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Sample records for semiarid ecosystems electronic

  1. Assessing Ecosystem Model Performance in Semiarid Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, A.; Dietze, M.; Scott, R. L.; Biederman, J. A.

    2017-12-01

    In ecosystem process modelling, comparing outputs to benchmark datasets observed in the field is an important way to validate models, allowing the modelling community to track model performance over time and compare models at specific sites. Multi-model comparison projects as well as models themselves have largely been focused on temperate forests and similar biomes. Semiarid regions, on the other hand, are underrepresented in land surface and ecosystem modelling efforts, and yet will be disproportionately impacted by disturbances such as climate change due to their sensitivity to changes in the water balance. Benchmarking models at semiarid sites is an important step in assessing and improving models' suitability for predicting the impact of disturbance on semiarid ecosystems. In this study, several ecosystem models were compared at a semiarid grassland in southwestern Arizona using PEcAn, or the Predictive Ecosystem Analyzer, an open-source eco-informatics toolbox ideal for creating the repeatable model workflows necessary for benchmarking. Models included SIPNET, DALEC, JULES, ED2, GDAY, LPJ-GUESS, MAESPA, CLM, CABLE, and FATES. Comparison between model output and benchmarks such as net ecosystem exchange (NEE) tended to produce high root mean square error and low correlation coefficients, reflecting poor simulation of seasonality and the tendency for models to create much higher carbon sources than observed. These results indicate that ecosystem models do not currently adequately represent semiarid ecosystem processes.

  2. Early warning signals of desertification transitions in semiarid ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corrado, Raffaele; Cherubini, Anna Maria; Pennetta, Cecilia

    2014-12-01

    The identification of early warning signals for regime shifts in ecosystems is of crucial importance given their impact in terms of economic and social effects. We present here the results of a theoretical study on the desertification transition in semiarid ecosystems under external stress. We performed numerical simulations based on a stochastic cellular automaton model, and we studied the dynamics of the vegetation clusters in terms of percolation theory, assumed as an effective tool for analyzing the geometrical properties of the clusters. Focusing on the role played by the strength of external stresses, measured by the mortality rate m, we followed the progressive degradation of the ecosystem for increasing m, identifying different stages: first, the fragmentation transition occurring at relatively low values of m, then the desertification transition at higher mortality rates, and finally the full desertification transition corresponding to the extinction of the vegetation and the almost complete degradation of the soil, attained at the maximum value of m. For each transition we calculated the spanning probabilities as functions of m and the percolation thresholds according to different spanning criteria. The identification of the different thresholds is proposed as an useful tool for monitoring the increasing degradation of real-world finite-size systems. Moreover, we studied the time fluctuations of the sizes of the biggest clusters of vegetated and nonvegetated cells over the entire range of mortality values. The change of sign in the skewness of the size distributions, occurring at the fragmentation threshold for the biggest vegetation cluster and at the desertification threshold for the nonvegetated cluster, offers new early warning signals for desertification. Other new and robust indicators are given by the maxima of the root-mean-square deviation of the distributions, which are attained respectively inside the fragmentation interval, for the vegetated

  3. Alternative states of a semiarid grassland ecosystem: implications for ecosystem services

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Mark E.; Belote, R. Travis; Bowker, Matthew A.; Garman, Steven L.

    2011-01-01

    Ecosystems can shift between alternative states characterized by persistent differences in structure, function, and capacity to provide ecosystem services valued by society. We examined empirical evidence for alternative states in a semiarid grassland ecosystem where topographic complexity and contrasting management regimes have led to spatial variations in levels of livestock grazing. Using an inventory data set, we found that plots (n = 72) cluster into three groups corresponding to generalized alternative states identified in an a priori conceptual model. One cluster (biocrust) is notable for high coverage of a biological soil crust functional group in addition to vascular plants. Another (grass-bare) lacks biological crust but retains perennial grasses at levels similar to the biocrust cluster. A third (annualized-bare) is dominated by invasive annual plants. Occurrence of grass-bare and annualized-bare conditions in areas where livestock have been excluded for over 30 years demonstrates the persistence of these states. Significant differences among all three clusters were found for percent bare ground, percent total live cover, and functional group richness. Using data for vegetation structure and soil erodibility, we also found large among-cluster differences in average levels of dust emissions predicted by a wind-erosion model. Predicted emissions were highest for the annualized-bare cluster and lowest for the biocrust cluster, which was characterized by zero or minimal emissions even under conditions of extreme wind. Results illustrate potential trade-offs among ecosystem services including livestock production, soil retention, carbon storage, and biodiversity conservation. Improved understanding of these trade-offs may assist ecosystem managers when evaluating alternative management strategies.

  4. Microbial Community Activity And Plant Biomass Are Insensitive To Passive Warming In A Semiarid Ecosystem

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    Espinosa, N. J.; Fehmi, J. S.; Rasmussen, C.; Gallery, R. E.

    2017-12-01

    Soil microorganisms drive biogeochemical and nutrient cycling through the production of extracellular enzymes that facilitate organic matter decomposition and the flux of large amounts of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. Although dryland ecosystems occupy over 40% of land cover and are projected to expand due to climate change, much of our current understanding of these processes comes from mesic temperate ecosystems. Understanding the responses of these globally predominant dryland ecosystems is therefore important yet complicated by co-occurring environmental changes. For example, the widespread and pervasive transition from grass to woody dominated landscapes is changing the hydrology, fire regimes, and carbon storage potential of semiarid ecosystems. In this study, we used a novel passive method of warming to conduct a warming experiment with added plant debris as either woodchip or biochar, to simulate different long-term carbon additions that accompany woody plant encroachment in semiarid ecosystems. The response of heterotrophic respiration, plant biomass, and microbial activity was monitored bi-annually. We hypothesized that the temperature manipulations would have direct and indirect effects on microbial activity. Warmer soils directly reduce the activity of soil extracellular enzymes through denaturation and dehydration of soil pores and indirectly through reducing microbe-available substrates and plant inputs. Overall, reduction in extracellular enzyme activity may reduce decomposition of coarse woody debris and potentially enhance soil carbon storage in semiarid ecosystems. For all seven hydrolytic enzymes examined as well as heterotrophic respiration, there was no consistent or significant response to experimental warming, regardless of seasonal climatic and soil moisture variation. The enzyme results observed here are consistent with the few other experimental results for warming in semiarid ecosystems and indicate that the controls over soil

  5. 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...

  6. 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)

  7. 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

  8. Biophysical and sociocultural factors underlying spatial trade-offs of ecosystem services in semiarid watersheds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marina García-Llorente

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Biophysical and social systems are linked to form social-ecological systems whose sustainability depends on their capacity to absorb uncertainty and cope with disturbances. In this study, we explored the key biophysical and socio-cultural factors underlying ecosystem service supply in two semiarid watersheds of southern Spain. These included variables associated with the role that freshwater flows and biodiversity play in securing the system's capacity to sustain essential ecosystem services and their relationship with social demand for services, local water governance, and land-use intensification. Our results reveal the importance of considering the invisible dimensions of water and biodiversity, i.e. green freshwater flows and trait-based indicators, because of their relevance to the supply of ecosystem services. Furthermore, they uncover the importance of traditional irrigation canals, a local water governance system, in maintaining the ecosystems' capacity to supply services. The study also highlights the complex trade-offs that occur because of the spatial mismatch between ecosystem service supply (upstream and ecosystem service demand (downstream in watersheds. Finally, we found that land-use intensification generally resulted in losses of the biophysical factors that underpin the supply of some ecosystem services, increases in social demand for less diversified services, and the abandonment of local governance practices. Attempts to manage social-ecological systems toward sustainability at the local scale should identify the key biophysical and socio-cultural factors that are essential for maintaining ecosystem services and should recognize existing interrelationships between them. Land-use management should also take into account ecosystem service trade-offs and the consequences resulting from land-use intensification.

  9. 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

  10. The carbon balance pivot point of southwestern U.S. semiarid ecosystems: Insights from the 21st century drought

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scott, Russell L.; Biederman, Joel A.; Hamerlynck, Erik P.; Barron-Gafford, Greg A.

    2015-12-01

    Global-scale studies indicate that semiarid regions strongly regulate the terrestrial carbon sink. However, we lack understanding of how climatic shifts, such as decadal drought, impact carbon sequestration across the wide range of structural diversity in semiarid ecosystems. Therefore, we used eddy covariance measurements to quantify how net ecosystem production of carbon dioxide (NEP) differed with relative grass and woody plant abundance over the last decade of drought in four Southwest U.S. ecosystems. We identified a precipitation "pivot point" in the carbon balance for each ecosystem where annual NEP switched from negative to positive. Ecosystems with grass had pivot points closer to the drought period precipitation than the predrought average, making them more likely to be carbon sinks (and a grass-free shrubland, a carbon source) during the current drought. One reason for this is that the grassland located closest to the shrubland supported higher leaf area and photosynthesis at the same water availability. Higher leaf area was associated with a greater proportion of evapotranspiration being transpiration (T/ET), and therefore with higher ecosystem water use efficiency (gross ecosystem photosynthesis/ET). Our findings strongly show that water availability is a primary driver of both gross and net semiarid productivity and illustrate that structural differences may contribute to the speed at which ecosystem carbon cycling adjusts to climatic shifts.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  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. 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

  15. Spectroscopic surrogates of soil organic matter resilience in crusted semiarid Mediterranean ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miralles Mellado, Isabel; Almendros, Gonzalo; Ortega, Raúl; Cantón, Yolanda; Poveda, Francisco; van Wesemael, Bas

    2016-04-01

    Arid and semiarid ecosystems represent nearly a third of the Earth's total land surface. In these ecosystems, there is a critical balance between C sequestration and biodegradation that could easily be altered due to human disturbance or global change. These ecosystems are widely characterized by the presence of biological soil crusts (BSCs) which play the most important role in the C-cycle in arid and semiarid areas. Consequently, soil organic matter (SOM) characteristics of crusted soil could readily reflect important information on the resilience of SOM in response to any global temperature increase or to inappropriate soil management practices. In this research, representative BSCs and underlying soils were studied in two different semiarid ecosystems in Southern Spain, i.e., Amoladeras (located in Cabo de Gata Natural Park), and El Cautivo (located in Tabernas desert). Chemical fractionation and characterization of the SOM in BSCs and underlying soils were carried out in order to assess not only the total amount of organic C sequestered but mainly the quality of humic-type organic fractions. After isolating the major organic fractions (particulate fraction, humic acid-like (HA), alkali-extracted fulvic acid (FA) and H3PO4-FAs), the macromolecular, HA fraction was purified and studied by derivative visible spectroscopy and resolution-enhanced infrared (IR) spectroscopy. Our results show differences in the structural characteristics of the HA-type substances, interpreted as progressive stages of diagenetic transformation of biomacromolecules. Amoladeras showed higher SOM content, and higher values of HA and HA/FA ratio than El Cautivo, with lower SOM content in BSCs and underlying soils. The latter site accumulates SOM consisting mainly of comparatively less recalcitrant organic fractions with small molecular sizes (H3PO4-FAs and FAs). Moreover HAs in samples from Amoladeras showed higher condensation and aromaticity (higher E4, lower E4/E6 ratio), pointing to

  16. 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

  17. Elevation Control on Vegetation Organization in a Semiarid Ecosystem in Central New Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nudurupati, S. S.; Istanbulluoglu, E.; Adams, J. M.; Hobley, D. E. J.; Gasparini, N. M.; Tucker, G. E.; Hutton, E. W. H.

    2015-12-01

    Many semiarid and desert ecosystems are characterized by patchy and dynamic vegetation. Topography plays a commanding role on vegetation patterns. It is observed that plant biomes and biodiversity vary systematically with slope and aspect, from shrublands in low desert elevations, to mixed grass/shrublands in mid elevations, and forests at high elevations. In this study, we investigate the role of elevation dependent climatology on vegetation organization in a semiarid New Mexico catchment where elevation and hillslope aspect play a defining role on plant types. An ecohydrologic cellular automaton model developed within Landlab (component based modeling framework) is used. The model couples local vegetation dynamics (that simulate biomass production based on local soil moisture and potential evapotranspiration) and plant establishment and mortality based on competition for resources and space. This model is driven by elevation dependent rainfall pulses and solar radiation. The domain is initialized with randomly assigned plant types and the model parameters that couple plant response with soil moisture are systematically changed. Climate perturbation experiments are conducted to examine spatial vegetation organization and associated timescales. Model results reproduce elevation and aspect controls on observed vegetation patterns indicating that this model captures necessary and sufficient conditions that explain these observed ecohydrological patterns.

  18. 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

  19. Experimental warming does not enhance soil respiration in a semiarid temperate forest-steppe ecosystem

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lellei-Kovacs, E.; Kovacs-Lang, E.; Kalapos, T.

    2008-01-01

    are still limited. Soil respiration rate-measured monthly between April and November from 2003 to 2006-remained very low (0.09 - 1.53 mu mol CO2 m(-2) s(-1))in accordance with the moderate biological activity and low humus content of the nutrient poor, coarse sandy soil. Specific soil respiration rate...... ( calculated for unit soil organic matter content), however, was relatively high (0.36 - 7.92 mu mol CO g(-1) C(org)h(-1)) suggesting substrate limitation for soil biological activity. During the day, soil respiration rate was significantly lower at dawn than at midday, while seasonally clear temperature......The influence of simulated climate change on soil respiration was studied in a field experiment on 4 m x 5 m plots in the semiarid temperate Pannonian sand forest-steppe. This ecosystem type has low productivity and soil organic matter content, and covers large areas, yet data on soil carbon fluxes...

  20. 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...

  1. Combining multiple ecosystem productivity measurements to constrain carbon uptake estimates in semiarid grasslands and shrublands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maurer, G. E.; Krofcheck, D. J.; Collins, S. L.; Litvak, M. E.

    2016-12-01

    Recent observational and modeling studies have indicated that semiarid ecosystems are more dynamic contributors to the global carbon budget than once thought. Semiarid carbon fluxes, however, are generally small, with high interannual and spatial variability, which suggests that validating their global significance may depend on examining multiple productivity measures and their associated uncertainties and inconsistencies. We examined ecosystem productivity from eddy covariance (NEE), harvest (NPP), and terrestrial biome models (NEPm) at two very similar grassland sites and one creosote shrubland site in the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge of central New Mexico, USA. Our goal was to assess site and methodological correspondence in annual carbon uptake, patterns of interannual variability, and measurement uncertainty. One grassland site was a perennial carbon source losing 30 g C m-2 per year on average, while the other two sites were carbon sources or sinks depending on the year, with average net uptake of 5 and 25 g C m-2 per year at the grassland and shrubland site, respectively. Uncertainty values for cumulative annual NEE overlapped between the three sites in most years. When combined, aboveground and belowground annual NPP measurements were 15% higher than annual NEE values and did not confirm a loss of carbon at any site in any year. Despite differences in mean site carbon balance, year-to-year changes in cumulative annual NEE and NPP were similar at all sites with years 2010 and 2013 being favorable for carbon uptake and 2011 and 2012 being unfavorable at all sites. Modeled NEPm data for a number of nearby grid cells reproduced only a fraction of the observed range in carbon uptake and its interannual variability. These three sites are highly similar in location and climate and multiple carbon flux measurements confirm the high interannual variability in carbon flux. The exact magnitude of these fluxes, however, remains difficult to discern.

  2. 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...

  3. Minimizing risk associated with shallow burial of waste in semiarid ecosystems: Erosion and vegetation dynamics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Breshears, D.D.; Martens, S.N.; Nyhan, J.W.; Springer, E.P.; Wilcox, B.P.

    1994-01-01

    Numerous regulations govern the disposal of low-level radioactive and hazardous waste by burial in shallow pits. The overall goal of these regulations is to reduce the risk to humans and components of the ecosystem for 500 to 1 000 years. Erosional loss of the soil profile covering waste and contamination of groundwater by leachate are two pathways that influence human and ecological risks. Screening calculations for a waste site in a pinyon-juniper woodland at Los Alamos National Laboratory predict the entire 2 m cover of a waste site could be lost by erosion in less than 500 years. In contrast, less than 0.001% of the waste would reach groundwater by leachate. Predicted erosion rates depend highly on plant cover. The boundary between ponderosa pine forest and pinyon-juniper woodland has shifted more than 1 km in less than 50 years in the Los Alamos region and additional boundary shifts have been hypothesized in conjunction with global warming. High erosion rates (> 0.2 cm per year) have been measured in these transition zones. In concert, these results suggest that risk associated with erosional loss of the waste site cover may greatly exceed risks associated with groundwater contamination in semiarid ecosystems

  4. 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.

  5. Nitrogen deposition alters nitrogen cycling and reduces soil carbon content in low-productivity semiarid Mediterranean ecosystems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ochoa-Hueso, Raúl; Maestre, Fernando T.; Ríos, Asunción de los; Valea, Sergio; Theobald, Mark R.; Vivanco, Marta G.; Manrique, Esteban; Bowker, Mathew A.

    2013-01-01

    Anthropogenic N deposition poses a threat to European Mediterranean ecosystems. We combined data from an extant N deposition gradient (4.3–7.3 kg N ha −1 yr −1 ) from semiarid areas of Spain and a field experiment in central Spain to evaluate N deposition effects on soil fertility, function and cyanobacteria community. Soil organic N did not increase along the extant gradient. Nitrogen fixation decreased along existing and experimental N deposition gradients, a result possibly related to compositional shifts in soil cyanobacteria community. Net ammonification and nitrification (which dominated N-mineralization) were reduced and increased, respectively, by N fertilization, suggesting alterations in the N cycle. Soil organic C content, C:N ratios and the activity of β-glucosidase decreased along the extant gradient in most locations. Our results suggest that semiarid soils in low-productivity sites are unable to store additional N inputs, and that are also unable to mitigate increasing C emissions when experiencing increased N deposition. -- Highlights: •Soil organic N does not increase along the extant N deposition gradient. •Reduced N fixation is related to compositional shifts in soil cyanobacteria community. •Nitrogen cycling is altered by simulated N deposition. •Soil organic C content decrease along the extant N deposition gradient. •Semiarid soils are unable to mitigate CO 2 emissions after increased N deposition. -- N deposition alters N cycling and reduces soil C content in semiarid Mediterranean ecosystems

  6. 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?

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Dew contribution to the water balance in a semiarid coastal steppe ecosystem (Cabo de Gata, SE Spain)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Moro, M. J.; Were, A.; Morillas, L.; Villagarcia, L.; Canton, Y.; Lazaro, R.; Serrano-Ortiz, P.; Kowalski, A. S.; Domingo, F.

    2009-01-01

    Dewfall deposition can be a significant source of moisture in arid and semiarid ecosystems, thus contribution to improve daily and annual water balances. Occurrence, frequency and amount of dewfall were measured in the Balsa Blanca site (Cabo de Gata, Almeria, Spain) from January 2007 to May 2008. this area has a sparse vegetation cover dominated by Stipa tenacissima combined with bare soil and biological soil crusts. (Author) 3 refs.

  11. Enhanced precipitation promotes decomposition and soil C stabilization in semiarid ecosystems, but seasonal timing of wetting matters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campos, Xochi; Germino, Matthew; de Graaff, Marie-Anne

    2017-01-01

    AimsChanging precipitation regimes in semiarid ecosystems will affect the balance of soil carbon (C) input and release, but the net effect on soil C storage is unclear. We asked how changes in the amount and timing of precipitation affect litter decomposition, and soil C stabilization in semiarid ecosystems.MethodsThe study took place at a long-term (18 years) ecohydrology experiment located in Idaho. Precipitation treatments consisted of a doubling of annual precipitation (+200 mm) added either in the cold-dormant season or in the growing season. Experimental plots were planted with big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata), or with crested wheatgrass (Agropyron cristatum). We quantified decomposition of sagebrush leaf litter, and we assessed organic soil C (SOC) in aggregates, and silt and clay fractions.ResultsWe found that: (1) increased precipitation applied in the growing season consistently enhanced decomposition rates relative to the ambient treatment, and (2) precipitation applied in the dormant season enhanced soil C stabilization.ConclusionsThese data indicate that prolonged increases in precipitation can promote soil C storage in semiarid ecosystems, but only if these increases happen at times of the year when conditions allow for precipitation to promote plant C inputs rates to soil.

  12. 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.

  13. Modeling dynamics of western juniper under climate change in a semiarid ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-01

    Modeling future vegetation dynamics in response to climate change and disturbances such as fire relies heavily on model parameterization. Fine-scale field-based measurements can provide the necessary parameters for constraining models at a larger scale. But the time- and labor-intensive nature of field-based data collection leads to sparse sampling and significant spatial uncertainties in retrieved parameters. In this study we quantify the fine-scale carbon dynamics and uncertainty of juniper woodland in the Reynolds Creek Experimental Watershed (RCEW) in southern Idaho, which is a proposed critical zone observatory (CZO) site for soil carbon processes. We leverage field-measured vegetation data along with airborne lidar and timeseries Landsat imagery to initialize a state-and-transition model (VDDT) and a process-based fire-model (FlamMap) to examine the vegetation dynamics in response to stochastic fire events and climate change. We utilize recently developed and novel techniques to measure biomass and canopy characteristics of western juniper at the individual tree scale using terrestrial and airborne laser scanning techniques in RCEW. These fine-scale data are upscaled across the watershed for the VDDT and FlamMap models. The results will immediately improve our understanding of fine-scale dynamics and carbon stocks and fluxes of woody vegetation in a semi-arid ecosystem. Moreover, quantification of uncertainty will also provide a basis for generating ensembles of spatially-explicit alternative scenarios to guide future land management decisions in the region.

  14. 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

  15. 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...

  16. Can land degradation drive differences in the C exchange of two similar semiarid ecosystems?

    Science.gov (United States)

    López-Ballesteros, Ana; Oyonarte, Cecilio; Kowalski, Andrew S.; Serrano-Ortiz, Penélope; Sánchez-Cañete, Enrique P.; Rosario Moya, M.; Domingo, Francisco

    2018-01-01

    Currently, drylands occupy more than one-third of the global terrestrial surface and are recognized as areas vulnerable to land degradation. The concept of land degradation stems from the loss of an ecosystem's biological productivity due to long-term loss of natural vegetation or depletion of soil nutrients. Drylands' key role in the global carbon (C) balance has been recently demonstrated, but the effects of land degradation on C sequestration by these ecosystems still need to be investigated. In the present study, we compared net C and water vapor fluxes, together with satellite, meteorological and vadose zone (CO2, water content and temperature) measurements, between two nearby (˜ 23 km) experimental sites representing natural (i.e., site of reference) and degraded grazed semiarid grasslands. We utilized data acquired over 6 years from two eddy covariance stations located in southeastern Spain with highly variable precipitation magnitude and distribution. Results show a striking difference in the annual C balances with an average net CO2 exchange of 196 ± 40 (C release) and -23 ± 2 g C m-2 yr-1 (C fixation) for the degraded and natural sites, respectively. At the seasonal scale, differing patterns in net CO2 fluxes were detected over both growing and dry seasons. As expected, during the growing seasons, greater net C uptake over longer periods was observed at the natural site. However, a much greater net C release, probably derived from subterranean ventilation, was measured at the degraded site during drought periods. After subtracting the nonbiological CO2 flux from net CO2 exchange, flux partitioning results point out that, during the 6 years of study, gross primary production, ecosystem respiration and water use efficiency were, on average, 9, 2 and 10 times higher, respectively, at the natural site versus the degraded site. We also tested differences in all monitored meteorological and soil variables and CO2 at 1.50 m belowground was the variable

  17. Stand structure modulates the long-term vulnerability of Pinus halepensis to climatic drought in a semiarid Mediterranean ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreno-Gutiérrez, Cristina; Battipaglia, Giovanna; Cherubini, Paolo; Saurer, Matthias; Nicolás, Emilio; Contreras, Sergio; Querejeta, José Ignacio

    2012-06-01

    We investigated whether stand structure modulates the long-term physiological performance and growth of Pinus halepensis Mill. in a semiarid Mediterranean ecosystem. Tree radial growth and carbon and oxygen stable isotope composition of latewood (δ(13)C(LW) and δ(18)O(LW), respectively) from 1967 to 2007 were measured in P. halepensis trees from two sharply contrasting stand types: open woodlands with widely scattered trees versus dense afforested stands. In both stand types, tree radial growth, δ(13)C(LW) and δ(18)O(LW) were strongly correlated with annual rainfall, thus indicating that tree performance in this semiarid environment is largely determined by inter-annual changes in water availability. However, trees in dense afforested stands showed consistently higher δ(18)O(LW) and similar δ(13)C(LW) values compared with those in neighbouring open woodlands, indicating lower stomatal conductance and photosynthesis rates in the former, but little difference in water use efficiency between stand types. Trees in dense afforested stands were more water stressed and showed lower radial growth, overall suggesting greater vulnerability to drought and climate aridification compared with trees in open woodlands. In this semiarid ecosystem, the negative impacts of intense inter-tree competition for water on P. halepensis performance clearly outweigh potential benefits derived from enhanced infiltration and reduced run-off losses in dense afforested stands. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  18. Above and belowground controls on litter decomposition in semiarid ecosystems: effects of solar radiation, water availability and litter quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Austin, A. T.; Araujo, P. I.; Leva, P. E.; Ballare, C. L.

    2008-12-01

    The integrated controls on soil organic matter formation in arid and semiarid ecosystems are not well understood and appear to stem from a number of interacting controls affecting above- and belowground carbon turnover. While solar radiation has recently been shown to have an important direct effect on carbon loss in semiarid ecosystems as a result of photochemical mineralization of aboveground plant material, the mechanistic basis for photodegradative losses is poorly understood. In addition, there are large potential differences in major controls on above- and belowground decomposition in low rainfall ecosystems. We report on a mesocosm and field study designed to examine the relative importance of different wavelengths of solar radiation, water availability, position of senescent material above- and belowground and the importance of carbon litter quality in determining rates of abiotic and biotic decomposition. In a factorial experiment of mesocosms, we incubated leaf and root litter simultaneously above- and belowground and manipulated water availability with large and small pulses. Significant interactions between position-litter type and position-pulse sizes demonstrated interactive controls on organic mass loss. Aboveground decomposition showed no response to pulse size or litter type, as roots and leaves decomposed equally rapidly under all circumstances. In contrast, belowground decomposition was significantly altered by litter type and water pulses, with roots decomposing significantly slower and small water pulses reducing belowground decomposition. In the field site, using plastic filters which attenuated different wavelengths of natural solar radiation, we found a highly significant effect of radiation exclusion on mass loss and demonstrated that both UV-A and short-wave visible light can have important impacts on photodegradative carbon losses. The combination of position and litter quality effects on litter decomposition appear to be critical for the

  19. Antecedent Moisture and Biological Inertia as Predictors of Plant and Ecosystem Productivity in Arid and Semiarid Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ogle, K.

    2011-12-01

    Many plant and ecosystem processes in arid and semiarid systems may be affected by antecedent environmental conditions (e.g., precipitation patterns, soil water availability, temperature) that integrate over past days, weeks, months, seasons, or years. However, the importance of such antecedent exogenous effects relative to conditions occurring at the time of the observed process is relatively unexplored. Even less is known about the potential importance of antecedent endogenous effects that describe the influence of past ecosystem states on the current ecosystem state; e.g., how is current ecosystem productivity related to past productivity patterns? We hypothesize that incorporation of antecedent exogenous and endogenous factors can improve our predictive understanding of many plant and ecosystem processes, especially in arid and semiarid ecosystems. Furthermore, the common approach to quantifying the effects of antecedent (exogenous) variables relies on arbitrary, deterministic definitions of antecedent variables that (1) may not accurately describe the role of antecedent conditions and (2) ignore uncertainty associated with applying deterministic definitions. In this study, we employ a stochastic framework for (1) computing the antecedent variables that estimates the relative importance of conditions experienced each time unit into the past, also providing insight into potential lag responses, and (2) estimating the effect of antecedent factors on the response variable of interest. We employ this approach to explore the potential roles of antecedent exogenous and endogenous influences in three settings that illustrate the: (1) importance of antecedent precipitation for net primary productivity in the shortgrass steppe in northern Colorado, (2) dependency of tree growth on antecedent precipitation and past growth states for pinyon growing in western Colorado, and (3) influence of antecedent soil water and prior root status on observed root growth in the Mojave

  20. Fun in the Sun: Effects of Solar Radiation on Carbon Cycling in Semiarid Ecosystems of South America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Austin, A.; Berenstecher, P.; Méndez, M. S.; Ballare, C. L.

    2016-12-01

    Plant litter decomposition is an essential process in the first stages of carbon turnover in terrestrial ecosystems, and together with soil microbial biomass, provide the principal inputs of carbon for the formation of soil organic matter. Photodegradation, the photochemical mineralization of organic matter due to exposure to solar radiation, has been recently identified as a mechanism for previously unexplained high rates of litter mass loss in arid and semiarid ecosystems. Nevertheless, the indirect effects of photodegradation and wavelength dependence on biotic stimulation or inhibition of carbon turnover have been debated in recent studies. In controlled conditions of a two-phase experiment, we demonstrated that in a wide range of plant species, previous exposure to solar radiation, and visible light in particular, enhanced subsequent biotic degradation of leaf litter. Field studies in Patagonian woodland ecosystems confirm the importance of biotic facilitation on litter decomposition, which appears to have larger stimulatory effects than those observed in controlled conditions. Litter decomposition of previously exposed grass litter decomposed more than two times faster than unexposed litter in a one year field experiment, while strong seasonal effects of direct photodegradation and biotic facilitation of solar radiation were observed in a second experiment with changes in solar irradiance using attenuation filters. The generalized positive effect of solar radiation exposure on subsequent microbial activity appears to be mediated by increased accessibility to cell wall polysaccharides, which is consistent in both field and controlled condition experiments. These results suggests that photodegradation is quantitatively important in determining rates of mass loss and nutrient release through its impacts on biotic decomposition, which has implications for the potential alterations in carbon turnover in semiarid ecosystems to predicted climate or land-use change.

  1. 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.

  2. Prosopis laevigata and Mimosa biuncifera (Leguminosae, jointly influence plant diversity and soil fertility of a Mexican semiarid ecosystem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rosalva García-Sánchez

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Prosopis laevigata and Mimosa biuncifera are frequently found in arid and semiarid shrublands, but scarce information is available about their influence on plant community structure and soil fertility. We compared plant community structure, diversity and soil nutrients of three semiarid shrubland sites located in Mezquital Valley, Mexico. These sites differ in their dominant species: Site 1 (Bingu P. laevigata, Site 2 (González M. biuncifera, and Site 3 (Rincón with the presence of both legumes. The results showed that the plant community with P. laevigata and M. biuncifera (Site 3 had more cover, taller plants and higher plant diversity than sites with only one legume (Site 1 and Site 2. Soil organic matter (SOM, soil organic carbon (SOC, total nitrogen (TN, phosphorus-Olsen (P and C mineralization were higher in the soil under the canopy of both legumes than in bare soil. In contrast, soil cation concentrations were lower under the canopy of P. laevigata, but not for M. biuncifera. In addition, the density of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi spores was higher within the soil under the canopy of M. biuncifera than in the soil under the canopy of P. laevigata. Thus, resource islands (RI created by P. laevigata increased the amounts of SOC, TN and P when compared with the RI of M. biuncifera. This study provided evidences about the importance of species identity in order to expand the niche availability for the establishment of other plants, and highlights that P. laevigata and M. biuncifera jointly influencing plant colonization within semiarid ecosystems

  3. 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 ...

  4. 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...

  5. Short-term seasonal variability in 7Be wet deposition in a semiarid ecosystem of central Argentina

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Juri Ayub, J.; Di Gregorio, D.E.; Velasco, H.; Huck, H.; Rizzotto, M.; Lohaiza, F.

    2009-01-01

    The 7 Be wet deposition has been intensively investigated in a semiarid region at San Luis Province, Argentina. From November 2006 to May 2008, the 7 Be content in rainwater was determined in 58 individual rain events, randomly comprising more than 50% of all individual precipitations at the sampling period. 7 Be activity concentration in rainwater ranged from 0.7 ± 0.3 Bq l -1 to 3.2 ± 0.7 Bq l -1 , with a mean value of 1.7 Bq l -1 (sd = 0.53 Bq l -1 ). No relationship was found between 7 Be content in rainwater and (a) rainfall amount, (b) precipitation intensity and (c) elapsed time between events. 7 Be ground deposition was found to be well correlated with rainfall amount (R = 0.92). For the precipitation events considered, the 7 Be depositional fluxes ranged from 1.1 to 120 Bq m -2 , with a mean value of 32.7 Bq m -2 (sd = 29.9 Bq m -2 ). The annual depositional flux was estimated at 1140 ± 120 Bq m -2 y -1 . Assuming the same monthly deposition pattern and that the 7 Be content in soil decreases only through radioactive decay, the seasonal variation of 7 Be areal activity density in soil was estimated. Results of this investigation may contribute to a valuable characterization of 7 Be input in the explored semiarid ecosystem and its potential use as tracer of environmental processes.

  6. 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.

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

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    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.

  8. 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...

  9. River basins as social-ecological systems: linking levels of societal and ecosystem water metabolism in a semiarid watershed

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    Violeta Cabello

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available River basin modeling under complexity requires analytical frameworks capable of dealing with the multiple scales and dimensions of environmental problems as well as uncertainty in the evolution of social systems. Conceptual and methodological developments can now be framed using the wide socio-eco-hydrological approach. We add hierarchy theory into the mix to discuss the conceptualization of river basins as complex, holarchic social-ecological systems. We operationalize the social-ecological systems water metabolism framework in a semiarid watershed in Spain, and add the governance dimension that shapes human-environment reciprocity. To this purpose, we integrate an eco-hydrological model with the societal metabolism accounting scheme for land use, human activity, and water use. We explore four types of interactions: between societal organization and water uses/demands, between ecosystem organization and their water requirements/supplies, between societal metabolism and aquatic ecosystem health, and between water demand and availability. Our results reveal a metabolic pattern of a high mountain rural system striving to face exodus and agricultural land abandonment with a multifunctional economy. Centuries of social-ecological evolution shaping waterscapes through traditional water management practices have influenced the eco-hydrological functioning of the basin, enabling adaptation to aridity. We found a marked spatial gradient on water supply, use pattern, and impact on water bodies from the head to the mouth of the basin. Management challenges posed by the European water regulatory framework as a new driver of social-ecological change are highlighted.

  10. Water and CO2 fluxes over semiarid alpine steppe and humid alpine meadow ecosystems on the Tibetan Plateau

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Lei; Liu, Huizhi; Shao, Yaping; Liu, Yang; Sun, Jihua

    2018-01-01

    Based on eddy covariance flux data from July 15, 2014, to December 31, 2015, the water and CO2 fluxes were compared over a semiarid alpine steppe (Bange, Tibetan Plateau) and a humid alpine meadow (Lijiang, Yunnan) on the Tibetan Plateau and its surrounding region. During the wet season, the evaporative fraction (EF) was strongly and linearly correlated with the soil water content (SWC) at Bange because of its sparse green grass cover. In contrast, the correlation between the EF at Lijiang and the SWC and the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) was very low because the atmosphere was close to saturation and the EF was relatively constant. In the dry season, the EF at both sites decreased with the SWC. The net ecosystem exchange (NEE) at Bange was largely depressed at noon, while this phenomenon did not occur at Lijiang. The saturated NEE at Bange was 24% of that at Lijiang. The temperature sensitivity coefficient of ecosystem respiration at Bange (1.7) was also much lower than that at Lijiang (3.4). The annual total NEE in 2015 was 21.8 and -230.0 g C m-2 yr-1 at Bange and Lijiang, respectively, and the NEE was tightly controlled by the NDVI at the two sites. The distinct differences in the water and CO2 fluxes at Bange and Lijiang are attributed to the large SWC difference and its effect on vegetation growth.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Prairie dog decline reduces the supply of ecosystem services and leads to desertification of semiarid grasslands.

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    Lourdes Martínez-Estévez

    Full Text Available Anthropogenic impacts on North American grasslands, a highly endangered ecosystem, have led to declines of prairie dogs, a keystone species, over 98% of their historical range. While impacts of this loss on maintenance of grassland biodiversity have been widely documented, much less is known about the consequences on the supply of ecosystem services. Here we assessed the effect of prairie dogs in the supply of five ecosystem services by comparing grasslands currently occupied by prairie dogs, grasslands devoid of prairie dogs, and areas that used to be occupied by prairie dogs that are currently dominated by mesquite scrub. Groundwater recharge, regulation of soil erosion, regulation of soil productive potential, soil carbon storage and forage availability were consistently quantitatively or qualitatively higher in prairie dog grasslands relative to grasslands or mesquite scrub. Our findings indicate a severe loss of ecosystem services associated to the absence of prairie dogs. These findings suggest that contrary to a much publicize perception, especially in the US, prairie dogs are fundamental in maintaining grasslands and their decline have strong negative impacts in human well - being through the loss of ecosystem services.

  14. Carbon sequestration capacity in a semiarid ecosystem: A carbon balance approach

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Almagro, M.; Lopez, J.; Boix-Fayos, C.; Albaladejo, J.; Martinez-Mena, M.

    2009-01-01

    Here, we used two C balance approaches to estimate total below ground C allocation (TBCA) in three representative land uses in a Mediterranean ecosystem (late-successional forest, abandoned agricultural field, rainfed olive grove). Our objectives were: 1) to asses the response of TBCA and its components to changes in land use; 2) to evaluate how soil water erosion and changes in C stored in roots, soil and litter layer altered our estimates of TBCA; 3) to determine annual net ecosystem productivity, and examine C allocation patterns at each land use. (Author) 4 refs.

  15. 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

  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. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Prosopis laevigata and Mimosa biuncifera (Leguminosae, jointly influence plant diversity and soil fertility of a Mexican semiarid ecosystem

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    Rosalva García-Sánchez

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Prosopis laevigata and Mimosa biuncifera are frequently found in arid and semiarid shrublands, but scarce information is available about their influence on plant community structure and soil fertility. We compared plant community structure, diversity and soil nutrients of three semiarid shrubland sites located in Mezquital Valley, Mexico. These sites differ in their dominant species: Site 1 (Bingu P. laevigata, Site 2 (González M. biuncifera, and Site 3 (Rincón with the presence of both legumes. The results showed that the plant community with P. laevigata and M. biuncifera (Site 3 had more cover, taller plants and higher plant diversity than sites with only one legume (Site 1 and Site 2. Soil organic matter (SOM, soil organic carbon (SOC, total nitrogen (TN, phosphorus-Olsen (P and C mineralization were higher in the soil under the canopy of both legumes than in bare soil. In contrast, soil cation concentrations were lower under the canopy of P. laevigata, but not for M. biuncifera. In addition, the density of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi spores was higher within the soil under the canopy of M. biuncifera than in the soil under the canopy of P. laevigata. Thus, resource islands (RI created by P. laevigata increased the amounts of SOC, TN and P when compared with the RI of M. biuncifera. This study provided evidences about the importance of species identity in order to expand the niche availability for the establishment of other plants, and highlights that P. laevigata and M. biuncifera jointly influencing plant colonization within semiarid ecosystemsProsopis laevigata y Mimosa biuncifera coexisten en los matorrales semiáridos; sin embargo, se desconoce su influencia sobre la diversidad de la comunidad vegetal y el suelo. Este estudio evaluó el efecto de P. laevigata y M. biuncifera sobre la estructura, diversidad vegetal y nutrimentos del suelo, en tres matorrales del Valle del Mezquital, México. Los sitios difieren en la especie dominante

  1. Resilience of Mediterranean terrestrial ecosystems and fire severity in semiarid areas: Responses of Aleppo pine forests in the short, mid and long term.

    Science.gov (United States)

    González-De Vega, S; De Las Heras, J; Moya, D

    2016-12-15

    In recent decades, the fire regime of the Mediterranean Basin has been disturbed by various factors: climate change; forest management policies; land cover; changed landscape. Size and severity have notably increased, which in turn have increased large fires events with >500ha burned (high severity). In spite of Mediterranean ecosystems' high resilience to fire, these changes have implied more vulnerability and reduced natural recovery with irreparable long-term negative effects. Knowledge of the response of ecosystems to increasing severity, mainly in semiarid areas, is still lacking, which is needed to rehabilitate and restore burned areas. Our approach assessed the resilience concept by focusing on the recovery of ecosystem functions and services, measured as changes in the composition and diversity of plant community vegetation and structure. This will be validated in the long term as a model of ecosystem response. Also, depending on the pre-fire characteristics of vegetation, fire severity and the post-fire management, this approach will lead to tools that can be applied to implement post-fire restoration efforts in order to help decision making in planning activities. Regarding Mediterranean ecosystems' ability to recover after wildfires, this study concludes that pre-fire communities are resilient in these fire-prone areas, but the window for natural recovery in semiarid areas of Aleppo pine forest in SE Iberian Peninsula varied from 3 to 15 post-fire years. Fire severity was also key for effects on the ecosystem: the vegetation types of areas burned with low and medium severity recovered naturally, while those areas with a high-severity burn induced shrublands. We concluded that very strong regeneration activity exists in the short term, and that the negative effects of medium- and high-severity fire are evidenced in the mid and long term, which affect natural recovery. Adaptive forest management to rehabilitate and restore burned Mediterranean ecosystems

  2. Effect of sustainable land management practices on soil aggregation and stabilization of organic carbon in semiarid mediterranean ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia-Franco, Noelia; Albaladejo, Juan; Almagro, María; Wiesmeier, Martin; Martínez-Mena, María

    2016-04-01

    Arid and semiarid regions represent about 47% of the total land area of the world (UNEP, 1992). At present, there is a priority interest for carbon (C) sequestration in drylands. These areas are considered as very fragile ecosystems with low organic carbon (OC) saturation, and potentially, high capacity for soil OC sequestration. In addition, the restoration of these areas is one of the major challenges for scientists, who will be able to identify and recommended the best land uses and sustainable land management (SLM) practices for soil conservation and mitigation of climate change in these environments. In this regard, in semiarid Mediterranean ecosystems there is an urgent need for the implementation of SLM practices regardless of land-use type (forest, agricultural and shrubland) to maintain acceptable levels of soil organic matter (SOM) and the physico-chemical protection of the OC. Long- and short-term effects of SLM practices on soil aggregation and SOC stabilization were studied in two land uses. The long-term experiment was conducted in a reforestation area with Pinus halepensis Mill., where two afforestation techniques were implemented 20 years ago: a) mechanical terracing with a single application of organic waste of urban soil refuse, and b) mechanical terracing without organic amendment. An adjacent shrubland was considered as the reference plot. The short-term experiment was conducted in a rain-fed almond (Prunus dulcis Mill., var. Ferragnes) orchard where two SLM practices were introduced 4 years ago: a) reduced tillage plus green manure, and b) no tillage. Reduced tillage was considered as the reference plot given that it is the habitual management practice. Four aggregate size classes were differentiated by sieving (large and small macroaggregates, microaggregates, and the silt plus clay fraction), and the microaggregates occluded within small macroaggregates (SMm) were isolated. In addition, different organic C fractions corresponding with active

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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 ...

  11. 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

  12. [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.

  13. Modelling the diurnal and seasonal dynamics of soil CO2 exchange in a semiarid ecosystem with high plant–interspace heterogeneity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Gong

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available We used process-based modelling to investigate the roles of carbon-flux (C-flux components and plant–interspace heterogeneities in regulating soil CO2 exchanges (FS in a dryland ecosystem with sparse vegetation. To simulate the diurnal and seasonal dynamics of FS, the modelling considered simultaneously the CO2 production, transport and surface exchanges (e.g. biocrust photosynthesis, respiration and photodegradation. The model was parameterized and validated with multivariate data measured during the years 2013–2014 in a semiarid shrubland ecosystem in Yanchi, northwestern China. The model simulation showed that soil rewetting could enhance CO2 dissolution and delay the emission of CO2 produced from rooting zone. In addition, an ineligible fraction of respired CO2 might be removed from soil volumes under respiration chambers by lateral water flows and root uptakes. During rewetting, the lichen-crusted soil could shift temporally from net CO2 source to sink due to the activated photosynthesis of biocrust but the restricted CO2 emissions from subsoil. The presence of plant cover could decrease the root-zone CO2 production and biocrust C sequestration but increase the temperature sensitivities of these fluxes. On the other hand, the sensitivities of root-zone emissions to water content were lower under canopy, which may be due to the advection of water flows from the interspace to canopy. To conclude, the complexity and plant–interspace heterogeneities of soil C processes should be carefully considered to extrapolate findings from chamber to ecosystem scales and to predict the ecosystem responses to climate change and extreme climatic events. Our model can serve as a useful tool to simulate the soil CO2 efflux dynamics in dryland ecosystems.

  14. Modelling the diurnal and seasonal dynamics of soil CO2 exchange in a semiarid ecosystem with high plant-interspace heterogeneity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gong, Jinnan; Wang, Ben; Jia, Xin; Feng, Wei; Zha, Tianshan; Kellomäki, Seppo; Peltola, Heli

    2018-01-01

    We used process-based modelling to investigate the roles of carbon-flux (C-flux) components and plant-interspace heterogeneities in regulating soil CO2 exchanges (FS) in a dryland ecosystem with sparse vegetation. To simulate the diurnal and seasonal dynamics of FS, the modelling considered simultaneously the CO2 production, transport and surface exchanges (e.g. biocrust photosynthesis, respiration and photodegradation). The model was parameterized and validated with multivariate data measured during the years 2013-2014 in a semiarid shrubland ecosystem in Yanchi, northwestern China. The model simulation showed that soil rewetting could enhance CO2 dissolution and delay the emission of CO2 produced from rooting zone. In addition, an ineligible fraction of respired CO2 might be removed from soil volumes under respiration chambers by lateral water flows and root uptakes. During rewetting, the lichen-crusted soil could shift temporally from net CO2 source to sink due to the activated photosynthesis of biocrust but the restricted CO2 emissions from subsoil. The presence of plant cover could decrease the root-zone CO2 production and biocrust C sequestration but increase the temperature sensitivities of these fluxes. On the other hand, the sensitivities of root-zone emissions to water content were lower under canopy, which may be due to the advection of water flows from the interspace to canopy. To conclude, the complexity and plant-interspace heterogeneities of soil C processes should be carefully considered to extrapolate findings from chamber to ecosystem scales and to predict the ecosystem responses to climate change and extreme climatic events. Our model can serve as a useful tool to simulate the soil CO2 efflux dynamics in dryland ecosystems.

  15. Ecosystem services, land-cover change, and stakeholders: finding a sustainable foothold for a semiarid biodiversity hotspot

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Reyers, B

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available -cover change involves changes in the human management of ecosystems (e.g., settlement, cultivation, and grazing) that alter the biogeochemical cycles, climate, and hydrology of an ecosystem. It also drives biodiversity loss through habitat fragmentation... and Frank 2006, Li et al. 2007). Case studies and simulations of land-cover change have also been used to examine the effects on single ecosystem services or processes (e.g., nitrogen levels (Turner et al. 2003), pollination (Priess et al. 2007...

  16. 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...

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Toxicity Bioassays for Ecological Risk Assessment in Arid and Semiarid Ecosystems. Reviews Environmental Contamination and Toxicology 168:43-98.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Markwiese, J.T.; Ryti, R.T.; Hooten, M.M.; Michael, D.I.; Hlohowskyj, I.

    2001-02-01

    This paper discusses current limitations for performing ecological risk assessments in dry environments (i.e., ecosystems that are characteristic of many DOE Facilities) and presents novel approaches to addressing ecological risk in such systems.

  20. Toxicity Bioassays for Ecological Risk Assessment in Arid and Semiarid Ecosystems. Reviews Environmental Contamination and Toxicology 168:43-98

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Markwiese, J.T.; Ryti, R.T.; Hooten, M.M.; Michael, D.I.; Hlohowskyj, I.

    2001-01-01

    This paper discusses current limitations for performing ecological risk assessments in dry environments (i.e., ecosystems that are characteristic of many DOE Facilities) and presents novel approaches to addressing ecological risk in such systems

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Water mutagenic potential assessment on a semiarid aquatic ecosystem under influence of heavy metals and natural radioactivity using micronuclei test.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaves, Luiz Cláudio Cardozo; Navoni, Julio Alejandro; de Morais Ferreira, Douglisnilson; Batistuzzo de Medeiros, Silvia; Ferreira da Costa, Thomas; Petta, Reinaldo Antônio; Souza do Amaral, Viviane

    2016-04-01

    The contamination of water bodies by heavy metals and ionizing radiation is a critical environmental issue, which can affect water quality and, thus, human health. This study aimed to evaluate the water quality of the Boqueirão de Parelhas Dam in the Brazilian semiarid region. A 1-year study (2013-2014) was performed through the assessment of physicochemical parameters, heavy metal content, and radioactivity along with the mutagenicity potential of water using micronuclei test in Orechromis niloticus (in vivo) and the cytokinesis-block micronucleus (CBMN) assay in human lymphocytes (in vitro). A deterioration of water organoleptics characteristics by the presence of high levels of sulfate and total solids was observed. High concentrations of aluminum, nickel, silver, and lead along with the alpha particle content were higher than the limits suggested by the World Health Organization and Brazilian legislation for drinking water. An increase in the frequency of micronuclei and nuclear abnormalities was observed in both experimental models. The results obtained confirmed the mutagenic potential present in water samples. This study highlights that geogenic agents affect water quality becoming a human health concern to be taken into account due to the relevance that this water reservoir has in the region.

  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. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. The fate of seeds in the soil: a review of the influence of overland flow on seed removal and its consequences for the vegetation of arid and semiarid patchy ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bochet, E.

    2015-01-01

    Since seeds are the principle means by which plants move across the landscape, the final fate of seeds plays a fundamental role in the assemblage, functioning and dynamics of plant communities. Once seeds land on the soil surface after being dispersed from the parent plant, they can be moved horizontally by surface runoff. In arid and semiarid patchy ecosystems, where seeds are scattered into a very heterogeneous environment and intense rainfalls occur, the transport of seeds by runoff to new sites may be an opportunity for seeds to reach more favourable sites for seed germination and seedling survival. Although seed transport by runoff may be of vital importance for the recruitment of plants in these ecosystems, it has received little attention in the scientific literature, especially among soil scientists. The main goals of this review paper are (1) to offer an updated conceptual model of seed fate with a focus on seed destiny in and on the soil; (2) to review studies on seed fate in overland flow and the ecological implications seed transport by runoff has for the origin, spatial patterning and maintenance of patches in arid and semiarid patchy ecosystems; and finally (3) to point out directions for future research. This review shows that seed fate in overland flow may result either in the export of seeds from the system (seed loss) or in the spatial redistribution of seeds within the system through short-distance seed movements (seed displacement). Seed transport by runoff depends on rainfall, slope and soil characteristics. Susceptibility of seed removal varies highly between species and is mainly related to seed traits, including seed size, seed shape, presence of appendages, and ability of a seed to secrete mucilage. Although initially considered as a risk of seed loss, seed removal by runoff has recently been described as an ecological driver that shapes plant composition from the first phases of the plant life by favouring species with seeds able to resist

  11. 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...

  12. 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)

  13. 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

    Tropical ecosystems undergo changes caused by season, climate or multiple anthropogenic impacts. Such changes may cause gradual or rapid shifts from one state to another. There has been a focus on functional classifications of plants to find tools for monitoring and assessing species status in changing environments. It has been recognised that plant biological characteristics can be related to their response to predominant environmental factors and interactions between other organisms. These findings have resulted in a search for plant functional types (PFTs) that are user-defined groups of species with similar response to environmental resources and disturbance associated to common biological traits. Now, identification of plant functional types is priority area in the climate change research. Satellite Earth observation data is an important tool in providing considerable information on extracting PFT information at global and regional levels. From the modelling perspective, some of the current needs are the refinement of processes that govern community assembly, such as natural and anthropogenic disturbances. PFTs used in large-scale models are insufficient to represent the diversity of responses in natural plant communities. The currently available MODIS PFT map was generated by re-labeling the IGBP land cover type classes. However, the error magnitudes of the MODIS PFT product and their spatial and temporal distributions have not been fully characterized. Remotely sensed derived information of the phenology, community composition and vegetation structure are the key inputs to integrate with the variability in precipitation and temperature to map the spatial distribution of Plant functional types. PFTs allows accurate representation of the land surface by separately specifying the composition and structure of PFTs within a grid cell. Very little research efforts are discernible in India that explicitly address the PFTs. In the present study five natural

  14. 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...

  15. 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...

  16. Trust building electronic services as a crucial self-regulation feature of Digital Business Ecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Radoslav Delina

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available In the field of digital business ecosystem, the self-regulation feature plays crucial role. ICT supports biological and sociological phenomena through efficient electronic services. One of the main roles is building and enhancing efficient relationships between actors within the ecosystem. Problem of interaction between commercial subjects depends on expected benefits. These expectations are predictors of successful result from realized transaction with potential partner. And this predictor is based on trust and trustworthiness. The paper presents trust as crucial factor for cooperation and discusses specifics of several trust building mechanisms to increase the level of trust in e-cooperation within digital business ecosystems. Based on results provided by questionnaire survey in Slovak business environment, the paper discusses the relationship between the level of respondents´ electronic business experience and their preferences for the portfolio of trust building mechanisms.

  17. 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.

  18. Quantifying characteristic growth dynamics in a semiarid grassland ecosystem by predicting short-term NDVI phenology from daily rainfall: a simple 4 parameter coupled-reservoir model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Predicting impacts of the magnitude and seasonal timing of rainfall pulses in water-limited grassland ecosystems concerns ecologists, climate scientists, hydrologists, and a variety of stakeholders. This report describes a simple, effective procedure to emulate the seasonal response of grassland bio...

  19. 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.

  20. Tree Mortality Decreases Water Availability and Ecosystem Resilience to Drought in Piñon-Juniper Woodlands in the Southwestern U.S.: Tree Mortality in Semiarid Biomes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Morillas, L. [Department of Biology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque NM USA; Now at Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, University of British Columbia, Vancouver British Columbia Canada; Pangle, R. E. [Department of Biology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque NM USA; Maurer, G. E. [Department of Biology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque NM USA; Now at Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management, University of California, Berkeley CA USA; Pockman, W. T. [Department of Biology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque NM USA; McDowell, N. [Earth Systems Analysis and Modeling, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland WA USA; Huang, C. -W. [Department of Biology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque NM USA; Krofcheck, D. J. [Department of Biology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque NM USA; Fox, A. M. [School of Natural Resources and the Environment, University of Arizona, Tucson AZ USA; Sinsabaugh, R. L. [Department of Biology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque NM USA; Rahn, T. A. [Earth and Environmental Sciences Division, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos NM USA; Litvak, M. E. [Department of Biology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque NM USA

    2017-12-01

    Climate-driven tree mortality has increased globally in response to warmer temperature and more severe drought. To examine how tree mortality in semi-arid biomes impacts surface water balance, we experimentally manipulated a piñon-juniper (PJ) woodland by girdling all adult piñon trees in a 4 ha area, decreasing piñon basal area by ~65%. Over 3.5 years (2009-2013), we compared water flux measurements from this girdled site with those from a nearby intact PJ woodland. Before and after girdling, the ratio of evapotranspiration (ET) to incoming precipitation was similar between the two sites. Girdling altered the partitioning of ET such that the contribution of canopy transpiration to ET decreased 9-14% over the study period, relative to the intact control, while non-canopy ET increased. We attributed the elevated non-canopy ET in the girdled site each year to winter increases in sublimation, and summer increases in both soil evaporation and below-canopy transpiration. Although we expected that mortality of a canopy dominant would increase the availability of water and other resources to surviving vegetation, we observed a decrease in both soil volumetric water content and sap flow rates in the remaining trees at the girdled site, relative to the control. This post-girdling decrease in the performance of the remaining trees occurred during the severe 2011-2012 drought, suggesting that piñon mortality may trigger feedback mechanisms that leave PJ woodlands drier relative to undisturbed sites, and potentially more vulnerable to drought.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  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. Prescribed fire, soil inorganic nitrogen dynamics, and plant responses in a semiarid grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    David J. Augustine; Paul Brewer; Dana M. Blumenthal; Justin D. Derner; Joseph C. von Fischer

    2014-01-01

    In arid and semiarid ecosystems, fire can potentially affect ecosystem dynamics through changes in soil moisture, temperature, and nitrogen cycling, as well as through direct effects on plant meristem mortality. We examined effects of annual and triennial prescribed fires conducted in early spring on soil moisture, temperature, and N, plant growth, and plant N content...

  5. 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

  6. Effects of plant cover on properties of rhizosphere and inter-plant soil in a semiarid valley, SW China

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Qu, Laiye; Huang, Yuanyuan; Ma, Keming; Zhang, Yuxin; Biere, A.

    2016-01-01

    Plant establishment is widely recognized as an effective way to prevent soil erosion in arid and semiarid ecosystems. Artemisia gmelinii, a pioneering species in many degraded ecosystems in China, is effective in improving soil properties and controlling runoff and soil loss, but mechanisms

  7. 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.,

  8. 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...

  9. Mucorales from the semiarid of Pernambuco, Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Azevedo Santiago, André Luiz Cabral Monteiro; Dos Santos, Paulo Jorge Parreira; Maia, Leonor Costa

    2013-01-01

    Nineteen taxa of Mucorales, belonging to Absidia, Apophysomyces, Cunninghamella, Fennellomyces, Lichtheimia, Mucor, Mycotypha, Rhizopus and Syncephalastrum were isolated from 36 composite soil samples in three semiarid areas in the State of Pernambuco (Triunfo, Cabrobó and Belém de São Francisco), Northeast Brazil, which are characterized by Caatinga vegetation. Triunfo is preserved, whereas Cabroró and Belém de São Francisco are experiencing low and severe desertification processes, respectively. Mucorales were isolated in Petri dishes in triplicate from 5 mg samples of soil placed on the surface of wheat germ agar plus chloramphenicol and Cercobin [Dimethyl 4,49-(103 phenylene) bis (3-thioallophanate)] medium. The plates were left on a bench at room temperature (28 ± 2 °C) for 72 h of alternating dark and light periods. Absidia cylindrospora presented the highest amount of CFU/g of soil, followed by L. hyalospora, C. phaeospora and C. echinulata var. echinulata. The latter, and R. microsporus var. microsporus, presented the highest frequencies of occurrence. Soils from Triunfo showed higher diversity of Mucorales than the samples from the other areas, although without differing statistically in relation to species richness. The communities of Mucorales from the degraded areas were more similar, while that from the preserved area was quite different. Most of the identified specimens have been commonly isolated from soil in other Brazilian regions, which indicates that they are not endemic of the semiarid. Eleven taxa are registered for the first time in this ecosystem, while F. heterothallicus is reported for the first time in Brazil.

  10. Mucorales from the semiarid of Pernambuco, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    André Luiz Cabral Monteiro de Azevedo Santiago

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Nineteen taxa of Mucorales, belonging to Absidi, Apophysomyces, Cunninghamella, Fennellomyces, Lichtheimi, Mucor, Mycotypha, Rhizopus and Syncephalastrum were isolated from 36 composite soil samples in three semiarid areas in the State of Pernambuco (Triunfo, Cabrobó and Belém de São Francisco, Northeast Brazil, which are characterized by Caatinga vegetation. Triunfo is preserved, whereas Cabroró and Belém de São Francisco are experiencing low and severe desertification processes, respectively. Mucorales were isolated in Petri dishes in triplicate from 5 mg samples of soil placed on the surface of wheat germ agar plus chloramphenicol and Cercobin [Dimethyl 4,49-(103 phenylene bis (3-thioallophanate] medium. The plates were left on a bench at room temperature (28 ± 2 ºC for 72 h of alternating dark and light periods. Absidia cylindrospora presented the highest amount of CFU/g of soil, followed by L. hyalospor, C. phaeospora and C. echinulata var. echinulata. The latter, and R. microsporus var. microsporus, presented the highest frequencies of occurrence. Soils from Triunfo showed higher diversity of Mucorales than the samples from the other areas, although without differing statistically in relation to species richness. The communities of Mucorales from the degraded areas were more similar, while that from the preserved area was quite different. Most of the identified specimens have been commonly isolated from soil in other Brazilian regions, which indicates that they are not endemic of the semiarid. Eleven taxa are registered for the first time in this ecosystem, while F. heterothallicus is reported for the first time in Brazil.

  11. Colonización radical por endófitos fúngicos en Trithrinax campestris (Arecaceae de ecosistemas semiáridos del centro de Argentina Root colonization by fungal endophytes in Trithrinax campestris (Arecaceae from semiarid ecosystems from Central Argentine

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mónica A Lugo

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available En ecosistemas áridos y semiáridos las raíces de las plantas suelen formar simbiosis con hongos, los que les proporcionan nutrientes y agua. Poco se conoce sobre los hongos asociados a palmeras nativas y cómo éstos podrían estar relacionados entre ellos. Se describe y cuantifica la colonización radical de los simbiontes de Trithrinax campestris en poblaciones leve y fuertemente afectadas por el fuego. T. campestris fue colonizada por hongos micorrícico-arbusculares (HMA y endófitos septados oscuros (ESO. La colonización por HMA fue del tipo intermedio entre los tipos Arum y Paris. La colonización por HMA y ESO y la producción de pelos radicales, presentó diferencias entre las poblaciones estudiadas. Los resultados sugieren que en T. campestris la relación entre hongos simbiontes/producción de pelos radicales podrían estar relacionada con su alta tolerancia al fuego y la aridez.In arid and semiarid ecosystems, roots frequently form symbiosis with fungi that provides access to nutrients and water. Knowledge regarding the study of fungal symbionts colonizing native palms roots is still scarce. We described, quantified and compared fungal colonization in roots of Trithrinax campestris from two environmental situations: population with weak-burning-signs and population with strong-burning-signs. T. campestris was colonized by arbuscular-mycorrhizal-fungi (AMF and dark-septate-endophytes (DSE. AMF colonization was an intermediate type between Arum and Paris. The AMF and DSE colonization and root hair production differed between populations. Our results suggest that in T. campestris the relation between fungal-symbionts and root-hair-production might be related to tolerance to burning and aridity.

  12. Millennium Ecosystem Assessment: MA Ecosystems

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  13. Business analysis for a sustainable, multi-stakeholder ecosystem for leveraging the Electronic Health Records for Clinical Research (EHR4CR) platform in Europe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dupont, Danielle; Beresniak, Ariel; Sundgren, Mats; Schmidt, Andreas; Ainsworth, John; Coorevits, Pascal; Kalra, Dipak; Dewispelaere, Marc; De Moor, Georges

    2017-01-01

    The Electronic Health Records for Clinical Research (EHR4CR) technological platform has been developed to enable the trustworthy reuse of hospital electronic health records data for clinical research. The EHR4CR platform can enhance and speed up clinical research scenarios: protocol feasibility assessment, patient identification for recruitment in clinical trials, and clinical data exchange, including for reporting serious adverse events. Our objective was to seed a multi-stakeholder ecosystem to enable the scalable exploitation of the EHR4CR platform in Europe, and to assess its economic sustainability. Market analyses were conducted by a multidisciplinary task force to define an EHR4CR emerging ecosystem and multi-stakeholder value chain. This involved mapping stakeholder groups and defining their unmet needs, incentives, potential barriers for adopting innovative solutions, roles and interdependencies. A comprehensive business model, value propositions, and sustainability strategies were developed accordingly. Using simulation modelling (including Monte Carlo simulations) and a 5-year horizon, the potential financial outcomes of the business model were forecasted from the perspective of an EHR4CR service provider. A business ecosystem was defined to leverage the EHR4CR multi-stakeholder value chain. Value propositions were developed describing the expected benefits of EHR4CR solutions for all stakeholders. From an EHR4CR service provider's viewpoint, the business model simulation estimated that a profitability ratio of up to 1.8 could be achieved at year 1, with potential for growth in subsequent years depending on projected market uptake. By enhancing and speeding up existing processes, EHR4CR solutions promise to transform the clinical research landscape. The ecosystem defined provides the organisational framework for optimising the value and benefits for all stakeholders involved, in a sustainable manner. Our study suggests that the exploitation of EHR4CR

  14. State Transitions in Semiarid Landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phillips, J. D.

    2012-04-01

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture has developed a large number of state-and-transition models (STM) to predict and interpret changes in vegetation communities in drylands of the southwestern U.S. These are represented as box-and-arrow models indicating potential changes in response to various combinations of management practices and environmental forcings. Analysis of the 320 STMs developed for areas within the state of Texas reveals two important aspects of environmental change in semiarid environments. First, the STMs are highly local—they are specific to very particular combinations of landform, soil, and climate. This is consistent with the perfect landscape concept in geomorphology, which emphasizes the irreducible importance of geographically and historically contingent local factors in addition to universal laws or principles in determining the state or condition of landscapes. Second, analysis of the STMs using algebraic graph theory shows that a majority of them have structures that tend to amplify effects of change and disturbances. In many cases the STMs represent a form of self-organization characterized by the potential of divergent behavior rather than convergence toward a dominant pattern or outcome. These results indicate that geomorphic, hydrologic, and ecological responses to climate and land use change are likely to be highly variable and idiosyncratic, both within and between semiarid landscapes of Texas.

  15. Derivation of the canopy conductance from surface temperature and spectral indices for estimating evapotranspiration in semiarid vegetation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Morillas, L.; Garcia, M.; Zarco-Tejada, P.; Ladron de Guevara, M.; Villagarcia, L.; Were, A.; Domingo, F.

    2009-01-01

    This work evaluates the possibilities for estimating stomata conductance (C) and leaf transpiration (Trf) at the ecosystem scale from radiometric indices and surface temperature. The relationships found between indices and the transpiration component of the water balance in a semiarid tussock ecosystem in SE Spain are discussed. Field data were collected from spring 2008 until winter 2009 in order to observe the annual variability of the relationships and the behaviour of spectral indices and surface temperature. (Author) 11 refs.

  16. Ecosystem Services

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  17. 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.

  18. Differential nitrogen cycling in semiarid sub-shrubs with contrasting leaf habit.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sara Palacio

    Full Text Available Nitrogen (N is, after water, the most limiting resource in semiarid ecosystems. However, knowledge on the N cycling ability of semiarid woody plants is still very rudimentary. This study analyzed the seasonal change in the N concentrations and pools of the leaves and woody organs of two species of semiarid sub-shrubs with contrasting leaf habit. The ability of both species to uptake, remobilize and recycle N, plus the main storage organ for N during summer drought were evaluated. We combined an observational approach in the field with experimental (15N labelling of adult individuals grown in sand culture. Seasonal patterns of N concentrations were different between species and organs and foliar N concentrations of the summer deciduous Lepidium subulatum were almost double those of the evergreen Linum suffruticosum. L. subulatum up took ca. 60% more external N than the evergreen and it also had a higher N resorption efficiency and proficiency. Contrastingly, L. suffruticosum relied more on internal N remobilization for shoot growth. Differently to temperate species, the evergreen stored N preferentially in the main stem and old trunks, while the summer deciduous stored it in the foliage and young stems. The higher ability of L. subulatum to uptake external N can be related to its ability to perform opportunistic growth and exploit the sporadic pulses of N typical of semiarid ecosystems. Such ability may also explain its high foliar N concentrations and its preferential storage of N in leaves and young stems. Finally, L. suffruticosum had a lower ability to recycle N during leaf senescence. These strategies contrast with those of evergreen and deciduous species from temperate and boreal areas, highlighting the need of further studies on semiarid and arid plants.

  19. Human impacts on riparian ecosystems of the Middle Rio Grande Valley during historic times

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frank E. Wozniak

    1996-01-01

    The development of irrigation agriculture in historic times has profoundly impacted riparian ecosystems in the Middle Rio Grande Valley of New Mexico. A vital relationship has existed between water resources and settlement in the semi-arid Southwest since prehistoric times. Levels of technology have influenced human generated changes in the riparian ecosystems of the...

  20. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi regulate soil respiration and its response to precipitation change in a semiarid steppe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Bingwei; Li, Shan; Chen, Shiping; Ren, Tingting; Yang, Zhiqiang; Zhao, Hanlin; Liang, Yu; Han, Xingguo

    2016-01-28

    Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) are critical links in plant-soil continuum and play a critical role in soil carbon cycles. Soil respiration, one of the largest carbon fluxes in global carbon cycle, is sensitive to precipitation change in semiarid ecosystems. In this study, a field experiment with fungicide application and water addition was conducted during 2010-2013 in a semiarid steppe in Inner Mongolia, China, and soil respiration was continuously measured to investigate the influences of AMF on soil respiration under different precipitation regimes. Results showed that soil respiration was promoted by water addition treatment especially during drought seasons, which induced a nonlinear response of soil respiration to precipitation change. Fungicide application suppressed AMF root colonization without impacts on soil microbes. AMF suppression treatment accelerated soil respiration with 2.7, 28.5 and 37.6 g C m(-2) across three seasons, which were mainly caused by the enhanced heterotrophic component. A steeper response of soil respiration rate to precipitation was found under fungicide application treatments, suggesting a greater dampening effect of AMF on soil carbon release as water availability increased. Our study highlighted the importance of AMF on soil carbon stabilization and sequestration in semiarid steppe ecosystems especially during wet seasons.

  1. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi regulate soil respiration and its response to precipitation change in a semiarid steppe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Bingwei; Li, Shan; Chen, Shiping; Ren, Tingting; Yang, Zhiqiang; Zhao, Hanlin; Liang, Yu; Han, Xingguo

    2016-01-01

    Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) are critical links in plant-soil continuum and play a critical role in soil carbon cycles. Soil respiration, one of the largest carbon fluxes in global carbon cycle, is sensitive to precipitation change in semiarid ecosystems. In this study, a field experiment with fungicide application and water addition was conducted during 2010-2013 in a semiarid steppe in Inner Mongolia, China, and soil respiration was continuously measured to investigate the influences of AMF on soil respiration under different precipitation regimes. Results showed that soil respiration was promoted by water addition treatment especially during drought seasons, which induced a nonlinear response of soil respiration to precipitation change. Fungicide application suppressed AMF root colonization without impacts on soil microbes. AMF suppression treatment accelerated soil respiration with 2.7, 28.5 and 37.6 g C m-2 across three seasons, which were mainly caused by the enhanced heterotrophic component. A steeper response of soil respiration rate to precipitation was found under fungicide application treatments, suggesting a greater dampening effect of AMF on soil carbon release as water availability increased. Our study highlighted the importance of AMF on soil carbon stabilization and sequestration in semiarid steppe ecosystems especially during wet seasons.

  2. Endemic shrubs in temperate arid and semiarid regions of northern China and their potentials for rangeland restoration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chu, Jianmin; Yang, Hongxiao; Lu, Qi; Zhang, Xiaoyan

    2015-06-03

    Some endemic shrubs in arid and semiarid ecosystems are in danger of extinction, and yet they can play useful roles in maintaining or restoring these ecosystems, thus practical efforts are needed to conserve them. The shrubs Amygdalus pedunculata Pall., Amygdalus mongolica (Maxim.) Ricker and Ammopiptanthus mongolicus (Maxim. ex Kom.) Cheng f. are endemic species in arid and semiarid regions of northern China, where rangeland desertification is pronounced due to chronic overgrazing. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that these endemic shrubs have developed adaptations to arid and semiarid environments and could play critical roles as nurse species to initiate the process of rangeland recovery. Based on careful vegetation surveys, we analysed the niches of these species in relation to precipitation, temperature and habitats. All sampling plots were categorized by these endemics and sorted by the non-metric multidimensional scaling method. Species ratios of each life form and species co-occurrence rates with the endemics were also evaluated. Annual average temperature and annual precipitation were found to be the key factors determining vegetation diversity and distributions. Amygdalus pedunculata prefers low hills and sandy land in temperate semiarid regions. Amygdalus mongolica prefers gravel deserts of temperate semiarid regions. Ammopiptanthus mongolicus prefers sandy land of temperate arid regions. Communities of A. pedunculata have the highest diversity and the largest ratios of long-lived grass species, whereas those of A. mongolicus have the lowest diversity but the largest ratios of shrub species. Communities of A. mongolica are a transition between the first two community types. These findings demonstrate that our focal endemic shrubs have evolved adaptations to arid and semiarid conditions, thus they can be nurse plants to stabilize sand ground for vegetation restoration. We suggest that land managers begin using these shrub species to restore

  3. Ecohydrology and tipping points in semiarid australian rangelands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saco, P. M.; Azadi, S.; Moreno de las Heras, M.; Willgoose, G. R.

    2017-12-01

    Semiarid landscapes are often characterised by a spatially heterogeneous vegetation cover forming mosaics of patches with dense vegetation within bare soil. This patchy vegetation cover, which is linked to the healthy function of these ecosystems, is sensitive to human disturbances that can lead to degradation. Previous work suggests that vegetation loss below a critical value can lead to a sudden decrease in landscape functionality following threshold behaviour. The decrease in vegetation cover is linked to erosion and substantial water losses by increasing landscape hydrological connectivity. We study these interactions and the possible existence of tipping points in the Mulga land bioregion, by combining remote sensing observations and results from an eco-geomorphologic model to investigate changes in ecosystem connectivity and the existence of threshold behaviour. More than 30 sites were selected along a precipitation gradient spanning a range from approximately 250 to 500 mm annual rainfall. The analysis of vegetation patterns is derived from high resolution remote sensing images (IKONOS, QuickBird, Pleiades) and MODIS NDVI, which combined with local precipitation data is used to compute rainfall use efficiency to assess the ecosystem function. A critical tipping point associated to loss of vegetation cover appears in the sites with lower annual precipitation. We found that this tipping point behaviour decreases for sites with higher rainfall. We use the model to investigate the relation between structural and functional connectivity and the emergence of threshold behaviour for selected plots along this precipitation gradient. Both observations and modelling results suggest that sites with higher rainfall are more resilient to changes in surface connectivity. The implications for ecosystem resilience and land management are discussed

  4. Monitoring the variations of evapotranspiration due to land use/cover change in a semiarid shrubland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gong, Tingting; Lei, Huimin; Yang, Dawen; Jiao, Yang; Yang, Hanbo

    2017-02-01

    Evapotranspiration (ET) is an important process in the hydrological cycle, and vegetation change is a primary factor that affects ET. In this study, we analyzed the annual and inter-annual characteristics of ET using continuous observation data from eddy covariance (EC) measurement over 4 years (1 July 2011 to 30 June 2015) in a semiarid shrubland of Mu Us Sandy Land, China. The Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) was demonstrated as the predominant factor that influences the seasonal variations in ET. Additionally, during the land degradation and vegetation rehabilitation processes, ET and normalized ET both increased due to the integrated effects of the changes in vegetation type, topography, and soil surface characteristics. This study could improve our understanding of the effects of land use/cover change on ET in the fragile ecosystem of semiarid regions and provide a scientific reference for the sustainable management of regional land and water resources.

  5. Alpine ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    P.W. Rundel; C.I. Millar

    2016-01-01

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

  6. Ecosystem Jenga!

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  7. Water conservation in semiarid dryland agriculture

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Willis, W.O.

    1980-01-01

    Factors affecting water conservation in semiarid dryland regions are discussed. Because precipitation is the only source of water for plant growth in most semiarid regions, a good understanding of precipitation patterns (quantity, distribution, and their probable frequency) is needed for each dryland area. The various dryland practices, e.g. tillage, cultivars, residue management, fertility, erosion control, and grazing, must be considered as integral parts of an entire system to develop best management practices and to gain most efficient water conservation for food and fiber production. (author)

  8. Untangling the biological contributions to soil stability in semiarid shrublands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaudhary, V. Bala; Bowker, Matthew A.; O'Dell, Thomas E.; Grace, James B.; Redman, Andrea E.; Rillig, Matthias C.; Johnson, Nancy C.

    2009-01-01

    Communities of plants, biological soil crusts (BSCs), and arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi are known to influence soil stability individually, but their relative contributions, interactions, and combined effects are not well understood, particularly in arid and semiarid ecosystems. In a landscape-scale field study we quantified plant, BSC, and AM fungal communities at 216 locations along a gradient of soil stability levels in southern Utah, USA. We used multivariate modeling to examine the relative influences of plants, BSCs, and AM fungi on surface and subsurface stability in a semiarid shrubland landscape. Models were found to be congruent with the data and explained 35% of the variation in surface stability and 54% of the variation in subsurface stability. The results support several tentative conclusions. While BSCs, plants, and AM fungi all contribute to surface stability, only plants and AM fungi contribute to subsurface stability. In both surface and subsurface models, the strongest contributions to soil stability are made by biological components of the system. Biological soil crust cover was found to have the strongest direct effect on surface soil stability (0.60; controlling for other factors). Surprisingly, AM fungi appeared to influence surface soil stability (0.37), even though they are not generally considered to exist in the top few millimeters of the soil. In the subsurface model, plant cover appeared to have the strongest direct influence on soil stability (0.42); in both models, results indicate that plant cover influences soil stability both directly (controlling for other factors) and indirectly through influences on other organisms. Soil organic matter was not found to have a direct contribution to surface or subsurface stability in this system. The relative influence of AM fungi on soil stability in these semiarid shrublands was similar to that reported for a mesic tallgrass prairie. Estimates of effects that BSCs, plants, and AM fungi have

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  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. Estimating annual rainfall threshold for establishment of tree species in water-limited ecosystems using tree-ring data

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lopez, B.C.; Holmgren, M.; Sabate, S.; Gracia, C.A.

    2008-01-01

    In arid and semi-arid ecosystems, water availability is discontinuous, highly variable, and characterized by discrete pulse events separated by long periods of limited resource availability. Plant recruitment in these ecosystems is also episodic and dependent on the water available during and after

  13. A method to identify the variable ecosystem services relationship across time: a case study on Yanhe Basin, China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhenmin Zheng; Bojie Fu; Haitang Hu; Ge Sun

    2014-01-01

    Ecosystem services are increasingly recognized as the foundations of a well-functioning society. Large-scale ecological restoration projects have been implemented around China with the goal of restoring and sustaining ecosystem services, especially in vulnerable semi-arid regions where soil and water resources are most stressed due to historic human activities. The...

  14. Entrepreneurial Ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stam, F.C.; Spigel, Ben

    2016-01-01

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

  15. Modeling water scarcity and droughts for policy adaptation to climate change in arid and semiarid regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kahil, Mohamed Taher; Dinar, Ariel; Albiac, Jose

    2015-03-01

    Growing water extractions combined with emerging demands for environment protection increase competition for scarce water resources worldwide, especially in arid and semiarid regions. In those regions, climate change is projected to exacerbate water scarcity and increase the recurrence and intensity of droughts. These circumstances call for methodologies that can support the design of sustainable water management. This paper presents a hydro-economic model that links a reduced form hydrological component, with economic and environmental components. The model is applied to an arid and semiarid basin in Southeastern Spain to analyze the effects of droughts and to assess alternative adaptation policies. Results indicate that drought events have large impacts on social welfare, with the main adjustments sustained by irrigation and the environment. The water market policy seems to be a suitable option to overcome the negative economic effects of droughts, although the environmental effects may weaken its advantages for society. The environmental water market policy, where water is acquired for the environment, is an appealing policy to reap the private benefits of markets while protecting ecosystems. The current water management approach in Spain, based on stakeholders' cooperation, achieves almost the same economic outcomes and better environmental outcomes compared to a pure water market. These findings call for a reconsideration of the current management in arid and semiarid basins around the world. The paper illustrates the potential of hydro-economic modeling for integrating the multiple dimensions of water resources, becoming a valuable tool in the advancement of sustainable water management policies.

  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. Estimation of alluvial recharge in the semiarid

    OpenAIRE

    Andrade,Tafnes S.; Montenegro,Suzana M. G. L.; Montenegro,Abelardo A. de A.; Rodrigues,Diogo F. B.

    2014-01-01

    In areas where there is irrigated agriculture, the recuperation of water reserves in alluvial aquifers may occur preferentially due to precipitation. Recharging can be evaluated from variation information of water depth measured in piezometers or observation wells. Thus, the aim of this research is to study the recharge in the alluvial aquifer formed by the Mimoso temporary stream in the semiarid region of Pernambuco (PE), Brazil, using the method of the fluctuation of the water level. This s...

  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. 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

  20. Ecosystem thermodynamics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gomez Palacio, German Rau

    1998-01-01

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

  1. Water use efficiency and functional traits of a semiarid shrubland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perez-Priego, Oscar; Lopez-Ballesteros, Ana; Sánchez-Cañete, Enrique P.; Serrano-Ortiz, Penélope; Carrara, Arnaud; Palomares-Palacio, Agustí; Oyonarte, Cecilio; Domingo, Francisco; Kowalski, Andrew S.

    2013-04-01

    In semiarid climates, water is the fundamental factor determining ecosystem productivity and thereby the capacity for carbon sequestration. Increased water use efficiency (WUE), the ratio of carbon dioxide assimilation (canopy photosynthesis, Pc) to water transpired (canopy evaporation, Ec), is assumed to be an adaptive strategy for sclerophyll shrublands to improve productivity and stress resistance in water-limited environments. However, the real complexity of WUE lies in its dependence on both plant physiological traits (e.g. stomatal resistance, photosynthetic capacity, leaf chemical composition, structure) and on environmental conditions (e.g. atmospheric CO2 concentration, vapour pressure deficit, temperature, light, soil water availability). We used a transient-state closed canopy-chamber to characterise CO2 and water vapour exchanges at the whole plant scale under different environmental conditions and phenological stages. Diurnal and seasonal variations in Pc, Ec and WUE were explained by both physiological and environmental variables. All species showed symmetric patterns in both Pc and Ec when not water limited, but asymmetry during summer drought when leaf water potential was low. During drought, grasses (Festuca sp.) showed a marked decline in functioning (Pc and Ec), whereas shrubs (Genista sp., Hormathophylla sp.) maintained spring-like assimilation rates all morning until stomatal controls shut down gas exchanges. While grasses showed the highest WUE when not water limited, their near senescence during summer drought yielded the lowest WUE. Shrubs showed reduced WUE under moderate drought stress, in contradiction to the assumptions made in global ecosystem models. The importance of the appropriate time-scale for calculating WUE (daily versus hourly), together with water use strategies and ecological functions of individual species, will be further discussed.

  2. Urban ecosystem

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Duvigneaud, P

    1974-01-01

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

  3. 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

  4. Shifts of growing-season precipitation peaks decrease soil respiration in a semiarid grassland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ru, Jingyi; Zhou, Yaqiong; Hui, Dafeng; Zheng, Mengmei; Wan, Shiqiang

    2018-03-01

    Changing precipitation regimes could have profound influences on carbon (C) cycle in the biosphere. However, how soil C release from terrestrial ecosystems responds to changing seasonal distribution of precipitation remains unclear. A field experiment was conducted for 4 years (2013-2016) to examine the effects of altered precipitation distributions in the growing season on soil respiration in a temperate steppe in the Mongolian Plateau. Over the 4 years, both advanced and delayed precipitation peaks suppressed soil respiration, and the reductions mainly occurred in August. The decreased soil respiration could be primarily attributable to water stress and subsequently limited plant growth (community cover and belowground net primary productivity) and soil microbial activities in the middle growing season, suggesting that precipitation amount in the middle growing season is more important than that in the early, late, or whole growing seasons in regulating soil C release in grasslands. The observations of the additive effects of advanced and delayed precipitation peaks indicate semiarid grasslands will release less C through soil respiratory processes under the projected seasonal redistribution of precipitation in the future. Our findings highlight the potential role of intra-annual redistribution of precipitation in regulating ecosystem C cycling in arid and semiarid regions. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  5. Strategic ecosystems of Colombia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Marquez Calle German

    2002-01-01

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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Disturbance and net ecosystem production across three climatically distinct forest landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    John L. Campbell; O.J. Sun; B.E. Law

    2004-01-01

    Biometric techniques were used to measure net ecosystem production (NEP) across three climatically distinct forest chronosequences in Oregon. NEP was highly negative immediately following stand-replacing disturbance in all forests and recovered to positive values by 10, 20, and 30 years of age for the mild mesic Coast Range, mesic West Cascades, and semi-arid East...

  9. Designer ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Derivation of the canopy conductance from surface temperature and spectral indices for estimating evapotranspiration in semiarid vegetation; Monitorizacion de conductancia en vegetacion semiarida a partir de indices espectrales y temperatura de supeficie

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Morillas, L.; Garcia, M.; Zarco-Tejada, P.; Ladron de Guevara, M.; Villagarcia, L.; Were, A.; Domingo, F.

    2009-07-01

    This work evaluates the possibilities for estimating stomata conductance (C) and leaf transpiration (Trf) at the ecosystem scale from radiometric indices and surface temperature. The relationships found between indices and the transpiration component of the water balance in a semiarid tussock ecosystem in SE Spain are discussed. Field data were collected from spring 2008 until winter 2009 in order to observe the annual variability of the relationships and the behaviour of spectral indices and surface temperature. (Author) 11 refs.

  13. 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.

  14. Electronics

    Science.gov (United States)

    2001-01-01

    International Acer Incorporated, Hsin Chu, Taiwan Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation, Taichung, Taiwan American Institute of Taiwan, Taipei, Taiwan...Singapore and Malaysia .5 - 4 - The largest market for semiconductor products is the high technology consumer electronics industry that consumes up...Singapore, and Malaysia . A new semiconductor facility costs around $3 billion to build and takes about two years to become operational

  15. AGROECOLOGY AND CLIMATE CHANGE IN THE SEMIARID TROPICS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guillermo Gamarra-Rojas

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available This article makes a theoretical and, to a certain extent, propositional reflection on the conceptions, assumptions and evidences of climate change in the tropics, with emphasis on the Brazilian semiarid region. The contributions of agriculture to climate change are presented and the impacts of climate change on family agriculture in the semiarid region are analyzed. Evidence of mitigation and adaptation in agroecological systems of the semiarid region is presented and an outline of an agenda of the sector based on the commitments assumed by the country and the needs of mitigation and adaptation is provided.

  16. 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

  17. Aspect-related Vegetation Differences Amplify Soil Moisture Variability in Semiarid Landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yetemen, O.; Srivastava, A.; Kumari, N.; Saco, P. M.

    2017-12-01

    Soil moisture variability (SMV) in semiarid landscapes is affected by vegetation, soil texture, climate, aspect, and topography. The heterogeneity in vegetation cover that results from the effects of microclimate, terrain attributes (slope gradient, aspect, drainage area etc.), soil properties, and spatial variability in precipitation have been reported to act as the dominant factors modulating SMV in semiarid ecosystems. However, the role of hillslope aspect in SMV, though reported in many field studies, has not received the same degree of attention probably due to the lack of extensive large datasets. Numerical simulations can then be used to elucidate the contribution of aspect-driven vegetation patterns to this variability. In this work, we perform a sensitivity analysis to study on variables driving SMV using the CHILD landscape evolution model equipped with a spatially-distributed solar-radiation component that couples vegetation dynamics and surface hydrology. To explore how aspect-driven vegetation heterogeneity contributes to the SMV, CHILD was run using a range of parameters selected to reflect different scenarios (from uniform to heterogeneous vegetation cover). Throughout the simulations, the spatial distribution of soil moisture and vegetation cover are computed to estimate the corresponding coefficients of variation. Under the uniform spatial precipitation forcing and uniform soil properties, the factors affecting the spatial distribution of solar insolation are found to play a key role in the SMV through the emergence of aspect-driven vegetation patterns. Hence, factors such as catchment gradient, aspect, and latitude, define water stress and vegetation growth, and in turn affect the available soil moisture content. Interestingly, changes in soil properties (porosity, root depth, and pore-size distribution) over the domain are not as effective as the other factors. These findings show that the factors associated to aspect-related vegetation

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Bottom-up control of consumers leads to top-down indirect facilitation of invasive annual herbs in semiarid Chile.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madrigal, Jaime; Kelt, Douglas A; Meserve, Peter L; Gutierrez, Julio R; Squeo, Francisco A

    2011-02-01

    The abundance of exotic plants is thought to be limited by competition with resident species (including plants and generalist herbivores). In contrast, observations in semiarid Chile suggest that a native generalist rodent, the degu (Octodon degus), may be facilitating the expansion of exotic annual plants. We tested this hypothesis with a 20-year data set from a World Biosphere Reserve in mediterranean Chile. In this semiarid environment, rainfall varies annually and dramatically influences cover by both native and exotic annual plants; degu population density affects the composition and cover of exotic and native annual plants. In low-rainfall years, cover of both native and exotic herbs is extremely low. Higher levels of precipitation result in proportional increases in cover of all annual plants (exotic and native species), leading in turn to increases in degu population densities, at which point they impact native herbs in proportion to their greater cover, indirectly favoring the expansion of exotic plants. We propose that bottom-up control of consumers at our site results in top-down indirect facilitation of invasive annual herbs, and that this pattern may be general to other semiarid ecosystems.

  5. 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

  6. Differential Impact of Passive versus Active Irrigation on Urban Forests in Semiarid Regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luketich, A. M.; Papuga, S. A.; Crimmins, M.

    2017-12-01

    The network of trees within a city provides a variety of ecosystem services such as flood mitigation and reduced heat island effects. To maintain these `urban forests' in semiarid cities, the use of scarce water resources for irrigation is often necessary. Rainwater harvesting has been widely adopted in Tucson, AZ as a sustainable water source for trees, but the effects of passive water harvesting versus active irrigation on tree canopy productivity and microclimate is largely unquantified. We hypothesize that regardless of whether trees are passively or actively irrigated, deep soil moisture will be elevated compared to natural conditions; however, we expect that increased deep soil moisture conditions will be more frequent using active irrigation. Additionally, we hypothesize that similar to natural settings, urban trees will need access deep soil moisture for transpiration. Therefore, we expect that actively irrigated trees will have more periods of transpiration than passively irrigated trees and that this will result in elevated and sustained phenological activity. We also expect that this difference will translate to more ecosystem services for a longer portion of the year in actively irrigated urban forests. Here, we compare key ecohydrological indicators of passive and active irrigation systems at two sites in Tucson, AZ. Our measurements include soil moisture, transpiration, air temperature, soil temperature, below- and within- canopy temperatures, and canopy phenology. Our first year of results suggest there are differences in transpiration, canopy greening and microclimate between the two irrigation techniques and that the magnitude of these differences are highly seasonal. This research can help to improve understanding of the practices and function of green infrastructure in semiarid cities and inform models that attempt to aggregate the influence of these urban forests for understanding watershed management strategies.

  7. Convergent responses of nitrogen and phosphorus resorption to nitrogen inputs in a semiarid grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lü, Xiao-Tao; Reed, Sasha; Yu, Qiang; He, Nian-Peng; Wang, Zheng-Wen; Han, Xing-Guo

    2013-01-01

    Human activities have significantly altered nitrogen (N) availability in most terrestrial ecosystems, with consequences for community composition and ecosystem functioning. Although studies of how changes in N availability affect biodiversity and community composition are relatively common, much less remains known about the effects of N inputs on the coupled biogeochemical cycling of N and phosphorus (P), and still fewer data exist regarding how increased N inputs affect the internal cycling of these two elements in plants. Nutrient resorption is an important driver of plant nutrient economies and of the quality of litter plants produce. Accordingly, resorption patterns have marked ecological implications for plant population and community fitness, as well as for ecosystem nutrient cycling. In a semiarid grassland in northern China, we studied the effects of a wide range of N inputs on foliar nutrient resorption of two dominant grasses, Leymus chinensis and Stipa grandis. After 4 years of treatments, N and P availability in soil and N and P concentrations in green and senesced grass leaves increased with increasing rates of N addition. Foliar N and P resorption significantly decreased along the N addition gradient, implying a resorption-mediated, positive plant–soil feedback induced by N inputs. Furthermore, N : P resorption ratios were negatively correlated with the rates of N addition, indicating the sensitivity of plant N and P stoichiometry to N inputs. Taken together, the results demonstrate that N additions accelerate ecosystem uptake and turnover of both N and P in the temperate steppe and that N and P cycles are coupled in dynamic ways. The convergence of N and P resorption in response to N inputs emphasizes the importance of nutrient resorption as a pathway by which plants and ecosystems adjust in the face of increasing N availability.

  8. Thermal Remote Sensing and the Thermodynamics of Ecosystem Development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luvall, Jeffrey C.; Rickman, Doug.; Fraser, Roydon F.

    2013-01-01

    Thermal remote sensing can provide environmental measuring tools with capabilities for measuring ecosystem development and integrity. Recent advances in applying principles of nonequilibrium thermodynamics to ecology provide fundamental insights into energy partitioning in ecosystems. Ecosystems are nonequilibrium systems, open to material and energy flows, which grow and develop structures and processes to increase energy degradation. More developed terrestrial ecosystems will be more effective at dissipating the solar gradient (degrading its exergy content) and can be measured by the effective surface temperature of the ecosystem on a landscape scale. Ecosystems are viewed as open thermodynamic systems with a large gradient impressed on them by the exergy flux from the sun. Ecosystems, according to the restated second law, develop in ways that systematically increases their ability to degrade the incoming solar exergy, hence negating it's ability to set up even larger gradients. Thus it should be expected that more mature ecosystems degrade the exergy they capture more completely than a less developed ecosystem. The degree to which incoming solar exergy is degraded is a function of the surface temperature of the ecosystem. If a group of ecosystems receives the same amount of incoming radiation, we would expect that the most mature ecosystem would reradiate its energy at the lowest quality level and thus would have the lowest surface temperature (coldest black body temperature). Initial development work was done using NASA's airborne Thermal Infrared Multispectral Scanner (TIMS) followed by the use of a multispectral visible and thermal scanner- Airborne Thermal and Land Applications Sensor (ATLAS). Luvall and his coworkers have documented ecosystem energy budgets, including tropical forests, midlatitude varied ecosystems, and semiarid ecosystems. These data show that under similar environmental conditions (air temperature, relative humidity, winds, and solar

  9. Insights from a network of long-term measurements of biosphere-atmospheric exchanges of water vapor and carbon dioxide in a water-limited semiarid region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scott, Russell; Biederman, Joel

    2017-04-01

    Around one-third of Earth's land surface is classified as semiarid, and carbon dioxide exchange in these regions has been shown to be an important regulator of both the trend and interannual variability of the terrestrial carbon sink. Fifteen years ago, when we began making measurements of biosphere-atmospheric exchanges of energy, water vapor, and carbon dioxide using eddy covariance in southern Arizona USA, there was paucity of semiarid observations in flux networks like AmeriFlux and EuroFlux. We started by establishing riparian sites across a woody plant encroachment gradient to quantify the productivity and consumptive plant water use along a iconic and ecologically important desert river. Soon thereafter, we added semiarid grassland, shrubland, and savanna sites that do not have access to groundwater in order to better understand how water limitation and changes in vegetation structure affect ecosystem productivity. Here, we highlight the value of multiyear, multisite flux data for addressing regional to global scale problems associated with groundwater pumping, land cover change, drought, and climate change. For the riparian sites, we find that ecosystem water availability is altered by vegetation structure such that ecosystems with more deeply rooted trees have higher productivity but at a cost of greater groundwater use. For the non-riparian sites, precipitation strongly controls ecosystem water availability and the resultant productivity, but differences in ecosystem structure impact water use efficiency due to the partitioning of evapotranspiration into its component sources. Also, the productivity at sites with more grass, and less woody, plants responds more quickly to precipitation fluctuations including long-term drought conditions. In semiarid regions, variability in water and carbon fluxes is much larger than in more mesic climes. Across our riparian and non-riparian sites, access to more stable groundwater reserves reduces variability in water and

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julieta eOrlando

    2012-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  12. Environmental and socioeconomic benefits and limitations of water harvesting techniques in semiarid regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Díaz-Pereira, Elvira; Asunción Romero-Díaz, María; de Vente, Joris

    2016-04-01

    Under climate change, sustainable management of soil and water resources is increasingly important, especially in rainfed agroecosystems of semiarid environments. Water harvesting refers to a range of techniques for the collection and management of flood or rainwater for domestic and agricultural use and for water retention in natural ecosystems. Water harvesting represents a good example of sustainable management of water resources that contribute to water and food security. However, there are often environmental and socioeconomic constraints for implementation of water harvesting techniques, so each condition asks for a specific solution. Here we aim to highlight the environmental and socioeconomic benefits, requirements and limitations of different water harvesting techniques and to characterize their implications for provisioning, regulating, supporting, and cultural ecosystem services. We reviewed 62 water harvesting techniques for semiarid regions extracted from the WOCAT (World Overview of Conservation Approaches and Technologies) database. We discuss aspects related to: i) human and environmental characteristics, ii) cost-benefit ratio during implementation and maintenance phases, iii) socioeconomic and environmental impacts at local and regional scales, and, iv) impacts on ecosystem services. Our review reveals that water harvesting represents very diverse methods of collecting and managing floodwaters and surface runoff. We grouped techniques as 'floodwater harvesting', 'macro-catchment water harvesting', 'micro-catchment water harvesting', and 'rooftop and courtyard' water harvesting. Almost half of all technologies originates from traditional knowledge. The implementation of water harvesting is generally positive on the short-term, to very positive on the long-term, while its maintenance is very positive at short and long-term. However, perception depends on the type of water harvesting and local conditions. Most relevant socioeconomic benefits from

  13. INFLUENCE OF SEMIARID SUMMER BROWSING ON CHEMICAL

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claudia Puga

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available A group (A of 20 female French Alpine goats (50 ± 5 Kg BW were fed on summer semiarid vegetation in Querétaro, México. Other group (B with similar characteristic was fed in full confinement with Lucerne hay and concentrate of cereals. Four kids of cheese were prepared: 1 browsed-raw (BR, 2 browsed-pasteurized (BP, 3 indoor-raw (IR and 4 indoor-pasteurized (IP; using 30 kg of milk per group, 15 kg each group were proceed in raw and 15 kg each were pasteurized. Moisture, energy, protein, ash, lipids, cholesterol, fatty acids profile and CLA were determined in the cheeses; the results were analyzed with a variance analysis in a 2x2 factorial arrangement. Energy, fat and ash did not affect for feeding system and heat treatment. Protein content was higher in IP cheese compared with BR and BP cheeses. BR cheese had a lowest cholesterol value in relation to BP, IR and IP cheeses. The browed cheeses had the highest concentration of CLA, EPA and DHA acids in relation to indoor cheeses. Pasteurization did not have effect in cheese quality. Browsing increased concentration of compounds with a beneficial effect on human health, factor that could add revenue to the small farmer’s income.

  14. 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

  15. Comparing soil carbon loss through respiration and leaching under extreme precipitation events in arid and semiarid grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Ting; Wang, Liang; Feng, Xiaojuan; Zhang, Jinbo; Ma, Tian; Wang, Xin; Liu, Zongguang

    2018-03-01

    Respiration and leaching are two main processes responsible for soil carbon loss. While the former has received considerable research attention, studies examining leaching processes are limited, especially in semiarid grasslands due to low precipitation. Climate change may increase the extreme precipitation event (EPE) frequency in arid and semiarid regions, potentially enhancing soil carbon loss through leaching and respiration. Here we incubated soil columns of three typical grassland soils from Inner Mongolia and the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau and examined the effect of simulated EPEs on soil carbon loss through respiration and leaching. EPEs induced a transient increase in CO2 release through soil respiration, equivalent to 32 and 72 % of the net ecosystem productivity (NEP) in the temperate grasslands (Xilinhot and Keqi) and 7 % of NEP in the alpine grasslands (Gangcha). By comparison, leaching loss of soil carbon accounted for 290, 120, and 15 % of NEP at the corresponding sites, respectively, with dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC, biogenic DIC + lithogenic DIC) as the main form of carbon loss in the alkaline soils. Moreover, DIC loss increased with recurring EPEs in the soil with the highest pH due to an elevated contribution of dissolved CO2 from organic carbon degradation (indicated by DIC-δ13C). These results highlight the fact that leaching loss of soil carbon (particularly in the form of DIC) is important in the regional carbon budget of arid and semiarid grasslands and also imply that SOC mineralization in alkaline soils might be underestimated if only measured as CO2 emission from soils into the atmosphere. With a projected increase in EPEs under climate change, soil carbon leaching processes and the influencing factors warrant a better understanding and should be incorporated into soil carbon models when estimating carbon balance in grassland ecosystems.

  16. Comparing soil carbon loss through respiration and leaching under extreme precipitation events in arid and semiarid grasslands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. Liu

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Respiration and leaching are two main processes responsible for soil carbon loss. While the former has received considerable research attention, studies examining leaching processes are limited, especially in semiarid grasslands due to low precipitation. Climate change may increase the extreme precipitation event (EPE frequency in arid and semiarid regions, potentially enhancing soil carbon loss through leaching and respiration. Here we incubated soil columns of three typical grassland soils from Inner Mongolia and the Qinghai–Tibetan Plateau and examined the effect of simulated EPEs on soil carbon loss through respiration and leaching. EPEs induced a transient increase in CO2 release through soil respiration, equivalent to 32 and 72 % of the net ecosystem productivity (NEP in the temperate grasslands (Xilinhot and Keqi and 7 % of NEP in the alpine grasslands (Gangcha. By comparison, leaching loss of soil carbon accounted for 290, 120, and 15 % of NEP at the corresponding sites, respectively, with dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC, biogenic DIC + lithogenic DIC as the main form of carbon loss in the alkaline soils. Moreover, DIC loss increased with recurring EPEs in the soil with the highest pH due to an elevated contribution of dissolved CO2 from organic carbon degradation (indicated by DIC-δ13C. These results highlight the fact that leaching loss of soil carbon (particularly in the form of DIC is important in the regional carbon budget of arid and semiarid grasslands and also imply that SOC mineralization in alkaline soils might be underestimated if only measured as CO2 emission from soils into the atmosphere. With a projected increase in EPEs under climate change, soil carbon leaching processes and the influencing factors warrant a better understanding and should be incorporated into soil carbon models when estimating carbon balance in grassland ecosystems.

  17. Flux frequency analysis of seasonally dry ecosystem fluxes in two unique biomes of Sonora Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verduzco, V. S.; Yepez, E. A.; Robles-Morua, A.; Garatuza, J.; Rodriguez, J. C.; Watts, C.

    2013-05-01

    Complex dynamics from the interactions of ecosystems processes makes difficult to model the behavior of ecosystems fluxes of carbon and water in response to the variation of environmental and biological drivers. Although process oriented ecosystem models are critical tools for studying land-atmosphere fluxes, its validity depends on the appropriate parameterization of equations describing temporal and spatial changes of model state variables and their interactions. This constraint often leads to discrepancies between model simulations and observed data that reduce models reliability especially in arid and semiarid ecosystems. In the semiarid north western Mexico, ecosystem processes are fundamentally controlled by the seasonality of water and the intermittence of rain pulses which are conditions that require calibration of specific fitting functions to describe the response of ecosystem variables (i.e. NEE, GPP, ET, respiration) to these wetting and drying periods. The goal is to find functions that describe the magnitude of ecosystem fluxes during individual rain pulses and the seasonality of the ecosystem. Relaying on five years of eddy covariance flux data of a tropical dry forest and a subtropical shrubland we present a flux frequency analysis that describe the variation of net ecosystem exchange (NEE) of CO2 to highlight the relevance of pulse driven dynamics controlling this flux. Preliminary results of flux frequency analysis of NEE indicate that these ecosystems are strongly controlled by the frequency distribution of rain. Also, the output of fitting functions for NEE, GPP, ET and respiration using semi-empirical functions applied at specific rain pulses compared with season-long statistically generated simulations do not agree. Seasonality and the intrinsic nature of individual pulses have different effects on ecosystem flux responses. This suggests that relationships between the nature of seasonality and individual pulses can help improve the

  18. Nitrate in shallow groundwater in typical agricultural and forest ecosystems in China, 2004-2010.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Xinyu; Xu, Zhiwei; Sun, Xiaomin; Dong, Wenyi; Ballantine, Deborah

    2013-05-01

    The nitrate-nitrogen (NO3(-)-N) concentrations from shallow groundwater wells situated in 29 of the Chinese Ecosystem Research Network field stations, representing typical agro- and forest ecosystems, were assessed using monitoring data collected between 2004 and 2010. Results from this assessment permit a national scale assessment of nitrate concentrations in shallow groundwater, and allow linkages between nitrate concentrations in groundwater and broad land use categories to be made. Results indicated that most of the NO3(-)-N concentrations in groundwater from the agro- and forest ecosystems were below the Class 3 drinking water standard stated in the Chinese National Standard: Quality Standard for Ground Water (ecosystems (4.1 +/- 0.33 mg/L) than in forest ecosystems (0.5 +/- 0.04 mg/L). NO3(-)-N concentrations were relatively higher (> 10 mg N /L) in 10 of the 43 wells sampled in the agricultural ecosystems. These elevated concentrations occurred mainly in the Ansai, Yucheng, Linze, Fukang, Akesu, and Cele field sites, which were located in arid and semi-arid areas where irrigation rates are high. We suggest that improvements in N fertilizer application and irrigation management practices in the arid and semi-arid agricultural ecosystems of China are the key to managing groundwater nitrate concentrations.

  19. Astronomical Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-05-01

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

  20. Water Resources Management. Coexistence and Conflict in Semiarid Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thiago Ferreira Dias

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The paper analyzes water management in the Brazilian semiarid region with emphasis on aspects of coexistence and conflicts over access in rural areas. Experiences of social coexistence in semiarid technologies from the joint to the Brazilian semiarid (ASA and water conflicts from cases of irrigated areas in the states of Ceará and Rio Grande do Norte are explained. For this purpose, we used a qualitative approach through the use of primary and secondary data. The cases provide concrete actions that articulate civil society and the State in favor of the common good. The results indicate that the policy articulated by the ASA there is a governance process in which there are links between the forums of civil society and the interfaces in the planning and implementation of public policies in building public agenda that can bridge the gap between planning, deployment, management and improvement of this policy. In the second case the policy is implemented exclusion and allocation of those communities, placing them on the margins of development, scrapping its links with the territory. The water is not seen from the perspective of the common good and the communities are perceived as an obstacle to “development”. Finally, it outlines themselves from the cases under study, with the idea that limiting access to water in the semiarid region, reflects the precarious welfare and perpetuation of relations of dependency, paternalism and clientelism high proportion of the population rural Brazilian semiarid.

  1. Effects of Water and Nitrogen Addition on Ecosystem Carbon Exchange in a Meadow Steppe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yunbo; Jiang, Qi; Yang, Zhiming; Sun, Wei; Wang, Deli

    2015-01-01

    A changing precipitation regime and increasing nitrogen deposition are likely to have profound impacts on arid and semiarid ecosystem C cycling, which is often constrained by the timing and availability of water and nitrogen. However, little is known about the effects of altered precipitation and nitrogen addition on grassland ecosystem C exchange. We conducted a 3-year field experiment to assess the responses of vegetation composition, ecosystem productivity, and ecosystem C exchange to manipulative water and nitrogen addition in a meadow steppe. Nitrogen addition significantly stimulated aboveground biomass and net ecosystem CO2 exchange (NEE), which suggests that nitrogen availability is a primary limiting factor for ecosystem C cycling in the meadow steppe. Water addition had no significant impacts on either ecosystem C exchange or plant biomass, but ecosystem C fluxes showed a strong correlation with early growing season precipitation, rather than whole growing season precipitation, across the 3 experimental years. After we incorporated water addition into the calculation of precipitation regimes, we found that monthly average ecosystem C fluxes correlated more strongly with precipitation frequency than with precipitation amount. These results highlight the importance of precipitation distribution in regulating ecosystem C cycling. Overall, ecosystem C fluxes in the studied ecosystem are highly sensitive to nitrogen deposition, but less sensitive to increased precipitation. PMID:26010888

  2. The importance of considering rainfall partitioning in afforestation initiatives in semiarid climates: A comparison of common planted tree species in Tehran, Iran

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sadeghi, Seyed Mohammad Moein; Attarod, Pedram; Van Stan, John Toland; Pypker, Thomas Grant

    2016-01-01

    As plantations become increasingly important sources of wood and fiber in arid/semiarid places, they have also become increasingly criticized for their hydrological impacts. An examination and comparison of gross rainfall (GR) partitioning across commonly-planted tree species (Pinus eldarica, Cupressus arizonica, Robinia pseudoacacia, and Fraxinus rotundifolia) in semiarid regions has great value for watershed and forest managers interested in managing canopy hydrological processes for societal benefit. Therefore, we performed a field study examining GR partitioning into throughfall (TF), stemflow (SF), and rainfall interception (I) for these species in the semiarid Chitgar Forest Park, Tehran, Iran. An advantage to our study is that we explore the effects of forest structural differences in plantation forests experiencing similar climatic factors and storm conditions. As such, variability in GR partitioning due to different meteorological conditions is minimized, allowing comparison of structural attributes across plantations. Our results show that commonly-selected afforestation species experiencing the same climate produced differing stand structures that differentially partition GR into TF, SF, and I. P. eldarica might be the best of the four species to plant if the primary goal of afforestation is to limit erosion and stormwater runoff as it intercepted more rainfall than other species. However, the high SF generation from F. rotundifolia, and low GR necessary to initiate SF, could maximize retention of water in the soils since SF has been shown to infiltrate along root pathways and access groundwater. A consideration of GR partitioning should be considered when selecting a species for afforestation/reforestation in water-limited ecosystems. - Highlights: • Measured rain partitioning of four most common species used in semiarid afforestation • Species rain partitioning differences are important in a water management. • Recommendations provided to guide

  3. The importance of considering rainfall partitioning in afforestation initiatives in semiarid climates: A comparison of common planted tree species in Tehran, Iran

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sadeghi, Seyed Mohammad Moein, E-mail: moeinsadeghi@ut.ac.ir [Department of Forestry and Forest Economics, University of Tehran (Iran, Islamic Republic of); Attarod, Pedram [Department of Forestry and Forest Economics, University of Tehran (Iran, Islamic Republic of); Van Stan, John Toland [Department of Geology and Geography, Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, Georgia (United States); Pypker, Thomas Grant [Department of Natural Resource Sciences, Faculty of Science, Thompson Rivers University, Kamloops (Canada)

    2016-10-15

    As plantations become increasingly important sources of wood and fiber in arid/semiarid places, they have also become increasingly criticized for their hydrological impacts. An examination and comparison of gross rainfall (GR) partitioning across commonly-planted tree species (Pinus eldarica, Cupressus arizonica, Robinia pseudoacacia, and Fraxinus rotundifolia) in semiarid regions has great value for watershed and forest managers interested in managing canopy hydrological processes for societal benefit. Therefore, we performed a field study examining GR partitioning into throughfall (TF), stemflow (SF), and rainfall interception (I) for these species in the semiarid Chitgar Forest Park, Tehran, Iran. An advantage to our study is that we explore the effects of forest structural differences in plantation forests experiencing similar climatic factors and storm conditions. As such, variability in GR partitioning due to different meteorological conditions is minimized, allowing comparison of structural attributes across plantations. Our results show that commonly-selected afforestation species experiencing the same climate produced differing stand structures that differentially partition GR into TF, SF, and I. P. eldarica might be the best of the four species to plant if the primary goal of afforestation is to limit erosion and stormwater runoff as it intercepted more rainfall than other species. However, the high SF generation from F. rotundifolia, and low GR necessary to initiate SF, could maximize retention of water in the soils since SF has been shown to infiltrate along root pathways and access groundwater. A consideration of GR partitioning should be considered when selecting a species for afforestation/reforestation in water-limited ecosystems. - Highlights: • Measured rain partitioning of four most common species used in semiarid afforestation • Species rain partitioning differences are important in a water management. • Recommendations provided to guide

  4. Activity and Phylogenetic Diversity of Bacterial Cells with High and Low Nucleic Acid Content and Electron Transport System Activity in an Upwelling Ecosystem

    OpenAIRE

    Longnecker, K.; Sherr, B. F.; Sherr, E. B.

    2005-01-01

    We evaluated whether bacteria with higher cell-specific nucleic acid content (HNA) or an active electron transport system, i.e., positive for reduction of 5-cyano-2,3-ditolyl tetrazolium chloride (CTC), were responsible for the bulk of bacterioplankton metabolic activity. We also examined whether the phylogenetic diversity of HNA and CTC-positive cells differed from the diversity of Bacteria with low nucleic acid content (LNA). Bacterial assemblages were sampled both in eutrophic shelf waters...

  5. 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)

  6. Changes in soil bacterial communities induced by the invasive plant Pennisetum setaceum in a semiarid environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodriguez-Caballero, Gema; Caravaca, Fuensanta; del Mar Alguacil, María; Fernández-López, Manuel; José Fernández-González, Antonio; García-Orenes, Fuensanta; Roldán, Antonio

    2016-04-01

    Invasive alien species are considered as a global threat being among the main causes of biodiversity loss. Plant invasions have been extensively studied from different disciplines with the purpose of identifying predictor traits of invasiveness and finding solutions. However, less is known about the implication of the rhizosphere microbiota in these processes, even when it is well known the importance of the interaction between plant rhizosphere and microbial communities. The objective of this study was to determine whether native and invasive plants support different bacterial communities in their rhizospheres and whether there are bacterial indicator species that might be contributing to the invasion process of these ecosystems. We carried out a study in five independent locations under Mediterranean semiarid conditions, where the native Hyparrhenia hirta is being displaced by Pennisetum setaceum, an aggressive invasive Poaceae and soil bacterial communities were amplified and 454-pyrosequenced. Changes in the composition and structure of the bacterial communities, owing to the invasive status of the plant, were detected when the richness and alpha-diversity estimators were calculated as well as when we analyzed the PCoA axes scores. The Indicator Species Analysis results showed a higher number of indicators for invaded communities at all studied taxonomic levels. In conclusion, the effect of the invasiveness and its interaction with the soil location has promoted shifts in the rhizosphere bacterial communities which might be facilitating the invader success in these ecosystems.

  7. Do soil organisms affect aboveground litter decomposition in the semiarid Patagonian steppe, Argentina?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Araujo, Patricia I; Yahdjian, Laura; Austin, Amy T

    2012-01-01

    Surface litter decomposition in arid and semiarid ecosystems is often faster than predicted by climatic parameters such as annual precipitation or evapotranspiration, or based on standard indices of litter quality such as lignin or nitrogen concentrations. Abiotic photodegradation has been demonstrated to be an important factor controlling aboveground litter decomposition in aridland ecosystems, but soil fauna, particularly macrofauna such as termites and ants, have also been identified as key players affecting litter mass loss in warm deserts. Our objective was to quantify the importance of soil organisms on surface litter decomposition in the Patagonian steppe in the absence of photodegradative effects, to establish the relative importance of soil organisms on rates of mass loss and nitrogen release. We estimated the relative contribution of soil fauna and microbes to litter decomposition of a dominant grass using litterboxes with variable mesh sizes that excluded groups of soil fauna based on size class (10, 2, and 0.01 mm), which were placed beneath shrub canopies. We also employed chemical repellents (naphthalene and fungicide). The exclusion of macro- and mesofauna had no effect on litter mass loss over 3 years (P = 0.36), as litter decomposition was similar in all soil fauna exclusions and naphthalene-treated litter. In contrast, reduction of fungal activity significantly inhibited litter decomposition (P soil fauna have been mentioned as a key control of litter decomposition in warm deserts, biogeographic legacies and temperature limitation may constrain the importance of these organisms in temperate aridlands, particularly in the southern hemisphere.

  8. Serial Analysis of Ten Precipitation-Based Indices by Land Use in Semiarid Regions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Victor M. Rodríguez-Moreno

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Open ecosystems in Mexico are under increasing pressure, due particularly to the expansion of cities and agricultural activities. These developments occur without integrating biodiversity concerns in land use planning and result in extensive fragmentation and transformation of the landscapes. The semiarid region of Mesa Central was characterized using ten precipitation-based indices. Using multivariate statistical and geostatistical spatial analysis techniques, the influence of those indices on five land use strata was explored. Land use analysis indicated that the maximum values of the five significant precipitation-based indices were found in Grasslands, Agricultural Use, and Shrubs; minimum values were characteristic of substrates Secondary Desert Vegetation and Other Use. Our results suggest that the greatest number of extreme precipitation events is likely to occur in open ecosystems and consequently will have a strong influence on landscaping and land use. The semivariogram analysis and geostatistical layers demand attention from research institutions, policy makers, researchers, and food producers to take the appropriate and coordinated actions to propose scenarios to deal with climate change. Perhaps this study can stimulate thought concerning research endeavours aimed at promoting initiatives for biodiversity conservation and planning programs for climate change mitigation.

  9. 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.

  10. Measuring Entrepreneurial Ecosystems

    OpenAIRE

    Stam, F.C.

    2017-01-01

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

  11. Mapping Ecosystem Services

    OpenAIRE

    Georgiev,Teodor; Burkhard,Benjamin; Maes,Joachim

    2017-01-01

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

  12. Evaluation of semiarid grassland degradation in North China from multiple perspectives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, D.; Wang, G.; Xue, B. L.; Xu, X.

    2017-12-01

    There has been increasing interest in grassland ecosystem degradation resulting from intensive human activity and climate change, especially in arid and semiarid regions. Species composition, grassland desertification, and aboveground biomass (AGB) are used as indicators of grassland degradation in this study. We comprehensively analyzed variations in these three indicators in semiarid grassland in North China, on multiple time scales, based on MODIS products and field sampling datasets. Since 1984, species composition has become simpler and species indicative of grassland degradation, such as Potentilla acaulis and Artemisia frigida, have become dominant. These changes indicate that serious grassland degradation has occurred since 1984. Grassland degradation was also analyzed on shorter time scales. Analyses of interannual variations during 2005-2015 showed that desertification decreased and average AGB in the growth season increased over the study area, indicating that grassland was recovering. Analyses of spatial variations showed that the position of slightly desertified grassland shifted and formed a band in the west, where the lowest AGB in the growth season was recorded but tendency ratio of AGB increased from 2005 to 2015. Climatic factors had critical effects on grassland degradation, as identified by the three indicators on different time scales. The simpler species composition resulted from the increase in average temperature and decrease in average precipitation over the past 30 years. For nearly a decade, an increase in precipitation and decreases in temperature and potential evapotranspiration reduced desertification and increased AGB in the growth season overall. Consequently, there has distinct difference in grassland degradation between analysis results on above two time scales, indicating multiple perspectives should be considered to accurately assess the state and characteristics of grassland degradation.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Temporary streams in temperate zones: recognizing, monitoring and restoring transitional aquatic-terrestrial ecosystems

    OpenAIRE

    Stubbington, Rachel; England, Judy; Wood, Paul J.; Sefton, Catherine E.M.

    2017-01-01

    Temporary streams are defined by periodic flow cessation, and may experience partial or complete loss of surface water. The ecology and hydrology of these transitional aquatic-terrestrial ecosystems have received unprecedented attention in recent years. Research has focussed on the arid, semi-arid, and Mediterranean regions in which temporary systems are the dominant stream type, and those in cooler, wetter temperate regions with an oceanic climate influence are also receiving increasing atte...

  20. Directional climate change and potential reversal of desertification in arid and semiarid ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Our objective was to determine if long-term increases in precipitation can maintain grasslands susceptible to desertification, and initiate a reversal of historic regime shifts on desertified shrublands. Long-term trends in desertification were documented using vegetation maps beginning in 1858. The...

  1. Rehabilitation of a semiarid ecosystem in Senegal : 1. Experiments at the hillside scale

    OpenAIRE

    Perez, P.; Albergel, Jean; Diatta, M.; Grouzis, Michel; Sene, B.

    1997-01-01

    The groundnut cropping basin of Senegal suffers environmental degradation, with a negative impact on local agriculture, shown by intense soil erosion. Despite the existence of many extensive programmes, there are few results concerning actual effects, at the hillside scale, of rehabilitation practices. The objective of the study, carried out from 1983 to 1993, was to give evidence of the actual effects, in terms of hydrology and agronomy, of conservation measures set-up in a small cultivated ...

  2. Trace metallic elements in Helix aspersa terrestrial snails of a semiarid ecosystem

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gaso P, M.I.; Segovia, N.; Zarazua, G.; Montes, F.; Morton, O.; Armienta, M.A.; Hernandez, E.

    2001-01-01

    The concentration of some major elements and traces in soil samples and of Helix aspersa eatable terrestrial snails were analysed at the Radioactive Wastes Storage Center (CADER) and in other reference sites. The methodology includes the use of an atomic absorption spectrophotometer, an X-ray fluorescence equipment and an Icp-mass spectroscope. The concentrations of some toxic elements (Ba, Cd, Cr, Ni, Pb and V) in the soft tissue of the snails were greater than the toxic levels reported in the literature for such trace elements. The snails compared with another wild eatable foods present transfer coefficients soil-snail high relatively. (Author)

  3. 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...

  4. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi associated with Populus-Salix stands in a semiarid riparian ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beauchamp, Vanessa B.; Stromberg, J.C.; Stutz, J.C.

    2006-01-01

    ??? This study examined the activity, species richness, and species composition of the arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal (AMF) community of Populus-Salix stands on the Verde River (Arizona, USA), quantified patterns of AMF richness and colonization along complex floodplain gradients, and identified environmental variables responsible for structuring the AMF community. ??? Samples from 61 Populus-Salix stands were analyzed for AMF and herbaceous composition, AMF colonization, gravimetric soil moisture, soil texture, per cent organic matter, pH, and concentrations of nitrate, bicarbonate phosphorus and exchangeable potassium. ??? AMF species richness declined with stand age and distance from and elevation above the channel and was positively related to perennial species cover and richness and gravimetric soil moisture. Distance from and elevation above the active channel, forest age, annual species cover, perennial species richness, and exchangeable potassium concentration all played a role in structuring the AMF community in this riparian area. ??? Most AMF species were found across a wide range of soil conditions, but a subset of species tended to occur more often in hydric areas. This group of riparian affiliate AMF species includes several not previously encountered in the surrounding Sonoran desert. ?? New Phytologist (2006).

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Homogenization of the soil surface following fire in semiarid grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carleton S. White

    2011-01-01

    Semiarid grasslands accumulate soil beneath plant "islands" that are raised above bare interspaces. This fine-scale variation in microtopographic relief is plant-induced and is increased with shrub establishment. Research found that fire-induced water repellency enhanced local-scale soil erosion that reduced variation in microtopographic relief, suggesting...

  8. 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 ...

  9. 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 ...

  10. 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)

  11. REPRODUCTIVE ADAPTATIONS OF THE GREEN IGUANA ON A SEMIARID ISLAND

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    LICHTENBELT, WDV; ALBERS, KB

    1993-01-01

    Reproductive cycle and clutch size were studied in the green iguana (Iguana iguana) on the semiarid Caribbean island of Curacao. The reproductive cycle is correlated with seasonality in rainfall. Mating is in the first half of the dry season, egg laying in the second part of the dry season, and

  12. 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.

  13. Interannual variability of Net Ecosystem CO2 Exchange and its component fluxes in a subalpine Mediterranean ecosystem (SE Spain)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chamizo, Sonia; Serrano-Ortiz, Penélope; Sánchez-Cañete, Enrique P.; Domingo, Francisco; Arnau-Rosalén, Eva; Oyonarte, Cecilio; Pérez-Priego, Óscar; López-Ballesteros, Ana; Kowalski, Andrew S.

    2015-04-01

    Recent decades under climate change have seen increasing interest in quantifying the carbon (C) balance of different terrestrial ecosystems, and their behavior as sources or sinks of C. Both CO2 exchange between terrestrial ecosystems and the atmosphere and identification of its drivers are key to understanding land-surface feedbacks to climate change. The eddy covariance (EC) technique allows measurements of net ecosystem C exchange (NEE) from short to long time scales. In addition, flux partitioning models can extract the components of net CO2 fluxes, including both biological processes of photosynthesis or gross primary production (GPP) and respiration (Reco), and also abiotic drivers like subsoil CO2 ventilation (VE), which is of particular relevance in semiarid environments. The importance of abiotic processes together with the strong interannual variability of precipitation, which strongly affects CO2 fluxes, complicates the accurate characterization of the C balance in semiarid landscapes. In this study, we examine 10 years of interannual variability of NEE and its components at a subalpine karstic plateau, El Llano de los Juanes, in the Sierra de Gádor (Almería, SE Spain). Results show annual NEE ranging from 55 g C m-2 (net emission) to -54 g C m-2 (net uptake). Among C flux components, GPP was the greatest contributing 42-57% of summed component magnitudes, while contributions by Reco and VE ranged from 27 to 46% and from 3 to 18%, respectively. Annual precipitation during the studied period exhibited high interannual variability, ranging from 210 mm to 1374 mm. Annual precipitation explained 50% of the variance in Reco, 59% of that in GPP, and 56% for VE. While Reco and GPP were positively correlated with annual precipitation (correlation coefficient, R, of 0.71 and 0.77, respectively), VE showed negative correlation with this driver (R = -0.74). During the driest year (2004-2005), annual GPP and Reco reached their lowest values, while contribution of

  14. 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

  15. Transformation of Digital Ecosystems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Henningsson, Stefan; Hedman, Jonas

    2014-01-01

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

  16. Ecosystem degradation in India

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sinha, B.N.

    1990-01-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. Activity and phylogenetic diversity of bacterial cells with high and low nucleic acid content and electron transport system activity in an upwelling ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Longnecker, K; Sherr, B F; Sherr, E B

    2005-12-01

    We evaluated whether bacteria with higher cell-specific nucleic acid content (HNA) or an active electron transport system, i.e., positive for reduction of 5-cyano-2,3-ditolyl tetrazolium chloride (CTC), were responsible for the bulk of bacterioplankton metabolic activity. We also examined whether the phylogenetic diversity of HNA and CTC-positive cells differed from the diversity of Bacteria with low nucleic acid content (LNA). Bacterial assemblages were sampled both in eutrophic shelf waters and in mesotrophic offshore waters in the Oregon coastal upwelling region. Cytometrically sorted HNA, LNA, and CTC-positive cells were assayed for their cell-specific [3H]leucine incorporation rates. Phylogenetic diversity in sorted non-radioactively labeled samples was assayed using denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) of PCR-amplified 16S rRNA genes. Cell-specific rates of leucine incorporation of HNA and CTC-positive cells were on average only slightly greater than the cell-specific rates of LNA cells. HNA cells accounted for most bacterioplankton substrate incorporation due to high abundances, while the low abundances of CTC-positive cells resulted in only a small contribution by these cells to total bacterial activity. The proportion of the total bacterial leucine incorporation attributable to LNA cells was higher in offshore regions than in shelf waters. Sequence data obtained from DGGE bands showed broadly similar phylogenetic diversity across HNA, LNA, and CTC-positive cells, with between-sample and between-region variability in the distribution of phylotypes. Our results suggest that LNA bacteria are not substantially different from HNA bacteria in either cell-specific rates of substrate incorporation or phylogenetic composition and that they can be significant contributors to bacterial metabolism in the sea.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Measuring Entrepreneurial Ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stam, F.C.

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

  3. Coral reefs - Specialized ecosystems

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Wafar, M.V.M.

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

  4. Spatio-temporal dynamics of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi associated with glomalin-related soil protein and soil enzymes in different managed semiarid steppes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Qi; Bao, Yuying; Liu, Xiaowei; Du, Guoxin

    2014-10-01

    Temporal and spatial patterns of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) and glomalin and soil enzyme activities were investigated in different managed semiarid steppes located in Inner Mongolia, North China. Soils were sampled in a depth up to 30 cm from non-grazed, overgrazed, and naturally restored steppes from June to September. Roots of Leymus chinense (Trin.) Tzvel. and Stipagrandis P. Smirn. were also collected over the same period. Results showed that overgrazing significantly decreased the total mycorrhizal colonization of S. grandis; total colonization of L. chinensis roots was not significantly different in the three managed steppes. Nineteen AMF species belonging to six genera were isolated. Funneliformis and Glomus were dominant genera in all three steppes. Spore density and species richness were mainly influenced by an interaction between plant growth stage and management system (P soil depth. AMF species richness was significantly positively correlated with soil acid phosphatase activity, alkaline phosphatase activity, and two Bradford-reactive soil protein (BRSP) fractions (P soil glomalin and phosphatase activity in different managed semiarid steppes. Based on these observations, AMF communities could be useful indicators for evaluating soil quality and function of semiarid grassland ecosystems.

  5. 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

  6. Ecosystem classification, Chapter 2

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  7. On Man and Ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brookfield, Harold

    1982-01-01

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

  8. Global Ecosystem Restoration Index

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fernandez, Miguel; Garcia, Monica; Fernandez, Nestor

    2015-01-01

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

  9. Towards ecosystem accounting

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  10. Rights to ecosystem services

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Davidson, M.

    2014-01-01

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

  11. Organic amendments as restoration techniques in degraded arid and semiarid systems: A review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hueso-González, Paloma; Muñoz-Rojas, Miriam

    2017-04-01

    There is an increasing concern at the global scale about interrelated environmental problems such as soil degradation, desertification, erosion, and climate change impacts (Hueso-Gonzalez et al., 2014). Indiscriminate use of agro-chemicals, excessive and deep tillage, excessive irrigation, among many others factors, have largely contributed to soil degradation, particularly in arid and semi-arid areas (Lal, 2008). Soil is an essential non-renewable resource with extremely slow formation and regeneration potential (Muñoz-Rojas et al., 2016a and c, Martínez-Murillo et al., 2016). The decline in organic matter content of many soils is becoming a major cause of soil degradation, particularly in dryland regions (Muñoz-Rojas et al., 2016b) where low soil fertility cannot maintain sustainable production in many cases (Hueso-González et al., 2015). The use of soil organic amendments is a common practice in agricultural management and land restoration that can help to improve physical and chemical soil properties, soil structure, temperature and humidity conditions, as well as nutrient contents which are essential for plant growth (Guerrero et al., 2001). Under degraded conditions, several studies have shown their benefits for improving soil physical, chemical and biological properties (Jordan et al., 2010 and 2011). However, there are many research gaps in the knowledge of the effects of climatic conditions on their application, as well as the adequate types of amendment and doses and decomposition rates, (Hueso-Gonzalez,2016). All these factors are crucial for the success in their application. Here, we review long-term experiments worldwide studying the benefits associated with the application of organic materials, particularly, in restoration of arid and semiarid ecosystems together with the possible threats and risks that can result from their use. We will specifically adress: (1) type of amended and benefits arising from their use, (2) application methods and more

  12. Ecosystem services in ECOCLIM

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

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

  13. 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...

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Fishing for ecosystem services.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. Effect of livestock grazing in the partitions of a semiarid plant-plant spatial signed network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saiz, Hugo; Alados, Concepción L.

    2014-08-01

    In recent times, network theory has become a useful tool to study the structure of the interactions in ecological communities. However, typically, these approaches focus on a particular kind of interaction while neglecting other possible interactions present in the ecosystem. Here, we present an ecological network for plant communities that consider simultaneously positive and negative interactions, which were derived from the spatial association and segregation between plant species. We employed this network to study the structure and the association strategies in a semiarid plant community of Cabo de Gata-Níjar Natural Park, SE Spain, and how they changed in 4 sites that differed in stocking rate. Association strategies were obtained from the partitions of the network, built based on a relaxed structural balance criterion. We found that grazing simplified the structure of the plant community. With increasing stocking rate species with no significant associations became dominant and the number of partitions decreased in the plant community. Independently of stocking rate, many species presented an associative strategy in the plant community because they benefit from the association to certain ‘nurse’ plants. These ‘nurses’ together with species that developed a segregating strategy, intervened in most of the interactions in the community. Ecological networks that combine links with different signs provide a new insight to analyze the structure of natural communities and identify the species which play a central role in them.

  19. Can nearby eutrophic reservoirs sustain a differentiated biodiversity of planktonic microcrustaceans in a tropical semiarid basin?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diniz, Leidiane P; Melo-Júnior, Mauro DE

    2017-01-01

    This paper aims to compare alpha and beta diversities of planktonic microcrustaceans from three reservoirs located nearby in a tropical semiarid basin. Our hypothesis was that alpha and beta diversities of the community are different, although the ecosystems are located close to each other. We carried out two sampling campaigns: dry and rainy seasons. The sampling of microcrustaceans and environmental variables (dissolved oxygen, chlorophyll a and nutrient) was performed at twelve stations and were distributed throughout the three zones (river, transition, and lacustrine), using a plankton net (45 µm). The reservoirs showed different uses and types of nitrogen predominance: Cachoeira (supply/nitrate), Borborema (sewage/ammonia) and Saco (aquaculture/ammonia). Seventeen species were recorded whose richness was assessed as particularly specific to each one of the studied reservoirs. Seasonally, both reservoirs with high anthropogenic alteration showed greater richness in the dry season. The three reservoirs located in a same basin showed different richness and composition, but the diversity did not differ between the zones of the reservoirs. Although communities are close to each other, their composition and richness were found to be distinct for each reservoir. This may be in response to the peculiar particularities, such as nitrogen sources and the different uses.

  20. Can nearby eutrophic reservoirs sustain a differentiated biodiversity of planktonic microcrustaceans in a tropical semiarid basin?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    LEIDIANE P. DINIZ

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT This paper aims to compare alpha and beta diversities of planktonic microcrustaceans from three reservoirs located nearby in a tropical semiarid basin. Our hypothesis was that alpha and beta diversities of the community are different, although the ecosystems are located close to each other. We carried out two sampling campaigns: dry and rainy seasons. The sampling of microcrustaceans and environmental variables (dissolved oxygen, chlorophyll a and nutrient was performed at twelve stations and were distributed throughout the three zones (river, transition, and lacustrine, using a plankton net (45 µm. The reservoirs showed different uses and types of nitrogen predominance: Cachoeira (supply/nitrate, Borborema (sewage/ammonia and Saco (aquaculture/ammonia. Seventeen species were recorded whose richness was assessed as particularly specific to each one of the studied reservoirs. Seasonally, both reservoirs with high anthropogenic alteration showed greater richness in the dry season. The three reservoirs located in a same basin showed different richness and composition, but the diversity did not differ between the zones of the reservoirs. Although communities are close to each other, their composition and richness were found to be distinct for each reservoir. This may be in response to the peculiar particularities, such as nitrogen sources and the different uses.

  1. A comparative study of AMF diversity in annual and perennial plant species from semiarid gypsum soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alguacil, M. M.; Torrecillas, E.; Roldán, A.; Díaz, G.; Torres, P.

    2012-04-01

    The arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) communities composition regulate plant interactions and determine the structure of plant communities. In this study we analysed the diversity of AMF in the roots of two perennial gypsophyte plant species, Herniaria fruticosa and Senecio auricula, and an annual herbaceous species, Bromus rubens, growing in a gypsum soil from a semiarid area. The objective was to determine whether perennial and annual host plants support different AMF communities in their roots and whether there are AMF species that might be indicators of specific functional plant roles in these ecosystems. The roots were analysed by nested PCR, cloning, sequencing of the ribosomal DNA small subunit region and phylogenetic analysis. Twenty AMF sequence types, belonging to the Glomus group A, Glomus group B, Diversisporaceae, Acaulosporaceae, Archaeosporaceae and Paraglomeraceae, were identified. Both gypsophyte perennial species had differing compositions of the AMF community and higher diversity when compared with the annual species, showing preferential selection by specific AMF sequences types. B. rubens did not show host specificity, sharing the full composition of its AMF community with both perennial plant species. Seasonal variations in the competitiveness of AM fungi could explain the observed differences in AMF community composition, but this is still a working hypothesis that requires the analysis of further data obtained from a higher number of both annual and perennial plant species in order to be fully tested.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Deforestation impacts on soil organic carbon stocks in the Semiarid Chaco Region, Argentina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villarino, Sebastián Horacio; Studdert, Guillermo Alberto; Baldassini, Pablo; Cendoya, María Gabriela; Ciuffoli, Lucía; Mastrángelo, Matias; Piñeiro, Gervasio

    2017-01-01

    Land use change affects soil organic carbon (SOC) and generates CO 2 emissions. Moreover, SOC depletion entails degradation of soil functions that support ecosystem services. Large areas covered by dry forests have been cleared in the Semiarid Chaco Region of Argentina for cropping expansion. However, deforestation impacts on the SOC stock and its distribution in the soil profile have been scarcely reported. We assessed these impacts based on the analysis of field data along a time-since-deforestation-for-cropping chronosequence, and remote sensing indices. Soil organic C was determined up to 100cm depth and physically fractionated into mineral associated organic carbon (MAOC) and particulate organic C (POC). Models describing vertical distribution of SOC were fitted. Total SOC, POC and MAOC stocks decreased markedly with increasing cropping age. Particulate organic C was the most sensitive fraction to cultivation. After 10yr of cropping SOC loss was around 30%, with greater POC loss (near 60%) and smaller MAOC loss (near 15%), at 0-30cm depth. Similar relative SOC losses were observed in deeper soil layers (30-60 and 60-100cm). Deforestation and subsequent cropping also modified SOC vertical distribution. Soil organic C loss was negatively associated with the proportion of maize in the rotation and total crop biomass inputs, but positively associated with the proportion of soybean in the rotation. Without effective land use polices, deforestation and agricultural expansion can lead to rapid soil degradation and reductions in the provision of important ecosystem services. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Improving paleoecology studies for future predictions: role of spatial and temporal scales for understanding ecology of the arid and semiarid landscape of the Southwest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, David M.; Ng, Gene-Hua Crystal; Maher, Katharine

    2014-01-01

    Paleoecology (or ecological biogeography) describes the past distribution of species or communities and is an informative path used to understand the future in the face of climate change. Paleoecological changes in the Southwest over the past several thousand years happened in the presence of landscape manipulations by humans, a factor that adds relevance but increases difficulty of interpretation. What paleo-records are needed for (1) understanding past climate-driven changes (climate proxies), (2) resolving species sensitivity to and resilience against change (biogeographical data), and (3) understanding past ecosystem function and changes (environmental data)? What information is most urgently needed for ecosystem forecasts, and are there kinds of monitoring we need to start now so that we will have ground truth in the near future? These are major questions. Answering them for the arid and semiarid landscape of the Southwest in part relies on careful thought about the spatial and temporal scales of data needed.

  6. Ecosystem-based management and the wealth of ecosystems

    OpenAIRE

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

    2017-01-01

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

  7. Sulfide intrusion and detoxification in seagrasses ecosystems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hasler-Sheetal, Harald; Holmer, Marianne

    Sulfide intrusion in seagrasses represents a global threat to seagrasses and thereby an important parameter in resilience of seagrass ecosystems. In contrast seegrasses colonize and grow in hostile sediments, where they are constantly exposed to invasion of toxic gaseous sulfide. Remarkably little...... strategies of seagrasses to sustain sulfide intrusion. Using stable isotope tracing, scanning electron microscopy with x-ray analysis, tracing sulfur compounds combined with ecosystem parameters we found different spatial, intraspecific and interspecific strategies to cope with sulfidic sediments. 1...... not present in terrestrial plants at that level. Sulfide is not necessarily toxic but used as sulfur nutrition, presupposing healthy seagrass ecosystems that can support detoxification mechanisms. Presence or absence of those mechanisms determines susceptibility of seagrass ecosystems to sediment sulfide...

  8. Improving human-wildlife co-existence: Landscape level strategies to enhance wildlife movement in Amboseli-Tsavo Ecosystem, Kenya

    OpenAIRE

    Schnepf, Marit

    2017-01-01

    Amboseli-Tsavo Ecosystem is a unique landscape in Kenya’s semi-arid rangelands to the border of Tanzania. It is characterized by high abundances of wildlife which frequently disperses between three National Parks, namely Amboseli, Tsavo West and Chyulu Hills. Due to an increased population and a land-use change from prior nomadic pastoralism to sedentary farming activities, the land became highly fragmented and transformed into a human-dominated area. Increasingly wildlife migration routes ar...

  9. Local disease-ecosystem-livelihood dynamics: reflections from comparative case studies in Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leach, Melissa; Bett, Bernard; Said, M; Bukachi, Salome; Sang, Rosemary; Anderson, Neil; Machila, Noreen; Kuleszo, Joanna; Schaten, Kathryn; Dzingirai, Vupenyu; Mangwanya, Lindiwe; Ntiamoa-Baidu, Yaa; Lawson, Elaine; Amponsah-Mensah, Kofi; Moses, Lina M; Wilkinson, Annie; Grant, Donald S; Koninga, James

    2017-07-19

    This article explores the implications for human health of local interactions between disease, ecosystems and livelihoods. Five interdisciplinary case studies addressed zoonotic diseases in African settings: Rift Valley fever (RVF) in Kenya, human African trypanosomiasis in Zambia and Zimbabwe, Lassa fever in Sierra Leone and henipaviruses in Ghana. Each explored how ecological changes and human-ecosystem interactions affect pathogen dynamics and hence the likelihood of zoonotic spillover and transmission, and how socially differentiated peoples' interactions with ecosystems and animals affect their exposure to disease. Cross-case analysis highlights how these dynamics vary by ecosystem type, across a range from humid forest to semi-arid savannah; the significance of interacting temporal and spatial scales; and the importance of mosaic and patch dynamics. Ecosystem interactions and services central to different people's livelihoods and well-being include pastoralism and agro-pastoralism, commercial and subsistence crop farming, hunting, collecting food, fuelwood and medicines, and cultural practices. There are synergies, but also tensions and trade-offs, between ecosystem changes that benefit livelihoods and affect disease. Understanding these can inform 'One Health' approaches towards managing ecosystems in ways that reduce disease risks and burdens.This article is part of the themed issue 'One Health for a changing world: zoonoses, ecosystems and human well-being'. © 2017 The Authors.

  10. Water- and plant-mediated responses of ecosystem carbon fluxes to warming and nitrogen addition on the Songnen grassland in northeast China.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Li Jiang

    Full Text Available Understanding how grasslands are affected by a long-term increase in temperature is crucial to predict the future impact of global climate change on terrestrial ecosystems. Additionally, it is not clear how the effects of global warming on grassland productivity are going to be altered by increased N deposition and N addition.In-situ canopy CO(2 exchange rates were measured in a meadow steppe subjected to 4-year warming and nitrogen addition treatments. Warming treatment reduced net ecosystem CO(2 exchange (NEE and increased ecosystem respiration (ER; but had no significant impacts on gross ecosystem productivity (GEP. N addition increased NEE, ER and GEP. However, there were no significant interactions between N addition and warming. The variation of NEE during the four experimental years was correlated with soil water content, particularly during early spring, suggesting that water availability is a primary driver of carbon fluxes in the studied semi-arid grassland.Ecosystem carbon fluxes in grassland ecosystems are sensitive to warming and N addition. In the studied water-limited grassland, both warming and N addition influence ecosystem carbon fluxes by affecting water availability, which is the primary driver in many arid and semiarid ecosystems. It remains unknown to what extent the long-term N addition would affect the turn-over of soil organic matter and the C sink size of this grassland.

  11. A framework for analysing service ecosystems capabilities to innovate

    OpenAIRE

    Riedl, Christoph; Böhmann, Tilo; Leimeister, Jan Marco; Krcmar, Helmut

    2009-01-01

    Electronic services delivered over the Internet are gaining importance in the business world. This area has seen an increase in scientific interest over the past years under the labels “Internet of Services” and Web-service ecosystems. The paper develops a conceptual framework of actors and their roles in an open innovation system for a networked ecosystem of Web-services. The framework illustrates how open innovation can be implemented in a Web-service ecosystem to increase innovation perfor...

  12. A Framework for Analysing Service Ecosystem Capabilities to Innovate

    OpenAIRE

    Riedl, Christoph;Böhmann, Tilo;Leimeister, Jan Marco;Krcmar, Helmut

    2014-01-01

    Electronic services delivered over the Internet are gaining importance in the business world. This area has seen an increase in scientific interest over the past years under the labels ?Internet of Services? and Web-service ecosystems. The paper develops a conceptual framework of actors and their roles in an open innovation system for a networked ecosystem of Web-services. The framework illustrates how open innovation can be implemented in a Web-service ecosystem to increase innovation perfor...

  13. Assessment of {sup 7}Be content in precipitation in a South American semi-arid environment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Juri Ayub, J., E-mail: jjuri@unsl.edu.ar [Grupo de Estudios Ambientales, Instituto de Matematica Aplicada San Luis, Universidad Nacional de San Luis/CCT-San Luis-CONICET, San Luis (Argentina); LARA, Laboratorio de Radioecologia, Instituto de Fisica, Universidade Federal Fluminense, Niteroi, RJ (Brazil); Lohaiza, F.; Velasco, H.; Rizzotto, M. [Grupo de Estudios Ambientales, Instituto de Matematica Aplicada San Luis, Universidad Nacional de San Luis/CCT-San Luis-CONICET, San Luis (Argentina); Di Gregorio, D.; Huck, H. [Departamento de Fisica, Comision Nacional de Energia Atomica, Buenos Aires (Argentina); Escuela de Ciencia y Tecnologia, Universidad Nacional de San Martin, Buenos Aires (Argentina)

    2012-12-15

    There are two naturally occurring radiogenic isotopes of beryllium, {sup 7}Be and {sup 10}Be. These are produced when cosmic radiation interacts with oxygen and nitrogen in the atmosphere. After production, these radionuclides are input to ecosystems through wet and dry deposition. In recent years {sup 7}Be and {sup 10}Be have proved to be powerful tools for studying dynamic processes that occur on the surface of the earth. We measured the {sup 7}Be content in precipitation at a semiarid location in central Argentina. From November 2006 to March 2009, 68 precipitation events were collected. Measured {sup 7}Be content ranged from 0.7 {+-} 0.4 Bq L{sup -1} to 3.2 {+-} 0.7 Bq L{sup -1}, with a mean of 1.7 Bq L{sup -1} {+-} 0.6 Bq L{sup -1}. Beryllium-7 content of rainfall did not show clear relationships with amount of rainfall (mm), mean intensity (mm h{sup -1}) or duration (h{sup -1}), or elapsed time between events (day). The general results indicate that for the typical range of precipitation there was no atmospheric washout and that the reload of the atmosphere is not a relevant factor, but when the amount of precipitation is very high washout may occur. On the other hand, when the {sup 7}Be content was measured during single rain events, a high content of this radionuclide was found to be associated with very low rainfall intensity ( Almost-Equal-To 3 mm h{sup -1}), this suggests that rain intensity could affect the {sup 7}Be content. Using all data, a good linear relationship between {sup 7}Be deposition and rain magnitude was obtained (r{sup 2} = 0.82, p < 0.0001). Because of this, the slope of this linear regression equation may be applied as a tool for tracing environmental processes that affect the surface of the earth. We can do this by directly estimating erosion/sedimentation processes using {sup 7}Be or by estimating the input of {sup 10}Be in the environment with the aim to evaluate land degradation phenomena. -- Highlights: Black

  14. 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

  15. Assessment of 7Be content in precipitation in a South American semi-arid environment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Juri Ayub, J.; Lohaiza, F.; Velasco, H.; Rizzotto, M.; Di Gregorio, D.; Huck, H.

    2012-01-01

    There are two naturally occurring radiogenic isotopes of beryllium, 7 Be and 10 Be. These are produced when cosmic radiation interacts with oxygen and nitrogen in the atmosphere. After production, these radionuclides are input to ecosystems through wet and dry deposition. In recent years 7 Be and 10 Be have proved to be powerful tools for studying dynamic processes that occur on the surface of the earth. We measured the 7 Be content in precipitation at a semiarid location in central Argentina. From November 2006 to March 2009, 68 precipitation events were collected. Measured 7 Be content ranged from 0.7 ± 0.4 Bq L −1 to 3.2 ± 0.7 Bq L −1 , with a mean of 1.7 Bq L −1 ± 0.6 Bq L −1 . Beryllium-7 content of rainfall did not show clear relationships with amount of rainfall (mm), mean intensity (mm h −1 ) or duration (h −1 ), or elapsed time between events (day). The general results indicate that for the typical range of precipitation there was no atmospheric washout and that the reload of the atmosphere is not a relevant factor, but when the amount of precipitation is very high washout may occur. On the other hand, when the 7 Be content was measured during single rain events, a high content of this radionuclide was found to be associated with very low rainfall intensity (≈ 3 mm h −1 ), this suggests that rain intensity could affect the 7 Be content. Using all data, a good linear relationship between 7 Be deposition and rain magnitude was obtained (r 2 = 0.82, p 7 Be or by estimating the input of 10 Be in the environment with the aim to evaluate land degradation phenomena. -- Highlights: ► 7 Be in precipitation was measured at a semiarid location in central Argentina. ► No atmospheric washout was observed except for one high precipitation event. ► Wet deposition of 7 Be was linearly correlated with precipitation. ► This relationship may be applied as a tool for assessing environmental processes. ► The latter includes natural processes as

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-09-01

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

  17. BUSINESS ECOSYSTEMS VS BUSINESS DIGITAL ECOSYSTEMS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marinela Lazarica

    2006-05-01

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

  18. 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 ...

  19. 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,

  20. Soil Chemistry after Irrigation with Treated Wastewater in Semiarid Climate

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pedro Carlos Pacheco de Oliveira

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Soil irrigation using treated wastewater in the Brazilian semiarid region is a promising practice as this area currently faces water scarcity and pollution of water resources by domestic sewage. The aim of this study was to evaluate the use of treated wastewater in drip irrigation and its effect on the chemistry of soil cultivated with squash (Cucurbita maxima Duch. Coroa IAC and to verify whether there was an increase in soil salinity under a semiarid climate. The experiment was conducted for 123 days on a farm close to the sewage treatment plant, in a randomized block design with five treatments and four replications. The treatments consisted of two irrigation water depths (100 and 150 % of the evapotranspiration, two applications of gypsum to attenuate wastewater sodicity (0 and 5.51 g per plant, and a control treatment with no application of wastewater or gypsum. During the experiment, treated wastewater and soil gravitational water, at a depth of 0.40 m, were collected for measurement of Na+, K+, Ca2+, Mg2+, NO−3, NH4+, Cl− , alkalinity, electrical conductivity, pH and sodium adsorption ratio. At the end of the experiment, soil samples were collected at depths of 0.00-0.10, 0.10-0.20, and 0.20-0.40 m; and pH, total N, organic C, exchangeable cations and electrical conductivity of the saturation extract (CEs were analyzed. Besides an increase in pH and a reduction in total N, the irrigation with wastewater reduces soil salinity of the naturally salt-rich soils of the semiarid climate. It also led to soil sodification, in spite of the added gypsum, which indicates that irrigation with wastewater might require the addition of greater quantities of gypsum to prevent physical degradation of the soil.

  1. Wind and water erosion control on semiarid lands

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Siddoway, F.H.

    1980-01-01

    Commercial crop production on semiarid lands is difficult because insufficient water is often present to manage the system effectively. Erosion control presents the major management problem. The factors contributing to wind erosion and their interaction have been quantified into a wind erosion equation. The control of wind erosion through agronomic alteration of the various factors is discussed. The quantification and control of water erosion is also discussed with respect to the Universal Soil Loss Equation. Radioisotopes tracers have been used in conjunction with these erosion equations to measure soil losses. (author)

  2. Belowground ecosystems [chapter 9

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carole Coe Klopatek

    1995-01-01

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

  3. Payments for Ecosystem Services

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2017-01-01

    Payments for ecosystem services (PES) programs are one prominent strategy to address economic externalities of resource extraction and commodity production, improving both social and ecological outcomes. But do PES and related incentive programs achieve that lofty goal? Along with considerable en...... sustainable relationships with nature, conserving and restoring ecosystems and their benefits for people now and in the future....

  4. Ecosystem Management and Sustainability

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  5. Radionuclides in terrestrial ecosystems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bocock, K.L.

    1981-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1993-01-01

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

  7. Soil Characteristics Driving Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungal Communities in Semiarid Mediterranean Soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alguacil, Maria Del Mar; Torres, Maria Pilar; Montesinos-Navarro, Alicia; Roldán, Antonio

    2016-06-01

    We investigated communities of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) in the roots and the rhizosphere soil of Brachypodium retusum in six different natural soils under field conditions. We explored phylogenetic patterns of AMF composition using indicator species analyses to find AMF associated with a given habitat (root versus rhizosphere) or soil type. We tested whether the AMF characteristics of different habitats or contrasting soils were more closely related than expected by chance. Then we used principal-component analysis and multivariate analysis of variance to test for the relative contribution of each factor in explaining the variation in fungal community composition. Finally, we used redundancy analysis to identify the soil properties that significantly explained the differences in AMF communities across soil types. The results pointed out a tendency of AMF communities in roots to be closely related and different from those in the rhizosphere soil. The indicator species analyses revealed AMF associated with rhizosphere soil and the root habitat. Soil type also determined the distribution of AMF communities in soils, and this effect could not be attributed to a single soil characteristic, as at least three soil properties related to microbial activity, i.e., pH and levels of two micronutrients (Mn and Zn), played significant roles in triggering AMF populations. Communities of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) are main components of soil biota that can determine the productivity of ecosystems. These fungal assemblages vary across host plants and ecosystems, but the main ecological processes that shape the structures of these communities are still largely unknown. A field study in six different soil types from semiarid areas revealed that AMF communities are significantly influenced by habitat (soil versus roots) and soil type. In addition, three soil properties related to microbiological activity (i.e., pH and manganese and zinc levels) were the main factors

  8. Soil Characteristics Driving Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungal Communities in Semiarid Mediterranean Soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torres, Maria Pilar; Montesinos-Navarro, Alicia; Roldán, Antonio

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT We investigated communities of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) in the roots and the rhizosphere soil of Brachypodium retusum in six different natural soils under field conditions. We explored phylogenetic patterns of AMF composition using indicator species analyses to find AMF associated with a given habitat (root versus rhizosphere) or soil type. We tested whether the AMF characteristics of different habitats or contrasting soils were more closely related than expected by chance. Then we used principal-component analysis and multivariate analysis of variance to test for the relative contribution of each factor in explaining the variation in fungal community composition. Finally, we used redundancy analysis to identify the soil properties that significantly explained the differences in AMF communities across soil types. The results pointed out a tendency of AMF communities in roots to be closely related and different from those in the rhizosphere soil. The indicator species analyses revealed AMF associated with rhizosphere soil and the root habitat. Soil type also determined the distribution of AMF communities in soils, and this effect could not be attributed to a single soil characteristic, as at least three soil properties related to microbial activity, i.e., pH and levels of two micronutrients (Mn and Zn), played significant roles in triggering AMF populations. IMPORTANCE Communities of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) are main components of soil biota that can determine the productivity of ecosystems. These fungal assemblages vary across host plants and ecosystems, but the main ecological processes that shape the structures of these communities are still largely unknown. A field study in six different soil types from semiarid areas revealed that AMF communities are significantly influenced by habitat (soil versus roots) and soil type. In addition, three soil properties related to microbiological activity (i.e., pH and manganese and zinc levels

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-12-01

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

  10. Mapping cultural ecosystem services:

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  12. Ecosystem approach in education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nabiullin, Iskander

    2017-04-01

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

  13. Multiscale remote sensing analysis to monitor riparian and upland semiarid vegetation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nguyen, Uyen

    to estimate the effects of vegetation, land use patterns and water cycles. Climate change, hydrological and human uses are also leading to riparian, upland, grassland and crop vegetation changes at a variety of temporal and spatial scales, particularly in the arid and semi arid ecosystems, which are more sensitive to changes in water availability than humid ecosystems. The objectives of these studies from the last three articles were to evaluate the effect of water balance on vegetation indices in different plant communities based on relevant spatial and temporal scales. The new methodology of estimating water requirements using remote sensing data and ground calibration with flux tower data has been successfully tested at a variety sites, a sparse desert shrub environment as well as mixed riparian and cropland systems and upland vegetation in the arid and semi-arid regions. The main finding form these studies is that vegetation-index methods have to be calibrated with ground data for each new ecosystem but once calibrated they can accurately scale ET over wide areas and long time spans.

  14. Pythiosis in dogs in the semiarid region of Northeast Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria T.S. Frade

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT: We describe the epidemiological, clinical and pathological features of five cases of pythiosis in dogs in northeast semiarid. The disease occurred in dogs with age between one and three years, females and males of different breeds. The dogs were created in urban areas, but were occasionally taken to the countryside and then had contact with wetlands. The main clinical signs were weight loss, vomiting, diarrhea and tenesmus. Macroscopically there were intestinal wall thickening with irregular firm masses with yellowish granular areas interspersed with a whitish tissue, involving the duodenum, colon and rectum, extending to the lymph nodes and pancreas, and the vagina and liver. In the skin there were areas of alopecia and irregular ulcerations, some containing small cavitations with serosanguineous secretion. Microscopically there were pyogranulomatous inflammation and in one case also there were eosinophilic necrosis associated with negative images tubuliformes by hematoxylin and eosin, strongly stained by GMS and weakly by PAS. Hyphae were strongly marked by immunohistochemistry with polyclonal anti-Pythium insidiosum. The disease occurs sporadically in dogs in the semiarid Northeast, however should be included in the differential diagnosis of chronic diseases and proliferative aspect of the gastrointestinal system, and front skin lesions of difficult treatment.

  15. Soil Respiration in Semiarid Temperate Grasslands under Various Land Management.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhen Wang

    Full Text Available Soil respiration, a major component of the global carbon cycle, is significantly influenced by land management practices. Grasslands are potentially a major sink for carbon, but can also be a source. Here, we investigated the potential effect of land management (grazing, clipping, and ungrazed enclosures on soil respiration in the semiarid grassland of northern China. Our results showed the mean soil respiration was significantly higher under enclosures (2.17 μmol.m(-2.s(-1 and clipping (2.06 μmol.m(-2.s(-1 than under grazing (1.65 μmol.m-(2.s(-1 over the three growing seasons. The high rates of soil respiration under enclosure and clipping were associated with the higher belowground net primary productivity (BNPP. Our analyses indicated that soil respiration was primarily related to BNPP under grazing, to soil water content under clipping. Using structural equation models, we found that soil water content, aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP and BNPP regulated soil respiration, with soil water content as the predominant factor. Our findings highlight that management-induced changes in abiotic (soil temperature and soil water content and biotic (ANPP and BNPP factors regulate soil respiration in the semiarid temperate grassland of northern China.

  16. 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.

  17. Soil Respiration in Semiarid Temperate Grasslands under Various Land Management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Zhen; Ji, Lei; Hou, Xiangyang; Schellenberg, Michael P

    2016-01-01

    Soil respiration, a major component of the global carbon cycle, is significantly influenced by land management practices. Grasslands are potentially a major sink for carbon, but can also be a source. Here, we investigated the potential effect of land management (grazing, clipping, and ungrazed enclosures) on soil respiration in the semiarid grassland of northern China. Our results showed the mean soil respiration was significantly higher under enclosures (2.17 μmol.m(-2).s(-1)) and clipping (2.06 μmol.m(-2).s(-1)) than under grazing (1.65 μmol.m-(2).s(-1)) over the three growing seasons. The high rates of soil respiration under enclosure and clipping were associated with the higher belowground net primary productivity (BNPP). Our analyses indicated that soil respiration was primarily related to BNPP under grazing, to soil water content under clipping. Using structural equation models, we found that soil water content, aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP) and BNPP regulated soil respiration, with soil water content as the predominant factor. Our findings highlight that management-induced changes in abiotic (soil temperature and soil water content) and biotic (ANPP and BNPP) factors regulate soil respiration in the semiarid temperate grassland of northern China.

  18. Contamination of semiarid potiguar reservoirs by harmful bacteria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ermeton Duarte do Nascimento

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Water contamination in the semi-arid section of Northeast Brazil is a current concern for the country’s researchers, since this region is considered one of the poorest in Brazil and the water in these locations is a primary vehicle for disease transmission. We collected physical and chemical data as well as water samples from four semiarid potiguar reservoirs during the dry and rainy seasons of 2013 and 2014. These samples were prepared in a laboratory at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte (UFRN and their physical, chemical and microbiological characteristics were evaluated. The procedures of microbial isolation and identification followed the Standard Methods for Examinations of Water and Wastewater. Then Vitek II system (Bio-Merieux® was used to identify the microbial specimens and we calculated the frequency of specimens’ occurrence. Altogether, 168 bacteria were isolated and identified; 97% were Gram-negative and only 3% were Gram-positive. Within the Gram negatives, 73.2% were identified as belonging to the Enterobacteriaceae family and, in general terms, the most constant genera in the water reservoirs were Vibrio and Aeromonas. Among the Enterobacteriaceae family, the species Escherichia coli, Enterobacter cloacae complex and Klebsiella pneumoniae were the most frequent. There was no statistical difference between the number or morphotype groups found in the periods, p=0.255 and p=0.237, respectively. The analyzed data indicate possible contamination of these water reservoirs by human and/or animal fecal material.

  19. The Coupling of Ecosystem Productivity and Water Availability in Dryland Regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scott, R. L.; Biederman, J. A.; Barron-Gafford, G.

    2014-12-01

    Land cover and climatic change will alter biosphere-atmosphere exchanges of water vapor and carbon dioxide depending, in part, on feedbacks between biotic activity and water availability. Eddy covariance observations allow us to estimate ecosystem-scale productivity and respiration, and these datasets are now becoming sufficiently mature to advance understanding of these ecohydrological interactions. Here we use a network of sites in semiarid western North America representing gradients of water availability and functional plant type. We examine how precipitation (P) controls evapotranspiration (ET), net ecosystem production (NEP), and its component fluxes of ecosystem respiration (Reco) and gross ecosystem production (GEP). Despite the high variability in seasonal and annual precipitation timing and amounts that we expect to influence ecosystem function, we find persistent overall relationships between P or ET and the fluxes of NEP, Reco and GEP across the network, indicating a commonality and resilience in ecosystem soil and plant response to water availability. But we also observe several important site differences such as prior seasonal legacy effects on subsequent fluxes which vary depending on dominant plant functional type. For example, multiyear droughts, episodic cool-season droughts, and hard winter freezes seem to affect the herbaceous species differently than the woody ones. Nevertheless, the overall, strong coupling between hydrologic and ecologic processes at these sites bolsters our ability to predict the response of dryland ecosystems to future precipitation change.

  20. Valuing tradeoffs between agricultural production and ecosystem services in the Heihe River Basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Z.; Deng, X.; Wu, F.

    2017-12-01

    Ecosystem services are faced with multiple stress from complex driving factors, such as climate change and human interventions. The Heihe River Basin (HRB), as the second largest inland river basin in China, is a typical semi-arid and arid region with fragile and sensitive ecological environment. For the past decades, agricultural production activities in the basin has affected ecosystem services in different degrees, leading to complex relations among "water-land-climate-ecology-human", in which hydrological process and water resource management is the key. In this context, managing trade-offs among water uses in the river basin to sustain multiple ecosystem services is crucial for healthy ecosystem and sustainable socioeconomic development. In this study, we analyze the trade-offs between different water uses in agricultural production and key ecosystem services in the HRB by applying production frontier analysis, with the aim to explore the potential for managing them. This method traces out joint production frontiers showing the combinations of ecosystem services and agricultural production that can be generated in a given area, and it deals with the economic problem of the allocation of scarce water resources under presumed objective, which aims to highlight synergies and reduce trade-offs between alternative water uses. Thus, management schemes that targets to both sustain agricultural production and increase the provision of key ecosystem services have to consider not only the technological or biological nature of interrelationships, but also the economic interdependencies among them.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. How do people gain access to water resources in the Brazilian semiarid (Caatinga) in times of climate change?

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Lira Azevêdo, Evaldo; Alves, Rômulo Romeu Nóbrega; Dias, Thelma Lúcia Pereira; Molozzi, Joseline

    2017-08-01

    Climate change is becoming an imminent reality, especially in arid and semiarid regions. Therefore, it is essential to understand the relationships between humans and aquatic ecosystems in order to devise efficient management and conservation strategies. We conducted 126 interviews using a semi-structured form to record water sources, transport strategies, and the use and treatment of water by communities surrounding four reservoirs within two drainage basins in the semiarid region of Brazil. These factors were then compared to the mean water volumes of the respective reservoirs from 2013 to 2015, a period of severe drought in that area. Seven types of water sources were considered, according to the perspectives of the interviewees: large reservoirs (dams) (43% of the citations), other smaller reservoirs (25%), rainwater (17.5%), wells (7%), waterholes (3%), bottled water (4%), and water tanks (0.5%). The water resources obtained are transported to human residences in seven different manners: actively pumped (34% of the citations), by water tanker truck (33%), distributed in pipes by local resident associations (11%), transport by animal (14%), human transport (4%), by car (2%), and by motorcycle (2%). The water is then used for domestic purposes (21%), for personal hygiene (20%), by animals (19%), in agriculture (18%), for cooking (10%), for fishing (7%), and for drinking (6%). A worrisome trend was that many local residents did not treat the water they were consuming. Climate change affects seasonal patterns of rainfall that will, in turn, determine the availability and quantities of water resources, provoking changes in the sources of water used by human populations, their strategies of access to that resource, and water-use patterns. It is necessary sustainable use of water resources based on the realities of local populations.

  5. Sapflow-Based Stand Transpiration in a Semiarid Natural Oak Forest on China’s Loess Plateau

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mei-Jie Yan

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available The semi-arid region of China’s Loess Plateau is characterized by fragile ecosystems and a shortage of water resources. The major natural forest type in this region is the secondary forest with the flora dominated by the Liaodong oak (Quercus liaotungensis Koidz.. To understand its transpiration water use in relation to environmental factors, we applied Granier-type thermal dissipation probes to monitor stem sap flows of 21 sample trees, representing different classes of diameter at breast height in a permanent plot. The stem- and stand-scale transpiration values during the 2008–2010 growing seasons were estimated using measurements of sap flux densities and corresponding sapwood areas. The dominant factors affecting stand-scale transpiration varied with time scales. Daily stand transpiration correlated with daily solar radiation and daytime average vapor pressure deficit. Seasonal and interannual changes in stand transpiration were closely related to leaf area index (LAI values. No obvious relationship was observed between monthly stand transpiration and soil moisture or precipitation during the period, probably as a result of both the hysteretic effect of precipitation on transpiration, and changes in LAI throughout the growing season. Stand transpiration during the three growing seasons ranged from 75 to 106 mm, representing low to normal values for the semi-arid forest. The proportion of transpiration by oak trees in the stand was stable ranging from 60% to 66% and corresponded to their basal area proportion of approximately 59%. The results suggest that the natural forest consisting mainly of oak trees is in a formal stage of forest development that maintains a normal magnitude of annual water consumption.

  6. Assessing Freshwater Ecosystem Service Risk over Ecological, Socioeconomic, and Cultural Gradients: Problem Space Characterization and Methodology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harmon, T. C.; Villamizar, S. R.; Conde, D.; Rusak, J.; Reid, B.; Astorga, A.; Perillo, G. M.; Piccolo, M. C.; Zilio, M.; London, S.; Velez, M.; Hoyos, N.; Escobar, J.

    2014-12-01

    Freshwater ecosystems and the services they provide are under increasing anthropogenic pressure at local (e.g., irrigation diversions, wastewater discharge) and global scales (e.g., climate change, global trading). The impact depends on an ecosystem's sensitivity, which is determined by its geophysical and ecological settings, and the population and activities in its surrounding watershed. Given the importance of ecosystem services, it is critical that we improve our ability to identify and understand changes in aquatic ecosystems, and translate them to risk of service loss. Furthermore, to inspire changes in human behavior, it is equally critical that we learn to communicate risk, and pose risk mitigation strategies, in a manner acceptable to a broad spectrum of stakeholders. Quantifying the nature and timing of the risk is difficult because (1) we often fail to understand the connection between anthropogenic pressures and the timing and extent of ecosystem changes; and (2) the concept of risk is inherently coupled to human perception, which generally differs with cultural and socio-economic conditions. In this study, we endeavor to assess aquatic ecosystem risks across an international array of six study sites. The challenge is to construct a methodology capable of capturing the marked biogeographical, socioeconomic, and cultural differences among the sites, which include: (1) Muskoka River watershed in humid continental Ontario, Canada; (2) Lower San Joaquin River, an impounded snow-fed river in semi-arid Central California; (3) Ciénaga Grande de Santa Marta, a tropical coastal lagoon in Colombia; (4) Senguer River basin in the semi-arid part of Argentina; (5) Laguna de Rocha watershed in humid subtropical Uruguay; and (6) Palomas Lake complex in oceanic Chilean Patagonia. Results will include a characterization of the experimental gradient over the six sites, an overview of the risk assessment methodology, and preliminary findings for several of the sites.

  7. 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.

    NT systems may have great potential for reducing surface runoff from smallholder fields and that the NT systems may have potential to recharge groundwater resources through increased deep drainage. However, it was also noted that the APSIM model has major shortcomings in simulating the water balance at this level of detail and that the findings need to be confirmed by further field based and modelling studies. Nevertheless, it is clear that without mulch or a cover crop, the continued high soil evaporation and correspondingly low crop yields suggest that there is little benefit to farmers adopting NT systems in semiarid environments, despite potential water resources benefits downstream. In such cases, the potential for payment for ecosystem services should be explored.

  8. Assessing Dryland Ecosystem Services in Xinjiang, Northwest China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siew, T. F.; Brauman, K. A.; Zuo, L.; Doll, P. M.

    2014-12-01

    Dryland ecosystems, including grassland, forest, and irrigated cropland, cover about 41% of earth's land area and are inhabited by over two billion people. In drylands, particularly arid and semiarid areas, the production of ecosystem services is primarily constrained by freshwater availability. Often, water allocated to production by one ecosystem or of one ecosystem service negatively impacts other ecosystems or ecosystem services (ESS). The challenge is to determine how much water should be allocated to which ecosystems (natural and manmade) such that multiple ESS are maximized, thus improving overall well-being. This strategic management decision must be supported by knowledge about spatial and temporal availability of water and its relationship to production (location and scale) of ESS that people receive. We assess the spatial and temporal relationships between water availability and ESS production in Xinjiang, Northwest China. We address four questions: (1) What services are produced by which ecosystems with water available? (2) Where are these services produced? (3) Who uses the services produced? (4) How the production of services changes with variability of water available? Using existing global, national, and regional spatial and statistical data, we assess food, fiber, livestock, and wood production as well as unique forest landscapes (as a proxy for aesthetic appreciation and habitats for unique animals and plants) and protection from dust storms. Irrigation is necessary for crop production in Xinjiang. The production of about 4.2 million tons of wheat and 500,000 tons of cotton requires more than 2 km3 of water each year. This is an important source of food and income for local residents, but the diverted water has negative and potentially costly impacts on downstream forests that potentially provide aesthetic services and protection from dust. Our analyses also show that cropland had increased by about 1.6 million ha from 1987 to 2010, while

  9. Revealing Invisible Water: Moisture Recycling as an Ecosystem Service.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keys, Patrick W; Wang-Erlandsson, Lan; Gordon, Line J

    2016-01-01

    An ecosystem service is a benefit derived by humanity that can be traced back to an ecological process. Although ecosystem services related to surface water have been thoroughly described, the relationship between atmospheric water and ecosystem services has been mostly neglected, and perhaps misunderstood. Recent advances in land-atmosphere modeling have revealed the importance of terrestrial ecosystems for moisture recycling. In this paper, we analyze the extent to which vegetation sustains the supply of atmospheric moisture and precipitation for downwind beneficiaries, globally. We simulate land-surface evaporation with a global hydrology model and track changes to moisture recycling using an atmospheric moisture budget model, and we define vegetation-regulated moisture recycling as the difference in moisture recycling between current vegetation and a hypothetical desert world. Our results show that nearly a fifth of annual average precipitation falling on land is from vegetation-regulated moisture recycling, but the global variability is large, with many places receiving nearly half their precipitation from this ecosystem service. The largest potential impacts for changes to this ecosystem service are land-use changes across temperate regions in North America and Russia. Likewise, in semi-arid regions reliant on rainfed agricultural production, land-use change that even modestly reduces evaporation and subsequent precipitation, could significantly affect human well-being. We also present a regional case study in the Mato Grosso region of Brazil, where we identify the specific moisture recycling ecosystem services associated with the vegetation in Mato Grosso. We find that Mato Grosso vegetation regulates some internal precipitation, with a diffuse region of benefit downwind, primarily to the south and east, including the La Plata River basin and the megacities of Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. We synthesize our global and regional results into a generalized

  10. Ecosystem quality in LCIA

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2017-01-01

    Purpose: Life cycle impact assessment (LCIA) results are used to assess potential environmental impacts of different products and services. As part of the UNEP-SETAC life cycle initiative flagship project that aims to harmonize indicators of potential environmental impacts, we provide a consensus...... viewpoint and recommendations for future developments in LCIA related to the ecosystem quality area of protection (AoP). Through our recommendations, we aim to encourage LCIA developments that improve the usefulness and global acceptability of LCIA results. Methods: We analyze current ecosystem quality...... metrics and provide recommendations to the LCIA research community for achieving further developments towards comparable and more ecologically relevant metrics addressing ecosystem quality. Results and discussion: We recommend that LCIA development for ecosystem quality should tend towards species...

  11. List identifies threatened ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Showstack, Randy

    2012-09-01

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

  12. Formation of Service Ecosystems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

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

  13. Revisiting software ecosystems research

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Manikas, Konstantinos

    2016-01-01

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

  14. Ecosystem Analysis Program

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Burgess, R.L.

    1978-01-01

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

  15. Stakeholder Values and Ecosystems

    OpenAIRE

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

    2013-01-01

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

  16. Terrestrial ecosystems and biodiversity

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Davis-Reddy, Claire

    2017-10-01

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

  17. Privacy driven internet ecosystem

    OpenAIRE

    Trinh, Tuan Anh; Gyarmati, Laszlo

    2012-01-01

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

  18. Groundwater-dependent ecosystems: recent insights, new techniques and an ecosystem-scale threshold response

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eamus, D.; Zolfaghar, S.; Villalobos-Vega, R.; Cleverly, J.; Huete, A.

    2015-05-01

    Groundwater-dependent ecosystems (GDEs) are at risk globally due to unsustainable levels of groundwater extraction, especially in arid and semi-arid regions. In this review, we examine recent developments in the ecohydrology of GDEs with a focus on three knowledge gaps: (1) how do we locate GDEs, (2) how much water is transpired from shallow aquifers by GDEs; and (3) what are the responses of GDEs to excessive groundwater extraction? The answers to these questions will determine water allocations that are required to sustain functioning of GDEs and to guide regulations on groundwater extraction to avoid negative impacts on GDEs. We discuss three methods for identifying GDEs: (1) fluctuations in depth-to-groundwater that are associated with diurnal variations in transpiration, (2) stable isotope analysis of water sources in the transpiration stream; and (3) remote sensing methods. We then discuss several methods for estimating rates of GW use, including direct measurement using sapflux or eddy covariance technologies, estimation of a climate wetness index within a Budyko framework, spatial distribution of ET using remote sensing, groundwater modelling and stable isotopes. Remote sensing methods often rely on direct measurements to calibrate the relationship between vegetation indices and ET. ET from GDEs is also determined using hydrologic models of varying complexity, from the "White method" to fully coupled, variable saturation models. Combinations of methods are typically employed to obtain clearer insight into the components of groundwater discharge in GDEs, such as the proportional importance of transpiration vs. evaporation (e.g., using stable isotopes) or from groundwater vs. rainwater sources. Groundwater extraction can have severe consequences on structure and function of GDEs. In the most extreme cases, phreatophytes experience crown dieback and death following groundwater drawdown. We provide a brief review of two case studies of the impacts of GW

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Response of soil CO2 efflux to precipitation manipulation in a semiarid grassland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Xiaorong; Zhang, Yanjiang; Liu, Jian; Gao, Hailong; Fan, Jun; Jia, Xiaoxu; Cheng, Jimin; Shao, Mingan; Zhang, Xingchang

    2016-07-01

    Soil CO2 efflux (SCE) is an important component of ecosystem CO2 exchange and is largely temperature and moisture dependent, providing feedback between C cycling and the climate system. We used a precipitation manipulation experiment to examine the effects of precipitation treatment on SCE and its dependences on soil temperature and moisture in a semiarid grassland. Precipitation manipulation included ambient precipitation, decreased precipitation (-43%), or increased precipitation (+17%). The SCE was measured from July 2013 to December 2014, and CO2 emission during the experimental period was assessed. The response curves of SCE to soil temperature and moisture were analyzed to determine whether the dependence of SCE on soil temperature or moisture varied with precipitation manipulation. The SCE significantly varied seasonally but was not affected by precipitation treatments regardless of season. Increasing precipitation resulted in an upward shift of SCE-temperature response curves and rightward shift of SCE-moisture response curves, while decreasing precipitation resulted in opposite shifts of such response curves. These shifts in the SCE response curves suggested that increasing precipitation strengthened the dependence of SCE on temperature or moisture, and decreasing precipitation weakened such dependences. Such shifts affected the predictions in soil CO2 emissions for different precipitation treatments. When considering such shifts, decreasing or increasing precipitation resulted in 43 or 75% less change, respectively, in CO2 emission compared with changes in emissions predicted without considering such shifts. Furthermore, the effects of shifts in SCE response curves on CO2 emission prediction were greater during the growing than the non-growing season. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Multi-gauge Calibration for modeling the Semi-Arid Santa Cruz Watershed in Arizona-Mexico Border Area Using SWAT

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niraula, Rewati; Norman, Laura A.; Meixner, Thomas; Callegary, James B.

    2012-01-01

    In most watershed-modeling studies, flow is calibrated at one monitoring site, usually at the watershed outlet. Like many arid and semi-arid watersheds, the main reach of the Santa Cruz watershed, located on the Arizona-Mexico border, is discontinuous for most of the year except during large flood events, and therefore the flow characteristics at the outlet do not represent the entire watershed. Calibration is required at multiple locations along the Santa Cruz River to improve model reliability. The objective of this study was to best portray surface water flow in this semiarid watershed and evaluate the effect of multi-gage calibration on flow predictions. In this study, the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) was calibrated at seven monitoring stations, which improved model performance and increased the reliability of flow, in the Santa Cruz watershed. The most sensitive parameters to affect flow were found to be curve number (CN2), soil evaporation and compensation coefficient (ESCO), threshold water depth in shallow aquifer for return flow to occur (GWQMN), base flow alpha factor (Alpha_Bf), and effective hydraulic conductivity of the soil layer (Ch_K2). In comparison, when the model was established with a single calibration at the watershed outlet, flow predictions at other monitoring gages were inaccurate. This study emphasizes the importance of multi-gage calibration to develop a reliable watershed model in arid and semiarid environments. The developed model, with further calibration of water quality parameters will be an integral part of the Santa Cruz Watershed Ecosystem Portfolio Model (SCWEPM), an online decision support tool, to assess the impacts of climate change and urban growth in the Santa Cruz watershed.

  6. Monetary accounting of ecosystem services

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  7. 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

  8. Conserving the Brazilian semiarid (Caatinga) biome under climate change

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Oliveira, Guilherme de; Bastos Araujo, Miguel; Rangel, Thiago Fernado

    2012-01-01

    to assess changes in climate suitability across individual species ranges, ensemble forecasting was used based on seven bioclimatic envelope models, three atmosphere–ocean general circulation models, and two greenhouse emission gas scenarios for 2020, 2050, and 2080. We found that most species will gain...... additional threats to the biome’s biodiversity. Here, we ask if the remnants of natural vegetation in Caatinga biome, where endemic terrestrial vertebrate species occur, are likely to retain more climatic suitability under climate change scenarios than other less pristine areas of the biome. In order......The Caatinga is a semiarid biome of the northeast of Brazil with only 1 % of its territory currently conserved. The biome’s biodiversity is highly threatened due to exposure to land conversion for agricultural and cattle ranch. Climate forecasts predict increases in aridity, which could pose...

  9. Water quality issues associated with agricultural drainage in semiarid regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sylvester, Marc A.

    High incidences of mortality, birth defects, and reproductive failure in waterfowl using Kesterson Reservoir in the San Joaquin Valley, Calif., have occurred because of the bioaccumulation of selenium from irrigation drainage. These circumstances have prompted concern about the quality of agriculture drainage and its potential effects on human health, fish and wildlife, and beneficial uses of water. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, University of California (Berkeley, Calif.) organized a 1-day session at the 1986 AGU Fall Meeting in San Francisco, Calif., to provide an interdisciplinary forum for hydrologists, geochemists, and aquatic chemists to discuss the processes controlling the distribution, mobilization, transport, and fate of trace elements in source rocks, soils, water, and biota in semiarid regions in which irrigated agriculture occurs. The focus of t h e session was the presentation of research results on the source, distribution, movement, and fate of selenium in agricultural drainage.

  10. Semiarid ethnoagroforestry management: Tajos in the Sierra Gorda, Guanajuato, Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoogesteger van Dijk, Vincent M; Casas, Alejandro; Moreno-Calles, Ana Isabel

    2017-06-12

    The semi-arid environments harbor nearly 40% of biodiversity, and half of indigenous cultures of Mexico. Thousands of communities settled in these areas depend on agriculture and using wild biodiversity for their subsistence. Water, soil, and biodiversity management strategies are therefore crucial for people's life. The tajos, from Sierra Gorda, are important, poorly studied, biocultural systems established in narrow, arid alluvial valleys. The systems are constructed with stone-walls for capturing sediments, gradually creating fertile soils in terraces suitable for agriculture in places where it would not be possible. We analyzed biocultural, ecological, economic and technological relevance of the artificial oasis-like tajos, hypothesizing their high capacity for maintaining agricultural and wild biodiversity while providing resources to people. We conducted our research in three sections of the Mezquital-Xichú River, in three communities of Guanajuato, Mexico. Agroforestry management practices were documented through semi-structured and in-depth qualitative interviews. Vegetation composition of local forests and that maintained in tajos was sampled and compared. Tajos harbor high agrobiodiversity, including native varieties of maize and beans, seven secondary crops, 47 native and 25 introduced perennial plant species. Perennial plants cover on average 26.8% of the total surface of plots. Tajos provide nearly 70% of the products required by households' subsistence and are part of their cultural identity. Tajos are heritage of TEK and land management forms of pre-Columbian Mexican and Mediterranean agricultural techniques, adapting and integrating modern agricultural practices. Tajos are valuable biocultural systems adapted to local semiarid conditions and sources of technology for similar areas of the World.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Composition and fate of mine- and smelter-derived particulates in soils from humid subtropical and semiarid areas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ettler, Vojtech; Kribek, Bohdan; Mihaljevic, Martin; Vanek, Ales; Penizek, Vit; Sracek, Ondra; Mapani, Ben; Kamona, Fred; Nyambe, Imasiku

    2017-04-01

    Soils in the vicinity of non-ferrous metal smelters are often highly polluted by inorganic contaminants released from particulate emissions, which undergo weathering processes and release contaminants when deposited in soils. We studied the heavy mineral fraction, separated from mining- and smelter-affected topsoils, from both a humid subtropical area in the Zambian Copperbelt and a hot semi-arid area in the northern Namibia. High concentrations of metal(loid)s were detected in the studied soils: up to 1450 ppm As, 8980 ppm Cu, 4640 ppm Pb, 2620 ppm Zn. A combination of X-ray diffraction analysis (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM/EDS), and electron probe microanalysis (EPMA) helped to identify the phases forming individual metal(loid)-bearing particles. Whereas spherical particles originate from the smelting and flue gas cleaning processes, angular particles either have geogenic origins or they are windblown from the mining operations and mine waste disposal sites. Sulphides from ores and mine tailings often exhibit weathering rims in contrast to smelter-derived high-temperature sulphides (chalcocite [Cu2S], digenite [Cu9S5], covellite [CuS], non-stoichiometric quenched Cu-Fe-S phases). Soils from humid subtropical areas exhibit higher available concentrations of metal(loids), and higher frequencies of weathering features (especially for copper-bearing oxides such as delafossite [CuFeO2]) are observed. In contrast, metal(loid)s are efficiently retained in semi-arid soils, where a high proportion of non-weathered smelter slag particles and low-solubility Ca-Cu-Pb arsenates occur. Our results indicate that compared to semi-arid areas (where inorganic contaminants were rather immobile in soils despite their high concentrations) a higher potential risk exists for agriculture in mine- and smelter-affected humid subtropical areas (where metal(loid) contaminants can be highly available for the uptake by crops). This study was supported by the Czech Science

  15. Dimensions of ecosystem theory

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    O'Neill, R.V.; Reichle, D.E.

    1979-01-01

    Various dimensions of ecosystem structure and behavior that seem to develop from the ubiquitous phenomena of system growth and persistence were studied. While growth and persistence attributes of ecosystems may appear to be simplistic phenomena upon which to base a comprehensive ecosystem theory, these same attributes have been fundamental to the theoretical development of other biological disciplines. These attributes were explored at a hierarchical level in a self-organizing system, and adaptive system strategies that result were analyzed. Previously developed causative relations (Reichle et al., 1975c) were examined, their theoretical implications expounded upon, and the assumptions tested with data from a variety of forest types. The conclusions are not a theory in themselves, but a state of organization of concepts contributing towards a unifying theory, along the lines promulgated by Bray (1958). The inferences drawn rely heavily upon data from forested ecosystems of the world, and have yet to be validated against data from a much more diverse range of ecosystem types. Not all of the interpretations are logically tight - there is room for other explanations, which it is hoped will provide fruitful grounds for further speculation

  16. 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 \

  17. 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

  18. Canopy management and water use efficiency in vineyards under Mediterranean semiarid conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    de la Fuente Mario

    2015-01-01

    In addition, both positive effects of sprawl treatments (crop load and training system resulted in better yield and quality in Mediterranean semiarid conditions under the same inputs (sun, water and soil, causing higher efficiency of natural resources.

  19. Financial costs of ecologically nonsustainable farming practices in a semiarid system

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Herling, MC

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available Nonsustainable ostrich farming practices have degraded large areas of the Little Karoo, a semiarid region in South Africa. The Little Karoo lies within the Succulent Karoo biome, a recognized biodiversity hotspot. A financial feasibility analysis...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weißhuhn, Peter; Müller, Felix; Wiggering, Hubert

    2018-06-01

    To safeguard the sustainable use of ecosystems and their services, early detection of potentially damaging changes in functional capabilities is needed. To support a proper ecosystem management, the analysis of an ecosystem's vulnerability provide information on its weaknesses as well as on its capacity to recover after suffering an impact. However, the application of the vulnerability concept to ecosystems is still an emerging topic. After providing background on the vulnerability concept, we summarize existing ecosystem vulnerability research on the basis of a systematic literature review with a special focus on ecosystem type, disciplinary background, and more detailed definition of the ecosystem vulnerability components. Using the Web of ScienceTM Core Collection, we overviewed the literature from 1991 onwards but used the 5 years from 2011 to 2015 for an in-depth analysis, including 129 articles. We found that ecosystem vulnerability analysis has been applied most notably in conservation biology, climate change research, and ecological risk assessments, pinpointing a limited spreading across the environmental sciences. It occurred primarily within marine and freshwater ecosystems. To avoid confusion, we recommend using the unambiguous term ecosystem vulnerability rather than ecological, environmental, population, or community vulnerability. Further, common ground has been identified, on which to define the ecosystem vulnerability components exposure, sensitivity, and adaptive capacity. We propose a framework for ecosystem assessments that coherently connects the concepts of vulnerability, resilience, and adaptability as different ecosystem responses. A short outlook on the possible operationalization of the concept by ecosystem vulnerabilty indices, and a conclusion section complete the review.

  1. Working group 7: Ecosystems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Verheyen, R.

    1976-01-01

    The purpose of this article is to evaluate the environmental impact of nuclear power plants. The effects of ionizing radiations, of the thermal and chemical pollution on aquatic ecosystems as well as on terrestrial ecosystems have been estimated. After a general survey of such effects and their interaction, practical conclusions in regard to determined areas such as Meuse-Escaut marine and the coast have been drawn. The contamination effects of food chains have been evaluted under deliberately pessimistic conditions with regard to the choice of the radionuclide as well as of concentration factors. Following the biodegradation conditions of the surface waters, criteria for the quality of the aquatic ecosystems have been established. Finally, attention has been paid on certain factors affecting the site selection especially within the frame of the nature conservation. The effects of cooling towers have been also considered. (G.C.)

  2. Sea Ice Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arrigo, Kevin R.

    2014-01-01

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

  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. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Governance of Ecosystem Services

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  8. Shelf-sea ecosystems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Walsh, J J

    1980-01-01

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

  9. Partitioning ecosystems for sustainability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murray, Martyn G

    2016-03-01

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

  10. Payment for ecosystem services

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

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

  11. Biocomplexity in Mangrove Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  12. 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

  13. [Urban ecosystem services: A review].

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. Complex terrain alters temperature and moisture limitations of forest soil respiration across a semiarid to subalpine gradient

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berryman, Erin Michele; Barnard, H.R.; Adams, H.R.; Burns, M.A.; Gallo, E.; Brooks, P.D.

    2015-01-01

    Forest soil respiration is a major carbon (C) flux that is characterized by significant variability in space and time. We quantified growing season soil respiration during both a drought year and a nondrought year across a complex landscape to identify how landscape and climate interact to control soil respiration. We asked the following questions: (1) How does soil respiration vary across the catchments due to terrain-induced variability in moisture availability and temperature? (2) Does the relative importance of moisture versus temperature limitation of respiration vary across space and time? And (3) what terrain elements are important for dictating the pattern of soil respiration and its controls? Moisture superseded temperature in explaining watershed respiration patterns, with wetter yet cooler areas higher up and on north facing slopes yielding greater soil respiration than lower and south facing areas. Wetter subalpine forests had reduced moisture limitation in favor of greater seasonal temperature limitation, and the reverse was true for low-elevation semiarid forests. Coincident climate poorly predicted soil respiration in the montane transition zone; however, antecedent precipitation from the prior 10 days provided additional explanatory power. A seasonal trend in respiration remained after accounting for microclimate effects, suggesting that local climate alone may not adequately predict seasonal variability in soil respiration in montane forests. Soil respiration climate controls were more strongly related to topography during the drought year highlighting the importance of landscape complexity in ecosystem response to drought.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  17. Effects of monsoon precipitation variability on the physiological response of two dominant C₄ grasses across a semiarid ecotone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomey, Michell L; Collins, Scott L; Friggens, Michael T; Brown, Renee F; Pockman, William T

    2014-11-01

    For the southwestern United States, climate models project an increase in extreme precipitation events and prolonged dry periods. While most studies emphasize plant functional type response to precipitation variability, it is also important to understand the physiological characteristics of dominant plant species that define plant community composition and, in part, regulate ecosystem response to climate change. We utilized rainout shelters to alter the magnitude and frequency of rainfall and measured the physiological response of the dominant C4 grasses, Bouteloua eriopoda and Bouteloua gracilis. We hypothesized that: (1) the more drought-adapted B. eriopoda would exhibit faster recovery and higher rates of leaf-level photosynthesis (A(net)) than B. gracilis, (2) A(net) would be greater under the higher average soil water content in plots receiving 30-mm rainfall events, (3) co-dominance of B. eriopoda and B. gracilis in the ecotone would lead to intra-specific differences from the performance of each species at the site where it was dominant. Throughout the study, soil moisture explained 40-70% of the variation in A(net). Consequently, differences in rainfall treatments were not evident from intra-specific physiological function without sufficient divergence in soil moisture. Under low frequency, larger rainfall events B. gracilis exhibited improved water status and longer periods of C gain than B. eriopoda. Results from this study indicate that less frequent and larger rainfall events could provide a competitive advantage to B. gracilis and influence species composition across this arid-semiarid grassland ecotone.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  19. Patterns of species richness and abundance among cactus communities receiving different rainfall levels in the semiarid region of Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paulo Sérgio Monteiro Ferreira

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT This study examines the variation in cacti species richness and abundance among sites with different average rainfall and soil types. We assessed a total of 3,660 individuals of six species of Cactaceae: Cereus jamacaru, Melocactus zehntneri, Pilosocereus gounellei, Pilosocereus pachycladus, Tacinga inamoena, and Tacinga palmadora. The greatest species richness and abundance of cacti were at locations with low rainfall and more clayey soils. The species studied differed in multidimensional representation, with some species being more positively related to soils with a higher proportion of fine particles (M. zehntneri and P. gounellei, while others were negatively related to soils with a higher proportion of coarser particles (T. inamoena or positively related to areas with higher rainfall and vegetation cover (C. jamacaru and P. pachycladus. The differential responses of the species of Cactaceae studied in relation to the gradients analyzed demonstrates the need for more research into the relationship between cacti and environmental variables in semiarid ecosystems with high environmental heterogeneity.

  20. 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.

  1. δ13C values of soil organic matter in semiarid grassland with mesquite (Prosopis) encroachment in southeastern Arizona

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biggs, Thomas H.; Quade, Jay; Webb, Robert H.

    2002-01-01

    Over the past century, C3 woody plants and trees have increased in abundance in many semiarid ecosystems, displacing native C4 grasses. Livestock grazing, climatic fluctuations, and fire suppression are several reasons proposed for this shift. Soil carbon isotopic signatures are an ideal technique to evaluate carbon turnover rates in such ecosystems. On the gunnery ranges of Fort Huachuca in southeastern Arizona, study sites were established on homogeneous granitic alluvium to investigate the effects of fire frequency on δ13C values in surface soil organic matter (SOM). These ranges have had no livestock grazing for 50 years and a well-documented history of fires. Prosopis velutina Woot. (mesquite) trees have altered SOM δ13C pools by the concentration of plant nutrients and the addition of isotopically light litter. These soil carbon changes do not extend beyond canopy margins. Elevated total organic carbon (TOC), plant nutrient (N and P) concentrations, and depleted SOM δ13C values are associated with C3Prosopis on an unburned plot, which enables recognition of former Prosopis-occupied sites on plots with recent fire histories. Elevated nutrient concentrations associated with former Prosopis are retained in SOM for many decades. Surface SOM δ13C values indicate the estimated minimum turnover time of C4-derived carbon beneath large mature Prosopis is about 100–300 years. In contrast, complete turnover of original C3 carbon to C4 carbon under grasslands is estimated to take a minimum of 150–500 years. Our study confirms that C4 grass cover has declined over the past 100 years, although isolated C3 trees or shrubs were not uncommon on the historic C4-dominated grasslands. We find evidence in surface soil layers for a modern C3 plant expansion reflected in the substantial shift of SOM δ13C values from C4 grasses to C3 shrublands.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Millennium Ecosystem Assessment: MA Population

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment: MA Population data sets provide baseline population information as one of the drivers of ecosystem change. The data helped in...

  5. Economic viewpoints on ecosystem services

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Silvis, H.J.; Heide, van der C.M.

    2013-01-01

    to help determine the different values of ecosystems. Ecosystem services are usually divided into four categories: provisioning services, regulating services, cultural services and habitat services (previously denoted as supporting services). This overview highlights economic theories about

  6. Interregional flows of ecosystem services

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schröter, Matthias; Koellner, Thomas; Alkemade, Rob; Arnhold, Sebastian; Bagstad, Kenneth J.; Erb, Karl Heinz; Frank, Karin; Kastner, Thomas; Kissinger, Meidad; Liu, Jianguo; López-Hoffman, Laura; Maes, Joachim; Marques, Alexandra; Martín-López, Berta; Meyer, Carsten; Schulp, Catharina J.E.; Thober, Jule; Wolff, Sarah; Bonn, Aletta

    2018-01-01

    Conserving and managing global natural capital requires an understanding of the complexity of flows of ecosystem services across geographic boundaries. Failing to understand and to incorporate these flows into national and international ecosystem assessments leads to incomplete and potentially

  7. Transpirational water loss in invaded and restored semiarid riparian forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Georgianne W. Moore; M. Keith Owens

    2011-01-01

    The invasive tree, Tamarix sp., was introduced to the United States in the 1800s to stabilize stream banks. The riparian ecosystem adjacent to the middle Rio Grande River in central NewMexico consists of mature cottonwood (Populus fremontii ) gallery forests with a dense Tamarix understory. We hypothesized that Populus would compensate for reduced competition by...

  8. 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

  9. Comparative distribution of plutonium in contaminated ecosystems at Oak Ridge, Tennessee and Los Alamos, New Mexico

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dahlman, R.C.; Garten, C.T. Jr.; Hakonson, T.E.

    1977-04-01

    Most of the plutonium entering aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems of the United States originates from nuclear weapons testing and from the burnup of the SNAP-9A satellite power source (Hanson 1975). But in the future, local ecosystems may receive small quantities of Pu released from nuclear facilities such as those at Oak Ridge, Los Alamos and other sites. The purpose of this paper is to compare and contrast the distribution of Pu in two contaminated ecosystems which are representative of humid and semi-arid environments of the United States. Results summarized in terms of inventories for the respective ecosystems several decades after initial contamination are used to anticipate the longer term (i.e., decades or centuries) behavior of Pu in the environment. One important question is whether the availability of this element to plants and other organisms will change after it is subjected to weathering and ecological processes of the environment. It is pointed out that potential radiological toxicity and long physical half-lives of Pu dictate that its behavior in ecosystems be understood

  10. Comparing ecosystem and soil respiration: Review and key challenges of tower-based and soil measurements

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Barba, Josep; Cueva, Alejandro; Bahn, Michael; Barron-Gafford, Greg A.; Bond-Lamberty, Benjamin; Hanson, Paul J.; Jaimes, Aline; Kulmala, Liisa; Pumpanen, Jukka; Scott, Russell L.; Wohlfahrt, Georg; Vargas, Rodrigo

    2018-02-01

    The net ecosystem exchange (NEE) is the difference between ecosystem CO2 assimilation and CO2 losses to the atmosphere. Ecosystem respiration (Reco), the efflux of CO2 from the ecosystem to the atmosphere, includes the soil-to-atmosphere carbon flux (i.e., soil respiration; Rsoil) and aboveground plant respiration. Therefore, Rsoil is a fraction of Reco and by definition has to be smaller than Reco at annual, seasonal and daily scales. However, several studies estimating Reco with the eddy covariance technique and measuring Rsoil within the footprint of the tower have reported higher Rsoil than Reco at different time scales. Here, we compare four different and contrasting ecosystems (from forest to grasslands, and from boreal to semiarid) to study whether, and under what conditions, measurements of Reco are lower than Rsoil. In general, both fluxes showed similar temporal patterns, but Reco was not consistently higher than Rsoil from daily to annual scales across sites. We identified several issues that apply for measuring NEE and measuring/upscaling Rsoil that could result in an underestimation of Reco and/or an overestimation of Rsoil. These issues are discussed based on (a) nighttime measurements of NEE, (b) Rsoil measurements, and (c) the interpretation of the functional relationships of these fluxes with temperature (i.e., Q10). We highlight that there is still a need for better integration of Rsoil with eddy covariance measurements to address challenges related to spatial and temporal variability of Reco and Rsoil.

  11. Comparative distribution of plutonium in contaminated ecosystems at Oak Ridge, Tennessee and Los Alamos, New Mexico

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dahlman, R.C.; Garten, C.T. Jr.; Hakonson, T.E.

    1977-04-01

    Most of the plutonium entering aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems of the United States originates from nuclear weapons testing and from the burnup of the SNAP-9A satellite power source (Hanson 1975). But in the future, local ecosystems may receive small quantities of Pu released from nuclear facilities such as those at Oak Ridge, Los Alamos and other sites. The purpose of this paper is to compare and contrast the distribution of Pu in two contaminated ecosystems which are representative of humid and semi-arid environments of the United States. Results summarized in terms of inventories for the respective ecosystems several decades after initial contamination are used to anticipate the longer term (i.e., decades or centuries) behavior of Pu in the environment. One important question is whether the availability of this element to plants and other organisms will change after it is subjected to weathering and ecological processes of the environment. It is pointed out that potential radiological toxicity and long physical half-lives of Pu dictate that its behavior in ecosystems be understood.

  12. Distribution of Chironomidae in a semiarid intermittent river of Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farias, R L; Carvalho, L K; Medeiros, E S F

    2012-12-01

    The effects of the intermittency of water flow on habitat structure and substrate composition have been reported to create a patch dynamics for the aquatic fauna, mostly for that associated with the substrate. This study aims to describe the spatial distribution of Chironomidae in an intermittent river of semiarid Brazil and to associate assemblage composition with environmental variables. Benthic invertebrates were sampled during the wet and dry seasons using a D-shaped net (40 cm wide and 250 μm mesh), and the Chironomidae were identified to genus level. The most abundant genera were Tanytarsus, Polypedilum, and Saetheria with important contributions of the genera Procladius, Aedokritus, and Dicrotendipes. Richness and density were not significantly different between the study sites, and multiple regression showed that the variation in richness and density explained by the environmental variables was significant only for substrate composition. The composition of genera showed significant spatial segregation across the study sites. Canonical Correspondence Analysis showed significant correspondence between Chironomidae composition and the environmental variables, with submerged vegetation, elevation, and leaf litter being important predictors of the Chironomidae fauna. This study showed that Chironomidae presented important spatial variation along the river and that this variation was substantially explained by environmental variables associated with the habitat structure and river hierarchy. We suggest that the observed spatial segregation in the fauna results in the high diversity of this group of organisms in intermittent streams.

  13. Efficiency of snake sampling methods in the Brazilian semiarid region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mesquita, Paula C M D; Passos, Daniel C; Cechin, Sonia Z

    2013-09-01

    The choice of sampling methods is a crucial step in every field survey in herpetology. In countries where time and financial support are limited, the choice of the methods is critical. The methods used to sample snakes often lack objective criteria, and the traditional methods have apparently been more important when making the choice. Consequently researches using not-standardized methods are frequently found in the literature. We have compared four commonly used methods for sampling snake assemblages in a semiarid area in Brazil. We compared the efficacy of each method based on the cost-benefit regarding the number of individuals and species captured, time, and financial investment. We found that pitfall traps were the less effective method in all aspects that were evaluated and it was not complementary to the other methods in terms of abundance of species and assemblage structure. We conclude that methods can only be considered complementary if they are standardized to the objectives of the study. The use of pitfall traps in short-term surveys of the snake fauna in areas with shrubby vegetation and stony soil is not recommended.

  14. Perceptions of termites in urban areas of semiarid Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Avany Bezerra Gusmão

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available http://dx.doi.org/10.5007/2175-7925.2014v27n4p117 Perception of termites in urban areas of semiarid Brazil. Termites are present in the daily life of most people, although they usually evoke a sense of strong dislike, especially in populations of urban areas. This study sought to analyze the perception of these insects in human populations in urban areas in the towns of Fagundes (A1 and Pocinhos (A2, in Paraíba state, Brazil. Semi-structured questionnaires were answered by 100 residents in these two areas, following both synchronic and diachronic situations. In spite of the fact that most of the interviewees (64% in A1 and 72% in A2 were able to identify termites by morphology and had knowledge of use for treating eight types of human diseases, very few understood their ecological roles in nature. Attempts to eliminate termites from human environments were linked to the popular belief that these animals are sources of bad luck. Twenty-two percent of the interviewees in A1 and 8% in A2 believe that termites are capable of doing damage or harm, of having a foul smell, and/or of containing pus.In this sense, academic studies are important because they can inform people of the ecological roles of termites in natural and urban environments, while demystifying the termite as an agent of fear and destruction.

  15. The Ecohydrologic Role of Coexistence and Competition in Semiarid Hillslopes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soltanjalili, M. J.; Saco, P. M.; Willgoose, G. R.

    2015-12-01

    Through its influence on runoff and erosion-deposition processes, vegetation remarkably regulates different aspects of landscape dynamics. Here, the influence of different plant functional traits on the coexistence of different species in arid and semi-arid regions with patchy vegetation is investigated using an ecohydrology model. The model simulates coevolving changes in biomass patterns for two species, as well as overland flow and soil moisture dynamics. Vegetation patterns emerge as a result of facilitation (shading and infiltration) and competition mechanisms as well as varying seed dispersal strategies. The results show that the survival of only one species or the coexistence of both species not only strongly depends on environmental stresses, but also on differences in hillslope micro and macro topography. These vegetation patterns have very different hydrologic signatures and the potential to trigger remarkably different geomorphic responses. Based on these results we establish new hypothesis that will be used to further investigate the role of plant interspecific and intraspecific feedbacks on landscape coevolution processes.

  16. Preface: Ecosystem services, ecosystem health and human communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plag, Hans-Peter

    2018-04-01

    This special issue contains a collection of manuscripts that were originally intended to be included in the special issue on "Physics and Economics of Ecosystem Services Flows" (Volume 101, guest editors H. Su, J. Dong and S. Nagarajan) and "Biogeochemical Processes in the Changing Wetland Environment" (Volume 103, guest editors J. Bai, L. Huang and H. Gao). All of them are addressing issues related to ecosystem services in different settings. Ecosystem services are of high value for both the ecosystems and human communities, and understanding the impacts of environmental processes and human activities on ecosystems is of fundamental importance for the preservation of these services.

  17. Promoting Transfer of Ecosystems Concepts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Yawen; Hmelo-Silver, Cindy E.; Jordan, Rebecca; Eberbach, Catherine; Sinha, Suparna

    2016-01-01

    This study examines to what extent students transferred their knowledge from a familiar aquatic ecosystem to an unfamiliar rainforest ecosystem after participating in a technology-rich inquiry curriculum. We coded students' drawings for components of important ecosystems concepts at pre- and posttest. Our analysis examined the extent to which each…

  18. The Coevolution of Digital Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    SungYong, Um

    2016-01-01

    Digital ecosystems are one of the most important strategic issues in the current digital economy. Digital ecosystems are dynamic and generative. They evolve as new firms join and as heterogeneous systems are integrated into other systems. These features digital ecosystems determine economic and technological success in the competition among…

  19. Marine Ecosystem Services

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hasler, Berit; Ahtiainen, Heini; Hasselström, Linus

    MARECOS (Marine Ecosystem Services) er et tværfagligt studie, der har haft til formål at tilvejebringe information vedrørende kortlægning og værdisætning af økosystemtjenester, som kan anvendes i forbindelse med udformning af regulering på det marine område såvel nationalt, som regionalt og inter...

  20. Composition and fate of mine- and smelter-derived particles in soils of humid subtropical and hot semi-arid areas

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ettler, Vojtěch, E-mail: ettler@natur.cuni.cz [Institute of Geochemistry, Mineralogy and Mineral Resources, Faculty of Science, Charles University in Prague, Albertov 6, 128 43 Praha 2 (Czech Republic); Johan, Zdenek [BRGM, Avenue Claude Guillemin, 45082 Orléans Cedex 2 (France); Kříbek, Bohdan; Veselovský, František [Czech Geological Survey, Geologická 6, 152 00 Praha 5 (Czech Republic); Mihaljevič, Martin [Institute of Geochemistry, Mineralogy and Mineral Resources, Faculty of Science, Charles University in Prague, Albertov 6, 128 43 Praha 2 (Czech Republic); Vaněk, Aleš; Penížek, Vít [Department of Soil Science and Soil Protection, Faculty of Agrobiology, Food and Natural Resources, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Kamýcká 129, 165 21 Praha 6 (Czech Republic); Majer, Vladimír [Czech Geological Survey, Geologická 6, 152 00 Praha 5 (Czech Republic); Sracek, Ondra [Department of Geology, Faculty of Science, Palacký University in Olomouc, 17. listopadu 12, 771 46 Olomouc (Czech Republic); Mapani, Ben; Kamona, Fred [Department of Geology, Faculty of Science, University of Namibia, Private Bag 13301, Windhoek (Namibia); Nyambe, Imasiku [University of Zambia, School of Mines, P. O. Box 32 379, Lusaka (Zambia)

    2016-09-01

    We studied the heavy mineral fraction, separated from mining- and smelter-affected topsoils, from both a humid subtropical area (Mufulira, Zambian Copperbelt) and a hot semi-arid area (Tsumeb, Namibia). High concentrations of metal(loid)s were detected in the studied soils: up to 1450 mg As kg{sup −1}, 8980 mg Cu kg{sup −1}, 4640 mg Pb kg{sup −1}, 2620 mg Zn kg{sup −1}. A combination of X-ray diffraction analysis (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM/EDS), and electron probe microanalysis (EPMA) helped to identify the phases forming individual metal(loid)-bearing particles. Whereas spherical particles originate from the smelting and flue gas cleaning processes, angular particles have either geogenic origins or they are windblown from the mining operations and mine waste disposal sites. Sulphides from ores and mine tailings often exhibit weathering rims in contrast to smelter-derived high-temperature sulphides (chalcocite [Cu{sub 2}S], digenite [Cu{sub 9}S{sub 5}], covellite [CuS], non-stoichiometric quenched Cu–Fe–S phases). Soils from humid subtropical areas exhibit higher available concentrations of metal(loids), and higher frequencies of weathering features (especially for copper-bearing oxides such as delafossite [Cu{sup 1+} Fe{sup 3+} O{sub 2}]) are observed. In contrast, metal(loid)s are efficiently retained in semi-arid soils, where a high proportion of non-weathered smelter slag particles and low-solubility Ca–Cu–Pb arsenates occur. Our results indicate that compared to semi-arid areas (where inorganic contaminants were rather immobile in soils despite their high concentrations) a higher potential risk exists for agriculture in mine- and smelter-affected humid subtropical areas (where metal(loid) contaminants can be highly available for the uptake by crops). - Highlights: • Mining- and smelter-derived particles identified in subtropical and semi-arid soils • Sulphides, oxides, and metal-bearing arsenates most frequently encountered

  1. The river ecosystem

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Descy, J.P.; Lambinon, J.

    1984-01-01

    From the standpoint of the ecologist, a river is an ecosystem characterized by its biocoenosis, in dynamic equilibrium with the abiotic environment. This ecosystem can be envisaged at the structural level by examining its physical, chemical and biological properties, together with the relationships existing between these compartments. The biocoenotic structure of a river is relatively complex: it manifests, among other specific features, the presence of plankton communities which show marked space-time variations. The function of the river ecosystem can be approximated by a study of the relationships between the biotic and abiotic components: primary production, secondary production, recycling of organic matter, etc. Lotic environments are subject to frequent disturbance from various forms of man-made pollution: organic pollution, eutrophization, thermal pollution, mineral pollution, contamination by organic and mineral micropollutants, as well as by radionuclides, mechanical pollution and physical degradation. The biocoenotic effects of these forms of pollution may be evaluated, in particular, using biological indicators (bioindicators): these are either able to show the overall impact of the pollution on the biocoenosis or else they permit the detection and evaluation of certain pollutant forms. (author)

  2. 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.

  3. Effects of organic amendments and mulches on soil microbial communities in quarry restoration under semiarid climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luna Ramos, Lourdes; Pastorelli, Roberta; Miralles Mellado, Isabel; Fabiani, Arturo; Bastida López, Felipe; Hernández Fernández, María Teresa; García Izquierdo, Carlos; Solé Benet, Albert

    2015-04-01

    Mining activities generate loss of the quality of the environment and landscape specially in arid and semiarid Mediterranean regions. A precondition for ecosystem reclamation in such highly disturbed mining areas is the development of functional soils with appropriate levels of organic matter. In an experimental soil restoration in limestone quarries from Sierra de Gádor (Almería), SE Spain, 9 plots 15 x 5 m were prepared to test organic amendments (compost from solid urban residues-DOW-, sludge from urban water treatment-SS-, control-NA-) and different mulches (fine gravel-GM-, wood chips-WM-, control-NM-) with the aim to improve soil/substrate properties and to reduce evaporation and erosion. In each experimental plot, 75 native plants (Macrochloa tenacissima, Anthyllis terniflora and Anthyllis cytisoides) were planted. After 5 years from the start of the experiment, we evaluated how microbial community composition responded to the organic amendments and mulches. Microbial community composition of both bacteria and fungi was determined by phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) and polymerase chain reaction-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (PCR-DGGE) fingerprinting. The results of the two-way ANOVA showed that PLFAs were significantly affected by organic amendments but not by the mulches or interaction of both factors. Experimental plots with DOW showed significantly higher level of fungal PLFAs than those with SS and NA, even higher than the reference undisturbed soil. However, any plot with organic amendments did not reach the content of bacterial PLFAs of the reference soils. The bacterial diversity (evaluated by diversity indices calculated from DGGE profiles) was greater in soil samples taken under NA and GM. Comparing these indices in fungal DGGE, we found greater values for soil samples taken under DOW and without mulches. Results from UPGMA analysis showed significant differences in the structure of soil bacterial communities from the different treatments

  4. 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

  5. Soil carbon sequestration in rainfed production systems in the semiarid tropics of India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Srinivasarao, Ch; Lal, Rattan; Kundu, Sumanta; Babu, M B B Prasad; Venkateswarlu, B; Singh, Anil Kumar

    2014-07-15

    Severe soil organic carbon (SOC) depletion is a major constraint in rainfed agroecosystems in India because it directly influences soil quality, crop productivity and sustainability. The magnitude of soil organic, inorganic and total carbon stocks in the semi-arid bioclimate is estimated at 2.9, 1.9 and 4.8 Pg respectively. Sorghum, finger millet, pearl millet, maize, rice, groundnut, soybean, cotton, food legumes etc. are predominant crop production systems with a little, if any, recycling of organic matter. Data from the long term experiments on major rainfed production systems in India show that higher amount of crop residue C input (Mg/ha/y) return back to soil in soybean-safflower (3.37) system practiced in Vertisol region of central India. Long term addition of chemical fertilizer and organic amendments improved the SOC stock. For every Mg/ha increase in SOC stock in the root zone, there occurs an increase in grain yield (kg/ha) of 13, 101, 90, 170, 145, 18 and 160 for groundnut, finger millet, sorghum, pearl millet, soybean and rice, respectively. Long-term cropping without using any organic amendment and/or mineral fertilizers can severely deplete the SOC stock which is the highest in groundnut-finger millet system (0.92 Mg C/ha/y) in Alfisols. Some agroforestry systems also have a huge potential of C sequestration to the extent of 10Mg/ha/y in short rotation eucalyptus and Leucaena plantations. The critical level of C input requirements for maintaining SOC at the antecedent level ranges from 1.1 to 3.5 Mg C/ha/y and differs among soil type and production systems. National level policy interventions needed to promote sustainable use of soil and water resources include prohibiting residue burning, reducing deforestation, promoting integrated farming systems and facilitating payments for ecosystem services. A wide spread adoption of these measures can improve soil quality through increase in SOC sequestration and improvement in agronomic productivity of

  6. Applying an Avian Index of Biological Integrity to Assess and Monitor Arid and Semi-arid Riparian Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-01-01

    e.g., foraging or reproduction behavior). Measurement of the IHD. The purpose of the IHD is to establish a gradient of human disturbance that may...sparverius Resident Insectivore Ground Hawk PIF 2A Non-Dependent Native Cavity Domestic Peacock Pavo cristatus Resident Granivore Ground Captive

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2008-01-01

    Knowledge 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

  8. Impact of hydraulic redistribution on multispecies vegetation water use in a semi-arid ecosystem: An experimental and modeling synthesis

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

    A key challenge in critical zone science is to understand and predict the interaction between aboveground and belowground ecohydrologic processes. One of the links that facilitates the interaction is hydraulic redistribution (HR), a phenomenon by which roots serve as preferential pathways for water movement from wet to dry soil layers. We use a multi-layer canopy model in conjunction with experimental data to examine the influence of HR on eco-hydrologic processes, such as transpiration, soil evaporation, and soil moisture, which characterize the competitive and facilitative dynamics between velvet mesquite and understory bunchgrass. Both measured and simulated results show that hydraulic descent (HD) dominates sap flux during the wet monsoon season, whereas hydraulic lift (HL) occurs between precipitation events. About 17% of precipitation is absorbed as soil-moisture, with the rest of the precipitation returning to the atmosphere as evapotranspiration. In the wet season, 13% of precipitation is transferred to deep soil (>2m) through mesquite roots, and in the dry season, 9% of this redistributed water is transported back to shallow soil depth (competitive advantage over understory bunchgrass through HR.

  9. Oceans Apart: Using Stable Isotopes to Assess the Role of Fog in Two Semi-Arid Island Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmitt, S.; Riveros-Iregui, D.; Hu, J.

    2017-12-01

    Fog is a significant hydrologic input in many tropical island systems, and is a water source particularly susceptible to the effects of global climate change. To better understand the role of fog as a hydrological input in two oceanic islands, we address two principal questions: 1) Do seasonal or extreme precipitation events lead to distinguishable differences in stable isotopic signatures of water inputs within and between sites and islands? 2) Does microclimatic zonation lead to distinguishable differences in isotopic signatures of meteoric inputs between different sites on a given island? To perform this analysis, meteoric water samples (fog, rain and throughfall) were collected over three sites (one windward and two leeward) and three field seasons in San Cristobal, Galapagos to ascertain the isotopic signature of each water balance input during different times of year. An additional field season of data in Ascension Island, UK, was also used to perform a comparative analysis between islands. A stable isotope mixing model was used to determine the relative proportion of surface water and groundwater that is composed of fog, and to demonstrate spatiotemporal patterns of recharge dynamics in each island system. Local meteoric water lines were generated for each site and over each field season to determine the source of hydrologic inputs (trade wind-generated orographic precipitation versus storm precipitation) and the role of locally recycled water in the overall water balance of each site. Our results will approximate potential changes in water inputs to San Cristobal and Ascension, respectively, that could be impacted by an increase in cloud base height or a change in weather patterns brought about by climate change.

  10. Characterizing the Danish telemedicine ecosystem

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Manikas, Konstantinos; Hansen, Klaus Marius

    2013-01-01

    and interoperability issues, silo solutions, and lack of guidelines and standards. In this paper, we characterise the ecosystem evolved around the telemedicine services in Denmark and study the actors involved in this ecosystem. We establish a method for this study, where we define two actor roles and ways...... of characterizing actor contributions, and apply the method to the largest healthcare region of Denmark. Our findings reveal an ecosystem that is relatively closed to new actors, where the actors tend to be related to single telemedicine applications, the applications have low connectivity, and the most influential...... actors of the ecosystem can be characterised as both being beneficial and inhibitory to the ecosystem prosperity....

  11. 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

  12. Ecosystem Management. A Management View

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ravn-Jonsen, Lars

    The need for management of the marine ecosystem using a broad perspective has been recommended under a variety of names. This paper uses the term Ecosystem Management, which is seen as a convergence between the ecological idea of an organisational hierarchy and the idea of strategic planning...... with a planning hierarchy---with the ecosystem being the strategic planning level. Management planning requires, in order to establish a quantifiable means and ends chain, that the goals at the ecosystem level can be linked to operational levels; ecosystem properties must therefore be reducible to lower...... organisational levels. Emergence caused by constraints at both the component and system levels gives rise to phenomena that can create links between the ecosystem and operational levels. To create these links, the ecosystem's functional elements must be grouped according to their functionality, ignoring any...

  13. 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

  14. Population biology of the mangrove crab Ucides cordatus (Decapoda: Ucididae) in an estuary from semiarid northeastern Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leite, Marcos de Miranda Leão; Rezende, Carla Ferreira; Silva, José Roberto Feitosa

    2013-12-01

    The mangrove crab Ucides cordatus is an important resource of estuarine regions along the Brazilian coast. U. cordatus is distributed from Florida, U.S.A., to the coast of Santa Catarina, Brazil. The species plays an important role in processing leaf litter in the mangroves, which optimizes the processes of energy transfer and nutrient cycling, and is considered a keystone species in the ecosystem. Population declines have been reported in different parts of the Brazilian coast. In the present study we evaluated aspects of the population structure, sex ratio and size at morphological sexual maturity. We analyzed 977 specimens collected monthly over 24 months (2010-2012), in a mangrove of the Jaguaribe River, in the municipality of Aracati on the East coast of Ceará state, Northeastern Brazil. The study area has a mild semiarid tropical climate, with mean temperatures between 26 and 28 degrees C. The area is located within the eco-region of the semiarid Northeast coast, where mangroves occur in small areas and estuaries are affected by mesomareal regimes. The population structure was evaluated by the frequency distribution of size classes in each month, and the overall sex ratio was analyzed using the chi-square test. Size at morphological sexual maturity was estimated based on the allometry of the cheliped of the males and the abdomen width of the females, using the program REGRANS. The size-frequency distribution was unimodal in both sexes. The overall sex ratio (M:F) (1:0.6) was significantly different from 1:1. Analysis of the sex ratio by size class showed that the proportion of males increased significantly from size class 55-60 mm upward, and this pattern persisted in the larger size classes. In the smaller size classes the sex ratio did not differ from 1:1. The size at morphological sexual maturity was estimated at a carapace width (CW) of 52 mm and 45 mm for males and females, respectively. Analysis of the population parameters indicated that the

  15. A mass collection of Triatoma ryckmani (Hemiptera:Reduviidaefrom Stenocereus eichlamii (Cactaceaein the semiarid region of Guatemala

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ricardo Marroquín M

    2004-12-01

    Full Text Available A population of 216 specimens of Stenocereus eichlamii (Cactaceae,Subfamily Cereoideae was surveyed for Triatoma ryckmani (vector of Chagas diseasein a one hectare plot of semiarid habitat in Guatemala. Out of 44 plants that had dead and dry sections,24 plants had a total of 103 specimens of T.ryckmani .In comparison with other areas of Guatemala,T.ryckmani is well established in the semiarid ecosystem (Infestation index 54.5,density =2.3 and crowding index 4.3.The insects were mainly found (52.4%in the dead portions of S.eichlamii 2.0 to 3.2 m above the ground (X² =26.0,PEn Guatemala,en una hectárea de la región semiárida,se encontraron 216 cactus de Stenocereus eichlamii (Cactaceae,44 de ellos tenían alguna parte del tallo en condiciones secas.103 Triatoma ryckmani fueron halladas en 24 de esos 44 S.eichlamii .Una comparación de los índices entomológicos con otros vectores domiciliares de la enfermedad de Chagas en Guatemala,da la idea que T. ryckmani está bien establecida en el ecosistema semiárido (índice de infestación de 54.5,índice de densidad de 2.3 e índice de hacinamiento de 4.3.Los triatominos fueron hallados preferentemente en las partes muertas de S.eichlamii entre 2.0 a 3.2 m sobre el nivel del suelo (52.4%de triatominos colectados,X ²=26.0,p<0.00001,el siguiente entre 3.2 a 5.0 m (35.9%y finalmente 0.2 a 2.0 m (11.6%. El 75.7 %estaba en condiciones de ayuno y 24.3 %estaban llenas de sangre.Para determinar la presencia de flagelados,43 T.ryckmani fueron disectadas, (primera evaluación de parasitemia en esta especie.Ningún flagelado fue hallado en estos triatominos.Este es el primer reporte de la dinámica poblacional de T.ryckmani en su hábitat silvestre.

  16. Ecosystem-based management and the wealth of ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

    We merge inclusive wealth theory with ecosystem-based management (EBM) to address two challenges in the science of sustainable management of ecosystems. First, we generalize natural capital theory to approximate realized shadow prices for multiple interacting natural capital stocks (species) making up an ecosystem. These prices enable ecosystem components to be better included in wealth-based sustainability measures. We show that ecosystems are best envisioned as portfolios of assets, where the portfolio’s performance depends on the performance of the underlying assets influenced by their interactions. Second, changes in ecosystem wealth provide an attractive headline index for EBM, regardless of whether ecosystem wealth is ultimately included in a broader wealth index. We apply our approach to the Baltic Sea ecosystem, focusing on the interacting community of three commercially important fish species: cod, herring, and sprat. Our results incorporate supporting services embodied in the shadow price of a species through its trophic interactions. Prey fish have greater shadow prices than expected based on market value, and predatory fish have lower shadow prices than expected based on market value. These results are because correctly measured shadow prices reflect interdependence and limits to substitution. We project that ecosystem wealth in the Baltic Sea fishery ecosystem generally increases conditional on the EBM-inspired multispecies maximum sustainable yield management beginning in 2017, whereas continuing the current single-species management generally results in declining wealth. PMID:28588145

  17. Ecosystem-based management and the wealth of ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-20

    We merge inclusive wealth theory with ecosystem-based management (EBM) to address two challenges in the science of sustainable management of ecosystems. First, we generalize natural capital theory to approximate realized shadow prices for multiple interacting natural capital stocks (species) making up an ecosystem. These prices enable ecosystem components to be better included in wealth-based sustainability measures. We show that ecosystems are best envisioned as portfolios of assets, where the portfolio's performance depends on the performance of the underlying assets influenced by their interactions. Second, changes in ecosystem wealth provide an attractive headline index for EBM, regardless of whether ecosystem wealth is ultimately included in a broader wealth index. We apply our approach to the Baltic Sea ecosystem, focusing on the interacting community of three commercially important fish species: cod, herring, and sprat. Our results incorporate supporting services embodied in the shadow price of a species through its trophic interactions. Prey fish have greater shadow prices than expected based on market value, and predatory fish have lower shadow prices than expected based on market value. These results are because correctly measured shadow prices reflect interdependence and limits to substitution. We project that ecosystem wealth in the Baltic Sea fishery ecosystem generally increases conditional on the EBM-inspired multispecies maximum sustainable yield management beginning in 2017, whereas continuing the current single-species management generally results in declining wealth.

  18. Global synthesis of groundwater recharge in semiarid and arid regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scanlon, Bridget R.; Keese, K.E.; Flint, A.L.; Flint, L.E.; Gaye, C.B.; Edmunds, W.M.; Simmers, I.

    2006-01-01

    Global synthesis of the findings from ∼140 recharge study areas in semiarid and arid regions provides important information on recharge rates, controls, and processes, which are critical for sustainable water development. Water resource evaluation, dryland salinity assessment (Australia), and radioactive waste disposal (US) are among the primary goals of many of these recharge studies. The chloride mass balance (CMB) technique is widely used to estimate recharge. Average recharge rates estimated over large areas (40–374 000 km2) range from 0·2 to 35 mm year−1, representing 0·1–5% of long-term average annual precipitation. Extreme local variability in recharge, with rates up to ∼720 m year−1, results from focussed recharge beneath ephemeral streams and lakes and preferential flow mostly in fractured systems. System response to climate variability and land use/land cover (LU/LC) changes is archived in unsaturated zone tracer profiles and in groundwater level fluctuations. Inter-annual climate variability related to El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) results in up to three times higher recharge in regions within the SW US during periods of frequent El Niños (1977–1998) relative to periods dominated by La Niñas (1941–1957). Enhanced recharge related to ENSO is also documented in Argentina. Climate variability at decadal to century scales recorded in chloride profiles in Africa results in recharge rates of 30 mm year−1 during the Sahel drought (1970–1986) to 150 mm year−1 during non-drought periods. Variations in climate at millennial scales in the SW US changed systems from recharge during the Pleistocene glacial period (≥10 000 years ago) to discharge during the Holocene semiarid period. LU/LC changes such as deforestation in Australia increased recharge up to about 2 orders of magnitude. Changes from natural grassland and shrublands to dryland (rain-fed) agriculture altered systems from discharge (evapotranspiration, ET) to recharge in

  19. 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.

  20. Quality Measures for Digital Business Ecosystems Formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raza, Muhammad; Hussain, Farookh Khadeer; Chang, Elizabeth

    To execute a complex business task, business entities may need to collaborate with each other as individually they may not have the capability or willingness to perform the task on its own. Such collaboration can be seen implemented in digital business ecosystems in the form of simple coalitions using multi-agent systems or by employing Electronic Institutions. A major challenge is choosing optimal partners who will deliver the agreed commitments, and act in the coalition’s interest. Business entities are scaled according to their quality level. Determining the quality of previously unknown business entities and predicting the quality of such an entity in a dynamic environment are crucial issues in Business Ecosystems. A comprehensive quality management system grounded in the concepts of Trust and Reputation can help address these issues.

  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. Arid and semiarid land stewardship: A 10-year review of accomplishments and contributions of the lnternational Arid Lands Consortium

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peter F. Ffolliott; Jeffrey O. Dawson; James T. Fisher; Itshack Moshe; Darrell W. DeBoers; Timothy. E. Fulbright; John Tracy; Abdullah Al Musa; Carter Johnson; Jim P. M. Chamie

    2001-01-01

    The International Arid Lands Consortium (IALC) was established in 1990 to promote research, education, and training activities related to the development, management, and restoration or reclamation of arid and semiarid lands worldwide. The IALC, a leading international organization, supports ecological sustainability and development of arid and semiarid lands. Building...

  4. Resilience to Changing Snow Depth in a Shrubland Ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loik, M. E.

    2008-12-01

    Snowfall is the dominant hydrologic input for high elevations and latitudes of the arid- and semi-arid western United States. Sierra Nevada snowpack provides numerous important services for California, but is vulnerable to anthropogenic forcing of the coupled ocean-atmosphere system. GCM and RCM scenarios envision reduced snowpack and earlier melt under a warmer climate, but how will these changes affect soil and plant water relations and ecosystem processes? And, how resilient will this ecosystem be to short- and long-term forcing of snow depth and melt timing? To address these questions, our experiments utilize large- scale, long-term roadside snow fences to manipulate snow depth and melt timing in eastern California, USA. Interannual snow depth averages 1344 mm with a CV of 48% (April 1, 1928-2008). Snow fences altered snow melt timing by up to 18 days in high-snowfall years, and affected short-term soil moisture pulses less in low- than medium- or high-snowfall years. Sublimation in this arid location accounted for about 2 mol m- 2 of water loss from the snowpack in 2005. Plant water potential increased after the ENSO winter of 2005 and stayed relatively constant for the following three years, even after the low snowfall of winter 2007. Over the long-term, changes in snow depth and melt timing have impacted cover or biomass of Achnatherum thurberianum, Elymus elemoides, and Purshia tridentata. Growth of adult conifers (Pinus jeffreyi and Pi. contorta) was not equally sensitive to snow depth. Thus, complex interactions between snow depth, soil water inputs, physiological processes, and population patterns help drive the resilience of this ecosystem to changes in snow depth and melt timing.

  5. 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.)

  6. 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.

  7. Introduced and invasive species in novel rangeland ecosystems: friends or foes?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belnap, Jayne; Ludwig, John A.; Wilcox, Bradford P.; Betancourt, Julio L.; Dean, W. Richard J.; Hoffmann, Benjamin D.; Milton, Sue J.

    2012-01-01

    Globally, new combinations of introduced and native plant and animal species have changed rangelands into novel ecosystems. Whereas many rangeland stakeholders (people who use or have an interest in rangelands) view intentional species introductions to improve forage and control erosion as beneficial, others focus on unintended costs, such as increased fire risk, loss of rangeland biodiversity, and threats to conservation efforts, specifically in nature reserves and parks. These conflicting views challenge all rangeland stakeholders, especially those making decisions on how best to manage novel ecosystems. To formulate a conceptual framework for decision making, we examined a wide range of novel ecosystems, created by intentional and unintentional introductions of nonnative species and land-use–facilitated spread of native ones. This framework simply divides decision making into two types: 1) straightforward–certain, and 2) complex–uncertain. We argue that management decisions to retain novel ecosystems are certain when goods and services provided by the system far outweigh the costs of restoration, for example in the case of intensively managed Cenchrus pastures. Decisions to return novel ecosystems to natural systems are also certain when the value of the system is low and restoration is easy and inexpensive as in the case of biocontrol of Opuntia infestations. In contrast, decisions whether to retain or restore novel ecosystems become complex and uncertain in cases where benefits are low and costs of control are high as, for example, in the case of stopping the expansion of Prosopis and Juniperus into semiarid rangelands. Decisions to retain or restore novel ecosystems are also complex and uncertain when, for example, nonnative Eucalyptus trees expand along natural streams, negatively affecting biodiversity, but also providing timber and honey. When decision making is complex and uncertain, we suggest that rangeland managers utilize cost–benefit analyses

  8. Mowing exacerbates the loss of ecosystem stability under nitrogen enrichment in a temperate grassland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yunhai; Loreau, Michel; He, Nianpeng; Zhang, Guangming; Han, Xingguo

    2017-08-04

    1. Global reactive nitrogen (N) is projected to further increase in the coming years. Previous studies have demonstrated that N enrichment weakens the temporal stability of the ecosystem and the primary productivity through decreased biodiversity and species asynchrony. Mowing is a globally common practise in grasslands; and infrequent mowing can maintain or increase plant diversity under N enrichment conditions. However, it is unclear how infrequent mowing affects ecosystem stability in the face of N enrichment. 2. By independently manipulating the frequency (twice vs. monthly additions per year) and rate (i.e. 0, 1, 2, 3, 5, 10, 15, 20, and 50 g N m -2 year -1 ) of NH 4 NO 3 inputs and mowing (unmown vs. mown) over 3 years (2011-2013) in a temperate grassland of northern China, we aimed to examine the interactive effects of N enrichment and mowing on ecosystem stability. 3. The results show that mowing maintained a positive relationship between species richness and ecosystem stability despite N addition, but that it exacerbated the negative effects of N addition on ecosystem stability. Mowing increased mean primary productivity and plant species richness, but it also increased the synchrony of population fluctuations and the variability of primary productivity under N enrichment, thereby contributing to a decline in the ecosystem stability. 4. Thus, our study reveals that infrequent mowing can buffer the negative effects of N enrichment on biodiversity to some extent and further increase the primary productivity, but it exacerbates the loss of ecosystem stability with N enrichment, thereby threatening local and/or semiarid regional food security.

  9. Sustainable web ecosystem design

    CERN Document Server

    O'Toole, Greg

    2013-01-01

    This book is about the process of creating web-based systems (i.e., websites, content, etc.) that consider each of the parts, the modules, the organisms - binary or otherwise - that make up a balanced, sustainable web ecosystem. In the current media-rich environment, a website is more than a collection of relative html documents of text and images on a static desktop computer monitor. There is now an unlimited combination of screens, devices, platforms, browsers, locations, versions, users, and exabytes of data with which to interact. Written in a highly approachable, practical style, this boo

  10. Prediction of soil stability and erosion in semiarid regions using numerical hydrological model (MCAT) and airborne hyperspectral imagery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brook, Anna; Wittenberg, Lea

    2015-04-01

    Long-term environmental monitoring is addressed to identify physical and biological changes and progresses taking place in the ecosystem. This basic action of landscape monitoring is an essential part of the systematic long-term surveillance, aiming to evaluate, assess and predict the spatial change and progresses. Indeed, it provides a context for wide range of diverse studies and research frameworks from regional or global scale. Spatial-temporal trends and changes at various scales (massive to less certain) require establishing consistent baseline data over time. One of the spatial cases of landscape monitoring is dedicated to soil formation and pedological progresses. It is previously acknowledged that changes in soil affect the functionality of the environment, so monitoring changes recently become important cause considerable resources in areas such as environmental management, sustainability services, and protecting the environment healthy. Given the above, it can be concluded that monitoring changes in the base for sustainable development. The hydrological response of bare soils and watersheds in semiarid regions to intense rainfall events is known to be complex due to multiply physical and structural impacts and feedbacks. As a result, the comprehensive evaluations of mathematical models including detailed consideration of uncertainties in the modeling of hydrological and environmental systems are of increasing importance. The presented method incorporates means of remote sensing data, hydrological and climate data and implementing dedicated and integrative Monte Carlo Analysis Toolbox (MCAT) model for semiarid region. Complexity of practical models to represent spatial systems requires an extensive understanding of the spatial phenomena, while providing realistic balance of sensitivity and corresponding uncertainty levels. Nowadays a large number of dedicated mathematical models applied to assess environmental hydrological process. Among the most

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Isolating and Quantifying the Effects of Climate and CO2 Changes (1980–2014 on the Net Primary Productivity in Arid and Semiarid China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xia Fang

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Although the net primary productivity (NPP of arid/semiarid ecosystem is generally thought to be controlled by precipitation, other factors like CO2 fertilization effect and temperature change may also have important impacts, especially in the cold temperate areas of the northern China, where significant warming was reported in the recent decades. However, the impacts of climate and atmospheric CO2 changes to the NPP dynamics in the arid and semiarid areas of China (ASA-China is still unclear, hindering the development of climate adaptation strategy. Based on numeric experiments and factorial analysis, this study isolated and quantified the effects of climate and CO2 changes between 1980–2014 on ASA-China’s NPP, using the Arid Ecosystem Model (AEM that performed well in predicting ecosystems’ responses to climate/CO2 change according to our evaluation based on 21 field experiments. Our results showed that the annual variation in NPP was dominated by changes in precipitation, which reduced the regional NPP by 10.9 g·C/(m2·year. The precipitation-induced loss, however, has been compensated by the CO2 fertilization effect that increased the regional NPP by 14.9 g·C/(m2·year. The CO2 fertilization effect particularly benefited the extensive croplands in the Northern China Plain, but was weakened in the dry grassland of the central Tibetan Plateau due to suppressed plant activity as induced by a drier climate. Our study showed that the climate change in ASA-China and the ecosystem’s responses were highly heterogeneous in space and time. There were complex interactive effects among the climate factors, and different plant functional types (e.g., phreatophyte vs. non-phreatophyte could have distinct responses to similar climate change. Therefore, effective climate-adaptive strategies should be based on careful analysis of local climate pattern and understanding of the characteristic responses of the dominant species. Particularly, China

  14. 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.

  15. Redfield Ratios in Inland Waters: Higher Biological Control of C:N:P Ratios in Tropical Semi-arid High Water Residence Time Lakes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  16. Assessment of the Current State of Agropastoral Landscapes in Semi-Arid Areas of the Republic of Kalmykia with Application of Gis-Technologies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  17. Radio-capacity of ecosystems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kultakhmedov, Yu.; Kultakhmedova-Vyshnyakova, V.

    1997-01-01

    This paper consider a universal approach to ecosystems of different types, based on representation of their radio-capacity. The concept of ecosystem includes reproduction of components (bio-productivity) and conditions such as maintaining of environment quality. Radio-capacity in the case of radionuclide pollution appears in accumulation and redistribution of radionuclides in the ecosystem. As a result the radionuclides are redistributed and buried in soil or lake bottom sediments. Estimation models for the radio-capacity of water and terrestrial ecosystems are represented. The calculations of the radio-capacity factor of water ecosystems are performed, and the high radio-capacity of a freshwater reservoir (F=0.6-0.8) and extremely high radio-capacity of a reservoir cascade (F c =0.99) is shown material from the Dnieper's cascade reservoirs. The methods of radio-capacity estimation of agroecosystems, wood and marine ecosystems are developed. (authors)

  18. Water environments: anthropogenic pressures and ecosystem changes in the Atlantic drainage basins of Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marques, Marcia; da Costa, Monica F; Mayorga, Maria Irles de O; Pinheiro, Patrícia R

    2004-02-01

    Densely occupied drainage basins and coastal zones in developing countries that are facing economic growth are likely to suffer from moderate to severe environmental impacts regarding different issues. The catchment basins draining towards the Atlantic coast from northeastern to southern Brazil include a wide range of climatic zones and diverse ecosystems. Within its borders lies the Atlantic rain forest, significant extensions of semiarid thorn forests (caatinga), vast tree and scrub woodlands (cerrado) and most of the 6670 km of the Brazilian coast and its marine ecosystems. In recent decades, human activities have increasingly advanced over these natural resources. Littoralization has imposed a burden on coastal habitats and communities. Most of the native vegetation of the cerrado and caatinga was removed and only 7% of the original Atlantic rainforest still exists. Estuaries, bays and coastal lagoons have been irreversibly damaged. Land uses, damming and water diversion have become the major driving forces for habitat loss and aquatic ecosystem modification. Regardless of the contrast between the drought-affected northeastern Brazil and the much more prosperous and industrialized southeastern/southern Brazil, the impacts on habitat and communities were found equally severe in both cases. Attempts to halt environmental degradation have not been effective. Instead of focusing on natural resources separately, it is suggested that more integrated environmental policies that focus on aquatic ecosystems integrity are introduced.

  19. Ecosystem services for energy security

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Athanas, Andrea; McCormick, Nadine

    2010-09-15

    The world is at an energy crossroads. The changes underway will have implications for ecosystems and livelihoods. Energy security is the reliable supply of affordable energy, of which there are two dimensions; reliability and resilience. Changes in ecosystem services linked to degradation and climate change have the potential to impact both on the reliabiity of energy systems and on their resiliance. Investing in ecosystems can help safeguard energy systems, and mitigate unforeseen risks to energy security. The energy and conservation community should come together to build reliable and resilliant energy systems in ways which recognise and value supporting ecosystems.

  20. Millennium Ecosystem Assessment: MA Biodiversity

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment: MA Biodiversity provides data and information on amphibians, disease agents (extent and distribution of infectious and parasitic...

  1. Mercury in Nordic ecosystems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Munthe, John; Waengberg, Ingvar (IVL Swedish Environmental Research Inst., Stockholm (SE)); Rognerud, Sigurd; Fjeld, Eirik (Norwegian Inst. for Water Research (NIVA), Oslo (Norway)); Verta, Matti; Porvari, Petri (Finnish Environment Inst. (SYKE), Helsinki (Finland)); Meili, Markus (Inst. of Applied Environmental Research (ITM), Stockholm (Sweden))

    2007-12-15

    This report provides a first comprehensive compilation and assessment of available data on mercury in air, precipitation, sediments and fish in the Nordic countries. The main conclusion is that mercury levels in Nordic ecosystems continue to be affected by long-range atmospheric transport. The geographical patterns of mercury concentrations in both sediments and fish are also strongly affected by ecosystem characteristics and in some regions possibly by historical pollution. An evaluation of geographical variations in mercury concentrations in precipitation indicates that the influence from anthropogenic sources from Central European areas is still significant. The annual variability of deposition is large and dependant of precipitation amounts. An evaluation of data from stations around the North Sea has indicated a significant decrease in mercury concentrations in precipitation indicating a continuous decrease of emissions in Europe (Waengberg et al., 2007). For mercury in air (TGM), the geographical pattern is less pronounced indicating the influence of mercury emissions and distribution over a larger geographical area (i.e. hemispherical transport). Comparison of recent (surficial) and historical lake sediments show significantly elevated concentrations of mercury most likely caused by anthropogenic atmospheric deposition over the past century. The highest pollution impact was observed in the coastal areas of southern Norway, in south western Finland and in Sweden from the coastal areas in the southwest across the central parts to the north-east. The general increase in recent versus old sediments was 2-5 fold. Data on mercury in Nordic freshwater fish was assembled and evaluated with respect to geographical variations. The fish data were further compared with temporal and spatial trends in mercury deposition and mercury contamination of lake sediments in order to investigate the coupling between atmospheric transport and deposition of mercury and local mercury

  2. Predicting Impacts of Increased CO2 and Climate Change on the Water Cycle and Water Quality in the Semiarid James River Basin of the Midwestern USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Yiping; Liu, Shu-Guang; Gallant, Alisa L.

    2012-01-01

    Emissions of greenhouse gases and aerosols from human activities continue to alter the climate and likely will have significant impacts on the terrestrial hydrological cycle and water quality, especially in arid and semiarid regions. We applied an improved Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) to evaluate impacts of increased atmospheric CO2 concentration and potential climate change on the water cycle and nitrogen loads in the semiarid James River Basin (JRB) in the Midwestern United States. We assessed responses of water yield, soil water content, groundwater recharge, and nitrate nitrogen (NO3–N) load under hypothetical climate-sensitivity scenarios in terms of CO2, precipitation, and air temperature. We extended our predictions of the dynamics of these hydrological variables into the mid-21st century with downscaled climate projections integrated across output from six General Circulation Models. Our simulation results compared against the baseline period 1980 to 2009 suggest the JRB hydrological system is highly responsive to rising levels of CO2 concentration and potential climate change. Under our scenarios, substantial decrease in precipitation and increase in air temperature by the mid-21st century could result in significant reduction in water yield, soil water content, and groundwater recharge. Our model also estimated decreased NO3–N load to streams, which could be beneficial, but a concomitant increase in NO3–N concentration due to a decrease in streamflow likely would degrade stream water and threaten aquatic ecosystems. These results highlight possible risks of drought, water supply shortage, and water quality degradation in this basin.

  3. A missing piece of the puzzle in climate change hotspots: Near-surface turbulent interactions controlling ET-soil moisture coupling in semiarid areas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haghighi, Erfan; Gianotti, Daniel J.; Rigden, Angela J.; Salvucci, Guido D.; Kirchner, James W.; Entekhabi, Dara

    2017-04-01

    Being located in the transitional zone between dry and wet climate areas, semiarid ecosystems (and their associated ecohydrological processes) play a critical role in controlling climate change and global warming. Land evapotranspiration (ET), which is a central process in the climate system and a nexus of the water, energy and carbon cycles, typically accounts for up to 95% of the water budget in semiarid areas. Thus, the manner in which ET is partitioned into soil evaporation and plant transpiration in these settings is of practical importance for water and carbon cycling and their feedbacks to the climate system. ET (and its partitioning) in these regions is primarily controlled by surface soil moisture which varies episodically under stochastic precipitation inputs. Important as the ET-soil moisture relationship is, it remains empirical, and physical mechanisms governing its nature and dynamics are underexplored. Thus, the objective of this study is twofold: (1) to provide observational evidence for the influence of surface cover conditions on ET-soil moisture coupling in semiarid regions using soil moisture data from NASA's SMAP satellite mission combined with independent observationally based ET estimates, and (2) to develop a relatively simple mechanistic modeling platform improving our physical understanding of interactions between micro and macroscale processes controlling ET and its partitioning in partially vegetated areas. To this end, we invoked concepts from recent progress in mechanistic modeling of turbulent energy flux exchange in bluff-rough regions, and developed a physically based ET model that explicitly accounts for how vegetation-induced turbulence in the near-surface region influences soil drying and thus ET rates and dynamics. Model predictions revealed nonlinearities in the strength of the ET-soil moisture relationship (i.e., ∂ET/∂θ) as vegetation cover fraction increases, accounted for by the nonlinearity of surface

  4. Appropriate experimental ecosystem warming methods by ecosystem, objective, and practicality

    Science.gov (United States)

    E.L. Aronson; S.G. McNulty

    2009-01-01

    The temperature of the Earth is rising, and is highly likely to continue to do so for the foreseeable future. The study of the effects of sustained heating on the ecosystems of the world is necessary so that wemight predict and respond to coming changes on both large and small spatial scales. To this end, ecosystem warming studies have...

  5. 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.

  6. Radionuclides in forest ecosystems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Strebl, F.; Bossew, P.; Kienzl, K.; Hiesel, E.

    2000-01-01

    Some regions within Austria were highly contaminated (> 50 kBq m -2 ) with radiocaesium by the deposition event following the Chernobyl reactor accident in 1986. Monitoring carried out by several Austrian institutions showed that in contrast to agricultural products radiocaesium levels in wild berries, mushrooms and game meat from forest ecosystems remained considerably higher over the years. To find reasons for this contrasting radioecological behavior and for the derivation of model input parameters, an extended study about the distribution of 137 Cs within three Austrian forest stands was carried out between 1987 and 1997. Results of this and subsequent studies are summarized and include the following ecosystem compartments: forest soils, litter, trees, bilberry, mushrooms, mosses, ferns, lichen, other vegetation, insects, small mammals, game animals and surface water. Besides the investigation of radioecological behavior an estimation of pool sizes and transfer rates as well as radioecological residence half times for 137 Cs in different forest species was used to compile a radiocaesium balance for the years 1988 and 1996. Soil proved to be an effective sink for radiocaesium contamination, but in long-term perspective it can act as a source for the contamination of vegetation and higher levels of the food-chain as well. Due to the high standing biomass trees represent the largest 'living' radiocaesium pool within the investigated forest stand. Dose estimations based on average consume habits gave no significant increase (less than 0.4 %) of the annual average population radiation dose due to the ingestion of forest products from the investigated forest stands. (author)

  7. Beyond the desertification narrative: a framework for agricultural drought in semi-arid East Africa

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Slegers, M.F.W.; Stroosnijder, L.

    2008-01-01

    In the 20th century, much research was done on desertification. Desertification developed into a complex and vague construct that means land degradation under specific conditions. Projects focusing on land degradation in semiarid East Africa have met with limited success because farmers prioritize

  8. Cattle grazing in semiarid forestlands: Habitat selection during periods of drought

    Science.gov (United States)

    C. L. Roever; T. DelCurto; M. Rowland; M. Vavra; M. Wisdom

    2015-01-01

    Climate change models are predicting increased frequency and severity of droughts in arid and semiarid environments, and these areas are responsible for much of the world’s livestock production. Because cattle (Bos Taurus) grazing can impact the abundance, distribution, and ecological function of native plant and animal communities, it is important...

  9. 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...

  10. Testing for thresholds in a semiarid grassland: The influence of prairie dogs and plague

    Science.gov (United States)

    State and transition models for semiarid grasslands in the Great Plains of North America suggest that the presence of herbivorous black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) on a site (1) creates a vegetation state characterized by increased dominance of annual forbs and unpalatable bunchgrasse...

  11. 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 ...

  12. 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

  13. 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 ...

  14. 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...

  15. Water scarcity under scenarios for global climate change and regional development in semiarid Northeastern Brazil

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Araújo, José Carlos; Döll, Petra; Güntner, Andreas; Krol, Martinus S.; Rodrigues Abreu, Cláudia Beghini; Hauschild, Maike; Mendiondo, Eduardo Mario

    2004-01-01

    The State of Ceará, located in semiarid Northeastern Brazil, suffers under irregularly recurring droughts that go along with water scarcity. Structural policies to control and reduce water scarcity, as water supply and demand management, should be seen as long-term planning, and thus have to

  16. 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

  17. Soil water retention as affected by tillage and residue management in semiarid Spain

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bescansa, P.; Imaz, M.J.; Virto, I.; Enrique, A.; Hoogmoed, W.B.

    2006-01-01

    Conservation tillage preserves soil water and this has been the main reason for its rapid dissemination in rainfed agriculture in semiarid climates. We determined the effects of conservation versus conventional tillage on available soil water capacity (AWC) and related properties at the end of 5

  18. 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.

  19. An automated microlysimeter to study dew formation and evaporation in arid and semiarid regions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Heusinkveld, B.G.; Berkowicz, S.M.; Jacobs, A.F.G.; Holtslag, A.A.M.; Hillen, W.C.A.M.

    2006-01-01

    The development of a simple and low-cost portable weighing microlysimeter that makes use of a load cell for automated recording and for studying daily dew formation, rate of accumulation, and subsequent evaporation in arid or semiarid regions during rainless seasons is presented. The sampling cup is

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Beekeeping technology adoption in arid and semi-arid lands of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This study was conducted in Kibwezi Sub-County, south eastern Kenya. This is a typical semiarid area and beekeeping is a major economic activity. Although various beekeeping technologies have been available in the study area for many decades, information on the effect of these technologies on the production levels of ...

  7. Effect on stone lines on soil chemical characteristics under continuous sorghum cropping in semiarid Burkina Faso

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zougmore, R.; Gnankambary, Z.; Guillobez, L.S.; Stroosnijder, L.

    2002-01-01

    In the semiarid Sahel, farmers commonly lay stone lines in fields to disperse runoff. This study was conducted in northern Burkina Faso to assess the chemical fertility of soil under a permanent, non-fertilised sorghum crop, which is the main production system in this area, 5 years after laying

  8. Integrated water and nutrient management for sorghum production in semi-arid Burkina Faso

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zougmoré, R.

    2003-01-01

    Loss of water and nutrients through runoff are major agriculture problems for inherent poor fertile soils in semiarid West Africa. The intensification of crop production requires an integration of soil, water and nutrient management that is locally acceptable and beneficial for smallholder farmers.

  9. 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...

  10. 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,

  11. Growth and yield performance of Jerusalem artichoke clones in a semiarid region of China

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Liu, Z.X.; Spiertz, J.H.J.; Sha, J.; Xue, S.; Xie, G.H.

    2012-01-01

    This study investigated biomass yield and growth characteristics of 26 Jerusalem artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus L.) clones and assessed it as a bioenergy crop for a semiarid region of the Loess Plateau in China. Genotype, year, and genotype ´ year interaction contributed to differences in crop

  12. 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.

  13. Soil moisture prediction to support management in semiarid wetlands during drying episodes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Aguilera, Héctor; Moreno, Luis; Wesseling, Jan G.; Jiménez-Hernández, María E.; Castaño, Silvino

    2016-01-01

    Wetlands supported by groundwater in semiarid regions are extremely vulnerable to the impacts of droughts, particularly anthropized systems. During drying periods, soil water content arises as the controlling factor for environmental and ecological disturbances such as the spread of invasive

  14. 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) ...

  15. 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)

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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 ...

  19. 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, ...

  20. 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

  1. Sustainable semiarid dryland production in relation to tillage effects on Hydrology: 1983-2013

    Science.gov (United States)

    Semiarid dryland crop yields with no-till, NT, residue management are often greater than stubble-mulch tillage, SM, as a result of improved soil conditions or water conservation, but knowledge of long-term tillage effects on the comprehensive field hydrology and sustained crop production is needed. ...

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Understanding the mobile money ecosystem

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tobbin, P.

    2011-01-01

    This paper discusses the structure of the new mobile money ecosystem and the roles of its key players. Mobile money is an evolving sector both in volume and in economic impact especially in the developing world. The paper is an exploratory study that investigates the structure of the ecosystem, p...

  7. Towards ecosystem-based management

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tam, Jamie C.; Link, Jason S.; Rossberg, Axel G.; Rogers, Stuart I.; Levin, Philip S.; Rochet, Marie-Joelle; Bundy, Alida; Belgrano, Andrea; Libralato, Simone; Tomczak, Maciej; Wolfshaar, van de K.E.; Pranovi, Fabio; Gorokhova, Elena; Large, Scott I.; Niquil, Nathalie; Greenstreet, Simon P.R.; Druon, Jean-Noel; Lesutiene, Jurate; Johansen, Marie; Preciado, Izaskun; Patricio, Joana; Palialexis, Andreas; Tett, Paul; Johansen, Geir O.; Houle, Jennifer; Rindorf, Anna

    2017-01-01

    Modern approaches to Ecosystem-Based Management and sustainable use of marine resources must account for the myriad of pressures (interspecies, human and environmental) affecting marine ecosystems. The network of feeding interactions between co-existing species and populations (food webs) are an

  8. Ecology in Small Aquatic Ecosystems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Mikkel René

    Small ecosystems are many-fold more abundant than their larger counterparts. Both on regional and global scale small lakes outnumber medium and large lakes and account for a much larger surface area. Small streams are also far more common than rivers. Despite their abundance small ecosystems are ...

  9. Bottomland Hardwood Ecosystem Management Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    John A. Stanturf; Calvin E. Meier

    1994-01-01

    Federal agency approaches to land management are undergoing a shift from parcel-specific concerns toward a more holistic, ecosystem management approach. Southern bottomland hardwood ecosystems provide important environmental services and commodity goods (Wharton et al. 1982), yet much of our knowledge of these systems comes from anecdotal information. The Bottomland...

  10. Carbon allocation in forest ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Creighton M. Litton; James W. Raich; Michael G. Ryan

    2007-01-01

    Carbon allocation plays a critical role in forest ecosystem carbon cycling. We reviewed existing literature and compiled annual carbon budgets for forest ecosystems to test a series of hypotheses addressing the patterns, plasticity, and limits of three components of allocation: biomass, the amount of material present; flux, the flow of carbon to a component per unit...

  11. Challenges in software ecosystems research

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Serebrenik, A.; Mens, T.; Crnkovic, I.

    2015-01-01

    The paper is a meta-analysis of the research field of software ecosystems, by method of surveying 26 authors in the field. It presents a relevant list of literature and six themes in which challenges for software ecosystems can be grouped: Architecture and Design, Governance, Dynamics and Evolution,

  12. Forest Ecosystem services: Water resources

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas P. Holmes; James Vose; Travis Warziniack; Bill Holman

    2017-01-01

    Since the publication of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MEA 2005), awareness has steadily grown regarding the importance of maintaining natural capital. Forest vegetation is a valuable source of natural capital, and the regulation of water quantity and quality is among the most important forest ecosystem services in many regions around the world. Changes in...

  13. An Indicator for ecosystem externalities in fishing

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ravn-Jonsen, Lars; Andersen, Ken Haste; Vestergaard, Niels

    Ecosystem externalities arise when one use of an ecosystem affects its other uses through the production functions of the ecosystem.We use simulations from a size-spectrum ecosystem model to investigate the ecosystem externality created by fishing of multiple species. The model is based upon...

  14. Ecosystem Services : In Nordic Freshwater Management

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Magnussen, Kristin; Hasler, Berit; Zandersen, Marianne

    Human wellbeing is dependent upon and benefit from ecosystem services which are delivered by well-functioning ecosystems. Ecosystem services can be mapped and assessed consistently within an ecosystem service framework. This project aims to explore the use and usefulness of the ecosystem service ...

  15. Experimental drought and heat can delay phenological development and reduce foliar and shoot growth in semiarid trees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adams, Henry D; Collins, Adam D; Briggs, Samuel P; Vennetier, Michel; Dickman, L Turin; Sevanto, Sanna A; Garcia-Forner, Núria; Powers, Heath H; McDowell, Nate G

    2015-11-01

    Higher temperatures associated with climate change are anticipated to trigger an earlier start to the growing season, which could increase the terrestrial C sink strength. Greater variability in the amount and timing of precipitation is also expected with higher temperatures, bringing increased drought stress to many ecosystems. We experimentally assessed the effects of higher temperature and drought on the foliar phenology and shoot growth of mature trees of two semiarid conifer species. We exposed field-grown trees to a ~45% reduction in precipitation with a rain-out structure ('drought'), a ~4.8 °C temperature increase with open-top chambers ('heat'), and a combination of both simultaneously ('drought + heat'). Over the 2013 growing season, drought, heat, and drought + heat treatments reduced shoot and needle growth in piñon pine (Pinus edulis) by ≥39%, while juniper (Juniperus monosperma) had low growth and little response to these treatments. Needle emergence on primary axis branches of piñon pine was delayed in heat, drought, and drought + heat treatments by 19-57 days, while secondary axis branches were less likely to produce needles in the heat treatment, and produced no needles at all in the drought + heat treatment. Growth of shoots and needles, and the timing of needle emergence correlated inversely with xylem water tension and positively with nonstructural carbohydrate concentrations. Our findings demonstrate the potential for delayed phenological development and reduced growth with higher temperatures and drought in tree species that are vulnerable to drought and reveal potential mechanistic links to physiological stress responses. Climate change projections of an earlier and longer growing season with higher temperatures, and consequent increases in terrestrial C sink strength, may be incorrect for regions where plants will face increased drought stress with climate change. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  16. Total organic carbon and humus fractions in restored soils from limestone quarries in semiarid climate, SE Spain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luna Ramos, Lourdes; Miralles Mellado, Isabel; Ángel Domene Ruiz, Miguel; Solé Benet, Albert

    2016-04-01

    Mining activities generate erosion and loss of plant cover and soil organic matter (SOM), especially in arid and semiarid Mediterranean regions. A precondition for ecosystem restoration in such highly disturbed areas is the development of functional soils with sufficient organic matter. But the SOM quality is also important to long-term C stabilization. The resistance to biodegradation of recalcitrant organic matter fractions has been reported to depend on some intrinsic structural factors of humic acid substances and formation of amorphous organo-mineral recalcitrant complexes. In an experimental soil restoration in limestone quarries in the Sierra de Gádor (Almería), SE Spain, several combinations of organic amendments (sewage sludge and compost from domestic organic waste) and mulches (gravel and woodchip) were added in experimental plots using a factorial design. In each plot, 75 native plants (Anthyllis cytisoides, A. terniflora and Macrochloa tenacissima) were planted and five years after the start of the experiment total organic carbon (TOC), physico-chemical soil properties and organic C fractions (particulate organic matter, H3PO4-fulvic fraction, fulvic acids (FA), humic acids (HA) and humin) were analyzed. We observed significant differences between treatments related to the TOC content and the HA/FA ratio. Compost amendments increased the TOC, HA content and HA/FA ratio, even higher than in natural undisturbed soils, indicating an effective clay humus-complex pointing to progressively increasing organic matter quality. Soils with sewage sludge showed the lowest TOC and HA/FA ratio and accumulated a lower HA proportion indicating poorer organic matter quality and comparatively lower resilience than in natural soils and soils amended with compost.

  17. Simulated sensitivity of African terrestrial ecosystem photosynthesis to rainfall frequency, intensity, and rainy season length

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guan, Kaiyu; Good, Stephen P.; Caylor, Kelly K.; Medvigy, David; Pan, Ming; Wood, Eric F.; Sato, Hisashi; Biasutti, Michela; Chen, Min; Ahlström, Anders; Xu, Xiangtao

    2018-02-01

    There is growing evidence of ongoing changes in the statistics of intra-seasonal rainfall variability over large parts of the world. Changes in annual total rainfall may arise from shifts, either singly or in a combination, of distinctive intra-seasonal characteristics -i.e. rainfall frequency, rainfall intensity, and rainfall seasonality. Understanding how various ecosystems respond to the changes in intra-seasonal rainfall characteristics is critical for predictions of future biome shifts and ecosystem services under climate change, especially for arid and semi-arid ecosystems. Here, we use an advanced dynamic vegetation model (SEIB-DGVM) coupled with a stochastic rainfall/weather simulator to answer the following question: how does the productivity of ecosystems respond to a given percentage change in the total seasonal rainfall that is realized by varying only one of the three rainfall characteristics (rainfall frequency, intensity, and rainy season length)? We conducted ensemble simulations for continental Africa for a realistic range of changes (-20% ~ +20%) in total rainfall amount. We find that the simulated ecosystem productivity (measured by gross primary production, GPP) shows distinctive responses to the intra-seasonal rainfall characteristics. Specifically, increase in rainfall frequency can lead to 28% more GPP increase than the same percentage increase in rainfall intensity; in tropical woodlands, GPP sensitivity to changes in rainy season length is ~4 times larger than to the same percentage changes in rainfall frequency or intensity. In contrast, shifts in the simulated biome distribution are much less sensitive to intra-seasonal rainfall characteristics than they are to total rainfall amount. Our results reveal three major distinctive productivity responses to seasonal rainfall variability—‘chronic water stress’, ‘acute water stress’ and ‘minimum water stress’ - which are respectively associated with three broad spatial patterns of

  18. Linking ecosystem services with state-and-transition models to evaluate rangeland management decisions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lohani, S.; Heilman, P.; deSteiguer, J. E.; Guertin, D. P.; Wissler, C.; McClaran, M. P.

    2014-12-01

    Quantifying ecosystem services is a crucial topic for land management decision making. However, market prices are usually not able to capture all the ecosystem services and disservices. Ecosystem services from rangelands, that cover 70% of the world's land area, are even less well-understood since knowledge of rangelands is limited. This study generated a management framework for rangelands that uses remote sensing to generate state and transition models (STMs) for a large area and a linear programming (LP) model that uses ecosystem services to evaluate natural and/or management induced transitions as described in the STM. The LP optimization model determines the best management plan for a plot of semi-arid land in the Empire Ranch in southeastern Arizona. The model allocated land among management activities (do nothing, grazing, fire, and brush removal) to optimize net benefits and determined the impact of monetizing environmental services and disservices on net benefits, acreage allocation and production output. The ecosystem services under study were forage production (AUM/ac/yr), sediment (lbs/ac/yr), water runoff (inches/yr), soil loss (lbs/ac/yr) and recreation (thousands of number of visitors/ac/yr). The optimization model was run for three different scenarios - private rancher, public rancher including environmental services and excluding disservices, and public rancher including both services and disservices. The net benefit was the highest for the public rancher excluding the disservices. A result from the study is a constrained optimization model that incorporates ecosystem services to analyze investments on conservation and management activities. Rangeland managers can use this model to understand and explain, not prescribe, the tradeoffs of management investments.

  19. 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.

  20. Complex effects of ecosystem engineer loss on benthic ecosystem response to detrital macroalgae

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rossi, F.; Gribsholt, B.; Gazeau, F.; Di Santo, V.; Middelburg, J.J.

    2013-01-01

    Ecosystem engineers change abiotic conditions, community assembly and ecosystem functioning. Consequently, their loss may modify thresholds of ecosystem response to disturbance and undermine ecosystem stability. This study investigates how loss of the bioturbating lugworm Arenicola marina modifies

  1. Complex Effects of Ecosystem Engineer Loss on Benthic Ecosystem Response to Detrital Macroalgae

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rossi, F.; Gribsholt, B.; Gazeau, F.; Di Santo, V.; Middelburg, J.J.

    2013-01-01

    Ecosystem engineers change abiotic conditions, community assembly and ecosystem functioning. Consequently, their loss may modify thresholds of ecosystem response to disturbance and undermine ecosystem stability. This study investigates how loss of the bioturbating lugworm Arenicola marina modifies

  2. Linking ecosystem characteristics to final ecosystem services for public policy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wong, Christina P; Jiang, Bo; Kinzig, Ann P; Lee, Kai N; Ouyang, Zhiyun

    2015-01-01

    Governments worldwide are recognising ecosystem services as an approach to address sustainability challenges. Decision-makers need credible and legitimate measurements of ecosystem services to evaluate decisions for trade-offs to make wise choices. Managers lack these measurements because of a data gap linking ecosystem characteristics to final ecosystem services. The dominant method to address the data gap is benefit transfer using ecological data from one location to estimate ecosystem services at other locations with similar land cover. However, benefit transfer is only valid once the data gap is adequately resolved. Disciplinary frames separating ecology from economics and policy have resulted in confusion on concepts and methods preventing progress on the data gap. In this study, we present a 10-step approach to unify concepts, methods and data from the disparate disciplines to offer guidance on overcoming the data gap. We suggest: (1) estimate ecosystem characteristics using biophysical models, (2) identify final ecosystem services using endpoints and (3) connect them using ecological production functions to quantify biophysical trade-offs. The guidance is strategic for public policy because analysts need to be: (1) realistic when setting priorities, (2) attentive to timelines to acquire relevant data, given resources and (3) responsive to the needs of decision-makers. PMID:25394857

  3. Linking ecosystem characteristics to final ecosystem services for public policy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wong, Christina P; Jiang, Bo; Kinzig, Ann P; Lee, Kai N; Ouyang, Zhiyun

    2015-01-01

    Governments worldwide are recognising ecosystem services as an approach to address sustainability challenges. Decision-makers need credible and legitimate measurements of ecosystem services to evaluate decisions for trade-offs to make wise choices. Managers lack these measurements because of a data gap linking ecosystem characteristics to final ecosystem services. The dominant method to address the data gap is benefit transfer using ecological data from one location to estimate ecosystem services at other locations with similar land cover. However, benefit transfer is only valid once the data gap is adequately resolved. Disciplinary frames separating ecology from economics and policy have resulted in confusion on concepts and methods preventing progress on the data gap. In this study, we present a 10-step approach to unify concepts, methods and data from the disparate disciplines to offer guidance on overcoming the data gap. We suggest: (1) estimate ecosystem characteristics using biophysical models, (2) identify final ecosystem services using endpoints and (3) connect them using ecological production functions to quantify biophysical trade-offs. The guidance is strategic for public policy because analysts need to be: (1) realistic when setting priorities, (2) attentive to timelines to acquire relevant data, given resources and (3) responsive to the needs of decision-makers. © 2014 The Authors. Ecology Letters published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd and CNRS.

  4. Electronics and electronic systems

    CERN Document Server

    Olsen, George H

    1987-01-01

    Electronics and Electronic Systems explores the significant developments in the field of electronics and electronic devices. This book is organized into three parts encompassing 11 chapters that discuss the fundamental circuit theory and the principles of analog and digital electronics. This book deals first with the passive components of electronic systems, such as resistors, capacitors, and inductors. These topics are followed by a discussion on the analysis of electronic circuits, which involves three ways, namely, the actual circuit, graphical techniques, and rule of thumb. The remaining p

  5. Water content differences have stronger effects than plant functional groups on soil bacteria in a steppe ecosystem.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ximei Zhang

    Full Text Available Many investigations across natural and artificial plant diversity gradients have reported that both soil physicochemical factors and plant community composition affect soil microbial communities. To test the effect of plant diversity loss on soil bacterial communities, we conducted a five-year plant functional group removal experiment in a steppe ecosystem in Inner Mongolia (China. We found that the number and composition type of plant functional groups had no effect on bacterial diversity and community composition, or on the relative abundance of major taxa. In contrast, bacterial community patterns were significantly structured by soil water content differences among plots. Our results support researches that suggest that water availability is the key factor structuring soil bacterial communities in this semi-arid ecosystem.

  6. Quantifying the pedo-ecohydrological structure and function of degraded, grassland ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brazier, Richard E.

    2015-04-01

    Grassland ecosystems cover significant areas of the terrestrial land mass, across a range of geoclimates, from arctic tundra, through temperate and semi-arid landscapes. In very few locations, such grasslands may be termed 'pristine' in that they remain undamaged by human activities and resilient to changing climates. In far more cases, grasslands are being degraded, often irreversibly so, with significant implications for a number of ecosystem services related to water resources, soil quality, nutrient cycles, and therefore both global food and water security. This paper draws upon empirical research that has been undertaken over the last decade to characterise a range of different grasslands in terms of soil properties, vegetation structure and geomorphology and to understand how these structures or patterns might interact or control how the grassland ecosystems function. Particular emphasis is placed upon quantifying fluxes of water, within and from grasslands, but also fluxes of sediment, via the processes of soil erosion and finally fluxes of the macronutrients Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Carbon from the landscape to surface waters. Data are presented from semi-arid grasslands, which are subject to severe encroachment by woody species, temperate upland grasslands that have been 'improved' via drainage to support grazing, temperate lowland grasslands, that are unimproved (Culm or Rhôs pastures) and finally intensively managed grasslands in temperate regions, that have been significantly modified via land management practices to improve productivity. It is hypothesised that, once degraded, the structure and function of these very diverse grassland ecosystems follows the same negative trajectory, resulting in depleted soil depths, nutrient storage capacities and therefore reduced plant growth and long-term carbon sequestration. Results demonstrate that similar, but highly complex and non-linear responses to perturbation of the ecosystem are observed, regardless of

  7. Modeling the eco-hydrologic response of a Mediterranean type ecosystem to the combined impacts of projected climate change and altered fire frequencies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tague, Christina; Seaby, Lauren Paige; Hope, Allen

    2009-01-01

    Global Climate Models (GCMs) project moderate warming along with increases in atmospheric CO2 for California Mediterranean type ecosystems (MTEs). In water-limited ecosystems, vegetation acts as an important control on streamflow and responds to soil moisture availability. Fires are also key...... disturbances in semiarid environments, and few studies have explored the potential interactions among changes in climate, vegetation dynamics, hydrology, elevated atmospheric CO2 concentrations and fire. We model ecosystem productivity, evapotranspiration, and summer streamflow under a range of temperature...... climate scenarios, biomass in chaparral-dominated systems is likely to increase, leading to reductions in summer streamflow. However, within the range of GCM predictions, there are some scenarios in which vegetation may decrease, leading to higher summer streamflows. Changes due to increases in fire...

  8. 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

  9. Long-term Observations of Ecohydrology, Climate, Energy Fluxes, and Eddy Covariance Error in a Large, Semiarid Floodplain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cleverly, J. R.; Thibault, J. R.; Dahm, C. N.; Allred Coonrod, J. E.; Slusher, M.; Teet, S.; Schuetz, J.

    2008-12-01

    Some of the highest rates of water and energy fluxes between terrestrial ecosystems and the atmosphere occur over large floodplains in arid and semiarid areas. Often located in high-pressure zones near 35 degrees latitude, abundant radiation and easily accessible groundwater contribute few limitations on growth and production in desert phreatophytes. Desert regions typically undergo cycles of drought and floods, and phreatophytic communities wax or wane in cover, density, and structure with cumulative species responses to timing and severity in these regional weather cycles. The Rio-ET Laboratory at the University of New Mexico has been collecting long-term data from a flux network of riparian monitoring stations, mounted on towers along the Middle Rio Grande. Ongoing measurements of energy, water and carbon dioxide fluxes, groundwater dynamics, meteorology, leaf area index, and community dynamics began at some locations in 1999. Recent reanalysis of the flux dataset was performed in which error correction procedures were compared to each and other and in relation to an irrigated crop under advection. Most riparian sites exhibited stable atmospheric stratification and an energy balance consistent with evaporative cooling. Evaporative cooling was more prominent in the late afternoon and evening, during wet conditions. Reduced latent heat fluxes were observed in a cottonwood forest following restoration and fire, but only in years when the forest floor was not re-vegetated by opportunistic annuals or target removal species. Water use by riparian phreatophytes was 1) non-responsive to drought during the monsoon season (non-native Russian olive and monospecific saltcedar communities), 2) responded negatively to monsoon-season drought (xeroriparian saltcedar and saltgrass mosaic community), or 3) responded positively to monsoon-season drought (cottonwood forests). Water salvage related to ecological restoration is dependent upon restoration strategy, emphasizing the

  10. Biodiversity, climate change, and ecosystem services

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Mooney, H

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available of ecosystems, deepen our understanding of the biological underpinnings for ecosystem service delivery and develop new tools and techniques for maintaining and restoring resilient biological and social systems. We will be building on an ecosystem foundation...

  11. Towards a consistent approach for ecosystem accounting

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Edens, B.; Hein, L.G.

    2013-01-01

    In spite of an increasing interest in environmental economic accounting, there is still very limited experience with the integration of ecosystem services and ecosystem capital in national accounts. This paper identifies four key methodological challenges in developing ecosystem accounts: the

  12. 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

  13. Interactions between ecosystems and hydrology in the Loess Plateau

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fu, B.; Wang, S.

    2017-12-01

    The Loess Plateau is located in the arid and semi-arid temperate continental monsoon climatic zone. Large-scale "Grain-for-Green" project has been implemented in the since 1999, which has made remarkable contribution to the soil and water control, but also has led to some negative ecological effects. Understanding the interactions between ecosystems and hydrology is significant for the vegetation carrying capacity assessment and guiding the vegetation restoration. We observed the soil moisture at multiple scales including slope, catchment and transect across Loess Plateau to analyze the effects of land use change and its trend along the precipitation gradient. Remote sensing data also used to capture the spatiotemporal variance of soil moisture in the Loess Plateau, as well as the in-situ measured soil moisture decrease following the massive re-vegetation. We found soil moisture decrease in response to the massive re-vegetation occurred in a transition zone of grass-forest ecosystems with annual precipitation between 450-550 mm. The average runoff in the Loess Plateau also decreased continuously during the period 1961-2009 (average rate of -0.9 mm yr-1, P < 0.001). Human intervention played a dominant role in creating the transition points, Water yield (i.e., the ratio of runoff to precipitation) decreased following each anthropogenic transition, causing a 56% reduction in available freshwater resources during the period 1961-2009. From currently revegetated areas and human water demand, we estimate a threshold of NPP of 400±5 g C m-2 yr-1 above which the population will suffer water shortages. NPP in this region is found to be already close to this limit.

  14. Asynchronous exposure to global warming: freshwater resources and terrestrial ecosystems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gerten, Dieter; Lucht, Wolfgang; Ostberg, Sebastian; Heinke, Jens; Kundzewicz, Zbigniew W; Rastgooy, Johann; Schellnhuber, Hans Joachim; Kowarsch, Martin; Kreft, Holger; Warren, Rachel

    2013-01-01

    This modelling study demonstrates at what level of global mean temperature rise (ΔT g ) regions will be exposed to significant decreases of freshwater availability and changes to terrestrial ecosystems. Projections are based on a new, consistent set of 152 climate scenarios (eight ΔT g trajectories reaching 1.5–5 ° C above pre-industrial levels by 2100, each scaled with spatial patterns from 19 general circulation models). The results suggest that already at a ΔT g of 2 ° C and mainly in the subtropics, higher water scarcity would occur in >50% out of the 19 climate scenarios. Substantial biogeochemical and vegetation structural changes would also occur at 2 ° C, but mainly in subpolar and semiarid ecosystems. Other regions would be affected at higher ΔT g levels, with lower intensity or with lower confidence. In total, mean global warming levels of 2 ° C, 3.5 ° C and 5 ° C are simulated to expose an additional 8%, 11% and 13% of the world population to new or aggravated water scarcity, respectively, with >50% confidence (while ∼1.3 billion people already live in water-scarce regions). Concurrently, substantial habitat transformations would occur in biogeographic regions that contain 1% (in zones affected at 2 ° C), 10% (3.5 ° C) and 74% (5 ° C) of present endemism-weighted vascular plant species, respectively. The results suggest nonlinear growth of impacts along with ΔT g and highlight regional disparities in impact magnitudes and critical ΔT g levels. (letter)

  15. Radionuclides in terrestrial ecosystems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Howard, B.J.; Kennedy, V.H.; Nelson, A.

    1983-06-01

    A bibliographical database has been developed to provide quick access to research and background literature in the field of radioecology. This is a development of an earlier database described by Nelson (Bocock 1981). ITE's particular fields of interest have led to a subject bias in the bibliography towards studies in Cumbria, especially those concerned with radionuclides originating from the reprocessing plant at Sellafield, and towards ecological research studies that are complementary to radionuclide studies. Other subjects covered, include the chemistry of radionuclides, budgets and transfers within ecosystems and techniques for the analysis of environmental samples. ITE's research objectives have led to the establishment of a specialized database which is intended to complement rather than compete with the large international databases made available by suppliers such as IRS-DIALTECH or DIALOG. Currently the database holds about 1900 references which are stored on a 2 1/2 megabyte hard disk on a Digital PDP11/34 computer operating under a time shared system. The references follow a standard format. (author)

  16. Ecosystem overfishing in the ocean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coll, Marta; Libralato, Simone; Tudela, Sergi; Palomera, Isabel; Pranovi, Fabio

    2008-01-01

    Fisheries catches represent a net export of mass and energy that can no longer be used by trophic levels higher than those fished. Thus, exploitation implies a depletion of secondary production of higher trophic levels (here the production of mass and energy by herbivores and carnivores in the ecosystem) due to the removal of prey. The depletion of secondary production due to the export of biomass and energy through catches was recently formulated as a proxy for evaluating the ecosystem impacts of fishing-i.e., the level of ecosystem overfishing. Here we evaluate the historical and current risk of ecosystem overfishing at a global scale by quantifying the depletion of secondary production using the best available fisheries and ecological data (i.e., catch and primary production). Our results highlight an increasing trend in the number of unsustainable fisheries (i.e., an increase in the risk of ecosystem overfishing) from the 1950s to the 2000s, and illustrate the worldwide geographic expansion of overfishing. These results enable to assess when and where fishing became unsustainable at the ecosystem level. At present, total catch per capita from Large Marine Ecosystems is at least twice the value estimated to ensure fishing at moderate sustainable levels.

  17. Ecosystems science: Genes to landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    ,

    2018-05-09

    Bountiful fisheries, healthy and resilient wildlife, flourishing forests and vibrant grasslands are coveted resources that benefit all Americans. U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) science supports the conservation and management of the Nation’s fish and wildlife, and the landscapes they inhabit. Our biological resources—ecosystems and the wild things that live in them—are the foundation of our conservation heritage and an economic asset to current and future generations of Americans.The USGS Ecosystems Mission Area, the biological research arm of the Department of the Interior (DOI), provides science to help America achieve sustainable management and conservation of its biological resources. This work is done within the broader mission of the USGS—to serve the Nation with science that advances understanding of our natural resources, informs land and water stewardship, and helps safeguard communities from natural and environmental hazards. The Ecosystems Mission Area provides research, technical assistance, and education conducted by Cooperative Research Units and Science Centers located in nearly every State.The quality of life and economic strength in America hinges on healthy ecosystems that support living things and natural processes. Ecosystem science better enables society to understand how and why ecosystems change and to guide actions that can prevent damage to, and restore and sustain ecosystems. It is through this knowledge that informed decisions are made about natural resources that can enhance our Nation’s economic and environmental well-being.

  18. Strategic Framework for Sustainable Management of Drainage Systems in Semi-Arid Cities: An Iraqi Case Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammed Nanekely

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available For the purpose of this paper, Erbil city, located in the northern part of Iraq, has been chosen as a representative case study for a large number of cities, particularly in semi-arid areas, lacking sustainable drainage systems (SuDS. The study assesses (a the role of SuDS as a measure in areas with a water shortage; (b water scarcity in decision-making processes; (c the lack of legislation to implement SuDS; (d the adverse effects of climate change on the urban drainage system; and (e the effects of an increased population on SuDS implementation. An integrated methodology that incorporates a self-administrated questionnaire, workshops, face-to-face communication and interviews, as well as electronic media interactions, were used to achieve the objectives. A generic platform that consists of thirteen pillars, supporting the short to long-term national policies and strategies towards a sustainable urban drainage system, has been developed. Results showed that environmental laws need to be introduced. Findings also indicate that a growing population, which is partly due to an increase of internally displaced people, is a major challenge to an early application of SuDS, due to a rise in land demand and a lack of financial resources.

  19. Ecosystem services provided by bats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kunz, Thomas H; Braun de Torrez, Elizabeth; Bauer, Dana; Lobova, Tatyana; Fleming, Theodore H

    2011-03-01

    Ecosystem services are the benefits obtained from the environment that increase human well-being. Economic valuation is conducted by measuring the human welfare gains or losses that result from changes in the provision of ecosystem services. Bats have long been postulated to play important roles in arthropod suppression, seed dispersal, and pollination; however, only recently have these ecosystem services begun to be thoroughly evaluated. Here, we review the available literature on the ecological and economic impact of ecosystem services provided by bats. We describe dietary preferences, foraging behaviors, adaptations, and phylogenetic histories of insectivorous, frugivorous, and nectarivorous bats worldwide in the context of their respective ecosystem services. For each trophic ensemble, we discuss the consequences of these ecological interactions on both natural and agricultural systems. Throughout this review, we highlight the research needed to fully determine the ecosystem services in question. Finally, we provide a comprehensive overview of economic valuation of ecosystem services. Unfortunately, few studies estimating the economic value of ecosystem services provided by bats have been conducted to date; however, we outline a framework that could be used in future studies to more fully address this question. Consumptive goods provided by bats, such as food and guano, are often exchanged in markets where the market price indicates an economic value. Nonmarket valuation methods can be used to estimate the economic value of nonconsumptive services, including inputs to agricultural production and recreational activities. Information on the ecological and economic value of ecosystem services provided by bats can be used to inform decisions regarding where and when to protect or restore bat populations and associated habitats, as well as to improve public perception of bats. © 2011 New York Academy of Sciences.

  20. Modeling impacts of climate change on carbon dynamics in a steppe ecosystem in Inner Mongolia, China

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kang, Xiaoming; Wang, Jinzhi; Rui, Yichao; Niu, Haishan [Graduate Univ. of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing (China). College of Resources and Environment; Hao, Yanbin; Cui, Xiaoyong; Wang, Yanfen [Graduate Univ. of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing (China). College of Life Sciences; Li, Changsheng [New Hampshire Univ., Durham, NH (United States). Inst. for the Study of Earth, Ocean and Space

    2011-06-15

    Purpose: In this study, a process-oriented biogeochemistry model, denitrification-decomposition (DNDC), was employed and adapted to interpret and integrate the field observations that the tested ecosystem was a weak sink of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO{sub 2}) in 2004 but a strong source in 2005 during the growing seasons. Then we applied the model to predict long-term impacts of climate change on carbon (C) dynamics in the semiarid grassland. Materials and methods: To adapt DNDC for the targeted grassland, we modified the default values of several grass parameters such as maximum biomass production, biomass partitions, plant tissue C/N ratio, and accumulative thermal degree days based on local observations. Daily weather data for 2004 and 2005 in conjunction with soil properties and management practices for the location were utilized as inputs to simulate the grass growth and soil C dynamics. The modeled C fluxes were compared with the eddy tower data. Sensitivity tests were conducted with a baseline and twelve alternative climate scenarios of 100 years for the target grassland. Results and discussion: The observed and modeled CO{sub 2} fluxes data were well in agreement (P < 0.0001), both showing that the grassland shifted from a sink to a source of atmospheric CO{sub 2} from a wet year (2004) to a dry year (2005) over growing season. Simulations of 100 years found that, under the fenced conditions, (1) the tested ecosystem would gain C with the baseline climate conditions at a rate of 200 kg C/ha/year; (2) the warmer and drier climate scenario made the worst case having the lowest grass production with 72 kg C/ha/year lost from the soil carbon pool; and (3) the cooler and wetter climate scenario made the best case having the highest biomass production with 790 kg C/ha/year sequestered in the soil during the simulated 100 years. Conclusions: DNDC model could be used for the prediction of C dynamics in this semiarid grassland ecosystem. Since the ecosystem

  1. Dryland ecosystem responses to precipitation extremes and wildfire at a long-term rainfall manipulation experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, R. F.; Collins, S. L.

    2017-12-01

    Climate is becoming increasingly more variable due to global environmental change, which is evidenced by fewer, but more extreme precipitation events, changes in precipitation seasonality, and longer, higher severity droughts. These changes, combined with a rising incidence of wildfire, have the potential to strongly impact net primary production (NPP) and key biogeochemical cycles, particularly in dryland ecosystems where NPP is sequentially limited by water and nutrient availability. Here we utilize a ten-year dataset from an ongoing long-term field experiment established in 2007 in which we experimentally altered monsoon rainfall variability to examine how our manipulations, along with naturally occurring events, affect NPP and associated biogeochemical cycles in a semi-arid grassland in central New Mexico, USA. Using long-term regional averages, we identified extremely wet monsoon years (242.8 mm, 2013), and extremely dry monsoon years (86.0 mm, 2011; 80.0 mm, 2015) and water years (117.0 mm, 2011). We examined how changes in precipitation variability and extreme events affected ecosystem processes and function particularly in the context of ecosystem recovery following a 2009 wildfire. Response variables included above- and below-ground plant biomass (ANPP & BNPP) and abundance, soil nitrogen availability, and soil CO2 efflux. Mean ANPP ranged from 3.6 g m-2 in 2011 to 254.5 g m-2 in 2013, while BNPP ranged from 23.5 g m-2 in 2015 to 194.2 g m-2 in 2013, demonstrating NPP in our semi-arid grassland is directly linked to extremes in both seasonal and annual precipitation. We also show increased nitrogen deposition positively affects NPP in unburned grassland, but has no significant impact on NPP post-fire except during extremely wet monsoon years. While soil respiration rates reflect lower ANPP post-fire, patterns in CO2 efflux have not been shown to change significantly in that efflux is greatest following large precipitation events preceded by longer drying

  2. Gross primary production of a semiarid grassland is enhanced by six years of exposure to elevated atmospheric CO2, warming, and irrigation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryan, E.; Ogle, K.; Peltier, D.; Williams, D. G.; Pendall, E.

    2014-12-01

    The goal of this study was to quantify interannual variation of gross primary production (GPP) and evaluate potential drivers of GPP with global change using the Prairie Heating and CO2 Enrichment (PHACE) experiment in semiarid grassland in southeastern Wyoming. PHACE consists of the treatments: control, warming only, elevated CO2 (eCO2) only, eCO2 and warming, and irrigation only. We expected that GPP would be most strongly influenced by interannual variability in precipitation under all PHACE treatments, soil water availability under eCO2, and nitrogen availability. GPP data were obtained from paired measurements of net ecosystem exchange (NEE) and ecosystem respiration (Reco; GPP = Reco - NEE) made on 2-4 week intervals over six growing seasons (2007-2012). Soil temperature (T), soil water content (SWC), vapor pressure deficit (VPD), and photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) were continuously recorded at the plot (T, SWC) and site (VPD, PAR) scales. Annual, plot-level aboveground plant nitrogen content (N) was measured during peak biomass. We fit a non-linear light-response model to the GPP data within a Bayesian framework, and modeled the maximum GPP rate (Gmax) and canopy light-use efficiency (Q) as functions of N and current and antecedent SWC, T, and VPD. The model fit the GPP data well (R2 = 0.64), and regardless of the PHACE treatment the most important drivers of GPP were N (for Gmax), VPD (Gmax and Q), antecedent T (Gmax), and antecedent VPD (Q). Model simulations predicted that annual GPP increased on average by about 16% with eCO2, 14% with warming, 12% with eCO2 and warming, and 23% with irrigation. For four of the six years, annual GPP was significantly affected by either eCO2 alone or when combined with warming. The increase in annual GPP under irrigation was similar to the increase under eCO2 during a dry year (2012), but irrigation stimulated GPP to a greater degree than eCO2 during wet years (2008, 2009). Hence, increases in GPP under eCO2

  3. Ecosystem Services: Benefits Supplied to Human Societies by Natural Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    The module provides a link to an article that is part of a series of articles in Issues in Ecology. This article discusses the many services an ecosystem provides in order to sustain and fulfill human needs.

  4. The influence of oceanic basins on drought and ecosystem dynamics in Northeast Brazil

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pereira, Marcos Paulo Santos; Justino, Flavio; Malhado, Ana Claudia Mendes; Barbosa, Humberto; Marengo, José

    2014-01-01

    The 2012 drought in Northeast Brazil was the harshest in decades, with potentially significant impacts on the vegetation of the unique semi-arid caatinga biome and on local livelihoods. Here, we use a coupled climate–vegetation model (CCM3-IBIS) to: (1) investigate the role of the Pacific and Atlantic oceans in the 2012 drought, and; (2) evaluate the response of the caatinga vegetation to the 2012 climate extreme. Our results indicate that anomalous sea surface temperatures (SSTs) in the Atlantic Ocean were the primary factor forcing the 2012 drought, with Pacific Ocean SST having a larger role in sustaining typical climatic conditions in the region. The drought strongly influenced net primary production in the caatinga, causing a reduction in annual net ecosystem exchange indicating a reduction in amount of CO 2 released to the atmosphere. (letter)

  5. Plastic-Film Mulching for Enhanced Water-Use Efficiency and Economic Returns from Maize Fields in Semiarid China

    OpenAIRE

    Zhang, Peng; Wei, Ting; Cai, Tie; Ali, Shahzad; Han, Qingfang; Ren, Xiaolong; Jia, Zhikuan

    2017-01-01

    Film mulch has gradually been popularized to increase water availability to crops for improving and stabilizing agricultural production in the semiarid areas of Northwest China. To find more sustainable and economic film mulch methods for alleviating drought stress in semiarid region, it is necessary to test optimum planting methods in same cultivation conditions. A field experiment was conducted during 2013 and 2014 to evaluate the effects of different plastic film mulch methods on soil wate...

  6. Puako Ecosystem Model Output Data

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Coral reefs provide a wide range of ecosystem services that are valued differently by different users. Managers are challenged to comprehensively address the full...

  7. Soil-based ecosystem services

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ghaley, Bhim Bahadur; Porter, John Roy; Sandhu, Harpinder S.

    2014-01-01

    Among the soil-based ecosystem services (ES), nutrient cycling and carbon sequestration have direct influence on the biogeochemical cycles and greenhouse gas emissions affecting provision of other ES that support human existence. We reviewed methods to assess the two key ES by identifying...... their strengths and weaknesses and have made suggestions for using appropriate methods for better understanding of the ecosystem functions for the provision of ES. Relevant papers for the review were chosen on the basis of (i) diversity of studies on the two key ES in different ecosystems, (ii) methodologies...... applied and (iii) detailed descriptions of the trial locations in terms of vegetation, soil type, location and climatic information. We concluded that (i) elemental stoichiometrical ratios could be a potential approach to assess the health of ecosystems in terms of provision of the two ES discussed, (ii...

  8. Mineral nutrients in mediterranean ecosystems

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Day, JA

    1983-06-01

    Full Text Available The notion of ecological convergence has influenced taxonomists and biogeographers since the development of ecology in the mid-nineteenth century. Our initial understanding of the ecosystems of the world resulted from plant geographers...

  9. Tree growth and vegetation activity at the ecosystem-scale in the eastern Mediterranean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coulthard, Bethany L.; Touchan, Ramzi; Anchukaitis, Kevin J.; Meko, David M.; Sivrikaya, Fatih

    2017-08-01

    Linking annual tree growth with remotely-sensed terrestrial vegetation indices provides a basis for using tree rings as proxies for ecosystem primary productivity over large spatial and long temporal scales. In contrast with most previous tree ring/remote sensing studies that have focused on temperature-limited boreal and taiga environments, here we compare the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) with a network of Pinus brutia tree ring width chronologies collected along ecological gradients in semiarid Cyprus, where both radial tree growth and broader vegetation activity are controlled by drought. We find that the interaction between precipitation, elevation, and land-cover type generate a relationship between radial tree growth and NDVI. While tree ring chronologies at higher-elevation forested sites do not exhibit climate-driven linkages with NDVI, chronologies at lower-elevation dry sites are strongly correlated with NDVI during the winter precipitation season. At lower-elevation sites, land cover is dominated by grasslands and shrublands and tree ring widths operate as a proxy for ecosystem-scale vegetation activity. Tree rings can therefore be used to reconstruct productivity in water-limited grasslands and shrublands, where future drought stress is expected to alter the global carbon cycle, biodiversity, and ecosystem functioning in the 21st century.

  10. Ecosystem overfishing in the ocean

    OpenAIRE

    Coll, M; Libralato, S; Tutela, S; Palomera, I; Pranovi, F.

    2008-01-01

    Fisheries catches represent a net export of mass and energy that can no longer be used by trophic levels higher than those fished. Thus, exploitation implies a depletion of secondary production of higher trophic levels (here the production of mass and energy by herbivores and carnivores in the ecosystem) due to the removal of prey. The depletion of secondary production due to the export of biomass and energy through catches was recently formulated as a proxy for evaluating the ecosystem impac...

  11. nitrogen saturation in stream ecosystems

    OpenAIRE

    Earl, S. R.; Valett, H. M.; Webster, J. R.

    2006-01-01

    The concept of nitrogen (N) saturation has organized the assessment of N loading in terrestrial ecosystems. Here we extend the concept to lotic ecosystems by coupling Michaelis-Menten kinetics and nutrient spiraling. We propose a series of saturation response types, which may be used to characterize the proximity of streams to N saturation. We conducted a series of short-term N releases using a tracer ((NO3)-N-15-N) to measure uptake. Experiments were conducted in streams spanning a gradient ...

  12. Cycling indices for ecosystem models

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Carney, J.H.; Gardner, R.H.; Mankin, J.B.; DeAngelis, D.L.

    1979-01-01

    The study of ecosystems is aided by representing structural and functional groups of organisms or processes as discrete components. A complex compartment model will explicitly map pathways from one compartment to another and specify transfer rates. This quantitative description allows insight into the dynamics of flow of nutrients, toxic chemicals, radionuclides, or energy. Three new indices that calculate compartment-specific probabilities of occurrence and recycling and illustrate the problem of applying these indices to ecosystem models are presented

  13. Interaction webs in arctic ecosystems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schmidt, Niels Martin; Hardwick, Bess; Gilg, Olivier

    2017-01-01

    How species interact modulate their dynamics, their response to environmental change, and ultimately the functioning and stability of entire communities. Work conducted at Zackenberg, Northeast Greenland, has changed our view on how networks of arctic biotic interactions are structured, how they ...... that the combination of long-term, ecosystem-based monitoring, and targeted research projects offers the most fruitful basis for understanding and predicting the future of arctic ecosystems....

  14. Drought Variability and Land Degradation in Semiarid Regions: Assessment Using Remote Sensing Data and Drought Indices (1982–2011

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sergio M. Vicente-Serrano

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available We analyzed potential land degradation processes in semiarid regions worldwide using long time series of remote sensing images and the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI for the period 1981 to 2011. The objectives of the study were to identify semiarid regions showing a marked decrease in potential vegetation activity, indicative of the occurrence of land degradation processes, and to assess the possible influence of the observed drought trends quantified using the Standardized Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI. We found that the NDVI values recorded during the period of maximum vegetation activity (NDVImax predominantly showed a positive evolution in the majority of the semiarid regions assessed, but NDVImax was highly correlated with drought variability, and the trends of drought events influenced trends in NDVImax at the global scale. The semiarid regions that showed most increase in NDVImax (the Sahel, northern Australia, South Africa were characterized by a clear positive trend in the SPEI values, indicative of conditions of greater humidity and lesser drought conditions. While changes in drought severity may be an important driver of NDVI trends and land degradation processes in semiarid regions worldwide, drought did not apparently explain some of the observed changes in NDVImax. This reflects the complexity of vegetation activity processes in the world’s semiarid regions, and the difficulty of defining a universal response to drought in these regions, where a number of factors (natural and anthropogenic may also affect on land degradation.

  15. Drought Variability and Land Degradation in Semiarid Regions: Assessment Using Remote Sensing Data and Drought Indices (1982–2011)

    KAUST Repository

    Vicente-Serrano, Sergio

    2015-04-14

    We analyzed potential land degradation processes in semiarid regions worldwide using long time series of remote sensing images and the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) for the period 1981 to 2011. The objectives of the study were to identify semiarid regions showing a marked decrease in potential vegetation activity, indicative of the occurrence of land degradation processes, and to assess the possible influence of the observed drought trends quantified using the Standardized Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI). We found that the NDVI values recorded during the period of maximum vegetation activity (NDVImax) predominantly showed a positive evolution in the majority of the semiarid regions assessed, but NDVImax was highly correlated with drought variability, and the trends of drought events influenced trends in NDVImax at the global scale. The semiarid regions that showed most increase in NDVImax (the Sahel, northern Australia, South Africa) were characterized by a clear positive trend in the SPEI values, indicative of conditions of greater humidity and lesser drought conditions. While changes in drought severity may be an important driver of NDVI trends and land degradation processes in semiarid regions worldwide, drought did not apparently explain some of the observed changes in NDVImax. This reflects the complexity of vegetation activity processes in the world’s semiarid regions, and the difficulty of defining a universal response to drought in these regions, where a number of factors (natural and anthropogenic) may also affect on land degradation.

  16. Drought Variability and Land Degradation in Semiarid Regions: Assessment Using Remote Sensing Data and Drought Indices (1982–2011)

    KAUST Repository

    Vicente-Serrano, Sergio; Cabello, Daniel; Tomá s-Burguera, Miquel; Martí n-Herná ndez, Natalia; Beguerí a, Santiago; Azorin-Molina, Cesar; Kenawy, Ahmed

    2015-01-01

    We analyzed potential land degradation processes in semiarid regions worldwide using long time series of remote sensing images and the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) for the period 1981 to 2011. The objectives of the study were to identify semiarid regions showing a marked decrease in potential vegetation activity, indicative of the occurrence of land degradation processes, and to assess the possible influence of the observed drought trends quantified using the Standardized Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI). We found that the NDVI values recorded during the period of maximum vegetation activity (NDVImax) predominantly showed a positive evolution in the majority of the semiarid regions assessed, but NDVImax was highly correlated with drought variability, and the trends of drought events influenced trends in NDVImax at the global scale. The semiarid regions that showed most increase in NDVImax (the Sahel, northern Australia, South Africa) were characterized by a clear positive trend in the SPEI values, indicative of conditions of greater humidity and lesser drought conditions. While changes in drought severity may be an important driver of NDVI trends and land degradation processes in semiarid regions worldwide, drought did not apparently explain some of the observed changes in NDVImax. This reflects the complexity of vegetation activity processes in the world’s semiarid regions, and the difficulty of defining a universal response to drought in these regions, where a number of factors (natural and anthropogenic) may also affect on land degradation.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-06-01

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

  18. Ecosystem-groundwater interactions under changing land uses: Linking water, salts, and carbon across central Argentina

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jobbagy, E. G.; Nosetto, M. D.; Santoni, C. S.; Jackson, R. B.

    2007-05-01

    Although most ecosystems display a one-way connection with groundwater based on the regulation of deep water drainage (recharge), this link can become reciprocal when the saturated zone is shallow and plants take up groundwater (discharge). In what context is the reciprocal link most likely? How is it affected by land use changes? Has it consequences on salt and carbon cycling? We examine these questions across a precipitation gradient in the Pampas and Espinal of Argentina focusing on three vegetation change situations (mean annual rainfall): afforestation of humid (900-1300 mm) and subhumid grassland (700-900 mm/yr of rainfall), annual cultivation of subhumid grasslands (700-800 mm/yr), and annual cultivation of semiarid forests (500-700 mm). Humid and subhumid grasslands have shallow (measurements. Groundwater contributions enhance carbon uptake in plantations compared to grasslands as suggested by aboveground biomass measurements and satellite vegetation indexes from sites with and without access to groundwater. Where rainfall is 15 m deep) and recharge under natural conditions is null. The establishment of crops, however, triggers the onset of recharge, as evidenced by vadose zones getting wetter and leached of atmospheric chloride. Cropping may cause water table raises leading to a two-way coupling of ecosystems and groundwater in the future, as it has been documented for similar settings in Australia and the Sahel. In the Pampas land use change interacts with groundwater consumption leading to higher carbon uptake (humid and subhumid grasslands) and salt accumulation (subhumid grasslands). In the Espinal (semiarid forest) land use change currently involves a one-way effect on groundwater recharge that may switch to a reciprocal connection if regional water table raises occur. Neglecting the role of groundwater in flat sedimentary plains can obscure our understanding of carbon and salt cycling and curtail our attempts to sustain soil and water resources under

  19. Defining groundwater-dependent ecosystems and assessing critical water needs for their foundational plant communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stella, J. C.

    2017-12-01

    and variability, human groundwater extraction and flow regulation. We review the range of emerging water stress indicators at multiple scales, and illustrate their application and integration in current projects in semi-arid ecosystems of the U.S. Southwest and in southern Europe.

  20. Produced water irrigation changes the soil mesofauna community in a semiarid agroecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferreira, Raimundo Nonato Costa; Weber, Olmar Baller; Crisóstomo, Lindbergue Araujo

    2015-08-01

    The scarcity of water in semiarid regions requires alternative sources for irrigation to improve agricultural production. Here, we aimed to evaluate the effects of produced water from oil exploration on the structure of soil mesofauna during the dry and rainy seasons in irrigated sunflower and castor bean fields in a Brazilian semiarid region. Three irrigation treatments were applied on plots cultivated with castor beans and sunflowers: produced water treated by filtration (filtrated) or treated by reverse osmosis (reverse osmosis) and groundwater. The mesofauna under the biofuel crops was collected and identified during the dry and rainy seasons. Although the abundance and richness of the total fauna did not differ between seasons in sunflower plots, the community was altered. In castor beans, the abundance, richness, and community of mesofauna observed in plots irrigated with produced water differed from the groundwater treatment. Irrigation with produced water promotes important changes in soil fauna community that justify their assessment for the maintenance and monitoring of agroecosystems.