WorldWideScience

Sample records for northern chihuahuan desert

  1. A new species of Metacyclops Kiefer, 1927 (Copepoda, Cyclopidae, Cyclopinae) from the Chihuahuan desert, northern Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mercado-Salas, Nancy F.; Suárez-Morales, Eduardo; Maeda-Martínez, Alejandro M.; Silva-Briano, Marcelo

    2013-01-01

    Abstract A new species of the freshwater cyclopoid copepod genus Metacyclops Kiefer, 1927 is described from a single pond in northern Mexico, within the binational area known as the Chihuahuan Desert. This species belongs to a group of Metacyclops species with a 3443 spine formula of swimming legs. It is morphologically similar to Metacyclops lusitanus Lindberg, 1961 but differs from this and other congeners by having a unique combination of characters, including a caudal rami length/width proportion of 3.5–3.8, a innermost terminal seta slightly longer than the outermost terminal seta, intercoxal sclerites of legs 1-4 naked, a strong apical spine of the second endopodal segment of leg 1 and one row of 6-8 small spinules at the insertion of this spine. The finding of this species represents also the first record of the genus in Mexico and the third in North America, where only two other species, Metacyclops gracilis (Lilljeborg, 1853)and Metacyclops cushae Reid, 1991 have been hitherto reported. This is also the first continental record of a species of Metacyclops from an arid environment in the Americas. This species appears to be endemic to the Chihuahuan Desert, thus emphasizing the high endemicity of this area. PMID:23794845

  2. Managing Fire in the Northern Chihuahuan Desert: A Review and Analysis of the Literature

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gebow, Brooke S.; Halvorson, William L.

    2005-01-01

    Executive Summary This report began as a literature review (Gebow and Halvorson 2001) conducted for fire planners at Carlsbad Caverns National Park who were seeking information about (1) the natural state of park vegetation, (2) northern Chihuahuan Desert natural fire regimes, and (3) fire effects on park plant species. It is the goal of managers there to continue to refine the wildland and prescribed fire program as they learn more about the ecosystems at the park.The park has a history of grazing and then fire suppression in the 20th century. The current effort revisits questions asked by earlier workers at the park, Walter Kittams and Gary Ahlstrand, who began fire studies in the 1970s. This document addresses ecosystems and historical change to those systems in Chihuahuan Desert areas of southeast Arizona, southern New Mexico, west Texas, or in neighboring regions that share the same plant species. It examines fire literature for situations possibly analogous to those at Carlsbad Caverns. It also includes papers that offer advice on extrapolating future ecological trends from past ones (Swetnam et al. 1999) and on resource management decision-making (Grumbine 1997), and other pieces that address broader aspects of fire or landscape change (Goldman 1994; Marston 1996; Mutch 1994, 1995). These more philosophical works were included in the original review at the park's request and have been retained here because they discuss other issues relevant to fire management. Individual reviews of 35 papers, as requested originally by Carlsbad Caverns, appear in Appendix 1. The results section-summary of key findings-discusses historical changes to plant communities then focuses on burn intervals observed or recommended by workers for particular plant communities. Results from a search of the USDA Forest Service's Fire Effects Information System (www.fs.fed.us/database/feis) are also included in this report, supplemented with information from a review conducted by Ahlstrand

  3. Historic distribution and challenges to bison recovery in the northern Chihuahuan Desert

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    List, Rurik; Ceballos, Gerardo; Curtin, Charles; Gogan, Peter J.; Pacheco, Jesus; Truett, Joe

    2007-01-01

    Ecologists and conservationists have long assumed that large grazers, including bison (Bison bison), did not occur in post-Pleistocene southwestern North America. This perception has been influential in framing the debate over conservation and land use in the northern Chihuahuan Desert. The lack of an evolutionary history of large grazers is being used to challenge the validity of ranching as a conservation strategy and to limit the protection and reintroduction of bison as a significant component of desert grassland ecosystems. Archeological records and historical accounts from Mexican archives from AD 700 to the 19th century document that the historic range of the bison included northern Mexico and adjoining areas in the United States. The Janos-Hidalgo bison herd, one of the few free-ranging bison herds in North America, has moved between Chihuahua, Mexico, and New Mexico, United States, since at least the 1920s. The persistence of this cross-border bison herd in Chihuahuan Desert grasslands and shrublands demonstrates that the species can persist in desert landscapes. Additional lines of evidence include the existence of grazing-adapted grasslands and the results of experimental studies that document declines in vegetation density and diversity following the removal of large grazers. The Janos-Hidalgo herd was formed with animals from various sources at the turn of the 19th century. Yet the future of the herd is compromised by differing perceptions of the ecological and evolutionary role of bison in the Desert Grasslands of North America. In Mexico they are considered native and are protected by federal law, whereas in New Mexico, they are considered non-native livestock and therefore lack conservation status or federal protection. Evidence written in Spanish of the presence of bison south of the accepted range and evidence from the disciplines of archaeology and history illustrate how differences in language and academic disciplines, in addition to

  4. Grassland to shrubland state transitions enhance carbon sequestration in the northern Chihuahuan Desert.

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    Petrie, M D; Collins, S L; Swann, A M; Ford, P L; Litvak, M E

    2015-03-01

    The replacement of native C4 -dominated grassland by C3 -dominated shrubland is considered an ecological state transition where different ecological communities can exist under similar environmental conditions. These state transitions are occurring globally, and may be exacerbated by climate change. One consequence of the global increase in woody vegetation may be enhanced ecosystem carbon sequestration, although the responses of arid and semiarid ecosystems may be highly variable. During a drier than average period from 2007 to 2011 in the northern Chihuahuan Desert, we found established shrubland to sequester 49 g C m(-2) yr(-1) on average, while nearby native C4 grassland was a net source of 31 g C m(-2) yr(-1) over this same period. Differences in C exchange between these ecosystems were pronounced--grassland had similar productivity compared to shrubland but experienced higher C efflux via ecosystem respiration, while shrubland was a consistent C sink because of a longer growing season and lower ecosystem respiration. At daily timescales, rates of carbon exchange were more sensitive to soil moisture variation in grassland than shrubland, such that grassland had a net uptake of C when wet but lost C when dry. Thus, even under unfavorable, drier than average climate conditions, the state transition from grassland to shrubland resulted in a substantial increase in terrestrial C sequestration. These results illustrate the inherent tradeoffs in quantifying ecosystem services that result from ecological state transitions, such as shrub encroachment. In this case, the deleterious changes to ecosystem services often linked to grassland to shrubland state transitions may at least be partially offset by increased ecosystem carbon sequestration. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  5. Abiotic drivers of Chihuahuan Desert plant communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laura Marie Ladwig

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robert G. Laport; Robert L.. Minckley

    2013-01-01

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

  7. FIELD SIMULATION OF WET AND DRY YEARS IN THE CHIHUAHUAN DESERT: SOIL MOISTURE, N MINERALIZATION AND ION-EXCHANGE RESIN BAGS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Irrigation and rain-out shelters were used to simulate precipitation patterns of wet and dry years in the northern Chihuahuan Desert. Irrigation provided approximately double the long-term average monthly precipitation. Rain was excluded during the wet season, July-October, to si...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robert L. Minckley; John S. Ascher

    2013-01-01

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

  9. Developing a field and cyberinfrastructure to study land-atmosphere interactions in the Chihuahuan Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chihuahuan desert landscapes are representative of many arid and semiarid ecosystems of the world where dramatic changes in vegetation structure and ecosystem processes have occurred over the past several centuries. These changes in ecosystem state are often interpreted as “desertification”, the bro...

  10. Heavy metal distribution and bioaccumulation in Chihuahuan Desert Rough Harvester ant (Pogonomyrmex rugosus) populations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Del Toro, I.; Floyd, K.; Gardea-Torresdey, J.; Borrok, D.

    2010-01-01

    Heavy metal contamination can negatively impact arid ecosystems; however a thorough examination of bioaccumulation patterns has not been completed. We analyzed the distribution of As, Cd, Cu, Pb and Zn in soils, seeds and ant (Pogonomyrmex rugosus) populations of the Chihuahuan Desert near El Paso, TX, USA. Concentrations of As, Cd, Cu, and Pb in soils, seeds and ants declined as a function of distance from a now inactive Cu and Pb smelter and all five metals bioaccumulated in the granivorous ants. The average bioaccumulation factors for the metals from seeds to ants ranged from 1.04x (As) to 8.12x (Cd). The findings show bioaccumulation trends in linked trophic levels in an arid ecosystem and further investigation should focus on the impacts of heavy metal contamination at the community level. - Heavy metals bioaccumulate in desert ants.

  11. Chihuahuan Deserts Ecoregion: Chapter 27 in Status and trends of land change in the Western United States--1973 to 2000

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    Ruhlman, Jana; Gass, Leila; Middleton, Barry

    2012-01-01

    The Chihuahuan Desert is the largest of the North American deserts, extending from southern New Mexico and Texas deep into Mexico, with approximately 90 percent of its area falling south of the United States–Mexico border (Lowe, 1964, p. 24). The Chihuahuan Deserts Ecoregion covers approximately 174,472 km2 (67,364 mi2) within the United States, including much of west Texas, southern New Mexico, and a small portion of southeastern Arizona (Omernik, 1987; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1997). The ecoregion is generally oriented from northwest to southeast, with the Madrean Archipelago Ecoregion to the west; the Arizona/New Mexico Mountains, Arizona/New Mexico Plateau, Southwestern Tablelands, and Western High Plains Ecoregions to the north; and the Edwards Plateau and Southern Texas Plains Ecoregions to the east (fig. 1).

  12. Late Pleistocene paleohydrology near the boundary of the Sonoran and Chihuahuan Deserts, southeastern Arizona, USA

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    Pigati, Jeffery S.; Bright, Jordon E.; Shanahan, Timothy M.; Mahan, Shannon

    2009-01-01

    Ground-water discharge (GWD) deposits form in arid environments as water tables rise and approach or breach the ground surface during periods of enhanced effective precipitation. Where preserved, these deposits contain information on the timing and elevation of past ground-water fluctuations. Here we report on the investigation of a series of GWD deposits that are exposed in discontinuous outcrops along a ???150-km stretch of the San Pedro Valley in southeastern Arizona, near the boundary of the Sonoran and Chihuahuan Deserts. Chronologic, isotopic, geochemical, faunal assemblage (ostracodes and gastropods), and sedimentological evidence collectively suggest that the elevation of the regional water table in the valley rose in response to a change in climate ???50 ka ago and remained relatively high for the next ???35 ka before falling during the B??lling-Aller??d warm period, rebounding briefly during the Younger Dryas cold event, and falling again at the onset of the Holocene. The timing of these hydrologic changes coincides closely with variations in ??18O values of calcite from a nearby speleothem to the west and changes in lake levels at pluvial Lake Cochise to the east. Thus, in southeastern Arizona, the assumption that changes in climate are reflected in all aspects of the hydrologic cycle of a region simultaneously is validated. The timing of these changes also broadly coincides with variations in the GISP2 ??18O record, which supports the hypothesis that atmospheric teleconnections existed between the North Atlantic and the deserts of the American Southwest during the late Pleistocene.

  13. Status and distribution of Chihuahuan Desert Grasslands in the United States and Mexico (Evaluacion del estado y distribucion de los pastizales del Desierto Chihuahuense en los Estados Unidos y Mexico)

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    Martha Desmond; Jennifer Atchley Montoya

    2006-01-01

    Grasslands comprise a small part of the Chihuahuan Desert but are vital to the biological diversity of the ecoregion. Characteristic grasses of the Chihuahuan Desert are tobosa (Pleuraphis mutica) and black grama (Bouteloua eriopoda) but other common species include alakali sacaton (Sporobolus airoides), big alkali sacaton (S. wrightii), mesa dropseed (S. flexuosus),...

  14. Amphibians and reptiles of C. E. Miller Ranch and the Sierra Vieja, Chihuahuan Desert, Texas, USA

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    Drew R. Davis

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available We report the occurrence of 50 species of amphibians and reptiles recently collected on C. E. Miller Ranch and the Sierra Vieja in the Chihuahuan Desert of Texas, USA and describe their perceived distribution and abundance across various habitat associations of the region. Our recent surveys follow intense, historic sampling of amphibians and reptiles from this region in 1948. Of the 50 species detected in recent surveys, six were not collected in 1948 and an additional three species documented in 1948 have yet to be detected in a 14-year period of recent surveys. Combining data from both historic and recent surveys, a total of 53 species of amphibians and reptiles are known from the ranch (11 amphibians, 42 reptiles. Land stewardship and conservation practices have likely contributed to the persistence of the majority of these species through time. Additionally, we discuss the status of amphibians and reptiles not collected during recent surveys and comment on potential species that have not yet been detected.

  15. Amphibians and reptiles of C. E. Miller Ranch and the Sierra Vieja, Chihuahuan Desert, Texas, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Drew R; LaDuc, Travis J

    2018-01-01

    We report the occurrence of 50 species of amphibians and reptiles recently collected on C. E. Miller Ranch and the Sierra Vieja in the Chihuahuan Desert of Texas, USA and describe their perceived distribution and abundance across various habitat associations of the region. Our recent surveys follow intense, historic sampling of amphibians and reptiles from this region in 1948. Of the 50 species detected in recent surveys, six were not collected in 1948 and an additional three species documented in 1948 have yet to be detected in a 14-year period of recent surveys. Combining data from both historic and recent surveys, a total of 53 species of amphibians and reptiles are known from the ranch (11 amphibians, 42 reptiles). Land stewardship and conservation practices have likely contributed to the persistence of the majority of these species through time. Additionally, we discuss the status of amphibians and reptiles not collected during recent surveys and comment on potential species that have not yet been detected.

  16. The Effects of Rainfall Pulses on Soil Nitrogen Availability in a Chihuahuan Desert Grassland During the Summer Monsoon

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    Brown, R. F.; Collins, S. L.; White, C. S.; Sinsabaugh, R. L.

    2015-12-01

    Nitrogen (N) is an essential but limiting nutrient in most terrestrial environments. While numerous studies have demonstrated a tight coupling between soil N availability and soil volumetric water content, this relationship is not well understood in desert ecosystems where rain events create pulses of biological activity, such as microbial secretion of extracellular enzymes that enable nutrient acquisition. Moreover, climate models are projecting shifts in the size and frequency of rain events across semi-arid ecosystems as a result of anthropogenic activities; therefore these changes are expected to have consequences for soil N availability in these regions. The goals of this study were to determine (1) if soil N availability pulses in response to monsoon rain events of differing size and frequency, and (2) how soil N availability varies over the course of a monsoon season in a semi-arid grassland. To answer these questions, we analyzed soils collected from a northern Chihuahuan Desert grassland during the 2014 summer monsoon. Soils were collected monthly over a period of eight days in conjunction with experimentally manipulated irrigation treatments that varied in both size (small=5mm and large=20mm) and frequency (small=weekly (n=12) and large=monthly (n=3)). Using KCl extraction, soils were processed for their inorganic plant-available nitrogen content (NH4+-N and NO3--N). We found that while soil N availability increased over the monsoon season across all treatment types, large events appeared to saturate soils, creating anaerobic conditions that stimulated nitrogen loss most likely through the denitrification pathway. Soils were also assayed for nitrogen specific extracellular enzyme activities, specifically leucine aminopeptidase (LAP), which breaks down the bond in leucine amino acids to mobilize nitrogen, and N-acetylglucosaminidase (NAG), which breaks down amino sugars in microbial cell walls. Preliminary results suggest that by mid-monsoon, LAP activity

  17. Chihuahuan desert flora of La Calera, Municipio de Agua Prieta, Sonora, Mexico

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    Ana Lilia Reina-Guerrero; Thomas R. Van Devender

    2013-01-01

    A total of 555 plant collections were made on 20 trips in 2002-2008 to La Calera area in the Sierra Anibácachi, Municipio de Agua Prieta, 11.3 km south of the Arizona border (31°13’59”N 109°37’53”W, elevation range from 1220 m to 1539 m) in northeastern Sonora. Chihuahuan desertscrub on limestone substrates is dominated by creosotebush (Larrrea divaricata), Chihuahuan...

  18. Exposure to predicted precipitation patterns decreases population size and alters community structure of cyanobacteria in biological soil crusts from the Chihuahuan Desert.

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    Fernandes, Vanessa M C; Machado de Lima, Náthali Maria; Roush, Daniel; Rudgers, Jennifer; Collins, Scott L; Garcia-Pichel, Ferran

    2018-01-01

    Cyanobacteria typically colonize the surface of arid soils, building biological soil crust (biocrusts) that provide a variety of ecosystem benefits, ranging from fertilization to stabilization against erosion. We investigated how future scenarios in precipitation anticipated for the Northern Chihuahuan Desert affected abundance and composition of biocrust cyanobacteria in two grassland ecosystems. Scenarios included a decrease in precipitation and a delay of monsoon rainfall. After three years, both treatments negatively affected cyanobacteria, although the effects of monsoon delay were milder than those of decreased precipitation. Mature biocrusts in black grama grassland suffered severe losses in cyanobacterial biomass and diversity, but compositionally simpler biocrusts in blue grama-dominated grassland maintained biomass, only suffering diversity losses. This could be partially explained by the differential sensitivity of cyanobacterial taxa: nitrogen-fixing Scytonema spp. were the most sensitive, followed by phylotypes in the Microcoleus steenstrupii complex. Microcoleus vaginatus was the least affected in all cases, but is known to be very sensitive to warming. We predict that altered precipitation will tend to prevent biocrusts from reaching successional maturity, selecting for M. vaginatus over competing M. steenstrupii, among pioneer biocrust-formers. A shift towards heat-sensitive M. vaginatus could ultimately destabilize biocrusts when precipitation changes are combined with global warming. © 2017 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  19. Surface biosolids application: effects on infiltration, erosion, and soil organic carbon in Chihuahuan Desert grasslands and shrublands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moffet, C A; Zartman, R E; Wester, D B; Sosebee, R E

    2005-01-01

    Land application of biosolids is a beneficial-use practice whose ecological effects depend in part on hydrological effects. Biosolids were surface-applied to square 0.5-m2 plots at four rates (0, 7, 34, and 90 dry Mg ha(-1)) on each of three soil-cover combinations in Chihuahuan Desert grassland and shrubland. Infiltration and erosion were measured during two seasons for three biosolids post-application ages. Infiltration was measured during eight periods of a 30-min simulated rain. Biosolids application affected infiltration rate, cumulative infiltration, and erosion. Infiltration increased with increasing biosolids application rate. Application of biosolids at 90 dry Mg ha(-1) increased steady-state infiltration rate by 1.9 to 7.9 cm h(-1). Most of the measured differences in runoff among biosolids application rates were too large to be the result of interception losses and/or increased hydraulic gradient due to increased roughness. Soil erosion was reduced by the application of biosolids; however, the extent of reduction in erosion depended on the initial erodibility of the site. Typically, the greatest marginal reductions in erosion were achieved at the lower biosolids application rates (7 and 34 dry Mg ha(-1)); the difference in erosion between 34 and 90 dry Mg ha(-1) biosolids application rates was not significant. Surface application of biosolids has important hydrological consequences on runoff and soil erosion in desert grasslands that depend on the rate of biosolids applied, and the site and biosolids characteristics.

  20. Response of dominant grass and shrub species to water manipulation: an ecophysiological basis for shrub invasion in a Chihuahuan Desert grassland.

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    Throop, Heather L; Reichmann, Lara G; Sala, Osvaldo E; Archer, Steven R

    2012-06-01

    Increases in woody vegetation and declines in grasses in arid and semi-arid ecosystems have occurred globally since the 1800s, but the mechanisms driving this major land-cover change remain uncertain and controversial. Working in a shrub-encroached grassland in the northern Chihuahuan Desert where grasses and shrubs typically differ in leaf-level nitrogen allocation, photosynthetic pathway, and root distribution, we asked if differences in leaf-level ecophysiology could help explain shrub proliferation. We predicted that the relative performance of grasses and shrubs would vary with soil moisture due to the different morphological and physiological characteristics of the two life-forms. In a 2-year experiment with ambient, reduced, and enhanced precipitation during the monsoon season, respectively, the encroaching C(3) shrub (honey mesquite Prosopis glandulosa) consistently and substantially outperformed the historically dominant C(4) grass (black grama Bouteloua eriopoda) in terms of photosynthetic rates while also maintaining a more favorable leaf water status. These differences persisted across a wide range of soil moisture conditions, across which mesquite photosynthesis was decoupled from leaf water status and moisture in the upper 50 cm of the soil profile. Mesquite's ability to maintain physiologically active leaves for a greater fraction of the growing season than black grama potentially amplifies and extends the importance of physiological differences. These physiological and phenological differences may help account for grass displacement by shrubs in drylands. Furthermore, the greater sensitivity of the grass to low soil moisture suggests that grasslands may be increasingly susceptible to shrub encroachment in the face of the predicted increases in drought intensity and frequency in the desert of the southwestern USA.

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

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    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...

  2. Lizard community structure across a grassland - creosote bush ecotone in the Chihuahuan Desert

    OpenAIRE

    Menke, Sean B

    2003-01-01

    I investigated the distribution and abundance of lizard species (Aspidoscelis inornatus, Aspidoscelis tesselatus, Aspidoscelis tigris, Aspidoscelis uniparens, Cophosaurus texanus, Crotaphytus collaris, Eumeces obsoletus, Gambelia wislizenii, Holbrookia maculata, Phrynosoma cornutum, Sceloporus magister, and Uta stansburiana) across a desert grassland - creosote bush (Larrea tridentata) ecotone in Dona Ana County, New Mexico. The ecotonal area in the Jomada del Muerto basin has increased drama...

  3. Landscape position moderates how ant nests affect hydrology and soil chemistry across a Chihuahuan Desert watershed

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    Ants moderate the supply of critical resources such as water and nutrients in desert environments by changing the physical arrangement of soils during nest construction. We measured water infiltration and soil physical and chemical properties on and off the nests of two ant species (Pogonomyrmex rug...

  4. Photosynthetic pathway types of evergreen rosette plants (Liliaceae) of the Chihuahuan desert.

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    Kemp, Paul R; Gardetto, Pietra E

    1982-11-01

    Diurnal patterns of CO 2 exchange and titratable acidity were monitored in six species of evergreen rosette plants growing in controlled environment chambers and under outdoor environmental conditions. These patterns indicated that two of the species, Yucca baccata and Y. torreyi, were constituitive CAM plants while the other species, Y. elata, Y. campestris, Nolina microcarpa and Dasylirion wheeleri, were C 3 plants. The C 3 species did not exhibit CAM when grown in any of several different temperature, photoperiod, and moisture regimes. Both photosynthetic pathway types appear adapted to desert environments and all species show environmentally induced changes in their photosynthetic responses consistent with desert adaptation. The results of this study do not indicate that changes in the photosynthetic pathway type are an adaptation in any of these species.

  5. Comparison of diet selection by Raramuri criollo and Angus crossbreds in the Chihuahuan Desert

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    Raramuri Criollo (RC) is a cattle biotype that has undergone natural selection for the past 500 years in northern Mexico. No information exists on diet selection for this biotype. The objective of this study was to compare diet selection of RC and Angus x Hereford crossbreds (AH) typically found in ...

  6. Bio solids Effects in Chihuahuan Desert Rangelands: A Ten-Year Study

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wester, D.B; Sosebee, R.E; Fish, E.B; Villalobos, J.C; Zartman, R.E; Gonzalez, R.M; Jurado, P.; Moffet, C.A

    2011-01-01

    Arid and semiarid rangelands are suitable for responsible bio solids application. Topical application is critical to avoid soil and vegetation disturbance. Surface-applied bio solids have long-lasting effects in these ecosystems. We conducted a 10-year research program investigating effects of bio solids applied at rates from 0 to 90 dry Mg ha -1 on soil water infiltration; runoff and leachate water quality; soil erosion; forage production and quality; seedling establishment; plant physiological responses; nitrogen dynamics; bio solids decomposition; and grazing animal behavior and management. Bio solids increased soil water infiltration and reduced erosion. Effects on soil water quality were observed only at the highest application rates. Bio solids increased soil nitrate-nitrogen. Bio solids increased forage production and improved forage quality. Bio solids increased leaf area of grasses; photosynthetic rates were not necessarily increased by bio solids. Bio solids effects on plant establishment are expected only under moderately favorable conditions. Over an 82-mo exposure period, total organic carbon, nitrogen, and total and available phosphorus decreased and inorganic matter increased. Grazing animals spent more time grazing, ruminating, and resting in bio solids-treated areas; positive effects on average daily gain were observed during periods of higher rainfall. Our results suggest that annual bio solids application rates of up to 18 Mg ha -1 are appropriate for desert rangelands.

  7. Seasonal microbial and nutrient responses during a 5-year reduction in the daily temperature range of soil in a Chihuahuan Desert ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Gestel, Natasja C; Dhungana, Nirmala; Tissue, David T; Zak, John C

    2016-01-01

    High daily temperature range of soil (DTRsoil) negatively affects soil microbial biomass and activity, but its interaction with seasonal soil moisture in regulating ecosystem function remains unclear. For our 5-year field study in the Chihuahuan Desert, we suspended shade cloth 15 cm above the soil surface to reduce daytime temperature and increase nighttime soil temperature compared to unshaded plots, thereby reducing DTRsoil (by 5 ºC at 0.2 cm depth) without altering mean temperatures. Microbial biomass production was primarily regulated by seasonal precipitation with the magnitude of the response dependent on DTRsoil. Reduced DTRsoil more consistently increased microbial biomass nitrogen (MBN; +38%) than microbial biomass carbon (MBC) with treatment responses being similar in spring and summer. Soil respiration depended primarily on soil moisture with responses to reduced DTRsoil evident only in wetter summer soils (+53%) and not in dry spring soils. Reduced DTRsoil had no effect on concentrations of dissolved organic C, soil organic matter (SOM), nor soil inorganic N (extractable NO3 (-)-N + NH4 (+)-N). Higher MBN without changes in soil inorganic N suggests faster N cycling rates or alternate sources of N. If N cycling rates increased without a change to external N inputs (atmospheric N deposition or N fixation), then productivity in this desert system, which is N-poor and low in SOM, could be negatively impacted with continued decreases in daily temperature range. Thus, the future N balance in arid ecosystems, under conditions of lower DTR, seems linked to future precipitation regimes through N deposition and regulation of soil heat load dynamics.

  8. VARIABILITY IN SOILS AND VEGETATION ASSOCIATED WITH HARVESTER ANT (POGONOMYRMEX RUGOSUS) NESTS ON A CHIHUAHUAN DESERT WATERSHED

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    The effects of harvester ant (Pogonomyrmex rugosus) nests on the density and cover of spring annual plants and on soil characteristics were measured at three locations characterized by different soils and dominant vegetation on a desert watershed. There were few differences in ve...

  9. 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...

  10. Inter- and intraspecific variation in the germination response to light quality and scarification in grasses growing in two-phase mosaics of the Chihuahuan Desert.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pezzani, Fabiana; Montaña, Carlos

    2006-06-01

    In many locations, plants are faced with adjacent, contrasting environments, and the between-species differential evolution of life history traits can be interpreted as an evolutionary response to this environmental heterogeneity. However, there has been little research on the intraspecific variability in these attributes as a possible evolutionary response of plants. In the two-phase mosaic of the Chihuahuan Desert (adjacent patches with contrasting resource availability), analyses were carried out of the germination response to the scarification and light quality to which grass seeds growing on these patches are exposed (open and closed habitats). Species that grow in open habitats exhibited a higher germination success than those from closed habitats after scarification. At both the inter- and intraspecific level, there were differences in the germination percentage and in the germination speed in response to light quality. Intraspecific variation in the species from the closed habitat (Pleuraphis mutica and Trichloris crinita) and in Chloris virgata (which grows in both habitats) was due to genetic variation (the family factor was significant), but there was no genetic variation in phenotypic plasticity (non-significant interaction between family and light quality). In contrast, for the species that grows only in the open habitat (Dasyochloa pulchella), the family did not have a significant effect, but there was genetic variation in the phenotypic plasticity (significant interaction between family and light quality). In C. virgata, P. mutica and T. crinita, natural selection could be favouring those genotypes that responded better in each light environment, but it is not possible that the natural selection resulted in different optimal phenotypes in each habitat. On the contrary, in D. pulchella, selection could have reduced the genetic variation, but there is the possibility of the evolution of reaction norms, resulting in the selection of alternative

  11. Grassland to shrubland state transitions enhance carbon sequestration in the northern Chihuahuan Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    M. D. Petrie; S. L. Collins; A. M. Swann; P. L. Ford; M. E. Litvak

    2015-01-01

    The replacement of native C4-dominated grassland by C3-dominated shrubland is considered an ecological state transition where different ecological communities can exist under similar environmental conditions. These state transitions are occurring globally, and may be exacerbated by climate change. One consequence of the global increase in woody vegetation may be...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Offer, Z.Y.; Goossens, D.

    2001-01-01

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

  13. 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

  14. Flora of Chihuahuan desertscrub on limestone in northeastern Sonora, Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas R. Van Devender; Ana Lilia Reina-Guerrero; J. Jesus. Sanchez-Escalante

    2013-01-01

    Transects were done in desertscrub on limestone to characterize the flora of the westernmost Chihuahuan Desert. Most of the sites (15) were in the Municipios of Agua Prieta and Naco in northeastern Sonora, with single sites near Ascensión, northwestern Chihuahua and east of Douglas in southeastern Arizona. A total of 236 taxa were recorded on transects. Dicot perennial...

  15. 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.

  16. Is geographical rarity frequent among the cacti of the Chihuahuan Desert? ¿Es la rareza geográfica frecuente entre las cactáceas del Desierto Chihuahuense?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Héctor M. Hernández

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available With the aim of assessing the extent of geographical rarity of Mexican Cactaceae, we calculated the distribution size (area of occupancy of 142 species from the Chihuahuan Desert. In addition, using 2 variables (number of localities and range size, we preliminarily assessed their conservation status using the current IUCN Red List criteria. The results showed enormous variation in the areas of occupancy, although from the biogeographic and conservation perspective the most exceptional group comprises the extremely narrow endemics (42 species, whose range is restricted to areas smaller than 10 km2. Our results reinforce the reputation of this plant family as exceptionally rare geographically. We suggest that geographical rarity of Cactaceae in the Chihuahuan Desert is a natural phenomenon; however, we propose that the range of several species has been influenced by human activities. Regarding the conservation status of the species, 75 of them are categorized as Least concern. The remaining 67 species (47.2% fall in 1 of the 3 categories of threat (27 Vulnerable, 11 Endangered, and 29 Critically endangered. These figures confirm the critical conservation status of Mexican Cactaceae.Se calculó el tamaño de la distribución (área de ocupación de 142 especies de cactáceas del Desierto Chihuahuense, con el objeto de evaluar su grado de rareza geográfica. Además, mediante el uso de 2 variables (número de localidades y tamaño de distribución, se estimó de manera preliminar su estado de conservación usando los criterios actuales de la Lista Roja de la UICN. Los resultados mostraron gran variación en las áreas de ocupación. Sin embargo, desde una perspectiva biogeográfica y de la conservación, el grupo de especies más excepcional corresponde a las endémicas restringidas (42 spp., cuyas áreas de distribución son menores de 10 km². Los resultados fortalecen la reputación de las cactáceas de ser una familia de plantas excepcionalmente

  17. Helminth parasites of freshwater fishes from Cuatro Ciénegas, Coahuila, in the Chihuahuan Desert of Mexico: inventory and biogeographical implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aguilar-Aguilar, Rogelio; Martínez-Aquino, Andrés; Espinosa-Pérez, Héctor; Pérez-Ponce de León, Gerardo

    2014-06-01

    As part of an ongoing inventory of the helminth parasites of freshwater fishes in Mexico, 570 individual fish were collected between Apr 2008 and Oct 2011 in 26 localities along the Cuatro Ciénegas region in Coahuila State, northern Mexico. Seventeen species of hosts, mostly corresponding to Nearctic freshwater elements, were studied. A total of 8324 individual worms were collected during this survey, representing 25 species of helminths, of which 9 were digeneans, 3 monogeneans, 3 acanthocephalans, 9 nematodes and 1 cestode. Most of the records in this checklist represent new host or locality records. The information provided in this checklist may be helpful for our understanding of the biodiversity and historical biogeography of this host-parasite system, because in the Cuatro Ciénegas region occur a Nearctic freshwater fish fauna, along with Neotropical and endemic elements, and from a biogeographical point of view, this may represent a transitional area. © 2013 International Society of Zoological Sciences, Institute of Zoology/Chinese Academy of Sciences and Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd.

  18. Deserts

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  19. The Riparianness of a Desert Herpetofauna

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charles H. Lowe

    1989-01-01

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

  20. Difference in luminescence sensitivity of coarse-grained quartz from deserts of northern China

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zheng, C.X.; Zhou, L.P.; Qin, J.T.

    2009-01-01

    The luminescence sensitivity of coarse quartz extracted from desert sands in northern China was investigated. In general, the western deserts' samples are shown to be less sensitive than samples from the eastern deserts with respect to both OSL and the 110 deg. C TL peak. However, internal scatter among different aliquots of the same sample is observed for these two signals, which have already been normalized by weight. Laboratory dosing/bleach experiments indicate that earth surface processes, such as repeated burial and transportation can cause the sensitivity change and suggest that they may be responsible for the internal scatter. An intrinsic property of quartz was explored via the luminescence response to thermal activation to a maximum temperature of 700 deg. C. The thermal activation curves obtained with quartz from western and central deserts are similar, except one sample from Gurbantungut, which follows the pattern of eastern samples. The differences in quartz luminescence sensitivity exhibited by OSL/110 deg. C TL sensitivity and response to thermal activation are in accordance with the published results of geochemical studies.

  1. Distribution of photosynthetically fixed 14C in perennial plant species of the northern Mojave Desert

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wallace, A.; Cha, J.W.; Romney, E.M.

    1980-01-01

    The distribution of photosynthate among plant parts subsequent to its production is needed to fully understand behavior of vegetation in any ecosystem. The present study, undertaken primarily to obtain information on transport of assimilates into roots of desert vegetation, was conducted in the northern Mojave Desert, where the mean annual rainfall is about 10 cm. Shoots of Ambrosia dumosa (A. Gray) Payne plants were exposed to 14 CO 2 in 1971, and the distribution of 14 C in roots, stems, and leaves was subsequently measured at 1 week, 2 months, and 5 months. Only about 12 percent of the 14 C photosynthate was stored in the root. Much of that stored in stems was available for new leaf growth. Photosynthate was labeled with 14 C for 24 plants representing eight species in 1972. Results showed that after 127 days the mean percentage of 14 C in roots as compared with the estimate of that originally fixed was 11.8; the percentage in stems was 43.8. To check the validity of the 14 C data, root growth of eight perennial desert plants grown in the glasshouse was followed as plants increased in size. The mean percent of the whole plant that was root for eight species was 17.7 percent. The mean proportion of the increase in plant weights that went below ground for the eight species was 19.5 percent. This value is higher than the fraction of 14 C found below ground, and therefore the 14 C technique underestimates the movement of C to roots. Results of an experiment designed to test the value of the 14 C-pulse technique for determining current root growth for some perennial species from the desert indicated that the transition part of roots where root growth continued after exposure to 14 C was highly labeled. Old growth contained less 14 C than new growth

  2. Assessing vegetation structure and ANPP dynamics in a grassland-shrubland Chihuahuan ecotone using NDVI-rainfall relationships

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreno-de las Heras, M.; Diaz-Sierra, R.; Turnbull, L.; Wainwright, J.

    2015-01-01

    Climate change and the widespread alteration of natural habitats are major drivers of vegetation change in drylands. A classic case of vegetation change is the shrub-encroachment process that has been taking place over the last 150 years in the Chihuahuan Desert, where large areas of grasslands dominated by perennial grass species (black grama, Bouteloua eriopoda, and blue grama, B. gracilis) have transitioned to shrublands dominated by woody species (creosotebush, Larrea tridentata, and mesquite, Prosopis glandulosa), accompanied by accelerated water and wind erosion. Multiple mechanisms drive the shrub-encroachment process, including exogenous triggering factors such as precipitation variations and land-use change, and endogenous amplifying mechanisms brought about by soil erosion-vegetation feedbacks. In this study, simulations of plant biomass dynamics with a simple modelling framework indicate that herbaceous (grasses and forbs) and shrub vegetation in drylands have different responses to antecedent precipitation due to functional differences in plant growth and water-use patterns, and therefore shrub encroachment may be reflected in the analysis of landscape-scale vegetation-rainfall relationships. We analyze the structure and dynamics of vegetation at an 18 km2 grassland-shrubland ecotone in the northern edge of the Chihuahuan Desert (McKenzie Flats, Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge, NM, USA) by investigating the relationship between decade-scale (2000-2013) records of medium-resolution remote sensing of vegetation greenness (MODIS NDVI) and precipitation. Spatial evaluation of NDVI-rainfall relationship at the studied ecotone indicates that herbaceous vegetation shows quick growth pulses associated with short-term (previous 2 months) precipitation, while shrubs show a slow response to medium-term (previous 5 months) precipitation. We use these relationships to (a) classify landscape types as a function of the spatial distribution of dominant vegetation

  3. Hydrochemical and isotopic characteristics of groundwater in the northeastern Tennger Desert, northern China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Liheng; Dong, Yanhui; Xu, Zhifang; Qiao, Xiaojuan

    2017-12-01

    Groundwater is typically the only water source in arid regions, and its circulation processes should be better understood for rational resource exploitation. Stable isotopes and major ions were investigated in the northeastern Tengger Desert, northern China, to gain insights into groundwater recharge and evolution. In the northern mountains, Quaternary unconsolidated sediments, exposed only in valleys between hills, form the main aquifer, which is mainly made of aeolian sand and gravel. Most of the mountain groundwater samples plot along the local meteoric water line (LMWL), with a more depleted signature compared to summer precipitation, suggesting that mountain groundwater was recharged by local precipitation during winter. Most of the groundwater was fresh, with total dissolved solids less than 1 g/L; dominant ions are Na+, SO4 2- and Cl-, and all mineral saturation indices are less than zero. Evaporation, dissolution and cation exchange are the major hydrogeochemical processes. In the southern plains, however, the main aquifers are sandstone. The linear regression line of δD and δ 18O of groundwater parallels the LMWL but the intercept is lower, indicating that groundwater in the plains has been recharged by ancient precipitation rather than modern. Both calcite and dolomite phases in the plains groundwater are close to saturation, while gypsum and halite can still be dissolved into the groundwater. Different recharge mechanisms occur in the northern mountains and the southern plains, and the hydraulic connection between them is weak. Because of the limited recharge, groundwater exploitation should be limited as much as possible.

  4. Mid-Holocene Climate and Culture Change in the Atacama Desert, Northern Chile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grosjean, Martin; Núñez, Lautaro; Cartajena, Isabel; Messerli, Bruno

    1997-09-01

    Twenty archaeological campsites intercalated between more than 30 debris flows caused by heavy rainfall events between 6200 and 3100 14C yr B.P. have recently been discovered at Quebrada Puripica in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile. This record provides detailed information about extreme, short-lived climatic events during the hyperarid mid-Holocene period. For the first time, we found evidence of continuous human occupation in this area, filling the regional hiatus in the Atacama basin ("Silencio Arqueologico") between 8000 and 4800 14C yr B.P. The transformation of Early Archaic hunters into the complex Late Archaic cultural tradition was an adaptive process. During this time, the site was a local ecological refuge with abundant resources in a generally hostile environment.

  5. Ploidy race distributions since the Last Glacial Maximum in the North American desert shrub, Larrea tridentata

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunter, K.L.; Betancourt, J.L.; Riddle, B.R.; Van Devender, T. R.; Cole, K.L.; Geoffrey, Spaulding W.

    2000-01-01

    1 A classic biogeographic pattern is the alignment of diploid, tetraploid and hexaploid races of creosote bush (Larrea tridentata) across the Chihuahuan, Sonoran and Mohave Deserts of western North America. We used statistically robust differences in guard cell size of modern plants and fossil leaves from packrat middens to map current and past distributions of these ploidy races since the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). 2 Glacial/early Holocene (26-10 14C kyr BP or thousands of radiocarbon years before present) populations included diploids along the lower Rio Grande of west Texas, 650 km removed from sympatric diploids and tetraploids in the lower Colorado River Basin of south-eastern California/south-western Arizona. Diploids migrated slowly from lower Rio Grande refugia with expansion into the northern Chihuahuan Desert sites forestalled until after ???4.0 14C kyr BP. Tetraploids expanded from the lower Colorado River Basin into the northern limits of the Sonoran Desert in central Arizona by 6.4 14C kyr BP. Hexaploids appeared by 8.5 14C kyr BP in the lower Colorado River Basin, reaching their northernmost limits (???37??N) in the Mohave Desert between 5.6 and 3.9 14C kyr BP. 3 Modern diploid isolates may have resulted from both vicariant and dispersal events. In central Baja California and the lower Colorado River Basin, modern diploids probably originated from relict populations near glacial refugia. Founder events in the middle and late Holocene established diploid outposts on isolated limestone outcrops in areas of central and southern Arizona dominated by tetraploid populations. 4 Geographic alignment of the three ploidy races along the modern gradient of increasingly drier and hotter summers is clearly a postglacial phenomenon, but evolution of both higher ploidy races must have happened before the Holocene. The exact timing and mechanism of polyploidy evolution in creosote bush remains a matter of conjecture. ?? 2001 Blackwell Science Ltd.

  6. Effects of drought on shrub survival and longevity in the northern Sonoran Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowers, Janice E.

    2005-01-01

    Permanent vegetation plots in the northern Sonoran Desert, USA, provided an opportunity to assess the effects of recent drought on desert shrubs and to examine survival in relation to rainfall variability during the past 76 years. Survival and maximum longevity of six species were determined for eight intercensus periods between 1928 and 2004. Average annual survival was Ambrosia deltoidea, 0.9167 ?? 0.0415; Encelia farinosa, 0.7952 ?? 0.0926; Janusia gracilis, 0.9334 ?? 0.0247; Krameria grayi, 0.9702 ?? 0.0270; Larrea tridentata, 0.9861 ?? 0.0174; and Lycium berlandieri, 0.9910 ?? 0.0077. The longest-lived species were Larrea, Lycium, and Krameria, with average maximum life spans of 330, 211, and 184 years. Janusia, Ambrosia, and Encelia were much shorter lived, with average maximum longevity of 53, 40, and 16 years. Winter rain equalled or exceeded 90% of the long-term average accumulation except during 1948 to 1959 (65% of average) and from 2001 to 2003 (49% of average). Summer rain did not drop below 90% of the average accumulation in any period. The 1950s drought caused modest declines in survival of Ambrosia, Encelia, Janusia, Krameria, and Lycium. The effects of the recent drought were much more pronounced, resulting in sharp declines in survival and maximum longevity of Ambrosia, Encelia, Krameria, and Larrea, and modest declines for Lycium. Despite heightened mortality during the recent severe drought, 72% of the deaths observed between 1928 and 2004 occurred during periods of average or better-than-average rain, providing support for the idea that demography of shrubs in arid regions is influenced by continuous as well as episodic processes.

  7. Marine resource reliance in the human populations of the Atacama Desert, northern Chile - A view from prehistory

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, Charlotte L.; Millard, Andrew R.; Gröcke, Darren R.; Standen, Vivien G.; Arriaza, Bernardo T.; Halcrow, Siân E.

    2018-02-01

    The Atacama Desert is one of the most inhospitable terrestrial environments on Earth, yet the upwelling of the Humboldt Current off the coast has resulted in the presence of a rich marine biota. It is this marine environment which first enabled the human settlement of the northern Atacama Desert, and continues to form the basis of regional economies today. In this paper we explore how the desert has shaped human dietary choices throughout prehistory, using carbon and nitrogen isotope analysis of human bone collagen (n = 80) to reconstruct the diets of the inhabitants of the Arica region of the northern Atacama. This area is one of the driest parts of the desert, but has been generally understudied in terms of dietary adaptation. Statistical analysis using FRUITS has allowed deconvolution of isotopic signals to create dietary reconstructions and highlight the continued importance of marine resources throughout the archaeological sequence. Location also appears to have played a role in dietary choices, with inland sites having 10-20% less calories from marine foods than coastal sites. We also highlight evidence for the increasing importance of maize consumption, coinciding with contact with highland polities. In all periods apart from the earliest Archaic, however, there is significant variability between individuals in terms of dietary resource use. We conclude that marine resource use, and broad-spectrum economies persisted throughout prehistory. We interpret these results as reflecting a deliberate choice to retain dietary diversity as a buffer against resource instability.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  9. Characteristics and origin of rock varnish from the hyperarid coastal deserts of northern Peru

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Charles E.

    1991-01-01

    The characteristics of a new type of rock varnish from the hyperarid coastal deserts of northern Peru, combined with laboratory experiments on associated soil materials, provide new insights into the formation of rock varnish. The Peruvian varnish consists of an Fe-rich, Mn-poor component covering up to 95% of a varnished surface and a Fe-rich, Mn-rich component found only in pits and along cracks and ridges. The alkaline soils plus the catalytic Fe oxyhydroxides that coat much of the varnish surfaces make the Peruvian situation ideal for physicochemical precipitation of Mn. However, the low Mn content of the dominant Fe-rich, Mn-poor component suggests that such precipitation is minor. This, plus the presence of abundant bacteria in the Mn-rich varnish and the recorded presence of Mn-precipitating bacteria in varnish elsewhere, suggests that bacteria are almost solely responsible for Mn-precipitation in rock varnish. A set of experiments involving Peruvian soil samples in contact with water-CO 2 solutions indicates that natural fogs or dews release Mn but not Fe when they come in contact with eolian materials on rock surfaces. This mechanism may efficiently provide Mn to bacteria on varnishing surfaces. The lack of Fe in solution suggests that a large but unknown proportion of Fe in varnish may be in the form of insoluble Fe oxyhydroxides sorbed onto the clay minerals that form the bulk of rock varnish. The results of this study do not substantively change R. I. Dorn's paleoenvironmental interpretations of varnish Mn:Fe ratios, but they do suggest areas for further inquiry.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  11. Size-segregated fluxes of mineral dust from a desert area of northern China by eddy covariance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. Fratini

    2007-06-01

    Full Text Available Mineral dust emission accounts for a substantial portion of particles present in the troposphere. It is emitted mostly from desert areas, mainly through intense storm episodes. The aim of this work was to quantify size-segregated fluxes of mineral dust particles emitted during storm events occurring in desert areas of northern China (Alashan desert, Inner Mongolia, known to act as one of the strongest sources of mineral dust particles in the Asian continent. Long-range transport of mineral dust emitted in this area is responsible for the high particle concentrations reached in densely populated areas, including the city of Beijing. Based on a theoretical analysis, an eddy covariance system was built to get size-segregated fluxes of mineral dust particles with optical diameters ranging between 0.26 and 7.00 µm. The system was optimised to measure fluxes under intense storm event conditions. It was tested in two sites located in the Chinese portion of the Gobi desert. During the field campaign, an intense wind erosion event, classified as a "weak dust storm", was recorded in one of them. Data obtained during this event indicate that particle number fluxes were dominated by the finer fraction, whereas in terms of mass, coarser particle accounted for the largest portion. It was found that during the storm event, ratios of size-segregated particle mass fluxes remained substantially constant and a simple parameterization of particle emission from total mass fluxes was possible. A strong correlation was also found between particle mass fluxes and the friction velocity. This relationship is extremely useful to investigate mechanisms of particle formation by wind erosion.

  12. A 22,000-Year Record of Monsoonal Precipitation from Northern Chile's Atacama Desert.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Betancourt; Latorre; Rech; Quade; Rylander

    2000-09-01

    Fossil rodent middens and wetland deposits from the central Atacama Desert (22 degrees to 24 degrees S) indicate increasing summer precipitation, grass cover, and groundwater levels from 16.2 to 10.5 calendar kiloyears before present (ky B.P.). Higher elevation shrubs and summer-flowering grasses expanded downslope across what is now the edge of Absolute Desert, a broad expanse now largely devoid of rainfall and vegetation. Paradoxically, this pluvial period coincided with the summer insolation minimum and reduced adiabatic heating over the central Andes. Summer precipitation over the central Andes and central Atacama may depend on remote teleconnections between seasonal insolation forcing in both hemispheres, the Asian monsoon, and Pacific sea surface temperature gradients. A less pronounced episode of higher groundwater levels in the central Atacama from 8 to 3 ky B.P. conflicts with an extreme lowstand of Lake Titicaca, indicating either different climatic forcing or different response times and sensitivities to climatic change.

  13. Floristic diversity and vegetation analysis of Wadi Arar: A typical desert Wadi of the Northern Border region of Saudi Arabia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osman, Ahmed K; Al-Ghamdi, Faraj; Bawadekji, Abdulhakim

    2014-12-01

    Wadi Arar in the Northern border region of Saudi Arabia is one of the most important Wadis of the Kingdom. The present study provides an analysis of vegetation types, life forms, as well as floristic categories and species distribution. A total of 196 species representing 31 families of vascular plants were recorded. Compositae, Gramineae and Leguminosae were the most common families. Therophytes and chamaephytes are the most frequent life forms, indicating typical desert spectrum vegetation. The distribution of these species in the different sectors of the Wadi as well as the phytochoria for the recorded species is provided. Ninety-one species (46.5%) are typical bi-regional. Furthermore, about 105 species (53.5%) are mono- or pluriregional taxa. The highest number of species (136 or 69.5%) was recorded for annual plants, while the lowest number of species (60% or 30.5%) was recorded for perennial, short perennial or annual to biennial species.

  14. Hominin dispersal into the Nefud Desert and Middle palaeolithic settlement along the Jubbah Palaeolake, Northern Arabia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael D Petraglia

    Full Text Available The Arabian Peninsula is a key region for understanding hominin dispersals and the effect of climate change on prehistoric demography, although little information on these topics is presently available owing to the poor preservation of archaeological sites in this desert environment. Here, we describe the discovery of three stratified and buried archaeological sites in the Nefud Desert, which includes the oldest dated occupation for the region. The stone tool assemblages are identified as a Middle Palaeolithic industry that includes Levallois manufacturing methods and the production of tools on flakes. Hominin occupations correspond with humid periods, particularly Marine Isotope Stages 7 and 5 of the Late Pleistocene. The Middle Palaeolithic occupations were situated along the Jubbah palaeolake-shores, in a grassland setting with some trees. Populations procured different raw materials across the lake region to manufacture stone tools, using the implements to process plants and animals. To reach the Jubbah palaeolake, Middle Palaeolithic populations travelled into the ameliorated Nefud Desert interior, possibly gaining access from multiple directions, either using routes from the north and west (the Levant and the Sinai, the north (the Mesopotamian plains and the Euphrates basin, or the east (the Persian Gulf. The Jubbah stone tool assemblages have their own suite of technological characters, but have types reminiscent of both African Middle Stone Age and Levantine Middle Palaeolithic industries. Comparative inter-regional analysis of core technology indicates morphological similarities with the Levantine Tabun C assemblage, associated with human fossils controversially identified as either Neanderthals or Homo sapiens.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-06-01

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

  16. Stable isotope tracers of water vapor sources in the Atacama Desert, Northern Chile: a pilot study on the Chajnantor Plateau

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samuels, K. E.; Galewsky, J.; Sharp, Z. D.; Rella, C.; Ward, D.

    2010-12-01

    Subtropical deserts form in response to the interaction of large-scale processes, including atmospheric circulation and oceanic currents, with local features like topography. The degree to which each of these factors controls desert formation and the anticipated impacts of variations in each as climate changes, however, are poorly understood. Stable isotope compositions of water vapor in desert air can help to distinguish between moisture sources and processes that control aridity. The Atacama Desert, located in northern Chile between latitudes 23S and 27S, provides a natural laboratory in which to test the degree to which water vapor isotopologues enable the distinction between processes that control humidity, including the Hadley Circulation, the cold Humboldt Current off the coast of Chile, and the orographic effect of the Andes, in this subtropical desert. Water vapor isotopologues and concentrations were measured in real time using a cavity-ringdown spectrometer deployed on the Chajnantor Plateau over a three-week period from mid-July early August 2010. The elevation of the Plateau, 5000 m amsl (~550 hPa), places it above the boundary layer, allowing the evaluation of the Rayleigh fractionation model from the coast inland. Values reported by the instrument were verified with air samples taken at the coast and the Plateau, which were analyzed on an MAT-252 mass spectrometer. Water vapor concentrations and δD values varied spatially and temporally. Water vapor concentrations on the Plateau ranged from 200 to 3664 ppmv with a mean value of 536 ppmv. In contrast, water vapor concentrations at the coast were approximately 10000 ppmv, and at Yungay, 60 km inland, water vapor concentrations ranged from 1300 to 2000 ppmv from morning to evening. δD values on the Plateau ranged from -526‰ to -100‰ with a mean value of 290‰ with enriched values correlated to periods with higher water vapor concentrations. There are no strong diurnal variations in water vapor

  17. Extensive summer water pulses do not necessarily lead to canopy growth of Great Basin and northern Mojave Desert shrubs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Snyder, K A; Donovan, L A; James, J J; Tiller, R L; Richards, J H

    2004-10-01

    Plant species and functionally related species groups from arid and semi-arid habitats vary in their capacity to take up summer precipitation, acquire nitrogen quickly after summer precipitation, and subsequently respond with ecophysiological changes (e.g. water and nitrogen relations, gas exchange). For species that respond ecophysiologically, the use of summer precipitation is generally assumed to affect long-term plant growth and thus alter competitive interactions that structure plant communities and determine potential responses to climate change. We assessed ecophysiological and growth responses to large short-term irrigation pulses over one to three growing seasons for several widespread Great Basin and northern Mojave Desert shrub species: Chrysothamnus nauseosus, Sarcobatus vermiculatus, Atriplex confertifolia, and A. parryi. We compared control and watered plants in nine case studies that encompassed adults of all four species, juveniles for three of the species, and two sites for two of the species. In every comparison, plants used summer water pulses to improve plant water status or increase rates of functioning as indicated by other ecophysiological characters. Species and life history stage responses of ecophysiological parameters (leaf N, delta15N, delta13C, gas exchange, sap flow) were consistent with several previous short-term studies. However, use of summer water pulses did not affect canopy growth in eight out of nine comparisons, despite the range of species, growth stages, and site conditions. Summer water pulses affected canopy growth only for C. nauseosus adults. The general lack of growth effects for these species might be due to close proximity of groundwater at these sites, co-limitation by nutrients, or inability to respond due to phenological canalization. An understanding of the connections between short-term ecophysiological responses and growth, for different habitats and species, is critical for determining the significance of

  18. Coupled Environmental Processes and Long-term Performance of Landfill Covers in the northern Mojave Desert

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    David Shafer; Michael Young; Stephen Zitzer; Eric McDonald; Todd Caldwell

    2004-05-12

    Evapotransiration (ET) covers have gained widespread acceptance as a closure feature for waste disposal sites, particularly in the arid and semi-arid regions of the southwestern U.S. But as landforms, ET covers are subject to change over time because of processes such as pedogenesis, hydrologic processes, vegetation establishment and change, and biological processes. To better understand the effects of coupled process changes to ET covers, a series of four primary analog sites in Yucca Flat on the Nevada Test Site, along with measurements and observations from other locations in the Mojave Desert, were selected to evaluate changes in ET covers over time. The analog sites, of varying ages, were selected to address changes in the early post-institutional control period, the 1,000-year compliance period for disposal of low-level and mixed low-level waste, and the 10,000-year compliance period for transuranic waste sites.

  19. Coupled Environmental Processes and Long-term Performance of Landfill Covers in the northern Mojave Desert

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    David Shafer; Michael Young; Stephen Zitzer; Eric McDonald; Todd Caldwell

    2004-01-01

    Evapotransiration (ET) covers have gained widespread acceptance as a closure feature for waste disposal sites, particularly in the arid and semi-arid regions of the southwestern U.S. But as landforms, ET covers are subject to change over time because of processes such as pedogenesis, hydrologic processes, vegetation establishment and change, and biological processes. To better understand the effects of coupled process changes to ET covers, a series of four primary analog sites in Yucca Flat on the Nevada Test Site, along with measurements and observations from other locations in the Mojave Desert, were selected to evaluate changes in ET covers over time. The analog sites, of varying ages, were selected to address changes in the early post-institutional control period, the 1,000-year compliance period for disposal of low-level and mixed low-level waste, and the 10,000-year compliance period for transuranic waste sites

  20. Ecological restoration and recovery in the wind-blown sand hazard areas of northern China: relationship between soil water and carrying capacity for vegetation in the Tengger Desert.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, XingRong; Zhang, ZhiShan; Tan, HuiJuan; Gao, YanHong; Liu, LiChao; Wang, XingPing

    2014-05-01

    The main prevention and control area for wind-blown sand hazards in northern China is about 320000 km(2) in size and includes sandlands to the east of the Helan Mountain and sandy deserts and desert-steppe transitional regions to the west of the Helan Mountain. Vegetation recovery and restoration is an important and effective approach for constraining wind-blown sand hazards in these areas. After more than 50 years of long-term ecological studies in the Shapotou region of the Tengger Desert, we found that revegetation changed the hydrological processes of the original sand dune system through the utilization and space-time redistribution of soil water. The spatiotemporal dynamics of soil water was significantly related to the dynamics of the replanted vegetation for a given regional precipitation condition. The long-term changes in hydrological processes in desert areas also drive replanted vegetation succession. The soil water carrying capacity of vegetation and the model for sand fixation by revegetation in aeolian desert areas where precipitation levels are less than 200 mm are also discussed.

  1. Source apportionment of PM₁₀ and PM₂.₅ in a desert region in northern Chile.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jorquera, Héctor; Barraza, Francisco

    2013-02-01

    Estimating contributions of anthropogenic sources to ambient particulate matter (PM) in desert regions is a challenging issue because wind erosion contributions are ubiquitous, significant and difficult to quantify by using source-oriented, dispersion models. A receptor modeling analysis has been applied to ambient PM(10) and PM(2.5) measured in an industrial zone ~20 km SE of Antofagasta (23.63°S, 70.39°W), a midsize coastal city in northern Chile; the monitoring site is within a desert region that extends from northern Chile to southern Perú. Integrated 24-hour ambient samples of PM(10) and PM(2.5) were taken with Harvard Impactors; samples were analyzed by X Ray Fluorescence, ionic chromatography (NO(3)(-) and SO(4)(=)), atomic absorption (Na(+), K(+)) and thermal optical transmission for elemental and organic carbon determination. Receptor modeling was carried out using Positive Matrix Factorization (US EPA Version 3.0); sources were identified by looking at specific tracers, tracer ratios, local winds and wind trajectories computed from NOAA's HYSPLIT model. For the PM(2.5) fraction, six contributions were found - cement plant, 33.7 ± 1.3%; soil dust, 22.4 ± 1.6%; sulfates, 17.8 ± 1.7%; mineral stockpiles and brine plant, 12.4 ± 1.2%; Antofagasta, 8.5 ± 1.3% and copper smelter, 5.3 ± 0.8%. For the PM(10) fraction five sources were identified - cement plant, 38.2 ± 1.5%; soil dust, 31.2 ± 2.3%; mineral stockpiles and brine plant, 12.7 ± 1.7%; copper smelter, 11.5 ± 1.6% and marine aerosol, 6.5 ± 2.4%. Therefore local sources contribute to ambient PM concentrations more than distant sources (Antofagasta, marine aerosol) do. Soil dust is enriched with deposition of marine aerosol and calcium, sulfates and heavy metals from surrounding industrial activities. The mean contribution of suspended soil dust to PM(10) is 50 μg/m(3) and the peak daily value is 104 μg/m(3). For the PM(2.5) fraction, suspended soil dust contributes with an average of 9.3

  2. EFFECTS OF PLANT SIZE ON PHOTOSYNTHESIS AND WATER RELATIONS IN THE DESERT SHRUB PROSOPIS GLANDULOSA (FABACEAE)

    Science.gov (United States)

    The Jornada del Muerto basin of the Chihuahuan Desert of southern New Mexico, USA, has undergone a marked transition of plant communities. Shrubs such as mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa) have greatly increased or now dominate in areas that were previously dominated by perennial gra...

  3. 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 (...

  4. 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...

  5. 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

  6. Carbon sequestration capacity of shifting sand dune after establishing new vegetation in the Tengger Desert, northern China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Haotian; Li, Xinrong; Wang, Zengru; Jia, Rongliang; Liu, Lichao; Chen, Yongle; Wei, Yongping; Gao, Yanhong; Li, Gang

    2014-04-15

    Reconstructing vegetation in arid and semiarid areas has become an increasingly important management strategy to realize habitat recovery, mitigate desertification and global climate change. To assess the carbon sequestration potential in areas where sand-binding vegetation has been established on shifting sand dunes by planting xeric shrubs located near the southeastern edge of the Tengger Desert in northern China, we conducted a field investigation of restored dune regions that were established at different times (20, 30, 47, and 55 years ago) in the same area. We quantified the total organic carbon (TOC) in each ecosystem by summing the individual carbon contributions from the soil (soil organic carbon; SOC), shrubs, and grasses in each system. We found that the TOC, as well as the amount of organic carbon in the soil, shrubs, and grasses, significantly increased over time in the restored areas. The average annual rate of carbon sequestration was highest in the first 20 years after restoration (3.26 × 10(-2)kg·m(-2) ·year(-1)), and reached a stable rate (2.14 × 10(-2) kg·m(-2) ·year(-1)) after 47 years. Organic carbon storage in soil represented the largest carbon pool for both restored systems and a system containing native vegetation, accounting for 67.6%-85.0% of the TOC. Carbon in grass root biomass, aboveground grass biomass, litter, aboveground shrub biomass, and shrub root biomass account for 10.0%-21.0%, 0.2%-0.6%, 0.1%-0.2%, 1.7%-12.1% and 0.9%-6.2% of the TOC, respectively. Furthermore, we found that the 55-year-old restored system has the capacity to accumulate more TOC (1.02 kg·m(-2) more) to reach the TOC level found in the natural vegetation system. These results suggest that restoring desert ecosystems may be a cost-effective and environmentally friendly way to sequester CO2 from the atmosphere and mitigate the effects of global climate change. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Latest Miocene-Pliocene Tiliviche Paleolake, Atacama Desert, Northern Chile 19.5°S: Paleoclimatic and Paleohydrologic Implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirk-Lawlor, N. E.; Jordan, T. E.; Rech, J.; Lehmann, S.

    2010-12-01

    Endorheic paleolake deposits of diatomite, mudstone, sandstone, and evaporites are exposed in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile. This study focuses on a major latest Miocene-Pliocene paleolake system centered at 19.5°S, near Tiliviche. A diatiomite unit, up to 35m thick, composed of 0.2-1.5m thick beds of massive, white diatiomite, free of plant matter and root traces, is interpreted have formed from lacustrine diatom blooms. At its maximum extent, the lake would have had a surface area of roughly 200 km2, based on the extent of the diatomite unit, and might have been 50-100 m deep, as inferred by the relationship between the diatomite unit and modern topography. The Tiliviche paleolake initially formed before 6.4 Ma, and much of its sedimentary record formed under a wetter climatic and hydrologic regime than the present. Prior to 3.5 Ma, the lake had evolved into a groundwater-fed saltpan. Polygonally fractured efflorescent halite evaporite and bedded gypsum and gypsarenite evaporite deposits that overlie the diatomite unit are evidence of this saltpan environment. The modern Atacama Desert is hyperarid, with an average precipitation of 2 mm/yr in the driest areas. The paleosol record demonstrates that hyperarid conditions dominated this region since the middle Miocene, albeit with multiple fluctuations to less arid conditions of short to moderately long duration. This hyperaridity is due to the desert’s latitude, ocean currents and the rainshadow created by the Andes. There is no evidence that the rainshadow effect has diminished since the late Miocene, hence global climate changes affecting ocean temperatures and atmospheric patterns likely caused the wetter periods in the Atacama. In particular, prior workers noted wetter conditions in the region ~6-5 Ma, followed by a return to hyper-arid conditions. The regional Pliocene return to hyperaridity coincided with the desiccation of the Tiliviche endorheic lake system. During the late Miocene (~6-5 Ma) wetter

  8. Source apportionment of PM10 and PM2.5 in a desert region in northern Chile

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jorquera, Héctor; Barraza, Francisco

    2013-01-01

    Estimating contributions of anthropogenic sources to ambient particulate matter (PM) in desert regions is a challenging issue because wind erosion contributions are ubiquitous, significant and difficult to quantify by using source-oriented, dispersion models. A receptor modeling analysis has been applied to ambient PM 10 and PM 2.5 measured in an industrial zone ∼ 20 km SE of Antofagasta (23.63°S, 70.39°W), a midsize coastal city in northern Chile; the monitoring site is within a desert region that extends from northern Chile to southern Perú. Integrated 24-hour ambient samples of PM 10 and PM 2.5 were taken with Harvard Impactors; samples were analyzed by X Ray Fluorescence, ionic chromatography (NO 3 − and SO 4 = ), atomic absorption (Na + , K + ) and thermal optical transmission for elemental and organic carbon determination. Receptor modeling was carried out using Positive Matrix Factorization (US EPA Version 3.0); sources were identified by looking at specific tracers, tracer ratios, local winds and wind trajectories computed from NOAA's HYSPLIT model. For the PM 2.5 fraction, six contributions were found — cement plant, 33.7 ± 1.3%; soil dust, 22.4 ± 1.6%; sulfates, 17.8 ± 1.7%; mineral stockpiles and brine plant, 12.4 ± 1.2%; Antofagasta, 8.5 ± 1.3% and copper smelter, 5.3 ± 0.8%. For the PM 10 fraction five sources were identified — cement plant, 38.2 ± 1.5%; soil dust, 31.2 ± 2.3%; mineral stockpiles and brine plant, 12.7 ± 1.7%; copper smelter, 11.5 ± 1.6% and marine aerosol, 6.5 ± 2.4%. Therefore local sources contribute to ambient PM concentrations more than distant sources (Antofagasta, marine aerosol) do. Soil dust is enriched with deposition of marine aerosol and calcium, sulfates and heavy metals from surrounding industrial activities. The mean contribution of suspended soil dust to PM 10 is 50 μg/m 3 and the peak daily value is 104 μg/m 3 . For the PM 2.5 fraction, suspended soil dust contributes with an average of 9.3

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-11-01

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

  10. Behavior of Raramuri Criollo vs. Angus-crossbred cows in relation to desert summer ambient heat conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cattle in the Chihuahuan Desert are exposed to extreme temperatures during certain times of year. We examined relationships between temperature and behavior for Angus Hereford (AH) and Raramuri Criollo (RC) cattle. We monitored 10 mature nursing cows of each breed that grazed separately in each of t...

  11. Luminescence profiling of loess-dominated archaeological layers of a Chalcolithic site, Northern Negev Desert fringe, Israel

    Science.gov (United States)

    López, Gloria I.; Roskin, Joel; Bee'ri, Ron

    2017-04-01

    This study applies a pulsed-photon Portable OSL Reader (PPSL) in investigating the palaeoenviroment and stages of development of a Chalcolithic site revealed during a salvage excavation. The (Shoqet Junction) site, within late Pleistocene loess-dominated sediment, is adjacent to the meandering and ephemeral Hebron Wadi in the Beer-Sheva Valley, at the fringe of the Northern Negev Desert (Israel). The site intermittently covers approximately 8 hectares and was exposed at 0.3 - 0.5 m depths beneath a plowed field. Five areas were excavated down to 4 meters. The site was dominated by an array of underground facilities: tunnels, (capped) shafts, walls, floors and infilled cavities were found within four main layers. The site includes a mixture of sediments: large amounts of organic material, weathered bricks, a powdery loess-like unit and thin Bk horizons. The artifact assemblage is associated with the Ghassulian culture. The objectives of this multi-parameter study, which combines PPSL luminescence profiling with sedimentological and geomorphic analyses, are to (1) analyze the Chalcolithic palaeoenvironments, aeolian and fluvial processes and location and morphology of streambeds, (2) identify possible deterministic physical influences upon the occupations (3) decipher the natural stratigraphic archive and discriminate between human and natural (aeolian/fluvial) induced sedimentation (4) create relative age profiles based on portable OSL measurements and OSL ages, in order to minimize OSL dating. Three main sections were profiled: a natural section - in order to identify the natural sedimentological regime and two walls of two excavation squares down to the sites' alluvial base. A small section above a prominent Bk horizon was also profiled. Altogether 58 samples were obtained for sediment and PPSL analyses. Luminescence profiles in general fit the stratigraphic breaks and enable discrimination between layers. Plowed and surface loess give low reads. Inverse reads

  12. Post-wildfire natural restoration of riparian vegetation under stable hydro-geomorphic conditions: Nahal Grar, Northern Negev Desert, Israel

    Science.gov (United States)

    Egozi, Roey

    2015-04-01

    Wildfires are common to the Mediterranean region due to its defined dry season and long historical anthropogenic activities. Most of post-wildfire studies focus on mountains areas and thus refer to the hill-slope and its physical characteristics, e.g. morphology, length, angles, and aspect; its soil characteristics, e.g. type, infiltration rate, repellency; and its vegetative covers, e.g. planted trees vs. natural forest or native vs. exotic vegetation. In contrary there is very limited literature focusing on ecological and hydro-geomorphic aspects of post-wildfire of riparian vegetation / zone probably because of its negligible burned area relative to the spread of the fire, sometimes, over the whole watershed area. The limited literature on the topic is surprising given the fact that riparian vegetation zone has been acknowledged as a unique and important habitat supporting rich biodiversity. Herein we report on a wildfire event occurred on October 14th 2009 in a river section of Nahal Grar, Northern Negev Desert, Israel. The wildfire although was limited in its area (only 3 hectare) extended over the channel alone from bank to bank and thus provide a unique case study of completely burn down of riparian vegetation, mainly dense stands of Common Red (Australis Phragmites. Therefore a detailed study of this event provides an opportunity to tackle one of the basics questions which is determining the rate of natural restoration process that act at the immediate time after the wildfire event occurred. This type of information is most valuable to professional and stakeholders for better management of post-fire riparian zones. The results of the study suggest that under stable conditions, i.e. no major flood events occurred; disturbance time was short and ranged over 200 days due to, almost, immediate recovery of the riparian vegetation. However the re-growth of the riparian vegetation was not even but rather deferential and more complex then reported in the literature

  13. Stable isotope evidence for an atmospheric origin of desert nitrate deposits in northern Chile and southern California, U.S.A.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Böhlke, J.K.; Ericksen, G.E.; Revesz, K.

    1997-01-01

    Natural surficial accumulations of nitrate-rich salts in the Atacama Desert, northern Chile, and in the Death Valley region of the Mojave Desert, southern California, are well known, but despite many geologic and geochemical studies, the origins of the nitrates have remained controversial. N and O isotopes in nitrate, and S isotopes in coexisting soluble sulfate, were measured to determine if some proposed N sources could be supported or rejected, and to determine if the isotopic signature of these natural deposits could be used to distinguish them from various types of anthropogenic nitrate contamination that might be found in desert groundwaters. High-grade caliche-type nitrate deposits from both localities have ??15N values that range from -5 to +5???, but are mostly near 0???. Values of ??15N near 0??? are consistent with either bulk atmospheric N deposition or microbial N fixation as major sources of the N in the deposits. ??18O values of those desert nitrates with ??15N near 0??? range from about +31 to + 50??? (V-SMOW), significantly higher than that of atmospheric O2 (+ 23.5???). Such high values of ??18O are considered unlikely to result entirely from nitrification of reduced N, but rather resemble those of modern atmospheric nitrate in precipitation from some other localities. Assuming that limited modern atmospheric isotope data are applicable to the deposits, and allowing for nitrification of co-deposited ammonium, it is estimated that the fraction of the nitrate in the deposits that could be accounted for isotopically by atmospheric N deposition may be at least 20% and possibly as much as 100%. ??34S values are less diagnostic but could also be consistent with atmospheric components in some of the soluble sulfates associated with the deposits. The stable isotope data support the hypothesis that some high-grade caliche-type nitrate-rich salt deposits in some of the Earth's hyperarid deserts represent long-term accumulations of atmospheric deposition

  14. Recurrence of water bodies in the hyperarid core of the Atacama Desert - New insights into the Late Pleistocene paleoclimate history of Northern Chile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diederich, J. L.; Wennrich, V.; Fernández Galego, E.; Ritter, B.; Brill, D.; Niemann, K.; Rolf, C.; Melles, M.

    2017-12-01

    The Atacama Desert of northern Chile is regarded as the driest desert on Earth. Although still controversially discussed, overall arid to hyperarid conditions in the Atacama are thought to have persisted at least since the early Miocene, but were frequently punctuated by pluvial phases. The knowledge of past changes in humidity is strongly hampered by the fact that sediment records from the central Atacama Desert, which enable longer-scale precipitation reconstructions, are rare and mostly restricted to the Miocene/Pliocene or the late Pleistocene <50 kyrs. In this study, we focus on a sediment record from the hyperarid core of the Atacama Desert, derived from a tectonically blocked clay pan in the Coastal Cordillera (20°04'33.64"S, 69°55'01.75"W). This clay pan `Huara' has been initially investigated by a geophysical survey in spring 2015, followed by drilling of a short core (HU-III) covering the uppermost 4 m of sediment. Initial results of the ground penetrating radar (GPR) and horizontal to vertical (H/V) spectral ratio measurements indicate well-stratified sediment bodies in the basin with a maximum sediment infill of 30 ± 4 m. The chronology of core HU-III was established by a combination of optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) and paleomagnetic dating. The sedimentological and geochemical data of core HU-III as well as it's sediment geophysical properties indicate the primary accumulation of fine-grained sediments over the past ca. 50 kyrs, interpreted to be deposited under arid conditions with only sporadic precipitation. Intercalated coarser horizons indicate several periods of semiarid climate conditions, causing multiple phases of local alluvial deposition from the interior catchment area into the clay pan. The results are in agreement with a cosmogenic nuclide study from an adjacent meander system, indicating that the whole sediment sequence of the Huara clay pan covers the regional climate history of the past 500 - 700 kyrs.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-04-01

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

  16. Egg laying site selection by a host plant specialist leaf miner moth at two intra-plant levels in the northern Chilean Atacama Desert

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José Storey-Palma

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Egg laying site selection by a host plant specialist leaf miner moth at two intra-plant levels in the northern Chilean Atacama Desert. The spatial distribution of the immature stages of the leaf miner Angelabella tecomae Vargas & Parra, 2005 was determined at two intra-plant levels (shoot and leaflet on the shrub Tecoma fulva fulva (Cav. D. Don (Bignoniaceae in the Azapa valley, northern Chilean Atacama Desert. An aggregated spatial pattern was detected for all the immature stages along the shoot, with an age dependent relative position: eggs and first instar larvae were clumped at apex; second, third and fourth instar larvae were mostly found at intermediate positions; meanwhile the spinning larva and pupa were clumped at basis. This pattern suggests that the females select new, actively growing leaflets for egg laying. At the leaflet level, the immature stages were found more frequently at underside. Furthermore, survivorship was higher for larvae from underside mines. All these results highlight the importance of an accurate selection of egg laying site in the life history of this highly specialized leaf miner. By contrast, eventual wrong choices in the egg laying site selection may be associated with diminished larval survivorship. The importance of the continuous availability of new plant tissue in this highly human modified arid environment is discussed in relation with the observed patterns.

  17. Optimal balance of water use efficiency and leaf construction cost with a link to the drought threshold of the desert steppe ecotone in northern China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Haixia; Luo, Tianxiang; Wu, Bo

    2016-09-01

    In arid environments, a high nitrogen content per leaf area (Narea) induced by drought can enhance water use efficiency (WUE) of photosynthesis, but may also lead to high leaf construction cost (CC). Our aim was to investigate how maximizing Narea could balance WUE and CC in an arid-adapted, widespread species along a rainfall gradient, and how such a process may be related to the drought threshold of the desert-steppe ecotone in northern China. Along rainfall gradients with a moisture index (MI) of 0·17-0·41 in northern China and the northern Tibetan Plateau, we measured leaf traits and stand variables including specific leaf area (SLA), nitrogen content relative to leaf mass and area (Nmass, Narea) and construction cost (CCmass, CCarea), δ(13)C (indicator of WUE), leaf area index (LAI) and foliage N-pool across populations of Artemisia ordosica In samples from northern China, a continuous increase of Narea with decreasing MI was achieved by a higher Nmass and constant SLA (reduced LAI and constant N-pool) in high-rainfall areas (MI > 0·29), but by a lower SLA and Nmass (reduced LAI and N-pool) in low-rainfall areas (MI ≤ 0·29). While δ(13)C, CCmass and CCarea continuously increased with decreasing MI, the low-rainfall group had higher Narea and δ(13)C at a given CCarea, compared with the high-rainfall group. Similar patterns were also found in additional data for the same species in the northern Tibetan Plateau. The observed drought threshold where MI = 0·29 corresponded well to the zonal boundary between typical and desert steppes in northern China. Our data indicated that below a climatic drought threshold, drought-resistant plants tend to maximize their intrinsic WUE through increased Narea at a given CCarea, which suggests a linkage between leaf functional traits and arid vegetation zonation. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Annals of Botany Company. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please

  18. The effects of extreme rainfall events on carbon release from Biological Soil Crusts covered soil in fixed sand dunes in the Tengger Desert, northern China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Yang; Li, Xinrong; Pan, Yanxia; Hui, Rong

    2016-04-01

    How soil cover types and extreme rainfall event influence carbon (C) release in temperate desert ecosystems has largely been unexplored. We assessed the effects of extreme rainfall (quantity and intensity) events on the carbon release from soils covered by different types of biological soil crusts (BSCs) in fixed sand dunes in the Tengger Desert, Shapotou regionof northern China. We removed intact crusts down to 10 cm and measured them in PVC mesocosms. A Li-6400-09 Soil Chamber was used to measure the respiration rates of the BSCs immediately after the rainfall stopped, and continued until the respiration rates of the BSCs returned to the pre-rainfall basal rate. Our results showed that almost immediately after extreme rainfall events the respiration rates of algae crust and mixed crust were significantly inhibited, but moss crust was not significantly affected. The respiration rates of algae crust, mixed crust, and moss crust in extreme rainfall quantity and intensity events were, respectively, 0.12 and 0.41 μmolCO2/(m2•s), 0.10 and 0.45 μmolCO2/(m2•s), 0.83 and 1.69 μmolCO2/(m2•s). Our study indicated that moss crust in the advanced succession stage can well adapt to extreme rainfall events in the short term. Keywords: carbon release; extreme rainfall events; biological soil crust

  19. Palaeoenvironmental implications of a Holocene sequence of lacustrine-peat sediments from the desert-loess transitional zone in Northern China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jia, Feifei; Lu, Ruijie; Liu, Xiaokang; Zhao, Chao; Lv, Zhiqiang; Gao, Shangyu

    2018-05-01

    A high-resolution lacustrine-peat record from the desert-loess transitional zone in Northern China was obtained to reconstruct Holocene environmental change in the region. AMS 14C dates are used to provide a chronology. The results indicate that the site was a desert environment before 12.2 cal kyr BP, and was then occupied by a paleolake which started to shrink, with a wetland occurring from 6.2 to 3.0 cal kyr BP. Subsequently, the site became a seasonally water-filled depression. Based on the lithology and measurements of grain size and total organic carbon content, the climate changed from arid to humid at 12.2 cal kyr BP, and became more humid after 8.3 cal kyr BP. From 6.2 to 3.0 cal kyr BP, precipitation decreased but the climate remained at an optimum. After 3.0 cal kyr BP, the climate was dry overall but with several humid intervals. A comparison of paleoclimatic records from lacustrine and aeolian deposits from the region reveals a discrepancy about the nature of the early Holocene climate, and we conclude that this is because lacustrine sediments responded more sensitively to precipitation than aeolian deposits when the temperature was low. The environmental evolution of the region was synchronous with changes in the Asian summer monsoon (ASM), but temperature also played a key role in the early Holocene.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Weiwei She

    2015-12-01

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

  1. The role of airborne radiometric survey in defining the distribution of phosphate rocks in the Syrian desert and the Northern Palmyrides

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jubeli, Y.M.

    2000-01-01

    Gamma-ray spectrometry, an effective tool in geological mapping, was used to define boundaries between various lithological formations in three adjacent areas of Central Syria, namely, the Syrian Desert, Ar Rassafeh Badiayat and the Northern Palmyrides mountains. This paper describes the role of an airborne gamma spectrometric survey which was originally undertaken to assist uranium exploration. Interpretation of the total count data obtained through the survey has led to significant modifications and corrections to the previously published distribution map of the Palaeogene phosphate rocks. Another important result to the survey is the discovery of four previously unknown phosphorite horizons in the Rasm Al-Aawabed area of the Northern Palmyrides. In addition, previously unknown phosphatic horizons are outlined in the other study areas. The importance of this technique as an effective prospecting method, not only for U but also for exploring for the economically important phosphorite formations in Syria, is emphasized. Furthermore, its role in geological mapping is stressed, especially in areas that lack sufficient geological data. (author)

  2. Sharia as ‘Desert Business’: Understanding the Links between Criminal Networks and Jihadism in Northern Mali

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Haugegaard, Rikke

    2017-01-01

    How can we understand the social and economic dynamics that enable the operative space of the militant networks in northern Mali? This article argues that jihadist militant groups are actors in local power struggles rather than ‘fighters’ or ‘terrorists’ with extremist ideological motivations. I ...

  3. Determining heterogeneous deformation for granitic rocks in the northern thrust in Wadi Mubarak belt, Eastern Desert, Egypt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kassem, Osama M. K.

    2011-05-01

    Finite-strain was studied in the mylonitic granitic and metasedimentary rocks in the northern thrust in Wadi Mubarak belt to show a relationship to nappe contacts between the old granitic and metavolcano-sedimentary rocks and to shed light on the heterogeneous deformation for the northern thrust in Wadi Mubarak belt. We used the Rf/ϕ and Fry methods on feldspar porphyroclasts, quartz and mafic grains from 7 old granitic and 7 metasedimentary samples in the northern thrust in Wadi Mubarak belt. The finite-strain data shows that old granitic rocks were moderate to highly deformed and axial ratios in the XZ section range from 3.05 to 7.10 for granitic and metasedimentary rocks. The long axes (X) of the finite-strain ellipsoids trend W/WNW and E/ENE in the northern thrust in Wadi Mubarak belt. Furthermore, the short axes (Z) are subvertical associated with a subhorizontal foliation. The value of strain magnitudes mainly constants towards the tectonic contacts between the mylonitic granite and metavolcano-sedimentary rocks. The data indicate oblate strain symmetry (flattening strain) in the mylonitic granite rocks. It is suggested that the accumulation of finite strain was formed before or/and during nappe contacts. The penetrative subhorizontal foliation is subparallel to the tectonic contacts with the overlying nappes and foliation was formed during nappe thrusting.

  4. Structural and Tectonic Map Along the Pacific-North America Plate Boundary in Northern Gulf of California, Sonora Desert and Valle de Mexicali, Mexico, from Seismic Reflection Evidence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonzalez-Escobar, M.; Suarez-Vidal, F.; Mendoza-Borunda, R.; Martin Barajas, A.; Pacheco-Romero, M.; Arregui-Estrada, S.; Gallardo-Mata, C.; Sanchez-Garcia, C.; Chanes-Martinez, J.

    2012-12-01

    Between 1978 and 1983, Petróleos Mexicanos (PEMEX) carried on an intense exploration program in the northern Gulf of California, the Sonora Desert and the southern part of the Mexicali Valley. This program was supported by a seismic reflection field operation. The collected seismic data was 2D, with travel time of 6 s recording, in 48 channels, and the source energy was: dynamite, vibroseis and air guns. Since 2007 to present time, the existing seismic data has been re-processing and ire-interpreting as part of a collaboration project between the PEMEX's Subdirección de Exploración (PEMEX) and CICESE. The study area is located along a large portion of the Pacific-North America plate boundary in the northern Gulf of California and the Southern part of the Salton Trough tectonic province (Mexicali Valley). We present the result of the processes reflection seismic lines. Many of the previous reported known faults were identify along with the first time described located within the study region. We identified regions with different degree of tectonic activity. In structural map it can see the location of many of these known active faults and their associated seismic activity, as well as other structures with no associated seismicity. Where some faults are mist placed they were deleted or relocated based on new information. We included historical seismicity for the region. We present six reflection lines that cross the aftershocks zone of the El Mayor-Cucapah earthquake of April 4, 2010 (Mw7.2). The epicenter of this earthquake and most of the aftershocks are located in a region where pervious to this earthquake no major earthquakes are been reported. A major result of this study is to demonstrate that there are many buried faults that increase the seismic hazard.

  5. The pre-Columbian introduction and dispersal of Algarrobo (Prosopis, Section Algarobia) in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gayo, Eugenia M.; Santoro, Calogero M.; De Pol-Holz, Ricardo; Latorre, Claudio

    2017-01-01

    Archaeological and palaeoecological studies throughout the Americas have documented widespread landscape and environmental transformation during the pre-Columbian era. The highly dynamic Formative (or Neolithic) period in northern Chile (ca. 3700–1550 yr BP) brought about the local establishment of agriculture, introduction of new crops (maize, quinoa, manioc, beans, etc.) along with a major population increase, new emergent villages and technological innovations. Even trees such as the Algarrobos (Prosopis section Algarobia) may have been part of this transformation. Here, we provide evidence that these species were not native to the Atacama Desert of Chile (18–27°S), appearing only in the late Holocene and most likely due to human actions. We assembled a database composed of 41 taxon specific AMS radiocarbon dates from archaeobotanical and palaeoecological records (rodent middens, leaf litter deposits), as well an extensive bibliographical review comprising archaeobotanical, paleoecological, phylogenetic and taxonomic data to evaluate the chronology of introduction and dispersal of these trees. Although Algarrobos could have appeared as early as 4200 yr BP in northernmost Chile, they only became common throughout the Atacama over a thousand years later, during and after the Formative period. Cultural and natural factors likely contributed to its spread and consolidation as a major silvicultural resource. PMID:28742126

  6. A recent Mw 4.3 earthquake proving activity of a shallow strike-slip fault in the northern part of the Western Desert, Egypt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ezzelarab, Mohamed; Ebraheem, Mohamed O.; Zahradník, Jiří

    2018-03-01

    The Mw 4.3 earthquake of September 2015 is the first felt earthquake since 1900 A.D in the northern part of the Western Desert, Egypt, south of the El-Alamein City. The available waveform data observed at epicentral distances 52-391 km was collected and carefully evaluated. Nine broad-band stations were selected to invert full waveforms for the centroid position (horizontal and vertical) and for the focal mechanism solution. The first-arrival travel times, polarities and low-frequency full waveforms (0.03-0.08 Hz) are consistently explained in this paper as caused by a shallow source of the strike-slip mechanism. This finding indicates causal relation of this earthquake to the W-E trending South El-Alamein fault, which developed in Late Cretaceous as dextral strike slip fault. Recent activity of this fault, proven by the studied rare earthquake, is of fundamental importance for future seismic hazard evaluations, underlined by proximity (∼65 km) of the source zone to the first nuclear power plant planned site in Egypt. Safe exploration and possible future exploitation of hydrocarbon reserves, reported around El-Alamein fault in the last decade, cannot be made without considering the seismic potential of this fault.

  7. Bacterial diversity and community along the succession of biological soil crusts in the Gurbantunggut Desert, Northern China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Bingchang; Kong, Weidong; Wu, Nan; Zhang, Yuanming

    2016-06-01

    Biological soil crusts (BSCs) are common and play critical roles in semi-arid and arid ecosystems. Bacteria, as an important community in BSCs, play critical roles in biochemical processes. However, how bacterial diversity and community change in different successional stages of BSCs is still unknown. We used 454 pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA to investigate the bacterial composition and community, and the relationships between bacterial composition and environmental factors were also explored. In different successional stages of BSCs, the number of bacteria operational taxonomic units (OTUs) detected in each sample ranged from 2572 to 3157. Proteobacteria, Cyanobacteria, Bacteroidetes were dominant in BSCs, followed by Firmicutes, Acidobacteria, and Actinobacteria. At the successional stages of BSCs, bacterial communities, OTU composition and their relative abundance notably differentiated, and Cyanobacteria, especially Microcoleus vaginatus, dominated algal crust and lichen crust, and were the main C-fixing bacteria in BSCs. Proteobacteria and Bacteroidetes increased with the development of BSCs. OTUs related to Planomicrobium Chinese, Desulfobulbus sp., Desulfomicrobium sp., Arthrobacter sp., and Ahhaerbacter sp. showed higher relative abundance in bare sand than other successional stages of BSCs, while relative abundance of Sphingomonas sp. Niastella sp., Pedobacter, Candidatus solobacter, and Streptophyta increased with the development of BSCs. In successional stages of BSCs, bacterial OTUs composition demonstrated strong correlations with soil nutrients, soil salts, and soil enzymes. Additionally, variation of bacterial composition led to different ecological function. In bare sand, some species were related with mineral metabolism or promoting plant growth, and in algal crust and lichen crust, C-fixing bacteria increased and accumulated C to the desert soil. In later developed stage of BSCs, bacteria related with decomposition of organic matter, such as

  8. Heat transfer Effect by soil temperature changes under shallow groundwater in the Mu Us desert, Northern China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qiao, X.; Lu, R.; Donghui, C.

    2015-12-01

    Soil temperature change is principle elements to biological growth, soil freeze or thawing process. A situ field was conducted in the Mu Us desert of Wushen Qi County, Inner Mongolia, to mainly monitor soil temperature, moisture content and groundwater level. The unconfined aquifer constituted by Quaternary fine eolian sand, groundwater level is 125cm. This paper, choosing date from May 1, 2013 to April 30, 2014, soil day temperature is conducted by 3:00, 6:00,till 24:00, vertical spacing including 2cm,5 cm、10 cm、15 cm、20 cm, 75cm,125cm,which its symbol is T10, T15, T20, T75, T125 respectively. Here, surface layer temperature TS calculated by soil temperature of 2-5cm depth. Due to only 5 minutes interval, this state was taken as a state one. (1) soil temperature has mixture change on surface layer and its temperature different is over 35 ℃. (2) Surface layer temperature changes of every month have three stages and its conducted heat, which calculated between TS and T10. Since TS exceeds T10 and heat transfer direction is from surface to underground in May, June and July 2013, even heat transfer amounts reduced by participation in July. However, TS is inferior to T10 and conduced heat direction reverse in August till to February 2014.Continually conduced heat start to next circulation and then it's heat direction from surface to underground due to TS exceeds T10 again in March and April 2014. (3) Temperature changes of phreatic water table every month have also three stages and its conducted heat which calculated between T75 and T125, heat transfer direction from unsaturated zone to saturated zone due to T75 exceeds T125 from May till middle September 2013. However, T75 is inferior to T125 and heat direction reverse from late September 2013 till May 2014, but conduced heat direction starts to change from unsaturated zone to saturated zone again in early April 2014.The result can imply shallow gruondwater has some contribution to surface layer temperature in

  9. EARLY WARNING INDICATORS OF DESERTIFICATION: EXAMPLES OF TESTS IN THE CHIHUAHUAN DESERT

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perennial grasslands that dominated the south-west United States during the past 10,000 years have been desertified to varying extents. Desertification is a temporal phenomenon, defined in this paper as a change in the scale of the spatial distribution of resources. We report her...

  10. The economics of Raramuri Criollo versus British crossbred cattle production in the Chihuahuan Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Preliminary research indicates Raramuri Criollo cattle may range significantly further and forage in areas where traditional breeds rarely venture. They are thought to impose a lighter environmental footprint compared to their mainstream British crossbred counterparts. These small-frame animals are ...

  11. Weight gain and behavior of Raramuri Criollo versus Corriente steers developed on Chihuahuan Desert rangeland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ranchers that raise Criollo cattle must overcome the challenge of lack of markets for weaned calves. Raramuri Criollo (RC) steers are commonly raised for beef and finished on rangelands, while Corriente (CR) are often raised for rodeo sports. No data exist on weight gains and grazing behavior of ran...

  12. Weight gain and behavior of Raramuri Criollo versus crossbred steers developed on Chihuahuan Desert rangeland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ranchers that raise Raramuri Criollo (RC) cattle must overcome the challenge of lack of markets for weaned calves. Growing and finishing RC or RC-crossbred steers on rangeland pastures is increasingly common; however, no data exist on their weight gains or grazing behavior. We tracked the weight a...

  13. Mapping Land Cover and Estimating the Grassland Structure in a Priority Area of the Chihuahuan Desert

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alberto Rodríguez-Maturino

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available A field characterization of the grassland vegetation structure, represented by the coverage of grass canopy (CGC and the grass height, was carried out during three years (2009–2011 in a priority area for the conservation of grasslands of North America. Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM5 images were selected and the information of reflectance was obtained based on the geographical location of each field-sampling site. Linear models, constructed with field and satellite data, with high coefficients of determination for CGC (R2 = 0.81, R2 = 0.81 and R2 = 0.72 and grass height (R2 = 0.82, R2 = 0.79 and R2 = 0.73 were obtained. The maps showed a good level of CGC (>25% and grass height (>25 cm, except for the year 2009, which presented the lowest values of grass height in the area. According to the Kappa Index, a moderate concordance among the three CGC maps was presented (0.49–0.59. Conversely, weak and moderate concordances were found among the grass height maps (0.36–0.59. It was observed that areas with a high CGC do not necessarily correspond to areas with greater grass height values. Based on the data analyzed in this study, the grassland areas are highly dynamic, structurally heterogeneous and the spatial distribution of the variables does not show a definite pattern. From the information generated, it is possible to determine those areas that are the most important for monitoring to then establish effective strategies for the conservation of these grasslands and the protection of threatened migratory bird species.

  14. Oak bark allometry and fire survival strategies in the Chihuahuan desert Sky Islands, Texas, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwilk, Dylan W; Gaetani, Maria S; Poulos, Helen M

    2013-01-01

    Trees may survive fire through persistence of above or below ground structures. Investment in bark aids in above-ground survival while investment in carbohydrate storage aids in recovery through resprouting and is especially important following above-ground tissue loss. We investigated bark allocation and carbohydrate investment in eight common oak (Quercus) species of Sky Island mountain ranges in west Texas. We hypothesized that relative investment in bark and carbohydrates changes with tree age and with fire regime: We predicted delayed investment in bark (positive allometry) and early investment in carbohydrates (negative allometry) under lower frequency, high severity fire regimes found in wetter microclimates. Common oaks of the Texas Trans-Pecos region (Quercus emoryi, Q. gambelii, Q. gravesii, Q. grisea, Q. hypoleucoides, Q. muehlenbergii, and Q. pungens) were sampled in three mountain ranges with historically mixed fire regimes: the Chisos Mountains, the Davis Mountains and the Guadalupe Mountains. Bark thickness was measured on individuals representing the full span of sizes found. Carbohydrate concentration in taproots was measured after initial leaf flush. Bark thickness was compared to bole diameter and allometries were analyzed using major axis regression on log-transformed measurements. We found that bark allocation strategies varied among species that can co-occur but have different habitat preferences. Investment patterns in bark were related to soil moisture preference and drought tolerance and, by proxy, to expected fire regime. Dry site species had shallower allometries with allometric coefficients ranging from less than one (negative allometry) to near one (isometric investment). Wet site species, on the other hand, had larger allometric coefficients, indicating delayed investment to defense. Contrary to our expectation, root carbohydrate concentrations were similar across all species and sizes, suggesting that any differences in below ground storage are likely to be in total volume of storage tissue rather than in carbohydrate concentration.

  15. Oak bark allometry and fire survival strategies in the Chihuahuan desert Sky Islands, Texas, USA.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dylan W Schwilk

    Full Text Available Trees may survive fire through persistence of above or below ground structures. Investment in bark aids in above-ground survival while investment in carbohydrate storage aids in recovery through resprouting and is especially important following above-ground tissue loss. We investigated bark allocation and carbohydrate investment in eight common oak (Quercus species of Sky Island mountain ranges in west Texas. We hypothesized that relative investment in bark and carbohydrates changes with tree age and with fire regime: We predicted delayed investment in bark (positive allometry and early investment in carbohydrates (negative allometry under lower frequency, high severity fire regimes found in wetter microclimates. Common oaks of the Texas Trans-Pecos region (Quercus emoryi, Q. gambelii, Q. gravesii, Q. grisea, Q. hypoleucoides, Q. muehlenbergii, and Q. pungens were sampled in three mountain ranges with historically mixed fire regimes: the Chisos Mountains, the Davis Mountains and the Guadalupe Mountains. Bark thickness was measured on individuals representing the full span of sizes found. Carbohydrate concentration in taproots was measured after initial leaf flush. Bark thickness was compared to bole diameter and allometries were analyzed using major axis regression on log-transformed measurements. We found that bark allocation strategies varied among species that can co-occur but have different habitat preferences. Investment patterns in bark were related to soil moisture preference and drought tolerance and, by proxy, to expected fire regime. Dry site species had shallower allometries with allometric coefficients ranging from less than one (negative allometry to near one (isometric investment. Wet site species, on the other hand, had larger allometric coefficients, indicating delayed investment to defense. Contrary to our expectation, root carbohydrate concentrations were similar across all species and sizes, suggesting that any differences in below ground storage are likely to be in total volume of storage tissue rather than in carbohydrate concentration.

  16. Oak Bark Allometry and Fire Survival Strategies in the Chihuahuan Desert Sky Islands, Texas, USA

    OpenAIRE

    Schwilk, Dylan W.; Gaetani, Maria S.; Poulos, Helen M.

    2013-01-01

    Trees may survive fire through persistence of above or below ground structures. Investment in bark aids in above-ground survival while investment in carbohydrate storage aids in recovery through resprouting and is especially important following above-ground tissue loss. We investigated bark allocation and carbohydrate investment in eight common oak (Quercus) species of Sky Island mountain ranges in west Texas. We hypothesized that relative investment in bark and carbohydrates changes with tre...

  17. Influence of small-scale disturbances by kangaroo rats on Chihuahuan Desert ants

    Science.gov (United States)

    R. L. Schooley; B. T. Bestelmeyer; J. F. Kelly

    2000-01-01

    Banner-tailed kangaroo rats (Dipodomys spectabilis) are prominent ecosystem engineers that build large mounds that influence the spatial structuring of fungi, plants, and some ground-dwelling animals. Ants are diverse and functionally important components of arid ecosystems; some species are also ecosystem engineers. We investigated the effects of...

  18. Hydrogeology and sustainable future groundwater abstraction from the Agua Verde aquifer in the Atacama Desert, northern Chile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Urrutia, Javier; Jódar, Jorge; Medina, Agustín; Herrera, Christian; Chong, Guillermo; Urqueta, Harry; Luque, José A.

    2018-03-01

    The hyper-arid conditions prevailing in Agua Verde aquifer in northern Chile make this system the most important water source for nearby towns and mining industries. Due to the growing demand for water in this region, recharge is investigated along with the impact of intense pumping activity in this aquifer. A conceptual model of the hydrogeological system is developed and implemented into a two-dimensional groundwater-flow numerical model. To assess the impact of climate change and groundwater extraction, several scenarios are simulated considering variations in both aquifer recharge and withdrawals. The estimated average groundwater lateral recharge from Precordillera (pre-mountain range) is about 4,482 m3/day. The scenarios that consider an increase of water withdrawal show a non-sustainable groundwater consumption leading to an over-exploitation of the resource, because the outflows surpasses inflows, causing storage depletion. The greater the depletion, the larger the impact of recharge reduction caused by the considered future climate change. This result indicates that the combined effects of such factors may have a severe impact on groundwater availability as found in other groundwater-dependent regions located in arid environments. Furthermore, the scenarios that consider a reduction of the extraction flow rate show that it may be possible to partially alleviate the damage already caused to the aquifer by the continuous extractions since 1974, and it can partially counteract climate change impacts on future groundwater availability caused by a decrease in precipitation (and so in recharge), if the desalination plant in Taltal increases its capacity.

  19. Gopherus agassizii: Desert tortoise

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1989-01-01

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

  20. The CO2 exchange of biological soil crusts in a semiarid grass-shrubland at the northern transition zone of the Negev desert, Israel

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. O. Andreae

    2008-10-01

    Full Text Available Biological soil crusts (BSC contribute significantly to the soil surface cover in many dryland ecosystems. A mixed type of BSC, which consists of cyanobacteria, mosses and cyanolichens, constitutes more than 60% of ground cover in the semiarid grass-shrub steppe at Sayeret Shaked in the northern Negev Desert, Israel. This study aimed at parameterizing the carbon sink capacity of well-developed BSC in undisturbed steppe systems. Mobile enclosures on permanent soil borne collars were used to investigate BSC-related CO2 fluxes in situ and with natural moisture supply during 10 two-day field campaigns within seven months from fall 2001 to summer 2002. Highest BSC-related CO2 deposition between –11.31 and –17.56 mmol m−2 per 15 h was found with BSC activated from rain and dew during the peak of the winter rain season. Net CO2 deposition by BSC was calculated to compensate 120%, –26%, and less than 3% of the concurrent soil CO2 efflux from November–January, February–May and November–May, respectively. Thus, BSC effectively compensated soil CO2 effluxes when CO2 uptake by vascular vegetation was probably at its low point. Nighttime respiratory emission reduced daily BSC-related CO2 deposition within the period November–January by 11–123% and on average by 27%. The analysis of CO2 fluxes and water inputs from the various sources showed that the bulk of BSC-related CO2 deposition occurs during periods with frequent rain events and subsequent condensation from water accumulated in the upper soil layers. Significant BSC activity on days without detectable atmospheric water supply emphasized the importance of high soil moisture contents as additional water source for soil-dwelling BSC, whereas activity upon dew formation at low soil water contents was not of major importance for BSC-related CO2 deposition. However, dew may still be important in attaining a pre-activated status during the transition from a long "summer" anabiosis towards

  1. Shrubland carbon sink depends upon winter water availability in the warm deserts of North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biederman, Joel A.; Scott, Russell L.; John A. Arnone,; Jasoni, Richard L.; Litvak, Marcy E.; Moreo, Michael T.; Papuga, Shirley A.; Ponce-Campos, Guillermo E.; Schreiner-McGraw, Adam P.; Vivoni, Enrique R.

    2018-01-01

    Global-scale studies suggest that dryland ecosystems dominate an increasing trend in the magnitude and interannual variability of the land CO2 sink. However, such model-based analyses are poorly constrained by measured CO2 exchange in open shrublands, which is the most common global land cover type, covering ∼14% of Earth’s surface. Here we evaluate how the amount and seasonal timing of water availability regulate CO2 exchange between shrublands and the atmosphere. We use eddy covariance data from six US sites across the three warm deserts of North America with observed ranges in annual precipitation of ∼100–400mm, annual temperatures of 13–18°C, and records of 2–8 years (33 site-years in total). The Chihuahuan, Sonoran and Mojave Deserts present gradients in both mean annual precipitation and its seasonal distribution between the wet-winter Mojave Desert and the wet-summer Chihuahuan Desert. We found that due to hydrologic losses during the wettest summers in the Sonoran and Chihuahuan Deserts, evapotranspiration (ET) was a better metric than precipitation of water available to drive dryland CO2 exchange. In contrast with recent synthesis studies across diverse dryland biomes, we found that NEP could not be directly predicted from ET due to wintertime decoupling of the relationship between ecosystem respiration (Reco) and gross ecosystem productivity (GEP). Ecosystem water use efficiency (WUE=GEP/ET) did not differ between winter and summer. Carbon use efficiency (CUE=NEP/GEP), however, was greater in winter because Reco returned a smaller fraction of carbon to the atmosphere (23% of GEP) than in summer (77%). Combining the water-carbon relations found here with historical precipitation since 1980, we estimate that lower average winter precipitation during the 21st century reduced the net carbon sink of the three deserts by an average of 6.8TgC yr1. Our results highlight that winter precipitation is critical to the annual carbon balance of these

  2. Analysing the mechanisms of soil water and vapour transport in the desert vadose zone of the extremely arid region of northern China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Du, Chaoyang; Yu, Jingjie; Wang, Ping; Zhang, Yichi

    2018-03-01

    The transport of water and vapour in the desert vadose zone plays a critical role in the overall water and energy balances of near-surface environments in arid regions. However, field measurements in extremely dry environments face many difficulties and challenges, so few studies have examined water and vapour transport processes in the desert vadose zone. The main objective of this study is to analyse the mechanisms of soil water and vapour transport in the desert vadose zone (depth of ∼350 cm) by using measured and modelled data in an extremely arid environment. The field experiments are implemented in an area of the Gobi desert in northwestern China to measure the soil properties, daily soil moisture and temperature, daily water-table depth and temperature, and daily meteorological records from DOYs (Days of Year) 114-212 in 2014 (growing season). The Hydrus-1D model, which simulates the coupled transport of water, vapour and heat in the vadose zone, is employed to simulate the layered soil moisture and temperature regimes and analyse the transport processes of soil water and vapour. The measured results show that the soil water and temperatures near the land surface have visible daily fluctuations across the entire soil profile. Thermal vapour movement is the most important component of the total water flux and the soil temperature gradient is the major driving factor that affects vapour transport in the desert vadose zone. The most active water and heat exchange occurs in the upper soil layer (depths of 0-25 cm). The matric potential change from the precipitation mainly re-draws the spatio-temporal distribution of the isothermal liquid water in the soil near the land surface. The matric potential has little effect on the isothermal vapour and thermal liquid water flux. These findings offer new insights into the liquid water and vapour movement processes in the extremely arid environment.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2013-01-01

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

  4. Seed-bank structure and plant-recruitment conditions regulate the dynamics of a grassland-shrubland Chihuahuan ecotone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreno-de Las Heras, Mariano; Turnbull, Laura; Wainwright, John

    2016-09-01

    Large areas of desert grasslands in the southwestern United States have shifted to sparse shrublands dominated by drought-tolerant woody species over the last 150 yr, accompanied by accelerated soil erosion. An important step toward the understanding of patterns in species dominance and vegetation change at desert grassland-shrubland transitions is the study of environmental limitations imposed by the shrub-encroachment phenomenon on plant establishment. Here, we analyze the structure of soil seed banks, environmental limitations for seed germination (i.e., soil-water availability and temperature), and simulated seedling emergence and early establishment of dominant species (black grama, Bouteloua eriopoda, and creosotebush, Larrea tridentata) across a Chihuahuan grassland-shrubland ecotone (Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico, USA). Average viable seed density in soils across the ecotone is generally low (200-400 seeds/m 2 ), although is largely concentrated in densely vegetated areas (with peaks up to 800-1,200 seeds/m 2 in vegetated patches). Species composition in the seed bank is strongly affected by shrub encroachment, with seed densities of grass species sharply decreasing in shrub-dominated sites. Environmental conditions for seed germination and seedling emergence are synchronized with the summer monsoon. Soil-moisture conditions for seedling establishment of B. eriopoda take place with a recurrence interval ranging between 5 and 8 yr for grassland and shrubland sites, respectively, and are favored by strong monsoonal precipitation. Limited L. tridentata seed dispersal and a narrow range of rainfall conditions for early seedling establishment (50-100 mm for five to six consecutive weeks) constrain shrub-recruitment pulses to localized and episodic decadal events (9-25 yr recurrence intervals) generally associated with late-summer rainfall. Re-establishment of B. eriopoda in areas now dominated by L. tridentata is strongly limited by the

  5. A long-term vegetation history of the Mojave-Colorado Desert ecotone at Joshua Tree National Park

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holmgren, Camille A.; Betancourt, Julio L.; Rylander, Kate A.

    2010-01-01

    Thirty-eight dated packrat middens were collected from upper desert (930–1357 m) elevations within Joshua Tree National Park near the ecotone between the Mojave Desert and Colorado Desert, providing a 30 ka record of vegetation change with remarkably even coverage for the last 15 ka. This record indicates that vegetation was relatively stable, which may reflect the lack of invasion by extralocal species during the late glacial and the early establishment and persistence of many desert scrub elements. Many of the species found in the modern vegetation assemblages were present by the early Holocene, as indicated by increasing Sørenson's Similarity Index values. C4 grasses and summer-flowering annuals arrived later at Joshua Tree National Park in the early Holocene, suggesting a delayed onset of warm-season monsoonal precipitation compared to other Sonoran Desert and Chihuahuan Desert localities to the east, where summer rains and C4 grasses persisted through the last glacial–interglacial cycle. This would suggest that contemporary flow of monsoonal moisture into eastern California is secondary to the core processes of the North American Monsoon, which remained intact throughout the late Quaternary. In the Holocene, northward displacement of the jet stream, in both summer and winter, allowed migration of the subtropical ridge as far north as southern Idaho and the advection of monsoonal moisture both westward into eastern California and northward into the southern Great Basin and Colorado Plateau.

  6. The potential of Tillandsia dune ecosystems for revealing past and present variations in advective fog along the coastal Atacama Desert, northern Chile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Latorre Hidalgo, C.; García, J. L.; Gonzalez, A. L.; Marquet, P. A.

    2015-12-01

    The coastal Atacama Desert is home to a complex geo-ecosystem supported by fog with multiple atmospheric and oceanic drivers. Fog collectors in place for the last 17 years reveal that monthly fog intensity and amount are significantly linked to the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO 1+2) with cold (warm) anomalies correlated to increased (decreased) fog (R2 = 0.41). Rainfall, however, can occur during extreme positive ENSO anomalies. Tillandsia landbeckii is an epiarenitic plant common to the coastal Atacama where fog is intercepted by the coastal escarpment between 950-1250 m.a.s.l. These plants possess multiple adaptations to survive exclusively on fog, including the construction of "dune" ecosystems known as "tillandsiales". Buried T. landbeckii layers in such dunes contain a record of past variations of fog over time (dunes can top 3 m in height) and alternating plant and sand layers are readily visible in dune stratigraphy. Stable N isotopes on modern plants and fog indicate that these plants reflect δ15N values of total N dissolved in fog. We measured δ15N values from buried T. landbeckii layers from five different tillandsiales found across c. 50 km the coastal escarpment. The isotope values in these buried plants indicate a prominent c. 8.0 ‰ shift towards more negative δ15N values on average over the last 3,200 years. Based on differences in δ15N between modern and more extensive "paleo" tillandsiales at one of our lowest elevation study sites, we interpret this shift as an increase in available moisture due to increased fog input during the late Holocene. Increased variability in ENSO as well as increased upwelling and southerly winds along the coastal Atacama would explain in part this increase. Clearly, the Atacama tillandsiales have considerable potential for monitoring past and present change of these large-scale ocean-atmosphere systems.

  7. Design and Development of a Spectral Library for Different Vegetation and Landcover Types for Arctic, Antarctic and Chihuahua Desert Ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matharasi, K.; Goswami, S.; Gamon, J.; Vargas, S.; Marin, R.; Lin, D.; Tweedie, C. E.

    2008-12-01

    All objects on the Earth's surface absorb and reflect portions of the electromagnetic spectrum. Depending on the composition of the material, every material has its characteristic spectral profile. The characteristic spectral profile for vegetation is often used to study how vegetation patterns at large spatial scales affect ecosystem structure and function. Analysis of spectroscopic data from the laboratory, and from various other platforms like aircraft or spacecraft, requires a knowledge base that consists of different characteristic spectral profiles for known different materials. This study reports on establishment of an online and searchable spectral library for a range of plant species and landcover types in the Arctic, Anatarctic and Chihuahuan desert ecosystems. Field data were collected from Arctic Alaska, the Antarctic Peninsula and the Chihuahuan desert in the visible to near infrared (IR) range using a handheld portable spectrometer. The data have been archived in a database created using postgre sql with have been made publicly available on a plone web-interface. This poster describes the data collected in more detail and offers instruction to users who wish to make use of this free online resource.

  8. Mesquite seed density in fecal samples of Raramuri Criollo vs. Angus x Hereford cows grazing Chihuahuan Desert Rangeland

    Science.gov (United States)

    This study was part of a larger project investigating breed-related differences in feeding habits of Raramuri Criollo (RC) versus Angus x Hereford (AH) cows. Seed densities in fecal samples collected in July and August 2015 were analyzed to compare presumed mesquite bean consumption of RC and AH cow...

  9. The effects of precipitation variability on C4 photosynthesis, net primary production and soil respiration in a Chihuahuan desert grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michell L. Thomey

    2012-01-01

    Although the Earth's climate system has always been inherently variable, the magnitude and rate of anthropogenic climate change is subjecting ecosystems and the populations that they contain to novel environmental conditions. Because water is the most limiting resource, arid-semiarid ecosystems are likely to be highly responsive to future climate variability. The...

  10. Consequences of cool-season drought induced plant mortality to Chihuahuan Desert grassland ecosystem and soil respiration dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Global climate change is predicted to increase the severity and frequency of cool-season drought across the arid Southwest US. We quantified net ecosystem carbon dioxide exchange (NEE), ecosystem respiration (Reco), and gross ecosystem photosynthesis (GEP) in response to interannual seasonal precip...

  11. Social-ecological dynamics of change and restoration attempts in the Chihuahuan Desert grasslands of Janos Biosphere Reserve, Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shrub encroachment and grassland loss are widespread throughout the US-Mexico borderlands with negative consequences for production of livestock and ecosystem services. In this paper we detail the complex social and ecological phenomena associated with this pattern of degradation in a large area in ...

  12. Rapid anthropogenic response to short-term aeolian-fluvial palaeoenvironmental changes during the Late Pleistocene-Holocene transition in the northern Negev Desert, Israel

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roskin, Joel; Katra, Itzhak; Agha, Nuha; Goring-Morris, A. Nigel; Porat, Naomi; Barzilai, Omry

    2014-09-01

    Archaeological investigations along Nahal Sekher on the eastern edge of Israel's northwestern Negev Desert dunefield revealed concentrations of Epipalaeolithic campsites associated respectively with ancient water bodies. This study, aimed at better understanding the connections between these camps and the water bodies, is concerned with a cluster of Natufian sites. A comprehensive geomorphological study integrating field mapping, stratigraphic sections, sedimentological analysis and optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) ages was conducted in the vicinity of a recently excavated Natufian campsite of Nahal Sekher VI whose artifacts directly overlay aeolian sand dated by OSL to 12.4 ± 0.7 and 11.7 ± 0.5 ka. Residual sequences of diagnostic silty sediments, defined here as low-energy fluvial fine-grained deposits (LFFDs), were identified within the drainage system of central Nahal Sekher around the Nahal Sekher VI site. LFFD sections were found to represent both shoreline and mid-water deposits. The thicker mid-water LFFD deposits (15.7 ± 0.7-10.7 ± 0.5 ka) date within the range of the Epipalaeolithic campsites, while the upper and shoreline LFFD units that thin out into the sands adjacent to the Nahal Sekher VI site display slightly younger ages (10.8 ± 0.4 ka-7.6 ± 0.4 ka). LFFD sedimentation by low-energy concentrated flow and standing-water developed as a result of proximal downstream dune-damming. These water bodies developed as a result of encroaching sand that initially crossed central Nahal Sekher by 15.7 ± 0.7 ka and probably intermittently blocked the course of the wadi. LFFD deposition was therefore a response to a unique combination of regional sand supply due to frequent powerful winds and does not represent climate change in the form of increased precipitation or temperature change. The chronostratigraphies affiliate the Natufian sites to the adjacent ancient water bodies. These relations reflect a rapid, but temporary anthropogenic response to a

  13. Analytical results and sample locality map for rock, stream-sediment, and soil samples, Northern and Eastern Coloado Desert BLM Resource Area, Imperial, Riverside, and San Bernardino Counties, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, Harley D.; Chaffee, Maurice A.

    2000-01-01

    INTRODUCTION In 1996-1998 the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) conducted a geochemical study of the Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) 5.5 million-acre Northern and Eastern Colorado Desert Resource Area (usually referred to as the NECD in this report), Imperial, Riverside, and San Bernardino Counties, southeastern California (figure 1). This study was done in support of the BLM's Coordinated Management Plan for the area. This report presents analytical data from this study. To provide comprehensive coverage of the NECD, we compiled and examined all available geochemical data, in digital form, from previous studies in the area, and made sample-site plots to aid in determining where sample-site coverage and analyses were sufficient, which samples should be re-analyzed, and where additional sampling was needed. Previous investigations conducted in parts of the current study area included the National Uranium Resource Evaluation (NURE) program studies of the Needles and Salton Sea 1? x 2? quadrangles; USGS studies of 12 BLM Wilderness Study Areas (WSAs) (Big Maria Mountains, Chemehuevi Mountains, Chuckwalla Mountains, Coxcomb Mountains, Mecca Hills, Orocopia Mountains, Palen-McCoy, Picacho Peak, Riverside Mountains, Sheephole Valley (also known as Sheep Hole/Cadiz), Turtle Mountains, and Whipple Mountains); and USGS studies in the Needles and El Centro 1? x 2? quadrangles done during the early 1990s as part of a project to identify the regional geochemistry of southern California. Areas where we did new sampling of rocks and stream sediments are mainly in the Chocolate Mountain Aerial Gunnery Range and in Joshua Tree National Park, which extends into the west-central part of the NECD, as shown in figure 1 and figure 2. This report contains analytical data for 132 rock samples and 1,245 stream-sediment samples collected by the USGS, and 362 stream-sediment samples and 189 soil samples collected during the NURE program. All samples are from the Northern and Eastern Colorado

  14. Lut Desert, Iran

    Science.gov (United States)

    1981-01-01

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

  15. Wildlife survey and monitoring in the Sky Island Region with an emphasis on neotropical felids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sergio Avila-Villegas; Jessica Lamberton-Moreno

    2013-01-01

    The Sky Island region of southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico consists of isolated mountain ranges separated by deserts and grasslands. It mixes elements from five major ecosystems: the Rocky Mountains, Sierra Madre Occidental, the Sonoran and Chihuahuan deserts and the Neotropics. Here some Neotropical species reach their northern ranges, such as jaguars...

  16. Desert Pavement Studies

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Haff, Peter

    2003-01-01

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

  17. Desert Pavement Studies

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Haff, P

    2003-01-01

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

  18. Minerals in deserts

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Smith, G.I.

    1982-01-01

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

  19. Background aerosol composition in the Namib desert

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

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

  20. Utilizing genetic diversity in the desert watermelon citrullus colocynthis for enhancing watermelon cultivars for resistance to biotic and abiotic stress

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wide genetic diversity exists among the desert watermelon Citrullus colocynthis (L.) Schrad. (CC) accessions collected in the deserts of northern Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. Because of their resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses, there can be a viable source of genes used for enhancing wa...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-02-14

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

  2. 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...

  3. ON PHYTOCOENOTICAL MAPPING OF CASPIAN DESERT REGION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I. SAFRONOVA

    2004-05-01

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

  4. ON PHYTOCOENOTICAL MAPPING OF CASPIAN DESERT REGION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I. SAFRONOVA

    2004-01-01

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

  5. How desert varnish forms?

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-09-01

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

  6. GOPHERUS AGASSIZII (Desert Tortoise)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1997-01-01

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

  7. The provenance of Taklamakan desert sand

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-03-01

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

  8. Nocturnal soil CO2 uptake and its relationship to sub-surface soil and ecosystem carbon fluxes in a Chihuahuan Desert shrubland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Despite their prevalence, little attention has been given to quantifying aridland soil and ecosystem carbon fluxes over prolonged, annually occurring dry periods. We measured surface soil respiration (Rsoil), volumetric soil moisture and temperature in inter- and under-canopy soils, sub-surface soi...

  9. Population, desert expanding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1992-01-01

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

  10. Physiological adaptation in desert birds

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

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

  11. Geomorphic evolution of the San Luis Basin and Rio Grande in southern Colorado and northern New Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruleman, Chester A.; Machette, Michael; Thompson, Ren A.; Miggins, Dan M; Goehring, Brent M; Paces, James B.

    2016-01-01

    Conchos watershed and much of the Chihuahuan Desert, inducing broad regional landscape incision and exhumation.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2002-01-01

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

  13. Supersymmetry without the Desert

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nomura, Yasunori; Poland, David

    2006-01-01

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

  14. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oldemeyer, John L.

    1994-01-01

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

  16. Remote Sensing Field Guide - Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    1991-09-01

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

  17. Precipitation Dynamics and Feedback mechanisms of the Arabian Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-05-01

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

  18. Aborigines of the nuclear desert

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rujula, A. de

    1985-01-01

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

  19. Russian deserters of World War I

    OpenAIRE

    Os'kin Maksim

    2014-01-01

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

  20. 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

  1. Positive interactions between desert granivores: localized facilitation of harvester ants by kangaroo rats.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew J Edelman

    Full Text Available Facilitation, when one species enhances the environment or performance of another species, can be highly localized in space. While facilitation in plant communities has been intensely studied, the role of facilitation in shaping animal communities is less well understood. In the Chihuahuan Desert, both kangaroo rats and harvester ants depend on the abundant seeds of annual plants. Kangaroo rats, however, are hypothesized to facilitate harvester ants through soil disturbance and selective seed predation rather than competing with them. I used a spatially explicit approach to examine whether a positive or negative interaction exists between banner-tailed kangaroo rat (Dipodomys spectabilis mounds and rough harvester ant (Pogonomyrmex rugosus colonies. The presence of a scale-dependent interaction between mounds and colonies was tested by comparing fitted spatial point process models with and without interspecific effects. Also, the effect of proximity to a mound on colony mortality and spatial patterns of surviving colonies was examined. The spatial pattern of kangaroo rat mounds and harvester ant colonies was consistent with a positive interspecific interaction at small scales (<10 m. Mortality risk of vulnerable, recently founded harvester ant colonies was lower when located close to a kangaroo rat mound and proximity to a mound partly predicted the spatial pattern of surviving colonies. My findings support localized facilitation of harvester ants by kangaroo rats, likely mediated through ecosystem engineering and foraging effects on plant cover and composition. The scale-dependent effect of kangaroo rats on abiotic and biotic factors appears to result in greater founding and survivorship of young colonies near mounds. These results suggest that soil disturbance and foraging by rodents can have subtle impacts on the distribution and demography of other species.

  2. Preferential flow in fissured sediments in desert soils related to radioactive waste disposal

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Scanlon, B.R.; Raney, J.A.

    1992-01-01

    Unsaturated flow in fissured sediments in the Chihuahuan Desert of Texas was examined to determine if these features act as preferred pathways for water and solute transport. Fissures are surface features, or gulleys, that are underlain by fractures filled with sediment derived from surrounding areas. Hydraulic and chemical approaches were used to investigate unsaturated flow processes beneath and adjacent to fissures, and the results were compared with data from surrounding geomorphic systems such as arroyos, ephemeral streams, and interstreams. Typically, high water potentials in surficial sediments result from infiltration of recent precipitation. Below this surficial zone of high water potentials lies a zone of low water potentials that is much thinner beneath the fissure than in adjacent sediments or in sediments beneath ephemeral streams and interstreams. Maximum chloride concentrations in profiles in the near-surface fissured sediments were much lower than those measured in all other geomorphic systems. The corresponding moisture velocities in the fissured sediments ranged from 10 to 70 mm/yr. A tracer experiment demonstrated higher downward water and solute transport in the fracture fill beneath the fissure relative to adjacent sediments. Numerical simulations of the tracer experiment with the computer code TRACR3D reproduced the overall shape of the tracer plume. Sensitivity analyses demonstrated that the tracer plume is most sensitive to spatial variability in soil texture and the corresponding hydraulic parameters. The results from this study suggest that sediments in the fissured area act as preferred pathways in the shallow subsurface because surface runoff is concentrated in the fissures and because underlying fractures and cavities provide avenues for moisture and solute transport

  3. Fog deposition to the Atacama desert

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-07-01

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

  4. Notes on the origin of extensive endorheic regions in central and northern Mexico, and some implications for paleozoogeography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aranda-Gómez, José Jorge; Carranza-Castañeda, Oscar; Wang, Xiaoming; Tseng, Z. Jack; Pacheco-Castro, Adolfo

    2018-04-01

    The recent discovery of a fossil of Enhydritherium terraenovae in upper Miocene fluvial deposits in Juchipila (Mexico), nearly 200 km away from the nearest coast, together with other known occurrences of the same species in Florida and California, made possible to envision an alternative to the Panamanian and Polar routes of migration through fluvial systems in Mexico. In order to cross from one ocean to the other, individuals of E. terraenovae must have passed the continental divide, which is a physiographic feature that separates surface waters that flow into the Atlantic and Pacific versants. Two vast endorheic regions, which together span more than 400,000 km2 in area, currently dominate drainage systems in northern and central Mexico. The endorheic regions are broadly bounded by two mountain ranges and coincide with the arid and semi-arid regions of the Chihuahuan desert. These closed basins are an additional obstacle for migration. However, drainage systems are constantly varying and adjusting to changing conditions imposed by climate, tectonic activity, volcanism, and pronounced asymmetries in topography and rainfall distribution. The migration route across Mexico for Enhydritherium terraenovae in the late Miocene (≥6 Ma) could have been facilitated by one or more river captures that inverted the flow direction near the headwaters of a drainage system that debouched either into the Gulf of Mexico or the Pacific coast. Biologists studying fresh water fish faunas in the southern part of the United States and in northern and central Mexico have documented several living species that occur in both the Rio Grande and in the Mezquital rivers, two drainages that are not presently connected, drain in opposite directions (i.e. towards the Gulf of Mexico and the Gulf of California, respectively) and are separated by the endorheic regions. Furthermore, systematic studies of fresh water fish faunas in the region has numerous examples of endemicity and allopatric

  5. Influence of surface roughness of a desert

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1984-01-01

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

  6. Controls on plant functional surface cover types along a precipitation gradient in the Negev Desert of Israel

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Buis, E.; Veldkamp, A.; Boeken, B.; Breemen, van N.

    2009-01-01

    We studied the controls on functional surface cover types in four catchments along a semi-arid to arid precipitation gradient in the northern Negev Desert of Israel. First, we selected four functional types, based on their unique water use and redistribution functionality: shrubs, Asphodelus

  7. Diversidad taxonómica y denso-actividad de solífugos (Arachnida: Solifugae asociados a un ecosistema desértico costero del centro norte de Chile Taxonomic diversity and density-activity of solpugids (Arachnida: Solifugae in a coastal desert ecosystem in the northern centre of Chile

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel E. Valdivia

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available En Chile, el orden Solifugae está representado por 14 especies agrupadas en 10 géneros, distribuidos en las tres familias descritas en Sudamérica: Ammotrechidae, Mummuciidae y Daesiidae. En el presente trabajo se documenta la composición genérica y/o específica de solífugos asociados a un ecosistema desértico costero del centro norte de Chile, y se muestran las variaciones de su denso-actividad. El estudio se realizó en el sector costero de Punta de Choros (29°21'S, 71°10'O; 17 msnm, durante los meses de junio, agosto, octubre y noviembre de 2005. Entre los 249 ejemplares capturados, se reconoció la presencia de tres familias, cuatro géneros y cinco especies. Éstas fueron Procleobis sp., Sedna pirata Muma (Ammotrechidae, Mummucia sp., Mummucia variegata (Gervais (Mummuciidae y Ammotrechelis goetschi Roewer (Daesiidae. La mayor denso-actividad de solífugos se registró en los meses de octubre, 5 especies (ca 30 % del total capturado; y noviembre, 3 especies (ca 41 % del total capturado. Mientras que algunas especies se mostraron activas durante todo el período de estudio (e.g., Ammotrechelis goetschi, otras presentaron actividad parcial. Por ejemplo, Mummucia variegata manifestó actividad entre agosto y noviembre; Sedna pirata entre octubre y noviembre y tanto Procleobis sp. como Mummucia sp. estuvieron activas sólo en octubre. La diversidad y la denso-actividad de Solifugae estarían determinadas por factores biológicos y ecológicos.In Chile the order Solifugae is represented by 14 species arranged in 10 genera distributed among the three families described for South America: Ammotrechidae, Mummuciidae and Daesiidae. The present work documents the taxonomic composition of solpugids in a desert coastal ecosystem of the northern centre of Chile and describes variation in their density-activity. The study was carried out in the coastal sector of Punta de Choros (29°21'S, 71°10'W; 17 masl during June, August, October and

  8. Medicinal flora of the Cholistan desert: a review

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  9. Rural childhoods in Egypt's desert lands

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Adriansen, Hanne Kirstine

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

  10. Russian deserters of World War I

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Os'kin Maksim

    2014-10-01

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

  11. Water quality and hydrology of the Lac Vieux Desert watershed, Gogebic County, Michigan, and Vilas County, Wisconsin, 2002-04

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weaver, T.L.; Neff, B.P.; Ellis, J.M.

    2005-01-01

    Lac Vieux Desert is a prominent 6.6 square-mile lake that straddles the Michigan-Wisconsin border and forms the headwaters of the Wisconsin River. For generations, the Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians have used Lac Vieux Desert and the surrounding area for growing and harvesting wild rice, and hunting and fishing. The Lac Vieux Desert Band is concerned about the impact of lake-stage regulation on hydrology and ecology, and the impact on water quality of development along and near the shore, and recreational watercraft use and sport fishing. In 2005, the U.S. Geological Survey completed a water-resources investigation of the Lac Vieux Desert watershed in cooperation with the Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians.Water quality of Lac Vieux Desert is typical of many lakes in the northern United States. Trophic State Index calculations classify Lac Vieux Desert as a highly productive eutrophic lake. The pH of water in Lac Vieux Desert ranged from 6.5 to 9.5, and specific conductance ranged from 62 to 114 µs/cm. Chloride concentration was less than 1.5 mg/L, indicating little effect from septic-tank or road-salt input. Results indicate that the water can be classified as soft, with hardness concentrations reported as calcium carbonate ranging from 29 to 49 mg/L. Concentrations of calcium, magnesium, chloride, and other dissolved solids ranged from 47 to 77 mg/L. Alkalinity of Lac Vieux Desert ranged from 27 to 38 mg/L.Pervasive aquatic blooms, including a bloom noted during the September 2003 sampling, are apparently common in late summer. Biological productivity at Lac Vieux Desert does not appear to have changed appreciably between 1973 and 2004. In the current study, total phosphorus concentrations ranged from 0.01 to 0.064 mg/L and dissolved nitrite plus nitrate nitrogen concentrations ranged from at, or below detection limit to 0.052 mg/L. Overabundance of nutrients in Lac Vieux Desert, particularly nitrogen and phosphorus

  12. Northern employment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zavitz, J.

    1997-01-01

    Hiring practices and policies and employment opportunities that were available in the Beaufort Sea and MacKenzie Delta project for local residents and for people from southern Canada were dealt with in this chapter. Depending on the source, Northern hiring was a mere token, or a genuine and successful effort on the part of the companies to involve the native population and to share with them the benefits of the project. The fact remains that opening up job opportunities for Northerners was not easily attained, and would never have been realized without the involvement of government and community organizations. Government also played a major role in developing policies and training regimes. By the end of exploration operations, the hiring of Northern residents in the oil and gas industry had become a requirement of drilling applications. Training programs were also created to ensure that Northern residents received the means necessary to take advantage of Northern employment opportunities

  13. Fluvial-aeolian interactions in sediment routing and sedimentary signal buffering: an example from the Indus Basin and Thar Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    East, Amy E.; Clift, Peter D.; Carter, Andrew; Alizai, Anwar; VanLaningham, Sam

    2015-01-01

    Sediment production and its subsequent preservation in the marine stratigraphic record offshore of large rivers are linked by complex sediment-transfer systems. To interpret the stratigraphic record it is critical to understand how environmental signals transfer from sedimentary source regions to depositional sinks, and in particular to understand the role of buffering in obscuring climatic or tectonic signals. In dryland regions, signal buffering can include sediment cycling through linked fluvial and eolian systems. We investigate sediment-routing connectivity between the Indus River and the Thar Desert, where fluvial and eolian systems exchanged sediment over large spatial scales (hundreds of kilometers). Summer monsoon winds recycle sediment from the lower Indus River and delta northeastward, i.e., downwind and upstream, into the desert. Far-field eolian recycling of Indus sediment is important enough to control sediment provenance at the downwind end of the desert substantially, although the proportion of Indus sediment of various ages varies regionally within the desert; dune sands in the northwestern Thar Desert resemble the Late Holocene–Recent Indus delta, requiring short transport and reworking times. On smaller spatial scales (1–10 m) along fluvial channels in the northern Thar Desert, there is also stratigraphic evidence of fluvial and eolian sediment reworking from local rivers. In terms of sediment volume, we estimate that the Thar Desert could be a more substantial sedimentary store than all other known buffer regions in the Indus basin combined. Thus, since the mid-Holocene, when the desert expanded as the summer monsoon rainfall decreased, fluvial-eolian recycling has been an important but little recognized process buffering sediment flux to the ocean. Similar fluvial-eolian connectivity likely also affects sediment routing and signal transfer in other dryland regions globally.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sadiq Ali Shah; Yang Zhang

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-14

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

  16. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2003-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Jari Ojala; Jaakko Pehkonen; Jari Eloranta

    2013-01-01

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

  19. Desert potholes: Ephemeral aquatic microsystems

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  20. Vegetation - Central Mojave Desert [ds166

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  1. Microbial ecology of hot desert edaphic systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-03-01

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

  2. In vitro germination of desert rose varieties(

    OpenAIRE

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

    2015-01-01

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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Late Quaternary history of the Atacama Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  6. High diversity and suggested endemicity of culturable Actinobacteria in an extremely oligotrophic desert oasis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hector Fernando Arocha-Garza

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available The phylum Actinobacteria constitutes one of the largest and anciently divergent phyla within the Bacteria domain. Actinobacterial diversity has been thoroughly researched in various environments due to its unique biotechnological potential. Such studies have focused mostly on soil communities, but more recently marine and extreme environments have also been explored, finding rare taxa and demonstrating dispersal limitation and biogeographic patterns for Streptomyces. To test the distribution of Actinobacteria populations on a small scale, we chose the extremely oligotrophic and biodiverse Cuatro Cienegas Basin (CCB, an endangered oasis in the Chihuahuan desert to assess the diversity and uniqueness of Actinobacteria in the Churince System with a culture-dependent approach over a period of three years, using nine selective media. The 16S rDNA of putative Actinobacteria were sequenced using both bacteria universal and phylum-specific primer pairs. Phylogenetic reconstructions were performed to analyze OTUs clustering and taxonomic identification of the isolates in an evolutionary context, using validated type species of Streptomyces from previously phylogenies as a reference. Rarefaction analysis for total Actinobacteria and for Streptomyces isolates were performed to estimate species’ richness in the intermediate lagoon (IL in the oligotrophic Churince system. A total of 350 morphologically and nutritionally diverse isolates were successfully cultured and characterized as members of the Phylum Actinobacteria. A total of 105 from the total isolates were successfully subcultured, processed for DNA extraction and 16S-rDNA sequenced. All strains belong to the order Actinomycetales, encompassing 11 genera of Actinobacteria; the genus Streptomyces was found to be the most abundant taxa in all the media tested throughout the 3-year sampling period. Phylogenetic analysis of our isolates and another 667 reference strains of the family Streptomycetaceae

  7. High diversity and suggested endemicity of culturable Actinobacteria in an extremely oligotrophic desert oasis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arocha-Garza, Hector Fernando; Canales-Del Castillo, Ricardo; Eguiarte, Luis E.; Souza, Valeria

    2017-01-01

    The phylum Actinobacteria constitutes one of the largest and anciently divergent phyla within the Bacteria domain. Actinobacterial diversity has been thoroughly researched in various environments due to its unique biotechnological potential. Such studies have focused mostly on soil communities, but more recently marine and extreme environments have also been explored, finding rare taxa and demonstrating dispersal limitation and biogeographic patterns for Streptomyces. To test the distribution of Actinobacteria populations on a small scale, we chose the extremely oligotrophic and biodiverse Cuatro Cienegas Basin (CCB), an endangered oasis in the Chihuahuan desert to assess the diversity and uniqueness of Actinobacteria in the Churince System with a culture-dependent approach over a period of three years, using nine selective media. The 16S rDNA of putative Actinobacteria were sequenced using both bacteria universal and phylum-specific primer pairs. Phylogenetic reconstructions were performed to analyze OTUs clustering and taxonomic identification of the isolates in an evolutionary context, using validated type species of Streptomyces from previously phylogenies as a reference. Rarefaction analysis for total Actinobacteria and for Streptomyces isolates were performed to estimate species’ richness in the intermediate lagoon (IL) in the oligotrophic Churince system. A total of 350 morphologically and nutritionally diverse isolates were successfully cultured and characterized as members of the Phylum Actinobacteria. A total of 105 from the total isolates were successfully subcultured, processed for DNA extraction and 16S-rDNA sequenced. All strains belong to the order Actinomycetales, encompassing 11 genera of Actinobacteria; the genus Streptomyces was found to be the most abundant taxa in all the media tested throughout the 3-year sampling period. Phylogenetic analysis of our isolates and another 667 reference strains of the family Streptomycetaceae shows that our

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  9. Ecology and behavior of pronghorn in the Red Desert, Wyoming with reference to energy development

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Deblinger, R.D.

    1988-01-01

    Pronghorn in the Red Desert were not negatively impacted by the Sweetwater Uranium Mining Project or other human activities associated with mining. A proportion of the pronghorn population habituated to the mine site and inhabited lands adjacent to the mine their entire lives. Other pronghorn remained wary of mining activities and migrated around the mine without difficulty. Distribution patterns in the Red Desert varied seasonally and yearly. Generally, pronghorn used northern portions of the study area during summer and central to southern portions during winter. Summer range was used traditionally, while winter ranges were chosen opportunistically. Initial fall migration movement and total distances traveled were dictated by weather. Specifically, snow accumulation and temperatures determined fall migration timing and length of travel. Similarly, pronghorn migrated back to summer ranges as soon as snow melted

  10. Aridification of the Sahara desert caused by Tethys Sea shrinkage during the Late Miocene

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Zhongshi; Ramstein, Gilles; Schuster, Mathieu; Li, Camille; Contoux, Camille; Yan, Qing

    2014-09-01

    It is widely believed that the Sahara desert is no more than ~2-3 million years (Myr) old, with geological evidence showing a remarkable aridification of north Africa at the onset of the Quaternary ice ages. Before that time, north African aridity was mainly controlled by the African summer monsoon (ASM), which oscillated with Earth's orbital precession cycles. Afterwards, the Northern Hemisphere glaciation added an ice volume forcing on the ASM, which additionally oscillated with glacial-interglacial cycles. These findings led to the idea that the Sahara desert came into existence when the Northern Hemisphere glaciated ~2-3 Myr ago. The later discovery, however, of aeolian dune deposits ~7 Myr old suggested a much older age, although this interpretation is hotly challenged and there is no clear mechanism for aridification around this time. Here we use climate model simulations to identify the Tortonian stage (~7-11 Myr ago) of the Late Miocene epoch as the pivotal period for triggering north African aridity and creating the Sahara desert. Through a set of experiments with the Norwegian Earth System Model and the Community Atmosphere Model, we demonstrate that the African summer monsoon was drastically weakened by the Tethys Sea shrinkage during the Tortonian, allowing arid, desert conditions to expand across north Africa. Not only did the Tethys shrinkage alter the mean climate of the region, it also enhanced the sensitivity of the African monsoon to orbital forcing, which subsequently became the major driver of Sahara extent fluctuations. These important climatic changes probably caused the shifts in Asian and African flora and fauna observed during the same period, with possible links to the emergence of early hominins in north Africa.

  11. Aridification of the Sahara desert caused by Tethys Sea shrinkage during Late Miocene

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Z.; Ramstein, G.; Schuster, M.; Li, C.; Contoux, C.; Yan, Q.

    2014-12-01

    It is widely believed that the Sahara desert is no more than ~2-3 million years (Myr) old, with geological evidence showing a remarkable aridification of north Africa at the onset of the Quaternary ice ages. Before that time, north African aridity was mainly controlled by the African summer monsoon (ASM), which oscillated with Earth's orbital precession cycles. Afterwards, the Northern Hemisphere glaciation added an ice volume forcing on the ASM, which additionally oscillated with glacial-interglacial cycles. These findings led to the idea that the Sahara desert came into existence when the Northern Hemisphere glaciated ~2-3 Myr ago. The later discovery, however, of aeolian dune deposits ~7 Myr old suggested a much older age, although this interpretation is hotly challenged and there is no clear mechanism for aridification around this time. Here we use climate model simulations to identify the Tortonian stage (~7-11 Myr ago) of the Late Miocene epoch as the pivotal period for triggering north African aridity and creating the Sahara desert. Through a set of experiments with the Norwegian Earth System Model and the Community Atmosphere Model, we demonstrate that the African summer monsoon was drastically weakened by the Tethys Sea shrinkage during the Tortonian, allowing arid, desert conditions to expand across north Africa. Not only did the Tethys shrinkage alter the mean climate of the region, it also enhanced the sensitivity of the African monsoon to orbital forcing, which subsequently became the major driver of Sahara extent fluctuations. These important climatic changes probably caused the shifts in Asian and African flora and fauna observed during the same period, with possible links to the emergence of early hominins in north Africa.

  12. Origin of water in the Badain Jaran Desert, China: new insight from isotopes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Xiujie; Wang, Xu-Sheng; Wang, Yang; Hu, Bill X.

    2017-09-01

    To better understand the origin of water in the Badain Jaran Desert, China, water samples were collected from lakes, a spring and local unconfined aquifer for analyses of radiocarbon (14C), tritium (3H), stable hydrogen and oxygen isotope ratios (δ2H - δ18O), and d-excess values ( = δ2H - 8δ18O). A series of evaporation experiments were also conducted in the desert to examine how the isotopic signature of water may change during evaporation and infiltration under local environmental conditions. The results show that the lakes in the southeastern sand dune area are fed by groundwater discharging into the lakes and that local groundwater, on the other hand, is derived primarily from modern meteoric precipitation in the region. Although dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) in groundwater yielded very old radiocarbon ages, the presence of detectable amounts of tritium in groundwater samples, together with their δ2H, δ18O and d-excess characteristics, strongly suggests that the old radiocarbon ages of DIC do not represent the residence time of water in the aquifer but are the result of addition of old DIC derived from dissolution of ancient carbonates in the aquifer. The data do not support the hypothesis that the water in the Badain Jaran Desert was sourced in remote mountains on the northern Tibetan Plateau. This study also finds no support for the hypothesis that present-day water resources in the desert were recharged by the precipitation that fell in the past during the early Holocene when the climate was much wetter than today. Instead, this study shows that both groundwater and lake water originated from meteoric precipitation in the region including mountainous areas adjacent to the desert under the modern climatic condition.

  13. Origin of water in the Badain Jaran Desert, China: new insight from isotopes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    X. Wu

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available To better understand the origin of water in the Badain Jaran Desert, China, water samples were collected from lakes, a spring and local unconfined aquifer for analyses of radiocarbon (14C, tritium (3H, stable hydrogen and oxygen isotope ratios (δ2H – δ18O, and d-excess values ( = δ2H – 8δ18O. A series of evaporation experiments were also conducted in the desert to examine how the isotopic signature of water may change during evaporation and infiltration under local environmental conditions. The results show that the lakes in the southeastern sand dune area are fed by groundwater discharging into the lakes and that local groundwater, on the other hand, is derived primarily from modern meteoric precipitation in the region. Although dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC in groundwater yielded very old radiocarbon ages, the presence of detectable amounts of tritium in groundwater samples, together with their δ2H, δ18O and d-excess characteristics, strongly suggests that the old radiocarbon ages of DIC do not represent the residence time of water in the aquifer but are the result of addition of old DIC derived from dissolution of ancient carbonates in the aquifer. The data do not support the hypothesis that the water in the Badain Jaran Desert was sourced in remote mountains on the northern Tibetan Plateau. This study also finds no support for the hypothesis that present-day water resources in the desert were recharged by the precipitation that fell in the past during the early Holocene when the climate was much wetter than today. Instead, this study shows that both groundwater and lake water originated from meteoric precipitation in the region including mountainous areas adjacent to the desert under the modern climatic condition.

  14. 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.

  15. Desertification triggered by hydrological and geomorphological processes and palaeoclimatic changes in the Hunshandake Sandy Lands, Inner Mongolia, northern China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, X.; Scuderi, L. A.; Wang, X.; Zhang, D.; Li, H.; Forman, S. L.

    2015-12-01

    Although Pleistocene and earlier aeolian sediments in the adjacent regions of deserts were used as indicators for the occurrence of the deserts in northern China, our multidisciplinary investigation in the Hunshandake Sandy Lands, Inner Mongolia, a typical landscape in the eastern portion of the Asian mid-latitude desert belt, demonstrates that this sandy desert is just ca. 4000 years old. Before the formation of the current sand dunes, Hunshandke was characterized with large and deep lakes and grasssland vegetation, as many sedimentary sections indicate. Optically Stimulated Luminescence (OSL) chronology shows that the three large former lakes where we have done detailed investigation, experienced high stands from early Holocene to ca. 5 ka. During the early and middle Holocene this desert was a temperate steppe environment, dominated by grasslands and trees near lakes and streams, as various palaeoenvironmental proxies suggest. While North Hemisphere's monsoonal regions experienced catastrophic precipitation decreases at ca. 4.2 ka, many parts of the presently arid and semi-arid zone in northern China were shifted from Green to Desert state. In the eastern portion of the Hunshandake, the desertification was, however, directly associated with groundwater capture by the Xilamulun River, as the palaeo-drainage remains show. The process of groundwater sapping initiated a sudden and irreversible region-wide hydrologic event that lowered the groundwater table and exacerbated the desertification of the Hunshandake, and further resulting in post-Humid period mass migration of northern China's Hongshan culture from that we think the modern Chinese civilization has been rooted.

  16. 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

  17. Oxalosis in wild desert tortoises, Gopherus agassizii

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  18. Leaching characteristics of Wadi Belih uraniferous Hammamat sediments,eastern desert,Egypt

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mahdy, M.A.; EL-Hazek, M.N.

    1998-01-01

    This work deals with the direct chemical treatment of Wadi Belih uraniferous ore material using the agitation leaching technique. The study ore is mainly localized in siltstones belonging to the Hammamat sediments situated in the northern part of the eastern desert. The uranium mineral in the ore are mainly represented by the silicate mineral uranophane, the vanadate mineral tyuyamunite and to a laser extent the sulphate mineral shroekingerite, both acid (sulphuric acid) alkaline (sodium carbonate and bicarbonate) leaching methods have been applied beside sodium and ferric chlorides. The latter leaching reagents are greatly beneficial in removing radium together with uranium, a matter which is greatly important for environmental concerns

  19. 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.

  20. CAMEL REARING IN CHOLISTAN DESERT OF PAKISTAN

    OpenAIRE

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

    2009-01-01

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

  1. In situ metabolism in halite endolithic microbial communities of the hyperarid Atacama Desert

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alfonso F Davila

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available The Atacama Desert of northern Chile is one of the driest regions on Earth, with areas that exclude plants and where soils have extremely low microbial biomass. However, in the driest parts of the desert there are microorganisms that colonize the interior of halite nodules in fossil continental evaporites, where they are sustained by condensation of atmospheric water triggered by the salt substrate. Using a combination of in situ observations of variable chlorophyll fluorescence and controlled laboratory experiments, we show that this endolithic community is capable of carbon fixation both through oxygenic photosynthesis and potentially ammonia oxidation. We also present evidence that photosynthetic activity is finely tuned to moisture availability and solar insolation and can be sustained for days, and perhaps longer, after a wetting event. This is the first demonstration of in situ active metabolism in the hyperarid core of the Atacama Desert, and it provides the basis for proposing a self-contained, endolithic community that relies exclusively on non-rainfall sources of water. Our results contribute to an increasing body of evidence that even in hyperarid environments active metabolism, adaptation and growth can occur in highly specialized microhabitats.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Therese A. Markow

    2011-05-01

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

  3. Mapping Palaeohydrography in Deserts: Contribution from Space-Borne Imaging Radar

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Philippe Paillou

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Space-borne Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR has the capability to image subsurface features down to several meters in arid regions. A first demonstration of this capability was performed in the Egyptian desert during the early eighties, thanks to the first Shuttle Imaging Radar mission. Global coverage provided by recent SARs, such as the Japanese ALOS/PALSAR sensor, allowed the mapping of vast ancient hydrographic systems in Northern Africa. We present a summary of palaeohydrography results obtained using PALSAR data over large deserts such as the Sahara and the Gobi. An ancient river system was discovered in eastern Lybia, connecting in the past the Kufrah oasis to the Mediterranean Sea, and the terminal part of the Tamanrasett river was mapped in western Mauritania, ending with a large submarine canyon. In southern Mongolia, PALSAR images combined with topography analysis allowed the mapping of the ancient Ulaan Nuur lake. We finally show the potentials of future low frequency SAR sensors by comparing L-band (1.25 GHz and P-band (435 MHz airborne SAR acquisitions over a desert site in southern Tunisia.

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

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

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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,

  7. 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%.

  8. Geology and geochemistry of the Atacama Desert.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-02-14

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

  9. Little Ice Age wetting of interior Asian deserts and the rise of the Mongol Empire

    Science.gov (United States)

    Putnam, Aaron E.; Putnam, David E.; Andreu-Hayles, Laia; Cook, Edward R.; Palmer, Jonathan G.; Clark, Elizabeth H.; Wang, Chunzeng; Chen, Feng; Denton, George H.; Boyle, Douglas P.; Bassett, Scott D.; Birkel, Sean D.; Martin-Fernandez, Javier; Hajdas, Irka; Southon, John; Garner, Christopher B.; Cheng, Hai; Broecker, Wallace S.

    2016-01-01

    The degree to which warming of the planet will alter Asia's water resources is an important question for food, energy, and economic security. Here we present geological evidence, underpinned by radiometric dating and dendrochronology, and bolstered by hydrological modeling, indicating that wetter-than-present conditions characterized the core of the inner Asian desert belt during the Little Ice Age, the last major Northern Hemispheric cold spell of the Holocene. These wetter conditions accompanied northern mid-latitude cooling, glacier expansion, a strengthened/southward-shifted boreal jet, and weakened south Asian monsoons. We suggest that southward migration of grasslands in response to these wetter conditions aided the spread of Mongol Empire steppe pastoralists across Asian drylands. Conversely, net drying over the 20th century has led to drought that is unprecedented for the past ∼830 years, and that could intensify with further heating of the Asian continent.

  10. Evapotranspiration partitioning, stomatal conductance, and components of the water balance: A special case of a desert ecosystem in China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Wenzhi; Liu, Bing; Chang, Xuexiang; Yang, Qiyue; Yang, Yuting; Liu, Zhiling; Cleverly, James; Eamus, Derek

    2016-07-01

    Partitioning evapotranspiration (ET) into its components reveals details of the processes that underlie ecosystem hydrologic budgets and their feedback to the water cycle. We measured rates of actual evapotranspiration (ETa), canopy transpiration (Tc), soil evaporation (Eg), canopy-intercepted precipitation (EI), and patterns of stomatal conductance of the desert shrub Calligonum mongolicum in northern China to determine the water balance of this ecosystem. The ETa was 251 ± 8 mm during the growing period, while EI, Tc, and Eg accounted for 3.2%, 63.9%, and 31.3%, respectively, of total water use (256 ± 4 mm) during the growing period. In this unique ecosystem, groundwater was the main water source for plant transpiration and soil evaporation, Tc and exceeded 60% of the total annual water used by desert plants. ET was not sensitive to air temperature in this unique desert ecosystem. Partitioning ET into its components improves our understanding of the mechanisms that underlie adaptation of desert shrubs, especially the role of stomatal regulation of Tc as a determinant of ecosystem water balance.

  11. Desert wetlands in the geologic record

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  12. Biology of the Central Desert of Oman

    OpenAIRE

    GHAZANFAR, Shahina A

    2004-01-01

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

  13. Joint by Design: The Western Desert Campaign

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-05-21

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

  14. Extrafloral nectar fuels ant life in deserts

    OpenAIRE

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

    2014-01-01

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

  15. Liquid Water Restricts Habitability in Extreme Deserts

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

  16. The Palm Desert renewable [hydrogen] transportation system

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1998-08-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. 77 FR 65133 - Revisions to the California State Implementation Plan, Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-10-25

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mao, Xuesong; Wang, Fuchun; Wang, Binggang

    2011-07-01

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

  20. From Desert to Dessert: Why Australian Dust Matters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunter, K. A.; Mackie, D. S.; Boyd, P. W.; McTainsh, G. H.

    2006-12-01

    The growth of some types of phytoplankton in several parts of the world ocean, including much of the Southern Ocean, is limited by the supply of iron. Large Australian dust storms uplift, transport and abrade soils, to produce aeolian dust that is a significant source iron to the Southern Ocean. Atmospheric processes that enhance the dissolution of iron from aeolian dusts are of interest and have been studied for material from major dust producing regions like the Sahara, Gobi and Australian deserts; the reported solubility of iron from aeolian dusts ranges from <0.01% to 80%. The characteristic red soils, sands and dusts from Australia are generally believed to consist of quartz grains with a coating of fine grains and crystals of iron oxides, primarily hematite and goethite. The precise mineralogy of soil and dust grain coatings is poorly understood and it also not well known how the coatings are altered during uplift and transport to the ocean. Current models to understand the processes operating during the transport and atmospheric processing of dust include some generalisations and simplifications that are not always warranted and our work has shown the overlooked complexity of the system. Models for aeolian-iron dissolution based on Northern Hemisphere data commonly include the pollutants SOx and NOx. The modern Southern Hemisphere is less polluted and thus resembles past environmental systems. The dissolution of iron from soils of the Saharan, Gobi and Australian deserts in the presence of protons only (i.e. without SOx and NOx) occurs in two phases. The first, faster phase, representing up to 20% of total iron is via a surface-controlled mechanism. The rate determining variable is the exposed surface area of the iron oxides and not the size of the underlying quartz grain. The second, slower, phase of dissolution occurs via the transport-controlled formation of a leached layer. During the simulated aeolian abrasion of Australian soils from dust producing

  1. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Johnson, J. Andrew.

    1991-01-01

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

  3. Nine-year spatial and temporal evolution of desert dust aerosols over South and East Asia as revealed by CALIOP

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. Proestakis

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available We present a 3-D climatology of the desert dust distribution over South and East Asia derived using CALIPSO (Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observation data. To distinguish desert dust from total aerosol load we apply a methodology developed in the framework of EARLINET (European Aerosol Research Lidar Network. The method involves the use of the particle linear depolarization ratio and updated lidar ratio values suitable for Asian dust, applied to multiyear CALIPSO observations (January 2007–December 2015. The resulting dust product provides information on the horizontal and vertical distribution of dust aerosols over South and East Asia along with the seasonal transition of dust transport pathways. Persistent high D_AOD (dust aerosol optical depth values at 532 nm, of the order of 0.6, are present over the arid and semi-arid desert regions. Dust aerosol transport (range, height and intensity is subject to high seasonality, with the highest values observed during spring for northern China (Taklimakan and Gobi deserts and during summer over the Indian subcontinent (Thar Desert. Additionally, we decompose the CALIPSO AOD (aerosol optical depth into dust and non-dust aerosol components to reveal the non-dust AOD over the highly industrialized and densely populated regions of South and East Asia, where the non-dust aerosols yield AOD values of the order of 0.5. Furthermore, the CALIPSO-based short-term AOD and D_AOD time series and trends between January 2007 and December 2015 are calculated over South and East Asia and over selected subregions. Positive trends are observed over northwest and east China and the Indian subcontinent, whereas over southeast China trends are mostly negative. The calculated AOD trends agree well with the trends derived from Aqua MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer, although significant differences are observed over specific regions.

  4. First host plant records for Iridopsis hausmanni Vargas (Lepidoptera, Geometridae in the coastal valleys of northern Chile

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Héctor A. Vargas

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available First host plant records for Iridopsis hausmanni Vargas (Lepidoptera, Geometridae in the coastal valleys of northern Chile. The trees Haplorhus peruviana Engl. and Schinus molle L. (Anacardiaceae are mentioned as the first host plant records for the little known native moth Iridopsis hausmanni Vargas, 2007 (Lepidoptera, Geometridae, Ennominae in the coastal valleys of the northern Chilean Atacama Desert. This is also the first record of Anacardiaceae as host plant for a Neotropical species of Iridopsis Warren, 1894.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-05-25

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

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

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

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

    2008-01-01

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

  7. Numerical dating of a Late Quaternary spit-shoreline complex at the northern end of Silver Lake playa, Mojave Desert, California: A comparison of the applicability of radiocarbon, luminescence, terrestrial cosmogenic nuclide, electron spin resonance, U-series and amino acid racemization methods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Owen, L.A.; Bright, Jordon; Finkel, R.C.; Jaiswal, M.K.; Kaufman, D.S.; Mahan, S.; Radtke, U.; Schneider, J.S.; Sharp, W.; Singhvi, A.K.; Warren, C.N.

    2007-01-01

    A Late Quaternary spit-shoreline complex on the northern shore of Pleistocene Lake Mojave of southeastern California, USA was studied with the goal of comparing accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) radiocarbon, luminescence, electron spin resonance (ESR), terrestrial cosmogenic radionuclide (TCN) surface exposure, amino acid racemization (AAR) and U-series dating methods. The pattern of ages obtained by the different methods illustrates the complexity of processes acting in the lakeshore environment and highlights the utility of a multi-method approach. TCN surface exposure ages (mostly ???20-30 ka) record the initial erosion of shoreline benches, whereas radiocarbon ages on shells (determined in this and previous studies) within the spit, supported by AAR data, record its construction at fluctuating lake levels from ???16 to 10 ka. Luminescence ages on spit sediment (???6-7 ka) and ESR ages on spit shells (???4 ka) are anomalously young relative to radiocarbon ages of shells within the same deposits. The significance of the surprisingly young luminescence ages is not clear. The younger ESR ages could be a consequence of post-mortem enrichment of U in the shells. High concentrations of detrital thorium in tufa coating spit gravels inhibited the use of single-sample U-series dating. Detailed comparisons such as this provide one of the few means of assessing the accuracy of Quaternary dating techniques. More such comparisons are needed. ?? 2007 Elsevier Ltd and INQUA.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

  12. 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

  13. Pastoralist rock art in the Black Desert of Jordan

    OpenAIRE

    Brusgaard, N.O.

    2015-01-01

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

  14. The politics of accessing desert land in Jordan

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Naber, Al Majd; Molle, Francois

    2016-01-01

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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  17. Algae-production in the desert

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hildebrand, H.

    1988-11-01

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

  18. Fog water chemistry in the Namib desert, Namibia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eckardt, Frank D.; Schemenauer, Robert S.

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

  19. Land use in the northern Coachella Valley

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bale, J. B.; Bowden, L. W.

    1973-01-01

    Satellite imagery has proved to have great utility for monitoring land use change and as a data source for regional planning. In California, open space desert resources are under severe pressure to serve as a source for recreational gratification to individuals living in the heavily populated southern coastal plain. Concern for these sensitive arid environments has been expressed by both federal and state agencies. The northern half of the Coachella Valley has historically served as a focal point for weekend recreational activity and second homes. Since demand in this area has remained high, land use change from rural to urban residential has been occurring continuously since 1968. This area of rapid change is an ideal site to illustrate the utility of satellite imagery as a data source for planning information, and has served as the areal focus of this investigation.

  20. 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

  1. Optical characteristics of desert dust over the East Mediterranean during summer: a case study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. Balis

    2006-05-01

    Full Text Available High aerosol optical depth (AOD values, larger than 0.6, are systematically observed in the Ultraviolet (UV region both by sunphotometers and lidar systems over Greece during summertime. To study in more detail the characteristics and the origin of these high AOD values, a campaign took place in Greece in the frame of the PHOENICS (Particles of Human Origin Extinguishing Natural solar radiation In Climate Systems and EARLINET (European Aerosol Lidar Network projects during August–September of 2003, which included simultaneous sunphotometric and lidar measurements at three sites covering the north-south axis of Greece: Thessaloniki, Athens and Finokalia, Crete. Several events with high AOD values have been observed over the measuring sites during the campaign period, many of them corresponding to Saharan dust. In this paper we focused on the event of 30 and 31 August 2003, when a dust layer in the height range of 2000-5000 m, progressively affected all three stations. This layer showed a complex behavior concerning its spatial evolution and allowed us to study the changes in the optical properties of the desert dust particles along their transport due to aging and mixing with other types of aerosol. The extinction-to-backscatter ratio determined on the 30 August 2003 at Thessaloniki was approximately 50 sr, characteristic for rather spherical mineral particles, and the measured color index of 0.4 was within the typical range of values for desert dust. Mixing of the desert dust with other sources of aerosols resulted the next day in overall smaller and less absorbing population of particles with a lidar ratio of 20 sr. Mixing of polluted air-masses originating from Northern Greece and Crete and Saharan dust result in very high aerosol backscatter values reaching 7 Mm-1 sr-1 over Finokalia. The Saharan dust observed over Athens followed a different spatial evolution and was not mixed with the boundary layer aerosols mainly originating from

  2. Are biological effects of desert shrubs more important than physical effects on soil microorganisms?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berg, Naama; Steinberger, Yosef

    2010-01-01

    Vegetation cover plays a major role in providing organic matter and in acting as a physical barrier, with both together contributing to the formation of "fertile islands," which play an active role in prolonging biological activity in desert ecosystems. By undertaking this study, a longterm research, we designed an experiment to separate the two components-the physical and biotic parts of the perennial plants-and to identify the factor that contributes the most to the ecosystem. The study site was located in the northern Negev Desert, Israel, where 50 Hammada scoparia shrubs and 50 artificial plants were randomly marked. Soil samples were collected monthly over 3 years of research at three locations: under the canopy of H. scoparia shrubs, in the vicinity of the artificial plants, and between the shrubs (control). The contribution to microbial activity was measured by evaluation of the microbial community functions in soil. The functional aspects of the microbial community that were measured were CO2 evolution, microbial biomass, microbial functional diversity, and the physiological profile of the community. The results of this study are presented in two ways: (1) according to the three locations/treatments; and (2) according to the phenological situation of the vegetation (annual and perennial plants) in the research field: the growing phase, the drying process, and the absence of annual plants. The only parameters that were found to affect microbial activity were the contribution of the organic matter of perennial shrubs and the growth of vegetation (annual and perennial) during the growing seasons. The physical component was found to have no effect on soil microbial functional diversity, which elucidates the important contribution of the desert shrub in enhancing biological multiplicity and activity.

  3. 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.

  4. Landscape Sustainability in a Sonoran Desert City

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chris A. Martin

    2008-01-01

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

  5. Investigating the mysteries of groundwater in the Badain Jaran Desert, China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xu-Sheng; Zhou, Yanyi

    2018-03-01

    The Badain Jaran Desert (BJD) in China is a desert with impressive sand dunes and a groundwater situation that has attracted numerous researchers. This paper gives an overview of the mysteries of groundwater in the BJD that are exhibited as five key problems identified in previous studies. These problems relate to the origin of the groundwater, the hydrological connection between the BJD and the Heihe River Basin (HRB), the infiltration recharge, the lake-groundwater interactions, and the features of stable isotope analyses. The existing controversial analyses and hypotheses have caused debate and have hindered effective water resources management in the region. In recent years, these problems have been partly addressed by additional surveys. It has been revealed that the Quaternary sandy sediments and Neogene-Cretaceous sandstones form a thick aquifer system in the BJD. Groundwater flow at the regional scale is dominated by a significant difference in water levels between the surrounding mountains and lowlands at the western and northern edges. Discharge of groundwater from the BJD to the downstream HRB occurs according to the regional flow. Seasonal fluctuations of the water level in lakes are less than 0.5 m due to the quasi-steady groundwater discharge. The magnitude of infiltration recharge is still highly uncertain because significant limitations existed in previous studies. The evaporation effect may be the key to interpreting the anomalous negative deuterium-excess in the BJD groundwater. Further investigations are expected to reveal the hydrogeological conditions in more detail.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1995-01-01

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

  7. Response of the desert shrub Krameria parvifolia after ten years of chronic gamma irradiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vollmer, A.T.; Bamberg, S.A.

    1975-01-01

    A northern Mojave Desert shrub community was irradiated by a 137 Cs source for a ten-year period. Leaf and fruit production, cover, and percent live stem of Krameria parvifolia shrubs were found to respond significantly to a radiation gradient with exposure rates ranging from 0.1 to 10 R/day. Fruit and leaf production were greatly reduced at exposures over 6 R/day. Above 7 R/day 16% of the shrubs were dead compared to 1.2% in a non-irradiated area. Reduced cover, density and live stem values indicate a trend toward a lower status of Krameria in the community at cumulative exposures above 25 kR. Observations indicate that an equilibrium in response to irradiation has not yet occurred. Radiosensitivity of K. parvifolia is attributed in part to its phenology. (author)

  8. Response of the desert shrub Krameria parvifolia after ten years of chronic gamma irradiation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vollmer, A T; Bamberg, S A [California Univ., Los Angeles (USA). Lab. of Nuclear Medicine and Radiation Biology

    1975-12-01

    A northern Mojave Desert shrub community was irradiated by a /sup 137/Cs source for a ten-year period. Leaf and fruit production, cover, and percent live stem of Krameria parvifolia shrubs were found to respond significantly to a radiation gradient with exposure rates ranging from 0.1 to 10 R/day. Fruit and leaf production were greatly reduced at exposures over 6 R/day. Above 7 R/day 16% of the shrubs were dead compared to 1.2% in a non-irradiated area. Reduced cover, density and live stem values indicate a trend toward a lower status of Krameria in the community at cumulative exposures above 25 kR. Observations indicate that an equilibrium in response to irradiation has not yet occurred. Radiosensitivity of K. parvifolia is attributed in part to its phenology.

  9. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    McKay, Christopher P.

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-05-25

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

  12. 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.

  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. Rocks, climate and the survival of human societies in hyper-arid and arid environments - Are the human civilization in deserts at a permanent risk of collapse?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoav, Avni; Noa, Avriel-Avni

    2017-04-01

    The great challenges of living in the arid and hyper arid regions worldwide are the shortage of water, limited resources and the permanent uncertainty of the desert climate. These challenges are known as the main weaknesses of desert societies that are prone, according to the existing paradigm, to a permanent risk of collapse. However, in the Middle East deserts, human societies are known since prehistoric times and during the entire hyper-dry Holocene. This hints that the simple paradigm of desert societies' high vulnerability to harsh desert environments needs to be better examined. In this context we examine three case studies: 1. The Southern Sinai region in Egypt: In this region, the annual precipitation fluctuates between 20-50 mm/y. However, in this highly mountainous area, desert agriculture plots including orchards were constructed, located mainly around the byzantine monastery of Santa Katerina. During the last 1500 years, much of the water supply needed for humans and agriculture was generated from runoff developed on exposed granite rocks. 2. The southern Jordan region south of Petra: Much of this wide area connecting the deserts of the Arabian Peninsula and southern Jordan receive only 20-30 mm/y. However, the main caravan route established by the Arabian tribes during the first millennia BC managed to cross this land, supplying the water needs of many camels. Most of this water was stored in large cisterns dug into the sandstone rock formations exposed along the route, especially within the Disi Formation. 3. The Negev Highlands of southern Israel: This region is divided between the hyper arid region to the south, receiving 70-80 mm/y, and the arid region to the north receiving 90-130 mm/y. During the last two millennia, the hyper arid area was used for camel grazing and goats herds, while the northern sector was used for the construction of agriculture plots, agriculture farms and even desert towns. All these activities were sustained by runoff

  15. Persistent environmental pollutants in eggs of aplomado falcons from Northern Chihuahua, Mexico, and South Texas, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mora, M.A.; Montoya, A.B.; Lee, M.C.; Macias-Duarte, Alberto; Rodriguez-Salazar, R.; Juergens, P.W.; Lafon-Terrazas, A.

    2008-01-01

    The northern aplomado falcon (Falco femoralis septentrionalis) disappeared from south Texas in the 1940s. Due to great success in the release of captive-reared aplomado falcons in south Texas, there are currently more than 40 established nesting pairs in the region. Addled eggs from aplomado falcons nesting in northern Chihuahua and south Texas were analyzed to determine organochlorine (OC) and inorganic element contaminant burdens and their potential association with egg failures and effects on reproduction. Among the OCs, DDE [1,1-dichloro-2,2-bis(p-chlorophenyl)ethylene] was present at the highest concentrations (range 262-21487??ng/g wet weight) followed by polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs, range 88-3274??ng/g ww). DDE was greater (P = 0.03) in eggs from El Sueco (Chihuahua, Mexico) than in those from Matagorda Island (Texas, USA). DDE concentrations in eggs of aplomado falcons from El Sueco were elevated; however, reproductive success in the two Chihuahuan populations did not seem to be affected by DDE. DDE and metals in potential avian prey of the aplomado falcon from Matagorda Island were very low and below levels in the diet at which some negative effects might be expected. Except for mercury (Hg), metal concentrations in eggs were fairly low and were not different among locations in Chihuahua and south Texas. Hg was somewhat elevated and was greater (P Chihuahua locations. Periodic monitoring of Hg concentrations in addled eggs of aplomado falcons in south Texas is recommended to continue evaluating potential negative effects on their recovery. ?? 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. 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.

  17. Surveys for desert tortoise on the proposed site of a high-level nuclear waste repository at the Nevada Test Site

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Collins, E.; Sauls, M.L.; O'Farrell, T.P.

    1983-01-01

    The National Waste Terminal Storage Program is a national search for suitable sites to isolate commercial spent nuclear fuel or high-level radioactive waste. The Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigation (NNWSI) managed by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Nevada Operations Office, was initiated to study the suitability of a portion of Yucca Mountain on the DOE's Nevada Test Site (NTS) as a location for such a repository. EG and G was contracted to provide information concerning the ecosystems encountered on the site. A comprehensive literature survey was conducted to evaluate the status and completeness of the existing biological information for the previously undisturbed area. Site specific studies were begun in 1981 when preliminary field surveys confirmed the presence of the desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizi) within the project area FY82 studies were designed to determine the overall distribution and abundance of the tortoise within the area likely to be impacted by NNWSI activities. The Yucca Mountain area of the Nevada Test Site is situated close to the northern range limit of the desert tortoise. Prior to the 1982 surveys, the desert tortoise was reported from only nine locations on NTS. A known population had been under study in Rock Valley about 25 miles southeast of the project area. However, the distribution and population densities of tortoise in the southwest portion of NTS were virtually unknown. Results of our surveys indicate that desert tortoise can be expected, albeit in small numbers, in a wide range of Mojavean and Transitional habitats

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gonfiantini, R.

    1992-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gonfiantini, R.

    1981-01-01

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

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  1. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-10-21

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. NOUR. Daylighting and thermal effects of windows in desert houses

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ouahrani, Djamel

    1999-07-01

    This study is on a combined effect of window, the daylighting and the thermal effects, in desert houses. It is comprised of two complementary studies. In the introduction a historical review on the development of using daylight has been carried out in order to place the case study in a historical perspective. The first study is comprehensive and contains two main parts. In the first part a study was carried out on the people and history of the town of Ghardaia in Southern Algeria. This was done in order to understand the architectural form of that region. The second part is experimental and consists of two field studies carried out in Ghardaia. Their aim was to investigate the influence of daylight and temperature on the use of residential houses. This investigation included both traditional and 'modern' houses, the modern having relatively large windows similar to those of the northern part of Algeria, the traditional ones having small or no windows. The second study is also experimental consisting of computer parametric studies on window design from two standpoints, namely daylighting level and thermal effects of windows in desert houses. A typical traditional house is described as it was observed. Then the recorded light values are presented and commented upon. In the second part, three types of modern houses observed in the field studies are presented and compared to the traditional archetype. The comparison especially dwells on the relative effectiveness of the two systems of daylighting. In the third part, focusing on various issues of lighting, the results of interviews with the inhabitants are presented. The historical studies indicate that the process of housing development, in several respects, has reached a certain quality (social, technology, and adaptation to climate) appropriate to the local original context, but that development has slowed down. The results of the lighting study indicate that the use of more windows in modern houses constitutes a

  7. Water appropriation and ecosystem stewardship in the Baja desert

    OpenAIRE

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    1981-01-24

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Lei Huang; Zhishan Zhang

    2015-01-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Enhancing and restoring habitat for the desert tortoise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abella, Scott R.; Berry, Kristin H.

    2016-01-01

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

  13. Infrared Spectroscopic Analyses of Sulfate, Nitrate, and Carbonate-bearing Atacama Desert Soils: Analogs for the Interpretation of Infrared Spectra from the Martian Surface

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dalton, J. B.; Dalton, J. B.; Ewing, S. A.; Amundson, R.; McKay, C. P.

    2005-01-01

    The Atacama Desert of northern Chile is the driest desert on Earth, receiving only a few mm of rain per decade. The Mars climate may, in the past, have been punctuated by short-lived episodes of aqueous activity. The paleo-Martian environment may have had aqueous conditions similar to the current conditions that exist in the Atacama, and Mars soils may have formed with soil chemistry and mineralogy similar to those found in the Atacama. Remote and in-situ analysis of the Martian surface using infrared technology has a long heritage. Future investigations of the subsurface mineralogy are likely to build upon this heritage, and will benefit from real life lessons to be learned from terrestrial analog studies. To that end, preliminary results from a near- and mid-infrared spectroscopic study of Atacama soil profiled at a range of depths are presented.

  14. 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

  15. Copper isotope fractionation by desert shrubs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  16. Status of the Desert Fireball Network

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 20th-Century Climate Change over Africa: Seasonal Variation in Hydroclimate Trends and Sahara Desert Extent

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nigam, S.; Thomas, N. P.

    2017-12-01

    Twentieth-century trends in seasonal temperature and precipitation over the African continent are analyzed from observational data sets and historical climate simulations. Given the agricultural economy of the continent, a seasonal perspective is adopted as it is more pertinent than an annual-average one which can mask off-setting but agriculturally-sensitive seasonal hydroclimate variations. Examination of linear trends in seasonal surface air temperature (SAT) shows that heat stress has increased in several regions, including Sudan and Northern Africa where largest SAT trends occur in the warm season. Broadly speaking, the northern continent has warmed more than the southern one in all seasons. Precipitation trends are varied but notable declining trends are found in the countries along the Gulf of Guinea, especially in the source region of Niger river in West Africa, and in the Congo river basin. Rainfall over the African Great Lakes - one of the largest freshwater repositories - has however increased. We show that the Sahara Desert has expanded significantly over the 20th century - by 12-20% depending on the season. The desert expanded southward in summer, reflecting retreat of the northern edge of the Sahel rainfall belt; and to the north in winter, indicating potential impact of the widening of the Tropics. Specific mechanisms driving the expansion in each season are investigated. Finally, this observational analysis is used to evaluate the state-of-the-art climate models from a comparison of the 20th-century hydroclimate trends with those manifest in historical climate simulations. The evaluation shows that modeling regional hydroclimate change over the Africa continent remains challenging.

  20. Study of fluid inclusions in rodioactive mineralized pegmatites, dara area northern eastern desert, Egypt

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ali, B.H.; Abdel Warith, A.

    2003-01-01

    Numerous pegmatite pockets of un zoned and zoned types are the most important rock types from the radioactive point of view. They occur at the marginal parts and higher topographic level of G.Dara younger granites. Zoned pegmatites are composed of extremely coarse-grained milky quartz core, intermediate zone and wall zone. The alteration zone is found at the contact between quartz core and intermediate zone. It is recorded the highest radioactive values due to their mineral composition, as a result of alteration processes associated with radioactive minerals. Only two alteration zones (P1 and P2) has been studied in this paper. The late magmatic alteration process (hematization, kaolinization, chloritization and fluortization) of the pegmatite resulted in the formation of chlorite, fluorite, clay minerals and carbonates (calcite) in the alteration zones as mineral assemblage. opaque minerals are found as pyrite, iron oxyhydroxide and garnet. Fluid inclusion studies by microthermometry were carried out on authigenic minerals (such as quartz and fluorite) in alteration zones (primary fluid inclusions). This study revealed that, at least two stages of the post-magmatic hydrothermal alteration are involved. The first stages of high temperature, low saline fluids are involved. The first stage is of high temperature, low saline fluids which characterized with hematization and/or chloritization resulted from fluid-rock interaction with late magmatic fluids that very probably mixed with external low salinity fluids along brittle structure. The second stage is of low temperature the main role in re high saline fluids characterized the fluoritized alteration due to consequent reaction with wall rocks and mixing with meteoric water. Mixing of low salinity meteoric water with hot a sending saline hydrothermal solution leads to ph change and continuous interaction with wall rock

  1. Disputed desert : decolonisation, competing nationalisms and Tuareg rebellions in Northern Mali

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lecocq, B.

    2010-01-01

    This book deals with political changes and internal debates about political changes within Tamasheq (Tuareg) society in Mali from the late 1940s to the present. These debates focus on political structures introduced to Tamasheq society from outside and their impact on and incorporation into local

  2. Mineralogical, geochemical and hydrocarbon potential of subsurface Cretaceous shales, Northern Western Desert, Egypt

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D.A. Mousa

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Twenty four Cretaceous shale core samples of Gibb Afia-1, Betty-1, Salam-1X and Mersa Matruh-1 wells were mineralogically and geochemically studied using XRD, XRF and Rock Eval Pyrolysis. Kaolinite, smectite and illite are the main clay minerals in addition to rare chlorite, while the non-clay minerals include quartz, calcite, dolomite and rare siderite. The shales were derived through intensive chemical weathering of mafic basement and older sedimentary rocks. These sediments were deposited in a near-shore shallow marine environment with some terrestrial material input. The shales have poor to fair organic content. It is marginally to rarely mature.

  3. 77 FR 47536 - Revisions to the California State Implementation Plan, Mojave Desert, Northern Sierra, Sacramento...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-08-09

    ... San Diego Air Pollution Agencies AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). ACTION: Direct final...), Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District (SMAQMD) and San Diego County Air Pollution Control...) September 2008, 5. ``Control Techniques Guidelines for Miscellaneous Metal and Plastic Parts Coatings,'' EPA...

  4. Monitoring of desert dune topography by multi angle sensors

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-12-01

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

  5. Tree planting in deserts and utilization of atomic energy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1991-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-09-01

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

  7. Tree planting in deserts and utilization of atomic energy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1991-06-01

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

  8. Production of desert rose seedlings in different potting media

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ronan Carlos Colombo

    2017-09-01

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

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

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Elliott, Doyle

    2003-01-01

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

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

    KAUST Repository

    Al-Naimi, Ali Ibrahim

    2017-01-01

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

  11. X-36 in Flight over Mojave Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    1997-01-01

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

  12. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    2011-01-01

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

  14. Diel hysteresis between soil respiration and soil temperature in a biological soil crust covered desert ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guan, Chao; Li, Xinrong; Zhang, Peng; Chen, Yongle

    2018-01-01

    Soil respiration induced by biological soil crusts (BSCs) is an important process in the carbon (C) cycle in arid and semi-arid ecosystems, where vascular plants are restricted by the harsh environment, particularly the limited soil moisture. However, the interaction between temperature and soil respiration remains uncertain because of the number of factors that control soil respiration, including temperature and soil moisture, especially in BSC-dominated areas. In this study, the soil respiration in moss-dominated crusts and lichen-dominated crusts was continuously measured using an automated soil respiration system over a one-year period from November 2015 to October 2016 in the Shapotou region of the Tengger Desert, northern China. The results indicated that over daily cycles, the half-hourly soil respiration rates in both types of BSC-covered areas were commonly related to the soil temperature. The observed diel hysteresis between the half-hourly soil respiration rates and soil temperature in the BSC-covered areas was limited by nonlinearity loops with semielliptical shapes, and soil temperature often peaked later than the half-hourly soil respiration rates in the BSC-covered areas. The average lag times between the half-hourly soil respiration rates and soil temperature for both types of BSC-covered areas were two hours over the diel cycles, and they were negatively and linearly related to the volumetric soil water content. Our results highlight the diel hysteresis phenomenon that occurs between soil respiration rates and soil temperatures in BSC-covered areas and the negative response of this phenomenon to soil moisture, which may influence total C budget evaluations. Therefore, the interactive effects of soil temperature and moisture on soil respiration in BSC-covered areas should be considered in global carbon cycle models of desert ecosystems.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1995-10-01

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

  16. Endolithic algae of semi-desert sandstones: systematic, biogeographic and ecophysiologic investigations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bell, R.A.

    1986-01-01

    Investigations were conducted into the ecology of an unusual algal community in northern Arizona. These microorganisms are called endolithic algae because they occur beneath the surface of rocks. Eighteen taxa, including representatives of both eukaryotic and prokaryotic genera, were isolated from below the surface of eight sandstones in four semi-desert and cold temperate biomes of the Colorado Plateau. As the macroclimate of the area changes from cold temperature desert scrub to cold temperate forest the taxonomic composition of the endolithic algal communities shifts from domination by coccoid blue-green algae to domination by coccoid and sarcinoid green algae. The algal communities varied in generic composition, chlorophyll a content, and in their location within the different sandstones. Investigations into the microclimate of the endolithic algal zone in two adjacent but differently-colored sections (white and brown) of Coconino sandstone have demonstrated differences between the environment above the rock surface and that just beneath the surface. In seasonal samples of the Coconino sandstone, chlorophyll a content ranged from 50 to 100 mg x m -2 in the white rock and 8 to 45 mg x m -2 in the brown rock. Primary production (as measured by 14 CO 2 incorporation) displayed marked seasonal patterns that appear to be correlated to the environmental conditions within the rocks as opposed to those outside the rocks. The widespread distribution of certain algae in the endolithic habitats of the Colorado Plateau and their presence in rocks at quite distant locations suggests that the endolithic habitat may be utilized by algae whenever it provides more favorable conditions than the surrounding surfaces

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chen, H.; Yonezawa, T.

    2014-01-01

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

  18. Preliminary survey of ticks (Acari : Ixodidae on cattle in northern Sudan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D.A. Salih

    2004-11-01

    Full Text Available In a cross sectional survey conducted during the period June 2001 to July 2002, the geographical distribution of ticks on cattle in the Sudan was determined. Seventeen locations were surveyed from Northern, Central, Eastern, Western, Blue Nile and White Nile Provinces. Total body collections of ticks were made from 20 cattle at each location. Four tick genera and 11 species were identified. The tick species collected included Amblyomma lepidum, Amblyomma variegatum, Boophilus decoloratus, Hyalomma anatolicum anatolicum, Hyalomma dromedarii, Hyalomma impeltatum, Hyalomma marginatum rufipes, Hyalomma truncatum, Rhipicephalus evertsi evertsi, Rhipicephalus sanguineus group and Rhipicephalus simus simus. Major ecological changes have occurred due to extensive animal movement, deforestation, desertification and establishment of large mechanized agricultural schemes. These factors have certainly affected the distribution of ticks and tick-borne diseases in the Sudan. The absence of A. variegatum and A. lepidum in northern Sudan was not surprising, since these tick species are known to survive in humid areas and not in the desert and semi-desert areas of northern Sudan. The absence of B. annulatus in northern and central Sudan is in accordance with the finding that this tick species is restricted to the southern parts of the central Sudan. The presence of H. anatolicum anatolicum in Um Benin in relatively high abundance is an interesting finding. The present finding may indicate that the southern limit of this species has changed and moved southwards to latitude 13o N. It is concluded that major changes in tick distribution have taken place in the Sudan

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yuanming; Belnap, Jayne

    2015-01-01

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

  20. Strategy for the development and management of deserts

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1978-02-01

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

  1. Concentration of plutonium in desert plants from contaminated area

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  2. A new species of Eccopsis Zeller (Lepidoptera, Tortricidae from the coastal valleys of northern Chile, with the first continental record of E. galapagana Razowski & Landry

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Héctor A. Vargas

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available A new species of Eccopsis Zeller (Lepidoptera, Tortricidae from the coastal valleys of northern Chile, with the first continental record of E. galapagana Razowski & Landry. Eccopsis Zeller, 1852 is reported for the first time from Chile. Eccopsis razowskii Vargas, n. sp. is described and illustrated based on specimens reared from larvae collected on native Acacia macracantha Willd. (Fabaceae in the coastal valleys of the northern Chilean desert. Eccopsis galapagana Razowski & Landry, 2008, previously known only from the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador, is recorded for the first time from continental South America. Larvae of the latter were collected in northern Chile feeding on Prosopis alba Griseb (Fabaceae.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Williams, JB; Tieleman, BI; Shobrak, M

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

  4. 76 FR 8730 - Desert Southwest Customer Service Region-Rate Order No. WAPA-151

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-02-15

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

  5. 76 FR 29153 - Revisions to the California State Implementation Plan, Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-05-20

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

  6. Crustal structure of northern Egypt from joint inversion of receiver functions and surface wave dispersion velocities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Badawy, Ahmed; Hegazi, Mona; Gaber, Hanan; Korrat, Ibrahim

    2018-01-01

    In this study, we used a combined inversion of body wave receiver functions and surface wave dispersion measurements to provide constraints on the crustal structure of northern Egypt. The two techniques are complementary to each other: receiver functions (RFs) are sensitive to shear-wave velocity contrasts, while surface wave dispersion (SWD) measurements are sensitive to finite variations of shear-wave velocity with depth. A database of 122 teleseismic events digitally recorded by the Egyptian National Seismological Network (ENSN) stations has been used as well. To enhance the resulting RFs at each ENSN station, the H-k stacking method was applied. A joint inversion process between the resulting receiver functions and the surface wave dispersion curves was applied as well. We have produced three averaged velocity structure models for distinct geographic and tectonic provinces namely Sinai, eastern desert, and western desert from east to the west respectively. These models will deeply help in estimation the epicenter distance of earthquake, focal mechanism solutions, and earthquake hazard analysis in northern Egypt. An obvious image of the subsurface structure has been determined which shows that generally the crustal structure of northern Egypt consists of three layers covered with a sequence of sediments that differs in thickness from across the region except in the Sharm area where the sedimentary cover is absent. The obtained results indicate that crustal thickness differs from east to west and reaches its maximum value of about 36 km at Siwa station (SWA) in the western desert and its minimum value of about 28 km at Sharm station (SHR) of the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula. The Vp/Vs ratio varies between 1.71 and 2.07 in northern Egypt. Generally, the high values (1.93) of (Vp/Vs) at SWA station may reflect the well-known rich aquifer with fully saturated sediments of the Swia Oasis in the Western Desert. Moreover, the highest value (2.07) of (Vp/Vs) at

  7. Crustal structure of northern Egypt from joint inversion of receiver functions and surface wave dispersion velocities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Badawy, Ahmed; Hegazi, Mona; Gaber, Hanan; Korrat, Ibrahim

    2018-05-01

    In this study, we used a combined inversion of body wave receiver functions and surface wave dispersion measurements to provide constraints on the crustal structure of northern Egypt. The two techniques are complementary to each other: receiver functions (RFs) are sensitive to shear-wave velocity contrasts, while surface wave dispersion (SWD) measurements are sensitive to finite variations of shear-wave velocity with depth. A database of 122 teleseismic events digitally recorded by the Egyptian National Seismological Network (ENSN) stations has been used as well. To enhance the resulting RFs at each ENSN station, the H-k stacking method was applied. A joint inversion process between the resulting receiver functions and the surface wave dispersion curves was applied as well. We have produced three averaged velocity structure models for distinct geographic and tectonic provinces namely Sinai, eastern desert, and western desert from east to the west respectively. These models will deeply help in estimation the epicenter distance of earthquake, focal mechanism solutions, and earthquake hazard analysis in northern Egypt. An obvious image of the subsurface structure has been determined which shows that generally the crustal structure of northern Egypt consists of three layers covered with a sequence of sediments that differs in thickness from across the region except in the Sharm area where the sedimentary cover is absent. The obtained results indicate that crustal thickness differs from east to west and reaches its maximum value of about 36 km at Siwa station (SWA) in the western desert and its minimum value of about 28 km at Sharm station (SHR) of the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula. The Vp/Vs ratio varies between 1.71 and 2.07 in northern Egypt. Generally, the high values (1.93) of (Vp/Vs) at SWA station may reflect the well-known rich aquifer with fully saturated sediments of the Swia Oasis in the Western Desert. Moreover, the highest value (2.07) of (Vp/Vs) at

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1986-01-01

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

  9. Winter precipitation and fire in the Sonoran Desert

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1987-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lægaard, Sune

    2012-01-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. Adaptation strategies of endolithic chlorophototrophs to survive the hyperarid and extreme solar radiation environment of the Atacama Desert

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jacek eWierzchos

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available The Atacama Desert, northern Chile, is one of the driest deserts on Earth and, as such, a natural laboratory to explore the limits of life and the strategies evolved by microorganisms to adapt to extreme environments. Here we report the exceptional adaptation strategies of chlorophototrophic and eukaryotic algae, and chlorophototrophic and prokaryotic cyanobacteria to the hyperarid and extremely high solar radiation conditions occurring in this desert. Our approach combined several microscopy techniques, spectroscopic analytical methods, and molecular analyses. We found that the major adaptation strategy was to avoid the extreme environmental conditions by colonizing cryptoendolithic, as well as, hypoendolithic habitats within gypsum deposits. The cryptoendolithic colonization occurred a few millimeters beneath the gypsum surface and showed a succession of organized horizons of algae and cyanobacteria, which has never been reported for endolithic microbial communities. The presence of cyanobacteria beneath the algal layer, in close contact with sepiolite inclusions, and their hypoendolithic colonization suggest that occasional liquid water might persist within these sub-microhabitats. We also identified the presence of abundant carotenoids in the upper cryptoendolithic algal habitat and scytonemin in the cyanobacteria hypoendolithic habitat. This study illustrates that successful lithobiontic microbial colonization at the limit for microbial life is the result of a combination of adaptive strategies to avoid excess solar irradiance and extreme evapotranspiration rates, taking advantage of the complex structural and mineralogical characteristics of gypsum deposits – conceptually called rock’s habitable architecture. Additionally self-protection by synthesis and accumulation of secondary metabolites likely produces a shielding effect that prevents photoinhibition and lethal photooxidative damage to the chlorophototrophs, representing another

  13. Adaptation strategies of endolithic chlorophototrophs to survive the hyperarid and extreme solar radiation environment of the Atacama Desert.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wierzchos, Jacek; DiRuggiero, Jocelyne; Vítek, Petr; Artieda, Octavio; Souza-Egipsy, Virginia; Škaloud, Pavel; Tisza, Michel; Davila, Alfonso F; Vílchez, Carlos; Garbayo, Inés; Ascaso, Carmen

    2015-01-01

    The Atacama Desert, northern Chile, is one of the driest deserts on Earth and, as such, a natural laboratory to explore the limits of life and the strategies evolved by microorganisms to adapt to extreme environments. Here we report the exceptional adaptation strategies of chlorophototrophic and eukaryotic algae, and chlorophototrophic and prokaryotic cyanobacteria to the hyperarid and extremely high solar radiation conditions occurring in this desert. Our approach combined several microscopy techniques, spectroscopic analytical methods, and molecular analyses. We found that the major adaptation strategy was to avoid the extreme environmental conditions by colonizing cryptoendolithic, as well as, hypoendolithic habitats within gypsum deposits. The cryptoendolithic colonization occurred a few millimeters beneath the gypsum surface and showed a succession of organized horizons of algae and cyanobacteria, which has never been reported for endolithic microbial communities. The presence of cyanobacteria beneath the algal layer, in close contact with sepiolite inclusions, and their hypoendolithic colonization suggest that occasional liquid water might persist within these sub-microhabitats. We also identified the presence of abundant carotenoids in the upper cryptoendolithic algal habitat and scytonemin in the cyanobacteria hypoendolithic habitat. This study illustrates that successful lithobiontic microbial colonization at the limit for microbial life is the result of a combination of adaptive strategies to avoid excess solar irradiance and extreme evapotranspiration rates, taking advantage of the complex structural and mineralogical characteristics of gypsum deposits-conceptually called "rock's habitable architecture." Additionally, self-protection by synthesis and accumulation of secondary metabolites likely produces a shielding effect that prevents photoinhibition and lethal photooxidative damage to the chlorophototrophs, representing another level of adaptation.

  14. Provenance and recycling of Arabian desert sand

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-05-01

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

  15. Apparent Brecciation Gradient, Mount Desert Island, Maine

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-05-01

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

  16. Northern Dimension: Participant Strategies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Busygina Irina

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available This article is devoted to the “Northern Dimension” initiative of the EU which also includes North-West Russia, Norway and Iceland. It is noted that the “Northern Dimension” in the theoretical perspective can be considered as part of strategic multi-level interactions between member-states of the EU and Russia. On this basis, the authors analyze implications and effects of the strategic interdependence of all the EU-Russia relation levels.

  17. Northern Dimension: Participant Strategies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Busygina I.

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available his article is devoted to the “Northern Dimension” initiative of the EU which also includes North-West Russia, Norway and Iceland. It is noted that the “Northern Dimension” in the theoretical perspective can be considered as part of strategic multi-level interactions between member-states of the EU and Russia. On this basis, the authors analyze implications and effects of the strategic interdependence of all the EU-Russia relation levels.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2013-01-01

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

  19. Tools and Technologies Needed for Conducting Planetary Field Geology While On EVA: Insights from the 2010 Desert RATS Geologist Crewmembers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, Kelsey; Hurtado, Jose M., Jr.; Bleacher, Jacob E.; Garry, W. Brent; Bleisath, Scott; Buffington, Jesse; Rice, James W., Jr.

    2011-01-01

    Observation is the primary role of all field geologists, and geologic observations put into an evolving conceptual context will be the most important data stream that will be relayed to Earth during a planetary exploration mission. Sample collection is also an important planetary field activity, and its success is closely tied to the quality of contextual observations. To test protocols for doing effective planetary geologic fieldwork, the Desert RATS (Research and Technology Studies) project deployed two prototype rovers for two weeks of simulated exploratory traverses in the San Francisco volcanic field of northern Arizona. The authors of this paper represent the geologist crewmembers who participated in the 2010 field test. We document the procedures adopted for Desert RATS 2010 and report on our experiences regarding these protocols. Careful consideration must be made of various issues that impact the interplay between field geologic observations and sample collection, including time management; strategies related to duplication of samples and observations; logistical constraints on the volume and mass of samples and the volume/transfer of data collected; and paradigms for evaluation of mission success. We find that the 2010 field protocols brought to light important aspects of each of these issues, and we recommend best practices and modifications to training and operational protocols to address them. Underlying our recommendations is the recognition that the capacity of the crew to "flexibly execute" their activities is paramount. Careful design of mission parameters, especially field geologic protocols, is critical for enabling the crews to successfully meet their science objectives.

  20. The Influence of Solar Power Plants on Microclimatic Conditions and the Biotic Community in Chilean Desert Environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suuronen, Anna; Muñoz-Escobar, Christian; Lensu, Anssi; Kuitunen, Markku; Guajardo Celis, Natalia; Espinoza Astudillo, Pablo; Ferrú, Marcos; Taucare-Ríos, Andrés; Miranda, Marcelo; Kukkonen, Jussi V. K.

    2017-10-01

    The renewable energy sector is growing at a rapid pace in northern Chile and the solar energy potential is one of the best worldwide. Therefore, many types of solar power plant facilities are being built to take advantage of this renewable energy resource. Solar energy is considered a clean source of energy, but there are potential environmental effects of solar technology, such as landscape fragmentation, extinction of local biota, microclimate changes, among others. To be able to minimize environmental impacts of solar power plants, it is important to know what kind of environmental conditions solar power plants create. This study provides information about abiotic and biotic conditions in the vicinity of photovoltaic solar power plants. Herein, the influence of these power plants as drivers of new microclimate conditions and arthropods diversity composition in the Atacama Desert was evaluated. Microclimatic conditions between panel mounts was found to be more extreme than in the surrounding desert yet beneath the panels temperature is lower and relative humidity higher than outside the panel area. Arthropod species composition was altered in fixed-mount panel installations. In contrast, solar tracking technology showed less influence on microclimate and species composition between Sun and Shade in the power plant. Shady conditions provided a refuge for arthropod species in both installation types. For example, Dipterans were more abundant in the shade whereas Solifugaes were seldom present in the shade. The presented findings have relevance for the sustainable planning and construction of solar power plants.

  1. The Influence of Solar Power Plants on Microclimatic Conditions and the Biotic Community in Chilean Desert Environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suuronen, Anna; Muñoz-Escobar, Christian; Lensu, Anssi; Kuitunen, Markku; Guajardo Celis, Natalia; Espinoza Astudillo, Pablo; Ferrú, Marcos; Taucare-Ríos, Andrés; Miranda, Marcelo; Kukkonen, Jussi V K

    2017-10-01

    The renewable energy sector is growing at a rapid pace in northern Chile and the solar energy potential is one of the best worldwide. Therefore, many types of solar power plant facilities are being built to take advantage of this renewable energy resource. Solar energy is considered a clean source of energy, but there are potential environmental effects of solar technology, such as landscape fragmentation, extinction of local biota, microclimate changes, among others. To be able to minimize environmental impacts of solar power plants, it is important to know what kind of environmental conditions solar power plants create. This study provides information about abiotic and biotic conditions in the vicinity of photovoltaic solar power plants. Herein, the influence of these power plants as drivers of new microclimate conditions and arthropods diversity composition in the Atacama Desert was evaluated. Microclimatic conditions between panel mounts was found to be more extreme than in the surrounding desert yet beneath the panels temperature is lower and relative humidity higher than outside the panel area. Arthropod species composition was altered in fixed-mount panel installations. In contrast, solar tracking technology showed less influence on microclimate and species composition between Sun and Shade in the power plant. Shady conditions provided a refuge for arthropod species in both installation types. For example, Dipterans were more abundant in the shade whereas Solifugaes were seldom present in the shade. The presented findings have relevance for the sustainable planning and construction of solar power plants.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  3. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-11-12

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robert L. Minckley

    2013-01-01

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

  6. Electricity from the desert; Strom aus der Wueste

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schwarzburger, Heiko; Ullrich, Sven

    2013-06-15

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

  7. Cutaneous adenocarcinoma in a desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ashraf Abu-Seida

    2013-06-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    B.B.S. Kapoor* and Shelja Pandita

    2013-01-01

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

  9. Energetics and water relations ofN amib desert rodents

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, G. M.; And Others

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

  11. 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…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karpyn, Allison; Young, Candace; Weiss, Stephanie

    2012-02-01

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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

  14. Learning Desert Geomorphology Virtually versus in the Field

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Susan E. Meyer

    2011-01-01

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

  17. Ecology and utilization of desert shrub rangelands in Iraq

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Thalen, Derk Catharinus Peter

    1979-01-01

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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2003-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-04-01

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

  1. Debris Flows and Water Tracks in Continental Antarctica: Water as a geomorphic agent in a hyperarid polar desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hauber, E.; Sassenroth, C.; De Vera, J.-P.; Schmitz, N.; Reiss, D.; Hiesinger, H.; Johnsson, A.

    2017-09-01

    Most studies using Antarctica as a Mars analogue have focused on the McMurdo Dry Valleys, which are among the coldest and driest places on Earth. However, other ice-free areas in continental Antarctica also display landforms that can inform the study of the possible geomorphic impact of water in a polar desert. Here we present a new analogue site in the interior of the Transantarctic Mountains in Northern Victoria Land. Gullies show unambiguous evidence for debris flows, and water tracks act as shallow subsurface pathways of water on top of the permafrost tale. Both processes are driven by meltwater from glacier ice and snow in an environ-ment which never experiences rainfall and in which the air temperatures probably never exceed 0°C.

  2. Interactive effects of warming and increased precipitation on community structure and composition in an annual forb dominated desert steppe.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yanhui Hou

    Full Text Available To better understand how warming, increased precipitation and their interactions influence community structure and composition, a field experiment simulating hydrothermal interactions was conducted at an annual forb dominated desert steppe in northern China over 2 years. Increased precipitation increased species richness while warming significantly decreased species richness, and their effects were additive rather than interactive. Although interannual variations in weather conditions may have a major affect on plant community composition on short term experiments, warming and precipitation treatments affected individual species and functional group composition. Warming caused C4 grasses such as Cleistogenes squarrosa to increase while increased precipitation caused the proportions of non-perennial C3 plants like Artemisia capillaris to decrease and perennial C4 plants to increase.

  3. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laila M. Bidak

    2015-01-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 76 FR 50493 - Notice of Availability of the Record of Decision for the Desert Sunlight Holdings, LLC, Desert...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-08-15

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

  7. The Chemistry and Mineralogy of Atacama Desert soils: A Possible Analog for Mars Soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sutter, B.; Amundson, R.; Ewing, S.; Rhodes, K. W.; McKay, C.

    2002-12-01

    The Atacama Desert of northern Chile is the driest desert in the world, having experienced its present hyper-arid climate since the Miocene. While Mars is vastly more dry and cold than the Atacama, the Atacama environment may be one of the best terrestrial Mars analog environments accessible to researchers. Because of the long-term hyperaridity, the soils retain atmospherically-derived elements, which accumulate to economically valuable quantities. The objective of this work was to examine physical and chemical evolution of the soils of the hyper-arid Atacama Desert to provide insight as to what soil properties may be found on Mars. Three soils were excavated and examined on widely representative landforms along a south to north transect (Copiapo > Altimira > Yungay) that coincides with decreasing moisture levels (~15mm to ~2 mm yr-1, south to north). Total chemical analyses were used to calculate strain (i.e. volume change) and elemental gains or losses (\\tau). Relative to parent material values, the Yungay and Altimira soils have expanded over 400% in certain horizons, while the Copiapo soil has collapsed by as much as 48%. The expansions are driven by elemental gains; the collapse by weathering losses. Calculations of \\tau indicate a 380 000% enrichment in Cl (halite) in the lower horizons, and S enrichments (anhydrite, gypsum) as high as 50 000% in the upper horizons, of the Yungay soil. The Altimira soil had a 110 000% enrichment of S (gypsum) and a 16,000% enrichment of carbonate, reflecting the higher precipitation and the relative solubility of salts. The southern, higher rainfall Copiapo soil had small \\tau values for S (283%) and Cl (63%) in the middle horizons, but significant gains of CaCO3 (\\tau values as high as 4 000% in certain horizons). In general, the type and depth of Cl, S, and CaCO3 enrichment in the soils varied predictably with rainfall. The results of this work, which document enormous atmospherically-derived elemental gains and

  8. Aerosol radiative forcing during African desert dust events (2005–2010 over Southeastern Spain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Valenzuela

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available The daily (24 h averages of the aerosol radiative forcing (ARF at the surface and the top of the atmosphere (TOA were calculated during desert dust events over Granada (southeastern Spain from 2005 to 2010. A radiative transfer model (SBDART was utilized to simulate the solar irradiance values (0.31–2.8 μm at the surface and TOA, using as input aerosol properties retrieved from CIMEL sun photometer measurements via an inversion methodology that uses the sky radiance measurements in principal plane configuration and a spheroid particle shape approximation. This inversion methodology was checked by means of simulated data from aerosol models, and the derived aerosol properties were satisfactorily compared against well-known AERONET products. Good agreement was found over a common spectral interval (0.2–4.0 μm between the simulated SBDART global irradiances at surface and those provided by AERONET. In addition, simulated SBDART solar global irradiances at the surface have been successfully validated against CM-11 pyranometer measurements. The comparison indicates that the radiative transfer model slightly overestimates (mean bias of 3% the experimental solar global irradiance. These results show that the aerosol optical properties used to estimate ARF represent appropriately the aerosol properties observed during desert dust outbreak over the study area. The ARF mean monthly values computed during desert dust events ranged from −13 ± 8 W m−2 to −34 ± 15 W m−2 at surface, from −4 ± 3 W m−2 to −13 ± 7 W m−2 at TOA and from +6 ± 4 to +21 ± 12 W m−2 in the atmosphere. We have checked if the differences found in aerosol optical properties among desert dust sectors translate to differences in ARF. The mean ARF at surface (TOA were −20 ± 12 (−5 ± 5 W m−2, −21 ± 9 (−7 ± 5 W m−2 and −18 ± 9 (−6 ± 5 W m−2 for sector A

  9. Desert dust,Ocean spray,Volcanoes,Biomass burning: Pathways of nutrients into Andean rainforests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fabian, P.; Rollenbeck, R.; Spichtinger, N.; Dominguez, G.; Brothers, L.; Thiemens, M.

    2009-04-01

    Atlantic air masses to reach the receptor site within less than 5 days.Episodes of enhanced Ca 2+ and Mg 2+ were found to be associated with air masses from African deserts.Satellite aerosol data clearly confirmed desert sources both on the Northern (Sahara) as on the Southern Hemisphere (Namib),depending on season. Few episodes of distinct PO43-deposition are due to air masses either from north African (phosphate mining) or coastal sites of Peru (guano?). While volcanic,oceanic and desert sources are natural, large scale biomass burning is an anthropogenic source which adds about 7 kg/ha of NO3- and 14 kg/ha of SO4 2- per year .The episodic PO4 3- deposition amounts to about 2.6 kg/ha PO4 3- per year.Controlled fertilizing experiments are presently carried out to investigate the impact of these disturbances on the mountain forest ecosystem.

  10. Isotopic characterization and genetic origin of crude oils from Gulf of Suez and western desert fields in Egypt

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Abd El Samie, S.G.

    2006-01-01

    Stable carbon isotopes were used to asses the general characteristics of the western desert and Gulf of Suez crude oils in accordance with hydrocarbon generation, source rocks, thermal gradient and maturation level. The carbon isotopic results of all the analyzed oil samples in both areas lie in the range from -29.62 to -24.11 %. The av. σ 13 C values in the Gulf of Suez reaches about -28.6% and -26.4% in western desert. It was accounted a marginal difference between the two areas by about 2.5 : 3% in carbon-13 isotope of the whole oil indicated two distinct oil types of different organic input and varies in the depositional environment. It was found that Gulf of Suez oils are dominated by marine organic matter (plankton algae) deposited in saline environment. The derived oils from the northern and central provinces of the Gulf are isotopically light, higher in sulfur content, lower in API gravity degree and have Pristane/Phytane (Pr/Ph) ratio less than or equal one (Pr/Ph = 1). In the southern province, about 0.5% isotopic enrichment was recorded in the produced oils from shallower depths, associated with gradual increment in API and maturity level as thermal gradient increase. However, low API gravity degree and less maturity of the Gulf of Suez oils could be related to the rifting temperature that forced and accelerated the expulsion rate and hydrocarbon generation prior reaching higher maturation levels. On the other hand, the produced oils from the western desert fields belong mostly to terrestrial organic debris (with minor marine fragment in some basins) deposited at deeper geological formations. It is characterized by isotopic enrichment, paraffinic waxy oils, low in sulphur content, have Pr/Ph = 1, high in API gravity and maturity level. Hydrocarbon generated from the western desert fields has been controlled by time-temperature effect in the source rocks and reservoirs where the humic organic matter are affected by high temperature over longer period of

  11. Chroococcidiopsis sp. strain AAB1, a new model from the Atacama desert for the understanding of extreme UV tolerance in an astrobiological context

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Azua-Bustos, A.; Arenas, C.; Paulino-Lima, I G.; Galante, D.

    2012-01-01

    Full text: The Atacama Desert in northern Chile is the driest and oldest desert on Earth. In a recently published report [Azua-Bustos, 2011] we showed that along its Coastal Range, fog can support hypolithic colonization rates of 80From these hypolithic communities we were able to obtain a previously unknown strain of Chroococcidiopsis which we characterized by morphological and molecular means. Due to the extreme tolerance of cyanobacteria of this genus to UV, and since the Atacama Desert has constantly high UV radiation levels all year long, we propose this strain as a pertinent model for understanding the limits UV tolerance for life as we know it. We have measured the viability of the isolate by using the DEAD/LIVE BacLight kit which allows the detection of dead cells by measuring the loss of integrity of the plasma membrane, and found that it remains almost unchanged with control cultures when desiccated. In addition, desiccated samples readily start new cultures. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) of desiccated samples show no evident changes compared with controls. Pigments extracts from desiccated samples show a decrease in photosynthetic pigments like Chlorophyll-a, measured by fluorescence spectra and by tissue layer chromatography. Desiccated samples also synthesize sucrose, an intracellular compatible solute known to play a role in desiccation tolerance. As desiccation and extreme UV tolerance are thought to share similar metabolic routes [Rebecchi, 2007], we expect that our isolate (as suggested by preliminary experiments performed with our strain at LNLS in 2010) should be extremely tolerant to UV radiation. Future work include exposition of monolayers of our strain using the VUV line, and the determination of its comparative tolerance levels with a Chroococcidiopsis strain (N76) isolated from the Mojave Desert which we also have in culture. The experiments will consist of different exposition times in order to achieve increasing UV accumulation

  12. Relation between uranium mineralization and structural features, Gebel Gattar, north eastern desert, Egypt

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Salman, A.B.; Shalaby, M.H.; Abuzaid, M.M.; Ragab, A.

    1998-01-01

    Gebel Gattar area is situated in the northern Eastern Desert of Egypt, SW Hurghada city and is considered as an area of high potentialities for uranium deposits. The area is covered by Hammamat sediments and Gattarian granites. The Hammamat sediments are dissected by different types of dykes, while Gebel Gattar granites are cut only by basic dykes. These granites are mentioned as the younger pink granites, perthitic leucogranites, calc-alkaline and within plate granites. The structural deformations of the study area are represented by primary structures and secondary ones. The most prevailing structures are folding, faulting and jointing. The faults, especially those trending in the NNE-SSW and N-S directions played as pass ways to the ascending uranium-bearing hydrothermal solutions carrying uranium mineralizations. Most of them are located within a large pull apart basin. It is found from the relation between structures and uranium mineralization within the highly pro missing shear zones that uranium mineralizations are located within a large pull-apart basin, having about 2 km length and 0.5 km width. This idea is based up on the distribution of uranium mineralized lenses as shown in a block diagram. This conclusion is based on the structural framework of the area, the shape of mineralization and its distribution and their mutual relationships of Gl, Gll and GVl shear zones

  13. Satellite Monitoring of Vegetation Response to Precipitation and Dust Storm Outbreaks in Gobi Desert Regions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuki Sofue

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Recently, droughts have become widespread in the Northern Hemisphere, including in Mongolia. The ground surface condition, particularly vegetation coverage, affects the occurrence of dust storms. The main sources of dust storms in the Asian region are the Taklimakan and Mongolian Gobi desert regions. In these regions, precipitation is one of the most important factors for growth of plants especially in arid and semi-arid land. The purpose of this study is to clarify the relationship between precipitation and vegetation cover dynamics over 29 years in the Gobi region. We compared the patterns between precipitation and Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI for a period of 29 years. The precipitation and vegetation datasets were examined to investigate the trends during 1985–2013. Cross correlation analysis between the precipitation and the NDVI anomalies was performed. Data analysis showed that the variations of NDVI anomalies in the east region correspond well with the precipitation anomalies during this period. However, in the southwest region of the Gobi region, the NDVI had decreased regardless of the precipitation amount, especially since 2010. This result showed that vegetation in this region was more degraded than in the other areas.

  14. Butterflies of the high altitude Atacama Desert: habitat use and conservation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emma eDespland

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available The butterfly fauna of the high-altitude desert of Northern Chile, though depauperate, shows high endemism, is poorly known and is of considerable conservation concern. This study surveys butterflies along the Andean slope between 2400 and 500 m asl (prepuna, puna and Andean steppe habitats as well as in high and low altitude wetlands and in the neoriparian vegetation of agricultural sites. We also include historical sightings from museum records. We compare abundances between altitudes, between natural and impacted sites, as well as between two sampling years with different precipitation regimes. The results confirm high altitudinal turnover and show greatest similarity between wetland and slope faunas at similar altitudes. Results also underscore vulnerability to weather fluctuations, particularly in the more arid low-altitude sites, where abundances were much lower in the low precipitation sampling season and several species were not observed at all. Finally, we show that some species have shifted to the neoriparian vegetation of the agricultural landscape, whereas others were only observed in less impacted habitats dominated by native plants. These results suggest that acclimation to novel habitats depends on larval host plant use. The traditional agricultural environment can provide habitat for many, but not all, native butterfly species, but an estimation of the value of these habitats requires better understanding of butterfly life-history strategies and relationships with host plants.

  15. Manufacturing wizardry : products to tame heat, cold, deserts, swamps and underground infernos

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jaremko, G.

    1997-01-01

    Some examples of Canadian oil and natural gas service equipment are cited as examples of exportable Canadian know-how. Foremosts are Canadian made, all terrain vehicles, designed to work in rugged terrain. Calgary-based Foremost Industries Inc., has sold several of their industrial vehicles for the Taklamakan, the high desert in the Tarim Basin of northwestern China. The huge vehicles with monster tires can haul up to 70 tonnes of material and leave very little or no mark on the wilderness. Foremost Industries Inc. is also an international corporation with branches in Nevada and Indiana. Their success stems from the fact that they were able to develop a vehicle for well drilling that would withstand the rough terrain and extreme climate conditions across western and northern Canada. Atco, a Calgary-based company, has developed quality portable housing to shelter surveyors, geologists, and drilling-rig crews. Another company, Reynolds Manufacturing, has developed safety clothing for workers in the oil industry. Canadian Oilfield Rigs and Equipment Fabrication Inc., manufacture volume production technology packages such as wireline data recording vehicles and well-service rigs, sold in markets from Algeria to Venezuela. 5 figs

  16. Mapping Potential Areas For Gold And Base Metals Mineralization In Southeastern Desert, Egypt: An Approach By Using Remote Sensing And GIS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    ElFouly, A.; Salem, H.

    2003-01-01

    Integration of Landsat-Thematic Mapper (TM), aero magnetic data, structural geology along with the known mineralization occurrences in the area are mainly the factors used to recognize favorable sites for structurally controlled mineralization at the northern part of the southeastern Desert of Egypt. Two knowledge-driven models were constructed based on a conceptual gold exploration model. The Density of Lineament Intersection (DLI) results from this study along with Dempster-Shafer (D-S) Belief approach show good results in delineating favorable mineralization areas. The basic assignment probability maps for the heat source, strong magnetism, hydrothermal alteration, geologic structure, and known mineralization occurrences in the area are the main D-S Belief approach recognition criteria component used for mineral exploration in the study area. The DLI method is maximizing the use of Landsat remote sensing data that could be used efficiently in the exploration for structurally controlled hydrothermal related mineralization. The DLI method results show higher resolution and accurate results for gold and base metals exploration. The high favorability areas by using the DLI method is 2196 Km 2 which are concise area than the D-S Belief approach for about 3976.5 Km 2 . These results are useful to be a strong base for planning accurate exploration program. The potential favorability maps of gold and base metals ore deposits from the northern part of the South Eastern Desert predicted the known areas of mineralization as well as identified high potential areas not known before with mineralization for future exploration

  17. Northern Ireland gas industry

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Anderson, R S [Belfast City Council Gas Dept.; Asquith, R S; Brown, J M; McKay, G

    1977-07-01

    Throughout Northern Ireland the production of town gas is derived from hydrocarbon feedstocks. In the larger undertakings in Northern Ireland the feedstock is light distillate; a light petroleum feedstock which is a crude gasoline comprised mainly of pentanes, reformed in catalytic plants. The remaining gas undertakings produce a liquefied petroleum gas (LPG)/air mixture using a mixture of either butane or propane and air. The individual gas units and the type of reforming feedstock are shown. A review of the oil-dependence of town gas and electricity production in Northern Ireland has been considered and is mainly responsible for the high fuel prices experienced in the community. A detailed description of the reforming process has been described, and considerable efforts have been made to optimize the process. In spite of substantial economic savings being made on the processing unit, the gas industry is very susceptible to the changes in oil prices which have escalated rapidly in recent years. The difference in gas prices between the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland indicates that North Sea gas would offer major economic benefits to the gas industry in Northern Ireland, which is operating at a substantial loss at the moment. The industrial concerns, which are dependent on gas and therefore paying high fuel costs, suffer in competition with outside companies. The injection of a moderately cheap natural gas supply to the community may encourage industrial expansion and provide work in a high unemployment area. Although substantial costs must be incurred in distribution pipelines and burner conversions if Northern Ireland changes to natural gas, there appears to be a strong case to introduce North Sea gas in the near future.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jia, Xiaopeng; Wang, Haibing

    2011-02-01

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

  19. Northern blotting analysis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Josefsen, Knud; Nielsen, Henrik

    2011-01-01

    Northern blotting analysis is a classical method for analysis of the size and steady-state level of a specific RNA in a complex sample. In short, the RNA is size-fractionated by gel electrophoresis and transferred by blotting onto a membrane to which the RNA is covalently bound. Then, the membrane...... is analysed by hybridization to one or more specific probes that are labelled for subsequent detection. Northern blotting is relatively simple to perform, inexpensive, and not plagued by artefacts. Recent developments of hybridization membranes and buffers have resulted in increased sensitivity closing...

  20. 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

  1. DISPERSAL OF SEEDS AS NEST MATERIAL BY THE CACTUS WREN

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cactus wren (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus) nests from the southern Chihuahuan Desert contained viable seeds of grasses, forbs, and shrubs. The most common plants used as construction material in these nests were Muhlenbergia porteri, Boerhavia spicata, and the alien grass Era...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  3. 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

  4. Northern blotting analysis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Josefsen, Knud; Nielsen, Henrik

    2011-01-01

    is analysed by hybridization to one or more specific probes that are labelled for subsequent detection. Northern blotting is relatively simple to perform, inexpensive, and not plagued by artefacts. Recent developments of hybridization membranes and buffers have resulted in increased sensitivity closing...

  5. insurgencies in northern Uganda

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    International Criminal Court (ICC) investigations into the LRA activities. ... and the rebel movements in northern Uganda, see Human Rights Watch 2003, and ... the ICC, Luis Moreno Ocampo, met at Hotel Intercontinental, Hyde Park, London, ..... expunge criminal liability for war crimes and crimes against humanity, appear.

  6. 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.

  7. The Plant Genetic Engineering Laboratory For Desert Adaptation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kemp, John D.; Phillips, Gregory C.

    1985-11-01

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

  8. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1993-01-01

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

  10. Who Needs Religion When You Have The Desert?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sørensen, Bent

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    1991-01-01

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

  16. 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).

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1994-01-01

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

  18. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1991-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-11-20

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  2. Study of the microwave emissivity characteristics over Gobi Desert

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yubao, Qiu; Lijuan, Shi; Wenbo, Wu

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-09-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2009-07-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. Transitory microbial habitat in the hyperarid Atacama Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-03-01

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

  7. Palynology in a polar desert, eastern North Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Funder, Svend Visby; Abrahamsen, Niels

    1988-01-01

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

  8. Microbial communities in a High Arctic polar desert landscape

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Clare M McCann

    2016-03-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Toderich, Kristina; Tsukatani, Tsuneo

    2005-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kristína Bilková

    2015-01-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. Structural interpretation of aeromagnetic data for the Wadi El Natrun area, northwestern desert, Egypt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ibraheem, Ismael M.; Elawadi, Eslam A.; El-Qady, Gad M.

    2018-03-01

    The Wadi El Natrun area in Egypt is located west of the Nile Delta on both sides of the Cairo-Alexandria desert road, between 30°00‧ and 30°40‧N latitude, and 29°40‧ and 30°40‧E longitude. The name refers to the NW-SE trending depression located in the area and containing lakes that produce natron salt. In spite of the area is promising for oil and gas exploration as well as agricultural projects, Geophysical studies carried out in the area is limited to the regional seismic surveys accomplished by oil companies. This study presents the interpretation of the airborne magnetic data to map the structure architecture and depth to the basement of the study area. This interpretation was facilitated by applying different data enhancement and processing techniques. These techniques included filters (regional-residual separation), derivatives and depth estimation using spectral analysis and Euler deconvolution. The results were refined using 2-D forward modeling along three profiles. Based on the depth estimation techniques, the estimated depth to the basement surface, ranges from 2.25 km to 5.43 km while results of the two-dimensional forward modeling show that the depth of the basement surface ranges from 2.2 km to 4.8 km. The dominant tectonic trends in the study area at deep levels are NW (Suez Trend), NNW, NE, and ENE (Syrian Arc System trend). The older ENE trend, which dominates the northwestern desert is overprinted in the study area by relatively recent NW and NE trends, whereas the tectonic trends at shallow levels are NW, ENE, NNE (Aqaba Trend), and NE. The predominant structure trend for both deep and shallow structures is the NW trend. The results of this study can be used to better understand deep-seated basement structures and to support decisions with regard to the development of agriculture, industrial areas, as well as oil and gas exploration in northern Egypt.

  14. Preservation of Lipid Biomarkers Under Prolonged and Extreme Hyperaridity in Atacama Desert Soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilhelm, Mary Beth

    2015-01-01

    Molecular biomarkers are the most direct biosignatures of life on early Earth and a key target in the search for life on Mars. Lipid biomarkers are of particular interest given their ability to survive oxidative degradation and record microbial presence and activity of microorganisms that occurred billions of years ago (Eigenbrode, 2008). Environmental conditions that suspend biotic and abiotic degradative processes prior to lithification can lead to enhanced biomolecular preservation over geological time-scales. The hyperarid core of the Atacama Desert in northern Chile offers a unique environment to investigate lipid biomarker taphonomy under extreme and prolonged dryness. We investigated the accumulation and degree of preservation of lipid biomarkers in million-year-old hyperarid soils where primarily abiotic conditions influence their taphonomy. Soils were extracted and free and membrane bound lipids were analyzed across a vertical profile of 2.5 meters in the Yungay hyper-arid core of the Atacama Desert. Due to the extremely low inventory of biomass in Atacama soils, samples were collected by scientists wearing cleanroom suits to minimize anthropogenic contamination during sampling. Fatty acids were found to be well preserved in Yungay soils, and were most abundant in the clay-rich soils at approx.2 m depth (approx.750 ng of fatty acid methyl ester/g of soil). These buried clays layers were fluvially deposited approximately 2 million years ago, and have been excluded from exposure to rainwater and modern surficial processes since their emplacement (Ewing et al., 2008). Monocarboxylic fatty acid, monohydroxy fatty acid, glycerol tetraether, and n-alkane hydrocarbon content was found to change with depth. Lipid biomarker content in deeper soil layers is suggestive of soils having been formed at a time when environmental conditions were capable of supporting active microbial communities and plants. In short, total lipid extracts reveal a remarkable degree of

  15. Alto Patache fog oasis in the Atacama Desert: Geographical basis for a sustainable development program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calderón, M.; Cereceda, P.; Larrain, H.; Osses, P.; Pérez, L.; Ibáñez, M.

    2010-07-01

    Alto Patache coastal fog oasis is a protected area located south of Iquique, Northern Chile, being presently in charge of the Atacama Desert Center (ADC) research group of the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, since 1997. On 2007, the Chilean Government bestowed a piece of land stretch covering 1,114 hectares to ADC scientific group for scientific research, ecosystem protection and environmental education. This oasis has been recently studied from different points of view: climate, biogeography, fog collection, geomorphology, soil survey and land use planning, plant distribution, conservation and archaeology. During 2009, a study of the geographical basis to elaborate a general management plan was undertaken to collect information to fulfill our planned out objectives. Through this study, georreferenciated strategic information was compiled to evaluate future actions conducting to a sustainable development within the protected area. This information was translated into thematic maps showing the spatial distribution of variables like: climate, geology, geomorphology, soils, vegetation, fauna, archaeological sites and management zones. The methodology used is the analysis of satellite imagery, using GPS by creating a cartographic Data Base incorporated in GIS. Results show that the area starts at the littoral plain, ranging from 500 m to 2.000 m, being continued in parts by a piedmont intercepted by a very abrupt mega-cliff, or hectares of climbing sand dunes leading to a short high plateau limited by a soft hilly area to the East. Two soil types are characteristic: Entisols (Torriorthent) covering the coastal beach sediments, and Aridisols along the cliff and adjacent hills. Vegetation consists not only of a very rich lichen cover, but also of endangered vascular species associations constituting a very fragile sub-tropical coastal desert community, such as Eulychnia, Cumulopuntia, Eriosyce cacti, and Lycium - Nolana- Ephedra communities. Fog oasis

  16. Preservation of Lipid Biomarkers Under Prolonged and Extreme Hyperaridity in Atacama Desert Soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilhelm, M. B.; Davila, A. F.; Eigenbrode, J. L.; Parenteau, M. N.; Jahnke, L. L.; Summons, R. E.; Liu, X.; Wray, J. J.; Stamos, B.; O'Reilly, S. S.; Williams, A. J.

    2015-12-01

    Molecular biomarkers are the most direct biosignatures of life on early Earth and a key target in the search for life on Mars. Lipid biomarkers are of particular interest given their ability to survive oxidative degradation and record microbial presence and activity of microorganisms that occurred billions of years ago (Eigenbrode, 2008). Environmental conditions that suspend biotic and abiotic degradative processes prior to lithification can lead to enhanced biomolecular preservation over geological time-scales. The hyperarid core of the Atacama Desert in northern Chile offers a unique environment to investigate lipid biomarker taphonomy under extreme and prolonged dryness. We investigated the accumulation and degree of preservation of lipid biomarkers in million-year-old hyperarid soils where primarily abiotic conditions influence their taphonomy. Soils were extracted and free and membrane bound lipids were analyzed across a vertical profile of 2.5 meters in the Yungay hyper-arid core of the Atacama Desert. Due to the extremely low inventory of biomass in Atacama soils, samples were collected by scientists wearing cleanroom suits to minimize anthropogenic contamination during sampling. Fatty acids were found to be well preserved in Yungay soils, and were most abundant in the clay-rich soils at ~2 m depth (~750 ng of fatty acid methyl ester/g of soil). These buried clays layers were fluvially deposited approximately 2 million years ago, and have been excluded from exposure to rainwater and modern surficial processes since their emplacement (Ewing et al., 2008). Monocarboxylic fatty acid, monohydroxy fatty acid, glycerol tetraether, and n-alkane hydrocarbon content was found to change with depth. Lipid biomarker content in deeper soil layers is suggestive of soils having been formed at a time when environmental conditions were capable of supporting active microbial communities and plants. In short, total lipid extracts reveal a remarkable degree of lipid biomarker

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    1983-01-01

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

  18. Establishment and formation of fog-dependent Tillandsia landbeckii dunes in the Atacama Desert: Evidence from radiocarbon and stable isotopes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Latorre, Claudio; GonzáLez, AngéLica L.; Quade, Jay; FariñA, José M.; Pinto, Raquel; Marquet, Pablo A.

    2011-09-01

    Extensive dune fields made up exclusively of the bromeliad Tillandsia landbeckii thrive in the Atacama Desert, one of the most extreme landscapes on earth. These plants survive by adapting exclusively to take in abundant advective fog and dew as moisture sources. Although some information has been gathered regarding their modern distribution and adaptations, very little is known about how these dune systems actually form and accumulate over time. We present evidence based on 20 radiocarbon dates for the establishment age and development of five different such dune systems located along a ˜215 km transect in northern Chile. Using stratigraphy, geochronology and stable C and N isotopes, we (1) develop an establishment chronology of these ecosystems, (2) explain how the unique T. landbeckii dunes form, and (3) link changes in foliar δ15N values to moisture availability in buried fossil T. landbeckii layers. We conclude by pointing out the potential that these systems have for reconstructing past climate change along coastal northern Chile during the late Holocene.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zaigham, N.A.

    2002-01-01

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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Northern pipelines : backgrounder

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2002-04-01

    Most analysts agree that demand for natural gas in North America will continue to grow. Favourable market conditions created by rising demand and declining production have sparked renewed interest in northern natural gas development. The 2002 Annual Energy Outlook forecasted U.S. consumption to increase at an annual average rate of 2 per cent from 22.8 trillion cubic feet to 33.8 TCF by 2020, mostly due to rapid growth in demand for electric power generation. Natural gas prices are also expected to increase at an annual average rate of 1.6 per cent, reaching $3.26 per thousand cubic feet in 2020. There are currently 3 proposals for pipelines to move northern gas to US markets. They include a stand-alone Mackenzie Delta Project, the Alaska Highway Pipeline Project, and an offshore route that would combine Alaskan and Canadian gas in a pipeline across the floor of the Beaufort Sea. Current market conditions and demand suggest that the projects are not mutually exclusive, but complimentary. The factors that differentiate northern pipeline proposals are reserves, preparedness for market, costs, engineering, and environmental differences. Canada has affirmed its role to provide the regulatory and fiscal certainty needed by industry to make investment decisions. The Government of the Yukon does not believe that the Alaska Highway Project will shut in Mackenzie Delta gas, but will instead pave the way for development of a new northern natural gas industry. The Alaska Highway Pipeline Project will bring significant benefits for the Yukon, the Northwest Territories and the rest of Canada. Unresolved land claims are one of the challenges that has to be addressed for both Yukon and the Northwest Territories, as the proposed Alaska Highway Pipeline will travel through traditional territories of several Yukon first Nations. 1 tab., 4 figs

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1990-01-01

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

  4. Detecting leaf pulvinar movements on NDVI time series of desert trees: a new approach for water stress detection.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roberto O Chávez

    Full Text Available Heliotropic leaf movement or leaf 'solar tracking' occurs for a wide variety of plants, including many desert species and some crops. This has an important effect on the canopy spectral reflectance as measured from satellites. For this reason, monitoring systems based on spectral vegetation indices, such as the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI, should account for heliotropic movements when evaluating the health condition of such species. In the hyper-arid Atacama Desert, Northern Chile, we studied seasonal and diurnal variations of MODIS and Landsat NDVI time series of plantation stands of the endemic species Prosopis tamarugo Phil., subject to different levels of groundwater depletion. As solar irradiation increased during the day and also during the summer, the paraheliotropic leaves of Tamarugo moved to an erectophile position (parallel to the sun rays making the NDVI signal to drop. This way, Tamarugo stands with no water stress showed a positive NDVI difference between morning and midday (ΔNDVI mo-mi and between winter and summer (ΔNDVI W-S. In this paper, we showed that the ΔNDVI mo-mi of Tamarugo stands can be detected using MODIS Terra and Aqua images, and the ΔNDVI W-S using Landsat or MODIS Terra images. Because pulvinar movement is triggered by changes in cell turgor, the effects of water stress caused by groundwater depletion can be assessed and monitored using ΔNDVI mo-mi and ΔNDVI W-S. For an 11-year time series without rainfall events, Landsat ΔNDVI W-S of Tamarugo stands showed a positive linear relationship with cumulative groundwater depletion. We conclude that both ΔNDVI mo-mi and ΔNDVI W-S have potential to detect early water stress of paraheliotropic vegetation.

  5. Detecting leaf pulvinar movements on NDVI time series of desert trees: a new approach for water stress detection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chávez, Roberto O; Clevers, Jan G P W; Verbesselt, Jan; Naulin, Paulette I; Herold, Martin

    2014-01-01

    Heliotropic leaf movement or leaf 'solar tracking' occurs for a wide variety of plants, including many desert species and some crops. This has an important effect on the canopy spectral reflectance as measured from satellites. For this reason, monitoring systems based on spectral vegetation indices, such as the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), should account for heliotropic movements when evaluating the health condition of such species. In the hyper-arid Atacama Desert, Northern Chile, we studied seasonal and diurnal variations of MODIS and Landsat NDVI time series of plantation stands of the endemic species Prosopis tamarugo Phil., subject to different levels of groundwater depletion. As solar irradiation increased during the day and also during the summer, the paraheliotropic leaves of Tamarugo moved to an erectophile position (parallel to the sun rays) making the NDVI signal to drop. This way, Tamarugo stands with no water stress showed a positive NDVI difference between morning and midday (ΔNDVI mo-mi) and between winter and summer (ΔNDVI W-S). In this paper, we showed that the ΔNDVI mo-mi of Tamarugo stands can be detected using MODIS Terra and Aqua images, and the ΔNDVI W-S using Landsat or MODIS Terra images. Because pulvinar movement is triggered by changes in cell turgor, the effects of water stress caused by groundwater depletion can be assessed and monitored using ΔNDVI mo-mi and ΔNDVI W-S. For an 11-year time series without rainfall events, Landsat ΔNDVI W-S of Tamarugo stands showed a positive linear relationship with cumulative groundwater depletion. We conclude that both ΔNDVI mo-mi and ΔNDVI W-S have potential to detect early water stress of paraheliotropic vegetation.

  6. Mid-to-Late Holocene Hydrologic Variability in the Southeastern Mojave Desert Using Sediments from Ford Lake

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayer, S. A.; Kirby, M. E.; Anderson, W. T., Jr.; Stout, C.; Palermo, J. A.

    2015-12-01

    The focal point of most lacustrine studies in the Mojave National Preserve (MNP) to date has been on lakes fed by the Mojave River. The source of the Mojave River is found on the northern flank of the San Bernardino Mountains. Consequently, the lakes that receive these waters are predominantly responding to the winter-only coastal southwest United States climate (e.g., Kirby et al., 2015 - Silver Lake); to a lesser degree, these lakes are also influenced by the Mojave's bimodal winter/summer climate. Ford Lake, located in the southeastern Mojave Desert is a small closed basin lake with its drainage basin located exclusively within the Mojave Desert. Therefore, sediment collected from Ford Lake contains a 100% Mojave-only climate signal. A 2.18 m sediment core was collected from the lake's depocenter in May 2015. Sediment analyses at 1 cm contiguous intervals include: magnetic susceptibility (MS), percent total organic matter, percent total carbonate content, and grain size analysis; C:N ratios, C and N isotope (δ13C and δ15N) analyses, and macrofossil counts are determined at 2 cm intervals. The site's age model is based on accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) radiocarbon ages from discrete organic macrofossils or bulk organic carbon. To deconvolve the coastal climate, winter-only signal from the Mojave-only climate signal the data from Ford Lake will be compared to one Mojave River fed lake (Silver) and several southern California lakes (Lower Bear, Lake Elsinore, Dry Lake, and Zaca Lake). Our results will be analyzed in the context of climate forcings such as insolation and ocean - atmosphere dynamics.

  7. Structure, agency, and the transformation of the Sonoran Desert by buffelgrass (Pennisetum ciliare): An application of land change science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brenner, Jacob C.

    A regional land transformation is underway in the Sonoran Desert of southwestern North America as a result of the conversion of native rangeland to exotic pasture. In northwestern Sonora, Mexico the process involves clearing native vegetation for cultivation of buffelgrass (Pennisetum ciliare). Southern African buffelgrass was introduced to Sonora through the United States in the 1950s with generous support from the Mexican federal and Sonoran state governments. The ascendance of buffelgrass as a range management tool in Sonora has been conditioned by an international political economy of beef production. However, land use decisions regarding buffelgrass are also conditioned by factors internal to the ranch household. This research examines the expansion of buffelgrass in the Sonoran Desert, addressing its extent and drivers. Through the use of systematic interviews with ranchers, key informant interviews with government officials, and an examination of northern Mexico's cattle ranching history and policy, the dissertation documents why buffelgrass has spread as a policy program and management choice. This part of the work addresses a "structure-agency debate" in human-environment geography. Next the research turns to landscape impacts of buffelgrass cultivation, through vegetation plot and transect sampling. The extent, cover, and density of buffelgrass inside and outside fenced pastures are examined, confirming the hypothesis that disturbance facilitates invasion from pastures onto surrounding lands. Finally, the research employs novel methods of remote sensing and geographic information science using a 1973-2006 time series of Landsat imagery to characterize the patterns and temporal trajectories of land change by buffelgrass across the site. Object-based image processing techniques are combined with traditional maximum likelihood techniques and classification tree analysis to address the difficult task of distinguishing buffelgrass from other prevalent land

  8. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ronan Carlos Colombo

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clarke, Frank Eldridge

    1979-01-01

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

  12. 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

  13. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bozinovic, Francisco; Gallardo, Pedro

    2006-01-01

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

  15. 76 FR 28767 - Desert Southwest Customer Service Region-Rate Order No. WAPA-152

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-05-18

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

  16. 75 FR 13805 - Aspen Group Resources Corp., Commercial Concepts, Inc., Desert Health Products, Inc., Equalnet...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-03-23

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matthew L. Brooks; Jeanne C. Chambers

    2011-01-01

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

  20. 76 FR 45606 - Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan, Habitat Conservation Plan and Possible Land Use Plan...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-07-29

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

  1. 76 FR 29182 - Revisions to the California State Implementation Plan, Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-05-20

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

  2. 77 FR 11990 - Revisions to the California State Implementation Plan, Mojave Desert Air Quality Management...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-02-28

    ... the California State Implementation Plan, Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District and Yolo-Solano Air Quality Management District AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). ACTION: Proposed rule. SUMMARY: EPA is proposing to approve revisions to the Mojave Desert Air Quality Management...

  3. 77 FR 11992 - Revisions to the California State Implementation Plan, Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-02-28

    ... the California State Implementation Plan, Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District AGENCY... limited disapproval of revisions to the Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District (MDAQMD) portion of...,'' Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management, December 2000. B. Does the rule meet the evaluation...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2000-01-01

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

  5. Biparentally deserted offspring are viable in a species with intense sexual conflict over care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pogány, Ákos; Kosztolányi, András; Miklósi, Ádám; Komdeur, Jan; Székely, Tamás

    2015-07-01

    Desertion of clutch (or brood) by both parents often leads to breeding failure, since in vast majority of birds care by at least one parent is required for any young to fledge. Recent works in a highly polygamous passerine bird, the Eurasian penduline tit (Remiz pendulinus), suggest that biparental clutch desertion is due to intense sexual conflict over care. However, an alternative yet untested hypothesis for biparental desertion is low offspring viability so that the parents abandon the offspring that have poor prospect for survival. Here we test the latter hypothesis in a common garden experiment by comparing the viability of deserted and cared for eggs. We show that embryonic development does not differ between deserted and cared for eggs. Therefore, sexual conflict over care remains the best supported hypothesis for biparental clutch desertion in penduline tits. Our work points out that conflict over care is a potential - yet rarely considered - cause of biparental nest desertion, and a strong alternative for the traditional explanations of low offspring viability, human disturbance or deteriorating ambient environment. Apart from a handful of species, the intensity of sexual conflict has not been quantified, and we call for further studies to consider sexual conflict as a cause of nest desertion. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. 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

  7. Wilderness restoration: Bureau of Land Management and the Student Conservation Association in the California Desert District

    Science.gov (United States)

    J. Dan Abbe

    2007-01-01

    The California Desert Protection Act of 1994 was the largest park and wilderness legislation passed in the Lower 48 States since the Wilderness Act of 1964. It designated three national parks and 69 Bureau of Land Management wilderness areas. The California Desert and Wilderness Restoration Project is working to restore and revitalize these lands through a public/...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

    Anthropogenic development has great potential to affect fragile desert environments. Large-scale development of renewable energy infrastructure is planned for many desert ecosystems. Development plans should account for anthropogenic effects to distributions and abundance of rare or sensitive wildlife; however, baseline data on abundance and distribution of such...

  9. 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...

  10. Giant desiccation fissures on the Black Rock and Smoke Creek Deserts, Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Willden, R.; Mabey, D.R.

    1961-01-01

    Open fissures, from 100 to several hundred feet apart, that have produced polygonal patterns on the Black Rock Desert, Nevada, are believed to be giant desiccation cracks resulting from a secular trend toward aridity in the last few decades. Similar features on the Smoke Creek Desert probably have the same origin.

  11. Seeing desert as wilderness and as landscape—an exercise in visual thinking approaches

    Science.gov (United States)

    John Opie

    1979-01-01

    Based on the components and program of VRVA (Visual Resources Values Assessment), a behavioral history of the visitor's perception of the American desert is examined. Emphasis is placed upon contrasts between traditional eastern "garden-park" viewpoints and contemporary desert scenery experiences. Special attention is given to the influence of John...

  12. Influence of shrubs on soil chemical properties in Alxa desert steppe, China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hua Fu; Shifang Pei; Yaming Chen; Changgui Wan

    2007-01-01

    Alxa desert steppe is one of severely the degraded rangelands in the Northwest China. Shrubs, as the dominant life form in the desert steppe, play an important role in protecting this region from further desertification. Chemical properties of three soil layers (0 to 10, 10 to 20 and 20 to 30 cm) at three locations (the clump center [A], in the periphery of shrub...

  13. Hydrological indications of aeolian salts in mid-latitude deserts of ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Hydrological indications of aeolian salts in mid-latitude deserts of northwestern China. B Q Zhu. Supplementary data. Figure S1. Photograph views of Quaternary and modern sediments of aeolian and lacustrine/fluvial facies that consisted of clay and sand/silt sand alternations in the Taklamakan and Badanjilin Deserts.

  14. 78 FR 143 - Desert Mining, Inc., Eagle Broadband, Inc., Endovasc, Inc., Environmental Oil Processing...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-02

    ... SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION [File No. 500-1] Desert Mining, Inc., Eagle Broadband, Inc., Endovasc, Inc., Environmental Oil Processing Technology Corp., Falcon Ridge Development, Inc., Fellows... that there is a lack of current and accurate information concerning the securities of Desert Mining...

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    1989-01-01

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

  16. Analysis of desert rose using PIXE and RBS techniques

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1993-01-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Geophysical Reservoir Evaluation of Obaiyed Field, Western Desert, Egypt

    OpenAIRE

    Farag, Mohamed Ibrahim Abdel-Fattah Ibrahim

    2010-01-01

    Die Obaiyed-Gaslagerstätte liegt in der westlichen Wüste Ägyptens, etwa 50 km südlich der Mittelmeerküste. Das produzierte Gas entstammt dem oberen Safa-Member der Khatatba Formation (Mitteljura). Das obere Safa Reservoir ist zu einem wichtigen Ziel in der Erforschung des Obaiyed-Feldes geworden und hat dazu beigetragen, die Exploration im nordwestlichen Teil der Western Desert in Ägypten neu zu beleben. Daher ist das Hauptziel dieser Arbeit ist die Bewertung des Kohlenwasserstoff-Potentials ...

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2004-01-01

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

  1. Invited Commentary: More Surprises From a Gene Desert

    OpenAIRE

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

    2012-01-01

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

  2. Desert pioneers go high tech in uranium project

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1988-01-01

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

  3. Variation of Desert Soil Hydraulic Properties with Pedogenic Maturity

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-12-01

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

  4. Direct radiative effects induced by intense desert dust outbreaks over the broader Mediterranean basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gkikas, Antonis; Obiso, Vincenzo; Vendrell, Lluis; Basart, Sara; Jorba, Oriol; Pérez Garcia-Pando, Carlos; Hatzianastassiou, Nikos; Gassó, Santiago; Baldasano, Jose Maria

    2016-04-01

    Throughout the year, under favorable conditions, massive loads of mineral particles originating in the northern African and Middle East deserts are transported over the Mediterranean basin. Due to their composition and size, dust aerosols perturb the Earth-Atmosphere system's energy budget interacting directly with the shortwave (SW) and longwave (LW) radiation. The present study aims to compute the Mediterranean dust outbreaks' direct radiative effects (DREs) as well as to assess the effect of including dust DREs in numerical simulations of a regional model. To this aim, 20 intense dust outbreaks have been selected based on their spatial coverage and intensity. Their identification, over the period 2000-2013, has been achieved through an objective and dynamic algorithm which utilizes as inputs daily satellite retrievals derived by the MODIS-Terra, EP-TOMS and OMI-Aura sensors. For each outbreak, two simulations of the NMMB/BSC-Dust model were made for a forecast period of 84 hours, with the model initialized at 00 UTC of the day when the dust outbreak was ignited, activating (RADON) and deactivating (RADOFF) dust-radiation interactions. The simulation domain covers the northern Africa, the Middle East and Europe at 0.25° x 0.25° horizontal resolution, for 40 hybrid sigma pressure levels up to 50 hPa. The instantaneous and regional DREs have been calculated at the top of the atmosphere (TOA), into the atmosphere (ATMAB), and at surface, for the downwelling (SURF) and the absorbed (NETSURF) radiation, for the SW, LW and NET (SW+LW) radiation. The interaction between dust aerosols and NET radiation, locally leads to an atmospheric warming (DREATMAB) by up to 150 Wm-2, a surface cooling (DRENETSURF) by up to 250 Wm-2 and a reduction of the downwelling radiation at the surface (DRESURF) by up to 300 Wm-2. At TOA, DREs are mainly negative (down to -150 Wm-2) indicating a cooling of the Earth-Atmosphere system, although positive values (up to 50 Wm-2) are encountered

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Griggio, Matteo; Matessi, Giuliano; Pilastro, Andrea

    2005-01-01

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

  6. Point irrigation for locality Buchel in the north desert Gobi in Mongolia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pavel Spitz

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available The design of point irrigation, created by Filip et al. (2007, was worked up as the bilateral projekt in the frame of abroad developing cooperation between the Czech Republic and Mongolia „Rehabilitation of plant production in semiarid territories of northern Gobi”. The period of project realization are years 2006–2009. The responsible institution for the project is Ministery of Agriculture of the Czech Republic and with the realization of the project was encharged Mendel University of Agriculture and Forestry in Brno. The task was work irrigation design for experimental plants and vegetables on the choosen land in Gobi desert in Mongolia. To disposition was underground water source – bore with capacity about 2 l / s and temperature about 10 °C, electric power and land about area cca 1 ha. The condition was use simple irrigation equipment. The fundamental limitation was im­pos­si­bi­li­ty using technically more complex and more sophisticated equipment e.g. drip irrigation. The map was not to the disposition, only a judgment of slope 0,2 % in flat terrain. The technical design of surface and subsurface point irrigation are introduced, shortly described are hydrotechnical basis used to created and described the original PC program HYBOZAM (hydraulics of point irrigation for Mongolia developed in table editor of Microsoft Excel for pipe dimensions of point irrigation design. Part of the program is also evaluation of the irrigation uniformity from outflows on irrigation line.

  7. Diurnal Freeze-Thaw Cycles Modify Winter Soil Respiration in a Desert Shrub-Land Ecosystem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peng Liu

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Winter soil respiration (Rs is becoming a significant component of annual carbon budgets with more warming in winter than summer. However, little is known about the controlling mechanisms of winter Rs in dryland. We made continuous measurements of Rs in four microsites (non-crust (BS, lichen (LC, moss (MC, and a mixture of moss and lichen (ML in a desert shrub-land ecosystem northern China, to investigate the causes of Rs dynamics in winter. The mean winter Rs ranged from 0.10 to 0.17 µmol CO2 m−2·s−1 across microsites, with the highest value in BS. Winter Q10 (known as the increase in respiration rate per 10 °C increase in temperature values (2.8–19 were much higher than those from the growing season (1.5. Rs and Q10 were greatly enhanced in freeze-thaw cycles compared to frozen days. Diurnal patterns of Rs between freeze-thaw and frozen days differed. Although the freeze-thaw period was relatively short, its cumulative Rs contributed significantly to winter Rs. The presence of biocrust might induce lower temperature, thus having fewer freeze-thaw cycles relative to bare soil, leading to the lower Rs for microsites with biocrusts. In conclusion, winter Rs in drylands was sensitive to soil temperature (Ts and Ts-induced freeze-thaw cycles. The temperature impact on Rs varied among soil cover types. Winter Rs in drylands may become more important as the climate is continuously getting warmer.

  8. Northern Pintail Telemetry [ds231

    Data.gov (United States)

    California Natural Resource Agency — Using radio-telemetry, female northern pintail (Anas acuta) survival, distribution, and movements during late August-March in Central California were determined...

  9. Long-Term Observations of Dust Storms in Sandy Desert Environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yun, Hye-Won; Kim, Jung-Rack; Choi, Yun-Soo

    2015-04-01

    Mineral dust occupies the largest portion of atmospheric aerosol. Considering the numerous risks that dust poses for socioeconomic and anthropogenic activities, it is crucial to understand sandy desert environments, which frequently generate dust storms and act as a primary source of atmospheric aerosol. To identify mineral aerosol mechanisms, it is essential to monitor desert environmental factors involving dust storm generation in the long term. In this study, we focused on two major environmental factors: local surface roughness and soil moisture. Since installments of ground observation networks in sandy deserts are unfeasible, remote sensing techniques for mining desert environmental factors were employed. The test area was established within the Badain Jaran and Kubuqi Deserts in Inner Mongolia, China, where significant seasonal aeolian processes emit mineral dust that influences all of East Asia. To trace local surface roughness, we employed a multi-angle imaging spectroradiometer (MISR) image sequence to extract multi-angle viewing (MAV) topographic parameters such as normalized difference angular index, which represents characteristics of the target desert topography. The backscattering coefficient from various space-borne SAR and stereotopography were compared with MAV observations to determine calibrated local surface roughness. Soil moisture extraction techniques from InSAR-phase coherence stacks were developed and compiled with advanced scatterometer (ASCAT) soil moisture data. Combined with metrological information such as the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) ERA interim, correlations between intensity of sand dune activity as a proxy of aeolian processes in desert environments, surface wind conditions, and surface soil moisture were traced. Overall, we have confirmed that tracking sandy desert aeolian environments for long-term observations is feasible with space-borne, multi-sensor observations when combined with

  10. Examining Basin-Scale Water and Climate Relations across the Pampa del Tamarugal, Atacama Desert through Spatial Analysis of Hydrogen, Carbon and Oxygen Isotopes in Tree Rings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olson, E. J.; Dodd, J. P.; Rivera, M. A.

    2016-12-01

    Arid regions are extremely sensitive to variations hydroclimate. However, our understanding of past hydroclimate variations in these regions is often limited by a paucity of spatially resolved proxy data. The Atacama Desert of northern Chile is one of the driest regions on Earth, and hydroclimatic processes in the Atacama Desert may be a useful proxy for understanding the implications of expanding global aridity. In order to assess the ability of tree-ring isotope studies to record changes in hydrology and terrestrial climate in the Atacama Desert, oxygen (δ18O), carbon (δ13C) and hydrogen (δ2H) isotope values in tree rings of Prosopis tamarugo are analyzed for the modern period (1954-2014) when anthropogenic change to regional groundwater levels have been most notable. Samples of wood cellulose were collected throughout the Pampa del Tamarugal basin from 14 individuals and used to create an interpolated surface of isotope variations. The isotope data were then compared to groundwater depth from well monitoring data provided by the Dirección de General de Agua of Chile. There is a significant correlation between groundwater level and isotope values with best agreement occurring during the past two decades for δ18O (r = 0.58), δ13C (r = 0.55), and δ2H (r = 0.66) values. This spatial correlation analysis reveals that tree ring a-cellulose isotope values are a suitable proxy for reconstructing groundwater depth in the Pampa del Tamarugal Basin. A stepwise multiregression analysis between δ18O values of cellulose and several other environmental variables including groundwater level, relative humidity, and temperature suggest that groundwater depth is the dominate control of variation in the modern δ18O tree ring record. The response of tree cellulose to the hydroclimate in this region suggests that tree ring isotope variations may be used to reconstruct past hydroclimate conditions in arid regions throughout the globe.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tahiri, Abdelouahid; Diouri, Mohamed

    2018-05-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2000-02-07

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Al-Mustafa, Hanan; Al-Jarallah, M.I.; Fazal-ur-Rehman; Abu-Jarad, F.

    2005-01-01

    Beneath the harsh deserts of Saudi Arabia lie dark chambers and complex mazes filled with strange shapes and wondrous beauty. Radon concentration measurements have been carried out in the desert caves of Al-Somman Plateau in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia. Passive radon dosimeters, based on alpha particle etch track detectors with an inlet filter, were used in this study. A total of 59 dosimeters were placed in five caves for a period of six months. Out of 59 dosimeters, 37 could be collected for analysis. Measurements showed significant variations in radon concentrations in caves depending upon their natural ventilation. The results of the study show that the average radon concentration in the different caves ranges from 74 up to 451Bqm -3 . The average radon concentration in four of the caves was low in the range 74-114Bqm -3 . However, one cave showed an average radon concentration of 451Bqm -3 . Radon is not a problem for tourists in the majority of caves. However, sometimes it may imply some limitation to the working time of guides

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2005-11-15

    Beneath the harsh deserts of Saudi Arabia lie dark chambers and complex mazes filled with strange shapes and wondrous beauty. Radon concentration measurements have been carried out in the desert caves of Al-Somman Plateau in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia. Passive radon dosimeters, based on alpha particle etch track detectors with an inlet filter, were used in this study. A total of 59 dosimeters were placed in five caves for a period of six months. Out of 59 dosimeters, 37 could be collected for analysis. Measurements showed significant variations in radon concentrations in caves depending upon their natural ventilation. The results of the study show that the average radon concentration in the different caves ranges from 74 up to 451Bqm{sup -3}. The average radon concentration in four of the caves was low in the range 74-114Bqm{sup -3}. However, one cave showed an average radon concentration of 451Bqm{sup -3}. Radon is not a problem for tourists in the majority of caves. However, sometimes it may imply some limitation to the working time of guides.

  18. 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.

  19. Northern Eurasia Future Initiative (NEFI)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Groisman, Pavel; Shugart, Herman; Kicklighter, David

    2017-01-01

    . The Northern Eurasia Future Initiative (NEFI) has been designed as an essential continuation of the Northern Eurasia Earth Science Partnership Initiative (NEESPI), which was launched in 2004. NEESPI sought to elucidate all aspects of ongoing environmental change, to inform societies and, thus, to better...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eldegard, Katrine; Sonerud, Geir A

    2009-05-07

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

  2. Uranium distributions in the mineral constituents of granitoid rocks and the associated pegmatites at Wadi Abu Had, north eastern desert, Egypt

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nossair, L.M.; Moharem, A.F.; Abdel Warith, A.

    2007-01-01

    Wadi Abu Had area is located at the northern part of the Eastern Desert of Egypt. It covers about 55 km2 of the crystalline basement rocks stretching between latitudes 28o 15'- 28o 25' N and longitudes 32o 25' - 32o 35' E. Abu Had younger granites are fertile (uraniferous) granites as they possess U-contents greater than 11 ppm. Their associated pegmatites show higher U-contents than those of granitoid rocks and hosting secondary uranium minerals. Numerous unzoned and zoned pegmatite pockets are associated with the marginal parts of granodiorite and within younger granites. Zoned pegmatites are the most radioactive ones. They are composed of extremely coarse-grained milky quartz core, intermediate zone of mica and wall zone of feldspars. An alteration zone with secondary uranium minerals (uranophane and beta-uranophane) is found at the contact between quartz core and the intermediate zone.

  3. Evaluation of great deserts of the world for perpetual radiowaste storage

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Libby, L.M.; Wurtele, M.G.; Whipple, C.G.

    1982-01-01

    Desert sites with a history of seismic stability were studied for storage of radioactive wastes because of the attractive meteorology, proven longterm geological stability, and distance from human population centers. Specific deserts were to be representative of various kinds of world deserts, if substantial information about each desert was available, to examine with respect to transporting, handling, storing, and cooling the radioactive waste, and the site suitability as to geological conditions, water availability, alternative land use, airborne emissions of heat, accidental radioactive emission, and possible socioeonomic impacts. No significant technical obstacles to the use of the world deserts as sites for a retrievable storage facility for 500 years were found. However, given the relatively low level of effort that was allocated between the many technical issues listed above, this study is neither a full risk assessment nor a full environmental impact analysis of such a facility. Assessments for siting the facility were made for five deserts, chosen to be representative of Old World, New World, Australian, interior, coastal, foggy, hot and cold: the Nullarbor Plain of Australia, the Namib in Africa, the Great Basin of the United States represented by the Nevada Test Site, the North Slope of Alaska and Canada, and the Egyptian desert

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  5. Loess deposits since early Pleistocene in northeast China and implications for desert evolution in east China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Miao; Zhang, Xujiao; Tian, Mingzhong; Liu, Ru; He, Zexin; Qi, Lin; Qiao, Yansong

    2018-04-01

    Loess deposits and deserts are regarded as coupled geological systems and loess deposits on the periphery of deserts can often be used to reconstruct desert evolution. Previous studies of desert evolution in Asia are mainly concentrated in northwest China and the China Loess Plateau, and little is known about long-term desert evolution in east China. In this study, we selected the Sishijiazi loess section in the Chifeng area in northeast China to study the long-term evolution of the desert in east China. A high-resolution magnetostratigraphy combined with optically stimulated luminescence dating indicated that the age of the section base is approximately 1.02 Ma. The Brunhes-Matuyama boundary is at the depth of 39.8 m in loess unit L8, and the upper boundary of the Jaramillo Subchron is at the depth of 60.8 m in paleosol S10. The results of grain-size analysis indicate a coarsening grain-size trend in the past 1.0 Ma. In addition, based on grain-size variations, the desert evolution in east China since ∼1.0 Ma can be divided into three stages: stability from 1.0 to 0.8 Ma, desert recession from 0.8 to 0.5 Ma, and gradual expansion since 0.5 Ma. Our results further indicate that the evolution of desert in east China was mainly controlled by changes in global ice volume, and that the uplift of the Tibetan Plateau may have had an additional effect.

  6. Food deserts in Winnipeg, Canada: a novel method for measuring a complex and contested construct

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joyce Slater

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: "Food deserts" have emerged over the past 20 years as spaces of concern for communities, public health authorities and researchers because of their potential negative impact on dietary quality and subsequent health outcomes. Food deserts are residential geographic spaces, typically in urban settings, where low-income residents have limited or no access to retail food establishments with sufficient variety at affordable cost. Research on food deserts presents methodological challenges including retail food store identification and classification, identification of low-income populations, and transportation and proximity metrics. Furthermore, the complex methods often used in food desert research can be difficult to reproduce and communicate to key stakeholders. To address these challenges, this study sought to demonstrate the feasibility of implementing a simple and reproducible method of identifying food deserts using data easily available in the Canadian context. Methods: This study was conducted in Winnipeg, Canada in 2014. Food retail establishments were identified from Yellow Pages and verified by public health dietitians. We calculated two scenarios of food deserts based on location of the lowest-income quintile population: (a living ≥ 500 m from a national chain grocery store, or (b living ≥ 500 m from a national chain grocery store or a full-service grocery store. Results: The number of low-income residents living in a food desert ranged from 64 574 to 104 335, depending on the scenario used. Conclusion: This study shows that food deserts affect a significant proportion of the Winnipeg population, and while concentrated in the urban core, exist in suburban neighbourhoods also. The methods utilized represent an accessible and transparent, reproducible process for identifying food deserts. These methods can be used for costeffective, periodic surveillance and meaningful engagement with communities, retailers and policy

  7. 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

  8. Transport aloft drives peak ozone in the Mojave Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    VanCuren, Richard

    2015-05-01

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

  9. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1990-01-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. A preliminaryfloristic checklist of thal desert punjab, pakistan

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shaheen, H.; Qureshi, R.

    2014-01-01

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

  13. The desert environmental effect on the photovoltaic performance analyzing

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Al Khuffash, K.; Lamont, L.A.; El Chaar, L.

    2014-01-01

    Solar power is commonly accepted to have the highest potential among other renewable energy sources. As a photovoltaic (PV) panel directly converts light into electricity it is preferred over concentrated solar power. However, PV modules are affected by the surrounding climate and implementing it in a desert location may cause an undesired effect. Therefore, this research studies the effect of different weather aspects on the performance of the PV panels, by obtaining a relation between each weather aspect and the performance of the panel. In addition, coating is tested in order to evaluate its effectiveness as a feasible solution for locations which have high dust accumulation. The results showed that coating can be a solution for dust accumulation at high irradiation levels. (author)

  14. Endocrine responses to water restriction in desert sheep

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ahmed, Muna M.M.

    1994-01-01

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

  15. Mid-Cretaceous aeolian desert systems in the Yunlong area of the Lanping Basin, China: Implications for palaeoatmosphere dynamics and paleoclimatic change in East Asia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Gaojie; Wu, Chihua; Rodríguez-López, Juan Pedro; Yi, Haisheng; Xia, Guoqing; Wagreich, Michael

    2018-02-01

    The mid-Cretaceous constitutes a period of worldwide atmospheric and oceanic change associated with slower thermohaline circulation and ocean anoxic events, possible polar glaciations and by a changing climate pattern becoming controlled by a zonal planetary wind system and an equatorial humid belt. During the mid-Cretaceous, the subtropical high-pressure arid climate belt of the planetary wind system controlled the palaeolatitude distribution of humid belts in Asia as well as the spatial distribution of rain belts over the massive continental blocks at mid-low latitudes in the southern and northern hemispheres. Additionally, the orographic effect of the Andean-type active continental margin in East Asia hindered the transportation of ocean moisture to inland regions. With rising temperatures and palaeoatmospheric conditions dominated by high pressure systems, desert climate environments expanded at the inland areas of East Asia including those accumulated in the mid-Cretaceous of the Simao Basin, the Sichuan Basin, and the Thailand's Khorat Basin, and leading the Late Cretaceous erg systems in the Xinjiang Basin and Jianghan Basin. This manuscript presents evidences that allow to reinterpret previously considered water-laid sediments to be accumulated as windblown deposits forming part of extensive erg (sandy desert) systems. Using a multidisciplinary approach including petrological, sedimentological and architectural observations, the mid-Cretaceous (Albian-Turonian) Nanxin Formation from the Yunlong region of Lanping Basin, formerly considered to aqueous deposits is here interpreted as representing aeolian deposits, showing local aeolian-fluvial interaction deposits. The palaeowind directions obtained from the analysis of aeolian dune cross-beddings indicates that inland deserts were compatible with a high-pressure cell (HPC) existing in the mid-low latitudes of East Asia during the mid-Cretaceous. Compared with the Early Cretaceous, the mid-Cretaceous had

  16. Physiological adaptation for milk production in desert ruminants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shkolnik, A.

    1981-08-01

    The authors have shown that the black goats herded by the Bedouins in the deserts of Israel can graze in sun-scorched conditions even when still 2 days walking distance from any water source. Upon their arrival at a water hole, they consumed volumes of water which were greater than 40% of their dehydrated body weight. After drinking, their body water content was 76% of body weight; after grazing for 4 days with no water, the water content of their body was still within the normal range for ruminants and their body solids were also well maintained. It was concluded that the amount of water consumed by the goats after grazing was not only sufficient to replenish the loss of water incurred by grazing, but to re-establish the body water content at a higher than normal level and thereby provide a water store. Using 51 Cr EDTA to measure the flow of liquid out of the reticulo-rumen, the authors showed that this increased from 73 ml/hr to 250 ml/hr between the 1st and 5th hour after drinking, but even by 5 hours after drinking over 80% of the volume consumed was still in the reticulo-rumen. It is suggested that the rumen plays a major role in the water economy of desert ruminants in that it provides an essential mechanism by which they can store water and circumvent the hazards likely to follow rapid rehydration. Similar findings were obtained in the wild ruminants mentioned above

  17. 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.

  18. Water and water quality management in the cholistan desert

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kahlown, M.A.; Chaudhry, M.A.

    2005-01-01

    Water scarcity is the main problem in Cholistan desert. Rainfall is scanty and sporadic and groundwater is saline in most of the area. Rainwater is collected in man made small storages, locally called tobas during rainy season for human and livestock consumption. These tobas usually retain rainwater for three to four months at the maximum, due to small storage capacity and unfavorable location. After the tobas become dry, people use saline groundwater for human and livestock consumption where marginal quality groundwater is available. In complete absence of water they migrate towards canal irrigated areas till the next rains. During migration humans and livestock suffer from hunger, thirst and diseases. In order to overcome this problem Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR) has introduced improved designs of tobas. The PCRWR is collecting more than 13.0 million cubic meter rainwater annually from only ninety hectare catchment area. As a result, water is available for drinking of human and livestock population as well as to wild life through out the year for the village of Dingarh in Cholistan desert. However, water collected in these tobas is usually muddy and full of impurities. To provide good quality drinking water to the residents of Cholistan, PCRWR has launched a Project under which required quantity of drinkable water will be provided at more than seventy locations by rainwater harvesting, pumping of good and marginal quality groundwater and desalination of moderately saline water through Reverse Osmosis Plants. After the completion of project, more then 380 million gallons of fresh rainwater and more than 1300 million gallons of good and marginal quality groundwater will be available annually. Intervention to collect the silt before reaching to the tobas are also introduced, low cost filter plants are designed and constructed on the tobas for purification of water. (author)

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Garty, J.

    1999-01-01

    Thalli of the lichen Ramalina maciformis (Del.) Bory were collected in the Negev Desert in August 1997 and transplanted with their substrate, flintstones, to 24 bio-monitoring sites in the Negev Desert. An assessment of the impact of anthropogenic activities was made by measurements of the concentration of mineral elements in the lichen and by an examination of its physiological status. After a transplantation period of nine months, the lichens were retrieved in April 1998 and the concentration of 22 mineral elements in the thallus was determined by ICP-AES. In addition we examined the following parameters determining the status of the lichen: 1. Electric conductivity indicative of cell membrane integrity; 2. Spectral reflectance response of the thallus expressed as normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) indicative of greenness and health of the thallus; 3. Production of ethylene indicative of stress, 4. Chlorophyll a fluorescence as a means to monitor aspects of photosystem II (PSII) activities in the lichen. Preliminary results show that lichens exposed to air contaminants at a site of toxic waste deposition contain high concentrations of Ca, Cu, Pb and Mn and significant low K concentrations due to leakage of this element from injured cell membranes. Conductivity measurements performed to test the integrity of cell membranes corroborated this assumption. NDVI values indicating damage to chlorophyll were relative low in lichens retrieved from sites near Beer Sheba. The stress-ethylene production was the highest in one site near Beer Sheba. The maximum quantum yield of PSII expressed as fluorescence ratio Fv/Fm was low in two sites in the Ramat Hovav Industrial Area. (author)

  20. 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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1999-07-01

    Thalli of the lichen Ramalina maciformis (Del.) Bory were collected in the Negev Desert in August 1997 and transplanted with their substrate, flintstones, to 24 bio-monitoring sites in the Negev Desert. An assessment of the impact of anthropogenic activities was made by measurements of the concentration of mineral elements in the lichen and by an examination of its physiological status. After a transplantation period of nine months, the lichens were retrieved in April 1998 and the concentration of 22 mineral elements in the thallus was determined by ICP-AES. In addition we examined the following parameters determining the status of the lichen: 1. Electric conductivity indicative of cell membrane integrity; 2. Spectral reflectance response of the thallus expressed as normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) indicative of greenness and health of the thallus; 3. Production of ethylene indicative of stress, 4. Chlorophyll a fluorescence as a means to monitor aspects of photosystem II (PSII) activities in the lichen. Preliminary results show that lichens exposed to air contaminants at a site of toxic waste deposition contain high concentrations of Ca, Cu, Pb and Mn and significant low K concentrations due to leakage of this element from injured cell membranes. Conductivity measurements performed to test the integrity of cell membranes corroborated this assumption. NDVI values indicating damage to chlorophyll were relative low in lichens retrieved from sites near Beer Sheba. The stress-ethylene production was the highest in one site near Beer Sheba. The maximum quantum yield of PSII expressed as fluorescence ratio Fv/Fm was low in two sites in the Ramat Hovav Industrial Area. (author)

  2. Controls on sediment production in two U.S. deserts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belnap, Jayne; Walker, Beau J.; Munson, Seth M.; Gill, Richard A.

    2014-09-01

    Much of the world’s airborne sediment originates from dryland regions. Soil surface disturbances in these regions are ever-increasing due to human activities such as energy and mineral exploration and development, recreation, suburbanization, livestock grazing and cropping. Sediment production can have significant impacts to human health with particles potentially carrying viruses such as Valley Fever or causing asthma or other respiratory diseases. Dust storms can cause decreased visibility at the ground level, resulting in highway accidents, and reduced visual quality in park and wildland airsheds. Sediment production and deposition is also detrimental to ecosystem health, as production reduces soil fertility at its source and can bury plants and other organisms where it is deposited. Therefore, it is important to understand how we can predict what areas are prone to producing sediment emissions both before and after soil surface disturbance. We visited 87 sites in two deserts of the western U.S. that represented a range of soil texture and surface cover types. We used a portable wind tunnel to estimate the threshold friction velocity (TFV) required to initiate sediment transport and the amount of sediment produced by the tunnel at a set wind speed. Wind tunnel runs were done before and after soil surface disturbance with a four-wheel drive vehicle. Results show that most undisturbed desert soils are very stable, especially if covered by rocks or well-developed biological soil crusts, which make them virtually wind-erosion proof. Particles at disturbed sites, in contrast, moved at relatively low wind speeds and produced high amounts of sediment. Silt was an important predictor of TFV and sediment production across all sites, whereas the influence of rock cover and biological soil crusts was site-dependent. Understanding the vulnerability of a site after disturbance is important information for land managers as they plan land use activities and attempt to

  3. Density currents as a desert dust mobilization mechanism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Solomos

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available The formation and propagation of density currents are well studied processes in fluid dynamics with many applications in other science fields. In the atmosphere, density currents are usually meso-β/γ phenomena and are often associated with storm downdrafts. These storms are responsible for the formation of severe dust episodes (haboobs over desert areas. In the present study, the formation of a convective cool pool and the associated dust mobilization are examined for a representative event over the western part of Sahara desert. The physical processes involved in the mobilization of dust are described with the use of the integrated atmospheric-air quality RAMS/ICLAMS model. Dust is effectively produced due to the development of near surface vortices and increased turbulent mixing along the frontal line. Increased dust emissions and recirculation of the elevated particles inside the head of the density current result in the formation of a moving "dust wall". Transport of the dust particles in higher layers – outside of the density current – occurs mainly in three ways: (1 Uplifting of preexisting dust over the frontal line with the aid of the strong updraft (2 Entrainment at the upper part of the density current head due to turbulent mixing (3 Vertical mixing after the dilution of the system. The role of the dust in the associated convective cloud system was found to be limited. Proper representation of convective processes and dust mobilization requires the use of high resolution (cloud resolving model configuration and online parameterization of dust production. Haboob-type dust storms are effective dust sources and should be treated accordingly in dust modeling applications.

  4. 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

  5. Urinary arsenic speciation profile in ethnic group of the Atacama desert (Chile) exposed to variable arsenic levels in drinking water.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yáñez, Jorge; Mansilla, Héctor D; Santander, I Paola; Fierro, Vladimir; Cornejo, Lorena; Barnes, Ramón M; Amarasiriwardena, Dulasiri

    2015-01-01

    Ethnic groups from the Atacama Desert (known as Atacameños) have been exposed to natural arsenic pollution for over 5000 years. This work presents an integral study that characterizes arsenic species in water used for human consumption. It also describes the metabolism and arsenic elimination through urine in a chronically exposed population in northern Chile. In this region, water contained total arsenic concentrations up to 1250 μg L(-1), which was almost exclusively As(V). It is also important that this water was ingested directly from natural water sources without any treatment. The ingested arsenic was extensively methylated. In urine 93% of the arsenic was found as methylated arsenic species, such as monomethylarsonic acid [MMA(V)] and dimethylarsinic acid [DMA(V)]. The original ingested inorganic species [As(V)], represent less than 1% of the total urinary arsenic. Methylation activity among individuals can be assessed by measuring primary [inorganic As/methylated As] and secondary methylation [MMA/DMA] indexes. Both methylation indexes were 0.06, indicating a high biological converting capability of As(V) into MMA and then MMA into DMA, compared with the control population and other arsenic exposed populations previously reported.

  6. Beyond the Levant: first evidence of a pre-pottery Neolithic incursion into the Nefud Desert, Saudi Arabia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rémy Crassard

    Full Text Available Pre-Pottery Neolithic assemblages are best known from the fertile areas of the Mediterranean Levant. The archaeological site of Jebel Qattar 101 (JQ-101, at Jubbah in the southern part of the Nefud Desert of northern Saudi Arabia, contains a large collection of stone tools, adjacent to an Early Holocene palaeolake. The stone tool assemblage contains lithic types, including El-Khiam and Helwan projectile points, which are similar to those recorded in Pre-Pottery Neolithic A and Pre-Pottery Neolithic B assemblages in the Fertile Crescent. Jebel Qattar lies ∼500 kilometres outside the previously identified geographic range of Pre-Pottery Neolithic cultures. Technological analysis of the typologically diagnostic Jebel Qattar 101 projectile points indicates a unique strategy to manufacture the final forms, thereby raising the possibility of either direct migration of Levantine groups or the acculturation of mobile communities in Arabia. The discovery of the Early Holocene site of Jebel Qattar suggests that our view of the geographic distribution and character of Pre-Pottery Neolithic cultures may be in need of revision.

  7. Cyanobacterial populations in biological soil crusts of the northwest Negev Desert, Israel - effects of local conditions and disturbance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagemann, Martin; Henneberg, Manja; Felde, Vincent J M N L; Berkowicz, Simon M; Raanan, Hagai; Pade, Nadin; Felix-Henningsen, Peter; Kaplan, Aaron

    2016-11-02

    Biological soil crusts (BSCs) fulfill numerous ecological functions in arid and semiarid areas. Cyanobacteria are important BSC organisms, which are responsible for carbon fixation, N 2 -fixation, and binding of soil via extracellular polysaccharides. The cyanobacterial populations were characterized in different sampling plots established in three experimental stations along a rainfall gradient within NW Negev Desert, Israel. Cyanobacterial crust thickness and osmolyte accumulation therein decreased in plots with lower moisture. The cyanobacterial population structure also changed in different plots. We observed an increase of subsection III cyanobacteria such as Microcoleus spp. and Leptolyngbya sp. and a decreasing proportion of strains belonging to subsections I and IV in drier areas on the rainfall gradient. This population shift was also observed in the sampling plots, which were situated at various relief positions within the sand dune experimental sites. We also characterized the cyanobacterial populations within mechanically disturbed plots. After four years, they reached between 80 and 50% of the control populations in the northern-most and southern stations, respectively. Our results suggest that the cyanobacterial population is sensitive not only to macroscale factors but may also be subject to local climate variations and that four years were insufficient for complete recovery of the cyanobacterial population. © FEMS 2016. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  8. Beyond the Levant: First Evidence of a Pre-Pottery Neolithic Incursion into the Nefud Desert, Saudi Arabia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crassard, Rémy; Petraglia, Michael D.; Parker, Adrian G.; Parton, Ash; Roberts, Richard G.; Jacobs, Zenobia; Alsharekh, Abdullah; Al-Omari, Abdulaziz; Breeze, Paul; Drake, Nick A.; Groucutt, Huw S.; Jennings, Richard; Régagnon, Emmanuelle; Shipton, Ceri

    2013-01-01

    Pre-Pottery Neolithic assemblages are best known from the fertile areas of the Mediterranean Levant. The archaeological site of Jebel Qattar 101 (JQ-101), at Jubbah in the southern part of the Nefud Desert of northern Saudi Arabia, contains a large collection of stone tools, adjacent to an Early Holocene palaeolake. The stone tool assemblage contains lithic types, including El-Khiam and Helwan projectile points, which are similar to those recorded in Pre-Pottery Neolithic A and Pre-Pottery Neolithic B assemblages in the Fertile Crescent. Jebel Qattar lies ∼500 kilometres outside the previously identified geographic range of Pre-Pottery Neolithic cultures. Technological analysis of the typologically diagnostic Jebel Qattar 101 projectile points indicates a unique strategy to manufacture the final forms, thereby raising the possibility of either direct migration of Levantine groups or the acculturation of mobile communities in Arabia. The discovery of the Early Holocene site of Jebel Qattar suggests that our view of the geographic distribution and character of Pre-Pottery Neolithic cultures may be in need of revision. PMID:23894294

  9. Plant population and habitat characteristics of the endemic Sonoran Desert cactus Peniocereus striatus in Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, Arizona

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Greta; Rutman, Sue; Munson, Seth M.

    2010-01-01

    Peniocereus striatus (Brandegee) Buxb. (Cactaceae) is an endemic Sonoran Desert cactus that reaches its northern range limit in southwestern Arizona. One U.S. population occupies a small area of Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument near the U.S./Mexico international boundary, which has been monitored since 1939. An extensive survey conducted in 2002, covering 177 ha, resulted in the discovery of 88 new plants, in addition to the relocation of 57 plants found in previous surveys. Despite potential increases in population size and spatial distribution, mean plant height and number of basal stems has not significantly changed in recent years. Bud scars revealed that a majority of the population was sexually mature. Peniocereus striatus occurrence increased with decreasing slope, spanned every slope aspect, and was highest on rocky soils, but was noticeably low on west and northwest slopes and areas where severe land degradation had previously occurred. Over half of P. striatus plants were nursed by shrubs and subshrubs, while 40% occurred under leguminous trees. A severe frost in January 2002 top-killed 19% of the population, with the greatest damage in drainage bottoms. However, long-term (1944–2002) climate records show that there has been an overall increase in the number of frost free days in the region, which, coupled with land use change, has implications for the future health of this population.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Yong Chong; Xu, Li Shuai

    2017-04-18

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    El-Baz, F.

    1989-01-01

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

  13. Moving Beyond "Food Deserts": Reorienting United States Policies to Reduce Disparities in Diet Quality.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jason P Block

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Jason Block and S. V. Subramanian explore avenues for improving the health of Americans through reducing dietary inequalities and look at whether concern over "food deserts" has been taken too far.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1997-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1988-01-01

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

  16. 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)

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

    KAUST Repository

    Serag-Eldin, M.A.

    2010-01-01

    The paper presents a conceptual design and thermodynamic analysis of a solar-powered desert home. The home is airconditioned and provides all modern comforts and facilities. Electrical power, which drives the entire energy system, is generated

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vyacheslav V. Zharkov

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  20. Interactions between soil phototrophs and vascular plants in Himalayan cold deserts

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Řeháková, Klára; Čapková, Kateřina; Dvorský, M.; Kopecký, M.; Altman, J.; Šmilauer, P.; Doležal, J.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 115, Dec (2017), s. 568-578 ISSN 0038-0717 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : cold desert * Himalaya * interactions * soil phototrophs Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour OBOR OECD: Ecology Impact factor: 4.857, year: 2016

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

    KAUST Repository

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  3. Soil stabilization by a prokaryotic desert crust - Implications for Precambrian land biota

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, S. E.

    1979-01-01

    The ecology of the cyanophyte-dominated stromatolitic mat forming the ground cover over desert areas of Utah and Colorado is investigated and implications for the formation of mature Precambrian soils are discussed. The activation of the growth of the two species of filamentous cyanophyte identified and the mobility of their multiple trichromes upon wetting are observed, accompanied by the production and deposition of a sheath capable of accreting and stabilizing sand and clay particles. The formation of calcium carbonate precipitates upon the repeated wetting and drying of desert crust is noted, and it is suggested that the desert crust community may appear in fossil calcrete deposits as lithified microscopic tubes and cellular remains of algal trichromes. The invasion of dry land by both marine and freshwater algae on the model of the desert crust is proposed to be responsible for the accumulation, stabilization and biogenic modification of mature Precambrian soils.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kamel, S.M.; Dahl, C.

    2005-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

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

    2008-01-01

    ...) are cryptic and difficult to detect during surveys, especially the smaller size classes. We conducted comparative surveys to determine whether human or detector dog teams were more effective at locating Desert Tortoises in the wild...

  7. Water in northern Alberta

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1987-01-01

    This report contains background information, including historical aspects, roles of government agencies, and relevant technical information, for use as a resource document at a conference on water resources in northern Alberta. An overview is presented of the three river basins which are the geographic focus of this report (Peace River, Athabasca, and Beaver River), describing their characteristics, the types of human activity occurring in them, and the relevant issues pertaining to water. The roles and responsibilities of government departments and agencies in water management are then introduced. A section on water resource issues defines ten topic areas, and for each issue, a summary of the issue, background of the issue, and key concerns and suggested actions are given. These issue areas concern groundwater management (including protection from contamination by oil field produced water), community water supply, farmland drainage and erosion, protection of surface water quality, watershed and wetlands management, farm and rural water supply, tourism/recreation and fisheries, industrial water use (particularly by the oil sand, forestry, and hydroelectric power industries), native peoples' concerns, and water diversion. The final section discusses a number of common themes which arose from the public consultation process, including integrated planning and program coordination, monitoring and enforcement, public information, and research requirements. 22 refs., 8 figs., 3 tabs.

  8. Atmospheric Transport of Arid Aerosol from Desert Regions of Central Asia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Boris; Solomon, Paul; Sitnov, Sergei; Grechko, Evgeny; Maximenkov, Leonid; Artamonova, Maria; Pogarski, Fedor

    2010-05-01

    Investigation of atmospheric transport of arid aerosol from Central Asia was held within the ISTC project 3715. Particular attention was paid to the removal of aerosol from the Aral Sea region and its further transport, because aerosol and pollutants emission from Central Asia affect the airspace of the entire Asian continent. At the same time measurements of aerosols in the atmosphere of Central Asia are holding in a small number of stations, and currently available data are insufficient to define the initial conditions and/or verification of models of long-range transport. To identify sources of pollution transported from Central Asia, in Kyrgyzstan measurement and sampling of air were organized: at the station on the northern slope of the Kirgiz Range, 30 km south of Bishkek, at an altitude of 1700 m above sea level (Bishkek Site, 42,683N; 74,694E ), and on permanent alpine Teploklyuchenka lidar station in the Central Tien Shan at an altitude of 2000 m above sea level (Lidar Site, 42,467N; 78,533E). The chemical analysis of collected aerosol and soils samples was carried out. Measurements of aerosol at these stations have been merged with the simulation of the trajectories of air masses in the study region and with the satellite (the Terra and Aqua satellites) observations of aerosol optical thickness in this region. Satellite data for the region 43-47 N, and 58-62 E (Aral Sea) from April 2008 to September 2009 were analyzed. The moments were selected, when the value of aerosol optical thickness (AOT) was greatest (more than 0.5), and the transport from the Aral Sea region to the observation sites took place. For each of these days, the forward trajectories, which started at 6 points within the region, were calculated using the HYSPLIT model. The days, on which the trajectories reached the BISHKEK and LIDAR sites, were determined from the data obtained. Calculations on the basis of the RAMS model were performed for these days. These calculations were performed

  9. Predicting Pinus monophylla forest cover in the Baja California Desert by remote sensing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathan G. Escobar-Flores

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available The Californian single-leaf pinyon (Pinus monophylla var. californiarum, a subspecies of the single-leaf pinyon (the world’s only one-needled pine, inhabits semi-arid zones of the Mojave Desert (southern Nevada and southeastern California, US and also of northern Baja California (Mexico. This tree is distributed as a relict subspecies, at elevations of between 1,010 and 1,631 m in the geographically isolated arid Sierra La Asamblea, an area characterized by mean annual precipitation levels of between 184 and 288 mm. The aim of this research was (i to estimate the distribution of P. monophylla var. californiarum in Sierra La Asamblea by using Sentinel-2 images, and (ii to test and describe the relationship between the distribution of P. monophylla and five topographic and 18 climate variables. We hypothesized that (i Sentinel-2 images can be used to predict the P. monophylla distribution in the study site due to the finer resolution (×3 and greater number of bands (×2 relative to Landsat-8 data, which is publically available free of charge and has been demonstrated to be useful for estimating forest cover, and (ii the topographical variables aspect, ruggedness and slope are particularly important because they represent important microhabitat factors that can determine the sites where conifers can become established and persist. An atmospherically corrected a 12-bit Sentinel-2A MSI image with 10 spectral bands in the visible, near infrared, and short-wave infrared light region was used in combination with the normalized differential vegetation index (NDVI. Supervised classification of this image was carried out using a backpropagation-type artificial neural network algorithm. Stepwise multiple linear binominal logistical regression and Random Forest classification including cross validation were used to model the associations between presence/absence of P. monophylla and the five topographical and 18 climate variables. Using supervised

  10. Northern Fur Seal Food Habits

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains food habits samples, usually scats, collected opportunistically on northern fur seal rookeries and haulouts in Alaska from 1987 to present....

  11. Mongolian “Neolithic” and Early Bronze Age ground stone tools from the northern edge of the Gobi Desert

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joan S. Schneider

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available The transition from the Mongolian Neolithic to the Bronze Age is not well understood. Within Ikh Nart Nature Reserve, over a period of five years, we identified a number of sites with dense surface artefact scatters and features that seem to represent this transition period. Evident in those concentrations are characteristic microblade cores, microblades, “thumbnail" flake scrapers, projectile points, ground stone tools, and stone features of unknown function. Between 2012 and 2014 we collected ground stone artefacts from four sites and sediment samples from three sites. With permission of Mongolian authorities, the artefacts from one site and sediment samples from three sites were sent for botanical analyses to the University of Texas, Austin, Environmental Archaeology Laboratory. Preliminary results indicate that plant remains are present on the ground stone artefacts: dendritic long-cells from a deep pore of one artefact and starch grains from the pores of six of the seven artefacts. These data present the first opportunity to understand what resources “Neolithic” people were processing with ground stone tools in this area and further our opportunity to better understand the little-known “Neolithic”-Early Bronze Age transition period in Central Asia. This paper describes the ground stone artefacts and further explores the results of data retrieved from some of these artefacts.

  12. Structure roles for the localization of metasomatite uranium deposit type at Wadi Belih area, Northern Eastern Desert, Egypt

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anton G. Waheeb

    2016-06-01

    Due to the resulting younger extension NW–SE event the hydrothermal solution gradually migrates upward forming alkali metasomatite, contemporaneous with uranium mineralization. They are developed along that shear zone where structure contact and the low-stress regions in the vicinity of the shear zone are favorable locations for fluid flow focusing and hence U mineralizations occur in the highly fractured and mylonitized zones along the contact as lensoidal bodies.

  13. Anthropogenic water sources and the effects on Sonoran Desert small mammal communities

    OpenAIRE

    Aaron B. Switalski; Heather L. Bateman

    2017-01-01

    Anthropogenic water sources (AWS) are developed water sources used as a management tool for desert wildlife species. Studies documenting the effects of AWS are often focused on game species; whereas, the effects on non-target wildlife are less understood. We used live trapping techniques to investigate rodent abundance, biomass, and diversity metrics near AWS and paired control sites; we sampled vegetation to determine rodent-habitat associations in the Sauceda Mountains of the Sonoran Desert...

  14. Exploring the Limits to Photosynthetic Life in the Hyperarid Atacama (Chile) and Taklimakan (China) Deserts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warren-Rhodes, K.; Ewing, S.; McKay, C. P.; Rhodes, K. L.

    2003-12-01

    Photosynthetic microbes inhabiting the cracks or fissures (chasmoendoliths) and undersides (hypoliths) of translucent stones function as the sole primary producers in the world's driest deserts. This poster reports on our studies of the distribution and survival of these microorganisms in the hyperarid core of the Atacama Desert--an extreme environment previously considered too dry to support photosynthetic life--and the Taklimakan Desert in China--one of the oldest and driest deserts on the Earth. In both deserts, we measured colonization rates and microclimate variables across natural precipitation gradients in order to investigate the role of moisture in the ecology and survival of hypolithic and chasmoendolithic microorganisms. Our results show 1000-fold variations in colonization rates--from 12% in the wettest portions of the Taklimakan Desert to 3000 y. At slightly wetter sites in the Atacama, Δ 14C of hypolith soils was progressively more enriched in proportion to increased MAP, with corresponding turnover times of >600 y (Δ 14C = -73 ‰ at sites with ˜5-10 mm MAP and ˜1 y Δ 14C = +12 ‰ ) as annual rainfall increased to ˜25 mm. At all sites, Δ 14C signatures of non-hypolith soils corresponded to turnover times that were longer by an order of magnitude, indicating significantly slower OC cycling by non-hypoliths. In the hyperarid core of the Atacama Desert, the prolonged lack of rainfall (decadal scales of a few millimeters) is responsible for possibly the lowest hypolithic and chasmoendolithic colonization rates observed in deserts on the Earth. Microclimate data for rock and soil surface moisture from rainfall, dew and frost suggest the particular form of moisture and its frequency may also explain observed differences in hypolithic versus chasmoendolithic colonization modes. These results hold theoretical and practical considerations for both terrestrial ecology and as analogs for possible life on Mars.

  15. Ecosystem responses to warming and watering in typical and desert steppes

    OpenAIRE

    Zhenzhu Xu; Yanhui Hou; Lihua Zhang; Tao Liu; Guangsheng Zhou

    2016-01-01

    Global warming is projected to continue, leading to intense fluctuations in precipitation and heat waves and thereby affecting the productivity and the relevant biological processes of grassland ecosystems. Here, we determined the functional responses to warming and altered precipitation in both typical and desert steppes. The results showed that watering markedly increased the aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP) in a typical steppe during a drier year and in a desert steppe over two ...

  16. Unravelling the secret of the resistance of desert strains of Chroococcidiopsis to desiccation and radiation

    OpenAIRE

    Billi, Daniela; Fagliarone; Verseux, Cyprien; Mosca, Claudia; Baqué, Mickael; Wilmotte, Annick

    2017-01-01

    Chroococcidiopsis is a unicellular cyanobacterial genus that is growing in extreme dry conditions, either in low or high temperatures. At the lower end of the spectrum, they live as cryptoendoliths in rocks of the Mc Murdo Dry Valleys in Antarctica where they were discovered by Imre Friedmann, while at the higher end, they grow as hypoliths/endoliths in hot deserts, e.g. Negev, Gobi, Atacama (Friedman, 1980). The capacity of desert strains of Chroococcidiopsis to stabilize their sub-cellul...

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1991-01-01

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

  18. Effect of Atmospheric Conditions on Coverage of Fogger Applications in a Desert Surface Boundary Layer

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-01

    Salyani, T. W. Walker, M. Farooq ABSTRACT. Near-ground aerosol fogs were applied in the Chihuahua Desert of New Mexico, which has widely spaced, low...Approved for public release; distribution unlimited 13. SUPPLEMENTARY NOTES 14. ABSTRACT Near-ground aerosol fogs were applied in the Chihuahua Desert of...1.6° surrounded by sparse Chihuahua De- sert vegetation approximately 2 m tall (fig. 1). The vegeta- tion was primarily mesquite and creosote bushes

  19. Effect of radiophosphorus on the haematology of Indian desert gerbil (Meriones hurrianae, Jerdon)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Malhotra, N.

    1985-01-01

    The effect of 32 P (55.5 kBq/g body weight) has been studied on the hematology of the Indian desert gerbil (Meriones hurrianae) up to a maximum period of 28 d. The investigation reveals induction of leukocytopenia after a brief and transient leukocytosis. The changes in red blood cells, hemoglobin and hematocrit levels are not significant. The desert gerbil appears to be fairly radioresistant at this dose level. (author)

  20. Radiological monitoring of northern slopes of Mogoltau

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Murtazaev, Kh.; Boboev, B.D.; Bolibekov, Sh.; Akhmedov, M.Z.

    2010-01-01

    Present article is devoted to radiological monitoring of northern slopes of Mogoltau. The physicochemical properties of water of northern slopes of Mogoltau were studied. The radiation monitoring of northern slopes of Mogoltau was carried out during several years under various weather conditions. The exposure rate of human settlements of northern part of Mogoltau was defined.