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Sample records for polar desert ecosystem

  1. Decadal ecosystem response to an anomalous melt season in a polar desert in Antarctica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gooseff, Michael N; Barrett, John E; Adams, Byron J; Doran, Peter T; Fountain, Andrew G; Lyons, W Berry; McKnight, Diane M; Priscu, John C; Sokol, Eric R; Takacs-Vesbach, Cristina; Vandegehuchte, Martijn L; Virginia, Ross A; Wall, Diana H

    2017-09-01

    Amplified climate change in polar regions is significantly altering regional ecosystems, yet there are few long-term records documenting these responses. The McMurdo Dry Valleys (MDV) cold desert ecosystem is the largest ice-free area of Antarctica, comprising soils, glaciers, meltwater streams and permanently ice-covered lakes. Multi-decadal records indicate that the MDV exhibited a distinct ecosystem response to an uncharacteristic austral summer and ensuing climatic shift. A decadal summer cooling phase ended in 2002 with intense glacial melt ('flood year')-a step-change in water availability triggering distinct changes in the ecosystem. Before 2002, the ecosystem exhibited synchronous behaviour: declining stream flow, decreasing lake levels, thickening lake ice cover, decreasing primary production in lakes and streams, and diminishing soil secondary production. Since 2002, summer air temperatures and solar flux have been relatively consistent, leading to lake level rise, lake ice thinning and elevated stream flow. Biological responses varied; one stream cyanobacterial mat type immediately increased production, but another stream mat type, soil invertebrates and lake primary productivity responded asynchronously a few years after 2002. This ecosystem response to a climatic anomaly demonstrates differential biological community responses to substantial perturbations, and the mediation of biological responses to climate change by changes in physical ecosystem properties.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

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

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    A. S. Arya

    2012-09-01

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

  7. Palynology in a polar desert, eastern North Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Funder, Svend Visby; Abrahamsen, Niels

    1988-01-01

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

  8. Microbial communities in a High Arctic polar desert landscape

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Clare M McCann

    2016-03-01

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

  9. 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.

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

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

  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. Water appropriation and ecosystem stewardship in the Baja desert

    OpenAIRE

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

    2014-01-01

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

  13. 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 ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  16. 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. Higher assimilation than respiration sensitivity to drought for a desert ecosystem in Central Asia.

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    Gu, Daxing; Otieno, Dennis; Huang, Yuqing; Wang, Quan

    2017-12-31

    Responses of ecosystem assimilation and respiration to global climate change vary considerably among terrestrial ecosystems constrained by both biotic and abiotic factors. In this study, net CO 2 exchange between ecosystem and atmosphere (NEE) was measured over a 4-year period (2013-2016) using eddy covariance technology in a desert ecosystem in Central Asia. Ecosystem assimilation (gross primary production, GPP) and respiration (R eco ) were derived from NEE by fitting light response curves to NEE data based on day- and nighttime data, and their responses to soil water content (SWC) and evaporative fraction (EF) were assessed during the growing season. Results indicated that both GPP and R eco linearly decreased with declining SWC, with the sensitivity of GPP to SWC being 3.8 times higher than that of R eco during the entire growing season. As a result, ecosystem CO 2 sequestration capacity decreased from 4.00μmolm -2 s -1 to 1.00μmolm -2 s -1 , with increasing soil drought . On a seasonal scale, significant correlation between GPP and SWC was only found in spring while that between R eco and SWC was found in all growing seasons with the sensitivity increasing steadily from spring to autumn. EF had a low correlation with SWC, GPP and R eco (R 2 =0.03, 0.02, 0.05, respectively), indicating that EF was not a good proxy for soil drought and energy partitioning was not tightly coupled to ecosystem carbon exchanges in this desert ecosystem. The study deepens our knowledge of ecosystem carbon exchange and its response to drought as well as its coupling with ecosystem energy partitioning in an extreme dry desert. The information is critical for better assessing carbon sequestration capacity in dryland, and for understanding its feedback to climate change. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-10-01

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

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

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    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

  20. 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.

  1. Throughfall and its spatial variability beneath xerophytic shrub canopies within water-limited arid desert ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Ya-feng; Wang, Xin-ping; Hu, Rui; Pan, Yan-xia

    2016-08-01

    Throughfall is known to be a critical component of the hydrological and biogeochemical cycles of forested ecosystems with inherently temporal and spatial variability. Yet little is understood concerning the throughfall variability of shrubs and the associated controlling factors in arid desert ecosystems. Here we systematically investigated the variability of throughfall of two morphological distinct xerophytic shrubs (Caragana korshinskii and Artemisia ordosica) within a re-vegetated arid desert ecosystem, and evaluated the effects of shrub structure and rainfall characteristics on throughfall based on heavily gauged throughfall measurements at the event scale. We found that morphological differences were not sufficient to generate significant difference (P < 0.05) in throughfall between two studied shrub species under the same rainfall and meteorological conditions in our study area, with a throughfall percentage of 69.7% for C. korshinskii and 64.3% for A. ordosica. We also observed a highly variable patchy pattern of throughfall beneath individual shrub canopies, but the spatial patterns appeared to be stable among rainfall events based on time stability analysis. Throughfall linearly increased with the increasing distance from the shrub base for both shrubs, and radial direction beneath shrub canopies had a pronounced impact on throughfall. Throughfall variability, expressed as the coefficient of variation (CV) of throughfall, tended to decline with the increase in rainfall amount, intensity and duration, and stabilized passing a certain threshold. Our findings highlight the great variability of throughfall beneath the canopies of xerophytic shrubs and the time stability of throughfall pattern among rainfall events. The spatially heterogeneous and temporally stable throughfall is expected to generate a dynamic patchy distribution of soil moisture beneath shrub canopies within arid desert ecosystems.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Polar marine ecosystems: major threats and future change

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Clarke, A. [British Antarctic Survey, Cambridge (United Kingdom); Harris, C.M. [Environmental Research and Assessment, Grantchester (United Kingdom)

    2003-07-01

    This review of polar marine ecosystems covers both the Arctic and Antarctic, identifying the major threats and, where possible, predicting their possible state(s) in 2025. Although the two polar regions are similar in their extreme photoperiod, low temperatures, and in being heavily influenced by snow and ice, in almost all other respects they are very different. The Arctic Ocean is a basin surrounded by continental landmasses close to, and influenced by, large populations and industrial activities. In contrast, the Southern Ocean is contiguous with all the other great oceans and surrounds a single land mass; Antarctica is remote from major centres of population and sources of pollution. Marine environments in both Polar Regions have been highly disturbed by fishing activity, but, in terms of pollution, some areas remain among the most pristine in the world. There are, however, both local and global pressures. Over the 2025 time horizon, the greatest concern for the Arctic is probably the ecological implications of climate change, particularly insofar as sea ice extent and duration are likely to be affected. Such changes are not expected to be as pronounced in the Southern Ocean over this time period, and concerns are related more to direct threats from harvesting of marine living resources, and the ability to manage these fisheries sustainably. In both Polar Regions, the capacity of marine ecosystems to withstand the cumulative impact of a number of pressures, including climate change, pollution and overexploitation, acting synergistically is of greatest concern. (author)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-07-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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...

  11. 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...

  12. 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...

  13. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  15. 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

  16. Community Characteristics and Leaf Stoichiometric Traits of Desert Ecosystems Regulated by Precipitation and Soil in an Arid Area of China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guan, Tianyu; Zhou, Jihua; Cai, Wentao; Gao, Nannan; Du, Hui; Jiang, Lianhe; Lai, Liming; Zheng, Yuanrun

    2018-01-01

    Precipitation is a key environmental factor determining plant community structure and function. Knowledge of how community characteristics and leaf stoichiometric traits respond to variation in precipitation is crucial for assessing the effects of global changes on terrestrial ecosystems. In this study, we measured community characteristics, leaf stoichiometric traits, and soil properties along a precipitation gradient (35–209 mm) in a desert ecosystem of Northwest China to explore the drivers of these factors. With increasing precipitation, species richness, aboveground biomass, community coverage, foliage projective cover (FPC), and leaf area index (LAI) all significantly increased, while community height decreased. The hyperarid desert plants were characterized by lower leaf carbon (C) and nitrogen/phosphorus (N/P) levels, and stable N and P, and these parameters did not change significantly with precipitation. The growth of desert plants was limited more by N than P. Soil properties, rather than precipitation, were the main drivers of desert plant leaf stoichiometric traits, whereas precipitation made the biggest contribution to vegetation structure and function. These results test the importance of precipitation in regulating plant community structure and composition together with soil properties, and provide further insights into the adaptive strategy of communities at regional scale in response to global climate change. PMID:29320458

  17. Community Characteristics and Leaf Stoichiometric Traits of Desert Ecosystems Regulated by Precipitation and Soil in an Arid Area of China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Xiaolong; Guan, Tianyu; Zhou, Jihua; Cai, Wentao; Gao, Nannan; Du, Hui; Jiang, Lianhe; Lai, Liming; Zheng, Yuanrun

    2018-01-10

    Precipitation is a key environmental factor determining plant community structure and function. Knowledge of how community characteristics and leaf stoichiometric traits respond to variation in precipitation is crucial for assessing the effects of global changes on terrestrial ecosystems. In this study, we measured community characteristics, leaf stoichiometric traits, and soil properties along a precipitation gradient (35-209 mm) in a desert ecosystem of Northwest China to explore the drivers of these factors. With increasing precipitation, species richness, aboveground biomass, community coverage, foliage projective cover (FPC), and leaf area index (LAI) all significantly increased, while community height decreased. The hyperarid desert plants were characterized by lower leaf carbon (C) and nitrogen/phosphorus (N/P) levels, and stable N and P, and these parameters did not change significantly with precipitation. The growth of desert plants was limited more by N than P. Soil properties, rather than precipitation, were the main drivers of desert plant leaf stoichiometric traits, whereas precipitation made the biggest contribution to vegetation structure and function. These results test the importance of precipitation in regulating plant community structure and composition together with soil properties, and provide further insights into the adaptive strategy of communities at regional scale in response to global climate change.

  18. 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.

  19. Water relations in grassland and desert ecosystems exposed to elevated atmospheric CO2.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morgan, J A; Pataki, D E; Körner, C; Clark, H; Del Grosso, S J; Grünzweig, J M; Knapp, A K; Mosier, A R; Newton, P C D; Niklaus, P A; Nippert, J B; Nowak, R S; Parton, W J; Polley, H W; Shaw, M R

    2004-06-01

    Atmospheric CO2 enrichment may stimulate plant growth directly through (1) enhanced photosynthesis or indirectly, through (2) reduced plant water consumption and hence slower soil moisture depletion, or the combination of both. Herein we describe gas exchange, plant biomass and species responses of five native or semi-native temperate and Mediterranean grasslands and three semi-arid systems to CO2 enrichment, with an emphasis on water relations. Increasing CO2 led to decreased leaf conductance for water vapor, improved plant water status, altered seasonal evapotranspiration dynamics, and in most cases, periodic increases in soil water content. The extent, timing and duration of these responses varied among ecosystems, species and years. Across the grasslands of the Kansas tallgrass prairie, Colorado shortgrass steppe and Swiss calcareous grassland, increases in aboveground biomass from CO2 enrichment were relatively greater in dry years. In contrast, CO2-induced aboveground biomass increases in the Texas C3/C4 grassland and the New Zealand pasture seemed little or only marginally influenced by yearly variation in soil water, while plant growth in the Mojave Desert was stimulated by CO2 in a relatively wet year. Mediterranean grasslands sometimes failed to respond to CO2-related increased late-season water, whereas semiarid Negev grassland assemblages profited. Vegetative and reproductive responses to CO2 were highly varied among species and ecosystems, and did not generally follow any predictable pattern in regard to functional groups. Results suggest that the indirect effects of CO2 on plant and soil water relations may contribute substantially to experimentally induced CO2-effects, and also reflect local humidity conditions. For landscape scale predictions, this analysis calls for a clear distinction between biomass responses due to direct CO2 effects on photosynthesis and those indirect CO2 effects via soil moisture as documented here.

  20. 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)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernández-Becerra, Natali; Tapia-Torres, Yunuen; Beltrán-Paz, Ofelia; Blaz, Jazmín; Souza, Valeria; García-Oliva, Felipe

    2016-01-01

    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. 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. 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. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Optimized estimation and its uncertainties of gross primary production over oasis-desert ecosystems in an arid region of China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, H.; Li, X.; Xiao, J.; Ma, M.

    2017-12-01

    Arid and semi-arid ecosystems cover more than one-third of the Earth's land surface, it is of great important to the global carbon cycle. However, the magnitude of carbon sequestration and its contribution to global atmospheric carbon cycle is poorly understood due to the worldwide paucity of measurements of carbon exchange in the arid ecosystems. Accurate and continuous monitoring the production of arid ecosystem is of great importance for regional carbon cycle estimation. The MOD17A2 product provides high frequency observations of terrestrial Gross Primary Productivity (GPP) over the world. Although there have been plenty of studies to validate the MODIS GPP products with ground based measurements over a range of biome types, few have comprehensively validated the performance of MODIS estimates in arid and semi-arid ecosystems. Thus, this study examined the performance of the MODIS-derived GPP comparing with the EC observed GPP at different timescales for the main arid ecosystems in the arid and semi-arid ecosystems in China, and optimized the performance of the MODIS GPP calculations by using the in-situ metrological forcing data, and optimization of biome-specific parameters with the Bayesian approach. Our result revealed that the MOD17 algorithm could capture the broad trends of GPP at 8-day time scales for all investigated sites on the whole. However, the GPP product was underestimated in most ecosystems in the arid region, especially the irrigated cropland and forest ecosystems, while the desert ecosystem was overestimated in the arid region. On the annual time scale, the best performance was observed in grassland and cropland, followed by forest and desert ecosystems. On the 8-day timescale, the RMSE between MOD17 products and in-situ flux observations of all sites was 2.22 gC/m2/d, and R2 was 0.69. By using the in-situ metrological data driven, optimizing the biome-based parameters of the algorithm, we improved the performances of the MODIS GPP calculation

  6. High Arctic summer warming tracked by increased Cassiope tetragona growth in the world's northernmost polar desert.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weijers, Stef; Buchwal, Agata; Blok, Daan; Löffler, Jörg; Elberling, Bo

    2017-11-01

    Rapid climate warming has resulted in shrub expansion, mainly of erect deciduous shrubs in the Low Arctic, but the more extreme, sparsely vegetated, cold and dry High Arctic is generally considered to remain resistant to such shrub expansion in the next decades. Dwarf shrub dendrochronology may reveal climatological causes of past changes in growth, but is hindered at many High Arctic sites by short and fragmented instrumental climate records. Moreover, only few High Arctic shrub chronologies cover the recent decade of substantial warming. This study investigated the climatic causes of growth variability of the evergreen dwarf shrub Cassiope tetragona between 1927 and 2012 in the northernmost polar desert at 83°N in North Greenland. We analysed climate-growth relationships over the period with available instrumental data (1950-2012) between a 102-year-long C. tetragona shoot length chronology and instrumental climate records from the three nearest meteorological stations, gridded climate data, and North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and Arctic Oscillation (AO) indices. July extreme maximum temperatures (JulT emx ), as measured at Alert, Canada, June NAO, and previous October AO, together explained 41% of the observed variance in annual C. tetragona growth and likely represent in situ summer temperatures. JulT emx explained 27% and was reconstructed back to 1927. The reconstruction showed relatively high growing season temperatures in the early to mid-twentieth century, as well as warming in recent decades. The rapid growth increase in C. tetragona shrubs in response to recent High Arctic summer warming shows that recent and future warming might promote an expansion of this evergreen dwarf shrub, mainly through densification of existing shrub patches, at High Arctic sites with sufficient winter snow cover and ample water supply during summer from melting snow and ice as well as thawing permafrost, contrasting earlier notions of limited shrub growth sensitivity to

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wu, Huawu; Li, Xiao-Yan; Jiang, Zhiyun; Chen, Huiying; Zhang, Cicheng; Xiao, Xiong

    2016-01-01

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-12-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  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.

    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.

  12. [Rainfall and soil moisture redistribution induced by xerophytic shrubs in an arid desert ecosystem].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Zheng Ning; Wang, Xin Ping; Liu, Bo

    2016-03-01

    Rainfall partitioning by desert shrub canopy modifies the redistribution of incident rainfall under the canopy, and may affect the distribution pattern of soil moisture around the plant. This study examined the distribution of rainfall and the response of soil moisture beneath the canopy of two dominant desert shrubs, Caragana korshinskii and Artemisia ordosica, in the revegetation area at the southeastern edge of the Tengger Desert. The results showed that throughfall and stemflow ave-ragely occupied 74.4%, 11.3% and 61.8%, 5.5% of the gross precipitation for C. korshinskii and A. ordosica, respectively. The mean coefficients of variation (CV) of throughfall were 0.25 and 0.30, respectively. C. korshinski were more efficient than A. ordosica on stemflow generation. The depth of soil wetting front around the stem area was greater than other areas under shrub canopy for C. korshinski, and it was only significantly greater under bigger rain events for A. ordosica. The shrub canopy could cause the unevenness of soil wetting front under the canopy in consequence of rainfall redistribution induced by xerophytic shrub.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-01

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

  16. 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% (Psoil respiration rate by approximately 66.7±2.7% (Psoil moisture, whereas N deposition significantly increased the soil temperature in the 0–5 cm layer (Psoil respiration rate by altering soil properties. PMID:26379186

  17. 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.

  18. The role of water tracks in altering biotic and abiotic soil properties and processes in a polar desert in Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ball, Becky A.; Levy, Joseph

    2015-02-01

    Groundwater discharge via water tracks is a largely unexplored passageway routing salts and moisture from high elevations to valley floors in the McMurdo Dry Valleys (MDV) of Antarctica. Given the influence that water tracks have on the distribution of liquid water in seasonally thawed Antarctic soils, it is surprising how little is known about their role in structuring biotic and abiotic processes this cold desert ecosystem. Particularly, it is unclear how soil biota will respond to the activation of new water tracks resulting from enhanced active layer thickening or enhanced regional snowmelt. In the MDV, water tracks are both wetter and more saline than the surrounding soils, constituting a change in soil habitat suitability for soil biology and therefore the ecological processes they carry out. To investigate the net impact that water tracks have on Dry Valley soil biology, and therefore the ecosystem processes for which they are responsible, we analyzed microbial biomass and activity in soils inside and outside of three water tracks and relate this to the physical soil characteristics. Overall, our results suggest that water tracks can significantly influence soil properties, which can further impact biological biovolume and both biotic and abiotic fluxes of CO2. However, the nature of its impact differs with water track, further suggesting that not all water tracks can be regarded the same.

  19. 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

  20. Polarization signatures for abandoned agricultural fields in the Manix Basin area of the Mojave Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ray, Terrill W.; Farr, Tom G.; Vanzyl, Jakob J.

    1991-01-01

    Polarimetric signatures from abandoned circular alfalfa fields in the Manix Basin area of the Mojave desert show systematic changes with length of abandonment. The obliteration of circular planting rows by surface processes could account for the disappearance of bright 'spokes', which seems to be reflection patterns from remnants of the planting rows, with increasing length of abandonment. An observed shift in the location of the maximum L-band copolarization return away from VV, as well as an increase in surface roughness, both occurring with increasing age of abandonment, seems to be attributable to the formation of wind ripple on the relatively vegetationless fields. A Late Pleistocene/Holocene sand bar deposit, which can be identified in the radar images, is probably responsible for the failure of three fields to match the age sequence patterns in roughness and peak shift.

  1. 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.

  2. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi associated with vegetation and soil parameters under rest grazing management in a desert steppe ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bai, Gegenbaoleer; Bao, Yuying; Du, Guoxin; Qi, Yunlong

    2013-05-01

    The impact of rest grazing on arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) and the interactions of AMF with vegetation and soil parameters under rest grazing condition were investigated between spring and late summer in a desert steppe ecosystem with different grazing managements (rest grazing with different lengths of resting period, banned or continuous grazing) in Inner Mongolia, China. AMF diversity and colonization, vegetation biomass, soil properties and soil phosphatase activity were examined. In rest grazing areas of 60 days, AMF spore number and diversity index at a 0-10 cm soil depth as well as vesicular and hyphal colonization rates were higher compared with other grazing treatments. In addition, soil organic matter and total N contents were highest and soil alkaline phosphatase was most active under 60-day rest grazing. In August and September, these areas also had the highest amount of aboveground vegetation. The results indicated that resting grazing for an appropriate period of time in spring has a positive effect on AMF sporulation, colonization and diversity, and that under rest grazing conditions, AMF parameters are positively correlated with some soil characteristics.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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. PMID:25050837

  7. 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

  8. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  10. [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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  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 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.

  14. Polar ecosystem dynamics: recovery of communities from organic enrichment in McMurdo Sound, Antarctica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Stacy; Hammerstom, Kamille K; Conlan, Kathleen E; Thurber, Andrew R

    2010-12-01

    Community structure and diversity are influenced by patterns of disturbance and input of food. In Antarctica, the marine ecosystem undergoes highly seasonal changes in availability of light and in primary production. Near research stations, organic input from human activities can disturb the regular productivity regime with a consistent input of sewage. McMurdo Sound has both high-productivity and low-productivity habitats, thereby providing an ideal test bed for community recovery dynamics under polar conditions. We used experimental manipulations of the subtidal communities to test the hypotheses that (1) benthic communities respond differently to disturbance from organic enrichment versus burial and (2) community response also varies in areas with different natural patterns of food supply. Both in low- and high-food habitats, the strongest community response was to organic enrichment and resulted in dominance of typical organic-enrichment specialists. In habitats with highly seasonal productivity, community response was predictable and recovery was rapid. In habitats with low productivity, community variability was high and caging treatments suggested that inconsistencies were due to patchy impacts by scavengers. In areas normally subject to regular organic enrichment, either from primary production or from further up the food web (defecation by marine mammals), recovery of benthic communities takes only years even in a polar system. However, a low-productivity regime is as common in near shore habitats around the continent; under these conditions, recovery of benthic communities from disturbance is likely to be much slower and follow a variable ecological trajectory.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Polarization signatures for abandoned agricultural fields in the Manix Basin area of the Mojave Desert - Can polarimetric SAR detect desertification?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ray, Terrill W.; Farr, Tom G.; Van Zyl, Jakob J.

    1992-01-01

    Radar backscatter from abandoned circular alfalfa fields in the Manix Basin area of the Mojave desert shows systematic changes with length of abandonment. The obliteration of circular planting rows by surface processes could account for the disappearance of bright spokes, which seem to be reflection patterns from remnants of the planting rows, with increasing length of abandonment. An observed shift in the location of the maximum L-band copolarization return away from VV, as well as an increase in surface roughness, both occurring with increasing age of abandonment, seems to be attributable to the formation of wind ripples on the relatively vegetationless fields.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dercon, Gerd [Soil and Water Management and Crop Nutrition Subprogramme, Joint FAO/IAEA Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture, IAEA, Seibersdorf (Austria); Gerardo-Abaya, Jane [Division for Asia and the Pacific Section 2, Department of Technical Cooperation, IAEA, Vienna (Austria); Mavlyudov, Bulat [Institute of Geography, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow (Russian Federation); others, and

    2014-07-15

    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.

  3. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schoenecker, Kathryn A.; Lubow, Bruce C.

    2016-01-01

    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 improving the final

  5. Gopherus agassizii: Desert tortoise

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1989-01-01

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

  6. Living Spaces: In the Desert, In the Future, In the Mountains, In the Polar Regions, In Space, On the Water. Living Spaces Series.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stewart, Gail

    Each of the 6 separate books in this classroom series for juveniles introduces students to the variety of living spaces people have adapted in order to survive in a hostile environment. The illustrated guides examine several cultures which have developed and thrived in these environments. (1) "In the Desert" looks at: The San of the…

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  11. High abundance and diversity of consumers associated with eutrophic areas in a semi-desert macrotidal coastal ecosystem in Patagonia, Argentina

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martinetto, Paulina; Daleo, Pedro; Escapa, Mauricio; Alberti, Juan; Isacch, Juan Pablo; Fanjul, Eugenia; Botto, Florencia; Piriz, Maria Luz; Ponce, Gabriela; Casas, Graciela; Iribarne, Oscar

    2010-07-01

    Here we evaluated the response to eutrophication in terms of abundance and diversity of flora and fauna in a semi-desert macrotidal coastal system (San Antonio bay, Patagonia, Argentina, 40° 48' S) where signs of eutrophication (high nutrient concentration, seaweed blooms, high growth rate of macroalgae) have been reported. We compared abundances and species composition of macroalgae, small infaunal and epifaunal invertebrates, and birds associated with tidal channels of the San Antonio Bay subject to contrasting anthropogenic influence. Macroalgae were more abundant and diverse in the channel closer to human activity where nutrient concentrations were also higher. In contrast to what others have observed in eutrophic sites, small invertebrates and birds were also more abundant and diverse in the channel with macroalgal blooms and high nutrient concentration. The large water flushing during the tidal cycle could prevent anoxic or hypoxic events, making the environment suitable for consumers. Thus, this could be a case in which eutrophication supports high densities of consumers by increasing food availability, rather than negatively affecting the survival of organisms.

  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. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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...

  1. Terrestrial ecosystems and biodiversity

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Davis-Reddy, Claire

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Ecoregions Terrestrial Biomes Protected Areas Climate Risk and Vulnerability: A Handbook for Southern Africa | 75 7.2. Non-climatic drivers of ecosystem change 7.2.1. Land-use change, habitat loss and fragmentation Land-use change and landscape... concentrations of endemic plant and animal species, but these mainly occur in areas that are most threatened by human activity. Diverse terrestrial ecosystems in the region include tropical and sub-tropical forests, deserts, savannas, grasslands, mangroves...

  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. 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…

  4. Vulnerability of the global terrestrial ecosystems to climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Delong; Wu, Shuyao; Liu, Laibao; Zhang, Yatong; Li, Shuangcheng

    2018-05-27

    Climate change has far-reaching impacts on ecosystems. Recent attempts to quantify such impacts focus on measuring exposure to climate change but largely ignore ecosystem resistance and resilience, which may also affect the vulnerability outcomes. In this study, the relative vulnerability of global terrestrial ecosystems to short-term climate variability was assessed by simultaneously integrating exposure, sensitivity, and resilience at a high spatial resolution (0.05°). The results show that vulnerable areas are currently distributed primarily in plains. Responses to climate change vary among ecosystems and deserts and xeric shrublands are the most vulnerable biomes. Global vulnerability patterns are determined largely by exposure, while ecosystem sensitivity and resilience may exacerbate or alleviate external climate pressures at local scales; there is a highly significant negative correlation between exposure and sensitivity. Globally, 61.31% of the terrestrial vegetated area is capable of mitigating climate change impacts and those areas are concentrated in polar regions, boreal forests, tropical rainforests, and intact forests. Under current sensitivity and resilience conditions, vulnerable areas are projected to develop in high Northern Hemisphere latitudes in the future. The results suggest that integrating all three aspects of vulnerability (exposure, sensitivity, and resilience) may offer more comprehensive and spatially explicit adaptation strategies to reduce the impacts of climate change on terrestrial ecosystems. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  5. Strong Control of Salts on Near Surface Liquid Water Content in a High Polar Desert Indicated by Near Surface Resistivity Mapping with a Helicopter-Borne TEM Sensor, Lower Taylor Valley, Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foley, N.; Tulaczyk, S. M.; Auken, E.; Mikucki, J.; Myers, K. F.; Dugan, H.; Doran, P. T.; Virginia, R. A.

    2016-12-01

    Closed depressions in the Lower Taylor Valley (McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica) have near surface (top 5m) electrical resistivity that is lower by about an order of magnitude than the resistivity of nearby slopes and ridges (100s of ohm-m vs. 1000s). We interpret this spatial pattern as being due to long term concentration of salts carried by liquid water and/or deliquescent vapor fronts. High concentration of salts in the top decimeters to meters beneath the surface may prolong the existence and abundance of liquid water in this otherwise very cold and dry high polar desert. Due to its connections with life and chemical transport, liquid water is a much studied feature in the McMurdo Dry Valleys. This setting can be used as an analogue for similar features on the surface of Mars, where liquid water tracks have been observed and are believed to be controlled by eutectic brines. Our study demonstrates the utility of mapping at a regional scale via helicopter-borne Transient EM. Airborne EM covers more ground and can measure deeper than surface-based measurements, at the expense of resolution. This allows creating valley-scale datasets which could not feasibly be collected on the ground. Our remote measurements complement physical samples that indicate that soluble salts concentrate in certain areas of surface soil where water moves ions and is later removed by evaporation or sublimation. In areas where we measured low resistivity, the integrated liquid water fraction in the top 5m may be a few to several percent by volume, equivalent to a few or several dozens of cm of water layer thickness. This estimate assumes that the interstitial waters have very low resistivity, comparable to seawater or hypersaline brines at freezing (0.2-0.35 ohm-m). If soil water was considerably fresher than this, liquid water content would have to reach dozens of percent throughout the top 5m for bulk resistivities to drop to 100s of ohm-m. We consider the latter case to be unlikely as

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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%.

  10. Desert Pavement Studies

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Haff, Peter

    2003-01-01

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

  11. Desert Pavement Studies

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Haff, P

    2003-01-01

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

  12. Minerals in deserts

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Smith, G.I.

    1982-01-01

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

  13. 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

  14. 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...

  15. 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...

  16. How desert varnish forms?

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-09-01

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

  17. GOPHERUS AGASSIZII (Desert Tortoise)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1997-01-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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,...

  20. Population, desert expanding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1992-01-01

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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Supersymmetry without the Desert

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nomura, Yasunori; Poland, David

    2006-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martina Köberl

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: To convert deserts into arable, green landscapes is a global vision, and desert farming is a strong growing area of agriculture world-wide. However, its effect on diversity of soil microbial communities, which are responsible for important ecosystem services like plant health, is still not known. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We studied the impact of long-term agriculture on desert soil in one of the most prominent examples for organic desert farming in Sekem (Egypt. Using a polyphasic methodological approach to analyse microbial communities in soil as well as associated with cultivated plants, drastic effects caused by 30 years of agriculture were detected. Analysing bacterial fingerprints, we found statistically significant differences between agricultural and native desert soil of about 60%. A pyrosequencing-based analysis of the 16S rRNA gene regions showed higher diversity in agricultural than in desert soil (Shannon diversity indices: 11.21/7.90, and displayed structural differences. The proportion of Firmicutes in field soil was significantly higher (37% than in the desert (11%. Bacillus and Paenibacillus play the key role: they represented 96% of the antagonists towards phytopathogens, and identical 16S rRNA sequences in the amplicon library and for isolates were detected. The proportion of antagonistic strains was doubled in field in comparison to desert soil (21.6%/12.4%; disease-suppressive bacteria were especially enriched in plant roots. On the opposite, several extremophilic bacterial groups, e.g., Acidimicrobium, Rubellimicrobium and Deinococcus-Thermus, disappeared from soil after agricultural use. The N-fixing Herbaspirillum group only occurred in desert soil. Soil bacterial communities were strongly driven by the a-biotic factors water supply and pH. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: After long-term farming, a drastic shift in the bacterial communities in desert soil was observed. Bacterial communities in agricultural

  5. 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

  6. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oldemeyer, John L.

    1994-01-01

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

  8. Climate change and UV-B impacts on Arctic Tundra and Polar Desert Ecosystems. Responses to Projected Changes in Climate and UV-B at the Specie s Level

    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; Jónsdóttir, I. S.; Laine, K.; Taulavuori, K.; Taulavuori, E.; Zöckler, Ch.

    2004-01-01

    Roč. 33, č. 7 (2004), s. 418-435 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

  9. 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.

  10. Polarized neutrons

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Williams, W.G.

    1988-01-01

    The book on 'polarized neutrons' is intended to inform researchers in condensed matter physics and chemistry of the diversity of scientific problems that can be investigated using polarized neutron beams. The contents include chapters on:- neutron polarizers and instrumentation, polarized neutron scattering, neutron polarization analysis experiments and precessing neutron polarization. (U.K.)

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Chávez Oyanadel, R.O.

    2014-01-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. Climate change consequences for terrestrial ecosystem processes in NW Greeland: Results from the High Arctic Biocomplexity project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Welker, J. M.; Sullivan, P.; Rogers, M.; Sharp, E. D.; Sletten, R.; Burnham, J. L.; Hallet, B.; Hagedorn, B.; Czimiczk, C.

    2009-12-01

    Greenland is experiencing some of the fastest rates of climate warming across the Arctic including warmer summers and increases in snow fall. The effects of these new states of Greenland are however, uncertain especially for carbon, nitrogen and water biogeochemical processes, soil traits, vegetation growth patterns, mineral nutrition and plant ecophysiological processes. Since 2003 we have conducted a suite of observational and experimental measurements that have been designed to understand the fundamental nature of polar desert, polar semi-desert and fen landscapes in NW Greenland. In addition, we have established a suite of experiments to ascertain ecosystem responses to warming at multiple levels (~2030 and 2050), in conjunction with added summer rain; the consequences of added snow fall (ambient, intermediate and deep) and the effects of increases in nutrient additions (added N, P and N+P), which represent extreme warming conditions. We find that: a) the soil C pools are 6-fold larger than previously measured, b) extremely old C (up to ~30k bp) which has been buried by frost cracking and frost heaving is reaching the modern atmosphere, but in only trace amounts as measured by respired 14CO2, c) warming that simulates 2030, has only a small effect on net C sequestration but warming that simulates 2050 when combined with added summer rain, increases C sequestration by 300%, d) increases in N deposition almost immediately and completely changes the vegetation composition of polar semi-deserts shifting the NDVI values from 0.2 to 0.5 within 2 years. Our findings depict a system that is poised to contribute stronger feedbacks than previously expected as climates in NW Greenland change.

  14. Remote Sensing Field Guide - Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    1991-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-09-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2009-07-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. Osses

    2009-09-01

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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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...

  2. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belnap, Jayne; Weber, Bettina

    2013-01-01

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

  4. Polar bears at risk

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Norris, S.; Rosentrater, L.; Eid, P.M. [WWF International Arctic Programme, Oslo (Norway)

    2002-05-01

    rains also destroy the denning habitat of ringed seals, the polar bears' primary prey. Declines in the ringed seal population would mean a loss of food for polar bears. A trend toward stronger winds and increasing ice drift observed in some parts of the Arctic over the last five decades will likely increase energy expenditures and stress levels in polar bears that spend most of their lives on drifting sea ice. Polar bears face other limiting factors as well. Historically, the main threat to polar bears has been hunting. Satisfactory monitoring information has been obtained for most polar bear populations in recent years, however there is concern about hunting in areas without formal quota systems, such as Greenland. A range of toxic pollutants, including heavy metals, radioactivity, and persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are found throughout the Arctic. Of greatest concern are the effects of POPs on polar bears, which include a general weakening of the immune system, reduced reproductive success and physical deformities. The expansion of oil development in the Arctic poses additional threats; for example, disturbances to denning females in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska could undermine recruitment of the Beaufort Sea polar bear population. These threats, along with other effects of human activity in the Arctic, combine to pressure polar bears and their habitat. Large carnivores are sensitive indicators of ecosystem health and can be used to define the minimum area necessary to preserve intact ecosystems. WWF has identified the polar bear as a unique symbol of the complexities and interdependencies of the arctic marine ecosystem as it works toward its goal of preserving biodiversity for future generations.

  5. 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.

  6. Fog deposition to the Atacama desert

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-07-01

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

  7. Aborigines of the nuclear desert

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rujula, A. de

    1985-01-01

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

  8. 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...

  9. 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…

  10. Russian deserters of World War I

    OpenAIRE

    Os'kin Maksim

    2014-01-01

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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-14

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

  14. Entrepreneurial Ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stam, F.C.; Spigel, Ben

    2016-01-01

    This paper reviews and discusses the emergent entrepreneurial ecosystem approach. Entrepreneurial ecosystems are defined as a set of interdependent actors and factors coordinated in such a way that they enable productive entrepreneurship within a particular territory. The purpose of this paper is to

  15. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Staylor, W. F.

    1986-01-01

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

  17. [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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Moderate irrigation intervals facilitate establishment of two desert shrubs in the Taklimakan Desert Highway Shelterbelt in China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Congjuan; Shi, Xiang; Mohamad, Osama Abdalla; Gao, Jie; Xu, Xinwen; Xie, Yijun

    2017-01-01

    Water influences various physiological and ecological processes of plants in different ecosystems, especially in desert ecosystems. The purpose of this study is to investigate the response of physiological and morphological acclimation of two shrubs Haloxylon ammodendron and Calligonum mongolicunl to variations in irrigation intervals. The irrigation frequency was set as 1-, 2-, 4-, 8- and 12-week intervals respectively from March to October during 2012-2014 to investigate the response of physiological and morphological acclimation of two desert shrubs Haloxylon ammodendron and Calligonum mongolicunl to variations in the irrigation system. The irrigation interval significantly affected the individual-scale carbon acquisition and biomass allocation pattern of both species. Under good water conditions (1- and 2-week intervals), carbon assimilation was significantly higher than other treatments; while, under water shortage conditions (8- and 12-week intervals), there was much defoliation; and under moderate irrigation intervals (4 weeks), the assimilative organs grew gently with almost no defoliation occurring. Both studied species maintained similar ecophysiologically adaptive strategies, while C. mongolicunl was more sensitive to drought stress because of its shallow root system and preferential belowground allocation of resources. A moderate irrigation interval of 4 weeks was a suitable pattern for both plants since it not only saved water but also met the water demands of the plants.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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...

  4. A multi-scale approach to assess the effect of groundwater extraction on Prosopis tamarugo in the Atacama Desert

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Decuyper, M.; Chávez Oyanadel, R.O.; Copini, P.; Sass-Klaassen, U.G.W.

    2016-01-01

    Groundwater-dependent ecosystems occur in arid and semi-arid areas worldwide and are sensitive to changes in groundwater availability. Prosopis tamarugo Phil, endemic to the Atacama Desert, is threatened by groundwater overexploitation due to mining and urban consumption. The effect of groundwater

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-09-29

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Urban ecosystem

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Duvigneaud, P

    1974-01-01

    The author considers the town as an ecosystem. He examines its various subdivisions (climate, soil, structure, human and non-human communities, etc.) for which he chooses examples with particular reference to the city of Brussels.

  13. 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.

  14. 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...

  15. Neutron polarization

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Firk, F.W.K.

    1976-01-01

    Some recent experiments involving polarized neutrons are discussed; they demonstrate how polarization studies provide information on fundamental aspects of nuclear structure that cannot be obtained from more traditional neutron studies. Until recently, neutron polarization studies tended to be limited either to very low energies or to restricted regions at higher energies, determined by the kinematics of favorable (p, vector n) and (d, vector n) reactions. With the advent of high intensity pulsed electron and proton accelerators and of beams of vector polarized deuterons, this is no longer the case. One has entered an era in which neutron polarization experiments are now being carried out, in a routine way, throughout the entire range from thermal energies to tens-of-MeV. The significance of neutron polarization studies is illustrated in discussions of a wide variety of experiments that include the measurement of T-invariance in the β-decay of polarized neutrons, a search for the effects of meson exchange currents in the photo-disintegration of the deuteron, the determination of quantum numbers of states in the fission of aligned 235 U and 237 Np induced by polarized neutrons, and the double- and triple-scattering of fast neutrons by light nuclei

  16. The Riparianness of a Desert Herpetofauna

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charles H. Lowe

    1989-01-01

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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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...

  20. Rural childhoods in Egypt's desert lands

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Adriansen, Hanne Kirstine

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sadiq Ali Shah; Yang Zhang

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Berat AHİ

    2016-03-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. Ionic polarization

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mahan, G.D.

    1992-01-01

    Ferroelectricity occurs in many different kinds of materials. Many of the technologically important solids, which are ferroelectric, can be classified as ionic. Any microscopic theory of ferroelectricity must contain a description of local polarization forces. We have collaborated in the development of a theory of ionic polarization which is quite successful. Its basic assumption is that the polarization is derived from the properties of the individual ions. We have applied this theory successfully to diverse subjects as linear and nonlinear optical response, phonon dispersion, and piezoelectricity. We have developed numerical methods using the local Density approximation to calculate the multipole polarizabilities of ions when subject to various fields. We have also developed methods of calculating the nonlinear hyperpolarizability, and showed that it can be used to explain light scattering experiments. This paper elaborates on this polarization theory

  9. 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.

  10. Water use, productivity and interactions among desert plants

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ehleringer, J.R.

    1992-11-17

    Productivity, stability, and competitive interactions among ecosystem components within aridlands are key processes related directly to water in deserts. This project assumes that integrated aspects of plant metabolism provide insight into the structure and function of plant communities and ecosystems. While it is difficult to extrapolate from instantaneous physiological observations to higher scales, such as whole plant performance or to the interactions between plants as components of ecosystems, several key aspects of plant metabolism are scalable. Analyses of stable isotopic composition in plant tissues at natural abundance levels provide a useful tool that can provide insight into the consequences of physiological processes over temporal and spatial scales. Some plant processes continuously fractionate among light and heavy stable isotopic forms of an element; over time this results in integrated measures of plant metabolism. For example, carbon isotope fractionation during photosynthesis results in leaf carbon isotopic composition that is a measure of the set-point for photosynthetic metabolism and of water-use efficiency. Thus it provides information on the temporal scaling of a key physiological process.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ehleringer, J.R.

    1992-11-17

    Productivity, stability, and competitive interactions among ecosystem components within aridlands are key processes related directly to water in deserts. This project assumes that integrated aspects of plant metabolism provide insight into the structure and function of plant communities and ecosystems. While it is difficult to extrapolate from instantaneous physiological observations to higher scales, such as whole plant performance or to the interactions between plants as components of ecosystems, several key aspects of plant metabolism are scalable. Analyses of stable isotopic composition in plant tissues at natural abundance levels provide a useful tool that can provide insight into the consequences of physiological processes over temporal and spatial scales. Some plant processes continuously fractionate among light and heavy stable isotopic forms of an element; over time this results in integrated measures of plant metabolism. For example, carbon isotope fractionation during photosynthesis results in leaf carbon isotopic composition that is a measure of the set-point for photosynthetic metabolism and of water-use efficiency. Thus it provides information on the temporal scaling of a key physiological process.

  12. Polarization experiments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Halzen, F.

    1977-02-01

    In a theoretical review of polarization experiments two important points are emphasized: (a) their versatility and their relevance to a large variety of aspects of hadron physics (tests of basic symmetries; a probe of strong interaction dynamics; a tool for hadron spectroscopy); (b) the wealth of experimental data on polarization parameters in pp and np scattering in the Regge language and in the diffraction language. (author)

  13. Deserts

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Graulund, Rune

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2003-01-01

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

  15. Designer ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Awasthi, Ashutosh; Singh, Kripal; O'Grady, Audrey; Courtney, Ronan; Kalra, Alok; Singh, Rana Pratap; Cerda Bolinches, Artemio; Steinberger, Yosef; Patra, D.D.

    2016-01-01

    Increase in human population is accelerating the rate of land use change, biodiversity loss and habitat degradation, triggering a serious threat to life supporting ecosystem services. Existing strategies for biological conservation remain insufficient to achieve a sustainable human-nature

  16. Polarization measurement for internal polarized gaseous targets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ye Zhenyu; Ye Yunxiu; Lv Haijiang; Mao Yajun

    2004-01-01

    The authors present an introduction to internal polarized gaseous targets, polarization method, polarization measurement method and procedure. To get the total nuclear polarization of hydrogen atoms (including the polarization of the recombined hydrogen molecules) in the target cell, authors have measured the parameters relating to atomic polarization and polarized hydrogen atoms and molecules. The total polarization of the target during our measurement is P T =0.853 ± 0.036. (authors)

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

    OpenAIRE

    Jari Ojala; Jaakko Pehkonen; Jari Eloranta

    2013-01-01

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

  18. 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...

  19. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-09-01

    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

  1. Desert potholes: Ephemeral aquatic microsystems

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  2. Sources of polarized neutrons

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Walter, L.

    1983-01-01

    Various sources of polarized neutrons are reviewed. Monoenergetic source produced with unpolarized or polarized beams, white sources of polarized neutrons, production by transmissions through polarized hydrogen targets and polarized thermal neutronsare discussed, with appropriate applications included. (U.K.)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-07-01

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

  4. 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.

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2010-01-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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...

  8. In vitro germination of desert rose varieties(

    OpenAIRE

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

    2015-01-01

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

  9. 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

  10. Late Quaternary history of the Atacama Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. Remote sensing of Sonoran Desert vegetation structure and phenology with ground-based LiDAR

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sankey, Joel B.; Munson, Seth M.; Webb, Robert H.; Wallace, Cynthia S.A.; Duran, Cesar M.

    2015-01-01

    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.

  13. 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.

  14. Polarization study

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nurushev, S.B.

    1989-01-01

    Brief review is presented of the high energy polarization study including experimental data and the theoretical descriptions. The mostimportant proposals at the biggest accelerators and the crucial technical developments are also listed which may become a main-line of spin physics. 35 refs.; 10 figs.; 4 tabs

  15. Polar Stratigraphy

    Science.gov (United States)

    1999-01-01

    These three images were taken on three different orbits over the north polar cap in April 1999. Each shows a different part of the same ice-free trough. The left and right images are separated by a distance of more than 100 kilometers (62 miles). Note the similar layers in each image.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohammadipanah, Fatemeh; Wink, Joachim

    2016-01-01

    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

  20. 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.

  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. 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.

  3. CAMEL REARING IN CHOLISTAN DESERT OF PAKISTAN

    OpenAIRE

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

    2009-01-01

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

  4. Polar Polygons

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-01-01

    18 August 2005 This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows dark-outlined polygons on a frost-covered surface in the south polar region of Mars. In summer, this surface would not be bright and the polygons would not have dark outlines--these are a product of the presence of seasonal frost. Location near: 77.2oS, 204.8oW Image width: width: 3 km (1.9 mi) Illumination from: upper left Season: Southern Spring

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. How much Carbon is Stored in Deserts? AN Approach for the Chilean Atacama Desert Using LANDSAT-8 Products

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernández, H. J.; Acuña, T.; Reyes, P.; Torres, M.; Figueroa, E.

    2016-06-01

    The Atacama Desert in northern Chile is known as the driest place on Earth, with an average rainfall of about 15 mm per year. Despite these conditions, it contains a rich variety of flora with hundreds of species characterised by their extraordinary ability to adapt to this extreme environment. These biotic components have a direct link to important ecosystem services, especially those related to carbon storage and sequestration. No quantitative assessment is currently available for these services and the role of the desert in this matter remains unclear. We propose an approach to estimate above-ground biomass (AGB) using Landsat-8 data, which we tested in the Taparacá region, located in the northern section of the desert. To calibrate and validate the models, we used field data from 86 plots and several spectral indexes (NDVI, EVI and SAVI) obtained from the provisional Landsat-8 Surface-reflectance products. We applied randomised branch sampling and allometry principles (non-destructive methods) to collect biomass samples for all plant biological types: wetlands, steppes, shrubs and trees. All samples were dried in an oven until they reached constant weight and the final values were used to extrapolate dry matter content (AGB) to each plot in terms of kg m-2. We used all available scenes from September 2014 to August 2015 to calculate the maximum, minimum and average value for each index in each pixel within this period. For modeling, we used the method based on classification and regression trees called random forest (RF), available in the statistical software R-Project. The explained variance obtained by the RF algorithm was around 80-85%, and it improved when a wetland vector layer was used as the predictive factor in the model to reach the range 85-90%. The mean error was 1.45 kg m-2 of dry matter. The best model was obtained using the maximum and mean values of SAVI and EVI indexes. We were able to estimate total biomass storage of around 8 million tons

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. The ecosystem of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge at the sub-polar front and Charlie-Gibbs Fracture Zone; ECO-MAR project strategy and description of the sampling programme 2007-2010

    Science.gov (United States)

    Priede, Imants G.; Billett, David S. M.; Brierley, Andrew S.; Hoelzel, A. Rus; Inall, Mark; Miller, Peter I.; Cousins, Nicola J.; Shields, Mark A.; Fujii, Toyonobu

    2013-12-01

    The ECOMAR project investigated photosynthetically-supported life on the North Mid-Atlantic Ridge (MAR) between the Azores and Iceland focussing on the Charlie-Gibbs Fracture Zone area in the vicinity of the sub-polar front where the North Atlantic Current crosses the MAR. Repeat visits were made to four stations at 2500 m depth on the flanks of the MAR in the years 2007-2010; a pair of northern stations at 54°N in cold water north of the sub-polar front and southern stations at 49°N in warmer water influenced by eddies from the North Atlantic Current. At each station an instrumented mooring was deployed with current meters and sediment traps (100 and 1000 m above the sea floor) to sample downward flux of particulate matter. The patterns of water flow, fronts, primary production and export flux in the region were studied by a combination of remote sensing and in situ measurements. Sonar, tow nets and profilers sampled pelagic fauna over the MAR. Swath bathymetry surveys across the ridge revealed sediment-covered flat terraces parallel to the axis of the MAR with intervening steep rocky slopes. Otter trawls, megacores, baited traps and a suite of tools carried by the R.O.V. Isis including push cores, grabs and a suction device collected benthic fauna. Video and photo surveys were also conducted using the SHRIMP towed vehicle and the R.O.V. Isis. Additional surveying and sampling by landers and R.O.V. focussed on the summit of a seamount (48°44‧N, 28°10‧W) on the western crest of the MAR between the two southern stations.

  11. Astronomical Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neuenschwander, D. E.; Finkenbinder, L. R.

    2004-05-01

    Just as quetzals and jaguars require specific ecological habitats to survive, so too must planets occupy a tightly constrained astronomical habitat to support life as we know it. With this theme in mind we relate the transferable features of our elementary astronomy course, "The Astronomical Basis of Life on Earth." Over the last five years, in a team-taught course that features a spring break field trip to Costa Rica, we have introduced astronomy through "astronomical ecosystems," emphasizing astronomical constraints on the prospects for life on Earth. Life requires energy, chemical elements, and long timescales, and we emphasize how cosmological, astrophysical, and geological realities, through stabilities and catastrophes, create and eliminate niches for biological life. The linkage between astronomy and biology gets immediate and personal: for example, studies in solar energy production are followed by hikes in the forest to examine the light-gathering strategies of photosynthetic organisms; a lesson on tides is conducted while standing up to our necks in one on a Pacific beach. Further linkages between astronomy and the human timescale concerns of biological diversity, cultural diversity, and environmental sustainability are natural and direct. Our experience of teaching "astronomy as habitat" strongly influences our "Astronomy 101" course in Oklahoma as well. This "inverted astrobiology" seems to transform our student's outlook, from the universe being something "out there" into something "we're in!" We thank the SNU Science Alumni support group "The Catalysts," and the SNU Quetzal Education and Research Center, San Gerardo de Dota, Costa Rica, for their support.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Lei; Sun, Rui; Xu, Ziwei; Qiao, Chen; Jiang, Guoqing

    2015-01-01

    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 species. Nighttime

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

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

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

  14. Liquid Water Restricts Habitability in Extreme Deserts.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

  15. 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,

  16. Polarized secondary radioactive beams

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zaika, N.I.

    1992-01-01

    Three methods of polarized radioactive nuclei beam production: a) a method nuclear interaction of the non-polarized or polarized charged projectiles with target nuclei; b) a method of polarization of stopped reaction radioactive products in a special polarized ion source with than following acceleration; c) a polarization of radioactive nuclei circulating in a storage ring are considered. Possible life times of the radioactive ions for these methods are determined. General schemes of the polarization method realizations and depolarization problems are discussed

  17. Polar crane

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Makosinski, S.

    1981-01-01

    In many applications polar cranes have to be repeatedly positioned with high accuracy. A guidance system is disclosed which has two pairs of guides. Each guide consists of two rollers carried by a sheave rotatable mounted on the crane bridge, the rollers being locatable one on each side of a guideway, e.g. the circular track on which the bridge runs. The pairs of guides are interconnected by respective rope loops which pass around and are locked to the respective pairs of sheaves in such a manner that movement of one guide results in equal movement of the other guide in a sense to maintain the repeatability of positioning of the centre of the bridge. A hydraulically-linked guide system is also described. (author)

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. The importance of Acacia trees for insectivorous bats and arthropods in the Arava desert.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Talya D Hackett

    Full Text Available 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Dynamic responses of photosystem II in the Namib Desert shrub, Zygophyllum prismatocarpum, during and after foliar deposition of limestone dust

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Heerden, P.D.R. van; Krueger, G.H.J.; Kilbourn Louw, M.

    2007-01-01

    The effects of limestone dust deposition on vegetation in desert ecosystems have not yet been reported. We investigated these effects in a succulent shrub from the Namib Desert at a limestone quarry near Skorpion Zinc mine (Namibia). Effects of limestone dust were determined in Zygophyllum prismatocarpum (dollar bush) plants with heavy, moderate and no visible foliar dust cover by means of chlorophyll a fluorescence measurements. Limestone dust deposition decreased overall plant performance through loss of chlorophyll content, inhibition of CO 2 assimilation, uncoupling of the oxygen-evolving complex and decreased electron transport. Importantly, dynamic recovery occurred after termination of limestone extraction at the quarry. Recovery was accelerated by rainfall, mainly because of dust removal from leaves and stimulation of new growth. These results indicate that limestone dust has severe effects on photosynthesis in desert shrubs, but that recovery is possible and that, in arid environments, this process is modulated by rainfall. - Limestone dust deposition reduced photosynthetic capacity in the Namib Desert shrub, Zygophyllum prismatocarpum

  8. Soil respiration in the cold desert environment of the Colorado Plateau (USA): Abiotic regulators and thresholds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernandez, D.P.; Neff, J.C.; Belnap, J.; Reynolds, R.L.

    2006-01-01

    Decomposition is central to understanding ecosystem carbon exchange and nutrient-release processes. Unlike mesic ecosystems, which have been extensively studied, xeric landscapes have received little attention; as a result, abiotic soil-respiration regulatory processes are poorly understood in xeric environments. To provide a more complete and quantitative understanding about how abiotic factors influence soil respiration in xeric ecosystems, we conducted soil- respiration and decomposition-cloth measurements in the cold desert of southeast Utah. Our study evaluated when and to what extent soil texture, moisture, temperature, organic carbon, and nitrogen influence soil respiration and examined whether the inverse-texture hypothesis applies to decomposition. Within our study site, the effect of texture on moisture, as described by the inverse texture hypothesis, was evident, but its effect on decomposition was not. Our results show temperature and moisture to be the dominant abiotic controls of soil respiration. Specifically, temporal offsets in temperature and moisture conditions appear to have a strong control on soil respiration, with the highest fluxes occurring in spring when temperature and moisture were favorable. These temporal offsets resulted in decomposition rates that were controlled by soil moisture and temperature thresholds. The highest fluxes of CO2 occurred when soil temperature was between 10 and 16??C and volumetric soil moisture was greater than 10%. Decomposition-cloth results, which integrate decomposition processes across several months, support the soil-respiration results and further illustrate the seasonal patterns of high respiration rates during spring and low rates during summer and fall. Results from this study suggest that the parameters used to predict soil respiration in mesic ecosystems likely do not apply in cold-desert environments. ?? Springer 2006.

  9. Measuring Entrepreneurial Ecosystems

    OpenAIRE

    Stam, F.C.

    2017-01-01

    How can entrepreneurial ecosystems and productive entrepreneurship can be traced empirically and how is entrepreneurship related to entrepreneurial ecosystems. The analyses in this chapter show the value of taking a systems view on the context of entrepreneurship. We measure entrepreneurial ecosystem elements and use these to compose an entrepreneurial ecosystem index. Next, we measure the output of entrepreneurial ecosystems with different indicators of high-growth firms. We use the 12 provi...

  10. Mapping Ecosystem Services

    OpenAIRE

    Georgiev,Teodor; Burkhard,Benjamin; Maes,Joachim

    2017-01-01

    Ecosystem services are the contributions of ecosystem structure and function (in combination with other inputs) to human well-being. That means, humankind is strongly dependent on well-functioning ecosystems and natural capital that are the base for a constant flow of ecosystem services from nature to society. Therefore ecosystem services have the potential to become a major tool for policy and decision making on global, national, regional and local scales. Possible applications are manifold:...

  11. 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.

  12. Nuclear polarization and neutrons

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Glaettli, H.

    1985-01-01

    Different possibilities for the use of polarized nuclei in thermal neutron scattering on condensed matter are reviewed. Highly polarized nuclei are the starting point for studying dipolar magnetic order. Systematic measurement of spin-dependent scattering lengths is possible on samples with polarized nuclei. Highly polarized hydrogen should help to unravel complicated structures in chemistry and biology. The use of polarized proton targets as an energy-independent neutron polarizer in the thermal and epithermal region should be considered afresh. (author)

  13. 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.

  14. Desert wetlands in the geologic record

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  15. 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...

  16. Joint by Design: The Western Desert Campaign

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-05-21

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

  17. Extrafloral nectar fuels ant life in deserts

    OpenAIRE

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

    2014-01-01

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

  18. Liquid Water Restricts Habitability in Extreme Deserts

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

  19. The Palm Desert renewable [hydrogen] transportation system

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1998-08-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. CAMEL REARING IN CHOLISTAN DESERT OF PAKISTAN

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

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

    2009-05-01

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

  3. Neutron polarization in polarized 3He targets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Friar, J.L.; Gibson, B.F.; Payne, G.L.; Bernstein, A.M.; Chupp, T.E.

    1990-01-01

    Simple formulas for the neutron and proton polarizations in polarized 3 He targets are derived assuming (1) quasielastic final states; (2) no final-state interactions; (3) no meson-exchange currents; (4) large momentum transfers; (5) factorizability of 3 He SU(4) response-function components. Numerical results from a wide variety of bound-state solutions of the Faddeev equations are presented. It is found that this simple model predicts the polarization of neutrons in a fully polarized 3 He target to be 87%, while protons should have a slight residual polarization of -2.7%. Numerical studies show that this model works very well for quasielastic electron scattering

  4. Effects of land use change on soil carbon storage and water consumption in an oasis-desert ecotone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lü, Yihe; Ma, Zhimin; Zhao, Zhijiang; Sun, Feixiang; Fu, Bojie

    2014-06-01

    Land use and ecosystem services need to be assessed simultaneously to better understand the relevant factors in sustainable land management. This paper analyzed land use changes in the middle reach of the arid Heihe River Basin in northwest China over the last two decades and their impacts on water resources and soil organic carbon (SOC) storage. The results indicated that from 1986 to 2007: (1) cropland and human settlements expanded by 45.0 and 17.6%, respectively, at the expense of 70.1, 35.7, and 4.1% shrinkage on woodland, grassland, and semi-shrubby desert; (2) irrigation water use was dominant and increased (with fluctuations) at an average rate of 8.2%, while basic human water consumption increased monotonically over a longer period from 1981 to 2011 at a rate of 58%; and (3) cropland expansion or continuous cultivation led to a significant reduction of SOC, while the land use transition from grassland to semi-shrubby desert and the progressive succession of natural ecosystems such as semi-shrubby desert and grassland, in contrast, can bring about significant carbon sequestration benefits. The increased water consumption and decreased SOC pool associated with some observed land use changes may induce and aggravate potential ecological risks for both local and downstream ecosystems, including water resource shortages, soil quality declines, and degeneration of natural vegetation. Therefore, it is necessary to balance socioeconomic wellbeing and ecosystem services in land use planning and management for the sustainability of socio-ecological systems across spatiotemporal scales, especially in resource-poor arid environments.

  5. Effects of Land Use Change on Soil Carbon Storage and Water Consumption in an Oasis-Desert Ecotone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lü, Yihe; Ma, Zhimin; Zhao, Zhijiang; Sun, Feixiang; Fu, Bojie

    2014-06-01

    Land use and ecosystem services need to be assessed simultaneously to better understand the relevant factors in sustainable land management. This paper analyzed land use changes in the middle reach of the arid Heihe River Basin in northwest China over the last two decades and their impacts on water resources and soil organic carbon (SOC) storage. The results indicated that from 1986 to 2007: (1) cropland and human settlements expanded by 45.0 and 17.6 %, respectively, at the expense of 70.1, 35.7, and 4.1 % shrinkage on woodland, grassland, and semi-shrubby desert; (2) irrigation water use was dominant and increased (with fluctuations) at an average rate of 8.2 %, while basic human water consumption increased monotonically over a longer period from 1981 to 2011 at a rate of 58 %; and (3) cropland expansion or continuous cultivation led to a significant reduction of SOC, while the land use transition from grassland to semi-shrubby desert and the progressive succession of natural ecosystems such as semi-shrubby desert and grassland, in contrast, can bring about significant carbon sequestration benefits. The increased water consumption and decreased SOC pool associated with some observed land use changes may induce and aggravate potential ecological risks for both local and downstream ecosystems, including water resource shortages, soil quality declines, and degeneration of natural vegetation. Therefore, it is necessary to balance socioeconomic wellbeing and ecosystem services in land use planning and management for the sustainability of socio-ecological systems across spatiotemporal scales, especially in resource-poor arid environments.

  6. 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......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...... 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...

  7. 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)

  8. 77 FR 65133 - Revisions to the California State Implementation Plan, Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-10-25

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mao, Xuesong; Wang, Fuchun; Wang, Binggang

    2011-07-01

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

  11. The provenance of Taklamakan desert sand

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Morais Mendonca Teles, Antonio

    2016-07-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Johnson, J. Andrew.

    1991-01-01

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

  14. Polarized electron sources

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Prepost, R.

    1994-01-01

    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

  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. 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...

  17. Measuring Entrepreneurial Ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stam, F.C.

    How can entrepreneurial ecosystems and productive entrepreneurship can be traced empirically and how is entrepreneurship related to entrepreneurial ecosystems. The analyses in this chapter show the value of taking a systems view on the context of entrepreneurship. We measure entrepreneurial

  18. 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...

  19. Polarized neutron spectrometer

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Abov, Yu.G.; Novitskij, V.V.; Alfimenkov, V.P.; Galinskij, E.M.; Mareev, Yu.D.; Pikel'ner, L.B.; Chernikov, A.N.; Lason', L.; Tsulaya, V.M.; Tsulaya, M.I.

    2000-01-01

    The polarized neutron spectrometer, intended for studying the interaction of polarized neutrons with nuclei and condensed media in the area of energies from thermal up to several electron-volt, is developed at the IBR-2 reactor (JINR, Dubna). Diffraction on the Co(92%)-Fe(8%) magnetized monocrystals is used for the neutron polarization and polarization analysis. The neutron polarization within the whole energy range equals ∼ 95% [ru

  20. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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...

  4. On Man and Ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brookfield, Harold

    1982-01-01

    Distinctions between natural ecosystems and human ecosystems are misleading. Natural and social sciences can be integrated through the concept of a "human-use ecosystem," in which social scientists analyze the community, household, and individual, and natural scientists analyze the land. Includes a case study of St. Kitts. (KC)

  5. 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...

  6. 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

  7. 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

  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. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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 ...

  12. 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.

  13. Pastoralist rock art in the Black Desert of Jordan

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Brusgaard, N.O.

    2015-01-01

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

  14. Pastoralist rock art in the Black Desert of Jordan

    OpenAIRE

    Brusgaard, N.O.

    2015-01-01

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

  15. 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

  16. 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 ...

  17. The Desert and the Sown Project in Northern Jordan

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kerner, Susanne

    2014-01-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. Polarized targets and beams

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Meyer, W.

    1985-01-01

    First the experimental situation of the single-pion photoproduction and the photodisintegration of the deuteron is briefly discussed. Then a description of the Bonn polarization facilities is given. The point of main effort is put on the polarized target which plays a vital role in the program. A facility for photon induced double polarization experiments at ELSA will be presented in section 4. Properties of a tensor polarized deuteron target are discussed in section 5. The development in the field of polarized targets, especially on new target materials, enables a new generation of polarized target experiments with (polarized) electrons. Some comments on the use of a polarized target in combination with electron beams will be discussed in section 6. Electron deuteron scattering from a tensor polarized deuteron target is considered and compared with other experimental possibilities. (orig./HSI)

  20. Algae-production in the desert

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hildebrand, H.

    1988-11-01

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

  1. Background aerosol composition in the Namib desert

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

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

  2. 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....

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Cutaneous water loss and sphingolipids in the stratum corneum of house sparrows, Passer domesticus L., from desert and mesic environments as determined by reversed phase high-performance liquid chromatography coupled with atmospheric pressure photospray ionization mass spectrometry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muñoz-Garcia, Agustí; Ro, Jennifer; Brown, Johnie C; Williams, Joseph B

    2008-02-01

    Because cutaneous water loss (CWL) represents half of total water loss in birds, selection to reduce CWL may be strong in desert birds. We previously found that CWL of house sparrows from a desert population was about 25% lower than that of individuals from a mesic environment. The stratum corneum (SC), the outer layer of the epidermis, serves as the primary barrier to water vapor diffusion through the skin. The avian SC is formed by layers of corneocytes embedded in a lipid matrix consisting of cholesterol, free fatty acids and two classes of sphingolipids, ceramides and cerebrosides. The SC of birds also serves a thermoregulatory function; high rates of CWL keep body temperatures under lethal limits in episodes of heat stress. In this study, we used high-performance liquid chromatography coupled with atmospheric pressure photoionization-mass spectrometry (HPLC/APPI-MS) to identify and quantify over 200 sphingolipids in the SC of house sparrows from desert and mesic populations. Principal components analysis (PCA) led to the hypotheses that sphingolipids in the SC of desert sparrows have longer carbon chains in the fatty acid moiety and are more polar than those found in mesic sparrows. We also tested the association between principal components and CWL in both populations. Our study suggested that a reduction in CWL found in desert sparrows was, in part, the result of modifications in chain length and polarity of the sphingolipids, changes that apparently determine the interactions of the lipid molecules within the SC.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Scattering with polarized neutrons

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schweizer, J.

    2007-01-01

    In the history of neutron scattering, it was shown very soon that the use of polarized neutron beams brings much more information than usual scattering with unpolarized neutrons. We shall develop here the different scattering methods that imply polarized neutrons: 1) polarized beams without polarization analysis, the flipping ratio method; 2) polarized beams with a uniaxial polarization analysis; 3) polarized beams with a spherical polarization analysis. For all these scattering methods, we shall give examples of the physical problems which can been solved by these methods, particularly in the field of magnetism: investigation of complex magnetic structures, investigation of spin or magnetization densities in metals, insulators and molecular compounds, separation of magnetic and nuclear scattering, investigation of magnetic properties of liquids and amorphous materials and even, for non magnetic material, separation between coherent and incoherent scattering. (author)

  13. 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)

  14. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tajima, O.; Nguyen, H.; Bischoff, C.; Brizius, A.; Buder, I.; Kusaka, A.

    2011-01-01

    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 (∼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.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Offer, Z.Y.; Goossens, D.

    2001-01-01

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

  17. Techniques in polarization physics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Clausnitzer, G.

    1974-01-01

    A review of the current status of the technical tools necessary to perform different kinds of polarization experiments is presented, and the absolute and relative accuracy with which data can be obtained is discussed. A description of polarized targets and sources of polarized fast neutrons is included. Applications of polarization techniques to other fields is mentioned briefly. (14 figures, 3 tables, 110 references) (U.S.)

  18. Estimates of primary productivity over the Thar Desert based upon Nimbus-7 37 GHz data - 1979-1985

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choudhury, B. J.

    1987-01-01

    An empirical relationship has been determined between the difference of vertically and horizontally polarized brightness temperatures noted at the 37 GHz frequency of the Nimbus-7 SMMR and primary productivity over hot arid and semiarid regions of Africa and Australia. This empirical relationship is applied to estimate the primary productivity over the Thar Desert between 1979 and 1985, giving an average value of 0.271 kg/sq m per yr. The spatial variability of the productivity values is found to be quite significant, with a standard deviation about the mean of 0.08 kg/sq m per yr.

  19. Ecosystem-based management and the wealth of ecosystems

    OpenAIRE

    Yun, Seong Do; Hutniczak, Barbara; Abbott, Joshua K.; Fenichel, Eli P.

    2017-01-01

    Ecosystems store vast quantities of wealth, but difficulties measuring wealth held in ecosystems prevent its inclusion in accounting systems. Ecosystem-based management endeavors to manage ecosystems holistically. However, ecosystem-based management lacks headline indicators to evaluate performance. We unify the inclusive wealth and ecosystem-based management paradigms, allowing apples-to-apples comparisons between the wealth of the ecosystem and other forms of wealth, while providing a headl...

  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. 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...

  2. Calculation of polarization effects

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chao, A.W.

    1983-09-01

    Basically there are two areas of accelerator applications that involve beam polarization. One is the acceleration of a polarized beam (most likely a proton beam) in a synchrotron. Another concerns polarized beams in an electron storage ring. In both areas, numerical techniques have been very useful

  3. 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 (

  4. Legal immigrants: invasion of alien microbial communities during winter occurring desert dust storms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weil, Tobias; De Filippo, Carlotta; Albanese, Davide; Donati, Claudio; Pindo, Massimo; Pavarini, Lorenzo; Carotenuto, Federico; Pasqui, Massimiliano; Poto, Luisa; Gabrieli, Jacopo; Barbante, Carlo; Sattler, Birgit; Cavalieri, Duccio; Miglietta, Franco

    2017-03-10

    A critical aspect regarding the global dispersion of pathogenic microorganisms is associated with atmospheric movement of soil particles. Especially, desert dust storms can transport alien microorganisms over continental scales and can deposit them in sensitive sink habitats. In winter 2014, the largest ever recorded Saharan dust event in Italy was efficiently deposited on the Dolomite Alps and was sealed between dust-free snow. This provided us the unique opportunity to overcome difficulties in separating dust associated from "domestic" microbes and thus, to determine with high precision microorganisms transported exclusively by desert dust. Our metagenomic analysis revealed that sandstorms can move not only fractions but rather large parts of entire microbial communities far away from their area of origin and that this microbiota contains several of the most stress-resistant organisms on Earth, including highly destructive fungal and bacterial pathogens. In particular, we provide first evidence that winter-occurring dust depositions can favor a rapid microbial contamination of sensitive sink habitats after snowmelt. Airborne microbial depositions accompanying extreme meteorological events represent a realistic threat for ecosystem and public health. Therefore, monitoring the spread and persistence of storm-travelling alien microbes is a priority while considering future trajectories of climatic anomalies as well as anthropogenically driven changes in land use in the source regions.

  5. Desert Perennial Shrubs Shape the Microbial-Community Miscellany in Laimosphere and Phyllosphere Space.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martirosyan, Varsik; Unc, Adrian; Miller, Gad; Doniger, Tirza; Wachtel, Chaim; Steinberger, Yosef

    2016-10-01

    Microbial function, composition, and distribution play a fundamental role in ecosystem ecology. The interaction between desert plants and their associated microbes is expected to greatly affect their response to changes in this harsh environment. Using comparative analyses, we studied the impact of three desert shrubs, Atriplex halimus (A), Artemisia herba-alba (AHA), and Hammada scoparia (HS), on soil- and leaf-associated microbial communities. DNA extracted from the leaf surface and soil samples collected beneath the shrubs were used to study associated microbial diversity using a sequencing survey of variable regions of bacterial 16S rRNA and fungal ribosomal internal transcribed spacer (ITS1). We found that the composition of bacterial and fungal orders is plant-type-specific, indicating that each plant type provides a suitable and unique microenvironment. The different adaptive ecophysiological properties of the three plant species and the differential effect on their associated microbial composition point to the role of adaptation in the shaping of microbial diversity. Overall, our findings suggest a link between plant ecophysiological adaptation as a "temporary host" and the biotic-community parameters in extreme xeric environments.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    McKay, Christopher P.

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-05-25

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

  10. 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.

  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. 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.

  13. 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...

  14. Acceleration of polarized particles

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Buon, J.

    1992-05-01

    The spin kinetics of polarized beams in circular accelerators is reviewed in the case of spin-1/2 particles (electrons and protons) with emphasis on the depolarization phenomena. The acceleration of polarized proton beams in synchrotrons is described together with the cures applied to reduce depolarization, including the use of 'Siberian Snakes'. The in-situ polarization of electrons in storage rings due to synchrotron radiation is studied as well as depolarization in presence of ring imperfections. The applications of electron polarization to accurately calibrate the rings in energy and to use polarized beams in colliding-beam experiments are reviewed. (author) 76 refs., 19 figs., 1 tab

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-04-01

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

  16. Polarization effects. Volume 2

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Courant, E.

    1981-01-01

    The use of polarized proton beams in ISABELLE is important for several general reasons: (1) With a single longitudinally polarized proton beam, effects involving parity violation can be identified and hence processes involving weak interactions can be separated from those involving strong and electromagnetic interactions. (2) Spin effects are important in the strong interactions and can be useful for testing QCD. The technique for obtaining polarized proton beams in ISABELLE appears promising, particularly in view of the present development of a polarized proton beam for the AGS. Projections for the luminosity in ISABELLE for collisions of polarized protons - one or both beams polarized with longitudinal or transverse polarization - range from 1/100 to 1 times the luminosity for unpolarized protons.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Soil respiration sensitivities to water and temperature in a revegetated desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Zhi-Shan; Dong, Xue-Jun; Xu, Bing-Xin; Chen, Yong-Le; Zhao, Yang; Gao, Yan-Hong; Hu, Yi-Gang; Huang, Lei

    2015-04-01

    Soil respiration in water-limited ecosystems is affected intricately by soil water content (SWC), temperature, and soil properties. Eight sites on sand-fixed dunes that revegetated in different years since 1950s, with several topographical positions and various biological soil crusts (BSCs) and soil properties, were selected, as well as a moving sand dune (MSD) and a reference steppe in the Tengger Desert of China. Intact soil samples of 20 cm in depth were taken and incubated randomly at 12 levels of SWC (0 to 0.4 m3 m-3) and at 9 levels of temperature (5 to 45°C) in a growth chamber; additionally, cryptogamic and microbial respirations (RM) were measured. Total soil respiration (RT, including cryptogamic, microbial, and root respiration) was measured for 2 years at the MSD and five sites of sand-fixed dunes. The relationship between RM and SWC under the optimal SWC condition (0.25 m3 m-3) is linear, as is the entire range of RT and SWC. The slope of linear function describes sensitivity of soil respiration to water (SRW) and reflects to soil water availability, which is related significantly to soil physical properties, BSCs, and soil chemical properties, in decreasing importance. Inversely, Q10 for RM is related significantly to abovementioned factors in increasing importance. However, Q10 for RT and respiration rate at 20°C are related significantly to soil texture and depth of BSCs and subsoil only. In conclusion, through affecting SRW, soil physical properties produce significant influences on soil respiration, especially for RT. This indicates that a definition of the biophysical meaning of SRW is necessary, considering the water-limited and coarse-textured soil in most desert ecosystems.

  1. A drought resistance-promoting microbiome is selected by root system under desert farming.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ramona Marasco

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Traditional agro-systems in arid areas are a bulwark for preserving soil stability and fertility, in the sight of "reverse desertification". Nevertheless, the impact of desert farming practices on the diversity and abundance of the plant associated microbiome is poorly characterized, including its functional role in supporting plant development under drought stress. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We assessed the structure of the microbiome associated to the drought-sensitive pepper plant (Capsicum annuum L. cultivated in a traditional Egyptian farm, focusing on microbe contribution to a crucial ecosystem service, i.e. plant growth under water deficit. The root system was dissected by sampling root/soil with a different degree of association to the plant: the endosphere, the rhizosphere and the root surrounding soil that were compared to the uncultivated soil. Bacterial community structure and diversity, determined by using Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis, differed according to the microhabitat, indicating a selective pressure determined by the plant activity. Similarly, culturable bacteria genera showed different distribution in the three root system fractions. Bacillus spp. (68% of the isolates were mainly recovered from the endosphere, while rhizosphere and the root surrounding soil fractions were dominated by Klebsiella spp. (61% and 44% respectively. Most of the isolates (95% presented in vitro multiple plant growth promoting (PGP activities and stress resistance capabilities, but their distribution was different among the root system fractions analyzed, with enhanced abilities for Bacillus and the rhizobacteria strains. We show that the C. annuum rhizosphere under desert farming enriched populations of PGP bacteria capable of enhancing plant photosynthetic activity and biomass synthesis (up to 40% under drought stress. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Crop cultivation provides critical ecosystem services in arid lands with the

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Comparison of the effects of temperature and water potential on seed germination of Fabaceae species from desert and subalpine grassland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Xiao Wen; Fan, Yan; Baskin, Carol C; Baskin, Jerry M; Wang, Yan Rong

    2015-05-01

    Temperature and water potential for germination based on the thermal and hydrotime models have been successfully applied in predicting germination requirements of physiologically dormant seeds as well as nondormant seeds. However, comparative studies of the germination requirements of physically dormant seeds from different ecosystems have not been done. Germination of scarified seeds of four legume species collected from the Qing-Tibetan Plateau and of four collected in the Alax Desert in China was compared over a range of temperatures and water potentials based on thermal time and hydrotime models. Seeds of species from the Qing-Tibetan Plateau had a lower base temperature (T b) and optimal temperature (T o) for germination than those from the Alax Desert. Seeds of the four species from the Qing-Tibetan Plateau germinated to high percentages at 5°C, whereas none of the four desert species did so. Seeds of species from the Alax Desert germinated to a high percentage at 35°C or 40°C, while no seeds of species from the Qing-Tibetan Plateau germinated at 35°C or 40°C. The base median water potential [Ψ b(50)] differed among species but not between the two habitats. The thermal time and hydrotime models accurately predicted the germination time course of scarified seeds of most of the eight species in response to temperature and water potential; thus, they can be useful tools in comparative studies on germination of seeds with physical dormancy. Habitat temperatures but not rainfall is closely related to germination requirements of these species. © 2015 Botanical Society of America, Inc.

  5. 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...

  6. 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 en...... sustainable relationships with nature, conserving and restoring ecosystems and their benefits for people now and in the future....

  7. 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...

  8. 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)

  9. 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

  10. Workshop on polarized neutron filters and polarized pulsed neutron experiments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Itoh, Shinichi

    2004-07-01

    The workshop was held in KEK by thirty-three participants on April 26, 2004. The polarized neutron filter method was only discussed. It consists of three parts; the first part was discussed on the polarized neutron methods, the second part on the polarized neutron experiments and the third on the pulse neutron spectrometer and polarized neutron experiments. The six papers were presented such as the polarized 3 He neutron spin filter, neutron polarization by proton polarized filter, soft master and neutron scattering, polarized neutron in solid physics, polarization experiments by chopper spectroscope and neutron polarization system in superHRPD. (S.Y.)

  11. 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

  12. A review of research on ecosystem of arid area using RS-GIS in China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Hongling

    2007-06-01

    Arid area is classical mountain-oasis-desert ecosystem in North-west China. As the ecosystem has its nature geography character obviously, it has superior to research with remote-sensing and geography information system. The study on arid ecosystem in RS-GIS' way is focused on that the landscape spatial pattern of complex MODS ecosystem, the dynamic development of Land use/land cover, the security of ecological environment of eco-tone and so on. At the same time, the research on the single system is more and more, which has provided more ways and deeper fields of arid area using RS-GIS. Through the use of RS-GIS, desertification, oasis' development, urbanization etc. can be known, which would provide precaution for human-being and suitable ways to adjust the problems.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gonfiantini, R.

    1992-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gonfiantini, R.

    1981-01-01

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

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lew, V.

    1980-04-01

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

  17. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-10-21

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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...

  1. 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 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 significant knowledge gap for Southern Ocean pteropods, a single study having been completed for L. retroversa australis, making population studies a priority for this group. Pteropods appear to be important in biogeochemical cycling, thecosome shells contributing >50% to carbonate flux in the deep ocean south of the PF. Pteropods may also

  2. Instrumentation with polarized neutrons

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Boeni, P.; Muenzer, W.; Ostermann, A.

    2009-01-01

    Neutron scattering with polarization analysis is an indispensable tool for the investigation of novel materials exhibiting electronic, magnetic, and orbital degrees of freedom. In addition, polarized neutrons are necessary for neutron spin precession techniques that path the way to obtain extremely high resolution in space and time. Last but not least, polarized neutrons are being used for fundamental studies as well as very recently for neutron imaging. Many years ago, neutron beam lines were simply adapted for polarized beam applications by adding polarizing elements leading usually to unacceptable losses in neutron intensity. Recently, an increasing number of beam lines are designed such that an optimum use of polarized neutrons is facilitated. In addition, marked progress has been obtained in the technology of 3 He polarizers and the reflectivity of large-m supermirrors. Therefore, if properly designed, only factors of approximately 2-3 in neutron intensity are lost. It is shown that S-benders provide neutron beams with an almost wavelength independent polarization. Using twin cavities, polarized beams with a homogeneous phase space and P>0.99 can be produced without significantly sacrificing intensity. It is argued that elliptic guides, which are coated with large m polarizing supermirrors, provide the highest flux.

  3. 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

  4. Spreaders, igniters, and burning shrubs: plant flammability explains novel fire dynamics in grass-invaded deserts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuentes-Ramirez, Andres; Veldman, Joseph W; Holzapfel, Claus; Moloney, Kirk A

    2016-10-01

    Novel fire regimes are an important cause and consequence of global environmental change that involve interactions among biotic, climatic, and human components of ecosystems. Plant flammability is key to these interactions, yet few studies directly measure flammability or consider how multiple species with different flammabilities interact to produce novel fire regimes. Deserts of the southwestern United States are an ideal system for exploring how novel fire regimes can emerge when fire-promoting species invade ecosystems comprised of species that did not evolve with fire. In these deserts, exotic annual grasses provide fuel continuity across landscapes that did not historically burn. These fires often ignite a keystone desert shrub, the fire-intolerant creosote bush, Larrea tridentata (DC.) Coville. Ignition of Larrea is likely catalyzed by fuels produced by native plants that grow beneath the shrubs. We hypothesize that invasive and native species exhibit distinct flammability characteristics that in combination determine spatial patterns of fire spread and intensity. We measured flammability metrics of Larrea, two invasive grasses, Schismus arabicus and Bromus madritensis, and two native plants, the sub-shrub Ambrosia dumosa and the annual herb Amsinckia menziesii. Results of laboratory experiments show that the grasses carry fire quickly (1.32 cm/s), but burn for short duration (0.5 min) at low temperatures. In contrast, native plants spread fire slowly (0.12 cm/s), but burn up to eight times longer (4 min) and produced hotter fires. Additional experiments on the ignition requirements of Larrea suggest that native plants burn with sufficient temperature and duration to ignite dead Larrea branches (time to ignition, 2 min; temperature at ignition 692°C). Once burning, these dead branches ignite living branches in the upper portions of the shrub. Our study provides support for a conceptual model in which exotic grasses are "spreaders" of fire and native

  5. Flying Drosophila orient to sky polarization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weir, Peter T; Dickinson, Michael H

    2012-01-10

    Insects maintain a constant bearing across a wide range of spatial scales. Monarch butterflies and locusts traverse continents [1, 2], and foraging bees and ants travel hundreds of meters to return to their nests [1, 3, 4], whereas many other insects fly straight for only a few centimeters before changing direction. Despite this variation in spatial scale, the brain region thought to underlie long-distance navigation is remarkably conserved [5, 6], suggesting that the use of a celestial compass is a general and perhaps ancient capability of insects. Laboratory studies of Drosophila have identified a local search mode in which short, straight segments are interspersed with rapid turns [7, 8]. However, this flight mode is inconsistent with measured gene flow between geographically separated populations [9-11], and individual Drosophila can travel 10 km across desert terrain in a single night [9, 12, 13]-a feat that would be impossible without prolonged periods of straight flight. To directly examine orientation behavior under outdoor conditions, we built a portable flight arena in which a fly viewed the natural sky through a liquid crystal device that could experimentally rotate the polarization angle. Our findings indicate that Drosophila actively orient using the sky's natural polarization pattern. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    1981-01-24

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

  7. 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.

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

    KAUST Repository

    Cherif, Hanene; Marasco, Ramona; Rolli, Eleonora; Ferjani, Raoudha; Fusi, Marco; Soussi, Asma; Mapelli, Francesca; Blilou, Ikram; Borin, Sara; Boudabous, Abdellatif; Cherif, Ameur; Daffonchio, Daniele; Ouzari, Hadda

    2015-01-01

    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.

  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. 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

  11. 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

  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. Electrical Resistance Imaging for Evaluation of Soil-Water Behavior in Desert Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nimmo, J. R.; Perkins, K. S.; Schmidt, K. M.; Miller, D. M.; Stock, J. D.; Singha, K.

    2009-05-01

    As part of an effort to evaluate habitat types in the Mojave National Preserve, we conducted infiltration/redistribution experiments to investigate unsaturated hydraulic properties and soil-water dynamics. Two investigated locations contrasted sharply in degree of pedogenic development: (1) recently deposited sediments in an active wash and (2) a highly developed soil of late Pleistocene age. Water flow through these materials may be strongly influenced by such features as biotic crusts, vesicular horizons, textural variations, calcic horizons, preferential flow paths, and other forms of vertical and lateral spatial variability. In each location we ponded water in a 1-m-diameter infiltration ring for 2.3 h, generating 1.93 m of infiltration in the active wash and 0.52 m in the Pleistocene soil. Combining input flux data with quantitative knowledge of water content and soil water pressure over space and time provides a basis for estimating soil hydraulic properties. TDR probes and tensiometers, placed outside but within a few m of the infiltration pond at depths to 1.5 m, provided subsurface hydraulic data. In addition to probe measurements, we conducted electrical resistance imaging (ERI) measurements during the infiltration period and for six days of redistribution. Electrodes were in two crossed lines at the surface, 24 in each, at 0.5 m spacing. On each line data were collected over an eight- minute period using a hybrid geometry, with 0 to 6 electrodes skipped between those used for the measurement. Relative change in the inverted resistivities relates to relative change in soil water content. Spatially exhaustive and minimally invasive characterization is valuable because of the extreme difficulty of quantifying soil-moisture distribution over a broad heterogeneous area using a set of individual probes. Soil moisture data directly under the ponded area are especially important, and ERI was our only means for such measurements because probe installation would have required either power drilling machinery (not permitted at this wilderness location), or the punching of holes in surficial layers whose flow-impeding effects are crucial to the system under investigation. ERI results show that the relatively coarse and homogeneous active wash sediments have minimal small-scale variation in water content and comparatively little ability to retain water over time. In the older soil, infiltrated water does not go nearly as deep, but spreads to a slightly greater lateral extent; both effects are consistent with the development of horizons that contrast sharply in texture, structure, or calcification. Water content in this developed soil shows pronounced spatial variability, especially in the direction across rather than down the alluvial fan. Certain small (resistivity and its evolution over time. The rate of spreading of subsurface water, as well as the shape, character, and heterogeneity of its distribution, can be inferred from these, so the results already have substantial ecohydrologic value. Advances in ERI data inversion and water- content calibration would lead toward greatly enhanced value for quantifying unsaturated hydraulic properties and water fluxes.

  14. Multiphoton polarization Bremsstrahlung effect

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Golovinskij, P.A.

    2001-01-01

    A general approach to induced polarization effects was formulated on the basis of theory of many particles in a strong periodic field. Correlation with the perturbation theory is shown and the types of effective polarization potentials both for isolated atoms and ions, and for ions in plasma, are provided. State of art in the theory of forced polarization Bremsstrahlung effect is analyzed and some outlooks for further experimental and theoretical studies are outlined [ru

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

    OpenAIRE

    Lei Huang; Zhishan Zhang

    2015-01-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Polarization of Be stars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Johns, M.W.

    1975-01-01

    Linear polarization of starlight may be produced by electron scattering in the extended atmospheres of early type stars. Techniques are investigated for the measurement and interpretation of this polarization. Polarimetric observations were made of twelve visual double star systems in which at least one member was a B type star as a means of separating the intrinsic stellar polarization from the polarization produced in the interstellar medium. Four of the double stars contained a Be star. Evidence for intrinsic polarization was found in five systems including two of the Be systems, one double star with a short period eclipsing binary, and two systems containing only normal early type stars for which emission lines have not been previously reported. The interpretation of these observations in terms of individual stellar polarizations and their wavelength dependence is discussed. The theoretical basis for the intrinsic polarization of early type stars is explored with a model for the disk-like extended atmospheres of Be stars. Details of a polarimeter for the measurement of the linear polarization of astronomical point sources are also presented with narrow band (Δ lambda = 100A) measurements of the polarization of γ Cas from lambda 4000 to lambda 5800

  19. 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

  20. 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

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2000-01-01

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

  2. 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

  3. Soil developments in polar deserts: Implications for exobiology and future Mars missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibson, Everett K., Jr.

    1989-01-01

    Chemical alterations, weathering, and diagenesis of soil profiles from the dry valleys of Antarctica were studied as analogs of regolith development for the Martian regolith. Chemical weathering processes play an important part in soil development within the dry valleys of Antarctica. A suite of core samples were studied which were taken within the valley floors in addition to samples taken in the vicinity of evaporite and brine ponds. Analysis of water soluable cations and anions from core samples were performed along with petrographic analysis of selected samples. It was shown that ionic transport processes operate primarily above the permafrost zone. Abundances of the water soluable ions reflect the nature of secondary minerals produced by evaporation and weathering. Chloride, calcium, and sodium abundances for soils from the cores within the North and South Forks of Wright Valley, reflect the secondary mineralogy of the soil columns. Calculations for Na, Ca, and Cl abundances reflect the appearance of halite and antarcticite. In areas where excess Ca is present, X-ray diffraction studies show the presence of gypsum. It is well known that the Martian surface conditions may be favorable for chemical weathering. Primary silicates would be expected to be reactive with any ground water. It seems likely that Martian subsurface water is available to assist in the weathering of the primary minerals. Such weathering could result in the formation of clays, sulfates, carbonates, hydrates, halides, and zeolites. The dry valley cores have shown that they maybe excellent analogs to weathering processes on the near-surface of Mars. Since movement of water within the near-surface region clearly results in chemical weathering, leaching, and salt formation in the dry valleys, similar processes are probably operating within the Martian regolith.

  4. 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.

  5. [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.

  6. 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

  7. Quantification of Environmental Flow Requirements to Support Ecosystem Services of Oasis Areas: A Case Study in Tarim Basin, Northwest China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jie Xue

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Recently, a wide range of quantitative research on the identification of environmental flow requirements (EFRs has been conducted. However, little focus is given to EFRs to maintain multiple ecosystem services in oasis areas. The present study quantifies the EFRs in oasis areas of Tarim Basin, Xinjiang, Northwest China on the basis of three ecosystem services: (1 maintenance of riverine ecosystem health, (2 assurance of the stability of oasis–desert ecotone and riparian (Tugai forests, and (3 restoration of oasis–desert ecotone groundwater. The identified consumptive and non-consumptive water requirements are used to quantify and determine the EFRs in Qira oasis by employing the summation and compatibility rules (maximum principle. Results indicate that the annual maximum, medium, and minimum EFRs are 0.752 × 108, 0.619 × 108, and 0.516 × 108 m3, respectively, which account for 58.75%, 48.36%, and 40.29% of the natural river runoff. The months between April and October are identified as the most important periods to maintain the EFRs. Moreover, the water requirement for groundwater restoration of the oasis–desert ecotone accounts for a large proportion, representing 48.27%, 42.32%, and 37.03% of the total EFRs at maximum, medium, and minimum levels, respectively. Therefore, to allocate the integrated EFRs, focus should be placed on the water demand of the desert vegetation’s groundwater restoration, which is crucial for maintaining desert vegetation to prevent sandstorms and soil erosion. This work provides a reference to quantify the EFRs of oasis areas in arid regions.

  8. Ecosystem quality in LCIA

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2017-01-01

    Purpose: Life cycle impact assessment (LCIA) results are used to assess potential environmental impacts of different products and services. As part of the UNEP-SETAC life cycle initiative flagship project that aims to harmonize indicators of potential environmental impacts, we provide a consensus...... 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...

  9. List identifies threatened ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Showstack, Randy

    2012-09-01

    The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) announced on 9 September that it will develop a new Red List of Ecosystems that will identify which ecosystems are vulnerable or endangered. The list, which is modeled on the group's Red List of Threatened Species™, could help to guide conservation activities and influence policy processes such as the Convention on Biological Diversity, according to the group. “We will assess the status of marine, terrestrial, freshwater, and subterranean ecosystems at local, regional, and global levels,” stated Jon Paul Rodriguez, leader of IUCN's Ecosystems Red List Thematic Group. “The assessment can then form the basis for concerted implementation action so that we can manage them sustainably if their risk of collapse is low or restore them if they are threatened and then monitor their recovery.”

  10. Formation of Service Ecosystems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jonas, Julia M.; Sörhammar, David; Satzger, Gerhard

    – i.e. the “birth phase” (Moore, 2009) of a service ecosystem. This paper, therefore, aims to explore how the somewhat “magic” processes of service ecosystem formation that are being taken for granted actually occur. Methodology/Approach: Building on a review of core elements in the definitions...... for Harvard students) or value proposition (share messages, photos, videos, etc. with friends). Processes of configuring actors, resources, and value propositions are influenced by the structural embeddedness of the service ecosystem (e.g., regional infrastructure, existing networks of actors, or resource...... availability) as well as guided by the actors’ own and shared institutions (e.g., rules, norms,and beliefs).We contextualize each starting point with illustrative cases and analyze the service ecosystem configuration process: “Axoon/Trumpf” (initiated by resources), “JOSEPHS – the service manufactory...

  11. 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....

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. [Effects of the grain size and thickness of dust deposits on soil water and salt movement in the hinterland of the Taklimakan Desert].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Yan-Wei; Li, Sheng-Yu; Xu, Xin-Wen; Zhang, Jian-Guo; Li, Ying

    2009-08-01

    By using mcirolysimeter, a laboratory simulation experiment was conducted to study the effects of the grain size and thickness of dust deposits on the soil water evaporation and salt movement in the hinterland of the Taklimakan Desert. Under the same initial soil water content and deposition thickness condition, finer-textured (grain size of dust deposits on soil water evaporation had an inflection point at the grain size 0.20 mm, i. e., increased with increasing grain size when the grain size was 0.063-0.20 mm but decreased with increasing grain size when the grain size was > 0.20 mm. With the increasing thickness of dust deposits, its inhibition effect on soil water evaporation increased, and there existed a logarithmic relationship between the dust deposits thickness and water evaporation. Surface soil salt accumulation had a negative correlation with dust deposits thickness. In sum, the dust deposits in study area could affect the stability of arid desert ecosystem.

  17. 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

  18. Stakeholder Values and Ecosystems

    OpenAIRE

    Sveinsdottir, Thordis; Wessels, Bridgette; Smallwood, Rod; Linde, Peter; Kalla, Vasso; Tsoukala, Victoria; Sondervan, Jeroen

    2013-01-01

    This report is the deliverable for Work Package 1 (WP1), Stakeholder Values and Ecosystems, of the EU FP7 funded project RECODE (Grant Agreement No: 321463), which focuses on developing Policy Recommendations for Open Access to Research Data in Europe. WP1 focuses on understanding stakeholder values and ecosystems in Open Access, dissemination and preservation in the area of scientific and scholarly data (thus not government data). The objectives of this WP are as follows: • Identify and map ...

  19. Privacy driven internet ecosystem

    OpenAIRE

    Trinh, Tuan Anh; Gyarmati, Laszlo

    2012-01-01

    The dominant business model of today's Internet is built upon advertisements; users can access Internet services while the providers show ads to them. Although significant efforts have been made to model and analyze the economic aspects of this ecosystem, the heart of the current status quo, namely privacy, has not received the attention of the research community yet. Accordingly, we propose an economic model of the privacy driven Internet ecosystem where privacy is handled as an asset that c...

  20. 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.

  1. Status of the Desert Fireball Network

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  2. TRANSVERSELY POLARIZED Λ PRODUCTION

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    BORER, D.

    2000-01-01

    Transversely polarized Λ production in hard scattering processes is discussed in terms of a leading twist T-odd fragmentation function which describes the fragmentation of an unpolarized quark into a transversely polarized Λ. We focus on the properties of this function and its relevance for the RHIC and HERMES experiments

  3. 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…

  4. Marine polar steroids

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stonik, Valentin A

    2001-01-01

    Structures, taxonomic distribution and biological activities of polar steroids isolated from various marine organisms over the last 8-10 years are considered. The peculiarities of steroid biogenesis in the marine biota and their possible biological functions are discussed. Syntheses of some highly active marine polar steroids are described. The bibliography includes 254 references.

  5. 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

  6. Polarization Optics in Telecommunications

    CERN Document Server

    Damask, Jay N

    2005-01-01

    The strong investments into optical telecommunications in the late 1990s resulted in a wealth of new research, techniques, component designs, and understanding of polarization effects in fiber. Polarization Optics in Telecommunications brings together recent advances in the field to create a standard, practical reference for component designers and optical fiber communication engineers. Beginning with a sound foundation in electromagnetism, the author offers a dissertation of the spin-vector formalism of polarization and the interaction of light with media. Applications discussed include optical isolators, optical circulators, fiber collimators, and a variety of applied waveplate and prism combinations. Also included in an extended discussion of polarization-mode dispersion (PMD) and polarization-dependent loss (PDL), their representation, behavior, statistical properties, and measurement. This book draws extensively from the technical and patent literature and is an up-to-date reference for researchers and c...

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher P. McKay

    2016-04-01

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

  10. Soil water availability and microsite mediate fungal and bacterial phospholipid fatty acid biomarker abundances in Mojave Desert soils exposed to elevated atmospheric CO2

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jin, V. L.; Schaeffer, S. M.; Ziegler, S. E.; Evans, R. D.

    2011-06-01

    Changes in the rates of nitrogen (N) cycling, microbial carbon (C) substrate use, and extracellular enzyme activities in a Mojave Desert ecosystem exposed to elevated atmospheric CO2 suggest shifts in the size and/or functional characteristics of microbial assemblages in two dominant soil microsites: plant interspaces and under the dominant shrub Larrea tridentata. We used ester-linked phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) biomarkers as a proxy for microbial biomass to quantify spatial and temporal differences in soil microbial communities from February 2003 to May 2005. Further, we used the 13C signature of the fossil CO2 source for elevated CO2 plots to trace recent plant C inputs into soil organic matter (SOM) and broad microbial groups using δ13C (‰). Differences between individual δ13CPLFA and δ13CSOM for fungal biomarkers indicated active metabolism of newer C in elevated CO2 soils. Total PLFA-C was greater in shrub microsites compared to plant interspaces, and CO2 treatment differences within microsites increased under higher soil water availability. Total, fungal, and bacterial PLFA-C increased with decreasing soil volumetric water content (VWC) in both microsites, suggesting general adaptations to xeric desert conditions. Increases in fungal-to-bacterial PLFA-C ratio with decreasing VWC reflected functional group-specific responses to changing soil water availability. While temporal and spatial extremes in resource availability in desert ecosystems contribute to the difficulty in identifying common trends or mechanisms driving microbial responses in less extreme environments, we found that soil water availability and soil microsite interacted with elevated CO2 to shift fungal and bacterial biomarker abundances in Mojave Desert soils.

  11. SeaWinds - Oceans, Land, Polar Regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    1999-01-01

    The SeaWinds scatterometer on the QuikScat satellite makes global radar measurements -- day and night, in clear sky and through clouds. The radar data over the oceans provide scientists and weather forecasters with information on surface wind speed and direction. Scientists also use the radar measurements directly to learn about changes in vegetation and ice extent over land and polar regions.This false-color image is based entirely on SeaWinds measurements obtained over oceans, land, and polar regions. Over the ocean, colors indicate wind speed with orange as the fastest wind speeds and blue as the slowest. White streamlines indicate the wind direction. The ocean winds in this image were measured by SeaWinds on September 20, 1999. The large storm in the Atlantic off the coast of Florida is Hurricane Gert. Tropical storm Harvey is evident as a high wind region in the Gulf of Mexico, while farther west in the Pacific is tropical storm Hilary. An extensive storm is also present in the South Atlantic Ocean near Antarctica.The land image was made from four days of SeaWinds data with the aid of a resolution enhancement algorithm developed by Dr. David Long at Brigham Young University. The lightest green areas correspond to the highest radar backscatter. Note the bright Amazon and Congo rainforests compared to the dark Sahara desert. The Amazon River is visible as a dark line running horizontally though the bright South American rain forest. Cities appear as bright spots on the images, especially in the U.S. and Europe.The image of Greenland and the north polar ice cap was generated from data acquired by SeaWinds on a single day. In the polar region portion of the image, white corresponds to the largest radar return, while purple is the lowest. The variations in color in Greenland and the polar ice cap reveal information about the ice and snow conditions present.NASA's Earth Science Enterprise is a long-term research and technology program designed to examine Earth

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Tree planting in deserts and utilization of atomic energy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1991-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-09-01

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

  16. Tree planting in deserts and utilization of atomic energy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1991-06-01

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

  17. 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.

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

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Elliott, Doyle

    2003-01-01

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

  19. 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

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

    KAUST Repository

    Al-Naimi, Ali Ibrahim

    2017-01-01

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

  1. 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

  2. X-36 in Flight over Mojave Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    1997-01-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    2011-01-01

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

  7. GUIDE FOR POLARIZED NEUTRONS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sailor, V.L.; Aichroth, R.W.

    1962-12-01

    The plane of polarization of a beam of polarized neutrons is changed by this invention, and the plane can be flipped back and forth quicitly in two directions in a trouble-free manner. The invention comprises a guide having a plurality of oppositely directed magnets forming a gap for the neutron beam and the gaps are spaced longitudinally in a spiral along the beam at small stepped angles. When it is desired to flip the plane of polarization the magnets are suitably rotated to change the direction of the spiral of the gaps. (AEC)

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. The representation of neutron polarization

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Byrne, J.

    1979-01-01

    Neutron beam polarization representation is discussed under the headings; transfer matrices, coherent parity violation for neutrons, neutron spin rotation in helical magnetic fields, polarization and interference. (UK)

  12. Strategy for the development and management of deserts

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1978-02-01

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

  13. 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)

  14. Ecosystem Vulnerability Review: Proposal of an Interdisciplinary Ecosystem Assessment Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weißhuhn, Peter; Müller, Felix; Wiggering, Hubert

    2018-06-01

    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 ScienceTM 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Williams, JB; Tieleman, BI; Shobrak, M

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

  19. 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...

  20. 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...

  1. 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.)

  2. Interferometric polarization control

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chuss, David T.; Wollack, Edward J.; Moseley, S. Harvey; Novak, Giles

    2006-01-01

    We develop the Jones and Mueller matrices for structures that allow control of the path length difference between two linear orthogonal polarizations and consider the effect of placing multiple devices in series. Specifically, we find that full polarization modulation (measurement of Stokes Q, U, and V) can be achieved by placing two such modulators in series if the relative angles of the beam-splitting grids with respect to the analyzer orientation are appropriately chosen. Such a device has several potential advantages over a spinning wave plate modulator for measuring astronomical polarization in the far infrared through millimeter: (i) The use of small, linear motions eliminates the need for cryogenic rotational bearings; (ii) the phase flexibility allows measurement of circular as well as linear polarization; and (iii) this architecture allows for both multiwavelength and broadband modulation. We also present initial laboratory results

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1986-01-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. Winter precipitation and fire in the Sonoran Desert

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1987-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lægaard, Sune

    2012-01-01

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

  11. 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)

  12. No More Polarization, Please!

    OpenAIRE

    Reinholt, Mia

    2006-01-01

    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 mot...

  13. Inertial polarization of dielectrics

    OpenAIRE

    Zavodovsky, A. G.

    2011-01-01

    It was proved that accelerated motion of a linear dielectric causes its polarization. Accelerated translational motion of a dielectric's plate leads to the positive charge of the surface facing the direction of motion. Metal plates of a capacitor were used to register polarized charges on a dielectric's surface. Potential difference between the capacitor plates is proportional to acceleration, when acceleration is constant potential difference grows with the increase of a dielectric's area, o...

  14. The Polarization of Achernar

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDavid, D.

    2005-11-01

    Recent near-infrared measurements of the angular diameter of Achernar (the bright Be star alpha Eridani) with the ESO VLT interferometer have been interpreted as the detection of an extremely oblate photosphere, with a ratio of equatorial to polar radius of at least 1.56 ± 0.05 and a minor axis orientation of 39° ± 1° (from North to East). The optical linear polarization of this star during an emission phase in 1995 September was 0.12 ± 0.02% at position angle 37° ± 8° (in equatorial coordinates), which is the direction of the projection of the rotation axis on the plane of the sky according to the theory of polarization by electron scattering in an equatorially flattened circumstellar disk. These two independent determinations of the orientation of the rotation axis are therefore in agreement. The observational history of correlations between Hα emission and polarization as found in the literature is that of a typical Be star, with the exception of an interesting question raised by the contrast between Schröder's measurement of a small polarization perpendicular to the projected rotation axis in 1969--70 and Tinbergen's measurement of zero polarization in 1974.5, both at times when emission was reportedly absent.

  15. 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.

  16. Fusion of a polarized projectile with a polarized target

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Christley, J.A.; Johnson, R.C.; Thompson, I.J.

    1995-01-01

    The fusion cross sections for a polarized target with both unpolarized and polarized projectiles are studied. Expressions for the observables are given for the case when both nuclei are polarized. Calculations for fusion of an aligned 165 Ho target with 16 O and polarized 7 Li beams are presented

  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. 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 2,551km2 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 0.21–0.55/1,000km2, some of the lowest large carnivore densities ever recorded in Africa, and average home range size over 2–3 months was estimated at 1,583km2. 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. PMID:25629400

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Apparent Brecciation Gradient, Mount Desert Island, Maine

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-05-01

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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. When measured spin polarization is not spin polarization

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dowben, P A; Wu Ning; Binek, Christian

    2011-01-01

    Spin polarization is an unusually ambiguous scientific idiom and, as such, is rarely well defined. A given experimental methodology may allow one to quantify a spin polarization but only in its particular context. As one might expect, these ambiguities sometimes give rise to inappropriate interpretations when comparing the spin polarizations determined through different methods. The spin polarization of CrO 2 and Cr 2 O 3 illustrate some of the complications which hinders comparisons of spin polarization values. (viewpoint)

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Governance of Ecosystem Services

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Primmer, Eeva; Jokinen, Pekka; Blicharska, Malgorzata; Barton, David N.; Bugter, Rob; Potschin, Marion

    2015-01-01

    Biodiversity conservation policies justified with science and intrinsic value arguments have produced disappointing outcomes, and the need for conservation is now being additionally justified with the concept of ecosystem services. However, little, if any empirical attention is paid to ways in

  9. Shelf-sea ecosystems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Walsh, J J

    1980-01-01

    An analysis of the food chain dynamics of the Oregon, Alaskan, and New York shelves is made with respect to differences in physical forcing of these ecosystems. The world's shelves are 10% of the area of the ocean, yield 99% of the world's fish catch, and may be a major sink in the global CO/sub 2/ budget.

  10. Partitioning ecosystems for sustainability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murray, Martyn G

    2016-03-01

    Decline in the abundance of renewable natural resources (RNRs) coupled with increasing demands of an expanding human population will greatly intensify competition for Earth's natural resources during this century, yet curiously, analytical approaches to the management of productive ecosystems (ecological theory of wildlife harvesting, tragedy of the commons, green economics, and bioeconomics) give only peripheral attention to the driving influence of competition on resource exploitation. Here, I apply resource competition theory (RCT) to the exploitation of RNRs and derive four general policies in support of their sustainable and equitable use: (1) regulate resource extraction technology to avoid damage to the resource base; (2) increase efficiency of resource use and reduce waste at every step in the resource supply chain and distribution network; (3) partition ecosystems with the harvesting niche as the basic organizing principle for sustainable management of natural resources by multiple users; and (4) increase negative feedback between consumer and resource to bring about long-term sustainable use. A simple policy framework demonstrates how RCT integrates with other elements of sustainability science to better manage productive ecosystems. Several problem areas of RNR management are discussed in the light of RCT, including tragedy of the commons, overharvesting, resource collapse, bycatch, single species quotas, and simplification of ecosystems.

  11. Payment for ecosystem services

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zandersen, Marianne; Oddershede, Jakob Stoktoft; Pedersen, Anders Branth

    Research question: Northern Europe experiences an increasingly wet climate, leading to more frequent and severe fluvial flood events. Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) is becoming recognised as a valuable yet under-utilised means to alleviating negative effects of a changing climate. This however,...

  12. Biocomplexity in Mangrove Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feller, I. C.; Lovelock, C. E.; Berger, U.; McKee, K. L.; Joye, S. B.; Ball, M. C.

    2010-01-01

    Mangroves are an ecological assemblage of trees and shrubs adapted to grow in intertidal environments along tropical coasts. Despite repeated demonstration of their economic and societal value, more than 50% of the world's mangroves have been destroyed, 35% in the past two decades to aquaculture and coastal development, altered hydrology, sea-level rise, and nutrient overenrichment. Variations in the structure and function of mangrove ecosystems have generally been described solely on the basis of a hierarchical classification of the physical characteristics of the intertidal environment, including climate, geomorphology, topography, and hydrology. Here, we use the concept of emergent properties at multiple levels within a hierarchical framework to review how the interplay between specialized adaptations and extreme trait plasticity that characterizes mangroves and intertidal environments gives rise to the biocomplexity that distinguishes mangrove ecosystems. The traits that allow mangroves to tolerate variable salinity, flooding, and nutrient availability influence ecosystem processes and ultimately the services they provide. We conclude that an integrated research strategy using emergent properties in empirical and theoretical studies provides a holistic approach for understanding and managing mangrove ecosystems.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2013-01-01

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

  14. 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

  15. The polarization of fast neutrons

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Talov, V.V.

    2000-01-01

    The present work is the review of polarization of fast neutrons and methods of polarization analysis. This also includes information about polarization of fast neutrons from first papers, which described polarization in the D(d,n) 3 He, 7 Li(p,n) 7 Be, and T(p,n) 3 He reactions. (authors)

  16. [Urban ecosystem services: A review].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mao, Qi-zheng; Huang, Gan-lin; Wu, Jian-guo

    2015-04-01

    Maintaining and improving ecosystem services in urban areas and human well-being are essential for sustainable development and therefore constitute an important topic in urban ecology. Here we reviewed studies on ecosystem services in urban areas. Based on the concept and classification of urban ecosystem services, we summarized characteristics of urban ecosystem services, including the human domination, high demand of ecosystem services in urban areas, spatial heterogeneity and temporal dynamics of ecosystem services supply and demand in urban areas, multi-services of urban green infrastructures, the socio-economic dimension of ecosystem services supply and ecosystem disservices in urban areas. Among different urban ecosystem services, the regulating service and cultural service are particularly indispensable to benefit human health. We pointed out that tradeoffs among different types of ecosystem services mostly occur between supportive service and cultural service, as well as regulating service and cultural service. In particular, we emphasized the relationship between landscape design (i.e. green infrastructure) and ecosystem services supply. Finally, we discussed current gaps to link urban ecosystem services studies to landscape design and management and pointed out several directions for future research in urban ecosystem services.

  17. Polarized particles in storage rings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Derbenev, Ya.S.; Kondratenko, A.M.; Serednyakov, S.I.; Skrinskij, A.N.; Tumajkin, G.M.; Shatunov, Yu.M.

    1977-01-01

    Experiments with polarized beams on the VEPP-2M and SPEAK storage rings are described. Possible methods of producing polarized particle beams in storage rings as well as method of polarization monitoring are counted. Considered are the processes of radiation polarization of electrons and positrons. It is shown, that to preserve radiation polarization the introduction of regions with a strong sign-variable magnetic field is recommended. Methods of polarization measurement are counted. It is suggested for high energies to use dependence of synchrotron radiation power on transverse polarization of electrons and positrons. Examples of using polarizability of colliding beams in storage rings are presented

  18. Polarized electrons at Jefferson laboratory

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sinclair, C.K.

    1998-01-01

    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. copyright 1998 American Institute of Physics

  19. 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.

  20. Polarization: A Must for Fusion

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guidal M.

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Recent realistic simulations confirm that the polarization of the fuel would improve significantly the DT fusion efficiency. We have proposed an experiment to test the persistence of the polarization in a fusion process, using a terawatt laser hitting a polarized HD target. The polarized deuterons heated in the plasma induced by the laser can fuse producing a 3He and a neutron in the final state. The angular distribution of the neutrons and the change in the corresponding total cross section are related to the polarization persistence. The experimental polarization of DT fuel is a technological challenge. Possible paths for Magnetic Confinement Fusion (MCF and for Inertial Confinement Fusion (ICF are reviewed. For MCF, polarized gas can be used. For ICF, cryogenic targets are required. We consider both, the polarization of gas and the polarization of solid DT, emphasizing the Dynamic Nuclear polarization (DNP of HD and DT molecules.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Williams, JB; Tieleman, BI

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-11-12

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robert L. Minckley

    2013-01-01

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

  6. Electricity from the desert; Strom aus der Wueste

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schwarzburger, Heiko; Ullrich, Sven

    2013-06-15

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

  7. Cutaneous adenocarcinoma in a desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ashraf Abu-Seida

    2013-06-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    B.B.S. Kapoor* and Shelja Pandita

    2013-01-01

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

  9. Energetics and water relations ofN amib desert rodents

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, G. M.; And Others

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karpyn, Allison; Young, Candace; Weiss, Stephanie

    2012-02-01

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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

  14. Learning Desert Geomorphology Virtually versus in the Field

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Susan E. Meyer

    2011-01-01

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

  16. Ecology and utilization of desert shrub rangelands in Iraq

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Thalen, Derk Catharinus Peter

    1979-01-01

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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2003-01-01

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

  19. Climate change and climate systems influence and control the atmospheric dispersion of desert dust: implications for human health

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griffin, Dale W.; Ragaini, Richard C.

    2010-01-01

    The global dispersion of desert dust through Earth’s atmosphere is greatly influenced by temperature. Temporal analyses of ice core data have demonstrated that enhanced dust dispersion occurs during glacial events. This is due to an increase in ice cover, which results in an increase in drier terrestrial cover. A shorter temporal analysis of dust dispersion data over the last 40 years has demonstrated an increase in dust transport. Climate systems or events such as the North Atlantic Oscillation, the Indian Ocean subtropical High, Pacific Decadal Oscillation, and El Nino-Sothern Oscillation are known to influence global short-term dust dispersion occurrence and transport routes. Anthropogenic influences on dust transport include deforestation, harmful use of topsoil for agriculture as observed during the American Dust Bowl period, and the creation of dry seas (Aral Sea) and lakes (Lake Owens in California and Lake Chad in North Africa) through the diversion of source waters (for irrigation and drinking water supplies). Constituents of desert dust both from source regions (pathogenic microorganisms, organic and inorganic toxins) and those scavenged through atmospheric transport (i.e., industrial and agricultural emissions) are known to directly impact human and ecosystem health. This presentation will present a review of global scale dust storms and how these events can be both a detriment and benefit to various organisms in downwind environments.

  20. Impacts of the removal of shrubs on the physiological and biochemical characteristics of Syntrichia caninervis Mitt: in a temperate desert.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yin, Ben-Feng; Zhang, Yuan-Ming; Lou, An-Ru

    2017-04-04

    Moss crusts play important roles in biological soil crusts biomass and soil surface stabilization. However, because of increasingly intensive human activities, especially grazing, the growth and survival of shrubs are seriously threatened. This study aimed to test whether the presence of shrubs affects the physiological state of the bryophyte Syntrichia caninervis Mitt. in this desert ecosystem. We simulated animal-grazed shrubs at three levels in the Gurbantunggut Desert and compared these simulations to exposed areas, measuring the indicators of growth and stress tolerance exhibited by bryophytes. The results showed that the removal of shrubs significantly decreased chlorophyll fluorescence activity and soluble protein content in S. caninervis, especially under the total shrub removal treatment. The ratio between the total removal of shrubs and other treatments in antioxidative enzymes and in osmotic adjustment substances of S. caninervis exhibited two types of responses. With the exception of malonyldialdehyde (MDA) and superoxide dismutase (SOD), the variables examined fitted as downward parabolic then upward parabolic temporal dynamics. The removal of shrubs is harmful to the survival of S.caninervis. In resource-constrained conditions, SOD is an important antioxidant enzyme that of peroxidase (POD), catalase (CAT) and osmotic adjustment substances, for S. caninervis survival.