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Sample records for semiarid ecosystems precipitation

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

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    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.

  2. Inter-annual Variability of Evapotranspiration in a Semi-arid Oak-savanna Ecosystem: Measured and Modeled Buffering to Precipitation Changes

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    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

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

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    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

  4. Assessing Ecosystem Model Performance in Semiarid Systems

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    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.

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

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    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.

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

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    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.

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

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    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.

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

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    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.

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

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    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.

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

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

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    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.

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

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

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    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. 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

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

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    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

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

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    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.

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

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    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.

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

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    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?

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

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

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    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

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

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Archibald, SA

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available and filling gaps in eddy-covariance data in semi-arid systems were developed. Net ecosystem exchange (NEE) in these systems occurs as pulses associated with rainfall events, a pattern not well-represented in current standard gap-filling procedures developed...

  3. 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.

  4. Land Use in LCA: Including Regionally Altered Precipitation to Quantify Ecosystem Damage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lathuillière, Michael J; Bulle, Cécile; Johnson, Mark S

    2016-11-01

    The incorporation of soil moisture regenerated by precipitation, or green water, into life cycle assessment has been of growing interest given the global importance of this resource for terrestrial ecosystems and food production. This paper proposes a new impact assessment model to relate land and water use in seasonally dry, semiarid, and arid regions where precipitation and evapotranspiration are closely coupled. We introduce the Precipitation Reduction Potential midpoint impact representing the change in downwind precipitation as a result of a land transformation and occupation activity. Then, our end-point impact model quantifies terrestrial ecosystem damage as a function of precipitation loss using a relationship between woody plant species richness, water and energy regimes. We then apply the midpoint and end-point models to the production of soybean in Southeastern Amazonia which has resulted from the expansion of cropland into tropical forest, with noted effects on local precipitation. Our proposed cause-effect chain represents a complementary approach to previous contributions which have focused on water consumption impacts and/or have represented evapotranspiration as a loss to the water cycle.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Weijun Zhao

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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Ecosystem functional response across precipitation extremes in a sagebrush steppe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tredennick, Andrew T; Kleinhesselink, Andrew R; Taylor, J Bret; Adler, Peter B

    2018-01-01

    Precipitation is predicted to become more variable in the western United States, meaning years of above and below average precipitation will become more common. Periods of extreme precipitation are major drivers of interannual variability in ecosystem functioning in water limited communities, but how ecosystems respond to these extremes over the long-term may shift with precipitation means and variances. Long-term changes in ecosystem functional response could reflect compensatory changes in species composition or species reaching physiological thresholds at extreme precipitation levels. We conducted a five year precipitation manipulation experiment in a sagebrush steppe ecosystem in Idaho, United States. We used drought and irrigation treatments (approximately 50% decrease/increase) to investigate whether ecosystem functional response remains consistent under sustained high or low precipitation. We recorded data on aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP), species abundance, and soil moisture. We fit a generalized linear mixed effects model to determine if the relationship between ANPP and soil moisture differed among treatments. We used nonmetric multidimensional scaling to quantify community composition over the five years. Ecosystem functional response, defined as the relationship between soil moisture and ANPP, was similar among irrigation and control treatments, but the drought treatment had a greater slope than the control treatment. However, all estimates for the effect of soil moisture on ANPP overlapped zero, indicating the relationship is weak and uncertain regardless of treatment. There was also large spatial variation in ANPP within-years, which contributes to the uncertainty of the soil moisture effect. Plant community composition was remarkably stable over the course of the experiment and did not differ among treatments. Despite some evidence that ecosystem functional response became more sensitive under sustained drought conditions, the response

  10. 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)

  11. Assessing groundwater storage changes using remote sensing-based evapotranspiration and precipitation at a large semiarid basin scale

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gokmen, M.; Vekerdy, Z.; Lubczynski, M.; Timmermans, J.; Batelaan, Okke; Verhoef, W.

    2013-01-01

    A method is presented that uses remote sensing (RS)-based evapotranspiration (ET) and precipitation estimates with improved accuracies under semiarid conditions to quantify a spatially distributed water balance, for analyzing groundwater storage changes due to supplementary water uses. The method is

  12. Global Analysis of Ecosystem Evapotranspiration Response to Precipitation Deficits

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Bin; Wang, Haiyan; Guo, Lanlan; Liu, Junjie

    2017-12-01

    Changes in ecosystem evapotranspiration (ET) due to precipitation deficits (PD) can relieve or aggravate soil moisture shortages, thus impacting drought severity. Previous findings have conflicted with regard to response of ET to PD. The present study relies on a global land ET synthesis data set (ETsyn) and observations from eddy-covariance towers (ETobs) to thoroughly examine the sensitivity of ET to PD, which is represented by the standardized precipitation index. There was a contrast in the response to PD between arid and humid ecosystems. ETsyn of arid ecosystems was typically reduced promptly in response to a reduction of precipitation, while ETsyn in humid ecosystems experienced a two-staged change: First, there was an enhancement, and then a reduction associated with persisting PD. Compared with ETsyn, ETobs suggests the occurrence of a more significant ET transition in response to PD. In arid ecosystems, ET typically negatively correlated with low PD, but this was limited by a large PD. Findings from this study are crucial for understanding the role of ET in drought evolution.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Complex terrain influences ecosystem carbon responses to temperature and precipitation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reyes, W. M.; Epstein, H. E.; Li, X.; McGlynn, B. L.; Riveros-Iregui, D. A.; Emanuel, R. E.

    2017-08-01

    Terrestrial ecosystem responses to temperature and precipitation have major implications for the global carbon cycle. Case studies demonstrate that complex terrain, which accounts for more than 50% of Earth's land surface, can affect ecological processes associated with land-atmosphere carbon fluxes. However, no studies have addressed the role of complex terrain in mediating ecophysiological responses of land-atmosphere carbon fluxes to climate variables. We synthesized data from AmeriFlux towers and found that for sites in complex terrain, responses of ecosystem CO2 fluxes to temperature and precipitation are organized according to terrain slope and drainage area, variables associated with water and energy availability. Specifically, we found that for tower sites in complex terrain, mean topographic slope and drainage area surrounding the tower explained between 51% and 78% of site-to-site variation in the response of CO2 fluxes to temperature and precipitation depending on the time scale. We found no such organization among sites in flat terrain, even though their flux responses exhibited similar ranges. These results challenge prevailing conceptual framework in terrestrial ecosystem modeling that assumes that CO2 fluxes derive from vertical soil-plant-climate interactions. We conclude that the terrain in which ecosystems are situated can also have important influences on CO2 responses to temperature and precipitation. This work has implications for about 14% of the total land area of the conterminous U.S. This area is considered topographically complex and contributes to approximately 15% of gross ecosystem carbon production in the conterminous U.S.

  16. 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

  17. Asymmetry in ecosystem responses to precipitation: Theory, observation and experimentation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sala, O.; Gherardi, L.; Reichmann, L.; Peters, D.

    2017-12-01

    Ecosystem processes such as primary production respond to changes in precipitation that occur annually and at longer time scales. The questions guiding this presentation are whether ecosystem responses to wet and dry years are symmetrical. Is the increase in productivity in a wet year similar in absolute value to the decrease in productivity in a dry year following a wet year? Is the response to one dry or wet year similar tot response of several consecutive wet and dry years? Do all plant-functional groups respond in a similar way to changes in precipitation? To address the questions we explore the theory behind a potential asymmetry and report on experimental results. Analysis of the cost and benefits of plant responses to changes in precipitation support the idea asymmetrical responses because the threshold for abscising organs that have already been deployed should be higher than the threshold to deploy new organs. However, experiments in a desert grassland in New Mexico where we experimentally increased and decreased precipitation from one year to the next showed that the response was symmetrical. Another mechanism that may yield asymmetries is the productivity response to changes in precipitation is associated with the shape of the relationship between precipitation and productivity. Straight-line relationship may yield no asymmetries whereas a saturating or concave up relationship may result in different asymmetries. Here, we report results from an experiment that yielded concave down responses for grasses and concave up for shrubs. Finally, we report results from a 10-year experiment showing asymmetric responses of grasses and shrubs. Moreover, the magnitude of the sign of the responses changed with the time since the beginning of the precipitation manipulation.

  18. Response of South American Ecosystems to Precipitation Variability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knox, R. G.; Kim, Y.; Longo, M.; Medvigy, D.; Wang, J.; Moorcroft, P. R.; Bras, R. L.

    2009-12-01

    The Ecosystem Demography Model 2 is a dynamic ecosystem model and land surface energy balance model. ED2 discretizes landscapes of particular terrain and meteorology into fractional areas of unique disturbance history. Each fraction, defined by a shared vertical soil column and canopy air space, contains a stratum of plant groups unique in functional type, size and number density. The result is a vertically distributed representation of energy transfer and plant dynamics (mortality, productivity, recruitment, disturbance, resource competition, etc) that successfully approximates the behaviour of individual-based vegetation models. In previous exercises simulating Amazonian land surface dynamics with ED 2, it was observed that when using grid averaged precipitation as an external forcing the resulting water balance typically over-estimated leaf interception and leaf evaporation while under estimating through-fall and transpiration. To investigate this result, two scenario were conducted in which land surface biophysics and ecosystem demography over the Northern portion of South America are simulated over ~200 years: (1) ED2 is forced with grid averaged values taken from the ERA40 reanalysis meteorological dataset; (2) ED2 is forced with ERA40 reanalysis, but with its precipitation re-sampled to reflect statistical qualities of point precipitation found at rain gauge stations in the region. The findings in this study suggest that the equilibrium moisture states and vegetation demography are co-dependent and show sensitivity to temporal variability in precipitation. These sensitivities will need to be accounted for in future projections of coupled climate-ecosystem changes in South America.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  6. 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...

  7. 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...

  8. 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.

  9. Impact of acid precipitation on freshwater ecosystems in Norway

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wright, R F; Dale, T; Gjessing, E T; Hendrey, G R; Henriksen, A; J Hannesen, M; Muniz, I P

    1975-01-01

    Precipitation in southern Norway contains large amounts of H/sup +/, SO/sub 4//sup 2 -/, and NO/sub 3//sup -/ ions, along with heavy metals such as Cu, Zn, Cd, and Pb. These pollutants are transported over long distances to Scandinavia and are deposited in precipitation and dry-fallout. Large areas of southern Norway have been adversely affected by acid precipitation. The pH of many lakes is below 5.0 and sulfate, rather than bicarbonate, is the major anion. Lakes in these areas are particularly vulnerable to acid precipitation because their watersheds are underlain by highly resistant bedrock with low calcium and magnesium contents. The effects of the increasing acidity of freshwater ecosystems involve interference at every trophic level. Biological surveys indicate that low pH-values inhibit the decomposition of allochthonous organic matter, decrease the species number of phyto- and zooplankton and benthic invertebrates, and promote the growth of benthic mosses. Fish populations have been severely affected - the salmon have been eliminated from many rivers, and hundreds of lakes have lost their sport fisheries.

  10. 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...

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-12-01

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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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...

  3. RAINFALL CHARACTERIZATION AND SEDIMENTOLOGICAL RESPONSES OF WATERSHEDS WITH DIFFERENT LAND USES TO PRECIPITATION IN THE SEMIARID REGION OF BRAZIL

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    JACQUES CARVALHO RIBEIRO FILHO

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The objective of this work was to evaluated the precipitation characteristics (depth, I30 and erosivity and their effects on sediment production in three watersheds under different managements of land use 35 - year regenerating Caatinga (RC, thinned Caatinga (TC, which underwent thinning of trees with diameter smaller than 10 cm; and deforested Caatinga (followed by burning and pasture (DC. The experimente was conducted in the central, tropical semiarid region of the State of Ceará, Brazil. The precipitation events, surface runoff and sediment production were monitored from 2010 to 2015. The precipitation characteristics were subjected to Pearson's correlation at 1 and 5% of significance and the events that produced sediments in each watershed were hierarchically grouped by hierarchical cluster analysis technique. Two hundred precipitation events were recorded, with 23 (RC, 18 (TC and 43 (DC events producing sediments. The use of thinning (TC decreased the sediment production by 53.5%, while the deforestation, burn and pasture cultivation (DC increased soil losses by 14%, compared with the RC. The sediment production was greatly correlated with the I30 in the three watersheds, denoting the erosion process great dependence on the precipitation intensity.

  4. 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.

  5. Plan and Some Results of "Advanced Study on Precipitation Enhancement in Arid and Semi-Arid Regions"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murakami, M.

    2016-12-01

    There are several technologies to secure water resources, including the desalination of seawater, recycling of industrial water and reuse of wastewater. However precipitation enhancement is the only way we can create a large amount of water for industrial use, for example, water for irrigation, provided we find clouds suitable for cloud seeding and apply appropriate and effective methods to increase precipitation. Therefore, rain enhancement research is critical in the quest for new water security options and innovative solutions in the UAE and other arid and semi-arid regions. The main objective of our project is to better evaluate, and ultimately improve, the effectiveness of rain enhancement in the UAE and other arid and semi-arid regions using hygroscopic and glaciogenic seeding techniques. One of the major questions regarding rain enhancement today is the effectiveness of hygroscopic seeding for warm and supercooled convective clouds. Our research will investigate the microphysical processes in seeded and unseeded clouds using a combination of laboratory experiments, numerical simulations and in-situ aircraft measurements in order to decipher the mechanism responsible for precipitation augmentation due to hygroscopic seeding. In our research, major elements of cloud seeding, e.g., assessment of seedability, development of optimal seeding methods and evaluation of seeding effects, will be investigated in the most efficient and realistic way, within three years, using mainly the numerical models with the sophisticated seeding scheme, which is developed on a basis of laboratory experiments and then validated against in-situ and remote sensing observations. In addition to the research plan, the outcomes of the research projects, which will be made available to the public at the end of the project and benefit the broader society, is discussed.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. The theory, direction, and magnitude of ecosystem fire probability as constrained by precipitation and temperature.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guyette, Richard; Stambaugh, Michael C; Dey, Daniel; Muzika, Rose Marie

    2017-01-01

    The effects of climate on wildland fire confronts society across a range of different ecosystems. Water and temperature affect the combustion dynamics, irrespective of whether those are associated with carbon fueled motors or ecosystems, but through different chemical, physical, and biological processes. We use an ecosystem combustion equation developed with the physical chemistry of atmospheric variables to estimate and simulate fire probability and mean fire interval (MFI). The calibration of ecosystem fire probability with basic combustion chemistry and physics offers a quantitative method to address wildland fire in addition to the well-studied forcing factors such as topography, ignition, and vegetation. We develop a graphic analysis tool for estimating climate forced fire probability with temperature and precipitation based on an empirical assessment of combustion theory and fire prediction in ecosystems. Climate-affected fire probability for any period, past or future, is estimated with given temperature and precipitation. A graphic analyses of wildland fire dynamics driven by climate supports a dialectic in hydrologic processes that affect ecosystem combustion: 1) the water needed by plants to produce carbon bonds (fuel) and 2) the inhibition of successful reactant collisions by water molecules (humidity and fuel moisture). These two postulates enable a classification scheme for ecosystems into three or more climate categories using their position relative to change points defined by precipitation in combustion dynamics equations. Three classifications of combustion dynamics in ecosystems fire probability include: 1) precipitation insensitive, 2) precipitation unstable, and 3) precipitation sensitive. All three classifications interact in different ways with variable levels of temperature.

  9. Fungal symbiosis and precipitation alter traits and dune building by the ecosystem engineer, Ammophila breviligulata.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emery, Sarah M; Bell-Dereske, Lukas; Rudgers, Jennifer A

    2015-04-01

    Ecosystem engineer species influence their community and ecosystem by creating or altering the physical structure of habitats. The function of ecosystem engineers is variable and can depend on both abiotic and biotic factors. Here we make use of a primary successional system to evaluate the direct and interactive effects of climate change (precipitation) and fungal endophyte symbiosis on population traits and ecosystem function of the ecosystem engineering grass species, Ammophila breviligulata. We manipulated endophyte presence in A. breviligulata in combination with rain-out shelters and rainfall additions in a factorial field experiment established in 2010 on Lake Michigan sand dunes. We monitored plant traits, survival, growth, and sexual reproduction of A. breviligulata from 2010-2013, and quantified ecosystem engineering as the sand accumulation rate. Presence of the endophyte in A. breviligulata increased vegetative growth by up to 19%, and reduced sexual reproduction by up to 46% across all precipitation treatments. Precipitation was a less significant factor than endophyte colonization for A. breviligulata growth. Reduced precipitation increased average leaf number per tiller but had no other effects on plant traits. Changes in A. breviligulata traits corresponded to increases in sand accumulation in plots with the endophyte as well as in plots with reduced precipitation. Sand accumulation is a key ecosystem function in these primary successional habitats, and so microbial symbiosis in this ecosystem engineer could lead to direct effects on the value of these dune habitats for humans.

  10. 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.

  11. Precipitation as driver of carbon fluxes in 11 African ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Merbold, L.; Ardo, J.; Arneth, A.; Scholes, R.J.; Nouvellon, Y.; Grandcourt, de A.; Archibald, S.; Bonnefonds, J.M.; Boulain, N.; Bruemmer, C.; Brueggemann, N.; Cappelaere, B.; Ceschia, E.; El-Khidir, H.A.M.; El-Tahir, B.A.; Falk, U.; Lloyd, J.; Kergoat, L.; Dantec, Le V.; Mougin, E.; Muchinda, M.; Mukelabai, M.M.; Ramier, D.; Roupsard, O.; Timouk, F.; Veenendaal, E.M.; Kutsch, W.L.

    2009-01-01

    This study reports carbon and water fluxes between the land surface and atmosphere in eleven different ecosystems types in Sub-Saharan Africa, as measured using eddy covariance (EC) technology in the first two years of the CarboAfrica network operation. The ecosystems for which data were available

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. The theory, direction, and magnitude of ecosystem fire probability as constrained by precipitation and temperature.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard Guyette

    Full Text Available The effects of climate on wildland fire confronts society across a range of different ecosystems. Water and temperature affect the combustion dynamics, irrespective of whether those are associated with carbon fueled motors or ecosystems, but through different chemical, physical, and biological processes. We use an ecosystem combustion equation developed with the physical chemistry of atmospheric variables to estimate and simulate fire probability and mean fire interval (MFI. The calibration of ecosystem fire probability with basic combustion chemistry and physics offers a quantitative method to address wildland fire in addition to the well-studied forcing factors such as topography, ignition, and vegetation. We develop a graphic analysis tool for estimating climate forced fire probability with temperature and precipitation based on an empirical assessment of combustion theory and fire prediction in ecosystems. Climate-affected fire probability for any period, past or future, is estimated with given temperature and precipitation. A graphic analyses of wildland fire dynamics driven by climate supports a dialectic in hydrologic processes that affect ecosystem combustion: 1 the water needed by plants to produce carbon bonds (fuel and 2 the inhibition of successful reactant collisions by water molecules (humidity and fuel moisture. These two postulates enable a classification scheme for ecosystems into three or more climate categories using their position relative to change points defined by precipitation in combustion dynamics equations. Three classifications of combustion dynamics in ecosystems fire probability include: 1 precipitation insensitive, 2 precipitation unstable, and 3 precipitation sensitive. All three classifications interact in different ways with variable levels of temperature.

  16. 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 ...

  17. 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...

  18. 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.

  19. Precipitation as driver of carbon fluxes in 11 African ecosystems

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Merbold, L

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available operation. The ecosystems for which data were available ranged in mean annual rainfall from 320mm (Sudan) to 1150mm (The Republic of Congo) and include a spectrum of vegetation types (or land cover) (open savannas, woodlands, croplands and grasslands). Given...

  20. Precipitation as driver of carbon fluxes in 11 African ecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. Merbold

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available This study reports carbon and water fluxes between the land surface and atmosphere in eleven different ecosystems types in Sub-Saharan Africa, as measured using eddy covariance (EC technology in the first two years of the CarboAfrica network operation. The ecosystems for which data were available ranged in mean annual rainfall from 320 mm (Sudan to 1150 mm (Republic of Congo and include a spectrum of vegetation types (or land cover (open savannas, woodlands, croplands and grasslands. Given the shortness of the record, the EC data were analysed across the network rather than longitudinally at sites, in order to understand the driving factors for ecosystem respiration and carbon assimilation, and to reveal the different water use strategies in these highly seasonal environments.

    Values for maximum net carbon assimilation rates (photosynthesis ranged from −12.5 μmol CO2 m−2 s−1 in a dry, open Millet cropland (C4-plants up to −48 μmol CO2 m−2 s−1 for a tropical moist grassland. Maximum carbon assimilation rates were highly correlated with mean annual rainfall (r2=0.74. Maximum photosynthetic uptake rates (Fpmax were positively related to satellite-derived fAPAR. Ecosystem respiration was dependent on temperature at all sites, and was additionally dependent on soil water content at sites receiving less than 1000 mm of rain per year. All included ecosystems dominated by C3-plants, showed a strong decrease in 30-min assimilation rates with increasing water vapour pressure deficit above 2.0 kPa.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ran Goldblatt

    2017-12-01

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

  2. Impacts of Precipitation Diurnal Timing on Ecosystem Carbon Exchanges in Grasslands: A Synthesis of AmeriFlux Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, X.; Xu, X.; Tweedie, C. E.

    2015-12-01

    Drylands have been found playing an important role regulating the seasonality of global atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations. Precipitation is a primary control of ecosystem carbon exchanges in drylands where a large proportion of the annual total rainfall arrives through a small number of episodic precipitation events. While a large number of studies use the concept of "precipitation pulses" to explore the effects of short-term precipitation events on dryland ecosystem function, few have specifically evaluated the importance of the diurnal timing of these events. The primary goal of this study was to determine how the diurnal timing of rainfall events impacts land-atmosphere net ecosystem CO2 exchanges (NEE) and ecosystem respiration in drylands. Our research leverages a substantial and existing long-term database (AmeriFlux) that describes NEE, Reco and meteorological conditions at 11 sites situated in different dryland ecosystems in South West America. All sites employ the eddy covariance technique to measure land-atmosphere the CO2 exchange rates between atmosphere and ecosystem. Data collected at these sites range from 4 to 10 years, totaling up to 73 site-years. We found that episodic precipitation events stimulate not only vegetation photosynthesis but also ecosystem respiration. Specifically, the morning precipitation events decrease photosynthesis function at daytime and increase ecosystem respiration at nighttime; the afternoon precipitation events do not stimulate ecosystem photosynthesis at daytime, while stimulate ecosystem respiration; the night precipitations suppress photosynthesis at daytime, and enhance ecosystem respiration at nighttime.

  3. 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...

  4. Precipitation as driver of carbon fluxes in 11 African ecosystems

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Merbold, L

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available ). Given the shortness of the record, the EC data were analysed across the network rather than longitudinally at sites, in order to under- stand the driving factors for ecosystem respiration and car- bon assimilation, and to reveal the different water... by Schulze et al. (1994) and the thick solid regression line shows the regression for the eleven African sites. (n=11) variability in the global terrestrial cycles of water and car- bon (Williams et al., 2007; Weber et al., 2009). More- over, all African...

  5. Comparable Monoterpene emission from pine forests across 500 mm precipitation gradient in the semi-arid transition zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seco, Roger; Karl, Thomas; Turnipseed, Andrew; Greenberg, Jim; Guenther, Alex; Llusia, Joan; Penuelas, Josep; Dicken, Uri; Rotenberg, Eyal; Rohatyn, Shani; Preisler, Yakir; Yakir, Dan

    2014-05-01

    Atmospheric volatile organic compounds (VOCs) have key environmental and biological roles, and can affect atmospheric chemistry, secondary aerosol formation, and as a consequence also climate. At the same time, global changes in climate arising from human activities can modify the VOC emissions of vegetation in the coming years. Monoterpene emission fluxes were measured during April 2013 at two forests in the semi-arid climate of Israel. Both forests were dominated by Pinus halepensis trees of similar age, but differed in the amount of annual average precipitation received (~276 and ~760 mm at the Yatir and Birya sites, respectively). Measurements performed included leaf-level sampling and gas exchange, as well as canopy-level flux calculations. Leaf level monoterpene emissions were sampled from leaf cuvettes with adsorbent cartridges and later analyzed by GC-MS. Canopy scale fluxes were calculated with the Disjunct Eddy Covariance technique by means of a Quadrupole PTRMS and eddy-covariance system. We report the differences observed between the two forests in terms of photosynthetic activity and monoterpene emissions, aiming to see the effect of the different climatic regimes at each location. Significantly higher emission rates of monoterpenes were observed in the wetter site during mid-day, in both the leaf scale and canopy scale measurements. Remarkably, however, normalized to 30C and corrected for tree density differences between the sites indicated comparable emission rates for both sites, with higher emission rated in the evening hours in the dry site at the edge of the Negev Desert. Modeling the monoterpene emission rates using MEGAN v2.1 indicated better agreement with observations in the wetter site then in the dry site, especially with respect to fluxes during the evening hours.

  6. Carbon exchanges and their responses to temperature and precipitation in forest ecosystems in Yunnan, Southwest China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fei, Xuehai; Song, Qinghai; Zhang, Yiping; Liu, Yuntong; Sha, Liqing; Yu, Guirui; Zhang, Leiming; Duan, Changqun; Deng, Yun; Wu, Chuansheng; Lu, Zhiyun; Luo, Kang; Chen, Aiguo; Xu, Kun; Liu, Weiwei; Huang, Hua; Jin, Yanqiang; Zhou, Ruiwu; Li, Jing; Lin, Youxing; Zhou, Liguo; Fu, Yane; Bai, Xiaolong; Tang, Xianhui; Gao, Jinbo; Zhou, Wenjun; Grace, John

    2018-03-01

    Forest ecosystems play an increasingly important role in the global carbon cycle. However, knowledge on carbon exchanges, their spatio-temporal patterns, and the extent of the key controls that affect carbon fluxes is lacking. In this study, we employed 29-site-years of eddy covariance data to observe the state, spatio-temporal variations and climate sensitivity of carbon fluxes (gross primary productivity (GPP), ecosystem respiration (R eco ), and net ecosystem carbon exchange (NEE)) in four representative forest ecosystems in Yunnan. We found that 1) all four forest ecosystems were carbon sinks (the average NEE was -3.40tCha -1 yr -1 ); 2) contrasting seasonality of the NEE among the ecosystems with a carbon sink mainly during the wet season in the Yuanjiang savanna ecosystem (YJ) but during the dry season in the Xishuangbanna tropical rainforest ecosystem (XSBN), besides an equivalent NEE uptake was observed during the wet/dry season in the Ailaoshan subtropical evergreen broad-leaved forest ecosystem (ALS) and Lijiang subalpine coniferous forest ecosystem (LJ); 3) as the GPP increased, the net ecosystem production (NEP) first increased and then decreased when the GPP>17.5tCha -1 yr -1 ; 4) the precipitation determines the carbon sinks in the savanna ecosystem (e.g., YJ), while temperature did so in the tropical forest ecosystem (e.g., XSBN); 5) overall, under the circumstances of warming and decreased precipitation, the carbon sink might decrease in the YJ but maybe increase in the ALS and LJ, while future strength of the sink in the XSBN is somewhat uncertain. However, based on the redundancy analysis, the temperature and precipitation combined together explained 39.7%, 32.2%, 25.3%, and 29.6% of the variations in the NEE in the YJ, XSBN, ALS and LJ, respectively, which indicates that considerable changes in the NEE could not be explained by variations in the temperature and precipitation. Therefore, the effects of other factors (e.g., CO 2 concentration, N

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  8. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  10. Asymmetrical Responses of Ecosystem Processes to Positive Versus Negative Precipitation Extremes: a Replicated Regression Experimental Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Felton, A. J.; Smith, M. D.

    2016-12-01

    Heightened climatic variability due to atmospheric warming is forecast to increase the frequency and severity of climate extremes. In particular, changes to interannual variability in precipitation, characterized by increases in extreme wet and dry years, are likely to impact virtually all terrestrial ecosystem processes. However, to date experimental approaches have yet to explicitly test how ecosystem processes respond to multiple levels of climatic extremity, limiting our understanding of how ecosystems will respond to forecast increases in the magnitude of climate extremes. Here we report the results of a replicated regression experimental approach, in which we imposed 9 and 11 levels of growing season precipitation amount and extremity in mesic grassland during 2015 and 2016, respectively. Each level corresponded to a specific percentile of the long-term record, which produced a large gradient of soil moisture conditions that ranged from extreme wet to extreme dry. In both 2015 and 2016, asymptotic responses to water availability were observed for soil respiration. This asymmetry was driven in part by transitions between soil moisture versus temperature constraints on respiration as conditions became increasingly dry versus increasingly wet. In 2015, aboveground net primary production (ANPP) exhibited asymmetric responses to precipitation that largely mirrored those of soil respiration. In total, our results suggest that in this mesic ecosystem, these two carbon cycle processes were more sensitive to extreme drought than to extreme wet years. Future work will assess ANPP responses for 2016, soil nutrient supply and physiological responses of the dominant plant species. Future efforts are needed to compare our findings across a diverse array of ecosystem types, and in particular how the timing and magnitude of precipitation events may modify the response of ecosystem processes to increasing magnitudes of precipitation extremes.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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...

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. The Consequences of Precipitation Seasonality for Mediterranean-Ecosystem Vegetation of South Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cramer, Michael D; Hoffman, M Timm

    2015-01-01

    Globally, mediterranean-climate ecosystem vegetation has converged on an evergreen, sclerophyllous and shrubby growth form. The particular aspects of mediterranean-climate regions that contribute to this convergence include summer droughts and relatively nutrient-poor soils. We hypothesised that winter-precipitation implies stressful summer droughts and leaches soils due to greater water availability (i.e. balance between precipitation and potential evapotranspiration; P-PET) during cold periods. We conducted a comparative analysis of normalised difference vegetation indices (NDVI) and edaphic and climate properties across the biomes of South Africa. NDVI was strongly correlated with both precipitation and P-PET (r2 = 0.8). There was no evidence, however, that winter-precipitation reduces NDVI in comparison to similar amounts of summer-precipitation. Base saturation (BS), a measure of soil leaching was, however, negatively related to P-PET (r2 = 0.64). This led to an interaction between P-PET and BS in determining NDVI, indicating the existence of a trade-off between water availability and soil nutrients that enables NDVI to increase with precipitation, despite negative consequences for soil nutrient availability. The mechanism of this trade-off is suggested to be that water increases nutrient accessibility. This implies that along with nutrient-depauperate geologies and long periods of time since glaciation, the winter-precipitation may have contributed to the highly leached status of the soils. Since many of the ecophysiological characteristics of mediterranean-ecosystem flora are associated with low nutrient availabilities (e.g. evergreen foliage, sclerophylly, cluster roots), we conclude that mediterranean-climates promote convergence of growth-forms in these regions through high leaching capacity.

  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. 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...

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  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. Relative effects of precipitation variability and warming on tallgrass prairie ecosystem function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. A. Fay

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Precipitation and temperature drive many aspects of terrestrial ecosystem function. Climate change scenarios predict increasing precipitation variability and temperature, and long term experiments are required to evaluate the ecosystem consequences of interannual climate variation, increased growing season (intra-annual rainfall variability, and warming. We present results from an experiment applying increased growing season rainfall variability and year round warming in native tallgrass prairie. During ten years of study, total growing season rainfall varied 2-fold, and we found ~50–200% interannual variability in plant growth and aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP, leaf carbon assimilation (ACO2, and soil CO2 efflux (JCO2 despite only ~40% variation in mean volumetric soil water content (0–15 cm, Θ15. Interannual variation in soil moisture was thus amplified in most measures of ecosystem response. Differences between years in Θ15 explained the greatest portion (14–52% of the variation in these processes. Experimentally increased intra-annual season rainfall variability doubled the amplitude of intra-annual soil moisture variation and reduced Θ15 by 15%, causing most ecosystem processes to decrease 8–40% in some or all years with increased rainfall variability compared to ambient rainfall timing, suggesting reduced ecosystem rainfall use efficiency. Warming treatments increased soil temperature at 5 cm depth, particularly during spring, fall, and winter. Warming advanced canopy green up in spring, increased winter JCO2, and reduced summer JCO2 and forb ANPP, suggesting that the effects of warming differed in cooler versus warmer parts of the year. We conclude that (1 major ecosystem processes in this grassland may be substantially altered by predicted changes in

  9. Plant responses to precipitation in desert ecosystems: integrating functional types, pulses, thresholds, and delays.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ogle, Kiona; Reynolds, James F

    2004-10-01

    The 'two-layer' and 'pulse-reserve' hypotheses were developed 30 years ago and continue to serve as the standard for many experiments and modeling studies that examine relationships between primary productivity and rainfall variability in aridlands. The two-layer hypothesis considers two important plant functional types (FTs) and predicts that woody and herbaceous plants are able to co-exist in savannas because they utilize water from different soil layers (or depths). The pulse-reserve model addresses the response of individual plants to precipitation and predicts that there are 'biologically important' rain events that stimulate plant growth and reproduction. These pulses of precipitation may play a key role in long-term plant function and survival (as compared to seasonal or annual rainfall totals as per the two-layer model). In this paper, we re-evaluate these paradigms in terms of their generality, strengths, and limitations. We suggest that while seasonality and resource partitioning (key to the two-layer model) and biologically important precipitation events (key to the pulse-reserve model) are critical to understanding plant responses to precipitation in aridlands, both paradigms have significant limitations. Neither account for plasticity in rooting habits of woody plants, potential delayed responses of plants to rainfall, explicit precipitation thresholds, or vagaries in plant phenology. To address these limitations, we integrate the ideas of precipitation thresholds and plant delays, resource partitioning, and plant FT strategies into a simple 'threshold-delay' model. The model contains six basic parameters that capture the nonlinear nature of plant responses to pulse precipitation. We review the literature within the context of our threshold-delay model to: (i) develop testable hypotheses about how different plant FTs respond to pulses; (ii) identify weaknesses in the current state-of-knowledge; and (iii) suggest future research directions that will

  10. Variations of net ecosystem production due to seasonal precipitation differences in a tropical dry forest of northwest Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verduzco, Vivian S.; Garatuza-Payán, Jaime; Yépez, Enrico A.; Watts, Christopher J.; Rodríguez, Julio C.; Robles-Morua, Agustin; Vivoni, Enrique R.

    2015-10-01

    Due to their large extent and high primary productivity, tropical dry forests (TDF) are important contributors to atmospheric carbon exchanges in subtropical and tropical regions. In northwest Mexico, a bimodal precipitation regime that includes winter precipitation derived from Pacific storms and summer precipitation from the North American monsoon (NAM) couples water availability with ecosystem processes. We investigated the net ecosystem production of a TDF ecosystem using a 4.5 year record of water and carbon fluxes obtained from the eddy covariance method complemented with remotely sensed data. We identified a large CO2 efflux at the start of the summer season that is strongly related to the preceding winter precipitation and greenness. Since this CO2 efflux occurs prior to vegetation green-up, we infer that respiration is mainly due to decomposition of soil organic matter accumulated from the prior growing season. Overall, ecosystem respiration has an important effect on the net ecosystem production but can be overwhelmed by the strength of the primary productivity during the NAM. Precipitation characteristics during NAM have significant controls on sustaining carbon fixation in the TDF into the fall season. We identified that a threshold of ~350 to 400 mm of monsoon precipitation leads to a switch in the annual carbon balance in the TDF ecosystem from a net source (+102 g C/m2/yr) to a net sink (-249 g C/m2/yr). This monsoonal precipitation threshold is typically exceeded one out of every 2 years. The close coupling of winter and summer periods with respect to carbon fluxes suggests that the annual carbon balance is dependent on precipitation amounts in both seasons in TDF ecosystems.

  11. Trajectories of grassland ecosystem change in response to experimental manipulations of precipitation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knapp, Alan; Smith, Melinda; Collins, Scott; Blair, John; Briggs, John

    2010-05-01

    Understanding and predicting the dynamics of ecological systems has always been central to Ecology. Today, ecologists recognize that in addition to natural and human-caused disturbances, a fundamentally different type of ecosystem change is being driven by the combined and cumulative effects of anthropogenic activities affecting earth's climate and biogeochemical cycles. This type of change is historically unprecedented in magnitude, and as a consequence, such alterations are leading to trajectories of change in ecological responses that differ radically from those observed in the past. Through both short- and long-term experiments, we have been trying to better understand the mechanisms and consequences of ecological change in grassland ecosystems likely to result from changes in precipitation regimes. We have manipulated a key resource for most grasslands (water) and modulators of water availability (temperature) in field experiments that vary from 1-17 years in duration, and used even longer-term monitoring data from the Konza Prairie LTER program to assess how grassland communities and ecosystems will respond to changes in water availability. Trajectories of change in aboveground net primary production (ANPP) in sites subjected to 17 years of soil water augmentation were strongly non-linear with a marked increase in the stimulation of ANPP after year 8 (from 25% to 65%). Lags in alterations in grassland community composition are posited to be responsible for the form of this trajectory of change. In contrast, responses in ANPP to chronic increases in soil moisture variability appear to have decreased over a 10-yr period of manipulation, although the net effects of more variable precipitation inputs were to reduce ANPP, alter the genetic structure of the dominant grass species, increase soil nitrogen availability and reduce soil respiration. The loss of sensitivity to increased resource variability was not reflected in adjacent plots where precipitation was

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Long-term Observations of Intense Precipitation Small-scale Spatial Variability in a Semi-arid Catchment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cropp, E. L.; Hazenberg, P.; Castro, C. L.; Demaria, E. M.

    2017-12-01

    In the southwestern US, the summertime North American Monsoon (NAM) provides about 60% of the region's annual precipitation. Recent research using high-resolution atmospheric model simulations and retrospective predictions has shown that since the 1950's, and more specifically in the last few decades, the mean daily precipitation in the southwestern U.S. during the NAM has followed a decreasing trend. Furthermore, days with more extreme precipitation have intensified. The current work focuses the impact of these long-term changes on the observed small-scale spatial variability of intense precipitation. Since limited long-term high-resolution observational data exist to support such climatological-induced spatial changes in precipitation frequency and intensity, the current work utilizes observations from the USDA-ARS Walnut Gulch Experimental Watershed (WGEW) in southeastern Arizona. Within this 150 km^2 catchment over 90 rain gauges have been installed since the 1950s, measuring at sub-hourly resolution. We have applied geospatial analyses and the kriging interpolation technique to identify long-term changes in the spatial and temporal correlation and anisotropy of intense precipitation. The observed results will be compared with the previously model simulated results, as well as related to large-scale variations in climate patterns, such as the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO).

  15. 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 ...

  16. Mobility of radiocaesium in boreal forest ecosystems: Influence of precipitation chemistry

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Steinnes, E. [Department of Chemistry, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (Norway); Gjelsvik, R.; Skuterud, L.; Thoerring, H. [Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority (Norway)

    2014-07-01

    Mobility and plant uptake of Cs in soils is generally limited by the presence of clay minerals in the soil. However, cations supplied by precipitation may substantially influence the mobility of radiocaesium in natural surface soil and subsequent transfer to food chains. The chemical composition of precipitation shows substantial variation among different areas in Norway for two main reasons. At sites close to the coast the atmospheric supply of marine cations and anions is many-fold greater than in regions shielded from marine influence by mountains. The southernmost part of the country has been, and still is, substantially affected by soil acidification due to long-range atmospheric transport of acidifying substances from areas elsewhere in Europe. This may explain a much higher greater uptake of {sup 137}Cs from the Chernobyl accident in moose in this region than elsewhere (Steinnes et al., 2009), in spite of the fact that some areas farther north received substantially greater fallout. Similarly a much greater transfer of {sup 137}Cs to natural birch forest vegetation is evident from the more acidified soils in the south than in comparable ecosystems elsewhere in the country (Thoerring et al., 2012). Repeated recordings of activity levels in natural surface soils showed faster leaching of Chernobyl {sup 137}Cs relative to inland areas not only in the south but also in coastal areas farther north (Gjelsvik and Steinnes, 2013), indicating that the amounts of marine cations in precipitation also has an appreciable effect on the Cs leaching. The geographical leaching differences still became less prominent with time. Recent lysimeter experiments with undisturbed soil columns obtained from an area receiving high radiocaesium deposition from the Chernobyl accident, applying precipitation with ionic composition characteristic of the different regions mentioned above, did not change the current depth distribution of {sup 137}Cs. However, acidic precipitation increased

  17. A dynamical characterization of the uncertainty in projections of regional precipitation change in the semi-arid tropics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giannini, A.

    2016-12-01

    The uncertainty in CMIP multi-model ensembles of regional precipitation change in tropical regions is well known: taken at face value, models do not agree on the direction of precipitation change. Consequently, in adaptation discourse, either projections are discounted, e.g., by giving more relevance to temperature projections, or outcomes are grossly misrepresented, e.g., in extrapolating recent drought into the long-term future. That this is an unsatisfactory state of affairs, given the dominant role of precipitation in shaping climate-sensitive human endeavors in the tropics, is an understatement.Here I will provide a dynamical characterization of the uncertainty in regional precipitation projections that exploits the CMIP multi-model ensembles. This characterization is based on decomposing the moisture budget and relating its terms to the influence of the oceans, specifically to the roles of moisture supply and stabilization of the vertical profile. I will discuss some preliminary findings highlighting the relevance of lessons learned from seasonal-to-interannual prediction. One such lesson is to go beyond the projection taken at face value, and understand physical processes, specifically, the role of the oceans, in order to be able to make qualitative arguments, in addition to quantitative predictions. One other lesson is to abandon the search for the "best model" and exploit the multi-model ensemble to characterize "emergent constraints".

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-10

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

  20. Precipitation Regime Shift Enhanced the Rain Pulse Effect on Soil Respiration in a Semi-Arid Steppe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Liming; Chen, Shiping; Xia, Jianyang; Luo, Yiqi

    2014-01-01

    The effect of resource pulses, such as rainfall events, on soil respiration plays an important role in controlling grassland carbon balance, but how shifts in long-term precipitation regime regulate rain pulse effect on soil respiration is still unclear. We first quantified the influence of rainfall event on soil respiration based on a two-year (2006 and 2009) continuously measured soil respiration data set in a temperate steppe in northern China. In 2006 and 2009, soil carbon release induced by rainfall events contributed about 44.5% (83.3 g C m−2) and 39.6% (61.7 g C m−2) to the growing-season total soil respiration, respectively. The pulse effect of rainfall event on soil respiration can be accurately predicted by a water status index (WSI), which is the product of rainfall event size and the ratio between antecedent soil temperature to moisture at the depth of 10 cm (r 2 = 0.92, Psoil temperature/moisture ratio which is usually associated with longer dry spells. We then analyzed a long-term (1953–2009) precipitation record in the experimental area. We found both the extreme heavy rainfall events (>40 mm per event) and the long dry-spells (>5 days) during the growing seasons increased from 1953–2009. It suggests the shift in precipitation regime has increased the contribution of rain pulse effect to growing-season total soil respiration in this region. These findings highlight the importance of incorporating precipitation regime shift and its impacts on the rain pulse effect into the future predictions of grassland carbon cycle under climate change. PMID:25093573

  1. [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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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...

  5. 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...

  6. How and to what extent does precipitation on multi-temporal scales and soil moisture at different depths determine carbon flux responses in a water-limited grassland ecosystem?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fang, Qingqing; Wang, Guoqiang; Xue, Baolin; Liu, Tingxi; Kiem, Anthony

    2018-04-23

    In water-limited ecosystems, hydrological processes significantly affect the carbon flux. The semi-arid grassland ecosystem is particularly sensitive to variations in precipitation (PRE) and soil moisture content (SMC), but to what extent is not fully understood. In this study, we estimated and analyzed how hydrological variables, especially PRE at multi-temporal scales (diurnal, monthly, phenological-related, and seasonal) and SMC at different soil depths (0-20 cm, 20-40 cm, 40-60 cm, 60-80 cm) affect the carbon flux. For these aims, eddy covariance data were combined with a Vegetation Photosynthesis and Respiration Model (VPRM) to simulate the regional gross primary productivity (GPP), ecosystem respiration (R eco ), and net ecosystem exchange of CO 2 (NEE). Interestingly, carbon flux showed no relationship with diurnal PRE or phenological-related PRE (precipitation in the growing season and non-growing season). However, carbon flux was significantly related to monthly PRE and to seasonal PRE (spring + summer, autumn). The GPP, R eco , and NEE increased in spring and summer but decreased in autumn with increasing precipitation due to the combined effect of salinization in autumn. The GPP, R eco , and NEE were more responsive to SMC at 0-20 cm depth than at deeper depths due to the shorter roots of herbaceous vegetation. The NEE increased with increasing monthly PRE because soil microbes responded more quickly than plants. The NEE significantly decreased with increasing SMC in shallow surface due to a hysteresis effect on water transport. The results of our study highlight the complex processes that determine how and to what extent PRE at multi-temporal scale and SMC at different depths affect the carbon flux response in a water-limited grassland. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. 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

  8. Ecohydrological responses of a model semiarid system to precipitation pulses after a global change type dry-down depend on growth-form, event size, and time since establishment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barron-Gafford, G. A.; Minor, R. L.; Braun, Z.; Potts, D. L.

    2012-12-01

    Woody encroachment into grasslands alters ecosystem structure and function both above- and belowground. Aboveground, woody plant canopies increase leaf area index and alter patterns of interception, infiltration and runoff. Belowground, woody plants alter root distribution and increase maximum rooting depth with the effect of accessing deeper pools of soil moisture and shifting the timing and duration of evapotranspiration. In turn, these woody plants mediate hydrological changes that influence patterns of ecosystem CO2 exchange and productivity. Given projections of more variable precipitation and increased temperatures for many semiarid regions, differences in physiological performance are likely to drive changes in ecosystem-scale carbon and water flux depending on the degree of woody cover. Ultimately, as soil moisture declines with decreased precipitation, differential patterns of environmental sensitivity among growth-forms and their dependence on groundwater will only become more important in determining ecosystem resilience to future change. Here, we created a series of 1-meter deep mesocosms that housed either a woody mesquite shrub, a bunchgrass, or was left as bare soil. Five replicates of each were maintained under current ambient air temperatures, and five replicates were maintained under projected (+4oC) air temperatures. Each mesocosm was outfitted with an array of soil moisture, temperature, water potential, and CO2 exchange concentration sensors at the near-surface, 30, 55, and 80cm depths to quantify patterns of soil moisture and respiratory CO2 exchange efflux in response to rainfall events of varying magnitude and intervening dry periods of varying duration. In addition, we used minirhizotrons to quantify the response of roots to episodic rainfall. During the first year, bunchgrasses photosynthetically outperformed mesquite saplings across a wider range of temperatures under dry conditions, regardless of growth temperature (ambient or +4o

  9. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Variations in soil carbon sequestration and their determinants along a precipitation gradient in seasonally dry tropical forest ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campo, Julio; Merino, Agustín

    2016-05-01

    The effect of precipitation regime on the C cycle of tropical forests is poorly understood, despite the existence of models that suggest a drier climate may substantially alter the source-sink function of these ecosystems. Along a precipitation regime gradient containing 12 mature seasonally dry tropical forests growing under otherwise similar conditions (similar annual temperature, rainfall seasonality, and geological substrate), we analyzed the influence of variation in annual precipitation (1240 to 642 mm) and duration of seasonal drought on soil C. We investigated litterfall, decomposition in the forest floor, and C storage in the mineral soil, and analyzed the dependence of these processes and pools on precipitation. Litterfall decreased slightly - about 10% - from stands with 1240 mm yr(-1) to those with 642 mm yr(-1), while the decomposition decreased by 56%. Reduced precipitation strongly affected C storage and basal respiration in the mineral soil. Higher soil C storage at the drier sites was also related to the higher chemical recalcitrance of litter (fine roots and forest floor) and the presence of charcoal across sites, suggesting an important indirect influence of climate on C sequestration. Basal respiration was controlled by the amount of recalcitrant organic matter in the mineral soil. We conclude that in these forest ecosystems, the long-term consequences of decreased precipitation would be an increase in organic layer and mineral soil C storage, mainly due to lower decomposition and higher chemical recalcitrance of organic matter, resulting from changes in litter composition and, likely also, wildfire patterns. This could turn these seasonally dry tropical forests into significant soil C sinks under the predicted longer drought periods if primary productivity is maintained. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Increased temperature and altered summer precipitation have differential effects on biological soil crusts in a dryland ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Shannon L.; Kuske, Cheryl R.; Carney, Travis D.; Housman, David C.; Gallegos-Graves, La Verne; Belnap, Jayne

    2012-01-01

    Biological soil crusts (biocrusts) are common and ecologically important members of dryland ecosystems worldwide, where they stabilize soil surfaces and contribute newly fixed C and N to soils. To test the impacts of predicted climate change scenarios on biocrusts in a dryland ecosystem, the effects of a 2–3 °C increase in soil temperature and an increased frequency of smaller summer precipitation events were examined in a large, replicated field study conducted in the cold desert of the Colorado Plateau, USA. Surface soil biomass (DNA concentration), photosynthetically active cyanobacterial biomass (chlorophyll a concentration), cyanobacterial abundance (quantitative PCR assay), and bacterial community composition (16S rRNA gene sequencing) were monitored seasonally over 2 years. Soil microbial biomass and bacterial community composition were highly stratified between the 0–2 cm depth biocrusts and 5–10 cm depth soil beneath the biocrusts. The increase in temperature did not have a detectable effect on any of the measured parameters over 2 years. However, after the second summer of altered summer precipitation pattern, significant declines occurred in the surface soil biomass (avg. DNA concentration declined 38%), photosynthetic cyanobacterial biomass (avg. chlorophyll a concentration declined 78%), cyanobacterial abundance (avg. gene copies g−1 soil declined 95%), and proportion of Cyanobacteria in the biocrust bacterial community (avg. representation in sequence libraries declined 85%). Biocrusts are important contributors to soil stability, soil C and N stores, and plant performance, and the loss or reduction of biocrusts under an altered precipitation pattern associated with climate change could contribute significantly to lower soil fertility and increased erosion and dust production in dryland ecosystems at a regional scale.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Global Ecosystem Response Types Derived from the Standardized Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index and FPAR3g Series

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ivits, Eva; Horion, Stéphanie Marie Anne F; Fensholt, Rasmus

    2014-01-01

    Observing trends in global ecosystem dynamics is an important first step, but attributing these trends to climate variability represents a further step in understanding Earth system changes. In the present study, we classified global Ecosystem Response Types (ERTs) based on common spatio-temporal......Observing trends in global ecosystem dynamics is an important first step, but attributing these trends to climate variability represents a further step in understanding Earth system changes. In the present study, we classified global Ecosystem Response Types (ERTs) based on common spatio...... were observed in Asia and North America. These ERTs complement traditional pixel based methods by enabling the combined assessment of the location, timing, duration, frequency and severity of climatic and vegetation anomalies with the joint assessment of wetting and drying climatic conditions. The ERTs...

  7. 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

  8. Que sait-on des précipitations en altitude dans les Andes semi-arides du Chili ? (What do we know about high-altitude precipitation in the semi-arid Andes of Chile?)

    OpenAIRE

    Bourgin, Pierre-Yves; Andréassian, Vasken; Gascoin, Simon; Valéry, Audrey

    2012-01-01

    International audience; Mapping precipitations on a regular grid is often required for hydrological and ecological modelling. The spatial interpolation methods are generally used to estimate such a distribution from ground-based measurements. In the case of mountainous areas, the estimation of precipitation amounts is still a challenging task and the results of spatial interpolation should be verified as much as possible. Here we describe a three-steps method for the validation of a precipita...

  9. Extreme precipitation patterns and reductions of terrestrial ecosystem production across biomes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yongguang Zhang; M. Susan Moran; Mark A. Nearing; Guillermo E. Ponce Campos; Alfredo R. Huete; Anthony R. Buda; David D. Bosch; Stacey A. Gunter; Stanley G. Kitchen; W. Henry McNab; Jack A. Morgan; Mitchel P. McClaran; Diane S. Montoya; Debra P.C. Peters; Patrick J. Starks

    2013-01-01

    Precipitation regimes are predicted to shift to more extreme patterns that are characterized by more heavy rainfall events and longer dry intervals, yet their ecological impacts on vegetation production remain uncertain across biomes in natural climatic conditions. This in situ study investigated the effects of these climatic conditions on aboveground net primary...

  10. Soil Dissolved Organic Carbon Fluxes are Controlled by both Precipitation and Longer-Term Climate Effects on Boreal Forest Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hotchkiss, E. R.; Ziegler, S. E.; Edwards, K. A.; Bowering, K.

    2017-12-01

    Water acts as a control on the cycling of organic carbon (OC). Forest productivity responses to climate change are linked to water availability while water residence time is a major control on OC loss in aquatic ecosystems. However, controls on the export of terrestrial OC to the aquatic environment remains poorly understood. Transport of dissolved OC (DOC) through soils both vertically to deeper soil horizons and into aquatic systems is a key flux of terrestrial OC, but the climate drivers controlling OC mobilized from soils is poorly understood. We installed zero-tension lysimeters across similar balsam fir forest sites within three regions that span a MAT gradient of 5.2˚C and MAP of 1050-1500 mm. Using soil water collected over all seasons for four years we tested whether a warmer and wetter climate promotes greater DOC fluxes in ecosystems experiencing relatively high precipitation. Variability within and between years was compared to that observed across climates to test the sensitivity of this flux to shorter relative to longer-term climate effects on this flux. The warmest and wettest southern site exhibited the greatest annual DOC flux (25 to 28 g C m-2 y-1) in contrast to the most northern site (8 to 10 g C m -2 y-1). This flux represented 10% of litterfall C inputs across sites and surpassed the DOC export from associated forested headwater streams (1 to 16 g C m-2 y-1) suggesting terrestrial to aquatic interface processing. Historical climate and increased soil C inputs explain the greater DOC flux in the southern region. Even in years with comparable annual precipitation among regions the DOC flux differed by climate region. Furthermore, neither quantity nor form of precipitation could explain inter-annual differences in DOC flux within each region. Region specific relationships between precipitation and soil water flux instead suggest historical climate effects may impact soil water transport efficiency thereby controlling the regional variation in

  11. 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

  12. 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...

  13. Organotin compounds in precipitation, fog and soils of a forested ecosystem in Germany

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Huang, J.-H.; Schwesig, David; Matzner, Egbert

    2004-01-01

    Organotin compounds (OTC) are highly toxic pollutants and have been mostly investigated so far in aquatic systems and sediments. The concentrations and fluxes of different organotin compounds, including methyl-, butyl-, and octyltin species in precipitation and fog were investigated in a forested catchment in NE Bavaria, Germany. Contents, along with the vertical distribution and storages in two upland and two wetland soils were determined. During the 1-year monitoring, the OTC concentrations in bulk deposition, throughfall and fog ranged from 1 ng Sn l -1 to several ten ng Sn l -1 , but never over 200 ng Sn l -1 . The OTC concentrations in fog were generally higher than in throughfall and bulk deposition. Mono-substituted species were the dominant Sn species in precipitation (up to 190 ng Sn l -1 ) equaling a flux of up to 70 mg Sn ha -1 a -1 . In upland soils, OTC contents peaked in the forest floor (up to 30 ng Sn g -1 ) and decreased sharply with the depth. In wetland soils, OTC had slightly higher contents in the upper horizons. The dominance of mono-substituted species in precipitation is well reflected in the contents and storages of OTC in both upland and wetland soils. The ratios of OTC soil storages to the annual throughfall flux ranged from 20 to 600 years. These high ratios are probably due to high stability and low mobility of OTC in soils. No evidence was found for methylation of tin in the wetland soils. In comparison with sediments, concentrations and contents of organotin in forest soils are considerably lower, and the dominant species are less toxic. It is concluded that forested soils may act as sinks for OTC deposited from the atmosphere. - Forested soils may act as sinks for atmospherically deposited organotin compounds

  14. Metagenomic insights into S(0 precipitation in a terrestrial subsurface lithoautotrophic ecosystem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Trinity eHamilton

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The Frasassi and Acquasanta Terme cave systems in Italy host isolated lithoautotrophic ecosystems characterized by sulfur-oxidizing biofilms with up to 50% S(0 by mass. The net contributions of microbial taxa in the biofilms to production and consumption of S(0 are poorly understood and have implications for understanding the formation of geological sulfur deposits as well as the ecological niches of sulfur-oxidizing autotrophs. Filamentous Epsilonproteobacteria are among the principal biofilm architects in Frasassi and Acquasanta Terme streams, colonizing high-sulfide, low-oxygen niches relative to other major biofilm-forming populations. Metagenomic sequencing of eight biofilm samples indicated the presence of diverse and abundant Epsilonproteobacteria. Populations of Sulfurovum-like organisms were the most abundant Epsilonproteobacteria regardless of differences in biofilm morphology, temperature, or water chemistry. After assembling and binning the metagenomic data, we retrieved four nearly-complete genomes of Sulfurovum-like organisms as well as a Sulfuricurvum spp. Analyses of the binned and assembled metagenomic data indicate that the Epsilonproteobacteria are autotrophic and therefore provide organic carbon to the isolated subsurface ecosystem. Multiple homologs of sulfide-quinone oxidoreductase (Sqr, together with incomplete or absent Sox pathways, suggest that cave Sulfurovum-like Epsilonproteobacteria oxidize sulfide incompletely to S(0 using either O2 or nitrate as a terminal electron acceptor, consistent with previous evidence that they are most successful in niches with high dissolved sulfide to oxygen ratios. In contrast, we recovered homologs of the complete complement of Sox proteins affiliated Gammaproteobacteria and with less abundant Sulfuricurvum spp. and Arcobacter spp., suggesting that these populations are capable of the complete oxidation of sulfide to sulfate. These and other genomic data presented here offer new clues

  15. 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

  16. Interannual variability of a precipitation gradient along the semi-arid catchment areas for the metropolitan region of Lima- Peru in relation to atmospheric circulation at the mesoscale

    Science.gov (United States)

    Otto, Marco; Seidel, Jochen; Trachte, Katja

    2013-04-01

    The main moisture source for precipitation on the western slopes of the Central Andes is located east of the mountain range known as the Amazon basin. However, the Andean mountains, which reach up to 6000 m a.s.l., strongly influence climatic conditions along the Pacific coastline of South America as a climatic barrier for the low-level tropospheric flow and associated moisture transport from the Amazon basin. Additional, large scale subsidence caused by the South Pacific High inhabits convective rainfall at the Pacific coast where large metropolitan areas such as the Peruvian capital Lima are located. Two contrasts in precipitation can be found while crossing the Andean mountains from West to East. On the Pacific coast, at the location of the metropolitan area of Lima, no more than 10 mm mean annual rainfall occurs. In contrast, up to 1000 mm mean annual rainfall occur only 100 km east of Lima within the upper region (4000 m .a.s.l.) of the Western Cordillera. The transition takes place along the western slopes of the Western Cordillera and is characterised by a strong precipitation gradient. Here, catchment areas are located that provide most of the water resources needed to sustain an urban area of approximately 10 million people. This study investigates the interannual variability of the precipitation gradient between 1998 and 2012. The analysis is based on daily precipitation data of 22 rain gauge station, daily rainfall data of the Tropical Rainfall Mission (TRMM 3B42) at 0.25 degrees and reanalysis data at 36 km spatial resolution at the mesoscale. The reanalysis data was produced using the Weather Research and Forecasting Model. Station data was provided by the Peruvian weather service during the project "Sustainable Water and Wastewater Management in Urban Growth Centres Coping with Climate Change - Concepts for Lima Metropolitana (Peru) (LiWa)", which is financed by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). We are interested in the

  17. 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)

  18. 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

  19. Achieve a Better Understanding of Cloud and Precipitation Processes for the Promotion of Water Security in Arid and Semi-Arid Regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farrah, S.; Al Yazidi, O.

    2016-12-01

    has been recently replaced by a new drive to solve the technical obstacles impeding its potential. There is now a real prospect that this science will come of age and play its rightful part in boosting sustainable water supplies for people at risk in arid and semi-arid regions of the world.

  20. 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)

  1. 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...

  2. Precipitation and Carbon-Water Coupling Jointly Control the Interannual Variability of Global Land Gross Primary Production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yao; Xiao, Xiangming; Guanter, Luis; Zhou, Sha; Ciais, Philippe; Joiner, Joanna; Sitch, Stephen; Wu, Xiaocui; Nabel, Julian; Dong, Jinwei; hide

    2016-01-01

    Carbon uptake by terrestrial ecosystems is increasing along with the rising of atmospheric CO2 concentration. Embedded in this trend, recent studies suggested that the interannual variability (IAV) of global carbon fluxes may be dominated by semi-arid ecosystems, but the underlying mechanisms of this high variability in these specific regions are not well known. Here we derive an ensemble of gross primary production (GPP) estimates using the average of three data-driven models and eleven process-based models. These models are weighted by their spatial representativeness of the satellite-based solar-induced chlorophyll fluorescence (SIF). We then use this weighted GPP ensemble to investigate the GPP variability for different aridity regimes. We show that semi-arid regions contribute to 57% of the detrended IAV of global GPP. Moreover, in regions with higher GPP variability, GPP fluctuations are mostly controlled by precipitation and strongly coupled with evapotranspiration (ET). This higher GPP IAV in semi-arid regions is co-limited by supply (precipitation)-induced ET variability and GPP-ET coupling strength. Our results demonstrate the importance of semi-arid regions to the global terrestrial carbon cycle and posit that there will be larger GPP and ET variations in the future with changes in precipitation patterns and dryland expansion.

  3. 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.

  4. 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...

  5. 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.

  6. Precipitation alters interactions in a grassland ecological community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deguines, Nicolas; Brashares, Justin S; Prugh, Laura R

    2017-03-01

    Climate change is transforming precipitation regimes world-wide. Changes in precipitation regimes are known to have powerful effects on plant productivity, but the consequences of these shifts for the dynamics of ecological communities are poorly understood. This knowledge gap hinders our ability to anticipate and mitigate the impacts of climate change on biodiversity. Precipitation may affect fauna through direct effects on physiology, behaviour or demography, through plant-mediated indirect effects, or by modifying interactions among species. In this paper, we examined the response of a semi-arid ecological community to a fivefold change in precipitation over 7 years. We examined the effects of precipitation on the dynamics of a grassland ecosystem in central California from 2007 to 2013. We conducted vegetation surveys, pitfall trapping of invertebrates, visual surveys of lizards and capture-mark-recapture surveys of rodents on 30 plots each year. We used structural equation modelling to evaluate the direct, indirect and modifying effects of precipitation on plants, ants, beetles, orthopterans, kangaroo rats, ground squirrels and lizards. We found pervasive effects of precipitation on the ecological community. Although precipitation increased plant biomass, direct effects on fauna were often stronger than plant-mediated effects. In addition, precipitation altered the sign or strength of consumer-resource and facilitative interactions among the faunal community such that negative or neutral interactions became positive or vice versa with increasing precipitation. These findings indicate that precipitation influences ecological communities in multiple ways beyond its recognized effects on primary productivity. Stochastic variation in precipitation may weaken the average strength of biotic interactions over time, thereby increasing ecosystem stability and resilience to climate change. © 2016 The Authors. Journal of Animal Ecology © 2016 British Ecological

  7. Precipitation-productivity Relation in Grassland in Northern China: Investigations at Multiple Spatiotemporal Scales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Z.

    2017-12-01

    Climate change is predicted to cause dramatic variability in precipitation regime, not only in terms of change in annual precipitation amount, but also in precipitation seasonal distribution and precipitation event characteristics (high frenquency extrem precipitation, larger but fewer precipitation events), which combined to influence productivity of grassland in arid and semiarid regions. In this study, combining remote sensing products with in-situ measurements of aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP) and gross primary productivity (GPP) data from eddy covariance system in grassland of northern China, we quantified the effects of spatio-temporal vairation in precipitation on productivity from local sites to region scale. We found that, for an individual precipitation event, the duration of GPP-response to the individual precipitation event and the maximum absolute GPP response induced by the individual precipitation event increased linearly with the size of precipitation events. Comparison of the productivity-precipitation relationships between multi-sites determined that the predominant characteristics of precipitation events (PEC) that affected GPP differed remarkably between the water-limited temperate steppe and the temperature-limited alpine meadow. The number of heavy precipitation events (>10 mm d-1) was the most important PEC to impact GPP in the temperate steppe through affecting soil moisture at different soil profiles, while precipitation interval was the factor that affected GPP most in the alpine meadow via its effects on temperature. At the region scale, shape of ANPP-precipitation relationship varies with distinct spatial scales, and besides annual precipitation, precipitation seasonal distribution also has comparable impacts on spatial variation in ANPP. Temporal variability in ANPP was lower at both the dry and wet end, and peaked at a precipitation of 243.1±3.5mm, which is the transition region between typical steppe and desert steppe

  8. How do the multiple large-scale climate oscillations trigger extreme precipitation?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Pengfei; Yang, Tao; Xu, Chong-Yu; Yong, Bin; Shao, Quanxi; Li, Zhenya; Wang, Xiaoyan; Zhou, Xudong; Li, Shu

    2017-10-01

    Identifying the links between variations in large-scale climate patterns and precipitation is of tremendous assistance in characterizing surplus or deficit of precipitation, which is especially important for evaluation of local water resources and ecosystems in semi-humid and semi-arid regions. Restricted by current limited knowledge on underlying mechanisms, statistical correlation methods are often used rather than physical based model to characterize the connections. Nevertheless, available correlation methods are generally unable to reveal the interactions among a wide range of climate oscillations and associated effects on precipitation, especially on extreme precipitation. In this work, a probabilistic analysis approach by means of a state-of-the-art Copula-based joint probability distribution is developed to characterize the aggregated behaviors for large-scale climate patterns and their connections to precipitation. This method is employed to identify the complex connections between climate patterns (Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO), El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO)) and seasonal precipitation over a typical semi-humid and semi-arid region, the Haihe River Basin in China. Results show that the interactions among multiple climate oscillations are non-uniform in most seasons and phases. Certain joint extreme phases can significantly trigger extreme precipitation (flood and drought) owing to the amplification effect among climate oscillations.

  9. Temporal analyses of Salmonellae in a headwater spring ecosystem reveals the effects of precipitation and runoff events.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaertner, James P; Garres, Tiffany; Becker, Jesse C; Jimenez, Maria L; Forstner, Michael R J; Hahn, Dittmar

    2009-03-01

    Sediments and water from the spring and slough arm of Spring Lake, the pristine headwaters of the San Marcos River, Texas, were analyzed for Salmonellae by culture and molecular techniques before and after three major precipitation events, each with intermediate dry periods. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-assisted analyses of enrichment cultures detected Salmonellae in samples after all three precipitation events, but failed to detect them immediately prior to the rainfall events. Detection among individual locations differed with respect to the precipitation event analyzed, and strains isolated were highly variable with respect to serovars. These results demonstrate that rainwater associated effects, most likely surface runoff, provide an avenue for short-term pollution of aquatic systems with Salmonellae that do not, however, appear to establish for the long-term in water nor sediments.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Impact of Precipitation Patterns on Biomass and Species Richness of Annuals in a Dry Steppe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Hong; Liang, Cunzhu; Li, Zhiyong; Liu, Zhongling; Miao, Bailing; He, Chunguang; Sheng, Lianxi

    2015-01-01

    Annuals are an important component part of plant communities in arid and semiarid grassland ecosystems. Although it is well known that precipitation has a significant impact on productivity and species richness of community or perennials, nevertheless, due to lack of measurements, especially long-term experiment data, there is little information on how quantity and patterns of precipitation affect similar attributes of annuals. This study addresses this knowledge gap by analyzing how quantity and temporal patterns of precipitation affect aboveground biomass, interannual variation aboveground biomass, relative aboveground biomass, and species richness of annuals using a 29-year dataset from a dry steppe site at the Inner Mongolia Grassland Ecosystem Research Station. Results showed that aboveground biomass and relative aboveground biomass of annuals increased with increasing precipitation. The coefficient of variation in aboveground biomass of annuals decreased significantly with increasing annual and growing-season precipitation. Species richness of annuals increased significantly with increasing annual precipitation and growing-season precipitation. Overall, this study highlights the importance of precipitation for aboveground biomass and species richness of annuals. PMID:25906187

  13. 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...

  14. Reproducibility of Carbon and Water Cycle by an Ecosystem Process Based Model Using a Weather Generator and Effect of Temporal Concentration of Precipitation on Model Outputs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miyauchi, T.; Machimura, T.

    2014-12-01

    GCM is generally used to produce input weather data for the simulation of carbon and water cycle by ecosystem process based models under climate change however its temporal resolution is sometimes incompatible to requirement. A weather generator (WG) is used for temporal downscaling of input weather data for models, where the effect of WG algorithms on reproducibility of ecosystem model outputs must be assessed. In this study simulated carbon and water cycle by Biome-BGC model using weather data measured and generated by CLIMGEN weather generator were compared. The measured weather data (daily precipitation, maximum, minimum air temperature) at a few sites for 30 years was collected from NNDC Online weather data. The generated weather data was produced by CLIMGEN parameterized using the measured weather data. NPP, heterotrophic respiration (HR), NEE and water outflow were simulated by Biome-BGC using measured and generated weather data. In the case of deciduous broad leaf forest in Lushi, Henan Province, China, 30 years average monthly NPP by WG was 10% larger than that by measured weather in the growing season. HR by WG was larger than that by measured weather in all months by 15% in average. NEE by WG was more negative in winter and was close to that by measured weather in summer. These differences in carbon cycle were because the soil water content by WG was larger than that by measured weather. The difference between monthly water outflow by WG and by measured weather was large and variable, and annual outflow by WG was 50% of that by measured weather. The inconsistency in carbon and water cycle by WG and measured weather was suggested be affected by the difference in temporal concentration of precipitation, which was assessed.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  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. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. A hybrid land-water-environment model for identification of ecological effect and risk under uncertain meteorological precipitation in an agroforestry ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeng, Xueting; Li, Tienan; Chen, Cong; Si, Zhenjiang; Huang, Guohe; Guo, Ping; Zhuang, Xiaowen

    2018-08-15

    In this study, a hybrid land-water-environment (LWE) model is developed for identifying ecological effect and risk under uncertain precipitation in an agroforestry ecosystem. A simulation-based fuzzy-stochastic programming with risk analysis (SFSR) method is used into LWE model to reflect the meteorological impacts; meanwhile, it also can quantify artificial fuzziness (e.g., risk attitude of policymaker) and natural vagueness (e.g., ecological function) in decision-making. The developed LWE model with SFSR method is applied to a practical agroforestry ecosystem in China. Results of optimized planting scale, irrigative water schedule, pollution mitigation scheme, and system benefit under changed rainfall, precise risk-adoption and vague ecological function are obtained; meanwhile their corresponding ecological effects and risks are analyzed. It found that current LWE plans could generate massive water deficits (e.g., 23.22×10 6 m 3 in crop irrigation and 26.32×10 6 m 3 in forest protection at highest) due to over-cultivation and excessive pollution discharges (e.g., the highest excessive TP and TN discharges would reach 460.64 and 15.30×10 3 ton) due to irrational fertilization, which would increase regional ecological risks. In addition, fifteen scenarios associated with withdrawing cultivation and recovering forest based on regional environment heterogeneity (such as soil types) have been discussed to adjust current agriculture-environment policies. It found that, the excessive pollution discharges (TN and TP) could be reduced 12.95% and 18.32% at highest through ecological expansions, which would generate higher system benefits than that without withdrawing farmland and recovering forest. All above can facilitate local policymakers to modulate a comprehensive LWE with more sustainable and robust manners, achieving regional harmony between socio-economy and eco-environment. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. Aquifer Thermal Energy Storage as an ecosystem service for Brussels, Belgium: investigating iron (hydr)oxide precipitation with reactive transport modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anibas, Christian; Possemiers, Mathias; Huysmans, Marijke

    2016-04-01

    In an evolving energy system it is important that urbanized areas contribute to their own energy demands. To reduce greenhouse gas emissions sustainable energy systems with a high efficiency are required, e.g. using urban aquifers as an ecosystem service. Here the potential of seasonal aquifer thermal energy storage and recovery (ATES) for the Brussels-Capital Region, Belgium is investigated. An important shallow geologic formation in the Brussels Capital Region is the Brussels Sand formation, a 20-60 m thick phreatic aquifer. The Brussels Sand Formation is known for its potential for ATES systems, but also for its varying redox and hydraulic conditions. Important limiting factors for ATES systems in the Brussels Sand Formation therefore are the hydraulic conductivity and the geochemical composition of the groundwater. Near the redox boundary iron hydroxide precipitation can negatively influence ATES well performance due to clogging. The interactions between physical processes (e.g. particle transport and clogging in the wider proximity of the ATES well) and chemical processes (e.g. influence of the operation temperatures on precipitation processes) during ATES operation are complex but not well understood. Therefore we constructed numerical groundwater flow models in MODFLOW to estimate maximum pumping and injection rates of different hydraulic conditions and competing water uses in the Brussels Sand Formation. In further steps the thermal potential for ATES was quantified using MT3DMS and the reactive transport model PHT3D was applied to assess the effects of operating ATES systems near the redox boundary. Results show that initial mixing plays an important role in the development of iron(hydr)oxide precipitation around the ATES wells, with the highest concentrations around the cold wells. This behavior is enhanced by the temperature effect; temperature differences of ΔT≈10°C already influence the iron (hydr)oxide concentration. The initial injection into the

  2. 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

  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. Immission-load-related dynamics of S-SO42− in precipitation and in lysimetric solutions penetrating through beech ecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kukla Ján

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available The paper presents the results of a 23-year study of sulphate sulphur dynamics in beech ecosystems exposed to different immission loads. The amounts of S-SO42− in precipitation water entering the ecosystems were: the Kremnické vrchy Mts, a clear-cut area 519 kg ha−1 (24.7 kg ha−1 per year, a beech forest 476 kg ha−1 (22.7 kg ha−1 per year; the Štiavnické vrchy Mts an open place 401 kg ha−1 (24.6 kg ha−1 per year, a beech forest 324 kg ha−1 (19.1 kg ha−1 per year. The average SO42− concentrations in lysimetric solutions penetrating through surface humus to a depth of Cambisol 10 and 25 cm were increased as follows: in the Kremnické vrchy Mts from 12.71 to 16.17 mg l−1 and in the Štiavnické vrchy Mts from 18.73 to 28.80 mg l−1. The S-SO4−2 amounts penetrating the individual soil layers in the Kremnické vrchy Mts were as follows: in case of surface humus on clear-cut area 459 kg ha−1 (20.9 kg ha−1 per year, in beech forest 433 kg ha−1 (19.7 kg ha−1 per year; below 10 cm organo-mineral layer of the mentioned plots penetrated 169–171 kg ha−1 (7.7–7.8 kg ha−1 per year, and below 25 cm mineral layer 155–255 kg ha−1 (7.1−11.6 kg ha−1 per year – a higher amount was found on clear-cut area with an episodic lateral flow of soil solutions. In beech forest of the Štiavnické vrchy Mts penetrated below surface humus 424 kg ha−1 S-SO42− (18.9 kg ha−1 per year, below 10 cm mineral layer 458 kg ha−1 S-SO42− (19.9 kg ha−1 per year, and below 25 cm mineral layer as much as 599 kg ha−1 S-SO42− (26.0 kg ha−1 per year. This fact was caused by frequent lateral flow of soil solutions. The results indicate that the assumption about lower immission load of the beech ecosystem in the Kremnické vrchy Mts is wrong, at least in the case of S-SO42−. The testing has revealed that the studied beech ecosystems differ very significantly in sulphur amounts penetrating under 0.10 m and 0.25 m. The

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Response of aboveground carbon balance to long-term, experimental shifts in precipitation seasonality is contingent on plant community type in cold-desert rangelands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reinhardt, K.; McAbee, K.; Germino, M. J.; Bosworth, A.

    2016-12-01

    Semi-arid rangelands have been identified as potential carbon (C) sinks. However, the degree of net C storage or release in water-limited systems is a function of precipitation amount and timing, as well as plant community composition. In northern latitudes of western North America, climate models predict increases in wintertime precipitation and decreases in summertime precipitation. In theory, this should boost C storage in cold-desert ecosystems that have deep-rooted woody plants due to greater wintertime soil water storage that enhances summertime productivity. However, there are few long-term, manipulative field-based studies investigating how shrub- and grass-dominated rangelands will respond to changing precipitation patterns. We measured aboveground C pools and fluxes at leaf, soil, and ecosystem scales over the 2014 growing season on plots that had supplemental precipitation added in either winter or summer for 21 years, in shrub- and exotic-bunchgrass-dominated plots. We hypothesized that increased winter precipitation would stimulate aboveground C uptake and storage relative to ambient conditions, in our cold-desert-adapted plant species. We further hypothesized that long-term gains in aboveground C storage due to precipitation manipulations would be greater in plots containing shrubs. Our hypotheses were generally supported: ecosystem C uptake and long-term biomass accumulation were greater in winter- and summer-irrigated plots compared to control plots in both vegetation communities. However, substantial increases in aboveground biomass occurred only in winter-irrigated plots that contained shrubs. Our findings suggest that increases in winter precipitation will enhance C storage of this widespread ecosystem, provided that the ecosystems have resisted conversion to exotic grassland.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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...

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Semi-arid Areas

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

    Livia Bizikova

    precipitation in the form of rainfall or snow (UN, 2011; MEA 2009). • Dryland subtypes can ... in terms of their land uses: rangelands, croplands, and urban areas. ... farmers; climate resilient agricultural practices; irrigation, pasture management.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Alterations in 'water yield' associated with land use changes under different precipitation regime

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rohatyn, Shani; Ramati, Efrat; Tatarinov, Fyodor; Rotenberg, Eyal; Tas, Eran; Yakir, Dan

    2016-04-01

    Changes in rainfall regimes and land cover results in complex alterations in plant water use and in ecosystem water balance, which are not well quantified. This results in poor estimates of the 'water yield' (WY; the difference between precipitation, P, input and evapotranspiration, ET, losses), which provides the water available for runoff and re-charge, and ultimately also for human consumption. The objective of this study was to examine the interactions between the effects of land use change (from sparse shrubland to pine forest) on ecosystem WY, and changes in the precipitation regime (from humid Mediterranean to semi-arid conditions). We hypothesized that the forestation increased ET and reduced WY, but this impact diminishes with decreasing precipitation. We used a new approach centered on a custom-built mobile laboratory of eddy co-variance measurements deployed on a campaign basis (about two weeks per site repeated along the seasonal cycle), that allowed us to measure ecosystem-scale ET together with carbon and energy fluxes and meteorological parameters. Measurements were carried out between the years of 2012-2015 in three paired sites of Pinus halepensis forests and adjacent non-forest ecosystems along the rainfall gradient in Israel, from 755 to 290 mm in annual precipitation. Annual ET was estimated from the campaigns results based on multiple regression analyses with meteorological parameters (relative humidity, RH, temperature, T, and global radiation, Rg) from local meteorological stations that provided continuous data records. The results indicated that decrease in annual precipitation by a factor of ~2.5, resulted in decrease in ET by a factor of 2.4 from 685 mm, with WY=210 mm, in the humid forest, to 290 mm, with WY= 0 mm, in the dry forest. In the non-forest ecosystems ET showed relatively small decrease (by a factor of 1.3) from 285 mm, with WY=460 mm, to 220 mm, with WY=95 mm. The differences 'Forest-shrubland' in ET decreased from 400 mm to

  19. 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.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Huibers, F.P.

    1985-01-01

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

  1. 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

  2. Vegetation anomalies caused by antecedent precipitation in most of the world

    Science.gov (United States)

    Papagiannopoulou, C.; Miralles, D. G.; Dorigo, W. A.; Verhoest, N. E. C.; Depoorter, M.; Waegeman, W.

    2017-07-01

    Quantifying environmental controls on vegetation is critical to predict the net effect of climate change on global ecosystems and the subsequent feedback on climate. Following a non-linear Granger causality framework based on a random forest predictive model, we exploit the current wealth of multi-decadal satellite data records to uncover the main drivers of monthly vegetation variability at the global scale. Results indicate that water availability is the most dominant factor driving vegetation globally: about 61% of the vegetated surface was primarily water-limited during 1981-2010. This included semiarid climates but also transitional ecoregions. Intra-annually, temperature controls Northern Hemisphere deciduous forests during the growing season, while antecedent precipitation largely dominates vegetation dynamics during the senescence period. The uncovered dependency of global vegetation on water availability is substantially larger than previously reported. This is owed to the ability of the framework to (1) disentangle the co-linearities between radiation/temperature and precipitation, and (2) quantify non-linear impacts of climate on vegetation. Our results reveal a prolonged effect of precipitation anomalies in dry regions: due to the long memory of soil moisture and the cumulative, non-linear, response of vegetation, water-limited regions show sensitivity to the values of precipitation occurring three months earlier. Meanwhile, the impacts of temperature and radiation anomalies are more immediate and dissipate shortly, pointing to a higher resilience of vegetation to these anomalies. Despite being infrequent by definition, hydro-climatic extremes are responsible for up to 10% of the vegetation variability during the 1981-2010 period in certain areas, particularly in water-limited ecosystems. Our approach is a first step towards a quantitative comparison of the resistance and resilience signature of different ecosystems, and can be used to benchmark Earth

  3. 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

  4. 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.,

  5. 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...

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Empirical and model-based estimates of spatial and temporal variations in net primary productivity in semi-arid grasslands of Northern China.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shengwei Zhang

    Full Text Available Spatiotemporal variations in net primary productivity (NPP reflect the dynamics of water and carbon in the biosphere, and are often closely related to temperature and precipitation. We used the ecosystem model known as the Carnegie-Ames-Stanford Approach (CASA to estimate NPP of semiarid grassland in northern China counties between 2001 and 2013. Model estimates were strongly linearly correlated with observed values from different counties (slope = 0.76 (p < 0.001, intercept = 34.7 (p < 0.01, R2 = 0.67, RMSE = 35 g C·m-2·year-1, bias = -0.11 g C·m-2·year-1. We also quantified inter-annual changes in NPP over the 13-year study period. NPP varied between 141 and 313 g C·m-2·year-1, with a mean of 240 g C·m-2·year-1. NPP increased from west to east each year, and mean precipitation in each county was significantly positively correlated with NPP-annually, and in summer and autumn. Mean precipitation was positively related to NPP in spring, but not significantly so. Annual and summer temperatures were mostly negatively correlated with NPP, but temperature was positively correlated with spring and autumn NPP. Spatial correlation and partial correlation analyses at the pixel scale confirmed precipitation is a major driver of NPP. Temperature was negatively correlated with NPP in 99% of the regions at the annual scale, but after removing the effect of precipitation, temperature was positively correlated with the NPP in 77% of the regions. Our data show that temperature effects on production depend heavily on recent precipitation. Results reported here have significant and far-reaching implications for natural resource management, given the enormous size of these grasslands and the numbers of people dependent on them.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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,...

  15. Precipitation and measurements of precipitation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schmidt, F.H.; Bruin, H.A.R. de; Attmannspacher, W.; Harrold, T.W.; Kraijenhoff van de Leur, D.A.

    1977-01-01

    In Western Europe, precipitation is normal phenomenon; it is of importance to all aspects of society, particularly to agriculture, in cattle breeding and, of course, it is a subject of hydrological research. Precipitation is an essential part in the hydrological cycle. How disastrous local

  16. Asymmetric responses of primary productivity to precipitation extremes: A synthesis of grassland precipitation manipulation experiments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilcox, Kevin R; Shi, Zheng; Gherardi, Laureano A; Lemoine, Nathan P; Koerner, Sally E; Hoover, David L; Bork, Edward; Byrne, Kerry M; Cahill, James; Collins, Scott L; Evans, Sarah; Gilgen, Anna K; Holub, Petr; Jiang, Lifen; Knapp, Alan K; LeCain, Daniel; Liang, Junyi; Garcia-Palacios, Pablo; Peñuelas, Josep; Pockman, William T; Smith, Melinda D; Sun, Shanghua; White, Shannon R; Yahdjian, Laura; Zhu, Kai; Luo, Yiqi

    2017-10-01

    Climatic changes are altering Earth's hydrological cycle, resulting in altered precipitation amounts, increased interannual variability of precipitation, and more frequent extreme precipitation events. These trends will likely continue into the future, having substantial impacts on net primary productivity (NPP) and associated ecosystem services such as food production and carbon sequestration. Frequently, experimental manipulations of precipitation have linked altered precipitation regimes to changes in NPP. Yet, findings have been diverse and substantial uncertainty still surrounds generalities describing patterns of ecosystem sensitivity to altered precipitation. Additionally, we do not know whether previously observed correlations between NPP and precipitation remain accurate when precipitation changes become extreme. We synthesized results from 83 case studies of experimental precipitation manipulations in grasslands worldwide. We used meta-analytical techniques to search for generalities and asymmetries of aboveground NPP (ANPP) and belowground NPP (BNPP) responses to both the direction and magnitude of precipitation change. Sensitivity (i.e., productivity response standardized by the amount of precipitation change) of BNPP was similar under precipitation additions and reductions, but ANPP was more sensitive to precipitation additions than reductions; this was especially evident in drier ecosystems. Additionally, overall relationships between the magnitude of productivity responses and the magnitude of precipitation change were saturating in form. The saturating form of this relationship was likely driven by ANPP responses to very extreme precipitation increases, although there were limited studies imposing extreme precipitation change, and there was considerable variation among experiments. This highlights the importance of incorporating gradients of manipulations, ranging from extreme drought to extreme precipitation increases into future climate change

  17. Precipitous Birth

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer Yee

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Audience: This scenario was developed to educate emergency medicine residents on the management of a precipitous birth in the emergency department (ED. The case is also appropriate for teaching of medical students and advanced practice providers, as well as reviewing the principles of crisis resource management, teamwork, and communication. Introduction: Patients with precipitous birth require providers to manage two patients simultaneously with limited time and resources. Crisis resource management skills will be tested once baby is delivered, and the neonate will require assessment for potential neonatal resuscitation. Objectives: At the conclusion of the simulation session, learners will be able to manage women who have precipitous deliveries, as well as perform neonatal assessment and management. Method: This session was conducted using high-fidelity simulation, followed by a debriefing session and lecture on precipitous birth management and neonatal evaluation.

  18. TCA precipitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koontz, Laura

    2014-01-01

    Trichloroacetic acid (TCA) precipitation of proteins is commonly used to concentrate protein samples or remove contaminants, including salts and detergents, prior to downstream applications such as SDS-PAGE or 2D-gels. TCA precipitation denatures the protein, so it should not be used if the protein must remain in its folded state (e.g., if you want to measure a biochemical activity of the protein). © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. STRONTIUM PRECIPITATION

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKenzie, T.R.

    1960-09-13

    A process is given for improving the precipitation of strontium from an aqueous phosphoric-acid-containing solution with nickel or cobalt ferrocyanide by simultaneously precipitating strontium or calcium phosphate. This is accomplished by adding to the ferrocyanide-containing solution calcium or strontium nitrate in a quantity to yield a concentration of from 0.004 to 0.03 and adjusting the pH of the solution to a value of above 8.

  20. 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

  1. 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)

  2. Ecosystem carbon stocks of mangroves across broad environmental gradients in West-Central Africa: Global and regional comparisons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J Boone Kauffman

    Full Text Available Globally, it is recognized that blue carbon ecosystems, especially mangroves, often sequester large quantities of carbon and are of interest for inclusion in climate change mitigation strategies. While 19% of the world's mangroves are in Africa, they are among the least investigated of all blue carbon ecosystems. We quantified total ecosystem carbon stocks in 33 different mangrove stands along the Atlantic coast of West-Central Africa from Senegal to Southern Gabon spanning large gradients of latitude, soil properties, porewater salinity, and precipitation. Mangrove structure ranged from low and dense stands that were 35,000 trees ha-1 to tall and open stands >40m in height and 1,000 Mg C ha-1. The lowest carbon stocks were found in the low mangroves of the semiarid region of Senegal (463 Mg C ha-1 and in mangroves on coarse-textured soils in Gabon South (541 Mg C ha-1. At the scale of the entirety of West-Central Africa, total ecosystem carbon stocks were poorly correlated to aboveground ecosystem carbon pools, precipitation, latitude and soil salinity (r2 = ≤0.07 for all parameters. Based upon a sample of 158 sites from Africa, Asia and Latin America that were sampled in a similar manner to this study, the global mean of carbon stocks for mangroves is 885 Mg C ha-1. The ecosystem carbon stocks of mangroves for West-Central Africa are slightly lower than those of Latin America (940 Mg C ha-1 and Asia (1049 Mg C ha-1 but substantially higher than the default Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC values for mangroves (511 Mg C ha-1. This study provides an improved estimation of default estimates (Tier 1 values of mangroves for Asia, Latin America, and West Central Africa.

  3. Coastal Wetland Ecosystem Responses to Climate Change: the Role of Macroclimatic Drivers along the Northern Gulf of Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osland, M. J.; Enwright, N.; Day, R. H.; Gabler, C. A.; Stagg, C. L.; From, A. S.

    2014-12-01

    Across the globe, macroclimatic drivers greatly influence coastal wetland ecosystem structure and function. However, changing macroclimatic conditions are rarely incorporated into coastal wetland vulnerability assessments. Here, we quantify the influence of macroclimatic drivers upon coastal wetland ecosystems along the Northern Gulf of Mexico (NGOM) coast. From a global perspective, the NGOM coast provides several excellent opportunities to examine the effects of climate change upon coastal wetlands. The abundant coastal wetland ecosystems in the region span two major climatic gradients: (1) a winter temperature gradient that crosses temperate to tropical climatic zones; and (2) a precipitation gradient that crosses humid to semi-arid zones. We present analyses where we used geospatial data (historical climate, hydrology, and coastal wetland coverage) and field data (soil, elevation, and plant community composition and structure) to quantify climate-mediated ecological transitions. We identified winter climate and precipitation-based thresholds that separate mangrove forests from salt marshes and vegetated wetlands from unvegetated wetlands, respectively. We used simple distribution and abundance models to evaluate the potential ecological effects of alternative future climate change scenarios. Our results illustrate and quantify the importance of macroclimatic drivers and indicate that climate change could result in landscape-scale changes in coastal wetland ecosystem structure and function. These macroclimate-mediated ecological changes could affect the supply of some ecosystem goods and services as well as the resilience of these ecosystems to stressors, including accelerated sea level rise. Collectively, our findings highlight the importance of incorporating macroclimatic drivers within future-focused coastal wetland vulnerability assessments.

  4. Deep Soil Recharge in Arid and Semi-Arid Regions: New Evidences in MU-US Sandy Land of China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Y.; Yang, W.; Zhan, H.

    2017-12-01

    Precipitation induced recharge is an important source of groundwater budget but it is very difficult to quantify in arid and semiarid regions. In this study, a newly invented lysimeter was used to monitor deep soil recharge (DSR) under 200 cm depth in MU-US sandy land in western China under three kinds of landforms (mobile dune, semi-fixed dune, and fixed dune). We found that the annual DSRs in such three different kinds of landforms varied significantly. Specifically, the annual DSRs were 224.1 mm (50.5% of the annual precipitation), 71.1 mm (50.5% of the annual precipitation), and 1.3 mm (0.3% of the annual precipitation) in mobile dune, semi-fixed dune, and fixed dune, respectively. We also found that vegetation coverage and precipitation pattern significantly affected DSR. A 24-hr precipitation event with the precipitation amount greater than 8 mm was able to infiltrate soil deeper than 200 cm and contributed to ground water recharge directly. Vegetation was a dominant factor influencing infiltration in the fixed sand dune. Our research revealed that precipitation induced DSR in arid and semi-arid regions was a complex process that required long-term monitoring and innovative system analysis of interrelated factors such as precipitation strength and pattern, meteorological parameters, and dynamic soil moisture. Key words: Precipitation pattern, sand dune groundwater, deep soil recharge, infiltration.

  5. 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.

  6. Impact of Altered Precipitation Patterns on Plant Productivity and Soil Respiration in a Northern Great Plains Grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haase, L.; Flanagan, L. B.

    2017-12-01

    Precipitation patterns are expected to shift towards larger but fewer rain events, with longer intermittent dry periods, associated with climate change. The larger rain events may compensate for and help to mitigate climate change effects on key ecosystem functions such as plant productivity and soil respiration in semi-arid grasslands. We experimentally manipulated the amount and frequency of simulated precipitation added to trenched, treatment plots that were covered by rain shelters, and measured the response in plant productivity and soil respiration in a native, grassland ecosystem near Lethbridge, Alberta. We compared the observed responses to the predictions of a conceptual ecosystem response model developed by Knapp et al. 2008 (BioScience 58: 811-821). Two experiments were conducted during 14 weeks of the growing season from May-August. The first experiment (normal amount) applied total growing season precipitation of 180 mm (climate normal), and the second experiment (reduced amount) applied total precipitation of 90 mm. In both experiments, precipitation was applied at two frequencies, 1 rain event every week (normal frequency) and 1 rain event every two weeks (reduced frequency). In the normal amount experiment, the average rain event was 12.8 mm for the normal frequency treatment and 25.8 mm for the reduced frequency treatment. In the reduced amount experiment, the average rain event was 6.4 mm for the normal frequency treatment and 12.8 mm for the reduced frequency treatment. We hypothesized that larger but fewer rain events would result in increased plant productivity and soil respiration for both experiments. Plant greenness values calculated from digital photographs were used as a proxy for plant productivity, and showed significantly higher values for the normal vs. reduced amount experiment. Soil respiration rate also showed significantly higher values for the normal vs. reduced amount experiment. No significant treatment effect could be detected

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

    OpenAIRE

    Huibers, F.P.

    1985-01-01

    Rainfed agriculture is defined as the production of field crops that completely depend on the local precipitation for their water supply. Although in the semi-arid tropics the mean annual precipitation might seem to be sufficient to grow (adapted) crops, its variability over the years and its erratic distribution over the season pose problems. During relatively dry periods, the crop might suffer from moisture stress, at other times excessive rainfall occurs, causing water logging an...

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Precipitation Matters

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDuffie, Thomas

    2007-01-01

    Although weather, including its role in the water cycle, is included in most elementary science programs, any further examination of raindrops and snowflakes is rare. Together rain and snow make up most of the precipitation that replenishes Earth's life-sustaining fresh water supply. When viewed individually, raindrops and snowflakes are quite…

  15. 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.

  16. Cyanobacterial Diversity in Biological Soil Crusts along a Precipitation Gradient, Northwest Negev Desert, Israel.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagemann, Martin; Henneberg, Manja; Felde, Vincent J M N L; Drahorad, Sylvie L; Berkowicz, Simon M; Felix-Henningsen, Peter; Kaplan, Aaron

    2015-07-01

    Cyanobacteria occur worldwide but play an important role in the formation and primary activity of biological soil crusts (BSCs) in arid and semi-arid ecosystems. The cyanobacterial diversity in BSCs of the northwest Negev desert of Israel was surveyed at three fixed sampling stations situated along a precipitation gradient in the years 2010 to 2012. The three stations also are characterized by marked differences in soil features such as soil carbon, nitrogen, or electrical conductivity. The cyanobacterial biodiversity was analyzed by sequencing inserts of clone libraries harboring partial 16S rRNA gene sequences obtained with cyanobacteria-specific primers. Filamentous, non-diazotrophic strains (subsection III), particularly Microcoleus-like, dominated the cyanobacterial community (30% proportion) in all years. Specific cyanobacterial groups showed increased (e.g., Chroococcidiopsis, Leptolyngbya, and Nostoc strains) or decreased (e.g., unicellular strains belonging to the subsection I and Scytonema strains) abundances with declining water availability at the most arid, southern station, whereas many cyanobacterial strains were frequently found in the soils of all three stations. The cyanobacterial diversity at the three sampling stations appears dependent on the available precipitation, whereas the differences in soil chemistry were of lower importance.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lin Deng

    2015-01-01

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

  1. 7Be content in rainfall and soil deposition in South American coastal ecosystems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cardoso, R.; Ayub, J. Juri; Anjos, Roberto Meigikos dos; Cid, Alberto Silva; Velasco, H.

    2011-01-01

    soil deposition in a semiarid ecosystem at San Luis Province, central Argentina. Now, we are starting measurements in coastal ecosystems at Niteroi, southeastern Brazil. At this conference, we are going to present preliminary results on 7 Be content in rains, relationships with precipitation regime, and assess the 7 Be deposition in soil and its seasonality. (author)

  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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wu, Yiping; Liu, Shuguang; 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 CO 2 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 (NO 3 –N) load under hypothetical climate-sensitivity scenarios in terms of CO 2 , 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 CO 2 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 NO 3 –N load to streams, which could be beneficial, but a concomitant increase in NO 3 –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. - Highlights: ► We used a modified version of SWAT to more accurately simulate the effects of CO 2 . ► Our sensitivity analysis indicated this basin is very responsive to climate change. ► Downscaled GCM outputs showed decreased precipitation and increased temperature. ► There may be large

  3. Predicting impacts of increased CO{sub 2} and climate change on the water cycle and water quality in the semiarid James River Basin of the Midwestern USA

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wu, Yiping, E-mail: ywu@usgs.gov [ASRC Research and Technology Solutions, contractor to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center, Sioux Falls, SD 57198 (United States); Liu, Shuguang, E-mail: sliu@usgs.gov [U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center, Sioux Falls, SD 57198 (United States); Geographic Information Science Center of Excellence, South Dakota State University, Brookings, SD 57007 (United States); Gallant, Alisa L., E-mail: gallant@usgs.gov [U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center, Sioux Falls, SD 57198 (United States); Geographic Information Science Center of Excellence, South Dakota State University, Brookings, SD 57007 (United States)

    2012-07-15

    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 CO{sub 2} 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 (NO{sub 3}-N) load under hypothetical climate-sensitivity scenarios in terms of CO{sub 2}, 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 CO{sub 2} 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 NO{sub 3}-N load to streams, which could be beneficial, but a concomitant increase in NO{sub 3}-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. - Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer We used a modified version of SWAT to more accurately simulate the effects of CO{sub 2}. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Our sensitivity analysis indicated this basin is very responsive to climate change. Black

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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...

  7. The effects of precipitation variability on C4 photosynthesis, net primary production and soil respiration in a Chihuahuan desert grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michell L. Thomey

    2012-01-01

    Although the Earth's climate system has always been inherently variable, the magnitude and rate of anthropogenic climate change is subjecting ecosystems and the populations that they contain to novel environmental conditions. Because water is the most limiting resource, arid-semiarid ecosystems are likely to be highly responsive to future climate variability. The...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nguyen, Uyen

    Index (NDVI) average values in the adjacent uplands also decreased over thirty years and were correlated with the previous year's annual precipitation. Hence an increase in ET in the uplands did not appear to be responsible for the decrease in river flows in this study, leaving increased regional groundwater pumping as a feasible alternative explanation for decreased flows and deterioration of the riparian forest. The second research objective was to develop a new method of classification using very high-resolution aerial photo to map riparian vegetation at the species level in the Colorado River Ecosystem, Grand Canyon area, Arizona. Ground surveys have showed an obvious trend in which non-native saltcedar (Tamarix spp.) has replaced native vegetation over time. Our goal was to develop a quantitative mapping procedure to detect changes in vegetation as the ecosystem continues to respond to hydrological and climate changes. Vegetation mapping for the Colorado River Ecosystem needed an updated database map of the area covered by riparian vegetation and an indicator of species composition in the river corridor. The objective of this research was to generate a new riparian vegetation map at species level using a supervised image classification technique for the purpose of patch and landscape change detection. A new classification approach using multispectral images allowed us to successfully identify and map riparian species coverage the over whole Colorado River Ecosystem, Grand Canyon area. The new map was an improvement over the initial 2002 map since it reduced fragmentation from mixed riparian vegetation areas. The most dominant tree species in the study areas is saltcedar (Tamarix spp.). The overall accuracy is 93.48% and the kappa coefficient is 0.88. The reference initial inventory map was created using 2002 images to compare and detect changes through 2009. The third objective of my research focused on using multiplatform of remote sensing and ground calibration

  9. 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

  10. Biological soil crusts in Chile along the precipitation gradient

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samolov, Elena; Glaser, Karin; Baumann, Karen; Leinweber, Peter; Jung, Patrick; Büdel, Burkhard; Mikhailyuk, Tatiana; Karsten, Ulf

    2017-04-01

    Biological soil crusts in Chile along a precipitation gradient Elena Samolov* (1), Karin Glaser (1), Karen Baumann (2), Peter Leinweber (2), Patrick Jung (3), Burkhard Büdel (3), Tatiana Mikhailyuk (4) and Ulf Karsten (1) (1) Institute of Biological Sciences - Applied Ecology and Phycology, University of Rostock, Rostock, Germany, (2) Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences - Soil Sciences, University of Rostock, Rostock, Germany (3) University of Kaiserslautern, Kaiserslautern, Germany (4) M.H. Kholodny Institute of Botany, National Academy of Science of Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine * elena.samolov@uni-rostock.de Biological soil crusts (BSCs) are an association of different microorganisms and soil particles in the top millimeters of the soil. They are formed by algae, cyanobacteria, microfungi, bacteria, bryophytes and lichens in various compositions; together with their by-products they create a micro-ecosystem that performs important ecological functions, e.g. primary production, nitrogen fixation, mineralization and stabilization of soils. These top-soil assemblages are almost unstudied in South America (Büdel et al. 2016). Therefore, our aim is to investigate for the first time biodiversity of the key photosynthetic organisms, green algae and cyanobacteria following a precipitation gradient along the west coast of Chile. We are applying polyphasic approach - a combination of microscopy, culture dependent (16S and 18S rRNA, ITS) and culture independent molecular techniques (NGS). First results, based on culturing and light microscopy, showed high diversity of eukaryotic algae in biocrusts from humid regions, followed by semi-arid regions. Lichen dominated biocrusts from arid regions were characterized by a high diversity of green algae, while cyanobacteria were scarcely present. The functional role of the BSCs in the biogeochemical cycle of phosphorous (P) was evaluated using state of the art analytical methods including 31P-NMR (nuclear magnetic

  11. Semiarid watershed response in central New Mexico and its sensitivity to climate variability and change

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. R. Vivoni

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Hydrologic processes in the semiarid regions of the Southwest United States are considered to be highly susceptible to variations in temperature and precipitation characteristics due to the effects of climate change. Relatively little is known about the potential impacts of climate change on the basin hydrologic response, namely streamflow, evapotranspiration and recharge, in the region. In this study, we present the development and application of a continuous, semi-distributed watershed model for climate change studies in semiarid basins of the Southwest US. Our objective is to capture hydrologic processes in large watersheds, while accounting for the spatial and temporal variations of climate forcing and basin properties in a simple fashion. We apply the model to the Río Salado basin in central New Mexico since it exhibits both a winter and summer precipitation regime and has a historical streamflow record for model testing purposes. Subsequently, we use a sequence of climate change scenarios that capture observed trends for winter and summer precipitation, as well as their interaction with higher temperatures, to perform long-term ensemble simulations of the basin response. Results of the modeling exercise indicate that precipitation uncertainty is amplified in the hydrologic response, in particular for processes that depend on a soil saturation threshold. We obtained substantially different hydrologic sensitivities for winter and summer precipitation ensembles, indicating a greater sensitivity to more intense summer storms as compared to more frequent winter events. In addition, the impact of changes in precipitation characteristics overwhelmed the effects of increased temperature in the study basin. Nevertheless, combined trends in precipitation and temperature yield a more sensitive hydrologic response throughout the year.

  12. Response of biological soil crust diazotrophs to season, altered summer precipitation and year-round increased temperature in an arid grassland of the Colorado Plateau, USA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chris M Yeager

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Biological soil crusts (biocrusts, which supply significant amounts of fixed nitrogen into terrestrial ecosystems worldwide (~33 Tg y-1, are likely to respond to changes in temperature and precipitation associated with climate change. Using nifH gene-based surveys, we explored variation in the diazotrophic community of biocrusts of the Colorado Plateau, USA in response to season (autumn vs. spring, as well as field manipulations that increased the frequency of small-volume precipitation events and year-round soil temperature. Abundance of nifH genes in biocrusts ranged from 3x106 – 1x108 g-1 soil, and nifH from heterocystous cyanobacteria closely related to Scytonema hyalinum, Spirirestis rafaelensis, and Nostoc commune comprised > 98% of the total. Although there was no apparent seasonal effect on total nifH gene abundance in the biocrusts, T-RFLP analysis revealed a strong seasonal pattern in nifH composition. Spirirestis nifH abundance was estimated to oscillate 1 to >2 orders of magnitude between autumn (low and spring (high. A year-round increase of soil temperature (2 − 3 °C had little effect on the diazotroph community structure over 2 years. Altered summer precipitation had little impact on diazotroph community structure over the first 1.5 years of the study, when natural background patterns across years and seasons superseded any treatment effects. However, after the second summer of treatments, nifH abundance was 2.6 fold lower in biocrusts receiving altered precipitation. Heterocystous cyanobacteria were apparently more resilient to altered precipitation than other cyanobacteria. The results demonstrate that diazotrophic community composition of biocrusts in this semi-arid grassland undergoes strong seasonal shifts and that the abundance of its dominant members decreased in response to more frequent, small-volume precipitation events.

  13. Response of biological soil crust diazotrophs to season, altered summer precipitation, and year-round increased temperature in an arid grassland of the Colorado Plateau, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yeager, Chris M.; Kuske, Cheryl R.; Carney, Travis D.; Johnson, Shannon L.; Ticknor, Lawrence O.; Belnap, Jayne

    2012-01-01

    Biological soil crusts (biocrusts), which supply significant amounts of fixed nitrogen into terrestrial ecosystems worldwide (~33Tg y-1), are likely to respond to changes in temperature and precipitation associated with climate change. Using nifH gene-based surveys, we explored variation in the diazotrophic community of biocrusts of the Colorado Plateau, USA in response to season (autumn vs. spring), as well as field manipulations that increased the frequency of small volume precipitation events and year-round soil temperature. Abundance of nifH genes in biocrusts ranged from 3×106 to 1×8 g-1 soil, and nifH from heterocystous cyanobacteria closely related to Scytonema hyalinum, Spirirestis rafaelensis, and Nostoc commune comprised >98% of the total. Although there was no apparent seasonal effect on total nifH gene abundance in the biocrusts, T-RFLP analysis revealed a strong seasonal pattern in nifH composition. Spirirestis nifH abundance was estimated to oscillate 1 to >2 orders of magnitude between autumn (low) and spring (high). A year-round increase of soil temperature (2–3°C) had little effect on the diazotroph community structure over 2 years. Altered summer precipitation had little impact on diazotroph community structure over the first 1.5years of the study, when natural background patterns across years and seasons superseded any treatment effects. However, after the second summer of treatments, nifH abundance was 2.6-fold lower in biocrusts receiving altered precipitation. Heterocystous cyanobacteria were apparently more resilient to altered precipitation than other cyanobacteria. The results demonstrate that diazotrophic community composition of biocrusts in this semi-arid grassland undergoes strong seasonal shifts and that the abundance of its dominant members decreased in response to more frequent, small volume precipitation events.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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...

  17. 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…

  18. Enhanced precipitation variability decreases grass- and increases shrub-productivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gherardi, Laureano A.; Sala, Osvaldo E.

    2015-01-01

    Although projections of precipitation change indicate increases in variability, most studies of impacts of climate change on ecosystems focused on effects of changes in amount of precipitation, overlooking precipitation variability effects, especially at the interannual scale. Here, we present results from a 6-y field experiment, where we applied sequences of wet and dry years, increasing interannual precipitation coefficient of variation while maintaining a precipitation amount constant. Increased precipitation variability significantly reduced ecosystem primary production. Dominant plant-functional types showed opposite responses: perennial-grass productivity decreased by 81%, whereas shrub productivity increased by 67%. This pattern was explained by different nonlinear responses to precipitation. Grass productivity presented a saturating response to precipitation where dry years had a larger negative effect than the positive effects of wet years. In contrast, shrubs showed an increasing response to precipitation that resulted in an increase in average productivity with increasing precipitation variability. In addition, the effects of precipitation variation increased through time. We argue that the differential responses of grasses and shrubs to precipitation variability and the amplification of this phenomenon through time result from contrasting root distributions of grasses and shrubs and competitive interactions among plant types, confirmed by structural equation analysis. Under drought conditions, grasses reduce their abundance and their ability to absorb water that then is transferred to deep soil layers that are exclusively explored by shrubs. Our work addresses an understudied dimension of climate change that might lead to widespread shrub encroachment reducing the provisioning of ecosystem services to society. PMID:26417095

  19. Increased water use efficiency does not prevent growth decline of Pinus canariensis in a semi-arid treeline ecotone in Tenerife, Canary Islands (Spain).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brito, Patricia; Grams, Thorsten E E; Matysssek, Rainer; Jimenez, Maria S; Gonzalez-Rodríguez, Agueda M; Oberhuber, Walter; Wieser, Gerhard

    2016-09-01

    Intrinsic water-use efficiency of Pinus canariensis (Sweet ex Spreng.) growing at a semi-arid treeline has increased during the past 37 years. Tree-ring width by contrast has declined, likely caused by reduced stomatal conductance due to increasing aridity. Rising atmospheric CO 2 concentration ( C a ) has been related to tree growth enhancement accompanied by increasing intrinsic water-use-efficiency (iWUE). Nevertheless, the extent of rising C a on long-term changes in iWUE and growth has remained poorly understood to date in Mediterranean treeline ecosystems. This study aimed to examine radial growth and physiological responses of P. canariensis in relation to rising C a and increasing aridity at treeline in Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. We evaluated temporal changes in secondary growth (tree-ring width; TRW) and tree ring stable C isotope signature for assessing iWUE from 1975 through 2011. Precipitation was the main factor controlling secondary growth. Over the last 36 years P. canariensis showed a decline in TRW at enhanced iWUE, likely caused by reduced stomatal conductance due to increasing aridity. Our results indicate that increasing aridity has overridden the potential CO 2 fertilization on tree growth of P. canariensis at its upper distribution limit.

  20. Analysis of meteorological droughts and dry spells in semiarid regions: a comparative analysis of probability distribution functions in the Segura Basin (SE Spain)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pérez-Sánchez, Julio; Senent-Aparicio, Javier

    2017-08-01

    Dry spells are an essential concept of drought climatology that clearly defines the semiarid Mediterranean environment and whose consequences are a defining feature for an ecosystem, so vulnerable with regard to water. The present study was conducted to characterize rainfall drought in the Segura River basin located in eastern Spain, marked by the self seasonal nature of these latitudes. A daily precipitation set has been utilized for 29 weather stations during a period of 20 years (1993-2013). Furthermore, four sets of dry spell length (complete series, monthly maximum, seasonal maximum, and annual maximum) are used and simulated for all the weather stations with the following probability distribution functions: Burr, Dagum, error, generalized extreme value, generalized logistic, generalized Pareto, Gumbel Max, inverse Gaussian, Johnson SB, Log-Logistic, Log-Pearson 3, Triangular, Weibull, and Wakeby. Only the series of annual maximum spell offer a good adjustment for all the weather stations, thereby gaining the role of Wakeby as the best result, with a p value means of 0.9424 for the Kolmogorov-Smirnov test (0.2 significance level). Probability of dry spell duration for return periods of 2, 5, 10, and 25 years maps reveal the northeast-southeast gradient, increasing periods with annual rainfall of less than 0.1 mm in the eastern third of the basin, in the proximity of the Mediterranean slope.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Rain use efficiency across a precipitation gradient on the Tibetan Plateau

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rain use efficiency (RUE), commonly described as the ratio of aboveground net primary production (ANPP) to mean annual precipitation (MAP), is a critical indicator for predicting potential responses of grassland ecosystems to changing precipitation regimes. However, current understanding on patterns...

  4. Pushing precipitation to the extremes in distributed experiments: Recommendations for simulating wet and dry years

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knapp, Alan K.; Avolio, Meghan L.; Beier, Claus; Carroll, Charles J.W.; Collins, Scott L.; Dukes, Jeffrey S.; Fraser, Lauchlan H.; Griffin-Nolan, Robert J.; Hoover, David L.; Jentsch, Anke; Loik, Michael E.; Phillips, Richard P.; Post, Alison K.; Sala, Osvaldo E.; Slette, Ingrid J.; Yahdjian, Laura; Smith, Melinda D.

    2017-01-01

    Intensification of the global hydrological cycle, ranging from larger individual precipitation events to more extreme multiyear droughts, has the potential to cause widespread alterations in ecosystem structure and function. With evidence that the incidence of extreme precipitation years (defined statistically from historical precipitation records) is increasing, there is a clear need to identify ecosystems that are most vulnerable to these changes and understand why some ecosystems are more sensitive to extremes than others. To date, opportunistic studies of naturally occurring extreme precipitation years, combined with results from a relatively small number of experiments, have provided limited mechanistic understanding of differences in ecosystem sensitivity, suggesting that new approaches are needed. Coordinated distributed experiments (CDEs) arrayed across multiple ecosystem types and focused on water can enhance our understanding of differential ecosystem sensitivity to precipitation extremes, but there are many design challenges to overcome (e.g., cost, comparability, standardization). Here, we evaluate contemporary experimental approaches for manipulating precipitation under field conditions to inform the design of ‘Drought-Net’, a relatively low-cost CDE that simulates extreme precipitation years. A common method for imposing both dry and wet years is to alter each ambient precipitation event. We endorse this approach for imposing extreme precipitation years because it simultaneously alters other precipitation characteristics (i.e., event size) consistent with natural precipitation patterns. However, we do not advocate applying identical treatment levels at all sites – a common approach to standardization in CDEs. This is because precipitation variability varies >fivefold globally resulting in a wide range of ecosystem-specific thresholds for defining extreme precipitation years. For CDEs focused on precipitation extremes, treatments should be based

  5. 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

  6. Exceedance probability of the standardized precipitation-evapotranspiration index in the Texas High Plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drought is a common occurrence in many arid and semi-arid regions that can have large negative impacts on water resources and agricultural production. Since agricultural drought is affected by both water supply and demand (precipitation and evapotranspiration), it is beneficial to include both in a...

  7. 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.

  8. Impact of Precipitation Fluctuation on Desert-Grassland ANPP

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liangxu Liu

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Precipitation change has significantly influenced annual net primary productivity (ANPP at either annual or seasonal scales in desert steppes in arid and semi-arid regions. In order to reveal the process of precipitation driving ANPP at different time scales, responses of different ANPP levels to the inter-annual and intra-annual precipitation fluctuations were analyzed. ANPP was reversed by building a ground reflectance spectrum model, from 2000 to 2015, using the normalized differential vegetation index of the Moderate-Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS-NDVI data at 250 m × 250 m spatial resolution. Since the description of the differently expressing forms of precipitation are not sufficient in former studies in order to overcome the deficiency of former studies, in this study, intra-annual precipitation fluctuations were analyzed not only with precipitation of May–August, June–August, July–August, and August, respectively, which have direct influence on vegetation productivity within the year, but quantitative description, vector precipitation (R, concentration ratio (Cd, and concentration period (D, were also used to describe the overall characteristics of intra-annual precipitation fluctuations. The concentration ratio and the maximum precipitation period of the intra-annual precipitation were represented by using monthly precipitation. The results showed that: (1 in the period from 1971 to 2015, the maximum annual precipitation is 3.76 times that of the minimum in the Urat desert steppe; (2 vector precipitation is more significantly related to ANPP (r = 0.7724, p = 0.000 compared to meteorological annual precipitation and real annual precipitation influence; and (3 annual precipitation is almost concentrated in 5–8 months and monthly precipitation accumulation has significantly effected ANPP, especially in the period of June–August, since the vegetation composition in the study area was mainly sub-shrubs and perennial

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Evaluation of Uncertainty in Precipitation Datasets for New Mexico, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Besha, A. A.; Steele, C. M.; Fernald, A.

    2014-12-01

    Climate change, population growth and other factors are endangering water availability and sustainability in semiarid/arid areas particularly in the southwestern United States. Wide coverage of spatial and temporal measurements of precipitation are key for regional water budget analysis and hydrological operations which themselves are valuable tool for water resource planning and management. Rain gauge measurements are usually reliable and accurate at a point. They measure rainfall continuously, but spatial sampling is limited. Ground based radar and satellite remotely sensed precipitation have wide spatial and temporal coverage. However, these measurements are indirect and subject to errors because of equipment, meteorological variability, the heterogeneity of the land surface itself and lack of regular recording. This study seeks to understand precipitation uncertainty and in doing so, lessen uncertainty propagation into hydrological applications and operations. We reviewed, compared and evaluated the TRMM (Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission) precipitation products, NOAA's (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) Global Precipitation Climatology Centre (GPCC) monthly precipitation dataset, PRISM (Parameter elevation Regression on Independent Slopes Model) data and data from individual climate stations including Cooperative Observer Program (COOP), Remote Automated Weather Stations (RAWS), Soil Climate Analysis Network (SCAN) and Snowpack Telemetry (SNOTEL) stations. Though not yet finalized, this study finds that the uncertainty within precipitation estimates datasets is influenced by regional topography, season, climate and precipitation rate. Ongoing work aims to further evaluate precipitation datasets based on the relative influence of these phenomena so that we can identify the optimum datasets for input to statewide water budget analysis.

  12. 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

  13. The Effect of Vegetation on Soil Water Infiltration and Retention Capacity by Improving Soil Physiochemical Property in Semi-arid Grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    A, Y.; Wang, G.

    2017-12-01

    Water shortage is the main limiting factor for semi-arid grassland development. However, the grassland are gradually degraded represented by species conversion, biomass decrease and ecosystem structure simplification under the influence of human activity. Soil water characteristics such as moisture, infiltration and conductivity are critical variables affecting the interactions between soil parameters and vegetation. In this study, Cover, Height, Shannon-Wiener diversity index, Pielou evenness index and Richness index are served as indexes of vegetation productivity and community structure. And saturated hydraulic conductivity (Ks) and soil moisture content are served as indexes of soil water characters. The interaction between vegetation and soil water is investigated through other soil parameters, such as soil organic matter content at different vertical depths and in different degradation area (e.g., initial, transition and degraded plots). The results show that Ks significantly controlled by soil texture other than soil organic matter content. So the influence of vegetation on Ks through increasing soil organic content (SOM) might be slight. However, soil moisture content (SMC) appeared significantly positive relationship with SOM and silt content and negative relationship with sand content at all depth, significantly. This indicated that capacity of soil water storage was influenced both by soil texture and organic matter. In addition, the highest correlation coefficient of SMC was with SOM at the sub-surficial soil layer (20 40 cm). At the depth of 20 40 cm, the soil water content was relatively steady which slightly influenced by precipitation and evaporation. But it significantly influenced by soil organic matter content which related to vegetation. The correlation coefficient between SOM and SMC at topsoil layer (0 20 cm) was lowest (R2=0.36, pwater content not only by soil organic matter content but also the other influential factors, such as the root

  14. Inventories and mobilization of unsaturated zone sulfate, fluoride, and chloride related to land use change in semiarid regions, southwestern United States and Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scanlon, Bridget R.; Stonestrom, David A.; Reedy, Robert C.; Leaney, Fred W.; Gates, John; Cresswell, Richard G.

    2009-01-01

    Unsaturated zone salt reservoirs are potentially mobilized by increased groundwater recharge as semiarid lands are cultivated. This study explores the amounts of pore water sulfate and fluoride relative to chloride in unsaturated zone profiles, evaluates their sources, estimates mobilization due to past land use change, and assesses the impacts on groundwater quality. Inventories of water‐extractable chloride, sulfate, and fluoride were determined from borehole samples of soils and sediments collected beneath natural ecosystems (N = 4), nonirrigated (“rain‐fed”) croplands (N = 18), and irrigated croplands (N = 6) in the southwestern United States and in the Murray Basin, Australia. Natural ecosystems contain generally large sulfate inventories (7800–120,000 kg/ha) and lower fluoride inventories (630–3900 kg/ha) relative to chloride inventories (6600–41,000 kg/ha). Order‐of‐magnitude higher chloride concentrations in precipitation and generally longer accumulation times result in much larger chloride inventories in the Murray Basin than in the southwestern United States. Atmospheric deposition during the current dry interglacial climatic regime accounts for most of the measured sulfate in both U.S. and Australian regions. Fluoride inventories are greater than can be accounted for by atmospheric deposition in most cases, suggesting that fluoride may accumulate across glacial/interglacial climatic cycles. Chemical modeling indicates that fluorite controls fluoride mobility and suggests that water‐extractable fluoride may include some fluoride from mineral dissolution. Increased groundwater drainage/recharge following land use change readily mobilized chloride. Sulfate displacement fronts matched or lagged chloride fronts by up to 4 m. In contrast, fluoride mobilization was minimal in all regions. Understanding linkages between salt inventories, increased recharge, and groundwater quality is important for quantifying impacts of anthropogenic

  15. 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

  16. 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...

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Water Resources Response to Climate and Land-Cover Changes in a Semi-Arid Watershed, New Mexico, USA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joonghyeok Heo

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available This research evaluates a climate-land cover-water resources interconnected system in a semi-arid watershed with minimal human impact from 1970 - 2009. We found _ increase in temperature and 10.9% decrease in precipitation. The temperature exhibited a lower increase trend and precipitation showed a similar decrease trend compared to previous studies. The dominant land-cover change trend was grass and forest conversion into bush/shrub and developed land and crop land into barren and grass land. These alterations indicate that changes in temperature and precipitation in the study area may be linked to changes in land cover, although human intervention is recognized as the major land-cover change contributor for the short term. These alterations also suggest that decreasing human activity in the study area leads to developed land and crop land conversion into barren and grass land. Hydrological responses to climate and land-cover changes for surface runoff, groundwater discharge, soil water content and evapotranspiration decreased by 10.2, 10.0, 4.1, and 10.5%, respectively. Hydrological parameters generally follow similar trends to that of precipitation in semi-arid watersheds with minimal human development. Soil water content is sensitive to land-cover change and offset relatively by the changes in precipitation.

  1. 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...

  2. 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)

  3. Precipitation manipulation experiments – challenges and recommendations for the future

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Beier, Claus; Beierkuhnlein, Carl; Wohlgemuth, Thomas

    2012-01-01

    changes is therefore limited, as is their potential value for the development and testing of ecosystem models. This highlights the need for new precipitation experiments in biomes and ambient climatic conditions hitherto poorly studied applying relevant complex scenarios including changes in precipitation...

  4. Impact of Climate Change on Rain-fed Farming and Response Solutions in Semiarid Area of Northwest China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    WANG Hong-li

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available The impact of climate change on the agriculture production in semi-arid areas of Northwest, the major drought-resistant technology, the mechanism of increasing grain production were analyzed to explore technical solutions to retort the future climate change, future development of rainfed agriculture, and provide reference for food security. The results showed that the impact of future climate change on crop growth had main three aspects: Firstly, higher temperatures resulted in lower crop yield and quality decline; Secondly, changes in precipitation and precipitation patterns resulted in drought/flooding problems; Thirdly, meteorological disasters caused by extreme weather lead to fluctuations of food production. To adapt or mitigate these adverse effects, increase use efficiency of limited rainfall, optimize soil structure, improve soil fertility, enhance withstanding environmental change ability of crop-soil system, mitigate the impact of future climate change on food production in semi-arid region of Northwest China, the mainly solutions were: (1 Covering gathered precipitation, improve the ability to accumulate soil moisture, change the distribution of soil moisture, regulate the migration and improve the infiltration of precipitation, thus “adjusting water” to adapt to precipitation changes; (2 Optimizing soil structure, physical and chemical properties by soil fertilization, thus “regulating soil” to improve the ability of crop-soil system against to environmental changes, in order to stabilize productivity of rainfed agriculture; (3 Integrate “adjusting water” and “regulating soil” technology, forming technical system of “coordination of water and soil” to comprehensively response to future climate change, mitigate the adverse impact of future climate change on food production in semi-arid region of Northwest, China.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Changes of evapotranspiration and water yield in China's terrestrial ecosystems during the period from 2000 to 2010

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Y.; Zhou, Y.; Ju, W.; Chen, J.; Wang, S.; He, H.; Wang, H.; Guan, D.; Zhao, F.; Li, Y.; Hao, Y.

    2013-04-01

    Terrestrial carbon and water cycles are interactively linked at various spatial and temporal scales. Evapotranspiration (ET) plays a key role in the terrestrial water cycle and altering carbon sequestration of terrestrial ecosystems. The study of ET and its response to climate and vegetation changes is critical in China since water availability is a limiting factor for the functioning of terrestrial ecosystems in vast arid and semiarid regions. In this study, the process-based Boreal Ecosystem Productivity Simulator (BEPS) model was employed in conjunction with a newly developed leaf area index (LAI) dataset and other spatial data to simulate daily ET and water yield at a spatial resolution of 500 m over China for the period from 2000 to 2010. The spatial and temporal variations of ET and water yield and influences of temperature, precipitation, land cover types, and LAI on ET were analyzed. The validations with ET measured at 5 typical ChinaFLUX sites and inferred using statistical hydrological data in 10 basins showed that the BEPS model was able to simulate daily and annual ET well at site and basin scales. Simulated annual ET exhibited a distinguishable southeast to northwest decreasing gradient, corresponding to climate conditions and vegetation types. It increased with the increase of LAI in 74% of China's landmass and was positively correlated with temperature in most areas of southwest, south, east, and central China and with precipitation in the arid and semiarid areas of northwest and north China. In the Tibet Plateau and humid southeast China, the increase in precipitation might cause ET to decrease. The national mean annual ET varied from 345.5 mm yr-1 in 2001 to 387.8 mm yr-1 in 2005, with an average of 369.8 mm yr-1 during the study period. The overall increase rate of 1.7 mm yr-2 (r = 0.43 p = 0.19) was mainly driven by the increase of total ET in forests. During the period from 2006 to 2009, precipitation and LAI decreased widely and consequently

  8. Self-organizing map network-based precipitation regionalization for the Tibetan Plateau and regional precipitation variability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Nini; Yin, Jianchuan

    2017-12-01

    A precipitation-based regionalization for the Tibetan Plateau (TP) was investigated for regional precipitation trend analysis and frequency analysis using data from 1113 grid points covering the period 1900-2014. The results utilizing self-organizing map (SOM) network suggest that four clusters of precipitation coherent zones can be identified, including the southwestern edge, the southern edge, the southeastern region, and the north central region. Regionalization results of the SOM network satisfactorily represent the influences of the atmospheric circulation systems such as the East Asian summer monsoon, the south Asian summer monsoon, and the mid-latitude westerlies. Regionalization results also well display the direct impacts of physical geographical features of the TP such as orography, topography, and land-sea distribution. Regional-scale annual precipitation trend as well as regional differences of annual and seasonal total precipitation were investigated by precipitation index such as precipitation concentration index (PCI) and Standardized Anomaly Index (SAI). Results demonstrate significant negative long-term linear trends in southeastern TP and the north central part of the TP, indicating arid and semi-arid regions in the TP are getting drier. The empirical mode decomposition (EMD) method shows an evolution of the main cycle with 4 and 12 months for all the representative grids of four sub-regions. The cross-wavelet analysis suggests that predominant and effective period of Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) on monthly precipitation is around ˜12 months, except for the representative grid of the northwestern region.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Mining influence on underground water resources in arid and semiarid regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luo, A. K.; Hou, Y.; Hu, X. Y.

    2018-02-01

    Coordinated mining of coal and water resources in arid and semiarid regions has traditionally become a focus issue. The research takes Energy and Chemical Base in Northern Shaanxi as an example, and conducts statistical analysis on coal yield and drainage volume from several large-scale mines in the mining area. Meanwhile, research determines average water volume per ton coal, and calculates four typical years’ drainage volume in different mining intensity. Then during mining drainage, with the combination of precipitation observation data in recent two decades and water level data from observation well, the calculation of groundwater table, precipitation infiltration recharge, and evaporation capacity are performed. Moreover, the research analyzes the transforming relationship between surface water, mine water, and groundwater. The result shows that the main reason for reduction of water resources quantity and transforming relationship between surface water, groundwater, and mine water is massive mine drainage, which is caused by large-scale coal mining in the research area.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-03-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1975-01-01

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

  14. 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

  15. Soil moisture and its role in growth-climate relationships across an aridity gradient in semiarid Pinus halepensis forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manrique-Alba, Àngela; Ruiz-Yanetti, Samantha; Moutahir, Hassane; Novak, Klemen; De Luis, Martin; Bellot, Juan

    2017-01-01

    In Mediterranean areas with limited availability of water, an accurate knowledge of growth response to hydrological variables could contribute to improving management and stability of forest resources. The main goal of this study is to assess the temporal dynamic of soil moisture to better understand the water-growth relationship of Pinus halepensis forests in semiarid areas. The estimates of modelled soil moisture and measured tree growth were used at four sites dominated by afforested Pinus halepensis Mill. in south-eastern Spain with 300 to 609mm mean annual precipitation. Firstly, dendrochronological samples were extracted and the widths of annual tree rings were measured to compute basal area increments (BAI). Secondly, soil moisture was estimated over 20 hydrological years (1992-2012) by means of the HYDROBAL ecohydrological model. Finally, the tree growth was linked, to mean monthly and seasonal temperature, precipitation and soil moisture. Results depict the effect of soil moisture on growth (BAI) and explain 69-73% of the variance in semiarid forests, but only 51% in the subhumid forests. This highlights the fact that that soil moisture is a suitable and promising variable to explain growth variations of afforested Pinus halepensis in semiarid conditions and useful for guiding adaptation plans to respond pro-actively to water-related global challenges. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. EFFECTS OF ELEVATED CO2 ON ROOT FUNCTION AND SOIL RESPIRATION IN A MOJAVE DESERT ECOSYSTEM

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nowak, Robert S.

    2007-12-19

    Increases in atmospheric CO{sub 2} concentration during the last 250 years are unequivocal, and CO{sub 2} will continue to increase at least for the next several decades (Houghton et al. 2001, Keeling & Whorf 2002). Arid ecosystems are some of the most important biomes globally on a land surface area basis, are increasing in area at an alarming pace (Dregne 1991), and have a strong coupling with regional climate (Asner & Heidebrecht 2005). These water-limited ecosystems also are predicted to be the most sensitive to elevated CO{sub 2}, in part because they are stressful environments where plant responses to elevated CO{sub 2} may be amplified (Strain & Bazzaz 1983). Indeed, all C{sub 3} species examined at the Nevada Desert FACE Facility (NDFF) have shown increased A{sub net} under elevated CO{sub 2} (Ellsworth et al. 2004, Naumburg et al. 2003, Nowak et al. 2004). Furthermore, increased shoot growth for individual species under elevated CO{sub 2} was spectacular in a very wet year (Smith et al. 2000), although the response in low to average precipitation years has been smaller (Housman et al. 2006). Increases in perennial cover and biomass at the NDFF are consistent with long term trends in the Mojave Desert and elsewhere in the Southwest, indicating C sequestration in woody biomass (Potter et al. 2006). Elevated CO{sub 2} also increases belowground net primary production (BNPP), with average increases of 70%, 21%, and 11% for forests, bogs, and grasslands, respectively (Nowak et al. 2004). Although detailed studies of elevated CO{sub 2} responses for desert root systems were virtually non-existent prior to our research, we anticipated that C sequestration may occur by desert root systems for several reasons. First, desert ecosystems exhibit increases in net photosynthesis and primary production at elevated CO{sub 2}. If large quantities of root litter enter the ecosystem at a time when most decomposers are inactive, significant quantities of carbon may be stored

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Modelled Precipitation Over Greenland

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This data set includes the annual total precipitation from 1985 to 1999 and monthly total precipitation from January 1985 to December 1999. The data is derived from...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-06-01

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

  3. Simple models to predict grassland ecosystem C exchange and actual evapotranspiration using NDVI and environmental variables

    Science.gov (United States)

    Semiarid grasslands contribute significantly to net terrestrial carbon flux as plant productivity and heterotrophic respiration in these moisture-limited systems are correlated with metrics related to water availability (e.g., precipitation, Actual EvapoTranspiration or AET). These variables are als...

  4. Controls on plant functional surface cover types along a precipitation gradient in the Negev Desert of Israel

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Buis, E.; Veldkamp, A.; Boeken, B.; Breemen, van N.

    2009-01-01

    We studied the controls on functional surface cover types in four catchments along a semi-arid to arid precipitation gradient in the northern Negev Desert of Israel. First, we selected four functional types, based on their unique water use and redistribution functionality: shrubs, Asphodelus

  5. 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...

  6. 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

  7. Few multiyear precipitation-reduction experiments find a shift in the productivity-precipitation relationship.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Estiarte, Marc; Vicca, Sara; Peñuelas, Josep; Bahn, Michael; Beier, Claus; Emmett, Bridget A; Fay, Philip A; Hanson, Paul J; Hasibeder, Roland; Kigel, Jaime; Kröel-Dulay, Gyorgy; Larsen, Klaus Steenberg; Lellei-Kovács, Eszter; Limousin, Jean-Marc; Ogaya, Romà; Ourcival, Jean-Marc; Reinsch, Sabine; Sala, Osvaldo E; Schmidt, Inger Kappel; Sternberg, Marcelo; Tielbörger, Katja; Tietema, Albert; Janssens, Ivan A

    2016-07-01

    Well-defined productivity-precipitation relationships of ecosystems are needed as benchmarks for the validation of land models used for future projections. The productivity-precipitation relationship may be studied in two ways: the spatial approach relates differences in productivity to those in precipitation among sites along a precipitation gradient (the spatial fit, with a steeper slope); the temporal approach relates interannual productivity changes to variation in precipitation within sites (the temporal fits, with flatter slopes). Precipitation-reduction experiments in natural ecosystems represent a complement to the fits, because they can reduce precipitation below the natural range and are thus well suited to study potential effects of climate drying. Here, we analyse the effects of dry treatments in eleven multiyear precipitation-manipulation experiments, focusing on changes in the temporal fit. We expected that structural changes in the dry treatments would occur in some experiments, thereby reducing the intercept of the temporal fit and displacing the productivity-precipitation relationship downward the spatial fit. The majority of experiments (72%) showed that dry treatments did not alter the temporal fit. This implies that current temporal fits are to be preferred over the spatial fit to benchmark land-model projections of productivity under future climate within the precipitation ranges covered by the experiments. Moreover, in two experiments, the intercept of the temporal fit unexpectedly increased due to mechanisms that reduced either water loss or nutrient loss. The expected decrease of the intercept was observed in only one experiment, and only when distinguishing between the late and the early phases of the experiment. This implies that we currently do not know at which precipitation-reduction level or at which experimental duration structural changes will start to alter ecosystem productivity. Our study highlights the need for experiments with

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Temporal dynamics of tree source water in sky island ecosystems with ephemeral snow pack: a case study using Pseudotsuga menziesii (Douglas Fir)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Papuga, S. A.; Hamann, L.

    2017-12-01

    In semiarid regions, such as the desert southwest, water is a scarce resource that demands careful attention to its movement throughout the environment for accurate accounting in regional water budgets. Ephemeral snow pack in sky island ecosystems delivers a large fraction of the water resources to communities lower in the watershed. Because the major source of loss to those water resources is evapotranspiration (ET), any change in ET in these ecosystems will have major implications downstream. Climate scientists predict more intense and less frequent precipitation events in the desert southwest, which will alter the existing soil-plant-atmosphere continuum (SPAC). Therefore, understanding how water currently moves within that continuum is imperative in preparing for these predicted changes. This study used stable isotopes (δ18O and δD) to study the SPAC that exists in the Santa Catalina Mountain Critical Zone Observatory (SCM-CZO) to determine where the dominant tree species (Pseudotsuga menziesii, a.k.a., Douglas Fir) retrieves its water from and whether that source varies with season. We hypothesize that the Douglas Fir uses shallow soil water (season and deeper soil water (> 40 cm) during the snowmelt season. The findings of this work will help to better account for water losses due to ET and the movement of water throughout the environment. With a shift in the SPAC dynamics, the Douglas Fir may become increasingly water stressed effecting its ability to survive in the desert southwest which will have important consequences for water resources in this region.

  16. Applying soil science for restoration of post mining degraded landscapes in semi-arid Australia: challenges and opportunities

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-01

    varying significantly (P< 0.001) across species. Highest emergence rates were obtained for Acacia adoxa and Grevillea pyramidalis in the 30°C scenario and adequate soil moisture levels (mean % ± SE 71±5.3 and 80±3.8 respectively). With available water, emergence was above 30% for all species and growth media types (topsoil, waste and mixes of topsoil and waste at 50:50 and 25:75 ratios). However, under drought conditions, emergence severely decreased for all species. In particular, Gossypium robinsonii and Grevillea pyramidalis did not show any response with less than 50% of topsoil in the composition of growth media. Our results suggest that changes in precipitation regimes can have a critical effect on seedling emergence of native plant species from the Pilbara. Understanding soil physico-chemical properties of soil materials and changes in soil moisture related to rainfall patterns and growth media blends are crucial to predict the success of seedling emergence and ultimately achieve biodiverse restoration in semiarid areas. This research is part of a broader multi-study approach, the Restoration Seedbank Initiative project, a partnership between The University of Western Australia, BHP Billiton Iron Ore, and Kings Park and Botanic Garden. Keywords Pilbara region, biodiverse ecosystems, soil microbial activity, topsoil stockpile, dry environments, land rehabilitation.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-12-01

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

  18. Leaf gas exchange and water status responses of a native and non-native grass to precipitation across contrasting soil surfaces in the Sonoran Desert.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ignace, Danielle D; Huxman, Travis E; Weltzin, Jake F; Williams, David G

    2007-06-01

    Arid and semi-arid ecosystems of the southwestern US are undergoing changes in vegetation composition and are predicted to experience shifts in climate. To understand implications of these current and predicted changes, we conducted a precipitation manipulation experiment on the Santa Rita Experimental Range in southeastern Arizona. The objectives of our study were to determine how soil surface and seasonal timing of rainfall events mediate the dynamics of leaf-level photosynthesis and plant water status of a native and non-native grass species in response to precipitation pulse events. We followed a simulated precipitation event (pulse) that occurred prior to the onset of the North American monsoon (in June) and at the peak of the monsoon (in August) for 2002 and 2003. We measured responses of pre-dawn water potential, photosynthetic rate, and stomatal conductance of native (Heteropogon contortus) and non-native (Eragrostis lehmanniana) C(4) bunchgrasses on sandy and clay-rich soil surfaces. Soil surface did not always amplify differences in plant response to a pulse event. A June pulse event lead to an increase in plant water status and photosynthesis. Whereas the August pulse did not lead to an increase in plant water status and photosynthesis, due to favorable soil moisture conditions facilitating high plant performance during this period. E. lehmanniana did not demonstrate heightened photosynthetic performance over the native species in response to pulses across both soil surfaces. Overall accumulated leaf-level CO(2) response to a pulse event was dependent on antecedent soil moisture during the August pulse event, but not during the June pulse event. This work highlights the need to understand how desert species respond to pulse events across contrasting soil surfaces in water-limited systems that are predicted to experience changes in climate.

  19. Contraction and Expansion of the Upper Zambezi Wetlands in Response to Precipitation Regime Changes and Impacts on Carbon, Energy and Water Fluxes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lowman, L.; Barros, A. P.

    2017-12-01

    The Upper Zambezi River Basin (UZRB) serves as the headwater catchment of the fourth-largest river in Africa, provides essential freshwater resources to arid and semi-arid regions within its boundaries, and recharges the Northern Kalahari Aquifer. Shallow and clayey soils give way to seasonal waterlogging, especially along drainage lines, favoring the establishment of wetlands. Woodland savanna, grasslands and miombo dominate the UZRB's diverse ecosystem, marking a complex transition zone between the Congo tropical rainforest and the Kalahari Desert that reflects spatial rainfall gradients. Satellite imagery shows that permanent wetlands are located in low-lying convergence zones in the northeast and northwest corners of UZRB where surface-groundwater interactions are most vigorous. However, orographic precipitation gradients cannot fully explain interannual changes in wetland area and vegetation density. We hypothesize that changes in vegetation density result from nonlinear interactions and feedbacks among precipitation, canopy biophysical properties, soil moisture and groundwater processes modulated by topography and regional hydrogeology. This work aims to understand how changes in vegetation density, particularly in and around permanent and intermittent wetlands, impact carbon, energy and water fluxes. Using the MODIS Nadir BRDF-Adjusted Reflectance product, a seasonally-varying wetland class is derived that reflects inter-annual precipitation and groundwater variability. The Duke Coupled Hydrology Model with Prognostic Vegetation is adapted to include C4 photosynthesis for the UZRB grasslands and used to simulate changes in canopy density and impacts on gross primary productivity, evapotranspiration, and soil moisture at high spatial and temporal resolution. Initial results using the column-wise model provide a baseline for understanding surface fluxes before incorporating groundwater and subsurface flows crucial to investigating the implicit nonlinearities

  20. Cerium oxalate precipitation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chang, T.P.

    1987-02-01

    Cerium, a nonradioactive, common stand-in for plutonium in development work, has been used to simulate several plutonium precipitation processes at the Savannah River Laboratory. There are similarities between the plutonium trifluoride and the cerium oxalate precipitations in particle size and extent of plating, but not particle morphology. The equilibrium solubility, precipitation kinetics, particle size, extent of plating, and dissolution characteristics of cerium oxalate have been investigated. Interpretations of particle size and plating based on precipitation kinetics (i.e., nucleation and crystal growth) are presented. 16 refs., 7 figs., 6 tabs

  1. Response of gross ecosystem productivity, light use efficiency, and water use efficiency of Mongolian steppe to seasonal variations in soil moisture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Sheng-Gong; Eugster, Werner; Asanuma, Jun; Kotani, Ayumi; Davaa, Gombo; Oyunbaatar, Dambaravjaa; Sugita, Michiaki

    2008-03-01

    The examination of vegetation productivity and use of light and water resources is important for understanding the carbon and water cycles in semiarid and arid environments. We made continuous measurements of carbon dioxide and water vapor fluxes over an arid steppe ecosystem in Mongolia by using the eddy covariance (EC) technique. These measurements allow an examination of EC-estimated gross ecosystem productivity (GEP), light use efficiency (LUE), and water use efficiency (WUE) of the steppe. Daily variations of GEP, LUE, and WUE were associated with daily variations of incident photosynthetically active radiation (PAR), ambient temperature (Ta), and vapor pressure deficit (VPD). The magnitudes of these variations were also dependent on canopy development. On the daily basis, GEP linearly correlated with evapotranspiration rate and PAR. LUE correlated positively with leaf area index, Ta, and soil moisture availability but negatively with the surface reflectivity for short-wave solar radiation. Throughout the growing season, both GEP and LUE responded strongly to precipitation-fed soil moisture in the top 20 cm of the soil. An examination of the responses of LUE and WUE to PAR under different soil moisture conditions shows that when soil water availability exceeded VPD, the steppe was most efficient in light use, whereas it was less efficient in water use. The multivariate analysis of variance also suggests that soil moisture availability, especially water status in the upper 20-cm soil layer with dense distribution of grass roots, is the most significant factor that governs GEP, WUE, and LUE. This study provides a preliminary assessment of the use of available water and light by the Mongolian arid steppe ecosystems under seasonally varying soil moisture conditions. A better understanding of these functional responses is required to predict how climate change may affect arid steppe ecosystems.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Hydrology of southwestern encinal oak ecosystems: A review and more

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerald J. Gottfried; Peter F. Ffolliott; Daniel G. Neary

    2007-01-01

    Information about the hydrology of oak ecosystems of the southwestern United States and northern Mexico is lacking (Lopes and Ffolliott 1992, Baker et al. 1995) even though the woodlands and savannas cover more than 31,000 square miles. These ecosystems generally are found between 4,000 and 7,300 feet in elevation. Precipitation occurs in the winter and summer and...

  9. Rising synchrony controls western North American ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bryan A. Black; Peter van der Sleen; Emanuele Di Lorenzo; Daniel Griffin; William J. Sydeman; Jason B. Dunham; Ryan R. Rykaczewski; Marisol García-Reyes; Mohammad Safeeq; Ivan Arismendi; Steven J. Bograd

    2018-01-01

    Along the western margin of North America, the winter expression of the North Pacific High (NPH) strongly influences interannual variability in coastal upwelling, storm track position, precipitation, and river discharge. Coherence among these factors induces covariance among physical and biological processes across adjacent marine and terrestrial ecosystems. Here, we...

  10. Southern Nevada ecosystem stressors [Chapter 2

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burton K. Pendleton; Jeanne C. Chambers; Mathew L. Brooks; Steven M. Ostoja

    2013-01-01

    Southern Nevada ecosystems and their associated resources are subject to a number of global and regional/local stressors that are affecting the sustainability of the region. Global stressors include elevated carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations and associated changes in temperature and precipitation patterns and amounts, solar radiation, and nutrient cycles (Smith and...

  11. PRECIPITATION OF PROTACTINIUM

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, R.L.

    1958-07-15

    An lmprovement in the separation of protactinium from aqueous nitric acid solutions is described. 1t covers the use of lead dioxide and tin dioxide as carrier precipitates for the protactinium. In carrying out the process, divalent lead or divalent tin is addcd to the solution and oxidized, causing formation of a carrier precipitate of lead dioxide or stannic oxide, respectively.

  12. Global Precipitation Measurement Poster

    Science.gov (United States)

    Azarbarzin, Art

    2010-01-01

    This poster presents an overview of the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) constellation of satellites which are designed to measure the Earth's precipitation. It includes the schedule of launches for the various satellites in the constellation, and the coverage of the constellation, It also reviews the mission capabilities, and the mission science objectives.

  13. 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

  14. Nitrogen leaching from natural ecosystems under global change: a modelling study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Braakhekke, Maarten C.; Rebel, Karin T.; Dekker, Stefan C.; Smith, Benjamin; Beusen, Arthur H. W.; Wassen, Martin J.

    2017-12-01

    To study global nitrogen (N) leaching from natural ecosystems under changing N deposition, climate, and atmospheric CO2, we performed a factorial model experiment for the period 1901-2006 with the N-enabled global terrestrial ecosystem model LPJ-GUESS (Lund-Potsdam-Jena General Ecosystem Simulator). In eight global simulations, we used either the true transient time series of N deposition, climate, and atmospheric CO2 as input or kept combinations of these drivers constant at initial values. The results show that N deposition is globally the strongest driver of simulated N leaching, individually causing an increase of 88 % by 1997-2006 relative to pre-industrial conditions. Climate change led globally to a 31 % increase in N leaching, but the size and direction of change varied among global regions: leaching generally increased in regions with high soil organic carbon storage and high initial N status, and decreased in regions with a positive trend in vegetation productivity or decreasing precipitation. Rising atmospheric CO2 generally caused decreased N leaching (33 % globally), with strongest effects in regions with high productivity and N availability. All drivers combined resulted in a rise of N leaching by 73 % with strongest increases in Europe, eastern North America and South-East Asia, where N deposition rates are highest. Decreases in N leaching were predicted for the Amazon and northern India. We further found that N loss by fire regionally is a large term in the N budget, associated with lower N leaching, particularly in semi-arid biomes. Predicted global N leaching from natural lands rose from 13.6 Tg N yr-1 in 1901-1911 to 18.5 Tg N yr-1 in 1997-2006, accounting for reductions of natural land cover. Ecosystem N status (quantified as the reduction of vegetation productivity due to N limitation) shows a similar positive temporal trend but large spatial variability. Interestingly, this variability is more strongly related to vegetation type than N input

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Reconstruction of the Upper Jurassic Morrison Formation extinct ecosystem - A synthesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turner, C.E.; Peterson, F.

    2004-01-01

    A synthesis of recent and previous studies of the Morrison Formation and related beds, in the context of a conceptual climatic/hydrologic framework, permits reconstruction of the Late Jurassic dinosaurian ecosystem throughout the Western Interior of the United States and Canada. Climate models and geologic evidence indicate that a dry climate persisted in the Western Interior during the Late Jurassic. Early and Middle Kimmeridgian eolian deposits and Late Kimmeridgian alkaline, saline wetland/lacustrine deposits demonstrate that dryness persisted throughout the Kimmeridgian. Tithonian-age coal reflects lower evaporation rates associated with a slight cooling trend, but not a significant climate change. With a subtropical high over the Paleo-Pacific Ocean and atmospheric circulation generally toward the east, moisture carried by prevailing winds "rained out" progressively eastward, leaving the continental interior-and the Morrison depositional basin-dry. Within the basin, high evaporation rates associated with the southerly paleolatitude and greenhouse effects added to the dryness. Consequently, the two main sources of water-groundwater and surface water-originated outside the basin, through recharge of regional aquifers and streams that originated in the western uplands. Precipitation that fell west of the basin recharged aquifers that underlay the basin and discharged in wetlands and lakes in the distal, low-lying part of the basin. Precipitation west of the basin also fed intermittent and scarce perennial streams that flowed eastward. The streams were probably "losing" streams in their upstream reaches, and contributed to a locally raised water table. Elsewhere in the basin, where the floodplain intersected the water table, small lakes dotted the landscape. Seasonal storms, perhaps in part from the Paleo-Gulf of Mexico, brought some precipitation directly to the basin, although it was also subjected to "rain out" en route. Thus, meteoric input to the basin was

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Future changes of precipitation characteristics in China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, S.; Wu, Y.; Wen, J.

    2017-12-01

    Global warming has the potential to alter the hydrological cycle, with significant impacts on the human society, the environment and ecosystems. This study provides a detailed assessment of potential changes in precipitation characteristics in China using a suite of 12 high-resolution CMIP5 climate models under a medium and a high Representative Concentration Pathways: RCP4.5 and RCP8.5. We examine future changes over the entire distribution of precipitation, and identify any shift in the shape and/or scale of the distribution. In addition, we use extreme-value theory to evaluate the change in probability and magnitude for extreme precipitation events. Overall, China is going to experience an increase in total precipitation (by 8% under RCP4.5 and 12% under RCP8.5). This increase is uneven spatially, with more increase in the west and less increase in the east. Precipitation frequency is projected to increase in the west and decrease in the east. Under RCP4.5, the overall precipitation frequency for the entire China remains largely unchanged (0.08%). However, RCP8.5 projects a more significant decrease in frequency for large part of China, resulting in an overall decrease of 2.08%. Precipitation intensity is likely increase more uniformly, with an overall increase of 11% for RCP4.5 and 19% for RCP8.5. Precipitation increases for all parts of the distribution, but the increase is more for higher quantiles, i.e. strong events. The relative contribution of small quantiles is likely to decrease, whereas contribution from heavy events is likely to increase. Extreme precipitation increase at much higher rates than average precipitation, and high rates of increase are expected for more extreme events. 1-year events are likely to increase by 15%, but 20-year events are going to increase by 21% under RCP4.5, 26% and 40% respectively under RCP8.5. The increase of extreme events is likely to be more spatially uniform.

  5. Precipitates in irradiated Zircaloy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chung, H.M.

    1985-10-01

    Precipitates in high-burnup (>20 MWd/kg U) Zircaloy spent-fuel cladding discharged from commercial boiling- and pressurized-water reactors have been characterized by TEM-HVEM. Three classes of primary precipitates were observed in the irradiated Zircaloys: Zr 3 O (2 to 6 nm), cubic-ZrO 2 (greater than or equal to 10 nm), and delta-hydride (35 to 100 nm). The former two precipitations appears to be irradiation induced in nature. Zr(Fe/sub x/Cr/sub 1-x/) 2 and Zr 2 (Fe/sub x/Ni/sub 1-x/) intermetallics, which are the primary precipitates in unirradiated Zircaloys, were largely dissolved after the high burnup. It seems, therefore, that the influence of the size and distribution of the intermetallics on the corrosion behavior may be quite different for the irradiated Zircaloys

  6. WPA Precipitation Tabulations

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Hourly precipitation data tabulated under the Work Projects Administration (WPA), a New Deal program created to reduce unemployment during the Great Depression....

  7. 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

  8. Breaks in MODIS time series portend vegetation change: verification using long-term data in an arid grassland ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Browning, Dawn M; Maynard, Jonathan J; Karl, Jason W; Peters, Debra C

    2017-07-01

    Frequency and severity of extreme climatic events are forecast to increase in the 21st century. Predicting how managed ecosystems may respond to climatic extremes is intensified by uncertainty associated with knowing when, where, and how long effects of extreme events will be manifest in an ecosystem. In water-limited ecosystems with high inter-annual variability in rainfall, it is important to be able to distinguish responses that result from seasonal fluctuations in rainfall from long-term directional increases or decreases in precipitation. A tool that successfully distinguishes seasonal from directional biomass responses would allow land managers to make informed decisions about prioritizing mitigation strategies, allocating human resource monitoring efforts, and mobilizing resources to withstand extreme climatic events. We leveraged long-term observations (2000-2013) of quadrat-level plant biomass at multiple locations across a semiarid landscape in southern New Mexico to verify the use of Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) time series derived from 250-m Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) data as a proxy for changes in aboveground productivity. This period encompassed years of sustained drought (2000-2003) and record-breaking high rainfall (2006 and 2008) followed by subsequent drought years (2011 through 2013) that resulted in a restructuring of plant community composition in some locations. Our objective was to decompose vegetation patterns derived from MODIS NDVI over this period into contributions from (1) the long-term trend, (2) seasonal cycle, and (3) unexplained variance using the Breaks for Additive Season and Trend (BFAST) model. BFAST breakpoints in NDVI trend and seasonal components were verified with field-estimated biomass at 15 sites that differed in species richness, vegetation cover, and soil properties. We found that 34 of 45 breaks in NDVI trend reflected large changes in mean biomass and 16 of 19 seasonal

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Streamflow response to increasing precipitation extremes altered by forest management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charlene N. Kelly; Kevin J. McGuire; Chelcy Ford Miniat; James M. Vose

    2016-01-01

    Increases in extreme precipitation events of floods and droughts are expected to occur worldwide. The increase in extreme events will result in changes in streamflow that are expected to affect water availability for human consumption and aquatic ecosystem function. We present an analysis that may greatly improve current streamflow models by quantifying the...

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Centrifugal precipitation chromatography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ito, Yoichiro; Lin, Qi

    2009-01-01

    Centrifugal precipitation chromatography separates analytes according their solubility in ammonium sulfate (AS) solution and other precipitants. The separation column is made from a pair of long spiral channels partitioned with a semipermeable membrane. In a typical separation, concentrated ammonium sulfate is eluted through one channel while water is eluted through the other channel in the opposite direction. The countercurrent process forms an exponential AS concentration gradient through the water channel. Consequently, protein samples injected into the water channel is subjected to a steadily increasing AS concentration and at the critical AS concentration they are precipitated and deposited in the channel bed by the centrifugal force. Then the chromatographic separation is started by gradually reducing the AS concentration in the AS channel which lowers the AS gradient concentration in the water channel. This results in dissolution of deposited proteins which are again precipitated at an advanced critical point as they move through the channel. Consequently, proteins repeat precipitation and dissolution through a long channel and finally eluted out from the column in the order of their solubility in the AS solution. The present method has been successfully applied to a number of analytes including human serum proteins, recombinant ketosteroid isomerase, carotenoid cleavage enzymes, plasmid DNA, polysaccharide, polymerized pigments, PEG-protein conjugates, etc. The method is capable to single out the target species of proteins by affinity ligand or immunoaffinity separation. PMID:19541553

  16. Precipitation formation from orographic cloud seeding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    French, Jeffrey R; Friedrich, Katja; Tessendorf, Sarah A; Rauber, Robert M; Geerts, Bart; Rasmussen, Roy M; Xue, Lulin; Kunkel, Melvin L; Blestrud, Derek R

    2018-02-06

    Throughout the western United States and other semiarid mountainous regions across the globe, water supplies are fed primarily through the melting of snowpack. Growing populations place higher demands on water, while warmer winters and earlier springs reduce its supply. Water managers are tantalized by the prospect of cloud seeding as a way to increase winter snowfall, thereby shifting the balance between water supply and demand. Little direct scientific evidence exists that confirms even the basic physical hypothesis upon which cloud seeding relies. The intent of glaciogenic seeding of orographic clouds is to introduce aerosol into a cloud to alter the natural development of cloud particles and enhance wintertime precipitation in a targeted region. The hypothesized chain of events begins with the introduction of silver iodide aerosol into cloud regions containing supercooled liquid water, leading to the nucleation of ice crystals, followed by ice particle growth to sizes sufficiently large such that snow falls to the ground. Despite numerous experiments spanning several decades, no direct observations of this process exist. Here, measurements from radars and aircraft-mounted cloud physics probes are presented that together show the initiation, growth, and fallout to the mountain surface of ice crystals resulting from glaciogenic seeding. These data, by themselves, do not address the question of cloud seeding efficacy, but rather form a critical set of observations necessary for such investigations. These observations are unambiguous and provide details of the physical chain of events following the introduction of glaciogenic cloud seeding aerosol into supercooled liquid orographic clouds.

  17. An ecological engineering approach for keeping water from reaching interred wastes in arid or semiarid regions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anderson, J.E.

    1997-01-01

    This paper describes application of a soil-plant cover system (SPCS) to preclude water from reaching interred wastes in arid and semiarid regions. Where potential evapotranspiration far exceeds precipitation, water can be kept from reaching buried wastes by (1) providing a sufficiently deep cap of soil to store precipitation that falls while plants are dormant and (2) maintaining plant cover to deplete soil moisture during the growing season, thereby emptying the storage reservoir. Research at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL) has shown that 2 m of soil is adequate to store moisture from snowmelt and spring rains. Healthy stands of perennial grasses and shrubs adapted to the INEL climate use all available soil moisture, even during a very wet growing season. However, burrowing by small mammals or ants may affect the performance of a SPCS by increasing infiltration of water. Intrusion barriers of gravel and cobble can be used to restrict burrowing, but emplacement of such barriers affects soil moisture storage and plant rooting depths. A replicated field experiment to investigate the implications of those effects is in progress. Incorporation of an SPCS should be considered in the design of isolation barriers for shallow land burial of hazardous wastes in and regions

  18. Monoterpene emissions from Pinus halepensis forests in a semi-arid region (Israel)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seco, R.; Karl, T.; Turnipseed, A. A.; Greenberg, J.; Guenther, A. B.; Llusia, J.; Penuelas, J.; Kim, S.; Dicken, U.; Rotenberg, E.; Rohatyn, S.; Preisler, Y.; Yakir, D.

    2013-12-01

    Atmospheric volatile organic compounds (VOCs) have key environmental and biological roles, and can affect atmospheric chemisty, secondary aerosol formation, and as a consequence also climate. At the same time, global changes in climate arising from human activities can modify the VOC emissions of vegetation in the coming years. Monoterpene emission fluxes were measured during April 2013 at two forests in the semi-arid climate of Israel. Both forests were dominated by the same pine species, Pinus halepensis, but differed in the amount of annual average precipitation received (280 and 800 mm at Yatir and Birya, respectively). Measurements performed included leaf-level sampling as well as canopy-level flux calculations. Leaf level monoterpene emissions were sampled from leaf cuvettes with adsorbent cartridges and later analyzed by GC-MS. Canopy scale fluxes were calculated with the Disjunct Eddy Covariance technique by means of a Quadrupole PTRMS. We report the differences observed between the two forests in terms of photosynthetic activity and monoterpene emissions, aiming to see the effect of the different precipitation regimes at each location.

  19. Modeling soil moisture memory in savanna ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gou, S.; Miller, G. R.

    2011-12-01

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

  20. Solar ultraviolet radiation and ozone depletion-driven climate change: effects on terrestrial ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bornman, J F; Barnes, P W; Robinson, S A; Ballaré, C L; Flint, S D; Caldwell, M M

    2015-01-01

    In this assessment we summarise advances in our knowledge of how UV-B radiation (280-315 nm), together with other climate change factors, influence terrestrial organisms and ecosystems. We identify key uncertainties and knowledge gaps that limit our ability to fully evaluate the interactive effects of ozone depletion and climate change on these systems. We also evaluate the biological consequences of the way in which stratospheric ozone depletion has contributed to climate change in the Southern Hemisphere. Since the last assessment, several new findings or insights have emerged or been strengthened. These include: (1) the increasing recognition that UV-B radiation has specific regulatory roles in plant growth and development that in turn can have beneficial consequences for plant productivity via effects on plant hardiness, enhanced plant resistance to herbivores and pathogens, and improved quality of agricultural products with subsequent implications for food security; (2) UV-B radiation together with UV-A (315-400 nm) and visible (400-700 nm) radiation are significant drivers of decomposition of plant litter in globally important arid and semi-arid ecosystems, such as grasslands and deserts. This occurs through the process of photodegradation, which has implications for nutrient cycling and carbon storage, although considerable uncertainty exists in quantifying its regional and global biogeochemical significance; (3) UV radiation can contribute to climate change via its stimulation of volatile organic compounds from plants, plant litter and soils, although the magnitude, rates and spatial patterns of these emissions remain highly uncertain at present. UV-induced release of carbon from plant litter and soils may also contribute to global warming; and (4) depletion of ozone in the Southern Hemisphere modifies climate directly via effects on seasonal weather patterns (precipitation and wind) and these in turn have been linked to changes in the growth of plants

  1. User's Guide, software for reduction and analysis of daily weather and surface-water data: Tools for time series analysis of precipitation, temperature, and streamflow data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hereford, Richard

    2006-01-01

    The software described here is used to process and analyze daily weather and surface-water data. The programs are refinements of earlier versions that include minor corrections and routines to calculate frequencies above a threshold on an annual or seasonal basis. Earlier versions of this software were used successfully to analyze historical precipitation patterns of the Mojave Desert and the southern Colorado Plateau regions, ecosystem response to climate variation, and variation of sediment-runoff frequency related to climate (Hereford and others, 2003; 2004; in press; Griffiths and others, 2006). The main program described here (Day_Cli_Ann_v5.3) uses daily data to develop a time series of various statistics for a user specified accounting period such as a year or season. The statistics include averages and totals, but the emphasis is on the frequency of occurrence in days of relatively rare weather or runoff events. These statistics are indices of climate variation; for a discussion of climate indices, see the Climate Research Unit website of the University of East Anglia (http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/projects/stardex/) and the Climate Change Indices web site (http://cccma.seos.uvic.ca/ETCCDMI/indices.html). Specifically, the indices computed with this software are the frequency of high intensity 24-hour rainfall, unusually warm temperature, and unusually high runoff. These rare, or extreme events, are those greater than the 90th percentile of precipitation, streamflow, or temperature computed for the period of record of weather or gaging stations. If they cluster in time over several decades, extreme events may produce detectable change in the physical landscape and ecosystem of a given region. Although the software has been tested on a variety of data, as with any software, the user should carefully evaluate the results with their data. The programs were designed for the range of precipitation, temperature, and streamflow measurements expected in the semiarid

  2. 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)

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Northern peatland Collembola communities unaffected by three summers of simulated extreme precipitation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Krab, E.J.; Aerts, R.; Berg, M.P.; van Hal, J.R.; Keuper, F.

    2014-01-01

    Extreme climate events are observed and predicted to increase in frequency and duration in high-latitude ecosystems as a result of global climate change. This includes extreme precipitation events, which may directly impact on belowground food webs and ecosystem functioning by their physical impacts

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. Galy-Lacaux

    2009-03-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2008-07-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julio Cesar Neves dos Santos

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

  9. Measuring Entrepreneurial Ecosystems

    OpenAIRE

    Stam, F.C.

    2017-01-01

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

  10. Mapping Ecosystem Services

    OpenAIRE

    Georgiev,Teodor; Burkhard,Benjamin; Maes,Joachim

    2017-01-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  16. Precipitation Reconstruction (PREC)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The PREC data set is an analysis of monthly precipitation constructed on a 2.5(o)lat/lon grid over the global for the period from 1948 to the present. The land...

  17. 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...

  18. 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 ...

  19. 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)

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

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Smith-Adao, LB

    2011-12-01

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

  1. 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).

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olaotswe Kgosikoma

    2012-12-01

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

  3. 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

  4. 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...

  5. 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 ...

  6. 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 ...

  7. 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)

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Land use/ land cover and ecosystem functions change in the grassland restoration program areas in China from 2000 to 2010

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, H.; Fan, J.

    2015-12-01

    The grassland restoration areas in China, most of which was located in arid and semi-arid areas, are affected by climate change and anthropogenic activities. Using the 3S (RS, GIS, GPS) technologies, quantitative analysis method of landscape patterns and ecological simulation, this study examines the spatiotemporal characteristics of land use/ land cover and ecosystem functions change in the grassland restoration areas in China from 2000 to 2010. We apply two parameters land use transfer matrix and land use dynamic degree to explore the speed and regional differentiation of land use change. We propose vegetation coverage, net primary production (NPP), soil and water conservation capacity to assess the ecosystem functions. This study analyzes the characteristics of landscape patterns at the class and landscape levels and explores the ecological effect of land use pattern and regional ecological processes. The results show that: (1) Grassland and others were the main landscape types in the study area in the past decade. The ecosystem structure was stable. About 0.37% of the total grassland area in 2000 experienced change in land use / land cover types. The area of woodlands, wetlands, farmlands, and built-up areas expanded. The area of others has declined. (2) The dynamic degree of regional land use was less than one percent in the recent ten years. The speed of land use and land cover change was low, and regional differentiation of change between the provinces was small. (3) The matrix of the landscape did not change in the study area. Landscape fragmentation index values decreased progressively; landscape diversity rose continuously; landscape aggregation and continuity decreased slightly; the landscape maintained relative integrity. (4) Ecosystem functions has increased as a whole. The vegetation coverages with significant increase (with a 1.99% yr-1 slope of regression) in the total study area; NPP has a fluctuating and increasing tendency, ranging from 218.23 g

  11. Assessing the role of climate and resource management on groundwater dependent ecosystem changes in arid environments with the Landsat archive

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huntington, Justin; McGwire, Kenneth C.; Morton, Charles; Snyder, Keirith A.; Peterson, Sarah; Erickson, Tyler; Niswonger, Richard G.; Carroll, Rosemary W.H.; Smith, Guy; Allen, Richard

    2016-01-01

    Groundwater dependent ecosystems (GDEs) rely on near-surface groundwater. These systems are receiving more attention with rising air temperature, prolonged drought, and where groundwater pumping captures natural groundwater discharge for anthropogenic use. Phreatophyte shrublands, meadows, and riparian areas are GDEs that provide critical habitat for many sensitive species, especially in arid and semi-arid environments. While GDEs are vital for ecosystem services and function, their long-term (i.e. ~ 30 years) spatial and temporal variability is poorly understood with respect to local and regional scale climate, groundwater, and rangeland management. In this work, we compute time series of NDVI derived from sensors of the Landsat TM, ETM +, and OLI lineage for assessing GDEs in a variety of land and water management contexts. Changes in vegetation vigor based on climate, groundwater availability, and land management in arid landscapes are detectable with Landsat. However, the effective quantification of these ecosystem changes can be undermined if changes in spectral bandwidths between different Landsat sensors introduce biases in derived vegetation indices, and if climate, and land and water management histories are not well understood. The objective of this work is to 1) use the Landsat 8 under-fly dataset to quantify differences in spectral reflectance and NDVI between Landsat 7 ETM + and Landsat 8 OLI for a range of vegetation communities in arid and semiarid regions of the southwestern United States, and 2) demonstrate the value of 30-year historical vegetation index and climate datasets for assessing GDEs. Specific study areas were chosen to represent a range of GDEs and environmental conditions important for three scenarios: baseline monitoring of vegetation and climate, riparian restoration, and groundwater level changes. Google's Earth Engine cloud computing and environmental monitoring platform is used to rapidly access and analyze the Landsat archive

  12. Hydrological differentiation and spatial distribution of high altitude wetlands in a semi-arid Andean region derived from satellite data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Otto, M.; Scherer, D.; Richters, J.

    2011-05-01

    High Altitude Wetlands of the Andes (HAWA) belong to a unique type of wetland within the semi-arid high Andean region. Knowledge about HAWA has been derived mainly from studies at single sites within different parts of the Andes at only small time scales. On the one hand, HAWA depend on water provided by glacier streams, snow melt or precipitation. On the other hand, they are suspected to influence hydrology through water retention and vegetation growth altering stream flow velocity. We derived HAWA land cover from satellite data at regional scale and analysed changes in connection with precipitation over the last decade. Perennial and temporal HAWA subtypes can be distinguished by seasonal changes of photosynthetically active vegetation (PAV) indicating the perennial or temporal availability of water during the year. HAWA have been delineated within a region of 12 800 km2 situated in the Northwest of Lake Titicaca. The multi-temporal classification method used Normalized Differenced Vegetation Index (NDVI) and Normalized Differenced Infrared Index (NDII) data derived from two Landsat ETM+ scenes at the end of austral winter (September 2000) and at the end of austral summer (May 2001). The mapping result indicates an unexpected high abundance of HAWA covering about 800 km2 of the study region (6 %). Annual HAWA mapping was computed using NDVI 16-day composites of Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS). Analyses on the relation between HAWA and precipitation was based on monthly precipitation data of the Tropical Rain Measurement Mission (TRMM 3B43) and MODIS Eight Day Maximum Snow Extent data (MOD10A2) from 2000 to 2010. We found HAWA subtype specific dependencies on precipitation conditions. A strong relation exists between perennial HAWA and snow fall (r2: 0.82) in dry austral winter months (June to August) and between temporal HAWA and precipitation (r2: 0.75) during austral summer (March to May). Annual changes in spatial extend of perennial HAWA

  13. 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...

  14. 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)

  15. 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.

  16. Application of the Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI in Greece

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christos A. Karavitis

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available The main premise of the current effort is that the use of a drought index, such as Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI, may lead to a more appropriate understanding of drought duration, magnitude and spatial extent in semi-arid areas like Greece. The importance of the Index may be marked in its simplicity and its ability to identify the beginning and end of a drought event. Thus, it may point towards drought contingency planning and through it to drought alert mechanisms. In this context, Greece, as it very often faces the hazardous impacts of droughts, presents an almost ideal case for the SPI application. The present approach examines the SPI drought index application for all of Greece and it is evaluated accordingly by historical precipitation data. Different time series of data from 46 precipitation stations, covering the period 1947–2004, and for time scales of 1, 3, 6, 12 and 24 months, were used. The computation of the index was achieved by the appropriate usage of a pertinent software tool. Then, spatial representation of the SPI values was carried out with geo-statistical methods using the SURFER 9 software package. The results underline the potential that the SPI usage exhibits in a drought alert and forecasting effort as part of a drought contingency planning posture.

  17. Satellite Monitoring of Vegetation Response to Precipitation and Dust Storm Outbreaks in Gobi Desert Regions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuki Sofue

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Recently, droughts have become widespread in the Northern Hemisphere, including in Mongolia. The ground surface condition, particularly vegetation coverage, affects the occurrence of dust storms. The main sources of dust storms in the Asian region are the Taklimakan and Mongolian Gobi desert regions. In these regions, precipitation is one of the most important factors for growth of plants especially in arid and semi-arid land. The purpose of this study is to clarify the relationship between precipitation and vegetation cover dynamics over 29 years in the Gobi region. We compared the patterns between precipitation and Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI for a period of 29 years. The precipitation and vegetation datasets were examined to investigate the trends during 1985–2013. Cross correlation analysis between the precipitation and the NDVI anomalies was performed. Data analysis showed that the variations of NDVI anomalies in the east region correspond well with the precipitation anomalies during this period. However, in the southwest region of the Gobi region, the NDVI had decreased regardless of the precipitation amount, especially since 2010. This result showed that vegetation in this region was more degraded than in the other areas.

  18. Distinguishing Southern Africa precipitation response by strength of El Niño events

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pomposi, C.; Funk, C. C.; Shukla, S.; Magadzire, T.

    2017-12-01

    The El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is a leading mode of interannual precipitation variability and the main source of skill for seasonal climate predictions. Interannual precipitation variability linked to ENSO can have drastic impacts on agricultural systems and food resources in the semi-arid tropics, highlighting the need for increased information regarding ENSO's links to sub-seasonal to seasonal precipitation variations. The present work describes a case study on recent precipitation variability during warm ENSO events (i.e. El Niño) for the austral summer rainy season (December-February) in Southern Africa. Using a blending of observational and model data, it is found that the probability distribution of precipitation varies according to the strength of El Niño events. Strong El Niño events show a much clearer tendency for drying than moderate or weak events, which have smaller absolute magnitude anomalies and larger spatial heterogeneity in the precipitation response. A dynamical exploration of the various precipitation responses is also completed. The techniques utilized can be easily expanded to study likelihood of drought during El Niño for a variety of other regions and also provides information about El Niño strength and its influence on regional teleconnections. Finally, this presentation will describe the channels by which seasonal forecasting information is disseminated in the region and utilized by the Famine Early Warning Systems Network to help mitigate the impacts of potential food insecurity crises.

  19. Acidity of Scandinavian precipitation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Barrett, E; Bordin, G

    1955-01-01

    Data on the pH of the total monthly precipitation at stations of a Swedish network for sampling and chemical analysis of precipitation and atmospheric aerosols during the year July 1953 to June 1954 are presented and discussed, together with the pH data from the first two months of operation of a large pan-Scandinavian net. It is found that well-defined regions of acidity and alkalinity relative to the pH of water in equilibrium with atmospheric carbon dioxide exist, and that these regions persist to such an extent that the monthly deviations from the pattern of the annual mean pH at stations unaffected by local pollution show persistently high acidity, while inland northern stations show equally persistent alkalinity. Some possible reasons for the observed distributions are considered.

  20. Use of the tritium thermonuclear peak in the deep unsaturated zone for quantitative estimate of aquifer recharge under semi-arid conditions: first application in Sahel

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cheikh Becaye Gaye; Aranyossy, J.F.

    1992-01-01

    The location of the bomb tritium signal at 20 and 12 m depth in the unsaturated sand dunes in the semi-arid part of North Senegal leads to a qualitative estimate of the effective infiltration of 22 and 26 mm.yr -1 . These figures correspond respectively to 6.5 and 8% of the total precipitation since 1963. Tritium content distribution in interstitial water is modelled by convolution of the analytical solution of the dispersion equation. Best fitting of the complete 12 m depth tritium peak is obtained with a dispersion coefficient of 0.03 m 2 .yr -1

  1. Tree Rings Show Recent High Summer-Autumn Precipitation in Northwest Australia Is Unprecedented within the Last Two Centuries.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alison J O'Donnell

    Full Text Available An understanding of past hydroclimatic variability is critical to resolving the significance of recent recorded trends in Australian precipitation and informing climate models. Our aim was to reconstruct past hydroclimatic variability in semi-arid northwest Australia to provide a longer context within which to examine a recent period of unusually high summer-autumn precipitation. We developed a 210-year ring-width chronology from Callitris columellaris, which was highly correlated with summer-autumn (Dec-May precipitation (r = 0.81; 1910-2011; p < 0.0001 and autumn (Mar-May self-calibrating Palmer drought severity index (scPDSI, r = 0.73; 1910-2011; p < 0.0001 across semi-arid northwest Australia. A linear regression model was used to reconstruct precipitation and explained 66% of the variance in observed summer-autumn precipitation. Our reconstruction reveals inter-annual to multi-decadal scale variation in hydroclimate of the region during the last 210 years, typically showing periods of below average precipitation extending from one to three decades and periods of above average precipitation, which were often less than a decade. Our results demonstrate that the last two decades (1995-2012 have been unusually wet (average summer-autumn precipitation of 310 mm compared to the previous two centuries (average summer-autumn precipitation of 229 mm, coinciding with both an anomalously high frequency and intensity of tropical cyclones in northwest Australia and the dominance of the positive phase of the Southern Annular Mode.

  2. Tree Rings Show Recent High Summer-Autumn Precipitation in Northwest Australia Is Unprecedented within the Last Two Centuries

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Donnell, Alison J.; Cook, Edward R.; Palmer, Jonathan G.; Turney, Chris S. M.; Page, Gerald F. M.; Grierson, Pauline F.

    2015-01-01

    An understanding of past hydroclimatic variability is critical to resolving the significance of recent recorded trends in Australian precipitation and informing climate models. Our aim was to reconstruct past hydroclimatic variability in semi-arid northwest Australia to provide a longer context within which to examine a recent period of unusually high summer-autumn precipitation. We developed a 210-year ring-width chronology from Callitris columellaris, which was highly correlated with summer-autumn (Dec–May) precipitation (r = 0.81; 1910–2011; p < 0.0001) and autumn (Mar–May) self-calibrating Palmer drought severity index (scPDSI, r = 0.73; 1910–2011; p < 0.0001) across semi-arid northwest Australia. A linear regression model was used to reconstruct precipitation and explained 66% of the variance in observed summer-autumn precipitation. Our reconstruction reveals inter-annual to multi-decadal scale variation in hydroclimate of the region during the last 210 years, typically showing periods of below average precipitation extending from one to three decades and periods of above average precipitation, which were often less than a decade. Our results demonstrate that the last two decades (1995–2012) have been unusually wet (average summer-autumn precipitation of 310 mm) compared to the previous two centuries (average summer-autumn precipitation of 229 mm), coinciding with both an anomalously high frequency and intensity of tropical cyclones in northwest Australia and the dominance of the positive phase of the Southern Annular Mode. PMID:26039148

  3. Magnetite precipitation and characterisation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Joyce, A.; Garside, J.; Ivens, R.

    1988-06-01

    Magnetite (Fe 3 O 4 ) precipitation was investigated as a possible alternative treatment process to the conventional ferric hydroxide for removal of actinides from radioactive effluents. This offered the possibility of improved dewatering of filtered residues. Whilst a poor quality magnetite could be produced from deoxygenated ferrous/ferric solutions, all attempts to prepare magnetite from effluent simulates were unsuccessful. The failure was attributed to the presence of high nitrate and other interfering ions. (author)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-15

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-12-01

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

  6. Influence of hydraulic and geomorphologic components of a semi-arid watershed on depleted-uranium transport

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Becker, N.M.

    1991-01-01

    Investigations were undertaken to determine the fate and transport of depleted uranium away from high explosive firing sites at Los Alamos National Laboratory in north-central New Mexico. Investigations concentrated on a small, semi-arid watershed which drains 5 firing sites. Sampling for uranium in spring/summer/fall runoff, snowmelt runoff, in fallout, and in soil and in sediments revealed that surface water is the main transport mechanism. Although the watershed is less than 8 km 2 , flow discontinuity was observed between the divide and the outlet; flow discontinuity occurs in semi-arid and arid watersheds, but was unexpected at this scale. This region, termed a discharge sink, is an area where all flow infiltrates and all sediment, including uranium, deposits during nearly all flow events; it is estimated that the discharge sink has provided the locale for uranium detention during the last 23 years. Mass balance calculations indicate that over 90% of uranium expended still remains at or nearby the firing sites. Leaching experiments determined that uranium can rapidly dissolve from the solid phase. It is postulated that precipitation and runoff which percolate vertically through uranium-contaminated soil and sediment are capable of transporting uranium in the dissolved phase to deeper strata. This may be the key transport mechanism which moves uranium out of the watershed

  7. [Sowing date of corn in semiarid region of Jilin Province, Northeast China in adapting to climate change].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jin, Ying-Hua; Zhou, Dao-Wei; Qin, Li-Jie

    2012-10-01

    Under the background of global climate change, the climate in semiarid region of west Jilin Province changed greatly, producing a profound impact on the corn production in this region. In this study, the corn seeds were under three treatments (accelerating germination at 10 and 25 degrees C, and dry seeds), and a field experiment with early sowing and traditional sowing was conducted in 2008 to investigate the effects of early sowing these seeds on the seedling emergence, growth, and yield, and compare the effects of early sowing and traditional sowing dates on the corn production and yield. In 1961-2010, the first day of the growth season of corn in semiarid region of west Jilin Province was advanced, the air temperature increased significantly, and the precipitation displayed a decreasing trend. At present, the corn sowing date in this region could be advanced to 11th, April. Accelerating germination at 10 degrees C, directly sowing dry seeds, and bed-irrigation sowing all benefited the seedling emergence and cold resistance of early-sown seeds, and the corn plant height and leaf area under early sowing were significantly higher, with the yield increased by 35% - 48%, compared with those under traditional sowing.

  8. Interaction of water components in the semi-arid Huasco and Limarí river basins, North Central Chile

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. Strauch

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available For sustainable water resource management in semi-arid regions, sound information is required about interactions between the different components of the water system: rain/snow precipitation, surface/subsurface run-off, groundwater recharge. Exemplarily, the Huasco and Limarí river basins as water stressed river catchments have been studied by isotope and hydrochemical methods for (i the origin of water, (ii water quality, (iii relations of surface and groundwater.

    Applying the complex multi-isotopic and hydrochemical methodology to the water components of the Huasco and Limarí basins, a differentiation of water components concerning subsurface flow and river water along the catchment area and by anthropogenic impacts are detected. Sulphate and nitrate concentrations indicate remarkable input from mining and agricultural activities along the river catchment.

    The 2H-18O relations of river water and groundwater of both catchments point to the behaviour of river waters originated in an arid to semi-arid environment.

    Consequently, the groundwater from several production wells in the lower parts of the catchments is related to the rivers where the wells located, however, it can be distinguished from the river water. Using the hydrological water balance and the isotope mixing model, the interaction between surface and subsurface flows and river flow is estimated.

  9. Adaptation to New Climate by an Old Strategy? Modeling Sedentary and Mobile Pastoralism in Semi-Arid Morocco

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Korbinian P. Freier

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available In a modeling study we examine vulnerability of income from mobile (transhumant pastoralism and sedentary pastoralism to reduced mean annual precipitation (MAP and droughts. The study is based on empirical data of a 3410 km2 research region in southern, semi-arid Morocco. The land use decision model integrates a meta-model of the Environmental Policy Integrated Climate (EPIC simulator to depict perennial and annual forage plant development. It also includes livestock dynamics and forward-looking decision making under uncertain weather. Mobile livestock in the model moves seasonally, sedentary livestock is restricted to pastures around settlements. For a reduction of MAP by 20%, our model shows for different experimental frequencies of droughts a significant decrease of total income from pastoralism by 8%–19% (p < 0.05. Looking separately at the two modes of pastoralism, pronounced income losses of 18%–44% (p < 0.05 show that sedentary pastoralism is much more vulnerable to dryer climate than mobile pastoralism, which is merely affected. Dedicating more pasture area and high quality fodder to mobile pastoralism significantly abates impacts from reduced MAP and droughts on total income by 11% (p < 0.05. Our results indicate that promotion of mobile pastoralism in semi-arid areas is a valuable option to increase resilience against climate change.

  10. Annual Precipitation Fluctuation and Spatial Differentiation Characteristics of the Horqin Region

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liangxu Liu

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Precipitation is the main water source for vegetation survival in arid and semi-arid areas. However, previous studies always focus on the effects of precipitation in different time scales, but ignore the effects of precipitation in different spatial scales. To further study the effects of precipitation fluctuation in different spatial scales, we used the wavelet analysis method to analyze its temporal and spatial change based on data from eighteen meteorological stations during 1961–2015 in Horqin region. Results showed that: (1 from the overall tendency of precipitation changes, the precipitation inter-annual variations in Horqin region had the tendency of gradually decreasing from the southeast (District IV to the northwest; (2 the precipitation anomalies of District I–IV between 1960 and 1980 were small and approximate to the normal value; (3 in the time scale of 23–32 years, the cyclical fluctuations were very significant and the annual precipitation underwent two cyclical fluctuations from a period of low precipitation to a period of high precipitation; and (4 as results of analyzing the spatial wavelet variance of sub-region, the main cycle of precipitation in District I, District II and District III was between 10 and 11 years, while the main cycle of precipitation in District IV was 25 years. The main conclusions include the following. (1 This region tended to be arid, and the precipitation gradually decreased from the southeast (District IV to northwest (District I. (2 The influence of spatial differentiation characteristics on precipitation fluctuation in this region was cyclical fluctuation, which gradually decreased from the southeast to the northwest. The length of the cyclical change period gradually shortened. In the first main cycle, whose annual precipitation changes were most significant, the changing characteristic was District IV and District I decreased from 25 years to 10 years. (3 Predicated from the cyclical

  11. 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.

  12. Precipitation in partially stabilized zirconia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bansal, G.K.

    1975-01-01

    Transmission electron microscopy was used to study the substructure of partially stabilized ZrO 2 (PSZ) samples, i.e., 2-phase systems containing both cubic and monoclinic modifications of zirconia, after various heat treatments. Monoclinic ZrO 2 exists as (1) isolated grains within the polycrystalline aggregate (a grain- boundary phase) and (2) small plate-like particles within cubic grains. These intragranular precipitates are believed to contribute to the useful properties of PSZ via a form of precipitation hardening. These precipitates initially form as tetragonal ZrO 2 , with a habit plane parallel to the brace 100 brace matrix planes. The orientation relations between the tetragonal precipitates and the cubic matrix are brace 100 brace/sub matrix/ 2 parallel brace 100 brace /sub precipitate/ or (001)/sub precipitate/ and broken bracket 100 broken bracket/sub matrix/ 2 parallel broken bracket 100 broken bracket/sub precipitate/ or [001]/sub precipitate/. (U.S.)

  13. Hourly Precipitation Data (HPD) Publication

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Hourly Precipitation Data (HPD) Publication is archived and available from the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC). This publication contains hourly precipitation...

  14. Evaluation of Three Evaporation Estimation Techniques In A Semi-Arid Region (Omar El Mukhtar Reservoir Sluge, Libya- As a case Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lubna s. Ben Taher

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available In many semi-arid countries in the world like Libya, drinking water supply is dependent on reservoirs water storage. Since the evaporation rate is very high in semi-arid countries, estimates and forecasts of reservoir evaporation rate can be useful in the management of major water source. Many researchers have been investigating the suitability of estimates evaporation rates methods in many climatic settings, infrequently of which were in an arid setting. This paper presents the modeling results of evaporation from Omar El Mukhtar Reservoir, Libya. Three techniques namely (artificial neural networks (ANN, Multiple linear regression (MLR and response surface methods (RSM were developed, to assess the estimation of monthly evaporation records from 2001 to 2009; their relative performance were compared using the coefficient of determination(E, mean absolute percentage error (MAPE%, and 95% confidence interval. The key variables used to develop and validate the models were: monthly (precipitation Rf., average temperature Temp., relative humidity Rh., sunshine hours Sh., atmospheric pressure Pa. and wind speed Ws.. The encouraging results approved that the models with more inputs generally had better accuracies and the ANN model performed superior to the other models in predicting monthly Evp with high E=0.86 and low MAPE%= 13.9 and the predicted mean within the range of observed 95CI%. In summary, it is revealed in this study that the ANN and RSM models are appropriate for predicting Evp using climatic inputs in semi-arid climate.

  15. How extreme is enough to cause a threshold response of ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niu, S.; Zhang, F.; Yang, Q.; Song, B.; Sun, J.

    2017-12-01

    Precipitation is a primary determinant of terrestrial ecosystem productivity over much of the globe. Recent studies have shown asymmetric or threshold responses of ecosystem productivity to precipitation gradient. However, it's not clear how extreme is enough to cause a threshold response of ecosystem. We conducted a global meta-analysis of precipitation experiments, a site level precipitation gradient experiment, and a remote sensing data mining on the relationship between precipitation extreme vs NDVI extreme. The meta-analysis shows that ANPP, BNPP, NEE, and other carbon cycle variables, showed similar response magnitudes to either precipitation increase or decrease when precipitation levels were normalized to the medium value of treatments (40%) across all the studies. Overall, the response ratios of these variables were linearly correlated with changes in precipitation amounts and soil water content. In the field gradient study with treatments of 1/12, 1/8. 1/4, 1/2, control, and 5/4 of ambient precipitation, the threshold of NPP, SR, NEE occurred when precipitation was reduced to the level of 1/8-1/12 of ambient precipitation. This means that only extreme drought can induce a threshold response of ecosystem. The regional remote sensing data showed that climate extremes with yearly low precipitation from 1982 to 2013 rarely cause extreme responses of vegetation, further suggesting that it is very difficult to detect threshold responses to natural climatic fluctuation. Our three studies together indicate that asymmetrical responses of vegetation to precipitation are likely detected, but only in very extreme precipitation events.

  16. 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

  17. 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...

  18. On the estimate of the transpiration in Mediterranean heterogeneous ecosystems with the coupled use of eddy covariance and sap flow techniques.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corona, Roberto; Curreli, Matteo; Montaldo, Nicola; Oren, Ram

    2013-04-01

    Mediterranean ecosystems are commonly heterogeneous savanna-like ecosystems, with contrasting plant functional types (PFT) competing for the water use. Mediterranean regions suffer water scarcity due to the dry climate conditions. In semi-arid regions evapotranspiration (ET) is the leading loss term of the root-zone water budget with a yearly magnitude that may be roughly equal to the precipitation. Despite the attention these ecosystems are receiving, a general lack of knowledge persists about the estimate of ET and the relationship between ET and the plant survival strategies for the different PFTs under water stress. During the dry summers these water-limited heterogeneous ecosystems are mainly characterized by a simple dual PFT-landscapes with strong-resistant woody vegetation and bare soil since grass died. In these conditions due to the low signal of the land surface fluxes captured by the sonic anemometer and gas analyzer the widely used eddy covariance may fail and its ET estimate is not robust enough. In these conditions the use of the sap flow technique may have a key role, because theoretically it provides a direct estimate of the woody vegetation transpiration. Through the coupled use of the sap flow sensor observations, a 2D foot print model of the eddy covariance tower and high resolution satellite images for the estimate of the foot print land cover map, the eddy covariance measurements can be correctly interpreted, and ET components (bare soil evaporation and woody vegetation transpiration) can be separated. The case study is at the Orroli site in Sardinia (Italy). The site landscape is a mixture of Mediterranean patchy vegetation types: trees, including wild olives and cork oaks, different shrubs and herbaceous species. An extensive field campaign started in 2004. Land-surface fluxes and CO2 fluxes are estimated by an eddy covariance technique based micrometeorological tower. Soil moisture profiles were also continuously estimated using water

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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...

  2. 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)

  3. 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...

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Precipitation Indices Low Countries

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Engelen, A. F. V.; Ynsen, F.; Buisman, J.; van der Schrier, G.

    2009-09-01

    Since 1995, KNMI published a series of books(1), presenting an annual reconstruction of weather and climate in the Low Countries, covering the period AD 763-present, or roughly, the last millennium. The reconstructions are based on the interpretation of documentary sources predominantly and comparison with other proxies and instrumental observations. The series also comprises a number of classifications. Amongst them annual classifications for winter and summer temperature and for winter and summer dryness-wetness. The classification of temperature have been reworked into peer reviewed (2) series (AD 1000-present) of seasonal temperatures and temperature indices, the so called LCT (Low Countries Temperature) series, now incorporated in the Millennium databases. Recently we started a study to convert the dryness-wetness classifications into a series of precipitation; the so called LCP (Low Countries Precipitation) series. A brief outline is given here of the applied methodology and preliminary results. The WMO definition for meteorological drought has been followed being that a period is called wet respectively dry when the amount of precipitation is considerable more respectively less than usual (normal). To gain a more quantitative insight for four locations, geographically spread over the Low Countries area (De Bilt, Vlissingen, Maastricht and Uccle), we analysed the statistics of daily precipitation series, covering the period 1900-present. This brought us to the following definition, valid for the Low Countries: A period is considered as (very) dry respectively (very) wet if over a continuous period of at least 60 days (~two months) cq 90 days (~three months) on at least two out of the four locations 50% less resp. 50% more than the normal amount for the location (based on the 1961-1990 normal period) has been measured. This results into the following classification into five drought classes hat could be applied to non instrumental observations: Very wet period

  7. Using Isotope Methods to Assess Groundwater Recharge in Some Hydraulic Catchments in a Semiarid Region in Central Tunisia

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zouari, K.; Trabelsi, R.; Kacem, A. [Laboratory of Radio-Analysis and Environment, ENIS, Sfax (Tunisia)

    2013-07-15

    Water resource issues constitute a major concern in arid and semiarid areas in Tunisia. To meet rising demand for different human activities considerable importance is being given to improving the natural groundwater recharge by the installation of hydraulic catchments. In central Tunisia, numerous retention sites and dams have been built since 1990, for example, the el Ogla dam in the Nadhour-Saouaf basin. In order to determine the implication of these hill reservoirs on the hydrodynamic functioning and water quality of the aquifer system, hydrochemical (major elements) and isotopic methods have been employed. The interpretation of these results showed that the shallow aquifer is recharged mainly by surface water and water dam infiltration from the el Ogla and Sahel catchments. A tentative isotopic mass balance based on stable isotope contents leads to the quantification of the artificial recharge rate, which ranges between 42% and 86% of precipitation in the humid period. (author)

  8. Environmental isotope profiles of the soil water in loess unsaturated zone in semi-arid areas of china

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lin Ruifen; Wei Keqin

    2001-01-01

    According to the IAEA Research Contract No. 9402, soil cores CHN/97 and CHN/98 were taken from loess deposits of China in Inner-Mongolia and Shanxi Province, respectively. Isotope and chemical constituents of the interstitial water from these cores, compared with data obtained from the same places before, were used for estimating the infiltration rate. Tritium profiles from the loess unsaturated zone show clearly defined peaks of 1963 fallout. It implies that piston-flow model is the dominant process for soil water movement in the highly homogeneous loess deposits. It has been shown from this study that vertical infiltration through the unsaturated zone accounts for 12%-13% of the annual precipitation and perhaps is not the main mechanism of groundwater recharge in semi-arid loess areas. (author)

  9. 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

  10. 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....

  11. Enhanced interannual precipitation variability increases plant functional diversity that in turn ameliorates negative impact on productivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gherardi, Laureano A; Sala, Osvaldo E

    2015-12-01

    Although precipitation interannual variability is projected to increase due to climate change, effects of changes in precipitation variance have received considerable less attention than effects of changes in the mean state of climate. Interannual precipitation variability effects on functional diversity and its consequences for ecosystem functioning are assessed here using a 6-year rainfall manipulation experiment. Five precipitation treatments were switched annually resulting in increased levels of precipitation variability while maintaining average precipitation constant. Functional diversity showed a positive response to increased variability due to increased evenness. Dominant grasses decreased and rare plant functional types increased in abundance because grasses showed a hump-shaped response to precipitation with a maximum around modal precipitation, whereas rare species peaked at high precipitation values. Increased functional diversity ameliorated negative effects of precipitation variability on primary production. Rare species buffered the effect of precipitation variability on the variability in total productivity because their variance decreases with increasing precipitation variance. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  12. Changes of ecosystem functions in a Mediterranean shrubland exposed for eight years to prolonged summer droughts

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Dato, Giovanbattista; de Angelis, Paolo; Cesaraccio, Carla; Pellizzaro, Grazia; Duce, Pierpaolo; Sirca, Costantino; Spano, Donatella; Beier, Claus

    2010-05-01

    Where water is a limiting factor, like in arid and semiarid shrubland ecosystems of the Mediterranean basin, soil moisture, strengthen by high temperatures, is the key limiting factor controlling biogeochemical cycles. During the drought season, the unavailable water reduces plant growth, litter decomposition and microbial soil respiration. In order to assess the impacts of precipitation reduction on Mediterranean shrublands, a natural community has been exposed since 2001 to prolonged summer droughts by means of mobile plastic roofs, covering three experimental plots (20 m2) during rain events, in spring and in autumn. Three additional plots were used as control. The vegetation reaches a maximum height of 1.0 m and the main shrub species are Cistus monspeliensis, Helichrysum italicum and Dorycnium pentaphyllum. Bare soil constitutes about 20% of the plot surface. The aim of this paper is to summarize the impact of the treatment on the plant community structure and on ecosystem functions, after 8 years of experimentation. A general increase of vegetation cover was observed in the whole community during the years, as result of a natural process of recolonisation. This positive temporal pattern was mainly observed in the control plots, whereas in the drought treatment it was less evident and practically null in the year 2003. At species-specific level, a clear negative effect of drought treatment was observed for C. monspeliensis. Moreover, anticipated drought reduced C assimilation and induced an earlier change of leaf morphology in Cistus. These effects produced the reduction of LAI and of whole plant productivity. The seasonal pattern of soil CO2 efflux was characterized by higher rates during the wet vegetative season (autumn-spring) and lower rates during the dry non-vegetative season (summer). Significant negative effects were occasionally recorded during the period with the treatment turned on. The relation of soil respiration with temperature and soil water

  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. DISSOLUTION OF LANTHANUM FLUORIDE PRECIPITATES

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fries, B.A.

    1959-11-10

    A plutonium separatory ore concentration procedure involving the use of a fluoride type of carrier is presented. An improvement is given in the derivation step in the process for plutonium recovery by carrier precipitation of plutonium values from solution with a lanthanum fluoride carrier precipitate and subsequent derivation from the resulting plutonium bearing carrier precipitate of an aqueous acidic plutonium-containing solution. The carrier precipitate is contacted with a concentrated aqueous solution of potassium carbonate to effect dissolution therein of at least a part of the precipitate, including the plutonium values. Any remaining precipitate is separated from the resulting solution and dissolves in an aqueous solution containing at least 20% by weight of potassium carbonate. The reacting solutions are combined, and an alkali metal hydroxide added to a concentration of at least 2N to precipitate lanthanum hydroxide concomitantly carrying plutonium values.

  17. 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.

  18. A novel electrostatic precipitator

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tang, Minkang; Wang, Liqian; Lin, Zhigui

    2013-01-01

    ESP (Electrostatic Precipitation) has been widely used in the mining, building materials, metallurgy and power industries. Dust particles or other harmful particles from the airstream can be precipitated by ESP with great collecting efficiency. Because of its' large size, high cost and energy consumption, the scope of application of ESP has been limited to a certain extent. By means of the theory of electrostatics and fluid dynamics, a corona assembly with a self-cleaning function and a threshold voltage automatic tracking technology has been developed and used in ESP. It is indicated that compared with conventional ESP, the electric field length has been reduced to 1/10 of the original, the current density on the collecting electrode increased 3-5 times at the maximum, the approach speed of dust particles in the electric field towards the collecting electrode is 4 times that in conventional ESP and the electric field wind speed may be enhanced by 2-3 times the original. Under the premise of ESP having a high efficiency of dust removal, equipment volume may be actually reduced to 1/5 to 1/10 of the original volume and energy consumption may be reduced by more than 50%.

  19. Noise-induced stability in dryland plant ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Odorico, Paolo; Laio, Francesco; Ridolfi, Luca

    2005-08-02

    Dryland plant ecosystems tend to exhibit bistable dynamics with two preferential configurations of bare and vegetated soils. Climate fluctuations are usually believed to act as a source of disturbance on these ecosystems and to reduce their stability and resilience. In contrast, this work shows that random interannual fluctuations of precipitation may lead to the emergence of an intermediate statistically stable condition between the two stable states of the deterministic dynamics of vegetation. As a result, there is an enhancement of ecosystem resilience and a decrease in the likelihood of catastrophic shifts to the desert state.

  20. Dynamical response of Mediterranean precipitation to greenhouse gases and aerosols

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. Tang

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available Atmospheric aerosols and greenhouse gases affect cloud properties, radiative balance and, thus, the hydrological cycle. Observations show that precipitation has decreased in the Mediterranean since the beginning of the 20th century, and many studies have investigated possible mechanisms. So far, however, the effects of aerosol forcing on Mediterranean precipitation remain largely unknown. Here we compare the modeled dynamical response of Mediterranean precipitation to individual forcing agents in a set of global climate models (GCMs. Our analyses show that both greenhouse gases and aerosols can cause drying in the Mediterranean and that precipitation is more sensitive to black carbon (BC forcing than to well-mixed greenhouse gases (WMGHGs or sulfate aerosol. In addition to local heating, BC appears to reduce precipitation by causing an enhanced positive sea level pressure (SLP pattern similar to the North Atlantic Oscillation–Arctic Oscillation, characterized by higher SLP at midlatitudes and lower SLP at high latitudes. WMGHGs cause a similar SLP change, and both are associated with a northward diversion of the jet stream and storm tracks, reducing precipitation in the Mediterranean while increasing precipitation in northern Europe. Though the applied forcings were much larger, if forcings are scaled to those of the historical period of 1901–2010, roughly one-third (31±17 % of the precipitation decrease would be attributable to global BC forcing with the remainder largely attributable to WMGHGs, whereas global scattering sulfate aerosols would have negligible impacts. Aerosol–cloud interactions appear to have minimal impacts on Mediterranean precipitation in these models, at least in part because many simulations did not fully include such processes; these merit further study. The findings from this study suggest that future BC and WMGHG emissions may significantly affect regional water resources, agricultural practices, ecosystems and

  1. Decreased runoff response to precipitation, Little Missouri River Basin, northern Great Plains, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griffin, Eleanor R.; Friedman, Jonathan M.

    2017-01-01

    High variability in precipitation and streamflow in the semiarid northern Great Plains causes large uncertainty in water availability. This uncertainty is compounded by potential effects of future climate change. We examined historical variability in annual and growing season precipitation, temperature, and streamflow within the Little Missouri River Basin and identified differences in the runoff response to precipitation for the period 1976-2012 compared to 1939-1975 (n = 37 years in both cases). Computed mean values for the second half of the record showed little change (precipitation, but average annual runoff at the basin outlet decreased by 22%, with 66% of the reduction in flow occurring during the growing season. Our results show a statistically significant (p runoff response to precipitation (runoff ratio). Surface-water withdrawals for various uses appear to account for 1°C increases in January through March, are the dominant driver of the observed decrease in runoff response to precipitation in the Little Missouri River Basin.

  2. Sensitive indicators of Stipa bungeana response to precipitation under ambient and elevated CO2 concentration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Yaohui; Zhou, Guangsheng; Jiang, Yanling; Wang, Hui; Xu, Zhenzhu

    2018-02-01

    Precipitation is a primary environmental factor in the semiarid grasslands of northern China. With increased concentrations of atmospheric greenhouse gases, precipitation regimes will change, and high-impact weather events may be more common. Currently, many ecophysiological indicators are known to reflect drought conditions, but these indicators vary greatly among species, and few studies focus on the applicability of these drought indicators under high CO2 conditions. In this study, five precipitation levels (- 30%, - 15%, control, + 15%, and + 30%) were used to simulate the effects of precipitation change on 18 ecophysiological characteristics in Stipa bungeana, including leaf area, plant height, leaf nitrogen (N), and chlorophyll content, among others. Two levels of CO2 concentration (ambient, 390 ppm; 550 ppm) were used to simulate the effects of elevated CO2 on these drought indicators. Using gray relational analysis and phenotypic plasticity analysis, we found that total leaf area or leaf number (morphology), leaf water potential or leaf water content (physiology), and aboveground biomass better reflected the water status of S. bungeana under ambient and elevated CO2 than the 13 other analyzed variables. The sensitivity of drought indicators changed under the elevated CO2 condition. By quantifying the relationship between precipitation and the five most sensitive indicators, we found that the thresholds of precipitation decreased under elevated CO2 concentration. These results will be useful for objective monitoring and assessment of the occurrence and development of drought events in S. bungeana grasslands.

  3. Modeling The Urban Impact On Semiarid Surface Climate: A Case Study In Marrakesh, Morocco

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lachir, Asia; Bounoua, Lahouari; Zhang, Ping; Thome, Kurtis; Messouli, Mohamed

    2016-01-01

    We combine Landsat and MODIS data in the Simple Biosphere Model to assess the impact of urbanization on surface climate in a semiarid city in North Africa. The model simulates highest temperatures in urban class, with spring average maximum temperature differences to other land cover classes ranging between 1.6 C and 6.0 C. During summer, these maximum temperature differences are smallest (0.5 C) with barelands and highest (8.3 C) with irrigated lawns. This excess heating is simulated above and beyond a seasonal temperature average of about 30 C during spring and 44 C during summer. On annual mean, a full urbanization scenario decreases the carbon fixation by 0.13 MtC and increases the daytime mean surface temperature by 1.3 C. This may boost the city energy consumption by 5.72%. Under a 'smart growth' scenario, whereby the city expands on barelands to cover 50% of the study region and all remaining barelands converted to orchards, the carbon fixation is enhanced by 0.04 MtC with a small daytime temperature increase of 0.2 C. Our results indicate that vegetation can mitigate the urban heating. The hydrological cycle indicates that highest ratio of surface runoff to precipitation (43.8%) occurs in urban areas, versus only 16.7 % for all cover types combined.

  4. Modeling the Urban Impact on Semiarid Surface Climate: A Case Study in Marrakech, Morocco

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lachir, Asia; Bounoua, Lahouari; Zhang, Ping; Thome, Kurtis; Moussouli, Mohamed

    2016-01-01

    We combine Landsat and MODIS data in the Simple Biosphere Model to assess the impact of urbanization on surface climate in a semiarid city in North Africa. The model simulates highest temperatures in urban class, with spring average maximum temperature differences to other land cover classes ranging between 1.6 C and 6.0 C. During summer, these maximum temperature differences are smallest (0.5 C) with barelands and highest (8.3 C) with irrigated lawns. This excess heating is simulated above and beyond a seasonal temperature average of about 30 C during spring and 44 C during summer. On annual mean, a full urbanization scenario decreases the carbon fixation by 0.13 MtC and increases the daytime mean surface temperature by 1.3 C. This may boost the city energy consumption by 5.72%. Under a 'smart growth' scenario, whereby the city expands on barelands to cover 50% of the study region and all remaining barelands converted to orchards, the carbon fixation is enhanced by 0.04 MtC with a small daytime temperature increase of 0.2 C. Our results indicate that vegetation can mitigate the urban heating. The hydrological cycle indicates that highest ratio of surface runoff to precipitation (43.8%) occurs in urban areas, versus only 16.7 % for all cover types combined.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poon, Patrick K.; Kinoshita, Alicia M.

    2018-04-01

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

  6. Mobilisation and Bioavailability of Arsenic Around Mesothermal Gold Deposits in a Semiarid Environment, Otago, New Zealand

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. Craw

    2002-01-01

    Full Text Available Arsenopyrite (FeAsS is the principal arsenic (As mineral in mineralised mesothermal veins (typically 5,000 mg/kg As in southeastern New Zealand. Groundwater in contact with arsenopyrite-bearing rocks has elevated As concentrations (up to 0.1 mg/l. The arsenopyrite decomposes slowly on oxidation in soils and historic mine workings in a cool semiarid climate. Dissolved As is predominantly As(III in association with arsenopyrite, but this is rapidly oxidised over days to weeks to As(V in the vadose zone. Oxidation is facilitated by particulate Fe and/or Mn oxyhydroxides, and by bacteria in surface waters. Evaporative concentration of dissolved As(V in the vadose zone causes precipitation of scorodite (Fe(IIIAs(VO4.2H2O. Adsorption of As(V to Fe oxyhydroxides in soils and groundwater pathways lowers dissolved As concentrations. Soils over mineralised veins typically have <200 mg/kg As, as most As is removed in solution on geological time scales. Most plants on the mineralised rocks and soils do not take up As, although some inedible species can fix up to 18 mg/kg As. Hence, bioavailability of As(V is low in this environment, despite the substantial As flux.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuta Demura

    2017-12-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-04-01

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

  10. Towards sustainable groundwater management in Karst aquifers in semi-arid environments: Central West Bank, Palestine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jebreen, H.; Banning, A.; Wohnlich, S.

    2017-12-01

    The Central West Bank (CWB) is characterized by karstified carbonate aquifers in the semiarid climate zone, where groundwater resources are frequently threatened by overexploitation and pollution. Despite often limited system knowledge, quantitative and qualitative factors such as groundwater recharge rate, aquifer parameters, flow and transport dynamics, anthropogenic impacts, and groundwater vulnerability need to be assessed. Therefore, sustainable groundwater use in the CWB is of critical importance. In the present study, we explore the scale of the groundwater problems in CWB as well as the possibility of sustainable management through different scenarios: 1) Managed aquifer recharge using a water balance model, stable isotopes (2H & 18O) and chloride mass balance, 2) Geochemical evolution and renewability of groundwater, and 3) Anthropogenic impacts. A total of 20 spring water samples were collected and analyzed for pH, electrical conductivity, total dissolved solids (TDS), hardness, major-ion chemistry (Cl-, HCO3-, SO42-, Na+, K+, Ca2+ and Mg2+), trace elements (Li, Be, Al, Ba, Tl, Pb, Bi, V, Cr, Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, Ga, Rb, Sr, Mo, Ag and Cd), microbiological data (total and fecal coliforms bacteria), and stable isotopes (2H & 18O). The results show a spatialized recharge rate, which ranges from 111-211 mm/year, representing 17-33 % of the long-term mean annual rainfall. The mean annual actual evapotranspiration was about 19-37 % of precipitation. The chemical composition of groundwater of the study area is strongly influenced by rock-water interaction, dissolution and deposition of carbonate and silicate minerals. Stable isotopes show that precipitation is the source of recharge to the groundwater system. All analyzed spring waters are suitable for irrigation but not for drinking purposes. This studýs results can serve as a basis for decision makers, and will lead to an increased understanding of the sustainable management of the Central West Bank

  11. Model-based Impact Assessment of an Integrated Water Management Strategy on Ecosystem Services relevant to Food Security in Namibia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luetkemeier, R.; Liehr, S.

    2012-04-01

    North-central Namibia is characterized by seasonal alterations of drought and heavy rainfall, mostly saline groundwater resources and a lack of perennial rivers. Water scarcity poses a great challenge for freshwater supply, harvest and food security against the background of high population growth and climate change. CuveWaters project aims at poverty reduction and livelihood improvement on a long term basis by introducing a multi-resource-mix as part of an integrated water resources management (IWRM) approach. Herein, creating water buffers by rainwater harvesting (RWH) and subsurface water storage as well as reuse of treated wastewater facilitates micro-scale gardening activities. This link constitutes a major component of a sustainable adaptation strategy by contributing to the conservation and improvement of basic food and freshwater resources in order to reduce drought vulnerability. This paper presents main findings of an impact assessment carried out on the effect of integrated water resources management on ecosystem services (ESS) relevant to food security within the framework of CuveWaters project. North-central Namibia is perceived as a social-ecological system characterized by a strong mutual dependence between natural environment and anthropogenic system. This fundamental reliance on natural resources highlights the key role of ESS in semi-arid environments to sustain human livelihoods. Among other services, food provision was chosen for quantification as one of the most fundamental ESS in north-central Namibia. Different nutritional values were utilized as indicators to adopt a demand-supply approach (Ecosystem Service Profile) to illustrate the ability of the ecosystem to meet people's nutritional requirements. Calculations have been conducted using both Bayesian networks to incorporate uncertainty introduced by the variability of monthly precipitation and the application of plant specific water production functions. Results show that improving the

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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 compositi