excessive read coverage, and that strict data filtering for non-viral sequences prior to downstream analyses was essential. In this study we describe novel viral genomes identified in the Namib Desert copper site virome. Taxonomic affiliations of diverse proteins in the dataset and phylogenetic analyses of circovirus-like proteins indicated links to the marine habitat. Considering additional evidence from this dataset we hypothesize that viruses may have been carried from the Atlantic Ocean into the Namib Desert by fog and wind, highlighting the impact of the extended environment on an investigated niche in metagenome studies. PMID:28167933

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Virome Assembly and Annotation: A Surprise in the Namib Desert.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hesse, Uljana; van Heusden, Peter; Kirby, Bronwyn M; Olonade, Israel; van Zyl, Leonardo J; Trindade, Marla

    2017-01-01

    Sequencing, assembly, and annotation of environmental virome samples is challenging. Methodological biases and differences in species abundance result in fragmentary read coverage; sequence reconstruction is further complicated by the mosaic nature of viral genomes. In this paper, we focus on biocomputational aspects of virome analysis, emphasizing latent pitfalls in sequence annotation. Using simulated viromes that mimic environmental data challenges we assessed the performance of five assemblers (CLC-Workbench, IDBA-UD, SPAdes, RayMeta, ABySS). Individual analyses of relevant scaffold length fractions revealed shortcomings of some programs in reconstruction of viral genomes with excessive read coverage (IDBA-UD, RayMeta), and in accurate assembly of scaffolds ≥50 kb (SPAdes, RayMeta, ABySS). The CLC-Workbench assembler performed best in terms of genome recovery (including highly covered genomes) and correct reconstruction of large scaffolds; and was used to assemble a virome from a copper rich site in the Namib Desert. We found that scaffold network analysis and cluster-specific read reassembly improved reconstruction of sequences with excessive read coverage, and that strict data filtering for non-viral sequences prior to downstream analyses was essential. In this study we describe novel viral genomes identified in the Namib Desert copper site virome. Taxonomic affiliations of diverse proteins in the dataset and phylogenetic analyses of circovirus-like proteins indicated links to the marine habitat. Considering additional evidence from this dataset we hypothesize that viruses may have been carried from the Atlantic Ocean into the Namib Desert by fog and wind, highlighting the impact of the extended environment on an investigated niche in metagenome studies.

  14. 77 FR 11992 - Revisions to the California State Implementation Plan, Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-02-28

    ... AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 Revisions to the California State Implementation Plan, Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). ACTION: Proposed rule. SUMMARY: EPA is proposing a limited approval and limited disapproval of revisions to the Mojave Desert Air...

  15. 76 FR 29182 - Revisions to the California State Implementation Plan, Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-05-20

    ... AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 Revisions to the California State Implementation Plan, Mojave Desert 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 District (MDAQMD) portion of...

  16. 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 hybrid

  17. Sexual conflict over parental care in Penduline Tits Remiz pendulinus : the process of clutch desertion

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van Dijk, Rene; Szentirmai, Istvan; Komdeur, Jan; Szekely, Tamas

    2007-01-01

    Do the two parents at a nest make simultaneous decisions whether to care for their offspring or to desert? If a single parent is sufficient for rearing young, one parent (typically, the male) may desert and reproduce with a new mate within the same breeding season, leaving the other parent with the

  18. TEST AND STUDY ON THE CONSTITUTIVE RELATIONSHIP OF DESERT SAND UNDER MOVING VEHICLE

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    1999-01-01

    The mechanical properties of the sand of Takelamagan desert in Xinjiang under moving vehicle are studied by soil dynamic triaxial test apparatus. The nonlinear elastic constitutive model of the sand under moving vehicle is established first. These results lay the foundations for studying the interaction between vehicle running gear and the sand of Takelamagan desert in Xinjiang. and developing sand vehicle.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Griggio, Matteo; Matessi, Giuliano; Pilastro, Andrea

    2005-01-01

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

  20. 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

  1. A mast-seeding desert shrub regulates population dynamics and behavior of its heteromyid dispersers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janene Auger; Susan E. Meyer; Stephen H. Jenkins

    2016-01-01

    Granivorous rodent populations in deserts are primarily regulated through precipitation-driven resource pulses rather than pulses associated with mast-seeding, a pattern more common in mesic habitats. We studied heteromyid responses to mast-seeding in the desert shrub blackbrush (Coleogyne ramosissima), a regionally dominant species in the Mojave–Great Basin...

  2. South American mammal zoogeography: evidence from convergent evolution in desert rodents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mares, M A

    1975-05-01

    Current theories regarding colonization of South America by mammals are divided between those supported by fossil evidence, which suggest the original mammal fauna of the isolated continent was augmented by early immigrants (primates, caviomorph rodents, and later, procyonids) with a final large influx of northern mammals occurring with the formation of the Panama land bridge, and an opposing view which states that the purported "recent invaders" are too taxonomically and ecologically differentiated to have colonized since the land bridge arose. The second theory suggests that most extant mammals entered before the Plio-Pleistocene land connection. An analysis of degree of physiological adaptation, natural history, distribution patterns, and a multivariate assessment of convergent evolution of Monte Desert rodents indicate that South American cricetine rodents are not highly specialized for desert life. Their degree of adaptation could be accounted for, in large part, by adaptations for arid or semiarid Andean habitats. No Monte Desert rodent has developed the specialized desert traits that have evolved in most desert rodent faunas of the world, although extinct marsupials similar to living bipedal desert rodents were present in the Monte as recently as late Pliocene. Evidence suggests that Monte caviomorphs have been associated with the desert for a longer period than cricetines, and that the latter represent a fairly recent invasion of the Monte Desert. The data thus support the first hypothesis of South American mammal colonization.

  3. Biogeographic perspective of speciation among desert tortoises in the genus Gopherus: A preliminary evaluation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor Edwards; Mercy Vaughn; Cristina Melendez Torres; Alice E. Karl; Philip C. Rosen; Kristin H. Berry; Robert W. Murph

    2013-01-01

    The enduring processes of time, climate, and adaptation have sculpted the distribution of organisms we observe in the Sonoran Desert. One such organism is Morafka’s desert tortoise, Gopherus morafkai. We apply a genomic approach to identify the evolutionary processes driving diversity in this species and present preliminary findings and emerging hypotheses. The Sonoran...

  4. 75 FR 11557 - Meeting of the California Desert District Advisory Council

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-03-11

    ... Wild Horse and Burro program, and renewable energy. Final agenda items, including details of the field... Bureau of Land Management Meeting of the California Desert District Advisory Council AGENCY: Bureau of... accordance with Public Laws 92-463 and 94-579, that the California Desert District Advisory Council to the...

  5. 76 FR 13430 - Meeting of the California Desert District Advisory Council

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-03-11

    ..., and renewable energy. Final agenda items will be posted on the BLM California state Web site at http... Bureau of Land Management Meeting of the California Desert District Advisory Council SUMMARY: Notice is hereby given, in accordance with Public Laws 92-463 and 94-579, that the California Desert District...

  6. 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...

  7. 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...

  8. Design criteria for light high speed desert air cushion vehicles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abulnaga, B. E.

    An evaluation is made of the applicability and prospective performance of ACVs in trans-Saharan cargo transport, in view of the unique characteristics of the dry sand environment. The lightweight/high-speed ACV concept envisioned is essentially ground effect aircraftlike, with conventional wheels as a low-speed backup suspension system. A propeller is used in ground effect cruise. Attention is given to the effects on vehicle stability and performance of sandy surface irregularities of the desert topography and of cross-winds from various directions relative to vehicle movement.

  9. Science Support Room Operations During Desert RATS 2009

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lofgren, G. E.; Horz, F.; Bell, M. S.; Cohen, B. A.; Eppler,D. B.; Evans, C. a.; Hodges, K. V.; Hynek, B. M.; Gruener, J. E.; Kring, D. A.; hide

    2010-01-01

    NASA's Desert Research and Technology Studies (D-RATS) field test is a demonstration that combines operations development, technology advances and science in analog planetary surface conditions. The focus is testing preliminary operational concepts for extravehicular activity (EVA) systems by providing hands-on experience with simulated surface operations and EVA hardware and procedures. The DRATS activities also develop technical skills and experience for the engineers, scientists, technicians, and astronauts responsible for realizing the goals of the Lunar Surface Systems Program. The 2009 test is the twelfth for the D-RATS team.

  10. The desert as territorial representation of Mexico’s North

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Enrique Rajchenberg

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available The northern region of Mexico presented a challenge for colonization since colonial times, both because of its physical features and for its indiegenous inhabitants. Is because of the former that the representations crafted in the central part of the country about the North always referred it as a dangerous, fearsome desert. For the US inhabitants, who wanted that same territory since the beginning of the XIX century, its inhabitants were the personified racial degeneration. This article analyses this two-sided architecture of the territorial representations with which the North of Mexico was symbolized during the XIX century, and that is still reproduced nowadays.

  11. Growing forests in the coastal desert zone of Libya

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Poluektov, E.V.

    1980-01-01

    A brief survey is given of the environmental conditions in the Libyan coastal desert zone, and of the experience gained there in afforestation work. The best species is Acacia cyanophylla; other useful species are A. cyclops, Eucalyptus camaldulensis, E. gomphocephala and Tamari spp. The only species that can be established by direct sowing is the castor-bean tree (Ricinus communis), which attains a height of 1.5-1.9 m in 1 or 2 years and protects the ground from wind erosion. Survival of pine is very low.

  12. Mineral contents from some fabaceous plant species of Rajasthan desert

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B.B.S.Kapoor

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Evaluation of mineral contents from three selected plant species of Fabaceae family growing in arid region of Rajasthan Desert was carried out. The roots, shoots and fruits of Clitoria ternatea, Sesbania bispinosa and Tephrosia purpurea collected from two different areas Chhatargarh area (Bikaner district and Ratangarh area (Churu district were analysed for mineral contents. The maximum Calcium (3.86%, Phosphorus (0.48%, Potassium (0.92% and Sodium (1.08% contents were found in roots and shoots of Grewia tenax collected from study area.

  13. 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.

  14. Cryptoendolithic lichen and cyanobacterial communities of the Ross Desert, Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1988-01-01

    Cryptoendolithic microbial communities in the Ross Desert (McMurdo Dry Valleys) are characterized on the basis of photosynthetic microorganisms and fungi. Two eukaryotic communities (the lichen-dominated and Hemichloris communities) and three cyanobacterial communities (the red Gloeocapsa, Hormathonema-Gloeocapsa, and Chroococcidiopsis communities) are described. Eleven coccoid, one pleurocapsoid, and five filamentous cyanobacteria occurring in these communities are characterized and illustrated. The moisture grade of the rock substrate seems to affect pH, formation of primary iron stain, and the distribution of microbial communities.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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......The chapter considers recent trends in naturalisation legislation in Europe and what they might imply for the symbolic meaning of citizenship. During the first decade of the 21st century many European states have strengthened requirements for access to citizenship. This development has both had...

  18. Desert National Wildlife Refuge Complex: Ash Meadows, Desert, Moapa Valley, and Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuges: Final Comprehensive Conservation Plan and Environmental Impact Statement

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP) was written to guide management on Desert NWR Complex for the next 15 years. This plan outlines the Complex vision and...

  19. An Analysis of Contracting Actions by United States Based Department of Defense Organizations to Support Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm

    Science.gov (United States)

    1992-09-01

    Personal Interviews . . . . .... 36 Use of the Delphi Method . . . . . .... 37 Discussion of Investigative Questions . . . 39 Investigative Questions...the end of Desert Storm. Prior to Desert Shield the two manufacturers of injectors for atropine, a nerve agent antidote, were producing 60,000 units...two-stage approach was the formal phase, in which the Delphi technique was determined to be appropriate (Emory and Cooper, 1991:149). The data was

  20. The United States Army Aviation Center and Fort Rucker during Operations DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM. Addendum to the 1991 Annual Command History

    Science.gov (United States)

    1991-01-01

    transcript of an oral briefing conducted June 17, 1991, for BG Konitzer , subj: DESERT SHIELD/DESERT STORM, Oral Interview File, Aviation Branch History...housing reserve units, Mr. Bill Lee , noted "•lhe [1st Aviation Brigade], who controlled these two units, had allowed the individuals to leave their...call went out! The DENTACs from Fort Lee , Fort Meade, Fort Jackson, Fort Gordon, Fort Benning, and the area dental laboratory at Fort Gordon soon

  1. A Comparative Analysis of the Microfabrics of Surface Horizons and Desert Varnish in Extremely Arid Soils of the Mojave (USA) and Trans-Altai Gobi (Mongolia) Deserts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lebedeva, M. P.; Shishkov, V. A.

    2016-02-01

    The mineralogical composition of coarse fraction and characteristic features of the micro- and submicrofabrics and chemical composition of desert varnish on gravels of desert pavements and the underlying vesicular crust soil horizons were studied in the extremely arid soils of the Mojave (USA) and Trans-Altai Gobi (Mongolia) deserts. A set of common diagnostic features of elementary pedogenetic processes was identified in the automorphic desert soils developed on ancient (70-90 ka) piedmont plains composed of alluvial deposits with the high content of red-earth clay. The results of this study attest to the long and complicated history of the extremely arid soils with alternation of the humid and arid phases of pedogenesis reflected in a specific combination of textural (clay-illuvial) and carbonate pedofeatures and in the distribution patterns of iron, manganese, titanium, and barium in different layers of the desert varnish. The chemical composition of the latter did not depend on the mineralogical composition of the underlying substrates and was formed with active participation of soil microorganisms. This allowed us to conclude about the polygenetic (accretionary-microbiological) nature of desert varnish.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. R. Field

    2006-01-01

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

  3. 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

    2016-06-01

    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.

  4. Water use, productivity and interactions among desert plants. Final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ehleringer, J.R.

    1996-09-01

    On the Colorado Plateau, precipitation comes either from winter storms generated in the Gulf of Alaska or from summer convection storms generated by the Arizona monsoon system. Understanding the current seasonal and regional patterns of precipitation inputs into an ecosystem has ramifications at several levels: on carbon and mineral cycling at the ecosystem level, on biodiversity at the community level, and on productivity and adaptation at the population and species levels. The interior deserts of Arizona, Nevada, and Utah represent the driest regions of western North America, resulting from a combination of rainshadow effects and either the southern limits of winter moisture input or the northern limits of summer moisture input or both. Shifts in strengths of storm-generating conditions in the Pacific and in the Gulf influence both the magnitude and seasonality of soil moisture availability and therefore constrain periods of primary productivity activity in these aridland ecosystems. One major consequence predicted by global climate change scenarios is a change in monsoonal (summer) precipitation; it will increase in some areas and decrease in others. A second is increased soil temperatures and increased interior drought associated with ocean-land temperature disequilibrium. This project focused on the influence of variations in summer moisture input on structure-function relationships within a cold desert ecosystem on the Colorado Plateau. The primary field sites were located at Stud Horse Point, Utah, located on the Utah-Arizona boundary in the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and at the Arizona monsoon boundary region.

  5. 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.

  6. Prospects and constraints of desert agriculture: lessons from West Omdurman.

    Science.gov (United States)

    El Gamri, Tarig

    2004-12-01

    Sudan is the largest country in Africa with an area of about 2.5 million km2; the country hosts a population of about 31 million people. About two-thirds of the country area is located within arid and semi-arid regions. Recently, especially during the last half of the previous century, these regions were subject to various forms of land degradation. This paper discusses the general prospects and constraints of desert agriculture. It also presents a detailed case study of West Omdurman, which is located in a semi-desert climatic zone. The ambitious plans to utilise the area for agricultural production were initiated because of the relatively fertile soil, availability of water and the proximity of the area to marketing and export centres. The paper discusses the different land use systems experienced in the area, reasons for failure are identified and possible remedies discussed. In addition, constraints facing the proposed West Omdurman Canal Project are also discussed. Finally, the paper reviews the major research findings of Rawakeeb Dryland Research Center with regard to promoting agricultural productivity.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  8. Stem photosynthesis and hydraulics are coordinated in desert plant species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ávila-Lovera, Eleinis; Zerpa, Antonio J; Santiago, Louis S

    2017-08-21

    Coordination between stem photosynthesis and hydraulics in green-stemmed desert plants is important for understanding the physiology of stem photosynthesis and possible drought responses. Plants with photosynthetic stems have extra carbon gain that can help cope with the detrimental effects of drought. We studied photosynthetic, hydraulic and functional traits of 11 plant species with photosynthetic stems from three California desert locations. We compared relationships among traits between wet and dry seasons to test the effect of seasonality on these relationships. Finally, we compared stem trait relationships with analogous relationships in the leaf economics spectrum. We found that photosynthetic and hydraulic traits are coordinated in photosynthetic stems. The slope or intercept of all trait relationships was mediated by seasonality. The relationship between mass-based stem photosynthetic CO2 assimilation rate (Amass ) and specific stem area (SSA; stem surface area to dry mass ratio) was statistically indistinguishable from the leaf economics spectrum. Our results indicate that photosynthetic stems behave like leaves in the coordination of multiple traits related to carbon gain, water movement and water loss. Because of the similarity of the stem Amass -SSA relationship to the leaf Amass -specific leaf area relationship, we suggest the existence of a photosynthetic stem economic spectrum. © 2017 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2017 New Phytologist Trust.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-11-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. Feedbacks between woody plant encroachment and microclimate in desert grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Odorico, P.; He, Y.; De Wekker, S.; Fuentes, J. D.; Collins, S. L.; Pockman, W.

    2011-12-01

    The encroachment of woody plants into grasslands is a global phenomenon that results from a variety of drivers related to land use and global environmental change. In the southwestern U.S., shrub encroachment can be associated with land degradation, soil erosion, and the formation of coppice dunes. In this region, the relatively abrupt character of grassland-to-shrubland transitions - both in time and in space - suggests that arid and semiarid rangelands may exhibit two alternative stable states characterized by either grass or shrub dominance. In these bistable landscapes, even small changes in environmental drivers may cause abrupt state transitions from grassland to shrubland, sustained by positive feedbacks with environmental drivers. We show that positive feedbacks between land cover change and microclimate may contribute to shrub encroachment in the southwestern US. Thus, we investigate changes in surface air temperature and energy balance resulting from grass-to-shrub transitions in the northern Chiuhuahuan desert. We find that the encroachment of native shrubs into desert grasslands modifies the surface energy balance with the overall net effect of increasing nighttime air temperatures, thereby favoring the establishment and growth of freeze-sensitive Larrea plants.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xuejun Yang

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

  13. When dunes move together, structure of deserts emerges

    CERN Document Server

    Génois, Mathieu; Pont, Sylvain Courrech du; Grégoire, Guillaume

    2012-01-01

    Crescent shaped barchan dunes are highly mobile dunes that are usually presented as a prototypical model of sand dunes. Although they have been theoretically shown to be unstable when considered separately, it is well known that they form large assemblies in desert. Collisions of dunes have been proposed as a mechanism to redistribute sand between dunes and prevent the formation of heavily large dunes, resulting in a stabilizing effect in the context of a dense barchan field. Yet, no models are able to explain the spatial structures of dunes observed in deserts. Here, we use an agent-based model with elementary rules of sand redistribution during collisions to access the full dynamics of very large barchan dune fields. Consequently, stationnary, out of equilibrium states emerge. Trigging the dune field density by a sand load/lost ratio, we show that large dune fields exhibit two assymtotic regimes: a dilute regime, where sand dune nucleation is needed to maintain a dune field, and a dense regime, where dune c...

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Vertical distribution of the free-living amoeba population in soil under desert shrubs in the Negev desert, Israel.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodriguez-Zaragoza, Salvador; Mayzlish, Einav; Steinberger, Yosef

    2005-04-01

    A field study was designed to examine the effect of desert shrubs on the dynamics of free-living amoebae in arid soil. Soil samples from 0- to 50-cm depths were collected at 10-cm intervals in each of the four seasons. The vertical distributions of the four main morphological types of amoebae, grouped according to their mobility, and of small flagellate populations were measured under the canopies of Hammada scoparia and Atriplex halimus, shrubs belonging to the chloride-absorbing xerohalophytes. The result obtained from the field study demonstrated that the total number of protozoa was significantly higher during the wet seasons (winter and spring) than during the dry seasons. The protozoan population was more diverse under the canopy of H. scoparia during the wet seasons, reaching 8,000 individuals per 1 g of dry soil, whereas during the dry seasons, the populations were higher under the canopy of A. halimus, with a mean of 250 individuals. The protozoan population in the deeper layers (40 to 50 cm) was found to be as active as that in the upper layers, demonstrating that, in the desert, soil columns below 20 cm are fertile and worth studying. The type 1 amoebae (e.g., Acanthamoeba and Filamoeba spp.) were the most abundant throughout the study period, and their numbers were significantly higher than those of the other amoeba types.

  17. Impact of long-range desert dust transport on hydrometeor formation over coastal East Asia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Zhenxi; Zhou, Wen; Wenig, Mark; Yang, Liangui

    2017-01-01

    Model simulations and hydrological reanalysis data for 2007 are applied to investigate the impact of long-range desert dust transport on hydrometeor formation over coastal East Asia. Results are analyzed from Hong Kong and Shanghai, which are two representative coastal cities of East Asia. Long-range desert dust transport impacts mainly spring and summer clouds and precipitation over coastal East Asia. In spring, clouds and precipitation come mainly from large-scale condensation and are impacted mainly by dust from the Gobi, Sahara, and Thar deserts. These desert dusts can participate in the precipitation within and below the clouds. At lower latitudes, the dust particles act mainly as water nuclei. At higher latitudes, they act as both water nuclei and ice nuclei. The effect of Gobi, Sahara, and Thar dust on large-scale clouds and precipitation becomes stronger at higher latitudes. In summer, clouds and precipitation over coastal East Asia come mainly from convection and are impacted mainly by dust from the Taklamakan, Arabian, and Karakum-Kavir deserts. Most Taklamakan dust particles can participate in precipitation within convective clouds as ice nuclei, while Arabian and Karakum-Kavir dust particles participate only as water nuclei in precipitation below the clouds. The effect of Taklamakan dust on convective clouds and precipitation becomes stronger at lower latitudes. Of all the desert dusts, that from the Gobi and Taklamakan deserts has the relatively largest impact. Gobi dust impacts climate change in coastal East Asia by affecting spring water clouds at higher latitudes.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ashraf Muhammad Aqeel

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available 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 with various forms of sand ridges and inter-ridge valleys. Cholistan Desert presents a complex pattern of alluvial and aeolian depositions. In the present study we evaluated the nutritive value of different accessions of the perennial range grass Cenchrus ciliaris collected from the Cholistan Desert, Pakistan. Standard method, Benedict’s quantitative reagent for carbohydrates, crude protein and nitrogen by the Kjeldahl method, mineral analysis by flame photometer and estimation of crude fiber by using acid base treatment, were utilized. The results suggest that Cenchrus ciliaris has medicinal and nutritional importance, and that it could be a good source of important nutrients for humans, helping to alleviate poverty in poor local communities.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dorn, Ronald I.

    2016-11-01

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

  20. Composition, origin and weathering process of surface sediment in Kumtagh Desert, Northwest China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    XU Zhiwei; LU Huayu; ZHAO Cunfa; WANG Xianyan; SU Zhizhua; WANG Zhenting; LIU Hongyi; WANG Lixin; LU Qi

    2011-01-01

    Kumtagh Desert is one of the eight biggest deserts in China,but poorly investigated before our interdisciplinary study because of the difficulty of access.In this paper,33 representative surface sediment samples were collected from the Kumtagh Desert and analyzed in the laboratory to obtain heavy mineral components and geochemical element contents.Results show that various kinds of heavy minerals are present in these samples,with high levels of epidote and hornblende.Si and AI take up a large part of chemical composition.Compared with the average composition of geochemical elements of the upper continental crust (UCC),except Si and Ca,all elements are depleted to a certain degree; Fe,Mg,Ca,P,Ti and Mn have high correlation coefficients in their contents.The mineral and geochemical composition of the Kumtagh Desert sediments have a similarity with that of rocks of Altyn Tagh Mountains,and the surface sediments of the alluvial/diluvial fans around the Altyn Tagh Mountains and that of the Taklamakan Desert,indicating that one major source of the Kumtagh Desert sediments is located in the Altyn Tagh Mountains.Alluvial deposits and lake sediments in Aqik valley and lower reaches of Shule River are prone to be eroded and transported by the strong northeasterly wind into the Kumtagh Desert,forming another source of the desert deposits.An A-CN-K ternary diagram shows that a weak degree chemical weathering by the loss of Na and K occurred in these sediments,whereas A-CNK-FM temary diagram suggests that Fe and Mg have undergone a significant chemical differentiation.Physical weathering processes cause easy erosion and enrichment in fine particles for mafic minerals,thus coarse desert sand particles can be relatively depleted in Fe and Mg.The mineral and geochemical composition of sediments in arid regions experiencing less chemical weathering are mostly affected by physical weathering.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-12-01

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

  2. 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

  3. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frndak, Seth E

    2014-12-02

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

  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...... 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. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Köberl, Martina; Müller, Henry; Ramadan, Elshahat M; Berg, Gabriele

    2011-01-01

    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. 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. After long-term farming, a drastic shift in the bacterial communities in desert soil was observed. Bacterial communities in agricultural soil showed a higher diversity and a better ecosystem function for plant health but a

  8. 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.

  9. Sexual conflict and consistency of offspring desertion in Eurasian penduline tit Remiz pendulinus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pogány Ákos

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The trade-off between current and future parental investment is often different between males and females. This difference may lead to sexual conflict between parents over care provisioning in animals that breed with multiple mates. One of the most obvious manifestations of sexual conflict over care is offspring desertion whereby one parent deserts the young to increase its reproductive success at the expense of its mate. Offspring desertion is a wide-spread behavior, and its frequency often varies within populations. We studied the consistency of offspring desertion in a small passerine bird, the Eurasian penduline tit Remiz pendulinus, that has an extremely variable breeding system. Both males and females are sequentially polygamous, and a single parent (either the male or the female incubates the eggs and rears the young. About 28–40% of offspring are abandoned by both parents, and these offspring perish. Here we investigate whether the variation in offspring desertion in a population emerges either by each individual behaving consistently between different broods, or it is driven by the environment. Results Using a three-year dataset from Southern Hungary we show that offspring desertion by females is consistent between nests. Male desertion, however, depends on ambient environment, because all males desert their nests early in the season and some of them care late in the season. Therefore, within-population variation in parental care emerges by sexually different mechanisms; between-individual variation was responsible for the observed pattern of offspring desertion in females, whereas within-individual variation was responsible for the observed pattern in males. Conclusion To our knowledge, our study is the first that investigates repeatability of offspring desertion behavior in nature. The contrasting strategies of the sexes imply complex evolutionary trajectories in breeding behavior of penduline tits. Our results

  10. Geochemical Information Indicating the Water Recharge to Lakes and Immovable Megadunes in the Badain Jaran Desert

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    CHEN Jiansheng; ZHAO Xia; SHENG Xuefeng; WANG Jiyang; GU Weizu; CHEN Liang

    2005-01-01

    Calc-sinters distributed in the middle of lakes and rhizoconcretions scattered at the slopes of sand dunes were observed during three explorations to the Badain Jaran Desert in the past two years.Wet sands were also found underneath the dry surface sand layers of about 20-50 cm in thickness.The geochemical parameters were measured on minerals and water samples collected from the Badain Jaran Desert and neighboring areas.The results show that the water system in the desert may be recharged from the groundwater originating from the precipitation of the Qilian Mountains and/or the Tibetan Plateau rather than the local rainfalls.

  11. Successional trends in Sonoran Desert abandoned agricultural fields in northern Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castellanos, A.E.; Martinez, M.J.; Llano, J.M.; Halvorson, W.L.; Espiricueta, M.; Espejel, I.

    2005-01-01

    Excessive ground-water use and saline intrusion to the aquifer led, in less than three decades, to an increase in abandoned agricultural fields at La Costa de Hermosillo, within the Sonoran Desert. Using a chronosequence from years since abandonment, patterns of field succession were developed. Contrary to most desert literature, species replacement was found, both in fields with and without saline intrusion. Seasonal photosynthetic capacity as well as water and nitrogen use efficiencies were different in dominant early and late successional plant species. These ecological findings provided a framework for a general explanation of species dominance and replacement within abandoned agricultural fields in the Sonoran Desert. ?? 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. ENSO effects on primary productivity in Southern Atacama desert

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. A. Squeo

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available In the winter-rain southern Atacama Desert of the Coquimbo Region of Chile, El Niño - Southern Oscillation (ENSO events modulate primary productivity. In this region, there are important changes in water availability between La Niña (dry and El Niño (rainy years. Using inter-annual comparisons of LANDSAT images from 30° to 31° S latitude, we observed changes in primary productivity between dry and rainy years at the regional level. There were also significant, negative correlations between productivity and elevation, with changes occurring first at low elevation during rainy years. The limiting factors to dryland vegetation primary productivity is different in regard to elevation. Rain during an El Niño year is the main factor that explains the increase in primary productivity at low elevation, while lower temperatures reduce and delay the net primary productivity at mid elevation.

  13. New Colombian gas line overcomes desert, marshland, hilly terrain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1977-02-28

    Wind-swept deserts, rock hills, and tricky swamps are some of the main obstacles being faced in the construction of a major Colombian pipeline for Promigas, a Colombian gas-marketing firm. The 236-mile (380-km), 20 and 12-in. transmission system will link the onshore and offshore Guajira Peninsula fields with the industrial cities of Barranquilla and Cartagena as part of an ambitious gas-utilization program aimed at substituting imported fuel oil in industrial operations at these cities and creating a sizable gas-processing and liquefaction complex at Palomino. Scheduled for completion in October 1977, the $60 million gas line will deliver up to 900 million cf/day of untreated, 98 mol % methane gas without the use of compressor stations because of the 1400-psi reservoir pressure. The estimated potential of the field is expected to support this production rate for at least 15 years.

  14. An examination of family adjustment among Operation Desert Storm veterans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taft, Casey T; Schumm, Jeremiah A; Panuzio, Jillian; Proctor, Susan P

    2008-08-01

    This study examined interrelationships among combat exposure, symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and family adjustment in a sample of male and female Operation Desert Storm veterans (N = 1,512). In structural equation models for both male and female veterans, higher combat exposure was associated with higher PTSD symptoms, which in turn were associated with poorer family adjustment, although these indirect effects did not reach statistical significance. The model for female veterans evidenced a significant direct negative association between combat exposure and family adjustment when it statistically accounted for PTSD symptoms. When the relative impacts of separate PTSD symptom groupings were examined, those reflecting withdrawal/numbing symptoms and arousal/lack of control symptoms significantly and indirectly accounted for the negative effects of combat exposure on family adjustment. Study findings indicate a number of possible pathways through which war-zone deployments negatively impact military families and suggest several avenues for future research. Copyright 2008 APA, all rights reserved.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Janusz Błaszkowski

    2014-01-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. Intercomparison of desert dust optical depth from satellite measurements

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. Carboni

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available This work provides a comparison of satellite retrievals of Saharan desert dust aerosol optical depth (AOD during a strong dust event through March 2006. In this event, a large dust plume was transported over desert, vegetated, and ocean surfaces. The aim is to identify the differences between current datasets. The satellite instruments considered are AATSR, AIRS, MERIS, MISR, MODIS, OMI, POLDER, and SEVIRI. An interesting aspect is that the different algorithms make use of different instrument characteristics to obtain retrievals over bright surfaces. These include multi-angle approaches (MISR, AATSR, polarisation measurements (POLDER, single-view approaches using solar wavelengths (OMI, MODIS, and the thermal infrared spectral region (SEVIRI, AIRS. Differences between instruments, together with the comparison of different retrieval algorithms applied to measurements from the same instrument, provide a unique insight into the performance and characteristics of the various techniques employed. As well as the intercomparison between different satellite products, the AODs have also been compared to co-located AERONET data. Despite the fact that the agreement between satellite and AERONET AODs is reasonably good for all of the datasets, there are significant differences between them when compared to each other, especially over land. These differences are partially due to differences in the algorithms, such as assumptions about aerosol model and surface properties. However, in this comparison of spatially and temporally averaged data, it is important to note that differences in sampling, related to the actual footprint of each instrument on the heterogeneous aerosol field, cloud identification and the quality control flags of each dataset can be an important issue.

  18. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-08-01

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

  20. Mesofaunal biodiversity and its importance in Thar desert.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tripathi, G; Kumari, R; Sharma, B M

    2007-04-01

    Soil animals are considered as important contributors to soil fertility However, there is paucity of such information for harsh climatic conditions. Therefore, the below ground faunal density and frequency have been studied in relation to physicochemical properties of soil in Thar desert. The selected soil systems were Vigna radiata--Cuminum cyminum, grassland, flower garden and Zizyphus mauritiana. Acari and other soil arthropods exhibited seasonal variation in their populations. There were two population peaks, one in February/March and other in August/September. The highest population was in flower garden, whereas lowest was in Z. mauritiana field. It clearly indicates that the soil fauna population develops in different degrees. The relative density showed that the acarines were more prevalent in comparison to other soil arthropods. The prostigmatids exhibited maximum relative density in comparison to cryptostigmatids and mesostigmatids in all fields. Pauropus showed higher relative density among all other soil arthropods. Acari had higher frequency of occurrence, while the other soil arthropods indicated lower frequency of occurrence in all systems. The highest frequency of occurrence was recorded in July/August and the lowest in May/June. The soil temperature, moisture, organic carbon, total nitrogen and carbon/nitrogen ratio varied significantly throughout the year The fluctuations in physicochemical characteristics of soil greatly influenced below ground faunal density in different fields. A highly significant and positive correlation was obtained among different soil fauna groups. Faunal population showed a significant positive correlation with soil moisture, organic carbon and total nitrogen. The abiotic factors such as temperature, pH and C/N ratio showed negative correlation with moisture, organic carbon and total nitrogen. However, moisture, organic carbon and total nitrogen had positive correlation among themselves. The present study suggests that the

  1. Wind erosion and vegetation interactions in a desert ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartman, L.; Epstein, H.; Li, J.; Okin, G.

    2006-12-01

    Desert grassland degradation is common in many arid environments and is related to increasing shrub coverage, declines in grass species and loss of soil nutrients. Wind erosion may contribute to this degradation by eroding surface soil and depleting soil nutrients. Areas downwind of wind eroded areas may also be affected because wind eroded soils can be trapped beneath shrub canopies, creating "islands of fertility," while grass species are likely abraded or buried by deposition. We have established a manipulative experiment on the Jornada Experimental Range in southern New Mexico in a predominantly grassland habitat (interspersed with some shrub cover) to examine interactions between wind erosion and vegetation structure and function in the Chihuahuan Desert. Each of three experimental blocks includes five 25x50m treatment plots with different levels of vegetation removed (100%, 75%, 50%, 25%, and 0% - control) to stimulate wind erosion. Dust flux and vegetation composition, coverage (lateral and fractional), and spatial distribution are being monitored on and immediately downwind of treated areas. Additionally, individual grasses and shrubs have been selected for monitoring of leaf-level photosynthesis rates on treated and downwind areas to determine impacts of erosion on plant physiology. Results indicate an exponential increase in dust flux with decreasing lateral coverage of vegetation. The spatial distribution of vegetation also appears to be an important factor influencing wind erosion rates. Specifically, there is a positive correlation between the average gap size (space between plants) and dust flux. Leaf level photosynthesis rates were higher for shrubs than grasses, and were lower for grasses downwind of the 100% removal areas compared to the controls. Additionally, a decrease in grass coverage downwind of treated areas suggests that community composition changes are occurring downwind from eroding areas. These results suggest a significant role for

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Structures of subgrade/pavement and construction techniques for the Taklimakan Desert Highway

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    李志农; 金昌宁

    2002-01-01

    With lots of indoor and outdoor experiments, several key technical issues in construc-tion of the Desert Highway have been solved satisfactorily, on the basis of great achievements ofthe studies in respects of dry compaction on sand base, design parameters, structure combinationof subgrade and pavement, stabilization analysis of sand base strengthened with geotextile and acomplete set of construction techniques. It is the first time the achievements of the study weresuccessfully applied in the Taklimakan Desert where the natural condition is extremely harsh. Ithas been proved that it is economic and reasonable with reliable techniques and simple construc-tion methods. The Desert Highway constructed with the achievements is the first-grade highwayrunning through huge migratory desert for long distance in the world.

  9. 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)

  10. A sedimentological proxy indicator linking changes in loess and deserts in the Quaternary

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    丁仲礼; 孙继敏; 刘东生

    1999-01-01

    From Yulin, which is located in the transitional zone between the Loess Plateau and the Mu Us desert, to Weinan in the southernmost part of the Loess Plateau, 9 loess sections were studied. Grain size analyses show that the advance-retreat changes of the deserts in northern China may be the most important factor controlling changes in the sand particle percentage of the loess-soil sequences during the last glacial-interglacial period. It is thus suggested to use the sand grain content of loess deposits as a proxy indicator of desert variations. Applying this indicator to the last glacial loess deposits in the northwestern part of the Loess Plateau reveals that there were many millennial-scale cycles of the desert environments.

  11. Golden Eagle food habits in the Mojave Desert: Regional information for a changing landscape

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — Expansion of renewable energy development is rapidly transforming the Mojave Desert landscape and has the potential to impact Golden Eagles through loss of foraging...

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2009-07-01

    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.

  13. From (b)edouin to (a)borigine: the myth of the desert noble savage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graulund, Rune

    2009-01-01

    This article examines the myth of the supposed superiority of the desert noble savage over civilized man. With the Bedouin of Arabia and the Aborigines of Australia as its two prime examples, the article argues that two versions of this myth can be traced: one in which the desert noble savage is valorized due to his valour, physical prowess and martial skill (Bedouin); and another, later version, where the desert noble savage is valorized as a pacifist, an ecologist and a mythmaker/storyteller (Aborigines). The article concludes by examining the way in which this turn from one type of desert noble savage to another reflects the manner in which western modernity has shifted its values from Cartesian dualities and Enlightenment rationalism to that of networks, potentialities, ecology and myth.

  14. Discovery and geology of the Desert Peak geothermal field: a case history. Bulletin 97

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Benoit, W.R.; Hiner, J.E.; Forest, R.T.

    1982-09-01

    A case history of the exploration, development (through 1980), and geology of the Desert Peak geothermal field is presented. Sections on geochemistry, geophysics, and temperature-gradient drilling are included.

  15. Department of the Interior : Final Environmental Statement : FES 75-76 : Proposed Desert Wilderness Area

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This document is a final analysis of the environmental impact wilderness designation would pose for the Desert Wilderness Area. Topics covered include where the...

  16. Responses of Plants’ Phenology to Climate Warming in the Desert Area in Northwestern China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhaofeng Chang

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available With climate warming, plants’ spring phenology has advanced while autumn phenology has delayed. How does the phenology of desert plants respond to climatic variation? To reveal it, this study analyzed the phenological data of 22 desert species growing in the Minqin Desert Plants Botanical Garden located in the typical desert area in northwest China. The data was observed during the year 1974-2009. Results revealed that comparing with the literatures available, the temperature in the study area since 1974 rose more significantly and plants’ growing periods were longer. Both the advance of arbor’s spring phenology and the delay of herb’s autumn phenology were obviously greater than that reported in available literature. The starting date of spring phenolgy advanced markedly. From 1974 to 2009, the starting date of spring phenology, the ending date of autumn phenology and plants’ growing duration experienced 6 stages. The phenological changes in different stages were closely related to temperature variation.

  17. Biophyiscal settings and wildfire frequencies in the Colorado Desert ecological section of California, 1984 to 2013

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — This raster dataset contains biophysical settings (band 1) and wildfire frequencies (band 2) within the Colorado Desert ecological section of California. Biophysical...

  18. America's Atomic Army: The Historical Archaeology of Camp Desert Rock

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Susan R. Edwards

    2007-11-02

    Established in 1951, Camp Desert Rock served as the training ground for America's 'Atomic Army'. For the next six years, U.S. ground troops traveled to the Nevada desert to participate in military maneuvers during atmospheric atomic weapons testing. Nearly 60,000 soldiers received physical and psychological training in atomic warfare. Abandoned when atmospheric testing ended, Camp Desert Rock was dismantled and its buildings moved to other locations. Today, the camp appears as a sterile expanse of desert marked by rock-lined tent platforms, concrete foundations, and trash scatters. Although visually unimposing, the site is rich with the history of America's nuclear testing program.

  19. DISTRIBUTIONAL CHANGES AND POPULATION STATUS FOR AMPHIBIANS IN THE EASTERN MOJAVE DESERT

    Science.gov (United States)

    A number of amphibian species historically inhabited sparsely distributed wetlands in the Mojave Desert of western North America, habitats that have been dramatically altered or eliminated as a result of human activities. The population status and distributional changes for amphi...

  20. 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 pGreen Grocer, 77% did most of their shopping at a store at least 17.7 km (11 miles) from home. The number of long-distance monthly shopping trips made after the food desert (3.3±0.4) did not change significantly (p=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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  2. Summary of the 2009-2010 Season at the Mars Desert Research Station

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, J. V.; Westenberg, A.

    2011-03-01

    The Mars Desert Research Station in Hanksville, Utah is the most accessible, cost-effective martian analog station available. Each year the station is host to dozens of research projects from disciplines including biology, engineering, geology, hydrology, and psychology.

  3. Colorado Plateau Rapid Ecoregion Assessment Conservation Elements - Terrestrial Species: Desert Bighorn Sheep

    Data.gov (United States)

    Bureau of Land Management, Department of the Interior — This map shows the potential current distribution of desert bighorn sheep, in the context of current and near-term terrestrial intactness and long-term potential for...

  4. 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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhao-Feng Chang

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available 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 fluctuation trend increased significantly. In the past two years, there have been some unusual climate events in other regions in China. They reflect the fact that the deterioration of the stability of the climate change. The instability of the climate change impact on human life and production is increased more than global warming, more worthy of global concern.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2004-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghio, Andrew J.; Kummarapurugu, Suryanaren T.; Tong, Haiyan; Soukup, Joleen M.; Dailey, Lisa A.; Boykin, Elizabeth; Gilmour, M. Ian; Ingram, Peter; Roggli, Victor L.; Goldstein, Harland L.; Reynolds, Richard L.

    2014-01-01

    As a result of the challenge of recent dust storms to public health, we tested the postulate that desert dust collected in the southwestern United States imparts a biological effect in respiratory epithelial cells and an animal model. Two samples of surface sediment were collected from separate dust sources in northeastern Arizona. Analysis of the PM20 fraction demonstrated that the majority of both dust samples were quartz and clay minerals (total SiO2 of 52 and 57%). Using respiratory epithelial and monocytic cell lines, the two desert dusts increased oxidant generation, measured by Amplex Red fluorescence, along with carbon black (a control particle), silica, and NIST 1649 (an ambient air pollution particle). Cell oxidant generation was greatest following exposures to silica and the desert dusts. Similarly, changes in RNA for superoxide dismutase-1, heme oxygenase-1, and cyclooxygenase-2 were also greatest after silica and the desert dusts supporting an oxidative stress after cell exposure. Silica, desert dusts, and the ambient air pollution particle NIST 1649 demonstrated a capacity to activate the p38 and ERK1/2 pathways and release pro-inflammatory mediators. Mice, instilled with the same particles, showed the greatest lavage concentrations of pro-inflammatory mediators, neutrophils, and lung injury following silica and desert dusts. We conclude that, comparable to other particles, desert dusts have a capacity to (1) influence oxidative stress and release of pro-inflammatory mediators in respiratory epithelial cells and (2) provoke an inflammatory injury in the lower respiratory tract of an animal model. The biological effects of desert dusts approximated those of silica.

  7. Preliminary reconstruction of the desert and sandy land distributions in China since the last interglacial period

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    CHEN; Huizhong; SU; Zhizhu; YANG; Ping; DONG; Guangrong

    2004-01-01

    The desert and sandy land are the products of arid climate. The spatial distribution of modern deserts and sandy land in China and their relation to climate show following characteristics: arid and hyper-arid desert zones, at isohyet of less than 200 mm, are dominated by mobile dunes; semi-arid steppe and arid desert steppe with the precipitation between 200-400mm, are dominated by semi-fixed and fixed sand dunes; the precipitation of sub-humid forest grassland and humid forest zones with scattered fixed sand land is higher than 400 mm. With this as reference, in combination with considerable amount of paleoclimatic data in desert regions and adjacent regions, the distributions of desert and sandy land in China during the last interglacial period, the last glacial maximum (LGM), and the Holocene megathermal, were preliminarily reconstructed. The results compared with that of today show that the distribution of desert and sandy land in China was greatly dwindled during last interglacial period, and the mobile dune area was about two-thirds of that of today's, but greatly expanded during LGM. However, the dwindling area of desert and sandy land in the Holocene megathermal was smaller than that in the last interglacial period. The forcing mechanism was mainly related to the changes of East Asian winter and summer monsoon, south-northward swing of the westerlies and the variations of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau monsoon intensity caused by global climate changes during the cold and warm intervals since the last interglacial period.

  8. The Century Series - Bush and Desert Warfare: A Bibliography of Periodical Articles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1983-08-01

    and Rear," SMR, 12:22, 23, Dec 1970. BARCLAY, C. N. "Early Desert Victory," A, 14:40-44, Aug 1963. BUCKLEY, Michael . "Mediterranean Odyssey," FAJ, 32...34 INF SQ, 34:78-92, Jan 1949. CRICHTON -STUART, H. "The Story of a Long-Range Desert Patrol," N, 47:70-80, Oct 43; 47:197-210, Jan 1944. CUNNINGHAM, Harry

  9. Growing season net ecosystem CO2 exchange of two desert ecosystems with alkaline soils in Kazakhstan

    OpenAIRE

    Li, Longhui; Chen, Xi; Van der Tol, Christiaan; Luo, Geping; Su, Zhongbo

    2013-01-01

    Central Asia is covered by vast desert ecosystems, and the majority of these ecosystems have alkaline soils. Their contribution to global net ecosystem CO2 exchange (NEE) is of significance simply because of their immense spatial extent. Some of the latest research reported considerable abiotic CO2 absorption by alkaline soil, but the rate of CO2 absorption has been questioned by peer communities. To investigate the issue of carbon cycle in Central Asian desert ecosystems with alkaline soils,...

  10. A Primary Study on the New Criticism in Robert Frost’s Desert Places

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    邴照宇

    2013-01-01

    A profound study from the viewpoint of New Criticism, can find that Robert Frost expresses his unique thoughts and attitudes to the world in Desert Places, which is rarely researched and concentrated on, through the distinct characters of New Crit-icism in tone, paradox, tension. The unpredicted and changeable nature which is depicted in Desert Places represent the author’s doubt about the communication among the people in the society, and he loses the confidence for people.

  11. PROSOPIS CINERARIA (L) DRUCE: A DESERT TREE TO BRACE LIVELIHOOD IN RAJASTHAN

    OpenAIRE

    BINA RANI, UPMA SINGH, RAVI SHARMA, A AYUSHI GUPTA, NIDHI GAUBA DHAWAN, AJIT KUMAR SHARMA, SURBHI SHARMA, RAAZ K MAHESHWARI

    2013-01-01

    The Prosopis cineraria (L) Druce is an important tree (Khejri- a local name in Rajasthan)for the Thar Desert withhard climatic adaptation and one of the lifeline in desert habitat as mentioned in ancient literature. This is a speciesrepresenting all five F viz., Forest, Fiber, Fuel, Fodder and Food. This tree is also mythological important in localcommunities. High value of this species recognized as a State symbol (state tree of Rajasthan). Prosopis cineraria(L.) Druce is a tree endemic to h...

  12. The response of aboveground net primary productivity of desert vegetation to rainfall pulse in the temperate desert region of northwest China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Fang; Zhao, Wenzhi; Liu, Hu

    2013-01-01

    Rainfall events can be characterized as "pulses", which are discrete and variable episodes that can significantly influence the structure and function of desert ecosystems, including shifts in aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP). To determine the threshold and hierarchical response of rainfall event size on the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI, a proxy for ANPP) and the difference across a desert area in northwestern China with two habitats - dune and desert - we selected 17 independent summer rainfall events from 2005 to 2012, and obtained a corresponding NDVI dataset extracted from MODIS images. Based on the threshold-delay model and statistical analysis, the results showed that the response of NDVI to rainfall pulses began at about a 5 mm event size. Furthermore, when the rainfall event size was more than 30 mm, NDVI rapidly increased 3- to 6-fold compared with the response to events of less than 30 mm, suggesting that 30 mm was the threshold for a large NDVI response. These results revealed the importance of the 5 mm and 30 mm rainfall events for plant survival and growth in desert regions. There was an 8- to 16-day lag time between the rainfall event and the NDVI response, and the response duration varied with rainfall event size, reaching a maximum of 32 days. Due to differences in soil physical and mineralogical properties, and to biodiversity structure and the root systems' abilities to exploit moisture, dune and desert areas differed in precipitation responses: dune habitats were characterized by a single, late summer productivity peak; in contrast, deserts showed a multi-peak pattern throughout the growing season.

  13. The response of aboveground net primary productivity of desert vegetation to rainfall pulse in the temperate desert region of northwest China.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fang Li

    Full Text Available Rainfall events can be characterized as "pulses", which are discrete and variable episodes that can significantly influence the structure and function of desert ecosystems, including shifts in aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP. To determine the threshold and hierarchical response of rainfall event size on the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI, a proxy for ANPP and the difference across a desert area in northwestern China with two habitats - dune and desert - we selected 17 independent summer rainfall events from 2005 to 2012, and obtained a corresponding NDVI dataset extracted from MODIS images. Based on the threshold-delay model and statistical analysis, the results showed that the response of NDVI to rainfall pulses began at about a 5 mm event size. Furthermore, when the rainfall event size was more than 30 mm, NDVI rapidly increased 3- to 6-fold compared with the response to events of less than 30 mm, suggesting that 30 mm was the threshold for a large NDVI response. These results revealed the importance of the 5 mm and 30 mm rainfall events for plant survival and growth in desert regions. There was an 8- to 16-day lag time between the rainfall event and the NDVI response, and the response duration varied with rainfall event size, reaching a maximum of 32 days. Due to differences in soil physical and mineralogical properties, and to biodiversity structure and the root systems' abilities to exploit moisture, dune and desert areas differed in precipitation responses: dune habitats were characterized by a single, late summer productivity peak; in contrast, deserts showed a multi-peak pattern throughout the growing season.

  14. 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

    2016-01-01

    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 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. PMID:27721480

  15. Blood group comparisons between European mouflon sheep and north American desert bighorn sheep.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bunch, T D; Nguyen, T C

    1982-01-01

    Blood group systems in true sheep (Ovis) provide an additional method by which phylogenetic relationships can be measured. Of the eight genetic systems of blood groups identified in domestic sheep, all appeared to have their homologue in European mouflons and at least six might have their equivalent in North American desert bighorns. The red cells of the European mouflon, which is believed to be ancestral to domestic sheep, cross-reacted with domestic sheep blood-group typing reagents much more strongly and extensively than did the red cells of desert bighorn sheep. It also was noted that all the Mexican desert bighorns tested were Da positive, but their blood factor was not observed in the Nelson desert bighorns sampled. This observation indicated that the two subspecies might differ from each other with respect to the D blood group system. Transferrin type D was observed in the mouflons, while Tfs D and E were in the desert bighorns. Hemoglobins B and AB were observed in the mouflons but only Hb B occurred in the desert bighorns. The systematic implications of blood group polymorphisms are discussed.

  16. 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.

  17. Ecohydrological Consequences of Grasses Invading Shrublands: A Comparison of Cold and Warm Deserts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilcox, B. P.; Turnbull, L.; Young, M.; Williams, C. J.; Ravi, S.; Seyfried, M. S.; Bowling, D. R.; Scott, R. L.; Caldwell, T. G.; Wainwright, J.; Germino, M. J.

    2010-12-01

    Exotic grasses are altering native savannas and woodlands across the globe. In this paper, we summarize the current state of knowledge concerning the ecohydrological consequences of native-shrubland-to-grassland conversion. Our objectives are to understand ecohydrological changes at the local scale, such as soil-water content or hillslope erosion; and whether these small-scale changes have consequences for larger-scale phenomena such as flooding, sedimentation in rivers, groundwater recharge, energy budgets, and weather patterns. In addition, we are interested in identifying gaps in our knowledge and research priorities. Our analysis is based on a synthesis of relevant literature complemented by simulation modeling using HYDRUS-1D and MAHLERAN. In terms of runoff and erosion, we find that the influence of grass invasion on surface runoff and erosion is different for the cold and warm deserts. For cold deserts, runoff and erosion will increase while for the warm deserts the opposite is likely to occur. In particular, erosion the erosion hazard will be greatly amplified on steep slopes (>20%) following burning. In warm deserts, grass invasion may actually reduce runoff and erosion. In terms of the vertical fluxes of evaporation and soil water recharge we find that grass invasion will likely lead to higher soil water recharge in cold deserts but not to the extent that groundwater will be affected for many, many decades and then likely not very much. In warm deserts grass invasion likely has little affect on evapotranspiration fluxes or soil water.

  18. Biogeographic perspective of speciation among desert tortoises in the genus Gopherus: a preliminary evaluation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwards, Taylor; Vaughn, Mercy; Meléndez Torres, Cristina; Karl, Alice E.; Rosen, Philip C.; Berry, Kristin H.; Murph, Robert W.

    2013-01-01

    The enduring processes of time, climate, and adaptation have sculpted the distribution of organisms we observe in the Sonoran Desert. One such organism is Morafka’s desert tortoise, Gopherus morafkai. We apply a genomic approach to identify the evolutionary processes driving diversity in this species and present preliminary findings and emerging hypotheses. The Sonoran Desert form of the tortoise exhibits a continuum of genetic similarity spanning 850 km of Sonoran desertscrub extending from Empalme, Sonora, to Kingman, Arizona. However, at the ecotone between desertscrub and foothills thornscrub we identify a distinct, Sinaloan lineage and this occurrence suggests a more complex evolutionary history for G. morafkai. By using multiple loci from throughout the tortoise’s genome, we aim to determine if divergence between these lineages occurred in allopatry, and further to investigate for signatures of past or current genetic introgression. This international, collaborative project will assist state and federal agencies in developing management strategies that best preserve the evolutionary potential of Morafka’s desert tortoise. Ultimately, an understanding of the evolutionary history of desert tortoises will not only clarify the forces that have driven the divergence in this group, but also contribute to our knowledge of the biogeographic history of the Southwestern deserts and how diversity is maintained within them.

  19. 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

  20. 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, M.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.

  1. Effect of directional migration on Lotka-Volterra system with desert.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagatani, Takashi; Tainaka, Kei-Ichi; Ichinose, Genki

    2017-09-28

    Migration is observed across many species. Several authors have studied ecological migration by applying cellular automaton (CA). In this paper, we present a directional migration model with desert on a one-dimensional lattice where a traffic CA model and a lattice Lotka-Volterra system are connected. Here predators correspond to locomotive animals while prey is immobile plants. Predators migrate between deserts and fertile lands repeatedly. Computer simulations reveal the two types of phase transition: coexistence of both species and prey dominance, which is caused by both benefit and cost of migration. In the coexistence phase, the steady-state density of predators usually increases by migration as long as the desert size is small and their mortality rate is low. In contrast, the prey density increases, even if the desert size becomes large. Such a paradox comes from the indirect effect: predators go extinct by the increase of desert size, so that the plant density can increase. Moreover, we find several self-organized spatial patterns: 1) predators form a stripe pattern; namely swarms. 2) The velocity of predators is high on deserts, but very low on fertile land. 3) Predators give birth only on fertile lands. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. 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

    2012-11-19

    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.

  3. Divergent variations in concentrations of chemical elements among shrub organs in a temperate desert.

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Mingzhu; Song, Xin; Tian, Fuping; Zhang, Ke; Zhang, Zhishan; Chen, Ning; Li, Xinrong

    2016-01-28

    Desert shrubs, a dominant component of desert ecosystems, need to maintain sufficient levels of nutrients in their different organs to ensure operation of various physiological functions for the purpose of survival and reproduction. In the present study, we analyzed 10 elements in leaves, stems, and roots of 24 dominant shrub species from 52 sites across a temperate desert ecosystem in northwestern China. We found that concentrations of all 10 elements were higher in leaves than in stems and roots, that non-legumes had higher levels of leaf Na and Mg than did legumes, and that Na was more concentrated in C4 leaves than in C3 leaves. Scaling relationships of elements between the photosynthetic organ (leaf) and non-photosynthetic organs (stem and root) were allometric. Results of principal components analysis (PCA) highlighted the important role of the elements responsible for osmoregulation (K and Na) in water utilization of desert shrubs. Soil properties and taxonomy explained most variation of element concentrations in desert shrubs. Desert shrubs may not be particularly susceptible to future change in climate factors, because most elements (including N, P, K, Ca, Mn, Zn, and Cu) associated with photosynthesis, osmoregulation, enzyme activity, and water use efficiency primarily depend on soil conditions.

  4. Use of functional brain imaging in the evaluation of exposure to mycotoxins and toxins encountered in Desert Storm/Desert Shield.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simon, Theodore R; Rea, William J

    2003-07-01

    In this retrospective analysis the authors compared brain scintigrams, performed using triple-head single-photon emission computed tomography (tripleSPECT), of subjects who were judged clinically impaired from exposure to toxins during the Desert Storm/Desert Shield military action, and of subjects exposed to mycotoxins, with those of normal controls. The scintigrams for both exposed groups exhibited similar patterns of abnormalities, which were consistent with neurotoxic impairment. The authors conclude that further study is needed to determine whether mycotoxin exposure may be a cause of abnormalities seen in tripleSPECT images.

  5. 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).

  6. 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 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 hypothesize that excess energy and water vapour brought through advection caused by pre

  7. Andean uplift and Neogene climate change in the Atacama Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rech, J. A.; Currie, B. S.; Jordan, T. E.

    2006-12-01

    Today the Andean Cordillera and Altiplano provide a major obstacle to atmospheric circulation over South America. The Altiplano Plateau prevents moist air masses from the Amazon Basin from reaching the Atacama Desert, causing the Atacama to be one of the driest places on Earth. Although Neogene sedimentary records from the western flank of the Andes should record the dramatic shift to hyperaridity that resulted from the growth of the Altiplano Plateau, the climatic implications of many sedimentary sequences have been difficult to decipher. The causes of the difficulties are complex, such as the relative influences of tectonics and active volcanism versus climate, and the roles of local as well as regional precipitation on groundwater and on the deposition of paludal sediments in basin centers. Over the last few years our research group has focused on using paleosols and the isotopic composition of palustrine carbonates in the Calama Basin (22°S) to try to identify a local precipitation signal and determine the onset of extreme hyperaridity as a consequence of the growth of the Altiplano. We have determined the soil morphological characteristics, salt chemistry, and mass independent fractionation anomalies (Δ17O values) in dated paleosols to reconstruct a Middle Miocene climatic transition from semi-aridity to extreme hyperaridity in the Atacama Desert. Paleosols along the southeastern margin of the Calama Basin change from calcic Vertisols with root traces, slickensides, and gleyed horizons to an extremely mature salic Gypsisol with pedogenic nitrate. We interpret this transition, which occurred between 19 and 13 Ma, to represent a change in precipitation from >200 mm/yr to Calama Basin also show a marked change during this time period. δ13C values of palustrine carbonates increase from -7 to +7? VPDB and δ18O values increases from -7 to +1? VPDB over the late to Middle Miocene time. This major trend towards more positive values is likely the result of several

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2001-01-01

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

  9. Ecohydrologic function and disturbance of desert ephemeral stream channels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bedford, D.; Macias, M.; Miller, D. M.; Newlander, A.; Perkins, K. S.; Sandquist, D. R.; Schwinning, S.

    2011-12-01

    In response to rare high-intensity or long duration rainstorms, runoff in desert ephemeral channels can redistribute water through landscapes and potentially serve as a resource subsidy. We are using transect studies, mapping, monitoring and manipulation experiments to investigate the ecohydrologic relations of these pervasive features with vegetation in the eastern Mojave Desert, USA. We focus on a gently sloping piedmont transected by a ~100 year old railroad that alters natural channel flow by diverting it through staggered culverts to areas downslope of the railroad. This creates three distinct ecohydrologic zones: 1) relatively undisturbed areas above the railroad, 2) areas below the railroad that receive enhanced flow where water is diverted through culverts (enhanced zones), and 3) areas below the railroad where water flow from upslope has been blocked (deprived zones). In all areas we found that vegetation cover and density are higher adjacent to stream channels and decrease with distance from the channels. Relative to the undisturbed areas, vegetation cover is higher in the enhanced areas, and lower in the deprived. Species-specific vegetation changes included higher cover of the drought deciduous sub-shrub Ambrosia dumosa in deprived zones and higher cover of the evergreen drought-tolerant shrub Larrea tridentata in enhanced zones. Using simulated channel runoff experiments, we found that most Larrea within 3 m, and Ambrosia within 1.5 m of an undisturbed stream channel physiologically responded to a water pulse and the responses persisted for over a month. Less pronounced responses were seen adjacent to channels in the deprived zones, and did not persist as long. Electrical resistance imaging of the watering experiments shows that water infiltrates vertically in channels and spreads laterally at depth; vegetation use of channel water in the deprived zones appears to be reduced. While we have no information on the pace of vegetation change due to channel

  10. Observed 20th century desert dust variability: impact on climate and biogeochemistry

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. M. Mahowald

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Desert dust perturbs climate by 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 in the net increasing or decreasing desert dust. 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 aerosols is especially strong between the dusty 1980–1989 and the less dusty 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 the desert dust changes, causing 6 ppm (12 Pg C 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 Pg C 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 of these

  11. 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

  12. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-12-01

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

  14. A Study of the "Desertion" Slips from Zoumalou in Changsha City%长沙市走马楼出土“叛走”简探讨

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    黎石生

    2003-01-01

    During the Three Kingdoms period featuring split, turbulence and frequent wars, population desertion was serious in the Wu Kingdom. Based on the "desertion" slips recently unearthed from Zoumalou in Changsha City and relevant literary records, the present paper makes a preliminary study of related problems, including the status of the deserting population, the cause of desertion and the Wu government's measures against deserting acts. The author holds that despite severe punishments administered to put down transgressors, the main factors of population desertion could not be eliminated. In the late reign of the Wu Kingdom, this phenomenon became even more serious, endangering the stability and existence of the Wu power.

  15. Neogene climate change and uplift in the Atacama Desert, Chile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rech, Jason A.; Currie, Brian S.; Michalski, Greg; Cowan, Angela M.

    2006-09-01

    The relationship between Andean uplift and extreme desiccation of the west coast of South America is important for understanding the interplay between climate and tectonics in the Central Andes, yet it is poorly understood. Here we use soil morphological characteristics, salt chemistry, and mass independent fractionation anomalies (Δ17O values) in dated paleosols to reconstruct a middle Miocene climatic transition from semiaridity to extreme hyperaridity in the Atacama Desert. Paleosols along the southeastern margin of the Calama Basin change from calcic Vertisols with root traces, slickensides, and gleyed horizons to an extremely mature salic Gypsisol with pedogenic nitrate. We interpret this transition, which occurred between 19 and 13 Ma, to represent a change in precipitation from >200 mm/yr to 2 km; the uplift blocked moisture from the South American summer monsoon from entering the Atacama. The mid-Miocene Gypsisol with pedogenic nitrate is located at elevations between 2900 and 3400 m in the Calama Basin, significantly higher than modern nitrate soils, which occur below ˜2500 m. Modern and Quaternary soils in this elevation zone contain soil carbonate and lack pedogenic gypsum and nitrate. We infer that >900 m of local surface uplift over the past 10 m.y. displaced these nitrate paleosols relative to modern nitrate soils and caused a return to wetter conditions in the Calama Basin by decreasing local air temperatures and creating an orographic barrier to Pacific air masses.

  16. Experiment on Dust Flux During Duststorm Periods over Desert Area

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHANG Hongsheng; ZHU hao; PENG Yan; KANG Ling; CHEN Jiayi; Soon-Ung PARK

    2008-01-01

    The present study investigates the characteristics of turbulent transfer and the conditions for dust emis- sion and transport using the dust concentration and micrometeorological data obtained during dust events occurring in the spring of 2004 over the Hunshandake desert area. The turbulent exchange coefficients and turbulent fluxes of momentum and heat are calculated. The relationships between dust flux, friction velocity,and wind speed are also explored. The results show that thermal turbulence is dominant during daytime of non-dusty days. The dynamic turbulence increases obviously and the sensible heat flux reduces by different degrees during dust events. There is an efficient downward transfer of momentum before duststorm occur- rence, and both the dynamic turbulence and the thermal turbulence are important in the surface layer. The dynamic turbulence even exceeds the thermal turbulence during severe duststorm events. The values of dust flux vary in the range of -5-5, -30-30, and -200-300 μg m-2 s-1 during non-dusty days, blowing dust, and duststorm events, respectively. A slight upward transport of dust is observed during non-dusty days. The dust flux gradually varies from positive to negative during duststorm periods, which indicates the time evolution of dust events from dust rising to stably suspending and then deposition. The dust flux is found to be proportional to u3*. The threshold values of wind speed and friction velocity are about 6 and 0.4 m s-1, respectively.

  17. 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 (

  18. Intermittent motion in desert locusts: behavioural complexity in simple environments.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sepideh Bazazi

    Full Text Available Animals can exhibit complex movement patterns that may be the result of interactions with their environment or may be directly the mechanism by which their behaviour is governed. In order to understand the drivers of these patterns we examine the movement behaviour of individual desert locusts in a homogenous experimental arena with minimal external cues. Locust motion is intermittent and we reveal that as pauses become longer, the probability that a locust changes direction from its previous direction of travel increases. Long pauses (of greater than 100 s can be considered reorientation bouts, while shorter pauses (of less than 6 s appear to act as periods of resting between displacements. We observe power-law behaviour in the distribution of move and pause lengths of over 1.5 orders of magnitude. While Lévy features do exist, locusts' movement patterns are more fully described by considering moves, pauses and turns in combination. Further analysis reveals that these combinations give rise to two behavioural modes that are organized in time: local search behaviour (long exploratory pauses with short moves and relocation behaviour (long displacement moves with shorter resting pauses. These findings offer a new perspective on how complex animal movement patterns emerge in nature.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Surface Macrofabric of Boulder Dominated Desert Mountain Slopes, California, USA

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Donald A. FRIEND

    2005-01-01

    Rhyolite domes formed over a million year continuum in eastern California are used to study boulder dominated slopes. Slopes in this study are steep (~25° to ~35°) and are made of coarse boulder sized blocks. These slopes include well varnished vertically oriented eolluvial deposits that have been likened to relict periglacial stone stripes, or as indicated in this study, are the result of ongoing desert slope processes. The deposits are common throughout the arid southwestern US, but their morphometric character, fabric, and rates of formation have not been assessed systematically.Results indicate that boulder deposits examined here are remnant from the original surface formed during volcanic eruption and that these boulder slope deposits evolve slowly. Grain size, grain shape and grain angularity do not change significantly from genesis to ~0.6 Ma; trends in the data change markedly after that time. Mean eigenvectors indicate a fabric oriented downhill, parallel to the slope,consistent with the visual impression that long thin to plate-like rocks orient themselves similarly; however,fabric is actually randomly dispersed, similar to that at slope genesis, as indicated by the eigenvalue analysis resultants of C and K. Interestingly, grains remain or become more angular over the million-year time scale of the study as they decrease in size,indicating active in situ weathering processes on individual grains; this result is counter to the common assumption that as grains weather they become more rounded over time.

  2. Predatory bird populations in the east Mojave Desert, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knight, R.L.; Camp, R.J.; Boarman, W.I.; Knight, H.A.L.

    1999-01-01

    We surveyed 7 species of predatory birds weekly during a 12-month period (December 1992 through November 1993) in the east Mojave Desert, California. The Common Raven (Corvus corax) was the most frequently observed species with an average of 6.9 sightings per 100 km. Turkey Vultures (Cathartes aura), Red-tailed Hawks (Buteo jamaicensis), Loggerhead Shrikes (Lanius ludovicianus), American Kestrels (Falco sparverius), Golden Eagles (Aquila chrysaetos), and Prairie Falcons (Falco mexicanus) were seen in decreasing order of frequency of observation through the study period. Ravens, Red-tailed Hawks, Loggerhead Shrikes, American Kestrels, and Prairie Falcons were seen throughout the year. Turkey Vultures were not present during winter months, while Golden Eagles were seen only during November and December. Turkey Vultures, Red-tailed Hawks, and ravens were most numerous on agricultural lands, while Loggerhead Shrikes were most Common at urban areas. Raven numbers increased with increasing number of linear rights-of-way parallel to the survey route. Perching was the most common behavior type, although Turkey Vultures and ravens were often observed soaring, flying, or standing on the ground near highways. Transmission powerline towers and telephone poles were used as perch sites disproportionately to availability.

  3. A desert of gas giant planets beyond tens of au

    CERN Document Server

    Nayakshin, Sergei

    2016-01-01

    Direct imaging observations constrain the fraction of stars orbited by gas giant planets with separations greater than 10 au to about 0.01 only. This is widely believed to indicate that massive protoplanetary discs rarely fragment on planetary mass objects. I use numerical simulations of gas clumps embedded in massive gas discs to show that these observations are consistent with $\\sim 0.2 - 10$ planetary mass clumps per star being born in young gravitationally unstable discs. A trio of processes -- rapid clump migration, tidal disruption and runaway gas accretion -- destroys or transforms all of the simulated clumps into other objects, resulting in a desert of gas giants beyond separation of approximately 10 au. The cooling rate of the disc controls which of the three processes is dominant. For cooling rates faster than a few local dynamical times, clumps always grow rapidly and become massive brown dwarfs or low mass stars. For longer cooling times, post-collapse (high density) planets migrate inward to $\\si...

  4. Impacts of feral horses on a desert environment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hendrickson Larry E

    2009-11-01

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

  5. Tobacco use habits of naval personnel during Desert Storm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forgas, L B; Meyer, D M; Cohen, M E

    1996-03-01

    This study examined availability and usage of tobacco products, and their potential impact on the oral health of naval personnel deployed to Desert Storm. Of 4,200 surveys mailed to a randomly selected sample, 45.6% were returned (N = 1,915). The respondents included 55.9% who reported a present or former smoking habit, 34.1% who identified themselves as current smokers (SM), and 23.8% who were smokeless tobacco (ST) users. Tobacco products were easily and inexpensively accessible through ship stores, exchange, or military support organizations (USO). While in the Persian Gulf, 7.0% started SM and 9.3% started ST, resulting in an overall 4.7 and 6.1% increase in SM and ST, respectively. Of those who were already tobacco users, 29.2% reported more SM use and 19.0% used ST more often. Stress (35.1%) and boredom (21.4%) were the most frequently cited reasons to start or increase use. Although 30.5% of respondents reported military personnel have encouraged them to quit, 77.2% reported that anti-smoking efforts have been unsuccessful in influencing them to quit. Since the tobacco usage rate is higher in the military than in the civilian sector, greater emphasis on preventive efforts in warranted to promote health and wellness.

  6. Characterization of a desert soil sequence at Yucca Mountain, NV

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Guertal, W.R.; Hofmann, L.L.; Hudson, D.B. [Foothill Engineering, Inc., Mercury, NV (United States); Flint, A.L. [Geological Survey, Mercury, NV (United States)

    1994-12-31

    Morphological descriptions, borehole geophysics, hydraulic properties from samples, and a ponding experiment were used to characterize a layered, heterogeneous, desert soil sequence at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Nine major horizon units were identified using standard morphologic techniques and borehole geophysics. The borehole geophysical logging data correlated well with the observed horizons from the exposure and/or the corresponding washout zones. In addition, the geophysical logs provide a quantitative estimate of porosity for the horizons with porosity ranging from 25 to 55 percent. As part of an infiltration experiment, over 50,000 liters of water were applied to a 3.5 m diameter ring during a 14 day period. The final wetting depth was 5 meters. When water application was stopped, redistribution allowed water to continue downward to a maximum depth of 7.4 meters in the next several months. Water content measurements made over time indicate that the horizons had a major influence on the flow of water in the soil and may have caused over 80 percent of the water applied to move laterally.

  7. The killing desert?: droogte, nomadentradities en ontwikkelingsbestuur bij de Turkana

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. Wymeersch

    1987-01-01

    Full Text Available The Turkana are nomadic pastoralists who live in the desert regions of northwestern Kenya. The majority of the Turkana practice no agriculture nor fishing and live exclusively from the products of their livestock (milk, blood and meat. They keep multiple species herds (cattle, camels, goats, sheep and donkeys in order to buffer the variations in the quality and distribution of vegetal resources and water requirements. The Turkana were one of many affected by several droughts. Although the famine which resulted from the sharp drop in food production was dramatized by international press, insecurity of food availability is characteristic of pastoral production systems. One technique used by the Turkana to exploit an environment where the availability of food is inconsistent, sparse and scattered, is the management of herds composed by many species which can be divided in the dry season into different herds. The second technique used to manage livestock is mobility and raiding cattle from neighbouring ethnic groups. In times of stress the Turkana utilize a system of social ties, obligations and rights which they build up over a lifetime. Important social relationships are reconfirmed periodically via the exchange of livestock between friends. The not integrated new projects in Turkana land could lead to destruction of the ecology, and to a breakdown of the pastoral system and of the system of social ties which has enabled generations of Turkana to cope with the stresses imposed by living in a harsh and unpredictable environment.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  9. Photovoltaic Technology of Electricity Generation for Desert Camping

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shafiqur Rehman

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available This study presents a case study on the utilization of global solar radiation data on horizontal surface to perform economical feasibility of using Photovoltaic (PV panels with battery backup to meet a small load for a camping site in Saudi Arabia. The analysis considers three scenarios with daily average energy demands of: (i full load, (ii 75% load and (iii half load with annual peak load of 3.84, 3.06 and 2.27 kW, respectively. Each of these loads is further studied economically to investigate the effect of battery storage for 1 to 5 days. The study also compares the cost of electricity generation in $/kWh from PV system and diesel generating systems. The lower mean temperature (~20°C and high intensity of radiation (~ 6.3 kWh m2/day in Abha make it a promising site for the usage of PV systems for desert camping. Analysis of the data indicates that the battery storage capacity cost plays an important role in the overall cost of the PV system. The economical indicators suggest that larger PV systems be preferred over the smaller ones with minimal storage option. The energy generation cost analysis indicated that the diesel generating cost was found to be 29, 56 and 116% higher than the PV system for full, 75% and half load systems, respectively.

  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 particles

  11. 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

  12. Analysis of the microclimate and CO2 flux characteristics in arid desert wetland ecosystem in summer: A case study in Xihu desert wetland, Dunhuang, China

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Qian-Qian Gou; Jian-Jun Qu; Zhi-Wen Han

    2014-10-01

    Xihu desert wetland is an important and unusual environment in China or even in the world. However, until now, little research has been focused on the microclimate and CO2 flux characteristics in this area. This paper reports the characteristics of daily variations of microclimate and CO2 flux in the Dunhuang Xihu desert wetland, based on data observed in the desert wetland during a period of continuous fine weather in summer 2012. Results indicate that the characteristics of the micrometeorology were significantly affected by the land–lake breeze during the study period, and updrafts were prevalent in this region. The friction wind speed and the vertical velocity were much greater than those in the Maqu grasslands. The energy budget was strongly imbalanced: the latent heat flux was significantly higher than the sensible flux. The daily mean values of total solar radiation and net radiation were larger than those in Maqu grasslands and Jinta oasis. There was a temperature inversion and inverse humidity gradient in the atmospheric surface layer at night. The desert wetland ecosystem was a carbon sink during the whole of the observation period, and the maximum rate of carbon absorption usually occurred at about 11:00 hr each day in this region.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Chávez Oyanadel, R.O.

    2014-01-01

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

  14. Mojave desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) thermal ecology and reproductive success along a rainfall cline.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sieg, Annette E; Gambone, Megan M; Wallace, Bryan P; Clusella-Trullas, Susana; Spotila, James R; Avery, Harold W

    2015-05-01

    Desert resource environments (e.g. microclimates, food) are tied to limited, highly localized rainfall regimes which generate microgeographic variation in the life histories of inhabitants. Typically, enhanced growth rates, reproduction and survivorship are observed in response to increased resource availability in a variety of desert plants and short-lived animals. We examined the thermal ecology and reproduction of US federally threatened Mojave desert tortoises (Gopherus agassizii), long-lived and large-bodied ectotherms, at opposite ends of a 250-m elevation-related rainfall cline within Ivanpah Valley in the eastern Mojave Desert, California, USA. Biophysical operative environments in both the upper-elevation, "Cima," and the lower-elevation, "Pumphouse," plots corresponded with daily and seasonal patterns of incident solar radiation. Cima received 22% more rainfall and contained greater perennial vegetative cover, which conferred 5°C-cooler daytime shaded temperatures. In a monitored average rainfall year, Cima tortoises had longer potential activity periods by up to several hours and greater ephemeral forage. Enhanced resource availability in Cima was associated with larger-bodied females producing larger eggs, while still producing the same number of eggs as Pumphouse females. However, reproductive success was lower in Cima because 90% of eggs were depredated versus 11% in Pumphouse, indicating that predatory interactions produced counter-gradient variation in reproductive success across the rainfall cline. Land-use impacts on deserts (e.g. solar energy generation) are increasing rapidly, and conservation strategies designed to protect and recover threatened desert inhabitants, such as desert tortoises, should incorporate these strong ecosystem-level responses to regional resource variation in assessments of habitat for prospective development and mitigation efforts.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27680878

  17. Atmospheric significance of aeolian salts in the sandy deserts of northwestern China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B.-Q. Zhu

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Large sandy deserts in the middle latitudes of northwestern China were investigated for soluble salt variations in modern and ancient aeolian sediments, aiming to explore the environmental significance of "aeolian salts". Results revealed that aeolian salt variations have a clear relationship with the changing meridional and zonal gradients of the desert locations and the aeolian differentiation effect, but are weakly linked to local geological conditions. It suggests that the natural system of aeolian salts is hydrologically open and the chemistry of the parent brines are different from that predicted for hydrologically closed systems. Atmospheric depositions of water-soluble chemical species are an important process/source contributing to aeolian salt. Sequential variations of soluble salts in sedimentary profiles interbedded with aeolian and non-aeolian deposits and their palaeoenvironmental implications in the hinterland areas of these deserts were further evaluated, based on the constraints of OSL dating and radiocarbon dating data. The results indicate that the inorganic salts may be a latent geoproxy in revealing regional palaeoclimatic changes in desert areas for the sediments deposited under onefold depositional environment, but the interpretation should be more careful for the sediments deposited under diverse depositional conditions. This study presents the evidence of atmospheric origin of aeolian salt in sandy deserts, with limited climatic significance in palaeoenvironmental reconstruction.

  18. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fitzsimmons, Kathryn E.

    2017-09-01

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

  20. Effects of anthropogenic developments on common raven nesting biology in the West Mojave Desert.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kristan, William B; Boarman, William I

    2007-09-01

    Subsidized predators may affect prey abundance, distribution, and demography. Common Ravens (Corvus corax) are anthropogenically subsidized throughout their range and, in the Mojave Desert, have increased in number dramatically over the last 3-4 decades. Human-provided food resources are thought to be important drivers of raven population growth, but human developments add other features as well, such as nesting platforms. From 1996 to 2000, we examined the nesting ecology of ravens in the Mojave Desert, relative to anthropogenic developrhent. Ravens nested disproportionately near point sources of food and water subsidies (such as towns, landfills, and ponds) but not near roads (sources of road-killed carrion), even though both sources of subsidy enhanced fledging success. Initiation of breeding activity was more likely when a nest from the previous year was present at the start of a breeding season but was not affected by access to food. The relative effect of environmental modifications on fledging success varied from year to year, but the effect of access to human-provided resources was comparatively consistent, suggesting that humans provide consistently high-quality breeding habitat for ravens. Anthropogenic land cover types in the desert are expected to promote raven population growth and to allow ravens to occupy parts of the desert that otherwise would not support them. Predatory impacts of ravens in the Mojave Desert can therefore be considered indirect effects of anthropogenic development.

  1. Effects of anthropogenic developments on common Raven nesting biology in the west Mojave Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kristan, W. B.; Boarman, W.I.

    2007-01-01

    Subsidized predators may affect prey abundance, distribution, and demography. Common Ravens (Corvus corax) are anthropogenically subsidized throughout their range and, in the Mojave Desert, have increased in number dramatically over the last 3-4 decades. Human-provided food resources are thought to be important drivers of raven population growth, but human developments add other features as well, such as nesting platforms. From 1996 to 2000, we examined the nesting ecology of ravens in the Mojave Desert, relative to anthropogenic development. Ravens nested disproportionately near point sources of food and water subsidies (such as towns, landfills, and ponds) but not near roads (sources of road-killed carrion), even though both sources of subsidy enhanced fledging success. Initiation of breeding activity was more likely when a nest from the previous year was present at the start of a breeding season but was not affected by access to food. The relative effect of environmental modifications on fledging success varied from year to year, but the effect of access to humanprovided resources was comparatively consistent, suggesting that humans provide consistently high-quality breeding habitat for ravens. Anthropogenic land cover types in the desert are expected to promote raven population growth and to allow ravens to occupy parts of the desert that otherwise would not support them. Predatory impacts of ravens in the Mojave Desert can therefore be considered indirect effects of anthropogenic development. ?? 2007 by the Ecological Society of America.

  2. Ubiquity, diversity and physiological characteristics of Geodermatophilaceae in Shapotou National Desert Ecological Reserve.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Hong-Min; Zhang, Tao; Yu, Li-Yan; Sen, Keya; Zhang, Yu-Qin

    2015-01-01

    The goal of this study was to gain insight into the diversity of culturable actinobacteria in desert soil crusts and to determine the physiological characteristics of the predominant actinobacterial group in these crusts. Culture-dependent method was employed to obtain actinobacterial strains from desert soil samples collected from Shapotou National Desert Ecological Reserve (NDER) located in Tengger Desert, China. A total of 376 actinobacterial strains were isolated and 16S rRNA gene sequences analysis indicated that these isolates belonged to 29 genera within 18 families, among which the members of the family Geodermatophilaceae were predominant. The combination of 16S rRNA gene information and the phenotypic data allowed these newly-isolated Geodermatophilaceae members to be classified into 33 "species clusters," 11 of which represented hitherto unrecognized species. Fermentation broths from 19.7% of the isolated strains showed activity in at least one of the six screens for antibiotic activity. These isolates exhibited bio-diversity in enzymatic characteristics and carbon utilization profiles. The physiological characteristics of the isolates from different types of crusts or bare sand samples were specific to their respective micro-ecological environments. Our study revealed that members of the family Geodermatophilaceae were ubiquitous, abundant, and diverse in Shapotou NDER, and these strains may represent a new major group of potential functional actinobacteria in desert soil.

  3. [Root architecture of two desert plants in central Hexi Corridor of Northwest China].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shan, Li-Shan; Li, Yi; Ren, Wei; Su, Shi-Ping; Dong, Qiu-Lian; Geng, Dong-Mei

    2013-01-01

    In this study, the root systems of desert plant species Reaumuria soongorica and Nitraria tangutorum in the central Hexi Corridor of Northwest China were excavated by shovel, and the characteristics of the plant root architecture were analyzed by using topology and fractal theory. The root topological indices of the two desert plants were small, and the root branching patterns were herringbone-like. The roots of the two desert plants had obvious fractal characteristics, with the fractal dimension of R. soongorica and N. tangutorum being (1.18 +/- 0.04) and (1.36 +/- 0.06), respectively. The root fractal dimension and fractal abundance were significantly positively correlated with the root average link length. The root average link lengths of the two plants were long, which enlarged the plants' effective nutrition space, and thus, made the plants adapt to the dry and infertile soil environment. The sums of the root cross-sectional areas before and after the root bifurcation of the two desert plants were equal, which verified the principle of Leonardo da Vinci. A total of 17 parameters of root architecture were analyzed by the principal component analysis. The parameters of root topological structure, numbers of root links, stepwise branching ratio, and root diameter could well present the root architecture characteristics of the two desert plants.

  4. 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.

  5. Tradeoffs and synergies between biofuel production and large-scale solar infrastructure in deserts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ravi, S.; Lobell, D. B.; Field, C. B.

    2012-12-01

    Solar energy installations in deserts are on the rise, fueled by technological advances and policy changes. Deserts, with a combination of high solar radiation and availability of large areas unusable for crop production are ideal locations for large scale solar installations. For efficient power generation, solar infrastructures require large amounts of water for operation (mostly for cleaning panels and dust suppression), leading to significant moisture additions to desert soil. A pertinent question is how to use the moisture inputs for sustainable agriculture/biofuel production. We investigated the water requirements for large solar infrastructures in North American deserts and explored the possibilities for integrating biofuel production with solar infrastructure. In co-located systems the possible decline in yields due to shading by solar panels may be offsetted by the benefits of periodic water addition to biofuel crops, simpler dust management and more efficient power generation in solar installations, and decreased impacts on natural habitats and scarce resources in deserts. In particular, we evaluated the potential to integrate solar infrastructure with biomass feedstocks that grow in arid and semi-arid lands (Agave Spp), which are found to produce high yields with minimal water inputs. To this end, we conducted detailed life cycle analysis for these coupled agave biofuel - solar energy systems to explore the tradeoffs and synergies, in the context of energy input-output, water use and carbon emissions.

  6. 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

  7. Photovoltaic at Hollywood and Desert Breeze Recreational Centers

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2015-09-24

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

  8. 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

  9. Rainfall partitioning by desert shrubs in arid regions

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2009-01-01

    We measured the rainfall partitioning among throughfall, stemflow, and interception by desert shrubs in an arid region of China, and analyzed the influence of rainfall and canopy characteristics on this partitioning and its ecohydrological effects. The percent-ages of total rainfall accounted for by throughfall, stemflow, and interception ranged from 78.85±2.78 percent to 86.29±5.07 per-cent, from 5.50±3.73 percent to 8.47±4.19 percent, and from 7.54±2.36 percent to 15.95±4.70 percent, respectively, for the four shrubs in our study (Haloxylon ammodendron, Elaeagnus angustifolia, Tamarix ramosissima, and Nitraria sphaerocarpa). Rain-fall was significantly linearly correlated with throughfall, stemflow, and interception (P < 0.0001). The throughfall, stemflow, and interception percentages were logarithmically related to total rainfall (P < 0.01), but were quadratically related to the maximum 1-hour rainfall intensity (P < 0.01). The throughfall and stemflow percentages increased significantly with increasing values of the rainfall characteristics, whereas the interception percentage generally decreased (except for average wind speed, air temperature, and canopy evaporation). Regression analysis suggested that the stemflow percentage increased significantly with increasing crown length, number of branches, and branch angle (R2 = 0.92, P < 0.001). The interception percentage increased significantly with increasing LAI (leaf area index) and crown length, but decreased with increasing branch angle (R2 = 0.96, P < 0.001). The mean funnelling percentages for the four shrubs ranged from 30.27±4.86 percent to 164.37±6.41 percent of the bulk precipitation. Much of the precipitation was funnelled toward the basal area of the stem, confirming that shrub stemflow conserved in deep soil layers may be an available moisture source to support plant survival and growth under arid conditions.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Atmospheric predictors for major floods in the Negev Desert, Israel

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kahana, Ron; Ziv, Baruch; Dayan, Uri; Enzel, Yehouda

    2004-07-01

    The study examines the ability of a set of atmospheric variables to predict major floods in the Negev Desert in the southern part of Israel. The two dominant synoptic types, which contributed over 70% of the major floods during 1965-94 in that region, were examined. These are: the active Red Sea trough (ARST), a surface trough along the Red Sea, combined with a pronounced upper trough; and the Syrian low (SL), an intense Mediterranean cyclone centred over Syria.For each synoptic type, a set of atmospheric variables (predictors) was chosen to reflect its unique atmospheric features, and a prediction score was calculated as the ratio between the number of flood-producing storms and the total number of events in which all the variables exceeded their threshold values.The prediction score for the ARST type is 86%. Moreover, the predictors identify the major flood dates without any false date (100%) for 4 of the 5 months in which major floods of this type had occurred. Most of the predictors are found at the 500 hPa level, and the most powerful is the v/u ratio, which represents the southerly wind component and is responsible for the transport of moist tropical air masses (essential for convection) toward the Middle East. The prediction score for the SL type is 73%. The intensity and structure of the surface cyclone are found to be most powerful predictors, although the importance of geopotential height at 500 hPa indicates that these types of flood depend on the combined effect of several factors. Transforming these remarkably high scores into a high-skill operational forecast of major floods in the Negev requires reliable forecast models to supply the desired variables with reasonable accuracy. It seems that the current operational models, together with our derived predictors, have the potential to yield a successful forecast of major floods 2 days in advance.

  13. Amino Acid Analyses of Acid Hydrolysates in Desert Varnish

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perry, Randall S.; Staley, James T.; Dworkin, Jason P.; Engel, Mike

    2001-01-01

    There has long been a debate as to whether rock varnish deposits are microbially mediated or are deposited by inorganic processes. Varnished rocks are found throughout the world primarily in arid and semi-arid regions. The varnish coats are typically up to 200 microns thick and are composed of clays and alternating layers enriched in manganese and iron oxides. The individual layers range in thickness from 1 micron to greater than 10 microns and may continue laterally for more than a 100 microns. Overlapping botryoidal structures are visible in thin section and scanning electron micrographs. The coatings also include small amounts of organic mater and detrital grains. Amino-acid hydrolysates offer a means of assessing the organic composition of rock varnish collected from the Sonoran Desert, near Phoenix, AZ. Chromatographic analyses of hydrolysates from powdered samples of rock varnish suggest that the interior of rock varnish is relatively enriched in amino acids and specifically in d-alanine and glutamic acid. Peptidoglycan (murein) is the main structural component of gram-positive bacterial cell walls. The d-enantiomer of alanine and glutamic acid are specific to peptidoglycan and are consequently an indicator for the presence of bacteria. D-alanine is also found in teichoic acid which is only found in gram-positive bacteria. Several researchers have cultured bacteria from the surface of rock varnish and most have been gram-positive, suggesting that gram-positive bacteria are intimately associated with varnish coatings and may play a role in the formation of varnish coatings.

  14. Contrasting effects of microbiotic crusts on runoff in desert surfaces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kidron, Giora J.; Monger, H. Curtis; Vonshak, Ahuva; Conrod, William

    2012-02-01

    Microbiotic crusts (MCs) play an important role in surface hydrology by altering runoff yield. In order to study the crust's role on water redistribution, rainfall and runoff were measured during 1998-2000 at three sites within the northern Chihuahuan Desert, New Mexico, USA: the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge (SEV), the White Sands National Monument (WS), and the Jornada Experimental Range (JER). Whereas quartz and gypsum sand characterize the SEV and WS sites, respectively, both of which have high infiltration rates, silty alluvial deposits characterize the JER site. Runoff was measured in four pairs of 1.8-6.4 m 2 plots having MCs, one of which was scalped in each pair. No runoff was generated at WS, whether on the crusted or the scalped plots. Runoff was however generated at SEV and JER, being higher on the crusted plots at SEV and lower on the JER plots. The results were explained by the combined effect of (a) parent material and (b) the crust properties, such as species composition, microrelief (surface roughness) and exopolysaccharide (EPS) content (reflected in the ratio of carbohydrates to chlorophyll). Whereas the effective rainfall, the fines and the EPS content were found to explain runoff initiation, the effective rainfall and the crust microrelief were found to explain the amount of runoff at SEV and JER where runoff generation took place. The findings attest to the fundamental role of the parent material and the crust's species composition and properties on runoff and hence to the complex interactions and the variable effects that MCs have on dryland hydrology.

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

    KAUST Repository

    Reihmer, Joel W.

    2017-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gvirsman, Omer

    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. PMID:27703846

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  18. Comparison of remote sensing indices for monitoring of desert cienegas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Natalie R; Norman, Laura M.; Villarreal, Miguel; Gass, Leila; Tiller, Ron; Salywon, Andrew

    2016-01-01

    This research considers the applicability of different vegetation indices at 30 m resolution for mapping and monitoring desert wetland (cienega) health and spatial extent through time at Cienega Creek in southeastern Arizona, USA. Multiple stressors including the risk of decadal-scale drought, the effects of current and predicted global warming, and continued anthropogenic pressures threaten aquatic habitats in the southwest and cienegas are recognized as important sites for conservation and restoration efforts. However, cienegas present a challenge to satellite-imagery based analysis due to their small size and mixed surface cover of open water, exposed soils, and vegetation. We created time series of five well-known vegetation indices using annual Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) images retrieved during the April–June dry season, from 1984 to 2011 to map landscape-level distribution of wetlands and monitor the temporal dynamics of individual sites. Indices included the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), the Soil-Adjusted Vegetation Index (SAVI), the Normalized Difference Water Index (NDWI), and the Normalized Difference Infrared Index (NDII). One topographic index, the Topographic Wetness Index (TWI), was analyzed to examine the utility of topography in mapping distribution of cienegas. Our results indicate that the NDII, calculated using Landsat TM band 5, outperforms the other indices at differentiating cienegas from riparian and upland sites, and was the best means to analyze change. As such, it offers a critical baseline for future studies that seek to extend the analysis of cienegas to other regions and time scales, and has broader applicability to the remote sensing of wetland features in arid landscapes.

  19. Phenological Differences Promote Coexistence in Sonoran Desert Winter Annuals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kimball, S.; Angert, A.; Huxman, T.; Venable, L.

    2008-12-01

    Identifying trait differences is an important step toward understanding differential demographic responses to the same environmental fluctuations. In the Sonoran Desert, winter annual plants exhibit high demographic variability due to variation in precipitation, and patterns of demographic variability are related to species position along a tradeoff axis between relative growth rate (RGR) and water-use efficiency (WUE). Prior investigation revealed that species with high RGR and low WUE have greater inter-annual variability than species with low RGR and high WUE. In this study, we use long-term census data, climate records, and plot data to investigate timing of germination, reproduction, and senescence of several winter annual species in multiple years to test whether phenology relates to demographic variability and position along the tradeoff axis. We also use climate records to describe germination niches of the species and make predictions regarding future community composition. We hypothesized that seasonal phenology would differ such that demographically 'buffered' species (low RGR-high WUE) would germinate, flower, and senesce earlier in the season due to an ability to utilize small amounts of rain and photosynthesize at low temperatures. In contrast, we hypothesized that the demographically 'variable' species (high RGR-low WUE) would germinate later in the season, only after enough rain had fallen to break seed dormancy. Consistent with our hypothesis, buffered species did germinate and reproduce earlier in the season than variable species. Contrary to our hypothesis, buffered species also survived later into the season. Variable species germinated later, reproduced quickly, and senesced earlier in the season. These results show that phenology promotes coexistence by partitioning resource use. Germination niches and climate data suggest that buffered species may increase in abundance through time.

  20. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  2. New Sub-Millimetre Light in the Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-07-01

    The Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX) project has just passed another major milestone by successfully commissioning its new technology 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, has just performed its first scientific observations. This new front-line facility will provide access to the "Cold Universe" with unprecedented sensitivity and image quality. 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 is excited: " Among the first observations, we have obtained wonderful spectra, which took only minutes to take but offer a fascinating view of the highly complex organic chemistry in star-forming regions. In addition, we have also obtained exquisite images from the Magellanic Clouds and observed molecules in the active nuclei of several external galaxies. Traditionally, telescopes turn to weak extragalactic sources only after they are well in operation. With APEX, we could pick them amongst our first targets!" Because sub-millimetre radiation from space is heavily absorbed by water vapour in the Earth's atmosphere, APEX is located at an altitude of 5100 metres in the high Chilean Atacama desert on the Chajnantor plains, 50 km east of San Pedro de Atacama in northern Chile. The Atacama desert is one of the driest places on Earth, thus providing unsurpassed observing opportunities - at the costs of the demanding logistics required to operate a frontier science observatory at this remote place. Along with the Japanese 10-m ASTE telescope, which is operating at a neighbouring, lower altitude location, APEX is the first and largest sub-millimetre facility under southern skies. With its precise antenna and large collecting area, it will provide, at this exceptional location, unprecedented access to

  3. 76 FR 18298 - Notice of Availability of a Final Environmental Impact Statement for the DesertXpress High-Speed...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-04-01

    ... Considering Environmental Impacts (64 FR 28545, May 26, 1999). The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Surface... DesertXpress High-Speed Passenger Train Project AGENCY: Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), United... High-Speed Passenger Train Project (DesertXpress project). FRA is the Lead Agency for the...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  5. 75 FR 27383 - Culturally Significant Objects Imported for Exhibition Determinations: “A Gift From the Desert...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-05-14

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  7. 78 FR 17717 - Notice of Availability of the Record of Decision for the EDF Renewable Energy Desert Harvest...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-03-22

    ... Bureau of Land Management Notice of Availability of the Record of Decision for the EDF Renewable Energy Desert Harvest Solar Field Project and California Desert Conservation Area Plan Amendment, Riverside... receive a reply during normal business hours. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: EDF Renewable Energy (formerly en...

  8. Application of fault seal analysis techniques in the Western Desert, Egypt

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Richardson, S.M.; Wilkes, M. [BG Exploration and Production Ltd., Reading (United Kingdom); Vivian, N. [Ranger Oil (United Kingdom) Ltd., Guildford (United Kingdom); Cook, R.J. [BG R and T, Loughborough (United Kingdom); Hussein, H. [BG Egypt S.A., Cairo (Egypt)

    1998-12-31

    The Western Desert if one of Egypt`s major hydrocarbon provinces. Most discoveries to date have been in the Cretaceous, with the Jurassic being the most underexplored interval, with the highest potential for new discoveries. Although trap styles vary, the majority are structural fault blocks, requiring fault seal on one or more bounding faults. Despite the number of excellent reservoirs present in the Western Desert, large field sizes are rare, with less than 50 MMBOE STOIIP (million barrels oil equivalent, oil initially in place) being predominant. This apparent failure to regularly prove larger field sizes can be considered a direct function of trap failure resulting from absence of fault seal. A number of fault seal analysis techniques including fault-plane profiles, smear-gouge ratios, incremental strain analysis and structural sections are available to directly address trap integrity. Case histories from the Western Desert are used to demonstrate the use of these techniques, and to highlight potential pitfalls. (author)

  9. Disturbance to desert soil ecosystems contributes to dust-mediated impacts at regional scales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pointing, Stephen B.; Belnap, Jayne

    2014-01-01

    This review considers the regional scale of impacts arising from disturbance to desert soil ecosystems. Deserts occupy over one-third of the Earth’s terrestrial surface, and biological soil covers are critical to stabilization of desert soils. Disturbance to these can contribute to massive destabilization and mobilization of dust. This results in dust storms that are transported across inter-continental distances where they have profound negative impacts. Dust deposition at high altitudes causes radiative forcing of snowpack that leads directly to altered hydrological regimes and changes to freshwater biogeochemistry. In marine environments dust deposition impacts phytoplankton diazotrophy, and causes coral reef senescence. Increasingly dust is also recognized as a threat to human health.

  10. Unusual dominance by desert pupfish (Cyprinodon macularius) in experimental ponds within the Salton Sea Basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saiki, Michael K.; Martin, Barbara A.; Anderson, Thomas W.

    2011-01-01

    In October 2006, months after shallow experimental ponds in the Salton Sea Basin were filled with water from the Alamo River and Salton Sea, fish were observed in several ponds, although inlets had been screened to exclude fish. During October 2007November 2009, nine surveys were conducted using baited minnow traps to document species and relative abundance of fish. Surveys yielded 3,620 fish representing five species. Desert pupfish (Cyprinodon macularius), the only native species encountered, was the most numerous and comprised >93% of the catch. Nonnative species included western mosquitofish (Gambusia affinis, 4.1%), sailfin molly (Poecilia latipinna, 2.8%), and tilapia (a mixture of hybrid Mozambique tilapia Oreochromis mossambicus ?? O. urolepis and redbelly tilapia Tilapia zillii, <0.1%). Dominance by desert pupfish, which persisted over our 2 years of study, was unusual because surveys conducted in nearby agricultural drains yielded relatively few desert pupfish.

  11. Progress in study on irrigation practice with saline groundwater on sandlands of Taklimakan Desert Hinterland

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    XU Xinwen; LI Bingwen; WANG Xiaojing

    2006-01-01

    The study on the distribution and dynamic changes of soil moistures and salts under different irrigating methods and managements of using saline groundwater on the sand lands of the hinterland of the Taklimakan Desert, started in 1997. The results show that drip irrigation can be applied to seedlings (furrow irrigation can be applied to level lands) using saline groundwater in the process of constructing the biological shifting sand control system along the desert highway in the hinterland of the Taklimakan Desert; an irrigation frequency of 20 days and an irrigation amount of 30 kg/m2.time are suitable to the shifting sand control forest belts at the same year as they were afforested. Along with the increase of forest age, the irrigation norm can be properly increased, the irrigation interval can be prolonged.

  12. The Atacama Desert: Technical Resources and the Growing Importance of Novel Microbial Diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bull, Alan T; Asenjo, Juan A; Goodfellow, Michael; Gómez-Silva, Benito

    2016-09-08

    The Atacama Desert of northern Chile is the oldest and most arid nonpolar environment on Earth. It is a coastal desert covering approximately 180,000 km(2), and together with the greater Atacama region it comprises a dramatically wide range of ecological niches. Long known and exploited for its mineral resources, the Atacama Desert harbors a rich microbial diversity that has only recently been discovered; the great majority of it has not yet been recovered in culture or even taxonomically identified. This review traces the progress of microbiology research in the Atacama and dispels the popular view that this region is virtually devoid of life. We examine reasons for such research activity and demonstrate that microbial life is the latest recognized and least explored resource in this inspiring biome.

  13. Soil CO2 Uptake in Deserts and Its Implications to the Groundwater Environment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wenfeng Wang

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Recent studies of soil carbon cycle in arid and semi-arid ecosystems demonstrated that there exists an abiotic CO2 absorption by saline-alkali soils (Aa at desert ecosystems and suggested potential contributions of CO2 dissolution beneath deserts to the terrestrial ecosystems carbon balance. However, the overall importance of such soil CO2 uptake is still undetermined and its implications to the groundwater environment remain unaddressed. In this manuscript, a simple method is proposed for the direct computation of Aa from the total soil CO2 flux (Fa as well as for the evaluation of Aa importance to Fa. An artificial soil-groundwater system was employed to investigate the implications to groundwater environment and it was found that soil CO2 uptake in deserts can contribute a possible influence on the evolution of the groundwater environment, providing that the absorbed CO2 largely remained in the soil-groundwater system.

  14. Synthetic Aperture Radar Interferometry for Digital Elevation Model of Kuwait Desert - Analysis of Errors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jassar, H. K. Al; Rao, K. S.

    2012-07-01

    Using different combinations of 29 Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar (ASAR) images, 43 Digital Elevations Models (DEM) were generated adopting SAR Interferometry (InSAR) technique. Due to sand movement in desert terrain, there is a poor phase correlation between different SAR images. Therefore, suitable methodology for generating DEMs of Kuwait desert terrain using InSAR technique were worked out. Time series analysis was adopted to derive the best DEM out of 43 DEMs. The problems related to phase de-correlation over desert terrain are discussed. Various errors associated with the DEM generation are discussed which include atmospheric effects, penetration into soil medium, sand movement. The DEM of Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) is used as a reference. The noise levels of DEM of SRTM are presented.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Potter, Christopher S.; Li, Shuang

    2014-01-01

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

  16. Why do we punish? Deterrence and just deserts as motives for punishment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlsmith, Kevin M; Darley, John M; Robinson, Paul H

    2002-08-01

    One popular justification for punishment is the just deserts rationale: A person deserves punishment proportionate to the moral wrong committed. A competing justification is the deterrence rationale: Punishing an offender reduces the frequency and likelihood of future offenses. The authors examined the motivation underlying laypeople's use of punishment for prototypical wrongs. Study 1 (N = 336) revealed high sensitivity to factors uniquely associated with the just deserts perspective (e.g., offense seriousness, moral trespass) and insensitivity to factors associated with deterrence (e.g., likelihood of detection, offense frequency). Study 2 (N = 329) confirmed the proposed model through structural equation modeling (SEM). Study 3 (N = 351) revealed that despite strongly stated preferences for deterrence theory, individual sentencing decisions seemed driven exclusively by just deserts concerns.

  17. Origin, development and evolutionary model of shelf desertization environment in late stage of Upper Pleistocene

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    赵松龄; 于洪军; 刘敬圃

    1997-01-01

    Based on the study of palaeo-environmental evolution in the shelves of the Eastern China Seas, the concept of "shelf desertization" in the late stage of Upper Pleistocene is defined; the environmental background and evolutionary process of shelf desertization are analysed. Study on the records of subbottom profiling and the data of core samples from shelf areas revealed that during low sea-level stages, the sedimentary environment in the exposed shelf plains was dominated by aeolian depositional process under cold and dry climatic conditions, i.e. under the action of strong winter-monsoon winds. Parts of the exposed marine strata were disintegrated, and aeolian sand dunes were formed on the disintegrated marine deposits, from which the finer sediment grains were blown away by wind and deposited in the downwind areas to form the derivative loess deposits. Thus a desertization environmental system was formed in the exposed shelf plains of the Eastern China Seas.

  18. Damage and recovery of the Gurbantunggut Desert vegeta-tion following engineering activities

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    QIAN; Yibing(钱亦兵); ZHANG; Liyun(张立运); WU; Zhaoning(吴兆宁)

    2002-01-01

    The fragile ecological environment of the Gurbantunggut Desert is damaged/disturbedby human activities relating to the development of oil-gas resources and the constructions of de-sert road and great engineering in the Jungger Basin. It was mainly represented: soil compaction,vegetation cleaning, burial of vegetation, oil polluting, and soil disturbance. With investigation andexperiment, we found that when the way and intensity of engineering activities disturbing theeco-environment does not make its ecological stability disintegrated, the desert vegetation has acapacity of natural recovery. To speed and strengthen the process of vegetation recovery efficientassistant measurements, including stabilizing mobile sands promptly and sowing seeds of shruband herb plants in good time will be needed.

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

    KAUST Repository

    Serag-Eldin, M. A.

    2011-12-01

    The paper presents a thermal analysis of a single-floor, solar-powered desert house. The house is air-conditioned and provides all modern comforts and facilities. Electrical power, which drives the entire energy system, is generated by roof-mounted photovoltaic modules. The modules are fixed on special cradles which fold at night to expose the roof to the night sky, thereby enhancing night-time cooling, which is substantial in the desert environment. A detailed dynamic heat transfer analysis is conducted for the building envelope, coupled with a solar radiation model. Application to a typical Middle-Eastern desert site reveals that indeed such a design is feasible with present-day technology; and should be even more attractive with future advances in technology. © 2011 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.

  20. Erosion Resistance Index (ERI) to Assess Surface Stability in Desert Environments

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hamada, Yuki [Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States); Grippo, Mark A. [Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)

    2015-11-01

    A new spectral index—erosion resistance index (ERI)—was developed to assess erosion risks in desert landscapes. The index was developed by applying trigonometry to the combination of the green/red band-ratio and the red/near infrared band-ratio from very high spatial resolution imagery. The resultant ERI maps showed spatially cohesive distributions of high and low index values across the study areas. High index values were observed over areas that were resistant to erosion (such as desert pavement and dense vegetation), while low index values overlapped with areas likely dominated by loose sandy soils, such as stream beds and access roads. Although further investigation is warranted, this new index, ERI, shows promise for the assessment of erosion risks in desert regions.

  1. Hydrological indications of aeolian salts in mid-latitude deserts of northwestern China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Bing-Qi

    2016-06-01

    Large sandy deserts in middle latitude of northwestern China were studied on salt variations in modern and ancient aeolian sediments, aiming to explore their hydrological indications at the present and past. Globally, sulphate is rich in arid to semi-arid deserts, including the aeolian loess sediments in China and soils in low-latitude deserts, but is less common in the aeolian sediments from the mid-latitude deserts in this study. The compositional differences between aeolian salts and local natural waters is evident, indicating the chemistry of aeolian salts and the associated parent brines may be significantly different than that predicted for hydrologically closed systems. The formation of aeolian salts in the studied deserts is strongly controlled by earth surface processes in a large scale but not in a local scale. Vertical changes in facies and salinities are abrupt in the studied palaeo-aeolian sediment samples, which were interbedded by lacustrine/fluvial sediments with OSL and 14C ages ranging between 40 and 2 ka BP, reflecting rapid high-amplitude changes in hydrological settings during late Pleistocene to later Holocene in these ancient playa systems. A great difference in salt composition between aeolian and lacustrine sediments suggests that the inorganic salt is a latent geoproxy in revealing local hydrological variations and climate change in the desert areas. But the environmental indications could be amphibolous for the sedimentary sequences with dual/multiple depositional end-members; under this situation an increase in sequence salinity does not always represent an enhanced environmental aridity. Ancient playas are arid or humid at the same time based on several sporadic records is not a valid approach to correlation of salt deposits in adjacent saline playa basin in the studied areas. Effects of earth surface processes including erosion, deposition and other processes on sediment properties will bias the hydrological implications of sediment

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

    Anthropogenic development has great potential to affect fragile desert environments. Large-scale development of renewable energy infrastructure is planned for many desert ecosystems. Development plans should account for anthropogenic effects to distributions and abundance of rare or sensitive wildlife; however, baseline data on abundance and distribution of such wildlife are often lacking. We surveyed for predatory birds in the Sonoran and Mojave Deserts of southern California, USA, in an area designated for protection under the “Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan”, to determine how these birds are distributed across the landscape and how this distribution is affected by existing development. We developed species-specific models of resight probability to adjust estimates of abundance and density of each individual common species. Second, we developed combined-species models of resight probability for common and rare species so that we could make use of sparse data on the latter. We determined that many common species, such as red-tailed hawks, loggerhead shrikes, and especially common ravens, are associated with human development and likely subsidized by human activity. Species-specific and combined-species models of resight probability performed similarly, although the former model type provided higher quality information. Comparing abundance estimates with past surveys in the Mojave Desert suggests numbers of predatory birds associated with human development have increased while other sensitive species not associated with development have decreased. This approach gave us information beyond what we would have collected by focusing either on common or rare species, thus it provides a low-cost framework for others conducting surveys in similar desert environments outside of California.

  3. Two new desert Eschscholzia (Papaveraceae from southwestern North America

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shannon Still

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Two new species of Eschscholzia are described. Both are found in the deserts of California and one extends outside the state boundary into Arizona. Eschscholzia androuxii Still, sp.nov. is found mainly in and around Joshua Tree National Park in Riverside and San Bernardino counties. Eschscholzia papastillii Still, sp. nov. is found from the northern Mojave south through Joshua Tree National Park to central Imperial County. Both are annuals found in coarse, sandy soil and have yellow flowers typical of desert Eschscholzia. Eschscholzia papastillii has an expanded receptacular rim similar to that of E. californica. Eschscholzia androuxii has anthocyanin bands around the stamen filaments.

  4. Apostilles on the symbol of the desert in cultural identity of Mexicali and its Valley

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hugo Méndez Fierr

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available The desert territory and the culture of the inhabitants of the border zone that occupies Mexicali and its agricultural valley have been transformed and in this way they have generated several cultural characteristics that have contri–buted to the construction of a regional identity with anchorages in the arid geography. Indeed, the central objective of this article is to think the relation established between desert and culture, from a theoretical–conceptual perspective and to contribute, in this way, to the construction of a general frame that can be useful for other empiricist researches about the cultural identity in Mexicali and its agricultural valley.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I. Kärnefelt

    1988-12-01

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

  6. EFFECTS OF ELEVATED CO2 ON ROOT FUNCTION AND SOIL RESPIRATION IN A MOJAVE DESERT ECOSYSTEM

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nowak, Robert S.

    2007-12-19

    Increases in atmospheric CO{sub 2} concentration during the last 250 years are unequivocal, and CO{sub 2} will continue to increase at least for the next several decades (Houghton et al. 2001, Keeling & Whorf 2002). Arid ecosystems are some of the most important biomes globally on a land surface area basis, are increasing in area at an alarming pace (Dregne 1991), and have a strong coupling with regional climate (Asner & Heidebrecht 2005). These water-limited ecosystems also are predicted to be the most sensitive to elevated CO{sub 2}, in part because they are stressful environments where plant responses to elevated CO{sub 2} may be amplified (Strain & Bazzaz 1983). Indeed, all C{sub 3} species examined at the Nevada Desert FACE Facility (NDFF) have shown increased A{sub net} under elevated CO{sub 2} (Ellsworth et al. 2004, Naumburg et al. 2003, Nowak et al. 2004). Furthermore, increased shoot growth for individual species under elevated CO{sub 2} was spectacular in a very wet year (Smith et al. 2000), although the response in low to average precipitation years has been smaller (Housman et al. 2006). Increases in perennial cover and biomass at the NDFF are consistent with long term trends in the Mojave Desert and elsewhere in the Southwest, indicating C sequestration in woody biomass (Potter et al. 2006). Elevated CO{sub 2} also increases belowground net primary production (BNPP), with average increases of 70%, 21%, and 11% for forests, bogs, and grasslands, respectively (Nowak et al. 2004). Although detailed studies of elevated CO{sub 2} responses for desert root systems were virtually non-existent prior to our research, we anticipated that C sequestration may occur by desert root systems for several reasons. First, desert ecosystems exhibit increases in net photosynthesis and primary production at elevated CO{sub 2}. If large quantities of root litter enter the ecosystem at a time when most decomposers are inactive, significant quantities of carbon may be stored

  7. Using C-14 and C-14 - Be-10 for Terrestrial Ages of Desert Meteorites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jull, A. J. T.; Bland, P. A.; Klandrud, S. E.; McHargue, L. R.; Bevan, A. W. R.; Kring, D. A.; Wlotzka, F.

    2000-01-01

    The arid regions of the world appear to be great storage locations for meteorites, where they can survive for long periods of time in such environments. Large numbers of meteorites have been recovered from diverse areas of and and semi-arid regions of North Africa, Arabia, North America and Western Australia. The cold desert of Antarctica is a further storehouse of meteorites. One of the first recognized areas for collections of meteorites was Roosevelt County, New Mexico. The Nullarbor region of Australia and the northern Sahara Desert in Africa are also prolific sources of meteorites.

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

    KAUST Repository

    Serag-Eldin, M.A.

    2010-03-01

    The paper presents a conceptual design and thermodynamic analysis of a solar-powered desert home. The home is airconditioned and provides all modern comforts and facilities. Electrical power, which drives the entire energy system, is generated by roof mounted photovoltaic modules. A detailed dynamic heat transfer analysis is conducted for the building envelope, coupled with a solar radiation model. A dynamic heat balance for a typical Middle-Eastern desert site, reveals that indeed such a design is feasible with present day technology; and should be even more attractive with future advances in technology.

  9. Geomorphology of MODIS-Visible Dust Plumes in the Chihuahuan Desert - Preliminary Results

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gill, T. E.; Mbuh, M. J.; Dominguez, M. A.; Lee, J. A.; Baddock, M. C.; Lee, C. E.; Whitehead, S. C.; Rivera Rivera, N. I.; Peinado, P.

    2009-12-01

    We identified 28 days since 2001 when blowing dust impacted El Paso, Texas and dust plumes were visible on NASA MODIS Terra/Aqua satellite images in the surrounding Chihuahuan Desert. Initiation points of >270 individual plumes were located on the MODIS images. Land use/land cover for each point was determined by field work, aerial photography, and/or soil/geological maps, and points were assigned to the geomorphic classes proposed by Bullard et al. (this session). Although dust plume identification is subjective (weak plumes, plumes obscured by clouds, and plumes occurring when the satellites are not overhead will be missed), these data provide preliminary information on the relationship between geomorphology and the initiation of major dust storms in the Chihuahuan Desert. Ephemeral lakes and alluvial low-relief non-incised lands are roughly equal producers of satellite-visible dust plumes in the Chihuahuan Desert. Anthropogenic modification of alluvial floodplains for cropping (primarily in the Casas Grandes and Del Carmen river basins) impacts dust generation, since about 2/3 of alluvial low-relief sites show evidence of agriculture. These agricultural fields are generally fallow during the November- April windy season. Not including agricultural lands, playas represent ~2x the number of sources as low-relief alluvial deposits. Aeolian sand deposits (predominantly coppice dunes and sand sheets overlaying alluvial or lacustrine sediments) account for about 1/7 of the points. These sands may act as erosional agents, providing saltating particles for sandblasting and bombardment of other sediments exposed nearby. Edges of ephemeral lakes are proportionally important sources (~10% of the points), likely due to the convergence of saltating sand, fine lacustrine sediments, and low roughness lengths of playa surfaces. Alluvial fans and alluvial uplands are minor dust sources compared to their overall prevalence in the region. Gobi/gibber/stony deposits are known dust

  10. Beyond just deserts and deterrence: An evolutionary psychology of punishment and rehabilitation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Petersen, Michael Bang

    2007-01-01

    Recent studies indicate that punishment is driven by just deserts motives rather than deterrence motives. In the just deserts perspective, punishment is based on the seriousness of the crime, and rehabilitative alternatives to punishment are only expected to be considered when the seriousness...... is low. By drawing on recent advances in evolutionary psychology, a range of contrasting expectations are developed. Especially, it is expected that the choice between punishment and rehabilitation is determined by assessing the future social value of the criminal. The expectations are supported by data...

  11. The Role of the Media in The Operational Deception Plan for Operation Desert Storm

    Science.gov (United States)

    1992-04-01

    Schwarzkopf. 60 John M,Broger, "Schwarzkoi0f’s War Plan Based on Deception Los Anodeles Times, 28 Feb. 1991, Sec. A, p. 16. 61 Tim Wqiner.awR’ceotlon Decoys...1991, p. Iz. 117 For one example of this, see Mike Tharp , ’Desert B!:-1..., U.S. News & World Recort, 18 Feb. 1991 p. 14. The article Iieteo a town...It or Not News Media are Needed.’ Air Force Times, 19 Aug. 1991, p. 63. Tharp Mike. ’Desert Bloom.’ U.S. News & World Report, 18 Feb. 1991, p. l4o

  12. Spatial and temporal changes in desertification in the southern region of the Tengger Desert from 1973 to 2009

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guan, Qingyu; Guan, Wenqian; Yang, Jing; Zhao, Shilei; Pan, Baotian; Wang, Lei; Song, Na; Lu, Min; Li, Fuchun

    2016-04-01

    The sandy land in the southern region of the Tengger Desert is adjacent to cities and towns, and land desertification poses a threat to the livelihood and production of local residents. To determine dynamic changes in local desertification, five periods (1973, 1987, 1992, 2001, and 2009) of remote sensing data are studied by remote sensing (RS) and geographic information system (GIS). The desert contraction area is primarily centered around three units (Wuwei, Gulang, and Jingtai) and nearby regions of Zhongwei City. The primary desert expansion areas include the west side of Helan Mountain (WSHM), the Central Mountainous Area (CMA), and the eastern and western Zhongwei units far from towns. From 1973 to 2009, the degree of change in the contracting part of the primary desert expansion unit showed an increasing trend; in brief, most of the desert (especially after 2001) has been developing in a direction in which desertification has been gradually controlled. The primary desert expansion areas are less affected by human activity, but they are primarily controlled by natural factors (especially wind and terrain). The desert contraction areas occur around the towns and nearby regions with frequent human activity; desertification is primarily controlled by human factors. With rapid economic development (especially after 2000), the scale of the cultivated area, town, and ecological protection engineering has gradually expanded, and the latter two are primarily built on a previous desert, which is the root cause of the reduction in the desert areas around the towns and the shrinkage toward north of border. Therefore, reasonable and effective human activity in the southern region of the Tengger Desert is playing a crucial role in preventing desertification.

  13. Spatial and temporal changes in desertification in the southern region of the Tengger Desert from 1973 to 2009

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guan, Qingyu; Guan, Wenqian; Yang, Jing; Zhao, Shilei; Pan, Baotian; Wang, Lei; Song, Na; Lu, Min; Li, Fuchun

    2017-07-01

    The sandy land in the southern region of the Tengger Desert is adjacent to cities and towns, and land desertification poses a threat to the livelihood and production of local residents. To determine dynamic changes in local desertification, five periods (1973, 1987, 1992, 2001, and 2009) of remote sensing data are studied by remote sensing (RS) and geographic information system (GIS). The desert contraction area is primarily centered around three units (Wuwei, Gulang, and Jingtai) and nearby regions of Zhongwei City. The primary desert expansion areas include the west side of Helan Mountain (WSHM), the Central Mountainous Area (CMA), and the eastern and western Zhongwei units far from towns. From 1973 to 2009, the degree of change in the contracting part of the primary desert expansion unit showed an increasing trend; in brief, most of the desert (especially after 2001) has been developing in a direction in which desertification has been gradually controlled. The primary desert expansion areas are less affected by human activity, but they are primarily controlled by natural factors (especially wind and terrain). The desert contraction areas occur around the towns and nearby regions with frequent human activity; desertification is primarily controlled by human factors. With rapid economic development (especially after 2000), the scale of the cultivated area, town, and ecological protection engineering has gradually expanded, and the latter two are primarily built on a previous desert, which is the root cause of the reduction in the desert areas around the towns and the shrinkage toward north of border. Therefore, reasonable and effective human activity in the southern region of the Tengger Desert is playing a crucial role in preventing desertification.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-04-01

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

  15. Water and heat fluxes in desert soils: 2. Numerical simulations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scanlon, Bridget R.; Milly, P. C. D.

    1994-03-01

    Transient one-dimensional fluxes of soil water (liquid and vapor) and heat in response to 1 year of atmospheric forcing were simulated numerically for a site in the Chihuahuan Desert of Texas. The model was initialized and evaluated using the monitoring data presented in a companion paper (Scanlon, this issue). Soil hydraulic and thermal properties were estimated a priori from a combination of laboratory measurements, models, and other published information. In the first simulation, the main drying curves were used to describe soil water retention, and hysteresis was ignored. Remarkable consistency was found between computed and measured water potentials and temperatures. Attenuation and phase shift of the seasonal cycle of water potentials below the shallow subsurface active zone (0.0- to 0.3-m depth) were similar to those of temperatures, suggesting that water potential fluctuations were driven primarily by temperature changes. Water fluxes in the upper 0.3 m of soil were dominated by downward and upward liquid fluxes that resulted from infiltration of rain and subsequent evaporation from the surface. Upward flux was vapor dominated only in the top several millimeters of the soil during periods of evaporation. Below a depth of 0.3 m, water fluxes varied slowly and were dominated by downward thermal vapor flux that decreased with depth, causing a net accumulation of water. In a second simulation, nonhysteretic water retention was instead described by the estimated main wetting curves; the resulting differences in fluxes were attributed to lower initial water contents (given fixed initial water potential) and unsaturated hydraulic conductivities that were lower than they were in the first simulation. Below a depth of 0.3 m, the thermal vapor fluxes dominated and were similar to those in the first simulation. Two other simulations were performed, differing from the first only in the prescription of different (wetter) initial water potentials. These three simulations

  16. Desert RATS 2011: Near-Earth Asteroid Human Exploration Operations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abercromby, Andrew; Gernhardt, Michael L.; Chappel, Steve

    2012-01-01

    The Desert Research and Technology Studies (D-RATS) 2011 field test involved the planning and execution of a series of exploration scenarios under operational conditions similar to those that would be expected during a human exploration mission to a near-Earth asteroid (NEA). The focus was on understanding the operations tempo during simulated NEA exploration and the implications of communications latency and limited data bandwidth. Anchoring technologies and sampling techniques were not evaluated due to the immaturity of those technologies and the inability to meaningfully test them at D-RATS. Reduced gravity analogs and simulations are being used to fully evaluate Multi-Mission Space Exploration Vehicle (MMSEV) and extravehicular (EVA) operations and interactions in near-weightlessness at a NEA as part of NASA s integrated analogs program. Hypotheses were tested by planning and performing a series of 1-day simulated exploration excursions comparing test conditions all of which involved a single Deep Space Habitat (DSH) and either zero, one, or two MMSEVs; three or four crewmembers; one of two different communications bandwidths; and a 100-second roundtrip communications latency between the field site and Houston. Excursions were executed at the Black Point Lava Flow test site with a Mission Control Center and Science Support Room at Johnson Space Center (JSC) being operated with 100-second roundtrip communication latency to the field. Crews were composed of astronauts and professional field geologists and teams of Mission Operations, Science, and Education & Public Outreach (EPO) experts also supported the mission simulations each day. Data were collected separately from the Crew, Mission Operations, Science, and EPO teams to assess the test conditions from multiple perspectives. For the operations tested, data indicates practically significant benefits may be realized by including at least one MMSEV and by including 4 versus 3 crewmembers in the NEA exploration

  17. Desert ants achieve reliable recruitment across noisy interactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Razin, Nitzan; Eckmann, Jean-Pierre; Feinerman, Ofer

    2013-01-01

    We study how desert ants, Cataglyphis niger, a species that lacks pheromone-based recruitment mechanisms, inform each other about the presence of food. Our results are based on automated tracking that allows us to collect a large database of ant trajectories and interactions. We find that interactions affect an ant's speed within the nest. Fast ants tend to slow down, whereas slow ones increase their speed when encountering a faster ant. Faster ants tend to exit the nest more frequently than slower ones. So, if an ant gains enough speed through encounters with others, then she tends to leave the nest and look for food. On the other hand, we find that the probability for her to leave the nest depends only on her speed, but not on whether she had recently interacted with a recruiter that has found the food. This suggests a recruitment system in which ants communicate their state by very simple interactions. Based on this assumption, we estimate the information-theoretical channel capacity of the ants’ pairwise interactions. We find that the response to the speed of an interacting nest-mate is very noisy. The question is then how random interactions with ants within the nest can be distinguished from those interactions with a recruiter who has found food. Our measurements and model suggest that this distinction does not depend on reliable communication but on behavioural differences between ants that have found the food and those that have not. Recruiters retain high speeds throughout the experiment, regardless of the ants they interact with; non-recruiters communicate with a limited number of nest-mates and adjust their speed following these interactions. These simple rules lead to the formation of a bistable switch on the level of the group that allows the distinction between recruitment and random noise in the nest. A consequence of the mechanism we propose is a negative effect of ant density on exit rates and recruitment success. This is, indeed, confirmed by

  18. Desert ants achieve reliable recruitment across noisy interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Razin, Nitzan; Eckmann, Jean-Pierre; Feinerman, Ofer

    2013-05-06

    We study how desert ants, Cataglyphis niger, a species that lacks pheromone-based recruitment mechanisms, inform each other about the presence of food. Our results are based on automated tracking that allows us to collect a large database of ant trajectories and interactions. We find that interactions affect an ant's speed within the nest. Fast ants tend to slow down, whereas slow ones increase their speed when encountering a faster ant. Faster ants tend to exit the nest more frequently than slower ones. So, if an ant gains enough speed through encounters with others, then she tends to leave the nest and look for food. On the other hand, we find that the probability for her to leave the nest depends only on her speed, but not on whether she had recently interacted with a recruiter that has found the food. This suggests a recruitment system in which ants communicate their state by very simple interactions. Based on this assumption, we estimate the information-theoretical channel capacity of the ants' pairwise interactions. We find that the response to the speed of an interacting nest-mate is very noisy. The question is then how random interactions with ants within the nest can be distinguished from those interactions with a recruiter who has found food. Our measurements and model suggest that this distinction does not depend on reliable communication but on behavioural differences between ants that have found the food and those that have not. Recruiters retain high speeds throughout the experiment, regardless of the ants they interact with; non-recruiters communicate with a limited number of nest-mates and adjust their speed following these interactions. These simple rules lead to the formation of a bistable switch on the level of the group that allows the distinction between recruitment and random noise in the nest. A consequence of the mechanism we propose is a negative effect of ant density on exit rates and recruitment success. This is, indeed, confirmed by our

  19. An electrified dust storm over the Negev desert, Israel

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yair, Yoav; Katz, Shai; Yaniv, Roy; Ziv, Baruch; Price, Colin

    2016-11-01

    We report on atmospheric electrical measurements conducted at the Wise Observatory in Mitzpe-Ramon, Israel (30°35‧N, 34°45‧E) during a large dust storm that occurred over the Eastern Mediterranean region on 10-11 February 2015. The dust was transported from the Sahara, Egypt and the Sinai Peninsula ahead of an approaching Cyprus low. Satellite images show the dust plume covering the Negev desert and Southern Israel and moving north. The concentrations of PM10 particles measured by the air-quality monitoring network of the Israeli Ministry of the Environment in Beer-Sheba reached values > 450 μg m- 3 and the AOT from the AERONET station in Sde-Boker was 1.5 on February 10th. The gradual intensification of the event reached peak concentrations on February 11th of over 1200 μg m- 3 and an AOT of 1.8. Continuous measurements of the fair weather vertical electric field (Ez) and vertical current density (Jz) were conducted at the Wise Observatory with 1 minute temporal resolution. Meteorological data was also recorded at the site. As the dust was advected over the observatory, very large fluctuations in the electrical parameters were registered. From the onset of the dust storm, the Ez values changed between + 1000 and + 8000 V m- 1 while the current density fluctuated between - 10 pA m2 and + 20 pA m2, both on time-scales of a few minutes. These values are significant departures from the average fair-weather values measured at the site, which are ~- 200 V m- 1 and ~ 2 pA m2. The disturbed episodes lasted for several hours on February 10th and the 11th and coincided with local meteorological conditions related to the wind speed and direction, which carried large amounts of dust particles over our observation station. We interpret the rapid changes as caused by the transport of electrically charged dust, carrying an excess of negative charge at lower altitudes.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2000-01-01

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

  1. Space Radar Image of Niya ruins, Taklamakan desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    1999-01-01

    This radar image is of an area thought to contain the ruins of the ancient settlement of Niya. It is located in the southwestern corner of the Taklamakan Desert in China's Sinjiang Province. This oasis was part of the famous Silk Road, an ancient trade route from one of China's earliest capitols, Xian, to the West. The image shows a white linear feature trending diagonally from the upper left to the lower right. Scientists believe this newly discovered feature is a man-made canal which presumably diverted river waters toward the settlement of Niya for irrigation purposes. The image was acquired by the Spaceborne Imaging Radar-C and X-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SIR-C/X-SAR) aboard the space shuttle Endeavour on its 106th orbit on April 16, 1994, and is centered at 37.78 degrees north latitude and 82.41 degrees east longitude. The false-color radar image was created by displaying the C-band (horizontally transmitted and received) return in red, the L-band (horizontally transmitted and received) return in green, and the L-band (horizontally transmitted and vertically received) return in blue. Areas in mottled white and purple are low-lying floodplains of the Niya River. Dark green and black areas between river courses are higher ridges or dunes confining the water flow. Spaceborne Imaging Radar-C and X-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SIR-C/X-SAR) is part of NASA's Mission to Planet Earth. The radars illuminate Earth with microwaves, allowing detailed observations at any time, regardless of weather or sunlight conditions. SIR-C/X-SAR uses three microwave wavelengths: the L-band (24 cm), C-band (6 cm) and X-band (3 cm). The multi-frequency data will be used by the international scientific community to better understand the global environment and how it is changing. The SIR-C/X-SAR data, complemented by aircraft and ground studies, will give scientists clearer insights into those environmental changes which are caused by nature and those changes which are induced by

  2. Chemical composition of desert willow (Salix psammophila) grown in the Kubuqi Desert, Inner Mongolia, China: bark extracts associated with environmental adaptability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kubo, Satoshi; Hashida, Koh; Makino, Rei; Magara, Kengo; Kenzo, Tanaka; Kato, Atsushi; Aorigele

    2013-12-18

    Bark of desert willow (Salix psammophila, Spsa) grown in Inner Mongolia was successively extracted with n-hexane, diethyl ether, acetone, methanol, and hot water to examine chemical components associated with its environmental adaptability to desert conditions. The yield of n-hexane extract (5.0% based on dry bark), mainly composed of wax, was higher than those of acetone and methanol extracts (3.7% and 4.2%, respectively), whereas the yields of n-hexane extract (1.4%) from willow bark grown in humid areas were much lower than those of acetone (17.4% and 19.9%) and methanol (12.5% and 14.0%) extracts. Unlike other willow bark samples, Spsa bark contained a certain amount of sugar alcohols. In particular, we identified arabinitol (0.21%), which has not previously been reported as a major component of extracts of willow bark. The high content of wax and sugar alcohol would be associated with the ability of Spsa to survive in desert conditions. Accumulation of wax on the outer bark surface would reduce water loss, while sugar alcohols might improve freezing tolerance.

  3. Photovoltaic at Hollywood and Desert Breeze Recreational Centers

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2015-09-24

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

  4. Fire Patterns among Ecological Zones in the California Desert, 1984–2013

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — The California desert occupies the southeastern 27% of California (11,028,300 ha, 110,283 km2 or 27,251,610 ac). It includes two ecoregional provinces comprised of...

  5. Entire mitochondrion genome sequence of the Desert Pupfish, Cyprinodon macularius Baird & Girard, 1853.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Camarena-Rosales, Faustino; Del Río-Portilla, Miguel A; Ruiz-Campos, Gorgonio; García-De-León, Francisco J

    2016-11-01

    The complete mitochondrial genome sequence of the Desert Pupfish, Cyprinodon macularius (Gene accession number KM985373) has a length of 16,940 bp, and the arrangement consisted of 13 protein-coding genes, 2 ribosomal RNA (rRNA) genes and 22 transfer RNA, which are similar to other known mitogenomes for the family Cyprinodontidae.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mathew Daniel Petrie

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  8. 78 FR 18625 - Call for Nominations for the California Desert District Advisory Council

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-03-27

    ... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management Call for Nominations for the California Desert District Advisory Council AGENCY: Bureau of Land Management, Interior. ACTION: Notice. SUMMARY: The Bureau of Land Management's...

  9. 75 FR 6837 - Notice of Call for Nominations for Bureau of Land Management's California Desert District...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-02-11

    ... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management Notice of Call for Nominations for Bureau of Land Management's California Desert District Advisory Council AGENCY: Bureau of Land Management, Interior. ACTION: Notice....

  10. Host plant preference of Lygus hesperus exposed to three desert-adapted industrial crops

    Science.gov (United States)

    The desert-adapted crops vernonia (Centrapalus pauciflorus), lesquerella (Physaria fendleri), and camelina (Camelina sativa) are being grown in the arid southwestern USA as potential feedstock for biofuel and/or other environmentally friendly products. A plant feeding choice test was conducted to de...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carvajal, Manuel J.; And Others

    1993-01-01

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

  12. Fire in desert grassland region of the southwestern USA: Where and why

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fire is an important driver of ecological processes in semiarid systems and serves a vital role in shrub-grass interactions. In desert grasslands of the Southwestern US, the loss of fire has been implicated as a primary cause of shrub encroachment. Where fires can currently be re-introduced and mana...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  14. Endolithic blue-green algae in the dry valleys: primary producers in the antarctic desert ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friedmann, E I; Ocampo, R

    1976-09-24

    Endolithic unicellular blue-green algae occur under the surface of orthoquartzite rocks in the dry valleys of southern Victoria Land, Antarctica. This report of primary producers in the Antarctic desert ecosystem suggests that, in future efforts to detect life in extraterrestrial (for example, martian) environments, scientists should consider the possible existence of endolithic life forms.

  15. Degradation of High Voltage Polymeric Insulators in Arid Desert's Simulated Environmental Conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yasin Khan

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Problem statement: High Voltage (HV polymeric insulators are replacing ceramic insulator commonly used for HV outdoor networks due to their ease of handling, reliability and cost. However, their long term performance and reliability are major concerns to power utilities. Approach: To investigate their performance in arid desert's conditions, two types of HV composite insulators were aged as per International Electrochemical Commission (IEC standard-61109. Additional test samples were subjected to accelerated aging conditions simulating the actual Ultraviolet (UV radiation intensity and temperature in the inland desert. Results: This study described the experimental results of the effects of thermo electric stress and UV radiations on the polymeric insulators aged under two conditions i.e., as per IEC standard and modified IEC standard that simulates the inland arid desert. The tests results after the artificial accelerated aging indicated that the dielectric response of thermoplastic insulators under the tested thermo-electric cum UV-irradiations outperforms Silicone rubber insulators.Conclusion: From the obtained results it will be easy to assess the performance and suitability of composite insulators for their applications in arid desert environments.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Menenti, M.

    1984-01-01

    In the deserts of the world groundwater losses by evaporation are shown to be a very important and almost unknown quantity in the water balance of aquifers present.After establishing a new combination formula to calculate actual evaporation from within the soil, the evaporational soil physical aspec

  18. Native fish sanctuaries of the lower Colorado River: Cibola High Levee Pond, Desert Pupfish Pond

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mueller, G.

    2005-01-01

    Historically, the Colorado River was one of the most formidable rivers in the world. Each spring, melting snow from the mountains scoured the desert landscape moving millions of tons of sediment to the sea. The Grand Canyon lays testament to its erosive nature. Summer heat would bring seasonal droughts, reducing the river to a trickle impacting humans, animals, and fish.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  20. Structure and function of the mammalian middle ear. I: Large middle ears in small desert mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mason, Matthew J

    2016-02-01

    Many species of small desert mammals are known to have expanded auditory bullae. The ears of gerbils and heteromyids have been well described, but much less is known about the middle ear anatomy of other desert mammals. In this study, the middle ears of three gerbils (Meriones, Desmodillus and Gerbillurus), two jerboas (Jaculus) and two sengis (elephant-shrews: Macroscelides and Elephantulus) were examined and compared, using micro-computed tomography and light microscopy. Middle ear cavity expansion has occurred in members of all three groups, apparently in association with an essentially 'freely mobile' ossicular morphology and the development of bony tubes for the middle ear arteries. Cavity expansion can occur in different ways, resulting in different subcavity patterns even between different species of gerbils. Having enlarged middle ear cavities aids low-frequency audition, and several adaptive advantages of low-frequency hearing to small desert mammals have been proposed. However, while Macroscelides was found here to have middle ear cavities so large that together they exceed brain volume, the bullae of Elephantulus are considerably smaller. Why middle ear cavities are enlarged in some desert species but not others remains unclear, but it may relate to microhabitat.

  1. DESERTIFICATION AND ANIMAL BIODIVERSITY IN THE DESERT GRASSLANDS OF NORTH AMERICA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Studies of breeding birds and small mammals were conducted at a series of sites that form a gradient of severity of desertification. Desert grassland sites represented the least changed landscape units and mesquite coppice dunes represented the most severe degradtion, an irrevers...

  2. 77 FR 39181 - Revisions to the California State Implementation Plan, Mojave Desert Air Quality Management...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-07-02

    ... Management District (MDAQMD) and Yolo-Solano Air Quality Management District (YSAQMD) AGENCY: Environmental... Identification of plan. * * * * * (c) * * * (364) * * * (i) * * * (D) Mojave Desert Air Quality Management...) * * * (F) Yolo-Solano Air Quality Management District. (1) Rule 2.43, ``Biomass Boilers,'' adopted...

  3. 77 FR 11990 - Revisions to the California State Implementation Plan, Mojave Desert Air Quality Management...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-02-28

    ... AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 Revisions to the California State Implementation Plan, Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District and Yolo-Solano Air Quality Management District AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency... Quality Management District (MDAQMD) and Yolo-Solano Air Quality Management District (YSAQMD) portions...

  4. Desert Life, Experimental Edition Prepared for Testing in the Primary Grades.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shelby, Betty; And Others

    This unit and teacher's guide were prepared for use with primary grade children. The activities include the construction of a desert terrarium, the study of cacti, and the use of animal sort cards. A special section is devoted to the way parents can help with the unit. A detailed list of needed materials is provided in the guide. This work was…

  5. Desert agricultural systems at EBA Jawa (Jordan): Integrating archaeological and paleoenvironmental records

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meister, Julia; Krause, J.; Müller-Neuhofb, B.; Portillo, M.; Reimann, T.; Schütt, B.

    2017-01-01

    Located in the arid basalt desert of northeastern Jordan, the settlement of Jawa is by far the largest and best-preserved archaeological site in the region. The Early Bronze Age (EBA) settlement phase of Jawa (3500–3000 BCE) is characterized by a highly sophisticated water storage system made of a s

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  9. Organic Chemistry and the Native Plants of the Sonoran Desert: Conversion of Jojoba Oil to Biodiesel

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daconta, Lisa V.; Minger, Timothy; Nedelkova, Valentina; Zikopoulos, John N.

    2015-01-01

    A new, general approach to the organic chemistry laboratory is introduced that is based on learning about organic chemistry techniques and research methods by exploring the natural products found in local native plants. As an example of this approach for the Sonoran desert region, the extraction of jojoba oil and its transesterification to…

  10. Desert speleothems reveal climatic window for African exodus of early modern humans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vaks, Anton; Bar-Matthews, Miryam; Ayalon, Avner; Matthews, Alan; Halicz, Ludwik; Frumkin, Amos

    2007-09-01

    One of the first movements of early modern humans out of Africa occurred 130-100 thousand years ago (ka), when they migrated northward to the Levant region. The climatic conditions that accompanied this migration are still under debate. Using high-precision multicollector-inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (MC-ICP-MS) U-Th methods, we dated carbonate cave deposits (speleothems) from the central and southern Negev Desert of Israel, located at the northeastern margin of the Saharan-Arabian Desert. Speleothems grow only when rainwater enters the unsaturated zone, and this study reveals that a major cluster of wet episodes (the last recorded in the area) occurred between 140 and 110 ka. This episodic wet period coincided with increased monsoonal precipitation in the southern parts of the Saharan-Arabian Desert. The disappearance at this time of the desert barrier between central Africa and the Levant, and particularly in the Sinai-Negev land bridge between Africa and Asia, would have created a climatic “window” for early modern human dispersion to the Levant.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  12. Cuatro Ciénegas, a Desert Oasis with Active Stromatolites: An Astrobiological Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Souza, V.; Breitbart, M.; Hollander, D.; Elser, J.; Meadows, V.; Siefert, J.

    2010-04-01

    Cuatro Ciénegas Bolson is a desert valley, ringed by mountains, fed by a deep underground aquifer. The resultant pozas support active stromatolitic growth. We report on the field site as a proxy for earlier earth dominated microbial systems.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lovich, Jeffrey E.

    2011-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Warner, J.F.

    2013-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Warner, J.F.

    2013-01-01

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

  19. Organic Chemistry and the Native Plants of the Sonoran Desert: Conversion of Jojoba Oil to Biodiesel

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daconta, Lisa V.; Minger, Timothy; Nedelkova, Valentina; Zikopoulos, John N.

    2015-01-01

    A new, general approach to the organic chemistry laboratory is introduced that is based on learning about organic chemistry techniques and research methods by exploring the natural products found in local native plants. As an example of this approach for the Sonoran desert region, the extraction of jojoba oil and its transesterification to…

  20. Validating a dust production model by field experiment in Mu Us Desert, China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2006-01-01

    Field experiments of dust production have been seldom performed in Chinese deserts that are identified as one of main dust sources in the world, and such an experiment to validate a dust production model (DPM) has not been made in China until now. Saltation flux, dust emission flux, surface features and meteorological parameters (U*, Z0, Ri, etc.) were investigated in Mu Us Desert of China to verify the DPM model and accumulate dust emission data during the spring of 2002. It indicates that observed saltation fluxes from 0.07 to 8.00 g·m-1·s-1 are in good agreement with the ones predicted by the DPM model when the constant of the saltation flux equation is tuned to about 2.61, which corresponds to wind friction velocities from 0.26 to 0.35 m·s-1. Unfortunately, during three local dust emission events, the observed dust fluxes are from 1 to 3μg· m-2· s-1, lower than the modeled ones, implying that the model needs to be improved further under lower wind velocity. In comparison with data from a sandy soil with physical crust and a loam soil, saltation fluxes of the loose sandy soil in Mu Us Desert are obviously higher, which suggests that deserts and sandy land with desertification are major dust sources in northern China.

  1. Tree establishment along an ENSO experimental gradient in the Atacama desert

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Squeo, F.A.; Holmgren, M.; Jimenez, L.; Alban, L.; Reyes, J.; Gutierrez, J.R.

    2007-01-01

    Questions: (1) What are the roles of regional climate and plant growth rate for seedling establishment during ENSO rainy pulses along the western coast of South America? (2) What is the water threshold for tree seedling establishment in these arid ecosystems? Location: Atacama Desert, western South

  2. 75 FR 5114 - Desert National Wildlife Refuge Complex, Clark, Lincoln, and Nye Counties, NV

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-02-01

    ... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service Desert National Wildlife Refuge Complex, Clark, Lincoln, and Nye Counties, NV AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Notice of availability: record of decision....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-03-01

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

  4. Effects of artificial sand fixing on community characteristics of a rare desert shrub.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Huiliang; Tao, Ye; Qiu, Dong; Zhang, Daoyuan; Zhang, Yongkuan

    2013-10-01

    Eremosparton songoricum (Fabaceae) is a rare, native, clonal small shrub of the deserts of central Asia. Although human activities have greatly fragmented the distribution of E. songoricum, it occurs in areas where artificial sand fixing (AS) has been implemented. We sought to explore whether AS promotes survival and growth of E. songoricum. In the Gurbantunggut Desert of northwestern China in June 2010, we established 10 plots in an area where sand fixing occurred (5-10 years previously) and 11 plots on original sand substrate on which some plants had settled without fixing sand. Sand fixing changed soil properties and biological characteristics in sand-fixed plots. The soil surface where sand fixing occurred was covered by algal crusts and some lichen, but not bare sand (BS). Soil nutrients; water content of deep soil (30-150 cm); overall plant and herbaceous species richness, diversity, abundance, and cover; above- and belowground biomass; and cover, biomass, and height of E. songoricum in the sand-fixed plots were significantly greater than in plots of BS. However, distribution of E. songoricum individuals in the 2 types of plots did not differ. Our results indicate AS may enhance survival of E. songoricum and increase the overall diversity and stability of the desert plant community. We suggest AS as a way to protect this rare desert plant in situ. © 2013 Society for Conservation Biology.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tieleman, BI; Williams, JB; Visser, GH

    2003-01-01

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

  7. Observation (Geomorphology) of the largest mega sand of central Iran Desert, Lut, Using Remote sensing data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdollhai, A.; Yamani, M.

    2009-04-01

    It is believed that the Lut desert features, in elevation and volume, are unique (even in the world) in central Iran. These huge morphological features will be an excellent Sedimentary Archive in quaternary explaining the climate condition and distribution of desert surface features on the earth, meanwhile the attention less has gone on the Aeolian features in the area of interest because it is hard to access. This papers aims to present these unique features by remote sensing data. Remote sensing data including, Irs Aster, Srtm and Arial photograph data were used to measure the dune migration and other aspects of desert environment. Sand dune morphology encompasses almost all typical desert features including single, linear, pyramid, star sand and others. compressing remote sensing data between 1955 and 2000 approves the single Barkhan is being migrated at the rate of 22.65 M per year and accelerate at the last period between 2000 and 2008. A large part of scarce vegetation represents active and rapid migration creating huge morphological features. Linear dune elevation reaches more than 430 M and shows the highest elevation of dune activity on Earth. To evaluate surface temperature Aster 08 production were used. The surface temperature on the sand is probably the highest temperature received by solar energy around 84 Celsius degrees resulting High thermal cell in central Iran. This causes to create huge morphological features in central Iran reaching more than 400 m high due to repetition and reactivation under closed circumstance system.

  8. Force Restore Technique for Ground Surface Temperature and Moisture Content in a Dry Desert System

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jacobs, A.F.G.; Heusinkveld, B.G.; Berkowicz, S.

    2000-01-01

    The level of the surface temperature as well as surface moisture content is important for the turbulent transports of sensible and latent heat, respectively, but this level is also crucial for the survival of shrubs, plants, insects, and small animals in a desert environment. To estimate the surface

  9. Water consumption in artificial desert oasis based on net primary productivity

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2010-01-01

    Analysis of the water consumption is the basis for water allocation in oasis. However, the method of estimating oasis water consumption remains a great challenge. Based on net primary productivity (NPP) and the transpiration coefficient, a vegetation water consumption model was developed to estimate the water consumption in desert oasis in ERDAS environment. Our results demonstrated that the ecosystem in the middle reaches of the Heihe oasis consumed water of 18.41×108-21.9×108 m3 for irrigation. Without taking precipitation into account, the water consumption in farmland accounted for 77.1%-77.8% (or about 13.97×108-16.84×108 m3) of the oasis vegetation water consumption and in the farmland protection system accounting for 22%. The growing period precipitation in desert environments is about 7.02×108 m3, and the total annual precipitation is about 8.29×108 m3. The modeled water consumption of desert vegetation, however, is about 4.57×108 m3, equivalent to only 65% of the growing period precipitation or 55% of the total annual precipitation. The modeled value equals to the cumulative precipitation of greater than 5 mm, which is defined as the effective precipitation in arid desert.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  11. 75 FR 13805 - Aspen Group Resources Corp., Commercial Concepts, Inc., Desert Health Products, Inc., Equalnet...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-03-23

    ... COMMISSION Aspen Group Resources Corp., Commercial Concepts, Inc., Desert Health Products, Inc., Equalnet Communications Corp., Geneva Steel Holdings Corp., Orderpro Logistics, Inc. (n/k/a Securus Renewable Energy, Inc... accurate information concerning the securities of Commercial Concepts, Inc. because it has not filed...

  12. Characteristics of plant calcium fractions for 25 species in Tengger Desert

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2010-01-01

    Little attention has been paid to plant calcium fractions in the desert.To address the characteristic of the calcium fractions of desert plants,we collected 25 plant species in Tengger Desert,observed the calcium crystals using an optical microscope and determined water soluble calcium,acetic acid soluble calcium,and hydrochloric acid soluble calcium.To do so,we used sequential fractionation procedures to probe the relationships among different functional groups,different growth forms,or different successional stages.The results showed that the psammophyte,the late successional plants,and the drought-resistant shrub and semi-shrub all held considerable calcium oxalate crystal compared to the grassland plants,the early successional plants,and the perennial herb.With the proceeding succession,the acetic acid soluble calcium decreased gradually,and the hydrochloric acid soluble calcium increased gradually.The perennial herb had more water soluble calcium,while shrub held greater hydrochloric acid soluble calcium.The grassland plants held more water soluble calcium,while psammophyte had greater hydrochloric acid soluble calcium.This implies that the plants that are relatively sensitive to drought hold more calcium ion,while the drought-resistance plants hold more calcium oxalate.Thus,the plant calcium components are in close relation to plant drought-resistance,and of important significance in plant physiology of the desert.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Xu Shujun; Liu Chunjiang [School of Agriculture and Biology, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240 (China); Jiang Pingan [College of Pratacultural and Environmental Science, Xinjiang Agricultural University, Urumqi 830052 (China); Cai Weimin [School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240 (China); Wang Yan [School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240 (China)], E-mail: xusj@mail.sjtu.edu.cn

    2009-03-15

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura Musacchio

    2004-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  16. The Relative Abundance of Desert Tortoises on the Nevada Test Site within Ecological Landform Units

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Woodward, Roy; Rautenstrauch, Kurt R.; Hall, Derek B.; Ostler, W. Kent

    1998-09-01

    Sign-survey transects were sampled in 1996 to better determine the relative abundance of desert tortoises on the Nevada Test Site (NTS). These transects were sampled within ecological land-form units (ELUs), which are small, ecologically homogeneous units of land. Two-hundred and six ELUs were sampled by walking 332 transects totaling 889 kilometers (km) (552 miles [mi]). These ELUs covered 528 km{sup 2} (204 mi{sup 2}). Two-hundred and eighty-one sign were counted. An average of 0.32 sign was found per km walked. Seventy percent of the area sampled had a very low abundance of tortoises, 29 percent had a low abundance, and 1 percent had a moderate abundance. A revised map of the relative abundance of desert tortoise on the NTS is presented. Within the 1,330 km{sup 2} (514 mi{sup 2}) of desert tortoise habitat on the NTS, 49 percent is classified as having no tortoises or a very low abundance, 18 percent has a low or moderate abundance, 12 percent is unclassified land being used by the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project, and the remaining 21 percent still has an unknown abundance of desert tortoises. Based on the results of this work, the amount of tortoise habitat previously classified as having an unknown or low-moderate abundance, and on which clearance surveys and on-site monitoring was required, has been reduced by 20 percent.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2015-01-01

    Desertion of clutch (or brood) by both parents often leads to breeding failure, since in vast majority of birds care by at least one parent is required for any young to fledge. Recent works in a highly polygamous passerine bird, the Eurasian penduline tit (Remiz pendulinus), suggest that biparental

  18. Sensitivity of desert cryptograms to air pollutants: soil crusts and rock lichens

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belnap, J.

    1991-01-01

    Parks throughout the West are being faced with increasing air pollution threats from current or proposed industries near their boundaries. For this reason, it is important to understand the effects these industries may have on desert ecosystems. Rock lichens can be excellent biomonitors, acting as early warning systems of impending damage to other components of the desert ecosystem. Cryptogamic crusts, consisting mostly of cyanobacteria and lichens, may not only be excellent bioindicators, but also are an essential part of the desert ecosystem. Their presence is critical for soil stability as well as for the contribution of nitrogen to the ecosystem in a form available to higher plants. Air pollutants, such as emissions from coal-fired power plants, may threaten the healthy functioning of these non-vascular plants. The purpose of this study is to determine if, in fact, air pollutants do have an impact on the physiological functioning of cryptogamic crusts or rock lichens in desert systems and, if so, to what extent. Some results have already been obtained. Both rock lichens and cryptogamic crusts exhibit physiological damage in the vicinity of the Navajo Generating Station in Page, Arizona. Increased electrolyte leakage and chlorophyll degradation, along with reduced nitrogen fixation, have been found. Preliminary studies comparing sensitivity between substrates indicate that crusts on limestone and sandstone substrates may be more sensitive than those on gypsum.

  19. Origin of quaternary basalts from the Black Rock Desert Region, Utah.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Condie, K. C.; Barsky, C. K.

    1972-01-01

    An evaluation has been made of the relative roles of fractional crystallization and crustal contamination in the genesis of basaltic magmas from the Black Rock Desert region in Utah. As a result, geochemical variations of these basalts have been defined as a function of their ages of eruption.

  20. Desert-steppe migration on the Loess Plateau at about 450 kaBP

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHAOJingbo

    2005-01-01

    According to the field investigation, observation by an electronic microscope and x-ray identification and chemical analysis, desert-steppe migration in the Loess Plateau at about 450 kaBP was studied. The data show that gypsum illuvial horizon indicating the desert-steppe environment developed in the early stage of the formation of the fifth layer loess in Shaoling tableland in Chang'an and Bailu tableland in Xran of Shaanxi are situated in the southern Loess Plateau. This indicates that remarkable drying occurred, a large-scope migration of desert steppe took place toward south and the climate zone migrated 5 degrees in latitude to south which is the largest migration range indicated by geochemical indexes. The desert-steppe and more wild environment distributed widely on the Loess Plateau at that time. The development of gypsum also indicates that the climate changed at 450 kaBP from monsoon climate to nonmonsoon climate in the Loess Plateau, and the region was not affected by summer monsoon and was in the cold and dry environment of nonmonsoon climate. Annual mean nrecinitation was about 200 rnm. 400 mm less at that time than at oresent.