WorldWideScience

Sample records for savannas

  1. A Crown Cover Chart for Oak Savannas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jay Law; Paul Johnson; Gary Houf

    1994-01-01

    Although oak savannas have been defined in many ways, they are characterized by scattered trees, largely comprised of oaks, and a sparse ground layer rich in grasses and forbs (Haney and Apfelbaum 1990). Nuzzo (1986, p. 11) more specifically defined oak savannas as plant communities "...dominated by oaks having between 10 and 80 percent canopy, with or without a...

  2. Greenhouse gas emissions from Savanna ( Miombo ) woodlands ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Natural vegetation represents an important sink for greenhouse gases (GHGs); however, there is relatively little information available on emissions from southern African savannas. The effects of clearing savanna woodlands for crop production on soil fluxes of N2O, CO2 and CH4 were studied on clay (Chromic luvisol) and ...

  3. 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 i...

  4. Potential hominin plant foods in northern Tanzania: semi-arid savannas versus savanna chimpanzee sites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Copeland, Sandi R

    2009-10-01

    Savanna chimpanzees are useful as referential models for early hominins, and here potential differences between chimpanzee and early hominin ecology is the focus. Whereas chimpanzees inhabit only a handful of modern African savannas, there is evidence that early hominins occupied relatively more open and arid savannas than those in which chimpanzees live. In order to help expand potential models of early hominin palaeoecology beyond savanna chimpanzee-like scenarios, and to provide a basis for future modeling and testing of actual hominin diets, this study compares the types of plant foods available in modern semi-arid savannas of northern Tanzania to plant foods at savanna chimpanzee sites. The semi-arid savannas are not occupied by modern chimpanzees, but are potentially similar to environments occupied by some early hominins. Compared to savanna chimpanzee habitats, the northern Tanzania semi-arid savanna has a lower density and fewer species of trees that produce fleshy fruits. Additionally, the most abundant potential hominin plant foods are seasonally available Acacia seeds/pods and flowers, grass seeds, and the underground parts of marsh plants, as evidenced by vegetation surveys and by studies of the diets of baboons that forage in similar areas. The information from this study should be useful for framing hypotheses about hominin diets for sites with palaeoenvironmental contexts similar to those of the northern Tanzania semi-arid savannas and for contextualising tests of actual hominin diets (e.g., those based on dental microwear or isotopes).

  5. Deciphering the distribution of the savanna biome

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Lehmann, CER

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available ?mberg, 2004). But C4 grasslands also displaced forests, 12 thickets and shrublands; biomes that coexist with savanna in modern landscapes, and define the 13 modern limits of savannas (Keeley & Rundel, 2005). Inter-conversion between savanna and 14..., and forests will be referred to 20 collectively as ?closed-canopy ecosystems,? even if they do not possess a truly closed canopy. 21 4 The defining characteristic of these systems is that the cover of woody plants is sufficiently 22 dense to shade out C4...

  6. 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...

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Savanna browse production. 1: Determinants and measurement ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    With the rapid expansion of wildlife ranching and conservation in South African savannas and the resultant increase in multi-species grazing and browsing systems, information on browse production potential is essential for determination of carrying capacity. This study, conducted on three game reserves in the northern ...

  10. Restoration of temperate savannas and woodlands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brice B. Hanberry; John M. Kabrick; Peter W. Dunwiddie; Tibor Hartel; Theresa B. Jain; Benjamin O. Knapp

    2017-01-01

    Savannas and woodlands are open forest phases that occur along a gradient between grasslands and closed canopy forests. These ecosystems are characterized by open to nearly closed canopies of overstorey trees, relatively sparse midstorey and understorey woody vegetation, and dense, species-rich ground flora. In contrast to closed forests, the dominant and codominant...

  11. 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...

  12. Silviculture to restore oak savannas and woodlands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daniel C. Dey; John M. Kabrick; Callie J. Schweitzer

    2017-01-01

    Variability in historic fire regimes in eastern North America resulted in an array of oak natural communities that were dominant across the region. In the past century, savannas and woodlands have become scarce because of conversion to agriculture or development of forest structure in the absence of fire. Their restoration is a primary goal for public agencies and...

  13. Restoration of midwestern oak woodlands and savannas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dan C. Dey; John M. Kabrick

    2015-01-01

    There are various definitions for savanna and woodland in the ecological literature. Characteristic elements of each community are broadly defined and often overlap according to the authorities (Curtis 1959; Nuzzo 1986; Nelson 2010). Some confusion is inevitable when categorizing what is in reality a continuum of states from prairie to forest in which there can be much...

  14. Prediction and scale in savanna ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Staver, A Carla

    2017-10-13

    Contents I. II. III. IV. V. VI. References SUMMARY: Savannas are highly variable systems, and predicting variation, especially in the tree layer, represents a major unresolved challenge for forecasting biosphere responses to global change. Prediction to date has focused on disentangling interactions between resource limitation and chronic disturbances to identify what determines local savanna vegetation heterogeneity. By focusing at too fine a scale, this approach overlooks: sample size limitation arising from sparse tree distributions; stochasticity in demographic and environmental processes that is preserved as heterogeneity among tree populations with slow dynamics; and spatial self-organization. Renewed focus on large (1-50 ha) permanent plots and on spatial patterns of tree-layer variability at even larger landscape spatial scales (≥1000s of ha) promises to resolve these limitations, consistent with the goal of predicting large-scale biosphere responses to global change. © 2017 The Author. New Phytologist © 2017 New Phytologist Trust.

  15. Ecophysiology of forest and savanna vegetation

    OpenAIRE

    Lloyd, J.; Goulden, M. L.; Ometto, J. P.; Patino, S.; Fyllas, N. M.; Quesada, C. A.

    2013-01-01

    Ecophysiological characteristics of forest and savanna vegetation are compared in an attempt to understand how physiological differences within and between these vegetation types relate to their geographical distributions. A simple ordination first shows that although precipitation exerts a key effect on Amazonian vegetation distributions, soil characteristics are also important. In particular, it is found that under similar precipitation regimes, deciduous forests tend to occur on more ferti...

  16. Modelling annual evapotranspiration in a semi-arid, African savanna ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Modelling annual evapotranspiration in a semi-arid, African savanna: functional convergence theory, MODIS LAI and the Penman–Monteith equation. ... and, when used independently of the eddy covariance data, ETMODIS predicted an annual ET of 378 mm in 2007 for the semi-arid savanna around the Skukuza flux site.

  17. Regional variations in biomass distribution in Brazilian savanna woodland

    Science.gov (United States)

    S.d.C. de Miranda; M. Bustamente; M. Palace; S. Hagen; M. Keller; L.G. Ferreira

    2014-01-01

    The Cerrado, the savanna biome in central Brazil, mostly comprised of woodland savanna, is experiencing intense and fast land use changes. To understand the changes in Cerrado carbon stocks, we present an overview of biomass distribution in different Cerrado vegetation types (i.e., grasslands, shrublands and forestlands). We surveyed 26 studies including 170 Cerrado...

  18. 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...

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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...

  2. Soil clay content and fire frequency affect clustering in savanna trees in South African savannas

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Groen, T.A.; Langevelde, van F.; Vijver, van de C.A.D.M.; Govender, N.; Prins, H.H.T.

    2008-01-01

    In this paper, we investigate which factors determine tree clustering in Southern African savannas. This was tested by measuring clustering of trees using the T-squared sampling method in plots of the Kruger National Park experimental burning programme in South Africa. Fire return interval is the

  3. Ecophysiology of forest and savanna vegetation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lloyd, J.; Goulden, M. L.; Ometto, J. P.; Patiño, S.; Fyllas, N. M.; Quesada, C. A.

    Ecophysiological characteristics of forest and savanna vegetation are compared in an attempt to understand how physiological differences within and between these vegetation types relate to their geographical distributions. A simple ordination first shows that although precipitation exerts a key effect on Amazonian vegetation distributions, soil characteristics are also important. In particular, it is found that under similar precipitation regimes, deciduous forests tend to occur on more fertile soils than do cerrado vegetation types. A high subsoil clay content is also important in allowing the existence of semievergreen forests at only moderate rainfall. Such observations are consistent with biome specific physiological characteristics. For example, deciduous trees have higher nutrient requirements than do evergreen ones which also tend to have characteristics associated with severe water deficits such as a low specific leaf area. Nutrient contents and photosynthetic rates are lower than for savanna than for forest species with several ecosystem characteristics suggesting a primary limitation of nitrogen on savanna productivity. By contrast, phosphorus seems to constrain the productivity of most Amazonian forest types. Differentiation is made between the fast-growing, high-nutrient-requiring forest types of western Amazonia and their counterparts in eastern Amazonia, which tend to occupy infertile but deeper soils of high water-holding ability. On the basis of observed physiological characteristics of the various vegetation forms, it is argued that, should Amazonian precipitation decline sharply in the future, the slower growing forests of eastern Amazonia will transform directly into an evergreen cerrado type vegetation but with the more fertile western Amazonian forests being replaced by some form of drought-deciduous vegetation.

  4. Challenges and opportunities in land surface modelling of savanna ecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Whitley

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available The savanna complex is a highly diverse global biome that occurs within the seasonally dry tropical to sub-tropical equatorial latitudes and are structurally and functionally distinct from grasslands and forests. Savannas are open-canopy environments that encompass a broad demographic continuum, often characterised by a changing dominance between C3-tree and C4-grass vegetation, where frequent environmental disturbances such as fire modulates the balance between ephemeral and perennial life forms. Climate change is projected to result in significant changes to the savanna floristic structure, with increases to woody biomass expected through CO2 fertilisation in mesic savannas and increased tree mortality expected through increased rainfall interannual variability in xeric savannas. The complex interaction between vegetation and climate that occurs in savannas has traditionally challenged terrestrial biosphere models (TBMs, which aim to simulate the interaction between the atmosphere and the land surface to predict responses of vegetation to changing in environmental forcing. In this review, we examine whether TBMs are able to adequately represent savanna fluxes and what implications potential deficiencies may have for climate change projection scenarios that rely on these models. We start by highlighting the defining characteristic traits and behaviours of savannas, how these differ across continents and how this information is (or is not represented in the structural framework of many TBMs. We highlight three dynamic processes that we believe directly affect the water use and productivity of the savanna system: phenology, root-water access and fire dynamics. Following this, we discuss how these processes are represented in many current-generation TBMs and whether they are suitable for simulating savanna fluxes.Finally, we give an overview of how eddy-covariance observations in combination with other data sources can be used in model

  5. Challenges and opportunities in land surface modelling of savanna ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitley, Rhys; Beringer, Jason; Hutley, Lindsay B.; Abramowitz, Gabriel; De Kauwe, Martin G.; Evans, Bradley; Haverd, Vanessa; Li, Longhui; Moore, Caitlin; Ryu, Youngryel; Scheiter, Simon; Schymanski, Stanislaus J.; Smith, Benjamin; Wang, Ying-Ping; Williams, Mathew; Yu, Qiang

    2017-10-01

    The savanna complex is a highly diverse global biome that occurs within the seasonally dry tropical to sub-tropical equatorial latitudes and are structurally and functionally distinct from grasslands and forests. Savannas are open-canopy environments that encompass a broad demographic continuum, often characterised by a changing dominance between C3-tree and C4-grass vegetation, where frequent environmental disturbances such as fire modulates the balance between ephemeral and perennial life forms. Climate change is projected to result in significant changes to the savanna floristic structure, with increases to woody biomass expected through CO2 fertilisation in mesic savannas and increased tree mortality expected through increased rainfall interannual variability in xeric savannas. The complex interaction between vegetation and climate that occurs in savannas has traditionally challenged terrestrial biosphere models (TBMs), which aim to simulate the interaction between the atmosphere and the land surface to predict responses of vegetation to changing in environmental forcing. In this review, we examine whether TBMs are able to adequately represent savanna fluxes and what implications potential deficiencies may have for climate change projection scenarios that rely on these models. We start by highlighting the defining characteristic traits and behaviours of savannas, how these differ across continents and how this information is (or is not) represented in the structural framework of many TBMs. We highlight three dynamic processes that we believe directly affect the water use and productivity of the savanna system: phenology, root-water access and fire dynamics. Following this, we discuss how these processes are represented in many current-generation TBMs and whether they are suitable for simulating savanna fluxes.Finally, we give an overview of how eddy-covariance observations in combination with other data sources can be used in model benchmarking and

  6. Edaphic characterization of a forest savanna ecotone in southeastern Brazil.

    OpenAIRE

    Pinheiro, Marcelo H. Ongaro; Arantes, Sayonara A. do Couto Moreno; Jimenez-Rueda, Jairo R.; Monteiro, Reinaldo

    2009-01-01

    This study was motivated by the scarcity of studies involving descriptions of edaphic horizons in the transition from savanna to forest. It aims at comparing the chemical features and the texture of savanna and forest soils in one ecotone, and at considering possible edaphic infl uences on vegetation. In areas pertaining to the Botanical Garden of Bauru, State of São Paulo, two-meter deep pits were opened in different parts of a seasonal semi-deciduous forest and of a forested savanna to dire...

  7. Soil clay content and fire frequency affect clustering in savanna trees in South African savannas

    OpenAIRE

    Groen, T.A.; Langevelde, van, F.; Vijver, van de, L.P.L.; N. Govender; Prins, H.H.T.

    2008-01-01

    In this paper, we investigate which factors determine tree clustering in Southern African savannas. This was tested by measuring clustering of trees using the T-squared sampling method in plots of the Kruger National Park experimental burning programme in South Africa. Fire return interval is the main treatment in these plots, but also several auxiliary determining parameters like clay content in the soil, diameter of tree canopies, understorey composition, tree species diversity and average ...

  8. Humans and elephants as treefall drivers in African savannas

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Mograbi, PJ

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available elephant Loxodonta africana alter woody vegetation in savannas through removal of large trees and activities that may increase shrub cover. Interactive effects of both humans and elephants with fire may also alter vegetation structure and composition. Here...

  9. Savanna woody vegetation classification – now in 3-D

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Fisher, JT

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available The co-existence of woody plants and grasses characterize savannas, with the horizontal and vertical spatial arrangement of trees creating a heterogeneous biotic environment. To understand the influence of biogeophysical drivers on the spatial...

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Importance of dry savanna woodlands in rural livelihoods and wildlife conservation in southeastern Zimbabwe

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gandiwa, E.

    2011-01-01

    Increasing human population, economic challenges, climate change impacts are intensifying reliance by local communities on savanna woodlands in tropical regions. Knowledge of the importance and value of savanna woodland ecosystems to rural livelihoods and wildlife conservation is therefore needed to

  13. Determinants of woody encroachment and cover in African savannas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Devine, Aisling P; McDonald, Robbie A; Quaife, Tristan; Maclean, Ilya M D

    2017-04-01

    Savanna ecosystems are an integral part of the African landscape and sustain the livelihoods of millions of people. Woody encroachment in savannas is a widespread phenomenon but its causes are widely debated. We review the extensive literature on woody encroachment to help improve understanding of the possible causes and to highlight where and how future scientific efforts to fully understand these causes should be focused. Rainfall is the most important determinant of maximum woody cover across Africa, but fire and herbivory interact to reduce woody cover below the maximum at many locations. We postulate that woody encroachment is most likely driven by CO 2 enrichment and propose a two-system conceptual framework, whereby mechanisms of woody encroachment differ depending on whether the savanna is a wet or dry system. In dry savannas, the increased water-use efficiency in plants relaxes precipitation-driven constraints and increases woody growth. In wet savannas, the increase of carbon allocation to tree roots results in faster recovery rates after disturbance and a greater likelihood of reaching sexual maturity. Our proposed framework can be tested using a mixture of experimental and earth observational techniques. At a local level, changes in precipitation, burning regimes or herbivory could be driving woody encroachment, but are unlikely to be the explanation of this continent-wide phenomenon.

  14. 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).

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

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Ratnam, J

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Savannas are defined based on vegetation structure, the central concept being a discontinuous tree cover in a continuous grass understorey. However, at the high-rainfall end of the tropical savanna biome, where heavily wooded mesic savannas begin...

  16. Woody overstorey effects on soil carbon and nitrogen pools in South African savanna

    Science.gov (United States)

    A. T. Hudak; C. A. Wessman; T. R. Seastedt

    2003-01-01

    Woody plant encroachment in savannas may alter carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) pools over the longterm, which could have regional or global biogeochemical implications given the widespread encroachment observed in the vast savanna biome. Soil and litter %C and %N were surveyed across four soil types in two encroached, semiarid savanna landscapes in northern South Africa....

  17. Body weight measurements and correlation relationship in Savanna ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of age at castration, type of birth and sex on body weight, body linear measurements and correlation between body weight and body length, chest length, height-at-withers, facial length and fore and hind leg lengths of semi-intensively managed Savanna Brown goats.

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

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Ferrar, P

    1982-09-01

    Full Text Available on their biology are given. Most of the species occur in the flatter areas of Burkea savanna; three are restricted to open land near the turfvlei" Tfie broad-leaved woodland of Maroelakop lacks two species but has two others restricted. Acacia patches (including...

  19. Pasture Distribution In The Derived Savanna Area Of Ogun State ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    A survey was carried out to estimate the distribution of pastures in 30 villages in the derived savanna area of Ogun State. Ten villages were selected in each of Odeda, Abeokuta South and Abeokuta North Local Government Area. Odeda Local Government Area had the highest population of pasture plants (36.3%) followed ...

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The proliferation of woody vegetation on open grass savannas constitutes degradation in rangeland quality. Historical high spatial resolution satellite imagery in archive provides possibilities for assessing increase in woody vegetation cover on the rangelands. This paper examines the quantification of woody vegetation in ...

  1. Spatial and temporal variation in a mesic savanna fire regime ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Umfolozi Park, a mesic savanna area in South Africa. The study focuses at the landscape scale of tens of kilometres and at the medium term temporal scale of decades. Variation in fire regime was analysed in relation to variation in annual rainfall ...

  2. 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.

  3. Bird diversity in the savanna habitats of Akagera National Park ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ... point counts and presence–absence surveys to estimate bird species richness and diversity in acacia savanna habitats of the park between 2009 and 2011. We recorded a total number of 301 species, of which 75% were resident and 22% migrant, including a large number of Palearctic visitors and Afrotropical migrants.

  4. Responses of savanna lawn and bunch grasses to water limitation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Plas, Alfons; Zeinstra, Patricia; Veldhuis, Michiel; Fokkema, Rienk; Tielens, Elske; Howison, Ruth; Olff, Han

    The grass layer of African savannas consists of two main vegetation types: grazing lawns, dominated by short, mostly clonally reproducing grasses, and bunch grasslands, dominated by tall bunch grasses. This patchy distribution of vegetation types is mostly created by large herbivores, which

  5. Restoration of temperate savannas and woodlands [Chapter 11

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brice B. Hanberry; John M. Kabrick; Peter W. Dunwiddie; Tibor Hartel; Theresa B. Jain; Benjamin O. Knapp

    2017-01-01

    Savannas and woodlands are open forest phases that occur along a gradient between grasslands and closed canopy forests. These ecosystems are characterized by open to nearly closed canopies of overstorey trees, relatively sparse midstorey and understorey woody vegetation, and dense, species-rich ground flora. In contrast to closed forests, the dominant and codominant...

  6. Survival rates in West African savanna birds | Stevens | Ostrich ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Despite widespread interest in life histories and the comparison of parameters between tropical and temperate regions, there are still relatively few multispecies studies assessing annual survival in Afrotropical species. We used data from systematic mist-netting of savanna birds in Nigeria, between 2001 and 2008, ...

  7. Nitrogen inputs by precipitation in the Nigerian Savanna | Adeniyi ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Inorganic nitrogen input via direct bulk precipitation was measured, and the relation between the different nitrogen species and rainfall characteristics determined over three rainy seasons at Shagunu, a remote, sparsely populated, non-industrialized site in the northern Guinea savanna of Nigeria. Nitrogen concentration per ...

  8. Facilitation between bovids and equids on an African savanna

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Odadi, W.O.; Jain, M.; Wieren, van S.E.; Prins, H.H.T.; Rubenstein, D.I.

    2011-01-01

    Background: Equids, especially zebras and donkeys, and cattle (bovids) share habitats in many savanna ecosystems in Africa. The issue of competition for food between these ungulate guilds remains largely unresolved. Resolving it will provide insights into how wild zebra are likely to interact with

  9. Seed predation by nocturnal rodents in an African savanna ecosystem

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The small mammal community in Acacia savanna consists of three omnivorous nocturnal rodent species, Mastomys natalensis, Saccostomus campestris and Aethomys chrysophilus, which eat varying proportions of seed in their diet. From a seed removal experiment, it was found that rodents preferentially selected Acacia ...

  10. Rate and pattern of bush encroachment in Eastern Cape savanna ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The rate and pattern of bush encroachment in the grasslands and savannas of the Kei Road-Komga region of the Eastern Cape were quantified by analysis of nine sets of aerial photographs taken between 1937 and 1986. Woody cover increased from 17% to 35% over this period. with most of the increase occurring after ...

  11. Transformation of a savanna grassland by drought and grazing | O ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The relative effects of drought and heavy grazing on the floristic composition, population size and and structure, and basal cover of an African savanna grassland were differentiated by comparing changes over eight years over eight years, which included a severe drought year, across a gradient of grazing history. Drought ...

  12. Water economy of Neotropical savanna trees: six paradigms revisited.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldstein, Guillermo; Meinzer, Frederick C; Bucci, Sandra J; Scholz, Fabian G; Franco, Augusto C; Hoffmann, William A

    2008-03-01

    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 central Brazil (cerrado), we reassessed the validity of six paradigms to account for the water economy of savanna vegetation. (1) All savanna woody species are similar in their ability to take up water from deep soil layers where its availability is relatively constant throughout the year. (2) There is no substantial competition between grasses and trees for water resources during the dry season because grasses exclusively explore upper soil layers, whereas trees access water in deeper soil layers. (3) Tree species have access to abundant groundwater, their stomatal control is weak and they tend to transpire freely. (4) Savanna trees experience increased water deficits during the dry season despite their access to deep soil water. (5) Stomatal conductance of savanna species is low at night to prevent nocturnal transpiration, particularly during the dry season. (6) Savanna tree species can be classified into functional groups according to leaf phenology. We evaluated each paradigm and found differences in the patterns of water uptake between deciduous and evergreen tree species, as well as among evergreen tree species, that have implications for regulation of tree water balance. The absence of resource interactions between herbaceous and woody plants is refuted by our observation that herbaceous plants use water from deep soil layers that is released by deep-rooted trees into the upper soil layer. We obtained evidence of strong stomatal control of transpiration and show that most species exhibit homeostasis in maximum water deficit, with midday water potentials being almost identical in the wet and dry

  13. Disentangling How Landscape Spatial and Temporal Heterogeneity Affects Savanna Birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Price, Bronwyn; McAlpine, Clive A.; Kutt, Alex S.; Ward, Doug; Phinn, Stuart R.; Ludwig, John A.

    2013-01-01

    In highly seasonal tropical environments, temporal changes in habitat and resources are a significant determinant of the spatial distribution of species. This study disentangles the effects of spatial and mid to long-term temporal heterogeneity in habitat on the diversity and abundance of savanna birds by testing four competing conceptual models of varying complexity. Focussing on sites in northeast Australia over a 20 year time period, we used ground cover and foliage projected cover surfaces derived from a time series of Landsat Thematic Mapper imagery, rainfall data and site-level vegetation surveys to derive measures of habitat structure at local (1–100 ha) and landscape (100–1000s ha) scales. We used generalised linear models and an information theoretic approach to test the independent effects of spatial and temporal influences on savanna bird diversity and the abundance of eight species with different life-history behaviours. Of four competing models defining influences on assemblages of savanna birds, the most parsimonious included temporal and spatial variability in vegetation cover and site-scale vegetation structure, suggesting savanna bird species respond to spatial and temporal habitat heterogeneity at both the broader landscape scale and at the fine-scale. The relative weight, strength and direction of the explanatory variables changed with each of the eight species, reflecting their different ecology and behavioural traits. This study demonstrates that variations in the spatial pattern of savanna vegetation over periods of 10 to 20 years at the local and landscape scale strongly affect bird diversity and abundance. Thus, it is essential to monitor and manage both spatial and temporal variability in avian habitat to achieve long-term biodiversity outcomes. PMID:24066138

  14. 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. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  15. 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

  16. Fuel composition influences fire characteristics and understorey hardwoods in pine savanna

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Ellair, Darin P; Platt, William J; Austin, Amy

    2013-01-01

    .... We experimentally manipulated amounts of pine and hickory leaves beneath understorey hickory stems in a pine savanna, measured temperatures during prescribed fires and assessed combustion of fuels...

  17. 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 (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 savanna tree sizes do not occur in either coarse sands or heavy clays. When examining the occurrence of

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 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. PMID:27336632

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Agricultural Systems Located in the Forest-Savanna Ecotone of the Venezuelan Amazonian. Are Organic Agroforestry Farms Sustainable?

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Hernández, Carmen Leonor; López-Hernández, Danilo; Netuzhilin, Igor; López-Contreras, Ana Yamila

    2009-01-01

    The savannas located in the forest-savanna ecotone in the Venezuelan Amazon have unfertile sandy ultisols and entisols which show a very low crop production unless they are supplemented with large amounts of fertiliser...

  3. 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

  4. Effects of nutrients and shade on tree-grass interactions in an East African savanna.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ludwig, F.; Kroon, de H.; Prins, H.H.T.; Berendse, F.

    2001-01-01

    Savanna trees have a multitude of positive and negative effects on understorey grass production. but little is known about how these effects interact. We report on a fertilization and shading experiment carried out in a Tanzanian tropical city savanna around Acacia tortilis trees. In two years of

  5. 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 is bimodal, and only fire differentiates between savanna and forest. These may be alternative states over large areas, including parts of Amazonia and the Congo. Changes in biome distributions, whether at the cost of savanna (due to fragmentation) or forest...

  6. Textural analysis of historical aerial photography to characterize woody plant encroachment in South African savanna

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrew T. Hudak; Carol A. Wessman

    1998-01-01

    Transitions from grassland to shrubland through woody plant encroachment result in potentially significant shifts in savanna ecosystem function. Given high resolution imagery, a textural index could prove useful for mapping woody plant densities and monitoring woody plant encroachment across savanna landscapes. Spatial heterogeneity introduced through mixtures of...

  7. Validation of BEHAVE fire behavior predictions in oak savannas using five fuel models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keith Grabner; John Dwyer; Bruce Cutter

    1997-01-01

    Prescribed fire is a valuable tool in the restoration and management of oak savannas. BEHAVE, a fire behavior prediction system developed by the United States Forest Service, can be a useful tool when managing oak savannas with prescribed fire. BEHAVE predictions of fire rate-of-spread and flame length were validated using four standardized fuel models: Fuel Model 1 (...

  8. Bistability, Spatial Interaction, and the Distribution of Tropical Forests and Savannas

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Staal, Arie; Dekker, Stefan C.; Xu, Chi; Nes, van Egbert H.

    2016-01-01

    Recent work has indicated that tropical forest and savanna can be alternative stable states under a range of climatic conditions. However, dynamical systems theory suggests that in case of strong spatial interactions between patches of forest and savanna, a boundary between both states is only

  9. 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

  10. Hillslope soil movement in the oak savannas of the Southwestern Borderlands Region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aaron Kauffman

    2009-01-01

    Oak woodlands and savannas comprise more than 31,000 square miles (80,290 square kilometers) in the southwestern United States and northern Mexico and provide various resources including forage for livestock, wildlife habitat, fuelwood, and recreational areas. Increased woody-plant encroachment into the more open savanna ecosystems has presented a problem to managers...

  11. Comparison of Infiltrability Measurements in the Thornbush Savanna, Namibia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Classen, Nikolaus; Gröngröft, Alexander; Eschenbach, Annette

    2010-05-01

    Large proportions of Namibian Savannas are affected by strong bush encroachment leading to a reduction in grazing capacity. Especially woody plant encroachment is expected to have an impact on hydrology by increasing plant transpiration, bare soil evaporation and reducing soil water availability (HUXMAN et al. 2005). Although the processes are not fully understood, the role of soil water balance is highlighted by many studies. Especially the small-scale interactions of vegetation and soil are of high relevance. To characterize the water balance of different sites in the Namibian thornbush savanna long-term studies were conducted. In addition we applied three methods to quantify the infiltration rate (IR) at four central Namibian thornbush savanna sites differing in soil texture and vegetation type: a single ring (own construction, 14 cm inner diameter), a disc-infiltrometer (Eijkelkamp Agrisearch Equipment BV) and a hood infiltrometer (UGT Umwelt-Geräte-Technik GmbH). At each site, the measurements we conducted along short transect lines (15 m) in positions with differing plant influence (canopy of Acacia trees and shrubs, grass and dwarf-shrub tussocks, bare soil, termitaria). All three methods resulted in different mean IR as well as spatial distribution patterns. Using statistical analysis by ANOVA, dominant controlling variables were elaborated. The poster will demonstrate which of the methods is defensible with respect to the research question. References : HUXMAN, T. E., B. P. WILCOX, et al. (2005): Ecohydrological implications of woody plant encroachment. Ecology 86(2): 308-319. Acknowledgment: The work was founded by BMBF within the Project Biota South (support code 01LC 0624 A2).

  12. Modeling pulsed soil respiration in an African savanna ecosystem

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fan, Zhaosheng; Neff, Jason C.; Hanan, Niall P.

    2015-01-01

    Savannas cover 60% of the African continent and play an important role in the global carbon (C) emissions from fire and land use. To better characterize the biophysical controls over soil respiration in these settings, half-hourly observations of volumetric soil-water content, temperature, and the concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) at different soil depths were continually measured from 2005 to 2007 under trees ("sub-canopy") and between trees ("inter-canopy") in a savanna vegetation near Skukuza, Kruger National Park, South Africa. The measured soil climate and CO2 concentration data were assimilated into a process-based model that estimates the CO2 production and flux with coupled dynamics of dissolved organic C (DOC) and microbial biomass C. Our results show that temporal and spatial variations in CO2 flux were strongly influenced by precipitation and vegetation cover, with two times greater CO2 flux in the subcanopy plots (similar to 2421 g CO2 m(-2) yr(-1)) than in the inter-canopy plots (similar to 1290 g CO2 m(-2) yr(-1)). Precipitation influenced soil respiration by changing soil temperature and moisture; however, our modeling analysis suggests that the pulsed response of soil respiration to precipitation events (known as "Birch effect") is a key control on soil fluxes at this site. At this site, "Birch effect" contributed to approximately 50% and 65% of heterotrophic respiration or 20% and 39% of soil respiration in the sub-canopy and inter-canopy plots, respectively. These results suggest that pulsed response of respiration to precipitation events is an important component of the C cycle of savannas and should be considered in both measurement and modeling studies of carbon exchange in similar ecosystems. (C) 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Patterns in woody vegetation structure across African savannas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. R. Axelsson

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available 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

  14. 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 ...

  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. Modelling fire frequency in a Cerrado savanna protected area.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alfredo C Pereira Júnior

    Full Text Available 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.

  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. 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. PMID:25054540

  19. 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.

  20. Climate change and long-term fire management impacts on Australian savannas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scheiter, Simon; Higgins, Steven I; Beringer, Jason; Hutley, Lindsay B

    2015-02-01

    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 crucial. Owing to the complexity of savanna vegetation dynamics, climate change and land use impacts on savannas are highly uncertain. We used a dynamic vegetation model, the adaptive dynamic global vegetation model (aDGVM), to project how climate change and fire management might influence future vegetation in northern Australian savannas. Under future climate conditions, vegetation can store more carbon than under ambient conditions. 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 and fire impacts. Carbon sequestration is maximized with early dry season fires and long fire return intervals, while grass productivity is maximized with late dry season fires and intermediate fire return intervals. The study has implications for management policy across Australian savannas because it identifies how fire management strategies may influence grazing yield, carbon sequestration and greenhouse gas emissions. This knowledge is crucial to maintaining important ecosystem services of Australian savannas. © 2014 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2014 New Phytologist Trust.

  1. Using Paleoecology to Inform Land Management as Climates Change: An Example from an Oak Savanna Ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spencer, Jessica D.; Brunelle, Andrea; Hepola, Tim

    2017-12-01

    Oak savanna, a transitional ecosystem between open prairie and dense oak forest, was once widespread in Minnesota. Upon European settlement much of the oak savanna was destroyed. Recently, efforts to restore this ecosystem have increased and often include the reintroduction of fire. Though fire is known to serve an important role within oak savannas, there are currently few studies which address fire regimes on timescales longer than the last century. This research presents a paleoecological history of Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge (SNWR) in MN, USA, spanning the last 8000 years. The objectives of this study were to use charcoal, pollen, and magnetic susceptibility of lake sediments collected from Johnson Slough (JS) within the refuge to evaluate the natural range of variability and disturbance history of the oak savanna within the refuge, assess the success of current restoration strategies, and add to the regional paleoecological history. The mid/late Holocene period of the JS record shows a period of high fire activity from ca. 6500 to 2600 cal year BP, with a shift from prairie to oak savanna occurring over this same period. A (possibly agricultural) disturbance to JS sediments affected the period from ca. 2600 cal year BP to 1963 AD, which includes the time of Euro-American settlement. However, the destruction and subsequent restoration of the oak savanna is evident in a pollen ratio of Quercus:Poaceae, indicating that current restoration efforts have been successful at restoring the oak savanna to within the natural range of variability seen just prior to destruction.

  2. Monitoring of Savanna degradation in Namibia using landsat TM/ETM+ data

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Lück-Vogel, Melanie

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available . However, the accurate assessment of savanna degradation using remote sensing techniques has turned out difficult, as the described processes are frequently overlaid by ecosystem-inherent variability in response to the usually highly variable rain falls...

  3. 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...

  4. 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

  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. 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...

  7. 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...

  8. 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...

  9. Seasonality of fire weather strongly influences fire regimes in South Florida savanna-grassland landscapes

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Platt, William J; Orzell, Steve L; Slocum, Matthew G

    2015-01-01

    ... (relative humidity, air temperature, solar radiation, wind speed, soil moisture) to explore seasonality of fire in pine savanna-grassland landscapes at the Avon Park Air Force Range in southern Florida...

  10. Water-removed spectra increase the retrieval accuracy when estimating savanna grass nitrogen and phosphorus concentrations

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Ramoelo, Abel

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available savanna grass species (Digitariaeriantha). Spectral measurements were made using a spectrometer. The D. eriantha was cut, dried and chemically analyzed for foliar N and P concentrations. WR spectra were determined by calculating the residual from...

  11. 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

  12. Amazonian forest-savanna bistability and human impact

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wuyts, Bert; Champneys, Alan R.; House, Joanna I.

    2017-05-01

    A bimodal distribution of tropical tree cover at intermediate precipitation levels has been presented as evidence of fire-induced bistability. Here we subdivide satellite vegetation data into those from human-unaffected areas and those from regions close to human-cultivated zones. Bimodality is found to be almost absent in the unaffected regions, whereas it is significantly enhanced close to cultivated zones. Assuming higher logging rates closer to cultivated zones and spatial diffusion of fire, our spatiotemporal mathematical model reproduces these patterns. Given a gradient of climatic and edaphic factors, rather than bistability there is a predictable spatial boundary, a Maxwell point, that separates regions where forest and savanna states are naturally selected. While bimodality can hence be explained by anthropogenic edge effects and natural spatial heterogeneity, a narrow range of bimodality remaining in the human-unaffected data indicates that there is still bistability, although on smaller scales than claimed previously.

  13. Antimicrobial activity of six plant extracts from the brazilian savanna on periodontal pathogens

    OpenAIRE

    Gaetti-Jardim Júnior, Elerson [UNESP; Landucci, Luís Fernando; Arafat, Omar Khalil Kidudsi; Ranieri, Robson Varlei [UNESP; Ramos, Marcelle Marie Buso [UNESP; Ciesielski, Francisco Isaak Nícolas [UNESP; Schweitzer, Chrisitane Marie [UNESP; Okamoto, Ana Cláudia [UNESP

    2011-01-01

    The extracts of plants from Brazilian savanna are currently used in popular medicine. This study evaluated the inhibitory activity of the alcoholic and aqueous extracts from savanna plants on periodontal bacteria. The minimal inhibitory concentrations were evaluated by the agar dilution method, using Wilkins-Chalgren agar. Antimicrobial activity of plants extracts on microbial biofilms was determined in microplates. Psidium cattleianum and Myracrodruon urundeuva extracts demonstrated signific...

  14. 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. © 2015 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2015 New Phytologist Trust.

  15. The characterisation and management of greenhouse gas emissions from fires in northern Australian savannas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cook, G. D.; Liedloff, A. C.; Richards, A. E.; Meyer, M.

    2016-12-01

    Australia is the only OECD country with a significant area of tropical savannas within it borders. Approximately 220 000 km2 of these savannas burn every year releasing 2 to 4 % of Australia's accountable greenhouse gas emissions. Reduction in uncertainty in the quantification of these emissions of methane and nitrous has been fundamental to improving both the national GHG inventory and developing approaches to better manage land to reduce these emissions. Projects to reduce pyrogenic emissions have been adopted across 30% of Australia's high rainfall savannas. Recent work has focussed on quantifying the additional benefit of increased carbon stocks in fine fuel and coarse woody debris (CWD) resulting from improvements in fire management. An integrated set of equations have been developed to enable seemless quantification of emissions and sequestration in these frequently burnt savannas. These show that increases in carbon stored in fine fuel and CWD comprises about 3 times the emissions abatement from improvements in fire management that have been achieved in a project area of 28 000 km2. Future work is focussing on improving the understanding of spatial and temporal variation in fire behaviour across Australia's savanna biome, improvements in quantification of carbon dynamics of CWD and improved quantification of the effects of fire on carbon dynamics in soils of the savannas.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tek Narayan Maraseni

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract 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.

  17. Multi-objective reserve design using MARXAN analysis for protected area conservation in savanna ecosystems in Belize

    OpenAIRE

    Fingler, Theresa

    2012-01-01

    Belize has long been considered a leader in conservation within the Mesoamerican region with 36% of its terrestrial area under protection status. However, a gap analysis conducted in 2005 reveal savannas are under-represented by the existing network of protected areas. With the savannas under numerous threats which include climate change, infrastructure development, deforestation and species decline, it has become necessary to address the current protected area effectiveness for the savanna...

  18. Post-fire reproduction of herbs at a savanna-gallery forest boundary in Distrito Federal, Brazil

    OpenAIRE

    K. G. Massi; C. U. O. Eugênio; Franco, A.C.

    2017-01-01

    Abstract 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-fores...

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Effects of anthropogenic fire history on savanna vegetation in northeastern Namibia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheuyange, Asser; Oba, Gufu; Weladji, Robert B

    2005-05-01

    Anthropogenic fires in Africa are an ancient form of environmental disturbance, which probably have shaped the savanna vegetation more than any other human induced disturbance. Despite anthropogenic fires having played a significant role in savanna management by herders, previous ecological research did not incorporate the traditional knowledge of anthropogenic fire history. This paper integrates ecological data and anthropogenic fire history, as reconstructed by herders, to assess landscape and regional level vegetation change in northeastern Namibia. We investigated effects of fire frequency (i.e. 10 years) to understand changes in vegetation cover, life form species richness and savanna conditions (defined as a ratio of shrub cover to herbaceous cover). Additionally, we analysed trends in the vegetation variables between different fire histories at the landscape and regional scales. Shrub cover was negatively correlated to herbaceous cover and herbaceous species richness. The findings showed that bush cover homogenisation at landscape and regional scales may suggest that the problem of bush encroachment was widespread. Frequent fires reduced shrub cover temporarily and promoted herbaceous cover. The effects on tree cover were less dramatic. The response to fire history was scale-independent for shrub, herbaceous and tree cover, but scale-dependent for the richness of grass and tree life forms. Fire history, and not grazing pressure, improved savanna conditions. The findings emphasise the need to assess effects of anthropogenic fires on vegetation change before introducing new fire management policies in savanna ecosystems of northeastern Namibia.

  8. Leaf anatomical traits of non-arboreal savanna species along a gradient of tree encroachment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luiz Felipe Souza Pinheiro

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT In the Brazilian savanna (Cerrado of Brazil, fire suppression has transformed typical savanna formations (TS into forested savanna (FS due to the phenomenon of encroachment. Under encroachment, non-arboreal plants begin to receive less light due to greater tree density and canopy closure. Here we aim to evaluate if leaf anatomical traits of non-arboreal species differ according to the degree of tree encroachment at the Assis Ecological Station - São Paulo, Brazil. To this end, we evaluated leaf tissue thickness and specific leaf area (SLA in representative non-arboreal species occurring along a gradient of tree encroachment. Leaves of TS species showed a trend towards xeromorphism, with traits reported to facilitate survival under high luminosity, such as thick leaves, thick epidermis and mesophyll, and low SLA. In contrast, FS species exhibited mesomorphic leaves, with thin mesophyll and high SLA, which are able to capture diffuse light in denser environments. Thus, non-arboreal understory species with mesomorphic leaf traits should be favored in environments with denser vegetation in contrast to typical savanna species. The results suggest that typical non-arboreal savanna species would not survive under tree encroachment due to the low competitiveness of their leaf anatomical strategies in shady environments.

  9. Savanna Tree Seedlings are Physiologically Tolerant to Nighttime Freeze Events

    Science.gov (United States)

    O’Keefe, Kimberly; Nippert, Jesse B.; Swemmer, Anthony M.

    2016-01-01

    Freeze events can be important disturbances in savanna ecosystems, yet the interactive effect of freezing with other environmental drivers on plant functioning is unknown. Here, we investigated physiological responses of South African tree seedlings to interactions of water availability and freezing temperatures. We grew widely distributed South African tree species (Colophospermum mopane, Combretum apiculatum, Acacia nigrescens, and Cassia abbreviata) under well-watered and water-limited conditions and exposed individuals to nighttime freeze events. Of the four species studied here, C. mopane was the most tolerant of lower water availability. However, all species were similarly tolerant to nighttime freezing and recovered within one week following the last freezing event. We also show that water limitation somewhat increased freezing tolerance in one of the species (C. mopane). Therefore, water limitation, but not freezing temperatures, may restrict the distribution of these species, although the interactions of these stressors may have species-specific impacts on plant physiology. Ultimately, we show that unique physiologies can exist among dominant species within communities and that combined stresses may play a currently unidentified role in driving the function of certain species within southern Africa. PMID:26870065

  10. Mapping Vegetation Morphology Types in Southern Africa Savanna Using MODIS Time-Series Metrics: A Case Study of Central Kalahari, Botswana

    OpenAIRE

    Niti B. Mishra; Kelley A. Crews; Jennifer A. Miller; Thoralf Meyer

    2015-01-01

    Savanna ecosystems are geographically extensive and both ecologically and economically important; they therefore require monitoring over large spatial extents. There are, in particular, large areas within southern Africa savanna ecosystems that lack consistent geospatial data on vegetation morphological properties, which is a prerequisite for biodiversity conservation and sustainable management of ecological resources. Given the challenges involved in distinguishing and mapping savanna vegeta...

  11. Eastern wood-pewee (Contopus virens) breeding demography across a gradient of savanna, woodland, and forest in the Missouri Ozarks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarah W. Kendrick; Frank R. Thompson; Jennifer L. Reidy

    2013-01-01

    Better knowledge of bird response to savanna and woodland restoration is needed to inform management of these communities. We related temporal and habitat variables to breeding demography and densities of the Eastern Wood-Pewee (Contopus virens) across a gradient of savanna, woodland, and forest. We determined nest success, clutch size, young fledged...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Smit, C.; Díaz, M.; Jansen, P.A.

    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

  13. 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

  14. 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

    Aim: Using a standardized sampling protocol along a 600-km transect in northern Australia, we tested whether ant diversity within a single biome, tropical savanna, decreases with increasing latitude (as a surrogate of temperature) and decreasing rainfall, as is expected for biodiversity in general...... in the Neotropics, where savannas have an evolutionary association with humid rain forest rather than desert....

  15. Bird species and numbers of birds in oak savannas of the Southwestern Borderlands region including effects of burning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peter F. Ffolliott; Hui Chen; Gerald J. Gottfried

    2011-01-01

    Oak savannas of the Southwestern Borderlands region provide food, cover, and sites for nesting, roosting, and perching for a diversity of bird species. The results of a five-year (2003-2007) study of bird species, numbers of birds, and their diversities in the naturally occurring (unburned) oak savannas of the region are reported in this paper. Effects of cool-season...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Priyadarshini, K.V.R.; Prins, H.H.T.; Bie, de S.; Heitkonig, I.M.A.; Woodborne, S.; Gort, G.; Kirkman, K.; Fry, B.; Kroon, de H.

    2014-01-01

    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 15N tracer additions to investigate possible

  17. Tree stocking affects winter bird densities across a gradient of savanna, woodland, and forest in the Missouri Ozarks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarah W. Kendrick; Frank R., III Thompson

    2013-01-01

    Savanna and woodland were historically prevalent in the midwestern United States, and managers throughout the area are currently attempting to restore these communities. Better knowledge of the responses of breeding and non-breeding birds to savanna and woodland restoration is needed to inform management.We surveyed abundance of winter resident birds across a gradient...

  18. 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

  19. 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, ...

  20. 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.

  1. The global extent and determinants of savanna and forest as alternative biome states.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Staver, A Carla; Archibald, Sally; Levin, Simon A

    2011-10-14

    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. We use tree cover, climate, fire, and soils data sets to show that tree cover is globally discontinuous. Climate influences tree cover globally but, at intermediate rainfall (1000 to 2500 millimeters) with mild seasonality (less than 7 months), tree cover is bimodal, and only fire differentiates between savanna and forest. These may be alternative states over large areas, including parts of Amazonia and the Congo. Changes in biome distributions, whether at the cost of savanna (due to fragmentation) or forest (due to climate), will be neither smooth nor easily reversible.

  2. Biodiversity, threats and conservation challenges in the Cerrado of Amapá, an Amazonian savanna

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karen Mustin

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available An Amazonian savanna in northern Brazil known as the Cerrado of Amapá is under imminent threat from poor land-use planning, the expansion of large-scale agriculture and other anthropogenic pressures. These savannas house a rich and unique flora and fauna, including endemic plants and animals. However, the area remains under-sampled for most taxa, and better sampling may uncover new species. We estimate that only ~9.16% of these habitats have any kind of protection, and legislative changes threaten to further weaken or remove this protection. Here we present the status of knowledge concerning the biodiversity of the Cerrado of Amapá, its conservation status, and the main threats to the conservation of this Amazonian savanna. To secure the future of these unique and imperilled habitats, we suggest urgent expansion of protected areas, as well as measures that would promote less-damaging land uses to support the local population.

  3. Emission estimates of selected volatile organic compounds from tropical savanna burning in northern Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shirai, T.; Blake, D. R.; Meinardi, S.; Rowland, F. S.; Russell-Smith, J.; Edwards, A.; Kondo, Y.; Koike, M.; Kita, K.; Machida, T.; Takegawa, N.; Nishi, N.; Kawakami, S.; Ogawa, T.

    2003-02-01

    Here we present measurements of a range of carbon-based compounds: carbon dioxide (CO2), carbon monoxide (CO), methane (CH4), nonmethane hydrocarbons (NMHCs), methyl halides, and dimethyl sulfide (DMS) emitted by Australian savanna fires studied as part of the Biomass Burning and Lightning Experiment (BIBLE) phase B aircraft campaign, which took place during the local late dry season (28 August to 13 September 1999). Significant enhancements of short-lived NMHCs were observed in the boundary layer (BL) over the region of intensive fires and indicate recent emissions for which the mean transport time was estimated to be about 9 hours. Emission ratios relative to CO were determined for 20 NMHCs, 3 methyl halides, DMS, and CH4 based on the BL enhancements in the source region. Tight correlations with CO were obtained for most of those compounds, indicating the homogeneity of the local savanna source. The emission ratios were in good agreement with some previous measurements of savanna fires for stable compounds but indicated the decay of emission ratios during transport for several reactive compounds. Based on the observed emission ratios, emission factors were derived and compared to previous studies. While emission factors (g species/kg dry mole) of CO2 varied little according to the vegetation types, those of CO and NMHCs varied significantly. Higher combustion efficiency and a lower emission factor for methane in this study, compared to forest fires, agreed well with results for savanna fires in other tropical regions. The amount of biomass burned was estimated by modeling methods using available satellite data, and showed that 1999 was an above average year for savanna burning. The gross emissions of the trace gases from Australian savanna fires were estimated.

  4. Carbon Accumulation and Nitrogen Pool Recovery during Transitions from Savanna to Forest in Central Brazil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pellegrini, A.; Hoffmann, W. A.; Franco, A. C.

    2014-12-01

    The expansion of tropical forest into savanna may potentially be a large carbon sink, but little is known about the patterns of carbon sequestration during transitional forest formation. Moreover, it is unclear how nutrient limitation, due to extended exposure to firedriven nutrient losses, may constrain carbon accumulation. Here, we sampled plots that spanned a woody biomass gradient from savanna to transitional forest in response to differential fire protection in central Brazil. These plots were used to investigate how the process of transitional forest formation affects the size and distribution of carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) pools. This was paired with a detailed analysis of the nitrogen cycle to explore possible connections between carbon accumulation and nitrogen limitation. An analysis of carbon pools in the vegetation, upper soil, and litter shows that the transition from savanna to transitional forest can result in a fourfold increase in total carbon (from 43 to 179 Mg C/ha) with a doubling of carbon stocks in the litter and soil layers. Total nitrogen in the litter and soil layers increased with forest development in both the bulk (+68%) and plant-available (+150%) pools, with the most pronounced changes occurring in the upper layers. However, the analyses of nitrate concentrations, nitrate : ammonium ratios, plant stoichiometry of carbon and nitrogen, and soil and foliar nitrogen isotope ratios suggest that a conservative nitrogen cycle persists throughout forest development, indicating that nitrogen remains in low supply relative to demand. Furthermore, the lack of variation in underlying soil type (>20 cm depth) suggests that the biogeochemical trends across the gradient are driven by vegetation. Our results provide evidence for high carbon sequestration potential with forest encroachment on savanna, but nitrogen limitation may play a large and persistent role in governing carbon sequestration in savannas or other equally fire-disturbed tropical

  5. Fuel biomass and combustion factors associated with fires in savanna ecosystems of South Africa and Zambia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shea, Ronald W.; Shea, Barbara W.; Kauffman, J. Boone; Ward, Darold E.; Haskins, Craig I.; Scholes, Mary C.

    1996-10-01

    Fires are dominant factors in shaping the structure and composition of vegetation in African savanna ecosystems. Emissions such as CO2, NOx, CH4, and other compounds originating from these fires are suspected to contribute substantially to changes in global biogeochemical processes. Limited quantitative data exist detailing characteristics of biomass, burning conditions, and the postfire environment in African savannas. Fourteen test sites, differentiated by distinct burn frequency histories and land-use patterns, were established and burned during August and September 1992 in savanna parklands of South Africa and savanna woodlands of Zambia. Vegetation physiognomy, available fuel loads, the levels of biomass consumed by fire, environmental conditions, and fire behavior are described. In the South African sites, total aboveground fuel loads ranged from 2218 to 5492 kg ha-1 where fire return intervals were 1-4 years and exceeded 7000 kg ha-1 at a site subjected to 38 years of fire exclusion. However, fireline intensity was only 1419 kW m-1 at the fire exclusion site, while ranging from 480 to 6130 kW m-1 among the frequent fire sites. In Zambia, total aboveground fuel loads ranged from 3164 kg ha-1 in a hydromorphic grassland to 7343 kg ha-1 in a fallow shifting cultivation site. Dormant grass and litter constituted 70-98% of the total fuel load among all sites. Although downed woody debris was a relatively minor fuel component at most sites, it constituted 43-57% of the total fuel load in the fire exclusion and shifting cultivation sites. Fire line intensity ranged between 1734 and 4061 kW m-1 among all Zambian sites. Mean grass consumption generally exceeded 95%, while downed woody debris consumption ranged from 3 to 73% at all sites. In tropical savannas and savanna woodlands of southern Africa, differences in environmental conditions, land- use patterns, and fire regimes influence vegetation characteristics and thus influence fire behavior and biomass

  6. Seasonal changes of water carbon relations in savanna ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kutsch, W. L.; Merbold, L.; Archibald, S.

    2011-12-01

    During evolution plant species have developed different strategies to optimize the water carbon relations. These stratgies summarize to ecosystem properties. As an example we show how tropical and subtropical savannas and woodlands can respond flexibly to changes in temperature and water availability and thus optimize carbon and water fluxes between land surface and atmosphere. Several phenomena are presented and discussed in this overview from African flux sites in Zambia, Burkina Faso and South Africa: Pre-rain leaf development: Many trees developed new leaves before the first rain appeared. As a consequence of this early timing of leaf flush, the phenological increase of photosynthetic capacity (Amax) was steeper than in temperate forests. Mid-term response of conductance and photosynthesis to soil water relations: The regulation of canopy conductance was temporally changing in two ways: changes due to phenology during the course of the growing season and short-term (hours to days) acclimation to soil water conditions. The most constant parameter was water use efficiency. It was influenced by water vapour pressure deficit (VPD) during the day, but the VPD response curve of water usage only changed slightly during the course of the growing season, and decreased by about 30% during the transition from wet to dry season. The regulation of canopy conductance and photosynthetic capacity were closely related. This observation meets recent leaf-level findings that stomatal closure triggers down-regulation of Rubisco during drought. Our results may show the effects of these processes on the ecosystem scale. Furthermore, we observed that the close relationship between stomatal conductance and photosynthesis resulted in different temperature optima of GPP that were close to the average daytime temperature. Adaptation of respiration to rain pulses: Finally, the response of respiration to rain pulses showed changes throughout the growing season. The first rain events early

  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. 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...

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Langevelde, F.; Van de Vijver, C.A.D.M.; Kumar, L.; Van de Koppel, J.; De Ridder, N.; Van Andel, J.; Skidmore, A.K.; Hearne, J.W.; Stroosnijder, L.; Bond, W.J.; Prins, H.H.T.; Rietkerk, M.

    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

  13. 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.

    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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Baudena, M|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/340303867; Dekker, S C|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/203449827; van Bodegom, P. M.; Cuesta, B; Higgins, S.I.; Lehsten, V; Reick, C H; Rietkerk, M.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/175964866; Scheiter, S.; Yin, Z.; Zavala, M. A.; Brovkin, V.

    2015-01-01

    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 for understanding vegetation dynamics under the present climate, and for predicting

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Baudena, M.; Dekker, S.C.; van Bodegom, P.M.; Cuesta, B.; Higgins, S.I.; Lehsten, V; Reick, C.H.; Rietkerk, M.; Scheiter, S.; Yin, Z.; Zavala, M.A.; Brovkin, V.

    2015-01-01

    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 for understanding vegetation dynamics under the present climate, and for predicting

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Baudena, M.; Dekker, S. C.; van Bodegom, P. M.; Cuesta, B.; Higgins, S. I.; Lehsten, V.; Reick, C. H.; Rietkerk, M.; Scheiter, S.; Yin, Z.; Zavala, M. A.; Brovkin, V.

    2014-01-01

    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

  17. 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

  18. Dynamics of woody vegetation in a semi-arid savanna, with a focus ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The effects of soil type and grazing on the tree:grass ratio in encroached Acacia mellifera-dominated savannas in the Northern Cape, South Africa, were investigated by means of vegetation classification and analyses of sequential aerial photographs. Acacia mellifera never occurred on clay pans, and in low numbers only in ...

  19. RELATIONSHIP OF MICROBIAL COMMUNITY STRUCTURE AND CARBON DYNAMICS IN SOILS FROM BRAZILIAN SAVANNAS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fertilization is a widespread management practice in savanna areas of central Brazil (Cerrado) that are undergoing rapid agricultural land use changes. We conducted field and laboratory studies in soils with added fertilizers to determine the effect that fertilization of native a...

  20. Impact of some savanna trees on soil quality on smallholder farms in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Soil nutrient decline has become a major issue of concern to researchers in the semi-arid region of Nigeria. This condition is further exacerbated by worsening climate and declining environmental quality, amplified by huge population pressure on limited resources. This research investigates the impact of some key savanna ...

  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. Impact of goat browsing on Aloe ferox in a South African savanna ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The extent and impact of the utilisation of Aloe ferox by Boer goats during winter in a South African savanna was determined using a plant-based approach. All Aloe plants rooted within the transects were eaten by goats, with small plants utilised more frequently than tall plants. The density of dying and dead Aloe plants was ...

  3. 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

  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

  5. From savanna to campus woodlot: the historical ecology of farm woodlots in southern Illinois

    Science.gov (United States)

    C. M. Ruffner; A. Trieu; S. Chandy; M. D. Davis; D. Fishel; G. Gipson; J. Lhotka; K. Lynch; P. Perkins; S. van de Gevel; W. Watson; E. White

    2003-01-01

    The historical ecology of Thompson Woods, a 4.1 ha forest remnant on the campus of Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, was investigated through stand structure analysis, dendroecology, and historical records. Historical records indicate the area was a savanna ecosystem prior to European settlement dominated by large, open grown mixed oak-hickory trees. No trees in...

  6. 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...

  7. Changing perceptions of fire management in savanna parks. | M.T. ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Parks are managed to preserve their pristine state. Fire has had a varied role in this, depending on shifting paradigms of savanna functioning. Formerly, an equilibrium theory of functioning prevailed where fire was at first an unavoidable evil, and then an evil to be avoided as far as possible. Subsequently, fire was regarded ...

  8. 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...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ludwig, F.; Kroon, de H.; 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

  10. Soil erosion and deposition before and after fire in oak savannas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peter F. Ffolliott; Gerald J. Gottfried; Hui Chen; Aaron T. Kauffman; Cody L. Stropki; Daniel G. Neary

    2013-01-01

    Effects of low severity prescribed burning treatments and a wildfire on soil erosion and deposition in the oak savannas in the Southwestern Borderlands are reported. Measurements in the spring and fall, respectively, characterize soil movements following winter rains and high-intensity summer rainstorms. Annual values are also presented. Relationships between soil...

  11. 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.

  12. Direct measurements of the seasonality of emission factors from savanna fires in northern Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, C. P.; Cook, G. D.; Reisen, F.; Smith, T. E. L.; Tattaris, M.; Russell-Smith, J.; Maier, S. W.; Yates, C. P.; Wooster, M. J.

    2012-10-01

    Current good practice guidelines for national greenhouse gas inventories requires that seasonal variation in emission factors from savanna fires be considered when compiling national accounts. African studies concluded that the emission factor for methane decreases during the dry season principally due to curing of the fuels. However, available data from Australian tropical savannas shows no effect of seasonality on emission factors, consistent with observations that the fine fuels appear to cure fully soon after the start of the fire season. To test whether the seasonality in greenhouse gas emission factors reported for Africa also occurs in Australia, methane and nitrous oxide emission factors were measured in early and in late dry season fires in Western Arnhem Land, a region typical of much of the northern Australia savanna zone. We found no significant seasonality in methane emission factors, but there was substantial variation in emission factors associated with inter-fire differences in vegetation and fuel. This variation could be explained almost completely by combustion efficiency. Nitrous oxide emission factors were not related to combustion efficiency but showed some variation across vegetation and fuel size class. Both methane and nitrous oxide emission factors were consistent with previous work in northern Australia and with some published values from Africa. The absence of a significant seasonal trend in emission factors indicates that savanna fire emissions in northern Australia can be managed by strategic prescribed burning.

  13. Processes preventing nocturnal equilibration between leaf and soil water potential in tropical savanna woody species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sandra Bucci; Fabian G. Scholz; Guillermo Goldstein; Frederick C. Meinzer; Jose A. Hinojosa; William A. Hoffman; Augusto C. Franco

    2004-01-01

    The impact of nocturnal water loss and recharge of stem water storage on predawn disequilibrium between leaf (ΨL) and soil (Ψ S) water potentials was studied in three dominant tropical savanna woody species in central Brazil (Cerrado). Sap flow continued throughout the night during the dry season and...

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Fire frequency, agricultural history and the multivariate control of pine savanna understorey plant diversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joseph W. Veldman; Lars A. Brudvig; Ellen I. Damschen; John L. Orrock; W. Brett Mattingly; Joan L. Walker

    2014-01-01

    Question: Human-altered disturbance regimes and agricultural land uses are broadly associated with reduced plant species diversity in terrestrial ecosystems. In this study, we seek to understand how fire frequency and agricultural land-use history influence savanna understorey plant diversity through complex relationships (i.e. indirect effects) among multiple...

  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

  18. Tree shade effects on soils and environmental factors in a Savanna ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Tree shade effects on soils and environmental factors in a Savanna of Senegal. LE Akpo, VA Goudiaby, M Grouzis, HN Le Houerou. Abstract. No Abstract. Full Text: EMAIL FREE FULL TEXT EMAIL FREE FULL TEXT · DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT · http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/wajae.v7i1.45647.

  19. Yam production in the derived coastal savanna zone of Ghana-past ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Yam production in the derived coastal savanna zone of Ghana-past, present and future prospects. E Otoo, R Asiedu, SA Ennin, EO Ekpe. Abstract. No Abstract. Agricultural and Food Science Journal of Ghana Vol. 4 2006: 301-315. Full Text: EMAIL FULL TEXT EMAIL FULL TEXT · DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT DOWNLOAD ...

  20. Impacts of savanna trees on forage quality for a large African herbivore

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ludwig, F.; Kroon, de H.; Prins, H.H.T.

    2008-01-01

    Recently, cover of large trees in African savannas has rapidly declined due to elephant pressure, frequent fires and charcoal production. The reduction in large trees could have consequences for large herbivores through a change in forage quality. In Tarangire National Park, in Northern Tanzania, we

  1. Structure, root systems and periodicity of savanna plants and vegetations in Northern Surinam

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Donselaar-ten Bokkel Huinink, van W.A.E.

    1966-01-01

    From July 1958 to May 1959 an investigation was carried out of the relation between physiognomic characteristics of the vegetation and the habitat on some savannas in the vicinity of Zanderij, Surinam. Root systems, structure, periodicity and characteristics of the leaves were considered, both of

  2. Effect of patches of woody vegetation on the role of fire in tropical grasslands and savannas

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Langevelde, van F.; Groot, de C.; Groen, T.A.; Heitkonig, I.M.A.; Gaigher, I.

    2014-01-01

    In tropical grasslands and savannas, fire is used to reduce woody vegetation expansion. Woody vegetation in these biomes is often patchily distributed, and micro-climatic conditions can largely vary locally with unknown consequences for fire effects. We hypothesized that (1) fire has higher

  3. Assessing effect of rainfall on rate of alien shrub expansion in a southern African savanna

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Masocha, Mhosisi; Dube, Timothy; Skidmore, Andrew; Holmgren Urba, Milena; Prins, Herbert

    2017-01-01

    Understanding the environmental factors governing the spread of alien shrubs is crucial for conserving biodiversity. In the semi-arid savannas of Africa, alien shrub invasion often occurs simultaneously with native shrub encroachment but climate-dependent differences in encroachments of native

  4. Scale-dependent bi-trophic interactions in a semi-arid savanna

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Waal, van der Cornelis; Kroon, de Hans; Langevelde, van Frank; Boer, de Fred; Heitkonig, Ignas; Slotow, Rob; Pretorius, Yolanda; Prins, Herbert H.T.

    2016-01-01

    The scale of resource heterogeneity may influence how resources are locally partitioned between co-existing large and small organisms such as trees and grasses in savannas. Scale-related plant responses may, in turn, influence herbivore use of the vegetation. To examine these scale-dependent

  5. 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...

  6. 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...

  7. Effects of large herbivores on murid rodents in a South African savanna

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hagenah, N.; Prins, H.H.T.; Olff, H.

    2009-01-01

    Our study presents experimentally based results on how large herbivore species affect savanna vegetation and thus murid rodents in the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. We permanently excluded groups of large herbivore guilds of various body sizes (ranging from white rhino to

  8. Effects of large herbivores on murid rodents in a South African savanna

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hagenah, Nicole; Prins, Herbert H. T.; Olff, Han

    Our study presents experimentally based results on how large herbivore species affect savanna vegetation and thus murid rodents in the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. We permanently excluded groups of large herbivore guilds of various body sizes (ranging from white rhino to

  9. Among rodents and rhinos: interplay between small mammals and large herbivores in a South African savanna

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hagenah, N.

    2006-01-01

    Keywords:African savanna, biodiversity, Dichrostachys cinerea , different-sized herbivores, fire, herbivore interactions, murid rodents, spatial heterogeneity

    Mankind has

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vijver, van de C.A.D.M.; Foley, C.A.; Olff, H.

    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

  11. 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

  12. Grazing lawns contribute to the subsistence of medium-sized herbivores in dystrophic savannas

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Verweij, R.; Verrelst, J.; Loth, P.E.; Heitkönig, I.M.A.; Brunsting, A.M.H.

    2006-01-01

    Resource manipulation, such as the creation and maintenance of grazing lawns, may shape the structure of herbivore communities. We tested the hypothesis that grazing lawns contribute towards the subsistence of the Kobus kob kob in a dystrophic West African savanna, where kob and Hippopotamus

  13. Ecology and management of oak woodlands and savannas in the southwestern Borderlands Region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerald J. Gottfried; Peter F. Ffolliott

    2013-01-01

    Management of the Madrean oak woodlands and the less dense and ecologically different oak savannas must be based on sound ecological information. However, relatively little is known about the Madrean oak ecosystems in spite of the fact that they cover about 80,000 km2 in the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. Emory oak (Quercus emoryi), the dominant tree...

  14. Savanna elephant numbers are only a quarter of their expected values.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robson, Ashley S; Trimble, Morgan J; Purdon, Andrew; Young-Overton, Kim D; Pimm, Stuart L; van Aarde, Rudi J

    2017-01-01

    Savannas once constituted the range of many species that human encroachment has now reduced to a fraction of their former distribution. Many survive only in protected areas. Poaching reduces the savanna elephant, even where protected, likely to the detriment of savanna ecosystems. While resources go into estimating elephant populations, an ecological benchmark by which to assess counts is lacking. Knowing how many elephants there are and how many poachers kill is important, but on their own, such data lack context. We collated savanna elephant count data from 73 protected areas across the continent estimated to hold ~50% of Africa's elephants and extracted densities from 18 broadly stable population time series. We modeled these densities using primary productivity, water availability, and an index of poaching as predictors. We then used the model to predict stable densities given current conditions and poaching for all 73 populations. Next, to generate ecological benchmarks, we predicted such densities for a scenario of zero poaching. Where historical data are available, they corroborate or exceed benchmarks. According to recent counts, collectively, the 73 savanna elephant populations are at 75% of the size predicted based on current conditions and poaching levels. However, populations are at poaching (~967,000)-a total deficit of ~730,000 elephants. Populations in 30% of the 73 protected areas were <5% of their benchmarks, and the median current density as a percentage of ecological benchmark across protected areas was just 13%. The ecological context provided by these benchmark values, in conjunction with ongoing census projects, allow efficient targeting of conservation efforts.

  15. Savanna elephant numbers are only a quarter of their expected values.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ashley S Robson

    Full Text Available Savannas once constituted the range of many species that human encroachment has now reduced to a fraction of their former distribution. Many survive only in protected areas. Poaching reduces the savanna elephant, even where protected, likely to the detriment of savanna ecosystems. While resources go into estimating elephant populations, an ecological benchmark by which to assess counts is lacking. Knowing how many elephants there are and how many poachers kill is important, but on their own, such data lack context. We collated savanna elephant count data from 73 protected areas across the continent estimated to hold ~50% of Africa's elephants and extracted densities from 18 broadly stable population time series. We modeled these densities using primary productivity, water availability, and an index of poaching as predictors. We then used the model to predict stable densities given current conditions and poaching for all 73 populations. Next, to generate ecological benchmarks, we predicted such densities for a scenario of zero poaching. Where historical data are available, they corroborate or exceed benchmarks. According to recent counts, collectively, the 73 savanna elephant populations are at 75% of the size predicted based on current conditions and poaching levels. However, populations are at <25% of ecological benchmarks given a scenario of zero poaching (~967,000-a total deficit of ~730,000 elephants. Populations in 30% of the 73 protected areas were <5% of their benchmarks, and the median current density as a percentage of ecological benchmark across protected areas was just 13%. The ecological context provided by these benchmark values, in conjunction with ongoing census projects, allow efficient targeting of conservation efforts.

  16. Global fire emissions and the contribution of deforestation, savanna, forest, agricultural, and peat fires (1997-2009)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Werf, G.R.; Randerson, J.T; Giglio, L.; Collatz, G.J.; Mu, M.; Kasibhatla, P.S.; Morton, D.C.; DeFries, R.S.; Jin, Y.; van Leeuwen, T.T.

    2010-01-01

    New burned area datasets and top-down constraints from atmospheric concentration measurements of pyrogenic gases have decreased the large uncertainty in fire emissions estimates. However, significant gaps remain in our understanding of the contribution of deforestation, savanna, forest, agricultural

  17. Age interpretation of the Wonderkrater spring sediments and vegetation change in the Savanna Biome, Limpopo province, South Africa

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Scott, L

    2003-09-01

    Full Text Available radiocarbon dates are presented from one of the most significant spring pollen sequences on which South African vegetation history is based, namely, from Wonderkrater in the Savanna Biome. Some anomalous measurements were recorded but a new chronology...

  18. Effects of Climate and Land Use on Herbaceous Species Richness and Vegetation Composition in West African Savanna Ecosystems

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Zerbo, Issouf; Bernhardt-Römermann, Markus; Ouédraogo, Oumarou; Hahn, Karen; Thiombiano, Adjima

    2016-01-01

    .... Introduction West African Savanna ecosystems are undergoing severe changes in their vegetation composition and species cover due to the impact of human land use and changes in climatic conditions....

  19. Seasonality of Fire Weather Strongly Influences Fire Regimes in South Florida Savanna-Grassland Landscapes: e0116952

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    William J Platt; Steve L Orzell; Matthew G Slocum

    2015-01-01

    ... (relative humidity, air temperature, solar radiation, wind speed, soil moisture) to explore seasonality of fire in pine savanna-grassland landscapes at the Avon Park Air Force Range in southern Florida...

  20. Retrieval of savanna vegetation canopy height from ICESat-GLAS spaceborne LiDAR with terrain correction

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Khalefa, E

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available over closed forests. However, it has rarely been used to characterize savannas, which have a complex structure of trees coexisting with grasses. This letter presents the first validation of spaceborne Ice Cloud and land Elevation Satellite Geoscience...

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Local versus landscape-scale effects of savanna trees on grasses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riginos, C.; Grace, J.B.; Augustine, D.J.; Young, T.P.

    2009-01-01

    1. Savanna ecosystems - defined by the coexistence of trees and grasses - cover more than one-fifth the world's land surface and harbour most of the world's rangelands, livestock and large mammal diversity. Savanna trees can have a variety of effects on grasses, with consequences for the wild and domestic herbivores that depend on them. 2.Studies of these effects have focused on two different spatial scales. At the scale of individual trees, many studies have shown net positive effects of trees on sub-canopy grass nutrient concentrations and biomass. At the landscape scale, other studies have shown negative effects of high tree densities on grass productivity. These disparate results have led to different conclusions about the effects of trees on forage quality and ungulate nutrition in savannas. 3.We integrate these approaches by examining the effects of trees on grasses at both spatial scales and across a range of landscape-scale tree densities. 4.We quantified grass biomass, species composition and nutrient concentrations in these different contexts in an Acacia drepanolobium savanna in Laikipia, Kenya. Individual trees had positive effects on grass biomass, most likely because trees enrich soil nitrogen. Grass leaf phosphorus in sub-canopy areas, however, was depressed. The effects of individual trees could explain the effects of increasing landscape-scale tree cover for the biomass of only two of the four dominant grass species. 5.The negative effects of trees on grass and soil phosphorus, combined with depressed grass productivity in areas of high tree cover, suggest that ungulate nutrition may be compromised in areas with many trees. 6.Synthesis. We conclude that few, isolated trees may have positive local effects on savanna grasses and forage, but in areas of high tree density the negative landscape-scale effects of trees are likely to outweigh these positive effects. In savannas and other patchy landscapes, attempts to predict the consequences of changes

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Post-fire reproduction of herbs at a savanna-gallery forest boundary in Distrito Federal, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. G. Massi

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract 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.

  7. 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 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...... 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...

  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......, confirming that care should be taken before applying temperature response curves for hot dry semi-arid regions when partitioning NEE into gross primary productivity (GPP) and ecosystem respiration (Reco). Partitioning was instead done using light response curves. The values of ε ranged between 0.02g carbon...

  9. 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.

  10. Microscopic Study of Skin Diseases in Horses from the Bogota Savanna, Colombia

    OpenAIRE

    Iovana Castellanos Londoño; Germán Prada San Miguel; Germán Rodríguez Martínez; Rosario Santos Arias

    2014-01-01

    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...

  11. 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

  12. Structural diversity of water-limited savanna and ecosystem response to climatological variability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nosshi, M. I.; Brunsell, N. A.

    2016-12-01

    Determining the sensitivity of ecosystem response to environmental variability is fundamental to understand the capacity of ecosystems to resist and recover from change. Despite limitations to infer about biotic mechanisms, remote sensing has the advantage of high temporal resolution, over long records, to address fundamental challenges in ecology in an environmental context. The degree of structural diversity in water-limited savanna changes across a climatological gradient over the sand covered area in interior southern Africa, between 29° S to the equator and 14° E to 28° E. To determine the coupling between structural diversity and ecosystem function in water-limited ecosystems, we use a 15-year record of daily precipitation, and satellite data for Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), matching the same time period (2001-2015), along the Kalahari sand sheet. Savanna ecosystems show a varied temporal sensitivity to environmental fluctuation going from 200 mm to 750 mm of mean annual precipitation. Increasing grass cover results in higher sensitivity to intra-annual dynamics, while an increased woody cover reflects purely annual patterns. Lagged correlations suggest a similar sensitivity at the extreme ends of the gradient, but highest in the middle, between 400 mm and 450 mm of mean annual precipitation. The vegetation in this region, described as a wooded grassland, has contributions to net primary productivity more equally shared by trees and grasses. In particular, the role of rainfall seasonality, magnitude, and frequency is examined in the different savanna, against different indices of ecosystem stability. Finally, using the savanna example to better understand trade-offs, such as how resistance versus recovery, and similarly, stress avoidance versus resource use optimization under a gradient of conditions, highlights the importance of structural diversity in determining ecosystem response to environmental variability.

  13. Impacts of savanna trees on forage quality for a large African herbivore.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ludwig, Fulco; De Kroon, Hans; Prins, Herbert H T

    2008-03-01

    Recently, cover of large trees in African savannas has rapidly declined due to elephant pressure, frequent fires and charcoal production. The reduction in large trees could have consequences for large herbivores through a change in forage quality. In Tarangire National Park, in Northern Tanzania, we studied the impact of large savanna trees on forage quality for wildebeest by collecting samples of dominant grass species in open grassland and under and around large Acacia tortilis trees. Grasses growing under trees had a much higher forage quality than grasses from the open field indicated by a more favourable leaf/stem ratio and higher protein and lower fibre concentrations. Analysing the grass leaf data with a linear programming model indicated that large savanna trees could be essential for the survival of wildebeest, the dominant herbivore in Tarangire. Due to the high fibre content and low nutrient and protein concentrations of grasses from the open field, maximum fibre intake is reached before nutrient requirements are satisfied. All requirements can only be satisfied by combining forage from open grassland with either forage from under or around tree canopies. Forage quality was also higher around dead trees than in the open field. So forage quality does not reduce immediately after trees die which explains why negative effects of reduced tree numbers probably go initially unnoticed. In conclusion our results suggest that continued destruction of large trees could affect future numbers of large herbivores in African savannas and better protection of large trees is probably necessary to sustain high animal densities in these ecosystems.

  14. 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

  15. Response of carbon fluxes to water relations in a savanna ecosystem in South Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    W. L. Kutsch

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available The principal mechanisms that connect carbon fluxes with water relations in savanna ecosystems were studied by using eddy covariance method in a savanna ecosystem at Kruger National Park, South Africa. Since the annual drought and rewetting cycle is a major factor influencing the function of savanna ecosystems, this work focused on the close inter-connection between water relations and carbon fluxes. Data from a nine-month measuring campaign lasting from the early wet season to the late dry season were used.

    Total ecosystem respiration showed highest values at the onset of the growing season, a slightly lower plateau during the main part of the growing season and a continuous decrease during the transition towards the dry season.

    The regulation of canopy conductance was changed in two ways: changes due to phenology during the course of the growing season and short-term acclimation to soil water conditions.

    The most constant parameter was water use efficiency that was influenced by VPD during the day but the VPD response curve of water usage did change only slightly during the course of the growing season and decreased by about 30% during the transition from wet to dry season.

    The regulation of canopy conductance and photosynthetic capacity were closely related. This observation meets recent leaf-level findings that stomatal closure triggers down-regulation of Rubisco during drought. Our results may show the effects of these processes on the ecosystem scale.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Seasonal variations in methane and nitrous oxide emissions factors in northern Australian savanna woodlands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, C. P.(Mick); Cook, Garry; Reisen, Fabienne; Russell-Smith, Jeremy; Maier, Stefan; Schatz, Jon; Yates, Cameron; Watt, Felicity

    2010-05-01

    Burning of savannas and grasslands consumes more than one third of the total annual biomass burning globally. In Australia, savanna fires emit annually from 2% to 4% of Australia's greenhouse gas emissions. This has led to efforts to reduce savanna burning emissions through early season prescribed burning. These programs aim to change the fire seasonality from predominantly high intensity late season fires which are characterized by low levels of patchiness and high burning efficiencies to early-season fires characterized by low intensity, a high degree of patchiness and low burning efficiency. The result is a net reduction in fire area and associated carbon emissions. Mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions is predicated on there being little change in methane (CH4) or nitrous oxide (N2O) emission factors (EFs) as the fire season progresses, however, recent analysis of the emission characteristics of African savanna fires by Korontzi et al., indicates CH4-EF, in particular, could decline substantially as the fire season progresses. If this also occurs in Australian savanna woodlands, then the current mitigation strategy could be ineffective. To address the issue a series of field campaigns were undertaken in the savanna woodlands of Western Arnhem land, Australia to quantify the variability in CH4 and N2O EFs throughout the fire season. This study compared CH4 and N2O EFs measured in smoke sampled from prescribed burning in late June/early July with those from late season fires in early October. It concentrated on the two major vegetation classes in Western Arnhemland; eucalypt open woodland, in which the fuel is composed predominantly tree leaf-litter supplemented by senescent native Sorghum, and sandstone heaths which are dominated by Spinifex hummocks. There were no significant differences in CH4 EFs between early or late season fires, however there were substantial differences between vegetation classes. The woodland emitted 0.3% of fuel carbon as CH4 compared

  1. Structure and tree species composition in different habitats of savanna used by indigenous people in the Northern Brazilian Amazon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Oliveira, Rodrigo Leonardo Costa; Farias, Hugo Leonardo Sousa; Perdiz, Ricardo de Oliveira; Scudeller, Veridiana Vizoni; Imbrozio Barbosa, Reinaldo

    2017-01-01

    Woody plant diversity from the Amazonian savannas has been poorly quantified. In order to improve the knowledge on wood plants of these regional ecosystems, a tree inventory was carried out in four different habitats used by indigenous people living in the savanna areas of the Northern Brazilian Amazon. The habitats were divided into two types (or groups) of vegetation formations: forest (riparian forest, forest island, and buritizal = Mauritia palm formation) and non-forest (typical savanna). The inventory was carried out in two hectares established in the Darora Indigenous Community region, north of the state of Roraima. The typical savanna is the most densely populated area (709 stems ha -1 ); however, it has the lowest tree species richness (nine species, seven families) in relation to typical forest habitats: riparian forest (22 species, 13 families and 202 stems ha -1 ), forest islands (13 species, 10 families and 264 stems ha -1 ), and buritizal (19 species, 15 families and 600 stems ha -1 ). The tree structure (density and dominance) of the forest habitats located in the savanna areas studied in this work is smaller in relation to forest habitats derived from continuous areas of other parts of the Amazon. These environments are derived from Paleoclimatic fragmentation, and are currently affected by the impact of intensive use of natural resources as timberselective logging and some land conversion for agriculture.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. The magnitude and persistence of soil NO, N20, CH4, and C02 fluxes from burned tropical savanna in Brazil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mark Poth; Iris Cofman Anderson; Heloisa Sinatora Miranda; Antonia Carlos Miranda; Philip J. Riggan

    1995-01-01

    Among all global ecosystems, tropical savannas are the most severely and extensively affected by anthropogenic burning. Frequency of fire in cerrado, a type of tropical savanna covering 25% of Brazil, is 2 to 4 years. In 1992 we measured soil fluxes of NO, N20, CH4, and C02 from cerrado sites that had...

  5. On the suitability of MODIS time series metrics to map vegetation types in dry savanna ecosystems: A case study in the Kalahari of NE Namibia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hüttich, C.; Gessner, U.; Herold, M.; Strohbach, B.; Schmidt, M.; Keil, M.; Dech, S.

    2009-01-01

    The characterization and evaluation of the recent status of biodiversity in Southern Africa’s Savannas is a major prerequisite for suitable and sustainable land management and conservation purposes. This paper presents an integrated concept for vegetation type mapping in a dry savanna ecosystem

  6. 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.

  7. 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...

  8. Mechanisms contributing to seasonal homeostasis of minimum leaf water potential and predawn disequilibrium between soil and plant water potential in Neotropical savanna trees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sandra J. Bucci; Guillermo Goldstein; Frederick C. Meinzer; Augusto C. Franco; Paula Campanello; Fabián G. Scholz

    2005-01-01

    Seasonal regulation of leaf water potential (ΨL) was studied in eight dominant woody savanna species growing in Brazilian savanna (Cerrado) sites that experience a 5-month dry season. Despite marked seasonal variation in precipitation and air saturation deficit (D), seasonal differences in midday minimum Ψ...

  9. 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....

  10. 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.

  11. Preferential Production and Transport of Grass-Derived Pyrogenic Carbon in NE-Australian Savanna Ecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gustavo Saiz

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Understanding the main factors driving fire regimes in grasslands and savannas is critical to better manage their biodiversity and functions. Moreover, improving our knowledge on pyrogenic carbon (PyC dynamics, including formation, transport and deposition, is fundamental to better understand a significant slow-cycling component of the global carbon cycle, particularly as these ecosystems account for a substantial proportion of the area globally burnt. However, a thorough assessment of past fire regimes in grass-dominated ecosystems is problematic due to challenges in interpreting the charcoal record of sediments. It is therefore critical to adopt appropriate sampling and analytical methods to allow the acquisition of reliable data and information on savanna fire dynamics. This study uses hydrogen pyrolysis (HyPy to quantify PyC abundance and stable isotope composition (δ13C in recent sediments across 38 micro-catchments covering a wide range of mixed C3/C4 vegetation in north Queensland, Australia. We exploited the contrasting δ13C values of grasses (i.e., C4; δ13C > −15‰ and woody vegetation (i.e., C3; δ13C < −24‰ to assess the preferential production and transport of grass-derived PyC in savanna ecosystems. Analyses were conducted on bulk and size-fractionated samples to determine the fractions into which PyC preferentially accumulates. Our data show that the δ13C value of PyC in the sediments is decoupled from the δ13C value of total organic carbon, which suggests that a significant component of PyC may be derived from incomplete grass combustion, even when the proportion of C4 grass biomass in the catchment was relatively small. Furthermore, we conducted 16 experimental burns that indicate that there is a comminution of PyC produced in-situ to smaller particles, which facilitates the transport of this material, potentially affecting its preservation potential. Savanna fires preferentially burn the grass understory rather than

  12. Sensitivity of woody carbon stocks to bark investment strategy in Neotropical savannas and forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trugman, Anna T.; Medvigy, David; Hoffmann, William A.; Pellegrini, Adam F. A.

    2018-01-01

    Fire frequencies are changing in Neotropical savannas and forests as a result of forest fragmentation and increasing drought. Such changes in fire regime and climate are hypothesized to destabilize tropical carbon storage, but there has been little consideration of the widespread variability in tree fire tolerance strategies. To test how aboveground carbon stocks change with fire frequency and composition of plants with different fire tolerance strategies, we update the Ecosystem Demography model 2 (ED2) with (i) a fire survivorship module based on tree bark thickness (a key fire-tolerance trait across woody plants in savannas and forests), and (ii) plant functional types representative of trees in the region. With these updates, the model is better able to predict how fire frequency affects population demography and aboveground woody carbon. Simulations illustrate that the high survival rate of thick-barked, large trees reduces carbon losses with increasing fire frequency, with high investment in bark being particularly important in reducing losses in the wettest sites. Additionally, in landscapes that frequently burn, bark investment can broaden the range of climate and fire conditions under which savannas occur by reducing the range of conditions leading to either complete tree loss or complete grass loss. These results highlight that tropical vegetation dynamics depend not only on rainfall and changing fire frequencies but also on tree fire survival strategy. Further, our results indicate that fire survival strategy is fundamentally important in regulating tree size demography in ecosystems exposed to fire, which increases the preservation of aboveground carbon stocks and the coexistence of different plant functional groups.

  13. Sensitivity of woody carbon stocks to bark investment strategy in Neotropical savannas and forests

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. T. Trugman

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Fire frequencies are changing in Neotropical savannas and forests as a result of forest fragmentation and increasing drought. Such changes in fire regime and climate are hypothesized to destabilize tropical carbon storage, but there has been little consideration of the widespread variability in tree fire tolerance strategies. To test how aboveground carbon stocks change with fire frequency and composition of plants with different fire tolerance strategies, we update the Ecosystem Demography model 2 (ED2 with (i a fire survivorship module based on tree bark thickness (a key fire-tolerance trait across woody plants in savannas and forests, and (ii plant functional types representative of trees in the region. With these updates, the model is better able to predict how fire frequency affects population demography and aboveground woody carbon. Simulations illustrate that the high survival rate of thick-barked, large trees reduces carbon losses with increasing fire frequency, with high investment in bark being particularly important in reducing losses in the wettest sites. Additionally, in landscapes that frequently burn, bark investment can broaden the range of climate and fire conditions under which savannas occur by reducing the range of conditions leading to either complete tree loss or complete grass loss. These results highlight that tropical vegetation dynamics depend not only on rainfall and changing fire frequencies but also on tree fire survival strategy. Further, our results indicate that fire survival strategy is fundamentally important in regulating tree size demography in ecosystems exposed to fire, which increases the preservation of aboveground carbon stocks and the coexistence of different plant functional groups.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Carbon dioxide fluxes from contrasting ecosystems in the Sudanian Savanna in West Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quansah, Emmanuel; Mauder, Matthias; Balogun, Ahmed A; Amekudzi, Leonard K; Hingerl, Luitpold; Bliefernicht, Jan; Kunstmann, Harald

    2015-12-01

    The terrestrial land surface in West Africa is made up of several types of savanna ecosystems differing in land use changes which modulate gas exchanges between their vegetation and the overlying atmosphere. This study compares diurnal and seasonal estimates of CO2 fluxes from three contrasting ecosystems, a grassland, a mixture of fallow and cropland, and nature reserve in the Sudanian Savanna and relate them to water availability and land use characteristics. Over the study period, and for the three study sites, low soil moisture availability, high vapour pressure deficit and low ecosystem respiration were prevalent during the dry season (November to March), but the contrary occurred during the rainy season (May to October). Carbon uptake predominantly took place in the rainy season, while net carbon efflux occurred in the dry season as well as the dry to wet and wet to dry transition periods (AM and ND) respectively. Carbon uptake decreased in the order of the nature reserve, a mixture of fallow and cropland, and grassland. Only the nature reserve ecosystem at the Nazinga Park served as a net sink of CO2, mostly by virtue of a several times larger carbon uptake and ecosystem water use efficiency during the rainy season than at the other sites. These differences were influenced by albedo, LAI, EWUE, PPFD and climatology during the period of study. These results suggest that land use characteristics affect plant physiological processes that lead to flux exchanges over the Sudanian Savanna ecosystems. It affects the diurnal, seasonal and annual changes in NEE and its composite signals, GPP and RE. GPP and NEE were generally related as NEE scaled with photosynthesis with higher CO2 assimilation leading to higher GPP. However, CO2 effluxes over the study period suggest that besides biomass regrowth, other processes, most likely from the soil might have also contributed to the enhancement of ecosystem respiration.

  17. 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. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  18. 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 precipitation950 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 explicit time series

  19. Beyond precipitation: physiographic gradients dictate the relative importance of environmental drivers on Savanna vegetation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miguel A Campo-Bescós

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: 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. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: 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 precipitation950 mm. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: 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

  20. Tree cover in sub-Saharan Africa: rainfall and fire constrain forest and savanna as alternative stable states

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Staver, AC

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available to 2 produce annual rainfall for each year (1998-2007) and then averaged to estimate 3 mean annual rainfall (MAR). 4 These data sets, re-projected to an Albers equal area projection, were clipped at 15 5 degrees north to include only sub...-50% tree 18 cover. 19 The distribution of savanna and forest tree cover classes along a rainfall gradient 20 indicates that savannas can occur at MAR of up to 2000mm per year and that forests 21 occur frequently at MAR as low as 800mm to 1000mm per...

  1. Deriving seasonal dynamics in ecosystem properties of semi-arid savanna grasslands from in situ-based hyperspectral reflectance

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tagesson, Håkan Torbern; Fensholt, Rasmus; Huber, S.

    2015-01-01

    This paper investigates how hyperspectral reflectance (between 350 and 1800 nm) can be used to infer ecosystem properties for a semi-arid savanna grassland in West Africa using a unique in situ-based multi-angular data set of hemispherical conical reflectance factor (HCRF) measurements. Relations......This paper investigates how hyperspectral reflectance (between 350 and 1800 nm) can be used to infer ecosystem properties for a semi-arid savanna grassland in West Africa using a unique in situ-based multi-angular data set of hemispherical conical reflectance factor (HCRF) measurements...

  2. Trends in savanna structure and composition along an aridity gradient in the Kalahari

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Scholes, RJ

    2002-06-01

    Full Text Available more than 10% of the area; savannas as having a cover by trees greater than 10% but less than 33%, and woodlands by having a tree cover greater than 33% but less than 66%. ?Broad-leafed? refers to the leaves or leaflets of the dominant woody species... being larger than about 20 mm (major axis); fine-leafed is smaller than 20 mm, and usually less than 2 mm. Deciduous means that > 90% of all tree and shrub leaves are lost for at least three months, evergreen means that > 80% of tree leaf is retained...

  3. 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.

  4. World climate patterns in grassland and savanna and their relation to growing seasons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Kirk Steinhorst

    1977-12-01

    Full Text Available The climate at eleven IBP savanna or grassland study sites from five continents are described and principal components analysis is used to compare them. A multivariate linear discriminant function based on mean monthly precipitation, mean monthly temperature, latitude and altitude, is used to predict the length of the growing season at each site. At most sites, the actual and predicted start and end of the growing season agreed closely. It is concluded that growing season on a world-wide basis may be predicted fairly reliably from a small number of abiotic variables by means of a multivariate discriminant function.

  5. Local-Scale Mapping of Biomass in Tropical Lowland Pine Savannas Using ALOS PALSAR

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dimitrios Michelakis

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Fine-scale biomass maps offer forest managers the prospect of more detailed and locally accurate information for measuring, reporting and verification activities in contexts, such as sustainable forest management, carbon stock assessments and ecological studies of forest growth and change. In this study, we apply a locally validated method for estimating aboveground woody biomass (AGWB from Advanced Land Observing Satellite (ALOS Phased Array-type L-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (PALSAR data to produce an AGWB map for the lowland pine savannas of Belize at a spatial resolution of 100 m. Over 90% of these woodlands are predicted to have an AGWB below 60 tha−1, with the average woody biomass of these savannas estimated at 23.5 tha−1. By overlaying these spatial estimates upon previous thematic mapping of national land cover, we derive representative average biomass values of ~32 tha−1 and ~18 tha−1 for the previously qualitative classes of “denser” and “less dense” tree savannas. The predicted average biomass, from the mapping for savannas woodlands occurring within two of Belize’s larger protected areas, agree closely with previous biomass estimates for these areas based on ground surveys and forest inventories (error ≤20%. However, biomass estimates derived for these protected areas from two biomass maps produced at coarser resolutions (500 m and 1000 m from global datasets overestimated biomass (errors ≥275% in each dataset. The finer scale biomass mapping of both protected and unprotected areas provides evidence to suggest that protection has a positive effect upon woody biomass, with the mean AGWB higher in areas protected and managed for biodiversity (protected and passively managed (PRPM, 29.5 tha−1 compared to unprotected areas (UPR, 23.29 tha−1. These findings suggest that where sufficient ground data exists to build a reliable local relationship to radar backscatter, the more detailed biomass mapping that can be

  6. Satellite observations for describing fire patterns and climate-related fire drivers in the Brazilian savannas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verola Mataveli, Guilherme Augusto; Siqueira Silva, Maria Elisa; Pereira, Gabriel; da Silva Cardozo, Francielle; Shinji Kawakubo, Fernando; Bertani, Gabriel; Cezar Costa, Julio; de Cássia Ramos, Raquel; Valéria da Silva, Viviane

    2018-01-01

    In the Brazilian savannas (Cerrado biome) fires are natural and a tool for shifting land use; therefore, temporal and spatial patterns result from the interaction of climate, vegetation condition and human activities. Moreover, orbital sensors are the most effective approach to establish patterns in the biome. We aimed to characterize fire, precipitation and vegetation condition regimes and to establish spatial patterns of fire occurrence and their correlation with precipitation and vegetation condition in the Cerrado. The Cerrado was first and second biome for the occurrence of burned areas (BA) and hotspots, respectively. Occurrences are higher during the dry season and in the savanna land use. Hotspots and BA tend to decrease, and concentrate in the north, but more intense hotspots are not necessarily located where concentration is higher. Spatial analysis showed that averaged and summed values can hide patterns, such as for precipitation, which has the lowest average in August, but minimum precipitation in August was found in 7 % of the Cerrado. Usually, there is a 2-3-month lag between minimum precipitation and maximum hotspots and BA, while minimum VCI and maximum hotspots and BA occur in the same month. Hotspots and BA are better correlated with VCI than precipitation, qualifying VCI as an indicator of the susceptibility of vegetation to ignition.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Age-related tooth wear differs between forest and savanna primates.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jordi Galbany

    Full Text Available Tooth wear in primates is caused by aging and ecological factors. However, comparative data that would allow us to delineate the contribution of each of these factors are lacking. Here, we contrast age-dependent molar tooth wear by scoring percent of dentine exposure (PDE in two wild African primate populations from Gabonese forest and Kenyan savanna habitats. We found that forest-dwelling mandrills exhibited significantly higher PDE with age than savanna yellow baboons. Mandrills mainly feed on large tough food items, such as hard-shell fruits, and inhabit an ecosystem with a high presence of mineral quartz. By contrast, baboons consume large amounts of exogenous grit that adheres to underground storage organs but the proportion of quartz in the soils where baboons live is low. Our results support the hypothesis that not only age but also physical food properties and soil composition, particularly quartz richness, are factors that significantly impact tooth wear. We further propose that the accelerated dental wear in mandrills resulting in flatter molars with old age may represent an adaptation to process hard food items present in their environment.

  11. Burned area detection based on Landsat time series in savannas of southern Burkina Faso

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Jinxiu; Heiskanen, Janne; Maeda, Eduardo Eiji; Pellikka, Petri K. E.

    2018-02-01

    West African savannas are subject to regular fires, which have impacts on vegetation structure, biodiversity and carbon balance. An efficient and accurate mapping of burned area associated with seasonal fires can greatly benefit decision making in land management. Since coarse resolution burned area products cannot meet the accuracy needed for fire management and climate modelling at local scales, the medium resolution Landsat data is a promising alternative for local scale studies. In this study, we developed an algorithm for continuous monitoring of annual burned areas using Landsat time series. The algorithm is based on burned pixel detection using harmonic model fitting with Landsat time series and breakpoint identification in the time series data. This approach was tested in a savanna area in southern Burkina Faso using 281 images acquired between October 2000 and April 2016. An overall accuracy of 79.2% was obtained with balanced omission and commission errors. This represents a significant improvement in comparison with MODIS burned area product (67.6%), which had more omission errors than commission errors, indicating underestimation of the total burned area. By observing the spatial distribution of burned areas, we found that the Landsat based method misclassified cropland and cloud shadows as burned areas due to the similar spectral response, and MODIS burned area product omitted small and fragmented burned areas. The proposed algorithm is flexible and robust against decreased data availability caused by clouds and Landsat 7 missing lines, therefore having a high potential for being applied in other landscapes in future studies.

  12. Environmental profile and milk production of Friesian-Zebu crosses in Nigerian Guinea Savanna

    Science.gov (United States)

    Igono, M. O.; Aliu, Y. O.

    1982-06-01

    A 10-year meteorologic data have been collated to enable delienation of the environmental profile of the Nigerian Guinea Savanna zone. Three distinct seasons are defined: a hot-dry season which lasts from March to April; a hot-humid season (May to October); and the harmattan season (November to February). The effects of these seasons on milk production by half and three-quarter Friesian-Zebu crosses were evaluated during the first 100 days of lactation over a 2-year period. There were no significant differences in milk yield between the genotypes, but at heat intensities above 27‡C, the half cross gave more milk than the three-quarter cross. It is thus recommended that the half Friesian-Zebu cross be selected for milk production in the Nigerian Guinea Savanna and that suitable husbandry and managerial adjustments such as provision of adequate clean water, shelter, good quality and silage and night grazing should be evolved to ameliorate the adverse effects of thermal stress and nutritional deficiency during the drier and hotter months of the year.

  13. 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.

  14. 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)

    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. PMID:26066508

  15. Effects of repeated burning on woody vegetation structure and composition in a semi-arid southern African savanna

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gandiwa, E.

    2011-01-01

    The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of repeated dry season annual hot fires on woody plants in a semiarid southern African savanna in Zimbabwe. Parts of the National University of Science and Technology (NUST) research fields in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe have been burnt annually in

  16. Quantifying the relative importance of greenhouse gas emissions from current and future savanna land use change across northern Australia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Bristow

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available 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

  17. The importance of seed mass for the tolerance to heat shocks of savanna and forest tree species

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ribeiro, L.C.; Barbosa, E.R.M.; Langevelde, van F.; Borghetti, F.

    2015-01-01

    Questions: Does seed mass influence the tolerance of seeds to the effects of heating in fires? Is the tolerance to heat shocks during fire events dependent mostly on seed mass itself or to other traits linked to the species ecological origin, e.g. non-fire-prone (forest) and fire-prone (savanna)

  18. Patterns of water and heat flux across a biome gradient from tropical forest to savanna in Brazil

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rocha, da H.R.; Manzi, A.O.; Cabral, O.M.; Miller, S.D.; Goulden, M.L.; Saleska, S.R.; Coupe, N.R.; Wofsy, S.C.; Borma, L.S.; Artaxo, P.; Vourlitis, G.; Nogueira, J.S.; Cardoso, F.L.; Nobre, A.D.; Kruijt, B.; Freitas, H.C.; Randow, von C.; Aguiar, R.G.; Maia, J.F.

    2009-01-01

    We investigated the seasonal patterns of water vapor and sensible heat flux along a tropical biome gradient from forest to savanna. We analyzed data from a network of flux towers in Brazil that were operated within the Large-Scale Biosphere-Atmosphere Experiment in Amazonia (LBA). These tower sites

  19. Woody cover assessments in a Southern African Savanna, using hyper-temporal C-band ASAR-WS data

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Main, R

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available and international commitments to manage them. Using LiDAR data as a calibration dataset, this paper sets out to investigate the potential of hyper-temporal C-band ASAR SAR data in mapping woody structural related parameters in a savanna environment. Images spanning...

  20. BRS 369RF and BRS 370RF: Glyphosate tolerant, high-yielding upland cotton cultivars for central Brazilian savanna

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Camilo de Lelis Morello

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available BRS 369RF and BRS 370RF were developed by the EMBRAPA as a part of efforts to create high-yielding germplasm with combinations of transgenic traits. BRS 369RF and BRS 370RF are midseason cultivars and have yield stability, adaptation to the central Brazilian savanna, good fiber quality and tolerance to glyphosate herbicide.

  1. Rapid Assessment of Key Structural Elements of Different Vegetation Types of West African Savannas in Burkina Faso

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qasim Mohammad

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Estimations of Leaf Area Index (LAI have recently gained attention due to the sensitivity to the effects of climate change and its impact on forest ecosystems. Hence, a study was conducted on the LAI estimation of four vegetation types: (i gallery forests, (ii woodland savannas, (iii tree savannas, and (iv shrub savannas, at two protected areas of Nazinga Game Ranch and Bontioli Nature Reserve, Burkina Faso. A relationship between LAI and Crown Diameter was also investigated at these two sites. Digital hemispherical photography was used for the LAI estimation. Crown diameters (CD were determined perpendicular to each other and averaged for each tree and shrub. Overall results revealed that LAI ranged from 0-1.33 and the CD was recorded in the range of 0.46-11.01 m. The gallery forests recorded the highest mean LAI 1.33 ± 0.32 as well as the highest mean CD 7.69 ± 1.90 m. The LAI for the vegetation types were at their lower ends as the study was conducted in summer season, higher values are therefore expected in the wet season, as a significant correlation between LAI and precipitation has been emphasized by various studies. Continuous LAI monitoring and studies on various growth parameters of different vegetation types at the study sites are recommended towards enhanced monitoring and an ecologically feasible forest- and savanna-use and management to maintain essential ecosystem functions and services.

  2. Predicting the effects of woody encroachment on mammal communities, grazing biomass and fire frequency in African savannas

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Smit, I.P.J.; Prins, H.H.T.

    2015-01-01

    With grasslands and savannas covering 20% of the world’s land surface, accounting for 30–35% of worldwide Net Primary Productivity and supporting hundreds of millions of people, predicting changes in tree/grass systems is priority. Inappropriate land management and rising atmospheric CO2 levels

  3. Couse white-tailed deer and desert cottontail in the southwestern oak savannas: Their presence before and after burning events

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peter F. Ffolliott; Hui Chen; Gerald J. Gottfried; Cody L. Stropki

    2012-01-01

    Coues white-tallied deer (Odocoileus virginianus couesi) and desert cottontail (Sylvilagus auduboni), also known as Audubon cottontail, are inhabits of oak savannas in the Southwestern Borderlands region. Food, cover, and scattered water for these two species are found in this comparatively open ecosystem. The results of a study on the presence (occurrence) of Coues...

  4. Relationships between bat occupancy and habitat and landscape structure along a savanna, woodland, forest gradient in the Missouri Ozarks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clarissa A. Starbuck; Sybill K. Amelon; Frank R. III. Thompson

    2015-01-01

    Many land-management agencies are restoring savannas and woodlands using prescribed fire and forest thinning, and information is needed on how wildlife species respond to these management activities. Our objectives were to evaluate support for relationships of bat site occupancy with vegetation structure and management and landscape composition and structure across a...

  5. Southwestern U. S. juniper savanna and piñon-juniper woodland communities: Ecological history and natural range of variability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brian F. Jacobs

    2008-01-01

    Juniper savanna and pinon-juniper woodland communities collectively represent a widespread and diverse vegetation type that occupies foothill and mesa landforms at middle elevations in semi-arid portions of the American Southwest. Ecological understanding and proper management of these juniper and pinon types requires local knowledge of component species, site history...

  6. Impact of communal land use and conservation on woody vegetation structure in the Lowveld savannas of South Africa

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Wessels, Konrad J

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Millions of people rely on savannas for ecosystem services, such as the provision of grazing and fuel wood, so it is important to determine the extent to which utilization affects woody vegetation resources. Using airborne LiDAR from the Carnegie...

  7. Tree-grass interactions on an East African savanna : the effects of facilitation, competition, and hydraulic lift

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ludwig, F.

    2001-01-01

    Keywords: Rangelands, Semi-arid areas, stable isotopes, Acacia, C 4- grasses, plant nutrients, soil nutrients, soil water, plant water relations

    Savanna trees can either increase or decrease the productivity of understorey grasses. Trees reduce grass

  8. Eddy covariance and biometric measurements show that a savanna ecosystem in Southwest China is a carbon sink

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fei, Xuehai; Jin, Yanqiang; Zhang, Yiping; Sha, Liqing; Liu, Yuntong; Song, Qinghai; Zhou, Wenjun; Liang, Naishen; Yu, Guirui; Zhang, Leiming; Zhou, Ruiwu; Li, Jing; Zhang, Shubin; Li, Peiguang

    2017-02-01

    Savanna ecosystems play a crucial role in the global carbon cycle. However, there is a gap in our understanding of carbon fluxes in the savanna ecosystems of Southeast Asia. In this study, the eddy covariance technique (EC) and the biometric-based method (BM) were used to determine carbon exchange in a savanna ecosystem in Southwest China. The BM-based net ecosystem production (NEP) was 0.96 tC ha-1 yr-1. The EC-based estimates of the average annual gross primary productivity (GPP), ecosystem respiration (Reco), and net ecosystem carbon exchange (NEE) were 6.84, 5.54, and -1.30 tC ha-1 yr-1, respectively, from May 2013 to December 2015, indicating that this savanna ecosystem acted as an appreciable carbon sink. The ecosystem was more efficient during the wet season than the dry season, so that it represented a small carbon sink of 0.16 tC ha-1 yr-1 in the dry season and a considerable carbon sink of 1.14 tC ha-1 yr-1 in the wet season. However, it is noteworthy that the carbon sink capacity may decline in the future under rising temperatures and decreasing rainfall. Consequently, further studies should assess how environmental factors and climate change will influence carbon-water fluxes.

  9. Scale of nutrient patchiness mediates resource partitioning between trees and grasses in a semi-arid savanna

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2011-01-01

    1. Scaling theory predicts that organisms respond to different scales of resource patchiness in relation to their own size. We tested the hypothesis that the scale of nutrient patchiness mediates resource partitioning between large trees and small grasses in a semi-arid savanna. 2. In a factorial

  10. Opposing resonses to ecological gradients structure amphibian and reptile communities across a temperate grassland-savanna-forest landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grundel, Ralph; Beamer, David; Glowacki, Gary A.; Frohnapple, Krystal; Pavlovic, Noel B.

    2014-01-01

    Temperate savannas are threatened across the globe. If we prioritize savanna restoration, we should ask how savanna animal communities differ from communities in related open habitats and forests. We documented distribution of amphibian and reptile species across an open-savanna–forest gradient in the Midwest U.S. to determine how fire history and habitat structure affected herpetofaunal community composition. The transition from open habitats to forests was a transition from higher reptile abundance to higher amphibian abundance and the intermediate savanna landscape supported the most species overall. These differences warn against assuming that amphibian and reptile communities will have similar ecological responses to habitat structure. Richness and abundance also often responded in opposite directions to some habitat characteristics, such as cover of bare ground or litter. Herpetofaunal community species composition changed along a fire gradient from infrequent and recent fires to frequent but less recent fires. Nearby (200-m) wetland cover was relatively unimportant in predicting overall herpetofaunal community composition while fire history and fire-related canopy and ground cover were more important predictors of composition, diversity, and abundance. Increased developed cover was negatively related to richness and abundance. This indicates the importance of fire history and fire related landscape characteristics, and the negative effects of development, in shaping the upland herpetofaunal community along the native grassland–forest continuum.

  11. 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...

  12. 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.

  13. Disentangling the Relationships between Net Primary Production and Precipitation in Southern Africa Savannas Using Satellite Observations from 1982 to 2010

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jane Southworth

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available To obtain a better understanding of the variability in net primary production (NPP in savannas is important for the study of the global carbon cycle and the management of this particular ecosystem. Using satellite and precipitation data sets, we investigated the variations in NPP in southern African savannas from 1982 to 2010, and disentangled the relationships between NPP and precipitation by land cover classes and mean annual precipitation (MAP gradients. Specifically, we evaluate the utility of the third generation Global Inventory Monitoring and Modeling System (GIMMS3g normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI dataset, in comparison with Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS derived NPP products, and find strong relationships between the overlapping data periods (2000–2010, such that we can apply our model to derive NPP estimates to the full 29-year NDVI time-series. Generally, the northern portion of the study area is characterized by high NPP and low variability, whereas the southern portion is characteristic of low NPP and high variability. During the period 1982 through 2010, NPP has reduced at a rate of −2.13 g∙C∙m−2∙yr−1 (p < 0.1, corresponding to a decrease of 6.7% over 29 years, and about half of bush and grassland savanna has experienced a decrease in NPP. There is a significant positive relationship between mean annual NPP and MAP in bush and grassland savannas, but no significant relationship is observed in tree savannas. The relationship between mean annual NPP and MAP varies with increases in MAP, characterized as a linear relationship that breaks down when MAP exceeding around 850–900 mm.

  14. Climate warming and precipitation redistribution modify tree-grass interactions and tree species establishment in a warm-temperate savanna.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Volder, Astrid; Briske, David D; Tjoelker, Mark G

    2013-03-01

    Savanna tree-grass interactions may be particularly sensitive to climate change. Establishment of two tree canopy dominants, post oak (Quercus stellata) and eastern redcedar (Juniperus virginiana), grown with the dominant C4 perennial grass (Schizachyrium scoparium) in southern oak savanna of the United States were evaluated under four climatic scenarios for 6 years. Tree-grass interactions were examined with and without warming (+1.5 °C) in combination with a long-term mean rainfall treatment and a modified rainfall regime that redistributed 40% of summer rainfall to spring and fall, intensifying summer drought. The aim was to determine: (1) the relative growth response of these species, (2) potential shifts in the balance of tree-grass interactions, and (3) the trajectory of juniper encroachment into savannas, under these anticipated climatic conditions. Precipitation redistribution reduced relative growth rate (RGR) of trees grown with grass. Warming increased growth of J. virginiana and strongly reduced Q. stellata survival. Tiller numbers of S. scoparium plants were unaffected by warming, but the number of reproductive tillers was increasingly suppressed by intensified drought each year. Growth rates of J. virginiana and Q. stellata were suppressed by grass presence early, but in subsequent years were higher when grown with grass. Quercus stellata had overall reduced RGR, but enhanced survival when grown with grass, while survival of J. virginiana remained near 100% in all treatments. Once trees surpassed a threshold height of 1.1 m, both tiller number and survival of S. scoparium plants were drastically reduced by the presence of J. virginiana, but not Q. stellata. Juniperus virginiana was the only savanna dominant in which neither survival nor final aboveground mass were adversely affected by the climate scenario of warming and intensified summer drought. These responses indicate that climate warming and altered precipitation patterns will further

  15. Mammals of Australia's tropical savannas: a conceptual model of assemblage structure and regulatory factors in the Kimberley region.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ian J Radford

    Full Text Available We construct a state-and-transition model for mammals in tropical savannas in northern Australia to synthesize ecological knowledge and understand mammalian declines. We aimed to validate the existence of alternative mammal assemblage states similar to those in arid Australian grasslands, and to speculate on transition triggers. Based on the arid grassland model, we hypothesized that assemblages are partitioned across rainfall gradients and between substrates. We also predicted that assemblages typical of arid regions in boom periods would be prevalent in savannas with higher and more regular rainfall. Data from eight mammal surveys from the Kimberley region, Western Australia (1994 to 2011 were collated. Survey sites were partitioned across rainfall zones and habitats. Data allowed us to identify three assemblage states: State 0:--low numbers of mammals, State II:--dominated by omnivorous rodents and State III:--dominated by rodents and larger marsupials. Unlike arid grasslands, assemblage dominance by insectivorous dasyurids (State I did not occur in savannas. Mammal assemblages were partitioned across rainfall zones and between substrates as predicted, but-unlike arid regions-were not related strongly to yearly rainfall. Mammal assemblage composition showed high regional stability, probably related to high annual rainfall and predictable wet season resource pulses. As a consequence, we speculate that perpetually booming assemblages in savannas allow top-down control of the ecosystem, with suppression of introduced cats by the dingo, the region's top predator. Under conditions of low or erratic productivity, imposed increasingly by intense fire regimes and introduced herbivore grazing, dingoes may not limit impacts of cats on native mammals. These interacting factors may explain contemporary declines of savanna mammals as well as historical declines in arid Australia. The cat-ecosystem productivity hypothesis raised here differs from the

  16. Mammals of Australia's tropical savannas: a conceptual model of assemblage structure and regulatory factors in the Kimberley region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Radford, Ian J; Dickman, Christopher R; Start, Antony N; Palmer, Carol; Carnes, Karin; Everitt, Corrin; Fairman, Richard; Graham, Gordon; Partridge, Thalie; Thomson, Allan

    2014-01-01

    We construct a state-and-transition model for mammals in tropical savannas in northern Australia to synthesize ecological knowledge and understand mammalian declines. We aimed to validate the existence of alternative mammal assemblage states similar to those in arid Australian grasslands, and to speculate on transition triggers. Based on the arid grassland model, we hypothesized that assemblages are partitioned across rainfall gradients and between substrates. We also predicted that assemblages typical of arid regions in boom periods would be prevalent in savannas with higher and more regular rainfall. Data from eight mammal surveys from the Kimberley region, Western Australia (1994 to 2011) were collated. Survey sites were partitioned across rainfall zones and habitats. Data allowed us to identify three assemblage states: State 0:--low numbers of mammals, State II:--dominated by omnivorous rodents and State III:--dominated by rodents and larger marsupials. Unlike arid grasslands, assemblage dominance by insectivorous dasyurids (State I) did not occur in savannas. Mammal assemblages were partitioned across rainfall zones and between substrates as predicted, but-unlike arid regions-were not related strongly to yearly rainfall. Mammal assemblage composition showed high regional stability, probably related to high annual rainfall and predictable wet season resource pulses. As a consequence, we speculate that perpetually booming assemblages in savannas allow top-down control of the ecosystem, with suppression of introduced cats by the dingo, the region's top predator. Under conditions of low or erratic productivity, imposed increasingly by intense fire regimes and introduced herbivore grazing, dingoes may not limit impacts of cats on native mammals. These interacting factors may explain contemporary declines of savanna mammals as well as historical declines in arid Australia. The cat-ecosystem productivity hypothesis raised here differs from the already-articulated cat

  17. Implication of Forest-Savanna Dynamics on Biomass and Carbon Stock: Effectiveness of an Amazonian Ecological Station

    Science.gov (United States)

    Couto-Santos, F. R.; Luizao, F. J.

    2014-12-01

    The forests-savanna advancement/retraction process seems to play an important role in the global carbon cycle and in the climate-vegetation balance maintenance in the Amazon. To contribute with long term carbon dynamics and assess effectiveness of a protected area in reduce carbon emissions in Brazilian Amazon transitional areas, variations in forest-savanna mosaics biomass and carbon stock within Maraca Ecological Station (MES), Roraima/Brazil, and its outskirts non-protected areas were compared. Composite surface soil samples and indirect methods based on regression models were used to estimate aboveground tree biomass accumulation and assess vegetation and soil carbon stock along eleven 0.6 ha transects perpendicular to the forest-savanna limits. Aboveground biomass and carbon accumulation were influenced by vegetation structure, showing higher values within protected area, with great contribution of trees above 40 cm in diameter. In the savanna environments of protected areas, a higher tree density and carbon stock up to 30 m from the border confirmed a forest encroachment. This pointed that MES acts as carbon sink, even under variations in soil fertility gradient, with a potential increase of the total carbon stock from 9 to 150 Mg C ha-1. Under 20 years of fire and disturbance management, the results indicated the effectiveness of this protected area to reduce carbon emissions and mitigate greenhouse and climate change effects in a forest-savanna transitional area in Brazilian Northern Amazon. The contribution of this study in understanding rates and reasons for biomass and carbon variation, under different management strategies, should be considered the first approximation to assist policies of reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) from underresearched Amazonian ecotone; despite further efforts in this direction are still needed. FINANCIAL SUPPORT: Boticário Group Foundation (Fundação Grupo Boticário); National Council for

  18. Mammals of Australia's Tropical Savannas: A Conceptual Model of Assemblage Structure and Regulatory Factors in the Kimberley Region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Radford, Ian J.; Dickman, Christopher R.; Start, Antony N.; Palmer, Carol; Carnes, Karin; Everitt, Corrin; Fairman, Richard; Graham, Gordon; Partridge, Thalie; Thomson, Allan

    2014-01-01

    We construct a state-and-transition model for mammals in tropical savannas in northern Australia to synthesize ecological knowledge and understand mammalian declines. We aimed to validate the existence of alternative mammal assemblage states similar to those in arid Australian grasslands, and to speculate on transition triggers. Based on the arid grassland model, we hypothesized that assemblages are partitioned across rainfall gradients and between substrates. We also predicted that assemblages typical of arid regions in boom periods would be prevalent in savannas with higher and more regular rainfall. Data from eight mammal surveys from the Kimberley region, Western Australia (1994 to 2011) were collated. Survey sites were partitioned across rainfall zones and habitats. Data allowed us to identify three assemblage states: State 0:- low numbers of mammals, State II:- dominated by omnivorous rodents and State III:- dominated by rodents and larger marsupials. Unlike arid grasslands, assemblage dominance by insectivorous dasyurids (State I) did not occur in savannas. Mammal assemblages were partitioned across rainfall zones and between substrates as predicted, but—unlike arid regions—were not related strongly to yearly rainfall. Mammal assemblage composition showed high regional stability, probably related to high annual rainfall and predictable wet season resource pulses. As a consequence, we speculate that perpetually booming assemblages in savannas allow top-down control of the ecosystem, with suppression of introduced cats by the dingo, the region's top predator. Under conditions of low or erratic productivity, imposed increasingly by intense fire regimes and introduced herbivore grazing, dingoes may not limit impacts of cats on native mammals. These interacting factors may explain contemporary declines of savanna mammals as well as historical declines in arid Australia. The cat-ecosystem productivity hypothesis raised here differs from the already

  19. Multi-Sensor Model-Data Assimilation for Improved Modeling of Savanna Carbon and Water Budgets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barrett, D. J.; Renzullo, L. J.; Guerschman, J.; Hill, M. J.

    2007-12-01

    Model-data assimilation methods are increasingly being used to improve model predictions of carbon pools and fluxes, soil profile moisture contents, and evapotranspiration at catchment to regional scales. In this talk, I will discuss the development of model-data assimilation methods for application to parameter and state estimation problems in the context of savanna carbon and water cycles. A particular focus of this talk will be on the integration of in situ datasets and multiple types of satellite observations with radiative transfer, surface energy balance, and carbon budget models. An example will be drawn from existing work demonstrating regional estimation of soil profile moisture content based on multiple satellite sensors. The data assimilation scheme comprised a forward model, observation operators, multiple observation datasets and an optimization scheme. The forward model propagates model state variables in time based on climate forcing, initial conditions and model parameters and includes processes governing evapotranspiration, water budget and carbon cycle processes. The observation operators calculate modeled land surface temperature and microwave brightness temperatures based on the state variables of profile soil moisture and soil surface layer soil moisture at less than 2.5 cm depth. Satellite observations used in the assimilation scheme are surface brightness temperatures from AMSR-E (passive microwave at 6.9GHz at horizontal polarization) and from AVHRR (thermal channels 4 & 5 from NOAA-18), and land surface reflectances from MODIS Terra (channels 1 and 2 at 250m resolution). These three satellite sensors overpass at approximately the same time of day and provide independent observations of the land surface at different wavelengths. The observed brightness temperatures are used as constraints on the coupled energy balance/microwave radiative transfer model, and a canopy optical model was inverted to retrieve leaf area indices from observed

  20. Assessment of the mapping of fractional woody cover in southern African savannas using multi-temporal and polarimetric ALOS PALSAR L-band images

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Urbazaev, M

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Woody vegetation cover affects several ecosystem processes including carbon and water cycling, energy fluxes, and fire regimes. In order to understand the dynamics of savanna ecosystems, information on the spatial distribution of woody vegetation...

  1. Assessing diet in savanna herbivores using stable carbon isotope ratios of faeces

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. Codron

    2005-06-01

    Full Text Available In African savannas, browse-based resources (@3 plants are isotopically distinct from grasses (@4 plants. The carbon isotopic composition of the basic plant diet is recorded in animal tissues. Mammal faeces are a readily accessible, non-invasive, sample material for temporally resolved dietary reconstructions. Faeces, however, include both undigested plant matter and waste, hence accuracy of dietary calculations could potentially be compromised by shifts in plant isotopic values related to seasonal or spatial differences, or by variability in the isotopic differences between faeces and diet. A controlled feeding study of four ungulate species showed a small, consistent difference between diet and faeces of-0.9 o, irrespective of whether the diet was @3 or C4-based. Results from faeces oftaxa known to be pure grazers, pure browsers, and mixed-feeders from the Kruger National Park were entirely consistent with their diets, but the accuracy of dietary reconstructions is enhanced with data from local plant communities.

  2. Spatial-temporal distribution of fire-protected savanna physiognomies in Southeastern Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcelo H.O. Pinheiro

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available The analysis of the influence of edaphic finer textures, as a facilitating factor for the expansion of forest formations in the absence of fire, was possible thanks to rare characteristics found in a savanna fragment located in the State of São Paulo, Brazil. The total suppression of fire for over four decades, and the occurrence of two savanna physiognomies, cerrado sensu stricto and cerradão, allowed the conduction of this study based on the hypothesis that cerradão, a physiognomy of forest aspect consisting of fire-sensitive tree and shrubs species, is favored by fire absence and higher soil hydric retention capacity. Edaphic samples were collected from a regular grid of 200 m² for the production of isopletic maps of the distribution of clay, fine sand, coarse sand and silt edaphic textures by the geostatistic method of ordinary kriging. Changes in the areas occupied by both savanna physiognomies, defined on the basis of aerial photographs taken over a period of 43 years, were assessed through mean variation rates. Besides corroborating the hypothesis of edaphic hydric retention as a facilitating factor for the expansion of forest physiognomies in savanna areas, we were able to infer the positive influence of higher precipitation on the increase in cerradão expansion rates.A influência de texturas edáficas finas, como fator de facilitação para a expansão de formações florestais sobre áreas savânicas, através da maior retenção hídrica edáfica, na ausência de incêndios, foi possível ser estudada graças às características encontradas em um fragmento savânico com 38,8 ha, situado em Corumbataí (SP. A supressão total do fogo por quatro décadas, e a ocorrência de duas fisionomias, cerrado sensu stricto e cerradão, permitiram a condução deste estudo. Amostras de solo foram coletadas em uma grade regular de 200 m², abrangendo toda a área do fragmento. Foram produzidos mapas iso-pléticos, com a distribuição das

  3. Long term precipitation chemistry and wet deposition in a remote dry savanna site in Africa (Niger

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. Galy-Lacaux

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Long-term precipitation chemistry have been recorded in the rural area of Banizoumbou (Niger, representative of a semi-arid savanna ecosystem. A total of 305 rainfall samples ~90% of the total annual rainfall were collected from June 1994 to September 2005. From ionic chromatography, pH major inorganic and organic ions were detected. Rainwater chemistry is controlled by soil/dust emissions associated with terrigeneous elements represented by SO42−, Ca2+, Carbonates, K+ and Mg2+. It is found that calcium and carbonates represent ~40% of the total ionic charge. The second highest contribution is nitrogenous, with annual Volume Weighed Mean (VWM for NO3 and NH4+ concentrations of 11.6 and 18.1 μeq.l−1, respectively. This is the signature of ammonia sources from animals and NOx emissions from savannas soil-particles rain-induced. The mean annual NH3 and NO2 air concentration are of 6 ppbv and 2.6 ppbv, respectively. The annual VWM precipitation concentration of sodium and chloride are both of 8.7 μeq.l−1 which reflects the marine signature of monsoonal and humid air masses. The median pH value is of 6.05. Acidity is neutralized by mineral dust, mainly carbonates, and/or dissolved gases such NH3. High level of organic acidity with 8μeq.l−1 and 5.2 μeq.l−1 of formate and acetate were also found. The analysis of monthly Black Carbon emissions and Fraction of Absorbed Photosynthetically Active Radiation (FAPAR values show that both biogenic emission from vegetation and biomass burning could explain the rainfall organic acidity content. The interannual variability of the VWM concentrations around the mean (1994–2005 is between ±5% and ±30% and mainly due to variations of sources strength and rainfall spatio-temporal distribution. From 1994 to 2005

  4. Biome-specific effects of nitrogen and phosphorus on the photosynthetic characteristics of trees at a forest-savanna boundary in Cameroon

    OpenAIRE

    Ferreira Domingues, Tomas; Ishida, F. Yoko; Feldpausch, Ted R.; Grace, John; Meir, Patrick; Saiz, Gustavo; Sene, Olivier; Schrodt, Franziska; Sonk?, Bonaventure; Taedoumg, Herman; Veenendaal, Elmar 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 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 sava...

  5. Reconciling Agricultural Needs with Biodiversity and Carbon Conservation in a Savanna Transformation Frontier

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spiegel, M. P.; Estes, L. D.; Caylor, K. K.; Searchinger, T.

    2015-12-01

    Zambia is a major hotspot for agricultural development in the African savannas, which will be targeted for agricultural expansion to relieve food shortages and economic insecurity in the next few decades. Recent scholarship rejects the assumption that the large reserves of arable land in the African savannas could be converted to cropland with low ecological costs. In light of these findings, the selection of land for agricultural expansion must consider not only its potential productivity, but also the increase in greenhouse gas emissions and biodiversity loss that would result from the land conversion. To examine these tradeoffs, we have developed a multi-objective optimization technique to seek scenarios for agricultural development in Zambia that simultaneously achieve production targets and minimize carbon, biodiversity, and economic cost constraints, while factoring in the inter-annual variability in crop production in this highly uncertain climate. Potential production is determined from well-characterized yield potential estimates while robust metrics of biodiversity and high resolution mapping of carbon storage provide fine scale estimates of ecological impact. We draw production targets for individual crops from potential development pathways, primarily export, commodity-crop driven expansion and identify ecologically responsible agricultural development scenarios that are resilient to climate change and meet these demands. In order to achieve a doubling of production of nine key crops, assuming a modest 20% overall increase in yield potential, we find a range of scenarios that use less than 1600 km2 of new land without infringing on any protected areas or exceeding 6.7 million tons of carbon emissions.

  6. Long-distance dispersal in a fire- and livestock-protected savanna.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tarazi, Roberto; Sebbenn, Alexandre M; Kageyama, Paulo Y; Vencovsky, Roland

    2013-04-01

    Savannas are highly diverse and dynamic environments that can shift to forest formations due to protection policies. Long-distance dispersal may shape the genetic structure of these new closed forest formations. We analyzed eight microsatellite loci using a single-time approach to understand contemporary pollen and effective seed dispersal of the tropical tree, Copaifera langsdorffii Desf. (Fabaceae), occurring in a Brazilian fire- and livestock-protected savanna. We sampled all adult trees found within a 10.24 ha permanent plot, young trees within a subplot of 1.44 ha and open-pollinated seeds. We detected a very high level of genetic diversity among the three generations in the studied plot. Parentage analysis revealed high pollen immigration rate (0.64) and a mean contemporary pollen dispersal distance of 74 m. In addition, half-sib production was 1.8 times higher than full-sibs in significant higher distances, indicating foraging activity preference for different trees at long distances. There was a significant and negative correlation between diameter at breast height (DBH) of the pollen donor with the number of seeds (r = -0.640, P-value = 0.032), suggesting that pollen donor trees with a higher DBH produce less seeds. The mean distance of realized seed dispersal (recruitment kernel) was 135 m due to the large home range dispersers (birds and mammals) in the area. The small magnitude of spatial genetic structure found in young trees may be a consequence of overlapping seed shadows and increased tree density. Our results show the positive side of closed canopy expansion, where animal activities regarding pollination and seed dispersal are extremely high.

  7. Within-population isotopic niche variability in savanna mammals: disparity between carnivores and herbivores

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daryl eCodron

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Large mammal ecosystems have relatively simple food webs, usually comprising three – and sometimes only two – trophic links. Since many syntopic species from the same trophic level therefore share resources, dietary niche partitioning features prominently within these systems. In African and other subtropical savannas, stable carbon isotopes readily distinguish between herbivore species for which foliage and other parts of dicot plants (13C-depleted C3 vegetation are the primary resource (browsers and those for which grasses (13C-enriched C4 vegetation are staples (grazers. Similarly, carbon isotopes distinguish between carnivore diets that may be richer in either browser, grazer, or intermediate-feeding prey. Here, we investigate levels of carbon and nitrogen isotopic niche variation and niche partitioning within populations (or species of carnivores and herbivores from South African savannas. We emphasize predictable differences in within-population trends across trophic levels: we expect that herbivore populations, which require more foraging effort due to higher intake requirements, are far less likely to display within-population resource partitioning than carnivore populations. Our results reveal generally narrower isotopic niche breadths in herbivore than carnivore populations, but more importantly we find lower levels of isotopic differentiation across individuals within herbivore species. While these results offer some support for our general hypothesis, the current paucity of isotopic data for African carnivores limits our ability to test the complete set of predictions arising from our hypothesis. Nevertheless, given the different ecological and ecophysiological constraints to foraging behaviour within each trophic level, comparisons across carnivores and herbivores, which are possible within such simplified foodwebs, make these systems ideal for developing a process-based understanding of conditions underlying the evolution of

  8. Long term leaf phenology and leaf exchange strategies of a cerrado savanna community

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Camargo, Maria Gabriela G.; Costa Alberton, Bruna; de Carvalho, Gustavo H.; Magalhães, Paula A. N. R.; Morellato, Leonor Patrícia C.

    2017-04-01

    Leaf development and senescence cycles are linked to a range of ecosystem processes, affecting seasonal patterns of atmosphere-ecosystem carbon and energy exchanges, resource availability and nutrient cycling. The degree of deciduousness of tropical trees and communities depend on ecosystems characteristics such as amount of biomass, species diversity and the strength and length of the dry season. Besides defining the growing season, deciduousness can also be an indicator of species response to climate changes in the tropics, mainly because severity of dry season can intensify leaf loss. Based on seven-years of phenological observations (2005 to 2011) we describe the long-term patterns of leafing phenology of a Brazilian cerrado savanna, aiming to (i) identify leaf exchange strategies of species, quantifying the degree of deciduousness, and verify whether these strategies vary among years depending on the length and strength of the dry seasons; (ii) define the growing seasons along the years and the main drivers of leaf flushing in the cerrado. We analyzed leafing patterns of 107 species and classified 69 species as deciduous (11 species), semi-deciduous (29) and evergreen (29). Leaf exchange was markedly seasonal, as expected for seasonal tropical savannas. Leaf fall predominated in the dry season, peaking in July, and leaf flushing in the transition between dry to wet seasons, peaking in September. Leafing patterns were similar among years with the growing season starting at the end of dry season, in September, for most species. However, leaf exchange strategies varied among years for most species (65%), except for evergreen strategy, mainly constant over years. Leafing patterns of cerrado species were strongly constrained by rainfall. The length of the dry season and rainfall intensity were likely affecting the individuals' leaf exchange strategies and suggesting a differential resilience of species to changes of rainfall regime, predicted on future global

  9. Seasonality of Fire Weather Strongly Influences Fire Regimes in South Florida Savanna-Grassland Landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Platt, William J.; Orzell, Steve L.; Slocum, Matthew G.

    2015-01-01

    Fire seasonality, an important characteristic of fire regimes, commonly is delineated using seasons based on single weather variables (rainfall or temperature). We used nonparametric cluster analyses of a 17-year (1993–2009) data set of weather variables that influence likelihoods and spread of fires (relative humidity, air temperature, solar radiation, wind speed, soil moisture) to explore seasonality of fire in pine savanna-grassland landscapes at the Avon Park Air Force Range in southern Florida. A four-variable, three-season model explained more variation within fire weather variables than models with more seasons. The three-season model also delineated intra-annual timing of fire more accurately than a conventional rainfall-based two-season model. Two seasons coincided roughly with dry and wet seasons based on rainfall. The third season, which we labeled the fire season, occurred between dry and wet seasons and was characterized by fire-promoting conditions present annually: drought, intense solar radiation, low humidity, and warm air temperatures. Fine fuels consisting of variable combinations of pyrogenic pine needles, abundant C4 grasses, and flammable shrubs, coupled with low soil moisture, and lightning ignitions early in the fire season facilitate natural landscape-scale wildfires that burn uplands and across wetlands. We related our three season model to fires with different ignition sources (lightning, military missions, and prescribed fires) over a 13-year period with fire records (1997–2009). Largest wildfires originate from lightning and military ignitions that occur within the early fire season substantially prior to the peak of lightning strikes in the wet season. Prescribed ignitions, in contrast, largely occur outside the fire season. Our delineation of a pronounced fire season provides insight into the extent to which different human-derived fire regimes mimic lightning fire regimes. Delineation of a fire season associated with timing of

  10. Seasonality of fire weather strongly influences fire regimes in South Florida savanna-grassland landscapes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William J Platt

    Full Text Available Fire seasonality, an important characteristic of fire regimes, commonly is delineated using seasons based on single weather variables (rainfall or temperature. We used nonparametric cluster analyses of a 17-year (1993-2009 data set of weather variables that influence likelihoods and spread of fires (relative humidity, air temperature, solar radiation, wind speed, soil moisture to explore seasonality of fire in pine savanna-grassland landscapes at the Avon Park Air Force Range in southern Florida. A four-variable, three-season model explained more variation within fire weather variables than models with more seasons. The three-season model also delineated intra-annual timing of fire more accurately than a conventional rainfall-based two-season model. Two seasons coincided roughly with dry and wet seasons based on rainfall. The third season, which we labeled the fire season, occurred between dry and wet seasons and was characterized by fire-promoting conditions present annually: drought, intense solar radiation, low humidity, and warm air temperatures. Fine fuels consisting of variable combinations of pyrogenic pine needles, abundant C4 grasses, and flammable shrubs, coupled with low soil moisture, and lightning ignitions early in the fire season facilitate natural landscape-scale wildfires that burn uplands and across wetlands. We related our three season model to fires with different ignition sources (lightning, military missions, and prescribed fires over a 13-year period with fire records (1997-2009. Largest wildfires originate from lightning and military ignitions that occur within the early fire season substantially prior to the peak of lightning strikes in the wet season. Prescribed ignitions, in contrast, largely occur outside the fire season. Our delineation of a pronounced fire season provides insight into the extent to which different human-derived fire regimes mimic lightning fire regimes. Delineation of a fire season associated with

  11. Dynamics of the leaf-litter arthropod fauna following fire in a neotropical woodland savanna.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vasconcelos, Heraldo L; Pacheco, Renata; Silva, Raphael C; Vasconcelos, Pedro B; Lopes, Cauê T; Costa, Alan N; Bruna, Emilio M

    2009-11-09

    Fire is an important agent of disturbance in tropical savannas, but relatively few studies have analyzed how soil-and-litter dwelling arthropods respond to fire disturbance despite the critical role these organisms play in nutrient cycling and other biogeochemical processes. Following the incursion of a fire into a woodland savanna ecological reserve in Central Brazil, we monitored the dynamics of litter-arthropod populations for nearly two years in one burned and one unburned area of the reserve. We also performed a reciprocal transplant experiment to determine the effects of fire and litter type on the dynamics of litter colonization by arthropods. Overall arthropod abundance, the abundance of individual taxa, the richness of taxonomic groups, and the species richness of individual taxa (Formiciade) were lower in the burned site. However, both the ordinal-level composition of the litter arthropod fauna and the species-level composition of the litter ant fauna were not dramatically different in the burned and unburned sites. There is evidence that seasonality of rainfall interacts with fire, as differences in arthropod abundance and diversity were more pronounced in the dry than in the wet season. For many taxa the differences in abundance between burned and unburned sites were maintained even when controlling for litter availability and quality. In contrast, differences in abundance for Collembola, Formicidae, and Thysanoptera were only detected in the unmanipulated samples, which had a lower amount of litter in the burned than in the unburned site throughout most of our study period. Together these results suggest that arthropod density declines in fire-disturbed areas as a result of direct mortality, diminished resources (i.e., reduced litter cover) and less favorable microclimate (i.e., increased litter desiccation due to reduction in tree cover). Although these effects were transitory, there is evidence that the increasingly prevalent fire return interval of

  12. Indirect effects of domestic and wild herbivores on butterflies in an African savanna

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilkerson, Marit L; Roche, Leslie M; Young, Truman P

    2013-01-01

    Indirect interactions driven by livestock and wild herbivores are increasingly recognized as important aspects of community dynamics in savannas and rangelands. Large ungulate herbivores can both directly and indirectly impact the reproductive structures of plants, which in turn can affect the pollinators of those plants. We examined how wild herbivores and cattle each indirectly affect the abundance of a common pollinator butterfly taxon, Colotis spp., at a set of long-term, large herbivore exclosure plots in a semiarid savanna in central Kenya. We also examined effects of herbivore exclusion on the main food plant of Colotis spp., which was also the most common flowering species in our plots: the shrub Cadaba farinosa. The study was conducted in four types of experimental plots: cattle-only, wildlife-only, cattle and wildlife (all large herbivores), and no large herbivores. Across all plots, Colotis spp. abundances were positively correlated with both Cadaba flower numbers (adult food resources) and total Cadaba canopy area (larval food resources). Structural equation modeling (SEM) revealed that floral resources drove the abundance of Colotis butterflies. Excluding browsing wildlife increased the abundances of both Cadaba flowers and Colotis butterflies. However, flower numbers and Colotis spp. abundances were greater in plots with cattle herbivory than in plots that excluded all large herbivores. Our results suggest that wild browsing herbivores can suppress pollinator species whereas well-managed cattle use may benefit important pollinators and the plants that depend on them. This study documents a novel set of ecological interactions that demonstrate how both conservation and livelihood goals can be met in a working landscape with abundant wildlife and livestock. PMID:24198932

  13. Dynamics of the leaf-litter arthropod fauna following fire in a neotropical woodland savanna.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heraldo L Vasconcelos

    Full Text Available Fire is an important agent of disturbance in tropical savannas, but relatively few studies have analyzed how soil-and-litter dwelling arthropods respond to fire disturbance despite the critical role these organisms play in nutrient cycling and other biogeochemical processes. Following the incursion of a fire into a woodland savanna ecological reserve in Central Brazil, we monitored the dynamics of litter-arthropod populations for nearly two years in one burned and one unburned area of the reserve. We also performed a reciprocal transplant experiment to determine the effects of fire and litter type on the dynamics of litter colonization by arthropods. Overall arthropod abundance, the abundance of individual taxa, the richness of taxonomic groups, and the species richness of individual taxa (Formiciade were lower in the burned site. However, both the ordinal-level composition of the litter arthropod fauna and the species-level composition of the litter ant fauna were not dramatically different in the burned and unburned sites. There is evidence that seasonality of rainfall interacts with fire, as differences in arthropod abundance and diversity were more pronounced in the dry than in the wet season. For many taxa the differences in abundance between burned and unburned sites were maintained even when controlling for litter availability and quality. In contrast, differences in abundance for Collembola, Formicidae, and Thysanoptera were only detected in the unmanipulated samples, which had a lower amount of litter in the burned than in the unburned site throughout most of our study period. Together these results suggest that arthropod density declines in fire-disturbed areas as a result of direct mortality, diminished resources (i.e., reduced litter cover and less favorable microclimate (i.e., increased litter desiccation due to reduction in tree cover. Although these effects were transitory, there is evidence that the increasingly prevalent fire

  14. Seasonality of fire weather strongly influences fire regimes in South Florida savanna-grassland landscapes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Platt, William J; Orzell, Steve L; Slocum, Matthew G

    2015-01-01

    Fire seasonality, an important characteristic of fire regimes, commonly is delineated using seasons based on single weather variables (rainfall or temperature). We used nonparametric cluster analyses of a 17-year (1993-2009) data set of weather variables that influence likelihoods and spread of fires (relative humidity, air temperature, solar radiation, wind speed, soil moisture) to explore seasonality of fire in pine savanna-grassland landscapes at the Avon Park Air Force Range in southern Florida. A four-variable, three-season model explained more variation within fire weather variables than models with more seasons. The three-season model also delineated intra-annual timing of fire more accurately than a conventional rainfall-based two-season model. Two seasons coincided roughly with dry and wet seasons based on rainfall. The third season, which we labeled the fire season, occurred between dry and wet seasons and was characterized by fire-promoting conditions present annually: drought, intense solar radiation, low humidity, and warm air temperatures. Fine fuels consisting of variable combinations of pyrogenic pine needles, abundant C4 grasses, and flammable shrubs, coupled with low soil moisture, and lightning ignitions early in the fire season facilitate natural landscape-scale wildfires that burn uplands and across wetlands. We related our three season model to fires with different ignition sources (lightning, military missions, and prescribed fires) over a 13-year period with fire records (1997-2009). Largest wildfires originate from lightning and military ignitions that occur within the early fire season substantially prior to the peak of lightning strikes in the wet season. Prescribed ignitions, in contrast, largely occur outside the fire season. Our delineation of a pronounced fire season provides insight into the extent to which different human-derived fire regimes mimic lightning fire regimes. Delineation of a fire season associated with timing of

  15. Impacts of an extreme cyclone event on landscape-scale savanna fire, productivity and greenhouse gas emissions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hutley, L. B.; Evans, B. J.; Beringer, J.; Cook, G. D.; Maier, S. M.; Razon, E.

    2013-12-01

    North Australian tropical savanna accounts for 12% of the world’s total savanna land cover. Accordingly, understanding processes that govern carbon, water and energy exchange within this biome is critical to global carbon and water budgeting. Climate and disturbances drive ecosystem carbon dynamics. Savanna ecosystems of the coastal and sub-coastal of north Australia experience a unique combination of climatic extremes and are in a state of near constant disturbance from fire events (1 in 3 years), storms resulting in windthrow (1 in 5-10 years) and mega-cyclones (1 in 500-1000 years). Critically, these disturbances occur over large areas creating a spatial and temporal mosaic of carbon sources and sinks. We quantify the impact on gross primary productivity (GPP) and fire occurrence from a tropical mega-cyclone, tropical Cyclone Monica (TC Monica), which affected 10 400 km2 of savanna across north Australia, resulting in the mortality and severe structural damage to ˜140 million trees. We estimate a net carbon equivalent emission of 43 Tg of CO2-e using the moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer (MODIS) GPP (MOD17A2) to quantify spatial and temporal patterns pre- and post-TC Monica. GPP was suppressed for four years after the event, equivalent to a loss of GPP of 0.5 Tg C over this period. On-ground fuel loads were estimated to potentially release 51.2 Mt CO2-e, equivalent to ˜10% of Australia’s accountable greenhouse gas emissions. We present a simple carbon balance to examine the relative importance of frequency versus impact for a number of key disturbance processes such as fire, termite consumption and intense but infrequent mega-cyclones. Our estimates suggested that fire and termite consumption had a larger impact on Net Biome Productivity than infrequent mega-cyclones. We demonstrate the importance of understanding how climate variability and disturbance impacts savanna dynamics in the context of the increasing interest in using savanna

  16. [Bioecological characteristics of earthworm populations (Oligochaeta: Glossoscolecidae) in a natural and a protected savanna in the central Llanos of Venezuela].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernández, Luis; Ojeda, Alonso; López-Hernández, Danilo

    2012-09-01

    In tropical savannas, the earthworm communities have a predominant role since they regulate the soil structure and dynamics of the organic matter. To study the effect on earthworm populations in two differently managed savannas, we compared the general aspects of the biology and ecology of earthworm populations from a 40 years protected savanna (SP) with no fire or cattle raising at the Estaci6n Biol6gica de los Llanos, Venezuela (EBLL), and a natural savanna (SNI), under normal burning and cattle raising management conditions. Sampling was carried out at the end of the dry season (April), and at the peak of the wet season (July-August). The main physical properties of soils per system were estimated. In each system, in plots of 90x90m, five fixed sampling units were selected at random; and at each sampling point one soil monolith of 25x25x30cm was collected per unit. Earthworms were extracted using the hand sorting extraction method; and the flotation method was used to estimate the density of cocoons. The earthworms were classified in different ecological categories considering their pigmentation, size and depth profile distribution. As a result of the savanna protection, physical parameters were modified in relation to SNI. The SP soils had higher soil moisture when compared to SNI. Soil moisture varied with depth during the dry season since, after the start of the rainy season, the soil was saturated. Field capacity in the SP was greater than that in the SNI. The surface apparent bulk density of soil was lower in the SP respect SNI, reflecting a lower soil compaction. Total average for the density and biomass of earthworms differed greatly, showing higher values in the SP. The earthworm density average in SP ranged between 25.6-85 individuals/m2 and the average biomass between 6.92-23.23g/m2. While in SNI, earthworms were only found in August, with a mean density of 22.40individuals/m2 and a mean biomass of 5.17g/m2. The vertical distribution pattern was only

  17. Post-fire dynamics of the woody vegetation of a savanna forest (Cerradão in the Cerrado-Amazon transition zone

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simone Matias Reis

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACTFire can change the species composition, diversity, and structure of savanna vegetation, thus altering growth and mortality rates. Such changes in the woody vegetation of burned savanna forest were evaluated over four years in comparison to unburned savanna forest. All woody plants with a diameter at breast height > 10 cm were measured in 100 permanent plots. Six months later, 38 of these plots were burned. Three and a half years later, all surviving individuals were re-sampled. Species richness, diversity, and the number of individuals did not change in the burned plots, although they had significantly higher (p < 0.05 increases in basal area and mortality rates (5.1% year-1 than the unburned plots (3.0% year-1.Tachigali vulgarishad the greatest post-fire increase in basal area (53%. The results indicate that fire alters the dynamics and structure of the savanna forest, excluding the less fire-tolerant species and smaller individuals (? 15cm. Tachigali vulgaris is a key species for the recovery of savanna forest biomass due to its considerable post-fire gains in basal area, at least over the short term due to its short life cycle. It follows that frequent burning of savanna forest would result in a marked change in the species composition and structure of its woody vegetation.

  18. Group composition and activity patterns of brown-nosed coatis in savanna fragments, Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    EMJ. Costa

    Full Text Available The Parque Estadual do Prosa (PEP, in Campo Grande, MS, is an urban fragment of savanna (cerrado and tall savanna woodland (cerradão, with an area of 1,335 km², where the population density of brown-nosed coatis is 33.71 individuals/km². Our results suggest that seasonality at the PEP causes changes in the availability of resources for coatis, altering their home range areas, their dispersion patterns and their daily behaviour. And our observations regarding male-band associations, agonistic interactions between bands and their daily behaviour emphasize the plasticity of coati social structure, and its potential for future comparative studies.

  19. Structural, physiognomic and above-ground 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

    2015-05-01

    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 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

  20. Multiple Scales of Control on the Structure and Spatial Distribution of Woody Vegetation in African Savanna Watersheds.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicholas R Vaughn

    Full Text Available Factors controlling savanna woody vegetation structure vary at multiple spatial and temporal scales, and as a consequence, unraveling their combined effects has proven to be a classic challenge in savanna ecology. We used airborne LiDAR (light detection and ranging to map three-dimensional woody vegetation structure throughout four savanna watersheds, each contrasting in geologic substrate and climate, in Kruger National Park, South Africa. By comparison of the four watersheds, we found that geologic substrate had a stronger effect than climate in determining watershed-scale differences in vegetation structural properties, including cover, height and crown density. Generalized Linear Models were used to assess the spatial distribution of woody vegetation structural properties, including cover, height and crown density, in relation to mapped hydrologic, topographic and fire history traits. For each substrate and climate combination, models incorporating topography, hydrology and fire history explained up to 30% of the remaining variation in woody canopy structure, but inclusion of a spatial autocovariate term further improved model performance. Both crown density and the cover of shorter woody canopies were determined more by unknown factors likely to be changing on smaller spatial scales, such as soil texture, herbivore abundance or fire behavior, than by our mapped regional-scale changes in topography and hydrology. We also detected patterns in spatial covariance at distances up to 50-450 m, depending on watershed and structural metric. Our results suggest that large-scale environmental factors play a smaller role than is often attributed to them in determining woody vegetation structure in southern African savannas. This highlights the need for more spatially-explicit, wide-area analyses using high resolution remote sensing techniques.

  1. Multiple Scales of Control on the Structure and Spatial Distribution of Woody Vegetation in African Savanna Watersheds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vaughn, Nicholas R; Asner, Gregory P; Smit, Izak P J; Riddel, Edward S

    2015-01-01

    Factors controlling savanna woody vegetation structure vary at multiple spatial and temporal scales, and as a consequence, unraveling their combined effects has proven to be a classic challenge in savanna ecology. We used airborne LiDAR (light detection and ranging) to map three-dimensional woody vegetation structure throughout four savanna watersheds, each contrasting in geologic substrate and climate, in Kruger National Park, South Africa. By comparison of the four watersheds, we found that geologic substrate had a stronger effect than climate in determining watershed-scale differences in vegetation structural properties, including cover, height and crown density. Generalized Linear Models were used to assess the spatial distribution of woody vegetation structural properties, including cover, height and crown density, in relation to mapped hydrologic, topographic and fire history traits. For each substrate and climate combination, models incorporating topography, hydrology and fire history explained up to 30% of the remaining variation in woody canopy structure, but inclusion of a spatial autocovariate term further improved model performance. Both crown density and the cover of shorter woody canopies were determined more by unknown factors likely to be changing on smaller spatial scales, such as soil texture, herbivore abundance or fire behavior, than by our mapped regional-scale changes in topography and hydrology. We also detected patterns in spatial covariance at distances up to 50-450 m, depending on watershed and structural metric. Our results suggest that large-scale environmental factors play a smaller role than is often attributed to them in determining woody vegetation structure in southern African savannas. This highlights the need for more spatially-explicit, wide-area analyses using high resolution remote sensing techniques.

  2. Contributions of microbial activity and ash deposition to post-fire nitrogen availability in a pine savanna

    OpenAIRE

    Ficken, Cari D.; Wright, Justin P.

    2017-01-01

    Many ecosystems experience drastic changes to soil nutrient availability associated with fire, but the magnitude and duration of these changes are highly variable among vegetation and fire types. In pyrogenic pine savannas across the southeastern United States, pulses of soil inorganic nitrogen (N) occur in tandem with ecosystem-scale nutrient losses from prescribed burns. Despite the importance of this management tool for restoring and maintaining fire-dependent plant commu...

  3. Characteristics and behavior of a cool-season prescribed fire in the oak savannas of the Southwestern Borderlands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karen A. Koestner; Daniel G. Neary; Gerald J. Gottfired; Ruben Morales

    2008-01-01

    Oak-savannas and woodlands comprise over 80,000 km2 (31,000 mi2) in the mountains and high valleys of the southwestern United States and northern Mexico (Figure 1). Fire, which was once the most important natural disturbance in this system, has been excluded due to over-grazing and fire suppression practices. This has resulted in ecosystem changes and fuel...

  4. Effects of an accidental dry-season fire on the reproductive phenology of two Neotropical savanna shrubs.

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    Dodonov, P; Zanelli, C B; Silva-Matos, D M

    2017-10-30

    Fire is a recurrent disturbance in savanna vegetation and savanna species are adapted to it. Even so, fire may affect various aspects of plant ecology, including phenology. We studied the effects of a spatially heterogeneous fire on the reproductive phenology of two dominant woody plant species, Miconia albicans (Melastomataceae) and Schefflera vinosa (Araliaceae), in a savanna area in South-eastern Brazil. The study site was partially burnt by a dry-season accidental fire in August 2006, and we monitored the phenolology of 30 burnt and 30 unburnt individuals of each species between September 2007 and September 2008. We used restricted randomizations to assess phenological differences between the burnt and unburnt individuals. Fire had negative effects on the phenology of M. albicans, with a smaller production of reproductive structures in general and of floral buds, total fruits, and ripe fruits in burnt plants. All unburnt but only 16% of the burnt M. albicans plants produced ripe fruits during the study. Fire effects on S. vinosa were smaller, but there was a greater production of floral buds and fruits (but not ripe fruits) by burnt plants; approximately 90% of the individuals of S. vinosa produced ripe fruits during the study, regardless of having been burnt or not. The differences between the two species may be related to S. vinosa's faster growth and absence from the seed bank at the study site, whereas M. albicans grows more slowly and is dominant in the seed bank.

  5. Effects of an accidental dry-season fire on the reproductive phenology of two Neotropical savanna shrubs

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    P. Dodonov

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Fire is a recurrent disturbance in savanna vegetation and savanna species are adapted to it. Even so, fire may affect various aspects of plant ecology, including phenology. We studied the effects of a spatially heterogeneous fire on the reproductive phenology of two dominant woody plant species, Miconia albicans (Melastomataceae and Schefflera vinosa (Araliaceae, in a savanna area in South-eastern Brazil. The study site was partially burnt by a dry-season accidental fire in August 2006, and we monitored the phenolology of 30 burnt and 30 unburnt individuals of each species between September 2007 and September 2008. We used restricted randomizations to assess phenological differences between the burnt and unburnt individuals. Fire had negative effects on the phenology of M. albicans, with a smaller production of reproductive structures in general and of floral buds, total fruits, and ripe fruits in burnt plants. All unburnt but only 16% of the burnt M. albicans plants produced ripe fruits during the study. Fire effects on S. vinosa were smaller, but there was a greater production of floral buds and fruits (but not ripe fruits by burnt plants; approximately 90% of the individuals of S. vinosa produced ripe fruits during the study, regardless of having been burnt or not. The differences between the two species may be related to S. vinosa’s faster growth and absence from the seed bank at the study site, whereas M. albicans grows more slowly and is dominant in the seed bank.

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

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    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.

  7. Flood regime and water table determines tree distribution in a forest-savanna gradient in the Brazilian Pantanal.

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    Ferreira-Júnior, Walnir G; Schaefer, Carlos E G R; Cunha, Cátia N; Duarte, Temilze G; Chieregatto, Luiz C; Carmo, Flávia M S

    2016-01-01

    This study aimed to recognized the preferential location of species of the tree sinusiae in response to a moisture gradient in Pantanal Matogrossense, Brazil. We established sampling plots of arboreal sinusiae along a soil moisture and flood gradient. Piezometers were installed, allowing monthly measurements of water table depth and flood height during one year. Detrended Correspondence Analysis, Gradient Direct Analysis, Multi-response Permutation Procedures and Indicator Species Analysis were performed to evaluate the effect of moisture gradient on tree distribution. The annual variation of water table is shallower and similar in Seasonally Flooded Forest and Termite Savanna, with increasing depths in Open Savanna, Savanna Forest and Dry Forest. Circa 64% of the species were characterized as having a preferential location in "terrestrial habitats normally not subjected to inundation", while 8% preferentially occur in "wet habitats". Lowest tree richness in flood-affected vegetation types is related to both present-day high climatic seasonality and Late Pleistocene dry paleoclimates in the Pantanal wetland. The tree distribution across different formations in the Pantanal shows a direct relationship with soil moisture gradient.

  8. Seasonal variation of carbon fluxes in a sparse savanna in semi arid Sudan

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    El-Tahir Bashir

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Large spatial, seasonal and annual variability of major drivers of the carbon cycle (precipitation, temperature, fire regime and nutrient availability are common in the Sahel region. This causes large variability in net ecosystem exchange and in vegetation productivity, the subsistence basis for a major part of the rural population in Sahel. This study compares the 2005 dry and wet season fluxes of CO2 for a grass land/sparse savanna site in semi arid Sudan and relates these fluxes to water availability and incoming photosynthetic photon flux density (PPFD. Data from this site could complement the current sparse observation network in Africa, a continent where climatic change could significantly impact the future and which constitute a weak link in our understanding of the global carbon cycle. Results The dry season (represented by Julian day 35–46, February 2005 was characterized by low soil moisture availability, low evapotranspiration and a high vapor pressure deficit. The mean daily NEE (net ecosystem exchange, Eq. 1 was -14.7 mmol d-1 for the 12 day period (negative numbers denote sinks, i.e. flux from the atmosphere to the biosphere. The water use efficiency (WUE was 1.6 mmol CO2 mol H2O-1 and the light use efficiency (LUE was 0.95 mmol CO2 mol PPFD-1. Photosynthesis is a weak, but linear function of PPFD. The wet season (represented by Julian day 266–273, September 2005 was, compared to the dry season, characterized by slightly higher soil moisture availability, higher evapotranspiration and a slightly lower vapor pressure deficit. The mean daily NEE was -152 mmol d-1 for the 8 day period. The WUE was lower, 0.97 mmol CO2 mol H2O-1 and the LUE was higher, 7.2 μmol CO2 mmol PPFD-1 during the wet season compared to the dry season. During the wet season photosynthesis increases with PPFD to about 1600 μmol m-2s-1 and then levels off. Conclusion Based on data collected during two short periods, the studied ecosystem

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

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    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

  10. Understanding the ecological complexity of semi-arid savannas using remote sensing

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    Huang, Cho-Ying

    Savannas are ecosystems with a background herbaceous layer and intermittently distributed woody plants. A large body of literature has revealed that the ecological processes within savannas are complex and the spatial pattern and abundance of woody and herbaceous plants through time may be influenced by various factors. This dissertation research consists of three studies demonstrating the feasibility of utilizing remote sensing techniques to better understand the ecological complexity of semisavannas in southern Arizona, USA. The first study investigated the impacts of recent fire disturbance on structural changes of woody plants at varying scales. Results indicated that while field canopy cover and remote sensing woody cover fraction were strong predictors of woody biomass at local and landscape scales, respectively, fire history can significantly alter the nature of these relationships. This work suggested that simple predictions of woody biomass from field and remote sensing cover measures without considering disturbance will underestimate biomass in mature undisturbed settings, and overestimate biomass in recently disturbed locations in most cases. The second study investigated the ecological stability by implementing a top-down approach to analyze 21 years (1984--2005) of Landsat satellite data. This work suggested that a stable system needed to receive sufficient precipitation for basic plant growth, to be on coarse-textured and shallow soils that can efficiently store precipitation but inhibit the proliferation of woody plants, and to be on east facing slopes which can support clement microclimate. The perspectives gained from this study will enable us to target fine-scale field studies seeking to address circumstances conferring ecosystem stability; and improve predictions of potential carbon stocks in drylands. The third study derived the unique temporal and spatial signatures of vegetation [the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI)] and

  11. Connecting above and below: the impacts of large wildlife loss and pastoralism on savanna carbon dynamics

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    Forbes, E. S.; Young, H. S.; Young, T.; Schimel, J.

    2016-12-01

    There is widespread evidence that large wildlife species contribute to ecosystem carbon efflux; however, their influence is not incorporated into traditional carbon models. As large wildlife loss continues in the Anthropocene and in the face of climate change, it becomes increasingly important to understand the impacts of their loss on ecosystem carbon. The charismatic, threatened wildlife in central Kenya's savanna provide an ideal framework for these questions. We compared differences in carbon efflux in the presence or absence of native herbivores and/or cattle, as a proxy for wildlife loss and the interaction of pastoralism. We measured carbon dynamics in situ with a closed-chamber system and microbial respiration rates in lab by incubating sampled soil. We discovered a significant effect of herbivore presence/absence on carbon efflux: incubated soils collected from plots with cattle only exhibit greater carbon accumulation and faster initial respiration rates than soils collected from plots with native herbivores and no cattle, native herbivores and cattle, and neither native herbivores nor cattle. When measured in situ, plots with no herbivores show higher efflux than plots with only native herbivores, and plots with both. The data also suggest that grazing pressure results in successively lower efflux. The differences in these studies imply that the impacts of large wildlife loss differ on microbial respiration as an isolated mechanism in ecosystem carbon exchange, and total carbon efflux. This is most likely because in situ efflux measurements encompass environmental variables as well as soil microbial respiration. The lab data suggest that cattle as the only herbivore causes greater soil microbial efflux compared to native herbivores alone, native herbivores with cattle, or no herbivores. The in situ data show that no herbivores results in increased carbon efflux, and suggest that increasing numbers of herbivores lowers efflux.These studies demonstrate

  12. Evaporation over a Heterogeneous Mixed Savanna-Agricultural Catchment using a Distributed Wireless Sensor Network

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    Ceperley, N. C.; Mande, T.; Barrenetxea, G.; Vetterli, M.; Yacouba, H.; Repetti, A.; Parlange, M. B.

    2010-12-01

    Small scale rain fed agriculture is the primary livelihood for a large part of the population of Burkina Faso. Regional climate change means that this population is becoming increasingly vulnerable. Additionally, as natural savanna is converted for agriculture, hydrological systems are observed to become less stable as infiltration is decreased and rapid runoff is increased to the detriment of crop productivity, downstream populations and local water sources. The majority of the Singou River Basin, located in South East Burkina Faso is managed by hunting reserves, geared to maintaining high populations of wild game; however, residents surrounding the protected areas have been forced to intensify agriculture that has resulted in soil degradation as well as increases in the frequency and severity of flooding and droughts. Agroforestry, or planting trees in cultivated fields, has been proposed as a solution to help buffer these negative consequences, however the specific hydrologic behavior of the watershed land cover is unknown. We have installed a distributed sensor network of 17 Sensorscope wireless meteorological stations. These stations are dispersed across cultivated rice and millet fields, natural savanna, fallow fields, and around agroforestry fields. Sensorscope routes data through the network of stations to be delivered by a GPRS connection to a main server. This multi hop network allows data to be gathered over a large area and quickly adapts to changes in station performance. Data are available in real time via a website that can be accessed by a mobile phone. The stations are powered autonomously by small photovoltaic panels. This deployment is the first time that these meteorological stations have been used on the African continent. Initial calibration with measures from 2 eddy covariance stations allows us to calculate the energy balance at each of the Sensorscope stations. Thus, we can observe variation in evaporation over the various land cover in the

  13. Synergistic effects of fire and elephants on arboreal animals in an African savanna.

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    Pringle, Robert M; Kimuyu, Duncan M; Sensenig, Ryan L; Palmer, Todd M; Riginos, Corinna; Veblen, Kari E; Young, Truman P

    2015-11-01

    Disturbance is a crucial determinant of animal abundance, distribution and community structure in many ecosystems, but the ways in which multiple disturbance types interact remain poorly understood. The effects of multiple-disturbance interactions can be additive, subadditive or super-additive (synergistic). Synergistic effects in particular can accelerate ecological change; thus, characterizing such synergies, the conditions under which they arise, and how long they persist has been identified as a major goal of ecology. We factorially manipulated two principal sources of disturbance in African savannas, fire and elephants, and measured their independent and interactive effects on the numerically dominant vertebrate (the arboreal gekkonid lizard Lygodactylus keniensis) and invertebrate (a guild of symbiotic Acacia ants) animal species in a semi-arid Kenyan savanna. Elephant exclusion alone (minus fire) had negligible effects on gecko density. Fire alone (minus elephants) had negligible effects on gecko density after 4 months, but increased gecko density twofold after 16 months, likely because the decay of fire-damaged woody biomass created refuges and nest sites for geckos. In the presence of elephants, fire increased gecko density nearly threefold within 4 months of the experimental burn; this occurred because fire increased the incidence of elephant damage to trees, which in turn improved microhabitat quality for geckos. However, this synergistic positive effect of fire and elephants attenuated over the ensuing year, such that only the main effect of fire was evident after 16 months. Fire also altered the structure of symbiotic plant-ant assemblages occupying the dominant tree species (Acacia drepanolobium); this influenced gecko habitat selection but did not explain the synergistic effect of fire and elephants. However, fire-driven shifts in plant-ant occupancy may have indirectly mediated this effect by increasing trees' susceptibility to elephant damage. Our

  14. Modeling the health and productivity of Oak Savannas in central USA

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    Nightingale, J. M.; Hill, M. J.

    2012-12-01

    Oak species have a long history of domination in eastern North America and their present distribution in various regions exceeds that recorded in the original forests at the time of European settlement. The increase in oak during the late 18th and 19th centuries can be attributed to historical changes in disturbance regimes in the eastern biome. The expansion in oak distribution has occurred on xeric or nutrient-poor sites, which indicates the stress tolerance capabilities of many oak species. The aim of this research is to assess the health and productivity of the fragmented oak savannas that span from Texas north to the Canada border using statewide GAP, climate and MODIS data and the 3PGS (Physiological Principles Predicting Growth using satellite data) ecosystem process model. 3-PGS is a simple big-leaf productivity model that sets upper limits on monthly gross primary productivity (GPP) by determining the amount of photosynthetically active radiation absorbed (APAR) by vegetation and the photosynthetic capacity (LUE) of the canopy. The utilized portion of APAR is calculated by reducing total PAR by an amount determined by the most constraining of a series of environmental modifiers that affect gas exchange through stomata. These include: (a) high daytime atmospheric VPD; (b) soil water availability; and (c) the frequency of sub-freezing temperatures (precipitation, average temperature and vapor pressure deficit are obtained from the Daymet daily gridded surface data from Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). The fraction of APAR is obtained from the MODIS terra/aqua combined product. Monthly surfaces were derived for the study period 2003-2008 spanning available MODIS and Climate datasets. Soil properties for the entire U.S.A., derived from luster analysis of STATSGO soil parameters, terrain and climate observations were obtained from ORNL. Oak savannas within this region are identified using the statewide Gap Analysis Program data provided by USGS. Several

  15. Soil moisture redistribution as a mechanism of facilitation in savanna tree-shrub clusters.

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    Zou, C B; Barnes, P W; Archer, S; McMurtry, C R

    2005-08-01

    Plant-soil water relations were examined in the context of a selective removal study conducted in tree-shrub communities occupying different but contiguous soil types (small discrete clusters on shallow, duplex soils versus larger, extensive groves on deep, sandy soils) in a subtropical savanna parkland. We (1) tested for the occurrence of soil moisture redistribution by hydraulic lift (HL), (2) determined the influence of edaphic factors on HL, and (3) evaluated the significance of HL for overstory tree-understory shrub interactions. Diel cycling and nocturnal increases in soil water potential (Psisoil), characteristic signatures of HL, occurred intermittently throughout an annual growth cycle in both communities over a range of moisture levels (Psisoil=-0.5 to -6.0 MPa) but only when soils were distinctly stratified with depth (dry surface/wet deep soil layers). The magnitude of mean (+/-SE) diel fluctuations in Psisoil (0.19+/-0.01 MPa) did not differ on the two community types, though HL occurred more frequently in groves (deep soils) than clusters (shallow soils). Selective removal of either Prosopis glandulosa overstory or mixed-species shrub understory reduced the frequency of HL, indicating that Prosopis and at least one other woody species was conducting HL. For Zanthoxylum fagara, a shallow-rooted understory shrub, Prosopis removal from clusters decreased leaf water potential (Psileaf) and net CO2 exchange (A) during periods of HL. In contrast, overstory removal had neutral to positive effects on more deeply-rooted shrub species (Berberis trifoliolata and Condalia hookeri). Removal of the shrub understory in groves increased A in the overstory Prosopis. Results indicate the following: (a) HL is common but temporally dynamic in these savanna tree-shrub communities; (b) edaphic factors influencing the degree of overstory/understory development, rooting patterns and soil moisture distribution influence HL; (c) net interactions between overstory and

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

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    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

  17. The distribution of grasslands, savannas and forests in Africa: a new look at the relationships between vegetation, fire and climate at continental scale

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    D'Onofrio, Donatella; von Hardenberg, Jost; Baudena, Mara

    2017-04-01

    Savannas occupy about a fifth of the global land surface and store approximately 15% of the terrestrial carbon. They also encompass about 85% of the global land area burnt annually. Along an increasing rainfall gradient, they are the intermediate biome between grassland and forest. Undergoing and predicted increasing temperature and CO2 concentration, modified precipitation regimes, as well as increasing land-use intensity, are expected to induce important shifts in savanna structure and in the distribution of grasslands, savannas and forests. Owing to the large extent and productivity of savanna biomes, these changes could have larger impacts on the global biogeochemical cycle and precipitation than for any other biome, thus influencing the vegetation-climate system. The dynamics of these biomes has been long studied, and the current theory postulates that while arid savannas are observed because of tree-water limitation, and competition with grasses, in mesic conditions savannas persist because a grass-fire feedback exists, which can maintain them as an alternatively stable state to closed forests. This feedback is reinforced by the different responses of savanna and forest tree type. In this context, despite their relevance, grasses and tree types have been studied mostly in small scale ecological studies, while continental analyses focused on total tree cover only. Here we analyze a recent MODIS product including explicitly the non-tree vegetation cover, allowing us to illustrate for the first time at continental scale the importance of grass cover and of tree-fire responses in determining the emergence of the different biomes. We analyze the relationships of woody and herbaceous cover with fire return time (all from MODIS satellite observations), rainfall annual average and seasonality (from TRMM satellite measurements), and we include tree phenology information, based on the ESA Global Land Cover map, also used to exclude areas with large anthropogenic land

  18. Indices of onchocerciasis transmission by different members of the Simulium damnosum complex conflict with the paradigm of forest and savanna parasite strains.

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    Cheke, Robert A; Garms, Rolf

    2013-01-01

    Onchocerciasis in savanna zones is generally more severe than in the forest and pathologies also differ geographically, differences often ascribed to the existence of two or more strains and incompatibilities between vectors and strains. However, flies in the forest transmit more infective larvae than their savanna counterparts, even in sympatry, contradicting expectations based on the forest and savanna strains paradigm. We analysed data on the numbers of Onchocerca volvulus larvae of different stages found in 10 different taxonomic categories of the Simulium damnosum complex derived from more than 48,800 dissections of flies from Sierra Leone in the west of Africa to Uganda in the east. The samples were collected before widespread ivermectin distribution and thus provide a baseline for evaluating control measures. Savanna species contained fewer larvae per infected or per infective fly than the forest species, even when biting and parous rates were accounted for. The highest transmission indices were found in the forest-dwelling Pra form of Simulium sanctipauli (616 L3/1000 parous flies) and the lowest in the savanna-inhabiting species S. damnosum/S. sirbanum (135) and S. kilibanum (65). Frequency distributions of numbers of L1-2 and L3 larvae found in parous S. damnosum/S. sirbanum, S. kilibanum, S. squamosum, S. yahense, S. sanctipauli, S. leonense and S. soubrense all conformed to the negative binomial distribution, with the mainly savanna-dwelling species (S. damnosum/S. sirbanum) having less overdispersed distributions than the mainly forest-dwelling species. These infection patterns were maintained even when forest and savanna forms were sympatric and biting the same human population. Furthermore, for the first time, levels of blindness were positively correlated with infection intensities of the forest vector S. yahense, consistent with relations previously reported for savanna zones. Another novel result was that conversion rates of L1-2 larvae to L3s

  19. Fire effects on the composition of a bird community in an amazonian Savanna (Brazil

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    R. Cintra

    Full Text Available The effects of fire on the composition of a bird community were investigated in an Amazonian savanna near Alter-do-Chão, Pará (Brazil. Mist-net captures and visual counts were used to assess species richness and bird abundance pre- and post-fire in an approximately 20 ha area. Visual counts along transects were used to survey birds in an approximately 2000 ha area in a nearby area. Results using the same method of ordination analysis (multidimensional scaling showed significant effects of fire in the 20 ha and 2000 ha areas and strongly suggest direct effects on bird community composition. However, the effects were different at different spatial scales and/or in different years, indicating that the effects of fire vary spatially and/or temporally. Bird community composition pre-fire was significantly different from that found post-fire. Using multiple regression analysis it was found that the numbers of burned and unburned trees were not significantly related to either bird species richness or bird abundance. Two months after the fire, neither bird species richness nor bird abundance was significantly related to the number of flowering trees (Lafoensia pacari or fruiting trees (Byrsonima crassifolia. Since fire is an annual event in Alter-do-Chão and is becoming frequent in the entire Amazon, bird community composition in affected areas could be constantly changing in time and space.

  20. Fire effects on the composition of a bird community in an Amazonian savanna (Brazil).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cintra, R; Sanaiotti, T M

    2005-11-01

    The effects of fire on the composition of a bird community were investigated in an Amazonian savanna near Alter-do-Chão, Pará (Brazil). Mist-net captures and visual counts were used to assess species richness and bird abundance pre- and post-fire in an approximately 20 ha area. Visual counts along transects were used to survey birds in an approximately 2000 ha area in a nearby area. Results using the same method of ordination analysis (multidimensional scaling) showed significant effects of fire in the 20 ha and 2000 ha areas and strongly suggest direct effects on bird community composition. However, the effects were different at different spatial scales and/or in different years, indicating that the effects of fire vary spatially and/or temporally. Bird community composition pre-fire was significantly different from that found post-fire. Using multiple regression analysis it was found that the numbers of burned and unburned trees were not significantly related to either bird species richness or bird abundance. Two months after the fire, neither bird species richness nor bird abundance was significantly related to the number of flowering trees (Lafoensia pacari) or fruiting trees (Byrsonima crassifolia). Since fire is an annual event in Alter-do-Chão and is becoming frequent in the entire Amazon, bird community composition in affected areas could be constantly changing in time and space.

  1. Contribution to the discussions on the origin of the cerrado biome: Brazilian savanna

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    MHO. Pinheiro

    Full Text Available Theories that attempt to explain the origin of the cerrado biome are mostly based on the isolated action of three major factors: climate, fire and soil. Another factor that has been mentioned is that of human interference. We hypothesise that the evolutionary origin of this biome resulted from the complex interaction of climate, fire and soil, with climate being the triggering agent of this assumed interaction. Fire, as well as acid and dystrophic soils, would be factors involved in the selection of savanna species throughout climatic events, during the Tertiary and the Quaternary, e.g. Pliocene and Pleistocene. The genesis of the physiognomies that would give rise to cerrado sensu lato, rather than forest formations, could have occurred due to the strong pressure exerted by the reduction in water availability, and the selection of the species adapted to the new conditions imposed by the environment. The characteristics of cerrado sensu lato soil, originated from edaphic impoverishment caused by lixiviation and successive past fires, would remain, even after hydric availability increased following the Pleistocene glaciations.

  2. Long-term sunspot forcing of savanna structure inferred from carbon and oxygen isotopes

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    Woodborne, Stephan; Mélice, Jean-Luc; Scholes, Robert J.

    2008-01-01

    We used the δ 18O and δ 13C isotopes from a speleothem and Δ14C values from known age tree rings as proxies for vegetation structure, rainfall and sunspot activity over the last 10,000 years. The δ 18O and δ 13C signals are significantly correlated and wavelet coherence analysis shows that a phase locked responses is only found to occur over periods less than 150 years. The δ 13C and Δ14C signals are also significantly correlated but the wavelet coherence analysis shows phase locked responses at periods in the order of 320 and 1100 years at various times in the past. We conclude that savanna vegetation structure responds to rainfall over periods of decades to about 150 years, and to solar forcing over periods greater than 150 years. We propose that elevated UV-B radiation at the earth surface during periods of low sunspot activity favours the productivity of C4 plants over C3 plants possibly because of the metabolic cost of structural adaptive responses and of producing UV-B absorbing compounds in the latter.

  3. Contribution to the discussions on the origin of the cerrado biome: Brazilian savanna.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pinheiro, M H O; Monteiro, R

    2010-02-01

    Theories that attempt to explain the origin of the cerrado biome are mostly based on the isolated action of three major factors: climate, fire and soil. Another factor that has been mentioned is that of human interference. We hypothesise that the evolutionary origin of this biome resulted from the complex interaction of climate, fire and soil, with climate being the triggering agent of this assumed interaction. Fire, as well as acid and dystrophic soils, would be factors involved in the selection of savanna species throughout climatic events, during the Tertiary and the Quaternary, e.g. Pliocene and Pleistocene. The genesis of the physiognomies that would give rise to cerrado sensu lato, rather than forest formations, could have occurred due to the strong pressure exerted by the reduction in water availability, and the selection of the species adapted to the new conditions imposed by the environment. The characteristics of cerrado sensu lato soil, originated from edaphic impoverishment caused by lixiviation and successive past fires, would remain, even after hydric availability increased following the Pleistocene glaciations.

  4. Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome and rodent reservoirs in the savanna-like biome of Brazil's southeastern region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Limongi, J E; Oliveira, R C; Guterres, A; Costa Neto, S F; Fernandes, J; Vicente, L H B; Coelho, M G; Ramos, V N; Ferreira, M S; Bonvicino, C R; D'Andrea, P S; Lemos, E R S

    2016-04-01

    This paper describes the diversity of rodent fauna in an area endemic for hantavirus cardiopulmonary syndrome (HCPS) in Brazil, the population dynamics and the relationship of rodents with hantavirus in the Cerrado (savanna-like) biome. Additionally, an analysis is made of the partial S segment sequences of the hantaviruses obtained from serologically confirmed human HCPS cases and from rodent specimens. Rodents were collected during four campaigns. Human serum samples were collected from suspected cases of HCPS at hospitals in the state of Minas Gerais. The samples antibody-reactive by ELISA were processed by RT-PCR. The PCR product was amplified and sequenced. Hantavirus was detected only in Necromys lasiurus, the wild rodent species most prevalent in the Cerrado biome (min-max: 50-83·7%). All the six human serum samples were hantavirus seropositive and five showed amplified PCR products. The analysis of the nucleotide sequences showed the circulation of a single genotype, the Araraquara hantavirus. The environmental changes that have occurred in the Cerrado biome in recent decades have favoured N. lasiurus in interspecific competition of habitats, thus increasing the risk of contact between humans and rodent species infected with hantavirus. Our data corroborate the definition of N. lasiurus as the main hantavirus reservoir in the Cerrado biome.

  5. The effect of carbon credits on savanna land management and priorities for biodiversity conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Douglass, Lucinda L; Possingham, Hugh P; Carwardine, Josie; Klein, Carissa J; Roxburgh, Stephen H; Russell-Smith, Jeremy; Wilson, Kerrie A

    2011-01-01

    Carbon finance offers the potential to change land management and conservation planning priorities. We develop a novel approach to planning for improved land management to conserve biodiversity while utilizing potential revenue from carbon biosequestration. We apply our approach in northern Australia's tropical savanna, a region of global significance for biodiversity and carbon storage, both of which are threatened by current fire and grazing regimes. Our approach aims to identify priority locations for protecting species and vegetation communities by retaining existing vegetation and managing fire and grazing regimes at a minimum cost. We explore the impact of accounting for potential carbon revenue (using a carbon price of US$14 per tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent) on priority areas for conservation and the impact of explicitly protecting carbon stocks in addition to biodiversity. Our results show that improved management can potentially raise approximately US$5 per hectare per year in carbon revenue and prevent the release of 1-2 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent over approximately 90 years. This revenue could be used to reduce the costs of improved land management by three quarters or double the number of biodiversity targets achieved and meet carbon storage targets for the same cost. These results are based on generalised cost and carbon data; more comprehensive applications will rely on fine scale, site-specific data and a supportive policy environment. Our research illustrates that the duel objective of conserving biodiversity and reducing the release of greenhouse gases offers important opportunities for cost-effective land management investments.

  6. Human impacts flatten rainforest-savanna gradient and reduce adaptive diversity in a rainforest bird.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adam H Freedman

    Full Text Available 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 (Andropadus virens. Previously, this species was shown to exhibit morphological and song divergence along this gradient in Central Africa. Using satellite-based estimates of forest cover, recent morphological data, and historical data from museum specimens collected prior to widespread deforestation, we show that the gradient has become shallower in West Africa and that A. virens populations there have lost morphological variation in traits important to fitness. In contrast, we find no loss of morphological variation in Central Africa where there has been less deforestation and gradients have remained more intact. While rainforest deforestation is a leading cause of species extinction, the potential of deforestation to flatten gradients and inhibit rainforest diversification has not been previously recognized. More deforestation will likely lead to further flattening of the gradient and loss of diversity, and may limit the ability of species to persist under future environmental conditions.

  7. Nutritional composition and protein value of the baru (Dipteryx alata Vog.) almond from the Brazilian Savanna.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernandes, Daniela C; Freitas, Jullyana B; Czeder, Ludmila P; Naves, Maria Margareth V

    2010-08-15

    The almond of the baru tree (Dipteryx alata Vog.), a native species of the Brazilian Savanna, is used in the gastronomy of the central western region of the country. There is relatively little information about the chemical composition and nutritional value of the baru almond, which was the motivation for this research. The baru almonds had high lipid (397-437 g kg(-1)) and protein (238-281 g kg(-1)) contents. There were differences in the amino acid score (AAS = 83-103%) and limiting amount of sulfur amino acids, depending on the origin of the almond. The protein value of the baru almond was higher than that of the peanut according to the relative net protein ratio (RNPR(Baru) = 74%, RNPR(Peanut) = 66%) and the protein digestibility-corrected amino acid score (PDCAAS). The baru almond also had high iron (mean 48.1 mg kg(-1)), zinc (mean 46.6 mg kg(-1)) and dietary fibre (mean 115.8 g kg(-1)) contents in relation to Dietary Reference Intakes. The baru almond has a high nutrient density and high content of quality protein. Furthermore, the lipid and protein contents and amino acid profile of the baru almond are representative of edible seeds and similar to those of true nuts. This almond can be used as a complementary source of protein and as an excellent option for a healthy diet. Copyright (c) 2010 Society of Chemical Industry.

  8. Analysis of farmers’ adaptation to weather extremes in West African Sudan Savanna

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Boansi

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available There have been recent incidences of weather extremes in the West African Sudan Savanna and farmers have responded through implementation of relevant adaptation strategies. For a deeper insight into farmers’ adaptation to climatic shocks, this study documents farmers’ perception of recent changes in the local climate, and identifies factors that influence the number and choice of strategies implemented. Interdependencies among strategies are explored and joint and marginal probabilities of adoption estimated. Upper East Ghana and Southwest Burkina Faso are used as the case study regions. These regions were selected due to extreme reliance of inhabitants on agriculture for sustenance, and their recent exposure to weather extremes. Through estimation of a Poisson regression and multivariate probit model to identify the major factors that influence the number and choice of strategies adopted, we discover that, limited access to credit, markets, and extension services, smaller cropland area, and low level of mechanization could impede effective adaptation to weather extremes. To enhance farmers’ adaptive capacity, policy makers and various stakeholders need to contribute towards improving farmers’ access to credit, markets, and extension services, and implement measures to promote mechanization.

  9. Antioxidant activity and phenolic content of leaf infusions of Myrtaceae species from Cerrado (Brazilian Savanna).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takao, L K; Imatomi, M; Gualtieri, S C J

    2015-11-01

    There is considerable interest in identifying new antioxidants from plant materials. Several studies have emphasized the antioxidant activity of species belonging to the Myrtaceae family. However, there are few reports on these species from the Cerrado (Brazilian savanna). In this study, the antioxidant activity and phenolic content of 12 native Myrtaceae species from the Cerrado were evaluated (Blepharocalyx salicifolius, Eugenia bimarginata, Eugenia dysenterica, Eugenia klotzschiana, Hexachlamys edulis, Myrcia bella, Myrcia lingua, Myrcia splendens, Myrcia tomentosa, Psidium australe, Psidium cinereum, and Psidium laruotteanum). Antioxidant potential was assessed using the antioxidant activity index (AAI) by the DPPH method and total phenolic content (TPC) by the Folin-Ciocalteu assay. There was a high correlation between TPC and AAI values. Psidium laruotteanum showed the highest TPC (576.56 mg GAE/g extract) and was the most potent antioxidant (AAI = 7.97, IC50 = 3.86 µg·mL-1), with activity close to that of pure quercetin (IC50 = 2.99 µg·mL-1). The extracts of nine species showed IC50 of 6.24-8.75 µg·mL-1. Most species showed TPC and AAI values similar to or higher than those for Camellia sinensis, a commonly consumed tea with strong antioxidant properties. The results reveal that the analyzed Myrtaceae species from the Cerrado possess high phenolic contents and antioxidant activities. Thus, they are a potential source of new natural antioxidants.

  10. 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.

  11. Quantitative analysis of savanna wood species, in Teixeira, state of Paraiba, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José Adelmo Nunes Leite

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Savanna is the vegetation of semi-arid northeastern region of Brazil, which is largely determined by climate and topography. The municipality of Teixeira in the state of Paraiba presents hyperxerophilous shrub-arboreal caatinga land cover, which differs in size and density from those found in Sertaneja Depression, due to higher humidity. The objective of this work was to quantify forest remnant in the municipality of Teixeira, using geographic information system and forest inventory techniques. Native vegetation was mapped using satellite images, from November, 2008. Forest inventory was carried out in 40 sample plots (20 m × 20 m that were selected systematically. Height and diameter at 1.30 m from soil level (DBH were measured in every tree with DBH ≥ 10 cm. Each tree was identified by common and scientific names. A total of 4,911 trees were sampled, representing 46 species and 24 families that corresponds to 3,069 trees ha-1. The species with highest importance value (IV were: Croton sonderianus, Mimosa tenuiflora and Piptadenia stipulacea and the more important families were Euphorbiaceae, Mimosaceae and Caesalpinaceae. The municipality of Teixeira has its best preserved areas in mountainous regions with difficult access.

  12. Characterization of the Roraima savanna across of X-ray diffraction, thermomagnetic analysis and Moessbauer spectroscopy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Silva, Gilmar A.; Araujo, R.C.; Sergio, C.S. [Universidade Federal de Roraima (UFRR), Boa Vista, RR (Brazil)

    2012-07-01

    Full text: The technique of X-ray diffraction has great resolving power to determine the phases present in crystalline material, thereby enabling it to determine the elements present in the materials as well as changes in structure that they can suffer when subjected to various physical processes and/or chemical means. The research had as objective to characterize the mineralogy of iron oxides, silicon, aluminum and other minerals in the soil of five points of the Roraima savannah. The points where samples were collected are five municipalities in the state of Roraima. The area of sampling is part of the savanna in Roraima. The samples were collected. We analyzed samples from five points from the collection of natural soil in the locations listed. The samples were placed in a mill to a uniform grain size. After the milling process, the magnetic material was separated using a permanent magnet. Then the samples were analyzed by x-ray diffraction, thermomagnetic analysis and Moessbauer spectroscopy. Preliminary results of XRD showed the occurrence of phases of oxides of iron, silicon, aluminum and other phases less. Thermomagnetic analysis show that the magnetic phases are magnetite and hematite. The results of the Moessbauer spectroscopy indicates the reliability in the two prior art and confirmed the presence of the phases of oxides of iron present in the soil analyzed. (author)

  13. Subsistence strategies of two "savanna" chimpanzee populations: the stable isotope evidence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schoeninger, M J; Moore, J; Sept, J M

    1999-12-01

    Twenty-two chimpanzee hair samples collected from night nests at two different "savanna" sites were analyzed for carbon and nitrogen stable isotope ratios represented as delta13C and delta15N values. The first at Ugalla, Tanzania is a miombo woodland with grass groundcover and small patches of forest. The second at Ishasha, Democratic Republic of the Congo is a habitat composed of riverine gallery forest, semideciduous thicket forest, wooded grassland, and grassland. Based on comparative data from other primates, Ugalla hair delta13C values suggest that the chimpanzees are feeding primarily in the woodland rather than in forest patches or on grassland foods (grasses or grammivorous fauna). Similar comparisons indicate that the Ishasha chimpanzees are feeding within the forests and not in more open areas. In addition, the Ugalla chimpanzees had delta15N values that indicate extensive ingestion of leguminous flowers, seeds, and/or leaves. The Ishasha samples show a range encompassing three trophic levels. Two samples with the most positive values may indicate a nursing signal or vertebrate-feeding. Three individuals with intermediate values are similar to those in omnivorous nonhuman primate species. The four individuals with the lowest values are very similar to those in herbivorous monkeys. Stable isotope ratios permit time-averaged and habitat-specific dietary comparisons among sites, even without habituation or detailed foraging observations.

  14. Climatic changes can drive the loss of genetic diversity in a Neotropical savanna tree species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lima, Jacqueline S; Ballesteros-Mejia, Liliana; Lima-Ribeiro, Matheus S; Collevatti, Rosane G

    2017-11-01

    The high rates of future climatic changes, compared with the rates reported for past changes, may hamper species adaptation to new climates or the tracking of suitable conditions, resulting in significant loss of genetic diversity. Trees are dominant species in many biomes and because they are long-lived, they may not be able to cope with ongoing climatic changes. Here, we coupled ecological niche modelling (ENM) and genetic simulations to forecast the effects of climatic changes on the genetic diversity and the structure of genetic clusters. Genetic simulations were conditioned to climatic variables and restricted to plant dispersal and establishment. We used a Neotropical savanna tree as species model that shows a preference for hot and drier climates, but with low temperature seasonality. The ENM predicts a decreasing range size along the more severe future climatic scenario. Additionally, genetic diversity and allelic richness also decrease with range retraction and climatic genetic clusters are lost for both future scenarios, which will lead genetic variability to homogenize throughout the landscape. Besides, climatic genetic clusters will spatially reconfigure on the landscape following displacements of climatic conditions. Our findings indicate that climate change effects will challenge population adaptation to new environmental conditions because of the displacement of genetic ancestry clusters from their optimal conditions. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  15. Effect of canopy cover and canopy background variables on spectral profiles of savanna rangeland bush encroachment species based on selected Acacia species (mellifera, tortilis, karroo) and Dichrostachys cinerea at Mokopane, South Africa

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Munyati, C

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available possibilities for discriminating encroaching bush species in support of management of semi-arid savanna rangelands. As a preliminary step towards establishing a spectral library of common encroaching species on savanna rangelands, the effect of canopy leaf cover...

  16. Allometric convergence in savanna trees and implications for the use of plant scaling models in variable ecosystems.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew T Tredennick

    Full Text Available Theoretical models of allometric scaling provide frameworks for understanding and predicting how and why the morphology and function of organisms vary with scale. It remains unclear, however, if the predictions of 'universal' scaling models for vascular plants hold across diverse species in variable environments. Phenomena such as competition and disturbance may drive allometric scaling relationships away from theoretical predictions based on an optimized tree. Here, we use a hierarchical Bayesian approach to calculate tree-specific, species-specific, and 'global' (i.e. interspecific scaling exponents for several allometric relationships using tree- and branch-level data harvested from three savanna sites across a rainfall gradient in Mali, West Africa. We use these exponents to provide a rigorous test of three plant scaling models (Metabolic Scaling Theory (MST, Geometric Similarity, and Stress Similarity in savanna systems. For the allometric relationships we evaluated (diameter vs. length, aboveground mass, stem mass, and leaf mass the empirically calculated exponents broadly overlapped among species from diverse environments, except for the scaling exponents for length, which increased with tree cover and density. When we compare empirical scaling exponents to the theoretical predictions from the three models we find MST predictions are most consistent with our observed allometries. In those situations where observations are inconsistent with MST we find that departure from theory corresponds with expected tradeoffs related to disturbance and competitive interactions. We hypothesize savanna trees have greater length-scaling exponents than predicted by MST due to an evolutionary tradeoff between fire escape and optimization of mechanical stability and internal resource transport. Future research on the drivers of systematic allometric variation could reconcile the differences between observed scaling relationships in variable ecosystems and

  17. Spatial Patterns of Fire Recurrence Using Remote Sensing and GIS in the Brazilian Savanna: Serra do Tombador Nature Reserve, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gabriel Antunes Daldegan

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available The Cerrado is the second largest biome in Brazil after the Amazon and is the savanna with the highest biodiversity in the world. Serra Tombador Natural Reserve (STNR is the largest private reserve located in Goiás State, and the fourth largest in the Cerrado biome. The present study aimed to map the burnt areas and to describe the spatial patterns of fire recurrence and its interactions with the classes of land-cover that occurred in STNR and its surroundings in the period between 2001 and 2010. Several Landsat TM images acquired around the months of July, August and September, coinciding with the region’s dry season when fire events intensify, were employed to monitor burnt areas. Fire scars were mapped using the supervised Mahalanobis-distance classifier and further refined using expert visual interpretation. Burnt area patterns were described by spatial landscape metrics. The effects of fire on landscape structure were obtained by comparing results among different land-cover classes, and results summarized in terms of fire history and frequencies. During the years covered by the study, 69% of the areas analyzed had fire events. The year with the largest burnt area was 2004, followed by 2001, 2007 and 2010. Thus, the largest fire events occurred in a 3-year cycle, which is compatible with other areas of the Brazilian savanna. The regions with higher annual probabilities of fire recurrence occur in the buffer zone around the park. The year 2004 also had the highest number of burnt area patches (831. In contrast, the burnt area in 2007 showed the most extensive fires with low number of patches (82. The physiognomies that suffered most fires were the native savanna formations. The study also identified areas where fires are frequently recurrent, highlighting priority areas requiring special attention. Thus, the methodology adopted in this study assists in monitoring and recovery of areas affected by fire over time.

  18. An evaluation of contemporary savanna fire regimes in the Canastra National Park, Brazil: Outcomes of fire suppression policies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Batista, Eugênia Kelly Luciano; Russell-Smith, Jeremy; França, Helena; Figueira, José Eugênio Côrtes

    2018-01-01

    Fire has shaped plant evolution and biogeochemical cycles for millions of years in savanna ecosystems, but changes in natural fire regimes promoted by human land use threaten contemporary conservation efforts. In protected areas in the Brazilian savannas (Cerrado), the predominant management policy is fire suppression, reflecting a cultural heritage which considers that fire always has a negative impact on biodiversity. Here we compare resultant fire-regimes in Canastra National Park (CNP), southeast Brazil, associated with areas under and without fire suppression management, based on a 16-year Landsat imagery record. In open grasslands of the Canastra plateau (CP), firefighting is undertaken under government-sanctioned regulation, whereas in the Babilonia sector, non-sanctioned fire management is undertaken by small farmers to promote cattle grazing and cropping. Fire regimes in the Canastra sector are characterized by few, very large, late dry season wildfires recurring at intervals of two years. Fire regimes in lowlands of the Babilonia sector are characterized by many small-scale, starting at the beginning of the dry season (EDS). In Babilonia uplands fire regimes are characterized by higher frequencies of large fires. The study illustrates major challenges for managing fire-prone areas in conflict-of-interest regions. We suggest that management planning in CNP needs to effectively address: i) managing conflicts between CNP managers and local communities; and ii) fire management practices in order to achieve more ecologically sustainable fire regimes. The study has broader implications for conservation management in fire-prone savannas in South America generally. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Molecular phylogeny of Panaspis and Afroablepharus skinks (Squamata: Scincidae) in the savannas of sub-Saharan Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Medina, Maria F; Bauer, Aaron M; Branch, William R; Schmitz, Andreas; Conradie, Werner; Nagy, Zoltán T; Hibbitts, Toby J; Ernst, Raffael; Portik, Daniel M; Nielsen, Stuart V; Colston, Timothy J; Kusamba, Chifundera; Behangana, Mathias; Rödel, Mark-Oliver; Greenbaum, Eli

    2016-07-01

    African snake-eyed skinks are relatively small lizards of the genera Panaspis and Afroablepharus. Species allocation of these genera frequently changed during the 20th century based on morphology, ecology, and biogeography. Members of these genera occur primarily in savanna habitats throughout sub-Saharan Africa and include species whose highly conserved morphology poses challenges for taxonomic studies. We sequenced two mitochondrial (16S and cyt b) and two nuclear genes (PDC and RAG1) from 76 Panaspis and Afroablepharus samples from across eastern, central, and southern Africa. Concatenated gene-tree and divergence-dating analyses were conducted to infer phylogenies and biogeographic patterns. Molecular data sets revealed several cryptic lineages, with most radiations occurring during the mid-Miocene to Pliocene. We infer that rifting processes (including the formation of the East African Rift System) and climatic oscillations contributed to the expansion and contraction of savannas, and caused cladogenesis in snake-eyed skinks. Species in Panaspis and Afroablepharus used in this study, including type species for both genera, formed a monophyletic group. As a result, the latter genus should be synonymized with the former, which has priority. Conservatively, we continue to include the West African species P. breviceps and P. togoensis within an expanded Panaspis, but note that they occur in relatively divergent clades, and their taxonomic status may change with improved taxon sampling. Divergence estimates and cryptic speciation patterns of snake-eyed skinks were consistent with previous studies of other savanna vertebrate lineages from the same areas examined in this study. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Harvesting tree biomass at the stand level to assess the accuracy of field and airborne biomass estimation in savannas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colgan, Matthew S; Asner, Gregory P; Swemmer, Tony

    2013-07-01

    Tree biomass is an integrated measure of net growth and is critical for understanding, monitoring, and modeling ecosystem functions. Despite the importance of accurately measuring tree biomass, several fundamental barriers preclude direct measurement at large spatial scales, including the facts that trees must be felled to be weighed and that even modestly sized trees are challenging to maneuver once felled. Allometric methods allow for estimation of tree mass using structural characteristics, such as trunk diameter. Savanna trees present additional challenges, including limited available allometry and a prevalence of multiple stems per individual. Here we collected airborne lidar data over a semiarid savanna adjacent to the Kruger National Park, South Africa, and then harvested and weighed woody plant biomass at the plot scale to provide a standard against which field and airborne estimation methods could be compared. For an existing airborne lidar method, we found that half of the total error was due to averaging canopy height at the plot scale. This error was eliminated by instead measuring maximum height and crown area of individual trees from lidar data using an object-based method to identify individual tree crowns and estimate their biomass. The best object-based model approached the accuracy of field allometry at both the tree and plot levels, and it more than doubled the accuracy compared to existing airborne methods (17% vs. 44% deviation from harvested biomass). Allometric error accounted for less than one-third of the total residual error in airborne biomass estimates at the plot scale when using allometry with low bias. Airborne methods also gave more accurate predictions at the plot level than did field methods based on diameter-only allometry. These results provide a novel comparison of field and airborne biomass estimates using harvested plots and advance the role of lidar remote sensing in savanna ecosystems.

  1. Climate-biomes, pedo-biomes and pyro-biomes: which world view explains the tropical forest - savanna boundary in South America?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Langan, Liam; Higgins, Steven; Scheiter, Simon

    2015-04-01

    Elucidating the drivers of broad vegetation formations improves our understanding of earth system functioning. The biome, defined primarily by the dominance of a particular growth strategy, is commonly employed to group vegetation into similar units. Predicting tropical forest and savanna biome boundaries in South America has proven difficult. Process based DGVMs (Dynamic global vegetation models) are our best tool to simulate vegetation patterns, make predictions for future changes and test theory, however, many DGVMs fail to accurately simulate the spatial distribution or indeed presence of the South American savanna biome which can result in large differences in modelled ecosystem structural properties. Evidence suggests fire plays a significant role in mediating these forest and savanna biome boundaries, however, fire alone does not appear to be sufficient to predict these boundaries in South America using DGVMs hinting at the presence of one or more missing environmental factors. We hypothesise that soil depth, which affects plant available water by determining maximum storage potential and influences temporal availability, may be one of these missing environmental factors. To test our hypothesis we use a novel vegetation model, the aDGVM2. This model has been specifically designed to allow plant trait strategies, constrained by trade-offs between traits, evolve based on the abiotic and biotic conditions where the resulting community trait suites are emergent properties of model dynamics. Furthermore it considers root biomass in multiple soil layers and therefore allows the consideration of alternative rooting strategies, which in turn allows us to explore in more detail the role of soil hydraulic factors in controlling biome boundary distributions. We find that changes in soil depth, interacting with fire, affect the relative dominance of tree and grass strategies and thus the presence and spatial distribution of forest and savanna biomes in South America

  2. Guide to the Vascular Flora of the Savannas and Flatwoods of Shaken Creek Preserve and Vicinity (Pender & Onslow Counties, North Carolina, U.S.A.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert Thornhill

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Shaken Creek Preserve (“SCP” is a 2,448 ha (6,050 ac natural area in Pender and Onslow Counties, North Carolina (U.S.A. Best known for its high-quality longleaf pine savanna habitat, the site contains seven savanna or savanna-like plant community types (i.e., flatwoods or sandhills, three of which are globally critically imperiled (G1: Sandy Pine Savanna (Rush Featherling subtype, Wet Loamy Pine Savanna, and Very Wet Loamy Pine Savanna. SCP hosts three Federally Endangered plant species and six Federal Species of Concern. Formerly a private hunting club, the site was virtually unknown to scientists until the 1990s; consequently, few biological inventories of SCP have been conducted. In particular, no systematic floristic inventories of the species-rich savannas have been undertaken, despite the fact that floristic data is critical to the effective management of any natural area. The goals of this study were to (1 inventory the vascular flora of the savannas, flatwoods, and sandhill community types on site through the collection of voucher specimens; (2 provide a comprehensive checklist of the flora based on collections and reports made from the site and from the same or similar habitats in the vicinity (i.e., within 2 miles of SCP; and (3 create an illustrated guide based on the checklist. In order to increase the usefulness of the guide, taxa not currently known from SCP but collected or reported from the same or similar habitats within two miles of SCP, are included in the guide. Eighty-three families containing 450 taxa, including thirty-two Significantly Rare and thirty-eight Watch List taxa, were collected or reported from SCP; an additional seven families containing a total of 102 taxa, including eighteen Significantly Rare and seven Watch List taxa, were collected or reported from the vicinity. In total, ninety families containing 552 taxa, including fifty Significantly Rare and forty-five Watch List taxa, are treated in the guide

  3. Very high CO2 exchange fluxes at the peak of the rainy season in a West African grazed semi-arid savanna ecosystem

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tagesson, Håkan Torbern; Ardoe, Jonas; Guiro, Idrissa

    2016-01-01

    Africa is a sink of carbon, but there are large gaps in our knowledge regarding the CO2 exchange fluxes for many African ecosystems. Here, we analyse multi-annual eddy covariance data of CO2 exchange fluxes for a grazed Sahelian semi-arid savanna ecosystem in Senegal, West Africa. The aim...... to that of other semi-arid savanna sites due the short length of the rainy season. An inter-comparison between the open-path and a closed-path infrared sensor indicated no systematic errors related to the instrumentation. An uncertainty analysis of long-term NEE budgets indicated that corrections for air density...... response to climate change....

  4. Stable isotopes in ecosystem science: structure, function and dynamics of a subtropical Savanna.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boutton, T W; Archer, S R; Midwood, A J

    1999-01-01

    Stable isotopes are often utilized as intrinsic tracers to study the effects of human land uses on the structural and functional characteristics of ecosystems. Here, we illustrate how stable isotopes of H, C, and O have been utilized to document changes in ecosystem structure and function using a case study from a subtropical savanna ecosystem. Specifically, we demonstrate that: (1) delta 13C values of soil organic carbon record a vegetation change in this ecosystem from C4 grassland to C3 woodland during the past 40-120 years, and (2) delta 2H and delta 18O of plant and soil water reveal changes in ecosystem hydrology that accompanied this grassland-to-woodland transition. In the Rio Grande Plains of North America, delta 13C values of plants and soils indicate that areas now dominated by C3 subtropical thorn woodland were once C4 grasslands. delta 13C values of current organic matter inputs from wooded landscape elements in this region are characteristic of C3 plants (-28 to -25/1000), while those of the associated soil organic carbon are higher and range from -20 to -15/1000. Approximately 50-90% of soil carbon beneath the present C3 woodlands is derived from C4 grasses. A strong memory of the C4 grasslands that once dominated this region is retained by delta 13C values of organic carbon associated with fine and coarse clay fractions. When delta 13C values are evaluated in conjunction with 14C measurements of that same soil carbon, it appears that grassland-to-woodland conversion occurred largely within the past 40-120 years, coincident with the intensification of livestock grazing and reductions in fire frequency. These conclusions substantiate those based on demographic characteristics of the dominant tree species, historical aerial photography, and accounts of early settlers and explores. Concurrent changes in soil delta 13C values and organic carbon content over the past 90 years also indicate that wooded landscape elements are behaving as sinks for

  5. 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 - mental controls of vegetation dynamics – particularly the cues for leaf flush and leaf fall (Chase et al. 1996; Jolly et al. 2005; Menzel 2002). Small changes in temperature can result in large changes in the timing and duration of leaf display, which... the contributions of these two main functional types to the landscape greenness. The problem of separating trees and grasses has not been adequately addressed in remote sensing studies of savannas. Jolly & Running (2004) ignored the grass component entirely...

  6. Long-term energy balance and vegetation water stress monitoring of Mediterranean oak savanna using satellite thermal data

    Science.gov (United States)

    González-Dugo, Maria P.; Chen, Xuelong; Andreu, Ana; Carpintero, Elisabet; Gómez-Giraldez, Pedro; Su, Z.(Bob)

    2017-04-01

    Drought is one of the major hazards faced by natural and cropped vegetation in the Mediterranean Sea Basin. Water scarcity is likely to be worsened under the predicted conditions of climate change, which is expected to make this region both warmer and drier. A Holm oak savanna, known as dehesa in Spain and montado in Portugal, is an agro-silvo-pastoral system occupying more than 3 million hectares the Iberian Peninsula and Greece. It consists of widely-spaced oak trees (mostly Quercus ilex L.), combined with crops, pasture and Mediterranean shrubs. This ecosystem is considered an example of sustainable land use, supporting a large number of species and diversity of habitats and for its importance in rural economy. A similar ecosystem is worldwide distributed in areas with Mediterranean climate (as California or South Africa) and shares structural and functional properties with tropical savannas in Africa, Australia and South America. Remote sensing time series can assist the monitoring of the energy balance components, with special attention to the evapotranspiration and vegetation water stress over these areas. Long-term data analysis may improve our understanding of the functioning of the system, helping to assess drought impacts and leading to reduce the economic and environmental vulnerability of this ecosystem. This work analyzes the evolution the surface energy balance components, mapping the evapotranspiration and moisture stress of holm oak woodlands of Spain and Portugal during the last 15 years (2001-2015). The surface energy balance model (SEBS) has been applied over the Iberian Peninsula on a monthly time scale and 0.05° spatial resolution, using multi-satellite and meteorological forcing data. Modelled energy and water fluxes have been validated using ground measurements of two eddy covariance towers located in oak savanna sites during 3 years, resulting in moderate deviations from observations (10-25 W/m2). The departure of actual ET from the

  7. Coupling carbon allocation with leaf and root phenology predicts tree-grass partitioning along a savanna rainfall gradient

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haverd, V.; Smith, B.; Raupach, M.; Briggs, P.; Nieradzik, L.; Beringer, J.; Hutley, L.; Trudinger, C. M.; Cleverly, J.

    2016-02-01

    The relative complexity of the mechanisms underlying savanna ecosystem dynamics, in comparison to other biomes such as temperate and tropical forests, challenges the representation of such dynamics in ecosystem and Earth system models. A realistic representation of processes governing carbon allocation and phenology for the two defining elements of savanna vegetation (namely trees and grasses) may be a key to understanding variations in tree-grass partitioning in time and space across the savanna biome worldwide. Here we present a new approach for modelling coupled phenology and carbon allocation, applied to competing tree and grass plant functional types. The approach accounts for a temporal shift between assimilation and growth, mediated by a labile carbohydrate store. This is combined with a method to maximize long-term net primary production (NPP) by optimally partitioning plant growth between fine roots and (leaves + stem). The computational efficiency of the analytic method used here allows it to be uniquely and readily applied at regional scale, as required, for example, within the framework of a global biogeochemical model.We demonstrate the approach by encoding it in a new simple carbon-water cycle model that we call HAVANA (Hydrology and Vegetation-dynamics Algorithm for Northern Australia), coupled to the existing POP (Population Orders Physiology) model for tree demography and disturbance-mediated heterogeneity. HAVANA-POP is calibrated using monthly remotely sensed fraction of absorbed photosynthetically active radiation (fPAR) and eddy-covariance-based estimates of carbon and water fluxes at five tower sites along the North Australian Tropical Transect (NATT), which is characterized by large gradients in rainfall and wildfire disturbance. The calibrated model replicates observed gradients of fPAR, tree leaf area index, basal area, and foliage projective cover along the NATT. The model behaviour emerges from complex feedbacks between the plant

  8. Structure of arboreal and herbaceous strata in a neotropical seasonally flooded monodominant savanna of Tabebuia aurea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bueno, M L; Damasceno-Junior, G A; Pott, A; Pontara, V; Seleme, E P; Fava, W S; Salomão, A K D; Ratter, J A

    2014-05-01

    Large areas in the Pantanal wetland are covered by monodominant formations, e.g. typical landscapes with local names such as "paratudal", dominated by T. aurea. Studies on structure of these formations generally include only woody strata, consequently the species richness registered is usually low due to the absence of the 'ground layer' of herbaceous and others low species. We recorded 13 species, 12 genera and 11 families for the arboreal stratum. Considering arboreal flora without the dominant (T. aurea) individuals showed great establishment in relation to the flood level between 35 - 45 cm while the individuals of the dominant species of 30 - 45 cm. The diameter distribution revealed that the population of T. aurea did not show the reverse J curve, the usual pattern for species in constant regeneration, also evidenced in inconstant Licourt quotient, indicating an episodic recruitment that could lead to future changes in structure. In the herbaceous strata we recorded 78 species, included in 62 genera and 27 families. Using plots method we sampled 46 species, 40 genera and 22 families, while in line interception we found 65 species distributed in 57 genera and 26 families. The floristic similarity of Sørensen between both methods was 59.4%, with 33 species in common, and the method of line interception was more efficient in detecting richness, with 35% more species found in the same time. According to the methods of plots and line interception applied on the woody stratum, our results gave similar detailed information on the structure of this type of savanna, and in spite of being monodominant it shows high species richness when the herbaceous stratum is taken into account. Plots and line interception methods showed similar results for the woody stratum and high species richness of the herbaceous stratum.

  9. Factors influencing local ecological knowledge of forage resources: Ethnobotanical evidence from West Africa's savannas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naah, John-Baptist S N; Guuroh, Reginald T

    2017-03-01

    Recording local ecological knowledge (LEK) is a useful approach to understanding interactions of the complex social-ecological systems. In spite of the recent growing interest in LEK studies on the effects of climate and land use changes, livestock mobility decisions and other aspects of agro-pastoral systems, LEK on forage plants has still been vastly under-documented in the West African savannas. Using a study area ranging from northern Ghana to central Burkina Faso, we thus aimed at exploring how aridity and socio-demographic factors drive the distributional patterns of forage-related LEK among its holders. With stratified random sampling, we elicited LEK among 450 informants in 15 villages (seven in Ghana and eight in Burkina Faso) via free list tasks coupled with ethnobotanical walks and direct field observations. We performed generalized linear mixed-effects models (aridity- and ethnicity-based models) and robust model selection procedures. Our findings revealed that LEK for woody and herbaceous forage plants was strongly influenced by the ethnicity-based model, while aridity-based model performed better for LEK on overall forage resources and crop-related forage plants. We also found that climatic aridity had negative effect on the forage-related LEK across gender and age groups, while agro- and floristic diversity had positive effect on the body of LEK. About 135 species belonging to 95 genera and 52 families were cited. Our findings shed more light on how ethnicity and environmental harshness can markedly shape the body of LEK in the face of global climate change. Better understanding of such a place-based knowledge system is relevant for sustainable forage plants utilization and livestock production. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Savanna chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes verus) nesting ecology at Bagnomba (Kedougou, Senegal).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Badji, L; Ndiaye, P I; Lindshield, S M; Ba, C T; Pruetz, J D

    2017-12-27

    We studied the nesting behavior of the critically endangered West African chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes verus). We assumed that the nesting data stemmed from a single, unhabituated community at the Bagnomba hill site in the savanna-woodlands of southeastern Senegal. The aim of this study was to examine chimpanzees' nesting habits in terms of the tree species utilized and sleeping nest heights. We recorded a total of 550 chimpanzee nests at Bagnomba between January 2015 and December 2015. The chimpanzees here made nests in particular tree species more often than others. The majority of nests (63%) were in two tree species: Diospyros mespiliformis and Pterocarpus erinaceus. The average height of nesting trees was 10.54 m (SD 3.91, range, 0.0-29.0 m) and average nest height was 7.90 m (SD 3.62, range, 0.0-25.0 m). The result of a linear regression analysis (r = 0.7874; n = 550; p < 0.05) is consistent with a preference for nesting at a particular height. Bagnomba chimpanzees rarely made ground nests (0.36% of nests), but the presence of any ground nesting was unexpected, given that at least one leopard (Panthera pardus) also occupied the hill. This knowledge will enable stakeholders involved in the protection of chimpanzees specifically and of biodiversity in general to better understand chimpanzee ecology and inform a conservation action plan in Senegal where the survival of this species is threatened.

  11. Metapopulation dynamics of the mistletoe and its host in savanna areas with different fire occurrence.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Grazielle Sales Teodoro

    Full Text Available Mistletoes are aerial hemiparasitic plants which occupy patches of favorable habitat (host trees surrounded by unfavorable habitat and may be possibly modeled as a metapopulation. A metapopulation is defined as a subdivided population that persists due to the balance between colonization and extinction in discrete habitat patches. Our aim was to evaluate the dynamics of the mistletoe Psittacanthus robustus and its host Vochysia thyrsoidea in three Brazilian savanna areas using a metapopulation approach. We also evaluated how the differences in terms of fire occurrence affected the dynamic of those populations (two areas burned during the study and one was fire protected. We monitored the populations at six-month intervals. P. robustus population structure and dynamics met the expected criteria for a metapopulation: i the suitable habitats for the mistletoe occur in discrete patches; (ii local populations went extinct during the study and (iii colonization of previously non-occupied patches occurred. The ratio of occupied patches decreased in all areas with time. Local mistletoe populations went extinct due to two different causes: patch extinction in area with no fire and fire killing in the burned areas. In a burned area, the largest decrease of occupied patch ratios occurred due to a fire event that killed the parasites without, however, killing the host trees. The greatest mortality of V. thyrsoidea occurred in the area without fire. In this area, all the dead trees supported mistletoe individuals and no mortality was observed for parasite-free trees. Because P. robustus is a fire sensitive species and V. thyrsoidea is fire tolerant, P. robustus seems to increase host mortality, but its effect is lessened by periodic burning that reduces the parasite loads.

  12. Assessing the use of forest islands by parrot species in a neotropical savanna

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Igor Berkunsky

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Understanding the effect of habitat fragmentation is a fundamental yet complicated aim of many ecological studies. Beni savanna is a naturally fragmented forest habitat, where forest islands exhibit variation in resources and threats. To understand how the availability of resources and threats affect the use of forest islands by parrots, we applied occupancy modeling to quantify use and detection probabilities for 12 parrot species on 60 forest islands. The presence of urucuri (Attalea phalerata and macaw (Acrocomia aculeata palms, the number of tree cavities on the islands, and the presence of selective logging,and fire were included as covariates associated with availability of resources and threats. The model-selection analysis indicated that both resources and threats variables explained the use of forest islands by parrots. For most species, the best models confirmed predictions. The number of cavities was positively associated with use of forest islands by 11 species. The area of the island and the presence of macaw palm showed a positive association with the probability of use by seven and five species, respectively, while selective logging and fire showed a negative association with five and six species, respectively. The Blue-throated Macaw (Ara glaucogularis, the critically endangered parrot species endemic to our study area, was the only species that showed a negative association with both threats. Monitoring continues to be essential to evaluate conservation and management actions of parrot populations. Understanding of how species are using this natural fragmented habitat will help determine which fragments should be preserved and which conservation actions are needed.

  13. Seasonality, diaspore traits and the structure of plant-frugivore networks in Neotropical savanna forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Darosci, Adriano Antonio Brito; Bruna, Emilio M.; Motta-Junior, José Carlos; Ferreira, Cristiane da Silva; Blake, John Gilman; Munhoz, Cássia Beatriz Rodrigues

    2017-10-01

    Complex frugivory networks are common in heterogeneous environments, but how the structure of those networks varies due to seasonality and other environmental factors remains unclear. For example, seasonal variation in rainfall can influence fruit production and diaspore characteristics, which could alter the quantity and quality of resources available to different animals in the network and, hence, network structure. We investigated how a frugivory network varied seasonally in Brazilian savanna (Cerrado), where there are well-defined dry and wet seasons and fructification mainly during the rainy season for most tree species. We recorded fruit consumption by animals during the dry and wet seasons in two different gallery forests and used these data to test the hypotheses that connectance, links per species and nestedness would be higher in the dry season than rainy season due to low available food in the former that would be consumed by various species of frugivores. Concomitantly, we also measured seed width and lipid content from diaspores of the fruiting trees to determine if these characteristics influenced interaction properties between fruiting trees and frugivores. Among the measured network parameters, connectance, links per species and specialization varied between seasons in one site but not in the other, indicating that seasonal variation in networks is not necessarily consistent over time or space. The number of tree species with small diaspores with high lipid content differed between seasons, and those characteristics were key factors increasing the interaction parameter of fruiting trees. We suggest that network stability between seasons may be related to local frugivore diversity, resource availability, and fruit quality.

  14. Reference Values of Arterial Gases and Electrolytes in Canines from the Bogota Savanna

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlos Andrés Trujillo Jurado

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Due to the lack of arterial gas values that meet our environmental conditions and the wide variety of out-of-date data in literature and used in everyday practice, obtained with different heights, breeds and equipment to the ones available in our context, it becomes necessary to generate our own knowledge adjusted to our reality. A random systematic measurement of arterial and venous blood was made on 100 healthy canines in the Bogota Savanna (Chia: 2652 m.a.s.l.; Cajica: 2558 m.a.s.l.; Sopo: 2650 m.a.s.l.; La Calera: 2718 m.a.s.l.; and Bogota: 2630 m.a.s.l.;, using the I-STAT® analyzer with EG7+ cartridge. Reference values were found for gasometry, electrolytes, effective basis and pH. The values were compared between four groups by weight. Descriptive statistics were made for each parameter based on average, standard deviation and standard error, and the trust limits (95% and the intervals with standard deviation (one and two deviations were found. A decrease on PCO2, PO2, SO2, bicarbonate and BE was evident. The pH was found to be slightly increased, similar to the one reported by authors at great heights and different (not statistically confirmed from reports in literature, where height was not a variable. Even so, they are frequently used as reference in the practice of small animals; only PO2 presented statistical differences by groups of weight. As a conclusion, effective regulation of blood pH was evident at 2600 m.a.s.l., with different bicarbonate values, PCO2, PO2, BE, which suggest the need to obtain and use reference values consistent with local conditions.

  15. Pollination syndromes ignored: importance of non-ornithophilous flowers to Neotropical savanna hummingbirds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maruyama, Pietro K.; Oliveira, Genilda M.; Ferreira, Carolina; Dalsgaard, Bo; Oliveira, Paulo E.

    2013-11-01

    Generalization prevails in flower-animal interactions, and although animal visitors are not equally effective pollinators, most interactions likely represent an important energy intake for the animal visitor. Hummingbirds are nectar-feeding specialists, and many tropical plants are specialized toward hummingbird-pollination. In spite of this, especially in dry and seasonal tropical habitats, hummingbirds may often rely on non-ornithophilous plants to meet their energy requirements. However, quantitative studies evaluating the relative importance of ornithophilous vs. non-ornithophilous plants for hummingbirds in these areas are scarce. We here studied the availability and use of floral resources by hummingbirds in two different areas of the Cerrado, the seasonal savannas in Central Brazil. Roughly half the hummingbird visited plant species were non-ornithophilous, and these contributed greatly to increase the overall nectar availability. We showed that mean nectar offer, at the transect scale, was the only parameter related to hummingbird visitation frequency, more so than nectar offer at single flowers and at the plant scale, or pollination syndrome. Centrality indices, calculated using hummingbird-plant networks, showed that ornithophilous and non-ornithophilous plants have similar importance for network cohesion. How this foraging behaviour affects reproduction of non-ornithophilous plants remains largely unexplored and is probably case specific, however, we suggest that the additional energy provided by non-ornithophilous plants may facilitate reproduction of truly ornithophilous flowers by attracting and maintaining hummingbirds in the area. This may promote asymmetric hummingbird-plant associations, i.e., pollination depends on floral traits adapted to hummingbird morphology, but hummingbird visitation is determined more by the energetic "reward" than by pollination syndromes.

  16. New Native Rhizobia Strains for Inoculation of Common Bean in the Brazilian Savanna

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    Fábio Martins Mercante

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Maximization of biological nitrogen fixation in the common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L. crop depends on the genetic characteristics related to the plant, the symbiotic efficiency of rhizobia, and environmental factors. The objective of this study was to evaluate the performance of rhizobia selected beforehand from Cerrado (Brazilian tropical savanna soils in Mato Grosso do Sul. The experiments were conducted in 2007 in the municipalities of Aquidauana, Anaurilândia, Campo Grande, and Dourados, all located in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul. All procedures established followed the current recommendations of the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture (Ministério de Agricultura, Pecuária e Abastecimento – MAPA, in accordance with the “official protocol for assessing the feasibility and agronomic efficiency of strains, and inoculant technologies linked to the process of biological nitrogen fixation in legumes”. The program for selection of rhizobia for inoculation in bean plants resulted in identification of different strains with high symbiotic efficiency, competitiveness, and genetic stability, based on the Embrapa Agropecuária Oeste collection of multifunctional microorganism cultures. In previous studies, 630 isolates of Rhizobium were evaluated. They were obtained from nodules of leucaena (380 or dry beans (250 from 87 locations, including 34 municipalities in Mato Grosso do Sul. Three of them stood out from the others: CPAO 12.5 L2, CPAO 17.5 L2, and CPAO 56.4 L2. Inoculation of these strains in bean plants demonstrated economic viability and high potential for obtaining a more effective inoculant suitable for trading purposes.

  17. Impacts of hydraulic redistribution on overstory-understory interactions in a semiarid savanna

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barron-Gafford, G.; Minor, R. L.; Hendryx, S.; Lee, E.; Sutter, L., Jr.; Colella, A.; Murphy, P.; Sanchez-Canete, E. P.; Hamerlynck, E. P.; Kumar, P.; Scott, R. L.

    2016-12-01

    Hydraulic redistribution (HR) is an important ecohydrological process in dryland environments by which plants preferentially move water from wet to dry soil layers. How does this water movement by the overstory influence physiological activity in the understory? Are there periods of facilitation when the tree is lifting water and periods of competition when the water is being moved deeper in the profile? We combined trunk, lateral root, and taproot sap flow data, and linked these measures with shallow and deep soil moisture data to show that soil moisture gradients control hydraulic redistribution in overstory mesquite trees. During prolonged inter-rain periods of drought and in response to periods of high vapor pressure deficits, mesquites drew upon this deeper, stored water to meet biological demands. We created plots under mesquite that experienced HR and plots where HR was physically prohibited to quantify the impacts of HR on understory performance. We measured carbon and water exchange at the leaf-level on mesquite and understory grass and for entire understory ecosystem using a large, portable chamber. We found that HR provided a drought-buffering capacity for the overstory mesquite and a significant decrease in mesquite photosynthesis in trees where the capacity for HR was reduced. While we had hypothesized that water lifted by the mesquite in periods of drought would facilitate understory grass function, we found no evidence for this. In fact, we found that grasses actually conducted higher rates of photosynthesis in plots where HR was eliminated. Ultimately, we found that HR in upland savannas, where there is little to no access to deep water, yields a competitive interaction between overstory mesquites and understory grasses at the scale of individual precipitation pulse events and across entire growing seasons.

  18. Daily temporal structure in African savanna flower visitation networks and consequences for network sampling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baldock, Katherine C R; Memmott, Jane; Ruiz-Guajardo, Juan Carlos; Roze, Denis; Stone, Graham N

    2011-03-01

    Ecological interaction networks are a valuable approach to understanding plant-pollinator interactions at the community level. Highly structured daily activity patterns are a feature of the biology of many flower visitors, particularly provisioning female bees, which often visit different floral sources at different times. Such temporal structure implies that presence/absence and relative abundance of specific flower-visitor interactions (links) in interaction networks may be highly sensitive to the daily timing of data collection. Further, relative timing of interactions is central to their possible role in competition or facilitation of seed set among coflowering plants sharing pollinators. To date, however, no study has examined the network impacts of daily temporal variation in visitor activity at a community scale. Here we use temporally structured sampling to examine the consequences of daily activity patterns upon network properties using fully quantified flower-visitor interaction data for a Kenyan savanna habitat. Interactions were sampled at four sequential three-hour time intervals between 06:00 and 18:00, across multiple seasonal time points for two sampling sites. In all data sets the richness and relative abundance of links depended critically on when during the day visitation was observed. Permutation-based null modeling revealed significant temporal structure across daily time intervals at three of the four seasonal time points, driven primarily by patterns in bee activity. This sensitivity of network structure shows the need to consider daily time in network sampling design, both to maximize the probability of sampling links relevant to plant reproductive success and to facilitate appropriate interpretation of interspecific relationships. Our data also suggest that daily structuring at a community level could reduce indirect competitive interactions when coflowering plants share pollinators, as is commonly observed during flowering in highly

  19. Monitoring drought impact on Mediterranean oak savanna vegetation using remote sensing

    Science.gov (United States)

    González-Dugo, Maria P.; Carpintero, Elisabet; Andreu, Ana

    2015-04-01

    A holm oak savanna, known as dehesa in Spain and montado in Portugal, is the largest agroforest ecosystem in Europe, covering about 3 million hectares in the Iberian Peninsula and Greece (Papanastasis et al., 2004). It is considered an example of sustainable land use, supporting a large number of species and diversity of habitats and for its importance in rural development and economy (Plieninger et al., 2001). It is a combination between an agricultural and a naturally vegetated ecosystem, consisting of widely-spaced oak trees (mostly Quercus Ilex and Quercus suber) combined with a sub-canopy composed by crops, annual grassland and/or shrubs. It has a Mediterranean climate with severe periodic droughts. In the last decades, this system is being exposed to multiple threats derived from socio-economic changes and intensive agricultural use, which have caused environmental degradation, including tree decline, changes in soil properties and hydrological processes, and an increase of soil erosion (Coelho et al., 2004). Soil water dynamics plays a central role in the current decline and reduction of forested areas that jeopardizes the preservation of the system. In this work, a series of remotely sensed images since 1990 to present was used to evaluate the effect of several drought events occurred in the study area (1995, 2009, 2010/2011) on the tree density and water status. Data from satellites Landsat and field measurements have been combined in a spectral mixture model to assess separately the evolution of tree, dry grass and bare soil ground coverage. Only summer images have been used to avoid the influence of the green herbaceous layer on the analysis. Thermal data from the same sensors and meteorological information are integrated in a two source surface energy balance model to compute the Evaporative Stress Index (ESI) and evaluate the vegetation water status. The results have provided insights about the severity of each event and the spatial distribution of

  20. Tree cover and biomass increase in a southern African savanna despite growing elephant population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalwij, J M; De Boer, W F; Mucina, L; Prins, H H T; Skarpe, C; Winterbach, C

    2010-01-01

    The growing elephant populations in many parts of southern Africa raise concerns of a detrimental loss of trees, resulting in overall reduction of biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. Elephant distribution and density can be steered through artificial waterpoints (AWPs). However, this leaves resident vegetation no relief during dry seasons. We studied how the introduction of eight AWPs in 1996 affected the spatiotemporal tree-structure dynamics in central Chobe National Park, an unfenced savanna area in northern Botswana with a dry-season elephant density of approximately 3.34 individuals per square kilometer. We hypothesized that the impact of these AWPs amplified over time and expanded in space, resulting in a decrease in average tree density, tree height, and canopy volume. We measured height and canopy dimensions of all woody plants around eight artificial and two seasonal waterpoints for 172 plots in 1997, 2000, and 2008. Plots, consisting of 50 x 2 m transects for small trees (0.20-3.00 m tall) nested within 50 x 20 m transects for large trees (> or = 3.0 m tall), were located at 100, 500, 1000, 2000, and 5000 m distance classes. A repeated-measures mixed-effect model showed that tree density, cover, and volume had increased over time throughout the area, caused by a combination of an increase of trees in lower size classes and a decrease in larger size classes. Our results indicate that the decrease of large trees can be attributed to a growing elephant population. Decrease or loss of particular tree size classes may have been caused by a loss of browser-preferred species while facilitating the competitiveness of less-preferred species. In spite of 12 years of artificial water supply and an annual elephant population growth of 6%, we found no evidence that the eight AWPs had a negative effect on tree biomass or tree structure. The decreasing large-tree component could be a remainder of a depleted but currently restoring elephant population.

  1. Indigenous burning as conservation practice: neotropical savanna recovery amid agribusiness deforestation in Central Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Welch, James R; Brondízio, Eduardo S; Hetrick, Scott S; Coimbra, Carlos E A

    2013-01-01

    International efforts to address climate change by reducing tropical deforestation increasingly rely on indigenous reserves as conservation units and indigenous peoples as strategic partners. Considered win-win situations where global conservation measures also contribute to cultural preservation, such alliances also frame indigenous peoples in diverse ecological settings with the responsibility to offset global carbon budgets through fire suppression based on the presumed positive value of non-alteration of tropical landscapes. Anthropogenic fire associated with indigenous ceremonial and collective hunting practices in the Neotropical savannas (cerrado) of Central Brazil is routinely represented in public and scientific conservation discourse as a cause of deforestation and increased CO2 emissions despite a lack of supporting evidence. We evaluate this claim for the Xavante people of Pimentel Barbosa Indigenous Reserve, Brazil. Building upon 23 years of longitudinal interdisciplinary research in the area, we used multi-temporal spatial analyses to compare land cover change under indigenous and agribusiness management over the last four decades (1973-2010) and quantify the contemporary Xavante burning regime contributing to observed patterns based on a four year sample at the end of this sequence (2007-2010). The overall proportion of deforested land remained stable inside the reserve (0.6%) but increased sharply outside (1.5% to 26.0%). Vegetation recovery occurred where reserve boundary adjustments transferred lands previously deforested by agribusiness to indigenous management. Periodic traditional burning by the Xavante had a large spatial distribution but repeated burning in consecutive years was restricted. Our results suggest a need to reassess overreaching conservation narratives about the purported destructiveness of indigenous anthropogenic fire in the cerrado. The real challenge to conservation in the fire-adapted cerrado biome is the long

  2. Aerosols and their influence on radiation partitioning and savanna productivity in northern Australia

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kanniah, K. D.; Beringer, J.; Tapper, N. J.; Long, Charles N.

    2010-05-01

    We investigated the effect of aerosols and clouds on the Net Ecosystem Productivity (NEP) of savannas in northern Australia using aerosol optical depth, clouds and radiation data from the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) site in Darwin and carbon flux data measured from eddy covariance techniques from a site at Howard Springs, 35km southeast of Darwin. Generally we found that the concentration of aerosols in this region was relatively low than observed at other sites, therefore the proportion of diffuse radiation reaching the earths surface was only ~ 30%. As a result, we observed only a modest change in carbon uptake under aerosol laden skies and there was no significant difference for dry season Radiation Use Efficiency (RUE) between clear sky, aerosols or thin clouds. On the other hand thick clouds in the wet season produce much more diffuse radiation than aerosols or thin clouds and therefore the initial canopy quantum efficiency was seen to increase 45 and 2.5 times more than under thin clouds and aerosols respectively. The normalized carbon uptake under thick clouds is 57% and 50% higher than under aerosols and thin clouds respectively even though the total irradiance received under thick clouds was reduced 59% and 50% than under aerosols and thin clouds respectively. However, reduction in total irradiance decreases the mean absolute carbon uptake as much as 22% under heavy cloud cover compared to thin clouds or aerosols. Thus, any increase in aerosol concentration or cloud cover that can enhance the diffuse component may have large impacts on productivity in this region.

  3. Relationship Between Edaphic Factors and Vegetation in Savannas of the Brazilian Midwest Region

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michellia Pereira Soares

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available The Brazilian savanna is a mosaic of phytophysiognomies influenced by edaphic and topographic factors that range from the occurrence of fires to anthropic disturbance. The goal of this study was a comparative analysis between two cerrado areas in southeastern Goiás, relating the floristic composition and structure of the vegetation to soil properties to better understand the physiognomic characteristics of the region. Twenty-five 20 × 20 m plots were used. All plants with circumference at breast height of more than 15 cm were measured. Soil samples collected at a depth of 0-20 cm were subjected to physical and chemical analyses. Canonical correspondence analysis (CCA was used to detect possible correlations between the soil properties and species abundance and distribution. The density and total basal area were 1,647 ind/ha and 15.57 m2/ha, respectively, in Ouroana. At this site, 107 species were sampled. In Montes Claros de Goiás, the density and total basal area were 781 ind/ha and 17.62 m2/ha, and 120 species were sampled. The soil texture of Ouroana was sandy and significantly different from the medium to clayey texture of Montes Claros. The soils of both areas are dystrophic, however, more fertile in Montes Claros and aluminum-toxic in Ouroana. The species of vegetation were distributed according to soil fertility levels. The CCAs grouped species according to soil properties that defined location and abundance as well as the phytophysiognomies of the studied areas.

  4. Soil organic matter pools in a tropical savanna under agroforestry system in Northeastern Brazil

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    Luiz Fernando Carvalho Leite

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available This study aimed at quantifying total organic carbon stocks and its pools in Acrisol under agroforestry systems with six (AFS6 and thirteen years old (AFS13, slash-and-burn agriculture (SBA and savanna native forest (SNF in northeastern Brazil. Soil samples were collected at 0-0.05 m, 0.05-0.10 m, 0.10-0.20 m and 0.20-0.40 m depths in the dry and rainy seasons to evaluate total organic carbon (TOC stocks and labile carbon (LC, fulvic acid fraction (C-FAF, humic acid fraction (C-HAF, humin (C-HF and microbial biomass carbon (Cmic contents. Additionally, carbon management index (CMI was determined. Higher TOC stocks (97.7 and 81.8 Mg ha-1 for the 0-0.40 m depth in the dry and rainy seasons, respectively and LC, humic substances and Cmic contents were observed in the AFS13 in all the depths. CMI also was higher in the AFS13 (0-0. 05 m: 158 and 86; 0.05-0.10 m: 171 and 67, respectively for the dry and rainy seasons especially when compared to the SBA (0-0.05 m: 5.6 and 5.4; 0.05-0.10 m: 5.3 and 5.8, respectively for dry and rainy seasons. The agroforestry systems increased soil quality through the conservation of organic matter and can be considered an excellent strategy to assurance sustainability in tropical soil of Northeastern Brazil

  5. Land Cover Characterization in West Sudanian Savannas Using Seasonal Features from Annual Landsat Time Series

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    Jinxiu Liu

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available With the increasing temporal resolution of medium spatial resolution data, seasonal features are becoming more readily available for land cover characterization. However, in the tropical regions, images can be severely contaminated by clouds during the rainy season and fires during the dry season, with possible effects to seasonal features. In this study, we evaluated the performance of seasonal features based on an annual Landsat time series (LTS of 35 images for land cover characterization in West Sudanian savanna woodlands. First, the burnt areas were detected and removed. Second, the reflectance seasonality was modelled using a harmonic model, and model parameters were used as inputs for land cover classification and tree crown cover prediction using the random forest algorithm. Furthermore, to study the sensitivity of the approach to the burnt areas, we repeated the analyses without the first step. Our results showed that seasonal features improved classification accuracy significantly from 68.7% and 66.1% to 76.2%, and decreased root mean square error (RMSE of tree crown cover predictions from 11.7% and 11.4% to 10.4%, in comparison to the dry and rainy season single date images, respectively. The burnt areas biased the seasonal parameters in near-infrared and shortwave infrared bands, and decreased the accuracy of classification and tree crown cover prediction, suggesting that burnt areas should be removed before fitting the harmonic model. We conclude that seasonal features from annual LTS improved land cover characterization performance, and the harmonic model, provided a simple method for computing annual seasonal features with burnt area removal.

  6. A large historical refugium explains spatial patterns of genetic diversity in a Neotropical savanna tree species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Souza, Helena Augusta Viana E; Collevatti, Rosane Garcia; Lima-Ribeiro, Matheus S; Lemos-Filho, José Pires de; Lovato, Maria Bernadete

    2017-01-01

    The relative role of Pleistocene climate changes in driving the geographic distribution and genetic diversity of South American species is not well known, especially from open biomes such as the Cerrado, the most diverse tropical savanna, encompassing high levels of endemism. Here the effects of Quaternary climatic changes on demographic history, distribution dynamics and genetic diversity of Dimorphandra mollis, an endemic tree species widely distributed in the Cerrado, were investigated. A total of 38 populations covering most of the distribution of D. mollis were analysed using internal transcribed spacer (ITS) sequences and nuclear microsatellite variation [simple sequence repeats (SSRs)]. The framework incorporated statistical phylogeography, coalescent analyses and ecological niche modelling (ENM). Different signatures of Quaternary climatic changes were found for ITS sequences and SSRs corresponding to different time slices. Coalescent analyses revealed large and constant effective population sizes, with high historical connectivity among the populations for ITS sequences and low effective population sizes and gene flow with recent population retraction for SSRs. ENMs indicated a slight geographical range retraction during the Last Glacial Maximum. A large historical refugium across central Brazil was predicted. Spatially explicit analyses showed a spatial cline pattern in genetic diversity related to the paleodistribution of D. mollis and to the centre of its historical refugium. The complex genetic patterns found in D. mollis are the result of a slight geographical range retraction during the Last Glacial Maximum followed by population expansion to the east and south from a large refugium in the central part of the Cerrado. This historical refugium is coincident with an area predicted to be climatically stable under future climate scenarios. The identified refugium should be given high priority in conservation polices to safeguard the evolutionary

  7. Continuous evapotranspiration monitoring and water stress at watershed scale in a Mediterranean oak savanna

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    Carpintero, E.; González Dugo, M. P.; Hain, C.; Nieto, H.; Gao, F.; Andreu, A.; Kustas, W. P.; Anderson, M. C.

    2016-10-01

    The regular monitoring of the evapotranspiration rates and their links with vegetation conditions and soil moisture may support management and hydrological planning leading to reduce the economic and environmental vulnerability of complex water-controlled Mediterranean ecosystems. In this work, the monitoring of water use over a basin with a predominant oak savanna (known in Spain as dehesa) was conducted for two years, 2013 and 2014, monitoring ET at both fine spatial and temporal resolution in different seasons. A global 5 km daily ET product, developed with the ALEXI model and MODIS day-night temperature difference, was used as starting point. Flux estimations with higher spatial resolutions were obtained with the associated flux disaggregation scheme, DisALEXI, using surface temperature data from the polar orbiting satellites MODIS (1 Km, daily) and Landsat 7/8 (60-120m and sharpened to 30m, 16 days) and the previously estimated coarse resolution fluxes. The results achieved supported the ability of this scheme to accurately estimate daytime-integrated energy fluxes over this system, using input data with different spatio-temporal resolution and without the need for ground observations. Daily ET series at 30 m spatial resolution, generated using STARFM fusion technique, has provided a significant improvement in spatial heterogeneity assessment of the ET series, with RMSE values of 0.56 and 0.68 mm/day for each year, representing an enhancement with respect to interpolated Landsat series. In summary, this approach was demostrated to be robust and operative to map ET at watershed scale with a suitable spatial and temporal resolution for applications over the dehesa ecosystem.

  8. The effect of carbon credits on savanna land management and priorities for biodiversity conservation.

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    Lucinda L Douglass

    Full Text Available Carbon finance offers the potential to change land management and conservation planning priorities. We develop a novel approach to planning for improved land management to conserve biodiversity while utilizing potential revenue from carbon biosequestration. We apply our approach in northern Australia's tropical savanna, a region of global significance for biodiversity and carbon storage, both of which are threatened by current fire and grazing regimes. Our approach aims to identify priority locations for protecting species and vegetation communities by retaining existing vegetation and managing fire and grazing regimes at a minimum cost. We explore the impact of accounting for potential carbon revenue (using a carbon price of US$14 per tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent on priority areas for conservation and the impact of explicitly protecting carbon stocks in addition to biodiversity. Our results show that improved management can potentially raise approximately US$5 per hectare per year in carbon revenue and prevent the release of 1-2 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent over approximately 90 years. This revenue could be used to reduce the costs of improved land management by three quarters or double the number of biodiversity targets achieved and meet carbon storage targets for the same cost. These results are based on generalised cost and carbon data; more comprehensive applications will rely on fine scale, site-specific data and a supportive policy environment. Our research illustrates that the duel objective of conserving biodiversity and reducing the release of greenhouse gases offers important opportunities for cost-effective land management investments.

  9. A checklist of spiders from Sovenga Hill, an inselberg in the Savanna Biome, Limpopo Province, South Africa (Arachnida: Araneae

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    M.A. Modiba

    2005-12-01

    Full Text Available The South African National Survey of Arachnida (SANSA was initiated to make an inventory of the arachnid fauna of South Africa. Various projects are underway to prepare inventories of the spider fauna of the different floral biomes and provinces of South Africa. During April and May 2004 five different collecting methods were sed to sample spiders from four slopes on Sovenga Hill, an inselberg situated in the Savanna Biome, near Polokwane, in the Limpopo Province of South Africa. A total of 793 specimens represented by 29 families, 62 genera and 76 species were recorded over the twomonth period. The Thomisidae was the most abundant (n = 167 representing 21.1 % of all spiders sampled, followed by the Gnaphosidae (n = 101 with 12.7 % and the Lycosidae (n = 77 with 9.7 %. The most abundant species was a thomisid Tmarus comellini Garcia-Neto (n = 82, representing 10.3 % of the total, followed by a clubionid Clubiona godfreyi Lessert (n = 66 with 8.3 %. The Thomisidae was the most species-rich family with 12 species, followed by the Gnaphosidae with 11 species and the Araneidae with 10 species. Of the species collected 83.9 % were wandering spiders and 16.1 % web builders. This is the first quantitative survey of the Savanna Biome in the Polokwane area.

  10. Vegetation Structure and Carbon Stocks of Two Protected Areas within the South-Sudanian Savannas of Burkina Faso

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    Mohammad Qasim

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Savannas and adjacent vegetation types like gallery forests are highly valuable ecosystems contributing to several ecosystem services including carbon budgeting. Financial mechanisms such as REDD+ (Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation can provide an opportunity for developing countries to alleviate poverty through conservation of its forestry resources. However, for availing such opportunities carbon stock assessments are essential. Therefore, a research study for this purpose was conducted at two protected areas (Nazinga Game Ranch and Bontioli Nature Reserve in Burkina Faso. Similarly, analysis of various vegetation parameters was also conducted to understand the overall vegetation structure of these two protected areas. For estimating above ground biomass, existing allometric equations for dry tropical woody vegetation types were used. Compositional structure was described by applying tree species and family importance indices. The results show that both sites collectively contain a mean carbon stock of 3.41 ± 4.98 Mg·C·ha−1. Among different savanna vegetation types, gallery forests recorded the highest mean carbon stock of 9.38 ± 6.90 Mg·C·ha−1. This study was an attempt at addressing the knowledge gap particularly on carbon stocks of protected savannas—it can serve as a baseline for carbon stocks for future initiatives such as REDD+ within these areas.

  11. Anurans as Intermediate and Paratenic Hosts of Helminth Infections in the Rainforest and Derived Savanna Biotopes of Southern Nigeria

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    Abigail A. Imasuen

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Anurans from the rainforest (Okomu National Park and derived savanna (Agbede locations in Nigeria were investigated for their role either as intermediate or paratenic hosts of helminth infections. A total of 269 anuran specimens (157 from the Okomu National Park and 112 from Agbede were examined. Metacercariae of a strigeoid trematode, two nematode species, a proteocephalid cestode, and an acanthocephalan were recovered from infected hosts. Except for the strigeoid trematode, which was only recorded in the rainforest, there was no ecological dichotomy in the distribution of the larval parasites recorded. Tree frogs from the rainforest only served as second intermediate hosts for the strigeoid trematode. The two nematode larvae (type I and type II found in the body cavity of the infected host are believed to use them as paratenic hosts. Tree frogs were the predominant intermediate hosts of the proteocephalid cestode larvae in the rainforest, while Ptychadena and Phrynobatrachus spp. served this function in the derived savanna. The occurrence of cystacanths in the anurans from both biotopes confirms their known role as paratenic host for acanthocephalans. Afrixalus dorsalis is a new host record for the ascaridoid nematode while the finding of the strigeoid trematode, the proteocephalid cestode larvae and acanthocephalan cystacanths in the anurans investigated represents new geographical records.

  12. Factors influencing the adaptation and distribution of Colophospermum mopane in southern Africa’s mopane savannas – A review

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    Rudzani A. Makhado

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Colophospermum mopane is the dominant tree or shrub within mopane woodland in the subtropical areas of southern Africa’s savanna ecosystems. This article provided a review on the adaptation capabilities of mopane against fire, browsing activity and environmental stresses. It further reviewed and tested the extent to which rainfall, temperature, altitude and soil types had an effect on the distribution of mopane in southern Africa. Mopane is adapted to survive moisture stresses, low nutrient environments and even disturbances caused by fire and browsing by large herbivores through its physical, physiological and chemical responses. Adaptation of mopane to various stresses enables it to dominate the low-lying areas of southern Africa’s savannas. The distribution of mopane is best associated with low to moderate rainfall (R2 = 0.38, high temperature (R2 = 0.42, low altitudes (R2 = 0.44 and a variety of soil types. An increase in the annual rainfall (> 800 mm and altitude (> 800 m.a.s.l., coupled with a reduction in the minimum temperature and acidic soil, limits the distribution of mopane. Mopane in South Africa occurs under similar environmental conditions to those in Zimbabwe and Zambia, but quite different from those in Angola, Namibia, Mozambique, Malawi and Botswana where mopane occurs.

  13. Determinants of seasonal changes in availability of food patches for elephants (Loxodonta africana in a semi-arid African savanna

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    Bruce W. Clegg

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Loss of biodiversity caused by impact of elephants (Loxodonta africana on African woodlands may require a management response, but any action should be based on an understanding of why elephants choose to utilise trees destructively. Comprehension of elephant feeding behaviour requires consideration of the relative value of the plant groups they may potentially consume. Profitability of available food is partly determined by the time to locate a food patch and, therefore, as a foundation for understanding the influence of food availability on diet selection, key controls on the density of grass, forb, and browse patches were investigated across space and time in a semi-arid African savanna. Density of food patches changed seasonally because plant life-forms required different volumes of soil water to produce green forage; and woody plants and forbs responded to long-term changes in soil moisture, while grasses responded to short-term moisture pulses. Soil texture, structure of woody vegetation and fire added further complexity by altering the soil water thresholds required for production of green forage. Interpolating between regularly-timed, ground-based measurements of food density by using modelled soil water as the predictor in regression equations may be a feasible method of quantifying food available to elephants in complex savanna environments.

  14. Adaptation of soil nitrifiers to very low nitrogen level jeopardizes the efficiency of chemical fertilization in west african moist savannas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Assémien, Féline L; Pommier, Thomas; Gonnety, Jean T; Gervaix, Jonathan; Le Roux, Xavier

    2017-08-31

    The moist savanna zone covers 0.5 × 10 6 km 2 in West Africa and is characterized by very low soil N levels limiting primary production, but the ecology of nitrifiers in these (agro)ecosystems is largely unknown. We compared the effects of six agricultural practices on nitrifier activity, abundance and diversity at nine sites in central Ivory Coast. Treatments, including repeated fertilization with ammonium and urea, had no effect on nitrification and crop N status after 3 to 5 crop cycles. Nitrification was actually higher at low than medium ammonium level. The nitrifying community was always dominated by ammonia oxidizing archaea and Nitrospira. However, the abundances of ammonia oxidizing bacteria, AOB, and Nitrobacter increased with fertilization after 5 crop cycles. Several AOB populations, some affiliated to Nitrosospira strains with urease activity or adapted to fluctuating ammonium levels, emerged in fertilized plots, which was correlated to nitrifying community ability to benefit from fertilization. In these soils, dominant nitrifiers adapted to very low ammonium levels have to be replaced by high-N nitrifiers before fertilization can stimulate nitrification. Our results show that the delay required for this replacement is much longer than ever observed for other terrestrial ecosystems, i.e. > 5 crop cycles, and demonstrate for the first time that nitrifier characteristics jeopardize the efficiency of fertilization in moist savanna soils.

  15. Maize-grain legume intercropping for enhanced resource use efficiency and crop productivity in the Guinea savanna of northern Ghana.

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    Kermah, Michael; Franke, Angelinus C; Adjei-Nsiah, Samuel; Ahiabor, Benjamin D K; Abaidoo, Robert C; Giller, Ken E

    2017-11-01

    Smallholder farmers in the Guinea savanna practise cereal-legume intercropping to mitigate risks of crop failure in mono-cropping. The productivity of cereal-legume intercrops could be influenced by the spatial arrangement of the intercrops and the soil fertility status. Knowledge on the effect of soil fertility status on intercrop productivity is generally lacking in the Guinea savanna despite the wide variability in soil fertility status in farmers' fields, and the productivity of within-row spatial arrangement of intercrops relative to the distinct-row systems under on-farm conditions has not been studied in the region. We studied effects of maize-legume spatial intercropping patterns and soil fertility status on resource use efficiency, crop productivity and economic profitability under on-farm conditions in the Guinea savanna. Treatments consisted of maize-legume intercropped within-row, 1 row of maize alternated with one row of legume, 2 rows of maize alternated with 2 rows of legume, a sole maize crop and a sole legume crop. These were assessed in the southern Guinea savanna (SGS) and the northern Guinea savanna (NGS) of northern Ghana for two seasons using three fields differing in soil fertility in each agro-ecological zone. Each treatment received 25 kg P and 30 kg K ha -1 at sowing, while maize received 25 kg (intercrop) or 50 kg (sole) N ha -1 at 3 and 6 weeks after sowing. The experiment was conducted in a randomised complete block design with each block of treatments replicated four times per fertility level at each site. Better soil conditions and rainfall in the SGS resulted in 48, 38 and 9% more maize, soybean and groundnut grain yield, respectively produced than in the NGS, while 11% more cowpea grain yield was produced in the NGS. Sole crops of maize and legumes produced significantly more grain yield per unit area than the respective intercrops of maize and legumes. Land equivalent ratios (LERs) of all intercrop patterns were greater than

  16. Effects of sward structure on herbivore foraging behaviour in a South-African savanna: an investigation of the forage maturation hypothesis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Drescher, M.F.; Heitkönig, I.M.A.; Brink, van den P.; Prins, H.H.T.

    2006-01-01

    The grass layer of savannas is characterized by strong temporal and spatial heterogeneity in the quantity and quality of forage. Besides this, there is strong variation in other aspects of sward structure, here defined as sward chemistry, morphology, architecture and species composition. The forage

  17. Raptors in changing West African savannas : the impact of anthropogenic land transformation on populations of Palearctic and Afrotropical raptors in northern Cameroon

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    Buij, Ralph

    2013-01-01

    Raptors in West Africa’s savannas have strongly declined the past four decades and many species now survive only in a few pockets of intact habitat, mostly inside protected areas, while some species are on the brink of extinction. Little is known about the processes that sustain raptor populations

  18. Short-term effect of nutrient availability and rainfall distribution on biomass production and leaf nutrient content of savanna tree species

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Barbosa, E.R.; Tomlinson, K.W.; Carvalheiro, L.G.; Kirkman, K.; Bie, de S.; Prins, H.H.T.; Langevelde, van F.

    2014-01-01

    Changes in land use may lead to increased soil nutrient levels in many ecosystems (e.g. due to intensification of agricultural fertilizer use). Plant species differ widely in their response to differences in soil nutrients, and for savannas it is uncertain how this nutrient enrichment will affect

  19. SOIL EMISSIONS OF N2O, NO AND CO2 IN BRAZILIAN SAVANNAS: EFFECTS OF VEGETATION TYPE, SEASONALITY, AND PRESCRIBED FIRES

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    Using closed chamber techniques, soil fluxes of NO, N20 and C02 were measured from September 1999 through October 2000 in savanna areas in central Brazil (Cerrado) subjected to prescribed fires. Our studies focused on two vegetation types, cerrado stricto sensu (20-50% canopy cov...

  20. Diurnal and seasonal variation in root xylem embolism in neotropical savanna woody species: impact on stomatal control of plant water status.

    Science.gov (United States)

    J-C. Domec; F.G. Scholz; S.J. Bucci; F.C. Meinzer; G. Goldstein; R. Villalobos-Vega

    2006-01-01

    Vulnerability to water-stress-induced embolism and variation in the degree of native embolism were measured in lateral roots of four co-occuring neotropical savanna tree species. Root embolism varied diurnally and seasonally. Late in the dry season, loss of root xylem conductivity reached 80% in the afternoon when root water potential (ψroot...

  1. Size-dependent mortality in a Neotropical savanna tree: the role of height-related adjustments in hydraulic architecture and carbon allocation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yong-Jiang Zhang; Frederick C. Meinzer; Guang-You Hao; Fabian G. Scholz; Sandra J. Bucci; Frederico S.C. Takahashi; Randol Villalobos-Vega; Juan P. Giraldo; Kun-Fang Cao; William A. Hoffmann; Guillermo Goldstein

    2009-01-01

    Size-related changes in hydraulic architecture, carbon allocation, and gas exchange of Sclerolobium paniculatum (Leguminosae), a dominant tree species in Neotropical savannas of central Brazil (Cerrado), were investigated to assess their potential role in the dieback of tall individuals. Trees greater than ~6 m tall exhibited more branch damage,...

  2. Landscape transformations in savannas of northern South America: Land use/cover changes since 1987 in the Llanos Orientales of Colombia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Romero-Ruiz, M.H.; Flantua, S.G.A.; Tansey, K.; Berrio, J.C.

    2011-01-01

    This study presents a detailed spatial, quantitative assessment of the land use/cover changes (LUCC) in the savanna region of Llanos Orientales in Colombia. LUCC was determined from multitemporal satellite imagery (Landsat and CBERS) from 1987 to 2007. Systematic landscape transitions were

  3. Comparison of ground beetle (Coleoptera: Carabidae) assemblages in Rocky Mountain savannas invaded and un-invaded by an exotic forb, spotted knapweed

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allison K. Hansen; Yvette K. Ortega; Diana L. Six

    2009-01-01

    We compared ground beetle (Carabidae) assemblages between spotted knapweed (Centaurea maculosa Lam.) -invaded (invaded) and un-invaded (native) habitats in Rocky Mountain savannas. Carabids play important roles in biotic communities and are known as a good indictor group of environmental change. Carabid species activity-abundance and diversity were estimated, and...

  4. What Controls the Extent of Tropical Forest? An 8-year Experiment to Understand the Response of Savanna-Forest Boundaries to Climate, Soils, and Fire in Central Brazil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoffmann, W.; Franco, A. C.; Haridasan, M.; Geiger, E.; Gotsch, S. G.

    2015-12-01

    Tropical savanna-forest boundaries are considered to be sensitive indicators of climate change, but direct tests of this are lacking, which limits our ability to predict the future of these two biomes. We used an ecosystem experiment at a savanna-forest boundary to compare the importance of seasonal drought and soil nutrients for limiting forest expansion. We set up twelve 70m x 10 plots, each extending across the biome boundary. Water and nutrient treatments were randomly assigned to these plots in a factorial experiment. The water treatment consisted of a control (no added water) or irrigation (60 mm per week throughout the dry season to eliminate soil water deficit), and the nutrient treatment consisted of a control (no added nutrients or a complete NPK + micronutrients added twice per year to minimize nutrient deficits). After four years, the study site was burned, allowing us to examine interactions with the primary disturbance at savanna-forest boundaries. Tree growth and forest expansion were strongly limited by nutrients, but not water. Nutrient addition doubled rates of tree diameter growth over 4 years (2.4 mm/yr versus 1.1 mm/yr) growth, but irrigation had no detectable effect (1.9 mm/yr versus 1.7 mm/yr). Long-term fire suppression at the site had allowed forest tree species to establish in savanna, and these had more than a 3-fold greater growth rate than savanna species. The higher productivity of forest species was offset by greater biomass loss during fire, but within 3 years these losses were largely recovered. Nutrient limitation, combined with the slow growth of savanna tree species, greatly slows canopy closure in this environment, predisposing the savanna to remain in an open state under occasional burning. These results challenge the perception that rainfall is the primary factor limiting the natural distribution of tropical forest. Climate change is likely to cause a shift in the biome boundary only it is accompanied with a changing fire

  5. Are cattle surrogate wildlife? Savanna plant community composition explained by total herbivory more than herbivore type.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veblen, Kari E; Porensky, Lauren M; Riginos, Corinna; Young, Truman P

    2016-09-01

    The widespread 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. Each can have important implications for plant community dynamics. Yet very few studies have experimentally addressed the individual, combined, and potentially interactive effects of wild vs. domestic herbivore species on herbaceous plant communities within a single system. Additionally, there is little information about whether, and in which contexts, livestock might functionally replace native herbivore wildlife or, alternatively, have fundamentally different effects on plant species composition. The Kenya Long-term Exclosure Experiment, which has been running since 1995, is composed of six treatment combinations of mega-herbivores, meso-herbivore ungulate wildlife, and cattle. We sampled herbaceous vegetation 25 times between 1999 and 2013. We used partial redundancy analysis and linear mixed models to assess effects of herbivore treatments on overall plant community composition and key plant species. Plant communities in the six different herbivore treatments shifted directionally over time and diverged from each other substantially by 2013. Plant community composition was strongly related (R2  = 0.92) to residual plant biomass, a measure of herbivore utilization. Addition of any single herbivore type (cattle, wildlife, or mega-herbivores) caused a shift in plant community composition that was proportional to its removal of plant biomass. These results suggest that overall herbivory pressure, rather than herbivore type or complex interactions among different herbivore types, was the main driver of changes in plant community composition. Individual plant species, however, did respond most strongly to either wild ungulates or cattle. Although these results suggest considerable functional similarity between

  6. Late Glacial Tropical Savannas in Sundaland Inferred From Stable Carbon Isotope Records of Cave Guano

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wurster, C. M.; Bird, M. I.; Bull, I.; Dungait, J.; Bryant, C. L.; Ertunç, T.; Hunt, C.; Lewis, H. A.; Paz, V.

    2008-12-01

    During the Last Glacial Period (LGP), reduced global sea level exposed the continental shelf south of Thailand to Sumatra, Java, and Borneo to form the contiguous continent of Sundaland. However, the type and extent of vegetation that existed on much of this exposed landmass during the LGP remains speculative. Extensive bird and bat guano deposits in caves throughout this region span beyond 40,000 yr BP, and contain a wealth of untapped stratigraphic palaeoenvironmental information. Stable carbon isotope ratios of insectivorous bird and bat guano contain a reliable record of the animal's diet and, through non-specific insect predation, reflect the relative abundance of major physiological pathways in plants. Various physiological pathways of carbon fixation in plants yield differing stable carbon isotope ratios. Stable carbon isotope values of C3 plants are lower than C4 vegetation due to different enzymatic discriminations of the heavy isotope through the carbon fixing pathways. In tropical locales, grasses nearly always follow the C4 photosynthetic pathway, whereas tropical rainforest uses C3 photosynthesis, providing a proxy for vegetation and therefore climate change in the past. Here we discuss four guano stable-isotope records, based on insect cuticle and n-alkane analysis, supplemented by pollen analysis. All sites suggest a C3 dominated ecosystem for the Holocene, consistent with the wet tropical forest vegetation present at all locations. Two sites from Palawan Island, Philippines, record stable carbon isotope values of guano that document a drastic change from C3 (forest) to C4 (savanna) dominated ecosystems during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). A third location, at Niah Great Cave, Malaysia, indicates C3-dominant vegetation throughout the record, but does display variation in stable carbon isotope values likely linked to humidity changes. A fourth location, Batu Caves in Peninsular Malaysia, also indicates open vegetation during the LGM. Vegetation

  7. Hydrological changes due to land-use change from Brazilian savanna to managed Eucalyptus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siqueira, M. B.; Mota, F. C. M.

    2014-12-01

    Before the large people influx and development of the central part of Brazil in the sixties, due to new capital Brasília, Cerrado, a typical Brazilian savanna-type vegetation, used to occupy about 2 million km2, going from the Amazon tropical forest, in the north, to the edges of what used to be the Atlantic forest in the southeast. Today, somewhat 50% of this area has given place to agriculture, pasture and managed forests. Understanding how Cerrado interacts with the atmosphere and how this interaction will be modified with this land-use change is a crucial step towards improving predictions of future climate-change scenarios. Cerrado is a vegetation adapted to a climate characterized by two distinct seasons, a wet season (Nov-Mar) and dry season (May-Ago), with April and October being transitions between seasons. Typically, 75% of precipitation happens in the wet-season months and only 5% during dry-season. In this study, it is investigated the potential impacts of the substitution of Cerrado to the eco-hydrological characteristics of the region. The focus here is Eucalyptus plantation which have increased substantially in the last decade due to government incentives. Two eddy-covariance (EC) systems were installed, one in an undisturbed Cerrado Stricto area and other in a recently-established Eucalyptus plantation. The two areas are 1,400m apart and are subjected to the same meteorology and similar edaphic conditions. Besides instrumentation typical of EC towers, a soil-moisture profiling system were installed in each site. Data from the towers will be used to parameterized a Soil-Vegetation-Atmosphere (SVAT) model to simulate hydrological and atmospheric boundary layer (ABL) processes in order to understand how the two vegetation cover modulates the exchange of mass and energy between the biosphere and atmosphere. Simulations of 30-day dry down from saturation to complete water stress were performed and were analyzed on how ABL respond to soil moisture

  8. Effects of groundwater abstraction on two keystone tree species in an arid savanna national park.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shadwell, Eleanor; February, Edmund

    2017-01-01

    In arid systems with no surface water, deep boreholes in ephemeral river beds provide for humans and animals. With continually increasing infrastructure development for tourism in arid wildlife parks such as the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park in southern Africa, we ask what effects increased abstraction may have on large trees. Large trees in arid savannas perform essential ecosystem services by providing food, shade, nesting sites and increased nutrients for many other plant and animal species and for this are regarded as keystone species. We determine seasonal fluctuations in the water table while also determining the water source for the dominant large tree species in the Auob and Nossob rivers in the Park. We also determine the extent to which these trees are physiologically stressed using leaf δ(13)C, xylem pressure potentials, specific leaf area and an estimate of canopy death. We do this both upstream and downstream of a low water use borehole in the Auob River and a high water use borehole in the Nossob River. Our results show that the trees are indeed using deep groundwater in the wet season and that this is the same water used by people. In the dry season, trees in the Auob downstream of the active borehole become detached from the aquifer and use more isotopically enriched soil water. In the Nossob in the dry season, all trees use isotopically enriched soil water, and downstream of the active borehole use stomatal regulation to maintain leaf water potentials. These results suggest that trees in the more heavily utilised Nossob are under more water stress than those trees in the Auob but that trees in both rivers demonstrate physiological adaptation to the changes in available water with smaller heavier leaves, no significant canopy dieback and in the dry season in the Nossob stomatal regulation of leaf water potentials. An increase in abstraction of groundwater particularly at the Nossob borehole may cause an additional draw down of the water table adding

  9. Epidemiology of malaria in the forest-savanna transitional zone of Ghana

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Newton Sam

    2009-09-01

    was 269 infective bites per person per year. Conclusion The transmission of malaria in the forest-savanna region of central Ghana is high and perennial and this is an appropriate site for conducting clinical trials of anti-malarial drugs and vaccines.

  10. N2-fixation dynamics during ecosystem recovery in longleaf pine savannas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tierney, J. A.

    2016-12-01

    Biological nitrogen fixation (BNF) can alleviate nitrogen (N) deficiencies that inhibit ecosystem recovery. BNF may be particularly important in ecosystems recovering from land-use change and perturbations from fire, as these disturbances can exacerbate N limitation. Here, we investigated how BNF dynamics change throughout ecosystem development in restored longleaf pine savannas, and how BNF responds to fire. We conducted this study in 59 1-ha plots of longleaf pine distributed across gradients of stand age and fire frequency at two sites in the southeastern US. We determined BNF contributions by three functional groups of N2-fixers (herbaceous legumes, biological soil crusts, and asymbiotic N2-fixing bacteria) by quantifying their abundances, assessing nitrogenase activity, and scaling these estimates up to the plot-level. To determine aboveground N demands, we measured tree growth using diameter increments and allometric equations paired with tissue-specific N concentrations. We fit linear models to evaluate the effects of stand age and time since fire on BNF and N demands throughout stand development, and performed separate analyses on mature stands to determine how fire return interval affects BNF. We observed distinct temporal patterns of N2-fixation across stand development among the three groups of N2 fixers. N2-fixation by legumes and asymbiotic bacteria remained low until stands reached maturity, while N2-fixation by biological soil crusts (BSCs) was high in juvenile stands and decreased with stand age. These patterns suggest a compensatory shift in the importance of these functional groups throughout stand development such that contributions from BSCs are critical for meeting N demands when disturbances may hinder the establishment of legumes and asymbiotic bacteria. N2-fixation by BSCs and asymbiotic bacteria throughout stand development was not affected by time since fire, but legume abundance increased the year following fire, suggesting a recovery

  11. Variation in woody plant delta(13)C along a topoedaphic gradient in a subtropical savanna parkland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bai, Edith; Boutton, Thomas W; Liu, Feng; Wu, X Ben; Archer, Steven R

    2008-06-01

    delta(13)C values of C(3) plants are indicators of plant carbon-water relations that integrate plant responses to environmental conditions. However, few studies have quantified spatial variation in plant delta(13)C at the landscape scale. We determined variation in leaf delta(13)C, leaf nitrogen per leaf area (N(area)), and specific leaf area (SLA) in April and August 2005 for all individuals of three common woody species within a 308 x 12-m belt transect spanning an upland-lowland topoedaphic gradient in a subtropical savanna in southern Texas. Clay content, available soil moisture, and soil total N were all negatively correlated with elevation. The delta(13)C values of Prosopis glandulosa (deciduous N(2)-fixing tree legume), Condalia hookeri (evergreen shrub), and Zanthoxylum fagara (evergreen shrub) leaves increased 1-4 per thousand with decreasing elevation, with the delta(13)C value of P. glandulosa leaves being 1-3 per thousand higher than those of the two shrub species. Contrary to theory and results from previous studies, delta(13)C values were highest where soil water was most available, suggesting that some other variable was overriding or interacting with water availability. Leaf N(area) was positively correlated with leaf delta(13)C of all species (p < 0.01) and appeared to exert the strongest control over delta(13)C along this topoedaphic gradient. Since leaf N(area) is positively related to photosynthetic capacity, plants with high leaf N(area) are likely to have low p (I)/p (a) ratios and therefore higher delta(13)C values, assuming stomatal conductance is constant. Specific leaf area was not correlated significantly with leaf delta(13)C. Following a progressive growing season drought in July/August, leaf delta(13)C decreased. The lower delta(13)C in August may reflect the accumulation of (13)C-depleted epicuticular leaf wax. We suggest control of leaf delta(13)C along this topoedaphic gradient is mediated by leaf N(area) rather than by stomatal

  12. Short-term effect of nutrient availability and rainfall distribution on biomass production and leaf nutrient content of savanna tree species.

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    Eduardo R M Barbosa

    Full Text Available Changes in land use may lead to increased soil nutrient levels in many ecosystems (e.g. due to intensification of agricultural fertilizer use. Plant species differ widely in their response to differences in soil nutrients, and for savannas it is uncertain how this nutrient enrichment will affect plant community dynamics. We set up a large controlled short-term experiment in a semi-arid savanna to test how water supply (even water supply vs. natural rainfall and nutrient availability (no fertilisation vs. fertilisation affects seedlings' above-ground biomass production and leaf-nutrient concentrations (N, P and K of broad-leafed and fine-leafed tree species. Contrary to expectations, neither changes in water supply nor changes in soil nutrient level affected biomass production of the studied species. By contrast, leaf-nutrient concentration did change significantly. Under regular water supply, soil nutrient addition increased the leaf phosphorus concentration of both fine-leafed and broad-leafed species. However, under uneven water supply, leaf nitrogen and phosphorus concentration declined with soil nutrient supply, this effect being more accentuated in broad-leafed species. Leaf potassium concentration of broad-leafed species was lower when growing under constant water supply, especially when no NPK fertilizer was applied. We found that changes in environmental factors can affect leaf quality, indicating a potential interactive effect between land-use changes and environmental changes on savanna vegetation: under more uneven rainfall patterns within the growing season, leaf quality of tree seedlings for a number of species can change as a response to changes in nutrient levels, even if overall plant biomass does not change. Such changes might affect herbivore pressure on trees and thus savanna plant community dynamics. Although longer term experiments would be essential to test such potential effects of eutrophication via changes in leaf

  13. Land-use changes alter radiative energy and water vapor fluxes of a tall-grass Andropogon field and a savanna-woodland continuum in the Orinoco lowlands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    San José, José; Montes, Rubén; Grace, John; Nikonova, Nina; Osío, Anaís

    2008-03-01

    Changes in land use in the Orinoco lowlands affect the daily trends of energy and water vapor fluxes. We analyzed these fluxes along a disturbance gradient beginning from a cultivated tall-grass Andropogon field (S1) and extending over three savanna sites with increasing woody cover over herbaceous vegetation. The savanna sites encompass a herbaceous savanna (S2), a tree savanna (S3) and a woodland savanna (S4). In the wet season, there were differences in the radiation budget: seasonally averaged albedo for S1 (0.17) exceeded that of S2-S4 (0.13-0.14). Eddy covariance fluxes indicate that the partitioning of the daily net radiation (Rn) into sensible and latent heat (lambda E) fluxes depends on land use. During the wet season, evapotranspiration (i.e., lambda E) over the S1-S4 sites accounted for a variable fraction of Rn (i.e., 0.75, 0.52, 0.67 and 0.68, respectively). Therefore, the Bowen ratio was typically below 1. As the dry season progressed, the lambda E/Rn ratio decreased markedly with increasing air and canopy temperatures and air humidity mole fraction deficit. The maximum evaporation rate over the S1-S4 sites was 3.2, 2.5, 3.5 and 4.1 mm day(-1), respectively, and the annual values were 721, 538, 771 and 732 mm year(-1), respectively, equivalent to 49, 65, 52 and 88% of the rainfall. Soil water content fell from a maximum above 0.28 in the wet season to 0.030, 0.026, 0.030 and 0.028 m(3) m(-3) at sites S1-S4, respectively, in the dry season. Leaf area index was greatly reduced as herbaceous vegetation dried out.

  14. Short-term effect of nutrient availability and rainfall distribution on biomass production and leaf nutrient content of savanna tree species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barbosa, Eduardo R M; Tomlinson, Kyle W; Carvalheiro, Luísa G; Kirkman, Kevin; de Bie, Steven; Prins, Herbert H T; van Langevelde, Frank

    2014-01-01

    Changes in land use may lead to increased soil nutrient levels in many ecosystems (e.g. due to intensification of agricultural fertilizer use). Plant species differ widely in their response to differences in soil nutrients, and for savannas it is uncertain how this nutrient enrichment will affect plant community dynamics. We set up a large controlled short-term experiment in a semi-arid savanna to test how water supply (even water supply vs. natural rainfall) and nutrient availability (no fertilisation vs. fertilisation) affects seedlings' above-ground biomass production and leaf-nutrient concentrations (N, P and K) of broad-leafed and fine-leafed tree species. Contrary to expectations, neither changes in water supply nor changes in soil nutrient level affected biomass production of the studied species. By contrast, leaf-nutrient concentration did change significantly. Under regular water supply, soil nutrient addition increased the leaf phosphorus concentration of both fine-leafed and broad-leafed species. However, under uneven water supply, leaf nitrogen and phosphorus concentration declined with soil nutrient supply, this effect being more accentuated in broad-leafed species. Leaf potassium concentration of broad-leafed species was lower when growing under constant water supply, especially when no NPK fertilizer was applied. We found that changes in environmental factors can affect leaf quality, indicating a potential interactive effect between land-use changes and environmental changes on savanna vegetation: under more uneven rainfall patterns within the growing season, leaf quality of tree seedlings for a number of species can change as a response to changes in nutrient levels, even if overall plant biomass does not change. Such changes might affect herbivore pressure on trees and thus savanna plant community dynamics. Although longer term experiments would be essential to test such potential effects of eutrophication via changes in leaf nutrient concentration

  15. Ecological thresholds in the savanna landscape: developing a protocol for monitoring the change in composition and utilisation of large trees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Druce, Dave J; Shannon, Graeme; Page, Bruce R; Grant, Rina; Slotow, Rob

    2008-01-01

    Acquiring greater understanding of the factors causing changes in vegetation structure -- particularly with the potential to cause regime shifts -- is important in adaptively managed conservation areas. Large trees (> or =5 m in height) play an important ecosystem function, and are associated with a stable ecological state in the African savanna. There is concern that large tree densities are declining in a number of protected areas, including the Kruger National Park, South Africa. In this paper the results of a field study designed to monitor change in a savanna system are presented and discussed. Developing the first phase of a monitoring protocol to measure the change in tree species composition, density and size distribution, whilst also identifying factors driving change. A central issue is the discrete spatial distribution of large trees in the landscape, making point sampling approaches relatively ineffective. Accordingly, fourteen 10 m wide transects were aligned perpendicular to large rivers (3.0-6.6 km in length) and eight transects were located at fixed-point photographic locations (1.0-1.6 km in length). Using accumulation curves, we established that the majority of tree species were sampled within 3 km. Furthermore, the key ecological drivers (e.g. fire, herbivory, drought and disease) which influence large tree use and impact were also recorded within 3 km. The technique presented provides an effective method for monitoring changes in large tree abundance, size distribution and use by the main ecological drivers across the savanna landscape. However, the monitoring of rare tree species would require individual marking approaches due to their low densities and specific habitat requirements. Repeat sampling intervals would vary depending on the factor of concern and proposed management mitigation. Once a monitoring protocol has been identified and evaluated, the next stage is to integrate that protocol into a decision-making system, which highlights

  16. Ecological thresholds in the savanna landscape: developing a protocol for monitoring the change in composition and utilisation of large trees.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dave J Druce

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Acquiring greater understanding of the factors causing changes in vegetation structure -- particularly with the potential to cause regime shifts -- is important in adaptively managed conservation areas. Large trees (> or =5 m in height play an important ecosystem function, and are associated with a stable ecological state in the African savanna. There is concern that large tree densities are declining in a number of protected areas, including the Kruger National Park, South Africa. In this paper the results of a field study designed to monitor change in a savanna system are presented and discussed. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Developing the first phase of a monitoring protocol to measure the change in tree species composition, density and size distribution, whilst also identifying factors driving change. A central issue is the discrete spatial distribution of large trees in the landscape, making point sampling approaches relatively ineffective. Accordingly, fourteen 10 m wide transects were aligned perpendicular to large rivers (3.0-6.6 km in length and eight transects were located at fixed-point photographic locations (1.0-1.6 km in length. Using accumulation curves, we established that the majority of tree species were sampled within 3 km. Furthermore, the key ecological drivers (e.g. fire, herbivory, drought and disease which influence large tree use and impact were also recorded within 3 km. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The technique presented provides an effective method for monitoring changes in large tree abundance, size distribution and use by the main ecological drivers across the savanna landscape. However, the monitoring of rare tree species would require individual marking approaches due to their low densities and specific habitat requirements. Repeat sampling intervals would vary depending on the factor of concern and proposed management mitigation. Once a monitoring protocol has been identified and evaluated, the next

  17. Prospects of the ICESat-2 Laser Altimetry Mission for Savanna Ecosystem Structural Studies Based on Airborne Simulation Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gwenzi, David; Lefsky, Michael A.; Suchdeo, Vijay P.; Harding, David J.

    2016-01-01

    The next planned spaceborne lidar mission is the Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite 2 (ICESat-2), which will use the Advanced Topographic Laser Altimeter System (ATLAS) sensor, 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 an oak savanna landscape. We used data from the Multiple Altimeter Beam Experimental Lidar (MABEL), an airborne photon counting lidar sensor developed by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. ATLAS-like data was generated using the MATLAS simulator, which adjusts MABEL data's detected number of signal and noise photons to that expected from the ATLAS instrument. Transects flown over the Tejon ranch conservancy in Kern County, California, USA were used for this work. For each transect we chose to use data from the near infrared channel that had the highest number of photons. We segmented each transect into 50 m, 25 m and 14 m long blocks and aggregated the photons in each block into a histogram based on their elevation values. We then used an automated algorithm to identify cut off points where the cumulative density of photons from the highest elevation indicates the presence of the canopy top and likewise where such cumulative density from the lowest elevation indicates the mean terrain elevation. MABEL derived height metrics were moderately correlated to discrete return lidar (DRL) derived height metrics r(sub 2) and RMSE values ranging from 0.60 to 0.73 and 2.9 m to 4.4 m respectively) but MATLAS simulation resulted in more modest correlations with DRL indices r(sub 2) ranging from 0.5 to 0.64 and RMSE from 3.6 m to 4.6 m). Simulations also indicated that the expected number of signal photons from ATLAS will be substantially lower, a situation that reduces canopy height estimation precision especially in areas of low density vegetation cover. On the basis of the

  18. Temporal Dynamics and Resource Availability for Drosophilid Fruit Flies (Insecta, Diptera in a Gallery Forest in the Brazilian Savanna

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    Henrique Valadão

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Seasonality can cause severe bottlenecks in natural populations, even leading to local extinction. Large variation in resource availability may explain the bottlenecks, but the role of these variations is still poorly understood. The goal of this study was to analyze if temporal variations in the guild of drosophilids breeding in fruits of Mauritia flexuosa (Arecaceae can be explained by the shortage of this resource during the dry season. Fruits of M. flexuosa were collected over one year in a gallery forest located in the Central Brazilian Savanna. The drosophilid assemblage varied over time, with a lower density of species and of individuals in the dry season, when the percentage of colonized fruits was also smaller. These findings suggest that although the fruits were available during the dry season, they were underused. This way, the resource availability does not seem to regulate the community in the dry season.

  19. Ecosystem properties of semi-arid savanna grassland in West Africa and its relationship to environmental variability

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tagesson, Torbern; Fensholt, Rasmus; Guiro, Idrissa

    2015-01-01

    he Dahra field site in Senegal, West Africa, was established in 2002 to monitor ecosystem properties of semiarid savanna grassland and their responses to climatic and environmental change. This article describes the environment and the ecosystem properties of the site using a unique set of in situ......), biomass, vegetation water content, and land-atmosphere exchanges of carbon (NEE) and energy. The Dahra field site experiences a typical Sahelian climate and is covered by coexisting trees (~3% canopy cover) and grass species, characterizing large parts of the Sahel. This makes the site suitable...... of remotely sensed spectral vegetation indices covering different wavelength regions. The presented time series of in situ data have great potential for dryland dynamics studies, global climate change related research and evaluation and parameterization of remote sensing products and dynamic vegetation models....

  20. Effects of Precommercial Thinning and Midstory Control on Avian and Small Mammal Communities during Longleaf Pine Savanna Restoration.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lane, Vanessa R [Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College; Kilgo, John C [USDA Forest Service, Southern Research Station

    2015-01-01

    Abstract - 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 pine restoration with plantation silviculture on avian and small mammal communities using four treatments in four 8- to 11- year-old plantations within the Savannah River Site in South Carolina. Treatments included prescribed burning every 3 to 5 years, plus: (1) no additional treatment (burn-only control); (2) precommercial thinning; (3) non-pine woody control with herbicides; and (4) combined thinning and woody control. We surveyed birds (1996-2003) using 50-m point counts and small mammals with removal trapping. Thinning and woody control alone had short-lived effects on avian communities, and the combination treatment increased avian parameters over the burn-only control in all years. Small mammal abundance showed similar trends as avian abundance for all three treatments when compared with the burn-only control, but only for 2 years post-treatment. Both avian and small mammal communities were temporarily enhanced by controlling woody vegetation with chemicals in addition to prescribed fire and thinning. Therefore, precommercial thinning in longleaf plantations, particularly when combined with woody control and prescribed fire, may benefit early-successional avian and small mammal communities by developing stand conditions more typical of natural longleaf stands maintained by periodic fire.

  1. Parent genotype and environmental factors influence introduction success of the critically endangered Savannas Mint (Dicerandra immaculata var. savannarum.

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    Cheryl L Peterson

    Full Text Available Species previously unknown to science are continually discovered and some of these species already face extinction at the time of their discovery. Conserving new and rare species in these cases becomes a trial-and-error process and conservationists will attempt to manage them by using knowledge of closely related species, or those that fill the same ecological niche, and then adapting the management program as needed. Savannas Mint (Dicerandra immaculata Lakela var. savannarum Huck is a perennial plant that was discovered in Florida scrub habitat at two locations in 1995, but is nearly extinct at these locations. We tested whether shade, leaf litter, propagation method, parent genotype, parent collection site, planting date, and absorbent granules influenced survival, reproduction, and recruitment of Savannas Mint in a population of 1,614 plants that we introduced between June 2006 and July 2009 into a state protected site. Survival and reproduction of introduced plants, and recruitment of new plants, was higher in microhabitats in full sun and no leaf litter and lower in partially shaded habitats. The two sites from which parent plants were collected differentially influenced survival and reproduction of introduced plants. These differences in survival and reproduction are likely due to underlying genetic differences. Differential survival of progeny from different parent genotypes further supports the idea that underlying genetics is an important consideration when restoring plant populations. The most successful progeny of parent genotypes had survival rates nearly 12 times higher than the least successful progeny. We speculate that many of these environmental and genetic factors are likely to influence allopatric congeners and other critically endangered gap specialists that grow in Florida scrub and our results can be used to guide their conservation.

  2. A MODIS-Based Energy Balance to Estimate Evapotranspiration for Clear-Sky Days in Brazilian Tropical Savannas

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    Yadvinder S. Malhi

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Evapotranspiration (ET plays an important role in global climate dynamics and in primary production of terrestrial ecosystems; it represents the mass and energy transfer from the land to atmosphere. Limitations to measuring ET at large scales using ground-based methods have motivated the development of satellite remote sensing techniques. The purpose of this work is to evaluate the accuracy of the SEBAL algorithm for estimating surface turbulent heat fluxes at regional scale, using 28 images from MODIS. SEBAL estimates are compared with eddy-covariance (EC measurements and results from the hydrological model MGB-IPH. SEBAL instantaneous estimates of latent heat flux (LE yielded r 2= 0.64 and r2 = 0.62 over sugarcane croplands and savannas when compared against in situ EC estimates. At the same sites, daily aggregated estimates of LE were r 2 = 0.76 and r2 = 0.66, respectively. Energy balance closure showed that turbulent fluxes over sugarcane croplands were underestimated by 7% and 9% over savannas. Average daily ET from SEBAL is in close agreement with estimates from the hydrological model for an overlay of 38,100 km2 (r2 = 0.88. Inputs to which the algorithm is most sensitive are vegetation index (NDVI, gradient of temperature (dT to compute sensible heat flux (H and net radiation (Rn. It was verified that SEBAL has a tendency to overestimate results both at local and regional scales probably because of low sensitivity to soil moisture and water stress. Nevertheless the results confirm the potential of the SEBAL algorithm, when used with MODIS images for estimating instantaneous LE and daily ET from large areas.

  3. Numerical Simulation of Surface Energy and Water Balances over a Semiarid Grassland Ecosystem in the West African Savanna

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    Emmanuel Quansah

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available To understand surface energy exchange processes over the semiarid regions in West Africa, numerical simulations of surface energy and water balances were carried out using a one-dimensional multilayer atmosphere-SOil-VEGetation (SOLVEG model for selected days of the dry and rainy seasons over a savanna grassland ecosystem in Sumbrungu in the Upper East region of Ghana. The measured Bowen ratio was used to partition the residual energy into the observed sensible heat flux (H and latent heat flux (LE in order to investigate the impact of the surface energy closure on model performance. The results showed that the model overall reproduced the diurnal changes in the observed energy fluxes, especially the net radiation (Rn, compared to half-hourly eddy covariance flux measurements, for the study periods. The performance measure in terms of the correlation coefficient (R, centred root mean square error (RMSE, and normalized standard deviation (σ between the simulated H and LE and their corresponding uncorrected observed values ranged between R = 0.63–0.99 and 0.83–0.94, RMSE = 0.88–1.25 and 0.88–1.92, and σ = 0.95–2.23 and 0.13–2.82 for the dry and rainy periods respectively, indicating a moderate to good model performance. The partitioning of H and LE by SOLVEG was generally in agreement with the observations during the dry period but showed clear discrepancies during the rainy period, particularly after rainfall events. Further sensitivity tests over longer simulation periods (e.g., 1 year are required to improve model performance and to investigate seasonal exchanges of surface energy fluxes over the West African Savanna ecosystems in more details.

  4. Age Determination by Back Length for African Savanna Elephants: Extending Age Assessment Techniques for Aerial-Based Surveys

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trimble, Morgan J.; van Aarde, Rudi J.; Ferreira, Sam M.; Nørgaard, Camilla F.; Fourie, Johan; Lee, Phyllis C.; Moss, Cynthia J.

    2011-01-01

    Determining the age of individuals in a population can lead to a better understanding of population dynamics through age structure analysis and estimation of age-specific fecundity and survival rates. Shoulder height has been used to accurately assign age to free-ranging African savanna elephants. However, back length may provide an analog measurable in aerial-based surveys. We assessed the relationship between back length and age for known-age elephants in Amboseli National Park, Kenya, and Addo Elephant National Park, South Africa. We also compared age- and sex-specific back lengths between these populations and compared adult female back lengths across 11 widely dispersed populations in five African countries. Sex-specific Von Bertalanffy growth curves provided a good fit to the back length data of known-age individuals. Based on back length, accurate ages could be assigned relatively precisely for females up to 23 years of age and males up to 17. The female back length curve allowed more precise age assignment to older females than the curve for shoulder height does, probably because of divergence between the respective growth curves. However, this did not appear to be the case for males, but the sample of known-age males was limited to ≤27 years. Age- and sex-specific back lengths were similar in Amboseli National Park and Addo Elephant National Park. Furthermore, while adult female back lengths in the three Zambian populations were generally shorter than in other populations, back lengths in the remaining eight populations did not differ significantly, in support of claims that growth patterns of African savanna elephants are similar over wide geographic regions. Thus, the growth curves presented here should allow researchers to use aerial-based surveys to assign ages to elephants with greater precision than previously possible and, therefore, to estimate population variables. PMID:22028925

  5. Restoring grassland savannas from degraded pinyon-juniper woodlands: effects of mechanical overstory reduction and slash treatment alternatives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brockway, Dale G; Gatewood, Richard G; Paris, Randi B

    2002-02-01

    Although the distribution and structure of pinyon-juiper woodlands in the southwestern United States are thought to be the result of historic fluctuations in regional climatic conditions, more recent increases in the areal extent, tree density, soil erosion rates and loss of understory plant diversity are attributed to heavy grazing by domestic livestock and interruption of the natural fire regime. Prior to 1850, many areas currently occupied by high-density pinyon-juniper woodlands, with their degraded soils and depauperate understories, were very likely savannas dominated by native grasses and forbs and containing sparse tree cover scattered across the landscape. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of mechanical overstory reduction and three slash treatment alternatives (removal, clustering and scattering) followed by prescribed fire as techniques for restoring grassland savannas from degraded woodlands. Plant cover, diversity, biomass and nutrient status, litter cover and soil chemistry and erosion rates were measured prior to and for two years following experimental treatment in a degraded pinyon-juniper woodland in central New Mexico. Treatment resulted in a significant increase in the cover of native grasses and, to a lesser degree, forbs and shrubs. Plant species richness and diversity increased most on sites where slash was either completely removed or scattered to serve as a mulch. Although no changes in soil chemistry or plant nutrient status were observed, understory biomass increased over 200% for all harvest treatments and was significantly greater than controls. While treatment increased litter cover and decreased soil exposure, this improvement did not significantly affect soil loss rates. Even though all slash treatment alternatives increased the cover and biomass of native grasses, scattering slash across the site to serve as a mulch appears most beneficial to improving plant species diversity and conserving site resources.

  6. Classification and mapping of the composition and structure of dry woodland and savanna in the eastern Okavango Delta

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michelle J. Tedder

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available The dry woodland and savanna regions of the Okavango Delta form a transition zone between the Okavango Swamps and the Kalahari Desert and have been largely overlooked in terms of vegetation classification and mapping. This study focused on the species composition and height structure of this vegetation, with the aim of identifying vegetation classes and providing a vegetation map accompanied by quantitative data. Two hundred and fifty-six plots (50 m × 50 m were sampled and species cover abundance, total cover and structural composition were recorded. The plots were classified using agglomerative, hierarchical cluster analysis using group means and Bray-Curtis similarity and groups described using indicator species analysis. In total, 23 woody species and 28 grass species were recorded. Acacia erioloba and Colophospermum mopane were the most common woody species, whilst Urochloa mossambicensis, Panicum maximum, Dactyloctenium gigantiumand Eragrostis lehmanniana were the most widespread grasses. Eleven vegetation types were identified, with the most widespread being Short mixed mopane woodland, Tall mopane woodland and Tall mixed mopane woodland, covering 288.73 km2 (28%, 209.14 km2 (20% and 173.30 km2 (17% of the area, respectively. Despite their extensive area, these three vegetation types were the least species-rich, whilst Palm thornveld, Short mixed broadleaf woodland and Open mixed Acacia woodland were the most taxonomically variable. By contrast, Closed mixed Acacia woodland and Closed Acacia–Combretum woodland had the most limited distribution, accounting for less than 1% of the mapped area each.Conservation implications: The dry woodland and savanna vegetation of the Okavango Delta comprises a much wider suite of plant communities than the Acacia-dominated and Mopane-dominated classifications often used. This classification provided a more detailed understanding of this vegetation and essential background information for monitoring

  7. Age determination by back length for African savanna elephants: extending age assessment techniques for aerial-based surveys.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trimble, Morgan J; van Aarde, Rudi J; Ferreira, Sam M; Nørgaard, Camilla F; Fourie, Johan; Lee, Phyllis C; Moss, Cynthia J

    2011-01-01

    Determining the age of individuals in a population can lead to a better understanding of population dynamics through age structure analysis and estimation of age-specific fecundity and survival rates. Shoulder height has been used to accurately assign age to free-ranging African savanna elephants. However, back length may provide an analog measurable in aerial-based surveys. We assessed the relationship between back length and age for known-age elephants in Amboseli National Park, Kenya, and Addo Elephant National Park, South Africa. We also compared age- and sex-specific back lengths between these populations and compared adult female back lengths across 11 widely dispersed populations in five African countries. Sex-specific Von Bertalanffy growth curves provided a good fit to the back length data of known-age individuals. Based on back length, accurate ages could be assigned relatively precisely for females up to 23 years of age and males up to 17. The female back length curve allowed more precise age assignment to older females than the curve for shoulder height does, probably because of divergence between the respective growth curves. However, this did not appear to be the case for males, but the sample of known-age males was limited to ≤27 years. Age- and sex-specific back lengths were similar in Amboseli National Park and Addo Elephant National Park. Furthermore, while adult female back lengths in the three Zambian populations were generally shorter than in other populations, back lengths in the remaining eight populations did not differ significantly, in support of claims that growth patterns of African savanna elephants are similar over wide geographic regions. Thus, the growth curves presented here should allow researchers to use aerial-based surveys to assign ages to elephants with greater precision than previously possible and, therefore, to estimate population variables.

  8. Age determination by back length for African savanna elephants: extending age assessment techniques for aerial-based surveys.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Morgan J Trimble

    Full Text Available Determining the age of individuals in a population can lead to a better understanding of population dynamics through age structure analysis and estimation of age-specific fecundity and survival rates. Shoulder height has been used to accurately assign age to free-ranging African savanna elephants. However, back length may provide an analog measurable in aerial-based surveys. We assessed the relationship between back length and age for known-age elephants in Amboseli National Park, Kenya, and Addo Elephant National Park, South Africa. We also compared age- and sex-specific back lengths between these populations and compared adult female back lengths across 11 widely dispersed populations in five African countries. Sex-specific Von Bertalanffy growth curves provided a good fit to the back length data of known-age individuals. Based on back length, accurate ages could be assigned relatively precisely for females up to 23 years of age and males up to 17. The female back length curve allowed more precise age assignment to older females than the curve for shoulder height does, probably because of divergence between the respective growth curves. However, this did not appear to be the case for males, but the sample of known-age males was limited to ≤27 years. Age- and sex-specific back lengths were similar in Amboseli National Park and Addo Elephant National Park. Furthermore, while adult female back lengths in the three Zambian populations were generally shorter than in other populations, back lengths in the remaining eight populations did not differ significantly, in support of claims that growth patterns of African savanna elephants are similar over wide geographic regions. Thus, the growth curves presented here should allow researchers to use aerial-based surveys to assign ages to elephants with greater precision than previously possible and, therefore, to estimate population variables.

  9. Past and current trends of change in a dune prairie/oak savanna reconstructed through a multiple-scale history

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cole, K.L. [Minnesota Univ., St. Paul, MN (United States). Dept. of Forest Resources; Taylor, R.S. [California Univ., Santa Barbara, CA (United States). Dept. of Geography

    1995-06-01

    The history of a rapidly changing mosaic of prairie and oak savanna in northern Indiana was reconstructed using several methods emphasizing different time scales ranging from annual to millennial. Vegetation change was monitored for 8 yr using plots and for 30 yr using aerial photographs. A 20th century fire history was reconstructed from the stand structure of multiple-stemmed trees and fire scars. General Land Office Survey data were used to reconstruct the forest of A.D. 1834. Fossil pollen and charcoal were used to reconstruct the last 4000 yr of vegetation and fire history. Since its deposition along the shore of Lake Michigan about 4000 yr ago, the area has followed a classical primary dune successional sequence, gradually changing from pine forest to prairie/oak savanna between A.D. 264 and 1007. This successional trend occurred even though the climate cooled and prairies elsewhere in the region retreated. Severe fires in the 19th century reduced most tree species but led to a temporary increase in Populus tremuloides. During the last few decades, the prairie has been invaded by oaks and other woody species, primarily because of fire suppression since A.D. 1972. The rapid and complex changes now occurring are a response to the compounded effects of plant succession, intense burning and logging in the 19th century, recent fire suppression, and possibly increased airborne deposition of nitrates. The compilation of several historical research techniques emphasizing different time scales allows this study of the interactions between multiple disturbance variables. 54 refs, 10 figs, 1 tab

  10. Native and domestic browsers and grazers reduce fuels, fire temperatures, and acacia ant mortality in an African savanna.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kimuyu, Duncan M; Sensenig, Ryan L; Riginos, Corinna; Veblen, Kari E; Young, Truman P

    2014-06-01

    Despite the importance of fire and herbivory in structuring savanna systems, few replicated experiments have examined the interactive effects of herbivory and fire on plant dynamics. In addition, the effects of fire on associated ant-tree mutualisms have been largely unexplored. We carried out small controlled burns in each of 18 herbivore treatment plots of the Kenya Long-term Exclosure Experiment (KLEE), where experimentally excluding elephants has resulted in 42% greater tree densities. The KLEE design includes six different herbivore treatments that allowed us to examine how different combinations of megaherbivore wildlife, mesoherbivore wildlife, and cattle affect fire temperatures and subsequent loss of ant symbionts from Acacia trees. Before burning, we quantified herbaceous fuel loads and plant community composition. We tagged all trees, measured their height and basal diameter, and identified the resident ant species on each. We recorded weather conditions during the burns and used ceramic tiles painted with fire-sensitive paints to estimate fire temperatures at different heights and in different microsites (under vs. between trees). Across all treatments, fire temperatures were highest at 0-50 cm off the ground and hotter in the grass under trees than in the grassy areas between trees. Plots with more trees burned hotter than plots with fewer trees, perhaps because of greater fine woody debris. Plots grazed by wildlife and by cattle prior to burning had lower herbaceous fuel loads and experienced lower burn temperatures than ungrazed plots. Many trees lost their ant colonies during the burns. Ant survivorship differed by ant species and at the plot level was positively associated with previous herbivory (and lower fire temperatures). Across all treatments, ant colonies on taller trees were more likely to survive, but even some of the tallest trees lost their ant colonies. Our study marks a significant step in understanding the mechanisms that underlie the

  11. Characterization of fruits from the savanna: Araça (Psidium guinnensis Sw. and Marolo (Annona crassiflora Mart.

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    Clarissa Damiani

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available The objective of this work was to characterize fruits from the Brazilian savanna by means of physical and chemical analyses. The results obtained for araça peel, araça pulp and marolo pulp, respectively, were: moisture (77.03, 80.41 and 70.56 g.100 g-1, ash (0.65, 0.44 and 0.54 g.100 g-1, protein (1.39, 1.87 and 1.99 g.100 g-1, lipids (0.32, 0.33 and 2.36 g.100 g-1, total carbohydrates (90.88 , 78.25 and 24.55 g.100 g-1, total soluble sugars (8.45, 9.99 and 127.4 g.100 g-1, pH (3.76, 3.99 and 4.49, soluble solids (11° Brix, 8.8 °Brix and 21.4 °Brix and antioxidant potential (16.33, 12.75 and 34.29 discoloration DPPH/100 mL. Calcium was the predominant mineral in araça (490 mg.kg-1 peel and 485 mg.kg-1 pulp while magnesium was in marolo (350 mg.kg-1. Citric acid was the predominant organic acid in araça (3125 μg.g-1 peel and 881.25 μg.g-1 pulp and Malic acid was predominant in marolo (76.68 μg.g-1. Therefore, given their nutrient contents, the consumption of these fruits from the savanna should be encouraged.

  12. Rapid assessment and mapping of tree cover in southern African savanna woodlands using a new iPhone App and Landsat 8 imagery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuller, D. O.

    2016-12-01

    Tree cover is a key parameter in climate modeling. It strongly influences CO2 exchanges between the land surface and atmosphere and surface energy balance. We measured percent woody canopy cover (PWCC) in the savanna woodlands of eastern Zambia over a 10-day period in May 2016 using a new iPhone App (CanopyApp) and related these field measurements to Landsat 8 (L8) Band 4 (red) imagery acquired approximately the same time. We then used parameters from the band 4 digital numbers (DNs)-PWCC linear regression to derive a new map of PWCC for the entire L8 scene. Consistent with theory and previous empirical studies, we found that the relationship between L8 band 4 DNs- PWCC was negative and linear (r2 = 0.61, p sufficient to estimate PWCC when spectral contrast exists between the grass, soil and tree layers during the austral fall period in southern African savannas.

  13. Mapping Vegetation Morphology Types in Southern Africa Savanna Using MODIS Time-Series Metrics: A Case Study of Central Kalahari, Botswana

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    Niti B. Mishra

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Savanna ecosystems are geographically extensive and both ecologically and economically important; they therefore require monitoring over large spatial extents. There are, in particular, large areas within southern Africa savanna ecosystems that lack consistent geospatial data on vegetation morphological properties, which is a prerequisite for biodiversity conservation and sustainable management of ecological resources. Given the challenges involved in distinguishing and mapping savanna vegetation assemblages using remote sensing, the objective of this study was to develop a vegetation morphology map for the largest protected area in Africa, the central Kalahari. Six vegetation morphology classes were developed and sample training/validation pixels were selected for each class by analyzing extensive in situ data on vegetation structural and functional properties, in combination with existing ancillary data and coarse scale land cover products. The classification feature set consisted of annual and intra annual matrices derived from 14 years of satellite-derived vegetation indices images, and final classification was achieved using an ensemble tree based classifier. All vegetation morphology classes were mapped with high accuracy and the overall classification accuracy was 91.9%. Besides filling the geospatial data gap for the central Kalahari area, this vegetation morphology map is expected to serve as a critical input to ecological studies focusing on habitat use by wildlife and the efficacy of game fencing, as well as contributing to sustainable ecosystem management in the central Kalahari.

  14. Land Cover Change in Northern Botswana: The Influence of Climate, Fire, and Elephants on Semi-Arid Savanna Woodlands

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    John Tyler Fox

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Complex couplings and feedback among climate, fire, and herbivory drive short- and long-term patterns of land cover change (LCC in savanna ecosystems. However, understanding of spatial and temporal LCC patterns in these environments is limited, particularly for semi-arid regions transitional between arid and more mesic climates. Here, we use post-classification analysis of Landsat TM (1990, ETM+ (2003, and OLI (2013 satellite imagery to classify and assess net and gross LCC for the Chobe District, a 21,000 km2 area encompassing urban, peri-urban, rural, communally-managed (Chobe Enclave, and protected land (Chobe National Park, CNP, and six protected forest reserves. We then evaluate spatiotemporal patterns of LCC in relation to precipitation, fire detections (MCD14M, 2001–2013 from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS, and dry season elephant (Loxodonta africana aerial survey data (2003, 2006, 2012, 2013. Woodland cover declined over the study period by 1514 km2 (16.2% of initial class total, accompanied by expansion of shrubland (1305 km2, 15.7% and grassland (265 km2, 20.3%. Net LCC differed importantly in protected areas, with higher woodland losses observed in forest reserves compared to the CNP. Loss of woodland was also higher in communally-managed land for the study period, despite gains from 2003–2013. Gross (class changes were characterized by extensive exchange between woodland and shrubland during both time steps, and a large expansion of shrubland into grassland and bare ground from 2003–2013. MODIS active fire detections were highly variable from year to year and among the different protected areas, ranging from 1.8 fires*year−1/km2 in the Chobe Forest Reserve to 7.1 fires*year−1/km2 in the Kasane Forest Reserve Extension. Clustering and timing of dry season fires suggests that ignitions were predominately from anthropogenic sources. Annual fire count was significantly related to total annual rainfall

  15. Estimating CH4 emission from paddy managed soils in southern guinea savanna zone of Nigeria using an integrated approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akpeokhai, Agatha; Menz, Gunter; Thonfeld, Frank; Akinluyi, Francis

    2016-04-01

    ESTIMATING CH4 EMISSION FROM PADDY MANAGED SOILS IN SOUTHERN GUINEA SAVANNA ZONE OF NIGERIA USING AN INTEGRATED APPROACH Akpeokhai Agatha 1, Menz Gunter 1, Thonfeld Frank 1, Akinluyi Francis 2 1 Remote Sensing Research Group (RSRG), Geography Institute, University of Bonn, Germany. 2 Department Remote Sensing and Geo-Science Information System, School of Earth and Mineral Science, Federal University of Technology, Akure Nigeria. Methane is one of the most important greenhouse gases as it has the second greatest climate forcing potential. Paddy fields have been identified to be sources of methane and Nigerian paddies are not left out. In Nigeria, the guinea savanna region is regarded as the bread basket of the nation and this area is one of the major rice producing regions in Nigeria. Its location in the food basket region of the country makes this part a very important study site. However, since Nigerian paddies contribute to methane emission by how much do these paddies contribute to the emissions? Also, so far, there limited studies on methane from rice fields in West Africa thus making this study a very important start off point. To answer this huge question, methane emission will be estimated using an integrated approach in the North Central part of Nigeria. Land use change cultivated to rice was analysed using Remote sensing techniques to determine the changes in land cultivated to rice. Methane emission from these identified rice fields will be estimated using the IPCC Tier 1 set of equations. First relevant indices (Normalized Differential Moisture Index, Normalized Differential Wetness Index and Rice Growth Vegetation Index) were generated to aid classification of rice fields using LANDSAT data from the USGS. Next the LANDSAT datasets were analyzed for land use change cultivated to rice from 1990 to 2014 to generate rice field maps. ERDAS Imagine, ARCGIS and ENVI tools were used to meet these spatial needs. Methane emissions from this region will be

  16. Ant-caterpillar antagonism at the community level: interhabitat variation of tritrophic interactions in a neotropical savanna.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sendoya, Sebastián F; Oliveira, Paulo S

    2015-03-01

    Ant foraging on foliage can substantially affect how phytophagous insects use host plants and represents a high predation risk for caterpillars, which are important folivores. Ant-plant-herbivore interactions are especially pervasive in cerrado savanna due to continuous ant visitation to liquid food sources on foliage (extrafloral nectaries, insect honeydew). While searching for liquid rewards on plants, aggressive ants frequently attack or kill insect herbivores, decreasing their numbers. Because ants vary in diet and aggressiveness, their effect on herbivores also varies. Additionally, the differential occurrence of ant attractants (plant and insect exudates) on foliage produces variable levels of ant foraging within local floras and among localities. Here, we investigate how variation of ant communities and of traits among host plant species (presence or absence of ant attractants) can change the effect of carnivores (predatory ants) on herbivore communities (caterpillars) in a cerrado savanna landscape. We sampled caterpillars and foliage-foraging ants in four cerrado localities (70-460 km apart). We found that: (i) caterpillar infestation was negatively related with ant visitation to plants; (ii) this relationship depended on local ant abundance and species composition, and on local preference by ants for plants with liquid attractants; (iii) this was not related to local plant richness or plant size; (iv) the relationship between the presence of ant attractants and caterpillar abundance varied among sites from negative to neutral; and (v) caterpillars feeding on plants with ant attractants are more resistant to ant predation than those feeding on plants lacking attractants. Liquid food on foliage mediates host plant quality for lepidopterans by promoting generalized ant-caterpillar antagonism. Our study in cerrado shows that the negative effects of generalist predatory ants on herbivores are detectable at a community level, affecting patterns of abundance and

  17. The Spatial Pattern and Interactions of Woody Plants on the Temperate Savanna of Inner Mongolia, China: The Effects of Alternating Seasonal Grazing-Mowing Regimes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xiao; Zhang, Bo; Zhang, Kebin; Zhou, Jinxing; Ahmad, Bilal

    2015-01-01

    Ulmus pumila tree-dominated temperate savanna, which is distributed widely throughout the forest-steppe ecotone on the Mongolian Plateau, is a relatively stable woody-herbaceous complex ecosystem in northern China. Relatively more attention has been paid to the degradation of typical steppe areas, whereas less focus has been placed on the succession of this typical temperate savanna under the present management regime. In this study, we established 3 sample plots 100 m×100 m in size along a gradient of fixed distances from one herder's stationary site and then surveyed all the woody plants in these plots. A spatial point pattern analysis was employed to clarify the spatial distribution and interaction of these woody plants. The results indicated that old U. pumila trees (DBH ≥ 20 cm) showed a random distribution and that medium U. pumila trees (5 cm ≤ DBH < 20 cm) showed an aggregated distribution at a smaller scale and a random distribution at a larger scale; few or no juvenile trees (DBH < 5 cm) were present, and seedlings (without DBH) formed aggregations in all 3 plots. These findings can be explained by an alternate seasonal grazing-mowing regime (exclosure in summer, mowing in autumn and grazing in winter and spring); the shrubs in all 3 plots exist along a grazing gradient that harbors xerophytic and mesophytic shrubs. Of these shrubs, xerophytic shrubs show significant aggregation at a smaller scale (0-5.5 m), whereas mesophytic shrubs show significant aggregation at a larger scale (0-25 m), which may be the result of the dual effects of grazing pressure and climate change. Medium trees and seedlings significantly facilitate the distributions of xerophytic shrubs and compete significantly with mesophytic shrubs due to differences in water use strategies. We conclude that the implementation of an alternative grazing-mowing regime results in xerophytic shrub encroachment or existence, breaking the chain of normal succession in a U. pumila tree community

  18. Leaf surface traits and water storage retention affect photosynthetic responses to leaf surface wetness among wet tropical forest and semiarid savanna plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aparecido, Luiza M T; Miller, Gretchen R; Cahill, Anthony T; Moore, Georgianne W

    2017-10-01

    While it is reasonable to predict that photosynthetic rates are inhibited while leaves are wet, leaf gas exchange measurements during wet conditions are challenging to obtain due to equipment limitations and the complexity of canopy-atmosphere interactions in forested environments. Thus, the objective of this study was to evaluate responses of seven tropical and three semiarid savanna plant species to simulated leaf wetness and test the hypotheses that (i) leaf wetness reduces photosynthetic rates (Anet), (ii) leaf traits explain different responses among species and (iii) leaves from wet environments are better adapted for wet leaf conditions than those from drier environments. The two sites were a tropical rainforest in northern Costa Rica with ~4200 mm annual rainfall and a savanna in central Texas with ~1100 mm. Gas exchange measurements were collected under dry and wet conditions on five sun-exposed leaf replicates from each species. Additional measurements included leaf wetness duration and stomatal density. We found that Anet responses varied greatly among species, but all plants maintained a baseline of activity under wet leaf conditions, suggesting that abaxial leaf Anet was a significant percentage of total leaf Anet for amphistomatous species. Among tropical species, Anet responses immediately after wetting ranged from -31% (Senna alata (L.) Roxb.) to +21% (Zamia skinneri Warsz. Ex. A. Dietr.), while all savanna species declined (up to -48%). After 10 min of drying, most species recovered Anet towards the observed status prior to wetting or surpassed it, with the exception of Quercus stellata Wangenh., a savanna species, which remained 13% below Anet dry. The combination of leaf wetness duration and leaf traits, such as stomatal density, trichomes or wax, most likely influenced Anet responses positively or negatively. There was also overlap between leaf traits and Anet responses of savanna and tropical plants. It is possible that these species converge

  19. The Spatial Pattern and Interactions of Woody Plants on the Temperate Savanna of Inner Mongolia, China: The Effects of Alternating Seasonal Grazing-Mowing Regimes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiao Wang

    Full Text Available Ulmus pumila tree-dominated temperate savanna, which is distributed widely throughout the forest-steppe ecotone on the Mongolian Plateau, is a relatively stable woody-herbaceous complex ecosystem in northern China. Relatively more attention has been paid to the degradation of typical steppe areas, whereas less focus has been placed on the succession of this typical temperate savanna under the present management regime. In this study, we established 3 sample plots 100 m×100 m in size along a gradient of fixed distances from one herder's stationary site and then surveyed all the woody plants in these plots. A spatial point pattern analysis was employed to clarify the spatial distribution and interaction of these woody plants. The results indicated that old U. pumila trees (DBH ≥ 20 cm showed a random distribution and that medium U. pumila trees (5 cm ≤ DBH < 20 cm showed an aggregated distribution at a smaller scale and a random distribution at a larger scale; few or no juvenile trees (DBH < 5 cm were present, and seedlings (without DBH formed aggregations in all 3 plots. These findings can be explained by an alternate seasonal grazing-mowing regime (exclosure in summer, mowing in autumn and grazing in winter and spring; the shrubs in all 3 plots exist along a grazing gradient that harbors xerophytic and mesophytic shrubs. Of these shrubs, xerophytic shrubs show significant aggregation at a smaller scale (0-5.5 m, whereas mesophytic shrubs show significant aggregation at a larger scale (0-25 m, which may be the result of the dual effects of grazing pressure and climate change. Medium trees and seedlings significantly facilitate the distributions of xerophytic shrubs and compete significantly with mesophytic shrubs due to differences in water use strategies. We conclude that the implementation of an alternative grazing-mowing regime results in xerophytic shrub encroachment or existence, breaking the chain of normal succession in a U. pumila

  20. Are fire, soil fertility and toxicity, water availability, plant functional diversity, and litter decomposition related in a Neotropical savanna?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carvalho, Gustavo Henrique; Batalha, Marco Antônio; Silva, Igor Aurélio; Cianciaruso, Marcus Vinicius; Petchey, Owen L

    2014-07-01

    Understanding how biodiversity and ecosystem functioning respond to changes in the environment is fundamental to the maintenance of ecosystem function. In realistic scenarios, the biodiversity-ecosystem functioning path may account for only a small share of all factors determining ecosystem function. Here, we investigated the strength to which variations in environmental characteristics in a Neotropical savanna affected functional diversity and decomposition. We sought an integrative approach, testing a number of pairwise hypotheses about how the environment, biodiversity, and functioning were linked. We used structural equation modelling to connect fire frequency, soil fertility, exchangeable Al, water availability, functional diversity of woody plants, tree density, tree height, and litter decomposition rates in a causal chain. We found significant effects of soil nutrients, water availability, and Al on functional diversity and litter decomposition. Fire did not have a significant direct effect on functional diversity or litter decomposition. However, fire was connected to both variables through soil fertility. Functional diversity did not influence rates of litter decomposition. The mediated effects that emerged from pairwise interactions are encouraging not only for predicting the functional consequences of changes in environmental variables and biodiversity, but also to caution against predictions based on only environmental or only biodiversity change.

  1. Burned Area Mapping in the Brazilian Savanna Using a One-Class Support Vector Machine Trained by Active Fires

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    Allan A. Pereira

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available We used the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS active fire data (375 m spatial resolution to automatically extract multispectral samples and train a One-Class Support Vector Machine for burned area mapping, and applied the resulting classification algorithm to 300-m spatial resolution imagery from the Project for On-Board Autonomy-Vegetation (PROBA-V. The active fire data were screened to prevent extraction of unrepresentative burned area samples and combined with surface reflectance bi-weekly composites to produce burned area maps. The procedure was applied over the Brazilian Cerrado savanna, validated with reference maps obtained from Landsat images and compared with the Collection 6 Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MODIS Burned Area product (MCD64A1 Results show that the algorithm developed improved the detection of small-sized scars and displayed results more similar to the reference data than MCD64A1. Unlike active fire-based region growing algorithms, the proposed approach allows for the detection and mapping of burn scars without active fires, thus eliminating a potential source of omission error. The burned area mapping approach presented here should facilitate the development of operational-automated burned area algorithms, and is very straightforward for implementation with other sensors.

  2. Plant identity and shallow soil moisture are primary drivers of stomatal conductance in the savannas of Kruger National Park

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tobin, Rebecca L.

    2018-01-01

    Our goal was to describe stomatal conductance (gs) and the site-scale environmental parameters that best predict gs in Kruger National Park (KNP), South Africa. Dominant grass and woody species were measured over two growing seasons in each of four study sites that represented the natural factorial combination of mean annual precipitation [wet (750 mm) or dry (450 mm)] and soil type (clay or sand) found in KNP. A machine-learning (random forest) model was used to describe gs as a function of plant type (species or functional group) and site-level environmental parameters (CO2, season, shortwave radiation, soil type, soil moisture, time of day, vapor pressure deficit and wind speed). The model explained 58% of the variance among 6,850 gs measurements. Species, or plant functional group, and shallow (0–20 cm) soil moisture had the greatest effect on gs. Atmospheric drivers and soil type were less important. When parameterized with three years of observed environmental data, the model estimated mean daytime growing season gs as 68 and 157 mmol m-2 sec-1 for grasses and woody plants, respectively. The model produced here could, for example, be used to estimate gs and evapotranspiration in KNP under varying climate conditions. Results from this field-based study highlight the role of species identity and shallow soil moisture as primary drivers of gs in savanna ecosystems of KNP. PMID:29373605

  3. Comparative phylogeography in the Atlantic forest and Brazilian savannas: pleistocene fluctuations and dispersal shape spatial patterns in two bumblebees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Françoso, Elaine; Zuntini, Alexandre Rizzo; Carnaval, Ana Carolina; Arias, Maria Cristina

    2016-12-07

    Bombus morio and B. pauloensis are sympatric widespread bumblebee species that occupy two major Brazilian biomes, the Atlantic forest and the savannas of the Cerrado. Differences in dispersion capacity, which is greater in B. morio, likely influence their phylogeographic patterns. This study asks which processes best explain the patterns of genetic variation observed in B. morio and B. pauloensis, shedding light on the phenomena that shaped the range of local populations and the spatial distribution of intra-specific lineages. Results suggest that Pleistocene climatic oscillations directly influenced the population structure of both species. Correlative species distribution models predict that the warmer conditions of the Last Interglacial contributed to population contraction, while demographic expansion happened during the Last Glacial Maximum. These results are consistent with physiological data suggesting that bumblebees are well adapted to colder conditions. Intra-specific mitochondrial genealogies are not congruent between the two species, which may be explained by their documented differences in dispersal ability. While populations of the high-dispersal B. morio are morphologically and genetically homogeneous across the species range, B. pauloensis encompasses multiple (three) mitochondrial lineages, and show clear genetic, geographic, and morphological differences. Because the lineages of B. pauloensis are currently exposed to distinct climatic conditions (and elevations), parapatric diversification may occur within this taxon. The eastern portion of the state of São Paulo, the most urbanized area in Brazil, represents the center of genetic diversity for B. pauloensis.

  4. IN VITRO ANTIMETHANOGENIC PROPERTIES OF SOME PLANTS ADAPTED TO THE FLOODABLE SAVANNA CONDITIONS OF ARAUCA DEPARTMENT, COLOMBIA

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    Oscar Mauricio Velez Terranova

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available The methanogenic potential and nutritional quality of nineteen plants adapted to the dry and rainy seasons of the Arauca floodable savannas was evaluated. Each plant was incubated anaerobically with rumen fluid at 39 °C for 24h, after incubation period, gas production, methane, volatile fatty acids and dry matter degradation was determined. Among the plants, crude protein values ranged between 6.87-28.22%; neutral detergent fiber was between 35.2 - 71.26%, while the ether extract, ash and nonstructural carbohydrate levels ranged between 1.35 - 6.65, 2.43 - 5.27 and 11.47 - 35.64%, respectively. Gas production and methane were significant correlated (r = 0.84. The species Galactia jussiaeana, Belencita nemorosa, Ambrosia peruviana and Enterolobium schomburgkii showed high values of dry matter degradation (45.40 - 49.13%, VFA (0.84 - 1.37 mmol and low methane production (2.18 - 6.90 ml / g DM degraded. These parameters were similar or better to those found in the species Leucaena leucocephala. The results suggest that these plants present useful compounds to reduce ruminal methanogenesis without affecting the diet digestibility, however further studies are required to assess the persistence of antimethanogenic effect, dosage, consumption and animal performance.

  5. Technology Adoption and Productivity Difference among Growers of New Rice for Africa in Savanna Zone of Nigeria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rahji, MAY.

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available The use of New Rice for Africa (NERICA and complementary rice production technology is being promoted by Nigeria government in order to increase productivity of upland rice farming. This study examines the levels, determinants and effects of complementary technology adoption on productivity of NERICA rice farming. Data for the study were obtained from sample survey of 227 NERICA rice farmers in the guinea savanna zone using multistage sampling technique. Data collected were analyzed using Tobit regression model and Cobb-Douglas production function. Results showed that the average technology score was 52.1 percent (+ 0.242. Fifty-five percent of the farmers who scored above the mean were categorized as low technology users. Tobit regression estimation shows that farmers' technology score was affected significantly (P< 0.05 by farmer's level of education (0.0127, extension visit (0.0145, farming experience (0.0085, land ownership status (0.0687, credit use (0.0698 and level of rice commercialization (0.3783. Cobb-Douglas production estimation shows a neutrally outward shift in production function as the level of complementary technology increases, indicating increasing productivity. Thus, promotion of complementary technology in NERICA rice production is a worthwhile effort and should continue to be funded. Improvement of those factors that significantly affect adoption of complementary technology is recommended.

  6. Modeling the Distribution of African Savanna Elephants in Kruger National Park: AN Application of Multi-Scale GLOBELAND30 Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, W.; Hays, B.; Fayrer-Hosken, R.; Presotto, A.

    2016-06-01

    The ability of remote sensing to represent ecologically relevant features at multiple spatial scales makes it a powerful tool for studying wildlife distributions. Species of varying sizes perceive and interact with their environment at differing scales; therefore, it is important to consider the role of spatial resolution of remotely sensed data in the creation of distribution models. The release of the Globeland30 land cover classification in 2014, with its 30 m resolution, presents the opportunity to do precisely that. We created a series of Maximum Entropy distribution models for African savanna elephants (Loxodonta africana) using Globeland30 data analyzed at varying resolutions. We compared these with similarly re-sampled models created from the European Space Agency's Global Land Cover Map (Globcover). These data, in combination with GIS layers of topography and distance to roads, human activity, and water, as well as elephant GPS collar data, were used with MaxEnt software to produce the final distribution models. The AUC (Area Under the Curve) scores indicated that the models created from 600 m data performed better than other spatial resolutions and that the Globeland30 models generally performed better than the Globcover models. Additionally, elevation and distance to rivers seemed to be the most important variables in our models. Our results demonstrate that Globeland30 is a valid alternative to the well-established Globcover for creating wildlife distribution models. It may even be superior for applications which require higher spatial resolution and less nuanced classifications.

  7. Integrating Dendrochronology, Climate and Satellite Remote Sensing to Better Understand Savanna Landscape Dynamics in the Okavango Delta, Botswana

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jane Southworth

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available This research examines the integration and potential uses of linkages between climate dynamics, savanna vegetation and landscape level processes within a highly vulnerable region, both in terms of climate variability and social systems. We explore the combined applications of two time-series methodologies: (1 climate signals detected in tree ring growth, from published literature, chronologies from the International Tree-Ring Data Bank, and minimal preliminary field data; and (2 new primary production (NPP data of vegetation cover over time derived from remotely sensed analyses. Both time-series are related to the regional patterns of precipitation, the principle driver of plant growth in the area. The approach is temporally and spatially multiscalar and examines the relationships between vegetation cover, type and amount, and precipitation shifts. We review literature linking dendrochronology, climate, and remotely sensed imagery, and, in addition, provide unique preliminary analyses from a dry study site located on the outer limit of the Okavango Delta. The work demonstrates integration across the different data sources, to provide a more holistic view of landscape level processes occurring in the last 30-50 years. These results corroborate the water-limited nature of the region and the dominance of precipitation in controlling vegetation growth. We present this integrative analysis of vegetation and climate change, as a prospective approach to facilitate the development of long-term climate/vegetation change records across multiple scales.

  8. EFFECT OF ORGANIC AND INORGANIC SOIL AMENDMENTS ON SOIL PHYSICAL AND CHEMICAL PROPERTIES IN A WEST AFRICA SAVANNA AGROECOSYSTEM

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joshua. Olalekan. Ogunwole

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available Long-term agroecosystem productivity has stirred up the need to develop and implement nutrient management strategies that maintain and protect soil resources. In an attempt to address this, the current study involved the incorporation of residues of Centrosema pascuorum, Lablab purpureus and Parkia biglobosa. In addition, an inorganic fertilizer amended soil and, a maize/Lablab purpureus intercrop, along with the control (no amendment was included. The treatments were replicated three times and the site had been under continuous cultivation for eight years in a savanna Alfisol. Soil quality (physical and chemical indicators were examined for treatments effects. Dry macroaggregate turnover increased by 7% under C. pascuorum amended soils. This same treatment had more water-stable large microaggregates and a 40% increase in aggregated silt and clay content. Soil bulk density and saturated hydraulic conductivity reduced in nutrient management practices involving residue incorporation. However, soil organic carbon, total soil nitrogen, exchangeable Ca2+ and Mg2+ concentration were highest with soil receiving C. pascuorum. Crop residue management practices involving incorporation of C. pascuorum significantly improved soil physical and chemical properties of the study area.

  9. Remote sensing-based soil water balance to estimate Mediterranean holm oak savanna (dehesa) evapotranspiration under water stress conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campos, Isidro; Villodre, Julio; Carrara, Arnaud; Calera, Alfonso

    2013-06-01

    This paper aims to present the use of a remote sensing-based soil water balance to estimate holm oak woodland evapotranspiration (ET). The model is based on the assimilation of MODIS reflectance-based vegetation indices in the dual crop coefficient methodology. A daily water balance was performed on the root zone soil to estimate plant water stress. The methodology was evaluated with respect to the actual ET measured by eddy covariance in Mediterranean holm oak savanna (dehesa) for five consecutive years (2004-2008). The model adequately reproduced the absolute values and tendencies measured at daily and weekly periods. Root mean square error (RMSE) was 0.50 mm/day for daily values and 2.70 mm/week for weekly accumulated values. The analysis demonstrated the presence of a long period of water stress during the summer and at the beginning of fall. Measured ET dropped during these periods, and the model replicated this tendency accurately, reaching a stress coefficient value close to 0.2. To be operative, the proposed method required low ground data (reference evapotranspiration and precipitation) and the results indicated a simple, robust method that can be used to map ET and water stress in the dehesa ecosystem.

  10. Evolution of evapotranspiration and water stress of oak savanna vegetation in the Iberian Peninsula (2001-2015

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    M. P. González-Dugo

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available The objective of this work is to provide new insights about the effect of soil water deficit on the vegetation of Mediterranean oak savanna. The evolution of evapotranspiration (ET and vegetation water stress over this ecosystem, in the Iberian Peninsula, has been monitored for fifteen years through the application of a remote sensing thermal-based energy balance model. The Surface Energy Balance System (SEBS has been applied, on a monthly timescale from January 2001 to December 2015, using input satellite and meteorological reanalysis databases. The model performance has been evaluated under these conditions by comparison with field measurements. The estimation of energy fluxes yielded reasonable agreements with observations (RMSD=14-20 W·m–2 for the radiative fluxes and RMSD=26-29 W·m–2 for the turbulent ones and have led to characterize the main drought events occurred during the study period, and to quantify their effects on the vegetation coverage and production. The most generalized and severe events (2004/2005 and 2011/2012 and their impact on different vegetation strata, oaks and grasslands, are further analyzed.

  11. Mediterranean savanna of Acacia caven (Mol) is still a sink of CO2 in spite of severe hydrological drought conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bravo-Martínez, F.; Meza, F. J.

    2012-12-01

    An eddy covariance tower was set up to monitor net ecosystem exchange (NEE) on a mediterranean shrubland of Acacia caven (Mol) in October 2010. This ecosystem (commonly referred as "espinal") is one of the most abundant land covers of Chile's central valley (2.000.000 ha). The last two years (2010-2011) were characterized by the occurrence of a severe drought (rainfall deficit 56%) and a small increase in temperature evaluated using a climatic change index (Peterson, 2005). We also detected a strong reduction in vegetation index during this period (evaluated using MODIS imagery). The historical analysis of the enhanced vegetation index (EVI) and leaf area index (LAI) showed that water status of the acacia savanna were at a minimum during this period (record of 14 years of data). The annual balance of NEE of 2011 was -54gC m-2 y-1, which means that the espinal is a sink of atmospheric CO2 notwithstanding the many stressors on photosynthesis. Monthly analysis of NEE shows the strong dependence of ecosystem fluxes on phenological state. Maximum rates of assimilation are a consequence of grassland activity, whereas secondary picks during the year (late spring and early autumn) are attributed to the semideciduos leaf of A. caven. Climatic conditions during the study season, confirm the tremendous plasticity of Acacia caven and its role as a colonizer of degraded sclerophyll forest because it adaptation to water and thermal stress.

  12. Effects of Litter Removal and Addition on the Nutrient Mineralization Dynamics in Hyperseasonal Tropical Savannas of the Brazilian Pantanal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hentz, C. S.; Pinto-Jr, O. B.; Vourlitis, G. L.

    2015-12-01

    The tropical savanna of Brazil (cerrado) is extremely species diverse and it encompasses many different physiognomic features, which are influenced by rainfall, fire, and soil nutrient availability. Plant litter decomposition recycles nutrients to the soil, and in turn, assists plant growth. However the rate at which these nutrients become available to the soil is poorly understood. Thus, a six month field experiment that encompassed the wet and dry seasons was conducted to assess how different quantities of litter inputs affect nutrient (P, N, C, K, Ca, and Mg) availability. It was hypothesized that nutrient mineralization would be significantly influenced by manipulation of the surface litter and that there would be a positive correlation between soil moisture and nutrient mineralization. Initial results indicate that there were significant differences in mineralization over time for all nutrients, except P, supporting our hypothesis of changes in mineralization with soil moisture. However, there were no significant differences between litter treatments and net mineralization rates for all the nutrients tested. Our results indicate that litterpool size has little effect on short-term nutrient mineralization dynamics.

  13. Organic matter dynamics in a savanna transition riparian zone: Input of plant reproductive parts increases leaf breakdown process

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Renan S. Rezende

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available The dynamics of coarse particulate organic matter (CPOM drives the functioning of most low order freshwater ecosystems. We evaluated plant litter input, litterfall, leaf litter breakdown rates, and the aquatic invertebrate community over the course of one year in a stream situation in a transition zone between savannah and Atlantic forest. Total organic matter input (litter fall was 335 g m-2 yr-1, which was mainly composed of leaves (50%. Higher values are found in the transition from dry to rainy season (September and October, probably in response to water stress. The remaining leaf mass (65% on average was lowest in May (49% and highest in August (79%. CPOM productivity in this transition riparian zone is higher than in other savannah systems, but lower than in Atlantic forest. The higher leaf litter breakdown in May was likely accompanied by environmental enrichment due to increase in fruits and flowers (high energy resources. The coefficient of decomposition was classified as fast (k= -0.016 and showed a positive relationship with water flow (increase in physical abrasion. Collected invertebrates were classified as 6% shredders and 12% scrapers. The remaining leaf mass showed a negative relationship with scraper abundance, highlighting the importance of these trophic groups in tropical streams. We can conclude that climate factors (e.g., rainfall directly affect the input and quality of CPOM and, consequently, leaf decomposition in savanna/Atlantic forest transition zones. 

  14. New emission factors for Australian vegetation fires measured using open-path Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy - Part 2: Australian tropical savanna fires

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, T. E. L.; Paton-Walsh, C.; Meyer, C. P.; Cook, G. D.; Maier, S. W.; Russell-Smith, J.; Wooster, M. J.; Yates, C. P.

    2014-10-01

    Savanna fires contribute approximately 40-50% of total global annual biomass burning carbon emissions. Recent comparisons of emission factors from different savanna regions have highlighted the need for a regional approach to emission factor development, and better assessment of the drivers of the temporal and spatial variation in emission factors. This paper describes the results of open-path Fourier transform infrared (OP-FTIR) spectroscopic field measurements at 21 fires occurring in the tropical savannas of the Northern~Territory, Australia, within different vegetation assemblages and at different stages of the dry season. Spectra of infrared light passing through a long (22-70 m) open-path through ground-level smoke released from these fires were collected using an infrared lamp and a field-portable FTIR system. The IR spectra were used to retrieve the mole fractions of 14 different gases present within the smoke, and these measurements used to calculate the emission ratios and emission factors of the various gases emitted by the burning. Only a handful of previous emission factor measures are available specifically for the tropical savannas of Australia and here we present the first reported emission factors for methanol, acetic acid, and formic acid for this biome. Given the relatively large sample size, it was possible to study the potential causes of the within-biome variation of the derived emission factors. We find that the emission factors vary substantially between different savanna vegetation assemblages; with a majority of this variation being mirrored by variations in the modified combustion efficiency (MCE) of different vegetation classes. We conclude that a significant majority of the variation in the emission factor for trace gases can be explained by MCE, irrespective of vegetation class, as illustrated by variations in the calculated methane emission factor for different vegetation classes using data sub-set by different combustion efficiencies

  15. Spatio-Temporal Dynamics in Land Use and Habitat Fragmentation within a Protected Area Dedicated to Tourism in a Sudanian Savanna of West Africa

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    Dimobe Kangbéni

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Nazinga Game Ranch (NGR is a reserve in Burkina Faso involving local communities for securing biodiversity through sustainable management. Yet, its ecosystems are threatened by increasing number of elephants and illegal human activities. Renowned as a model of wildlife participatory management, NGR has mainly been studied for its animal wildlife only. The aim of this study was to uncover ecological effects of recent land management on savanna habitats including tourism, and to conclude on more sustainable options, land use/land cover (LULC changes and vegetation dynamics in NGR were analyzed. This was accomplished with multi-temporal change detection using Landsat images of 1984, 2002 and 2013 to map seven representative LULC classification categories, and quantitative indices of landscape metrics. The results showed that the LULC dynamics in NGR from 1984 to 2013 was mainly characterized by an expansion of gallery forest, tree savanna and agricultural area and a reduction of shrub savanna, woodland and bare soils. From 2002 to 2013, fragmentation in all land cover types increased at the landscape level, whereas at the class level, it decreased for woodland. Our findings provided evidence of habitat degradation in NGR, due to extensive agriculture, tourism and growing of elephants’ population. According to the original management goals and the purposes of the reserve, both fauna and tourism are to be maintained and sustained in a sustainable way. Adaptation of land use and targeted wildlife management are the main requirements for avoiding further degradation of vegetation and thus of the existence basis of local inhabitants, animals and tourism.

  16. Are There Consistent Grazing Indicators in Drylands? Testing Plant Functional Types of Various Complexity in South Africa’s Grassland and Savanna Biomes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linstädter, Anja; Schellberg, Jürgen; Brüser, Katharina; Moreno García, Cristian A.; Oomen, Roelof J.; du Preez, Chris C.; Ruppert, Jan C.; Ewert, Frank

    2014-01-01

    Despite our growing knowledge on plants’ functional responses to grazing, there is no consensus if an optimum level of functional aggregation exists for detecting grazing effects in drylands. With a comparative approach we searched for plant functional types (PFTs) with a consistent response to grazing across two areas differing in climatic aridity, situated in South Africa’s grassland and savanna biomes. We aggregated herbaceous species into PFTs, using hierarchical combinations of traits (from single- to three-trait PFTs). Traits relate to life history, growth form and leaf width. We first confirmed that soil and grazing gradients were largely independent from each other, and then searched in each biome for PFTs with a sensitive response to grazing, avoiding confounding with soil conditions. We found no response consistency, but biome-specific optimum aggregation levels. Three-trait PFTs (e.g. broad-leaved perennial grasses) and two-trait PFTs (e.g. perennial grasses) performed best as indicators of grazing effects in the semi-arid grassland and in the arid savanna biome, respectively. Some PFTs increased with grazing pressure in the grassland, but decreased in the savanna. We applied biome-specific grazing indicators to evaluate if differences in grazing management related to land tenure (communal versus freehold) had effects on vegetation. Tenure effects were small, which we mainly attributed to large variability in grazing pressure across farms. We conclude that the striking lack of generalizable PFT responses to grazing is due to a convergence of aridity and grazing effects, and unlikely to be overcome by more refined classification approaches. Hence, PFTs with an opposite response to grazing in the two biomes rather have a unimodal response along a gradient of additive forces of aridity and grazing. The study advocates for hierarchical trait combinations to identify localized indicator sets for grazing effects. Its methodological approach may also be

  17. Integrating in-situ, Landsat, and MODIS data for mapping in Southern African savannas: experiences of LCCS-based land-cover mapping in the Kalahari in Namibia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hüttich, Christian; Herold, Martin; Strohbach, Ben J; Dech, Stefan

    2011-05-01

    Integrated ecosystem assessment initiatives are important steps towards a global biodiversity observing system. Reliable earth observation data are key information for tracking biodiversity change on various scales. Regarding the establishment of standardized environmental observation systems, a key question is: What can be observed on each scale and how can land cover information be transferred? In this study, a land cover map from a dry semi-arid savanna ecosystem in Namibia was obtained based on the UN LCCS, in-situ data, and MODIS and Landsat satellite imagery. In situ botanical relevé samples were used as baseline data for the definition of a standardized LCCS legend. A standard LCCS code for savanna vegetation types is introduced. An object-oriented segmentation of Landsat imagery was used as intermediate stage for downscaling in-situ training data on a coarse MODIS resolution. MODIS time series metrics of the growing season 2004/2005 were used to classify Kalahari vegetation types using a tree-based ensemble classifier (Random Forest). The prevailing Kalahari vegetation types based on LCCS was open broadleaved deciduous shrubland with an herbaceous layer which differs from the class assignments of the global and regional land-cover maps. The separability analysis based on Bhattacharya distance measurements applied on two LCCS levels indicated a relationship of spectral mapping dependencies of annual MODIS time series features due to the thematic detail of the classification scheme. The analysis of LCCS classifiers showed an increased significance of life-form composition and soil conditions to the mapping accuracy. An overall accuracy of 92.48% was achieved. Woody plant associations proved to be most stable due to small omission and commission errors. The case study comprised a first suitability assessment of the LCCS classifier approach for a southern African savanna ecosystem.

  18. Spatial variation in vegetation structure coupled to plant available water determined by two-dimensional soil resistivity profiling in a Brazilian savanna.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferreira, Joice N; Bustamante, Mercedes; Garcia-Montiel, Diana C; Caylor, Kelly K; Davidson, Eric A

    2007-08-01

    Tropical savannas commonly exhibit large spatial heterogeneity in vegetation structure. Fine-scale patterns of soil moisture, particularly in the deeper soil layers, have not been well investigated as factors possibly influencing vegetation patterns in savannas. Here we investigate the role of soil water availability and heterogeneity related to vegetation structure in an area of the Brazilian savanna (Cerrado). Our objective was to determine whether horizontal spatial variations of soil water are coupled with patterns of vegetation structure across tens of meters. We applied a novel methodological approach to convert soil electrical resistivity measurements along three 275-m transects to volumetric water content and then to estimates of plant available water (PAW). Structural attributes of the woody vegetation, including plant position, height, basal circumference, crown dimensions, and leaf area index, were surveyed within twenty-two 100-m(2) plots along the same transects, where no obvious vegetation gradients had been apparent. Spatial heterogeneity was evaluated through measurements of spatial autocorrelation in both PAW and vegetation structure. Comparisons with null models suggest that plants were randomly distributed over the transect with the greatest mean PAW and lowest PAW heterogeneity, and clustered in the driest and most heterogeneous transect. Plant density was positively related with PAW in the top 4 m of soil. The density-dependent vegetation attributes that are related to plot biomass, such as sum of tree heights per plot, exhibited spatial variation patterns that were remarkably similar to spatial variation of PAW in the top 4 m of soil. For PAW below 4 m depth, mean vegetation attributes, such as mean height, were negatively correlated with PAW, suggesting greater water uptake from the deep soil by plants of larger stature. These results are consistent with PAW heterogeneity being an important structuring factor in the plant distribution at the

  19. Influence of Fire Mosaics, Habitat Characteristics and Cattle Disturbance on Mammals in Fire-Prone Savanna Landscapes of the Northern Kimberley.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Radford, Ian J; Gibson, Lesley A; Corey, Ben; Carnes, Karin; Fairman, Richard

    2015-01-01

    Patch mosaic burning, in which fire is used to produce a mosaic of habitat patches representative of a range of fire histories ('pyrodiversity'), has been widely advocated to promote greater biodiversity. However, the details of desired fire mosaics for prescribed burning programs are often unspecified. Threatened small to medium-sized mammals (35 g to 5.5 kg) in the fire-prone tropical savannas of Australia appear to be particularly fire-sensitive. Consequently, a clear understanding of which properties of fire mosaics are most instrumental in influencing savanna mammal populations is critical. Here we use mammal capture data, remotely sensed fire information (i.e. time since last fire, fire frequency, frequency of late dry season fires, diversity of post-fire ages in 3 km radius, and spatial extent of recently burnt, intermediate and long unburnt habitat) and structural habitat attributes (including an index of cattle disturbance) to examine which characteristics of fire mosaics most influence mammals in the north-west Kimberley. We used general linear models to examine the relationship between fire mosaic and habitat attributes on total mammal abundance and richness, and the abundance of the most commonly detected species. Strong negative associations of mammal abundance and richness with frequency of late dry season fires, the spatial extent of recently burnt habitat (post-fire age fire age classes in the models. Our results indicate that both a high frequency of intense late dry season fires and extensive, recently burnt vegetation are likely to be detrimental to mammals in the north Kimberley. A managed fire mosaic that reduces large scale and intense fires, including the retention of ≥4 years unburnt patches, will clearly benefit savanna mammals. We also highlighted the importance of fire mosaics that retain sufficient shelter for mammals. Along with fire, it is clear that grazing by introduced herbivores also needs to be reduced so that habitat quality is

  20. Comparing the Dry Season In-Situ Leaf Area Index (LAI Derived from High-Resolution RapidEye Imagery with MODIS LAI in a Namibian Savanna

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manuel J. Mayr

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available The Leaf Area Index (LAI is one of the most frequently applied measures to characterize vegetation and its dynamics and functions with remote sensing. Satellite missions, such as NASA’s Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS operationally produce global datasets of LAI. Due to their role as an input to large-scale modeling activities, evaluation and verification of such datasets are of high importance. In this context, savannas appear to be underrepresented with regards to their heterogeneous appearance (e.g., tree/grass-ratio, seasonality. Here, we aim to examine the LAI in a heterogeneous savanna ecosystem located in Namibia’s Owamboland during the dry season. Ground measurements of LAI are used to derive a high-resolution LAI model with RapidEye satellite data. This model is related to the corresponding MODIS LAI/FPAR (Fraction of Absorbed Photosynthetically Active Radiation scene (MOD15A2 in order to evaluate its performance at the intended annual minimum during the dry season. Based on a field survey we first assessed vegetation patterns from species composition and elevation for 109 sites. Secondly, we measured in situ LAI to quantitatively estimate the available vegetation (mean = 0.28. Green LAI samples were then empirically modeled (LAImodel with high resolution RapidEye imagery derived Difference Vegetation Index (DVI using a linear regression (R2 = 0.71. As indicated by several measures of model performance, the comparison with MOD15A2 revealed moderate consistency mostly due to overestimation by the aggregated LAImodel. Model constraints aside, this study may point to important issues for MOD15A2 in savannas concerning the underlying MODIS Land Cover product (MCD12Q1 and a potential adjustment by means of the MODIS Burned Area product (MCD45A1.

  1. Monitoring African savanna water use and water stress from local to regional scale: supporting rangeland management (pilot experience in Kruger National Park, South Africa).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andreu, Ana; Dube, Timothy; Nieto, Hector; González-Dugo, Maria P.; Hülsmann, Stephan

    2017-04-01

    Drought periods and erratic rainfall patterns across large parts of Africa result in water-limited environments like savannas, highly sensitive to land management practices and changes in climate. Over the Southern part of the continent, savannas are key productive landscapes supporting livestock, crops and rural livelihoods. Monitoring water use and the natural vegetation stress over these semi-arid complex ecosystems can support rangeland management, to maintain long-term productivity. However, the precision/resolution/accuracy of the information required for management will differ at each scale: farm-local (e.g. evaluating the effect of management practices, livestock densities, crop production and grazing), to watershed (e.g. evaluating the effect of fire, detection of vulnerable areas) and regional (e.g. early prediction of drought). To overcome these constrains, TIGER project 401 combines two approaches that take advantage of different conceptual and operational capabilities of Earth Observation data sources. Sentinel 2 high spatial (10 m) and temporal ( 5 days) resolution VIS/NIR images are used for a continuous monitoring of vegetation cover and unstressed evapotranspiration (ET - using Kc-FAO56 method). This methodology will provide the required resolution for farm-local scales, tracking separately the seasonal variations of each canopy layer growth (grass and trees). Meanwhile, lower spatial resolution (1 km) MODIS thermal data allow to determine a regional water stress index (ratio between actual ET, estimated using Two Source Energy Balance-TSEB, and potential ET), supporting the detection of vulnerable areas. The model framework was tested and validated over savanna-type experimental areas (Skukuza & Malopeni), and later applied over the whole Kruger National Park during 2015-2016.

  2. Assessment of UAV and Ground-Based Structure from Motion with Multi-View Stereo Photogrammetry in a Gullied Savanna Catchment

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    Jack Koci

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Structure from Motion with Multi-View Stereo photogrammetry (SfM-MVS is increasingly used in geoscience investigations, but has not been thoroughly tested in gullied savanna systems. The aim of this study was to test the accuracy of topographic models derived from aerial (via Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, ‘UAV’ and ground-based (via handheld digital camera, ‘ground’ SfM-MVS in modelling hillslope gully systems in a dry-tropical savanna, and to assess the strengths and limitations of the approach at a hillslope scale and an individual gully scale. UAV surveys covered three separate hillslope gully systems (with areas of 0.412–0.715 km2, while ground surveys assessed individual gullies within the broader systems (with areas of 350–750 m2. SfM-MVS topographic models, including Digital Surface Models (DSM and dense point clouds, were compared against RTK-GPS point data and a pre-existing airborne LiDAR Digital Elevation Model (DEM. Results indicate that UAV SfM-MVS can deliver topographic models with a resolution and accuracy suitable to define gully systems at a hillslope scale (e.g., approximately 0.1 m resolution with 0.4–1.2 m elevation error, while ground-based SfM-MVS is more capable of quantifying gully morphology (e.g., approximately 0.01 m resolution with 0.04–0.1 m elevation error. Despite difficulties in reconstructing vegetated surfaces, uncertainty as to optimal survey and processing designs, and high computational demands, this study has demonstrated great potential for SfM-MVS to be used as a cost-effective tool to aid in the mapping, modelling and management of hillslope gully systems at different scales, in savanna landscapes and elsewhere.

  3. Spectral mapping of savanna tree species at canopy level, with focus on tall trees, using an integrated CAO Hyperspectral & LiDAR sensor approach

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Naidoo, L

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available To identify spectrally and map 5 tall savanna tree species in the Greater Kruger National Park region using a decision tree approach. STUDY AREA DISCUSSION METHODOLOGY Histogram (CRI in Indices.stw 38v*253c) A.squasensis Acacia exuviales Acacia gerrardii....5 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180 N o o f o b s Histogram (Min in Height.stw 38v*37c) A.squasensis Acacia exuviales Acacia gerrardii Acacia grandi Acacia nigrescens Albizia versicolor Annona senegalensis Combretum apiculatum Combretum...

  4. A Landscape-Scale, Applied Fire Management Experiment Promotes Recovery of a Population of the Threatened Gouldian Finch, Erythrura gouldiae, in Australia's Tropical Savannas.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah Legge

    Full Text Available Fire is an integral part of savanna ecology and changes in fire patterns are linked to biodiversity loss in savannas worldwide. In Australia, changed fire regimes are implicated in the contemporary declines of small mammals, riparian species, obligate-seeding plants and grass seed-eating birds. Translating this knowledge into management to recover threatened species has proved elusive. We report here on a landscape-scale experiment carried out by the Australian Wildlife Conservancy (AWC on Mornington Wildlife Sanctuary in northwest Australia. The experiment was designed to understand the response of a key savanna bird guild to fire, and to use that information to manage fire with the aim of recovering a threatened species population. We compared condition indices among three seed-eating bird species--one endangered (Gouldian finch and two non-threatened (long-tailed finch and double-barred finch--from two large areas (> 2,830 km2 with initial contrasting fire regimes ('extreme': frequent, extensive, intense fire; versus 'benign': less frequent, smaller, lower intensity fires. Populations of all three species living with the extreme fire regime had condition indices that differed from their counterparts living with the benign fire regime, including higher haematocrit levels in some seasons (suggesting higher levels of activity required to find food, different seasonal haematocrit profiles, higher fat scores in the early wet season (suggesting greater food uncertainty, and then lower muscle scores later in the wet season (suggesting prolonged food deprivation. Gouldian finches also showed seasonally increasing stress hormone concentrations with the extreme fire regime. Cumulatively, these patterns indicated greater nutritional stress over many months for seed-eating birds exposed to extreme fire regimes. We tested these relationships by monitoring finch condition over the following years, as AWC implemented fire management to produce the 'benign

  5. Impact of land-use on savanna vegetation and populations of non-timber forest product-providing tree species in West Africa

    OpenAIRE

    Schumann, Katharina

    2011-01-01

    Savannas are the most important timber and non-timber forest products (NTFPs) providing ecosystems in West Africa. They have been shaped by traditional human land-use (i.e. agriculture, grazing, and harvesting) for thousands of years. In the last decades, land-use has drastically changed due to the rapid population growth and the growing production of cash-crop in West Africa and this process is still continuing. The percentage of land intensively used for agriculture has increased, while the...

  6. Assessment of Aboveground Woody Biomass Dynamics Using Terrestrial Laser Scanner and L-Band ALOS PALSAR Data in South African Savanna

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Victor Onyango Odipo

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available The use of optical remote sensing data for savanna vegetation structure mapping is hindered by sparse and heterogeneous distribution of vegetation canopy, leading to near-similar spectral signatures among lifeforms. An additional challenge to optical sensors is the high cloud cover and unpredictable weather conditions. Longwave microwave data, with its low sensitivity to clouds addresses some of these problems, but many space borne studies are still limited by low quality structural reference data. Terrestrial laser scanning (TLS derived canopy cover and height metrics can improve aboveground biomass (AGB prediction at both plot and landscape level. To date, few studies have explored the strength of TLS for vegetation structural mapping, and particularly few focusing on savannas. In this study, we evaluate the potential of high resolution TLS-derived canopy cover and height metrics to estimate plot-level aboveground biomass, and to extrapolate to a landscape-wide biomass estimation using multi-temporal L-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR within a 9 km2 area savanna in Kruger National Park (KNP. We inventoried 42 field plots in the wet season and computed AGB for each plot using site-specific allometry. Canopy cover, canopy height, and their product were regressed with plot-level AGB over the TLS-footprint, while SAR backscatter was used to model dry season biomass for the years 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010 for the study area. The results from model validation showed a significant linear relationship between TLS-derived predictors with field biomass, p < 0.05 and adjusted R2 ranging between 0.56 for SAR to 0.93 for the TLS-derived canopy cover and height. Log-transformed AGB yielded lower errors with TLS metrics compared with non-transformed AGB. An assessment of the backscatter based on root mean square error (RMSE showed better AGB prediction with cross-polarized (RMSE = 6.6 t/ha as opposed to co-polarized data (RMSE = 6.7 t/ha, attributed to

  7. Influence of stocking rate, range condition and rainfall on seasonal beef production patterns in the semi-arid savanna of KwaZulu-Natal

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Hatch, GP

    1997-06-01

    Full Text Available of the Swartland form with Clovelly, Hutton, Mispah, Glenrosa and Bonheim forms, occurred at the sites (Soil Classification Working Group, 1991). Three treatments at each site were stocked at the start of each season (October) with 250 kg Brahman-cross cattle... rate. Derivation of the relation from the results of grazing trials. J. Agric. Sci. 83. 335-342. MCDONALD, I.A.W. 1982. The influence of short-term climatic fluctuations on the distribution of savanna organisms in southern Africa. M.Sc. thesis...

  8. A Landscape-Scale, Applied Fire Management Experiment Promotes Recovery of a Population of the Threatened Gouldian Finch, Erythrura gouldiae, in Australia’s Tropical Savannas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Legge, Sarah; Garnett, Stephen; Maute, Kim; Heathcote, Joanne; Murphy, Steve; Woinarski, John C. Z.; Astheimer, Lee

    2015-01-01

    Fire is an integral part of savanna ecology and changes in fire patterns are linked to biodiversity loss in savannas worldwide. In Australia, changed fire regimes are implicated in the contemporary declines of small mammals, riparian species, obligate-seeding plants and grass seed-eating birds. Translating this knowledge into management to recover threatened species has proved elusive. We report here on a landscape-scale experiment carried out by the Australian Wildlife Conservancy (AWC) on Mornington Wildlife Sanctuary in northwest Australia. The experiment was designed to understand the response of a key savanna bird guild to fire, and to use that information to manage fire with the aim of recovering a threatened species population. We compared condition indices among three seed-eating bird species–one endangered (Gouldian finch) and two non-threatened (long-tailed finch and double-barred finch)—from two large areas (> 2,830 km2) with initial contrasting fire regimes (‘extreme’: frequent, extensive, intense fire; versus ‘benign’: less frequent, smaller, lower intensity fires). Populations of all three species living with the extreme fire regime had condition indices that differed from their counterparts living with the benign fire regime, including higher haematocrit levels in some seasons (suggesting higher levels of activity required to find food), different seasonal haematocrit profiles, higher fat scores in the early wet season (suggesting greater food uncertainty), and then lower muscle scores later in the wet season (suggesting prolonged food deprivation). Gouldian finches also showed seasonally increasing stress hormone concentrations with the extreme fire regime. Cumulatively, these patterns indicated greater nutritional stress over many months for seed-eating birds exposed to extreme fire regimes. We tested these relationships by monitoring finch condition over the following years, as AWC implemented fire management to produce the

  9. Effects of past climate variability on fire and vegetation in the cerrãdo savanna of the Huanchaca Mesetta, NE Bolivia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maezumi, S. Y.; Power, M. J.; Mayle, F. E.; McLauchlan, K. K.; Iriarte, J.

    2015-06-01

    Cerrãdo savannas have the greatest fire activity of all major global land-cover types and play a significant role in the global carbon cycle. During the 21st century, temperatures are projected to increase by ~ 3 °C coupled with a precipitation decrease of ~ 20%. Although these conditions could potentially intensify drought stress, it is unknown how that might alter vegetation composition and fire regimes. To assess how Neotropical savannas responded to past climate changes, a 14 500-year, high-resolution, sedimentary record from Huanchaca Mesetta, a palm swamp located in the cerrãdo savanna in northeastern Bolivia, was analyzed with phytoliths, stable isotopes, and charcoal. A non-analogue, cold-adapted vegetation community dominated the Lateglacial-early Holocene period (14 500-9000 cal yr BP, which included trees and C3 Pooideae and C4 Panicoideae grasses. The Lateglacial vegetation was fire-sensitive and fire activity during this period was low, likely responding to fuel availability and limitation. Although similar vegetation characterized the early Holocene, the warming conditions associated with the onset of the Holocene led to an initial increase in fire activity. Huanchaca Mesetta became increasingly fire-dependent during the middle Holocene with the expansion of C4 fire-adapted grasses. However, as warm, dry conditions, characterized by increased length and severity of the dry season, continued, fuel availability decreased. The establishment of the modern palm swamp vegetation occurred at 5000 cal yr BP. Edaphic factors are the first-order control on vegetation on the rocky quartzite mesetta. Where soils are sufficiently thick, climate is the second-order control of vegetation on the mesetta. The presence of the modern palm swamp is attributed to two factors: (1) increased precipitation that increased water table levels and (2) decreased frequency and duration of surazos (cold wind incursions from Patagonia) leading to increased temperature minima

  10. Allometry of some woody plant species in a Brazilian savanna after two years of a dry season fire.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dodonov, P; Lucena, I C; Leite, M B; Silva Matos, D M

    2011-05-01

    Studies of allometry are important in explaining effects of fire and herbivory, for estimating biomass in forests, and so on. There has been extensive research on plant allometry in temperate and tropical forests, showing that plant architecture often adjusts to the elastic similarity model, but not in Brazilian savannas (cerrado). We studied allometry of Dalbergia miscolobium, Diospyros hispida, Erythroxylum suberosum, Miconia albicans, M. ligustroides, Schefflera vinosa, and Xylopia aromatica in a cerrado sensu stricto area that was affected by a fire in August 2006. We expected that the study species would not adjust to any of the allometric models considered common for forest species ("constant stress", "elastic similarity", and "geometric growth"), and that there would be differences in allometry in burnt and unburnt patches. We sampled two species in 60 5 × 5 m contiguous plots placed in three transects, and five species in 100 5 × 5 m contiguous plots placed in five transects, where we measured the diameters at soil level (DSL) and the heights of all shoots. We used standardized major axis regressions on log-transformed data. The regression slope between the height and DSL was higher than 1.0 (p < 0.05) for four species, showing a greater height than would be expected under geometric growth, not predicted by theoretical models. We found significant differences (p < 0.05) in regression slopes and/or correlation coefficients between burnt and unburnt plots for five species, indicating that fire may influence plant allometry in the Brazilian cerrado, and that such a response is highly variable between species.

  11. Plant species as a therapeutic resource in areas of the savanna in the state of Pernambuco, Northeast Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saraiva, Manuele Eufrasio; Ulisses, Ana Vartan Ribeiro de Alencar; Ribeiro, Daiany Alves; de Oliveira, Liana Geraldo Souza; de Macêdo, Delmácia Gonçalves; de Sousa, Francisca de Fátima Silva; de Menezes, Irwin Rose Alencar; Sampaio, Everardo Valadares de Sá Barretto; Souza, Marta Maria de Almeida

    2015-08-02

    Ethnobotanical studies have contributed significantly in research of plants with therapeutic potential. The aim of the present study was to learn about the use of native medicinal plants cited by the traditional population in "cerradão" (savanna woodland) areas in Northeast Brazil, providing data on therapeutic indications of the species used and their versatility. Semi-structured interviews were conducted on the basis of a standardized questionnaire designed for key informants selected using the "snowball" technique. The selection of plants species with therapeutic potential was performed on the basis of the relative importance (RI) and informant consensus fator (ICF). A total of 78 species were indicated for 87 therapeutic purposes. Of these, 11 species presented great versatility of use (RI>1), as e.g.including Copaifera langsdorffii Desf., Hybanthus calceolaria (Mart.) Plumel., Heliotropium cf. indicum L., Croton zehntneri, Croton heliotropiifolius, Myracrodruon urundeuva, Stryphnodendro rotundifolium. Medicinal uses could be generalized Pax & K. Hoffm and Hymenaea courbaril L. The therapeutic indications were grouped into 14 use 15 categories with 594 species-category combinations. The largest number of medicinal species was indicated for illnesses or undefined pain, followed by diseases associated with respiratory, digestive and genitourinaryof body systems. The factor informant consensus highlighted the agreement in the use of plants and showed that the, of which Diseases of the Nervous System and, Diseases of the Circulatory System had the greatest agreement 1.0 and 0.87 repectively, Disorders of the Visual Sensory System - Eyes and Respiratory System Disorder showed the highest agreement of use. Most of the species cited by the key informants are well known scientifically, but it is interesting that some have been studied little or not all with regard to confirming their purported medicinal properties and can contribute substantially to pharmacological

  12. Variations in wood production and C storage of tropical savanna trees along an edaphic gradient in Mato Grosso, Brazil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vourlitis, G. L.; Lobo, F. D. A., Sr.; Borges Pinto, O.; Dalmagro, H. J.; Zappia, A. J.; Nogueira, J. D. S.

    2016-12-01

    Brazilian savanna (cerrado) is composed of vegetation and soil types that are spatially variable. To understand how woody growth and carbon (C) storage vary as a function of soil physical and chemical properties we installed plastic, spring-loaded dendrometers on over 500 trees in nine cerrado stands that varied in physiognomy, soil physical and chemical properties, and hydrology and measured changes in trunk diameter over a period of one year. Rates of trunk C storage ranged between -0.20 MgC ha-1 y-1 for upland grass-dominated cerrado (campo sujo) to 1.36 MgC ha-1 y-1 for hyperseasonal (seasonally flooded) gallery forest (cerradão). Using ANCOVA to factor out potential differences in site hydrology (flooded vs. upland), which are known to affect tree growth, we found that rates of trunk growth and C storage were significantly related to total soil N, extractable Ca, Mg, Al, and cation exchange capacity (CEC), and soil texture (sand and clay content and bulk density). Linear correlation indicated that both trunk growth and C storage were positively related to N, Ca, Mg, Al, CEC, and clay content and negatively related to sand content and bulk density. These results suggest that tree growth and C storage in our cerrado stands are nutrient limited; however, links between growth and soil texture may also indicate the potential for water limitation during the dry season. These data suggest that variations in soil fertility are important controls on ecosystem C storage in Brazilian cerrado. These results are qualitatively similar to those reported for tropical forests across regional fertility gradients in the Amazon Basin, and have implications for the maintenance of cerrado ecosystem C storage.

  13. Feeding in fear? How adult male western chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus) adjust to predation and savanna habitat pressures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindshield, Stacy; Danielson, Brent J; Rothman, Jessica M; Pruetz, Jill D

    2017-07-01

    We evaluated risk-sensitive foraging in adult male western chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus) occupying a savanna environment at Fongoli, Senegal. The aim of this study was to determine how the risks of predation and heat stress influenced their behavior while feeding on a key food, fruit of the baobab tree (Adansonia digitata). Proximity of fruiting baobab trees to anthropogenic landmarks were compared to food intake, feeding rate, and behavioral indicators of fear in adult males (N = 11) at Fongoli. Additionally, we compared foraging to vegetative habitats, baobab ripe fruit nutritive quality, surface water availability, and foraging party composition. Fruit abundance increased with proximity to anthropogenic landmarks, and chimpanzees exhibited higher frequencies of antipredator behaviors as they approached these risky areas. However, predation risk did not deter adult males from visiting these fruiting trees; instead, risky foraging bouts were associated with higher food intakes and longer feeding times. Additionally, higher feeding rates were observed in open-canopy habitats, and this behavior may have minimized their risk of heat stress. Adaptations that minimize predation risk are widespread in mammalian prey species, but these traits are poorly understood in chimpanzees. Great apes encounter few nonhuman predators capable of successfully capturing and killing them; thus, such events are rarely observed. Although people rarely hunt chimpanzees in Senegal, we found that adult males perceived humans as predators and adjusted their behavior while foraging in risky habitats. From an applied perspective, risk-taking behavior is important for understanding and mitigating the problem of crop-feeding in locations where chimpanzees and humans live in sympatry. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  14. Allometry of some woody plant species in a Brazilian savanna after two years of a dry season fire

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. Dodonov

    Full Text Available Studies of allometry are important in explaining effects of fire and herbivory, for estimating biomass in forests, and so on. There has been extensive research on plant allometry in temperate and tropical forests, showing that plant architecture often adjusts to the elastic similarity model, but not in Brazilian savannas (cerrado. We studied allometry of Dalbergia miscolobium, Diospyros hispida, Erythroxylum suberosum, Miconia albicans, M. ligustroides, Schefflera vinosa, and Xylopia aromatica in a cerrado sensu stricto area that was affected by a fire in August 2006. We expected that the study species would not adjust to any of the allometric models considered common for forest species ("constant stress", "elastic similarity", and "geometric growth", and that there would be differences in allometry in burnt and unburnt patches. We sampled two species in 60 5 × 5 m contiguous plots placed in three transects, and five species in 100 5 × 5 m contiguous plots placed in five transects, where we measured the diameters at soil level (DSL and the heights of all shoots. We used standardized major axis regressions on log-transformed data. The regression slope between the height and DSL was higher than 1.0 (p < 0.05 for four species, showing a greater height than would be expected under geometric growth, not predicted by theoretical models. We found significant differences (p < 0.05 in regression slopes and/or correlation coefficients between burnt and unburnt plots for five species, indicating that fire may influence plant allometry in the Brazilian cerrado, and that such a response is highly variable between species.

  15. How Rainfall Variation Influences Reproductive Patterns of African Savanna Ungulates in an Equatorial Region Where Photoperiod Variation Is Absent.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joseph O Ogutu

    Full Text Available In high temperate latitudes, ungulates generally give birth within a narrow time window when conditions are optimal for offspring survival in spring or early summer, and use changing photoperiod to time conceptions so as to anticipate these conditions. However, in low tropical latitudes day length variation is minimal, and rainfall variation makes the seasonal cycle less predictable. Nevertheless, several ungulate species retain narrow birth peaks under such conditions, while others show births spread quite widely through the year. We investigated how within-year and between-year variation in rainfall influenced the reproductive timing of four ungulate species showing these contrasting patterns in the Masai Mara region of Kenya. All four species exhibited birth peaks during the putative optimal period in the early wet season. For hartebeest and impala, the birth peak was diffuse and offspring were born throughout the year. In contrast, topi and warthog showed a narrow seasonal concentration of births, with conceptions suppressed once monthly rainfall fell below a threshold level. High rainfall in the previous season and high early rains in the current year enhanced survival into the juvenile stage for all the species except impala. Our findings reveal how rainfall variation affecting grass growth and hence herbivore nutrition can govern the reproductive phenology of ungulates in tropical latitudes where day length variation is minimal. The underlying mechanism seems to be the suppression of conceptions once nutritional gains become insufficient. Through responding proximally to within-year variation in rainfall, tropical savanna ungulates are less likely to be affected adversely by the consequences of global warming for vegetation phenology than northern ungulates showing more rigid photoperiodic control over reproductive timing.

  16. How Rainfall Variation Influences Reproductive Patterns of African Savanna Ungulates in an Equatorial Region Where Photoperiod Variation Is Absent.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ogutu, Joseph O; Owen-Smith, Norman; Piepho, Hans-Peter; Dublin, Holly T

    2015-01-01

    In high temperate latitudes, ungulates generally give birth within a narrow time window when conditions are optimal for offspring survival in spring or early summer, and use changing photoperiod to time conceptions so as to anticipate these conditions. However, in low tropical latitudes day length variation is minimal, and rainfall variation makes the seasonal cycle less predictable. Nevertheless, several ungulate species retain narrow birth peaks under such conditions, while others show births spread quite widely through the year. We investigated how within-year and between-year variation in rainfall influenced the reproductive timing of four ungulate species showing these contrasting patterns in the Masai Mara region of Kenya. All four species exhibited birth peaks during the putative optimal period in the early wet season. For hartebeest and impala, the birth peak was diffuse and offspring were born throughout the year. In contrast, topi and warthog showed a narrow seasonal concentration of births, with conceptions suppressed once monthly rainfall fell below a threshold level. High rainfall in the previous season and high early rains in the current year enhanced survival into the juvenile stage for all the species except impala. Our findings reveal how rainfall variation affecting grass growth and hence herbivore nutrition can govern the reproductive phenology of ungulates in tropical latitudes where day length variation is minimal. The underlying mechanism seems to be the suppression of conceptions once nutritional gains become insufficient. Through responding proximally to within-year variation in rainfall, tropical savanna ungulates are less likely to be affected adversely by the consequences of global warming for vegetation phenology than northern ungulates showing more rigid photoperiodic control over reproductive timing.

  17. Does the Growth Differentiation Balance Hypothesis Explain Allocation to Secondary Metabolites in Combretum apiculatum , an African Savanna Woody Species?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hattas, Dawood; Scogings, Peter F; Julkunen-Tiitto, Riitta

    2017-02-01

    The growth differentiation balance hypothesis (GDBH) provides a framework that predicts a trade-off between costs of secondary metabolites (SMs) relative to the demand for photosynthate by growth. However, this hypothesis was developed using empirical evidence from plant species in northern boreal and temperate systems, leaving its applicability to species under different abiotic and biotic conditions questionable and generalizations problematic. The objective of this study was to investigate whether the GDBH explains allocation to SMs in the deciduous African savanna woody species C. apiculatum along a 6-point N gradient. The cornerstone prediction of the GDBH, i.e., the parabolic response in SMs along the N gradient, was not observed, with secondary metabolism showing compound-specific responses. Quercetin, myricetin, and kaempferol glycoside concentrations, all produced via the same pathway, responded differently across the N gradient. Flavonol glycoside, cinnamic acid, and quercetin glycoside concentrations decreased as N increased, which provides partial support for the carbon nutrient balance hypothesis. Simulated herbivory had no effect on photosynthesis, decreased foliar N and consequently increased C:N ratio, but did not induce an increase in SMs, with condensed tannins and flavonol glycosides being unaffected. Defoliated plants at low N concentration compensated for lost biomass, which suggests a tolerance response, but as predicted by the limiting resource model, plants at higher N concentration were evidently C limited and thus unable to compensate. Our results show that the GDBH does not explain allocation to SMs in C. apiculatum, and suggest that mechanistic explanations of plant allocation should consider the integrative defensive effect of changed SMs.

  18. Testing the Accuracy of Aerial Surveys for Large Mammals: An Experiment with African Savanna Elephants (Loxodonta africana).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schlossberg, Scott; Chase, Michael J; Griffin, Curtice R

    2016-01-01

    Accurate counts of animals are critical for prioritizing conservation efforts. Past research, however, suggests that observers on aerial surveys may fail to detect all individuals of the target species present in the survey area. Such errors could bias population estimates low and confound trend estimation. We used two approaches to assess the accuracy of aerial surveys for African savanna elephants (Loxodonta africana) in northern Botswana. First, we used double-observer sampling, in which two observers make observations on the same herds, to estimate detectability of elephants and determine what variables affect it. Second, we compared total counts, a complete survey of the entire study area, against sample counts, in which only a portion of the study area is sampled. Total counts are often considered a complete census, so comparing total counts against sample counts can help to determine if sample counts are underestimating elephant numbers. We estimated that observers detected only 76% ± SE of 2% of elephant herds and 87 ± 1% of individual elephants present in survey strips. Detectability increased strongly with elephant herd size. Out of the four observers used in total, one observer had a lower detection probability than the other three, and detectability was higher in the rear row of seats than the front. The habitat immediately adjacent to animals also affected detectability, with detection more likely in more open habitats. Total counts were not statistically distinguishable from sample counts. Because, however, the double-observer samples revealed that observers missed 13% of elephants, we conclude that total counts may be undercounting elephants as well. These results suggest that elephant population estimates from both sample and total counts are biased low. Because factors such as observer and habitat affected detectability of elephants, comparisons of elephant populations across time or space may be confounded. We encourage survey teams to

  19. Resource-use efficiency explains grassy weed invasion in a low-resource savanna in north Australia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emilie eEns

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Comparative studies of plant resource use and ecophysiological traits of invasive and native resident plant species can elucidate mechanisms of invasion success and ecosystem impacts. In the seasonal tropics of north Australia, the alien C4 perennial grass Andropogon gayanus (gamba grass has transformed diverse, mixed tree-grass savanna ecosystems into dense monocultures. To better understand the mechanisms of invasion, we compared resource acquisition and usage efficiency using leaf-scale ecophysiological and stand-scale growth traits of A. gayanus with a co-habiting native C4 perennial grass Alloteropsis semialata. Under wet season conditions, A. gayanus had higher rates of stomatal conductance, assimilation and water use, plus a longer daily assimilation period than the native species A. semialata. Growing season length was also ~2 months longer for the invader. Wet season measures of leaf scale water use efficiency (WUE and light use efficiency (LUE did not differ between the two species, although photosynthetic nitrogen use efficiency (PNUE was significantly higher in A. gayanus. By May (dry season the drought avoiding native species A. semialata had senesced. In contrast, rates of A. gayanus gas exchange was maintained into the dry season, albeit at lower rates that the wet season, but at higher WUE and PNUE, evidence of significant physiological plasticity. High PNUE and leaf 15N isotope values suggested that A. gayanus was also capable of preferential uptake of soil ammonium, with utilisation occurring into the dry season. High PNUE and fire tolerance in an N-limited and highly flammable ecosystem confers a significant competitive advantage over native grass species and a broader niche width. As a result A. gayanus is rapidly spreading across north Australia with significant consequences for biodiversity and carbon and retention.

  20. Projections of 21st Century African Climate: Implications for African Savanna Fire Dynamics, Human Health and Food Security

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adegoke, J. O.

    2015-12-01

    Fire is a key agent of change in the African savannas, which are shaped through the complex interactions between trees, C4 grasses, rainfall, temperature, CO2 and fire. These fires and their emitted smoke can have numerous direct and indirect effects on the environment, water resources, air quality, and climate. For instance, veld fires in southern Africa cause large financial losses to agriculture, livestock production and forestry on an annual basis. This study contributes to our understanding of the implications of projected surface temperature evolution in Africa for fire risk, human health and agriculture over the coming decades. We use an ensemble of high-resolution regional climate model simulations of African climate for the 21st century. Regional dowscalings and recent global circulation model projections obtained for Africa indicate that African temperatures are likely to rise at 1.5 times the global rate of temperature increase in the tropics, and at almost twice the global rate of increase in the subtropics. Warming is projected to occur during the 21st century, with increases of 4-6 °C over the subtropics and 3-5 °C over the tropics plausible by the end of the century relative to present-day climate under the A2 (low mitigation) scenario. We explore the significance of the projected warming by documenting increases in projected high fire danger days and heat-wave days. General drying is projected across the continent, even for areas (e.g. tropical Africa) where an increase in rainfall is plausible. This is due to the drastic increases in temperature that are projected, which leads to drier soils (through enhanced evaporation) despite the rainfall increases. This will likely impact negatively on crop yield, particularly on the maize crop that is of crucial importance in terms of African food security.

  1. Spatial-temporal dynamics of neotropical velvet ant (Hymenoptera: Mutillidae communities along a forest-savanna gradient.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Júlio Miguel Alvarenga

    Full Text Available Understanding how and why biological communities are organized over space and time is a major challenge and can aid biodiversity conservation in times of global changes. Herein, spatial-temporal variation in the structure of velvet ant communities was examined along a forest-savanna gradient in the Brazilian Cerrado to assess the roles of environmental filters and interspecific interactions upon community assembly. Velvet ants were sampled using 25 arrays of Y-shaped pitfall traps with drift fences for one year along an environmental gradient from cerrado sensu stricto (open canopy, warmer, drier to cerradão (closed canopy, cooler, moister. Dataloggers installed on each trap recorded microclimate parameters throughout the study period. The effects of spatial distances, microclimate parameters and shared ancestry on species abundances and turnover were assessed with canonical correspondence analysis, generalized dissimilarity modelling and variance components analysis. Velvet ant diversity and abundance were higher in the cerrado sensu stricto and early in the wet season. There was pronounced compositional turnover along the environmental gradient, and temporal variation in richness and abundance was stronger than spatial variation. The dry season blooming of woody plant species fosters host abundance and, subsequently, velvet ant captures. Species were taxonomically clustered along the gradient with Sphaeropthalmina (especially Traumatomutilla spp. and Pseudomethocina more associated, respectively, with cerrado sensu stricto and cerradão. This suggests a predominant role of environmental filters on community assemble, with physiological tolerances and host preferences being shared among members of the same lineages. Induced environmental changes in Cerrado can impact communities of wasps and their hosts with unpredictable consequences upon ecosystem functioning and services.

  2. Spatial-temporal dynamics of neotropical velvet ant (Hymenoptera: Mutillidae) communities along a forest-savanna gradient.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alvarenga, Júlio Miguel; Vieira, Cecília Rodrigues; Godinho, Leandro Braga; Campelo, Pedro Henrique; Pitts, James Purser; Colli, Guarino Rinaldi

    2017-01-01

    Understanding how and why biological communities are organized over space and time is a major challenge and can aid biodiversity conservation in times of global changes. Herein, spatial-temporal variation in the structure of velvet ant communities was examined along a forest-savanna gradient in the Brazilian Cerrado to assess the roles of environmental filters and interspecific interactions upon community assembly. Velvet ants were sampled using 25 arrays of Y-shaped pitfall traps with drift fences for one year along an environmental gradient from cerrado sensu stricto (open canopy, warmer, drier) to cerradão (closed canopy, cooler, moister). Dataloggers installed on each trap recorded microclimate parameters throughout the study period. The effects of spatial distances, microclimate parameters and shared ancestry on species abundances and turnover were assessed with canonical correspondence analysis, generalized dissimilarity modelling and variance components analysis. Velvet ant diversity and abundance were higher in the cerrado sensu stricto and early in the wet season. There was pronounced compositional turnover along the environmental gradient, and temporal variation in richness and abundance was stronger than spatial variation. The dry season blooming of woody plant species fosters host abundance and, subsequently, velvet ant captures. Species were taxonomically clustered along the gradient with Sphaeropthalmina (especially Traumatomutilla spp.) and Pseudomethocina more associated, respectively, with cerrado sensu stricto and cerradão. This suggests a predominant role of environmental filters on community assemble, with physiological tolerances and host preferences being shared among members of the same lineages. Induced environmental changes in Cerrado can impact communities of wasps and their hosts with unpredictable consequences upon ecosystem functioning and services.

  3. Testing the Accuracy of Aerial Surveys for Large Mammals: An Experiment with African Savanna Elephants (Loxodonta africana.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Scott Schlossberg

    Full Text Available Accurate counts of animals are critical for prioritizing conservation efforts. Past research, however, suggests that observers on aerial surveys may fail to detect all individuals of the target species present in the survey area. Such errors could bias population estimates low and confound trend estimation. We used two approaches to assess the accuracy of aerial surveys for African savanna elephants (Loxodonta africana in northern Botswana. First, we used double-observer sampling, in which two observers make observations on the same herds, to estimate detectability of elephants and determine what variables affect it. Second, we compared total counts, a complete survey of the entire study area, against sample counts, in which only a portion of the study area is sampled. Total counts are often considered a complete census, so comparing total counts against sample counts can help to determine if sample counts are underestimating elephant numbers. We estimated that observers detected only 76% ± SE of 2% of elephant herds and 87 ± 1% of individual elephants present in survey strips. Detectability increased strongly with elephant herd size. Out of the four observers used in total, one observer had a lower detection probability than the other three, and detectability was higher in the rear row of seats than the front. The habitat immediately adjacent to animals also affected detectability, with detection more likely in more open habitats. Total counts were not statistically distinguishable from sample counts. Because, however, the double-observer samples revealed that observers missed 13% of elephants, we conclude that total counts may be undercounting elephants as well. These results suggest that elephant population estimates from both sample and total counts are biased low. Because factors such as observer and habitat affected detectability of elephants, comparisons of elephant populations across time or space may be confounded. We encourage survey

  4. Seasonal diet and prey preference of the African lion in a waterhole-driven semi-arid savanna.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zeke Davidson

    Full Text Available Large carnivores inhabiting ecosystems with heterogeneously distributed environmental resources with strong seasonal variations frequently employ opportunistic foraging strategies, often typified by seasonal switches in diet. In semi-arid ecosystems, herbivore distribution is generally more homogeneous in the wet season, when surface water is abundant, than in the dry season when only permanent sources remain. Here, we investigate the seasonal contribution of the different herbivore species, prey preference and distribution of kills (i.e. feeding locations of African lions in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe, a semi-arid African savanna structured by artificial waterholes. We used data from 245 kills and 74 faecal samples. Buffalo consistently emerged as the most frequently utilised prey in all seasons by both male (56% and female (33% lions, contributing the most to lion dietary biomass. Jacobs' index also revealed that buffalo was the most intensively selected species throughout the year. For female lions, kudu and to a lesser extent the group "medium Bovidae" are the most important secondary prey. This study revealed seasonal patterns in secondary prey consumption by female lions partly based on prey ecology with browsers, such as giraffe and kudu, mainly consumed in the early dry season, and grazers, such as zebra and suids, contributing more to female diet in the late dry season. Further, it revealed the opportunistic hunting behaviour of lions for prey as diverse as elephants and mice, with elephants taken mostly as juveniles at the end of the dry season during droughts. Jacobs' index finally revealed a very strong preference for kills within 2 km from a waterhole for all prey species, except small antelopes, in all seasons. This suggested that surface-water resources form passive traps and contribute to the structuring of lion foraging behaviour.

  5. Efficiency of Individual Tree Detection Approaches Based on Light-Weight and Low-Cost UAS Imagery in Australian Savannas

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    Grigorijs Goldbergs

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available The reliability of airborne light detection and ranging (LiDAR for delineating individual trees and estimating aboveground biomass (AGB has been proven in a diverse range of ecosystems, but can be difficult and costly to commission. Point clouds derived from structure from motion (SfM matching techniques obtained from unmanned aerial systems (UAS could be a feasible low-cost alternative to airborne LiDAR scanning for canopy parameter retrieval. This study assesses the extent to which SfM three-dimensional (3D point clouds—obtained from a light-weight mini-UAS quadcopter with an inexpensive consumer action GoPro camera—can efficiently and effectively detect individual trees, measure tree heights, and provide AGB estimates in Australian tropical savannas. Two well-established canopy maxima and watershed segmentation tree detection algorithms were tested on canopy height models (CHM derived from SfM imagery. The influence of CHM spatial resolution on tree detection accuracy was analysed, and the results were validated against existing high-resolution airborne LiDAR data. We found that the canopy maxima and watershed segmentation routines produced similar tree detection rates (~70% for dominant and co-dominant trees, but yielded low detection rates (<35% for suppressed and small trees due to poor representativeness in point clouds and overstory occlusion. Although airborne LiDAR provides higher tree detection rates and more accurate estimates of tree heights, we found SfM image matching to be an adequate low-cost alternative for the detection of dominant and co-dominant tree stands.

  6. Interaction of vegetative cover and N addition on soil CO2 efflux in an oak savanna ecosystem

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    Morris, Kendalynn; Wutzler, Thomas; Poehlmann, Marco; Nair, Richard; Migliavacca, Mirco; Schrumpf, Marion

    2017-04-01

    Numerous fertilization experiments have demonstrated that nitrogen (N) addition leads to shifts in soil respiration. In forest ecosystems N addition typically results in decreased soil respiration, while grasslands generally have the opposite response. Neither result is universal because the direction of the response is dictated by site-specific soil and vegetation properties. The MaNiP large scale nutrient manipulation experiment aims at studying ecosystem properties, such as soil respiration, by altering nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) stoichiometry. The experimental site is a dehesa, an oak-savanna ecosystem in Extremadura, Spain. The tree-grass structure results in a mosaic of two distinct soils coexisting within the same parent material and climatic conditions. Soils beneath trees are richer in organic matter, have a higher C:N, and a relatively well developed A-horizon compared to soils in the open grassland. This offers an ideal opportunity to study how soil properties modify responses to stoichiometric shifts. We established automated respiration chambers in both of these soil types within plots fertilized with N and where no nitrogen was added (Control). By comparing the magnitude of near continuous CO2 fluxes in these chambers with onsite Eddy Covariance Towers, we can quantify the relative contribution of soils under trees and in open grassland to ecosystem respiration and how the nutrient treatments moderate their responses to seasonal fluctuations in temperature and moisture. Preliminary results suggest that soil respiration increased with fertilization and that fluxes underneath tree canopies are more responsive, likely due to higher C content and microclimatic properties. Further analysis will determine if fertilization influences annual cycles in respiration or the sensitivity of respiration to climatic drivers and pulses (e.g., rain). Our initial conclusion is that vegetation cover modifies the interaction of soil C and N cycle in this ecosystem.

  7. Spatial variation of the stable nitrogen isotope ratio of woody plants along a topoedaphic gradient in a subtropical savanna.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bai, Edith; Boutton, Thomas W; Liu, Feng; Wu, X Ben; Archer, Steven R; Hallmark, C Thomas

    2009-03-01

    Variation in the stable N isotope ratio (delta15N) of plants and soils often reflects the influence of environment on the N cycle. We measured leaf delta15N and N concentration ([N]) on all individuals of Prosopis glandulosa (deciduous tree legume), Condalia hookeri (evergreen shrub), and Zanthoxylum fagara (evergreen shrub) present within a belt transect 308 m long x 12 m wide in a subtropical savanna ecosystem in southern Texas, USA in April and August 2005. Soil texture, gravimetric water content (GWC), total N and delta15N were also measured along the transect. At the landscape scale, leaf delta15N was negatively related to elevation for all the three species along this topoedaphic sequence. Changes in soil delta15N, total N, and GWC appeared to contribute to this spatial pattern of leaf delta15N. In lower portions of the landscape, greater soil N availability and GWC are associated with relatively high rates of both N mineralization and nitrification. Both soil delta15N and leaf [N] were positively correlated with leaf delta15N of non-N2 fixing plants. Leaf delta15N of P. glandulosa, an N2-fixing legume, did not correlate with leaf [N]; the delta15N of P. glandulosa's leaves were closer to atmospheric N2 and significantly lower than those of C. hookeri and Z. fagara. Additionally, at smaller spatial scales, a proximity index (which reflected the density and distance of surrounding P. glandulosa trees) was negatively correlated with leaf delta15N of C. hookeri and Z. fagara, indicating the N2-fixing P. glandulosa may be important to the N nutrition of nearby non-N2-fixing species. Our results indicate plant 15N natural abundance can reflect the extent of N retention and help us better understand N dynamics and plant-soil interactions at ecosystem and landscape scales.

  8. Drivers of inter-annual variability in Net Ecosystem Exchange in a semi-arid savanna ecosystem, South Africa

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    S. A. Archibald

    2009-02-01

    Full Text Available Inter-annual variability in primary production and ecosystem respiration was explored using eddy-covariance data at a semi-arid savanna site in the Kruger Park, South Africa. New methods of extrapolating night-time respiration to the entire day and filling gaps in eddy-covariance data in semi-arid systems were developed. Net ecosystem exchange (NEE in these systems occurs as pulses associated with rainfall events, a pattern not well-represented in current standard gap-filling procedures developed primarily for temperate flux sites. They furthermore do not take into account the decrease in respiration at high soil temperatures. An artificial neural network (ANN model incorporating these features predicted measured fluxes accurately (MAE 0.42 gC/m2/day, and was able to represent the seasonal patterns of photosynthesis and respiration at the site. The amount of green leaf area (indexed using satellite-derived estimates of fractional interception of photosynthetically active radiation fAPAR, and the timing and magnitude of rainfall events, were the two most important predictors used in the ANN model. These drivers were also identified by multiple linear regressions (MLR, with strong interactive effects. The annual integral of the filled NEE data was found to range from −138 to +155 g C/m2/y over the 5 year eddy covariance measurement period. When applied to a 25 year time series of meteorological data, the ANN model predicts an annual mean NEE of 75(±105 g C/m2/y. The main correlates of this inter-annual variability were found to be variation in the amount of absorbed photosynthetically active radiation (APAR, length of the growing season, and number of days in the year when moisture was available in the soil.

  9. Validation of Global Evapotranspiration Product (MOD16 using Flux Tower Data in the African Savanna, South Africa

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    Abel Ramoelo

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Globally, water is an important resource required for the survival of human beings. Water is a scarce resource in the semi-arid environments, including South Africa. In South Africa, several studies have quantified evapotranspiration (ET in different ecosystems at a local scale. Accurate spatially explicit information on ET is rare in the country mainly due to lack of appropriate tools. In recent years, a remote sensing ET product from the MODerate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MOD16 has been developed. However, its accuracy is not known in South African ecosystems. The objective of this study was to validate the MOD16 ET product using data from two eddy covariance flux towers, namely; Skukuza and Malopeni installed in a savanna and woodland ecosystem within the Kruger National Park, South Africa. Eight day cumulative ET data from the flux towers was calculated to coincide with the eight day MOD16 products over a period of 10 years from 2000 to 2010. The Skukuza flux tower results showed inconsistent comparisons with MOD16 ET. The Malopeni site achieved a poorer comparison with MOD16 ET compared to the Skukuza, and due to a shorter measurement period, data validation was performed for 2009 only. The inconsistent comparison of MOD16 and flux tower-based ET can be attributed to, among other things, the parameterization of the Penman-Monteith model, flux tower measurement errors, and flux tower footprint vs. MODIS pixel. MOD16 is important for global inference of ET, but for use in South Africa's integrated water management, a locally parameterized and improved product should be developed.

  10. Group dynamics of zebra and wildebeest in a woodland savanna: effects of predation risk and habitat density.

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    Maria Thaker

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Group dynamics of gregarious ungulates in the grasslands of the African savanna have been well studied, but the trade-offs that affect grouping of these ungulates in woodland habitats or dense vegetation are less well understood. We examined the landscape-level distribution of groups of blue wildebeest, Connochaetes taurinus, and Burchell's zebra, Equus burchelli, in a predominantly woodland area (Karongwe Game Reserve, South Africa; KGR to test the hypothesis that group dynamics are a function of minimizing predation risk from their primary predator, lion, Panthera leo. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Using generalized linear models, we examined the relative importance of habitat type (differing in vegetation density, probability of encountering lion (based on utilization distribution of all individual lions in the reserve, and season in predicting group size and composition. We found that only in open scrub habitat, group size for both ungulate species increased with the probability of encountering lion. Group composition differed between the two species and was driven by habitat selection as well as predation risk. For both species, composition of groups was, however, dominated by males in open scrub habitats, irrespective of the probability of encountering lion. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Distribution patterns of wildebeest and zebra groups at the landscape level directly support the theoretical and empirical evidence from a range of taxa predicting that grouping is favored in open habitats and when predation risk is high. Group composition reflected species-specific social, physiological and foraging constraints, as well as the importance of predation risk. Avoidance of high resource open scrub habitat by females can lead to loss of foraging opportunities, which can be particularly costly in areas such as KGR, where this resource is limited. Thus, landscape-level grouping dynamics are species specific and particular to the

  11. Managing a threatened savanna ecosystem (KwaZulu-Natal Sandstone Sourveld in an urban biodiversity hotspot: Durban, South Africa

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    Richard Boon

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Background: The city of Durban in the province of KwaZulu-Natal (KZN, South Africa, falls within a global biodiversity hotspot. KwaZulu-Natal Sandstone Sourveld (KZNSS is a savanna vegetation type endemic to KZN. KZNSS is endangered; about 90% has been totally modified and 0.1% of the original extent is adequately protected. In response, eThekwini Municipality, Durban’s local government authority, has developed approaches to improve the conservation status of KZNSS and other biodiversity.Objectives: To describe eThekwini Municipality’s work in contributing to securing and managing KZNSS and other biodiversity. This information will contribute to an increased understanding of local government’s role in biodiversity conservation and should be relevant to other local governments as well.Method: Statistics from the municipality’s GIS database and work done and insights gained over about 30 years are presented.Results: By 2012, about 54% of Durban’s original vegetation was transformed and a further 17% was highly degraded. Combined efforts have resulted in 3.06% of the eThekwini Municipal Area enjoying some form of legal protection for environmental purposes with proclaimed protected areas covering 0.6% of the municipal area. Nearly 8% of areas identified as environmentally significant by the municipality are managed as appropriate.Conclusion: Increased and coordinated implementation efforts with a focus on priorities are needed from all role players if biodiversity is to be adequately conserved in Durban. Local government in South Africa can be an important contributor in biodiversity conservation, especially with regard to tools available in terms of its local planning mandate.

  12. Patterns of Woody Growth for Brazilian Savanna (Cerrado) Trees in the Cuiaba Basin and Pantanal of Mato Grosso, Brazil

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    Zappia, A. J.; Vourlitis, G. L.; Pinto-Jr, O. B.

    2015-12-01

    The Brazilian savanna, locally known as cerrado, is a major ecosystem that covers a vast majority of central Brazil. Little is known about how woody growth within the cerrado is affected by soil properties such as texture and/or nutrient availability. Thus, in this study we assessed the relationship between woody growth and soil properties in the Cuiaba Basin and Pantanal of Mato Grosso, Brazil. We sampled 4-5 vegetation stands in each site that varied in hydrology, soil type, and vegetation composition and structure, and measured diameter at breast height, wood density, and soil nutrient concentration and physical properties every 5-10 m along a 100 m long transect. We hypothesized that as tree diameter at breast height increases, annual tree growth rate will decrease and that woody carbon (C) storage will increase as a function of soil nutrient availability. Our preliminary data support our hypotheses. Tree growth rates declined with tree size in both the Cuiaba Basin and the Pantanal. Rates of woody C storage, both on a per tree basis (kgC tree-1 year-1) and on a per unit ground area basis (kgC m-2 year-1) were significantly positively correlated with soil extractable phosphorus (P), calcium (Ca), and clay content, while only woody C storage on a per tree basis was positively correlated with potassium (K), magnesium (Mg), and cation exchange capacity (CEC). These data suggest that rates of woody C storage in cerrado are nutrient limited, while correspondence between C storage and soil physical properties could indicate both nutrient and water limitations to C storage.

  13. Habitat Heterogeneity Variably Influences Habitat Selection by Wild Herbivores in a Semi-Arid Tropical Savanna Ecosystem.

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    Victor K Muposhi

    Full Text Available An understanding of the habitat selection patterns by wild herbivores is critical for adaptive management, particularly towards ecosystem management and wildlife conservation in semi arid savanna ecosystems. We tested the following predictions: (i surface water availability, habitat quality and human presence have a strong influence on the spatial distribution of wild herbivores in the dry season, (ii habitat suitability for large herbivores would be higher compared to medium-sized herbivores in the dry season, and (iii spatial extent of suitable habitats for wild herbivores will be different between years, i.e., 2006 and 2010, in Matetsi Safari Area, Zimbabwe. MaxEnt modeling was done to determine the habitat suitability of large herbivores and medium-sized herbivores. MaxEnt modeling of habitat suitability for large herbivores using the environmental variables was successful for the selected species in 2006 and 2010, except for elephant (Loxodonta africana for the year 2010. Overall, large herbivores probability of occurrence was mostly influenced by distance from rivers. Distance from roads influenced much of the variability in the probability of occurrence of medium-sized herbivores. The overall predicted area for large and medium-sized herbivores was not different. Large herbivores may not necessarily utilize larger habitat patches over medium-sized herbivores due to the habitat homogenizing effect of water provisioning. Effect of surface water availability, proximity to riverine ecosystems and roads on habitat suitability of large and medium-sized herbivores in the dry season was highly variable thus could change from one year to another. We recommend adaptive management initiatives aimed at ensuring dynamic water supply in protected areas through temporal closure and or opening of water points to promote heterogeneity of wildlife habitats.

  14. Soil Acidobacterial 16S rRNA Gene Sequences Reveal Subgroup Level Differences between Savanna-Like Cerrado and Atlantic Forest Brazilian Biomes

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    Elisa C. P. Catão

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available 16S rRNA sequences from the phylum Acidobacteria have been commonly reported from soil microbial communities, including those from the Brazilian Savanna (Cerrado and the Atlantic Forest biomes, two biomes that present contrasting characteristics of soil and vegetation. Using 16S rRNA sequences, the present work aimed to study acidobacterial diversity and distribution in soils of Cerrado savanna and two Atlantic forest sites. PCA and phylogenetic reconstruction showed that the acidobacterial communities found in “Mata de galeria” forest soil samples from the Cerrado biome have a tendency to separate from the other Cerrado vegetation microbial communities in the direction of those found in the Atlantic Forest, which is correlated with a high abundance of Acidobacteria subgroup 2 (GP2. Environmental conditions seem to promote a negative correlation between GP2 and subgroup 1 (GP1 abundance. Also GP2 is negatively correlated to pH, but positively correlated to high Al3+ concentrations. The Cerrado soil showed the lowest Acidobacteria richness and diversity indexes of OTUs at the species and subgroups levels when compared to Atlantic Forest soils. These results suggest specificity of acidobacterial subgroups to soils of different biomes and are a starting point to understand their ecological roles, a topic that needs to be further explored.

  15. Long term effects of fire frequency and season on the woody vegetation dynamics of the Sclerocarya birrea/Acacia nigrescens savanna of the Kruger National Park

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    B.W. Enslin

    2000-07-01

    Full Text Available A lack of knowledge together with vacillating fire management approaches in the Kruger National Park until the mid 1950s, gave rise to a long term fire research experiment aimed at shedding light on savanna responses to various combinations of fire fre- quencies and seasons. This trial was laid out in 1954 in four of the six major vegetation zones of the park. With the future of the experiment now being reconsidered, full scale vegetation surveys have been conducted on all the plots and compared to the surveys done in 1954. This paper examines the woody vegetation responses to fourteen fire treatments in the Knobthorn/Marula savanna. Parameters of interest were woody species composition responses, together with tree & shrub density and structural changes. The results indicate that no significant changes in woody species had occurred for the peri- od 1954 vs 1998, while density decreased on biennial and increased on triennial treatments. The proportion of single stemmed plants increased over the period. Season of burn has a marked effect on structure, with April and August burns giving rise to the largest basal areas but the lowest heights. Environmental parameters such as climate, varying herbivory and differing soils, and their respective interactions on vegetation morphology, together with fire behaviour, further influenced results.

  16. Combined Spatial and Temporal Effects of Environmental Controls on Long-Term Monthly NDVI in the Southern Africa Savanna

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    Miguel A. Campo-Bescós

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Deconstructing the drivers of large-scale vegetation change is critical to predicting and managing projected climate and land use changes that will affect regional vegetation cover in degraded or threated ecosystems. We investigate the shared dynamics of spatially variable vegetation across three large watersheds in the southern Africa savanna. Dynamic Factor Analysis (DFA, a multivariate time-series dimension reduction technique, was used to identify the most important physical drivers of regional vegetation change. We first evaluated the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR- vs. the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS-based Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI datasets across their overlapping period (2001–2010. NDVI follows a general pattern of cyclic seasonal variation, with distinct spatio-temporal patterns across physio-geographic regions. Both NDVI products produced similar DFA models, although MODIS was simulated better. Soil moisture and precipitation controlled NDVI for mean annual precipitation (MAP < 750 mm, and above this, evaporation and mean temperature dominated. A second DFA with the full AVHRR (1982–2010 data found that for MAP < 750 mm, soil moisture and actual evapotranspiration control NDVI dynamics, followed by mean and maximum temperatures. Above 950 mm, actual evapotranspiration and precipitation dominate. The quantification of the combined spatio-temporal environmental drivers of NDVI expands our ability to understand landscape level changes in vegetation evaluated through remote sensing and improves the basis for the management of vulnerable regions, like the southern Africa savannas.

  17. On the Suitability of MODIS Time Series Metrics to Map Vegetation Types in Dry Savanna Ecosystems: A Case Study in the Kalahari of NE Namibia

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    Stefan Dech

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available The characterization and evaluation of the recent status of biodiversity in Southern Africa’s Savannas is a major prerequisite for suitable and sustainable land management and conservation purposes. This paper presents an integrated concept for vegetation type mapping in a dry savanna ecosystem based on local scale in-situ botanical survey data with high resolution (Landsat and coarse resolution (MODIS satellite time series. In this context, a semi-automated training database generation procedure using object-oriented image segmentation techniques is introduced. A tree-based Random Forest classifier was used for mapping vegetation type associations in the Kalahari of NE Namibia based on inter-annual intensity- and phenology-related time series metrics. The utilization of long-term inter-annual temporal metrics delivered the best classification accuracies (Kappa = 0.93 compared with classifications based on seasonal feature sets. The relationship between annual classification accuracies and bi-annual precipitation sums was conducted using data from the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM. Increased error rates occurred in years with high rainfall rates compared to dry rainy seasons. The variable importance was analyzed and showed high-rank positions for features of the Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI and the blue and middle infrared bands, indicating that soil reflectance was crucial information for an accurate spectral discrimination of Kalahari vegetation types. Time series features related to reflectance intensity obtained increased rank-positions compared to phenology-related metrics.

  18. Contemporary and long-term erosion in the Kruger National Park, Lowveld Savanna, South Africa. First results.

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    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

  19. Spatial Patterns of Plant δ13C and δ15N Along a Topoedaphic Gradient in a Subtropical Savanna Landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bai, E.; Boutton, T. W.; Liu, F.; Wu, B.; Archer, S. R.

    2005-12-01

    δ13C and δ15N values of plants are powerful tools in physiological ecology, ecosystem science, and global biogeochemistry, yet we know relatively little about their variation and controls at the landscape scale. In this study, we investigated landscape-scale spatial variations in the foliar isotopic composition of 3 woody plant species across a 308 m topoedaphic gradient, along which soil texture and plant resources (water and nitrogen availability) varied from upland (86 m) to lowland (84 m) portions of the landscape. The study was conducted in a subtropical savanna at the La Copita Research Area, approximately 60 km west of Corpus Christi, TX. Foliar δ13C, δ15N, leaf nitrogen concentration ([N]), and specific leaf area (SLA) were measured on all individuals of Prosopis glandulosa, Condalia hookeri, and Zanthoxylum fagara present within a belt transect 308 m long x 12 m wide. Soil texture, available soil moisture, and total N were measured at 1 m intervals along the center-line of the belt transect. Clay content, available soil moisture, and soil total N were all negatively correlated with elevation along the transect. Leaf δ13C and δ15N values for all 3 species increased by 1-4 o/oo with decreasing elevation along the transect. Contrary to theory and previous studies, δ13C values were highest where soil water was most available, suggesting that some other variable could be overriding or interacting with water availability. Foliar [N] appeared to exert the strongest control over landscape-level variation, and was positively correlated with δ13C of all species (R 2 = 0.58, pCondalia were positively correlated with leaf [N] and soil water availability; however, these relationships were absent for Prosopis, an N-fixing tree legume. We speculate that the relationship between δ15N and leaf [N] and soil water may reflect the fact that plants with high δ15N values occurred on lower-lying portions of the landscape with relatively high N-transformation rates

  20. Influence of Fire Mosaics, Habitat Characteristics and Cattle Disturbance on Mammals in Fire-Prone Savanna Landscapes of the Northern Kimberley.

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    Ian J Radford

    Full Text Available Patch mosaic burning, in which fire is used to produce a mosaic of habitat patches representative of a range of fire histories ('pyrodiversity', has been widely advocated to promote greater biodiversity. However, the details of desired fire mosaics for prescribed burning programs are often unspecified. Threatened small to medium-sized mammals (35 g to 5.5 kg in the fire-prone tropical savannas of Australia appear to be particularly fire-sensitive. Consequently, a clear understanding of which properties of fire mosaics are most instrumental in influencing savanna mammal populations is critical. Here we use mammal capture data, remotely sensed fire information (i.e. time since last fire, fire frequency, frequency of late dry season fires, diversity of post-fire ages in 3 km radius, and spatial extent of recently burnt, intermediate and long unburnt habitat and structural habitat attributes (including an index of cattle disturbance to examine which characteristics of fire mosaics most influence mammals in the north-west Kimberley. We used general linear models to examine the relationship between fire mosaic and habitat attributes on total mammal abundance and richness, and the abundance of the most commonly detected species. Strong negative associations of mammal abundance and richness with frequency of late dry season fires, the spatial extent of recently burnt habitat (post-fire age <1 year within 3 km radius and level of cattle disturbance were observed. Shrub cover was positively related to both mammal abundance and richness, and availability of rock crevices, ground vegetation cover and spatial extent of ≥4 years unburnt habitat were all positively associated with at least some of the mammal species modelled. We found little support for diversity of post-fire age classes in the models. Our results indicate that both a high frequency of intense late dry season fires and extensive, recently burnt vegetation are likely to be detrimental to

  1. Evaluating channel morphology in small watersheds of oak savannas Southeastern New Mexico, USA: Do seasonal prescribed burn treatments have a significant impact on sediment processes?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koestner, Karen; Neary, Daniel; Gottfried, Gerald; Tecle, Aregai

    2010-05-01

    Oak-savannas comprise over 80,000 km2 of the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. However, there is a paucity of data to assist in the management of this vast ecotype. Fire, which was once the most important natural disturbance in this system, has been excluded due to over-grazing and fire suppression practices. This has resulted in ecosystem changes and fuel accumulations. Prescribed fire is one management technique to restore natural processes within southwestern oak-savannas by reducing woody species density, increasing herbaceous plant production, and creating vegetative mosaics on the landscape. However, questions concerning the seasonality of burn treatments and the overall effects of these treatments on physical and ecological processes need to be addressed prior to broad management application. The Cascabel Watershed Study is a collaborative effort between multiple government agencies, universities, local land managers, and environmental interest groups to evaluate the impacts of warm and cool season burn treatments on an array of ecosystem processes. Established in 2000, the Cascabel Watershed study takes an "ecosystem approach" to watershed research by examining an array of physical and biological components, including geomorphologic, climatologic, hydrologic, and biologic (flora and fauna) data to determine ecosystem response to prescribed fire. The 182.6 ha study area is located in the eastern Peloncillo Mountains, New Mexico at about the 1,640 m elevation. It consists of 12 small watersheds dominated by an oak (Quercus spp.) overstory and bunch-grass (Bouteloua spp.), savanna component. The parent material is fine-grained Tertiary rhyolite that is part of an extensive lava field that was formed about 25 to 27 M ybp. A US Forest Service soil survey in the area classified 45% of the soils as Typic Haplustolls, coarse-loamy, mixed, mesic, 25% as Typic Haplustalfs, and 15% rock outcrops. Here, we evaluate within-channel processes to establish

  2. Multiple remote sensing data sources to assess spatio-temporal patterns of fire incidence over Campos Amazônicos Savanna Vegetation Enclave (Brazilian Amazon).

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    Alves, Daniel Borini; Pérez-Cabello, Fernando

    2017-12-01

    Fire activity plays an important role in the past, present and future of Earth system behavior. Monitoring and assessing spatial and temporal fire dynamics have a fundamental relevance in the understanding of ecological processes and the human impacts on different landscapes and multiple spatial scales. This work analyzes the spatio-temporal distribution of burned areas in one of the biggest savanna vegetation enclaves in the southern Brazilian Amazon, from 2000 to 2016, deriving information from multiple remote sensing data sources (Landsat and MODIS surface reflectance, TRMM pluviometry and Vegetation Continuous Field tree cover layers). A fire scars database with 30 m spatial resolution was generated using a Landsat time series. MODIS daily surface reflectance was used for accurate dating of the fire scars. TRMM pluviometry data were analyzed to dynamically establish time limits of the yearly dry season and burning periods. Burned area extent, frequency and recurrence were quantified comparing the results annually/seasonally. Additionally, Vegetation Continuous Field tree cover layers were used to analyze fire incidence over different types of tree cover domains. In the last seventeen years, 1.03millionha were burned within the study area, distributed across 1432 fire occurrences, highlighting 2005, 2010 and 2014 as the most affected years. Middle dry season fires represent 86.21% of the total burned areas and 32.05% of fire occurrences, affecting larger amount of higher density tree surfaces than other burning periods. The results provide new insights into the analysis of burned areas of the neotropical savannas, spatially and statistically reinforcing important aspects linked to the seasonality patterns of fire incidence in this landscape. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Short-term effects of early-season fire on herbaceous composition, dry matter production and soil fertility in Guinea savanna, Nigeria

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    Oyedeji Stephen

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The ecological impact of fire regimes on plant diversity and soil fertility has become a subject of intense discussion, especially in savannas where recurring incidences are common. This study assessed the short-term effects of early-season fire on herbaceous composition, dry matter yield and soil fertility in the Guinea savanna belt of Nigeria. Data on ground cover, dry matter yield (DMY in plants and concentrations of C, N, P, K, Ca and Mg in soil were collected from 10 delineated subplots in the burned and unburned zones of four sites after annual wildfire had occurred. Ground cover was significantly higher in the burned zones, increasing progressively from January to April (dry season. Eleven herbaceous species in addition to 2 tree seedlings occurred and represented families of Asteraceae, Cyperaceae, Fabaceae and Poaceae. Digitaria nuda, Brachiaria lata, Daniellia oliveri and Aeschynomene indica were limited to the burnt zones while Cyperus tuberosus, Mariscus alternifolius and Rottboellia cochinchinensis were restricted to the unburned zones. DMY ranged from 0.32 g m-2 (Desmodium tortuosum to 52.96 g m-2 (Megathyrsus maximus. Average biomass in the burned and unburned sites was 35.86 g m-2 and 28.42 g m-2, respectively. Soil C, N and P concentrations decreased (positive deterioration index - DI, while those of K, Ca and Mg improved (negative DI in the burned sites. Burning altered the growth (ground cover and composition of plant species in the short term, and could significantly influence soil nutrient dynamics in the long term, especially with recurring fire events.

  4. 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

  5. Multilocus phylogeography of a widespread savanna-woodland-adapted rodent reveals the influence of Pleistocene geomorphology and climate change in Africa's Zambezi region.

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    McDonough, Molly M; Šumbera, Radim; Mazoch, Vladimír; Ferguson, Adam W; Phillips, Caleb D; Bryja, Josef

    2015-10-01

    Understanding historical influences of climate and physiographic barriers in shaping patterns of biodiversity remains limited for many regions of the world. For mammals of continental Africa, phylogeographic studies, particularly for West African lineages, implicate both geographic barriers and climate oscillations in shaping small mammal diversity. In contrast, studies for southern African species have revealed conflicting phylogenetic patterns for how mammalian lineages respond to both climate change and geologic events such as river formation, especially during the Pleistocene. However, these studies were often biased by limited geographic sampling or exclusively focused on large-bodied taxa. We exploited the broad southern African distribution of a savanna-woodland-adapted African rodent, Gerbilliscus leucogaster (bushveld gerbil) and generated mitochondrial, autosomal and sex chromosome data to quantify regional signatures of climatic and vicariant biogeographic phenomena. Results indicate the most recent common ancestor for all G. leucogaster lineages occurred during the early Pleistocene. We documented six divergent mitochondrial lineages that diverged ~0.270-0.100 mya, each of which was geographically isolated during periods characterized by alterations to the course of the Zambezi River and its tributaries as well as regional 'megadroughts'. Results demonstrate the presence of a widespread lineage exhibiting demographic expansion ~0.065-0.035 mya, a time that coincides with savanna-woodland expansion across southern Africa. A multilocus autosomal perspective revealed the influence of the Kafue River as a current barrier to gene flow and regions of secondary contact among divergent mitochondrial lineages. Our results demonstrate the importance of both climatic fluctuations and physiographic vicariance in shaping the distribution of southern African biodiversity. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  6. Changes in grass plant populations and temporal soil seed bank dynamics in a semi-arid African savanna: Implications for restoration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tessema, Zewdu K; de Boer, Willem F; Prins, Herbert H T

    2016-11-01

    The re-colonization or recovery of grass species after disappearance due to heavy grazing depends on the presence of persistent soil seed banks that might be accumulated over time from the aboveground vegetation. Moreover, successful plant recruitment is a function of seed production, seed germination and seedling survival, which can be mechanistically understood through studying the life cycle processes of grass species populations under field conditions. Therefore, we studied the number of germinable seeds, species richness and life-forms in the soil seed banks under light and heavy grazing conditions, and the changes in grass species populations in a semi-arid savanna of Ethiopia. Accordingly, a total of 103 species (15 perennial and 29 annual grasses, 6 legumes, 52 forbs and 1 woody species) emerged from the soil samples collected. Lightly grazed sites had a higher seed density compared with heavily grazed sites. The seed density increased over the first three months of soil sampling and decreased thereafter. Perennial grasses dominated the light grazing sites, whereas annual species dominated the heavily grazed sites, indicating that perennial grasses were replaced by annual species in the soil seed bank through grazing. The mean mortality rate from the seedling stage to adult plants was 65%. The seed-to-seedling stage was found to be the most critical transitional stage for grass survival. High seedling mortality in the aboveground vegetation and depletion of seeds in the soil seed banks as a result of sustained heavy grazing can lead to local extinction and disappearance of perennial grasses in semi-arid Ethiopian savannas. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Undergraduate Research Experiences in Support of Dryland Monitoring: Field and Satellite Remote Sensing of Change in Savanna Structure, Biomass, and Carbon after Prescribed Fires

    Science.gov (United States)

    Washington-Allen, R. A.; Twidwell, D. L., Jr.; Mendieta, V. P.; Delgado, A.; Redman, B.; Trollope, W. S.; Trollope, L.; Govender, N.; Smit, I.; Popescu, S. C.; de Bruno Austin, C.; Reeves, M. C.

    2009-12-01

    The status and trend of degradation in the world’s Drylands, that support over 1.2 billion people, is unknown because monitoring & assessment has not occurred on a globally consistent basis and skilled personnel with a cultivated interest in natural resource science and management are lacking. A major monitoring dataset is the 37-year Landsat data archive that has been released free to the world, but this dataset requires persons who understand how to process and interpret this and similar datasets applicable to the desertification problem. The College of Agriculture & Life Sciences (COALS) at Texas A&M University (TAMU) has an initiative to provide undergraduates with both international and research experiences. The lead author used start-up money, USFS project funds for livestock footprint studies in the US, and seed money from COALS to 1) develop academic mentor contacts in Mozambique, Namibia, Botswana, South Africa, and Tunisia to prepare a National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates (NSF-REU) Site proposal and 2) launch a pilot REU for two TAMU undergraduate students. Mr. Delgado and Mr. Redman received lidar processing and visualization, field survey training on global positioning systems (GPS), terrestrial LIDAR, and ground penetrating radar technologies and conducted carbon change studies by collecting pre- and post-fire laser scans on experimental burn (EPB) sites in Texas and South Africa. Mr. Redman also developed GIS databases of Landsat timeseries for these EPBs and others in southern Africa. Mr. Delgado participated in the Savanna Fire Ignition Research Experiment (SavFIRE) in Kruger National Park (KNP) by collected laser scan data on 3 EPBs. He also received mentoring from Dr. Winston Trollope, a prominent fire ecologist, and Mr. Chris Austin both of Working with Fire International and Navashni Govender, KNP’s Fire Ecologist. He also was an active participant in a NASA sponsored workshop on remote sensing of global

  8. The improved Global Fire Emissions Database (GFED) version 3: contribution of savanna, forest, deforestation, and peat fires to the global fire emissions budget

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Werf, Guido; Randerson, Jim; Giglio, Louis; Collatz, Jim; Kasibhatla, Prasad; Morton, Doug; Defries, Ruth

    2010-05-01

    Global fire activity is an important contributor to the atmospheric trace gas and aerosol burdens. New burned area datasets and top-down constraints from atmospheric concentration measurements of pyrogenic gases have decreased the large uncertainty in fire emissions estimates, but little is known about the contribution of deforestation, agricultural waste, peat, forest, and savanna fires to total global fire emissions. Here we used a revised version of the CASA biogeochemical model and improved satellite-derived estimates of area burned, fire activity, and plant productivity to calculate fire emissions for the 1997-2008 period on a 0.5°×0.5° spatial resolution with a monthly time step. For November 2000 onwards, estimates were based on burned area, active fire detections, and plant productivity from the MODIS sensor. For this time period we also calculated the breakdown of emissions into different sources. We used TRMM-VIRS and ATSR data to extend our fire time series back in time, combined with AVHRR-derived plant productivity in the pre-MODIS era. Average global fire carbon emissions were 1.9 Pg C / year with significant interannual variability over 1997-2001 (2.6 Pg C / year in 1998 and 1.5 Pg C / year in 2001) while emissions over 2002-2007 were relatively constant (varying between 1.9 and 2.0 Pg C / year), before declining in 2008 (1.6 Pg C / year). Over 2002-2007, interannual variability was still large on regional scales but on a global scale high fire years in some regions were balanced by low fire years in other regions. In the MODIS era (2001 onwards), most carbon losses were the result of fires in (wooded) savannas (68%) with lower contributions from deforestation (13%), forest (12%), agricultural waste (4%), and tropical peat fires (3%). On regional scales, these contributions vary to a large degree, and the contribution of peat fires would increase when including the 1997/1998 El Niño period with record-high fire emissions in Equatorial Asia. For

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Observing Carbon Dioxide Fluxes on a Corn Field and a Native Savanna in the Colombian Orinoco River Region Using Eddy Covariance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morales-Rincon, L. A.; Jimenez-Pizarro, R.; Rodríguez, N.

    2016-12-01

    The Orinoco River basin is expected to become Colombia's largest farming belt in the near future. Agriculture and land use change are the most important greenhouse gas (GHG) source in Colombia and one of the most important globally. At the same time, agriculture is one of the few economic sectors that is also able to act as a sink, e.g. through soil carbon storage. Emissions are largely determined by agricultural practices, thus practice identification and C flux monitoring are of paramount importance for mitigation alternative identification. During second semester of 2015, we measured CO2 fluxes over a commercial corn filed the Colombian Orinoco River Region using enclosed-path eddy covariance. The plot behaved as a CO2 sink during crop development. We found that inter-crop activities played a key role in defining whether the area acted as a net source or sink. Quantifying C fluxes at under local soil and meteorological conditions provides new high quality scientific information, which could be incorporated into a wider evaluation of agroindustry process, e.g. through the C footprint. We will also present ongoing carbon flux measurements in a native savanna and will discuss on the possibility of extrapolating our result to wider areas using process based models.

  11. Local scale validation of the final TanDEM-X DEM in the Lowveld Savanna, South Africa, using highly accurate differential GNSS ground measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baade, Jussi; Schmullius, Christiane

    2017-04-01

    Digital Elevation Models (DEM) represent fundamental data for a range of applications including Earth surface process studies in the field of ecology, geology, geomorphology and hydrology, among others. For some countries, high resolution Digital Terrain Models (DTM) representing the solid Earth surface derived from topographic maps or aerial surveys (photogrammetry, LiDAR) are available. But for vast regions of the Earth this fundamental data is missing at a high geometric resolution. From January 2010 to December 2015 the German Space Agency (DLR) TanDEM-X mission acquired data for a new and truly global Digital Elevation Model (DEM). Since October 2016, the final DEM is available in three resolution editions (0.4, 1 and 3 arc sec or 12 m, 30 m and 90 m, respectively). First validation results suggest an accuracy of about 1 m; an order of magnitude higher than the initially targeted benchmark for the linear error (LE90 Navigation Satellite System (dGNSS) survey of fourteen sites across the Kruger National Park, South Africa. The study sites are characterized by moderate terrain and open savanna vegetation providing the opportunity to investigate the accuracy of the new DEM in open terrain. However, the results demonstrate at the same time the sensitivity of the new DEM to canopy cover. A property, geomorphologists need to be aware of.

  12. Abundance and Night Hourly Dispersal of the Vesicating Beetles of the Genus Paederus (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae) Attracted to Fluorescent, Incandescent, and Black Light Sources in the Brazilian Savanna.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lima, D C B; Costa, A A V; Silva, F S

    2015-01-01

    Paederus beetles are cosmopolitan medically important insects that cause dermatitis linearis to humans. In Brazil, despite the medical importance of these beetles, no studies focusing directly on the abundance and ecological features of harmful species exist. Therefore, this study aims at determining the abundance and the nocturnal hourly dispersal of Paederus species attracted to fluorescent, incandescent, and black light sources in the Brazilian savanna. Paederus species were captured from May to September for three consecutive years, between 2011 and 2013. The specimens were caught hourly, from 1800 to 0600 hours. Paederus beetles were attracted to incandescent, fluorescent, and black light lamps as light sources. A total of 959 individuals of five species were collected. The collected species were Paederus protensus Sharp (59.85%), Paederus columbinus Laporte de Castelnau (29.20%), Paederus mutans Sharp (7.09%), Paederus brasiliensis Erichson (3.34%), and Paederus ferus Erichson (0.52%). The black light was the most attractive source, and the darkest collecting point was the most representative for the number of individuals. The lowest catches were captured at full moon, and the highest catches were between 2200 and 0100 hours. Future investigations are needed to better understand the role of night temperature and soil humidity affecting the seasonal growth of Paederus beetle populations of northeastern Brazil. © The Authors 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  13. Extraction protease expressed by Penicillium fellutanum from the Brazilian savanna using poly(ethylene glycol)/sodium polyacrylate/NaCl aqueous two-phase system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barros, Kleber V G; Souza, Paula M; Cardoso, Samuel L; Borges, Leonardo L; Filho, Edivaldo X F; Junior, Adalberto P; Magalhães, Pérola O

    2015-01-01

    The partitioning of protease expressed by Penicillium fellutanum from the Brazilian savanna in a novel inexpensive and stable aqueous two-phase system (ATPS) composed of poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) and sodium polyacrylate (NaPA) was studied in this work using factorial design. The ATPS is formed by mixing both polymers with a salt (NaCl) and fermented broth of P. fellutanum. The effects of molar mass (2,000, 4,000, and 6,000 g ⋅ mol(-1)) and concentration (6, 8, and 10 wt%) of PEG and that of NaPA concentration (6, 8, and 10 wt%) on protease partitioning (K) at 25 °C were studied. A two-level factorial design (2(3)) was implemented. The effect of Na2 SO4 concentration (5, 10, and 15 wt%) on the reextraction of the enzyme was also analyzed. The partition coefficient K ranged from 77.51 to 1.21, indicating the versatility of the method. The reextraction was achieved with the addition of 5% Na2 SO4 , allowing the partitioning of the protease to the upper phase, whereas total proteins were directed to the bottom phase. The results of partitioning using the PEG/NaPA/NaCl system and that of the subsequent reextraction with Na2 SO4 suggest that this method can be used to purify proteases from fermented broth of P. fellutanum. © 2014 International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  14. Phenological patterns of Spodoptera Guenée, 1852 (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) is more affected by ENSO than seasonal factors and host plant availability in a Brazilian Savanna

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piovesan, Mônica; Specht, Alexandre; Carneiro, Eduardo; Paula-Moraes, Silvana Vieira; Casagrande, Mirna Martins

    2017-09-01

    The identification of factors responsible for the population dynamics is fundamental for pest management, since losses can reach 18% of annual production. Besides regular seasonal environmental factors and crop managements, additional supra-annual meteorological phenomena can also affect population dynamics, although its relevance has been rarely investigated. Among crop pests, Spodoptera stands out due to its worldwide distribution, high degree of polyphagy, thus causing damages in several crops in the world. Aiming to distinguish the relevance of different factors shaping population dynamics of Spodoptera in an ecosystem constituted of dry and rainy seasons, the current study used circular statistics to identify phenological patterns and test if its population fluctuation is driven by El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) effect, seasonal meteorological parameters, and/or host plant availability. Samplings were done in an intercropping system, in the Brazilian Savanna, during the new moon cycles between July/2013 and June/2016. Species were recorded all year round, but demonstrated differently non-uniform distribution, being concentrated in different seasons of the year. Population fluctuations were mostly affected by the ENSO intensity, despite the contrasting seasonal meteorological variation or host plant availability in a 400-m radius. Studies involving the observation of supra-annual phenomena, although rare, reach similar conclusions in relation to Neotropical insect fauna. Therefore, it is paramount to have long-term sampling studies to obtain a more precise response of the pest populations towards the agroecosystem conditions.

  15. Biophysical Properties of Cultivated Pastures in the Brazilian Savanna Biome: An Analysis in the Spatial-Temporal Domains Based on Ground and Satellite Data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fernando M. Araújo

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Brazil has the largest commercial beef cattle herd in the world, with cattle ranching being particularly prominent in the 200-million ha, Brazilian neotropical moist savanna biome, known as Cerrado, one of the world’s hotspots for biodiversity conservation. As decreasing productivity is a major concern affecting the Cerrado pasturelands, evaluation of pasture conditions through the determination of biophysical parameters is instrumental for more effective management practices and herd occupation strategies. Within this context, the primary goal of this study was the regional assessment of pasture biophysical properties, through the scaling of wet- and dry-season ground truth data (total biomass, green biomass, and % green cover via the combined use of high (Landsat-TM and moderate (MODIS spatial resolution vegetation index images. Based on the high correlation found between NDVI (normalized difference vegetation index and % green cover (r = 0.95, monthly MODIS-based % green cover images were derived for the 2009–2010 hydrological cycle, which were able to capture major regional patterns and differences in pasture biophysical responses, including the increasing greenness values towards the southern portions of the biome, due to both local conditions (e.g., more fertile soils and management practices. These results corroborate the development of biophysically-based landscape degradation indices, in support of improved land use governance and natural area conservation in the Cerrado.

  16. Intestinal Helminths of Wild Bonobos in Forest-Savanna Mosaic: Risk Assessment of Cross-Species Transmission with Local People in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Narat, Victor; Guillot, Jacques; Pennec, Flora; Lafosse, Sophie; Grüner, Anne Charlotte; Simmen, Bruno; Bokika Ngawolo, Jean Christophe; Krief, Sabrina

    2015-12-01

    Phylogenetic and geographic proximities between humans and apes pose a risk of zoonotic transmission of pathogens. Bonobos (Pan paniscus) of the Bolobo Territory, Democratic Republic of the Congo, live in a fragmented forest-savanna mosaic setting, a marginal habitat for this species used to living in dense forests. Human activities in the forest have increased the risk of contacts between humans and bonobos. Over 21 months (September 2010-October 2013), we monitored intestinal parasites in bonobo (n = 273) and in human (n = 79) fecal samples to acquire data on bonobo parasitology and to assess the risk of intestinal helminth transmission between these hosts. Coproscopy, DNA amplification, and sequencing of stored dried feces and larvae were performed to identify helminths. Little difference was observed in intestinal parasites of bonobos in this dryer habitat compared to those living in dense forests. Although Strongylids, Enterobius sp., and Capillaria sp. were found in both humans and bonobos, the species were different between the hosts according to egg size or molecular data. Thus, no evidence of helminth transmission between humans and bonobos was found. However, because humans and this threatened species share the same habitat, it is essential to continue to monitor this risk.

  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. Medium- and large-sized mammals in a steppic savanna area of the Brazilian Pampa: survey and conservation issues of a poorly known fauna

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. C. Espinosa

    Full Text Available Abstract The wildlife of the Brazilian Pampa is threatened by large-scale habitat loss, due in particular to the expansion of soybean cultivation and the conversion of grasslands areas into extensive areas of silviculture. It is essential to study how the mammal fauna copes with the highly fragmented, human-influenced, non-protected landscape. Our study presents the results of a survey of the large- and medium-sized mammals of a typical human-influenced steppic savanna area of the Pampa biome. The survey was conducted exclusively with the use of camera traps over a period of 16 months. The relative frequencies of species in the area were evaluated. We recorded 18 species, some of them locally threatened (Tamandua tetradactyla, Alouatta caraya, Leopardus colocolo, Leopardus geoffroyi, Leopardus wiedii, Puma yagouaroundi, Mazama gouazoubira and Cuniculus paca. Several species were found to thrive in the area; however, many species were considered rare, and undoubtedly new species could be recorded if we continued the sampling. Our results contribute to the knowledge of faunal diversity in the Pampa biome and associated habitats, warn about threats and provide support for conservation measures.

  19. Medium- and large-sized mammals in a steppic savanna area of the Brazilian Pampa: survey and conservation issues of a poorly known fauna.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Espinosa, C C; Galiano, D; Kubiak, B B; Marinho, J R

    2016-02-01

    The wildlife of the Brazilian Pampa is threatened by large-scale habitat loss, due in particular to the expansion of soybean cultivation and the conversion of grasslands areas into extensive areas of silviculture. It is essential to study how the mammal fauna copes with the highly fragmented, human-influenced, non-protected landscape. Our study presents the results of a survey of the large- and medium-sized mammals of a typical human-influenced steppic savanna area of the Pampa biome. The survey was conducted exclusively with the use of camera traps over a period of 16 months. The relative frequencies of species in the area were evaluated. We recorded 18 species, some of them locally threatened (Tamandua tetradactyla, Alouatta caraya, Leopardus colocolo, Leopardus geoffroyi, Leopardus wiedii, Puma yagouaroundi, Mazama gouazoubira and Cuniculus paca). Several species were found to thrive in the area; however, many species were considered rare, and undoubtedly new species could be recorded if we continued the sampling. Our results contribute to the knowledge of faunal diversity in the Pampa biome and associated habitats, warn about threats and provide support for conservation measures.

  20. Extensive consumption of Tabebuia aurea (Manso Benth. & Hook. (Bignoniaceae nectar by parrots in a tecoma savanna in the southern Pantanal (Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Ragusa-Netto

    Full Text Available Neotropical parrots forage for various food items such as seeds, fruit pulp, flowers, young leaves, and even arthropods. While foraging, many species wander over large areas that include both open and closed habitats. In this study, I examined parrot foraging activity during a brief synchronous and massive flowering in August 1998 in a tecoma savanna (dominated by Tabebuia aurea in the southern Pantanal. Six parrot species, ranging from the small Brotogeris chiriri to the large Amazona aestiva, foraged for T. aurea nectar, but Nandayus nenday was by far the major nectar consumer, and the results of each of their visits, like those of the other species, was damage of a substantial proportion of the existing flower crop. Parrots foraged mostly during the afternoon, when nectar concentration tended to be higher. Nevertheless, compared to bird-pollinated flowers, which produce copious nectar, T. aurea had a smaller mean nectar volume per flower. Hence, presumably the amount of damage wreaked by these parrots resulted from their efforts to obtain part of their daily energy and water requirements. Thus, the synchronous and massive flowering occurring in such a brief period in the dry season may be related to, among other factors, the necessity of satiating predators such as parrots, which are still abundant in the Pantanal.

  1. Extensive consumption of Tabebuia aurea (Manso) Benth. & Hook. (Bignoniaceae) nectar by parrots in a Tecoma savanna in the southern Pantanal (Brazil).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ragusa-Netro, J

    2005-05-01

    Neotropical parrots forage for various food items such as seeds, fruit pulp, flowers, young leaves, and even arthropods. While foraging, many species wander over large areas that include both open and closed habitats. In this study, I examined parrot foraging activity during a brief synchronous and massive flowering in August 1998 in a tecoma savanna (dominated by Tabebuia aurea) in the southern Pantanal. Six parrot species, ranging from the small Brotogeris chiriri to the large Amazona aestiva, foraged for T. aurea nectar, but Nandayus nenday was by far the major nectar consumer, and the results of each of their visits, like those of the other species, was damage of a substantial proportion of the existing flower crop. Parrots foraged mostly during the afternoon, when nectar concentration tended to be higher. Nevertheless, compared to bird-pollinated flowers, which produce copious nectar, T. aurea had a smaller mean nectar volume per flower. Hence, presumably the amount of damage wreaked by these parrots resulted from their efforts to obtain part of their daily energy and water requirements. Thus, the synchronous and massive flowering occurring in such a brief period in the dry season may be related to, among other factors, the necessity of satiating predators such as parrots, which are still abundant in the Pantanal.

  2. Scale - dependent effects on the surface energy fluxes modelling in Iberian oak-savanna (dehesa) using the Two-Source Energy Balance (TSEB)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andreu, Ana; Nieto, Hector; Gómez-Giráldez, Pedro; González-Dugo, Maria P.

    2017-04-01

    Iberian semi-arid oak-savannas (dehesas) are complex ecosystems where bare soil and different layers of vegetation (grass/scrubs/trees) are distributed following heterogeneous patterns. An assumption of the two source energy balance models is that the effective source/sink for turbulent flux exchange at the surface(canopy/soil) is described by a bulk radiometric surface temperature (TRAD) and resistance. Therefore, the agreement of the TRAD used as an input to these models, with the "bulk" concept (determined by the spatial resolution), will influence the final energy fluxes estimations. The representativeness of the field-ground measurements, the spatial resolution of sensors, the averaging and the up-scaling of TRAD and the ecosystem vegetation parameters, will be crucial for the precision of the results, more than in homogeneous landscapes. The aim of this study is to analyze the scale-effects derived from TSEB application, comparing the observed energy fluxes and the estimated ones obtained from multiple TRAD data sources of different nature: tree/grass/soil ground-based observations, tower footprint, hyperspectral reflectance imagery acquired with an airborne platform, medium (Landsat) and low spatial resolution satellite data (Sentinel 3, MODIS), and how the up-scaling of the vegetation structural characteristics contribute to the discrepancies. The study area selected for this purpose is a dehesa site (Santa Clotilde, Cordoba), which present canopy mosaics (oak, annual grasses and bushes) differing in phenology, physiology and functioning, and bare soil, all of them influencing the turbulent and radiative exchanges.

  3. Burning, fire prevention and landscape productions among the Pemon, Gran Sabana, Venezuela: toward an intercultural approach to wildland fire management in Neotropical Savannas.

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    Sletto, Bjørn; Rodriguez, Iokiñe

    2013-01-30

    Wildland fire management in savanna landscapes increasingly incorporates indigenous knowledge to pursue strategies of controlled, prescriptive burning to control fuel loads. However, such participatory approaches are fraught with challenges because of contrasting views on the role of fire and the practices of prescribed burning between indigenous and state fire managers. Also, indigenous and state systems of knowledge and meanings associated with fire are not monolithic but instead characterized by conflicts and inconsistencies, which require new, communicative strategies in order to develop successful, intercultural approaches to fire management. This paper is based on long-term research on indigenous Pemon social constructs, rules and regulations regarding fire use, and traditional system of prescribed burning in the Gran Sabana, Venezuela. The authors review factors that act as constraints against successful intercultural fire management in the Gran Sabana, including conflicting perspectives on fire use within state agencies and in indigenous communities, and propose strategies for research and communicative planning to guide future efforts for more participatory and effective fire management. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. How switches and lags in biophysical regulators affect spatial-temporal variation of soil respiration in an oak-grass savanna

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baldocchi, Dennis; Tang, Jianwu; Xu, Liukang

    2006-06-01

    Complex behavior, associated with soil respiration of an oak-grass savanna ecosystem in California, was quantified with continuous measurements of CO2 exchange at two scales (soil and canopy) and with three methods (overstory and understory eddy covariance systems, soil respiration chambers, and a below-ground CO2 flux gradient system). To partition soil respiration into its autotrophic and heterotrophic components, we exploited spatial gradients in the landscape and seasonal variations in rainfall. During the dry summer, heterotrophic respiration was dominant in the senesced grassland area, whereas autotrophic respiration by roots and the feeding of microbes by root exudates was dominant under the trees. A temporal switch in soil respiration occurred in the spring. But the stimulation of root respiration lagged the timing of leaf-out by the trees. Another temporal switch in soil respiration occurred at the start of autumn rains. This switch was induced by the rapid germination of grass seed and new grass growth. Isolated summer rain storms caused a pulse in soil respiration. Such rain events stimulated microbial respiration only; the rain was not sufficient to replenish soil moisture in the root zone or to germinate grass seed. Soil respiration lagged photosynthetic activity on hourly scales. The likely mechanism is the slow translocation of photosynthate to the roots and associated microbes. Another lag occurred on daily scales because of modulations in photosynthesis and stomatal conductance by the passage of dry and humid air masses.

  5. N2O, NO, N2 and CO2 emissions from tropical savanna and grassland of northern Australia: an incubation experiment with intact soil cores

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    C. Werner

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Strong seasonal variability of hygric and thermal soil conditions are a defining environmental feature in northern Australia. However, how such changes affect the soil–atmosphere exchange of nitrous oxide (N2O, nitric oxide (NO and dinitrogen (N2 is still not well explored. By incubating intact soil cores from four sites (three savanna, one pasture under controlled soil temperatures (ST and soil moisture (SM we investigated the release of the trace gas fluxes of N2O, NO and carbon dioxide (CO2. Furthermore, the release of N2 due to denitrification was measured using the helium gas flow soil core technique. Under dry pre-incubation conditions NO and N2O emissions were very low (−2 h−1; 2O-N m−2 h−1 or in the case of N2O, even a net soil uptake was observed. Substantial NO (max: 306.5 μg N m−2 h−1 and relatively small N2O pulse emissions (max: 5.8 ± 5.0 μg N m−2 h−1 were recorded following soil wetting, but these pulses were short lived, lasting only up to 3 days. The total atmospheric loss of nitrogen was generally dominated by N2 emissions (82.4–99.3% of total N lost, although NO emissions contributed almost 43.2% to the total atmospheric nitrogen loss at 50% SM and 30 °C ST incubation settings (the contribution of N2 at these soil conditions was only 53.2%. N2O emissions were systematically higher for 3 of 12 sample locations, which indicates substantial spatial variability at site level, but on average soils acted as weak N2O sources or even sinks. By using a conservative upscale approach we estimate total annual emissions from savanna soils to average 0.12 kg N ha−1 yr−1 (N2O, 0.68 kg N ha−1 yr−1 (NO and 6.65 kg N ha−1 yr−1 (N2. The analysis of long-term SM and ST records makes it clear that extreme soil saturation that can lead to high N2O and N2 emissions only occurs a few days per year and thus has little impact on the annual total. The potential contribution of nitrogen released due to pulse events

  6. Inter-annual Variability of Evapotranspiration in a Semi-arid Oak-savanna Ecosystem: Measured and Modeled Buffering to Precipitation Changes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raz-Yaseef, N.; Sonnentag, O.; Kobayashi, H.; Baldocchi, D. D.

    2010-12-01

    Precipitation (P) is the primary control on vegetation dynamics and productivity, implying that climate induced disturbances in frequency and timing of P are intimately coupled with fluxes of carbon, water and energy. Future climate change is expected to increase extreme rainfall events as well as droughts, suggesting linked vegetation changes to an unknown extent. Semi-arid climates experience large inter-annual variability (IAV) in P, creating natural conditions adequate to study how year-to-year changes in P affect atmosphere-biosphere fluxes. We used a 10-year flux database collected at a semi-arid savanna site in order to: (1) define IAV in P by means of frequency and timing; (2) investigate how changes in P affect the ecohydrology of the forest and its partitioning into the main vapor fluxes, and (3) evaluate model capability to predict IAV of carbon and water fluxes above and below the canopy. This is based on the perception that the capability of process-oriented models to construct the deviation, and not the average, is important in order to correctly predict ecosystem sensitivity to climate change. Our research site was a low density and low LAI (0.8) semi-arid (P=523±180 mm yr-1) savanna site, combined of oaks and grass, and located at Tonzi ranch, California. Measurements of carbon and water fluxes above and below the tree canopy using eddy covariance and supplementary measurements have been made since 2001. Measured fluxes were compared to modeled based on two bio-meteorological process-oriented ecosystem models: BEPS and 3D-CAONAK. Our results show that IAV in P was large, and standard deviation (STD) was 38% of the average. Accordingly, the wet soil period (measured volumetric water content > 8%) varied between 156 days in dry years to 301 days in wet years. IAV of the vapor fluxes were lower than that of P (STD was 17% for the trees and 23% for the floor components), suggesting on ecosystem buffering to changes in P. The timing of grass green up

  7. Gafanhotos (Orthoptera, Acridoidea em áreas de cerrados e lavouras na Chapada dos Parecis, Estado de Mato Grosso, Brasil Grasshoppers (Orthoptera, Acridoidea in native savanna and crop areas in Chapada dos Parecis, Mato Grosso State, Brazil

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    Wanderlei Dias Guerra

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Gafanhotos (Orthoptera, Acridoidea em áreas de cerrados e lavouras na Chapada dos Parecis, Estado de Mato Grosso, Brasil. Foi determinada a composição e abundância de espécies de gafanhotos usando amostragem com rede entomológica durante 3 anos de estudo na Chapada dos Parecis, estado de Mato Grosso. O levantamento foi feito em áreas de lavouras e com vegetação ainda nativa (cerrados com, respectivamente, 56 e 59 locais inventariados em cada ambiente. Foram coletados 3.031 indivíduos de gafanhotos de 64 espécies distribuídas entre as famílias e subfamílias: Acrididae (49: Gomphocerinae (21, Ommatolampinae (10, Melanoplinae (6, Acridinae (4 Leptysminae (3, Copiocerinae (3, Proctolabinae (1 e Cyrtacanthacridinae (1; Romaleidae (1: Romaleinae (13 e Ommexechidae (1: Ommexechinae (2, além de 1550 ninfas. A diversidade de espécies foi maior no cerrado (61 do que nas lavouras (16, ocorrendo o inverso com relação à abundância onde as espécies Baeacris punctulatus (Thunberg, 1824 e Orphulella punctata (De Geer, 1773 predominaram representando 49,5% do total de indivíduos coletados em toda a Chapada dos Parecis e, juntas, somam 78,8% da abundância registrada nas áreas de lavouras e tem potencial de se tornarem pragas.Grasshoppers (Orthoptera, Acridoidea in native savanna and crop areas in Chapada dos Parecis, Mato Grosso State, Brazil. We determined the composition and abundance of grasshoppers using sweep net sampling during three years at the Parecis Plateau, State of Mato Grosso, Brazil. The survey was done in areas with crops and native vegetation (savanna with, respectively, 56 and 59 sites available in each environment. 3.031 individuals of grasshoppers were collected from 64 species distributed among the following families and subfamilies: Acrididae (49: Gomphocerinae (21, Ommatolampinae (10, Melanoplinae (6, Acridinae (4 Leptysminae (3, Copiocerinae (3, Proctolabinae (1 and Cyrtacanthacridinae (1; Romaleidae (1: Romaleinae

  8. The effects of past climate variability on fire and vegetation in the cerrãdo savanna ecosystem of the Huanchaca Mesetta, Noel Kempff Mercado National Park, NE Bolivia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maezumi, S. Y.; Power, M. J.; Mayle, F. E.; McLauchlan, K.; Iriarte, J.

    2015-01-01

    Cerrãdo savannas have the greatest fire activity of all major global land-cover types and play a significant role in the global carbon cycle. During the 21st century, temperatures are predicted to increase by ~ 3 °C coupled with a precipitation decrease of ~ 20%. Although these conditions could potentially intensify drought stress, it is unknown how that might alter vegetation composition and fire regimes. To assess how Neotropical savannas responded to past climate changes, a 14 500 year, high-resolution, sedimentary record from Huanchaca Mesetta, a palm swamp located in the cerrãdo savanna in northeastern Bolivia, was analyzed for phytoliths, stable isotopes and charcoal. A non-analogue, cold-adapted vegetation community dominated the Late Glacial-Early Holocene period (14 500-9000 ka), that included trees and C3 Pooideae and C4 Panicoideae grasses. The Late Glacial vegetation was fire sensitive and fire activity during this period was low, likely responding to fuel availability and limitation. Although similar vegetation characterized the Early Holocene, the warming conditions associated with the onset of the Holocene led to an initial increase in fire activity. Huanchaca Mesetta became increasingly fire-dependent during the Middle Holocene with the expansion of C4 fire adapted grasses. However, as warm, dry conditions, characterized by increased length and severity of the dry season, continued, fuel availability decreased. The establishment of the modern palm swamp vegetation occurred at 5000 cal yr BP. Edaphic factors are the first order control on vegetation on the rocky quartzite mesetta. Where soils are sufficiently thick, climate is the second order control of vegetation on the mesetta. The presence of the modern palm swamp is attributed to two factors: (1) increased precipitation that increased water table levels, and (2) decreased frequency and duration of surazos leading to increased temperature minima. Natural (soil, climate, fire) drivers rather

  9. Cost-Effectiveness of Seven Approaches to Map Vegetation Communities — A Case Study from Northern Australia’s Tropical Savannas

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    Stuart Phinn

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Vegetation communities are traditionally mapped from aerial photography interpretation. Other semi-automated methods include pixel- and object-based image analysis. While these methods have been used for decades, there is a lack of comparative research. We evaluated the cost-effectiveness of seven approaches to map vegetation communities in a northern Australia’s tropical savanna environment. The seven approaches included: (1. aerial photography interpretation, (2. pixel-based image-only classification (Maximum Likelihood Classifier, (3. pixel-based integrated classification (Maximum Likelihood Classifier, (4. object-based image-only classification (nearest neighbor classifier, (5. object-based integrated classification (nearest neighbor classifier, (6. object-based image-only classification (step-wise ruleset, and (7. object-based integrated classification (step-wise ruleset. Approach 1 was applied to 1:50,000 aerial photography and approaches 2–7 were applied to SPOT5 and Landsat5 TM multispectral data. The integrated approaches (3, 5 and 7 included ancillary data (a digital elevation model, slope model, normalized difference vegetation index and hydrology information. The cost-effectiveness was assessed taking into consideration the accuracy and costs associated with each classification approach and image dataset. Accuracy was assessed in terms of overall accuracy and the costs were evaluated using four main components: field data acquisition and preparation, image data acquisition and preparation, image classification and accuracy assessment. Overall accuracy ranged from 28%, for the image-only pixel-based approach, to 67% for the aerial photography interpretation, while total costs ranged from AU$338,000 to AU$388,180 (Australian dollars, for the pixel-based image-only classification and aerial photography interpretation respectively. The most labor-intensive component was field data acquisition and preparation, followed by image data

  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

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    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.

  11. Feeding ecology of chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus) inhabiting a forest-mangrove-savanna-agricultural matrix at Caiquene-Cadique, Cantanhez National Park, Guinea-Bissau.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bessa, Joana; Sousa, Cláudia; Hockings, Kimberley J

    2015-06-01

    With rising conversion of "natural" habitat to other land use such as agriculture, nonhuman primates are increasingly exploiting areas influenced by people and their activities. Despite the conservation importance of understanding the ways in which primates modify their behavior to human pressures, data are lacking, even for well-studied species. Using systematically collected data (fecal samples, feeding traces, and direct observations), we examined the diet and feeding strategies of an unhabituated chimpanzee community (Pan troglodytes verus) at Caiquene-Cadique in Guinea-Bissau that inhabit a forest-savanna-mangrove-agricultural mosaic. The chimpanzees experienced marked seasonal variations in the availability of plant foods, but maintained a high proportion of ripe fruit in the diet across months. Certain wild species were identified as important to this community including oil-palm (Elaeis guineensis) fruit and flower. Honey was frequently consumed but no other insects or vertebrates were confirmed to be eaten by this community. However, we provide indirect evidence of possible smashing and consumption of giant African snails (Achatina sp.) by chimpanzees at this site. Caiquene-Cadique chimpanzees were confirmed to feed on nine different agricultural crops, which represented 13.6% of all plant species consumed. Consumption of fruit and nonfruit crops was regular, but did not increase during periods of wild fruit scarcity. Crop consumption is an increasing and potentially problematic behavior, which can impact local people's tolerance toward wildlife. To maximize the potential success of any human-wildlife coexistence strategy (e.g., to reduce primate crop feeding), knowledge of primate behavior, as well as multifaceted social dimensions of interactions, is critical. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  12. Multivariate analysis of effects of diurnal temperature and seasonal humidity variations by tropical savanna climate on the emissions of anthropogenic volatile organic compounds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Chih-Chung; Chen, Wei-Hsiang; Yuan, Chung-Shin; Lin, Chitsan

    2014-02-01

    Volatile organic compounds (VOCs), particularly those from anthropogenic sources, have been of substantial concern. In this study, the influences of diurnal temperature and seasonal humidity variations by tropical savanna climate on the distributions of VOCs from stationary industrial sources were investigated by analyzing the concentrations during the daytime and nighttime in the dry and wet seasons and assessing the results by principal component analysis (PCA) and cluster analysis. Kaohsiung City in Southern Taiwan, known for its severe VOC pollution, was chosen as the location to be examined. In the results, the VOC concentrations were lower during the daytime and in the wet season, possibly attributed to the stronger photochemical reactions and increasing inhibition of VOC emissions and transports by elevating humidity levels. Certain compounds became appreciably more important at higher humidity, as these compounds were saturated hydrocarbons with relatively low molecular weights. The influence of diurnal temperature variation on VOC distribution behaviors seemed to be less important than and interacted with that of seasonal humidity variation. Heavier aromatic hydrocarbons with more complex structures and some aliphatic compounds were found to be the main species accounting for the maximum variances of the data observed at high humidity, and the distinct grouping of compounds implied a pronounced inherent characteristic of each cluster in the observed VOC distributions. Under the influence of diurnal temperature variation, selected VOCs that may have stronger photochemical resistances and/or longer lifetimes in the atmosphere were clustered with each other in the cluster analysis, whereas the other groups might consist of compounds with different levels of vulnerability to sunlight or high temperatures. These findings prove the complications in the current knowledge regarding the VOC contaminations and providing insight for managing the adverse impacts of

  13. Trophic structure of a fish community in Bananal stream subbasin in Brasília National Park, Cerrado biome (Brazilian Savanna, DF

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    Mariana Schneider

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to determine the trophic structure of the fish community in the Bananal stream subbasin, which belongs to a well-preserved Cerrado area (Brazilian Savanna in Brasília National Park, Brazil. We also evaluated the influence of environmental variations in the diet of fish species. Four samples were taken in each 30 m long established transect, two in the rainy season and two in the dry season. A total of 1,050 stomachs of the 13 most abundant species were analyzed. A total of 36 food items were consumed, where 24 were autochthonous, 8 allochthonous, and 4 of undetermined origin. Non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMDS analysis, in addition to the results of frequency of occurrence and abundance charts, was used to determine four groups of feeding guilds: detritivores, omnivores (tending toward herbivory and invertivory, invertivores and piscivores. Around 69% of the volume of resources consumed was allochthonous, which proves the importance of the resources provided by riparian vegetation. The contribution of autochthonous and allochthonous items in the diet differed due to seasonality for Aspidoras fuscoguttatus, Astyanax sp., Characidium xanthopterum, Hyphessobrycon balbus, Kolpotocheirodon theloura, Moenkhausia sp., Phalloceros harpagos, and Rivulus pictus. Despite the Cerrado climate characteristics, there was no significant influence of season on the fish diet. The absence of seasonal variation and the predominance of allochthonous items in the fish diet are probably associated with the presence of riparian vegetation, which acts as a transition area in the Cerrado biome and provides resources for the aquatic fauna. This work shows the importance of studies in non-disturbed areas considered here as a source of information concerning the biology of fish species and as a guide for direct conservation policies on the management of aquatic resources, recovery of damaged areas and determination of priority areas for

  14. Woody Biomass Estimation in a Southwestern U.S. Juniper Savanna Using LiDAR-Derived Clumped Tree Segmentation and Existing Allometries

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    Dan J. Krofcheck

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available The rapid and accurate assessment of above ground biomass (AGB of woody vegetation is a critical component of climate mitigation strategies, land management practices and process-based models of ecosystem function. This is especially true of semi-arid ecosystems, where the high variability in precipitation and disturbance regimes can have dramatic impacts on the global carbon budget by rapidly transitioning AGB between live and dead pools. Measuring regional AGB requires scaling ground-based measurements using remote sensing, an inherently challenging task in the sparsely-vegetated, spatially-heterogeneous landscapes characteristic of semi-arid regions. Here, we test the ability of canopy segmentation and statistic generation based on aerial LiDAR (light detection and ranging-derived 3D point clouds to derive AGB in clumps of vegetation in a juniper savanna in central New Mexico. We show that single crown segmentation, often an error-prone and challenging task, is not required to produce accurate estimates of AGB. We leveraged the relationship between the volume of the segmented vegetation clumps and the equivalent stem diameter of the corresponding trees (R2 = 0.83, p < 0.001 to drive the allometry for J. monosperma on a per segment basis. Further, we showed that making use of the full 3D point cloud from LiDAR for the generation of canopy object statistics improved that relationship by including canopy segment point density as a covariate (R2 = 0.91. This work suggests the potential for LiDAR-derived estimates of AGB in spatially-heterogeneous and highly-clumped ecosystems.

  15. Estimating the Above-Ground Biomass in Miombo Savanna Woodlands (Mozambique, East Africa Using L-Band Synthetic Aperture Radar Data

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    Maria J. Vasconcelos

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available The quantification of forest above-ground biomass (AGB is important for such broader applications as decision making, forest management, carbon (C stock change assessment and scientific applications, such as C cycle modeling. However, there is a great uncertainty related to the estimation of forest AGB, especially in the tropics. The main goal of this study was to test a combination of field data and Advanced Land Observing Satellite (ALOS Phased Array L-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (PALSAR backscatter intensity data to reduce the uncertainty in the estimation of forest AGB in the Miombo savanna woodlands of Mozambique (East Africa. A machine learning algorithm, based on bagging stochastic gradient boosting (BagSGB, was used to model forest AGB as a function of ALOS PALSAR Fine Beam Dual (FBD backscatter intensity metrics. The application of this method resulted in a coefficient of correlation (R between observed and predicted (10-fold cross-validation forest AGB values of 0.95 and a root mean square error of 5.03 Mg·ha−1. However, as a consequence of using bootstrap samples in combination with a cross validation procedure, some bias may have been introduced, and the reported cross validation statistics could be overoptimistic. Therefore and as a consequence of the BagSGB model, a measure of prediction variability (coefficient of variation on a pixel-by-pixel basis was also produced, with values ranging from 10 to 119% (mean = 25% across the study area. It provides additional and complementary information regarding the spatial distribution of the error resulting from the application of the fitted model to new observations.

  16. Modelo agrícola e desenvolvimento sustentável: a ocupação do cerrado piauiense Agricultural model and sustainable development: the occupation of Piauí savanna

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    Teresinha de Jesus Alves de Aguiar

    2005-12-01

    Full Text Available Analisou-se a forma como a soja, implantada no cerrado piauiense, influencia os eixos ambiental e socioeconômico.O baixo valor da terra, a proximidade do mercado externo, solos mecanizáveis, os recursos governamentais facilitados na forma de incentivos fiscais e financeiros são fatores que justificam a exploração dessa região.Conclui-se que o uso e ocupação agrícola dessa região seguem o mesmo receituário desenvolvimentista ocorrido no Cerrado do Brasil.This is a study on the way the soybean, which was introduced in Piauí Savanna, has influenced the environmental and social-economic axis. The factors that explained Piauí's land exploitation were: the low price of its agricultural land, its proximity to the external market, the viable mechanization of its soils, and governmental resources facilitated by financial and fiscal incentives. Therefore, the use and the agricultural exploitation of that region have followed the same developmental pattern of the Brazilian savanna.

  17. Modeling spatial patterns of plant distribution as a consequence of hydrological dynamic processes in a Venezuelan flooding savanna = Modelo espacial de distribución de plantas como consecuencia de la dinámica hidrológica en una sabana inundable Venezolana

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Chacón-Moreno, E.J.; Smith, J.K.; Skidmore, A.K.; Prins, H.H.T.; Toxopeus, A.G.

    2007-01-01

    This study presents the main results of the analysis and integration of ecological ordination and spatially explicit relationships into an ecological-spatial model. This allows understanding, evaluating and predicting the distribution of dominant plant species in a changing flooding savanna

  18. Effects of anabolic and catabolic nutrients on woody plant encroachment after long-term experimental fertilization in a South African savanna.