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Sample records for northern chihuahuan desert

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  2. 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...

  3. 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

  4. 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

  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. 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...

  7. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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).

  11. 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)

    Science.gov (United States)

    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),...

  12. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  15. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  17. 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...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  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. 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...

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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...

  12. 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.

  13. 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...

  14. 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...

  15. 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...

  16. 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 (...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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...

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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...

  10. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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...

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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...

  1. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 ...

  3. 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

  4. Patterns of growth and mortality in the endangered Nichol's Turk's Head Cactus (Echinocactus horizonthalonius var. nicholii L. Benson; Cactaceae) in Southeastern Arizona

    Science.gov (United States)

    M. E. McIntosh; L. A. McDade; A. E. Boyd; P. D. Jenkins

    2007-01-01

    Nichol’s Turk’s Head Cactus (Echinocactus horizonthalonius var. nicholii L. Benson; Cactaceae) occurs in a few isolated populations in the Sonoran desert of southcentral Arizona (Pima and Pinal counties). The populations of this variety are disjunct from the more widespread variety that occurs in the Chihuahuan desert of Texas and...

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Challenge theme 1: Understanding and preserving ecological resources: Chapter 3 in United States-Mexican Borderlands: Facing tomorrow's challenges through USGS science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moring, J. Bruce; Papoulias, Diana M.; van Riper, Charles

    2013-01-01

    The notable biodiversity within the United States–Mexican border region is driven by the wide variety of natural landscapes in the area and its biologically unique transition zone of habitats for xeric, temperate, and subtropical species. Six diverse ecoregions cover the length of the border (fig. 3–1): California Coastal Sage, Chaparral, and Oak Woodlands; Sonoran Desert; Madrean Archipelago; Chihuahuan Desert; Southern

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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)

  12. 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

  13. Madrean Archipelago Ecoregion: Chapter 28 in Status and trends of land change in the Western United States--1973 to 2000

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruhlman, Jana; Gass, Leila; Middleton, Barry

    2012-01-01

    The Madrean Archipelago Ecoregion (Omernik, 1987; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1997), also known as the “Madrean Sky Islands” or “Sky Islands,” covers an area of approximately 40,536 km2 (15,651 mi2) in southeastern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico (fig. 1). The ecoregion is bounded on the west by the Sonoran Basin and Range Ecoregion, on the east by the Chihuahuan Deserts Ecoregion, and on the north by the Arizona/New Mexico Mountains Ecoregion. This area of basin-and-range topography is one of the most biologically diverse in the world (Koprowski, 2005; Skroch, 2008). Although the mountains in the ecoregion bridge the Rocky Mountains to the north and the Sierra Madre Occidental in Mexico to the south (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1997), the lower elevations act as a barrier to species dispersal. Nevertheless, the geographic convergence of these two major continental mountain ranges, as well as of the Chihuahuan Desert to the east and the Sonoran Desert to the west, forms the foundation for ecological interactions found nowhere else on Earth (Skroch, 2008).

  14. 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...

  15. 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...

  16. UNDERSTANDING ECOLOGICAL SYSTEM: AN EXAMPLE OF TEMPORAL AND SPATIAL VARIABILITY OF CONOMYMA INSANA IN A STRESSED SYSTEM

    Science.gov (United States)

    The responses of pyramid ants Dorymyrmex (Conomyrma) insana (Buckley) to structural change (removal of an invasive shrub species) and to an environmental stress (short-term intense 12 grazing by cattle) are presented from an experiment study in Chihuahuan Desert grassland. Spat...

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Resource regulation by a twig-girdling beetle has implications for desertification

    Science.gov (United States)

    1. Resource regulation by insects is the phenomenon by which herbivory enhances resources for the progeny of the herbivore. This report provides an example of resource regulation with implications for desertification in the Chihuahuan Desert of North America. 2. Female Oncideres rhodosticta beetles...

  20. Genomic diversity and phylogenetic relationships in the genus Parthenium (Asteraceae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guayule (Parthenium argentatum A. Gray) is a perennial hardwood shrub native to the North American Chihuahuan Desert that holds promise as a sustainable source of natural rubber and hypoallergenic latex. The improvement of guayule for commercial-scale production could be potentially accelerated thro...

  1. 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...

  2. ANTS AS BIOLOGICAL INDICATORS FOR MONITORING CHANGES IN ARID ENVIRONMENTS: LESSONS FOR MONITORING PROTECTED AREAS

    Science.gov (United States)

    The responses of ant communities to structural change (removal of an invasive were studied in a replicated experiment in a Chihuahuan Desert grassland. The results from sampling of ant communities by pit-fall trapping were validated by mapping ant colonies on the experimental plo...

  3. Long-term dust climatology in the western United States reconstructed from routine aerosol ground monitoring

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. Q. Tong

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available This study introduces an observation-based dust identification approach and applies it to reconstruct long-term dust climatology in the western United States. Long-term dust climatology is important for quantifying the effects of atmospheric aerosols on regional and global climate. Although many routine aerosol monitoring networks exist, it is often difficult to obtain dust records from these networks, because these monitors are either deployed far away from dust active regions (most likely collocated with dense population or contaminated by anthropogenic sources and other natural sources, such as wildfires and vegetation detritus. Here we propose an approach to identify local dust events relying solely on aerosol mass and composition from general-purpose aerosol measurements. Through analyzing the chemical and physical characteristics of aerosol observations during satellite-detected dust episodes, we select five indicators to be used to identify local dust records: (1 high PM10 concentrations; (2 low PM2.5/PM10 ratio; (3 higher concentrations and percentage of crustal elements; (4 lower percentage of anthropogenic pollutants; and (5 low enrichment factors of anthropogenic elements. After establishing these identification criteria, we conduct hierarchical cluster analysis for all validated aerosol measurement data over 68 IMPROVE sites in the western United States. A total of 182 local dust events were identified over 30 of the 68 locations from 2000 to 2007. These locations are either close to the four US Deserts, namely the Great Basin Desert, the Mojave Desert, the Sonoran Desert, and the Chihuahuan Desert, or in the high wind power region (Colorado. During the eight-year study period, the total number of dust events displays an interesting four-year activity cycle (one in 2000–2003 and the other in 2004–2007. The years of 2003, 2002 and 2007 are the three most active dust periods, with 46, 31 and 24

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  5. 76 FR 36049 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 90-Day Finding on a Petition To List the Utah...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-06-21

    ... applications, including the treatment of Type 2 diabetes and possibly memory disorders, such as Alzheimer's... and Sonora, Mexico; and in small portions of the Chihuahuan Desert in southeastern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico (Beck 2005, p. 26). Its range throughout the United States and Mexico encompasses...

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Soil moisture and biogeochemical factors influence the distribution of annual Bromus species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jayne Belnap; John M. Stark; Benjamin M. Rau; Edith B. Allen; Susan Phillips

    2016-01-01

    Abiotic factors have a strong influence on where annual Bromus species are found. At the large regional scale, temperature and precipitation extremes determine the boundaries of Bromus occurrence. At the more local scale, soil characteristics and climate influence distribution, cover, and performance. In hot, dry, summer-rainfall-dominated deserts (Sonoran, Chihuahuan...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laurie B. Abbott

    2006-01-01

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

  10. Effects of temporally persistent ant nests of soil protozoan communities and the abundance of morphological types of amoeba

    Science.gov (United States)

    We compared soil protozoan communities near ant nests with soil protozoans in reference soils 5m from the edge of any mounds. We sampled three species of Chihuahuan Desert ants that construct nests that persist for more than a decade: a seed harvester, Pogonomymex rugosus, a liquid feeding honey-po...

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Spatio-temporal evolution of Leucophyllum pringlei and allies (Scrophulariaceae): a group endemic to North American xeric regions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gándara, Etelvina; Sosa, Victoria

    2014-07-01

    The taxa of the Leucophyllum pringlei clade were used to understand the influence of the Neogene orogenesis and the Quaternary climate cycles on the diversification of the flora of the xeric regions of North America. This clade includes the five southernmost species of the genus: L. ambiguum, L. flyrii, L. pruinosum and L. ultramonticola, which are distributed throughout the Chihuahuan Desert north of the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt, and L. pringlei in the region of Tehuacán-Cuicatlán south of this mountain range. Here we test whether these species diverged during the pluvial periods of the Pleistocene, and whether L. pringlei diverged earlier from the other species during the uplift of the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt. Using three plastid regions (psbA-trnH, psbK-psbI, trnL-F) and a nuclear (ITS) marker, phylogenetic analyses were carried out, along with a reconstruction of their ancestral area. Trees retrieved the five species in a monophyletic group with the most recent common ancestor distributed in the Sinaloan dry forest during the Late Miocene (8.08Ma), from where it dispersed to the Chihuahuan Desert during the Late Miocene (6.35Ma). The secondary uplift of the Sierra Madre Occidental during the Late Miocene to Early Pliocene influenced a vicariance event. Divergence between L. pringlei and the species from north of the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt occurred during the second volcanic episode in the Late Miocene (7.5-3Ma). The most recent common ancestor of L. ambiguum, L. pruinosum and L. ultramonticola was widely distributed in the southern part of the Chihuahuan Desert during the Early to Late Pliocene (3.50Ma). The diversification of these three species occurred in the Middle Pleistocene (0.9Ma) during the pluvial and inter-pluvial cycles. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  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. 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

  11. 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

  12. Chapter 8: Fire and nonnative invasive plants in the Interior West bioregion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peter M. Rice; Guy R. McPherson; Lisa J. Rew

    2008-01-01

    The Interior West bioregion is bounded on the east by the eastern slope of the Rocky Mountains from Canada south to Mexico and on the west by the eastern foothills of the Cascade Range in Washington and Oregon and the eastern foothills of the Sierra Nevada in California. The bioregion includes the Chihuahuan, Sonoran, and Mojave hot deserts and the Great Basin cold...

  13. Aerial biomass and elemental changes in Atriplex canescens and A. acanthocarpa as affected by salinity and soil water availability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ricardo Mata-Gonzalez; Ruben Melendez-Gonzalez; J. Jesus Martinez-Hernandez

    2001-01-01

    Atriplex canescens and A. acanthocarpa from the Chihuahuan Desert in Mexico were subjected to different salinity and irrigation treatments in a greenhouse study. Plants were grown in pots containing soil and irrigated with NaCl solutions of 0, 50, and 100 mM at 40 and 80 percent available soil water. Aerial biomass of A. canescens declined as NaCl treatments increased...

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Arizona/New Mexico Plateau Ecoregion: Chapter 26 in Status and trends of land change in the Western United States--1973 to 2000

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruhlman, Jana; Gass, Leila; Middleton, Barry

    2012-01-01

    Situated between ecoregions of distinctly different topographies and climates, the Arizona/New Mexico Plateau Ecoregion represents a large area of approximately 192,869 km2 (74,467 mi2) that stretches across northern Arizona, central and northwestern New Mexico, and parts of southwestern Colorado; in addition, a small part extends into southeastern Nevada (fig. 1) (Omernik, 1987; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1997). Forested, mountainous terrain borders the ecoregion on the northeast (Southern Rockies Ecoregion) and southwest (Arizona/New Mexico Mountains Ecoregion). Warmer and drier climates exist to the south (Chihuahuan Deserts Ecoregion) and west (Mojave Basin and Range Ecoregion). The semiarid grasslands of the western Great Plains are to the east (Southwestern Tablelands Ecoregion), and the tablelands of the Colorado Plateau in Utah and western Colorado lie to the north (Colorado Plateaus Ecoregion). The Arizona/New Mexico Plateau Ecoregion occupies a significant portion of the southern half of the Colorado Plateau.

  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. 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.

  19. 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

  20. A case of megacolon in Rio Grande Valley as a possible case of Chagas disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karl Reinhard

    2003-01-01

    Full Text Available We have been searching for evidence of Chagas disease in mummified human remains. Specifically, we have looked for evidence of alteration of intestinal or fecal morphology consistent with megacolon, a condition associated with Chagas disease. One prehistoric individual recovered from the Chihuahuan Desert near the Rio Grande exhibits such pathology. We present documentation of this case. We are certain that this individual presents a profoundly altered large intestinal tract and we suggest that further research should focus on confirmation of a diagnosis of Chagas disease. We propose that the prehistoric activity and dietary patterns in Chihuahua Desert hunter/gatherers promoted the pathoecology of Chagas disease.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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...

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  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. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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...

  4. 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...

  5. 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...

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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...

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Differential responses of dinitrogen fixation, diazotrophic cyanobacteria and ammonia oxidation reveal a potential warming-induced imbalance of the N-cycle in biological soil crusts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Xiaobing; Smith, Hilda J.; Giraldo Silva, Ana; Belnap, Jayne; Garcia-Pichel, Ferran

    2017-01-01

    N2 fixation and ammonia oxidation (AO) are the two most important processes in the nitrogen (N) cycle of biological soil crusts (BSCs). We studied the short-term response of acetylene reduction assay (ARA) rates, an indicator of potential N2 fixation, and AO rates to temperature (T, -5°C to 35°C) in BSC of different successional stages along the BSC ecological succession and geographic origin (hot Chihuahuan and cooler Great Basin deserts). ARA in all BSCs increased with T until saturation occurred between 15 and 20°C, and declined at 30–35°C. Culture studies using cyanobacteria isolated from these crusts indicated that the saturating effect was traceable to their inability to grow well diazotrophically within the high temperature range. Below saturation, temperature response was exponential, with Q10 significantly different in the two areas (~ 5 for Great Basin BSCs; 2–3 for Chihuahuan BSCs), but similar between the two successional stages. However, in contrast to ARA, AO showed a steady increase to 30–35°C in Great Basin, and Chihuhuan BSCs showed no inhibition at any tested temperature. The T response of AO also differed significantly between Great Basin (Q10 of 4.5–4.8) and Chihuahuan (Q10 of 2.4–2.6) BSCs, but not between successional stages. Response of ARA rates to T did not differ from that of AO in either desert. Thus, while both processes scaled to T in unison until 20°C, they separated to an increasing degree at higher temperature. As future warming is likely to occur in the regions where BSCs are often the dominant living cover, this predicted decoupling is expected to result in higher proportion of nitrates in soil relative to ammonium. As nitrate is more easily lost as leachate or to be reduced to gaseous forms, this could mean a depletion of soil N over large landscapes globally.

  18. Differential Responses of Dinitrogen Fixation, Diazotrophic Cyanobacteria and Ammonia Oxidation Reveal a Potential Warming-Induced Imbalance of the N-Cycle in Biological Soil Crusts.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaobing Zhou

    Full Text Available N2 fixation and ammonia oxidation (AO are the two most important processes in the nitrogen (N cycle of biological soil crusts (BSCs. We studied the short-term response of acetylene reduction assay (ARA rates, an indicator of potential N2 fixation, and AO rates to temperature (T, -5°C to 35°C in BSC of different successional stages along the BSC ecological succession and geographic origin (hot Chihuahuan and cooler Great Basin deserts. ARA in all BSCs increased with T until saturation occurred between 15 and 20°C, and declined at 30-35°C. Culture studies using cyanobacteria isolated from these crusts indicated that the saturating effect was traceable to their inability to grow well diazotrophically within the high temperature range. Below saturation, temperature response was exponential, with Q10 significantly different in the two areas (~ 5 for Great Basin BSCs; 2-3 for Chihuahuan BSCs, but similar between the two successional stages. However, in contrast to ARA, AO showed a steady increase to 30-35°C in Great Basin, and Chihuhuan BSCs showed no inhibition at any tested temperature. The T response of AO also differed significantly between Great Basin (Q10 of 4.5-4.8 and Chihuahuan (Q10 of 2.4-2.6 BSCs, but not between successional stages. Response of ARA rates to T did not differ from that of AO in either desert. Thus, while both processes scaled to T in unison until 20°C, they separated to an increasing degree at higher temperature. As future warming is likely to occur in the regions where BSCs are often the dominant living cover, this predicted decoupling is expected to result in higher proportion of nitrates in soil relative to ammonium. As nitrate is more easily lost as leachate or to be reduced to gaseous forms, this could mean a depletion of soil N over large landscapes globally.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Exploring dust emission responses to land cover change using an ecological land classification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galloza, Magda S.; Webb, Nicholas P.; Bleiweiss, Max P.; Winters, Craig; Herrick, Jeffrey E.; Ayers, Eldon

    2018-06-01

    Despite efforts to quantify the impacts of land cover change on wind erosion, assessment uncertainty remains large. We address this uncertainty by evaluating the application of ecological site concepts and state-and-transition models (STMs) for detecting and quantitatively describing the impacts of land cover change on wind erosion. We apply a dust emission model over a rangeland study area in the northern Chihuahuan Desert, New Mexico, USA, and evaluate spatiotemporal patterns of modelled horizontal sediment mass flux and dust emission in the context of ecological sites and their vegetation states; representing a diversity of land cover types. Our results demonstrate how the impacts of land cover change on dust emission can be quantified, compared across land cover classes, and interpreted in the context of an ecological model that encapsulates land management intensity and change. Results also reveal the importance of established weaknesses in the dust model soil characterisation and drag partition scheme, which appeared generally insensitive to the impacts of land cover change. New models that address these weaknesses, coupled with ecological site concepts and field measurements across land cover types, could significantly reduce assessment uncertainties and provide opportunities for identifying land management options.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Fog water chemistry in the Namib desert, Namibia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eckardt, Frank D.; Schemenauer, Robert S.

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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...

  11. 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...

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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)

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  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. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laila M. Bidak

    2015-01-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. Aborigines of the nuclear desert

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rujula, A. de

    1985-01-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Community adaptations to an impending food desert in rural Appalachia, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Wayne C; Rogalla, Denver; Spencer, Dustin; Zia, Nida; Griffith, Brian N; Heinsberg, Haylee B

    2016-01-01

    The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) describes a food desert as an urban neighborhood or rural town without ready access to fresh, healthy, and affordable food. An estimated 2.3 million rural Americans live in food deserts. One goal of the USDA is to eliminate food deserts. However, at a time when some food deserts are being eliminated, hundreds of grocery stores are closing, causing other food deserts to arise. The literature is scarce on how a community adapts to an impending food desert. Alderson, West Virginia, USA (population 1184) rallied to face an impending food desert when the only grocery store in town closed in December 2014. This study investigated how this small rural community adapted to its oncoming food desert. A community member survey was administered to 155 Alderson families (49%) to determine how the new food desert affected family food acquisition and storage behaviors. A restaurant survey was given to the town's four restaurants to determine how the food desert affected their businesses. Sales data for a new food hub (Green Grocer) was obtained to see if this new initiative offset the negative effects of the food desert. ANOVA and t-tests were used to compare group numerical data. Two group response rates were compared by testing the equality of two proportions. Categorical data were analyzed with the χ2 or frequency distribution analysis. Group averages are reported as mean ± standard error of the mean. Significance for all analyses was set at pp=0.16) from the number before the food desert (2.8±0.3). Price comparisons among the Green Grocer and three distant supermarkets showed a 30% savings by traveling to distant supermarkets. Frequency of monthly restaurant visits did not change after the emergence of the food desert (2.98±0.54 vs 3.05±0.51, p=0.85). However, restaurant patrons requested to buy fresh produce and dairy from the restaurants to use for their own home cooking. Food pantry use increased by 43%, with

  16. Progress in long-lived radioactive waste management and disposal at the waste isolation pilot plant

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Triay, I.R.; Matthews, M.L.; Eriksson, L.G.

    2001-01-01

    The Salado Formation is buried more than 350 m beneath the sands and cacti of the Chihuahuan Desert and hosts the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) deep geological repository at a depth of approximately 650 m. Since the WIPP repository is at least 10 years ahead of any other repository development for long-lived radioactive waste, other radioactive waste management organizations and institutions could benefit both scientifically and politically from sharing the lessons learned at WIPP. Benefits would include using existing expertise and facilities to cost-effectively address and solve program-specific issues and to train staff. The characteristics of the WIPP repository and infrastructure are described in this paper. (author)

  17. Progress in long-lived radioactive waste management and disposal at the waste isolation pilot plant

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Triay, I R; Matthews, M L [U.S. Dept. of Energy Carlsbad Field Office, New Mexico (United States); Eriksson, L G [GRAM, Inc., Albuquerque, NM (United States)

    2001-07-01

    The Salado Formation is buried more than 350 m beneath the sands and cacti of the Chihuahuan Desert and hosts the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) deep geological repository at a depth of approximately 650 m. Since the WIPP repository is at least 10 years ahead of any other repository development for long-lived radioactive waste, other radioactive waste management organizations and institutions could benefit both scientifically and politically from sharing the lessons learned at WIPP. Benefits would include using existing expertise and facilities to cost-effectively address and solve program-specific issues and to train staff. The characteristics of the WIPP repository and infrastructure are described in this paper. (author)

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  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. 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.

  8. 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...

  9. 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.

  10. Liquid Water Restricts Habitability in Extreme Deserts.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

  11. 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 ...

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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)

  17. 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.

  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. 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 ...

  20. First remarks on the nesting biology of Hypodynerus andeus (Packard (Hymenoptera, Vespidae, Eumeninae in the Azapa valley, northern Chile

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Felipe Méndez-Abarca

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available First remarks on the nesting biology of Hypodynerus andeus (Packard (Hymenoptera, Vespidae, Eumeninae in the Azapa valley, northern Chile. Some aspects about the nesting biology of the potter wasp Hypodynerus andeus (Packard, 1869 are reported for the first time. Observations were carried out at the Azapa valley, coastal desert of northern Chile. A total of sixty nests were collected and examined, each composed by 1-14 cells, most of them found attached to concrete lamp posts. The only preys recorded in the cells were Geometridae (Lepidoptera caterpillars and the presence of the parasitoid Anthrax sp. (Diptera, Bombyliidae was also recorded. A number of arthropods belonging to different groups, mainly spiders, were found occupying empty nests.

  1. 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.)

  2. 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.).

  3. 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

  4. 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...

  5. 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...

  6. 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...

  7. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-10-21

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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%.

  14. 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

  15. Observed 20th Century Desert Dust Variability: Impact on Climate and Biogeochemistry

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mahowald, Natalie [Cornell University; Kloster, Silvia [Cornell University; Engelstaedter, S. [Cornell University; Moore, Jefferson Keith [University of California, Irvine; Mukhopadhyay, S. [Harvard University; McConnell, J. R. [Desert Research Institute, Reno, NV; Albani, S. [Cornell University; Doney, Scott C. [Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), Woods Hole, MA; Bhattacharya, A. [Harvard University; Curran, M. A. J. [Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre; Flanner, Mark G. [University of Michigan; Hoffman, Forrest M [ORNL; Lawrence, David M. [National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR); Lindsay, Keith [National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR); Mayewski, P. A. [University of Maine; Neff, Jason [University of Colorado, Boulder; Rothenberg, D. [Cornell University; Thomas, E. [British Antarctic Survey, Cambridge, UK; Thornton, Peter E [ORNL; Zender, Charlie S. [University of California, Irvine

    2010-01-01

    Desert dust perturbs climate by directly and indirectly interacting with incoming solar and outgoing long wave radiation, thereby changing precipitation and temperature, in addition to modifying ocean and land biogeochemistry. While we know that desert dust is sensitive to perturbations in climate and human land use, previous studies have been unable to determine whether humans were increasing or decreasing desert dust in the global average. Here we present observational estimates of desert dust based on paleodata proxies showing a doubling of desert dust during the 20th century over much, but not all the globe. Large uncertainties remain in estimates of desert dust variability over 20th century due to limited data. Using these observational estimates of desert dust change in combination with ocean, atmosphere and land models, we calculate the net radiative effect of these observed changes (top of atmosphere) over the 20th century to be -0.14 {+-} 0.11 W/m{sup 2} (1990-1999 vs. 1905-1914). The estimated radiative change due to dust is especially strong between the heavily loaded 1980-1989 and the less heavily loaded 1955-1964 time periods (-0.57 {+-} 0.46 W/m{sup 2}), which model simulations suggest may have reduced the rate of temperature increase between these time periods by 0.11 C. Model simulations also indicate strong regional shifts in precipitation and temperature from desert dust changes, causing 6 ppm (12 PgC) reduction in model carbon uptake by the terrestrial biosphere over the 20th century. Desert dust carries iron, an important micronutrient for ocean biogeochemistry that can modulate ocean carbon storage; here we show that dust deposition trends increase ocean productivity by an estimated 6% over the 20th century, drawing down an additional 4 ppm (8 PgC) of carbon dioxide into the oceans. Thus, perturbations to desert dust over the 20th century inferred from observations are potentially important for climate and biogeochemistry, and our understanding

  16. 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

  17. Are There High Meteorite Concentrations in the Atacama Desert/Chile?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scherer, P.; Delisle, G.

    1992-07-01

    We have visited numerous regions of the Atacama desert between Copiapo (27 degrees, 15'S) and Calama (22 degrees, 25'S) to assess their potential as a high-yield meteorite concentration surface, easily exploitable by search efforts within a reasonable time frame. According to our observations, this desert is characterized by the following features: a) A high percentage of the desert consists of sloping surfaces on which soil movement occurs, presumably by very infrequent, though heavy rain. b) Vast areas of the desert are covered by a dm-thick sand layer of dark colour. Since the sand is too coarse-grained to be transported by wind it presumably resulted from in-situ weathering of rock debris derived from nearby mountains. We suspect that impacting smaller objects can easily penetrate the sand layer. c) The sand layer is typically dotted by rocks, fist-size or smaller, that are covered by a thick layer of desert paint (reddish-brown to black colour). Most country rocks are of volcanic origin (rhyolite, andesite, basalt) and are typically of grey to black colour. A noticeable colour contrast in particular to potential stony meteorites is almost nonexistent. d) Soil salts with a potential to speed up weathering processes are ubiquitous near the surface. e) The Pampa de Mejillones, 45 km north of Antofagasta, is one of the few light-coloured areas in the Atacama desert. The surface, being of Mio-Pliocene age, consists of an almost continuous layer of light-brown fossil shells (bivalves and gastropodes). Fluvially transported dark rocks from adjacent outcrops rest on top. The latter material is covered again by desert paint. Few meteorite discoveries have been reported from this area (Pampa (a),(b),(c)). f) Numerous old tire tracks, in particular around mines in operation, crisscross most areas of the Atacama. Undetected objects such as large masses of iron bodies are not likely to have remained undiscovered in great numbers any more. We conclude that the potential of

  18. 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...

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Ecosystem responses to warming and watering in typical and desert steppes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Zhenzhu; Hou, Yanhui; Zhang, Lihua; Liu, Tao; Zhou, Guangsheng

    2016-10-01

    Global warming is projected to continue, leading to intense fluctuations in precipitation and heat waves and thereby affecting the productivity and the relevant biological processes of grassland ecosystems. Here, we determined the functional responses to warming and altered precipitation in both typical and desert steppes. The results showed that watering markedly increased the aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP) in a typical steppe during a drier year and in a desert steppe over two years, whereas warming manipulation had no significant effect. The soil microbial biomass carbon (MBC) and the soil respiration (SR) were increased by watering in both steppes, but the SR was significantly decreased by warming in the desert steppe only. The inorganic nitrogen components varied irregularly, with generally lower levels in the desert steppe. The belowground traits of soil total organic carbon (TOC) and the MBC were more closely associated with the ANPP in the desert than in the typical steppes. The results showed that the desert steppe with lower productivity may respond strongly to precipitation changes, particularly with warming, highlighting the positive effect of adding water with warming. Our study implies that the habitat- and year-specific responses to warming and watering should be considered when predicting an ecosystem’s functional responses under climate change scenarios.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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...

  7. 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.

  8. 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 ...

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. [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.

  12. 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).

  13. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. M. Mahowald

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available Desert dust perturbs climate by directly and indirectly interacting with incoming solar and outgoing long wave radiation, thereby changing precipitation and temperature, in addition to modifying ocean and land biogeochemistry. While we know that desert dust is sensitive to perturbations in climate and human land use, previous studies have been unable to determine whether humans were increasing or decreasing desert dust in the global average. Here we present observational estimates of desert dust based on paleodata proxies showing a doubling of desert dust during the 20th century over much, but not all the globe. Large uncertainties remain in estimates of desert dust variability over 20th century due to limited data. Using these observational estimates of desert dust change in combination with ocean, atmosphere and land models, we calculate the net radiative effect of these observed changes (top of atmosphere over the 20th century to be −0.14 ± 0.11 W/m2 (1990–1999 vs. 1905–1914. The estimated radiative change due to dust is especially strong between the heavily loaded 1980–1989 and the less heavily loaded 1955–1964 time periods (−0.57 ± 0.46 W/m2, which model simulations suggest may have reduced the rate of temperature increase between these time periods by 0.11 °C. Model simulations also indicate strong regional shifts in precipitation and temperature from desert dust changes, causing 6 ppm (12 PgC reduction in model carbon uptake by the terrestrial biosphere over the 20th century. Desert dust carries iron, an important micronutrient for ocean biogeochemistry that can modulate ocean carbon storage; here we show that dust deposition trends increase ocean productivity by an estimated 6% over the 20th century, drawing down an additional 4 ppm (8 PgC of carbon dioxide into the oceans. Thus, perturbations to desert dust over the 20th century inferred from observations are potentially important for climate and

  15. Malaria prevalence, prevention and treatment seeking practices among nomadic pastoralists in northern Senegal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seck, Mame Cheikh; Thwing, Julie; Fall, Fatou Ba; Gomis, Jules Francois; Deme, Awa; Ndiaye, Yaye Die; Daniels, Rachel; Volkman, Sarah K; Ndiop, Medoune; Ba, Mady; Ndiaye, Daouda

    2017-10-13

    Malaria transmission in Senegal is highly stratified, from low in the dry north to moderately high in the moist south. In northern Senegal, along the Senegal River Valley and in the Ferlo semi-desert region, annual incidence is less than five cases per 1000 inhabitants. Many nomadic pastoralists have permanent dwellings in the Ferlo Desert and Senegal River Valley, but spend dry season in the south with their herds, returning north when the rains start, leading to a concern that this population could contribute to ongoing transmission in the north. A modified snowball sampling survey was conducted at six sites in northern Senegal to determine the malaria prevention and treatment seeking practices and parasite prevalence among nomadic pastoralists in the Senegal River Valley and the Ferlo Desert. Nomadic pastoralists aged 6 months and older were surveyed during September and October 2014, and data regarding demographics, access to care and preventive measures were collected. Parasite infection was detected using rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs), microscopy (thin and thick smears) and polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Molecular barcodes were determined by high resolution melting (HRM). Of 1800 participants, 61% were male. Sixty-four percent had at least one bed net in the household, and 53% reported using a net the night before. Only 29% had received a net from a mass distribution campaign. Of the 8% (142) who reported having had fever in the last month, 55% sought care, 20% of whom received a diagnostic test, one-third of which (n = 5) were reported to be positive. Parasite prevalence was 0.44% by thick smear and 0.50% by PCR. None of the molecular barcodes identified among the nomadic pastoralists had been previously identified in Senegal. While access to and utilization of malaria control interventions among nomadic pastoralists was lower than the general population, parasite prevalence was lower than expected and sheds doubt on the perception that they are a

  16. [Temporal diversity dynamics of the arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi of Larrea tridentata (Sesse & Mocino ex DC) Coville in a semi-arid ecosystem].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernández-Zamudio, Genoveva; Sáenz-Mata, Jorge; Moreno-Reséndez, Alejandro; Castañeda-Gaytán, Gamaliel; Ogaz, Alfredo; Carballar-Hernández, Santos; Hernández-Cuevas, Laura

    2017-12-06

    Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) of arid and semiarid ecosystems are important for the development of plants that grow under biotic stress in wild or in agro-ecosystems. There is little information on the temporal diversity of these organisms in perennial plants from arid ecosystems in northern Mexico. On this study, the mycorrhizal colonization and the temporal diversity of AMF in the rhizosphere of Larrea tridentata, perennial plant abundant in the Chihuahuan Desert region were explored. Samples of the rhizosphere and roots of fifteen plants in each of the three sampling dates during the 2015 year were obtained. A total of 17 species of HMA belonging to 12 genera and 7 families within the phylum Glomeromycota in all three sampling dates were found. Funneliformis geosporum was the dominant species belonging to the family Glomeraceae which possess the highest genera number on L. tridentata. The highest mycorrhization percentage was in February with 83.22, followed by September and May with 75.27 and 65.27%, respectively. A maximum of 16 AM fungal species were isolated and identified from L. tridentata rhizosphere in February, 15 species in May and 12 species in September. Statistical analysis showed significant differences between sampling dates in the spores number. Copyright © 2017 Asociación Argentina de Microbiología. Publicado por Elsevier España, S.L.U. All rights reserved.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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...

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Final Environmental Impact Statement of the Proposed Ground Based Free Electron Laser Technology Integration Experiment, White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    1987-01-01

    Area E. School Site Area F. Stall1on Site Area 6. Hogge’s Knoll H. North Oscura Peak 1. Mockingbird Gap Area J. Three Rivers Area K. East of...include the northern mockingbird ; Chihuahuan raven; cactus, rock and Bewick’s wrens; curve-billed thrasher; loggerhead shrike; rufous-sided and brown...Those reptiles and amphibians hit directly by the laser beam or indirectly by backscattering or reflectance would be injured or killed . Lead and

  8. A demographic approach to study effects of climate change in desert plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salguero-Gómez, Roberto; Siewert, Wolfgang; Casper, Brenda B.; Tielbörger, Katja

    2012-01-01

    Desert species respond strongly to infrequent, intense pulses of precipitation. Consequently, indigenous flora has developed a rich repertoire of life-history strategies to deal with fluctuations in resource availability. Examinations of how future climate change will affect the biota often forecast negative impacts, but these—usually correlative—approaches overlook precipitation variation because they are based on averages. Here, we provide an overview of how variable precipitation affects perennial and annual desert plants, and then implement an innovative, mechanistic approach to examine the effects of precipitation on populations of two desert plant species. This approach couples robust climatic projections, including variable precipitation, with stochastic, stage-structured models constructed from long-term demographic datasets of the short-lived Cryptantha flava in the Colorado Plateau Desert (USA) and the annual Carrichtera annua in the Negev Desert (Israel). Our results highlight these populations' potential to buffer future stochastic precipitation. Population growth rates in both species increased under future conditions: wetter, longer growing seasons for Cryptantha and drier years for Carrichtera. We determined that such changes are primarily due to survival and size changes for Cryptantha and the role of seed bank for Carrichtera. Our work suggests that desert plants, and thus the resources they provide, might be more resilient to climate change than previously thought. PMID:23045708

  9. 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...

  10. 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.

  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. Soil seed bank in different habitats of the Eastern Desert of Egypt.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gomaa, Nasr H

    2012-04-01

    The floristic composition and species diversity of the germinable soil seed bank were studied in three different habitats (desert salinized land, desert wadi, and reclaimed land) in the Eastern Desert of Egypt. Moreover, the degree of similarity between the seed bank and the above-ground vegetation was determined. The seed bank was studied in 40 stands representing the three habitats. Ten soil samples (each 25 × 20 cm and 5 cm depth) were randomly taken per stand. The seed bank was investigated by the seedling emergence method. Some 61 species belonging to 21 families and 54 genera were identified in the germinable seed bank. The recorded species include 43 annuals and 18 perennials. Ordination of stands by Detrended Correspondence Analysis (DCA) indicates that the stands of the three habitats are markedly distinguishable and show a clear pattern of segregation on the ordination planes. This indicates variations in the species composition among habitats. The results also demonstrate significant associations between the floristic composition of the seed bank and edaphic factors such as CaCO3, electrical conductivity, organic carbon and soil texture. The reclaimed land has the highest values of species richness, Shannon-index of diversity and the density of the germinable seed bank followed by the habitats of desert wadi and desert salinized land. Motyka's similarity index between the seed bank and the above-ground vegetation is significantly higher in reclaimed land (75.1%) compared to desert wadi (38.4%) and desert salinized land (36.5%).

  13. 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 ...

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Palynology in a polar desert, eastern North Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Funder, Svend Visby; Abrahamsen, Niels

    1988-01-01

    history back to c. 7,000 years calBP (6,000 years convBP) in this·extreme environment, which presents the coldest thermal regime where vascular plants can grow. The diagram shows that polar desert developed from sparse high arctic tundra at c. 4,300 years calBP (3,900 years convBP), owing...... to reduced summer heat. Also adjacent parts of high arctic Greenland, Canada and Svalbard suffered environmental decline, and polar deserts- presently restricted to a narrow fringe of land at the shores of the Arctic Ocean-were even more restricted before this time. Like other arctic vegetation types, polar...... 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...

  17. [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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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...

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Landscape movements by two species of migratory nectar-feeding bats (Leptonycteris) in a northern area of seasonal sympatry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bogan, Michael A.; Cryan, Paul; Weise, Christa D.; Valdez, Ernest W.

    2017-01-01

    Animals often migrate to exploit seasonally ephemeral food. Three species of nectar-feeding phyllostomid bats migrate north from Mexico into deserts of the United States each spring and summer to feed on blooms of columnar cactus and century plants (Agave spp.). However, the habitat needs of these important desert pollinators are poorly understood. We followed the nighttime movements of 2 species of long-nosed bats (Leptonycteris yerbabuenae and L. nivalis) in an area of late-summer sympatry at the northern edges of their migratory ranges. We radio-tracked bats in extreme southwestern New Mexico during 22 nights over 2 summers and acquired location estimates for 31 individuals. Both species cohabitated 2 major day roosts that were 30 km apart and in different mountain ranges, and individual bats sometimes moved between the roosts. Sampling was opportunistic and limited, but there were no obvious qualitative differences in observed patterns of movement between species or years, or among sex, age, and reproductive groups. Both species were observed foraging most often in the mountain range that had a relatively higher observed density of presumed food plants (Agave palmeri); when roosting in an adjacent mountain range, bats sometimes commuted >20 km one way to forage. Contrary to evidence indicating these species partition resources farther south in Mexico, our findings suggest that L. yerbabuenae and L. nivalis seasonally share common roost and food resources during late summer in this northern area of sympatry.

  4. Gopherus Agassizii (Desert Tortoise). Predation/Mountain Lions (Pre-Print)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Paul D. Greger and Philip A. Medica

    2009-01-01

    During a long-term study on tortoise growth within 3 fenced 9-ha enclosures in Rock Valley, Nevada Test Site (NTS), Nye County, Nevada, USA, tortoises have been captured annually since 1964 (Medica et al. 1975. Copeia 1975:630-643; Turner et al. 1987. Copeia 1987:974-979). Between early August and mid October 2003 we observed a significant mortality event. The Rock Valley enclosures were constructed of 6 x 6 mm mesh 1.2 m wide hardware cloth, buried 0.3 m in the soil with deflective flashing on both sides on the top to restrict the movement of small mammals and lizards from entering or leaving the enclosures (Rundel and Gibson 1996, Ecological communities and process in a Mojave Desert ecosystem: Rock Valley, Nevada, Cambridge University Press, Great Britain. 369 pp.). On August 6, 2003, the carcass of an adult female Desert Tortoise No.1411 (carapace length 234 mm when alive) was collected while adult male tortoise No.4414 (carapace length 269 mm) was observed alive and in good health on the same day. Subsequently the carcass of No.4414 was found on October 16, 2003. Between October 16-17, 2003, the remains of 6 (5 adult and 1 juvenile) Desert Tortoises were found, some within each of the 3 enclosures in Rock Valley. A seventh adult tortoise was found on September 26, 2006, its death also attributed to the 2003 mortality event based upon the forensic evidence. Each of the 7 adult Desert Tortoises had the central portion of their carapace broken open approximately to the dorsal portion of the marginal scutes while the plastron was still intact (Figure 1A). Adjacent to 7 of the 8 remains we located numerous bone fragments including parts of the carapace and limbs as well as dried intestines in a nearby Range Rhatany (Krameria parvifolia) shrub. The significance of the frequent use of this shrub is puzzling. Three of the Desert Tortoise shell remains possessed distinctive intercanine punctures measuring 55-60 mm center to center indicating that this was an adult

  5. The economics of hybrid power systems for sustainable desert agriculture in Egypt

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kamel, S.M.; Dahl, C.

    2005-01-01

    Egypt has embarked on an ambitious desert land reclamation program in order to increase total food production. Energy planners for these desert agriculture locations have chosen diesel generation power technology because minimization of the initial capital cost of a power supply system is their top...... priority. This heavy reliance on diesel generation has negative effects on the surrounding environment including soil, groundwater, and air pollution. Although good solar and wind resource prospects exist for the use of cleaner hybrid power systems in certain desert locations, little research has been done...... to investigate the economic potential of such systems in Egypt’s desert agriculture sector. Using optimization software, we assess the economics of hybrid power systems versus the present diesel generation technology in a remote agricultural development area. We also consider the emission reduction advantages...

  6. 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.

  7. 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...

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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...

  11. Are wildlife detector dogs or people better at finding Desert Tortoises (Gopherus agassizii)?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nussear, K.E.; Esque, T.C.; Heaton, J.S.; Cablk, Mary E.; Drake, K.K.; Valentin, C.; Yee, J.L.; Medica, P.A.

    2008-01-01

    Our ability to study threatened and endangered species depends on locating them readily in the field. Recent studies highlight the effectiveness of trained detector dogs to locate wildlife during field surveys, including Desert Tortoises in a semi-natural setting. Desert Tortoises (Gopherus agassizii) are cryptic and difficult to detect during surveys, especially the smaller size classes. We conducted comparative surveys to determine whether human or detector dog teams were more effective at locating Desert Tortoises in the wild. We compared detectability of Desert Tortoises and the costs to deploy human and dog search teams. Detectability of tortoises was not statistically different for either team, and was estimated to be approximately 70% (SE = 5%). Dogs found a greater proportion of tortoises located in vegetation than did humans. The dog teams finished surveys 2.5 hours faster than the humans on average each day. The human team cost was approximately $3,000 less per square kilometer sampled. Dog teams provided a quick and effective method for surveying for adult Desert Tortoises; however, we were unable to determine-their effectiveness at locating smaller size classes. Detection of smaller size classes during surveys would improve management of the species and should be addressed by future research using Desert Tortoise detector dogs.

  12. 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)

  13. Clean power from deserts. The DESERTEC concept for energy, water and climate security

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2009-07-01

    The main challenge for the future is to reclaim energy from renewable and clean sources in environmentally compatible ways. Here the deserts of the earth can play a key role. They receive about 700 times more energy from the sun than humankind consumes by burning fossil fuels, day by day. Deserts are the places with the best solar radiation conditions and with the least possible impact of collector deployment onto the biosphere on earth. In deserts, clean power can be produced by solar thermal power plants (CSP) in a truly sustainable way and at any volume of conceivable demand. Power can be transmitted with low losses by high voltage direct current (HVDC) lines to more than 90% of the world's population. This gives the deserts a new role: Together with the many other forms of accessible renewable energy the newly utilized desert would enable us to replace fossil fuels and thus end the ongoing destruction of our natural living conditions. To put this into practice, countries with deserts, countries with high energy demand and countries with technology competence must cooperate. This is an opportunity for the Mediterranean riparian regions of Europe, the Middle East and North Africa (EUMENA) to form a community for energy, water and climate security. With the political will, EUMENA countries could now launch 'EUMENA-DESERTEC' Program, to bring humankind back into balance with its environment, by putting deserts and technology into service for energy, water and climate security. This would be an important step towards creating a truly sustainable civilization.

  14. 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.

  15. A mechanistic modeling and data assimilation framework for Mojave Desert ecohydrology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ng, Gene-Hua Crystal; Bedford, David R.; Miller, David M.

    2014-06-01

    This study demonstrates and addresses challenges in coupled ecohydrological modeling in deserts, which arise due to unique plant adaptations, marginal growing conditions, slow net primary production rates, and highly variable rainfall. We consider model uncertainty from both structural and parameter errors and present a mechanistic model for the shrub Larrea tridentata (creosote bush) under conditions found in the Mojave National Preserve in southeastern California (USA). Desert-specific plant and soil features are incorporated into the CLM-CN model by Oleson et al. (2010). We then develop a data assimilation framework using the ensemble Kalman filter (EnKF) to estimate model parameters based on soil moisture and leaf-area index observations. A new implementation procedure, the "multisite loop EnKF," tackles parameter estimation difficulties found to affect desert ecohydrological applications. Specifically, the procedure iterates through data from various observation sites to alleviate adverse filter impacts from non-Gaussianity in small desert vegetation state values. It also readjusts inconsistent parameters and states through a model spin-up step that accounts for longer dynamical time scales due to infrequent rainfall in deserts. Observation error variance inflation may also be needed to help prevent divergence of estimates from true values. Synthetic test results highlight the importance of adequate observations for reducing model uncertainty, which can be achieved through data quality or quantity.

  16. A mechanistic modeling and data assimilation framework for Mojave Desert ecohydrology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ng, Gene-Hua Crystal.; Bedford, David; Miller, David

    2014-01-01

    This study demonstrates and addresses challenges in coupled ecohydrological modeling in deserts, which arise due to unique plant adaptations, marginal growing conditions, slow net primary production rates, and highly variable rainfall. We consider model uncertainty from both structural and parameter errors and present a mechanistic model for the shrub Larrea tridentata (creosote bush) under conditions found in the Mojave National Preserve in southeastern California (USA). Desert-specific plant and soil features are incorporated into the CLM-CN model by Oleson et al. (2010). We then develop a data assimilation framework using the ensemble Kalman filter (EnKF) to estimate model parameters based on soil moisture and leaf-area index observations. A new implementation procedure, the “multisite loop EnKF,” tackles parameter estimation difficulties found to affect desert ecohydrological applications. Specifically, the procedure iterates through data from various observation sites to alleviate adverse filter impacts from non-Gaussianity in small desert vegetation state values. It also readjusts inconsistent parameters and states through a model spin-up step that accounts for longer dynamical time scales due to infrequent rainfall in deserts. Observation error variance inflation may also be needed to help prevent divergence of estimates from true values. Synthetic test results highlight the importance of adequate observations for reducing model uncertainty, which can be achieved through data quality or quantity.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  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. Temporal 222Rn distributions to reveal groundwater discharge into desert lakes: Implication of water balance in the Badain Jaran Desert, China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luo, Xin; Jiao, Jiu Jimmy; Wang, Xu-sheng; Liu, Kun

    2016-03-01

    How lake systems are maintained and water is balanced in the lake areas in the Badain Jaran Desert (BJD), northeast of China have been debated for about a decade. In this study, continuous 222Rn measurement is used to quantify groundwater discharge into two representative fresh and brine water lakes in the desert using a steady-state mass-balance model. Two empirical equations are used to calculate atmospheric evasion loss crossing the water-air interface of the lakes. Groundwater discharge rates yielded from the radon mass balance model based on the two empirical equations are well correlated and of almost the same values, confirming the validity of the model. The fresh water and brine lakes have a daily averaged groundwater discharge rate of 7.6 ± 1.7 mm d-1 and 6.4 ± 1.8 mm d-1, respectively. The temporal fluctuations of groundwater discharge show similar patterns to those of the lake water level, suggesting that the lakes are recharged from nearby groundwater. Assuming that all the lakes have the same discharge rate as the two studied lakes, total groundwater discharge into all the lakes in the desert is estimated to be 1.59 × 105 m3 d-1. A conceptual model of water balance within a desert lake catchment is proposed to characterize water behaviors within the catchment. This study sheds lights on the water balance in the BJD and is of significance in sustainable regional water resource utilization in such an ecologically fragile area.

  2. Lithium abundance patterns of late-F stars: an in-depth analysis of the lithium desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aguilera-Gómez, Claudia; Ramírez, Iván; Chanamé, Julio

    2018-06-01

    Aims: We address the existence and origin of the lithium (Li) desert, a region in the Li-Teff plane sparsely populated by stars. Here we analyze some of the explanations that have been suggested for this region, including mixing in the late main sequence, a Li dip origin for stars with low Li abundances in the region, and a possible relation with the presence of planets. Methods: To study the Li desert, we measured the atmospheric parameters and Li abundance of 227 late-F dwarfs and subgiants, chosen to be in the Teff range of the desert and without previous Li abundance measurements. Subsequently, we complemented those with literature data to obtain a homogeneous catalog of 2318 stars, for which we compute masses and ages. We characterize stars surrounding the region of the Li desert. Results: We conclude that stars with low Li abundances below the desert are more massive and more evolved than stars above the desert. Given the unexpected presence of low Li abundance stars in this effective temperature range, we concentrate on finding their origin. We conclude that these stars with low Li abundance do not evolve from stars above the desert: at a given mass, stars with low Li (i.e., below the desert) are more metal-poor. Conclusions: Instead, we suggest that stars below the Li desert are consistent with having evolved from the Li dip, discarding the need to invoke additional mixing to explain this feature. Thus, stars below the Li desert are not peculiar and are only distinguished from other subgiants evolved from the Li dip in that their combination of atmospheric parameters locates them in a range of effective temperatures where otherwise only high Li abundance stars would be found (i.e., stars above the desert). Full Tables 1 and 3 are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (http://130.79.128.5) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/614/A55This paper includes observations collected at The McDonald Observatory and

  3. 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...

  4. Soil stabilization by a prokaryotic desert crust - Implications for Precambrian land biota

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, S. E.

    1979-01-01

    The ecology of the cyanophyte-dominated stromatolitic mat forming the ground cover over desert areas of Utah and Colorado is investigated and implications for the formation of mature Precambrian soils are discussed. The activation of the growth of the two species of filamentous cyanophyte identified and the mobility of their multiple trichromes upon wetting are observed, accompanied by the production and deposition of a sheath capable of accreting and stabilizing sand and clay particles. The formation of calcium carbonate precipitates upon the repeated wetting and drying of desert crust is noted, and it is suggested that the desert crust community may appear in fossil calcrete deposits as lithified microscopic tubes and cellular remains of algal trichromes. The invasion of dry land by both marine and freshwater algae on the model of the desert crust is proposed to be responsible for the accumulation, stabilization and biogenic modification of mature Precambrian soils.

  5. 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.

  6. Bacterial Rhizosphere Biodiversity from Several Pioneer Desert Sand Plants Near Jizan, Saudi Arabia

    KAUST Repository

    Osman, Jorge R.; Zelicourt, Axel de; Bisseling, Ton; Geurts, Rene; Hirt, Heribert; DuBow, Michael S.

    2016-01-01

    Life in arid regions and, in particular, hot deserts is often limited due to their harsh environmental conditions, such as large temperature fluctuations and low amounts of water. These extreme environments can influence the microbial community present on the surface sands and any rhizosphere members surrounding desert plant roots. The Jizan desert area, located in Saudi Arabia, supports particular vegetation that grows in the large sandy flat terrain. We examined five different samples, four from the rhizosphere of pioneer plants plus a surface sand sample, and used pyrosequencing of PCR-amplified V1-V3 regions of 16S rDNA genes from total extracted DNA to reveal and compare the bacterial population diversity of the samples. The results showed a total of 3,530 OTUs in the five samples, calculated using ≥ 97% sequence similarity levels. The Chao1 estimation of the bacterial diversity fluctuated from 637 to 2,026 OTUs for a given sample. The most abundant members found in the samples belong to the Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes and Proteobacteria phyla. This work shows that the Jizan desert area of Saudi Arabia can contain a diverse bacterial community on the sand and surrounding the roots of pioneer desert plants. It also shows that desert sand microbiomes can vary depending on conditions, with broad implications for sandstone monument bacterial communities

  7. Bacterial Rhizosphere Biodiversity from Several Pioneer Desert Sand Plants Near Jizan, Saudi Arabia

    KAUST Repository

    Osman, Jorge R.

    2016-04-08

    Life in arid regions and, in particular, hot deserts is often limited due to their harsh environmental conditions, such as large temperature fluctuations and low amounts of water. These extreme environments can influence the microbial community present on the surface sands and any rhizosphere members surrounding desert plant roots. The Jizan desert area, located in Saudi Arabia, supports particular vegetation that grows in the large sandy flat terrain. We examined five different samples, four from the rhizosphere of pioneer plants plus a surface sand sample, and used pyrosequencing of PCR-amplified V1-V3 regions of 16S rDNA genes from total extracted DNA to reveal and compare the bacterial population diversity of the samples. The results showed a total of 3,530 OTUs in the five samples, calculated using ≥ 97% sequence similarity levels. The Chao1 estimation of the bacterial diversity fluctuated from 637 to 2,026 OTUs for a given sample. The most abundant members found in the samples belong to the Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes and Proteobacteria phyla. This work shows that the Jizan desert area of Saudi Arabia can contain a diverse bacterial community on the sand and surrounding the roots of pioneer desert plants. It also shows that desert sand microbiomes can vary depending on conditions, with broad implications for sandstone monument bacterial communities

  8. 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...

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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...

  15. 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

  16. Climate change: Its possible impact on the environment and the people of northern regions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Roots, F.

    1993-01-01

    A detailed overview is presented of the possible impacts of climate change on the Arctic environment, ecosystems, and human activities. The extent of global climate change is examined through the use of historical and paleoclimatologic records of temperature and stratospheric ozone. The effects of precipitation distribution and airborne particulates on climate change are also outlined. Changes in the Arctic are then examined, with an explanation of why global change in the Arctic is likely to be exaggerated. Likely scenarios of Arctic climate change involve milder winter temperatures, wetter and cloudier summers, more stormy weather and snowfall, greater variability in regional weather patterns, and dramatic changes in the extent of sea ice. Biological responses of wetland, northern forest, tundra, Arctic desert, below-ground, and marine ecosystems are assessed. Features of northern and Arctic ecosystems that may be particularly vulnerable to climate change are noted. Finally, the impacts of climate change on traditional activities and lifestyles, resource management and harvesting, agriculture, forestry, mining and fossil-fuel development, offshore operations, and human infrastructures are summarized. 5 figs

  17. Who Needs Religion When You Have The Desert?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sørensen, Bent

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1986-01-01

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

  19. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher P. McKay

    2016-04-01

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

  1. Serologic and molecular evidence for testudinid herpesvirus 2 infection in wild Agassiz’s desert tortoise, Gopherus agassizii

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacobson, Elliott R.; Berry, Kristin H.; Wellehan, James F. X.; Origgi, Francesco; Childress, April L.; Braun, Josephine; Schrenzel, Mark; Yee, Julie; Rideout, Bruce

    2012-01-01

    Following field observations of wild Agassiz’s desert tortoises (Gopherus agassizii) with oral lesions similar to those seen in captive tortoises with herpesvirus infection, we measured the prevalence of antibodies to Testudinid herpesvirus (TeHV) 3 in wild populations of desert tortoises in California. The survey revealed 30.9% antibody prevalence. In 2009 and 2010, two wild adult male desert tortoises, with gross lesions consistent with trauma and puncture wounds, respectively, were necropsied. Tortoise 1 was from the central Mojave Desert and tortoise 2 was from the northeastern Mojave Desert. We extracted DNA from the tongue of tortoise 1 and from the tongue and nasal mucosa of tortoise 2. Sequencing of polymerase chain reaction products of the herpesviral DNA-dependent DNA polymerase gene and the UL39 gene respectively showed 100% nucleotide identity with TeHV2, which was previously detected in an ill captive desert tortoise in California. Although several cases of herpesvirus infection have been described in captive desert tortoises, our findings represent the first conclusive molecular evidence of TeHV2 infection in wild desert tortoises. The serologic findings support cross-reactivity between TeHV2 and TeHV3. Further studies to determine the ecology, prevalence, and clinical significance of this virus in tortoise populations are needed.

  2. 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.

  3. Environmental contaminants in prey and tissues of the peregrine falcon in the Big Bend Region, Texas, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mora, M.; Skiles, R.; McKinney, B.; Paredes, M.; Buckler, D.; Papoulias, D.; Klein, D.

    2002-01-01

    Peregrine falcons (Falco peregrinus) have been recorded nesting in Big Bend National Park, Texas, USA and other areas of the Chihuahuan Desert since the early 1900s. From 1993 to 1996, peregrine falcon productivity rates were very low and coincided with periods of low rainfall. However, low productivity also was suspected to be caused by environmental contaminants. To evaluate potential impacts of contaminants on peregrine falcon populations, likely avian and bat prey species were collected during 1994 and 1997 breeding seasons in selected regions of western Texas, primarily in Big Bend National Park. Tissues of three peregrine falcons found injured or dead and feathers of one live fledgling also were analyzed. Overall, mean concentrations of DDE [1,1-dichloro-2,2-bis(p-chlorophenyl)ethylene], a metabolite of DDT [1,1,1-trichloro-2,2-bis(p-chlorophenyl)ethane], were low in all prey species except for northern rough-winged swallows (Stelgidopteryx serripennis, mean = 5.1 microg/g ww). Concentrations of mercury and selenium were elevated in some species, up to 2.5 microg/g dw, and 15 microg/g dw, respectively, which upon consumption could seriously affect reproduction of top predators. DDE levels near 5 microg/g ww were detected in carcass of one peregrine falcon found dead but the cause of death was unknown. Mercury, selenium, and DDE to some extent, may be contributing to low reproductive rates of peregrine falcons in the Big Bend region.

  4. [Analysis of spectral features based on water content of desert vegetation].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Zhao; Li, Xia; Yin, Ye-biao; Tang, Jin; Zhou, Sheng-bin

    2010-09-01

    By using HR-768 field-portable spectroradiometer made by the Spectra Vista Corporation (SVC) of America, the hyper-spectral data of nine types of desert plants were measured, and the water content of corresponding vegetation was determined by roasting in lab. The continuum of measured hyperspectral data was removed by using ENVI, and the relationship between the water content of vegetation and the reflectance spectrum was analyzed by using correlation coefficient method. The result shows that the correlation between the bands from 978 to 1030 nm and water content of vegetation is weak while it is better for the bands from 1133 to 1266 nm. The bands from 1374 to 1534 nm are the characteristic bands because of the correlation between them and water content is the best. By using cluster analysis and according to the water content, the vegetation could be marked off into three grades: high (>70%), medium (50%-70%) and low (<50%). The research reveals the relationship between water content of desert vegetation and hyperspectral data, and provides basis for the analysis of area in desert and the monitoring of desert vegetation by using remote sensing data.

  5. Desert rose: building material of cupolas in the Souf in Algeria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Azil, C.; Djebri, B.; Rovero, L.

    2018-05-01

    In the Souf of Algeria, the roofs of all constructions are arranged like corbelled domes, built with local particular material to this region, which is the desert rose. These cupolas describe a unique landscape of historic centres. Such constructions include a widespread and precious heritage that deserves protection to save this urban landscape which constitutes an element of identity of heritage built upon the material as well as the immaterial of the local know-how. Unfortunately, these architectural elements have undergone alterations that devalue the urban landscape and destabilize the buildings. However, the structural system that provides stability and endurance to this day remains an open question. In this, paper, we describe the role of desert rose cupolas in the construction of a single urban landscape and we contribute to this knowledge. Then, we explain the role of the availability of the materials locals (desert rose and tafza) to appearance ad emergence of construction with cupolas typology. In addition, we describe these materials locals, and the method to them usage. In the end, we have traced the process of construction of these cupolas by corbelling which is mounted by successive courses of the desert rose and the plaster mortar.

  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. 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.

  8. Resource pulses in desert river habitats: productivity-biodiversity hotspots, or mirages?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Free, Carissa L; Baxter, Greg S; Dickman, Christopher R; Leung, Luke K P

    2013-01-01

    Resource pulses in the world's hot deserts are driven largely by rainfall and are highly variable in both time and space. However, run-on areas and drainage lines in arid regions receive more water more often than adjacent habitats, and frequently sustain relatively high levels of primary productivity. These landscape features therefore may support higher biotic diversity than other habitats, and potentially act as refuges for desert vertebrates and other biota during droughts. We used the ephemeral Field River in the Simpson Desert, central Australia, as a case study to quantify how resources and habitat characteristics vary spatially and temporally along the riparian corridor. Levels of moisture and nutrients were greater in the clay-dominated soils of the riverine corridor than in the surrounding sand dunes, as were cover values of trees, annual grasses, other annual plants and litter; these resources and habitat features were also greater near the main catchment area than in the distal reaches where the river channel runs out into extensive dune fields. These observations confirm that the riverine corridor is more productive than the surrounding desert, and support the idea that it may act as a refuge or as a channel for the ingress of peri-desert species. However, the work also demonstrates that species diversity of invertebrates and plants is not higher within the river corridor; rather, it is driven by rainfall and the accompanying increase in annual plants following a rain event. Further research is required to identify the biota that depend upon these resource pulses.

  9. Resource Pulses in Desert River Habitats: Productivity-Biodiversity Hotspots, or Mirages?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Free, Carissa L.; Baxter, Greg S.; Dickman, Christopher R.; Leung, Luke K. P.

    2013-01-01

    Resource pulses in the world's hot deserts are driven largely by rainfall and are highly variable in both time and space. However, run-on areas and drainage lines in arid regions receive more water more often than adjacent habitats, and frequently sustain relatively high levels of primary productivity. These landscape features therefore may support higher biotic diversity than other habitats, and potentially act as refuges for desert vertebrates and other biota during droughts. We used the ephemeral Field River in the Simpson Desert, central Australia, as a case study to quantify how resources and habitat characteristics vary spatially and temporally along the riparian corridor. Levels of moisture and nutrients were greater in the clay-dominated soils of the riverine corridor than in the surrounding sand dunes, as were cover values of trees, annual grasses, other annual plants and litter; these resources and habitat features were also greater near the main catchment area than in the distal reaches where the river channel runs out into extensive dune fields. These observations confirm that the riverine corridor is more productive than the surrounding desert, and support the idea that it may act as a refuge or as a channel for the ingress of peri-desert species. However, the work also demonstrates that species diversity of invertebrates and plants is not higher within the river corridor; rather, it is driven by rainfall and the accompanying increase in annual plants following a rain event. Further research is required to identify the biota that depend upon these resource pulses. PMID:24124446

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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...

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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...

  17. Site selection and directional models of deserts used for ERBE validation targets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Staylor, W. F.

    1986-01-01

    Broadband shortwave and longwave radiance measurements obtained from the Nimbus 7 Earth Radiation Budget scanner were used to develop reflectance and emittance models for the Sahara, Gibson, and Saudi Deserts. These deserts will serve as in-flight validation targets for the Earth Radiation Budget Experiment being flown on the Earth Radiation Budget Satellite and two National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration polar satellites. The directional reflectance model derived for the deserts was a function of the sum and product of the cosines of the solar and viewing zenith angles, and thus reciprocity existed between these zenith angles. The emittance model was related by a power law of the cosine of the viewing zenith angle.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Radiatively-driven processes in forest fire and desert dust plumes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Weinzierl, Bernadett Barbara

    2008-07-01

    The absorption of solar radiation by atmospheric aerosol particles is important for the climate effects of aerosols. Absorption by aerosol particles heats atmospheric layers, even though the net effect for the entire atmospheric column may still be a cooling. Most experimental studies on absorbing aerosols so far focussed mainly on the aerosol properties and did not consider the influence of the aerosols on the thermodynamic structure of the atmosphere. In this study, data from two international aircraft field experiments, the Intercontinental Transport of Ozone and Precursors study (ITOP) 2004 and the Saharan Mineral Dust Experiment (SAMUM) 2006 are investigated. The ITOP data were collected before the work on this thesis started, while the logistics and the instrument preparation of the SAMUM campaign, the weather forecast during SAMUM and the in-situ aerosol measurements during SAMUM were done within this thesis. The experimental data are used to explore the impact of layers containing absorbing forest fire and desert dust aerosol particles on the atmospheric stability and the implications of a changed stability on the development of the aerosol microphysical and optical properties during long-range transport. For the first time, vertical profiles of the Richardson number Ri are used to assess the stability and mixing in forest fire and desert dust plumes. Also for the first time, the conclusions drawn from the observations of forest fire and desert dust aerosol, at first glance apparently quite different aerosol types, are discussed from a common perspective. Two mechanisms, the selfstabilising and the sealed ageing effect, acting in both forest fire and desert dust aerosol layers, are proposed to explain the characteristic temperature structure as well as the aerosol properties observed in lofted forest fire and desert dust plumes. The proposed effects impact on the ageing of particles within the plumes and reduce the plume dilution, therefore extending the

  2. 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)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-01

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

  4. Water consumption in artificial desert oasis based on net primary productivity

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2010-01-01

    Analysis of the water consumption is the basis for water allocation in oasis. However, the method of estimating oasis water consumption remains a great challenge. Based on net primary productivity (NPP) and the transpiration coefficient, a vegetation water consumption model was developed to estimate the water consumption in desert oasis in ERDAS environment. Our results demonstrated that the ecosystem in the middle reaches of the Heihe oasis consumed water of 18.41×108-21.9×108 m3 for irrigation. Without taking precipitation into account, the water consumption in farmland accounted for 77.1%-77.8% (or about 13.97×108-16.84×108 m3) of the oasis vegetation water consumption and in the farmland protection system accounting for 22%. The growing period precipitation in desert environments is about 7.02×108 m3, and the total annual precipitation is about 8.29×108 m3. The modeled water consumption of desert vegetation, however, is about 4.57×108 m3, equivalent to only 65% of the growing period precipitation or 55% of the total annual precipitation. The modeled value equals to the cumulative precipitation of greater than 5 mm, which is defined as the effective precipitation in arid desert.

  5. 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...

  6. 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 ...

  7. 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...

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fenstermaker Lynn

    2012-01-01

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

  9. 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...

  10. 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...

  11. Geospatial techniques to Identify the Location of Farmers Markets and Community Gardens within Food Deserts in Virginia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sriharan, S.; Meekins, D.; Comar, M.; Bradshaw, S.; Jackson, L.

    2017-12-01

    Specifically, a food desert is defined as an area where populations live more than one mile from a supermarket or large grocery store if in an urban area or more than 10 miles from a supermarket or large grocery store if in a rural area (Ver Ploeg et al. 2012). According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a food desert is "an area in the United States with limited access to affordable and nutritious food, particularly such an area composed of predominately lower-income neighborhoods and communities" (110th Congress 2008). Three fourths of these food deserts are urban. In the Commonwealth of Virginia, Petersburg City is among the eight primary localities, where its population is living in a food desert. This project will compare those identified food deserts in Virginia (areas around Virginia State University) with focus to where farmers markets and community gardens are being established. The hypothesis of this study is that these minority groups do not get healthy food due to limited access to grocery stores and superstores. To address this problem, the community development activities should focus on partnering local Petersburg convenience stores with farmers and community gardeners to sell fresh produce. Existing data was collected on convenient stores and community gardens in Petersburg City and Chesterfield County. Rare data was generated for Emporia, Lynchburg and Hopewell. The data was compiled through field work and mapping with ArcGIS where markets and gardens are being established, and create a spatial analysis of their location We have localities that reflect both rural and urban areas. The project provides educational support for students who will find solution to community problems by developing activities to: (a) define and examine characteristics of food deserts, (b) identify causes and consequences of food deserts and determine if their community is a food desert, (c) research closest food desert to their school, and (d) design solutions to help

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

    KAUST Repository

    Serag-Eldin, M.A.

    2010-03-01

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

  13. Temporal and spatial characteristics of wet-dry climate variation in the northern slope of Tianshan Mountains, Xinjiang

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Meiyan; Xi, Chen; Bao, Anming

    2008-10-01

    Based on the monthly temperature and rainfall data of 1961-2006, aridity is calculated and its multi-time scales characteristics in different divisions in the northern slope of Tianshan Mountains have been analyzed using Mexican Hat wavelet analysis in this article. The periodic oscillation of aridity variation and the points of abrupt change at different time scales along the time series are discovered. Also the trend of climate change is tested. Additionally, possible association of climate variation in this area with ENSO is explored using SOI date series. The research results indicate that there exist obvious regional characteristics of wet-dry climate variation in the northern slope of Tianshan Mountains. Wavelet analysis shows that there mainly exits two modes of scales (12-24 years and 4-8 years) in every division, while catastrophe point differs in different zones. To predict on the scale of 12-24 years, it will be relatively dry in mountain division and desert area in a period after 2006. In addition, the transition from warm-dry to warm-wet appears in oasis area. Correlation analysis indicted that aridity variation of the northern slope of Tianshan Mountains is affected by ENSO, while influence degree is different between areas; furthermore, this influence is one-year lagging behind ENSO in the whole area.

  14. 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 ...

  15. A New Infrared Desert Dust Index over French Guyana Rain forest: First results

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molinie, J.; Barnacin, E.; Henry, J. L.; Gobinddass, M. L.; Panechou-Pulcherie, K.; Feuillard, T.; Nagau, J.

    2017-12-01

    Recently a NASA researcher showed the role of desert dust contribution for the Amazonian rain forest. In another hand, desert dust impact population health when PM 10 level reached values around and upper the PM 10 threshold of the 50 µg m-3, established by the World Health Organization (WHO). Infrared Desert Dust Index (IDDI) developed by Legrand with Meteosat infrared images, allow the following of desert dust plumes over semi-arid land. In French Guiana the WHO threshold is currently overpass in measurements done by ORA air quality network, in the two main towns located close to the coast. For inland population, it is very difficult to have continuous dust measures due to the low infrastructure supplies. We need to develop a tools in order to follow the crossing of desert dust over the French Guyana rain forest, from the coast to inland villages. Following the IDDI concept and comparing with VIIRS AOT EDR result over the same area, a modified IDDI for Amazonian region (IDDI_A) has been proposed to identify the dusty pixels over the forest. Despite of high cloud presence, a good correlation between AOT EDR and IDDI_A was obtained. The IDDI_A calculation has been applied over French Guiana area for different PM 10 level at Cayenne, a town along the coast.

  16. Characterizing dust aerosols in the atmospheric boundary layer over the deserts in Northwest China: monitoring network and field observation

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Q.; Matimin, A.; Yang, X.

    2016-12-01

    TheTaklimakan, Gurbantunggut and BadainJaran Deserts with the total area of 43.8×104 km2 in Northwest China are the major dust emission sources in Central Asia. Understanding Central Asian dust emissions and the interaction with the atmospheric boundary layer has an important implication for regional and global climate and environment changes. In order to explore these scientific issues, a monitoring network of 63 sites was established over the vast deserts (Taklimakan Desert, Gurbantunggut Desert and Badain Jaran Desert) in Northwest China for the comprehensive measurements of dust aerosol emission, transport and deposition as well as the atmospheric boundary layer including the meteorological parameters of boundary layer, surface radiation, surface heat fluxes, soil parameters, dust aerosol properties, water vapor profiles, and dust emission. Based on the monitoring network, the field experiments have been conducted to characterize dust aerosols and the atmospheric boundary layer over the deserts. The experiment observation indicated that depth of the convective boundary layer can reach 5000m on summer afternoons. In desert regions, the diurnal mean net radiation was effected significantly by dust weather, and sensible heat was much greater than latent heat accounting about 40-50% in the heat balance of desert. The surface soil and dust size distributions of Northwest China Deserts were obtained through widely collecting samples, results showed that the dominant dust particle size was PM100within 80m height, on average accounting for 60-80% of the samples, with 0.9-2.5% for PM0-2.5, 3.5-7.0% for PM0-10 and 5.0-14.0% for PM0-20. The time dust emission of Taklimakan Desert, Gurbantunggut Desert and Badain Jaran Desert accounted for 0.48%, 7.3%×10-5and 1.9% of the total time within a year, and the threshold friction velocity for dust emission were 0.22-1.06m/s, 0.29-1.5m/s and 0.21-0.59m/s, respectively.

  17. 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.

  18. 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...

  19. 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...

  20. Ozone Transport Aloft Drives Surface Ozone Maxima Across the Mojave Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    VanCuren, R. A.

    2014-12-01

    A persistent layer of polluted air in the lower free troposphere over the Mojave Desert (California and Nevada) drives spring and summer surface ozone maxima as deep afternoon mixing delivers ozone and ozone precursors to surface measurement sites 200 km or more downwind of the mountains that separate the deserts from the heavily populated coastal areas of California. 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), and from long-range transport from Asia. Recognition of this poorly studied persistent layer explains and expands the significance of previously published reports of ozone and other pollutants observed in and over the Mojave Desert, resolves an apparent paradox in the timing of ozone peaks due to transport from the upwind basins, and provides a new perspective on the long-range downwind impacts of megacity pollution plumes.

  1. 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...

  2. The geochemical associations of nitrate and naturally formed perchlorate in the Mojave Desert, California, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lybrand, Rebecca A.; Michalski, Greg; Graham, Robert C.; Parker, David R.

    2013-03-01

    Perchlorate is a widely studied environmental contaminant that may adversely affect human health, and whose natural occurrence has emerged as a subject of great interest. Naturally formed perchlorate has been found to co-occur with nitrate in arid environments worldwide, but the relationship is not fully understood in the desert soils of the southwestern United States. The main objective of this research was to explore the origin, pedogenic distribution, and possible preservation of perchlorate and nitrate in the Mojave Desert mud hill deposits of California and to determine if the co-occurrence of putatively natural perchlorate was significantly correlated with nitrate in these soils. We identified 39 soil horizons in the Mojave Desert, California that contained reportable levels of perchlorate (MRL >165 μg kg-1) with a maximum concentration of 23 mg kg-1. A weak yet significant correlation was observed between perchlorate and nitrate (r2 = 0.321∗∗∗), which could be indicative of similar mechanisms of accumulation. When compared to published data for the Atacama Desert, the Mojave Desert perchlorate concentrations were remarkably lower for a given nitrate concentration. Oxygen isotopes in the nitrate were examined to identify variation within the Mojave Desert field sites, and to compare with the available literature for the Atacama Desert. The Mojave Desert Δ17O values ranged from 7‰ to 13‰, indicating a mixture of biologically and atmospherically-derived nitrate. An investigation of the distribution of perchlorate among soil horizons revealed that over sixty percent of the samples containing perchlorate were from C horizons while only twenty percent of the samples were from B horizons and even fewer in the overlying A horizons. Soil chemical, morphologic, and geologic characteristics of the soils suggest that the perchlorate, nitrate and/or other soluble salts have moved in a "bottom-up" manner wherein the salts were deposited in strata through

  3. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  5. A Study to Determine the Mental Models in Preschool Children’s Conceptualization of a Desert Environment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Berat AHİ

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available This study aimed to determine mental models and identify codes (schemes used in conceptualizing a desert environment. The sample for this study consisted of 184 – out of a total population of 3,630 - children in preschool education in the central district of Kastamonu, Turkey. Within the scope of this study, the children were initially asked to draw a desert-themed picture, followed by a semi-structured interview to seek their opinions about the drawing and clarify what a desert environment meant to them. According to the findings, the children referred to 38 different codes relevant to the conceptualization of a desert environment; the most frequently used were the sun (f= 160, 86.9%, sand (f= 100, 54.3%, cacti (f= 74, 35.3% and camels (f= 52, 28.6%. During the interview phase, 33 children described a desert as a place where there is no life, although a significant number of the children (f= 65, 39.1% did describe a desert as a place where plants and animals live. Moreover, the sun and its rays were disproportionately bigger in size, in order to emphasize the excessive heat associated with the specific ecosystem found in a desert environment; to reinforce this, humans drenched in sweat, the absence of trees and the prevalence of cacti and exotic wildlife, including camels, scorpions and lizards, were all features of the children’s drawings. Based on these findings, it was inferred that the mental models in some of the children (f= 72, 39.1% were scientifically informed, with a degree of accuracy, about a desert environment. On the basis of the findings, it is considered that determining mental models in children in relation to different ecological concepts can be beneficial to teachers and curriculum programmers involved in environmental education.

  6. A study to determine the mental models in preschool children’s conceptualization of a desert environment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Berat Ahi

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available This study aimed to determine mental models and identify codes (schemes used in conceptualizing a desert environment. The sample for this study consisted of 184 – out of a total population of 3,630 - children in preschool education in the central district of Kastamonu, Turkey. Within the scope of this study, the children were initially asked to draw a desert-themed picture, followed by a semi-structured interview to seek their opinions about the drawing and clarify what a desert environment meant to them. According to the findings, the children referred to 38 different codes relevant to the conceptualization of a desert environment; the most frequently used were the sun (f= 160, 86.9%, sand (f= 100, 54.3%, cacti (f= 74, 35.3% and camels (f= 52, 28.6%. During the interview phase, 33 children described a desert as a place where there is no life, although a significant number of the children (f= 65, 39.1% did describe a desert as a place where plants and animals live. Moreover, the sun and its rays were disproportionately bigger in size, in order to emphasize the excessive heat associated with the specific ecosystem found in a desert environment; to reinforce this, humans drenched in sweat, the absence of trees and the prevalence of cacti and exotic wildlife, including camels, scorpions and lizards, were all features of the children’s drawings. Based on these findings, it was inferred that the mental models in some of the children (f= 72, 39.1% were scientifically informed, with a degree of accuracy, about a desert environment. On the basis of the findings, it is considered that determining mental models in children in relation to different ecological concepts can be beneficial to teachers and curriculum programmers involved in environmental education.

  7. 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...

  8. 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,

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

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

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

  10. A Proposal for Desert House Design in Egypt Using Passive Ground Cooling Techniques

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohamed Medhat Dorra

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available An area less than 5.5% of Egyptian territory is where most of Egypt‘s population lives in. A narrow strip of land forms the Nile Valley and Delta sector.The National Project for Desert Hinterlands is one of the urban projects targeting rehabilitation of the poor in alternative villages in the near desert to stop urban sprawl over agricultural land and decrease the congestion in the old habitats. Low cost energy efficient houses are the aim of the architect in similar projects taking in consideration the high electricity consumption of Egypt’s residential sector. Based on a literature review, this paper presents a proposal for designing desert dwellings   that accommodates the hot dry climate by incorporating passive elements and using stabilized earth blocks as a local building material. Furthermore, simulation is used to test alternative proposals. The results show that an underground constructed house with a sunken courtyard incorporating an Earth to Air Heat Exchanger System (EAHE can reduce between 42-72% of energy consumption used to achieve thermal comfort compared to contemporary desert housing projects.

  11. 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 ...

  12. 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].

  13. Windblown sediment transport and loss in a desert-oasis ecotone in the Tarim Basin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pi, Huawei; Sharratt, Brenton; Lei, Jiaqiang

    2017-08-10

    The Tarim Basin is regarded as one of the most highly erodible areas in China. Desert comprises 64% of the land use in the Basin, but the desert-oasis ecotone plays a prominent role in maintaining oasis ecological security and stability. Yet, little is known concerning the magnitude of windblown sediment transport in a desert-oasis ecotone. Therefore, aeolian sediment transport and loss was assessed from a desert-oasis experimental site located near Alaer City in the northwestern Tarim Basin. Sediment transport and factors governing transport were measured during three high wind events in 2012 and four events in 2013. Sediment transport was measured to a height of 10 m using passive aeolian airborne sediment samplers. The mass flux profile over the eroding surface was well represented by the power-law (R 2  > 0.77). Sediment loss from the site ranged from 118 g m -2 for the 20-24Apr 2012 wind event to 2925 g m -2 for the 31Mar-11Apr 2012 event. Suspension accounted for 67.4 to 84.8% of sediment loss across all high wind events. Our results indicate the severity of wind erosion in a desert-oasis ecotone and thus encourage adoption of management practices that will enhance oasis ecological security.

  14. [Risk factors for students desertion from the UASLP School of Medicine, México].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernández-Mata, José María; Hernández-Castro, Rodrigo; Nieto-Caraveo, Amado; Hernández-Sierra, Juan Francisco

    2005-01-01

    To obtain the profile of students that deserted from the Faculty of Medicine of the Autonomous University of San Luis Potosi, México. Cases and controls nested in a cohort. All students that voluntarily deserted between 1992 and 2002 were consulted. Each student was compared in an aleatory form with a regular student and a proper questionnaire was applied. The significantly associated factors to abandon the Faculty of Medicine were: high school of origin (OR=2.43), extra-ordinary exam (OR=3.13), and lack of vocation (OR=2.41). The subjacent factors for not deserting from the Faculty of Medicine were: study habits, capacity for sustained effort, and tolerance to frustration.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pointing, Stephen B.; Belnap, Jayne

    2014-01-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Biotechnological Applications Derived from Microorganisms of the Atacama Desert

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Armando Azua-Bustos

    2014-01-01

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

  3. Temporal dynamics of hot desert microbial communities reveal structural and functional responses to water input.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Armstrong, Alacia; Valverde, Angel; Ramond, Jean-Baptiste; Makhalanyane, Thulani P; Jansson, Janet K; Hopkins, David W; Aspray, Thomas J; Seely, Mary; Trindade, Marla I; Cowan, Don A

    2016-09-29

    The temporal dynamics of desert soil microbial communities are poorly understood. Given the implications for ecosystem functioning under a global change scenario, a better understanding of desert microbial community stability is crucial. Here, we sampled soils in the central Namib Desert on sixteen different occasions over a one-year period. Using Illumina-based amplicon sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene, we found that α-diversity (richness) was more variable at a given sampling date (spatial variability) than over the course of one year (temporal variability). Community composition remained essentially unchanged across the first 10 months, indicating that spatial sampling might be more important than temporal sampling when assessing β-diversity patterns in desert soils. However, a major shift in microbial community composition was found following a single precipitation event. This shift in composition was associated with a rapid increase in CO 2 respiration and productivity, supporting the view that desert soil microbial communities respond rapidly to re-wetting and that this response may be the result of both taxon-specific selection and changes in the availability or accessibility of organic substrates. Recovery to quasi pre-disturbance community composition was achieved within one month after rainfall.

  4. Temporal dynamics of hot desert microbial communities reveal structural and functional responses to water input

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Armstrong, Alacia; Valverde, Angel; Ramond, Jean-Baptiste; Makhalanyane, Thulani P.; Jansson, Janet K.; Hopkins, David W.; Aspray, Thomas J.; Seely, Mary; Trindade, Marla I.; Cowan, Don A.

    2016-09-29

    The temporal dynamics of desert soil microbial communities are poorly understood. Given the implications for ecosystem functioning under a global change scenario, a better understanding of desert microbial community stability is crucial. Here, we sampled soils in the central Namib Desert on sixteen different occasions over a one-year period. Using Illumina-based amplicon sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene, we found that α-diversity (richness) was more variable at a given sampling date (spatial variability) than over the course of one year (temporal variability). Community composition remained essentially unchanged across the first 10 months, indicating that spatial sampling might be more important than temporal sampling when assessing β-diversity patterns in desert soils. However, a major shift in microbial community composition was found following a single precipitation event. This shift in composition was associated with a rapid increase in CO2 respiration and productivity, supporting the view that desert soil microbial communities respond rapidly to re-wetting and that this response may be the result of both taxon-specific selection and changes in the availability or accessibility of organic substrates. Recovery to quasi pre-disturbance community composition was achieved within one month after rainfall.

  5. 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...

  6. 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

  7. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

  9. Gravity, magnetic, and physical property data in the Smoke Creek Desert area, northwest Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tilden, Janet E.; Ponce, David A.; Glen, Jonathan M.G.; Chuchel, Bruce A.; Tushman, Kira; Duvall, Alison

    2006-01-01

    The Smoke Creek Desert, located approximately 100 km (60 mi) north of Reno near the California-Nevada border, is a large basin situated along the northernmost parts of the Walker Lane Belt (Stewart, 1988), a physiographic province defined by northwest-striking topographic features and strike-slip faulting. Because geologic framework studies play an important role in understanding the hydrology of the Smoke Creek Desert, a geologic and geophysical effort was begun to help determine basin geometry, infer structural features, and estimate depth to Pre-Cenozoic rocks, or basement. In May and June of 2004, and June of 2005, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) collected 587 new gravity stations, more than 160 line-kilometers (100 line-miles) of truck-towed magnetometer data, and 111 rock property samples in the Smoke Creek Desert and vicinity in northwest Nevada, as part of an effort to characterize its hydrogeologic framework. In the Smoke Creek Desert area, gravity highs occur over rocks of the Skedaddle Mountains, Fox Range, Granite Range, and over portions of Tertiary volcanic rocks in the Buffalo Hills. These gravity highs likely reflect basement rocks, either exposed at the surface or buried at shallow depths. The southern Smoke Creek Desert corresponds to a 25-mGal isostatic gravity low, which corresponds with a basin depth of approximately 2 km. Magnetic highs are likely due to granitic, andesitic, and metavolcanic rocks, whereas magnetic lows are probably associated with less magnetic gneiss and metasedimentary rocks in the region. Three distinctive patterns of magnetic anomalies occur throughout the Smoke Creek Desert and Squaw Creek Valley, likely reflecting three different geological and structural settings.

  10. Female offspring desertion and male-only care increase with natural and experimental increase in food abundance

    OpenAIRE

    Eldegard, Katrine; Sonerud, Geir A.

    2009-01-01

    In species with biparental care, one parent may escape the costs of parental care by deserting and leaving the partner to care for the offspring alone. A number of theoretical papers have suggested a link between uniparental offspring desertion and ecological factors, but empirical evidence is scarce. We investigated the relationship between uniparental desertion and food abundance in a natural population of Tengmalm's owl Aegolius funereus, both by means of a 5-year observational study and a...

  11. 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...

  12. Regional Landscape System Protection in the Urbanising Desert Southwest: Lessons from the Phoenix Metropolitan Region, USA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura Musacchio

    2004-06-01

    Full Text Available Since the late nineteenth century, landscape protection in the deserts of the Southwest, United States of America, like many places worldwide, has been driven by the conservation of landscape icons, such as unusual geological features in wilderness areas. Yet, in the past two decades, leading conservation scholars worldwide have called for a shift in this paradigm to one that emphasises landscape systems, which is based on holistic landscape ecology. The shift in emphas is to landscape systems opens new opportunities to protect desert landscape systems at the regional scale rather than just remnant patches at the local scale. In this paper, the authors present, for public consideration, a typology of the five major desert landscapes that can be used as the bas is for protecting regional landscape systems in the deserts of the Southwest. As a case study, several representative examples of recent regional open space plans from the Phoenix metropolitan area are analysed and compared with the typology in order to understand how successfully the projects have addressed protection of the regional landscape system in the Sonoran Desert.

  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. Economic analysis of critical habitat designation for the desert tortoise (Mojave population)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schamberger, Mel; MacGillvray, Timothy J.; Draper, Dirk D.

    1993-01-01

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service emergency 1isted the Mojave population of the desert tortoise as endangered on August 4, 1989. The Mojave population formally was listed as threatened on April 2, 1990. The Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended, requires that the economic benefits and costs and other relevant effects of critical habitat designation be considered. The Secretary of the Interior may exclude from designation areas where the costs of designation are greater than the benefits, unless the exclusion would result in extinction of the species. Desert tortoises are threatened by an accumulation of human-and disease-related mortality accompanied by habitat destruction, degradation, and fragmentation. Many desert tortoises are illegally collected for pets, food, and commercial trade. Others are accidentally struck and killed by vehicles on roads and highways or are killed by gunshot or vehicles traveling off-highway. Raven predation on hatchling desert tortoises has increased as raven populations in the desert have risen. An upper respiratory tract disease is suspected to be a major cause of mortality in the western Mojave Desert. This presumably incurable affliction presumably is thought to be spread through the release of infected tortoises into the desert. The Service has proposed designating critical habitat in nine counties within four states. The 12 critical habitat units encompass 6.4 million acres of land, more than 80% federally owned. This region is economically and demographically diverse. Most of the land is sparsely settled and characterized as a hot desert ecosystem. Major industries in the region include entertainment and lodging (primarily in Las Vegas), property development to accommodate the rapid population growth, and services. Millions of rural acres in the region are leased by the federal government for livestock grazing and used for mining. Overall economic benefits to the affected states derived from cattle and sheep grazing in the

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. An ecological study of food desert prevalence and 4th grade academic achievement in New York State school districts

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seth E. Frndak

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Background. This ecological study examines the relationship between food desert prevalence and academic achievement at the school district level. Design and methods. Sample included 232 suburban and urban school districts in New York State. Multiple open-source databases were merged to obtain: 4th grade science, English and math scores, school district demographic composition (NYS Report Card, regional socioeconomic indicators (American Community Survey, school district quality (US Common Core of Data, and food desert data (USDA Food Desert Atlas. Multiple regression models assessed the percentage of variation in achievement scores explained by food desert variables, after controlling for additional predictors.Results. The proportion of individuals living in food deserts significantly explained 4th grade achievement scores, after accounting for additional predictors. School districts with higher proportions of individuals living in food desert regions demonstrated lower 4th grade achievement across science, English and math. Conclusions. Food deserts appear to be related to academic achievement at the school district level among urban and suburban regions. Further research is needed to better understand how food access is associated with academic achievement at the individual level.

  18. Transitory microbial habitat in the hyperarid Atacama Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-03-01

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

  19. Characterization of the Sonoran desert as a radiometric calibration target for Earth observing sensors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Angal, Amit; Chander, Gyanesh; Xiong, Xiaoxiong; Choi, Tae-young; Wu, Aisheng

    2011-01-01

    To provide highly accurate quantitative measurements of the Earth's surface, a comprehensive calibration and validation of the satellite sensors is required. The NASA Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Characterization Support Team, in collaboration with United States Geological Survey, Earth Resources Observation and Science Center, has previously demonstrated the use of African desert sites to monitor the long-term calibration stability of Terra MODIS and Landsat 7 (L7) Enhanced Thematic Mapper plus (ETM+). The current study focuses on evaluating the suitability of the Sonoran Desert test site for post-launch long-term radiometric calibration as well as cross-calibration purposes. Due to the lack of historical and on-going in situ ground measurements, the Sonoran Desert is not usually used for absolute calibration. An in-depth evaluation (spatial, temporal, and spectral stability) of this site using well calibrated L7 ETM+ measurements and local climatology data has been performed. The Sonoran Desert site produced spatial variability of about 3 to 5% in the reflective solar regions, and the temporal variations of the site after correction for view-geometry impacts were generally around 3%. The results demonstrate that, barring the impacts due to occasional precipitation, the Sonoran Desert site can be effectively used for cross-calibration and long-term stability monitoring of satellite sensors, thus, providing a good test site in the western hemisphere.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 76 FR 59682 - Desert Southwest Customer Service Region-Western Area Lower Colorado Balancing Authority-Rate...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-09-27

    ... DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Western Area Power Administration Desert Southwest Customer Service Region... CONTACT: Mr. Jack Murray, Rates Manager, Desert Southwest Customer Service Region, Western Area Power... Customer Service Region Network Integration Transmission Service Rate Schedules PD-NTS3 and INT-NTS3 for P...

  6. 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.

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

    KAUST Repository

    Serag-Eldin, M. A.

    2011-12-01

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

  8. 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...

  9. Bacterial diversity of surface sand samples from the Gobi and Taklamaken deserts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    An, Shu; Couteau, Cécile; Luo, Fan; Neveu, Julie; DuBow, Michael S

    2013-11-01

    Arid regions represent nearly 30 % of the Earth's terrestrial surface, but their microbial biodiversity is not yet well characterized. The surface sands of deserts, a subset of arid regions, are generally subjected to large temperature fluctuations plus high UV light exposure and are low in organic matter. We examined surface sand samples from the Taklamaken (China, three samples) and Gobi (Mongolia, two samples) deserts, using pyrosequencing of PCR-amplified 16S V1/V2 rDNA sequences from total extracted DNA in order to gain an assessment of the bacterial population diversity. In total, 4,088 OTUs (using ≥97 % sequence similarity levels), with Chao1 estimates varying from 1,172 to 2,425 OTUs per sample, were discernable. These could be grouped into 102 families belonging to 15 phyla, with OTUs belonging to the Firmicutes, Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, and Actinobacteria phyla being the most abundant. The bacterial population composition was statistically different among the samples, though members from 30 genera were found to be common among the five samples. An increase in phylotype numbers with increasing C/N ratio was noted, suggesting a possible role in the bacterial richness of these desert sand environments. Our results imply an unexpectedly large bacterial diversity residing in the harsh environment of these two Asian deserts, worthy of further investigation.

  10. 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

  11. Sediment grain-size characteristics and relevant correlations to the aeolian environment in China's eastern desert region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Chunlai; Shen, Yaping; Li, Qing; Jia, Wenru; Li, Jiao; Wang, Xuesong

    2018-06-15

    To identify characteristics of aeolian activity and the aeolian environment in China's eastern desert region, this study collected surface sediment samples from the main desert and sandy lands in this region: the Hobq Desert and the Mu Us, Otindag, Horqin, and Hulunbuir sandy lands. We analyzed the grain-size characteristics and their relationships to three key environmental indicators: drift potential, the dune mobility index, and vegetation cover. The main sediment components are fine to medium sands, with poor (Hulunbuir) to moderate (all other areas) sorting, of unimodal to bimodal distribution. This suggests that improved sorting is accomplished by the loss of both relatively coarser and finer grains. Since 2000, China's eastern desert region has generally experienced low wind energy environmental conditions, resulting in decreased dune activity. In the Hobq Desert, however, the dry climate and sparse vegetation, in conjunction with the most widely distributed mobile dune area in the eastern desert region, have led to frequent and intense aeolian activity, including wind erosion, sand transport, and deposition, resulting in conditions for good sediment sorting. In the Mu Us, Otindag, and Horqin sandy lands, mosaic distribution has resulted from wind erosion-dominated and deposition-dominated aeolian environments. In the Hulunbuir Sandy Land, high precipitation, low temperatures, and steppe vegetation have resulted in well-developed soils; however, strong winds and flat terrain have created an aeolian environment dominated by wind erosion. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  12. Food habits of rodents inhabiting arid and semi-arid ecosystems of central New Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hope, Andrew G.; Parmenter, Robert R.

    2007-01-01

    In this study, we describe seasonal dietary composition for 15 species of rodents collected in all major habitats on the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge (Socorro County) in central New Mexico. A comprehensive literature review of food habits for these species from throughout their distribution also is provided. We collected rodents in the field during winter, spring and late summer in 1998 from six communities: riparian cottonwood forest; piñon-juniper woodland; juniper-oak savanna; mesquite savanna; short-grass steppe; and Chihuahuan Desert scrubland. Rodents included Spermophilus spilosoma (Spotted Ground Squirrel), Perognathus flavescens (Plains Pocket Mouse), Perognathus flavus (Silky Pocket Mouse), Dipodomys merriami (Merriam’s Kangaroo Rat), Dipodomys ordii (Ord’s Kangaroo Rat), Dipodomys spectabilis (Banner-tailed Kangaroo Rat), Reithrodontomys megalotis (Western Harvest Mouse), Peromyscus boylii (Brush Mouse), Peromyscus eremicus (Cactus Mouse), Peromyscus leucopus (White-footed Mouse), Peromyscus truei (Piñon Mouse), Onychomys arenicola (Mearn’s Grasshopper Mouse), Onychomys leucogaster (Northern Grasshopper Mouse), Neotoma albigula/leucodon (White-throated Woodrats), and Neotoma micropus (Southern Plains Woodrat). We collected stomach contents of all species, and cheek-pouch contents of heteromyids, and quantified them in the laboratory. We determined seasonal diets in each habitat by calculating mean percentage volumes of seeds, arthropods and green vegetation (plant leaves and stems) for each species of rodent. Seeds consumed by each rodent were identified to genus, and often species, and quantified by frequency counts. Comparisons of diets between and among species of rodents, seasons, and ecosystems were also examined. We provide an appendix of all plant taxa documented.

  13. Understanding interaction effects of climate change and fire management on bird distributions through combined process and habitat models

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, Joseph D.; Gutzwiller, Kevin J.; Barrow, Wylie C.; Johnson-Randall, Lori; Zygo, Lisa; Swint, Pamela

    2011-01-01

    Avian conservation efforts must account for changes in vegetation composition and structure associated with climate change. We modeled vegetation change and the probability of occurrence of birds to project changes in winter bird distributions associated with climate change and fire management in the northern Chihuahuan Desert (southwestern U.S.A.). We simulated vegetation change in a process-based model (Landscape and Fire Simulator) in which anticipated climate change was associated with doubling of current atmospheric carbon dioxide over the next 50 years. We estimated the relative probability of bird occurrence on the basis of statistical models derived from field observations of birds and data on vegetation type, topography, and roads. We selected 3 focal species, Scaled Quail (Callipepla squamata), Loggerhead Shrike (Lanius ludovicianus), and Rock Wren (Salpinctes obsoletus), that had a range of probabilities of occurrence for our study area. Our simulations projected increases in relative probability of bird occurrence in shrubland and decreases in grassland and Yucca spp. and ocotillo (Fouquieria splendens) vegetation. Generally, the relative probability of occurrence of all 3 species was highest in shrubland because leaf-area index values were lower in shrubland. This high probability of occurrence likely is related to the species' use of open vegetation for foraging. Fire suppression had little effect on projected vegetation composition because as climate changed there was less fuel and burned area. Our results show that if future water limits on plant type are considered, models that incorporate spatial data may suggest how and where different species of birds may respond to vegetation changes.

  14. Post-fire redistribution of soil carbon and nitrogen at a grassland-shrubland ecotone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Guan; Li, Junran; Ravi, Sujith; Dukes, David; Gonzales, Howell B.; Sankey, Joel B.

    2018-01-01

    The rapid conversion of grasslands into shrublands has been observed in many arid and semiarid regions worldwide. Studies have shown that fire can provide certain forms of reversibility for shrub-grass transition due to resource homogenization and shrub mortality, especially in the early stages of shrub encroachment. Field-level post-fire soil resource redistribution has rarely been tested. Here we used prescribed fire in a shrubland-grassland transition zone in the northern Chihuahuan Desert to test the hypothesis that fire facilitates the remobilization of nutrient-enriched soil from shrub microsites to grass and bare microsites and thereby reduces the spatial heterogeneity of soil resources. Results show that the shrub microsites had the lowest water content compared to grass and bare microsites after fire, even when rain events occurred. Significant differences of total soil carbon (TC) and total soil nitrogen (TN) among the three microsites disappeared one year after the fire. The spatial autocorrelation distance increased from 1~2 m, approximately the mean size of an individual shrub canopy, to over 5 m one year after the fire for TC and TN. Patches of high soil C and N decomposed one year after the prescribed fire. Overall, fire stimulates the transfer of soil C and N from shrub microsites to nutrient-depleted grass and bare microsites. Such a redistribution of soil C and N, coupled with the reduced soil water content under the shrub canopies, suggests that fire might influence the competition between shrubs and grasses, leading to a higher grass, compared to shrub, coverage in this ecotone.

  15. 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

  16. 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)

  17. 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.

  18. Desert Rats 2010 Operations Tests: Insights from the Geology Crew Members

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bleacher, J. E.; Hurtado, J. M., Jr.; Young, K. E.; Rice, J.; Garry, W. B.; Eppler, D.

    2011-01-01

    Desert Research and Technology Studies (Desert RATS) is a multi-year series of tests of NASA hardware and operations deployed in the high desert of Arizona. Conducted annually since 1997, these activities exercise planetary surface hardware and operations in relatively harsh conditions where long-distance, multi-day roving is achievable. Such activities not only test vehicle subsystems, they also stress communications and operations systems and enable testing of science operations approaches that advance human and robotic surface exploration capabilities. Desert RATS 2010 tested two crewed rovers designed as first-generation prototypes of small pressurized vehicles, consistent with exploration architecture designs. Each rover provided the internal volume necessary for crewmembers to live and work for periods up to 14 days, as well as allowing for extravehicular activities (EVAs) through the use of rear-mounted suit ports. The 2010 test was designed to simulate geologic science traverses over a 14-day period through a volcanic field that is analogous to volcanic terrains observed throughout the Solar System. The test was conducted between 31 August and 13 September 2010. Two crewmembers lived in and operated each rover for a week with a "shift change" on day 7, resulting in a total of eight test subjects for the two-week period. Each crew consisted of an engineer/commander and an experienced field geologist. Three of the engineer/commanders were experienced astronauts with at least one Space Shuttle flight. The field geologists were drawn from the scientific community, based on funded and published field expertise.

  19. Application of Science-Based Restoration Planning to a Desert River System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laub, Brian G.; Jimenez, Justin; Budy, Phaedra

    2015-06-01

    Persistence of many desert river species is threatened by a suite of impacts linked to water infrastructure projects that provide human water security where water is scarce. Many desert rivers have undergone regime shifts from spatially and temporally dynamic ecosystems to more stable systems dominated by homogenous physical habitat. Restoration of desert river systems could aid in biodiversity conservation, but poses formidable challenges due to multiple threats and the infeasibility of recovery to pre-development conditions. The challenges faced in restoring desert rivers can be addressed by incorporating scientific recommendations into restoration planning efforts at multiple stages, as demonstrated here through an example restoration project. In particular, use of a watershed-scale planning process can identify data gaps and irreversible constraints, which aid in developing achievable restoration goals and objectives. Site-prioritization focuses limited the resources for restoration on areas with the greatest potential to improve populations of target organisms. Investment in research to understand causes of degradation, coupled with adoption of a guiding vision is critical for identifying feasible restoration actions that can enhance river processes. Setting monitoring as a project goal, developing hypotheses for expected outcomes, and implementing restoration as an experimental design will facilitate adaptive management and learning from project implementation. Involvement of scientists and managers during all planning stages is critical for developing process-based restoration actions and an implementation plan to maximize learning. The planning process developed here provides a roadmap for use of scientific recommendations in future efforts to recover dynamic processes in imperiled riverine ecosystems.

  20. Holocene landscape response to seasonality of storms in the Mojave Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, D.M.; Schmidt, K.M.; Mahan, S.A.; McGeehin, J.P.; Owen, L.A.; Barron, J.A.; Lehmkuhl, F.; Lohrer, R.

    2010-01-01

    New optically stimulated and radiocarbon ages for alluvial fan and lake deposits in the Mojave Desert are presented, which greatly improves the temporal resolution of surface processes. The new Mojave Desert climate-landscape record is particularly detailed for the late Holocene. Evidence from ephemeral lake deposits and landforms indicates times of sustained stream flow during a wet interval of the latter part of the Medieval Warm Period at ca. AD 1290 and during the Little Ice Age at ca. AD 1650. The former lakes postdate megadroughts of the Medieval Warm Period, whereas the latter match the Maunder Minimum of the Little Ice Age. Periods of alluvial fan aggradation across the Mojave Desert are 14-9 cal ka and 6-3 cal ka. This timing largely correlates to times of increased sea-surface temperatures in the Gulf of California and enhanced warm-season monsoons. This correlation suggests that sustained alluvial fan aggradation may be driven by intense summer-season storms. These data suggest that the close proximity of the Mojave Desert to the Pacific Ocean and the Gulf of California promotes a partitioning of landscape-process responses to climate forcings that vary with seasonality of the dominant storms. Cool-season Pacific frontal storms cause river flow, ephemeral lakes, and fan incision, whereas periods of intense warm-season storms cause hillslope erosion and alluvial fan aggradation. The proposed landscape-process partitioning has important implications for hazard mitigation given that climate change may increase sea-surface temperatures in the Gulf of California, which indirectly could increase future alluvial fan aggradation.

  1. Application of science-based restoration planning to a desert river system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laub, Brian G.; Jimenez, Justin; Budy, Phaedra

    2015-01-01

    Persistence of many desert river species is threatened by a suite of impacts linked to water infrastructure projects that provide human water security where water is scarce. Many desert rivers have undergone regime shifts from spatially and temporally dynamic ecosystems to more stable systems dominated by homogenous physical habitat. Restoration of desert river systems could aid in biodiversity conservation, but poses formidable challenges due to multiple threats and the infeasibility of recovery to pre-development conditions. The challenges faced in restoring desert rivers can be addressed by incorporating scientific recommendations into restoration planning efforts at multiple stages, as demonstrated here through an example restoration project. In particular, use of a watershed-scale planning process can identify data gaps and irreversible constraints, which aid in developing achievable restoration goals and objectives. Site-prioritization focuses limited the resources for restoration on areas with the greatest potential to improve populations of target organisms. Investment in research to understand causes of degradation, coupled with adoption of a guiding vision is critical for identifying feasible restoration actions that can enhance river processes. Setting monitoring as a project goal, developing hypotheses for expected outcomes, and implementing restoration as an experimental design will facilitate adaptive management and learning from project implementation. Involvement of scientists and managers during all planning stages is critical for developing process-based restoration actions and an implementation plan to maximize learning. The planning process developed here provides a roadmap for use of scientific recommendations in future efforts to recover dynamic processes in imperiled riverine ecosystems.

  2. Cyanobacterial composition and spatial distribution based on pyrosequencing data in the Gurbantunggut Desert, Northwestern China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Bingchang; Li, Renhui; Xiao, Peng; Su, Yangui; Zhang, Yuanming

    2016-03-01

    Cyanobacteria are the primary colonizers and form a dominant component of soil photosynthetic communities in biological soil crusts. They are crucial in improving soil environments, namely accumulating soil carbon and nitrogen. Many classical studies have examined cyanobacterial diversity in desert crusts, but relatively few comprehensive molecular surveys have been conducted. We used 454 pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA to investigate cyanobacterial composition and distribution on regional scales in the Gurbantunggut Desert. The relationship between cyanobacterial distribution and environmental factors was also explored. A total of 24,973 cyanobacteria partial 16S rRNA gene sequences were obtained, and 507OTUs were selected, as most OTUs had very few reads. Among these, 347 OTU sequences were of cyanobacteria origin, belonging to Oscillatoriales, Nostocales, Chroococcales, and uncultured cyanobacterium clone, respectively. Microcoleus vaginatus, Chroococcidiopsis spp. and M. steenstrupii were the dominant species in most areas of the Gurbantunggut Desert. Compared with other desert, the Gurbantunggut Desert differed in the prominence of Chroococcidiopsis spp. and lack of Pseudanabaenales. Species composition and abundance of cyanobacteria also showed distinct variations. Soil texture, precipitation, and nutrients and salt levels affected cyanobacterial distribution. Increased precipitation was helpful in improving cyanobacterial diversity. A higher content of coarse sand promoted the colonization and growth of Oscillatoriales and some phylotypes of Chroococcales. The fine-textured soil with higher nutrients and salts supported more varied populations of cyanobacteria, namely some heterocystous cyanobacteria. The results suggested that the Gurbantunggut Desert was rich in cyanobacteria and that precipitation was a primary regulating factor for cyanobacterial composition on a regional scale. © 2016 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  3. Iron Mineralogy and Speciation in Clay-Sized Fractions of Chinese Desert Sediments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Wanyi; Zhao, Wancang; Balsam, William; Lu, Huayu; Liu, Pan; Lu, Zunli; Ji, Junfeng

    2017-12-01

    Iron released from Asian desert dust may be an important source of bioavailable iron for the North Pacific Ocean and thereby may stimulate primary productivity. However, the Fe species of the fine dusts from this source region are poorly characterized. Here we investigate iron species and mineralogy in the clay-sized fractions (iron phases (ferrihydrite and lepidocrocite) and reducible iron oxides (dominated by goethite) are 0.81 wt % and 2.39 wt %, respectively, and Fe dissolved from phyllosilicates extracted by boiling HCl (dominated by chlorite) is 3.15 wt %. Dusts originating from deserts in northwestern China, particularly the Taklimakan desert, are relatively enriched in easily reducible Fe phases, probably due to abundant Fe contained in fresh weathering products resulting from the rapid erosion associated with active uplift of mountains to the west. Data about Fe speciation and mineralogy in Asian dust sources will be useful for improving the quantification of soluble Fe supplied to the oceans, especially in dust models.

  4. Physiological ecology of desert iguana (Dipsosaurus dorsalis) eggs: temperature and water relations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Muth, A.

    1980-12-01

    The soil environment imposes constraints on the timing of oviposition and the location of suitable sites for egg burrows of the desert iguana (Dipsosaurus dorsalis). The effects of temperature and water potential on the developmental period and hatching success of eggs were determined. Eggs hatch normally between 28/sup 0/ and 38/sup 0/C at environmental water potentials between -50 and -1500 kPa. Predictions were derived for the timing and placement of egg clutches based on soil water potential and temperature profiles measured in the field and on the results of laboratory incubation experiments. The results suggest that egg burrows should be located at depths >22 cm in washes or possibly in sparsely vegetated areas away from creosote bushes. The biogeography of desert iguanas within the United States is discussed in relation to soil environments and tolerances of eggs. The physical factors affecting incubation may limit the geographical range of desert iguanas.

  5. Nelson's big horn sheep (Ovis canadensis nelsoni) trample Agassiz's desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) burrow at a California wind energy facility

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agha, Mickey; Delaney, David F.; Lovich, Jeffrey E.; Briggs, Jessica; Austin, Meaghan; Price, Steven J.

    2015-01-01

    Research on interactions between Agassiz's desert tortoises (Gopherus agassizii) and ungulates has focused exclusively on the effects of livestock grazing on tortoises and their habitat (Oldemeyer, 1994). For example, during a 1980 study in San Bernardino County, California, 164 desert tortoise burrows were assessed for vulnerability to trampling by domestic sheep (Ovis aries). Herds of grazing sheep damaged 10% and destroyed 4% of the burrows (Nicholson and Humphreys 1981). In addition, a juvenile desert tortoise was trapped and an adult male was blocked from entering a burrow due to trampling by domestic sheep. Another study found that domestic cattle (Bos taurus) trampled active desert tortoise burrows and vegetation surrounding burrows (Avery and Neibergs 1997). Trampling also has negative impacts on diversity of vegetation and intershrub soil crusts in the desert southwest (Webb and Stielstra 1979). Trampling of important food plants and overgrazing has the potential to create competition between desert tortoises and domestic livestock (Berry 1978; Coombs 1979; Webb and Stielstra 1979).

  6. Differential response of vegetation in Hulun Lake region at the northern margin of Asian summer monsoon to extreme cold events of the last deglaciation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Shengrui; Xiao, Jule; Xu, Qinghai; Wen, Ruilin; Fan, Jiawei; Huang, Yun; Yamagata, Hideki

    2018-06-01

    The response of vegetation to extreme cold events during the last deglaciation is important for assessing the impact of possible extreme climatic events on terrestrial ecosystems under future global warming scenarios. Here, we present a detailed record of the development of regional vegetation in the northern margin of Asian summer monsoon during the last deglaciation (16,500-11,000 cal yr BP) based on a radiocarbon-dated high-resolution pollen record from Hulun Lake, northeast China. The results show that the regional vegetation changed from subalpine meadow-desert steppe to mixed coniferous and deciduous forest-typical steppe during the last deglaciation. However, its responses to the Heinrich event 1 (H1) and the Younger Dryas event (YD) were significantly different: during the H1 event, scattered sparse forest was present in the surrounding mountains, while within the lake catchment the vegetation cover was poor and was dominated by desert steppe. In contrast, during the YD event, deciduous forest developed and the proportion of coniferous forest increased in the mountains, the lake catchment was occupied by typical steppe. We suggest that changes in Northern Hemisphere summer insolation and land surface conditions (ice sheets and sea level) caused temperature and monsoonal precipitation variations that contributed to the contrasting vegetation response during the two cold events. We conclude that under future global warming scenarios, extreme climatic events may cause a deterioration of the ecological environment of the Hulun Lake region, resulting in increased coniferous forest and decreased total forest cover in the surrounding mountains, and a reduction in typical steppe in the lake catchment.

  7. Genetic diversity in the desert warthog (Phacochoerus aethiopicus delameri) population of eastern Africa

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Muwanika, Vincent B.; Kock, Richard; Masembe, Charles

    2012-01-01

    in a population of the desert warthog (Phacochoerus aethiopicus) sampled from 12 localities in its natural range in eastern Africa. From the total sample (30 individuals), at the six microsatellite loci that were analysed, a total of 43 alleles was observed averaging seven alleles per locus. Expected...... heterozygosity (HE) per locus was high, ranging from 0.53 to 0.87. At the mitochondrial loci, nucleotide diversity was low (p = 0.12%) with two unique haplotypes observed from the 19 individuals that amplified successfully. The diversity indices observed in the desert warthog are comparable to those previously...... reported for the closely related but widespread species, the common warthog (Phacochoerus africanus). These results suggest that the desert warthog is not genetically depauperate despite the rinderpest epidemic of the 1880s that eliminated it from most of its natural range....

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Precipitation, density, and population dynamics of desert bighorn sheep on San Andres National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bender, L.C.; Weisenberger, M.E.

    2005-01-01

    Understanding the determinants of population size and performance for desert bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis mexicana) is critical to develop effective recovery and management strategies. In arid environments, plant communities and consequently herbivore populations are strongly dependent upon precipitation, which is highly variable seasonally and annually. We conducted a retrospective exploratory analysis of desert bighorn sheep population dynamics on San Andres National Wildlife Refuge (SANWR), New Mexico, 1941-1976, by modeling sheep population size as a function of previous population sizes and precipitation. Population size and trend of desert bighorn were best and well described (R 2=0.89) by a model that included only total annual precipitation as a covariate. Models incorporating density-dependence, delayed density-dependence, and combinations of density and precipitation were less informative than the model containing precipitation alone (??AlCc=8.5-22.5). Lamb:female ratios were positively related to precipitation (current year: F1,34=7.09, P=0.012; previous year: F1,33=3.37, P=0.075) but were unrelated to population size (current year. F1,34=0.04, P=0.843; previous year: F1,33 =0.14, P=0.715). Instantaneous population rate of increase (r) was related to population size (F1,33=5.55; P=0.025). Precipitation limited populations of desert bighorn sheep on SANWR primarily in a density-independent manner by affecting production or survival of lambs, likely through influences on forage quantity and quality. Habitat evaluations and recovery plans for desert bighorn sheep need to consider fundamental influences on desert bighorn populations such as precipitation and food, rather than focus solely on proximate issues such as security cover, predation, and disease. Moreover, the concept of carrying capacity for desert bighorn sheep may need re-evaluation in respect to highly variable (CV =35.6%) localized precipitation patterns. On SANWR carrying capacity for desert

  12. The Agassiz's desert tortoise genome provides a resource for the conservation of a threatened species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marc Tollis

    Full Text Available Agassiz's desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii is a long-lived species native to the Mojave Desert and is listed as threatened under the US Endangered Species Act. To aid conservation efforts for preserving the genetic diversity of this species, we generated a whole genome reference sequence with an annotation based on deep transcriptome sequences of adult skeletal muscle, lung, brain, and blood. The draft genome assembly for G. agassizii has a scaffold N50 length of 252 kbp and a total length of 2.4 Gbp. Genome annotation reveals 20,172 protein-coding genes in the G. agassizii assembly, and that gene structure is more similar to chicken than other turtles. We provide a series of comparative analyses demonstrating (1 that turtles are among the slowest-evolving genome-enabled reptiles, (2 amino acid changes in genes controlling desert tortoise traits such as shell development, longevity and osmoregulation, and (3 fixed variants across the Gopherus species complex in genes related to desert adaptations, including circadian rhythm and innate immune response. This G. agassizii genome reference and annotation is the first such resource for any tortoise, and will serve as a foundation for future analysis of the genetic basis of adaptations to the desert environment, allow for investigation into genomic factors affecting tortoise health, disease and longevity, and serve as a valuable resource for additional studies in this species complex.

  13. 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...

  14. 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...

  15. Deserts and holy mountains of medieval Serbia: Written sources, spatial patterns, architectural designs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Popović Danica

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available Essential concepts in Christian thought and practice, the desert and holy mountain denote a particular kind of monastic and sacral space. They are secluded from the world, intended for asceticism, and ambivalent in nature they are inhospitable and menacing zones populated with demons, but also a monastic paradise, places for spiritual conversion and encounter with the divine. From earliest times, deserts and holy mountains had a few distinguishing characteristics. All forms of monastic life, from communal to solitary, were practiced side by side there. Monks of a special make-up and distinction known as holy men who were also often founders of illustrious communities, future saints and miracle-workers acted there. Furthermore these locales were important spiritual and bookmaking centre's, and therefore, strongholds of Orthodoxy. When trying to research Serbian material on this topic, we face a specific situation: few surviving sources on the one hand, and devastated monuments on the other. The ultimate consequence is that the entire subject has been neglected. Therefore the study of the Serbian deserts and holy mountains requires a very complex interdisciplinary approach with systematic field work as its essential part. It should address the following issues: corroboration, on the basis of written sources, of the reception of the concept of the monastic desert and holy mountain in a particular, regional, context; the distinct means and mechanisms employed in their physical realization; interpretation of their function; the recognition of patterns preserved in the surviving physical structures. Even the results obtained so far appear to be relevant enough to become included in the sacral topography of the Christian world. The author of this study gives particular attention to the detailed analysis of written sources of various genres - diplomatic sources, hagiographic material, liturgical texts, observation notes - in order to establish the

  16. 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.)

  17. 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.

  18. Desert Dust Outbreaks in Southern Europe: Contribution to Daily PM10 Concentrations and Short-Term Associations with Mortality and Hospital Admissions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stafoggia, Massimo; Zauli-Sajani, Stefano; Pey, Jorge; Samoli, Evangelia; Alessandrini, Ester; Basagaña, Xavier; Cernigliaro, Achille; Chiusolo, Monica; Demaria, Moreno; Díaz, Julio; Faustini, Annunziata; Katsouyanni, Klea; Kelessis, Apostolos G.; Linares, Cristina; Marchesi, Stefano; Medina, Sylvia; Pandolfi, Paolo; Pérez, Noemí; Querol, Xavier; Randi, Giorgia; Ranzi, Andrea; Tobias, Aurelio; Forastiere, Francesco

    2015-01-01

    Background: Evidence on the association between short-term exposure to desert dust and health outcomes is controversial. Objectives: We aimed to estimate the short-term effects of particulate matter ≤ 10 μm (PM10) on mortality and hospital admissions in 13 Southern European cities, distinguishing between PM10 originating from the desert and from other sources. Methods: We identified desert dust advection days in multiple Mediterranean areas for 2001–2010 by combining modeling tools, back-trajectories, and satellite data. For each advection day, we estimated PM10 concentrations originating from desert, and computed PM10 from other sources by difference. We fitted city-specific Poisson regression models to estimate the association between PM from different sources (desert and non-desert) and daily mortality and emergency hospitalizations. Finally, we pooled city-specific results in a random-effects meta-analysis. Results: On average, 15% of days were affected by desert dust at ground level (desert PM10 > 0 μg/m3). Most episodes occurred in spring–summer, with increasing gradient of both frequency and intensity north–south and west–east of the Mediterranean basin. We found significant associations of both PM10 concentrations with mortality. Increases of 10 μg/m3 in non-desert and desert PM10 (lag 0–1 days) were associated with increases in natural mortality of 0.55% (95% CI: 0.24, 0.87%) and 0.65% (95% CI: 0.24, 1.06%), respectively. Similar associations were estimated for cardio-respiratory mortality and hospital admissions. Conclusions: PM10 originating from the desert was positively associated with mortality and hospitalizations in Southern Europe. Policy measures should aim at reducing population exposure to anthropogenic airborne particles even in areas with large contribution from desert dust advections. Citation: Stafoggia M, Zauli-Sajani S, Pey J, Samoli E, Alessandrini E, Basagaña X, Cernigliaro A, Chiusolo M, Demaria M, Díaz J, Faustini A

  19. Desert Dust Outbreaks in Southern Europe: Contribution to Daily PM₁₀ Concentrations and Short-Term Associations with Mortality and Hospital Admissions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stafoggia, Massimo; Zauli-Sajani, Stefano; Pey, Jorge; Samoli, Evangelia; Alessandrini, Ester; Basagaña, Xavier; Cernigliaro, Achille; Chiusolo, Monica; Demaria, Moreno; Díaz, Julio; Faustini, Annunziata; Katsouyanni, Klea; Kelessis, Apostolos G; Linares, Cristina; Marchesi, Stefano; Medina, Sylvia; Pandolfi, Paolo; Pérez, Noemí; Querol, Xavier; Randi, Giorgia; Ranzi, Andrea; Tobias, Aurelio; Forastiere, Francesco

    2016-04-01

    Evidence on the association between short-term exposure to desert dust and health outcomes is controversial. We aimed to estimate the short-term effects of particulate matter ≤ 10 μm (PM10) on mortality and hospital admissions in 13 Southern European cities, distinguishing between PM10 originating from the desert and from other sources. We identified desert dust advection days in multiple Mediterranean areas for 2001-2010 by combining modeling tools, back-trajectories, and satellite data. For each advection day, we estimated PM10 concentrations originating from desert, and computed PM10 from other sources by difference. We fitted city-specific Poisson regression models to estimate the association between PM from different sources (desert and non-desert) and daily mortality and emergency hospitalizations. Finally, we pooled city-specific results in a random-effects meta-analysis. On average, 15% of days were affected by desert dust at ground level (desert PM10 > 0 μg/m3). Most episodes occurred in spring-summer, with increasing gradient of both frequency and intensity north-south and west-east of the Mediterranean basin. We found significant associations of both PM10 concentrations with mortality. Increases of 10 μg/m3 in non-desert and desert PM10 (lag 0-1 days) were associated with increases in natural mortality of 0.55% (95% CI: 0.24, 0.87%) and 0.65% (95% CI: 0.24, 1.06%), respectively. Similar associations were estimated for cardio-respiratory mortality and hospital admissions. PM10 originating from the desert was positively associated with mortality and hospitalizations in Southern Europe. Policy measures should aim at reducing population exposure to anthropogenic airborne particles even in areas with large contribution from desert dust advections. Stafoggia M, Zauli-Sajani S, Pey J, Samoli E, Alessandrini E, Basagaña X, Cernigliaro A, Chiusolo M, Demaria M, Díaz J, Faustini A, Katsouyanni K, Kelessis AG, Linares C, Marchesi S, Medina S, Pandolfi P, P

  20. Water regime history drives responses of soil Namib Desert microbial communities to wetting events

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frossard, Aline; Ramond, Jean-Baptiste; Seely, Mary; Cowan, Don A.

    2015-07-01

    Despite the dominance of microorganisms in arid soils, the structures and functional dynamics of microbial communities in hot deserts remain largely unresolved. The effects of wetting event frequency and intensity on Namib Desert microbial communities from two soils with different water-regime histories were tested over 36 days. A total of 168 soil microcosms received wetting events mimicking fog, light rain and heavy rainfall, with a parallel “dry condition” control. T-RFLP data showed that the different wetting events affected desert microbial community structures, but these effects were attenuated by the effects related to the long-term adaptation of both fungal and bacterial communities to soil origins (i.e. soil water regime histories). The intensity of the water pulses (i.e. the amount of water added) rather than the frequency of wetting events had greatest effect in shaping bacterial and fungal community structures. In contrast to microbial diversity, microbial activities (enzyme activities) showed very little response to the wetting events and were mainly driven by soil origin. This experiment clearly demonstrates the complexity of microbial community responses to wetting events in hyperarid hot desert soil ecosystems and underlines the dynamism of their indigenous microbial communities.

  1. 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

  2. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  4. Diurnal pattern of the drying front in desert and its application for determining the effective infiltration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Y. Zeng

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Located in western Inner Mongolia, the Badain Jaran Desert is the second largest desert in China and consists of a regular series of stable megadunes, among which over 70 permanent lakes exist. The unexpected lakes in desert attracted research interests on exploring the hydrological process under this particular landscape; however, a very few literatures exist on the diurnal and spatial variation of the drying front in this area, which is the main issue in the desert hydrological process to characterize the movement of water in soil. In order to understand the drying front in the Badain Jaran Desert, a field campaign was conducted by the observations of soil physical parameters and micrometeorological parameters. With the field data, the performance of a vadose zone soil water balance model, the HYDRUS, was verified and calibrated. Then, the HYDRUS was used to produce the spatial and temporal information of coupled water, water vapour and heat transport in sand to characterize the variation pattern of the drying front before, during and after the rainfall. Finally, the deepest drying front was applied to determine the effective infiltration, which is defined as the amount of soil water captured by the sand beneath the deepest drying front by infiltrating water of an incident rainfall event.

  5. Isotope method to study the replenishment the lakes and downstream groundwater in Badain Jaran desert

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chen Jiansheng; Fan Zhechao; Gu Weizu; Zhao Xia; Wang Jiyang

    2003-01-01

    In the paper, the sources of spring water and well water of Qilian Mountain's north side, Longshou Mountain, Badain Jaran Desert, Gurinai, Guaizi Lake, and Ejina Basin are studied by the methods of environmental isotopes and water chemistry. The groundwater of downstream areas (such as Badain Jaran Desert) is found that it is recharged by the precipitation of Qilian Mountain, and the average recharge elevation is 3300 m. Lots of naked limestones layers exist at the mountaintop of Qilian Mountain. The snow water of Qilian Mountain melts and directly infiltrates into deep layer passing through karst stratum or Big Fault in Front of the Mountain, and directly recharges into Badain Jaran Desert and its downstream areas passing through Longshou Mountain. The calcareous cementation and travertine, found in the lakes of the desert, approve that the groundwater passed the limestone layer. Confined water recharges shallow aquifer by means of leakage. The groundwater recharge volume is six hundreds millions cubic meters per year by calculating the evaporation amount, and the age of confined groundwater is 20-30 years. (authors)

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Negative impacts of invasive plants on conservation of sensitive desert wildlife

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drake, K. Kristina; Bowen, Lizabeth; Nussear, Kenneth E.; Esque, Todd C.; Berger, Andrew J.; Custer, Nathan; Waters, Shannon C.; Johnson, Jay D.; Miles, A. Keith; Lewison, Rebecca L.

    2016-01-01

    Habitat disturbance from development, resource extraction, off-road vehicle use, and energy development ranks highly among threats to desert systems worldwide. In the Mojave Desert, United States, these disturbances have promoted the establishment of nonnative plants, so that native grasses and forbs are now intermixed with, or have been replaced by invasive, nonnative Mediterranean grasses. This shift in plant composition has altered food availability for Mojave Desert tortoises (Gopherus agassizii), a federally listed species. We hypothesized that this change in forage would negatively influence the physiological ecology, immune competence, and health of neonatal and yearling tortoises. To test this, we monitored the effects of diet on growth, body condition, immunological responses (measured by gene transcription), and survival for 100 captive Mojave tortoises. Tortoises were assigned to one of five diets: native forbs, native grass, invasive grass, and native forbs combined with either the native or invasive grass. Tortoises eating native forbs had better body condition and immune functions, grew more, and had higher survival rates (>95%) than tortoises consuming any other diet. At the end of the experiment, 32% of individuals fed only native grass and 37% fed only invasive grass were found dead or removed from the experiment due to poor body conditions. In contrast, all tortoises fed either the native forb or combined native forb and native grass diets survived and were in good condition. Health and body condition quickly declined for tortoises fed only the native grass (Festuca octoflora) or invasive grass (Bromus rubens) with notable loss of fat and muscle mass and increased muscular atrophy. Bromus rubens seeds were found embedded in the oral mucosa and tongue in most individuals eating that diet, which led to mucosal inflammation. Genes indicative of physiological, immune, and metabolic functions were transcribed at lower levels for individuals fed B

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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...

  12. 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...

  13. 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...

  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. 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.

  16. 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

  17. H-O isotopic and chemical characteristics of a precipitation-lake water-groundwater system in a desert area

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jin, Ke; Rao, Wenbo; Tan, Hongbing; Song, Yinxian; Yong, Bin; Zheng, Fangwen; Chen, Tangqing; Han, Liangfeng

    2018-04-01

    The recharge mechanism of groundwater in the Badain Jaran Desert, North China has been a focus of research and still disputable in the past two decades. In this study, the chemical and hydrogen (H) and oxygen (O) isotopic characteristics of shallow groundwater, lake water and local precipitation in the Badain Jaran Desert and neighboring areas were investigated to reveal the relationships between various water bodies and the recharge source of shallow groundwater. Isotopic and hydrogeochemical results show that (1) shallow groundwater was associated with local precipitation in the Ayouqi and Yabulai regions, (2) lake water was mainly recharged by groundwater in the desert hinterland, (3) shallow groundwater of the desert hinterland, Yabulai Mountain and Gurinai Grassland had a common recharge source. Shallow groundwater of the desert hinterland had a mean recharge elevation of 1869 m a.s.l. on the basis of the isotope-altitude relationship and thus originated chiefly from lateral infiltration of precipitation in the Yabulai Mountain. It is further concluded that shallow groundwater flowed towards the Gurinai Grassland according to the groundwater table contour map. Along the flow pathway, the H-O isotopic variations were primarily caused by the evaporation effect but chemical variations of shallow groundwater were affected by multiple factors, e.g., evaporation effect, dilution effect of occasional heavy-precipitation and dissolution of aquifer evaporites. Our findings provide new insight into the groundwater cycle and benefit the management of the limited water resources in the arid desert area.

  18. 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.

  19. Effects of artificial sand fixing on community characteristics of a rare desert shrub.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Huiliang; Tao, Ye; Qiu, Dong; Zhang, Daoyuan; Zhang, Yongkuan

    2013-10-01

    Eremosparton songoricum (Fabaceae) is a rare, native, clonal small shrub of the deserts of central Asia. Although human activities have greatly fragmented the distribution of E. songoricum, it occurs in areas where artificial sand fixing (AS) has been implemented. We sought to explore whether AS promotes survival and growth of E. songoricum. In the Gurbantunggut Desert of northwestern China in June 2010, we established 10 plots in an area where sand fixing occurred (5-10 years previously) and 11 plots on original sand substrate on which some plants had settled without fixing sand. Sand fixing changed soil properties and biological characteristics in sand-fixed plots. The soil surface where sand fixing occurred was covered by algal crusts and some lichen, but not bare sand (BS). Soil nutrients; water content of deep soil (30-150 cm); overall plant and herbaceous species richness, diversity, abundance, and cover; above- and belowground biomass; and cover, biomass, and height of E. songoricum in the sand-fixed plots were significantly greater than in plots of BS. However, distribution of E. songoricum individuals in the 2 types of plots did not differ. Our results indicate AS may enhance survival of E. songoricum and increase the overall diversity and stability of the desert plant community. We suggest AS as a way to protect this rare desert plant in situ. © 2013 Society for Conservation Biology.

  20. 75 FR 27383 - Culturally Significant Objects Imported for Exhibition Determinations: “A Gift From the Desert...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-05-14

    ... DEPARTMENT OF STATE [Public Notice 7003] Culturally Significant Objects Imported for Exhibition Determinations: ``A Gift From the Desert: The Art, History and Culture of the Arabian Horse'' SUMMARY: Notice is... objects to be included in the exhibition ``A Gift from the Desert: The Art, History and Culture of the...

  1. 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

  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. Gardening in the desert: a spatial optimization approach to locating gardens in rapidly expanding urban environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mack, Elizabeth A; Tong, Daoqin; Credit, Kevin

    2017-10-16

    Food access is a global issue, and for this reason, a wealth of studies are dedicated to understanding the location of food deserts and the benefits of urban gardens. However, few studies have linked these two strands of research together to analyze whether urban gardening activity may be a step forward in addressing issues of access for food desert residents. The Phoenix, Arizona metropolitan area is used as a case to demonstrate the utility of spatial optimization models for siting urban gardens near food deserts and on vacant land. The locations of urban gardens are derived from a list obtained from the Maricopa County Cooperative Extension office at the University of Arizona which were geo located and aggregated to Census tracts. Census tracts were then assigned to one of three categories: tracts that contain a garden, tracts that are immediately adjacent to a tract with a garden, and all other non-garden/non-adjacent census tracts. Analysis of variance is first used to ascertain whether there are statistical differences in the demographic, socio-economic, and land use profiles of these three categories of tracts. A maximal covering spatial optimization model is then used to identify potential locations for future gardening activities. A constraint of these models is that gardens be located on vacant land, which is a growing problem in rapidly urbanizing environments worldwide. The spatial analysis of garden locations reveals that they are centrally located in tracts with good food access. Thus, the current distribution of gardens does not provide an alternative food source to occupants of food deserts. The maximal covering spatial optimization model reveals that gardens could be sited in alternative locations to better serve food desert residents. In fact, 53 gardens may be located to cover 96.4% of all food deserts. This is an improvement over the current distribution of gardens where 68 active garden sites provide coverage to a scant 8.4% of food desert

  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. Arizona/New Mexico Mountains Ecoregion: Chapter 10 in Status and trends of land change in the Western United States--1973 to 2000

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruhlman, Jana; Gass, Leila; Middleton, Barry

    2012-01-01

    As the name suggests, the Arizona/New Mexico Mountains Ecoregion includes much of the mountainous regions of these two states, plus a very small part in the Guadalupe Mountains of northwestern Texas. Several isolated areas of higher terrain in Arizona and New Mexico are also included in the ecoregion, which occupies approximately 108,432 km2 (41,866 mi2) (Omernik, 1987; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1997). The ecoregion is bounded on the south by the Sonoran Basin and Range, Madrean Archipelago, and Chihuahuan Deserts Ecoregions; to the north, the ecoregion is both bounded and surrounded by the Arizona/New Mexico Plateau Ecoregion (fig. 1). The ecoregion encompasses the largest contiguous ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) forest in the United States (Strom and Fulé, 2007), which stretches from Williams, Arizona, along the Mogollon Rim, Arizona, into southwestern New Mexico, north and west of Silver City, New Mexico.

  6. Environmental monitoring and cooperative resource management at the WIPP site

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1992-01-01

    This poster session by the Environmental Monitoring Section of the US DOE Waste Isolation Pilot Plant is to demonstrate that the DOE is committed to sound environmental management. This WIPP poster session demonstrates radiological as well as nonradiological environmental monitoring activities conducted routinely at the WIPP. And how data collected prior to the WIPP being operational is used to establish a preoperational baseline for environmental studies in which the samples collected during the operational phase will be compared. Cooperative Resource Management is a relatively new concept for governments agencies. It allows two or more agencies the ability to jointly share in funding a program or project and yet both agencies can benefit from the outcome. These programs are usually a biological type study. The WIPP cooperative agreement between the US BLM, DOE and its contractors is to continue the ongoing documentation of the diversity of the Chihuahuan desert

  7. Effects of high fire frequency in creosote bush scrub vegetation of the Mojave Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brooks, M.L.

    2012-01-01

    Plant invasions can increase fire frequency in desert ecosystems where fires were historically infrequent. Although there are many resource management concerns associated with high frequency fire in deserts, fundamental effects on plant community characteristics remain largely unstudied. Here I describe the effects of fire frequency on creosote bush scrub vegetation in the Mojave Desert, USA. Biomass of the invasive annual grass Bromus rubens L. increased following fire, but did not increase further with additional fires. In contrast, density, cover and species richness of native perennial plants each decreased following fire and continued to decrease with subsequent fires, although not as dramatically as after the initial fire. Responses were similar 5 and 14 years post-fire, except that cover of Hymenoclea salsola Torr. & A. Gray and Achnatherum speciosa Trin. & Rupr. both increased in areas burnt once. These results suggest that control of B. rubens may be equally warranted after one, two or three fires, but revegetation of native perennial plants is most warranted following multiple fires. These results are valid within the scope of this study, which is defined as relatively short term vegetation responses (???14 years) to short fire return intervals (6.3 and 7.3 years for the two and three fire frequency levels) within creosote bush scrub of the Mojave Desert. ?? 2012 IAWF.

  8. Variations in water balance and recharge potential at three western desert sites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gee, G.W.; Fayer, M.J.; Rockhold, M.L.; Wierenga, P.J.; Young, M.H.; Andraski, B.J.

    1994-01-01

    Radioactive and hazardous waste landfills exist at numerous desert locations in the USA. At these locations, annual precipitation is low and soils are generally dry, yet little is known about recharge of water and transport of contaminants to the water table. Recent water balance measurements made at three desert locations, Las Cruces, NM, Beatty, NV, and the U.S. Department of Energy's Hanford Site in the state of Washington, provide information on recharge potential under three distinctly different climate and soil conditions. All three sites show water storage increases with time when soils are coarse textured and plants are removed from the surface, the rate of increase being influenced by climatic variables such as precipitation, radiation, temperature, and wind. Lysimeter data from Hanford and Las Cruces indicate that deep drainage (recharge) from bare, sandy soils can range from 10 to > 50% of the annual precipitation. At Hanford, when desert plants are present on sandy or gravelly surface soils, deep drainage is reduced but not eliminated. When surface soils are silt loams, deep drainage is eliminated whether plants are present or not. At Las Cruces and Beatty, the presence of plants eliminated deep drainage at the measurement sites. Differences in water balance between sites are attributed to precipitation quantity and distribution and to soil and vegetation types. The implication of waste management at desert locations is that surface soil properties and plant characteristics must be considered in waste site design in order to minimize recharge potential. 39 refs., 9 figs., 3 tabs

  9. 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.

  10. 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.)

  11. 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.

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

    KAUST Repository

    Al-Naimi, Ali Ibrahim

    2017-01-08

    His Excellency Ali Ibrahim Al-Naimi, former Ministry of Oil in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, will comment on his forthcoming autobiography "Out of the Desert: My Journey from Nomadic Bedouin to the Heart of Global Oil". Ali Ibrahim Al-Naimi is the former Saudi oil minister - and OPEC kingpin - a position he held for the two decades between August 1995 and May 2016. He was born into extreme poverty as a nomadic Bedouin in the 1930s, just as US companies were discovering vast quantities of oil under 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Field Performance of Photovoltaic Systems in the Tucson Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-10-01

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

  16. In vitro germination of desert rose varieties(

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tatiane Lemos Varella

    2015-08-01

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

  17. Properties of Desert Sand and CMAS Glass

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bansal, Narottam P.; Choi, Sung R.

    2014-01-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Multi-scale forcing and the formation of subtropical desert and monsoon

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. X. Wu

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available This study investigates three types of atmospheric forcing across the summertime subtropics that are shown to contribute in various ways to the occurrence of dry and wet climates in the subtropics. To explain the formation of desert over the western parts of continents and monsoon over the eastern parts, we propose a new mechanism of positive feedback between diabatic heating and vorticity generation that occurs via meridional advection of planetary vorticity and temperature. Monsoon and desert are demonstrated to coexist as twin features of multi-scale forcing, as follows. First, continent-scale heating over land and cooling over ocean induce the ascent of air over the eastern parts of continents and western parts of oceans, and descent over eastern parts of oceans and western parts of continents. Second, local-scale sea-breeze forcing along coastal regions enhances air descent over eastern parts of oceans and ascent over eastern parts of continents. This leads to the formation of the well-defined summertime subtropical LOSECOD quadruplet-heating pattern across each continent and adjacent oceans, with long-wave radiative cooling (LO over eastern parts of oceans, sensible heating (SE over western parts of continents, condensation heating (CO over eastern parts of continents, and double dominant heating (D: LO+CO over western parts of oceans. Such a quadruplet heating pattern corresponds to a dry climate over the western parts of continents and a wet climate over eastern parts. Third, regional-scale orographic-uplift-heating generates poleward ascending flow to the east of orography and equatorward descending flow to the west. The Tibetan Plateau (TP is located over the eastern Eurasian continent. The TP-forced circulation pattern is in phase with that produced by continental-scale forcing, and the strongest monsoon and largest deserts are formed over the Afro-Eurasian Continent. In contrast, the Rockies and the Andes are located over the western

  2. Multi-scale forcing and the formation of subtropical desert and monsoon

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. X. Wu

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available This study investigates three types of atmospheric forcing across the summertime subtropics that are shown to contribute in various ways to the occurrence of dry and wet climates in the subtropics. To explain the formation of desert over the western parts of continents and monsoon over the eastern parts, we propose a new mechanism of positive feedback between diabatic heating and vorticity generation that occurs via meridional advection of planetary vorticity and temperature. Monsoon and desert are demonstrated to coexist as twin features of multi-scale forcing, as follows.

    First, continent-scale heating over land and cooling over ocean induce the ascent of air over the eastern parts of continents and western parts of oceans, and descent over eastern parts of oceans and western parts of continents. Second, local-scale sea-breeze forcing along coastal regions enhances air descent over eastern parts of oceans and ascent over eastern parts of continents. This leads to the formation of the well-defined summertime subtropical LOSECOD quadruplet-heating pattern across each continent and adjacent oceans, with long-wave radiative cooling (LO over eastern parts of oceans, sensible heating (SE over western parts of continents, condensation heating (CO over eastern parts of continents, and double dominant heating (D: LO+CO over western parts of oceans. Such a quadruplet heating pattern corresponds to a dry climate over the western parts of continents and a wet climate over eastern parts. Third, regional-scale orographic-uplift-heating generates poleward ascending flow to the east of orography and equatorward descending flow to the west.

    The Tibetan Plateau (TP is located over the eastern Eurasian continent. The TP-forced circulation pattern is in phase with that produced by continental-scale forcing, and the strongest monsoon and largest deserts are formed over the Afro-Eurasian Continent. In contrast, the Rockies and the Andes are

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Δ17O Isotopic Investigation of Nitrate Salts Found in Co-Occurrence with Naturally Formed Perchlorate in the Mojave Desert, California, USA and the Atacama Desert, Chile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lybrand, R. A.; Parker, D.; Rech, J.; Prellwitz, J.; Michalski, G.

    2009-12-01

    Perchlorate is both a naturally occurring and manmade contaminant that has been identified in soil, groundwater and surface water. Perchlorate directly affects human health by interfering with iodide uptake in the thyroid gland, which may in turn lower the production of key hormones that are needed for proper growth and development. Until recently, the Atacama Desert, Chile was thought to be the only location where perchlorate salts formed naturally. Recent work has documented the occurrence of these salts in several semi-arid regions of the United States. This study identified putatively natural sources of perchlorate in the Mojave Desert of California. Soil samples were collected from six field sites varying in geologic age. The co-occurrence of perchlorate and nitrate in caliches from the Atacama Desert and soils from the Mojave Desert was also investigated. Although the former are richer in NO3-, near-ore-grade (~5%) deposits occur in the vicinity of Death Valley National Park. Weak but significant correlations exist between ClO4- and NO3- at both locations, but the perchlorate levels are much higher (up to 800 mg/kg) in the Chilean samples than in California (atmospheric origin for the Atacama nitrate salts, and a mixture between biological nitrate and atmospherically-derived nitrate for the Mojave samples. When corrected for the percentage of atmospheric nitrate measured in the Atacama samples, the Mojave samples still contain much lower perchlorate concentrations than would be expected if the occurrence of perchlorate correlated strictly with atmospherically derived nitrate. These results indicate that the variation in the origins of the nitrate salts is not the only factor influencing perchlorate distribution in these environments. These findings suggest that there are other geologic differences in landform age and stability that are crucial to understanding the co-occurrence of nitrate and perchlorate between the two locations.

  9. Role of the mid-Holocene environmental transition in the decline of late Neolithic cultures in the deserts of NE China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Licheng; Xiong, Shangfa; Ding, Zhongli; Jin, Guiyun; Wu, Jiabin; Ye, Wei

    2018-06-01

    The mid-Holocene environmental transition was characterised by global cooling and the abrupt weakening of the Northern Hemisphere monsoon systems. It is generally considered the key driver of the collapse of several mid-Holocene agricultural societies, on a global scale. However, only a few previous studies have tried to verify the climatic origin of the collapse of these societies, using the compilation of spatiotemporal data at a large scale. Especially, the nature of mid-Holocene human-environment interactions in the climatically-sensitive margin of the East Asian summer monsoon front remains to be thoroughly understood. However, a systematic compilation of archaeological data at a regional scale can be used to verify the role the mid-Holocene environmental transition played in the collapse of late Neolithic cultures in China. Here, we present a regional compilation of Holocene records from sub-aerial sedimentary deposits, lake sediments, and archaeological sites in the deserts of NE China and the adjacent regions to explore human-environment interactions during the mid-Holocene. Comparison of the records of Holocene climate change with the evolution of archaeological sites reveals that the mid-Holocene environmental transition resulted in ecosystem degradation in the deserts of NE China, rendering these areas much less habitable. Faced with substantially increased environmental pressures, the late Neolithic inhabitants used several subsistence strategies to adapt to the environmental transition, including change in agricultural practices and ultimately migration. Overall, our results support the view that a widespread mid-Holocene drought destroyed the rain-fed agricultural and/or plant-based subsistence economies, ultimately contributing to the collapse of late Neolithic cultures in NE China.

  10. 10Be in desert sands, falling dust and loess in China

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shen, C.D.; Beer, J.; Kubik, P.W.; Sun, W.D.; Liu, T.S.; Liu, K.X.

    2010-01-01

    Cosmogenic 10 Be is produced in the atmosphere, and deposits onto the surface of the earth mainly through wet precipitation and dust. Based on the analysis of 10 Be in Chinese loess, we believe that 10 Be in loess is composed of two components: locally precipitated atmospheric 10 Be, and windblown 10 Be adsorbed on the surface of silt grains. On the Loess Plateau, 10 Be concentrations in loess and paleosol range from (1.4 to 2.8) x 10 8 atoms/g and (2.7 to 4.5) x 10 8 atoms/g, respectively. To investigate the sources of 10 Be in loess, we measured 10 Be in sand grains from deserts in western China and falling dust from the deposition regions. The results show that the 10 Be concentrations in sand and dust are (1.1-5.1) x 10 7 atoms/g and (1.3-2.8) x 10 8 atoms/g, respectively. Loess and paleosol on the Loess Plateau both contain inherited 10 Be adsorbed on silt grains from dust; most of the windblown deposited loess materials do not directly come from the Gobi and other sand deserts, but mainly from the loess-desert transitional zones, which are characterized by silt and dust holding areas.

  11. Solar energy conversion: an analysis of impacts on desert ecosystems. Progress report, June 1, 1977--December 31, 1977

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Patten, D.T.

    1977-09-01

    Some of the important potential ecological impacts that might occur when solar collector arrays are constructed and maintained in the desert Southwest are discussed. These impacts are categorized under major environmental consequences of solar collector development, that is, shading, wind deflection and site destruction and soil disturbance. Under these major categories secondary impacts are developed to show the significance of altering desert ecosystems with solar conversion systems. Some of the secondary impacts which include abiotic changes in radiation, temperature, heat flux, soil moisture and erosion, and biotic changes such as increased plant productivity and species diversity are discussed as to their short and long term significance in the desert system. A brief description of the solar collector simulator array being constructed in the desert to test many of the concepts developed during the early part of Phase I of this project is presented.

  12. Effectiveness of post-fire seeding in desert tortoise Critical Habitat following the 2005 Southern Nevada Fire Complex

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeFalco, Lesley; Drake, Karla K.; Scoles-Sciulla, S. J.; Bauer, Kyla L.

    2010-01-01

    In June 2005, lightning strikes ignited multiple wildfires in southern Nevada. The Southern Nevada Fire Complex burned more than 32,000 acres of designated desert tortoise Critical Habitat and an additional 403,000 acres of Mojave Desert habitat characterized as potentially suitable for the tortoise. Mortalities of desert tortoises were observed after the fires, but altered habitat is likely to prolong and magnify the impacts of wildfire on desert tortoise populations. To accelerate the re-establishment of plants commonly used by tortoises for food and shelter, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) distributed seeds of native annual and perennial species in burned areas within desert tortoise Critical Habitat. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) established monitoring plots to evaluate broadcast seeding as a means to restore habitat and tortoise activity compared with natural recovery. Within the standard three-year Emergency and Stabilization Response (ESR) monitoring timeline, seeding augmented perennial seed banks by four to six-fold within a year of seed applications compared with unseeded areas. By the end of the three-year monitoring period, seedling densities of seeded perennial species were 33% higher in seeded areas than in unseeded areas, particularly for the disturbance-adapted desert globemallow (Sphaeralcea ambigua) and desert marigold (Baileya multiradiata). Seeded annuals, in contrast, did not increase significantly in seed banks or biomass production, likely due to low seeding rates of these species. Production of non-native annuals that helped carry the fires was not reduced by seeding efforts but instead was strongly correlated with site-specific rainfall, as were native annual species. The short-term vegetation changes measured in seeded areas were not yet associated with a return of tortoise activity to unburned levels. By focusing on a combination of native species that can withstand disturbance conditions, including species that are found in

  13. 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/...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Potter, Christopher S.; Li, Shuang

    2014-01-01

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

  15. 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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nowak, Robert S.

    2007-12-19

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

  17. Anthropogenic water sources and the effects on Sonoran Desert small mammal communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Switalski, Aaron B; Bateman, Heather L

    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 in Arizona. A total of 370 individual mammals representing three genera and eight species were captured in 4,800 trap nights from winter 2011 to spring 2012. A multi-response permutation procedure was used to identify differences in small mammal community abundance and biomass by season and treatment. Rodent abundance, biomass, and richness were greater at AWS compared to control sites. Patterns of abundance and biomass were driven by the desert pocket mouse ( Chaetodipus penicillatus ) which was the most common capture and two times more numerous at AWS compared to controls. Vegetation characteristics, explored using principal components analysis, were similar between AWS and controls. Two species that prefer vegetation structure, Bailey's pocket mouse ( C. baileyi ) and white-throated woodrat ( Neotoma albigula) , had greater abundances and biomass near AWS and were associated with habitat having high cactus density. Although small mammals do not drink free-water, perhaps higher abundances of some species of desert rodents at AWS could be related to artificial structure associated with construction or other resources. Compared to the 30-year average of precipitation for the area, the period of our study occurred during a dry winter. During dry periods, perhaps AWS provide resources to rodents related to moisture.

  18. Anthropogenic water sources and the effects on Sonoran Desert small mammal communities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aaron B. Switalski

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available 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 in Arizona. A total of 370 individual mammals representing three genera and eight species were captured in 4,800 trap nights from winter 2011 to spring 2012. A multi-response permutation procedure was used to identify differences in small mammal community abundance and biomass by season and treatment. Rodent abundance, biomass, and richness were greater at AWS compared to control sites. Patterns of abundance and biomass were driven by the desert pocket mouse (Chaetodipus penicillatus which was the most common capture and two times more numerous at AWS compared to controls. Vegetation characteristics, explored using principal components analysis, were similar between AWS and controls. Two species that prefer vegetation structure, Bailey’s pocket mouse (C. baileyi and white-throated woodrat (Neotoma albigula, had greater abundances and biomass near AWS and were associated with habitat having high cactus density. Although small mammals do not drink free-water, perhaps higher abundances of some species of desert rodents at AWS could be related to artificial structure associated with construction or other resources. Compared to the 30-year average of precipitation for the area, the period of our study occurred during a dry winter. During dry periods, perhaps AWS provide resources to rodents related to moisture.

  19. [Estimation of desert vegetation coverage based on multi-source remote sensing data].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wan, Hong-Mei; Li, Xia; Dong, Dao-Rui

    2012-12-01

    Taking the lower reaches of Tarim River in Xinjiang of Northwest China as study areaAbstract: Taking the lower reaches of Tarim River in Xinjiang of Northwest China as study area and based on the ground investigation and the multi-source remote sensing data of different resolutions, the estimation models for desert vegetation coverage were built, with the precisions of different estimation methods and models compared. The results showed that with the increasing spatial resolution of remote sensing data, the precisions of the estimation models increased. The estimation precision of the models based on the high, middle-high, and middle-low resolution remote sensing data was 89.5%, 87.0%, and 84.56%, respectively, and the precisions of the remote sensing models were higher than that of vegetation index method. This study revealed the change patterns of the estimation precision of desert vegetation coverage based on different spatial resolution remote sensing data, and realized the quantitative conversion of the parameters and scales among the high, middle, and low spatial resolution remote sensing data of desert vegetation coverage, which would provide direct evidence for establishing and implementing comprehensive remote sensing monitoring scheme for the ecological restoration in the study area.

  20. Ultrasound-assisted extraction of polyphenols from native plants in the Mexican desert.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wong Paz, Jorge E; Muñiz Márquez, Diana B; Martínez Ávila, Guillermo C G; Belmares Cerda, Ruth E; Aguilar, Cristóbal N

    2015-01-01

    Several plants that are rich in polyphenolic compounds and exhibit biologi