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Sample records for semi-arid savanna ecosystem

  1. 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

    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......-arid savanna sites; half-hourly GPP and Reco peaked at -43μmol CO2m-2s-1 and 20μmol CO2m-2s-1, and daily GPP and Reco peaked at -15gCm-2 and 12gCm-2, respectively. Possible explanations for the high CO2 fluxes are a high fraction of C4 species, alleviated water stress conditions, and a strong grazing pressure...

  2. Drivers of inter-annual variability in Net Ecosystem Exchange in a semi-arid savanna ecosystem, South Africa

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Archibald, SA

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available 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...

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Accurately measuring evapotranspiration (ET) is essential if we are to derive reasonable estimates of production and water use for semi-arid savannas. Estimates of ET are also important in defining the health of an ecosystem and the quantity of water used by the vegetation when preparing a catchment-scale water balance.

  4. Habitat Heterogeneity Variably Influences Habitat Selection by Wild Herbivores in a Semi-Arid Tropical Savanna Ecosystem.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  5. 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

    strongly affected by solar zenith angles and sensor viewing geometry, as were many combinations of visible wavelengths. This study provides analyses based upon novel multi-angular hyperspectral data for validation of Earth-observation-based properties of semi-arid ecosystems, as well as insights...... between normalised difference spectral indices (NDSIs) and the measured ecosystem properties. Finally, the effects of variable sun sensor viewing geometry on different NDSI wavelength combinations were analysed. The wavelengths with the strongest correlation to seasonal dynamics in ecosystem properties...

  6. 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...

  7. 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

  8. Evaluating the Effects of Fire on Semi-Arid Savanna Ecosystem Productivity Using Integrated Spectral and Gas Exchange Measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raub, H. D.; Jimenez, J. R.; Gallery, R. E.; Sutter, L., Jr.; Barron-Gafford, G.; Smith, W. K.

    2017-12-01

    Drylands account for 40% of the land surface and have been identified as increasingly important in driving interannual variability of the land carbon sink. Yet, understanding of dryland seasonal ecosystem productivity dynamics - termed Gross Primary Productivity (GPP) - is limited due to complex interactions between vegetation health, seasonal drought dynamics, a paucity of long-term measurements across these under-studied regions, and unanticipated disturbances from varying fire regimes. For instance, fire disturbance has been found to either greatly reduce post-fire GPP through vegetation mortality or enhance post-fire GPP though increased resource availability (e.g., water, light, nutrients, etc.). Here, we explore post-fire ecosystem recovery by evaluating seasonal GPP dynamics for two Ameriflux eddy covariance flux tower sites within the Santa Rita Experimental Range of southeastern Arizona: 1) the US-SRG savanna site dominated by a mix of grass and woody mesquite vegetation that was burned in May 2017, and 2) the US-SRM savanna site dominated by similar vegetation but unburned for the full measurement record. For each site, we collected leaf-level spectral and gas exchange measurements, as well as leaf-level chemistry and soil chemistry to characterize differences in nutrient availability and microbial activity throughout the 2017 growing season. From spectral data, we derived and evaluated multiple common vegetation metrics, including normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), photochemical reflectivity index (PRI), near-infrared reflectance (NIRv), and MERIS terrestrial chlorophyll index (MTCI). Early results suggest rates of photosynthesis were enhanced at the burned site, with productivity increasing immediately following the onset of monsoonal precipitation; whereas initial photosynthesis at the unburned site remained relatively low following first monsoonal rains. MTCI values for burned vegetation appear to track higher levels of leaf-level nitrogen

  9. 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 -arid African savanna - 583 Journal of Vegetation Science 18: 583-594, 2007 © IAVS; Opulus Press Uppsala. Leaf green-up in a semi-arid African savanna – separating tree and grass responses to environmental cues Archibald, S.1* & Scholes, R.J.1,2 1Natural... to identify tree and grass green-up dates in a semi-arid savanna system, and are there predictable environmental cues for green-up for each life form? Location: Acacia nigrescens/Combretum apiculatum savanna, Kruger National Park, South Africa (25° S, 31...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ardö, Jonas; Mölder, Meelis; El-Tahir, Bashir Awad; Elkhidir, Hatim Abdalla Mohammed

    2008-12-01

    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. 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 mumol CO2 mmol PPFD-1 during the wet season compared to the dry season. During the wet season photosynthesis increases with PPFD to about 1600 mumol m-2s-1 and then levels off. Based on data collected during two short periods, the studied ecosystem was a sink of carbon both during the dry and wet season

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

  12. 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

  13. Seasonal diet and prey preference of the African lion in a waterhole-driven semi-arid savanna.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davidson, Zeke; Valeix, Marion; Van Kesteren, Freya; Loveridge, Andrew J; Hunt, Jane E; Murindagomo, Felix; Macdonald, David W

    2013-01-01

    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.

  14. 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.

  15. Chemical and Physical Weathering of Granites in a Semi-Arid Savanna

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khomo, L.; Hartshorn, A.; Chadwick, O.; Kurtz, A.; Heimsath, A.; Rogers, K.

    2005-12-01

    The catena concept describes soil properties on hillslopes and implies a hydrological mass redistribution process that has been applied differently in different parts of the Earth. In tectonically active regions, it is mostly used to describe the redistribution of mass by overland flow leading to thickening soil mantles downslope. This application is somewhat different from its initial and still popular usage in tectonically inactive areas of Africa, where it defines long-term soil property differentiation along hillslopes as controlled by internal soil hydrology as opposed to overland flow. Many ecologists have found the "African" catena concept to be useful as an organizing principal for savanna studies, but there has been little recent research on catenas per se in Africa. Elsewhere however, there is a growing body of research that places the concept ever more strongly into a landscape evolution context. Here, we apply these new approaches to catenas in a South African savanna underlain by a heterogeneous suite of Basement granites straddling a gradient in effective precipitation. We constrain the weathering extent of hilly terrains formed on these oldrocks by calculating element losses with solid-phase mass-balance calculations augmented by cosmogenic (26Al/10Be) derived rates of landscape denudation. We test the efficacy of Ti, Zr and Nb as immobile elements to benchmark chemical losses and gains in these semi-arid weathering environments. We also trace and quantify the abundance of the host minerals for these elements (Ti = rutile and ilmenite, Nb = columbite and Zr = zircon and baddleyite) in a variety of rocks in the basement complex. This analysis provides the boundary conditions for assigning immobile elements to parent materials required for the mass balance calculations. We calculate total denudation using the cosmogenic isotopes and then partition it into chemical and physical loss vectors using the mass balance calculations for representative

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-04-01

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

  18. Recovery of rangelands : the functioning of soil seed banks in a semi-arid African savanna

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tessema, Z.K.

    2011-01-01

    Rangelands in Africa provide important forage resources for herbivores; particularly perennial grasses provide grazing for domestic and wild herbivores. However, semi-arid African rangelands experience severe vegetation and soil degradation due to heavy grazing, causing negative impacts

  19. Influence of grazing on soil seed banks determines the restoration potential of aboveground vegetation in a semi-arid savanna in Ethiopia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tessema, Z.K.; Boer, de W.F.; Baars, R.M.T.; Prins, H.H.T.

    2012-01-01

    Species composition, number of emerging seedlings, species diversity and functional group of the soil seed banks, and the influence of grazing on the similarity between the soil seed banks and aboveground vegetation, were studied in 2008 and 2009 in a semi-arid savanna of Ethiopia. We tested whether

  20. 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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Chirara, C. (Chipangura)

    2001-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  3. Estimation of Spatial Trends in LAI in Heterogeneous Semi-arid Ecosystems using Full Waveform Lidar

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glenn, N. F.; Ilangakoon, N.; Spaete, L.; Dashti, H.

    2017-12-01

    Leaf area index (LAI) is a key structural trait that is defined by the plant functional type (PFT) and controlled by prevailing climate- and human-driven ecosystem stresses. Estimates of LAI using remote sensing techniques are limited by the uncertainties of vegetation inter and intra-gap fraction estimates; this is especially the case in sparse, low stature vegetated ecosystems. Small footprint full waveform lidar digitizes the total amount of return energy with the direction information as a near continuous waveform at a high vertical resolution (1 ns). Thus waveform lidar provides additional data matrices to capture vegetation gaps as well as PFTs that can be used to constrain the uncertainties of LAI estimates. In this study, we calculated a radiometrically calibrated full waveform parameter called backscatter cross section, along with other data matrices from the waveform to estimate vegetation gaps across plots (10 m x 10 m) in a semi-arid ecosystem in the western US. The LAI was then estimated using empirical relationships with directional gap fraction. Full waveform-derived gap fraction based LAI showed a high correlation with field observed shrub LAI (R2 = 0.66, RMSE = 0.24) compared to discrete return lidar based LAI (R2 = 0.01, RMSE = 0.5). The data matrices derived from full waveform lidar classified a number of deciduous and evergreen tree species, shrub species, and bare ground with an overall accuracy of 89% at 10 m. A similar analysis was performed at 1m with overall accuracy of 80%. The next step is to use these relationships to map the PFTs LAI at 10 m spatial scale across the larger study regions. The results show the exciting potential of full waveform lidar to identify plant functional types and LAI in low-stature vegetation dominated semi-arid ecosystems, an ecosystem in which many other remote sensing techniques fail. These results can be used to assess ecosystem state, habitat suitability as well as to constrain model uncertainties in

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Increases in the tree:grass ratio with accompanying changes in herbaceous composition, called bush or shrub encroachment, is a worldwide phenomenon in ... Acacia mellifera-dominated savannas in the Northern Cape, South Africa, were investigated by means of vegetation classification and analyses of sequential aerial ...

  5. Ecology and functional roles of biological soil crusts in semi-arid ecosystems of Spain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maestre, Fernando T.; Bowker, Matthew A.; Cantón, Yolanda; Castillo-Monroy, Andrea P.; Cortina, Jordi; Escolar, Cristina; Escudero, Adrián; Lázaro, Roberto; Martínez, Isabel

    2015-01-01

    Biological soil crusts (BSCs), composed of lichens, cyanobacteria, mosses, liverworts and microorganisms, are key biotic components of arid and semi-arid ecosystems worldwide. Despite they are widespread in Spain, these organisms have been historically understudied in this country. This trend is beginning to change as a recent wave of research has been identifying BSCs as a model ecological system. Many studies and research projects carried out in Spain have explored the role of BSCs on water, carbon and nitrogen fluxes, the interactions between BSCs and vascular plants, their dynamics after disturbances, and their response to global change, among other topics. In this article we review the growing body of research on BSCs available from semi-arid areas of Spain, highlighting its importance for increasing our knowledge on this group of organisms. We also discuss how it is breaking new ground in emerging research areas on the ecology of BSCs, and how it can be use to guide management and restoration efforts. Finally, we provide directions for future research on the ecology of BSCs in Spain and abroad. PMID:25908884

  6. The use of soil quality indicators to assess soil functionality in restored semi-arid ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muñoz-Rojas, Miriam; Erickson, Todd E.; Dixon, Kingsley W.; Merritt, David J.

    2016-04-01

    Keywords: Pilbara, 1-day CO2 test, microbial activity, mine restoration, soil health, ecosystem services. Introduction Semi-arid and arid environments are highly vulnerable to land degradation and their restoration has commonly showed low rates of success (James et al., 2013). A systematic knowledge of soil functionality is critical to successful restoration of degraded ecosystems since approximately 80% of ecosystem services can be connected to soil functions. The assessment of soil functionality generally involves the evaluation of soil properties and processes as they relate to the ability of soil to function effectively as a component of a healthy ecosystem (Costantini et al., 2015) Using soil quality indicators may be a valuable approach to assess functionality of topsoil and novel substrates used in restoration (Muñoz-Rojas et al., 2014; 2015). A key soil chemical indicator is soil organic C, that has been widely used as an attribute of soil quality because of the many functions that it provides and supports (Willaarts et al., 2015). However, microbial indicators can be more sensitive to disturbances and could be a valuable addition in soil assessment studies in restoration programs. Here, we propose a set of soil quality indicators to assess the soil status in restored soils (topsoil and waste material) of semi-arid environments. The study was conducted during March 2015 in the Pilbara biogeographical region (northwestern Australia) at an iron ore mine site rehabilitated in 2011. Methods Soil samples were collected from two sub-areas with different soil materials used as growth media: topsoil retrieved from nearby stockpiles and a lateritic waste material utilised for its erosive stability and physical competence. An undisturbed natural shrub-grassland ecosystem dominated by Triodia spp. and Acacia spp. representative of the restored area was selected as the analogue reference site. Soil physicochemical analysis were undertaken according to standard methods

  7. Modeling mechanisms of vegetation change due to fire in a semi-arid ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, J.D.; Gutzwiller, K.J.; Barrow, W.C.; Randall, L.J.; Swint, P.

    2008-01-01

    Vegetation growth and community composition in semi-arid environments is determined by water availability and carbon assimilation mechanisms specific to different plant types. Disturbance also impacts vegetation productivity and composition dependent on area affected, intensity, and frequency factors. In this study, a new spatially explicit ecosystem model is presented for the purpose of simulating vegetation cover type changes associated with fire disturbance in the northern Chihuahuan Desert region. The model is called the Landscape and Fire Simulator (LAFS) and represents physiological activity of six functional plant types incorporating site climate, fire, and seed dispersal routines for individual grid cells. We applied this model for Big Bend National Park, Texas, by assessing the impact of wildfire on the trajectory of vegetation communities over time. The model was initialized and calibrated based on landcover maps derived from Landsat-5 Thematic Mapper data acquired in 1986 and 1999 coupled with plant biomass measurements collected in the field during 2000. Initial vegetation cover change analysis from satellite data showed shrub encroachment during this time period that was captured in the simulated results. A synthetic 50-year climate record was derived from historical meteorological data to assess system response based on initial landcover conditions. This simulation showed that shrublands increased to the detriment of grass and yucca-ocotillo vegetation cover types indicating an ecosystem-level trajectory for shrub encroachment. Our analysis of simulated fires also showed that fires significantly reduced site biomass components including leaf area, stem, and seed biomass in this semi-arid ecosystem. In contrast to other landscape simulation models, this new model incorporates detailed physiological responses of functional plant types that will allow us to simulated the impact of increased atmospheric CO2 occurring with climate change coupled with fire

  8. Transfer of 137Cs in Zea mays and Phaseolus vulgaris in a semi-arid ecosystem

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cervantes, M.L.; Segovia, N.; Gaso P, M.I.; Palacios, J.C.

    1999-01-01

    With the objective to analyse the transference of 137 Cs from soil to plants, it is realized a study in maize and bean plants in the Radioactive Waste Storage Center (CADER). This site is located in a semi-arid region with a characteristic vegetation of a sub humid temperature zone. So those plants maize and beans were cultivated in four zones near CADER during a four years period. The obtained results for 1991 to 1994 for 137 Cs in soil samples for those zones showed an evident contamination in zone 1, due to a rupture of an industrial source. In 1994 the effect of decontamination was evident since the values of specific activity found in roots were around magnitude lesser than found in 1992. In spite of exhaustive studies have been reported about the transference factors for 137 Cs in different agricultural foods, relatively few of them have paid attention to the interactions between cereals and leguminous associated in semiarid ecosystems. (Author)

  9. New Possibilities for High-Resolution, Large-Scale Ecosystem Assessment of the World's Semi-Arid Regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burney, J. A.; Goldblatt, R.

    2016-12-01

    Understanding drivers of land use change - and in particular, levels of ecosystem degradation - in semi-arid regions is of critical importance because these agroecosystems (1) are home to the world's poorest populations, almost all of whom depend on agriculture for their livelihoods, (2) play a critical role in the global carbon and climate cycles, and (3) have in many cases seen dramatic changes in temperature and precipitation, relative to global averages, over the past several decades. However, assessing ecosystem health (or, conversely, degradation) presents a difficult measurement problem. Established methods are very labor intensive and rest on detailed questionnaires and field assessments. High-resolution satellite imagery has a unique role semi-arid ecosystem assessment in that it can be used for rapid (or repeated) and very simple measurements of tree and shrub density, an excellent overall indicator for dryland ecosystem health. Because trees and large shrubs are more sparse in semi-arid regions, sub-meter resolution imagery in conjunction with automated image analysis can be used to assess density differences at high spatial resolution without expensive and time-consuming ground-truthing. This could be used down to the farm level, for example, to better assess the larger-scale ecosystem impacts of different management practices, to assess compliance with REDD+ carbon offset protocols, or to evaluate implementation of conservation goals. Here we present results comparing spatial and spectral remote sensing methods for semi-arid ecosystem assessment across new data sources, using the Brazilian Sertão as an example, and the implications for large-scale use in semi-arid ecosystem science.

  10. Development of spatial heterogeneity in vegetation and soil properties after land abandonment in a semi-arid ecosystem

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lesschen, J.P.; Cammeraat, L.H.; Kooijman, A.M.; van Wesemael, B.

    2008-01-01

    To mitigate erosion on abandoned fields in semi-arid ecosystems, it is important to understand how vegetation and soil properties and patterns develop after land abandonment. Our objective was to investigate the development of spatial heterogeneity in vegetation and soil properties after land

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  12. Large herbivore population performance and climate in a South African semi-arid savanna

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Armin H. Seydack

    2012-02-01

    Interpretation according to a climate–vegetation response model suggested that acclimation of forage plants to increasing temperature had resulted in temperature-enhanced plant productivity, initially increasing food availability and supporting transient synchronous increases in population abundance of both blue wildebeest and zebra, and selective grazers. As acclimation of plants to concurrently rising minimum (nocturnal temperature (Tmin took effect, adjustments in metabolic functionality occurred involving accelerated growth activity at the cost of storage-based metabolism. Growth-linked nitrogen dilution and reduced carbon-nutrient quality of forage then resulted in phases of subsequently declining herbivore populations. Over the long term (1910–2010, progressive plant functionality shifts towards accelerated metabolic growth rather than storage priority occurred in response to Tmin rising faster than maximum temperature (Tmax, thereby cumulatively compromising the carbon-nutrient quality of forage, a key resource for selective grazers. The results of analyses thus revealed consistency between herbivore population trends and levels of forage quantity and quality congruent with expected plant metabolic responses to climate effects. Thus, according to the climate-vegetation response model, climate effects were implicated as the ultimate cause of large herbivore population performance in space and over time. Conservation implications: In its broadest sense, the objective of this study was to contribute towards the enhanced understanding of landscape-scale functioning of savanna systems with regard to the interplay between climate, vegetation and herbivore population dynamics.

  13. Aeolian dust nutrient contributions increase with substrate age in semi-arid ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coble, A. A.; Hart, S. C.; Ketterer, M. E.; Newman, G. S.

    2013-12-01

    Rock-derived nutrients supplied by mineral weathering become depleted over time, and without an additional nutrient source the ecosystem may eventually regress or reach a terminal steady state. Previous studies have demonstrated that aeolian dust act as parent materials of soils and important nutrients to plants in arid regions, but the relative importance of these exogenous nutrients to the function of dry ecosystems during soil development is uncertain. Here, using strontium isotopes as a tracer and a well-constrained, three million year old substrate age gradient, we show that aeolian-derived nutrients become increasingly important to plant-available soil pools and tree (Pinus edulis) growth during the latter stages of soil development in a semi-arid climate. Furthermore, the depth of nutrient uptake increased on older substrates, suggesting that trees in arid regions acquire nutrients from greater depths as ecosystem development progresses presumably in response to nutrient depletion in the more weathered surface soils. Our results contribute to the unification of biogeochemical theory by demonstrating the similarity in roles of atmospheric nutrient inputs during ecosystem development across contrasting climates.

  14. Ecosystem services provided by agricultural terraces in semi-arid climates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Romero-Díaz, Asunción; Díaz-Pereira, Elvira; Boix-Fayos, Carolina; de Vente, Joris

    2016-04-01

    Since ancient times, agricultural terraces are common features throughout the world, especially on steep slope gradients. Nowadays many terraces have been abandoned or removed and few new terraces are build due to increased mechanisation and intensification of agriculture. However, terraces are amongst the most effective soil conservation practices, reducing the slope gradient and slope length, as well as runoff rate and soil erosion, and without terraces, it would be impossible to cultivate on many hillslopes. Moreover, their scenic interest is undeniable, as in some cases, terraced slopes have even become part of UNESCO World Heritage. In order to highlight the potential benefits, requirements and limitations of terraces, we reviewed different types of sustainable land management practices related to terraces and characterised their implications for provisioning, regulating, supporting, and cultural ecosystem services. We centred our review on terraces in semi-arid environments worldwide, as were documented in the WOCAT (World Overview of Conservation Approaches and Technologies) database. Our results show that the most important ecosystem services provided by terraces relate to regulation of the on-site and off-site effects of runoff and erosion, and maintenance of soil fertility and vegetation cover. The presence of terraces also favours the provision of food, fiber, and clean water. In short, our results stress the crucial environmental, geomorphological and hydrological functions of terraces that directly relate to improving the quality of life of the people that use them. These results highlight the need for renewed recognition of the value of terraces for society, their preservation and maintenance.

  15. Spatial Distribution of Aboveground Carbon Stock of the Arboreal Vegetation in Brazilian Biomes of Savanna, Atlantic Forest and Semi-Arid Woodland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scolforo, Henrique Ferraco; Scolforo, Jose Roberto Soares; Mello, Carlos Rogerio; Mello, Jose Marcio; Ferraz Filho, Antonio Carlos

    2015-01-01

    The objective of this study was to map the spatial distribution of aboveground carbon stock (using Regression-kriging) of arboreal plants in the Atlantic Forest, Semi-arid woodland, and Savanna Biomes in Minas Gerais State, southeastern Brazil. The database used in this study was obtained from 163 forest fragments, totaling 4,146 plots of 1,000 m2 distributed in these Biomes. A geographical model for carbon stock estimation was parameterized as a function of Biome, latitude and altitude. This model was applied over the samples and the residuals generated were mapped based on geostatistical procedures, selecting the exponential semivariogram theoretical model for conducting ordinary Kriging. The aboveground carbon stock was found to have a greater concentration in the north of the State, where the largest contingent of native vegetation is located, mainly the Savanna Biome, with Wooded Savanna and Shrub Savanna phytophysiognomes. The largest weighted averages of carbon stock per hectare were found in the south-center region (48.6 Mg/ha) and in the southern part of the eastern region (48.4 Mg/ha) of Minas Gerais State, due to the greatest predominance of Atlantic Forest Biome forest fragments. The smallest weighted averages per hectare were found in the central (21.2 Mg/ha), northern (20.4 Mg/ha), and northwestern (20.7 Mg/ha) regions of Minas Gerais State, where Savanna Biome fragments are predominant, in the phytophysiognomes Wooded Savanna and Shrub Savanna.

  16. Post-Fire Evapotranspiration and Net Ecosystem Exchange over A Semi-Arid Grassland in Arizona

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krishnan, P.; Meyers, T. P.; Heuer, M.

    2015-12-01

    The seasonal and interannual variability of evapotranspiration (E) and net ecosystem exchange (NEE) following a fire disturbance over a semi -arid grassland located on the Audubon Research Ranch in south western Arizona (31.5907N, 110.5104W, elevation 1496 m), USA, and their relationships to environmental variables were examined using continuous measurements of water vapour and CO2 fluxes made from first week of June 2002 to 2009 using the eddy covariance technique. The research ranch was established in 1969 as an ecological research preserve and it is now one of the largest ungrazed, privately managed grassland sites in Arizona. A wild fire occurred in April - May 2002, and burned all the standing vegetation and litter on in research ranch (~38,000 acres) including 500 acres of grassland. The mean annual temperature and precipitation (P) at this site were ~16 deg C and ~370 mm, respectively. More than 60% of the annual P was received during the North American monsoon period (July-September) with the lowest annual P in the drought years of 2004 and 2009. Drastic changes in albedo, vegetation growth and evapotranspiration occurred following the onset of the monsoon season in July. The ecosystem was mostly a carbon sink during monsoon period. Daily total evapotranspiration during July-August increased from 2 mm d-1 in 2002 to >3 mm d-1 in 2007. The mean annual E over the site was during 2003 -2009 was 352 ±75 mm. With the onset of monsoon the ecosystem turned to carbon sink in 2002, with daily total net ecosystem exchange (NEE) varying up to ~vegetation index, longest monsoon growing season and the highest annual and July-September P. The interannual variations in annual E and NEE were mostly controlled by annual P, July-September NDVI and growing season length during 2002-2009.

  17. Hierarchy of responses to resource pulses in arid and semi-arid ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwinning, Susanne; Sala, Osvaldo E

    2004-10-01

    In arid/semi-arid ecosystems, biological resources, such as water, soil nutrients, and plant biomass, typically go through periods of high and low abundance. Short periods of high resource abundance are usually triggered by rainfall events, which, despite of the overall scarcity of rain, can saturate the resource demand of some biological processes for a time. This review develops the idea that there exists a hierarchy of soil moisture pulse events with a corresponding hierarchy of ecological responses, such that small pulses only trigger a small number of relatively minor ecological events, and larger pulses trigger a more inclusive set and some larger ecological events. This framework hinges on the observation that many biological state changes, where organisms transition from a state of lower to higher physiological activity, require a minimal triggering event size. Response thresholds are often determined by the ability of organisms to utilize soil moisture pulses of different infiltration depth or duration. For example, brief, shallow pulses can only affect surface dwelling organisms with fast response times and high tolerance for low resource levels, such as some species of the soil micro-fauna and -flora, while it takes more water and deeper infiltration to affect the physiology, growth or reproduction of higher plants. This review first discusses how precipitation, climate and site factors translate into soil moisture pulses of varying magnitude and duration. Next, the idea of the response hierarchy for ecosystem processes is developed, followed by an exploration of the possible evolutionary background for the existence of response thresholds to resource pulses. The review concludes with an outlook on global change: does the hierarchical view of precipitation effects in ecosystems provide new perspectives on the future of arid/semiarid lands?

  18. Woody plants in agro-ecosystems of semi-arid regions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Breman, H.; Kessler, J.J.

    1995-01-01

    A quantitative analysis of the role of woody plants in semi-arid regions, focusing on the Sahel and Sudan zones in West-Africa, is given for the assessment of their benefits in agro-sylvopastoral land-use systems with productive and sustainability objectives.

  19. Soil Microbial Activity Responses to Fire in a Semi-arid Savannah Ecosystem Pre- and Post-Monsoon Season

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jimenez, J. R.; Raub, H. D.; Jong, E. L.; Muscarella, C. R.; Smith, W. K.; Gallery, R. E.

    2017-12-01

    Extracellular enzyme activities (EEA) of soil microorganisms can act as important proxies for nutrient limitation and turnover in soil and provide insight into the biochemical requirements of microbes in terrestrial ecosystems. In semi-arid ecosystems, microbial activity is influenced by topography, disturbances such as fire, and seasonality from monsoon rains. Previous studies from forest ecosystems show that microbial communities shift to similar compositions after severe fires despite different initial conditions. In semi-arid ecosystems with high spatial heterogeniety, we ask does fire lead to patch intensification or patch homogenization and how do monsoon rains influence the successional trajectories of microbial responses? We analyzed microbial activity and soil biogeochemistry throughout the monsoon season in paired burned and unburned sites in the Santa Rita Experimental Range, AZ. Surface soil (5cm) from bare-ground patches, bole, canopy drip line, and nearby grass patches for 5 mesquite trees per site allowed tests of spatiotemporal responses to fire and monsoon rain. Microbial activity was low during the pre-monsoon season and did not differ between the burned and unburned sites. We found greater activity near mesquite trees that reflects soil water and nutrient availability. Fire increased soil alkalinity, though soils near mesquite trees were less affected. Soil water content was significantly higher in the burned sites post-monsoon, potentially reflecting greater hydrophobicity of burned soils. Considering the effects of fire in these semi-arid ecosystems is especially important in the context of the projected changing climate regime in this region. Assessing microbial community recovery pre-, during, and post-monsoon is important for testing predictions about whether successional pathways post-fire lead to recovery or novel trajectories of communities and ecosystem function.

  20. Mapping Ecological Processes and Ecosystem Services for Prioritizing Restoration Efforts in a Semi-arid Mediterranean River Basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trabucchi, Mattia; O'Farrell, Patrick J.; Notivol, Eduardo; Comín, Francisco A.

    2014-06-01

    Semi-arid Mediterranean regions are highly susceptible to desertification processes which can reduce the benefits that people obtain from healthy ecosystems and thus threaten human wellbeing. The European Union Biodiversity Strategy to 2020 recognizes the need to incorporate ecosystem services into land-use management, conservation, and restoration actions. The inclusion of ecosystem services into restoration actions and plans is an emerging area of research, and there are few documented approaches and guidelines on how to undertake such an exercise. This paper responds to this need, and we demonstrate an approach for identifying both key ecosystem services provisioning areas and the spatial relationship between ecological processes and services. A degraded semi-arid Mediterranean river basin in north east Spain was used as a case study area. We show that the quantification and mapping of services are the first step required for both optimizing and targeting of specific local areas for restoration. Additionally, we provide guidelines for restoration planning at a watershed scale; establishing priorities for improving the delivery of ecosystem services at this scale; and prioritizing the sub-watersheds for restoration based on their potential for delivering a combination of key ecosystem services for the entire basin.

  1. Mapping ecological processes and ecosystem services for prioritizing restoration efforts in a semi-arid Mediterranean river basin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trabucchi, Mattia; O'Farrell, Patrick J; Notivol, Eduardo; Comín, Francisco A

    2014-06-01

    Semi-arid Mediterranean regions are highly susceptible to desertification processes which can reduce the benefits that people obtain from healthy ecosystems and thus threaten human wellbeing. The European Union Biodiversity Strategy to 2020 recognizes the need to incorporate ecosystem services into land-use management, conservation, and restoration actions. The inclusion of ecosystem services into restoration actions and plans is an emerging area of research, and there are few documented approaches and guidelines on how to undertake such an exercise. This paper responds to this need, and we demonstrate an approach for identifying both key ecosystem services provisioning areas and the spatial relationship between ecological processes and services. A degraded semi-arid Mediterranean river basin in north east Spain was used as a case study area. We show that the quantification and mapping of services are the first step required for both optimizing and targeting of specific local areas for restoration. Additionally, we provide guidelines for restoration planning at a watershed scale; establishing priorities for improving the delivery of ecosystem services at this scale; and prioritizing the sub-watersheds for restoration based on their potential for delivering a combination of key ecosystem services for the entire basin.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hope, Andrew G.; Parmenter, Robert R.

    2007-01-01

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

  3. Linking the spatial patterns of organisms and abiotic factors to ecosystem function and management: insights from semi-arid environments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. T. Maestre

    2006-12-01

    Full Text Available Numerous theoretical and modeling studies have demonstrated the ecological significance of the spatial patterning of organisms on ecosystem functioning and dynamics. However, there is a paucity of empirical evidence that quantitatively shows how changes in the spatial patterns of the organisms forming biotic communities are directly related to ecosystem structure and functioning. In this article, I review a series of experiments and observational studies conducted in semi-arid environments from Spain (degraded calcareous shrubland, steppes dominated by Stipa tenacissima, and gypsum shrublands to: 1 evaluate whether the spatial patterns of the dominant biotic elements in the community are linked to ecosystem structure and functioning, and 2 test if these patterns, and those of abiotic factors, can be used to improve ecosystem restoration. In the semiarid steppes we found a significant positive relationship between the spatial pattern of the perennial plant community and: i the water status of S. tenacissima and ii perennial species richness and diversity. Experimental plantings conducted in these steppes showed that S. tenacissima facilitated the establishment of shrub seedlings, albeit the magnitude and direction of this effect was dependent on rainfall conditions during the first yr after planting. In the gypsum shrubland, a significant, direct relationship between the spatial pattern of the biological soil crusts and surrogates of ecosystem functioning (soil bulk density and respiration was found. In a degraded shrubland with very low vegetation cover, the survival of an introduced population of the shrub Pistacia lentiscus showed marked spatial patterns, which were related to the spatial patterns of soil properties such as soil compaction and sand content. These results provide empirical evidence on the importance of spatial patterns for maintaining ecosystem structure and functioning in semi-arid ecosystems

  4. Changes of soil bacterial diversity as a consequence of agricultural land use in a semi-arid ecosystem.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guo-Chun Ding

    Full Text Available Natural scrublands in semi-arid deserts are increasingly being converted into fields. This results in losses of characteristic flora and fauna, and may also affect microbial diversity. In the present study, the long-term effect (50 years of such a transition on soil bacterial communities was explored at two sites typical of semi-arid deserts. Comparisons were made between soil samples from alfalfa fields and the adjacent scrublands by two complementary methods based on 16S rRNA gene fragments amplified from total community DNA. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE analyses revealed significant effects of the transition on community composition of Bacteria, Actinobacteria, Alpha- and Betaproteobacteria at both sites. PhyloChip hybridization analysis uncovered that the transition negatively affected taxa such as Acidobacteria, Chloroflexi, Acidimicrobiales, Rubrobacterales, Deltaproteobacteria and Clostridia, while Alpha-, Beta- and Gammaproteobacteria, Bacteroidetes and Actinobacteria increased in abundance. Redundancy analysis suggested that the community composition of phyla responding to agricultural use (except for Spirochaetes correlated with soil parameters that were significantly different between the agricultural and scrubland soil. The arable soils were lower in organic matter and phosphate concentration, and higher in salinity. The variation in the bacterial community composition was higher in soils from scrubland than from agriculture, as revealed by DGGE and PhyloChip analyses, suggesting reduced beta diversity due to agricultural practices. The long-term use for agriculture resulted in profound changes in the bacterial community and physicochemical characteristics of former scrublands, which may irreversibly affect the natural soil ecosystem.

  5. 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

  6. On the operationalization of a spatially explicit evaluation of the complexity of land use trajectories in semi-arid Mediterranean agro-ecosystems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nainggolan, Doan

    This thesis aims to unpack the complexity of trajectories of land use change in semi-arid Mediterranean agro-ecosystems – illustrated using findings from the Torrealvilla catchment in south-eastern Spain. The research looks at multiple dimensions of land use change and addresses the past, present...

  7. Spatiotemporal diversity, structure and trophic guilds of insect assemblages in a semi-arid Sabkha ecosystem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haroun Chenchouni

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available The current study highlights some knowledge on the diversity and structure of insect communities and trophic groups living in Sabkha Djendli (semi-arid area of Northeastern Algeria. The entomofauna was monthly sampled from March to November 2006 using pitfall traps at eight sites located at the vicinity of the Sabkha. Structural and diversity parameters (species richness, Shannon index, evenness were measured for both insect orders and trophic guilds. The canonical correspondence analysis (CCA was applied to determine how vegetation parameters (species richness and cover influence spatial and seasonal fluctuations of insect assemblages. The catches totalled 434 insect individuals classified into 75 species, 62 genera, 31 families and 7 orders, of which Coleoptera and Hymenoptera were the most abundant and constant over seasons and study stations. Spring and autumn presented the highest values of diversity parameters. Individual-based Chao-1 species richness estimator indicated 126 species for the total individuals captured in the Sabkha. Based on catch abundances, the structure of functional trophic groups was predators (37.3%, saprophages (26.7%, phytophages (20.5%, polyphages (10.8%, coprophages (4.6%; whereas in terms of numbers of species, they can be classified as phytophages (40%, predators (25.3%, polyphages (13.3%, saprophages (12%, coprophages (9.3%. The CCA demonstrated that phytophages and saprophages as well as Coleoptera and Orthoptera were positively correlated with the two parameters of vegetation, especially in spring and summer. While the abundance of coprophages was positively correlated with species richness of plants, polyphage density was positively associated with vegetation cover. The insect community showed high taxonomic and functional diversity that is closely related to diversity and vegetation cover in different stations of the wetland and seasons.

  8. High Spatial Resolution Visual Band Imagery Outperforms Medium Resolution Spectral Imagery for Ecosystem Assessment in the Semi-Arid Brazilian Sertão

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ran Goldblatt

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Semi-arid ecosystems play a key role in global agricultural production, seasonal carbon cycle dynamics, and longer-run climate change. Because semi-arid landscapes are heterogeneous and often sparsely vegetated, repeated and large-scale ecosystem assessments of these regions have to date been impossible. Here, we assess the potential of high-spatial resolution visible band imagery for semi-arid ecosystem mapping. We use WorldView satellite imagery at 0.3–0.5 m resolution to develop a reference data set of nearly 10,000 labeled examples of three classes—trees, shrubs/grasses, and bare land—across 1000 km 2 of the semi-arid Sertão region of northeast Brazil. Using Google Earth Engine, we show that classification with low-spectral but high-spatial resolution input (WorldView outperforms classification with the full spectral information available from Landsat 30 m resolution imagery as input. Classification with high spatial resolution input improves detection of sparse vegetation and distinction between trees and seasonal shrubs and grasses, two features which are lost at coarser spatial (but higher spectral resolution input. Our total tree cover estimates for the study area disagree with recent estimates using other methods that may underestimate treecover because they confuse trees with seasonal vegetation (shrubs and grasses. This distinction is important for monitoring seasonal and long-run carbon cycle and ecosystem health. Our results suggest that newer remote sensing products that promise high frequency global coverage at high spatial but lower spectral resolution may offer new possibilities for direct monitoring of the world’s semi-arid ecosystems, and we provide methods that could be scaled to do so.

  9. Understanding environmental drivers in the regulation of soil respiration dynamics after fire in semi-arid ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muñoz-Rojas, Miriam; Lewandrowski, Wolfgang; Erickson, Todd E.; Dixon, Kingsley W.; Merritt, David J.

    2016-04-01

    Keywords: Pilbara, soil CO2 efflux, soil C, soil moisture, soil temperature Introduction Soil respiration (Rs) has become a major research focus given the increase in atmospheric CO2 emissions and the large contribution of these CO2 fluxes from soils (Van Groenigen et al., 2014). In addition to its importance in the global C cycle, Rs is a fundamental indicator of soil health and quality that reflects the level of microbial activity and provides an indication of the ability of soils to support plant growth (Oyonarte et al., 2012; Munoz-Rojas et al., 2015). Wildfires can have a significant impact on Rs rates, with the scale of the impact depending on environmental factors such as temperature and moisture, and organic C content in the soil. Vegetation cover can have a significant effect on regulating organic C contents; and while advances are made into understanding the effects of fire on organic C contents and CO2 fluxes (Granged et al., 2011; Willaarts et al., 2015; Muñoz-Rojas et al., 2016), there is limited knowledge of the variability of Rs across ecosystem types, vegetation communities, and responses to fire. In this research we aimed to assess the impacts of a wildfire on the soil CO2 fluxes and soil respiration in a semi-arid ecosystem of Western Australia (Pilbara biogeographical region), and to understand the main environmental drivers controlling these fluxes in different vegetation types. The study has application for other arid and semi-arid regions of the world. Methods The study area was selected following a wildfire that affected 25 ha in February 2014. Twelve plots were established in the burnt site (B) within a 400 m2 area, and 12 plots in an adjacent unburnt control site. At each site, three plots were installed below the canopy of each of the most representative vegetation types of the areas: Eucalyptus trees, Acacia shrubs and Triodia grasses, and three on bare soil. Soil sampling and measurement of soil CO2 efflux, temperature and moisture were

  10. Seasonal regulation of condensed tannin consumption by free-ranging goats in a semi-arid savanna

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heitkӧnig, Ignas M. A.; Scogings, Peter F.; Hattas, Dawood; Dziba, Luthando E.; Prins, Herbert H. T.; de Boer, Willem F.

    2018-01-01

    Although condensed tannins (CTs) are known to reduce forage intake by mammalian herbivores in controlled experiments, few studies have tested these effects in the field. Thus the role of CTs on foraging ecology of free-ranging herbivores is inadequately understood. To investigate the effects of CTs under natural savanna conditions, we pre-dosed groups of goats with polyethylene glycol (PEG, a CT-neutralising chemical), CT powder or water before observing their foraging behaviour. While accounting for the effects of season and time of the day, we tested the hypothesis that herbivores forage in ways that reduce the intake rate (g DM per minute) of CTs. We expected pre-dosing goats with CTs to reduce CT intake rates by (1) consuming diets low in CTs, (2) reducing bite rates, (3) increasing the number of foraging bouts, or (4) reducing the length of foraging bouts. Lastly, (5) expected CT to have no influence the number of dietary forage species. In both wet and dry seasons, pre-dosing goats with CTs resulted in lower CT consumption rates compared to PEG goats which seemed relieved from the stress associated with CT consumption. During dry season, the number of dietary forage species was similar across treatments, although goats that were dosed with PEG significantly increased this number in the wet season. Dosing goats with PEG increased the number and length of browsing bouts compared to goats from the other treatments. Pre-loading goats with PEG also tended to increase bite rates on browse forages, which contributed to increased consumption rates of CTs. Based on the behavioural adjustments made by goats in this study and within the constraints imposed by chemical complexity in savanna systems, we concluded that herbivores under natural conditions foraged in ways that minimised CTs consumption. More research should further elucidate the mechanism through which CTs regulated feeding behaviour. PMID:29293513

  11. Multi-functional landscapes in semi arid environments: implications for biodiversity and ecosystem services

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    O'Farrell, PJ

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available assessment with an ecosystem service assessment. Stakeholder engagement and expert consultation focussed our investigations on surface water, ground water, grazing and tourism as the key services in this region. The key ecosystem services and service hotspots...

  12. Changes in Trace Gas Nitrogen Emissions as a Response to Ecosystem Type Conversion in a Semi-Arid Climate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrews, H.; Eberwein, J. R.; Jenerette, D.

    2016-12-01

    As humans continue to introduce exotic plants and to alter climate and fire regimes in semi-arid ecosystems, many plant communities have begun to shift from perennial forbs and shrubs to annual grasses with different functional traits. Shifts in plant types are also associated with shifts in microclimate, microbial activity, and litter inputs, all of which contribute to the efficiency of nitrogen processing and the magnitude of trace gas emissions (NOx and N2O), which are increasingly important fluxes in water-limited systems. Here, we explored how changes in plant litter impact trace gas emissions, asking the question: How does conversion from a native shrubland to exotic grassland ecosystem alter NOx and N2O fluxes in a semi-arid climate? We posed two hypotheses to explain the impacts of different types of litter on soils disturbed by exotic grasses and those that were still considered shrublands: 1.) Soils that have undergone conversion by exotic grasses release higher amounts of NOx and N2O than do those of unconverted shrublands, due to disruptions of native plant and soil processes by exotic grasses, and 2.) Because litter of exotic grasses has lower C:N than that of shrubs, litter inputs from exotic grasses will increase NOx and N2O emissions from soils more than will litter inputs from shrubs. As a preliminary study, we experimentally wetted mesocosms in a laboratory incubation containing converted and unconverted soils that had been mixed with no litter or either exotic grass or coastal sage scrub (CSS) litter. We measured N2O fluxes from mesocosms over a 48-hour period. 24 hours after wetting, samples with grass litter produced higher amounts of N2O than those with CSS litter; similarly, converted soils produced higher amounts of N2O than unconverted soils. These two effects combined resulted in exotic grassland conditions (converted soils with exotic grass litter) producing 10 times the amount of N2O as those containing native shrubland conditions

  13. CMIP5 land surface models systematically underestimate inter-annual variability of net ecosystem exchange in semi-arid southwestern North America.

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacBean, N.; Scott, R. L.; Biederman, J. A.; Vuichard, N.; Hudson, A.; Barnes, M.; Fox, A. M.; Smith, W. K.; Peylin, P. P.; Maignan, F.; Moore, D. J.

    2017-12-01

    Recent studies based on analysis of atmospheric CO2 inversions, satellite data and terrestrial biosphere model simulations have suggested that semi-arid ecosystems play a dominant role in the interannual variability and long-term trend in the global carbon sink. These studies have largely cited the response of vegetation activity to changing moisture availability as the primary mechanism of variability. However, some land surface models (LSMs) used in these studies have performed poorly in comparison to satellite-based observations of vegetation dynamics in semi-arid regions. Further analysis is therefore needed to ensure semi-arid carbon cycle processes are well represented in global scale LSMs before we can fully establish their contribution to the global carbon cycle. In this study, we evaluated annual net ecosystem exchange (NEE) simulated by CMIP5 land surface models using observations from 20 Ameriflux sites across semi-arid southwestern North America. We found that CMIP5 models systematically underestimate the magnitude and sign of NEE inter-annual variability; therefore, the true role of semi-arid regions in the global carbon cycle may be even more important than previously thought. To diagnose the factors responsible for this bias, we used the ORCHIDEE LSM to test different climate forcing data, prescribed vegetation fractions and model structures. Climate and prescribed vegetation do contribute to uncertainty in annual NEE simulations, but the bias is primarily caused by incorrect timing and magnitude of peak gross carbon fluxes. Modifications to the hydrology scheme improved simulations of soil moisture in comparison to data. This in turn improved the seasonal cycle of carbon uptake due to a more realistic limitation on photosynthesis during water stress. However, the peak fluxes are still too low, and phenology is poorly represented for desert shrubs and grasses. We provide suggestions on model developments needed to tackle these issues in the future.

  14. Burrowing herbivores alter soil carbon and nitrogen dynamics in a semi-arid ecosystem, Argentina

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kenneth L. Clark; Lyn C. Branch; Jose L. Hierro; Diego Villarreal

    2016-01-01

    Activities of burrowing herbivores, including movement of soil and litter and deposition of waste material, can alter the distribution of labile carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) in soil, affecting spatial patterning of nutrient dynamics in ecosystems where they are abundant. Their role in ecosystem processes in surface soil has been studied extensively, but effects of...

  15. Characterisation of Hydrological Response to Rainfall at Multi Spatio-Temporal Scales in Savannas of Semi-Arid Australia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ben Jarihani

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Rainfall is the main driver of hydrological processes in dryland environments and characterising the rainfall variability and processes of runoff generation are critical for understanding ecosystem function of catchments. Using remote sensing and in situ data sets, we assess the spatial and temporal variability of the rainfall, rainfall–runoff response, and effects on runoff coefficients of antecedent soil moisture and ground cover at different spatial scales. This analysis was undertaken in the Upper Burdekin catchment, northeast Australia, which is a major contributor of sediment and nutrients to the Great Barrier Reef. The high temporal and spatial variability of rainfall are found to exert significant controls on runoff generation processes. Rainfall amount and intensity are the primary runoff controls, and runoff coefficients for wet antecedent conditions were higher than for dry conditions. The majority of runoff occurred via surface runoff generation mechanisms, with subsurface runoff likely contributing little runoff due to the intense nature of rainfall events. MODIS monthly ground cover data showed better results in distinguishing effects of ground cover on runoff that Landsat-derived seasonal ground cover data. We conclude that in the range of moderate to large catchments (193–36,260 km2 runoff generation processes are sensitive to both antecedent soil moisture and ground cover. A higher runoff–ground cover correlation in drier months with sparse ground cover highlighted the critical role of cover at the onset of the wet season (driest period and how runoff generation is more sensitive to cover in drier months than in wetter months. The monthly water balance analysis indicates that runoff generation in wetter months (January and February is partially influenced by saturation overland flow, most likely confined to saturated soils in riparian corridors, swales, and areas of shallow soil. By March and continuing through October

  16. Development of land degradation spectral indices in a semi-arid Mediterranean ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chabrillat, Sabine; Kaufmann, Hermann J.; Palacios-Orueta, Alicia; Escribano, Paula; Mueller, Andreas

    2004-10-01

    The goal of this study is to develop remote sensing desertification indicators for drylands, in particular using the capabilities of imaging spectroscopy (hyperspectral imagery) to derive soil and vegetation specific properties linked to land degradation status. The Cabo de Gata-Nijar Natural Park in SE Spain presents a still-preserved semiarid Mediterranean ecosystem that has undergone several changes in landscape patterns and vegetation cover due to human activity. Previous studies have revealed that traditional land uses, particularly grazing, favoured in the Park the transition from tall arid brush to tall grass steppe. In the past ~40 years, tall grass steppes and arid garrigues increased while crop field decreased, and tall arid brushes decreased but then recovered after the area was declared a Natural Park in 1987. Presently, major risk is observed from a potential effect of exponential tourism and agricultural growth. A monitoring program has been recently established in the Park. Several land degradation parcels presenting variable levels of soil development and biological activity were defined in summer 2003 in agricultural lands, calcareous and volcanic areas, covering the park spatial dynamics. Intensive field spectral campaigns took place in Summer 2003 and May 2004 to monitor inter-annual changes, and assess the landscape spectral variability in spatial and temporal dimension, from the dry to the green season. Up to total 1200 field spectra were acquired over ~120 targets each year in the land degradation parcels. The targets were chosen to encompass the whole range of rocks, soils, lichens, and vegetation that can be observed in the park. Simultaneously, acquisition of hyperspectral images was performed with the HyMap sensor. This paper presents preliminary results from mainly the field spectral campaigns. Identifying sources of variability in the spectra, in relation with the ecosystem dynamics, will allow the definition of spectral indicators of

  17. Biological soil crust and disturbance controls on surface hydrology in a semi-arid ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faist, Akasha M; Herrick, Jeffrey E.; Belnap, Jayne; Van Zee, Justin W; Barger, Nichole N

    2017-01-01

    Biological soil crust communities (biocrusts) play an important role in surface hydrologic processes in dryland ecosystems, and these processes may then be dramatically altered with soil surface disturbance. In this study, we examined biocrust hydrologic responses to disturbance at different developmental stages on sandy soils on the Colorado Plateau. Our results showed that all disturbance (trampling, scalping and trampling+scalping) of the early successional light cyanobacterial biocrusts generally reduced runoff. In contrast, trampling well-developed dark-cyano-lichen biocrusts increased runoff and sediment loss relative to intact controls. Scalping did not increase runoff, implying that soil aggregate structure was important to the infiltration process. Well-developed, intact dark biocrusts generally had lower runoff, low sediment loss, and highest aggregate stability whereas the less-developed light biocrusts were highest in runoff and sediment loss when compared to the controls. These results suggest the importance of maintaining the well-developed dark biocrusts, as they are beneficial for lowering runoff and reducing soil loss and redistribution on the landscape. These data also suggest that upslope patches of light biocrust may either support water transport to downslope vegetation patches or alternatively this runoff may place dark biocrust patches at risk of disruption and loss, given that light patches increase runoff and thus soil erosion potential.

  18. Hydrologic control of the oxygen isotope ratio of ecosystem respiration in a semi-arid woodland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. H. Shim

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available We conducted high frequency measurements of the δ18O value of atmospheric CO2 from a juniper (Juniperus monosperma woodland in New Mexico, USA, over a four-year period to investigate climatic and physiological regulation of the δ18O value of ecosystem respiration (δR. Rain pulses reset δR with the dominant water source isotope composition, followed by progressive enrichment of δR. Transpiration (ET was significantly related to post-pulse δR enrichment because the leaf water δ18O value showed strong enrichment with increasing vapor pressure deficit that occurs following rain. Post-pulse δR enrichment was correlated with both ET and the ratio of ET to soil evaporation (ET/ES. In contrast, the soil water δ18O value was relatively stable and δR enrichment was not correlated with ES. Model simulations captured the large post-pulse δR enrichments only when the offset between xylem and leaf water δ18O value was modeled explicitly and when a gross flux model for CO2 retro-diffusion was included. Drought impacts δR through the balance between evaporative demand, which enriches δR, and low soil moisture availability, which attenuates δR enrichment through reduced ET. The net result, observed throughout all four years of our study, was a negative correlation of post-precipitation δR enrichment with increasing drought.

  19. Short Term Soil Respiration Response to Fire in a Semi-arid Ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rozin, A. G.

    2015-12-01

    In the Intermountain West (USA), fire is an important driver of carbon cycling in the environment. Increasing frequency and severity of fires, either through management actions or wildfires, is expected with changing climates in the Western United States. When burning is used as a management tool, it may be beneficial and control the growth of nuisance vegetation, promote the regeneration of grasses and forage species, and reduce hazardous fuel loads to minimize the risk of future wildfires. However, high intensity wildfires often have a negative effect, resulting in a loss of carbon storage and a shift of vegetation communities. This delays recovery of the ecosystem for years or decades and alters the historic fire regime. A 2000 acre prescribed burn in the Reynolds Creek Critical Zone Observatory provided the opportunity to quantify pre and post-burn soil carbon stores and soil carbon losses by heterotrophic respiration. Pre and post-burn soil samples were collected for physical and biogeochemical characterization to quantify substrate availability and possible limitations for heterotrophic respiration. CO2 fluxes were continuously monitored in situ before and immediately after the fire to understand the short-term response of soil respiration to varying burn severities.

  20. Effects of feral free-roaming horses on semi-arid rangeland ecosystems: an example from the sagebrush steppe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feral horses (Equus caballus) are viewed as a symbol of freedom and power; however, they are also a largely unmanaged, non-native grazer in North America, South America, and Australia. Information on their influence on vegetation and soil characteristics in semi-arid rangelands has been limited by ...

  1. Assessment of Ecosystem Services in a Semi-arid Agriculture-dominant Area: Framework and Case Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dhungel, R.; Chen, Y.; Maltos, R.; Sivakumaran, K.; Aguilar, A.; Harmon, T. C.

    2015-12-01

    California's Central Valley (CV) water crisis has increased in severity due to a prolonged drought. The drought is directly contributing to the overexploitation of groundwater, along with deficiency in agricultural, recreational and aesthetic water services. The population of the CV, home to about 6.5 million people, is projected to be 12 million by 2040. Balancing water demand between municipal use, agricultural supply, and other ecosystem services, will be challenging for this region in perpetuity. In the heart of CV lies the San Joaquin River (SJR) where Friant Dam is the main low-elevation reservoir regulating water release. The Friant Dam's reservoir fulfills agricultural, municipal and industrial water needs through the Friant-Kern and Madera canals, as well as through the mainstem SJR. The SJR restoration project (SJRRP) is a recent development that is imposing additional demands on water releases in order to restore sustainable aquatic habitat for Chinook salmon and other species on the mainstem below the Friant Dam. The Chinook require adequate flow to moderate river temperature, particularly during hot summer and fall months. Temperatures on CV rivers exhibit strong diurnal and seasonal patterns, and can rise to harmful levels when flows are inadequate. In this study, we developed a framework that allows for assessing the effectiveness and implied costs of ecosystem services provided by a restored SJR in a semi-arid agriculture-dominant area. This is done by explicitly linking economics-based farmers' model with a reduced-form hydrological model that is loosely coupled to a physical-based stream-temperature model, specifically CE-QUAL-W2. The farmers' model is based on positive mathematical program approach calibrated with twenty proxy crops for year 2005. The river-hydrology is simulated by a vector autoregression model that incorporates daily flow variability. We study the mandated release policies by the SJR restoration project, along with hypothetical

  2. Pastoralists' Perception and Ecological Knowledge on Savanna Ecosystem Dynamics in Semi-arid Botswana

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olaotswe Kgosikoma

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available We investigated vegetation dynamics in relation to livestock grazing as perceived by pastoral farmers in different regions of Botswana. A structured questionnaire was used to collect farmers' understanding of vegetation changes and causes within three different grazing lands. The pastoral farmers' description of dominant vegetation differed significantly both at the local and district level, which suggests that rangelands consist of patches dominated by different grasses and woody vegetation. Most pastoralists indicated that grass composition has undergone changes, and unpalatable grasses such as Aristida congesta and Megaloprotachne albescens are increasing. The different factors perceived by pastoral farmers to cause changes in vegetation composition included rainfall, overgrazing, and fire. Bush encroachment is considered to be more common in communal grazing land than in ranches. According to pastoral farmers, the ranching system is less degrading to the environment and more sustainable for livestock production than is communal grazing.

  3. Using local biodiversity to prevent pollution transfers to environmental components of a Mediterranean semi-arid ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heckenroth, Alma; Rabier, Jacques; Laffont-Schwob, Isabelle

    2014-05-01

    In arid and semi-arid Mediterranean coastal areas, metals and metalloids (MM) pollution coming from unreclaimed brownfields has increased the negative environmental stresses leading to ecosystems degradations as soil erosion and losses of organic matter and biodiversity. On these sites, maintaining or restoring a local vegetation cover is considered as a key step to stop the degradation cycle. Furthermore, in a context of high pollution occurring in natural areas, phytoremediation is considered as an attractive alternative to conventional soil remediation techniques, the first reducing pollution transfers, improving the soil quality. In protected or natural areas, it is also important to perceive then design phytoremediation as a way to assist ecosystems recovery, using the restoration ecology concepts. However, only few works in the literature deal with the potential use of native Mediterranean plant species for phytoremediation. On the South-East coast of Marseille (France), the activity of the former smelting factory of l'Escalette, ceased since 1925. However, its brownfield is still a source of pollution by trace metals and metalloids for abiotic and biotic components of the surrounding massif. This massif hosts a rich biodiversity with rare and protected plant species despite the metallic pollution and this area has been included in the recently created first peri-urban French National Park of Calanques. In this context, an integrated research project is being conducted with local actors and stakeholders, from the selection of native plant species, assessment and optimization of phytostabilization capacities of selected species, to the development of ecological engineering techniques well adapted to local constraints and phytostabilization field trials. The first part of this study has been conducted on two areas, corresponding to different pollution pattern, plant communities and environmental drivers: a halophytic area, characterized by typical coastal

  4. Do agrometeorological data improve optical satellite-based estimations of the herbaceous yield in Sahelian semi-arid ecosystems?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Diouf, Abdoul Aziz; Hiernaux, Pierre; Brandt, Martin Stefan

    2016-01-01

    evapotranspiration satellite gridded data to estimate the annual herbaceous yield in the semi-arid areas of Senegal. It showed that a machine-learning model combining FAPAR seasonal metrics with various agrometeorological data provided better estimations of the in situ annual herbaceous yield (R2 = 0.69; RMSE = 483...... kg·DM/ha) than models based exclusively on FAPAR metrics (R2 = 0.63; RMSE = 550 kg·DM/ha) or agrometeorological variables (R2 = 0.55; RMSE = 585 kg·DM/ha). All the models provided reasonable outputs and showed a decrease in the mean annual yield with increasing latitude, together with an increase...

  5. Analysis of energy fluxes and vegetation-atmosphere parameters in irrigated and natural ecosystems of semi-arid Brazil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teixeira, A. H. de Castro; Bastiaanssen, W. G. M.; Ahmad, M. D.; Moura, M. S. B.; Bos, M. G.

    2008-11-01

    SummaryKnowledge on evapotranspiration is essential in quantifying water use depletion and to allocate scarce water resources to competing uses. Despite that an extensive literature describes the theoretical mechanisms of turbulent water vapour transport above and within crop canopies fewer studies have examined land surface parameters within composite landscapes of irrigated crops and semi-arid natural vegetation. Aiming to improve parameterizations of the radiation and energy balance in irrigated crops and natural vegetation, micro-climatic measurements were carried out on irrigated land (vineyards and mango orchard) and natural vegetation (caatinga) in the semi-arid zone of the São Francisco River basin (Brazil) from 2002 to 2005. The fractions of 24 h incident solar radiation available for net radiation were 46%, 55%, 51% and 53%, for wine grape, table grape, mango orchard and caatinga, respectively. Daily evaporative fractions of the net available energy used as latent heat flux ( λE) were 0.80, 0.88, 0.75 and 0.33 respectively. The daylight values of bulk surface resistances ( rs) averaged 128 s m -1, 73 s m -1, 133 s m -1 and 1940 s m -1 for wine grape, table grape, mango orchard and caatinga, respectively. Simplified parameterizations on roughness and evaporation resistances were performed. It could be concluded that net radiation can be estimated by means of a linear expression with incident global solar radiation depending on the type of vegetation. The variability of aerodynamic resistance ( ra) could be mainly explained by the friction velocity ( u ∗) which on turn depends on the surface roughness length for momentum transport ( z 0m). The experimental data showed that for sparse canopies z 0m being 9% of the mean vegetation height is a doable operational rule for the semi-arid region of São Francisco River basin. The seasonal values of rs for irrigated crops were highly correlated with water vapour pressure deficit. The availability of analytical

  6. Soil and vegetation-atmosphere exchange of NO, NH3, and N2O from field measurements in a semi arid grazed ecosystem in Senegal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delon, C.; Galy-Lacaux, C.; Serça, D.; Loubet, B.; Camara, N.; Gardrat, E.; Saneh, I.; Fensholt, R.; Tagesson, T.; Le Dantec, V.; Sambou, B.; Diop, C.; Mougin, E.

    2017-05-01

    The alternating between dry and wet seasons and the consecutive microbial responses to soil water content in semiarid ecosystems has significant consequences on nitrogen exchanges with the atmosphere. Three field campaigns were carried out in a semi arid sahelian rangeland in Dahra (Ferlo, Senegal), two at the beginning of the wet season in July 2012 and July 2013, and the third one in November 2013 at the end of the wet season. The ammonia emission potentials of the soil ranged from 271 to 6628, indicating the soil capacity to emit NH3. The ammonia compensation point in the soil ranged between 7 and 150 ppb, with soil temperatures between 32 and 37 °C. Ammonia exchange fluctuated between emission and deposition (from -0.1-1.3 ng N.m-2 s-1), depending on meteorology, ambient NH3 concentration (5-11 ppb) and compensation point mixing ratios. N2O fluxes are supposed to be lower than NO fluxes in semi arid ecosystems, but in Dahra N2O fluxes (5.5 ± 1.3 ng N m-2 s-1 in July 2013, and 3.2 ± 1.7 ng N m-2 s-1 in November 2013) were similar to NO fluxes (5.7 ± 3.1 ng N m-2 s-1 in July 2012, 5.1 ± 2.1 ng N m-2 s-1 in July 2013, and 4.0 ± 2.2 ngN m-2 s-1 in November 2013). Possible reasons are the influence of soil moisture below the surface (where N2O is produced) after the beginning of the wet season, the potential aerobic denitrification in microsites, the nitrifier denitrification, and nitrification processes. The presence of litter and standing straw, and their decomposition dominated N compounds emissions in November 2013, whereas emissions in July 2012 and 2013, when the herbaceous strata was sparse, were dominated by microbial processes in the soil. CO2 respiration fluxes were high in the beginning (107 ± 26 mg m-2 h-1 in July 2013) and low in the end of the wet season (32 ± 5 mg m-2 h-1 in November 2013), when autotrophic and heterotrophic activity is reduced due to low soil moisture conditions These results confirm that contrasted ecosystem conditions due

  7. Sensitivity of mountain ecosystems to human-accelerated soil erosion. Contrasting geomorphic response between tropical and semi-arid ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vanacker, Veerle; Bellin, Nicolas; Schoonejans, Jerome; Molina, Armando; Kubik, Peter W.

    2014-05-01

    Human-induced land cover changes are causing important adverse effects on the ecological services rendered by mountain ecosystems, and the number of case-studies of the impact of humans on soil erosion and sediment yield has mounted rapidly. A modelling framework that is specifically adapted to mountain environments is currently lacking. Most studies make use of general river basin models that were originally parameterized and calibrated for temperate, low relief landscapes. Transposing these modelling concepts directly to steep environments with shallow and stony soils often leads to unrealistic model predictions, as model input parameters are rarely calibrated for the range of environmental conditions found in mountain regions. Here, we present a conceptual model that evaluates erosion regulation as a function of human disturbances in vegetation cover. The basic idea behind this model is that soil erosion mechanisms are independent of human impact, but that the frequency-magnitude distributions of erosion rates change as a response to human disturbances. Pre-disturbance (or natural) erosion rates are derived from in-situ produced 10Be concentrations in river sediment, while post-disturbance (or modern) erosion rates are derived from sedimentation rates in small catchments. In its simplicity, the model uses vegetation cover change as a proxy of human disturbance in a given vegetation system. The model is then calibrated with field measurements from two mountainous sites with strongly different vegetation dynamics, climatic and geological settings: the Tropical Andes, and the Spanish Betic Cordillera. Natural erosion processes are important in mountainous sites, and natural erosion benchmarks are primordial to assess human-induced changes in erosion rates. While the Spanish Betic Cordillera is commonly characterized as a degraded landscape, there is no significant change in erosion due to human disturbance for uncultivated sites. The opposite is true for the

  8. Three-dimensional woody vegetation structure across different land-use types and land-use intensities in a semi-arid savanna

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Fisher, J

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available Factors influencing woody savanna vegetation structure across a land-use gradient of intensity (highly and lightly utilized communal rangeland) and type (national protected area, private game reserve and communal rangelands) were investigated. Small...

  9. Multi-satellite sensor study on precipitation-induced emission pulses of NOx from soils in semi-arid ecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Zörner

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available We present a top-down approach to infer and quantify rain-induced emission pulses of NOx ( ≡  NO + NO2, stemming from biotic emissions of NO from soils, from satellite-borne measurements of NO2. This is achieved by synchronizing time series at single grid pixels according to the first day of rain after a dry spell of prescribed duration. The full track of the temporal evolution several weeks before and after a rain pulse is retained with daily resolution. These are needed for a sophisticated background correction, which accounts for seasonal variations in the time series and allows for improved quantification of rain-induced soil emissions. The method is applied globally and provides constraints on pulsed soil emissions of NOx in regions where the NOx budget is seasonally dominated by soil emissions. We find strong peaks of enhanced NO2 vertical column densities (VCDs induced by the first intense precipitation after prolonged droughts in many semi-arid regions of the world, in particular in the Sahel. Detailed investigations show that the rain-induced NO2 pulse detected by the OMI (Ozone Monitoring Instrument, GOME-2 and SCIAMACHY satellite instruments could not be explained by other sources, such as biomass burning or lightning, or by retrieval artefacts (e.g. due to clouds. For the Sahel region, absolute enhancements of the NO2 VCDs on the first day of rain based on OMI measurements 2007–2010 are on average 4 × 1014  molec cm−2 and exceed 1 × 1015  molec cm−2 for individual grid cells. Assuming a NOx lifetime of 4 h, this corresponds to soil NOx emissions in the range of 6 up to 65 ng N m−2 s−1, which is in good agreement with literature values. Apart from the clear first-day peak, NO2 VCDs are moderately enhanced (2 × 1014  molec cm−2 compared to the background over the following 2 weeks, suggesting potential further emissions during that period of about 3.3 ng N m−2

  10. The active microbial diversity drives ecosystem multifunctionality and is physiologically related to carbon availability in Mediterranean semi-arid soils

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Bastida, F.; Torres, I.F.; Moreno, J.L.; Baldrian, Petr; Ondono, S.; Ruiz-Navarro, A.; Hernández, T.; Richnow, H. H.; Starke, R.; Garcia, C.; Jehmlich, N.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 25, č. 18 (2016), s. 4660-4673 ISSN 0962-1083 R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) LM2015055 Institutional support: RVO:61388971 Keywords : bacteria * community ecology * ecosystem services Subject RIV: EE - Microbiology, Virology Impact factor: 6.086, year: 2016

  11. An Approach for Simulating Soil Loss from an Agro-Ecosystem Using Multi-Agent Simulation: A Case Study for Semi-Arid Ghana

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Biola K. Badmos

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Soil loss is not limited to change from forest or woodland to other land uses/covers. It may occur when there is agricultural land-use/cover modification or conversion. Soil loss may influence loss of carbon from the soil, hence implication on greenhouse gas emission. Changing land use could be considered actually or potentially successful in adapting to climate change, or may be considered maladaptation if it creates environmental degradation. In semi-arid northern Ghana, changing agricultural practices have been identified amongst other climate variability and climate change adaptation measures. Similarly, some of the policies aimed at improving farm household resilience toward climate change impact might necessitate land use change. The heterogeneity of farm household (agents cannot be ignored when addressing land use/cover change issues, especially when livelihood is dependent on land. This paper therefore presents an approach for simulating soil loss from an agro-ecosystem using multi-agent simulation (MAS. We adapted a universal soil loss equation as a soil loss sub-model in the Vea-LUDAS model (a MAS model. Furthermore, for a 20-year simulation period, we presented the impact of agricultural land-use adaptation strategy (maize cultivation credit i.e., maize credit scenario on soil loss and compared it with the baseline scenario i.e., business-as-usual. Adoption of maize as influenced by maize cultivation credit significantly influenced agricultural land-use change in the study area. Although there was no significant difference in the soil loss under the tested scenarios, the incorporation of human decision-making in a temporal manner allowed us to view patterns that cannot be seen in single step modeling. The study shows that opening up cropland on soil with a high erosion risk has implications for soil loss. Hence, effective measures should be put in place to prevent the opening up of lands that have high erosion risk.

  12. Shifts in Abundance and Diversity of Soil Ammonia-Oxidizing Bacteria and Archaea Associated with Land Restoration in a Semi-Arid Ecosystem.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhu Chen

    Full Text Available The Grain to Green Project (GGP is an unprecedented land restoration action in China. The project converted large areas (ca 10 million ha of steep-sloped/degraded farmland and barren land into forest and grassland resulting in ecological benefits such as a reduction in severe soil erosion. It may also affect soil microorganisms involved in ammonia oxidization, which is a key step in the global nitrogen cycle. The methods for restoration that are typically adopted in semi-arid regions include abandoning farmland and growing drought tolerant grass (Lolium perenne L. or shrubs (Caragana korshinskii Kom.. In the present study, the effects of these methods on the abundance and diversity of ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB and ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA were evaluated via quantitative real-time PCR, terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism and clone library analysis of amoA genes. Comparisons were made between soil samples from three restored lands and the adjacent farmland in Inner Mongolia. Both the abundance and community composition of AOB were significantly different between the restored lands and the adjacent control. Significantly lower nitrification activity was observed for the restored land. Clone library analysis revealed that all AOB amoA gene sequences were affiliated with Nitrosospira. Abundance of the populations that were associated with Nitrosospira sp. Nv6 which had possibly adapted to high concentrations of inorganic nitrogen, decreased on the restored land. Only a slight difference in the AOB communities was observed between the restored land with and without the shrub (Caragana korshinskii Kom.. A minor effect of land restoration on AOA was observed. In summary, land restoration negatively affected the abundance of AOB and soil nitrification activities, suggesting the potential role of GGP in the leaching of nitrates, and in the emission of N2O in related terrestrial ecosystems.

  13. Effects of long-term fertilisation on aggregates and dynamics of soil organic carbon in a semi-arid agro-ecosystem in China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jiaoyang Zhang

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Background Long-term fertilisation has a large influence on soil physical and chemical properties in agro-ecosystems. The effects on the distribution of aggregates, however, are not fully understood. We determined the dynamic change of the distribution of aggregates and soil organic carbon (SOC content over time in a long-term field experiment established in 1998 on the Loess Plateau of China and illustrated the relationship between them. Methods We determined SOC content and the distribution of aggregates in nine fertiliser treatments: manure (M; nitrogen (N; phosphorus (P; M and N; M, N, and P; M and P; N and P; bare land; and an unfertilised control. These parameters were then used for a path analysis and to analyse the fractal dimension (Dv. Results The organic fertiliser increased SOC content. The proportions of 0.1–0.25 mm microaggregates and 0.25–0.5 mm macroaggregates were higher and the proportion of the 0.01–0.05 mm size class of the silt + clay fraction was lower in the treatments receiving organic fertiliser (M, MN, MNP, and MP than that in the control, indicating that the addition of organic fertiliser promoted aggregation. The distribution of aggregates characterised by their fractal dimension (Dv, however, did not differ among the treatments. Discussion Dv was strongly correlated with the proportion of the <0.002 mm size class of the silt + clay fraction that did not differ significantly among the treatments. The change in the distribution of aggregates was strongly correlated with SOC content, which could produce organic polymer binding agents to increase the proportion of larger particles. Long-term application of organic fertiliser is thus necessary for the improvement and maintenance of soil quality in semi-arid agricultural land when residues are removed.

  14. Role of vegetation and edaphic factors in controlling diversity and use of different carbon sources in semi-arid ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lohse, K. A.; McLain, J. E.; Harman, C. J.; Sivapalan, M.; Troch, P. A.

    2010-12-01

    Microbially-mediated soil carbon cycling is closely linked to soil moisture and temperature. Climate change is predicted to increase intra-annual precipitation variability (i.e. less frequent yet more intense precipitation events) and alter biogeochemical processes due to shifts in soil moisture dynamics and inputs of carbon. However, the responses of soil biology and chemistry to predicted climate change, and their concomitant feedbacks on ecosystem productivity and biogeochemical processes are poorly understood. We collected soils at three different elevations in the Santa Catalina Mountains, AZ and quantified carbon utilization during pre-monsoon precipitation conditions. Contrasting parent materials (schist and granite) were paired at each elevation. We expected climate to determine the overall activity of soil fungal and bacterial communities and diversity of soil C utilization, and differences in parent material to modify these responses through controls on soil physical properties. We used EcoPlateTM C utilization assays to determine the relative abundance of soil bacterial and fungal populations and rate and diversity of carbon utilization. Additional plates were incubated with inhibitors selective to fungal or bacterial activity to assess relative contribution of these microbial groups to overall C utilization. We analyzed soils for soil organic matter, total C and N, particle size analysis and soil moisture content via both gravimetric and volumetric methods to assess the influences of soil physical and chemical properties on the measured biological responses. Consistent with our expectations, overall microbial activity was highest at the uppermost conifer elevation sites compared to the middle and lower elevation sites. In contrast to our expectations, however, overall activity was lower at the mid elevation oak woodland sites compared to the low elevation desert sites. Also consistent with our expectations was the observation that overall activities

  15. Analysing surface energy balance closure and partitioning over a semi-arid savanna FLUXNET site in Skukuza, Kruger National Park, South Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Majozi, Nobuhle P.; Mannaerts, Chris M.; Ramoelo, Abel; Mathieu, Renaud; Nickless, Alecia; Verhoef, Wouter

    2017-07-01

    Flux towers provide essential terrestrial climate, water, and radiation budget information needed for environmental monitoring and evaluation of climate change impacts on ecosystems and society in general. They are also intended for calibration and validation of satellite-based Earth observation and monitoring efforts, such as assessment of evapotranspiration from land and vegetation surfaces using surface energy balance approaches. In this paper, 15 years of Skukuza eddy covariance data, i.e. from 2000 to 2014, were analysed for surface energy balance closure (EBC) and partitioning. The surface energy balance closure was evaluated using the ordinary least squares regression (OLS) of turbulent energy fluxes (sensible (H) and latent heat (LE)) against available energy (net radiation (Rn) less soil heat (G)), and the energy balance ratio (EBR). Partitioning of the surface energy during the wet and dry seasons was also investigated, as well as how it is affected by atmospheric vapour pressure deficit (VPD), and net radiation. After filtering years with low-quality data (2004-2008), our results show an overall mean EBR of 0.93. Seasonal variations of EBR also showed the wet season with 1.17 and spring (1.02) being closest to unity, with the dry season (0.70) having the highest imbalance. Nocturnal surface energy closure was very low at 0.26, and this was linked to low friction velocity during night-time, with results showing an increase in closure with increase in friction velocity. The energy partition analysis showed that sensible heat flux is the dominant portion of net radiation, especially between March and October, followed by latent heat flux, and lastly the soil heat flux, and during the wet season where latent heat flux dominated sensible heat flux. An increase in net radiation was characterized by an increase in both LE and H, with LE showing a higher rate of increase than H in the wet season, and the reverse happening during the dry season. An increase in

  16. Using ground- and satellite-based measurements and models to quantify response to multiple disturbances and climate change in South African semi-arid ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Falge, Eva; Brümmer, Christian; Schmullius, Christiane; Scholes, Robert; Twine, Wayne; Mudau, Azwitamisi; Midgley, Guy; Hickler, Thomas; Bradshaw, Karen; Lück, Wolfgang; Thiel-Clemen, Thomas; du Toit, Justin; Sankaran, Vaith; Kutsch, Werner

    2016-04-01

    Sub-Saharan Africa currently experiences significant changes in shrubland, savanna and mixed woodland ecosystems driving degradation, affecting fire frequency and water availability, and eventually fueling climate change. The project 'Adaptive Resilience of Southern African Ecosystems' (ARS AfricaE) conducts research and develops scenarios of ecosystem development under climate change, for management support in conservation or for planning rural area development. For a network of research clusters along an aridity gradient in South Africa, we measure greenhouse gas exchange, ecosystem structure and eco-physiological properties as affected by land use change at paired sites with natural and altered vegetation. We set up dynamic vegetation models and individual-based models to predict ecosystem dynamics under (post) disturbance managements. We monitor vegetation amount and heterogeneity using remotely sensed images and aerial photography over several decades to examine time series of land cover change. Finally, we investigate livelihood strategies with focus on carbon balance components to develop sustainable management strategies for disturbed ecosystems and land use change. Emphasis is given on validation of estimates obtained from eddy covariance, model approaches and satellite derivations. We envision our methodological approach on a network of research clusters a valuable means to investigate potential linkages to concepts of adaptive resilience.

  17. Modeling soil moisture memory in savanna ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gou, S.; Miller, G. R.

    2011-12-01

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

  18. Comment on: Shukla, M.K. et al., 2006: Physical and chemical properties of soils under some pinon-juniper-oak canopies in a semi-arid ecosystem in New Mexico

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mollerup, Mikkel; Jensen, Jens Raunsø

    2008-01-01

    The paper by Shukla et al. [2006. Physical and chemical properties of soils under some pinon-juniper-oak canopies in an semi-arid ecosystem in New Mexico. Journal of Arid Environment 66, 673-685] treats interesting topics of sustainability of different ecosystems and their water availability....... However, the physical-based infiltration theories by Green and Ampt [1911. Studies on soil physics, I, flow of air and water through soils. Journal of Agricultural Science 4, 1-24] and Philip [1957. The theory of infiltration: 1. The infiltration equation and its solution. Soil Science 83, 345-357] seems...... to be applied without necessary reflections. The actual analysis can have resulted in coefficients without their original physical significance...

  19. Climate change mitigation by carbon stock - the case of semi-arid West Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lykke, A. M.; Barfod, A. S.; Tinggaard Svendsen, G.; Greve, M.; Svenning, J.-C.

    2009-11-01

    Semi-arid West Africa has not been integrated into the afforestation/reforestation (AR) carbon market. Most projects implemented under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) have focused on carbon emission reductions from industry and energy consumption, whereas only few (only one in West Africa) have been certified for AR carbon sequestration. A proposed mechanism, Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) to be discussed under COP15 aims to reduce emissions by conserving already existing forests. REDD has high potential for carbon stocking at low costs, but focuses primarily on rain forest countries and excludes semi-arid West Africa from the preliminary setup. African savannas have potential to store carbon in the present situation with degrading ecosystems and relatively low revenues from crops and cattle, especially if it is possible to combine carbon stocking with promotion of secondary crops such as food resources and traditional medicines harvested on a sustainable basis. Methods for modelling and mapping of potential carbon biomass are being developed, but are still in a preliminary state. Although economic benefits from the sale of carbon credits are likely to be limited, carbon stocking is an interesting option if additional benefits are considered such as improved food security and protection of biodiversity.

  20. Climate change mitigation by carbon stock - the case of semi-arid West Africa

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lykke, A M; Barfod, A S; Greve, M; Svenning, J-C; Svendsen, G Tinggaard

    2009-01-01

    Semi-arid West Africa has not been integrated into the afforestation/reforestation (AR) carbon market. Most projects implemented under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) have focused on carbon emission reductions from industry and energy consumption, whereas only few (only one in West Africa) have been certified for AR carbon sequestration. A proposed mechanism, Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) to be discussed under COP15 aims to reduce emissions by conserving already existing forests. REDD has high potential for carbon stocking at low costs, but focuses primarily on rain forest countries and excludes semi-arid West Africa from the preliminary setup. African savannas have potential to store carbon in the present situation with degrading ecosystems and relatively low revenues from crops and cattle, especially if it is possible to combine carbon stocking with promotion of secondary crops such as food resources and traditional medicines harvested on a sustainable basis. Methods for modelling and mapping of potential carbon biomass are being developed, but are still in a preliminary state. Although economic benefits from the sale of carbon credits are likely to be limited, carbon stocking is an interesting option if additional benefits are considered such as improved food security and protection of biodiversity.

  1. Assessment of Plant Functional Types in Tropical Arid and Semi-Arid Ecosystems of India Using Remote Sensing Data and GIS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sudhakar Reddy, C.; Krishna, P. Hari; Murthy, M. S. R.

    2011-09-01

    vegetation systems were studied along arid, semi-arid and sub-humid regions of Indian Desert and Aravallis of Rajasthan, India, with a distance of 600 km. The annual precipitation decreases from as high as 1600 mm in the south to 700 mm in the north-east and 100 mm in the west. The study is based on the integrated approach of remote sensing, GIS, and phytosociology. In the step 1, vegetation type map was prepared using multi-season IRS P6 LISS III data. Screening of plant traits was done based on field observations and literature. Phytosociological data pertains to 500 sample plots was used to identify plant functional traits of 900 species at morphological level. The vegetation classification scheme at regional level identified thorn forest, dry deciduous forest, broad leaved forest, woodland, shrubland and grasslands. Five plant traits selected in the study were significant for tropical environments. Attributes such as leaf size, leaf texture, spinescence, stem diameter and bark consistency were categorized systematically. Ordination analysis was carried out across the environmental gradient. Plant functional traits were measured on 20 individuals per species at each site. Environmental information was integrated to identify plant trait response. The spatial trends in PFTs were analysed and compared across the vegetation types, along the gradient of land surface temperature, climate, elevation and time integrated NDVI. Results established the occurrence of recurrent patterns of association among selected plant traits. Functional response groups were identified by summarizing results and relating them to individual species. Finally phytoclimatic map was prepared to represent spatial distribution of PFTs. The species with of functional traits of representing microphylls, sclerophyll, rough bark, spinescence and therophyte are demarcated as drought tolerant traits. Drought Intolerant PFTs are represented by macrophyll, malacophyll, smooth Bark, non spinescent stems and leaves

  2. Physical and chemical properties of soils under some wild Pistachio (Pistacia atlantica Desf) canopies in a semi-arid ecosystem, southwestern Iran.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Owliaie, Hamidreza

    2010-05-01

    Pistacia atlantica Desf. is one of the most important wild species in Zagros forests which is of high economical and environmental value. Sustainability of these forests primarily depends on soil quality and water availability. Study the relationships between trees and soil is one of the basic factors in management and planning of forests. Hence, this study was undertaken with the objective of assessing the effect of tree species on soil physical and chemical properties in a semi-arid region (Kohgilouye Province) in the southwestern part of Iran. The experimental design was a factorial 4×2 (4 depths and 2 distances) in a randomized complete block design with six replications. Soil samples (0-20, 20-40, 40-60 and 60-80 cm depth) were taken from beneath the tree crowns and adjacent open areas. Soil samples were analyzed for physical and chemical properties. The results showed that wild pistachio canopy increased mostly organic carbon, hydraulic conductivity, total N, SP, available K+, P (olsen), EC, EDTA extractable Fe2+ and Mn2+, while bulk density, CCE and DTPA extractable Cu2+ were decreased. Pistachio canopy had no significant effect on soil texture, Zn2+ and pH.

  3. The Soil-Land use System in a Sand Spit Area in the Semi-Arid ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The Soil-Land use System in a Sand Spit Area in the Semi-Arid Coastal Savanna Region of Ghana – Development, Sustainability and Threats. ... The investigation comprises soil profile descriptions and analyses on the dominant soil type on the sand spit, measurement of electrical conductivity of well water and in the soil, ...

  4. The dominant role of semi-arid ecosystems in the trend and variability of the land CO2 sink

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ahlström, Anders; Raupach, Michael R.; Schurgers, Guy

    2015-01-01

    to that variability are not well known. Using an ensemble of ecosystem and land-surface models and an empirical observation-based product of global gross primary production, we show that the mean sink, trend, and interannual variability in CO2 uptake by terrestrial ecosystems are dominated by distinct biogeographic...

  5. Evapotranspiration and soil water relationships in a range of disturbed and undisturbed ecosystems in the semi-arid Inner Mongolia, China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nan Lu; Shiping Chen; Burkhard Wilske; Ge Sun; Jiquan Chen

    2011-01-01

    Aims: Evapotranspiration (ET) is a key component of water balance and is closely linked to ecosystem productivity. In arid regions, large proportion of precipitation (PPT) is returned to the atmosphere through ET, with only a small amount available to plants. Our objective was to examine the variability in ET–soil water relationship based on a set of ecosystems that...

  6. Transfer of {sup 137}Cs in Zea mays and Phaseolus vulgaris in a semi-arid ecosystem; Transferencia de {sup 137}Cs en Zea mays y Phaseolus vulgaris en un ecosistema semiarido

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cervantes, M.L.; Segovia, N.; Gaso P, M.I.; Palacios, J.C. [Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Nucleares, Laboratorio de Vigilancia Radiologica Ambiental, A.P. 18-1027, 11801 Mexico D.F. (Mexico)

    1999-07-01

    With the objective to analyse the transference of {sup 137} Cs from soil to plants, it is realized a study in maize and bean plants in the Radioactive Waste Storage Center (CADER). This site is located in a semi-arid region with a characteristic vegetation of a sub humid temperature zone. So those plants maize and beans were cultivated in four zones near CADER during a four years period. The obtained results for 1991 to 1994 for {sup 137} Cs in soil samples for those zones showed an evident contamination in zone 1, due to a rupture of an industrial source. In 1994 the effect of decontamination was evident since the values of specific activity found in roots were around magnitude lesser than found in 1992. In spite of exhaustive studies have been reported about the transference factors for {sup 137} Cs in different agricultural foods, relatively few of them have paid attention to the interactions between cereals and leguminous associated in semiarid ecosystems. (Author)

  7. Tropical Warm Semi-Arid Regions Expanding Over Temperate Latitudes In The Projected 21st Century

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rajaud, A.; de Noblet, N. I.

    2015-12-01

    Two billion people today live in drylands, where extreme climatic conditions prevail, and natural resources are limited. Drylands are expected to expand under several scenarios of climatic change. However, relevant adaptation strategies need to account for the aridity level: it conditions the equilibrium tree-cover density, ranging from deserts (hyper-arid) to dense savannas (sub-humid). Here we focus on the evolution of climatically defined warm semi-arid areas, where low-tree density covers can be maintained. We study the global repartition of these regions in the future and the bioclimatic shifts involved. We adopted a bioclimatological approach based on the Köppen climate classification. The warm semi-arid class is characterized by mean annual temperatures over 18°C and a rainfall-limitation criterion. A multi-model ensemble of CMIP5 projections for three representative concentration pathways was selected to analyze future conditions. The classification was first applied to the start, middle and end of the 20th and 21st centuries, in order to localize past and future warm semi-arid regions. Then, time-series for the classification were built to characterize trends and variability in the evolution of those regions. According to the CRU datasets, global expansion of the warm semi-arid area has already started (~+13%), following the global warming trend since the 1900s. This will continue according to all projections, most significantly so outside the tropical belt. Under the "business as usual" scenario, the global warm semi-arid area will increase by 30% and expand 12° poleward in the Northern Hemisphere, according to the multi-model mean. Drying drives the conversion from equatorial sub-humid conditions. Beyond 30° of latitude, cold semi-arid conditions become warm semi-arid through warming, and temperate conditions through combined warming and drying processes. Those various transitions may have drastic but also very distinct ecological and sociological

  8. Book title: Exotic brome grasses in arid and semi-arid ecosystems of the western US: causes, consequences, and management implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Exotic invasive annual grass research and management in arid and semiarid ecosystems of the western US have historically focused on the outcome of efforts to reduce weed abundance. Given the current impact of invasive annual grasses and their continued spread in this region, we assessed components ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-06

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

  10. Using vegetation structure estimates derived from multi-source remote sensing to predict dynamics of a semi-arid ecosystem in the western US

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shrestha, R.; Mitchell, J. J.; Glenn, N. F.; Flores, A. N.

    2014-12-01

    The distribution of species and vegetation types across the western US are expected to shift in response to climate change. Previous studies have documented the change in fire regime and the increasing fire-invasive grass cycle occurring in the western U.S. The change in vegetation structure due to climate change and invasive species alters the fuel load, making these ecosystems vulnerable to high-severity fire. Synergistic remote sensing data, such as hyperspectral data and high-resolution lidar, can be leveraged to capture the composition and structural variability of short-statured semiarid vegetation (e.g. sagebrush, annual grasses). We use a random-forests based fusion technique to integrate multi-source airborne data (hyperspectral and LiDAR) and generate spatially-explicit estimates of vegetation composition and structure (biomass, cover, density, height, LAI) and associated uncertainty across a climate and elevation gradient in southern Idaho. The results will be used to initialize an individual-based terrestrial biosphere model (Ecosystem Demography, ED2) and estimate structural dynamics under future scenarios. This study will provide a basis for understanding feedback mechanisms related to changing climate conditions, fire regimes and patterns of non-native plant invasion. The forthcoming field and remote sensing collection campaigns are also designed for parameterizing a dryland shrub plant functional type in the ED2 model.

  11. Stable oxygen isotope analysis reveal vegetation influence on soil water movement and ecosystem water fluxes in a semi-arid oak woodland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piayda, Arndt; Dubbert, Maren; Werner, Christiane; Cuntz, Matthias

    2015-04-01

    Mechanistically disentangling the role and function of vegetation within the hydrological cycle is one of the key questions in the interdisciplinary field of ecohydrology. The presence of vegetation can have various impacts on soil water relations: transpiration of active vegetation causes great water losses, rainfall is intercepted, soil evaporation can be reduced and infiltration, hydraulic redistribution and translatory flow might be altered. In drylands, covering around 40% of the global land surface, the carbon cycle is closely coupled to water availability due to (seasonal) droughts. Specifically savannah type ecosystems, which cover large areas worldwide, are, due to their bi-layered structure, very suitable to study the effects of distinct vegetation types on the ecosystem water cycle. Oxygen isotope signatures (δ18O) have been used to partition ecosystem evapotranspiration (ET ) because of the distinct isotopic compositions of water transpired by leaves relative to soil evaporated vapor. Recent developments in laser spectroscopy enable measurements of δ18O in the vapor phase with high temporal resolution in the field and bear a novel opportunity to trace water movement within the ecosystem. In the present study, the effects of distinct vegetation layers (i.e. trees and herbaceous vegetation) on soil water infiltration and redistribution as well as ecosystem water fluxes in a Mediterranean cork-oak woodland are disentangled. An irrigation experiment was carried out using δ18O labeled water to quantify the distinct effects of trees and herbaceous vegetation on 1) infiltration and redistribution of water in the soil profile and 2) to disentangle the effects of tree cover on the contribution of unproductive soil evaporation and understory transpiration to total ET . First results proof that stable δ18O isotopes measured onsite with laser spectroscopy is a valuable tool to trace water movement in the soil showing a much higher sensitivity than common TDR

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

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Huntely, BJ

    1978-07-01

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

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

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Ferrar, P

    1982-09-01

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

  14. The net effect of abiotic conditions and biotic interactions in a semi-arid ecosystem NE Spain: implications for the management and restoration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pueyo, Yolanda; Arroyo, Antonio I.; Saiz, Hugo; Alados, Concepción L.

    2014-05-01

    Degradation in arid and semiarid lands can be irreversible without human intervention, due to a positive plant-soil feedback where the loss of vegetation cover leads to soil degradation, which in turn hampers plant establishment. Human intervention in restoration actions usually involves the amendment of the degraded abiotic conditions, revegetation of bare areas, or both. However, abiotic amelioration is often expensive and too intrusive, and revegetation is not successful in many cases. Biotic interactions between plants, and more specifically facilitation by a "nurse" plant, have been proposed as a new via to take profit of improved abiotic conditions without intervention, and to increase the success rate of revegetation actions. But "nurse" plants can also interfere with others (i.e. by competition for resources or the release of allelopathic compounds), and the net balance between facilitation and interference could depend on plant types involved. We present recent observational and experimental studies performed in the semiarid ecosystems of the Middle Ebro Valley (NE Spain) about the role of abiotic conditions and biotic interactions in the productivity, dynamics and diversity of plant communities under different stress conditions (aridity and grazing). We found that all plant types studied (shrubs and perennial grasses) improved abiotic conditions (soil temperature and water availability for plants) with respect to open areas. However, only some shrubs (mainly Salsola vermiculata) had a positive net balance in the biotic interactions between plants, while other shrubs (Artemisia herba-alba) and perennial grasses (Lygeum spartum) showed interference with other plants. Moreover, the net balance between facilitation and interference among plants in the community shifted from competitive to neutral or from neutral to facilitative with increasing aridity. Grazing status did not strongly change the net biotic interactions between plants. Our results suggest that

  15. Climate and vegetation in a semi-arid savanna: Development of a climate–vegetation response model linking plant metabolic performance to climate and the effects on forage availability for large herbivores

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Armin H. Seydack

    2012-02-01

    Developing the climate–vegetation response model involved three main components, namely (1 defining indicators of forage availability to herbivores (nitrogen productivity, nitrogen quality, carbon-nutrient quality, (2 identifying herbivore species guilds of similar nutritional requirements with respect to these indicators [bulk feeders with tolerance to fibrous herbage (buffalo, waterbuck, bulk feeders with preference for high nitrogen quality forage (short grass preference grazers: blue wildebeest and zebra and selective feeders where dietary items of relatively high carbon-nutrient quality represented key forage resources (selective grazers: sable antelope, roan antelope, tsessebe, eland] and (3 developing a process model where the expected effects of plant metabolic responses to climate on key forage resources were made explicit. According to the climate–vegetation response model both shorter-term transient temperature acclimation pulses and longer-term shifts in plant metabolic functionality settings were predicted to have occurred in response to temperature trends over the past century. These temperature acclimation responses were expected to have resulted in transient pulses of increased forage availability (increased nitrogen- and carbon-nutrient quality, as well as the progressive long-term decline of the carbon-nutrient quality of forage. Conservation implications: The climate–vegetation response model represents a research framework for further studies contributing towards the enhanced understanding of landscape-scale functioning of savanna systems with reference to the interplay between climate, vegetation and herbivore population dynamics. Gains in such understanding can support sound conservation management.

  16. 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.

  17. A machine learning approach to estimation of downward solar radiation from satellite-derived data products: An application over a semi-arid ecosystem in the U.S.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Qingtao; Flores, Alejandro; Glenn, Nancy F; Walters, Reggie; Han, Bangshuai

    2017-01-01

    Shortwave solar radiation is an important component of the surface energy balance and provides the principal source of energy for terrestrial ecosystems. This paper presents a machine learning approach in the form of a random forest (RF) model for estimating daily downward solar radiation flux at the land surface over complex terrain using MODIS (MODerate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) remote sensing data. The model-building technique makes use of a unique network of 16 solar flux measurements in the semi-arid Reynolds Creek Experimental Watershed and Critical Zone Observatory, in southwest Idaho, USA. Based on a composite RF model built on daily observations from all 16 sites in the watershed, the model simulation of downward solar radiation matches well with the observation data (r2 = 0.96). To evaluate model performance, RF models were built from 12 of 16 sites selected at random and validated against the observations at the remaining four sites. Overall root mean square errors (RMSE), bias, and mean absolute error (MAE) are small (range: 37.17 W/m2-81.27 W/m2, -48.31 W/m2-15.67 W/m2, and 26.56 W/m2-63.77 W/m2, respectively). When extrapolated to the entire watershed, spatiotemporal patterns of solar flux are largely consistent with expected trends in this watershed. We also explored significant predictors of downward solar flux in order to reveal important properties and processes controlling downward solar radiation. Based on the composite RF model built on all 16 sites, the three most important predictors to estimate downward solar radiation include the black sky albedo (BSA) near infrared band (0.858 μm), BSA visible band (0.3-0.7 μm), and clear day coverage. This study has important implications for improving the ability to derive downward solar radiation through a fusion of multiple remote sensing datasets and can potentially capture spatiotemporally varying trends in solar radiation that is useful for land surface hydrologic and terrestrial

  18. Water conservation for semi-arid rangelands

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Willis, W.O.

    1983-01-01

    Water deficiency is most often the cause for low forage production on rangelands in semi-arid and arid regions. Water conservation methods have been developed but additional research is needed to develop the best management practices for various climatic regions. Poor management is another major cause of low rangeland production. Better management, including the application of research findings, depends on attitudes, policies, adaptability of findings, resources for implementation and a good understanding of the governing biotic and abiotic factors. (author)

  19. Trophy Hunting and Sustainability: Temporal Dynamics in Trophy Quality and Harvesting Patterns of Wild Herbivores in a Tropical Semi-Arid Savanna Ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muposhi, Victor K; Gandiwa, Edson; Bartels, Paul; Makuza, Stanley M; Madiri, Tinaapi H

    2016-01-01

    The selective nature of trophy hunting may cause changes in desirable phenotypic traits in harvested species. A decline in trophy size of preferred species may reduce hunting destination competitiveness thus compromising the sustainability of trophy hunting as a conservation tool. We explored the trophy quality and trends in harvesting patterns (i.e., 2004-2015) of Cape buffalo (Syncerus caffer), African elephant (Loxodonta africana), greater kudu (Tragelaphus strepsiceros) and sable (Hippotragus niger) in Matetsi Safari Area, northwest Zimbabwe. We used long-term data on horn and tusk size, age, quota size allocation and offtake levels of selected species. To analyse the effect of year, area and age on the trophy size, quota size and offtake levels, we used linear mixed models. One sample t-test was used to compare observed trophy size with Safari Club International (SCI) minimum score. Trophy sizes for Cape buffalo and African elephant were below the SCI minimum score. Greater kudu trophy sizes were within the minimum score threshold whereas sable trophy sizes were above the SCI minimum score between 2004 and 2015. Age at harvest for Cape buffalo, kudu and sable increased whilst that of elephant remained constant between 2004 and 2015. Quota size allocated for buffalo and the corresponding offtake levels declined over time. Offtake levels of African elephant and Greater kudu declined whilst the quota size did not change between 2004 and 2015. The quota size for sable increased whilst the offtake levels fluctuated without changing for the period 2004-2015. The trophy size and harvesting patterns in these species pose a conservation and management dilemma on the sustainability of trophy hunting in this area. We recommend: (1) temporal and spatial rotational resting of hunting areas to create refuge to improve trophy quality and maintenance of genetic diversity, and (2) introduction of variable trophy fee pricing system based on trophy size.

  20. Trophy Hunting and Sustainability: Temporal Dynamics in Trophy Quality and Harvesting Patterns of Wild Herbivores in a Tropical Semi-Arid Savanna Ecosystem.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Victor K Muposhi

    Full Text Available The selective nature of trophy hunting may cause changes in desirable phenotypic traits in harvested species. A decline in trophy size of preferred species may reduce hunting destination competitiveness thus compromising the sustainability of trophy hunting as a conservation tool. We explored the trophy quality and trends in harvesting patterns (i.e., 2004-2015 of Cape buffalo (Syncerus caffer, African elephant (Loxodonta africana, greater kudu (Tragelaphus strepsiceros and sable (Hippotragus niger in Matetsi Safari Area, northwest Zimbabwe. We used long-term data on horn and tusk size, age, quota size allocation and offtake levels of selected species. To analyse the effect of year, area and age on the trophy size, quota size and offtake levels, we used linear mixed models. One sample t-test was used to compare observed trophy size with Safari Club International (SCI minimum score. Trophy sizes for Cape buffalo and African elephant were below the SCI minimum score. Greater kudu trophy sizes were within the minimum score threshold whereas sable trophy sizes were above the SCI minimum score between 2004 and 2015. Age at harvest for Cape buffalo, kudu and sable increased whilst that of elephant remained constant between 2004 and 2015. Quota size allocated for buffalo and the corresponding offtake levels declined over time. Offtake levels of African elephant and Greater kudu declined whilst the quota size did not change between 2004 and 2015. The quota size for sable increased whilst the offtake levels fluctuated without changing for the period 2004-2015. The trophy size and harvesting patterns in these species pose a conservation and management dilemma on the sustainability of trophy hunting in this area. We recommend: (1 temporal and spatial rotational resting of hunting areas to create refuge to improve trophy quality and maintenance of genetic diversity, and (2 introduction of variable trophy fee pricing system based on trophy size.

  1. Soil fertility management strategies and practices by smallholder farmers in semi-arid areas of Zimbabwe

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mapfumo, P.; Giller, K.E.

    2001-01-01

    Indigenous soil fertility management strategies in semi-arid Communal Areas of Zimbabwe have largely been driven by an extensive use of resources. The shrinking of common property resources (CPRs) due to expansion of cultivated lands, the general loss of productivity in natural ecosystems (e.g.,

  2. Evaluation of methods for delineating riparian zones in a semi-arid montane watershed

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jessica A. Salo; David M. Theobald; Thomas C. Brown

    2016-01-01

    Riparian zones in semi-arid, mountainous regions provide a disproportionate amount of the available wildlife habitat and ecosystem services. Despite their importance, there is little guidance on the best way to map riparian zones for broad spatial extents (e.g., large watersheds) when detailed maps from field data or high-resolution imagery and terrain data...

  3. Cereals for the semi-arid tropics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    De Wet, J.M.J.

    1989-01-01

    The region of semi-arid tropics is the most famine prone area of the world. This region with nearly one billion people extends across some 20 million square kilometres. Major domesticated cereals adapted to semi-arid regions are sorghum (Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench), foxtail millet (Setaria italica (L.) P. Beauv.) and pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum (L.) R. Br.). Several minor cereals are grown as speciality crops, or harvested in the wild in times of severe drought and scarcity. Important in the African Sahel are the fonios Digitaria iburua Stapf, D. exilis (Kapist) Stapf and Brachiaria deflexa (Schumach). C.E. Hubbard. These species are aggressive colonizers and are commonly encouraged as weeds in cultivated fields. Sown genotypes differ from their close wild relatives primarily in the lack of efficient natural seed dispersal. The fonios lend themselves to rapid domestication. Several wild cereals extend well beyond the limits of agriculture into the Sahara. Commonly harvested are the perennial Stipagrostis pungens and Panicum turgidum, and the annual Cenchrus biflorus (kram-kram). Kram-kram yields well under extreme heat and drought stress, and holds promise as a domesticated cereal. Sauwi millet (Panicum sonorum) is promising cereal in arid northwestern Mexico. (author). 31 refs

  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. Horizontal and vertical variability of soil moisture in savanna ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caylor, K.; D'Odorico, P.; Rodriguez-Iturbe, I.

    2004-12-01

    Soil moisture is a key hydrological variable that mediates the interactions between climate, soil, and vegetation dynamics in water-limited ecosystems. Because of the importance of water limitation in savannas, a number of theoretical models of tree-grass coexistence have been developed which differ in their underlying assumptions about the ways in which trees and grasses access and use soil moisture. However, clarification of the mechanisms that allow savanna vegetation to persist as a mixture of grasses and trees remains a vexing problem in both hydrological and vegetation science. A particular challenge is the fact that the spatial pattern of vegetation is both a cause and effect of variation in water availability in semiarid ecosystems. At landscape to regional scales, climatic and geologic constraints on soil moisture availability are primary determinants of vegetation structural pattern. However, at local to landscape scales the patchy vegetation structural mosaic serves to redistribute the availability of soil moisture in ways that have important consequences for structural dynamics and community composition. In this regard, the emerging field of ecohydrology is well suited to investigate questions concerning couplings between the patchy structural mosaic of savanna vegetation and the kinds self-organizing dynamics known to exist in other light and nutrient-limited vegetation systems. Here we address the role of patchy vegetation structure through the use of a lumped model of soil moisture dynamics that accounts for the effect of tree canopy on the lateral and vertical distribution of soil moisture. The model includes mechanisms for the drying of the ground surface due to soil evaporation in the sites with no tree cover, and for the lateral water uptake due to root invading areas with no canopy cover located in the proximity of trees. The model, when applied to a series of sites along a rainfall gradient in southern Africa, is able to explain the cover

  6. Determinants of woody cover in African savannas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sankaran, M.; Hanan, N.P.; Scholes, Robert J.; Ratnam, J.; Augustine, D.J.; Cade, B.S.; Gignoux, J.; Higgins, S.I.; Le, Roux X.; Ludwig, F.; Ardo, J.; Banyikwa, F.; Bronn, A.; Bucini, 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 regimes (fire, herbivory) are thought to be important in regulating woody cover1,2,4,5, but perceptions differ on which of these are the primary drivers of savanna structure. Here we show, using data from 854 sites across Africa, that maximum woody cover in savannas receiving a mean annual precipitation (MAP) of less than ???650 mm is constrained by, and increases linearly with, MAP. These arid and semi-arid savannas may be considered 'stable' systems in which water constrains woody cover and permits grasses to coexist, while fire, herbivory and soil properties interact to reduce woody cover below the MAP-controlled upper bound. Above a MAP of ???650 mm, savannas are 'unstable' systems in which MAP is sufficient for woody canopy closure, and disturbances (fire, herbivory) are required for the coexistence of trees and grass. These results provide insights into the nature of African savannas and suggest that future changes in precipitation 6 may considerably affect their distribution and dynamics. ?? 2005 Nature Publishing Group.

  7. Determining the resilience of carbon dynamics in semi-arid biomes of the Southwestern US to severe drought and altered rainfall patterns

    Science.gov (United States)

    Litvak, M. E.; Krofcheck, D. J.; Hilton, T. W.; Fox, A. M.; Osuna, J. L.

    2011-12-01

    Water is critically important for biotic processes in semi-arid ecosystems and 2011 is developing as one of the most severe drought years on record for many parts of the Southwestern US. To quantify the impact of this severe drought on regional carbon and energy balance, we need a more detailed understanding of how water limitation alters ecosystem processes across a range of semi-arid biomes. We quantified the impact of severe drought and changes in both the quantity and distribution of precipitation on ecosystem biotic structure and function across the range of biomes represented in the NM elevation gradient network (desert grassland, creosote shrubland, juniper savanna, piñon-juniper woodland, ponderosa pine forest and subalpine mixed conifer forest). We compared how daily, seasonal and annual carbon and energy balance and their components in each of these biomes respond to changes in rainfall patterns using continuous measurements of carbon, water and energy exchange and associated measurements in each of these biomes during a 5 year period (2006-2011) that included a severe drought, and large variability in both winter precipitation and the timing and intensity of the monsoon. To understand the underlying mechanisms, we used time series of radiation absorbed by vegetation, surface albedo, soil moisture storage, phenology, gross primary productivity (GPP), ecosystem respiration (Re), and WorldView-2 images acquired pre- and post-monsoon in each of these biomes. In all of the biomes except the desert grassland site, the strength and timing of both winter and monsoon precipitation are important controls over carbon and energy dynamics in this region, though we see site-specific sensitivities across the elevation gradient. Over the past 5 years, carbon dynamics in the desert grassland site appears to be decoupled from winter precipitation. In addition, carbon dynamics in disturbed grassland and pinon-juniper ecosystems were more sensitive to severe drought than

  8. Pathways to Resilience in Semi-Arid Economies (PRISE)

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

    rlarbey

    PRISE Goal. This research will support the emergence of equitable, climate resilient economic development in semi-arid lands through research excellence and ... change in semi-arid areas, and how is the private sector adapting? 4. How do ... Role. Individual. Contact email. Lead Principal Investigator. Dr Tom Mitchell.

  9. Land cover/land use change in semi-arid Inner Mongolia: 1992-2004

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    John, Ranjeet; Chen Jiquan; Lu Nan; Wilske, Burkhard, E-mail: ranjeet.john@utoledo.ed [Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Toledo, Toledo, OH 43606 (United States)

    2009-10-15

    The semi-arid grasslands in Inner Mongolia (IM) are under increasing stress owing to climate change and rapid socio-economic development in the recent past. We investigated changes in land cover/land use and landscape structure between 1992 and 2004 through the analysis of AVHRR and MODIS derived land cover data. The scale of analysis included the regional level (i.e. the whole of IM) as well as the level of the dominant biomes (i.e. the grassland and desert). We quantified proportional change, rate of change and the changes in class-level landscape metrics using the landscape structure analysis program FRAGSTATS. The dominant land cover types, grassland and barren, 0.47 and 0.27 million km{sup 2}, respectively, have increased proportionally. Cropland and urban land use also increased to 0.15 million km{sup 2} and 2197 km{sup 2}, respectively. However, the results further indicated increases in both the homogeneity and fragmentation of the landscape. Increasing homogeneity was mainly related to the reduction in minority cover types such as savanna, forests and permanent wetlands and increasing cohesion, aggregation index and clumpy indices. Conversely, increased fragmentation of the landscape was based on the increase in patch density and the interspersion/juxtaposition index (IJI). It is important to note the socio-economic growth in this fragile ecosystem, manifested by an increasing proportion of agricultural and urban land use not just at the regional level but also at the biome level in the context of regional climate change and increasing water stress.

  10. Land cover/land use change in semi-arid Inner Mongolia: 1992-2004

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    John, Ranjeet; Chen Jiquan; Lu Nan; Wilske, Burkhard

    2009-01-01

    The semi-arid grasslands in Inner Mongolia (IM) are under increasing stress owing to climate change and rapid socio-economic development in the recent past. We investigated changes in land cover/land use and landscape structure between 1992 and 2004 through the analysis of AVHRR and MODIS derived land cover data. The scale of analysis included the regional level (i.e. the whole of IM) as well as the level of the dominant biomes (i.e. the grassland and desert). We quantified proportional change, rate of change and the changes in class-level landscape metrics using the landscape structure analysis program FRAGSTATS. The dominant land cover types, grassland and barren, 0.47 and 0.27 million km 2 , respectively, have increased proportionally. Cropland and urban land use also increased to 0.15 million km 2 and 2197 km 2 , respectively. However, the results further indicated increases in both the homogeneity and fragmentation of the landscape. Increasing homogeneity was mainly related to the reduction in minority cover types such as savanna, forests and permanent wetlands and increasing cohesion, aggregation index and clumpy indices. Conversely, increased fragmentation of the landscape was based on the increase in patch density and the interspersion/juxtaposition index (IJI). It is important to note the socio-economic growth in this fragile ecosystem, manifested by an increasing proportion of agricultural and urban land use not just at the regional level but also at the biome level in the context of regional climate change and increasing water stress.

  11. Spatial pattern enhances ecosystem functioning in an African savanna.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pringle, Robert M; Doak, Daniel F; Brody, Alison K; Jocqué, Rudy; Palmer, Todd M

    2010-05-25

    The finding that regular spatial patterns can emerge in nature from local interactions between organisms has prompted a search for the ecological importance of these patterns. Theoretical models have predicted that patterning may have positive emergent effects on fundamental ecosystem functions, such as productivity. We provide empirical support for this prediction. In dryland ecosystems, termite mounds are often hotspots of plant growth (primary productivity). Using detailed observations and manipulative experiments in an African savanna, we show that these mounds are also local hotspots of animal abundance (secondary and tertiary productivity): insect abundance and biomass decreased with distance from the nearest termite mound, as did the abundance, biomass, and reproductive output of insect-eating predators. Null-model analyses indicated that at the landscape scale, the evenly spaced distribution of termite mounds produced dramatically greater abundance, biomass, and reproductive output of consumers across trophic levels than would be obtained in landscapes with randomly distributed mounds. These emergent properties of spatial pattern arose because the average distance from an arbitrarily chosen point to the nearest feature in a landscape is minimized in landscapes where the features are hyper-dispersed (i.e., uniformly spaced). This suggests that the linkage between patterning and ecosystem functioning will be common to systems spanning the range of human management intensities. The centrality of spatial pattern to system-wide biomass accumulation underscores the need to conserve pattern-generating organisms and mechanisms, and to incorporate landscape patterning in efforts to restore degraded habitats and maximize the delivery of ecosystem services.

  12. Salinization mechanisms in semi-arid regions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Santiago, M.M.F.

    1984-01-01

    During a period of three years the basins of the Pereira de Miranda and Caxitore dams, located in the crystalline rock area of Ceara, Brazil, were studied in order to determine the mechanisms of salinization of their waters. Isotope methods ( 18 O/ 16 O) and hidrochemistry (determination of the of the maior ions) were applied to surface, underground and rain water in this study. An isotope model was designed and applied to the determination of evaporation and percolation of dams in semi-arid zones during the dry season. The results are compared to those from a conventional chemical model. As causes of salinization of the water in the dams, the contributions of the rain itself and the lixiviation of the soil are quantified. An interaction between the dams and the underground water is imperceptible. The salinization of the underground water is attributed to recharge of the aquifer with rain water from the surface runoff followed by evaporation of the water rising, due to capilarity, in a one-directional flow to the surface. (Author) [pt

  13. 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...

  14. Introducing Pathways to Resilience in Semi-Arid Economies (PRISE ...

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

    rlarbey

    Equitable, climate resilient economic development in semi-arid .... manufacturing or services (apart from health, insurance and tourism). Further research ... evaluated, particularly economic impact assessments of adaptation both on existing.

  15. Patchiness in semi-arid dwarf shrublands: evidence from satellite ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ... Plants; Remote sensing; Rhigozum obovatum Burch; Satellite-derived vegetation indices; Woody species; patchiness; semi-arid; dwarf shrubland; shrublands; co2; assimilation; karoo; south africa; ndvi; satellite imagery; geochemical mound; rhigozum obovatum; eriocephalus ericoides; pentzia incana; vegetation; botany

  16. Spatial pattern enhances ecosystem functioning in an African savanna.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert M Pringle

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available The finding that regular spatial patterns can emerge in nature from local interactions between organisms has prompted a search for the ecological importance of these patterns. Theoretical models have predicted that patterning may have positive emergent effects on fundamental ecosystem functions, such as productivity. We provide empirical support for this prediction. In dryland ecosystems, termite mounds are often hotspots of plant growth (primary productivity. Using detailed observations and manipulative experiments in an African savanna, we show that these mounds are also local hotspots of animal abundance (secondary and tertiary productivity: insect abundance and biomass decreased with distance from the nearest termite mound, as did the abundance, biomass, and reproductive output of insect-eating predators. Null-model analyses indicated that at the landscape scale, the evenly spaced distribution of termite mounds produced dramatically greater abundance, biomass, and reproductive output of consumers across trophic levels than would be obtained in landscapes with randomly distributed mounds. These emergent properties of spatial pattern arose because the average distance from an arbitrarily chosen point to the nearest feature in a landscape is minimized in landscapes where the features are hyper-dispersed (i.e., uniformly spaced. This suggests that the linkage between patterning and ecosystem functioning will be common to systems spanning the range of human management intensities. The centrality of spatial pattern to system-wide biomass accumulation underscores the need to conserve pattern-generating organisms and mechanisms, and to incorporate landscape patterning in efforts to restore degraded habitats and maximize the delivery of ecosystem services.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Description of the savanna ecosystem project, Nylsvley, South Africa

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    CSIR National Scientific Programmes Unit, CSIR

    1975-12-01

    Full Text Available practices. These savannas stretch in a broad belt across southern Africa and have been greatly affected by increasing exploitation during the past hundred years. Increases in useful productivity have been accompanied by such problems as bush encroachment...

  20. Rainwater harvesting in arid and semi-arid zones

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boers, T.M.

    1994-01-01

    In arid and semi-arid regions, the scarcity of water can be alleviated by rainwater harvesting, which is defined as a method of inducing, collecting, storing, and conserving local surface runoff for agriculture. Rainwater harvesting can be applied with different

  1. Hypogeous fungi from Southern Spanish semi-arid lands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Honrubia, M.; Cano, A.; Molina-Niñirola, C.

    1992-01-01

    Six hypogeous fungi of Ascomycotina and Basidiomycotina have been studied from semiarid zones in Southern Spain. Melanogaster variegatus (Vitt.) Tul. is recorded for the first time from Spain. Picoa juniperi Vitt. and Terfezia claveryi Chat. are revealed as the most frequent species in semi-arid

  2. Determining Dry Matter Degradability of Some Semi-Arid Browse ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    acer

    ABSTRACT: The in vitro gas production of some semi-arid browse species were evaluated. The relationship between in ... between in vitro gas measured on incubation of browse leaves and that calculated from SCFA allows the prediction of SCFA from ... with concentrate feed (40% corn, 10% wheat offal, 10% palm kernel ...

  3. Adaptation at Scale in Semi-Arid Regions | IDRC - International ...

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

    People living in Africa and South Asia's semi-arid regions face challenges that hinder their economic growth and development. This project seeks to find proactive, longer-term approaches to climate change adaptation in these vulnerable regions, while helping locals manage existing risks. Short-term focus must shift. So far ...

  4. Uses of tree legumes in semi-arid regions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Felker, P.

    1980-01-01

    Uses of tree legumes in semi-arid and arid regions are reviewed. This review is divided into sections according to the following general use categories: fuels; human food; livestock food; to increase yields of crops grown beneath their canopies;and control of desertification. (MHR)

  5. Paclobutrazol biodegradation in unsaturated soil in the Semi-Arid ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Paclobutrazol (PBZ) is a plant growth regulator, increasing flowe ring and yield that is widely used in mango cultivation in the semi-arid northeastern Brazil. PBZ remains active in the soil for several years. However, it can severely affect the growth and development of subsequent crops, mainly by reducing vegetative vigor.

  6. Changes in semi-arid plant species associations along a livestock grazing gradient.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hugo Saiz

    Full Text Available In semi-arid ecosystems, vegetation is heterogeneously distributed, with plant species often associating in patches. These associations between species are not constant, but depend on the particular response of each species to environmental factors. Here, we investigated how plant species associations change in response to livestock grazing in a semi-arid ecosystem, Cabo de Gata-Níjar Natural Park in South East Spain. We established linear point-intercept transects at four sites with different grazing intensity, and recorded all species at each point. We investigated plant associations by comparing the number of times that each pair of species occurred at the same spatial point (co-occurrences, with the expected number of times based on species abundances. We also assessed associations for each shrub and grass species by considering all their pairs of associations and for the whole plant community by considering all pairs of associations on each site. At all sites, the plant community had a negative pattern of association, with fewer co-occurrences than expected. Negative association in the plant community increased at maximum grazing intensity. Most species associated as expected, particularly grass species, and positive associations were most important at intermediate grazing intensities. No species changed its type of association along the grazing gradient. We conclude that in the present plant community, grazing-resistant species compete among themselves and segregate in space. Some shrub species act as refuges for grazing-sensitive species that benefit from being spatially associated with shrub species, particularly at intermediate grazing intensities where positive associations were highest. At high grazing intensity, these shrubs can no longer persist and positive associations decrease due to the disappearance of refuges. Spatial associations between plant species and their response to grazing help identify the factors that organize

  7. Assessing the feasibility of integrating ecosystem-based with engineered water resource governance and management for water security in semi-arid landscapes: A case study in the Banas catchment, Rajasthan, India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Everard, Mark; Sharma, Om Prakash; Vishwakarma, Vinod Kumar; Khandal, Dharmendra; Sahu, Yogesh K; Bhatnagar, Rahul; Singh, Jitendra K; Kumar, Ritesh; Nawab, Asghar; Kumar, Amit; Kumar, Vivek; Kashyap, Anil; Pandey, Deep Narayan; Pinder, Adrian C

    2018-01-15

    Much of the developing world and areas of the developed world suffer water vulnerability. Engineering solutions enable technically efficient extraction and diversion of water towards areas of demand but, without rebalancing resource regeneration, can generate multiple adverse ecological and human consequences. The Banas River, Rajasthan (India), has been extensively developed for water diversion, particularly from the Bisalpur Dam from which water is appropriated by powerful urban constituencies dispossessing local people. Coincidentally, abandonment of traditional management, including groundwater recharge practices, is leading to increasingly receding and contaminated groundwater. This creates linked vulnerabilities for rural communities, irrigation schemes, urban users, dependent ecosystems and the multiple ecosystem services that they provide, compounded by climate change and population growth. This paper addresses vulnerabilities created by fragmented policy measures between rural development, urban and irrigation water supply and downstream consequences for people and wildlife. Perpetuating narrowly technocentric approaches to resource exploitation is likely only to compound emerging problems. Alternatively, restoration or innovation of groundwater recharge practices, particularly in the upper catchment, can represent a proven, ecosystem-based approach to resource regeneration with linked beneficial socio-ecological benefits. Hybridising an ecosystem-based approach with engineered methods can simultaneously increase the security of rural livelihoods, piped urban and irrigation supplies, and the vitality of river ecosystems and their services to beneficiaries. A renewed policy focus on local-scale water recharge practices balancing water extraction technologies is consistent with emerging Rajasthani policies, particularly Jal Swavlamban Abhiyan ('water self-reliance mission'). Policy reform emphasising recharge can contribute to water security and yield socio

  8. 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.

  9. Semi-arid development: competitiveness factors in biodiesel productive chain

    OpenAIRE

    Breno Barros Telles do Carmo; Dmontier Pinheiro Aragão; Heráclito Lopes Jaguaribe Pontes; Bruno Magalhães Ribeiro; Marcos Ronaldo Albertin

    2009-01-01

    The new global market competitiveness considerer the competition between productive chains (PC) or supply chains, not just between enterprises. In this case, it can be observed collaboration and cooperation enterprises that dispute with others productives chain. The PC competitiveness can be impaired if is subject by inhibitors factors, that can impairer the performance. This paper analyses these competitiveness factors inhibitors in biodiesel productive chain (CPB) in semi-arid area: exporte...

  10. Geochemical Weathering Increases Lead Bioaccessibility in Semi-Arid Mine Tailings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayes, Sarah M.; Webb, Sam M.; Bargar, John R.; O'Day, Peggy A.; Maier, Raina M.; Chorover, Jon

    2012-01-01

    Mine tailings can host elevated concentrations of toxic metal(loid)s that represent a significant hazard to surrounding communities and ecosystems. Eolian transport, capable of translocating small (micrometer-sized) particles, can be the dominant mechanism of toxic metal dispersion in arid or semi-arid landscapes. Human exposure to metals can then occur via direct inhalation or ingestion of particulates. The fact that measured doses of total lead (Pb) in geomedia correlate poorly with blood Pb levels highlights a need to better resolve the precise distribution of molecularly-speciated metal-bearing phases in the complex particle mixtures. Species distribution controls bioaccessibility, thereby directly impacting health risk. This study seeks to correlate Pb-containing particle size and mineral composition with lability and bioaccessibility in mine tailings subjected to weathering in a semi-arid environment. We employed X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) and X-ray fluorescence (XRF), coupled with sequential chemical extractions, to study Pb speciation in tailings from the semi-arid Arizona Klondyke State Superfund Site. Representative samples ranging in pH from 2.6 to 5.4 were selected for in-depth study of Pb solid-phase speciation. The principle lead-bearing phase was plumbojarosite (PbFe6(SO4)4(OH)12), but anglesite (PbSO4) and iron oxide-sorbed Pb were also observed. Anglesite, the most bioavailable mineral species of lead identified in this study, was enriched in surficial tailings samples, where Pb concentrations in the clay size fraction were 2–3 times higher by mass relative to bulk. A mobile and bioaccessible Pb phase accumulates in surficial tailings, with a corresponding increase in risk of human exposure to atmospheric particles. PMID:22553941

  11. PRODUCERS’ PERCEPTION OF GEOGRAPHICAL INDICATIONS AS A PRODUCT DIVERSIFICATION TOOL FOR AGRIFOOD PRODUCTS IN SEMI-ARID REGIONS OF KENYA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fredah Wangui Maina

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available The study assessed producers’ awareness and perceptions of territorial-based qualities and the economic potential of two potential origin-based geographical indications in two semi-arid counties in Kenya. Protection of the origin products as geographical indications is presented as an option for ecosystem approach in managing fragile semi-arid regions while providing producers economic incentives and social inclusion; key components of green growth. Factor analysis was conducted on Likert scale perception questions administered to producers of goats (Baringo and mangoes (Makueni. The producers were aware of the uniqueness of their products and its geographical source. The resultant factors reveal the importance of public policies, institutions, market access and public sector actors as important to producers’ perception of the success of protecting their products as geographical indications. Clustering revealed producer heterogeneity in their perceptions of protecting their respective products as geographical indications. The constitution of the clusters was significantly different based on the number of years the producers had practiced farming in the region, their awareness of the uniqueness of their goats, income received from goat production and institutional factors. Enhanced collective action for both goats and mangoes in the semi-arid regions would ensure collective reputation in the product presented to the market. The producers’ perceptions emphasise geographical indications as a marketing tool rather than an environmental tool, agreeing with Principle 4 of the ecosystem approach on managing ecosystem in an economic context.

  12. Impacts of urbanization on nitrogen cycling and aerosol, surface and groundwater transport in semi-arid regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lohse, K. A.; Gallo, E.; Carlson, M.; Riha, K. M.; Brooks, P. D.; McIntosh, J. C.; Sorooshian, A.; Michalski, G. M.; Meixner, T.

    2011-12-01

    Semi-arid regions are experiencing disproportionate increases in human population and land transformation worldwide, taxing limited water resources and altering nitrogen (N) biogeochemistry. How the redistribution of water and N by urbanization affects semi-arid ecosystems and downstream water quality (e.g. drinking water) is unclear. Understanding these interactions and their feedbacks will be critical for developing science-based management strategies to sustain these limited resources. This is especially true in the US where some of the fastest growing urban areas are in semi-arid ecosystems, where N and water cycles are accelerated, and intimately coupled, and where runoff from urban ecosystems is actively managed to augment a limited water supply to the growing human population. Here we synthesize several ongoing studies from the Tucson Basin in Arizona and examine how increasing urban land cover is altering rainfall-runoff relationships, groundwater recharge, water quality, and long range transport of atmospheric N. Studies across 5 catchments varying in impervious land cover showed that only the least impervious catchment responded to antecedent moisture conditions while hydrologic responses were not statistically related to antecedent rainfall conditions at more impervious sites. Regression models indicated that rainfall depth, imperviousness, and their combined effect control discharge and runoff ratios (p channel characteristics and infrastructure controlled runoff chemistry. Groundwater studies showed nonpoint source contamination of CFCs and associated nitrate in areas of rapid recharge along ephemeral channels. Aerosol measurements indicate that both long-range transport of N and N emissions from Tucson are being transported and deposited at high elevation in areas that recharge regional groundwater. Combined, our findings suggest that urbanization in semi-arid regions results in tradeoffs in the redistribution of water and N that have important

  13. Modeling Linkages Between Effective Impervious Surface and Urban Vegetation Productivity in Semi-arid Environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shields, C. A.; Tague, C.

    2010-12-01

    With a majority of the world's population now living in urban areas, the role of vegetation in urban ecosystems warrants increased attention. We address the question of how the fine scale (significantly impact the productivity of vegetation and uptake of C and N. To gain insight into how landscape features influence vegetation productivity, we use a coupled ecohydrogic model to estimate impacts of the amount and arrangement of impervious surfaces on vegetation water use. We use the model to explore how concepts from research in natural semi-arid ecosystems can be applied in the urban context. Ecological research in semi-arid ecosystems has shown that the arrangement of vegetated and bare surfaces plays a key role in regulating both runoff and ecosystem water use and productivity. Systems that include a mixture of bare and vegetated surfaces, for example, tend to show less runoff and more productivity than those with more homogeneous cover. In some instances, patchiness of bare and vegetated surfaces is more important than total vegetated area in determining rates of runoff and vegetation use of rainfall. In an urban context, impervious surfaces can be viewed as analogous to the bare surfaces present in undeveloped ecosystems. We consider not only the total impervious area (TIA), but also the effect of impervious area with a direct hydrologic connection to the stream network, effective impervious area (EIA). While increases in total impervious area (TIA) have been widely shown to impact catchment hydrology, the role of effective impervious area (EIA) has been less extensively studied. A consensus is emerging from the literature that EIA is as important or even more important than TIA as an indicator of catchment response to urbanization. Ecohydrologic models offer a tool to quantify the role of EIA on water availability and plant productivity and demonstrate the potential of urban areas to act as C or N sinks (and minimize the impacts such as increased storm runoff

  14. Reduction of tree cover in West African woodlands and promotion in semi-arid farmlands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brandt, Martin; Rasmussen, Kjeld; Hiernaux, Pierre; Herrmann, Stefanie; Tucker, Compton J.; Tong, Xiaoye; Tian, Feng; Mertz, Ole; Kergoat, Laurent; Mbow, Cheikh; David, John L.; Melocik, Katherine A.; Dendoncker, Morgane; Vincke, Caroline; Fensholt, Rasmus

    2018-05-01

    Woody vegetation in farmland acts as a carbon sink and provides ecosystem services for local people, but no macroscale assessments of the impact of management and climate on woody cover exist for drylands. Here we make use of very high spatial resolution satellite imagery to derive wall-to-wall woody cover patterns in tropical West African drylands. Our study reveals that mean woody cover in farmlands along all semi-arid and sub-humid rainfall zones is 16%, on average only 6% lower than in savannahs. In semi-arid Sahel, farmland management promotes woody cover around villages (11%), while neighbouring savannahs had on average less woody cover. However, farmlands in sub-humid zones have a greatly reduced woody cover (21%) as compared with savannahs (33%). In the region as a whole, rainfall, terrain and soil are the most important (80%) determinants of woody cover, while management factors play a smaller (20%) role. We conclude that agricultural expansion causes a considerable reduction of trees in woodlands, but observations in Sahel indicate that villagers safeguard trees on nearby farmlands which contradicts simplistic ideas of a high negative correlation between population density and woody cover.

  15. Effects of rainfall on bird reproduction in a semi-arid Neotropical region

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liana Monique Paiva Cavalcanti

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT In semi-arid ecosystems, birds commonly use rainfall as a reliable environmental cue to adjust the timing and strength of their reproductive activity. Here we evaluate this hypothesis for a community of birds in the Caatinga (the semi-arid region of northeastern Brazil, using brood patch information and nest abundance. Sampling occurred every 14 days between September 2012 and August 2013 (brood patch, and every three or four days during the reproductive period (nests. Abundance of brood patches and nests were correlated, and all brood patches were recorded between March and July (4.5 to 5.0 months. We recorded three peaks of brood patch abundance: the first 28 days after the first rains, the second 14 days after the second rainfall peak, and the third synchronously with the third rainy period. These results indicate that intra-annual variation in local rainfall has the potential to account for variations in the timing and intensity of reproduction in the studied birds.

  16. Do Red Edge and Texture Attributes from High-Resolution Satellite Data Improve Wood Volume Estimation in a Semi-Arid Mountainous Region?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schumacher, Paul; Mislimshoeva, Bunafsha; Brenning, Alexander

    2016-01-01

    to overcome this issue. However, clear recommendations on the suitability of specific proxies to provide accurate biomass information in semi-arid to arid environments are still lacking. This study contributes to the understanding of using multispectral high-resolution satellite data (RapidEye), specifically...... red edge and texture attributes, to estimate wood volume in semi-arid ecosystems characterized by scarce vegetation. LASSO (Least Absolute Shrinkage and Selection Operator) and random forest were used as predictive models relating in situ-measured aboveground standing wood volume to satellite data...

  17. 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

  18. 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 CO 2 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 CO 2 , 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 CO 2 assimilation leading to higher GPP. However, CO 2 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.

  19. Estimating vegetation dryness to optimize fire risk assessment with spot vegetation satellite data in savanna ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verbesselt, J.; Somers, B.; Lhermitte, S.; van Aardt, J.; Jonckheere, I.; Coppin, P.

    2005-10-01

    The lack of information on vegetation dryness prior to the use of fire as a management tool often leads to a significant deterioration of the savanna ecosystem. This paper therefore evaluated the capacity of SPOT VEGETATION time-series to monitor the vegetation dryness (i.e., vegetation moisture content per vegetation amount) in order to optimize fire risk assessment in the savanna ecosystem of Kruger National Park in South Africa. The integrated Relative Vegetation Index approach (iRVI) to quantify the amount of herbaceous biomass at the end of the rain season and the Accumulated Relative Normalized Difference vegetation index decrement (ARND) related to vegetation moisture content were selected. The iRVI and ARND related to vegetation amount and moisture content, respectively, were combined in order to monitor vegetation dryness and optimize fire risk assessment in the savanna ecosystems. In situ fire activity data was used to evaluate the significance of the iRVI and ARND to monitor vegetation dryness for fire risk assessment. Results from the binary logistic regression analysis confirmed that the assessment of fire risk was optimized by integration of both the vegetation quantity (iRVI) and vegetation moisture content (ARND) as statistically significant explanatory variables. Consequently, the integrated use of both iRVI and ARND to monitor vegetation dryness provides a more suitable tool for fire management and suppression compared to other traditional satellite-based fire risk assessment methods, only related to vegetation moisture content.

  20. Savanna ecosystem project - progress report 1974/75

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Hirst, SM

    1975-12-01

    Full Text Available The period under review was devoted essentially to a pilot study of the Burked ecosystem, which aimed at an initial, albeit crude, quantitative appraisal of the total system to define the overall structure and the most important energy and material...

  1. Surficial weathering of iron sulfide mine tailings under semi-arid climate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayes, Sarah M; Root, Robert A; Perdrial, Nicolas; Maier, Raina; Chorover, Jon

    2014-09-15

    Mine wastes introduce anthropogenic weathering profiles to the critical zone that often remain unvegetated for decades after mining cessation. As such, they are vulnerable to wind and water dispersion of particulate matter to adjacent ecosystems and residential communities. In sulfide-rich ore tailings, propagation to depth of the oxidative weathering front controls the depth-variation in speciation of major and trace elements. Despite the prevalence of surficial mine waste deposits in arid regions of the globe, few prior studies have been conducted to resolve the near-surface profile of sulfide ore tailings weathered under semi-arid climate. We investigated relations between gossan oxidative reaction-front propagation and the molecular speciation of iron and sulfur in tailings subjected to weathering under semi-arid climate at an EPA Superfund Site in semi-arid central Arizona (USA). Here we report a multi-method data set combining wet chemical and synchrotron-based X-ray diffraction (XRD) and X-ray absorption near-edge spectroscopy (XANES) methods to resolve the tight coupling of iron (Fe) and sulfur (S) geochemical changes in the top 2 m of tailings. Despite nearly invariant Fe and S concentration with depth (130-140 and 100-120 g kg -1 , respectively), a sharp redox gradient and distinct morphological change was observed within the top 0.5 m, associated with a progressive oxidative alteration of ferrous sulfides to (oxyhydr)oxides and (hydroxy)sulfates. Transformation is nearly complete in surficial samples. Trends in molecular-scale alteration were co-located with a decrease in pH from 7.3 to 2.3, and shifts in Fe and S lability as measured via chemical extraction. Initial weathering products, ferrihydrite and gypsum, transform to schwertmannite, then jarosite-group minerals with an accompanying decrease in pH. Interestingly, thermodynamically stable phases such as goethite and hematite were not detected in any samples, but ferrihydrite was observed even in

  2. Hydrologic feasibility of artificial forestation in the semi-arid Loess Plateau of China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jin, T. T.; Fu, B. J.; Liu, G. H.; Wang, Z.

    2011-08-01

    Hydrologic viability, in terms of moisture availability, is fundamental to ecosystem sustainability in arid and semi-arid regions. In this study, we examine the spatial distribution and after-planting variations of soil moisture content (SMC) in black locust tree (Robinia pseudoacacia L.) plantings in the Loess Plateau of China at a regional scale. Thirty sites (5 to 45 yr old) were selected, spanning an area of 300 km by 190 km in the northern region of the Shaanxi Province. The SMC was measured to a depth of 100 cm at intervals of 10 cm. Geographical, topographic and vegetation information was recorded, and soil organic matter was evaluated. The results show that, at the regional scale, SMC spatial variability was most highly correlated with rainfall. The negative relationship between the SMC at a depth of 20-50 cm and the stand age was stronger than at other depths, although this relationship was not significant at a 5 % level. Watershed analysis shows that the after-planting SMC variation differed depending upon precipitation. The SMC of plantings in areas receiving sufficient precipitation (e.g., mean annual precipitation (MAP) of 617 mm) may increase with stand age due to improvements in soil water-holding capacity and water-retention abilities after planting. For areas experiencing water shortages (e.g., MAP = 509 mm), evapotranspiration may cause planting soils to dry within the first 20 yr of growth. It is expected that, as arid and semi-arid plantings age, evapotranspiration will decrease, and the soil profile may gradually recover. In extremely dry areas (e.g., MAP = 352 mm), the variation in after-planting SMC with stand age was found to be negligible. The MAP can be used as an index to divide the study area into different ecological regions. Afforestation may sequentially exert positive, negative and negligible effects on SMCs with a decrease in the MAP. Therefore, future restoration measures should correspond to the local climate conditions, and the

  3. 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.

  4. 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

    2017-01-01

    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. PMID:28145459

  5. Pathways to Resilience in Semi-Arid Economies | CRDI - Centre de ...

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

    Pathways to Resilience in Semi-Arid Economies. How can populations become resilient to climate change while pursuing economic growth? This question is at the heart of a research project designed to support climate-resilient economic development in semi-arid lands. It will do so by addressing the conditions for ...

  6. Improving satellite-based post-fire evapotranspiration estimates in semi-arid regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poon, P.; Kinoshita, A. M.

    2017-12-01

    Climate change and anthropogenic factors contribute to the increased frequency, duration, and size of wildfires, which can alter ecosystem and hydrological processes. The loss of vegetation canopy and ground cover reduces interception and alters evapotranspiration (ET) dynamics in riparian areas, which can impact rainfall-runoff partitioning. Previous research evaluated the spatial and temporal trends of ET based on burn severity and observed an annual decrease of 120 mm on average for three years after fire. Building upon these results, this research focuses on the Coyote Fire in San Diego, California (USA), which burned a total of 76 km2 in 2003 to calibrate and improve satellite-based ET estimates in semi-arid regions affected by wildfire. The current work utilizes satellite-based products and techniques such as the Google Earth Engine Application programming interface (API). Various ET models (ie. Operational Simplified Surface Energy Balance Model (SSEBop)) are compared to the latent heat flux from two AmeriFlux eddy covariance towers, Sky Oaks Young (US-SO3), and Old Stand (US-SO2), from 2000 - 2015. The Old Stand tower has a low burn severity and the Young Stand tower has a moderate to high burn severity. Both towers are used to validate spatial ET estimates. Furthermore, variables and indices, such as Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI), Normalized Difference Moisture Index (NDMI), and the Normalized Burn Ratio (NBR) are utilized to evaluate satellite-based ET through a multivariate statistical analysis at both sites. This point-scale study will able to improve ET estimates in spatially diverse regions. Results from this research will contribute to the development of a post-wildfire ET model for semi-arid regions. Accurate estimates of post-fire ET will provide a better representation of vegetation and hydrologic recovery, which can be used to improve hydrologic models and predictions.

  7. Preferential production and transport of grass-derived pyrogenic carbon in NE-Australian savanna ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saiz, Gustavo; Goodrick, Iain; Wurster, Christopher; Nelson, Paul N.; Wynn, Jonathan; Bird, Michael

    2017-12-01

    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 large trees, leading to

  8. Diversity of the ground-dwelling ant fauna (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of a moist, Montane forest of the semi-arid Brazilian "Nordeste".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hites, N L; Mourão, M A N; Araújo, F O; Melo, M V C; de Biseau, J C; Quinet, Y

    2005-01-01

    Although the so called "green islands" of the semi-arid Brazilian "Nordeste" are economically, socially, and ecologically important. relatively little is known about their biodiversity. We present the results of the first survey of the ground-dwelling ant fauna of a secondary forest in the Serra de Baturité (4 degrees 05'-4 degrees 40' S / 38 degrees 30'-39 degrees 10' W), among the biggest of the moist, montane forests of the state of Ceará, Brazil. From February to March 2001, samples were taken every 50 m along twelve 200 m transects, each separated from the others by at least 50 m and cut on either side of a recreational trail. Where possible, two transects were cut from the same starting point on the trail, one on either side. At each sample site two methods were used, as recommended in the ALL. protocol: a pitfall trap and the treatment of 1 m2 of leaf litter with the Winkler extractor. The myrmecofauna of the Serra de Baturité is quite diverse: individuals from 72 species, 23 genera, and six subfamilies were collected. The observed patterns of specific richness show the same tendencies noted in other tropical regions, particularly the frequency of capture distribution with many rare and few abundant species. Differences with the Atlantic and Amazonian forests were also observed, especially the relative importance of the Ponerinac and Formicinae subfamilies, indicating a possible influence of the surrounding "caatinga" (savanna-like ecosystem) on the myrmecofauna of the moist, montane forest.

  9. Influence of Microclimate on Semi-Arid Montane Conifer Forest Sapflux Velocity in Complex Terrain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thirouin, K. R.; Barnard, D. M.; Barnard, H. R.

    2016-12-01

    Microclimate variation in complex terrain is key to our understanding of large-scale climate change effects on montane ecosystems. Modern climate models forecast that semi-arid montane ecosystems in the western United States are to experience increases in temperature, number of extreme drought events, and decreases in annual snowpack, all of which will potentially influence ecosystem water, carbon, and energy balances. In this study, we developed response curves that describe the relationships between stem sapflux velocity, air temperature (Tair), incoming solar radiation (SWin), soil temperature (Tsoil), and soil moisture content (VWC) in sites of Pinus contorta and Pinus ponderosa distributed along an elevation and aspect gradient in the montane zone of the Central Rocky Mountains, Colorado, USA. Among sites we found sapflux velocity to be significantly correlated with all four environmental factors (p physiological differences, the highest elevation south-facing P. contorta site behaved similarly to the south-facing P. ponderosa, suggesting that environmental drivers may dominate the response. In response to Tair, peak sapflux velocity occurred at 12-13 degrees C at all sites except the mid-slope north-facing P. contorta site, which also had the lowest Tsoil. The responses of stem sapflux velocity to climate drivers indicate that forest transpiration is regulated by microclimate gradients across small spatial scales in complex terrain, which need to be characterized in order to understand broader ecosystem dynamics and the role that large-scale climate change will play in these systems.

  10. 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

  11. Ecosystem properties of semiarid savanna grassland in West Africa and its relationship with environmental variability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tagesson, Torbern; Fensholt, Rasmus; Guiro, Idrissa; Rasmussen, Mads Olander; Huber, Silvia; Mbow, Cheikh; Garcia, Monica; Horion, Stéphanie; Sandholt, Inge; Holm-Rasmussen, Bo; Göttsche, Frank M; Ridler, Marc-Etienne; Olén, Niklas; Lundegard Olsen, Jørgen; Ehammer, Andrea; Madsen, Mathias; Olesen, Folke S; Ardö, Jonas

    2015-01-01

    The 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 data. The studied variables include hydroclimatic variables, species composition, albedo, normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), hyperspectral characteristics (350-1800 nm), surface reflectance anisotropy, brightness temperature, fraction of absorbed photosynthetic active radiation (FAPAR), 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 for investigating relationships between ecosystem properties and hydroclimatic variables for semiarid savanna ecosystems of the region. There were strong interannual, seasonal and diurnal dynamics in NEE, with high values of ~-7.5 g C m(-2)  day(-1) during the peak of the growing season. We found neither browning nor greening NDVI trends from 2002 to 2012. Interannual variation in species composition was strongly related to rainfall distribution. NDVI and FAPAR were strongly related to species composition, especially for years dominated by the species Zornia glochidiata. This influence was not observed in interannual variation in biomass and vegetation productivity, thus challenging dryland productivity models based on remote sensing. Surface reflectance anisotropy (350-1800 nm) at the peak of the growing season varied strongly depending on wavelength and viewing angle thereby having implications for the design of remotely sensed spectral vegetation indices covering different wavelength regions. The presented time series of in situ data have great potential for dryland dynamics

  12. Using NDVI to measure precipitation in semi-arid landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Birtwhistle, Amy N.; Laituri, Melinda; Bledsoe, Brian; Friedman, Jonathan M.

    2016-01-01

    Measuring precipitation in semi-arid landscapes is important for understanding the processes related to rainfall and run-off; however, measuring precipitation accurately can often be challenging especially within remote regions where precipitation instruments are scarce. Typically, rain-gauges are sparsely distributed and research comparing rain-gauge and RADAR precipitation estimates reveal that RADAR data are often misleading, especially for monsoon season convective storms. This study investigates an alternative way to map the spatial and temporal variation of precipitation inputs along ephemeral stream channels using Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) derived from Landsat Thematic Mapper imagery. NDVI values from 26 years of pre- and post-monsoon season Landsat imagery were derived across Yuma Proving Ground (YPG), a region covering 3,367 km2 of semiarid landscapes in southwestern Arizona, USA. The change in NDVI from a pre-to post-monsoon season image along ephemeral stream channels explained 73% of the variance in annual monsoonal precipitation totals from a nearby rain-gauge. In addition, large seasonal changes in NDVI along channels were useful in determining when and where flow events have occurred.

  13. Species diversity and drivers of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal communities in a semi-arid mountain in China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    He Zhao

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF play an essential role in complex ecosystems. However, the species diversity and composition of AMF communities remain unclear in semi-arid mountains. Further, it is not well understood if the characteristics of AMF community assemblies differ for different habitat types, e.g., agricultural arable land, artificial forest land, natural grassland, and bush/wood land. Here, using the high-throughput technology by Illumina sequencing on the MiSeq platform, we explored the species diversity and composition of soil AMF communities among different habitat types in a semi-arid mountain (Taihang Mountain, Mid-western region of China. Then, we analyzed the effect of nutrient composition and soil texture on AMF community assembly. Our results showed that members of the Glomus genera were predominated in all soil types. The distance-based redundancy analysis indicated that the content of water, available phosphorus, and available potassium were the most crucial geochemical factors that significantly affected AMF communities (p < 0.05. The analysis of the soil texture confirmed that AMF diversity was negatively correlated with soil clay content. The comparison of AMF diversity among the various habitat types revealed that the artificial forest land had the lowest AMF diversity in comparison with other land types. Our findings suggest that there were differences in species diversity and composition of soil AMF communities among different habitat types. These findings shed new light on the characteristics of community structure and drivers of community assembly in AMF in semi-arid mountains, and point to the potential importance of different habitat types on AMF communities.

  14. Insert Maranhao in O cial Semi-Arid Geography: A Requirement of Social Justice in the Brazilian Northeast

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José de Jesus Sousa Lemos

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available The study attempts to show that the Brazilian semi-arid region is a region too needy. Even the Interior Ministry considering that there are municipalities only in the semiarid in eight of the Northeastern States excluding Maranhão, but incorporating municipalities in the state of Minas Gerais, the study also seeks to show that at least fteen municipalities of Maranhão has semiarid features and these municipalities have some of the largest pockets of poverty in this Brazilian ecosystem. In order to achieve its objectives the study uses data collected by the State University of Maranhão, the Demographic Census of IBGE 2010 and the GDP of the municipalities published by the IBGE in 2012. They use the estimated drought indices in a previous study of the State University of Maranhão to the Maranhão municipalities supposed to possess technical characteristics of semiarid region. Social indicators are estimated suchas education exclusion, income, running water, sanitation and garbage collection to all municipalities. The results showed that the average GDP of the semi-arid districts are much smaller than that of other municipalities in the Northeast. The ratio between the highest and the lowest GDP per capita in the semiarid region is 38.4. The iliteracy rates are high in all of them. Very high is also deprivation of access to piped water, sanitation and garbage collection also. e evidence of this study allow us to conclude that, in general, municipalities with technical characteristics of semi-arid in Maranhao State has economic, social and environmental indicators worse than the average of other municipalities already recognized in the Brazilian semiarid region.

  15. Aquaculture and mangrove ecosys of temproductivity in arid and semi-arid Balochistan coastal environments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Khattak, M.I.

    2005-01-01

    A survey of coastal shrimp-pond operations, and the structure and functioning of coastal mangrove forest ecosystems with particular reference to Ecuador, indicates that certain physical parameters may be good predictors of key biological processes. The most important factors are those associated with the regional water balance, tidal and surface water circulation patterns, and the physicochemical properties of the underlying soils. One important conclusion to emerge from the analyses is that at both regional and local levels, well-developed and productive mangrove forest areas often represent the least desirable sites for the construction and operation of commercial shrimp ponds. In certain regards semi-arid and arid coastal environments where mangroves are poorly developed, shrimp ponds that are constructed on barren mud flats and inland salt pans appear to have the potential to produce higher yields of shrimp with fewer management problems and at a relatively lower production cost. The data and research results from coast of Baluchistan and elsewhere are briefly summarized to suggest why productive mangrove ecosystems to not make the best areas in which to obtain maximum shrimp-pond yields. (author)

  16. Excessive reliance on afforestation in China's arid and semi-arid regions: Lessons in ecological restoration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cao, Shixiong; Chen, Li; Shankman, David; Wang, Chunmei; Wang, Xiongbin; Zhang, Hong

    2011-02-01

    Afforestation is a primary tool for controlling desertification and soil erosion in China. Large-scale afforestation, however, has complex and poorly understood consequences for the structure and composition of future ecosystems. Here, we discuss the potential links between China's historical large-scale afforestation practices and the program's effects on environmental restoration in arid and semi-arid regions in northern China based on a review of data from published papers, and offer recommendations to overcome the shortcomings of current environmental policy. Although afforestation is potentially an important approach for environmental restoration, current Chinese policy has not been tailored to local environmental conditions, leading to the use of inappropriate species and an overemphasis on tree and shrub planting, thereby compromising the ability to achieve environmental policy goals. China's huge investment to increase forest cover seems likely to exacerbate environmental degradation in environmentally fragile areas because it has ignored climate, pedological, hydrological, and landscape factors that would make a site unsuitable for afforestation. This has, in many cases, led to the deterioration of soil ecosystems and decreased vegetation cover, and has exacerbated water shortages. Large-scale and long-term research is urgently needed to provide information that supports a more effective and flexible environmental restoration policy.

  17. Observing Semi-Arid Ecoclimates across Mountain Gradients in the Great Basin, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strachan, Scotty

    Observation of climate and ecohydrological variables in mountain systems is a necessary (if challenging) endeavor for modern society. Water resources are often intimately tied to mountains, and high elevation environments are frequently home to unique landscapes and biota with limited geographical distributions. This is especially true in the temperate and semi-arid mountains of the western United States, and specifically the Great Basin. Stark contrasts in annual water balance and ecological populations are visible across steep elevational gradients in the region; and yet the bulk of our historical knowledge of climate and related processes comes from lowland observations. Interpolative models that strive to estimate conditions in mountains using existing datasets are often found to be inaccurate, making future projections of mountain climate and ecosystem response suspect. This study details the results of high-resolution topographically-diverse ecohydrological monitoring, and describes the character and seasonality of basic climatic variables such as temperature and precipitation as well as their impact on soil moisture and vegetation during the 2012-2015 drought sequence. Relationships of topography (elevation/aspect) to daily and seasonal temperatures are shown. Tests of the PRISM temperature model are performed at the large watershed scale, revealing magnitudes, modes, and potential sources of bias that could dramatically affect derivative scientific conclusions. A new method of precipitation phase partitioning to detect and quantify frozen precipitation on a sub-daily basis is described. Character of precipitation from sub-daily to annual scales is quantified across all major Great Basin vegetation/elevation zones, and the relationship of elevation to precipitation phase, intensity, and amount is explored. Water-stress responses of Great Basin conifers including Pinus flexilis, Pinus longaeva, and Pinus ponderosa are directly observed, showing potential

  18. Water volume reduction increases eutrophication risk in tropical semi-arid reservoirs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlos Alberto Nascimento da Rocha Junior

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Aim Global patterns of temperature and precipitation have significantly changed over the last century and nearly all predictions point to even greater changes by the end of 2100. Long periods of drought in semi-arid regions generally reduce reservoirs and lakes water level, increasing the nutrients concentrations in the water. Our principal hypothesis is that water volume reduction, driven by prolonged droughts, will increase reservoirs susceptibility to eutrophication and accordingly an increase in trophic state. To test this hypothesis, we used a comparative analysis of ecosystems in a space-for-time substitution approach, in a Brazilian semi-arid region, to predict the consequences of reservoirs water volume reduction on key limnological variables. Methods We sampled 16 reservoirs located in two sub-basins with contrasting rainfall regimes, inserted on Piranhas-Açu watershed. The Seridó River basin (SB is dry and the Piancó River basin (SB is humid, with annual mean precipitation of 500 and 700 mm, respectively. Linear regressions analyzes were performed to assess whether the percentage of maximum volume stored (%MVS is a good predictor for total phosphorus (TP, total nitrogen (TN and chlorophyll-a (CHLA. In addition, a two factorial analysis of variance (two-way ANOVA was performed to test for period (dry, very dry and extremely dry, basin (SB and PB and their interactions effects on TP, TN, CHLA, conductivity, turbidity, and Secchi depth. Results The results showed a reduction in the reservoirs %MVS both for PB and SB regions. At the extremely dry period, all reservoirs were classified as eutrophic, but TP concentrations reached much higher values in SB than in PB. The linear regressions analyses showed that the TP and TN were negatively related to %MVS during all periods sampled. The two-way ANOVA showed that there were significant basin and period effects on TP, TN, Secchi depth and turbidity, whereas for CHLA and conductivity

  19. Karst characterization in a semi-arid region using gravity, seismic, and resistivity geophysical techniques.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Barnhart, Kevin Scott

    2013-10-01

    We proposed to customize emerging in situ geophysical monitoring technology to generate time-series data during sporadic rain events in a semi-arid region. Electrodes were to be connected to wireless \

  20. An Overview of Biodegradation of LNAPLs in Coastal (Semi)-arid Environment.

    KAUST Repository

    Yadav, Brijesh Kumar; Hassanizadeh, S Majid

    2011-01-01

    environmental variables, and their remediation favoring customization requires a sound understanding of their integrated behavior on fate and transport of LNAPLs under site-specific conditions. The arid and semi-arid coastal sites are characterized by specific

  1. 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...

  2. 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

  3. Rapid warming accelerates tree growth decline in semi-arid forests of Inner Asia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Hongyan; Park Williams, A; Allen, Craig D; Guo, Dali; Wu, Xiuchen; Anenkhonov, Oleg A; Liang, Eryuan; Sandanov, Denis V; Yin, Yi; Qi, Zhaohuan; Badmaeva, Natalya K

    2013-08-01

    Forests around the world are subject to risk of high rates of tree growth decline and increased tree mortality from combinations of climate warming and drought, notably in semi-arid settings. Here, we assess how climate warming has affected tree growth in one of the world's most extensive zones of semi-arid forests, in Inner Asia, a region where lack of data limits our understanding of how climate change may impact forests. We show that pervasive tree growth declines since 1994 in Inner Asia have been confined to semi-arid forests, where growing season water stress has been rising due to warming-induced increases in atmospheric moisture demand. A causal link between increasing drought and declining growth at semi-arid sites is corroborated by correlation analyses comparing annual climate data to records of tree-ring widths. These ring-width records tend to be substantially more sensitive to drought variability at semi-arid sites than at semi-humid sites. Fire occurrence and insect/pathogen attacks have increased in tandem with the most recent (2007-2009) documented episode of tree mortality. If warming in Inner Asia continues, further increases in forest stress and tree mortality could be expected, potentially driving the eventual regional loss of current semi-arid forests. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  4. Surficial weathering of iron sulfide mine tailings under semi-arid climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayes, Sarah M.; Root, Robert A.; Perdrial, Nicolas; Maier, Raina M.; Chorover, Jon

    2014-09-01

    Mine wastes introduce anthropogenic weathering profiles to the critical zone that often remain unvegetated for decades after mining cessation. As such, they are vulnerable to wind and water dispersion of particulate matter to adjacent ecosystems and residential communities. In sulfide-rich ore tailings, propagation to depth of the oxidative weathering front controls the depth-variation in speciation of major and trace elements. Despite the prevalence of surficial mine waste deposits in arid regions of the globe, few prior studies have been conducted to resolve the near-surface profile of sulfide ore tailings weathered under semi-arid climate. We investigated relations between gossan oxidative reaction-front propagation and the molecular speciation of iron and sulfur in tailings subjected to weathering in a semi-arid climate at an EPA Superfund Site in central Arizona (USA). Here we report a multi-method data set combining wet chemical and synchrotron-based X-ray diffraction (XRD) and X-ray absorption near-edge spectroscopy (XANES) methods to resolve the tight coupling of iron (Fe) and sulfur (S) geochemical changes in the top 2 m of tailings. Despite nearly invariant Fe and S concentration with depth (130-140 and 100-120 g kg-1, respectively), a sharp redox gradient and distinct morphological change was observed within the top 0.5 m, associated with a progressive oxidative alteration of ferrous sulfides to (oxyhydr)oxides and (hydroxy)sulfates. Transformation is nearly complete in surficial samples. Trends in molecular-scale alteration were co-located with a decrease in pH from 7.3 to 2.3, and shifts in Fe and S lability as measured via chemical extraction. Initial weathering products, ferrihydrite and gypsum, transform to schwertmannite, then jarosite-group minerals with an accompanying decrease in pH. Interestingly, thermodynamically stable phases such as goethite and hematite were not detected in any samples, but ferrihydrite was observed even in samples with

  5. Should we plant trees to offset greenhouse gas emissions in semi-arid environments?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pataki, D. E.; Pincetl, S.; Gillespie, T. W.; Li, W.; McCarthy, H. R.; Saatchi, S.; Saphores, J.

    2008-12-01

    Urban tree planting programs have been gaining popularity in the United States. Urban trees have been associated with a variety of environmental benefits, including improvements in air quality, mitigation of urban heat island effects, reductions in stormwater runoff, and more recently, carbon sequestration. There are also other potential aesthetic and economic benefits of urban forests, which have been shown to affect real estate values. However, there may also be significant economic and environmental costs of planting and maintaining trees in urban areas, particularly in semi-arid environments where trees are not native and require irrigation and fertilization. We are conducting an analysis of the Million Tree Initiative in the city of Los Angeles, which has committed to a major tree planting program. Los Angeles currently has a low tree canopy cover relative to other cities, particularly in its low income neighborhoods. We are evaluating the decision-making processes associated with the new tree planting program, its perceived benefits, and its actual benefits based on measurements of plant and ecosystem processes such as transpiration, photosynthesis, and water use efficiency; remote sensing analyses of tree cover and surface temperature; and economic analyses. We have found great variability in the interpretation of the program by its various participants, but also significant institutional learning as the program has evolved. Our datasets have challenged some of the common assumptions of the program, for example, the assumption that native species use less water than imported species and are therefore more environmentally beneficial in terms of water resources. We have also found significant impacts of the urban forest on air temperature, which may reduce energy use during the summer due to reductions in air conditioning. This is likely to be a larger effect of urban trees on greenhouse gas emissions than direct carbon sequestration alone, which is a very

  6. Land degradation assessment by geo-spatially modeling different soil erodibility equations in a semi-arid catchment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saygın, Selen Deviren; Basaran, Mustafa; Ozcan, Ali Ugur; Dolarslan, Melda; Timur, Ozgur Burhan; Yilman, F Ebru; Erpul, Gunay

    2011-09-01

    Land degradation by soil erosion is one of the most serious problems and environmental issues in many ecosystems of arid and semi-arid regions. Especially, the disturbed areas have greater soil detachability and transportability capacity. Evaluation of land degradation in terms of soil erodibility, by using geostatistical modeling, is vital to protect and reclaim susceptible areas. Soil erodibility, described as the ability of soils to resist erosion, can be measured either directly under natural or simulated rainfall conditions, or indirectly estimated by empirical regression models. This study compares three empirical equations used to determine the soil erodibility factor of revised universal soil loss equation prediction technology based on their geospatial performances in the semi-arid catchment of the Saraykoy II Irrigation Dam located in Cankiri, Turkey. A total of 311 geo-referenced soil samples were collected with irregular intervals from the top soil layer (0-10 cm). Geostatistical analysis was performed with the point values of each equation to determine its spatial pattern. Results showed that equations that used soil organic matter in combination with the soil particle size better agreed with the variations in land use and topography of the catchment than the one using only the particle size distribution. It is recommended that the equations which dynamically integrate soil intrinsic properties with land use, topography, and its influences on the local microclimates, could be successfully used to geospatially determine sites highly susceptible to water erosion, and therefore, to select the agricultural and bio-engineering control measures needed.

  7. Annual production of harvestable deadwood in semi-arid savannas, South Africa

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Shackleton, CM

    1998-12-14

    Full Text Available production per woody standing biomass was relatively constant from year to year at approximately 17 kg/ha/year per ton live biomass, or 1.7% per annum. Annual production of harvestable deadwood was related more to stand biomass than rainfall zone...

  8. Estimating soil erosion in Natura 2000 areas located on three semi-arid Mediterranean Islands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zaimes, George N; Emmanouloudis, Dimitris; Iakovoglou, Valasia

    2012-03-01

    A major initiative in Europe is the protection of its biodiversity. To accomplish this, specific areas from all countries of the European Union are protected by the establishment of the "Natura 2000" network. One of the major threats to these areas and in general to ecosystems is soil erosion. The objective of this study was to quantitatively estimate surface soil losses for three of these protected areas that are located on semi-arid islands of the Mediterranean. One Natura 2000 area was selected from each of the following islands: Sicily in Italy, Cyprus and Rhodes in Greece. To estimate soil losses, Gerlach troughs were used. These troughs were established on slopes that ranged from 35-40% in four different vegetation types: i) Quercus ilex and Quercus rotundifolia forests, ii) Pinus brutia forests, iii) "Phrygana" shrublands and iv) vineyards. The shrublands had the highest soil losses (270 kg ha(-1) yr(-1)) that were 5-13 times more than the other three vegetation types. Soil losses in these shrublands should be considered a major concern. However, the other vegetation types also had high soil losses (21-50 kg ha(-1) yr(-1)). Conclusively, in order to enhance and conserve the biodiversity of these Natura 2000 areas protective management measures should be taken into consideration to decrease soil losses.

  9. Hydrological Response of Semi-arid Degraded Catchments in Tigray, Northern Ethiopia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teka, Daniel; Van Wesemael, Bas; Vanacker, Veerle; Hallet, Vincent

    2013-04-01

    To address water scarcity in the arid and semi-arid part of developing countries, accurate estimation of surface runoff is an essential task. In semi-arid catchments runoff data are scarce and therefore runoff estimation using hydrological models becomes an alternative. This research was initiated in order to characterize runoff response of semi-arid catchments in Tigray, North Ethiopia to evaluate SCS-CN for various catchments. Ten sub-catchments were selected in different river basins and rainfall and runoff were measured with automatic hydro-monitoring equipments for 2-3 years. The Curve Number was estimated for each Hydrological Response Unit (HRU) in the sub-catchments and runoff was modeled using the SCS-CN method at λ = 0.05 and λ = 0.20. The result showed a significant difference between the two abstraction ratios (P =0.05, df = 1, n= 132) and reasonable good result was obtained for predicted runoff at λ = 0.05 (NSE = -0.69; PBIAS = 18.1%). When using the CN values from literature runoff was overestimated compared to the measured value (e= -11.53). This research showed the importance of using measured runoff data to characterize semi-arid catchments and accurately estimate the scarce water resource. Key words: Hydrological response, rainfall-runoff, degraded environments, semi-arid, Ethiopia, Tigray

  10. Fire Frequency and Vegetation Composition Influence Soil Nitrogen Cycling and Base Cations in an Oak Savanna Ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    McLauchlan, K. K.; Nelson, D. M.; Perakis, S.; Marcotte, A. L.

    2017-12-01

    Fire frequency is crucial for maintaining savannas in the transition between forests and grasslands. In general, increasing fire frequency has two effects: it increases herbaceous plant cover more than woody plant cover, and it lowers soil organic matter stocks. These effects have been demonstrated at a long-term prescribed fire experiment in an oak savanna ecosystem at Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve, Minnesota, U.S.A. The fire experiment began in 1964 and oak savannas are burned at various frequencies ranging from every year to not at all. This has led to changes in vegetation ranging from almost 100% grassland to 100% oak forest. Additionally, nitrogen stocks almost doubled in the sites that were not burned, as it accumulated in the trees, leaf litter, and soil. We addressed additional soil changes taking place at this experiment by asking the question: How have fire and oak-grass balance affected soil nutrients, specifically nitrogen and base cations? Surface soils were collected from 12 plots on the oak savanna burn experiment. Soils were collected in increments to 100 cm depth, from under grass-dominated vegetation and from under tree-dominated vegetation. We non-destructively estimated soil base cations by measuring elemental concentrations of dried soil subsamples with a handheld x-ray fluorescence analyzer. We also measured carbon and nitrogen concentrations and isotopic composition of the soil samples. Soils in plots with high fire frequency had higher concentrations of calcium than soils in unburned plots (low fire frequency). Similar trends were seen for soil potassium, magnesium, and phosphorus concentrations. In contrast, soils in plots with high fire frequency had dramatically lowered nitrogen cycling rates and stocks across the oak savanna. The contrast between the responses of different nutrients to changing fire frequency has important implications for the consequences of fire and tree-grass composition on nutrient cycling dynamics.

  11. Soil Moisture Variability and its Effects on Herbage Production in Semi-arid Rangelands of Kenya

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Too, D.K.; Trlica, M.J.; Swift, D.M.; Musembi, D.K.

    1999-01-01

    Results obtained from recent studies focused on rangelands potential as influenced by human activity and climatic factors in the semi-arid and arid pastoral ecosystems of Northern Kenya indicated great temporal and spatial forage production variability. The objective of the studies was to document primary production in relation to water stress (drought), herbivory and direct human activities. Efforts also focused on finding possibilities of increasing productivity while conserving the finite resources for sustainable use. Laboratory, field and numerical methods were employed over several seasons and years. Forb and grass production was more variable than that of the browse (dwarf shrub) layer. Compared to forbs and dwarf shrubs, the grass layer contributed less to the total production in all seasons, indicating that the region had less potential for grazers compared to browsers. Spatial-temporal variation in rangeland carrying capacity reflected the great spatial heterogeneity in vegetation types and production. Similarly, seasonal differences were very evident, with highest estimates in the long rainy and the lowest during the dry and short rainy seasons, respectively. Factors limiting rangeland production potential were identified to be moisture deficiency, resource-use conflicts, an increasing and partially sedentarised nomadic population, overgrazing, tree felling, and land degradation (desert encroachment). Measures that can improve rangeland production potential and provide a better way of life for the inhabitants of the region include: (a) identification of land degradation (e.g. by means of bio-indicators and Geographical Information Systems, GIS); (b) technical interventions (i.e. soil and water conservation, restoration of degraded areas, fodder production); (c) social-economic interventions (i.e. resolution of resource-use conflicts, alleviation of poverty, infrastructure development improvement of livestock marketing channels etc.) and (d) continued

  12. Transitions in Land Use Architecture under Multiple Human Driving Forces in a Semi-Arid Zone

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Issa Ouedraogo

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available The present study aimed to detect the main shifts in land-use architecture and assess the factors behind the changes in typical tropical semi-arid land in Burkina Faso. Three sets of time-series LANDSAT data over a 23-year period were used to detect land use changes and their underpinning drivers in multifunctional but vulnerable ecologies. Group discussions in selected villages were organized for mapping output interpretation and collection of essential drivers of change as perceived by local populations. Results revealed profound changes and transitions during the study period. During the last decade, shrub and wood savannahs exhibited high net changes (39% and −37% respectively with a weak net positive change for cropland (only 2%, while cropland and shrub savannah exhibited high swap (8% and 16%. This suggests that the area of cropland remained almost unchanged but was subject to relocation, wood savannah decreased drastically, and shrub savannah increased exponentially. Cropland exhibited a null net persistence while shrub and wood savannahs exhibited positive and negative net persistence (1.91 and −10.24, respectively, indicating that there is movement toward agricultural intensification and wood savannah tended to disappear to the benefit of shrub savannah. Local people are aware of the changes that have occurred and support the idea that illegal wood cutting and farming are inappropriate farming practices associated with immigration; absence of alternative cash generation sources, overgrazing and increasing demand for wood energy are driving the changes in their ecosystems. Policies that integrate restoration and conservation of natural ecosystems and promote sustainable agroforestry practices in the study zone are highly recommended.

  13. Large-scale hydrological modelling in the semi-arid north-east of Brazil

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Guentner, A

    2002-09-01

    Semi-arid areas are characterized by small water resources. An increasing water demand due to population growth and economic development as well as a possible decreasing water availability in the course of climate change may aggravate water scarcity in future in these areas. The quantitative assessment of the water resources is a prerequisite for the development of sustainable measures of water management. For this task, hydrological models within a dynamic integrated framework are indispensable tools. The main objective of this study is to develop a hydrological model for the quantification of water availability over a large geographic domain of semi-arid environments. The study area is the Federal State of Ceara in the semi-arid north-east of Brazil. Surface water from reservoirs provides the largest part of water supply. The area has recurrently been affected by droughts which caused serious economic losses and social impacts like migration from the rural regions. (orig.)

  14. Are acid volatile sulfides (AVS) important trace metals sinks in semi-arid mangroves?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Queiroz, Hermano Melo; Nóbrega, Gabriel Nuto; Otero, Xose L; Ferreira, Tiago Osório

    2018-01-01

    Acid-volatile sulfides (AVS) formation and its role on trace metals bioavailability were studied in semi-arid mangroves. The semi-arid climatic conditions at the studied sites, marked by low rainfall and high evapotranspiration rates, clearly limited the AVS formation (AVS contents varied from 0.10 to 2.34μmolg -1 ) by favoring oxic conditions (Eh>+350mV). The AVS contents were strongly correlated with reactive iron and organic carbon (r=0.84; r=0.83 respectively), evidencing their dominant role for AVS formation under semi-arid conditions. On the other hand, the recorded ΣSEM/AVS values remained >1 evidencing a little control of AVS over the bioavailability of trace metals and, thus, its minor role as a sink for toxic metals. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. First record of Chantransia macrospora Wood, 1887 (Batrachospermales, Rhodophyta in semi-arid northeastern Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Janiele França Vasconcelos

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available This study presents the first record of Chantransia macrospora in the state of Rio Grande do Norte, in the semi-arid region of northeastern Brazil. Analyses of periphytic algae revealed C. macrospora individuals associated in particular with shells of Melanoides tuberculatus, a non-native species, suggesting that C. macrospora have been introduced into systems associated with the gastropods. In this context, new records of C. macrospora are still expected for the Brazilian semi-arid region in the next years.

  16. First record of Chantransia macrospora Wood, 1887 (Batrachospermales, Rhodophyta in semi-arid northeastern Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Janiele França Vasconcelos

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available http://dx.doi.org/10.5007/2175-7925.2014v27n4p129 This study presents the first record of Chantransia macrospora in the state of Rio Grande do Norte, in the semi-arid region of northeastern Brazil. Analyses of periphytic algae revealed C. macrospora individuals associated in particular with shells of Melanoides tuberculatus, a non-native species, suggesting that C. macrospora have been introduced into systems associated with the gastropods. In this context, new records of C. macrospora are still expected for the Brazilian semi-arid region in the next years.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2010-01-01

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

  18. BVOCs emission in a semi-arid grassland under climate warming and nitrogen deposition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. J. Wang

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs profoundly affect atmospheric chemistry and ecosystem functioning. BVOCs emission and their responses to global change are still unclear in grasslands, which cover one quarter of the Earth's land surface and are currently undergoing the largest changes. Over two growing seasons, we conducted a field experiment in a semi-arid grassland (Inner Mongolia, China to examine the emission and the responses of BVOCs emissions to warming and nitrogen deposition. The natural emission rate (NER of monoterpene (dominant BVOCs here is 107 ± 16 μg m−2 h−1 in drought 2007, and 266 ± 53 μg m−2 h−1 in wet 2008, respectively. Warming decreased the standard emission factor (SEF by 24% in 2007, while it increased by 43% in 2008. The exacerbated soil moisture loss caused by warming in dry season might be responsible for the decrease of SEF in 2007. A possible threshold of soil moisture (8.2% (v/v, which controls the direction of warming effects on monoterpene emission, existed in the semiarid grassland. Nitrogen deposition decreased the coverage of Artemisia frigida and hence reduced the NER by 24% across the two growing seasons. These results suggest that the grasslands dominated by the extended Artemisia frigida are an important source for BVOCs, while the responses of their emissions to global changes are more uncertain since they depend on multifactorial in-situ conditions.

  19. Survival strategies in semi-arid climate for isohydric and anisohydric species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guerin, M. F.; Gentine, P.; Uriarte, M.

    2013-12-01

    The understanding of survival strategies in dry land remains a challenging problem aiming at the interrelationship between local hydrology, plant physiology and climate. Carbon starvation and hydraulic failure are thought to be the two main factors leading to drought-induced mortality beside biotic perturbation. In order to better comprehend mortality the understanding of abiotic mechanisms triggering mortality is being studied in a tractable model for soil-plant-atmosphere continuum emphasizing the role of soil hydraulic properties, photosynthesis, embolism, leaf-gas exchange and climate. In particular the role of the frequency vs. the intensity of droughts is highlighted within such model. The analysis of the model included a differentiation between isohydric and anisohydric tree regulation and is supported by an extensive dataset of Pinion and Juniper growing in a semi-arid ecosystem. An objective of reduced number of parameters was approached with allometric equations to characterize tree's main traits and their hydraulic controls. Leaf area, sapwood area and tree's height are used to derive capacitance, conductance and photosynthetic abilities of the plant. A parameter sensitivity is performed highlighting the role of root:shoot ratio, rooting depth, photosynthetic capacity, quantum efficiency, and most importantly water use efficiency. Analytic development emphasizes two regimes of transpiration/photosynthesis denoted as stage-I (no embolism) and stage-II (embolism dominated) in analogy with stage I-stage II treminology for evaporation (Phillip,1957). Anisohydric species tend to remain in stage-I during which they still can assimilate carbon at full potential thus avoiding carbon starvation. Isohydric species tend to remain longer in stage-II. The effects of drought intensity/frequency on those 2 stages are described. Figure: sensitivity of Piñons stage 1 (top left), stage 2 (top right), and total cavitation duration (sum of stage 1 and stage 2 - bottom left

  20. Testing the assumptions of the pyrodiversity begets biodiversity hypothesis for termites in semi-arid Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Hayley; Ritchie, Euan G; Avitabile, Sarah; Doherty, Tim; Nimmo, Dale G

    2018-04-01

    Fire shapes the composition and functioning of ecosystems globally. In many regions, fire is actively managed to create diverse patch mosaics of fire-ages under the assumption that a diversity of post-fire-age classes will provide a greater variety of habitats, thereby enabling species with differing habitat requirements to coexist, and enhancing species diversity (the pyrodiversity begets biodiversity hypothesis). However, studies provide mixed support for this hypothesis. Here, using termite communities in a semi-arid region of southeast Australia, we test four key assumptions of the pyrodiversity begets biodiversity hypothesis (i) that fire shapes vegetation structure over sufficient time frames to influence species' occurrence, (ii) that animal species are linked to resources that are themselves shaped by fire and that peak at different times since fire, (iii) that species' probability of occurrence or abundance peaks at varying times since fire and (iv) that providing a diversity of fire-ages increases species diversity at the landscape scale. Termite species and habitat elements were sampled in 100 sites across a range of fire-ages, nested within 20 landscapes chosen to represent a gradient of low to high pyrodiversity. We used regression modelling to explore relationships between termites, habitat and fire. Fire affected two habitat elements (coarse woody debris and the cover of woody vegetation) that were associated with the probability of occurrence of three termite species and overall species richness, thus supporting the first two assumptions of the pyrodiversity hypothesis. However, this did not result in those species or species richness being affected by fire history per se. Consequently, landscapes with a low diversity of fire histories had similar numbers of termite species as landscapes with high pyrodiversity. Our work suggests that encouraging a diversity of fire-ages for enhancing termite species richness in this study region is not necessary.

  1. Climate-smart crop production in semi-arid areas through increased knowledge of varieties, environment and management factors

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Murungweni, C.; Wijk, van M.T.; Smaling, E.M.A.; Giller, K.E.

    2016-01-01

    In large regions of sub-Saharan Africa, semi-arid conditions are likely to increase with climate change, yet these regions are becoming more important to feed production zones due to increasing population pressure. A production system in the semi-arid south eastern Zimbabwe was studied to assess

  2. Analysis and evaluation of tillage on an alfisol in a semi-arid tropical region of India

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Klaij, M.C.

    1983-01-01

    Tillage field experiments were conducted on Alfisols in a semi-arid tropical environment in India. The research was conducted within the framework of the Farming Systems Research Program of the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT).

    To put the

  3. Vegetation monitoring on semi-arid grasslands unglazed by domestic livestock

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linda Kennedy; Dan Robinett

    2013-01-01

    The Research Ranch is an 8000-acre sanctuary and research facility in the semi-arid grasslands of southeastern Arizona, USA. Cattle were removed from the property in 1968 to provide a reference area by which various land uses, such as grazing and exurbanization, could be evaluated. Vegetation transects were established in 2000 and 2003 on several ecological sites in...

  4. Coupled flow and salinity transport modelling in semi-arid environments

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bauer-Gottwein, Peter; Held, R.J.; Zimmermann, S.

    2006-01-01

    Numerical groundwater modelling is used as the base for sound aquifer system analysis and water resources assessment. In many cases, particularly in semi-arid and arid regions, groundwater flow is intricately linked to salinity transport. A case in point is the Shashe River Valley in Botswana. A ...

  5. Runoff controlling factors in various sized catchments in a semi-arid Mediterranean environment in Spain

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wit, A.M.W. de

    2001-01-01

    Understanding land degradation in a semi-arid Mediterranean environment is very difficult because of the contributing factors: precipitation, infiltration vegetation cover and discontinuity of flow and the temporal and spatial levels of resolution at which these factors are acting. Therefore it

  6. Catchment management in semi-arid area of central South Africa ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This accentuates the need for wise decisions by catchment management agencies (CMAs), especially in water-scarce semi-arid areas. ... A financial analysis also showed that gross margin of option, expressed as R/ m3 of rainwater utilised, was estimated to be between 0.0234 to 0.0254 under Option 1 and 0.0354 for ...

  7. Spatiotemporal soil and saprolite moisture dynamics across a semi-arid woody plant gradient

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woody plant cover has increased 10-fold over the last 140+ years in many parts of the semi-arid western USA. Woody plant cover can alter the timing and amount of plant available moisture in the soil and saprolite. To assess spatiotemporal subsurface moisture dynamics over two water years in a snow-d...

  8. Contour hedgerows and grass strips in erosion and runoff control in semi-arid Kenya

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kinama, J.M.; Stigter, C.J.; Ong, C.K.; Ng'ang'a, J.K.; Gichuki, F.N.

    2007-01-01

    Most early alley cropping studies in semi-arid Kenya were on fairly flat land while there is an increase in cultivated sloping land. The effectiveness of aging contour hedgerows and grass strips for erosion control on an about 15% slope of an Alfisol was compared. The five treatments were Senna

  9. Hydrological modeling in semi-arid region using HEC-HMS model ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The purpose of this study is to simulate rainfall-runoff in the semi-arid region of ... the frequency storm is used for the meteorological model, the SCS curve number is ... SCS unit hydrograph method have been applied to simulate the runoff rate.

  10. Preface paper to the Semi-Arid Land-Surface-Atmosphere (SALSA) Program special issue

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodrich, D.C.; Chehbouni, A.; Goff, B.; MacNish, B.; Maddock, T.; Moran, S.; Shuttleworth, W.J.; Williams, D.G.; Watts, C.; Hipps, L.H.; Cooper, D.I.; Schieldge, J.; Kerr, Y.H.; Arias, H.; Kirkland, M.; Carlos, R.; Cayrol, P.; Kepner, W.; Jones, B.; Avissar, R.; Begue, A.; Bonnefond, J.-M.; Boulet, G.; Branan, B.; Brunel, J.P.; Chen, L.C.; Clarke, T.; Davis, M.R.; DeBruin, H.; Dedieu, G.; Elguero, E.; Eichinger, W.E.; Everitt, J.; Garatuza-Payan, J.; Gempko, V.L.; Gupta, H.; Harlow, C.; Hartogensis, O.; Helfert, M.; Holifield, C.; Hymer, D.; Kahle, A.; Keefer, T.; Krishnamoorthy, S.; Lhomme, J.-P.; Lagouarde, J.-P.; Lo, Seen D.; Luquet, D.; Marsett, R.; Monteny, B.; Ni, W.; Nouvellon, Y.; Pinker, R.; Peters, C.; Pool, D.; Qi, J.; Rambal, S.; Rodriguez, J.; Santiago, F.; Sano, E.; Schaeffer, S.M.; Schulte, M.; Scott, R.; Shao, X.; Snyder, K.A.; Sorooshian, S.; Unkrich, C.L.; Whitaker, M.; Yucel, I.

    2000-01-01

    The Semi-Arid Land-Surface-Atmosphere Program (SALSA) is a multi-agency, multi-national research effort that seeks to evaluate the consequences of natural and human-induced environmental change in semi-arid regions. The ultimate goal of SALSA is to advance scientific understanding of the semi-arid portion of the hydrosphere-biosphere interface in order to provide reliable information for environmental decision making. SALSA approaches this goal through a program of long-term, integrated observations, process research, modeling, assessment, and information management that is sustained by cooperation among scientists and information users. In this preface to the SALSA special issue, general program background information and the critical nature of semi-arid regions is presented. A brief description of the Upper San Pedro River Basin, the initial location for focused SALSA research follows. Several overarching research objectives under which much of the interdisciplinary research contained in the special issue was undertaken are discussed. Principal methods, primary research sites and data collection used by numerous investigators during 1997-1999 are then presented. Scientists from about 20 US, five European (four French and one Dutch), and three Mexican agencies and institutions have collaborated closely to make the research leading to this special issue a reality. The SALSA Program has served as a model of interagency cooperation by breaking new ground in the approach to large scale interdisciplinary science with relatively limited resources.

  11. Agroforestry parkland species diversity : uses and management in semi-arid West-Africa (Burkina Faso)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nikiema, A.

    2005-01-01

    Agroforestry parkland in semi-arid West Africa is a rural land use system, which allows farmers to grow annual crops in combination with useful trees. In addition to cereals, tree products such as vegetables, fruits, vegetable oil, firewood, fodder, and medicines are obtained from the parklands.

  12. Energetics of the green iguana (Iguana iguana) in a semi-arid environment

    OpenAIRE

    van Marken Lichtenbelt, Wouter David

    1991-01-01

    Energy budgets in the herbivorous green iguana (Iguana Iguana) were studied from April 1985-October 1988 in a strongly seasonal environment on the semi-arid island Curacao (Netherlands Antilles) under the auspices of the CARMABI Foundation in cooperation with the State University of Groningen (The Netherlands). ... Zie: Summary

  13. Energetics of the green iguana (Iguana iguana) in a semi-arid environment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Marken Lichtenbelt, Wouter David

    1991-01-01

    Energy budgets in the herbivorous green iguana (Iguana Iguana) were studied from April 1985-October 1988 in a strongly seasonal environment on the semi-arid island Curacao (Netherlands Antilles) under the auspices of the CARMABI Foundation in cooperation with the State University of Groningen (The

  14. Evaluating rainwater harvesting systems in arid and semi-arid regions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ammar, Adham Ali

    2017-01-01

    Rainwater harvesting (RWH) is an ancient traditional technology practised in many parts of the world, especially in arid and semi-arid regions (ASARs). ASARs represent 40% of the earth’s land surface and are characterised by low average annual rainfall and uneven temporal and spatial

  15. Extensive Green Roof Species and Soilless Media Evaluations in Semi-arid Colorado

    Science.gov (United States)

    In the high elevation, semi-arid climate of Colorado, green roofs have not been scientifically tested. This research examined alternative plant species, soilless media blends and plant interactions on an existing, modular-extensive (shallow, 10 cm deep) green roof in Denver, Colo...

  16. Infiltration and planting pits for improved water management and maize yield in semi-arid Zimbabwe

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nyakudya, I.W.; Stroosnijder, L.; Nyagumbo, I.

    2014-01-01

    Realising that rainwater harvesting (RWH) improves crop productivity, smallholder farmers in semi-arid Zimbabwe modified contour ridges traditionally used for rainwater management by digging infiltration pits inside contour ridge channels in order to retain more water in crop fields. However,

  17. 1 Title page Title: Groundwater quality in a semi-arid region of India ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    64

    Groundwater quality in a semi-arid region of India - suitability for drinking, ... concentration ranges from 0.1 to 4.4 mg/L and 39% of the total samples measured ..... on identifying local priorities and implementing proper management is very.

  18. Development of hardy sorghum cultivars for the arid and semi arid ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Development of hardy sorghum cultivars for the arid and semi arid regions. MN Makobe, EM Kahangi, AK Misra, MO Imbuga. Abstract. No Abstract. Full Text: EMAIL FREE FULL TEXT EMAIL FREE FULL TEXT · DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT · AJOL African Journals Online. HOW TO USE AJOL.

  19. Characterisation of rainfall at a semi-arid ecotope in the Limpopo ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Detailed knowledge of rainfall regime is an important prerequisite for agricultural planning. Despite the importance of rain-fed agriculture to food security in the semi-arid regions of South Africa, studies to understand the spatial and temporal variability of rainfall are not widely documented. Twenty-three years (1983 to 2005) ...

  20. Nuclear applications for the management of aquifers in the semi-arid region

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Simoes Filho, Fernando Lamego

    2005-01-01

    The semi-arid region of the Northeast of Brazil is characterized by a lack of superficial waters due to the low pluviometric precipitation and high evaporation rates. In addition to this, the precipitation events are irregular in time causing long periods of dryness or flooding with catastrophic consequences. Owing to adverse climatic conditions with recurrent droughts, intense pressure is being put on the use of groundwater resources. Groundwater occurrence on its turn depends on a series of geological and climatological characteristics that are very variable in the region. Because of this situation, groundwater is of strategical importance and represents a vital factor to its socioeconomic development. However, there is still insufficient knowledge of the basic aquifers characteristics leading to an over exploitation of the water resources. It is not surprising that, amongst other reasons, this situation contributes to the fact that areas with the lowest human development pattern are located in the semi-arid region of Brazil. Given the nature of hydrological problems that need to be addressed in semi-arid regions, nuclear/isotope techniques are increasingly recognized as indispensable tools for water resources assessment and development. However, information arising from these techniques has to cope with other hydrological methods in an integrated manner. The general objective was prospect nuclear technologies as tools for aquifer management, promoting sustainable use of groundwater in the semi-arid region. (author)

  1. Effects of irrigation and plastic mulch on soil properties on semi-arid abandoned fields

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Meulen, E.S.; Nol, L.; Cammeraat, L.H.

    2006-01-01

    The Guadalentín Basin in Spain is one of the driest areas of Europe and has problems with high evaporation rates, and high risks of desertification exist including soil quality loss and soil erosion. Farmers in this semi-arid region use polyethylene covers on their irrigated croplands to reduce

  2. Problems and Prospects of SWAT Model Application on an Arid/Semi-arid Watershed in Arizona

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hydrological characteristics in the semi-arid southwest create unique challenges to watershed modelers. Streamflow in these regions is largely dependent on seasonal, short term, and high intensity rainfall events. The objectives of this study are: 1) to analyze the unique hydrolo...

  3. Understanding hydrological variability for improved water management in the Semi-Arid Karkheh basin, Iran

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Masih, I.

    2011-01-01

    This study provides a hydrology based assessment of (surface) water resources and its continuum of variability and change at different spatio-temporal scales in the semi-arid Karkheh Basin, Iran, where water is scarce, competition among users is high and massive water resources development is under

  4. Polyacrylamide molecular weight and phosphogypsum effects on infiltration and erosion in semi-arid soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seal formation at the surface of semi-arid soils during rainstorms reduces soil infiltration rate (IR) and causes runoff and erosion. Surface application of dry anionic polyacrylamide (PAM) with high molecular weight (MW) has been found to be effective in stabilizing soil aggregates, and decreasing ...

  5. The challenges of rehabilitating denuded patches of a semi-arid environment in Kenya

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mganga, K.Z.; Nyangito, M.M.; Musimba, N.K.R.; Nyariki, D.M.; Mwangombe, A.W.; Ekaya, W.N.; Muiri, W.M.; Clavel, D.; Francis, J.; Kaufmann, Von R.; Verhagen, J.

    2010-01-01

    Land degradation is a major problem in the semi-arid environments of Sub-Saharan Africa. Fighting land degradation is essential to ensure the sustainable and long-term productivity of the habited semiarid lands. In Kenya, grass reseeding technology has been used to combat land degradation. However,

  6. Soil quality improvement for crop production in semi-arid West Africa

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ouédraogo, E.

    2004-01-01

    Soil quality maintenance and crop production improvement in semi-arid West Africa require appropriate cropping technologies, which are ecologically sound and economically viable. Thus, on-farm and on-station experiments have been carried out on the central plateau and in the south of Burkina Faso

  7. Semi-arid Northeast Brazil: integrated modelling of regional development and global change impacts

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Krol, Martinus S.; Fuhr, Dagmar; Döring, Andreas; Unruh, Jon D.; Krol, Maarten S.; Kliot, Nurit

    2004-01-01

    Societies in semi-arid areas in developing regions are amongst those most vulnerable to climate variability and potentially most vulnerable to climate change. The vulnerability to climate variability emerges from a combination of the level of availability of natural resources and the human

  8. Integrated Scenarios of Regional Development in Two Semi-Arid States of North-Eastern Brazil

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Döll, Petra; Krol, Martinus S.

    2002-01-01

    Scenario analysis of the future is an important tool for supporting sustainability-oriented regional planning. To assist regional planning in two federal states in semi-arid North-eastern Brazil, Ceará and Piauí, we developed integrated qualitative¿quantitative scenarios that show potential

  9. Rainfall-interception-evaporation-runoff relationships in a semi-arid catchment, northern Limpopo basin, Zimbabwe

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Love, D.; Uhlenbrook, S.; Corzo Perez, G.; Twomlow, S.; Zaag, van der P.

    2010-01-01

    Characterizing the response of a catchment to rainfall, in terms of the production of runoff vs the interception, transpiration and evaporation of water, is the first important step in understanding water resource availability in a catchment. This is particularly important in small semi-arid

  10. Vulnerability Assessment of the Livelihoods in Tanzania’s Semi-Arid Agro-Ecological Zone under Climate Change Scenarios

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Msafiri Y. Mkonda

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Despite the established literature on the vulnerability to climate change in various parts of Tanzania, it is worthwhile to assess the extent of this vulnerability of the peoples’ livelihoods and predict its future outcome. This is particularly important in the vulnerable ecosystems, that is, the semi-arid zones of Tanzania where the people’s livelihoods are highly attached to the declining local condition. The present study aims to assess the livelihoods vulnerability in Kongwa District, the semi-arid zone of Central Tanzania. In doing so, a wide range of methods were employed during data collection and analyses including surveys, informative interviews, discussions and observation. The study sampled 400 (≤10% respondents during a survey. The Mann-Kendall Test with SPSS V20, Microsoft Excel and Theme content techniques were used for data analyses. The results indicate that climate stress has adversely impacted the quality of soil, vegetation, crop yields and intensified environmental degradation. Since most people depend upon the mentioned affected aspects, it is expected that also the level of livelihood vulnerability has elevated. Further, this situation has greatly contributed to increased poverty and thus, propagates the “tragedy of the common” to the available environmental resources. As a response to increased vulnerability, some farmers have abandoned thousands of hectares of agricultural farms that seemed to be less productive. Despite this, slight measures have been taken by both the government and other key stakeholders to limit vulnerability. The findings of this study provide a theoretical and practical basis for coordinating a sustainable man-environment relationship, ensuring the sustainability of the environment which is the major source of peoples’ livelihoods.

  11. Seasonal change detection of riparian zones with remote sensing images and genetic programming in a semi-arid watershed.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Makkeasorn, Ammarin; Chang, Ni-Bin; Li, Jiahong

    2009-02-01

    Riparian zones are deemed significant due to their interception capability of non-point source impacts and the maintenance of ecosystem integrity region wide. To improve classification and change detection of riparian buffers, this paper developed an evolutionary computational, supervised classification method--the RIparian Classification Algorithm (RICAL)--to conduct the seasonal change detection of riparian zones in a vast semi-arid watershed, South Texas. RICAL uniquely demonstrates an integrative effort to incorporate both vegetation indices and soil moisture images derived from LANDSAT 5 TM and RADARSAT-1 satellite images, respectively. First, an estimation of soil moisture based on RADARSAT-1 Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) images was conducted via the first-stage genetic programming (GP) practice. Second, for the statistical analyses and image classification, eight vegetation indices were prepared based on reflectance factors that were calculated as the response of the instrument on LANDSAT. These spectral vegetation indices were then independently used for discriminate analysis along with soil moisture images to classify the riparian zones via the second-stage GP practice. The practical implementation was assessed by a case study in the Choke Canyon Reservoir Watershed (CCRW), South Texas, which is mostly agricultural and range land in a semi-arid coastal environment. To enhance the application potential, a combination of Iterative Self-Organizing Data Analysis Techniques (ISODATA) and maximum likelihood supervised classification was also performed for spectral discrimination and classification of riparian varieties comparatively. Research findings show that the RICAL algorithm may yield around 90% accuracy based on the unseen ground data. But using different vegetation indices would not significantly improve the final quality of the spectral discrimination and classification. Such practices may lead to the formulation of more effective management strategies

  12. Linking Bayesian and agent-based models to simulate complex social-ecological systems in semi-arid regions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aloah J Pope

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Interdependencies of ecologic, hydrologic, and social systems challenge traditional approaches to natural resource management in semi-arid regions. As a complex social-ecological system, water demands in the Sonoran Desert from agricultural and urban users often conflicts with water needs for its ecologically-significant riparian corridors. To explore this system, we developed an agent-based model to simulate complex feedbacks between human decisions and environmental conditions in the Rio Sonora Watershed. Cognitive mapping in conjunction with stakeholder participation produced a Bayesian model of conditional probabilities of local human decision-making processes resulting to changes in water demand. Probabilities created in the Bayesian model were incorporated into the agent-based model, so that each agent had a unique probability to make a positive decision based on its perceived environment at each point in time and space. By using a Bayesian approach, uncertainty in the human decision-making process could be incorporated. The spatially-explicit agent-based model simulated changes in depth-to-groundwater by well pumping based on an agent’s water demand. Changes in depth-to-groundwater feedback to influence agent behavior, as well as determine unique vegetation classes within the riparian corridor. Each vegetation class then provides varying stakeholder-defined quality values of ecosystem services. Using this modeling approach allowed us to examine effects on both the ecological and social system of semi-arid riparian corridors under various scenarios. The insight provided by the model contributes to understanding how specific interventions may alter the complex social-ecological system in the future.

  13. Is annual recharge coefficient a valid concept in arid and semi-arid regions?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Y. Cheng

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Deep soil recharge (DSR (at depth greater than 200 cm is an important part of water circulation in arid and semi-arid regions. Quantitative monitoring of DSR is of great importance to assess water resources and to study water balance in arid and semi-arid regions. This study used a typical bare land on the eastern margin of Mu Us Sandy Land in the Ordos Basin of China as an example to illustrate a new lysimeter method of measuring DSR to examine if the annual recharge coefficient is valid or not in the study site, where the annual recharge efficient is the ratio of annual DSR over annual total precipitation. Positioning monitoring was done on precipitation and DSR measurements underneath mobile sand dunes from 2013 to 2015 in the study area. Results showed that use of an annual recharge coefficient for estimating DSR in bare sand land in arid and semi-arid regions is questionable and could lead to considerable errors. It appeared that DSR in those regions was influenced by precipitation pattern and was closely correlated with spontaneous strong precipitation events (with precipitation greater than 10 mm other than the total precipitation. This study showed that as much as 42 % of precipitation in a single strong precipitation event can be transformed into DSR. During the observation period, the maximum annual DSR could make up 24.33 % of the annual precipitation. This study provided a reliable method of estimating DSR in sandy areas of arid and semi-arid regions, which is valuable for managing groundwater resources and ecological restoration in those regions. It also provided strong evidence that the annual recharge coefficient was invalid for calculating DSR in arid and semi-arid regions. This study shows that DSR is closely related to the strong precipitation events, rather than to the average annual precipitation, as well as the precipitation patterns.

  14. Recovery of microbial community structure and functioning after wildfire in semi-arid environments: optimising methods for monitoring and assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muñoz-Rojas, Miriam; Martini, Dylan; Erickson, Todd; Merritt, David; Dixon, Kingsley

    2015-04-01

    Introduction In semi-arid areas such as northern Western Australia, wildfires are a natural part of the environment and many ecosystems in these landscapes have evolved and developed a strong relationship with fire. Soil microbial communities play a crucial role in ecosystem processes by regulating the cycling of nutrients via decomposition, mineralization, and immobilization processes. Thus, the structure (e.g. soil microbial biomass) and functioning (e.g. soil microbial activity) of microbial communities, as well as their changes after ecosystem disturbance, can be useful indicators of soil quality and health recovery. In this research, we assess the impacts of fire on soil microbial communities and their recovery in a biodiverse semi-arid environment of Western Australia (Pilbara region). New methods for determining soil microbial respiration as an indicator of microbial activity and soil health are also tested. Methodology Soil samples were collected from 10 similar ecosystems in the Pilbara with analogous native vegetation, but differing levels of post-fire disturbance (i.e. 3 months, 1 year, 5, 7 and 14 years after wildfire). Soil microbial activity was measured with the Solvita test which determines soil microbial respiration rate based on the measurement of the CO2 burst of a dry soil after it is moistened. Soils were dried and re-wetted and a CO2 probe was inserted before incubation at constant conditions of 25°C during 24 h. Measurements were taken with a digital mini spectrometer. Microbial (bacteria and fungi) biomass and community composition were measured by phospholipid fatty acid analysis (PLFA). Results Immediately after the fire (i.e. 3 months), soil microbial activity and microbial biomass are similar to 14 years 'undisturbed' levels (53.18±3.68 ppm CO2-CO and 14.07±0.65 mg kg-1, respectively). However, after the first year post-fire, with larger plant productivity, microbial biomass and microbial activity increase rapidly, peaking after 5

  15. Combining Sustainable Land Management Technologies to Combat Land Degradation and Improve Rural Livelihoods in Semi-arid Lands in Kenya.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mganga, K Z; Musimba, N K R; Nyariki, D M

    2015-12-01

    Drylands occupy more than 80% of Kenya's total land mass and contribute immensely to the national economy and society through agriculture, livestock production, tourism, and wild product harvesting. Dryland ecosystems are areas of high climate variability making them vulnerable to the threats of land degradation. Consequently, agropastoralists inhabiting these ecosystems develop mechanisms and technologies to cope with the impacts of climate variability. This study is aimed to; (1) determine what agropastoralists inhabiting a semi-arid ecosystem in Kenya attribute to be the causes and indicators of land degradation, (2) document sustainable land management (SLM) technologies being undertaken to combat land degradation, and (3) identify the factors that influence the choice of these SLM technologies. Vegetation change from preferred indigenous forage grass species to woody vegetation was cited as the main indicator of land degradation. Land degradation was attributed to recurrent droughts and low amounts of rainfall, overgrazing, and unsustainable harvesting of trees for fuelwood production. However, despite the challenges posed by climate variability and recurrent droughts, the local community is engaging in simple SLM technologies including grass reseeding, rainwater harvesting and soil conservation, and dryland agroforestry as a holistic approach combating land degradation and improving their rural livelihoods. The choice of these SLM technologies was mainly driven by their additional benefits to combating land degradation. In conclusion, promoting such simple SLM technologies can help reverse the land degradation trend, improve agricultural production, food security including access to food, and subsequently improve livelihoods of communities inhabiting dryland ecosystems.

  16. Combining Sustainable Land Management Technologies to Combat Land Degradation and Improve Rural Livelihoods in Semi-arid Lands in Kenya

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mganga, K. Z.; Musimba, N. K. R.; Nyariki, D. M.

    2015-12-01

    Drylands occupy more than 80 % of Kenya's total land mass and contribute immensely to the national economy and society through agriculture, livestock production, tourism, and wild product harvesting. Dryland ecosystems are areas of high climate variability making them vulnerable to the threats of land degradation. Consequently, agropastoralists inhabiting these ecosystems develop mechanisms and technologies to cope with the impacts of climate variability. This study is aimed to; (1) determine what agropastoralists inhabiting a semi-arid ecosystem in Kenya attribute to be the causes and indicators of land degradation, (2) document sustainable land management (SLM) technologies being undertaken to combat land degradation, and (3) identify the factors that influence the choice of these SLM technologies. Vegetation change from preferred indigenous forage grass species to woody vegetation was cited as the main indicator of land degradation. Land degradation was attributed to recurrent droughts and low amounts of rainfall, overgrazing, and unsustainable harvesting of trees for fuelwood production. However, despite the challenges posed by climate variability and recurrent droughts, the local community is engaging in simple SLM technologies including grass reseeding, rainwater harvesting and soil conservation, and dryland agroforestry as a holistic approach combating land degradation and improving their rural livelihoods. The choice of these SLM technologies was mainly driven by their additional benefits to combating land degradation. In conclusion, promoting such simple SLM technologies can help reverse the land degradation trend, improve agricultural production, food security including access to food, and subsequently improve livelihoods of communities inhabiting dryland ecosystems.

  17. Richness and distribution of aquatic macrophytes in Brazilian semi-arid aquatic ecosystems Riqueza e distribuição de macrófitas aquáticas em ecossistemas aquáticos do semi-árido brasileiro

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gustavo Gonzaga Henry-Silva

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available AIM: The aim of this study was to evaluate the richness and distribution of the aquatic macrophytes in the basin of the Apodi/Mossoró River, in the semi-arid region (caatinga of Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil; METHODS: A survey of the floristic composition of the aquatic macrophytes was made at 20 sampling stations in the basin at four seasons (August/2007, November/2007, February/2008, May/2008. Specimens of each species were collected and deposited in the Dárdano de Andrade Lima Herbarium of the Universidade Federal Rural do Semi-Árido; RESULTS: We found 40 species of aquatic macrophytes, in 33 genera and 22 families. The families with the most species were Poaceae and Cyperaceae, and the most species-rich genera were Cyperus and Eleocharis. The most common plant form was amphibian (42.5%, followed by emergent (27.5%, free-floating (12.5%, rooted-submersed (10.0%, and floating-leaved (7.5%. The lowest richness was observed at the estuarine region (3 species, and the highest richness in the upper basin (17 species. The rooted-submersed Hydrothrix gardneri Hooker f. and Ceratophyllum demersum L. were observed in great abundance and frequency in the Santa Cruz Reservoir of Apodi, especially in areas close to cage farms of Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus (Linnaeus, 1758. The most common free-floating species were Eichhornia crassipes (Mart. Solms., Pistia stratiotes L., and Salvinia auriculata Aubl., predominantly in stretches that run through urban centers; CONCLUSION: The species richness of aquatic macrophytes in aquatic environments of the caatinga is similar to that observed in other basins of Brazil. Because of the many dams and reservoirs in the semi-arid Northeast, inventory and monitoring of aquatic macrophytes have become essential, especially in basins that will receive water from the diversion of the São Francisco River.OBJETIVO: Nós objetivamos avaliar a riqueza e a distribuição das macrófitas aquáticas nos ambientes aqu

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Masocha, Mhosisi; Dube, Timothy; Skidmore, A.K.; Holmgren, 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 and

  19. Variability of soil CO2 efflux in a semi-arid grassland in Arizona

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krishnan, P.; Meyers, T. P.; Heuer, M.

    2017-12-01

    Soil surface CO2 efflux or soil respiration (RS) is one of the most important components of the global carbon cycle. So it is critical to evaluate the response of soil respiration to environmental conditions to predict how future climate and land cover changes influence the ecosystem carbon balance. Continuous half-hourly measurements of RS were made between the end of March to December 2015 in a semi-arid temperate grassland located on the Audubon Research Ranch in south western Arizona (31.5907N, 110.5104W, elevation 1496 m), USA. This first time measurements of Rs over this site using an automated soil chamber were used to investigate the seasonal and diurnal variation of Rs and its relationship to environmental variables. The mean annual air temperature and precipitation at this site were 16 deg C and 370 mm with more than 60% of the annual precipitation was received during the North American monsoon period (July-September). Following the onset of the monsoon, drastic changes in vegetation growth occured turning the ecosystem to a carbon sink by August. Temporal variability in Rs was closely related to the changes in near surface soil temperature at 2 cm (Ts) and soil water content at 5 cm (θ). Half -hourly Rs varied from nearly 0.1 μmol m-2 s-1 in the winter months to a maximum of 5 μmol m-2 s-1 in the peak growing season in August. During the dry pre-monsoon period (May -June), Rs was relatively low ( 0.0.08 m3 m-3, RS was positively correlated to soil temperature at the 2 cm depth following an exponential relationship. Below this value of θ, RS was largely decoupled from TS dropping to less than half of their maximum values during wet soil conditions. Analysis of daily mean nighttime Rs for the year showed that for periods with θ below the threshold, the sensitivity of RS to temperature were substantially reduced resulting in a Q10 significantly < 2, thereby confirming that RS was less affected by soil temperature under low soil water conditions at this

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-10-01

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

  1. Simulating the Dependence of Sagebrush Steppe Vegetation on Redistributed Snow in a Semi-Arid Watershed.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soderquist, B.; Kavanagh, K.; Link, T. E.; Strand, E. K.; Seyfried, M. S.

    2014-12-01

    snow. These results indicate that as snow water subsidies decrease, ecosystems may shift from tree and shrub dominated to grassland dominated. As climate change progresses, shifts in the precipitation regimes in semi-arid environments may lead to changes in species composition and carbon stores throughout the intermountain west.

  2. New Approaches for Responsible Management of Offshore Springs in Semi-arid Regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaban, Amin; de Jong, Carmen; Al-Sulaimani, Zaher

    2017-04-01

    In arid and semi-arid regions, such as the Mediterranean and Gulf Region where water is scarce water demand has been exacerbated and become a major environmental challenge. Presently there is massive pressure to develop new water sources to alleviate existing water stress. In the quest for more freshwater even groundwater discharge into the sea in the form of "off-shore freshwater springs" (or submarine groundwater discharge) has been contemplated as a potential source of unconventional water in coastal zones. Offshore-springs are derived from aquifers with complex geological controls mainly in the form of faults and karst conduits. Representing a border-line discipline, they have been poorly studied with only few submarine groundwater monitoring sites existing worldwide. Recently, innovative techniques have been developed enabling springs to be detected via remote sensing such as airborne surveys or satellite images. "Thermal Anomalies" can be clearly identified as evidence for groundwater discharge into the marine environment. A diversity of groundwater routes along which off-shore springs are fed from land sources can be recognized and near-shore and offshore springs differentiated and classified according to their geometry. This is well pronounced along the coast of Lebanon and offshore of Oman. Offshore springs play an important role in the marine ecosystem as natural sources of mercury, metals, nutrients, dissolved carbon species and in cooling or warming ocean water. However, they are extremely sensitive to variations in qualitative and quantitative water inputs triggered by climate change and anthropogenic impacts especially in their recharge zones. Pollutants such as sewage, detergents, heavy metals or herbicides that negatively affect water quality of offshore springs can transit the groundwater rapidly. Recently these springs have also been severely affected by uncontrolled water abstraction from land aquifers. In Bahrain, overpumping combined with

  3. Isotope and radiation techniques for efficient water and fertilizer use in semi-arid regions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1986-04-01

    The Joint FAO/IAEA Division carried out a coordinated research programme, which was concerned with the efficiency of water and fertilizer uses in semi-arid farming systems. The present publication is a summary of the individual contributions from Belgium, Chile, Ivory Coast, Cyprus, France, India, Israel, Romania, Senegal, Sri Lanka and the United States of America, over the period 1978-1984. Water and fertilizer uptake by crops are dynamic processes affected by several factors of the soil-plant-atmosphere system. The neutron moisture meters were used not only to measure soil water contents but also to understand water dynamics under field conditions. Nitrogen is the most limiting nutrient in many semi-arid regions, and as its absorption is very much related to water dynamics in the soil, experiments using N-15 labelled fertilizer were carried out, which are presented in this report

  4. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in a semi-arid, limestone mining-impacted area of Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thaís Teixeira-Rios

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available The main goal of this study was to determine the diversity and activity of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF in an area degraded by limestone mining within the semi-arid region of Brazil known as the caatinga (shrublands. Near a limestone quarry, we selected two areas of caatinga (preserved and degraded for study. The number of glomerospores did not differ significantly between the two areas. There was a trend toward the most probable number of infective propagules being higher in the degraded area. Twenty AMF taxa were identified in the two sampled areas, species richness, diversity and evenness being higher in the preserved area. Two species of Racocetra represent new records for the semi-arid region of Brazil. Glomerospore production and AMF species richness were unaffected by mining activity in the study area.

  5. Water balance of two earthen landfill caps in a semi-arid climate

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Khire, M.V.; Benson, C.H.; Bosscher, P.J.

    1997-01-01

    Water balance data are presented that were obtained from two earthen cap test sections located in a semi-arid region. The test sections were constructed on a municipal solid waste landfill in East Wenatchee, Washington, USA. One test section represents a traditional resistive barrier, and is constructed with a compacted silty clay barrier 60 cm thick and a vegetated silty clay surface layer 15 cm thick. The other test section represents a capillary barrier and has a sand layer 75 cm thick overlain by a 15-cm-thick vegetated surface layer of silt. Extensive hydrological and meteorological data have been collected since November 1992. Unsaturated hydraulic properties of soils, hydrologic parameters, and vegetation have been extensively characterized. Results of the study show that capillary barriers can be effective caps in semi-arid and arid regions. They are also cheaper to construct and can perform better than traditional resistive barriers

  6. Spatial distribution of overland flow and sediment yield in semi-arid rangelands

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sarah, P.; Lavee, H.

    2009-01-01

    Feedbacks and mutual links exist among soil, vegetation and water; they enable co-evolution of these features within eco-geomorphic systems, These relations are fragile, especially in semi-arid areas where grazing is the main land use. The simples subdivision of the surface of many semi-arid rangelands is into a two-component mosaic pattern comprising shrub patches interspersed with open spaces, with the former acting s skinks for water and other resources, and the latter as sources. However close observations in areas under grazing in the northern Negev region of Israel suggested that the spatial patterns of surface components is more complicated, and that the open space between shrubs consists of two components: herbaceous areas, separated by trampling routes that support no vegetation. (Author)

  7. 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...

  8. Soil quality improvement for crop production in semi-arid West Africa

    OpenAIRE

    Ouédraogo, E.

    2004-01-01

    Soil quality maintenance and crop production improvement in semi-arid West Africa require appropriate cropping technologies, which are ecologically sound and economically viable. Thus, on-farm and on-station experiments have been carried out on the central plateau and in the south of Burkina Faso The results show that adoption of improved soil fertility technologies such as composting by farmers is determined by soil fertility status, access to the market and social reasons. Organic amendment...

  9. Agroforestry parkland species diversity : uses and management in semi-arid West-Africa (Burkina Faso)

    OpenAIRE

    Nikiema, A.

    2005-01-01

    Agroforestry parkland in semi-arid West Africa is a rural land use system, which allows farmers to grow annual crops in combination with useful trees. In addition to cereals, tree products such as vegetables, fruits, vegetable oil, firewood, fodder, and medicines are obtained from the parklands. However the multiple function of the parkland system can only be fulfilled if parkland species diversity is adequately managed.This thesis is focused on assessing the woody species diversity in the pa...

  10. Changes in zinc speciation with mine tailings acidification in a semi-arid weathering environment

    OpenAIRE

    Hayes, Sarah M.; O’Day, Peggy A.; Webb, Sam M.; Maier, Raina M.; Chorover, Jon

    2011-01-01

    High concentrations of residual metal contaminants in mine tailings can be transported easily by wind and water, particularly when tailings remain unvegetated for decades following mining cessation, as is the case in semi-arid landscapes. Understanding the speciation and mobility of contaminant metal(loid)s, particularly in surficial tailings, is essential to controlling their phytotoxicities and to revegetating impacted sites. In prior work, we showed that surficial tailings samples from the...

  11. Insolation driven biomagnetic response to the Holocene Warm Period in semi-arid East Asia

    OpenAIRE

    Liu, Suzhen; Deng, Chenglong; Xiao, Jule; Li, Jinhua; Paterson, Greig A.; Chang, Liao; Yi, Liang; Qin, Huafeng; Pan, Yongxin; Zhu, Rixiang

    2015-01-01

    The Holocene Warm Period (HWP) provides valuable insights into the climate system and biotic responses to environmental variability and thus serves as an excellent analogue for future global climate changes. Here we document, for the first time, that warm and wet HWP conditions were highly favourable for magnetofossil proliferation in the semi-arid Asian interior. The pronounced increase of magnetofossil concentrations at ~9.8?ka and decrease at ~5.9?ka in Dali Lake coincided respectively wit...

  12. Competing effects of groundwater withdrawals and climate change on water availability in semi-arid India

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sishodia, R. P.; Shukla, S.

    2017-12-01

    India, a global leader in groundwater use (250 km3/yr), is experiencing groundwater depletion. There has been a 130-fold increase in number of irrigation wells since 1960. Anticipated future increase in groundwater demand is likely to exacerbate the water availability in the semi-arid regions of India. Depending on the direction of change, future climate change may either worsen or enhance the water availability. This study uses an integrated hydrologic modeling approach (MIKE SHE MIKE 11) to compare and combine the effects of future (2040-2069) increased groundwater withdrawals and climate change on surface and groundwater flows and availability for an agricultural watershed in semi-arid south India. Modeling results showed that increased groundwater withdrawals in the future resulted in reduced surface flows (25%) and increased frequency and duration (90 days/yr) of well drying. In contrast, projected future increase in rainfall (7-43%) under the changed climate showed increased groundwater recharge (15-67%) and surface flows (9-155%). Modeling results suggest that the positive effects of climate change may enhance the water availability in this semi-arid region of India. However, in combination with increased withdrawals, climate change was shown to increase the well drying and reduce the water availability especially during dry years. A combination of management options such as flood to drip conversion, energy subsidy reductions and water storage can support increased groundwater irrigated area in the future while mitigating the well drying. A cost-benefit analysis showed that dispersed water storage and flood to drip conversion can be highly cost-effective in this semi-arid region. The study results suggest that the government and management policies need to be focused towards an integrated management of demand and supply to create a sustainable food-water-energy nexus in the region.

  13. Spatial patterns and natural recruitment of native shrubs in a semi-arid sandy land.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Bo; Yang, Hongxiao

    2013-01-01

    Passive restoration depending on native shrubs is an attractive approach for restoring desertified landscapes in semi-arid sandy regions. We sought to understand the relationships between spatial patterns of native shrubs and their survival ability in sandy environments. Furthermore, we applied our results to better understand whether passive restoration is feasible for desertified landscapes in semi-arid sandy regions. The study was conducted in the semi-arid Mu Us sandy land of northern China with the native shrub Artemisia ordosica. We analyzed population structures and patterns of A. ordosica at the edges and centers of land patches where sand was stabilized by A. ordosica-dominated vegetation. Saplings were more aggregated than adults, and both were more aggregated at the patch edges than at the patch centers. At the patch edges, spatial association of the saplings with the adults was mostly positive at distances 0.3-6.6 m, and turned from positive to neutral, and even negative, at other distances. At the patch centers, the saplings were spaced almost randomly around the adults, and their distances from the adults did not seem to affect their locations. A greater number of A. ordosica individuals emerged at the patch edges than at the patch centers. Such patterns may have resulted from their integrative adjustment to specific conditions of soil water supply and sand drift intensity. These findings suggest that in semi-arid sandy regions, native shrubs that are well-adapted to local environments may serve as low-cost and competent ecological engineers that can promote the passive restoration of surrounding patches of mobile sandy land.

  14. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in Mimosa tenuiflora (Willd. Poir from Brazilian semi-arid

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tancredo Augusto Feitosa de Souza

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Many plant species from Brazilian semi-arid present arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF in their rhizosphere. These microorganisms play a key role in the establishment, growth, survival of plants and protection against drought, pathogenic fungi and nematodes. This study presents a quantitative analysis of the AMF species associated with Mimosa tenuiflora, an important native plant of the Caatinga flora. AMF diversity, spore abundance and root colonization were estimated in seven sampling locations in the Ceará and Paraíba States, during September of 2012. There were significant differences in soil properties, spore abundance, percentage of root colonization, and AMF diversity among sites. Altogether, 18 AMF species were identified, and spores of the genera Acaulospora, Claroideoglomus, Dentiscutata, Entrophospora, Funneliformis, Gigaspora, Glomus, Racocetra, Rhizoglomus and Scutellospora were observed. AMF species diversity and their spore abundance found in M. tenuiflora rhizosphere shown that this native plant species is an important host plant to AMF communities from Brazilian semi-arid region. We concluded that: (a during the dry period and in semi-arid conditions, there is a high spore production in M. tenuiflora root zone; and (b soil properties, as soil pH and available phosphorous, affect AMF species diversity, thus constituting key factors for the similarity/dissimilarity of AMF communities in the M. tenuiflora root zone among sites.

  15. Agroecological and Social Transformations for Coexistence with Semi-Aridity in Brazil

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    Aldrin M. Pérez-Marin

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available This article explores whether a shift in development paradigm resulted in coexistence with semi-aridity for residents of the Semi-Arid region of Brazil (SAB. If so, which strategies contributed and which conditions facilitated it? We conducted a comparative analysis of the transformations that occurred in 10 territories of the SAB during two time periods: PI (1973–2001 when “development” policies almost exclusively aimed to “combat drought and its effects”; and PII (2002–2016 when a concept of coexistence with semi-aridity informed policy making. Our study from the 10 territories of the SAB show significant changes between PI and PII. On average, there was a substantial improvement in Access to Water Infrastructure (+33%∆, Diversification of Production Systems (Animals +36%∆; Crops +61%∆, Management of Common Pool Resources (+45%∆, Involvement in Spaces of Political Organizing (+24%∆, and Access to Public Programs (+29%∆. As such, “coexistence” went from concept to action as a consequence of structural, agroecological, social, and management transformations in combination with a strengthening of mechanisms for community reciprocity. These were characterized by (a the creation of resource reserves for use during times of drought; (b the efficient use of available natural resources; and (c enhanced articulation between diverse actors.

  16. Coprophilous Mucorales (ex Zygomycota from three areas in the semi-arid of Pernambuco, Brazil

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    Carlos Alberto Fragoso de Souza

    Full Text Available Abstract Mucorales comprises fungi commonly isolated as saprobes from soil, dung, stored grains and plants. Although these fungi have been studied in several countries, there are relatively a few reports of them in semi-arid areas. Therefore, the aims of the present study were to assess and compare the Mucorales communities in dung from different species and breeds of herbivores in the semi-arid of Pernambuco, based on the frequency of occurrence and species richness of these fungi. Samples of dung collected in the cities of Arcoverde, Serra Talhada and Sertânia were incubated in moist chambers in triplicate. Altogether, 24 taxa of Mucorales distributed in the genera Absidia, Circinella, Cunninghamella, Lichtheimia, Mucor, Pilobolus, Rhizopus and Syncephalastrum were identified. The highest species richness was found in sheep excrement. Mucor circinelloides f. griseo-cyanus was the most common taxon, followed by M. ramosissimus. The similarity of the composition of Mucorales species was greatest between the excrements of Guzerá and Sindi breeds (bovine. All mucoralean species isolated are being cited for the first time from animal dung found in Caatinga and a new species of Mucor was recorded. An identification key for species of Mucorales from dung in the semi-arid region of Brazil is provided.

  17. Coprophilous Mucorales (ex Zygomycota) from three areas in the semi-arid of Pernambuco, Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Souza, Carlos Alberto Fragoso de; Lima, Diogo Xavier; Gurgel, Luciana M S; Santiago, André Luiz Cabral Monteiro de Azevedo

    Mucorales comprises fungi commonly isolated as saprobes from soil, dung, stored grains and plants. Although these fungi have been studied in several countries, there are relatively a few reports of them in semi-arid areas. Therefore, the aims of the present study were to assess and compare the Mucorales communities in dung from different species and breeds of herbivores in the semi-arid of Pernambuco, based on the frequency of occurrence and species richness of these fungi. Samples of dung collected in the cities of Arcoverde, Serra Talhada and Sertânia were incubated in moist chambers in triplicate. Altogether, 24 taxa of Mucorales distributed in the genera Absidia, Circinella, Cunninghamella, Lichtheimia, Mucor, Pilobolus, Rhizopus and Syncephalastrum were identified. The highest species richness was found in sheep excrement. Mucor circinelloides f. griseo-cyanus was the most common taxon, followed by M. ramosissimus. The similarity of the composition of Mucorales species was greatest between the excrements of Guzerá and Sindi breeds (bovine). All mucoralean species isolated are being cited for the first time from animal dung found in Caatinga and a new species of Mucor was recorded. An identification key for species of Mucorales from dung in the semi-arid region of Brazil is provided. Copyright © 2016 Sociedade Brasileira de Microbiologia. Published by Elsevier Editora Ltda. All rights reserved.

  18. Effects of fishing technique on assessing species composition in aquatic systems in semi-arid Brazil

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    ESF Medeiros

    Full Text Available In most ecological field research, appropriate sampling is critical for the understanding of processes underlying fish populations and communities, and is even more important in heterogeneous environments such as the aquatic systems of the semi-arid region of Brazil. This study intends to make a contribution to the development of sampling programs and gear selection in aquatic systems of semi-arid Brazil by evaluating the effects of different fishing techniques on the assessment of richness and composition of the fish fauna in selected aquatic environments. Six sites were selected to represent typical artificial (reservoirs and natural (intermittent streams environments and four different types of sampling gear were applied to each site during four occasions. The present study shows that when selecting sampling techniques to be used in aquatic systems in semi-arid Brazil, one must consider the objectives of the study, e.g. ecological or taxonomic, in order to decide on inclusion of rare species in the sampling population. Also, the effect of the sampling gear on natural abundances of fish must be considered given that some sampling techniques are highly detrimental to fish population numbers.

  19. Effect of high ambient temperature on behavior of sheep under semi-arid tropical environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De, Kalyan; Kumar, Davendra; Saxena, Vijay Kumar; Thirumurugan, Palanisamy; Naqvi, Syed Mohammed Khursheed

    2017-07-01

    High environmental temperature is a major constraint in sheep production under semi-arid tropical environment. Behavior is the earliest indicator of animal's adaptation and responses to the environmental alteration. Therefore, the objective of this study was to assess the effects of high ambient temperature on the behavior of sheep under a semi-arid tropical environment. The experiment was conducted for 6 weeks on 16 Malpura cross (Garole × Malpura × Malpura (GMM)) rams. The rams were divided equally into two groups, designated as C and T. The rams of C were kept in comfortable environmental conditions served as control. The rams of T were exposed to a different temperature at different hours of the day in a climatic chamber, to simulate a high environmental temperature of summer in semi-arid tropic. The behavioral observations were taken by direct instantaneous observation at 15-min intervals for each animal individually. The feeding, ruminating, standing, and lying behaviors were recorded twice a week from morning (0800 hours) to afternoon (1700 hours) for 6 weeks. Exposure of rams to high temperature (T) significantly (P behavior of sheep which is directed to circumvent the effect of the stressor.

  20. Effect of high ambient temperature on behavior of sheep under semi-arid tropical environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    De, Kalyan; Kumar, Davendra; Saxena, Vijay Kumar; Thirumurugan, Palanisamy; Naqvi, Syed Mohammed Khursheed

    2017-07-01

    High environmental temperature is a major constraint in sheep production under semi-arid tropical environment. Behavior is the earliest indicator of animal's adaptation and responses to the environmental alteration. Therefore, the objective of this study was to assess the effects of high ambient temperature on the behavior of sheep under a semi-arid tropical environment. The experiment was conducted for 6 weeks on 16 Malpura cross (Garole × Malpura × Malpura (GMM)) rams. The rams were divided equally into two groups, designated as C and T. The rams of C were kept in comfortable environmental conditions served as control. The rams of T were exposed to a different temperature at different hours of the day in a climatic chamber, to simulate a high environmental temperature of summer in semi-arid tropic. The behavioral observations were taken by direct instantaneous observation at 15-min intervals for each animal individually. The feeding, ruminating, standing, and lying behaviors were recorded twice a week from morning (0800 hours) to afternoon (1700 hours) for 6 weeks. Exposure of rams to high temperature (T) significantly ( P animals of T spent significantly ( P behavior of sheep which is directed to circumvent the effect of the stressor.

  1. Modelling hydrologic and hydrodynamic processes in basins with large semi-arid wetlands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fleischmann, Ayan; Siqueira, Vinícius; Paris, Adrien; Collischonn, Walter; Paiva, Rodrigo; Pontes, Paulo; Crétaux, Jean-François; Bergé-Nguyen, Muriel; Biancamaria, Sylvain; Gosset, Marielle; Calmant, Stephane; Tanimoun, Bachir

    2018-06-01

    Hydrological and hydrodynamic models are core tools for simulation of large basins and complex river systems associated to wetlands. Recent studies have pointed towards the importance of online coupling strategies, representing feedbacks between floodplain inundation and vertical hydrology. Especially across semi-arid regions, soil-floodplain interactions can be strong. In this study, we included a two-way coupling scheme in a large scale hydrological-hydrodynamic model (MGB) and tested different model structures, in order to assess which processes are important to be simulated in large semi-arid wetlands and how these processes interact with water budget components. To demonstrate benefits from this coupling over a validation case, the model was applied to the Upper Niger River basin encompassing the Niger Inner Delta, a vast semi-arid wetland in the Sahel Desert. Simulation was carried out from 1999 to 2014 with daily TMPA 3B42 precipitation as forcing, using both in-situ and remotely sensed data for calibration and validation. Model outputs were in good agreement with discharge and water levels at stations both upstream and downstream of the Inner Delta (Nash-Sutcliffe Efficiency (NSE) >0.6 for most gauges), as well as for flooded areas within the Delta region (NSE = 0.6; r = 0.85). Model estimates of annual water losses across the Delta varied between 20.1 and 30.6 km3/yr, while annual evapotranspiration ranged between 760 mm/yr and 1130 mm/yr. Evaluation of model structure indicated that representation of both floodplain channels hydrodynamics (storage, bifurcations, lateral connections) and vertical hydrological processes (floodplain water infiltration into soil column; evapotranspiration from soil and vegetation and evaporation of open water) are necessary to correctly simulate flood wave attenuation and evapotranspiration along the basin. Two-way coupled models are necessary to better understand processes in large semi-arid wetlands. Finally, such coupled

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

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    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

  3. WIRE project- Soil water repellence in biodiverse semi arid environments: new insights and implications for ecological restoration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muñoz-Rojas, Miriam; Jiménez-Morillo, Nicasio T.; Jordan, Antonio; Zavala, Lorena M.; Stevens, Jason; González-Pérez, Jose Antonio

    2017-04-01

    Background Soil water repellency (SWR) can have a critical effect on the restoration of disturbed ecosystems causing poor plant establishment and promoting erosion processes. Although SWR has been reported in most continents of the world for different soil types, climate conditions and land uses, there are still many research gaps in the knowledge of its causes and controlling factors (Doerr et al.,2000; Jordan et al., 2013), particularly in Mediterranean arid semi arid environments which are largely affected by this phenomenon. The WIRE project aims to investigate SWR in soils under different vegetation types of dominant biodiverse ecosystems of Western Australia (WA), e.g. hummock grasslands and Banksia woodlands, as well as characterizing organic compounds that induce hydrophobicity in these soils. Banksia woodlands (BW) are of particular interest in this project. These are iconic ecosystems of WA composed by an overstorey dominated by Proteaceae that are threatened by sand mining activities and urban expansion. Conservation and restoration of these woodlands are critical but despite considerable efforts to restore these areas, the success of current rehabilitation programs is poor due to the high sensitivity of the ecosystem to drought stress and the disruption of water dynamics in mature BW soils that result in low seedling survival rates (5-30%). The main objectives of this collaborative research are: i) to identify SWR intensity and severity under different vegetation types and evaluate controlling factors in both hummock grasslands and BW (ii) to characterize hydrophobic compounds in soils using analytical pyrolysis techniques and iii) to investigate the impact of SWR on water economy in relation with soil functioning and plant strategies for water uptake in pristine BW. Methods In a series of field trials and experimental studies, we measured SWR of soil samples under lab conditions in oven-dry samples (48 h, 105 °C) that were previously collected under

  4. Use of carbon isotope analysis to understand semi-arid erosion dynamics and long-term semi-arid land degradation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turnbull, Laura; Brazier, Richard E; Wainwright, John; Dixon, Liz; Bol, Roland

    2008-06-01

    Many semi-arid areas worldwide are becoming degraded, in the form of C(4) grasslands being replaced by C(3) shrublands, which causes an increase in surface runoff and erosion, and altered nutrient cycling, which may affect global biogeochemical cycling. The prevention or control of vegetation transitions is hindered by a lack of understanding of their temporal and spatial dynamics, particularly in terms of interactions between biotic and abiotic processes. This research investigates (1) the effects of soil erosion on the delta(13)C values of soil organic matter (SOM) throughout the soil profile and its implications for reconstructing vegetation change using carbon-isotope analysis and (2) the spatial properties of erosion over a grass-shrub transition to increase understanding of biotic-abiotic interactions by using delta(13)C signals of eroded material as a sediment tracer. Results demonstrate that the soils over grass-shrub transitions are not in steady state. A complex interplay of factors determines the input of SOM to the surface horizon of the soil and its subsequent retention and turnover through the soil profile. A positive correlation between event runoff and delta(13)C signatures of eroded sediment was found in all plots. This indicates that the delta(13)C signatures of eroded sediment may provide a means of distinguishing between changes in erosion dynamics over runoff events of different magnitudes and over different vegetation types. The development of this technique using delta(13)C signatures of eroded sediment provides a new means of furthering existing understanding of erosion dynamics over vegetation transitions. This is critical in terms of understanding biotic-abiotic feedbacks and the evolution of areas subject to vegetation change in semi-arid environments. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd

  5. Toxic metal(loid) speciation during weathering of iron sulfide mine tailings under semi-arid climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Root, Robert A.; Hayes, Sarah M.; Hammond, Corin M.; Maier, Raina M.; Chorover, Jon

    2015-01-01

    Toxic metalliferous mine-tailings pose a significant health risk to ecosystems and neighboring communities from wind and water dispersion of particulates containing high concentrations of toxic metal(loid)s (e.g., Pb, As, Zn). Tailings are particularly vulnerable to erosion before vegetative cover can be reestablished, i.e., decades or longer in semi-arid environments without intervention. Metal(loid) speciation, linked directly to bioaccessibility and lability, is controlled by mineral weathering and is a key consideration when assessing human and environmental health risks associated with mine sites. At the semi-arid Iron King Mine and Humboldt Smelter Superfund site in central Arizona, the mineral assemblage of the top 2 m of tailings has been previously characterized. A distinct redox gradient was observed in the top 0.5 m of the tailings and the mineral assemblage indicates progressive transformation of ferrous iron sulfides to ferrihydrite and gypsum, which, in turn weather to form schwertmannite and then jarosite accompanied by a progressive decrease in pH (7.3 to 2.3). Within the geochemical context of this reaction front, we examined enriched toxic metal(loid)s As, Pb, and Zn with surficial concentrations 41.1, 10.7, 39.3 mM kg-1 (3080, 2200, and 2570 mg kg-1), respectively. The highest bulk concentrations of As and Zn occur at the redox boundary representing a 1.7 and 4.2 fold enrichment relative to surficial concentrations, respectively, indicating the translocation of toxic elements from the gossan zone to either the underlying redox boundary or the surface crust. Metal speciation was also examined as a function of depth using X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS). The deepest sample (180 cm) contains sulfides (e.g., pyrite, arsenopyrite, galena, and sphalerite). Samples from the redox transition zone (25-54 cm) contain a mixture of sulfides, carbonates (siderite, ankerite, cerrusite, and smithsonite) and metal(loid)s sorbed to neoformed secondary Fe

  6. Simulating the impact of no-till systems on field water fluxes and maize productivity under semi-arid conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mupangwa, W.; Jewitt, G. P. W.

    Crop output from the smallholder farming sector in sub-Saharan Africa is trailing population growth leading to widespread household food insecurity. It is therefore imperative that crop production in semi-arid areas be improved in order to meet the food demand of the ever increasing human population. No-till farming practices have the potential to increase crop productivity in smallholder production systems of sub-Saharan Africa, but rarely do because of the constraints experienced by these farmers. One of the most significant of these is the consumption of mulch by livestock. In the absence of long term on-farm assessment of the no-till system under smallholder conditions, simulation modelling is a tool that provides an insight into the potential benefits and can highlight shortcomings of the system under existing soil, climatic and socio-economic conditions. Thus, this study was designed to better understand the long term impact of no-till system without mulch cover on field water fluxes and maize productivity under a highly variable rainfall pattern typical of semi-arid South Africa. The simulated on-farm experiment consisted of two tillage treatments namely oxen-drawn conventional ploughing (CT) and ripping (NT). The APSIM model was applied for a 95 year period after first being calibrated and validated using measured runoff and maize yield data. The predicted results showed significantly higher surface runoff from the conventional system compared to the no-till system. Predicted deep drainage losses were higher from the NT system compared to the CT system regardless of the rainfall pattern. However, the APSIM model predicted 62% of the annual rainfall being lost through soil evaporation from both tillage systems. The predicted yields from the two systems were within 50 kg ha -1 difference in 74% of the years used in the simulation. In only 9% of the years, the model predicted higher grain yield in the NT system compared to the CT system. It is suggested that

  7. Characterization of the deforestation effect in a semi-arid region by the use of satellite images

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benhanifia, Khatir; Haddouche, Driss; Smahi, Zakaria; Bensaid, Abdelkrim; Hamimed, Abderrahmane

    2004-02-01

    In Algeria, arid and semi-arid regions occupy over than 95% of whole territory. Forests in the semi arid zone constitutes a front face to the advance of the desert towards northern sides. Like in other regions of the world, deforestation phenomenon have a serious consequences on the fragile ecosystem. Severe continuous drought, fires, pasture, insects as well as the absence of a clear forest politics are so many factors that reduced forest areas in this country. However, the conservation of this patrimony must be a priority of any regional development project. This paper describes an evaluating study of the deforestation impact on forests in the region of Djelfa situated in the Saharian Atlas using multitemporal satellite remote sensing data. In order to establish a forest change map, a methodology based on the comparison between normalized difference vegetation indexes (NDVI) generated from satellite images was adopted. For this purpose, a pair of Landsat and (ETM+) images acquired over the region on April 11th, 1987 and march 24th, 2001 have been used. Until being processed, data used have been geometrically and atmospherically corrected. Then, an (NDVI) have been produced for each date. Resulting from compared (NDVI) image presents the forest change map in the study area. Radiometric values of resulting image have been regrouped into three classes according to change types as follow : Increased radiometry = more active vegetation Decreased radiometry = deterioration in vegetation activity Non changed areas = Non changed Investigations made on the terrain permitted to interpret many causes of detected evolutions. Regressive changes were considerable and demonstrates however, the degradation effect on the vegetation state. Some of regressed radiometry are related to forest fires that affected the region in 1994. Almost of regressive changes are due to a deterioration of vegetation caused by multiple factors. Drought, deceases, pasture and infection are considered

  8. 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

  9. Land Cover Land Use change and soil organic carbon under climate variability in the semi-arid West African Sahel (1960-2050)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dieye, Amadou M.

    Land Cover Land Use (LCLU) change affects land surface processes recognized to influence climate change at local, national and global levels. Soil organic carbon is a key component for the functioning of agro-ecosystems and has a direct effect on the physical, chemical and biological characteristics of the soil. The capacity to model and project LCLU change is of considerable interest for mitigation and adaptation measures in response to climate change. A combination of remote sensing analyses, qualitative social survey techniques, and biogeochemical modeling was used to study the relationships between climate change, LCLU change and soil organic carbon in the semi-arid rural zone of Senegal between 1960 and 2050. For this purpose, four research hypotheses were addressed. This research aims to contribute to an understanding of future land cover land use change in the semi-arid West African Sahel with respect to climate variability and human activities. Its findings may provide insights to enable policy makers at local to national levels to formulate environmentally and economically adapted policy decisions. This dissertation research has to date resulted in two published and one submitted paper.

  10. Differential Responses of Soil Microbial Community to Four-Decade Long Grazing and Cultivation in a Semi-Arid Grassland

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    Yating He

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Grazing and cultivation are two important management practices worldwide that can cause significant soil organic carbon (SOC losses. However, it remains elusive how soil microbes have responded to soil carbon changes under these two practices. Based on a four-decade long field experiment, this study investigated the effects of grazing and cultivation on SOC stocks and microbial properties in the semi-arid grasslands of China. We hypothesize that grazing and cultivation would deplete SOC and depress microbial activities under both practices. However, our hypotheses were only partially supported. As compared with the adjacent indigenous grasslands, SOC and microbial biomass carbon (MBC were decreased by 20% or more under grazing and cultivation, which is consistent with the reduction of fungi abundance by 40% and 71%, respectively. The abundance of bacteria and actinomycetes was decreased under grazing but increased under cultivation, which likely enhanced microbial diversity in cultivation. Invertase activity decreased under the two treatments, while urease activity increased under grazing. These results suggest that nitrogen fertilizer input during cultivation may preferentially favor bacterial growth, in spite of SOC loss, due to rapid decomposition, while overgrazing may deteriorate the nitrogen supply to belowground microbes, thus stimulating the microbial production of nitrogen acquisition enzymes. This decade-long study demonstrated differential soil microbial responses under grazing and cultivation and has important applications for better management practices in the grassland ecosystem.

  11. Spatial and temporal distribution of free-living protozoa in aquatic environments of a Brazilian semi-arid region

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    Maria Luisa Quinino de Medeiros

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available Free-living protozoa organisms are distributed in aquatic environments and vary widely in both qualitative and quantitative terms. The unique ecological functions they exhibit in their habitats help to maintain the dynamic balance of these environments. Despite their wide range and abundance, studies on geographical distribution and ecology, when compared to other groups, are still scarce. This study aimed to identify and record the occurrence of free-living protozoa at three points in Piancó-Piranhas-Açu basin, in a semi-arid area of Rio Grande do Norte (RN state, and to relate the occurrence of taxa with variations in chlorophyll a, pH and temperature in the environments. Samples were collected in the Armando Ribeiro Gonçalves Dam, from two lentic environments upstream and a lotic ecosystem downstream. Sixty-five taxa of free-living protozoa were found. The Student's t-test showed significant inter-variable differences (p <0.05. Similar protozoan species were recorded under different degrees of trophic status according to chlorophyll a concentrations, suggesting the organisms identified are not ideal for indicating trophic level. We hypothesize that food availability, the influence of lentic and lotic systems and the presence of aquatic macrophytes influenced protozoan dynamics during the study period.

  12. Diversity of the ground-dwelling ant fauna (Hymenoptera:Formicidae of a moist,montane forest of the semi-arid Brazilian "Nordeste "

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    N. L Hites

    2005-06-01

    Full Text Available Although the so called "green islands" of the semi-arid Brazilian "Nordeste" are economically, socially, and ecologically important, relatively little is known about their biodiversity. We present the results of the first survey of the ground-dwelling ant fauna of a secondary forest in the Serra de Baturité (4° 05’ - 4° 40’ S / 38° 30’ - 39° 10’ W, among the biggest of the moist, montane forests of the state of Ceará, Brazil. From February to March 2001, samples were taken every 50 m along twelve 200 m transects, each separated from the others by at least 50 m and cut on either side of a recreational trail. Where possible, two transects were cut from the same starting point on the trail, one on either side. At each sample site two methods were used, as recommended in the ALL protocol: a pitfall trap and the treatment of 1 m² of leaf litter with the Winkler extractor. The myrmecofauna of the Serra de Baturité is quite diverse: individuals from 72 species, 23 genera, and six subfamilies were collected. The observed patterns of specific richness show the same tendencies noted in other tropical regions, particularly the frequency of capture distribution with many rare and few abundant species. Differences with the Atlantic and Amazonian forests were also observed, especially the relative importance of the Ponerinae and Formicinae subfamilies, indicating a possible influence of the surrounding "caatinga" (savanna-like ecosystem on the myrmecofauna of the moist,montane forest. Rev. Biol. Trop. 53(1-2:165-173. Epub 2005 Jun 24Se presentan los resultados del primer inventario de la mirmecofauna del suelo en un parche de bosque montano húmedo del "Nordeste" semi-árido brasileño. Aunque estos parches o "islas verdes" son importantes económica, social, y ecológicamente, se conoce relativamente poco acerca de su biodiversidad. La investigación fue llevada a cabo en un bosque secundario en la Serra de Baturité, uno de los mayores del

  13. A geochemical and isotopic approach to recharge evaluation in semi-arid zones. Past and present

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Edmunds, W.M.; Walton, N.R.G.

    1980-01-01

    The magnitude of any recharge to aquifers in semi-arid and arid zones is the principal uncertainty in estimating a water balance. Recent studies in Cyprus and Libyan Arab Jamahiriya are currently being used to demonstrate the application of geochemical and isotopic techniques, to the determination of both current and palaeo-recharge. In Cyprus, solute profiles of the unsaturated zone have been interpreted to provide estimates of the direct recharge component using a steady-state, mass-balance approach; results from the chloride profiles compare well with recharge estimates using tritium. In addition, it is found that some solute peaks, notably for specific electrical conductance, give a reasonably accurate record of the rainfall history during the period 1950-1975. The solute profile method is relatively unsophisticated and could be more widely applied to recharge estimation in other semi-arid areas of the world. In Libya, a clear distinction can be made using the combined isotopic, hydrological and geochemical results between regional groundwaters recharged to the upper, unconfined aquifer of the Sirte Basin before 13,000 years BP and younger waters recharged locally during the period 5000-7800 years BP. A well-defined fresh-water channel, superimposed upon the regional water quality pattern, can be traced within the aquifer for some 130 km and represents direct evidence of recharge during the Holocene. Some shallow groundwaters of similar composition to the fresh-water channel are also considered to represent recent, if intermittent, recharge which took place during historical times. It is concluded that geochemical and isotopic studies of both the unsaturated zone and of shallow groundwaters in semi-arid regions, can be used to determine not only the present-day direct recharge component, but also a recharge chronology of immediate historic times, which may be important in the estimation of long-term water resources. (author)

  14. Carbon storage capacity of semi-arid grassland soils and sequestration potentials in northern China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiesmeier, Martin; Munro, Sam; Barthold, Frauke; Steffens, Markus; Schad, Peter; Kögel-Knabner, Ingrid

    2015-10-01

    Organic carbon (OC) sequestration in degraded semi-arid environments by improved soil management is assumed to contribute substantially to climate change mitigation. However, information about the soil organic carbon (SOC) sequestration potential in steppe soils and their current saturation status remains unknown. In this study, we estimated the OC storage capacity of semi-arid grassland soils on the basis of remote, natural steppe fragments in northern China. Based on the maximum OC saturation of silt and clay particles soils (grazing land, arable land, eroded areas) were estimated. The analysis of natural grassland soils revealed a strong linear regression between the proportion of the fine fraction and its OC content, confirming the importance of silt and clay particles for OC stabilization in steppe soils. This relationship was similar to derived regressions in temperate and tropical soils but on a lower level, probably due to a lower C input and different clay mineralogy. In relation to the estimated OC storage capacity, degraded steppe soils showed a high OC saturation of 78-85% despite massive SOC losses due to unsustainable land use. As a result, the potential of degraded grassland soils to sequester additional OC was generally low. This can be related to a relatively high contribution of labile SOC, which is preferentially lost in the course of soil degradation. Moreover, wind erosion leads to substantial loss of silt and clay particles and consequently results in a direct loss of the ability to stabilize additional OC. Our findings indicate that the SOC loss in semi-arid environments induced by intensive land use is largely irreversible. Observed SOC increases after improved land management mainly result in an accumulation of labile SOC prone to land use/climate changes and therefore cannot be regarded as contribution to long-term OC sequestration. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  15. An Overview of Biodegradation of LNAPLs in Coastal (Semi)-arid Environment.

    KAUST Repository

    Yadav, Brijesh Kumar

    2011-02-22

    Contamination of soil and water due to the release of light non-aqueous phase liquids (LNAPLs) is a ubiquitous problem. The problem is more severe in arid and semi-arid coastal regions where most of the petroleum production and related refinery industries are located. Biological treatment of these organic contaminated resources is receiving increasing interests and where applicable, can serve as a cost-effective remediation alternative. The success of bioremediation greatly depends on the prevailing environmental variables, and their remediation favoring customization requires a sound understanding of their integrated behavior on fate and transport of LNAPLs under site-specific conditions. The arid and semi-arid coastal sites are characterized by specific environmental extremes; primarily, varying low and high temperatures, high salinity, water table dynamics, and fluctuating soil moisture content. An understanding of the behavior of these environmental variables on biological interactions with LNAPLs would be helpful in customizing the bioremediation for restoring problematic sites in these regions. Therefore, this paper reviews the microbial degradation of LNAPLs in soil-water, considering the influences of prevailing environmental parameters of arid and semi-arid coastal regions. First, the mechanism of biodegradation of LNAPLs is discussed briefly, followed by a summary of popular kinetic models used by researchers for describing the degradation rate of these hydrocarbons. Next, the impact of soil moisture content, water table dynamics, and soil-water temperature on the fate and transport of LNAPLs are discussed, including an overview of the studies conducted so far. Finally, based on the reviewed information, a general conclusion is presented with recommendations for future research subjects on optimizing the bioremediation technique in the field under the aforesaid environmental conditions. The present review will be useful to better understand the

  16. Assessment of the performance of water harvesting systems in semi-arid regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lasage, Ralph

    2016-04-01

    Water harvesting is widely practiced and has the potential to improve water availability for domestic and agricultural use in semi-arid regions. New funds are becoming available to stimulate the implementation of water harvesting projects, for meeting the Sustainable Development Goals and to help communities to adapt to climate change. For this, it is important to understand which factors determine the success of water harvesting techniques under different conditions. For this, we review the literature, including information on the crop yield impacts of water harvesting projects in semi-arid Africa and Asia. Results show that large water harvesting structures (> 500 m3) are less expensive than small structures, when taking into account investment costs, storage capacity and lifetimes. We also find that water harvesting improves crop yields significantly, and that the relative impact of water harvesting on crop yields is largest in low rainfall years. We also see that the governance, technical knowledge and initial investment are more demanding for the larger structures than for smaller structures, which may affect their spontaneous adoption and long term sustainability when managed by local communities. To support the selection of appropriate techniques, we present a decision framework based on case specific characteristics. This framework can also be used when reporting and evaluating the performance of water harvesting techniques, which is up to now quite limited in peer reviewed literature. Based on Bouma, J., Hegde, S.E., Lasage, R., (2016). Assessing the returns to water harvesting: A meta-analysis. Agricultural Water Management 163, 100-109. Lasage, R., Verburg P.H., (2015). Evaluation of small scale water harvesting techniques for semi-arid environments. Journal of Arid Environments 118, 48-57.

  17. Land cover controls on summer discharge and runoff solution chemistry of semi-arid urban catchments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gallo, Erika L.; Brooks, Paul D.; Lohse, Kathleen A.; McLain, Jean E. T.

    2013-04-01

    SummaryRecharge of urban runoff to groundwater as a stormwater management practice has gained importance in semi-arid regions where water resources are scarce and urban centers are growing. Despite this trend, the importance of land cover in controlling semi-arid catchment runoff quantity and quality remains unclear. Here we address the question: How do land cover characteristics control the amount and quality of storm runoff in semi-arid urban catchments? We monitored summertime runoff quantity and quality from five catchments dominated by distinct urban land uses: low, medium, and high density residential, mixed use, and commercial. Increasing urban land cover increased runoff duration and the likelihood that a rainfall event would result in runoff, but did not increase the time to peak discharge of episodic runoff. The effect of urban land cover on hydrologic responses was tightly coupled to the magnitude of rainfall. At distinct rainfall thresholds, roads, percent impervious cover and the stormwater drainage network controlled runoff frequency, runoff depth and runoff ratios. Contrary to initial expectations, runoff quality did not vary in repose to impervious cover or land use. We identified four major mechanisms controlling runoff quality: (1) variable solute sourcing due to land use heterogeneity and above ground catchment connectivity; (2) the spatial extent of pervious and biogeochemically active areas; (3) the efficiency of overland flow and runoff mobilization; and (4) solute flushing and dilution. Our study highlights the importance of the stormwater drainage systems characteristics in controlling urban runoff quantity and quality; and suggests that enhanced wetting and in-stream processes may control solute sourcing and retention. Finally, we suggest that the characteristics of the stormwater drainage system should be integrated into stormwater management approaches.

  18. Stable Isotopic Composition of Dissolved Organic Nitrogen Fueling Brown Tide in a Semi-Arid Texas Estuary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, J.; Felix, J. D. D.; Wetz, M.; Cira, E.

    2017-12-01

    Harmful algal blooms (HABs) have the potential to adversely affect the water quality of estuaries and, consequently, their ability to support healthy and diverse ecosystems. Since the early 1990s, Baffin Bay, a semi-arid south Texas estuary, has progressively experienced harmful algal blooms. The primary species of HAB native to the Baffin Bay region, Aureoumbra lagunensis, is unable to utilize nitrate as a nutrient source, but instead relies on forms of reduced nitrogen (such as dissolved organic nitrogen (DON) and ammonium (NH4+)) for survival. DON levels in Baffin Bay (77 ± 10 µM) exceed the DON concentrations of not only typical Texas estuaries, but estuaries worldwide. Additionally, DON accounts for 90% of the total dissolved nitrogen (TDN) in Baffin Bay, followed by NH4+ at 8%, and NO3-+NO2- contributing 2%. Due to the dependence of A. lagunensis on the reduced forms of nitrogen as an energy source and the elevated concentrations of DON throughout the bay, it is important to identify the origin of this nitrogen as well as how it's being processed as it cycles through the ecosystem. The presented work investigates the stable isotopic composition of reactive nitrogen (Nr) (δ15N-DON, δ15N-NH4+, and δ15N-NO3-) in Baffin Bay samples collected monthly at nine stations over the period of one year. The work provides preliminary evidence of Nr sources and mechanisms driving favorable conditions for HAB proliferation. This information can be useful and applicable to estuarine ecosystems in various settings, advancing scientific progress towards mitigating blooms. Additionally, since the elevated concentrations of DON make Baffin Bay uniquely suited to investigate its sources and processing, this project will aid in characterizing the role of this largely unstudied form of Nr, which could provide insight and change perceptions about the role of DON in nitrogen dynamics.

  19. Efficiency of water and fertilizer use in semi-arid regions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1976-01-01

    The proceedings contain 14 papers considering problems on soil and soil water, irrigation, and the use of fertilizers in semi-arid zones. Research projects in these fields are discussed and results obtained so far are reported (tables and diagrams on the behaviour of water and fertilizers in soils). The use of radioisotope techniques is mentioned briefly. Finally, some future ''first priority'' research areas are identified and recommendations for further research programs are given. These programs aim at reducing the hazards of crop failure and at increasing production under dry farming conditions

  20. Insolation driven biomagnetic response to Holocene Warm Period in semi-arid East Asia

    OpenAIRE

    Liu, S.; Deng, Chenglong; Xiao, Jule; Li, Jinhua; Paterson, Greig; Chang, Liao; Yi, Liang; Qin, Huafeng; Pan, Yongxin; Zhu, Rixiang

    2015-01-01

    The Holocene Warm Period (HWP) provides valuable insights into the climate system and biotic responses to environmental variability and thus serves as an excellent analogue for future global climate changes. Here we document, for the first time, that warm and wet HWP conditions were highly favourable for magnetofossil proliferation in the semi-arid Asian interior. The pronounced increase of magnetofossil concentrations at ~9.8 ka and decrease at ~5.9 ka in Dali Lake coincided respectively wit...

  1. Effects of irrigation and plastic mulch on soil properties on semi-arid abandoned fields

    OpenAIRE

    van der Meulen, E.S.; Nol, L.; Cammeraat, L.H.

    2006-01-01

    The Guadalentín Basin in Spain is one of the driest areas of Europe and has problems with high evaporation rates, and high risks of desertification exist including soil quality loss and soil erosion. Farmers in this semi-arid region use polyethylene covers on their irrigated croplands to reduce evaporation in order to enhance crop yield. When farmers abandon the acres, they leave the plastic covers on the fields. Up to now research has been concentrating on the effects of plastic covers on cr...

  2. Amphibian and reptile biodiversity in the semi-arid region of the municipality of Nopala de Villagrán, Hidalgo, Mexico

    OpenAIRE

    Roth-Monzón, Andrea J.; Mendoza-Hernández, Andrés Alberto; Flores-Villela, Oscar

    2018-01-01

    Current global changes are putting both biodiversity and the processes that depend on it at risk. This is especially true for semi-arid regions and the flagship groups that inhabit them, such as amphibians and reptiles. Semi-arid regions are often thought to have lower biodiversity and thus have been overlooked, resulting in the underestimation of their biological richness. Therefore, the aim of this study was to conduct an inventory of amphibians and reptiles in the semi-arid municipality of...

  3. Groundwater recharge in irrigated semi-arid areas: quantitative hydrological modelling and sensitivity analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiménez-Martínez, Joaquín; Candela, Lucila; Molinero, Jorge; Tamoh, Karim

    2010-12-01

    For semi-arid regions, methods of assessing aquifer recharge usually consider the potential evapotranspiration. Actual evapotranspiration rates can be below potential rates for long periods of time, even in irrigated systems. Accurate estimations of aquifer recharge in semi-arid areas under irrigated agriculture are essential for sustainable water-resources management. A method to estimate aquifer recharge from irrigated farmland has been tested. The water-balance-modelling approach was based on VisualBALAN v. 2.0, a computer code that simulates water balance in the soil, vadose zone and aquifer. The study was carried out in the Campo de Cartagena (SE Spain) in the period 1999-2008 for three different groups of crops: annual row crops (lettuce and melon), perennial vegetables (artichoke) and fruit trees (citrus). Computed mean-annual-recharge values (from irrigation+precipitation) during the study period were 397 mm for annual row crops, 201 mm for perennial vegetables and 194 mm for fruit trees: 31.4, 20.7 and 20.5% of the total applied water, respectively. The effects of rainfall events on the final recharge were clearly observed, due to the continuously high water content in soil which facilitated the infiltration process. A sensitivity analysis to assess the reliability and uncertainty of recharge estimations was carried out.

  4. Predicting the future impact of droughts on ungulate populations in arid and semi-arid environments.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Clare Duncan

    Full Text Available Droughts can have a severe impact on the dynamics of animal populations, particularly in semi-arid and arid environments where herbivore populations are strongly limited by resource availability. Increased drought intensity under projected climate change scenarios can be expected to reduce the viability of such populations, yet this impact has seldom been quantified. In this study, we aim to fill this gap and assess how the predicted worsening of droughts over the 21(st century is likely to impact the population dynamics of twelve ungulate species occurring in arid and semi-arid habitats. Our results provide support to the hypotheses that more sedentary, grazing and mixed feeding species will be put at high risk from future increases in drought intensity, suggesting that management intervention under these conditions should be targeted towards species possessing these traits. Predictive population models for all sedentary, grazing or mixed feeding species in our study show that their probability of extinction dramatically increases under future emissions scenarios, and that this extinction risk is greater for smaller populations than larger ones. Our study highlights the importance of quantifying the current and future impacts of increasing extreme natural events on populations and species in order to improve our ability to mitigate predicted biodiversity loss under climate change.

  5. Rainwater harvesting to enhance water productivity of rainfed agriculture in the semi-arid Zimbabwe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kahinda, Jean-marc Mwenge; Rockström, Johan; Taigbenu, Akpofure E.; Dimes, John

    Zimbabwe’s poor are predominantly located in the semi-arid regions and rely on rainfed agriculture for their subsistence. Decline in productivity, scarcity of arable land, irrigation expansion limitations, erratic rainfall and frequent dry spells, among others cause food scarcity. The challenge faced by small-scale farmers is to enhance water productivity of rainfed agriculture by mitigating intra-seasonal dry spells (ISDS) through the adoption of new technologies such as rainwater harvesting (RWH). The paper analyses the agro-hydrological functions of RWH and assesses its impacts (at field scale) on the crop yield gap as well as the Transpirational Water Productivity ( WPT). The survey in six districts of the semi-arid Zimbabwe suggests that three parameters (water source, primary use and storage capacity) can help differentiate storage-type-RWH systems from “conventional dams”. The Agricultural Production Simulator Model (APSIM) was used to simulate seven different treatments (Control, RWH, Manure, Manure + RWH, Inorganic Nitrogen and Inorganic Nitrogen + RWH) for 30 years on alfisol deep sand, assuming no fertiliser carry over effect from season to season. The combined use of inorganic fertiliser and RWH is the only treatment that closes the yield gap. Supplemental irrigation alone not only reduces the risks of complete crop failure (from 20% down to 7% on average) for all the treatments but also enhances WPT (from 1.75 kg m -3 up to 2.3 kg m -3 on average) by mitigating ISDS.

  6. The simulation of naturally ventilated residential buildings in semi-arid regions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ghiabaklou, Z.; Ballinger, J.A.; Prasad, D.K. [New South Wales Univ., Kensington, NSW (Australia). Solar Architecture Research Unit

    1995-12-31

    The most important consideration in hot arid and semi-arid zones is to reduce the internal day temperature and to maintain the interior spaces of buildings in a comfortable condition. An important contributor to errors in the thermal analysis of naturally ventilated buildings is inaccurate airflow predictions. These predictions are important for designers in regions where most buildings are naturally ventilated. Passive cooling by day and night natural ventilation in a single story residential building in Wagga Wagga, a semi-arid location in New South Wales has been compared and analyzed theoretically. A modified version of the computer simulation program CHEETAH, has been used to consider a building with continuous natural ventilation to simulate indoor air temperature. The aim of the study was to investigate the thermal behaviour of the building with continuous ventilation (24 hour/day) and the same building with only night time ventilation. Using night time ventilation in high mass buildings in such a climate, leads to a considerable decrease in room air temperature. Simulation results showed that increasing the effective area of windows is effective only when the wind blows. Using a steady averaged air change per hour can also cause a reduction in room air temperatures which results in different temperatures than the actual air changes per hour. (author). 3 figs., 4 refs.

  7. Genetic improvement of Nellore cattle in the semi-arid region of northeastern Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Carla Borges Barbosa

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available The semi-arid region of Brazil represents approximately 57% of the northeastern territory. The main economic activity in this region is agriculture and livestock, in most cases, using traditional technologies. However, there is little published information currently available on cattle-raising in this part of Brazil. The objective of this study was to estimate genetic parameters and trends for productive and reproductive traits of Nellore cattle raised in semi-arid region of northeastern Brazil. Data were collected on weight-adjusted at 205 (W205, 365 (W365 and 550 (W550 days of life, age at first calving (AFC, calving interval (CI and scrotal circumference (SC at 550 days of life of cattle born between 1965 and 2011. Estimates of covariance and variance were obtained through univariate analysis using a Gibbs sampler. The estimated coefficients of heritability (mode were 0.27 (W205, 0.36 (W365 and 0.39 (W550, 0.37 (SC, 0.22 (AFC and 0.03 (CI. Little or no gain from selection is apparent in the genetic trend analysis over the 45 years of the study. However, environmental improvement has allowed phenotypic progress in growth traits and age at first age calving.

  8. Groundwater Diffuse Recharge and its Response to Climate Changes in Semi-Arid Northwestern China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lin Deng

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Understanding the processes and rates of groundwater recharge in arid and semi-arid areas is crucial for utilizing and managing groundwater resources sustainably. We obtained three chloride profiles of the unsaturated-zone in the desert/loess transition zone of northwestern China and reconstructed the groundwater recharge variations over the last 11, 21, and 37 years, respectively, using the generalized chloride mass balance (GCMB method. The average recharge rates were 43.7, 43.5, and 45.1 mm yr-1, respectively, which are similar to those evaluated by the chloride mass balance (CMB or GCMB methods in other semi-arid regions. The results indicate that the annual recharge rates were not in complete linear proportion to the corresponding annual precipitations, although both exhibited descending tendencies on the whole. Comparisons between the daily precipitation aggregate at different intensity and recharge rates reveal that the occurrence of relatively heavy daily precipitation per year may contribute to such nonlinearity between annual precipitation and recharge. The possible influences of vegetation cover alterations following precipitation change cannot be excluded as well. The approximately negative correlation between the average annual recharge and temperature suggests that changes in temperature have had significant influences on recharge.

  9. Changes of AM fungal abundance along environmental gradients in the arid and semi-arid grasslands of northern China.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yajun Hu

    Full Text Available Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM fungi are ubiquitous symbionts of higher plants in terrestrial ecosystems, while the occurrence of the AM symbiosis is influenced by a complex set of abiotic and biotic factors. To reveal the regional distribution pattern of AM fungi as driven by multiple environmental factors, and to understand the ecological importance of AM fungi in natural ecosystems, we conducted a field investigation on AM fungal abundance along environmental gradients in the arid and semi-arid grasslands of northern China. In addition to plant parameters recorded in situ, soil samples were collected, and soil chemo-physical and biological parameters were measured in the lab. Statistical analyses were performed to reveal the relative contribution of climatic, edaphic and vegetation factors to AM fungal abundance, especially for extraradical hyphal length density (HLD in the soil. The results indicated that HLD were positively correlated with mean annual temperature (MAT, soil clay content and soil pH, but negatively correlated with both soil organic carbon (SOC and soil available N. The multiple regressions and structural equation model showed that MAT was the key positive contributor and soil fertility was the key negative contributor to HLD. Furthermore, both the intraradical AM colonization (IMC and relative abundance of AM fungi, which was quantified by real-time PCR assay, tended to decrease along the increasing SOC content. With regard to the obvious negative correlation between MAT and SOC in the research area, the positive correlation between MAT and HLD implied that AM fungi could potentially mitigate soil carbon losses especially in infertile soils under global warming. However, direct evidence from long-term experiments is still expected to support the AM fungal contribution to soil carbon pools.

  10. Study on Rangeland production Potential and its Limitations in the Semi-Arid lands of Northern Kenya

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Keya, G.A.; Hornetz, B.

    1999-01-01

    Results obtained from recent studies focused on rangeland potential as influenced by human activity and climatic factors in the semi-arid and pastoral ecosystems of Northern Kenya indicated great temporal and spatial forage production variability. The objective of the studies was to document the primary production potential in relation to water stress (drought), herbivory and direct human activities. Efforts also focused on finding possibilities of increasing productivity while conserving the finite resources for sustainable use. Laboratory field and numeric methods were employed over several seasons and years. Forb and grass production was more viable than that of the brows (dwarf shrub) layer. Compared to forbs and dwarf shrubs, The grass layer contributed less to the total of production in all seasons, indicating that the region had less potential for grazers compared to browsers. Spatial-temporal variations in rangeland carrying capacity reflected the great spatial heterogeneity in vegetation types and production. Similarly, seasonal difference were very evident, with highest estimates in the long rainy and lowest during the dry and short rainy seasons, respectively. Factors limiting rangeland production potential and were identified to be moisture deficiency, resource-use conflicts, an increasing and partial sedentarised nomadic population, overgrazing, tree felling, and land degradation (desert encroachment). Measures that can increase rangelands production potential and provide a better way of life for the inhabitants of the region include: (a) identification of land degradation (e.g. by means of bio-indicators and Geographical Information systems, GIS); (b) technical interventions (i.e. soil and water conservation,restoration of degraded ares, fodder production); (c)socio-economic interventions (i.e. resolution of resource-use conflicts, alleviation of poverty, infrastructure development, improvement of livestock marketing channels, etc) and (d) continued

  11. Soil microbial community structure is unaltered by plant invasion, vegetation clipping, and nitrogen fertilization in experimental semi-arid grasslands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chelsea J Carey

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Global and regional environmental changes often co-occur, creating complex gradients of disturbance on the landscape. Soil microbial communities are an important component of ecosystem response to environmental change, yet little is known about how microbial structure and function respond to multiple disturbances, or whether multiple environmental changes lead to unanticipated interactive effects. Our study used experimental semi-arid grassland plots in a Mediterranean-climate to determine how soil microbial communities in a seasonally variable ecosystem respond to one, two, or three simultaneous environmental changes: exotic plant invasion, plant invasion + vegetation clipping (to simulate common management practices like mowing or livestock grazing, plant invasion + nitrogen (N fertilization, and plant invasion + clipping + N fertilization. We examined microbial community structure 5-6 years after plot establishment via sequencing of >1 million 16S rRNA genes. Abiotic soil properties (soil moisture, temperature, pH, and inorganic N and microbial functioning (nitrification and denitrification potentials were also measured and showed treatment-induced shifts, including altered NO3- availability, temperature, and nitrification potential. Despite these changes, bacterial and archaeal communities showed little variation in composition and diversity across treatments. Even communities in plots exposed to three interacting environmental changes were similar to those in restored native grassland plots. Historical exposure to large seasonal and inter-annual variations in key soil properties, in addition to prior site cultivation, may select for a functionally plastic or largely dormant microbial community, resulting in a microbial community that is structurally robust to single and multiple environmental changes.

  12. Invasive Andropogon gayanus (gamba grass) is an ecosystem transformer of nitrogen relations in Australian savanna.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rossiter-Rachor, N A; Setterfield, S A; Douglas, M M; Hutley, L B; Cook, G D; Schmidt, S

    2009-09-01

    Invasion by the African grass Andropogon gayanus is drastically altering the understory structure of oligotrophic savannas in tropical Australia. We compared nitrogen (N) relations and phenology of A. gayanus and native grasses to examine the impact of invasion on N cycling and to determine possible reasons for invasiveness of A. gayanus. Andropogon gayanus produced up to 10 and four times more shoot phytomass and root biomass, with up to seven and 2.5 times greater shoot and root N pools than native grass understory. These pronounced differences in phytomass and N pools between A. gayanus and native grasses were associated with an altered N cycle. Most growth occurs in the wet season when, compared with native grasses, dominance of A. gayanus was associated with significantly lower total soil N pools, lower nitrification rates, up to three times lower soil nitrate availability, and up to three times higher soil ammonium availability. Uptake kinetics for different N sources were studied with excised roots of three grass species ex situ. Excised roots of A. gayanus had an over six times higher-uptake rate of ammonium than roots of native grasses, while native grass Eriachne triseta had a three times higher uptake rate of nitrate than A. gayanus. We hypothesize that A. gayanus stimulates ammonification but inhibits nitrification, as was shown to occur in its native range in Africa, and that this modification of the soil N cycle is linked to the species' preference for ammonium as an N source. This mechanism could result in altered soil N relations and could enhance the competitive superiority and persistence of A. gayanus in Australian savannas.

  13. Seasonal variation in water uptake patterns of three plant species based on stable isotopes in the semi-arid Loess Plateau.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Jian; Fu, Bojie; Lu, Nan; Zhang, Li

    2017-12-31

    Water is a limiting factor and significant driving force for ecosystem processes in arid and semi-arid areas. Knowledge of plant water uptake pattern is indispensable for understanding soil-plant interactions and species coexistence. The 'Grain for Green' project that started in 1999 in the Loess Plateau of China has led to large scale vegetation change. However, little is known about the water uptake patterns of the main plant species that inhabit in this region. In this study, the seasonal variations in water uptake patterns of three representative plant species, Stipa bungeana, Artemisia gmelinii and Vitex negundo, that are widely distributed in the semi-arid area of the Loess Plateau, were identified by using dual stable isotopes of δ 2 H and δ 18 O in plant and soil water coupled with a Bayesian mixing model MixSIAR. The soil water at the 0-120cm depth contributed 79.54±6.05% and 79.94±8.81% of the total water uptake of S. bungeana and A. gmelinii, respectively, in the growing season. The 0-40cm soil contributed the most water in July (74.20±15.20%), and the largest proportion of water (33.10±15.20%) was derived from 120-300cm soils in August for A. gmelinii. However, V. negundo obtained water predominantly from surface soil horizons (0-40cm) and then switched to deep soil layers (120-300cm) as the season progressed. This suggested that V. negundo has a greater degree of ecological plasticity as it could explore water sources from deeper soils as the water stress increased. This capacity can mainly be attributed to its functionally dimorphic root system. V. negundo may have a competitive advantage when encountering short-term drought. The ecological plasticity of plant water use needs to be considered in plant species selection and ecological management and restoration of the arid and semi-arid ecosystems in the Loess Plateau. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. What We Have Learned From 20+ Years of Research on Effects of Drought, Fire and Management on Carbon and Water Dynamics of Pacific Northwest Semi-Arid Forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Law, B. E.; Berner, L. T.; Kwon, H.; Schmidt, A.

    2016-12-01

    Eco-climatic heterogeneity and proximity to oceans provides endless learning opportunities for eco-physiologists and modelers alike. We have been conducting measurements and modeling of ecosystem responses to climate and disturbance over Oregon's strong climatic gradient since 1990, and in the Metolius semi-arid region. Some of our findings have challenged common assumptions. Our first flux site was the Metolius old-growth ponderosa pine site (established 1996), followed by flux measurements at clusters of different age forests. We found that the old pine site continued to be an annual net carbon sink, contrary to expectations. Twenty years after stand-replacing disturbance, naturally regenerating young ponderosa pine was still a net carbon source, and a young pine plantation with removed debris (lower decomposition) was a weak sink. Physiological sensitivity to climate varies with tree size. Young pine forests responded to seasonal drought sooner and to a more severe degree. During extreme drought years, old pine showed only a small decline in water transport efficiency (11-24%), whereas efficiency declined by 46% in mature pine, and 80% in young pine. Thus, young trees risk hydraulic failure, which may account for higher mortality in young plantations nearby. Carbon uptake (GPP), soil fluxes, and evapotranspiration (calculated from sapflux or eddy flux data) are strongly coupled in the semi-arid ecosystems, suggesting it is feasible to combine sapflux and soil flux data along with water-use efficiency (GPP/LE) from high quality eddy flux data to estimate NEE in the landscape near flux sites or in patches of forests too small for EC measurements. Highlights show our key findings from development and application of multiple models, including SPA, Biome-BGC and CLM, and ideas for future directions.

  15. Detecting and quantifying the extent of desertification and its impact in the semi-arid Sub-Saharan Africa: A case study of the Upper East Region, Ghana

    Science.gov (United States)

    Owusu, Alex B.

    The semi-arid Sub-Saharan region of Africa is in a state of permanent instability at a variety of spatio-temporal momentum. Efforts at sustaining and managing this fragile but all-important ecosystem and its processes require collecting, storing and analyzing multispatial and temporal data that are accurate and continuously updated in terms of changes (degradation), types and magnitude of change. Remote sensing techniques based on multispectral satellite-acquired data (AVHRR, Landsat TM and ETM+) have demonstrated an immense potential as a means to detect, quantify, monitor and map these changes. However, much of what satellite sensors can detect and capture, especially in the form of vegetation index (NDVI), do not tell the entire story about land degradation. This research used multispectral remote sensing data from three sensors (AVHRR, Landsat TM, and ETM+ and IKONOS) to detect and quantify the spatio-temporal land degradation (desertification) to validate the local observation and perception of desertification. The study also analyzes data on crop production in search of evidence proving or disproving degradation in the semi-arid sahel-sudan savannah transitional vegetation zone of the UER, Ghana. Multispectral satellite-acquired NDVI, from AVHRR, Landsat TM & ETM+, show that vegetation greenness is on the ascendancy, although there are pockets (localized degradation) signs of severe land degradation; field evidence suggests that the increasing NDVI is caused by vegetation succession where locally adapted horsetail grasses have been displaced by environmentally efficient, short-lived, quick maturing and dense grasses due to excessive burning, rapid population growth and inappropriate development policies. Local people's perceptions, supported by crop production data, suggest extensive land degradation. Other evidence includes food insecurity, diseases, rainfall variability and land extensification to marginal lands. Convergence of evidence suggests that

  16. Termites create spatial structure and govern ecosystem function by affecting N2 fixation in an East African savanna.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fox-Dobbs, Kena; Doak, Daniel F; Brody, Alison K; Palmer, Todd M

    2010-05-01

    The mechanisms by which even the clearest of keystone or dominant species exert community-wide effects are only partially understood in most ecosystems. This is especially true when a species or guild influences community-wide interactions via changes in the abiotic landscape. Using stable isotope analyses, we show that subterranean termites in an East African savanna strongly influence a key ecosystem process: atmospheric nitrogen fixation by a monodominant tree species and its bacterial symbionts. Specifically, we applied the 15N natural abundance method in combination with other biogeochemical analyses to assess levels of nitrogen fixation by Acacia drepanolobium and its effects on co-occurring grasses and forbs in areas near and far from mounds and where ungulates were or were not excluded. We find that termites exert far stronger effects than do herbivores on nitrogen fixation. The percentage of nitrogen derived from fixation in Acacia drepanolobium trees is higher (55-80%) away from mounds vs. near mounds (40-50%). Mound soils have higher levels of plant available nitrogen, and Acacia drepanolobium may preferentially utilize soil-based nitrogen sources in lieu of fixed nitrogen when these sources are readily available near termite mounds. At the scale of the landscape, our models predict that termite/soil derived nitrogen sources influence >50% of the Acacia drepanolobium trees in our system. Further, the spatial extent of these effects combine with the spacing of termite mounds to create highly regular patterning in nitrogen fixation rates, resulting in marked habitat heterogeneity in an otherwise uniform landscape. In summary, we show that termite-associated effects on nitrogen processes are not only stronger than those of more apparent large herbivores in the same system, but also occur in a highly regular spatial pattern, potentially adding to their importance as drivers of community and ecosystem structure.

  17. Leaf adaptations of evergreen and deciduous trees of semi-arid and humid savannas on three continents

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tomlinson, K.W.; Poorter, L.; Sterck, F.J.; Borghetti, M.; Ward, D.; Bie, de S.; Langevelde, van F.

    2013-01-01

    1. Drought stress selects for a suite of plant traits at root, stem and leaf level. Two strategies are proposed for trees growing in seasonally water-stressed environments: drought tolerance and drought avoidance. These are respectively associated with evergreen phenology, where plants retain their

  18. Seasonal variations in nutrients and secondary metabolites in semi-arid savannas depend on year and species

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Scogings, PF

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available concentrations are highest in the dry season. We measured nitrogen, phosphorus, total polyphenols and condensed tannins in six woody species (including one evergreen) seasonally at the Nkuhlu exclosure, Kruger National Park, South Africa, for three consecutive...

  19. Condensed tannins reduce browsing and increase grazing time of free-ranging goats in semi-arid savannas

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mkhize, N.R.; Heitkönig, I.M.A.; Scogings, P.F.; Dziba, L.E.; Prins, H.H.T.; Boer, de W.F.

    2015-01-01

    Tannin concentrations fluctuate spatially and temporally within and among plant species, with consequences for forage quality of herbivores. The extent to which these fluctuations influence foraging activities of goats is not fully understood. While accounting for the effects of the time of the day

  20. Condensed tannins reduce browsing and increase grazing time of free-ranging goats in semi-arid savannas

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Mkhize, NR

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Tannin concentrations fluctuate spatially and temporally within and among plant species, with con-sequences for forage quality of herbivores. The extent to which these fluctuations influence foraging activities of goats is not fully understood...

  1. Vegetation structure and composition across different land use in a semi-arid savanna of southern Zimbabwe

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zisadza-Gandiwa, P.; Mango, L.; Gandiwa, E.; Goza, D.; Parakasingwa, C.; Chinoitezvi, E.; Shimbani, J.; Muvengwi, J.

    2013-01-01

    We compared the structure and composition of vegetation communities across different land uses in the northern Gonarezhou National Park and adjacent areas, southeast Zimbabwe. Vegetation data were collected from 60 sample plots using a stratified random sampling technique from April to May 2012.

  2. An automated field spectrometer system for studying VIS, NIR and SWIR anisotropy for semi-arid savanna

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Huber, Silvia; Tagesson, Håkan Torbern; Fensholt, Rasmus

    2014-01-01

    in shading (analyzed by measurements from forward and backward scatter direction) did not have a noticeable impact on the indices (0.2 % and 0.5 % difference for NDVI and SIWSI in the backward and forward scatter direction, respectively). The presented data show the large potential of continuous time series....... The instrumental setup allows studying surface anisotropy for different phenological phases. First data retrieved from the Dahra field spectrometer system show distinctive patterns of spectrally dependent anisotropic behavior: during the rainy season normalized reflectance was highest around solar noon for small...... off-nadir observation angles but for observations of large off-nadir angles highest values were found in the morning or evening hours (both forward and backward scatter direction). Anisotropy factors corresponding to MODIS, SPOT and SEVIRI red, near-infrared (NIR) and shortwave-infrared (SWIR) sensor...

  3. Stability measures in arid ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

    Stability, the capacity of ecosystems to persist in the face of change, has proven its relevance as a fundamental component of ecological theory. Here, we would like to explore meaningful and quantifiable metrics to define stability, with a focus on highly variable arid and semi-arid savanna ecosystems. Recognizing the importance of a characteristic timescale to any definition of stability, our metrics will be focused scales from annual to multi-annual, capturing different aspects of stability. Our three measures of stability, in increasing order of temporal scale, are: (1) Ecosystem resistance, quantified as the degree to which the system maintains its mean state in response to a perturbation (drought), based on inter-annual variability in Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI). (2) An optimization approach, relevant to arid systems with pulse dynamics, that models vegetation structure and function based on a trade off between the ability to respond to resource availability and avoid stress. (3) Community resilience, measured as species turnover rate (β diversity). Understanding the nature of stability in structurally-diverse arid ecosystems, which are highly variable, yields theoretical insight which has practical implications.

  4. Investigating the biophysical controls on mass and energy cycling in Southwestern US ecosystems using the New Mexico Elevation Gradient of flux towers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krofcheck, D. J.; Morillas, L.; Litvak, M. E.

    2014-12-01

    Drylands and semi-arid ecosystems cover over 45% of the global landmass. These biomes have been shown to be extremely sensitive to changes in climate, specifically decreases in precipitation and increases in air temperature. Therefore, inter-annual variability in climate has the potential to dramatically impact the carbon budget at regional and global scales. In the Southwestern US, we are in a unique position to investigate these relationships by leveraging eight years of data from the New Mexico Elevation Gradient (NMEG), eight flux towers that span six representative biomes across the semi-arid Southwest. From C4 desert grasslands to subalpine mixed conifer forests, the NMEG flux towers use identical instrumentsand processing, and afford a unique opportunity to explore patterns in biome-specific ecosystem processes and climate sensitivity. Over the last eight years the gradient has experienced climatic variability that span from wet years to an episodic megadrought. Here we report the effects of this extreme inter-annual variability in climate on the ability of semi-arid ecosystems to cycle and store energy and carbon. We also investigated biome-specific patterns of ecosystem light and water use efficiency during a series of wet and dry years, and how these vary in response to air temperature, vapor pressure deficit, evaporative fraction, and precipitation. Our initial results suggest that significant drought reduced the maximum ecosystem assimilation of carbon most at the C4 grasslands, creosote shrublands, juniper savannas, and ponderosa pine forests, with 60%, 50%, 35%, and 50% reduction respectively, relative to a wet year. Ecosystem light use efficiency tends to show the highest maximum values at the low elevation sites as a function of water availability, with the highest annual values consistently at the middle elevation and ponderosa pine sites. Water use efficiency was strongly biome dependent with the middle elevation sites showing the highest

  5. Recharge estimation in semi-arid karst catchments: Central West Bank, Palestine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jebreen, Hassan; Wohnlich, Stefan; Wisotzky, Frank; Banning, Andre; Niedermayr, Andrea; Ghanem, Marwan

    2018-03-01

    Knowledge of groundwater recharge constitutes a valuable tool for sustainable management in karst systems. In this respect, a quantitative evaluation of groundwater recharge can be considered a pre-requisite for the optimal operation of groundwater resources systems, particular for semi-arid areas. This paper demonstrates the processes affecting recharge in Palestine aquifers. The Central Western Catchment is one of the main water supply sources in the West Bank. Quantification of potential recharge rates are estimated using chloride mass balance (CMB) and empirical recharge equations over the catchment. The results showing the spatialized recharge rate, which ranges from 111-216 mm/year, representing 19-37% of the long-term mean annual rainfall. Using Water Balance models and climatological data (e. g. solar radiation, monthly temperature, average monthly relative humidity and precipitation), actual evapotranspiration (AET) is estimated. The mean annual actual evapotranspiration was about 66-70% of precipitation.

  6. Application of Isotope techniques in the arid and semi-arid zone hydrology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gonfiantini, R.; Louvat, D.; Aranyossy, J.F.

    1993-01-01

    The paper presents a brief introduction on the scientific background of isotope hydrology,and after, explains the applications of environment isotope techniques in groundwater hydrology of the arid and semi-arid zones. It includes the study of aquifer recharge and discharge, identification of palaeorecharge, groundwater movement and age in unconfined and confined aquifers, and interconnections between aquifers. The contribution of isotopes is highlighted with many examples of field case studies, with emphasis on studies carried out with IAEA support. Finally, a short description of IAEA program on isotope hydrology is given, with a list of regional projects supported through the IAEA Technical Cooperation program, and of Coordinated Research Programs. The latter give the modern research trends in isotope application to hydrology and hydrosphere environmental studies. (author). 2 tabs., 25 figs., 69 refs

  7. Isotopic composition of groundwater in semi-arid regions of Southern Africa

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vogel, J.C.; Urk, H. van

    1975-01-01

    Although the isotope content of precipitation in the semi-arid regions of southern Africa is extremely variable, groundwater samples from the same district are found to have a remarkably constant isotopic composition. The oxygen-18 content of the underground water, in general, varies by about 0.5% in a given area. The differences that occur between different regions are sufficiently large to allow the groundwater of an area to be characterized by means of its oxygen-18 content. In order to localize the infiltration area of an aquifer, radiocarbon dating of the water is used. It appears that the groundwater contains, in general, less of the heavy isotopes than does the precipitation in the recharge area. This indicates that infiltration only takes place during periods of heavy rainfall. Examples are given where the isotope content of the groundwater is used to distinguish between different aquifers in the same region

  8. IMPACT OF ZOOTECHNICAL PARAMETERS ON CELL QUALITY OF CATTLE MILK (SEMI-ARID COSTAL TUNISIA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. HAJ MBAREK

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available The work was realized on a sample of 50 cattle herds, conducted in aboveground, in a coastal area of the semi-arid Tunisia, by using investigation related to cows and their breeding and milking conditions as well as despoliation in milk control data. Analysis of the data relating to the parameters of udder conformation and cow cleanliness revealed that “Udder depth” settings “Udder cleanliness” have been shown to affect the ICC and are considered factors risk of bovine mastitis. The study of breeding and milking conditions highlight some significant factors on changes on the variation of cell counts and the probability of the spread of mastitis, especially the "No disinfection of teat." The level of housing, the analysis revealed that the use of a litter reduced to half the average of ICC which proved highly related to the cleanliness of both the sleeping area as the udder.

  9. Isotope techniques in water resource investigations in arid and semi-arid regions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2001-03-01

    The Co-ordinated Research Project (CRP) on the Use of Isotope Techniques in Water Resources Investigations in Arid and Semi-arid Regions was initiated with the aim od contributing to the assessment of groundwater resources in arid areas through the use of environmental isotope techniques, and thereby to help in better management of these valuable fresh groundwater resources. The main emphases identified were in three key areas: (i) the evaluation of water balance components such as recharge rate estimation and recharge and discharge cycles at different spatial scales, (ii) paleohydrology and hydroclimatic change and, (iii) anthropogenic impacts and the assessment of the vulnerability of arid zone ground waters to salinisation and pollution impacts. This publication presents individual projects carried out within the frameworks of the CRP. Each paper has been indexed separately

  10. Spatiotemporal characterization of dissolved carbon for inland waters in semi-humid/semi-arid region, China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. S. Song

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Spatiotemporal variations of dissolved organic carbon (DOC and inorganic carbon (DIC in 26 waters across the semi-humid/semi-arid Songnen Plain, China, were examined with data collected during 2008–2011. Fresh (n = 14 and brackish (n = 12 waters were grouped according to electrical conductivity (threshold = 1000 μS cm−1 Significant differences in the average DOC and DIC concentrations were observed between the fresh (5.63 mg L−1, 37.39 mg L−1 and the brackish waters (15.33 mg L−1, 142.93 mg L−1. Colored dissolved organic matter (CDOM and DOC concentrations were mainly controlled by climatic–hydrologic conditions. The investigation indicated that the outflow conditions in the semi-arid region had condensed effects on the dissolved carbon, resulting in close relationships between salinity vs. DOC (R2 = 0.66, and salinity vs. DIC (R2 = 0.94. An independent data set collected in May 2012 also confirmed this finding (DOC: R2 = 0.79, DIC: R2 = 0.91, highlighting the potential of quantifying DOC and DIC via salinity measurements for waters dispersed in the plain. Indices based on the CDOM absorption spectra (e.g., the DOC-specific CDOM absorption (SUVA254, absorption ratio a250 : a365 (E250 : E365 and the spectral slope ratio (Sr, S275−295/S350−400 were applied to characterize CDOM composition and quality. Our results indicate that high molecular weight CDOM fractions are more abundant in the fresh waters than the brackish waters.

  11. Spatiotemporal characterization of dissolved carbon for inland waters in semi-humid/semi-arid region, China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, K. S.; Zang, S. Y.; Zhao, Y.; Li, L.; Du, J.; Zhang, N. N.; Wang, X. D.; Shao, T. T.; Guan, Y.; Liu, L.

    2013-10-01

    Spatiotemporal variations of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and inorganic carbon (DIC) in 26 waters across the semi-humid/semi-arid Songnen Plain, China, were examined with data collected during 2008-2011. Fresh (n = 14) and brackish (n = 12) waters were grouped according to electrical conductivity (threshold = 1000 μS cm-1) Significant differences in the average DOC and DIC concentrations were observed between the fresh (5.63 mg L-1, 37.39 mg L-1) and the brackish waters (15.33 mg L-1, 142.93 mg L-1). Colored dissolved organic matter (CDOM) and DOC concentrations were mainly controlled by climatic-hydrologic conditions. The investigation indicated that the outflow conditions in the semi-arid region had condensed effects on the dissolved carbon, resulting in close relationships between salinity vs. DOC (R2 = 0.66), and salinity vs. DIC (R2 = 0.94). An independent data set collected in May 2012 also confirmed this finding (DOC: R2 = 0.79, DIC: R2 = 0.91), highlighting the potential of quantifying DOC and DIC via salinity measurements for waters dispersed in the plain. Indices based on the CDOM absorption spectra (e.g., the DOC-specific CDOM absorption (SUVA254), absorption ratio a250 : a365 (E250 : E365) and the spectral slope ratio (Sr, S275-295/S350-400) were applied to characterize CDOM composition and quality. Our results indicate that high molecular weight CDOM fractions are more abundant in the fresh waters than the brackish waters.

  12. Variability of atmospheric carbonyl sulfide at a semi-arid urban site in western India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mallik, Chinmay; Chandra, Naveen; Venkataramani, S; Lal, Shyam

    2016-05-01

    Atmospheric carbonyl sulfide (COS) is a major precursor for sulfate aerosols that play a critical role in climate regulation. Recent studies have highlighted the importance of COS measurements as a reliable means to constrain biospheric carbon assimilation. In a scenario of limited availability of COS data around the globe, we present gas-chromatographic measurements of atmospheric COS mixing ratios over Ahmedabad, a semi-arid, urban region in western India. These measurements, being reported for the first time over an Indian site, enable us to understand the diurnal and seasonal variation in atmospheric COS with respect to its natural, anthropogenic and photochemical sources and sinks. The annual mean COS mixing ratio over Ahmedabad is found to be 0.83±0.43ppbv, which is substantially higher than free tropospheric values for the northern hemisphere. Inverse correlation of COS with soil and skin temperature, suggests that the dry soil of the semi-arid study region is a potential sink for atmospheric COS. Positive correlations of COS with NO2 and CO during post-monsoon and the COS/CO slope of 0.78pptv/ppbv reveals influence of diesel combustion and tire wear. The highest concentrations of COS are observed during pre-monsoon; COS/CO2 slope of 44.75pptv/ppmv combined with information from air mass back-trajectories reveal marshy wetlands spanning over 7500km(2) as an important source of COS in Ahmedabad. COS/CO2 slopes decrease drastically (8.28pptv/ppmv) during post-monsoon due to combined impact of biospheric uptake and anthropogenic emissions. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Determine the optimum spectral reflectance of juniper and pistachio in arid and semi-arid region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fadaei, Hadi; Suzuki, Rikie

    2012-11-01

    Arid and semi-arid areas of northeast Iran cover about 3.4 million ha are populated by two main tree species, the broadleaf Pistacia vera. L (pistachio) and the conifer Juniperus excelsa ssp. polycarpos (Persian juniper). Natural stands of pistachio in Iran are not only environmentally important but genetically essential as seed sources for pistachio production in orchards. In this study, we estimated the optimum spectral reflectance of juniper forests and natural pistachio stands using remote sensing to help in the sustainable management and production of pistachio in Iran. In this research spectral reflectance are able to specify of multispectral from Advanced Land Observing Satellite (ALOS) that provided by JAXA. These data included PRISM is a panchromatic radiometer with a 2.5 m spatial resolution at nadir, has one band with a wavelength of 0.52-0.77 μm and AVNIR-2 is a visible and near infrared radiometer for observing land and coastal zones with a 10 m spatial resolution at nadir, has four multispectral bands: blue (0.42-0.50 μm), green (0.52-0.60 μm), red (0.61-0.69 μm), and near infrared (0.76-0.89 μm). Total ratio vegetation index (TRVI) of optimum spectral reflectance of juniper and pistachio have been evaluated. The result of TRVI for Pistachio and juniper were (R2= 0.71 and 0.55). I hope this research can provide decision of managers to helping sustainable management for arid and semi-arid regions in Iran.

  14. Estimation of hourly ultraviolet solar irradiance in the semi-arid northeast region of Brasil

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Andrade, Ricardo C. de; Tiba, Chigueru [Dept. de Energia Nuclear da Univ. Federal de Pernambuco, Recife, Pernambuco (Brazil)

    2008-07-01

    Two computational codes, SPCTRAL2 and SMARTS2, were used for estimating ultraviolet solar irradiance in a locality of the semi-arid region of the Northeast of Brazil. The softwares presented simplicity of use, precision and relative ease in obtaining the input variables: zenith angle, atmospheric pressure in relation to sea level, relative humidity of the air, amount of precipitable water, total ozone and the aerosol optic depths (AOD). All these variables are measured in conventional meteorological stations, except for the aerosol optic depth. The AOD was measured with an apparatus that was constructed with a narrow band LED sensor, centered in 555nm which measures the monochromatic radiation transmission through the terrestrial atmosphere, which can be described by Beer's law. The measurements for obtaining the AOD were carried out during the months of December, 2006 and January, 2007 for Pesqueira-PE (Longitude -36.77 and Latitude 8.4 ) semi-arid region of Pernambuco, at intervals of 10 and 10 minutes, simultaneously. The ultraviolet solar irradiation was measured with a TURV (Total Ultraviolet Radiometer) Eppley Pyranometer on a minute scale. The computational simulations with SPCTRAL2 and SMARTS2 were made considering the following cases: (a) obtention of daily AOD, or be it, coming from the linear extrapolation of all the data along the day (b) obtention of hourly AOD, or be it the linearization by parts (piecewise). In the first case, the results of the simulations of ultraviolet solar irradiance and ultraviolet radiation index show an error of 4% and 13% for solar midday, and 78% at end of afternoon, when compared with the values measured with the TURV pyranometer. These results were significantly improved when using the AOD obtained on hourly bases: an error of 6.7 % for solar midday, a maximum error of 10% between 11 and 13 h, a maximum error of 20% between 10 and 14h and finally a maximum error of 30% between 9 and 15h. (orig.)

  15. Climate change in semi-arid Malawi: Perceptions, adaptation strategies and water governance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miriam K. Joshua

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Climate change and variability are a threat to sustainable agricultural production in semi-arid areas of Malawi. Overdependence on subsistence rain-fed agriculture in these areas calls for the identification of sustainable adaptation strategies. A study was therefore conducted in Chikwawa, a semi-arid district in southern Malawi, to: (1 assess community’s perception of a changing climate against empirical evidence, (2 determine their local adaptive measures, (3 evaluate the potential of irrigated agriculture as an adaptive measure in household food security and (4 challenges over access to available water resources. The study employed focus group discussions and key informant interviews to assess people’s perceptions of climate change and variability and their desired interventions. To validate the people’s perceptions, rainfall and temperature data for the period 1960–2010 were analysed. A participatory complete randomised experimental design in both rain-fed and dry season–irrigated conditions was conducted to assess a maize cropping system that would improve adaptation. The study established persistent declining yields from rain-fed production in part because of perennial rainfall failure. In response, the community has shifted its focus to irrigation as an adaptation strategy, which has in turn triggered water conflicts in the community over the control of the resource. Water legislation however fails to adequately provide for rules governing sharing of water resources between various stakeholders. This article therefore recommends development of an appropriate institutional framework that forms a strong basis for equitable distribution of water for irrigation in areas most vulnerable to extreme climate events – including droughts and floods. Keywords: Food Security; Climate Change and Variability; Rainfall Variability; Irrigation; Water Resources; Governance Crisis

  16. [Effect of Biochar on Soil Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Semi-arid Region].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Yan-liang; Wang, Dan-dan; Zheng, Ji-yong; Zhao, Shi-wei; Zhang, Xing-chang

    2015-09-01

    This study aimed to investigate the effects of biochar addition on the emission of greenhouse gases from farmland soil in semi-arid region. Through an in-situ experiments, the influence of sawdust biochar(J) and locust tree skin biochar (H) at three doses (1%, 3%, and 5% of quality percentage) on C2, CH4 and N2O emissions were studied within the six months in the south of Ningxiaprovince. The results indicated that soil CO2 emission flux was slightly increased with the addition doses for both biochars, and the averaged CO2 emission flux for sawdust and locust tree skin biochar was enhanced by 1. 89% and 3. 34% compared to the control, but the difference between treatments was not statistically significant. The soil CH4 emission was decreased with the increasing of biochar doses, by 1. 17%, 2. 55%, 4. 32% for J1, J3, J5 and 2. 35%, 5. 83%, 7. 32% for H1, H3, H5, respectively. However, the difference was statistically significant only for J5, H3 and H5 treatments (P effect on soil N2O emission. Our study indicated that the biochar has no significant influence on soil CO2 and N2O emissions within six months in semi-arid region and can significantly influence soil CH4 emissions (P < 0. 05). As for biochar type, the locust tree skin biochar is significantly better than the sawdust biochar in terms of restraining CH4 emission(P = 0. 048).

  17. Sediment delivery ratio in a small semi-arid watershed under conditions of low connectivity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julio Cesar Neves dos Santos

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT The semi-arid region in the northeast of Brazil is characterised by rains of high intensity and short duration, with the processes of erosion being aggravated by an inappropriate land-use model. In this region, the lack of measured data for runoff and sediment yield increases the need to apply hydro-sedimentological models in estimating erosion, requiring knowledge of the actual sediment delivery ratio for the region. The aim of this study therefore, was to map soil erosion, making use of the Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE, in the Iguatu Experimental Watershed (IEW. The mean annual sediment delivery ratio (SDR, and the SDR for individual events, was calculated from hydro-sedimentological measurements, contributing to an understanding of the processes of sediment propagation in the Brazilian semi-arid region, allowing identification of areas susceptible to water erosion. The IEW has an area of 16.74 km2 and is equipped with sensors for the continuous measurement of rainfall, flow and sediment yield. The mean annual SDR for the IEW was 0.37%. The SDR for individual rainfall events ranged from 0.08 to 1.67%, with an average of 0.68%. Among the main variables that influence the SDR for individual events is the magnitude of rainfall depth and antecedent soil moisture that can be better represented by the total antecedent precipitation of the previous 15 days. According to maps of soil loss, only 6.27% of the watershed presented losses beyond tolerable limits.

  18. Analysis of Water Use and Water Scarcity in Arid and Semi-arid Regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samayoa, S. D.

    2017-12-01

    Analysis of Water Use and Water Scarcity in Arid and Semi-arid Regions Susana Samayoa , Muhammed A. G. Chowdhury, Tushar Sinha Department of Environmental Engineering, Texas A & M University - Kingsville Freshwater sustainability in arid and semi-arid regions is highly uncertain under increasing demands due to population growth and urban development as well as limited water supply. In particular, six largest cities by population among the top twenty U.S. cities are located in Texas (TX), which also experience high variability in water availability due to frequent droughts and floods. Similarly, several regions in Arizona (AZ) are rapidly growing (e.g. Phoenix and Tucson) despite receiving scanty rainfall. Thus, the goal of this study is to analyze water use and water scarcity in watersheds within TX and AZ between 1985 and 2010. The water use data from U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is analyzed by Hydrological Unit Code (HUC) - 8 within TX and AZ. Total freshwater use by county during 1985 and 2010 were converted into water use by HUC-8 using geospatial analysis. Water availability will be estimated by using a large scale Variable Infiltration Capacity (VIC) hydrologic model. The VIC model will be calibrated and validated for multiple basins located in Texas and Arizona. The VIC model simulated total streamflow will be aggregated across the 1/8 degree grids that are within each HUC-8 to estimate water supply. The excess water for upstream HUC-8s (= local supply minus demands) will be routed, in addition to locally generated streamflow, to estimate water availability in downstream HUC-8s. Water Scarcity Index, defined as the ratio of total freshwater demand to supply, will be estimated during 1985 and 2010 to evaluate the effects of water availability and demands on scarcity. Finally, water scarcity and use will be analyzed by HUC-8s within TX and AZ. Such information could be useful in water resources management and planning. Keywords: Water scarcity, water use

  19. Case study the Cs-137 Zea mays grown at a semi arid ecosystem the Mexico

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cervantes, L.; Quintero, E.; Rojas, V.

    2006-01-01

    A study of 1 37Cs in soil and Maize plants, (Zea mays) has been performed at the confined Storage Centre for Radioactive Waste from Mexico. The site is located in a semiarid region with a vegetation characteristic of a temperature sub humid zone. Under field conditions the site was divided in four zones 20x30 m, with different soil contamination characteristics, the zones 1 to 4 in lines separated 50 cm between them. The maize plants in the lines were separated 40 cm between them. The plants were grown 'in situ' reproducing the local agricultural. The soil and plant (root, stem, leaves, and grains) samples were analysed for 1 37Cs . The specific activities were determined in a dry weight (d.w.) basis by low background gamma spectrometry with a 29.7% relative efficiency HPGe detector . The geometry used was a 500 ml Marinelli beaker and the measurement time was 60.000 s per sample, to achieve a detection limit of 1 Bq.kg - 1 for 1 37Cs. The counting errors for the measurements were usually lower than 10% The results indicate that one of the zones had a striking 1 37Cs contamination in the soil and the uptake by the grown plants showed the highest specific activities at the root. For The results from 1991 to 1994 of the yearly average values for 1 37Cs in soil samples from the four zones. A striking contamination is evident in zone 1.The transfer factors ranges for the different parts of the maize plants was from 0.001 in the grain to 0.6 in the root. Statistical analyses were based on the mean values of the determination performed from each sampling zone. Pe arson's correlation coefficients were calculated, principal components were obtained, based on the correlation matrix of the measured, or calculated from them

  20. A spatial assessment of riverine ecosystems and water supply in a semi-arid environment

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Smith-Adao, LB

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available -impact management areas (groundwater-surface water interaction and recharge areas) and river rehabilitation areas. The proposed river selections would achieve the biodiversity targets of 33 (66%) of the 50 river types; feasible rehabilitation would increase...

  1. Greenhouse gas exchange in West African savanna ecosystems - how important are emissions from termite mounds?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brümmer, C.; Brüggemann, N.

    2012-04-01

    Savannas cover large areas of the Earth's surface and play an important role in global carbon and nitrogen cycling. In this study, we present the soil-atmosphere exchange of N2O, CH4, and CO2 during two field campaigns throughout the growing seasons 2005 and 2006 at a natural savanna site that was not subject to human disturbances except for annual burning, and four agricultural sites planted with sorghum (n=2), cotton and peanut in Burkina Faso. The annual N2O emission of the nature reserve site amounted to 0.52 kg N2O-N ha-1 yr-1 in 2005 and to 0.67 kg N2O-N ha-1 yr-1 in 2006, whereas the calculated average annual N2O release of the crop sites was only 0.19 and 0.20 kg N2O-N ha-1 yr-1 in 2005 and 2006, respectively. As a result of a temporal up-scaling approach, a lower bound of annual N2O release could be given for two fertilized sorghum plots, that is, 0.83 kg N2O-N ha-1 yr-1 for a highly fertilized plot and 0.44 kg N2O-N ha-1 yr-1 for a moderately fertilized plot. During the rainy season both CH4 uptake in the range of up to 20 μg CH4-C m-2 h-1 as well as CH4 emission up to 300 μg CH4-C m-2 h-1 were observed at the nature reserve site, which was on average a CH4 source of 87.4 and 30.8 μg CH4-C m-2 h-1 in 2005 and 2006, respectively. All crop sites were on average weak CH4 sinks without significant seasonal variation. Uptake rates ranged between 2.5 and 8.7 μg CH4-C m-2 h-1. Occasionally very low net CH4 emission was observed after heavy rainfall events. Mean annual CH4 rates could be estimated to 2.48 kg CH4-C ha-1 yr-1 and -0.68 kg CH4-C ha-1 yr-1 for the nature reserve site and the crop sites, respectively. Trace gas emissions from termite (Cubitermes fungifaber) mounds that were almost exclusively found at the nature reserve were one order of magnitude higher for N2O and CO2, and two orders of magnitude higher for CH4 than soil emissions of the respective trace gas. Termite N2O, CH4 and CO2 release at the nature reserve contributed only 3.2%, 8.1% and

  2. Predicting germination in semi-arid wildland seedbeds II. Field validation of wet thermal-time models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jennifer K. Rawlins; Bruce A. Roundy; Dennis Eggett; Nathan. Cline

    2011-01-01

    Accurate prediction of germination for species used for semi-arid land revegetation would support selection of plant materials for specific climatic conditions and sites. Wet thermal-time models predict germination time by summing progress toward germination subpopulation percentages as a function of temperature across intermittent wet periods or within singular wet...

  3. The current bioenergy production potential of semi-arid and arid regions in sub-Saharan Africa

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wicke, B.; Smeets, E.M.W.; Watson, H.; Faaij, A.P.C.

    2011-01-01

    This article assesses the current technical and economic potential of three bioenergy production systems (cassava ethanol, jatropha oil and fuelwood) in semi-arid and arid regions of eight sub-Saharan African countries. The results indicate that the availability of land for energy production ranges

  4. Process-based modelling of a headwater catchment in semi-arid conditions: the influence of macropore flow

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schaik, N.L.M.B.; Bronstert, A.; Jong, S.M.; Jetten, V.G.; Dam, van J.C.; Ritsema, C.J.; Schnabel, S.

    2014-01-01

    Subsurface stormflow is thought to occur mainly in humid environments with steep terrains. However, in semi-arid areas, preferential flow through macropores can also result in a significant contribution of subsurface stormflow to catchment runoff for varying catchment conditions. Most hydrological

  5. Soil nutrient and sediment loss as affected by erosion barriers and nutrient source in semi-arid Burkina Faso

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zougmore, R.; Mando, A.; Stroosnijder, L.

    2009-01-01

    In semi-arid Sahel, soil erosion by water is one major factor accounting for negative nutrient balances in agricultural systems. A field experiment was conducted on a Ferric Lixisol in Burkina Faso to assess the effects of soil and water conservation barriers (stone rows or grass strips of

  6. Rainfed agriculture in a semi-arid tropical climate : aspects of land- and watermanagement for red soils in India

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Huibers, F.P.

    1985-01-01

    Rainfed agriculture is defined as the production of field crops that completely depend on the local precipitation for their water supply. Although in the semi-arid tropics the mean annual precipitation might seem to be sufficient to grow (adapted) crops, its variability over the years and

  7. Modeling gross primary production in semi-arid Inner Mongolia using MODIS imagery and eddy covariance data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ranjeet John; Jiquan Chen; Asko Noormets; Xiangming Xiao; Jianye Xu; Nan Lu; Shiping Chen

    2013-01-01

    We evaluate the modelling of carbon fluxes from eddy covariance (EC) tower observations in different water-limited land-cover/land-use (LCLU) and biome types in semi-arid Inner Mongolia, China. The vegetation photosynthesis model (VPM) and modified VPM (MVPM), driven by the enhanced vegetation index (EVI) and land-surface water index (LSWI), which were derived from the...

  8. Evaluation of soil and water conservation measures in a semi-arid river basin in Tunisia using SWAT

    Science.gov (United States)

    The Merguellil catchment (Central Tunisia) is a typical Mediterranean semi-arid basin which suffers from regular water shortage aggravated by current droughts. During the recent decades the continuous construction of small and large dams and Soil and Water Conservation Works (i.e. Contour ridges) ha...

  9. Tailoring conservation agriculture technologies to West Africa semi-arid zones: Building on traditional local practices for soil restoration

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lahmar, R.; Bationo, B.A.; Lamso, N.D.; Guéro, Y.; Tittonell, P.A.

    2012-01-01

    Low inherent fertility of tropical soils and degradation, nutrient deficiency and water stress are the key factors that hamper rainfed agriculture in semi-arid West Africa. Conservation Agriculture (CA) is currently promoted in the region as a technology to reduce soil degradation, mitigate the

  10. Soil tillage and water infiltration in semi-arid Morocco: the role fo surface and sub-surface soil conditions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dimanche, P.H.; Hoogmoed, W.B.

    2002-01-01

    Production of cereals in a dryland farming system forms an important part of agricultural production in Morocco. Yield levels on the Saïs Plateau between Meknès and Fez in the semi-arid zone, however, remain low possibly because of sub-optimum water use due to inefficient tillage systems. A study

  11. Small-Scale Farming in Semi-Arid Areas: Livelihood Dynamics between 1997 and 2010 in Laikipia, Kenya

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ulrich, Anne; Speranza, Chinwe Ifejika; Roden, Paul; Kiteme, Boniface; Wiesmann, Urs; Nusser, Marcus

    2012-01-01

    The rural population of semi-arid lands in Kenya face multiple challenges that result from population growth, poor markets, land use and climatic changes. In particular, subsistence oriented farmers face various risks and opportunities in their attempt to secure their livelihoods. This paper presents an analysis on how livelihood assets and…

  12. 'If only it would rain': Farmers' perceptions of rainfall and drought in semi-arid central Tanzania

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Slegers, M.F.W.

    2008-01-01

    Farmers in semi-arid East Africa prioritize drought as their major productivity-reducing problem, while scientists identify soil degradation as a major threat. The question that needs to be addressed is how farmers perceive drought. Insight into farmers¿ perceptions of drought could be the missing

  13. Simply obtained global radiation, soil temperature and soil moisture in an alley cropping system in semi-arid Kenya

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mungai, D.N.; Stigter, C.J.; Coulson, C.L.; Ng'ang'a, J.K.

    2000-01-01

    Global radiation, soil temperature and soil moisture data were obtained from a 4-6 year old Cassia siamea/maize (CM) alley cropping (or hedgerow intercropping) system, at a semi-arid site at Machakos, Kenya, in the late eighties. With the growing need to explore and manage variations in

  14. Water-scarcity patterns : spatiotemporal interdependencies between water use and water availability in a semi-arid river basin

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Oel, P.R.

    2009-01-01

    This thesis addresses the interdependencies between water use and water availability and describes a model that has been developed to improve understanding of the processes that drive changes and variations in the spatial and temporal distribution of water resources in a semi-arid river basin. These

  15. Adaptive livelihood strategies employed by farmers to close the food gap in semi-arid south eastern Zimbabwe

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Murungweni, C.; Wijk, van M.T.; Giller, K.E.; Andersson, J.A.; Smaling, E.M.A.

    2014-01-01

    Rural households in semi-arid areas of southern Africa are confronted with numerous hazards that threaten the household food base. The new wildlife policy of establishing transfrontier conservation areas aims to increase conservation of wildlife resources while improving local livelihoods. This

  16. Regional integrated modelling of climate change impacts on natural resources and resource usage in semi-arid Norhteast Brazil

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Krol, Martinus S.; Bronstert, Axel

    2007-01-01

    Semi-arid regions are characterised by a high vulnerability of natural resources to climate change, pronounced climatic variability and often by water scarcity and related social stress. The analysis of the dynamics of natural conditions and the assessment of possible strategies to cope with

  17. Sensitivity analysis of a simple linear model of a savanna ecosystem at Nyslvley

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Getz, WA

    1975-12-01

    Full Text Available parameters is analysed. The results obtained from this analysis are discussed and some general statements on important structures in the Nylsvley ecosystem that emerge from the analysis of the model are made. In particular certain conclusions are drawn...

  18. Seasonality of insects in the semi-arid Caatinga of northeastern Brazil Sazonalidade de insetos na Caatinga do Nordeste Brasileiro

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandre Vasconcellos

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Insects are essential to tropical ecosystems functioning. In semi-arid regions, the increase in abundance and/or activity (e.g. reproduction and foraging behavior of insects is usually associated with climatic variables. The present study investigates which climatic variables are best predictors of insect abundance in an area of Caatinga in northeastern Brazil. Individuals were sampled for 24 months using Malaise and pitfall traps, and beating trays. A total of 58925 individuals belonging to 20 insect orders were collected. The most abundant orders were Hymenoptera, Diptera, Collembola and Coleoptera. Most orders studied showed a clear maximum abundance in the rainy season. Rainfall and humidity were the best predictors of insect abundance in the Caatinga. However, no climatic variable could explain Psocoptera and Blattodea variance in abundance/activity. Our results suggest that climatic changes associated with rainfall patterns in the Caatinga may affect ecosystem processes and services that depend direct or indirectly on insect abundance/activity.Os insetos são abundantes e essenciais para o funcionamento dos ecossistemas terrestres tropicais. No entanto, a abundância e/ou atividade (e.g. reprodução ou forrageio destes organismos podem ser fortemente influenciadas pelas variáveis climáticas. Este estudo examina quais as variáveis climáticas podem atuar como preditoras da abundância e/ou atividade dos insetos em uma área de Caatinga do Nordeste brasileiro. Ao longo de 24 meses, os insetos foram coletados mensalmente utilizando armadilhas Malaise, armadilhas tipo "pitfall" e guarda-chuva entomológico. Um total de 58925 indivíduos de 20 ordens foi coletado. As ordens mais abundantes foram Hymenoptera, Diptera, Collembola e Coleoptera. Entre as doze ordens mais abundantes, dez apresentaram os seus maiores picos durante a estação chuvosa. A precipitação e a umidade relativa foram os principais preditores dos padrões de abund

  19. Food resources used by three species of fish in the semi-arid region of Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Márcio J. da Silva

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Temporary and semi-permanent aquatic habitats in semi-arid Brazil have been reported as important sites supporting a diverse fish fauna. As such, they must be able to trophically sustain fish species that feed at different trophic levels. This study aims to describe the diets of Astyanax aff. bimaculatus, Hoplias malabaricus and Prochilodus brevis in aquatic systems in semi-arid Brazil, providing evidence of the importance of these habitats as supporters of large consumers like fish. The diet of the three species studied was diverse, feeding on a range of food items, from microalgae to fish. Despite that, a few items were more important to each of the study species. These results and the relatively high rates of stomach fullness indicate that a diverse and abundant food range is available in the study sites, but species seem to select some food resources. The present study provides evidence that despite being highly variable, intermittent and semi-permanent aquatic systems in semi-arid Brazil are able to trophically sustain large consumers.Os ambientes aquáticos temporários e semi-permanentes do semiárido brasileiro tem sido mostrados como importantes sítios que possuem uma diversa fauna de peixes. Desta forma, esses ambientes devem ser capazes de sustentar, do ponto de vista trófico, populações de peixes que se alimentam em diversos níveis tróficos. O presente estudo tem como objetivo descrever o hábito alimentar de Astyanax aff. bimaculatus, Hoplias malabaricus e Prochilodus brevis em ambientes aquáticos do semiárido brasileiro, fornecendo evidências da importância desses habitats para manutenção da diversidade de consumidores como os peixes. A composição da dieta das espécies estudadas foi diversificada, já que alimentaram-se de uma variedade de classes de itens, desde microalgas até peixes. Apesar disso, alguns itens foram mais importantes para cada uma das três espécies. Estes resultados, e as altas taxas de reple

  20. Anthropogenic effects on interaction outcomes: examples from insect-microbial symbioses in forest and savanna ecosystems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Six, Diana L.; Thomas-Poulsen, Michael; Hansen, Allison K.

    2011-01-01

    The influence of humans on ecosystem dynamics has been, and continues to be, profound. Anthropogenic effects are expected to amplify as human populations continue to increase. Concern over these effects has given rise to a large number of studies focusing on impacts of human activities...... of mutualisms can be to an equally varied set of anthropogenic influences. We also show how alterations of mutualisms may ramify throughout affected systems. We stress that researchers must be cognizant that many observed changes in the behaviors, abundances, and distributions of organisms due to human...... activities are likely to be mediated by mutualists which may alter predictions and actual outcomes in significant ways....

  1. Semi-arid vegetation response to antecedent climate and water balance windows

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thoma, David P.; Munson, Seth M.; Irvine, Kathryn M.; Witwicki, Dana L.; Bunting, Erin

    2016-01-01

    Questions Can we improve understanding of vegetation response to water availability on monthly time scales in semi-arid environments using remote sensing methods? What climatic or water balance variables and antecedent windows of time associated with these variables best relate to the condition of vegetation? Can we develop credible near-term forecasts from climate data that can be used to prepare for future climate change effects on vegetation? Location Semi-arid grasslands in Capitol Reef National Park, Utah, USA. Methods We built vegetation response models by relating the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) from MODIS imagery in Mar–Nov 2000–2013 to antecedent climate and water balance variables preceding the monthly NDVI observations. We compared how climate and water balance variables explained vegetation greenness and then used a multi-model ensemble of climate and water balance models to forecast monthly NDVI for three holdout years. Results Water balance variables explained vegetation greenness to a greater degree than climate variables for most growing season months. Seasonally important variables included measures of antecedent water input and storage in spring, switching to indicators of drought, input or use in summer, followed by antecedent moisture availability in autumn. In spite of similar climates, there was evidence the grazed grassland showed a response to drying conditions 1 mo sooner than the ungrazed grassland. Lead times were generally short early in the growing season and antecedent window durations increased from 3 mo early in the growing season to 1 yr or more as the growing season progressed. Forecast accuracy for three holdout years using a multi-model ensemble of climate and water balance variables outperformed forecasts made with a naïve NDVI climatology. Conclusions We determined the influence of climate and water balance on vegetation at a fine temporal scale, which presents an opportunity to forecast vegetation

  2. Water requirement and use by Jatropha curcas in a semi-arid tropical location

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kesava Rao, A.V.R.; Wani, Suhas P.; Singh, Piara; Srinivas, K.; Srinivasa Rao, Ch.

    2012-01-01

    Increasing emphasis on biofuel to meet the growing energy demand while reducing emissions of greenhouse gases, Jatropha curcas has attracted the attention of researchers, policy makers and industries as a good candidate for biodiesel. It is a non-edible oil crop, drought tolerant and could be grown on degraded lands in the tropics without competing for lands currently used for food production. J. curcas being a wild plant, much about its water requirement and production potential of promising clones in different agroclimatic conditions is not known. Water use assessment of J. curcas plantations in the semi-arid tropical location at ICRISAT, Patancheru indicated that crop evapotranspiration of J. curcas under no moisture stress varied from 1410 to 1538 mm per year during 2006–2009. Under field conditions the crop evapotranspiration varied from 614 to 930 mm depending on the atmospheric demand, rainfall and crop phenological stage. Patterns of soil-water depletion indicated that with growing plant age from two to five years, depth of soil-water extraction increased from 100 to 150 cm by fifth year. Monthly water use of Jatropha varied from 10–20 (leaf shedding period) to 140 mm depending on water availability and environmental demand. This study indicated that J. curcas has a good drought tolerance mechanism, however under favorable soil moisture conditions Jatropha could use large amounts of water for luxurious growth and high yield. These findings highlight the need to carefully identify suitable niche areas for Jatropha cultivation and assess the implications of large J. curcas plantations on water availability and use under different agroecosystems, particularly so in water scarce regions such as semi-arid and arid regions in the tropics. -- Highlights: ► Jatropha ET varied from 1410 to 1538 mm in optimal and 614 to 930 mm in field conditions. ► Depth of soil-water extraction increased from 100 to 150 cm by fifth year of age. ► Jatropha yields varied

  3. Effectiveness of conservation agriculture practices on soil erosion processes in semi-arid areas of Zimbabwe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chikwari, Emmanuel; Mhaka, Luke; Gwandu, Tariro; Chipangura, Tafadzwa; Misi Manyanga, Amos; Sabastian Matsenyengwa, Nyasha; Rabesiranana, Naivo; Mabit, Lionel

    2016-04-01

    - The application of fallout radionuclides (FRNs) in soil erosion and redistribution studies has gained popularity since the late 1980s. In Zimbabwe, soil erosion research was mostly based on conventional methods which included the use of erosion plots for quantitative measurements and erosion models for predicting soil losses. Only limited investigation to explore the possibility of using Caesium-137 (Cs-137) has been reported in the early 1990s for undisturbed and cultivated lands in Zimbabwe. In this study, the Cs-137 technique was applied to assess the impact of soil conservation practices on soil losses and to develop strategies and support effective policies that help farmers in Zimbabwe for sustainable land management. The study was carried out at the Makoholi research station 30 km north of the Masvingo region which is located 260 km south of Harare. The area is semi-arid and the study site comprises coarse loamy sands, gleyic lixisols. The conservation agriculture (CA) practices used within the area since 1988 include (i) direct seeding (DS) with mulch, (ii) CA basins with mulch, and (iii) 18 years direct seeding, left fallow for seven years and turned into conventional tillage since 2012 (DS/F/C). The Cs-137 reference inventory was established at 214 ± 16 Bq/m2. The mean inventories for DS, CA basins and DS/F/C were 195, 190 and 214 Bq/m2 respectively. Using the conversion Mass Balance Model 2 on the Cs-137 data obtained along transects for each of the practices, gross erosion rates were found to be 7.5, 7.3 and 2.6 t/ha/yr for direct seeding, CA basins and the DS/F/C while the net erosion rates were found to be 3.8, 4.6 and 0 t/ha/yr respectively. Sediment delivery ratios were 50%, 63% and 2% in the respective order. These preliminary results showed the effectiveness of DS over CA basins in erosion control. The efficiency of fallowing in controlling excessive soil loss was significant in the plot that started as DS for 18 years but left fallow for 7

  4. Hydrodynamic influence on reservoir sustainability in semi-arid climate: A physicochemical and environmental isotopic study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ammar, Rawaa; Kazpard, Véronique; El Samrani, Antoine G; Amacha, Nabil; Saad, Zeinab; Chou, Lei

    2017-07-15

    Water scarcity and increasing water demand require the development of water management plans such as establishing artificial lakes and dams. Plans to meet water needs are faced by uprising challenges to improve water quality and to ensure the sustainability of hydro-projects. Environmental isotopes coupled to water physicochemical characteristics were investigated over a biennial cycle to assess both geomorphological and environmental impacts on the water quality of a reservoir situated in an intensively used agricultural watershed under a Mediterranean semi-arid climate. The particularity of the semi-arid climate and the diverse topography generate a continental and orographic rain effect on the isotopic composition of precipitation and the water recharged sources. The studied reservoir responds quickly to land-use activities and climatic changes as reflected by temporal and spatial variations of water chemistry and isotopic composition. Increasing changes in precipitation rate and dry periods significantly modified the water isotopic composition in the reservoir. During the first year, hydrogen (δD) and oxygen (δ 18 O) isotopes are depleted by 6 and 2‰ between dry and wet season, respectively. While a shift of -2‰ for δD and -1‰ for δ 18 O was detected during the second annual cycle. Environmental isotopic compositions demonstrate for the first time the occurrence of groundwater inflow to the central (Cz) and dam (Dz) zones of the Qaraaoun reservoir. The Cz and Dz can be considered as open water bodies subjected to dilution by groundwater inflow, which induces vertical mixing and reverse isotopic stratification of the water column. In the contrary, the river mouth zone acts as a closed system without groundwater intrusion, where heavy water accumulates and may act as a sink for contaminants during dry season. Groundwater influx acts as a dilution factor that renews the hypolimnion, and minimizes the perturbations induced by both internal

  5. Net CO2 and water exchanges of trees and grasses in a semi-arid region (Gourma, Mali)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le Dantec, Valérie; Kergoat, Laurent; Timouk, Franck; Hiernaux, Pierre; Mougin, Eric

    2010-05-01

    An improved understanding of plant and soil processes is critical to predict land surface-atmosphere water exchanges, especially in semi-arid environments, where knowledge is still severely lacking. Within the frame of the African Monsoon Multidisciplinary Project (AMMA), eddy covariance and sapflow stations have been installed to document the intensity, the temporal variability and the main drivers of net CO2 fluxes, water fluxes and contribution of the trees to these fluxes in a pastoral Sahelian landscape. Indeed, although the importance of vegetation in the West African monsoon system has long been postulated, extremely few data were available sofar to test and develop land surface models. In particular, data documenting seasonal and inter-annual dynamics of vegetation/atmosphere exchanges did not exist at 15° N in West Africa before AMMA. The site is located in the Gourma, Mali. Vegetation in this area is sparse and mainly composed of annual grasses and forbs, and trees. Vegetation is organized according to soil type and lateral water redistribution, with bare soil with scattered trees on shallow soils and rocky outcrops (35% of the area), annual grasses and scattered trees on sandy soils (65% of the area), and more dense canopies of grasses and trees growing in valley bottoms over clay soil. To quantify tree transpiration in the overall evapotranspiration flux, sapflow measurements, associated to soil moisture measurements, have been conducted on the main tree species (Acacia senegal, A. seyal, A. raddiana, Combretum glutinosum, Balanites aegyptiaca) in a grassland site and in an open forest site, where eddy covariance fluxes measured the total flux. Using this dataset, we have studied the effects of plant diversity on carbon and water fluxes at the foot-print scale and seasonal dynamics of fluxes due to plant phenology and variations of soil water content (SWC). Carbon fluxes were documented as well, over two years. NEE was close to 0 during the dry season

  6. TANNIN POTENCIAL EVALUATION OF SIX FOREST SPECIES OF BRAZILIAN SEMI-ARID REGION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juarez Benigno Paes

    2006-09-01

    Full Text Available The hide tanners of Brazil Northeast region have in Anadenanthera colubrina (Vell. Brenan var. cebil (Gris. Alts. their only source of tannins. As the activity of exploration is extractiviste without the concern of recovery of explored trees and the absence of other tannin sources, exposes the specie to exhaustion and the tanners and extractivistes family to go bankruptcy. Thus, this work aimed to evaluate the tanin potential of Prosopis juliflora, Anadenanthera colubrina var. cebil, Anacardium occidentale, Mimosa tenuiflora, Mimosa arenosa and Croton sonderianus. These species, Anacardium occidentale, Mimosa arenosa and Mimosa temuiflora showed, respectively, 19.83%, 18.11% and 17.74% of tannins. The Anadenanthera colubrina showed 11.89% and was inferior them mentioned species. The Prosopis juliflora and Croton sonderianus showed 3.02% and 6.62%, respectively. The abundance of Mimosa arenosa and Mimosa tenuiflora in the Brazilian Semi-arid proposes them as potential of tannin production. However, there is need of researches to verify their technical viability for skins, as well as for other uses for tannins.

  7. Evaluation of evapotranspiration methods for model validation in a semi-arid watershed in northern China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. Schneider

    2007-05-01

    Full Text Available This study evaluates the performance of four evapotranspiration methods (Priestley-Taylor, Penman-Monteith, Hargreaves and Makkink of differing complexity in a semi-arid environment in north China. The results are compared to observed water vapour fluxes derived from eddy flux measurements. The analysis became necessary after discharge simulations using an automatically calibrated version of the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT failed to reproduce runoff measurements. Although the study area receives most of the annual rainfall during the vegetation period, high temperatures can cause water scarcity. We investigate which evapotranspiration method is most suitable for this environment and whether the model performance of SWAT can be improved with the most adequate evapotranspiration method.

    The evapotranspiration models were tested in two consecutive years with different rainfall amounts. In general, the simple Hargreaves and Makkink equations outmatch the more complex Priestley-Taylor and Penman-Monteith methods, although their performance depended on water availability. Effects on the quality of SWAT runoff simulations, however, remained minor. Although evapotranspiration is an important process in the hydrology of this steppe environment, our analysis indicates that other driving factors still need to be identified to improve SWAT simulations.

  8. Peach response to water deficit in a semi-arid region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paltineanu, C.; Septar, L.; Moale, C.; Nicolae, S.; Nicola, C.

    2013-09-01

    During three years a deficit irrigation experiment was performed on peach response under the semi-arid conditions of south-eastern Romania. Three sprinkler-irrigated treatments were investigated: fully irrigated, deficit irrigation treatment, and non-irrigated control treatment. Soil water content ranged between 60 and 76% of the plant available soil water capacity in fully irrigated, between 40 and 62% in deficit irrigation treatment, and between 30 and 45% in control. There were significant differences in fruit yield between the treatments. Irrigation water use efficiency was maximum in deficit irrigation treatment. Fruit yield correlated significantly with irrigation application. Total dry matter content, total solids content and titrable acidity of fruit were significantly different in the irrigated treatments vs. the control. Significant correlation coefficients were found between some fruit chemical components. For the possible future global warming conditions, when water use becomes increasingly restrictive, deficit irrigation will be a reasonable solution for water conservation in regions with similar soil and climate conditions.

  9. Assessing Rangeland Attributes On Semi-Arid Zone Of North Darfur State Sudan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohamed Almontasir A. M. Mohamed

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract The study was conducted over a two years period of 2012 and 2013 at three sites of Alfashir locality Ummarahik 25km north of Alfashir Fashar in eastern part of Alfashir about 5km and Berka 30km west of Alfashir Western Sudan in semi-arid zone. The aim of this study was to assess rangeland attributes. Measurements of plant density vegetation cover range production and carrying capacity were assessed. Results showed that total forage production was low and inadequate to satisfy requirements of livestock for inhabiting the area average range production all over the area was found to be 50.68 kgha and 59.21 kgha for the seasons 2012 and 2013 respectively. The average ground cover was about 34.71 and 42.41 for two seasons. The average plant density for the first season was 27.1 plantm2 while the average plant density for the second season was 29.4 plantm2. The study concluded that unwise utilization and exploitation of the rangelands particularly by man causes range deterioration and serious reduction in range production in both quantity and quality so the study suggested that improvement and rehabilitation such lands rangelands should be done. Further research work is needed to assess rangeland attributes across different ecological zones in North Darfur State.

  10. The management of nutrients and water in the west African semi-arid tropics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bationo, A.; Bielders, C.L.; Duivenbooden, N. van; Buerkert, A.C.; Seyni, F.

    1998-01-01

    At present, the farming systems in the west African semi-arid tropics are unsustainable, low in productivity, and destructive to the environment. A striking feature of the soils is their inherently low fertility, with negative plant-nutrient balance in many cropping systems. Research in N-use efficiency (NUE) indicated that calcium ammonium nitrate (CAN) significantly outperformed urea on millet. Fertilizer losses, greater for urea (53%) than for CAN (25%) were believed to be due to ammonia volatilization. Continuous cropping resulted in lower yields compared to a cereal grown after cowpea or groundnut, and NUE was improved with crop rotation. Phosphorus deficiency is a major constraint. Phosphate rock (PR), indigenous to the region, e.g. at Tahoua in Niger and Tilemsi in Mali, is suitable for direct application. Partial acidulation of low-solubility PR improves agronomic effectiveness. Long-term soil-fertility management trials indicate that although application of mineral fertilizers increase yields, they alone cannot sustain productivity. When mineral fertilizers are combined with other technologies, such as the return of crop residues and manure, productive and sustainable production systems are possible. Water-use efficiency increased dramatically with the addition of plant nutrients. Technologies for land surface management and water harvesting, and appropriate cropping systems with careful varietal selection all contribute to the optimization of soil-water use. Future research should focus on water and nutrient interactions and on understanding why presently available improved technologies are not adopted by farmers even when using a participatory approach. (author)

  11. Tetracycline resistance in semi-arid agricultural soils under long-term swine effluent application.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Popova, Inna E; Josue, Rosemarie D R; Deng, Shiping; Hattey, Jeffory A

    2017-05-04

    Annually, millions pounds of antibiotics are released unmetabolized into environment along with animal wastes. Accumulation of antibiotics in soils could potentially induce the persistence of antibiotic resistant bacteria. Antibiotics such as tetracyclines and tetracycline-resistant bacteria have been previously detected in fields fertilized with animal manure. However, little is known about the accumulation of tetracyclines and the development of tetracycline resistance in semi-arid soils. Here we demonstrate that continuous land application with swine effluent, containing trace amounts of chlortetracycline, does not necessarily induce tetracycline resistance in soil bacteria. Based on the testing of more than 3,000 bacteria isolated from the amended soils, we found no significant increase in the occurrence and level of chlortetracycline resistant bacteria in soils after 15 years of continuous swine effluent fertilization. To account for a possible transfer of tetracycline-resistant bacteria originated from the swine effluent to soils, we analyzed two commonly found tetracycline resistant genes, tet(O) and tet(M), in the swine effluent and fertilized soils. Both genes were present in the swine effluent, however, they were not detectable in soils applied with swine effluent. Our data demonstrate that agronomic application of manure from antibiotic treated swine effluent does not necessarily result in the development of antibiotic bacterial resistance in soils. Apparently, concentrations of chlortetracycline present in manure are not significant enough to induce the development of antibiotic bacterial resistance.

  12. Genetic resistance to natural coccidiosis infection in goats in a semi-arid region of India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P.K. Rout

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Coccidiosis is one of the major causes of kid mortality in tropical regions and causes significant loss to farmers by affecting growth and feed efficiency in the growing kid. The strategy to control the coccidiosis is mainly through drug usage and is not efficacious at present. Therefore, an alternative strategy is required to control the disease in goats. Increasing genetic resistance to coccidiosis may be an appropriate complementary control strategy. The purpose of this study was to analyse the genetic variation in severity of natural coccidiosis infections in kids in the semi-arid region. The observations were recorded in 227 kids of Barbari and Jamunapari goats. Barbari goats had higher mean faecal oocyst counts (FOC than Jamunapari goats at 3 and 6 months of age. The heritability for FOC was 0.05 and 0.15 at 3 and 6 months of age, respectively. All phenotypic and environmental correlations between FOC and live weight traits were low and negative, indicating a tendency for more heavily infected kids in the flock to grow more slowly. Genetic correlations were largely similar, but had large standard errors. The results suggest that genetic resistance control strategy can potentially be useful for the better performance in the existing managemental condition.

  13. Spatial and temporal evapotranspiration trends after wildfire in semi-arid landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poon, Patrick K.; Kinoshita, Alicia M.

    2018-04-01

    In recent years climate change and other anthropogenic factors have contributed to increased wildfire frequency and size in western United States forests. This research focuses on the evaluation of spatial and temporal changes in evapotranspiration (ET) following the 2011 Las Conchas Fire in New Mexico (USA) using the Operational Simplified Surface Energy Balance Model (SSEBop ET). Evapotranspiration is coupled with soil burn severity and analyzed for 16 watersheds for water years 2001-2014. An average annual decrease of 120 mm of ET is observed within the regions affected by the Las Conchas Fire, and conifers were converted to grassland a year after the fire. On average, the post-fire annual ET in high, moderate, and low burn severity is lower than pre-fire ET by approximately 103-352 mm, 97-304 mm, and 91-268 mm, respectively. The ratio of post-fire evapotranspiration to precipitation (ET/P) is statistically different from pre-fire conditions (α = 0.05) in nine of the watersheds. The largest decrease in ET is approximately 13-57 mm per month and is most prominent during the summer (April to September). The observed decrease in ET contributes to our understanding of changes in water yield following wildfires, which is of interest for accurately modeling and predicting hydrologic processes in semi-arid landscapes.

  14. Characterising root density of peach trees in a semi-arid Chernozem to increase plant density

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paltineanu, Cristian; Septar, Leinar; Gavat, Corina; Chitu, Emil; Oprita, Alexandru; Moale, Cristina; Calciu, Irina; Vizitiu, Olga; Lamureanu, Gheorghe

    2016-01-01

    The available information on root system in fully mature peach orchards in semi-arid regions is insufficient. This paper presents a study on the root system density in an irrigated peach orchard from Dobrogea, Romania, using the trench technique. The old orchard has clean cultivation in inter-row and in-row. The objectives of the study were to: test the hypothesis that the roots of fully mature peach trees occupy the whole soil volume; find out if root repulsive effect of adjacent plants occurred for the rootstocks and soil conditions; find relationships between root system and soil properties and analyse soil state trend. Some soil physical properties were significantly deteriorated in inter-row versus in-row, mainly due to soil compaction induced by technological traffic. Density of total roots was higher in-row than inter-row, but the differences were not significant. Root density decreased more intensely with soil depth than with distance from tree trunks. Root density correlated with some soil properties. No repulsive effect of the roots of adjacent peach trees was noted. The decrease of root density with distance from trunk can be used in optimising tree arrangement. The conclusions could also be used in countries with similar growth conditions.

  15. Hydric balance in subsistence culture in the semi-arid soil of Northeast Brazil

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Antonino, Antonio C.D.; Sampaio, Everardo V.S.B.; Dall'Olio, Attilio; Salcedo, Ignacio H.; Bernardo, Ana L.; Soares, Adriano A.M.

    1997-01-01

    In spite of being the limiting factor for agricultural production, little has been studied about water dynamics in the soil-plant-atmosphere system in the semi-arid northeastern Brazil. To fill this gap, an experiment was established at Coxixola, PB, with four treatments (corn and beans crops, bare soil and soil covered with mulch), plots 7.7 x 10 m and planting spacing between holes, of 1.1 x 1.0 m. Rainfall was monitored with a pluviometer, evaporation with a class A tank and soil water with a neutron probe with daily measurements each 10 cm until 100 cm depth. the crop cycle, from March to July, was divided into nine periods, 13-14 days each. Results confirm the water limitation, with 212 mm rainfall during the cycle, 81% concentrated in the four first periods. Variations in the water storage in the soil profile, for the four treatments, followed variations in rainfall. Bare soil and much had similar results. Average daily real evapotranspiration for beans was 1.8 mm and for corn 1.9 mm. Average daily real evaporation for bare soil and much was 0.78 e 0.85 mm, respectively. (author). 9 refs., 2 figs., 2 tabs

  16. Droughts and governance impacts on water scarcity: an~analysis in the Brazilian semi-arid

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. C. S. Silva

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Extreme events are part of climate variability. Dealing with variability is still a challenge that might be increased due to climate change. However, impacts of extreme events are not only dependent on their variability, but also on management and governance. In Brazil, its semi-arid region is vulnerable to extreme events, especially droughts, for centuries. Actually, other Brazilian regions that have been mostly concerned with floods are currently also experiencing droughts. This article evaluates how a combination between climate variability and water governance might affect water scarcity and increase the impacts of extreme events on some regions. For this evaluation, Ostrom's framework for analyzing social-ecological systems (SES was applied. Ostrom's framework is useful for understanding interactions between resource systems, governance systems and resource users. This study focuses on social-ecological systems located in a drought-prone region of Brazil. Two extreme events were selected, one in 1997–2000, when Brazil's new water policy was very young, and the other one in 2012–2015. The analysis of SES considering Ostrom's principle "Clearly defined boundaries" showed that deficiencies in water management cause the intensification of drought's impacts for the water users. The reasons are more related to water management and governance problems than to drought event magnitude or climate change. This is a problem that holdup advances in dealing with extreme events.

  17. Determining the Frequency of Dry Lake Bed Formation in Semi-Arid Mongolia From Satellite Data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuta Demura

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available In the Mongolian Plateau, the desert steppe, mountains, and dry lake bed surfaces may affect the process of dust storm emissions. Among these three surface types, dry lake beds are considered to contribute a substantial amount of global dust emissions and to be responsible for “hot spots” of dust outbreaks. The land cover types in the study area were broadly divided into three types, namely desert steppe, mountains, and dry lake beds, by a classification based on Normalized Difference Water Index (NDWI calculated from MODIS Terra satellite images, and Digital Elevation Model (DEM. This dry lake beds extracting method using remote sensing offers a new technique for identifying dust hot spots and potential untapped groundwater in the dry lands of the Gobi region. In the study area, frequencies of dry lake bed formation were calculated during the period of 2001 to 2014. The potential dry lake area corresponded well with the length of the river network based on hydrogeological characterization (R2 = 0.77, p < 0.001. We suggest that the threshold between dry lake bed areas and the formation of ephemeral lakes in semi-arid regions is eight days of total precipitation.

  18. Air pollution measurements in a semi-arid zine, using neutron activation analysis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shani, G; Cohen, D

    1977-01-01

    Neutron activation analysis was used for measurement of air pollution in a semi arid zone. After a careful selection of the air filter, air samples were filtered in the city of Beer-Sheva in the south of Israel. The sampling took place over a period of 2 months with each sampling period lasting 2 days. The samples were irradiated in a thermal neutron flux of the order of 10/sup 13/ n/cm/sup 2/ sec for 1 h and the gamma spectrum was measured several times. The concentration of elements was concluded from the measured gamma spectrum. Several conclusions were obtained by combining the weather conditions with the measurement results. The air pollution can be divided into several sources: dust of a certain origin containing Fe, Co, Cr, Sc, Th and Na (probably from the Dead Sea area), other dust sources containing Sb, Eu, and Hf, and urban pollution due to industry and transportation--Br, Hg. The air pollution has its maxima and minima according to weather or industrial conditions. The pollution requires 4 days to clear out. Other relations to weather conditions were also found.

  19. Air pollution measurements in a semi-arid zone, using neutron activation analysis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shani, G; Cohen, D [Ben-Gurion Univ. of the Negev, Beersheba (Israel). Dept. of Nuclear Engineering

    1977-12-01

    Neutron activation analysis was used for measurement of air pollution in a semi-arid zone. After a careful selection of the air filter, air samples were filtered in the city of Beer-Sheva in the south of Israel. The sampling took place over a period of 2 months with each sampling period lasting 2 days. The samples were irradiated in a thermal neutron flux of the order of 10/sup 13/ n/cm/sup 2/ sec for 1 h and the gamma spectrum was measured several times. The concentration of elements was concluded from the measured gamma spectrum. Several conclusions were obtained by combining the weather conditions with the measurement results. The air pollution can be divided into several sources: dust of a certain origin containing Fe, Co, Cr, Sc, Th and Na (probably from the Dead Sea area), other dust sources containing Sb, Eu, and Hf, and urban pollution due to industry and transportation-Br, Hg. The air pollution has its maxima and minima according to weather or industrial conditions. The pollution requires 4 days to clear out. Other relations to weather conditions were also found.

  20. Analysis of Precipitation Characteristics during 1957-2012 in the Semi-Arid Loess Plateau, China.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Weijun Zhao

    Full Text Available Precipitation is the only water supply and most important factor affecting vegetation growth on the slopes of semi-arid Loess Plateau of China. Based on precipitation data from 7 synoptic stations in the study area over the period 1957-2012, the trends of precipitation and standardized precipitation index (SPI were analyzed by using linear regression, Mann-Kendall, and Spearman's Rho tests at the 5% significance level. The results show that (1 the precipitation fluctuation of monthly precipitation was intense (coefficients of variation> 100%, and the drier years were recorded as 1965 and 1995 at all stations. (2 The significant change trend of different stations varied on different time scales: the Changwu station had a significant decreasing trend in April (-0.488 mm/year and November (-0.249 mm/year, while Luochuan station was in April (-0.457 mm/year; Changwu station displayed a significant increasing trends in winter (0.220 mm/year and a significant decreasing trends in spring (-0.770 mm/year. The significant decreasing trends in annual precipitation were detected at the Suide (-2.034 mm/year and Yan'an (-2.129 mm/year stations. (3 The SPI-12 series analysis suggests that the drought degree of Yulin and Changwu was the lowest and that of Hengshan was the highest among the 7 synoptic stations.

  1. Radioecological characterization of a uranium mining site located in a semi-arid region in Brazil

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fernandes, Horst M.; Lamego Simoes Filho, F. Fernando; Perez, Valeska; Franklin, Mariza Ramalho; Gomiero, Luiz Alberto

    2006-01-01

    The work presents the radioecological characterization of the new Brazilian uranium mining and milling site located in a semi-arid region of the country. The process characterization demonstrated that in heap leach plants most of the 226 Ra remains in the leached ore. Despite the potential higher availability of radium isotopes in the soils of the studied region the lack of precipitation in that area reduces the leaching/mobilization of the radionuclides. High 226 Ra and 228 Ra concentrations were found in manioc while 21 Pb was significant in pasture. It was suggested that a range from 10 -3 to 10 -1 may conveniently encompass most of the transfer factors (TF) values for soil/plant systems (i.e. involving different cultures, different soils and natural radionuclides). Impacts due to aerial transportation of aerosols and radon generated in the mining were proved to be minimal and restricted to an area not greater than 15 km 2 . Finally, uranium complexation by carbonates was shown to be the main mechanism responding for the elevated radionuclide concentration in groundwater

  2. Droughts and governance impacts on water scarcity: an~analysis in the Brazilian semi-arid

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva, A. C. S.; Galvão, C. O.; Silva, G. N. S.

    2015-06-01

    Extreme events are part of climate variability. Dealing with variability is still a challenge that might be increased due to climate change. However, impacts of extreme events are not only dependent on their variability, but also on management and governance. In Brazil, its semi-arid region is vulnerable to extreme events, especially droughts, for centuries. Actually, other Brazilian regions that have been mostly concerned with floods are currently also experiencing droughts. This article evaluates how a combination between climate variability and water governance might affect water scarcity and increase the impacts of extreme events on some regions. For this evaluation, Ostrom's framework for analyzing social-ecological systems (SES) was applied. Ostrom's framework is useful for understanding interactions between resource systems, governance systems and resource users. This study focuses on social-ecological systems located in a drought-prone region of Brazil. Two extreme events were selected, one in 1997-2000, when Brazil's new water policy was very young, and the other one in 2012-2015. The analysis of SES considering Ostrom's principle "Clearly defined boundaries" showed that deficiencies in water management cause the intensification of drought's impacts for the water users. The reasons are more related to water management and governance problems than to drought event magnitude or climate change. This is a problem that holdup advances in dealing with extreme events.

  3. Prevalence of gastrointestinal nematode infections in goat flocks on semi-arid rangelands of northeastern Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olivas-Salazar, Raquel; Estrada-Angulo, Alfredo; Mellado, Miguel; Aguilar-Caballero, Armando Jacinto; Castro-Pérez, Beatriz Isabel; Gutiérrez-Blanco, Eduardo; Ruiz-Zárate, Fernando

    2018-04-01

    The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of gastrointestinal nematode (GIN) infection in goat flocks on semi-arid rangelands of northeastern Mexico (25° N, 350-400 mm annual precipitation). The study included 668 pluriparous goats from 18 herds in five municipalities of Coahuila and Nuevo Leon, Mexico. Five genetic groups were considered (predominance of Boer, Nubian, Alpine, Saanen, and Toggenburg). Fecal samples were taken from the rectum of each animal to determine the number of eggs per gram (EPG) of GIN. The prevalence of flocks with GIN infections was 88.9%. Similar results were observed for the number of goats infected in the flocks. The Alpine breed presented the highest prevalence and highest EPG loads of GIN, whereas Boer and Nubian were the genetic groups with the lowest (P arid zones of Mexico was found a high prevalence of infections with gastrointestinal nematodes. The municipality and the breed of the animals were factors that showed influence on this prevalence and the level of infection of the goats.

  4. Insolation driven biomagnetic response to the Holocene Warm Period in semi-arid East Asia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Suzhen; Deng, Chenglong; Xiao, Jule; Li, Jinhua; Paterson, Greig A.; Chang, Liao; Yi, Liang; Qin, Huafeng; Pan, Yongxin; Zhu, Rixiang

    2015-01-01

    The Holocene Warm Period (HWP) provides valuable insights into the climate system and biotic responses to environmental variability and thus serves as an excellent analogue for future global climate changes. Here we document, for the first time, that warm and wet HWP conditions were highly favourable for magnetofossil proliferation in the semi-arid Asian interior. The pronounced increase of magnetofossil concentrations at ~9.8 ka and decrease at ~5.9 ka in Dali Lake coincided respectively with the onset and termination of the HWP, and are respectively linked to increased nutrient supply due to postglacial warming and poor nutrition due to drying at ~6 ka in the Asian interior. The two-stage transition at ~7.7 ka correlates well with increased organic carbon in middle HWP and suggests that improved climate conditions, leading to high quality nutrient influx, fostered magnetofossil proliferation. Our findings represent an excellent lake record in which magnetofossil abundance is, through nutrient availability, controlled by insolation driven climate changes.

  5. Leaf anatomy of six species of Heliotropiaceae Schrad. from the Brazilian semi-arid region

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elisabeth Emília Augusta Dantas Tölke

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available The family Heliotropiaceae has more than 450 species, mainly distributed in the tropics and subtropics. In Brazil, it is represented by the genera Euploca Nutt., Heliotropium L., Myriopus Small and Tournefortia L. The aim of this study was to describe the leaf anatomy of six species of Heliotropiaceae recorded in the semi-arid region of Brazil: E. polyphylla (Lehm. J.I.M. Melo & Semir, E. procumbens (Mill. Diane & Hilger, H. angiospermum Murray, H. curassavicum L., M. rubicundus (Salzm. ex DC. Luebert and M. salzmannii (DC. Diane & Hilger. Besides contributing to the knowledge of the anatomy of the representatives of the family in the Caatinga (Brazilian savannah, we also sought to determine and highlight the anatomical features adaptive to the region and to identify features with potential diagnostic value. Leaf structures were analyzed by light microscopy and scanning electron microscopy. Additional tests were also carried out to detect starch and total lipids. The morphological variation and the distribution of trichomes were the most relevant features for species diagnosis. The distribution of stomata in M. salzmannii and H. angiospermum differed from that described in other papers, which demonstrates the anatomical plasticity of these species. This is the first report describing the leaf blade of M. rubicundus.

  6. Leaf anatomy of six species of Heliotropiaceae Schrad. from the Brazilian semi-arid region

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elisabeth Tölke

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available http://dx.doi.org/10.5007/2175-7925.2015v28n3p1 The family Heliotropiaceae has more than 450 species, mainly distributed in the tropics and subtropics. In Brazil, it is represented by the genera Euploca Nutt., Heliotropium L., Myriopus Small and Tournefortia L. The aim of this study was to describe the leaf anatomy of six species of Heliotropiaceae recorded in the semi-arid region of Brazil: E. polyphylla (Lehm. J.I.M. Melo & Semir, E. procumbens (Mill. Diane & Hilger, H. angiospermum Murray, H. curassavicum L., M. rubicundus (Salzm. ex DC. Luebert and M. salzmannii (DC. Diane & Hilger. Besides contributing to the knowledge of the anatomy of the representatives of the family in the Caatinga (Brazilian savannah, we also sought to determine and highlight the anatomical features adaptive to the region and to identify features with potential diagnostic value. Leaf structures were analyzed by light microscopy and scanning electron microscopy. Additional tests were also carried out to detect starch and total lipids. The morphological variation and the distribution of trichomes were the most relevant features for species diagnosis. The distribution of stomata in M. salzmannii and H. angiospermum differed from that described in other papers, which demonstrates the anatomical plasticity of these species. This is the first report describing the leaf blade of M. rubicundus.

  7. Profiles of innovators in a semi-arid smallholder agricultural environment in south west Zimbabwe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mutsvangwa-Sammie, Eness P.; Manzungu, Emmanuel; Siziba, Shephard

    2017-08-01

    Innovations are regarded as critical to improving the efficiency, productivity and effectiveness of African agriculture. However, few efforts have been directed at understanding 'agricultural innovators', especially among smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa who face low agricultural productivity and widespread food insecurity. This paper investigates the profile of innovators from a local perspective in a semi-arid smallholder farming area in south-west Zimbabwe. The paper is based on data collected from key informant interviews and a household questionnaire survey administered to 239 households from Gwanda and Insiza districts between 2013 and 2014. Qualities or attributes of an innovator (which constitute the profile of an innovator) identified by key informants included: resource endowment; social networks; education; and enthusiasm (passionate and hardworking). The attributes were used in a logit regression model to estimate the probability of the 239 households exhibiting the attributes of an innovator. Social networks and resource endowment, as depicted by amount of land cultivated, were found to significantly influence the probability of an individual being an innovator. Interestingly, the common attributes of education or belonging to an innovation platform used by extension and development agents, were found not to influence the probability of one being an innovator. The paper concludes that understanding local perceptions of innovators, which is based on appreciation of the socio-economic and biophysical circumstances, should be used to identify a 'basket' of context specific innovations that have potential to address the diverse needs of rural households farming households.

  8. Declining agricultural production in rapidly urbanizing semi-arid regions: policy tradeoffs and sustainability indicators

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dozier, André Q.; Arabi, Mazdak; Wostoupal, Benjamin C.; Goemans, Christopher G.; Zhang, Yao; Paustian, Keith

    2017-08-01

    In rapidly urbanizing semi-arid regions, increasing amounts of historically irrigated cropland lies permanently fallowed due to water court policies as agricultural water rights are voluntarily being sold to growing cities. This study develops an integrative framework for assessing the effects of population growth and land use change on agricultural production and evaluating viability of alternative management strategies, including alternative agricultural transfer methods, regional water ownership restrictions, and urban conservation. A partial equilibrium model of a spatially-diverse regional water rights market is built in application of the framework to an exemplary basin. The model represents agricultural producers as profit-maximizing suppliers and municipalities as cost-minimizing consumers of water rights. Results indicate that selling an agricultural water right today is worth up to two times more than 40 years of continued production. All alternative policies that sustain agricultural cropland and crop production decrease total agricultural profitability by diminishing water rights sales revenue, but in doing so, they also decrease municipal water acquisition costs. Defining good indicators and incorporating adequate spatial and temporal detail are critical to properly analyzing policy impacts. To best improve agricultural profit from production and sale of crops, short-term solutions include alternative agricultural transfer methods while long-term solutions incorporate urban conservation.

  9. Isotope studies of a thick unsaturated zone in a semi-arid area of Southern Africa

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Butler, M.J.; Verhagen, B.Th.

    2001-01-01

    Unsaturated zone profiles ranging in depth from 8 m to 22 m were obtained by hand augering an aeolian sand cover in the southern reaches of the semi-arid Kalahari thirstland. Moisture contents were rather low (<3 wt.%); in situ moisture chloride concentrations, measured by selective ion electrode following elutriation, are generally <500 ppm. Deuterium in the moisture was measured mass spectrometrically by direct quantitative conversion to hydrogen on zinc metal of moist soil samples. A novel technique of direct equilibration was developed for oxygen-18 analysis. Neither a thermonuclear tritium peak nor a stable isotope evaporation inversion near the surface could be observed in any of the profiles. Remarkable differences both laterally and vertically are observed in most parameters measured between profiles taken a few tens of metres apart. At greater depths, these differences become less pronounced. Recharge estimates based on chloride differ markedly from those obtained from tritium. Although the stable isotope values of the underlying saturated zone are similar to moisture in the deeper sections of the unsaturated zone profiles, the markedly lower chloride concentrations point towards preferential or bypass flow as an important mechanism of ground water recharge in the area. This can be regarded as a benchmark site on account of the wealth of unsaturated zone data as well as the detailed and ongoing rainfall record. (author)

  10. Groundwater recharge estimation under semi arid climate: Case of Northern Gafsa watershed, Tunisia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melki, Achraf; Abdollahi, Khodayar; Fatahi, Rouhallah; Abida, Habib

    2017-08-01

    Natural groundwater recharge under semi arid climate, like rainfall, is subjected to large variations in both time and space and is therefore very difficult to predict. Nevertheless, in order to set up any strategy for water resources management in such regions, understanding the groundwater recharge variability is essential. This work is interested in examining the impact of rainfall on the aquifer system recharge in the Northern Gafsa Plain in Tunisia. The study is composed of two main parts. The first is interested in the analysis of rainfall spatial and temporal variability in the study basin while the second is devoted to the simulation of groundwater recharge. Rainfall analysis was performed based on annual precipitation data recorded in 6 rainfall stations over a period of 56 years (1960-2015). Potential evapotranspiration data were also collected from 1960 to 2011 (52 years). The hydrologic distributed model WetSpass was used for the estimation of groundwater recharge. Model calibration was performed based on an assessment of the agreement between the sum of recharge and runoff values estimated by the WetSpass hydrological model and those obtained by the climatic method. This latter is based on the difference calculated between rainfall and potential evapotranspiration recorded at each rainy day. Groundwater recharge estimation, on monthly scale, showed that average annual precipitation (183.3 mm/year) was partitioned to 5, 15.3, 36.8, and 42.8% for interception, runoff, actual evapotranspiration and recharge respectively.

  11. Air pollution measurements in a semi-arid zone, using neutron activation analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shani, G.; Cohen, D.

    1977-01-01

    Neutron activation analysis was used for measurement of air pollution in a semi-arid zone. After a careful selection of the air filter, air samples were filtered in the city of Beer-Sheva in the south of Israel. The sampling took place over a period of 2 months with each sampling period lasting 2 days. The samples were irradiated in a thermal neutron flux of the order of 10 13 n/cm 2 sec for 1 h and the gamma spectrum was measured several times. The concentration of elements was concluded from the measured gamma spectrum. Several conclusions were obtained by combining the weather conditions with the measurement results. The air pollution can be divided into several sources: dust of a certain origin containing Fe, Co, Cr, Sc, Th and Na (probably from the Dead Sea area), other dust sources containing Sb, Eu, and Hf, and urban pollution due to industry and transportation-Br, Hg. The air pollution has its maxima and minima according to weather or industrial conditions. The pollution requires 4 days to clear out. Other relations to weather conditions were also found. (Auth.)

  12. Dynamic modeling of potentially conflicting energy reduction strategies for residential structures in semi-arid climates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hester, Nathan; Li, Ke; Schramski, John R; Crittenden, John

    2012-04-30

    Globally, residential energy consumption continues to rise due to a variety of trends such as increasing access to modern appliances, overall population growth, and the overall increase of electricity distribution. Currently, residential energy consumption accounts for approximately one-fifth of total U.S. energy consumption. This research analyzes the effectiveness of a range of energy-saving measures for residential houses in semi-arid climates. These energy-saving measures include: structural insulated panels (SIP) for exterior wall construction, daylight control, increased window area, efficient window glass suitable for the local weather, and several combinations of these. Our model determined that energy consumption is reduced by up to 6.1% when multiple energy savings technologies are combined. In addition, pre-construction technologies (structural insulated panels (SIPs), daylight control, and increased window area) provide roughly 4 times the energy savings when compared to post-construction technologies (window blinds and efficient window glass). The model also illuminated the importance variations in local climate and building configuration; highlighting the site-specific nature of this type of energy consumption quantification for policy and building code considerations. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  13. Artemisia annua L.: agro-techniques for semi-arid environments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcello Scarcella

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Artemisia annua L. is an aromatic annual plant native in Asia, probably in China, and is widespread in all temperate regions. Aerial parts contain aromatic volatile oils and non-volatile sesquiterpenes used in pharmacopoeia. The most important sesquiterpene is artemisinin and its derivatives, which are used as a remedy against malaria. In the Mediterranean region, interest in cultivating Artemisia resulted in emerging industrial activities demanding local biomass with high content of artemisinin to start new production chains. The goal of this paper was to find out appropriate agro-techniques for semi-arid climate regions to be followed by local growers in order to get convenient yield in terms of biomass and artemisinin content. The specific research objectives were to test germplasm and to develop a pilot model for A. annua, including the main agro-techniques (plant density, nitrogen supply and irrigation requirements. Results were obtained after a two-year field study carried out in an area of Salento region. The effects of the season and of the tested cultivars were not significant. The highest biomass production (36 t ha-1 of dry biomass, associated with a high percentage of artemisinin (0.97 % on dry weight, was achieved by using 7.3 plant m-2, and by supplying 60 Kg N ha-1 and 150 mm of irrigation water.

  14. Cyanobacterial blooms in stratified and destratified eutrophic reservoirs in semi-arid region of Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dantas, Enio W; Moura, Ariadne N; Bittencourt-Oliveira, Maria do Carmo

    2011-12-01

    This study investigated the dynamics of cyanobacteria in two deep, eutrophic reservoirs in a semi-arid region of Brazil during periods of stratification and destratification. Four collections were carried out at each reservoir at two depths at three-month intervals. The following abiotic variables were analyzed: water temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH, turbidity, water transparency, total phosphorus, total dissolved phosphorus, orthophosphate and total nitrogen. Phytoplankton density was quantified for the determination of the biomass of cyanobacteria. The data were analyzed using CCA. Higher mean phytoplankton biomass values (29.8 mm(3).L(-1)) occurred in the period of thermal stratification. A greater similarity in the phytoplankton communities also occurred in this period and was related to the development of cyanobacteria, mainly Cylindrospermopsis raciborskii (>3.9 mm(3).L(-1)). During the period of thermal destratification, this species co-dominated the environment with Planktothrix agardhii, Geitlerinema amphibium, Microcystis aeruginosa and Merismopedia tenuissima, as well as with diatoms and phytoflagellates. Environmental instability and competition among algae hindered the establishment of blooms more during the mixture period than during the stratification period. Thermal changes in the water column caused by climatologic events altered other physiochemical conditions of the water, leading to changes in the composition and biomass of the cyanobacterial community in tropical reservoirs.

  15. Evaluating soil moisture and hydraulic conductivity in semi-arid rangeland soils

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Whitaker, M.P.L.

    1993-01-01

    The US DOE's Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management (DOE-OCRWM) Fellowship Program supports various disciplines of academic research related to the isolation of radionuclides from the biosphere. The purpose of this paper is to provide an example of a university research application in the specific discipline of hydrology and water resources (a multi-disciplinary field encompassing engineering and the earth sciences), and to discuss how this research pertains to the objectives of the DOE-OCRWM Fellowship Program. The university research application is twofold: One portion focuses on the spatial variability of soil moisture (θ) and the other section compares point measurements with small watershed estimates of hydraulic conductivity (K) in a semi-arid rangeland soil in Arizona. For soil moisture measurements collected over a range of horizontal sampling intervals, no spatial correlation was evident. This outcome is reassuring to computer modelers who have assumed no spatial correlation for soil moisture over smaller scales. In regard to hydraulic conductivity, point measurements differed significantly from small watershed estimates of hydraulic conductivity which were derived from a calibrated and verified rainfall-runoff computer model. The estimates of saturated hydraulic conductivity (Ks) were obtained from previous computer simulations in which measured data was collected in the same research location as the present study

  16. Monoterpene emissions from Pinus halepensis forests in a semi-arid region (Israel)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seco, R.; Karl, T.; Turnipseed, A. A.; Greenberg, J.; Guenther, A. B.; Llusia, J.; Penuelas, J.; Kim, S.; Dicken, U.; Rotenberg, E.; Rohatyn, S.; Preisler, Y.; Yakir, D.

    2013-12-01

    Atmospheric volatile organic compounds (VOCs) have key environmental and biological roles, and can affect atmospheric chemisty, secondary aerosol formation, and as a consequence also climate. At the same time, global changes in climate arising from human activities can modify the VOC emissions of vegetation in the coming years. Monoterpene emission fluxes were measured during April 2013 at two forests in the semi-arid climate of Israel. Both forests were dominated by the same pine species, Pinus halepensis, but differed in the amount of annual average precipitation received (280 and 800 mm at Yatir and Birya, respectively). Measurements performed included leaf-level sampling as well as canopy-level flux calculations. Leaf level monoterpene emissions were sampled from leaf cuvettes with adsorbent cartridges and later analyzed by GC-MS. Canopy scale fluxes were calculated with the Disjunct Eddy Covariance technique by means of a Quadrupole PTRMS. We report the differences observed between the two forests in terms of photosynthetic activity and monoterpene emissions, aiming to see the effect of the different precipitation regimes at each location.

  17. Season-ahead streamflow forecast informed tax strategies for semi-arid water rights markets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delorit, J. D.; Block, P. J.

    2016-12-01

    In many semi-arid regions multisectoral demands stress available water supplies. The Elqui River valley of north central Chile, which draws on limited capacity reservoirs supplied largely by annually variable snowmelt, is one of these cases. This variability forces water managers to develop demand-based allocation strategies which have typically resulted in water right volume reductions, applied equally per right. Compounding this issue is often deferred or delayed infrastructure investments, which has been linked Chile's Coasian approach to water markets, under which rights holders do not pay direct procurement costs, non-use fees, nor taxes. Here we build upon our previous research using forecasts of likely water rights reductions, informed by season-ahead prediction models of October-January (austral growing season) streamflow, to construct annual, forecast-sensitive, per right tax. We believe this tax, to be borne by right holders, will improve the beneficial use of water resources by stimulating water rights trading and improving system efficiency by generating funds for infrastructure investment, thereby reducing free-ridership and conflict between rights holders. Research outputs will include sectoral per right tax assessments, tax revenue generation, Elqui River valley economic output, and water rights trading activity.

  18. Pattern solutions of the Klausmeier Model for banded vegetation in semi-arid environments I

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sherratt, Jonathan A

    2010-01-01

    In many semi-arid environments, vegetation cover is sparse, and is self-organized into large-scale spatial patterns. In particular, banded vegetation is typical on hillsides. Mathematical modelling is widely used to study these banded patterns, and many models are effectively extensions of a coupled reaction–diffusion–advection system proposed by Klausmeier (1999 Science 284 1826–8). However, there is currently very little mathematical theory on pattern solutions of these equations. This paper is the first in a series whose aim is a comprehensive understanding of these solutions, which can act as a springboard both for future simulation-based studies of the Klausmeier model, and for analysis of model extensions. The author focusses on a particular part of parameter space, and derives expressions for the boundaries of the parameter region in which patterns occur. The calculations are valid to leading order at large values of the 'slope parameter', which reflects a comparison of the rate of water flow downhill with the rate of vegetation dispersal. The form of the corresponding patterns is also studied, and the author shows that the leading order equations change close to one boundary of the parameter region in which there are patterns, leading to a homoclinic solution. Conclusions are drawn on the way in which changes in mean annual rainfall affect pattern properties, including overall biomass productivity

  19. Seasonality of vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizae in sedges in a semi-arid tropical grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muthukumar, T.; Udaiyan, K.

    2002-10-01

    Vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizal (VAM) colonization and spore numbers in the rhizosphere of Cyperus iria L. and C. rotundus L., growing in a semi-arid tropical grassland, was studied during the 1993 and 1994 monsoons. In addition, climatic and chemical properties of the soils were determined in order to investigate their influence on mycorrhizal variables. VAM fungal association in the sedges was confirmed by plant- and root-trap culture techniques. The soil nutrients exhibited seasonal variations, but were highly variable between years. Intercellular hyphae and vesicles with occasional intraradical spores characterized mycorrhizal association in sedges. Dark septate fungi also colonized roots of sedges. Temporal variations in mycorrhizal colonization and spore numbers occurred, indicating seasonality. However, the patterns of mycorrhizal colonization and spore numbers were different during both the years. The VAM fungal structures observed were intercellular hyphae and vesicles. Changes in the proportion of root length with VAM structures, total colonization levels and spore numbers were related to climatic and edaphic factors. However, the intensity of influence of climatic and soil factors on VAM tended to vary with sedge species.

  20. Animal-Based Remedies as Complementary Medicines in the Semi-Arid Region of Northeastern Brazil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alves, Rômulo R. N.; Barbosa, José A. A.; Santos, Silene L. D. X.; Souto, Wedson M. S.; Barboza, Raynner R. D.

    2011-01-01

    Animals (and their derived products) are essential ingredients in the preparation of many traditional remedies. Despite its prevalence in traditional medical practices worldwide, research on medicinal animals has often been neglected in comparison to medicinal plant research. This work documents the medicinal animals used by a rural community in the semi-arid region, inserted in Caatinga Biome, where 66 respondents provided information on animal species used as medicine, body parts used to prepare the remedies and illnesses to which the remedies were prescribed. We calculated the informant consensus factor to determine the consensus over which species are effective for particular ailments, as well as the species use value to determine the extent of utilization of each species. We recorded the use of 51 animal species as medicines, whose products were recommended for the treatment of 68 illnesses. The informant consensus in the use of many specific remedies is fairly high, giving an additional validity to this folk medicine. Eight species not previously reported as having medicinal use were recorded. The local medicinal fauna is largely based on wild animals, including some endangered species. Given a high proportion of medicinal animals observed in the study area, it is logical to conclude that any conservation strategy should include access to modern health care. PMID:19729490

  1. Determination of uranium partition coefficients of a semi-arid soil in Bahia

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fernandes, Heloisa H.F.; Pontedeiro, Elizabeth M.; Su, Jian, E-mail: heloisa@lasme.coppe.ufrj.br, E-mail: bettinadulley@hotmail.com, E-mail: sujian@lasme.coppe.ufrj.br [Coordenacao dos Cursos de Pos-Graduacao em Engenharia (COPPE/UFRJ), Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil). Lab. de Simulacao e Metodos de Engenharia; Dourado, Eneida R.G., E-mail: eneida@inb.gov.br [Industrias Nucleares do Brasil (INB), Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil)

    2013-07-01

    In mining and processing industries, the subsurface is one of the most vulnerable compartments to environmental contamination. Understanding the interactions between soil and contaminants is critical for predicting the possible environmental impacts caused by mining and milling operations. One of the main parameters used for this purpose is the partition (or distribution) coefficient, K{sub d}, which allows a relatively simple modeling approach by grouping various sorption phenomena into a single value. However, this parameter is strongly influenced by the physical and chemical characteristics of the medium, such as soil type, pH and solution composition. Thus, this study aims to assess the values of K{sub d} for uranium of typical soils from Bahia's semi-arid region using two different types of solute, one being a standard solution of uranyl acetate and one the liquor of uranium generated during processing. To calculate this parameter, batch adsorption experiments were carried out and adsorption isotherms (linear, Langmuir and Freundlich) were constructed using the Mathematica software. Results obtained for a single type of soil showed reduced values of K{sub d} for a liquor containing uranium when compared to values obtained with the uranyl acetate solution. This indicates that uranium from liquor is less adsorbed onto soil particles, and hence may move more quickly into the subsurface. (author)

  2. Determination of uranium partition coefficients of a semi-arid soil in Bahia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fernandes, Heloisa H.F.; Pontedeiro, Elizabeth M.; Su, Jian

    2013-01-01

    In mining and processing industries, the subsurface is one of the most vulnerable compartments to environmental contamination. Understanding the interactions between soil and contaminants is critical for predicting the possible environmental impacts caused by mining and milling operations. One of the main parameters used for this purpose is the partition (or distribution) coefficient, K d , which allows a relatively simple modeling approach by grouping various sorption phenomena into a single value. However, this parameter is strongly influenced by the physical and chemical characteristics of the medium, such as soil type, pH and solution composition. Thus, this study aims to assess the values of K d for uranium of typical soils from Bahia's semi-arid region using two different types of solute, one being a standard solution of uranyl acetate and one the liquor of uranium generated during processing. To calculate this parameter, batch adsorption experiments were carried out and adsorption isotherms (linear, Langmuir and Freundlich) were constructed using the Mathematica software. Results obtained for a single type of soil showed reduced values of K d for a liquor containing uranium when compared to values obtained with the uranyl acetate solution. This indicates that uranium from liquor is less adsorbed onto soil particles, and hence may move more quickly into the subsurface. (author)

  3. Water management can reinforce plant competition in salt-affected semi-arid wetlands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coletti, Janaine Z.; Vogwill, Ryan; Hipsey, Matthew R.

    2017-09-01

    The diversity of vegetation in semi-arid, ephemeral wetlands is determined by niche availability and species competition, both of which are influenced by changes in water availability and salinity. Here, we hypothesise that ignoring physiological differences and competition between species when managing wetland hydrologic regimes can lead to a decrease in vegetation diversity, even when the overall wetland carrying capacity is improved. Using an ecohydrological model capable of resolving water-vegetation-salt feedbacks, we investigate why water surface and groundwater management interventions to combat vegetation decline have been more beneficial to Casuarina obesa than to Melaleuca strobophylla, the co-dominant tree species in Lake Toolibin, a salt-affected wetland in Western Australia. The simulations reveal that in trying to reduce the negative effect of salinity, the management interventions have created an environment favouring C. obesa by intensifying the climate-induced trend that the wetland has been experiencing of lower water availability and higher root-zone salinity. By testing alternative scenarios, we show that interventions that improve M. strobophylla biomass are possible by promoting hydrologic conditions that are less specific to the niche requirements of C. obesa. Modelling uncertainties were explored via a Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) algorithm. Overall, the study demonstrates the importance of including species differentiation and competition in ecohydrological models that form the basis for wetland management.

  4. Response of three semi-arid plant species to fluoride; consequences for chlorophyll florescence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baunthiyal, M; Sharma, V

    2014-01-01

    The study was done to investigate the ability of three semi-arid plant species viz. Acacia tortilis, Cassia fistula and Prosopis juliflora to adapt to fluoride (F) stress. Here we examined the changes in activities of chlorophyll a fluorescence and photosynthetic pigment concentration during early growth of these plants. One month old plants were treated with 10, 20, and 50 mg kg(-1) F in soilrite. We did not observe any major change in photosynthetic performance of these plants during early growth. This was revealed by ETR, ETRmax, PPFD-sat and deltaF/Fm'-sat values which were higher in these plants. The decrease in chl a, chl b and total chl concentrations were significant only at 5 days. For most of the parameters, C. fistula was found to be more sensitive to F stress and P. juliflora showed least damage from F. The lesser inhibition in the parameters reflected the F tolerant nature of these plants with respect to photosynthesis. This opens the possibility of potential use of these species for treatment of F contaminated soil and water.

  5. Mechanisms, timing and quantities of recharge to groundwater in semi-arid and tropical regions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Edmunds, W.M.

    2001-01-01

    Groundwater being exploited in many and and semi-arid regions at the present day was recharged during former humid episodes of the Pleistocene or Holocene and, in contrast, the amounts derived from modem recharge are small generally small and variable. Geochemical and isotopic techniques provide the most effective way to calculate modem recharge and to investigate recharge history, since physically- based water-balance methods are generally inapplicable in semiarid regions. Examples from Africa (Senegal, Niger, Nigeria, Sudan as well as Cyprus) show that direct recharge rates may vary from zero to around 40% of mean rainfall, dependent primarily on the soil depth and the lithology. Spatial variability presents a real problem in any recharge investigation but results from Senegal show that unsaturated zone profiles may be extrapolated using the chemistry of shallow groundwater. Unsaturated-zone studies show that there are limiting conditions to direct recharge through soil, but that present day replenishment of aquifers takes place via wadis and channels. In the Butana area of central Sudan the regional groundwater was also recharged during a mid-Holocene wet phase and is now in decline. The only current recharge sources, which can be recognised distinctly using stable isotopes, are Nile baseflow and ephemeral wadi floods. (author)

  6. Effects of Small-scale Vegetation-related Roughness on Overland Flow and Infiltration in Semi-arid Grassland and Shrublands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bedford, D.

    2012-12-01

    are moderate. Infiltration augmentation is greatest in microtopographic depressions and flow threads. These results show that some vegetation-landform settings are efficient at trapping and concentrating the primary limiting resource, and demonstrate the importance of micro-scale soil characteristics for the ecohydrologic function of semi-arid environments. Since other essential attributes for plant ecosystems, such as nutrients, likely co-vary with water availability, further research is needed to elucidate ecosystem dynamics that may lead to self-organized behavior and determine thresholds for ecosystem stability.

  7. Mapping Savanna Tree Species at Ecosystem Scales Using Support Vector Machine Classification and BRDF Correction on Airborne Hyperspectral and LiDAR Data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gregory P. Asner

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Mapping the spatial distribution of plant species in savannas provides insight into the roles of competition, fire, herbivory, soils and climate in maintaining the biodiversity of these ecosystems. This study focuses on the challenges facing large-scale species mapping using a fusion of Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR and hyperspectral imagery. Here we build upon previous work on airborne species detection by using a two-stage support vector machine (SVM classifier to first predict species from hyperspectral data at the pixel scale. Tree crowns are segmented from the lidar imagery such that crown-level information, such as maximum tree height, can then be combined with the pixel-level species probabilities to predict the species of each tree. An overall prediction accuracy of 76% was achieved for 15 species. We also show that bidirectional reflectance distribution (BRDF effects caused by anisotropic scattering properties of savanna vegetation can result in flight line artifacts evident in species probability maps, yet these can be largely mitigated by applying a semi-empirical BRDF model to the hyperspectral data. We find that confronting these three challenges—reflectance anisotropy, integration of pixel- and crown-level data, and crown delineation over large areas—enables species mapping at ecosystem scales for monitoring biodiversity and ecosystem function.

  8. Evident elevation of atmospheric monoterpenes due to degradation-induced species changes in a semi-arid grassland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Hongjun; Wang, Xinming; Zhang, Yanli; Mu, Yujing; Han, Xingguo

    2016-01-15

    Biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs) emitted from plants have substantial effects on atmospheric chemistry/physics and feedbacks on ecosystem function. The on-going climate change and anthropogenic disturbance have been confirmed to cause the evident degradation of grassland with shift of plant community, and hence BVOCs emissions were suspected to be altered due to the different BOVCs emission potentials of different species. In this study, we investigated BVOCs concentration above ground surface during growing season in a degraded semi-arid grassland (41°2' N-45°6' N, 113°5'-117°8') in Inner Mongolia. The observed monoterpenes' concentrations varied from 0.10 to 215.78 μg m(-3) (34.88 ± 9.73 μg m(-3) in average) across 41 sites. Compared to non-degraded grassland, concentrations of monoterpenes were about 180 times higher at the sites dominated by subshrub--Artemisia frigida, a preponderant species under drought stress and over-grazing. The biomass of A. frigida explained 51.39% of the variation of monoterpenes' concentrations. α-pinene, β-pinene and γ-terpinene dominated in the 10 determined monoterpenes, accounting for 37.72 ± 2.98%, 14.65 ± 2.55% and 10.50 ± 2.37% of the total monoterpenes concentration, respectively. Low isoprene concentrations (≤ 3.25 μg m(-3)) were found and sedge biomass contributed about 51.76% to their spatial variation. α-pinene and isoprene emissions at noon were as high as 515.53 ± 88.34 μg m(-2)h(-1) and 7606.19 ± 1073.94 μg m(-2) h(-1) in A. frigida- and sedge-dominated areas where their biomass were 236.90 g m(-2) and 72.37 g m(-2), respectively. Our results suggested that the expansion of A. frigida and sedge caused by over-grazing and climatic stresses may increase local ambient BVOCs concentration in grassland. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. Response of water vapour D-excess to land–atmosphere interactions in a semi-arid environment

    KAUST Repository

    Parkes, Stephen; McCabe, Matthew; Griffiths, Alan D.; Wang, Lixin; Chambers, Scott; Ershadi, Ali; Williams, Alastair G.; Strauss, Josiah; Element, Adrian

    2017-01-01

    The stable isotopic composition of water vapour provides information about moisture sources and processes difficult to obtain with traditional measurement techniques. Recently, it has been proposed that the D-excess of water vapour (d =δH-8× δO) can provide a diagnostic tracer of continental moisture recycling. However, D-excess exhibits a diurnal cycle that has been observed across a variety of ecosystems and may be influenced by a range of processes beyond regional-scale moisture recycling, including local evaporation (ET) fluxes. There is a lack of measurements of D-excess in evaporation (ET) fluxes, which has made it difficult to assess how ET fluxes modify the Dexcess in water vapour (d). With this in mind, we employed a chamber-based approach to directly measure D-excess in ET (d) fluxes. We show that ET fluxes imposed a negative forcing on the ambient vapour and could not explain the higher daytime d values. The low d observed here was sourced from a soil water pool that had undergone an extended drying period, leading to low D-excess in the soil moisture pool. A strong correlation between daytime d and locally measured relative humidity was consistent with an oceanic moisture source, suggesting that remote hydrological processes were the major contributor to daytime d variability. During the early evening, ET fluxes into a shallow nocturnal inversion layer caused a lowering of d values near the surface. In addition, transient mixing of vapour with a higher D-excess from above the nocturnal inversion modified these values, causing large variability during the night. These results indicate d can generally be expected to show large spatial and temporal variability and to depend on the soil moisture state. For long periods between rain events, common in semi-arid environments, ET would be expected to impose negative forcing on the surface d. Spatial and temporal variability of D-excess in ET fluxes therefore needs to be considered when using d to study

  10. Integrated assessment of policy interventions for promoting sustainable irrigation in semi-arid environments: a hydro-economic modeling approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blanco-Gutiérrez, Irene; Varela-Ortega, Consuelo; Purkey, David R

    2013-10-15

    Sustaining irrigated agriculture to meet food production needs while maintaining aquatic ecosystems is at the heart of many policy debates in various parts of the world, especially in arid and semi-arid areas. Researchers and practitioners are increasingly calling for integrated approaches, and policy-makers are progressively supporting the inclusion of ecological and social aspects in water management programs. This paper contributes to this policy debate by providing an integrated economic-hydrologic modeling framework that captures the socio-economic and environmental effects of various policy initiatives and climate variability. This modeling integration includes a risk-based economic optimization model and a hydrologic water management simulation model that have been specified for the Middle Guadiana basin, a vulnerable drought-prone agro-ecological area with highly regulated river systems in southwest Spain. Namely, two key water policy interventions were investigated: the implementation of minimum environmental flows (supported by the European Water Framework Directive, EU WFD), and a reduction in the legal amount of water delivered for irrigation (planned measure included in the new Guadiana River Basin Management Plan, GRBMP, still under discussion). Results indicate that current patterns of excessive water use for irrigation in the basin may put environmental flow demands at risk, jeopardizing the WFD's goal of restoring the 'good ecological status' of water bodies by 2015. Conflicts between environmental and agricultural water uses will be stressed during prolonged dry episodes, and particularly in summer low-flow periods, when there is an important increase of crop irrigation water requirements. Securing minimum stream flows would entail a substantial reduction in irrigation water use for rice cultivation, which might affect the profitability and economic viability of small rice-growing farms located upstream in the river. The new GRBMP could contribute

  11. Response of water vapour D-excess to land–atmosphere interactions in a semi-arid environment

    KAUST Repository

    Parkes, Stephen

    2017-01-27

    The stable isotopic composition of water vapour provides information about moisture sources and processes difficult to obtain with traditional measurement techniques. Recently, it has been proposed that the D-excess of water vapour (d =δH-8× δO) can provide a diagnostic tracer of continental moisture recycling. However, D-excess exhibits a diurnal cycle that has been observed across a variety of ecosystems and may be influenced by a range of processes beyond regional-scale moisture recycling, including local evaporation (ET) fluxes. There is a lack of measurements of D-excess in evaporation (ET) fluxes, which has made it difficult to assess how ET fluxes modify the Dexcess in water vapour (d). With this in mind, we employed a chamber-based approach to directly measure D-excess in ET (d) fluxes. We show that ET fluxes imposed a negative forcing on the ambient vapour and could not explain the higher daytime d values. The low d observed here was sourced from a soil water pool that had undergone an extended drying period, leading to low D-excess in the soil moisture pool. A strong correlation between daytime d and locally measured relative humidity was consistent with an oceanic moisture source, suggesting that remote hydrological processes were the major contributor to daytime d variability. During the early evening, ET fluxes into a shallow nocturnal inversion layer caused a lowering of d values near the surface. In addition, transient mixing of vapour with a higher D-excess from above the nocturnal inversion modified these values, causing large variability during the night. These results indicate d can generally be expected to show large spatial and temporal variability and to depend on the soil moisture state. For long periods between rain events, common in semi-arid environments, ET would be expected to impose negative forcing on the surface d. Spatial and temporal variability of D-excess in ET fluxes therefore needs to be considered when using d to study

  12. Photosynthetic responses to temperature across leaf-canopy-ecosystem scales: a 15-year study in a Californian oak-grass savanna.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Siyan; Osuna, Jessica L; Verfaillie, Joseph; Baldocchi, Dennis D

    2017-06-01

    Ecosystem CO 2 fluxes measured with eddy-covariance techniques provide a new opportunity to retest functional responses of photosynthesis to abiotic factors at the ecosystem level, but examining the effects of one factor (e.g., temperature) on photosynthesis remains a challenge as other factors may confound under circumstances of natural experiments. In this study, we developed a data mining framework to analyze a set of ecosystem CO 2 fluxes measured from three eddy-covariance towers, plus a suite of abiotic variables (e.g., temperature, solar radiation, air, and soil moisture) measured simultaneously, in a Californian oak-grass savanna from 2000 to 2015. Natural covariations of temperature and other factors caused remarkable confounding effects in two particular conditions: lower light intensity at lower temperatures and drier air and soil at higher temperatures. But such confounding effects may cancel out. At the ecosystem level, photosynthetic responses to temperature did follow a quadratic function on average. The optimum value of photosynthesis occurred within a narrow temperature range (i.e., optimum temperature, T opt ): 20.6 ± 0.6, 18.5 ± 0.7, 19.2 ± 0.5, and 19.0 ± 0.6 °C for the oak canopy, understory grassland, entire savanna, and open grassland, respectively. This paradigm confirms that photosynthesis response to ambient temperature changes is a functional relationship consistent across leaf-canopy-ecosystem scales. Nevertheless, T opt can shift with variations in light intensity, air dryness, or soil moisture. These findings will pave the way to a direct determination of thermal optima and limits of ecosystem photosynthesis, which can in turn provide a rich resource for baseline thresholds and dynamic response functions required for predicting global carbon balance and geographic shifts of vegetative communities in response to climate change.

  13. 419 Dynamique structurelle de la végétation en zone semi-aride ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Geek Store

    the impact of forest fires on the evolution of strata after a fire. ... répétition des feux de forêt sur la végétation en termes de dégradation générale ...... anthropogenic savannas: incorporating biotic and abiotic drivers into management schemes.

  14. Seedbed preparation influence on morphometric characteristics of perennial grasses of a semi-arid rangeland in Kenya

    OpenAIRE

    Opiyo, Francis EO; Ekaya, Wellington N; Nyariki, Dickson M; Mureithi, Stephen Mwangi

    2011-01-01

    Semi-arid rangelands in Kenya are an important source of forage for both domestic and wild animals. However, indigenous perennial grasses notably Cenchrus ciliaris (African foxtail grass), Eragrostis superba (Maasai love grass) and Enteropogon macrostachyus (Bush rye grass) are disappearing at an alarming rate. Efforts to re-introduce them through restoration programs have often yielded little success. This can partly be attributed to failure of topsoil to capture and store scarce water to me...

  15. Rainfed agriculture in a semi-arid tropical climate : aspects of land- and watermanagement for red soils in India

    OpenAIRE

    Huibers, F.P.

    1985-01-01

    Rainfed agriculture is defined as the production of field crops that completely depend on the local precipitation for their water supply. Although in the semi-arid tropics the mean annual precipitation might seem to be sufficient to grow (adapted) crops, its variability over the years and its erratic distribution over the season pose problems. During relatively dry periods, the crop might suffer from moisture stress, at other times excessive rainfall occurs, causing water logging an...

  16. Carbon dioxide emissions from semi-arid soils amended with biochar alone or combined with mineral and organic fertilizers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernández, José M; Nieto, M Aurora; López-de-Sá, Esther G; Gascó, Gabriel; Méndez, Ana; Plaza, César

    2014-06-01

    Semi-arid soils cover a significant area of Earth's land surface and typically contain large amounts of inorganic C. Determining the effects of biochar additions on CO2 emissions from semi-arid soils is therefore essential for evaluating the potential of biochar as a climate change mitigation strategy. Here, we measured the CO2 that evolved from semi-arid calcareous soils amended with biochar at rates of 0 and 20tha(-1) in a full factorial combination with three different fertilizers (mineral fertilizer, municipal solid waste compost, and sewage sludge) applied at four rates (equivalent to 0, 75, 150, and 225kg potentially available Nha(-1)) during 182 days of aerobic incubation. A double exponential model, which describes cumulative CO2 emissions from two active soil C compartments with different turnover rates (one relatively stable and the other more labile), was found to fit very well all the experimental datasets. In general, the organic fertilizers increased the size and decomposition rate of the stable and labile soil C pools. In contrast, biochar addition had no effects on any of the double exponential model parameters and did not interact with the effects ascribed to the type and rate of fertilizer. After 182 days of incubation, soil organic and microbial biomass C contents tended to increase with increasing the application rates of organic fertilizer, especially of compost, whereas increasing the rate of mineral fertilizer tended to suppress microbial biomass. Biochar was found to increase both organic and inorganic C contents in soil and not to interact with the effects of type and rate of fertilizer on C fractions. As a whole, our results suggest that the use of biochar as enhancer of semi-arid soils, either alone or combined with mineral and organic fertilizers, is unlikely to increase abiotic and biotic soil CO2 emissions. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Simulated Optimum Sowing Date for Forage Pearl Millet Cultivars in Multilocation Trials in Brazilian Semi-Arid Region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santos, Rafael D; Boote, Kenneth J; Sollenberger, Lynn E; Neves, Andre L A; Pereira, Luiz G R; Scherer, Carolina B; Gonçalves, Lucio C

    2017-01-01

    Forage production is primarily limited by weather conditions under dryland production systems in Brazilian semi-arid regions, therefore sowing at the appropriate time is critical. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the CSM-CERES-Pearl Millet model from the DSSAT software suite for its ability to simulate growth, development, and forage accumulation of pearl millet [ Pennisetum glaucum (L.) R.] at three Brazilian semi-arid locations, and to use the model to study the impact of different sowing dates on pearl millet performance for forage. Four pearl millet cultivars were grown during the 2011 rainy season in field experiments conducted at three Brazilian semi-arid locations, under rainfed conditions. The genetic coefficients of the four pearl millet cultivars were calibrated for the model, and the model performance was evaluated with experimental data. The model was run for 14 sowing dates using long-term historical weather data from three locations, to determine the optimum sowing window. Results showed that performance of the model was satisfactory as indicated by accurate simulation of crop phenology and forage accumulation against measured data. The optimum sowing window varied among locations depending on rainfall patterns, although showing the same trend for cultivars within the site. The best sowing windows were from 15 April to 15 May for the Bom Conselho location; 12 April to 02 May for Nossa Senhora da Gloria; and 17 April to 25 May for Sao Bento do Una. The model can be used as a tool to evaluate the effect of sowing date on forage pearl millet performance in Brazilian semi-arid conditions.

  18. Crop Upgrading Strategies and Modelling for Rainfed Cereals in a Semi-Arid Climate—A Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Festo Richard Silungwe

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Spatiotemporal rainfall variability and low soil fertility are the primary crop production challenges facing poor farmers in semi-arid environments. However, there are few solutions for addressing these challenges. The literature provides several crop upgrading strategies (UPS for improving crop yields, and biophysical models are used to simulate these strategies. However, the suitability of UPS is limited by systemization of their areas of application and the need to cope with the challenges faced by poor farmers. In this study, we reviewed 187 papers from peer-reviewed journals, conferences and reports that discuss UPS suitable for cereals and biophysical models used to assist in the selection of UPS in semi-arid areas. We found that four UPS were the most suitable, namely tied ridges, microdose fertilization, varying sowing dates, and field scattering. The DSSAT, APSIM and AquaCrop models adequately simulate these UPS. This work provides a systemization of crop UPS and models in semi-arid areas that can be applied by scientists and planners.

  19. Prolonged limitation of tree growth due to warmer spring in semi-arid mountain forests of Tianshan, northwest China

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wu Xiuchen; Liu Hongyan; Wang Yufu; Deng Minghua

    2013-01-01

    Based on radial tree growth measurements in nine plots of area 625 m 2 (369 trees in total) and climate data, we explored the possibly changing effects of climate on regional tree growth in the temperate continental semi-arid mountain forests in the Tianshan Mountains in northwest China during 1933–2005. Tree growth in our study region is generally limited by the soil water content of pre- and early growing season (February–July). Remarkably, moving correlation functions identified a clear temporal change in the relationship between tree growth and mean April temperature. Tree growth showed a significant (p < 0.05) and negative relationship to mean April temperature since approximately the beginning of the 1970s, which indicated that the semi-arid mountain forests are suffering a prolonged growth limitation in recent years accompanying spring warming. This prolonged limitation of tree growth was attributed to the effects of soil water limitation in early spring (March–April) caused by the rapid spring warming. Warming-induced prolonged drought stress contributes, to a large part, to the marked reduction of regional basal area increment (BAI) in recent years and a much slower growth rate in young trees. Our results highlight that the increasing water limitation induced by spring warming on tree growth most likely aggravated the marked reduction in tree growth. This work provides a better understanding of the effects of spring warming on tree growth in temperate continental semi-arid forests. (letter)

  20. Simulations for Making On-farm Decisions in Relation to ENSO in Semi-arid Areas, South Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tesfuhuney, W. A.; Crespo, O. O.; Walker, S. S.; Steyn, S. A.

    2017-12-01

    The study was employed to investigate and improve on-farm decision making on planting dates and fertilization by relating simulated yield and seasonal outlook information. The Agricultural Production Systems SIMulator model (APSIM) was used to explore ENSO/SOI effects for small-scale farmers to represent weather conditions and soil forms of semi-arid areas of Bothaville, Bethlehem and Bloemfontein regions in South Africa. The relationships of rainfall and SOI anomalies indicate a positive correlation, signifies ENSO/SOI as seasonal outlooks for study areas. Model evaluation results showed higher degree of bias (RMSEs/RMSE value of 0.88-0.98). The D-index of agreement in the range 0.61-0.71 indicate the ability of the APSIM-Maize model is an adequate tool in evaluating relative changes in maize yield in relation to various management practices and seasonal variations. During rainy, La Niño years (SOI > +5), highest simulated yields were found for Bethlehem in November with addition of 100 - 150 kg ha-1 N fertilization and up to 50 kg ha-1 for both Bothaville and Bloemfontein. With respect to various levels of fertilization, the dry El Niño years (SOI risk for dryland farming in semi-arid regions. Key word: Semi-arid; APSIM; SOI; El Niño / La Niña; On-farm Decisions

  1. Redfield Ratios in Inland Waters: Higher Biological Control of C:N:P Ratios in Tropical Semi-arid High Water Residence Time Lakes

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    Ng H. They

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available The canonical Redfield C:N:P ratio for algal biomass is often not achieved in inland waters due to higher C and N content and more variability when compared to the oceans. This has been attributed to much lower residence times and higher contributions of the watershed to the total organic matter pool of continental ecosystems. In this study we examined the effect of water residence times in low latitude lakes (in a gradient from humid to a semi-arid region on seston elemental ratios in different size fractions. We used lake water specific conductivity as a proxy for residence time in a region of Eastern Brazil where there is a strong precipitation gradient. The C:P ratios decreased in the seston and bacterial size-fractions and increased in the dissolved fraction with increasing water retention time, suggesting uptake of N and P from the dissolved pool. Bacterial abundance, production and respiration increased in response to increased residence time and intracellular nutrient availability in agreement with the growth rate hypothesis. Our results reinforce the role of microorganisms in shaping the chemical environment in aquatic systems particularly at long water residence times and highlights the importance of this factor in influencing ecological stoichiometry in all aquatic ecosystems.

  2. Assessment of the Current State of Agropastoral Landscapes in Semi-Arid Areas of the Republic of Kalmykia with Application of Gis-Technologies

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    Mushaeva Kermen Batnasunovna

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available The state of lands in arid areas of southern Russia is entirely dependent on the state of natural steppe, dry steppe and semi-desert ecosystems. The study of vegetation traditionally enjoys a commanding position in synecological studies, because plant communities form the framework of terrestrial ecosystems. In this paper we give a detailed geobothanical description of the test plots made as a result of field research in the semi-desert areas of Kalmykia. In addition, we obtained photo samples of soils that were subsequently processed, analyzed and entered into the database of soils and used as an identifier of rangeland degradation, located in the semi-arid zone of the country. The creation of this database will improve the quality of remote sensing in the region. In the course of computer processing of materials using GIS technology, the geoinformation analysis of land degradation in the studied territory was held, and the area of these lands according to the levels of degradation was calculated.

  3. The semi-Arid integrated model (SIM), a regional integrated model assessing water availability, vulnerability, of ecossytems and society in NE-Brazil

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Krol, Martinus S.; Jaeger, A.; Bronstert, A.; Krywkow, Jorg

    2001-01-01

    Northeastern Brazil, an example of vulnerable semi-arid regions on the earth, is characterised by water scarcity and vulnerability of natural resources, pronounced climatic variability and social stress situations. Integrated studies involving hydrology, ecology, meteorology, climatology, pedology,

  4. Large-scale hydrological modelling in the semi-arid north-east of Brazil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Güntner, Andreas

    2002-07-01

    Semi-arid areas are, due to their climatic setting, characterized by small water resources. An increasing water demand as a consequence of population growth and economic development as well as a decreasing water availability in the course of possible climate change may aggravate water scarcity in future, which often exists already for present-day conditions in these areas. Understanding the mechanisms and feedbacks of complex natural and human systems, together with the quantitative assessment of future changes in volume, timing and quality of water resources are a prerequisite for the development of sustainable measures of water management to enhance the adaptive capacity of these regions. For this task, dynamic integrated models, containing a hydrological model as one component, are indispensable tools. The main objective of this study is to develop a hydrological model for the quantification of water availability in view of environmental change over a large geographic domain of semi-arid environments. The study area is the Federal State of Ceará (150 000 km2) in the semi-arid north-east of Brazil. Mean annual precipitation in this area is 850 mm, falling in a rainy season with duration of about five months. Being mainly characterized by crystalline bedrock and shallow soils, surface water provides the largest part of the water supply. The area has recurrently been affected by droughts which caused serious economic losses and social impacts like migration from the rural regions. The hydrological model Wasa (Model of Water Availability in Semi-Arid Environments) developed in this study is a deterministic, spatially distributed model being composed of conceptual, process-based approaches. Water availability (river discharge, storage volumes in reservoirs, soil moisture) is determined with daily resolution. Sub-basins, grid cells or administrative units (municipalities) can be chosen as spatial target units. The administrative units enable the coupling of Wasa in

  5. Towards a physically-based multi-scale ecohydrological simulator for semi-arid regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caviedes-Voullième, Daniel; Josefik, Zoltan; Hinz, Christoph

    2017-04-01

    The use of numerical models as tools for describing and understanding complex ecohydrological systems has enabled to test hypothesis and propose fundamental, process-based explanations of the system system behaviour as a whole as well as its internal dynamics. Reaction-diffusion equations have been used to describe and generate organized pattern such as bands, spots, and labyrinths using simple feedback mechanisms and boundary conditions. Alternatively, pattern-matching cellular automaton models have been used to generate vegetation self-organization in arid and semi-arid regions also using simple description of surface hydrological processes. A key question is: How much physical realism is needed in order to adequately capture the pattern formation processes in semi-arid regions while reliably representing the water balance dynamics at the relevant time scales? In fact, redistribution of water by surface runoff at the hillslope scale occurs at temporal resolution of minutes while the vegetation development requires much lower temporal resolution and longer times spans. This generates a fundamental spatio-temporal multi-scale problem to be solved, for which high resolution rainfall and surface topography are required. Accordingly, the objective of this contribution is to provide proof-of-concept that governing processes can be described numerically at those multiple scales. The requirements for a simulating ecohydrological processes and pattern formation with increased physical realism are, amongst others: i. high resolution rainfall that adequately captures the triggers of growth as vegetation dynamics of arid regions respond as pulsed systems. ii. complex, natural topography in order to accurately model drainage patterns, as surface water redistribution is highly sensitive to topographic features. iii. microtopography and hydraulic roughness, as small scale variations do impact on large scale hillslope behaviour iv. moisture dependent infiltration as temporal

  6. Theoretical simulation of small scale psychometric solar water desalination system in semi-arid region

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shatat, Mahmoud; Omer, Siddig; Gillott, Mark; Riffat, Saffa

    2013-01-01

    Many countries around the world suffer from water scarcity. This is especially true in remote and semi-arid regions in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) where per capita water supplies decline as populations increase. This paper presents the results of a theoretical simulation of an affordable small scale solar water desalination plant using the psychometric humidification and dehumidification process coupled with an evacuated tube solar collector with an area of about 2 m 2 . A mathematical model was developed to describe the system's operation. Then a computer program using Simulink Matlab software was developed to provide the governing equations for the theoretical calculations of the humidification and dehumidification processes. The experimental and theoretical values for the total daily distillate output were found to be closely correlated. After the experimental calibration of the mathematical model, a model simulating solar radiation under the climatic conditions in the Middle East region proved that the performance of the system could be improved to produce a considerably higher amount of fresh water, namely up to 17.5 kg/m 2 day. This work suggests that utilizing the concept of humidification and dehumidification, a compact water desalination unit coupled with solar collectors would significantly increase the potable water supply in remote area. It could be a unique solution of water shortages in such areas. -- Highlights: • An affordable small scale desalination system is proposed. • A mathematical model of the desalination system is developed and programmed using Matlab Simulink. • The model describes the psychometric process based on humidification and dehumidification. • The model is used in optimal selection of elements and operating conditions for solar desalination system. • The use of solar water desalination contributes significantly to reducing global warming

  7. ARBUSCULAR MYCORRHIZAL FUNGI IN SUCCESSIONAL STAGES OF CAATINGA IN THE SEMI-ARID REGION OF BRAZIL

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carla da Silva Sousa

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available http://dx.doi.org/10.5902/1980509813331Caatinga is an exclusively Brazilian biome with areas in accentuated process of desertification. Arbuscularmycorrhizal fungi (AMF act in plant succession by favoring the establishment of plant species typical ofsuccessional stages and by accelerating recovery leading to a climax stage. The objective of the present workwas to evaluate the occurrence and diversity of AMF in successional stages of caatinga in the semi-aridregion of Paraíba State. Experimental plots (30 x 60 m were delimitated in 2007 in areas corresponding todifferent caatinga successional stages: early caatinga succession (natural revegetation during the previous15 years; intermediate (natural revegetation for about 35 years; late (mature caatinga with more than50 years without major disturbances; and also in pasture areas fenced and protected to represent the initialphase of succession. Plots of all four stages were implemented with three replicates. Soil and root sampleswere collected in the experimental plots, from the 0-15 cm soil layer in the dry and in the rainy seasons.All areas presented low infectivity potential suggesting that the introduction of mycorrhizal seedlings mayaccelerate the process of revegetation of degraded soils in this region. Except for the areas of late stage, theglomalin reservoirs increased along with the advancement of the succession process. Areas in the late stageof succession presented greater richness of AMF species, indicating that the establishment of the vegetationalso exerts a significant effect in the fungal community. Glomus and Acaulospora species were predominantin both seasons, possibly because they are well adapted to semi-arid conditions

  8. Changes in zinc speciation with mine tailings acidification in a semi-arid weathering environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayes, Sarah M.; O’Day, Peggy A.; Webb, Sam M.; Maier, Raina M.; Chorover, Jon

    2011-01-01

    High concentrations of residual metal contaminants in mine tailings can be transported easily by wind and water, particularly when tailings remain unvegetated for decades following mining cessation, as is the case in semi-arid landscapes. Understanding the speciation and mobility of contaminant metal(loid)s, particularly in surficial tailings, is essential to controlling their phytotoxicities and to revegetating impacted sites. In prior work, we showed that surficial tailings samples from the Klondyke State Superfund Site (AZ, USA), ranging in pH from 5.4 to 2.6, represent a weathering series, with acidification resulting from sulfide mineral oxidation, long-term Fe hydrolysis, and a concurrent decrease in total (6,000 to 450 mg kg−1) and plant-available (590 to 75 mg kg−1) Zn due to leaching losses and changes in Zn speciation. Here, we used bulk and micro-focused Zn K-edge X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) data and a six-step sequential extraction procedure to determine tailings solid phase Zn speciation. Bulk sample spectra were fit by linear combination using three references: Zn-rich phyllosilicate (Zn0.8talc), Zn sorbed to ferrihydrite (ZnadsFeOx), and zinc sulfate (ZnSO4·7H2O). Analyses indicate that Zn sorbed in tetrahedral coordination to poorly-crystalline Fe and Mn (oxyhydr)oxides decreases with acidification in the weathering sequence, whereas octahedral zinc in sulfate minerals and crystalline Fe oxides undergoes a relative accumulation. Micro-scale analyses identified hetaerolite (ZnMn2O4), hemimorphite (Zn4Si2O7(OH)2·H2O) and sphalerite (ZnS) as minor phases. Bulk and micro-focused spectroscopy complement the chemical extraction results and highlight the importance of using a multi-method approach to interrogate complex tailings systems. PMID:21761897

  9. Estimating Daily Reference Evapotranspiration in a Semi-Arid Region Using Remote Sensing Data

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    Peshawa M. Najmaddin

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Estimating daily evapotranspiration is challenging when ground observation data are not available or scarce. Remote sensing can be used to estimate the meteorological data necessary for calculating reference evapotranspiration ETₒ. Here, we assessed the accuracy of daily ETₒ estimates derived from remote sensing (ETₒ-RS compared with those derived from four ground-based stations (ETₒ-G in Kurdistan (Iraq over the period 2010–2014. Near surface air temperature, relative humidity and cloud cover fraction were derived from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder/Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit (AIRS/AMSU, and wind speed at 10 m height from MERRA (Modern-Era Retrospective Analysis for Research and Application. Four methods were used to estimate ETₒ: Hargreaves–Samani (HS, Jensen–Haise (JH, McGuinness–Bordne (MB and the FAO Penman Monteith equation (PM. ETₒ-G (PM was adopted as the main benchmark. HS underestimated ETₒ by 2%–3% (R2 = 0.86 to 0.90; RMSE = 0.95 to 1.2 mm day−1 at different stations. JH and MB overestimated ETₒ by 8% to 40% (R2= 0.85 to 0.92; RMSE from 1.18 to 2.18 mm day−1. The annual average values of ETₒ estimated using RS data and ground-based data were similar to one another reflecting low bias in daily estimates. They ranged between 1153 and 1893 mm year−1 for ETₒ-G and between 1176 and 1859 mm year−1 for ETₒ-RS for the different stations. Our results suggest that ETₒ-RS (HS can yield accurate and unbiased ETₒ estimates for semi-arid regions which can be usefully employed in water resources management.

  10. Soil Compressibility under Irrigated Perennial and Annual Crops in a Semi-Arid Environment

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    Rafaela Watanabe

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT In irrigated soils, a continuous state of high moisture reduces resistance of the soil to applied external forces, favouring compaction. The aim of this study was to evaluate the susceptibility to compaction of developed calcareous soils in irrigated annual and perennial cropping systems of the Apodi Plateau, located in the Brazilian semi-arid region. Four areas of irrigated crops were evaluated: banana after two (B2 and 15 (B15 years cultivation, pasture (P, and a corn and beans succession (MB, as well as the reference areas for soil quality and corresponding natural vegetation (NVB2, NVB15, NVP and NVMB. Samples were collected at layers of 0.00-0.10 and 0.20-0.30 m; and for B2 and B15, samples were collected in the row and inter-row spaces. The following properties were determined: degree of compactness (DC, preconsolidation pressure (σp, compression index (Cc, maximum density (ρmax, critical water content (WCcrit, total organic carbon (TOC and carbon of light organic matter (Clom. Mean values were compared by the t-test at 5, 10, 15 and 20 % probability. An increase was seen in DC at a layer of 0.20-0.30 m in MB (p<0.15, showing the deleterious effects of preparing the soil by ploughing and chiselling, together with the cumulative traffic of heavy machinery. The TOC had a greater influence on ρmax than the stocks of Clom. Irrigation caused a reduction in Cc, and there was no effect on σp at field capacity. The planting rows showed different behaviour for Cc, ρmax, and WCcrit,, and in general the physical properties displayed better conditions than the inter-row spaces. Values for σp and Cc showed that agricultural soils display greater load-bearing capacity and are less susceptible to compaction in relation to soils under natural vegetation.

  11. Cyanobacterial occurrence and detection of microcystins and saxitoxins in reservoirs of the Brazilian semi-arid

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jessica Roberts Fonseca

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Aim:The rapid spread of cyanobacteria in water sources and reservoirs has caused serious environmental damage and public health problems, and consists in a problem that challenges the institutions responsible for providing water to the population. In this study, the quantification of microcystin, saxitoxins and cyanobacteria levels was performed over 3 years in the semi-arid reservoirs of Rio Grande do Norte (Brazil. In addition, we analyzed the seasonal distribution of cyanotoxins and the percentage of cyanobacteria and cyanotoxins which were above the limit established by Brazilian law.MethodsThe study was conducted between 2009 and 2011 in four dams with six sites: Armando Ribeiro Gonçalves (ARG in Itajá, San Rafael (SR and Jucurutu; Passagem das Traíras (PT; Itans and Gargalheiras (GARG. Cyanobacteria presence were quantified and identified and the presence of microcystins (MCYs and saxitoxins (STXs was investigated by ELISA.ResultsThe densities of cyanobacteria were found to be above the permitted in 76% of cases. The ELISA results showed that of the 128 samples analyzed, 27% were above the maximum allowed by the Brazilian Ministry of Health Order 2914/2011. A seasonal pattern for the presence of MCYs was found (0.00227 to 24.1954 µg.L–1, with the highest values in the rainy season. There was no clear seasonal pattern for STXs (0.003 to 0.766 µg.L–1.ConclusionsThis study showed the importance of establishing a water quality monitoring for human consumption and its potability standards since the concentration of MCYs in some samples was above the maximum limit allowed by Brazilian law, thus posing a risk to public health since the conventional water treatment is not able to eliminate these potent hepatotoxins.

  12. How to Improve Water Usage Efficiency? Characterization of Family Farms in A Semi-Arid Area

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    Laura Piedra-Muñoz

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Water scarcity in Spain is partly due to poor management of this resource in the agricultural sector. The main aim of this study is to present the major factors related to water usage efficiency in farming. It focuses on the Almería coast, southeast Spain, which is one of the most arid areas of the country, and in particular, on family farms as the main direct managers of water use in this zone. Many of these farms are among the most water efficient in Spanish agriculture but this efficiency is not generalized throughout the sector. This work conducts a comprehensive assessment of water performance in this area, using on-farm water-use, structural, socio-economic, and environmental information. Two statistical techniques are used: descriptive analysis and cluster analysis. Thus, two groups are identified: farms that are less and farms that are more efficient regarding water usage. By analyzing both the common characteristics within each group and the differences between the groups with a one-way ANOVA analysis, several conclusions can be reached. The main differences between the two clusters center on the extent to which innovation and new technologies are used in irrigation. The most water efficient farms are characterized by more educated farmers, a greater degree of innovation, new irrigation technology, and an awareness of water issues and environmental sustainability. The findings of this study can be extended to farms in similar arid and semi-arid areas and contribute to fostering appropriate policies to improve the efficiency of water usage in the agricultural sector.

  13. Influence of agricultural management on chemical quality of a clay soil of semi-arid Morocco

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ibno Namr, Khalid; Mrabet, Rachid

    2004-06-01

    Morocco's semi-arid lands are characterized by unique challenges. The most important obstacles to the development of durable agriculture are (1) limited and unpredictable supply of soil moisture and (2) low soil quality. Intensive use of soil throughout history has led to depletion in soil quality, leading in return to reduced yields because of the consequent reduced organic matter. Recognizing the need to recover soil quality and production decline, INRA scientists began, in the early 1980s, research on the effects of crop rotations, tillage and residue management on the productivity and quality of cropped soils. The present study concerns the short-term effect of rotation, tillage and residue management on selected quality indices of a calcixeroll (organic matter, nitrogen, particulate organic carbon (Cpom), particulate organic nitrogen (Npom) and pH). Hence, three rotations (wheat-wheat, WW; fallow-wheat, FW; and fallow-wheat-barley, FWB), two tillage systems (conventional offset disking, CT and no-tillage, NT), and three levels of residue in the NT system (NT 0 = no-residue cover, NT 50 = half surface residue cover, NT 100 = full surface residue cover) were selected. Three surface horizons were sampled (0-2.5, 2.5-7 and 7-20 cm). The study results showed an improvement of measured soil chemical properties under NT compared to CT, at the surface layer. No-tillage system helped sequestration of carbon and nitrogen, build-up of particulate organic carbon and nitrogen and sensible reduction of pH only at the surface layer. Continuous wheat permitted a slight improvement of soil quality, mainly at the 0-2.5 cm depth. Effects of rotation, tillage and residue level were reduced with depth of measurements.

  14. The role of upland wetlands in modulating snowmelt runoff in the semi-arid Andes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hevia, Andres; Sproles, Eric; Soulsby, Chris; Tetzlaff, Doerthe

    2016-04-01

    The wetlands, or bofedales, of semi-arid northern central Chile (29°-32°S) provide a critical store of water that modulate spring snowmelt runoff. Water released from bofedales helps sustain flows throughout the dry portions of the year, providing fresh water to downstream residents and a robust tourist, agricultural, and mining economy. In the Río Claro watershed (30°S, 1515 km2, 800m to 5500 m a.s.l.) a series fourteen bofedales have formed at natural choke points in the valley bottoms of the headwater reaches. The highly erosive dynamic of this watershed provides ample sediment, and some of these bofedales are up to 30 m deep. Annual precipitation in the region is limited to 4-6 events annually that fall primarily as snow at elevations above 3500 m. The subsurface storage of the headwaters is limited by the steep terrain of the headwater catchments that are devoid of soils and primarily underlain by granite bedrock. Downstream, irrigated area has increased by 200% between 1985 and 2005, driven by the cultivation of table grapes for export. For over 70 years local water managers have flooded the bodfedales during spring runoff to augment late season flow when irrigation demand peaks. While this low-tech strategy has worked in the past, a recent 8-year drought has raised concerns over long-term water security. We apply geophysical and geographic measurements, water quality, and stable isotopic tracers to calculate the volume of water storage and residence times in the bofedales of Río Claro. This information will be used to evaluate the reliability of the bofedale system as compared to a proposed reservoir in the headwaters of the Río Claro. Additionally, estimating the storage and residence times of the will help reduce uncertainty for modeling efforts currently underway in Río Claro.

  15. Chemical-Structural Changes of Organic Matter in a Semi-Arid Soil After Organic Amendment

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    C.NICOL(A)S; G.MASCIANDARO; T.HERN(A)NDEZ; C.GARCIA

    2012-01-01

    A 9-month incubation experiment using composted and non-composted amendments derived from vine pruning waste and sewage sludge was carried out to study the effects of the nature and stability of organic amendments on the structural composition of organic matter (OM) in a semi-arid soil. The changes of soil OM,both in the whole soil and in the extractable carbon with pyrophosphate,were evaluated by pyrolysis-gas chromatography and chemical analyses.By the end of the experiment,the soils amended with pruning waste exhibited less organic carbon loss than those receiving sewage sludge.The non-composted residues increased the aliphatic-pyrolytic products of the OM,both in the whole soil and also in the pyrophosphate extract,with the products derived from peptides and proteins being significantly higher.After 9 months,in the soils amended with pruning waste the relative abundance of phenolic-pyrolytic products derived from phenolic compounds,lignin and proteins in the whole soil tended to increase more than those in the soils amended with sewage sludge.However,the extractable OM with pyrophosphate in the soils amended with composted residues tended to have higher contents of these phenolic-pyrolytic products than that in non-composted ones.Thus,despite the stability of pruning waste,the composting of this material promoted the incorporation of phenolic compounds to the soil OM.The pyrolytic indices (furfural/pyrrole and aliphatic/aromatic ratios) showed the diminution of aliphatic compounds and the increase of aromatic compounds,indicating the stabilization of the OM in the amended soils after 9 months.In conclusion,the changes of soil OM depend on the nature and stability of the organic amendments,with composted vine pruning waste favouring humification.

  16. Hydrological response in catchments whit debris covered glaciers in the semi-arid Andes, Chile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caro, A.; McPhee, J.; MacDonell, S.; Pellicciotti, F.; Ayala, A.

    2016-12-01

    Glaciers in the semi-arid Andes Cordillera in Chile have shrank rapidly during the 20th century. Negative mass balance contributes to increase the surface area of debris-covered glaciers. Recent research in Chile suggests that contributions from glaciers to summer season river flow in dry years is very important, however hydrological processes determining the glacier contribution are still poorly understood in the region. This work seeks to determine appropriate parameters for the simulation of melt volume in two watersheds dominated by debris-covered glaciers, in order to understand its variability in time and space, in the area with the largest population in Chile. The hydrological simulation is performed for the Tapado (30°S) and Pirámide (33ºS) glaciers, which can be defined as cold and temperate respectively. To simulate the hydrological behaviour we adopt the physically-based TOPographic Kinematic wave APproximation model (TOPKAPI-ETH). The hydrometeorological records necessary model runs have been collected through fieldwork from 2013 to 2015. Regarding the calibration of the model parameters melting ETI, its observed that the value for TF in Pirámide is a third of the value for Tapado glacier, while SRF is half in Tapado regarding to Pirámide. The runoff in the glaciers, the constant snow and ice storage are higher in Tapado regarding Pirámide. Results show a contribution of glacial outflow to runoff during 2015 of 55% in Tapado and 77% in Pirámide, with maximum contributions between January and March in Tapado and Pirámide between November and March, presenting the relevance of the permanence of snow cover during spring and shelter that provides debris-covered in reducing the melting glacier. The results have allowed to know the relevance of the glacier contribution to mountain streams, allowing to know the calibration parameters most relevant in the hydrology balance of glacier basins in the Andes.

  17. Interpretation of environmental isotopic groundwater data. Arid and semi-arid zones

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Geyh, M.A.

    1980-01-01

    Various hydrodynamic aspects are discussed in order to show their implication for the hydrogeological interpretation of environmental isotope and hydrochemical groundwater data. Special attention is drawn to radiocarbon and tritium studies carried out in arid and semi-arid zones. An exponential model has been utilized to determine the mean residence time of the long-term water from springs in karst and crystalline regions. Hydrogeological parameters such as the porosity can be checked by this result. In addition, the exponential model offers the possibility of determining the initial 14 C content of spring water, which is sensitively dependent on the soil of the recharge area. A base-flow model has been introduced to interpret the 14 C and 3 H data of groundwater samples from older karst regions. Differences between pumped and drawn samples exist with respect to the groundwater budget. Owing to pumping, the old base flow is accelerated and becomes enriched in pumped groundwater in comparison to the short-term water. Radiocarbon ages of groundwater in alluvium may be dubious because of isotope exchange with the CO 2 in the root zone along the river bank. Under confined conditions 14 C groundwater ages are diminished if the hydraulic head of the confined aquifer is lower than that of the shallow one. This is due to the radiocarbon downwards transport by convection of shallow groundwater. The same effect occurs, though much faster, if the groundwater table is depleted by groundwater withdrawal. The decrease of the radiocarbon groundwater ages in time can be used to determine the hydraulic transmissibility coefficient of the aquitarde. According to the practical and theoretic results obtained the hydrodynamic aspects require at least the same attention for the interpretation of environmental isotope and hydrochemical data of groundwater as do hydrochemical and isotope fractionation processes. (author)

  18. Kinetically limited weathering at low denudation rates in semi-arid climates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vanacker, V.; Schoonejans, J.; Opfergelt, S.; Ameijeiras-Marino, Y.; Christl, M.

    2016-12-01

    On Earth, the Critical Zone supports terrestrial life, being the near-surface environment where interactions between the atmosphere, lithosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere take place Quantitative understanding of the interaction between mechanical rock breakdown, chemical weathering, and physical erosion is essential for unraveling Earth's biogeochemical cycles. In this study, we explore the role of soil water balance on regulating soil chemical weathering under water deficit regimes. Weathering rates and intensities were evaluated for nine soil profiles located on convex ridge crests of three mountain ranges in the Spanish Betic Cordillera. We present and compare quantitative information on soil weathering, chemical depletion and total denudation that were derived based on geochemical mass balance, 10Be cosmogenic nuclides and U-series disequilibria. Soil production rates determined based on U-series isotopes (238U, 234U, 230Th and 226Ra) are of the same order of magnitude as 10Be-derived denudation rates, suggesting steady state soil thickness, in two out of three sampling sites. The chemical weathering intensities are relatively low (˜5 to 30% of the total denudation of the soil) and negatively correlated with the magnitude of the water deficit in soils. Soil weathering extents increase (nonlinearly) with soil thickness and decrease with increasing surface denudation rates, consistent with kinetically limited or controlled weathering. Our study suggests that soil residence time and water availability limit weathering processes in semi-arid climates, which has not been validated previously with field data. An important implication of this finding is that climatic regimes may strongly regulate soil weathering by modulating soil solute fluxes.

  19. Calorific Value and Chemical Composition of Five Semi-Arid Mexican Tree Species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maginot Ngangyo-Heya

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available The current global energy crisis has generated growing interest in looking for alternatives to traditional fossil fuels, presenting lignocellulosic materials as a promising resource for sustainable energy production. In this paper, the calorific values and chemical composition of the trunks, branches, twigs and leaves of five timber species of the semi-arid land of Mexico (Helietta parvifolia (Gray Benth., Ebenopsis ebano (Berl. Barneby, Acacia berlandieri (Benth., Havardia pallens (Benth. Britton & Rose and Acacia wrightii (Benth. were determined according to international standards. The results highlighted the calorific value ranges of 17.56 to 18.61 MJ kg−1 in trunks, 17.15 to 18.45 MJ kg−1 in branches, 17.29 to 17.92 MJ kg−1 in twigs, and 17.35to 19.36 MJ kg−1 in leaves. The pH presented an acidic trend (3.95–5.64. The content of mineral elements varied in trunks (1.09%–2.29%, branches (0.86%–2.75%, twigs (4.26%–6.76% and leaves (5.77%–11.79%, showing the higher proportion in Ca (57.03%–95.53%, followed by K (0.95%–19.21% and Mg (0.88%–13.47%. The highest amount of extractives was obtained in the methanolic solvent (3.96%–17.03%. The lignin recorded values of 28.78%–35.84% for trunks, 17.14%–31.39% for branches and 20.61%–29.92% for twigs. Lignin showed a moderately strong correlation (r = 0.66 with calorific value, but the best mathematical model was registered with the calorific value depending on the pH and lignin (R2 = 58.86%.

  20. Floristic similarity and dispersal syndromes in a rocky outcrop in semi-arid Northeastern Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costa, Elainne Cristina Silva; Lopes, Sérgio de Faria; Melo, José Iranildo Miranda de

    2015-09-01

    Floristic studies provide valuable information on species richness in a region, and are particularly important if these areas belong to less studied environments, such as rocky outcrops, that may increase our knowledge. An important aspect for species colonization includes the mechanisms of diaspores dispersal in each community; these are essential to understand its structure, dynamics, and the regeneration process, and constitute an important tool for conservation. We developed a floristic survey on a granite-gneiss outcrop with the objective to increase the knowledge on plant diversity, through a floristic similarity analysis and detection of dispersal syndromes of sampled species, in a semi-arid region of Brazil. The fieldwork included collection and observation of the botanical material in loco during a period of 12 months. A total of 161 species belonging to 127 genera and 50 families of angiosperms were recorded. Fabaceae, Asteraceae and Convolvulaceae were the most representative families in number of species. Allophylus quercifolius (Mart.) Radlk. (Capparaceae) and Lafoensia pacari A. St.-Hil. (Lythraceae) represented new records for the State of Paraiba. The autochoric syndrome was the most representative, with 51.5 % of the recorded species; the anemochory was the second most representative syndrome with 26.7 % of the species; and finally the zoochory, representing 22.3 % of the species. The floristic similarity dendrogram showed the formation of three well-defined groups, whose area with the highest value (J = 33.2) is located in a Caatinga region called Cariri Paraibano, while the lowest value observed (J = 5.2), occurred in a settled area in two geomorphological units, a crystalline complex and a plateau region. These results may be due to the varying topographic conditions and edaphic heterogeneity arising from the specific geological formation of the region. These results yet demonstrate that, in rocky outcrops, abiotic syndromes represent an

  1. Evaluating management-induced soil salinization in golf courses in semi-arid landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, J.; Udeigwe, T. K.; Weindorf, D. C.; Kandakji, T.; Gautam, P.; Mahmoud, M. A.

    2015-04-01

    Site-specific information on land management practices are often desired to make better assessments of their environmental impacts. A study was conducted in Lubbock, Texas, in the Southern High Plains of the United States, an area characterized by semi-arid climatic conditions, to (1) examine the potential management-induced alterations in soil salinity indicators in golf course facilities and (2) develop predictive relationships for a more rapid soil salinity examination within these urban landscape soils using findings from a portable X-ray fluorescence (PXRF) spectrometer. Soil samples were collected from managed (well irrigated) and non-managed (non-irrigated) areas of seven golf course facilities at 0-10, 10-20, and 20-30 cm depths and analyzed for a suite of chemical properties. Among the extractable cations, sodium (Na) was significantly (p golf facilities. Soil electrical conductivity (EC), exchangeable sodium percentage (ESP), and sodium adsorption ratio (SAR), parameters often used in characterizing soil salinity and sodicity, were for the most part significantly (p < 0.05) higher in the managed areas. Water quality reports collected over a 22-year period (1991-2013, all years not available) indicated a gradual increase in pH, EC, SAR, total alkalinity, and extractable ions, thus supporting the former findings. Findings from the PXRF suggested possible differences in chemical species and sources that contribute to salinity between the managed and non-managed zones. PXRF-quantified Cl and S, and to a lesser extent Ca, individually and collectively explained 23-85% of the variability associated with soil salinity at these facilities.

  2. The hydrochemistry of a semi-arid pan basin case study: Sua Pan, Makgadikgadi, Botswana

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Eckardt, Frank D.; Bryant, Robert G.; McCulloch, Graham; Spiro, Baruch; Wood, Warren W.

    2008-01-01

    This study presents results on the fluid and salt chemistry for the Makgadikgadi, a substantial continental basin in the semi-arid Kalahari. The aims of the study are to improve understanding of the hydrology of such a system and to identify the sources of the solutes and the controls on their cycling within pans. Sampling took place against the backdrop of unusually severe flooding as well as significant anthropogenic extraction of subsurface brines. This paper examines in particular the relationship between the chemistry of soil leachates, fresh stream water, salty lake water, surface salts and subsurface brines at Sua Pan, Botswana with the aim of improving the understanding of the system's hydrology. Occasionally during the short wet season (December-March) surface water enters the saline environment and precipitates mostly calcite and halite, as well as dolomite and traces of other salts associated with the desiccation of the lake. The hypersaline subsurface brine (up to TDS 190,000 mg/L) is homogenous with minor variations due to pumping by BotAsh mine (Botswana Ash (Pty) Ltd.), which extracts 2400 m 3 of brine/h from a depth of 38 m. Notable is the decrease in TDS as the pumping rate increases which may be indicative of subsurface recharge by less saline water. Isotope chemistry for Sr ( 87 Sr/ 86 Sr average 0.722087) and S (δ 34 S average 34.35) suggests subsurface brines have been subject to a lithological contribution of undetermined origin. Recharge of the subsurface brine from surface water including the Nata River appears to be negligible

  3. Climate Change Sensitivity of Multi-Species Afforestation in Semi-Arid Benin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Florent Noulèkoun

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available The early growth stage is critical in the response of trees to climate change and variability. It is not clear, however, what climate metrics are best to define the early-growth sensitivity in assessing adaptation strategies of young forests to climate change. Using a combination of field experiments and modelling, we assessed the climate sensitivity of two promising afforestation species, Jatropha curcas L. and Moringa oleifera Lam., by analyzing their predicted climate–growth relationships in the initial two years after planting on degraded cropland in the semi-arid zone of Benin. The process-based WaNuLCAS model (version 4.3, World Agroforestry Centre, Bogor, Indonesia was used to simulate aboveground biomass growth for each year in the climate record (1981–2016, either as the first or as the second year of tree growth. Linear mixed models related the annual biomass growth to climate indicators, and climate sensitivity indices quantified climate–growth relationships. In the first year, the length of dry spells had the strongest effect on tree growth. In the following year, the annual water deficit and length of dry season became the strongest predictors. Simulated rooting depths greater than those observed in the experiments enhanced biomass growth under extreme dry conditions and reduced sapling sensitivity to drought. Projected increases in aridity implied significant growth reduction, but a multi-species approach to afforestation using species that are able to develop deep-penetrating roots should increase the resilience of young forests to climate change. The results illustrate that process-based modelling, combined with field experiments, can be effective in assessing the climate–growth relationships of tree species.

  4. Evaluating pasture and soil allowance of manganese for Kajli rams grazing in semi-arid environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khan, Zafar Iqbal; Ahmad, Kafeel; Ashraf, Muhammad; Naqvi, Syed Ali Hassan; Seidavi, Alireza; Akram, Nudrat Aisha; Laudadio, Vito; Tufarelli, Vincenzo

    2015-03-01

    The current research on the manganese (Mn) transfer from soil to plant as well as to grazing Kajli rams in the form of sampling periods was carried out under semi-arid environmental conditions. Forage, soil and blood plasma samples were collected during 4 months of the year after a 1-month interval, and Mn concentrations were assessed after wet digestion using an atomic absorption spectrophotometer. Results showed that Mn concentration in soil ranged from 48.28 to 59.44 mg/kg, with incoherent augment and decline across sampling periods, and effect of sampling period on soil Mn was also found to be significant (P soil appeared higher than the critical value and sufficient for forage crop requirement. The Mn concentration in forage ranged between 24.8 and 37.2 mg/kg, resulting deficient based on the requirement allowance of Mn for livestock grazing animals, therein with almost unchanged forage Mn concentration. The Mn values in blood plasma of rams varied from 0.066 to 0.089 mg/l, with a consistent increase based on sampling period, and the effect of sampling periods on plasma Mn was found to be highly significant (P soil and plant species amassing capability on the transport of Mn in the soil-plant-animal system. Results indicated a much higher accumulation rate at the sampling characterized by vegetation dominated by legumes in comparison to grasses, crop residues and mixed pasture and a pronounced seasonal supply of Mn at the four sampling period of grazing land of diverse botanical composition.

  5. Co-evolution of Vegetation, Sediment Transport and Infiltration on semi-arid hillslopes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harman, C. J.; Troch, P. A.; Lohse, K. A.; Sivapalan, M.

    2011-12-01

    Soils in semi-arid landscapes can vary over very small distances, with a great deal of variation associated with 'resource islands' created and maintained by woody vegetation. The distinct physical and hydraulic properties that arise in these islands can lead to spatial patterns of infiltration that have been implicated in the maintenance of the vegetation populating the island. Less well understood are the roles that the small-scale variability in soils plays in determining the transport of sediments, water and sediment-bound carbon and nitrogen across hillslopes. Here we explore these relationships using a coupled field and modeling approach. Detailed field data from hillslopes underlain by both granite and schist parent materials in the Santa Catalina mountains (part of the JSC Critical Zone Observatory) suggest that soils under individual velvet mesquite (latin name) contain higher concentration of soil organic matter and have higher hydraulic conductivity and water holding capacity. Greater infiltration and increased roughness under the canopy appears to lead to the formation of mounds that alter overland flow lines around the area under the canopy, particularly in the finer schist soils. This diversion leads to a complex distribution of shear stresses across the hillslope, creating systematic patterns in the transport of carbon and nitrogen rich soils under the canopies. The relationship between the small scale mechanism and the emergent pattern dynamics in the temporal variability of materials delivered to the stream from the hillslope are also examined, and the implications of these results for the modeling of water, sediment and nutrient fluxes at hillslope scales will be discussed.

  6. Energy for development in semi-arid areas of northeastern Brazil

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pereira, A F [Getulio Vargas Foundation, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Warkov, S

    1979-09-01

    Work on the prospects for alternative energy systems, especially solar and biomass, and the interrelationship of energy and rural development in the semi-arid areas of North-East Brazil is reported. The approach is interdisciplinary and raises questions about some economic and social costs and benefits that may be associated with energy-policy choices in this one sub-region of Brazil. Following an appraisal of fuel wood, solar cookers, irrigation and fertilizers in the context of energy and rural development, the social, demographic and cultural characteristics of the region are described. The drought-stricken area of the rural Northeast (Sertao) is the poorest in the country, with small land units, scarce surface water, subsistance agriculture, low capital formation, transportation deficiencies, resistance to change, high rates of out-migration and the like. The description of some regional development projects leads to a comparison of various technologies that might efficiently improve the supply of water. Work performed in the State of Paraiba on simple water distillation technology is reviewed and a social and economic cost/benefit study proposed. Factors affecting rural electrification are considered. A social impact analysis of viable alternatives to conventional electrical energy systems is put forward and the status of wind and solar generation of electricity is reviewed. A final section describes the current status of work in Brazil on biomass alternatives and compares the prospects for sugar cane and manioc plant alcohol. A proposal is made for a multi-disciplinary assessment of the socio-economic impacts of alternate energy sources. 42 references.

  7. The influence of conservation tillage methods on soil water regimes in semi-arid southern Zimbabwe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mupangwa, W.; Twomlow, S.; Walker, S.

    Planting basins and ripper tillage practices are major components of the recently introduced conservation agriculture package that is being extensively promoted for smallholder farming in Zimbabwe. Besides preparing land for crop planting, these two technologies also help in collecting and using rainwater more efficiently in semi-arid areas. The basin tillage is being targeted for households with limited or no access to draught animals while ripping is meant for smallholder farmers with some draught animal power. Trials were established at four farms in Gwanda and Insiza in southern Zimbabwe to determine soil water contributions and runoff water losses from plots under four different tillage treatments. The tillage treatments were hand-dug planting basins, ripping, conventional spring and double ploughing using animal-drawn implements. The initial intention was to measure soil water changes and runoff losses from cropped plots under the four tillage practices. However, due to total crop failure, only soil water and runoff were measured from bare plots between December 2006 and April 2007. Runoff losses were highest under conventional ploughing. Planting basins retained most of the rainwater that fell during each rainfall event. The amount of rainfall received at each farm significantly influenced the volume of runoff water measured. Runoff water volume increased with increase in the amount of rainfall received at each farm. Soil water content was consistently higher under basin tillage than the other three tillage treatments. Significant differences in soil water content were observed across the farms according to soil types from sand to loamy sand. The basin tillage method gives a better control of water losses from the farmers’ fields. The planting basin tillage method has a greater potential for providing soil water to crops than ripper, double and single conventional ploughing practices.

  8. Imprint of oaks on nitrogen availability and δ15N in California grassland-savanna: A case of enhanced N inputs?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perakis, S.S.; Kellogg, C.H.

    2007-01-01

    Woody vegetation is distributed patchily in many arid and semi-arid ecosystems, where it is often associated with elevated nitrogen (N) pools and availability in islands of fertility. We measured N availability and δ15N in paired blue-oak versus annual grass dominated patches to characterize the causes and consequences of spatial variation in N dynamics of grassland-savanna in Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park. We found significantly greater surface soil N pools (0–20 cm) in oak patches compared to adjacent grass areas across a 700 m elevation gradient from foothills to the savanna-forest boundary. N accumulation under oaks was associated with a 0.6‰ depletion in soil δ15N relative to grass patches. Results from a simple δ15N mass balance simulation model, constrained by surface soil N and δ15N measured in the field, suggest that the development of islands of N fertility under oaks can be traced primarily to enhanced N inputs. Net N mineralization and percent nitrification in laboratory incubations were consistently higher under oaks across a range of experimental soil moisture regimes, suggesting a scenario whereby greater N inputs to oak patches result in net N accumulation and enhanced N cycling, with a potential for greater nitrate loss as well. N concentrations of three common herbaceous annual plants were nearly 50% greater under oak than in adjacent grass patches, with community composition shifted towards more N-demanding species under oaks. We find that oaks imprint distinct N-rich islands of fertility that foster local feedback between soil N cycling, plant N uptake, and herbaceous community composition. Such patch-scale differences in N inputs and plant–soil interactions increase biogeochemical heterogeneity in grassland-savanna ecosystems and may shape watershed-level responses to chronic N deposition.

  9. Managing Environmental Flows for Impounded Rivers in Semi-Arid Regions- A Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) Approach for the Assessment of River Habitat for Salmonid Populations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pai, H.; Sivakumaran, K.; Villamizar, S. R.; Flanagan, J.; Guo, Q.; Harmon, T. C.

    2013-12-01

    Balancing ecosystem health in water-scarce, agriculturally dominated river basins remains a challenge. In dry water years, maintaining conditions for restored and sustained indigenous fish populations (a frequently used indicator for ecosystem health) is particularly challenging. Competing human demands include urban and agricultural water supplies, hydropower, and flood control. In many semi-arid regions, increasing drought intensity and frequency under future climate scenarios will combine with population increases to water scarcity. The goal of this work is to better understand how reservoir releases affect fish habitat and overall river aquatic ecosystem quality. Models integrating a diverse array of physical and biological processes and system state are used to forecast the river ecosystem response to changing drivers. We propose a distributed parameter-based Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) approach for assessing fish habitat quality. Our river ecosystem HSI maps are based on a combination of the following: (1) In situ data describing stream flow and water quality conditions; (2) Spatial observations, including surveyed cross-sections, aerial imagery and digital elevation maps (DEM) of the river and its riparian corridor; and (3) Simulated spatially distributed water depths, flow velocities, and temperatures estimated from 1D and 2D river flow and temperature models (HEC-RAS and CE-QUAL-W2, respectively). With respect to (2), image processing schemes are used to classify and map key habitat features, namely riparian edge and shallow underwater vegetation. HSI maps can be modified temporally to address specific life cycle requirements of indicator fish species. Results are presented for several reaches associated with the San Joaquin River Restoration Project, focusing on several components of the Chinook salmon life cycle. HSI maps and interpretations are presented in the context of a range of prescribed reservoir release hydrographs linked to California water

  10. Modeling Surface Energy Fluxes over a Dehesa (Oak Savanna Ecosystem Using a Thermal Based Two-Source Energy Balance Model (TSEB I

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Andreu

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Savannas are among the most variable, complex and extensive biomes on Earth, supporting livestock and rural livelihoods. These water-limited ecosystems are highly sensitive to changes in both climatic conditions, and land-use/management practices. The integration of Earth Observation (EO data into process-based land models enables monitoring ecosystems status, improving its management and conservation. In this paper, the use of the Two-Source Energy Balance (TSEB model for estimating surface energy fluxes is evaluated over a Mediterranean oak savanna (dehesa. A detailed analysis of TSEB formulation is conducted, evaluating how the vegetation architecture (multiple layers affects the roughness parameters and wind profile, as well as the reliability of EO data to estimate the ecosystem parameters. The results suggest that the assumption of a constant oak leaf area index is acceptable for the purposes of the study and the use of spectral information to derive vegetation indices is sufficiently accurate, although green fraction index may not reflect phenological conditions during the dry period. Although the hypothesis for a separate wind speed extinction coefficient for each layer is partially addressed, the results show that taking a single oak coefficient is more precise than using bulk system coefficient. The accuracy of energy flux estimations, with an adjusted Priestley–Taylor coefficient (0.9 reflecting the conservative water-use tendencies of this semiarid vegetation and a roughness length formulation which integrates tree structure and the low fractional cover, is considered adequate for monitoring the ecosystem water use (RMSD ~40 W m−2.

  11. URJC GB dataset: Community-based seed bank of Mediterranean high-mountain and semi-arid plant species at Universidad Rey Juan Carlos (Spain).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alonso, Patricia; Iriondo, José María

    2014-01-01

    The Germplasm Bank of Universidad Rey Juan Carlos was created in 2008 and currently holds 235 accessions and 96 species. This bank focuses on the conservation of wild-plant communities and aims to conserve ex situ a representative sample of the plant biodiversity present in a habitat, emphasizing priority ecosystems identified by the Habitats Directive. It is also used to store plant material for research and teaching purposes. The collection consists of three subcollections, two representative of typical habitats in the center of the Iberian Peninsula: high-mountain pastures (psicroxerophylous pastures) and semi-arid habitats (gypsophylic steppes), and a third representative of the genus Lupinus. The high-mountain subcollection currently holds 153 accessions (63 species), the semi-arid subcollection has 76 accessions (29 species,) and the Lupinus subcollection has 6 accessions (4 species). All accessions are stored in a freezer at -18 °C in Kilner jars with silica gel. The Germplasm Bank of Universidad Rey Juan Carlos follows a quality control protocol which describes the workflow performed with seeds from seed collection to storage. All collectors are members of research groups with great experience in species identification. Herbarium specimens associated with seed accessions are preserved and 63% of the records have been georreferenced with GPS and radio points. The dataset provides unique information concerning the location of populations of plant species that form part of the psicroxerophylous pastures and gypsophylic steppes of Central Spain as well as populations of genus Lupinus in the Iberian Peninsula. It also provides relevant information concerning mean seed weight and seed germination values under specific incubation conditions. This dataset has already been used by researchers of the Area of Biodiversity and Conservation of URJC as a source of information for the design and implementation of experimental designs in these plant communities. Since

  12. URJC GB dataset: Community-based seed bank of Mediterranean high-mountain and semi-arid plant species at Universidad Rey Juan Carlos (Spain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patricia Alonso

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available The Germplasm Bank of Universidad Rey Juan Carlos was created in 2008 and currently holds 235 accessions and 96 species. This bank focuses on the conservation of wild-plant communities and aims to conserve ex situ a representative sample of the plant biodiversity present in a habitat, emphasizing priority ecosystems identified by the Habitats Directive. It is also used to store plant material for research and teaching purposes. The collection consists of three subcollections, two representative of typical habitats in the center of the Iberian Peninsula: high-mountain pastures (psicroxerophylous pastures and semi-arid habitats (gypsophylic steppes, and a third representative of the genus Lupinus. The high-mountain subcollection currently holds 153 accessions (63 species, the semi-arid subcollection has 76 accessions (29 species, and the Lupinus subcollection has 6 accessions (4 species. All accessions are stored in a freezer at -18 °C in Kilner jars with silica gel. The Germplasm Bank of Universidad Rey Juan Carlos follows a quality control protocol which describes the workflow performed with seeds from seed collection to storage. All collectors are members of research groups with great experience in species identification. Herbarium specimens associated with seed accessions are preserved and 63% of the records have been georreferenced with GPS and radio points. The dataset provides unique information concerning the location of populations of plant species that form part of the psicroxerophylous pastures and gypsophylic steppes of Central Spain as well as populations of genus Lupinus in the Iberian Peninsula. It also provides relevant information concerning mean seed weight and seed germination values under specific incubation conditions. This dataset has already been used by researchers of the Area of Biodiversity and Conservation of URJC as a source of information for the design and implementation of experimental designs in these plant

  13. Local health practices and the knowledge of medicinal plants in a Brazilian semi-arid region: environmental benefits to human health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zank, Sofia; Peroni, Nivaldo; de Araújo, Elcida Lima; Hanazaki, Natalia

    2015-02-23

    The concept of eco-cultural health considers the dynamic interaction between humans and ecosystems, emphasizing the implications of the health of the ecosystem for the health and well-being of human populations. Ethnobotanical studies focusing on folk medicine and medicinal plants can contribute to the field of eco-cultural health if they incorporate the perspective and local knowledge of communities. We investigated the local health practices in three rural communities living within the vicinity of a protected area of sustainable use in a semi-arid region of Brazil. We analyzed the opinions of local health experts on the elements that influence human health and on how the environment contributes to this influence. We also analyzed and compared the local knowledge of medicinal plants, as knowledge of this type is an important factor when considering the interaction between environmental and human health. We performed structured interviews and free-listings with 66 local health experts. We used content analysis to systematize the elements of the influences on human health. We compared the richness of the plants cited among communities and analyzed the differences among the three communities regarding the ways in which the plants were obtained and the environments in which plants were collected. The local experts identified several influences of the environment on human health. These influences can be associated with ecosystem services, such as climatic conditions, water and air quality, recreation and medicinal and food resources. We identified 192 medicinal plant species, most of which were gathered from wild ecosystems. The most important environments for the three communities were the plateau mountain and backyards. The informants had a broad and integrated view of health, perceiving the importance of conserving the environment within the National Forest of Araripe for the health and well-being of the local populations.

  14. Increasing salinity drastically reduces hatching success of crustaceans from depression wetlands of the semi-arid Eastern Cape Karoo region, South Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mabidi, Annah; Bird, Matthew S; Perissinotto, Renzo

    2018-04-13

    Salinity is an important factor affecting freshwater aquatic species distribution and diversity. The semi-arid Eastern Cape Karoo region of South Africa has been earmarked for shale gas development through hydraulic fracturing. The process uses large amounts of water and produces briny wastewater. When not managed properly, these wastewaters may lead to salinisation of surface freshwater bodies in the region. Therefore, the effect of salinity on the hatching success of crustacean resting eggs was examined using sediments from four depression wetlands found in the region. The sediments were exposed for 28 days to salinity levels of 0.5 g L -1 , 2.5 g L -1 , 5 g L -1 and 10 g L -1 . Control aquaria in which no salt was added were also set up. There was a significant decrease in the emerged taxa richness and abundances at salinities of 2.5 g L -1 and above. Anostraca, Notostraca and Spinicaudata hatchlings were abundant at salinities of 0.5 g L -1 and below, while Copepoda, Daphniidae (Cladocera) and Ostracoda were observed in the highest salinity, but their densities were still lower with increased salinities. Given the importance of large branchiopods in the trophic balance of depression wetlands, their loss may alter the ecological balance and function of these ecosystems.

  15. Increased water use efficiency does not prevent growth decline of Pinus canariensis in a semi-arid treeline ecotone in Tenerife, Canary Islands (Spain).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brito, Patricia; Grams, Thorsten E E; Matysssek, Rainer; Jimenez, Maria S; Gonzalez-Rodríguez, Agueda M; Oberhuber, Walter; Wieser, Gerhard

    2016-09-01

    Intrinsic water-use efficiency of Pinus canariensis (Sweet ex Spreng.) growing at a semi-arid treeline has increased during the past 37 years. Tree-ring width by contrast has declined, likely caused by reduced stomatal conductance due to increasing aridity. Rising atmospheric CO 2 concentration ( C a ) has been related to tree growth enhancement accompanied by increasing intrinsic water-use-efficiency (iWUE). Nevertheless, the extent of rising C a on long-term changes in iWUE and growth has remained poorly understood to date in Mediterranean treeline ecosystems. This study aimed to examine radial growth and physiological responses of P. canariensis in relation to rising C a and increasing aridity at treeline in Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. We evaluated temporal changes in secondary growth (tree-ring width; TRW) and tree ring stable C isotope signature for assessing iWUE from 1975 through 2011. Precipitation was the main factor controlling secondary growth. Over the last 36 years P. canariensis showed a decline in TRW at enhanced iWUE, likely caused by reduced stomatal conductance due to increasing aridity. Our results indicate that increasing aridity has overridden the potential CO 2 fertilization on tree growth of P. canariensis at its upper distribution limit.

  16. Effects of legume species introduction on vegetation and soil nutrient development on abandoned croplands in a semi-arid environment on the Loess Plateau, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuan, Zi-Qiang; Yu, Kai-Liang; Epstein, Howard; Fang, Chao; Li, Jun-Ting; Liu, Qian-Qian; Liu, Xue-Wei; Gao, Wen-Juan; Li, Feng-Min

    2016-01-15

    Revegetation facilitated by legume species introduction has been used for soil erosion control on the Loess Plateau, China. However, it is still unclear how vegetation and soil resources develop during this restoration process, especially over the longer term. In this study, we investigated the changes of plant aboveground biomass, vegetation cover, species richness and density of all individuals, and soil total nitrogen, mineral nitrogen, total phosphorus and available phosphorus over 11 years from 2003 to 2013 in three treatments (natural revegetation, Medicago sativa L. introduction and Melilotus suaveolens L. introduction) on the semi-arid Loess Plateau. Medicago significantly increased aboveground biomass and vegetation cover, and soil total nitrogen and mineral nitrogen contents. The Medicago treatment had lower species richness and density of all individuals, lower soil moisture in the deep soil (i.e., 1.4-5m), and lower soil available phosphorus. Melilotus introduction significantly increased aboveground biomass in only the first two years, and it was not an effective approach to improve vegetation biomass and cover, and soil nutrients, especially in later stages of revegetation. Overall, our study suggests that M. sativa can be the preferred plant species for revegetation of degraded ecosystems on the Loess Plateau, although phosphorus fertilizer should be applied for the sustainability of the revegetation. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Concentrations and Fractionation of Carbon, Iron, Sulfur, Nitrogen and Phosphorus in Mangrove Sediments Along an Intertidal Gradient (Semi-Arid Climate, New Caledonia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathan Deborde

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available In mangrove ecosystems, strong reciprocal interactions exist between plant and substrate. Under semi-arid climate, Rhizophora spp. are usually predominant, colonizing the seashore, and Avicennia marina develops at the edge of salt-flats, which is the highest zone in the intertidal range. Along this zonation, distribution and speciation of C, Fe, S, N, and P in sediments and pore-waters were investigated. From the land-side to the sea-side of the mangrove, sediments were characterized by I/ increase in: (i water content; (ii TOC; (iii mangrove-derived OM; II/ and decrease in: (i salinity; (ii redox; (iii pH; (iv solid Fe and solid P. Beneath Avicennia and Rhizophora, TS accumulated at depth, probably as a result of reduction of iron oxides and sulfate. The loss of total Fe observed towards the sea-side may be related to sulfur oxidation and to more intense tidal flushing of dissolved components. Except the organic forms, dissolved N and P concentrations were very low beneath Avicennia and Rhizophora stands, probably as a result of their uptake by the root systems. However, in the unvegetated salt-flat, NH4+ can accumulate in organic rich and anoxic layers. This study shows: (i the evolution of mangrove sediment biogeochemistry along the intertidal zone as a result of the different duration of tidal inundation and organic enrichment; and (ii the strong links between the distribution and speciation of the different elements.

  18. Spatial complexities in aboveground carbon stocks of a semi-arid mangrove community: A remote sensing height-biomass-carbon approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hickey, S. M.; Callow, N. J.; Phinn, S.; Lovelock, C. E.; Duarte, C. M.

    2018-01-01

    Mangroves are integral to ecosystem services provided by the coastal zone, in particular carbon (C) sequestration and storage. Allometric relationships linking mangrove height to estimated biomass and C stocks have been developed from field sampling, while various forms of remote sensing has been used to map vegetation height and biomass. Here we combine both these approaches to investigate spatial patterns in living biomass of mangrove forests in a small area of mangrove in north-west Australia. This study used LiDAR data and Landsat 8 OLI (Operational Land Imager) with allometric equations to derive mangrove height, biomass, and C stock estimates. We estimated the study site, Mangrove Bay, a semi-arid site in north-western Australia, contained 70 Mg ha-1 biomass and 45 Mg C ha-1 organic C, with total stocks of 2417 Mg biomass and 778 Mg organic C. Using spatial statistics to identify the scale of clustering of mangrove pixels, we found that living biomass and C stock declined with increasing distance from hydrological features (creek entrance: 0-150 m; y = -0.00041x + 0.9613, R2 = 0.96; 150-770 m; y = -0.0008x + 1.6808, R2 = 0.73; lagoon: y = -0.0041x + 3.7943, R2 = 0.78). Our results illustrate a set pattern of living C distribution within the mangrove forest, and then highlight the role hydrologic features play in determining C stock distribution in the arid zone.

  19. Water Governance and Adaptation to Disturbances in Irrigated Semi-Arid Agricultural Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans, T. P.; McCord, P. F.; McBride, L.; Gower, D.; Caylor, K. K.

    2013-12-01

    Climate and other physical drivers of environmental systems are modifying the global availability of water for irrigation. At the same time population growth is placing an increased demand on water resources as local municipalities promote agricultural production as a mechanism to support human welfare and development. Substantial has research focused on household-level agricultural decision-making and adaptation. But equally important are institutional dynamics, or the rules implemented to allocate water resources across different user groups. Previous work has identified design principles for common-pool resource systems that tend to lead to sustained governance regimes. Likewise, past research has addressed the issue of "institutional fit", or locally adapted governance arrangements characterized through governance structure. However, much of the complexity behind institutional dynamics and adaptive capacity lies in the translation of data to information to knowledge, and how this sequence contributes to effective cross-scale water management and decision-making - an arena that has arguably received less attention in the water management literature. We investigate the interplay between governance regimes, data/information and institutional dynamics in irrigation systems in semi-arid regions of Kenya. In particular, we articulate the role of knowledge and data in institutional dynamics at multiple levels of analysis. How do users at different decision-making levels incorporate social and hydrological information in water governance? What data is needed to develop the information and knowledge users need for effective management? While governance structure is certainly a critical component of water management systems - we emphasize the interplay between the data-information-knowledge sequence and institutional dynamics. We present findings from household and manager-level surveys examining irrigation practices and the institutions designed to equitably allocate

  20. Spatial and temporal estimation of runoff in a semi-arid microwatershed of Southern India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rejani, R; Rao, K V; Osman, M; Chary, G R; Pushpanjali; Reddy, K Sammi; Rao, Ch Srinivasa

    2015-08-01

    In a semi-arid microwatershed of Warangal district in Southern India, daily runoff was estimated spatially using Soil Conservation Service (SCS)-curve number (CN) method coupled with GIS. The groundwater status in this region is over-exploited, and precise estimation of runoff is very essential to plan interventions for this ungauged microwatershed. Rainfall is the most important factor governing runoff, and 75.8% of the daily rainfall and 92.1% of the rainy days which occurred were below 25 mm/day. The declines in rainfall and rainy days observed in recent years were 9.8 and 8.4%, respectively. The surface runoff estimated from crop land for a period of 57 years varied from 0 to 365 mm with a mean annual runoff of 103.7 mm or 14.1% of the mean annual rainfall. The mean annual runoff showed a significant reduction from 108.7 to 82.9 mm in recent years. The decadal variation of annual runoff from crop land over the years varied from 49.2 to 89.0% which showed the caution needed while planning watershed management works in this microwatershed. Among the four land use land cover conditions prevailing in the area, the higher runoff (20% of the mean annual rainfall) was observed from current fallow in clayey soil and lower runoff of 8.7% from crop land in loamy soil due to the increased canopy coverage. The drought years which occurred during recent years (1991-2007) in crop land have increased by 3.5%, normal years have increased by 15.6%, and the above normal years have decreased by 19.1%. This methodology can be adopted for estimating the runoff potential from similar ungauged watersheds with deficient data. It is concluded that in order to ensure long-term and sustainable groundwater utilization in the region, proper estimation of runoff and implementation of suitable water harvesting measures are the need of the hour.

  1. Yield and biological nitrogen fixation of cowpea varieties in the semi-arid region of Brazil

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Santiago de Freitas, Ana Dolores; Fernandes Silva, Acácia; Valadares de Sá Barretto Sampaio, Everardo

    2012-01-01

    Cowpea is an important crop in small properties of the Brazilian semi-arid region, where it is cultivated without fertilizer application. In spite of the fundamental role played by biological Nitrogen fixation (BNF), little is known of the symbiosis between cowpea varieties and native rhizobia or recommended rhizobia strains. A field experiment was conducted aiming to estimate BNF and productivities of local varieties, in association with two previously described bradyrhizobial inoculant strains and native rhizobia (no inoculation). The plants received 20 kg ha −1 of enriched 15 N fertilizer to allow the use of the isotopic dilution method. After harvest (80 days) straw and grain biomass was determined. The varieties differed in grain and straw productivity and in N and N derived from atmosphere (%Ndfa). Corujinha had the highest grain productivity (1147 kg ha −1 ), followed by Sempre Verde (920 kg ha −1 ), Azul (912 kg ha −1 ) and Cariri (889 kg ha −1 ). Costela de Vaca had the highest straw productivity (2258 kg ha −1 ), highest N content in the straw (28 g ha −1 ) and highest BNF (79 %Ndfa, corresponding to 45 kg ha −1 of N for total aboveground biomass and 39 kg ha −1 for the straw), but the lowest grain productivity (381 kg ha −1 ) and the lowest harvest index (0.14). The inoculations did not significantly alter productivities, N contents or %Ndfa but there was a tendency of lower grain productivities in the non-inoculated plants, which was reflected in lower total and biologically fixed N quantities, indicating that the native strains may be slightly less efficient. -- Highlights: ► We estimate N fixation and productivities of local cowpea varieties in Brazil. ► Plants were inoculated or not with two recommended rhizobia strains. ► All local varieties had high proportions of their N derived from the air (%Ndfa). ► They differed in BNF in grain and straw productivity. ► Inoculation did not alter productivities or %Ndfa but

  2. Seasonal Variations of the Surface Urban Heat Island in a Semi-Arid City

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sirous Haashemi

    2016-04-01

    effective. The only exception existed in the correlation between elevation and IS, which may be useful to simulate the SUHI at night. This study suggests that in semi-arid cities, such as Tehran, with the urban-rural indicator, a surface urban cool island may be observed in daytime while SUHI at nighttime; with other indicators, SUHI can be observed in both day and night. Thus, SUHI studies require the acquisition of remote sensing image data at both daytime and nighttime and careful selection of SUHI indicators.

  3. Direct radiative forcing properties of atmospheric aerosols over semi-arid region, Anantapur in India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalluri, Raja Obul Reddy; Gugamsetty, Balakrishnaiah; Kotalo, Rama Gopal; Nagireddy, Siva Kumar Reddy; Tandule, Chakradhar Rao; Thotli, Lokeswara Reddy; Rajuru Ramakrishna, Reddy; Surendranair, Suresh Babu

    2016-10-01

    This paper describes the aerosols optical, physical characteristics and the aerosol radiative forcing pertaining to semi-arid region, Anantapur for the period January 2013-December 2014. Collocated measurements of Aerosol Optical Depth (AOD) and Black Carbon mass concentration (BC) are carried out by using MICROTOPS II and Aethalometer and estimated the aerosol radiative forcing over this location. The mean values of AOD at 500nm are found to be 0.47±0.09, 0.34±0.08, 0.29±0.06 and 0.30±0.07 during summer, winter, monsoon and post-monsoon respectively. The Angstrom exponent (α380-1020) value is observed maximum in March (1.25±0.19) and which indicates the predominance of fine - mode aerosols and lowest in the month of July (0.33±0.14) and may be due to the dominance of coarse-mode aerosols. The diurnal variation of BC is exhibited two height peaks during morning 07:00-08:00 (IST) and evening 19:00-21:00 (IST) hours and one minima noticed during afternoon (13:00-16:00). The highest monthly mean BC concentration is observed in the month of January (3.4±1.2μgm(-3)) and the lowest in July (1.1±0.2μgm(-3)). The estimated Aerosol Direct Radiative Forcing (ADRF) in the atmosphere is found to be +36.8±1.7Wm(-2), +26.9±0.2Wm(-2), +18.0±0.6Wm(-2) and +18.5±3.1Wm(-2) during summer, winter, monsoon and post-monsoon seasons, respectively. Large difference between TOA and BOA forcing is observed during summer which indicate the large absorption of radiant energy (36.80Wm(-2)) which contributes more increase in atmospheric heating by ~1K/day. The BC contribution on an average is found to be 64% and is responsible for aerosol atmospheric heating. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Simple, spatial and predictive approach for cereal yield prediction in the semi-arid areas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toumi, Jihad; Khabba, Said; Er-Raki, Salah; Le page, Michel; Chahbi Bellakanji, Aicha; Lili Chabaane, Zohra; Ezzahar, Jamal; Zribi, Mehrez; Jarlan, Lionel

    2016-04-01

    The objective is to develop a simple, spatial and predictive approach of dry matter (DM) and grain yield (GY) of cereal in the semi-arid areas. The proposed method is based on the three efficiencies model of Monteith (1972). This approach summarizes the transformation of solar radiation to the dry matter (DM) by the climate (ɛc), interception (ɛi) and conversion (ɛconv) efficiencies. The method combines the maximum of ɛi and ɛconv (noted ɛimax and ɛconvmax) into a single parameter denoted ɛmax, calculating as a function of cumulating growing degree day (CGDD). Also, the stress coefficient ks, which affects the conversion of solar radiation to the biomass was calculated by the surface temperature or the water balance at the root zone. In addition, the expression of ks has been improved by the consideration of the results achieved by deficit irrigation (AquaCrop and STICS models) which showed that the value of ks from 0.7 to 1 didn't affect significantly the cereal production. For the partitioning of the dry matter developed, between straw and grain, the method proposed calculates a variable Harvest Index coefficient (HI). HI is deducted from CGDD and HI0max (maximal final harvest Index in the region of study). Finally, the approach calculates DM depending Satellite Information (NDVI and surface temperature Ts) and climatic data (solar radiation and air temperature). In the case of no availability of Ts, the amount of irrigation is required to calculate ks. Until now, the developed model has been calibrated and validated on the irrigated area R3, located 40 Km east of Marrakech. The evolutions of DM and GY were reproduced satisfactorily. R2 and RMSE are respectively 0.98 and 0.35 t/ha and 0.98 and 0.19 t/ha, respectively. Currently, additional tests are in progress on data relating to the Kairouan plain of Tunisia.

  5. Where Does the River Run? Lessons from a Semi-Arid River

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meixner, T.; Soto, C. D.; Richter, H.; Uhlman, K.

    2009-12-01

    Spatial data sets to assess the nature of stream groundwater interactions and the resulting power law/fractal structure of travel time distributions are rare. Spatial data sets can be collected using high technology or by use of a large number of field assistants. The labor intensive way is expensive unless the public can be enlisted as citizen scientists to gather large, robust, spatial data sets robustly and cheaply. Such an effort requires public interest and the ability of a few to organize such an effort at a basin if not regional scale. The San Pedro basin offers such an opportunity for citizen science due to the water resource restrictions of the basins semi-arid climate. Since 1999 The Nature Conservancy, in cooperation with the Upper San Pedro Partnership, the public at large and various university and federal science agency participants, has been mapping where the San Pedro River has water present versus where it is dry. This mapping has used an army of volunteers armed with GPS units, clipboards and their eyes to make the determination if a given 10m reach of the river is wet or dry. These wet/dry mapping data now exist for 11 different annual surveys. These data are unique and enable an investigation of the hydrologic connectedness of flowing waters within this system. Analysis of these data reveals several important findings. The total river area that is wet is strongly correlated with stream flow as observed at three USGS gauges. The correlation is strongest however for 90 day and 1 year average flows rather than more local in time observations such as the daily, 7 day or monthly mean flow at the gauges. This result indicates that where the river is flowing depends on long term hydrologic conditions. The length of river reach that is mapped as wet or dry is indicative of the travel distance and thus time that water travels in the surface (wet) and subsurface (dry) of the river system. The reach length that is mapped as wet follows a power law function

  6. Farming system context drives the value of deep wheat roots in semi-arid environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lilley, Julianne M; Kirkegaard, John A

    2016-06-01

    The capture of subsoil water by wheat roots can make a valuable contribution to grain yield on deep soils. More extensive root systems can capture more water, but leave the soil in a drier state, potentially limiting water availability to subsequent crops. To evaluate the importance of these legacy effects, a long-term simulation analysis at eight sites in the semi-arid environment of Australia compared the yield of standard wheat cultivars with cultivars that were (i) modified to have root systems which extract more water at depth and/or (ii) sown earlier to increase the duration of the vegetative period and hence rooting depth. We compared simulations with and without annual resetting of soil water to investigate the legacy effects of drier subsoils related to modified root systems. Simulated mean yield benefits from modified root systems declined from 0.1-0.6 t ha(-1) when annually reset, to 0-0.2 t ha(-1) in the continuous simulation due to a legacy of drier soils (mean 0-32mm) at subsequent crop sowing. For continuous simulations, predicted yield benefits of >0.2 t ha(-1) from more extensive root systems were rare (3-10% of years) at sites with shallow soils (<1.0 m), but occurred in 14-44% of years at sites with deeper soils (1.6-2.5 m). Earlier sowing had a larger impact than modified root systems on water uptake (14-31 vs 2-17mm) and mean yield increase (up to 0.7 vs 0-0.2 t ha(-1)) and the benefits occurred on deep and shallow soils and in more years (9-79 vs 3-44%). Increasing the proportion of crops in the sequence which dry the subsoil extensively has implications for the farming system productivity, and the crop sequence must be managed tactically to optimize overall system benefits. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Experimental Biology.

  7. Human-Induced Vegetation Degradation in a Semi-Arid Rangeland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, Hasan

    Current assessments of anthropogenic land degradation and its impact on vegetation at regional scales are prone to large uncertainties due to the lack of an objective, transferable, spatially and temporally explicit measure of land degradation. These uncertainties have resulted in contradictory estimates of degradation extent and severity and the role of human activities. The uncertainties limit the ability to assess the effects on the biophysical environment and effectiveness of past, current, and future policies of land use. The overall objective of the dissertation is to assess degradation in a semi-arid region at a regional scale where the process of anthropogenic land degradation is evident. Net primary productivity (NPP) is used as the primary indicator to measure degradation. It is hypothesized that land degradation resulting from human factors on the landscape irreversibly reduces NPP below the potential set by environmental conditions. It is also hypothesized that resulting reductions in NPP are distinguishable from natural, spatial and temporal, variability in NPP. The specific goals of the dissertation are to (1) identify the extent and severity of degradation using productivity as the primary surrogate, (2) compare the degradation of productivity to other known mechanisms of degradation, and (3) relate the expression of degradation to components of vegetation and varying environmental conditions. This dissertation employed the Local NPP Scaling (LNS) approach to identify patterns of anthropogenic degradation of NPP in the Burdekin Dry Tropics (BDT) region of Queensland (14 million hectares), Australia from 2000 to 2013. The method started with land classification based on the environmental factors presumed to control NPP to group pixels having similar potential NPP. Then, satellite remotely sensing data were used to compare actual NPP with its potential. The difference, in units of mass of carbon fixed in NPP per unit area per monitoring interval and

  8. Future irrigation expansion outweigh groundwater recharge gains from climate change in semi-arid India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sishodia, Rajendra P; Shukla, Sanjay; Wani, Suhas P; Graham, Wendy D; Jones, James W

    2018-09-01

    ) management was recommended to achieve a sustainable food-water-energy nexus in semi-arid regions. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. Effects of Urbanization on the Flow Regimes of Semi-Arid Southern California Streams

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hawley, R. J.; Bledsoe, B. P.; Stein, E. D.

    2010-12-01

    Stream channel erosion and associated habitat degradation are pervasive in streams draining urban areas in the southwestern US. The prevalence of these impacts results from the inherent sensitivity of streams in semi-arid climates to changes in flow and sediment regimes, and past inattention to management of geomorphically effective flows. Addressing this issue is difficult due to the lack of data linking ranges of flow (from small to large runoff events) to geomorphic channel response. Forty-three U. S. Geological Survey gages with record lengths greater than ~15 yrs and watershed areas less than ~250 square kilometers were used to empirically model the effects of urbanization on streams in southern California. The watersheds spanned a gradient of urban development and ranged from 0 to 23% total impervious area in 2001. With little flow control at the subdivision scale to date, most impervious area in the region is relatively well-connected to surface-drainage networks. Consequently, total impervious area was an effective surrogate for urbanization, and emerged as a significant (p approach expands on previous scaling procedures to produce histogram-style cumulative flow duration graphs for ungaged sites based on urbanization extent and other watershed descriptors. Urbanization resulted in proportionally-longer durations of all geomorphically-effective flows, with a more pronounced effect on the durations of moderate flows. For example, an average watershed from the study domain with ~20% imperviousness could experience five times as many days of mean daily flows on the order of 100 cfs (3 cubic meters per second) and approximately three times as many days on the order of 1,000 cfs (30 cubic meters per second) relative to the undeveloped setting. Increased duration of sediment-transporting flows is a primary driver of accelerated changes in channel form that are often concurrent with urbanization throughout southern California, particularly in unconfined, fine

  10. Diurnal regulation of photosynthesis in Jatropha curcas under drought during summer in a semi-arid region

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tominaga, Jun; Inafuku, Sayuri; Coetzee, Tidimalo; Kawamitsu, Yoshinobu

    2014-01-01

    The diurnal photosynthetic responses to drought in Jatropha curcas have not been well assessed under field conditions in harsh semi-arid habitats. To illustrate this, diurnal changes in chlorophyll fluorescence and gas exchange rates were measured in field-grown Jatropha with or without a short (13 days) water recovery treatment under drought conditions during hot summer in a semi-arid. Sensitive stomatal closure coordinated with a drying atmosphere strictly limited a net CO 2 assimilation rate with a predominant morning peak, eventually turning negative during the day. Even though the risk of excess excitation energy which potentially causes photodamage increased with the extremely low capacity for CO 2 fixation, Jatropha preserved the integrity of PSII. Quantitative analysis of quenching partitioning revealed that regulated thermal energy dissipation accounted a large fraction of both instantaneous and daily absorbed energy by up to 80 and 72%, respectively, under the drought condition. Water recovery treatment more than doubled daily CO 2 uptake via mitigating diurnal stomatal closure. The regulated thermal dissipation flexibly adjusted PSII quantum efficiency to capacity of CO 2 fixation. In addition, downregulation of PSII quantum efficiency via sustained regulated thermal dissipation was observed and thought to be an additional photoprotective function. It is clear that Jatropha strongly rely upon the regulated thermal dissipation under drought condition, which must be critically important for this strict water conserving species, especially under a climate with high solar radiation loads as is seen in semi-arid regions. - Highlights: • Diurnal gas exchange and the fate of absorbed energy were assessed in Jatropha. • The dynamic stomatal closure was the predominant restriction under water stress. • The PSII integrity was preserved even under severe water stress. • The regulated thermal dissipation accounted by up to 72% of daily absorbed energy.

  11. INTEGRATION OF SATELLITE RAINFALL DATA AND CURVE NUMBER METHOD FOR RUNOFF ESTIMATION UNDER SEMI-ARID WADI SYSTEM

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. O. Adam

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available The arid and semi-arid catchments in dry lands in general require a special effective management as the scarcity of resources and information which is needed to leverage studies and investigations is the common characteristic. Hydrology is one of the most important elements in the management of resources. Deep understanding of hydrological responses is the key towards better planning and land management. Surface runoff quantification of such ungauged semi-arid catchments considered among the important challenges. A 7586 km2 catchment under investigation is located in semi-arid region in central Sudan where mean annual rainfall is around 250 mm and represent the ultimate source for water supply. The objective is to parameterize hydrological characteristics of the catchment and estimate surface runoff using suitable methods and hydrological models that suit the nature of such ungauged catchments with scarce geospatial information. In order to produce spatial runoff estimations, satellite rainfall was used. Remote sensing and GIS were incorporated in the investigations and the generation of landcover and soil information. Five days rainfall event (50.2 mm was used for the SCS CN model which is considered the suitable for this catchment, as SCS curve number (CN method is widely used for estimating infiltration characteristics depending on the landcover and soil property. Runoff depths of 3.6, 15.7 and 29.7 mm were estimated for the three different Antecedent Moisture Conditions (AMC-I, AMC-II and AMC-III. The estimated runoff depths of AMCII and AMCIII indicate the possibility of having small artificial surface reservoirs that could provide water for domestic and small household agricultural use.

  12. A pollution fate and transport model application in a semi-arid region: Is some number better than no number?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Özcan, Zeynep; Başkan, Oğuz; Düzgün, H Şebnem; Kentel, Elçin; Alp, Emre

    2017-10-01

    Fate and transport models are powerful tools that aid authorities in making unbiased decisions for developing sustainable management strategies. Application of pollution fate and transport models in semi-arid regions has been challenging because of unique hydrological characteristics and limited data availability. Significant temporal and spatial variability in rainfall events, complex interactions between soil, vegetation and topography, and limited water quality and hydrological data due to insufficient monitoring network make it a difficult task to develop reliable models in semi-arid regions. The performances of these models govern the final use of the outcomes such as policy implementation, screening, economical analysis, etc. In this study, a deterministic distributed fate and transport model, SWAT, is applied in Lake Mogan Watershed, a semi-arid region dominated by dry agricultural practices, to estimate nutrient loads and to develop the water budget of the watershed. To minimize the discrepancy due to limited availability of historical water quality data extensive efforts were placed in collecting site-specific data for model inputs such as soil properties, agricultural practice information and land use. Moreover, calibration parameter ranges suggested in the literature are utilized during calibration in order to obtain more realistic representation of Lake Mogan Watershed in the model. Model performance is evaluated using comparisons of the measured data with 95%CI for the simulated data and comparison of unit pollution load estimations with those provided in the literature for similar catchments, in addition to commonly used evaluation criteria such as Nash-Sutcliffe simulation efficiency, coefficient of determination and percent bias. These evaluations demonstrated that even though the model prediction power is not high according to the commonly used model performance criteria, the calibrated model may provide useful information in the comparison of the

  13. Ethno-ornithology and conservation of wild birds in the semi-arid Caatinga of northeastern Brazil

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    The utilization of birds as pets has been recognized as one of the principal threats to global avifauna. Most of the information about the use and sale of birds as pets has been limited to areas of high biodiversity and whose impacts of anthropic actions have been widely broadcast internationally, for example for the Amazon Forest and forest remnants of Southeast Asia. The Caatinga predominates in the semi-arid region of Brazil, and is one of the semi-arid biomes with the greatest biological diversity in the world, where 511 species of birds exist. Many of these birds are used as pets, a common practice in the region, which has important conservationist implications but has been little studied. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to detail aspects of the use of birds as pets in a locality in the semi-arid region of Northeast Brazil. Information on the use of avifauna was obtained through interviews and visits to the homes of 78 wild bird keepers. A total of 41 species of birds were recorded, mostly of the families Emberizidae (n = 9 species), Columbidae (n = 7 species), Icteridae (n = 6 species) and Psittacidae (n = 3 species). The birds that were most often recorded were Paroaria dominicana (n = 79 especimens), Sporophila albogularis (n = 67), Aratinga cactorum (n = 49), Sporophila lineola (n = 36), Sicalis flaveola (n = 29) and Sporophila nigricollis (n = 27). The use of wild birds in the area studied, as an example of what occurs in other places in the semi-arid Northeast, demonstrates that such activities persist in the region, in spite of being illegal, and have been happening in clandestine or semi-clandestine manner. No statistically significant correlation were found between socioeconomic factors and keeping birds as pets reflects the cultural importance of this practice of rearing wild birds for pets in the region, which is widespread among the local population, independent of socioeconomic factors. Obviously

  14. Evaluating water controls on vegetation growth in the semi-arid sahel using field and earth observation data

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Abdi, Abdulhakim M.; Boke-Olen, Niklas; Tenenbaum, David E.

    2017-01-01

    Water loss is a crucial factor for vegetation in the semi-arid Sahel region of Africa. Global satellite-driven estimates of plant CO2 uptake (gross primary productivity, GPP) have been found to not accurately account for Sahelian conditions, particularly the impact of canopy water stress. Here, we...... identify the main biophysical limitations that induce canopy water stress in Sahelian vegetation and evaluate the relationships between field data and Earth observation-derived spectral products for up-scaling GPP. We find that plant-available water and vapor pressure deficit together control the GPP...

  15. Biocrust re-establishment trials demonstrate beneficial prospects for mine site rehabilitation in semi-arid landscapes of Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Wendy; Williams, Stephen; Galea, Vic

    2015-04-01

    Biocrusts live at the interface between the atmosphere and the soil; powered by photosynthesis they strongly influence a range of soil micro-processes. At Jacinth-Ambrosia mine site, on the edge of the Nullarbor Plain (South Australia), biocrusts are a significant component of the semi-arid soil ecosystem and comprised mainly of cyanobacteria, lichens and mosses. Cyanobacteria directly contribute to soil surface stabilisation, regulation of soil moisture and, provide a biogeochemical pathway for carbon and nitrogen fertilisation. Following disturbance, rehabilitation processes are underpinned by early soil stabilisation that can be facilitated by physical crusts or bio-active crusts in which cyanobacteria are ideal soil surface colonisers. Biocrust growth trials were carried out in autumn and winter (2012) to test the re-establishment phases of highly disturbed topsoil associated with mine site operations. The substrate material originated from shallow calcareous sandy loam typically found in chenopod shrublands. The biocrust-rich substrates (1-5 cm) were crushed (biocrush) or fine sieved followed by an application of concentrated cyanobacterial inoculum. Each treatment comprised four replicated plots that were natural or moisture assisted (using subsurface mats). After initial saturation equal amounts of water were applied for 30 days at which time half of all of the plots were enclosed with plastic to increase humidity. From 30-60 days water was added as required and from 60-180 days all treatments were uncovered and subjected periodic wet-dry cycles. At 180 days diverse biocrusts had re-established across the majority of the treatments, incorporating a mix of cyanobacterial functional groups that were adapted to surface and subsurface habitats. There were no clear trends in diversity and abundance. Overall, the moisture assisted biocrush and sieved biocrush appeared to have 80% cyanobacterial diversity in common. Differences were found between the surface and

  16. Applying soil science for restoration of post mining degraded landscapes in semi-arid Australia: challenges and opportunities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muñoz-Rojas, Miriam; Martini, Dylan; Erickson, Todd; Merritt, David; Dixon, Kingsley

    2015-04-01

    Introduction Current challenges in ecological restoration of post mining environments include the deficit of original topsoil which is frequently lost or damaged, and the lack of soil forming materials. A comprehensive knowledge of soil properties and processes and an adequate management of soil resources are critical to improve the restoration success of these degraded areas. In particular, understanding soil physical, chemical and biological parameters is decisive in environments where water is a limiting factor for seedling establishment and plant survival. To improve the restoration success of biodiverse semi-arid areas disturbed by mining activities (Pilbara region, Western Australia), we conducted experiments to (i) analyse changes in soil physico-chemical properties and soil microbial activity of topsoil stockpiles to optimise its handling and minimise deterioration of nutrients and soil biota, (ii) test climate effects on seedling emergence of native plant species and (iii) assess the potential of mine waste materials as a suitable growth medium for seedling emergence of native plant species under various water regimes. Methods The experimental studies were conducted in controlled environment facilities where air temperature, relative humidity and soil moisture were monitored routinely. Watering regimes were selected to represent rainfall patterns of the area. As a growth media we used material obtained from topsoil stockpiles and waste materials from an active mine site, which were mixed at different ratios. Samples were collected from different parts of the topsoil stockpiles and analysed to determine physical, chemical and biological properties. Results No large discrepancies in physical and chemical values were detected at different positions of the stockpiles. However, microbial activity was highly variable, particularly inside the stockpiles. Seedling emergence on topsoil growth media was highly dependent on climate factors with emergence rates

  17. 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

  18. Are there consistent grazing indicators in Drylands? Testing plant functional types of various complexity in South Africa's Grassland and Savanna Biomes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anja Linstädter

    Full Text Available 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

  19. 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 useful

  20. Amphibian and reptile biodiversity in the semi-arid region of the municipality of Nopala de Villagrán, Hidalgo, Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roth-Monzón, Andrea J; Mendoza-Hernández, Andrés Alberto; Flores-Villela, Oscar

    2018-01-01

    Current global changes are putting both biodiversity and the processes that depend on it at risk. This is especially true for semi-arid regions and the flagship groups that inhabit them, such as amphibians and reptiles. Semi-arid regions are often thought to have lower biodiversity and thus have been overlooked, resulting in the underestimation of their biological richness. Therefore, the aim of this study was to conduct an inventory of amphibians and reptiles in the semi-arid municipality of Nopala de Villagrán, Mexico, and analyze its biodiversity in relation to the seasons, vegetation and microhabitat. During a year of fieldwork, we found 24 species in the area, most of them of low abundance, and one of which was recorded for the first time for the state of Hidalgo. We documented five amphibian species and 19 reptile species. We also found that observed species richness was higher in the rainy season and in xeric scrub vegetation, although only the season differences were significant according to rarefaction curves. Our findings highlight the importance of seasonality and vegetation type for the species that inhabit this semi-arid region. This study broadens our understanding of the importance of semi-arid regions and, by extension, that of other areas with similar characteristics.

  1. Amphibian and reptile biodiversity in the semi-arid region of the municipality of Nopala de Villagrán, Hidalgo, Mexico

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea J. Roth-Monzón

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Current global changes are putting both biodiversity and the processes that depend on it at risk. This is especially true for semi-arid regions and the flagship groups that inhabit them, such as amphibians and reptiles. Semi-arid regions are often thought to have lower biodiversity and thus have been overlooked, resulting in the underestimation of their biological richness. Therefore, the aim of this study was to conduct an inventory of amphibians and reptiles in the semi-arid municipality of Nopala de Villagrán, Mexico, and analyze its biodiversity in relation to the seasons, vegetation and microhabitat. During a year of fieldwork, we found 24 species in the area, most of them of low abundance, and one of which was recorded for the first time for the state of Hidalgo. We documented five amphibian species and 19 reptile species. We also found that observed species richness was higher in the rainy season and in xeric scrub vegetation, although only the season differences were significant according to rarefaction curves. Our findings highlight the importance of seasonality and vegetation type for the species that inhabit this semi-arid region. This study broadens our understanding of the importance of semi-arid regions and, by extension, that of other areas with similar characteristics.

  2. Amphibian and reptile biodiversity in the semi-arid region of the municipality of Nopala de Villagrán, Hidalgo, Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mendoza-Hernández, Andrés Alberto; Flores-Villela, Oscar

    2018-01-01

    Current global changes are putting both biodiversity and the processes that depend on it at risk. This is especially true for semi-arid regions and the flagship groups that inhabit them, such as amphibians and reptiles. Semi-arid regions are often thought to have lower biodiversity and thus have been overlooked, resulting in the underestimation of their biological richness. Therefore, the aim of this study was to conduct an inventory of amphibians and reptiles in the semi-arid municipality of Nopala de Villagrán, Mexico, and analyze its biodiversity in relation to the seasons, vegetation and microhabitat. During a year of fieldwork, we found 24 species in the area, most of them of low abundance, and one of which was recorded for the first time for the state of Hidalgo. We documented five amphibian species and 19 reptile species. We also found that observed species richness was higher in the rainy season and in xeric scrub vegetation, although only the season differences were significant according to rarefaction curves. Our findings highlight the importance of seasonality and vegetation type for the species that inhabit this semi-arid region. This study broadens our understanding of the importance of semi-arid regions and, by extension, that of other areas with similar characteristics. PMID:29312825

  3. Mapping Soil hydrologic features in a semi-arid irrigated area in Spain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiménez-Aguirre, M.° Teresa; Isidoro, Daniel; Usón, Asunción

    2016-04-01

    The lack of soil information is a managerial problem in irrigated areas in Spain. The Violada Irrigation District (VID; 5234 ha) is a gypsic, semi-arid region in the Middle Ebro River Basin, northeast Spain. VID is under irrigation since the 1940's. The implementation of the flood irrigation system gave rise to waterlogging problems, solved along the years with the installation of an artificial drainage network. Aggregated water balances have been performed in VID since the early 1980's considering average soil properties and aggregated irrigation data for the calculations (crop evapotranspiration, canal seepage, and soil drainage). In 2008-2009, 91% of the VID was modernized to sprinkler irrigation. This new system provides detailed irrigation management information that together with detailed soil information would allow for disaggregated water balances for a better understanding of the system. Our goal was to draw a semi-detailed soil map of VID presenting the main soil characteristics related to irrigation management. A second step of the work was to set up pedotransfer functions (PTF) to estimate the water content and saturated hydraulic conductivity (Ks) from easily measurable parameters. Thirty four pits were opened, described and sampled for chemical and physical properties. Thirty three additional auger holes were sampled for water holding capacity (WHC; down to 60 cm), helping to draw the soil units boundaries. And 15 Ks tests (inverse auger hole method) were made. The WHC was determined as the difference between the field capacity (FC) and wilting point (WP) measured in samples dried at 40°C during 5 days. The comparison with old values dried at 105°C for 2 days highlighted the importance of the method when gypsum is present in order to avoid water removal from gypsum molecules. The soil map was drawn down to family level. Thirteen soil units were defined by the combination of five subgroups [Typic Calcixerept (A), Petrocalcic Calcixerept (B), Gypsic

  4. A 500-year history of floods in the semi arid basins of south-eastern Spain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sánchez García, Carlos; Schulte, Lothar; Peña, Juan Carlos; Carvalho, Filpe; Brembilla, Carla

    2016-04-01

    Floods are one of the natural hazards with higher incidence in the south-eastern Spain, the driest region in Europe, causing fatalities, damage of infrastructure and economic losses. Flash-floods in semi arid environments are related to intensive rainfall which can last from few hours to days. These floods are violent and destructive because of their high discharges, sediment transport and aggradation processes in the flood plain. Also during historical times floods affected the population in the south-eastern Spain causing sever damage or in some cases the complete destruction of towns. Our studies focus on the flood reconstruction from historical sources of the Almanzora, Aguas and Antas river basins, which have a surface between 260-2600 km2. We have also compiled information from the Andarax river and compared the flood series with the Guadalentín and Segura basins from previous studies (Benito et. al., 2010 y Machado et al., 2011). Flood intensities have been classified in four levels according to the type of damage: 1) ordinary floods that only affect agriculture plots; 2) extraordinary floods which produce some damage to buildings and hydraulic infrastructure; 3) catastrophic floods which caused sever damage, fatalities and partial or complete destruction of towns. A higher damage intensity of +1 magnitude was assigned when the event is recorded from more than one major sub-basin (stretches and tributaries such as Huércal-Overa basin) or catchment (e.g. Antas River). In total 102 incidences of damages and 89 floods were reconstructed in the Almanzora (2.611 km2), Aguas (539 km2), Antas (261 km2) and Andarax (2.100 km2) catchments. The Almanzora River was affected by 36 floods (1550-2012). The highest events for the Almanzora River were in 1580, 1879, 1973 and 2012 producing many fatalities and destruction of several towns. In addition, we identified four flood-clusters 1750-1780, 1870-1900, 1960-1977 and 1989-2012 which coincides with the periods of

  5. Machine learning for predicting soil classes in three semi-arid landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brungard, Colby W.; Boettinger, Janis L.; Duniway, Michael C.; Wills, Skye A.; Edwards, Thomas C.

    2015-01-01

    Mapping the spatial distribution of soil taxonomic classes is important for informing soil use and management decisions. Digital soil mapping (DSM) can quantitatively predict the spatial distribution of soil taxonomic classes. Key components of DSM are the method and the set of environmental covariates used to predict soil classes. Machine learning is a general term for a broad set of statistical modeling techniques. Many different machine learning models have been applied in the literature and there are different approaches for selecting covariates for DSM. However, there is little guidance as to which, if any, machine learning model and covariate set might be optimal for predicting soil classes across different landscapes. Our objective was to compare multiple machine learning models and covariate sets for predicting soil taxonomic classes at three geographically distinct areas in the semi-arid western United States of America (southern New Mexico, southwestern Utah, and northeastern Wyoming). All three areas were the focus of digital soil mapping studies. Sampling sites at each study area were selected using conditioned Latin hypercube sampling (cLHS). We compared models that had been used in other DSM studies, including clustering algorithms, discriminant analysis, multinomial logistic regression, neural networks, tree based methods, and support vector machine classifiers. Tested machine learning models were divided into three groups based on model complexity: simple, moderate, and complex. We also compared environmental covariates derived from digital elevation models and Landsat imagery that were divided into three different sets: 1) covariates selected a priori by soil scientists familiar with each area and used as input into cLHS, 2) the covariates in set 1 plus 113 additional covariates, and 3) covariates selected using recursive feature elimination. Overall, complex models were consistently more accurate than simple or moderately complex models. Random

  6. Cyanobacterial blooms in stratified and destratified eutrophic reservoirs in semi-arid region of Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ênio W. Dantas

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available This study investigated the dynamics of cyanobacteria in two deep, eutrophic reservoirs in a semi-arid region of Brazil during periods of stratification and destratification. Four collections were carried out at each reservoir at two depths at three-month intervals. The following abiotic variables were analyzed: water temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH, turbidity, water transparency, total phosphorus, total dissolved phosphorus, orthophosphate and total nitrogen. Phytoplankton density was quantified for the determination of the biomass of cyanobacteria. The data were analyzed using CCA. Higher mean phytoplankton biomass values (29.8 mm³.L-1 occurred in the period of thermal stratification. A greater similarity in the phytoplankton communities also occurred in this period and was related to the development of cyanobacteria, mainly Cylindrospermopsis raciborskii (>3.9 mm³.L-1. During the period of thermal destratification, this species co-dominated the environment with Planktothrix agardhii, Geitlerinema amphibium, Microcystis aeruginosa and Merismopedia tenuissima, as well as with diatoms and phytoflagellates. Environmental instability and competition among algae hindered the establishment of blooms more during the mixture period than during the stratification period. Thermal changes in the water column caused by climatologic events altered other physiochemical conditions of the water, leading to changes in the composition and biomass of the cyanobacterial community in tropical reservoirs.Este estudo investigou a dinâmica das cianobactérias em dois reservatórios eutróficos e profundos localizados na região semi-árida do Brasil durante períodos de estratificação e desestratificação térmica. Quatro coletas foram feitas em cada reservatório em duas profundidades em intervalo de três meses. As variáveis abióticas analisadas foram: temperatura da água, oxigênio dissolvido, pH, turbidez, transparência da água, fósforo total, f

  7. Direct radiative forcing properties of atmospheric aerosols over semi-arid region, Anantapur in India

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kalluri, Raja Obul Reddy; Gugamsetty, Balakrishnaiah [Aerosol & Atmospheric Research Laboratory, Department of Physics, Sri Krishnadevaraya University, Anantapur 515 003, Andhra Pradesh (India); Kotalo, Rama Gopal, E-mail: krgverma@yahoo.com [Aerosol & Atmospheric Research Laboratory, Department of Physics, Sri Krishnadevaraya University, Anantapur 515 003, Andhra Pradesh (India); Nagireddy, Siva Kumar Reddy; Tandule, Chakradhar Rao; Thotli, Lokeswara Reddy [Aerosol & Atmospheric Research Laboratory, Department of Physics, Sri Krishnadevaraya University, Anantapur 515 003, Andhra Pradesh (India); Rajuru Ramakrishna, Reddy [Aerosol & Atmospheric Research Laboratory, Department of Physics, Sri Krishnadevaraya University, Anantapur 515 003, Andhra Pradesh (India); Srinivasa Ramanujan Institute of Technology, B.K. Samudram Mandal, Anantapur 515 701, Andhra Pradesh (India); Surendranair, Suresh Babu [Space Physics Laboratory, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Trivandrum 695 022, Kerala (India)

    2016-10-01

    This paper describes the aerosols optical, physical characteristics and the aerosol radiative forcing pertaining to semi-arid region, Anantapur for the period January 2013-December 2014. Collocated measurements of Aerosol Optical Depth (AOD) and Black Carbon mass concentration (BC) are carried out by using MICROTOPS II and Aethalometer and estimated the aerosol radiative forcing over this location. The mean values of AOD at 500 nm are found to be 0.47 ± 0.09, 0.34 ± 0.08, 0.29 ± 0.06 and 0.30 ± 0.07 during summer, winter, monsoon and post-monsoon respectively. The Angstrom exponent (α{sub 380–1020}) value is observed maximum in March (1.25 ± 0.19) and which indicates the predominance of fine - mode aerosols and lowest in the month of July (0.33 ± 0.14) and may be due to the dominance of coarse-mode aerosols. The diurnal variation of BC is exhibited two height peaks during morning 07:00–08:00 (IST) and evening 19:00–21:00 (IST) hours and one minima noticed during afternoon (13:00–16:00). The highest monthly mean BC concentration is observed in the month of January (3.4 ± 1.2 μg m{sup −3}) and the lowest in July (1.1 ± 0.2 μg m{sup −3}). The estimated Aerosol Direct Radiative Forcing (ADRF) in the atmosphere is found to be + 36.8 ± 1.7 W m{sup −2}, + 26.9 ± 0.2 W m{sup −2}, + 18.0 ± 0.6 W m{sup −2} and + 18.5 ± 3.1 W m{sup −2} during summer, winter, monsoon and post-monsoon seasons, respectively. Large difference between TOA and BOA forcing is observed during summer which indicate the large absorption of radiant energy (36.80 W m{sup −2}) which contributes more increase in atmospheric heating by ~ 1 K/day. The BC contribution on an average is found to be 64% and is responsible for aerosol atmospheric heating. - Highlights: • The mean values of AOD{sub 500} are found to be high during summer whereas low in monsoon. • The highest values of BC are observed in January and the lowest in the month of July. • The annual mean

  8. Direct radiative forcing properties of atmospheric aerosols over semi-arid region, Anantapur in India

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kalluri, Raja Obul Reddy; Gugamsetty, Balakrishnaiah; Kotalo, Rama Gopal; Nagireddy, Siva Kumar Reddy; Tandule, Chakradhar Rao; Thotli, Lokeswara Reddy; Rajuru Ramakrishna, Reddy; Surendranair, Suresh Babu

    2016-01-01

    This paper describes the aerosols optical, physical characteristics and the aerosol radiative forcing pertaining to semi-arid region, Anantapur for the period January 2013-December 2014. Collocated measurements of Aerosol Optical Depth (AOD) and Black Carbon mass concentration (BC) are carried out by using MICROTOPS II and Aethalometer and estimated the aerosol radiative forcing over this location. The mean values of AOD at 500 nm are found to be 0.47 ± 0.09, 0.34 ± 0.08, 0.29 ± 0.06 and 0.30 ± 0.07 during summer, winter, monsoon and post-monsoon respectively. The Angstrom exponent (α_3_8_0_–_1_0_2_0) value is observed maximum in March (1.25 ± 0.19) and which indicates the predominance of fine - mode aerosols and lowest in the month of July (0.33 ± 0.14) and may be due to the dominance of coarse-mode aerosols. The diurnal variation of BC is exhibited two height peaks during morning 07:00–08:00 (IST) and evening 19:00–21:00 (IST) hours and one minima noticed during afternoon (13:00–16:00). The highest monthly mean BC concentration is observed in the month of January (3.4 ± 1.2 μg m"−"3) and the lowest in July (1.1 ± 0.2 μg m"−"3). The estimated Aerosol Direct Radiative Forcing (ADRF) in the atmosphere is found to be + 36.8 ± 1.7 W m"−"2, + 26.9 ± 0.2 W m"−"2, + 18.0 ± 0.6 W m"−"2 and + 18.5 ± 3.1 W m"−"2 during summer, winter, monsoon and post-monsoon seasons, respectively. Large difference between TOA and BOA forcing is observed during summer which indicate the large absorption of radiant energy (36.80 W m"−"2) which contributes more increase in atmospheric heating by ~ 1 K/day. The BC contribution on an average is found to be 64% and is responsible for aerosol atmospheric heating. - Highlights: • The mean values of AOD_5_0_0 are found to be high during summer whereas low in monsoon. • The highest values of BC are observed in January and the lowest in the month of July. • The annual mean atmospheric forcing is found to be

  9. Optimizing irrigation and nitrogen for wheat through empirical modeling under semi-arid environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saeed, Umer; Wajid, Syed Aftab; Khaliq, Tasneem; Zahir, Zahir Ahmad

    2017-04-01

    reducing irrigation from I 300 to I 240 mm during 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 did not reduce crop yield significantly (P nitrogen application ranged from 31.2 to 55.4% at N 180 and N 240 kg ha -1 for different levels of irrigation. It is concluded from study that irrigation and nitrogen relationship can be used for efficient management of irrigation and nitrogen and to reduce nitrogen losses. The empirical equations developed in this study can help farmers of semi-arid environment to calculate optimum level of irrigation and nitrogen for maximum economic return from wheat.

  10. Hierarchical distance-based fuzzy approach to evaluate urban water supply systems in a semi-arid region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yekta, Tahereh Sadeghi; Khazaei, Mohammad; Nabizadeh, Ramin; Mahvi, Amir Hossein; Nasseri, Simin; Yari, Ahmad Reza

    2015-01-01

    Hierarchical distance-based fuzzy multi-criteria group decision making was served as a tool to evaluate the drinking water supply systems of Qom, a semi-arid city located in central part of Iran. A list of aspects consisting of 6 criteria and 35 sub-criteria were evaluated based on a linguistic term set by five decision-makers. Four water supply alternatives including "Public desalinated distribution system", "PET Bottled Drinking Water", "Private desalinated water suppliers" and "Household desalinated water units" were assessed based on criteria and sub-criteria. Data were aggregated and normalized to apply Performance Ratings of Alternatives. Also, the Performance Ratings of Alternatives were aggregated again to achieve the Aggregate Performance Ratings. The weighted distances from ideal solution and anti-ideal solution were calculated after secondary normalization. The proximity of each alternative to the ideal solution was determined as the final step. The alternatives were ranked based on the magnitude of ideal solutions. Results showed that "Public desalinated distribution system" was the most appropriate alternative to supply the drinking needs of Qom population. Also, "PET Bottled Drinking Water" was the second acceptable option. A novel classification of alternatives to satisfy the drinking water requirements was proposed which is applicable for the other cities located in semi-arid regions of Iran. The health issues were considered as independent criterion, distinct from the environmental issues. The constraints of high-tech alternatives were also considered regarding to the level of dependency on overseas.

  11. Ideal proportion of roughage and concentrate for Malpura ewes to adapt and reproduce in a semi-arid tropical environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Indu, Shekhawat; Sejian, Veerasamy; Kumar, Davendra; Pareek, Arvind; Naqvi, Syed Mohammad Krusheed

    2015-12-01

    The study was designed to identify the most appropriate roughage to concentrate ratio for Malpura ewes under semi-arid tropical environments. The study was conducted for a period of 35 days and included 30 (2 years old) non-pregnant Malpura ewes weighing between 30 and 35 kg. Estrus synchronization was carried out in all the animals using indigenously developed intravaginal sponges impregnated with progesterone. The ewes were randomly divided into three groups (n = 10/group) namely R50 (n = 10; roughage to concentrate, 50:50), R60 (n = 10; roughage to concentrate, 60:40), and R70 (n = 10; roughage to concentrate, 70:30). Individual feed and water intake was recorded on a daily basis throughout the course of the study. Growth variables, physiological responses, blood metabolites, and endocrine responses were estimated at weekly intervals. Results of the study indicated that nutritional treatment significantly influenced growth variables including body weight (p progesterone, PCV, total cholesterol, total protein, albumin, estrus%, and estrus cycle length. Since the additional concentrate supplementation in R50 and R60 did not improve the production variables, it can be concluded that providing 70 % roughage and 30 % concentrate could be a more appropriate and economically feasible ration composition for Malpura ewes reared in semi-arid tropical environments.

  12. Impact of Surface Soil Moisture Variations on Radar Altimetry Echoes at Ku and Ka Bands in Semi-Arid Areas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christophe Fatras

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Radar altimetry provides information on the topography of the Earth surface. It is commonly used for the monitoring not only sea surface height but also ice sheets topography and inland water levels. The radar altimetry backscattering coefficient, which depends on surface roughness and water content, can be related to surface properties such as surface soil moisture content. In this study, the influence of surface soil moisture on the radar altimetry echo and backscattering coefficient is analyzed over semi-arid areas. A semi-empirical model of the soil’s complex dielectric permittivity that takes into account that small-scale roughness and large-scale topography was developed to simulate the radar echoes. It was validated using waveforms acquired at Ku and Ka-bands by ENVISAT RA-2 and SARAL AltiKa respectively over several sites in Mali. Correlation coefficients ranging from 0.66 to 0.94 at Ku-band and from 0.27 to 0.96 at Ka-band were found. The increase in surface soil moisture from 0.02 to 0.4 (i.e., the typical range of variations in semi-arid areas increase the backscattering from 10 to 15 dB between the core of the dry and the maximum of the rainy seasons.

  13. Agronomic performance of onion hybrids in Baraúna, in the semi-arid region of Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Renato Leandro Costa Nunes

    Full Text Available In the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Norte, the significant planting of onions is relatively recent, with producers seeking alternative ways to reduce losses. As a result, it was aimed to evaluate the agronomic performance of onion hybrids in the town of Baraúna in the semi-arid region of Rio Grande do Norte. The experimental design was of randomised blocks with six replications. Treatments consisted of eight hybrids (Cronus F1, Predilata F1, Serena F1, Fortaleza F1, Mata Hari, Luana, Lambada, Don Victor and a control cultivar (IPA 11. The following were evaluated: average plant height; average number of leaves; diameter of the pseudostem; productivity; average bulb weight; rate of survival; leaf-waxiness; cultivar cycle; commercial classification of the bulbs. The Serena F1 and Mata Hari cultivars are recommended for the northeast semi-arid region due to high productivity, early cycle and better bulb classification. The use of these cultivars may help, in the short term, to change cultivation of the onion in the state of Rio Grande do Norte.

  14. Hydrological Design of Two Low-Impact Development Techniques in a Semi-Arid Climate Zone of Central Mexico

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liliana Lizárraga-Mendiola

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available This paper deals with the design of a bioretention cell and an infiltration trench in a semi- arid micro watershed. The study area was analyzed by characteristics such as slope changes (S, direction and maximum length of the urban runoff (L, and soil use (runoff coefficient, Rc. The bioretention cell was designed by the calculation of variables such as drainage area (A, concentration time (Tc, rainfall intensity (i, maximum peak drained (Qmax, inlet and outlet runoff (Qa and Qout, respectively, temperature (T, evaporation (Ev, potential evapotranspiration (PEm, consumptive use (U for tolerant plants to semi-arid climates, and soil infiltration capacity (Inf. To design the infiltration trench, only Tc, Qmax, and i were taken into account. The results showed that the designed bioretention cell could retain between 5.37% and 2.25% of runoff volume. As the efficiency of the bioretention cell can be defined by the need for additional irrigation, our results showed that the cell is inefficient in some of the dry months (November and December, even in years characterized by abundant rainfall. Besides, it was shown that the designed infiltration trench could store or infiltrate the water from typical rain events. Based on these results, it is the implementation of more Low-Impact Development (LID for runoff management in the study area is recommended.

  15. Using RapidEye and MODIS Data Fusion to Monitor Vegetation Dynamics in Semi-Arid Rangelands in South Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andreas Tewes

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Image time series of high temporal and spatial resolution capture land surface dynamics of heterogeneous landscapes. We applied the ESTARFM (Enhanced Spatial and Temporal Adaptive Reflectance Fusion Model algorithm to multi-spectral images covering two semi-arid heterogeneous rangeland study sites located in South Africa. MODIS 250 m resolution and RapidEye 5 m resolution images were fused to produce synthetic RapidEye images, from June 2011 to July 2012. We evaluated the performance of the algorithm by comparing predicted surface reflectance values to real RapidEye images. Our results show that ESTARFM predictions are accurate, with a coefficient of determination for the red band 0.80 < R2 < 0.92, and for the near-infrared band 0.83 < R2 < 0.93, a mean relative bias between 6% and 12% for the red band and 4% to 9% in the near-infrared band. Heterogeneous vegetation at sub-MODIS resolution is captured adequately: A comparison of NDVI time series derived from RapidEye and ESTARFM data shows that the characteristic phenological dynamics of different vegetation types are reproduced well. We conclude that the ESTARFM algorithm allows us to produce synthetic remote sensing images at high spatial combined with high temporal resolution and so provides valuable information on vegetation dynamics in semi-arid, heterogeneous rangeland landscapes.

  16. Influence of hydraulic and geomorphologic components of a semi-arid watershed on depleted-uranium transport

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Becker, N.M.

    1991-01-01

    Investigations were undertaken to determine the fate and transport of depleted uranium away from high explosive firing sites at Los Alamos National Laboratory in north-central New Mexico. Investigations concentrated on a small, semi-arid watershed which drains 5 firing sites. Sampling for uranium in spring/summer/fall runoff, snowmelt runoff, in fallout, and in soil and in sediments revealed that surface water is the main transport mechanism. Although the watershed is less than 8 km 2 , flow discontinuity was observed between the divide and the outlet; flow discontinuity occurs in semi-arid and arid watersheds, but was unexpected at this scale. This region, termed a discharge sink, is an area where all flow infiltrates and all sediment, including uranium, deposits during nearly all flow events; it is estimated that the discharge sink has provided the locale for uranium detention during the last 23 years. Mass balance calculations indicate that over 90% of uranium expended still remains at or nearby the firing sites. Leaching experiments determined that uranium can rapidly dissolve from the solid phase. It is postulated that precipitation and runoff which percolate vertically through uranium-contaminated soil and sediment are capable of transporting uranium in the dissolved phase to deeper strata. This may be the key transport mechanism which moves uranium out of the watershed

  17. Synchronic historical patterns of species diversification in seasonal aplocheiloid killifishes of the semi-arid Brazilian Caatinga.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costa, Wilson J E M; Amorim, Pedro F; Mattos, José Leonardo O

    2018-01-01

    The Caatinga is the largest nucleus of seasonally dry tropical forests in South America, but little is known about the evolutionary history and biogeography of endemic organisms. Evolutionary diversification and distribution of terrestrial vertebrates endemic to the Caatinga have been explained by palaeogeographical Neogene episodes, mostly related to changes in the course of the São Francisco River, the largest river in the region. Our objective is to estimate the timing of divergence of two endemic groups of short-lived seasonal killifishes inhabiting all ecoregions of the Caatinga, testing the occurrence of synchronic events of spatial diversification in light of available data on regional palaeogeography. We performed independent time-calibrated phylogenetic molecular analyses for two clades of sympatric and geographically widespread seasonal killifishes endemic to the Caatinga, the Hypsolebias antenori group and the Cynolebias alpha-clade. Our results consistently indicate that species diversification took place synchronically in both groups, as well as it is contemporary to diversification of other organisms adapted to life in the semi-arid Caatinga, including lizards and small mammals. Both groups originated during the Miocene, but species diversification started between the Late Miocene and Early Pliocene, when global cooling probably favoured the expansion of semi-arid areas. Synchronic diversification patterns found are chronologically related to Tertiary palaeogeographical reorganizations associated to continental drift and to Quaternary climatic changes, corroborating the recent proposal that South American biodiversity has been continuously shaped between the Late Paleogene and Pleistocene.

  18. Diurnal and Seasonal Variation of Surface Urban Cool and Heat Islands in the Semi-Arid City of Erbil, Iraq

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Azad Rasul

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available The influence of land surface temperature (LST makes the near-surface layer of the troposphere a key driver of urban climate. This paper assesses the temporal formation of the daytime Surface Urban Cool Island (SUCI and night-time Surface Urban Heat Island (SUHI effect in Erbil, Iraq, situated in a semi-arid climate region. LST retrievals from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS Aqua and Terra and MODIS Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI from January 2003 to December 2014 are analysed. The relationships of LST with NDVI and the Normalized Multi-band Drought Index (NMDI are investigated in order to assess the influence of vegetation and moisture on the observed patterns of LST and the SUCI/SUHI. The results indicate that during the daytime, in summer, autumn and winter, densely built-up areas had lower LST acting as a SUCI compared to the non-urbanised area around the city. In contrast, at night-time, Erbil experienced higher LST and demonstrated a significant SUHI effect. The relationship between LST and NDVI is affected by seasonality and is strongly inverted during spring (r2 = 0.73; p < 0.01. Contrary to previous studies of semi-arid cities, a SUCI was detected, not only in the morning, but also during the afternoon.

  19. Synchronic historical patterns of species diversification in seasonal aplocheiloid killifishes of the semi-arid Brazilian Caatinga.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wilson J E M Costa

    Full Text Available The Caatinga is the largest nucleus of seasonally dry tropical forests in South America, but little is known about the evolutionary history and biogeography of endemic organisms. Evolutionary diversification and distribution of terrestrial vertebrates endemic to the Caatinga have been explained by palaeogeographical Neogene episodes, mostly related to changes in the course of the São Francisco River, the largest river in the region. Our objective is to estimate the timing of divergence of two endemic groups of short-lived seasonal killifishes inhabiting all ecoregions of the Caatinga, testing the occurrence of synchronic events of spatial diversification in light of available data on regional palaeogeography. We performed independent time-calibrated phylogenetic molecular analyses for two clades of sympatric and geographically widespread seasonal killifishes endemic to the Caatinga, the Hypsolebias antenori group and the Cynolebias alpha-clade. Our results consistently indicate that species diversification took place synchronically in both groups, as well as it is contemporary to diversification of other organisms adapted to life in the semi-arid Caatinga, including lizards and small mammals. Both groups originated during the Miocene, but species diversification started between the Late Miocene and Early Pliocene, when global cooling probably favoured the expansion of semi-arid areas. Synchronic diversification patterns found are chronologically related to Tertiary palaeogeographical reorganizations associated to continental drift and to Quaternary climatic changes, corroborating the recent proposal that South American biodiversity has been continuously shaped between the Late Paleogene and Pleistocene.

  20. A Tool for the Evaluation of Irrigation Water Quality in the Arid and Semi-Arid Regions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lucia Bortolini

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available In the Mediterranean arid and semi-arid regions, large amounts of low quality waters could be used for crop irrigation, but the adoption of articulated classifications with too rigid quality limits can often reduce the recoverable quantities of water and make the monitoring of water quality too much expensive. Therefore, an evaluation of irrigation water quality based on only a few crucial parameters, which consider the crop species to be irrigated and the type of irrigation system and management adopted, can be an easy and flexible method for maximizing the reuse of wastewater and low-quality water for agricultural purposes. In this view, an irrigation water quality tool (IWQT was developed to support farmers of arid and semi-arid regions on evaluating the use of low quality water for crop irrigation. The most significant and cheapest parameters of irrigation water quality were identified and clustered in three quality classes according to their effects on crop yield and soil fertility (agronomic quality indicators, human health (hygiene and health quality indicators, and irrigation systems (management quality indicators. According to IWQT parameters, a tool reporting a series of recommendations, including water treatment types, was implemented to guide farmers on the use of low quality irrigation water.

  1. Quality of urban runoff in wet and dry seasons: a case study in a semi-arid zone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ortiz-Hernández, Joyce; Lucho-Constantino, Carlos; Lizárraga-Mendiola, Liliana; Beltrán-Hernández, Rosa Icela; Coronel-Olivares, Claudia; Vázquez-Rodríguez, Gabriela

    2016-12-01

    Urban runoff (UR) is a promising new resource that may alleviate growing tensions in numerous arid and semi-arid regions of the world. However, it is precisely in these zones that the available UR quality characteristics are scarcer. This work aims to evaluate a wide set of parameters to establish a detailed approach to both the quality of UR in a midsized city in Central Mexico and the feasibility of using UR to recharge aquifers. UR from an institutional land use site was sampled during wet and dry seasons and assessed for suspended solids, organic matter, nutrients, microorganisms, metals, and persistent organic chemicals (i.e., polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, PAH). The results were analyzed using multivariate statistical methods to identify relationships among the variables, the sampling sites and the seasons. The soil erosion and the leaching of materials due to the water flow through vegetated areas were identified as the most influencing factor on the quality of the site runoff in both dry and wet seasons. Additionally, data were more heterogeneous during the dry season, and higher pollutant concentrations were found both during the dry season and in more pervious zones. We consider UR a promising water source for recharging aquifers in arid and semi-arid zones if a program is implemented that can integrate an adequate runoff treatment system, soil protection, and other non-structural measures.

  2. LEAF AREA DYNAMICS AND ABOVEGROUND BIOMASS OF SPECIFIC VEGETATION TYPES OF A SEMI-ARID GRASSLAND IN SOUTHERN ETHIOPIA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bosco Kidake Kisambo

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Leaf Area Index (LAI dynamics and aboveground biomass of a semi-arid grassland region in Southern Ethiopia were determined over a long rain season. The vegetation was categorized into four distinct vegetation types namely Grassland (G, Tree-Grassland (TG, Bushed-Grassland (BG and Bush-Tree grassland (BT. LAI was measured using a Plant Canopy Analyzer (LAI2000. Biomass dynamics of litter and herbaceous components were determined through clipping while the above ground biomass of trees and shrubs were estimated using species-specific allometric equations from literature. LAI showed a seasonal increase over the season with the maximum recorded in the BG vegetation (2.52. Total aboveground biomass for the different vegetation types ranged from 0.61 ton C/ha in areas where trees were non-existent to 8.80 ± 3.81ton C/ha in the Tree-Grassland vegetation in the study site. A correlation of LAI and AGB yielded a positive relationship with an R2 value of 0.55. The results demonstrate the importance of tropical semi-arid grasslands as carbon sinks hence their potential in mitigation of climate change.

  3. Water Resources Response to Climate and Land-Cover Changes in a Semi-Arid Watershed, New Mexico, USA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joonghyeok Heo

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available This research evaluates a climate-land cover-water resources interconnected system in a semi-arid watershed with minimal human impact from 1970 - 2009. We found _ increase in temperature and 10.9% decrease in precipitation. The temperature exhibited a lower increase trend and precipitation showed a similar decrease trend compared to previous studies. The dominant land-cover change trend was grass and forest conversion into bush/shrub and developed land and crop land into barren and grass land. These alterations indicate that changes in temperature and precipitation in the study area may be linked to changes in land cover, although human intervention is recognized as the major land-cover change contributor for the short term. These alterations also suggest that decreasing human activity in the study area leads to developed land and crop land conversion into barren and grass land. Hydrological responses to climate and land-cover changes for surface runoff, groundwater discharge, soil water content and evapotranspiration decreased by 10.2, 10.0, 4.1, and 10.5%, respectively. Hydrological parameters generally follow similar trends to that of precipitation in semi-arid watersheds with minimal human development. Soil water content is sensitive to land-cover change and offset relatively by the changes in precipitation.

  4. The linkage between household water consumption and rainfall in the semi-arid region of East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Messakh, J. J.; Moy, D. L.; Mojo, D.; Maliti, Y.

    2018-01-01

    Several studies have shown that the amount of water consumption by communities will depend on the factors of water consumption patterns that are influenced by social, cultural, economic and local climate conditions. Research on the linkage between rainfall and household water consumption in semi-arid areas of Indonesia has never been done. This study has been conducted on 17 regions in NTT, and case study has taken samples in one town and one village. The research used survey and documentation method. The results show that the average amount of household water consumption in semi-arid region of East Nusa Tenggara is 107 liters / person / day. Statistical test results using Pearson correlation found r = -0.194 and sig = 0.448. This means that there is a negative correlation between rainfall and household water consumption. The greater the rainfall the smaller the consumption of water, or the smaller the rainfall the greater the consumption of water, but the linkage is not significant. Research shows that the amount of household water consumption will be influenced by many interrelated factors and none of the most dominant factors, including the size of the rainfall that occurs in a region.

  5. Analysis of the Current Nutrient Management Practices in Semi-Arid Areas of Eastern Kenya: A Nutmon Approach

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Karuku, A.M.

    2002-01-01

    Declining soil fertility caused mainly by continuous cultivation without adequate replenishment of nutrients, is a major factor contributing to low crop yields in the arid and semi arid areas of Kenya. Development of appropriate nutrient management strategies for suitable agricultural production in these areas is, therefore, a priority issue. in the study reported here, analyses of the current nutrient management practices were carried out using the nutrient monitoring (NUTMON) approach in order to create farm house-hold awareness on nutrient management aspects. The procedure involved participatory soil and nutrient flow maps and soil sampling at farm level. laboratory analysis of the soil samples was later carried out. Structured questionnaires were used for systematic collection of information on farm management practices in order to quantify flows of materials with emphasis on soil nutrients and cash. Results of the laboratory soil analysis were also presented to the farmers and discussed during feedback sessions. The test was carried out in three places namely, Kibwezi, Kasikeu and Kiomo. In all the three clusters, off-farm income was an important component of the total family income. Farm net cash flow was highest in Kibwezi cluster due to horticultural crop production activities. Household net cash flow was highest in Kasikeu, largely originating from off-farm income. It was concluded that NUTMON methodology appeared a suitable tool for the diagnostic of the farming system analysis and design in the arid and semi-arid lands of Kenya

  6. Management of nutrients and water in rainfed arid and semi-arid areas. Proceedings of a consultants meeting

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1998-07-01

    Sustainable food security is needed for the arid and semi-arid regions of the tropical, subtropical and warm-temperate climatic zones. In these regions the supply of locally grown food is unreliable because much of it is produced in conditions of highly variable rainfall. Even in favourable seasons, these regions re becoming increasingly dependent on imported food. The IAEA's involvement in field studies on soil-water use dates back several years. A five year Co-ordinated Research Project on ''The Use of Nuclear and Related Techniques in Assessment of Irrigation Schedules of Field Crops to Increase Effective Use of Water in Irrigation Projects''. That project, completed in 1995, laid a solid foundation for future research. Because of a scarcity of water in many developing countries and increasing needs for sustainable food security in the face of increasing populations and lack of funds for irrigation schemes of significant dimension, research must focus on improved management of (i) the modest quantities of fertilizers that are available to farmers, (ii) the natural resources that are available to farmers for increasing soil organic matter content, and (iii) rain water. The Joint FAO/IAEA Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture held a Consultants Meeting on Management of Nutrients and Water in Rainfed Arid and Semi-Arid Areas for Increasing Crop Production, 26-29 May 1997

  7. Hydric soils and the relationship to plant diversity within reclaimed stream channels in semi-arid environments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schladweiler, B.K.; Rexroat, S.; Benson, S.

    1999-01-01

    Wetlands are especially important in semi-arid environments, such as the Powder River Basin of northeastern Wyoming, where water is a limiting factor for living organisms. Within this coal mining region of northeastern Wyoming, jurisdictional wetlands are mapped according to the US Army Corps of Engineers 1987 delineation procedure. Within the coal mining region of northeastern Wyoming, little or no full-scale mitigation or reconstruction attempts of jurisdictional wetland areas have been made until recently. Based on the importance of wetlands in a semi-arid environment and lack of information on existing or reconstructed areas, the specific objectives of the 1998 fieldwork were: (1) To define the pre-disturbance ecological state of hydric soils within jurisdictional sections of stream channels on two coal permit areas in northeastern Wyoming, and (2) To determine the effect that hydric soil parameters have on plant community distribution and composition within the two coal permit areas. Undisturbed sections of stream channels and disturbed sections of reconstructed or modified stream channels at the Rawhide Mine and Buckskin Mine, located north of Gillette, Wyoming, were selected for the study. Soils field and laboratory information and field vegetation cover were collected during 1998 within native stream channels and disturbed stream channels that had been reclaimed at each mine. Soils laboratory information is currently preliminary and included pH, electrical conductivity and sodium adsorption ratio. Results and statistical comparisons between soils and vegetation data will be presented

  8. Interaction of water components in the semi-arid Huasco and Limarí river basins, North Central Chile

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. Strauch

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available For sustainable water resource management in semi-arid regions, sound information is required about interactions between the different components of the water system: rain/snow precipitation, surface/subsurface run-off, groundwater recharge. Exemplarily, the Huasco and Limarí river basins as water stressed river catchments have been studied by isotope and hydrochemical methods for (i the origin of water, (ii water quality, (iii relations of surface and groundwater.

    Applying the complex multi-isotopic and hydrochemical methodology to the water components of the Huasco and Limarí basins, a differentiation of water components concerning subsurface flow and river water along the catchment area and by anthropogenic impacts are detected. Sulphate and nitrate concentrations indicate remarkable input from mining and agricultural activities along the river catchment.

    The 2H-18O relations of river water and groundwater of both catchments point to the behaviour of river waters originated in an arid to semi-arid environment.

    Consequently, the groundwater from several production wells in the lower parts of the catchments is related to the rivers where the wells located, however, it can be distinguished from the river water. Using the hydrological water balance and the isotope mixing model, the interaction between surface and subsurface flows and river flow is estimated.

  9. Adaptation to New Climate by an Old Strategy? Modeling Sedentary and Mobile Pastoralism in Semi-Arid Morocco

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Korbinian P. Freier

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available In a modeling study we examine vulnerability of income from mobile (transhumant pastoralism and sedentary pastoralism to reduced mean annual precipitation (MAP and droughts. The study is based on empirical data of a 3410 km2 research region in southern, semi-arid Morocco. The land use decision model integrates a meta-model of the Environmental Policy Integrated Climate (EPIC simulator to depict perennial and annual forage plant development. It also includes livestock dynamics and forward-looking decision making under uncertain weather. Mobile livestock in the model moves seasonally, sedentary livestock is restricted to pastures around settlements. For a reduction of MAP by 20%, our model shows for different experimental frequencies of droughts a significant decrease of total income from pastoralism by 8%–19% (p < 0.05. Looking separately at the two modes of pastoralism, pronounced income losses of 18%–44% (p < 0.05 show that sedentary pastoralism is much more vulnerable to dryer climate than mobile pastoralism, which is merely affected. Dedicating more pasture area and high quality fodder to mobile pastoralism significantly abates impacts from reduced MAP and droughts on total income by 11% (p < 0.05. Our results indicate that promotion of mobile pastoralism in semi-arid areas is a valuable option to increase resilience against climate change.

  10. Ground Monitoring Neotropical Dry Forests: A Sensor Network for Forest and Microclimate Dynamics in Semi-Arid Environments (Enviro-Net°)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rankine, C. J.; Sánchez-Azofeifa, G.

    2011-12-01

    storage, management, visualization, and retrieval for further analysis. The use of tower and ground-based optical sensor networks and meteorological monitoring instrumentation has proven effective in capturing seasonal growth patterns in primary and secondary forest stands. Furthermore, the observed trends in above and below ground microclimate variables are shown to closely correlate with in-situ vegetative indices (NDVI and EVI) across study sites. These long-term environmental sensory data streams provide valuable insights as to how these threatened semi-arid ecosystems regenerate after disturbances and how they respond to environmental stress such as climate change in the tropical and sub-tropical latitudes.

  11. Biocrusts modulate warming and rainfall exclusion effects on soil respiration in a semi-arid grassland

    OpenAIRE

    Escolar, Cristina; Maestre, Fernando T.; Rey, Ana

    2015-01-01

    Soil surface communities composed of cyanobacteria, algae, mosses, liverworts, fungi, bacteria and lichens (biocrusts) largely affect soil respiration in dryland ecosystems. Climate change is expected to have large effects on biocrusts and associated ecosystem processes. However, few studies so far have experimentally assessed how expected changes in temperature and rainfall will affect soil respiration in biocrust-dominated ecosystems. We evaluated the impacts of biocrust development, increa...

  12. 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

  13. Fire-induced albedo change and surface radiative forcing in sub-Saharan Africa savanna ecosystems: Implications for the energy balance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dintwe, Kebonye; Okin, Gregory S.; Xue, Yongkang

    2017-06-01

    Surface albedo is a critical parameter that controls surface energy balance. In dryland ecosystems, fires play a significant role in decreasing surface albedo, resulting in positive radiative forcing. Here we investigate the long-term effect of fire on surface albedo. We devised a method to calculate short-, medium-, and long-term effect of fire-induced radiative forcing and their relative effects on energy balance. We used Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) data in our analysis, covering different vegetation classes in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Our analysis indicated that mean short-term fire-induced albedo change in SSA was -0.022, -0.035, and -0.041 for savannas, shrubland, and grasslands, respectively. At regional scale, mean fire-induced albedo change in savannas was -0.018 and -0.024 for northern sub-Saharan of Africa and the southern hemisphere Africa, respectively. The short-term mean fire-induced radiative forcing in burned areas in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) was 5.41 W m-2, which contributed continental and global radiative forcings of 0.25 and 0.058 W m-2, respectively. The impact of fire in surface albedo has long-lasting effects that varies with vegetation type. The long-term energetic effects of fire-induced albedo change and associated radiative forcing were, on average, more than 19 times greater across SSA than the short-term effects, suggesting that fires exerted far more radiative forcing than previously thought. Taking into account the actual duration of fire's effect on surface albedo, we conclude that the contribution of SSA fires, globally and throughout the year, is 0.12 W m-2. These findings provide crucial information on possible impact of fire on regional climate variability.

  14. Mapping Annual Forest Cover in Sub-Humid and Semi-Arid Regions through Analysis of Landsat and PALSAR Imagery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuanwei Qin

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Accurately mapping the spatial distribution of forests in sub-humid to semi-arid regions over time is important for forest management but a challenging task. Relatively large uncertainties still exist in the spatial distribution of forests and forest changes in the sub-humid and semi-arid regions. Numerous publications have used either optical or synthetic aperture radar (SAR remote sensing imagery, but the resultant forest cover maps often have large errors. In this study, we propose a pixel- and rule-based algorithm to identify and map annual forests from 2007 to 2010 in Oklahoma, USA, a transitional region with various climates and landscapes, using the integration of the L-band Advanced Land Observation Satellite (ALOS PALSAR Fine Beam Dual Polarization (FBD mosaic dataset and Landsat images. The overall accuracy and Kappa coefficient of the PALSAR/Landsat forest map were about 88.2% and 0.75 in 2010, with the user and producer accuracy about 93.4% and 75.7%, based on the 3270 random ground plots collected in 2012 and 2013. Compared with the forest products from Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA, National Land Cover Database (NLCD, Oklahoma Ecological Systems Map (OKESM and Oklahoma Forest Resource Assessment (OKFRA, the PALSAR/Landsat forest map showed great improvement. The area of the PALSAR/Landsat forest was about 40,149 km2 in 2010, which was close to the area from OKFRA (40,468 km2, but much larger than those from JAXA (32,403 km2 and NLCD (37,628 km2. We analyzed annual forest cover dynamics, and the results show extensive forest cover loss (2761 km2, 6.9% of the total forest area in 2010 and gain (3630 km2, 9.0% in southeast and central Oklahoma, and the total area of forests increased by 684 km2 from 2007 to 2010. This study clearly demonstrates the potential of data fusion between PALSAR and Landsat images for mapping annual forest cover dynamics in sub-humid to semi-arid regions, and the resultant forest maps would be

  15. A Framework Predicting Water Availability in a Rapidly Growing, Semi-Arid Region under Future Climate Change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, B.; Benner, S. G.; Glenn, N. F.; Lindquist, E.; Dahal, K. R.; Bolte, J.; Vache, K. B.; Flores, A. N.

    2014-12-01

    Climate change can lead to dramatic variations in hydrologic regime, affecting both surface water and groundwater supply. This effect is most significant in populated semi-arid regions where water availability are highly sensitive to climate-induced outcomes. However, predicting water availability at regional scales, while resolving some of the key internal variability and structure in semi-arid regions is difficult due to the highly non-linearity relationship between rainfall and runoff. In this study, we describe the development of a modeling framework to evaluate future water availability that captures elements of the coupled response of the biophysical system to climate change and human systems. The framework is built under the Envision multi-agent simulation tool, characterizing the spatial patterns of water demand in the semi-arid Treasure Valley area of Southwest Idaho - a rapidly developing socio-ecological system where urban growth is displacing agricultural production. The semi-conceptual HBV model, a population growth and allocation model (Target), a vegetation state and transition model (SSTM), and a statistically based fire disturbance model (SpatialAllocator) are integrated to simulate hydrology, population and land use. Six alternative scenarios are composed by combining two climate change scenarios (RCP4.5 and RCP8.5) with three population growth and allocation scenarios (Status Quo, Managed Growth, and Unconstrained Growth). Five-year calibration and validation performances are assessed with Nash-Sutcliffe efficiency. Irrigation activities are simulated using local water rights. Results show that in all scenarios, annual mean stream flow decreases as the projected rainfall increases because the projected warmer climate also enhances water losses to evapotranspiration. Seasonal maximum stream flow tends to occur earlier than in current conditions due to the earlier peak of snow melting. The aridity index and water deficit generally increase in the

  16. Modeled Impacts of Chronic Wasting Disease on White-Tailed Deer in a Semi-Arid Environment.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aaron M Foley

    Full Text Available White-tailed deer are a culturally and economically important game species in North America, especially in South Texas. The recent discovery of chronic wasting disease (CWD in captive deer facilities in Texas has increased concern about the potential emergence of CWD in free-ranging deer. The concern is exacerbated because much of the South Texas region is a semi-arid environment with variable rainfall, where precipitation is strongly correlated with fawn recruitment. Further, the marginally productive rangelands, in combination with erratic fawn recruitment, results in populations that are frequently density-independent, and thus sensitive to additive mortality. It is unknown how a deer population in semi-arid regions would respond to the presence of CWD. We used long-term empirical datasets from a lightly harvested (2% annual harvest population in conjunction with 3 prevalence growth rates from CWD afflicted areas (0.26%, 0.83%, and 2.3% increases per year via a multi-stage partially deterministic model to simulate a deer population for 25 years under four scenarios: 1 without CWD and without harvest, 2 with CWD and without harvest, 3 with CWD and male harvest only, and 4 with CWD and harvest of both sexes. The modeled populations without CWD and without harvest averaged a 1.43% annual increase over 25 years; incorporation of 2% annual harvest of both sexes resulted in a stable population. The model with slowest CWD prevalence rate growth (0.26% annually without harvest resulted in stable populations but the addition of 1% harvest resulted in population declines. Further, the male age structure in CWD models became skewed to younger age classes. We incorporated fawn:doe ratios from three CWD afflicted areas in Wisconsin and Wyoming into the model with 0.26% annual increase in prevalence and populations did not begin to decline until ~10%, ~16%, and ~26% of deer were harvested annually. Deer populations in variable environments rely on high

  17. RECOVER - An Automated Burned Area Emergency Response Decision Support System for Post-fire Rehabilitation Management of Savanna Ecosystems in the Western US

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weber, K.; Schnase, J. L.; Carroll, M.; Brown, M. E.; Gill, R.; Haskett, G.; Gardner, T.

    2013-12-01

    In partnership with the Department of Interior's Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Idaho Department of Lands (IDL), we are building and evaluating the RECOVER decision support system. RECOVER - which stands for Rehabilitation Capability Convergence for Ecosystem Recovery - is an automatically deployable, context-aware decision support system for savanna wildfires that brings together in a single application the information necessary for post-fire rehabilitation decision-making and long-term ecosystem monitoring. RECOVER uses state-of-the-art cloud-based data management technologies to improve performance, reduce cost, and provide site-specific flexibility for each fire. The RECOVER Server uses Integrated Rule-Oriented Data System (iRODS) data grid technology deployed in the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2). The RECOVER Client is an Adobe Flex web map application that is able to provide a suite of convenient GIS analytical capabilities. In a typical use scenario, the RECOVER Server is provided a wildfire name and geospatial extent. The Server then automatically gathers Earth observational data and other relevant products from various geographically distributed data sources. The Server creates a database in the cloud where all relevant information about the wildfire is stored. This information is made available to the RECOVER Client and ultimately to fire managers through their choice of web browser. The Server refreshes the data throughout the burn and subsequent recovery period (3-5 years) with each refresh requiring two minutes to complete. Since remediation plans must be completed within 14 days of a fire's containment, RECOVER has the potential to significantly improve the decision-making process. RECOVER adds an important new dimension to post-fire decision-making by focusing on ecosystem rehabilitation in semiarid savannas. A novel aspect of RECOVER's approach involves the use of soil moisture estimates, which are an important but difficult

  18. Impact of soil salinity on arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi biodiversity and microflora biomass associated with Tamarix articulata Vahll rhizosphere in arid and semi-arid Algerian areas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bencherif, Karima; Boutekrabt, Ammar; Fontaine, Joël; Laruelle, Fréderic; Dalpè, Yolande; Sahraoui, Anissa Lounès-Hadj

    2015-11-15

    Soil salinization is an increasingly important problem in many parts of the world, particularly under arid and semi-arid areas. Unfortunately, the knowledge about restoration of salt affected ecosystems using mycorrhizae is limited. The current study aims to investigate the impact of salinity on the microbial richness of the halophytic plant Tamarix articulata rhizosphere. Soil samples were collected from natural sites with increasing salinity (1.82-4.95 ds.m(-1)). Six arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) species were isolated from the different saline soils and identified as Septoglomus constrictum, Funneliformis mosseae, Funneliformis geosporum, Funneliformis coronatum, Rhizophagus fasciculatus, and Gigaspora gigantea. The number of AMF spores increased with soil salinity. Total root colonization rate decreased from 65 to 16% but remained possible with soil salinity. Microbial biomass in T. articulata rhizosphere was affected by salinity. The phospholipid fatty acids (PLFA) C16:1ω5 as well as i15:0, a15:0, i16:0, i17:0, a17:0, cy17:0, C18:1ω7 and cy19:0 increased in high saline soils suggesting that AMF and bacterial biomasses increased with salinity. In contrast, ergosterol amount was negatively correlated with soil salinity indicating that ectomycorrhizal and saprotrophic fungal biomasses were reduced with salinity. Our findings highlight the adaptation of arbuscular and bacterial communities to natural soil salinity and thus the potential use of mycorrhizal T. articulata trees as an approach to restore moderately saline disturbed arid lands. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Spatial complexities in aboveground carbon stocks of a semi-arid mangrove community: A remote sensing height-biomass-carbon approach

    KAUST Repository

    Hickey, S.M.

    2017-11-10

    Mangroves are integral to ecosystem services provided by the coastal zone, in particular carbon (C) sequestration and storage. Allometric relationships linking mangrove height to estimated biomass and C stocks have been developed from field sampling, while various forms of remote sensing has been used to map vegetation height and biomass. Here we combine both these approaches to investigate spatial patterns in living biomass of mangrove forests in a small area of mangrove in north-west Australia. This study used LiDAR data and Landsat 8 OLI (Operational Land Imager) with allometric equations to derive mangrove height, biomass, and C stock estimates. We estimated the study site, Mangrove Bay, a semi-arid site in north-western Australia, contained 70 Mg ha−1 biomass and 45 Mg C ha−1 organic C, with total stocks of 2417 Mg biomass and 778 Mg organic C. Using spatial statistics to identify the scale of clustering of mangrove pixels, we found that living biomass and C stock declined with increasing distance from hydrological features (creek entrance: 0–150 m; y = −0.00041x + 0.9613, R2 = 0.96; 150–770 m; y = −0.0008x + 1.6808, R2 = 0.73; lagoon: y = −0.0041x + 3.7943, R2 = 0.78). Our results illustrate a set pattern of living C distribution within the mangrove forest, and then highlight the role hydrologic features play in determining C stock distribution in arid zone.

  20. The Effect of Vegetation on Soil Water Infiltration and Retention Capacity by Improving Soil Physiochemical Property in Semi-arid Grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    A, Y.; Wang, G.

    2017-12-01

    Water shortage is the main limiting factor for semi-arid grassland development. However, the grassland are gradually degraded represented by species conversion, biomass decrease and ecosystem structure simplification under the influence of human activity. Soil water characteristics such as moisture, infiltration and conductivity are critical variables affecting the interactions between soil parameters and vegetation. In this study, Cover, Height, Shannon-Wiener diversity index, Pielou eve