WorldWideScience

Sample records for sand savanna understories

  1. The influence of arbuscular mycorrhizae and light on Wisconsin (USA) sand savanna understories 2. Plant competition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landis, Frank C; Gargas, Andrea; Givnish, Thomas J

    2005-11-01

    Wisconsin (USA) oak savannas are endangered plant communities that have remarkably high plant species diversity. To investigate factors underlying this richness, we experimentally investigated the potentially interacting effects of light gradients and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) on plant competition in the greenhouse, using a fully randomized block design. We used four plant species, soil, and AMF from a remnant sand savanna, under two light and five AMF treatments. Plants were grown four per pot under two competition treatments (either one or four species per pot) for 20 weeks. Using ANOVA, we found that all species showed significant treatment effects on total and shoot biomass, primarily due to differences in competition and light, less to AMF. However, effects were the opposite of predictions. Putatively mycorrhizal plants showed neutral to negative responses to AMF, and a nonmycorrhizal species outcompeted AMF species in infected pots. We concluded that our experimental setup of small pots, sandy soil, and long growing period had induced parasitism by the AMF on susceptible hosts. This unexpected result is consistent with field data from the sand savanna, and may help explain how nonmycorrhizal plants can compete successfully with AMF species in established, species-rich communities.

  2. The influence of arbuscular mycorrhizae and light on Wisconsin (USA) sand savanna understories 1. Plant community composition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landis, Frank C; Gargas, Andrea; Givnish, Thomas J

    2005-11-01

    To explain the complex community composition found in Wisconsin (USA) oak savannas, we investigated potentially interacting effects of light gradients and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) on community composition in the greenhouse, using a fully randomized block experimental design. We used plant species, soil, and AMF from a remnant sand savanna in setting up the experiment, using two light and five AMF treatments. Eleven plant species were seeded into 80 microcosms, and they were grown together for 20 weeks. Plant numbers and biomass were measured, and Simpson's index was calculated for both. Data were analyzed using ANOVA and nonparametric ANOVA. We found significant light effects on biomass and on numbers of four species. There were no treatment effects on Simpson's index, and only Schizachyrium numbers showed a significant AMF effect. These findings are consistent with results from other studies of the sand savanna, and, collectively, these data suggest that plant community composition in this species-rich savanna is not strongly influenced by arbuscular mycorrhizae. This is a novel finding with important implications for understanding interactions between plant and AMF diversity in wild communities.

  3. Understory plant communities and the functional distinction between savanna trees, forest trees, and pines

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Veldman, Joseph W.; Mattingly, W. Brett; Brudvig, Lars A.

    2013-02-01

    Although savanna trees and forest trees are thought to represent distinct functional groups with different effects on ecosystem processes, few empirical studies have examined these effects. In particular, it remains unclear if savanna and forest trees differ in their ability to coexist with understory plants, which comprise the majority of plant diversity in most savannas. We used structural equation modeling (SEM) and data from 157 sites across three locations in the southeastern United States to understand the effects of broadleaf savanna trees, broadleaf forest trees, and pine trees on savanna understory plant communities. After accounting for underlying gradients in fire frequency and soil moisture, abundances (i.e., basal area and stem density) of forest trees and pines, but not savanna trees, were negatively correlated with the cover and density (i.e., local-scale species richness) of C4 graminoid species, a defining savanna understory functional group that is linked to ecosystem flammability. In analyses of the full understory community, abundances of trees from all functional groups were negatively correlated with species density and cover. For both the C4 and full communities, fire frequency promoted understory plants directly, and indirectly by limiting forest tree abundance. There was little indirect influence of fire on the understory mediated through savanna trees and pines, which are more fire tolerant than forest trees. We conclude that tree functional identity is an important factor that influences overstory tree relationships with savanna understory plant communities. In particular, distinct relationships between trees and C4 graminoids have implications for grass-tree coexistence and vegetation-fire feedbacks that maintain savanna environments and their associated understory plant diversity.

  4. Stable oxygen isotope and flux partitioning demonstrates understory of an oak savanna contributes up to half of ecosystem carbon and water exchange

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dubbert, Maren; Piayda, Arndt; Cuntz, Matthias; Correia, Alexandra C.; Costa e Silva, Filipe; Pereira, Joao S.; Werner, Christiane

    2014-01-01

    Semi-arid ecosystems contribute about 40% to global net primary production (GPP) even though water is a major factor limiting carbon uptake. Evapotranspiration (ET) accounts for up to 95% of the water loss and in addition, vegetation can also mitigate drought effects by altering soil water distribution. Hence, partitioning of carbon and water fluxes between the soil and vegetation components is crucial to gain mechanistic understanding of vegetation effects on carbon and water cycling. However, the possible impact of herbaceous vegetation in savanna type ecosystems is often overlooked. Therefore, we aimed at quantifying understory vegetation effects on the water balance and productivity of a Mediterranean oak savanna. ET and net ecosystem CO2 exchange (NEE) were partitioned based on flux and stable oxygen isotope measurements and also rain infiltration was estimated. The understory vegetation contributed importantly to total ecosystem ET and GPP with a maximum of 43 and 51%, respectively. It reached water-use efficiencies (WUE; ratio of carbon gain by water loss) similar to cork-oak trees. The understory vegetation inhibited soil evaporation (E) and, although E was large during wet periods, it did not diminish WUE during water-limited times. The understory strongly increased soil water infiltration, specifically following major rain events. At the same time, the understory itself was vulnerable to drought, which led to an earlier senescence of the understory growing under trees as compared to open areas, due to competition for water. Thus, beneficial understory effects are dominant and contribute to the resilience of this ecosystem. At the same time the vulnerability of the understory to drought suggests that future climate change scenarios for the Mediterranean basin threaten understory development. This in turn will very likely diminish beneficial understory effects like infiltration and ground water recharge and therefore ecosystem resilience to drought. PMID

  5. Stable oxygen isotope and flux partitioning demonstrates understory of an oak savanna contributes up to half of ecosystem carbon and water exchange.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dubbert, Maren; Piayda, Arndt; Cuntz, Matthias; Correia, Alexandra C; Costa E Silva, Filipe; Pereira, Joao S; Werner, Christiane

    2014-01-01

    Semi-arid ecosystems contribute about 40% to global net primary production (GPP) even though water is a major factor limiting carbon uptake. Evapotranspiration (ET) accounts for up to 95% of the water loss and in addition, vegetation can also mitigate drought effects by altering soil water distribution. Hence, partitioning of carbon and water fluxes between the soil and vegetation components is crucial to gain mechanistic understanding of vegetation effects on carbon and water cycling. However, the possible impact of herbaceous vegetation in savanna type ecosystems is often overlooked. Therefore, we aimed at quantifying understory vegetation effects on the water balance and productivity of a Mediterranean oak savanna. ET and net ecosystem CO2 exchange (NEE) were partitioned based on flux and stable oxygen isotope measurements and also rain infiltration was estimated. The understory vegetation contributed importantly to total ecosystem ET and GPP with a maximum of 43 and 51%, respectively. It reached water-use efficiencies (WUE; ratio of carbon gain by water loss) similar to cork-oak trees. The understory vegetation inhibited soil evaporation (E) and, although E was large during wet periods, it did not diminish WUE during water-limited times. The understory strongly increased soil water infiltration, specifically following major rain events. At the same time, the understory itself was vulnerable to drought, which led to an earlier senescence of the understory growing under trees as compared to open areas, due to competition for water. Thus, beneficial understory effects are dominant and contribute to the resilience of this ecosystem. At the same time the vulnerability of the understory to drought suggests that future climate change scenarios for the Mediterranean basin threaten understory development. This in turn will very likely diminish beneficial understory effects like infiltration and ground water recharge and therefore ecosystem resilience to drought.

  6. Stable oxygen isotope and flux partitioning demonstrates understory of an oak savanna contributes up to half of ecosystem carbon and water exchange

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maren eDubbert

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Semi-arid ecosystems contribute about 40% to global net primary production (GPP even though water is a major factor limiting carbon uptake. Evapotranspiration (ET accounts for up to 95% of the water loss and in addition, vegetation can also mitigate drought effects by altering soil water distribution. Hence, partitioning of carbon and water fluxes between the soil and vegetation components is crucial to gain mechanistic understanding of vegetation effects on carbon and water cycling. However, the possible impact of herbaceous vegetation in savanna type ecosystems is often overlooked. Therefore, we aimed at quantifying understory vegetation effects on the water balance and productivity of a Mediterranean oak savanna. ET and net ecosystem CO2 exchange (NEE were partitioned based on flux and stable oxygen isotope measurements and also rain infiltration was estimated.The understory vegetation contributed importantly to total ecosystem ET and GPP with a maximum of 43% and 51%, respectively. It reached water-use efficiencies (WUE; ratio of carbon gain by water loss similar to cork-oak trees. The understory vegetation inhibited soil evaporation (E and, although E was large during wet periods, it did not diminish WUE during water-limited times. The understory strongly increased soil water infiltration, specifically following major rain events. At the same time, the understory itself was vulnerable to drought, which led to an earlier senescence of the understory growing under trees as compared to open areas, due to competition for water. Thus, beneficial understory effects are dominant and contribute to the resilience of this ecosystem. At the same time the vulnerability of the understory to drought suggests that future climate change scenarios for the Mediterranean basin threaten understory development. This in turn will very likely diminish beneficial understory effects like infiltration and ground water recharge and therefore ecosystem resilience to

  7. Herbivory and drought interact to enhance spatial patterning and diversity in a savanna understory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Porensky, Lauren M; Wittman, Sarah E; Riginos, Corinna; Young, Truman P

    2013-10-01

    The combination of abiotic stress and consumer stress can have complex impacts on plant community structure. Effective conservation and management of semi-arid ecosystems requires an understanding of how different stresses interact to structure plant communities. We explored the separate and combined impacts of episodic drought, livestock grazing, and wild ungulate herbivory on species co-occurrence and diversity patterns in a relatively productive, semi-arid Acacia savanna. Specifically, we analyzed 9 years of biannual plant community data from the Kenya long-term exclosure experiment, a broad-scale manipulative experiment that has excluded different combinations of large mammalian herbivores from 18 4-ha plots since 1995. During droughts, we observed low species diversity and random species co-occurrence patterns. However, when rain followed a major drought, areas exposed to moderate cattle grazing displayed high species diversity and evidence of significant species aggregation. These patterns were not apparent in the absence of cattle, even if other large herbivores were present. To explore possible mechanisms, we examined patterns separately for common and rare species. We found that aggregation patterns were likely driven by rare species responding similarly to the availability of open micro-sites. Our results indicate that in a productive, fire-suppressed savanna, the combination of periodic drought and moderate cattle grazing can enhance plant biodiversity and fine-scale spatial heterogeneity by opening up space for species that are otherwise rare or cryptic. Our findings also emphasize that domestic herbivores can have significantly stronger impacts on plant community dynamics than wild herbivores, even in an ecosystem with a long history of grazing.

  8. Disentangling fragmentation effects on herbivory in understory plants of longleaf pine savanna.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levey, Douglas J; Caughlin, T Trevor; Brudvig, Lars A; Haddad, Nick M; Damschen, Ellen I; Tewksbury, Joshua J; Evans, Daniel M

    2016-09-01

    Habitat fragmentation affects species and their interactions through intertwined mechanisms that include changes to fragment area, shape, connectivity and distance to edge. Disentangling these pathways is a fundamental challenge of landscape ecology and will help identify ecological processes important for management of rare species or restoration of fragmented habitats. In a landscape experiment that manipulated connectivity, fragment shape, and distance to edge while holding fragment area constant, we examined how fragmentation impacts herbivory and growth of nine plant species in longleaf pine savanna. Probability of herbivory in open habitat was strongly dependent on proximity to forest edge for every species, increasing with distance to edge in six species (primarily grasses and annual forbs) and decreasing in three species (perennial forbs and a shrub). In the two species of perennial forbs, these edge effects were dependent on fragment shape; herbivory strongly decreased with distance to edge in fragments of two shapes, but not in a third shape. For most species, however, probability of herbivory was unrelated to connectivity or fragment shape. Growth was generally determined more strongly by leaf herbivory than by distance to edge, fragment shape, or connectivity. Taken together, these results demonstrate consistently strong edge effects on herbivory, one of the most important biotic factors determining plant growth and demography. Our results contrast with the generally inconsistent results of observational studies, likely because our experimental approach enabled us to tease apart landscape processes that are typically confounded.

  9. Seasonality of Overstory and Understory Fluxes in a Semi-Arid Oak Savanna: What can be Learned from Comparing Measured and Modeled Fluxes?

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    Raz-Yaseef, N.; Sonnentag, O.; Kobayashi, H.; Chen, J. M.; Verfaillie, J. G.; Ma, S.; Baldocchi, D. D.

    2011-12-01

    Semi-arid climates experience large seasonal and inter-annual variability in radiation and precipitation, creating natural conditions adequate to study how year-to-year changes affect atmosphere-biosphere fluxes. Especially, savanna ecosystems, that combine tree and below-canopy components, create a unique environment in which phenology dramatically changes between seasons. We used a 10-year flux database in order to define seasonal and interannual variability of climatic inputs and fluxes, and evaluate model capability to reproduce observed variability. This is based on the perception that model capability to construct the deviation, and not the average, is important in order to correctly predict ecosystem sensitivity to climate change. Our research site is a low density and low LAI (0.8) semi-arid savanna, located at Tonzi Ranch, Northern California. In this system, trees are active during the warm season (Mar - Oct), and grasses are active during the wet season (Dec - May). Measurements of carbon and water fluxes above and below the tree canopy using eddy covariance and supplementary measurements have been made since 2001. Fluxes were simulated using bio-meteorological process-oriented ecosystem models: BEPS and 3D-CAONAK. Models were partly capable of reproducing fluxes on daily scales (R2=0.66). We then compared model outputs for different ecosystem components and seasons, and found distinct seasons with high correlations while other seasons were purely represented. Comparison was much higher for ET than for GPP. The understory was better simulated than the overstory. CANOAK overestimated spring understory fluxes, probably due to the capability to directly calculated 3D radiative transfer. BEPS underestimated spring understory fluxes, following the pre-description of grass die-off. Both models underestimated peak spring overstory fluxes. During winter tree dormant, modeled fluxes were null, but occasional high fluxes of both ET and GPP were measured following

  10. Canopy structure in savannas along a moisture gradient on Kalahari sands

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Scholes, RJ

    2004-03-01

    Full Text Available vegetation index (NDVI: Tucker, 1979), a measure of vegetation greenness widely used in remote sensing that has a 30-year history spanning many different sensors and platforms. The aims of this paper are to (1) document canopy properties in a range... savannas, woodlands and grasslands. In: Global Change: Effects on Coniferous Forests and Grasslands (eds Breymeyer AI, Hall DO, Melillo JM, Agren GI), pp. 69?99. SCOPE/John Wiley and Sons, New York. Scholes RJ, Dowty PR, Caylor K et al. (2002) Trends...

  11. The contribution of trees and grasses to productivity of an Australian tropical savanna

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Caitlin E.; Beringer, Jason; Evans, Bradley; Hutley, Lindsay B.; McHugh, Ian; Tapper, Nigel J.

    2016-04-01

    Savanna ecosystems cover 20 % of the global land surface and account for 25 % of global terrestrial carbon uptake. They support one fifth of the world's human population and are one of the most important ecosystems on our planet. Savanna productivity is a product of the interplay between trees and grass that co-dominate savanna landscapes and are maintained through interactions with climate and disturbance (fire, land use change, herbivory). In this study, we evaluate the temporally dynamic partitioning of overstory and understory carbon dioxide fluxes in Australian tropical savanna using overstory and understory eddy covariance measurements. Over a 2-year period (September 2012 to October 2014) the overall net ecosystem productivity (NEP) of the savanna was 506.2 (±22 SE) g C m-2 yr-1. The total gross primary productivity (GPP) was 2267.1 (±80 SE) g C m-2 yr-1, of which the understory contributed 32 %. The understory contribution was strongly seasonal, with most GPP occurring in the wet season (40 % of total ecosystem in the wet season and 18 % in the dry). This study is the first to elucidate the temporal dynamics of savanna understory and overstory carbon flux components explicitly using observational information. Understanding grass productivity is crucial for evaluating fuel loads, as is tree productivity for quantifying the tree carbon sink. This information will contribute to a significant refinement of the representation of savannas in models, as well as improved understanding of relative tree-grass productivity and competition for resources.

  12. Restoring a disappearing ecosystem: the Longleaf Pine Savanna.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Harrington, Timothy B. [USFS; Miller, Karl V. [University of Georgia; Park, Noreen

    2013-05-01

    Longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) savannas of the southeastern United States contain some of the worlds most diverse plant communities, along with a unique complement of wildlife. Their traditionally open canopy structure and rich understory of grasses and herbs were critical to their vigor. However, a long history of land-use practices such as logging, farming, and fire exclusion have reduced this once-widespread ecosystem to only 3 percent of its original range. At six longleaf pine plantations in South Carolina, Tim Harrington with the Pacific Northwest Research Station and collaborators with the Southern Research Station used various treatments (including prescribed burns, tree thinning, and herbicide applications) to alter the forest structure and tracked how successful each one was in advancing savanna restoration over a 14-year period. They found that typical planting densities for wood production in plantations create dense understory shade that excludes many native herbaceous species important to savannas and associated wildlife. The scientists found that although tree thinning alone did not result in sustained gains, a combination of controlled burning, thinning, and herbicide treatments to reduce woody plants was an effective strategy for recovering the savanna ecosystem. The scientists also found that these efforts must be repeated periodically for enduring benefits.

  13. Disaggregating tree and grass phenology in tropical savannas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Qiang

    Savannas are mixed tree-grass systems and as one of the world's largest biomes represent an important component of the Earth system affecting water and energy balances, carbon sequestration and biodiversity as well as supporting large human populations. Savanna vegetation structure and its distribution, however, may change because of major anthropogenic disturbances from climate change, wildfire, agriculture, and livestock production. The overstory and understory may have different water use strategies, different nutrient requirements and have different responses to fire and climate variation. The accurate measurement of the spatial distribution and structure of the overstory and understory are essential for understanding the savanna ecosystem. This project developed a workflow for separating the dynamics of the overstory and understory fractional cover in savannas at the continental scale (Australia, South America, and Africa). Previous studies have successfully separated the phenology of Australian savanna vegetation into persistent and seasonal greenness using time series decomposition, and into fractions of photosynthetic vegetation (PV), non-photosynthetic vegetation (NPV) and bare soil (BS) using linear unmixing. This study combined these methods to separate the understory and overstory signal in both the green and senescent phenological stages using remotely sensed imagery from the MODIS (MODerate resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) sensor. The methods and parameters were adjusted based on the vegetation variation. The workflow was first tested at the Australian site. Here the PV estimates for overstory and understory showed best performance, however NPV estimates exhibited spatial variation in validation relationships. At the South American site (Cerrado), an additional method based on frequency unmixing was developed to separate green vegetation components with similar phenology. When the decomposition and frequency methods were compared, the frequency

  14. Bur oak savanna

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This is a summary of research and activities related to bur oak savanna on Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge between 1992 and 2006. Titles of studies summarized in...

  15. Modeling soil moisture memory in savanna ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gou, S.; Miller, G. R.

    2011-12-01

    Antecedent soil conditions create an ecosystem's "memory" of past rainfall events. Such soil moisture memory effects may be observed over a range of timescales, from daily to yearly, and lead to feedbacks between hydrological and ecosystem processes. In this study, we modeled the soil moisture memory effect on savanna ecosystems in California, Arizona, and Africa, using a system dynamics model created to simulate the ecohydrological processes at the plot-scale. The model was carefully calibrated using soil moisture and evapotranspiration data collected at three study sites. The model was then used to simulate scenarios with various initial soil moisture conditions and antecedent precipitation regimes, in order to study the soil moisture memory effects on the evapotranspiration of understory and overstory species. Based on the model results, soil texture and antecedent precipitation regime impact the redistribution of water within soil layers, potentially causing deeper soil layers to influence the ecosystem for a longer time. Of all the study areas modeled, soil moisture memory of California savanna ecosystem site is replenished and dries out most rapidly. Thus soil moisture memory could not maintain the high rate evapotranspiration for more than a few days without incoming rainfall event. On the contrary, soil moisture memory of Arizona savanna ecosystem site lasts the longest time. The plants with different root depths respond to different memory effects; shallow-rooted species mainly respond to the soil moisture memory in the shallow soil. The growing season of grass is largely depended on the soil moisture memory of the top 25cm soil layer. Grass transpiration is sensitive to the antecedent precipitation events within daily to weekly timescale. Deep-rooted plants have different responses since these species can access to the deeper soil moisture memory with longer time duration Soil moisture memory does not have obvious impacts on the phenology of woody plants

  16. Late Holocene history of savanna gallery forest from Carimagua area, Colombia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berrio; Hooghiemstra; Behling; van der Borg K

    2000-09-01

    The pollen record of a 65cm long core Laguna Carimagua-Bosque (4 degrees 04'N, 70 degrees 13'W) shows the late Holocene environmental history from a lake located within the gallery forest of the savannas of the Llanos Orientales of Colombia. Nine AMS radiocarbon dates of the organic deposits show that the core represents the period from ca. 1300(14)CyrBP to the present. The lake evolved from an active drainage system.During the period from ca. 1300 to 875(14)CyrBP (zone CMB-Ia), Mauritia-dominated swamp and gallery forest was present, dominated by Cecropia, and later also Acalypha and Alchornea. From 875 to 700(14)CyrBP (zone CMB-Ib), the lake was completely surrounded by gallery forest. Mauritiella and Cecropia occurred around the lake. Cecropia pioneer forest reached its greatest abundance and became gradually replaced by a more species-rich gallery forest, including Acalypha, Alchornea, Euterpe/Geonoma, Moraceae/Urticaceae, Piperaceae, and Virola. From 700 to 125(14)CyrBP (zone CMB-II), Cecropia lost its dominant role, and Mauritiella palms became more frequent. The main vegetation categories were swamp forest, gallery forest, understory elements, savanna shrubs and trees, and grass savanna. From 125(14)CyrBP to recent (zone CMB-III), the plant diversity in the gallery forest became highest, Mauritiella became very abundant, and among the savanna elements, woody Didymopanax increased.Comparison of four pollen records from savanna sites shows that pollen of savanna vegetation is markedly underrepresented in lake sediments when the lake lies within the gallery forest. As most of the drainage system of a savanna is hidden by gallery forest, we also expect a significant underrepresentation of the savanna ecosystem in river-transported pollen assemblages.

  17. Allocation strategies of savanna and forest tree seedlings in response to fire and shading: outcomes of a field experiment

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    Gignoux, Jacques; Konaté, Souleymane; Lahoreau, Gaëlle; Le Roux, Xavier; Simioni, Guillaume

    2016-12-01

    The forest-savanna ecotone may be very sharp in fire-prone areas. Fire and competition for light play key roles in its maintenance, as forest and savanna tree seedlings are quickly excluded from the other ecosystem. We hypothesized a tradeoff between seedling traits linked to fire resistance and to competition for light to explain these exclusions. We compared growth- and survival-related traits of two savanna and two forest species in response to shading and fire in a field experiment. To interpret the results, we decomposed our broad hypothesis into elementary tradeoffs linked to three constraints, biomass allocation, plant architecture, and shade tolerance, that characterize both savanna and adjacent forest ecosystems. All seedlings reached similar biomasses, but forest seedlings grew taller. Savanna seedlings better survived fire after topkill and required ten times less biomass than forest seedlings to survive. Finally, only savanna seedlings responded to shading. Although results were consistent with the classification of our species as mostly adapted to shade tolerance, competition for light in the open, and fire tolerance, they raised new questions: how could savanna seedlings survive better with a 10-times lower biomass than forest seedlings? Is their shade intolerance sufficient to exclude them from forest understory?

  18. Partitioning understory evapotranspiration in semi-arid ecosystems in Namibia using the isotopic composition of water vapour

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    de Blécourt, Marleen; Gaj, Marcel; Holtorf, Kim-Kirsten; Gröngröft, Alexander; Brokate, Ralph; Himmelsbach, Thomas; Eschenbach, Annette

    2016-04-01

    In dry environments with a sparse vegetation cover, understory evapotranspiration is a major component of the ecosystem water balance. Consequently, knowledge on the size of evapotranspiration fluxes and the driving factors is important for our understanding of the hydrological cycle. Understory evapotranspiration is made up of soil evaporation and plant transpiration. Soil evaporation can be measured directly from patches free of vegetation. However, when understory vegetation is present distinguishing between soil evaporation and plant transpiration is challenging. In this study, we aim to partition understory evapotranspiration based on an approach that combines the measurements of water-vapour fluxes using the closed chamber method with measurements of the isotopic composition of water vapour. The measurements were done in the framework of SASSCAL (Southern African Science Service Centre for Climate Change and Adaptive Land Management). The study sites were located in three different semi-arid ecosystems in Namibia: thornbush savanna, Baikiaea woodland and shrubland. At each site measurements were done under tree canopies as well as at unshaded areas between the canopies. We measured evaporation from the bare soil and evapotranspiration from patches covered with herbaceous species and shrubs using a transparent chamber connected with an infrared gas analyser (LI-8100A, LICOR Inc.). The stable isotope composition of water vapour inside the chamber and depth profiles of soil water stable isotopes were determined in-situ using a tuneable off-axis integrated cavity output spectroscope (OA-ICOS, Los Gatos Research, DLT 100). Xylem samples were extracted using the cryogenic vacuum extraction method and the isotopic composition of the extracted water was measured subsequently with a cavity-ring-down spectrometer (CRDS L2120-i, Picarro Inc.). We will present the quantified fluxes of understory evapotranspiration measured in the three different ecosystems, show the

  19. The ghosts of trees past: savanna trees create enduring legacies in plant species composition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stahlheber, Karen A; Crispin, Kimberly L; Anton, Cassidy; D'Antonio, Carla M

    2015-09-01

    Isolated trees in savannas worldwide are known to modify their local environment and interact directly with neighboring plants. Less is known about how related tree species differ in their impacts on surrounding communities, how the effects of trees vary between years, and how composition might change following loss of the tree. To address these knowledge gaps, we explored the following questions: How do savanna trees influence the surrounding composition of herbaceous plants? Is the influence of trees consistent across different species and years? How does this change following the death of the tree? We surveyed herbaceous species composition and environmental attributes surrounding living and dead evergreen and deciduous Quercus trees in California (USA) savannas across several years that differed in their total precipitation. Oak trees of all species created distinct, homogenous understory communities dominated by exotic grasses across several sites. The composition of the low-diversity understory communities showed less interannual variation than open grassland, despite a two-fold difference in precipitation between the driest and wettest year. Vegetation composition was correlated with variation in soil properties, which were strongly affected by trees. Oaks also influenced the communities beyond the edge of the crown, but this depended on site and oak species. Low-diversity understory communities persisted up to 43 years following the death of the tree. A gradual decline in the effect of trees on the physical, environment following death did not result in vegetation becoming more similar to open grassland over time. The presence of long-lasting legacies of past tree crowns highlights the difficulty of assigning control of the current distribution of herbaceous species in grassland to their contemporary environment.

  20. Tree-grass phenology information improves light use efficiency modelling of gross primary productivity for an Australian tropical savanna

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Caitlin E.; Beringer, Jason; Evans, Bradley; Hutley, Lindsay B.; Tapper, Nigel J.

    2017-01-01

    The coexistence of trees and grasses in savanna ecosystems results in marked phenological dynamics that vary spatially and temporally with climate. Australian savannas comprise a complex variety of life forms and phenologies, from evergreen trees to annual/perennial grasses, producing a boom-bust seasonal pattern of productivity that follows the wet-dry seasonal rainfall cycle. As the climate changes into the 21st century, modification to rainfall and temperature regimes in savannas is highly likely. There is a need to link phenology cycles of different species with productivity to understand how the tree-grass relationship may shift in response to climate change. This study investigated the relationship between productivity and phenology for trees and grasses in an Australian tropical savanna. Productivity, estimated from overstory (tree) and understory (grass) eddy covariance flux tower estimates of gross primary productivity (GPP), was compared against 2 years of repeat time-lapse digital photography (phenocams). We explored the phenology-productivity relationship at the ecosystem scale using Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) vegetation indices and flux tower GPP. These data were obtained from the Howard Springs OzFlux/Fluxnet site (AU-How) in northern Australia. Two greenness indices were calculated from the phenocam images: the green chromatic coordinate (GCC) and excess green index (ExG). These indices captured the temporal dynamics of the understory (grass) and overstory (trees) phenology and were correlated well with tower GPP for understory (r2 = 0.65 to 0.72) but less so for the overstory (r2 = 0.14 to 0.23). The MODIS enhanced vegetation index (EVI) correlated well with GPP at the ecosystem scale (r2 = 0.70). Lastly, we used GCC and EVI to parameterise a light use efficiency (LUE) model and found it to improve the estimates of GPP for the overstory, understory and ecosystem. We conclude that phenology is an important parameter to

  1. Critical Influences on Carbon Balances and Production in the Man-made Montado Savanna of Portugal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pereira, J.; Tenhunen, J.; Dinh, N. Q.; Reichstein, M.; Ribeiro, N.

    2005-12-01

    The "montado savanna" of Portugal provides ecosystem services in the form of cork from Quercus suber trees and understory forage for grazing animals. The production system is controlled directly by physical factors along regional climate and hydrological gradients as well as by human influences on fire, grazing and tree population dynamics (planting and plowing for fire control). We present an analysis of carbon and water exchange at montado savanna sites that is based on long-term eddy covariance measurements, ecophysiological field studies and process-based modelling. A pixel-oriented model set up for spatial simulations, estimates gas fluxes between vegetation and the atmosphere separately for the tree and understory compartments (subsequently combining these), allows for herbage growth and LAI development, and predicts physiological gas exchange restrictions (stomatal regulation) and herb dieback in response to reduced water availability over annual courses. Model validation has been carried out via comparisons with eddy covariance observations at the MITRA II site in Evora, Portugal. Ground level observations of ecosystem structure (LAI and tree cover), aerial photography, Landsat images, and MODIS remotely sensed data are utilized to apply the modelling and to estimate fluxes at landscape, regional and continental scales (Mediterranean basin) for similar vegetation. Potential links to tree growth models and socio-economic models are discussed.

  2. Eradicating Understory Hardwoods By Repeated Prescribed Burning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charles X. Grano

    1970-01-01

    In a loblolly-shorleaf pine stand contained abundant litter, one winter fire killed 94 percent of the stems of understory hardwoods up to 3.5 inches in diameter at teh base. Prolific sprouting ensued. Eleven annual summer burns eliminated sprouting on 85 percent of the rootstocks, and seven biennial summer burns eliminated sprouting on 59 percent of them.

  3. Forest floor depth mediates understory vigor in xeric Pinus palustris ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hiers, J Kevin; O'Brien, Joseph J; Will, Rodney E; Mitchell, Robert J

    2007-04-01

    Longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) woodlands and savannas are among the most frequently burned ecosystems in the world with fire return intervals of 1-10 years. This fire regime has maintained high levels of biodiversity in terms of both species richness and endemism. Land use changes have reduced the area of this ecosystem by >95%, and inadequate fire frequencies threaten many of the remnants today. In the absence of frequent fire, rapid colonization of hardwoods and shrubs occurs, and a broad-leaved midstory develops. This midstory encroachment has been the focus of much research and management concern, largely based on the assumption that the midstory reduces understory plant diversity through direction competition via light interception. The general application of this mechanism of degradation is questionable, however, because midstory density, leaf area, and hardwood species composition vary substantially along a soil moisture gradient from mesic to extremely xeric sites. Reanalysis of recently reported data from xeric longleaf pine communities suggests that the development of the forest floor, a less conspicuous change in forest structure, might cause a decline in plant biodiversity when forests remain unburned. We report here a test of the interactions among fire, litter accumulation, forest floor development, and midstory canopy density on understory plant diversity. Structural equation modeling showed that within xeric sites, forest floor development was the primary factor explaining decreased biodiversity. The only effects of midstory development on biodiversity were those mediated through forest floor development. Boundary line analysis of functional guilds of understory plants showed sensitivity to even minor development of the forest floor in the absence of fire. These results challenge the prevailing management paradigm and suggest that within xeric longleaf pine communities, the primary focus of managed fire regime should be directed toward the

  4. Savannas of southern Africa: attributes and use of some types along the Tropic of Capricorn

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. van der Meulen

    1983-12-01

    Full Text Available Two recent reconnaissance vegetation surveys of savanna in the Kalahari of Botswana and in the western Transvaal (RSA carried out on a landscape basis are described. Attributes and utilization of four selected stations along a transect of about 1 000 km near the Tropic of Capricorn, with a climate changing eastward from arid to subhumid. are compared. The stations represent microphyllous /íajcïfl-savannas and mesophvllous Burkea-Ochna-Terminalia savannas on deep red sands, covering extensive parts in both survey areas. Land attributes used are physiography, macro-climate, vegetation (growth, large herbivores and land use practices. The most striking difference between the four areas are the land use practices. Some notes on the survey methodology are presented. The authors conclude that for small-scale vegetation-land use surveys the 'holistic' landscape approach can be recommended.

  5. Palaeoenvironments of insular Southeast Asia during the Last Glacial Period: a savanna corridor in Sundaland?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bird, Michael I.; Taylor, David; Hunt, Chris

    2005-11-01

    Consideration of a range of evidence from geomorphology, palynology, biogeography and vegetation/climate modelling suggests that a north-south 'savanna corridor' did exist through the continent of Sundaland (modern insular Indonesia and Malaysia) through the Last Glacial Period (LGP) at times of lowered sea-level, as originally proposed by Heaney [1991. Climatic Change 19, 53-61]. A minimal interpretation of the size of this corridor requires a narrow but continuous zone of open 'savanna' vegetation 50-150 km wide, running along the sand-covered divide between the modern South China and Java Seas. This area formed a land bridge between the Malaysian Peninsula and the major islands of Sumatra, Java and Borneo. The savanna corridor connected similar open vegetation types north and south of the equator, and served as a barrier to the dispersal of rainforest-dependent species between Sumatra and Borneo. A maximal interpretation of the available evidence is compatible with the existence of a broad savanna corridor, with forest restricted to refugia primarily in Sumatra, Borneo and the continental shelf beneath the modern South China Sea. This savanna corridor may have provided a convenient route for the rapid early dispersal of modern humans through the region and on into Australasia.

  6. Deciphering the distribution of the savanna biome

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Lehmann, CER

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available framework for 6 understanding how these interact to determine the limits of the savanna biome. 7 Tropical savannas are mixed tree ? C4 grass systems that occur across approximately 8 20% of the terrestrial surface (Scholes & Hall, 1996). Savannas and C4... these other vegetation types occurs today, often in response to human activity (Bond & Parr, 15 2010). Large areas of tropical savanna and grasslands have been encroached by trees or shrubs 16 (Asner et al., 2004; Wigley et al., 2009), while elsewhere...

  7. Patterns in woody vegetation structure across African savannas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Axelsson, Christoffer R.; Hanan, Niall P.

    2017-07-01

    Vegetation structure in water-limited systems is to a large degree controlled by ecohydrological processes, including mean annual precipitation (MAP) modulated by the characteristics of precipitation and geomorphology that collectively determine how rainfall is distributed vertically into soils or horizontally in the landscape. We anticipate that woody canopy cover, crown density, crown size, and the level of spatial aggregation among woody plants in the landscape will vary across environmental gradients. A high level of woody plant aggregation is most distinct in periodic vegetation patterns (PVPs), which emerge as a result of ecohydrological processes such as runoff generation and increased infiltration close to plants. Similar, albeit weaker, forces may influence the spatial distribution of woody plants elsewhere in savannas. Exploring these trends can extend our knowledge of how semi-arid vegetation structure is constrained by rainfall regime, soil type, topography, and disturbance processes such as fire. Using high-spatial-resolution imagery, a flexible classification framework, and a crown delineation method, we extracted woody vegetation properties from 876 sites spread over African savannas. At each site, we estimated woody cover, mean crown size, crown density, and the degree of aggregation among woody plants. This enabled us to elucidate the effects of rainfall regimes (MAP and seasonality), soil texture, slope, and fire frequency on woody vegetation properties. We found that previously documented increases in woody cover with rainfall is more consistently a result of increasing crown size than increasing density of woody plants. Along a gradient of mean annual precipitation from the driest (< 200 mm yr-1) to the wettest (1200-1400 mm yr-1) end, mean estimates of crown size, crown density, and woody cover increased by 233, 73, and 491 % respectively. We also found a unimodal relationship between mean crown size and sand content suggesting that maximal

  8. Fontainebleau Sand

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Leth, Caspar Thrane

    2006-01-01

    The report is a summary of results from laboratory tests in the geotechncial research group on Fontainebleau sand.......The report is a summary of results from laboratory tests in the geotechncial research group on Fontainebleau sand....

  9. Understory plant biomass dynamics of prescribed burned Pinus palustris stands

    Science.gov (United States)

    C.A. Gonzalez-Benecke; L.J. Samuelson; T.A. Stokes; W.P. Cropper Jr; T.A. Martin; K.H. Johnsen

    2015-01-01

    Longleaf pine (Pinus palustris Mill.) forests are characterized by unusually high understory plant species diversity, but models describing understory ground cover biomass, and hence fuel load dynamics, are scarce for this fire-dependent ecosystem. Only coarse scale estimates, being restricted on accuracy and geographical extrapolation,...

  10. A sketch of the vegetation and flora of the Kappel Savanna near Tafelberg, Suriname. II

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kramer, K.U.; Donselaar, van J.

    1968-01-01

    Humiria balsamifera (Aublet) St. Hil. var. balsamifera KH 3294, var. guianensis (Benth.) Cuatrecasas KH 2954, 3288, 3313. K: Widespread, but not common, in thickets. S: Northern and southern savannas, savanna scrub and savanna woods. R: Kaieteur savanna (var. guianensis).

  11. Impact of herbaceous understory vegetation to ecosystem water cycle, productivity and infiltration in a semi arid oak woodland assessed by stable oxygen isotopes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dubbert, Maren; Piayda, Arndt; Silva, Filipe Costa e.; Correia, Alexandra C.; Pereira, Joao S.; Cuntz, Matthias; Werner, Christiane

    2015-04-01

    vegetation strongly increased rain infiltration, specifically during strong rain events. In conclusion, beneficial understory vegetation effects were dominant. However, the observed vulnerability of the understory vegetation to drought and competition for water with trees suggests, that increased drought and altered precipitation pattern as predicted in future climate change scenarios for the Mediterranean basin not only threaten understory development. They also very likely decrease rain infiltration and ground water recharge by decreasing understory vegetation cover and increasing amount of heavy precipitation events with high run-off from sealed bare soils. This in turn can severely diminish cork-oak productivity and hence the resilience of the ecosystem toward drought (Costa e Silva et al., in rev.). Dubbert, M; Cuntz, M; Piayda, A; Maguas, C; Werner, C: Partitioning evapotranspiration - Testing the Craig and Gordon model with field measurements of oxygen isotope ratios of evaporative fluxes. J Hydrol (2013) Dubbert, M; Piayda, A; Cuntz, M; Correia, AC; Costa e Silva, F; Pereira, JS; Werner, C: Stable oxygen isotope and flux partitioning demonstrates understory of an oak savanna contributes up to half of ecosystem carbon and water exchange, Frontiers in Plant Science (2014a) Dubbert, M; Mosena, A; Piayda, A; Cuntz, M; Correia, AC; Pereira, JS; Werner, C: Influence of tree cover on herbaceous layer development and carbon and water fluxes in a Portuguese cork oak woodland., Acta Oecologica

  12. African savanna-forest boundary dynamics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cuni Sanchez, Aida; White, Lee J. T.; Calders, Kim

    2016-01-01

    Recent studies show widespread encroachment of forest into savannas with important consequences for the global carbon cycle and land-atmosphere interactions. However, little research has focused on in situ measurements of the successional sequence of savanna to forest in Africa. Using long......-term inventory plots we quantify changes in vegetation structure, above-ground biomass (AGB) and biodiversity of trees ≥10 cm diameter over 20 years for five vegetation types: savanna; colonising forest (F1), monodominant Okoume forest (F2); young Marantaceae forest (F3); and mixed Marantaceae forest (F4......, savanna plots showed no detectable change in structure, AGB or diversity using this method, with zero trees ≥10 cm diameter in 1993 and 2013. F1 and F2 forests increased in AGB, mainly as a result of adding recruited stems (F1) and increased Basal Area (F2), whereas F3 and F4 forests did not change...

  13. Determinants of woody cover in African savannas

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Sankaran, M

    2005-12-08

    Full Text Available Savannas are globally important ecosystems of great significance to human economies. In these biomes, which are characterized by the co-dominance of trees and grasses, woody cover is a chief determinant of ecosystem properties (1...

  14. Overlap in nitrogen sources and redistribution of nitrogen between trees and grasses in a semi-arid savanna.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Priyadarshini, K V R; Prins, Herbert H T; de Bie, Steven; Heitkönig, Ignas M A; Woodborne, Stephan; Gort, Gerrit; Kirkman, Kevin; Fry, Brian; de Kroon, Hans

    2014-04-01

    A key question in savanna ecology is how trees and grasses coexist under N limitation. We used N stable isotopes and N content to study N source partitioning across seasons from trees and associated grasses in a semi-arid savanna. We also used (15)N tracer additions to investigate possible redistribution of N by trees to grasses. Foliar stable N isotope ratio (δ(15)N) values were consistent with trees and grasses using mycorrhiza-supplied N in all seasons except in the wet season when they switched to microbially fixed N. The dependence of trees and grasses on mineralized soil N seemed highly unlikely based on seasonal variation in mineralization rates in the Kruger Park region. Remarkably, foliar δ(15)N values were similar for all three tree species differing in the potential for N fixation through nodulation. The tracer experiment showed that N was redistributed by trees to understory grasses in all seasons. Our results suggest that the redistribution of N from trees to grasses and uptake of N was independent of water redistribution. Although there is overlap of N sources between trees and grasses, dependence on biological sources of N coupled with redistribution of subsoil N by trees may contribute to the coexistence of trees and grasses in semi-arid savannas.

  15. Savanna vegetation-fire-climate relationships differ among continents

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Lehmann, CER

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Ecologists have long sought to understand the factors controlling the structure of savanna vegetation. Using data from 2154 sites in savannas across Africa, Australia, and South America, we found that increasing moisture availability drives...

  16. Use of habitat resources by scarab dung beetles in an Savanna

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Carpaneto, Giuseppe Maria; Mazziotta, Adriano; Ieradi, Michele

    2010-01-01

    In the Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda, we compared the scarab beetle assemblages in the dung of three wild ungulates (African buffalo, a ruminant foregut fermenter; hippopotamus, nonruminant foregut fermenter; and warthog, nonruminant hindgut fermenter). Dung was collected from two sandy......-clay soils with different percentage of coarse sand. We aimed at investigating habitat resource selection by dung beetle species within a savanna natural contest with abundant and diverse food availability. Analyses were performed to detect differences for dung beetle assemblages in abundance, diversity...

  17. Assessment of bird populations in a high quality savanna/woodland: a banding approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilmore, Sandra L.; Glowacki, Gary A.; Grundel, Ralph

    2005-01-01

    Between 1999 and 2004, Save the Dunes Conservation Fund's Miller Woods Bird Banding Program monitored migrating and breeding bird populations within a high quality black oak, dry-mesic sand savanna/woodland with ridge and swale topography. The objectives of this program were to collect consistent and reliable demographic and abundance data on the bird populations, to investigate long-term population trends, and to contribute to improved land management decisions at regional and national scales. The technique employed involved capturing birds in mist nets that were deployed for set periods of time at 17 net sites in two banding areas in Miller Woods.

  18. Experimental test for facilitation of seedling recruitment by the dominant bunchgrass in a fire-maintained savanna.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gwenllian D Iacona

    Full Text Available Facilitative interactions between neighboring plants can influence community composition, especially in locations where environmental stress is a factor limiting competitive effects. The longleaf pine savanna of the southeastern United States is a threatened and diverse system where seedling recruitment success and understory species richness levels are regulated by the availability of moist microsites. We hypothesized that the dominant bunch grass species (Aristida stricta Michx. would facilitate moist seedling microsites through shading, but that the effect would depend on stress gradients. Here, we examined the environmental properties modified by the presence of wiregrass and tested the importance of increased shade as a potential facilitative mechanism promoting seedling recruitment across spatial and temporal stress gradients. We showed that environmental gradients, season, and experimental water manipulation influence seedling success. Environmental properties were modified by wiregrass proximity in a manner that could facilitate seedling success, but we showed that shade alone does not provide a facilitative benefit to seedlings in this system.

  19. Wildlife resources of the West African savanna

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bie, de S.

    1991-01-01

    The wild fauna in Africa is a renewable resource and its overexploitation has led to the depletion of animal populations. This thesis focusses on the ecological characterization of the ungulate community of the West African savanna, with special reference to the Biosphere Reserve 'Boucle du

  20. Determinants of woody cover in African savannas

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sankaran, M.; Hanan, N.P.; Scholes, R.J.; Ratnam, J.; Augustine, D.J.; Cade, B.S.; Gignoux, J.; Higgins, S.I.; Roux, Le X.; Ludwig, F.; Ardo, J.; Banyikwa, F.; Bronn, A.; Bicini, G.; Caylor, K.K.; Coughenour, M.B.; Diouf, A.; Ekaya, W.; Feral, C.J.; February, E.C.; Frost, P.G.H.; Hiernaux, P.; Hrabar, H.; Metzger, K.L.; Prins, H.H.T.; Ringrose, S.; Sea, W.; Tews, J.; Worden, J.; Zambatis, N.

    2005-01-01

    Savannas are globally important ecosystems of great significance to human economies. In these biomes, which are characterized by the co-dominance of trees and grasses, woody cover is a chief determinant of ecosystem properties 1-3. The availability of resources (water, nutrients) and disturbance

  1. Unsustainable fuelwood extraction from South African savannas

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Wessels, Konrad J

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Wood and charcoal supply the majority of sub-Saharan Africa’s rural energy needs. The long-term supply of fuelwood is in jeopardy given high consumption rates. Using airborne light detection and ranging (LiDAR), we mapped and investigated savanna...

  2. Canopy openness, understory light environments, and oak regeneration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brian C. McCarthy; Scott A. Robison

    2003-01-01

    Understory light environments were evaluated in four mixed-oak forests in southern Ohio using hemispherical photography. Within each forest, plots were divided into nine treatment combinations based on three pretreatment fire categories and three Integrated Moisture Index (IMI) categories. For each of 108 photographs we determined the percentage of open sky, direct...

  3. Rainforest and savanna landscape dynamics in New Caledonia : towards a mosaic of stable rainforest and savanna states ?

    OpenAIRE

    Ibanez, T.; Borgniet, L.; Mangeas, Morgan; Gaucherel, C.; Geraux, H.; Hely, C.

    2013-01-01

    Stable forested environments can be converted to savanna in response to changes in environmental disturbances. New Caledonia is a biodiversity hotspot; significant ecological and economic resources would be lost if forests were turned into savanna by anthropogenic environmental changes. On the landscape scale, systems that have undergone shifts of this kind are characterized by sharp forestsavanna boundaries and mosaic-like distributions of savanna and forest. Understanding the locations and ...

  4. The initial phase of a Longleaf Pine-Wiregrass Savanna restoration: species establishment and community responses.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Aschenbach, Todd, A; Foster, Bryan, L.; Imm, Donald, W.

    2010-09-01

    AbstractAbstract The significant loss of the longleaf pine-wiregrass ecosystem in the southeastern United States has serious implications for biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. In response to this loss, we have initiated a long-term and landscape-scale restoration experiment at the 80,125 ha (310 mi2) Department of Energy Savannah River Site (SRS) located near Aiken, South Carolina. Aristida beyrichiana (wiregrass), an important and dominant grass (i.e., a “matrix” species) of the longleaf pine savanna understory, and 31 other herbaceous “non-matrix” species were planted at six locations throughout SRS in 2002 and 2003. Of the 36,056 transplanted seedlings, 75% were still alive in June 2004, while mean 1–2 year survival across all planted species was 48%. Lespedeza hirta (hairy lespedeza) exhibited the greatest overall survival per 3 ×3 m cell at 95%, whereas Schizachyrium spp. (little bluestem) exhibited the greatest mean cover among individual species at 5.9%. Wiregrass survival and cover were significantly reduced when planted with non-matrix species. Aggregate cover of all planted species in restored cells averaged 25.9% in 2006. High rates of survival and growth of the planted species resulted in greater species richness (SR), diversity, and vegetative cover in restored cells. Results suggest that the loss of the longleaf pine-wiregrass ecosystem may be ameliorated through restoration efforts and illustrate the positive impact of restoration plantings on biodiversity and vegetative cover.

  5. Sands styrke

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jacobsen, H. Moust; Jørgensen, Mogens B.; Poulsen, H. Serup

    1975-01-01

    På grundlag af triaxialforsøg med D=7 og 20 cm og varierende højde på løse og faste lejringer af Blokhussand kan effekten af varierende højde-breddeforhold og spændingsniveau samt skalaeffekten bestemmes. Ved sammenligning med pladeforsøg med overfladelast op til 8 t/m2 kan den almindelige fremga...... fremgangsmåde ved bæreevneberegninger på sand undersøges....

  6. Trees improve grass quality for herbivores in African savannas

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Treydte, A.C.; Heitkonig, I.M.A.; Prins, H.H.T.; Ludwig, F.

    2007-01-01

    The tree-grass interactions of African savannas are mainly determined by varying rainfall patterns and soil fertility. Large savanna trees are known to modify soil nutrient conditions, but whether this has an impact on the quality of herbaceous vegetation is unclear. However, if this were the case,

  7. Productive leaf functional traits of Chinese savanna species.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zhang, J.L.; Poorter, L.; Cao, K.F.

    2012-01-01

    The river valleys in Southwest China are characterized by a dry–hot climate and relatively rich soils, and host valley-type savannas that are dominated by deciduous species. However, little is known about the ecological adaptations of Chinese savanna plants to the local environments. We hypothesize

  8. Fire in Australian Savannas: from leaf to landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beringer, J.

    2015-12-01

    Savanna ecosystems comprise 22% of the global terrestrial surface and 25% of Australia (almost 1.9 million km2) and provide significant ecosystem services through carbon and water cycles and the maintenance of biodiversity. The current structure, composition and distribution of Australian savannas have co-evolved with fire, yet remain driven by the dynamic constraints of their bioclimatic niche. Fire in Australian savannas influences both the biophysical and biogeochemical processes at multiple scales from leaf to landscape. Here we present the latest emission estimates from Australian savanna biomass burning and their contribution to global greenhouse gas budgets. We then review our understanding of the impacts of fire on ecosystem function and local surface water and heat balances, which in turn influence regional climate. We show how savanna fires are coupled to the global climate through the carbon cycle and fire regimes. We present new research that climate change is likely to alter the structure and function of savannas through shifts in moisture availability and increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2), in turn altering fire regimes with further feedbacks to climate. We explore opportunities to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions from savanna ecosystems through changes in savanna fire management.

  9. African Savanna-Forest Boundary Dynamics: A 20-Year Study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cuni-Sanchez, Aida; White, Lee J.T.; Calders, Kim; Jeffery, Kathryn J.; Abernethy, Katharine; Burt, Andrew; Disney, Mathias; Gilpin, Martin; Gomez-Dans, Jose L.; Lewis, Simon L.

    2016-01-01

    Recent studies show widespread encroachment of forest into savannas with important consequences for the global carbon cycle and land-atmosphere interactions. However, little research has focused on in situ measurements of the successional sequence of savanna to forest in Africa. Using long-term

  10. Can savannas help balance the South African greenhouse gas budget?

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Scholes, RJ

    1996-02-01

    Full Text Available This article discusses the South African Greenhouse Experiment on Savannas (SAGES) study conducted by the CSIR' Division of Forest Science and Technology (Foretek) on the role of savannas in the balance of the greenhouse gas budget of South Africa...

  11. Fire and grazers in the West African savanna

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Klop, Leendert Frederik

    2009-01-01

    Africa is often called ‘the fire continent’ based on the high frequency and large extent of burning. Over 200 million hectares of land are regularly burned, mostly savanna areas. In this thesis the ecological effects of fire on savanna herbivores in Bénoué National Park in North Cameroon are describ

  12. African Savanna-Forest Boundary Dynamics: A 20-Year Study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cuni-Sanchez, Aida; White, Lee J.T.; Calders, Kim; Jeffery, Kathryn J.; Abernethy, Katharine; Burt, Andrew; Disney, Mathias; Gilpin, Martin; Gomez-Dans, Jose L.; Lewis, Simon L.

    2016-01-01

    Recent studies show widespread encroachment of forest into savannas with important consequences for the global carbon cycle and land-atmosphere interactions. However, little research has focused on in situ measurements of the successional sequence of savanna to forest in Africa. Using long-term inve

  13. Water economy of neotropical savanna trees: six paradigms revisited.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guillermo Goldstein; Fredrick C. Meinzer; Sandra J. Bucci

    2008-01-01

    Biologists have long been puzzled by the striking morphological and anatomical characteristics of Neotropical savanna trees which have large scleromorphic leaves, allocate more than half of their total biomass to belowground structures and produce new leaves during the peak of the dry season. Based on results of ongoing interdisciplinary projects in the savannas of...

  14. Fire in Australian savannas: from leaf to landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beringer, Jason; Hutley, Lindsay B; Abramson, David; Arndt, Stefan K; Briggs, Peter; Bristow, Mila; Canadell, Josep G; Cernusak, Lucas A; Eamus, Derek; Edwards, Andrew C; Evans, Bradley J; Fest, Benedikt; Goergen, Klaus; Grover, Samantha P; Hacker, Jorg; Haverd, Vanessa; Kanniah, Kasturi; Livesley, Stephen J; Lynch, Amanda; Maier, Stefan; Moore, Caitlin; Raupach, Michael; Russell-Smith, Jeremy; Scheiter, Simon; Tapper, Nigel J; Uotila, Petteri

    2015-01-01

    Savanna ecosystems comprise 22% of the global terrestrial surface and 25% of Australia (almost 1.9 million km2) and provide significant ecosystem services through carbon and water cycles and the maintenance of biodiversity. The current structure, composition and distribution of Australian savannas have coevolved with fire, yet remain driven by the dynamic constraints of their bioclimatic niche. Fire in Australian savannas influences both the biophysical and biogeochemical processes at multiple scales from leaf to landscape. Here, we present the latest emission estimates from Australian savanna biomass burning and their contribution to global greenhouse gas budgets. We then review our understanding of the impacts of fire on ecosystem function and local surface water and heat balances, which in turn influence regional climate. We show how savanna fires are coupled to the global climate through the carbon cycle and fire regimes. We present new research that climate change is likely to alter the structure and function of savannas through shifts in moisture availability and increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide, in turn altering fire regimes with further feedbacks to climate. We explore opportunities to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions from savanna ecosystems through changes in savanna fire management. PMID:25044767

  15. Fire-free land use in pre-1492 Amazonian savannas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iriarte, José; Power, Mitchell J; Rostain, Stéphen; Mayle, Francis E; Jones, Huw; Watling, Jennifer; Whitney, Bronwen S; McKey, Doyle B

    2012-04-24

    The nature and scale of pre-Columbian land use and the consequences of the 1492 "Columbian Encounter" (CE) on Amazonia are among the more debated topics in New World archaeology and paleoecology. However, pre-Columbian human impact in Amazonian savannas remains poorly understood. Most paleoecological studies have been conducted in neotropical forest contexts. Of studies done in Amazonian savannas, none has the temporal resolution needed to detect changes induced by either climate or humans before and after A.D. 1492, and only a few closely integrate paleoecological and archaeological data. We report a high-resolution 2,150-y paleoecological record from a French Guianan coastal savanna that forces reconsideration of how pre-Columbian savanna peoples practiced raised-field agriculture and how the CE impacted these societies and environments. Our combined pollen, phytolith, and charcoal analyses reveal unexpectedly low levels of biomass burning associated with pre-A.D. 1492 savanna raised-field agriculture and a sharp increase in fires following the arrival of Europeans. We show that pre-Columbian raised-field farmers limited burning to improve agricultural production, contrasting with extensive use of fire in pre-Columbian tropical forest and Central American savanna environments, as well as in present-day savannas. The charcoal record indicates that extensive fires in the seasonally flooded savannas of French Guiana are a post-Columbian phenomenon, postdating the collapse of indigenous populations. The discovery that pre-Columbian farmers practiced fire-free savanna management calls into question the widely held assumption that pre-Columbian Amazonian farmers pervasively used fire to manage and alter ecosystems and offers fresh perspectives on an emerging alternative approach to savanna land use and conservation that can help reduce carbon emissions.

  16. The effects of understory vegetation on P availability in Pinus radiata forest stands:A review

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    A. Arivin Rivaie

    2014-01-01

    In many second-rotation Pinus radiata forest planta-tions, there has been a steady trend towards wider tree spacing and an increased rate of application of P fertiliser. Under these regimes, the potential for understory growth is expected to in-crease through increased light and greater nutrient resources. Therefore, understory vegetation could become a more signifi-cant component of P cycling in P. radiata forests than under closely-spaced stands. Studies have shown that growth rates and survival of trees is reduced in the presence of understory vegeta-tion due to the competition of understory vegetation with trees. Other studies have suggested that understory vegetation might have beneficial effects on nutrient cycling and conservation within forest stands. This review discusses the significance of understory vegetation in radiata pine forest stands, especially their role in enhancing or reducing P availability to forest trees.

  17. Tar sand

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    McLendon, T.R.; Bartke, T.C.

    1990-01-01

    Research on tar sand is briefly discussed. The research program supported by the US Department of Energy (DOE) includes a variety of surface extraction schemes. The University of Utah has process development units (PDU) employing fluidized bed, hot, water-assisted, and fluidized-bed/heat-pipe, coupled combustor technology. Considerable process variable test data have been gathered on these systems: (1) a rotary kiln unit has been built recently; (2) solvent extraction processing is being examined; and (3) an advanced hydrogenation upgrading scheme (hydropyrolysis) has been developed. The University of Arkansas, in collaboration with Diversified Petroleum, Inc., has been working on a fatty acid, solvent extraction process. Oleic acid is the solvent/surfactant. Solvent is recovered by adjusting processing fluid concentrations to separate without expensive operations. Western Research Institute has a PDU-scale scheme called the Recycle Oil Pyrolysis and Extraction (ROPE) process, which combines solvent (hot recycle bitumen) and pyrolytic extraction. 14 refs., 19 figs.

  18. It's in the sand

    OpenAIRE

    Mitchell, Clive

    2016-01-01

    Sand is sand isn’t it? Sand gets everywhere but rather than a nuisance it is a valuable, high-purity raw material. Clive Mitchell, Industrial Minerals Specialist at the British Geological Survey (BGS), talks us through what sand is, what it can be used for and how to find it. His exploration of sand takes us from the deserts of Arabia to the damp sand pits of Mansfield!

  19. Industrial sand and gravel

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dolley, T.P.

    2013-01-01

    Domestic production of industrial sand and gravel in 2012 was about 49.5 Mt (55 million st), increasing 13 percent compared with that of 2011. Some important end uses for industrial sand and gravel include abrasives, filtration, foundry, glassmaking, hydraulic fracturing sand (frac sand) and silicon metal applications.

  20. A model for estimating understory vegetation response to fertilization and precipitation in loblolly pine plantations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curtis L. VanderSchaaf; Ryan W. McKnight; Thomas R. Fox; H. Lee Allen

    2010-01-01

    A model form is presented, where the model contains regressors selected for inclusion based on biological rationale, to predict how fertilization, precipitation amounts, and overstory stand density affect understory vegetation biomass. Due to time, economic, and logistic constraints, datasets of large sample sizes generally do not exist for understory vegetation. Thus...

  1. Influence of light and soil moisture on Sierran mixed-conifer understory communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malcolm North; Brian Oakley; Rob Fiegener; Andrew Gray; Michael. Barbour

    2005-01-01

    Sierra Nevada forests have high understory species richness yet we do not know which site factors influence herb and shrub distribution or abundance. We examined the understory of an old-growth mixed-conifer Sierran forest and its distribution in relation to microsite conditions. The forest has high species richness (98 species sampled), most of which are herbs with...

  2. Early understory biomass response to organic matter removal and soil compaction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Felix Jr. Ponder

    2008-01-01

    In the Missouri Ozarks, 6 and 8 years after treatment, understory biomass differences between bole only harvesting (BO) and whole-tree plus forest floor harvesting were not different; neither were there understory biomass differences between no compaction and severe compaction. Separation of the biomass into broad species categories (trees, shrubs, annuals, perennials...

  3. seed longevity of dominant plant species from degraded savanna in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Mgina

    DEGRADED SAVANNA IN SEMI-ARID TANZANIA. HVM Lyaruu .... reclamation of degraded and marginal lands in Tanzania ..... from the Swedish International Development. Authority ... Ministry of. Natural Resources and Tourism, Forestry.

  4. Interim Report - Assess Wet Pine Savanna Response to Refuge Management

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Interim report provides the summary of plant inventory within a pine savanna on the MS Sandhill Crane NWR in 2011. 136 species of plants were noted in the survey.

  5. Methane emission from tropical savanna Trachypogon sp. grasses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. Sanhueza

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available Methane flux measurements from the soil-grass system were made during the wet season in unperturbed plots and plots where standing dry and green Trachypogon sp. grasses were clipped to just above the soil surface. Results support the surprising discovery that vegetation emits methane. The results of this work allows to infer that the savanna dry/green mixture of grasses produce methane at a rate of ~10 ng m−2 s−1, which is in agreement with early published soil-grass system fluxes. An extrapolation of this flux to the global savanna produces an annual emission much lower than the CH4 production recently suggested in the literature. On the other hand, during the wet season savanna soil consume CH4 at a rate of ~4.7 ng m−2 s−1. Therefore, the tropical savanna soil-grass system would make a modest contribution to the global budget of methane.

  6. Quantifying Savanna Woody Cover in the Field and on Historical ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    jed1z

    woody encroachment on savanna rangelands using historical high spatial ..... On the colour aerial photographs that were used in this study, tree shadow was .... Witkowski, ETF & Garner, RD 2000, 'Spatial distribution of soil seed banks of ...

  7. Lidar remote sensing of savanna biophysical attributes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gwenzi, David

    Although savanna ecosystems cover approximately 20 % of the terrestrial land surface and can have productivity equal to some closed forests, their role in the global carbon cycle is poorly understood. This study explored the applicability of a past spaceborne Lidar mission and the potential of future missions to estimate canopy height and carbon storage in these biomes. The research used data from two Oak savannas in California, USA: the Tejon Ranch Conservancy in Kern County and the Tonzi Ranch in Santa Clara County. In the first paper we used non-parametric regression techniques to estimate canopy height from waveform parameters derived from the Ice Cloud and land Elevation Satellite's Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (ICESat-GLAS) data. Merely adopting the methods derived for forests did not produce adequate results but the modeling was significantly improved by incorporating canopy cover information and interaction terms to address the high structural heterogeneity inherent to savannas. Paper 2 explored the relationship between canopy height and aboveground biomass. To accomplish this we developed generalized models using the classical least squares regression modeling approach to relate canopy height to above ground woody biomass and then employed Hierarchical Bayesian Analysis (HBA) to explore the implications of using generalized instead of species composition-specific models. Models that incorporated canopy cover proxies performed better than those that did not. Although the model parameters indicated interspecific variability, the distribution of the posterior densities of the differences between composition level and global level parameter values showed a high support for the use of global parameters, suggesting that these canopy height-biomass models are universally (large scale) applicable. As the spatial coverage of spaceborne lidar will remain limited for the immediate future, our objective in paper 3 was to explore the best means of extrapolating

  8. Understory vegetation leads to changes in soil acidity and in microbial communities 27 years after reforestation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fu, Xiaoli; Yang, Fengting; Wang, Jianlei; Di, Yuebao; Dai, Xiaoqin; Zhang, Xinyu; Wang, Huimin

    2015-01-01

    Experiments with potted plants and removed understories have indicated that understory vegetation often affects the chemical and microbial properties of soil. In this study, we examined the mechanism and extent of the influence of understory vegetation on the chemical and microbial properties of soil in plantation forests. The relationships between the vegetational structure (diversity for different functional layers, aboveground biomass of understory vegetation, and species number) and soil properties (pH, microbial community structure, and levels of soil organic carbon, total nitrogen, and inorganic nitrogen) were analyzed across six reforestation types (three pure needleleaf forests, a needle-broadleaf mixed forest, a broadleaf forest, and a shrubland). Twenty-seven years after reforestation, soil pH significantly decreased by an average of 0.95 across reforestation types. Soil pH was positively correlated with the aboveground biomass of the understory. The levels of total, bacterial, and fungal phospholipid fatty acids, and the fungal:bacterial ratios were similar in the shrubland and the broadleaf forest. Both the aboveground biomass of the understory and the diversity of the tree layer positively influenced the fungal:bacterial ratio. Improving the aboveground biomass of the understory could alleviate soil acidification. An increase in the aboveground biomass of the understory, rather than in understory diversity, enhanced the functional traits of the soil microbial communities. The replacement of pure plantations with mixed-species stands, as well as the enhancement of understory recruitment, can improve the ecological functions of a plantation, as measured by the alleviation of soil acidification and increased fungal dominance.

  9. Estimating Understory Temperatures Using MODIS LST in Mixed Cordilleran Forests

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David N. Laskin

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Satellite remote sensing provides a rapid and broad-scale means for monitoring vegetation phenology and its relationship with fluctuations in air temperature. Investigating the response of plant communities to climate change is needed to gain insight into the potentially detrimental effects on ecosystem processes. While many studies have used satellite-derived land surface temperature (LST as a proxy for air temperature, few studies have attempted to create and validate models of forest understory temperature (Tust, as it is obscured from these space-borne observations. This study worked to predict instantaneous values of Tust using daily Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS LST data over a 99,000 km2 study area located in the Rocky Mountains of western Alberta, Canada. Specifically, we aimed to identify the forest characteristics that improve estimates of Tust over using LST alone. Our top model predicted Tust to within a mean absolute error (MAE of 1.4 °C with an overall model fit of R2 = 0.89 over two growing seasons. Canopy closure and the LiDAR-derived standard deviation of canopy height metric were found to significantly improve estimations of Tust over MODIS LST alone. These findings demonstrate that canopy structure and forest stand-type function to differentiate understory air temperatures from ambient canopy temperature as seen by the sensor overhead.

  10. Understory species richness in an urban forest fragment, Pernambuco, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Cristina Ramos de Souza

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available This study characterizes the floristic composition of the understory of Parque Estadual de Dois Irmãos, (08°01’15.1”S and 34°56’3.2”W, an area of about 370ha characterized as a lowland ombrophilous dense forest. The study included individuals with heights of up to 4.0m, such as treelets, shrubs, sub-bushes and terricolous herb plants, in fertile conditions. The collections were made every two weeks along a period of 24 months. A total of 108 species, belonging to 86 genera and 49 families, were recorded. The families with the highest number of species were Rubiaceae (14, Fabaceae (9 Melastomataceae (8, Asteraceae (8, Myrtaceae (6, and Poaceae (4. The Fabaceae, Melastomataceae, Myrtaceae and Rubiaceae presented the highest number of understory species in this fragment. Generally, among the studies made in the Atlantic forest areas in Pernambuco, the presence of a set of tree species common to these forests is evidenced.

  11. Eastern Scheldt Sand, Baskarp Sand No. 15

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, A. T; Madsen, E. B.; Schaarup-Jensen, A. L.

    The present data report contains data from 13 drained triaxial tests, performed on two different sand types in the Soil Mechanics Laboratory at Aalborg University in March, 1997. Two tests have been performed on Baskarp Sand No. 15, which has already ken extensively tested in the Soil Mechanics...... Laboratory. The remaining 11 triaxial tests have ben performed on Eastern Scheldt Sand, which is a material not yet investigated at the Soil Mechanics Laboratory. In the first pari of this data report, the characteristics of the two sand types in question will be presented. Next, a description...

  12. Species-specific associations between overstory and understory tree species in a semideciduous tropical forest

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Flaviana Maluf Souza

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available We investigated the occurrence of associations between overstory and understory tree species in a semideciduous tropical forest. We identified and measured all trees of nine canopy species with diameter at breast height ≥4.8 cm in a 10.24 ha plot and recorded all individuals beneath their canopies ("understory individuals" within the same diameter class. The total density of understory individuals did not significantly differ under different overstory species. One overstory species (Ceiba speciosa showed higher understory species richness compared with five other species. There was a strong positive association between three overstory species (Esenbeckia leiocarpa, Savia dictyocarpa, and C. speciosa and the density of seven understory species (Balfourodendron riedelianum, Chrysophyllum gonocarpum, E. leiocarpa, Holocalyx balansae, Machaerium stipitatum, Rhaminidium elaeocarpum, and S. dictyocarpa. These results probably reflect the outcome of a complex set of interactions including facilitation and competition, and further studies are necessary to better understand the magnitude and type of the effects of individual overstory species on understory species. The occurrence of species-specific associations shown here reinforces the importance of non-random processes in structuring plant communities and suggest that the influence of overstory species on understory species in high-diversity forests may be more significant than previously thought.

  13. Atmospheric nitrogen budget in Sahelian dry savannas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. Delon

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available The atmospheric nitrogen budget depends on emission and deposition fluxes both as reduced and oxidized nitrogen compounds. In this study, a first attempt at estimating the Sahel nitrogen budget for the year 2006 is made, through measurements and simulations at three stations from the IDAF network situated in dry savanna ecosystems. Dry deposition fluxes are estimated from measurements of NO2, HNO3 and NH3 gaseous concentrations, and wet deposition fluxes are calculated from NH4+ and NO3 concentrations in samples of rain. Emission fluxes are estimated including biogenic emission of NO from soils (an Artificial Neural Network module has been inserted into the ISBA-SURFEX surface model, emission of NOx and NH3 from domestic fires and biomass burning, and volatilization of NH3 from animal excreta.

    This study uses original and unique data from remote and hardly-ever-explored regions. The monthly evolution of oxidized N compounds shows that deposition increases at the beginning of the rainy season because of large emissions of biogenic NO (pulse events. Emission of oxidized compounds is dominated by biogenic emission from soils (domestic fires and biomass burning account for 27% at the most, depending on the station, whereas emission of NH3 is dominated by the process of volatilization. Deposition fluxes are dominated by gaseous dry deposition processes (58% of the total, for both oxidized and reduced compounds. The average deposition flux in dry savanna ecosystems ranges from 8.6 to 10.9 kgN ha−1 yr−1, with 30% attributed to oxidized compounds, and the other 70% attributed to NHx. The average emission flux ranges from 7.8 to 9.7 kgN ha−1 yr−1, dominated by NH3 volatilization (67% and biogenic emission from soils (24%. The annual budget is then

  14. Atmospheric nitrogen budget in Sahelian dry savannas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. Delon

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available The atmospheric nitrogen budget depends on emission and deposition fluxes both as reduced and oxidized nitrogen compounds. In this study, a first attempt at estimating the Sahel nitrogen budget for the year 2006 is made, through measurements and simulations at three stations from the IDAF network situated in dry savanna ecosystems. Dry deposition fluxes are estimated from measurements of NO2, HNO3 and NH3 gaseous concentrations and from simulated dry deposition velocities, and wet deposition fluxes are calculated from NH4+ and NO3 concentrations in samples of rain. Emission fluxes are estimated including biogenic emission of NO from soils (an Artificial Neural Network module has been inserted into the ISBA-SURFEX surface model, emission of NOx and NH3 from domestic fires and biomass burning, and volatilization of NH3 from animal excreta. Uncertainties are calculated for each contribution of the budget.

    This study uses original and unique data from remote and hardly-ever-explored regions.The monthly evolution of oxidized N compounds shows that emission and deposition increase at the beginning of the rainy season because of large emissions of biogenic NO (pulse events. Emission of oxidized compounds is dominated by biogenic emission from soils (domestic fires and biomass burning of oxidized compounds account for 0 to 13% at the most at the annual scale, depending on the station, whereas emission of NH3 is dominated by the process of volatilization from soils. At the annual scale, the average gaseous dry deposition accounts for 47% of the total estimated deposition flux, for both oxidized and reduced compounds. The average estimated wet plus dry deposition flux in dry savanna ecosystems is 7.5±1.8 kgN ha−1 yr−1, with approximately 30% attributed to oxidized compounds, and the rest attributed

  15. Influence green sand system by core sand additions

    OpenAIRE

    N. Špirutová; J. Beňo; V. Bednářová; J. Kříž; M. Kandrnál

    2012-01-01

    Today, about two thirds of iron alloys casting (especially for graphitizing alloys of iron) are produced into green sand systems with usually organically bonded cores. Separation of core sands from the green sand mixture is very difficult, after pouring. The core sand concentration increase due to circulation of green sand mixture in a closed circulation system. Furthermore in some foundries, core sands have been adding to green sand systems as a replacement for new sands. The goal of this co...

  16. Baskarp Sand No. 15

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Borup, Marianne; Hedegaard, Jette

    The Soil Mechanics Laboratory has started performing tests with a new sand, Baskarp No 15. Baskarp No 15 is a graded sand from Sweden. The shapes of the largest grains are round, while the small grains have sharp edges. The main part of of Baskarp No 15 is quarts, but it also contains feldspar...... and biotit. Mainly the sand will be used for tests concerning the development og the theory of building up pore pressure in sand, L. B. Ibsen 1993....

  17. Lund Sand No 0

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ibsen, Lars Bo; Jakobsen, Finn Rosendal

    During the last 15 years the Geotechnical Engineering Group (GEG) at Aalborg University has performed triaxial tests with a sand called Lund No 0. Lund No 0 is a graded sand from a gravel pit near Horsens in Denmark. For the classification of the sand the following tests have been performed: Sieve...

  18. Foliar application of TXCs on understory species of mesic forest

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Whitford, P.B.

    1968-01-01

    Foliar application to the understory in a Liriodendron forest of 35 Ci/mS of TXCs diluted in 11/mS water showed 18% retention of the isotope on foliage after 2 hr, 9, 8 and 7% after 2, 4, and 6 weeks; the major part of the applied solution dripped onto the litter layer. Approximately 22 cm of rain during the test period accounted for most of the reduction in isotope in the foliage, as well as for transfer through the litter to the top 5 cm of soil (23% of application) by the end of the sixth week. Less than 4% was absorbed and translocated to stem and roots. Differences, between species are probably related to leaf surface structure, mass/area ratio, and leaf orientation. 6 references, 1 figure, 3 tables.

  19. Understory succession in post-agricultural oak plantations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Brunet, Jörg; Valtinat, Karin; Mayr, Marian Lajos

    2011-01-01

    -agricultural plantation forests. We studied effects of stand age, forest fragmentation, and soil and canopy conditions on species richness and abundance of four species groups in the understory of post-arable oak plantations in southern Sweden: herbaceous forest specialists, habitat generalists and open land species......, and woody species. The group of forest specialists may approach the richness of continuously forested sites after 60-80 years in non-fragmented plantations, but many forest species were sensitive to habitat fragmentation. Open-land species richness decreased during succession, while the richness of woody...... species and of generalists remained stable, and were not affected by fragmentation. Abundance of generalists gradually decreased in non-fragmented plantations, probably due to competition from colonizing forest specialists. Soil pH in post-arable stands remained consistently higher than in continuously...

  20. The development of savanna afforestation in northern Nigeria

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kadeba, O. (Forestry Research Institute, Ibadan (Nigeria))

    1978-06-01

    The savanna woodland which covers over 80% of the land area of Nigeria is not capable of meeting the requirements of its population for wood and wood products. Since its inception in 1964, the Savanna Forestry Research Project has been concerned mainly with the problems of wood production in this region. The major constraints to tree planting, which include seasonal deficiencies of soil and atmospheric moisture, low levels of soil fertility, selection of suitable exotic tree species and competition in the early stages of tree growth with grasses, have been identified. References are made to some of the major problems that have been solved and those that are being tackled. Some species of exotic trees have proven adaptive to the savanna conditions and are known to be superior to the native savanna trees in terms of growth rates, yields and utility values. The exotic trees which can grown well in the different savanna climatic zones include several species of Eucalyptus and Pinus in addition to teak (Tectona grandis), Gmelina arborea, and neem (Azadirachta indica).

  1. Palynological data on the history of tropical savannas in northern South America

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wijmstra, T.A.; Hammen, van der T.

    1966-01-01

    A number of pollen diagrams from the Llanos Orientales of Colombia and the Rupununi Savannas of Guyana show that the actual open savannas were preceded by a closed savanna woodland or dry forest with Byrsonima as principal pollen producer. Human influence during the last 3000 years was apparently an

  2. Evaluation of Forest Canopy and Understory Gap Fraction Derived from Terrestrial Laser Scanning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, K. C.; Wang, C. K.

    2016-06-01

    The quantification of forest carbon sequestration is helpful to understand the carbon storage on the Earth. The estimation of forest carbon sequestration can be achieved by the use of leaf area index (LAI), which is derived from forest gap fraction. The hemispherical image-based technique is the most popular non-destructive means for obtaining such information. However, only the gap fraction of the top canopy is derived due to the limitation of imaging technique. The gap fraction information of understory is thus neglected. In this study, we evaluate the use of a terrestrial laser scanner (TLS) to obtain the forest canopy and understory gap fraction. The forest TLS data were manually classified as the top canopy and understory layers to facilitate the estimation of top canopy and understory gap fraction, respectively.

  3. Dynamics of understory biomass in Sitka spruce-western hemlock forests of southeast Alaska

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Several understory communities display successional stages during the first 200 years after logging or fire disturbance in the Coastal Picea-Tsuga forests of...

  4. Survey of understory plant diversity in mature bottomland hardwood tracts in the Mississippi Delta

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This research was designed to collect data on the understory plant composition of remnant bottomland hardwood forest tracts on accessible public lands in the LMAV...

  5. Static terrestrial laser scanning of juvenile understory trees for field phenotyping

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Huanhuan; Lin, Yi

    2014-11-01

    This study was to attempt the cutting-edge 3D remote sensing technique of static terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) for parametric 3D reconstruction of juvenile understory trees. The data for test was collected with a Leica HDS6100 TLS system in a single-scan way. The geometrical structures of juvenile understory trees are extracted by model fitting. Cones are used to model trunks and branches. Principal component analysis (PCA) is adopted to calculate their major axes. Coordinate transformation and orthogonal projection are used to estimate the parameters of the cones. Then, AutoCAD is utilized to simulate the morphological characteristics of the understory trees, and to add secondary branches and leaves in a random way. Comparison of the reference values and the estimated values gives the regression equation and shows that the proposed algorithm of extracting parameters is credible. The results have basically verified the applicability of TLS for field phenotyping of juvenile understory trees.

  6. Effects of restoring oak savannas on bird communities and populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brawn, Jeffrey D

    2006-04-01

    Efforts to restore and maintain oak savannas in North America, with emphasis on the use of prescribed fire, have become common. Little is known, however about how restoration affects animal populations, especially those of birds. I compared the breeding densities, community structure, and reproductive success of birds in oak savannas maintained by prescribed fire (12 sites) with those in closed-canopy forests (13 sites). All sampling was conducted in Illinois (U.S.A.). Of the 31 bird species analyzed, 12 were more common in savannas, 14 were not affected by habitat structure, and 5 were more common in forest habitat. The species favored by disturbance and restoration included Northern Bobwhites (Colinus virginianus), Mourning Doves (Zenaida macroura), Red-headed Woodpeckers (Melanerpes erythrocephalus), Indigo Buntings (Passerina cyanea), and Baltimore Orioles (Icterus galbula). Those more common in closed-canopy forest included Ovenbirds (Seiurus aurocapilla) and Wood Thrushes (Hylocichla mustelina). Few species were unique to one type of habitat, but overall avian community structure in oak savannas and closed-canopy forests was generally distinctive. Estimates of nesting success (derived from 785 nests) revealed that 6 of the 13 species considered experienced greater productivity in the savanna habitat. Rates of brood parasitism were unaffected by restoration and habitat structure. Within savannas, tract size had little effect on breeding abundances and reproductive success. My results illustrate that restoration techniques can significantly affect the ecology of constituent animal populations and communities and have key implications regarding avian conservation and the management of forest habitat in fragmented landscapes. Small patches of forest habitat that regularly function as population sinks may offer far better prospects for birds if they are subjected to disturbance and ecosystem restoration.

  7. Eco-hydrology driven fire regime in savanna.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ursino, Nadia

    2014-08-21

    Fire is an important evolutionary force and ecosystem consumer that shapes savanna composition. However, ecologists have not comprehensively explained the functioning and maintenance of flammable savannas. A new minimal model accounting for the interdependence between soil saturation, biomass growth, fuel availability and fire has been used to predict the increasing tree density and fire frequency along a Mean Annual Rainfall (MAR) gradient for a typical savanna. Cyclic fire recurrence is reproduced using a predator prey approach in which fire is the "predator" and vegetation is the "prey". For the first time, fire frequency is not defined a priori but rather arises from the composition of vegetation, which determines fuel availability and water limitation. Soil aridity affects fuel production and fuel composition, thus indirectly affecting the ecosystem vulnerability to fire and fire frequency. The model demonstrates that two distinct eco-hydrological states correspond to different fire frequencies: (i) at low MAR, grass is abundant and the impact of fire on the environment is enhanced by the large fuel availability, (ii) at higher MAR, tree density progressively increases and provides less fuel for fire, leading to more frequent and less destructive fires, and (iii) the threshold MAR that determines the transition between the two states and the fire frequency at high MAR are affected by the vulnerability of trees to grass fire. The eco-hydrology-driven predator-prey model originally predicts that the transition between dry and wet savanna is characterized by a shift in wildfire frequency driven by major differences in soil moisture available for plants and savanna structure. The shift and the role of fire in conserving savanna ecosystems could not have been predicted if fire was considered as an external forcing rather than an intrinsic property of the ecosystem.

  8. [Effects of understory removal on soil greenhouse gas emissions in Carya cathayensis stands].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Juan; Chen, Xue-shuang; Wu, Jia-sen; Jiang, Pei-kun; Zhou, Guo-mo; Li, Yong-fu

    2015-03-01

    CO2, N2O and CH4 are important greenhouse gases, and soils in forest ecosystems are their important sources. Carya cathayensis is a unique tree species with seeds used for high-grade dry fruit and oil production. Understory vegetation management plays an important role in soil greenhouse gases emission of Carya cathayensis stands. A one-year in situ experiment was conducted to study the effects of understory removal on soil CO2, N2O and CH4 emissions in C. cathayensis plantation by closed static chamber technique and gas chromatography method. Soil CO2 flux had a similar seasonal trend in the understory removal and preservation treatments, which was high in summer and autumn, and low in winter and spring. N2O emission occurred mainly in summer, while CH4 emission showed no seasonal trend. Understory removal significantly decreased soil CO, emission, increased N2O emission and CH4 uptake, but had no significant effect on soil water soluble organic carbon and microbial biomass carbon. The global warming potential of soil greenhouse gases emitted in the understory removal. treatment was 15.12 t CO2-e . hm-2 a-1, which was significantly lower than that in understory preservation treatment (17.04 t CO2-e . hm-2 . a-1).

  9. Transpiration rates and canopy conductance of Pinus radiata growing with different pasture understories in agroforestry systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Blair J.; Clinton, Peter W.; Buchan, Graeme D.; Robson, A. Bruce

    1998-01-01

    We measured tree transpiration and canopy conductance in Pinus radiata D. Don at two low rainfall sites of differing soil fertility in Canterbury, New Zealand. At the more fertile Lincoln site, we also assessed the effects of two common pasture grasses on tree transpiration and canopy conductance. At the less fertile Eyrewell Forest site, the effect of no understory, and the effects of irrigation in combination with mixtures of grass or legume species were determined. Tree xylem sap flux (F(d)') was measured by the heat pulse method. Total canopy conductance to diffusion of water vapor (G(t)) was calculated by inverting a simplified Penman-Monteith model. The different treatment effects were modeled by the simple decaying exponential relationship G(t) = G(tmax)e((-bD)), where D = air saturation deficit. At the Lincoln site, trees with an understory of cocksfoot had lower F(d)' and G(tmax) than trees with an understory of ryegrass, although the sensitivity of G(t) to increasing D (i.e., the value of b) did not differ between treatments. At the Eyrewell site, irrigation only increased F(d)' in the absence of an understory, whereas the presence of understory vegetation, or lack of irrigation, or both, significantly reduced G(tmax) and increased b. We conclude that the selection of understory species is critical in designing successful agroforestry systems for low rainfall areas.

  10. Effects of tree harvest on the stable-state dynamics of savanna and forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tredennick, Andrew T; Hanan, Niall P

    2015-05-01

    Contemporary theory on the maintenance and stability of the savanna biome has focused extensively on how climate and disturbances interact to affect tree growth and demography. In particular, the role of fire in reducing tree cover from climatic maxima is now well appreciated, and in certain cases, herbivory also strongly affects tree cover. However, in African savannas and forests, harvest of trees by humans for cooking and heating is an oft overlooked disturbance. Thus, we incorporate tree harvest into a population dynamic model of grasses, savanna saplings, savanna trees, and forest trees. We use assumptions about the differential demographic responses of savanna trees and forest trees to harvest to show how tree harvest influences tree cover, demography, and community composition. Tree harvest can erode the intrinsic basin of attraction for forest and make a state transition via fire to savanna more likely. The savanna state is generally resilient to all but high levels of tree harvest because of the resprouting abilities of savanna trees. In the absence of active fire suppression, our analysis suggests that we can expect to see large and potentially irreversible shifts from forest to savanna as demand increases for charcoal in sub-Saharan Africa. On the other hand, savanna tree species' traits promote savanna stability in the face of low to moderate harvest pressure.

  11. Rangeland degradation in savannas of South Africa: spatial patterns of soil and vegetation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sandhage-Hofmann, Alexandra; Löffler, Jörg; du Preez, Chris; Kotzé, Elmarie; Weijers, Stef; Wundram, Dirk; Zacharias, Maximilan; Amelung, Wulf

    2017-04-01

    Extensive bush encroachment by Acacia mellifera and associated woody species at semi-arid and arid sites are the most notable forms of rangeland degradation in savannas of South Africa. Concerns are growing over the threat of suppression and loss of nutritious perennial grass species. Grazing and different rangeland management systems (communal and freehold) are considered to be of major importance for degradation, but the process of encroachment is not restricted to communal land. A vegetation change is mostly accompanied by changes in soil properties, where soils in savanna systems can profit from woody species due to litter fall, root distribution, shadow and animal resting time. Savannas are very heterogeneous systems with high spatial variation of patches with wood, herbaceous species and bare ground. We hypothesized that the spatial patterns of soil properties in South Africás rangelands are controlled by present or past vegetation, modulated by the tenure systems with higher rangeland degradation in communal areas. To test this, we sampled soils at communal and commercial land in the Kuruman area of South Africa with the following design: three farms per tenure system, 6 randomly chosen plots (100x100m) per farm, and 25 soil samples (0-10 cm) per plot, each in a 5x5m sampling area. At every sampling point, information of overlying vegetation was recorded (species or bare soil, canopy size, height). For each sampling area, if present, trees/ shrubs were sampled and their ages estimated through the counting of annual growth rings. For each plot, high resolution UAV aerial photos were taken to evaluate the extent of bush encroachment. Analyses involved main physical and chemical soil parameters and isotopic analyses. The results of a rough aerial image classification (grass, woody species, bare ground) revealed significant differences between the tenure systems with higher coverage of bare ground and shrubs at communal farms, and higher grass cover at

  12. Fire in Australian Savannas: from leaf to landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beringer, J.; Hutley, L. B.; Tapper, N. J.; Cernusak, L. A.; Lynch, A. H.; Görgen, K.; Abramson, D.; Uotila, P.

    2009-04-01

    Tropical savanna ecosystems account for 11.5% of the global landscape (Scholes and Hall 1996). Up to 75% of this landscape burns annually (Hao et al. 1990) and 50% of all biomass burning in tropical regions originates from savannas (Hao and Liu 1994). The wet-dry tropics of northern Australia feature extensive tracts of savanna vegetation which occupy approximately 2 million km2. This area is equivalent to 12% of the world's tropical savanna estate, making this savanna biome of global significance. Fire is arguably the greatest natural and anthropogenic environmental disturbance in this region. Vast tracts are burnt each year by pastoralists, aboriginal landholders and conservation managers (Russell-Smith et al. 2000; Williams et al. 2002). Fire in Australian savannas, results in a scorched canopy that dramatically reduces the green Leaf Area Index (LAI) and blackens the soil. These surface changes are likely to result in altered energy partitioning (enhanced sensible heat flux) and shifts in albedo. In addition, the aerodynamic and biological properties of the ecosystem may change, affecting surface-atmosphere coupling. For example, a loss of canopy leaf area due to fire could reduce canopy photosynthesis and evapotranspiration, greatly influencing post-fire fluxes of water and carbon. We measured radiative, energy and carbon exchanges over unburned and burned open forest savanna at Howard Springs, Darwin, Australia. Fire affected the radiative balance immediately following fire through the consumption of the grass-dominated understorey and blackening of the surface. Albedo was halved following fire (0.12 to 0.06). A moderate intensity fire resulted in a comprehensive canopy scorch and almost complete leaf drop in the weeks following fire. The shutdown of most leaves within the canopy reduced transpiration and altered energy partitioning. Leaf death and shedding also resulted in a cessation of ecosystem carbon uptake and the savanna turned from a sink to a source

  13. Savanna ecosystem project: phase I summary and phase II progress

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Huntely, BJ

    1978-07-01

    Full Text Available A summary of the results of the first phase (mid 1974 to mid 1976) of the South African Savanna Ecosystem Project being undertaken at Nylsvley in the northern Transvaal is presented. Phase I of this ten year study of the structure and functioning...

  14. Termites of the Savanna ecosystem project study area, Nylsvley

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Ferrar, P

    1982-09-01

    Full Text Available This report describes the termite fauna of the Savanna Ecosystem Project study area at the Nylsvley Nature Reserve, with an illustrated key for identification of species. Twenty-one species of fifteen genera and two families are recorded, and notes...

  15. Photosynthesis and carbon balance of a Sahelian fallow savanna

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hanan, N.P.; Kabat, P.; Dolman, A.J.; Elbers, J.A.

    1998-01-01

    Eddy-covariance measurements of CO2 exchange above a Sahelian savanna consisting of small shrubs over a near-continuous herb layer were made during the HAPEX-Sahel experiment in Niger, West Africa. The measurements were made near-continuously during an 8-week period, covering the main part of the ra

  16. Nitrogen deposition in tropical forests from deforestation and savanna fires

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Y.; Randerson, J. T.; van der Werf, G.; Morton, D. C.; Kasibhatla, P. S.

    2009-12-01

    Tropical forests account for nearly half of global net primary production (NPP) and may contribute substantially to contemporary and future land carbon (C) sinks. We used satellite-derived estimates of global fire emissions and a chemical transport model to estimate atmospheric nitrogen (N) fluxes from deforestation and savanna fires in tropical ecosystems. N emissions and deposition led to a substantial net transport of N equatorward, from savannas and areas undergoing deforestation to tropical forests. On average, N emissions from fires were equivalent to approximately 28% of biological N fixation (BNF) in savannas (4.8 kg N ha-1 yr-1) and 38% of BNF from ecosystems at the deforestation frontier (9.1 kg N ha-1 yr-1). N deposition occurred in interior tropical forests at a rate equivalent to 4% of their BNF (1.1 kg N ha-1 yr-1). This percentage was highest for African tropical forests in the Congo Basin (16%; 3.7 kg N ha-1 yr-1) owing to equatorward transport from northern and southern savannas. These results suggest that land use change, including deforestation fires, may be enhancing nutrient availability and carbon sequestration in nearby tropical forest ecosystems.

  17. Phenology of tropical understory trees: patterns and correlates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    W. Alice Boyle

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Reproductive phenologies of plants are constrained by climate in highly seasonal regions. In contrast, plants growing in wet tropical forests are freed from many abiotic constraints, which in canopy tree communities lead to a rich diversity of phenological patterns within and among individuals, species and communities. However, basic descriptions of tropical phenological patterns and the processes that shape them are rare. Here, we document the individual-, population-, and landscape-level phenological patterns of two dominant families of understory woody plants important to avian frugivores, the Melastomataceae and Rubiaceae, along an elevational transect in Costa Rica. The 226 individual plants belonging to 35 species in this study, varied in the number of reproductive bouts/year, and the timing, duration, and synchrony of reproductive stages. This variation was not related to factors related to their interactions with mutualists and antagonists, nor did it appear to be constrained by phylogeny. Diverse phenological patterns among species led to relatively aseasonal patterns at the community and landscape level. Overall, evidence for biotic processes shaping temporal patterns of fruiting phenology was weak or absent. These findings reveal a number of unexplained patterns, and suggest that factors shaping phenology in relatively aseasonal forests operate in idiosyncratic ways at the species level.

  18. The influences of canopy species and topographic variables on understory species diversity and composition in coniferous forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huo, Hong; Feng, Qi; Su, Yong-hong

    2014-01-01

    Understanding the factors that influence the distribution of understory vegetation is important for biological conservation and forest management. We compared understory species composition by multi-response permutation procedure and indicator species analysis between plots dominated by Qinghai spruce (Picea crassifolia Kom.) and Qilian juniper (Sabina przewalskii Kom.) in coniferous forests of the Qilian Mountains, northwestern China. Understory species composition differed markedly between the forest types. Many heliophilous species were significantly associated with juniper forest, while only one species was indicative of spruce forest. Using constrained ordination and the variation partitioning model, we quantitatively assessed the relative effects of two sets of explanatory variables on understory species composition. The results showed that topographic variables had higher explanatory power than did site conditions for understory plant distributions. However, a large amount of the variation in understory species composition remained unexplained. Forward selection revealed that understory species distributions were primarily affected by elevation and aspect. Juniper forest had higher species richness and α-diversity and lower β-diversity in the herb layer of the understory plant community than spruce forest, suggesting that the former may be more important in maintaining understory biodiversity and community stability in alpine coniferous forest ecosystems.

  19. Influence green sand system by core sand additions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. Špirutová

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Today, about two thirds of iron alloys casting (especially for graphitizing alloys of iron are produced into green sand systems with usually organically bonded cores. Separation of core sands from the green sand mixture is very difficult, after pouring. The core sand concentration increase due to circulation of green sand mixture in a closed circulation system. Furthermore in some foundries, core sands have been adding to green sand systems as a replacement for new sands. The goal of this contribution is: “How the green sand systems are influenced by core sands?”This effect is considered by determination of selected technological properties and degree of green sand system re-bonding. From the studies, which have been published yet, there is not consistent opinion on influence of core sand dilution on green sand system properties. In order to simulation of the effect of core sands on the technological properties of green sands, there were applied the most common used technologies of cores production, which are based on bonding with phenolic resin. Core sand concentration added to green sand system, was up to 50 %. Influence of core sand dilution on basic properties of green sand systems was determined by evaluation of basic industrial properties: moisture, green compression strength and splitting strength, wet tensile strength, mixture stability against staling and physical-chemistry properties (pH, conductivity, and loss of ignition. Ratio of active betonite by Methylene blue test was also determined.

  20. Sands cykliske styrke

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ibsen, Lars Bo

    1992-01-01

    Sands cykliske styrke kan beskrives ved Cyclic Liquefaction, Mobilisering, Stabilization og Instant Stabilization. I artiklen beskrives hvorfor Stabilization og Instant Stabilization ikke observeres, når sands udrænede styrke undersøges i triaxial celler, der anvender prøver med dobbelt prøvehøjde....

  1. Baskarp Sand No. 15

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ibsen, Lars Bo; Bødker, Lars Bødker

    The Soil Mechanics Laboratory has started performing tests with a new sand, Baskarp No 15. Baskarp No 15 is a graded sand from Sweden. The shapes of the largest grains are round, while the small grains have sharp edges. The main part of of Baskarp No 15 is quarts, but it also contains feldspar...

  2. Providing habitat for native mammals through understory enhancement in forestry plantations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simonetti, Javier A; Grez, Audrey A; Estades, Cristián F

    2013-10-01

    The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) expects forestry plantations to contribute to biodiversity conservation. A well-developed understory in forestry plantations might serve as a surrogate habitat for native species and mitigate the negative effect of plantations on species richness. We experimentally tested this hypothesis by removing the understory in Monterey pine (Pinus radiata) plantations in central Chile and assessing changes in species richness and abundance of medium-sized mammals. Frequency of occurrence of mammals, including kodkods (Leopardus guigna), culpeo foxes (Pseudalopex culpaeus), lesser grisons (Conepatus chinga), and Southern pudu deer (Pudu puda), was low in forest stands with little to no understory relative to stands with well-developed undergrowth vegetation. After removing the understory, their frequency of occurrence decreased significantly, whereas in control stands, where understory was not removed, their frequency did not change. This result strongly supports the idea that facilitating the development of undergrowth vegetation may turn forestry stands into secondary habitats as opposed to their containing no habitat for native mammals. This forestry practice could contribute to conservation of biological diversity as it pertains to CBD targets.

  3. Can the Understory Affect the Hymenoptera Parasitoids in a Eucalyptus Plantation?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dall’Oglio, Onice Teresinha; Ribeiro, Rafael Coelho; Ramalho, Francisco de Souza; Fernandes, Flávio Lemes; Wilcken, Carlos Frederico; de Assis Júnior, Sebastião Lourenço; Rueda, Rosa Angélica Plata; Serrão, José Eduardo; Zanuncio, José Cola

    2016-01-01

    The understory in forest plantations can increase richness and diversity of natural enemies due to greater plant species richness. The objective of this study was to test the hypothesis that the presence of the understory and climatic season in the region (wet or dry) can increase the richness and abundance of Hymenoptera parasitoids in Eucalyptus plantations, in the municipality of Belo Oriente, Minas Gerais State, Brazil. In each eucalyptus cultivation (five areas of cultivation) ten Malaise traps were installed, five with the understory and five without it. A total of 9,639 individuals from 30 families of the Hymenoptera parasitoids were collected, with Mymaridae, Scelionidae, Encyrtidae and Braconidae being the most collected ones with 4,934, 1,212, 619 and 612 individuals, respectively. The eucalyptus stands with and without the understory showed percentage of individuals 45.65% and 54.35% collected, respectively. The understory did not represent a positive effect on the overall abundance of the individuals Hymenoptera in the E. grandis stands, but rather exerted a positive effect on the specific families of the parasitoids of this order. PMID:26954578

  4. Can the Understory Affect the Hymenoptera Parasitoids in a Eucalyptus Plantation?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dall'Oglio, Onice Teresinha; Ribeiro, Rafael Coelho; Ramalho, Francisco de Souza; Fernandes, Flávio Lemes; Wilcken, Carlos Frederico; Assis Júnior, Sebastião Lourenço de; Rueda, Rosa Angélica Plata; Serrão, José Eduardo; Zanuncio, José Cola

    2016-01-01

    The understory in forest plantations can increase richness and diversity of natural enemies due to greater plant species richness. The objective of this study was to test the hypothesis that the presence of the understory and climatic season in the region (wet or dry) can increase the richness and abundance of Hymenoptera parasitoids in Eucalyptus plantations, in the municipality of Belo Oriente, Minas Gerais State, Brazil. In each eucalyptus cultivation (five areas of cultivation) ten Malaise traps were installed, five with the understory and five without it. A total of 9,639 individuals from 30 families of the Hymenoptera parasitoids were collected, with Mymaridae, Scelionidae, Encyrtidae and Braconidae being the most collected ones with 4,934, 1,212, 619 and 612 individuals, respectively. The eucalyptus stands with and without the understory showed percentage of individuals 45.65% and 54.35% collected, respectively. The understory did not represent a positive effect on the overall abundance of the individuals Hymenoptera in the E. grandis stands, but rather exerted a positive effect on the specific families of the parasitoids of this order.

  5. Retrieval of seasonal dynamics of forest understory reflectance from semi-arid to boreal forests using MODIS BRDF data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pisek, Jan; Chen, Jing; Kobayashi, Hideki; Rautiainen, Miina; Schaepman, Michael; Karnieli, Arnon; Sprintsin, Michael; Ryu, Youngryel; Nikopensius, Maris; Raabe, Kairi

    2016-04-01

    Ground vegetation (understory) provides an essential contribution to the whole-stand reflectance signal in many boreal, sub-boreal, and temperate forests. Accurate knowledge about forest understory reflectance is urgently needed in various forest reflectance modelling efforts. However, systematic collections of understory reflectance data covering different sites and ecosystems are almost missing. Measurement of understory reflectance is a real challenge because of an extremely high variability of irradiance at the forest floor, weak signal in some parts of the spectrum, spectral separability issues of over- and understory and its variable nature. Understory can consist of several sub-layers (regenerated tree, shrub, grasses or dwarf shrub, mosses, lichens, litter, bare soil), it has spatially-temporally variable species composition and ground coverage. Additional challenges are introduced by patchiness of ground vegetation, ground surface roughness, and understory-overstory relations. Due to this variability, remote sensing might be the only means to provide consistent data at spatially relevant scales. In this presentation, we report on retrieving seasonal courses of understory Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) from multi-angular MODIS BRDF/Albedo data. We compared satellite-based seasonal courses of understory NDVI against an extended collection of different types of forest sites with available in-situ understory reflectance measurements. These sites are distributed along a wide latitudinal gradient on the Northern hemisphere: a sparse and dense black spruce forests in Alaska and Canada, a northern European boreal forest in Finland, hemiboreal needleleaf and deciduous stands in Estonia, a mixed temperate forest in Switzerland, a cool temperate deciduous broadleaf forest in Korea, and a semi-arid pine plantation in Israel. Our results indicated the retrieval method performs well particularly over open forests of different types. We also demonstrated

  6. Drought in forest understory ecosystems – a novel rainfall reduction experiment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. F. Gimbel

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Climate change is predicted to severely affect precipitation patterns across central Europe. This may reduce water availability during the plant-growing season and hence affect the performance and vitality of forest ecosystems. We established a novel rainfall reduction experiment on nine sites in Germany to investigate drought effects on soil-forest-understory-ecosystems. A realistic, but extreme annual drought with a return period of 40 years, which corresponds to the 2.5% percentile of the annual precipitation, was imposed. At all sites, we were able to reach the target values of rainfall reduction, while other important ecosystem variables like air temperature, humidity and soil temperature remained unaffected due to the novel design of a flexible roof. The first year of drought showed considerable changes in the soil moisture dynamics relative to the control sites, which affected leaf stomatal conductance of understory species as well as evapotranspiration rates of the forest understory.

  7. Do the rich get richer? Varying effects of tree species identity and diversity on the richness of understory taxa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Champagne, Juilette; Paine, C. E. Timothy; Schoolmaster, Donald; Stejskal, Robert; Volařík, Daniel; Šebesta, Jan; Trnka, Filip; Koutecký, Tomáš; Švarc, Petr; Svátek, Martin; Hector, Andy; Matula, Radim

    2016-01-01

    Understory herbs and soil invertebrates play key roles in soil formation and nutrient cycling in forests. Studies suggest that diversity in the canopy and in the understory are positively associated, but these studies often confound the effects of tree species diversity with those of tree species identity and abiotic conditions. We combined extensive field sampling with structural equation modeling to evaluate the simultaneous effects of tree diversity on the species diversity of understory herbs, beetles, and earthworms. The diversity of earthworms and saproxylic beetles was directly and positively associated with tree diversity, presumably because species of both these taxa specialize on certain species of trees. Tree identity also strongly affected diversity in the understory, especially for herbs, likely as a result of interspecific differences in canopy light transmittance or litter decomposition rates. Our results suggest that changes in forest management will disproportionately affect certain understory taxa. For instance, changes in canopy diversity will affect the diversity of earthworms and saproxylic beetles more than changes in tree species composition, whereas the converse would be expected for understory herbs and detritivorous beetles. We conclude that the effects of tree diversity on understory taxa can vary from positive to negative and may affect biogeochemical cycling in temperate forests. Thus, maintaining high diversity in temperate forests can promote the diversity of multiple taxa in the understory.

  8. The formation of dense understory layers in the forest worldwide: consequences and implications for forest dynamics, biodiversity, and succession

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alejandro A. Royo; Walter P. Carson

    2010-01-01

    Alterations to natural herbivore and disturbance regimes often allow a select suite of forest understory plant species to dramatically spread and form persistent, mono-dominant thickets. Following their expansion, this newly established understory canopy can alter tree seedling recruitment rates and exert considerable control over the rate and direction of secondary...

  9. The formation of dense understory layers in forests worldwide: consequences and implications for forest dynamics, biodiversity, and succession

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alejandro A. Royo; Walter P. Carson

    2010-01-01

    Alterations to natural herbivore and disturbance regimes often allow a select suite of forest understory plant species to dramatically spread and form persistent, mono-dominant thickets. Following their expansion, this newly established understory canopy can alter tree seedling recruitment rates and exert considerable control over the rate and direction of secondary...

  10. Dry coniferous forest restoration and understory plant diversity: The importance of community heterogeneity and the scale of observation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erich Kyle Dodson; David W. Peterson

    2010-01-01

    Maintaining understory plant species diversity is an important management goal as forest restoration and fuel reduction treatments are applied extensively to dry coniferous forests of western North America. However, understory diversity is a function of both local species richness (number of species in a sample unit) and community heterogeneity (beta diversity) at...

  11. Brazilian savanna re-establishment in a monoculture forest:diversity and environmental relations of native regenerating understory in Pinus caribaea Morelet. stands

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Gastao Viegas de Pinho Ju nior; Andre R Terra Nascimento; Barbara Tahara Valverde; Lucas H Clemente

    2015-01-01

    In this paper we analyze and compare natural regeneration in shrub-tree community in three areas below Pinus caribaea stands and a natural area (cerrado sensu stricto). We also analyze the influence of biophysical and environmental variables on the distribution of regenerating shrub-tree species. The areas were analyzed and compared in relation to dispersal syndromes as well, being zoochory and anemochory the prevailing syndroms in the four areas. The sites below P. caribaea show a heterogeneous regen-eration with the number of species ranging from 18 to 42. We analyzed the influence of the biophysical and envi-ronmental variables performing a canonical correspon-dence analyses, being found significant values for variables distance from remnant and basal area. The species Si-paruna guianensis, Miconia albicans, Xylopia aromatica, Sclerolobium paniculatum, Casearia sylvestris and P. caribaea were the most importante ones in the four areas.

  12. Trade-offs between savanna woody plant diversity and carbon storage in the Brazilian Cerrado.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pellegrini, Adam F A; Socolar, Jacob B; Elsen, Paul R; Giam, Xingli

    2016-10-01

    Incentivizing carbon storage can be a win-win pathway to conserving biodiversity and mitigating climate change. In savannas, however, the situation is more complex. Promoting carbon storage through woody encroachment may reduce plant diversity of savanna endemics, even as the diversity of encroaching forest species increases. This trade-off has important implications for the management of biodiversity and carbon in savanna habitats, but has rarely been evaluated empirically. We quantified the nature of carbon-diversity relationships in the Brazilian Cerrado by analyzing how woody plant species richness changed with carbon storage in 206 sites across the 2.2 million km(2) region at two spatial scales. We show that total woody plant species diversity increases with carbon storage, as expected, but that the richness of endemic savanna woody plant species declines with carbon storage both at the local scale, as woody biomass accumulates within plots, and at the landscape scale, as forest replaces savanna. The sharpest trade-offs between carbon storage and savanna diversity occurred at the early stages of carbon accumulation at the local scale but the final stages of forest encroachment at the landscape scale. Furthermore, the loss of savanna species quickens in the final stages of forest encroachment, and beyond a point, savanna species losses outpace forest species gains with increasing carbon accumulation. Our results suggest that although woody encroachment in savanna ecosystems may provide substantial carbon benefits, it comes at the rapidly accruing cost of woody plant species adapted to the open savanna environment. Moreover, the dependence of carbon-diversity trade-offs on the amount of savanna area remaining requires land managers to carefully consider local conditions. Widespread woody encroachment in both Australian and African savannas and grasslands may present similar threats to biodiversity.

  13. Thirty-eight years of autogenic, woody understory dynamics in a mature, temperature pine-oak forest

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cain, M.D.; Shelton, M.G.

    1995-12-31

    In 1935, 32 ha of a pine-hardwood forest were set aside from future timber management in southern Arkansas, U.S.A. Old-growth timber had been cut to a 36-cm stump diameter before 1915. During 38 years of assessment, no catastrophic disturbances occurred within the 32-ha forest. Although loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) and shortleaf pine (Pinus echinata Mill.) dominated the overstory (64% of basal area in 1954 and 63% in 1993), pines were absent from the understory in all but seedling size classes for the last 38 years. Woody understory diversity indices were essentially stable for 38 years, but the similarity of understory species tended to decline as the time between inventories increased. Relative importance values for woody understory species tended to increase for the more shade-tolerant genera and decrease for less tolerant genera. Survival and height growth for woody understory species were also found to be positively correlated with shade tolerance.

  14. Sand and Gravel Deposits

    Data.gov (United States)

    Vermont Center for Geographic Information — This dataset is a statewide polygon coverage of sand, gravel, and stone resources. This database includes the best data available from the VT Agency of Natural...

  15. Sand and Gravel Operations

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of Homeland Security — This map layer includes sand and gravel operations in the United States. These data were obtained from information reported voluntarily to the USGS by the aggregate...

  16. Effects of fire on woody vegetation structure in African savanna.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smit, Izak P J; Asner, Gregory P; Govender, Navashni; Kennedy-Bowdoin, Ty; Knapp, David E; Jacobson, James

    2010-10-01

    Despite the importance of fire in shaping savannas, it remains poorly understood how the frequency, seasonality, and intensity of fire interact to influence woody vegetation structure, which is a key determinant of savanna biodiversity. We provide a comprehensive analysis of vertical and horizontal woody vegetation structure across one of the oldest savanna fire experiments, using new airborne Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) technology. We developed and compared high-resolution woody vegetation height surfaces for a series of large experimental burn plots in the Kruger National Park, South Africa. These 7-ha plots (total area approximately 1500 ha) have been subjected to fire in different seasons and at different frequencies, as well as no-burn areas, for 54 years. Long-term exposure to fire caused a reduction in woody vegetation up to the 5.0-7.5 m height class, although most reduction was observed up to 4 m. Average fire intensity was positively correlated with changes in woody vegetation structure. More frequent fires reduced woody vegetation cover more than less frequent fires, and dry-season fires reduced woody vegetation more than wet-season fires. Spring fires from the late dry season reduced woody vegetation cover the most, and summer fires from the wet season reduced it the least. Fire had a large effect on structure in the densely wooded granitic landscapes as compared to the more open basaltic landscapes, although proportionally, the woody vegetation was more reduced in the drier than in the wetter landscapes. We show that fire frequency and fire season influence patterns of vegetation three-dimensional structure, which may have cascading consequences for biodiversity. Managers of savannas can therefore use fire frequency and season in concert to achieve specific vegetation structural objectives.

  17. African Savanna-Forest Boundary Dynamics: A 20-Year Study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aida Cuni-Sanchez

    Full Text Available Recent studies show widespread encroachment of forest into savannas with important consequences for the global carbon cycle and land-atmosphere interactions. However, little research has focused on in situ measurements of the successional sequence of savanna to forest in Africa. Using long-term inventory plots we quantify changes in vegetation structure, above-ground biomass (AGB and biodiversity of trees ≥10 cm diameter over 20 years for five vegetation types: savanna; colonising forest (F1, monodominant Okoume forest (F2; young Marantaceae forest (F3; and mixed Marantaceae forest (F4 in Lopé National Park, central Gabon, plus novel 3D terrestrial laser scanning (TLS measurements to assess forest structure differences. Over 20 years no plot changed to a new stage in the putative succession, but F1 forests strongly moved towards the structure, AGB and diversity of F2 forests. Overall, savanna plots showed no detectable change in structure, AGB or diversity using this method, with zero trees ≥10 cm diameter in 1993 and 2013. F1 and F2 forests increased in AGB, mainly as a result of adding recruited stems (F1 and increased Basal Area (F2, whereas F3 and F4 forests did not change substantially in structure, AGB or diversity. Critically, the stability of the F3 stage implies that this stage may be maintained for long periods. Soil carbon was low, and did not show a successional gradient as for AGB and diversity. TLS vertical plant profiles showed distinctive differences amongst the vegetation types, indicating that this technique can improve ecological understanding. We highlight two points: (i as forest colonises, changes in biodiversity are much slower than changes in forest structure or AGB; and (ii all forest types store substantial quantities of carbon. Multi-decadal monitoring is likely to be required to assess the speed of transition between vegetation types.

  18. Brazilian savanna forest : conservation, medicinal reservoir and bioprospecting

    OpenAIRE

    2014-01-01

    This study aimed to analyse the Brazilian savanna forest from a Legal Reserve (LR) area from a perspective of conservation, reservoir of organic carbon and medicinal biomass for a prospective use of native medicinal plants. An ethnobotanical and ethnopharmacological survey was carried out close to a community settled in the rural area in the south of Tocantins, being selected 9 of the most cited species (cajuí- Anacardium othonianum; inharé-Brosimum gaudichaudii; jatobá-Hymenaeae courbaril; j...

  19. Vestled - Hvide Sande

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Juel-Christiansen, Carsten; Hesselbjerg, Marianne; Schønherr, Torben

    2009-01-01

    Værket Vestled i Hvide Sande præsenteret i sammenhæng af 1000 nutidige landskabsarkitektoniske arbejder fra hele verden, hvor hvert værk vises på én side......Værket Vestled i Hvide Sande præsenteret i sammenhæng af 1000 nutidige landskabsarkitektoniske arbejder fra hele verden, hvor hvert værk vises på én side...

  20. Microbial Diversity in Cerrado Biome (Neotropical Savanna Soils.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alinne Pereira de Castro

    Full Text Available The Cerrado, the largest savanna region in South America, is located in central Brazil. Cerrado physiognomies, which range from savanna grasslands to forest formations, combined with the highly weathered, acidic clay Cerrado soils form a unique ecoregion. In this study, high-throughput sequencing of ribosomal RNA genes was combined with shotgun metagenomic analysis to explore the taxonomic composition and potential functions of soil microbial communities in four different vegetation physiognomies during both dry and rainy seasons. Our results showed that changes in bacterial, archaeal, and fungal community structures in cerrado denso, cerrado sensu stricto, campo sujo, and gallery forest soils strongly correlated with seasonal patterns of soil water uptake. The relative abundance of AD3, WPS-2, Planctomycetes, Thermoprotei, and Glomeromycota typically decreased in the rainy season, whereas the relative abundance of Proteobacteria and Ascomycota increased. In addition, analysis of shotgun metagenomic data revealed a significant increase in the relative abundance of genes associated with iron acquisition and metabolism, dormancy, and sporulation during the dry season, and an increase in the relative abundance of genes related to respiration and DNA and protein metabolism during the rainy season. These gene functional categories are associated with adaptation to water stress. Our results further the understanding of how tropical savanna soil microbial communities may be influenced by vegetation covering and temporal variations in soil moisture.

  1. Dynamical phase coexistence: A simple solution to the "savanna problem"

    CERN Document Server

    Vazquez, F; Calabrese, J M; Munoz, M A; 10.1016/j.jtbi.2010.02.011

    2010-01-01

    We introduce the concept of 'dynamical phase coexistence' to provide a simple solution for a long-standing problem in theoretical ecology, the so-called "savanna problem". The challenge is to understand why in savanna ecosystems trees and grasses coexist in a robust way with large spatio-temporal variability. We propose a simple model, a variant of the Contact Process (CP), which includes two key extra features: varying external (environmental/rainfall) conditions and tree age. The system fluctuates locally between a woodland and a grassland phase, corresponding to the active and absorbing phases of the underlying pure contact process. This leads to a highly variable stable phase characterized by patches of the woodland and grassland phases coexisting dynamically. We show that the mean time to tree extinction under this model increases as a power-law of system size and can be of the order of 10,000,000 years in even moderately sized savannas. Finally, we demonstrate that while local interactions among trees m...

  2. Microbial Diversity in Cerrado Biome (Neotropical Savanna) Soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Castro, Alinne Pereira; Sartori da Silva, Maria Regina Silveira; Quirino, Betania Ferraz; da Cunha Bustamante, Mercedes Maria; Krüger, Ricardo Henrique

    2016-01-01

    The Cerrado, the largest savanna region in South America, is located in central Brazil. Cerrado physiognomies, which range from savanna grasslands to forest formations, combined with the highly weathered, acidic clay Cerrado soils form a unique ecoregion. In this study, high-throughput sequencing of ribosomal RNA genes was combined with shotgun metagenomic analysis to explore the taxonomic composition and potential functions of soil microbial communities in four different vegetation physiognomies during both dry and rainy seasons. Our results showed that changes in bacterial, archaeal, and fungal community structures in cerrado denso, cerrado sensu stricto, campo sujo, and gallery forest soils strongly correlated with seasonal patterns of soil water uptake. The relative abundance of AD3, WPS-2, Planctomycetes, Thermoprotei, and Glomeromycota typically decreased in the rainy season, whereas the relative abundance of Proteobacteria and Ascomycota increased. In addition, analysis of shotgun metagenomic data revealed a significant increase in the relative abundance of genes associated with iron acquisition and metabolism, dormancy, and sporulation during the dry season, and an increase in the relative abundance of genes related to respiration and DNA and protein metabolism during the rainy season. These gene functional categories are associated with adaptation to water stress. Our results further the understanding of how tropical savanna soil microbial communities may be influenced by vegetation covering and temporal variations in soil moisture.

  3. Microbial Diversity in Cerrado Biome (Neotropical Savanna) Soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pereira de Castro, Alinne; Sartori da Silva, Maria Regina Silveira; Quirino, Betania Ferraz; da Cunha Bustamante, Mercedes Maria; Krüger, Ricardo Henrique

    2016-01-01

    The Cerrado, the largest savanna region in South America, is located in central Brazil. Cerrado physiognomies, which range from savanna grasslands to forest formations, combined with the highly weathered, acidic clay Cerrado soils form a unique ecoregion. In this study, high-throughput sequencing of ribosomal RNA genes was combined with shotgun metagenomic analysis to explore the taxonomic composition and potential functions of soil microbial communities in four different vegetation physiognomies during both dry and rainy seasons. Our results showed that changes in bacterial, archaeal, and fungal community structures in cerrado denso, cerrado sensu stricto, campo sujo, and gallery forest soils strongly correlated with seasonal patterns of soil water uptake. The relative abundance of AD3, WPS-2, Planctomycetes, Thermoprotei, and Glomeromycota typically decreased in the rainy season, whereas the relative abundance of Proteobacteria and Ascomycota increased. In addition, analysis of shotgun metagenomic data revealed a significant increase in the relative abundance of genes associated with iron acquisition and metabolism, dormancy, and sporulation during the dry season, and an increase in the relative abundance of genes related to respiration and DNA and protein metabolism during the rainy season. These gene functional categories are associated with adaptation to water stress. Our results further the understanding of how tropical savanna soil microbial communities may be influenced by vegetation covering and temporal variations in soil moisture. PMID:26849674

  4. MECHANICAL REGENERATION OF SAND WASTE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. I. Gnir

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available The experimental activation of the sand regenerator of the firm SINTO is carried out at ОАО “MZOO". It is shown that sand grains are cleared from films of binding agents, that allows to use the treated sand for preparation of agglutinant and core sands.

  5. Tree and stand transpiration in a Midwestern bur oak savanna after elm encroachment and restoration thinning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asbjornsen, H.; Tomer, M.D.; Gomez-Cardenas, M.; Brudvig, L.A.; Greenan, C.M.; Schilling, K.

    2007-01-01

    Oak savannas, once common in the Midwest, are now isolated remnants within agricultural landscapes. Savanna remnants are frequently encroached by invasive trees to become woodlands. Thinning and prescribed burning can restore savanna structure, but the ecohydrological effects of managing these remnants are poorly understood. In this study, we measured sap flow (Js) to quantify transpiration in an Iowa bur oak (Quercus macrocarpa) savanna woodland encroached by elms (Ulmus americana), and in an adjacent restored savanna after thinning to remove elms, during summer 2004. Savanna oaks had greater mean daily Js (35.9 L dm-2 day-1) than woodland oaks (20.7 L dm-2 day-1) and elms (12.4 L dm-2 day-1). The response of Js to vapor pressure deficit (D) was unexpectedly weak, although oaks in both stands showed negative correlation between daily Js and D for D > 0.4 kPa. An earlier daily peak in Js in the elm trees showed a possible advantage for water uptake. As anticipated, the woodland's stand transpiration was greater (1.23 mm day-1) than the savanna's (0.35 mm day-1), yet the savanna achieved 30% of the woodland's transpiration with only 11% of its sapwood area. The difference in transpiration influenced water table depths, which were 2 m in the savanna and 6.5 m in the woodland. Regionally, row-crop agriculture has increased groundwater recharge and raised water tables, providing surplus water that perhaps facilitated elm encroachment. This has implications for restoration of savanna remnants. If achieving a savanna ecohydrology is an aim of restoration, then restoration strategies may require buffers, or targeting of large or hydrologically isolated remnants. ?? 2007.

  6. Structural, physiognomic and above-ground biomass variation in savanna-forest transition zones on three continents - how different are co-occurring savanna and forest formations?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veenendaal, E. M.; Torello-Raventos, M.; Feldpausch, T. R.; Domingues, T. F.; Gerard, F.; Schrodt, F.; Saiz, G.; Quesada, C. A.; Djagbletey, G.; Ford, A.; Kemp, J.; Marimon, B. S.; Marimon-Junior, B. H.; Lenza, E.; Ratter, J. A.; Maracahipes, L.; Sasaki, D.; Sonke, B.; Zapfack, L.; Villarroel, D.; Schwarz, M.; Yoko Ishida, F.; Gilpin, M.; Nardoto, G. B.; Affum-Baffoe, K.; Arroyo, L.; Bloomfield, K.; Ceca, G.; Compaore, H.; Davies, K.; Diallo, A.; Fyllas, N. M.; Gignoux, J.; Hien, F.; Johnson, M.; Mougin, E.; Hiernaux, P.; Killeen, T.; Metcalfe, D.; Miranda, H. S.; Steininger, M.; Sykora, K.; Bird, M. I.; Grace, J.; Lewis, S.; Phillips, O. L.; Lloyd, J.

    2015-05-01

    Through interpretations of remote-sensing data and/or theoretical propositions, the idea that forest and savanna represent "alternative stable states" is gaining increasing acceptance. Filling an observational gap, we present detailed stratified floristic and structural analyses for forest and savanna stands located mostly within zones of transition (where both vegetation types occur in close proximity) in Africa, South America and Australia. Woody plant leaf area index variation was related to tree canopy cover in a similar way for both savanna and forest with substantial overlap between the two vegetation types. As total woody plant canopy cover increased, so did the relative contribution of middle and lower strata of woody vegetation. Herbaceous layer cover declined as woody cover increased. This pattern of understorey grasses and herbs progressively replaced by shrubs as the canopy closes over was found for both savanna and forests and on all continents. Thus, once subordinate woody canopy layers are taken into account, a less marked transition in woody plant cover across the savanna-forest-species discontinuum is observed compared to that inferred when trees of a basal diameter > 0.1 m are considered in isolation. This is especially the case for shrub-dominated savannas and in taller savannas approaching canopy closure. An increased contribution of forest species to the total subordinate cover is also observed as savanna stand canopy closure occurs. Despite similarities in canopy-cover characteristics, woody vegetation in Africa and Australia attained greater heights and stored a greater amount of above-ground biomass than in South America. Up to three times as much above-ground biomass is stored in forests compared to savannas under equivalent climatic conditions. Savanna-forest transition zones were also found to typically occur at higher precipitation regimes for South America than for Africa. Nevertheless, consistent across all three continents coexistence

  7. Effects of past logging and grazing on understory plant communities in a montane Colorado forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fornwalt, P.J.; Kaufmann, M.R.; Huckaby, L.S.; Stohlgren, T.J.

    2009-01-01

    Throughout Pinus ponderosa-Pseudotsuga menziesii forests of the southern Colorado Front Range, USA, intense logging and domestic grazing began at the time of Euro-American settlement in the late 1800s and continued until the early 1900s. We investigated the long-term impacts of these settlement-era activities on understory plant communities by comparing understory composition at a historically logged and grazed site to that of an environmentally similar site which was protected from past use. We found that species richness and cover within functional groups rarely differed between sites in either upland or riparian areas. Multivariate analyses revealed little difference in species composition between sites on uplands, though compositional differences were apparent in riparian zones. Our findings suggest that settlement-era logging and grazing have had only minor long-term impacts on understories of upland Front Range P. ponderosa-P. menziesii forests, though they have had a greater long-term influence on riparian understories, where these activities were likely the most intense. ?? 2008 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

  8. Forest understory trees can be segmented accurately within sufficiently dense airborne laser scanning point clouds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamraz, Hamid; Contreras, Marco A; Zhang, Jun

    2017-07-28

    Airborne laser scanning (LiDAR) point clouds over large forested areas can be processed to segment individual trees and subsequently extract tree-level information. Existing segmentation procedures typically detect more than 90% of overstory trees, yet they barely detect 60% of understory trees because of the occlusion effect of higher canopy layers. Although understory trees provide limited financial value, they are an essential component of ecosystem functioning by offering habitat for numerous wildlife species and influencing stand development. Here we model the occlusion effect in terms of point density. We estimate the fractions of points representing different canopy layers (one overstory and multiple understory) and also pinpoint the required density for reasonable tree segmentation (where accuracy plateaus). We show that at a density of ~170 pt/m² understory trees can likely be segmented as accurately as overstory trees. Given the advancements of LiDAR sensor technology, point clouds will affordably reach this required density. Using modern computational approaches for big data, the denser point clouds can efficiently be processed to ultimately allow accurate remote quantification of forest resources. The methodology can also be adopted for other similar remote sensing or advanced imaging applications such as geological subsurface modelling or biomedical tissue analysis.

  9. The compensatory responses of an understory herb to experimental damage are habitat-dependent.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruna, Emilio M; Ribeiro, Maria Beatriz Nogueira

    2005-12-01

    Canopy gap formation strongly influences the diversity and dynamics of both tropical and temperate forests. It is often viewed as inherently beneficial for understory plants, primarily because growth and flowering are enhanced when light is no longer a limiting resource. It can also be detrimental, however, because plants can be damaged by falling crowns or branches. To elucidate the responses of the Amazonian understory herb Heliconia acuminata to damage sustained during gap formation, we transplanted both experimentally damaged and control plants to canopy gaps and the forest understory. We then measured their patterns of growth and biomass allocation 10 mo later. Despite losing approximately 50% of their leaf area, all damaged plants survived the duration of our experiment. Furthermore, damaged plants transplanted to gaps had relative growth rates that far exceeded those of undamaged plants in both gaps and the forest understory. There were also significant interactions between damage and destination habitat type on root to shoot ratios and leaf-area ratios. Our results suggest the ability of herbaceous plants to recover from damage, as well as patterns of post-damage biomass allocation, may be habitat-dependent in ways that have previously remained unexplored.

  10. Lidar Applications for Fine Tuning Forest Inventory Estimates in the Nonforest and Understory Carbon Pools

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, K. D.; Birdsey, R.; Huang, W.; Dolan, K. A.; Finley, A. O.; Domke, G. M.; Russell, M.; ONeil-Dunne, J.; Dubayah, R.; Hurtt, G. C.

    2016-12-01

    The Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) program within the USDA Forest Service maintains permanent sample plots that provide valuable data for robust and consistent estimates of major forest carbon pools in the United States, and are currently used for official estimates to the greenhouse gas inventories compiled by EPA and reported to the UNFCCC and other entities. Nonetheless, there exist some carbon accounting gaps and indirectly measured pools that may be improved. Carbon in both "trees outside forest" and the understory is not currently measured directly in FIA plots. Understory carbon is predicted as a portion of total aboveground biomass, rather than from measurements of shrub, forbs or graminoid mass. In the current study, lidar data obtained at FIA plot locations was used to predict carbon in "trees outside forest" and the understory in the forests of Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Delaware, USA, potentially improving current estimates. Results indicate that carbon in "trees outside forests" represent a significant and under-estimated stock in this region. Understory carbon remains difficult to quantify at the plot level, but meaningful relationships with lidar canopy height (a proxy for stand succession) suggest that reliable population estimates may be aided by lidar data. Fine tuning these estimates is important, not only for improving the accuracy of estimates, but also for reconciling estimates with independently created forest carbon maps.

  11. Changes in hardwood forest understory plant communities in response to European earthworm invasions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hale, Cindy M; Frelich, Lee E; Reich, Peter B

    2006-07-01

    European earthworms are colonizing earthworm-free northern hardwood forests across North America. Leading edges of earthworm invasion provide an opportunity to investigate the response of understory plant communities to earthworm invasion and whether the species composition of the earthworm community influences that response. Four sugar maple-dominated forest sites with active earthworm invasions were identified in the Chippewa National Forest in north central Minnesota, USA. In each site, we established a 30 x 150 m sample grid that spanned a visible leading edge of earthworm invasion and sampled earthworm populations and understory vegetation over four years. Across leading edges of earthworm invasion, increasing total earthworm biomass was associated with decreasing diversity and abundance of herbaceous plants in two of four study sites, and the abundance and density of tree seedlings decreased in three of four study sites. Sample points with the most diverse earthworm species assemblage, independent of biomass, had the lowest plant diversity. Changes in understory plant community composition were most affected by increasing biomass of the earthworm species Lumbricus rubellus. Where L. rubellus was absent there was a diverse community of native herbaceous plants, but where L. rubellus biomass reached its maximum, the herbaceous-plant community was dominated by Carex pensylvanica and Arisaema triphyllum and, in some cases, was completely absent. Evidence from these forest sites suggests that earthworm invasion can lead to dramatic changes in the understory community and that the nature of these changes is influenced by the species composition of the invading earthworm community.

  12. The legacy of deer overabundance: long-term delays in herbaceous understory recovery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas H. Pendergast; Shane M. Hanlon; Zachary M. Long; Alex Royo; Walter P. Carson

    2016-01-01

    Decades of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus (Zimmermann, 1780)) overpopulation have dramatically homogenized forests across much of the eastern United States, creating depauperate forest understory communities. The rate at which these communities recover once deer browsing has been reduced remains an open question. We evaluate overbrowsing...

  13. Seasonal acclimation to light and temperature in an evergreen understory shrub

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Muller, Onno

    2005-01-01

    Evergreens in temperate regions often maintain leaves longer than one year. These leaves are exposed to large changes in temperature with the seasons. If plants are growing in the understory of a deciduous forest the light intensity also changes strongly over the year. In summer the plants in the u

  14. Plant competition, facilitation, and other overstory-understory interactions in longleaf pine ecosystems.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Imm, Donald; Blake, John I

    2006-07-01

    The Longleaf Pine Ecosystem - Ecology, Silviculture, and Restoration. Shibu Jose, Eric J. Jokela, and Deborah L. Miller, (eds.) Springer Series on Environmental Management. Springer Science and Business Media publisher. Box 10.2 Pp 330-333. An insert on overstory-understory interactions in longleaf pine ecosystems.

  15. Characteristics of Light Availability Under Forest Canopies and Its Influences on Photosynthesis of Understory Plants

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Han Y. H. Chen

    2003-01-01

    Available light under forest canopies includes two components, diffuse light and direct light (sunflecks), and is characterized as low and highly dynamic. Understory habitats under different forest types experience different light conditions. Sunflecks as a critical resource for understory plants have great importance on carbon gain of understory plants. Under the light-limiting habitat, understory plants exhibit a high light utilization efficiency attributed by a post-illumination CO2 uptake. Although different species have different photosynthetic responses, shade plants appear to be acclimated to respond more quickly and efficiently to sunflecks. This acclimation includes a faster induction, relatively lower rate of induction loss, lower photosynthetic compensation point, and higher water use efficiency. The process that shade plants harvest light energy is not well known. Studies of photosynthetic responses to sunflecks in natural conditions are rare. Little is known about constraints on sunfleck utilization, which may change seasonally. Extensive field studies in conjunction with laboratory investigations will be needed to further understand potential and actual constraints on sunfleck utilization. Most studies on photosynthetic responses to fluctuating light condition were done in the level of leaves. Fluctuating light utilization on the basis of whole plants and populations presents future challenges to ecologists.

  16. Maintenance of a living understory enhances soil carbon sequestration in subtropical orchards.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Zhanfeng; Lin, Yongbiao; Lu, Hongfang; Ding, Mingmao; Tan, Yaowen; Xu, Shejin; Fu, Shenglei

    2013-01-01

    Orchard understory represents an important component of the orchards, performing numerous functions related to soil quality, water relations and microclimate, but little attention has been paid on its effect on soil C sequestration. In the face of global climate change, fruit producers also require techniques that increase carbon (C) sequestration in a cost-effective manner. Here we present a case study to compare the effects of understory management (sod culture vs. clean tillage) on soil C sequestration in four subtropical orchards. The results of a 10-year study indicated that the maintenance of sod significantly enhanced the soil C stock in the top 1 m of orchard soils. Relative to clean tillage, sod culture increased annual soil C sequestration by 2.85 t C ha(-1), suggesting that understory management based on sod culture offers promising potential for soil carbon sequestration. Considering that China has the largest area of orchards in the world and that few of these orchards currently have sod understories, the establishment and maintenance of sod in orchards can help China increase C sequestration and greatly contribute to achieving CO2 reduction targets at a regional scale and potentially at a national scale.

  17. Responses of Soil Organic Carbon to Long-Term Understory Removal in Subtropical Cinnamomum camphora Stands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yacong Wu

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available We conducted a study on a 48-year-old Cinnamomum camphora plantation in the subtropics of China, by removing understory gradually and then comparing this treatment with a control (undisturbed. This study analyzed the content and storage soil organic carbon (SOC in a soil depth of 0–60 cm. The results showed that SOC content was lower in understory removal (UR treatment, with a decrease range from 5% to 34%, and a decline of 10.16 g·kg−1 and 8.58 g·kg−1 was noticed in 0–10 cm and 10–20 cm layers, respectively, with significant differences (P<0.05. Carbon storage was reduced in UR, ranging from 2% to 43%, with a particular drastic decline of 15.39 t·hm−2 and 11.58 t·hm−2 in 0–10 cm (P<0.01 and 10–20 cm (P<0.01 layers, respectively. Content of SOC had an extremely significant (P<0.01 correlation with soil nutrients in the two stands, and the correlation coefficients of CK were higher than those of UR. Our data showed that the presence of understory favored the accumulation of soil organic carbon to a large extent. Therefore, long-term practice of understory removal weakens the function of forest ecosystem as a carbon sink.

  18. Nine-year response of hardwood understory to organic matter removal and soil compaction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Felix Ponder

    2008-01-01

    The effects of three levels of organic matter removal (OMR) and three levels of soil compaction (SC) on the development of understory vegetation in a central hardwood forest were evaluated 9 years after treatments were applied as part of a national program of long-term soil productivity research. The three levels of biomass removal (OMR) were removal of merchantable...

  19. Intraspecific variability and reaction norms of forest understory plant species traits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burton, Julia I.; Perakis, Steven; McKenzie, Sean C.; Lawrence, Caitlin E.; Puettmann, Klaus J.

    2017-01-01

    Trait-based models of ecological communities typically assume intraspecific variation in functional traits is not important, though such variation can change species trait rankings along gradients in resources and environmental conditions, and thus influence community structure and function.We examined the degree of intraspecific relative to interspecific variation, and reaction norms of 11 functional traits for 57 forest understory plant species, including: intrinsic water-use efficiency (iWUE), Δ15N, 5 leaf traits, 2 stem traits and 2 root traits along gradients in light, nitrogen, moisture and understory cover.Our results indicate that interspecific trait variation exceeded intraspecific variation by at least 50% for most, but not all traits. Intraspecific variation in Δ15N, iWUE, leaf nitrogen content and root traits was high (47-70%) compared with most leaf traits and stem traits (13-38%).Δ15N varied primarily along gradients in abiotic conditions, while light and understory cover were relatively less important. iWUE was related primarily to light transmission, reflecting increases in photosynthesis relative to stomatal conductance. Leaf traits varied mainly as a function of light availability, with some reaction norms depending on understory cover. Plant height increased with understory cover, while stem specific density was related primarily to light. Resources, environmental conditions and understory cover did not contribute strongly to the observed variation in root traits.Gradients in resources, environmental conditions and competition all appear to control intraspecific variability in most traits to some extent. However, our results suggest that species cross-over (i.e., trait rank reversals) along the gradients measured here are generally not a concern.Intraspecific variability in understory plant species traits can be considerable. However, trait data collected under a narrow range of environmental conditions appears sufficient to establish species

  20. Bituminous sands : tax issues

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Patel, B. [PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, Calgary, AB (Canada)

    2004-07-01

    This paper examined some of the tax issues associated with the production of bitumen or synthetic crude oil from oil sands. The oil sands deposits in Alberta are gaining more attention as the supplies of conventional oil in Canada decline. The oil sands reserves located in the Athabasca, Cold Lake and Peace River areas contain about 2.5 trillion barrels of highly viscous hydrocarbons called bitumen, of which nearly 315 billion barrels are recoverable with current technology. The extraction method varies for each geographic area, and even within zones and reservoirs. The two most common extraction methods are surface mining and in-situ extraction such as cyclic steam stimulation (CSS); low pressure steam flood; pressure cycle steam drive; steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD); hot water flooding; and, fire flood. This paper also discussed the following general tax issues: bituminous sands definition; bituminous sands leases and Canadian development expense versus Canadian oil and gas property expense (COGPE); Canadian exploration expense (CEE) for surface mining versus in-situ methods; additional capital cost allowance; and, scientific research and experimental development (SR and ED). 15 refs.

  1. Rapid Increases in forest understory diversity and productivity following a mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae) outbreak in pine forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pec, Gregory J; Karst, Justine; Sywenky, Alexandra N; Cigan, Paul W; Erbilgin, Nadir; Simard, Suzanne W; Cahill, James F

    2015-01-01

    The current unprecedented outbreak of mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae) in lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta) forests of western Canada has resulted in a landscape consisting of a mosaic of forest stands at different stages of mortality. Within forest stands, understory communities are the reservoir of the majority of plant species diversity and influence the composition of future forests in response to disturbance. Although changes to stand composition following beetle outbreaks are well documented, information on immediate responses of forest understory plant communities is limited. The objective of this study was to examine the effects of D. ponderosae-induced tree mortality on initial changes in diversity and productivity of understory plant communities. We established a total of 110 1-m2 plots across eleven mature lodgepole pine forests to measure changes in understory diversity and productivity as a function of tree mortality and below ground resource availability across multiple years. Overall, understory community diversity and productivity increased across the gradient of increased tree mortality. Richness of herbaceous perennials increased with tree mortality as well as soil moisture and nutrient levels. In contrast, the diversity of woody perennials did not change across the gradient of tree mortality. Understory vegetation, namely herbaceous perennials, showed an immediate response to improved growing conditions caused by increases in tree mortality. How this increased pulse in understory richness and productivity affects future forest trajectories in a novel system is unknown.

  2. Rapid Increases in forest understory diversity and productivity following a mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae outbreak in pine forests.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gregory J Pec

    Full Text Available The current unprecedented outbreak of mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae in lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta forests of western Canada has resulted in a landscape consisting of a mosaic of forest stands at different stages of mortality. Within forest stands, understory communities are the reservoir of the majority of plant species diversity and influence the composition of future forests in response to disturbance. Although changes to stand composition following beetle outbreaks are well documented, information on immediate responses of forest understory plant communities is limited. The objective of this study was to examine the effects of D. ponderosae-induced tree mortality on initial changes in diversity and productivity of understory plant communities. We established a total of 110 1-m2 plots across eleven mature lodgepole pine forests to measure changes in understory diversity and productivity as a function of tree mortality and below ground resource availability across multiple years. Overall, understory community diversity and productivity increased across the gradient of increased tree mortality. Richness of herbaceous perennials increased with tree mortality as well as soil moisture and nutrient levels. In contrast, the diversity of woody perennials did not change across the gradient of tree mortality. Understory vegetation, namely herbaceous perennials, showed an immediate response to improved growing conditions caused by increases in tree mortality. How this increased pulse in understory richness and productivity affects future forest trajectories in a novel system is unknown.

  3. Phenology of tropical understory trees: patterns and correlates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    W. Alice Boyle

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Reproductive phenologies of plants are constrained by climate in highly seasonal regions. In contrast, plants growing in wet tropical forests are freed from many abiotic constraints, which in canopy tree communities lead to a rich diversity of phenological patterns within and among individuals, species and communities. However, basic descriptions of tropical phenological patterns and the processes that shape them are rare. Here, we document the individual-, population-, and landscape-level phenological patterns of two dominant families of understory woody plants important to avian frugivores, the Melastomataceae and Rubiaceae, along an elevational transect in Costa Rica. The 226 individual plants belonging to 35 species in this study, varied in the number of reproductive bouts/year, and the timing, duration, and synchrony of reproductive stages. This variation was not related to factors related to their interactions with mutualists and antagonists, nor did it appear to be constrained by phylogeny. Diverse phenological patterns among species led to relatively aseasonal patterns at the community and landscape level. Overall, evidence for biotic processes shaping temporal patterns of fruiting phenology was weak or absent. These findings reveal a number of unexplained patterns, and suggest that factors shaping phenology in relatively aseasonal forests operate in idiosyncratic ways at the species level.En regiones con marcada estacionalidad, los patrones fenológicos de las plantas están limitados por el clima. Por el contrario, las plantas que crecen en bosques húmedos tropicales, no tienen tantas limitaciones abióticas y es por esto que el dosel presenta una diversidad muy rica en los patrones fenológicos de individuos, especies y comunidades. Sin embargo, es muy escasa la información sobre la descripción básica de los patrones fenológicos tropicales y de los procesos que los afectan. En este documento, presentamos los patrones fenol

  4. Complexity and coexistence in a simple spatial model for arid savanna ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Baudena, M.; Rietkerk, M.

    2012-01-01

    Tree–grass coexistence is broadly observed in tropical savannas. Recent studies indicate that, in arid savannas, such coexistence is stable and related to water availability. The role of different factors (from niche separation to demographic structure) has been explored. Nevertheless, spatial mecha

  5. Nutrients in an African Savanna: the consequences of supply heterogeneity for plants and animals

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Waal, van der C.

    2010-01-01

    In savannas, trees and grasses co-exist and share resources such as water and nutrients. The ratio between the tree and grass components (i.e., vegetation structure) importantly controls productivity, animal assemblages and earth-atmosphere feedbacks. As the structure of savanna vegetation is inh

  6. Frequent burning promotes invasions of alien plants into a mesic African savanna

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Masocha, M.; Skidmore, A.K.; Poshiwa, X.; Prins, H.H.T.

    2011-01-01

    Fire is both inevitable and necessary for maintaining the structure and functioning of mesic savannas. Without disturbances such as fire and herbivory, tree cover can increase at the expense of grass cover and over time dominate mesic savannas. Consequently, repeated burning is widely used to suppre

  7. Tree invasion in a semi-arid savanna in Zimbabwe : seedling recruitment of Acacia karroo

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Chirara, C. (Chipangura)

    2002-01-01

    In this thesis Chirara reports on his study on the competitive interaction between savanna grasses and young tree seedlings of Acacia karroo, from hereon indicated as ' Acacia seedlings' . Acacia is one of the tree species that dominates savanna grassland in situations of overgrazing (bush encroachm

  8. Tree invasion in a semi-arid savanna in Zimbabwe : seedling recruitment of Acacia karroo

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Chirara, C. (Chipangura)

    2001-01-01

    In this thesis Chirara reports on his study on the competitive interaction between savanna grasses and young tree seedlings of Acacia karroo, from hereon indicated as ' Acacia seedlings' . Acacia is one of the tree species that dominates savanna grassland in situations of overgrazing (bush

  9. Simulating Various Terrestrial and Uav LIDAR Scanning Configurations for Understory Forest Structure Modelling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hämmerle, M.; Lukač, N.; Chen, K.-C.; Koma, Zs.; Wang, C.-K.; Anders, K.; Höfle, B.

    2017-09-01

    Information about the 3D structure of understory vegetation is of high relevance in forestry research and management (e.g., for complete biomass estimations). However, it has been hardly investigated systematically with state-of-the-art methods such as static terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) or laser scanning from unmanned aerial vehicle platforms (ULS). A prominent challenge for scanning forests is posed by occlusion, calling for proper TLS scan position or ULS flight line configurations in order to achieve an accurate representation of understory vegetation. The aim of our study is to examine the effect of TLS or ULS scanning strategies on (1) the height of individual understory trees and (2) understory canopy height raster models. We simulate full-waveform TLS and ULS point clouds of a virtual forest plot captured from various combinations of max. 12 TLS scan positions or 3 ULS flight lines. The accuracy of the respective datasets is evaluated with reference values given by the virtually scanned 3D triangle mesh tree models. TLS tree height underestimations range up to 1.84 m (15.30 % of tree height) for single TLS scan positions, but combining three scan positions reduces the underestimation to maximum 0.31 m (2.41 %). Combining ULS flight lines also results in improved tree height representation, with a maximum underestimation of 0.24 m (2.15 %). The presented simulation approach offers a complementary source of information for efficient planning of field campaigns aiming at understory vegetation modelling.

  10. Effects of widespread drought-induced aspen mortality on understory plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderegg, William R L; Anderegg, Leander D L; Sherman, Clare; Karp, Daniel S

    2012-12-01

    Forest die-off around the world is expected to increase in coming decades as temperature increases due to climate change. Forest die-off will likely affect understory plant communities, which have substantial influence on regional biological diversity, ecosystem function, and land-atmosphere interactions, but how die-off alters these plant communities is largely unknown. We examined changes in understory plant communities following a widespread, drought-induced die-off of trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides) in the western United States. We assessed shrub and herbaceous cover and volume in quadrats in 55 plots located across a wide range of levels of aspen mortality. We measured species richness and composition of herbaceous plant communities by recording species presence and absence in 12 sets of paired (1 healthy, 1 dying) aspen plots. Although understory composition in healthy and dying stands was heterogeneous across the landscape, shrub abundance, cover, and volume were higher and abundance of herbaceous species, cover, and volume were lower in dying aspen stands. Shrub cover and volume increased from 2009 to 2011 in dying stands, which suggests that shrub growth and expansion is ongoing. Species richness of herbs declined by 23% in dying stands. Composition of herbs differed significantly between dying and healthy stands. Richness of non-native species did not differ between stand types. The understory community in dying aspen stands was not similar to other shrub-dominated plant communities in the region and may constitute a novel community. Our results suggest that changes in understory plant communities as forests die off could be a significant indirect effect of climate change on biological diversity and forest communities.

  11. Spatial and temporal variability of canopy cover and understory light in a Cerrado of Southern Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    JP. Lemos-Filho

    Full Text Available Canopy cover has significant effects on the understory environment, including upon light availability for seedling growth. The aim of the present study was to verify spatial heterogeneity and seasonal changes in the canopy cover of a dense Cerrado area, and their relationship to understory photosynthetic active radiation availability. Leaf area index (LAI values in the rainy season varied from 0.9 to 4.83, with 40% of the values ranging from 4.0 to 5.0, while in the dry season LAI varied from 0.74 to 3.3, with 53% of the values oscilating from 2.0 to 3.0. Understory light (Qi and the Lambert-Beer ratio (Qi/Qo were taken around noon on sunny days (between 11:00 AM and 1:00 PM. They were also statistically different (p < 0.01 between the dry and wet seasons, with 72% of sampled points in the rainy season presenting photosynthetic photon flux density (PPFD values lower than 250 μmol.m-2/s around noon, whereas in the dry season, most PPFD values varied from 1500 to 1817 μmol.m-2/s , thus providing high light availability for understory plants. In most of the studied sites, understory plants did not even receive enough light for 50% of their photosynthetic capacity in the wet season. In contrast during the dry season, Qi/Qo values of 0.8 to 1.0 were observed in more than 50% of the points, thereby allowing for photosynthetic light saturation. Thus, light variability around noon was higher during the dry season than in the wet season, its heterogeneity being related to spatial complexity in the canopy cover.

  12. Mixing effects of understory plant litter on decomposition and nutrient release of tree litter in two plantations in Northeast China.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lei Zhao

    Full Text Available Understory vegetation plays a crucial role in carbon and nutrient cycling in forest ecosystems; however, it is not clear how understory species affect tree litter decomposition and nutrient dynamics. In this study, we examined the impacts of understory litter on the decomposition and nutrient release of tree litter both in a pine (Pinus sylvestris var. mongolica and a poplar (Populus × xiaozhuanica plantation in Northeast China. Leaf litter of tree species, and senesced aboveground materials from two dominant understory species, Artemisia scoparia and Setaria viridis in the pine stand and Elymus villifer and A. sieversiana in the poplar stand, were collected. Mass loss and N and P fluxes of single-species litter and three-species mixtures in each of the two forests were quantified. Data from single-species litterbags were used to generate predicted mass loss and N and P fluxes for the mixed-species litterbags. In the mixture from the pine stand, the observed mass loss and N release did not differ from the predicted value, whereas the observed P release was greater than the predicted value. However, the presence of understory litter decelerated the mass loss and did not affect N and P releases from the pine litter. In the poplar stand, litter mixture presented a positive non-additive effect on litter mass loss and P release, but an addition effect on N release. The presence of understory species accelerated only N release of poplar litter. Moreover, the responses of mass loss and N and P releases of understory litter in the mixtures varied with species in both pine and poplar plantations. Our results suggest that the effects of understory species on tree litter decomposition vary with tree species, and also highlight the importance of understory species in litter decomposition and nutrient cycles in forest ecosystems.

  13. Lund Sand No 0

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ibsen, Lars Bo; Jakobsen, Finn Rosendal

    During the last 15 years the Geotechnical Engineering Group (GEG) at Aalborg University has performed triaxial tests with a sand called Lund No 0. Lund No 0 is a graded sand from a gravel pit near Horsens in Denmark. For the classification of the sand the following tests have been performed: Sieve...... test, Grain density, ds, Maximum, emax, and minimum, emin, void ratio. The strength parameters of Lund No 0 are detennined by some drained and undrained triaxial tests in the Danish Triaxial Cell. The Danish Triaxial Cell prescribes smooth pressure heads and specimens with equal height and diameter....... Four series with Id equal to 0.92, 0.87 0.76 and 0.55 have been performed....

  14. CO2 fluxes in converting a tropical savanna to a managed ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bristow, Mila; Hutley, Lindsay; Beringer, Jason; Livesley, Stephen; Arndt, Stefan

    2013-04-01

    Clearing and burning of tropical savanna is a globally significant emission of greenhouse gas although there is large uncertainty relating to the magnitude of this flux. Australia's tropical savannas occupy over 25% of the continental land mass and they significantly influence the national greenhouse gas budget. The tropical savanna region is also earmarked as one potential area of agricultural expansion in Australia given predicted rainfall declines across southern agricultural regions. It is currently unknown what impact a conversion of savanna woodlands to agricultural cropping will have on carbon and water budgets. We measured continuous CO2 exchange using eddy covariance flux towers before, during and after a land use change event in a savanna woodland in the Northern Territory of Australia. Our experimental design included flux measurement in an uncleared savanna and at a second savanna site prior to, during clearing and conversion to agricultural land. In addition, we measured the biomass of the savanna vegetation to quantify loss of standing carbon during conversion. The uncleared savanna was a weak net sink annually (~0.5 t C ha-1yr-1). In the 5 months prior to clearing, the late dry season to the early wet season (Oct 2011 to Mar 2012), the analogue savanna site was also a weak sink (mean daily sink ~0.05 t C ha-1 d-1). Clearing shifted the site to a net source of CO2. It remained a permanent CO2 source regardless of subsequent weather events, with pulses of increased respiration associated with rainfall events. The cleared debris (63 t biomass ha-1) was burnt in the late dry season a process that took 10 days (burning, stock piling, re-burning). Using savanna specific fuel emission factors we calculated the emissions from this fire event assuming all above ground, and 90% below-ground biomass was incinerated. The burning released a further 25.1 t C ha-1 from cleared debris, plus 6.3 t C ha-1 as a net emission as measured by the tower, generating huge CO2

  15. UK Frac Sand Resources

    OpenAIRE

    Mitchell, C J

    2015-01-01

    Although still just a glimmer in the gas man’s eye, the prospect of shale hydrocarbon (oil and gas) development in the UK has many companies thinking about the industrial minerals it will require. Chief amongst these is silica sand which is used as a ‘proppant’ in the hydraulic fracturing, or ‘fracking’, of shales to help release the gas. The UK has large resources of sand and sandstone, of which only a small proportion have the necessary technical properties that classify them as ‘silica san...

  16. Structural, physiognomic and aboveground biomass variation in savanna-forest transition zones on three continents. How different are co-occurring savanna and forest formations?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. M. Veenendaal

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Through interpretations of remote sensing data and/or theoretical propositions, the idea that forest and savanna represent "alternative stable states" is gaining increasing acceptance. Filling an observational gap, we present detailed stratified floristic and structural analyses for forest and savanna stands mostly located within zones of transition (where both vegetation types occur in close proximity in Africa, South America and Australia. Woody plant leaf area index variation was related in a similar way to tree canopy cover for both savanna and forest with substantial overlap between the two vegetation types. As total woody plant canopy cover increased, so did the contribution of middle and lower strata of woody vegetation to this total. Herbaceous layer cover also declined as woody cover increased. This pattern of understorey grasses and herbs being progressively replaced by shrubs as canopy closure occurs was found for both savanna and forests and on all continents. Thus, once subordinate woody canopy layers are taken into account, a less marked transition in woody plant cover across the savanna-forest species discontinuum is observed compared to that implied when trees of a basal diameter > 0.1m are considered in isolation. This is especially the case for shrub-dominated savannas and in taller savannas approaching canopy closure. An increased contribution of forest species to the total subordinate cover is also observed as savanna stand canopy closure occurs. Despite similarities in canopy cover characteristics, woody vegetation in Africa and Australia attained greater heights and stored a greater concentration of above ground biomass than in South America. Up to three times as much aboveground biomass is stored in forests compared to savannas under equivalent climatic conditions. Savanna/forest transition zones were also found to typically occur at higher precipitation regimes for South America than for Africa. Nevertheless, coexistence

  17. Mapping Brazilian savanna vegetation gradients with Landsat time series

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwieder, Marcel; Leitão, Pedro J.; da Cunha Bustamante, Mercedes Maria; Ferreira, Laerte Guimarães; Rabe, Andreas; Hostert, Patrick

    2016-10-01

    Global change has tremendous impacts on savanna systems around the world. Processes related to climate change or agricultural expansion threaten the ecosystem's state, function and the services it provides. A prominent example is the Brazilian Cerrado that has an extent of around 2 million km2 and features high biodiversity with many endemic species. It is characterized by landscape patterns from open grasslands to dense forests, defining a heterogeneous gradient in vegetation structure throughout the biome. While it is undisputed that the Cerrado provides a multitude of valuable ecosystem services, it is exposed to changes, e.g. through large scale land conversions or climatic changes. Monitoring of the Cerrado is thus urgently needed to assess the state of the system as well as to analyze and further understand ecosystem responses and adaptations to ongoing changes. Therefore we explored the potential of dense Landsat time series to derive phenological information for mapping vegetation gradients in the Cerrado. Frequent data gaps, e.g. due to cloud contamination, impose a serious challenge for such time series analyses. We synthetically filled data gaps based on Radial Basis Function convolution filters to derive continuous pixel-wise temporal profiles capable of representing Land Surface Phenology (LSP). Derived phenological parameters revealed differences in the seasonal cycle between the main Cerrado physiognomies and could thus be used to calibrate a Support Vector Classification model to map their spatial distribution. Our results show that it is possible to map the main spatial patterns of the observed physiognomies based on their phenological differences, whereat inaccuracies occurred especially between similar classes and data-scarce areas. The outcome emphasizes the need for remote sensing based time series analyses at fine scales. Mapping heterogeneous ecosystems such as savannas requires spatial detail, as well as the ability to derive important

  18. Fuel model selection for BEHAVE in midwestern oak savannas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grabner, K.W.; Dwyer, J.P.; Cutter, B.E.

    2001-01-01

    BEHAVE, a fire behavior prediction system, can be a useful tool for managing areas with prescribed fire. However, the proper choice of fuel models can be critical in developing management scenarios. BEHAVE predictions were evaluated using four standardized fuel models that partially described oak savanna fuel conditions: Fuel Model 1 (Short Grass), 2 (Timber and Grass), 3 (Tall Grass), and 9 (Hardwood Litter). Although all four models yielded regressions with R2 in excess of 0.8, Fuel Model 2 produced the most reliable fire behavior predictions.

  19. Taxonomy Icon Data: African savanna elephant [Taxonomy Icon

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available African savanna elephant Loxodonta africana Chordata/Vertebrata/Mammalia/Theria/Eutheria/etc. Loxodonta_afri...cana_L.png Loxodonta_africana_NL.png Loxodonta_africana_S.png Loxodonta_africana_NS....png http://biosciencedbc.jp/taxonomy_icon/icon.cgi?i=Loxodonta+africana&t=L http://biosciencedbc.jp/taxonom...y_icon/icon.cgi?i=Loxodonta+africana&t=NL http://biosciencedbc.jp/taxonomy_icon/icon.cgi?i=Loxodonta+afric...ana&t=S http://biosciencedbc.jp/taxonomy_icon/icon.cgi?i=Loxodonta+africana&t=NS ...

  20. Building with Sand

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashbrook, Peggy

    2010-01-01

    Children playing in damp sand invariably try to make a tower or a tunnel. By providing experiences with a variety of materials, alone and together, teachers set up the conditions for children to learn through their senses and ensure that a class approaches a topic with a common set of experiences to build on. Learning about the properties of…

  1. Faraday, Jets, and Sand

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sandtke, M.; van der Meer, Roger M.; Versluis, Andreas Michel; Lohse, Detlef

    2003-01-01

    When a 6-mm layer of fine sand with an average grain size of 40 µm is poured into a cylindrical container and shaken vertically, thin jets are seen to emerge from an airy cloud of grains, almost like protuberances from the corona of the sun. A quasi two-dimensional setup reveals the jet-formation

  2. Building with Sand

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashbrook, Peggy

    2010-01-01

    Children playing in damp sand invariably try to make a tower or a tunnel. By providing experiences with a variety of materials, alone and together, teachers set up the conditions for children to learn through their senses and ensure that a class approaches a topic with a common set of experiences to build on. Learning about the properties of…

  3. Speleothems and Sand Castles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hance, Trevor; Befus, Kevin

    2015-01-01

    The idea of building sand castles evokes images of lazy summer days at the beach, listening to waves crash, enjoying salty breezes, and just unplugging for a while to let our inner child explore the wonderful natural toys beneath our feet. The idea of exploring caves might evoke feelings and images of claustrophobia or pioneers and Native…

  4. Virksomhedens sande ansigt

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lundholt, Marianne Wolff

    2017-01-01

    Er modhistorier en byrde eller en styrke i forandringsprocesser? Hvad stiller vi op, når adgangen til organisationens sande identitet går gennem medarbejdernes modhistorier? Når vi sammenholder denne erkendelse med vores viden om, at medarbejdere helt naturligt afholder sig fra at videregive disse...

  5. Sand (CSW4)

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Estuarine and Coastal Research Unit

    1982-12-01

    Full Text Available This report is one of a series on Cape Estuaries being published under the general title "The Estuaries of the Cape, Part 2". The report provides information on sand estuary: historical background, abiotic and biotic characteristics. It is pointed...

  6. Sand supply to beaches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aagaard, Troels

    2017-04-01

    In most cases, beaches and dunes are built by sand that has been transported onshore from the shoreface. While this has been known for a long time, we are still not able to quantitatively predict onshore sediment transport and sand supply to beaches. Sediment transport processes operating during brief, high-energy stormy conditions - when beaches erode and sand moves offshore - are fairly well known and they can be modelled with a reasonable degree of confidence. However, the slower onshore sand transport leading to beach recovery under low-to-moderate energy conditions - and the reason why beaches and dunes exist in the first place - is not yet well understood. This severely limits our capability to understand and predict coastal behaviour on long time scales, for example in response to changing sea level or wave conditions. This paper will discuss issues and recent developments in sediment transport measurement and prediction on the lower and upper shoreface and into the swash zone. The focus will be on the integration and upscaling of small-scale deterministic process measurements into parametric models that may increase modelling capabilities of coastal behaviour on larger temporal and spatial scales.

  7. Erosion phenomena in sand moulds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Chojecki

    2008-03-01

    Full Text Available Authors studicd the erosion phcnorncna in sand moulds pured with cast iron. Thc study comprises an evaluation of erosionresistance of thc three sands: grccn sand. sand bondcd with inorganic or organic bindcr. It was concluded that thc most resistant is [heclassic green sand with thc addition of 5 B coal dust. Resistance of the sand with organic binder is generally weak and dcvnds onkind of used raisin. Spccinl nztcntion was paid to the sands with no organic bindcr watcr glass and phospha~c. It was Sound that thcirrcsistance depends on dehydratation conditions. When the mould is stored in law humidity of atmosphcrc the very strong crosion canbe expected. It rcsul ts hrn thc micro fractures in the bridges of binders, joining the grains of the sable. This phcnomcna facilitates thetearing away of fragments of sand [tom the surface

  8. Seasonality and nitrogen supply modify carbon partitioning in understory vegetation of a boreal coniferous forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hasselquist, N J; Metcalfe, D B; Marshall, J D; Lucas, R W; Högberg, P

    2016-03-01

    Given the strong coupling between the carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) cycles, there is substantial interest in understanding how N availability affects C cycling in terrestrial ecosystems, especially in ecosystems limited by N. However, most studies in temperate and boreal forests have focused on the effects of N addition on tree growth. By comparison, less is known about the effects of N availability on the cycling of C in understory vegetation despite some evidence that dwarf shrubs, mosses, and lichens play an important role in the forest C balance. In this study, we used an in situ 13CO2 pulse-labeling technique to examine the short-term dynamics of C partitioning in understory vegetation in three boreal Pinus sylvestris forest stands exposed to different rates of N addition: a low and high N addition that receive annual additions of NH4NO3 of 20 and 100 kg N/ha, respectively, and this is a typo. It should be an unfertilized control. Labeling was conducted at two distinct periods (early vs. late growing season), which provided a seasonal picture of how N addition affects C dynamics in understory vegetation. In contrast to what has been found in trees, there was no obvious trend in belowground C partitioning in ericaceous plants in response to N additions or seasonality. Increasing N addition led to a greater percentage of 13C being incorporated into ericaceous leaves with a high turnover, whereas high rates of N addition strongly reduced the incorporation of 13C into less degradable moss tissues. Addition of N also resulted in a greater percentage of the 13C label being respired back to the atmosphere and an overall reduction in total understory carbon use efficiency. Taken together, our results suggest a faster cycling of C in understory vegetation with increasing N additions; yet the magnitude of this general response was strongly dependent on the amount of N added and varied seasonally. These results provide some of the first in situ C and N partitioning

  9. Combined effects of arbuscular mycorrhizas and light on water uptake of the neotropical understory shrubs, Piper and Psychotria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Damond A. Kyllo; Virginia Velez; Melvin T. Tyree

    2003-01-01

    Root hydraulic conductance (Kr) was measured for five understory shrub species of the neotropical moist forest to determine the effects of arbuscular mycorrhizas (AM) for both carbon-rich and carbon-limited host plants.

  10. On Pluvial Compaction of Sand

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jacobsen, Moust

    At the Institute of Civil Engineering in Aalborg model tests on dry sand specimens have been carried out during the last five years. To reduce deviations in test results, the sand laying technique has been carefully studied, and the sand mass spreader constructed. Preliminary results have been...

  11. Short-term effects of burn season on flowering phenology of savanna plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pavlovic, N.B.; Leicht-Young, S. A.; Grundel, R.

    2011-01-01

    We examined the effect of season of burn on flowering phenology of groundlayer species, in the year following burns, in a mesic-sand Midwestern oak savanna. Burn treatments were fall, early-season, growing-season, late-season, and 1 or 5 years after a prior early-season wildfire. For these treatments, we compared the number of flowering stems and of flowers for species overall, for the 20 most prolifically flowering species, as well as for species grouped by flowering phenoperiods, and by growth form. Growing-season burn had a significant negative effect on number of flowering stems and total number of flowers. This effect occurred when either the burn occurred during the flowering season or during the season prior to the flowering phenoperiod. Tradescantia ohiensis showed expedited flowering and Phlox pilosa showed delayed flowering in response to early-season burning. Flowering of early shrubs was reduced by the previous fall and early-spring fires, while flowering of mid-season blooming shrubs was reduced by the early- and growing-season burns. Vaccinium and Gaylussacia, early-flowering shrubs, produced fewer flowers 1 year after than 5 years after an early-season burn. Arabis lyrata showed reduced flowering from the early-season burn. We also found four instances where the early-spring burn effect on flowering was more severe than the fall burn effect, suggesting that many frequent early-season burns may be deleterious to flowering and reproduction of some species. Burns occurring too frequently in the same season could negatively affect future flowering and reproduction of these plant species.

  12. Comparison of seed rain and seed limitation between community understory and gaps in a subtropical evergreen forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Du, Yanjun; Mi, Xiangcheng; Ma, Keping

    2012-10-01

    Treefall gaps have been identified as important sites for plant recruitment. In this study, we compared seed rain between forest gaps and forest interior using 150 seed traps in the understory and 19 traps in gaps in a 24 ha permanent plot of subtropical evergreen broad-leaved forest in East China. We asked how total seed abundance and seed species richness, the relative representation of different dispersal modes, and seed limitation and its components differed between canopy gaps and the understory. Results showed that most of the species found in both the understory and in gaps were animal-dispersal, but most of the seed rain was comprised of wind-dispersed species in both habitats. No significant differences in either density or diversity of seeds between gaps and non-gap sites were found. Contrary to expectations, wind-dispersed seeds did not occur significantly more in treefall gaps than in the forest understory. There were also no significant differences in seed limitation and its components (source limitation, dispersal limitation) between the understory and gaps. Seed limitation was strong for all but a few of the best-dispersed species in both gap and understory seed traps. Source and dispersal limitation showed large inter-specific variation in both the understory and in gaps. Overall, our results indicate that: (i) gaps may play a neutral role in maintaining seed diversity in this subtropical forest; (ii) under strong seed limitation both in gaps and in the understory, population and community dynamics slows and ecological drift in species composition may become a more important determinant of community structure.

  13. Effect of wildfires on surface reflectance from a savanna ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poudyal, R.; Gatebe, C. K.; Ichoku, C. M.; Varnai, T.

    2015-12-01

    During an airborne field campaign in South Africa in 2005, NASA's Cloud Absorption Radiometer (CAR) flew aboard South Africa Weather Service, Aerocommander 690A and measured surface bidirectional reflectance-distribution function (BRDF) over savanna comprised mostly of grasses and a few scattered trees. Savannas cover half the surface of Africa, large areas of Australia, South America, and India. . The region that was studied is located in Kruger National Park in northeastern South Africa, which was heavily affected by the wildfires. The CAR measured surface reflectance along its flight path covering both burned and unburned areas. . In this study, we compared surface reflectance between burnt and un-burnt areas at various wavelengths (340nm, 380nm, 472nm, 682nm, 870nm, 1036nm, 1219nm, 1273nm, and 2205nm) at satellite sub-pixel scales. We found a relative burnt surface reflectance decrease of between 8 and 65% due to fires. These results not only serve to highlight the importance of biomass burning and effects on the energy budgets, but also the need to determine the effects of albedo changes due to fires on soil moisture budget, evapotranspiration, infiltration, and runoff, all of which govern the land-surface component of the water cycle.

  14. Ant plant herbivore interactions in the neotropical cerrado savanna

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oliveira, Paulo S.; Freitas, André V. L.

    2004-12-01

    The Brazilian cerrado savanna covers nearly 2 million km2 and has a high incidence on foliage of various liquid food sources such as extrafloral nectar and insect exudates. These liquid rewards generate intense ant activity on cerrado foliage, making ant plant herbivore interactions especially prevalent in this biome. We present data on the distribution and abundance of extrafloral nectaries in the woody flora of cerrado communities and in the flora of other habitats worldwide, and stress the relevance of liquid food sources (including hemipteran honeydew) for the ant fauna. Consumption by ants of plant and insect exudates significantly affects the activity of the associated herbivores of cerrado plant species, with varying impacts on the reproductive output of the plants. Experiments with an ant plant butterfly system unequivocally demonstrate that the behavior of both immature and adult lepidopterans is closely related to the use of a risky host plant, where intensive visitation by ants can have a severe impact on caterpillar survival. We discuss recent evidence suggesting that the occurrence of liquid rewards on leaves plays a key role in mediating the foraging ecology of foliage-dwelling ants, and that facultative ant plant mutualisms are important in structuring the community of canopy arthropods. Ant-mediated effects on cerrado herbivore communities can be revealed by experiments performed on wide spatial scales, including many environmental factors such as soil fertility and vegetation structure. We also present some research questions that could be rewarding to investigate in this major neotropical savanna.

  15. Modelling fire frequency in a Cerrado savanna protected area.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pereira Júnior, Alfredo C; Oliveira, Sofia L J; Pereira, José M C; Turkman, Maria Antónia Amaral

    2014-01-01

    Covering almost a quarter of Brazil, the Cerrado is the world's most biologically rich tropical savanna. Fire is an integral part of the Cerrado but current land use and agricultural practices have been changing fire regimes, with undesirable consequences for the preservation of biodiversity. In this study, fire frequency and fire return intervals were modelled over a 12-year time series (1997-2008) for the Jalapão State Park, a protected area in the north of the Cerrado, based on burned area maps derived from Landsat imagery. Burned areas were classified using object based image analysis. Fire data were modelled with the discrete lognormal model and the estimated parameters were used to calculate fire interval, fire survival and hazard of burning distributions, for seven major land cover types. Over the study period, an area equivalent to four times the size of Jalapão State Park burned and the mean annual area burned was 34%. Median fire intervals were generally short, ranging from three to six years. Shrub savannas had the shortest fire intervals, and dense woodlands the longest. Because fires in the Cerrado are strongly responsive to fuel age in the first three to four years following a fire, early dry season patch mosaic burning may be used to reduce the extent of area burned and the severity of fire effects.

  16. MARKET OF NON-WOOD FOREST PRODUCTS FROM BRAZILIAN SAVANNA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandra Regina Afonso

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available In this article, we analyze the main non-wood forest products from Brazilian savanna. We studied the behavior and the growth rates of production and prices of almond of babaçu, oil of copaiba, fiber of buriti, leaf of jaborandi, bark of barbatimão, bark of angico, fruit of mangaba, almonds of pequi, from 1982 to 2005. All the products exhibited decreasing production, with exception of the oil of copaiba and almonds of pequi, which showed positive growth rates: 12.9% and 8.5%, respectively. The analysis of prices for most products was not significant, except for barks of barbatimão and angico, and almonds of pequi, which showed positive trends: 10.9%, 6.7%, and 4.6%, respectively. We believe that results were not significant due to the severe variations of the Brazilian currency in the period. We conclude that pequi is the main product from savanna and that oil of copaiba has the biggest increase in the production because most of the production comes from the whole Brazilian Amazon region.

  17. Detecting animals in African Savanna with UAVs and the crowds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rey, Nicolas; Volpi, Michele; Joost, Stéphane; Tuia, Devis

    2017-10-01

    Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) offer new opportunities for wildlife monitoring, with several advantages over traditional field-based methods. They have readily been used to count birds, marine mammals and large herbivores in different environments, tasks which are routinely performed through manual counting in large collections of images. In this paper, we propose a semi-automatic system able to detect large mammals in semi-arid Savanna. It relies on an animal-detection system based on machine learning, trained with crowd-sourced annotations provided by volunteers who manually interpreted sub-decimeter resolution color images. The system achieves a high recall rate and a human operator can then eliminate false detections with limited effort. Our system provides good perspectives for the development of data-driven management practices in wildlife conservation. It shows that the detection of large mammals in semi-arid Savanna can be approached by processing data provided by standard RGB cameras mounted on affordable fixed wings UAVs.

  18. Spectral reflectance patterns and seasonal dynamics of common understory types in three mature hemi-boreal forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nikopensius, Maris; Pisek, Jan; Raabe, Kairi

    2015-12-01

    Due to the growing demand on more accurate prediction of biophysical properties (e.g., leaf area index) or carbon balance models based on remotely sensed data, the understory effect needs to be separated from the overstory. Reflectance models can provide possibility to model and retrieve understory reflectance over large scales, but ground truth data is needed to validate such models and algorithms. In this study, we documented the seasonal variation (April-September) and spectral changes occurring in understory layers of a typical European hemi-boreal forest. The understory composition was recorded and its spectra measured with an ASD FieldSpec Hand-Held UV/VNIR Spectroradiometer eight times at four site types during the growing period (from May to September) in 2013. The collected dataset presented within this study would be of much use to improve and validate algorithms or models for extracting spectral properties of understory from remote sensing data. It can be also further used as a valuable input in radiative transfer simulations that are used to quantify the roles of forest tree layer and understory components in forming a seasonal reflectance course of a hemi-boreal forest, and the upcoming phases of the RAdiation Model Intercomparison (RAMI) experiment.

  19. Airborne laser scanner (LiDAR) proxies for understory light conditions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Alexander, Cici; Moeslund, Jesper Erenskjold; Bøcher, Peder Klith

    2013-01-01

    Canopy cover and canopy closure are two closely related measures of vegetation structure. They are used for estimating understory light conditions and their influence on a broad range of biological components in forest ecosystems, from the demography and population dynamics of individual species...... to community structure. Angular canopy closure is more closely related to the direct and indirect light experienced by a plant or an animal than vertical canopy cover, but more challenging to estimate. We used airborne laser scanner (ALS) data to estimate canopy cover for 210 5-m radius vegetation plots...... of azimuth and zenith angle intervals which contained points. We compared these estimates with field-based estimates using densiometer for 60 vegetation plots in forest. Finally, we compared ALS-based estimates of canopy cover and canopy closure to field-based estimates of understory light, based...

  20. Sand hazards on tourist beaches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heggie, Travis W

    2013-01-01

    Visiting the beach is a popular tourist activity worldwide. Unfortunately, the beach environment is abundant with hazards and potential danger to the unsuspecting tourist. While the traditional focus of beach safety has been water safety oriented, there is growing concern about the risks posed by the sand environment on beaches. This study reports on the death and near death experience of eight tourists in the collapse of sand holes, sand dunes, and sand tunnels. Each incident occurred suddenly and the complete burial in sand directly contributed to the victims injury or death in each case report.

  1. A comparison of seed banks across a sand dune successional gradient at Lake Michigan dunes (Indiana, USA)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leicht-Young, S. A.; Pavlovic, N.B.; Grundel, R.; Frohnapple, K.J.

    2009-01-01

    In habitats where disturbance is frequent, seed banks are important for the regeneration of vegetation. Sand dune systems are dynamic habitats in which sand movement provides intermittent disturbance. As succession proceeds from bare sand to forest, the disturbance decreases. At Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, we examined the seed banks of three habitat types across a successional gradient: foredunes, secondary dunes, and oak savanna. There were differences among the types of species that germinated from each of the habitats. The mean seed bank density increased across the successional gradient by habitat, from 376 to 433 to 968 seeds m-2, but with foredune and secondary dune seed bank densities being significantly lower than the savanna seed bank density. The number of seeds germinated was significantly correlated with soil organic carbon, demonstrating for this primary successional sequence that seed density increases with stage and age. The seed bank had much lower species richness than that of the aboveground vegetation across all habitats. Among sites within a habitat type, the similarity of species germinated from the seed banks was very low, illustrating the variability of the seed bank even in similar habitat types. These results suggest that restoration of these habitats cannot rely on seed banks alone. ?? 2008 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

  2. Responses of a Federally Endangered Songbird to Understory Thinning in Oak-Juniper Woodlands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Long, Ashley M.; Marshall, Mike E.; Morrison, Michael L.; Hays, K. Brian; Farrell, Shannon L.

    2017-04-01

    Wildlife conservation and management on military lands must be accomplished in the context of military readiness, which often includes ground-based training that is perceived to conflict with wildlife needs and environmental regulations. From 2008‒2012, we examined territory density, pairing success, and fledging success of the federally endangered golden-cheeked warbler ( Setophaga chrysoparia; hereafter warbler) in relation to removal of small-diameter trees from the understory of mature oak-juniper ( Quercus-Juniperus) woodland at the 87,890 ha Fort Hood Military Reservation in central Texas. Understory thinning created troop maneuver lanes, but left canopy vegetation intact. Warbler density, pairing success, and fledging success were similar across thinned and control sites. We found that warbler pairing and fledging success were best predicted by Ecological site (hereafter Ecosite), an indicator of hardwood tree species composition. Warbler pairing and fledging success were about 1.5 and 1.6 times higher, respectively, for territories dominated by the Low Stony Hill Ecosite than territories dominated by the Redlands Ecosite. Our results indicate that understory thinning for military training purposes did not have a negative effect on warblers at Fort Hood in the manner tested, and suggest that removal of smaller trees from the understory in a way that replicates historic conditions may elicit neutral responses from this forest-dependent songbird. Quantifying wildlife responses to military activities provides the Department of Defense and US Fish and Wildlife Service with data to guide conservation of threatened and endangered species on Department of Defense facilities while maintaining the military mission, and supports wildlife management efforts on other public and private lands.

  3. Site quality influence over understory plant diversity in old-growth and harvested Nothofagus pumilio forests

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. A. Gallo

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Aim of study: The effects and interactions of shelterwood forest harvesting and site qualities over understory plant species diversity and composition were compared among primary and harvested Nothofagus pumilio forests.Area of study: Tierra del Fuego (Argentina, on three pure conditions (one and six year-old harvested, and primary without previous harvesting forests and three site qualities (high, medium and low.Material and Methods: Understory richness and cover (% were registered in five replicates of 1 hectare each per treatment. Taxonomic species were classified in categories (groups, origin and life forms. Two-way ANOVAs and multivariate analyses were conducted.Main results: Shelterwood harvesting and site quality significantly influenced understory cover and richness, which allow the introduction of native and exotic species and increasing of dicot and monocot covers. In dicots, monocots, exotics and total groups, higher richness and covers were related to time. Meanwhile, cover reached similar high values in all site qualities on dicot, native and total groups. On the other hand, monocot and exotic richness and cover remain similar in primary and recently harvested forests, and greatly increased in old harvested forests. Mosses and ferns were among the most sensitive groups.Research highlights: Impacts of shelterwood cut depend on site quality of the stands and time since harvesting occurs. For this, different site quality stands should received differential attention in the development of conservation strategies, as well as variations in the shelterwood implementation (as irregularity and patchiness should be considered to better promote understory plant species conservation inside managed areas.Key words: plant species conservation; years after harvesting; forest management; Tierra del Fuego.

  4. Site quality influence over understory plant diversity in old-growth and harvested Nothofagus pumilio forests

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gallo, E. A.; Lencinas, M. V.; Martinez-Pastur, G. J.

    2013-05-01

    Aim of study: The effects and interactions of shelter wood forest harvesting and site qualities over understory plant species diversity and composition were compared among primary and harvested Nothofagus pumilio forests. Area of study: Tierra del Fuego (Argentina), on three pure conditions (one and six year-old harvested, and primary without previous harvesting forests) and three site qualities (high, medium and low). Material and Methods: Understory richness and cover (%) were registered in five replicates of 1 hectare each per treatment. Taxonomic species were classified in categories (groups, origin and life forms). Two-way ANOVAs and multivariate analyses were conducted. Main results: Shelterwood harvesting and site quality significantly influenced understory cover and richness, which allow the introduction of native and exotic species and increasing of dicot and monocot covers. In dicots, monocots, exotics and total groups, higher richness and covers were related to time. Meanwhile, cover reached similar high values in all site qualities on dicot, native and total groups. On the other hand, monocot and exotic richness and cover remain similar in primary and recently harvested forests, and greatly increased in old harvested forests. Mosses and ferns were among the most sensitive groups. Research highlights: Impacts of shelterwood cut depend on site quality of the stands and time since harvesting occurs. For this, different site quality stands should received differential attention in the development of conservation strategies, as well as variations in the shelterwood implementation (as irregularity and patchiness) should be considered to better promote understory plant species conservation inside managed areas. (Author) 45 refs.

  5. Decreasing deer browsing pressure influenced understory vegetation dynamics over 30 years

    OpenAIRE

    Boulanger, Vincent; Baltzinger, Christophe; Saïd, Sonia; Ballon, Philippe; Picard, Jean-Francois; Dupouey, Jean-Luc

    2015-01-01

    Key message Thanks to the concomitant recordings of vegetation and deer browsing sampled first in 1976, then resurveyed in 2006, we show that forest plant communities shifted in response to deer population dynamics, stand management and eutrophication. Context and aims High deer populations alter forest under-story dynamics worldwide. However, no study ever attempted to rank the importance of deer herbivory relatively to other environmental drivers. In the Arc-en-Barrois National Forest (...

  6. Dense understory dwarf bamboo alters the retention of canopy tree seeds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qian, Feng; Zhang, Tengda; Guo, Qinxue; Tao, Jianping

    2016-05-01

    Tree seed retention is thought to be an important factor in the process of forest community regeneration. Although dense understory dwarf bamboo has been considered to have serious negative effects on the regeneration of forest community species, little attention has been paid to the relationship between dwarf bamboo and seed retention. In a field experiment we manipulated the density of Fargesia decurvata, a common understory dwarf bamboo, to investigate the retention of seeds from five canopy tree species in an evergreen and deciduous broad-leaved mixed forest in Jinfoshan National Nature Reserve, SW China. We found that the median survival time and retention ratio of seeds increased with the increase in bamboo density. Fauna discriminately altered seed retention in bamboo groves of different densities. Arthropods reduced seed survival the most, and seeds removed decreased with increasing bamboo density. Birds removed or ate more seeds in groves of medium bamboo density and consumed fewer seeds in dense or sparse bamboo habitats. Rodents removed a greater number of large and highly profitable seeds in dense bamboo groves but more small and thin-husked seeds in sparse bamboo groves. Seed characteristics, including seed size, seed mass and seed profitability, were important factors affecting seed retention. The results suggested that dense understory dwarf bamboo not only increased seeds concealment and reduced the probability and speed of seed removal but also influenced the trade-off between predation and risk of animal predatory strategies, thereby impacting the quantity and composition of surviving seeds. Our results also indicated that dense understory dwarf bamboo and various seed characteristics can provide good opportunities for seed storage and seed germination and has a potential positive effect on canopy tree regeneration.

  7. PROCESSING OF MONAZITE SAND

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calkins, G.D.; Bohlmann, E.G.

    1957-12-01

    A process for the recovery of thorium, uranium, and rare earths from monazite sands is presented. The sands are first digested and dissolved in concentrated NaOH, and the solution is then diluted causing precipitation of uranium, thorium and rare earth hydroxides. The precipitate is collected and dissolved in HCl, and the pH of this solution is adjusted to about 6, precipitating the hydroxides of thorium and uranium but leaving the rare earths in solution. The rare earths are then separated from the solution by precipitation at a still higher pH. The thorium and uranium containing precipitate is redissolved in HNO/sub 3/ and the two elements are separated by extraction into tributyl phosphate and back extraction with a weakly acidic solution to remove the thorium.

  8. Moving sand dunes

    CERN Document Server

    Sparavigna, Amelia Carolina

    2011-01-01

    In several desert areas, the slow motion of sand dunes can be a challenge for modern human activities and a threat for the survival of ancient places or archaeological sites. However, several methods exist for surveying the dune fields and estimate their migration rate. Among these methods, the use of satellite images, in particular of those freely available on the World Wide Web, is a convenient resource for the planning of future human settlements and activities.

  9. [Relationships between understory vegetation coverage and environmental factors in Pinus massoniana plantations from aerial seeding].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Fang; Ouyang, Xun-zhi

    2015-04-01

    The relationships between understory vegetation coverage and environmental factors in Pinus massoniana plantations from aerial seeding were studied by using principal component analysis, redundancy analysis and variation partitioning. The selected environmental factors in total explained 74.2% variation of the understory vegetation coverage. At low altitude, stand characteristics were the key factor to influence the understory vegetation coverage. Stand characteristics, soil property and topographic factor were respectively explained 55.0% (including 29.1% for separateness and 25.9% for interaction with other factors), 38. 9% (including 12.1% for separateness and 26.8% for interaction with other factors) and 9.0% (including 5.6% for separateness and 3.4% for interaction with other factors) of the total variation. Average diameter at breast height and canopy density affected mostly and positively correlated with the coverage of bryophyta, graminoid and shurb groups at significant level. Noncapillary porosity and soil water content showed a highly significant positive correlation to dicranopteris coverage, whereas average diameter at breast height, canopy density, soil nutrients and enzyme activity significantly negatively correlated with it. The coverage of graminoid, bryophyta and shurb groups showed the positive correlations, which indicated the three groups could promote each other, while the dicranopteris coverage had significant negative correlation with the three groups mentioned above.

  10. The effect of dead wood and understory coverage on small rodent abundance in Korean forest

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2001-01-01

    This study was conducted to investigate the population characteristics of small rodents in different habitats with the artificial presence and absence of dead wood, and understory vegetation after forest cutting at natural deciduous forest in north-eastern South Korea from April to December in 1997 and 1998. Two forests, one hectare each (100 ′ 100 m), were selected and designated as the control and the treatment area. Forest structure of mid and high canopy layers in both study areas was similar. But number and volume of fallen trees, and coverage of understory vegetation were higher in the control area than in the treatment area. Total captures of small rodents in two areas combined comprised Eothenomys regulus (55.5%, n = 211) and Apodemus peninsulae (44.5%, n = 169). Total abundance of E. regulus and A. peninsulae, and population stability were significantly greater in the control area than in the treatment area. The difference in the captured number of two small rodents between the two sites was caused by the difference in reproduction and residency. The structure of forest floor appears to be im-portant to small rodents. The presence of dead wood and understory vegetation after the forest cutting would be necessary for the maintenance of small rodent population in the forest cutting areas.

  11. Seed and vegetative production of shrubs and growth of understory conifer regeneration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wender, B.; Harrington, C.; Tappeiner, J.C.

    2004-01-01

    We observed flower and fruit production for nine understory shrub species in western Washington and Oregon and examined the relationships between shrub reproductive output and plant size, plant age, site factors, and overstory density to determine the factors that control flowering or fruiting in understory shrubs. In Washington, 50 or more shrubs or microplots (for rhizomatous species) were sampled for each of eight species. The variables examined were more useful for explaining abundance of flowers or fruit on shrubs than they were for explaining the probability that a shrub would produce flowers or fruit. Plant size was consistently the most useful predictor of flower/fruit abundance in all species; plant age was also a good predictor of abundance and was strongly correlated with plant size. Site variables (e.g., slope) and overstory competition variables (e.g., presence/absence of a canopy gap) also helped explain flower/fruit abundance for some species. At two Oregon sites, the responses of five species to four levels of thinning were observed for 2-4 yr (15 shrubs or microplots per treatment per year). Thinning increased the probability and abundance of flowering/fruiting for two species, had no effect on one species, and responses for two other species were positive but inconsistent between sites or from year to year. We believe reducing overstory density or creating canopy gaps may be useful tools for enhancing shrub size and vigor, thus, increasing the probability and abundance of fruiting in some understory shrub species.

  12. Understory avifauna exhibits altered mobbing behavior in tropical forest degraded by selective logging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hua, Fangyuan; Sieving, Kathryn E

    2016-11-01

    In understanding the impacts of selective logging on biodiversity, relatively little is known about the critical behavioral link between altered forest conditions and population persistence. Predator-mobbing is a widespread anti-predator behavior in birds that expresses a well-known trade-off influencing prey survival under predation risk. Here, we ask whether the predator-mobbing behavior of understory forest birds is altered by selective logging and associated forest structural changes in the highly endangered lowland rainforest of Sumatra. At four study sites spanning a gradient of logging-induced forest degradation, we used standardized mobbing and owl call playbacks with predator model presentation to elicit the predator-mobbing behavior of understory prey birds, compared birds' mobbing intensity across sites, and related variation in this intensity to forest vegetation structure. We found that selective logging altered birds' predator-mobbing intensity (measured by behavioral conspicuousness and propensity to approach the predator) as well as forest structure, and that vegetative changes to canopy and understory were correlated with contrasting responses by the two major bird foraging guilds, gleaning versus flycatching birds. We additionally discuss the implications of our findings for further hypothesis testing pertaining to the impacts of selective logging on the ecological processes underlying prey mobbing behavior, particularly with regards to predator-prey interactions and prey accruement of energy reserves.

  13. Involvement of allelopathy in inhibition of understory growth in red pine forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kato-Noguchi, Hisashi; Kimura, Fukiko; Ohno, Osamu; Suenaga, Kiyotake

    2017-07-12

    Japanese red pine (Pinus densiflora Sieb. et Zucc.) forests are characterized by sparse understory vegetation although sunlight intensity on the forest floor is sufficient for undergrowth. The possible involvement of pine allelopathy in the establishment of the sparse understory vegetation was investigated. The soil of the red pine forest floor had growth inhibitory activity on six test plant species including Lolium multiflorum, which was observed at the edge of the forest but not in the forest. Two growth inhibitory substances were isolated from the soil and characterized to be 15-hydroxy-7-oxodehydroabietate and 7-oxodehydroabietic acid. Those compounds are probably formed by degradation process of resin acids. Resin acids are produced by pine and delivered into the soil under the pine trees through balsam and defoliation. Threshold concentrations of 15-hydroxy-7-oxodehydroabietate and 7-oxodehydroabietic acid for the growth inhibition of L. multiflorum were 30 and 10μM, respectively. The concentrations of 15-hydroxy-7-oxodehydroabietate and 7-oxodehydroabietic acid in the soil were 312 and 397μM, respectively, which are sufficient concentrations to cause the growth inhibition because of the threshold. These results suggest that those compounds are able to work as allelopathic agents and may prevent from the invasion of herbaceous plants into the forests by inhibiting their growth. Therefore, allelopathy of red pine may be involved in the formation of the sparse understory vegetation. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  14. Booming Sand Dunes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vriend, Nathalie

    "Booming" sand dunes are able to produce low-frequency sound that resembles a pure note from a music instrument. The sound has a dominant audible frequency (70-105 Hz) and several higher harmonics and may be heard from far distances away. A natural or induced avalanche from a slip face of the booming dune triggers the emission that may last for several minutes. There are various references in travel literature to the phenomenon, but to date no scientific explanation covered all field observations. This thesis introduces a new physical model that describes the phenomenon of booming dunes. The waveguide model explains the selection of the booming frequency and the amplification of the sound in terms of constructive interference in a confined geometry. The frequency of the booming is a direct function of the dimensions and velocities in the waveguide. The higher harmonics are related to the higher modes of propagation in the waveguide. The experimental validation includes quantitative field research at the booming dunes of the Mojave Desert and Death Valley National Park. Microphone and geophone recordings of the acoustic and seismic emission show a variation of booming frequency in space and time. The analysis of the sensor data quantifies wave propagation characteristics such as speed, dispersion, and nonlinear effects and allows the distinction between the source mechanism of the booming and the booming itself. The migration of sand dunes results from a complicated interplay between dune building, wind regime, and precipitation. The morphological and morphodynamical characteristics of two field locations are analyzed with various geophysical techniques. Ground-penetrating radar images the subsurface structure of the dunes and reveal a natural, internal layering that is directly related to the history of dune migration. The seismic velocity increases abruptly with depth and gradually increases with downhill position due to compaction. Sand sampling shows local

  15. Sediment mathematical model for sand ridges and sand waves

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LI Daming; WANG Xiao; WANG Xin; LI Yangyang

    2016-01-01

    A new theoretical model is formulated to describe internal movement mechanisms of the sand ridges and sand waves based on the momentum equation of a solid-liquid two-phase flow under a shear flow. Coupling this equation with two-dimensional shallow water equations and wave reflection-diffraction equation of mild slope, a two-dimensional coupling model is established and a validation is carried out by observed hydrogeology, tides, waves and sediment. The numerical results are compared with available observations. Satisfactory agreements are achieved. This coupling model is then applied to the Dongfang 1-1 Gas Field area to quantitatively predict the movement and evolution of submarine sand ridges and sand waves. As a result, it is found that the sand ridges and sand waves movement distance increases year by year, but the development trend is stable.

  16. Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge : Savanna District : Annual Narrative Report : Fiscal Year 2007

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This annual narrative report for the Savanna District of the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge summarizes Refuge activities during the 2007...

  17. Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge : Savanna District : Annual Narrative Report : Fiscal Year 2006

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This annual narrative report for the Savanna District of the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge summarizes Refuge activities during the 2006...

  18. [Wildlife Inventory Plan: Upper Mississippi River Wildlife and Fish Refuge: Savanna District

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This plan provides wildlife monitoring procedures used at Upper Mississippi River Wildlife and Fish Refuge - Savanna District. Refuge background, physical...

  19. The Trail Inventory of Upper Mississippi River NW&FR- Savanna District [Cycle 2

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — The purpose of this report is to create a baseline inventory of all non-motorized trails on Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge- Savanna...

  20. Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge : Savanna District : Annual Narrative Report : Fiscal Year 2003

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This annual narrative report for the Savanna District of the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge summarizes Refuge activities during the 2003...

  1. Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge : Savanna District : Annual Narrative Report : Fiscal Year 2002

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This annual narrative report for the Savanna District of the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge summarizes Refuge activities during the 2002...

  2. Mapping big tree presence in open savanna, using tree shadow and high resolution multispectral imagery

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Mathieu, Renaud SA

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available savanna patch dynamics. They generally are considered as prominent keystone structures associated with a stable ecological stage. A variety of anthropogenic land use and management activities are however putting increasing pressure on the big tree...

  3. Nylsvley - South African Savanna ecosystem project: objectives, organisation and research programme

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Huntley, BJ

    1978-03-01

    Full Text Available A description of the objectives, organization and research programme of the Savanna Ecosystem Project being undertaken at Nylsvley in the northern Transvaal is presented. The project is a cooperative multi-disciplinary study of the structure...

  4. When is a ‘forest’ a savanna, and why does it matter?

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Ratnam, J

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available differences between these ecosystems which contrast sharply in their evolutionary and ecological history is required. Specifically, we suggest that tropical mesic savannas are predominantly mixed tree–C4 grass systems defined by fire tolerance and shade...

  5. Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge : Savanna District : Annual Narrative Report : Fiscal Year 2004

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This annual narrative report for the Savanna District of the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge summarizes Refuge activities during the 2004...

  6. The bulldozer herbivore: how animals benefit from elephant modifying an African savanna

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kohi, E.

    2013-01-01

    Herbivore-vegetation interactions are important structuring forces in savanna that modify the availability and quality of forage resources. Elephant for example, are known for their ability to change the vegetation structure through toppling trees, uprooting, snapping, debarking and breaking

  7. Global extent and determinants of savanna and forest as alternative biome states

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Staver, C

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Theoretically, fire–tree cover feedbacks can maintain savanna and forest as alternative stable states. However, the global extent of fire- driven discontinuities in tree cover is unknown, especially accounting for seasonality and soils. The authors...

  8. Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge : Savanna District : Annual Narrative Report : Fiscal Year 1999

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This annual narrative report for the Savanna District of the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge summarizes Refuge activities during the 1999...

  9. Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge : Savanna District : Annual Narrative Report : Fiscal Year 1998

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This annual narrative report for the Savanna District of the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge summarizes Refuge activities during the 1998...

  10. Classification and ordination of understory vegetation using multivariate techniques in the Pinus wallichiana forests of Swat Valley, northern Pakistan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rahman, Inayat Ur; Khan, Nasrullah; Ali, Kishwar

    2017-04-01

    An understory vegetation survey of the Pinus wallichiana-dominated temperate forests of Swat District was carried out to inspect the structure, composition and ecological associations of the forest vegetation. A quadrat method of sampling was used to record the floristic and phytosociological data necessary for the analysis using 300 quadrats of 10 × 10 m each. Some vegetation parameters viz. frequency and density for trees (overstory vegetation) as well as for the understory vegetation were recorded. The results revealed that in total, 92 species belonging to 77 different genera and 45 families existed in the area. The largest families were Asteraceae, Rosaceae and Lamiaceae with 12, ten and nine species, respectively. Ward's agglomerative cluster analysis for tree species resulted in three floristically and ecologically distinct community types along different topographic and soil variables. Importance value indices (IVI) were also calculated for understory vegetation and were subjected to ordination techniques, i.e. canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) and detrended correspondence analysis (DCA). DCA bi-plots for stands show that most of the stands were scattered around the centre of the DCA bi-plot, identified by two slightly scattered clusters. DCA for species bi-plot clearly identified three clusters of species revealing three types of understory communities in the study area. Results of the CCA were somewhat different from the DCA showing the impact of environmental variables on the understory species. CCA results reveal that three environmental variables, i.e. altitude, slope and P (mg/kg), have a strong influence on distribution of stands and species. Impact of tree species on the understory vegetation was also tested by CCA which showed that four tree species, i.e. P. wallichiana A.B. Jackson, Juglans regia Linn., Quercus dilatata Lindl. ex Royle and Cedrus deodara (Roxb. ex Lamb.) G. Don, have strong influences on associated understory vegetation. It

  11. Thinning increases understory diversity and biomass, and improves soil properties without decreasing growth of Chinese fir in southern China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Lili; Cai, Liping; He, Zongming; Wang, Rongwei; Wu, Pengfei; Ma, Xiangqing

    2016-12-01

    Sustainable forestry requires adopting more ecosystem-informed perspectives. Tree thinning improves forest productivity by encouraging the development of the understory, which in turn improves species diversity and nutrient cycling, thereby altering the ecophysiological environment of the stand. This study aimed to quantify tree growth, understory vegetation, and soil quality of 9- and 16-year-old Chinese fir (Cunninghamia lanceolata (Lamb.) Hook.) plantations in South China, 1-7 years after pre-commercial thinning. The quadratic mean diameter (QMD) and individual tree volume were greatly increased and compensated for the reduced stand yield in thinned stands. In 2011, the stand volume in unthinned and thinned stands were 276.33 and 226.46 and 251.30 and 243.64 m(3) ha(-1), respectively, for young and middle stage. Therefore, we predicted that over time, the stand volume in thinned stands should exceed that in unthinned stands. The composition, diversity, and biomass of understory vegetation of the plantation monocultures significantly increased after thinning. The effects of thinning management on understory development were dynamic and apparent within 1-2 years post-thinning. Some light-demanding plant species such as Styrax faberi, Callicarpa formosana, Lophatherum gracile, and Gahnia tristis emerged in the shrub and herb layer and became dominant with the larger gaps in the canopy in thinned stands. The trigger effects of thinning management on understory and tree growth were more pronounced in the young stage. The beneficial effects on soil physical and chemical properties were measurable at later stages (7 years after thinning). The strong positive relationship between understory biomass and volume increment (at the tree and stand levels) indicated that understory improvement after thinning did not restrict productivity within Chinese fir stands but rather, benefited soil water content and nutrient status and promoted tree growth.

  12. Impact of savanna conversion to oil palm plantations on C stocks dynamics and soil fertility

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quezada, Juan Carlos; Guillaume, Thomas; Buttler, Alexandre; Ruegg, Johanna

    2017-04-01

    Large-scale expansion of oil palm cultivation on forested land in South-East Asia during the last decades lead to high negative environmental impacts. Because rainforests store high amount of C, their conversion to oil palm plantations results in large net CO2 emissions. Oil palm cultivation in tropical ecosystems such as savanna that store less C than forests is seen as an alternative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions of future oil palm development. While this option is more and more frequently mentioned, few data are available on the effective gain in C storage. Furthermore negative impact on soil organic carbon and soil fertility could offset gains of C storage in oil palm biomass. Here, we present results on aboveground and belowground C stocks and soil nutrient dynamics over a full rotation cycle of oil palm plantations established on tropical savanna grasslands. Three natural savanna grasslands as reference sites and 9 oil palm plantations ranging from two to twenty-seven years old were selected in the Llanos in Colombia. Oxisols were sampled down to 70 cm in each management zones of oil palm plantations (weeded circle, interrow, frond piles and harvesting path). Taking advantages of a shift from C4 to C3 vegetation, we quantified savanna-derived soil organic carbon (SOC) decomposition and oil palm-derived SOC stabilization rates and how they were affected by management practices (mineral fertilization, organic amendments, etc.). Results show that, in opposite to forest conversion, C storage increases when savannas are converted to oil palm plantations. Because soil C storage was very low in natural conditions, SOC changes had little effects on overall C storage. Substitution of savanna-derived SOC by oil palm-derived SOC was very fast in the topsoil and highest under frond pile and weeded circle where C and nutrients inputs are highest. However, stabilization of oil palm-derived SOC compensated loss of savanna-derived SOC rather than increased SOC stocks

  13. Dynamics of Sudanian savanna-woodland ecosystem in response to disturbances

    OpenAIRE

    Savadogo, Patrice

    2007-01-01

    Grazing, fire and selective tree cutting are major disturbances shaping species diversity and productivity in savanna-woodland ecosystems. Their effects, however, are highly variable and poorly understood. Structural and functional responses of the Sudanian savanna-woodland ecosystem to such disturbances were investigated, with particular emphasis on the herbaceous vegetation. Fuel and fire behaviour were characterized in relation to grazing, dominant grass type and wind direction. The result...

  14. Compressive behavior of fine sand.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Martin, Bradley E. (Air Force Research Laboratory, Eglin, FL); Kabir, Md. E. (Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN); Song, Bo; Chen, Wayne (Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN)

    2010-04-01

    The compressive mechanical response of fine sand is experimentally investigated. The strain rate, initial density, stress state, and moisture level are systematically varied. A Kolsky bar was modified to obtain uniaxial and triaxial compressive response at high strain rates. A controlled loading pulse allows the specimen to acquire stress equilibrium and constant strain-rates. The results show that the compressive response of the fine sand is not sensitive to strain rate under the loading conditions in this study, but significantly dependent on the moisture content, initial density and lateral confinement. Partially saturated sand is more compliant than dry sand. Similar trends were reported in the quasi-static regime for experiments conducted at comparable specimen conditions. The sand becomes stiffer as initial density and/or confinement pressure increases. The sand particle size become smaller after hydrostatic pressure and further smaller after dynamic axial loading.

  15. Sand dollar sites orogenesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amos, Dee

    2013-04-01

    The determinology of the humble sand dollars habitat changing from inception to the drastic evolution of the zone to that of present day. Into the cauldron along the southern Californian 'ring of fire' lithosphere are evidence of geosynclinals areas, metasedimentary rock formations and hydrothermal activity. The explanation begins with 'Theia' and the Moon's formation, battles with cometary impacts, glacial ages, epochs with evolutionary bottlenecks and plate tectonics. Fully illustrated the lecture includes localised diagrams and figures with actual subject photographic examples of plutonic, granitic, jade and peridodite. Finally, the origins of the materials used in the lecture are revealed for prosecution by future students and the enjoyment of interested parties in general.

  16. Sand Storms Trigger Alarm

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LI LI

    2010-01-01

    @@ After an unusually humid winter with at least 10 snowfalls in Beijing, a severe andstorm blown by strong winds bringing with it thousands of tons of desert sand took many residents of the city by surprise.On the morning of March 20, Beijingers woke up to see clouds of yellow dust in the air and a sky that was an ominous orange in color.The loose soil and dust that had traveled htmdreds of miles from deserts in Mongolia and China's northwest blanketed Beijing's streets, covering parked vehicles, bikes, roofs and even plant life,as well as making its way into people's homes.

  17. Fortune Cookie Sand Dunes

    Science.gov (United States)

    2003-01-01

    MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-432, 25 July 2003This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows a field of small barchan sand dunes in the north polar region near 71.7oN, 51.3oW. Some of them are shaped like fortune cookies. The message these dunes provide: winds blow through this region from the lower right toward the upper left. The steep slip face slopes of these dunes, which point toward the upper left, indicate the wind direction. The scene is illuminated by sunlight from the upper right. The image is 3 km (1.9 mi) wide.

  18. A family of sand automata

    CERN Document Server

    Faulkner, Nicholas

    2012-01-01

    We study some dynamical properties of a family of two-dimensional cellular automata: those that arise from an underlying one dimensional sand automaton whose local rule is obtained using a latin square. We identify a simple sand automaton G whose local rule is algebraic, and classify this automaton as having equicontinuity points, but not being equicontinuous. We also show it is not surjective. We generalise some of these results to a wider class of sand automata.

  19. Dilatometric Characterization of Foundry Sands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Břuska

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available The goal of this contribution is summary of physical – chemistry properties of usually used foundry silica and no – silica sands in Czech foundries. With the help of dilatometry analysis theoretical assumptions of influence of grain shape and size on dilatation value of sands were confirmed. Determined was the possibility of dilatometry analysis employment for preparing special (hybrid sands with lower and/or more linear character of dilatation.

  20. Climate Change and Long-Term Fire Management Impacts on Australian Savanna

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scheiter, S.; Higgins, S. I.; Beringer, J.; Hutley, L. B.

    2014-12-01

    Tropical savannas cover a large proportion of the Earth's land surface and many people are dependent on the ecosystem services that savannas supply. Their sustainable management is therefore crucial. Due to the complexity of vegetation dynamics, the impacts of climate change and land use on savannas are highly uncertain. Here, we use a dynamic vegetation model, the aDGVM, to project how climate change and fire management influence vegetation in northern Australian savannas in 2100. We show that under future climate conditions, vegetation can store more carbon than under ambient conditions, despite substantial changes in fire regimes. Changes in rainfall seasonality influence future carbon storage but do not turn vegetation into a carbon source, suggesting that CO2 fertilization is the main driver of vegetation change. The application of prescribed fires with varying return intervals and burning season, influences vegetation dynamics and fire induced carbon and greenhouse gas emissions. Carbon sequestration is maximized with early dry season fires and long fire return intervals, grass productivity is maximized with late dry season fires at an intermediate fire return intervals. The study has implications for management policy across Australian savannas because it can contribute to identifying fire management strategies that optimize grazing yield, carbon sequestration and greenhouse gas emissions. This knowledge is crucial to maintain important ecosystem services of Australian savannas.

  1. Savanna burning methodology for fire management and emissions reduction: a critical review of influencing factors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maraseni, Tek Narayan; Reardon-Smith, Kathryn; Griffiths, Greg; Apan, Armando

    2016-12-01

    Savanna fire is a major source of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In Australia, savanna fire contributes about 3% of annual GHG emissions reportable to the Kyoto Protocol. In order to reduce GHG emissions from savanna burning, the Australian government has developed and approved a Kyoto compliant savanna controlled burning methodology-the first legal instrument of this kind at a global level-under its Emission Reduction Fund. However, this approved methodology is currently only applicable to nine vegetation fuel types across northern parts of Australia in areas which receive on average over 600 mm rainfall annually, covering only 15.4% of the total land area in Australia. Savanna ecosystems extend across a large proportion of mainland Australia. This paper provides a critical review of ten key factors that need to be considered in developing a savanna burning methodology applicable to the other parts of Australia. It will also inform discussion in other countries intent on developing similar emissions reduction strategies.

  2. Hydraulic lift as a determinant of tree-grass coexistence on savannas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Kailiang; D'Odorico, Paolo

    2015-09-01

    The coexistence of woody plants and grasses in savannas is determined by a complex set of interacting factors that determine access to resources and demographic dynamics, under the control of external drivers and vegetation feedbacks with the physical environment. Existing theories explain coexistence mainly as an effect of competitive relations and/or disturbances. However, theoretical studies on the way facilitative interactions resulting from hydraulic lift affect tree-grass coexistence and the range of environmental conditions in which savannas are stable are still lacking. We investigated the role of hydraulic lift in the stability of tree-grass coexistence in savannas. To that end, we developed a new mechanistic model that accounts for both competition for soil water in the shallow soil and fire-induced disturbance. We found that hydraulic lift favors grasses, which scavenge the water lifted by woody plants. Thus, hydraulic lift expands (at the expenses of woodlands) the range of environmental conditions in which savannas are stable. These results indicate that hydraulic lift can be an important mechanism responsible for the coexistence of woody plants and grasses in savannas. Grass facilitation by trees through the process of hydraulic lift could allow savannas to persist stably in mesic regions that would otherwise exhibit a forest cover.

  3. Triaxial tests in Fontainebleau sand

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Latini, Chiara; Zania, Varvara

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this internal report is to examine the influence of relative density on the strength and deformation characteristics of Fontainebleau sand. Compression triaxial tests were performed on saturated sand samples with different densities and initial confining pressure. Note that the tes......The purpose of this internal report is to examine the influence of relative density on the strength and deformation characteristics of Fontainebleau sand. Compression triaxial tests were performed on saturated sand samples with different densities and initial confining pressure. Note...... that the testing procedure and the data processing were carried out according to the specifications of ETCS-F1.97....

  4. Performance of tropical legumes grown as understory of a eucalypt plantation in a seasonally dry area of the Brazilian Cerrado

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Luiza F. Nicodemo

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Nine tropical legumes were grown outside the canopy and in the understory of an 8-year-old Eucalyptus grandis stand in order to assess their seasonal production and forage quality for 4 evaluation periods. Incident photosynthetically active radiation in the understory was 18% of that outside the canopy. In the understory, production of Lablab purpureus, Centrosema schiedeanum, Clitoria ternatea, Pueraria phaseoloides, Alysicarpus vaginalis, Aeschynomene villosa, Estilosantes Campo Grande (Stylosanthes capitata + S. macrocephala, Calopogonium mucunoides and Arachis pintoi was <1 kg/ha/d for most samples. Even considering this low production, the large area available for animal production in forest plantations might justify the interest in legumes because of their high nutritive value. Lablab purpureus produced the greatest amount of dry matter in the understory in the establishment phase (12.1 kg/ha/d, but did not persist. It could be a suitable candidate for a cover legume species mixture to provide early growth. Centrosema schiedeanum developed rapidly and showed a high capacity for ground cover (>70% and persistence, and had high nitrogen concentration, thus demonstrating good potential for protecting soils and promoting nutrient cycling in forest plantations. Another species with potential is A. pintoi, which established slowly but towards the end of the experiment showed moderate to high understory ground cover.Keywords: Dry matter production, forage quality, shade, silvopastoral system.DOI: 10.17138/TGFT(3151-160

  5. Linking dominant Hawaiian tree species to understory development in recovering pastures via impacts on soils and litter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yelenik, Stephanie G.

    2017-01-01

    Large areas of tropical forest have been cleared and planted with exotic grass species for use as cattle pasture. These often remain persistent grasslands after grazer removal, which is problematic for restoring native forest communities. It is often hoped that remnant and/or planted trees can jump-start forest succession; however, there is little mechanistic information on how different canopy species affect community trajectories. To investigate this, I surveyed understory communities, exotic grass biomass, standing litter pools, and soil properties under two dominant canopy trees—Metrosideros polymorpha (‘ōhi‘a) and Acacia koa (koa)—in recovering Hawaiian forests. I then used structural equation models (SEMs) to elucidate direct and indirect effects of trees on native understory. Native understory communities developed under ‘ōhi‘a, which had larger standing litter pools, lower soil nitrogen, and lower exotic grass biomass than koa. This pattern was variable, potentially due to historical site differences and/or distance to intact forest. Koa, in contrast, showed little understory development. Instead, data suggest that increased soil nitrogen under koa leads to high grass biomass that stalls native recruitment. SEMs suggested that indirect effects of trees via litter and soils were as or more important than direct effects for determining native cover. It is suggested that diverse plantings which incorporate species that have high carbon to nitrogen ratios may help ameliorate the negative indirect effects of koa on natural understory regeneration.

  6. The individual and interactive effects of tree-tree establishment competition and fire on savanna structure and dynamics

    OpenAIRE

    Calabrese, Justin; Vázquez, Federico; López, Cristóbal; San Miguel, Maxi; Grimm, Volker

    2010-01-01

    The mechanisms regulating savanna tree populations are still not well understood. Recent empirical work suggests that both tree-tree competition and fire are key factors in semi-arid to mesic savannas. However, the potential for competition to structure savannas, particularly in interaction with fire, has received little theoretical attention. We develop a minimalistic and analytically tractable stochastic cellular automaton to study the individual and combined effects of competition and fire...

  7. A model inter-comparison study to examine limiting factors in modelling Australian tropical savannas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Whitley

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Savanna ecosystems are one of the most dominant and complex terrestrial biomes that derives from a distinct vegetative surface comprised of co-dominant tree and grass populations. While these two vegetation types co-exist functionally, demographically they are not static, but are dynamically changing in response to environmental forces such as annual fire events and rainfall variability. Modelling savanna environments with the current generation of terrestrial biosphere models (TBMs has presented many problems, particularly describing fire frequency and intensity, phenology, leaf biochemistry of C3 and C4 photosynthesis vegetation, and root water uptake. In order to better understand why TBMs perform so poorly in savannas, we conducted a model inter-comparison of 6 TBMs and assessed their performance at simulating latent energy (LE and gross primary productivity (GPP for five savanna sites along a rainfall gradient in northern Australia. Performance in predicting LE and GPP was measured using an empirical benchmarking system, which ranks models by their ability to utilise meteorological driving information to predict the fluxes. On average, the TBMs performed as well as a multi-linear regression of the fluxes against solar radiation, temperature and vapour pressure deficit, but were outperformed by a more complicated nonlinear response model that also included the leaf area index (LAI. This identified that the TBMs are not fully utilising their input information effectively in determining savanna LE and GPP, and highlights that savanna dynamics cannot be calibrated into models and that there are problems in underlying model processes. We identified key weaknesses in a model's ability to simulate savanna fluxes and their seasonal variation, related to the representation of vegetation by the models and root water uptake. We underline these weaknesses in terms of three critical areas for development. First, prescribed tree-rooting depths must be

  8. A model inter-comparison study to examine limiting factors in modelling Australian tropical savannas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitley, Rhys; Beringer, Jason; Hutley, Lindsay B.; Abramowitz, Gab; De Kauwe, Martin G.; Duursma, Remko; Evans, Bradley; Haverd, Vanessa; Li, Longhui; Ryu, Youngryel; Smith, Benjamin; Wang, Ying-Ping; Williams, Mathew; Yu, Qiang

    2016-06-01

    The savanna ecosystem is one of the most dominant and complex terrestrial biomes, deriving from a distinct vegetative surface comprised of co-dominant tree and grass populations. While these two vegetation types co-exist functionally, demographically they are not static but are dynamically changing in response to environmental forces such as annual fire events and rainfall variability. Modelling savanna environments with the current generation of terrestrial biosphere models (TBMs) has presented many problems, particularly describing fire frequency and intensity, phenology, leaf biochemistry of C3 and C4 photosynthesis vegetation, and root-water uptake. In order to better understand why TBMs perform so poorly in savannas, we conducted a model inter-comparison of six TBMs and assessed their performance at simulating latent energy (LE) and gross primary productivity (GPP) for five savanna sites along a rainfall gradient in northern Australia. Performance in predicting LE and GPP was measured using an empirical benchmarking system, which ranks models by their ability to utilise meteorological driving information to predict the fluxes. On average, the TBMs performed as well as a multi-linear regression of the fluxes against solar radiation, temperature and vapour pressure deficit but were outperformed by a more complicated nonlinear response model that also included the leaf area index (LAI). This identified that the TBMs are not fully utilising their input information effectively in determining savanna LE and GPP and highlights that savanna dynamics cannot be calibrated into models and that there are problems in underlying model processes. We identified key weaknesses in a model's ability to simulate savanna fluxes and their seasonal variation, related to the representation of vegetation by the models and root-water uptake. We underline these weaknesses in terms of three critical areas for development. First, prescribed tree-rooting depths must be deep enough

  9. Photosynthetic responses to understory shade and elevated carbon dioxide concentration in 4 northern hardwood tree species

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sefcik, L.T.; Zak, D.R.; Ellsworth, D.S. [Michigan Univ., Ann Arbor, MI (United States). School of Natural Resources and Environment

    2006-12-15

    Stimulation of photosynthesis in response to elevated carbon dioxide (CO{sub 2}) varies among tree species and species groups. In this study, seedling responses to elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO{sub 2}) concentrations and solar irradiance over 2 growing seasons were investigated for shade tolerant Acer saccharum Marsh.; Fagus grandifolia J.F. Ehrh; and shade-intolerant Prunus serotina. Seedlings were exposed to a combination of elevated and ambient concentrations of CO{sub 2} and understory shade in open-top chambers placed in a forest understory. It was observed that the elevated CO{sub 2} treatment increased mean light-saturated net photosynthetic rates by 63 per cent in the shade-tolerant species and 67 per cent in the shade-intolerant species. When measured at the elevated CO{sub 2}, long-term enhancement of photosynthesis was 10 per cent lower than the instantaneous enhancement observed in ambient-CO{sub 2}-grown plants. As the growth irradiance increased, proportional enhancement due to elevated CO{sub 2} decreased from 97 per cent for plants grown in deep shade to 47 per cent for plants grown in moderate shade. Results indicated that in nitrogen (N) limited northern temperate forests, trees grown in deep shade may display greater photosynthetic gains from a CO{sub 2} enriched atmosphere than trees growing in more moderate shade, due to greater down-regulation. It was concluded that if elevated CO{sub 2} levels promote the survival of shade-intolerant species in dim understory light, the future composition and dynamics of successional forest communities may be altered. 70 refs., 2 tabs., 3 figs.

  10. Absence of snow cover reduces understory plant cover and alters plant community composition in boreal forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kreyling, Juergen; Haei, Mahsa; Laudon, Hjalmar

    2012-02-01

    Snow regimes affect biogeochemistry of boreal ecosystems and are altered by climate change. The effects on plant communities, however, are largely unexplored despite their influence on relevant processes. Here, the impact of snow cover on understory community composition and below-ground production in a boreal Picea abies forest was investigated using a long-term (8-year) snow cover manipulation experiment consisting of the treatments: snow removal, increased insulation (styrofoam pellets), and control. The snow removal treatment caused longer (118 vs. 57 days) and deeper soil frost (mean minimum temperature -5.5 vs. -2.2°C) at 10 cm soil depth in comparison to control. Understory species composition was strongly altered by the snow cover manipulations; vegetation cover declined by more than 50% in the snow removal treatment. In particular, the dominant dwarf shrub Vaccinium myrtillus (-82%) and the most abundant mosses Pleurozium schreberi (-74%) and Dicranum scoparium (-60%) declined strongly. The C:N ratio in V. myrtillus leaves and plant available N in the soil indicated no altered nitrogen nutrition. Fine-root biomass in summer, however, was negatively affected by the reduced snow cover (-50%). Observed effects are attributed to direct frost damage of roots and/ or shoots. Besides the obvious relevance of winter processes on plant ecology and distribution, we propose that shifts in the vegetation caused by frost damage may be an important driver of the reported alterations in biogeochemistry in response to altered snow cover. Understory plant performance clearly needs to be considered in the biogeochemistry of boreal systems in the face of climate change.

  11. Seedling growth responses to soil resources in the understory of a wet tropical forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holste, Ellen K; Kobe, Richard K; Vriesendorp, Corine F

    2011-09-01

    Plant growth responses to resources may be an important mechanism that influences species' distributions, coexistence, and community structure. Irradiance is considered the most important resource for seedling growth in the understory of wet tropical forests, but multiple soil nutrients and species have yet to be examined simultaneously with irradiance under field conditions. To identify potentially limiting resources, we modeled tree seedling growth as a function of irradiance and soil nutrients across five sites, spanning a soil fertility gradient in old-growth, wet tropical forests at La Selva Biological Station, Costa Rica. We measured an array of soil nutrients including total nitrogen (total N), inorganic N (nitrate [NO3-] and ammonium [NH4+]), phosphate (PO4-), and sum of base cations (SBC; potassium, magnesium, and calcium). Shade in the forest understory did not preclude seedling growth correlations with soil nutrients. Irradiance was a significant predictor of growth in 52% of the species, inorganic N in 54% (NO3- in 32%; NH4+ in 34%), total N in 47%, SBC in 39%, and PO4- in 29%. Overall, growth was correlated with both irradiance and soil nutrients in 45% of species and with soil nutrients only in an additional 48%; rarely was irradiance alone correlated with growth. Contrary to expectations, the magnitudes of growth effects, assessed as the maximum growth response to significant resources for each species, were similar for irradiance and most soil nutrients. Among species whose growth correlated with soil nutrients, the rank importance of nutrient effects was SBC, followed by N (total N, NO3-, and/or NH4+) and PO4-. Species' growth responsiveness (i.e., magnitudes of effect) to irradiance and soil nutrients was negatively correlated with species' shade tolerance (survival under 1% full sun). In this broad survey of species and resources, the nearly ubiquitous effects of soil nutrients on seedling growth challenge the idea that soil nutrients are less

  12. Burn Severity Dominates Understory Plant Community Response to Fire in Xeric Jack Pine Forests

    OpenAIRE

    Pinno, Bradley D.; Ruth C. Errington

    2016-01-01

    Fire is the most common disturbance in northern boreal forests, and large fires are often associated with highly variable burn severities across the burnt area. We studied the understory plant community response to a range of burn severities and pre-fire stand age four growing seasons after the 2011 Richardson Fire in xeric jack pine forests of northern Alberta, Canada. Burn severity had the greatest impact on post-fire plant communities, while pre-fire stand age did not have a significant im...

  13. A sand wave simulation model

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nemeth, A.A.; Hulscher, S.J.M.H.; Damme, van R.M.J.

    2003-01-01

    Sand waves form a prominent regular pattern in the offshore seabeds of sandy shallow seas. A two dimensional vertical (2DV) flow and morphological numerical model describing the behaviour of these sand waves has been developed. The model contains the 2DV shallow water equations, with a free water su

  14. Regeneration of dredged sand waves

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hulscher, Suzanne J.M.H.; Knaapen, Michiel; Scholl, Olaf; Scholl, O.; Trenteseaux., A.; Garlan, T.

    2000-01-01

    Sand waves form a wavy pattern in the offshore sandy seabed. Since their crests reduce the navigability, it is important to know their evolution. A simple model is presented to estimate the recovery of sand wave amplitudes. This model is partially based on the similarity with sea ripples and

  15. Namibia : triaxial test on sand

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Steenfelt, Jørgen S.; Jacobsen, Kim P.

    In connection with a harbour project the friction angle of a fine sand is required. On Friday 13 March 1998 the Danish Geotechnical Institute (DGI) delivered app. 2.5 kg sand for testing at the Geotechnical Engineering Laboratory, Aalborg University. The present Data Report summarises the results...

  16. Sand swimming lizard: sandfish

    CERN Document Server

    Maladen, Ryan D; Kamor, Adam; Goldman, Daniel I

    2009-01-01

    We use high-speed x-ray imaging to reveal how a small (~10cm) desert dwelling lizard, the sandfish (Scincus scincus), swims within a granular medium [1]. On the surface, the lizard uses a standard diagonal gait, but once below the surface, the organism no longer uses limbs for propulsion. Instead it propagates a large amplitude single period sinusoidal traveling wave down its body and tail to propel itself at speeds up to ~1.5 body-length/sec. Motivated by these experiments we study a numerical model of the sandfish as it swims within a validated soft sphere Molecular Dynamics granular media simulation. We use this model as a tool to understand dynamics like flow fields and forces generated as the animal swims within the granular media. [1] Maladen, R.D. and Ding, Y. and Li, C. and Goldman, D.I., Undulatory Swimming in Sand: Subsurface Locomotion of the Sandfish Lizard, Science, 325, 314, 2009

  17. 2010 oil sands performance report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2011-07-01

    With the depletion of traditional energy resources and the rising demand for energy, oil sands have become an important energy resource for meeting energy needs. Oil sands are a mixture of water, sand, clay and bitumen which is recovered either through open pit mining or in situ drilling techniques. The bitumen is then converted into syncrude or sold to refineries for the production of gasoline, diesel or other products. Shell has oil sands operations in Alberta and the aim of this report is to present its 2010 performance in terms of CO2, water, tailings, land, and reclamation and engagement. This document covers several of Shell's operations in the Muskeg River and Jackpine mines, Scotford upgrader, Peace River, Orion, Seal, Cliffdale and Chipmunk. It provides useful information on Shell's oil sands performance to governments, environmental groups, First Nations, local communities and the public.

  18. Prospects of photon counting lidar for savanna ecosystem structural studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gwenzi, D.; Lefsky, M. A.

    2014-11-01

    Discrete return and waveform lidar have demonstrated a capability to measure vegetation height and the associated structural attributes such as aboveground biomass and carbon storage. Since discrete return lidar (DRL) is mainly suitable for small scale studies and the only existing spaceborne lidar sensor (ICESat-GLAS) has been decommissioned, the current question is what the future holds in terms of large scale lidar remote sensing studies. The earliest planned future spaceborne lidar mission is ICESat-2, which will use a photon counting technique. To pre-validate the capability of this mission for studying three dimensional vegetation structure in savannas, we assessed the potential of the measurement approach to estimate canopy height in a typical savanna landscape. We used data from the Multiple Altimeter Beam Experimental Lidar (MABEL), an airborne photon counting lidar sensor developed by NASA Goddard. MABEL fires laser pulses in the green (532 nm) and near infrared (1064 nm) bands at a nominal repetition rate of 10 kHz and records the travel time of individual photons that are reflected back to the sensor. The photons' time of arrival and the instrument's GPS positions and Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) orientation are used to calculate the distance the light travelled and hence the elevation of the surface below. A few transects flown over the Tejon ranch conservancy in Kern County, California, USA were used for this work. For each transect we extracted the data from one near infrared channel that had the highest number of photons. We segmented each transect into 50 m, 25 m and 10 m long blocks and aggregated the photons in each block into a histogram based on their elevation values. We then used an expansion window algorithm to identify cut off points where the cumulative density of photons from the highest elevation resembles the canopy top and likewise where such cumulative density from the lowest elevation resembles mean ground elevation. These cut off

  19. Deriving Multiple Benefits from Carbon Market-Based Savanna Fire Management: An Australian Example.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeremy Russell-Smith

    Full Text Available Carbon markets afford potentially useful opportunities for supporting socially and environmentally sustainable land management programs but, to date, have been little applied in globally significant fire-prone savanna settings. While fire is intrinsic to regulating the composition, structure and dynamics of savanna systems, in north Australian savannas frequent and extensive late dry season wildfires incur significant environmental, production and social impacts. Here we assess the potential of market-based savanna burning greenhouse gas emissions abatement and allied carbon biosequestration projects to deliver compatible environmental and broader socio-economic benefits in a highly biodiverse north Australian setting. Drawing on extensive regional ecological knowledge of fire regime effects on fire-vulnerable taxa and communities, we compare three fire regime metrics (seasonal fire frequency, proportion of long-unburnt vegetation, fire patch-size distribution over a 15-year period for three national parks with an indigenously (Aboriginal owned and managed market-based emissions abatement enterprise. Our assessment indicates improved fire management outcomes under the emissions abatement program, and mostly little change or declining outcomes on the parks. We attribute improved outcomes and putative biodiversity benefits under the abatement program to enhanced strategic management made possible by the market-based mitigation arrangement. For these same sites we estimate quanta of carbon credits that could be delivered under realistic enhanced fire management practice, using currently available and developing accredited Australian savanna burning accounting methods. We conclude that, in appropriate situations, market-based savanna burning activities can provide transformative climate change mitigation, ecosystem health, and community benefits in northern Australia, and, despite significant challenges, potentially in other fire-prone savanna

  20. Estimating Savanna Clumping Index Using Hemispherical Photographs Integrated with High Resolution Remote Sensing Images

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jucai Li

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available In contrast to herbaceous canopies and forests, savannas are grassland ecosystems with sparsely distributed individual trees, so the canopy is spatially heterogeneous and open, whereas the woody cover in savannas, e.g., tree cover, adversely affects ecosystem structures and functions. Studies have shown that the dynamics of canopy structure are related to available water, climate, and human activities in the form of porosity, leaf area index (LAI, and clumping index (CI. Therefore, it is important to identify the biophysical parameters of savanna ecosystems, and undertake practical actions for savanna conservation and management. The canopy openness presents a challenge for evaluating canopy LAI and other biophysical parameters, as most remotely sensed methods were developed for homogeneous and closed canopies. Clumping index is a key variable that can represent the clumping effect from spatial distribution patterns of components within a canopy. However, it is a difficult task to measure the clumping index of the moderate resolution savanna pixels directly using optical instruments, such as the Tracing Radiation and Architecture of Canopies, LAI-2000 Canopy Analyzer, or digital hemispherical photography. This paper proposed a new method using hemispherical photographs combined with high resolution remote sensing images to estimate the clumping index of savanna canopies. The effects of single tree LAI, crown density, and herbaceous layer on the clumping index of savanna pixels were also evaluated. The proposed method effectively calculated the clumping index of moderate resolution pixels. The clumping indices of two study regions located in Ejina Banner and Weichang were compared with the clumping index product over China’s landmass.

  1. Resource Limitations Influence Growth and Vigor of Idaho Fescue, a Common Understory Species in Pacific Northwest Ponderosa Pine Forests

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Craig A. Carr

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Alterations in under-canopy resource availability associated with elevated ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa Dougl. abundance can negatively influence understory vegetation. Experimental evidence linking under-canopy resource availability and understory vegetation is scarce. Yet this information would be beneficial in developing management strategies to recover desired understory species. We tested the effects of varying nitrogen (N and light availability on Idaho fescue (Festuca idahoensis Elmer, the dominant understory species in ponderosa pine/Idaho fescue plant associations in eastern Oregon. In a greenhouse experiment, two levels of N (50 kg∙N∙ha−1 and 0 kg∙N∙ha−1 and shade (80% shade and 0% shade were applied in a split-plot design to individual potted plants grown in soil collected from high abundance pine stands. Plants grown in unshaded conditions produced greater root (p = 0.0027 and shoot (p = 0.0017 biomass and higher cover values (p = 0.0378 compared to those in the shaded treatments. The addition of N had little effect on plant growth (p = 0.1602, 0.5129, and 0.0853 for shoot biomass, root biomass, and cover, respectively, suggesting that soils in high-density ponderosa pine stands that lack understory vegetation were not N deficient and Idaho fescue plants grown in these soils were not N limited. Management activities that increase under-canopy light availability will promote the conditions necessary for Idaho fescue recovery. However, successful restoration may be constrained by a lack of residual fescue or the invasion of more competitive understory vegetation.

  2. Vertical stratification of forest canopy for segmentation of understory trees within small-footprint airborne LiDAR point clouds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamraz, Hamid; Contreras, Marco A.; Zhang, Jun

    2017-08-01

    Airborne LiDAR point cloud representing a forest contains 3D data, from which vertical stand structure even of understory layers can be derived. This paper presents a tree segmentation approach for multi-story stands that stratifies the point cloud to canopy layers and segments individual tree crowns within each layer using a digital surface model based tree segmentation method. The novelty of the approach is the stratification procedure that separates the point cloud to an overstory and multiple understory tree canopy layers by analyzing vertical distributions of LiDAR points within overlapping locales. The procedure does not make a priori assumptions about the shape and size of the tree crowns and can, independent of the tree segmentation method, be utilized to vertically stratify tree crowns of forest canopies. We applied the proposed approach to the University of Kentucky Robinson Forest - a natural deciduous forest with complex and highly variable terrain and vegetation structure. The segmentation results showed that using the stratification procedure strongly improved detecting understory trees (from 46% to 68%) at the cost of introducing a fair number of over-segmented understory trees (increased from 1% to 16%), while barely affecting the overall segmentation quality of overstory trees. Results of vertical stratification of the canopy showed that the point density of understory canopy layers were suboptimal for performing a reasonable tree segmentation, suggesting that acquiring denser LiDAR point clouds would allow more improvements in segmenting understory trees. As shown by inspecting correlations of the results with forest structure, the segmentation approach is applicable to a variety of forest types.

  3. Separating overstory and understory leaf area indices for global needleleaf and deciduous broadleaf forests by fusion of MODIS and MISR data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yang; Liu, Ronggao; Pisek, Jan; Chen, Jing M.

    2017-03-01

    Forest overstory and understory layers differ in carbon and water cycle regimes and phenology, as well as ecosystem functions. Separate retrievals of leaf area index (LAI) for these two layers would help to improve modeling forest biogeochemical cycles, evaluating forest ecosystem functions and also remote sensing of forest canopies by inversion of canopy reflectance models. In this paper, overstory and understory LAI values were estimated separately for global needleleaf and deciduous broadleaf forests by fusing MISR and MODIS observations. Monthly forest understory LAI was retrieved from the forest understory reflectivity estimated using MISR data. After correcting for the background contribution using monthly mean forest understory reflectivities, the forest overstory LAI was estimated from MODIS observations. The results demonstrate that the largest extent of forest understory vegetation is present in the boreal forest zones at northern latitudes. Significant seasonal variations occur for understory vegetation in these zones with LAI values up to 2-3 from June to August. The mean proportion of understory LAI to total LAI is greater than 30 %. Higher understory LAI values are found in needleleaf forests (with a mean value of 1.06 for evergreen needleleaf forests and 1.04 for deciduous needleleaf forests) than in deciduous broadleaf forests (0.96) due to the more clumped foliage and easier penetration of light to the forest floor in needleleaf forests. Spatially and seasonally variable forest understory reflectivity helps to account for the effects of the forest background on LAI retrieval while compared with constant forest background. The retrieved forest overstory and understory LAI values were compared with an existing dataset for larch forests in eastern Siberia (40-75° N, 45-180° E). The retrieved overstory and understory LAI is close to that of the existing dataset, with an absolute error of 0.02 (0.06), relative error of 1.3 % (14.3 %) and RMSE of 0

  4. Sand harm in taklimakan Desert highway and sand control

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    HANZhiwen; WANGTao; SUNQingwei; DONGZhibao; WANGXunming

    2003-01-01

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

  5. Remote sensing of temperate coniferous forest lead area index - The influence of canopy closure, understory vegetation and background reflectance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spanner, Michael A.; Pierce, Lars L.; Running, Steven W.; Peterson, David L.

    1990-01-01

    Consideration is given to the effects of canopy closure, understory vegetation, and background reflectance on the relationship between Landsat TM data and the leaf area index (LAI) of temperate coniferous forests in the western U.S. A methodology for correcting TM data for atmospheric conditions and sun-surface-sensor geometry is discussed. Strong inverse curvilinear relationships were found between coniferous forest LAI and TM bands 3 and 5. It is suggested that these inverse relationships are due to increased reflectance of understory vegetation and background in open stands of lower LAI and decreased reflectance of the overstory in closed canopy stands with higher LAI.

  6. Remote sensing of temperate coniferous forest lead area index - The influence of canopy closure, understory vegetation and background reflectance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spanner, Michael A.; Pierce, Lars L.; Running, Steven W.; Peterson, David L.

    1990-01-01

    Consideration is given to the effects of canopy closure, understory vegetation, and background reflectance on the relationship between Landsat TM data and the leaf area index (LAI) of temperate coniferous forests in the western U.S. A methodology for correcting TM data for atmospheric conditions and sun-surface-sensor geometry is discussed. Strong inverse curvilinear relationships were found between coniferous forest LAI and TM bands 3 and 5. It is suggested that these inverse relationships are due to increased reflectance of understory vegetation and background in open stands of lower LAI and decreased reflectance of the overstory in closed canopy stands with higher LAI.

  7. Changes in Carbon Emissions in Colombian Savannas Derived From Recent Land use and Land Cover Change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Etter, A.; Sarmiento, A.

    2007-12-01

    The global contribution of carbon emissions from land use dynamics and change to the global carbon (C) cycle is still uncertain, a major concern in global change modeling. Carbon emission from fires in the tropics is significant and represents 9% of the net primary production, and 50% of worldwide C emissions from fires are attributable to savanna fires. Such emissions may vary significantly due to differences in ecosystem types. Most savanna areas are devoted to grazing land uses making methane emissions also important in savanna ecosystems. Land use change driven by intensification of grazing and cropping has become a major factor affecting C emission dynamics from savanna regions. Colombia has some 17 MHa of mesic savannas which have been historically burned. Due to changes in market demands and improved accessibility during the last 20 years, important areas of savannas changed land use from predominantly extensive grazing to crops and intensive grazing systems. This research models and evaluates the impacts of such land use changes on the spatial and temporal burning patterns and C emissions in the Orinoco savannas of Colombia. We address the effects of land use change patterns using remote sensing data from MODIS and Landsat, ecosystem mapping products, and spatial GIS analysis. First we map the expansion of the agricultural frontier from the 1980s-2000s. We then model the changes in land use from the 1980s using a statistical modeling approach to analyze and quantify the impact of accessibility, ecosystem type and land tenure. We calculate the effects on C emissions from fire regimes and other sources of C based on patterns and extent of burned areas in the 2000s for different savanna ecosystem types and land uses. In the Llanos the fire regime exhibits a marked seasonal variability with most fire events occurring during the dry season between December-March. Our analysis shows that fire frequencies vary consistently between 0.6 and 2.8 fires.yr-1 per 2

  8. Morphological variability in tree root architecture indirectly affects coexistence among competitors in the understory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aschehoug, Erik T; Callaway, Ragan M

    2014-07-01

    Interactions between plants can have strong effects on community structure and function. Variability in the morphological, developmental, physiological, and biochemical traits of plants can influence the outcome of plant interactions and thus have important ecological consequences. However, the ecological ramifications of trait variability in plants are poorly understood and have rarely been tested in the field. We experimentally tested the effects of morphological variation in root architecture of Quercus douglasii trees in the field on interactions between understory plants and community composition. Our results indicate that variability among Q. douglasii tree root systems initiates a striking reversal in the competitive effects of dominant understory grass species on a less common species. Trees with a deep-rooted morphology facilitated exotic annual grasses and these annual grasses, in turn, competitively excluded the native perennial bunchgrass, Stipapulchra. In contrast, Q. douglasii trees with shallow-rooted morphologies directly suppressed the growth of exotic annual grasses and indirectly released S. pulchra individuals from competition with these annual grasses. Morphological variation in the root architecture of Q. douglasii created substantial conditionality in the outcomes of competition among species which enhanced the potential for indirect interactions to sustain coexistence and increase community diversity.

  9. Restoring Native Forest Understory: The Influence of Ferns and Light in a Hawaiian Experiment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert Shallenberger

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Ecological restoration is an increasingly important component of sustainable land management. We explore potential facilitative relationships for enhancing the cost-effectiveness of restoring native forest understory, focusing on two factors: (1 overstory shade and (2 possible facilitation by a fern (Dryopteris wallichiana, one of few native colonists of pasture in our montane Hawaiˈi study system. We planted 720 understory tree seedlings and over 4000 seeds of six species under six planting treatments: a full factorial combination of low, medium and high light, situating plantings in either the presence or absence of a mature fern. After three years, 75% of outplanted seedlings survived. Seedling survivorship was significantly higher in the presence of a fern (79% vs. 71% without a fern and in medium and low light conditions (81% vs. 64% in high light. Relative height was highest at low to medium light levels. After 2.2 years, 2.8% of the planted seeds germinated. We observed no significant differences in seed germination relative to light level or fern presence. Analyzing several approaches, we found nursery germination of seeds followed by outplanting ca. 20% less costly than direct seeding in the field. This study opens new questions about facilitation mechanisms that have the potential to increase the extent and effectiveness of restoration efforts.

  10. Patterns of Understory Diversity in Mixed Coniferous Forests of Southern California Impacted by Air Pollution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edith B. Allen

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available The forests of the San Bernardino Mountains have been subject to ozone and nitrogen (N deposition for some 60 years. Much work has been done to assess the impacts of these pollutants on trees, but little is known about how the diverse understory flora has fared. Understory vegetation has declined in diversity in response to elevated N in the eastern U.S. and Europe. Six sites along an ozone and N deposition gradient that had been part of a long-term study on response of plants to air pollution beginning in 1973 were resampled in 2003. Historic ozone data and leaf injury scores confirmed the gradient. Present-day ozone levels were almost half of these, and recent atmospheric N pollution concentrations confirmed the continued air pollution gradient. Both total and extractable soil N were higher in sites on the western end of the gradient closer to the urban source of pollution, pH was lower, and soil carbon (C and litter were higher. The gradient also had decreasing precipitation and increasing elevation from west to east. However, the dominant tree species were the same across the gradient.

  11. Soil microbial communities following bush removal in a Namibian savanna

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buyer, Jeffrey S.; Schmidt-Küntzel, Anne; Nghikembua, Matti; Maul, Jude E.; Marker, Laurie

    2016-03-01

    Savanna ecosystems are subject to desertification and bush encroachment, which reduce the carrying capacity for wildlife and livestock. Bush thinning is a management approach that can, at least temporarily, restore grasslands and raise the grazing value of the land. In this study we examined the soil microbial communities under bush and grass in Namibia. We analyzed the soil through a chronosequence where bush was thinned at 9, 5, or 3 years before sampling. Soil microbial biomass, the biomass of specific taxonomic groups, and overall microbial community structure was determined by phospholipid fatty acid analysis, while the community structure of Bacteria, Archaea, and fungi was determined by multiplex terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis. Soil under bush had higher pH, C, N, and microbial biomass than under grass, and the microbial community structure was also altered under bush compared to grass. A major disturbance to the ecosystem, bush thinning, resulted in an altered microbial community structure compared to control plots, but the magnitude of this perturbation gradually declined with time. Community structure was primarily driven by pH, C, and N, while vegetation type, bush thinning, and time since bush thinning were of secondary importance.

  12. Will savannas survive outside the parks? A lesson from Zambia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kutsch, W.; Merbold, L.; Scholes, B.; Mukelabai, M.

    2012-04-01

    Miombo woodlands cover the transition zone between dry open savannas and moist forests in Southern Africa. They cover about 2.7 million km2 in southern Africa and provide many ecosystem services that support rural life, including medical products, wild foods, construction timber and fuel. In Zambia, as in many of its neighbouring countries, miombo woodlands are currently experiencing accelerating degradation and clearing, mostly with charcoal production as the initial driver. Domestic energy needs in the growing urban areas are largely satisfied by charcoal, which is less energy-efficient fuel on a tree-to-table basis than the firewood that is used in rural areas, but has a higher energy density and is thus cheaper to transport. This study uses data from inventories and from eddy covariance measurements of carbon exchange to characterize the impact of charcoal production on miombo woodlands. We address the following questions: (i) how much carbon is lost at local as well as at national scale and (ii) does forest degradation result in the loss of a carbon sink? On the basis of our data we (iii) estimate the per capita emissions through deforestation and forest degradation in Zambia and relate it to fossil fuel emissions. Furthermore, (iv) a rough estimate of the energy that is provided by charcoal production to private households at a national level is calculated and (v) options for alternative energy supply to private households are discussed.

  13. Methyl halide emissions from savanna fires in southern Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andreae, M. O.; Atlas, E.; Harris, G. W.; Helas, G.; de Kock, A.; Koppmann, R.; Maenhaut, W.; Manø, S.; Pollock, W. H.; Rudolph, J.; Scharffe, D.; Schebeske, G.; Welling, M.

    1996-10-01

    The methyl halides, methyl chloride (CH3Cl), methyl bromide (CH3Br), and methyl iodide (CH3I), were measured in regional air samples and smoke from savanna fires in southern Africa during the Southern Africa Fire-Atmosphere Research Initiative-92 (SAFARI-92) experiment (August-October 1992). All three species were significantly enhanced in the smoke plumes relative to the regional background. Good correlations were found between the methyl halides and carbon monoxide, suggesting that emission was predominantly associated with the smoldering phase of the fires. About 90% of the halogen content of the fuel burned was released to the atmosphere, mostly as halide species, but a significant fraction (3-38%) was emitted in methylated form. On the basis of comparison with the composition of the regional background atmosphere, emission ratios to carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide were determined for the methyl halide species. The emission ratios decreased in the sequence CH3Cl > CH3Br > CH3I. Extrapolation of these results in combination with data from other types of biomass burning, e.g. forest fires, suggests that vegetation fires make a significant contribution to the atmospheric budget of CH3Cl and CH3Br. For tropospheric CH3I, on the other hand, fires appear to be a minor source. Our results suggest that pyrogenic emissions of CH3Cl and CH3Br need to be considered as significant contributors to stratospheric ozone destruction.

  14. Assessment and kinetics of soil phosphatase in Brazilian Savanna systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ADÃO S. FERREIRA

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available The activity and kinetics of soil phosphatases are important indicators to evaluate soil quality in specific sites such as the Cerrado (Brazilian Savanna. This study aimed to determine the activity and kinetic parameters of soil phosphatase in Cerrado systems. Soil phosphatase activity was assessed in samples of native Cerrado (NC, no-tillage (NT, conventional tillage (CT and pasture with Brachiaria brizantha (PBb and evaluated with acetate buffer (AB, tris-HCl buffer (TB, modified universal buffer (MUB and low MUB. The Michaelis-Menten equation and Eadie-Hofstee model were applied to obtain the kinetic parameters of soil phosphatase using different concentrations of p-nitrophenol phosphate (p-NPP. MUB showed the lowest soil phosphatase activity in all soils whereas AB in NC and NT presented the highest. Low MUB decreased interferences in the assessment of soil phosphatase activity when compared to MUB, suggesting that organic acids interfere on the soil phosphatase activity. In NC and NT, soil phosphatase activity performed with TB was similar to AB and low MUB. Km values from the Michaels-Menten equation were higher in NC than in NT, which indicate a lower affinity of phosphatase activity for the substrate in NC. Vmax values were also higher in NC than in NT. The Eadie-Hofstee model suggests that NC had more phosphatase isoforms than NT. The study showed that buffer type is of fundamental importance when assessing soil phosphatase activity in Cerrado soils.

  15. Forefronting the Socio-Ecological in Savanna Landscapes through Their Spatial and Temporal Contingencies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kelley A. Crews

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Landscape changes and the processes driving them have been a critical component in both research and management efforts of savanna systems. These dynamics impact human populations, wildlife, carbon storage, and general spatio-temporal dynamism in response to both anthropomorphic and climatic shifts. Both biophysical and human agents of change can be identified by isolating their respective spatial, temporal, and organizational contingencies. However, we argue here that a significant portion of savanna research has either considered humans as exogenous (e.g., via enacting regional or broader policies or somewhat spatio-temporally removed from the system (e.g., as in many protected areas with limited current human habitation. Examples from African savanna research and particularly those systems of southern Africa are thus reviewed and used to model a stylized or prototypical savanna system and contingencies. Such an approach allows for a richer socio-temporal integration of theories and data on past biophysical and human histories to facilitate an improved framework for understanding savanna systems and their complex contingencies as socio-ecological landscapes.

  16. Ecosystem management can mitigate vegetation shifts induced by climate change in African savannas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scheiter, Simon; Savadogo, Patrice

    2017-04-01

    The welfare of people in the tropics and sub-tropics strongly depends on goods and services that ecosystems supply. Flows of these ecosystem services are strongly influenced by interactions between climate change and land use. A prominent example are savannas, covering approximately 20% of the Earth's land surface. Key ecosystem services in these areas are fuel wood for cooking and heating, food production and livestock. Changes in the structure and dynamics of savanna vegetation may strongly influence local people's living conditions, as well as the climate system and biogeochemical cycles. We used a dynamic vegetation model to explore interactive effects of climate and land use on the vegetation structure, distribution and carbon cycling of African savannas under current and future conditions. More specifically, we simulate long term impacts of fire management, grazing and fuel wood harvesting. The model projects that under future climate without human land use impacts, large savanna areas would shift towards more wood dominated vegetation due to CO2 fertilization effects and changes in water use efficiency. However, land use activities can mitigate climate change impacts on vegetation to maintain desired ecosystem states that ensure fluxes of important ecosystem services. We then use optimization algorithms to identify sustainable land use strategies that maximize the utility of people managing savannas while preserving a stable vegetation state. Our results highlight that the development of land use policy for tropical and sub-tropical areas needs to account for climate change impacts on vegetation.

  17. IDESSA: An Integrative Decision Support System for Sustainable Rangeland Management in Southern African Savannas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, Hanna; Authmann, Christian; Dreber, Niels; Hess, Bastian; Kellner, Klaus; Morgenthal, Theunis; Nauss, Thomas; Seeger, Bernhard; Tsvuura, Zivanai; Wiegand, Kerstin

    2017-04-01

    Bush encroachment is a syndrome of land degradation that occurs in many savannas including those of southern Africa. The increase in density, cover or biomass of woody vegetation often has negative effects on a range of ecosystem functions and services, which are hardly reversible. However, despite its importance, neither the causes of bush encroachment, nor the consequences of different resource management strategies to combat or mitigate related shifts in savanna states are fully understood. The project "IDESSA" (An Integrative Decision Support System for Sustainable Rangeland Management in Southern African Savannas) aims to improve the understanding of the complex interplays between land use, climate patterns and vegetation dynamics and to implement an integrative monitoring and decision-support system for the sustainable management of different savanna types. For this purpose, IDESSA follows an innovative approach that integrates local knowledge, botanical surveys, remote-sensing and machine-learning based time-series of atmospheric and land-cover dynamics, spatially explicit simulation modeling and analytical database management. The integration of the heterogeneous data will be implemented in a user oriented database infrastructure and scientific workflow system. Accessible via web-based interfaces, this database and analysis system will allow scientists to manage and analyze monitoring data and scenario computations, as well as allow stakeholders (e. g. land users, policy makers) to retrieve current ecosystem information and seasonal outlooks. We present the concept of the project and show preliminary results of the realization steps towards the integrative savanna management and decision-support system.

  18. Western equatorial African forest-savanna mosaics: a legacy of late Holocene climatic change?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ngomanda, A.; Chepstow-Lusty, A.; Makaya, M.; Favier, C.; Schevin, P.; Maley, J.; Fontugne, M.; Oslisly, R.; Jolly, D.

    2009-10-01

    Past vegetation and climate changes reconstructed using two pollen records from Lakes Maridor and Nguène, located in the coastal savannas and inland rainforest of Gabon, respectively, provide new insights into the environmental history of western equatorial African rainforests during the last 4500 cal yr BP. These pollen records indicate that the coastal savannas of western equatorial Africa did not exist during the mid-Holocene and instead the region was covered by evergreen rainforests. From ca. 4000 cal yr BP a progressive decline of inland evergreen rainforest, accompanied by the expansion of semi-deciduous rainforest, occurred synchronously with grassland colonisation in the coastal region of Gabon. The contraction of moist evergreen rainforest and the establishment of coastal savannas in Gabon suggest decreasing humidity from ca. 4000 cal yr BP. The marked reduction in evergreen rainforest and subsequent savanna expansion was followed from 2700 cal yr BP by the colonization of secondary forests dominated by the palm, Elaeis guineensis, and the shrub, Alchornea cordifolia (Euphorbiaceae). A return to wetter climatic conditions from about 1400 cal yr BP led to the renewed spread of evergreen rainforest inland, whereas a forest-savanna mosaic still persists in the coastal region. There is no evidence to suggest that the major environmental changes observed were driven by human impact.

  19. Distinguishing forest and savanna African elephants using short nuclear DNA sequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ishida, Yasuko; Demeke, Yirmed; van Coeverden de Groot, Peter J; Georgiadis, Nicholas J; Leggett, Keith E A; Fox, Virginia E; Roca, Alfred L

    2011-01-01

    A more complete description of African elephant phylogeography would require a method that distinguishes forest and savanna elephants using DNA from low-quality samples. Although mitochondrial DNA is often the marker of choice for species identification, the unusual cytonuclear patterns in African elephants make nuclear markers more reliable. We therefore designed and utilized genetic markers for short nuclear DNA regions that contain fixed nucleotide differences between forest and savanna elephants. We used M13 forward and reverse sequences to increase the total length of PCR amplicons and to improve the quality of sequences for the target DNA. We successfully sequenced fragments of nuclear genes from dung samples of known savanna and forest elephants in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, and Namibia. Elephants at previously unexamined locations were found to have nucleotide character states consistent with their status as savanna or forest elephants. Using these and results from previous studies, we estimated that the short-amplicon nuclear markers could distinguish forest from savanna African elephants with more than 99% accuracy. Nuclear genotyping of museum, dung, or ivory samples will provide better-informed conservation management of Africa's elephants.

  20. Western equatorial African forest-savanna mosaics: a legacy of late Holocene climatic change?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Ngomanda

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available Past vegetation and climate changes reconstructed using two pollen records from Lakes Maridor and Nguène, located in the coastal savannas and inland rainforest of Gabon, respectively, provide new insights into the environmental history of western equatorial African rainforests during the last 4500 cal yr BP. These pollen records indicate that the coastal savannas of western equatorial Africa did not exist during the mid-Holocene and instead the region was covered by evergreen rainforests. From ca. 4000 cal yr BP a progressive decline of inland evergreen rainforest, accompanied by the expansion of semi-deciduous rainforest, occurred synchronously with grassland colonisation in the coastal region of Gabon. The contraction of moist evergreen rainforest and the establishment of coastal savannas in Gabon suggest decreasing humidity from ca. 4000 cal yr BP. The marked reduction in evergreen rainforest and subsequent savanna expansion was followed from 2700 cal yr BP by the colonization of secondary forests dominated by the palm, Elaeis guineensis, and the shrub, Alchornea cordifolia (Euphorbiaceae. A return to wetter climatic conditions from about 1400 cal yr BP led to the renewed spread of evergreen rainforest inland, whereas a forest-savanna mosaic still persists in the coastal region. There is no evidence to suggest that the major environmental changes observed were driven by human impact.

  1. Analysis of the pattern of potential woody cover in Texas savanna

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Xuebin; Crews, Kelley A.; Yan, Bowei

    2016-10-01

    While woody plant encroachment has been observed worldwide in savannas and adversely affected the ecosystem structure and function, a thorough understanding of the nature of this phenomenon is urgently required for savanna management and restoration. Among others, potential woody cover (the maximum realizable woody cover that a given site can support), especially its variation over environment has huge implication on the encroachment management in particular, and on tree-grass interactions in general. This project was designed to explore the pattern of potential woody cover in Texas savanna, an ecosystem with a large rainfall gradient in west-east direction. Substantial random pixels were sampled across the study area from MODIS Vegetation Continuous Fields (VCF) tree cover layer (250 m). Since potential woody cover is suggested to be limited by water availability, a nonlinear 99th quantile regression was performed between the observed woody cover and mean annual precipitation (MAP) to model the pattern of potential woody cover. Research result suggests a segmented relationship between potential woody cover and MAP at MODIS scale. Potential biases as well as the practical and theoretical implications were discussed. Through this study, the hypothesis about the primary role of water availability in determining savanna woody cover was further confirmed in a relatively understudied US-located savanna.

  2. Sand engine quells the coast's hunger for sand

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van Dijk, T.

    2012-01-01

    An artificial peninsula at Ter Heijde is designed to feed the coast with sediment. Scientists are investigating whether this kind of sand engine could be the Netherlands’ answer to rising sea levels.

  3. Sand engine quells the coast's hunger for sand

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van Dijk, T.

    2012-01-01

    An artificial peninsula at Ter Heijde is designed to feed the coast with sediment. Scientists are investigating whether this kind of sand engine could be the Netherlands’ answer to rising sea levels.

  4. Spectroscopic characterization of a Nigerian standard sand: Igbokoda sand

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Ojuri, OO

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available the Middle Ordovician St. Peter Sandstone near Ottawa, Illinois, had been picked by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) as the reference sand to employ in testing cement and strength of concrete [9]. To the best of our knowledge... and magnetic resonance spectroscopic techniques due to its importance in cement, geotechnical/geo-environmental research in Nigeria. This should halt importation of standard silica sand for mortar and concrete testing...

  5. Establishment limitation of holm oak (Quercus ilex subsp ballota (Desf.) Samp.) in a Mediterranean savanna - forest ecosystem

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Smit, Christian; Diaz, Mario; Jansen, Patrick

    2009-01-01

    Tree recruitment in Mediterranean savannas is generally hampered, in contrast with the original oak forests where these savannas are derived from. We asked whether this difference in recruitment success can be explained by differential post-dispersal survival. For one year we monitored experimentall

  6. Surviving and growing amidst others : the effect of environmental factors on germination and establishment of savanna trees

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Moribe Barbosa, E.R.

    2013-01-01

    Savanna ecosystems are characterized by a continuous grass layer intermixed with a discontinuous layer of trees and shrubs. A complex set of environmental drivers, such as water, soil nutrients, solar radiance, fire and herbivory, determines vegetation structure and composition in savannas.Such envi

  7. Savanna ant species richness is maintained along a bioclimatic gradient of increasing latitude and decreasing rainfall in northern Australia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Alan N.; Del Toro, Israel; Parr, Catherine L.

    2015-01-01

    of other important faunal groups such as termites and lizards is also exceptionally high in arid Australia and is likewise not closely linked to rainfall in Australian savannas. We predict that these taxa are far more sensitive to increasing aridity in savannas elsewhere in the world, and especially...

  8. Controls on stand transpiration and soil water utilization along a tree density gradient in a Neotropical savanna

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sandra J. Bucci; Fabian G. Scholz; Guillermo Goldstein; William A. Hoffmann; Frederick C. Meinzer; Augusto C. Franco; Thomas Giambelluca; Fernando Miralles-Wilhelm

    2008-01-01

    Environmental controls of stand-level tree transpiration (E) and seasonal patterns of soil water utilization were studied in five central Brazilian savanna (Cerrado) sites differing in tree density. Tree density of Cerrado vegetation in the study area consistently changes along topographic gradients from ~1,000 trees ha-1 in open savannas (campo...

  9. Ecological thresholds at the savanna-forest boundary: how plant traits, resources and fire govern the distribution of tropical biomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoffmann, William A; Geiger, Erika L; Gotsch, Sybil G; Rossatto, Davi R; Silva, Lucas C R; Lau, On Lee; Haridasan, M; Franco, Augusto C

    2012-07-01

    Fire shapes the distribution of savanna and forest through complex interactions involving climate, resources and species traits. Based on data from central Brazil, we propose that these interactions are governed by two critical thresholds. The fire-resistance threshold is reached when individual trees have accumulated sufficient bark to avoid stem death, whereas the fire-suppression threshold is reached when an ecosystem has sufficient canopy cover to suppress fire by excluding grasses. Surpassing either threshold is dependent upon long fire-free intervals, which are rare in mesic savanna. On high-resource sites, the thresholds are reached quickly, increasing the probability that savanna switches to forest, whereas low-resource sites are likely to remain as savanna even if fire is infrequent. Species traits influence both thresholds; saplings of savanna trees accumulate bark thickness more quickly than forest trees, and are more likely to become fire resistant during fire-free intervals. Forest trees accumulate leaf area more rapidly than savanna trees, thereby accelerating the transition to forest. Thus, multiple factors interact with fire to determine the distribution of savanna and forest by influencing the time needed to reach these thresholds. Future work should decipher multiple environmental controls over the rates of tree growth and canopy closure in savanna. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/CNRS.

  10. Surviving and growing amidst others : the effect of environmental factors on germination and establishment of savanna trees

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Moribe Barbosa, E.R.

    2013-01-01

    Savanna ecosystems are characterized by a continuous grass layer intermixed with a discontinuous layer of trees and shrubs. A complex set of environmental drivers, such as water, soil nutrients, solar radiance, fire and herbivory, determines vegetation structure and composition in savannas.Such

  11. Effects of precommercial thinning and midstory control on avian and small mammal communities during longleaf pine Savanna restoration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vanessa R. Lane; Robert P. Simmons; Kristina J. Brunjes; John C. Kilgo; Timothy B. Harrington; Richard F. Daniels; W. Mark Ford; Karl V. Miller

    2015-01-01

    Restoring longleaf pine (Pinus palustris Mill.) savanna is a goal of many southern land managers, and longleaf plantations may provide a mechanism for savanna restoration. However, the effects of silvicultural treatments used in the management of longleaf pine plantations on wildlife communities are relatively unknown. Beginning in 1994, we examined effects of longleaf...

  12. Microbial properties and litter and soil nutrients after two prescribed fires in developing savannas in an upland Missouri Ozark Forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Felix, Jr. Ponder; Mahasin Tadros; Edward F. Loewenstein

    2009-01-01

    On some landscapes periodic fire may be necessary to develop and maintain oak-dominated savannas. We studied the effects of two annual prescribed burns to determine their effect on microbial activity and soil and litter nutrients 1 year after the last burn. Surface litter and soil from the upper 0?5 cm soil layer in three developing savannas (oak-hickory, ...

  13. Saltation of Non-Spherical Sand Particles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Zhengshi; Ren, Shan; Huang, Ning

    2014-01-01

    Saltation is an important geological process and the primary source of atmospheric mineral dust aerosols. Unfortunately, no studies to date have been able to precisely reproduce the saltation process because of the simplified theoretical models used. For example, sand particles in most of the existing wind sand movement models are considered to be spherical, the effects of the sand shape on the structure of the wind sand flow are rarely studied, and the effect of mid-air collision is usually neglected. In fact, sand grains are rarely round in natural environments. In this paper, we first analyzed the drag coefficients, drag forces, and starting friction wind speeds of sand grains with different shapes in the saltation process, then established a sand saltation model that considers the coupling effect between wind and the sand grains, the effect of the mid-air collision of sand grains, and the effect of the sand grain shape. Based on this model, the saltation process and sand transport rate of non-spherical sand particles were simulated. The results show that the sand shape has a significant impact on the saltation process; for the same wind speed, the sand transport rates varied for different shapes of sand grains by as much as several-fold. Therefore, sand shape is one of the important factors affecting wind-sand movement. PMID:25170614

  14. Reclaimability of the spent sand mixture – sand with bentonite – sand with furfuryl resin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Dańko

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Introduction of new binding materials and new technologies of their hardening in casting moulds and cores production requires theapplication of reclamation methods adequate to their properties as well as special devices realizing tasks. The spent sands circulationsystem containing the same kind of moulding and core sands is optimal from the point of view of the expected reclamation results.However, in the face of a significant variability of applied technologies and related to them various reclamation methods, the need - of theobtained reclamation products assessment on the grounds of systematic criteria and uniform bases – arises, with a tendency of indicatingwhich criteria are the most important for the given sand system. The reclaimability results of the mixture of the spent moulding sand withGeko S bentonite and the spent core sand with the Kaltharz 404U resin hardened by acidic hardener 100 T3, are presented in the paper.Investigations were performed with regard to the estimation of an influence of core sands additions (10 –25% on the reclaimed materialquality. Dusts and clay content in the reclaim, its chemical reaction (pH and ignition loss were estimated. The verification of the reclaiminstrumental assessment was performed on the basis of the technological properties estimation of moulding sand with bentonite, where the reclaimed material was used as a matrix.

  15. Dynamics of Vegetatin Indices in Tropical and Subtropical Savannas Defined by Ecoregions and Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectoradiometer (MODIS) Land Cover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hill, Michael J.; Roman, Miguel O.; Schaaf, Crytal B.

    2011-01-01

    In this study, we explored the capacity of vegetation indices derived from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) reflectance products to characterize global savannas in Australia, Africa and South America. The savannas were spatially defined and subdivided using the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) global ecoregions and MODIS land cover classes. Average annual profiles of Normalized Difference Vegetation Index, shortwave infrared ratio (SWIR32), White Sky Albedo (WSA) and the Structural Scattering Index (SSI) were created. Metrics derived from average annual profiles of vegetation indices were used to classify savanna ecoregions. The response spaces between vegetation indices were used to examine the potential to derive structural and fractional cover measures. The ecoregions showed distinct temporal profiles and formed groups with similar structural properties, including higher levels of woody vegetation, similar forest savanna mixtures and similar grassland predominance. The potential benefits from the use of combinations of indices to characterize savannas are discussed.

  16. Management recommendations: Sand Lake Complex

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This document is a review of land management practices at the Sand Lake National Wildlife Refuge, by a land use specialist. Recommendations, time frame and...

  17. Edaphic, structural and physiological contrasts across Amazon Basin forest-savanna ecotones suggest a role for potassium as a key modulator of tropical woody vegetation structure and function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lloyd, J.; Domingues, T. F.; Schrodt, F.; Ishida, F. Y.; Feldpausch, T. R.; Saiz, G.; Quesada, C. A.; Schwarz, M.; Torello-Raventos, M.; Gilpin, M.; Marimon, B. S.; Marimon-Junior, B. H.; Ratter, J. A.; Grace, J.; Nardoto, G. B.; Veenendaal, E.; Arroyo, L.; Villarroel, D.; Killeen, T. J.; Steininger, M.; Phillips, O. L.

    2015-11-01

    Sampling along a precipitation gradient in tropical South America extending from ca. 0.8 to 2.0 m a-1, savanna soils had consistently lower exchangeable cation concentrations and higher C / N ratios than nearby forest plots. These soil differences were also reflected in canopy averaged leaf traits with savanna trees typically having higher leaf mass per unit area but lower mass-based nitrogen (Nm) and potassium (Km). Both Nm and Km also increased with declining mean annual precipitation (PA), but most area-based leaf traits such as leaf photosynthetic capacity showed no systematic variation with PA or vegetation type. Despite this invariance, when taken in conjunction with other measures such as mean canopy height, area-based soil exchangeable potassium content, [K]sa , proved to be an excellent predictor of several photosynthetic properties (including 13C isotope discrimination). Moreover, when considered in a multivariate context with PA and soil plant available water storage capacity (θP) as covariates, [K]sa also proved to be an excellent predictor of stand-level canopy area, providing drastically improved fits as compared to models considering just PA and/or θP. Neither calcium, nor magnesium, nor soil pH could substitute for potassium when tested as alternative model predictors (ΔAIC > 10). Nor for any model could simple soil texture metrics such as sand or clay content substitute for either [K]sa or θP. Taken in conjunction with recent work in Africa and the forests of the Amazon Basin, this suggests - in combination with some newly conceptualised interacting effects of PA and θP also presented here - a critical role for potassium as a modulator of tropical vegetation structure and function.

  18. Defoliation by pastoralists affects savanna tree seedling dynamics by limiting the facilitative role of canopy cover.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bufford, Jennifer L; Gaoue, Orou G

    2015-07-01

    Recurrent tree defoliation by pastoralists, akin to herbivory, can negatively affect plant reproduction and population dynamics. However, our understanding of the indirect role of defoliation in seedling recruitment and tree-grass dynamics in tropical savanna is limited. In West African savanna, Fulani pastoralists frequently defoliate several fodder tree species to feed livestock in the dry season. We investigated the direct and indirect effects of recurrent defoliation of African mahogany (Khaya senegalensis) by Fulani people on seedling (forest systems in West Africa, it has the potential to affect tree-grass coexistence. Incorporating the influence of large tree defoliation into existing models of savanna dynamics can further our understanding of tree-grass coexistence and improve management. A rotating harvest system, which allows seedlings to recruit episodically, or a patchwork harvest, which maintains some nursery trees in the mosaic, could help sustain seedling recruitment and minimize the indirect effects of harvest.

  19. Overstory and understory relationships in longleaf pine plantations 14 years after thinning and woody control.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Harrington, Timothy, B.

    2011-09-09

    To develop silvicultural strategies for restoring longleaf pine (Pinus palustris Mill.) savannas, mortality and growth of overstory pines and midstory hardwoods and abundance and species richness of herbs were studied for 14 years after pine thinning and nonpine woody control. Pine cover in thinned stands was about half of that in nonthinned stands through year 5, but it lagged by only 8% and 3% in years 9 and 14, respectively, because of vigorous crown responses. Despite a cumulative mortality of 64% of hardwood stems from prescribed fires in years 0, 4, and 9, hardwood basal area in thinned stands (2.1 m2/ha) was three times that in nonthinned stands (0.7 m2/ha) in year 14. Thinning was associated with 13%-22% more cover and six to eight more species of herbs in years 3-8 but only 6% more cover and two more species in year 14 because of accelerated growth of pine cover and hardwood basal area. However, similar increases in cover and richness of herb species in the woody control treatment were retained through year 14 because it had sustained reductions in hardwood and shrub abundance. Silvicultural strategies that substantially delay encroachment by pines, hardwoods, and shrubs will be those most effective at retaining herb species in longleaf pine savannas, including planting pines at wide spacing, periodic thinning and woody control, and frequent burning.

  20. Spider assemblages in the overstory, understory, and ground layers of managed stands in the western boreal mixedwood forest of Canada.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pinzon, Jaime; Spence, John R; Langor, David W

    2011-08-01

    Logging is the main human disturbance in the boreal forest; thus, understanding the effects of harvesting practices on biodiversity is essential for a more sustainable forestry. To assess changes in spider composition because of harvesting, samples were collected from three forest layers (overstory, understory, and ground) of deciduous and conifer dominated stands in the northwestern Canadian boreal mixedwood forest. Spider assemblages and feeding guild composition were compared between uncut controls and stands harvested to 20% retention. In total, 143 spider species were collected, 74 from the ground, 60 from the understory, and 71 from the overstory, and species composition of these three pools differed considerably among layers. Distinctive spider assemblages were collected from the canopy of each forest cover type but these were only slightly affected by harvesting. However, logging had a greater impact on the species composition in the understory and ground layers when compared with unharvested controls. Guild structure differed among layers, with wandering and sheet-weaving spiders dominant on the ground while orb-weaving and ambush spiders were better represented in the understory and overstory, respectively. Given the ecological importance of spiders and the expectation of faunal changes with increased harvesting, further efforts toward the understanding of species composition in higher strata of the boreal forest are needed.

  1. [Soil greenhouse gases emission from an Acacia crassicarpa plantation under effects of understory removal and Cassia alata addition].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Hai-Fang; Zhang, Xing-Feng

    2010-03-01

    Forest soil is one of the main sources of greenhouse gases CO2, CH4, and N2O. By using static chamber and GS technique, this paper measured in situ the CO2, CH4, and N2O fluxes of Acacia crassicarpa plantation in Heshan Hilly Land Interdisciplinary Experimental Station under Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), and studied the soil CO2, CH4 and N2O emissions from the plantation under effects of understory removal and Cassia alata addition. The CO2 flux of the plantation maintained at a higher level during rainy season but decreased obviously in dry season, while the CH4 and N2O fluxes varied widely from September to November, with the peaks in October. Under the effects of understory removal and C. alata addition, the soil in the plantation could be a sink or a source of CH4, but consistently a source of CO2 and N2O. Understory removal enhanced the soil CO2 emission (P < 0.05 ), C. alata addition increased the soil CH4 emission (P < 0.05), while both understory removal and C. alata addition increased the soil N2O emission (P < 0.05). Surface soil temperature, moisture content, NO3(-) -N concentration, and microbial biomass carbon were the main factors affecting the soil CO2, CH4 and N2O emissions.

  2. Influence of overstory composition on understory colonization by native species in plantations on a degraded tropical site

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Parotta, J.A. [USDA Forest Service, Rio Piedras (Puerto Rico). International Inst. of Tropical Forestry

    1995-10-01

    Patterns of understory colonization by native and naturalized trees and shrubs were evaluated in 4.5-year-old plantations of three exotic tree species, Casuarina equisetifolia, Eucalyptus robusta, and Leucaena leucocephala, on a degraded coastal grassland site with reference to overstory composition and understory environmental conditions. 19 secondary forest species were established in the plantation understories, while no natural regeneration occurred in unplanted, though protected, control areas. The majority of these species (90%) and the total seedling population (97%) were zoochorous, indicating the importance of frugivorous bats and particularly birds as facilitators of secondary forest species colonization. Understory species richness and seedling densities were affected significantly by overstory composition, the most abundant regeneration occurring beneath Leucaena and least under Casuarina. The study results indicate that overstory species selection can exert a significant influence on subsequent patterns of colonization by secondary forest species and is an important consideration in the design of plantations for `catalyzing` succession on deforested, degraded sites. 40 refs, 4 figs, 3 tabs

  3. Spectral reflectance patterns and temporal dynamics of common understory types in hemi-boreal forests in Järvselja, Estonia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nikopensius, Maris; Raabe, Kairi; Pisek, Jan

    2014-05-01

    The knowledge about spectral properties and seasonal dynamics of understory layers in boreal forests currently holds several gaps. This introduces severe uncertainties while modelling the carbon balance of this ecosystem, which is expected to be prone to major shifts with climate change in the future. In this work the seasonal reflectance dynamics in European hemi-boreal forests are studied. The data for this study was collected at Järvselja Training and Experimental Forestry District (Estonia, 27.26°E 58.30°N). Measurements were taken in three different stands. The silver birch (Betula Pendula Roth) stand grows on typical brown gley-soil and its understory vegetation is dominated by a mixture of several grass species. The Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) stand grows on a bog with understory vegetation composed of sparse labrador tea, cotton grass, and a continuous Sphagnum moss layer. The third stand, Norway spruce (Picea abies), grows on a Gleyi Ferric Podzol site with understory vegetation either partially missing or consisting of mosses such as Hylocomium splendens or Pleurozium schreberi [1]. The sampling design was similar to the study by Rautiainen et al. [3] in northern European boreal forests. At each study site, a 100 m long permanent transect was marked with flags. In addition, four intensive study plots (1 m × 1 m) were marked next to the transects at 20 m intervals. The field campaign lasted from May to September 2013. For each site the fractional cover of understory and understory spectra were estimated ten times i.e. every 2 to 3 weeks. Results from Järvselja forest were compared with the seasonal profiles from boreal forests in Hyytiälä, Finland [2]. References [1] A. Kuusk, M. Lang, J. Kuusk, T. Lükk, T. Nilson, M. Mõttus, M. Rautiainen, and A. Eenmäe, "Database of optical and structural data for validation of radiative transfer models", Technical Report, September 2009 [2] M. Rautiainen, M. Mõttus, J. Heiskanen, A. Akujärvi, T. Majasalmi

  4. Forests, savannas and grasslands: bridging the knowledge gap between ecology and Dynamic Global Vegetation Models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Baudena

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The forest, savanna, and grassland biomes, and the transitions between them, are expected to undergo major changes in the future, due to global climate change. Dynamic Global Vegetation Models (DGVMs are very useful to understand vegetation dynamics under present climate, and to predict its changes under future conditions. However, several DGVMs display high uncertainty in predicting vegetation in tropical areas. Here we perform a comparative analysis of three different DGVMs (JSBACH, LPJ-GUESS-SPITFIRE and aDGVM with regard to their representation of the ecological mechanisms and feedbacks that determine the forest, savanna and grassland biomes, in an attempt to bridge the knowledge gap between ecology and global modelling. Model outcomes, obtained including different mechanisms, are compared to observed tree cover along a mean annual precipitation gradient in Africa. Through these comparisons, and by drawing on the large number of recent studies that have delivered new insights into the ecology of tropical ecosystems in general, and of savannas in particular, we identify two main mechanisms that need an improved representation in the DGVMs. The first mechanism includes water limitation to tree growth, and tree-grass competition for water, which are key factors in determining savanna presence in arid and semi-arid areas. The second is a grass-fire feedback, which maintains both forest and savanna occurrences in mesic areas. Grasses constitute the majority of the fuel load, and at the same time benefit from the openness of the landscape after fires, since they recover faster than trees. Additionally, these two mechanisms are better represented when the models also include tree life stages (adults and seedlings, and distinguish between fire-prone and shade-tolerant savanna trees, and fire-resistant and shade-intolerant forest trees. Including these basic elements could improve the predictive ability of the DGVMs, not only under current climate

  5. Nutrient dynamics and plant assemblages of Macrotermes falciger mounds in a savanna ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muvengwi, Justice; Ndagurwa, Hilton G. T.; Nyenda, Tatenda; Mbiba, Monicah

    2016-10-01

    Termites through mound construction and foraging activities contribute significantly to carbon and nutrient fluxes in nutrient-poor savannas. Despite this recognition, studies on the influence of termite mounds on carbon and nitrogen dynamics in sub-tropical savannas are limited. In this regard, we examined soil nutrient concentrations, organic carbon and nitrogen mineralization in incubation experiments in mounds of Macrotermes falciger and surrounding soils of sub-tropical savanna, northeast Zimbabwe. We also addressed whether termite mounds altered the plant community and if effects were similar across functional groups i.e. grasses, forbs or woody plants. Mound soils had significantly higher silt and clay content, pH and concentrations of calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), potassium (K), organic carbon (C), ammonium (NH4+) and nitrate (NO3-) than surrounding soils, with marginal differences in phosphorus (P) and sodium (Na) between mounds and matrix soils. Nutrient enrichment increased by a factor ranging from 1.5 for C, 4.9 for Mg up to 10.3 for Ca. Although C mineralization, nitrification and nitrification fraction were similar between mounds and matrix soils, nitrogen mineralization was elevated on mounds relative to surrounding matrix soils. As a result, termite mounds supported unique plant communities rich and abundant in woody species but less diverse in grasses and forbs than the surrounding savanna matrix in response to mound-induced shifts in soil parameters specifically increased clay content, drainage and water availability, nutrient status and base cation (mainly Ca, Mg and Na) concentration. In conclusion, by altering soil properties such as texture, moisture content and nutrient status, termite mounds can alter the structure and composition of sub-tropical savanna plant communities, and these results are consistent with findings in other savanna systems suggesting that increase in soil clay content, nutrient status and associated changes in the plant

  6. The water relations of two evergreen tree species in a karst savanna.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwinning, Susanne

    2008-12-01

    The ecohydrology of karst has not received much attention, despite the disproportionally large contribution of karst aquifers to freshwater supplies. Karst savannas, like many savannas elsewhere, are encroached by woody plants, with possibly negative consequences on aquifer recharge. However, the role of savanna tree species in hydrological processes remains unclear, not least because the location and water absorption zones of tree roots in the spatially complex subsurface strata are unknown. This study examined the water sources and water relations of two savanna trees, Quercus fusiformis (Small) and Juniperus ashei (Buchholz) in the karst region of the eastern Edwards Plateau, Texas (USA). Stable isotope analysis of stem water revealed that both species took up evaporatively enriched water during the warm season, suggesting a relatively shallow water source in the epikarst, the transition zone between soil and bedrock. Q. fusiformis had consistently higher predawn water potentials than J. ashei during drought, and thus was probably deeper-rooted and less capable of maintaining gas exchange at low water potentials. Although the water potential of both species recovered after drought-breaking spring and summer rain events, associated shifts in stem water isotope ratios did not indicate significant uptake of rainwater from the shallow soil. A hypothesis is developed to explain this phenomenon invoking a piston-flow mechanism that pushes water stored in macropores into the active root zones of the trees. Epikarst structure varied greatly with parent material and topography, and had strong effects on seasonal fluctuations in plant water status. The study suggests that tree species of the Edwards Plateau do not commonly reduce aquifer recharge by tapping directly into perched water tables, but more likely by reducing water storage in the epikarst. A more general conclusion is that models of savanna water relations based on Walter's two-layer model may not apply

  7. Growth responses of trees and understory plants to nitrogen fertilization in a subtropical forest in China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tian, Di; Li, Peng; Fang, Wenjing; Xu, Jun; Luo, Yongkai; Yan, Zhengbing; Zhu, Biao; Wang, Jingjing; Xu, Xiaoniu; Fang, Jingyun

    2017-07-01

    Reactive nitrogen (N) increase in the biosphere has been a noteworthy aspect of global change, producing considerable ecological effects on the functioning and dynamics of the terrestrial ecosystems. A number of observational studies have explored responses of plants to experimentally simulated N enrichment in boreal and temperate forests. Here we investigate how the dominant trees and different understory plants respond to experimental N enrichment in a subtropical forest in China. We conducted a 3.4-year N fertilization experiment in an old-aged subtropical evergreen broad-leaved forest in eastern China with three treatment levels applied to nine 20 m × 20 m plots and replicated in three blocks. We divided the plants into trees, saplings, shrubs (including tree seedlings), and ground-cover plants (ferns) according to the growth forms, and then measured the absolute and relative basal area increments of trees and saplings and the aboveground biomass of understory shrubs and ferns. We further grouped individuals of the dominant tree species, Castanopsis eyrei, into three size classes to investigate their respective growth responses to the N fertilization. Our results showed that the plot-averaged absolute and relative growth rates of basal area and aboveground biomass of trees were not affected by N fertilization. Across the individuals of C. eyrei, the small trees with a DBH (diameter at breast height) of 5-10 cm declined by 66.4 and 59.5 %, respectively, in N50 (50 kg N ha-1 yr-1) and N100 fertilized plots (100 kg N ha-1 yr-1), while the growth of median and large trees with a DBH of > 10 cm did not significantly change with the N fertilization. The growth rate of small trees, saplings, and the aboveground biomass of understory shrubs and ground-cover ferns decreased significantly in the N-fertilized plots. Our findings suggested that N might not be a limiting nutrient in this mature subtropical forest, and that the limitation of other nutrients in the forest

  8. Dynamics in carbon exchange fluxes for a grazed semi-arid savanna ecosystem in West Africa

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tagesson, Torbern; Fensholt, Rasmus; Cropley, Ford;

    2015-01-01

    The main aim of this paper is to study land-atmosphere exchange of carbon dioxide (CO2) for semi-arid savanna ecosystems of the Sahel region and its response to climatic and environmental change. A subsidiary aim is to study and quantify the seasonal dynamics in light use efficiency (ε) being a key...... variable in scaling carbon fluxes from ground observations using earth observation data. The net ecosystem exchange of carbon dioxide (NEE) 2010-2013 was measured using the eddy covariance technique at a grazed semi-arid savanna site in Senegal, West Africa. Night-time NEE was not related to temperature...

  9. Forest Understory Fire in the Brazilian Amazon in ENSO and Non-ENSO Years: Area Burned and Committed Carbon Emissions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alencar, A.; Nepstad, D.; Ver-Diaz, M. Del. C.

    2004-01-01

    "Understory fires" that burn the floor of standing forests are one of the most important types of forest impoverishment in the Amazon, especially during the severe droughts of El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) episodes. However, we are aware of no estimates of the areal extent of these fires for the Brazilian Amazon and, hence, of their contribution to Amazon carbon fluxes to the atmosphere. We calculated the area of forest understory fires for the Brazilian Amazon region during an El Nino (1998) and a non El Nino (1995) year based on forest fire scars mapped with satellite images for three locations in eastern and southern Amazon, where deforestation is concentrated. The three study sites represented a gradient of both forest types and dry season severity. The burning scar maps were used to determine how the percentage of forest that burned varied with distance from agricultural clearings. These spatial functions were then applied to similar forest/climate combinations outside of the study sites to derive an initial estimate for the Brazilian Amazon. Ninety-one percent of the forest area that burned in the study sites was within the first kilometer of a clearing for the non ENSO year and within the first four kilometers for the ENSO year. The area of forest burned by understory forest fire during the severe drought (ENSO) year (3.9 millions of hectares) was 13 times greater than the area burned during the average rainfall year (0.2 million hectares), and twice the area of annual deforestation rate. Dense forest was, proportionally, the forest area most affected by understory fires during the El Nino year, while understory fires were concentrated in transitional forests during the year of average rainfall. Our estimate of aboveground tree biomass killed by fire ranged from 0.06 Pg to 0.38 Pg during the ENSO and from 0,004 Pg to 0,024 Pg during the non ENSO.

  10. Rapid Leaf Deployment Strategies in a Deciduous Savanna.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edmund Carl February

    Full Text Available Deciduous plants avoid the costs of maintaining leaves in the unfavourable season, but carry the costs of constructing new leaves every year. Deciduousness is therefore expected in ecological situations with pronounced seasonality and low costs of leaf construction. In our study system, a seasonally dry tropical savanna, many trees are deciduous, suggesting that leaf construction costs must be low. Previous studies have, however, shown that nitrogen is limiting in this system, suggesting that leaf construction costs are high. Here we examine this conundrum using a time series of soil moisture availability, leaf phenology and nitrogen distribution in the tree canopy to illustrate how trees resorb nitrogen before leaf abscission and use stored reserves of nitrogen and carbon to construct new leaves at the onset of the growing season. Our results show that trees deployed leaves shortly before and in anticipation of the first rains with its associated pulse of nitrogen mineralisation. Our results also show that trees rapidly constructed a full canopy of leaves within two weeks of the first rains. We detected an increase in leaf nitrogen content that corresponded with the first rains and with the movement of nitrogen to more distal branches, suggesting that stored nitrogen reserves are used to construct leaves. Furthermore the stable carbon isotope ratios (δ13C of these leaves suggest the use of stored carbon for leaf construction. Our findings suggest that the early deployment of leaves using stored nitrogen and carbon reserves is a strategy that is integrally linked with the onset of the first rains. This strategy may confer a competitive advantage over species that deploy leaves at or after the onset of the rains.

  11. The ecohydrologic significance of hydraulic redistribution in a semiarid savanna

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scott, Russell L.; Cable, William L.; Hultine, Kevin R.

    2008-02-01

    Recent studies have illuminated the process of hydraulic redistribution, defined as the translocation of soil moisture via plant root systems, but the long-term ecohydrologic significance of this process is poorly understood. We investigated hydraulic redistribution (HR) by Prosopis velutina Woot. (velvet mesquite) in an upland savanna ecosystem over a two-year period. Our goal was to quantify patterns of HR by mesquite roots and assess how this affects tree water use and productivity. We used the heat ratio method to monitor bi-directional sap flow, an analog of HR, in both lateral and tap roots. Additionally, we monitored soil water content and used the eddy covariance technique to quantify ecosystem carbon dioxide and water exchange. Mesquite roots redistributed large amounts of water throughout the year, even during periods of canopy dormancy. Dormant season precipitation (November-March) was often taken up by shallow lateral roots and transferred downward in the soil profile by deeper lateral and tap roots. Such a transfer was also apparent when the trees were active and moisture from summer rainfall was plant available in the upper soil layers. As the upper soil layers dried, sap flow moving toward the canopy in the lateral roots diminished and water use from deeper soils increased via the taproots. The relationship between root sap flow and above-canopy fluxes suggested that deeper "stored" water from HR allowed the trees to transpire more in the spring that followed a winter with significant downward redistribution. Patterns of lateral and tap root sap flow also implied that redistribution may extend the growing season of the trees after summer rains have ended and surface soils are dry, thus allowing the trees to photosynthesize through periods of seasonal drought. The large hydrologic magnitude and the ecological effects of HR we studied, along with mounting evidence of this process occurring in many other ecosystems, indicates that HR should be accounted

  12. Modeling spatiotemporal patterns of understory light intensity using airborne laser scanner (LiDAR)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peng, Shouzhang; Zhao, Chuanyan; Xu, Zhonglin

    2014-11-01

    This study described a spatiotemporally explicit 3D raytrace model to provide spatiotemporal patterns of understory light (light intensity in the forest floor and along the vertical gradient). The model was built based on voxels derived from LiDAR and field investigation data, geographical information (elevation and location), and solar position (azimuth and altitude angles). We calculated the distance (L, in meters) traveled by solar ray in the crowns based on the model, and then calibrated and verified the light attenuation function using L based on Beer's law. L and the ratio of below canopy light intensity to above canopy light intensity showed obviously exponential relationship, with R2 = 0.94 and P competition, soil evaporation, plant transpiration, and snowmelt in the forest.

  13. Mechanisms for success after long-term nutrient enrichment in a boreal forest understory.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tess Nahanni Grainger

    Full Text Available Global levels of reactive nitrogen are predicted to rise in the coming decades as a result of increased deposition from the burning of fossil fuels and the large-scale conversion of nitrogen into a useable form for agriculture. Many plant communities respond strongly to increases in soil nitrogen, particularly in northern ecosystems where nitrogen levels are naturally very low. An experiment in northern Canada that was initiated in 1990 has been investigating the effects of long-term nutrient enrichment (fertilizer added annually on a boreal forest understory community. We used this experiment to investigate why some species increase in abundance under nutrient enrichment whereas others decline. We focused on four species that differed in their responses to fertilization: Mertensia paniculata and Epilobium angustifolium increased in abundance, Achillea millefolium remained relatively constant and Festuca altaica declined. We hypothesized that the two species that were successful in the new high-nutrient, light-limited environment would be taller, have higher specific leaf area, change phenology by growing earlier in the season and be more morphologically plastic than their less successful counterparts. We compared plant height, specific leaf area, growth spurt date and allocation to leaves in plants grown in control and fertilized plots. We demonstrated that each of the two species that came to dominate fertilized plots has a different combination of traits and responses that likely gave them a competitive advantage; M. paniculata has the highest specific leaf area of the four species whereas E. angustifolium is tallest and exhibits morphological plasticity when fertilized by increasing biomass allocation to leaves. These results indicate that rather than one strategy determining success when nutrients become available, a variety of traits and responses may contribute to a species' ability to persist in a nutrient-enriched boreal forest

  14. Detecting fragmentation extinction thresholds for forest understory plant species in peninsular Spain.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marta Rueda

    Full Text Available Ecological theory predicts that fragmentation aggravates the effects of habitat loss, yet empirical results show mixed evidences, which fail to support the theory instead reinforcing the primary importance of habitat loss. Fragmentation hypotheses have received much attention due to their potential implications for biodiversity conservation, however, animal studies have traditionally been their main focus. Here we assess variation in species sensitivity to forest amount and fragmentation and evaluate if fragmentation is related to extinction thresholds in forest understory herbs and ferns. Our expectation was that forest herbs would be more sensitive to fragmentation than ferns due to their lower dispersal capabilities. Using forest cover percentage and the proportion of this percentage occurring in the largest patch within UTM cells of 10-km resolution covering Peninsular Spain, we partitioned the effects of forest amount versus fragmentation and applied logistic regression to model occurrences of 16 species. For nine models showing robustness according to a set of quality criteria we subsequently defined two empirical fragmentation scenarios, minimum and maximum, and quantified species' sensitivity to forest contraction with no fragmentation, and to fragmentation under constant forest cover. We finally assessed how the extinction threshold of each species (the habitat amount below which it cannot persist varies under no and maximum fragmentation. Consistent with their preference for forest habitats probability occurrences of all species decreased as forest cover contracted. On average, herbs did not show significant sensitivity to fragmentation whereas ferns were favored. In line with theory, fragmentation yielded higher extinction thresholds for two species. For the remaining species, fragmentation had either positive or non-significant effects. We interpret these differences as reflecting species-specific traits and conclude that although

  15. Long-term demographic consequences of habitat fragmentation to a tropical understory bird community

    Science.gov (United States)

    Korfanta, N.M.; Newmark, W.D.; Kauffman, M.J.

    2012-01-01

    Tropical deforestation continues to cause population declines and local extinctions in centers of avian diversity and endemism. Although local species extinctions stem from reductions in demographic rates, little is known about how habitat fragmentation influences survival of tropical bird populations or the relative importance of survival and fecundity in ultimately shaping communities. We analyzed 22 years of mark-recapture data to assess how fragmentation influenced apparent survival, recruitment, and realized population growth rate within 22 forest understory bird species in the Usambara Mountains, Tanzania. This represents the first such effort, in either tropical or temperate systems, to characterize the effect of deforestation on avian survival across such a broad suite of species. Long-term demographic analysis of this suite of species experiencing the same fragmented environment revealed considerable variability in species' responses to fragmentation, in addition to general patterns that emerged from comparison among species. Across the understory bird community as a whole, we found significantly lower apparent survival and realized population growth rate in small fragments relative to large, demonstrating fragmentation effects to demographic rates long after habitat loss. Demographic rates were depressed across five feeding guilds, suggesting that fragmentation sensitivity was not limited to insectivores. Seniority analyses, together with a positive effect of fragmentation on recruitment, indicated that depressed apparent survival was the primary driver of population declines and observed extinctions. We also found a landscape effect, with lower vital rates in one mountain range relative to another, suggesting that fragmentation effects may add to other large-scale drivers of population decline. Overall, realized population growth rate (λ) estimates were < 1 for most species, suggesting that future population persistence even within large forest

  16. Effects of an exotic plant invasion on native understory plants in a tropical dry forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prasad, Ayesha E

    2010-06-01

    The dry forests of southern India, which are endangered tropical ecosystems and among the world's most important tiger (Panthera tigris) habitats, are extensively invaded by exotic plants. Yet, experimental studies exploring the impacts of these invasions on native plants in these forests are scarce. Consequently, little is known about associated implications for the long-term conservation of tigers and other biodiversity in these habitats. I studied the impacts of the exotic plant Lantana camara on understory vegetation in a dry-forest tiger habitat in southern India. I compared the richness, composition, and abundance of tree seedlings, herbs, and shrubs and the abundance of grass among plots in which Lantana was cleared or left standing. These plots were distributed across two blocks-livestock free and livestock grazed. Removal of Lantana had an immediate positive effect on herb-shrub richness in the livestock-free block, but had no effect on that of tree seedlings in either livestock block. Tree-seedling and herb-shrub composition differed significantly between Lantana treatment and livestock block, and Lantana removal significantly decreased survival of tree seedlings. Nevertheless, the absence of trees, in any stage between seedling and adult, indicates that Lantana may stall tree regeneration. Lantana removal decreased the abundance of all understory strata, probably because forage plants beneath Lantana are less accessible to herbivores, and plants in Lantana-free open plots experienced greater herbivory. Reduced access to forage in invaded habitats could negatively affect ungulate populations and ultimately compromise the ability of these forests to sustain prey-dependent large carnivores. Additional research focused on understanding and mitigating threats posed by exotic plants may be crucial to the long-term protection of these forests as viable tiger habitats.

  17. Detecting fragmentation extinction thresholds for forest understory plant species in peninsular Spain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rueda, Marta; Moreno Saiz, Juan Carlos; Morales-Castilla, Ignacio; Albuquerque, Fabio S; Ferrero, Mila; Rodríguez, Miguel Á

    2015-01-01

    Ecological theory predicts that fragmentation aggravates the effects of habitat loss, yet empirical results show mixed evidences, which fail to support the theory instead reinforcing the primary importance of habitat loss. Fragmentation hypotheses have received much attention due to their potential implications for biodiversity conservation, however, animal studies have traditionally been their main focus. Here we assess variation in species sensitivity to forest amount and fragmentation and evaluate if fragmentation is related to extinction thresholds in forest understory herbs and ferns. Our expectation was that forest herbs would be more sensitive to fragmentation than ferns due to their lower dispersal capabilities. Using forest cover percentage and the proportion of this percentage occurring in the largest patch within UTM cells of 10-km resolution covering Peninsular Spain, we partitioned the effects of forest amount versus fragmentation and applied logistic regression to model occurrences of 16 species. For nine models showing robustness according to a set of quality criteria we subsequently defined two empirical fragmentation scenarios, minimum and maximum, and quantified species' sensitivity to forest contraction with no fragmentation, and to fragmentation under constant forest cover. We finally assessed how the extinction threshold of each species (the habitat amount below which it cannot persist) varies under no and maximum fragmentation. Consistent with their preference for forest habitats probability occurrences of all species decreased as forest cover contracted. On average, herbs did not show significant sensitivity to fragmentation whereas ferns were favored. In line with theory, fragmentation yielded higher extinction thresholds for two species. For the remaining species, fragmentation had either positive or non-significant effects. We interpret these differences as reflecting species-specific traits and conclude that although forest amount is of

  18. Long-term demographic consequences of habitat fragmentation to a tropical understory bird community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Korfanta, Nicole M; Newmark, William D; Kauffman, Matthew J

    2012-12-01

    Tropical deforestation continues to cause population declines and local extinctions in centers of avian diversity and endemism. Although local species extinctions stem from reductions in demographic rates, little is known about how habitat fragmentation influences survival of tropical bird populations or the relative importance of survival and fecundity in ultimately shaping communities. We analyzed 22 years of mark-recapture data to assess how fragmentation influenced apparent survival, recruitment, and realized population growth rate within 22 forest understory bird species in the Usambara Mountains, Tanzania. This represents the first such effort, in either tropical or temperate systems, to characterize the effect of deforestation on avian survival across such a broad suite of species. Long-term demographic analysis of this suite of species experiencing the same fragmented environment revealed considerable variability in species' responses to fragmentation, in addition to general patterns that emerged from comparison among species. Across the understory bird community as a whole, we found significantly lower apparent survival and realized population growth rate in small fragments relative to large, demonstrating fragmentation effects to demographic rates long after habitat loss, Demographic rates were depressed across five feeding guilds, suggesting that fragmentation sensitivity was not limited to insectivores. Seniority analyses, together with a positive effect of fragmentation on recruitment, indicated that depressed apparent survival was the primary driver of population declines and observed extinctions. We also found a landscape effect, with lower vital rates in one mountain range relative to another, suggesting that fragmentation effects may add to other large-scale drivers of population decline. Overall, realized population growth rate (lambda) estimates were fragments, is uncertain in this biodiversity hotspot.

  19. Mechanisms for success after long-term nutrient enrichment in a boreal forest understory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grainger, Tess Nahanni; Turkington, Roy

    2013-01-01

    Global levels of reactive nitrogen are predicted to rise in the coming decades as a result of increased deposition from the burning of fossil fuels and the large-scale conversion of nitrogen into a useable form for agriculture. Many plant communities respond strongly to increases in soil nitrogen, particularly in northern ecosystems where nitrogen levels are naturally very low. An experiment in northern Canada that was initiated in 1990 has been investigating the effects of long-term nutrient enrichment (fertilizer added annually) on a boreal forest understory community. We used this experiment to investigate why some species increase in abundance under nutrient enrichment whereas others decline. We focused on four species that differed in their responses to fertilization: Mertensia paniculata and Epilobium angustifolium increased in abundance, Achillea millefolium remained relatively constant and Festuca altaica declined. We hypothesized that the two species that were successful in the new high-nutrient, light-limited environment would be taller, have higher specific leaf area, change phenology by growing earlier in the season and be more morphologically plastic than their less successful counterparts. We compared plant height, specific leaf area, growth spurt date and allocation to leaves in plants grown in control and fertilized plots. We demonstrated that each of the two species that came to dominate fertilized plots has a different combination of traits and responses that likely gave them a competitive advantage; M. paniculata has the highest specific leaf area of the four species whereas E. angustifolium is tallest and exhibits morphological plasticity when fertilized by increasing biomass allocation to leaves. These results indicate that rather than one strategy determining success when nutrients become available, a variety of traits and responses may contribute to a species' ability to persist in a nutrient-enriched boreal forest understory.

  20. Developing and Testing a Robust, Multi-Scale Framework for the Recovery of Longleaf Pine Understory Communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-05-01

    Fahr . 2009. Pine savanna overstorey influences on ground-cover biodiversity. Applied Vegetation Science 9:37–50. Plue, J., M. Hermy, K. Verheyen, P...perspectives on large-scale patterns in predation, disease , and communities. Michigan State University. Veldman, J.W. 2012. Grasses, trees, and

  1. Disturbance of the inclined inserting-type sand fence to wind-sand flow fields and its sand control characteristics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Jian-jun; Lei, Jia-qiang; Li, Sheng-yu; Wang, Hai-feng

    2016-06-01

    The inclined inserting-type sand fence is a novel sand retaining wall adopted along the Lanxin High-Speed Railway II in Xinjiang for controlling and blocking sand movement. To verify the effectiveness of the new fence structure for sand prevention, a wind tunnel test was used for flow field test simulation of the sand fence. The results indicate that the inclined inserting-type sand fence was able to deflect the flow of the sand and was able to easily form an upward slant acceleration zone on the leeward side of the sand fence. As shown by the percentage change in sand collection rates on the windward side and the leeward side of the sand fence, the sand flux per unit area at 4 m height in the slant upward direction increased on the leeward side of the inclined inserting-type sand fence. By comparing the flow fields, this site is an acceleration zone, which also reaffirms the correspondence of wind-sand flow fields with the spatial distribution characteristic of the wind-carried sand motion. The field sand collection data indicates that under the effects of the inclined inserting-type sand fence, the sandy air currents passing in front and behind the sand fence not only changed in quality, but the grain composition and particle size also significantly changed, suggesting that the inclined inserting-type sand fence has a sorting and filtering effect on the sandy air currents that passed through. The fence retained coarse particulates on the windward side and fine particulates within the shade of the wind on the leeward side.

  2. Optimal array of sand fences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lima, Izael A; Araújo, Ascânio D; Parteli, Eric J R; Andrade, José S; Herrmann, Hans J

    2017-03-24

    Sand fences are widely applied to prevent soil erosion by wind in areas affected by desertification. Sand fences also provide a way to reduce the emission rate of dust particles, which is triggered mainly by the impacts of wind-blown sand grains onto the soil and affects the Earth's climate. Many different types of fence have been designed and their effects on the sediment transport dynamics studied since many years. However, the search for the optimal array of fences has remained largely an empirical task. In order to achieve maximal soil protection using the minimal amount of fence material, a quantitative understanding of the flow profile over the relief encompassing the area to be protected including all employed fences is required. Here we use Computational Fluid Dynamics to calculate the average turbulent airflow through an array of fences as a function of the porosity, spacing and height of the fences. Specifically, we investigate the factors controlling the fraction of soil area over which the basal average wind shear velocity drops below the threshold for sand transport when the fences are applied. We introduce a cost function, given by the amount of material necessary to construct the fences. We find that, for typical sand-moving wind velocities, the optimal fence height (which minimizes this cost function) is around 50 cm, while using fences of height around 1.25 m leads to maximal cost.

  3. Landscape-scale effects of herbivores on treefall in African savannas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asner, Gregory P; Levick, Shaun R

    2012-11-01

    Herbivores cause treefalls in African savannas, but rates are unknown at large scales required to forecast changes in biodiversity and ecosystem processes. We combined landscape-scale herbivore exclosures with repeat airborne Light Detection and Ranging of 58 429 trees in Kruger National Park, South Africa, to assess sources of savanna treefall across nested gradients of climate, topography, and soil fertility. Elephants were revealed as the primary agent of treefall across widely varying savanna conditions, and a large-scale 'elephant trap' predominantly removes maturing savanna trees in the 5-9 m height range. Treefall rates averaged 6 times higher in areas accessible to elephants, but proportionally more treefall occurred on high-nutrient basalts and in lowland catena areas. These patterns were superimposed on a climate-mediated regime of increasing treefall with precipitation in the absence of herbivores. These landscape-scale patterns reveal environmental controls underpinning herbivore-mediated tree turnover, highlighting the need for context-dependent science and management.

  4. Unlocking resources in savannas: how goats and other mixed feeders overcome the negative effects of tannins

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mkhize, N.R.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract This thesis contributes insights on how condensed tannins might mediate the interactions between woody plants and large herbivores in the African savannas. Current understanding in this regard is still based on data from short-term laboratory experiments, mostly with confin

  5. Fire and life in Tarangire : effects of burning and herbivory on an East African savanna system

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vijver, van de C.A.D.M.

    1999-01-01

    This thesis investigates the effects of fire on quality and quantity of forage for grazers in the savannas of East Africa where fire has been used as a tool in pasture management for centuries. Hereby the mechanisms that cause the effects, as well as the manner in which the effects are influenced by

  6. Grazing ungulates select for grasses growing beneath trees in African savannas

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Treydte, A.C.; Beek, J.G.M.; Perdok, A.A.; Wieren, van S.E.

    2011-01-01

    In savannas, isolated large trees can form 'islands of fertility', referring to their elevated soil nutrients and their effect on light and water availability in their direct surroundings. Consequently, a quality difference between understorey grasses and open grassland can develop, creating patches

  7. Mapping Cropland in Smallholder-Dominated Savannas: Integrating Remote Sensing Techniques and Probabilistic Modeling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sean Sweeney

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Traditional smallholder farming systems dominate the savanna range countries of sub-Saharan Africa and provide the foundation for the region’s food security. Despite continued expansion of smallholder farming into the surrounding savanna landscapes, food insecurity in the region persists. Central to the monitoring of food security in these countries, and to understanding the processes behind it, are reliable, high-quality datasets of cultivated land. Remote sensing has been frequently used for this purpose but distinguishing crops under certain stages of growth from savanna woodlands has remained a major challenge. Yet, crop production in dryland ecosystems is most vulnerable to seasonal climate variability, amplifying the need for high quality products showing the distribution and extent of cropland. The key objective in this analysis is the development of a classification protocol for African savanna landscapes, emphasizing the delineation of cropland. We integrate remote sensing techniques with probabilistic modeling into an innovative workflow. We present summary results for this methodology applied to a land cover classification of Zambia’s Southern Province. Five primary land cover categories are classified for the study area, producing an overall map accuracy of 88.18%. Omission error within the cropland class is 12.11% and commission error 9.76%.

  8. Trophic ecology of Lepidoptera larvae associated with woody vegetation in a savanna ecosystem

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Scholtz, CH

    1982-06-01

    Full Text Available This study represents a quantitative survey of a Lepidoptera community and deals with the trophic ecology of the 27 species of foliage-feeding Lepidoptera on the eight dominant woody plants in the Burkea africana-Eragrostis pallens savanna...

  9. Improved quality of beneath-canopy grass in South African savannas: Local and seasonal variation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Treydte, A.C.; Looringh van Beeck, F.A.; Ludwig, F.; Heitkonig, I.M.A.

    2008-01-01

    Questions: Do large trees improve the nutrient content and the structure of the grass layer in savannas? Does the magnitude of this improvement differ with locality ( soil nutrients) and season ( water availability)? Are grass structure and species composition beneath tree canopies influenced by

  10. Woody cover in wet and dry African savannas after six decades of experimental fires

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Devine, Aisling P.; Stott, Iain; Mcdonald, Robbie A.;

    2015-01-01

    Summary: Fire is an integral process in savannas because it plays a crucial role in altering woody cover of this globally important biome. In this study, we examine the long-term effects of varying fire frequencies over a 60-year time period in South Africa. We analyse the effects of fire exclusi...

  11. Are cattle surrogate wildlife? Savanna plant community composition explained by total herbivory, not herbivore identity

    Science.gov (United States)

    The replacement of wild ungulate herbivores by domestic livestock in African savannas is composed of two interrelated phenomena: 1) loss or reduction in numbers of individual wildlife species or guilds, and 2) addition of livestock to the system. Yet very few studies have addressed the individual, c...

  12. Trophic interactions among invertebrates in termitaria in the African savanna : a stable isotope approach

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    De Visser, Sarah N.; Freymann, Bernd P.; Schnyder, Hans

    2008-01-01

    1. Termites (Isoptera) in tropical savannas are known as ecosystem engineers, affecting the spatial and temporal distribution of water, carbon, cations, and nutrients through their mound structures. Their mounds, however, also offer habitation to diverse taxa and feeding guilds of other invertebrate

  13. Integrating remote sensing and spatial statistics to model herbaceous biomass distribution in a tropical savanna

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mutanga, O.; Rugege, D.

    2006-01-01

    Modelling herbaceous biomass is critical for an improved understanding of wildlife feeding patterns and distribution as well as for the development of early warning systems for fire management. Most savannas in South Africa are characterized by complex stand structure and abundant vegetation species

  14. The evolution of fire management practices in savanna protected areas in South Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B.W. van Wilgen

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available The history and development of ecologically-based fire management policies in savanna protected areas during the 20th century are reviewed. Research on fire in savannas began in the 1950s, and from the 1980s onwards, managers of savanna protected areas experimented on large scales with different management approaches. New ecological paradigms that embraced variability in space and time, and management goals that broadened from single-species to biodiversity conservation, precipitated significant changes to management approaches in the 1990s. Many lessons have been learnt in the process, allowing for the derivation of general principles regarding both the effects of fire and managerial ability to influence fire regimes on a large scale. Significant challenges remain; these include dealing with increasing CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere, and with interactions between fire and increasing elephant numbers in protected areas. The ability of savanna managers to deal with these challenges in the context of an imperfect understanding will be determined by how well, and how fast, they can learn from experience.

  15. Application of Object Based Classification and High Resolution Satellite Imagery for Savanna Ecosystem Analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jane Southworth

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Savanna ecosystems are an important component of dryland regions and yet are exceedingly difficult to study using satellite imagery. Savannas are composed are varying amounts of trees, shrubs and grasses and typically traditional classification schemes or vegetation indices cannot differentiate across class type. This research utilizes object based classification (OBC for a region in Namibia, using IKONOS imagery, to help differentiate tree canopies and therefore woodland savanna, from shrub or grasslands. The methodology involved the identification and isolation of tree canopies within the imagery and the creation of tree polygon layers had an overall accuracy of 84%. In addition, the results were scaled up to a corresponding Landsat image of the same region, and the OBC results compared to corresponding pixel values of NDVI. The results were not compelling, indicating once more the problems of these traditional image analysis techniques for savanna ecosystems. Overall, the use of the OBC holds great promise for this ecosystem and could be utilized more frequently in studies of vegetation structure.

  16. Dry season mapping of savanna forage quality, using the hyperspectral Carnegie

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Knox, N.; Skidmore, A.K.; Prins, H.H.T.; Asner, P.; Werff, van der H.M.A.; Boer, de W.F.; Waal, van der C.; Knegt, de H.J.; Kohi, E.; Slotow, R.; Grant, R.C.

    2011-01-01

    Forage quality within an African savanna depends upon limiting nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus) and nutrients that constrain the intake rates (non-digestible fibre) of herbivores. These forage quality nutrients are particularly crucial in the dry season when concentrations of limiting nutrients d

  17. Defensive plant-ants stabilize megaherbivore-driven landscape change in an African savanna.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goheen, Jacob R; Palmer, Todd M

    2010-10-12

    Tree cover in savanna ecosystems is usually regarded as unstable, varying with rainfall, fire, and herbivory. In sub-Saharan Africa, elephants (Loxodonta africana) suppress tree cover, thereby maintaining landscape heterogeneity by promoting tree-grass coexistence. In the absence of elephants, tree encroachment may convert savannas into closed-canopy woodlands; when elephants increase in abundance, intensified browsing pressure can transform savannas into open grasslands. We show that symbiotic ants stabilize tree cover across landscapes in Kenya by protecting a dominant tree from elephants. In feeding trials, elephants avoided plants with ants and did not distinguish between a myrmecophyte (the whistling-thorn tree [Acacia drepanolobium]) from which ants had been removed and a highly palatable, nonmyrmecophytic congener. In field experiments, elephants inflicted severe damage on whistling-thorn trees from which ants had been removed. Across two properties on which elephants increased between 2003 and 2008, cover of whistling-thorn did not change significantly inside versus outside large-scale elephant exclusion fences; over the same period of time, cover of nonmyrmecophytes differed profoundly inside versus outside exclusion fences. These results highlight the powerful role that symbioses and plant defense play in driving tree growth and survival in savannas, ecosystems of global economic and ecological importance.

  18. Synthesis of field experiments concerning the grass layer in the savanna regions of southern Africa

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    O'Connor, TG

    1985-10-01

    Full Text Available The purpose of this synthesis of long term experiments was to develop an account of how the principal determinants (rainfall, soil type, woody/grass ratio, herbivory, fire) influence the dynamics of the grass layer of southern African savannas...

  19. New evidence for hybrid zones of forest and savanna elephants in Central and West Africa

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mondol, Samrat; Moltke, Ida; Hart, John

    2015-01-01

    The African elephant consists of forest and savanna subspecies. Both subspecies are highly endangered due to severe poaching and habitat loss, and knowledge of their population structure is vital to their conservation. Previous studies have demonstrated marked genetic and morphological difference...

  20. Comparison of plant diversity in protected and communal lands in the Bushbuckridge lowveld savanna, South Africa

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Shackleton, CM

    2000-07-01

    Full Text Available Patterns of higher plant species richness and beta diversity were assessed using standard Modified-Whittaker plots in relation to land use, slope position and mean annual rainfall across a rainfall gradient in the savanna areas of the Bushbuckridge...

  1. Hydraulic lift in a neotropical savanna: experimental manipulation and model simulations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fabian G. Scholz; Sandra J. Bucci; William A. Hoffmann; Frederick C. Meinzer; Guillermo Goldstein

    2010-01-01

    The objective of this study was to assess the magnitude of hydraulic lift in Brazilian savannas (Cerrado) and to test the hypothesis that hydraulic lift by herbaceous plants contributes substantially to slowing the decline of water potential and water storage in the upper soil layers during the dry season. To this effect, field observations of soil water content and...

  2. The bulldozer herbivore: how animals benefit from elephant modifying an African savanna

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kohi, E.

    2013-01-01

    Herbivore-vegetation interactions are important structuring forces in savanna that modify the availability and quality of forage resources. Elephant for example, are known for their ability to change the vegetation structure through toppling trees, uprooting, snapping, debarking and breaking branche

  3. Elephant distribution around a volcanic shield dominated by a mosaic of forest and savanna (Marsabit, Kenya)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ngene, S.M.; Skidmore, A.K.; Gils, H.; Douglas-Hamilton, I.; Omondi, P.

    2009-01-01

    We investigated the factors that influenced the distribution of the African elephant around a volcanic shield dominated by a mosaic of forest and savanna in northern Kenya. Data on elephant distribution were acquired from four female and five bull elephants, collared with satellite-linked geographic

  4. A spatio-temporal analysis of landscape dynamics under changing environmental regimes in southern African savannas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bunting, Erin L.

    The United Nations and Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) deem many regions of southern Africa as vulnerable landscapes due to changing climatic regimes, ecological condition, and low adaptive capacity. The savanna ecosystems of southern Africa are of great ecological importance due to the high biodiversity they sustain, their high level of productivity, and the great role they play in the global carbon cycle. Given the dependence of humans on the lands it is essential to explore landscape level trends in patterns and processes in an effort to inform management practices. Even if climate change mitigation strategies were put in place, this is still a region heavily dependent on rain-fed agriculture and tourism of the biological diverse lands. Therefore analysis of climate variability, both interannual and intra-annual, and the changing role it plays on the landscape is critical. This body of research analyzes the role of climate variability and climate on environmental condition and socio-economic development via research on (1) spatial and temporal vegetation patterns, (2) the underlying processes that influence savanna ecosystem resilience, (3) local perception of risk to livelihood development, and (4) potential consequences of climate change on vegetation patterns. As a whole this demonstrates the key role that climate plays on savanna landscapes, which would be highly beneficial when developing conservation or mitigation strategies. Increased climate variability is occurring, but what is still open to debate is the resilience of savanna landscape and vulnerability of socio-economic development.

  5. Effects of fire and herbivory on the stability of savanna ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Langevelde, F; van de Vijver, CADM; Kumar, L; van de Koppel, J; de Ridder, N; van Andel, J; Skidmore, AK; Hearne, JW; Stroosnijder, L; Bond, WJ; Prins, HHT; Rietkerk, M; Vijver, Claudius A.D.M. van de; Skidmore, Andrew K.; Hearne, John W.; Bond, William J.; Lauenroth, W.K.

    2003-01-01

    Savanna ecosystems are characterized by the co-occurrence of trees and grasses. In this paper, we argue that the balance between trees and grasses is, to a large extent,determined by the indirect interactive effects of herbivory and fire. These effects are based on the positive feedback between fuel

  6. The facilitative role of trees in tree-grass interactions in savannas

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Priyadarshini, K.V.R.

    2016-01-01

    Terrestrial ecosystems support a high plant diversity where different plant types coexist. However, the mechanisms that support plant coexistence are not entirely clear. Savanna ecosystems that are nutrient and water limited are characterized by a unique ecological feature: the coexistence of trees

  7. Spatial vegetation patterns and neighborhood competition among woody plants in an East African savanna.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dohn, Justin; Augustine, David J; Hanan, Niall P; Ratnam, Jayashree; Sankaran, Mahesh

    2017-02-01

    The majority of research on savanna vegetation dynamics has focused on the coexistence of woody and herbaceous vegetation. Interactions among woody plants in savannas are relatively poorly understood. We present data from a 10-yr longitudinal study of spatially explicit growth patterns of woody vegetation in an East African savanna following exclusion of large herbivores and in the absence of fire. We examined plant spatial patterns and quantified the degree of competition among woody individuals. Woody plants in this semiarid savanna exhibit strongly clumped spatial distributions at scales of 1-5 m. However, analysis of woody plant growth rates relative to their conspecific and heterospecific neighbors revealed evidence for strong competitive interactions at neighborhood scales of up to 5 m for most woody plant species. Thus, woody plants were aggregated in clumps despite significantly decreased growth rates in close proximity to neighbors, indicating that the spatial distribution of woody plants in this region depends on dispersal and establishment processes rather than on competitive, density-dependent mortality. However, our documentation of suppressive effects of woody plants on neighbors also suggests a potentially important role for tree-tree competition in controlling vegetation structure and indicates that the balanced-competition hypothesis may contribute to well-known patterns in maximum tree cover across rainfall gradients in Africa. © 2016 by the Ecological Society of America.

  8. Water and nutrients alter herbaceous competitive effects on tree seedlings in a semi-arid savanna

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Waal, van der C.; Kroon, de H.; Boer, de W.F.; Heitkonig, I.M.A.; Skidmore, A.K.; Knegt, de H.J.; Langevelde, van F.; Wieren, van S.E.; Grant, R.C.; Page, B.R.; Slotow, R.; Kohi, E.; Mwakiwa, E.; Prins, H.H.T.

    2009-01-01

    1. Globally, both climatic patterns and nitrogen deposition rates show directional changes over time. It is uncertain how woody seedlings, which coexist with herbaceous plants in savannas, respond to concurrent changes in water and nutrient availability. 2. We investigated competition effects

  9. Trees for food and fodder in the savanna areas of Nigeria

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Okafor, J.C.

    1980-01-01

    Some 51 species of edible trees have been identified during field surveys in the southern savanna region. Preliminary data are summarized on their edible parts, uses in food and livestock feed and the suitability of various propagation techniques. Improvement of natural rangeland with fodder trees and shrubs is suggested. Research priorities are listed. (Refs. 17).

  10. Modeling the effects of anthropogenic habitat change on savanna snake invasions into African rainforest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freedman, Adam H; Buermann, Wolfgang; Lebreton, Matthew; Chirio, Laurent; Smith, Thomas B

    2009-02-01

    We used a species-distribution modeling approach, ground-based climate data sets, and newly available remote-sensing data on vegetation from the MODIS and Quick Scatterometer sensors to investigate the combined effects of human-caused habitat alterations and climate on potential invasions of rainforest by 3 savanna snake species in Cameroon, Central Africa: the night adder (Causus maculatus), olympic lined snake (Dromophis lineatus), and African house snake (Lamprophis fuliginosus). Models with contemporary climate variables and localities from native savanna habitats showed that the current climate in undisturbed rainforest was unsuitable for any of the snake species due to high precipitation. Limited availability of thermally suitable nest sites and mismatches between important life-history events and prey availability are a likely explanation for the predicted exclusion from undisturbed rainforest. Models with only MODIS-derived vegetation variables and savanna localities predicted invasion in disturbed areas within the rainforest zone, which suggests that human removal of forest cover creates suitable microhabitats that facilitate invasions into rainforest. Models with a combination of contemporary climate, MODIS- and Quick Scatterometer-derived vegetation variables, and forest and savanna localities predicted extensive invasion into rainforest caused by rainforest loss. In contrast, a projection of the present-day species-climate envelope on future climate suggested a reduction in invasion potential within the rainforest zone as a consequence of predicted increases in precipitation. These results emphasize that the combined responses of deforestation and climate change will likely be complex in tropical rainforest systems.

  11. The influence of savanna trees on nutrient, water and light availability and the understorey vegetation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ludwig, F.; Kroon, J.C.J.M. de; Berendse, F.; Prins, H.H.T.

    2004-01-01

    In an East African savanna herbaceous layer productivity and species composition were studied around Acacia tortilis trees of three different age classes, as well as around dead trees and in open grassland patches. The effects of trees on nutrient, light and water availability were measured to

  12. Estimating and mapping grass phosphorus concentration in an African savanna using hyperspectral image data

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mutanga, O.; Kumar, L.

    2007-01-01

    We tested the utility of imaging spectroscopy and neural networks to map phosphorus concentration in savanna grass using airborne HyMAP image data. We also sought to ascertain the key wavelengths for phosphorus prediction using hyperspectral remote sensing. The remote sensing of foliar phosphorus ha

  13. Transpiration of oak trees in the oak savannas of the Southwestern Borderlands region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peter F. Ffolliott; Cody L. Stropki; Aaron T. Kauffman; Gerald J. Gottfried

    2008-01-01

    Transpiration of oak trees on the Cascabel watersheds in the savannas on the eastern slope of the Peloncillo Mountains in southwestern New Mexico has been estimated by the sap-flow method. Transpiration represents the largest loss of gross precipitation falling on a watershed in approximations of water budgets for the more densely stocked oak woodlands of the...

  14. Impacts of communal fuelwood extraction on lidar-estimated biomass patterns of savanna woodlands

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Wessels, Konrad J

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Approximately 54% of rural households in South Africa continue to use wood as their main source of energy, mainly for cooking and heating. The provision of biomass by savanna woodlands is thus of considerable value to rural households and therefore...

  15. Unlocking resources in savannas: how goats and other mixed feeders overcome the negative effects of tannins

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mkhize, N.R.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract This thesis contributes insights on how condensed tannins might mediate the interactions between woody plants and large herbivores in the African savannas. Current understanding in this regard is still based on data from short-term laboratory experiments, mostly with

  16. Changes in the woody component of an East African savanna during 25 years

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vijver, Claudius A.D.M. van de; Foley, Charles A.; Olff, Han

    1999-01-01

    Changes in density, structure and species composition of the woody component of the two predominant savanna types in Tarangire National Park, northern Tanzania, during a period of 25 y were investigated. The park is known for its large, increasing elephant numbers and high frequency of fires. In 199

  17. Changing forest-woodland-savanna mosaics in Uganda: with implications for conservation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nangendo, G.

    2005-01-01

    Forest-Woodland-Savanna (FWS) mosaics are complex, highly varied and dynamic landscapes.Until recently, they were considered poor in terms of biodiversity. Consequently, only few scientific studies have been done on them and little attention has been paid to their cons

  18. Diet of the common warthog (Phacochoerus africanus) on former cattle grounds in a Tanzanian savanna

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Treydte, A.C.; Bernasconi, S.M.; Keuzer, M.; Edwards, P.J.

    2006-01-01

    In otherwise nutrient-poor savannas, fertile vegetation patches are particularly attractive to ungulates because of the higher-quality food they provide. We investigated forage plants and diet of the common warthog (Phacochoerus africanus) on an abandoned cattle ranch in coastal Tanzania. The forage

  19. Developing the Guidelines for Reclamation to Forest Vegetation in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Straker, J. [Integral Ecology Group Ltd., Victoria, BC (Canada); Cumulative Environmental Management Association, Fort McMurray, AB (Canada). Reclamation Working Group, Terrestrial Subgroup; Donald, G. [Donald Functional and Applied Ecology Inc., Victoria, BC (Canada); Cumulative Environmental Management Association, Fort McMurray, AB (Canada). Reclamation Working Group, Terrestrial Subgroup

    2010-07-01

    This paper discussed the development process behind and the structure of the Guidelines for Reclamation to Forest Vegetation in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region. The advances present in the second edition, published in 2010, were described relative to the first edition, which was published in 1998. Oils sands mining companies are mandated to use the manual under the Alberta Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act. The paper provided an overview of the structure of the second edition and presented the process used to develop the second edition. It also described the planning approaches for revegetative treatments and the planning guidance of overstory and understory species selection. The methods for evaluating revegetative success were also described with particular reference to plant community composition and soil salinity indicators as examples of indicator development. The goal of the manual is to provide guidance on re-establishing the vegetation component of upland ecosystems on reclaimed landscapes and on evaluating the success of the re-establishment, assuming that the reclaimed plant communities should have species characteristic of native plant communities in the region, that the trends of vegetation community and structure development on reclaimed land should be similar to native plant communities in the region, and that the reclaimed ecosystems should have development trajectories that satisfy land-use objectives and provide resilience against natural disturbances. 15 refs., 1 tab., 1 fig.

  20. Sands at Gusev Crater, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cabrol, Nathalie A.; Herkenhoff, Kenneth E.; Knoll, Andrew H.; Farmer, Jack D.; Arvidson, Raymond E.; Grin, E.A.; Li, Ron; Fenton, Lori; Cohen, B.; Bell, J.F.; Yingst, R. Aileen

    2014-01-01

    Processes, environments, and the energy associated with the transport and deposition of sand at Gusev Crater are characterized at the microscopic scale through the comparison of statistical moments for particle size and shape distributions. Bivariate and factor analyses define distinct textural groups at 51 sites along the traverse completed by the Spirit rover as it crossed the plains and went into the Columbia Hills. Fine-to-medium sand is ubiquitous in ripples and wind drifts. Most distributions show excess fine material, consistent with a predominance of wind erosion over the last 3.8 billion years. Negative skewness at West Valley is explained by the removal of fine sand during active erosion, or alternatively, by excess accumulation of coarse sand from a local source. The coarse to very coarse sand particles of ripple armors in the basaltic plains have a unique combination of size and shape. Their distribution display significant changes in their statistical moments within the ~400 m that separate the Columbia Memorial Station from Bonneville Crater. Results are consistent with aeolian and/or impact deposition, while the elongated and rounded shape of the grains forming the ripples, as well as their direction of origin, could point to Ma'adim Vallis as a possible source. For smaller particles on the traverse, our findings confirm that aeolian processes have dominated over impact and other processes to produce sands with the observed size and shape patterns across a spectrum of geologic (e.g., ripples and plains soils) and aerographic settings (e.g., wind shadows).

  1. Nitrogen Dynamics of the Savanna Flux Site at Skukuza, Kruger National Park.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woghiren, A. J.; Scholes, M.

    2001-12-01

    The SAFARI 2000 campaign aims at validating satellite-based estimates of photosynthesis and net primary productivity (NPP). The Skukuza site has two vegetation types, a Combretum (broad-leafed) savanna and an Acacia (fine-leafed) savanna. Since it is expected that these two vegetation types may have markedly different responses to global climate change, it is an ideal site for the Earth observing systems (EOS) validation experiment. NPP estimates need to be explained and supported using corresponding data on the N (nitrogen) budgets for the site. Plants capable of nitrogen fixation usually had higher % N and lower \\delta15N signatures than their non-nitrogen-fixing counterparts. Most species had isotopically enriched signatures relative to the standard, which was air. The mean enrichments for the legumes varied from -1.76 to 3.32%, while that of the non-legumes ranged from 3.02 to 7.08%. In the herbaceous layer, Stylosanthes fruticosa and Macrotyloma maranguense had the highest fixation rates, with 84% and 41% being contributed by each species respectively (4.9 - 6.8 kg N ha-1 yr-1 is fixed in this layer). Since these species occurred in dense patches at the broad-leafed site, it was assumed that this was the contribution of N2 fixation to this savanna. The dominant N2 fixing tree was Acacia nilotica, with 50 % of its N being fixed. Trees at the fine-leafed site fixed between 2.9 - 5.5 kg N ha-1 yr-1, while herbaceous legumes contributed 4.9 - 6.8 kg N ha-1 yr-1. Nitrogen mineralisation is seasonal, with particularly high rates of mineralisation in spring. In winter, NH4+ dominates at the fine-leafed site, when it is scarcely detectable at the broad-leafed site. On the other hand, nitrate prevails in summer at the fine-leafed site, while it is being immobilised at the broad-leafed site. In contrast to another South African savanna, NH4+ is detected in large quantities (0.85 μ g N g-1 dry soil day-1) at both sites during summer. The nitrification rates are

  2. Who is who in the understory: the contribution of resident and transitory groups of species to plant richness in forest assemblages

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    JulianaSilva Gomes-Westphalen

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available The forest understory is made up of resident and transitory species and can be much richer than the canopy. With the purpose to describe the contribution of these groups to the woody understory, five Atlantic Forest fragments were selected and studied in Northeastern Brazil. In order to analyze the understory’s structure, the sample included woody individuals with circumference at breast height (CBH smaller than 15cm and circumference at ground level (CGL greater than 3cm, regardless of height. The recorded species were quantified and classified into functional stratification categories (resident and transitory, and the floristic similarity between the understory and the tree stratum was calculated. Species’ importance in the understory was analyzed by height and total natural regeneration classes based on a regeneration index. The understory was richer in species (median=63.8, SD=21.72, n=5 fragments than the tree stratum (43.8, 18.14, 5, and the similarity between these components was relatively high (median=0.54, SD=0.09. The results also showed that the studied understory in the forest fragments was mainly composed by transitory species (median=67.01%, SD=3.76, that were well distributed among height classes and had the highest densities, which may favor their future presence in the canopy’s structure and composition. The typical understory species were grouped into two strata: the lower understory, made up of species that generally do not reach more than 4m in height (mostly species from families Piperaceae, Rubiaceae and Melastomataceae; and the upper understory, with intermediate heights between the lower understory and the canopy, but with average heights that were not higher than 10m (mainly of species from families Anonnaceae, Clusiaceae and Myrtaceae. These families’ richness was commonly used as an indicator of the vegetation’s successional stage; however, such results must be seen with caution as they show that these

  3. DPTM simulation of aeolian sand ripple

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2008-01-01

    Aeolian sand ripple and its time evolution are simulated by the discrete particle tracing method (DPTM) presented in this paper. The difference between this method and the current methods is that the former can consider the three main factors relevant to the formation of natural aeolian sand ripples,which are the wind-blown sand flux above the sand bed formed by lots of sand particles with different di-ameters,the particle-bed collision and after it the rebound and ejection of sand particles in the sand bed,the saltation of high-speed sand particles and the creep of low-speed sand particles,respectively. The simulated aeolian sand ripple is close to the natural sand ripple not only in basic shape and characteristic,particle size segregation and stratigraphy,but also in formation stages. In addition,three important speeds can be obtained by this method,which are the propagation speed of the saturated aeolian sand ripple and the critical frictional wind speeds of emergence and disappearance of sand ripple.

  4. DPTM simulation of aeolian sand ripple

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHENG XiaoJing; BO TianLi; XIE Li

    2008-01-01

    Aeolian sand ripple and its time evolution are simulated by the discrete particle tracing method (DPTM) presented in this paper.The difference between this method and the current methods is that the former can consider the three main factors relevant to the formation of natural aeolian sand ripples, which are the wind-blown sand flux above the sand bed formed by lots of sand particles with different di-ameters, the particle-bed collision and after it the rebound and ejection of sand particles in the sand bed, the saltation of high-speed sand particles and the creep of low-speed sand particles, respectively.The simulated aeolian sand ripple is close to the natural sand ripple not only in basic shape and characteristic, particle size segregation and stratigraphy, but also in formation stages.In addition, three important speeds can be obtained by this method, which are the propagation speed of the saturated aeolian sand ripple and the critical frictional wind speeds of emergence and disappearance of sand ripple.

  5. Dry reusing and wet reclaiming of used sodium silicate sand

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2005-01-01

    Based on the characteristics of used sodium silicate sand and the different use requirements for recycled sand, "dry reusing and wet reclaiming of used sodium silicate sand" is considered as the most suitable technique for the used sand. When the recycled sand is used as support sand, the used sand is only reused by dry process including breaking, screening, dust-removal, etc., and it is not necessary that the used sand is reclaimed with strongly rubbing and scraping method, but when the recycled sand is used as facing sand (or single sand), the used sand must be reclaimed by wet method for higher removal rate of the residual binders. The characteristics and the properties of the dry reused sand are compared with the wet reclaimed sand after combining the different use requirements of support sand and facing sand (or single sand), and above the most adaptive scheme has also been validated.

  6. Leaf Serration in Seedlings of Heteroblastic Woody Species Enhance Plasticity and Performance in Gaps But Not in the Understory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Harshi K. Gamage

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Leaf heteroblasty refers to dramatic ontogenetic changes in leaf size and shape, in contrast to homoblasty that exhibits little change, between seedling and adult stages. This study examined whether the plasticity in leaf morphology of heteroblastic species would be an advantage for their survival and growth over homoblastic congeners to changes in light. Two congeneric pairs of homoblastic (Hoheria lyallii, Aristotelia serrata and heteroblastic species (H. sexstylosa, A. fruticosa were grown for 18 months in canopy gap and forest understory sites in a temperate rainforest in New Zealand. Heteroblastic species that initially had serrated leaves reduced leaf serration in the understory, but increased in the gaps. Heteroblastic species also produced thicker leaves and had higher stomatal pore area (density×aperture length, maximum photosynthetic rate, survival, and greater biomass allocation to shoots than homoblastic relatives in the gaps. Findings indicate that increased leaf serration in heteroblastic species is an advantage over homoblastic congeners in high light.

  7. Sand and Water Table Play

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wallace, Ann H.; White, Mary J.; Stone, Ryan

    2010-01-01

    The authors observed preschoolers engaged at the sand and water table to determine if math could be found within their play. Wanting to understand how children interact with provided materials and what kinds of math ideas they explore during these interactions, the authors offer practical examples of how such play can promote mathematical…

  8. Sand and Water Table Play

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wallace, Ann H.; White, Mary J.; Stone, Ryan

    2010-01-01

    The authors observed preschoolers engaged at the sand and water table to determine if math could be found within their play. Wanting to understand how children interact with provided materials and what kinds of math ideas they explore during these interactions, the authors offer practical examples of how such play can promote mathematical…

  9. Impact on sand and water

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bergmann, R.P.H.M.

    2007-01-01

    In this thesis we investigate the impact of a body on sand and water. When a body impacts a free surface in the inertial regime the series of events is the following: On impact material is blown away in all directions and an impact cavity forms. Due to the hydrostatic pressure from the sides the cav

  10. Silo model tests with sand

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Munch-Andersen, Jørgen

    Tests have been carried out in a large silo model with Leighton Buzzard Sand. Normal pressures and shear stresses have been measured during tests carried out with inlet and outlet geometry. The filling method is a very important parameter for the strength of the mass and thereby the pressures...

  11. Land-Use History and Contemporary Management Inform an Ecological Reference Model for Longleaf Pine Woodland Understory Plant Communities.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brudvig, Lars A. [Department of Plant Biology, Michigan State University; Orrock, John L. [Department of Zoology, University of Wisconsin; Damschen, Ellen I. [Department of Zoology, University of Wisconsin; et al, et al

    2014-01-23

    Ecological restoration is frequently guided by reference conditions describing a successfully restored ecosystem; however, the causes and magnitude of ecosystem degradation vary, making simple knowledge of reference conditions insufficient for prioritizing and guiding restoration. Ecological reference models provide further guidance by quantifying reference conditions, as well as conditions at degraded states that deviate from reference conditions. Many reference models remain qualitative, however, limiting their utility. We quantified and evaluated a reference model for southeastern U.S. longleaf pine woodland understory plant communities. We used regression trees to classify 232 longleaf pine woodland sites at three locations along the Atlantic coastal plain based on relationships between understory plant community composition, soils lol(which broadly structure these communities), and factors associated with understory degradation, including fire frequency, agricultural history, and tree basal area. To understand the spatial generality of this model, we classified all sites together. and for each of three study locations separately. Both the regional and location-specific models produced quantifiable degradation gradients–i.e., progressive deviation from conditions at 38 reference sites, based on understory species composition, diversity and total cover, litter depth, and other attributes. Regionally, fire suppression was the most important degrading factor, followed by agricultural history, but at individual locations, agricultural history or tree basal area was most important. At one location, the influence of a degrading factor depended on soil attributes. We suggest that our regional model can help prioritize longleaf pine woodland restoration across our study region; however, due to substantial landscape-to-landscape variation, local management decisions should take into account additional factors (e.g., soil attributes). Our study demonstrates the utility

  12. Land-use history and contemporary management inform an ecological reference model for longleaf pine woodland understory plant communities.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lars A Brudvig

    Full Text Available Ecological restoration is frequently guided by reference conditions describing a successfully restored ecosystem; however, the causes and magnitude of ecosystem degradation vary, making simple knowledge of reference conditions insufficient for prioritizing and guiding restoration. Ecological reference models provide further guidance by quantifying reference conditions, as well as conditions at degraded states that deviate from reference conditions. Many reference models remain qualitative, however, limiting their utility. We quantified and evaluated a reference model for southeastern U.S. longleaf pine woodland understory plant communities. We used regression trees to classify 232 longleaf pine woodland sites at three locations along the Atlantic coastal plain based on relationships between understory plant community composition, soils (which broadly structure these communities, and factors associated with understory degradation, including fire frequency, agricultural history, and tree basal area. To understand the spatial generality of this model, we classified all sites together and for each of three study locations separately. Both the regional and location-specific models produced quantifiable degradation gradients-i.e., progressive deviation from conditions at 38 reference sites, based on understory species composition, diversity and total cover, litter depth, and other attributes. Regionally, fire suppression was the most important degrading factor, followed by agricultural history, but at individual locations, agricultural history or tree basal area was most important. At one location, the influence of a degrading factor depended on soil attributes. We suggest that our regional model can help prioritize longleaf pine woodland restoration across our study region; however, due to substantial landscape-to-landscape variation, local management decisions should take into account additional factors (e.g., soil attributes. Our study demonstrates

  13. Land-use history and contemporary management inform an ecological reference model for longleaf pine woodland understory plant communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brudvig, Lars A; Orrock, John L; Damschen, Ellen I; Collins, Cathy D; Hahn, Philip G; Mattingly, W Brett; Veldman, Joseph W; Walker, Joan L

    2014-01-01

    Ecological restoration is frequently guided by reference conditions describing a successfully restored ecosystem; however, the causes and magnitude of ecosystem degradation vary, making simple knowledge of reference conditions insufficient for prioritizing and guiding restoration. Ecological reference models provide further guidance by quantifying reference conditions, as well as conditions at degraded states that deviate from reference conditions. Many reference models remain qualitative, however, limiting their utility. We quantified and evaluated a reference model for southeastern U.S. longleaf pine woodland understory plant communities. We used regression trees to classify 232 longleaf pine woodland sites at three locations along the Atlantic coastal plain based on relationships between understory plant community composition, soils (which broadly structure these communities), and factors associated with understory degradation, including fire frequency, agricultural history, and tree basal area. To understand the spatial generality of this model, we classified all sites together and for each of three study locations separately. Both the regional and location-specific models produced quantifiable degradation gradients-i.e., progressive deviation from conditions at 38 reference sites, based on understory species composition, diversity and total cover, litter depth, and other attributes. Regionally, fire suppression was the most important degrading factor, followed by agricultural history, but at individual locations, agricultural history or tree basal area was most important. At one location, the influence of a degrading factor depended on soil attributes. We suggest that our regional model can help prioritize longleaf pine woodland restoration across our study region; however, due to substantial landscape-to-landscape variation, local management decisions should take into account additional factors (e.g., soil attributes). Our study demonstrates the utility of

  14. Land-use history, historical connectivity, and land management interact to determine longleaf pine woodland understory richness and composition.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brudvig, Lars A. [Michigan State Univ., East Lansing, MI (United States); Damschen, Ellen L. [Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI (United States)

    2010-08-13

    Restoration and management activities targeted at recovering biodiversity can lead to unexpected results. In part, this is due to a lack of understanding of how site-level characteristics, landscape factors, and land-use history interact with restoration and management practices to determine patterns of diversity. For plants, such factors may be particularly important since plant populations often exhibit lagged responses to habitat loss and degradation. Here, we assess the importance of site-level, landscape, and historical effects for understory plant species richness and composition across a set of 40 longleaf pine Pinus palustris woodlands undergoing restoration for the federally endangered red-cockaded woodpecker in the southeastern United States. Land-use history had an overarching effect on richness and composition. Relative to historically forested sites, sites with agricultural histories (i.e. former pastures or cultivated fields) supported lower species richness and an altered species composition due to fewer upland longleaf pine woodland community members. Landscape effects did not influence the total number of species in either historically forested or post-agricultural sites; however, understory species composition was affected by historical connectivity, but only for post-agricultural sites. The influences of management and restoration activities were only apparent once land-use history was accounted for. Prescribed burning and mechanical overstory thinning were key drivers of understory composition and promoted understory richness in post-agricultural sites. In historically forested sites these activities had no impact on richness and only prescribed fire influenced composition. Our findings reveal complex interplays between site-level, landscape, and historical effects, suggest fundamentally different controls over plant communities in longleaf pine woodlands with varying land-use history, and underscore the importance of considering land

  15. experimental studies of sand production from unconsolidated ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ES Obe

    Production of sand during oil and gas exploration causes severe operational prob- ... duction such as risk of well failure, erosion of pipelines and surface facilities, sand separa- tion and disposal ... ment, theoretical and numerical analysis have.

  16. Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge : Savanna District : Annual Narrative Report for Fiscal Year 2008

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This annual narrative report for the Savanna District of the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge summarizes Refuge activities during the 2008...

  17. Response to habitat modifcation by foraging Dark-chanting Goshawks Melierax metabates in a West African savanna

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dietz, Mauritia; Komdeur, Jan; Buij, Ralph; van Dorst, Nikkie; Salomons, Henriette; Croes, Barbara

    2015-01-01

    Anthropogenic habitat alteration has probably contributed significantly to the decrease of raptor populations in West African savannas. To evaluate the impact of habitat degradation on foraging by sedentary Afrotropical raptors, we investigated the differences in microhabitat selection, foraging eff

  18. Response to habitat modification by foraging dark-chanting goshawks Melierax metabates in a West African savanna

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Buij, Ralph; Van Dorst, Nikie; Salomons, Henriette F.; Croes, Barbara M.; Dietz, Maurine W.; Komdeur, Jan

    2015-01-01

    Anthropogenic habitat alteration has probably contributed significantly to the decrease of raptor populations in West African savannas. To evaluate the impact of habitat degradation on foraging by sedentary Afrotropical raptors, we investigated the differences in microhabitat selection, foraging eff

  19. Response to habitat modification by foraging Dark-chanting Goshawks Melierax metabates in a West African savanna

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Buij, Ralph; Dorst, Van Nikie; Salomons, Henriëtte F.; Croes, Barbara M.; Dietz, Maurine W.; Komdeur, Jan

    2015-01-01

    Anthropogenic habitat alteration has probably contributed significantly to the decrease of raptor populations in West African savannas. To evaluate the impact of habitat degradation on foraging by sedentary Afrotropical raptors, we investigated the differences in microhabitat selection, foraging

  20. Response to habitat modification by foraging Dark-chanting Goshawks Melierax metabates in a West African savanna

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Buij, Ralph; Dorst, Van Nikie; Salomons, Henriëtte F.; Croes, Barbara M.; Dietz, Maurine W.; Komdeur, Jan

    2015-01-01

    Anthropogenic habitat alteration has probably contributed significantly to the decrease of raptor populations in West African savannas. To evaluate the impact of habitat degradation on foraging by sedentary Afrotropical raptors, we investigated the differences in microhabitat selection, foraging

  1. Seasonal variations in nutrients and secondary metabolites in semi-arid savannas depend on year and species

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Scogings, PF

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Semi-arid savannas are characterised by alternating wet and dry seasons and large inter-annual rainfall fluctuations that affect plant growth. Carbon-based secondary metabolites (CBSMs) vary inversely with growth and nutrients because...

  2. Prescribed Burning and Clear-Cutting Effects on Understory Vegetation in a Pinus canariensis Stand (Gran Canaria)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arévalo, José Ramón; García-Domínguez, Celia; Naranjo-Cigala, Agustín; Grillo, Federico

    2014-01-01

    Prescribed fires are a powerful tool for reducing fire hazards by decreasing amounts of fuel. The main objective is to analyze the effects of prescribed burning on the understory vegetation composition as well as on the soil characteristics of a reforested stand of Pinus canariensis. The study attempts to identify the effects of the preburning treatment of cutting understory vegetation on the floristic parameters of the vegetation community. This study was carried out for two years following a prescribed fire in a Canarian pine stand. Cutting and burning treatment affected species composition and increased diversity. Burnt and cut plots were characterized by a diverse array of herbaceous species and by a lower abundance of Teline microphylla (endemic legume), although burning apparently induced its germination. Cut treatment was more consistently differentiated from the control plots than burnt treatment. Soil K decreased after both treatments, pH slightly decreased after cutting, while P and Ca increased after fire. From an ecological point of view, prescribed burning is a better management practice than cutting the woody species of the understory. However, long-term studies would be necessary to evaluate the effects of fire intensity, season and frequency in which the prescribed burning is applied. PMID:25147839

  3. Large-scale synchrony of gap dynamics and the distribution of understory tree species in maple-beech forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gravel, Dominique; Beaudet, Marilou; Messier, Christian

    2010-01-01

    Large-scale synchronous variations in community dynamics are well documented for a vast array of organisms, but are considerably less understood for forest trees. Because of temporal variations in canopy gap dynamics, forest communities-even old-growth ones-are never at equilibrium at the stand scale. This paucity of equilibrium may also be true at the regional scale. Our objectives were to determine (1) if nonequilibrium dynamics caused by temporal variations in the formation of canopy gaps are regionally synchronized, and (2) if spatiotemporal variations in canopy gap formation affect the relative abundance of tree species in the understory. We examined these questions by analyzing variations in the suppression and release history of Acer saccharum Marsh. and Fagus grandifolia Ehrh. from 481 growth series of understory saplings taken from 34 mature stands. We observed that (1) the proportion of stems in release as a function of time exhibited a U-shaped pattern over the last 35 years, with the lowest levels occurring during 1975-1985, and that (2) the response to this in terms of species composition was that A. saccharum became more abundant at sites that had the highest proportion of stems in release during 1975-1985. We concluded that the understory dynamics, typically thought of as a stand-scale process, may be regionally synchronized.

  4. Spatial Heterogeneity of the Forest Canopy Scales with the Heterogeneity of an Understory Shrub Based on Fractal Analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Catherine K. Denny

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Spatial heterogeneity of vegetation is an important landscape characteristic, but is difficult to assess due to scale-dependence. Here we examine how spatial patterns in the forest canopy affect those of understory plants, using the shrub Canada buffaloberry (Shepherdia canadensis (L. Nutt. as a focal species. Evergreen and deciduous forest canopy and buffaloberry shrub presence were measured with line-intercept sampling along ten 2-km transects in the Rocky Mountain foothills of west-central Alberta, Canada. Relationships between overstory canopy and understory buffaloberry presence were assessed for scales ranging from 2 m to 502 m. Fractal dimensions of both canopy and buffaloberry were estimated and then related using box-counting methods to evaluate spatial heterogeneity based on patch distribution and abundance. Effects of canopy presence on buffaloberry were scale-dependent, with shrub presence negatively related to evergreen canopy cover and positively related to deciduous cover. The effect of evergreen canopy was significant at a local scale between 2 m and 42 m, while that of deciduous canopy was significant at a meso-scale between 150 m and 358 m. Fractal analysis indicated that buffaloberry heterogeneity positively scaled with evergreen canopy heterogeneity, but was unrelated to that of deciduous canopy. This study demonstrates that evergreen canopy cover is a determinant of buffaloberry heterogeneity, highlighting the importance of spatial scale and canopy composition in understanding canopy-understory relationships.

  5. Influence of Mature Overstory Trees on Adjacent 12-Year Regeneration and the Woody Understory: Aggregated Retention versus Intact Forest

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miranda T. Curzon

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Retention harvesting, an approach that intentionally retains legacy features such as mature overstory trees, provides options for achieving ecological objectives. At the same time, retained overstory trees may compete with the nearby recovering understory for resources, and much remains to be learned about potential trade-offs with regeneration objectives, particularly over extended time periods. We assessed the influence of aggregated retention (reserved mature overstory and understory patches versus intact forest on structure and productivity (standing biomass of the adjacent woody understory and regeneration 12 years after harvest in northern Minnesota, USA. Each site was dominated by Populus tremuloides Michx., a species that regenerates prolifically via root sprouts following disturbance. Overall, fewer differences than expected occurred between the effects of intact forest and aggregated retention on regeneration, despite the small size (0.1 ha of aggregates. Instead, harvest status and distance from harvest edge had a greater influence on structure and standing woody biomass. Proximity to aggregates reduced large sapling biomass (all species, combined relative to open conditions, but only up to 5 m into harvested areas. This suggests the trade-off for achieving productivity objectives might be minimal if managers use retention aggregates in this region to achieve ecological objectives and meet management guidelines.

  6. Prescribed Burning and Clear-Cutting Effects on Understory Vegetation in a Pinus canariensis Stand (Gran Canaria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José Ramón Arévalo

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Prescribed fires are a powerful tool for reducing fire hazards by decreasing amounts of fuel. The main objective is to analyze the effects of prescribed burning on the understory vegetation composition as well as on the soil characteristics of a reforested stand of Pinus canariensis. The study attempts to identify the effects of the preburning treatment of cutting understory vegetation on the floristic parameters of the vegetation community. This study was carried out for two years following a prescribed fire in a Canarian pine stand. Cutting and burning treatment affected species composition and increased diversity. Burnt and cut plots were characterized by a diverse array of herbaceous species and by a lower abundance of Teline microphylla (endemic legume, although burning apparently induced its germination. Cut treatment was more consistently differentiated from the control plots than burnt treatment. Soil K decreased after both treatments, pH slightly decreased after cutting, while P and Ca increased after fire. From an ecological point of view, prescribed burning is a better management practice than cutting the woody species of the understory. However, long-term studies would be necessary to evaluate the effects of fire intensity, season and frequency in which the prescribed burning is applied.

  7. Photosynthetic responses to understory shade and elevated carbon dioxide concentration in four northern hardwood tree species

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sefcik, L.T.; Zak, D.R.; Ellsworth, D.S. [Michigan Univ., Ann Arbor, MI (United States). School of Natural Resources and Environment

    2006-12-15

    The stimulation of photosynthesis in response to elevated carbon dioxide (CO{sub 2}) varies among tree species and species groups and is compounded by other environmental conditions. This study investigated whether understory shade modified light-limited and light-saturated photosynthetic rates in species differing in shade tolerance grown in an elevated CO{sub 2} environment. The study aimed to validate the hypothesis that shade-intolerant species would have a greater photosynthetic response to elevated CO-2 than shade-tolerant species. To evaluate the hypothesis, various species of tree seedlings were grown in elevated and ambient CO{sub 2} in understory conditions of deep or moderate shade. Light-limited and light-saturated photosynthetic rates were measured in order to examine the physiological changes related to CO{sub 2} and light availability in Acer saccharum Marsh; Fagus grandifolia; Prunus serotina; and Betula paprifera Marsh. Results of the study showed that the elevated CO{sub 2} treatment increased mean light-saturated photosynthetic rates by 63 per cent in the shade-tolerant species, and 67 per cent in the shade-intolerant species. However, long-term enhancement of photosynthesis was 10 per cent lower when measured at the elevated CO{sub 2} than in the instantaneous enhancement noted in ambient CO{sub 2} grown plants. Growth light environment affected long-term photosynthetic enhancement by CO{sub 2}. When growth irradiance increased, proportional enhancement due to elevated CO{sub 2} decreased from 97 per cent for plants grown in deep shade to 47 per cent for plants grown in moderate shade. Results indicated that trees grown in deep shade in nitrogen-limited northern temperate forests may display greater photosynthetic gains from a CO{sub 2} enriched atmosphere than trees growing in more moderate shade. It was concluded that if photosynthetic gains by deep-shade grown plants in response to elevated CO{sub 2} translate into improved growth and

  8. Effects of thinning on plant species diversity and composition of understory herbs in a larch plantation

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Jiaojun ZHU; Zhihong MAO; Caihong ZHANG; Qiaoling YAN; Zugen LIU

    2008-01-01

    The effects of thinning on plant species diversity and composition of understory herbs in a larch plantation were investigated. The relationships between plant species diversity and composition of understory herbs and light conditions were established. Twenty-five 1 m × 1 m plots and fifteen 13 m × 1 m transects were set up in unthinned and thinned stands, respectively. All the transects in the thinned stands were set across the thinned rows and unthinned rows, and each of them was divided into nine 1 m × 1 m sub-plots. The herb diversity and light condi-tions were observed in each plot and sub-plot. The results show that there was a significant difference in herb diversity between the thinned and unthinned stands. All biodiversity indices except for evenness index in the thinned stand were higher than those of the unthinned stand, i.e., the herb diversity increased after thinning. According to the changes in herb densities and whether one species could be found in a stand or not before and after thinning, all herb species were classed into three types: positive, neutral and negative species, which referred to a species newly appeared and having an obviously increased density after thinning, with no obvious changes in its appearance and density after thin-ning, and disappeared and having an obviously decreased density after thinning, respectively. Many new species were found in the thinned stand like Corydalis pallida, Prenanthes tatarinowii, Vicia unijuga and Sonchus brachyotus etc. However, most species found in both the thinned and unthinned stands were negative species. In all nine sub-plots, only 11 and 10 species were found in spring and in autumn respectively, accounting for 17.74% and 15.15% of all the species in the thinned stand, respectively. All biodiversity indices were the highest in the center sub-plots and most of them tended to reduce from middle to side sub-plots. There was a close correlation between most of the three types of species and

  9. UK silica sand resources for fracking

    OpenAIRE

    Mitchell, Clive

    2013-01-01

    UK silica sand resources for fracking Clive Mitchell, Industrial Minerals Specialist, British Geological Survey, Keyworth, Nottingham, NG12 5GG Email: Silica sand is high purity quartz sand that is mainly used for glass production, as foundry sand, in horticulture, leisure and other industrial uses. One specialist use is as a ‘proppant’ to enhance oil and gas recovery. This presentation will focus on this application, particularly for shale gas recovery where it is mo...

  10. Mediterranean savanna system: understanding and modeling of olive orchard.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brilli, Lorenzo; Moriondo, Marco; Bindi, Marco

    2013-04-01

    Nowadays most of the studies on C and N exchange were focused on forest ecosystems and crop systems, while only few studies have been focused on so called "savanna systems". They are long-term agro-ecosystems (fruit trees, grapevines and olive trees, etc.) usually characterized by two different layers (ground vegetation and trees). Generally, there is a lack of knowledge about these systems due to their intrinsic structural complexity (different eco-physiological characteristics so as agricultural practices). However, given their long-term carbon storage capacity, these systems can play a fundamental role in terms of global C cycle. Among all of them, the role that olive trees can play in C sequestration should not be neglected, especially in Mediterranean areas where they typify the rural landscape and are widely cultivated (Loumou and Giourga, 2003). It is therefore fundamental modelling the C-fluxes exchanges coming from these systems through a tool able to well reproduce these dynamics in one of the most exposed areas to the risk of climate change (IPCC, 2007). In this work, 2 years of Net CO2 Ecosystem Exchange (NEE) measures from eddy covariance were used to test the biogeochemistry model DayCent. The study was conducted in a rain-fed olive orchard situated in Follonica, South Tuscany, Italy (42 ° 55'N, 10 ° 45'E), in an agricultural area near the coast. The instrumentation for flux measurement was placed 1.9 m above the canopy top (6.5 m from the ground) so that the footprint area, expressed as the area containing 90% of the observed flux, was almost entirely contained within the olive orchard limits (Brilli et al., in press). Ancillary slow sensors have included soil temperature profiles, global radiation, air temperature and humidity, rain gauge. Fluxes of sensible heat, latent heat, momentum and CO2 as well as ancillary data were derived at half-hourly time resolution. Specific soil (texture, current and historical land use and vegetation cover) and

  11. Comparison of the driving forces of spring phenology among savanna landscapes by including combined spatial and temporal heterogeneity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Likai; Southworth, Jane; Meng, Jijun

    2015-10-01

    Understanding spatial and temporal dynamics of land surface phenology (LSP) and its driving forces are critical for providing information relevant to short- and long-term decision making, particularly as it relates to climate response planning. With the third generation Global Inventory Monitoring and Modeling System (GIMMS3g) Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) data and environmental data from multiple sources, we investigated the spatio-temporal changes in the start of the growing season (SOS) in southern African savannas from 1982 through 2010 and determined its linkage to environmental factors using spatial panel data models. Overall, the SOS occurs earlier in the north compared to the south. This relates in part to the differences in ecosystems, with northern areas representing high rainfall and dense tree cover (mainly tree savannas), whereas the south has lower rainfall and sparse tree cover (mainly bush and grass savannas). From 1982 to 2010, an advanced trend was observed predominantly in the tree savanna areas of the north, whereas a delayed trend was chiefly found in the floodplain of the north and bush/grass savannas of the south. Different environmental drivers were detected within tree- and grass-dominated savannas, with a critical division being represented by the 800 mm isohyet. Our results supported the importance of water as a driver in this water-limited system, specifically preseason soil moisture, in determining the SOS in these water-limited, grass-dominated savannas. In addition, the research pointed to other, often overlooked, effects of preseason maximum and minimum temperatures on the SOS across the entire region. Higher preseason maximum temperatures led to an advance of the SOS, whereas the opposite effects of preseason minimum temperature were observed. With the rapid increase in global change research, this work will prove helpful for managing savanna landscapes and key to predicting how projected climate changes will affect

  12. Treating tar sands formations with karsted zones

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vinegar, Harold J. (Bellaire, TX); Karanikas, John Michael (Houston, TX)

    2010-03-09

    Methods for treating a tar sands formation are described herein. The tar sands formation may have one or more karsted zones. Methods may include providing heat from one or more heaters to one or more karsted zones of the tar sands formation to mobilize fluids in the formation. At least some of the mobilized fluids may be produced from the formation.

  13. Influence of Vegetation Cover on Rain Pulse Responses in Semi-Arid Savannas in Central Texas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Litvak, M.; Heilman, J.; McInnes, K.; Thijs, A.; Kjelgaard, J.

    2007-12-01

    Savannas in central Texas are dominated by live oak (Quercus virginiana) and Ashe juniper (Juniperus asheii) underlain by perennial, C3/C4 grasslands, and are increasingly becoming juniper and mesquite dominated due to overgrazing and suppression of wildfires. Since 2004, we have been investigating how carbon, water and energy exchange in these rain-limited savannas respond to rainfall variability and this observed vegetation change. In semi-arid regions, rainfall pulses provide inputs of soil moisture and trigger biotic activity in the form of plant gas exchange and microbial metabolism as well as water dependent physical processes in the soil. Each of these components has a different characteristic response curve to soil moisture and integrates soil water content over a different range of depths. Here we focus on examining how the observed increase of woody species in central Texas savannas alters the response of net ecosystem exchange and its components, ecosystem respiration and gross ecosystem exchange, to rain pulses. Using data we have collected over the last three years from three Ameriflux tower sites at Freeman Ranch near San Marcos, TX (C3/C4 grassland, juniper/mesquite savanna with 50 percent woody cover, and oak/juniper woodland), we quantify the responses of both ecosystem respiration and daily carbon uptake to rainfall pulses throughout the year. Specifically, we look at the enhancement and persistence of ecosystem respiration and carbon uptake responses following a pulse, and isolate the main controlling factors on the observed response: seasonality, antecedent soil moisture and temperature, or previous pulses. In all three land covers, the general response to precipitation pulses is a respiration pulse followed by an increase in total carbon uptake. Differences in pulse responses observed at the savanna site compared to the grassland and woodland sites can be explained, in part, by the observed differences in rooting structure and photosynthetic

  14. The effects of gap size and disturbance type on invasion of wet pine savanna by cogongrass, Imperata cylindrica (Poaceae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, S.E.; Grace, J.B.

    2000-01-01

    Cogongrass is a nonindigenous species perceived to threaten native communities of the southeastern United States through modification of species composition and alteration of community processes. To examine how gap size and disturbance type influence the invasion of wet pine savannas by cogongrass, we performed three field experiments to evaluate the response of cogongrass seeds and transplanted seedlings to four different gap sizes, four types of site disturbance, and recent burning of savanna vegetation. Cogongrass germinated, survived, and grew in all gap sizes, from 0 to 100 cm in diameter. Similarly, disturbance type had no effect on germination or seedling and transplant survival. Tilling, however, significantly enhanced transplanted seedling growth, resulting in a tenfold increase in biomass over the other disturbance types. Seedling survival to 1 and 2 mo was greater in burned savanna than unburned savanna, although transplant survival and growth were not affected by burning. Results of this study suggest that cogongrass can germinate, survive, and grow in wet pine savanna communities regardless of gap size or type of disturbance, including burning. Burning of savanna vegetation may enhance establishment by improving early seedling survival, and soil disturbance can facilitate invasion of cogongrass by enhancing plant growth.

  15. Post-fire reproduction of herbs at a savanna-gallery forest boundary in Distrito Federal, Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Massi, K G; Eugênio, C U O; Franco, A C

    2017-11-01

    In Cerrado, studies of post-fire vegetation recovery show that some herbaceous species are able to flower shortly after fires. However, these were mainly short-term studies that focused on grasslands and savannas. Little is known about the effects of fire on ground layer of forests that border the savannas in Central Brazil. Thus, an accidental burning gave us the opportunity to describe the reproductive activity of the ground layer vegetation after a fire event along a savanna-forest boundary at the IBGE Ecological Reserve, Brasília, Brazil. During the 16-month of the inventory, we registered 170 herbaceous species flowering or fruiting, of which 52 species (31%) may have been influenced by fire that changed their times of reproduction. In the savanna plots reproduction peaked at the end of the rainy season. Of the total number of reproducing species, 90 species occurred only in the savanna and four in the forest. Five herbs were recorded in the forest, savanna and border environments. Late dry season fire probably lead the majority of herbaceous species to have their reproduction spread throughout the study time.

  16. Sand Waves. Report 1. Sand Wave Shoaling in Navigation Channels

    Science.gov (United States)

    1992-09-01

    heights range from 0.8 m in the Minas Basin, Bay of Fundy (Dalrymple 1984) to 6.0 m in the Bahia Blanca Estuary, Argentina (Aliotta and Perillo 1987...26 PART IV: SITE-SPECIFIC SAND WAVE SHOALING PROBLEMS .. ........ 30 Columbia River Navigation Channel ........ ............... .. 30 Panama ...problem location discussed in this report is at St. Andrew Bay near Panama City, Florida. A relatively short section of the jettied inlet channel requires

  17. Fluctuations of vegetation and climate over the last 75 000 years in the Savanna Biome, South Africa: Tswaing Crater and Wonderkrater pollen sequences reviewed

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scott, L.

    2016-08-01

    Quaternary palynological information from the Savanna Biome of South Africa is limited due to the scarcity of suitable pollen traps and new extensive pollen records of palaeoenvironments in the region are unlikely to be obtained easily. Those that are available, including the Tswaing Crater and the Wonderkrater spring sequences, can, however, be reassessed and their data optimised. These two pollen records are relevant to palaeo-environmental research in the area, although they have chronologies beyond the radiocarbon dating range that complicate interpretations. The Tswaing sequence in this study focuses on the upper 34 m of pollen-rich layers out of a total of 90 m of lake deposits. A new chronology is experimented with for this upper part of the sequence. It differs slightly from the previous one in that it does not rely on adjustments of the ages according to the precession cycle. Accordingly the age at 34 m is estimated to be c. 75 ka based on interpolation of the radiocarbon sequence and a basal fission track date of c. 200 ka at 90 m. In the case of the second site, Wonderkrater, recently published excavation and dating of the deposits and comparisons with the Tswaing pollen sequence provide new clues for the age of the lowermost deposit of the original borehole sequence of peats, sands and clay, which is estimated at c. 60 000 years. The new results better situate the two pollen sequences in a wider regional and global palaeoenvironmental framework.

  18. Mapping Canopy Damage from Understory Fires in Amazon Forests Using Annual Time Series of Landsat and MODIS Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morton, Douglas C.; DeFries, Ruth S.; Nagol, Jyoteshwar; Souza, Carlos M., Jr.; Kasischke, Eric S.; Hurtt, George C.; Dubayah, Ralph

    2011-01-01

    Understory fires in Amazon forests alter forest structure, species composition, and the likelihood of future disturbance. The annual extent of fire-damaged forest in Amazonia remains uncertain due to difficulties in separating burning from other types of forest damage in satellite data. We developed a new approach, the Burn Damage and Recovery (BDR) algorithm, to identify fire-related canopy damages using spatial and spectral information from multi-year time series of satellite data. The BDR approach identifies understory fires in intact and logged Amazon forests based on the reduction and recovery of live canopy cover in the years following fire damages and the size and shape of individual understory burn scars. The BDR algorithm was applied to time series of Landsat (1997-2004) and MODIS (2000-2005) data covering one Landsat scene (path/row 226/068) in southern Amazonia and the results were compared to field observations, image-derived burn scars, and independent data on selective logging and deforestation. Landsat resolution was essential for detection of burn scars less than 50 ha, yet these small burns contributed only 12% of all burned forest detected during 1997-2002. MODIS data were suitable for mapping medium (50-500 ha) and large (greater than 500 ha) burn scars that accounted for the majority of all fire-damaged forest in this study. Therefore, moderate resolution satellite data may be suitable to provide estimates of the extent of fire-damaged Amazon forest at a regional scale. In the study region, Landsat-based understory fire damages in 1999 (1508 square kilometers) were an order of magnitude higher than during the 1997-1998 El Nino event (124 square kilometers and 39 square kilometers, respectively), suggesting a different link between climate and understory fires than previously reported for other Amazon regions. The results in this study illustrate the potential to address critical questions concerning climate and fire risk in Amazon forests by

  19. Season and light affect constitutive defenses of understory shrub species against folivorous insects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karolewski, Piotr; Giertych, Marian J.; Żmuda, Michał; Jagodziński, Andrzej M.; Oleksyn, Jacek

    2013-11-01

    Understory shrubs contribute to overall species diversity, providing habitat and forage for animals, influence soil chemistry and forest microclimate. However, very little is known about the chemical defense of various shrub species against folivorous insects. Using six shrub species, we tested how seasonal changes and light conditions affect their constitutive defense to insect damage. We monitored leaf perforation, concentrations of total phenols, condensed tannins, nitrogen (N), and total nonstructural carbohydrates (TNC). Leaf damage caused by insects was low in Sambucus nigra, Cornus sanguinea, and Frangula alnus, intermediate in Corylus avellana and Prunus serotina, and high in Prunus padus. Leaves of all the species, when growing in high light conditions, had high concentrations of defense metabolites. Except for C. avellana, leaves of the other shrub species growing in full sun were less injured than those in shade. This may be due to higher concentrations of defense metabolites and lower concentrations of nitrogen. Similar patterns of the effects of light on metabolites studied and N were observed for leaves with varying location within the crown of individual shrubs (from the top of the south direction to the bottom of the north), as for leaves from shrubs growing in full sun and shrubs in the shade of canopy trees. A probable cause of the greater damage of more sunlit leaves of C. avellana was the fact that they were herbivorized mostly by Altica brevicollis, a specialist insect that prefers plant tissues with a high TNC level and is not very sensitive to a high level of phenolic compounds.

  20. Aboveground Biomass of Glossy Buckthorn is Similar in Open and Understory Environments but Architectural Strategy Differs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Caroline Hamelin

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available The exotic shrub glossy buckthorn (Frangula alnus is a great concern among forest managers because it invades both open and shaded environments. To evaluate if buckthorn grows similarly across light environments, and if adopting different shapes contributes to an efficient use of light, we compared buckthorns growing in an open field and in the understory of a mature hybrid poplar plantation. For a given age, the relationships describing aboveground biomass of buckthorns in the open field and in the plantation were not significantly different. However, we observed a significant difference between the diameter-height relationships in the two environments. These results suggest a change in buckthorn’s architecture, depending on the light environment in which it grows. Buckthorn adopts either an arborescent shape under a tree canopy, or a shrubby shape in an open field, to optimally capture the light available. This architectural plasticity helps explain a similar invasion success for glossy buckthorn growing in both open and shaded environments, at least up to the canopy closure level of the plantation used for this study.

  1. Predicting Species-environment Relationships with Functional Traits for the Understory Flora of Wisconsin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ash, J.; Li, D.; Johnson, S.; Rogers, D. A.; Waller, D. M.

    2015-12-01

    Understanding the processes that structure species' abundance patterns is a central problem in ecology, both for explaining current species' distributions and predicting future changes. Environmental gradients affect species' distribution patterns with these responses likely depending on species' functional traits. Thus, tracking shifts in species' traits can provide insight into the mechanisms by which species respond to dynamic environmental conditions. We examined how functional traits are associated with long-term changes in the distribution and abundance of understory plants in Wisconsin forests over the last 50+ years. We relied on detailed surveys and resurveys of the same Wisconsin forest plots, data on 12 functional traits, and site-level environmental variables including soil and climate conditions. We then related changes in the abundance of 293 species across a network of 249 sites to these environmental variables and explored whether functional traits served to predict these relationships using multilevel models. Species abundance patterns were strongly related to variation in environmental conditions among sites, but species appear to be responding to distinct sets of environmental variables. Functional traits only weakly predicted these species-environment relationships, limiting our ability to generalize these results to other systems. Nonetheless, understanding how traits interact with environmental gradients to structure species distribution patterns helps us to disentangle the drivers of ecological change across diverse landscapes.

  2. Horse grazing systems: understory biomass and plant biodiversity of a Pinus radiata stand

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antonio Rigueiro-Rodríguez

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Horse grazing systems may affect productivity and biodiversity of understory developed under Pinus radiata D. Don silvopastoral systems, while acting as a tool to reduce the risk of fire. This study compared continuous and rotational grazing systems effect upon biomass, fractions of stem, sprouts, leaves and woody parts of Ulex europaeus L. and alpha (Species Richness, Shannon-Wiener and beta (Jaccard and Magurran biodiversity for a period of four years in a P. radiata silvopastoral system. The experiment consisted of a randomized block design of two treatments (continuous and rotational grazing. Biomass, and species abundances were measured - biodiversity metrics were calculated based on these results for a two years of grazing and two years of post-grazing periods. Both continuous and rotational grazing systems were useful tools for reducing biomass and, therefore, fire risk. The rotational grazing system caused damage to the U. europaeus shrub, limiting its recovery once grazing was stopped. However, the more intensive grazing of U. europaeus plants under rotational had a positive effect on both alpha and beta biodiversity indexes due to the low capacity of food selection in the whole plot rather than continuous grazing systems. Biomass was not affected by the grazing system; however the rotational grazing system is more appropriate to reduce U. europaeus biomass and therefore forest fire risk at a long term and to enhance pasture biodiversity than the continuous grazing system.

  3. Trophic flexibility and the persistence of understory birds in intensively logged rainforest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwards, David P; Woodcock, Paul; Newton, Rob J; Edwards, Felicity A; Andrews, David J R; Docherty, Teegan D S; Mitchell, Simon L; Ota, Takahiro; Benedick, Suzan; Bottrell, Simon H; Hamer, Keith C

    2013-10-01

    Effects of logging on species composition in tropical rainforests are well known but may fail to reveal key changes in species interactions. We used nitrogen stable-isotope analysis of 73 species of understory birds to quantify trophic responses to repeated intensive logging of rainforest in northern Borneo and to test 4 hypotheses: logging has significant effects on trophic positions and trophic-niche widths of species, and the persistence of species in degraded forest is related to their trophic positions and trophic-niche widths in primary forest. Species fed from higher up the food chain and had narrower trophic-niche widths in degraded forest. Species with narrow trophic-niche widths in primary forest were less likely to persist after logging, a result that indicates a higher vulnerability of dietary specialists to local extinction following habitat disturbance. Persistence of species in degraded forest was not related to a species' trophic position. These results indicate changes in trophic organization that were not apparent from changes in species composition and highlight the importance of focusing on trophic flexibility over the prevailing emphasis on membership of static feeding guilds. Our results thus support the notion that alterations to trophic organization and interactions within tropical forests may be a pervasive and functionally important hidden effect of forest degradation. © 2013 Society for Conservation Biology.

  4. Effects of forest road clearings on understory diversity beneath Alnus subcordata L. stands in Iran

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seyed A. Hosseini

    Full Text Available This study was conducted in Darab Kola forest which is located east of Sari city. After confirming the identity of Alder trees (Alnus subcordata L., Betulaceae at the edge of forest roads, the cross section geometry was classified into without earth works and with earth works. Road clearing limits were divided into less than 10 metres and 10-15 metres. The understory density and canopy cover underneath Alder stands were measured in 20 micro plots. The diversity of woody and herbaceous plant species was calculated by the Simpson index. The results indicated that the canopy cover at the edge of cross sections without earth works was greater than that of sections with earth works at a probability level of 5%. In both classes, the percentage of Rubus hyrcanus L. canopy cover on filled slopes was more than that on cut slopes, whereas the percentage of canopy cover of this species and of bare soil was similar, as well as the biodiversity indices for both sides of cross sections without earth works.

  5. Soil properties and understory herbaceous biomass in forests of three species of Quercus in Northeast Portugal

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marina Castro

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Aim of study: This paper aims to characterize some soil properties within the first 25 cm of the soil profile and the herbaceous biomass in Quercus forests, and the possible relationships between soil properties and understory standing biomass.Area of study: Three monoespecific Quercus forests (Q. suber L., Q. ilex subsp. rotundifolia Lam. and Q. pyrenaica Willd in NE Portugal.Material and methods: During 1999 and 2000 soil properties (pH-KCl, total soil nitrogen (N, soil organic carbon (SOC, C/N ratio, available phosphorus (P, and available potassium (K and herbaceous biomass production of three forest types: Quercus suber L., Quercus ilex subsp. rotundifolia Lam. and Quercus pyrenaica Willd were studied.Main results: The results showed a different pattern of soil fertility (N, SOC, P, K in Quercus forests in NE of Portugal. The C/N ratio and the herbaceous biomass confirmed this pattern. Research highlights: There is a pattern of Quercus sp. distribution that correlates with different soil characteristics by soil characteristics in NE Portugal. Q. pyrenaica ecosystems were found in more favoured areas (mesic conditions; Q. rotundifolia developed in nutrient-poor soils (oligotrophic conditions; and Q. suber were found in intermediate zones.Keywords: fertility; biomass; C/N ratio; cork oak; holm oak; pyrenean oak.

  6. ESTABLISHMENT TECHNIQUES FOR TROPICAL LEGUMES IN THE UNDERSTORY OF A EUCALYPTUS PLANTATION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Luiza Franceschi Nicodemo

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available This study evaluated establishment methods for a mixture of herbaceous forage legumes [Centrosema acutifolium, Clitoria ternatea, Pueraria phaseoloides, Stylosanthes Campo Grande (Stylosanthes capitata + S. macrocephala, Calopogonium mucunoides, Lablab purpureus, Arachis pintoi, and Aeschynomene villosa] under the shade of an Eucalyptus grandis plantation submitted to thinning (40% 8 years after planting in Anhembi, São Paulo (22°40'S, 48°10'W, altitude of 455 m. The experiment started in December 2008 and consisted of the comparison of the following four types of seed incorporation by light disc harrowing: (1 broadcast sowing without seed incorporation; disc harrowing before (2 or after (3 planting, and (4 disc harrowing before and after planting. Ninety days after planting, the number of legume plants/m2 and the percentage of ground cover by the plants varied between the treatments tested; however, the treatments had no effect on the dry matter accumulation of forage legumes. Disc harrowing before planting yielded superior results compared to the treatments without disc harrowing and disc harrowing after planting. At the end of the experimental period, the plots contained Arachis, Centrosema, Stylosanthes, and Pueraria. The dry matter accumulated by Centrosema corresponded to 73% of total dry matter yield of the plots. The participation of Arachis, Centrosema and Stylosanthes in final dry matter composition of the plots varied according to establishment method. The advantages of the use of species mixtures rather than monocultures in the understory of forest plantations were discussed.

  7. Understory Plant Community Composition Is Associated with Fine-Scale Above- and Below-Ground Resource Heterogeneity in Mature Lodgepole Pine (Pinus contorta Forests.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anne C S McIntosh

    Full Text Available Understory plant communities play critical ecological roles in forest ecosystems. Both above- and below-ground ecosystem properties and processes influence these communities but relatively little is known about such effects at fine (i.e., one to several meters within-stand scales, particularly for forests in which the canopy is dominated by a single species. An improved understanding of these effects is critical for understanding how understory biodiversity is regulated in such forests and for anticipating impacts of changing disturbance regimes. Our primary objective was to examine the patterns of fine-scale variation in understory plant communities and their relationships to above- and below-ground resource and environmental heterogeneity within mature lodgepole pine forests. We assessed composition and diversity of understory vegetation in relation to heterogeneity of both the above-ground (canopy tree density, canopy and tall shrub basal area and cover, downed wood biomass, litter cover and below-ground (soil nutrient availability, decomposition, forest floor thickness, pH, and phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs and multiple carbon-source substrate-induced respiration (MSIR of the forest floor microbial community environment. There was notable variation in fine-scale plant community composition; cluster and indicator species analyses of the 24 most commonly occurring understory species distinguished four assemblages, one for which a pioneer forb species had the highest cover levels, and three others that were characterized by different bryophyte species having the highest cover. Constrained ordination (distance-based redundancy analysis showed that two above-ground (mean tree diameter, litter cover and eight below-ground (forest floor pH, plant available boron, microbial community composition and function as indicated by MSIR and PLFAs properties were associated with variation in understory plant community composition. These results provide

  8. Understory Plant Community Composition Is Associated with Fine-Scale Above- and Below-Ground Resource Heterogeneity in Mature Lodgepole Pine (Pinus contorta) Forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McIntosh, Anne C S; Macdonald, S Ellen; Quideau, Sylvie A

    2016-01-01

    Understory plant communities play critical ecological roles in forest ecosystems. Both above- and below-ground ecosystem properties and processes influence these communities but relatively little is known about such effects at fine (i.e., one to several meters within-stand) scales, particularly for forests in which the canopy is dominated by a single species. An improved understanding of these effects is critical for understanding how understory biodiversity is regulated in such forests and for anticipating impacts of changing disturbance regimes. Our primary objective was to examine the patterns of fine-scale variation in understory plant communities and their relationships to above- and below-ground resource and environmental heterogeneity within mature lodgepole pine forests. We assessed composition and diversity of understory vegetation in relation to heterogeneity of both the above-ground (canopy tree density, canopy and tall shrub basal area and cover, downed wood biomass, litter cover) and below-ground (soil nutrient availability, decomposition, forest floor thickness, pH, and phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs) and multiple carbon-source substrate-induced respiration (MSIR) of the forest floor microbial community) environment. There was notable variation in fine-scale plant community composition; cluster and indicator species analyses of the 24 most commonly occurring understory species distinguished four assemblages, one for which a pioneer forb species had the highest cover levels, and three others that were characterized by different bryophyte species having the highest cover. Constrained ordination (distance-based redundancy analysis) showed that two above-ground (mean tree diameter, litter cover) and eight below-ground (forest floor pH, plant available boron, microbial community composition and function as indicated by MSIR and PLFAs) properties were associated with variation in understory plant community composition. These results provide novel insights

  9. METHOD OF PROCESSING MONAZITE SAND

    Science.gov (United States)

    Welt, M.A.; Smutz, M.

    1958-08-26

    A process is described for recovering thorium, uranium, and rare earth values from monazite sand. The monazite sand is first digested with sulfuric acid and the resulting "monazite sulfate" solution is adjusted to a pH of between 0.4 and 3.0, and oxalate anions are added causing precipitation of the thorium and the rare earths as the oxalates. The oxalate precipitate is separated from the uranium containing supernatant solution, and is dried and calcined to the oxides. The thorium and rare earth oxides are then dissolved in nitric acid and the solution is contacted with tribntyl phosphate whereby an organic extract phase containing the cerium and thorium values is obtained, together with an aqueous raffinate containing the other rare earth values. The organic phase is then separated from the aqueous raffinate and the cerium and thorium are back extracted with an aqueous medium.

  10. Characterization of sand lenses embedded in tills

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kessler, Timo Christian; Klint, K.E.S.; Nilsson, B.

    2012-01-01

    of the various types of sand lenses is discussed, primarily in relation to the depositional and glaciotectonic processes they underwent. Detailed characterization of sand lenses facilitates such interpretations. Finally, the observations are linked to a more general overview of the distribution of sand lenses......Tills dominate large parts of the superficial sediments on the Northern hemisphere. These glacial diamictons are extremely heterogeneous and riddled with fractures and lenses of sand or gravel. The frequency and geometry of sand lenses within tills are strongly linked to glaciodynamic processes...... occurring in various glacial environments. This study specifically focuses on the appearance and spatial distribution of sand lenses in tills. It introduces a methodology on how to measure and characterize sand lenses in the field with regard to size, shape and degree of deformation. A set of geometric...

  11. A compact topology for sand automata

    CERN Document Server

    Dennunzio, Alberto; Masson, Benoît

    2008-01-01

    In this paper, we exhibit a strong relation between the sand automata configuration space and the cellular automata configuration space. This relation induces a compact topology for sand automata, and a new context in which sand automata are homeomorphic to cellular automata acting on a specific subshift. We show that the existing topological results for sand automata, including the Hedlund-like representation theorem, still hold. In this context, we give a characterization of the cellular automata which are sand automata, and study some dynamical behaviors such as equicontinuity. Furthermore, we deal with the nilpotency. We show that the classical definition is not meaningful for sand automata. Then, we introduce a suitable new notion of nilpotency for sand automata. Finally, we prove that this simple dynamical behavior is undecidable.

  12. Rheological Characterization of Green Sand Flow

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jabbaribehnam, Mirmasoud; Spangenberg, Jon; Hovad, Emil

    2016-01-01

    The main aim of this paper is to characterize experimentally the flow behaviour of the green sand that is used for casting of sand moulds. After the sand casting process is performed, the sand moulds are used for metal castings. The rheological properties of the green sand is important to quantify...... module for characterizing granular materials. The new module enables viscosity measurements of the green sand as function of the shear rate at different flow rates, i.e. 0, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12 and 15 L/min. The results show generally that the viscosity decreases with both the shear- and flow rate....... In addition, the measurements show that the green sand flow follows a shear-thinning behaviour even after the full fluidization point....

  13. Silo model tests with sand

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Munch-Andersen, Jørgen

    Tests have been carried out in a large silo model with Leighton Buzzard Sand. Normal pressures and shear stresses have been measured during tests carried out with inlet and outlet geometry. The filling method is a very important parameter for the strength of the mass and thereby the pressures...... as well as the flow pattern during discharge of the silo. During discharge a mixed flow pattern has been identified...

  14. Formation of Craters in Sand

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vanissra Boonyaleepun

    2007-06-01

    Full Text Available The diameter of craters formed by spheres of varying mass dropped into sand at low speed was studied. The relationship between the diameter of the crater formed and the kinetic energy of the projectile at impact was found to be of the same general form as that for planetary meteor craters. The relationship is shown to be a power law with exponent 0.17.

  15. Formation of Craters in Sand

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vanissra Boonyaleepun

    2007-06-01

    Full Text Available The diameter of craters formed by spheres of varying mass dropped into sand at low speed was studied. The relationship between the diameter of the crater formed and the kinetic energy of the projectile at impact was found to be of the same general form as that for planetary meteor craters. The relationship is shown to be a power law with exponent 0.17

  16. Thermal Properties of oil sand

    Science.gov (United States)

    LEE, Y.; Lee, H.; Kwon, Y.; Kim, J.

    2013-12-01

    Thermal recovery methods such as Cyclic Steam Injection or Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD) are the effective methods for producing heavy oil or bitumen. In any thermal recovery methods, thermal properties (e.g., thermal conductivity, thermal diffusivity, and volumetric heat capacity) are closely related to the formation and expansion of steam chamber within a reservoir, which is key factors to control efficiency of thermal recovery. However, thermal properties of heavy oil or bitumen have not been well-studied despite their importance in thermal recovery methods. We measured thermal conductivity, thermal diffusivity, and volumetric heat capacity of 43 oil sand samples from Athabasca, Canada, using a transient thermal property measurement instrument. Thermal conductivity of 43 oil sand samples varies from 0.74 W/mK to 1.57 W/mK with the mean thermal conductivity of 1.09 W/mK. The mean thermal diffusivity is 5.7×10-7 m2/s with the minimum value of 4.2×10-7 m2/s and the maximum value of 8.0×10-7 m2/s. Volumetric heat capacity varies from 1.5×106 J/m3K to 2.11×106 J/m3K with the mean volumetric heat capacity of 1.91×106 J/m3K. In addition, physical and chemical properties (e.g., bitumen content, electric resistivity, porosity, gamma ray and so on) of oil sand samples have been measured by geophysical logging and in the laboratory. We are now proceeding to investigate the relationship between thermal properties and physical/chemical properties of oil sand.

  17. Land use change and the impact on greenhouse gas exchange in north Australian savanna soils

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. P. P. Grover

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Savanna ecosystems are subject to accelerating land use change as human demand for food and forest products increases. Land use change has been shown to both increase and decrease greenhouse gas fluxes from savannas and considerable uncertainty exists about the non-CO2 fluxes from the soil. We measured methane (CH4, nitrous oxide (N2O, and carbon dioxide (CO2 over a complete wet-dry seasonal cycle at three replicated sites of each of three land uses: savanna, young pasture and old pasture (converted from savanna 5–7 and 25–30 yr ago, respectively in the Douglas Daly region of northern Australia. The effect of break of season rains at the end of the dry season was investigated with two irrigation experiments.

    Land use change from savanna to pasture increased net greenhouse gas fluxes from the soil. Pasture sites were a weaker sink for CH4 than savanna sites and, under wet conditions, old pastures turned from being sinks to a significant source of CH4. Nitrous oxide emissions were generally very low, in the range of 0 to 5 μg N2O-N m−2 h−1, and under dry conditions soil uptake of N2O was apparent. Break of season rains produced a small, short lived pulse of N2O up to 20 μg N2O-N m−2 h−1, most evident in pasture soil. Annual cumulative soil CO2 fluxes increased after clearing, with savanna (14.6 t CO2-C ha−1 yr−1 having the lowest fluxes compared to old pasture (18.5 t CO2-C ha−1 yr−1 and young pasture (20.0 t CO2-C ha−1 yr−1. Clearing savanna increased soil-based greenhouse gas emissions from 53 to ~70 t CO2-equivalents, a 30% increase dominated by an increase in soil CO2 emissions and shift from soil CH4 sink to source

  18. Pollen-rain-vegetation relationships along a forest-savanna transect in southeastern Cameroon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vincens; Dubois; Guillet; Achoundong; Buchet; Kamgang Kabeyene Beyala V; de Namur C; Riera

    2000-07-01

    Modern soil and litter samples from southeastern Cameroon, collected along a continuous forest-savanna transect were analysed for pollen content to define modern pollen-vegetation relationships. The pollen results, completed and compared with botanical inventories, leaf area index and basal area measurements performed in the same area, clearly registered the physiognomy, the main floristic composition and floral richness of the two sampled ecosystems. Distortions were observed between sampled vegetations and their pollen rain, related to important differences in pollen production and dispersal of plant species: this is a general feature in many tropical regions. The pollen data in the area studied reflected well the recent transgression of forest versus savanna. This permitted us to define inside the forest ecosystem more successional vegetation communities than the botanical surveys allowed.

  19. Understanding the causes of bush encroachment in Africa: The key to effective management of savanna grasslands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olaotswe E. Kgosikoma

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available The increase in biomass and abundance of woody plant species, often thorny or unpalatable, coupled with the suppression of herbaceous plant cover, is a widely recognized form of rangeland degradation. Bush encroachment therefore has the potential to compromise rural livelihoods in Africa, as many depend on the natural resource base. The causes of bush encroachment are not without debate, but fire, herbivory, nutrient availability and rainfall patterns have been shown to be the key determinants of savanna vegetation structure and composition. In this paper, these determinants are discussed, with particular reference to arid and semi-arid environments of Africa. To improve our current understanding of causes of bush encroachment, an integrated approach, involving ecological and indigenous knowledge systems, is proposed. Only through our knowledge of causes of bush encroachment, both direct and indirect, can better livelihood adjustments be made, or control measures and restoration of savanna ecosystem functioning be realized.

  20. Topo-edaphic controls over woody plant biomass in South African savannas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. S. Colgan

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available The distribution of woody biomass in savannas reflects spatial patterns fundamental to ecosystem processes, such as water flow, competition, and herbivory, and is a key contributor to savanna ecosystem services, such as fuelwood supply. While total precipitation sets an upper bound on savanna woody biomass, the extent to which substrate and terrain constrain trees and shrubs below this maximum remains poorly understood, often occluded by local-scale disturbances such as fire and trampling. Here we investigate the role of hillslope topography and soil properties in controlling woody plant aboveground biomass (AGB in Kruger National Park, South Africa. Large-area sampling with airborne Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR provided a means to average across local-scale disturbances, revealing an unexpectedly linear relationship between AGB and hillslope-position on basalts, where biomass levels were lowest on crests, and linearly increased toward streams (R2 = 0.91. The observed pattern was different on granite substrates, where AGB exhibited a strongly non-linear relationship with hillslope position: AGB was high on crests, decreased midslope, and then increased near stream channels (R2 = 0.87. Overall, we observed 5-to-8-fold lower AGB on clayey, basalt-derived soil than on granites, and we suggest this is due to herbivore-fire interactions rather than lower hydraulic conductivity or clay shrinkage/swelling, as previously hypothesized. By mapping AGB within and outside fire and herbivore exclosures, we found that basalt-derived soils support tenfold higher AGB in the absence of fire and herbivory, suggesting high clay content alone is not a proximal limitation on AGB. Understanding how fire and herbivory contribute to AGB heterogeneity is critical to predicting future savanna carbon storage under a changing climate.

  1. Plant phenology, resource seasonality and climate change in a Brazilian cerrado savanna

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gutierrez de Camargo, Maria Gabriela; de Camargo Guaraldo, André; Reys, Paula; Patrícia Cerdeira Morellato, Leonor

    2010-05-01

    Plant phenology, the study of recurring events and its relationship to climate, contributes with key information for the understanding of forest dynamics and plant resource availability to the fauna. Plant reproduction and growth are affected by proximate factors such as precipitation, temperature and photoperiod, ecological factors such as plant-animal interaction, for instance pollination and seed dispersal, and by phylogeny. Therefore, phenological changes may have enormous consequences for both, plants and animals depending upon the periodical availability of plant resources. The Brazilian tropical savannas, the cerrado, is a highly diverse vegetation with around 70% of the woody flora relaying on animal vectors for pollination and seed dispersal. We consider the cerrado savanna a good model to investigate shifts on tropical phenology and climate change. This vegetation presents a very seasonal phenology shaped by the climate characterized by the alternation of a hot, wet season and a dry, cooler one. The onset of leafing, flowering and fruiting is defined by the duration and intensity of the dry season, and changes on precipitation patterns and dryness may likely affect the plant species reproductive pattern as well as the resource availability to the fauna. In that context, we are carrying out a long-term project to investigate the phenology of growth and reproduction of a cerrado savanna woody community in Southeastern Brazil. Our aim is to understand the cerrado savanna long-term phenological patterns, its relationship to local climate, and whether phenological shifts over time may occur due to variations on climate. We are collecting data on crop size, species abundance and fruit consumption by birds to understand the fruit-frugivore network. Additionally, analyses are underway to explore the relationship among fruit season, fruit production, color and nutritional contents, and the activity of frugivores. Our final goal is to verify at which extension

  2. Topo-edaphic controls over woody plant biomass in South African savannas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. S. Colgan

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The distribution of woody biomass in savannas reflects spatial patterns fundamental to ecosystem processes, such as water flow, competition, and herbivory, and is a key contributor to savanna ecosystem services, such as fuelwood supply. While total precipitation sets an upper bound on savanna woody biomass, the extent to which substrate and terrain constrain trees and shrubs below this maximum remains poorly understood, often occluded by local-scale disturbances such as fire and trampling. Here we investigate the role of hillslope topography and soil properties in controlling woody plant aboveground biomass (AGB in Kruger National Park, South Africa. Large-area sampling with airborne Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR provided a means to average across local-scale disturbances, revealing an unexpectedly linear relationship between AGB and hillslope-position on basalts, where biomass levels were lowest on crests, and linearly increased toward streams (R2 = 0.91. The observed pattern was different on granite substrates, where AGB exhibited a strongly non-linear relationship with hillslope position: AGB was high on crests, decreased midslope, and then increased near stream channels (R2 = 0.87. Overall, we observed 5-to-8-fold lower AGB on clayey, basalt-derived soil than on granites, and we suggest this is due to herbivore-fire interactions rather than lower hydraulic conductivity or clay shrinkage/swelling, as previously hypothesized. By mapping AGB within and outside fire and herbivore exclosures, we found that basalt-derived soils support tenfold higher AGB in the absence of fire and herbivory, suggesting high clay content alone is not a~proximal limitation on AGB. Understanding how fire and herbivory contribute to AGB heterogeneity is critical to predicting future savanna carbon storage under a changing climate.

  3. Human Impacts Flatten Rainforest-Savanna Gradient and Reduce Adaptive Diversity in a Rainforest Bird

    OpenAIRE

    Freedman, Adam H.; Wolfgang Buermann; Mitchard, Edward T A; DeFries, Ruth S.; Smith, Thomas B

    2010-01-01

    Ecological gradients have long been recognized as important regions for diversification and speciation. However, little attention has been paid to the evolutionary consequences or conservation implications of human activities that fundamentally change the environmental features of such gradients. Here we show that recent deforestation in West Africa has homogenized the rainforest-savanna gradient, causing a loss of adaptive phenotypic diversity in a common rainforest bird, the little greenbul...

  4. Fire alters ecosystem carbon and nutrients but not plant nutrient stoichiometry or composition in tropical savanna.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pellegrini, Adam F A; Hedin, Lars O; Staver, A Carla; Govender, Navashni

    2015-05-01

    Fire and nutrients interact to influence the global distribution and dynamics of the savanna biome, but the results of these interactions are both complex and poorly known. A critical but unresolved question is whether short-term losses of carbon and nutrients caused by fire can trigger long-term and potentially compensatory responses in the nutrient stoichiometry of plants, or in the abundance of dinitrogen-fixing trees. There is disagreement in the literature about the potential role of fire on savanna nutrients, and, in turn, on plant stoichiometry and composition. A major limitation has been the lack of fire manipulations over time scales sufficiently long for these interactions to emerge. We use a 58-year, replicated, large-scale, fire manipulation experiment in Kruger National Park (South Africa) in savanna to quantify the effect of fire on (1) distributions of carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus at the ecosystem scale; (2) carbon: nitrogen: phosphorus stoichiometry of above- and belowground tissues of plant species; and (3) abundance of plant functional groups including nitrogen fixers. Our results show dramatic effects of fire on the relative distribution of nutrients in soils, but that individual plant stoichiometry and plant community composition remained unexpectedly resilient. Moreover, measures of nutrients and carbon stable isotopes allowed us to discount the role of tree cover change in favor of the turnover of herbaceous biomass as the primary mechanism that mediates a transition from low to high 'soil carbon and nutrients in the absence of fire. We conclude that, in contrast to extra-tropical grasslands or closed-canopy forests, vegetation in the savanna biome may be uniquely adapted to nutrient losses caused by recurring fire.

  5. Patterns in volatile organic compound emissions along a savanna-rainforest gradient in central Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klinger, L. F.; Greenburg, J.; Guenther, A.; Tyndall, G.; Zimmerman, P.; M'bangui, M.; Moutsamboté, J.-M.; Kenfack, D.

    1998-01-01

    In temperate regions the chemistry of the lower troposphere is known to be significantly affected by biogenic volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted by plants. The chemistry of the lower troposphere over the tropics, however, is poorly understood, in part because of the considerable uncertainties in VOC emissions from tropical ecosystems. Present global VOC models predict that base emissions of isoprene from tropical rainforests are considerably higher than from savannas. These global models of VOC emissions which rely mainly on species inventories are useful, but significant improvement might be made with more ecologically based models of VOC emissions by plants. Ecosystems along a successional transect from woodland savanna to primary rainforest in central Africa were characterized for species composition and vegetation abundance using ground surveys and remotely sensed data. A total of 336 species (mostly trees) at 13 sites were recorded, and 208 of these were measured for VOC emissions at near-optimal light and temperature conditions using a leaf cuvette and hand-held photoionization detector (PID). A subset of 59 species was also sampled using conventional VOC emission techniques in order to validate the PID technique. Results of ecological and VOC emission surveys indicate both phylogenetic and successional patterns along the savanna-rainforest transect. Genera and families of trees which tend to emit isoprene include Lophira, Irvingia, Albizia, Artocarpus, Ficus, Pterocarpus, Caesalpiniaceae, Arecaceae, and Moraceae. Other taxa tend to contain stored VOCs (Annonaceae and Asteraceae). Successional patterns suggest that isoprene emissions are highest in the relatively early successional Isoberlinia forest communities and progressively decrease in the later successional secondary and primary rainforest communities. Stored VOCs appear to increase along the savanna-rainforest succession, but these data are more tentative. These findings are consistent with

  6. Large-scale impacts of herbivores on the structural diversity of African savannas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asner, Gregory P; Levick, Shaun R; Kennedy-Bowdoin, Ty; Knapp, David E; Emerson, Ruth; Jacobson, James; Colgan, Matthew S; Martin, Roberta E

    2009-03-24

    African savannas are undergoing management intensification, and decision makers are increasingly challenged to balance the needs of large herbivore populations with the maintenance of vegetation and ecosystem diversity. Ensuring the sustainability of Africa's natural protected areas requires information on the efficacy of management decisions at large spatial scales, but often neither experimental treatments nor large-scale responses are available for analysis. Using a new airborne remote sensing system, we mapped the three-dimensional (3-D) structure of vegetation at a spatial resolution of 56 cm throughout 1640 ha of savanna after 6-, 22-, 35-, and 41-year exclusions of herbivores, as well as in unprotected areas, across Kruger National Park in South Africa. Areas in which herbivores were excluded over the short term (6 years) contained 38%-80% less bare ground compared with those that were exposed to mammalian herbivory. In the longer-term (> 22 years), the 3-D structure of woody vegetation differed significantly between protected and accessible landscapes, with up to 11-fold greater woody canopy cover in the areas without herbivores. Our maps revealed 2 scales of ecosystem response to herbivore consumption, one broadly mediated by geologic substrate and the other mediated by hillslope-scale variation in soil nutrient availability and moisture conditions. Our results are the first to quantitatively illustrate the extent to which herbivores can affect the 3-D structural diversity of vegetation across large savanna landscapes.

  7. Estimating vegetation dryness to optimize fire risk assessment with spot vegetation satellite data in savanna ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verbesselt, J.; Somers, B.; Lhermitte, S.; van Aardt, J.; Jonckheere, I.; Coppin, P.

    2005-10-01

    The lack of information on vegetation dryness prior to the use of fire as a management tool often leads to a significant deterioration of the savanna ecosystem. This paper therefore evaluated the capacity of SPOT VEGETATION time-series to monitor the vegetation dryness (i.e., vegetation moisture content per vegetation amount) in order to optimize fire risk assessment in the savanna ecosystem of Kruger National Park in South Africa. The integrated Relative Vegetation Index approach (iRVI) to quantify the amount of herbaceous biomass at the end of the rain season and the Accumulated Relative Normalized Difference vegetation index decrement (ARND) related to vegetation moisture content were selected. The iRVI and ARND related to vegetation amount and moisture content, respectively, were combined in order to monitor vegetation dryness and optimize fire risk assessment in the savanna ecosystems. In situ fire activity data was used to evaluate the significance of the iRVI and ARND to monitor vegetation dryness for fire risk assessment. Results from the binary logistic regression analysis confirmed that the assessment of fire risk was optimized by integration of both the vegetation quantity (iRVI) and vegetation moisture content (ARND) as statistically significant explanatory variables. Consequently, the integrated use of both iRVI and ARND to monitor vegetation dryness provides a more suitable tool for fire management and suppression compared to other traditional satellite-based fire risk assessment methods, only related to vegetation moisture content.

  8. Colleters in Rubiaceae from forest and savanna: the link between secretion and environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tresmondi, Fernanda; Canaveze, Yve; Guimarães, Elza; Machado, Silvia Rodrigues

    2017-04-01

    This study aims to investigate colleters' secretory function, on cellular level, in Rubiaceae species from contrasting environments looking to explore the association between secretion and environment. We collected samples from eight species of Rubiaceae growing in forest and savanna having standard-type colleters with diverse histochemistry (hydrophilic, lipophilic and mixed secretions) and processed for both conventional and cytochemical study under transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The standard colleters, although similar in morphology and anatomy, exhibited marked differences on cellular level, especially in the abundance and topology of Golgi bodies, endoplasmic reticulum and plastids when comparing forest and savanna species. These differences were clearly aligned with the chemical nature of the secretions they produce, with predominance of hydrophilic secretions in forest species and lipophilic or mixed secretions in savanna species. The combination of methods in electron microscopy revealed the sites of synthesis and intracellular compartmentation of substances, the mechanisms of their secretion from the protoplast and confirmed the involvement of the outer walls of the epithelial cells in the elimination of exudates to the gland surface. Our study suggests a potential environment-associated plasticity of the secretory cells of standard-type colleters in modulating their secretory function performance.

  9. Nitrogen trace gas fluxes from a semiarid subtropical savanna under woody legume encroachment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soper, Fiona M.; Boutton, Thomas W.; Groffman, Peter M.; Sparks, Jed P.

    2016-05-01

    Savanna ecosystems are a major source of nitrogen (N) trace gases that influence air quality and climate. These systems are experiencing widespread encroachment by woody plants, frequently associated with large increases in soil N, with no consensus on implications for trace gas emissions. We investigated the impact of encroachment by N-fixing tree Prosopis glandulosa on total reactive N gas flux (Nt = NO + N2O + NOy + NH3) from south Texas savanna soils over 2 years. Contrary to expectations, upland Prosopis groves did not have greater Nt fluxes than adjacent unencroached grasslands. However, abiotic conditions (temperature, rainfall, and topography) were strong drivers. Emissions from moist, low-lying Prosopis playas were up to 3 times higher than from Prosopis uplands. Though NO dominated emissions, NH3 and NOy (non-NO oxidized N) comprised 12-16% of the total summer N flux (up to 7.9 µg N m-2 h-1). Flux responses to soil wetting were temperature dependent for NO, NH3, and NOy: a 15 mm rainfall event increased flux 3-fold to 22-fold after 24 h in summer but had no effect in winter. Repeated soil wetting reduced N flux responses, indicating substrate depletion as a likely control. Rapid (soils suggested that abiotic chemodenitrification contributes to pulse emissions. We conclude that temperature and wetting dynamics, rather than encroachment, are primary drivers of N flux from these upland savannas, with implications for future emission patterns under altered precipitation regimes.

  10. Influence of competition and rainfall manipulation on the growth responses of savanna trees and grasses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    February, Edmund C; Higgins, Steven I; Bond, William J; Swemmer, Louise

    2013-05-01

    In this study, we explored how rainfall manipulation influenced competitive interactions between grasses and juvenile trees (small nonreproductive trees capable of resprouting) in savanna. To do this, we manipulated rainfall amount in the field using an incomplete factorial experiment that determined the effects of rainfall reduction, no manipulation, rainfall addition, and competition between grasses and trees on grass and tree growth. As response variables, we focused on several measures of tree growth and Disc Pasture Meter settling height as an estimate of grass aboveground biomass. We conducted the study over four years, at two sites in the Kruger National Park, South Africa. Our results show that rainfall manipulation did not have substantial effects on any of the measures of tree growth we considered. However, trees at plots where grasses had been removed grew on average 15 cm more in height and 1.3-1.7 times more in basal area per year than those in plots with grasses. Grass biomass was not influenced by the presence of trees but was significantly and positively influenced by rainfall addition. These findings were not fundamentally influenced by soil type or by prevailing precipitation, suggesting applicability of our results to a wide range of savannas. Our results suggest that, in savannas, increasing rainfall serves to increase the competitive pressure exerted by grasses on trees. The implication is that recruitment into the adult tree stage from the juvenile stage is most likely in drought years when there is little competition from grass for resources and grass fuel loads are low.

  11. Hyper-Temporal C-Band SAR for Baseline Woody Structural Assessments in Deciduous Savannas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Russell Main

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Savanna ecosystems and their woody vegetation provide valuable resources and ecosystem services. Locally calibrated and cost effective estimates of these resources are required in order to satisfy commitments to monitor and manage change within them. Baseline maps of woody resources are important for analyzing change over time. Freely available, and highly repetitive, C-band data has the potential to be a viable alternative to high-resolution commercial SAR imagery (e.g., RADARSAT-2, ALOS2 in generating large-scale woody resources maps. Using airborne LiDAR as calibration, we investigated the relationships between hyper-temporal C-band ASAR data and woody structural parameters, namely total canopy cover (TCC and total canopy volume (TCV, in a deciduous savanna environment. Results showed that: the temporal filter reduced image variance; the random forest model out-performed the linear model; while the TCV metric consistently showed marginally higher accuracies than the TCC metric. Combinations of between 6 and 10 images could produce results comparable to high resolution commercial (C- & L-band SAR imagery. The approach showed promise for producing a regional scale, locally calibrated, baseline maps for the management of deciduous savanna resources, and lay a foundation for monitoring using time series of data from newer C-band SAR sensors (e.g., Sentinel1.

  12. Carbon balance of a grazed savanna grassland ecosystem in South Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Räsänen, Matti; Aurela, Mika; Vakkari, Ville; Beukes, Johan P.; Tuovinen, Juha-Pekka; Van Zyl, Pieter G.; Josipovic, Miroslav; Venter, Andrew D.; Jaars, Kerneels; Siebert, Stefan J.; Laurila, Tuomas; Rinne, Janne; Laakso, Lauri

    2017-03-01

    Tropical savannas and grasslands are estimated to contribute significantly to the total primary production of all terrestrial vegetation. Large parts of African savannas and grasslands are used for agriculture and cattle grazing, but the carbon flux data available from these areas are limited. This study explores carbon dioxide fluxes measured with the eddy covariance method for 3 years at a grazed savanna grassland in Welgegund, South Africa. The tree cover around the measurement site, grazed by cattle and sheep, was around 15 %. The night-time respiration was not significantly dependent on either soil moisture or soil temperature on a weekly temporal scale, whereas on an annual timescale higher respiration rates were observed when soil temperatures were higher. The carbon dioxide balances of the years 2010-2011, 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 were -85 ± 16, 67 ± 20 and 139 ± 13 gC m-2 yr-1, respectively. The yearly variation was largely determined by the changes in the early wet season fluxes (September to November) and in the mid-growing season fluxes (December to January). Early rainfall enhanced the respiratory capacity of the ecosystem throughout the year, whereas during the mid-growing season high rainfall resulted in high carbon uptake.

  13. New evidence for hybrid zones of forest and savanna elephants in Central and West Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mondol, Samrat; Moltke, Ida; Hart, John; Keigwin, Michael; Brown, Lisa; Stephens, Matthew; Wasser, Samuel K

    2015-12-01

    The African elephant consists of forest and savanna subspecies. Both subspecies are highly endangered due to severe poaching and habitat loss, and knowledge of their population structure is vital to their conservation. Previous studies have demonstrated marked genetic and morphological differences between forest and savanna elephants, and despite extensive sampling, genetic evidence of hybridization between them has been restricted largely to a few hybrids in the Garamba region of northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Here, we present new genetic data on hybridization from previously unsampled areas of Africa. Novel statistical methods applied to these data identify 46 hybrid samples--many more than have been previously identified--only two of which are from the Garamba region. The remaining 44 are from three other geographically distinct locations: a major hybrid zone along the border of the DRC and Uganda, a second potential hybrid zone in Central African Republic and a smaller fraction of hybrids in the Pendjari-Arli complex of West Africa. Most of the hybrids show evidence of interbreeding over more than one generation, demonstrating that hybrids are fertile. Mitochondrial and Y chromosome data demonstrate that the hybridization is bidirectional, involving males and females from both subspecies. We hypothesize that the hybrid zones may have been facilitated by poaching and habitat modification. The localized geography and rarity of hybrid zones, their possible facilitation from human pressures, and the high divergence and genetic distinctness of forest and savanna elephants throughout their ranges, are consistent with calls for separate species classification.

  14. Evaluation of Durability Parameters of Concrete with Manufacture Sand and River Sand

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sangoju, Bhaskar; Ramesh, G.; Bharatkumar, B. H.; Ramanjaneyulu, K.

    2017-06-01

    Most of the states in our country have banned sand quarrying from the river beds, causing a scarcity of natural river sand for the construction sector. Manufacture sand (M-sand) is one of the alternate solutions to replace the river sand (R-sand) in concrete. The main aim of the present study is to evaluate the durability parameters of concrete with M-sand when compared to that of concrete with R-sand. Corrosion of reinforcement is one of the main deteriorating mechanisms of reinforced concrete due to the ingress of chloride ions or carbon-di-oxide. For comparative evaluation of durability parameters, accelerated tests such as Rapid Chloride Permeability Test, Rapid Chloride Migration Test and accelerated carbonation test were carried out on specimens of R-sand and M-sand. All tests were carried out after 90 days of casting. Test results reveal that the durability parameters of the concrete with M-sand in chloride induced environment is relatively better than that of concrete with R-sand and hence is recommended to use M-sand as a replacement to R-sand.

  15. Sand deposit-detecting method and its application in model test of sand flow

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    黎伟; 房营光; 莫海鸿; 谷任国; 陈俊生

    2013-01-01

    Against the background of the sand-flow foundation treatment engineering of Guangzhou Zhoutouzui variable cross-section immersed tunnel, a kind of sand deposit-detecting method was devised on the basis of full-scale model test of sand-flow method. The real-time data of sand-deposit height and radius were obtained by the self-developed sand-deposit detectors. The test results show that the detecting method is simple and has high precision. In the use of sand-flow method, the sand-carrying capability of fluid is limited, and sand particles are all transported to the sand-deposit periphery through crater, gap and chutes after the sand deposit formed. The diffusion range of the particles outside the sand-deposit does not exceed 2.0 m. Severe sorting of sand particles is not observed because of the unique oblique-layered depositing process. The temporal and spatial distributions of gap and chutes directly affect the sand-deposit expansion, and the expansion trend of the average sand-deposit radius accords with quadratic time-history curve.

  16. Understory plant diversity assessment of Szemao pine (Pinus kesiya var. langbianensis plantations in Yunnan, China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qiu, J. X.

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Sustainability is a key objective for managers of both natural forests and plantations, and biodiversity assessments are important tools to improve conservation of endangered species. Szemao pine (Pinus kesiya var. langbianensis is a native Chinese tree species used in plantations. This study evaluated differences in understory diversity among Szemao pine plantations (SP and other local current vegetation types: secondary evergreen forests (SE and abandoned farmlands (AF in Yunnan Province. Sampling was performed at three elevation ranges, where species richness, species cover, and environmental variables in the herb and shrub layers were measured. We found that indexes for average richness and Shannon–Wiener diversity were higher in SE than in SP, which were in turn higher than in AF, while the index for evenness was higher in SP. These indexes increased with elevation in SP and AF, but were higher at low and medium elevations in SE. Inclusion of environmental factors highlighted elevation differences, with water content (at herb layer and soil type (at shrub layer being the most significant variables. In conclusion, plantations of Szemao pine negatively affect understory diversity in Yunnan, and furthermore, only a few rare or threatened species could be found in the plantations. Nature reserves and transplanting could protect threatened species if established before plantations.La sostenibilidad es un objetivo clave para la gestión tanto de bosques naturales como de plantaciones, mientras que los estudios sobre biodiversidad constituyen herramientas muy útiles para mejorar la conservación de especies amenazadas. El pino Szemao (Pinus kesiya var. langbianensis es un árbol nativo de China que se usa en plantaciones. Este estudio evalúa la diversidad del sotobosque en plantaciones de pino Szemao (SP y otros tipos de vegetación local, como bosques secundarios perennifolios (SE y tierras de cultivo abandonadas (AF, en la provincia de

  17. Historical agriculture alters the effects of fire on understory plant beta diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mattingly, W Brett; Orrock, John L; Collins, Cathy D; Brudvig, Lars A; Damschen, Ellen I; Veldman, Joseph W; Walker, Joan L

    2015-02-01

    Land-use legacies are known to shape the diversity and distribution of plant communities, but we lack an understanding of whether historical land use influences community responses to contemporary disturbances. Because human-modified landscapes often bear a history of multiple land-use activities, this contingency can challenge our understanding of land-use impacts on plant diversity. We address this contingency by evaluating how beta diversity (the spatial variability of species composition), an important component of regional biodiversity, is shaped by interactions between historical agriculture and prescribed fire, two prominent disturbances that are often coincident in terrestrial ecosystems. At three study locations spanning 450 km in the southeastern United States, we surveyed longleaf pine woodland understory plant communities across 232 remnant and post-agricultural sites with differing prescribed fire regimes. Our results demonstrate that agricultural legacies are a strong predictor of beta diversity, but the direction of this land-use effect differed among the three study locations. Further, although beta diversity increased with prescribed fire frequency at each study location, this effect was influenced by agricultural land-use history, such that positive fire effects were only documented among sites that lacked a history of agriculture at two of our three study locations. Our study not only highlights the role of historical agriculture in shaping beta diversity in a fire-maintained ecosystem but also illustrates how this effect can be contingent upon fire regime and geographic location. We suggest that interactions among historical and contemporary land-use activities may help to explain dissimilarities in plant communities among sites in human-dominated landscapes.

  18. Low plant density enhances gene dispersal in the Amazonian understory herb Heliconia acuminata.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Côrtes, Marina C; Uriarte, María; Lemes, Maristerra R; Gribel, Rogério; Kress, W John; Smouse, Peter E; Bruna, Emilio M

    2013-11-01

    In theory, conservation genetics predicts that forest fragmentation will reduce gene dispersal, but in practice, genetic and ecological processes are also dependent on other population characteristics. We used Bayesian genetic analyses to characterize parentage and propagule dispersal in Heliconia acuminata L. C. Richard (Heliconiaceae), a common Amazonian understory plant that is pollinated and dispersed by birds. We studied these processes in two continuous forest sites and three 1-ha fragments in Brazil's Biological Dynamics of Forest Fragments Project. These sites showed variation in the density of H. acuminata. Ten microsatellite markers were used to genotype flowering adults and seedling recruits and to quantify realized pollen and seed dispersal distances, immigration of propagules from outside populations, and reproductive dominance among parents. We tested whether gene dispersal is more dependent on fragmentation or density of reproductive plants. Low plant densities were associated with elevated immigration rates and greater propagule dispersal distances. Reproductive dominance among inside-plot parents was higher for low-density than for high-density populations. Elevated local flower and fruit availability is probably leading to spatially more proximal bird foraging and propagule dispersal in areas with high density of reproductive plants. Nevertheless, genetic diversity, inbreeding coefficients and fine-scale spatial genetic structure were similar across populations, despite differences in gene dispersal. This result may indicate that the opposing processes of longer dispersal events in low-density populations vs. higher diversity of contributing parents in high-density populations balance the resulting genetic outcomes and prevent genetic erosion in small populations and fragments.

  19. Dynamics of the association between a long-lived understory myrmecophyte and its specific associated ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orivel, Jérôme; Lambs, Luc; Malé, Pierre-Jean G; Leroy, Céline; Grangier, Julien; Otto, Thierry; Quilichini, Angélique; Dejean, Alain

    2011-02-01

    Myrmecophytic symbioses are widespread in tropical ecosystems and their diversity makes them useful tools for understanding the origin and evolution of mutualisms. Obligate ant-plants, or myrmecophytes, provide a nesting place, and, often, food to a limited number of plant-ant species. In exchange, plant-ants protect their host plants from herbivores, competitors and pathogens, and can provide them with nutrients. Although most studies to date have highlighted a similar global pattern of interactions in these systems, little is known about the temporal structuring and dynamics of most of these associations. In this study we focused on the association between the understory myrmecophyte Hirtella physophora (Chrysobalanaceae) and its obligate ant partner Allomerus decemarticulatus (Myrmicinae). An examination of the life histories and growth rates of both partners demonstrated that this plant species has a much longer lifespan (up to about 350 years) than its associated ant colonies (up to about 21 years). The size of the ant colonies and their reproductive success were strongly limited by the available nesting space provided by the host plants. Moreover, the resident ants positively affected the vegetative growth of their host plant, but had a negative effect on its reproduction by reducing the number of flowers and fruits by more than 50%. Altogether our results are important to understanding the evolutionary dynamics of ant-plant symbioses. The highly specialized interaction between long-lived plants and ants with a shorter lifespan produces an asymmetry in the evolutionary rates of the interaction which, in return, can affect the degree to which the interests of the two partners converge.

  20. Phenological synchrony and seasonality of understory Rubiaceae in the Atlantic Forest, Bahia, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heitor Scarpati Liuth

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available In tropical forests with low seasonality, climatic variables generally exert a weak influence on the phenology of species. The seasonality of phenophases in closely related taxa can be controlled by phylogenetic constraints in such environments. In this study, our aim was to describe the phenology of Rubiaceae in the understory of the Atlantic Forest in the southern part of Bahia, Brazil, as well as to evaluate the seasonality and phenological synchrony of this family. For two years, we observed 90 individuals belonging to 13 species, in an area of 0.2 ha. Leaf flushing and leaf fall did not demonstrate any seasonality, were continuous for most species and correlated with few of the climatic variables. Flowering was seasonal and correlated positively with all climatic variables. Species exhibited seasonality for this phenophase with high flowering overlap among species of Psychotria, indicating an aggregated pattern for this genus. Fruiting was also seasonal and correlated with all the climatic variables, unripe fruit development peaking at the beginning of the season during which humidity is highest and fruit ripening peaking in the season during which humidity is slightly lower. The vegetative and flowering patterns observed in the study area are commonly seen in other tropical forests. The reproductive seasonality of this family can facilitate the attraction of biotic agents, as postulated in the facilitation hypothesis. Our results demonstrate that climatic variables influenced the phenological patterns observed here, although the high reproductive seasonality and interspecific synchrony, especially in congeneric species, raises the possibility that phylogenetic proximity plays a role in the pattern of the family Rubiaceae.

  1. Comparison of photosynthetic damage from arthropod herbivory and pathogen infection in understory hardwood saplings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aldea, Mihai; Hamilton, Jason G; Resti, Joseph P; Zangerl, Arthur R; Berenbaum, May R; Frank, Thomas D; Delucia, Evan H

    2006-08-01

    Arthropods and pathogens damage leaves in natural ecosystems and may reduce photosynthesis at some distance away from directly injured tissue. We quantified the indirect effects of naturally occurring biotic damage on leaf-level photosystem II operating efficiency (Phi(PSII)) of 11 understory hardwood tree species using chlorophyll fluorescence and thermal imaging. Maps of fluorescence parameters and leaf temperature were stacked for each leaf and analyzed using a multivariate method adapted from the field of quantitative remote sensing. Two tree species, Quercus velutina and Cercis canadensis, grew in plots exposed to ambient and elevated atmospheric CO(2) and were infected with Phyllosticta fungus, providing a limited opportunity to examine the potential interaction of this element of global change and biotic damage on photosynthesis. Areas surrounding damage had depressed Phi(PSII )and increased down-regulation of PSII, and there was no evidence of compensation in the remaining tissue. The depression of Phi(PSII) caused by fungal infections and galls extended >2.5 times further from the visible damage and was approximately 40% more depressed than chewing damage. Areas of depressed Phi(PSII) around fungal infections on oaks growing in elevated CO(2) were more than 5 times larger than those grown in ambient conditions, suggesting that this element of global change may influence the indirect effects of biotic damage on photosynthesis. For a single Q. velutina sapling, the area of reduced Phi(PSII) was equal to the total area directly damaged by insects and fungi. Thus, estimates based only on the direct effect of biotic agents may greatly underestimate their actual impact on photosynthesis.

  2. Burn Severity Dominates Understory Plant Community Response to Fire in Xeric Jack Pine Forests

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bradley D. Pinno

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Fire is the most common disturbance in northern boreal forests, and large fires are often associated with highly variable burn severities across the burnt area. We studied the understory plant community response to a range of burn severities and pre-fire stand age four growing seasons after the 2011 Richardson Fire in xeric jack pine forests of northern Alberta, Canada. Burn severity had the greatest impact on post-fire plant communities, while pre-fire stand age did not have a significant impact. Total plant species richness and cover decreased with disturbance severity, such that the greatest richness was in low severity burns (average 28 species per 1-m2 quadrat and plant cover was lowest in the high severity burns (average 16%. However, the response of individual plant groups differed. Lichens and bryophytes were most common in low severity burns and were effectively eliminated from the regenerating plant community at higher burn severities. In contrast, graminoid cover and richness were positively related to burn severity, while forbs did not respond significantly to burn severity, but were impacted by changes in soil chemistry with increased cover at pH >4.9. Our results indicate the importance of non-vascular plants to the overall plant community in this harsh environment and that the plant community is environmentally limited rather than recruitment or competition limited, as is often the case in more mesic forest types. If fire frequency and severity increase as predicted, we may see a shift in plant communities from stress-tolerant species, such as lichens and ericaceous shrubs, to more colonizing species, such as certain graminoids.

  3. Growth, allometry and shade tolerance of understory saplings of four subalpine conifers in central Japan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takahashi, Koichi; Obata, Yoshiko

    2014-03-01

    The conifers Abies veitchii, A. mariesii, Picea jezoensis var. hondoensis, Tsuga diversifolia dominate in subalpine forests in central Japan. We expected that species differences in shade tolerance and in aboveground and belowground architecture are important for their coexistence. We examined net production and carbon allocation of understory saplings. Although the four species allocated similar amounts of biomass to roots at a given trunk height, the root-zone area of T. diversifolia was greater than that of the three other species. T. diversifolia often dominates shallow soil sites, such as ridge and rocky slopes, and, therefore, a wide spread of lateral roots would be an adaptation to such edaphic conditions. Crown width and leaf and branch mass were greatest for T. diversifolia and A. mariesii, followed in order by A. veitchii and P. jezoensis var. hondoensis. Although leaf mass of P. jezoensis var. hondoensis was lowest among the four species, species differences were not found in the net production per sapling because net production per leaf mass was greatest for P. jezoensis var. hondoensis. The leaf lifespan was longer in the order A. mariesii, T. diversifolia, P. jezoensis var. hondoensis and A. veitchii. The minimum rate of net production per leaf mass required to maintain the current sapling leaf mass (MRNP(LM)) was lowest in A. mariesii and T. diversifolia, and increased in the order of A. veitchii and P. jezoensis var. hondoensis. A. mariesii and T. diversifolia may survive in shade conditions by a lower MRNP(LM) than the two other species. Therefore, species differences in aboveground and belowground architecture and MRNPLM reflected their shade tolerance and regeneration strategies, which contribute to their coexistence.

  4. Contemporary and long-term erosion in the Kruger National Park, Lowveld Savanna, South Africa. First results.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baade, Jussi; Rheinwarth, Bastian; Glotzbach, Christoph

    2017-04-01

    Human-induced soil erosion as a consequence of the transformation of landscapes to pasture or arable land is a function of natural conditions (relief and soil properties), natural drivers (climate) as well as land use and management. It is common understanding that humans have accelerated erosion of landscapes by modifying land surface characteristics, like vegetation cover and soil properties, among others. But the magnitude of the acceleration is not yet well established. Partly, the uncertainty about the magnitude of the problem is due to the fact that baseline values, i.e., data on rates of natural erosion from uncultivated land under current climate conditions, are difficult to find. Against this background, we conducted an assessment of contemporary and long-term erosion in the Kruger National Park (KNP), South Africa. The KNP has been set aside for the recovery of wildlife in the early 20th century and was spared from agricultural practices even before that. Concerning soil properties and vegetation cover the KNP can thus be considered to represent a rather pristine savanna environment. In order to secure water provision to wildlife a number of reservoirs was established in the 1930s to 1970s with catchment areas entirely within the KNP boundaries. The size of the catchments varies from 4 to 100 km2. Volumetric mapping and dry bulk density measurements of reservoir deposits provided average minimum sediment yield rates for observation periods of 30 to 80 years. Hydrological modelling was used to assess the trap efficiency of the reservoirs and to estimate the most likely sediment yield rates. At the same time this exercise provided evidence for the stochastic nature of runoff and erosion events in this semi-arid environment and the need to evaluate contemporary erosion based on long observation periods. Measuring cosmogenic 10Be in quartz sand samples collected at the inlet of the reservoirs provided the corresponding average long-term erosion rates for

  5. SAND

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thorsen, Grete

    Der er udført et konsolideringsforsøg med bakkesand fra Lunds grusgrav, Lund no. O. forsøget er udført i samme konsolideringsapparat, som er anvendt til måling af deformationsegenskaberne af mange forskellige danske jordarter. Forsøgsresultaterne er søgt tolket som ved forsøg med andre jordarter....

  6. Precipitation chemistry and wet deposition in a remote wet savanna site in West Africa: Djougou (Benin)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akpo, A. B.; Galy-Lacaux, C.; Laouali, D.; Delon, C.; Liousse, C.; Adon, M.; Gardrat, E.; Mariscal, A.; Darakpa, C.

    2015-08-01

    In the framework of the IDAF (IGAC/DEBITS/AFrica) international program, this study aims to study the chemical composition of precipitation and associated wet deposition at the rural site of Djougou in Benin, representative of a West and Central African wet savanna. Five hundred and thirty rainfall samples were collected at Djougou, Benin, from July 2005 to December 2009 to provide a unique database. The chemical composition of precipitation was analyzed for inorganic (Ca2+, Mg2+, Na+, NH4+, K+, NO3-, Cl-, SO42-) and organic (HCOO-, CH3COO-, C2H5COO-, C2O42-) ions, using ion chromatography. The 530 collected rain events represent a total of 5706.1 mm of rainfall compared to the measured pluviometry 6138.9 mm, indicating that the collection efficiency is about 93%. The order of total annual loading rates for soluble cations is NH4+ > Ca2+ > Mg2+ > K+. For soluble anions the order of loading is carbonates > HCOO- > NO3- > CH3COO- > SO4,SUP>2- > Cl- > C2O42- > C2H5COO-. In the wet savanna of Djougou, 86% of the measured pH values range between 4.7 and 5.7 with a median pH of 5.19, corresponding to a VWM (Volume Weighed Mean) H+ concentration of 6.46 μeq·L-1. This acidity results from a mixture of mineral and organic acids. The annual sea salt contribution was computed for K+, Mg2+, Ca2+ and SO42- and represents 4.2% of K+, 41% of Mg2+, 1.3% of Ca2+, and 7.4% of SO42-. These results show that K+, Ca2+, SO42-, and Mg2+ were mainly of non-marine origin. The marine contribution is estimated at 9%. The results of the chemical composition of rainwater of Djougou indicates that, except for the carbonates, ammonium has the highest VWM concentration (14.3 μeq·L-1) and nitrate concentration is 8.2 μeq·L-1. The distribution of monthly VWM concentration for all ions is computed and shows the highest values during the dry season, comparing to the wet season. Identified nitrogenous compound sources (NOx and NH3) are domestic animals, natural emissions from savanna soils

  7. Forest soil CO2 fluxes as a function of understory removal and N-fixing species addition

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Haifang Li; Shenglei Fu; Hongting Zhao; Hanping Xia

    2011-01-01

    We report on the effects of forest management practices of understory removal and N-fixing species (Cassia alata) addition on soil CO2 fluxes in an Eucalyptus urophylla plantation (EUp), Acacia crassicarpa plantation (ACp), 10-species-mixed plantation (Tp), and 30-species-mixed plantation (THp) using the static chamber method in southern China. Four forest management treatments, including (1) understory removal (UR); (2) C. alata addition (CA); (3) understory removal and replacement with C. alata (UR+CA); and (4)control without any disturbances (CK), were applied in the above four forest plantations with three replications for each treatment.The results showed that soil CO2 fluxes rates remained at a high level during the rainy season (from April to September), followed by a rapid decrease after October reaching a minimum in February. Soil CO2 fluxes were significantly higher (P < 0.01) in EUp (132.6 mg/(m2·hr)) and ACp (139.8 mg/(m2·hr)) than in Tp (94.0 mg/(m2·hr)) and THp (102.9 mg/(m2·hr)). Soil CO2 fluxes in UR and CA were significantly higher (P < 0.01) among the four treatments, with values of 105.7, 120.4, 133.6 and 112.2 mg/(m2·hr) for UR+CA,UR, CA and CK, respectively. Soil CO2 fluxes were positively correlated with soil temperature (P < 0.01), soil moisture (P < 0.01),NO3--N (P < 0.05), and litterfall (P < 0.01), indicating that all these factors might be important controlling variables for soil CO2 fluxes. This study sheds some light on our understanding of soil CO2 flux dynamics in forest plantations under various management practices.

  8. [Microbial community and its activities in canopy- and understory humus of two montane forest types in Ailao Mountains, Northwest China].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yong-jie; Liu, Wen-yao; Chen, Lin; Zhang, Han-bo; Wang, Gao-sheng

    2010-09-01

    Mid-montane moist evergreen broadleaved forest (MMF) and top-montane dwarf mossy forest (DMF) are the two major natural forest types in subtropical mountainous area of Ailao Mountains, Northwest China. In this paper, a comparative study was made on the microbial composition, quantity, biochemical activity, metabolic activity, and their seasonal dynamics in the canopy- and understory humus of the two forest types. The composition, quantity, and metabolic activity of the microbes in the canopy humus of dominant tree species in MMF and DMF were also analyzed. In the canopy humus of the two forest types, the amounts of fungi and actinomycetes, microbial biomass C and N, and intensities of nitrogen fixation and cellulose decomposition were significantly higher than those in understory humus. Meanwhile, the amount of cellulose-decomposing microbes (ACDM), cellulose decomposition intensity, microbial biomass C and N, and metabolic activity in the canopy humus of MMF were significantly higher than those of DMF. The amounts of bacteria, fungi, and aerobic nitrogen-fixing bacteria (ANFB) and the metabolic activity in the canopy humus of MMF and DMF were significantly higher in wet season than in dry season, while a contradictory trend was observed on the amount of actinomycetes. No significant difference was observed on the amount of ACDM between wet season and dry season. For the two forest types, the amounts of microbes and their biochemical activities in canopy humus had a larger seasonal variation range than those in understory humus. There was a significant difference in the amounts of the microbes in canopy humus among the dominant tree species in MMF and DMF, especially in wet season. The microbes in canopy humus played important roles in maintaining the biodiversity of epiphytes in the canopy, and in supplying the needed nutrients for the vigorous growth of the epiphytes.

  9. Liquefaction of Sand under Low Confining Pressure

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    YANG Shaoli; Rolf Sandven; Lars Grande

    2003-01-01

    Undrained behaviour of sand under low cell pressure was studied in static and cyclic triaxial tests. It was found that very loose sand liquefies under static loading with the relative density being a key parameter for the undrained behaviour of sand. In cyclic triaxial tests, pore water pressures built up during the cyclic loading and exceeded the confining cell pressure. This process was accompanied by a large sudden increase in axial deformation. The necessary number of cycles to obtain liquefaction was related to the confining cell pressure, the amplitude of cyclic loading and the relative density of sand.In addition, the patterns of pore water pressure response are different from those of sand samples with different relative densities. The test results are very useful for expounding scour mechanism around coastal structures since they relate to the low stress behaviour of the sand.

  10. Creep Behavior of Frozen Sand.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1981-06-01

    temperature and stress range. There was a 2strong stress dependance to S (r =0.95) for saturated Manchester Fine Sand which does not agree with RPT. The...Curves at High Stress 161 Ratio D/Du = 0.505 for Frozen HF’S at w=10% IV-20 Minimum Strain Rate Dependance on Stress 162 Ratio for Frozen MFS IV-21 Minimum...Strain Rate Dependance on Relative 163 Density for Frozen MFS IV-22 Temperature Stage Test on Frozen Saturated 164 MFS under a Load of D=9.24MPa Fig

  11. Warming climate may negatively affect native forest understory plant richness and composition by increasing invasions of non-native plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dovciak, M.; Wason, J. W., III; Frair, J.; Lesser, M.; Hurst, J.

    2016-12-01

    Warming climate is often expected to cause poleward and upslope migrations of native plant species and facilitate the spread of non-native plants, and thus affect the composition and diversity of forest understory plant communities. However, changing climate can often interact with other components of global environmental change, and especially so with land use, which often varies along extant climatic gradients making it more difficult to predict species and biodiversity responses to changing climate. We used large national databases (USDA FIA, NLCD, and PRISM) within GLM and NMDS analytical frameworks to study the effects of climate (temperature and precipitation), and land management (type, fragmentation, time since disturbance) on the diversity and composition of native and non-native plant species in forest understories across large geographical (environmental) gradients of the northeastern United States. We tested how non-native and native species diversity and composition responded to existing climate gradients and land-use drivers, and we approximated how changing climate may affect both native and non-native species composition and richness under different climate change scenarios (+1.5, 2, and 4.8 degrees C). Many understory forest plant communities already contain large proportions of non-native plants, particularly so in relatively warmer and drier areas, at lower elevations, and in areas with more substantial land-use histories. On the other hand, cooler and moister areas, higher elevations, and areas used predominantly for forestry or nature conservation (i.e., large contiguous forest cover) were characterized by a low proportion of non-native plant species in terms of both species cover and richness. In contrast to native plants, non-native plant richness was related positively to mean annual temperature and negatively to precipitation. Mountain areas appeared to serve as refugia for native forest understory species under the current climate, but

  12. Nesting success of grassland and savanna birds on reclaimed surface coal mines of the midwestern United States

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Galligan, E.W.; DeVault, T.L.; Lima, S.L. [Indiana State University, Terre Haute, IN (United States)

    2006-12-15

    Reclaimed surface coal mines in southwestern Indiana support many grassland and shrub/savanna bird species of conservation concern. We examined the nesting success of birds on these reclaimed mines to assess whether such 'unnatural' places represent productive breeding habitats for such species. We established eight study sites on two large, grassland-dominated mines in southwestern Indiana and classified them into three categories (open grassland, shrub/savanna, and a mixture of grassland and shrub/savanna) based on broad vegetation and landscape characteristics. During the 1999 and 2000 breeding seasons, we found and monitored 911 nests of 31 species. Daily nest survival for the most commonly monitored grassland species ranged from 0.903 (Dickcissel, Spiza americana) to 0.961 (Grasshopper Sparrow, Ammodramus savannarum). Daily survival estimates for the dominant shrub/savanna nesting species ranged from 0.932 (Brown Thrasher, Toxostoma rufum) to 0.982 (Willow Flycatcher, Empidonax traillii). Vegetation and landscape effects on nesting success were minimal, and only Eastern Meadowlarks (Sturnella magna) showed a clear time-of-season effect, with greater nesting success in the first half of the breeding season. Rates of Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater) parasitism were only 2.1% for grassland species and 12.0% for shrub/savanna species. The nesting success of birds on reclaimed mine sites was comparable to that in other habitats, indicating that reclaimed habitats on surface mines do not necessarily represent reproductive traps for birds.

  13. Recent advances in waterglass sand technologies

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHU Chun-xi

    2007-01-01

    This paper reports some new understandings and advances in waterglass sand technologies. The multiple chemical modification process can increase the binding strength of the waterglass sand by up to 50%-70%.Therefore, the additions of the modified waterglass can be decreased to 3.0%-4.0% for CO2 process and to 2.0%-2.5% for organic ester hardening process, and greatly improve the collapsibility and reclaimability of the sand. Based on the new understandings and experimental results reported in this paper, several original ideas, such as nano modification, have been proposed to promote advances of waterglass sand technologies,

  14. PROSPECTS FIXATION DRIFT SANDS PHYSICOCHEMICAL METHOD

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maujuda MUZAFFAROVA

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available This article is based on the theoretical foundations of secure mobile sand being considered for reducing the negative impact of one of the manifestations of exogenous plains on such an important natural-technical system as a railroad. It suggests practical measures to build a system of design protection against sand drifts. The article also suggests ways to conserve resources and rational use of machinery and performers as well as the consolidation of mobile sand wet with water soluble waste of local production of waste dextrin. Consolidation is exposed on dry and wet sand.

  15. Innovative developments in sand reclamation technologies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Dañko

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Proper sand management and efficient sand reclamation system are two main factors influencing economical and ecological side of modern foundry plant. It is well known fact that the production of 1 metric ton of casting from ferrous alloys generates circa 1 metric ton of waste [1], which due to containing certain amounts of harmful and dangerous compounds should undergo a reclamation – at least of the main component, which means a silica sand grains. The paper present problems of scientific and development research concerning the innovative reclamation technologies of used foundry sands such as: mechanical-cryogenic reclamation and innovative thermal reclamation.

  16. Biodiversity effects on ecosystem function due to land use: The case of buffel savannas in the Sky Islands Seas in the central region of Sonora

    Science.gov (United States)

    A. E. Castellanos; H. Celaya; C. Hinojo; A. Ibarra; J. R. Romo

    2013-01-01

    Buffel savannas have been an important landscape on cattle grazing ranches in Sonora over the past 50 years or more. Changes in land use result in biodiversity changes that may produce ecosystem functional changes; however, these are less well documented. Although fire driven processes have been proposed for Buffel savannas, this is not generally the case, and other...

  17. Earthworm Populations in Savannas of the Orinoco Basin. A Review of Studies in Long-Term Agricultural-Managed and Protected Ecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Danilo López-Hernández

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Earthworm biomass and production in savannas are limited by seasonal precipitation and the lack of organic and nutrient resources; I hypothesize that after a long-term protection of savanna from fire and agricultural activities drastic changes in the physical and chemical characteristics of the soil occur with a concomitant increase in earthworm abundance and activities. Similar changes might occur after a long-term fertilization of savannas with manure. This review article considers the earthworm communities and other soil quality indices in Trachypogon savannas of the Orinoco Basin in an organic agricultural forestal savanna (OAFS amended with compost over forty years in Puerto Ayacucho, Venezuela, and in an Experimental Station long-term protected (PS from fire and cattle raising from more than four decades in Central Llanos, Venezuela, comparison is made with results from similar savannas. Long-term additions of organic manure or a long protection have induced significant changes in the soil physical and chemical properties of the natural savanna (NS soils that induce a significant increase in the density and biomass of earthworm populations. On the other hand, the protection of the savanna promotes an improvement in the physical and chemical properties of the soil, which favors an increase in the density and biomass of earthworms in the PS compared with the NS subjected to recurrent burning and grazing. The results emphasize the importance of appropriate organic matter management and the relevance of earthworms in such agroecosystems.

  18. Biome-specific effects of nitrogen and phosphorus on the photosynthetic characteristics of trees at a forest-savanna boundary in Cameroon

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ferreira Domingues, Tomas; Ishida, F.Y.; Feldpausch, T.R.; Grace, John; Meir, Patrick; Saiz, Gustavo; Sene, Olivier; Schrodt, Franziska; Sonké, Bonaventure; Taedoumg, Herman; Veenendaal, E.M.; Lewis, Simon; Lloyd, Jon

    2015-01-01

    Photosynthesis/nutrient relationships of proximally growing forest and savanna trees were determined in an ecotonal region of Cameroon (Africa). Although area-based foliar N concentrations were typically lower for savanna trees, there was no difference in photosynthetic rates between the two vege

  19. Long-term effects of fire frequency and season on herbaceous vegetation in savannas of the Kruger National Park, South Africa

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Smith, MD

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available in savannas, the experimental burn plots (EBPs), which is located in the Kruger National Park (South Africa) and encompasses four major savanna vegetation types that span broad spatial gradients of rainfall (450–700mm) and soil fertility....

  20. Sand Failure Mechanism and Sanding Parameters in Niger Delta Oil Reservoirs

    OpenAIRE

    Sunday Isehunwa,; Andrew Farotade

    2010-01-01

    Sand production is a major issue during oil and gas production from unconsolidated reservoirs. In predicting the onset of sand production, it is important to accurately determine the failure mechanism and the contributing parameters. The aim of this study was to determine sand failure mechanism in the Niger-Delta, identify themajor contributing parameters and evaluate their effects on sanding.Completion and production data from 78 strings completed on 22 reservoirs in a Niger Delta oil Field ...

  1. Biome-specific effects of nitrogen and phosphorus on the photosynthetic characteristics of trees at a forest-savanna boundary in Cameroon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Domingues, Tomas Ferreira; Ishida, F Yoko; Feldpausch, Ted R; Grace, John; Meir, Patrick; Saiz, Gustavo; Sene, Olivier; Schrodt, Franziska; Sonké, Bonaventure; Taedoumg, Herman; Veenendaal, Elmar M; Lewis, Simon; Lloyd, Jon

    2015-07-01

    Photosynthesis/nutrient relationships of proximally growing forest and savanna trees were determined in an ecotonal region of Cameroon (Africa). Although area-based foliar N concentrations were typically lower for savanna trees, there was no difference in photosynthetic rates between the two vegetation formation types. Opposite to N, area-based P concentrations were-on average-slightly lower for forest trees; a dependency of photosynthetic characteristics on foliar P was only evident for savanna trees. Thus savanna trees use N more efficiently than their forest counterparts, but only in the presence of relatively high foliar P. Along with some other recent studies, these results suggest that both N and P are important modulators of woody tropical plant photosynthetic capacities, influencing photosynthetic metabolism in different ways that are also biome specific. Attempts to find simple unifying equations to describe woody tropical vegetation photosynthesis-nutrient relationships are likely to meet with failure, with ecophysiological distinctions between forest and savanna requiring acknowledgement.

  2. Photosynthetic rates influence the population dynamics of understory herbs in stochastic light environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Westerband, Andrea C; Horvitz, Carol C

    2017-02-01

    Temporal variability in light from gaps in the tree canopy strongly influences the vital rates of understory plants. From 2012 to 2015, we estimated the size-specific vital rates of two herbs, Calathea crotalifera and Heliconia tortuosa, over a range of light environments. We estimated maximum photosynthetic capacity (Amax ) for a subset of individuals each year during three annual censuses, and modelled future size as a linear function of current size (a plant trait that changes ontogenetically), canopy openness (an environmental variable), and Amax (a potentially plastic physiological trait). We estimated what the demographic success would be of a population comprised of individuals with a particular fixed Amax for each of several levels of canopy openness if the environment remained constant, by evaluating corresponding Integral Projection Models and their deterministic growth rates (λ). We then estimated their demographic success in the stochastic light environment (λS ) and its elasticities. As light increased, deterministic λ increased for Calathea by 33% but decreased for Heliconia by 52%, and increasing Amax had no effect on λ for Calathea but increased λ for Heliconia in low light. As Amax increased, λS increased for Heliconia, but not Calathea. We also investigated whether photosynthetic rates would influence the elasticities of λS, including its response to perturbation of vital rates in each environment (E(S)β ), vital rates over all environments (E(S) ), and variability of vital rates among environments (E(S)(σ) ). E(S) , E(S)(σ) , and E(S)β were influenced by Amax for Heliconia but not Calathea. Events that affect some vital rates in high light have a greater impact on overall fitness than events that affect the same vital rates in shady environments, and there is greater potential for selection on traits of large individuals in high light than in low light for Heliconia, while the reverse was true for Calathea. Photosynthetic rates

  3. Dynamics of the evergreen understory at Coweeta Hydrologic Laboratory, North Carolina

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dobbs, Marion Mcnamara

    Much attention today is directed toward vegetation dynamics and related issues of biotic diversity. Both environmental gradients and disturbance/land use history are important determinants of both the distributional pattern and the dynamics of many plant species. The southern Appalachian Mountains constitute a region of high plant and animal diversity and rapidly increasing development pressure with its consequent changes in land use. The remaining forested areas commonly include a significant evergreen understory (undergreen) composed of ericaceous shrubs, predominately Rhododendron maximum , which is believed to be expanding and exerting an inhibitory effect on the establishment of other species, thus impacting forest structure and composition. This study was an attempt to characterize this forest component, temporally and spatially, at the Coweeta Hydrologic Laboratory, North Carolina, in terms of a variety of topographic gradients as well as long-term (century) and short-term (decade) disturbance history, verify expansion, develop a surrogate soil moisture index for use in an explanatory model for undergreen pattern, and examine the feasibility of predicting the pattern of undergreen at one time based on knowledge of topographic relationships gained at an earlier time. A GIS was used for visual and areal comparisons; logistic regression was used for developing spatiotemporal explanatory models. Results indicate that aspect, stream proximity, and elevation are all important in explaining distributional pattern and dynamics of the undergreen at Coweeta, with R. maximum showing preference for moister areas and its common associate, Kalmia latifolia found more frequently in drier areas. The influence of these environmental factors differs between the larger Coweeta Basin, the site of experimental manipulations at the small watershed level since the 1930's, and the physically similar Dryman Fork Basin, relatively undisturbed since that time. There is an apparent

  4. Influence of understory cover on soil water and evaporation fluxes: a trial

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiménez-Rodríguez, César; Magdalena Warter, Maria; Coenders-Gerrits, Miriam

    2017-04-01

    Within a forest ecosystem the litter layer is an important hydrological component and contributes towards the water and energy exchange between the sub-canopy and the soil. Evaporation within a forest is made up of different fractions coming from the dry soil, vegetation and litter layers. The quantification and partitioning of each fraction remains difficult as there is hard to estimate correctly the amount of water moved by evaporation or percolation at ecosystem level. With the aim to determine the influence of forest understory on the evaporation fluxes, four ground cover types were selected from the Speulderbos forest in the Netherlands. The mosses species of "Thamariskmoss" (Thuidium thamariscinum), "Rough Stalked Feathermoss" (Brachythecium rutabulum), and "Haircapmoss" (Polytrichum commune) were compared with a litter layer made up of Douglas-Fir needles (Pseudotsuga menziesii). Four PVC basins with 40cm x 60cm were filled with forest soil and sheltered with the selected ground covers. Each box was equipped with a soil moisture sensor, and a set Temperature and Relative Humidity sensors to determine the VPD during the study period. The study period lasts 4 weeks, while the percolation rates were measured in a daily basis. The rainfall events were simulated in the lab, applying the same rain event to each box at the same time. A total amount of 43.12 mm of rain were added to the boxes during the 4 weeks of the experiment, and distributed in 11 rain events which differ in amount and timing between events. The percolation in all the boxes was more than the 50% of the rain events due to the sandy condition of the soil, while the evaporation rates were affected not only by the room atmospheric conditions, but for the cover type present in each box. Except for the Polytrichum moss, a moss known for its water conducting abilities, all cover types showed a decline before and increase after a rain event. This species showed a steady increase in soil water content

  5. Delta15N values of tropical savanna and monsoon forest species reflect root specialisations and soil nitrogen status.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, S; Stewart, G R

    2003-03-01

    A large number of herbaceous and woody plants from tropical woodland, savanna, and monsoon forest were analysed to determine the impact of environmental factors (nutrient and water availability, fire) and biological factors (microbial associations, systematics) on plant delta(15)N values. Foliar delta(15)N values of herbaceous and woody species were not related to growth form or phenology, but a strong relationship existed between mycorrhizal status and plant delta(15)N. In woodland and savanna, woody species with ectomycorrhizal (ECM) associations and putative N(2)-fixing species with ECM/arbuscular (AM) associations had lowest foliar delta(15)N values (1.0-0.6 per thousand ), AM species had mostly intermediate delta(15)N values (average +0.6 per thousand ), while non-mycorrhizal Proteaceae had highest delta(15)N values (+2.9 to +4.1 per thousand ). Similar differences in foliar delta(15)N were observed between AM (average 0.1 and 0.2 per thousand ) and non-mycorrhizal (average +0.8 and +0.3 per thousand ) herbaceous species in woodland and savanna. Leguminous savanna species had significantly higher leaf N contents (1.8-2.5% N) than non-fixing species (0.9-1.2% N) indicating substantial N acquisition via N(2) fixation. Monsoon forest species had similar leaf N contents (average 2.4% N) and positive delta(15)N values (+0.9 to +2.4 per thousand ). Soil nitrification and plant NO(3)(-) use was substantially higher in monsoon forest than in woodland or savanna. In the studied communities, higher soil N content and nitrification rates were associated with more positive soil delta(15)N and plant delta(15)N. In support of this notion, Ficus, a high NO(3)(-) using taxa associated with NO(3)(-) rich sites in the savanna, had the highest delta(15)N values of all AM species in the savanna. delta(15)N of xylem sap was examined as a tool for studying plant delta(15)N relations. delta(15)N of xylem sap varied seasonally and between differently aged Acacia and other savanna

  6. Recuperation of the Terra Firme Forest Understory Bird Fauna Eight Years after a Wildfire in Eastern Acre, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tatiana Lemos da Silva

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The present study evaluated the characteristics of the understory bird fauna of four fragments of terra firme forest in eastern Acre, Brazil, that were impacted by wildfires in 2005. The study investigated the species richness and the composition of trophic guilds using mist-netting on eight transects (four in burned plots and four in control plots in the same forest fragments. Eight plots (0.12 ha were also established parallel to each transect to record the number of live trees (DBH ≥ 10 cm, palms, and dead trees. Bamboo stems were quantified in 0.024 ha subplots. No significant difference was found between burned and control plots in the species richness or abundance of birds, nor was any significant pattern found in the NMDS ordination of the composition of the communities or guilds. The Principal Components Analysis (PCA found that the burned plots were physiognomically distinct, due principally to the number of bamboo stems and dead trees. Multiple regressions based on the PCA scores and bird species richness and abundance found no significant trends. The findings of the present study indicate that the understory bird assemblage of the areas affected by a single wildfire in 2005 had almost totally recuperated eight years after this event.

  7. Managing Understory Vegetation for Maintaining Productivity in Black Spruce Forests: A Synthesis within a Multi-Scale Research Model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gilles Joanisse

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Sustainable management of boreal ecosystems involves the establishment of vigorous tree regeneration after harvest. However, two groups of understory plants influence regeneration success in eastern boreal Canada. Ericaceous shrubs are recognized to rapidly dominate susceptible boreal sites after harvest. Such dominance reduces recruitment and causes stagnant conifer growth, lasting decades on some sites. Additionally, peat accumulation due to Sphagnum growth after harvest forces the roots of regenerating conifers out of the relatively nutrient rich and warm mineral soil into the relatively nutrient poor and cool organic layer, with drastic effects on growth. Shifts from once productive black spruce forests to ericaceous heaths or paludified forests affect forest productivity and biodiversity. Under natural disturbance dynamics, fires severe enough to substantially reduce the organic layer thickness and affect ground cover species are required to establish a productive regeneration layer on such sites. We succinctly review how understory vegetation influences black spruce ecosystem dynamics in eastern boreal Canada, and present a multi-scale research model to understand, limit the loss and restore productive and diverse ecosystems in this region. Our model integrates knowledge of plant-level mechanisms in the development of silvicultural tools to sustain productivity. Fundamental knowledge is integrated at stand, landscape, regional and provincial levels to understand the distribution and dynamics of ericaceous shrubs and paludification processes and to support tactical and strategic forest management. The model can be adapted and applied to other natural resource management problems, in other biomes.

  8. Interactions between plant size and canopy openness influence vital rates and life-history tradeoffs in two neotropical understory herbs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Westerband, Andrea C; Horvitz, Carol C

    2015-08-01

    • For tropical forest understory plants, the ability to grow, survive, and reproduce is limited by the availability of light. The extent to which reproduction incurs a survival or growth cost may change with light availability, plant size, and adaptation to shade, and may vary among similar species.• We estimated size-specific rates of growth, survival, and reproduction (vital rates), for two neotropical understory herbs (order Zingiberales) in a premontane tropical rainforest in Costa Rica. During three annual censuses we monitored 1278 plants, measuring leaf area, number of inflorescences, and canopy openness. We fit regression models of all vital rates and evaluated them over a range of light levels. The best fitting models were selected using Akaike's Information Criterion.• All vital rates were significantly influenced by size in both species, but not always by light. Increasing light resulted in higher growth and a higher probability of reproduction in both species, but lower survival in one species. Both species grew at small sizes but shrank at larger sizes. The size at which shrinkage began differed among species and light environments. Vital rates of large individuals were more sensitive to changes in light than small individuals.• Increasing light does not always positively influence vital rates; the extent to which light affects vital rates depends on plant size. Differences among species in their abilities to thrive under different light conditions and thus occupy distinct niches may contribute to the maintenance of species diversity. © 2015 Botanical Society of America, Inc.

  9. Study of Black Sand Particles from Sand Dunes in Badr, Saudi Arabia Using Electron Microscopy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haider Abbas Khwaja

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Particulate air pollution is a health concern. This study determines the microscopic make-up of different varieties of sand particles collected at a sand dune site in Badr, Saudi Arabia in 2012. Three categories of sand were studied: black sand, white sand, and volcanic sand. The study used multiple high resolution electron microscopies to study the morphologies, emission source types, size, and elemental composition of the particles, and to evaluate the presence of surface “coatings or contaminants” deposited or transported by the black sand particles. White sand was comprised of natural coarse particles linked to wind-blown releases from crustal surfaces, weathering of igneous/metamorphic rock sources, and volcanic activities. Black sand particles exhibited different morphologies and microstructures (surface roughness compared with the white sand and volcanic sand. Morphological Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM and Laser Scanning Microscopy (LSM analyses revealed that the black sand contained fine and ultrafine particles (50 to 500 nm ranges and was strongly magnetic, indicating the mineral magnetite or elemental iron. Aqueous extracts of black sands were acidic (pH = 5.0. Fe, C, O, Ti, Si, V, and S dominated the composition of black sand. Results suggest that carbon and other contaminant fine particles were produced by fossil-fuel combustion and industrial emissions in heavily industrialized areas of Haifa and Yanbu, and transported as cloud condensation nuclei to Douf Mountain. The suite of techniques used in this study has yielded an in-depth characterization of sand particles. Such information will be needed in future environmental, toxicological, epidemiological, and source apportionment studies.

  10. Origin and dynamics of the northern South American coastal savanna belt during the Holocene - the role of climate, sea-level, fire and humans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alizadeh, Kamaleddin; Cohen, Marcelo; Behling, Hermann

    2015-08-01

    Presence of a coastal savanna belt expanding from British Guiana to northeastern Brazil cannot be explained by present-day climate. Using pollen and charcoal analyses on an 11.6 k old sediment core from a coastal depression in the savanna belt near the mouth of the Amazon River we investigated the paleoenvironmental history to shed light on this question. Results indicate that small areas of savanna accompanied by a forest type composed primarily by the genus Micropholis (Sapotaceae) that has no modern analog existed at the beginning of the Holocene. After 11,200 cal yr BP, savanna accompanied by few trees replaced the forest. In depressions swamp forest developed and by ca 10,000 cal yr BP replaced by Mauritia swamps. Between 8500 and 5600 cal yr BP gallery forest (composed mainly of Euphorbiaceae) and swamp forest succeeded the treeless savanna. The modern vegetation with alternating gallery forest and savanna developed after 5600 cal yr BP. We suggest that the early Holocene no-analog forest is a relict of previously more extensive forest under cooler and moister Lateglacial conditions. The early Holocene savanna expansion indicates a drier phase probably related to the shift of the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) towards its northernmost position. The mid-Holocene forest expansion is probably a result of the combined influence of equatorwards shift of ITCZ joining the South Atlantic Convergence Zone (SACZ). The ecosystem variability during the last 5600 cal yr BP, formed perhaps under influence of intensified ENSO condition. High charcoal concentrations, especially during the early Holocene, indicate that natural and/or anthropogenic fires may have maintained the savanna. However, our results propose that climate change is the main driving factor for the formation of the coastal savanna in this region. Our results also show that the early Holocene sea level rise established mangroves near the study site until 7500 cal yr BP and promoted swamp formation in

  11. Who is who in the understory: the contribution of resident and transitory groups of species to plant richness in forest assemblages

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    JulianaSilva Gomes-Westphalen

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available The forest understory is made up of resident and transitory species and can be much richer than the canopy. With the purpose to describe the contribution of these groups to the woody understory, five Atlantic Forest fragments were selected and studied in Northeastern Brazil. In order to analyze the understory’s structure, the sample included woody individuals with circumference at breast height (CBH smaller than 15cm and circumference at ground level (CGL greater than 3cm, regardless of height. The recorded species were quantified and classified into functional stratification categories (resident and transitory, and the floristic similarity between the understory and the tree stratum was calculated. Species’ importance in the understory was analyzed by height and total natural regeneration classes based on a regeneration index. The understory was richer in species (median=63.8, SD=21.72, n=5 fragments than the tree stratum (43.8, 18.14, 5, and the similarity between these components was relatively high (median=0.54, SD=0.09. The results also showed that the studied understory in the forest fragments was mainly composed by transitory species (median=67.01%, SD=3.76, that were well distributed among height classes and had the highest densities, which may favor their future presence in the canopy’s structure and composition. The typical understory species were grouped into two strata: the lower understory, made up of species that generally do not reach more than 4m in height (mostly species from families Piperaceae, Rubiaceae and Melastomataceae; and the upper understory, with intermediate heights between the lower understory and the canopy, but with average heights that were not higher than 10m (mainly of species from families Anonnaceae, Clusiaceae and Myrtaceae. These families’ richness was commonly used as an indicator of the vegetation’s successional stage; however, such results must be seen with caution as they show that these

  12. MONITORING PHENOLOGICAL VARIABILITY ACROSS A TROPICAL SAVANNA ARIDITY GRADIENT WITH REMOTE SENSING ACROSS SEASONAL TO ANNUALAND EXTREME EVENTS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Huete

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Tropical savannas are key components of the global carbon and water cycles and understanding their functioning is critical to understanding ecosystem feedbacks to global climate. By observing broad scale vegetation responses to climatic variability, remote sensing offers powerful insights into the patterns and processes underlying savanna behaviour. However, savannas are highly complex, multi-layer and heterogenous ecosystems composed of C3 (herbaceous and C4 (woodland components with asynchronous phenological responses to environmental controls. There are concerns about optimizing the detection of savanna functioning as well as in understanding their environmental controls with remote-sensing data due to their coarse resolution. Furthermore, seasonalphenologic variations in satellite observations need to be sufficiently accurate to ensure confidence in interpreting vegetation responses to interannual climatic variation and to aid in constraining models of carbon and water fluxes. In this study, we analysed several years of high temporal frequency MODIS and TRMM satellite data sets of vegetation dynamics and rainfall, respectively, to seasonal and interannual responses of savanna multifunctional components to climate variability across a tropical savanna aridity gradient (1760 to 580 mm annual rainfall in northern Australia. We compared our results with a series of eddy covariance (EC tower flux data of gross primary production and analyzed a wide set of ecosystem processes including photosynthesis, net primary productivity, phenological metrics in timing of the growing season, and rain use efficiencies. We found MODIS satellite measurements to yield highly accurate spatial and temporal variability in ecosystem functioning and able to replicate interannual patterns and responses to rainfall observed with the EC tower data. Although these results appear promising for regional extensions of satelliteflux tower relationships at the landscape level

  13. Using remote sensing and biogeographic modeling to understand the oak savannas of the Sheyenne National Grassland, North Dakota, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    SigdelPhuyal, Mandira

    Oak savannas are valuable and complex ecosystems that provide multiple ecosystem goods and services, including grazing for livestock, watershed regulation, and recreation. These ecosystems of the woodland-prairie ecoregion of the Midwestern United States are, however, in danger of disappearing. The Sheyenne National Grassland, North Dakota, a protected Prairie grassland-savanna, is a representative of such rare habitats, where oak savanna is found at the landscape scale. In this research, I map the distribution patterns of oak savanna in the Sheyenne using a combination of remote sensing and geospatial datasets, including landscape topography, soils, and fire disturbance. Further, I interpret the performance of a suite of advanced Species Distribution Modeling approaches including Maximum Entropy, Random Forest, Generalized Boosted Model, and Classification Tree to analyze the primary environmental and management factors influencing oak distributions at landscape scales. Woody canopy cover was estimated with high classification accuracy (80-95%) for two study areas of the Sheyenne National Grassland. Among the four species distribution modeling approaches tested, the Random Forest (RF) approach provided the best predictive model. RF model parameters indicate that oak trees favor gently sloping locations, on well-drained upland and sandy soils, with north-facing aspect. While no direct data on water relationships were possible in this research, the importance of the topographic and soil variables in the SDM presumably reflect oak preference for locations and soils that are not prone to water saturation, with milder summer temperatures (i.e. northern aspects), providing conditions suitable for seedling establishment and growth. This research increases our understanding of the biogeography of Midwestern tall-grass oak savannas and provides a decision-support tool for oak savanna management.

  14. Pattern formation - Instabilities in sand ripples

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, J. L.; v. Hecke, M.; Haaning, A.

    2001-01-01

    Sand ripples are seen below shallow wavy water and are formed whenever water oscillates over a bed of sand. Here we analyse the instabilities that can upset this perfect patterning when the ripples are subjected to large changes in driving amplitude or frequency, causing them to deform both...

  15. Pilot Project Sand Groynes Delfland Coast

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hoekstra, R.; Walstra, D.J.R.; Swinkels, C.S.

    2012-01-01

    In October and November 2009 a pilot project has been executed at the Delfland Coast in the Netherlands, constructing three small sandy headlands called Sand Groynes. Sand Groynes are nourished from the shore in seaward direction and anticipated to redistribute in the alongshore due to the impact of

  16. Silica sand resources in the Netherlands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meulen, M.J. van der; Westerhoff, W.E.; Menkovic, A.; Gruijters, S.H.L.L.; Dubelaar, C.W.; Maljers, D.

    2009-01-01

    Silica sand, (almost) pure quartz sand, is a valuable and scarce mineral resource within the shallow Dutch subsurface. High-grade deposits are exploited in the southeastemmost part of the country, as raw material for the glass, ceramic, chemical and other process industries. Dutch land-use policy re

  17. Pilot Project Sand Groynes Delfland Coast

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hoekstra, R.; Walstra, D.J.R.; Swinkels, C.S.

    2012-01-01

    In October and November 2009 a pilot project has been executed at the Delfland Coast in the Netherlands, constructing three small sandy headlands called Sand Groynes. Sand Groynes are nourished from the shore in seaward direction and anticipated to redistribute in the alongshore due to the impact of

  18. Understanding Colombian Amazonian white sand forests

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Peñuela-Mora, M.C.

    2014-01-01

    Although progress has been made in studies on white sand forests in the Amazon, there is still a considerable gap in our knowledge of the unique species composition of white sand forests and their structure and dynamics, especially in Western Amazon. This thesis aims to fill this gap by addressing t

  19. Micrometeorological and leaf-level measurements of isoprene emissions from a southern African savanna

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harley, Peter; Otter, Luanne; Guenther, Alex; Greenberg, James

    2003-07-01

    In February 2001, as part of the Southern African Regional Science Initiative (SAFARI 2000), isoprene fluxes were measured for 8 days using the relaxed eddy accumulation technique from a 21-m tower in a Combretum-Acacia savanna in Kruger National Park, 13 km from Skukuza, RSA. Despite warm and sunny conditions, midday isoprene concentrations were low, averaging 0.39 nL/L. Fluxes of isoprene increased through the morning hours, with midday fluxes averaging 0.34 mg m-2 h-1 and a maximum measured flux of approximately 1.0 mg m-2 h-1. Consistent with these low fluxes, leaf enclosure measurements of woody species within the tower footprint determined that only one isoprene-emitting species, Acacia nigrescens, was present in significant numbers, comprising less than 10% of the woody biomass. Combining enclosure data with species composition and leaf area index data from the site, we estimated that the isoprene emission capacity of the vegetation within the vicinity of the tower was very low, approximately 0.47 mg m-2 h-1, and patchy. Under these circumstances, low and variable fluxes are expected. Additional leaf enclosure measurements, for a total of 121 species, were made at other locations, and approximately 35% of the species was found to emit significant amounts of isoprene. Important isoprene emitting plant families included Caesalpinaceae, Mimosaceae, Papilionaceae, Euphorbiaceae, Moraceae, and Myrtaceae. Twelve members of the important savanna genus Acacia were measured, of which five species, all belonging in Subgenus Aculeiferum, Section Aculeiferum, were found to emit significant amounts of isoprene. In contrast, the plant family, Combretaceae, dominant in many savanna ecosystems, was found to contain no species which emit isoprene.

  20. Beyond precipitation: physiographic gradients dictate the relative importance of environmental drivers on Savanna vegetation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campo-Bescós, Miguel A; Muñoz-Carpena, Rafael; Kaplan, David A; Southworth, Jane; Zhu, Likai; Waylen, Peter R

    2013-01-01

    Understanding the drivers of large-scale vegetation change is critical to managing landscapes and key to predicting how projected climate and land use changes will affect regional vegetation patterns. This study aimed to improve our understanding of the role, magnitude and spatial distribution of the key environmental factors driving vegetation change in southern African savanna, and how they vary across physiographic gradients. We applied Dynamic Factor Analysis (DFA), a multivariate times series dimension reduction technique to ten years of monthly remote sensing data (MODIS-derived normalized difference vegetation index, NDVI) and a suite of environmental covariates: precipitation, mean and maximum temperature, soil moisture, relative humidity, fire and potential evapotranspiration. Monthly NDVI was described by cyclic seasonal variation with distinct spatiotemporal patterns in different physiographic regions. Results support existing work emphasizing the importance of precipitation, soil moisture and fire on NDVI, but also reveal overlooked effects of temperature and evapotranspiration, particularly in regions with higher mean annual precipitation. Critically, spatial distributions of the weights of environmental covariates point to a transition in the importance of precipitation and soil moisture (strongest in grass-dominated regions with precipitationprecipitation>950 mm). We quantified the combined spatiotemporal effects of an available suite of environmental drivers on NDVI across a large and diverse savanna region. The analysis supports known drivers of savanna vegetation but also uncovers important roles of temperature and evapotranspiration. Results highlight the utility of applying the DFA approach to remote sensing products for regional analyses of landscape change in the context of global environmental change. With the dramatic increase in global change research, this methodology augurs well for further development and application of spatially

  1. Projected changes in distributions of Australian tropical savanna birds under climate change using three dispersal scenarios.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reside, April E; Vanderwal, Jeremy; Kutt, Alex S

    2012-04-01

    Identifying the species most vulnerable to extinction as a result of climate change is a necessary first step in mitigating biodiversity decline. Species distribution modeling (SDM) is a commonly used tool to assess potential climate change impacts on distributions of species. We use SDMs to predict geographic ranges for 243 birds of Australian tropical savannas, and to project changes in species richness and ranges under a future climate scenario between 1990 and 2080. Realistic predictions require recognition of the variability in species capacity to track climatically suitable environments. Here we assess the effect of dispersal on model results by using three approaches: full dispersal, no dispersal and a partial-dispersal scenario permitting species to track climate change at a rate of 30 km per decade. As expected, the projected distributions and richness patterns are highly sensitive to the dispersal scenario. Projected future range sizes decreased for 66% of species if full dispersal was assumed, but for 89% of species when no dispersal was assumed. However, realistic future predictions should not assume a single dispersal scenario for all species and as such, we assigned each species to the most appropriate dispersal category based on individual mobility and habitat specificity; this permitted the best estimates of where species will be in the future. Under this "realistic" dispersal scenario, projected ranges sizes decreased for 67% of species but showed that migratory and tropical-endemic birds are predicted to benefit from climate change with increasing distributional area. Richness hotspots of tropical savanna birds are expected to move, increasing in southern savannas and southward along the east coast of Australia, but decreasing in the arid zone. Understanding the complexity of effects of climate change on species' range sizes by incorporating dispersal capacities is a crucial step toward developing adaptation policies for the conservation of

  2. Evaporation from cultivated and semi-wild Sudanian Savanna in west Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ceperley, Natalie C.; Mande, Theophile; van de Giesen, Nick; Tyler, Scott; Yacouba, Hamma; Parlange, Marc B.

    2017-08-01

    Rain-fed farming is the primary livelihood of semi-arid west Africa. Changes in land cover have the potential to affect precipitation, the critical resource for production. Turbulent flux measurements from two eddy-covariance towers and additional observations from a dense network of small, wireless meteorological stations combine to relate land cover (savanna forest and agriculture) to evaporation in a small (3.5 km2) catchment in Burkina Faso, west Africa. We observe larger sensible and latent heat fluxes over the savanna forest in the headwater area relative to the agricultural section of the watershed all year. Higher fluxes above the savanna forest are attributed to the greater number of exposed rocks and trees and the higher productivity of the forest compared to rain-fed, hand-farmed agricultural fields. Vegetation cover and soil moisture are found to be primary controls of the evaporative fraction. Satellite-derived vegetation index (NDVI) and soil moisture are determined to be good predictors of evaporative fraction, as indicators of the physical basis of evaporation. Our measurements provide an estimator that can be used to derive evaporative fraction when only NDVI is available. Such large-scale estimates of evaporative fraction from remotely sensed data are valuable where ground-based measurements are lacking, which is the case across the African continent and many other semi-arid areas. Evaporative fraction estimates can be combined, for example, with sensible heat from measurements of temperature variance, to provide an estimate of evaporation when only minimal meteorological measurements are available in remote regions of the world. These findings reinforce local cultural beliefs of the importance of forest fragments for climate regulation and may provide support to local decision makers and rural farmers in the maintenance of the forest areas.

  3. Sand transportation and reverse patterns over leeward face of sand dune

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Hong; Dun, Hongchao; Tong, Ding; Huang, Ning

    2017-04-01

    Sand saltation has complex interactions with turbulent flow and dune form. Most models of wind-blown sand consider ideal circumstances such as steady wind velocity and a flat surface, and the bulk of data on wind flow and sand transport over an individual dune has focused mostly on the influence of dune shape or inter-dune space on the wind flow, neglecting the effect of morphology on sand saltation, particularly airflow and sand transportation over the leeward slope. Wind flow structures over the leeward slope of sand dunes have a fundamental influence on the organization of sand dunes. In order to understand sand dune dynamics, lee face airflow and sediment transportation should be paid more attention. Previous field observations could not measure turbulent flow structure well because of the limited observation points and the influence of experiment structure on wind field. In addition, the reverse sand particles over leeward face could not be collected by sand trap in field. Numerous field observations could not measure turbulent flow structure because of the limited observation points and the influence of experimental structures on the wind field. In addition, the reverse transport of sand particles over leeward face could not be collected by sand traps in field. Therefore, this paper aims to investigate the turbulent flow structure and sand transport pattern over the leeward slope. A numerical model of sand saltation over slope terrain is constructed, which also considers the coupling effects between air flow and sand particles. The large eddy simulation method is used to model turbulent flow. Sand transport is simulated by tracking the trajectory of each sand particle. The results show that terrain significantly alters the turbulent air flow structure and wind-blown sand movement, especially over the leeward slope. Here, mass flux increases initially and then decreases with height in the reversed flow region in the direction of wind flow, and the mass flux

  4. Vulnerability of native savanna trees and exotic Khaya senegalensis to seasonal drought.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arndt, Stefan K; Sanders, Gregor J; Bristow, Mila; Hutley, Lindsay B; Beringer, Jason; Livesley, Stephen J

    2015-07-01

    Seasonally dry ecosystems present a challenge to plants to maintain water relations. While native vegetation in seasonally dry ecosystems have evolved specific adaptations to the long dry season, there are risks to introduced exotic species. African mahogany, Khaya senegalensis Desr. (A. Juss.), is an exotic plantation species that has been introduced widely in Asia and northern Australia, but it is unknown if it has the physiological or phenotypic plasticity to cope with the strongly seasonal patterns of water availability in the tropical savanna climate of northern Australia. We investigated the gas exchange and water relations traits and adjustments to seasonal drought in K. senegalensis and native eucalypts (Eucalyptus tetrodonta F. Muell. and Corymbia latifolia F. Muell.) in a savanna ecosystem in northern Australia. The native eucalypts did not exhibit any signs of drought stress after 3 months of no rainfall and probably had access to deeper soil moisture late into the dry season. Leaf water potential, stomatal conductance, transpiration and photosynthesis all remained high in the dry season but osmotic adjustment was not observed. Overstorey leaf area index (LAI) was 0.6 in the native eucalypt savanna and did not change between wet and dry seasons. In contrast, the K. senegalensis plantation in the wet season was characterized by a high water potential, high stomatal conductance and transpiration and a high LAI of 2.4. In the dry season, K. senegalensis experienced mild drought stress with a predawn water potential -0.6 MPa. Overstorey LAI was halved, and stomatal conductance and transpiration drastically reduced, while minimum leaf water potentials did not change (-2 MPa) and no osmotic adjustment occurred. Khaya senegalensis exhibited an isohydric behaviour and also had a lower hydraulic vulnerability to cavitation in leaves, with a P50 of -2.3 MPa. The native eucalypts had twice the maximum leaf hydraulic conductance but a much higher P50 of -1.5 MPa

  5. A New Application to Facilitate Post-Fire Recovery and Rehabilitation in Savanna Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carroll, Mark L.; Schnase, John L.; Weber, Keith T.; Brown, Molly E.; Gill, Roger L.; Haskett, George W.; Gardner, Tess A.

    2013-01-01

    The U.S. government spends an estimated $3billion per year to fight forest fires in the United States. Post-fire rehabilitation activities represent a small but essential portion of that total. The Rehabilitation Capability Convergence for Ecosystem Recovery (RECOVER) system is currently under development for Savanna ecosystems in the western U.S. The prototype of this system has been built and will have realworld testing during the summer 2013 fire season. When fully deployed, the RECOVER system will provide the emergency rehabilitation teams with critical and timely information for management decisions regarding stabilization and rehabilitation strategies.

  6. Choosing an optimum sand control method

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ehsan Khamehchi

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Formation sand control is always one of the main concerns of production engineers. There are some different methods to prevent sand production. Choosing a method for preventing formation sand production depends on different reservoir parameters and politic and economic conditions. Sometimes, economic and politic conditions are more effective to choose an optimum than reservoir parameters. Often, simultaneous investigation of politic and economic conditions with reservoir parameters has different results with what is expected. So, choosing the best sand control method is the result of thorough study. Global oil price, duration of sand control project and costs of necessary equipment for each method as economic and politic conditions and well productivity index as reservoir parameter are the main parameters studied in this paper.

  7. Altitude of the top of the Sparta Sand and Memphis Sand in three areas of Arkansas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pugh, Aaron L.; Westerfield, Paul W.; Gonthier, Gerard; Poynter, David T.

    1998-01-01

    The Sparta Sand and Memphis Sand form the second most productive aquifer in Arkansas. The Sparta Sand and Memphis Sand range in thick- ness from 0 to 900 feet, consisting of fine- to medium-grained sands interbedded with layers of silt, clay, shale, and minor amounts of lignite. Within the three areas of interest, the top surface of the Sparta Sand and Memphis Sand dips regionally east and southeast towards the axis of the Mississippi Embayment syncline and Desha Basin. Local variations in the top surface may be attributed to a combination of continued development of structural features, differential compaction, localized faulting, and erosion of the surface prior to subsequent inundation and deposition of younger sediments.

  8. Sand Failure Mechanism and Sanding Parameters in Niger Delta Oil Reservoirs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sunday Isehunwa,

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Sand production is a major issue during oil and gas production from unconsolidated reservoirs. In predicting the onset of sand production, it is important to accurately determine the failure mechanism and the contributing parameters. The aim of this study was to determine sand failure mechanism in the Niger-Delta, identify themajor contributing parameters and evaluate their effects on sanding.Completion and production data from 78 strings completed on 22 reservoirs in a Niger Delta oil Field were evaluated. Sand failure mechanisms and contributing parameters were identified and compared with published profiles. The results showed that cohesive stress is the predominant sand failure mechanism. Water cut, bean size and gas oil ratio (GOR impact sand production in the Niger Delta.

  9. Global sand trade is paving the way for a tragedy of the sand commons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torres, A.; Brandt, J.; Lear, K.; Liu, J.

    2016-12-01

    In the first 40 years of the 21st century, planet Earth is highly likely to experience more urban land expansion than in all of history, an increase in transportation infrastructure by more than a third, and a great variety of land reclamation projects. While scientists are beginning to quantify the deep imprint of human infrastructure on biodiversity at large scales, its off-site impacts and linkages to sand mining and trade have been largely ignored. Sand is the most widely used building material in the world. With an ever-increasing demand for this resource, sand is being extracted at rates that far exceed its replenishment, and is becoming increasingly scarce. This has already led to conflicts around the world and will likely lead to a "tragedy of the sand commons" if sustainable sand mining and trade cannot be achieved. We investigate the environmental and socioeconomic interactions over large distances (telecouplings) of infrastructure development and sand mining and trade across diverse systems through transdisciplinary research and the recently proposed telecoupling framework. Our research is generating a thorough understanding of the telecouplings driven by an increasing demand for sand. In particular, we address three main research questions: 1) Where are the conflicts related to sand mining occurring?; 2) What are the major "sending" and "receiving" systems of sand?; and 3) What are the main components (e.g. causes, effects, agents, etc.) of telecoupled systems involving sand mining and trade? Our results highlight the role of global sand trade as a driver of environmental degradation that threatens the integrity of natural systems and their capacity to deliver key ecosystem services. In addition, infrastructure development and sand mining and trade have important implications for other sustainability challenges such as over-fishing and global warming. This knowledge will help to identify opportunities and tools to better promote a more sustainable use

  10. Edaphic, structural and physiological contrasts across Amazon Basin forest-savanna ecotones suggest a role for potassium as a key modulator of tropical woody vegetation structure and function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Lloyd

    2015-05-01

    C/N ratios than nearby forest plots. These soil differences were also reflected in canopy averaged leaf traits with savanna trees typically having higher leaf mass per unit area but lower mass-based nitrogen (Nm and potassium (Km. Both Nm and Km also increased with declining mean annual precipitation (PA, but most area-based leaf traits such as leaf photosynthetic capacity showed no systematic variation with PA or vegetation type. Despite this invariance, when taken in conjunction with other measures such mean canopy height, area-based soil exchangeable potassium content, [K]sa, proved to be an excellent predictor of several photosynthetic properties (including 13C isotope discrimination. Moreover, when considered in a multivariate context with PA and soil plant available water storage capacity (θP as covariates, [K]sa also proved to be an excellent predictor of stand-level canopy area, providing drastically improved fits as compared to models considering just PA and/or θP. Neither calcium, magnesium nor soil pH could substitute for potassium when tested as alternative model predictors (ΔAIC > 10. Nor for any model could simple soil texture metrics such as sand or clay content substitute for either [K]sa or θP. Taken in conjunction with recent work in Africa and the forests of the Amazon Basin this suggests – in combination with some newly conceptualised interacting effects of PA and θP also presented here – a critical role for potassium as a modulator of tropical vegetation structure and function.

  11. Edaphic, structural and physiological contrasts across Amazon Basin forest–savanna ecotones suggest a role for potassium as a key modulator of tropical woody vegetation structure and function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Lloyd

    2015-11-01

    C / N ratios than nearby forest plots. These soil differences were also reflected in canopy averaged leaf traits with savanna trees typically having higher leaf mass per unit area but lower mass-based nitrogen (Nm and potassium (Km. Both Nm and Km also increased with declining mean annual precipitation (PA, but most area-based leaf traits such as leaf photosynthetic capacity showed no systematic variation with PA or vegetation type. Despite this invariance, when taken in conjunction with other measures such as mean canopy height, area-based soil exchangeable potassium content, [K]sa , proved to be an excellent predictor of several photosynthetic properties (including 13C isotope discrimination. Moreover, when considered in a multivariate context with PA and soil plant available water storage capacity (θP as covariates, [K]sa also proved to be an excellent predictor of stand-level canopy area, providing drastically improved fits as compared to models considering just PA and/or θP. Neither calcium, nor magnesium, nor soil pH could substitute for potassium when tested as alternative model predictors (ΔAIC > 10. Nor for any model could simple soil texture metrics such as sand or clay content substitute for either [K]sa or θP. Taken in conjunction with recent work in Africa and the forests of the Amazon Basin, this suggests – in combination with some newly conceptualised interacting effects of PA and θP also presented here – a critical role for potassium as a modulator of tropical vegetation structure and function.

  12. Adsorption of dyes on Sahara desert sand.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-10-15

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

  13. Critical state of sand matrix soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marto, Aminaton; Tan, Choy Soon; Makhtar, Ahmad Mahir; Kung Leong, Tiong

    2014-01-01

    The Critical State Soil Mechanic (CSSM) is a globally recognised framework while the critical states for sand and clay are both well established. Nevertheless, the development of the critical state of sand matrix soils is lacking. This paper discusses the development of critical state lines and corresponding critical state parameters for the investigated material, sand matrix soils using sand-kaolin mixtures. The output of this paper can be used as an interpretation framework for the research on liquefaction susceptibility of sand matrix soils in the future. The strain controlled triaxial test apparatus was used to provide the monotonic loading onto the reconstituted soil specimens. All tested soils were subjected to isotropic consolidation and sheared under undrained condition until critical state was ascertain. Based on the results of 32 test specimens, the critical state lines for eight different sand matrix soils were developed together with the corresponding values of critical state parameters, M, λ, and Γ. The range of the value of M, λ, and Γ is 0.803-0.998, 0.144-0.248, and 1.727-2.279, respectively. These values are comparable to the critical state parameters of river sand and kaolin clay. However, the relationship between fines percentages and these critical state parameters is too scattered to be correlated.

  14. Sand Flies and Their Control Methods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Çetin, Hüseyin; Özbel, Yusuf

    2017-06-01

    The main aim of managing arthropod vectors that carry the disease agents is interrupting the infection cycle. Therefore, the management of the disease implies that all precautions related to all elements (i.e., human, arthropod vector, and reservoir) in the infection cycle need to be taken. There are important points that need to be considered while dealing with sand flies (Diptera: Psychodidae: Phlebotominae), which in many regions worldwide, particularly in tropical and subtropical areas, are vectors of diseases such as leishmaniasis and sand fly fever and are the arthropods of the infection cycle. Because the larval control of the sand flies is very difficult and almost impossible, the management is mainly conducted for the adults. The most effective strategy for reducing both sand fly fever and leishmaniasis is managing sand flies, particularly in areas where humans are located. In this review, the morphology, biology, and taxonomy of sand flies; the integrated fighting and management methods such as insecticide-impregnated bed nets and use of curtains, zooprophylaxis, indoor and outdoor residual applications, larvicides, repellents, and insecticide-impregnated dog collars; and data regarding many issues such as insecticide resistance in sand flies have been emphasized on in the review.

  15. Critical State of Sand Matrix Soils

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aminaton Marto

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The Critical State Soil Mechanic (CSSM is a globally recognised framework while the critical states for sand and clay are both well established. Nevertheless, the development of the critical state of sand matrix soils is lacking. This paper discusses the development of critical state lines and corresponding critical state parameters for the investigated material, sand matrix soils using sand-kaolin mixtures. The output of this paper can be used as an interpretation framework for the research on liquefaction susceptibility of sand matrix soils in the future. The strain controlled triaxial test apparatus was used to provide the monotonic loading onto the reconstituted soil specimens. All tested soils were subjected to isotropic consolidation and sheared under undrained condition until critical state was ascertain. Based on the results of 32 test specimens, the critical state lines for eight different sand matrix soils were developed together with the corresponding values of critical state parameters, M, λ, and Γ. The range of the value of M, λ, and Γ is 0.803–0.998, 0.144–0.248, and 1.727–2.279, respectively. These values are comparable to the critical state parameters of river sand and kaolin clay. However, the relationship between fines percentages and these critical state parameters is too scattered to be correlated.

  16. Laboratory measurements of nitric oxide release from forest soil with a thick organic layer under different understory types

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Bargsten

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Nitric oxide (NO plays an important role in the photochemistry of the troposphere. NO from soil contributes up to 40% to the global budget of atmospheric NO. Soil NO emissions are primarily caused by biological activity (nitrification and denitrification, that occurs in the uppermost centimetres of the soil, a soil region often characterized by high contents of organic material. Most studies of NO emission potentials to date have investigated mineral soil layers. In our study we sampled soil organic matter under different understories (moss, grass, spruce and blueberries in a humid mountainous Norway spruce forest plantation in the Fichtelgebirge (Germany. We performed laboratory incubation and fumigation experiments using a customized chamber technique to determine the response of net potential NO flux to physical and chemical soil conditions (water content and temperature, bulk density, particle density, pH, C/N ratio, organic C, soil ammonium, soil nitrate. Net potential NO fluxes (in terms of mass of N from soils of different understories ranged from 1.7–9.8 ng m−2 s−1 (grass and moss, 55.4–59.3 ng m−2 s−1 (spruce, and 43.7–114.6 ng m−2 s−1 (blueberry at optimum water content and a soil temperature of 10°C. The water content for optimum net potential NO flux ranged between 0.76 and 0.8 gravimetric soil moisture for moss, between 1.0 and 1.1 for grass, 1.1 and 1.2 for spruce, and 1.3 and 1.9 for blueberries. Effects of soil physical and chemical characteristics on net potential NO flux were statistically significant (0.01 probability level only for NH4+. Therefore, the effects of biogenic factors like understory type, amount of roots, and degree of mycorrhization on soil biogenic NO emission are discussed; they have the potential to explain the observed different of net potential NO fluxes. Quantification of NO emissions from the upmost

  17. Patch-mosaic burning: a new paradigm for savanna fire management in protected areas?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C.L. Parr

    1999-02-01

    Full Text Available The shift in ecological thinking, from equilibrium to non-equilibrium processes has been accompanied by a move to encourage heterogeneity rather than homogeneity in landscapes. Spatial and temporal heterogeneity is thought to be a major source of biotic diversity, and disturbances such as fire, producing heterogeneity are now recognised as being important. A patch-mosaic system of burning is based on the premise that fire pattern is a surrogate for diversity, and produces a range of patches in the landscape with unique patch characteristics and fire histories. A patch-mosaic system of burning is supported historically and empirically through field studies. However, there is a need for more research into the effects of various aspects of patch and fire variables on biotic diversity, especially in savannas where our understanding is particularly poor. Landscape-scale experiments, like those to be established in the Kruger National Park, South Africa are necessary to test different burning regimes. Challenges to patch- mosaic burning include determining the 'natural' range of variation for fire parameters, implementing random ignitions, and cost-effective fire scar mapping at the appropriate resolution. An adaptive management approach should be adopted to deal with the ignorance and uncertainties that characterise the management of savanna ecosystems. This should be applied with both modelling and monitoring as key elements in this process.

  18. Functional Connectivity of Precipitation Networks in the Brazilian Rainforest-Savanna Transition Zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adera, S.; Larsen, L.; Levy, M. C.; Thompson, S. E.

    2016-12-01

    In the Brazilian rainforest-savanna transition zone, vegetation change has the potential to significantly affect precipitation patterns. Deforestation, in particular, can affect precipitation patterns by increasing land surface albedo, increasing aerosol loading to the atmosphere, changing land surface roughness, and reducing transpiration. Understanding land surface-precipitation couplings in this region is important not only for sustaining Amazon and Cerrado ecosystems, but also for cattle ranching and agriculture, hydropower generation, and drinking water management. Simulations suggest complex, scale-dependent interactions between precipitation and land cover. For example, the size and distribution of deforested patches has been found to affect precipitation patterns. We take an empirical approach to ask: (1) what are the dominant spatial and temporal length scales of precipitation coupling in the Brazilian rainforest-savanna transition zone? (2) How do these length scales change over time? (3) How does the connectivity of precipitation change over time? The answers to these questions will help address fundamental questions about the impacts of deforestation on precipitation. We use rain gauge data from 1100 rain gauges intermittently covering the period 1980 - 2013, a period of intensive land cover change in the region. The dominant spatial and temporal length scales of precipitation coupling are resolved using transfer entropy, a metric from information theory. Connectivity of the emergent network of couplings is quantified using network statistics. Analyses using transfer entropy and network statistics reveal the spatial and temporal interdependencies of rainfall events occurring in different parts of the study domain.

  19. Insect-plant interactions: new pathways to a better comprehension of ecological communities in Neotropical savannas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Del-Claro, Kleber; Torezan-Silingardi, Helena M

    2009-01-01

    The causal mechanisms shaping and structuring ecological communities are among the most important themes in ecology. The study of insect-plant interactions in trophic nets is pointed out as basic to improve our knowledge on this issue. The cerrado tropical savanna, although extremely diverse, distributed in more than 20% of the Brazilian territory and filled up with rich examples of multitrophic interactions, is underexplored in terms of biodiversity interaction. Here, this ecosystem is suggested as valuable to the study of insect-plant interactions whose understanding can throw a new light at the ecological communities' theory. Three distinct systems: extrafloral nectary plants or trophobiont herbivores and the associated ant fauna; floral herbivores-predators-pollinators; and plants-forest engineers and associated fauna, will serve as examples to illustrate promising new pathways in cerrado. The aim of this brief text is to instigate young researchers, mainly entomologists, to initiate more elaborated field work, including experimental manipulations in multitrophic systems, to explore in an interactive way the structure that maintain preserved viable communities in the Neotropical savanna.

  20. Body temperature daily rhythm adaptations in African savanna elephants (Loxodonta africana).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kinahan, A A; Inge-moller, R; Bateman, P W; Kotze, A; Scantlebury, M

    2007-11-23

    The savanna elephant is the largest extant mammal and often inhabits hot and arid environments. Due to their large size, it might be expected that elephants have particular physiological adaptations, such as adjustments to the rhythms of their core body temperature (T(b)) to deal with environmental challenges. This study describes for the first time the T(b) daily rhythms in savanna elephants. Our results showed that elephants had lower mean T(b) values (36.2 +/- 0.49 degrees C) than smaller ungulates inhabiting similar environments but did not have larger or smaller amplitudes of T(b) variation (0.40 +/- 0.12 degrees C), as would be predicted by their exposure to large fluctuations in ambient temperature or their large size. No difference was found between the daily T(b) rhythms measured under different conditions of water stress. Peak T(b)'s occurred late in the evening (22:10) which is generally later than in other large mammals ranging in similar environmental conditions.

  1. Carbon Dioxide and Water Cycling in a Semiarid Savanna in Southern Arizona, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scott, R. L.; Hultine, K.; Barron-Gafford, G.; Huxman, T.

    2007-12-01

    The consequences of recent woody plant encroachment on the carbon and water cycling of semiarid ecosystems are not well understood. In this presentation, we present measurements made from 2004 - 2006 using sap flow and eddy covariance techniques to examine the carbon dioxide and water fluxes that occurred over a semiarid savanna on the Santa Rita Experimental Range in southern Arizona, USA. Over the last one hundred years this site has been transformed from a desert grassland to a savanna with greater than 35% tree cover by the encroachment of the native woody plant, mesquite ( Prosopis velutina). We have found that mesquite, even when they were dormant above ground, readily redistributed water upwards and downwards in the soil profile via their roots. This redistribution had important ecohydrological consequences like extending the season over which photosynthesis occurred. During the study period the site experienced below normal precipitation especially during the winter and spring period, and the site each year appeared to be a net carbon source. The two decades that preceded our study had above average precipitation, and this possibly resulted in a great deal of carbon accumulation that is now being released due to the current drought that has truncated the growing season.

  2. Suppression of savanna ants alters invertebrate composition and influences key ecosystem processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parr, C L; Eggleton, P; Davies, A B; Evans, T A; Holdsworth, S

    2016-06-01

    In almost every ecosystem, ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) are the dominant terrestrial invertebrate group. Their functional value was highlighted by Wilson (1987) who famously declared that invertebrates are the "little things that run the world." However, while it is generally accepted that ants fulfil important functions, few studies have tested these assumptions and demonstrated what happens in their absence. We report on a novel large-scale field experiment in undisturbed savanna habitat where we examined how ants influence the abundance of other invertebrate taxa in the system, and affect the key processes of decomposition and herbivory. Our experiment demonstrated that ants suppressed the abundance and activity of beetles, millipedes, and termites, and also influenced decomposition rates and levels of herbivory. Our study is the first to show that top-down control of termites by ants can have important ecosystem consequences. Further studies are needed to elucidate the effects ant communities have on other aspects of the ecosystem (e.g., soils, nutrient cycling, the microbial community) and how their relative importance for ecosystem function varies among ecosystem types (e.g., savanna vs. forest).

  3. Changing Fire Governance in Gabon′s Plateaux Bateke Savanna Landscape

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gretchen Marie Walters

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available In many African savannas, anthropogenic fire regimes are changing for reasons that are poorly understood. However, these changes will likely impact landscapes. Using the case of the Teke-Alima people of Gabon′s savannas, the transition from communal, annual hunting fires, organised by land chiefs, to semi-annual, hunting fires lit by individuals is explored through a fire governance analysis. The centralisation of authority over natural resources with the state was key in changing the fire regime in the 1960s. This shift resulted from the reduction of customary authority over fire use and was compounded by the introduction of guns, population movements, and the rise of the Bateke elite. Today, the state is considering co-management of some areas, and fire is being used to manage landscapes created by historic fire governance. Understanding the past regimes that created the current landscape, and engaging with the people who are still part of the remnant customary system will be critical for shaping future management decisions.

  4. Microscopic Study of Skin Diseases in Horses from the Bogota Savanna, Colombia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Iovana Castellanos Londoño

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Horses hold third place in number of cases of skin disease after cats and dogs; however, there is little information about the demographic aspects of dermatological diseases in this species in Colombia. The purpose of this work was to carry out a preliminary study in order to determine the dermatological diseases that affect horses in the Bogota Savanna, through biopsy, skin scraping and trichogram, in order to approach the diagnosis and thus to establish therapeutic and prophylactic measures that benefit the animal’s health and productivity in commercial farms. Thirty-nine skin biopsies, thirty-nine cutaneous scraping and thirtyseven samples of hairy peel from horses with some kind of skin disease were received, all of which were processed by the Histopathology Laboratory from La Salle University. The inflammatory injuries were sorted taking into account the histological patterns of inflammatory skin disease and tumors, according to the classification by the World Health Organization (WHO. Allergic dermatitis was the most common pathology (46% and neoplasia was observed in 13% of the cases; fungal spores in ectothrix position were found in 10% of the cutaneous scrapes. Mites of the type Psoroptes spp were identified in one of the trichograms. This is the first report of microscopic diagnosis of skin diseases of horses in the country with the goal of contributing with the demographic knowledge of skin diseases in the Bogota Savanna.

  5. Genomic DNA sequences from mastodon and woolly mammoth reveal deep speciation of forest and savanna elephants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nadin Rohland

    Full Text Available To elucidate the history of living and extinct elephantids, we generated 39,763 bp of aligned nuclear DNA sequence across 375 loci for African savanna elephant, African forest elephant, Asian elephant, the extinct American mastodon, and the woolly mammoth. Our data establish that the Asian elephant is the closest living relative of the extinct mammoth in the nuclear genome, extending previous findings from mitochondrial DNA analyses. We also find that savanna and forest elephants, which some have argued are the same species, are as or more divergent in the nuclear genome as mammoths and Asian elephants, which are considered to be distinct genera, thus resolving a long-standing debate about the appropriate taxonomic classification of the African elephants. Finally, we document a much larger effective population size in forest elephants compared with the other elephantid taxa, likely reflecting species differences in ancient geographic structure and range and differences in life history traits such as variance in male reproductive success.

  6. Integrating Land Change Science and Savanna Fire Models in West Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul Laris

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Fire is a key component of many land use systems and a determinant of land change. There is a growing concern that climate change will cause more catastrophic fires, but in many areas the impacts will be mediated by human land use practices. In African savannas, for example, fires are frequent and research finds low inter-annual variability in burned areas in places with highly variable rainfall. This regularity of fire suggests that African regimes are humanized, meaning that they are governed by human practices more than climate variation. Although these fire regimes are stable, they vary greatly over space. This paper will determine the reasons for two distinctly different fire regimes in Mali by integrating land change and savanna fire science. The study takes a two pronged approach to examine the causes of fire regimes and the reasons they change. It tests the notion that land cover (not land use governs fire regimes by combining long term burn scar and vegetation analysis with local interviews. Results indicate that efforts to link fire and land change science, need to focus more on subtle differences in land cover, landscape pattern and human practices, than on drought, land use or fire policy.

  7. Spatial Distribution of Aboveground Carbon Stock of the Arboreal Vegetation in Brazilian Biomes of Savanna, Atlantic Forest and Semi-Arid Woodland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scolforo, Henrique Ferraco; Scolforo, Jose Roberto Soares; Mello, Carlos Rogerio; Mello, Jose Marcio; Ferraz Filho, Antonio Carlos

    2015-01-01

    The objective of this study was to map the spatial distribution of aboveground carbon stock (using Regression-kriging) of arboreal plants in the Atlantic Forest, Semi-arid woodland, and Savanna Biomes in Minas Gerais State, southeastern Brazil. The database used in this study was obtained from 163 forest fragments, totaling 4,146 plots of 1,000 m2 distributed in these Biomes. A geographical model for carbon stock estimation was parameterized as a function of Biome, latitude and altitude. This model was applied over the samples and the residuals generated were mapped based on geostatistical procedures, selecting the exponential semivariogram theoretical model for conducting ordinary Kriging. The aboveground carbon stock was found to have a greater concentration in the north of the State, where the largest contingent of native vegetation is located, mainly the Savanna Biome, with Wooded Savanna and Shrub Savanna phytophysiognomes. The largest weighted averages of carbon stock per hectare were found in the south-center region (48.6 Mg/ha) and in the southern part of the eastern region (48.4 Mg/ha) of Minas Gerais State, due to the greatest predominance of Atlantic Forest Biome forest fragments. The smallest weighted averages per hectare were found in the central (21.2 Mg/ha), northern (20.4 Mg/ha), and northwestern (20.7 Mg/ha) regions of Minas Gerais State, where Savanna Biome fragments are predominant, in the phytophysiognomes Wooded Savanna and Shrub Savanna.

  8. Invasive plants on disturbed Korean sand dunes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Kee Dae

    2005-01-01

    The sand dunes in coastal regions of South Korea are important ecosystems because of their small size, the rare species found in this habitat, and the beautiful landscapes they create. This study investigated the current vegetative status of sand dunes on three representative coasts of the Korean peninsula, and on the coasts of Cheju Island, and assessed the conditions caused by invasive plants. The relationships between the degree of invasion and 14 environmental variables were studied. Plots of sand dunes along line transects perpendicular to the coastal lines were established to estimate vegetative species coverage. TWINSPAN (Two-Way Indicator Species Analysis), CCA (Canonical Correspondence Analysis), and DCCA (Detrended Canonical Correspondence Analysis) were performed to classify communities on sand dunes and assess species composition variation. Carex kobomugi, Elymus mollis, and Vitex rotundifolia were found to be the dominant species plotted on the east, the west, and the peripheral coasts of Cheju Island, respectively. Vegetation on the south coast was totally extinct. The 19 communities, including representative C. kobomugi, C. kobomugi- Ixeris repens, C. kobomugi- Oenothera biennis, E. mollis, Lolium multiflorum- Calystegia soldanella, and V. rotundifolia- C. kobomugi, were all classified according to TWINSPAN. Oenothera biennis and L. multiflorum were exotics observed within these native communities. CCA showed that invasive native and exotic species distribution was segregated significantly, according to disturbance level, exotic species number, gravel, sand and silt contents, as well as vegetation size. It further revealed that human disturbance can strongly favor the settlement of invasive and exotic species. Restoration options to reduce exotic plants in the South Korean sand dune areas were found to be the introduction of native plant species from one sand dune into other sand dune areas, prohibition of building and the introduction of exotic

  9. Formation mechanism of cracks in saturated sand

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Xiaobing Lu; Zhemin Zheng; Yongren Wu

    2006-01-01

    The formation mechanism of "water film" (or crack) in saturated sand is analyzed theoretically and numerically.The theoretical analysis shows that there will be no stable "water film" in the saturated sand if the strength of the skeleton is zero and no positions are choked.It is shown by numerical simulation that stable water films initiate and grow if the choking state keeps unchanged once the fluid velocities decrease to zero in the liquefied sand column.The developments of "water film" based on the model presented in this paper are compared with experimental results.

  10. Lund Sand No 0:part 2

    OpenAIRE

    Ibsen, Lars Bo; Jakobsen, Finn Rosendal

    1996-01-01

    During the last 15 years the Geotechnical Engineering Group (GEG) at Aalborg University has performed triaxial tests with a sand called Lund No 0. Lund No 0 is a graded sand from a gravel pit near Horsens in Denmark. For the classification of the sand the following tests have been performed: Sieve test, Grain density, ds, Maximum, emax, and minimum, emin, void ratio. The strength parameters of Lund No 0 are detennined by some drained and undrained triaxial tests in the Danish Triaxial Cell. T...

  11. Lund Sand No 0:part 1

    OpenAIRE

    Ibsen, Lars Bo; Jakobsen, Finn Rosendal

    1996-01-01

    During the last 15 years the Geotechnical Engineering Group (GEG) at Aalborg University has performed triaxial tests with a sand called Lund No 0. Lund No 0 is a graded sand from a gravel pit near Horsens in Denmark. For the classification of the sand the following tests have been performed: Sieve test, Grain density, ds, Maximum, emax, and minimum, emin, void ratio. The strength parameters of Lund No 0 are detennined by some drained and undrained triaxial tests in the Danish Triaxial Cell. T...

  12. Biodegradable materials as foundry moulding sands binders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. Major - Gabryś

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this article is to show the possibility of using biodegradable materials as part of the composition of foundry moulding and core sand binders. Research shows that moulding sands with biodegradable materials selected as binders are not only less toxic but are also better suited to mechanical reclamation than moulding sands with phenol-furfuryl resin. The use of biodegradable materials as additives to typical synthetic resins can result in their decreased toxicity and improved ability to reclamation as well as in accelerated biodegradation of binding material leftovers of mechanical reclamation.

  13. Forage quality of savannas - Simultaneously mapping foliar protein and polyphenols for trees and grass using hyperspectral imagery

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Skidmore, A.K.; Ferwerda, J.G.; Mutanga, O.; Wieren, van S.E.; Peel, M.J.S.; Grant, R.C.; Prins, H.H.T.; Balcik, F.; Venus, V.

    2010-01-01

    Savanna covers about two-thirds of Africa, with forage quantity and quality being important factors determining the distribution and density of wildlife and domestic stock. Testing hypotheses about the distribution of herbivores is hampered by the absence of reliable methods for measuring the variab

  14. Remnant Oak Savanna Acts as Refugium for Meadow Fescue Introduced During 19th Century Human Migrations in the USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    In 1990, an unknown forage grass was discovered growing in the shade of a remnant oak savanna in southwestern Wisconsin. Over 12 years, the practice of feeding mature hay on winter pastures spread this grass onto over 500 ha via seedling recruitment. Analysis of amplified fragment length polymorph...

  15. Interactions between large herbivores and litter removal by termites across a rainfall gradient in a South African savanna

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Buitenwerf, R

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available . Understanding these complex effects depends on quantifying spatial heterogeneity in termite foraging activities, yet such information is scarce for semi-arid savannas. Here, the amount of litter that was removed from 800 litterbags in eight plots (100 litterbags...

  16. Habitat differences in dung beetle assemblages in an African savanna-forest ecotone: implications for secondary seed dispersal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kunz, Britta K; Krell, Frank-Thorsten

    2011-06-01

    The probability and pattern of secondary seed dispersal by dung beetles (Scarabaeinae) depend on their community structure and composition at the site of primary deposition, which, in turn, seem to be strongly determined by vegetation. Consequently, we expected pronounced differences in secondary seed dispersal between forest and savanna in the northern Ivory Coast, West Africa. We found 99 dung beetle species at experimentally exposed dung piles of the olive baboon (Papio anubis (Lesson, 1827)), an important primary seed disperser in West Africa. Seventy-six species belonged to the roller and tunneler guilds, which are relevant for secondary seed dispersal. Most species showed a clear habitat preference. Contrary to the Neotropics, species number and abundance were much higher in the savanna than in the forest. Rollers and tunnelers each accounted for approximately 50% of the individuals in the savanna, but in the forest rollers made up only 4%. Seeds deposited into the savanna by an omnivorous primary disperser generally have a higher overall probability of being more rapidly dispersed secondarily by dung beetles than seeds in the forest. Also, rollers disperse seeds over larger distances. In contrast to other studies, small rollers were active in dispersal of large seeds, which were seemingly mistaken for dung balls. Our results suggest that rollers can remove seeds from any plant dispersed in primate dung in this ecosystem.

  17. Quantifying the relative importance of greenhouse gas emissions from current and future savanna land use change across northern Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bristow, Mila; Hutley, Lindsay B.; Beringer, Jason; Livesley, Stephen J.; Edwards, Andrew C.; Arndt, Stefan K.

    2016-11-01

    The clearing and burning of tropical savanna leads to globally significant emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs); however there is large uncertainty relating to the magnitude of this flux. Australia's tropical savannas occupy the northern quarter of the continent, a region of increasing interest for further exploitation of land and water resources. Land use decisions across this vast biome have the potential to influence the national greenhouse gas budget. To better quantify emissions from savanna deforestation and investigate the impact of deforestation on national GHG emissions, we undertook a paired site measurement campaign where emissions were quantified from two tropical savanna woodland sites; one that was deforested and prepared for agricultural land use and a second analogue site that remained uncleared for the duration of a 22-month campaign. At both sites, net ecosystem exchange of CO2 was measured using the eddy covariance method. Observations at the deforested site were continuous before, during and after the clearing event, providing high-resolution data that tracked CO2 emissions through nine phases of land use change. At the deforested site, post-clearing debris was allowed to cure for 6 months and was subsequently burnt, followed by extensive soil preparation for cropping. During the debris burning, fluxes of CO2 as measured by the eddy covariance tower were excluded. For this phase, emissions were estimated by quantifying on-site biomass prior to deforestation and applying savanna-specific emission factors to estimate a fire-derived GHG emission that included both CO2 and non-CO2 gases. The total fuel mass that was consumed during the debris burning was 40.9 Mg C ha-1 and included above- and below-ground woody biomass, course woody debris, twigs, leaf litter and C4 grass fuels. Emissions from the burning were added to the net CO2 fluxes as measured by the eddy covariance tower for other post-deforestation phases to provide a total GHG emission from

  18. Leaf green-up in a semi-arid African savanna - separating tree and grass responses to environmental cues

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Archibald, S

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available The savannas of Africa are dominated by deciduous trees and perennial but seasonal grasses. Virtually nothing is known about the factors that trigger the onset of greening, or the time-course of leaf-drop in either of these main plant functional...

  19. An idealized model for tree-grass coexistence in savannas : The role of life stage structure and fire disturbances

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Baudena, Mara; D'Andrea, Fabio; Provenzale, A.

    2010-01-01

    1. We discuss a simple implicit-space model for the competition of trees and grasses in an idealized savanna environment. The model represents patch occupancy dynamics within the habitat and introduces life stage structure in the tree population, namely adults and seedlings. A tree can be out-compet

  20. Functional traits of trees on and off termite mounds : Understanding the origin of biotically-driven heterogeneity in savannas

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Plas, F.; Howison, R.; Reinders, J.; Fokkema, W.; Olff, H.

    2013-01-01

    Questions In African savannas, Macrotermes termites contribute to small-scale heterogeneity by constructing large mounds. Operating as islands of high nutrient and water availability and low fire frequency, these mounds support distinct, diverse communities of trees that have been shown to be highly