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Sample records for polar desert ecosystem

  1. A case study of high Arctic anthropogenic disturbance to polar desert permafrost and ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Becker, M. S.; Pollard, W. H.

    2013-12-01

    One of the indirect impacts of climate change on Arctic ecosystems is the expected increase of industrial development in high latitudes. The scale of terrestrial impacts cannot be known ahead of time, particularly due to a lack of long-term impact studies in this region. With one of the slowest community recovery rates of any ecosystem, the high Artic biome will be under a considerable threat that is exacerbated by a high susceptibility to change in the permafrost thermal balance. One such area that provides a suitable location for study is an old airstrip near Eureka, Ellesmere Island, Nunavut (80.0175°N, 85.7340°W). While primarily used as an ice-runway for winter transport, the airstrip endured a yearly summer removal of vegetation that continued from 1947 until its abandonment in 1951. Since then, significant vegetative and geomorphic differences between disturbed and undisturbed areas have been noted in the literature throughout the decades (Bruggemann, 1953; Beschel, 1963; Couture and Pollard, 2007), but no system wide assessment of both the ecosystem and near-surface permafrost has been conducted. Key to our study is that the greatest apparent geomorphic and vegetative changes have occurred and persisted in areas where underlying ice-wedges have been disturbed. This suggests that the colonizing communities rapidly filled new available thermokarst niches and have produced an alternative ice-wedge stable state than the surrounding polar desert. We hypothesize that disturbed areas will currently have greater depths of thaw (deeper active layers) and degraded ice-wedges, with decreased vegetation diversity but higher abundance due to a changed hydrological balance. To test this a comprehensive set of near-surface active layer and ecosystem measurements were conducted. Permafrost dynamics were characterized using probing and high-frequency Ground Penetrating Radar (500 MHz) to map the near-surface details of ice-wedges and active layer. Vegetation was measured

  2. Spatial variation in soil active-layer geochemistry across hydrologic margins in polar desert ecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. E. Barrett

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Polar deserts are characterized by severe spatial-temporal limitations of liquid water. In soil active layers of the Antarctic Dry Valleys, liquid water is infrequently available over most of the arid terrestrial landscape. However, soils on the margins of glacial melt-water streams and lakes are visibly wet during the brief Austral summer when temperatures permit the existence of liquid water. We examined the role of these hydrologic margins as preferential zones for the transformation and transport of nutrient elements and solutes in an environment where geochemical weathering and biological activity is strictly limited by the dearth of liquid water. We report on hydropedological investigations of aquatic-terrestrial transition zones adjacent to 11 stream and lake systems in the Antarctic Dry Valleys. Our results show that wetted zones extended 1–11 m from the edges of lotic and lentic systems. While capillary demand and surface evaporation drive a one-way flux of water through these zones, the scale of these transition zones is determined by the topography and physical characteristics of the surrounding soils. Nutrient concentrations and fluxes appear to be influenced by both the hydrology and microbial-mediated biogeochemical processes. Salt concentrations are enriched near the distal boundary of the wetted fronts due to evapo-concentration of pore water in lake margin soils, while organic matter, ammonium and phosphate concentrations are highest in stream channel sediments where potential for biological activity is greatest. Thus, in the Antarctic Dry Valleys, intermittently wet soils on the margins of streams and lakes are important zones of both geochemical cycling and biological activity.

  3. Primary productivity as a control over soil microbial diversity along environmental gradients in a polar desert ecosystem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kevin M. Geyer

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Primary production is the fundamental source of energy to foodwebs and ecosystems, and is thus an important constraint on soil communities. This coupling is particularly evident in polar terrestrial ecosystems where biological diversity and activity is tightly constrained by edaphic gradients of productivity (e.g., soil moisture, organic carbon availability and geochemical severity (e.g., pH, electrical conductivity. In the McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica, environmental gradients determine numerous properties of soil communities and yet relatively few estimates of gross or net primary productivity (GPP, NPP exist for this region. Here we describe a survey utilizing pulse amplitude modulation (PAM fluorometry to estimate rates of GPP across a broad environmental gradient along with belowground microbial diversity and decomposition. PAM estimates of GPP ranged from an average of 0.27 μmol O2/m2/s in the most arid soils to an average of 6.97 μmol O2/m2/s in the most productive soils, the latter equivalent to 217 g C/m2/y in annual NPP assuming a 60 day growing season. A diversity index of four carbon-acquiring enzyme activities also increased with soil productivity, suggesting that the diversity of organic substrates in mesic environments may be an additional driver of microbial diversity. Overall, soil productivity was a stronger predictor of microbial diversity and enzymatic activity than any estimate of geochemical severity. These results highlight the fundamental role of environmental gradients to control community diversity and the dynamics of ecosystem-scale carbon pools in arid systems.

  4. 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

  5. Biotic Processes Regulating the Carbon Balance of Desert Ecosystems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    R. S. Nowak; J. Arnone; L. Fenstermaker; and S. D. Smith

    2005-07-26

    This project provided the funding to operate and maintain the Nevada Desert FACE Facility. This support funds the CO{sub 2}, system repairs and maintenance, basic physical and biological site information, and personnel that are essential for the experiment to continue. They have continued to assess the effects of elevated CO{sub 2} on three key processes: (1) leaf- to plant-level responses of desert vegetation to elevated atmospheric CO{sub 2}; (2) ecosystem-level responses; and (3) integration of plant and ecosystem processes to understand carbon balance of deserts. The focus is the seminal interactions among atmospheric CO{sub 2}, water, and nitrogen that drive desert responses to elevated CO{sub 2} and explicitly address processes that occur across scales (biological, spatial, and temporal).

  6. 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...

  7. Palynology in a polar desert, eastern North Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Funder, Svend Visby; Abrahamsen, Niels

    1988-01-01

    history back to c. 7,000 years calBP (6,000 years convBP) in this·extreme environment, which presents the coldest thermal regime where vascular plants can grow. The diagram shows that polar desert developed from sparse high arctic tundra at c. 4,300 years calBP (3,900 years convBP), owing to redu...

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  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. 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.

  12. 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 ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  14. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-12-01

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

  16. 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

  17. Rapidly restoring biological soil crusts and ecosystem functions in a severely disturbed desert ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiquoine, Lindsay P; Abella, Scott R; Bowker, Matthew A

    2016-06-01

    Restoring biological soil crusts (biocrusts) in degraded drylands can contribute to recovery of ecosystem functions that have global implications, including erosion resistance and nutrient cycling. To examine techniques for restoring biocrusts, we conducted a replicated, factorial experiment on recently abandoned road surfaces by applying biocrust inoculation (salvaged and stored dry for two years), salvaged topsoil, an abiotic soil amendment (wood shavings), and planting of a dominant perennial shrub (Ambrosia dumosa). Eighteen months after treatments, we measured biocrust abundance and species composition, soil chlorophyll a content and fertility, and soil resistance to erosion. Biocrust addition significantly accelerated biocrust recovery on disturbed soils, including increasing lichen and moss cover and cyanobacteria colonization. Compared to undisturbed controls, inoculated plots had similar lichen and moss composition, recovered 43% of total cyanobacteria density, had similar soil chlorophyll content, and exhibited recovery of soil fertility and soil stability. Inoculation was the only treatment that generated lichen and moss cover. Topsoil application resulted in partial recovery of the cyanobacteria community and soil properties. Compared to untreated disturbed plots, topsoil application without inoculum increased cyanobacteria density by 186% and moderately improved soil chlorophyll and ammonium content and soil stability. Topsoil application produced 22% and 51% of the cyanobacteria density g⁻¹ soil compared to undisturbed and inoculated plots, respectively. Plots not treated with either topsoil or inoculum had significantly lower cyanobacteria density, soil chlorophyll and ammonium concentrations, and significantly higher soil nitrate concentration. Wood shavings and Ambrosia had no influence on biocrust lichen and moss species recovery but did affect cyanobacteria composition and soil fertility. Inoculation of severely disturbed soil with native

  18. 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.

  19. Effects of Anthropogenic Emissions on the Nitrogen Cycle in the Desert Creosote Scrub Ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scanlan, J.; Simunek, J.

    2009-12-01

    Wildfires are an ongoing threat to many ecosystems in Southern California. In some ecosystems, evidence suggests that high anthropogenic nitrogen deposition can increase susceptibility to fire by increasing the fuel loads and altering the plant species composition. Desert creosote scrub ecosystems are dominant throughout many low-elevation areas in the Mohave Desert and are among the ecosystems subjected to added deposition of nitrate and ammonium due to emissions from nearby agriculture and fossil fuel combustion. An understanding of how nitrogen flows through the desert creosote scrub ecosystem and of how the additional deposition affects this cycle is critical to determining how these ecosystems will change over time and assessing how the spread of fires can be mitigated. One high deposition and one low deposition desert creosote scrub site in Joshua Tree National Park have been studied for the past year in order to observe the flow of nitrogen through the soil and assess its connection to shifts in the vegetation. Extractable nitrate, extractable ammonium, and total nitrogen and carbon have been measured throughout 100cm soil profiles at each site in order to determine the fate and transport of the deposited nitrogen. Because the flow of water through the soil following the infrequent precipitation events is essential to the flow of nitrogen, dielectric water potential sensors have been installed throughout the top 70cm of soil in order to obtain hourly measurements of water potential. These measurements have been used in conjunction with weather and deposition data to model the flow of water and nitrogen through the soil using the hydrological model HYDRUS-1D. A geochemical model representing basic nitrogen reactions occurring in the soil has been started using PHREEQC coupled with HYDRUS-1D, but further modeling is necessary in order to accurately represent the complexity of the nitrogen cycle. After completion of an additional year of measurements and

  20. Final Technical Report: Effects of Changing Water and Nitrogen Inputs on a Mojave Desert Ecosystem

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Smith, Stanley, D.; Nowak, Robert S.; Fenstermaker, Lynn, F.; Young, Michael,H.

    2007-11-30

    In order to anticipate the effects of global change on ecosystem function, it is essential that predictive relationships be established linking ecosystem function to global change scenarios. The Mojave Desert is of considerable interest with respect to global change. It contains the driest habitats in North America, and thus most closely approximates the world’s great arid deserts. In order to examine the effects of climate and land use changes, in 2001 we established a long-term manipulative global change experiment, called the Mojave Global Change Facility. Manipulations in this study include the potential effects of (1) increased summer rainfall (75 mm over three discrete 25 mm events), (2) increased nitrogen deposition (10 and 40 kg ha-1), and (3) the disturbance of biological N-fixing crusts . Questions addressed under this grant shared the common hypothesis that plant and ecosystem performance will positively respond to the augmentation of the most limiting resources to plant growth in the Mojave Desert, e.g., water and nitrogen. Specific hypotheses include (1) increased summer rainfall will significantly increase plant production through an alleviation of moisture stress in the dry summer months, (2) N-deposition will increase plant production in this N-limited system, particularly in wet years or in concert with added summer rain, and (3) biological crust disturbance will gradually decrease bio-available N, with concomitant long-term reductions in photosynthesis and ANPP. Individual plant and ecosystem responses to global change may be regulated by biogeochemical processes and natural weather variability, and changes in plant and ecosystem processes may occur rapidly, may occur only after a time lag, or may not occur at all. During the first PER grant period, we observed changes in plant and ecosystem processes that would fall under each of these time-response intervals: plant and ecosystem processes responded rapidly to added summer rain, whereas most

  1. Baseline studies in the desert ecosystem at East Mesa Geothermal Test Site, Imperial Valley, California

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Romney, E.M.; Wallace, A.; Lunt, O.R.; Ackerman, T.A.; Kinnear, J.E.

    1977-09-01

    Baseline data reported herein for soil, vegetation, and small mammal components of the East Mesa desert ecosystem represent a collection period from October 1975 to September 1977. Inasmuch as changes in salt balance from geothermal brine sources are of potential impact upon the ecosystem, considerable analytical effort was given to the determination of element constituents in soil, plant, and animal samples. A preliminary synthesis of data was done to investigate the heterogeneity of element constituents among the sampled population and to summarize results. Findings indicate that periodic sampling and chemical analysis of vegetation around an industrialized geothermal energy source is probably the best way to monitor the surrounding ecosystem for assuring containment of any resource pollutants.

  2. Direct measurement of denitrification in a Prosopis (Mesquite) dominated Sonoran Desert ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Virginia, Ross A; Jarrell, W M; Franco-Vizcaino, E

    1982-04-01

    Denitrification was directly measured using the acetylene inhibition technique in a Sonoran Desert ecosystem dominated by Prosopis glandulosa. Soil under Prosopis and from the unvegetated area between Prosopis was wetted with 50 mm of water and denitrification measured for 48 hours. The mean denitrification rate under Prosopis was 11.6 g N ha -1 h -1 compared to only 0.2 g N ha -1 h -1 away from Prosopis. The denitrification response to wetting was rapid and rates peaked about 24 h after water application.The much higher denitrification under Prosopis probably results from high available organic C under Prosopis, but other soil chemical and physical changes effected by Prosopis may influence denitrification rates. About 0.5 kg N ha -1 of Prosopis cover may be lost from this ecosystem by denitrification after infrequent major rainfalls.

  3. 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

    2013-09-01

    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.

  4. Sonoran Desert ecosystem transformation by a C4 grass without the grass/fire cycle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olsson, Aaryn D.; Betancourt, Julio; McClaran, Mitchel P.; Marsh, Stuart E.

    2012-01-01

    Aim Biological invasions facilitate ecosystem transformation by altering the structure and function, diversity, dominance and disturbance regimes. A classic case is the grass–fire cycle in which grass invasion increases the frequency, scale and/or intensity of wildfires and promotes the continued invasion of invasive grasses. Despite wide acceptance of the grass–fire cycle, questions linger about the relative roles that interspecific plant competition and fire play in ecosystem transformations. Location Sonoran Desert Arizona Upland of the Santa Catalina Mountains, Arizona, USA. Methods We measured species cover, density and saguaro (Carnegiea gigantea) size structure along gradients of Pennisetum ciliare invasion at 10 unburned/ungrazed P. ciliare patches. Regression models quantified differences in diversity, cover and density with respect to P. ciliare cover, and residence time and a Fisher's exact test detected demographic changes in saguaro populations. Because P. ciliare may have initially invaded locations that were both more invasible and less diverse, we ran analyses with and without the plots in which initial infestations were located. Results Richness and diversity decreased with P. ciliare cover as did cover and density of most dominant species. Richness and diversity declined with increasing time since invasion, suggesting an ongoing transformation. The proportion of old-to-young Carnegiea gigantea was significantly lower in plots with dominant P. ciliare cover. Main conclusions Rich desert scrub (15–25 species per plot) was transformed into depauperate grassland (2–5 species per plot) within 20 years following P. ciliare invasion without changes to the fire regime. While the onset of a grass–fire cycle may drive ecosystem change in the later stages and larger scales of grass invasions of arid lands, competition by P. ciliare can drive small-scale transformations earlier in the invasion. Linking competition-induced transformation rates with

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Patten, D.C.

    1978-05-01

    A research program is proposed to determine the response of desert ecosystems to the operation of various solar conversion systems. Existing solar powered irrigation pumping systems are described, as well as the 5 MW solar thermal test system at Albuquerque, the proposed 10 MW central receiver system at Barstow, and photovoltaic solar dispersed power systems. The theoretical ecological impacts of solar conversion system are described. Three major impact categories are discussed in detail: shading, wind deflection, and physical disturbance. Research needs necessary to evaluate biotic and abiotic changes in the desert ecosystem are delineated, and specific monitoring and manipulation programs for existing and proposed solar conversion sites are proposed.

  6. Final Technical Report: Effects of Changing Water and Nitrogen Inputs on a Mojave Desert Ecosystem

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Smith, Stanley D. [University of Nevada, Las Vegas; Nowak, Robert S. [University of Nevada, Reno

    2007-11-30

    Questions addressed under this grant shared the common hypothesis that plant and ecosystem performance will positively respond to the augmentation of the most limiting resources to plant growth in the Mojave Desert, e.g., water and nitrogen. Specific hypothesis include (1) increased summer rainfall will significantly increase plant production thorugh an alleviation of moisture stress in the dry summer months, (2) N-deposition will increase plan production in this N-limited system, particularly in wet years or in concert with added summer rain, and (3) biological crust disturbance will gradually decrease bio-available N, with concomitant long-term reductions in photosynthesis and ANPP. Individual plan and ecosystem responses to global change may be regulated by biogeochemical processes and natural weather variability, and changes in plant and ecosystem processes may occur rapidly, may occur only after a time lag, or may not occur at all. During the first PER grant period, we observed changes in plant and ecosystem processes that would fall under each of these time-response intervals: plant and ecosystem processes responded rapidly to added summer rain, whereas most processes responded slowly or in a lag fashion to N-deposition and with no significant response to crust disturbance. Therefore, the primary objectives of this renewal grant were to: (1) continue ongoing measurements of soil and plant parameters that assess primary treatment responses; (2) address the potential heterogeneity of soil properties and (3) initiate a new suite of measurements that will provide data necessary for scaling/modeling of whole-plot to ecosystem-level responses. Our experimental approach included soil plan-water interactions using TDR, neutron probe, and miniaturized soil matric potential and moisture sensors, plant ecophysiological and productivity responses to water and nitrogen treatments and remote sensing methodologies deployed on a radio control platform.

  7. 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.

  8. GSD Update: Year in Review: Spotlight on 2017 Research by the Grassland, Shrubland and Desert Ecosystems Science Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deborah M. Finch

    2018-01-01

    In this issue of the GSD Update, we feature selected studies of the RMRS Grassland, Shrubland and Desert Ecosystems Science Program (GSD) that focus on the theme of fire. Significant results of recent research and science delivery by GSD scientists are highlighted. We feature program research that lines up with the strategic priorities and goals of the USDA Forest...

  9. GSD Update: Year in Review: Spotlight on 2013 research by the Grassland, Shrubland and Desert Ecosystems Science Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deborah M. Finch

    2014-01-01

    In this issue of the GSD Update, we take a look back at selected studies of the Grassland, Shrubland and Desert Ecosystems Science Program (GSD) that depict its strengths and focus areas. Significant results of recent research and science delivery by GSD scientists are highlighted. We feature program research that lines up with the strategic research priorities of the...

  10. GSD Update: Year in Review: Spotlight on 2015 Research by the Grassland, Shrubland and Desert Ecosystems Science Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deborah. Finch

    2016-01-01

    In this issue of the GSD Update, we take a look back at selected studies of the Grassland, Shrubland and Desert Ecosystems Science Program (GSD) that depict its strengths and focus areas. Significant results of recent research and science delivery by GSD scientists are highlighted. We feature program research that lines up with the strategic research...

  11. Biomass and nutrient allocation strategies in a desert ecosystem in the Hexi Corridor, northwest China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Ke; Su, YongZhong; Yang, Rong

    2017-07-01

    The allocation of biomass and nutrients in plants is a crucial factor in understanding the process of plant structures and dynamics to different environmental conditions. In this study, we present a comprehensive scaling analysis of data from a desert ecosystem to determine biomass and nutrient (carbon (C), nitrogen (N), and phosphorus (P)) allocation strategies of desert plants from 40 sites in the Hexi Corridor. We found that the biomass and levels of C, N, and P storage were higher in shoots than in roots. Roots biomass and nutrient storage were concentrated at a soil depth of 0-30 cm. Scaling relationships of biomass, C storage, and P storage between shoots and roots were isometric, but that of N storage was allometric. Results of a redundancy analysis (RDA) showed that soil nutrient densities were the primary factors influencing biomass and nutrient allocation, accounting for 94.5% of the explained proportion. However, mean annual precipitation was the primary factor influencing the roots biomass/shoots biomass (R/S) ratio. Furthermore, Pearson's correlations and regression analyses demonstrated that although the biomass and nutrients that associated with functional traits primarily depended on soil conditions, mean annual precipitation and mean annual temperature had greater effects on roots biomass and nutrient storage.

  12. 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.

  13. Water Scarcity, Food Insecurity and Drought Induced Displacement in an Arid Ecosystem: A Case Study in Indian Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rehman Siddiqui, Azizur

    2017-04-01

    Indian Arid Ecosystem is characterised by scare as well as seasonal precipitation that have led to long term stress in a fragile ecosystem. In addition to this, over the years, Indian desert has experienced varying magnitude of drought, which have considerably influenced food and fodder production and led to the depletion of surface and ground water table. All these factors mean that the production potential of land is hardly sufficient to feed human as well as livestock population of the desert and this has led to extensive rural to urban migration in Indian Desert. In the present study, satellite data from Landsat TM, AWiFS, NOAA AVHRR have been used to detect the intensity and severity of drought condition, and data collected through primary survey has been used to measure the impact of water scarcity on food insecurity and drought induced migration. Rainfall trend analysis of the study area has been done with the help of Man Kendall Method to assess the meteorological vulnerability. In addition to these, NDVI, VCI, TCI, and VHI have also been used to find out the long term vegetation health in the study area. With the help of these scientific techniques, the paper focuses on the moisture deficiency during growing period and its effect on human population and livestock population. Keywords: Arid Ecosystem, Indian Desert, Drought, Migration

  14. Biophysical drivers of net ecosystem exchange in shrublands of the northern Chihuahuan Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jaimes, A.; Laney, C.; Tweedie, C. E.

    2013-12-01

    In the northern Chihuahuan Desert, large areas of southern New Mexico that were formerly dominated by perennial grasses, including black grama (Bouteloua eriopa) and mesa dropseed (Sporobolus flexus) have been replaced by desert shrubland species, in particular creosote bush (Larrea tridentata) and honey mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa). Recent studies suggest that these changes in land cover have the ability to modify near surface microclimate such as soil water holding capacity, albedo, carbon dioxide sequestration, and increases in local air temperature, respiration, sensible heat and evapotranspiration. Despite the recognized importance of the consequences of land cover change in the ecosystem, the rates and tipping points at which these changes occur are not well understood. This knowledge is key to improve predictions in regional and global models, as the region is expected to go through an imminent transition from warm to warmer climate in this century. This study analyze three years of data (2010-2012) from our multi sensor platform situated on the USDA ARS Jornada Experimental Range (JER), about 25 km northeast of Las Cruces, New Mexico, USA. A robust data set that combines high frequency micrometeorological data, plot phenology estimates and spectral indices was used. A combination of statistical analyses based on clustering methods (self-organizing maps) and simple nonparametric regression techniques (regression trees) were used to identify factors controlling fluxes and likely biophysical thresholds and tipping points indicative of different functional system states. Both analyses were implemented through the use of Neural Network Toolbox and Statistics toolbox within MATLAB 7.0. During the period of study the shrubland acted as a carbon sink ranging between -105 to -134 gCO2 m-2 y-1. The largest variation between years in the annual estimated fluxes was the slight decrease of total annual net ecosystem exchange during 2011 (-105 g m-2 s-1) in comparison

  15. Comparisons of diazotrophic communities in native and agricultural desert ecosystems reveal plants as important drivers in diversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Köberl, Martina; Erlacher, Armin; Ramadan, Elshahat M.; El-Arabi, Tarek F.; Müller, Henry; Bragina, Anastasia; Berg, Gabriele

    2015-01-01

    Diazotrophs provide the only biological source of fixed atmospheric nitrogen in the biosphere. Although they are the key player for plant-available nitrogen, less is known about their diversity and potential importance in arid ecosystems. We investigated the nitrogenase gene diversity in native and agricultural desert soil as well as within root-associated microbiota of medicinal plants grown in Egypt through the combination of nifH-specific qPCR, fingerprints, amplicon pyrosequencing and fluorescence in situ hybridization–confocal laser scanning microscopy. Although the diazotrophic microbiota were characterized by generally high abundances and diversity, statistically significant differences were found between both soils, the different microhabitats, and between the investigated plants (Matricaria chamomilla L., Calendula officinalis L. and Solanum distichum Schumach. and Thonn.). We observed a considerable community shift from desert to agriculturally used soil that demonstrated a higher abundance and diversity in the agro-ecosystem. The endorhiza was characterized by lower abundances and only a subset of species when compared to the rhizosphere. While the microbiomes of the Asteraceae were similar and dominated by potential root-nodulating rhizobia acquired primarily from soil, the perennial S. distichum generally formed associations with free-living nitrogen fixers. These results underline the importance of diazotrophs in desert ecosystems and additionally identify plants as important drivers in functional gene pool diversity. PMID:26705571

  16. Comparisons of diazotrophic communities in native and agricultural desert ecosystems reveal plants as important drivers in diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Köberl, Martina; Erlacher, Armin; Ramadan, Elshahat M; El-Arabi, Tarek F; Müller, Henry; Bragina, Anastasia; Berg, Gabriele

    2016-02-01

    Diazotrophs provide the only biological source of fixed atmospheric nitrogen in the biosphere. Although they are the key player for plant-available nitrogen, less is known about their diversity and potential importance in arid ecosystems. We investigated the nitrogenase gene diversity in native and agricultural desert soil as well as within root-associated microbiota of medicinal plants grown in Egypt through the combination of nifH-specific qPCR, fingerprints, amplicon pyrosequencing and fluorescence in situ hybridization-confocal laser scanning microscopy. Although the diazotrophic microbiota were characterized by generally high abundances and diversity, statistically significant differences were found between both soils, the different microhabitats, and between the investigated plants (Matricaria chamomilla L., Calendula officinalis L. and Solanum distichum Schumach. and Thonn.). We observed a considerable community shift from desert to agriculturally used soil that demonstrated a higher abundance and diversity in the agro-ecosystem. The endorhiza was characterized by lower abundances and only a subset of species when compared to the rhizosphere. While the microbiomes of the Asteraceae were similar and dominated by potential root-nodulating rhizobia acquired primarily from soil, the perennial S. distichum generally formed associations with free-living nitrogen fixers. These results underline the importance of diazotrophs in desert ecosystems and additionally identify plants as important drivers in functional gene pool diversity. © FEMS 2015.

  17. Impact of highly saline wetland ecosystem on floral diversity of the Cholistan desert

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gill, A.H.; Ahmad, K.S.; Habib, S.; Ahmad, S.A.; Nawaz, T.; Ahmad, F.

    2012-01-01

    The impact of highly saline wetland ecosystem created under Salinity Control and Reclamation Project (SCARP) on floral diversity was investigated in the arid environments of Cholistan Desert. Species richness, diversity indices and evenness indices were worked out to look at the distance at which the salt water has altered the native vegetation. Four sites including SCARP ponds of different ages (S1, S2, S3 and S4), and a reference site (SR) were selected for vegetation studies and data were recorded by 1 x 1 m quadrats, which were laid on permanent transect lines. Salt water showed great influence on ecological parameters of the native vegetation up to 40 m. Multivariate (cluster) analysis showed close clustering of highly salt tolerant species, Aeluropus lagopoides, Tamarix dioica and Suaeda fruticosa in one group, and relatively less tolerant Crotalaria burhia, Cyperus conglomeratus, Indigofera argentea, Haloxylon salicornicum, Haloxylon stocksii, Neurada procumbens and Salsola baryosma in second group. Moderately salt tolerant Aristida adscensionis, Lasiurus scindicus and Sporobolus iocladus were clustered in a separate group. (author)

  18. Plant responses to precipitation in desert ecosystems: integrating functional types, pulses, thresholds, and delays.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ogle, Kiona; Reynolds, James F

    2004-10-01

    provide insight into how the timing, frequency, and magnitude of rainfall in deserts affect plants, plant communities, and ecosystems.

  19. Diurnal Freeze-Thaw Cycles Modify Winter Soil Respiration in a Desert Shrub-Land Ecosystem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peng Liu

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Winter soil respiration (Rs is becoming a significant component of annual carbon budgets with more warming in winter than summer. However, little is known about the controlling mechanisms of winter Rs in dryland. We made continuous measurements of Rs in four microsites (non-crust (BS, lichen (LC, moss (MC, and a mixture of moss and lichen (ML in a desert shrub-land ecosystem northern China, to investigate the causes of Rs dynamics in winter. The mean winter Rs ranged from 0.10 to 0.17 µmol CO2 m−2·s−1 across microsites, with the highest value in BS. Winter Q10 (known as the increase in respiration rate per 10 °C increase in temperature values (2.8–19 were much higher than those from the growing season (1.5. Rs and Q10 were greatly enhanced in freeze-thaw cycles compared to frozen days. Diurnal patterns of Rs between freeze-thaw and frozen days differed. Although the freeze-thaw period was relatively short, its cumulative Rs contributed significantly to winter Rs. The presence of biocrust might induce lower temperature, thus having fewer freeze-thaw cycles relative to bare soil, leading to the lower Rs for microsites with biocrusts. In conclusion, winter Rs in drylands was sensitive to soil temperature (Ts and Ts-induced freeze-thaw cycles. The temperature impact on Rs varied among soil cover types. Winter Rs in drylands may become more important as the climate is continuously getting warmer.

  20. Agricultural land-use change in a Mexican oligotrophic desert depletes ecosystem stability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Natali Hernández-Becerra

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Background Global demand for food has led to increased land-use change, particularly in dry land ecosystems, which has caused several environmental problems due to the soil degradation. In the Cuatro Cienegas Basin (CCB, alfalfa production irrigated by flooding impacts strongly on the soil. Methods In order to analyze the effect of such agricultural land-use change on soil nutrient dynamics and soil bacterial community composition, this work examined an agricultural gradient within the CCB which was comprised of a native desert grassland, a plot currently cultivated with alfalfa and a former agricultural field that had been abandoned for over 30 years. For each site, we analyzed C, N and P dynamic fractions, the activity of the enzyme phosphatase and the bacterial composition obtained using 16S rRNA clone libraries. Results The results showed that the cultivated site presented a greater availability of water and dissolved organic carbon, these conditions promoted mineralization processes mediated by heterotrophic microorganisms, while the abandoned land was limited by water and dissolved organic nitrogen. The low amount of dissolved organic matter promoted nitrification, which is mediated by autotrophic microorganisms. The microbial N immobilization process and specific phosphatase activity were both favored in the native grassland. As expected, differences in bacterial taxonomical composition were observed among sites. The abandoned site exhibited similar compositions than native grassland, while the cultivated site differed. Discussion The results suggest that the transformation of native grassland into agricultural land induces drastic changes in soil nutrient dynamics as well as in the bacterial community. However, with the absence of agricultural practices, some of the soil characteristics analyzed slowly recovers their natural state.

  1. The Drabo corymbosae-Papaveretea dahliani − a new vegetation class of the High Arctic polar deserts

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniëls Fred J. A.

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available A new class and a new order (Drabo corymbosae-Papaveretea dahliani and Saxifrago oppositifoliae-Papaveretalia dahliani have been described, and the Papaverion dahliani validated. This is vegetation of zonal habitats in lowlands of the High Arctic subzone A (or Arctic herb, cushion forb or polar desert subzone and of ecologically equivalent sites at high altitudes on the mountain plateaus of the High Arctic. The new class spans three continents – North America (Canadian Arctic Archipelago and Greenland, Europe (parts of Svalbard and Franz Josef Land, and Asia, including northern regions of Chelyuskin Peninsula (Taymir Peninsula, Severnaya Zemlya Archipelago and De Longa Islands.

  2. Contrasting water use pattern of introduced and native plants in an alpine desert ecosystem, Northeast Qinghai–Tibet Plateau, China

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wu, Huawu, E-mail: wuhuawu416@163.com [State Key Laboratory of Earth Surface Processes and Resource Ecology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875 (China); College of Resources Science and Technology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875 (China); Li, Xiao-Yan, E-mail: xyli@bnu.edu.cn [State Key Laboratory of Earth Surface Processes and Resource Ecology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875 (China); College of Resources Science and Technology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875 (China); Jiang, Zhiyun; Chen, Huiying; Zhang, Cicheng; Xiao, Xiong [College of Resources Science and Technology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875 (China)

    2016-01-15

    Plant water use patterns reflect the complex interactions between different functional types and environmental conditions in water-limited ecosystems. However, the mechanisms underlying the water use patterns of plants in the alpine desert of the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau remain poorly understood. This study investigated seasonal variations in the water sources of herbs (Carex moorcroftii, Astragalus adsurgens) and shrubs (Artemisia oxycephala, Hippophae rhamnoides) using stable oxygen-18 isotope methods. The results indicated that the native herbs (C. moorcroftii, A. adsurgens) and one of the shrubs (A. oxycephala) mainly relied on water from the shallow layer (0–30 cm) throughout the growing season, while the introduced shrub (H. rhamnoides) showed plasticity in switching between water from shallow and deep soil layers depending on soil water availability. All studied plants primarily depended on water from shallow soil layers early in the season. The differences of water use patterns between the introduced and native plants are closely linked with the range of active root zones when competing for water. Our findings will facilitate the mechanistic understanding of plant–soil–water relations in alpine desert ecosystems and provide information for screening introduced species for sand fixation. - Highlights: • Stable oxygen-18 in soil water experienced great evaporation enrichment. • H. rhamnoides experiences a flexible plasticity to switch between shallow and deep soil water. • Native plants mostly relied on shallow and middle soil water. • Water-use patterns by introduced-native plants are controlled by root characteristics.

  3. Integrating Gene Transcription-Based Biomarkers to Understand Desert Tortoise and Ecosystem Health.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-09-01

    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 transcription C 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. 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.

  5. Spatiotemporal Patterns of Desertification Dynamics and Desertification Effects on Ecosystem Services in the Mu Us Desert in China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qingfu Liu

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Degradation of semi-arid and arid ecosystems due to desertification is arguably one of the main obstacles for sustainability in those regions. In recent decades, the Mu Us Desert in China has experienced such ecological degradation making quantification of spatial patterns of desertification in this area an important research topic. We analyzed desertification dynamics for seven periods from 1986 to 2015 and focused on five ecosystem services including soil conservation, water retention, net primary productivity (NPP, crop productivity, and livestock productivity, all assessed for 2015. Furthermore, we examined how ecosystem services relate to each other and are impacted by desertification. Three major conclusions are drawn from the study. First, the eastern part of the study area experienced overall improvement while desertification in the west first increased and then reversed its trend during those periods between 1986 and 2015. Second, significant synergistic relationships are observed for three regulating services (soil conservation, water retention, NPP and two provisioning services (crop productivity and livestock productivity. Strong relationships across different types of ecosystem services were found only between crop productivity and NPP. Third, in response to increasing desertification, the three regulating services exhibit a monotonically decreasing trend, while the two provisioning services follow a hump-shaped response.

  6. The content and contributions of deposited aeolian organic matter in a dry land ecosystem of the Negev Desert, Israel

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zaady, E.; Offer, Z. Y.; Shachak, M.

    The northern Negev desert in Israel has a mosaic of two types of plant community patches. One is dominated by vascular plants (shrub patches) and the other by a nonvascular crust community (crust patches) consisting of cyanobacteria, bacteria, algae, mosses and lichens. The crust patches are sources of soil material and sediment - laden runoff water while the shrub patches are the sinks and function as 'islands of fertility' in the desert environment. Accumulation of resources is often a limiting factor in this ecosystem. The aim of this study was to investigate the contribution of high nutrient organic residues that are readily decomposable, to the aeolian deposition on the crust patches. During the five years of the study, three dominant groups were found in the organic matter: plant material, insect and snail residue (feces). The average accumulation of the aeolian deposition of the organic matter showed significant spatial and temporal differences. Similar quantities were found on the north and the south-facing slopes of the watershed with a minimum in the wadi. A significant difference in average accumulated organic matter for the five years was found. The maximum was for the third year (1995) and the minimum for the fifth year (1997). This may be due to the variations in the annual rainfall amount. The results showed that the origin of most of the organic matter content is from native sources. The highest and most significant amount was registered during the spring season, which is the flowering season in the northern Negev. This may explain the high quantity of plant material obtained and the great amounts of insect and snail (feces) residue that were also found during this season. Since the crust patches serve as a source of water and nutrients in this ecosystem, the organic residues that are of high nutrient quality and readily decomposable, contribute to the productivity of the shrub patches and thus of the overall ecosystem.

  7. Effects of Simulated Nitrogen Deposition on Soil Respiration in a Populus euphratica Community in the Ebinur Lake Area, a Desert Ecosystem of Northwestern China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Xuemin; Lv, Guanghui; Qin, Lu; Chang, Shunli; Yang, Min; Yang, Jianjun; Yang, Xiaodong

    2015-01-01

    One of the primary limiting factors for biological activities in desert ecosystems is nitrogen (N). This study therefore examined the effects of N and investigated the responses of an arid ecosystem to global change. We selected the typical desert plant Populus euphratica in a desert ecosystem in the Ebinur Lake area to evaluate the effects of N deposition on desert soil respiration. Three levels of N deposition (0, 37.5 and 112.5 kg·N·ha-1·yr-1) were randomly artificially provided to simulate natural N deposition. Changes in the soil respiration rates were measured from July to September in both 2010 and 2013, after N deposition in April 2010. The different levels of N deposition affected the total soil N, soil organic matter, soil C/N ratio, microorganism number, and microbial community structure and function. However, variable effects were observed over time in relation to changes in the magnitude of N deposition. Simulated high N deposition significantly reduced the soil respiration rate by approximately 23.6±2.5% (Pdesert ecosystem of the Ebinur Lake area, N deposition indirectly changes the soil respiration rate by altering soil properties.

  8. Spatial and temporal patterns across an ecological boundary: Allochthonous effects of a young saltwater lake on a desert ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brehme, C.S.; Boarman, W.I.; Hathaway, S.A.; Herring, A.; Lyren, L.; Mendelsohn, M.; Pease, K.; Rahn, M.; Rochester, C.; Stokes, D.; Turschak, G.; Fisher, R.N.

    2009-01-01

    We documented changes in the abundance and composition of terrestrial flora and fauna with respect to distance from the sea edge and timing of large allochthonous inputs from the Salton Sea, California. We found significant effects that were most pronounced within 300 m of the shore, but extended 3 km inland via coyote scat deposition. The zone within 300 m of the sea had a higher density of vegetation with a distinctly different plant composition. The denser vegetation supported higher abundances of birds and reptiles. Coyotes exhibited spatial and temporal responses to marine subsidies of fish, while birds were likely subsidized by aquatic aerial insects. Top-down control, as well as dietary and habitat preferences, may have resulted in reduced number of ants, beetles, and small mammals near the sea. Species responses to the habitat edge appeared to be associated with life history, as the near shore habitat favored habitat generalists and shore specialists, while inland desert habitat favored many sand and open desert specialists. Ecosystem responses support current theories of allochthonous spatial subsidies and consumer-resource dynamics but were limited in scope, magnitude, and distance.

  9. Crayfish impact desert river ecosystem function and litter-dwelling invertebrate communities through association with novel detrital resources.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eric K Moody

    Full Text Available Shifts in plant species distributions due to global change are increasing the availability of novel resources in a variety of ecosystems worldwide. In semiarid riparian areas, hydric pioneer tree species are being replaced by drought-tolerant plant species as water availability decreases. Additionally, introduced omnivorous crayfish, which feed upon primary producers, allochthonous detritus, and benthic invertebrates, can impact communities at multiple levels through both direct and indirect effects mediated by drought-tolerant plants. We tested the impact of both virile crayfish (Orconectes virilis and litter type on benthic invertebrates and the effect of crayfish on detrital resources across a gradient of riparian vegetation drought-tolerance using field cages with leaf litter bags in the San Pedro River in Southeastern Arizona. Virile crayfish increased breakdown rate of novel drought-tolerant saltcedar (Tamarix ramosissima, but did not impact breakdown of drought-tolerant seepwillow (Baccharis salicifolia or hydric Fremont cottonwood (Populus fremontii and Gooding's willow (Salix goodingii. Effects on invertebrate diversity were observed at the litter bag scale, but no effects were found at the cage scale. Crayfish decreased alpha diversity of colonizing macroinvertebrates, but did not affect beta diversity. In contrast, the drought-tolerant litter treatment decreased beta diversity relative to hydric litter. As drought-tolerant species become more abundant in riparian zones, their litter will become a larger component of the organic matter budget of desert streams which may serve to homogenize the litter-dwelling community and support elevated populations of virile crayfish. Through impacts at multiple trophic levels, crayfish have a significant effect on desert stream ecosystems.

  10. Cloud Classification in Polar and Desert Regions and Smoke Classification from Biomass Burning Using a Hierarchical Neural Network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alexander, June; Corwin, Edward; Lloyd, David; Logar, Antonette; Welch, Ronald

    1996-01-01

    This research focuses on a new neural network scene classification technique. The task is to identify scene elements in Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometry (AVHRR) data from three scene types: polar, desert and smoke from biomass burning in South America (smoke). The ultimate goal of this research is to design and implement a computer system which will identify the clouds present on a whole-Earth satellite view as a means of tracking global climate changes. Previous research has reported results for rule-based systems (Tovinkere et at 1992, 1993) for standard back propagation (Watters et at. 1993) and for a hierarchical approach (Corwin et al 1994) for polar data. This research uses a hierarchical neural network with don't care conditions and applies this technique to complex scenes. A hierarchical neural network consists of a switching network and a collection of leaf networks. The idea of the hierarchical neural network is that it is a simpler task to classify a certain pattern from a subset of patterns than it is to classify a pattern from the entire set. Therefore, the first task is to cluster the classes into groups. The switching, or decision network, performs an initial classification by selecting a leaf network. The leaf networks contain a reduced set of similar classes, and it is in the various leaf networks that the actual classification takes place. The grouping of classes in the various leaf networks is determined by applying an iterative clustering algorithm. Several clustering algorithms were investigated, but due to the size of the data sets, the exhaustive search algorithms were eliminated. A heuristic approach using a confusion matrix from a lightly trained neural network provided the basis for the clustering algorithm. Once the clusters have been identified, the hierarchical network can be trained. The approach of using don't care nodes results from the difficulty in generating extremely complex surfaces in order to separate one class from

  11. Effects of Simulated Nitrogen Deposition on Soil Respiration in a Populus euphratica Community in the Ebinur Lake Area, a Desert Ecosystem of Northwestern China.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xuemin He

    Full Text Available One of the primary limiting factors for biological activities in desert ecosystems is nitrogen (N. This study therefore examined the effects of N and investigated the responses of an arid ecosystem to global change. We selected the typical desert plant Populus euphratica in a desert ecosystem in the Ebinur Lake area to evaluate the effects of N deposition on desert soil respiration. Three levels of N deposition (0, 37.5 and 112.5 kg·N·ha-1·yr-1 were randomly artificially provided to simulate natural N deposition. Changes in the soil respiration rates were measured from July to September in both 2010 and 2013, after N deposition in April 2010. The different levels of N deposition affected the total soil N, soil organic matter, soil C/N ratio, microorganism number, and microbial community structure and function. However, variable effects were observed over time in relation to changes in the magnitude of N deposition. Simulated high N deposition significantly reduced the soil respiration rate by approximately 23.6±2.5% (P<0.05, whereas low N deposition significantly increased the soil respiration rate by approximately 66.7±2.7% (P<0.05. These differences were clearer in the final growth stage (September. The different levels of N deposition had little effect on soil moisture, whereas N deposition significantly increased the soil temperature in the 0-5 cm layer (P<0.05. These results suggest that in the desert ecosystem of the Ebinur Lake area, N deposition indirectly changes the soil respiration rate by altering soil properties.

  12. High bacterial diversity of biological soil crusts in water tracks over permafrost in the high arctic polar desert.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steven, Blaire; Lionard, Marie; Kuske, Cheryl R; Vincent, Warwick F

    2013-01-01

    In this study we report the bacterial diversity of biological soil crusts (biocrusts) inhabiting polar desert soils at the northern land limit of the Arctic polar region (83° 05 N). Employing pyrosequencing of bacterial 16S rRNA genes this study demonstrated that these biocrusts harbor diverse bacterial communities, often as diverse as temperate latitude communities. The effect of wetting pulses on the composition of communities was also determined by collecting samples from soils outside and inside of permafrost water tracks, hill slope flow paths that drain permafrost-affected soils. The intermittent flow regime in the water tracks was correlated with altered relative abundance of phylum level taxonomic bins in the bacterial communities, but the alterations varied between individual sampling sites. Bacteria related to the Cyanobacteria and Acidobacteria demonstrated shifts in relative abundance based on their location either inside or outside of the water tracks. Among cyanobacterial sequences, the proportion of sequences belonging to the family Oscillatoriales consistently increased in relative abundance in the samples from inside the water tracks compared to those outside. Acidobacteria showed responses to wetting pulses in the water tracks, increasing in abundance at one site and decreasing at the other two sites. Subdivision 4 acidobacterial sequences tended to follow the trends in the total Acidobacteria relative abundance, suggesting these organisms were largely responsible for the changes observed in the Acidobacteria. Taken together, these data suggest that the bacterial communities of these high latitude polar biocrusts are diverse but do not show a consensus response to intermittent flow in water tracks over high Arctic permafrost.

  13. High bacterial diversity of biological soil crusts in water tracks over permafrost in the high arctic polar desert.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Blaire Steven

    Full Text Available In this study we report the bacterial diversity of biological soil crusts (biocrusts inhabiting polar desert soils at the northern land limit of the Arctic polar region (83° 05 N. Employing pyrosequencing of bacterial 16S rRNA genes this study demonstrated that these biocrusts harbor diverse bacterial communities, often as diverse as temperate latitude communities. The effect of wetting pulses on the composition of communities was also determined by collecting samples from soils outside and inside of permafrost water tracks, hill slope flow paths that drain permafrost-affected soils. The intermittent flow regime in the water tracks was correlated with altered relative abundance of phylum level taxonomic bins in the bacterial communities, but the alterations varied between individual sampling sites. Bacteria related to the Cyanobacteria and Acidobacteria demonstrated shifts in relative abundance based on their location either inside or outside of the water tracks. Among cyanobacterial sequences, the proportion of sequences belonging to the family Oscillatoriales consistently increased in relative abundance in the samples from inside the water tracks compared to those outside. Acidobacteria showed responses to wetting pulses in the water tracks, increasing in abundance at one site and decreasing at the other two sites. Subdivision 4 acidobacterial sequences tended to follow the trends in the total Acidobacteria relative abundance, suggesting these organisms were largely responsible for the changes observed in the Acidobacteria. Taken together, these data suggest that the bacterial communities of these high latitude polar biocrusts are diverse but do not show a consensus response to intermittent flow in water tracks over high Arctic permafrost.

  14. Life-history traits predict perennial species response to fire in a desert ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shryock, Daniel F.; DeFalco, Lesley A.; Esque, Todd C.

    2014-01-01

    The Mojave Desert of North America has become fire-prone in recent decades due to invasive annual grasses that fuel wildfires following years of high rainfall. Perennial species are poorly adapted to fire in this system, and post-fire shifts in species composition have been substantial but variable across community types. To generalize across a range of conditions, we investigated whether simple life-history traits could predict how species responded to fire. Further, we classified species into plant functional types (PFTs) based on combinations of life-history traits and evaluated whether these groups exhibited a consistent fire-response. Six life-history traits varied significantly between burned and unburned areas in short (up to 4 years) or long-term (up to 52 years) post-fire datasets, including growth form, lifespan, seed size, seed dispersal, height, and leaf longevity. Forbs and grasses consistently increased in abundance after fire, while cacti were reduced and woody species exhibited a variable response. Woody species were classified into three PFTs based on combinations of life-history traits. Species in Group 1 increased in abundance after fire and were characterized by short lifespans, small, wind-dispersed seeds, low height, and deciduous leaves. Species in Group 2 were reduced by fire and distinguished from Group 1 by longer lifespans and evergreen leaves. Group 3 species, which also decreased after fire, were characterized by long lifespans, large non-wind dispersed seeds, and taller heights. Our results show that PFTs based on life-history traits can reliably predict the responses of most species to fire in the Mojave Desert. Dominant, long-lived species of this region possess a combination of traits limiting their ability to recover, presenting a clear example of how a novel disturbance regime may shift selective environmental pressures to favor alternative life-history strategies.

  15. Processes leading to increased soil organic carbon in a Mojave Desert ecosystem under elevated CO2

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koyama, A.; Evans, R. D.

    2011-12-01

    We observed increased soil organic carbon (SOC) following ten years of elevated atmospheric CO2 treatment at the Nevada Desert FACE Facility in the Mojave Desert. Physical and chemical fractions of surface soils collected under the dominant shrub, Larrea tridentata (Larrea), and plant interspace were analyzed for particle size, plant-derived n-alkanes, microbial phospholipid fatty acids (PLFA) and neutral lipid fatty acids (NLFA) to explore potential mechanisms causing the observed increase in SOC. SOC concentrations under Larrea in bulk soils, coarse particulate organic matter (POM), fine POM and mineral-bound soil organic matter (SOM) under elevated CO2 were greater than those under ambient CO2 by 34%, 45%, 26% and 20%, respectively. Under Larrea, n-alkane concentrations were 52% greater under elevated compared to ambient CO2. Such increases in coarse POM and n-alkane concentrations suggest litter input from Larrea was at least one source for increased SOC under elevated CO2. While there was no significant difference in PLFA abundance between the CO2 treatments, elevated CO2 significantly increased the fungi to bacterial PLFA ratio. In addition, fungal and bacterial NLFA and NLFA 16:1ω5, a biomarker of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, were significantly higher under elevated than ambient CO2. These observations plus others suggest that Larrea allocated more photosynthate belowground to increased root exudation rather than increased fine root growth under elevated CO2. Thus, increased root exudates and microbial residues as well as episodic increases in litter input from Larrea are mechanisms behind the increased SOC under elevated CO2. Elevated CO2 did not increase SOC in surface soils in plant interspace despite incorporation of CO2 labeled with 13C under elevated CO2.

  16. Estimation of root cohesion for desert shrub species in the Lower Colorado riparian ecosystem and its potential for streambank stabilization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adhikari, A. R.; Gautam, M. R.; Yu, Z.; Imada, S.; Acharya, K.

    2012-12-01

    Quantifying mechanical properties of native vegetation for streambank stability has remained a critical need of the Lower Colorado riparian revegetation effort. In the present study we estimated root cohesion for four representative native desert shrub species: Artiplex lentiformis (Torr.) S.Watson, Lycium andersonii A. Gray, Larrea tridentata (DC.) Coville, and Allenrolfea occidentalis (S.Watson) Kuntze to understand their suitability in streambank stabilization in the framework of a revegetation campaign. Field experiments were conducted to measure root length, root length density, root area ratio, and root tensile strength. Finally, the root cohesion values were assessed using a simple perpendicular model. Root area ratio estimates showed that on average plant roots occupy 0.46 % of the area under the crown of the selected species. The root tensile strength (Tr) was greatest for L. tridentata (62.23 MPa) followed by L. andersonii (53.53 MPa), A. lentiformis (49.17 MPa), and A. occidentalis (35.03 MPa).The root cohesion values could be used to rank the species according to their potential for shallow bank slope stabilization in riparian ecosystems of a desert environment. The maximum root cohesion in the present study was estimated for A. lentiformis (97.6kPa) followed by L. andersonii (89.3kPa), L. tridentata (35.6 kPa), and A. occidentalis (34.8 kPa). Root cohesion values were also estimated using Fiber bundle model (FBM) and compared to the perpendicular root model of Wu et al. (1979). The comparative root cohesion values for root diameter (> 0.5 mm) suggest that Wu's model estimates are greater than those of the FBM model by a reduction factor ranges between 0.35 and 0.56 for our studied species.

  17. Mercury distribution in two Sierran forest and one desert sagebrush steppe ecosystems and the effects of fire

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Engle, Mark A.; Sexauer Gustin, Mae; Johnson, Dale W.; Murphy, James F.; Miller, Wally W.; Walker, Roger F.; Wright, Joan; Markee, Melissa

    2006-01-01

    Mercury (Hg) concentration, reservoir mass, and Hg reservoir size were determined for vegetation components, litter, and mineral soil for two Sierran forest sites and one desert sagebrush steppe site. Mercury was found to be held primarily in the mineral soil (maximum depth of 60 to 100 cm), which contained more than 90% of the total ecosystem reservoir. However, Hg in foliage, bark, and litter plays a more dominant role in Hg cycling than the mineral soil. Mercury partitioning into ecosystem components at the Sierran forest sites was similar to that observed for other US forest sites. Vegetation and litter Hg reservoirs were significantly smaller in the sagebrush steppe system because of lower biomass. Data collected from these ecosystems after wildfire and prescribed burns showed a significant decrease in the Hg pool from certain reservoirs. No loss from mineral soil was observed for the study areas but data from fire severity points suggested that Hg in the upper few millimeters of surface soil may be volatilized due to exposure to elevated temperatures. Comparison of data from burned and unburned plots suggested that the only significant source of atmospheric Hg from the prescribed burn was combustion of litter. Differences in unburned versus burned Hg reservoirs at the forest wildfire site demonstrated that drastic reduction in the litter and above ground live biomass Hg reservoirs after burning had occurred. Sagebrush and litter were absent in the burned plots after a wildfire suggesting that both reservoirs were released during the fire. Mercury emissions due to fire from the forest prescribed burn, forest wildfire, and sagebrush steppe wildfire sites were roughly estimated at 2.0 to 5.1, 2.2 to 4.9, and 0.36 ± 0.13 g ha -1 , respectively, with litter and vegetation being the most important sources

  18. Implications of meltwater pulse events for soil biology and biogeochemical cycling in a polar desert

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Becky A. Ball

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available The McMurdo Dry Valleys are one of the most arid environments on Earth. Over the soil landscape for the majority of the year, biological and ecosystem processes in the dry valleys are constrained by the low temperatures and limited availability of water. The prevalence of these physical limitations in controlling biological and ecosystem processes makes the dry valleys a climate-sensitive system, poised to experience substantial changes following projected future warming. Short-duration increases in summer temperatures are associated with pulses of water from melting ice reserves, including glaciers, snow and permafrost. Such pulses alter soil geochemistry by mobilizing and redistributing soil salts (via enhanced weathering, solubility and mobility, which can alter habitat suitability for soil organisms. Resulting changes in soil community composition or distribution may alter the biogeochemical processes in which they take part. Here, we review the potential impacts of meltwater pulses and present new field data documenting instances of meltwater pulse events that result from different water sources and hydrological patterns, and discuss their potential influence on soil biology and biogeochemistry. We use these examples to discuss the potential impacts of future climate change on the McMurdo Dry Valley soil ecosystem.

  19. Effects of Elevated Atmospheric CO(2) on Rhizosphere Soil Microbial Communities in a Mojave Desert Ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nguyen, L M; Buttner, M P; Cruz, P; Smith, S D; Robleto, E A

    2011-10-01

    The effects of elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide [CO(2)] on microbial communities in arid rhizosphere soils beneath Larrea tridentata were examined. Roots of Larrea were harvested from plots fumigated with elevated or ambient levels of [CO(2)] using Free-Air CO(2) Enrichment (FACE) technology. Twelve bacterial and fungal rRNA gene libraries were constructed, sequenced and categorized into operational taxonomical units (OTUs). There was a significant decrease in OTUs within the Firmicutes (bacteria) in elevated [CO(2)], and increase in Basiomycota (fungi) in rhizosphere soils of plots exposed to ambient [CO(2)]. Phylogenetic analyses indicated that OTUs belonged to a wide range of bacterial and fungal taxa. To further study changes in bacterial communities, Quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction (QPCR) was used to quantify populations of bacteria in rhizosphere soil. The concentration of total bacteria 16S rDNA was similar in conditions of enriched and ambient [CO(2)]. However, QPCR of Gram-positive microorganisms showed a 43% decrease in the population in elevated [CO(2)]. The decrease in representation of Gram positives and the similar values for total bacterial DNA suggest that the representation of other bacterial taxa was promoted by elevated [CO(2)]. These results indicate that elevated [CO(2)] changes structure and representation of microorganisms associated with roots of desert plants.

  20. Effects of Elevated Atmospheric CO2 on Rhizosphere Soil Microbial Communities in a Mojave Desert Ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nguyen, L.M.; Buttner, M.P.; Cruz, P.; Smith, S.D.; Robleto, E.A.

    2011-01-01

    The effects of elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide [CO2] on microbial communities in arid rhizosphere soils beneath Larrea tridentata were examined. Roots of Larrea were harvested from plots fumigated with elevated or ambient levels of [CO2] using Free-Air CO2 Enrichment (FACE) technology. Twelve bacterial and fungal rRNA gene libraries were constructed, sequenced and categorized into operational taxonomical units (OTUs). There was a significant decrease in OTUs within the Firmicutes (bacteria) in elevated [CO2], and increase in Basiomycota (fungi) in rhizosphere soils of plots exposed to ambient [CO2]. Phylogenetic analyses indicated that OTUs belonged to a wide range of bacterial and fungal taxa. To further study changes in bacterial communities, Quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction (QPCR) was used to quantify populations of bacteria in rhizosphere soil. The concentration of total bacteria 16S rDNA was similar in conditions of enriched and ambient [CO2]. However, QPCR of Gram-positive microorganisms showed a 43% decrease in the population in elevated [CO2]. The decrease in representation of Gram positives and the similar values for total bacterial DNA suggest that the representation of other bacterial taxa was promoted by elevated [CO2]. These results indicate that elevated [CO2] changes structure and representation of microorganisms associated with roots of desert plants. PMID:21779135

  1. In the dark: A review of ecosystem processes during the Arctic polar night

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berge, Jørgen; Renaud, Paul E.; Darnis, Gerald; Cottier, Finlo; Last, Kim; Gabrielsen, Tove M.; Johnsen, Geir; Seuthe, Lena; Weslawski, Jan Marcin; Leu, Eva; Moline, Mark; Nahrgang, Jasmine; Søreide, Janne E.; Varpe, Øystein; Lønne, Ole Jørgen; Daase, Malin; Falk-Petersen, Stig

    2015-12-01

    Several recent lines of evidence indicate that the polar night is key to understanding Arctic marine ecosystems. First, the polar night is not a period void of biological activity even though primary production is close to zero, but is rather characterized by a number of processes and interactions yet to be fully understood, including unanticipated high levels of feeding and reproduction in a wide range of taxa and habitats. Second, as more knowledge emerges, it is evident that a coupled physical and biological perspective of the ecosystem will redefine seasonality beyond the "calendar perspective". Third, it appears that many organisms may exhibit endogenous rhythms that trigger fitness-maximizing activities in the absence of light-based cues. Indeed a common adaptation appears to be the ability to utilize the dark season for reproduction. This and other processes are most likely adaptations to current environmental conditions and community and trophic structures of the ecosystem, and may have implications for how Arctic ecosystems can change under continued climatic warming.

  2. Biological soil crusts are the main contributor to winter soil respiration in a temperate desert ecosystem of China

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, M. Z.

    2012-04-01

    Aims Biological soil crusts (BSCs) are a key biotic component of desert ecosystems worldwide. However, most studies carried out to date on carbon (fluxes) in these ecosystems, such as soil respiration (RS), have neglected them. Also, winter RS is reported to be a significant component of annual carbon budget in other ecosystems, however, we have less knowledge about winter RS of BSCs in winter and its contribution to carbon cycle in desert regions. Therefore, the specific objectives of this study were to: (i) quantify the effects of different BSCs types (moss crust, algae crust, physical crust) on the winter RS; (ii) explore relationships of RS against soil temperature and water content for different BSCs, and (iii) assess the relative contribution of BSCs to the annual amount of C released by RS at desert ecosystem level. Methods Site Description The study sites are located at the southeast fringe of the Tengger Desert in the Shapotou region of the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region [37°32'N and 105°02'E, at 1340 m above mean sea level (a.m.s.l.)], western China. The mean daily temperature in January is -6.9°C , while it is 24.3°C in July. The mean annual precipitation is 186 mm, approximately 80% of which falls between May and September. The annual potential evaporation is 2800 mm. The landscape of the Shapotou region is characterized by large and dense reticulate barchans chains of sand dunes that migrate south-eastward at a velocity of 3-6 m per year. The soil is loose, infertile and mobile and can thus be classified as orthic sierozem and Aeolian sandy soil. Additionally, the soil has a consistent gravimetric water content that ranges from 3 to 4%. The groundwater in the study area is too deep (>60 m) to support large areas of the native vegetation cover; therefore, precipitation is usually the only source of freshwater. The predominant native plants are Hedysarum scoparium Fisch. and Agriophyllum squarrosum Moq., Psammochloa cillosa Bor, which scattered

  3. Impact of environmental factors and biological soil crust types on soil respiration in a desert ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng, Wei; Zhang, Yuqing; Jia, Xin; Wu, Bin; Zha, Tianshan; Qin, Shugao; Wang, Ben; Shao, Chenxi; Liu, Jiabin; Fa, Keyu

    2014-01-01

    The responses of soil respiration to environmental conditions have been studied extensively in various ecosystems. However, little is known about the impacts of temperature and moisture on soils respiration under biological soil crusts. In this study, CO2 efflux from biologically-crusted soils was measured continuously with an automated chamber system in Ningxia, northwest China, from June to October 2012. The highest soil respiration was observed in lichen-crusted soil (0.93 ± 0.43 µmol m-2 s-1) and the lowest values in algae-crusted soil (0.73 ± 0.31 µmol m-2 s-1). Over the diurnal scale, soil respiration was highest in the morning whereas soil temperature was highest in the midday, which resulted in diurnal hysteresis between the two variables. In addition, the lag time between soil respiration and soil temperature was negatively correlated with the soil volumetric water content and was reduced as soil water content increased. Over the seasonal scale, daily mean nighttime soil respiration was positively correlated with soil temperature when moisture exceeded 0.075 and 0.085 m3 m-3 in lichen- and moss-crusted soil, respectively. However, moisture did not affect on soil respiration in algae-crusted soil during the study period. Daily mean nighttime soil respiration normalized by soil temperature increased with water content in lichen- and moss-crusted soil. Our results indicated that different types of biological soil crusts could affect response of soil respiration to environmental factors. There is a need to consider the spatial distribution of different types of biological soil crusts and their relative contributions to the total C budgets at the ecosystem or landscape level.

  4. Arctic microbial ecosystems and impacts of extreme warming during the International Polar Year

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vincent, Warwick F.; Whyte, Lyle G.; Lovejoy, Connie; Greer, Charles W.; Laurion, Isabelle; Suttle, Curtis A.; Corbeil, Jacques; Mueller, Derek R.

    2009-11-01

    As a contribution to the International Polar Year program MERGE (Microbiological and Ecological Responses to Global Environmental change in polar regions), studies were conducted on the terrestrial and aquatic microbial ecosystems of northern Canada (details at: http://www.cen.ulaval.ca/merge/). The habitats included permafrost soils, saline coldwater springs, supraglacial lakes on ice shelves, epishelf lakes in fjords, deep meromictic lakes, and shallow lakes, ponds and streams. Microbiological samples from each habitat were analysed by HPLC pigment assays, light and fluorescence microscopy, and DNA sequencing. The results show a remarkably diverse microflora of viruses, Archaea (including ammonium oxidisers and methanotrophs), Bacteria (including filamentous sulfur-oxidisers in a saline spring and benthic mats of Cyanobacteria in many waterbodies), and protists (including microbial eukaryotes in snowbanks and ciliates in ice-dammed lakes). In summer 2008, we recorded extreme warming at Ward Hunt Island and vicinity, the northern limit of the Canadian high Arctic, with air temperatures up to 20.5 °C. This was accompanied by pronounced changes in microbial habitats: deepening of the permafrost active layer; loss of perennial lake ice and sea ice; loss of ice-dammed freshwater lakes; and 23% loss of total ice shelf area, including complete break-up and loss of the Markham Ice Shelf cryo-ecosystem. These observations underscore the vulnerability of Arctic microbial ecosystems to ongoing climate change.

  5. Seasonal reversal of temperature-moisture response of net carbon exchange of biocrusted soils in a cool desert ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tucker, C.; Reed, S.; Howell, A.

    2017-12-01

    Carbon cycling associated with biological soil crusts, which occur in interspaces between vascular plants in drylands globally, may be an important part of the coupled climate-carbon cycle of the Earth system. A major challenge to understanding CO2 fluxes in these systems is that much of the biotic and biogeochemical activity occurs in the upper few mm of the soil surface layer (i.e., the `mantle of fertility'), which exhibits highly dynamic and difficult to measure temperature and moisture fluctuations. Here, we report data collected in a cool desert ecosystem over one year using a multi-sensor approach to simultaneously measuring temperature and moisture of the biocrust surface layer (0-2 mm), and the deeper soil profile (5-20 cm), concurrent with automated measurement of surface soil CO2 effluxes. Our results illuminate robust relationships between microclimate and field CO2 pulses that have previously been difficult to detect and explain. The temperature of the biocrust surface layer was highly variable, ranging from minimum of -9 °C in winter to maximum of 77 °C in summer with a maximum diurnal range of 61 °C. Temperature cycles were muted deeper in the soil profile. During summer, biocrust and soils were usually hot and dry and CO2 fluxes were tightly coupled to pulse wetting events experienced at the biocrust surface, which consistently resulted in net CO2 efflux (i.e., respiration). In contrast, during the winter, biocrust and soils were usually cold and moist, and there was sustained net CO2 uptake via photosynthesis by biocrust organisms, although during cold dry periods CO2 fluxes were minimal. During the milder spring and fall seasons, short wetting events drove CO2 loss, while sustained wetting events resulted in net CO2 uptake. Thus, the upper and lower bounds of net CO2 exchange at a point in time were functions of the seasonal temperature regime, while the actual flux within those bounds was determined by the magnitude and duration of biocrust

  6. Managed flood effects on beaver pond habitat in a desert riverine ecosystem, bill williams river, Arizona USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andersen, D.C.; Shafroth, P.B.; Pritekel, C.M.; O'Neill, M. W.

    2011-01-01

    The ecological effects of beaver in warm-desert streams are poorly documented, but potentially significant. For example, stream water and sediment budgets may be affected by increased evaporative losses and sediment retention in beaver ponds. We measured physical attributes of beaver pond and adjacent lotic habitats on a regulated Sonoran Desert stream, the Bill Williams River, after ???11 flood-free months in Spring 2007 and Spring 2008. Neither a predicted warming of surface water as it passed through a pond nor a reduction in dissolved oxygen in ponds was consistently observed, but bed sediment sorted to finest in ponds as expected. We observed a river segment-scale downstream rise in daily minimum stream temperature that may have been influenced by the series of ??100 beaver ponds present. Channel cross-sections surveyed before and after an experimental flood (peak flow 65 m3/s) showed net aggradation on nine of 13 cross-sections through ponds and three of seven through lotic reaches. Our results indicate that beaver affect riverine processes in warm deserts much as they do in other biomes. However, effects may be magnified in deserts through the potential for beaver to alter the stream thermal regime and water budget. ?? Society of Wetland Scientists 2011.

  7. Hematology of southern Beaufort Sea polar bears (2005-2007): Biomarker for an arctic ecosystem health sentinel

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirk, Cassandra M.; Amstrup, Steven C.; Swor, Rhonda; Holcomb, Darce; O'Hara, T. M.

    2010-01-01

    Declines in sea-ice habitats have resulted in declining stature, productivity, and survival of polar bears in some regions. With continuing sea-ice declines, negative population effects are projected to expand throughout the polar bear's range. Precise causes of diminished polar bear life history performance are unknown, however, climate and sea-ice condition change are expected to adversely impact polar bear (Ursus maritimus) health and population dynamics. As apex predators in the Arctic, polar bears integrate the status of lower trophic levels and are therefore sentinels of ecosystem health. Arctic residents feed at the apex of the ecosystem, thus polar bears can serve as indicators of human health in the Arctic. Despite their value as indicators of ecosystem welfare, population-level health data for U.S. polar bears are lacking. We present hematological reference ranges for southern Beaufort Sea polar bears. Hematological parameters in southern Beaufort Sea polar bears varied by age, geographic location, and reproductive status. Total leukocytes, lymphocytes, monocytes, eosinophils, and serum immunoglobulin G were significantly greater in males than females. These measures were greater in nonlactating females ages ???5, than lactating adult females ages ???5, suggesting that females encumbered by young may be less resilient to new immune system challenges that may accompany ongoing climate change. Hematological values established here provide a necessary baseline for anticipated changes in health as arctic temperatures warm and sea-ice declines accelerate. Data suggest that females with dependent young may be most vulnerable to these changes and should therefore be a targeted cohort for monitoring in this sentinel. ?? 2010 International Association for Ecology and Health.

  8. Hematology of southern Beaufort Sea polar bears (2005-2007): biomarker for an Arctic ecosystem health sentinel.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirk, Cassandra M; Amstrup, Steven; Swor, Rhonda; Holcomb, Darce; O'Hara, Todd M

    2010-09-01

    Declines in sea-ice habitats have resulted in declining stature, productivity, and survival of polar bears in some regions. With continuing sea-ice declines, negative population effects are projected to expand throughout the polar bear's range. Precise causes of diminished polar bear life history performance are unknown, however, climate and sea-ice condition change are expected to adversely impact polar bear (Ursus maritimus) health and population dynamics. As apex predators in the Arctic, polar bears integrate the status of lower trophic levels and are therefore sentinels of ecosystem health. Arctic residents feed at the apex of the ecosystem, thus polar bears can serve as indicators of human health in the Arctic. Despite their value as indicators of ecosystem welfare, population-level health data for U.S. polar bears are lacking. We present hematological reference ranges for southern Beaufort Sea polar bears. Hematological parameters in southern Beaufort Sea polar bears varied by age, geographic location, and reproductive status. Total leukocytes, lymphocytes, monocytes, eosinophils, and serum immunoglobulin G were significantly greater in males than females. These measures were greater in nonlactating females ages ≥5, than lactating adult females ages ≥5, suggesting that females encumbered by young may be less resilient to new immune system challenges that may accompany ongoing climate change. Hematological values established here provide a necessary baseline for anticipated changes in health as arctic temperatures warm and sea-ice declines accelerate. Data suggest that females with dependent young may be most vulnerable to these changes and should therefore be a targeted cohort for monitoring in this sentinel.

  9. [Storages and distributed patterns of soil organic carbon and total nitrogen during the succession of artificial sand-binding vegetation in arid desert ecosystem].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jia, Xiao-Hong; Li, Xin-Rong; Zhou, Yu-Yan; Li, Yuan-Shou

    2012-03-01

    Soil carbon pool acts as the largest one of carbon pools in the terrestrial ecosystem. The storages and distributed patterns of soil organic carbon (SOC) and total nitrogen (TN) evaluated accurately are helpful to predict the feedback between the terrestrial ecosystem and climate changes. Based on the data about bulk density, content of SOC and TN at 0-100 cm soil profile, the density of SOC and TN at the temporal (chronosequence of artificial vegetation) and spatial (vertical) distributed patterns have been estimated. The results indicated that storages of SOC and TN at 0-100 cm depth increased with the chronosequence of artificial vegetation. The storages of SOC and TN showed the same tendency with the succession time of artificial vegetation. Storages of SOC and TN significantly increased at the early stage of banding sand by artificially vegetation ( 25 a). The variation of storages mainly occurred in the 0-20 cm depth. The storages decreased with the soil vertical depth. At the early stage of banding sand, increase in storage included every depth (0-100 cm). Whereas, at the later stage, increase in storage at 0-20 cm depth was main, and increase in the 20-100 cm was inconspicuous. The accumulation of storage at the shallow soil depth was more notability with the succession of artificial vegetation. The distributed pattern of storage in SOC and TN has been confirmed in arid desert regions below 200 mm annual precipitation. This was beneficial to understand the carbon cycle and to predict the feedback relationship between desert ecosystem and climate changes.

  10. Beaver dams, hydrological thresholds, and controlled floods as a management tool in a desert riverine ecosystem, Bill Williams River, Arizona

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andersen, D.C.; Shafroth, P.B.

    2010-01-01

    Beaver convert lotic stream habitat to lentic through dam construction, and the process is reversed when a flood or other event causes dam failure. We investigated both processes on a regulated Sonoran Desert stream, using the criterion that average current velocity is distribution and repeated censuses of dams along the 58-km river. The ratio fell from 19:1 when no beaver dams were present to probability of major damage at low (attenuated) flood magnitude. We conclude that environmental flows prescribed to sustain desert riparian forest will also reduce beaver-created lentic habitat in a non-linear manner determined by both beaver dam and flood attributes. Consideration of both desirable and undesirable consequences of ecological engineering by beaver is important when optimizing environmental flows to meet ecological and socioeconomic goals. ?? 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  11. 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.

  12. Retrieving simulated volcanic, desert dust and sea-salt particle properties from two/three-component particle mixtures using UV-VIS polarization lidar and T matrix

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. David

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available During transport by advection, atmospheric nonspherical particles, such as volcanic ash, desert dust or sea-salt particles experience several chemical and physical processes, leading to a complex vertical atmospheric layering at remote sites where intrusion episodes occur. In this paper, a new methodology is proposed to analyse this complex vertical layering in the case of a two/three-component particle external mixtures. This methodology relies on an analysis of the spectral and polarization properties of the light backscattered by atmospheric particles. It is based on combining a sensitive and accurate UV-VIS polarization lidar experiment with T-matrix numerical simulations and air mass back trajectories. The Lyon UV-VIS polarization lidar is used to efficiently partition the particle mixture into its nonspherical components, while the T-matrix method is used for simulating the backscattering and depolarization properties of nonspherical volcanic ash, desert dust and sea-salt particles. It is shown that the particle mixtures' depolarization ratio δ p differs from the nonspherical particles' depolarization ratio δns due to the presence of spherical particles in the mixture. Hence, after identifying a tracer for nonspherical particles, particle backscattering coefficients specific to each nonspherical component can be retrieved in a two-component external mixture. For three-component mixtures, the spectral properties of light must in addition be exploited by using a dual-wavelength polarization lidar. Hence, for the first time, in a three-component external mixture, the nonsphericity of each particle is taken into account in a so-called 2β + 2δ formalism. Applications of this new methodology are then demonstrated in two case studies carried out in Lyon, France, related to the mixing of Eyjafjallajökull volcanic ash with sulfate particles (case of a two-component mixture and to the mixing of dust with sea-salt and water-soluble particles

  13. Beaver dams, hydrological thresholds, and controlled floods as a management tool in a desert riverine ecosystem, Bill Williams River, Arizona

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andersen, D.C.; Shafroth, P.B.

    2010-01-01

    Beaver convert lotic stream habitat to lentic through dam construction, and the process is reversed when a flood or other event causes dam failure. We investigated both processes on a regulated Sonoran Desert stream, using the criterion that average current velocity is beaver pond length (determined by the upstream lentic-lotic boundary position) to dam size, and coupling that to the dam-size frequency distribution and repeated censuses of dams along the 58-km river. The ratio fell from 19:1 when no beaver dams were present to beaver. We investigated the dam failure-flood intensity relationship in three independent trials (experimental floods) featuring peak discharge ranging from 37 to 65 m3 s-1. Major damage (breach ??? 3-m wide) occurred at ??? 20% of monitored dams (n = 7-86) and a similar or higher proportion was moderately damaged. We detected neither a relationship between dam size and damage level nor a flood discharge threshold for initiating major damage. Dam constituent materials appeared to control the probability of major damage at low (attenuated) flood magnitude. We conclude that environmental flows prescribed to sustain desert riparian forest will also reduce beaver-created lentic habitat in a non-linear manner determined by both beaver dam and flood attributes. Consideration of both desirable and undesirable consequences of ecological engineering by beaver is important when optimizing environmental flows to meet ecological and socioeconomic goals. ?? 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  14. Comparative Activity and Functional Ecology of Permafrost Soils and Lithic Niches in a Hyper-Arid Polar Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goordial, J.; Davila, A.; Greer, C. W.; Cannam, R.; DiRuggiero, J.; McKay, C. P.; Whyte, L. G.

    2016-01-01

    This study represents the first metagenomic interrogation of Antarctic permafrost and polar cryptoendolithic microbial communities. The results underlie two different habitability conditions in the same location under extreme cold and dryness: the permafrost habitat where viable microbial life and activity is questionable, and the cryptoendolithic habitat which contains organisms capable of growth under the extreme conditions of the Antarctic Dry Valleys.

  15. Soil moisture and ecosystem function responses of desert grassland varying in vegetative cover to a saturating precipitation pulse

    Science.gov (United States)

    A critical linkage between hydrological and ecological processes is plant cover, yet the ecosystem-level responses of aridland systems of varying plant cover to extreme precipitation events, predicted to increase in number and severity in the future, has not been well studied. We tracked average ro...

  16. Soil, Vegetation, and Seed Bank of a Sonoran Desert Ecosystem Along an Exotic Plant ( Pennisetum ciliare) Treatment Gradient

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abella, Scott R.; Chiquoine, Lindsay P.; Backer, Dana M.

    2013-10-01

    Ecological conditions following removal of exotic plants are a key part of comprehensive environmental management strategies to combat exotic plant invasions. We examined ecological conditions following removal of the management-priority buffelgrass ( Pennisetum ciliare) in Saguaro National Park of the North American Sonoran Desert. We assessed soil, vegetation, and soil seed banks on seven buffelgrass site types: five different frequencies of buffelgrass herbicide plus hand removal treatments (ranging from 5 years of annual treatment to a single year of treatment), untreated sites, and non-invaded sites, with three replicates for each of the seven site types. The 22 measured soil properties (e.g., pH) differed little among sites. Regarding vegetation, buffelgrass cover was low (≤1 % median cover), or absent, across all treated sites but was high (10-70 %) in untreated sites. Native vegetation cover, diversity, and composition were indistinguishable across site types. Species composition was dominated by native species (>93 % relative cover) across all sites except untreated buffelgrass sites. Most (38 species, 93 %) of the 41 species detected in soil seed banks were native, and native seed density did not differ significantly across sites. Results suggest that: (1) buffelgrass cover was minimal across treated sites; (2) aside from high buffelgrass cover in untreated sites, ecological conditions were largely indistinguishable across sites; (3) soil seed banks harbored ≥12 species that were frequent in the aboveground vegetation; and (4) native species dominated post-treatment vegetation composition, and removing buffelgrass did not result in replacement by other exotic species.

  17. Interactive Effects of Black-Tailed Prairie Dogs and Cattle on Shrub Encroachment in a Desert Grassland Ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ponce-Guevara, Eduardo; Davidson, Ana; Sierra-Corona, Rodrigo; Ceballos, Gerardo

    2016-01-01

    The widespread encroachment of woody plants throughout the semi-arid grasslands in North America has largely resulted from overgrazing by domestic livestock, fire suppression, and loss of native large and small mammalian herbivores. Burrowing-herbivorous mammals, such as prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.), help control shrub encroachment through clipping of shrubs and consumption of their seedlings, but little is known about how this important ecological role interacts with and may be influenced by co-existing large herbivores, especially domestic livestock. Here, we established a long-term manipulative experiment using a 2 × 2 factorial design to assess the independent and interactive effects of black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) and cattle (Bos taurus) on honey mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa) abundance and structure. We found that, after five years, mesquite abundance was three to five times greater in plots where prairie dogs were removed compared to plots where they occurred together or alone, respectively. While both prairie dogs and cattle reduced mesquite cover, the effect of prairie dogs on reducing mesquite abundance, cover, and height was significantly greater than that by cattle. Surprisingly, cattle grazing enhanced prairie dog abundance, which, in turn, magnified the effects of prairie dogs on mesquite shrubs. Mesquite canopy cover per hectare was three to five times greater where prairie dogs and cattle were absent compared to where they occurred together or by themselves; whereas, cumulative mesquite height was two times lower on sites where prairie dog and cattle occurred together compared to where they occurred alone or where neither occurred. Data from our experimental study demonstrate that prairie dogs and moderate grazing by cattle can suppress mesquite growth, and, when their populations are properly managed, they may interact synergistically to significantly limit mesquite encroachment in desert grasslands.

  18. Interactive Effects of Black-Tailed Prairie Dogs and Cattle on Shrub Encroachment in a Desert Grassland Ecosystem.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eduardo Ponce-Guevara

    Full Text Available The widespread encroachment of woody plants throughout the semi-arid grasslands in North America has largely resulted from overgrazing by domestic livestock, fire suppression, and loss of native large and small mammalian herbivores. Burrowing-herbivorous mammals, such as prairie dogs (Cynomys spp., help control shrub encroachment through clipping of shrubs and consumption of their seedlings, but little is known about how this important ecological role interacts with and may be influenced by co-existing large herbivores, especially domestic livestock. Here, we established a long-term manipulative experiment using a 2 × 2 factorial design to assess the independent and interactive effects of black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus and cattle (Bos taurus on honey mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa abundance and structure. We found that, after five years, mesquite abundance was three to five times greater in plots where prairie dogs were removed compared to plots where they occurred together or alone, respectively. While both prairie dogs and cattle reduced mesquite cover, the effect of prairie dogs on reducing mesquite abundance, cover, and height was significantly greater than that by cattle. Surprisingly, cattle grazing enhanced prairie dog abundance, which, in turn, magnified the effects of prairie dogs on mesquite shrubs. Mesquite canopy cover per hectare was three to five times greater where prairie dogs and cattle were absent compared to where they occurred together or by themselves; whereas, cumulative mesquite height was two times lower on sites where prairie dog and cattle occurred together compared to where they occurred alone or where neither occurred. Data from our experimental study demonstrate that prairie dogs and moderate grazing by cattle can suppress mesquite growth, and, when their populations are properly managed, they may interact synergistically to significantly limit mesquite encroachment in desert grasslands.

  19. Assessing the Impact of Climate Change on Land-Water-Ecosystem Quality in Polar and Mountainous Regions: A New Interregional Project (INT5153)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dercon, Gerd; Gerardo-Abaya, Jane; Mavlyudov, Bulat

    2014-01-01

    The INT5153 project aims to improve the understanding of the impact of climate change on fragile polar and mountainous ecosystems on both a local and global scale for their better management and conservation. Seven core and five related benchmark sites have been selected from different global regions for specific assessments of the impact of climate change with the following expected outcomes and outputs: Outcomes: • Improved understanding of the impact of climate change on the cryosphere in polar and mountainous ecosystems and its effects on landwater- ecosystem quality at both local and global scales. • Recommendations for improvement of regional policies for soil and agricultural water management, conservation, and environmental protection in polar and mountainous regions. Outputs: • Specific strategies to minimize the adverse effects of, and adapt to, reduced seasonal snow and glacier covered areas on land-water-ecosystem quality in polar and mountain regions across the world. • Enhanced interregional network of laboratories and institutions competent in the assessment of climate change impacts on the cryosphere and land-water-ecosystem quality, using isotopic and nuclear techniques. • Increased number of young scientists trained in the use of isotope and nuclear techniques to assess the impact of climate change on the cryosphere and land-water-ecosystem quality in polar and mountainous ecosystems. • Platform/database with global access for continuing work and monitoring of impact of climate change on fragile polar and mountainous ecosystems at local and global scales, as well as for communicating findings to policy makers and communities. • Improved understanding of the effects of climate change disseminated through appropriate publications, policy briefs, and through a dedicated internet platform. • Methodologies and protocols for investigations in specific ecosystems and conservation/adaptation measures for agriculture areas

  20. Soil Microbial Responses to Increased Moisture and Organic Resources along a Salinity Gradient in a Polar Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Horn, David J.; Okie, Jordan G.; Buelow, Heather N.; Gooseff, Michael N.; Barrett, John E.

    2014-01-01

    Microbial communities in extreme environments often have low diversity and specialized physiologies suggesting a limited resistance to change. The McMurdo Dry Valleys (MDV) are a microbially dominated, extreme ecosystem currently undergoing climate change-induced disturbances, including the melting of massive buried ice, cutting through of permafrost by streams, and warming events. These processes are increasing moisture across the landscape, altering conditions for soil communities by mobilizing nutrients and salts and stimulating autotrophic carbon inputs to soils. The goal of this study was to determine the effects of resource addition (water/organic matter) on the composition and function of microbial communities in the MDV along a natural salinity gradient representing an additional gradient of stress in an already extreme environment. Soil respiration and the activity of carbon-acquiring extracellular enzymes increased significantly (P salinity sites but not the high-salinity site. The bacterial community composition was altered, with an increase in Proteobacteria and Firmicutes with water and organic matter additions at the low- and moderate-salinity sites and a near dominance of Firmicutes at the high-salinity site. Principal coordinate analyses of all samples using a phylogenetically informed distance matrix (UniFrac) demonstrated discrete clustering among sites (analysis of similarity [ANOSIM], P 0.40) and among most treatments within sites. The results from this experimental work suggest that microbial communities in this environment will undergo rapid change in response to the altered resources resulting from climate change impacts occurring in this region. PMID:24610850

  1. Application of a hybrid model to reduce bias and improve precision in population estimates for elk (Cervus elaphus inhabiting a cold desert ecosystem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kathryn A. Schoenecker

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Accurately estimating the size of wildlife populations is critical to wildlife management and conservation of species. Raw counts or “minimum counts” are still used as a basis for wildlife management decisions. Uncorrected raw counts are not only negatively biased due to failure to account for undetected animals, but also provide no estimate of precision on which to judge the utility of counts. We applied a hybrid population estimation technique that combined sightability modeling, radio collar-based mark-resight, and simultaneous double count (double-observer modeling to estimate the population size of elk in a high elevation desert ecosystem. Combining several models maximizes the strengths of each individual model while minimizing their singular weaknesses. We collected data with aerial helicopter surveys of the elk population in the San Luis Valley and adjacent mountains in Colorado State, USA in 2005 and 2007. We present estimates from 7 alternative analyses: 3 based on different methods for obtaining a raw count and 4 based on different statistical models to correct for sighting probability bias. The most reliable of these approaches is a hybrid double-observer sightability model (model MH, which uses detection patterns of 2 independent observers in a helicopter plus telemetry-based detections of radio collared elk groups. Data were fit to customized mark-resight models with individual sighting covariates. Error estimates were obtained by a bootstrapping procedure. The hybrid method was an improvement over commonly used alternatives, with improved precision compared to sightability modeling and reduced bias compared to double-observer modeling. The resulting population estimate corrected for multiple sources of undercount bias that, if left uncorrected, would have underestimated the true population size by as much as 22.9%. Our comparison of these alternative methods demonstrates how various components of our method contribute to

  2. Thar Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    2001-01-01

    This ASTER sub-scene covers an area of 12 x 15 km in NW India in the Thar Desert. The sand dunes of the Thar Desert constantly shift and take on new shapes. Located in northwestern India and eastern Pakistan, the desert is bounded on the south by a salt marsh known as the Rann of Kutch, and on the west by the Indus River plain. About 800 kilometers long and about 490 kilometers wide, the desert's terrain is mainly rolling sandhills with scattered growths of shrub and rock outcroppings. Only about 12 to 25 centimeters of rain fall on the desert each year, and temperatures rise as high as 52 degrees Celsius. Much of the population is pastoral, raising sheep for their wool. The image is located at 24.4 degrees north latitude and 69.3 degrees east longitude. The U.S. science team is located at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. The Terra mission is part of NASA's Science Mission Directorate.

  3. Biogeochemical fingerprints of life: earlier analogies with polar ecosystems suggest feasible instrumentation for probing the Galilean moons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chela-Flores, J.; Cicuttin, A.; Crespo, M. L.; Tuniz, C.

    2015-07-01

    We base our search for the right instrumentation for detecting biosignatures on Europa on the analogy suggested by the recent work on polar ecosystems in the Canadian Arctic at Ellesmere Island. In that location sulphur patches (analogous to the Europan patches) are accumulating on glacial ice lying over saline springs rich in sulphate and sulphide. Their work reinforces earlier analogies in Antarctic ecosystems that are appropriate models for possible habitats that will be explored by the European Space Agency JUpiter ICy Moons Explorer (JUICE) mission to the Jovian System. Its Jupiter Ganymede Orbiter (JGO) will include orbits around Europa and Ganymede. The Galileo orbital mission discovered surficial patches of non-ice elements on Europa that were widespread and, in some cases possibly endogenous. This suggests the possibility that the observed chemical elements in the exoatmosphere may be from the subsurface ocean. Spatial resolution calculations of Cassidy and co-workers are available, suggesting that the atmospheric S content can be mapped by a neutral mass spectrometer, now included among the selected JUICE instruments. In some cases, large S-fractionations are due to microbial reduction and disproportionation (although sometimes providing a test for ecosystem fingerprints, even though with Sim - Bosak - Ono we maintain that microbial sulphate reduction large sulphur isotope fractionation does not require disproportionation. We address the question of the possible role of oxygen in the Europan ocean. Instrument issues are discussed for measuring stable S-isotope fractionations up to the known limits in natural populations of δ34 ~ -70‰. We state the hypothesis of a Europa anaerobic oceanic population of sulphate reducers and disproportionators that would have the effect of fractionating the sulphate that reaches the low-albedo surficial regions. This hypothesis is compatible with the time-honoured expectation of Kaplan and co-workers (going back to the

  4. Long-term response of a Mojave Desert winter annual plant community to a whole-ecosystem atmospheric CO2 manipulation (FACE).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Stanley D; Charlet, Therese N; Zitzer, Stephen F; Abella, Scott R; Vanier, Cheryl H; Huxman, Travis E

    2014-03-01

    Desert annuals are a critically important component of desert communities and may be particularly responsive to increasing atmospheric (CO2 ) because of their high potential growth rates and flexible phenology. During the 10-year life of the Nevada Desert FACE (free-air CO2 enrichment) Facility, we evaluated the productivity, reproductive allocation, and community structure of annuals in response to long-term elevated (CO2 ) exposure. The dominant forb and grass species exhibited accelerated phenology, increased size, and higher reproduction at elevated (CO2 ) in a wet El Niño year near the beginning of the experiment. However, a multiyear dry cycle resulted in no increases in productivity or reproductive allocation for the remainder of the experiment. At the community level, early indications of increased dominance of the invasive Bromus rubens at elevated (CO2 ) gave way to an absence of Bromus in the community during a drought cycle, with a resurgence late in the experiment in response to higher rainfall and a corresponding high density of Bromus in a final soil seed bank analysis, particularly at elevated (CO2 ). This long-term experiment resulted in two primary conclusions: (i) elevated (CO2 ) does not increase productivity of annuals in most years; and (ii) relative stimulation of invasive grasses will likely depend on future precipitation, with a wetter climate favoring invasive grasses but currently predicted greater aridity favoring native dicots. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  5. Global Diversity of Desert Hypolithic Cyanobacteria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Donnabella C. Lacap-Bugler

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Global patterns in diversity were estimated for cyanobacteria-dominated hypolithic communities that colonize ventral surfaces of quartz stones and are common in desert environments. A total of 64 hypolithic communities were recovered from deserts on every continent plus a tropical moisture sufficient location. Community diversity was estimated using a combined t-RFLP fingerprinting and high throughput sequencing approach. The t-RFLP analysis revealed desert communities were different from the single non-desert location. A striking pattern also emerged where Antarctic desert communities were clearly distinct from all other deserts. Some overlap in community similarity occurred for hot, cold and tundra deserts. A further observation was that the producer-consumer ratio displayed a significant negative correlation with growing season, such that shorter growing seasons supported communities with greater abundance of producers, and this pattern was independent of macroclimate. High-throughput sequencing of 16S rRNA and nifH genes from four representative samples validated the t-RFLP study and revealed patterns of taxonomic and putative diazotrophic diversity for desert communities from the Taklimakan Desert, Tibetan Plateau, Canadian Arctic and Antarctic. All communities were dominated by cyanobacteria and among these 21 taxa were potentially endemic to any given desert location. Some others occurred in all but the most extreme hot and polar deserts suggesting they were relatively less well adapted to environmental stress. The t-RFLP and sequencing data revealed the two most abundant cyanobacterial taxa were Phormidium in Antarctic and Tibetan deserts and Chroococcidiopsis in hot and cold deserts. The Arctic tundra displayed a more heterogenous cyanobacterial assemblage and this was attributed to the maritime-influenced sampling location. The most abundant heterotrophic taxa were ubiquitous among samples and belonged to the Acidobacteria

  6. UV-screening Organic Matter (CDOM and MAA) as indicators for monitoring changes of the polar marine ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    PARK, M. O.; Kang, S. H.; Ha, S. Y.

    2014-12-01

    recent change in the composition of phytoplankton, increase in DOC, decrease in MAAs in the seawater. Supporting data from incubation experiments with dominant species of polar region and monitoring data will be a guide to predict the direction of the feasible changes in ecosystem in the polar environment and clue to understand the biogeochemichl cycle of carbon.

  7. Depletion of stratospheric ozone over the Antarctic and Arctic: Responses of plants of polar terrestrial ecosystems to enhanced UV-B, an overview

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rozema, Jelte; Boelen, Peter; Blokker, Peter

    2005-01-01

    Depletion of stratospheric ozone over the Antarctic has been re-occurring yearly since 1974, leading to enhanced UV-B radiation. Arctic ozone depletion has been observed since 1990. Ozone recovery has been predicted by 2050, but no signs of recovery occur. Here we review responses of polar plants to experimentally varied UV-B through supplementation or exclusion. In supplementation studies comparing ambient and above ambient UV-B, no effect on growth occurred. UV-B-induced DNA damage, as measured in polar bryophytes, is repaired overnight by photoreactivation. With UV exclusion, growth at near ambient may be less than at below ambient UV-B levels, which relates to the UV response curve of polar plants. UV-B screening foils also alter PAR, humidity, and temperature and interactions of UV with environmental factors may occur. Plant phenolics induced by solar UV-B, as in pollen, spores and lignin, may serve as a climate proxy for past UV. Since the Antarctic and Arctic terrestrial ecosystems differ essentially (e.g. higher species diversity and more trophic interactions in the Arctic), generalization of polar plant responses to UV-B needs caution. - Polar plant responses to UV-B may be different in the Arctic than Antarctic regions

  8. Depletion of stratospheric ozone over the Antarctic and Arctic: Responses of plants of polar terrestrial ecosystems to enhanced UV-B, an overview

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rozema, Jelte [Department of Systems Ecology, Institute of Ecological Science, Climate Centre, Vrije Universiteit, De Boelelaan 1087, 1081 HV Amsterdam (Netherlands)]. E-mail: jelte.rozema@ecology.falw.vu.nl; Boelen, Peter [Department of Systems Ecology, Institute of Ecological Science, Climate Centre, Vrije Universiteit, De Boelelaan 1087, 1081 HV Amsterdam (Netherlands); Blokker, Peter [Department of Systems Ecology, Institute of Ecological Science, Climate Centre, Vrije Universiteit, De Boelelaan 1087, 1081 HV Amsterdam (Netherlands)

    2005-10-15

    Depletion of stratospheric ozone over the Antarctic has been re-occurring yearly since 1974, leading to enhanced UV-B radiation. Arctic ozone depletion has been observed since 1990. Ozone recovery has been predicted by 2050, but no signs of recovery occur. Here we review responses of polar plants to experimentally varied UV-B through supplementation or exclusion. In supplementation studies comparing ambient and above ambient UV-B, no effect on growth occurred. UV-B-induced DNA damage, as measured in polar bryophytes, is repaired overnight by photoreactivation. With UV exclusion, growth at near ambient may be less than at below ambient UV-B levels, which relates to the UV response curve of polar plants. UV-B screening foils also alter PAR, humidity, and temperature and interactions of UV with environmental factors may occur. Plant phenolics induced by solar UV-B, as in pollen, spores and lignin, may serve as a climate proxy for past UV. Since the Antarctic and Arctic terrestrial ecosystems differ essentially (e.g. higher species diversity and more trophic interactions in the Arctic), generalization of polar plant responses to UV-B needs caution. - Polar plant responses to UV-B may be different in the Arctic than Antarctic regions.

  9. Microphytic crusts: 'topsoil' of the desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belnap, Jayne

    1990-01-01

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

  10. Polar Bears in the Desert: A Case Study of the Operational and Strategic Impacts of the Iraq Surge on Tactical Units

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-06-10

    22 battalions had taken the lead ring hollow . Second, it shows that Casey and his staff may have been looking too optimistically at measures of...again to conduct Operation Polar Schism III.140 Around this time, tensions flared amongst Sunni sects on the west side of the Euphrates over

  11. Precipitation pattern determines the inter-annual variation of herbaceous layer and carbon fluxes in a shrub-dominated desert ecosystem

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Liu, R.; Cieraad, E.; Li, Y.; Ma, J.

    2016-01-01

    Arid and semi-arid ecosystems dominated by shrubby species are an important component in the global carbon cycle but are largely under-represented in studies of the effect of climate change on carbon flux. This study synthesizes data from long-term eddy covariance measurements and experiments to

  12. 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

  13. Comparison of diurnal dynamics in evaporation rate between bare soil and moss-crusted soil within a revegetated desert ecosystem of northwestern China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Ya-Feng; Wang, Xin-Ping; Pan, Yan-Xia; Hu, Rui

    2016-02-01

    Effects of biological soil crusts (BSCs) on soil evaporation is quite controversial in literature, being either facilitative or inhibitive, and therein few studies have actually conducted direct evaporation measurements. Continuous field measurements of soil water evaporation were conducted on two microlysimeters, i.e., one with sand soil collected from bare sand dune area and the other with moss-crusted soil collected from an area that was revegetated in 1956, from field capacity to dry, at the southeastern edge of the Tengger Desert. We mainly aimed to quantify the diurnal variations of evaporation rate from two soils, and further comparatively discuss the effects of BSCs on soil evaporation after revegetation. Results showed that in clear days with high soil water content (Day 1 and 2), the diurnal variation of soil evaporation rate followed the typical convex upward parabolic curve, reaching its peak around mid-day. Diurnal evaporation rate and the accumulated evaporation amount of moss-crusted soil were lower (an average of 0.90 times) than that of sand soil in this stage. However, as soil water content decreased to a moderately low level (Day 3 and 4), the diurnal evaporation rate from moss-crusted soil was pronouncedly higher (an average of 3.91 times) than that of sand soil, prolonging the duration of this higher evaporation rate stage; it was slightly higher in the final stage (Day 5 and 6) when soil moisture was very low. We conclude that the effects of moss crusts on soil evaporation vary with different evaporation stages, which is closely related to soil water content, and the variation and transition of evaporation rate between bare soil and moss-crusted soil are expected to be predicted by soil water content.

  14. Climate change and UV-B impacts on Arctic Tundra and Polar Desert Ecosystems. Biodiversity, Distributions and Adaptations of Arctic Species in the Context of Environmental Change

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Callaghan, T. V.; Björn, L. O.; Chernov, Y.; Chapin, T.; Christensen, T. R.; Huntley, B.; Ims, R. A.; Johansson, M.; Jolly, D.; Jonasson, S.; Matveyeva, N.; Panikov, N.; Oechel, W.; Shaver, G.; Elster, Josef; Henttonen, H.; Laine, K.; Taulavuori, K.; Taulavuori, E.; Zockler, Ch.

    2004-01-01

    Roč. 33, č. 7 (2004), s. 404-417 ISSN 0044-7447 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR KSK6005114; GA MŠk ME 576 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z6005908 Keywords : cyanobacteria * algae * biodiversity Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 1.403, year: 2004

  15. Diversidad y patrones de distribución geográfica de insectos coleópteros en ecosistemas desérticos de la región de Antofagasta, Chile Diversity and geographic distribution patterns of coleopteran insects in desert ecosystems of the Antofagasta region, Chile

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    VIVIANE JEREZ

    2000-03-01

    their distribution ranges are given. The possible biogeographic relationships which could exist between the different described ecosystems of the region were analyzed. In this analysis, a coleopteran species inventory was elaborated based upon the literature, collected material from museums, and observations from field work. The spatial distribution of the taxa was established in relation to 11 described ecosystems for the Region and the endemic areas were determined using a biogeographic parsimony analysis. The taxonomic composition of Coleoptera is comprised of 21 families, 86 genera, and 167 species, with Tenebrionidae as the most diverse having 23 genera and 78 species. The Subdesertic steppe of the puna (57 sp., Coastal desert of Tocopilla (50 sp., Desert of Atacama saltflat (35 sp., Coastal desert of Taltal (32 sp., Aluvian Desert (22 sp., and the Shrubery steppe (17 sp. are the ecosystems that present the most diversification. However, the Coastal desert of Tocopilla (72%, Coastal desert of Taltal (62.5%, Subdesertic steppe of the puna (55.8%, Desert of Atacama saltflat (51.4%, Shrubery steppe (47%, and the Aluvian desert (36.3% have the highest percentages of endemism. Three areas of endemism are defined for the Region of Antofagasta, which correspond to three ecosystems distributed in an altitudinal gradient: Coastal desert, Aluvian desert, and Tropical zone

  16. Changing Arctic Ecosystems: Updated forecast: Reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions required to improve polar bear outlook

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oakley, Karen L.; Atwood, Todd C.; Mugel, Douglas N.; Rode, Karyn D.; Whalen, Mary E.

    2015-01-01

    The Arctic is warming faster than other regions of the world due to the loss of snow and ice, which increases the amount of solar energy absorbed by the region. The most visible consequence has been the rapid decline in sea ice over the last 3 decades-a decline projected to bring long ice-free summers if greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are not significantly reduced. The polar bear (Ursus maritimus) depends on sea ice over the biologically productive continental shelves of the Arctic Ocean as a platform for hunting seals. In 2008, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service listed the polar bear as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) due to the threat posed by sea ice loss. The polar bear was the first species to be listed due to forecasted population declines from climate change.

  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. 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.

  19. Long-term decrease in satellite vegetation indices in response to environmental variables in an iconic desert riparian ecosystem: the Upper San Pedro, Arizona, United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nguyen, Uyen; Glenn, Edward P.; Nagler, Pamela L.; Scott, Russell L.

    2015-01-01

    The Upper San Pedro River is one of the few remaining undammed rivers that maintain a vibrant riparian ecosystem in the southwest United States. However, its riparian forest is threatened by diminishing groundwater and surface water inputs, due to either changes in watershed characteristics such as changes in riparian and upland vegetation, or human activities such as regional groundwater pumping. We used satellite vegetation indices to quantify the green leaf density of the groundwater-dependent riparian forest from 1984 to 2012. The river was divided into a southern, upstream (mainly perennial flow) reach and a northern, downstream (mainly intermittent and ephemeral flow) reach. Pre-monsoon (June) Landsat normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) values showed a 20% drop for the northern reach (P  0·05). NDVI and enhanced vegetation index values were positively correlated (P deterioration of the riparian forest in the northern reach.

  20. Biological Soil Crusts: Webs of Life in the Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belnap, Jayne

    2001-01-01

    Although the soil surface may look like dirt to you, it is full of living organisms that are a vital part of desert ecosystems. This veneer of life is called a biological soil crust. These crusts are found throughout the world, from hot deserts to polar regions. Crusts generally cover all soil spaces not occupied by green plants. In many areas, they comprise over 70% of the living ground cover and are key in reducing erosion, increasing water retention, and increasing soil fertility. In most dry regions, these crusts are dominated by cyanobacteria (previously called blue-green algae), which are one of the oldest known life forms. Communities of soil crusts also include lichens, mosses, microfungi, bacteria, and green algae. These living organisms and their by-products create a continuous crust on the soil surface. The general color, surface appearance, and amount of coverage of these crusts vary depending on climate and disturbance patterns. Immature crusts are generally flat and the color of the soil, which makes them difficult to distinguish from bare ground. Mature crusts, in contrast, are usually bumpy and dark-colored due to the presence of lichens, mosses, and high densities of cyanobacteria and other organisms.

  1. 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...

  2. Aerosolization of cyanobacterial cells across ecosystem boundaries in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trout-Haney, J.; Heindel, R. C.; Virginia, R. A.

    2017-12-01

    Cyanobacteria play a major ecological role in polar freshwaters, occurring predominately as small single cells in the water column, i.e., picocyanobacteria, or large multicellular colonies and mats that reside on the lake bottom. Cyanobacteria are also present in terrestrial polar habitats, including within soils, soil crusts, rocks, and glacial ice. Despite their predominance in polar ecosystems, the extent to which cyanobacteria move between terrestrial and aquatic landscape units remains poorly understood. In polar deserts such as the McMurdo Dry Valleys, aeolian processes influence terrestrial landscape morphology and drive the transport of sediments and other particles. Water surfaces can also act as a source of aerosolized particles, such as the production of sea spray aerosols through wave breaking in marine environments. However, aerosolization from freshwater bodies has been far less studied, especially in polar regions. We conducted a field-study to examine the transport of aerosolized cyanobacterial cells from ponds and soils in the McMurdo Dry Valleys. We used highly portable aerosol collection devices fitted with GF/F filters combusted at 500°C (0.3 µm) to collect small particles, such as picocyanobacteria (0.2 - 2 µm), from near-shore water and adjacent soil. We used epifluorescence microscopy to quantify aerosolized cells, with excitation filters for chlorophyll a (435 nm) and phycobilin pigments (572 nm), to distinguish cyanobacterial cells. We detected aerosolized picocyanobacterial cells from all ponds and soils sampled, indicating that these cells may be quite mobile and transported across ecosystem boundaries. We observed cyanobacterial cells individually, clustered, and associated with other organic material, suggesting multiple modes of cell transport. Further, we investigated the potential for aerosolization of toxin-producing cyanobacterial taxa (or unbound cyanotoxins), and the ecological and ecosystem-scale implications of

  3. Desert Amplification in a Warming Climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Liming

    2016-01-01

    Here I analyze the observed and projected surface temperature anomalies over land between 50°S-50°N for the period 1950–2099 by large-scale ecoregion and find strongest warming consistently and persistently seen over driest ecoregions such as the Sahara desert and the Arabian Peninsula during various 30-year periods, pointing to desert amplification in a warming climate. This amplification enhances linearly with the global mean greenhouse gases(GHGs) radiative forcing and is attributable primarily to a stronger GHGs-enhanced downward longwave radiation forcing reaching the surface over drier ecoregions as a consequence of a warmer and thus moister atmosphere in response to increasing GHGs. These results indicate that desert amplification may represent a fundamental pattern of global warming associated with water vapor feedbacks over land in low- and mid- latitudes where surface warming rates depend inversely on ecosystem dryness. It is likely that desert amplification might involve two types of water vapor feedbacks that maximize respectively in the tropical upper troposphere and near the surface over deserts, with both being very dry and thus extremely sensitive to changes of water vapor. PMID:27538725

  4. Desert Amplification in a Warming Climate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Liming

    2016-08-19

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

  5. Process-Based Thinking in Ecosystem Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jordan, Rebecca C.; Gray, Steven A.; Brooks, Wesley R.; Honwad, Sameer; Hmelo-Silver, Cindy E.

    2013-01-01

    Understanding complex systems such as ecosystems is difficult for young K-12 students, and students' representations of ecosystems are often limited to nebulously defined relationships between macro-level structural components inherent to the ecosystem in focus (rainforest, desert, pond, etc.) instead of generalizing processes across ecosystems…

  6. Landscape Sustainability in a Sonoran Desert City

    OpenAIRE

    Chris A. Martin

    2008-01-01

    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 ...

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1993-12-31

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

  8. Recovery of coastal ecosystems after large tsunamis in various climatic zones - review of cases from tropical, temperate and polar zones (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szczucinski, W.

    2013-12-01

    Large tsunamis cause significant changes in coastal ecosystems. They include modifications in shoreline position, sediment erosion and deposition, new initial soil formation, salination of soils and waters, removal of vegetation, as well as direct impact on humans and infrastructure. The processes and rate of coastal zone recovery from large tsunamis has been little studied but during the last decade a noteworthy progress has been made. This study focus on comparison of recovery processes in various climatic zones, namely in monsoonal-tropical, temperate and polar zone. It is based on own observation and monitoring in areas affected by 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami in Thailand, 2011 Tohoku-oki tsunami in Japan and 2000 Paatuut landslide-generated tsunami in Vaigat Strait (west Greenland), as well as on review of published studies from those areas. The particular focus is on physical and biological recoveries of beaches, recovery of coastal vegetation, new soil formation in eroded areas and those covered by tsunami deposits, marine salt removal from soils, surface- and groundwater, as well as landscape adjustment after the tsunamis. The beach zone - typically the most tsunami-eroded zone, has been recovered already within weeks to months and has been observed to be in the pre-tsunami equilibrium stage within one year in all the climate zones, except for sediment-starved environments. The existing data on beach ecosystems point also to relatively fast recovery of meio- and macrofauna (within weeks to several months). The recovery of coastal vegetation depends on the rate of salt removal from soils or on the rate of soil formation in case of its erosion or burial by tsunami deposits. The salt removal have been observed to depend mainly on precipitation and effective water drainage. In tropical climate with seasonal rainfall of more 3000 mm the salt removal was fast, however, in temperate climate with lower precipitation and flat topography the salinities still exceeded

  9. Are Food Deserts Also Play Deserts?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen, Deborah A; Hunter, Gerald; Williamson, Stephanie; Dubowitz, Tamara

    2016-04-01

    Although food deserts are areas that lack easy access to food outlets and considered a barrier to a healthy diet and a healthy weight among residents, food deserts typically comprise older urban areas which may have many parks and street configurations that could facilitate more physical activity. However, other conditions may limit the use of available facilities in these areas. This paper assesses the use of parks in two Pittsburgh food desert neighborhoods by using systematic observation. We found that while the local parks were accessible, they were largely underutilized. We surveyed local residents and found that only a minority considered the parks unsafe for use during the day, but a substantial proportion suffered from health limitations that interfered with physical activity. Residents also felt that parks lacked programming and other amenities that could potentially draw more park users. Parks programming and equipment in food desert areas should be addressed to account for local preferences and adjusted to meet the needs and limitations of local residents, especially seniors.

  10. 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.

  11. Adaptive responses reveal contemporary and future ecotypes in a desert shrub

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bryce A. Richardson; Stanley G. Kitchen; Rosemary L. Pendleton; Burton K. Pendleton; Matthew J. Germino; Gerald E. Rehfeldt; Susan E. Meyer

    2014-01-01

    Interacting threats to ecosystem function, including climate change, wildfire, and invasive species necessitate native plant restoration in desert ecosystems. However, native plant restoration efforts often remain unguided by ecological genetic information. Given that many ecosystems are in flux from climate change, restoration plans need to account for both...

  12. Wood decay in desert riverine environments

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  13. 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...

  14. 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%.

  15. 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

  16. Remote Sensing Field Guide - Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    1991-09-01

    kankar, kunkur, silcrete, gres polymorphe, porcellanite, sarsen, puddingstone, meulieres. SUMMARY ShEET - DESER ’ DURICRUSTS SPECIAL AND MINOR FEATURES...especially in Tunisia, Algeria, and in the coastal Namib Desert (Africa); in the Rajasthan Desert of west India; in various Middle Eastern deserts...Iran, and in crystalline rocks (granites and metamorphic rocks) in the southern coast- al Namib Desert of southwest Africa. All of these occurrences

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  18. Resilience to disturbance and resistance to alien grass invasions in the cold desert of western North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alien grass invasions are resulting in ecosystem-level transformations of entire landscapes in arid and semi-arid ecosystems. The cold desert of western US is undergoing such a transformation, and is considered one of the most imperiled large ecosystems in the US. To address the rapid and complex ch...

  19. Depletion of stratospheric ozone over the Antarctic and Arctic : Responses of plants of polar terrestrial ecosystems to enhanced UV-B, an overview

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rozema, Jelte; Boelen, Peter; Blokker, Peter

    2005-01-01

    Depletion of stratospheric ozone over the Antarctic has been re-occurring yearly since 1974, leading to enhanced UV-B radiation. Arctic ozone depletion has been observed since 1990. Ozone recovery has been predicted by 2050, but no signs of recovery occur. Here we review responses of polar plants to

  20. Depletion of stratospheric ozone over the Antarctic and Arctic: Responses of plants of polar terrestrial ecosystems to enhanced UV-B, an overview.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rozema, J.; Boelen, P.; Blokker, P.

    2005-01-01

    Depletion of stratospheric ozone over the Antarctic has been re-occurring yearly since 1974, leading to enhanced UV-B radiation. Arctic ozone depletion has been observed since 1990. Ozone recovery has been predicted by 2050, but no signs of recovery occur. Here we review responses of polar plants to

  1. 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.

  2. Jeeps Penetrating a Hostile Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bailey, Herb

    2009-01-01

    Several jeeps are poised at base camp on the edge of a desert aiming to escort one of them as far as possible into the desert, while the others return to camp. They all have full tanks of gas and share their fuel to maximize penetration. In a friendly desert it is best to leave caches of fuel along the way to help returning jeeps. We solve the…

  3. Food Deserts and Childhood Obesity

    OpenAIRE

    Pedro A. Alviola; Rodolfo M. Nayga; Michael Thomsen

    2013-01-01

    We utilize a panel data set from 2007 to 2009 on the state of Arkansas to identify and determine the effect of food deserts on school district obesity rates. We define food deserts as low-income areas with limited food access. Using both classical panel data models and spatial error models, we find no statistically significant relationship between school district obesity rates and the existence of food deserts in Arkansas. This finding is consistent across different model specifications, in s...

  4. Soil animal responses to moisture availability are largely scale, not ecosystem dependent: insight from a cross-site study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sylvain, Zachary A; Wall, Diana H; Cherwin, Karie L; Peters, Debra P C; Reichmann, Lara G; Sala, Osvaldo E

    2014-08-01

    Climate change will result in reduced soil water availability in much of the world either due to changes in precipitation or increased temperature and evapotranspiration. How communities of mites and nematodes may respond to changes in moisture availability is not well known, yet these organisms play important roles in decomposition and nutrient cycling processes. We determined how communities of these organisms respond to changes in moisture availability and whether common patterns occur along fine-scale gradients of soil moisture within four individual ecosystem types (mesic, xeric and arid grasslands and a polar desert) located in the western United States and Antarctica, as well as across a cross-ecosystem moisture gradient (CEMG) of all four ecosystems considered together. An elevation transect of three sampling plots was monitored within each ecosystem and soil samples were collected from these plots and from existing experimental precipitation manipulations within each ecosystem once in fall of 2009 and three times each in 2010 and 2011. Mites and nematodes were sorted to trophic groups and analyzed to determine community responses to changes in soil moisture availability. We found that while both mites and nematodes increased with available soil moisture across the CEMG, within individual ecosystems, increases in soil moisture resulted in decreases to nematode communities at all but the arid grassland ecosystem; mites showed no responses at any ecosystem. In addition, we found changes in proportional abundances of mite and nematode trophic groups as soil moisture increased within individual ecosystems, which may result in shifts within soil food webs with important consequences for ecosystem functioning. We suggest that communities of soil animals at local scales may respond predictably to changes in moisture availability regardless of ecosystem type but that additional factors, such as climate variability, vegetation composition, and soil properties may

  5. Workshop on Extraterrestrial Materials from Cold and Hot Deserts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schultz, Ludolf (Editor); Franchi, Ian A. (Editor); Reid, Arch M. (Editor); Zolensky, Michael E. (Editor)

    1999-01-01

    Since 1969 expeditions from Japan, the United States, and European countries have recovered more than 20,000 meteorite specimens from remote ice fields of Antarctica. They represent approximately 4000-6000 distinct falls, more than all non-Antarctic meteorite falls and finds combined. Recently many meteorite specimens of a new "population" have become available: meteorites from hot deserts. It turned out that suitable surfaces in hot deserts, like the Sahara in Africa, the Nullarbor Plain in Western and South Australia, or desert high plains of the U.S. (e.g., Roosevelt County, New Mexico), contain relatively high meteorite concentrations. For example, the 1985 Catalog of Meteorites of the British Museum lists 20 meteorites from Algeria and Libya. Today, 1246 meteorites finds from these two countries have been published in MetBase 4.0. Four workshops in 1982, 1985, 1988, and 1989 have discussed the connections between Antarctic glaciology and Antarctic meteorites, and the differences between Antarctic meteorites and modern falls. In 1995, a workshop addressed differences between meteorites from Antarctica, hot deserts, and modem falls, and the implications of possible different parent populations, infall rates, and weathering processes. Since 1995 many more meteorites have been recovered from new areas of Antarctica and hot deserts around the world. Among these finds are several unusual and interesting specimens like lunar meteorites or SNCs of probable martian origin. The Annual Meeting of the Meteoritical Society took place in 1999 in Johannesburg, South Africa. As most of the recent desert finds originate from the Sahara, a special workshop was planned prior to this meeting in Africa. Topics discussed included micrometeorites, which have been collected in polar regions as well as directly in the upper atmosphere. The title "Workshop on Extraterrestrial Materials from Cold and Hot Deserts" was chosen and the following points were emphasized: (1) weathering

  6. Workshop on Extraterrestrial Materials from Cold and Hot Deserts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schultz, Ludolf (Editor); Franchi, Ian A. (Editor); Reid, Arch M. (Editor); Zolensky, Michael E. (Editor)

    2000-01-01

    Since 1969 expeditions from Japan, the United States, and European countries have recovered more than 20,000 meteorite specimens from remote ice fields of Antarctica. They represent approximately 4000-6000 distinct falls, more than all non-Antarctic meteorite falls and finds combined. Recently many meteorite specimens of a new "population" have become available: meteorites from hot deserts. It turned out that suitable surfaces in hot deserts, like the Sahara in Africa, the Nullarbor Plain in Western and South Australia, or desert high plains of the U.S. (e.g., Roosevelt County, New Mexico), contain relatively high meteorite concentrations. For example, the 1985 Catalogue of Meteorites of the British Museum lists 20 meteorites from Algeria and Libya. Today, 1246 meteorites finds from these two countries have been published in MetBase 4.0. Four workshops in 1982, 1985, 1988, and 1989 have discussed the connections between Antarctic glaciology and Antarctic meteorites, and the differences between Antarctic meteorites and modem falls. In 1995, a workshop addressed differences between meteorites from Antarctica, hot deserts, and modem falls, and the implications of possible different parent populations, infall rates, and weathering processes. Since 1995 many more meteorites have been recovered from new areas of Antarctica and hot deserts around the world. Among these finds are several unusual and interesting specimens like lunar meteorites or SNCs of probable martian origin. The Annual Meeting of the Meteoritical Society took place in 1999 in Johannesburg, South Africa. As most of the recent desert finds originate from the Sahara, a special workshop was planned prior to this meeting in Africa. Topics discussed included micrometeorites, which have been collected in polar regions as well as directly in the upper atmosphere. The title "Workshop on Extraterrestrial Materials from Cold and Hot Deserts" was chosen and the following points were emphasized: (1) weathering

  7. An endangered oasis of aquatic microbial biodiversity in the Chihuahuan desert

    OpenAIRE

    Souza, Valeria; Espinosa-Asuar, Laura; Escalante, Ana E.; Eguiarte, Luis E.; Farmer, Jack; Forney, Larry; Lloret, Lourdes; Rodríguez-Martínez, Juan M.; Soberón, Xavier; Dirzo, Rodolfo; Elser, James J.

    2006-01-01

    The Cuatro Cienegas basin in the Chihuahuan desert is a system of springs, streams, and pools. These ecosystems support >70 endemic species and abundant living stromatolites and other microbial communities, representing a desert oasis of high biodiversity. Here, we combine data from molecular microbiology and geology to document the microbial biodiversity of this unique environment. Ten water samples from locations within the Cuatro Cienegas basin and two neighboring valleys as well as three ...

  8. Dynamic response of desert wetlands to abrupt climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Springer, Kathleen; Manker, Craig; Pigati, Jeffrey S.

    2015-01-01

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

  9. Polarization Optics

    OpenAIRE

    Fressengeas, Nicolas

    2010-01-01

    The physics of polarization optics *Polarized light propagation *Partially polarized light; DEA; After a brief introduction to polarization optics, this lecture reviews the basic formalisms for dealing with it: Jones Calculus for totally polarized light and Stokes parameters associated to Mueller Calculus for partially polarized light.

  10. Millennium Ecosystem Assessment: MA Ecosystems

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment: MA Ecosystems provides data and information on the extent and classification of ecosystems circa 2000, including coastal,...

  11. 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

  12. Impacts of feral horses on a desert environment

    OpenAIRE

    Hendrickson Larry E; Rubin Esther S; Atwill Edward A; Ostermann-Kelm Stacey D; Boyce Walter M

    2009-01-01

    Abstract Background Free-ranging horses (Equus caballus) in North America are considered to be feral animals since they are descendents of non-native domestic horses introduced to the continent. We conducted a study in a southern California desert to understand how feral horse movements and horse feces impacted this arid ecosystem. We evaluated five parameters susceptible to horse trampling: soil strength, vegetation cover, percent of nonnative vegetation, plant species diversity, and macroin...

  13. Trophic calculations reveal the mechanism of population-level variation in mercury concentrations between marine ecosystems: Case studies of two polar seabirds

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brasso, Rebecka L.; Polito, Michael J.

    2013-01-01

    Highlights: • Ecosystem-specific baseline and consumer δ 15 N paired for population-specific trophic level. • Source of population-level variation in mercury exposure identified in two seabirds. • High mercury and trophic position suggests trophic driver of population-level variation. • Trophic similarities, differing mercury reveals geographic differences in bioavailability. -- Abstract: The incorporation of quantitative trophic level analysis in ecotoxicological studies provides explanatory power to identify the factors, trophic or environmental, driving population-level variation in mercury exposure at large geographic scales. In the Antarctic marine ecosystem, mercury concentrations and stable isotope values in Adélie penguins (Pygoscelis adeliae) were compared between the Antarctic Peninsula and the Ross Sea. Correcting tissue δ 15 N values for baseline δ 15 N values revealed population-level differences in trophic position which contributes to differences in mercury. Data from Thick-billed murres (Uria lomvia) were synthesized from published values from Baffin Bay and Svalbard to demonstrate the utility of baseline δ 15 N values in identifying differences in environmental mercury exposure independent of diet. Here, we demonstrate the importance of calculating population-specific trophic level data to uncover the source of variation in mercury concentrations between geographically distinct populations of marine predators

  14. Desert basins of the Southwest

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2000-01-01

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

  15. 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

  16. Sea Ice Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arrigo, Kevin R.

    2014-01-01

    Polar sea ice is one of the largest ecosystems on Earth. The liquid brine fraction of the ice matrix is home to a diverse array of organisms, ranging from tiny archaea to larger fish and invertebrates. These organisms can tolerate high brine salinity and low temperature but do best when conditions are milder. Thriving ice algal communities, generally dominated by diatoms, live at the ice/water interface and in recently flooded surface and interior layers, especially during spring, when temperatures begin to rise. Although protists dominate the sea ice biomass, heterotrophic bacteria are also abundant. The sea ice ecosystem provides food for a host of animals, with crustaceans being the most conspicuous. Uneaten organic matter from the ice sinks through the water column and feeds benthic ecosystems. As sea ice extent declines, ice algae likely contribute a shrinking fraction of the total amount of organic matter produced in polar waters.

  17. 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

  18. Ecosystem Services

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ecosystem goods and services are the many life-sustaining benefits we receive from nature and contribute to environmental and human health and well-being. Ecosystem-focused research will develop methods to measure ecosystem goods and services.

  19. Root communication among desert shrubs.

    OpenAIRE

    Mahall, B E; Callaway, R M

    1991-01-01

    Descriptive and experimental studies of desert shrub distributions have revealed important questions about the mechanisms by which plants interact. For example, do roots interact by mechanisms other than simple competition for limiting resources? We investigated this question using the desert shrubs Ambrosia dumosa and Larrea tridentata grown in chambers that allowed observation of roots during intraplant and intra- and interspecific interplant encounters. Two types of root "communication" we...

  20. 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.

  1. 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.)

  2. Thermodynamic and pedogenic differences between desert microsites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, Michael; Caldwell, Todd; Lin, Henry

    2014-05-01

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

  3. Ecological issues related to N deposition to natural ecosystems: research needs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mary Beth Adams

    2003-01-01

    There has and continues to be concern about the effects of elevated nitrogen (N) deposition on natural ecosystems. In this paper, research on natural ecosystems, including wetlands, heathlands, grasslands, steppe, naturally regenerated forests and deserts, is evaluated to determine what is known about nitrogen cycling in these ecosystems, the effects of elevated...

  4. Novel Deployment of Mobile Eddy Covariance Tower Observations Across Variations in the Built Environment in a Desert Urban Area

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-11-03

    Desert Urban Area Enrique R. Vivoni, Nicole A. Pierini, Adam P. Schreiner-McGraw and Ivan Lopez-Castrillo School of Sustainable Engineering...exchanges between the urban surface and the overlying atmosphere. Urban water and energy exchanges can be particularly important in desert cities ...Semiarid Ecosystems of the Southwestern U.S. Masters of Science in Civil, Environmental and Sustainable Engineering, Arizona State University, 243 pp

  5. Tree establishment along an ENSO experimental gradient in the Atacama desert

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Squeo, F.A.; Holmgren, M.; Jimenez, L.; Alban, L.; Reyes, J.; Gutierrez, J.R.

    2007-01-01

    Questions: (1) What are the roles of regional climate and plant growth rate for seedling establishment during ENSO rainy pulses along the western coast of South America? (2) What is the water threshold for tree seedling establishment in these arid ecosystems? Location: Atacama Desert, western South

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  9. 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...

  10. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Betancourt, J. L.

    2007-12-01

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

  12. Diverging Plant and Ecosystem Strategies in Response to Climate Change in the High Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maseyk, K. S.; Welker, J. M.; Czimczik, C. I.; Lupascu, M.; Lett, C.; Seibt, U. H.

    2014-12-01

    Increasing summer precipitation means Arctic growing seasons are becoming wetter as well as warmer, but the effect of these coupled changes on tundra ecosystem functioning remains largely unknown. We have determined how warmer and wetter summers affect coupled carbon-water cycling in a High Arctic polar semi-desert ecosystem in NW Greenland. Measurements of ecosystem CO2 and water fluxes throughout the growing season and leaf ecophysiological traits (gas exchange, morphology, leaf chemistry) were made at a long-term climate change experiment. After 9 years of exposure to warmer (+ 4°C) and / or wetter (+ 50% precipitation) treatments, we found diverging plant strategies between the responses to warming with or without an increase in summer precipitation. Warming alone resulted in an increase in leaf nitrogen, mesophyll conductance and leaf-mass per area and higher rates of leaf-level photosynthesis, but with warming and wetting combined leaf traits remain largely unchanged. However, total leaf area increased with warming plus wetting but was unchanged with warming alone. The combined effect of these leaf trait and canopy adjustments is a decrease in ecosystem water-use efficiency (the ratio of net productivity to evapotranspiration) with warming only, but a substantial increase with combined warming and wetting. We conclude that increasing summer precipitation will alter tundra ecohydrological responses to warming; that leaf-level changes in ecophysiological traits have an upward cascading consequence for ecosystem and land surface-climate interactions; and the current relative resistance of High Arctic ecosystems to warming may mask biochemical and carbon cycling changes already underway.

  13. Moving the Force: Desert Storm and Beyond

    Science.gov (United States)

    1994-12-01

    Desert Shield~ Desert Storm, we could have met our airlift deployment requirements 20 to 35 percent faster. ~° Similar analyses of the Somalian Restore...DATE DEC 1994 2. REPORT TYPE 3. DATES COVERED - 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Moving The Force: Desert Storm and Beyond 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER 5b...MOVING THE FORCE: Desert Storm and Beyond SCOTT W. CONRAD McNair Paper 32 December 1994 INSTITUTE FOR NATIONAL STRATEGIC STUDIES NATIONAL DEFENSE

  14. Integrated Desert Terrain Forecasting for Military Operations

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-02-15

    McDonald, Todd Caldwell. Root patterns for Larrea tridentata in relation to soil morphology in Mojave desert soils of different ages, The Mojave Desert...McDonald, E.V., and Caldwell, T.G., 2009, Root patterns for Larrea tridentata in relation to soil morphology in Mojave desert soils of different ages, in

  15. Recent drought effects on ecosystem carbon uptake in California ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, M.; Guan, K.; Brodrick, P. G.; Berry, J. A.; Asner, G. P.

    2016-12-01

    California is one of the Earth's most biodiverse places and most of California has experienced an extreme (millennium scale) drought in the period of 2012-2015. Although the effect of the drought on the water resources have been well studied, the responses of ecosystems has not been explored in this detail. This study used advanced remotely sensed data (e.g., remotely sensed vegetation indices and solar-induced fluorescence), an ecosystem model, and model-data fusion techniques to study the impacts of the severe drought on ecosystem carbon uptakes in California. We have found that: (1) the drought has significantly suppressed carbon uptake and light use efficiency in California ecosystems - except in the semi-deserts, and the moist forests in the northern coast; (2) effects on the photosynthetic capacity of the ecosystems extends after the drought is relieved; and (3) the drought has shifted both the timing and magnitude of the seasonality of the carbon uptake in non-forested regions. These findings provide a better understanding of the impacts of droughts, and provide an improved basis for prediction of ecosystem responses under a more extreme climate in the future.

  16. Ecosystem Jenga!

    Science.gov (United States)

    Umphlett, Natalie; Brosius, Tierney; Laungani, Ramesh; Rousseau, Joe; Leslie-Pelecky, Diandra L.

    2009-01-01

    To give students a tangible model of an ecosystem and have them experience what could happen if a component of that ecosystem were removed; the authors developed a hands-on, inquiry-based activity that visually demonstrates the concept of a delicately balanced ecosystem through a modification of the popular game Jenga. This activity can be…

  17. Alpine ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    P.W. Rundel; C.I. Millar

    2016-01-01

    Alpine ecosystems are typically defined as those areas occurring above treeline, while recognizing that alpine ecosystems at a local scale may be found below this boundary for reasons including geology, geomorphology, and microclimate. The lower limit of the alpine ecosystems, the climatic treeline, varies with latitude across California, ranging from about 3500 m in...

  18. On a Crowded Desert Island.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rothstein, Samuel

    1989-01-01

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

  19. Food insecurity and food deserts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Camp, Nadine L

    2015-08-15

    Food insecurity has been steadily increasing in the United States with prevalence at nearly 15% of all households. Nurse practitioners can assess for food insecurity and provide local resources for families living in neighborhoods without easy access to healthy foods, otherwise known as food deserts.

  20. Desert Pathfinder at Work

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-09-01

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

  1. Polarization developments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Prescott, C.Y.

    1993-07-01

    Recent developments in laser-driven photoemission sources of polarized electrons have made prospects for highly polarized electron beams in a future linear collider very promising. This talk discusses the experiences with the SLC polarized electron source, the recent progress with research into gallium arsenide and strained gallium arsenide as a photocathode material, and the suitability of these cathode materials for a future linear collider based on the parameters of the several linear collider designs that exist

  2. 50 years of water extraction in the Pampa del Tamarugal basin: Can Prosopis tamarugo trees survive in the hyper-arid Atacama Desert (Northern Chile)?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Chávez Oyanadel, R.O.; Clevers, J.G.P.W.; Decuyper, M.; Bruin, de S.; Herold, M.

    2016-01-01

    Groundwater-dependent ecosystems are threatened worldwide by unsustainable groundwater (GW) extraction. This is the case of the Prosopis tamarugo Phil forest in the hyper-arid Atacama Desert (Northern Chile), one of the most extreme ecosystems on Earth. Despite concerns about the conservation of

  3. Nest guarding by female Agassiz's desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) at a wind-energy facility near Palm Springs, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agha, Mickey; Lovich, Jeffrey E.; Ennen, Joshua R.; Wilcox, Ethan

    2013-01-01

    We observed behavior consistent with nest-guarding in Agassiz's desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) at two nests in a large wind-energy-generation facility near Palm Springs, California, locally known as the Mesa Wind Farm. As researchers approached the nests, female desert tortoises moved to the entrance of their burrows and positioned themselves sideways, directly over their nests. One female stretched her limbs outward and wedged herself into the burrow (her plastron directly above the nest). Guarding of nests is rarely observed in Agassiz's desert tortoise but can occur as a result of attempted predation on eggs by Gila monsters (Heloderma suspectum) or in direct response to the perceived threat posed by researchers. This is the first report of nest-guarding for G. agassizii in the Sonoran Desert ecosystem of California.

  4. Polarization, political

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wojcieszak, M.; Mazzoleni, G.; Barnhurst, K.G.; Ikeda, K.; Maia, R.C.M.; Wessler, H.

    2015-01-01

    Polarization has been studied in three different forms: on a social, group, and individual level. This entry first focuses on the undisputed phenomenon of elite polarization (i.e., increasing adherence of policy positions among the elites) and also outlines different approaches to assessing mass

  5. 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.

  6. Dust Availability in Desert Terrains

    Science.gov (United States)

    1985-01-01

    RAVIKOVIrCIl, 1953: KAPLAN , 19119. Si ATKINE. 1960). From Yaalon & Ginzhourg (1988). B.8 AMOUNTS AND CONCENTRATIONS OFl DUST IN THE ATMOSPHERE (see also...deposits of comparable origin and age further north along the Dead Sea Rift. Another exampie is the lava flows of latest Pleisto- cene age in the Cima ...the Cima Volcanic Field in the southern Mojave Desert, located downwind of extensive dust-producing playa surfaces. More than 1 m of a gravel-free B

  7. Polarization holography

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nikolova, L.; Ramanujam, P.S.

    Current research into holography is concerned with applications in optically storing, retrieving, and processing information. Polarization holography has many unique properties compared to conventional holography. It gives results in high efficiency, achromaticity, and special polarization...... properties. This books reviews the research carried out in this field over the last 15 years. The authors provide basic concepts in polarization and the propagation of light through anisotropic materials, before presenting a sound theoretical basis for polarization holography. The fabrication...... and characterization of azobenzene based materials, which remain the most efficient for the purpose, is described in detail. This is followed by a description of other materials that are used in polarization holography. An in-depth description of various applications, including display holography and optical storage...

  8. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel E. Valdivia

    2008-06-01

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

  10. Cosmic Microwave Background Polarization and Inflation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chuss, David T.

    2011-01-01

    Measurements of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) offer a means to explore the universe at a very early epoch. Specifically, if the universe went through a brief period of exponential expansion called inflation as current data suggest, gravitational waves from this period would polarize the CMB in a specific pattern. At GSFC, we are currently working towards two experiments that work in concert to measure this polarization pattern in search of evidence for inflation. The Cosmology Large Angular Scale Surveyor (CLASS) will measure the polarization at frequencies between 40 and 150 GHz from the Atacama Desert in Chile. The Primordial Inflation Polarization Explorer (PIPER) is a balloon-borne experiment that will make similar measurements at frequencies between 200 and 600 GHz.

  11. Environmental conditions and soils of natural oases in the Alashan Gobi Desert, Mongolia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pankova, E. I.

    2008-08-01

    Environmental conditions and soils of nine natural oases in the Alashan Gobi Desert of Mongolia are characterized. All these oases are allocated to the zones of tectonic faults, where the discharge of slightly saline groundwater takes place. The absolute heights are about 1500 m a.s.l. The oases are found on piedmont plains or in hilly areas occupied by true deserts with fragments of extremely arid deserts. With respect to geomorphological conditions, four types of oases can be distinguished: isolated (isle-type) oases, oases in large mesodepressions, oases formed in naturally ponded areas, and oases within terraced valleys. Each of these types is characterized by specific soil cover patterns controlled by the geomorphological features of the territory, the character of parent materials, and the groundwater depth. At the same time, some common soil properties are typical of all the oases. Hydromorphic soils—peat meadow-swampy soils, dark-colored nonsaline meadow soils, oasis solonchaks that developed in areas with shallow nonsaline groundwater, solonchaks with different degrees of hydromorphism that developed from mottled-colored salt-bearing Cretaceous and Paleogene deposits, and soddy alluvial (floodplain) soils—predominate in the central parts of the oases. Under conditions of deep groundwater, takyric and sandy desert soils are formed. The oases are encircled by desert ecosystems with gray-brown desert and extremely arid soils and with poorly developed stony soils that formed on the low residual mounts. In the period of the study (1991), irrigated farming was only developed within one of the studied oases. The main part of the land was used for pasturing. In some cases, the high grazing pressure led to degradation (desertification) of oasis ecosystems. A comparison of the oases studied in the Alashan Gobi with the Ekhiin-Gol oasis in the Transaltai Gobi attests to the similarity of their nature.

  12. Does protection of desert tortoise habitat generate other ecological benefits in the Mojave Desert?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matthew L. Brooks

    2000-01-01

    This paper summarizes the ecological effects of fenced habitat protection for the desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) at the Desert Tortoise Research Natural Area in the Mojave Desert. The following were higher inside than outside the natural area: (1) annual and perennial plant biomass, cover, diversity and dominance by natives, (2) soil seed...

  13. 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

  14. AQUATIC ECOSYSTEMS,

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aquatic ecosystems are a vital part of the urban water cycle (and of urban areas more broadly), and, if healthy, provide a range of goods and services valued by humans (Meyer 1997). For example, aquatic ecosystems (e.g., rivers, lakes, wetlands) provide potable water, food resou...

  15. Man-Made Closed Ecological Systems as Model of Natural Ecosystems and as Means to Provide High Quality of Human Life in Adverse Environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gitelson, I. I.; Harper, Lynn (Technical Monitor)

    1994-01-01

    For its more than thirty year long history, the experimental creation of closed ecological systems has from its very sources been distinctly and strongly motivated by the development of human life-support systems for space. As the trend developed its fundamental significance and broad opportunities of terrestrial applications of the technologies under development were coming to the foreground. Nowadays, it can be argued that development of closed ecosystems is experimental foundation of a new branch of ecology biospherics, the goal of which is to comprehend the regularities of existence of the biosphere as a unique in the Universe (in that part of it that we know, at least) closed ecosystem. Closed technologies can be implemented in life-support systems under adverse conditions of life on the Earth - in Arctic and Antarctic latitudes, deserts, high mountains or deep in the ocean, as well as under the conditions of polluted water and air. In space where the environment is hostile for life all around the cell of life should be sealed and the life-support system as close to the ideally closed cyclic turnover of the matter as possible. Under terrestrial conditions designers should strive for maximum closure of the limiting factor: water - in deserts, oxygen - in high mountains, energy - in polar latitudes, etc. Essential closure of a life-support systems withstands also pollution of the environment by the wastes of human vital activity. This is of particular importance for the quarantine of visited planets, and on the Earth under the conditions of deficient heat in high latitudes and water in and areas. The report describes experimental ecosystem 'BIOS' and exohabitats being designed on its basis, which are adapted to various conditions, described capacities of the Center for Closed Ecosystems in Drasnoyarsk for international collaboration in research and education in this field.

  16. Polar Bears

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amstrup, Steven C.; Douglas, David C.; Reynolds, Patricia E.; Rhode, E.B.

    2002-01-01

    Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) are hunted throughout most of their range. In addition to hunting polar bears of the Beaufort Sea region are exposed to mineral and petroleum extraction and related human activities such as shipping road-building, and seismic testing (Stirling 1990).Little was known at the start of this project about how polar bears move about in their environment, and although it was understood that many bears travel across political borders, the boundaries of populations had not been delineated (Amstrup 1986, Amstrup et al. 1986, Amstrup and DeMaster 1988, Garner et al. 1994, Amstrup 1995, Amstrup et al. 1995, Amstrup 2000).As human populations increase and demands for polar bears and other arctic resources escalate, managers must know the sizes and distributions of the polar bear populations. Resource managers also need reliable estimates of breeding rates, reproductive intervals, litter sizes, and survival of young and adults.Our objectives for this research were 1) to determine the seasonal and annual movements of polar bears in the Beaufort Sea, 2) to define the boundaries of the population(s) using this region, 3) to determine the size and status of the Beaufort Sea polar bear population, and 4) to establish reproduction and survival rates (Amstrup 2000).

  17. On dew and micrometeorology in an arid coastal ecosystem

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Heusinkveld, B.G.

    2008-01-01

    This study investigated intriguing aspects of dew within a sandy arid ecosystem situated in the NW Negev desert, Israel. The goal was to quantify dew formation and evaporation processes through sensor design, field measurements and modelling. To do this, two new sensors were developed. The first

  18. [Assessment of shallow groundwater nitrate concentrations in typical terrestrial ecosystems of Chinese Ecosystem Research Network (CERN) during 2004-2009].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Zhi-Wei; Zhang, Xin-Yu; Sun, Xiao-Min; Yuan, Guo-Fu; Wang, Sheng-Zhong; Liu, Wen-Hua

    2011-10-01

    The nitrate-N (NO3(-) -N) concentrations of 38 shallow groundwater wells from 31 of the typical terrestrial ecosystems on Chinese Ecosystem Research Network (CERN) were assessed using the monitoring data from 2004 to 2009. The results showed that the average values of NO3(-) -N concentrations were significantly higher in the agricultural (4.85 mg x L(-1) +/- 0.42 mg x L(-1)), desert (oasis) (3.72 mg x L(-1) +/- 0.42 mg x L(-1)) and urban ecosystems (3.77 mg x L(-1) 0.51 mg x L(-1)) than in the grass (1.59 mg x L(-1) +/- 0.35 mg L(-1)) and forest ecosystems (0.39 mg x L(-1) +/- 0.03 mg x L(-1)). Nitrate was the major form of nitrogen, with between 56% to 88% of nitrogen in the nitrate-N form in the shallow groundwater of desert (oasis), urban and agricultural ecosystems. Nitrate-N concentrations for some agricultural ecosystems (Ansai, Yanting, Yucheng) and desert (oasis) ecosystems (Cele, Linze, Akesu) analysis exceeded the 10 mg x L(-1) World Health Organization drinking water standards between 14.3% and 84.6%. Significant seasonality was found in Ansai, Fengqiu, Yanting agricultural ecosystems and the Beijing urban ecosystem using the relatively high frequency monitoring data, with the higher nitrate concentrations usually found during summer and winter months. The monitoring results indicated that the shallow groundwater of agricultural ecosystems was contaminated by agricultural management practices, i.e. fertilization, while the shallow groundwater of forest ecosystems was under natural condition with no contamination from human activities.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  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. Large-scale downy brome treatments alter plant-soil relationships and promote perennial grasses in salt desert shrublands

    Science.gov (United States)

    The interrelationship between invasive annual grass abundance and soil resource availability varies spatially and temporally within ecosystems and may be altered by land treatments. We evaluated these relationships in two salt desert landscapes where the local abundance of Bromus tectorum L. (downy...

  3. Atmospheric-Ecosystem CO2 Exchange in Sparse Arid Shrublands Across the Great Basin USA Over Multiple Years: Identifying Patterns and Mechanisms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arnone, J. A.; Jasoni, R. L.; Larsen, J. D.; Fenstermaker, L. F.; Wohlfahrt, G.

    2008-12-01

    Up to recently, desert ecosystems have essentially been ignored with respect to their influence on global carbon cycling and their potential role in modulating atmospheric CO2 levels. Because deserts, defined here as ecosystems receiving Larrea tridentata)-dominated ecosystems, high desert sagebrush steppe (Aremesia tridentata) ecosystems, and greasewood (Sarcobatus vermiculatus) ecosystems have been largely positive (net C uptake by ecosystems; range of zero to 90 g C m-2 yr-1) and often large (as high 100 to 180 g C m-2 yr-1). Thus, the data from these arid shrublands suggest a much larger arid land C sink than has been previously assumed and call for closer tracking of the CO2 fluxes in these ecosystems.

  4. 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.

  5. Ecosystem thermodynamics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gomez Palacio, German Rau

    1998-01-01

    Ecology is no more a descriptive and self-sufficient science. Many viewpoints are needed simultaneously to give a full coverage of such complex systems: ecosystems. These viewpoints come from physics, chemistry, and nuclear physics, without a new far from equilibrium thermodynamics and without new mathematical tools such as catastrophe theory, fractal theory, cybernetics and network theory, the development of ecosystem science would never have reached the point of today. Some ideas are presented about the importance that concept such as energy, entropy, exergy information and none equilibrium have in the analysis of processes taking place in ecosystems

  6. Bacteriophage in polar inland waters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Säwström, Christin; Lisle, John; Anesio, A.M.; Priscu, John C.; Laybourn-Parry, J.

    2008-01-01

    Bacteriophages are found wherever microbial life is present and play a significant role in aquatic ecosystems. They mediate microbial abundance, production, respiration, diversity, genetic transfer, nutrient cycling and particle size distribution. Most studies of bacteriophage ecology have been undertaken at temperate latitudes. Data on bacteriophages in polar inland waters are scant but the indications are that they play an active and dynamic role in these microbially dominated polar ecosystems. This review summarises what is presently known about polar inland bacteriophages, ranging from subglacial Antarctic lakes to glacial ecosystems in the Arctic. The review examines interactions between bacteriophages and their hosts and the abiotic and biotic variables that influence these interactions in polar inland waters. In addition, we consider the proportion of the bacteria in Arctic and Antarctic lake and glacial waters that are lysogenic and visibly infected with viruses. We assess the relevance of bacteriophages in the microbial loop in the extreme environments of Antarctic and Arctic inland waters with an emphasis on carbon cycling.

  7. Rural childhoods in Egypt's desert lands

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Adriansen, Hanne Kirstine

    . Many settlers move to the Mubarak villages in order to give their children a good start in life. The desert villages are associated with a type of ‘rural idyll’. The process of settling in the desert impacts upon the children’s possible pathways to adulthood and their identities and social...

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

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

    To most people, a desert — by definition — is a place where water is practically nonexistent. But a team of researchers studying Jordan's badia — a large desert in the country's northwest corner — has uncovered a secret moving slowly beneath the area's vast arid expanses. Using satellite photos, knowledge of the local ...

  9. 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.

  10. Dynamic Conservation of Date Palms: The Future of a Genetic Resource at the Nexus of Climate Change, Desertification and Salinity Stress in Oasis Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    The date palm (Phoenix dactylifera) is the only indigenous, wild desert plant definitely domesticated in its native harsh environment, and along with the camel (Camelus dromedarius), was responsible for opening the vast desert territories for human activity and the development of oasis ecosystems, w...

  11. Diversity and activity of denitrifiers of Chilean arid soil ecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julieta eOrlando

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available The Chilean sclerophyllous matorral is a Mediterranean semiarid ecosystem affected by erosion, with low soil fertility and limited by nitrogen. However, limitation of resources is even more severe for desert soils such as from the Atacama Desert, one of the most extreme arid deserts on Earth. Topsoil organic matter, nitrogen and moisture content were significantly higher in the semiarid soil compared to the desert soil. Although the most significant loss of biologically preferred nitrogen from terrestrial ecosystems occurs via denitrification, virtually nothing is known on the activity and composition of denitrifier communities thriving in arid soils. In this study, we explored denitrifier communities from two soils with profoundly distinct edaphic factors. While denitrification activity in the desert soil was below detection limit, the semiarid soil sustained denitrification activity. To elucidate the genetic potential of the soils to sustain denitrification processes we performed community analysis of denitrifiers based on nitrite reductase (nirK and nirS genes as functional marker genes for this physiological group. Presence of nirK-type denitrifiers in both soils was demonstrated but failure to amplify nirS from the desert soil suggests very low abundance of nirS-type denitrifiers shedding light on the lack of denitrification activity. Phylogenetic analysis showed a very low diversity of nirK with only three distinct genotypes in the desert soil which conditions presumably exert a high selection pressure. While nirK diversity was also limited to only few, albeit distinct genotypes, the semiarid matorral soil showed a surprisingly broad genetic variability of the nirS gene. The Chilean matorral is a shrub land plant community which form vegetational patches stabilizing the soil and increasing its nitrogen and carbon content. These islands of fertility may sustain the development and activity of the overall microbial community and of

  12. Diversity and activity of denitrifiers of chilean arid soil ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orlando, Julieta; Carú, Margarita; Pommerenke, Bianca; Braker, Gesche

    2012-01-01

    The Chilean sclerophyllous matorral is a Mediterranean semiarid ecosystem affected by erosion, with low soil fertility, and limited by nitrogen. However, limitation of resources is even more severe for desert soils such as from the Atacama Desert, one of the most extreme arid deserts on Earth. Topsoil organic matter, nitrogen and moisture content were significantly higher in the semiarid soil compared to the desert soil. Although the most significant loss of biologically preferred nitrogen from terrestrial ecosystems occurs via denitrification, virtually nothing is known on the activity and composition of denitrifier communities thriving in arid soils. In this study we explored denitrifier communities from two soils with profoundly distinct edaphic factors. While denitrification activity in the desert soil was below detection limit, the semiarid soil sustained denitrification activity. To elucidate the genetic potential of the soils to sustain denitrification processes we performed community analysis of denitrifiers based on nitrite reductase (nirK and nirS) genes as functional marker genes for this physiological group. Presence of nirK-type denitrifiers in both soils was demonstrated but failure to amplify nirS from the desert soil suggests very low abundance of nirS-type denitrifiers shedding light on the lack of denitrification activity. Phylogenetic analysis showed a very low diversity of nirK with only three distinct genotypes in the desert soil which conditions presumably exert a high selection pressure. While nirK diversity was also limited to only few, albeit distinct genotypes, the semiarid matorral soil showed a surprisingly broad genetic variability of the nirS gene. The Chilean matorral is a shrub land plant community which form vegetational patches stabilizing the soil and increasing its nitrogen and carbon content. These islands of fertility may sustain the development and activity of the overall microbial community and of denitrifiers in particular.

  13. Heavy rainfall triggers increased nocturnal flight in desert populations of the Pacific black duck (Anas superciliosa).

    Science.gov (United States)

    McEvoy, J F; Ribot, R F H; Wingfield, J C; Bennett, A T D

    2017-12-14

    Understanding of avian nocturnal flight comes mainly from northern hemisphere species in seasonal temperate ecosystems where nocturnal flight is often precisely timed and entrained by annual photoperiod. Here we investigate patterns of nocturnal flight in waterbirds of Australian desert ecosystems that fly considerable distances to find temporary water bodies formed from rainfall which is highly unpredictable seasonally and spatially, and when there is sufficient water, they then breed. How they perform these feats of navigation and physiology remain poorly known. Using GPS tracking of 38 satellite tagged Pacific black ducks (Anas superciliosa) in two contrasting ecosystems, before and after heavy rainfall we revealed a key role for facultative nocturnal flight in the movement ecology of this species. After large rainfall events, birds rapidly increased nocturnal flight activity in the arid aseasonal ecosystem, but not in the mesic seasonal one. Nocturnal flights occurred throughout the night in both ecosystems. Long range flights (>50 km in 2 hours) occurred almost exclusively at night; at night the distance flown was higher than during the day, birds visited more locations, and the locations were more widely dispersed. Our work reveals that heavy rainfall triggers increased nocturnal flight activity in desert populations of waterbirds.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christofer Bang

    2010-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bang, Christofer; Sabo, John L; Faeth, Stanley H

    2010-06-10

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

  16. Strategic ecosystems of Colombia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Marquez Calle German

    2002-01-01

    The author relates the ecosystems in Colombia, he makes a relationship between ecosystems and population, utility of the ecosystems, transformation of the ecosystems and poverty and he shows a methodology of identification of strategic ecosystems

  17. Desert(ed geographies: cartographies of nuclear testing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joe Lockard

    2000-03-01

    Full Text Available The paper analyses cartographies of nuclearism and colonial-native relations in terms of the exclusions in nuclear testing maps. It considers maps from French and British nuclear tests at Mururoa in the South Pacific and Maralinga in Australia. The paper argues that these maps rely on older Euro-American cartographic and narrative traditions of imagining empty and deserted territories in order to advance political arguments for the displacement and deterritorialisation of native peoples who occupy nuclear testing areas. Such official government nuclear cartography reproduces a colonial narrative of native abandonment. The explicit spatial expansionism of nuclear testing maps emphasises that control of place is the crux of the struggle for an anti-nuclear narrative strategy.

  18. Noise-induced stability in dryland plant ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Odorico, Paolo; Laio, Francesco; Ridolfi, Luca

    2005-08-02

    Dryland plant ecosystems tend to exhibit bistable dynamics with two preferential configurations of bare and vegetated soils. Climate fluctuations are usually believed to act as a source of disturbance on these ecosystems and to reduce their stability and resilience. In contrast, this work shows that random interannual fluctuations of precipitation may lead to the emergence of an intermediate statistically stable condition between the two stable states of the deterministic dynamics of vegetation. As a result, there is an enhancement of ecosystem resilience and a decrease in the likelihood of catastrophic shifts to the desert state.

  19. Deserts

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Graulund, Rune

    2016-01-01

    geographies, and the relationship between travel writing and the social, ideological and occasionally fictional constructs through which we view the different regions of the world. Covering all of the major topics and debates, this is an essential overview of the field, which will also encourage new...... and exciting directions for study. Contributors: Simon Bainbridge, Anthony Bale, Shobhana Bhattacharji, Dúnlaith Bird, Elizabeth A. Bohls, Wendy Bracewell, Kylie Cardell, Daniel Carey, Janice Cavell, Simon Cooke, Matthew Day, Kate Douglas, Justin D. Edwards, David Farley, Charles Forsdick, Corinne Fowler...

  20. Simulated climate effects of desert irrigation geoengineering

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Wei; Moore, John C.; Cao, Long; Ji, Duoying; Zhao, Liyun

    2017-04-01

    Geoengineering, the deliberate large-scale manipulation of earth’s energy balance to counteract global warming, is an attractive proposition for sparsely populated deserts. We use the BNU and UVic Earth system models to simulate the effects of irrigating deserts under the RCP8.5 scenario. Previous studies focused on increasing desert albedo to reduce global warming; in contrast we examine how extending afforestation and ecological projects, that successfully improve regional environments, fair for geoengineering purposes. As expected desert irrigation allows vegetation to grow, with bare soil or grass gradually becoming shrub or tree covered, with increases in terrestrial carbon storage of 90.3 Pg C (UVic-ESCM) - 143.9 Pg C (BNU-ESM). Irrigating global deserts makes the land surface temperature decrease by 0.48 °C and land precipitation increase by 100 mm yr-1. In the irrigated areas, BNU-ESM simulates significant cooling of up to 4.2 °C owing to the increases in low cloud and latent heat which counteract the warming effect due to decreased surface albedo. Large volumes of water would be required to maintain global desert irrigation, equivalent 10 mm/year of global sea level (BNU-ESM) compensate for evapotranspiration losses. Differences in climate responses between the deserts prompt research into tailored albedo-irrigation schemes.

  1. Political polarization

    OpenAIRE

    Dixit, Avinash K.; Weibull, Jörgen W.

    2007-01-01

    Failures of government policies often provoke opposite reactions from citizens; some call for a reversal of the policy, whereas others favor its continuation in stronger form. We offer an explanation of such polarization, based on a natural bimodality of preferences in political and economic contexts and consistent with Bayesian rationality.

  2. Political polarization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dixit, Avinash K; Weibull, Jörgen W

    2007-05-01

    Failures of government policies often provoke opposite reactions from citizens; some call for a reversal of the policy, whereas others favor its continuation in stronger form. We offer an explanation of such polarization, based on a natural bimodality of preferences in political and economic contexts and consistent with Bayesian rationality.

  3. 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.

  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. Coso geothermal environmental overview study ecosystem quality

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Leitner, P.

    1981-09-01

    The Coso Known Geothermal Resource Area is located just east of the Sierra Nevada, in the broad transition zone between the Mohave and Great Basin desert ecosystems. The prospect of large-scale geothermal energy development here in the near future has led to concern for the protection of biological resources. Objectives here are the identification of ecosystem issues, evaluation of the existing data base, and recommendation of additional studies needed to resolve key issues. High-priority issues include the need for (1) site-specific data on the occurrence of plant and animal species of special concern, (2) accurate and detailed information on the nature and extent of the geothermal resource, and (3) implementation of a comprehensive plan for ecosystem protection.

  6. Does a Nutritious Diet Cost More in Food Deserts?

    OpenAIRE

    Fan, Linlin; Baylis, Kathy; Gundersen, Craig; Ver Ploeg, Michele

    2015-01-01

    Food deserts and their potential effects on diet and nutrition have received much attention from policymakers. While some research has found correlations between food deserts and consumer outcomes, it is unclear whether food deserts truly affect consumption behavior. In this paper, we compare food prices in food deserts and non-food deserts to check whether lack of access is associated with higher food prices of a complete diet, which could constrain the consumption of healthy foods in food d...

  7. Desert Dust and Monsoon Rain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lau, William K. M.; Kim, Kyu-Myong

    2014-01-01

    For centuries, inhabitants of the Indian subcontinent have know that heavy dust events brought on by strong winds occur frequently in the pre-monsoon season, before the onset of heavy rain. Yet scientists have never seriously considered the possibility that natural dust can affect monsoon rainfall. Up to now, most studies of the impacts of aerosols on Indian monsoon rainfall have focused on anthropogenic aerosols in the context of climate change. However, a few recent studies have show that aerosols from antropogenic and natural sources over the Indian subcontinent may affect the transition from break to active monsoon phases on short timescales of days to weeks. Writing in Nature Geoscience, Vinoj and colleagues describe how they have shown that desert dust aerosols over the Arabian Sea and West Asia can strenghten the summer monsoon over the Indial subcontinent in a matter of days.

  8. Controls on sediment production in two U.S. deserts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belnap, Jayne; Walker, Beau J.; Munson, Seth M.; Gill, Richard A.

    2014-01-01

    Much of the world’s airborne sediment originates from dryland regions. Soil surface disturbances in these regions are ever-increasing due to human activities such as energy and mineral exploration and development, recreation, suburbanization, livestock grazing and cropping. Sediment production can have significant impacts to human health with particles potentially carrying viruses such as Valley Fever or causing asthma or other respiratory diseases. Dust storms can cause decreased visibility at the ground level, resulting in highway accidents, and reduced visual quality in park and wildland airsheds. Sediment production and deposition is also detrimental to ecosystem health, as production reduces soil fertility at its source and can bury plants and other organisms where it is deposited. Therefore, it is important to understand how we can predict what areas are prone to producing sediment emissions both before and after soil surface disturbance. We visited 87 sites in two deserts of the western U.S. that represented a range of soil texture and surface cover types. We used a portable wind tunnel to estimate the threshold friction velocity (TFV) required to initiate sediment transport and the amount of sediment produced by the tunnel at a set wind speed. Wind tunnel runs were done before and after soil surface disturbance with a four-wheel drive vehicle. Results show that most undisturbed desert soils are very stable, especially if covered by rocks or well-developed biological soil crusts, which make them virtually wind-erosion proof. Particles at disturbed sites, in contrast, moved at relatively low wind speeds and produced high amounts of sediment. Silt was an important predictor of TFV and sediment production across all sites, whereas the influence of rock cover and biological soil crusts was site-dependent. Understanding the vulnerability of a site after disturbance is important information for land managers as they plan land use activities and attempt to

  9. Controls on sediment production in two U.S. deserts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belnap, Jayne; Walker, Beau J.; Munson, Seth M.; Gill, Richard A.

    2014-09-01

    Much of the world’s airborne sediment originates from dryland regions. Soil surface disturbances in these regions are ever-increasing due to human activities such as energy and mineral exploration and development, recreation, suburbanization, livestock grazing and cropping. Sediment production can have significant impacts to human health with particles potentially carrying viruses such as Valley Fever or causing asthma or other respiratory diseases. Dust storms can cause decreased visibility at the ground level, resulting in highway accidents, and reduced visual quality in park and wildland airsheds. Sediment production and deposition is also detrimental to ecosystem health, as production reduces soil fertility at its source and can bury plants and other organisms where it is deposited. Therefore, it is important to understand how we can predict what areas are prone to producing sediment emissions both before and after soil surface disturbance. We visited 87 sites in two deserts of the western U.S. that represented a range of soil texture and surface cover types. We used a portable wind tunnel to estimate the threshold friction velocity (TFV) required to initiate sediment transport and the amount of sediment produced by the tunnel at a set wind speed. Wind tunnel runs were done before and after soil surface disturbance with a four-wheel drive vehicle. Results show that most undisturbed desert soils are very stable, especially if covered by rocks or well-developed biological soil crusts, which make them virtually wind-erosion proof. Particles at disturbed sites, in contrast, moved at relatively low wind speeds and produced high amounts of sediment. Silt was an important predictor of TFV and sediment production across all sites, whereas the influence of rock cover and biological soil crusts was site-dependent. Understanding the vulnerability of a site after disturbance is important information for land managers as they plan land use activities and attempt to

  10. Effect of repeated burning on plant and soil carbon and nitrogen in cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) dominated ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rachel Jones; Jeanne C. Chambers; Dale W. Johnson; Robert R. Blank; David I. Board

    2015-01-01

    Fire has profound effects on ecosystem properties, but few studies have addressed the effect of repeated burns on soil nutrients, and none have been conducted in cold desert ecosystems where invasion by exotic annual grasses is resulting in greater fire frequency. In a 5 year study, we examined effects of repeated burning, litter removal, and post-fire seeding on...

  11. 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...

  12. Vegetation - Central Mojave Desert [ds166

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  13. An easily reversible structural change underlies mechanisms enabling desert crust cyanobacteria to survive desiccation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bar-Eyal, Leeat; Eisenberg, Ido; Faust, Adam; Raanan, Hagai; Nevo, Reinat; Rappaport, Fabrice; Krieger-Liszkay, Anja; Sétif, Pierre; Thurotte, Adrien; Reich, Ziv; Kaplan, Aaron; Ohad, Itzhak; Paltiel, Yossi; Keren, Nir

    2015-10-01

    Biological desert sand crusts are the foundation of desert ecosystems, stabilizing the sands and allowing colonization by higher order organisms. The first colonizers of the desert sands are cyanobacteria. Facing the harsh conditions of the desert, these organisms must withstand frequent desiccation-hydration cycles, combined with high light intensities. Here, we characterize structural and functional modifications to the photosynthetic apparatus that enable a cyanobacterium, Leptolyngbya sp., to thrive under these conditions. Using multiple in vivo spectroscopic and imaging techniques, we identified two complementary mechanisms for dissipating absorbed energy in the desiccated state. The first mechanism involves the reorganization of the phycobilisome antenna system, increasing excitonic coupling between antenna components. This provides better energy dissipation in the antenna rather than directed exciton transfer to the reaction center. The second mechanism is driven by constriction of the thylakoid lumen which limits diffusion of plastocyanin to P700. The accumulation of P700(+) not only prevents light-induced charge separation but also efficiently quenches excitation energy. These protection mechanisms employ existing components of the photosynthetic apparatus, forming two distinct functional modes. Small changes in the structure of the thylakoid membranes are sufficient for quenching of all absorbed energy in the desiccated state, protecting the photosynthetic apparatus from photoinhibitory damage. These changes can be easily reversed upon rehydration, returning the system to its high photosynthetic quantum efficiency. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. 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.

  15. Productivity and Energy Management in Desert Urban

    OpenAIRE

    Masoud Nasri; Rahele Hekmatpanah

    2010-01-01

    Growing world population has fundamental impacts and often catastrophic on natural habitat. The immethodical consumption of energy, destruction of the forests and extinction of plant and animal species are the consequence of this experience. Urban sustainability and sustainable urban development, that is so spoken these days, should be considered as a strategy, goal and policy, beyond just considering environmental issues and protection. The desert-s climate has made a bu...

  16. Desert Shield Leader’s Safety Guide

    Science.gov (United States)

    1990-12-01

    lasers. • Caution personnel to fire lasers only at designated targets and to never fire at specular surfaces such as glass , mirrors, and windows ... windstorms ) Q Large fluctuations in day/night temperatures (up to 70°F.) • Sandy deserts Q Poor wheeled vehicle off-road mobility/stability...34 desert during the day. • Monitor shadows cast by near objects such as landing gear or skid shadows during hover. • Keep windscreen and door windows

  17. Does a decade of elevated [CO2] affect a desert perennial plant community?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newingham, Beth A; Vanier, Cheryl H; Kelly, Lauren J; Charlet, Therese N; Smith, Stanley D

    2014-01-01

    Understanding the effects of elevated [CO2 ] on plant community structure is crucial to predicting ecosystem responses to global change. Early predictions suggested that productivity in deserts would increase via enhanced water-use efficiency under elevated [CO2], but the response of intact arid plant communities to elevated [CO2 ] is largely unknown. We measured changes in perennial plant community characteristics (cover, species richness and diversity) after 10 yr of elevated [CO2] exposure in an intact Mojave Desert community at the Nevada Desert Free-Air CO2 Enrichment (FACE) Facility. Contrary to expectations, total cover, species richness, and diversity were not affected by elevated [CO2]. Over the course of the experiment, elevated [CO2] had no effect on changes in cover of the evergreen C3 shrub, Larrea tridentata; alleviated decreases in cover of the C4 bunchgrass, Pleuraphis rigida; and slightly reduced the cover of C3 drought-deciduous shrubs. Thus, we generally found no effect of elevated [CO2] on plant communities in this arid ecosystem. Extended drought, slow plant growth rates, and highly episodic germination and recruitment of new individuals explain the lack of strong perennial plant community shifts after a decade of elevated [CO2]. © 2013 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2013 New Phytologist Trust.

  18. Water use, productivity and interactions among desert plants

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ehleringer, J.R.

    1992-11-17

    Water plays a central role affecting all aspects of the dynamics in aridland ecosystems. Productivity, stability, and competitive interactions among ecosystem components within aridlands are key processes related directly to water in deserts. The ecological studies in this project revolve around one fundamental premise: that integrated aspects of plant metabolism provide insight into the structure and function of plant communities and ecosystems. While it is difficult to extrapolate from instantaneous physiological observations to higher scales, such as whole plant performance or to interactions between plants as components of ecosystems, several key aspects of plant metabolism are scalable. Analyses of stable isotopic composition in plant tissues at natural abundance levels provide a useful tool that can provide insight into the consequences of physiological processes over temporal and spatial scales. Some plant processes continuously fractionate among light and heavy stable isotopic forms of an element; over time this results in integrated measures of plant metabolism. For example, carbon isotope fractionation during photosynthesis results in leaf carbon isotopic composition that is a measure of the set-point for photosynthetic metabolism and of water-use efficiency. Thus it provides information on the temporal scaling of a key physiological process. In contrast, hydrogen is not fractionated during water uptake through the root. Soil water availability in shallow, deep, and/or groundwater layers vary spatially; therefore hydrogen isotope ratios of xylem sap provide a direct measure of the water source currently used by a plant. The longer-term record of carbon and hydrogen isotope ratios is recorded annually in xylem tissues (tree rings). The research in this project addresses variation in stable isotopic composition of aridland plants and its consequences for plant performance and community-level interactions.

  19. Parallel Computing for Terrestrial Ecosystem Carbon Modeling

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang, Dali; Post, Wilfred M.; Ricciuto, Daniel M.; Berry, Michael

    2011-01-01

    Terrestrial ecosystems are a primary component of research on global environmental change. Observational and modeling research on terrestrial ecosystems at the global scale, however, has lagged behind their counterparts for oceanic and atmospheric systems, largely because the unique challenges associated with the tremendous diversity and complexity of terrestrial ecosystems. There are 8 major types of terrestrial ecosystem: tropical rain forest, savannas, deserts, temperate grassland, deciduous forest, coniferous forest, tundra, and chaparral. The carbon cycle is an important mechanism in the coupling of terrestrial ecosystems with climate through biological fluxes of CO 2 . The influence of terrestrial ecosystems on atmospheric CO 2 can be modeled via several means at different timescales. Important processes include plant dynamics, change in land use, as well as ecosystem biogeography. Over the past several decades, many terrestrial ecosystem models (see the 'Model developments' section) have been developed to understand the interactions between terrestrial carbon storage and CO 2 concentration in the atmosphere, as well as the consequences of these interactions. Early TECMs generally adapted simple box-flow exchange models, in which photosynthetic CO 2 uptake and respiratory CO 2 release are simulated in an empirical manner with a small number of vegetation and soil carbon pools. Demands on kinds and amount of information required from global TECMs have grown. Recently, along with the rapid development of parallel computing, spatially explicit TECMs with detailed process based representations of carbon dynamics become attractive, because those models can readily incorporate a variety of additional ecosystem processes (such as dispersal, establishment, growth, mortality etc.) and environmental factors (such as landscape position, pest populations, disturbances, resource manipulations, etc.), and provide information to frame policy options for climate change

  20. Food deserts and nutritional risk in Paraguay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gartin, Meredith

    2012-01-01

    The purpose of this case study in San Lorenzo, Paraguay is to identify a food desert in a developing context and to test if food deserts shape residential obesity risk. This article reviews some of the debate surrounding whether food deserts really exist; and, if so, what are the dietary implications of living in a food desert. The research is an exploratory/explanatory design. The author mapped the downtown food retail district and the neighborhood food environment to identify what stores/markets. The author assessed each type of food store using an adapted version of the Nutrition Environment Measure Survey for Stores (NEMS-S) for Paraguay. Body mass index and household characteristics were collected with 68 households in a small neighborhood; and, the author matched the NEMS-S scores to the store reported by households as their primary grocery store for regression tests. The results suggest that a tradeoff exists in the local food environment between food stores which negatively impact obesity risk for local residents. Exposure to this tradeoff appears to worsen as people live longer in the food desert. Thus, the results support the location of a food desert finding in Paraguay. The underlying factors of a food desert extend beyond food access to focus on the issues of justice. A way to improve upon future research to build scholarship on the relationship between deprivation and obesity requires that sample sizes are either large or representative of the population and that the research should be based on multiple neighborhood and city sites. Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  1. Hydrological Controls on Ecosystem Dynamics in Lake Fryxell, Antarctica.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Radu Herbei

    Full Text Available The McMurdo Dry Valleys constitute the largest ice free area of Antarctica. The area is a polar desert with an annual precipitation of ∼ 3 cm water equivalent, but contains several lakes fed by glacial melt water streams that flow from four to twelve weeks of the year. Over the past ∼20 years, data have been collected on the lakes located in Taylor Valley, Antarctica as part of the McMurdo Dry Valley Long-Term Ecological Research program (MCM-LTER. This work aims to understand the impact of climate variations on the biological processes in all the ecosystem types within Taylor Valley, including the lakes. These lakes are stratified, closed-basin systems and are perennially covered with ice. Each lake contains a variety of planktonic and benthic algae that require nutrients for photosynthesis and growth. The work presented here focuses on Lake Fryxell, one of the three main lakes of Taylor Valley; it is fed by thirteen melt-water streams. We use a functional regression approach to link the physical, chemical, and biological processes within the stream-lake system to evaluate the input of water and nutrients on the biological processes in the lakes. The technique has been shown previously to provide important insights into these Antarctic lacustrine systems where data acquisition is not temporally coherent. We use data on primary production (PPR and chlorophyll-A (CHLfrom Lake Fryxell as well as discharge observations from two streams flowing into the lake. Our findings show an association between both PPR, CHL and stream input.

  2. Strategic Polarization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalai, Adam; Kalai, Ehud

    2001-08-01

    In joint decision making, similarly minded people may take opposite positions. Consider the example of a marriage in which one spouse gives generously to charity while the other donates nothing. Such "polarization" may misrepresent what is, in actuality, a small discrepancy in preferences. It may be that the donating spouse would like to see 10% of their combined income go to charity each year, while the apparently frugal spouse would like to see 8% donated. A simple game-theoretic analysis suggests that the spouses will end up donating 10% and 0%, respectively. By generalizing this argument to a larger class of games, we provide strategic justification for polarization in many situations such as debates, shared living accommodations, and disciplining children. In some of these examples, an arbitrarily small disagreement in preferences leads to an arbitrarily large loss in utility for all participants. Such small disagreements may also destabilize what, from game-theoretic point of view, is a very stable equilibrium. Copyright 2001 Academic Press.

  3. Spatial variability and stocks of soil organic carbon in the Gobi desert of Northwestern China.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pingping Zhang

    Full Text Available Soil organic carbon (SOC plays an important role in improving soil properties and the C global cycle. Limited attention, though, has been given to assessing the spatial patterns and stocks of SOC in desert ecosystems. In this study, we quantitatively evaluated the spatial variability of SOC and its influencing factors and estimated SOC storage in a region (40 km2 of the Gobi desert. SOC exhibited a log-normal depth distribution with means of 1.6, 1.5, 1.4, and 1.4 g kg(-1 for the 0-10, 10-20, 20-30, and 30-40 cm layers, respectively, and was moderately variable according to the coefficients of variation (37-42%. Variability of SOC increased as the sampling area expanded and could be well parameterized as a power function of the sampling area. Significant correlations were detected between SOC and soil physical properties, i.e. stone, sand, silt, and clay contents and soil bulk density. The relatively coarse fractions, i.e. sand, silt, and stone contents, had the largest effects on SOC variability. Experimental semivariograms of SOC were best fitted by exponential models. Nugget-to-sill ratios indicated a strong spatial dependence for SOC concentrations at all depths in the study area. The surface layer (0-10 cm had the largest spatial dependency compared with the other layers. The mapping revealed a decreasing trend of SOC concentrations from south to north across this region of the Gobi desert, with higher levels close to an oasis and lower levels surrounded by mountains and near the desert. SOC density to depths of 20 and 40 cm for this 40 km2 area was estimated at 0.42 and 0.68 kg C m(-2, respectively. This study provides an important contribution to understanding the role of the Gobi desert in the global carbon cycle.

  4. Effects of increased soil nitrogen on the dominance of alien annual plants in the Mojave Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brooks, Matthew L.

    2003-01-01

    1. Deserts are one of the least invaded ecosystems by plants, possibly due to naturally low levels of soil nitrogen. Increased levels of soil nitrogen caused by atmospheric nitrogen deposition may increase the dominance of invasive alien plants and decrease the diversity of plant communities in desert regions, as it has in other ecosystems. Deserts should be particularly susceptible to even small increases in soil nitrogen levels because the ratio of increased nitrogen to plant biomass is higher compared with most other ecosystems.2. The hypothesis that increased soil nitrogen will lead to increased dominance by alien plants and decreased plant species diversity was tested in field experiments using nitrogen additions at three sites in the in the Mojave Desert of western North America.3. Responses of alien and native annual plants to soil nitrogen additions were measured in terms of density, biomass and species richness. Effects of nitrogen additions were evaluated during 2 years of contrasting rainfall and annual plant productivity. The rate of nitrogen addition was similar to published rates of atmospheric nitrogen deposition in urban areas adjacent to the Mojave Desert (3·2 g N m−2 year−1). The dominant alien species included the grasses Bromus madritensis ssp. rubens and Schismus spp. (S. arabicus and S. barbatus) and the forb Erodium cicutarium.4. Soil nitrogen addition increased the density and biomass of alien annual plants during both years, but decreased density, biomass and species richness of native species only during the year of highest annual plant productivity. The negative response of natives may have been due to increased competitive stress for soil water and other nutrients caused by the increased productivity of aliens.5. The effects of nitrogen additions were significant at both ends of a natural nutrient gradient, beneath creosote bush Larrea tridentata canopies and in the interspaces between them, although responses varied among

  5. Plastic ingestion by juvenile polar cod (Boreogadus saida) in the Arctic Ocean

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kühn, Susanne; Schaafsma, Fokje L.; Werven, van Bernike; Flores, Hauke; Bergmann, Melanie; Egelkraut-Holtus, Marion; Tekman, Mine B.; Franeker, van Jan A.

    2018-01-01

    One of the recently recognised stressors in Arctic ecosystems concerns plastic litter. In this study, juvenile polar cod (Boreogadus saida) were investigated for the presence of plastics in their stomachs. Polar cod is considered a key species in the Arctic ecosystem. The fish were collected both

  6. Ephemeral lakes and desert dust sources

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahowald, Natalie M.; Bryant, Robert G.; del Corral, John; Steinberger, Linda

    2003-01-01

    The processes that determine which areas are strong sources of mineral aerosols are not well known. In this study we consider the role of ephemeral lakes in modulating emissions of atmospheric mineral aerosols. We focus on two ephemeral lake regions that have been identified as source regions: the zone of Chotts in Tunisia and Algeria, and Etosha Pan in Namibia. Comparisons of satellite retrieved inundation data and the TOMS absorbing aerosol index suggest that during some periods of inundation, desert dust loadings are reduced. There is some indication that after flooded areas have dried there is increased dust loading. However, the role of the inundated ephemeral lake compared with nearby regions in modulating desert dust sources is unclear, in addition, problems with interpreting the TOMS AI make conclusions difficult. More research is required to understand the small-scale sources of atmospheric desert dust in dry, unvegetated, topographic lows.

  7. El Niño effects on the dynamics of terrestrial ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holmgren, M; Scheffer, M; Ezcurra, E; Gutiérrez, J R.; Mohren, G M.J.

    2001-02-01

    New studies are showing that the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) has major implications for the functioning of different ecosystems, ranging from deserts to tropical rain forests. ENSO-induced pulses of enhanced plant productivity can cascade upward through the food web invoking unforeseen feedbacks, and can cause open dryland ecosystems to shift to permanent woodlands. These insights suggest that the predicted change in extreme climatic events resulting from global warming could profoundly alter biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in many regions of the world. Our increasing ability to predict El Niño effects can be used to enhance management strategies for the restoration of degraded ecosystems.

  8. El Niño southern oscillation and its effect on fog oases along the Peruvian and Chilean coastal deserts

    OpenAIRE

    Manrique Paredes, Rosa Soledad

    2011-01-01

    Fog oases, locally named Lomas, are distributed in a fragmented way along the western coast of Chile and Peru (South America) between ~6°S and 30°S following an altitudinal gradient determined by a fog layer. This fragmentation has been attributed to the hyper aridity of the desert. However, periodically climatic events influence the ‘normal seasonality’ of this ecosystem through a higher than average water input that triggers plant responses (e.g. primary productivity and phen...

  9. 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.

  10. Mate desertion in response to female promiscuity in the socially ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Here we report a case of such a mate desertion in the aardwolf Proteles cristatus. We suggest, however, that mate desertion should occur only rarely in response to female promiscuity. This is because a cuckolded male may still be raising some of his own offspring, and should desert only on the rare occasions when an ...

  11. An Economic View of Food Deserts in the United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bitler, Marianne; Haider, Steven J.

    2011-01-01

    Considerable policy and academic attention has been focused on the topic of food deserts. We consider this topic from an economic perspective. First, we consider how the components of a standard economic analysis apply to the study of food deserts. Second, using this economic lens, we revisit the empirical literature on food deserts to assess the…

  12. Actinobacteria from arid and desert habitats: diversity and biological activity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joachim eWink

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract The lack of new antibiotics in the pharmaceutical pipeline guides more and more researchers to leave the classical isolation procedures and to look in special niches and ecosystems. Bioprospecting of extremophilic Actinobacteria through mining untapped strains and avoiding resiolation of known biomolecules is among the most promising strategies for this purpose. With this approach, members of acidtolerant, alkalitolerant, psychrotolerant, thermotolerant, halotolerant and xerotolerant Actinobacteria have been obtained from respective habitats. Among these, little survey exists on the diversity of Actinobacteria in arid areas, which are often adapted to relatively high temperatures, salt concentrations, and radiation. Therefore, arid and desert habitats are special ecosystems which can be recruited for the isolation of uncommon Actinobacteria with new metabolic capability.At the time of this writing, members of Streptomyces, Micromonospora, Saccharothrix, Streptosporangium, Cellulomonas, Amycolatopsis, Geodermatophilus, Lechevalieria, Nocardia and Actinomadura are reported from arid habitats. However, metagenomic data present dominant members of the communities in desiccating condition of areas with limited water availability that are not yet isolated. Furthermore, significant diverse types of polyketide synthase (PKS and nonribosomal peptide synthetase (NRPS genes are detected in xerophilic and xerotolerant Actinobacteria and some bioactive compounds are reported from them. Rather than pharmaceutically active metabolites, molecules with protection activity against drying such as Ectoin and Hydroxyectoin with potential application in industry and agriculture have also been identified from xerophilic Actinobacteria. In addition, numerous biologically active small molecules are expected to be discovered from arid adapted Actinobacteria in the future. In the current survey, the diversity and biotechnological potential of Actinobacteria

  13. Actinobacteria from Arid and Desert Habitats: Diversity and Biological Activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohammadipanah, Fatemeh; Wink, Joachim

    2015-01-01

    The lack of new antibiotics in the pharmaceutical pipeline guides more and more researchers to leave the classical isolation procedures and to look in special niches and ecosystems. Bioprospecting of extremophilic Actinobacteria through mining untapped strains and avoiding resiolation of known biomolecules is among the most promising strategies for this purpose. With this approach, members of acidtolerant, alkalitolerant, psychrotolerant, thermotolerant, halotolerant and xerotolerant Actinobacteria have been obtained from respective habitats. Among these, little survey exists on the diversity of Actinobacteria in arid areas, which are often adapted to relatively high temperatures, salt concentrations, and radiation. Therefore, arid and desert habitats are special ecosystems which can be recruited for the isolation of uncommon Actinobacteria with new metabolic capability. At the time of this writing, members of Streptomyces, Micromonospora, Saccharothrix, Streptosporangium, Cellulomonas, Amycolatopsis, Geodermatophilus, Lechevalieria, Nocardia, and Actinomadura are reported from arid habitats. However, metagenomic data present dominant members of the communities in desiccating condition of areas with limited water availability that are not yet isolated. Furthermore, significant diverse types of polyketide synthase (PKS) and non-ribosomal peptide synthetase (NRPS) genes are detected in xerophilic and xerotolerant Actinobacteria and some bioactive compounds are reported from them. Rather than pharmaceutically active metabolites, molecules with protection activity against drying such as Ectoin and Hydroxyectoin with potential application in industry and agriculture have also been identified from xerophilic Actinobacteria. In addition, numerous biologically active small molecules are expected to be discovered from arid adapted Actinobacteria in the future. In the current survey, the diversity and biotechnological potential of Actinobacteria obtained from arid ecosystems

  14. Precessing deuteron polarization

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sitnik, I.M.; Volkov, V.I.; Kirillov, D.A.; Piskunov, N.M.; Plis, Yu.A.

    2002-01-01

    The feasibility of the acceleration in the Nuclotron of deuterons polarized in the horizontal plane is considered. This horizontal polarization is named precessing polarization. The effects of the main magnetic field and synchrotron oscillations are included. The precessing polarization is supposed to be used in studying the polarization parameters of the elastic dp back-scattering and other experiments

  15. 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.

  16. Adaptive responses reveal contemporary and future ecotypes in a desert shrub

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richardson, Bryce A.; Kitchen, Stanley G.; Pendleton, Rosemary L.; Pendleton, Burton K.; Germino, Matthew J.; Rehfeldt, Gerald E.; Meyer, Susan E.

    2014-01-01

    Interacting threats to ecosystem function, including climate change, wildfire, and invasive species necessitate native plant restoration in desert ecosystems. However, native plant restoration efforts often remain unguided by ecological genetic information. Given that many ecosystems are in flux from climate change, restoration plans need to account for both contemporary and future climates when choosing seed sources. In this study we analyze vegetative responses, including mortality, growth, and carbon isotope ratios in two blackbrush (Coleogyne ramosissima) common gardens that included 26 populations from a range-wide collection. This shrub occupies ecotones between the warm and cold deserts of Mojave and Colorado Plateau ecoregions in western North America. The variation observed in the vegetative responses of blackbrush populations was principally explained by grouping populations by ecoregions and by regression with site-specific climate variables. Aridity weighted by winter minimum temperatures best explained vegetative responses; Colorado Plateau sites were usually colder and drier than Mojave sites. The relationship between climate and vegetative response was mapped within the boundaries of the species–climate space projected for the contemporary climate and for the decade surrounding 2060. The mapped ecological genetic pattern showed that genetic variation could be classified into cool-adapted and warm-adapted ecotypes, with populations often separated by steep clines. These transitions are predicted to occur in both the Mojave Desert and Colorado Plateau ecoregions. While under contemporary conditions the warm-adapted ecotype occupies the majority of climate space, climate projections predict that the cool-adapted ecotype could prevail as the dominant ecotype as the climate space of blackbrush expands into higher elevations and latitudes. This study provides the framework for delineating climate change-responsive seed transfer guidelines, which are

  17. An endangered oasis of aquatic microbial biodiversity in the Chihuahuan desert.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Souza, Valeria; Espinosa-Asuar, Laura; Escalante, Ana E; Eguiarte, Luis E; Farmer, Jack; Forney, Larry; Lloret, Lourdes; Rodríguez-Martínez, Juan M; Soberón, Xavier; Dirzo, Rodolfo; Elser, James J

    2006-04-25

    The Cuatro Cienegas basin in the Chihuahuan desert is a system of springs, streams, and pools. These ecosystems support >70 endemic species and abundant living stromatolites and other microbial communities, representing a desert oasis of high biodiversity. Here, we combine data from molecular microbiology and geology to document the microbial biodiversity of this unique environment. Ten water samples from locations within the Cuatro Cienegas basin and two neighboring valleys as well as three samples of wet sediments were analyzed. The phylogeny of prokaryotic populations in the samples was determined by characterizing cultured organisms and by PCR amplification and sequencing of 16S rRNA genes from total community DNA. The composition of microbial communities was also assessed by determining profiles of terminal restriction site polymorphisms of 16S rRNA genes in total community DNA. There were 250 different phylotypes among the 350 cultivated strains. Ninety-eight partial 16S rRNA gene sequences were obtained and classified. The clones represented 38 unique phylotypes from ten major lineages of Bacteria and one of Archaea. Unexpectedly, 50% of the phylotypes were most closely related to marine taxa, even though these environments have not been in contact with the ocean for tens of millions of years. Furthermore, terminal restriction site polymorphism profiles and geological data suggest that the aquatic ecosystems of Cuatro Cienegas are hydrologically interconnected with adjacent valleys recently targeted for agricultural intensification. The findings underscore the conservation value of desert aquatic ecosystems and the urgent need for study and preservation of freshwater microbial communities.

  18. Polare maskuliniteter

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marit Anne Hauan

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available In this paper my aim is to read and understand the journal of Gerrit de Veer from the last journey of William Barents to the Arctic Regions in 1596 and the journal of captain Junge on his hunting trip from Tromsø to Svalbard in 1834.It is nearly 240 years between this to voyages. The first journal is known as the earliest report from the arctic era. Gerrit de Veer adds instructive copper engravings to his text and give us insight in the crews meeting with this new land. Captain Junges journal is found together with his dead crew in a house in a fjord nearby Ny-Ålesund and has no drawings, but word. Both of these journals may be read as sources of the knowledge and understanding of the polar region. They might also unveil the ideas of how to deal with and survive under the challenges that is given. In addition one can ask if the sources can tell us more about how men describe their challenges. Can the way they expressed themselves in the journals give us an understanding of masculinity? And not least help us to create good questions of the change in the ideas of masculinities which is said to follow the change in understanding of the wilderness.

  19. Molluscs as evidence for a late Pleistocene and early Holocene humid period in the southern coastal desert of Peru (14.5°S)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mächtle, Bertil; Unkel, Ingmar; Eitel, Bernhard; Kromer, Bernd; Schiegl, Solveig

    2010-01-01

    The southern Peruvian coastal desert around Palpa, southern Peru (14.5°S) is currently characterized by hyper-arid conditions. However, the presence of two species of molluscs ( Scutalus, Pupoides) and desert-loess deposits indicates the past development of semi-desert and grassland ecosystems caused by a displacement of the eastern desert margin due to hydrological changes. Radiocarbon dating shows that the transition to a semi-arid climate in the southern Peruvian coastal desert took place during the Greenland interstadial 1, ˜ 13.5 cal ka BP. At the beginning of the Holocene, the mollusc fauna vanished due to increasing humidity and the development of grasslands. Dust particles were fixed by the grasses, as indicated by abundant Poaceae phytoliths, and desert loess was formed. The humid period we observe here is out of phase with the palaeoenvironmental records from the Titicaca region, which indicates dry conditions at that time. This paper offers a new idea for this contradiction: an orbitally driven meridional shift of the Bolivian high might have altered the moisture supply across the Andes.

  20. 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

  1. El Niño effects on the dynamics of terrestrial ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Holmgren, M.; Scheffer, M.; Ezcurra, E.; Gutiérrez, J.R.; Mohren, G.M.J.

    2001-01-01

    New studies are showing that the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) has major implications for the functioning of different ecosystems, ranging from deserts to tropical rain forests. ENSO-induced pulses of enhanced plant productivity can cascade upward through the food web invoking unforeseen

  2. The Logic and Realism of the Hypothesis of Exploitation Ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oksanen, Lauri; Oksanen, Tarja

    2000-06-01

    Hypotheses on trophic dynamics in terrestrial ecosystems fall into two major categories: those in which plants are assumed to be invulnerable to their consumers and those in which the build-up of plant biomass is assumed to require top-down control of folivores. The hypothesis of exploitation ecosystems (EEH) belongs to the latter category and focuses particularly on the consequences of the high energetic costs of maintenance of endotherms. Carnivorous endotherms require relatively high prey densities in order to break even. Moreover, they are dependent on folivorous prey during the limiting season, at least at high latitudes. The endotherm branch of the grazing web is thus predicted to collapse from three-link trophic dynamics (carnivores → folivores → plants → inorganic resources) to two-link dynamics (folivores → plants → inorganic resources) along gradients of decreasing primary productivity. Consequently, the vegetation of cold and unproductive areas is predicted to be under intense winter grazing pressure, which prevents the accumulation of aboveground plant biomass and excludes erect woody plants. In the most extreme habitats (e.g., polar deserts and their high alpine counterparts), even folivorous endotherms are predicted to be absent, and the scanty vegetation is predicted to be structured by preemptive competition. Within temperature-determined productivity gradients, EEH is corroborated by biomass patterns, by patterns in the structure and dynamics of carnivore, folivore, and plant communities, and by experimental results. The general idea of top-down trophic dynamics is supported for other autotroph-based systems, too, but the relevance and sufficiency of the energy constraint in explaining patterns in trophic dynamics appears to be variable. Moreover, critical empirical evidence for or against the capacity of folivorous insects to regulate plant biomass has not yet been obtained. Another open question is the ability of boreal and temperate

  3. Habitat selection by juvenile Mojave Desert tortoises

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  4. Gopherus agassizii (desert tortoise). Burrow collapse

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loughran, Caleb L.; Ennen, Joshua; Lovich, Jeffrey E.

    2011-01-01

    In the deserts of the southwestern U.S., burrows are utilized by the Desert Tortoise to escape environmental extremes (reviewed by Ernst and Lovich 2009. Turtles of the United States and Canada. 2nd ed. Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, Baltimore, Maryland. 827 pp.). However, the potential for mortality through burrow collapse and entrapment is poorly documented. Nicholson and Humphreys (1981. Proceedings of the Desert Tortoise Council, pp. 163−194) suggested that collapse due to livestock trampling may cause mortality. In addition, Lovich et al. (2011. Chelon. Cons. Biol. 10[1]:124–129) documented a Desert Tortoise that used a steel culvert as a burrow surrogate. The culvert filled completely with sediment following a significant rain event, entombing the animal and ultimately resulting in its death. We note that this mortality was associated with an anthropogenic structure; because tortoises are prodigious diggers, one might hypothesize that they have the ability to dig out of collapsed natural burrows in most situations. Circumstances described here presented us with an opportunity to test this hypothesis.

  5. The Desert Tortoise: A Delicate Balance

    Science.gov (United States)

    1992-01-01

    This award winning program looks at the efforts to preserve the desert tortoise in and around the Edwards Air Force Base, CA area. It also explains what people should do if they come in contact with a tortoise. This video was produced in cooperation with Edwards Air Force Base.

  6. Preventing desert locust plagues: optimizing management interventions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-01-01

    In Chile, the prevalence of teenage pregnancy is 17%. To assess relationship between adolescent pregnancy and school desertion. At the Hospital Guillermo Grant Benavente's Departament of Obstetrics and Gynecology, in Concepción, Chile, 2001 a comparative, cross sectional and correlational study was conducted. The study group were pregnant adolescents who deserted from school system, divided in two subgroups: 86 adolescents who deserted before pregnancy and 130 who deserted during pregnancy. Twenty percent of teenagers that deserted from school before pregnancy belonged to a sublevel of poverty, compared with 5% of those who deserted during pregnancy. Flunk was frequent in both but higher in girls that deserted before pregnancy (46.5 and 36.9% respectively, (ppregnancy (27.6%). Shame (41.6%) and obstetric complications (31.7%) were the main reasons for deserting during pregnancy. Seventy percent of adolescents who deserted before pregnancy had no educational, working or recreational activities. The parental educational level of both groups was low. There is a relationship between teenage pregnancy and school desertion. Adolescents who deserted from school before pregnancy are more vulnerable.

  8. Microbial Ecosystems, Protection of

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bodelier, P.L.E.; Nelson, K.E.

    2014-01-01

    Synonyms Conservation of microbial diversity and ecosystem functions provided by microbes; Preservation of microbial diversity and ecosystem functions provided by microbes Definition The use, management, and conservation of ecosystems in order to preserve microbial diversity and functioning.

  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. Molecular phylogeny of the mycorrhizal desert truffles (Terfezia and Tirmania), host specificity and edaphic tolerance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Díez, Jesús; Manjón, José Luis; Martin, Francis

    2002-01-01

    Terfezia and Tirmania, so called desert truffles, are mycorrhizal fungi mostly endemic to arid and semi-arid areas of the Mediterranean Region, where they are associated with Helianthemum species. The aim of this work was to study the phylogenetic relationships in these pezizalean hypogeous fungi. The restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) and DNA sequences of internal transcribed spacers (ITS) of the nuclear rDNA were studied for several morphological species, Terfezia arenaria, T. boudieri, T. claveryi, T. leptoderma, T. terfezioides (=Mattirolomyces terfezioides), Tirmania nivea and T. pinoyi. The sequences were analyzed with distance and parsimony methods. Phylogenetic analyses indicated a close genetic relationship between Tirmania and Terfezia. They may have arisen from a single evolutionary lineage of pezizalean fungi that developed the hypogeous habit as an adaptation to heat and drought in Mediterranean ecosystems. This analysis also supports the re-establishment of the genus Mattirolomyces. The genera Tirmania and Terfezia were monophyletic, and morphological species corresponded to phylogenetic species. The Tirmania clade comprises desert truffles with smooth spores and amyloid asci, which were found in deserts. The Terfezia clade grouped species found in semi-arid habitats having ornamented and spherical spores. These species are adapted to exploit different types of soil (either acid or basic soils) in association with specific hosts (either basophilous or acidophilous species). Although other factors might also play a role, host specialization and edaphic tolerances (fungus and/or host tolerances) might be the key in the species diversity of these genera.

  11. Mercury biomagnification in polar bears ( Ursus maritimus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horton, T. W.; Blum, J. D.; Xie, Z.; Hren, M.; Chamberlain, C. P.

    2007-12-01

    Mercury biomagnification occurs in a variety of ecosystems resulting in greater potential for toxicological effects in higher-level trophic feeders. However, Hg transport pathways through different foodweb channels are not well known, particularly in high-latitude systems affected by atmospheric Hg deposition associated with snow and ice. Stable carbon and nitrogen isotope ratios and Hg concentrations determined for 26 late 19th and early 20th century polar bear hair specimens collected from cataloged museum collections elucidate relationships between high latitude marine foodweb structure and Hg transport pathways. Nitrogen and carbon isotopic compositions suggest that polar bears derive nutrition from both open water (pelagic) and ice associated (sympagic) foodweb channels. Correlation between Hg concentrations and nitrogen isotope compositions indicate mercury biomagnification occurred in most of the polar bears investigated. Interpretation of stable isotope based foodweb structure in concert with Hg concentrations further suggests that Hg biomagnification occurred to a greater degree in polar bears participating in pelagic foodweb channels.

  12. Desert Pavement Process and Form: Modes and Scales of Landscape Stability and Instability in Arid Regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wells, Stephen G.; McFadden, Leslie D.; McDonald, Eric V.; Eppes, Martha C.; Young, Michael H.; Wood, Yvonne A.

    2014-05-01

    Desert pavements are recognized in arid landscapes around the world, developing via diminution of constructional/depositional landform relief and creating a 1-2 stone thick armor over a "stone free" layer. Surface exposure dating demonstrates that clasts forming the desert pavements are maintained at the land surface over hundreds of thousands of years, as aeolian fines are deposited on the land surface, transported into the underlying parent material and incorporated into accretionary soil horizons (e.g., the stone free or vesicular [Av] horizon). This surface armor provides long-term stability over extensive regions of the landscape. Over shorter time periods and at the landform-element scale, dynamic surficial processes (i.e., weathering, runoff) continue to modify the pavement form. Clast size reduction in comparison to underlying parent material, along with armoring and packing of clasts in pavements contribute to their persistence, and studies of crack orientations in pavement clasts indicate physical weathering and diminution of particle size are driven by diurnal solar insolation. Over geologic time, cracks form and propagate from tensile stresses related to temporal and spatial gradients in temperature that evolve and rotate in alignment with the sun's rays. Observed multimodal nature of crack orientations appear related to seasonally varying, latitude-dependent temperature fields resulting from solar angle and weather conditions. Surface properties and their underlying soil profiles vary across pavement surfaces, forming a landscape mosaic and controlling surface hydrology, ecosystem function and the ultimate life-cycle of arid landscapes. In areas of well-developed pavements, surface infiltration and soluble salt concentrations indicate that saturated hydraulic conductivity of Av horizons decline on progressively older alluvial fan surfaces. Field observations and measurements from well-developed desert pavement surfaces landforms also yield

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-03-01

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

  14. Resilience to stress and disturbance, and resistance to Bromus tectorum L. invasion in cold desert shrublands of western North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chambers, Jeanne C.; Bradley, Bethany A.; Brown, Cynthia S.; D'Antonio, Carla; Germino, Matthew J.; Grace, James B.; Hardegree, Stuart P.; Miller, Richard F.; Pyke, David A.

    2013-01-01

    Alien grass invasions in arid and semi-arid ecosystems are resulting in grass–fire cycles and ecosystem-level transformations that severely diminish ecosystem services. Our capacity to address the rapid and complex changes occurring in these ecosystems can be enhanced by developing an understanding of the environmental factors and ecosystem attributes that determine resilience of native ecosystems to stress and disturbance, and resistance to invasion. Cold desert shrublands occur over strong environmental gradients and exhibit significant differences in resilience and resistance. They provide an excellent opportunity to increase our understanding of these concepts. Herein, we examine a series of linked questions about (a) ecosystem attributes that determine resilience and resistance along environmental gradients, (b) effects of disturbances like livestock grazing and altered fire regimes and of stressors like rapid climate change, rising CO2, and N deposition on resilience and resistance, and (c) interacting effects of resilience and resistance on ecosystems with different environmental conditions. We conclude by providing strategies for the use of resilience and resistance concepts in a management context. At ecological site scales, state and transition models are used to illustrate how differences in resilience and resistance influence potential alternative vegetation states, transitions among states, and thresholds. At landscape scales management strategies based on resilience and resistance—protection, prevention, restoration, and monitoring and adaptive management—are used to determine priority management areas and appropriate actions.

  15. Polarized electron sources

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Prepost, R. [Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI (United States)

    1994-12-01

    The fundamentals of polarized electron sources are described with particular application to the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center. The SLAC polarized electron source is based on the principle of polarized photoemission from Gallium Arsenide. Recent developments using epitaxially grown, strained Gallium Arsenide cathodes have made it possible to obtain electron polarization significantly in excess of the conventional 50% polarization limit. The basic principles for Gallium and Arsenide polarized photoemitters are reviewed, and the extension of the basic technique to strained cathode structures is described. Results from laboratory measurements of strained photocathodes as well as operational results from the SLAC polarized source are presented.

  16. The global dispersion of microorganisms and pollutants in clouds of desert dust

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griffin, D. W.; Kellogg, C. A.; Garrison, V. H.; Kubilay, N.; Kocak, M.; Shinn, E.

    2003-12-01

    A current estimate of the quantity of dust that is transported some distance in Earth's atmosphere each year is approximately two billion metric tons. Whereas various research projects have been undertaken to understand this planetary process, little has been done to address public and ecosystem health issues. Our research group is currently investigating long-range transport of microorganisms associated with desert dust clouds at various points on the globe via the integration of remote sensing, modeling and microbiological assays. Using a suite of molecular biology techniques, we are identifying cultivable bacteria and fungi and enumerating total bacteria and viruses. Research results indicate that approximately 30% of the microorganisms found in Earth's atmosphere during `African dust events' are species of bacteria or fungi that have previously been identified as disease causing agents in terrestrial plants, trees, and animals. This presentation will cover historical research in this field and the implications of microbial and pollutant \\(metals, pesticides, etc.\\) transport to downwind ecosystems.

  17. 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

  18. The Importance of Acacia Trees for Insectivorous Bats and Arthropods in the Arava Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hackett, Talya D.; Korine, Carmi; Holderied, Marc W.

    2013-01-01

    Anthropogenic habitat modification often has a profound negative impact on the flora and fauna of an ecosystem. In parts of the Middle East, ephemeral rivers (wadis) are characterised by stands of acacia trees. Green, flourishing assemblages of these trees are in decline in several countries, most likely due to human-induced water stress and habitat changes. We examined the importance of healthy acacia stands for bats and their arthropod prey in comparison to other natural and artificial habitats available in the Arava desert of Israel. We assessed bat activity and species richness through acoustic monitoring for entire nights and concurrently collected arthropods using light and pit traps. Dense green stands of acacia trees were the most important natural desert habitat for insectivorous bats. Irrigated gardens and parks in villages and fields of date palms had high arthropod levels but only village sites rivalled acacia trees in bat activity level. We confirmed up to 13 bat species around a single patch of acacia trees; one of the richest sites in any natural desert habitat in Israel. Some bat species utilised artificial sites; others were found almost exclusively in natural habitats. Two rare species (Barbastella leucomelas and Nycteris thebaica) were identified solely around acacia trees. We provide strong evidence that acacia trees are of unique importance to the community of insectivorous desert-dwelling bats, and that the health of the trees is crucial to their value as a foraging resource. Consequently, conservation efforts for acacia habitats, and in particular for the green more densely packed stands of trees, need to increase to protect this vital habitat for an entire community of protected bats. PMID:23441145

  19. Home in the heat: Dramatic seasonal variation in home range of desert golden eagles informs management for renewable energy development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Braham, Melissa A.; Miller, Tricia A.; Duerr, Adam E.; Lanzone, Michael J.; Fesnock, Amy; LaPre, Larry; Driscoll, Daniel; Katzner, Todd E.

    2015-01-01

    Renewable energy is expanding quickly with sometimes dramatic impacts to species and ecosystems. To understand the degree to which sensitive species may be impacted by renewable energy projects, it is informative to know how much space individuals use and how that space may overlap with planned development. We used global positioning system–global system for mobile communications (GPS-GSM) telemetry to measure year-round movements of golden eagles (Aquila chrysaetos) from the Mojave Desert of California, USA. We estimated monthly space use with adaptive local convex hulls to identify the temporal and spatial scales at which eagles may encounter renewable energy projects in the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan area. Mean size of home ranges was lowest and least variable from November through January and greatest in February–March and May–August. These monthly home range patterns coincided with seasonal variation in breeding ecology, habitat associations, and temperature. The expanded home ranges in hot summer months included movements to cooler, prey-dense, mountainous areas characterized by forest, grasslands, and scrublands. Breeding-season home ranges (October–May) included more lowland semi-desert and rock vegetation. Overlap of eagle home ranges and focus areas for renewable energy development was greatest when eagle home ranges were smallest, during the breeding season. Golden eagles in the Mojave Desert used more space and a wider range of habitat types than expected and renewable energy projects could affect a larger section of the regional population than was previously thought.

  20. The diversity and abundance of bacteria and oxygenic phototrophs in saline biological desert crusts in Xinjiang, northwest China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Ke; Liu, Ruyin; Zhang, Hongxun; Yun, Juanli

    2013-07-01

    Although microorganisms, particularly oxygenic phototrophs, are known as the major players in the biogeochemical cycles of elements in desert soil ecosystems and have received extensive attention, still little is known about the effects of salinity on the composition and abundances of microbial community in desert soils. In this study, the diversity and abundance of bacteria and oxygenic phototrophs in biological desert crusts from Xinjiang province, which were under different salinity conditions, were investigated by using clone library and quantitative PCR (qPCR). The 16S rRNA gene phylogenetic analysis showed that cyanobacteria, mainly Microcoleus vagnitus of the order Oscillatoriales, were predominant in the low saline crusts, while other phototrophs, such as diatom, were the main microorganism group responsible for the oxygenic photosynthesis in the high saline crusts. Furthermore, the higher salt content in crusts may stimulate the growth of other bacteria, including Deinococcus-Thermus, Bacteroidetes, and some subdivisions of Proteobacteria (β-, γ-, and δ-Proteobacteria). The cpcBA-IGS gene analysis revealed the existence of novel M. vagnitus strains in this area. The qPCR results showed that the abundance of oxygenic phototrophs was significantly higher under lower saline condition than that in the higher saline crusts, suggesting that the higher salinity in desert crusts could suppress the numbers of total bacteria and phototrophic bacteria but did highly improve the diversity of salt-tolerant bacteria.

  1. Impacts of feral horses on a desert environment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hendrickson Larry E

    2009-11-01

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

  2. Impacts of feral horses on a desert environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ostermann-Kelm, Stacey D; Atwill, Edward A; Rubin, Esther S; Hendrickson, Larry E; Boyce, Walter M

    2009-11-10

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

  3. 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.

  4. Biology of the Central Desert of Oman

    OpenAIRE

    GHAZANFAR, Shahina A

    2004-01-01

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

  5. Desert Shield - Leader’s Safety Guide

    Science.gov (United States)

    1990-08-01

    surfaces such as glass , mirrors, and windows . • Ensure laser safety filters are installed on binoculars and other optical devices when observing...wadis Q Strong winds (30 mph in p.m.; 75 mph in windstorms ) Q Large fluctuations in day/night temperatures (up to 70°F.) • Sandy deserts a Poor...Monitor shadows cast by near objects such as landing gear or skid shadows during hover. • Keep windscreen and door windows clean of sand and dust

  6. Remote Sensing of Sonoran Desert Vegetation Structure and Phenology with Ground-Based LiDAR

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joel B. Sankey

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Long-term vegetation monitoring efforts have become increasingly important for understanding ecosystem response to global change. Many traditional methods for monitoring can be infrequent and limited in scope. Ground-based LiDAR is one remote sensing method that offers a clear advancement to monitor vegetation dynamics at high spatial and temporal resolution. We determined the effectiveness of LiDAR to detect intra-annual variability in vegetation structure at a long-term Sonoran Desert monitoring plot dominated by cacti, deciduous and evergreen shrubs. Monthly repeat LiDAR scans of perennial plant canopies over the course of one year had high precision. LiDAR measurements of canopy height and area were accurate with respect to total station survey measurements of individual plants. We found an increase in the number of LiDAR vegetation returns following the wet North American Monsoon season. This intra-annual variability in vegetation structure detected by LiDAR was attributable to a drought deciduous shrub Ambrosia deltoidea, whereas the evergreen shrub Larrea tridentata and cactus Opuntia engelmannii had low variability. Benefits of using LiDAR over traditional methods to census desert plants are more rapid, consistent, and cost-effective data acquisition in a high-resolution, 3-dimensional context. We conclude that repeat LiDAR measurements can be an effective method for documenting ecosystem response to desert climatology and drought over short time intervals and at detailed-local spatial scale.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Contraction of the Gobi Desert, 2000–2012

    OpenAIRE

    Sternberg, Troy; Rueff, Henri; Middleton, Nick

    2015-01-01

    Deserts are critical environments because they cover 41% of the world’s land surface and are home to 2 billion residents. As highly dynamic biomes desert expansion and contraction is influenced by climate and anthropogenic factors with variability being a key part of the desertification debate across dryland regions. Evaluating a major world desert, the Gobi in East Asia, with high resolution satellite data and the meteorologically-derived Aridity Index from 2000 to 2012 identified a r...

  11. Wash flow disturbance and summer wash flow in the Mojave Desert: Influence on dispersion, production, and physiological functioning of dominant shrubs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newlander, April

    In many Mojave Desert ecosystems, water infiltrates to root-zones in greatest proportion via washes. As such, washes have a pronounced effect on plant dispersion and size across these landscapes. Desert roads alter the natural spatial patterns of washes on alluvial fans (locally called bajadas) and potentially affect plant production and distribution. As a winter-rainfall dominated ecosystem, climate changes in the Mojave Desert that increase summer precipitation may also play an important role in altering vegetation processes influenced by washes. Road effects on the spatial distribution of desert plants on a Mojave Desert bajada were examined using remotely sensed LiDAR data and ground based measurements of plant size. Plant physiological responses to summer wash flow were also quantified by measuring gas exchange and water status of two dominant perennial species, Larrea tridentata and Ambrosia dumosa. Larrea and Ambrosia plants were nearly 7x and 4x larger where wash flow has been enhanced by road culverts, relative to undisturbed areas and areas where flow has been cut-off by the presence of a road/railroad. Clustering of large plants occurred along wash margins, with clustering most pronounced in areas of enhanced wash flow. No clustering was found where wash flow has been eliminated. For ecophysiological traits, both species showed pronounced responses to the pulse of water; however, these responses varied as a function of distance from wash. Larrea plants within 3 m and Ambrosia plants within ca. 2 m from the wash responded to the pulse of water. Leaf phenology dictated the timing of carbon gain as Larrea experienced a rapid but short-lived increase in stomatal conductance compared to a significant response for over a month following the pulse for Ambrosia. These results indicate that disturbance of desert washes has a pronounced impact on vegetation structure, and changing climatic conditions that impact plant function could potentially lead to even

  12. 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...

  13. Geographical Income Polarization

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Azhar, Hussain; Jonassen, Anders Bruun

    inter municipal income inequality. Counter factual simulations show that rising property prices to a large part explain the rise in polarization. One side-effect of polarization is tendencies towards a parallel polarization of residence location patterns, where low skilled individuals tend to live......In this paper we estimate the degree, composition and development of geographical income polarization based on data at the individual and municipal level in Denmark from 1984 to 2002. Rising income polarization is reconfirmed when applying new polarization measures, the driving force being greater...

  14. 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.

  15. Ecosystem degradation in India

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sinha, B.N.

    1990-01-01

    Environmental and ecosystem studies have assumed greater relevance in the last decade of the twentieth century than even before. The urban settlements are becoming over-crowded and industries are increasingly polluting the air, water and sound in our larger metropolises. Degradation of different types of ecosystem are discussed in this book, Ecosystem Degradation in India. The book has been divided into seven chapters: Introduction, Coastal and Delta Ecosystem, River Basin Ecosystem, Mountain Ecosystem, Forest Ecosystem, Urban Ecosystem and the last chapter deals with the Environmental Problems and Planning. In the introduction the environmental and ecosystem degradation problems in India is highlighted as a whole while in other chapters mostly case studies by experts who know their respective terrain very intimately are included. The case study papers cover most part of India and deal with local problems, stretching from east coast to west coast and from Kashmir to Kanyakumari. (author)

  16. Transformation of Digital Ecosystems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Henningsson, Stefan; Hedman, Jonas

    2014-01-01

    the Digital Ecosystem Technology Transformation (DETT) framework for explaining technology-based transformation of digital ecosystems by integrating theories of business and technology ecosystems. The framework depicts ecosystem transformation as distributed and emergent from micro-, meso-, and macro- level...... coopetition. The DETT framework consists an alternative to the existing explanations of digital ecosystem transformation as the rational management of one central actor balancing ecosystem tensions. We illustrate the use of the framework by a case study of transformation in the digital payment ecosystem......In digital ecosystems, the fusion relation between business and technology means that the decision of technical compatibility of the offering is also the decision of how to position the firm relative to the coopetive relations that characterize business ecosystems. In this article we develop...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2001-01-01

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

  18. Polarized Light Corridor Demonstrations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davies, G. R.

    1990-01-01

    Eleven demonstrations of light polarization are presented. Each includes a brief description of the apparatus and the effect demonstrated. Illustrated are strain patterns, reflection, scattering, the Faraday Effect, interference, double refraction, the polarizing microscope, and optical activity. (CW)

  19. 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...

  20. Polarized Moessbauer transitions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Barb, D.

    1975-01-01

    Theoretical aspects of the emission, absorption and scattering of polarized gamma rays are reviewed for a general case of combined magnetic and electric hyperfine interactions; various possibilities of obtaining polarized gamma sources are described and examples are given of the applications of Moessbauer spectroscopy with polarized gamma rays in solving problems of solid state physics. (A.K.)

  1. 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

    . rubens, indicating potential greater susceptibility to disease or other health-related problems. This study highlights the negative indirect effects of invasive grasses, such as red brome, in desert ecosystems, and provides definitive evidence of a larger negative consequence to health, survival, and ultimately population recruitment for Mojave Desert tortoises than previously understood.

  2. 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

  3. Decisions, Decisions: Exotic Grass Invasions and Altered Wildfire Regimes in the American Deserts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Betancourt, J. L.

    2009-05-01

    Large-scale invasions by Eurasian and African grasses, brought in by chance or to feed cattle and control erosion, have introduced frequent and extensive fires into American deserts that supported little or no burning in the pre-European era. Based on the fossil record, these have been the fastest, most pervasive and transforming plant invasions of the last 10,000 years. They could easily accelerate with warmer and drier winters and longer and hotter growing seasons in the American West, conspicuous since the mid-1980's and projected to persist with global warming. In cool seasons and wet years that are not usually conducive to wildfires, these invasions are now driving long ignition fronts across long stretches of desertscrub into adjoining woodlands and forests. As such, invasive grasses are capable of changing fire-climate dynamics and altering the entire landscape mosaic. We must now choose between saving the desert or resigning ourselves to these novel and combustible grasslands. In either case, the first line of defense is to immediately adopt an aggressive program of fire suppression in our deserts at a time when we can barely afford to put out forest fires. In the American deserts and adjoining ecosystems, we are standing on a threshold and must now prepare the public for the consequences should those mitigation efforts fail. Both science and management needs should be prioritized to make the best use of limited funding and resources, taking into account the exponential growth of invader abundance, fuel connectivity and fire size as well as projected changes in land use and climate. What is missing is an integrated scientific and political framework vetted and approved by a wide range of stakeholders, with a good chance of sustainable and broadscale success. What decisions must we make, who makes them, and how will they be implemented across complex physical and cultural landscapes? My own take on these issues is that of a federal scientist with a sense of

  4. Characterization of Morphology, Volatile Profiles, and Molecular Markers in Edible Desert Truffles from the Negev Desert.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamle, Madhu; Bar, Einat; Lewinsohn, Dalia; Shavit, Elinoar; Roth-Bejerano, Nurit; Kagan-Zur, Varda; Barak, Ze'ev; Guy, Ofer; Zaady, Eli; Lewinsohn, Efraim; Sitrit, Yaron

    2017-03-28

    Desert truffles are mycorrhizal, hypogeous fungi considered a delicacy. On the basis of morphological characters, we identified three desert truffle species that grow in the same habitat in the Negev desert. These include Picoa lefebvrei (Pat.), Tirmania nivea (Desf.) Trappe, and Terfezia boudieri (Chatain), all associated with Helianthemum sessiliflorum. Their taxonomy was confirmed by PCR-RFLP. The main volatiles of fruit bodies of T. boudieri and T. nivea were 1-octen-3-ol and hexanal; however, volatiles of the latter species further included branched-chain amino acid derivatives such as 2-methylbutanal and 3-methylbutanal, phenylalanine derivatives such as benzaldehyde and benzenacetaldehyde, and methionine derivatives such as methional and dimethyl disulfide. The least aromatic truffle, P. lefebvrei, contained low levels of 1-octen-3-ol as the main volatile. Axenic mycelia cultures of T. boudieri displayed a simpler volatile profile compared to its fruit bodies. This work highlights differences in the volatile profiles of desert truffles and could hence be of interest for selecting and cultivating genotypes with the most likable aroma.

  5. Estimating Terra MODIS Polarization Effect Using Ocean Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wald, Andrew E.; Brinkmann, Jake; Wu, Aisheng; Xiong, Jack

    2016-01-01

    Terra MODIS has been known since pre-launch to have polarization sensitivity, particularly in shortest-wavelength bands 8 and 9. On-orbit reflectance trending of pseudo-invariant sites show a variation in reflectance as a function of band and scan mirror angle of incidence consistent with time-dependent polarization effects from the rotating double-sided scan mirror. The MODIS Characterization Support Team [MCST] estimates the Mueller matrix trending from this variation as observed from a single desert site, but this effect is not included in Collection 6 [C6] calibration. Here we extend the MCSTs current polarization sensitivity monitoring to two ocean sites distributed over latitude to helpestimate the uncertainties in the derived Mueller matrix. The Mueller matrix elements derived for polarization-sensitive Band 8 for a given site are found to be fairly insensitive to surface brdf modeling. The site-to-site variation is a measure of the uncertainty in the Mueller estimation.Results for band 8 show that the polarization correction reduces mirror-side striping by up to 50% and reduces the instrument polarization effect on reflectance time series of an ocean target.

  6. Novel calibration system with sparse wires for CMB polarization receivers

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tajima, O.; /KEK, Tsukuba /Chicago U., KICP; Nguyen, H.; /Fermilab; Bischoff, C.; /Chicago U., KICP /Harvard-Smithsonian Ctr. Astrophys.; Brizius, A.; Buder, I.; Kusaka, A. /Chicago U., KICP

    2011-07-01

    B-modes in the cosmic microwave background (CMB) polarization is a smoking gun signature of the inflationary universe. To achieve better sensitivity to this faint signal, CMB polarization experiments aim to maximize the number of detector elements, resulting in a large focal plane receiver. Detector calibration of the polarization response becomes essential. It is extremely useful to be able to calibrate 'simultaneously' all detectors on the large focal plane. We developed a novel calibration system that rotates a large 'sparse' grid of metal wires, in front of and fully covering the field of view of the focal plane receiver. Polarized radiation is created via the reflection of ambient temperature from the wire surface. Since the detector has a finite beam size, the observed signal is smeared according to the beam property. The resulting smeared polarized radiation has a reasonable intensity (a few Kelvin or less) compared to the sky temperature ({approx}10 K observing condition). The system played a successful role for receiver calibration of QUIET, a CMB polarization experiment located in the Atacama desert in Chile. The successful performance revealed that this system is applicable to other experiments based on different technologies, e.g. TES bolometers.

  7. Coral reefs - Specialized ecosystems

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Wafar, M.V.M.

    This paper discusses briefly some aspects that characterize and differentiate coral reef ecosystems from other tropical marine ecosystems. A brief account on the resources that are extractable from coral reefs, their susceptibility to natural...

  8. 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

  9. The total cost of father desertion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winking, Jeffrey; Gurven, Michael

    2011-01-01

    The benefits of paternal investment have long been explored by assessing the impact of father's presence on child wellbeing. Previous studies, however, have only examined the average effect of father's presence on child survivorship. Here we assess the total fitness cost to men of deserting (or the benefit of staying), by considering effects on the entire progeny. We estimate the total number of children that a deserting father can expect to lose due to reduced survivorship over the life course in five populations, and compare this loss to the benefit gains from remarrying a younger wife. We compiled the observed impacts of father's absence, as well as mortality and fertility schedules, for five foraging or foraging/horticultural populations. We calculate how many additional children a man can expect to lose due to father's absence throughout a marriage. We then calculate the minimum age difference between a first and second spouse that would be necessary to overcome this cost. Because child mortality rates drop so rapidly, the costs that men experience from desertion due to augmented child mortality are modest throughout marriage. Even hypothetically inflated father effects can be overcome with modest age differences between first and second spouses. Returns to paternal investment in terms of increased child survival are not substantial compared to those received by successfully practicing a serial mating strategy. This suggests that factors other than the ability to enhance child survival, such as female choice, are important to the evolutionary history and continued adaptive functioning of men's unique reproductive strategies. Copyright © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Nationwide Desert Highway Assessment: A Case Study in China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Binggang Wang

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  13. Spreading Deserts--The Hand of Man. Worldwatch Paper 13.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eckholm, Erik; Brown, Lester R.

    The report identifies regions in which deserts and arid zones are increasing; discusses social and climatic causes of deserts; and suggests ways to cope with and reverse problems of famine, malnutrition, and drought. Increasingly, land is being sapped of its ability to sustain agriculture and human habitation north and south of the Sahara, in…

  14. The politics of accessing desert land in Jordan

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Naber, Al Majd; Molle, Francois

    2016-01-01

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

  15. Negev: Land, Water, and Life in a Desert Environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Back, William

    In view of the continuing increased concern about the extreme fragility of deserts and desert margins, Negev provides a timely discussion of land-use practices compatible with the often conflicting goals of preservation and development. The success o f agricultural and hydrologic experiments in the Negev desert of Israel offers hope to the large percentage of the world's population that lives with an unacceptably low quality of life in desert margins. Deserts are the one remaining type of open space that, with proper use, has the potential for alleviating the misery often associated with expanding population.In addition to the science in the book, the author repeatedly reinforces the concept that “western civilization is inextricably bound to the Negev and its environs, from which it has drawn, via its desert-born religions—Judasium, Christianity, and Islam—many of the mores and concepts, and much of the imagery and love of the desert, including man's relation to nature and to ‘God’.” Deserts often are erroneously perceived to be areas of no water: In reality, these are areas in which a little rainfall occurs sporadically and unpredictably over time. This meager water supply can be meticulously garnered to produce nutritious crops and forage.

  16. 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.

  17. Food Deserts and Overweight Schoolchildren: Evidence from Pennsylvania

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schafft, Kai A.; Jensen, Eric B.; Hinrichs, C. Clare

    2009-01-01

    The concept of the "food desert", an area with limited access to retail food stores, has increasingly been used within social scientific and public health research to explore the dimensions of spatial inequality and community well-being. While research has demonstrated that food deserts are frequently characterized by higher levels of…

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

  19. 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 ...

  20. 75 FR 19246 - Safety Zone; Desert Storm, Lake Havasu, AZ

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-14

    ... navigable waters of the Colorado River in Lake Havasu, Lake Havasu City, Arizona in support of the Desert..., which is to be held on Thompson Bay region of the Colorado River in Lake Havasu City, Arizona. A...-AA00 Safety Zone; Desert Storm, Lake Havasu, AZ AGENCY: Coast Guard, DHS. ACTION: Temporary final rule...

  1. Vegetation pattern formation in a fog-dependent ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borthagaray, Ana I; Fuentes, Miguel A; Marquet, Pablo A

    2010-07-07

    Vegetation pattern formation is a striking characteristic of several water-limited ecosystems around the world. Typically, they have been described on runoff-based ecosystems emphasizing local interactions between water, biomass interception, growth and dispersal. Here, we show that this situation is by no means general, as banded patterns in vegetation can emerge in areas without rainfall and in plants without functional root (the Bromeliad Tillandsia landbeckii) and where fog is the principal source of moisture. We show that a simple model based on the advection of fog-water by wind and its interception by the vegetation can reproduce banded patterns which agree with empirical patterns observed in the Coastal Atacama Desert. Our model predicts how the parameters may affect the conditions to form the banded pattern, showing a transition from a uniform vegetated state, at high water input or terrain slope to a desert state throughout intermediate banded states. Moreover, the model predicts that the pattern wavelength is a decreasing non-linear function of fog-water input and slope, and an increasing function of plant loss and fog-water flow speed. Finally, we show that the vegetation density is increased by the formation of the regular pattern compared to the density expected by the spatially homogeneous model emphasizing the importance of self-organization in arid ecosystems. (c) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Biomass Resources Distribution in the Terrestrial Ecosystem of China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Na Li

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available In this study, Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS data and the multiple linear regression model were used to estimate distribution of biomass resources in 2010. The establishment of models, developed using different vegetation biomass sample data, normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI, leaf area index (LAI, meteorological data, coordinates, terrain data, and statistical data. Results based on a cross-validation approach show that the model can explain 95.6% of the variance in biomass, with a relative estimation error of 67 g·m−2 for a range of biomass between 0–73,875 g·m−2. Spatial statistic results were consistent with the practical condition in most cases. The above- and below-ground biomass (ABGB of China was estimated to be 31.1 Pg (1 Pg = 1015 g in 2010. The forest ecosystem has the largest total biomass, which represents about 70% of the whole terrestrial ecosystem. The desert ecosystem has minimum biomass value. The Belowground Endowment (BRE varied differently in spatial distribution, with the high values occurring in the southeast and northeast. The low values were primarily distributed in north and northwest regions, where it is mostly desert and few plants. Biomass per capita indicates the availability of natural resources per capita. Tibet had the maximum biomass per capita (807 tone in 2010. Shanghai and Tianjin had the minimum biomass per capita, less than 500 kg. Shanghai, Tianjin, Guangzhou, Beijing, and Hainan had negative growth of biomass per capita.

  3. 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.

  4. Elevation Derivatives for Mojave Desert Tortoise Habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wallace, Cynthia S.A.; Gass, Leila

    2008-01-01

    This report describes the methods used to derive various elevation-derivative grids that were inputted to the Mojave Desert Tortoise Habitat model (L. Gass and others, unpub. data). These grids, which capture information on surface roughness and topographic characteristics, are a subset of the environmental datasets evaluated for the tortoise habitat model. This habitat model is of major importance to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which is charged with management of this threatened population, including relocating displaced tortoises to areas identified as suitable habitat.

  5. Marine ecosystem responses to Cenozoic global change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norris, R D; Turner, S Kirtland; Hull, P M; Ridgwell, A

    2013-08-02

    The future impacts of anthropogenic global change on marine ecosystems are highly uncertain, but insights can be gained from past intervals of high atmospheric carbon dioxide partial pressure. The long-term geological record reveals an early Cenozoic warm climate that supported smaller polar ecosystems, few coral-algal reefs, expanded shallow-water platforms, longer food chains with less energy for top predators, and a less oxygenated ocean than today. The closest analogs for our likely future are climate transients, 10,000 to 200,000 years in duration, that occurred during the long early Cenozoic interval of elevated warmth. Although the future ocean will begin to resemble the past greenhouse world, it will retain elements of the present "icehouse" world long into the future. Changing temperatures and ocean acidification, together with rising sea level and shifts in ocean productivity, will keep marine ecosystems in a state of continuous change for 100,000 years.

  6. Rights to ecosystem services

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Davidson, M.

    2014-01-01

    Ecosystem services are the benefits people obtain from ecosystems. Many of these services are provided outside the borders of the land where they are produced; this article investigates who is entitled to these non-excludable ecosystem services from two libertarian perspectives. Taking a

  7. Towards ecosystem accounting

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Duku, C.; Rathjens, H.; Zwart, S.J.; Hein, L.

    2015-01-01

    Ecosystem accounting is an emerging field that aims to provide a consistent approach to analysing environment-economy interactions. One of the specific features of ecosystem accounting is the distinction between the capacity and the flow of ecosystem services. Ecohydrological modelling to support

  8. Global Ecosystem Restoration Index

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fernandez, Miguel; Garcia, Monica; Fernandez, Nestor

    2015-01-01

    The Global ecosystem restoration index (GERI) is a composite index that integrates structural and functional aspects of the ecosystem restoration process. These elements are evaluated through a window that looks into a baseline for degraded ecosystems with the objective to assess restoration...

  9. Ecosystem classification, Chapter 2

    Science.gov (United States)

    M.J. Robin-Abbott; L.H. Pardo

    2011-01-01

    The ecosystem classification in this report is based on the ecoregions developed through the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) for North America (CEC 1997). Only ecosystems that occur in the United States are included. CEC ecoregions are described, with slight modifications, below (CEC 1997) and shown in Figures 2.1 and 2.2. We chose this ecosystem...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. The Physics of Polarization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landi Degl'Innocenti, Egidio

    2015-10-01

    The introductory lecture that has been delivered at this Symposium is a condensed version of an extended course held by the author at the XII Canary Island Winter School from November 13 to November 21, 2000. The full series of lectures can be found in Landi Degl'Innocenti (2002). The original reference is organized in 20 Sections that are here itemized: 1. Introduction, 2. Description of polarized radiation, 3. Polarization and optical devices: Jones calculus and Muller matrices, 4. The Fresnel equations, 5. Dichroism and anomalous dispersion, 6. Polarization in everyday life, 7. Polarization due to radiating charges, 8. The linear antenna, 9. Thomson scattering, 10. Rayleigh scattering, 11. A digression on Mie scattering, 12. Bremsstrahlung radiation, 13. Cyclotron radiation, 14. Synchrotron radiation, 15. Polarization in spectral lines, 16. Density matrix and atomic polarization, 17. Radiative transfer and statistical equilibrium equations, 18. The amplification condition in polarized radiative transfer, and 19. Coupling radiative transfer and statistical equilibrium equations.

  13. 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

  14. Ecosystem services in ECOCLIM

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sørensen, Lise Lotte; Boegh, Eva; Bendtsen, J

    that actions initiated to reduce anthropogenic GHG emissions are sustainable and not destructive to existing ecosystem services. Therefore it is important to address i.e. land use change in relation to the regulating services of the ecosystems, such as carbon sequestration and climate regulation. At present...... a thorough understanding of the ecosystem processes controlling the uptake or emissions of GHG is fundamental. Here we present ECOCLIM in the context of ecosystem services and the experimental studies within ECOCLIM which will lead to an enhanced understanding of Danish ecosystems....

  15. 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.

  16. Desert tortoise hibernation: Temperatures, timing, and environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nussear, K.E.; Esque, T.C.; Haines, D.F.; Tracy, C.R.

    2007-01-01

    This research examined the onset, duration, and termination of hibernation in Desert Tortoises (Gopherus agassizii) over several years at multiple sites in the northeastern part of their geographic range, and recorded the temperatures experienced by tortoises during winter hibernation. The timing of hibernation by Desert Tortoises differed among sites and years. Environmental cues acting over the short-term did not appear to influence the timing of the hibernation period. Different individual tortoises entered hibernation over as many as 44 days in the fall and emerged from hibernation over as many as 49 days in the spring. This range of variation in the timing of hibernation indicates a weak influence at best of exogenous cues hypothesized to trigger and terminate hibernation. There do appear to be regional trends in hibernation behavior as hibernation tended to begin earlier and continue longer at sites that were higher in elevation and generally cooler. The emergence date was generally more similar among study sites than the date of onset. While the climate and the subsequent timing of hibernation differed among sites, the average temperatures experienced by tortoises while hibernating differed by only about five degrees from the coldest site to the warmest site. ?? 2007 by the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists.

  17. Fishing for ecosystem services

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pope, Kevin L.; Pegg, Mark A.; Cole, Nicholas W.; Siddons, Stephen F.; Fedele, Alexis D.; Harmon, Brian S.; Ruskamp, Ryan L.; Turner, Dylan R.; Uerling, Caleb C.

    2016-01-01

    Ecosystems are commonly exploited and manipulated to maximize certain human benefits. Such changes can degrade systems, leading to cascading negative effects that may be initially undetected, yet ultimately result in a reduction, or complete loss, of certain valuable ecosystem services. Ecosystem-based management is intended to maintain ecosystem quality and minimize the risk of irreversible change to natural assemblages of species and to ecosystem processes while obtaining and maintaining long-term socioeconomic benefits. We discuss policy decisions in fishery management related to commonly manipulated environments with a focus on influences to ecosystem services. By focusing on broader scales, managing for ecosystem services, and taking a more proactive approach, we expect sustainable, quality fisheries that are resilient to future disturbances. To that end, we contend that: (1) management always involves tradeoffs; (2) explicit management of fisheries for ecosystem services could facilitate a transition from reactive to proactive management; and (3) adaptive co-management is a process that could enhance management for ecosystem services. We propose adaptive co-management with an ecosystem service framework where actions are implemented within ecosystem boundaries, rather than political boundaries, through strong interjurisdictional relationships.

  18. Fishing for ecosystem services.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pope, Kevin L; Pegg, Mark A; Cole, Nicholas W; Siddons, Stephen F; Fedele, Alexis D; Harmon, Brian S; Ruskamp, Ryan L; Turner, Dylan R; Uerling, Caleb C

    2016-12-01

    Ecosystems are commonly exploited and manipulated to maximize certain human benefits. Such changes can degrade systems, leading to cascading negative effects that may be initially undetected, yet ultimately result in a reduction, or complete loss, of certain valuable ecosystem services. Ecosystem-based management is intended to maintain ecosystem quality and minimize the risk of irreversible change to natural assemblages of species and to ecosystem processes while obtaining and maintaining long-term socioeconomic benefits. We discuss policy decisions in fishery management related to commonly manipulated environments with a focus on influences to ecosystem services. By focusing on broader scales, managing for ecosystem services, and taking a more proactive approach, we expect sustainable, quality fisheries that are resilient to future disturbances. To that end, we contend that: (1) management always involves tradeoffs; (2) explicit management of fisheries for ecosystem services could facilitate a transition from reactive to proactive management; and (3) adaptive co-management is a process that could enhance management for ecosystem services. We propose adaptive co-management with an ecosystem service framework where actions are implemented within ecosystem boundaries, rather than political boundaries, through strong interjurisdictional relationships. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  19. The use of spatial empirical models to estimate soil erosion in arid ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdullah, Meshal; Feagin, Rusty; Musawi, Layla

    2017-02-01

    The central objective of this project was to utilize geographical information systems and remote sensing to compare soil erosion models, including Modified Pacific South-west Inter Agency Committee (MPSIAC), Erosion Potential Method (EPM), and Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE), and to determine their applicability for arid regions such as Kuwait. The northern portion of Umm Nigga, containing both coastal and desert ecosystems, falls within the boundaries of the de-militarized zone (DMZ) adjacent to Iraq and has been fenced off to restrict public access since 1994. Results showed that the MPSIAC and EPM models were similar in spatial distribution of erosion, though the MPSIAC had a more realistic spatial distribution of erosion and presented finer level details. The RUSLE presented unrealistic results. We then predicted the amount of soil loss between coastal and desert areas and fenced and unfenced sites for each model. In the MPSIAC and EPM models, soil loss was different between fenced and unfenced sites at the desert areas, which was higher at the unfenced due to the low vegetation cover. The overall results implied that vegetation cover played an important role in reducing soil erosion and that fencing is much more important in the desert ecosystems to protect against human activities such as overgrazing. We conclude that the MPSIAC model is best for predicting soil erosion for arid regions such as Kuwait. We also recommend the integration of field-based experiments with lab-based spatial analysis and modeling in future research.

  20. Impact of elevated precipitation, nitrogen deposition and warming on soil respiration in a temperate desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yue, Ping; Cui, Xiaoqing; Gong, Yanming; Li, Kaihui; Goulding, Keith; Liu, Xuejun

    2018-04-01

    Soil respiration (Rs) is the most important source of carbon dioxide emissions from soil to atmosphere. However, it is unclear what the interactive response of Rs would be to environmental changes such as elevated precipitation, nitrogen (N) deposition and warming, especially in unique temperate desert ecosystems. To investigate this an in situ field experiment was conducted in the Gurbantunggut Desert, northwest China, from September 2014 to October 2016. The results showed that precipitation and N deposition significantly increased Rs, but warming decreased Rs, except in extreme precipitation events, which was mainly through its impact on the variation of soil moisture at 5 cm depth. In addition, the interactive response of Rs to combinations of the factors was much less than that of any single-factor, and the main response was a positive effect, except for the response from the interaction of increased precipitation and high N deposition (60 kg N ha-1 yr-1). Although Rs was found to show a unimodal change pattern with the variation of soil moisture, soil temperature and soil NH4+-N content, and it was significantly positively correlated to soil dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and pH, a structural equation model found that soil temperature was the most important controlling factor. Those results indicated that Rs was mainly interactively controlled by the soil multi-environmental factors and soil nutrients, and was very sensitive to elevated precipitation, N deposition and warming. However, the interactions of multiple factors largely reduced between-year variation of Rs more than any single-factor, suggesting that the carbon cycle in temperate deserts could be profoundly influenced by positive carbon-climate feedback.

  1. Transport of biologically important nutrients by wind in an eroding cold desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sankey, Joel B.; Germino, Matthew J.; Benner, Shawn G.; Glenn, Nancy F.; Hoover, Amber N.

    2012-01-01

    Wind erosion following fire is an important landscape process that can result in the redistribution of ecologically important soil resources. In this study we evaluated the potential for a fire patch in a desert shrubland to serve as a source of biologically important nutrients to the adjacent, downwind, unburned ecosystem. We analyzed nutrient concentrations (P, K, Ca, Mg, Cu, Fe, Mn, Al) in wind-transported sediments, and soils from burned and adjacent unburned surfaces, collected during the first to second growing seasons after a wildfire that burned in 2007 in Idaho, USA in sagebrush steppe; a type of cold desert shrubland. We also evaluated the timing of potential wind erosion events and weather conditions that might have contributed to nutrient availability in downwind shrubland. Findings indicated that post-fire wind erosion resulted in an important, but transient, addition of nutrients on the downwind shrubland. Aeolian sediments from the burned area were enriched relative to both the up- and down-wind soil and indicated the potential for a fertilization effect through the deposition of the nutrient-enriched sediment during the first, but not second, summer after wildfire. Weather conditions that could have produced nutrient transport events might have provided increased soil moisture necessary to make nutrients accessible for plants in the desert environment. Wind transport of nutrients following fire is likely important in the sagebrush steppe as it could contribute to pulses of resource availability that might, for example, affect plant species differently depending on their phenology, and nutrient- and water-use requirements.

  2. Profile Changes in the Soil Microbial Community When Desert Becomes Oasis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chen-hua Li

    Full Text Available The conversion of virgin desert into oasis farmland creates two contrasting types of land-cover. During oasis formation with irrigation and fertilizer application, however, the changes in the soil microbial population, which play critical roles in the ecosystem, remain poorly understood. We applied high-throughput pyrosequencing to investigate bacterial and archaeal communities throughout the profile (0-3 m in an experimental field, where irrigation and fertilization began in 1990 and cropped with winter wheat since then. To assess the effects of cultivation, the following treatments were compared with the virgin desert: CK (no fertilizer, PK, NK, NP, NPK, NPKR, and NPKM (R: straw residue; M: manure fertilizer. Irrigation had a greater impact on the overall microbial community than fertilizer application. The greatest impact occurred in topsoil (0-0.2 m, e.g., Cyanobacteria (25% total abundance were most abundant in desert soil, while Actinobacteria (26% were most abundant in oasis soil. The proportions of extremophilic and photosynthetic groups (e.g., Deinococcus-Thermus and Cyanobacteria decreased, while the proportions of R-strategy (e.g., Gammaproteobacteria including Xanthomonadales, nitrifying (e.g., Nitrospirae, and anaerobic bacteria (e.g., Anaerolineae increased throughout the oasis profile. Archaea occurred only in oasis soil. The impact of fertilizer application was mainly reflected in the non-dominant communities or finer taxonomic divisions. Oasis formation led to a dramatic shift in microbial community and enhanced soil enzyme activities. The rapidly increased soil moisture and decreased salt caused by irrigation were responsible for this shift. Furthermore, difference in fertilization and crop growth altered the organic carbon contents in the soil, which resulted in differences of microbial communities within oasis.

  3. [Review] Polarization and Polarimetry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trippe, Sascha

    2014-02-01

    Polarization is a basic property of light and is fundamentally linked to the internal geometry of a source of radiation. Polarimetry complements photometric, spectroscopic, and imaging analyses of sources of radiation and has made possible multiple astrophysical discoveries. In this article I review (i) the physical basics of polarization: electromagnetic waves, photons, and parameterizations; (ii) astrophysical sources of polarization: scattering, synchrotron radiation, active media, and the Zeeman, Goldreich-Kylafis, and Hanle effects, as well as interactions between polarization and matter (like birefringence, Faraday rotation, or the Chandrasekhar-Fermi effect); (iii) observational methodology: on-sky geometry, influence of atmosphere and instrumental polarization, polarization statistics, and observational techniques for radio, optical, and X/γ wavelengths; and (iv) science cases for astronomical polarimetry: solar and stellar physics, planetary system bodies, interstellar matter, astrobiology, astronomical masers, pulsars, galactic magnetic fields, gamma-ray bursts, active galactic nuclei, and cosmic microwave background radiation.

  4. 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.

  5. Observational Evidence for Desert Amplification Using Multiple Satellite Datasets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Nan; Zhou, Liming; Dai, Yongjiu; Xia, Geng; Hua, Wenjian

    2017-05-17

    Desert amplification identified in recent studies has large uncertainties due to data paucity over remote deserts. Here we present observational evidence using multiple satellite-derived datasets that desert amplification is a real large-scale pattern of warming mode in near surface and low-tropospheric temperatures. Trend analyses of three long-term temperature products consistently confirm that near-surface warming is generally strongest over the driest climate regions and this spatial pattern of warming maximizes near the surface, gradually decays with height, and disappears in the upper troposphere. Short-term anomaly analyses show a strong spatial and temporal coupling of changes in temperatures, water vapor and downward longwave radiation (DLR), indicating that the large increase in DLR drives primarily near surface warming and is tightly associated with increasing water vapor over deserts. Atmospheric soundings of temperature and water vapor anomalies support the results of the long-term temperature trend analysis and suggest that desert amplification is due to comparable warming and moistening effects of the troposphere. Likely, desert amplification results from the strongest water vapor feedbacks near the surface over the driest deserts, where the air is very sensitive to changes in water vapor and thus efficient in enhancing the longwave greenhouse effect in a warming climate.

  6. Polarization feedback laser stabilization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esherick, P.; Owyoung, A.

    1987-09-28

    A system for locking two Nd:YAG laser oscillators includes an optical path for feeding the output of one laser into the other with different polarizations. Elliptical polarization is incorporated into the optical path so that the change in polarization that occurs when the frequencies coincide may be detected to provide a feedback signal to control one laser relative to the other. 4 figs.

  7. Polarization in Sagittarius A*

    OpenAIRE

    Bower, Geoffrey C.

    2000-01-01

    We summarize the current state of polarization observations of Sagittarius A*, the compact radio source and supermassive black hole candidate in the Galactic Center. These observations are providing new tools for understanding accretion disks, jets and their environments. Linear polarization observations have shown that Sgr A* is unpolarized at frequencies as high as 86 GHz. However, recent single-dish observations indicate that Sgr A* may have strong linear polarization at frequencies higher...

  8. Effects of Increased Summer Precipitation and Nitrogen Addition on Root Decomposition in a Temperate Desert.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hongmei Zhao

    Full Text Available Climate change scenarios that include precipitation shifts and nitrogen (N deposition are impacting carbon (C budgets in arid ecosystems. Roots constitute an important part of the C cycle, but it is still unclear which factors control root mass loss and nutrient release in arid lands.Litterbags were used to investigate the decomposition rate and nutrient dynamics in root litter with water and N-addition treatments in the Gurbantunggut Desert in China. Water and N addition had no significant effect on root mass loss and the N and phosphorus content of litter residue. The loss of root litter and nutrient releases were strongly controlled by the initial lignin content and the lignin:N ratio, as evidenced by the negative correlations between decomposition rate and litter lignin content and the lignin:N ratio. Fine roots of Seriphidium santolinum (with higher initial lignin content had a slower decomposition rate in comparison to coarse roots.Results from this study indicate that small and temporary changes in rainfall and N deposition do not affect root decomposition patterns in the Gurbantunggut Desert. Root decomposition rates were significantly different between species, and also between fine and coarse roots, and were determined by carbon components, especially lignin content, suggesting that root litter quality may be the primary driver of belowground carbon turnover.

  9. Browning in Desert Boundaries in Asia in Recent Decades

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  10. Browning in desert boundaries in Asia in recent decades

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. In vitro germination of desert rose varieties(

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tatiane Lemos Varella

    2015-08-01

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

  13. Airborne Laser Polarization Sensor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalshoven, James, Jr.; Dabney, Philip

    1991-01-01

    Instrument measures polarization characteristics of Earth at three wavelengths. Airborne Laser Polarization Sensor (ALPS) measures optical polarization characteristics of land surface. Designed to be flown at altitudes of approximately 300 m to minimize any polarizing or depolarizing effects of intervening atmosphere and to look along nadir to minimize any effects depending on look angle. Data from measurements used in conjunction with data from ground surveys and aircraft-mounted video recorders to refine mathematical models used in interpretation of higher-altitude polarimetric measurements of reflected sunlight.

  14. Polarization at SLC

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Swartz, M.L.

    1988-07-01

    The SLAC Linear Collider has been designed to readily accommodate polarized electron beams. Considerable effort has been made to implement a polarized source, a spin rotation system, and a system to monitor the beam polarization. Nearly all major components have been fabricated. At the current time, several source and polarimeter components have been installed. The installation and commissioning of the entire system will take place during available machine shutdown periods as the commissioning of SLC progresses. It is expected that a beam polarization of 45% will be achieved with no loss in luminosity. 13 refs., 15 figs

  15. Cosmology from CMB Polarization with POLARBEAR and the Simons Array

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barron, Darcy; POLARBEAR Collaboration

    2018-01-01

    POLARBEAR is a cosmic microwave background (CMB) polarization experiment located in the Atacama desert in Chile. The science goals of the POLARBEAR project are to do a deep search for CMB B-mode polarization created by inflationary gravitational waves, as well as characterize the CMB B-mode signal from gravitational lensing. POLARBEAR-1 started observations in 2012, and the POLARBEAR team has published a series of results from its first season of observations, including the first measurement of a non-zero B-mode polarization angular power spectrum, measured at sub-degree scales where the dominant signal is gravitational lensing of the CMB. Recently, we released an improved measurement of the B-mode polarization power spectrum, improving our band-power uncertainties by a factor of two, by adding new data from our second observing season and re-analyzing the combined data set.To further improve on these measurements, POLARBEAR is expanding to include an additional two telescopes with multi-chroic receivers observing at 95, 150, 220, and 270 GHz, known as the Simons Array. With high sensitivity and large sky coverage, the Simons Array will create a detailed survey of B-mode polarization, and its spectral information will be used to extract the CMB signal from astrophysical foregrounds. We will present the latest POLARBEAR results, as well as the status of development of the Simons Array and its expected capabilities.

  16. Development of bacterial communities in biological soil crusts along a revegetation chronosequence in the Tengger Desert, northwest China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Lichao; Liu, Yubing; Zhang, Peng; Song, Guang; Hui, Rong; Wang, Zengru; Wang, Jin

    2017-08-01

    Knowledge of structure and function of microbial communities in different successional stages of biological soil crusts (BSCs) is still scarce for desert areas. In this study, Illumina MiSeq sequencing was used to assess the compositional changes of bacterial communities in different ages of BSCs in the revegetation of Shapotou in the Tengger Desert. The most dominant phyla of bacterial communities shifted with the changed types of BSCs in the successional stages, from Firmicutes in mobile sand and physical crusts to Actinobacteria and Proteobacteria in BSCs, and the most dominant genera shifted from Bacillus, Enterococcus and Lactococcus to RB41_norank and JG34-KF-361_norank. Alpha diversity and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis indicated that bacterial richness and abundance reached their highest levels after 15 years of BSC development. Redundancy analysis showed that silt + clay content and total K were the prime determinants of the bacterial communities of BSCs. The results suggested that bacterial communities of BSCs recovered quickly with the improved soil physicochemical properties in the early stages of BSC succession. Changes in the bacterial community structure may be an important indicator in the biogeochemical cycling and nutrient storage in early successional stages of BSCs in desert ecosystems.

  17. ORIGIN OF THE FOG IN NAMIB DESERT IN DRY SEASON

    OpenAIRE

    KIMURA, Keiji

    2005-01-01

    The origin of the fog in the Namib Desert was generally considered the westerly advection fog over the Benguela cold current. When the author went to the Namib Desert in dry seasons in 2003 and 2004, the fog in the early morning, however, moved easterly from the inland to the Atlantic Ocean. It was the opposite direction of so called the sea fog. In addition to that, the fog in the Namib Desert showed the diurnal change: the fog arises in the early morning and disappeared before noon. The fog...

  18. How to identify food deserts in Amazonian cities?

    OpenAIRE

    Davies, Gemma; Frausin Bustamante, Gina Giovanna; Parry, Luke Thomas Wyn

    2016-01-01

    Food deserts are areas without affordable access to healthy foods. This paper explores whether food deserts are present within urban areas of the Brazilian Amazon. The availability and price of a variety of food products was surveyed in a total of 304 shops, across 3 cities in 2015. Least-cost distances were calculated to estimate travel distance to access products, with map overlay used to help identify areas with poor access to a variety of healthy food - these were defined as food deserts.

  19. 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...

  20. Stable isotope and trace element studies of black bear hair, Big Bend ecosystem, Texas and Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shanks, W.C. Pat; Hellgren, Eric C.; Stricker, Craig A.; Gemery-Hill, Pamela A.; Onorato, David P.

    2008-01-01

    Hair from black bears (Ursus americanus), collected from four areas in the Big Bend ecosystem, has been analyzed for stable isotopes of carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur to determine major food sources and for trace metals to infer possible effects of environmental contaminants. Results indicate that black bears are largely vegetarian, feeding on desert plants, nuts, and berries. Mercury concentrations in bear hair are below safe level standards (

  1. Precipitation regime classification for the Mojave Desert: Implications for fire occurrence

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tagestad, Jerry; Brooks, Matthew; Cullinan, Valerie; Downs, Janelle; McKinley, Randy

    2016-01-01

    Mojave Desert ecosystem processes are dependent upon the amount and seasonality of precipitation. Multi-decadal periods of drought or above-average rainfall affect landscape vegetation condition, biomass and susceptibility to fire. The seasonality of precipitation events can also affect the likelihood of lightning, a key ignition source for fires. To develop an understanding of precipitation regimes and fire patterns we used monthly average precipitation data and GIS data representing burned areas from 1971-2010. We applied a K-means cluster analysis to the monthly precipitation data identifying three distinct precipitation seasons; winter (October – March), spring (April-June) and summer (July-September) and four discrete precipitation regimes within the Mojave ecoregion.

  2. A highly diverse, desert-like microbial biocenosis on solar panels in a Mediterranean city.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dorado-Morales, Pedro; Vilanova, Cristina; Peretó, Juli; Codoñer, Francisco M; Ramón, Daniel; Porcar, Manuel

    2016-07-05

    Microorganisms colonize a wide range of natural and artificial environments although there are hardly any data on the microbial ecology of one the most widespread man-made extreme structures: solar panels. Here we show that solar panels in a Mediterranean city (Valencia, Spain) harbor a highly diverse microbial community with more than 500 different species per panel, most of which belong to drought-, heat- and radiation-adapted bacterial genera, and sun-irradiation adapted epiphytic fungi. The taxonomic and functional profiles of this microbial community and the characterization of selected culturable bacteria reveal the existence of a diverse mesophilic microbial community on the panels' surface. This biocenosis proved to be more similar to the ones inhabiting deserts than to any human or urban microbial ecosystem. This unique microbial community shows different day/night proteomic profiles; it is dominated by reddish pigment- and sphingolipid-producers, and is adapted to withstand circadian cycles of high temperatures, desiccation and solar radiation.

  3. Ecosystem quality in LCIA

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Woods, John S.; Damiani, Mattia; Fantke, Peter

    2017-01-01

    viewpoint and recommendations for future developments in LCIA related to the ecosystem quality area of protection (AoP). Through our recommendations, we aim to encourage LCIA developments that improve the usefulness and global acceptability of LCIA results. Methods: We analyze current ecosystem quality...... metrics and provide recommendations to the LCIA research community for achieving further developments towards comparable and more ecologically relevant metrics addressing ecosystem quality. Results and discussion: We recommend that LCIA development for ecosystem quality should tend towards species......—should be framed to facilitate their final expression in a single, aggregated metric. This would also improve comparability with other LCIA damage-level indicators. Furthermore, to allow for a broader inclusion of ecosystem quality perspectives, the development of an additional indicator related to ecosystem...

  4. Polar lessons learned: long-term management based on shared threats in Arctic and Antarctic environments

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bennett, J.R.; Shaw, J.D.; Terauds, A.; Smol, J.P.; Aerts, R.; Bergstrom, D.M.; Blais, J.M.; Cheung, W.W.L.; Chown, S.L.; Lea, M.-A.; Nielsen, U.N.; Pauly, D.; Reimer, K.J.; Riddle, M.J.; Snape, I.; Stark, J.S.; Tulloch, V.J.; Possingham, H.P.

    2015-01-01

    The Arctic and Antarctic polar regions are subject to multiple environmental threats, arising from both local and ex-situ human activities. We review the major threats to polar ecosystems including the principal stressor, climate change, which interacts with and exacerbates other threats such as

  5. NUWAX-83: nucleonics in the desert

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lyon, W.S.

    1983-01-01

    The 6-day NUWAX-83 (Nuclear Weapon Accident Exercise) held in May 1983, formally at Port Gaston, Virginia, actually in Nevada, was organized by several Federal organizations. A helicopter crash and consequent nuclear explosion contaminating a large area with 239 Pu and 241 Am was simulated. For 239 Pu, a mixture of 223 Ra and 103 Pd was used. The author participating as a member of the ORNL staff describes his experiences, with special reference to the on-site chemical analytical work and human conditions. The author refers to the deficiencies of the analytical capability and equipment, furthermore, he doubts the transferability of surveying and analytical experiences gained in the desert to an Eastern seaboard region. (A.L.)

  6. Desert ants learn vibration and magnetic landmarks.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cornelia Buehlmann

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-03-13

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

  8. RHIC Polarized proton operation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Huang, H.; Ahrens, L.; Alekseev, I.G.; Aschenauer, E.; Atoian, G.; Bai, M.; Bazilevsky, A.; Blaskiewicz, M.; Brennan, J.M.; Brown, K.A.; Bruno, D.; Connolly, R.; Dion, A.; D'Ottavio, T.; Drees, K.A.; Fischer, W.; Gardner, C.; Glenn, J.W.; Gu, X.; Harvey, M.; Hayes, T.; Hoff, L.; Hulsart, R.L.; Laster, J.; Liu, C.; Luo, Y.; MacKay, W.W.; Makdisi, Y.; Marr, G.J.; Marusic, A.; Meot, F.; Mernick, K.; Michnoff, R.; Minty, M.; Montag, C.; Morris, J.; Nemesure, S.; Poblaguev, A.; Ptitsyn, V.; Ranjibar, V.; Robert-Demolaize, G.; Roser, T.; Schmidke, B.; Schoefer, V.; Severino, F.; Smirnov, D.; Smith, K.; Steski, D.; Svirida, D.; Tepikian, S.; Trbojevic, D.; Tsoupas, N.; Tuozzolo, J.E.; Wang, G.; Wilinski, M.; Yip, K.; Zaltsman, A.; Zelenski, A.; Zeno, K.; Zhang, S.Y.

    2011-01-01

    The Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) operation as the polarized proton collider presents unique challenges since both luminosity(L) and spin polarization(P) are important. With longitudinally polarized beams at the experiments, the figure of merit is LP 4 . A lot of upgrades and modifications have been made since last polarized proton operation. A 9 MHz rf system is installed to improve longitudinal match at injection and to increase luminosity. The beam dump was upgraded to increase bunch intensity. A vertical survey of RHIC was performed before the run to get better magnet alignment. The orbit control is also improved this year. Additional efforts are put in to improve source polarization and AGS polarization transfer efficiency. To preserve polarization on the ramp, a new working point is chosen such that the vertical tune is near a third order resonance. The overview of the changes and the operation results are presented in this paper. Siberian snakes are essential tools to preserve polarization when accelerating polarized beams to higher energy. At the same time, the higher order resonances still can cause polarization loss. As seen in RHIC, the betatron tune has to be carefully set and maintained on the ramp and during the store to avoid polarization loss. In addition, the orbit control is also critical to preserve polarization. The higher polarization during this run comes from several improvements over last run. First we have a much better orbit on the ramp. The orbit feedback brings down the vertical rms orbit error to 0.1mm, much better than the 0.5mm last run. With correct BPM offset and vertical realignment, this rms orbit error is indeed small. Second, the jump quads in the AGS improved input polarization for RHIC. Third, the vertical tune was pushed further away from 7/10 snake resonance. The tune feedback maintained the tune at the desired value through the ramp. To calibrate the analyzing power of RHIC polarimeters at any energy above

  9. RHIC Polarized proton operation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Huang, H.; Ahrens, L.; Alekseev, I.G.; Aschenauer, E.; Atoian, G.; Bai, M.; Bazilevsky, A.; Blaskiewicz, M.; Brennan, J.M.; Brown, K.A.; Bruno, D.; Connolly, R.; Dion, A.; D' Ottavio, T.; Drees, K.A.; Fischer, W.; Gardner, C.; Glenn, J.W.; Gu, X.; Harvey, M.; Hayes, T.; Hoff, L.; Hulsart, R.L.; Laster, J.; Liu, C.; Luo, Y.; MacKay, W.W.; Makdisi, Y.; Marr, G.J.; Marusic, A.; Meot, F.; Mernick, K.; Michnoff, R,; Minty, M.; Montag, C.; Morris, J.; Nemesure, S.; Poblaguev, A.; Ptitsyn, V.; Ranjibar, V.; Robert-Demolaize, G.; Roser, T.; J.; Severino, F.; Schmidke, B.; Schoefer, V.; Severino, F.; Smirnov, D.; Smith, K.; Steski, D.; Svirida, D.; Tepikian, S.; Trbojevic, D.; Tsoupas, N.; Tuozzolo, J. Wang, G.; Wilinski, M.; Yip, K.; Zaltsman, A.; Zelenski, A.; Zeno, K.; Zhang, S.Y.

    2011-03-28

    The Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) operation as the polarized proton collider presents unique challenges since both luminosity(L) and spin polarization(P) are important. With longitudinally polarized beams at the experiments, the figure of merit is LP{sup 4}. A lot of upgrades and modifications have been made since last polarized proton operation. A 9 MHz rf system is installed to improve longitudinal match at injection and to increase luminosity. The beam dump was upgraded to increase bunch intensity. A vertical survey of RHIC was performed before the run to get better magnet alignment. The orbit control is also improved this year. Additional efforts are put in to improve source polarization and AGS polarization transfer efficiency. To preserve polarization on the ramp, a new working point is chosen such that the vertical tune is near a third order resonance. The overview of the changes and the operation results are presented in this paper. Siberian snakes are essential tools to preserve polarization when accelerating polarized beams to higher energy. At the same time, the higher order resonances still can cause polarization loss. As seen in RHIC, the betatron tune has to be carefully set and maintained on the ramp and during the store to avoid polarization loss. In addition, the orbit control is also critical to preserve polarization. The higher polarization during this run comes from several improvements over last run. First we have a much better orbit on the ramp. The orbit feedback brings down the vertical rms orbit error to 0.1mm, much better than the 0.5mm last run. With correct BPM offset and vertical realignment, this rms orbit error is indeed small. Second, the jump quads in the AGS improved input polarization for RHIC. Third, the vertical tune was pushed further away from 7/10 snake resonance. The tune feedback maintained the tune at the desired value through the ramp. To calibrate the analyzing power of RHIC polarimeters at any energy above

  10. Dynamic belowground ecosystem

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Harris, W. F.; Santantonio, D.; McGinty, D.

    1979-01-01

    Roots comprise the primary interface between plant and soil for uptake of water and nutrients. Much is known about the biochemistry, cell physiology and membrane physics associated with these important processes. In this paper we discuss the role of the belowground ecosystem, especially the autotrophic root component, in the structure and function of forest ecosystems. Beyond recognizing roles of anchoring terrestrial plants and uptake of water and nutrients, this component of the forest has been largely neglected in an ecosystem context. In order to focus discussion on the properties of the belowground ecosystem, we use the term rhizosphere to include roots, mycorrhizae, microbes, and rhizophagus invertebrates.

  11. The Impact of Rainfall on Soil Moisture Dynamics in a Foggy Desert.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Bonan; Wang, Lixin; Kaseke, Kudzai F; Li, Lin; Seely, Mary K

    2016-01-01

    Soil moisture is a key variable in dryland ecosystems since it determines the occurrence and duration of vegetation water stress and affects the development of weather patterns including rainfall. However, the lack of ground observations of soil moisture and rainfall dynamics in many drylands has long been a major obstacle in understanding ecohydrological processes in these ecosystems. It is also uncertain to what extent rainfall controls soil moisture dynamics in fog dominated dryland systems. To this end, in this study, twelve to nineteen months' continuous daily records of rainfall and soil moisture (from January 2014 to August 2015) obtained from three sites (one sand dune site and two gravel plain sites) in the Namib Desert are reported. A process-based model simulating the stochastic soil moisture dynamics in water-limited systems was used to study the relationships between soil moisture and rainfall dynamics. Model sensitivity in response to different soil and vegetation parameters under diverse soil textures was also investigated. Our field observations showed that surface soil moisture dynamics generally follow rainfall patterns at the two gravel plain sites, whereas soil moisture dynamics in the sand dune site did not show a significant relationship with rainfall pattern. The modeling results suggested that most of the soil moisture dynamics can be simulated except the daily fluctuations, which may require a modification of the model structure to include non-rainfall components. Sensitivity analyses suggested that soil hygroscopic point (sh) and field capacity (sfc) were two main parameters controlling soil moisture output, though permanent wilting point (sw) was also very sensitive under the parameter setting of sand dune (Gobabeb) and gravel plain (Kleinberg). Overall, the modeling results were not sensitive to the parameters in non-bounded group (e.g., soil hydraulic conductivity (Ks) and soil porosity (n)). Field observations, stochastic modeling

  12. A test of catastrophic transition mechanisms in the Chihuahuan Desert Grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Svejcar, L.; Bestelmeyer, B.; Duniway, M.

    2012-12-01

    Dryland ecosystems are known to undergo transitions from grassland or savanna states to shrub-dominated and/or eroded states with persistent loss of herbaceous vegetation. Theoretical models for predicting critical thresholds between states have been examined in drylands to search for early warning indicators, yet there is scant empirical evidence for the mechanisms. The models postulate that larger patches are favorable environments for plant growth in arid ecosystems due to short-range facilitation. The breakdown of large patches is thought to trigger catastrophic transitions. We tested assumptions underpinning these models using an experiment in black grama grassland (Bouteloua eriopoda Torr.) of the Chihuahuan Desert in which variable grazing intensities produced a wide range of patch sizes in plots with differing mesquite shrub (Prosopis glandulosa Torr.) densities. We tested the hypothesis that growth, reproductive capability, and reproductive success of black grama plants would be greater in larger plant patches than in smaller patches. From 2010-2012 we measured numbers of stolons, ramets, rooted ramets and young individual plants associated with focal black grama plants and fixed areas within each patch. We found that the largest patches did not always feature the highest rates of grass reproduction across years, suggesting that patch size does not consistently indicate the patch persistence mechanisms proposed in catastrophic transition models. Other factors, such as resource competition within patches, may play important roles in black grama grasslands. When assessing rangeland conditions in the Chihuahuan desert grasslands, theoretical models of critical thresholds and early warning indicators should be applied with caution.

  13. Our Polar Past

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clary, Renee; Wandersee, James

    2009-01-01

    The study of polar exploration is fascinating and offers students insights into the history, culture, and politics that affect the developing sciences at the farthest ends of Earth. Therefore, the authors think there is value in incorporating polar exploration accounts within modern science classrooms, and so they conducted research to test their…

  14. Terahertz polarization imaging

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van der Valk, N.C.J.; Van der Marel, W.A.M.; Planken, P.C.M.

    2005-01-01

    We present a new method to measure the polarization state of a terahertz pulse by using a modified electrooptic sampling setup. To illustrate the power of this method, we show two examples in which the knowledge of the polarization of the terahertz pulse is essential for interpreting the results:

  15. Polarized proton beams

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Roser, T.

    1995-01-01

    The acceleration of polarized proton beams in circular accelerators is complicated by the presence of numerous depolarizing spin resonances. Careful and tedious minimization of polarization loss at each of these resonances allowed acceleration of polarized proton beams up to 22 GeV. It has been the hope that Siberian Snakes, which are local spin rotators inserted into ring accelerators, would eliminate these resonances and allow acceleration of polarized beams with the same ease and efficiency that is now routine for unpolarized beams. First tests at IUCF with a full Siberian Snake showed that the spin dynamics with a Snake can be understood in detail. The author now has results of the first tests of a partial Siberian Snake at the AGS, accelerating polarized protons to an energy of about 25 GeV. These successful tests of storage and acceleration of polarized proton beams open up new possibilities such as stored polarized beams for internal target experiments and high energy polarized proton colliders

  16. Polar Science Is Cool!

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weeks, Sophie

    2012-01-01

    Children are fascinated by the fact that polar scientists do research in extremely cold and dangerous places. In the Arctic they might be viewed as lunch by a polar bear. In the Antarctic, they could lose toes and fingers to frostbite and the wind is so fast it can rip skin off. They camp on ice in continuous daylight, weeks from any form of…

  17. Overview about polluted sites management by mining activities in coastal-desertic zones

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reyes, Arturo; Letelier, María Victoria; Arenas, Franko; Cuevas, Jacqueline; Fuentes, Bárbara

    2016-04-01

    In Chile the main mining operations as well as artisanal and small-scale mining (copper, gold and silver) are located in desert areas. A large number of abandoned polluted sites with heavy metals and metalloids (Hg, Pb, Cu, Sb, As) remain in coastal areas close to human centers. The aim of this work was to identify the best remediation alternatives considering the physic-chemical characteristics of the coastal-desertic soils. The concentrations of above mentioned pollutants as well as soil properties were determined. The results showed variable concentration of the pollutants, highest detected values were: Hg (46.5 mg kg-1), Pb (84.7 mg kg-1), Cu (283.0 mg kg-1), Sb (90 mg kg-1), As (2,691 mg kg-1). The soils characteristic were: high alkalinity with pH: 7.75-9.66, high electric conductivity (EC: 1.94-118 mScm-1), sodium adsorption ratio (SAR: 5.07-8.22) and low permeability of the soils. Coastal-desertic sites are potential sources of pollution for population, and for terrestrial and marine ecosystems. Exposure routes of pollution for the population include: primary, by incidental ingestion and inhalation of soil and dust and secondary, by the ingestion of marine sediments, sea food and seawater. Rehabilitation of coastal-desertic sites, by using techniques like soil washing in situ, chemical stabilization, or phytostabilization, is conditioned by physic-chemical properties of the soils. In these cases the recommendation for an appropriate management, remediation and use of the sites includes: 1) physic chemical characterization of the soils, 2) evaluation of environmental risk, 3) education of the population and 3) application of a remediation technology according to soil characteristic and the planned use of the sites. Acknowledgments: Funding for this study was supported by the Regional Council of Antofagasta under Project Estudio de ingeniería para la remediación de sitios abandonados con potencial presencia de contaminantes identificados en la comuna de

  18. Biophysical Controls over Carbon and Nitrogen Stocks in Desert Playa Wetlands

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKenna, O. P.; Sala, O. E.

    2014-12-01

    Playas are ephemeral desert wetlands situated at the bottom of closed catchments. Desert playas in the Southwestern US have not been intensively studied despite their potential importance for the functioning of desert ecosystems. We want to know which geomorphic and ecological variables control of the stock size of soil organic carbon, and soil total nitrogen in playas. We hypothesize that the magnitude of carbon and nitrogen stocks depends on: (a) catchment size, (b) catchment slope, (d) catchment vegetation cover, (e) bare-ground patch size, and (f) catchment soil texture. We chose thirty playas from across the Jornada Basin (Las Cruces, NM) ranging from 0.5-60ha in area and with varying catchment characteristics. We used the available 5m digital elevation map (DEM) to calculate the catchment size and catchment slope for these thirty playas. We measured percent cover, and patch size using the point-intercept method with three 10m transects in each catchment. We used the Bouyoucos-hydrometer soil particle analysis to determine catchment soil texture. Stocks of organic carbon and nitrogen were measured from soil samples at four depths (0-10 cm, 10-30 cm, 30-60 cm, 60-100 cm) using C/N combustion analysis. In terms of nitrogen and organic carbon storage, we found soil nitrogen values in the top 10cm ranging from 41.963-214.365 gN/m2, and soil organic carbon values in the top 10cm ranging from 594.339-2375.326 gC/m2. The results of a multiple regression analysis show a positive relationship between catchment slope and both organic carbon and nitrogen stock size (nitrogen: y= 56.801 +47.053, R2=0.621; organic carbon: y= 683.200 + 499.290x, R2= 0.536). These data support our hypothesis that catchment slope is one of factors controlling carbon and nitrogen stock in desert playas. We also applied our model to the 69 other playas of the Jornada Basin and estimated stock sizes (0-10cm) between 415.07-447.97 Mg for total soil nitrogen and 4627.99-5043.51 Mg for soil organic

  19. Small wash functions and effects of their disturbance on vegetation of a Mojave Desert bajada

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-12-01

    The extensive network of small washes and channels that pervades most desert bajadas usually represents only a small proportion of the bajada's spatial area and are usually devoid of vegetation. However, these channels may be the most important geomorphic feature influencing vegetation properties and processes in arid lands. To evaluate the functional influence of small channels on the vegetation of a Mojave Desert bajada, we conducted a series of observations and experiments across a ~100 year old linear disturbance (railroad and parallel road) that disrupts the natural flow path of the channel network. In areas below the railroad where flow has been either increased due to channel diversion and coalescence through culverts, or cut off due to diversion, plant community structure and cover has changed relative to undisturbed areas. Plant physiological responses to simulated runoff experiments, conducted in active (undisturbed) and inactive (cut-off) channels, revealed subtle differences that, when compounded through time, are likely to contribute to these shifts in vegetation. Measurements of water potential on the two dominant plant species, Larrea tridentata and Ambrosia dumosa, indicate that Larrea within 3 m of a channel, and Ambrosia within 2 m, access water from the channel. However, the water potential responses were less pronounced, shorter in duration and more variable for plants adjacent to inactive channels than for those near active channels. Stomatal conductance and sap-flow measurements on Larrea corroborated these findings, suggesting that root patterns and functions associated with channels are altered when water flow is reduced or eliminated over extended periods of time. These findings indicate that disturbance of small desert washes and channels can lead to vegetation shifts through time with consequences that are not yet fully understood. Small desert washes and channels may represent a minor spatial component of the vast bajada landscape, but

  20. A Model-Based Study of Ecohydrological Controls in the Mojave Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-12-01

    Desert ecosystems represent extreme conditions near the limits of viability for vegetation. Their dependence on scarce resources make them vulnerable to climate and land use change. Understanding how ecohydrological conditions impact plants in such regions is critical for ecological sustainability. Various relationships have been observed in the field between vegetation growth and meteorology, terrain, and plant physiology. Quantifying the complex interactions of those influences on vegetation dynamics can be facilitated with a physically-based ecohydrological model. To assess ecohydrological controls in the Mojave Desert, we employ the CLM4.0 land-surface model with the Carbon-Nitrogen model component to simulate vegetation dynamics [Olesen et al., 2010]. Using an ecohydrological model with fully prognostic vegetation variables is essential for representing the coupled dynamics between plants and soil moisture. We apply the CLM4.0-CN model to a study basin in the Mojave National Preserve that covers a variety of conditions. Soils range from coarse-textured wash sediments to low-permeability desert pavements. Higher elevations in the basin experience cooler and moister conditions than the lower wash areas. The dominant vegetation types in the basin include the evergreen shrub Larrea tridentata (creosote) and the drought-deciduous shrub Ambrosia dumosa. Simulations are conducted over a 50 year period to investigate both seasonal and interannual dynamics. Sensitivity tests indicate that high temporal resolution rainfall inputs (at least hourly) are important for properly resolving ecohydrological dynamics at the study site. As expected, preliminary results show that both coarser soils and milder climate facilitate vegetation growth in this moisture-limited region. However, results indicate that effects of soil texture variations become subordinate with milder climate. The model also reveals how drought-deciduous and evergreen shrub types respond differently to

  1. Precision Polarization of Neutrons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Elise; Barron-Palos, Libertad; Couture, Aaron; Crawford, Christopher; Chupp, Tim; Danagoulian, Areg; Estes, Mary; Hona, Binita; Jones, Gordon; Klein, Andi; Penttila, Seppo; Sharma, Monisha; Wilburn, Scott

    2009-05-01

    Determining polarization of a cold neutron beam to high precision is required for the next generation neutron decay correlation experiments at the SNS, such as the proposed abBA and PANDA experiments. Precision polarimetry measurements were conducted at Los Alamos National Laboratory with the goal of determining the beam polarization to the level of 10-3 or better. The cold neutrons from FP12 were polarized using optically polarized ^3He gas as a spin filter, which has a highly spin-dependent absorption cross section. A second ^ 3He spin filter was used to analyze the neutron polarization after passing through a resonant RF spin rotator. A discussion of the experiment and results will be given.

  2. Optically polarized 3He

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gentile, T. R.; Nacher, P. J.; Saam, B.; Walker, T. G.

    2018-01-01

    This article reviews the physics and technology of producing large quantities of highly spin-polarized 3He nuclei using spin-exchange (SEOP) and metastability-exchange (MEOP) optical pumping. Both technical developments and deeper understanding of the physical processes involved have led to substantial improvements in the capabilities of both methods. For SEOP, the use of spectrally narrowed lasers and K-Rb mixtures has substantially increased the achievable polarization and polarizing rate. For MEOP nearly lossless compression allows for rapid production of polarized 3He and operation in high magnetic fields has likewise significantly increased the pressure at which this method can be performed, and revealed new phenomena. Both methods have benefitted from development of storage methods that allow for spin-relaxation times of hundreds of hours, and specialized precision methods for polarimetry. SEOP and MEOP are now widely applied for spin-polarized targets, neutron spin filters, magnetic resonance imaging, and precision measurements. PMID:29503479

  3. Optically polarized 3He

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gentile, T. R.; Nacher, P. J.; Saam, B.; Walker, T. G.

    2017-10-01

    This article reviews the physics and technology of producing large quantities of highly spin-polarized 3He nuclei using spin-exchange (SEOP) and metastability-exchange (MEOP) optical pumping. Both technical developments and deeper understanding of the physical processes involved have led to substantial improvements in the capabilities of both methods. For SEOP, the use of spectrally narrowed lasers and K-Rb mixtures has substantially increased the achievable polarization and polarizing rate. For MEOP nearly lossless compression allows for rapid production of polarized 3He and operation in high magnetic fields has likewise significantly increased the pressure at which this method can be performed, and revealed new phenomena. Both methods have benefitted from development of storage methods that allow for spin-relaxation times of hundreds of hours, and specialized precision methods for polarimetry. SEOP and MEOP are now widely applied for spin-polarized targets, neutron spin filters, magnetic resonance imaging, and precision measurements.

  4. Parallel Polarization State Generation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    She, Alan; Capasso, Federico

    2016-05-17

    The control of polarization, an essential property of light, is of wide scientific and technological interest. The general problem of generating arbitrary time-varying states of polarization (SOP) has always been mathematically formulated by a series of linear transformations, i.e. a product of matrices, imposing a serial architecture. Here we show a parallel architecture described by a sum of matrices. The theory is experimentally demonstrated by modulating spatially-separated polarization components of a laser using a digital micromirror device that are subsequently beam combined. This method greatly expands the parameter space for engineering devices that control polarization. Consequently, performance characteristics, such as speed, stability, and spectral range, are entirely dictated by the technologies of optical intensity modulation, including absorption, reflection, emission, and scattering. This opens up important prospects for polarization state generation (PSG) with unique performance characteristics with applications in spectroscopic ellipsometry, spectropolarimetry, communications, imaging, and security.

  5. BUSINESS ECOSYSTEMS VS BUSINESS DIGITAL ECOSYSTEMS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marinela Lazarica

    2006-05-01

    Full Text Available E-business is often described as the small organisations’ gateway to global business and markets. The adoption of Internet-based technologies for e-business is a continuous process, with sequential steps of evolution. The latter step in the adoption of Internet-based technologies for business, where the business services and the software components are supported by a pervasive software environment, which shows an evolutionary and self-organising behaviour are named digital business ecosystems. The digital business ecosystems are characterized by intelligent software components and services, knowledge transfer, interactive training frameworks and integration of business processes and e-government models.

  6. Military Geography: The Interaction of Desert Geomorphology and Military Operations

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Gilewitch, Daniel

    2003-01-01

    .... Battles throughout history were fought in desert regions and the future is certain to hold additional conflicts, particularly in the Middle East where Operation Iraqi Freedom currently rages at the time of this writing...

  7. 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.

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  9. 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...

  10. Assessing the Benefits of Urban Forestry in Mojave Desert Communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    As the climate and environment change due to human activity, an understanding of the existing natural resources becomes paramount. Urban forests of Mojave Desert communities have the potential to reduce air pollution, heat island effects, and energy consumption. Regions throughou...

  11. Phylogeographic structure and historical demography of the western diamondback rattlesnake (Crotalus atrox): A perspective on North American desert biogeography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castoe, Todd A; Spencer, Carol L; Parkinson, Christopher L

    2007-01-01

    The western diamondback rattlesnake (Crotalus atrox) is a prominent member of North American desert and semi-arid ecosystems, and its importance extends from its impact on the region's ecology and imagery, to its medical relevance as a large deadly venomous snake. We used mtDNA sequences to identify population genetic structure and historical demographic patterns across the range of this species, and relate these to broader patterns of historical biogeography of desert and semi-arid regions of the southwestern USA and adjacent Mexico. We inferred a Late Pliocene divergence between peninsular and continental lineages of Crotalus, followed by an Early Mid Pleistocene divergence across the continental divide within C. atrox. Within desert regions (Sonoran and Chihuahuan Deserts, Southern Plains, and Tamaulipan Plain) we observed population structure indicating isolation of populations in multiple Pleistocene refugia on either side of the continental divide, which we attempt to identify. Evidence of post-glacial population growth and range expansion was inferred, particularly in populations east of the continental divide. We observed clear evidence of (probably recent) gene flow across the continental divide and secondary contact of haplotype lineages. This recent gene flow appears to be particularly strong in the West-to-East direction. Our results also suggest that Crotalus tortugensis (Tortuga Island rattlesnake) and a population of 'C. atrox' inhabiting Santa Cruz Island (in the Gulf of California) previously suggested to be an unnamed species, are in fact deeply phylogenetically nested within continental lineages of C. atrox. Accordingly, we suggest C. tortugensis and 'C. atrox' from Santa Cruz Island be placed in the synonymy of C. atrox.

  12. Spatial distribution of soil organic carbon and its influencing factors in desert grasslands of the Hexi Corridor, northwest China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Min; Su, Yongzhong; Yang, Xiao

    2014-01-01

    Knowledge of the distribution patterns of soil organic carbon (SOC) and factors that influence these patterns is crucial for understanding the carbon cycle. The objectives of this study were to determine the spatial distribution pattern of soil organic carbon density (SOCD) and the controlling factors in arid desert grasslands of northwest China. The above- and belowground biomass and SOCD in 260 soil profiles from 52 sites over 2.7×10(4) km2 were investigated. Combined with a satellite-based dataset of an enhanced vegetation index during 2011-2012 and climatic factors at different sites, the relationships between SOCD and biotic and abiotic factors were identified. The results indicated that the mean SOCD was 1.20 (SD:+/- 0.85), 1.73 (SD:+/- 1.20), and 2.69 (SD:+/- 1.91) kg m(-2) at soil depths of 0-30 cm, 0-50 cm, and 0-100 cm, respectively, which was smaller than other estimates in temperate grassland, steppe, and desert-grassland ecosystems. The spatial distribution of SOCD gradually decreased from the southeast to the northwest, corresponding to the precipitation gradient. SOCD increased significantly with vegetation biomass, annual precipitation, soil moisture, clay and silt content, and decreased with mean annual temperature and sand content. The correlation between BGB and SOCD was closer than the correlation between AGB and SOCD. Variables could together explain about 69.8%, 74.4%, and 78.9% of total variation in SOCD at 0-30 cm, 0-50 cm, and 0-100 cm, respectively. In addition, we found that mean annual temperature is more important than other abiotic factors in determining SOCD in arid desert grasslands in our study area. The information obtained in this study provides a basis for accurately estimating SOC stocks and assessing carbon (C) sequestration potential in the desert grasslands of northwest China.

  13. Spatial distribution of soil organic carbon and its influencing factors in desert grasslands of the Hexi Corridor, northwest China.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Min Wang

    Full Text Available Knowledge of the distribution patterns of soil organic carbon (SOC and factors that influence these patterns is crucial for understanding the carbon cycle. The objectives of this study were to determine the spatial distribution pattern of soil organic carbon density (SOCD and the controlling factors in arid desert grasslands of northwest China. The above- and belowground biomass and SOCD in 260 soil profiles from 52 sites over 2.7×10(4 km2 were investigated. Combined with a satellite-based dataset of an enhanced vegetation index during 2011-2012 and climatic factors at different sites, the relationships between SOCD and biotic and abiotic factors were identified. The results indicated that the mean SOCD was 1.20 (SD:+/- 0.85, 1.73 (SD:+/- 1.20, and 2.69 (SD:+/- 1.91 kg m(-2 at soil depths of 0-30 cm, 0-50 cm, and 0-100 cm, respectively, which was smaller than other estimates in temperate grassland, steppe, and desert-grassland ecosystems. The spatial distribution of SOCD gradually decreased from the southeast to the northwest, corresponding to the precipitation gradient. SOCD increased significantly with vegetation biomass, annual precipitation, soil moisture, clay and silt content, and decreased with mean annual temperature and sand content. The correlation between BGB and SOCD was closer than the correlation between AGB and SOCD. Variables could together explain about 69.8%, 74.4%, and 78.9% of total variation in SOCD at 0-30 cm, 0-50 cm, and 0-100 cm, respectively. In addition, we found that mean annual temperature is more important than other abiotic factors in determining SOCD in arid desert grasslands in our study area. The information obtained in this study provides a basis for accurately estimating SOC stocks and assessing carbon (C sequestration potential in the desert grasslands of northwest China.

  14. Assessment of polarization correction impact on the calibration of Terra MODIS reflective solar bands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Aisheng; Angal, Amit; Geng, Xu; Xiong, Xiaoxiong

    2017-09-01

    The Moderate-Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), launched in 1999 on Terra and 2002 on Aqua spacecraft respectively, is a scanning radiometer that covers a wavelength range from 0.4 μm to 14.4 μm and scans the Earth over an angular range from -55° to +55°. After a few years in the Terra mission, it became extremely challenging to characterize the changes in the sensor gain and response versus scan angle (RVS) at short wavelengths due to significant degradation and increased polarization sensitivity. To better characterize the system-level degradation, the MODIS Characterization Support Team (MCST) developed an enhanced approach in Collection-6 (C6) L1B algorithm by supplementing the on-board calibration data with the Earth-scene response trends at various scan angles obtained from the pseudo-invariant desert sites. However, the trends at short wavelengths experienced significant impact due to the increased polarization sensitivity, especially at the end of scan. In this study, a polarization correction algorithm developed by MCST is applied to the Terra MODIS RSB response trends obtained from the desert sites. The trends after polarization correction are used to derive the gain and RVS based on the existing MODIS C6 calibration algorithm. Impact of the polarization correction is examined for gain, RVS and their fitting uncertainties over the entire mission. The results of this study provide useful information on how to further improve accuracy and stability of the calibrated L1B product.

  15. 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

  16. Lateral migration of linear dunes in the Strzelecki Desert, Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rubin, D.M.

    1990-01-01

    Preferential accumulation of sand on east-facing flanks indicates that the dunes migrated eastward several metres during the Holocene. Moreover, the west-facing flanks of some dunes have experienced a minimum of tens of metres of erosion. This asymmetric erosion and deposition were caused by dune obliquity and lateral migration that may have begun as early as the Pleistocene. Dunes in the Strzelecki Desert and in the adjacent Simpson Desert display a variety of grossly different internal structures. -from Author

  17. 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

  18. Cyanobacteria inhabiting biological soil crusts of a polar desert: Sør Rondane Mountains, Antarctica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pushkareva, Ekaterina; Pessi, Igor S; Namsaraev, Zorigto; Mano, Marie-Jose; Elster, Josef; Wilmotte, Annick

    2018-02-07

    Molecular and morphological methods were applied to study cyanobacterial community composition in biological soil crusts (BSCs) from four areas (two nunataks and two ridges) in the Sør Rondane Mountains, Antarctica. The sampling sites serve as control areas for open top chambers (OTCs) that were put in place in 2010 at the time of sample collection and will be compared with BSC samples taken from the OTCs in the future. Cyanobacterial cell biovolume was estimated using epifluorescence microscopy, which revealed the dominance of filamentous cyanobacteria in all studied sites except the Utsteinen ridge, where unicellular cyanobacteria were the most abundant. Cyanobacterial diversity was studied by a combination of molecular fingerprinting methods based on the 16S rRNA gene (denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) and 454 pyrosequencing) using cyanobacteria-specific primers. The number of DGGE sequences obtained per site was variable and, therefore, a high-throughput method was subsequently employed to improve the diversity coverage. Consistent with previous surveys in Antarctica, both methods showed that filamentous cyanobacteria, such as Leptolyngbya sp., Phormidium sp. and Microcoleus sp., were dominant in the studied sites. In addition, the studied localities differed in substrate type, climatic conditions and soil parameters, which probably resulted in differences in cyanobacterial community composition. Furthermore, the BSC growing on gneiss pebbles had lower cyanobacterial abundances than BSCs associated with granitic substrates. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  19. Contraction of the Gobi Desert, 2000–2012

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Troy Sternberg

    2015-01-01

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

  20. Coastal ecosystems, productivity and ecosystem protection: Coastal ecosystem management

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ngoile, M.A.K.; Horrill, C.J. (Inst. of Marine Sciences, Zanzibar (Tanzania, United Republic of))

    1993-01-01

    The coastal zone is a complex ecosystem under the influence of physical, chemical and biological processes. Under natural conditions these processes interact and maintain an equilibrium in the coastal ecosystem. Man makes a variety of important uses of coastal resources, ranging from harvesting of living resources, extraction of nonliving resources, and recreation, to the disposal of wastes. Man's extensive use of the oceans introduces factors which bring about an imbalance in the natural processes, and may result in harmful and hazardous effects to life hindering further use. Man's pressure on the resources of the coastal zone is already manifest and will increase manifold. This calls for an immediate solution to the protection and sustainable use of coastal resources. The current sectorized approach to the management of human activities will not solve the problem because the different resources of the coastal zone interact in such a manner that disturbances in one cause imbalance in the others. This is further complicated by the sectorized approach to research and limited communication between policy makers, managers, and scientists. This paper discusses strategies for managing coastal-resources use through an integrated approach. The coastal zone is presented as a unified ecosystem in equilibrium and shows that man's extensive use of the coastal resources destabilizes this equilibrium. Examples from the East Africa Region are presented. 15 refs, 2 figs, 3 tabs

  1. Coastal ecosystems, productivity and ecosystem protection: Coastal ecosystem management

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ngoile, M.A.K.; Horrill, C.J.

    1993-01-01

    The coastal zone is a complex ecosystem under the influence of physical, chemical and biological processes. Under natural conditions these processes interact and maintain an equilibrium in the coastal ecosystem. Man makes a variety of important uses of coastal resources, ranging from harvesting of living resources, extraction of nonliving resources, and recreation, to the disposal of wastes. Man's extensive use of the oceans introduces factors which bring about an imbalance in the natural processes, and may result in harmful and hazardous effects to life hindering further use. Man's pressure on the resources of the coastal zone is already manifest and will increase manifold. This calls for an immediate solution to the protection and sustainable use of coastal resources. The current sectorized approach to the management of human activities will not solve the problem because the different resources of the coastal zone interact in such a manner that disturbances in one cause imbalance in the others. This is further complicated by the sectorized approach to research and limited communication between policy makers, managers, and scientists. This paper discusses strategies for managing coastal-resources use through an integrated approach. The coastal zone is presented as a unified ecosystem in equilibrium and shows that man's extensive use of the coastal resources destabilizes this equilibrium. Examples from the East Africa Region are presented. 15 refs, 2 figs, 3 tabs

  2. Belowground ecosystems [chapter 9

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carole Coe Klopatek

    1995-01-01

    The USDA Forest Service defined ecosystem management as "an ecological approach to achieve multiple-use management of national forests and grasslands by blending the needs of people and environmental values in such a way that national forests and grasslands represent diverse, healthy, productive, and sustainable ecosystems" (June 4, 1992, letter from Chief FS...

  3. Ecosystem Management and Sustainability

    Science.gov (United States)

    J.D. Peine; B.L. Jacobs; K.E. Franzreb; M.R. Stevens

    2011-01-01

    Ecosystem management (EM) promotes an integrated approach to environmental issues; its central goal is the protection of entire ecosystems. By focusing on an interdisciplinary solution to environmental challenges, EM can help to synthesize societal, economic scientific, and governmental goals. Furthermore, as EM becomes part of the foundation of environmental...

  4. Radionuclides in terrestrial ecosystems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bocock, K.L.

    1981-01-01

    This report summarizes information on the distribution and movement of radionuclides in semi-natural terrestrial ecosystems in north-west England with particular emphasis on inputs to, and outputs from ecosystems; on plant and soil aspects; and on radionuclides in fallout and in discharges by the nuclear industry. (author)

  5. Space Technology for Reduction of Desert Areas on Earth and Weather Control

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Constantin SANDU

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available In precedent papers the authors presented the idea of a space system composed of two opposite parabolic mirrors (large and small having the same focal point. This system is able to concentrate solar power in a strong light beam having irradiance of hundreds or thousands of times stronger than the solar irradiance on Earth's orbit. The system can be placed on a Sun synchronous orbit around the Earth or on the Earth’s orbit around the Sun at a distance of several hundred km from ground. When the concentrated light beam is directed toward the Earth surface it can locally melt, vaporize or decomposes tones of ground in its elements. This is happening because when the ground is hit by the light beam, ground temperature can reach thousands of degrees Celsius. At such temperatures the matter is decomposed into constitutive elements. For example, the silicate oxides which are frequently found in the composition of desert ground are decomposed into oxygen and silicon. Similarly, other oxides release oxygen and other type of oxides or constitutive elements. A network of deep and large channels can be dug in this way in hot deserts as Sahara. When these channels are connected with the seas & oceans, a network of water channels is created in those deserts. In this way, the local climate of deserts will change because channel water is vaporized during daytime when air temperature reaches 50ºC and condenses during nighttime when air temperature is around 0ºC. Presence of clouds over the hot deserts can lead to a reduction of ground temperature and rain follows. The channel water can be desalinized for producing drinking water and for irrigation using simple equipment. In addition to these advantages, channel deserts can be a solution for melting of polar ice calottes and flooding of seaside areas that are inhabited areas. On the other hand, the system composed of two opposite mirrors can be used for strength decreasing or deviation of hurricanes and

  6. A circumpolar monitoring framework for polar bears

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vongraven, Dag; Aars, Jon; Amstrup, Steven C.; Atkinson, Stephen N.; Belikov, Stanislav; Born, Erik W.; DeBruyn, T.D.; Derocher, Andrew E.; Durner, George M.; Gill, Michael J.; Lunn, Nicholas J.; Obbard, Martyn E.; Omelak, Jack; Ovsyanikov, Nikita; Peacock, Elizabeth; Richardson, E.E.; Sahanatien, Vicki; Stirling, Ian; Wiig, Øystein

    2012-01-01

    Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) occupy remote regions that are characterized by harsh weather and limited access. Polar bear populations can only persist where temporal and spatial availability of sea ice provides adequate access to their marine mammal prey. Observed declines in sea ice availability will continue as long as greenhouse gas concentrations rise. At the same time, human intrusion and pollution levels in the Arctic are expected to increase. A circumpolar understanding of the cumulative impacts of current and future stressors is lacking, long-term trends are known from only a few subpopulations, and there is no globally coordinated effort to monitor effects of stressors. Here, we describe a framework for an integrated circumpolar monitoring plan to detect ongoing patterns, predict future trends, and identify the most vulnerable polar bear subpopulations. We recommend strategies for monitoring subpopulation abundance and trends, reproduction, survival, ecosystem change, human-caused mortality, human–bear conflict, prey availability, health, stature, distribution, behavioral change, and the effects that monitoring itself may have on polar bears. We assign monitoring intensity for each subpopulation through adaptive assessment of the quality of existing baseline data and research accessibility. A global perspective is achieved by recommending high intensity monitoring for at least one subpopulation in each of four major polar bear ecoregions. Collection of data on harvest, where it occurs, and remote sensing of habitat, should occur with the same intensity for all subpopulations. We outline how local traditional knowledge may most effectively be combined with the best scientific methods to provide comparable and complementary lines of evidence. We also outline how previously collected intensive monitoring data may be sub-sampled to guide future sampling frequencies and develop indirect estimates or indices of subpopulation status. Adoption of this framework

  7. Soil moisture control of sap-flow response to biophysical factors in a desert-shrub species, Artemisia ordosica

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. Zha

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available The current understanding of acclimation processes in desert-shrub species to drought stress in dryland ecosystems is still incomplete. In this study, we measured sap flow in Artemisia ordosica and associated environmental variables throughout the growing seasons of 2013 and 2014 (May–September period of each year to better understand the environmental controls on the temporal dynamics of sap flow. We found that the occurrence of drought in the dry year of 2013 during the leaf-expansion and leaf-expanded periods caused sap flow per leaf area (Js to decline significantly, resulting in transpiration being 34 % lower in 2013 than in 2014. Sap flow per leaf area correlated positively with radiation (Rs, air temperature (T, and water vapor pressure deficit (VPD when volumetric soil water content (VWC was greater than 0.10 m3 m−3. Diurnal Js was generally ahead of Rs by as much as 6 hours. This time lag, however, decreased with increasing VWC. The relative response of Js to the environmental variables (i.e., Rs, T, and VPD varied with VWC, Js being more strongly controlled by plant-physiological processes during periods of dryness indicated by a low decoupling coefficient and low sensitivity to the environmental variables. According to this study, soil moisture is shown to control sap-flow (and, therefore, plant-transpiration response in Artemisia ordosica to diurnal variations in biophysical factors. This species escaped (acclimated to water limitations by invoking a water-conservation strategy with the regulation of stomatal conductance and advancement of Js peaking time, manifesting in a hysteresis effect. The findings of this study add to the knowledge of acclimation processes in desert-shrub species under drought-associated stress. This knowledge is essential in modeling desert-shrub-ecosystem functioning under changing climatic conditions.

  8. Soil moisture control of sap-flow response to biophysical factors in a desert-shrub species, Artemisia ordosica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zha, Tianshan; Qian, Duo; Jia, Xin; Bai, Yujie; Tian, Yun; Bourque, Charles P.-A.; Ma, Jingyong; Feng, Wei; Wu, Bin; Peltola, Heli

    2017-10-01

    The current understanding of acclimation processes in desert-shrub species to drought stress in dryland ecosystems is still incomplete. In this study, we measured sap flow in Artemisia ordosica and associated environmental variables throughout the growing seasons of 2013 and 2014 (May-September period of each year) to better understand the environmental controls on the temporal dynamics of sap flow. We found that the occurrence of drought in the dry year of 2013 during the leaf-expansion and leaf-expanded periods caused sap flow per leaf area (Js) to decline significantly, resulting in transpiration being 34 % lower in 2013 than in 2014. Sap flow per leaf area correlated positively with radiation (Rs), air temperature (T), and water vapor pressure deficit (VPD) when volumetric soil water content (VWC) was greater than 0.10 m3 m-3. Diurnal Js was generally ahead of Rs by as much as 6 hours. This time lag, however, decreased with increasing VWC. The relative response of Js to the environmental variables (i.e., Rs, T, and VPD) varied with VWC, Js being more strongly controlled by plant-physiological processes during periods of dryness indicated by a low decoupling coefficient and low sensitivity to the environmental variables. According to this study, soil moisture is shown to control sap-flow (and, therefore, plant-transpiration) response in Artemisia ordosica to diurnal variations in biophysical factors. This species escaped (acclimated to) water limitations by invoking a water-conservation strategy with the regulation of stomatal conductance and advancement of Js peaking time, manifesting in a hysteresis effect. The findings of this study add to the knowledge of acclimation processes in desert-shrub species under drought-associated stress. This knowledge is essential in modeling desert-shrub-ecosystem functioning under changing climatic conditions.

  9. Oasis desert farming selects environment-specific date palm root endophytic communities and cultivable bacteria that promote resistance to drought

    KAUST Repository

    Cherif, Hanene

    2015-07-21

    Oases are desert-farming agro-ecosystems, where date palm (Phoenix dactyliferaL.) plays a keystone role in offsetting the effects of drought and maintaining a suitable microclimate for agriculture. At present, abundance, diversity and plant growth promotion (PGP) of date palm root-associated bacteria remain unknown. Considering the environmental pressure determined by the water scarcity in the desert environments, we hypothesized that bacteria associated with date palm roots improve plant resistance to drought. Here, the ecology of date palm root endophytes from oases in the Tunisian Sahara was studied with emphasis on their capacity to promote growth under drought. Endophytic communities segregated along a north-south gradient in correlation with geo-climatic parameters. Screening of 120 endophytes indicated that date palm roots select for bacteria with multiple PGP traits. Bacteria rapidly cross-colonized the root tissues of different species of plants, including the original Tunisian date palm cultivar, Saudi Arabian cultivars and Arabidopsis. Selected endophytes significantly increased the biomass of date palms exposed to repeated drought stress periods during a 9-month greenhouse experiment. Overall, results indicate that date palm roots shape endophytic communities that are capable to promote plant growth under drought conditions, thereby contributing an essential ecological service to the entire oasis ecosystem. © 2015 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  10. Mapping cultural ecosystem services:

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Paracchini, Maria Luisa; Zulian, Grazia; Kopperoinen, Leena

    2014-01-01

    Research on ecosystem services mapping and valuing has increased significantly in recent years. However, compared to provisioning and regulating services, cultural ecosystem services have not yet been fully integrated into operational frameworks. One reason for this is that transdisciplinarity...... surveys are a main source of information. Among cultural ecosystem services, assessment of outdoor recreation can be based on a large pool of literature developed mostly in social and medical science, and landscape and ecology studies. This paper presents a methodology to include recreation...... in the conceptual framework for EU wide ecosystem assessments (Maes et al., 2013), which couples existing approaches for recreation management at country level with behavioural data derived from surveys, and population distribution data. The proposed framework is based on three components: the ecosystem function...

  11. Polarization at the SLC

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Moffeit, K.C.

    1988-10-01

    The Stanford Linear collider was designed to accommodate polarized electron beams. Longitudinally polarized electrons colliding with unpolarized positrons at a center of mass energy near the Z/sup 0/ mass can be used as novel and sensitive probes of the electroweak process. A gallium arsenide based photon emission source will provide a beam of longitudinally polarized electrons of about 45 percent polarization. A system of bend magnets and a superconducting solenoid will be used to rotate the spins so that the polarization is preserved while the 1.21 GeV electrons are stored in the damping ring. Another set of bend magnets and two superconducting solenoids orient the spin vectors so that longitudinal polarization of the electrons is achieved at the collision point with the unpolarized positrons. A system to monitor the polarization based on Moller and Compton scattering will be used. Nearly all major components have been fabricated and tested. Subsystems of the source and polarimeters have been installed, and studies are in progress. The installation and commissioning of the entire system will take place during available machine shutdown periods as the commissioning of SLC progresses. 8 refs., 16 figs., 1 tab.

  12. Biological/environmental relationships in desert ecosystems of the Nevada Test Site

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Beatley, J.C.

    1979-03-01

    Activities covered are: computer and related work (corrections and updating of card decks for Nevada Test Site data, and transfer of data and programs to tapes); publication of shrub (and tree) data for undisturbed Test Site vegetation in 1963 and 1975 (DOE/EV/2307-15); work performed in this contract period on the publications covering the vascular plants of central-southern Nevada (TID-26881); and work and publications in connection with the Endangered and Threatened species of central-southern Nevada

  13. Polarized atomic beams for targets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Grueebler, W.

    1984-01-01

    The basic principle of the production of polarized atomic hydrogen and deuterium beams are reviewed. The status of the present available polarization, density and intensity are presented. The improvement of atomic beam density by cooling the hydrogen atoms to low velocity is discussed. The possible use of polarized atomic beams as targets in storage rings is shown. It is proposed that polarized atomic beams can be used to produce polarized gas targets with high polarization and greatly improved density

  14. Polarized scintillator targets

    Science.gov (United States)

    van den Brandt, B.; Bunyatova, E. I.; Hautle, P.; Konter, J. A.; Mango, S.

    2000-05-01

    The hydrogen nuclei in an organic scintillator have been polarized to more than 80% and the deuterons in its fully deuterated version to 24%. The scintillator, doped with TEMPO, has been polarized dynamically in a field of 2.5 T in a vertical dilution refrigerator in which a plastic lightguide transports the scintillation light from the sample in the mixing chamber to a photomultiplier outside the cryostat. Sizeable solid samples with acceptable optical properties and light output have been prepared and successfully operated as "live" polarized targets in nuclear physics experiments.

  15. Polarized scintillator targets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brandt, B. van den E-mail: vandenbrandt@psi.ch; Bunyatova, E.I.; Hautle, P.; Konter, J.A.; Mango, S

    2000-05-21

    The hydrogen nuclei in an organic scintillator have been polarized to more than 80% and the deuterons in its fully deuterated version to 24%. The scintillator, doped with TEMPO, has been polarized dynamically in a field of 2.5 T in a vertical dilution refrigerator in which a plastic lightguide transports the scintillation light from the sample in the mixing chamber to a photomultiplier outside the cryostat. Sizeable solid samples with acceptable optical properties and light output have been prepared and successfully operated as 'live' polarized targets in nuclear physics experiments.

  16. Heidelberg polarized alkali source

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kraemer, D.; Steffens, E.; Jaensch, H.; Philipps Universitaet, Marburg, Germany)

    1984-01-01

    A new atomic beam type polarized alkali ion source has been installed at Heidelberg. In order to improve the beam polarization considerably optical pumping is applied in combination with an adiabatic medium field transition which results in beams in single hyperfine sublevels. The m state population is determined by laser-induced fluorescence spectroscopy. Highly polarized beams (P/sub s/ > 0.9, s = z, zz) with intensities of 30 to 130 μA can be extracted for Li + and Na + , respectively

  17. Ecosystem model of the entire Beaufort Sea marine ecosystem: a tool for assessing food-web structure and ecosystem changes from 1970 to 2014

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suprenand, P. M.; Hoover, C.

    2016-02-01

    The Beaufort Sea coastal-marine ecosystem is approximately a 476,000 km2 area in the Arctic Ocean, which extends from -112.5 to -158° longitude to 67.5 to 75° latitude. Within this Arctic Ocean area the United States (Alaskan) indigenous communities of Barrow, Kaktovik, and Nuiqsut, and the Canadian (Northwest Territories) indigenous communities of Aklavik, Inuvik, Tuktoyaktuk, Paulatuk, Ulukhaktok, and Sachs Harbour, subsist by harvesting marine mammals, fish, and invertebrates from the Beaufort Sea to provide the majority of their community foods annually. The ecosystem in which the indigenous communities harvest is considered a polar habitat that includes many specialized species, such as polar bears that rely on sea-ice for foraging activities and denning, or ice algae that are attached to the cryosphere. However, the polar habitat has been experiencing a diminishing sea-ice extent, age, and seasonal duration, with concomitant increases in sea surface temperatures (SSTs), since the 1970s. Changes in sea-ice and SST have consequences to the Beaufort Sea coastal-marine ecosystem, which includes animal habitat losses, alterations to trophodynamics, and impacts to subsistence community harvesting. The present study was aimed at capturing trophodynamic changes in the Beaufort Sea coastal-marine ecosystem from 1970 to 2014 using a fitted spatial-temporal model (Ecopath with Ecosim and Ecospace) that utilizes forcing and mediation functions to describe animal/trophodynamic relationships with sea-ice and sea surface temperature, as well as individual community harvesting efforts. Model outputs reveals similar trends in animals population changes (e.g., increasing bowhead whale stock), changes in apex predator diets (e.g., polar bears eating less ringed seal), and changes in animal distributions (e.g., polar bears remaining closer to land over time). The Beaufort Sea model is a dynamic tool for Arctic Ocean natural resource management in the years to come.

  18. Polarization measurement in the COMPASS polarized target

    CERN Document Server

    Kondo, K; Baum, G; Berglund, P; Doshita, N; Gautheron, F; Görtz, S; Hasegawa, T; Horikawa, N; Ishimoto, S; Iwata, T; Kisselev, Yu V; Koivuniemi, J H; Le Goff, J M; Magnon, A; Meyer, W; Reicherz, G; Matsuda, T

    2004-01-01

    Continuous wave nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) is used to determine the target polarization in the COMPASS experiment. The system is made of the so-called Liverpool Q-meters, Yale-cards, and VME modules for data taking and system controlling. In 2001 the NMR coils were embedded in the target material, while in 2002 and 2003 the coils were mounted on the outer surface of the target cells to increase the packing factor of the material. Though the error of the measurement became larger with the outer coils than with the inner coils, we have performed stable measurements throughout the COMPASS run time for 3 years. The maximum polarization was +57% and -53% as the average in the target cells.

  19. Ecosystem approach in education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nabiullin, Iskander

    2017-04-01

    Environmental education is a base for sustainable development. Therefore, in our school we pay great attention to environmental education. Environmental education in our school is based on ecosystem approach. What is an ecosystem approach? Ecosystem is a fundamental concept of ecology. Living organisms and their non-living environments interact with each other as a system, and the biosphere planet functions as a global ecosystem. Therefore, it is necessary for children to understand relationships in ecosystems, and we have to develop systems thinking in our students. Ecosystem approach and systems thinking should help us to solve global environmental problems. How do we implement the ecosystem approach? Students must understand that our biosphere functions as a single ecosystem and even small changes can lead to environmental disasters. Even the disappearance of one plant or animal species can lead to irreversible consequences. So in the classroom we learn the importance of each living organism for the nature. We pay special attention to endangered species, which are listed in the Red Data List. Kids are doing projects about these organisms, make videos, print brochures and newspapers. Fieldwork also plays an important role for ecosystem approach. Every summer, we go out for expeditions to study species of plants and animals listed in the Red Data List of Tatarstan. In class, students often write essays on behalf of any endangered species of plants or animals, this also helps them to understand the importance of each living organism in nature. Each spring we organise a festival of environmental projects among students. Groups of 4-5 students work on a solution of environmental problems, such as water, air or soil pollution, waste recycling, the loss of biodiversity, etc. Participants shoot a clip about their project, print brochures. Furthermore, some of the students participate in national and international scientific Olympiads with their projects. In addition to

  20. 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

  1. Climate change impacts on marine ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doney, Scott C; Ruckelshaus, Mary; Duffy, J Emmett; Barry, James P; Chan, Francis; English, Chad A; Galindo, Heather M; Grebmeier, Jacqueline M; Hollowed, Anne B; Knowlton, Nancy; Polovina, Jeffrey; Rabalais, Nancy N; Sydeman, William J; Talley, Lynne D

    2012-01-01

    In marine ecosystems, rising atmospheric CO2 and climate change are associated with concurrent shifts in temperature, circulation, stratification, nutrient input, oxygen content, and ocean acidification, with potentially wide-ranging biological effects. Population-level shifts are occurring because of physiological intolerance to new environments, altered dispersal patterns, and changes in species interactions. Together with local climate-driven invasion and extinction, these processes result in altered community structure and diversity, including possible emergence of novel ecosystems. Impacts are particularly striking for the poles and the tropics, because of the sensitivity of polar ecosystems to sea-ice retreat and poleward species migrations as well as the sensitivity of coral-algal symbiosis to minor increases in temperature. Midlatitude upwelling systems, like the California Current, exhibit strong linkages between climate and species distributions, phenology, and demography. Aggregated effects may modify energy and material flows as well as biogeochemical cycles, eventually impacting the overall ecosystem functioning and services upon which people and societies depend.

  2. Climate Change Impacts on Marine Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doney, Scott C.; Ruckelshaus, Mary; Emmett Duffy, J.; Barry, James P.; Chan, Francis; English, Chad A.; Galindo, Heather M.; Grebmeier, Jacqueline M.; Hollowed, Anne B.; Knowlton, Nancy; Polovina, Jeffrey; Rabalais, Nancy N.; Sydeman, William J.; Talley, Lynne D.

    2012-01-01

    In marine ecosystems, rising atmospheric CO2 and climate change are associated with concurrent shifts in temperature, circulation, stratification, nutrient input, oxygen content, and ocean acidification, with potentially wide-ranging biological effects. Population-level shifts are occurring because of physiological intolerance to new environments, altered dispersal patterns, and changes in species interactions. Together with local climate-driven invasion and extinction, these processes result in altered community structure and diversity, including possible emergence of novel ecosystems. Impacts are particularly striking for the poles and the tropics, because of the sensitivity of polar ecosystems to sea-ice retreat and poleward species migrations as well as the sensitivity of coral-algal symbiosis to minor increases in temperature. Midlatitude upwelling systems, like the California Current, exhibit strong linkages between climate and species distributions, phenology, and demography. Aggregated effects may modify energy and material flows as well as biogeochemical cycles, eventually impacting the overall ecosystem functioning and services upon which people and societies depend.

  3. A bionic camera-based polarization navigation sensor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Daobin; Liang, Huawei; Zhu, Hui; Zhang, Shuai

    2014-07-21

    Navigation and positioning technology is closely related to our routine life activities, from travel to aerospace. Recently it has been found that Cataglyphis (a kind of desert ant) is able to detect the polarization direction of skylight and navigate according to this information. This paper presents a real-time bionic camera-based polarization navigation sensor. This sensor has two work modes: one is a single-point measurement mode and the other is a multi-point measurement mode. An indoor calibration experiment of the sensor has been done under a beam of standard polarized light. The experiment results show that after noise reduction the accuracy of the sensor can reach up to 0.3256°. It is also compared with GPS and INS (Inertial Navigation System) in the single-point measurement mode through an outdoor experiment. Through time compensation and location compensation, the sensor can be a useful alternative to GPS and INS. In addition, the sensor also can measure the polarization distribution pattern when it works in multi-point measurement mode.

  4. Dynamic nuclear spin polarization

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stuhrmann, H.B. [GKSS-Forschungszentrum Geesthacht GmbH (Germany)

    1996-11-01

    Polarized neutron scattering from dynamic polarized targets has been applied to various hydrogenous materials at different laboratories. In situ structures of macromolecular components have been determined by nuclear spin contrast variation with an unprecedented precision. The experiments of selective nuclear spin depolarisation not only opened a new dimension to structural studies but also revealed phenomena related to propagation of nuclear spin polarization and the interplay of nuclear polarisation with the electronic spin system. The observation of electron spin label dependent nuclear spin polarisation domains by NMR and polarized neutron scattering opens a way to generalize the method of nuclear spin contrast variation and most importantly it avoids precontrasting by specific deuteration. It also likely might tell us more about the mechanism of dynamic nuclear spin polarisation. (author) 4 figs., refs.

  5. Time Domain Induced Polarization

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fiandaca, Gianluca; Auken, Esben; Christiansen, Anders Vest

    2012-01-01

    Time-domain-induced polarization has significantly broadened its field of reference during the last decade, from mineral exploration to environmental geophysics, e.g., for clay and peat identification and landfill characterization. Though, insufficient modeling tools have hitherto limited the use...... of time-domaininduced polarization for wider purposes. For these reasons, a new forward code and inversion algorithm have been developed using the full-time decay of the induced polarization response, together with an accurate description of the transmitter waveform and of the receiver transfer function......%. Furthermore, the presence of low-pass filters in time-domain-induced polarization instruments affects the early times of the acquired decays (typically up to 100 ms) and has to be modeled in the forward response to avoid significant loss of resolution. The developed forward code has been implemented in a 1D...

  6. Polarized proton colliders

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Roser, T.

    1995-01-01

    High energy polarized beam collisions will open up the unique physics opportunities of studying spin effects in hard processes. This will allow the study of the spin structure of the proton and also the verification of the many well documented expectations of spin effects in perturbative QCD and parity violation in W and Z production. Proposals for polarized proton acceleration for several high energy colliders have been developed. A partial Siberian Snake in the AGS has recently been successfully tested and full Siberian Snakes, spin rotators, and polarimeters for RHIC are being developed to make the acceleration of polarized beams to 250 GeV possible. This allows for the unique possibility of colliding two 250 GeV polarized proton beams at luminosities of up to 2 x 10 32 cm -2 s -1

  7. Plasma polarization spectroscopy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Iwamae, Atsushi; Horimoto, Yasuhiro; Fujimoto, Takashi; Hasegawa, Noboru; Sukegawa, Kouta; Kawachi, Tetsuya

    2005-01-01

    The electron velocity distribution function (EVDF) in plasma can be anisotropic in laser-produced plasmas. We have developed a new technique to evaluate the polarization degree of the emission lines in the extreme vacuum ultra violet wavelength region. The polarization of the emission lines and the continuums from the lithium-like nitrogen and from helium- and hydrogen-like carbon in recombining plasma is evaluated. Particle simulation in the velocity space gives the time scale for relaxation of anisotropic EVDFs. (author)

  8. Ultracold Polar Molecules

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-04-01

    AFRL-AFOSR-UK-TR-2016-0005 Ultracold Polar Molecules Jeremy Hutson UNIVERSITY OF DURHAM Final Report 04/01/2016 DISTRIBUTION A: Distribution approved...DATES COVERED (From - To) 15-Jan-2010 to 14-Jul-2015 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Final Report on Grant FA8655-10-1-3033 on Ultracold Polar Molecules 5a...formation of ultracold 87RbCs molecules in their rovibrational ground state by magnetoassociation followed by STIRAP, resulting in 14 papers acknowledging

  9. Copper isotope fractionation by desert shrubs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  10. Diurnal and seasonal variations in carbon dioxide exchange in ecosystems in the Zhangye oasis area, Northwest China.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lei Zhang

    Full Text Available Quantifying carbon dioxide exchange and understanding the response of key environmental factors in various ecosystems are critical to understanding regional carbon budgets and ecosystem behaviors. For this study, CO2 fluxes were measured in a variety of ecosystems with an eddy covariance observation matrix between June 2012 and September 2012 in the Zhangye oasis area of Northwest China. The results show distinct diurnal variations in the CO2 fluxes in vegetable field, orchard, wetland, and maize cropland. Diurnal variations of CO2 fluxes were not obvious, and their values approached zero in the sandy desert, desert steppe, and Gobi ecosystems. Additionally, daily variations in the Gross Primary Production (GPP, Ecosystem Respiration (Reco and Net Ecosystem Exchange (NEE were not obvious in the sandy desert, desert steppe, and Gobi ecosystems. In contrast, the distributions of the GPP, Reco, and NEE show significant daily variations, that are closely related to the development of vegetation in the maize, wetland, orchard, and vegetable field ecosystems. All of the ecosystems are characterized by their carbon absorption during the observation period. The ability to absorb CO2 differed significantly among the tested ecosystems. We also used the Michaelis-Menten equation and exponential curve fitting methods to analyze the impact of Photosynthetically Active Radiation (PAR on the daytime CO2 flux and impact of air temperature on Reco at night. The results show that PAR is the dominant factor in controlling photosynthesis with limited solar radiation, and daytime CO2 assimilation increases rapidly with PAR. Additionally, the carbon assimilation rate was found to increase slowly with high solar radiation. The light response parameters changed with each growth stage for all of the vegetation types, and higher light response values were observed during months or stages when the plants grew quickly. Light saturation points are different for different

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-09-01

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

  12. Hsp Polarization Verification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bless, Robert

    1991-07-01

    This proposal defines the procedure for determining the instrumental polarization of the polarimetric IDT (IDT#1, POL) on the HSP. 1 of 2 unpolarized standard stars wil be observed using various filter-polarizer combinations. These observations will permit the instrumental polarization to be calibrated. The instrumental polarization must be determined to a high precision in order to vectoriallly remove it from HSP polarization observations to determine the actual astronomical polarization. Final run of proposal will look at one of 2 possible stars previously observed to get another look at the throughput. Revision History: Mark H. Slovak 8/30/88 Translated to V2 proposal instructions (RPSS V6.2) S. Laurent 1/20/89 Updated: Sally Laurent 2/24/89, 3/20/89, 4/13/89, 5/12/89 Modified: P. Stanley 1/15/90 - change to use CTA selected targets only; Fixes for aberration problem - SALM 7/30/90; Based on SV/HSP 1386. New submission changed targets and revised scheduling strategy. Revised: 26 Aug 92 J. Dolan, L. Walter, P. Reppert want to re-run the proposal (3985) one last time to bring down errors.

  13. Millennium Ecosystem Assessment: MA Scenarios

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment: MA Scenarios provide useful insight into the complex factors that drive ecosystem change, estimating the magnitude of regional...

  14. Water subsidies from mountains to deserts: their role in sustaining groundwater-fed oases in a sandy landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jobbágy, E G; Nosetto, M D; Villagra, P E; Jackson, R B

    2011-04-01

    In arid regions throughout the world, shallow phreatic aquifers feed natural oases of much higher productivity than would be expected solely from local rainfall. In South America, the presence of well-developed Prosopis flexuosa woodlands in the Monte Desert region east of the Andes has puzzled scientists for decades. Today these woodlands provide crucial subsistence to local populations, including descendants of the indigenous Huarpes. We explore the vulnerability and importance of phreatic groundwater for the productivity of the region, comparing the contributions of local rainfall to that of remote mountain recharge that is increasingly being diverted for irrigated agriculture before it reaches the desert. We combined deep soil coring, plant measurements, direct water-table observations, and stable-isotopic analyses (2H and 18O) of meteoric, surface, and ground waters at three study sites across the region, comparing woodland stands, bare dunes, and surrounding shrublands. The isotopic composition of phreatic groundwaters (delta2H: -137 per thousand +/- 5 per thousand) closely matched the signature of water brought to the region by the Mendoza River (-137 per thousand +/- 6 per thousand), suggestin that mountain-river infiltration rather than in situ rainfall deep drainage (-39 per thousand +/- 19 per thousand) was the dominant mechanism of recharge. Similarly, chloride mass balances determined from deep soil profiles (> 6 m) suggested very low recharge rates. Vegetation in woodland ecosystems, where significant groundwater discharge losses, likely >100 mm/yr occurred, relied on regionally derived groundwater located from 6.5 to 9.5 m underground. At these locations, daily water-table fluctuations of 10 mm, and stable-isotopic measurements of plant water, indicated groundwater uptake rates of 200-300 mm/yr. Regional scaling suggests that groundwater evapotranspiration reaches 18-42 mm/yr across the landscape, accounting for 7 17% of the Mendoza River flow

  15. Sensitivity of temperate desert steppe carbon exchange to seasonal droughts and precipitation variations in Inner Mongolia, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Fulin; Zhou, Guangsheng

    2013-01-01

    Arid grassland ecosystems have significant interannual variation in carbon exchange; however, it is unclear how environmental factors influence carbon exchange in different hydrological years. In this study, the eddy covariance technique was used to investigate the seasonal and interannual variability of CO₂ flux over a temperate desert steppe in Inner Mongolia, China from 2008 to 2010. The amounts and times of precipitation varied significantly throughout the study period. The precipitation in 2009 (186.4 mm) was close to the long-term average (183.9±47.6 mm), while the precipitation in 2008 (136.3 mm) and 2010 (141.3 mm) was approximately a quarter below the long-term average. The temperate desert steppe showed carbon neutrality for atmospheric CO₂ throughout the study period, with a net ecosystem carbon dioxide exchange (NEE) of -7.2, -22.9, and 26.0 g C m⁻² yr⁻¹ in 2008, 2009, and 2010, not significantly different from zero. The ecosystem gained more carbon in 2009 compared to other two relatively dry years, while there was significant difference in carbon uptake between 2008 and 2010, although both years recorded similar annual precipitation. The results suggest that summer precipitation is a key factor determining annual NEE. The apparent quantum yield and saturation value of NEE (NEE(sat)) and the temperature sensitivity coefficient of ecosystem respiration (R(eco)) exhibited significant variations. The values of NEE(sat) were -2.6, -2.9, and -1.4 µmol CO₂ m⁻² s⁻¹ in 2008, 2009, and 2010, respectively. Drought suppressed both the gross primary production (GPP) and R(eco), and the drought sensitivity of GPP was greater than that of R(eco). The soil water content sensitivity of GPP was high during the dry year of 2008 with limited soil moisture availability. Our results suggest the carbon balance of this temperate desert steppe was not only sensitive to total annual precipitation, but also to its seasonal distribution.

  16. Sensitivity of temperate desert steppe carbon exchange to seasonal droughts and precipitation variations in Inner Mongolia, China.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fulin Yang

    Full Text Available Arid grassland ecosystems have significant interannual variation in carbon exchange; however, it is unclear how environmental factors influence carbon exchange in different hydrological years. In this study, the eddy covariance technique was used to investigate the seasonal and interannual variability of CO₂ flux over a temperate desert steppe in Inner Mongolia, China from 2008 to 2010. The amounts and times of precipitation varied significantly throughout the study period. The precipitation in 2009 (186.4 mm was close to the long-term average (183.9±47.6 mm, while the precipitation in 2008 (136.3 mm and 2010 (141.3 mm was approximately a quarter below the long-term average. The temperate desert steppe showed carbon neutrality for atmospheric CO₂ throughout the study period, with a net ecosystem carbon dioxide exchange (NEE of -7.2, -22.9, and 26.0 g C m⁻² yr⁻¹ in 2008, 2009, and 2010, not significantly different from zero. The ecosystem gained more carbon in 2009 compared to other two relatively dry years, while there was significant difference in carbon uptake between 2008 and 2010, although both years recorded similar annual precipitation. The results suggest that summer precipitation is a key factor determining annual NEE. The apparent quantum yield and saturation value of NEE (NEE(sat and the temperature sensitivity coefficient of ecosystem respiration (R(eco exhibited significant variations. The values of NEE(sat were -2.6, -2.9, and -1.4 µmol CO₂ m⁻² s⁻¹ in 2008, 2009, and 2010, respectively. Drought suppressed both the gross primary production (GPP and R(eco, and the drought sensitivity of GPP was greater than that of R(eco. The soil water content sensitivity of GPP was high during the dry year of 2008 with limited soil moisture availability. Our results suggest the carbon balance of this temperate desert steppe was not only sensitive to total annual precipitation, but also to its seasonal distribution.

  17. [Ecosystem's soil conservation function and its spatial distribution in Lancang River Basin, Southwest China].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Long; Xie, Gao-Di; Pei, Sha; Zhang, Chang-Shun; Fan, Na; Zhang, Cai-Xia; Li, Shi-Mei

    2012-08-01

    Based on the RUSLE model, this paper analyzed the ecosystem's soil conservation function and its spatial distribution in Lancang River Basin. This Basin could be one of the regions having the highest ecosystem' s soil conservation capability in China, with an annual ecosystem's soil conservation amount being 2.36 x 10(10) t x a(-1) and the soil conservation amount per unit area being 1453.72 t x a(-1) per hectare. The total amounts of the N, P, and K conserved in soils were 5.74 x 10(7), 3.07 x 10(7), and 3.75 x 10(8) t x a(-1), respectively, and presented an increasing trend from upstream to downstream. Among the ecosystems in the Basin, forest ecosystem had the highest soil conservation capability, followed by grassland and farmland, while desert ecosystem had the lowest one. The soil conservation capability of the ecosystems was linearly increased with the increase of vegetation coverage. Averagely, a 10% increment in the vegetation coverage could result in a 35.3% increment in soil conservation capability. To rationally increase the vegetation coverage by reliable ecosystem management based on local conditions would make good effect in preventing soil erosion and maintaining soil nutrients in the Basin.

  18. [Greenhouse gases fluxes of biological soil crusts and soil ecosystem in the artificial sand-fixing vegetation region in Shapotou area].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Yi-Gang; Feng, Yu-Lan; Zhang, Zhi-Shan; Huang, Lei; Zhang, Peng; Xu, Bing-Xin

    2014-01-01

    Uncertainties still existed for evaluating greenhouse gases fluxes (GHGs), including carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) at the regional scale for desert ecosystem because available GHGs data about biological soil crusts (BSCs) was very scarce. In 2011 and 2012, soil ecosystem covered by various types of BSCs and BSCs at different succession stages in an artificial sand-fixing vegetation region established in various periods at southeast of the Shapotou area in Tengger Desert was selected to measure fluxes of CO2, CH4 and N2O using static chamber and gas chromatography. The results showed that curst type, recovery time and their interactions with sampling date significantly affected CO2 flux. Recovery time and interaction of crust type and sampling date significantly affected CH4 flux. Sampling date significantly affected the fluxes of CO2, CH4 and N2O. The mean annual flux of CO2 for moss crust (105.1 mg x m(-2) x h(-1)) was significantly higher than that of algae crust (37.7 mg x m(-2) x h(-1)) at the same succession stage. Annual mean CH4 and N2O consumption was 19.9 and 3.4 microg x m(-2) x h(-1), respectively. Mean annual consumption of CH4 and N2O for algae crust was slightly higher than that of moss crust, however, significant difference was not found. Ecosystem respiration (Re) of desert soil covered by BSCs increased with the recovery process of desert ecosystem, in contrast, consumption of CH4 and N2O decreased. Re of moss crust was more sensitive to temperature and moisture variation than algae crust and Re sensitivity of temperature and moisture gradually increased with the development and succession of BSCs. Both soil temperature and moisture were not the main factor to determine CH4 and N2O fluxes of BSCs-soil in desert ecosystem.

  19. Environmental contamination in Antarctic ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bargagli, R

    2008-08-01

    Although the remote continent of Antarctica is perceived as the symbol of the last great wilderness, the human presence in the Southern Ocean and the continent began in the early 1900s for hunting, fishing and exploration, and many invasive plant and animal species have been deliberately introduced in several sub-Antarctic islands. Over the last 50 years, the development of research and tourism have locally affected terrestrial and marine coastal ecosystems through fuel combustion (for transportation and energy production), accidental oil spills, waste incineration and sewage. Although natural "barriers" such as oceanic and atmospheric circulation protect Antarctica from lower latitude water and air masses, available data on concentrations of metals, pesticides and other persistent pollutants in air, snow, mosses, lichens and marine organisms show that most persistent contaminants in the Antarctic environment are transported from other continents in the Southern Hemisphere. At present, levels of most contaminants in Antarctic organisms are lower than those in related species from other remote regions, except for the natural accumulation of Cd and Hg in several marine organisms and especially in albatrosses and petrels. The concentrations of organic pollutants in the eggs of an opportunistic top predator such as the south polar skua are close to those that may cause adverse health effects. Population growth and industrial development in several countries of the Southern Hemisphere are changing the global pattern of persistent anthropogenic contaminants and new classes of chemicals have already been detected in the Antarctic environment. Although the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty provides strict guidelines for the protection of the Antarctic environment and establishes obligations for all human activity in the continent and the Southern Ocean, global warming, population growth and industrial development in countries of the Southern

  20. 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.

  1. [Assessment on the changing conditions of ecosystems in key ecological function zones in China].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Lin; Cao, Wei; Wu, Dan; Gong, Guo-li; Zhao, Guo-song

    2015-09-01

    In this paper, the dynamics of ecosystem macrostructure, qualities and core services during 2000 and 2010 were analyzed for the key ecological function zones of China, which were classified into four types of water conservation, soil conservation, wind prevention and sand fixation, and biodiversity maintenance. In the water conservation ecological function zones, the areas of forest and grassland ecosystems were decreased whereas water bodies and wetland were increased in the past 11 years, and the water conservation volume of forest, grassland and wetland ecosystems increased by 2.9%. This region needs to reverse the decreasing trends of forest and grassland ecosystems. In the soil conservation ecological function zones, the area of farmland ecosystem was decreased, and the areas of forest, grassland, water bodies and wetland ecosystems were increased. The total amount of the soil erosion was reduced by 28.2%, however, the soil conservation amount of ecosystems increased by 38.1%. In the wind prevention and sand fixation ecological function zones, the areas of grassland, water bodies and wetland ecosystems were decreased, but forest and farmland ecosystems were increased. The unit amount of the soil. wind erosion was reduced and the sand fixation amount of ecosystems increased lightly. In this kind of region that is located in arid and semiarid areas, ecological conservation needs to reduce farmland area and give priority to the protection of the original ecological system. In the biodiversity maintenance ecological function zones, the areas of grassland and desert ecosystems were decreased and other types were increased. The human disturbances showed a weakly upward trend and needs to be reduced. The key ecological function zones should be aimed at the core services and the protecting objects, to assess quantitatively on the effectiveness of ecosystem conservation and improvement.

  2. Polarized Light Microscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frandsen, Athela F.

    2016-01-01

    Polarized light microscopy (PLM) is a technique which employs the use of polarizing filters to obtain substantial optical property information about the material which is being observed. This information can be combined with other microscopy techniques to confirm or elucidate the identity of an unknown material, determine whether a particular contaminant is present (as with asbestos analysis), or to provide important information that can be used to refine a manufacturing or chemical process. PLM was the major microscopy technique in use for identification of materials for nearly a century since its introduction in 1834 by William Fox Talbot, as other techniques such as SEM (Scanning Electron Microscopy), FTIR (Fourier Transform Infrared spectroscopy), XPD (X-ray Powder Diffraction), and TEM (Transmission Electron Microscopy) had not yet been developed. Today, it is still the only technique approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for asbestos analysis, and is often the technique first applied for identification of unknown materials. PLM uses different configurations in order to determine different material properties. With each configuration additional clues can be gathered, leading to a conclusion of material identity. With no polarizing filter, the microscope can be used just as a stereo optical microscope, and view qualities such as morphology, size, and number of phases. With a single polarizing filter (single polars), additional properties can be established, such as pleochroism, individual refractive indices, and dispersion staining. With two polarizing filters (crossed polars), even more can be deduced: isotropy vs. anisotropy, extinction angle, birefringence/degree of birefringence, sign of elongation, and anomalous polarization colors, among others. With the use of PLM many of these properties can be determined in a matter of seconds, even for those who are not highly trained. McCrone, a leader in the field of polarized light microscopy, often

  3. Response of Surface Temperature to Afforestation in the Kubuqi Desert, Inner Mongolia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Liming; Lee, Xuhui; Schultz, Natalie; Chen, Shiping; Wei, Zhongwang; Fu, Congsheng; Gao, Yunqiu; Yang, Yanzheng; Lin, Guanghui

    2018-01-01

    In this study, micrometeorological observations in a shrub ecosystem and an adjacent poplar plantation forest ecosystem in the Kubuqi Desert, Inner Mongolia, China, are used to evaluate the theory of intrinsic biophysical mechanism (IBPM) and to investigate the biophysical effects of afforestation. Results indicate that after forcing energy balance closure to the observed fluxes, the IBPM theory agrees very well with the observed temporal variations in the surface temperature and with the observed temperature difference between the paired sites at the half-hourly time scale. Afforestation activity in this dryland landscape has a cooling effect (-0.5 ± 0.2 K) in the daytime in all the seasons and a warming effect (0.2 ± 0.1 K) in the nighttime during the winter, spring and, autumn but a cooling effect (-1.0 ± 0.3 K) in the summer at night. These temperature changes are decomposed into contributions from changes in surface albedo, surface roughness, Bowen ratio, and ground heat flux. Comparison is made between the IBPM theory and the theory of the decomposed temperature metric.

  4. Dietary plasticity of generalist and specialist ungulates in the Namibian Desert: a stable isotopes approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lehmann, David; Mfune, John Kazgeba Elijah; Gewers, Erick; Cloete, Johann; Brain, Conrad; Voigt, Christian Claus

    2013-01-01

    Desert ungulates live in adverse ecosystems that are particularly sensitive to degradation and global climate change. Here, we asked how two ungulate species with contrasting feeding habits, grazing gemsbok (Oryx g. gazella) and browsing springbok (Antidorcas marsupialis), respond to an increase in food availability during a pronounced rain period. We used a stable isotope approach to delineate the feeding habits of these two ungulates in the arid Kunene Region of Namibia. Our nineteen months field investigation included two time periods of drought when food availability for ungulates was lowest and an intermediate period with extreme, unusual rainfalls. We documented thirteen isotopically distinct food sources in the isotopic space of the study area. Our results indicated a relatively high dietary plasticity of gemsbok, which fed on a mixture of plants, including more than 30% of C3 plants during drought periods, but almost exclusively on C4 and CAM plant types when food was plentiful. During drought periods, the inferred gemsbok diets also consisted of up to 25% of Euphorbia damarana; an endemic CAM plant that is rich in toxic secondary plant compounds. In contrast, springbok were generalists, feeding on a higher proportion of C3 than C4/CAM plants, irrespective of environmental conditions. Our results illustrate two dietary strategies in gemsbok and springbok which enable them to survive and coexist in the hostile Kunene arid ecosystem.

  5. Payments for Ecosystem Services

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Chan, Kai M.A; Anderson, Emily K.; Chapman, Mollie

    2017-01-01

    Payments for ecosystem services (PES) programs are one prominent strategy to address economic externalities of resource extraction and commodity production, improving both social and ecological outcomes. But do PES and related incentive programs achieve that lofty goal? Along with considerable...

  6. Ecosystem Analysis Program

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Burgess, R.L.

    1978-01-01

    Progress is reported on the following research programs: analysis and modeling of ecosystems; EDFB/IBP data center; biome analysis studies; land/water interaction studies; and computer programs for development of models

  7. Revisiting software ecosystems research

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Manikas, Konstantinos

    2016-01-01

    ‘Software ecosystems’ is argued to first appear as a concept more than 10 years ago and software ecosystem research started to take off in 2010. We conduct a systematic literature study, based on the most extensive literature review in the field up to date, with two primarily aims: (a) to provide...... an updated overview of the field and (b) to document evolution in the field. In total, we analyze 231 papers from 2007 until 2014 and provide an overview of the research in software ecosystems. Our analysis reveals a field that is rapidly growing both in volume and empirical focus while becoming more mature...... from evolving. We propose means for future research and the community to address them. Finally, our analysis shapes the view of the field having evolved outside the existing definitions of software ecosystems and thus propose the update of the definition of software ecosystems....

  8. Pesticide Pollution in Ecosystems

    OpenAIRE

    İlter, Hüseyin; Kurt, Burak; Ötegen, Volkan Recai; Akbaba, Muhsin

    2018-01-01

    Pesticidepollution affects both aquatic and soil ecosystems. Factors that promotepesticide pollution include drainage patterns, properties of the pesticide,rainfall, microbial activity, treatment surface and rate of application.Pesticides are able to move from one ecosystem to another through processessuch as transfer (mobility) and transformation (degradation). Transfer mayoccur through surface runoff, vapourization to atmosphere, sorption (adsorp‐tion/desorp-tion), plant uptakeor soil water...

  9. The evolution of tensor polarization

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Huang, H.; Lee, S.Y.; Ratner, L.

    1993-01-01

    By using the equation of motion for the vector polarization, the spin transfer matrix for spin tensor polarization, the spin transfer matrix for spin tensor polarization is derived. The evolution equation for the tensor polarization is studied in the presence of an isolate spin resonance and in the presence of a spin rotor, or snake

  10. 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.

  11. A systematic review of food deserts, 1966-2007.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beaulac, Julie; Kristjansson, Elizabeth; Cummins, Steven

    2009-07-01

    "Food deserts," areas characterized by poor access to healthy and affordable food, may contribute to social and spatial disparities in diet and diet-related health outcomes. However, the extent to which food deserts exist is debated. We review the evidence for the existence of food deserts in socioeconomically disadvantaged areas. We conducted a systematic review of primary, quantitative, observational studies, published in English or French, that used geographic or market-basket approaches in high-income countries. The literature search included electronic and hand searches and peer-reviewed and grey literature from 1966 through 2007. We also contacted key researchers to identify other studies. We analyzed the findings and quality of the studies qualitatively. Forty-nine studies in 5 countries met inclusion criteria; the amount and consistency of the evidence varied by country. These studies were a mix of geographic and market-basket approaches, but the methodologic quality of studies and completeness of reported findings were mixed. We found clear evidence for disparities in food access in the United States by income and race. Findings from other high-income countries were sparse and equivocal. This review suggests that food deserts exist in the United States, where area-level deprivation compounds individual disadvantage. Evidence for the existence of food deserts in other high-income nations is weak.

  12. 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

  13. Polarized Electrons at Jefferson Laboratory

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sinclair, C.K.

    1997-12-31

    The CEBAF accelerator at Jefferson laboratory can deliver CW electron beams to three experimental halls simultaneously. A large fraction of the approved scientific program at the lab requires polarized electron beams. Many of these experiments, both polarized and unpolarized, require high average beam current as well. Since all electrons delivered to the experimental halls originate from the same cathode, delivery of polarized beam to a single hall requires using the polarized source to deliver beam to all experiments in simultaneous operation. The polarized source effort at Jefferson Lab is directed at obtaining very long polarized source operational lifetimes at high average current and beam polarization; at developing the capability to deliver all electrons leaving the polarized source to the experimental halls; and at delivering polarized beam to multiple experimental halls simultaneously.initial operational experience with the polarized source will be presented.

  14. Polarized electrons at Jefferson laboratory

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The CEBAF accelerator at Jefferson laboratory can deliver CW electron beams to three experimental halls simultaneously. A large fraction of the approved scientific program at the lab requires polarized electron beams. Many of these experiments, both polarized and unpolarized, require high average beam current as well. Since all electrons delivered to the experimental halls originate from the same cathode, delivery of polarized beam to a single hall requires using the polarized source to deliver beam to all experiments in simultaneous operation. The polarized source effort at Jefferson Lab is directed at obtaining very long polarized source operational lifetimes at high average current and beam polarization; at developing the capability to deliver all electrons leaving the polarized source to the experimental halls; and at delivering polarized beam to multiple experimental halls simultaneously. Initial operational experience with the polarized source will be presented

  15. Polar low monitoring

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bobylev, Leonid; Zabolotskikh, Elizaveta; Mitnik, Leonid

    2010-05-01

    Polar lows are intense mesoscale atmospheric low pressure weather systems, developing poleward of the main baroclinic zone and associated with high surface wind speeds. Small size and short lifetime, sparse in-situ observations in the regions of their development complicate polar low study. Our knowledge of polar lows and mesocyclones has come almost entirely during the period of satellite remote sensing since, by virtue of their small horizontal scale, it was rarely possible to analyse these lows on conventional weather charts using only the data from the synoptic observing network. However, the effects of intense polar lows have been felt by coastal communities and seafarers since the earliest times. These weather systems are thought to be responsible for the loss of many small vessels over the centuries, although the nature of the storms was not understood and their arrival could not be predicted. The actuality of the polar low research is stipulated by their high destructive power: they are a threat to such businesses as oil and gas exploration, fisheries and shipping. They could worsen because of global warming: a shrinking of sea ice around the North Pole, which thawed to its record minimum in the summer of 2007, is likely to give rise to more powerful storms that form only over open water and can cause hurricane-strength winds. Therefore, study of polar lows, their timely detection, tracking and forecasting represents a challenge for today meteorology. Satellite passive microwave data, starting from Special Sensor Microwave Imager (SSM/I) onboard Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) satellite, remain invaluable source of regularly available remotely sensed data to study polar lows. The sounding in this spectral range has several advantages in comparison with observations in visible and infrared ranges and Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data: independence on day time and clouds, regularity and high temporal resolution in Polar Regions. Satellite

  16. Cryophenomena in the Cold Desert of Atacama

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buchroithner, Dr.; Trombotto, Dr.

    2012-04-01

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

  17. Polarized protons at RHIC

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tannenbaum, M.J.

    1990-12-01

    The Physics case is presented for the use of polarized protons at RHIC for one or two months each year. This would provide a facility with polarizations of approx-gt 50% high luminosity ∼2.0 x 10 32 cm -2 s -1 , the possibility of both longitudinal and transverse polarization at the interaction regions, and frequent polarization reversal for control of systematic errors. The annual integrated luminosity for such running (∼10 6 sec per year) would be ∫ Ldt = 2 x 10 38 cm -2 -- roughly 20 times the total luminosity integrated in ∼ 10 years of operation of the CERN Collider (∼10 inverse picobarns, 10 37 cm -2 ). This facility would be unique in the ability to perform parity-violating measurements and polarization test of QCD. Also, the existence of p-p collisions in a new energy range would permit the study of ''classical'' reactions like the total cross section and elastic scattering, etc., and serve as a complement to measurements from p-bar p colliders. 11 refs

  18. The Bochum Polarized Target

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Reicherz, G.; Goertz, S.; Harmsen, J.; Heckmann, J.; Meier, A.; Meyer, W.; Radtke, E.

    2001-01-01

    The Bochum 'Polarized Target' group develops the target material 6 LiD for the COMPASS experiment at CERN. Several different materials like alcohols, alcanes and ammonia are under investigation. Solid State Targets are polarized in magnetic fields higher than B=2.5T and at temperatures below T=1K. For the Dynamic Nuclear Polarization process, paramagnetic centers are induced chemically or by irradiation with ionizing beams. The radical density is a critical factor for optimization of polarization and relaxation times at adequate magnetic fields and temperatures. In a high sensitive EPR--apparatus, an evaporator and a dilution cryostat with a continuous wave NMR--system, the materials are investigated and optimized. To improve the polarization measurement, the Liverpool NMR-box is modified by exchanging the fixed capacitor for a varicap diode which not only makes the tuning very easy but also provides a continuously tuned circuit. The dependence of the signal area upon the circuit current is measured and it is shown that it follows a linear function

  19. In-line Fiber Polarizer

    OpenAIRE

    Perumalsamy, Priya

    1998-01-01

    Polarizers and polarization devices are important components in fiber optic communication and sensor systems. There is a growing need for efficient low loss components that are compatible with optical fibers. An all fiber in-line polarizer is a more desirable alternative that could be placed at appropriate intervals along communication links. An in-line fiber polarizer was fabricated and tested. The in-line fiber polarizer operates by coupling optical energy propagatin...

  20. Monetary accounting of ecosystem services

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Remme, R.P.; Edens, Bram; Schröter, Matthias; Hein, Lars

    2015-01-01

    Ecosystem accounting aims to provide a better understanding of ecosystem contributions to the economy in a spatially explicit way. Ecosystem accounting monitors ecosystem services and measures their monetary value using exchange values consistent with the System of National Accounts (SNA). We

  1. 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.

  2. Global change impacts on mangrove ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKee, Karen L.

    2004-01-01

    Mangroves are tropical/subtropical communities of primarily tree species that grow in the intertidal zone. These tidal forests are important coastal ecosystems that are valued for a variety of ecological and societal goods and services. Major local threats to mangrove ecosystems worldwide include clearcutting and trimming of forests for urban, agricultural, or industrial expansion; hydrological alterations; toxic chemical spills; and eutrophication. In many countries with mangroves, much of the human population resides in the coastal zone, and their activities often negatively impact the integrity of mangrove forests. In addition, eutrophication, which is the process whereby nutrients build up to higher than normal levels in a natural system, is possibly one of the most serious threats to mangroves and associated ecosystems such as coral reefs. Scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) at the National Wetlands Research Center are working to more fully understand global impacts on these significant ecosystems.Changes in climate and other factors may also affect mangroves, but in complex ways. Global warming may promote expansion of mangrove forests to higher latitudes and accelerate sea-level rise through melting of polar ice or steric expansion of oceans. Changes in sea level would alter flooding patterns and the structure and areal extent of mangroves. Climate change may also alter rainfall patterns, which would in turn change local salinity regimes and competitive interactions of mangroves with other wetland species. Increases in frequency or intensity of tropical storms and hurricanes in combination with sea-level rise may alter erosion and sedimentation rates in mangrove forests. Another global change factor that may directly affect mangrove growth is increased atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2), caused by burning of fossil fuels and other factors. Elevated CO2 concentration may increase mangrove growth by stimulating photosynthesis or improving water use

  3. 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)

  4. [Ecophysiological Characteristics of actinomycetes of desert soils of Mongolia].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zenova, G M; Kozhevin, P A; Manucharova, N A; Lubsanova, D A; Dubrova, M S

    2014-01-01

    It is shown that the actinomycete complex in steppe-desert light brown salty soil of desert steppes of Mongolia is represented by the genera Streptomyces and Micromonospora. The species diversity of the genus Streptomyces, which dominates the complex, decreases with increasing osmolarity of the medium. The influence of environmental factors--temperature and osmolarity of medium--on the development of metabolically active members of the phylum Actinobacteria in the domain Bacteria of the prokaryotic microbial soil community was established. The proportion of metabolically active bacteria belonging to Actinobacteria increases with increasing osmolarity and incubation temperature of soil. The dominance of the filamentous metabolically active members of the phylum Actinobacteria over the unicellular organisms was shown. The halotolerant actinomycetes isolated from the steppe-desert soils were alkalotolerant, xerophilic, and thermotolerant and exhibited antimicrobial activity with respect to Gram-positive bacteria and actinomycetes.

  5. Political Competition and Polarization

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schultz, Christian

    This paper considers political competition and the consequences of political polarization when parties are better informed about how the economy functions than voters are. Specifically, parties know the cost producing a public good, voters do not. An incumbent's choice of policy acts like a signa...... for costs before an upcoming election. It is shown that the more polarized the political parties the more distorted the incumbent's policy choice.......This paper considers political competition and the consequences of political polarization when parties are better informed about how the economy functions than voters are. Specifically, parties know the cost producing a public good, voters do not. An incumbent's choice of policy acts like a signal...

  6. Physics of polarized targets

    CERN Document Server

    Niinikoski, Tapio

    2014-01-01

    For developing, building and operating solid polarized targets we need to understand several fields of physics that have seen sub stantial advances during the last 50 years. W e shall briefly review a selection of those that are important today. These are: 1) quantum statistical methods to describe saturation and relaxation in magnetic resonance; 2) equal spin temperature model for dy namic nuclear polarization; 3 ) weak saturation during NMR polarization measurement; 4 ) refrigeration using the quantum fluid properties of helium isotopes. These, combined with superconducting magnet technologies, permit today to reach nearly complete pola rization of almost any nuclear spins. Targets can be operated in frozen spin mode in rather low and inhomogeneous field of any orientation, and in DNP mode in beams of high intensity. Beyond such experiments of nuclear and particle physics, applications a re also emerging in macromolecular chemistry and in magnetic resonance imaging. This talk is a tribute to Michel Borghini...

  7. No More Polarization, Please!

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Mia Reinholt

    The organizational science literature on motivation has for long been polarized into two main positions; the organizational economic position focusing on extrinsic motivation and the organizational behavior position emphasizing intrinsic motivation. With the rise of the knowledge economy...... and the increasing levels of complexities it entails, such polarization is not fruitful in the attempt to explain motivation of organizational members. This paper claims that a more nuanced perspective on motivation, acknowledging the co-existence of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, the possible interaction...... between the two as well as different types of motivations filling in the gap between the two polar types, is urgently needed in the organizational science literature. By drawing on the research on intrinsic and extrinsic motivation conducted in social psychology and combining this with contributions from...

  8. Polarized source upgrading

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Clegg, T.B.; Rummel, R.L.; Carter, E.P.; Westerfeldt, C.R.; Lovette, A.W.; Edwards, S.E.

    1985-01-01

    The decision was made this past year to move the Lamb-shift polarized ion source which was first installed in the laboratory in 1970. The motivation was the need to improve the flexibility of spin-axis orientation by installing the ion source with a new Wien-filter spin precessor which is capable of rotating physically about the beam axis. The move of the polarized source was accomplished in approximately two months, with the accelerator being turned off for experiments during approximately four weeks of this time. The occasion of the move provided the opportunity to rewire completely the entire polarized ion source frame and to rebuild approximately half of the electronic chassis on the source. The result is an ion source which is now logically wired and carefully documented. Beams obtained from the source are much more stable than those previously available

  9. A lunar polar expedition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dowling, Richard; Staehle, Robert L.; Svitek, Tomas

    1992-09-01

    Advanced exploration and development in harsh environments require mastery of basic human survival skill. Expeditions into the lethal climates of Earth's polar regions offer useful lessons for tommorrow's lunar pioneers. In Arctic and Antarctic exploration, 'wintering over' was a crucial milestone. The ability to establish a supply base and survive months of polar cold and darkness made extensive travel and exploration possible. Because of the possibility of near-constant solar illumination, the lunar polar regions, unlike Earth's may offer the most hospitable site for habitation. The World Space Foundation is examining a scenario for establishing a five-person expeditionary team on the lunar north pole for one year. This paper is a status report on a point design addressing site selection, transportation, power, and life support requirements.

  10. POLARIZED NEUTRONS IN RHIC

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    COURANT,E.D.

    1998-04-27

    There does not appear to be any obvious way to accelerate neutrons, polarized or otherwise, to high energies by themselves. To investigate the behavior of polarized neutrons the authors therefore have to obtain them by accelerating them as components of heavier nuclei, and then sorting out the contribution of the neutrons in the analysis of the reactions produced by the heavy ion beams. The best neutron carriers for this purpose are probably {sup 3}He nuclei and deuterons. A polarized deuteron is primarily a combination of a proton and a neutron with their spins pointing in the same direction; in the {sup 3}He nucleus the spins of the two protons are opposite and the net spin (and magnetic moment) is almost the same as that of a free neutron. Polarized ions other than protons may be accelerated, stored and collided in a ring such as RHIC provided the techniques proposed for polarized proton operation can be adapted (or replaced by other strategies) for these ions. To accelerate polarized particles in a ring, one must make provisions for overcoming the depolarizing resonances that occur at certain energies. These resonances arise when the spin tune (ratio of spin precession frequency to orbit frequency) resonates with a component present in the horizontal field. The horizontal field oscillates with the vertical motion of the particles (due to vertical focusing); its frequency spectrum is dominated by the vertical oscillation frequency and its modulation by the periodic structure of the accelerator ring. In addition, the magnet imperfections that distort the closed orbit vertically contain all integral Fourier harmonics of the orbit frequency.

  11. 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...

  12. A comparison of Bromus tectorum growth and mycorrhizal colonization in salt desert versus sagebrush habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheatgrass has recently invaded marginal low elevation salt desert habitats across the Great Basin, USA. We tested the hypothesis that cheatgrass seed produced in populations from the more stressful salt desert versus upland sagebrush habitats should grow differently in salt desert soils compared to...

  13. Desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii): Status-of-knowledge outline with references

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mark C. Grover; Lesley A. DeFalco

    1995-01-01

    Provides an overview of extant desert tortoise literature, summarizing literature on taxonomy, morphology, genetics, and paleontology and paleoecology of the desert tortoise, as well as its general ecology. Literature on desert tortoise ecology encompasses distribution and habitat, burrows and dens, reproduction, growth, physiology, feeding and nutrition, mortality...

  14. 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...

  15. 76 FR 45606 - Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan, Habitat Conservation Plan and Possible Land Use Plan...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-07-29

    ... biological resource conservation across the Mojave and Colorado Desert regions of southern California. The...-N131; 80221-1112-80221-F2] Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan, Habitat Conservation Plan and..., as amended, for the proposed Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP). The EIS will be a...

  16. 76 FR 21402 - Notice of Availability of the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Desert Sunlight...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-04-15

    ... DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management [CACA 048649, LLCAD06000, L51010000.FX0000, LVRWB09B2490] Notice of Availability of the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Desert Sunlight Holdings, LLC, Desert Sunlight Solar Farm and Proposed California Desert Conservation Area Plan Amendment...

  17. 75 FR 52776 - Notice of Availability of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Desert Sunlight...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-08-27

    ... DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management [CACA 048649, LLCAD06000, L51010000.FX0000, LVRWB09B2490] Notice of Availability of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Desert Sunlight Holdings, LLC Desert Sunlight Solar Farm Project and Possible California Desert Conservation Area Plan...

  18. A Systematic Review of Wild Burro Grazing Effects on Mojave Desert Vegetation, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abella, Scott R.

    2008-06-01

    Wild burros ( Equus asinus), protected by the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act on some federal lands but exotic animals many ecologists and resource mangers view as damaging to native ecosystems, represent one of the most contentious environmental management problems in American Southwest arid lands. This review synthesizes the scattered literature about burro effects on plant communities of the Mojave Desert, a center of burro management contentions. I classified 24 documents meeting selection criteria for this review into five categories of research: (i) diet analyses directly determining which plant species burros consume, (ii) utilization studies of individual species, (iii) control-impact comparisons, (iv) exclosure studies, and (v) forage analyses examining chemical characteristics of forage plants. Ten diet studies recorded 175 total species that burros consumed. However, these studies and two exclosure studies suggested that burros preferentially eat graminoid and forb groups over shrubs. One study in Death Valley National Park, for example, found that Achnatherum hymenoides (Indian ricegrass) was 11 times more abundant in burro diets than expected based on its availability. Utilization studies revealed that burros also exhibit preferences within the shrub group. Eighty-three percent of reviewed documents were produced in a 12-year period, from 1972 to 1983, with the most recent document produced in 1988. Because burros remain abundant on many federal lands and grazing may interact with other management concerns (e.g., desert wildfires fueled by exotic grasses), rejuvenating grazing research to better understand both past and present burro effects could help guide revegetation and grazing management scenarios.

  19. Cytochrome P450 2B diversity and dietary novelty in the herbivorous, desert woodrat (Neotoma lepida.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jael R Malenke

    Full Text Available Detoxification enzymes play a key role in plant-herbivore interactions, contributing to the on-going evolution of ecosystem functional diversity. Mammalian detoxification systems have been well studied by the medical and pharmacological industries to understand human drug metabolism; however, little is known of the mechanisms employed by wild herbivores to metabolize toxic plant secondary compounds. Using a wild rodent herbivore, the desert woodrat (Neotoma lepida, we investigated genomic structural variation, sequence variability, and expression patterns in a multigene subfamily involved in xenobiotic metabolism, cytochrome P450 2B (CYP2B. We hypothesized that differences in CYP2B expression and sequence diversity could explain differential abilities of woodrat populations to consume native plant toxins. Woodrats from two distinct populations were fed diets supplemented with either juniper (Juniperus osteosperma or creosote bush (Larrea tridentata, plants consumed by woodrats in their respective desert habitats. We used Southern blot and quantitative PCR to determine that the genomic copy number of CYP2B in both populations was equivalent, and similar in number to known rodent copy number. We compared CYP2B expression patterns and sequence diversity using cloned hepatic CYP2B cDNA. The resulting sequences were very diverse, and clustered into four major clades by amino acid similarity. Sequences from the experimental treatments were distributed non-randomly across a CYP2B tree, indicating unique expression patterns from woodrats on different diets and from different habitats. Furthermore, within each major CYP2B clade, sequences shared a unique combination of amino acid residues at 13 sites throughout the protein known to be important for CYP2B enzyme function, implying differences in the function of each major CYP2B variant. This work is the most comprehensive investigation of the genetic diversity of a detoxification enzyme subfamily in a

  20. Climatic variation and tortoise survival: has a desert species met its match?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lovich, Jeffrey E.; Yackulic, Charles B.; Freilich, Jerry; Agha, Mickey; Austin, Meaghan; Meyer, Katherine P.; Arundel, Terence R.; Hansen, Jered; Vamstad, Michael S.; Root, Stephanie A.

    2014-01-01

    While demographic changes in short-lived species may be observed relatively quickly in response to climate changes, measuring population responses of long-lived species requires long-term studies that are not always available. We analyzed data from a population of threatened Agassiz’s desert tortoises (Gopherus agassizii) at a 2.59 km2 study plot in the Sonoran Desert ecosystem of Joshua Tree National Park, California, USA from 1978 to 2012 to examine variation in apparent survival and demography in this long-lived species. Transect-based, mark-recapture surveys were conducted in 10 of those years to locate living and dead tortoises. Previous modeling suggested that this area would become unsuitable as tortoise habitat under a warming and drying climate scenario. Estimated adult population size declined greatly from 1996 to 2012. The population appeared to have high apparent survival from 1978 to 1996 but apparent survival decreased from 1997 to 2002, concurrent with persistent drought. The best model relating apparent survivorship of tortoises ≥18 cm over time was based on a three year moving average of estimated winter precipitation. The postures and positions of a majority of dead tortoises found in 2012 were consistent with death by dehydration and starvation. Some live and many dead tortoises found in 2012 showed signs of predation or scavenging by mammalian carnivores. Coyote (Canis latrans) scats and other evidence from the site confirmed their role as tortoise predators and scavengers. Predation rates may be exacerbated by drought if carnivores switch from preferred mammalian prey to tortoises during dry years. Climate modeling suggests that the region will be subjected to even longer duration droughts in the future and that the plot may become unsuitable for continued tortoise survival. Our results showing wide fluctuations in apparent survival and decreasing tortoise density over time may be early signals of that possible outcome.

  1. Effects of experimental rainfall manipulations on Chihuahuan Desert grassland and shrubland plant communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Báez, Selene; Collins, Scott L; Pockman, William T; Johnson, Jennifer E; Small, Eric E

    2013-08-01

    Aridland ecosystems are predicted to be responsive to both increases and decreases in precipitation. In addition, chronic droughts may contribute to encroachment of native C3 shrubs into C4-dominated grasslands. We conducted a long-term rainfall manipulation experiment in native grassland, shrubland and the grass-shrub ecotone in the northern Chihuahuan Desert, USA. We evaluated the effects of 5 years of experimental drought and 4 years of water addition on plant community structure and dynamics. We assessed the effects of altered rainfall regimes on the abundance of dominant species as well as on species richness and subdominant grasses, forbs and shrubs. Nonmetric multidimensional scaling and MANOVA were used to quantify changes in species composition in response to chronic addition or reduction of rainfall. We found that drought consistently and strongly decreased cover of Bouteloua eriopoda, the dominant C4 grass in this system, whereas water addition slightly increased cover, with little variation between years. In contrast, neither chronic drought nor increased rainfall had consistent effects on the cover of Larrea tridentata, the dominant C3 shrub. Species richness declined in shrub-dominated vegetation in response to drought whereas richness increased or was unaffected by water addition or drought in mixed- and grass-dominated vegetation. Cover of subdominant shrubs, grasses and forbs changed significantly over time, primarily in response to interannual rainfall variability more so than to our experimental rainfall treatments. Nevertheless, drought and water addition shifted the species composition of plant communities in all three vegetation types. Overall, we found that B. eriopoda responded strongly to drought and less so to irrigation, whereas L. tridentata showed limited response to either treatment. The strong decline in grass cover and the resistance of shrub cover to rainfall reduction suggest that chronic drought may be a key factor promoting shrub

  2. Ground-Based Polarimetric Remote Sensing of Dust Aerosol Properties in Chinese Deserts near Hexi Corridor

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hua Xu

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available One-year observation of dust aerosol properties near Hexi Corridor was obtained from polarimetric measurements by ground-based sunphotometer in the county of Minqin in northwestern China from March 2012 to February 2013. We observed an annual mean AOD of 0.22±0.22 at 0.50 μm and Ångström exponents of 0.1–1.0 fitting a bimode normal distribution centered at 0.18 and 0.50, respectively. The effective radii of fine (0.13–0.17 μm and coarse (2.49–3.49 μm modes were found stable at all seasons together with the appearance of a third mode of particle radius at 0.4–1.0 μm when AOD was larger than 0.6. It is noticeable that the real (1.5–1.7 and imaginary (0.0005 to 0.09 parts of complex refractive indices were higher than other studies performed in other desert regions of China, while single scattering albedo was relatively lower (~0.84–0.89 at wavelengths of 0.44, 0.67, 0.87, and 1.02 μm. This is partially due to calcite or hematite in the soil in Minqin or the influence of anthropogenic aerosols containing carbon. Moreover, from our novel polarimetric measurement, the scattering phase function (F11 and degree of linear polarization for incident unpolarized light (-F12/F11 of dust aerosols were also obtained within this deserted area.

  3. Desert dust exposure is associated with increased risk of asthma hospitalization in children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kanatani, Kumiko T; Ito, Isao; Al-Delaimy, Wael K; Adachi, Yuichi; Mathews, William C; Ramsdell, Joe W

    2010-12-15

    Desert dust particles, including quartz, which causes inflammatory responses in the airway in animal studies, are transported to widespread regions around the globe. Epidemiologically, areas impacted by desert dust storms, such as communities in the Middle East and the Caribbean, seem to have higher incidences of asthma than might be expected. We investigated the magnitude of association between airborne mineral dust concentration and hospitalization of children for asthma exacerbation by using Light Detection And Ranging (LIDAR) with a polarization analyzer for an exposure measurement, which can distinguish mineral dust particles from other particles. A case-crossover design was used. The exposure measurement was LIDAR's nonspherical extinction coefficient. The outcome measurement was hospitalization of children aged 1 to 15 years for asthma exacerbation in eight principal hospitals in Toyama, a local area in Japan bordering the Japan Sea, during February to April, 2005 to 2009. During the study period, there were 620 admissions for asthma exacerbation, and 6 days with a heavy dust event (daily mineral dust concentration > 0.1 mg/m(3)). Conditional logistic regression showed a statistically significant association between asthma hospitalization and a heavy dust event. The crude odds ratio (OR) of the heavy dust event for hospitalization on the day was 1.88 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.04-3.41; P = 0.037), and the OR of heavy dust event during the previous week was 1.83 (95% CI, 1.31-2.56; P = 0.00043). The OR adjusted by other air pollutant levels, pollen, and meteorological factors was 1.71 (95% CI, 1.18-2.48; P = 0.0050). Heavy dust events are associated with an increased risk of hospitalizations for asthma.

  4. Dark Polar Dunes

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-01-01

    20 January 2004 This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image, acquired during northern summer in December 2004, shows dark, windblown sand dunes in the north polar region of Mars. A vast sea of sand dunes nearly surrounds the north polar cap. These landforms are located near 80.3oN, 144.1oW. Light-toned features in the image are exposures of the substrate that underlies the dune field. The image covers an area about 3 km (1.9 mi) wide and is illuminated by sunlight from the lower left.

  5. Imaging with Polarized Neutrons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nikolay Kardjilov

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Owing to their zero charge, neutrons are able to pass through thick layers of matter (typically several centimeters while being sensitive to magnetic fields due to their intrinsic magnetic moment. Therefore, in addition to the conventional attenuation contrast image, the magnetic field inside and around a sample can be visualized by detecting changes of polarization in a transmitted beam. The method is based on the spatially resolved measurement of the cumulative precession angles of a collimated, polarized, monochromatic neutron beam that traverses a magnetic field or sample.

  6. The polar mesosphere

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Morris, Ray; Murphy, Damian

    2008-01-01

    The mesosphere region, which lies at the edge of space, contains the coldest layer of the Earth's atmosphere, with summer temperatures as low as minus 130 °C. In this extreme environment ice aerosol layers have appeared since the dawn of industrialization—whose existence may arguably be linked to human influence—on yet another layer of the Earth's fragile atmosphere. Ground-based and space-based experiments conducted in the Arctic and Antarctic during the International Polar Year (IPY) aim to address limitations in our knowledge and to advance our understanding of thermal and dynamical processes at play in the polar mesosphere

  7. Internal polarized targets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kinney, E.R.; Coulter, K.; Gilman, R.; Holt, R.J.; Kowalczyk, R.S.; Napolitano, J.; Potterveld, D.H.; Young, L. (Argonne National Lab., IL (USA)); Mishnev, S.I.; Nikolenko, D.M.; Popov, S.G.; Rachek, I.A.; Temnykh, A.B.; Toporkov, D.K.; Tsentalovich, E.P.; Wojtsekhowski, B.B. (AN SSSR, Novosibirsk (USSR). Inst. Yadernoj Fiziki)

    1989-01-01

    Internal polarized targets offer a number of advantages over external targets. After a brief review of the basic motivation and principles behind internal polarized targets, the technical aspects of the atomic storage cell will be discussed in particular. Sources of depolarization and the means by which their effects can be ameliorated will be described, especially depolarization by the intense magnetic fields arising from the circulating particle beam. The experience of the Argonne Novosibirsk collaboration with the use of a storage cell in a 2 GeV electron storage ring will be the focus of this technical discussion. 17 refs., 11 figs.

  8. AGS polarized H- source

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kponou, A.; Alessi, J.G.; Sluyters, T.

    1985-01-01

    The AGS polarized H - source is now operational. During a month-long experimental physics run in July 1984, pulses equivalent to 15 μA x 300 μs (approx. 3 x 10 10 protons) were injected into the RFQ preaccelerator. Beam polarization, measured at 200 MeV, was approx. 75%. After the run, a program to increase the H - yield of the source was begun and significant progress has been made. The H - current is now frequently 20 to 30 μA. A description of the source and some details of our operating experience are given. We also briefly describe the improvement program

  9. Avian wildlife as sentinels of ecosystem health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smits, Judit E G; Fernie, Kimberly J

    2013-05-01

    Birds have been widely used as sentinels of ecosystem health reflecting changes in habitat quality, increased incidence of disease, and exposure to and effects of chemical contaminants. Numerous studies addressing these issues focus on the breeding period, since hormonal, behavioural, reproductive, and developmental aspects of the health can be observed over a relatively short time-span. Many body systems within individuals are tightly integrated and interdependent, and can be affected by contaminant chemicals, disease, and habitat changes in complex ways. Animals higher in the food web will reflect cumulative effects of multiple stressors. Such features make birds ideal indicators for assessing environmental health in areas of environmental concern. Five case studies are presented, highlighting the use of different species which have provided insight into ecosystem sustainability, including (i) the consequences of anthropogenic disturbances of sagebrush habitat on the greater northern sage grouse Centrocercus urophasianus; (ii) the high prevalence of disease in very specific passerine species in the Canary Islands closely paralleling deterioration of formerly productive desert habitat and ensuing interspecific stressors; (iii) fractures, abnormal bone structure, and associated biochemical aberrations in nestling storks exposed to acidic tailings mud from a dyke rupture at an iron pyrite mine near Sevilla, Spain; (iv) newly presented data demonstrating biochemical changes in nestling peregrine falcons Falco peregrinus and associations with exposure to major chemical classes in the Great Lakes Basin of Canada; and (v) the variability in responses of tree swallows Tachycineta bicolor to contaminants, biological and meteorological challenges when breeding in the Athabasca oil sands. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. 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.

  11. Effects of Fire on the Plant-Soil Interactions in Northern Chihuahuan Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, G.; Li, J. J.; Ravi, S.; Sankey, J. B.; Theiling, B. P.; Dukes, D.; Gonzales, H. B.; Van Pelt, R. S.

    2017-12-01

    Desert grasslands in the southwestern US have undergone dramatic land degradation with woody shrub encroachment over the last 150 years. Soil carbon (C), nitrogen (N) and other soil nutrients are redistributed among shrubs, grasses, and bare interspaces during encroachment. Several studies suggest that periodic fire favors the homogenization of soil resources and can provide a certain form of reversibility for the shrub-grass transition. In this study, we used manipulative field experiments to investigate the influence of fire on the isotope composition of C (δ13C) and N (δ15N) in bare interspace, grass and shrub microsites. Replicated burned and control (unburned) experimental plots (5 m × 5 m) were set up in a desert grassland in northern Chihuahuan Desert in March 2016. In each plot, a total of 50 randomly-distributed surface soil samples, with their microsite types accurately recorded, were collected twice per year in March and June (before and after the windy season). δ13C and δ15N in the soil samples were analyzed. Our results show that fire has changed soil δ13C and δ15N after two windy seasons, especially in the shrub microsite. For example, δ13C increased from -18.8‰ to -17.0‰ after a windy season in soils under burned shrub canopies, and increased to -14.3‰ in Mar. 2017, one year after the prescribed fire. In contrast, it changed notably from -14.6‰ to -17.6‰ under shrub canopies in the control plot during the same period of time. For soil δ15N, it decreased slightly from 6.1‰ to 5.6‰ within a year after the prescribed fire in shrub microsite, and a comparable decline was also observed in the same type of microsite of the control plot. Because the average δ13C value of C4 plant tissue (-12‰) is distinct from C3 plants (-26‰), the increase of soil δ13C suggests that the relative contribution of soil organic matter under shrub canopies from shrubs (C3 plants) decreased after a burning event compared to grasses (C4 plants). The

  12. Dimensions of ecosystem theory

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    O'Neill, R.V.; Reichle, D.E.

    1979-01-01

    Various dimensions of ecosystem structure and behavior that seem to develop from the ubiquitous phenomena of system growth and persistence were studied. While growth and persistence attributes of ecosystems may appear to be simplistic phenomena upon which to base a comprehensive ecosystem theory, these same attributes have been fundamental to the theoretical development of other biological disciplines. These attributes were explored at a hierarchical level in a self-organizing system, and adaptive system strategies that result were analyzed. Previously developed causative relations (Reichle et al., 1975c) were examined, their theoretical implications expounded upon, and the assumptions tested with data from a variety of forest types. The conclusions are not a theory in themselves, but a state of organization of concepts contributing towards a unifying theory, along the lines promulgated by Bray (1958). The inferences drawn rely heavily upon data from forested ecosystems of the world, and have yet to be validated against data from a much more diverse range of ecosystem types. Not all of the interpretations are logically tight - there is room for other explanations, which it is hoped will provide fruitful grounds for further speculation

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  14. The physics of polarization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landi Degl'Innocenti, Egidio

    This course is intended to give a description of the basic physical concepts which underlie the study and the interpretation of polarization phenomena. Apart from a brief historical introduction (Sect. 1), the course is organized in three parts. A first part (Sects. 2 - 6) covers the most relevant facts about the polarization phenomena that are typically encountered in laboratory applications and in everyday life. In Sect. 2, the modern description of polarization in terms of the Stokes parameters is recalled, whereas Sect. 3 is devoted to introduce the basic tools of laboratory polarimetry, such as the Jones calculus and the Mueller matrices. The polarization phenomena which are met in the reflection and refraction of a beam of radiation at the separation surface between two dielectrics, or between a dielectric and a metal, are recalled in Sect. 4. Finally, Sect. 5 gives an introduction to the phenomena of dichroism and of anomalous dispersion and Sect. 6 summarizes the polarization phenomena that are commonly encountered in everyday life. The second part of this course (Sects. 7-14) deals with the description, within the formalism of classical physics, of the spectro-polarimetric properties of the radiation emitted by accelerated charges. Such properties are derived by taking as starting point the Liénard and Wiechert equations that are recalled and discussed in Sect. 7 both in the general case and in the non-relativistic approximation. The results are developed to find the percentage polarization, the radiation diagram, the cross-section and the spectral characteristics of the radiation emitted in different phenomena particularly relevant from the astrophysical point of view. The emission of a linear antenna is derived in Sect. 8. The other Sections are devoted to Thomson scattering (Sect. 9), Rayleigh scattering (Sect. 10), Mie scattering (Sect. 11), bremsstrahlung radiation (Sect. 12), cyclotron radiation (Sect. 13), and synchrotron radiation (Sect. 14

  15. Polarized Proton Collisions at RHIC

    CERN Document Server

    Bai, Mei; Alekseev, Igor G; Alessi, James; Beebe-Wang, Joanne; Blaskiewicz, Michael; Bravar, Alessandro; Brennan, Joseph M; Bruno, Donald; Bunce, Gerry; Butler, John J; Cameron, Peter; Connolly, Roger; De Long, Joseph; Drees, Angelika; Fischer, Wolfram; Ganetis, George; Gardner, Chris J; Glenn, Joseph; Hayes, Thomas; Hseuh Hsiao Chaun; Huang, Haixin; Ingrassia, Peter; Iriso, Ubaldo; Laster, Jonathan S; Lee, Roger C; Luccio, Alfredo U; Luo, Yun; MacKay, William W; Makdisi, Yousef; Marr, Gregory J; Marusic, Al; McIntyre, Gary; Michnoff, Robert; Montag, Christoph; Morris, John; Nicoletti, Tony; Oddo, Peter; Oerter, Brian; Osamu, Jinnouchi; Pilat, Fulvia Caterina; Ptitsyn, Vadim; Roser, Thomas; Satogata, Todd; Smith, Kevin T; Svirida, Dima; Tepikian, Steven; Tomas, Rogelio; Trbojevic, Dejan; Tsoupas, Nicholaos; Tuozzolo, Joseph; Vetter, Kurt; Wilinski, Michelle; Zaltsman, Alex; Zelenski, Anatoli; Zeno, Keith; Zhang, S Y

    2005-01-01

    The Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider~(RHIC) provides not only collisions of ions but also collisions of polarized protons. In a circular accelerator, the polarization of polarized proton beam can be partially or fully lost when a spin depolarizing resonance is encountered. To preserve the beam polarization during acceleration, two full Siberian snakes were employed in RHIC to avoid depolarizing resonances. In 2003, polarized proton beams were accelerated to 100~GeV and collided in RHIC. Beams were brought into collisions with longitudinal polarization at the experiments STAR and PHENIX by using spin rotators. RHIC polarized proton run experience demonstrates that optimizing polarization transmission efficiency and improving luminosity performance are significant challenges. Currently, the luminosity lifetime in RHIC is limited by the beam-beam effect. The current state of RHIC polarized proton program, including its dedicated physics run in 2005 and efforts to optimize luminosity production in beam-beam limite...

  16. Ecosystem Vulnerability Review: Proposal of an Interdisciplinary Ecosystem Assessment Approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weißhuhn, Peter; Müller, Felix; Wiggering, Hubert

    2018-03-14

    To safeguard the sustainable use of ecosystems and their services, early detection of potentially damaging changes in functional capabilities is needed. To support a proper ecosystem management, the analysis of an ecosystem's vulnerability provide information on its weaknesses as well as on its capacity to recover after suffering an impact. However, the application of the vulnerability concept to ecosystems is still an emerging topic. After providing background on the vulnerability concept, we summarize existing ecosystem vulnerability research on the basis of a systematic literature review with a special focus on ecosystem type, disciplinary background, and more detailed definition of the ecosystem vulnerability components. Using the Web of Science TM Core Collection, we overviewed the literature from 1991 onwards but used the 5 years from 2011 to 2015 for an in-depth analysis, including 129 articles. We found that ecosystem vulnerability analysis has been applied most notably in conservation biology, climate change research, and ecological risk assessments, pinpointing a limited spreading across the environmental sciences. It occurred primarily within marine and freshwater ecosystems. To avoid confusion, we recommend using the unambiguous term ecosystem vulnerability rather than ecological, environmental, population, or community vulnerability. Further, common ground has been identified, on which to define the ecosystem vulnerability components exposure, sensitivity, and adaptive capacity. We propose a framework for ecosystem assessments that coherently connects the concepts of vulnerability, resilience, and adaptability as different ecosystem responses. A short outlook on the possible operationalization of the concept by ecosystem vulnerabilty indices, and a conclusion section complete the review.

  17. Spring fasting behavior in a marine apex predator provides an index of ecosystem productivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rode, Karyn D.; Wilson, Ryan R.; Douglas, David C.; Muhlenbruch, Vanessa L; Atwood, Todd C.; Regehr, Eric V.; Richardson, Evan; Pilfold, Nicholas; Derocher, Andrew E.; Durner, George M.; Stirling, Ian; Amstrup, Steven C.; St Martin, Michelle; Pagano, Anthony M.; Simac, Kristin

    2018-01-01

    The effects of declining Arctic sea ice on local ecosystem productivity are not well understood but have been shown to vary inter-specifically, spatially, and temporally. Because marine mammals occupy upper trophic levels in Arctic food webs, they may be useful indicators for understanding variation in ecosystem productivity. Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) are apex predators that primarily consume benthic and pelagic-feeding ice-associated seals. As such, their productivity integrates sea ice conditions and the ecosystem supporting them. Declining sea ice availability has been linked to negative population effects for polar bears but does not fully explain observed population changes. We examined relationships between spring foraging success of polar bears and sea ice conditions, prey productivity, and general patterns of ecosystem productivity in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas (CSs). Fasting status (≥7 days) was estimated using serum urea and creatinine levels of 1,448 samples collected from 1,177 adult and subadult bears across three subpopulations. Fasting increased in the Beaufort Sea between 1983–1999 and 2000–2016 and was related to an index of ringed seal body condition. This change was concurrent with declines in body condition of polar bears and observed changes in the diet, condition and/or reproduction of four other vertebrate consumers within the food chain. In contrast, fasting declined in CS polar bears between periods and was less common than in the two Beaufort Sea subpopulations consistent with studies demonstrating higher primary productivity and maintenance or improved body condition in polar bears, ringed seals, and bearded seals despite recent sea ice loss in this region. Consistency between regional and temporal variation in spring polar bear fasting and food web productivity suggests that polar bears may be a useful indicator species. Furthermore, our results suggest that spatial and temporal ecological variation is important in

  18. Revealing Invisible Water: Moisture Recycling as an Ecosystem Service.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keys, Patrick W; Wang-Erlandsson, Lan; Gordon, Line J

    2016-01-01

    An ecosystem service is a benefit derived by humanity that can be traced back to an ecological process. Although ecosystem services related to surface water have been thoroughly described, the relationship between atmospheric water and ecosystem services has been mostly neglected, and perhaps misunderstood. Recent advances in land-atmosphere modeling have revealed the importance of terrestrial ecosystems for moisture recycling. In this paper, we analyze the extent to which vegetation sustains the supply of atmospheric moisture and precipitation for downwind beneficiaries, globally. We simulate land-surface evaporation with a global hydrology model and track changes to moisture recycling using an atmospheric moisture budget model, and we define vegetation-regulated moisture recycling as the difference in moisture recycling between current vegetation and a hypothetical desert world. Our results show that nearly a fifth of annual average precipitation falling on land is from vegetation-regulated moisture recycling, but the global variability is large, with many places receiving nearly half their precipitation from this ecosystem service. The largest potential impacts for changes to this ecosystem service are land-use changes across temperate regions in North America and Russia. Likewise, in semi-arid regions reliant on rainfed agricultural production, land-use change that even modestly reduces evaporation and subsequent precipitation, could significantly affect human well-being. We also present a regional case study in the Mato Grosso region of Brazil, where we identify the specific moisture recycling ecosystem services associated with the vegetation in Mato Grosso. We find that Mato Grosso vegetation regulates some internal precipitation, with a diffuse region of benefit downwind, primarily to the south and east, including the La Plata River basin and the megacities of Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. We synthesize our global and regional results into a generalized

  19. Working group 7: Ecosystems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Verheyen, R.

    1976-01-01

    The purpose of this article is to evaluate the environmental impact of nuclear power plants. The effects of ionizing radiations, of the thermal and chemical pollution on aquatic ecosystems as well as on terrestrial ecosystems have been estimated. After a general survey of such effects and their interaction, practical conclusions in regard to determined areas such as Meuse-Escaut marine and the coast have been drawn. The contamination effects of food chains have been evaluted under deliberately pessimistic conditions with regard to the choice of the radionuclide as well as of concentration factors. Following the biodegradation conditions of the surface waters, criteria for the quality of the aquatic ecosystems have been established. Finally, attention has been paid on certain factors affecting the site selection especially within the frame of the nature conservation. The effects of cooling towers have been also considered. (G.C.)

  20. Provenance and recycling of Arabian desert sand

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-05-01

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

  1. Ground-water data, Sevier Desert, Utah

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mower, Reed W.; Feltis, Richard D.

    1964-01-01

    This report is intended to serve two purposes: (1) to make available to the public basic ground-water data useful in planning and studying development of water resources, and (2) to supplement an interpretive report that will be published later.Records were collected during the period 1935-64 by the U.S. Geological survey in cooperation with the Utah State Engineer as part of the investigation of ground-water conditions in the Sevier Desert, in Juab and Millard Counties, Utah. The interpretive material will be published in a companion report by R. W. Mower and R. D. Feltis.This report is most useful in predicting conditions likely to be found in areas that are being considered as well sites. The person considering the new well can spot the proposed site on plate 1 and examine the records of nearby wells as shown in the tables and figures. From table 1 he can note such things as depth, diameter, water level, yield, use of water, temperature of water, and depth of perforations. By comparing the depth of perforations with the drillers' logs in table 3 he can note the type of material that yields water to the wells. Table 2 and figure 2 show the historic fluctuations and trends of water levels in the vicinity. From table 4 he can note the chemical quality of the water from wells in the vicinity. Table 5 shows the amount of water discharged during 1951-63 from the pumped irrigation, public supply, and industrial wells. If the reader decides from his examination that conditions are favorable, he can place an application to drill a well with the state Engineer. If the State Engineer believes unappropriated water is available, the application may be approved after minimum statutory requirements have been satisfied.The report is also useful when planning large-scale developments of water supply. This and other uses of the report will be helped by use of the interpretive report upon its release.

  2. Arid urban ecosystem not a hotspot for N deposition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grimm, N. B.; Cook, E. M.; Hall, S. J.; Wheeler, M.

    2017-12-01

    Urban areas are omitted in most long-term data collection for nitrogen deposition in the United States. Nitrogen sources in and surrounding cities are notoriously variable in space and time. In the desert Southwest, cities are distinct and isolated from one another, deposition is dominated by dryfall, and rainfall is spatially and temporally heterogeneous. These conditions present a challenge for understanding the overall rate, spatial pattern, and fate of nitrogen deposition in urbanized aridlands. We quantified long-term spatial and temporal patterns of inorganic nitrogen deposition in protected aridland ecosystems across an extensive urban-rural gradient in central Arizona, using multiple sampling methods. Furthermore, we assessed the impact of nitrogen deposition along the same gradient on winter annual plant growth and community structure, as an integrative indicator of the fate and impact of nitrogen deposition. Best estimates of nitrogen deposition, based on ion-exchange resin collectors, wet-dry bucket collectors, and inferential estimates of dryfall using passive samplers, were 7.2 ± 0.4 kg N ha-1 y-1 within city boundaries and 6.1 ± 0.3 kg N ha-1 y-1 in nearby desert lands. Although the data indicate the city may not be a hotspot of nitrogen deposition, species diversity of annual plants in urban desert remnant parks is reduced in a manner similar to diversity losses associated with experimental nitrogen fertilization. Thus, reduced species diversity is a possible consequence of locally elevated nitrogen deposition within the city. The long-term mean urban deposition rate estimated with mixed methods is substantially lower than that predicted by regional models and by estimated inorganic nitrogen fixation from automobile and other combustion sources. This discrepancy raises a question about the fate of this excess nitrogen in the larger aridland region.

  3. Lobbying and political polarization

    OpenAIRE

    Ursprung, Heinrich W.

    2002-01-01

    Standard spatial models of political competition give rise to equilibria in which the competing political parties or candidates converge to a common position. In this paper I show how political polarization can be generated in models that focus on the nexus between pre-election interest group lobbying and electoral competition.

  4. Fluorescence confocal polarizing microscopy

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Much of the modern understanding of orientational order in liquid crystals (LCs) is based on polarizing microscopy (PM). A PM image bears only two-dimensional (2D) information, integrating the 3D pattern of optical birefringence over the path of light. Recently, we proposed a technique to image 3D director patterns by ...

  5. Polarization of Bremsstrahlung

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Miller, J.

    1957-01-01

    The numerical results for the polarization of Bremsstrahlung are presented. The multiple scattering of electrons in the target is taken into account. The angular-and photon energy dependences are seen on the curves for an incident 25 MeV electron energy. (Author) [fr

  6. DESY: HERA polarization

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anon.

    1992-01-01

    The new HERA electron-proton collider at DESY in Hamburg achieved the first luminosity for electron-proton collisions on 19 October last year. Only one month later, on 20 November, HERA passed another important milestone with the observation of transverse electron polarization

  7. Titan Polar Landscape Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Jeffrey M.

    2016-01-01

    With the ongoing Cassini-era observations and studies of Titan it is clear that the intensity and distribution of surface processes (particularly fluvial erosion by methane and Aeolian transport) has changed through time. Currently however, alternate hypotheses substantially differ among specific scenarios with respect to the effects of atmospheric evolution, seasonal changes, and endogenic processes. We have studied the evolution of Titan's polar region through a combination of analysis of imaging, elevation data, and geomorphic mapping, spatially explicit simulations of landform evolution, and quantitative comparison of the simulated landscapes with corresponding Titan morphology. We have quantitatively evaluated alternate scenarios for the landform evolution of Titan's polar terrain. The investigations have been guided by recent geomorphic mapping and topographic characterization of the polar regions that are used to frame hypotheses of process interactions, which have been evaluated using simulation modeling. Topographic information about Titan's polar region is be based on SAR-Topography and altimetry archived on PDS, SAR-based stereo radar-grammetry, radar-sounding lake depth measurements, and superposition relationships between geomorphologic map units, which we will use to create a generalized topographic map.

  8. Graphics of polar figure

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Macias B, L.R.

    1991-11-01

    The objective of this work, is that starting from a data file coming from a spectra that has been softened, and of the one that have been generated its coordinates to project it in stereographic form, to create the corresponding polar figure making use of the Cyber computer of the ININ by means of the GRAPHOS package. This work only requires a Beta, Fi and Intensity (I) enter data file. It starts of the existence of a softened spectra of which have been generated already with these data, making use of some language that in this case was FORTRAN for the Cyber computer, a program is generated supported in the Graphos package that allows starting of a reading of the Beta, Fi, I file, to generate the points in a stereographic projection and that it culminates with the graph of the corresponding polar figure. The program will request the pertinent information that is wanted to capture in the polar figure just as: date, name of the enter file, indexes of the polar figure, number of levels, radio of the stereographic projection (cms.), crystalline system to which belongs the sample, name the neuter graph file by create and to add the own general data. (Author)

  9. Urban Land-Cover Change and Its Impact on the Ecosystem Carbon Storage in a Dryland City

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yan Yan

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Lack of research into the complexity in urban land conversion, and paucity of observational data of soil organic carbon (SOC beneath impervious surface area (ISA limit our understanding of the urbanization effects on carbon (C pools in dryland cities. Employing Landsat TM images acquired in 1990 and 2010, a hybrid classification method consisting of Linear Spectral Mixture Analysis and decision tree classification was applied to retrieve the land cover (water, ISA, greenspace, cropland, and remnant desert of the largest dryland city in China—Urumqi. Based on vegetation carbon (VEGC and SOC density data determined through field observations and literature reviews, we developed Urumqi’s C pool maps in 1990 and 2010, and assessed the urbanization impacts on ecosystem C. Our results showed that ISA tripled from 1990 to 2010 displacing remnant desert and cropland. The urban landscape, especially the greenspaces, became obviously fragmented. In 2010, more than 95% of the urban ecosystem C was SOC, 48% of which under the ISA. The city lost 19% of C stock from 1990 to 2010. About 82% of the ecosystem C loss was caused by the conversion of remnant desert and cropland into ISA, mainly in the northern city.

  10. Coral reef ecosystem

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Wafar, M.V.M.; Wafar, S.

    3 Coral Reef Ecosystem M. V M. Wafar 1 and Sayeeda Wafar Among the various inland and coastal wetlands, it is probably the coral reef ecosystem that has generated the greatest sc-ientific and economic interest and received in the recent years a world... they play in global biogeochemical cycles as sinks for atmo spheric carbon dioxide. The economic potential includes c-aleium car bonate, food and ornamental fishes, bio-molecules, tourism, molluscan shells, macro-algae, a range of other minor products...

  11. Pteropods in Southern Ocean ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunt, B. P. V.; Pakhomov, E. A.; Hosie, G. W.; Siegel, V.; Ward, P.; Bernard, K.

    2008-09-01

    To date, little research has been carried out on pelagic gastropod molluscs (pteropods) in Southern Ocean ecosystems. However, recent predictions are that, due to acidification resulting from a business as usual approach to CO 2 emissions (IS92a), Southern Ocean surface waters may begin to become uninhabitable for aragonite shelled thecosome pteropods by 2050. To gain insight into the potential impact that this would have on Southern Ocean ecosystems, we have here synthesized available data on pteropod distributions and densities, assessed current knowledge of pteropod ecology, and highlighted knowledge gaps and directions for future research on this zooplankton group. Six species of pteropod are typical of the Southern Ocean south of the Sub-Tropical Convergence, including the four Thecosomes Limacina helicina antarctica, Limacina retroversa australis, Clio pyramidata, and Clio piatkowskii, and two Gymnosomes Clione limacina antarctica and Spongiobranchaea australis. Limacina retroversa australis dominated pteropod densities north of the Polar Front (PF), averaging 60 ind m -3 (max = 800 ind m -3) and 11% of total zooplankton at the Prince Edward Islands. South of the PF L. helicina antarctica predominated, averaging 165 ind m -3 (max = 2681 ind m -3) and up to >35% of total zooplankton at South Georgia, and up to 1397 ind m -3 and 63% of total zooplankton in the Ross Sea. Combined pteropods contributed food with a mucous web. The ingestion rates of L. retroversa australis are in the upper range for sub-Antarctic mesozooplankton (31.2-4196.9 ng pig ind -1 d -1), while those of L. helicina antarctica and C. pyramidata are in the upper range for all Southern Ocean zooplankton, in the latter species reaching 27,757 ng pig ind -1 d -1 and >40% of community grazing impact. Further research is required to quantify diet selectivity, the effect of phytoplankton composition on growth and reproductive success, and the role of carnivory in thecosomes. Life histories are a

  12. Groundwater mixing and mineralization processes in a mountain-oasis-desert basin, northwest China: hydrogeochemistry and environmental tracer indicators

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Bin; Jin, Menggui; Liang, Xing; Li, Jing

    2018-02-01

    Hydrogeochemistry and environmental tracers (2H, 18O, 87Sr/86Sr) in precipitation, river and reservoir water, and groundwater have been used to determine groundwater recharge sources, and to identify mixing characteristics and mineralization processes in the Manas River Basin (MRB), which is a typical mountain-oasis-desert ecosystem in arid northwest China. The oasis component is artificial (irrigation). Groundwater with enriched stable isotope content originates from local precipitation and surface-water leakage in the piedmont alluvial-oasis plain. Groundwater with more depleted isotopes in the north oasis plain and desert is recharged by lateral flow from the adjacent mountains, for which recharge is associated with high altitude and/or paleo-water infiltrating during a period of much colder climate. Little evaporation and isotope exchange between groundwater and rock and soil minerals occurred in the mountain, piedmont and oasis plain. Groundwater δ2H and δ18O values show more homogeneous values along the groundwater flow direction and with well depths, indicating inter-aquifer mixing processes. A regional contrast of groundwater allows the 87Sr/86Sr ratios and δ18O values to be useful in a combination with Cl, Na, Mg, Ca and Sr concentrations to distinguish the groundwater mixing characteristics. Two main processes are identified: groundwater lateral-flow mixing and river leakage in the piedmont alluvial-oasis plain, and vertical mixing in the north oasis plain and the desert. The 87Sr/86Sr ratios and selected ion ratios reveal that carbonate dissolution and mixing with silicate from the southern mountain area are primarily controlling the strontium isotope hydrogeochemistry.

  13. Molecular Ecology of nifH Genes and Transcripts Along a Chronosequence in Revegetated Areas of the Tengger Desert.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Jin; Bao, Jing-Ting; Li, Xin-Rong; Liu, Yu-Bing

    2016-01-01

    that the N2-fixing cyanobacteria are the key diazotrophs to the nitrogen budget and the development of topsoil in desert, which is critical for the succession of the degraded terrestrial ecosystems.

  14. Nonlinear spectral mixture effects for photosynthetic/non-photosynthetic vegetation cover estimates of typical desert vegetation in western China.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cuicui Ji

    Full Text Available Desert vegetation plays significant roles in securing the ecological integrity of oasis ecosystems in western China. Timely monitoring of photosynthetic/non-photosynthetic desert vegetation cover is necessary to guide management practices on land desertification and research into the mechanisms driving vegetation recession. In this study, nonlinear spectral mixture effects for photosynthetic/non-photosynthetic vegetation cover estimates are investigated through comparing the performance of linear and nonlinear spectral mixture models with different endmembers applied to field spectral measurements of two types of typical desert vegetation, namely, Nitraria shrubs and Haloxylon. The main results were as follows. (1 The correct selection of endmembers is important for improving the accuracy of vegetation cover estimates, and in particular, shadow endmembers cannot be neglected. (2 For both the Nitraria shrubs and Haloxylon, the Kernel-based Nonlinear Spectral Mixture Model (KNSMM with nonlinear parameters was the best unmixing model. In consideration of the computational complexity and accuracy requirements, the Linear Spectral Mixture Model (LSMM could be adopted for Nitraria shrubs plots, but this will result in significant errors for the Haloxylon plots since the nonlinear spectral mixture effects were more obvious for this vegetation type. (3 The vegetation canopy structure (planophile or erectophile determines the strength of the nonlinear spectral mixture effects. Therefore, no matter for Nitraria shrubs or Haloxylon, the non-linear spectral mixing effects between the photosynthetic / non-photosynthetic vegetation and the bare soil do exist, and its strength is dependent on the three-dimensional structure of the vegetation canopy. The choice of linear or nonlinear spectral mixture models is up to the consideration of computational complexity and the accuracy requirement.

  15. Characteristics of volume polarization holography with linear polarization light

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zang, Jinliang; Wu, An'an; Liu, Ying; Wang, Jue; Lin, Xiao; Tan, Xiaodi; Shimura, Tsutomu; Kuroda, Kazuo

    2015-10-01

    Volume polarization holographic recording in phenanthrenequinone-doped poly(methyl methacrylate) (PQ-PMMA) photopolymer with linear polarized light is obtained. The characteristics of the volume polarization hologram are experimentally investigated. It is found that beyond the paraxial approximation the polarization states of the holographic reconstruction light are generally different from the signal light. Based on vector wave theoretical analyses and material properties, the special exposure condition for correctly holographic reconstruction is obtained and experimentally demonstrated.

  16. Response of aboveground carbon balance to long-term, experimental shifts in precipitation seasonality is contingent on plant community type in cold-desert rangelands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reinhardt, K.; McAbee, K.; Germino, M. J.; Bosworth, A.

    2016-12-01

    Semi-arid rangelands have been identified as potential carbon (C) sinks. However, the degree of net C storage or release in water-limited systems is a function of precipitation amount and timing, as well as plant community composition. In northern latitudes of western North America, climate models predict increases in wintertime precipitation and decreases in summertime precipitation. In theory, this should boost C storage in cold-desert ecosystems that have deep-rooted woody plants due to greater wintertime soil water storage that enhances summertime productivity. However, there are few long-term, manipulative field-based studies investigating how shrub- and grass-dominated rangelands will respond to changing precipitation patterns. We measured aboveground C pools and fluxes at leaf, soil, and ecosystem scales over the 2014 growing season on plots that had supplemental precipitation added in either winter or summer for 21 years, in shrub- and exotic-bunchgrass-dominated plots. We hypothesized that increased winter precipitation would stimulate aboveground C uptake and storage relative to ambient conditions, in our cold-desert-adapted plant species. We further hypothesized that long-term gains in aboveground C storage due to precipitation manipulations would be greater in plots containing shrubs. Our hypotheses were generally supported: ecosystem C uptake and long-term biomass accumulation were greater in winter- and summer-irrigated plots compared to control plots in both vegetation communities. However, substantial increases in aboveground biomass occurred only in winter-irrigated plots that contained shrubs. Our findings suggest that increases in winter precipitation will enhance C storage of this widespread ecosystem, provided that the ecosystems have resisted conversion to exotic grassland.

  17. Monitoring rarity: the critically endangered Saharan cheetah as a flagship species for a threatened ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belbachir, Farid; Pettorelli, Nathalie; Wacher, Tim; Belbachir-Bazi, Amel; Durant, Sarah M

    2015-01-01

    Deserts are particularly vulnerable to human impacts and have already suffered a substantial loss of biodiversity. In harsh and variable desert environments, large herbivores typically occur at low densities, and their large carnivore predators occur at even lower densities. The continued survival of large carnivores is key to healthy functioning desert ecosystems, and the ability to gather reliable information on these rare low density species, including presence, abundance and density, is critical to their monitoring and management. Here we test camera trap methodologies as a monitoring tool for an extremely rare wide-ranging large felid, the critically endangered Saharan cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus hecki). Two camera trapping surveys were carried out over 2-3 months across a 2,551 km2 grid in the Ti-n-hağğen region in the Ahaggar Cultural Park, south central Algeria. A total of 32 records of Saharan cheetah were obtained. We show the behaviour and ecology of the Saharan cheetah is severely constrained by the harsh desert environment, leading them to be more nocturnal, be more wide-ranging, and occur at lower densities relative to cheetah in savannah environments. Density estimates ranged from 0.21-0.55/1,000 km2, some of the lowest large carnivore densities ever recorded in Africa, and average home range size over 2-3 months was estimated at 1,583 km2. We use our results to predict that, in order to detect presence of cheetah with p>0.95 a survey effort of at least 1,000 camera trap days is required. Our study identifies the Ahaggar Cultural Park as a key area for the conservation of the Saharan cheetah. The Saharan cheetah meets the requirements for a charismatic flagship species that can be used to "market" the Saharan landscape at a sufficiently large scale to help reverse the historical neglect of threatened Saharan ecosystems.

  18. Monitoring rarity: the critically endangered Saharan cheetah as a flagship species for a threatened ecosystem.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Farid Belbachir

    Full Text Available Deserts are particularly vulnerable to human impacts and have already suffered a substantial loss of biodiversity. In harsh and variable desert environments, large herbivores typically occur at low densities, and their large carnivore predators occur at even lower densities. The continued survival of large carnivores is key to healthy functioning desert ecosystems, and the ability to gather reliable information on these rare low density species, including presence, abundance and density, is critical to their monitoring and management. Here we test camera trap methodologies as a monitoring tool for an extremely rare wide-ranging large felid, the critically endangered Saharan cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus hecki. Two camera trapping surveys were carried out over 2-3 months across a 2,551 km2 grid in the Ti-n-hağğen region in the Ahaggar Cultural Park, south central Algeria. A total of 32 records of Saharan cheetah were obtained. We show the behaviour and ecology of the Saharan cheetah is severely constrained by the harsh desert environment, leading them to be more nocturnal, be more wide-ranging, and occur at lower densities relative to cheetah in savannah environments. Density estimates ranged from 0.21-0.55/1,000 km2, some of the lowest large carnivore densities ever recorded in Africa, and average home range size over 2-3 months was estimated at 1,583 km2. We use our results to predict that, in order to detect presence of cheetah with p>0.95 a survey effort of at least 1,000 camera trap days is required. Our study identifies the Ahaggar Cultural Park as a key area for the conservation of the Saharan cheetah. The Saharan cheetah meets the requirements for a charismatic flagship species that can be used to "market" the Saharan landscape at a sufficiently large scale to help reverse the historical neglect of threatened Saharan ecosystems.

  19. Experiments with Fermilab polarized proton and polarized antiproton beams

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yokosawa, A.

    1990-01-01

    We summarize activities concerning the Fermilab polarized beams. They include a brief description of the polarized-beam facility, measurements of beam polarization by polarimeters, asymmetry measurements in the π degree production at high p perpendicular and in the Λ (Σ degree), π ± , π degree production at large x F , and Δσ L (pp, bar pp) measurements. 18 refs

  20. NUCLEON POLARIZATION IN 3-BODY MODELS OF POLARIZED LI-6

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    SCHELLINGERHOUT, NW; KOK, LP; COON, SA; ADAM, RM

    1993-01-01

    Just as He-3 --> can be approximately characterized as a polarized neutron target, polarized Li-6D has been advocated as a good isoscalar nuclear target for the extraction of the polarized gluon content of the nucleon. The original argument rests upon a presumed ''alpha + deuteron'' picture of Li-6,