WorldWideScience

Sample records for semiarid mixed prairies

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  2. Arthropod consumption by small mammals on prairie dog colonies and adjacent ungrazed mixed grass prairie in western South Dakota

    Science.gov (United States)

    W. Agnew; Daniel W. Uresk; R. M. Hansen

    1988-01-01

    The percentage of arthropods and plants in the diets of seven small rodents captured on prairie dog colonies and adjacent mixed grasslands were estimated by microhistological techniques. Arthropod composition over the two year study averaged 51% and 37% on prairie dog colonies and mixed grasslands, respectively. Composition of arthropods on prairie dog colonies was...

  3. Flora and fauna associated with prairie dog colonies and adjacent ungrazed mixed-grass prairie in western South Dakota

    Science.gov (United States)

    William Agnew; Daniel W. Uresk; Richard M. Hansen

    1986-01-01

    Vegetation, small rodents, and birds were sampled during the growing seasons of 2 years on prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) colonies and adjacent mixed-grass prairie in western South Dakota. Prairie dog grazing decreased mulch cover, maximum height of vegetation, plant species richness, and tended to decrease live plant canopy cover compared to...

  4. 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.

  5. Comparing the hydrology of grassed and cultivated catchments in the semi-arid Canadian prairies

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Kamp, G.; Hayashi, M.; Gallén, D.

    2003-02-01

    At the St Denis National Wildlife Area in the prairie region of southern Saskatchewan, Canada, water levels in wetlands have been monitored since 1968. In 1980 and 1983 a total of about one-third of the 4 km2 area was converted from cultivation to an undisturbed cover of brome grass. A few years after this conversion all the wetlands within the area of grass dried out; they have remained dry since, whereas wetlands in adjacent cultivated lands have held water as before. Field measurements show that introduction of undisturbed grass reduces water input to the wetlands mainly through a combination of efficient snow trapping and enhanced infiltration into frozen soil. In winter, the tall brome grass traps most of the snowfall, whereas in the cultivated fields more wind transport of snow occurs, especially for short stubble and fallow fields. Single-ring infiltration tests were conducted during snowmelt, while the soil was still frozen, and again in summer. The infiltrability of the frozen soil in the grassland is high enough to absorb most or all of the snowmelt, whereas in the cultivated fields the infiltration into the frozen soil is limited and significant runoff occurs. In summer, the infiltrability increases for the cultivated fields, but the grassland retains a much higher infiltrability than the cultivated land. The development of enhanced infiltrability takes several years after the conversion from cultivation to grass, and is likely due to the gradual development of macropores, such as root holes, desiccation cracks, and animal burrows.

  6. Map of mixed prairie grassland vegetation, Rocky Flats, Colorado

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Clark, S J.V.; Webber, P J; Komarkova, V; Weber, W A

    1980-01-01

    A color vegetation map at the scale of 1:12,000 of the area surrounding the Rocky Flats, Rockwell International Plant near Boulder, Colorado, provides a permanent record of baseline data which can be used to monitor changes in both vegetation and environment and thus to contribute to future land management and land-use policies. Sixteen mapping units based on species composition were identified, and characterized by two 10-m/sup 2/ vegetation stands each. These were grouped into prairie, pasture, and valley side on the basis of their species composition. Both the mapping units and these major groups were later confirmed by agglomerative clustering analysis of the 32 vegetation stands on the basis of species composition. A modified Bray and Curtis ordination was used to determine the environmental factor complexes controlling the distribution of vegetation at Rocky flats. Recommendations are made for future policies of environmental management and predictions of the response to environmental change of the present vegetation at the Rocky Flats site.

  7. Linking phenology and biomass productivity in South Dakota mixed-grass prairie

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rigge, Matthew; Smart, Alexander; Wylie, Bruce; Gilmanov, Tagir; Johnson, Patricia

    2013-01-01

    Assessing the health of rangeland ecosystems based solely on annual biomass production does not fully describe plant community condition; the phenology of production can provide inferences on species composition, successional stage, and grazing impacts. We evaluate the productivity and phenology of western South Dakota mixed-grass prairie using 2000 to 2008 Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MODIS) normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) satellite imagery at 250 m spatial resolution. Growing season NDVI images were integrated weekly to produce time-integrated NDVI (TIN), a proxy of total annual biomass production, and integrated seasonally to represent annual production by cool (C3) and warm (C4) season species. Additionally, a variety of phenological indicators including cool season percentage of TIN were derived from the seasonal profiles of NDVI. Cool season percentage and TIN were combined to generate vegetation classes, which served as proxies of plant community condition. TIN decreased with precipitation from east to west across the study area. Alternatively, cool season percentage increased from east to west, following patterns related to the reliability (interannual coefficient of variation [CV]) and quantity of mid-summer precipitation. Cool season TIN averaged 76.8% of total. Seasonal accumulation of TIN corresponded closely (R2 > 0.90) to that of gross photosynthesis data from a carbon flux tower. Field-collected biomass and community composition data were strongly related to the TIN and cool season percentage products. The patterns of vegetation classes were responsive to topographic, edaphic, and land management influences on plant communities. Accurate maps of biomass production, cool/warm season composition, and vegetation classes can improve the efficiency of land management by adjusting stocking rates and season of use to maximize rangeland productivity and achieve conservation objectives. Further, our results clarify the spatial and

  8. Ducks and passerines nesting in northern mixed-grass prairie treated with fire

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grant, Todd A.; Shaffer, Terry L.; Madden, Elizabeth M.; Berkey, Gordon B.

    2011-01-01

    Prescribed fire is an important, ecology-driven tool for restoration of grassland systems. However, prescribed fire remains controversial for some grassland managers because of reported reductions in bird use of recently burned grasslands. Few studies have evaluated effects of fire on grassland bird populations in the northern mixed-grass prairie region. Fewer studies yet have examined the influence of fire on nest density or survival. In our review, we found no studies that simultaneously examined effects of fire on duck and passerine nesting. During 1998—2003, we examined effects of prescribed fire on the density of upland-nesting ducks and passerines nesting in north-central North Dakota, USA. Apparent nest densities of gadwall (Anas strepera), mallard (A. platyrhynchos), and all duck species combined, were influenced by fire history of study units, although the degree of influence was not compelling. Fire history was not related to nest densities of blue-winged teal (A. discors), northern shoveler (A. clypeata), or northern pintail (A. acuta); however, apparent nest densities in relation to the number of postfire growing seasons exhibited a strikingly similar pattern among all duck species. When compared to ducks, fire history strongly influenced apparent nest densities of clay-colored sparrow (Spizella pallida), Savannah sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis), and bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus). For most species examined, apparent nest densities were lowest in recently burned units, increased during the second postfire growing season, and stabilized or, in some cases, decreased thereafter. Prescribed fire is critical for restoring the ecology of northern mixed-grass prairies and our findings indicate that reductions in nest densities are limited mostly to the first growing season after fire. Our results support the premise that upland-nesting ducks and several grassland passerine species are adapted to periodic fires occurring at a frequency similar to that

  9. Alien plant invasion in mixed-grass prairie: Effects of vegetation type and anthropogenic disturbance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larson, D.L.; Anderson, P.J.; Newton, W.

    2001-01-01

    The ability of alien plant species to invade a region depends not only on attributes of the plant, but on characteristics of the habitat being invaded. Here, we examine characteristics that may influence the success of alien plant invasion in mixed-grass prairie at Theodore Roosevelt National Park, in western North Dakota, USA. The park consists of two geographically separate units with similar vegetation types and management history, which allowed us to examine the effects of native vegetation type, anthropogenic disturbance, and the separate park units on the invasion of native plant communities by alien plant species common to counties surrounding both park units. If matters of chance related to availability of propagules and transient establishment opportunities determine the success of invasion, park unit and anthropogenic disturbance should better explain the variation in alien plant frequency. If invasibility is more strongly related to biotic or physical characteristics of the native plant communities, models of alien plant occurrence should include vegetation type as an explanatory variable. We examined >1300 transects across all vegetation types in both units of the park. Akaike's Information Criterion (AIC) indicated that the fully parameterized model, including the interaction among vegetation type, disturbance, and park unit, best described the distribution of both total number of alien plants per transect and frequency of alien plants on transects where they occurred. Although all vegetation types were invaded by alien plants, mesic communities had both greater numbers and higher frequencies of alien plants than did drier communities. A strong element of stochasticity, reflected in differences in frequencies of individual species between the two park units, suggests that prediction of risk of invasion will always involve uncertainty. In addition, despite well-documented associations between anthropogenic disturbance and alien plant invasion, five of

  10. Sparrow nest survival in relation to prescribed fire and woody plant invasion in a northern mixed-grass prairie

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murphy, Robert K.; Shaffer, Terry L.; Grant, Todd A.; Derrig, James L.; Rubin, Cory S.; Kerns, Courtney K.

    2017-01-01

    Prescribed fire is used to reverse invasion by woody vegetation on grasslands, but managers often are uncertain whether influences of shrub and tree reduction outweigh potential effects of fire on nest survival of grassland birds. During the 2001–2003 breeding seasons, we examined relationships of prescribed fire and woody vegetation to nest survival of clay-colored sparrow (Spizella pallida) and Savannah sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis) in mixed-grass prairie at Des Lacs National Wildlife Refuge in northwestern North Dakota, USA. We assessed relationships of nest survival to 1) recent fire history, in terms of number of breeding seasons (2, 3, or 4–5) since the last prescribed fire, and 2) prevalence of trees and tall (>1.5 m) shrubs in the landscape and of low (≤1.5 m) shrubs within 5 m of nests. Nest survival of both species exhibited distinct patterns related to age of the nest and day of year, but bore no relationship to fire history. Survival of clay-colored sparrow nests declined as the amount of trees and tall shrubs within 100 m increased, but we found no relationship to suggest nest parasitism by brown-headed cowbirds (Molothrus ater) as an underlying mechanism. We found little evidence linking nest survival of Savannah sparrow to woody vegetation. Our results suggest that fire can be used to restore northern mixed-grass prairies without adversely affecting nest survival of ≥2 widespread passerine species. Survival of nests of clay-colored sparrow may increase when tall woody cover is reduced by fire. Our data lend support to the use of fire for reducing scattered patches of tall woody cover to enhance survival of nests of ≥1 grassland bird species in northern mixed-grass prairies, but further study is needed that incorporates experimental approaches and assessments of shorter term effects of fire on survival of nests of grassland passerines.

  11. Effects of prescribed burning and litter type on litter decomposition and nutrient release in mixed-grass prairie in Eastern Montana

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fire can affect litter decomposition and carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) dynamics. Here, we examined the effect of summer fire and three litter types on litter decomposition and litter C and N dynamics in a northern mixed-grass prairie over a 24 month period starting ca. 14 months after fire. Over all...

  12. An experimental analysis of grasshopper community responses to fire and livestock grazing in a northern mixed-grass prairie.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Branson, David H; Sword, Gregory A

    2010-10-01

    The outcomes of grasshopper responses to both vertebrate grazing and fire vary across grassland ecosystems, and are strongly influenced by local climactic factors. Thus, the possible application of grazing and fire as components of an ecologically based grasshopper management strategy must be investigated in regional studies. In this study, we examined the effects of grazing and fire on grasshopper population density and community composition in a northern Great Plains mixed-grass prairie. We employed a large-scale, replicated, and fully-factorial manipulative experimental design across 4 yr to examine the separate and interactive effects of three grazing systems in burned and unburned habitats. Grasshopper densities were low throughout the 4-yr study and 1 yr of pretreatment sampling. There was a significant fire by grazing interaction effect on cumulative density and community composition, resulting from burned season long grazing pastures having higher densities than unburned pastures. Shannon diversity and grasshopper species richness were significantly higher with twice-over rotational livestock grazing. The ability to draw strong conclusions regarding the nature of species composition shifts and population changes in the presence of fire and grazing is complicated by the large site differences and low grasshopper densities. The results reinforce the importance of long-term research to examine the effects of habitat manipulation on grasshopper population dynamics.

  13. Bud-bank and tiller dynamics of co-occurring C3 caespitose grasses in mixed-grass prairie.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ott, Jacqueline P; Hartnett, David C

    2015-09-01

    Tiller recruitment from the belowground bud bank of caespitose grasses influences their ability to monopolize local resources and, hence, their genet fitness. Differences in bud production and outgrowth among tiller types within a genet and among species may explain co-occurrence of caespitose grasses. This study aimed to characterize genet bud-bank and tiller production and dynamics in two co-occurring species and compare their vegetative reproductive strategies. Bud-bank and tiller dynamics of Hesperostipa comata and Nassella viridula, dominant C3 caespitose grasses in the northern mixed-grass prairie of North America, were assessed throughout an annual cycle. The two species showed similar strategies, maintaining polycyclic tillers and thus creating mixed-age genet bud banks comprising multiple bud cohorts produced in different years. Vegetative tillers produced the majority of buds, whereas flowering tillers contributed little to the bud bank. Buds lived for at least 2 yr and were maintained in multiple developmental stages throughout the year. Because bud longevity rarely exceeded tiller longevity, tiller longevity drove turnover within the bud bank. Tiller population dynamics, more than bud production per tiller, determined the differential contribution of tiller types to the bud bank. Nassella viridula had higher bud production per tiller, a consistent annual tiller recruitment density, and greater longevity of buds on senesced and flowering tillers than H. comata. Co-occurring C3 caespitose grasses had similar bud-bank and tiller dynamics contributing to genet persistence but differed in bud characteristics that could affect genet longevity and species coexistence. © 2015 Botanical Society of America.

  14. Germination sensitivities to water potential among co-existing C3 and C4 grasses of cool semi-arid prairie grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mollard, F P O; Naeth, M A

    2015-03-01

    An untested theory states that C4 grass seeds could germinate under lower water potentials (Ψ) than C3 grass seeds. We used hydrotime modelling to study seed water relations of C4 and C3 Canadian prairie grasses to address Ψ divergent sensitivities and germination strategies along a risk-spreading continuum of responses to limited water. C4 grasses were Bouteloua gracilis, Calamovilfa longifolia and Schizachyrium scoparium; C3 grasses were Bromus carinatus, Elymus trachycaulus, Festuca hallii and Koeleria macrantha. Hydrotime parameters were obtained after incubation of non-dormant seeds under different Ψ PEG 6000 solutions. A t-test between C3 and C4 grasses did not find statistical differences in population mean base Ψ (Ψb (50)). We found idiosyncratic responses of C4 grasses along the risk-spreading continuum. B. gracilis showed a risk-taker strategy of a species able to quickly germinate in a dry soil due to its low Ψb (50) and hydrotime (θH ). The high Ψb (50) of S. scoparium indicates it follows the risk-averse strategy so it can only germinate in wet soils. C. longifolia showed an intermediate strategy: the lowest Ψb (50) yet the highest θH . K. macrantha, a C3 grass which thrives in dry habitats, had the highest Ψb (50), suggesting a risk-averse strategy for a C3 species. Other C3 species showed intermediate germination patterns in response to Ψ relative to C4 species. Our results indicate that grasses display germination sensitivities to Ψ across the risk-spreading continuum of responses. Thus seed water relations may be poor predictors to explain differential recruitment and distribution of C3 and C4 grasses in the Canadian prairies. © 2014 German Botanical Society and The Royal Botanical Society of the Netherlands.

  15. Alien plant invasion in mixed-grass prairie: effects of vegetation type, stochiasticity, and anthropogenic disturbance in two park units

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larson, Diane L.; Anderson, Patrick J.; Newton, Wesley E.

    2001-01-01

    The ability of alien plant species to invade a region depends not only on attributes of the plant, but on characteristics of the habitat being invaded. Here, we examine characteristics that may influence the success of alien plant invasion in mixed-grass prairie at Theodore Roosevelt National Park, in western North Dakota, USA. The park consists of two geographically separate units with similar vegetation types and management history, which allowed us to examine the effects of native vegetation type, anthropogenic disturbance, and the separate park units on the invasion of native plant communities by alien plant species common to counties surrounding both park units. If matters of chance related to availability of propagules and transient establishment opportunities determine the success of invasion, park unit and anthropogenic disturbance should better explain the variation in alien plant frequency. If invasibility is more strongly related to biotic or physical characteristics of the native plant communities, models of alien plant occurrence should include vegetation type as an explanatory variable. We examined >1300 transects across all vegetation types in both units of the park. Akaike's Information Criterion (AIC) indicated that the fully parameterized model, including the interaction among vegetation type, disturbance, and park unit, best described the distribution of both total number of alien plants per transect and frequency of alien plants on transects where they occurred. Although all vegetation types were invaded by alien plants, mesic communities had both greater numbers and higher frequencies of alien plants than did drier communities. A strong element of stochasticity, reflected in differences in frequencies of individual species between the two park units, suggests that prediction of risk of invasion will always involve uncertainty. In addition, despite well-documented associations between anthropogenic disturbance and alien plant invasion, five of

  16. Prairie Chicken

    Data.gov (United States)

    Kansas Data Access and Support Center — An outline of the general range occupied by greayter and lesser prairie chickens. The range was delineated by expert opinion, then varified by local wildlife...

  17. Exotic plant infestation is associated with decreased modularity and increased numbers of connectors in mixed-grass prairie pollination networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larson, Diane L.; Rabie, Paul A.; Droege, Sam; Larson, Jennifer L.; Haar, Milton

    2016-01-01

    The majority of pollinating insects are generalists whose lifetimes overlap flowering periods of many potentially suitable plant species. Such generality is instrumental in allowing exotic plant species to invade pollination networks. The particulars of how existing networks change in response to an invasive plant over the course of its phenology are not well characterized, but may shed light on the probability of long-term effects on plant-pollinator interactions and the stability of network structure. Here we describe changes in network topology and modular structure of infested and non-infested networks during the flowering season of the generalist non-native flowering plant, Cirsium arvense in mixed-grass prairie at Badlands National Park, South Dakota, USA. Objectives were to compare network-level effects of infestation as they propagate over the season in infested and non-infested (with respect to C. arvense) networks. We characterized plant-pollinator networks on 5 non-infested and 7 infested 1-ha plots during 4 sample periods that collectively covered the length of C. arvense flowering period. Two other abundantly-flowering invasive plants were present during this time: Melilotus officinalis had highly variable floral abundance in both C. arvense-infested and non-infested plots andConvolvulus arvensis, which occurred almost exclusively in infested plots and peaked early in the season. Modularity, including roles of individual species, and network topology were assessed for each sample period as well as in pooled infested and non-infested networks. Differences in modularity and network metrics between infested and non-infested networks were limited to the third and fourth sample periods, during flower senescence of C. arvenseand the other invasive species; generality of pollinators rose concurrently, suggesting rewiring of the network and a lag effect of earlier floral abundance. Modularity was lower and number of connectors higher in infested

  18. Use of ecological sites in managing wildlife and livestock: An example with prairie dogs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prairie dogs are a native rodent found in the mixed grass prairie of the northern Great Plains. Prairie dogs can have an adverse impact on the amount of forages available for grazing livestock. In the Native American community, prairie dogs are often valued as a cultural resource and as an importan...

  19. Geoecohydrological mechanisms couple soil and leaf water dynamics and facilitate species coexistence in shallow soils of a tropical semiarid mixed forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez-Robles, Ulises; Arredondo, J Tulio; Huber-Sannwald, Elisabeth; Vargas, Rodrigo

    2015-07-01

    Trees growing on shallow rocky soils must have exceptional adaptations when underlying weathered bedrock has no deep fractures for water storage. Under semiarid conditions, hydrology of shallow soils is expected to decouple from plant hydrology, as soils dry out as a result of rapid evaporation and competition for water increases between coexisting tree species. Gas exchange and plant-water relations were monitored for 15 months for Pinus cembroides and Quercus potosina tree species in a tropical semiarid forest growing on c. 20-cm-deep soils over impermeable volcanic bedrock. Soil and leaf water potential maintained a relatively constant offset throughout the year in spite of high intra-annual fluctuations reaching up to 5 MPa. Thus, hydrology of shallow soils did not decouple from hydrology of trees even in the driest period. A combination of redistribution mechanisms of water stored in weathered bedrock and hypodermic flow accessible to oak provided the source of water supply to shallow soils, where most of the actively growing roots occurred. This study demonstrates a unique geoecohydrological mechanism that maintains a tightly coupled hydrology between shallow rocky soils and trees, as well as species coexistence in this mixed forest, where oak facilitates water access to pine. © 2015 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2015 New Phytologist Trust.

  20. Phenotypic and genetic characterization of western prairie clover collections from the western USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kishor Bhattarai; B. Shaun Bushman; Douglas A. Johnson; John G. Carman

    2010-01-01

    Few North American legumes are available for rangeland revegetation in the semiarid western United States. Western prairie clover (Dalea ornata [Douglas ex Hook.] Eaton & J. Wright) is a perennial legume with desirable forage characteristics and is distributed in the northern Great Basin, Snake River Basin, and southern Columbia Plateau. Understanding the...

  1. Mixed crop-livestock production systems of smallholder farmers in sub-humid and semi-arid areas of Zambia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lungu, J.C.N.

    2002-01-01

    Livestock production activities among small-scale farmers of semi-arid (Agro-ecological zone 1) and sub-humid (Agro-ecological zone 2) areas of Zambia are integrated with crop production activities in what is termed as crop/livestock farming system. This is a closed system in which production of one enterprise depends on the other. In Zambia, crop production depends on draught animals for tillage of cropping area, animal manure for fertilisation of crops while livestock depend on crop residues for dry season feeding. Good quality grass is generally available in adequate amounts to support reasonable level of livestock productivity during the rainy season. But livestock rely on low quantity and poor quality, highly fibrous perennial grass from veld and fibrous crop residues during the dry season. These resources are inadequate to support optimum livestock productivity activities. Poor nutrition results in low rates of reproduction and production as well as increased susceptibility to diseases. With the increasing human population cropping land is expanding, leading to increased production of crop residues. This has however, reduced the grazing land available for ruminant production. In Zambia large quantities of crop residues (stovers, husks and straws, legume tops and hulls, sugar cane tops, cassava leaves, potato vines, etc.) are left in the field where they are wasted each year because small-scale farmers lack the knowledge on how best to use them. There is a need to find ways to reverse this situation by adapting known and workable technologies to local conditions and by introducing new approaches for improving the use of crop residues and poor quality fibrous feeds. Efforts should also be made to enlarge feed resource base. The technologies should be simple and effective. In the presence of a dynamic market system, livestock production in a crop/livestock system could be intensified and made profitable for small-scale farmers. (author)

  2. Prairie Conservation in Canada: The Prairie Conservation Action Plan Experience

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dean Nernberg; David Ingstrup

    2005-01-01

    In Canada, grassland conservation has been mobilized and directed through the development of Prairie Conservation Action Plans and Action Plan Committees in the three prairie provinces of Alberta (45 partner agencies and organizations), Saskatchewan (26 partners), and Manitoba (26 partners). In Alberta, 43 percent of the native prairie remains; in Saskatchewan and...

  3. Ecosystem engineering varies spatially: a test of the vegetation modification paradigm for prairie dogs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker, Bruce W.; Augustine, David J.; Sedgwick, James A.; Lubow, Bruce C.

    2013-01-01

    Colonial, burrowing herbivores can be engineers of grassland and shrubland ecosystems worldwide. Spatial variation in landscapes suggests caution when extrapolating single-place studies of single species, but lack of data and the need to generalize often leads to ‘model system’ thinking and application of results beyond appropriate statistical inference. Generalizations about the engineering effects of prairie dogs (Cynomys sp.) developed largely from intensive study at a single complex of black-tailed prairie dogs C. ludovicianus in northern mixed prairie, but have been extrapolated to other ecoregions and prairie dog species in North America, and other colonial, burrowing herbivores. We tested the paradigm that prairie dogs decrease vegetation volume and the cover of grasses and tall shrubs, and increase bare ground and forb cover. We sampled vegetation on and off 279 colonies at 13 complexes of 3 prairie dog species widely distributed across 5 ecoregions in North America. The paradigm was generally supported at 7 black-tailed prairie dog complexes in northern mixed prairie, where vegetation volume, grass cover, and tall shrub cover were lower, and bare ground and forb cover were higher, on colonies than at paired off-colony sites. Outside the northern mixed prairie, all 3 prairie dog species consistently reduced vegetation volume, but their effects on cover of plant functional groups varied with prairie dog species and the grazing tolerance of dominant perennial grasses. White-tailed prairie dogs C. leucurus in sagebrush steppe did not reduce shrub cover, whereas black-tailed prairie dogs suppressed shrub cover at all complexes with tall shrubs in the surrounding habitat matrix. Black-tailed prairie dogs in shortgrass steppe and Gunnison's prairie dogs C. gunnisoni in Colorado Plateau grassland both had relatively minor effects on grass cover, which may reflect the dominance of grazing-tolerant shortgrasses at both complexes. Variation in modification of

  4. Establishment of prairies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lotero Cadavid, J.

    2001-01-01

    Are analyzed the establishment of prairies, such as the selection of the species, the factors of the environment, the impact in the establishment and forage production and its relation to the soil, the precipitation, the temperature, the light and the biotic factors. It is indicated that the selection of the species to settle down, is directly related with the climate and the soil and they group to be tolerant to drought, tolerant to flood soils, tolerant to humid soils, tolerant to soils very acids, moderately acids and saline. It is noticed that a bad establishment of the grasses can be due to the bad quality of the seed, a temperature and unfavorable humidity can cause low germination; equally seeds planted very deeply in heavy soils with excess of humidity. Considerations are made about the establishment and growth of the prairies in connection with the germination, cultures, sowing density and sowing on time, as well as for the soil preparation, the sowing in terrestrial mechanic and non mechanic and the use of cultivations forms of low cost and fertilization systems; equally the establishment of leguminous in mixture with gramineous, the renovation of prairies and the establishment of pastures

  5. Power and limitation of soil properties as predictors of rangeland health and ecosystem functioning in a Northern mixed-grass prairie[Abstract

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soil properties are thought to affect rangeland ecosystem functioning (e.g. primary productivity, hydrology), and thus soil variables that are consistently correlated with key ecosystem functions may be general indicators of rangeland health. We summarize results from several studies in mixed-grass...

  6. Rangewide genetic analysis of Lesser Prairie-Chicken reveals population structure, range expansion, and possible introgression

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oyler-McCance, Sara J.; DeYoung, Randall W; Fike, Jennifer; Hagen, Christian A.; Johnson, Jeff A.; Larsson, Lena C.; Patten, Michael

    2016-01-01

    The distribution of the Lesser Prairie-Chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) has been markedly reduced due to loss and fragmentation of habitat. Portions of the historical range, however, have been recolonized and even expanded due to planting of conservation reserve program (CRP) fields that provide favorable vegetation structure for Lesser Prairie-Chickens. The source population(s) feeding the range expansion is unknown, yet has resulted in overlap between Lesser and Greater Prairie-Chickens (T. cupido) increasing the potential for hybridization. Our objectives were to characterize connectivity and genetic diversity among populations, identify source population(s) of recent range expansion, and examine hybridization with the Greater Prairie-Chicken. We analyzed 640 samples from across the range using 13 microsatellites. We identified three to four populations corresponding largely to ecoregions. The Shinnery Oak Prairie and Sand Sagebrush Prairie represented genetically distinct populations (F ST > 0.034 and F ST > 0.023 respectively). The Shortgrass/CRP Mosaic and Mixed Grass ecoregions appeared admixed (F ST = 0.009). Genetic diversity was similar among ecoregions and N e ranged from 142 (95 % CI 99–236) for the Shortgrass/CRP Mosaic to 296 (95 % CI 233–396) in the Mixed Grass Prairie. No recent migration was detected among ecoregions, except asymmetric dispersal from both the Mixed Grass Prairie and to a lesser extent the Sand Sagebrush Prairie north into adjacent Shortgrass/CRP Mosaic (m = 0.207, 95 % CI 0.116–0.298, m = 0.097, 95 % CI 0.010–0.183, respectively). Indices investigating potential hybridization in the Shortgrass/CRP Mosaic revealed that six of the 13 individuals with hybrid phenotypes were significantly admixed suggesting hybridization. Continued monitoring of diversity within and among ecoregions is warranted as are actions promoting genetic connectivity and range expansion.

  7. Hydrology of prairie wetlands: Understanding the integrated surface-water and groundwater processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayashi, Masaki; van der Kamp, Garth; Rosenberry, Donald O.

    2016-01-01

    Wetland managers and policy makers need to make decisions based on a sound scientific understanding of hydrological and ecological functions of wetlands. This article presents an overview of the hydrology of prairie wetlands intended for managers, policy makers, and researchers new to this field (e.g., graduate students), and a quantitative conceptual framework for understanding the hydrological functions of prairie wetlands and their responses to changes in climate and land use. The existence of prairie wetlands in the semi-arid environment of the Prairie-Pothole Region (PPR) depends on the lateral inputs of runoff water from their catchments because mean annual potential evaporation exceeds precipitation in the PPR. Therefore, it is critically important to consider wetlands and catchments as highly integrated hydrological units. The water balance of individual wetlands is strongly influenced by runoff from the catchment and the exchange of groundwater between the central pond and its moist margin. Land-use practices in the catchment have a sensitive effect on runoff and hence the water balance. Surface and subsurface storage and connectivity among individual wetlands controls the diversity of pond permanence within a wetland complex, resulting in a variety of eco-hydrological functionalities necessary for maintaining the integrity of prairie-wetland ecosystems.

  8. Song and Male Quality in Prairie Warblers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruce E. Byers; Michael E. Akresh; David I. King; W. Koenig

    2016-01-01

    To determine if the songs of male prairie warblers could potentially reveal to female listeners information about the quality of singers, we compared various aspects of prairie warbler song structure and performance to attributes that might reflect a male singer's potential to enhance the fitness of his mate. We found that all the tested male attributes—arrival...

  9. Interactive effects between nest microclimate and nest vegetation structure confirm microclimate thresholds for Lesser Prairie-Chicken nest survival

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grisham, Blake A.; Godar, Alixandra J.; Boal, Clint W.; Haukos, David A.

    2016-01-01

    The range of Lesser Prairie-Chickens (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) spans 4 unique ecoregions along 2 distinct environmental gradients. The Sand Shinnery Oak Prairie ecoregion of the Southern High Plains of New Mexico and Texas is environmentally isolated, warmer, and more arid than the Short-Grass, Sand Sagebrush, and Mixed-Grass Prairie ecoregions in Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, and the northeast panhandle of Texas. Weather is known to influence Lesser Prairie-Chicken nest survival in the Sand Shinnery Oak Prairie ecoregion; regional variation may also influence nest microclimate and, ultimately, survival during incubation. To address this question, we placed data loggers adjacent to nests during incubation to quantify temperature and humidity distribution functions in 3 ecoregions. We developed a suite of a priori nest survival models that incorporated derived microclimate parameters and visual obstruction as covariates in Program MARK. We monitored 49 nests in Mixed-Grass, 22 nests in Sand Shinnery Oak, and 30 nests in Short-Grass ecoregions from 2010 to 2014. Our findings indicated that (1) the Sand Shinnery Oak Prairie ecoregion was hotter and drier during incubation than the Mixed- and Short-Grass ecoregions; (2) nest microclimate varied among years within ecoregions; (3) visual obstruction was positively associated with nest survival; but (4) daily nest survival probability decreased by 10% every half-hour when temperature was greater than 34°C and vapor pressure deficit was less than −23 mmHg during the day (about 0600–2100 hours). Our major finding confirmed microclimate thresholds for nest survival under natural conditions across the species' distribution, although Lesser Prairie-Chickens are more likely to experience microclimate conditions that result in nest failures in the Sand Shinnery Oak Prairie ecoregion. The species would benefit from identification of thermal landscapes and management actions that promote cooler, more humid nest microclimates.

  10. Black-tailed prairie dog status and future conservation planning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daniel W. Mulhern; Craig J. Knowles

    1997-01-01

    The black-tailed prairie dog is one of five prairie dog species estimated to have once occupied up to 100 million ha or more in North America. The area occupied by black-tailed prairie dogs has declined to approximately 2% of its former range. Conversion of habitat to other land uses and widespread prairie dog eradication efforts combined with sylvatic plague,

  11. The prairie dog as a keystone species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kotliar, Natasha B.; Miller, Brian J.; Reading, Richard P.; Clark, Timothy W.; Hoogland, John L.

    2006-01-01

    The prairie dog has a pronounced impact on its grassland ecosystem (King 1955; Uresk and Bjugstad 1983; Miller et al. 1994; Society for Conservation Biology 1994; Wuerthner 1997; Johnsgard 2005). They maintain short vegetation by their grazing and by selective removal of tall plants and shrubs; provide shelter, foraging grounds, and nesting habitat for a diverse array of animals; serve as prey for many predators; and alter soil chemistry.Do these impacts mean that the prairie dog is a keystone species? To investigate, we first scrutinize the definition for a keystone species. We then document both vertebrates and invertebrates that associate with prairie dogs and their colony-sites. We examine ecosystem processes at colony-sites, and then assess whether the prairie dog is a legitimate keystone species. Finally, we explore the implications of keystone status for the conservation of prairie dogs.

  12. Sodium co-limits and catalyzes macronutrients in a prairie food web

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kaspari, Michael; Roeder, Karl A.; Benson, Brittany

    2017-01-01

    Nitrogen and phosphorus frequently limit terrestrial plant production, but have a mixed record in regulating the abundance of terrestrial invertebrates. We contrasted four ways that Na could interact with an NP fertilizer to shape the plants and invertebrates of an inland prairie. We applied NP a...

  13. Microbiological parameters and maturity degree during composting of Posidonia oceanica residues mixed with vegetable wastes in semi-arid pedo-climatic condition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saidi, Neyla; Kouki, Soulwene; M'hiri, Fadhel; Jedidi, Naceur; Mahrouk, Meriam; Hassen, Abdennaceur; Ouzari, Hadda

    2009-01-01

    The aim of this study was to characterize the biological stability and maturity degree of compost during a controlled pile-composting trial of mixed vegetable residues (VR) collected from markets of Tunis City with residues of Posidonia oceanica (PoR), collected from Tunis beaches. The accumulation in beaches (as well as their removal) constitutes a serious environmental problem in all Mediterranean countries particularly in Tunisia. Aerobic-thermophilic composting is the most reasonable way to profit highly-valuable content of organic matter in these wastes for agricultural purposes. The physical, chemical, and biological parameters were monitored during composting over 150 d. The most appropriate parameters were selected to establish the maturity degree. The main result of this research was the deduction of the following maturity criterion: (a) C/N ratio 80%. These five parameters, considered jointly are indicative of a high maturity degree and thus of a high-quality organic amendment which employed in a rational way, may improve soil fertility and soil quality. The mature compost was relatively rich in N (13.0 g/kg), P (4.74 g/kg) and MgO (15.80 g/kg). Thus composting definitively constitutes the most optimal option to exploit these wastes.

  14. Native prairie revegetation on wellsites in southeastern Alberta

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Soulodre, E.; Naeth, A.; Hammermeister, A.

    1999-01-01

    The Native Prairie Revegetation Research Project (NPRRP) was initiated to address concerns about wellsite revegetation of native grassland. The objective was to determine the impact of alternative seeding treatments on soil and vegetation and to produce a quantifiable description of what constitutes successful revegetation of native prairie sites. Four wellsites, each site comprising four revegetation treatment plots and an undisturbed control plot, have been chosen for field study. The revegetation treatments included natural recovery without seeding; current mix dominated by native wheatgrass cultivars; simple mix seeding containing wheatgrasses plus other native grasses, and diverse mix seeding with a mixture of wheatgrasses, other grasses and thirteen perennial forbs. The plant communities were monitored for biomass production, species richness, species composition and a combination of factors which include density, frequency, canopy cover and basal cover, these collectively representing importance value. Nitrogen availability in the soil was also monitored. Results showed high importance values for wheatgrasses for all seeded treatments. Perennial non-wheatgrasses had low importance values in the seeded treatment but higher importance in the control plot. The dominance of wheatgrasses in the seeded treatments resulted in communities that differed significantly from both the control and natural recovery communities, probably due to suppression of the growth of other grasses

  15. Prairie Change Analysis 1991-2008

    Data.gov (United States)

    Minnesota Department of Natural Resources — This dataset displays the results of a prairie/savanna change analysis study completed in May 2010. The area reviewed consists of 1,521 sites identified by Minnesota...

  16. Mixed

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pau Baya

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Remenat (Catalan (Mixed, "revoltillo" (Scrambled in Spanish, is a dish which, in Catalunya, consists of a beaten egg cooked with vegetables or other ingredients, normally prawns or asparagus. It is delicious. Scrambled refers to the action of mixing the beaten egg with other ingredients in a pan, normally using a wooden spoon Thought is frequently an amalgam of past ideas put through a spinner and rhythmically shaken around like a cocktail until a uniform and dense paste is made. This malleable product, rather like a cake mixture can be deformed pulling it out, rolling it around, adapting its shape to the commands of one’s hands or the tool which is being used on it. In the piece Mixed, the contortion of the wood seeks to reproduce the plasticity of this slow heavy movement. Each piece lays itself on the next piece consecutively like a tongue of incandescent lava slowly advancing but with unstoppable inertia.

  17. The effects of black-tailed prairie dogs on plant communities within a complex urban landscape: an ecological surprise?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beals, Stower C; Hartley, Laurel M; Prevéy, Janet S; Seastedt, Timothy R

    2014-05-01

    Historically, prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.) have been considered essential keystone species of western United States grassland ecosystems because they provide unique services and increase vegetation community richness, evenness, and diversity. However, the effects of black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) on lands adjacent to or surrounded by urban areas may not result in the same ecosystem benefits historically associated with their presence. An urban landscape presents prairie dogs with movement challenges unparalleled in natural landscapes, as well as suites of nonnative plant species that are more common in disturbed areas. This study examined a complex ecosystem where vegetation communities are being influenced by directional environmental change, and quantified the synergistic effects resulting from the protective management of a native keystone species. The data set for this analysis was comprised of 71 paired (occupied by prairie dogs vs. unoccupied) vegetation surveys and 156 additional unpaired surveys collected from around the city of Boulder, Colorado, USA for 14 yr. Linear mixed models were used to compare data from transects occupied and unoccupied by prairie dogs, as well as to evaluate the effect of prairie dog occupation duration. In the absence of prairie dogs, vegetation in this region exhibited declines in native grasses, no changes in introduced grasses, and increases in native and nonnative forbs and bare soil over the study interval. In the presence of prairie dogs, these observed directional changes were nearly all amplified at rates four to 10 times greater than when prairie dogs were absent. Areas in Boulder occupied by prairie dogs also had significantly lower richness, evenness, and diversity of plant species, compared to unoccupied areas. Analysis of plant functional groups revealed the significant reduction of perennial native grasses, as well as a significantly higher cover of introduced forbs in occupied areas. Prairie dogs

  18. Soil change induced by prairie dogs across three ecological sites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.) can influence vegetation dynamics and landscape hydrology by altering soil properties, yet few studies have evaluated soil responses to prairie dog activities across a range of soil types. This study was conducted to quantify prairie dog effects on soil properties within...

  19. State of the prairies of marine grasses

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Barrios, Lina M; Gomez, Diana I

    2002-01-01

    At the end of the year 2000, INVEMAR gave beginning to the project Distribution, it structures and classification of the prairies of marine flowering in the Colombian Caribbean, guided to characterize ecological and environmentally the ecosystems in this Colombian sector, particularly as for its distribution, extension, structures, associate biota and intervention degree. The above-mentioned like answer to the lack of information that was presented to the date in almost all the levels (line bases and ecology) for this ecosystem, required to implement monitoring programs and to adopt conservation strategies for the same one. The information that is presented is based primarily on the results obtained during the execution of the project in mention. An diagnostic is done, a characterization of the prairies, epiphytes covering, associate fauna and it structures of the prairies

  20. An emerging crisis across northern prairie refuges: Prevalence of invasive plants and a plan for adaptive management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grant, T.A.; Flanders-Wanner, B.; Shaffer, T.L.; Murphy, R.K.; Knutsen, G.A.

    2009-01-01

    In the northern Great Plains, native prairies managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) can be pivotal in conservation of North America's biological diversity. From 2002 to 2006, we surveyed 7,338 belt transects to assess the general composition of mixed-grass and tallgrass prairie vegetation across five "complexes" (i.e., administrative groupings) of national wildlife refuges managed by the Service in North Dakota and South Dakota. Native grasses and forbs were common (mean frequency of occurrence 47%-54%) on two complexes but uncommon (4%-13%) on two others. Conversely, an introduced species of grass, smooth brome (Bromus inermis), accounted for 45% to 49% of vegetation on two complexes and another species, Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis) accounted for 27% to 36% of the vegetation on three of the complexes. Our data confirm prior suspicions of widespread invasion by introduced species of plants on Service-owned tracts of native prairie, changes that likely stem in part from a common management history of little or no disturbance (e.g., defoliation by grazing or fire). However, variability in the degree and type of invasion among prairie tracts suggests that knowledge of underlying causes (e.g., edaphic or climatic factors, management histories) could help managers more effectively restore prairies. We describe an adaptive management approach to acquire such knowledge while progressing with restoration. More specifically, we propose to use data from inventories of plant communities on Service-owned prairies to design and implement, as experiments, optimal restoration strategies. We will then monitor these experiments and use the results to refine future strategies. This comprehensive, process-oriented approach should yield reliable and robust recommendations for restoration and maintenance of native prairies in the northern Great Plains. 2009 by the Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System.

  1. Drought-induced recharge promotes long-term storage of porewater salinity beneath a prairie wetland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levy, Zeno F.; Rosenberry, Donald O.; Moucha, Robert; Mushet, David M.; Goldhaber, Martin B.; LaBaugh, James W.; Fiorentino, Anthony J.; Siegel, Donald I.

    2018-02-01

    Subsurface storage of sulfate salts allows closed-basin wetlands in the semiarid Prairie Pothole Region (PPR) of North America to maintain moderate surface water salinity (total dissolved solids [TDS] from 1 to 10 g L-1), which provides critical habitat for communities of aquatic biota. However, it is unclear how the salinity of wetland ponds will respond to a recent shift in mid-continental climate to wetter conditions. To understand better the mechanisms that control surface-subsurface salinity exchanges during regional dry-wet climate cycles, we made a detailed geoelectrical study of a closed-basin prairie wetland (P1 in the Cottonwood Lake Study Area, North Dakota) that is currently experiencing record wet conditions. We found saline lenses of sulfate-rich porewater (TDS > 10 g L-1) contained in fine-grained wetland sediments 2-4 m beneath the bathymetric low of the wetland and within the currently ponded area along the shoreline of a prior pond stand (c. 1983). During the most recent drought (1988-1993), the wetland switched from a groundwater discharge to recharge function, allowing salts dissolved in surface runoff to move into wetland sediments beneath the bathymetric low of the basin. However, groundwater levels during this time did not decline to the elevation of the saline lenses, suggesting these features formed during more extended paleo-droughts and are stable in the subsurface on at least centennial timescales. We hypothesize a "drought-induced recharge" mechanism that allows wetland ponds to maintain moderate salinity under semiarid climate. Discharge of drought-derived saline groundwater has the potential to increase the salinity of wetland ponds during wet climate.

  2. Invasive plants affect prairie soil biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Non-native or exotic plants often cause ecological and environmental damage in ecosystems where they invade and become established. These invasive plants may be the most serious threat to plant diversity in prairies, especially those in scattered remnants, which may be particularly vulnerable to rap...

  3. Timber resource of Minnesota's Prairie unit, 1977.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jerold T. Hahn; W. Brad Smith

    1980-01-01

    The fourth inventory of Minnesota's Prairie Unit shows that although commercial forest area decreased 31.7% between 1962 and 1977, growing-stock volume increased 22%. This report gives statistical highlights and contains detailed tables of forest area as well as timber volume, growth, mortality, ownership, and use.

  4. Timber resource of Missouri's Prairie, 1972.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jerold T. Hahn; Alexander Vasilevsky

    1975-01-01

    The third timber inventory of Missouri's Prairie Forest Survey Unit shows substantial declines in both growing-stock and sawtimber volumes between 1959 and 1972. Commercial forest area declined by one-fifth. Presents highlights and statistics on forest area and timber volume, growth, mortality, ownership, and use in 1972.

  5. A Prairie Dog Abatement Program in San Juan County, Utah

    OpenAIRE

    Messmer, Terry A.; Keyes, Jim; McDonald, Roy

    1993-01-01

    Four species of prairie dogs are native to the plains and plateaus of the western United States. The most abundant and widely distributed of these is the blacktailed prairie dog, (Cynomys ludovicianus). This species has been a frequent topic of discussion at previous Great Plains Wildlife Damage Control workshops. Black-tailed prairie dog ecology and management was the topic of a panel discussion held at the Fifth Great Plains Wildlife Damage Control Workshop, in Lincoln, Nebraska (Timm and J...

  6. Prairies Water Management on Corps Lands

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-02-01

    infiltration, autogenic mechanisms can lead to the recovery of essential soil processes. The Role of Organic Matter in Soil Formation. In a prairie...management in EP-1130-2-540 (USACE 2005), and does not have a fire management training program in place (USACE 2008). Some Corps resource managers...are trained and partner with other entities to conduct prescribed burns on Corps grasslands. However, prescribed burning as a management strategy is

  7. Revegetation of wellsite disturbances on Fescue Prairie in east-central Alberta

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Woosaree, J.; Puhl, M.

    1999-01-01

    It has been observed that past methods of revegetating disturbed land in Alberta by using commercially-available species of grasses has had limited success in terms of biodiversity, the reason being that commercial forage species are highly competitive, and as such not only prevented the original prairie species from returning to reclaimed sites, but in some cases they have migrated from reclaimed sites and invaded surrounding native prairie. Alfalfa, crested wheatgrass, Kentucky bluegrass and Canada bluegrass are believed to be the most invasive of these commercially available species. Because their use in the past has resulted in landscape fragmentation, they are not recommended for use on wellsites located on native prairie. The limited mix of available native grass cultivars also have had limited success in increasing species diversity. Cross seeding has been suggested as one method for reducing the effect of inter-specific competition on the species emergence. However, the general view of government and industry is that improved methods of revegetation of wellsite disturbances and new guidelines for determining reclamation success are required to establish more ecologically compatible plant communities on well site disturbances 4 refs., 1 tab., 3 figs

  8. Arbuscular common mycorrhizal networks mediate intra- and interspecific interactions of two prairie grasses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weremijewicz, Joanna; da Silveira Lobo O'Reilly Sternberg, Leonel; Janos, David P

    2018-01-01

    Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi form extensive common mycorrhizal networks (CMNs) that may interconnect neighboring root systems of the same or different plant species, thereby potentially influencing the distribution of limiting mineral nutrients among plants. We examined how CMNs affected intra- and interspecific interactions within and between populations of Andropogon gerardii, a highly mycorrhiza dependent, dominant prairie grass and Elymus canadensis, a moderately dependent, subordinate prairie species. We grew A. gerardii and E. canadensis alone and intermixed in microcosms, with individual root systems isolated, but either interconnected by CMNs or with CMNs severed weekly. CMNs, which provided access to a large soil volume, improved survival of both A. gerardii and E. canadensis, but intensified intraspecific competition for A. gerardii. When mixed with E. canadensis, A. gerardii overyielded aboveground biomass in the presence of intact CMNs but not when CMNs were severed, suggesting that A. gerardii with intact CMNs most benefitted from weaker interspecific than intraspecific interactions across CMNs. CMNs improved manganese uptake by both species, with the largest plants receiving the most manganese. Enhanced growth in consequence of improved mineral nutrition led to large E. canadensis in intact CMNs experiencing water-stress, as indicated by 13 C isotope abundance. Our findings suggest that in prairie plant communities, CMNs may influence mineral nutrient distribution, water relations, within-species size hierarchies, and between-species interactions.

  9. Chicago's Columbus Park: The Prairie Idealized. Teaching with Historic Places.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bachrach, Julia Sniderman; Nathan, Jo Ann

    Twenty-four year old Jens Jensen came to the United States, settled in Chicago (Illinois), and promptly fell in love with the Midwest's prairie landscape. Although some thought that prairie was boring, monotonous, and ordinary, Jensen saw great beauty in the tree-filled groves, long winding rivers, natural rock formations and waterfalls, and the…

  10. 78 FR 17224 - Environmental Impact Statement; Proposed South Puget Sound Prairie Habitat Conservation Plan...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-03-20

    ... sizable portion of South Puget Sound Prairie habitat is located in the urban-rural interface and in the...-FF01E00000] Environmental Impact Statement; Proposed South Puget Sound Prairie Habitat Conservation Plan... permit application would be associated the South Puget Sound Prairie Habitat Conservation Plan (Prairie...

  11. Restoration and winter avian use of isolated prairies in eastern Texas

    Science.gov (United States)

    D. Craig Rudolph; Dave E. Plair; Dan Jones; J. Howard Williamson; Clifford E. Shackelford; Richard R. Schaefer; Joshua B. Pierce

    2014-01-01

    Numerous isolated prairies exist, or existed, on the West Gulf Coastal Plain east of the main distribution of the prairie ecosystem. Changing land-use patterns and suppression of wildfire have destroyed almost all of these small prairie occurrences. Intensified restoration and management of degraded prairie habitat on the Sam Houston National Forest in southeastern...

  12. 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

  13. Prairie Monitoring Protocol Development: North Coast and Cascades Network

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCoy, Allen; Dalby, Craig

    2009-01-01

    The purpose of the project was to conduct research that will guide development of a standard approach to monitoring several components of prairies within the North Coast and Cascades Network (NCCN) parks. Prairies are an important element of the natural environment at many parks, including San Juan Island National Historical Park (NHP) and Ebey's Landing National Historical Reserve (NHR). Forests have been encroaching on these prairies for many years, and so monitoring of the prairies is an important resource issue. This project specifically focused on San Juan Island NHP. Prairies at Ebey's Landing NHR will be monitored in the future, but that park was not mapped as part of this prototype project. In the interest of efficiency, the Network decided to investigate two main issues before launching a full protocol development effort: (1) the imagery requirements for monitoring prairie components, and (2) the effectiveness of software to assist in extracting features from the imagery. Several components of prairie monitoring were initially identified as being easily tracked using aerial imagery. These components included prairie/forest edge, broad prairie composition (for example, shrubs, scattered trees), and internal exclusions (for example, shrubs, bare ground). In addition, we believed that it might be possible to distinguish different grasses in the prairies if the imagery were of high enough resolution. Although the areas in question at San Juan Island NHP are small enough that mapping on the ground with GPS (Global Positioning System) would be feasible, other applications could benefit from aerial image acquisition on a regular, recurring basis and thereby make the investment in aerial imagery worthwhile. The additional expense of orthorectifying the imagery also was determined to be cost-effective.

  14. Oxytocin reduces alcohol consumption in prairie voles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stevenson, J R; Wenner, S M; Freestone, D M; Romaine, C C; Parian, M C; Christian, S M; Bohidar, A E; Ndem, J R; Vogel, I R; O'Kane, C M

    2017-10-01

    Alcohol use disorder (AUD) negatively affects millions of people every year in the United States, and effective treatments for AUD are still needed. The neuropeptide oxytocin has shown promise for reducing alcohol drinking in mice and rats. Because oxytocin also plays a key role in complex prosocial behaviors like bonding and attachment, we tested the effect of oxytocin on alcohol drinking in prairie voles, a species that both consumes high amounts of alcohol and forms oxytocin dependent social bonds in a manner similar to humans. Oxytocin treatment (1.0, 3.0, and 10.0mg/kg, i.p.) reduced alcohol consumption in male and female prairie voles in animals that had access to 15% ethanol vs water every other day for 12 alcohol drinking sessions. In animals with continuous access to 15% alcohol and water, oxytocin (3.0mg/kg) reduced alcohol consumption only in the first hour of access after treatment, with no significant effects on consumption over the 24-hr period. In an open field locomotor test, oxytocin (1.0, 3.0, and 10.0mg/kg, i.p.) did not affect overall locomotor activity; however, ethanol (2g/kg, i.p.) increased locomotor activity in males and females, and produced anxiolytic effects (increased time in the center of an open field) in females only. Because prairie voles have been shown to match the alcohol consumption of their cage mate, we evaluated the relationship between cage mates' alcohol drinking. There was an overall pattern of social facilitation (consumption by one cage mate predicted consumption by the other cage mate); however, we found significant individual differences across cages in which many cages did not show significant matching, and, in some cases one cage mate's consumption negatively predicted the other cage mate's consumption. Overall, our data provide support for the potential of oxytocin as a treatment to reduce alcohol consumption. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Drought, Climate Change and the Canadian Prairies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stewart, R. E.

    2010-03-01

    The occurrence of drought is a ubiquitous feature of the global water cycle. Such an extreme does not necessarily lead to an overall change in the magnitude of the global water cycle but it of course affects the regional cycling of water. Droughts are recurring aspects of weather and climate extremes as are floods and tornadoes, but they differ substantially since they have long durations and lack easily identified onsets and terminations. Drought is a relatively common feature of the North American and Canadian climate system and all regions of the continent are affected from time-to-time. However, it tends to be most common and severe over the central regions of the continent. The Canadian Prairies are therefore prone to drought. Droughts in the Canadian Prairies are distinctive in North America. The large scale atmospheric circulations are influenced by blocking from intense orography to the west and long distances from all warm ocean-derived atmospheric water sources; growing season precipitation is generated by a highly complex combination of frontal and convective systems; seasonality is severe and characterized by a relatively long snow-covered and short growing seasons; local surface runoff is primarily produced by snowmelt water; there is substantial water storage potential in the poorly drained, post-glacial topography; and aquifers are overlain by impermeable glacial till, but there are also important permeable aquifers. One example of Prairie drought is the recent one that began in 1999 with cessation of its atmospheric component in 2004/2005 and many of its hydrological components in 2005. This event produced the worst drought for at least a hundred years in parts of the Canadian Prairies. Even in the dust bowl of the 1930s, no single year over the central Prairies were drier than in 2001. The drought affected agriculture, recreation, tourism, health, hydro-electricity, and forestry in the Prairies. Gross Domestic Product fell some 5.8 billion and

  16. Southern marl prairies conceptual ecological model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, S.M.; Loftus, W.F.; Gaiser, E.E.; Huffman, A.E.

    2005-01-01

    About 190,000 ha of higher-elevation marl prairies flank either side of Shark River Slough in the southern Everglades. Water levels typically drop below the ground surface each year in this landscape. Consequently, peat soil accretion is inhibited, and substrates consist either of calcitic marl produced by algal periphyton mats or exposed limestone bedrock. The southern marl prairies support complex mosaics of wet prairie, sawgrass sawgrass (Cladium jamaicense), tree islands, and tropical hammock communities and a high diversity of plant species. However, relatively short hydroperiods and annual dry downs provide stressful conditions for aquatic fauna, affecting survival in the dry season when surface water is absent. Here, we present a conceptual ecological model developed for this landscape through scientific concensus, use of empirical data, and modeling. The two major societal drivers affecting the southern marl prairies are water management practices and agricultural and urban development. These drivers lead to five groups of ecosystem stressors: loss of spatial extent and connectivity, shortened hydroperiod and increased drought severity, extended hydroperiod and drying pattern reversals, introduction and spread of non-native trees, and introduction and spread of non-native fishes. Major ecological attributes include periphyton mats, plant species diversity and community mosaic, Cape Sable seaside sparrow (Ammodramus maritimus mirabilis), marsh fishes and associated aquatic fauna prey base, American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis), and wading bird early dry season foraging. Water management and development are hypothesized to have a negative effect on the ecological attributes of the southern marl prairies in the following ways. Periphyton mats have decreased in cover in areas where hydroperiod has been significantly reduced and changed in community composition due to inverse responses to increased nutrient availability. Plant species diversity and

  17. Sylvatic plague vaccine and management of prairie dogs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rocke, Tonie E.

    2012-01-01

    Scientists at the USGS National Wildlife Health Center (NWHC), in collaboration with colleagues at the University of Wisconsin (UW), have developed a sylvatic plague vaccine that shows great promise in protecting prairie dogs against plague (Mencher and others, 2004; Rocke and others, 2010). Four species of prairie dogs reside in the United States and Canada, and all are highly susceptible to plague and regularly experience outbreaks with devastating losses. Along with habitat loss and poisoning, plague has contributed to a significant historical decline in prairie dog populations. By some estimates, prairie dogs now occupy only 1 to 2 percent of their former range (Proctor and others, 2006), with prairie dog colonies being now much smaller and fragmented than they were historically, making individual colonies more vulnerable to elimination by plague (Antolin and others, 2002). At least one species, the Utah prairie dog (Cynomys parvidens) is listed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) as "threatened." Controlling plague is a vital concern for ongoing management and conservation efforts for prairie dogs. Current efforts to halt the spread of plague in prairie dog colonies typically rely on dusting individual prairie dog burrows with pesticides to kill plague-infected fleas. Although flea-control insecticides, such as deltamethrin, are useful in stopping plague outbreaks in these prairie dog colonies, dusting of burrows is labor intensive and time consuming and may affect other insects and arthropods. As an alternative approach, NWHC and UW scientists developed a sylvatic plague vaccine (SPV) for prairie dogs that can be delivered via oral bait. Laboratory studies have shown that consumption of this vaccine-laden bait by different prairie dog species results in significant protection against plague infection that can last for at least 9 months (Rocke and others, 2010; Rocke, unpublished). Work has now shifted to optimizing baits and distribution methods for

  18. Developing a framework for evaluating tallgrass prairie reconstruction methods and management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larson, Diane L.; Ahlering, Marissa; Drobney, Pauline; Esser, Rebecca; Larson, Jennifer L.; Viste-Sparkman, Karen

    2018-01-01

    The thousands of hectares of prairie reconstructed each year in the tallgrass prairie biome can provide a valuable resource for evaluation of seed mixes, planting methods, and post-planting management if methods used and resulting characteristics of the prairies are recorded and compiled in a publicly accessible database. The objective of this study was to evaluate the use of such data to understand the outcomes of reconstructions over a 10-year period at two U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service refuges. Variables included number of species planted, seed source (combine-harvest or combine-harvest plus hand-collected), fire history, and planting method and season. In 2015 we surveyed vegetation on 81 reconstructions and calculated proportion of planted species observed; introduced species richness; native species richness, evenness and diversity; and mean coefficient of conservatism. We conducted exploratory analyses to learn how implied communities based on seed mix compared with observed vegetation; which seeding or management variables were influential in the outcome of the reconstructions; and consistency of responses between the two refuges. Insights from this analysis include: 1) proportion of planted species observed in 2015 declined as planted richness increased, but lack of data on seeding rate per species limited conclusions about value of added species; 2) differing responses to seeding and management between the two refuges suggest the importance of geographic variability that could be addressed using a public database; and 3) variables such as fire history are difficult to quantify consistently and should be carefully evaluated in the context of a public data repository.

  19. Carcass Search & Recovery Guidelines for Black Tailed Prairie Dogs

    Science.gov (United States)

    The availability of dead or intoxicated prairie dogs above ground will be monitored, recorded and these carcasses will be properly disposed of, in accordance with the procedures described on this page.

  20. NPP Grassland: Konza Prairie, USA, 1984-1990, R1

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This data set contains three ASCII files (.txt format). Two files contain above-ground biomass and productivity data for a humid temperate tall-grass prairie...

  1. Two decades of prairie restoration at Fermilab, Batavia, Illinois

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Betz, R.F. [Northeastern Illinois Univ., Chicago, IL (United States); Lootens, R.J.; Becker, M.K. [Fermi National Accelerator Lab., Batavia, IL (United States)

    1996-12-31

    Successional Restoration is the method being used to restore the prairie at Fermilab on the former agricultural fields. This involves an initial planting, using aggressive species that have wide ecological tolerances which will grow well on abandoned agricultural fields. Collectively, these species are designated as the prairie matrix. The species used for this prairie matrix compete with and eventually eliminate most weedy species. They also provide an adequate fuel load capable of sustaining a fire within a few years after a site has been initially planted. Associated changes in the biological and physical structure of the soil help prepare the way for the successful introduction of plants of the later successional species. Only after the species of the prairie matrix are well established, is the species diversity increased by introducing species with narrower ecological tolerances. These species are thus characteristic of the later successional stages.

  2. Public knowledge and perceptions of black-tailed prairie dogs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lamb, B.L.; Cline, K.

    2003-01-01

    Black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) historically occupied an 11-state region of the United States. We surveyed 1,900 residents (response rate 56%) of this region to understand citizen knowledge and perceptions about prairie dogs and their management. Those who have direct experience - e.g., those who live very close to prairie dog colonies or know the location of the nearest colony - have higher levels of knowledge. A significantly higher level of knowledge was documented among those who were politically active when compared with the general public. Those who found environmental issues difficult to understand were associated with lower knowledge. People with direct experience were likely to hold negative views, whereas those holding environmentalist values were likely to express positive attitudes toward the species. Although those with higher education reported more knowledge, there was no link between a person's level of knowledge and perceptions of prairie dog management.

  3. Brant Prairie : Union Gas customer service centre, Brantford, Ontario

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hensel, M.J.; Thompson, J. [The Walter Fedy Partnership, Kitchener, ON (Canada)

    1998-12-31

    The four-acre ecological restoration of tall grass prairie, wetland and Savannah ecosystems within the Union Gas Customer Service Centre in Brantford, Ontario is discussed. The restoration of the Brant Prairie site was instigated three years ago through Union Gas` land stewardship and environmental action initiative which tried to encourage the diversity and dynamics of each ecosystem, while creating a community resource for visitors to learn about natural heritage. The Brantford initiative includes: (1) protecting the sedge wetland which contained regionally rare species, (2) maintaining the dynamic water budget while protecting the sedge wetland from roadway contaminants, (3) creating a tall grass prairie similar in diversity and aesthetics to Brantford`s surviving prairie remnants, (4) creating a wildlife habitat for butterflies, birds and aquatic species, and (5) rediscovering partridge pea by uncovering a historic seed bank.

  4. Proceedings of the third prairie conservation and endangered species workshop

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Holroyd, G.L.; Diskson, H.L.; Regnier, M.; Smith, H.C. (eds.)

    1993-01-01

    The Canadian prairies support a major agricultural economy and a declining abundance of wildlife. Soil erosion and water quality threaten the long-term viability of agriculture; half of Canada's endangered and threatened birds and mammals share the prairies. Wise policies of resource management are needed to solve these problems. A workshop was held to address the issue of how to manage the prairies to promote sustained agriculture and to conserve the wildlife that are in jeopardy. Papers were presented on the relationships between agriculture and wildlife, land restoration, climate change, pesticides, the Prairie Conservation Action Plan, plant conservation, amphibians, reptiles, migratory birds and other wildfowl, and mammals. Separate abstracts have been prepared for two papers from this workshop.

  5. Montana Valley and Foothill Prairies Ecoregion: Chapter 6 in Status and trends of land change in the Western United States--1973 to 2000

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, Janis L.

    2012-01-01

    The Montana Valley and Foothill Prairies Ecoregion comprises numerous intermountain valleys and low-elevation foothill prairies spread across the western half of Montana, on both sides of the Continental Divide (Omernik, 1987; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1997). The ecoregion, which covers approximately 64,658 km2 (24,965 mi2), includes the Flathead Valley and the valleys surrounding Helena, Missoula, Bozeman, Billings, Anaconda, Dillon, and Lewistown (fig. 1). These valleys are generally characterized by shortgrass prairie vegetation and are flanked by forested mountains (Woods and others, 1999); thus, the valleys’ biotas with regards to fish and insects are comparable. In many cases, the valleys are conduits for some of the largest rivers in the state, including Clark Fork and the Missouri, Jefferson, Madison, Flathead, Yellowstone, Gallatin, Smith, Big Hole, Bitterroot, and Blackfoot Rivers (fig. 2). The Montana Valley and Foothill Prairies Ecoregion also includes the “Rocky Mountain front,” an area of prairies along the eastern slope of the northern Rocky Mountains. Principal land uses within the ecoregion include farming, grazing, and mining. The valleys serve as major transportation and utility corridors and also contain the majority of Montana’s human population. The Montana Valley and Foothill Prairies Ecoregion extends into 17 mostly rural counties throughout western Montana. Only three of the counties—Carbon, Yellowstone, and Missoula—are part of a metropolitan statistical area with contiguous built-up areas tied to an employment center. Nearly two-thirds of Montana residents live in nonmetropolitan counties (Albrecht, 2008). Ten of the counties within the ecoregion had population growth rates greater than national averages (9–13 percent) between 1970 and 2000 (table 1). Ravalli and Gallatin Counties had the highest growth rates. Population growth was largely due to amenity-related inmigration and an economy dependent on tourism

  6. Environmental Impacts of Wind Power Development on the Population Biology of Greater Prairie-Chickens

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sandercock, Brett K. [Kansas State University

    2013-05-22

    abandoned lek sites were located <5 km from turbines. Probability of lek persistence was significantly related to habitat and number of males. Leks had a higher probability of persistence in grasslands than agricultural fields, and increased from ~0.2 for leks of 5 males, to >0.9 for leks of 10 or more males. Large leks in grasslands should be a higher priority for conservation. Overall, wind power development had a weak effect on the annual probability of lek persistence. 3. We used molecular methods to investigate the mating behavior of prairie chickens. The prevailing view for lek-mating grouse is that females mate once to fertilize the clutch and that conspecific nest parasitism is rare. We found evidence that females mate multiple times to fertilize the clutch (8-18% of broods, 4-38% of chicks) and will parasitize nests of other females during egg-laying (~17% of nests). Variable rates of parentage were highest in the fragmented landscapes at the Smoky Hills field site, and were lower at the Flint Hills field site. Comparisons of the pre- and postconstruction periods showed that wind energy development did not affect the mating behaviors of prairie chickens. 4. We examined use of breeding habitats by radio-marked females and conducted separate analyses for nest site selection, and movements of females not attending nests or broods. The landscape was a mix of native prairie and agricultural habitats, and nest site selection was not random because females preferred to nest in grasslands. Nests tended to be closer to turbines during the postconstruction period and there was no evidence of behavioral avoidance of turbines by females during nest site selection. Movements of females not attending nests or broods showed that females crossed the site of the wind power development at higher rates during the preconstruction period (20%) than the postconstruction period (11%), and that movements away from turbines were more frequent during the postconstruction period. Thus, wind

  7. Disease limits populations: plague and black-tailed prairie dogs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cully, Jack F.; Johnson, T.; Collinge, S.K.; Ray, C.

    2010-01-01

    Plague is an exotic vector-borne disease caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis that causes mortality rates approaching 100% in black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus). We mapped the perimeter of the active portions of black-tailed prairie dog colonies annually between 1999 and 2005 at four prairie dog colony complexes in areas with a history of plague, as well as at two complexes that were located outside the distribution of plague at the time of mapping and had therefore never been affected by the disease. We hypothesized that the presence of plague would significantly reduce overall black-tailed prairie dog colony area, reduce the sizes of colonies on these landscapes, and increase nearest-neighbor distances between colonies. Within the region historically affected by plague, individual colonies were smaller, nearest-neighbor distances were greater, and the proportion of potential habitat occupied by active prairie dog colonies was smaller than at plague-free sites. Populations that endured plague were composed of fewer large colonies (>100 ha) than populations that were historically plague free. We suggest that these differences among sites in colony size and isolation may slow recolonization after extirpation. At the same time, greater intercolony distances may also reduce intercolony transmission of pathogens. Reduced transmission among smaller and more distant colonies may ultimately enhance long-term prairie dog population persistence in areas where plague is present.

  8. Interspecific comparisons of sylvatic plague in prairie dogs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cully, J.F.; Williams, E.S.

    2001-01-01

    Of the 3 major factors (habitat loss, poisoning, and disease) that limit abundance of prairie dogs today, sylvatic plague caused by Yersinia pestis is the 1 factor that is beyond human control. Plague epizootics frequently kill >99% of prairie dogs in infected colonies. Although epizootics of sylvatic plague occur throughout most of the range of prairie dogs in the United States and are well described, long-term maintenance of plague in enzootic rodent species is not well documented or understood. We review dynamics of plague in white-tailed (Cynomys leucurus), Gunnison's (C. gunnisoni), and black-tailed (C. ludovicianus) prairie dogs, and their rodent and flea associates. We use epidemiologic concepts to support an enzootic hypothesis in which the disease is maintained in a dynamic state, which requires transmission of Y. pestis to be slower than recruitment of new susceptible mammal hosts. Major effects of plague are to reduce colony size of black-tailed prairie dogs and increase intercolony distances within colony complexes. In the presence of plague, black-tailed prairie dogs will probably survive in complexes of small colonies that are usually >3 km from their nearest neighbor colonies.

  9. 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.

  10. Black-tailed prairie dogs, cattle, and the conservation of North America's arid grasslands.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rodrigo Sierra-Corona

    Full Text Available Prairie dogs (Cynomys spp. have been eliminated from over 95% of their historic range in large part from direct eradication campaigns to reduce their purported competition with cattle for forage. Despite the longstanding importance of this issue to grassland management and conservation, the ecological interactions between cattle and prairie dogs have not been well examined. We address this issue through two complementary experiments to determine if cattle and prairie dogs form a mutualistic grazing association similar to that between prairie dogs and American bison. Our experimental results show that cattle preferentially graze along prairie dog colony edges and use their colony centers for resting, resembling the mutualistic relationship prairie dogs have with American bison. Our results also show that prairie dog colonies are not only an important component of the grassland mosaic for maintaining biodiversity, but also provide benefits to cattle, thereby challenging the long-standing view of prairie dogs as an undesirable pest species in grasslands.

  11. Investigation of the Transcriptome of Prairie Cord Grass, a New Cellulosic Biomass Crop

    KAUST Repository

    Gedye, Kristene; Gonzalez-Hernandez, Jose; Ban, Yuguang; Ge, Xijin; Thimmapuram, Jyothi; Sun, Fengjie; Wright, Chris; Ali, Shahjahan; Boe, Arvid; Owens, Vance

    2010-01-01

    in this paper describes the first investigation of the transcriptome of prairie cordgrass via Next Generation Sequencing Technology, 454 GS FLX. A total of 556,198 expressed sequence tags (ESTs) were produced from four prairie cordgrass tissues: roots, rhizomes

  12. Prairie revegetation of a strip mine in Illinois: fifteen years after establishment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Corbett, E.A.; Anderson, R.C.; Rodgers, C.S. [Illinois State University, Normal, IL (United States). Dept. of Biological Sciences

    1996-12-01

    The long-term success of prairie planting on a former strip mine in northeastern Illinois was investigated. The site was reclaimed and planted with prairie species in the 1970s. Total biomass increased over time, largely as a result of an increase in biomass of non-prairie species. Biomass of prairie species remained unchanged because of an increase in Panicum virgatum (switchgrass) offsetting decreases in Sorghastrum nutans (Indian grass).

  13. Small mammals in successional prairie woodlands of the northern Great Plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mark A. Rumble; John E. Gobeille

    2001-01-01

    Prairie woodlands comprise about 1 percent of the landscape in the northern Great Plains. However, prairie woodlands provide habitat for far more than 1 percent of the wildlife species that occur in the prairie region. With increasing pressures on natural resources, managers need methods for managing wildlife habitat and biodiversity that are based on ecological...

  14. 76 FR 77245 - Attwater Prairie Chicken National Wildlife Refuge, Austin and Colorado Counties, TX...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-12-12

    ...-FF02R06000] Attwater Prairie Chicken National Wildlife Refuge, Austin and Colorado Counties, TX... (EA) for Attwater Prairie Chicken National Wildlife Refuge (Refuge, NWR), located approximately 60... Prairie Chicken NWR draft CCP and EA'' in the subject line of the message. Fax: Attn: Monica Kimbrough...

  15. 75 FR 21649 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Attwater's Prairie-Chicken (Tympanuchus cupido...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-26

    ...] Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Attwater's Prairie-Chicken (Tympanuchus cupido attwateri... availability of the Attwater's Prairie-Chicken (Tympanuchus cupido attwateri) Recovery Plan, Second Revision. A recovery plan was originally completed for the Attwater's prairie-chicken in 1983 and revised in 1993...

  16. Vulnerability of shortgrass prairie bird assemblages to climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skagen, Susan K.; Dreitz, Victoria; Conrey, Reesa Y.; Yackel, Amy; Panjabi, Arvind O.; Knuffman, Lekha

    2016-01-01

    The habitats and resources needed to support grassland birds endemic to North American prairie ecosystems are seriously threatened by impending climate change. To assess the vulnerability of grassland birds to climate change, we consider various components of vulnerability, including sensitivity, exposure, and adaptive capacity (Glick et al. 2011). Sensitivity encompasses the innate characteristics of a species and, in this context, is related to a species’ tolerance to changes in weather patterns. Groundnesting birds, including prairie birds, are particularly responsive to heat waves combined with drought conditions, as revealed by abundance and distribution patterns (Albright et al. 2010). To further assess sensitivity, we estimated reproductive parameters of nearly 3000 breeding attempts of a suite of prairie birds relative to prevailing weather. Fluctuations in weather conditions in eastern Colorado, 1997-2014, influenced breeding performance of a suite of avian species endemic to the shortgrass prairie, many of which have experienced recent population declines. High summer temperatures and intense rain events corresponded with lower nest survival for most species. Although dry conditions favored nest survival of Burrowing Owls and Mountain Plovers (Conrey 2010, Dreitz et al. 2012), drought resulted in smaller clutch sizes and lower nest survival for passerines (Skagen and Yackel Adams 2012, Conrey et al. in review). Declining summer precipitation may reduce the likelihood that some passerine species can maintain stable breeding populations in this region of the shortgrass prairie.

  17. Prairie dogs increase fitness by killing interspecific competitors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoogland, John L; Brown, Charles R

    2016-03-30

    Interspecific competition commonly selects for divergence in ecology, morphology or physiology, but direct observation of interspecific competition under natural conditions is difficult. Herbivorous white-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys leucurus) employ an unusual strategy to reduce interspecific competition: they kill, but do not consume, herbivorous Wyoming ground squirrels (Urocitellus elegans) encountered in the prairie dog territories. Results from a 6-year study in Colorado, USA, revealed that interspecific killing of ground squirrels by prairie dogs was common, involving 47 different killers; 19 prairie dogs were serial killers in the same or consecutive years, and 30% of female prairie dogs killed at least one ground squirrel over their lifetimes. Females that killed ground squirrels had significantly higher annual and lifetime fitness than non-killers, probably because of decreased interspecific competition for vegetation. Our results document the first case of interspecific killing of competing individuals unrelated to predation (IK) among herbivorous mammals in the wild, and show that IK enhances fitness for animals living under natural conditions. © 2016 The Author(s).

  18. Spent fuel storage at Prairie Island: January 1995 status

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Closs, J.; Kress, L.

    1995-01-01

    The disposal of spent nuclear fuel has been an issue for the US since the inception of the commercial nuclear power industry. In the past decade, it has become a critical factor in the continued operation of some nuclear power plants, including the two units at Prairie Island. As the struggles and litigation over storage alternatives wage on, spent fuel pools continue to fill and plants edge closer to premature shutdown. Due to the delays in the construction of a federal repository, many nuclear power plants have had to seek interim storage alternatives. In the case of Prairie Island, the safest and most feasible option is dry cask storage. This paper discusses the current status of the Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation (ISFSI) Project at Prairie Island. It provides a historical background to the project, discusses the notable developments over the past year, and presents the projected plans of the Northern States Power Company (NSP) in regards to spent fuel storage

  19. Paltry past-precipitation: Predisposing prairie dogs to plague?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eads, David; Biggins, Dean E.

    2017-01-01

    The plague bacterium Yersinia pestis was introduced to California in 1900 and spread rapidly as a sylvatic disease of mammalian hosts and flea vectors, invading the Great Plains in the United States by the 1930s to 1940s. In grassland ecosystems, plague causes periodic, devastating epizootics in colonies of black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus), sciurid rodents that create and maintain subterranean burrows. In doing so, plague inhibits prairie dogs from functioning as keystone species of grassland communities. The rate at which fleas transmit Y. pestis is thought to increase when fleas are abundant. Flea densities can increase during droughts when vegetative production is reduced and herbivorous prairie dogs are malnourished and have weakened defenses against fleas. Epizootics of plague have erupted frequently in prairie dogs during years in which precipitation was plentiful, and the accompanying cool temperatures might have facilitated the rate at which fleas transmitted Y. pestis. Together these observations evoke the hypothesis that transitions from dry-to-wet years provide conditions for plague epizootics in prairie dogs. Using generalized linear models, we analyzed a 24-year dataset on the occurrence of plague epizootics in 42 colonies of prairie dogs from Colorado, USA, 1982–2005. Of the 33 epizootics observed, 52% erupted during years with increased precipitation in summer. For the years with increased summer precipitation, if precipitation in the prior growing season declined from the maximum of 502 mm to the minimum of 200 mm, the prevalence of plague epizootics was predicted to increase 3-fold. Thus, reduced precipitation may have predisposed prairie dogs to plague epizootics when moisture returned. Biologists sometimes assume dry conditions are detrimental for plague. However, 48% of epizootics occurred during years in which precipitation was scarce in summer. In some cases, an increased abundance of fleas during dry years might

  20. Urban Rights-of-Way as Reservoirs for Tall-Grass Prairie Plants and Butterflies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leston, Lionel; Koper, Nicola

    2016-03-01

    Urban rights-of-way may be potential reservoirs of tall-grass prairie plants and butterflies. To determine if this is true, in 2007-2008, we conducted vegetation surveys of species richness and cover, and butterfly surveys of species richness and abundance, along 52 transmission lines and four remnant prairies in Winnipeg, Manitoba. We detected many prairie plants and butterflies within transmission lines. Some unmowed and infrequently managed transmission lines had native plant species richness and total percent cover of native plants comparable to that of similar-sized remnant tall-grass prairies in the region. Although we did not find significant differences in overall native butterfly numbers or species richness between rights-of-way and remnant prairies, we found lower numbers of some prairie butterflies along frequently mowed rights-of-way than within remnant tall-grass prairies. We also observed higher butterfly species richness along sites with more native plant species. By reducing mowing and spraying and reintroducing tall-grass prairie plants, urban rights-of-way could serve as extensive reservoirs for tall-grass prairie plants and butterflies in urban landscapes. Eventually, managing urban rights-of-way as reservoirs for tall-grass prairie plants and animals could contribute to the restoration of tall-grass prairie in the North American Midwest.

  1. Urban Rights-of-Way as Reservoirs for Tall-Grass Prairie Plants and Butterflies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leston, Lionel; Koper, Nicola

    2016-03-01

    Urban rights-of-way may be potential reservoirs of tall-grass prairie plants and butterflies. To determine if this is true, in 2007-2008, we conducted vegetation surveys of species richness and cover, and butterfly surveys of species richness and abundance, along 52 transmission lines and four remnant prairies in Winnipeg, Manitoba. We detected many prairie plants and butterflies within transmission lines. Some unmowed and infrequently managed transmission lines had native plant species richness and total percent cover of native plants comparable to that of similar-sized remnant tall-grass prairies in the region. Although we did not find significant differences in overall native butterfly numbers or species richness between rights-of-way and remnant prairies, we found lower numbers of some prairie butterflies along frequently mowed rights-of-way than within remnant tall-grass prairies. We also observed higher butterfly species richness along sites with more native plant species. By reducing mowing and spraying and reintroducing tall-grass prairie plants, urban rights-of-way could serve as extensive reservoirs for tall-grass prairie plants and butterflies in urban landscapes. Eventually, managing urban rights-of-way as reservoirs for tall-grass prairie plants and animals could contribute to the restoration of tall-grass prairie in the North American Midwest.

  2. Fecal microbiota of lambs fed purple prairie clover (Dalea purpurea Vent.) and alfalfa (Medicago sativa).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Qianqian; Holman, Devin B; Alexander, Trevor; Hu, Tianming; Jin, Long; Xu, Zhongjun; McAllister, Tim A; Acharya, Surya; Zhao, Guoqi; Wang, Yuxi

    2018-01-01

    The present study assessed the effect of purple prairie clover (PPC) and PPC condensed tannins (CT) on the fecal microbiota of lambs using high-throughput 16S rRNA gene pyrosequencing. A total of 18 individual lambs were randomly divided into three groups and fed either green chop alfalfa (Alf), a 40:60 (DM basis; Mix) mixture of Alf and PPC, or Mix supplemented with polyethylene glycol (Mix-P) for 18 days. Fecal samples were collected on days 13 through 18 using digital rectal retrieval. The DNA of fecal samples was extracted and the microbial 16S rRNA gene amplicons were sequenced using 454 pyrosequencing. Regardless of diet, the bacterial community was dominated by Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes with many sequences unclassified at the genus level. Forage type and CT had no effect on the fecal microbial composition at the phylum level or on α-diversity. Compared to the Alf diet, the Mix diet reduced the relative abundance of Akkermansia (P = 0.03) and Asteroleplasma (P = 0.05). Fecal microbial populations in Alf and Mix-P clustered separately from each other when assessed using unweighted UniFrac (P < 0.05). These results indicate that PPC CT up to 36 g/kg DM in the diet had no major effect on fecal microbial flora at the phyla level and exerted only minor effects on the genera composition of fecal microbiota in lambs.

  3. Des broussailles dans les prairies alpines

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olivier Camacho

    2009-03-01

    expliquer pourquoi l'embroussaillement gagne des prairies encore exploitées. Si la fauche permet de lutter efficacement contre l’avancée des ligneux, il n’en est pas de même dans les prairies pâturées non fauchées où la capacité de prélèvement par les troupeaux s’avère faible par rapport à la production d’herbe. Cette situation se répète d’année en année et c’est la cause la plus probable de la propagation des ligneux. Pour sécuriser leur système fourrager et pour simplifier le travail, les éleveurs constituent des unités de pâturage surdimensionnées par rapport aux besoins des animaux. Ils mettent en œuvre des pratiques de rattrapage, consistant en un entretien mécanique complémentaire au pâturage, pour contenir la dynamique des ligneux. De telles pratiques, exigeantes en travail, ne sont pas mises en œuvre sur toutes les pâtures. L’analyse des pratiques par des agronomes complète ainsi les études de milieux physiques et socio-économiques tant au niveau de la parcelle pâturée qu’à celui de la vallée.

  4. Assessing Ecosystem Model Performance in Semiarid Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  5. Nutrient removal by prairie filter strips in agricultural landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    X. Zhou; M.J. Helmers; H. Asbjornsen; R. Kolka; M.D. Tomer; R.M. Cruse

    2014-01-01

    Nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) from agricultural landscapes have been identified as primary sources of excess nutrients in aquatic systems. The main objective of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of prairie filter strips (PFS) in removing nutrients from cropland runoff in 12 small watersheds in central Iowa. Four treatments with PFS of different spatial...

  6. Resistance to plague among black-tailed prairie dog populations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rocke, Tonie E.; Williamson, Judy; Cobble, Kacy R.; Busch, Joseph D.; Antolin, Michael F.; Wagner, David M.

    2012-01-01

    In some rodent species frequently exposed to plague outbreaks caused by Yersinia pestis, resistance to the disease has evolved as a population trait. As a first step in determining if plague resistance has developed in black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus), animals captured from colonies in a plague-free region (South Dakota) and two plague-endemic regions (Colorado and Texas) were challenged with Y. pestis at one of three doses (2.5, 250, or 2500 mouse LD50s). South Dakota prairie dogs were far more susceptible to plague than Colorado and Texas prairie dogs (pdogs were quite similar in their response, with overall survival rates of 50% and 60%, respectively. Prairie dogs from these states were heterogenous in their response, with some animals dying at the lowest dose (37% and 20%, respectively) and some surviving even at the highest dose (29% and 40%, respectively). Microsatellite analysis revealed that all three groups were distinct genetically, but further studies are needed to establish a genetic basis for the observed differences in plague resistance.

  7. Food habits of nesting prairie falcons in Campbell County

    Science.gov (United States)

    John R. Squires; Stanley H. Anderson; Robert Oakleaf

    1989-01-01

    Fifteen species of prey were utilized by nesting Prairie Falcons (Falco mexicanus) as determined through pellet analysis. Thirteen-lined Ground Squirrels (Spermophilus tridecemlineatus), the most common prey, were present in 91% of the pellets, followed by Western Meadowlarks (Sturnella neglecta) which were present in 56% of pellets. Horned Larks (Eremophila...

  8. Prairie Restoration Project: Alternatives for Identifying Gifted Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salisbury, Katie E.; Rule, Audrey C.; Vander Zanden, Sarah M.

    2016-01-01

    An authentic, challenging curriculum engaged middle school students from an urban district in exploratory work related to restoring a small prairie at the school. Integrated science-literacy-arts activities were coupled with a system of thinking skills that helped students view issues from different perspectives. Impassioned guest speakers and an…

  9. Overview of Prairie Planting Techniques and Maintenance Requirements

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-02-01

    districts have these drills 6 ERDC TN-EMRRP-ER-05 February 2007 available for rent. A three-point broadcast seeder or a fertilizer spreader can...lengthens the growing season for prairie plants but shortens it for many weedy species (Pauly 1997). Fire allows for nutrient recycling in the ecosystem by

  10. Selected hydrologic data, Camas Prairie, south-central Idaho

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, H.W.; Backsen, R.L.; Kenyon, K.S.

    1978-01-01

    This report presents data collected during a 1-year study of the water resources of Camas Prairie, Idaho. Included are records of wells, discharge measurements of streams, hydrographs of water levels in wells, water-quality data, and drillers ' logs of wells. The data are conveniently made available to supplement an interpretive report, which will be published separately. (Woodard-USGS)

  11. Camel spider (Solifugae) use of prairie dog colonies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solifugids (camel spiders) are widespread throughout arid regions of western North America and are thought to be important in structuring desert arthropod communities. Despite the ubiquity of camel spiders, little is known about their ecology. Black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) are als...

  12. Butterfly responses to prairie restoration through fire and grazing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vogel, Jennifer A.; Debinski, Diane M.; Koford, Rolf R.; Miller, J.R.

    2007-01-01

    The development of land for modern agriculture has resulted in losses of native prairie habitat. The small, isolated patches of prairie habitat that remain are threatened by fire suppression, overgrazing, and invasion by non-native species. We evaluated the effects of three restoration practices (grazing only, burning only, and burning and grazing) on the vegetation characteristics and butterfly communities of remnant prairies. Total butterfly abundance was highest on prairies that were managed with burning and grazing and lowest on those that were only burned. Butterfly species richness did not differ among any of the restoration practices. Butterfly species diversity was highest on sites that were only burned. Responses of individual butterfly species to restoration practices were highly variable. In the best predictive regression model, total butterfly abundance was negatively associated with the percent cover of bare ground and positively associated with the percent cover of forbs. Canonical correspondence analysis revealed that sites with burned only and grazed only practices could be separated based on their butterfly community composition. Butterfly communities in each of the three restoration practices are equally species rich but different practices yield compositionally different butterfly communities. Because of this variation in butterfly species responses to different restoration practices, there is no single practice that will benefit all species or even all species within habitat-specialist or habitat-generalist habitat guilds. ?? 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Recommended methods for range-wide monitoring of prairie dogs in the United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDonald, Lyman L.; Stanley, Thomas R.; Otis, David L.; Biggins, Dean E.; Stevens, Patricia D.; Koprowski, John L.; Ballard, Warren

    2011-01-01

    One of the greatest challenges for conserving grassland, prairie scrub, and shrub-steppe ecosystems is maintaining prairie dog populations across the landscape. Of the four species of prairie dogs found in the United States, the Utah prairie dog (Cynomys parvidens) is listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) as threatened, the Gunnison's prairie dog (C. gunnisoni) is a candidate for listing in a portion of its range, and the black-tailed prairie dog (C. ludovicianus) and white-tailed prairie dog (C. leucurus) have each been petitioned for listing at least once in recent history. Although the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) determined listing is not warranted for either the black-tailed prairie dog or white-tailed prairie dog, the petitions and associated reviews demonstrated the need for the States to monitor and manage for self-sustaining populations. In response to these findings, a multi-State conservation effort was initiated for the nonlisted species which included the following proposed actions: (1) completing an assessment of each prairie dog species in each State, (2) developing a range-wide monitoring protocol for each species using a statistically valid sampling procedure that would allow comparable analyses across States, and (3) monitoring prairie dog status every 3-5 years depending upon the species. To date, each State has completed an assessment and currently is monitoring prairie dog status; however, for some species, the inconsistency in survey methodology has made it difficult to compare data year-to-year or State-to-State. At the Prairie Dog Conservation Team meeting held in November 2008, there was discussion regarding the use of different methods to survey prairie dogs. A recommendation from this meeting was to convene a panel in a workshop-type forum and have the panel review the different methods being used and provide recommendations for range-wide monitoring protocols for each species of prairie dog. Consequently, the Western

  14. Diets of swift foxes (Vulpes velox) in continuous and fragmented prairie in Northwestern Texas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamler, J.F.; Ballard, W.B.; Wallace, M.C.; Gipson, P.S.

    2007-01-01

    Distribution of the swift fox (Vulpes velox) has declined dramatically since the 1800s, and suggested causes of this decline are habitat fragmentation and transformation due to agricultural expansion. However, impacts of fragmentation and human-altered habitats on swift foxes still are not well understood. To better understand what effects these factors have on diets of swift foxes, scats were collected in northwestern Texas at two study sites, one of continuous native prairie and one representing fragmented native prairie interspersed with agricultural and fields in the Conservation Reserve Program. Leporids, a potential food source, were surveyed seasonally on both sites. Diets of swift foxes differed between sites; insects were consumed more on continuous prairie, whereas mammals, birds, and crops were consumed more on fragmented prairie. Size of populations of leporids were 2-3 times higher on fragmented prairie, and swift foxes responded by consuming more leporids on fragmented (11.1% frequency occurrence) than continuous (3.8%) prairie. Dietary diversity was greater on fragmented prairie during both years of the study. Differences in diets between sites suggested that the swift fox is an adaptable and opportunistic feeder, able to exploit a variety of food resources, probably in relation to availability of food. We suggest that compared to continuous native prairie, fragmented prairie can offer swift foxes a more diverse prey base, at least within the mosaic of native prairie, agricultural, and fields that are in the Conservation Reserve Program.

  15. 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)

  16. Native Prairie Adaptive Management: a multi region adaptive approach to invasive plant management on Fish and Wildlife Service owned native prairies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gannon, Jill J.; Shaffer, Terry L.; Moore, Clinton T.

    2013-01-01

    : increase the composition of native grasses and forbs on native sod while minimizing cost. Cooperators agreed that decision guidance should be provided annually and should account for local, real-time vegetation conditions observed on the ground. Over the course of development, two prototypes of the decision framework were considered. The final framework recognized four alternative actions that managers could take in any given year: (1) Graze—targeted use of grazing ungulates to achieve defoliation, (2) Burn—application of prescribed fire as the single form of defoliation, (3) Burn/Graze—a combination treatment, and (4) Rest—no action. The study area included northern mixed-grass and tallgrass prairie. Native vegetation in mixed–grass prairie has a strong cool-season component and thus the dominant native species have a phenology similar to that of smooth brome and Kentucky bluegrass, making management of those species challenging. In contrast, tallgrass prairie has a strong warm-season native component, leading to an existence of cool-season windows, periods of time in the fall and spring when cool‐season invasive grass species are actively growing and vulnerable to damage via select management actions, but warm‐season grass species are not active and are thus less susceptible to damage via the same actions. This dichotomy between prairie types necessitated the development of separate but parallel decision support systems for mixed-grass and tallgrass biomes. Management units are parcels of native prairie that receive a single management treatment at any one time over their entire extent. At any particular time, the vegetation state of each management unit is characterized by the amount of cover of native grasses and forbs and the type of invasive grass that is dominant. In addition, each unit has a defoliation state which reflects the number of years since the last defoliation event and an index to how intensively the unit was managed during the previous 7

  17. Avoidance behavior by prairie grouse: implications for development of wind energy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pruett, Christin L; Patten, Michael A; Wolfe, Donald H

    2009-10-01

    New wind-energy facilities and their associated power transmission lines and roads are being constructed at a rapid pace in the Great Plains of North America. Nevertheless, little is known about the possible negative effects these anthropogenic features might have on prairie birds, one of the most threatened groups in North America. We examined radiotelemetry tracking locations of Lesser Prairie-Chickens (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) and Greater Prairie-Chickens (T. cupido) in two locations in Oklahoma to determine whether these birds avoided or changed movement behavior near power lines and paved highways. We tracked 463 Lesser Prairie-Chickens (15,071 tracking locations) and 216 Greater Prairie-Chickens (5,750 locations) for 7 and 3 years, respectively. Individuals of both species avoided power lines by at least 100 m and Lesser Prairie-Chickens avoided one of the two highways by 100 m. Prairie-chickens crossed power lines less often than expected if birds moved randomly (p 0.05). In addition, home ranges of Lesser Prairie-Chickens overlapped the power line less often than would be expected by chance placement of home ranges; this result was supported by kernel-density estimation of home ranges. It is likely that new power lines (and other tall structures such as wind turbines) will lead to avoidance of previously suitable habitat and will serve as barriers to movement. These two factors will likely increase fragmentation in an already fragmented landscape if wind energy development continues in prairie habitats.

  18. Reduction of neonicotinoid insecticide residues in Prairie wetlands by common wetland plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Main, Anson R; Fehr, Jessica; Liber, Karsten; Headley, John V; Peru, Kerry M; Morrissey, Christy A

    2017-02-01

    Neonicotinoid insecticides are frequently detected in wetlands during the early to mid-growing period of the Canadian Prairie cropping season. These detections also overlap with the growth of macrophytes that commonly surround agricultural wetlands which we hypothesized may reduce neonicotinoid transport and retention in wetlands. We sampled 20 agricultural wetlands and 11 macrophyte species in central Saskatchewan, Canada, over eight weeks to investigate whether macrophytes were capable of reducing movement of neonicotinoids from cultivated fields and/or reducing concentrations in surface water by accumulating insecticide residues into their tissues. Study wetlands were surrounded by clothianidin-treated canola and selected based on the presence (n=10) or absence (n=10) of a zonal plant community. Neonicotinoids were positively detected in 43% of wetland plants, and quantified in 8% of all plant tissues sampled. Three plant species showed high rates of detection: 78% Equisetum arvense (clothianidin, range: wetlands had higher detection frequency and water concentrations of clothianidin (β±S.E.: -0.77±0.26, P=0.003) and thiamethoxam (β±S.E.: -0.69±0.35, P=0.049) than vegetated wetlands. We assessed the importance of wetland characteristics (e.g. vegetative zone width, emergent plant height, water depth) on neonicotinoid concentrations in Prairie wetlands over time using linear mixed-effects models. Clothianidin concentrations were significantly lower in wetlands surrounded by taller plants (β±S.E.: -0.57±0.12, P≤0.001). The results of this study suggest that macrophytes can play an important role in mitigating water contamination by accumulating neonicotinoids and possibly slowing transport to wetlands during the growing season. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Climate impacts on the agribusiness sectors of a prairie economy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Arthur, L.M.; Kooten, G.C. Van.

    1992-01-01

    Global warming is likely to result in increased agricultural output on the Canadian prairies. However, using input-output analysis, it is shown that the potential impact of global warming on agribusiness, while significant, is both uncertain and relatively small compared to the impact of government agricultural policies pertaining to the grain and livestock sectors. Furthermore, caution is required in deciding whether or not western Canada and prairie agribusinesses are net beneficiaries of a greenhouse effect because climate-induced changes in agricultural output elsewhere in the world still need to be taken into account. Most previous studies on American and European agriculture under the greenhouse effect predict reduced yields of current crops, which could mean improved markets for Canadian crops. 27 refs., 4 figs., 2 tabs

  20. A meta-analysis of lesser prairie-chicken nesting and brood-rearing habitats: implications for habitat management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagen, Christian A.; Grisham, Blake A.; Boal, Clint W.; Haukos, David A.

    2013-01-01

    The distribution and range of lesser prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) has been reduced by >90% since European settlement of the Great Plains of North America. Currently, lesser prairie-chickens occupy 3 general vegetation communities: sand sagebrush (Artemisia filifolia), sand shinnery oak (Quercus havardii), and mixed-grass prairies juxtaposed with Conservation Reserve Program grasslands. As a candidate for protection under the Endangered Species Act, there is a need for a synthesis that characterizes habitat structure rangewide. Thus, we conducted a meta-analysis of vegetation characteristics at nest sites and brood habitats to determine whether there was an overall effect (Hedges' d) of habitat selection and to estimate average (95% CI) habitat characteristics at use sites. We estimated effect sizes (di) from the difference between use (nests and brood sites) and random sampling sites for each study (n = 14), and derived an overall effect size (d++). There was a general effect for habitat selection as evidenced by low levels of variation in effect sizes across studies and regions. There was a small to medium effect (d++) = 0.20-0.82) of selection for greater vertical structure (visual obstruction) by nesting females in both vegetation communities, and selection against bare ground (d++ = 0.20-0.58). Females with broods exhibited less selectivity for habitat components except for vertical structure. The variation of d++ was greater during nesting than brooding periods, signifying a seasonal shift in habitat use, and perhaps a greater range of tolerance for brood-rearing habitat. The overall estimates of vegetation cover were consistent with those provided in management guidelines for the species.

  1. Prairie rattlesnake envenomation in 27 New World camelids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sonis, J M; Hackett, E S; Callan, R J; Holt, T N; Hackett, T B

    2013-01-01

    Morbidity and case fatality from rattlesnake envenomation is regionally specific because of variability in relative toxicity of the species of snake encountered. A previous report of rattlesnake envenomation in New World camelids (NWC) from the western coastal United States documented high case fatality rates and guarded prognosis for survival. To describe clinical findings, treatments, and outcome of NWC with prairie rattlesnake (Crotalus viridis viridis) envenomation in the Rocky Mountain region of the United States. Twenty-seven NWC admitted to the Colorado State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital for evaluation of acute rattlesnake envenomation between 1992 and 2012. Medical records of NWC evaluated for rattlesnake envenomation as coded by the attending clinician and identified by a database search were reviewed retrospectively. Month of admission, signalment, area of bite, clinical and clinicopathologic data, treatments, and outcome were recorded. Twenty-five llamas and 2 alpacas were admitted for envenomation. Llamas were overrepresented compared to hospital caseload. The face was the most common site of envenomation, observed in 96% of recorded cases. Presenting clinical signs included fever, tachypnea, tachycardia, and respiratory distress. Nine animals required a tracheotomy. Median hospitalization time was 3 days and overall survival rate was 69%. Case fatality rate for prairie rattlesnake envenomation in NWC was lower than that reported in the Western coastal region of the United States and similar to that reported for prairie rattlesnake envenomation in horses. Copyright © 2013 by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine.

  2. Resting state brain networks in the prairie vole.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ortiz, Juan J; Portillo, Wendy; Paredes, Raul G; Young, Larry J; Alcauter, Sarael

    2018-01-19

    Resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rsfMRI) has shown the hierarchical organization of the human brain into large-scale complex networks, referred as resting state networks. This technique has turned into a promising translational research tool after the finding of similar resting state networks in non-human primates, rodents and other animal models of great value for neuroscience. Here, we demonstrate and characterize the presence of resting states networks in Microtus ochrogaster, the prairie vole, an extraordinary animal model to study complex human-like social behavior, with potential implications for the research of normal social development, addiction and neuropsychiatric disorders. Independent component analysis of rsfMRI data from isoflurane-anestethized prairie voles resulted in cortical and subcortical networks, including primary motor and sensory networks, but also included putative salience and default mode networks. We further discuss how future research could help to close the gap between the properties of the large scale functional organization and the underlying neurobiology of several aspects of social cognition. These results contribute to the evidence of preserved resting state brain networks across species and provide the foundations to explore the use of rsfMRI in the prairie vole for basic and translational research.

  3. Interspecific nutrient transfer in a tallgrass prairie plant community

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Walter, L.E.F.; Hartnett, D.C.; Hetrick, B.A.D.; Schwab, A.P.

    1996-01-01

    Interplant nutrient transfer may be an important ecological process in grasslands, and may significantly influence plant neighborhood interactions. We investigated the potential for phosphorus transfer between the dominant grass Andropogon gerardii and several neighboring plant species in tallgrass prairie via a field 32PO4 labelling experiment. The mean amount of 32P received from donor shoots differed significantly among neighboring species and decreased with increasing distance from the donor. In general, forbs and cool-season C3 grasses received more labelled 32P than warm-season C4 grasses. Phosphorus transfer occurred over distances up to 0.5 m. The effects of species and distance on movement of phosphorus changed with increasing time after labelling. The relative mass of receiver and donor shoots did not affect amounts of 32P transfer. A benomyl fungicide treatment, applied to suppress mycorrhizal activity, likely did not affect existing vegetative hyphae and did not affect the amount of 32P transferred. These studies demonstrate that: (1) phosphorus is transferred among neighboring species in tallgrass prairie plant communities, (2) phosphorus may be transferred over significantly greater distances than reported in other grasslands, and (3) there is differential transfer among co-occurring species. Hypothesized mechanisms accounting for these patterns in tallgrass prairie include mycorrhizal hyphal interconnections and/or extensive and differential root and rhizosphere overlap among neighboring species

  4. COMPARISON OF THE POPULATIONS OF COMMON WOOD-NYMPH BUTTERFLIES IN BURNED PRAIRIE, UNBURNED PRAIRIE AND OLD FIELD GRASSES

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hahn, M.; Walton, R.

    2007-01-01

    Common wood-nymph butterfl ies are found throughout the United States and Canada. However, not much is known about how they overwinter or their preferences for particular grasses and habitats. In this study, the impact of prairie management plans on the abundance of the wood-nymph population was assessed, as well as the preference of these butterfl ies for areas with native or non-native grasses. The abundance of common wood-nymph butterfl ies was determined using Pollard walks; more common wood-nymph butterfl ies were found in the European grasses than were found in the burned and unburned prairie sites. The majority of the vegetation at each of the three sites was identifi ed and documented. Using a 1 X 3 ANOVA analysis, it was determined there were signifi cantly more butterfl ies in the European grasses than in the burned and unburned prairie sites (p < 0.0005). There was no signifi cant difference between the burned and unburned treatments of the prairie on the common wood-nymph population. A multiple variable linear regression model described the effect of temperature and wind speed on the number of observed common wood-nymph butterfl ies per hour (p = 0.026). These preliminary results need to be supplemented with future studies. Quadrat analysis of the vegetation from all three sites should be done to search for a correlation between common wood-nymph butterfl y abundance per hour and the specifi c types or quantity of vegetation at each site. The effect of vegetation height and density on the observer’s visual fi eld should also be assessed.

  5. Tuberculosis transmission in the Indigenous peoples of the Canadian prairies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patel, Smit; Paulsen, Catherine; Heffernan, Courtney; Saunders, Duncan; Sharma, Meenu; King, Malcolm; Hoeppner, Vernon; Orr, Pamela; Kunimoto, Dennis; Menzies, Dick; Christianson, Sara; Wolfe, Joyce; Boffa, Jody; McMullin, Kathleen; Lopez-Hille, Carmen; Senthilselvan, Ambikaipakan; Long, Richard

    2017-01-01

    The prairie provinces of Canada. To characterize tuberculosis (TB) transmission among the Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadian-born peoples of the prairie provinces of Canada. A prospective epidemiologic study of consecutively diagnosed adult (age ≥ 14 years) Canadian-born culture-positive pulmonary TB cases on the prairies, hereafter termed "potential transmitters," and the transmission events generated by them. "Transmission events" included new positive tuberculin skin tests (TSTs), TST conversions, and secondary cases among contacts. In the years 2007 and 2008, 222 potential transmitters were diagnosed on the prairies. Of these, the vast majority (198; 89.2%) were Indigenous peoples who resided in either an Indigenous community (135; 68.2%) or a major metropolitan area (44; 22.2%). Over the 4.5-year period between July 1st, 2006 and December 31st 2010, 1085 transmission events occurred in connection with these potential transmitters. Most of these transmission events were attributable to potential transmitters who identified as Indigenous (94.5%). With a few notable exceptions most transmitters and their infected contacts resided in the same community type. In multivariate models positive smear status and a higher number of close contacts were associated with increased transmission; adjusted odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs), 4.30 [1.88, 9.84] and 2.88 [1.31, 6.34], respectively. Among infected contacts, being Indigenous was associated with disease progression; OR and 95% CI, 3.59 [1.27, 10.14] and 6.89 [2.04, 23.25] depending upon Indigenous group, while being an infected casual contact was less likely than being a close contact to be associated with disease progression, 0.66 [0.44, 1.00]. In the prairie provinces of Canada and among Canadian-born persons, Indigenous peoples account for the vast majority of cases with the potential to transmit as well as the vast majority of infected contacts. Active case finding and preventative therapy

  6. 77 FR 24975 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Revised Recovery Plan for the Utah Prairie Dog

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-04-26

    ...-FF06E00000] Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Revised Recovery Plan for the Utah Prairie Dog... Utah prairie dog (Cynomys parvidens). This species is federally listed as threatened under the... recovery plan for the Utah prairie dog. The Service and other Federal agencies also will take these...

  7. 75 FR 57055 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Draft Revised Recovery Plan for Utah Prairie Dog

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-09-17

    ...] Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Draft Revised Recovery Plan for Utah Prairie Dog AGENCY: Fish... recovery plan for the Utah prairie dog (Cynomys parvidens). This species is federally listed as threatened... and peer reviewers in an appendix to the approved recovery plan. The Utah prairie dog (Cynomys...

  8. 76 FR 31906 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Revising the Special Rule for the Utah Prairie Dog

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-06-02

    ... Special Rule for the Utah Prairie Dog AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Proposed rule... prairie dog. We are proposing to revise the existing limits on take, and we also propose a new incidental... dogs see: http://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/species/mammals/UTprairiedog or http://ecos.fws.gov...

  9. 77 FR 46157 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Revising the Special Rule for the Utah Prairie Dog

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-08-02

    ... Utah Prairie Dog; Final Rule #0;#0;Federal Register / Vol. 77 , No. 149 / Thursday, August 2, 2012...-AW02 Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Revising the Special Rule for the Utah Prairie Dog... special regulations for the conservation of the Utah prairie dog. We are revising our special regulations...

  10. 78 FR 26302 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Listing the Lesser Prairie-Chicken as a Threatened...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-05-06

    ...; 4500030113] RIN 1018-AY21 Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Listing the Lesser Prairie-Chicken... the lesser prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus). In addition, we announce the reopening of the public comment period on the December 11, 2012, proposed rule to list the lesser prairie-chicken as a...

  11. 78 FR 75306 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Listing the Lesser Prairie-Chicken as a Threatened...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-12-11

    ...; 4500030113] RIN 1018-AY21 Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Listing the Lesser Prairie-Chicken... the conservation of the lesser prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus). In addition, we announce... prairie-chicken as a threatened species under the Act. We also announce the availability of the final...

  12. 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...

  13. 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)

  14. Using Halogens (Cl, Br, F, I) and Stable Isotopes of Water (δ18O, δ2H) to Trace Hydrological and Biogeochemical Processes in Prairie Wetlands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levy, Z. F.; Lu, Z.; Mills, C. T.; Goldhaber, M. B.; Rosenberry, D. O.; Mushet, D.; Siegel, D. I.; Fiorentino, A. J., II; Gade, M.; Spradlin, J.

    2014-12-01

    Prairie pothole wetlands are ubiquitous features of the Great Plains of North America, and important habitat for amphibians and migratory birds. The salinity of proximal wetlands varies highly due to groundwater-glacial till interactions, which influence wetland biota and associated ecosystem functions. Here we use halogens and stable isotopes of water to fingerprint hydrological and biogeochemical controls on salt cycling in a prairie wetland complex. We surveyed surface, well, and pore waters from a groundwater recharge wetland (T8) and more saline closed (P1) and open (P8) basin discharge wetlands in the Cottonwood Lake Study Area (ND) in August/October 2013 and May 2014. Halogen concentrations varied over a broad range throughout the study area (Cl = 2.2 to 170 mg/L, Br = 13 to 2000 μg/L, F = evaporation-enriched pond water (δ18O = -9.5 to -2.71 ‰) mixes with shallow groundwater in the top 0.6 m of fringing wetland soils and 1.2 m of the substrate in the center of P1. Our results suggest endogenous sources for Br and I within the prairie landscape that may be controlled by biological mechanisms or weathering of shale from glacial till.

  15. Annual Fire, Mowing and Fertilization Effects on Two Cicada Species (Homoptera: Cicadidae) in Tallgrass Prairie

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mac A. Callaham; Matt R. Whiles; John M. Blair

    2002-01-01

    In tallgrass prairie, cicadas emerge annually, are abundant and their emergence can be an important flux of energy and nutrients. However, factors influencing the distribution and abundance of these cicadas are virtually unknown. We examined cicada emergence in plots from a long-term (13 y) experimental manipulation involving common tallgrass prairie management...

  16. Ecology of fire in shortgrass prairie of the southern Great Plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paulette L. Ford; Guy R. McPherson

    1996-01-01

    The ecology of fire in shortgrass prairie of the southern Great Plains includes a complex interaction between the shortgrass prairie ecosystem and its inhabitants, all inextricably linked to land-use patterns. The history of the relationship between man and fire has been filled with ambivalence and mistrust, along with an appreciation of the power of fire as a...

  17. 77 FR 75119 - Dakota Prairie Grasslands, North Dakota; Oil and Gas Development Supplemental Environmental...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-12-19

    ... DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Dakota Prairie Grasslands, North Dakota; Oil and Gas... to prepare a supplemental environmental impact statement. SUMMARY: In June of 2003, the Dakota... Dakota Prairie Grasslands Land and Resource Management Plan, based on the 2001 Northern Great Plains...

  18. The role of prairie dogs as a keystone species: response to Stapp

    Science.gov (United States)

    B. Miller; R. Reading; J. Hoogland; T. Clark; G. Ceballos; R. List; S. Forrest; L. Hanebury; P. Manzano; J. Pacheco; D. Uresk

    2000-01-01

    Stapp (1998) recently argued that it was premature to characterize prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.) as keystone species. In particular, Stapp directed much of his criticism at a paper some of us wrote (Miller et al. 1994). He mistakenly interprets the main objective of our paper as providing evidence that prairie dogs are keystone species. Rather, the...

  19. Review of black-tailed prairie dog reintroduction strategies and site selection: Arizona reintroduction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarah L. Hale; John L. Koprowski; Holly Hicks

    2013-01-01

    The black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) was once widely distributed throughout the western United States; however, anthropogenic influences have reduced the species’ numbers to 2 percent of historical populations. Black-tailed prairie dogs are described as a keystone species in the grassland ecosystem, and provide many unique services, including burrows for...

  20. Black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) response to seasonality and frequency of fire

    Science.gov (United States)

    Felicia D. Archuleta

    2014-01-01

    Fragmentation of the landscape, habitat loss, and fire suppression, all a result of European settlement and activities, have precipitated both the decline of Black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) populations and the occurrence of fire throughout the Great Plains, including the Shortgrass steppe of northeastern New Mexico. The presence of Black-tailed prairie...

  1. Plant composition in oak savanna and woodland restoration at Prairie Fork Conservation Area in Missouri

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nadia E. Navarrete-Tindall; J.W. Van Sambeek; Jamie Coe; Warren Taylor

    2007-01-01

    The wooded areas of the Prairie Fork Conservation Area in central Missouri are typical of the oak/hickory forest/prairie transition zone that will require active management to restore pre-settlement, grass dominated savannas and open woodlands to improve habitat for wildlife. We initiated a management program to restore savannas and woodlands by reducing the midstory (...

  2. Demography of black-tailed prairie dog populations reoccupying sites treated with rodenticide

    Science.gov (United States)

    R. P. Cincotta; Daniel W. Uresk; R. M. Hansen

    1987-01-01

    A rodenticide, zinc phosphide, was applied to remove black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) from 6 haofa prairie dog colony in southwestern South Dakota. Another adjacent 6 ha was left untreated. The removal experiment was repeated two consecutive years. Contingency table analysis showed that the resultant population was not homogeneous;...

  3. Prairie chicken populations of the Sheyenne Delta in North Dakota, 1961-1987

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jerry D. Kobriger; David P. Vollink; Michael E. Mcneill; Kenneth F. Higgins

    1988-01-01

    Prairie chickens (Tympanuchus cupido pinnatus) were first censused on the Sheyenne Grasslands in 1961. The population was extremely low in the 1960's, gradually increased in the 1970's, and reached a peak of 410 in 1980. Sufficient evidence exists to link the increase in numbers of prairie chickens on the grasslands from 1961 through 1987...

  4. Effect of mid-summer haying on growth and reproduction in prairie forbs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Becky Begay; Helen M. Alexander; Erin Questad

    2011-01-01

    Mid-summer haying is a common management practice for prairies; plant species could differ in the effect of haying on subsequent growth and reproduction. We examined the effect of haying on prairie species by performing a clipping experiment. For each of seven species, sixteen plants were chosen and half were randomly assigned to a clipping treatment and half to a...

  5. Physiologic Reference Ranges for Captive Black-Tailed Prairie Dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keckler, M Shannon; Gallardo-Romero, Nadia F; Langham, Gregory L; Damon, Inger K; Karem, Kevin L; Carroll, Darin S

    2010-01-01

    The black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) is a member of the order Rodentia and the family Sciuridae. Ecologically, prairie dogs are a keystone species in prairie ecology. This species is used as an animal model for human gallbladder disease and diseases caused by infection with Clostridium difficile, Yersinia pestis, Francisella tularensis, and most recently, Orthopoxvirus. Despite increasing numbers of prairie dogs used in research and kept as pets, few data are available on their baseline physiology in animal facility housing conditions. To establish baseline physiologic reference ranges, we designed a study using 18 wild-caught black-tailed prairie dogs. Telemetry data were analyzed to establish circadian rhythms for activity and temperature. In addition, hematologic and serum chemistry analyses were performed. Baseline measurements were used to establish the mean for each animal, which then were compiled and analyzed to determine the reference ranges. Here we present physiologic data on serum chemistry and hematology profiles, as well as weight, core body temperature, and daily activity patterns for black-tailed prairie dogs. These results reflect the use of multiple measurements from species- and age-matched prairie dogs and likely will be useful to ecologists, scientists interested in using this animal model in research, and veterinarians caring for pet prairie dogs. PMID:20587156

  6. A novel approach for assessing density and range-wide abundance of prairie dogs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aaron N. Facka; Paulette L. Ford; Gary W. Roemer

    2008-01-01

    Habitat loss, introduced disease, and government-sponsored eradication programs have caused population declines in all 5 species of prairie dogs. Black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) currently occupy only about 2% of an extensive geographic range (160 million hectares) and were recently considered for listing under the United States...

  7. Using stable isotopes to understand hydrochemical processes in and around a Prairie Pothole wetland in the Northern Great Plains, USA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mills, Christopher T.; Goldhaber, Martin B.; Stricker, Craig A.; Holloway, JoAnn M.; Morrison, Jean M.; Ellefsen, Karl J.; Rosenberry, Donald O.; Thurston, Roland S.

    2011-01-01

    Highlights: → A stable isotope study of the hydrochemistry of a Prairie Pothole wetland system. → δ 18 O H2O and δ 2 H H2O values show salt concentration by transpiration at wetland edge. → A range of δ 34 S SO4 values indicate SO 4 source and reduction processes. → Isotopic mixing lines show interaction of surface and groundwater at wetland edge. - Abstract: Millions of internally drained wetland systems in the Prairie Potholes region of the northern Great Plains (USA and Canada) provide indispensable habitat for waterfowl and a host of other ecosystem services. The hydrochemistry of these systems is complex and a crucial control on wetland function, flora and fauna. Wetland waters can have high concentrations of SO 4 2- due to the oxidation of large amounts of pyrite in glacial till that is in part derived from the Pierre shale. Water chemistry including δ 18 O H2O , δ 2 H H2O , and δ 34 S SO4 values, was determined for groundwater, soil pore water, and wetland surface water in and around a discharge wetland in North Dakota. The isotopic data for the first time trace the interaction of processes that affect wetland chemistry, including open water evaporation, plant transpiration, and microbial SO 4 reduction.

  8. Citizen knowledge and perception of black-tailed prairie dog management: Report to respondents

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sexton, Natalie R.; Brinson, Ayeisha; Ponds, Phadrea D.; Cline, Kurt; Lamb, Berton L.

    2001-01-01

    What do citizens know about black-tailed prairie dogs, and where do they get their information? When management decisions need to be made regarding an animal such as the black-tailed prairie dog, an understanding of the species and its relationship to humans is necessary. This includes knowing the biology of the animal, where it lives, and how it interacts with other animals. But it is equally important for those making decisions about the species to understand citizens’ knowledge and perceptions so managers can effectively communicate with the public and help the public participate in planning and decision making activities. Unfortunately, what is known about public knowledge, perception, and preferences concerning prairie dog management is limited to data from only a few areas. This study attempts to answer the question: What do people in the short-grass prairie region of the United States know and think about black-tailed prairie dogs?

  9. Precipitation, Climate Change, and Parasitism of Prairie Dogs by Fleas that Transmit Plague.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eads, David A; Hoogland, John L

    2017-08-01

    Fleas (Insecta: Siphonaptera) are hematophagous ectoparasites that can reduce the fitness of vertebrate hosts. Laboratory populations of fleas decline under dry conditions, implying that populations of fleas will also decline when precipitation is scarce under natural conditions. If precipitation and hence vegetative production are reduced, however, then herbivorous hosts might suffer declines in body condition and have weakened defenses against fleas, so that fleas will increase in abundance. We tested these competing hypotheses using information from 23 yr of research on 3 species of colonial prairie dogs in the western United States: Gunnison's prairie dog (Cynomys gunnisoni, 1989-1994), Utah prairie dog (Cynomys parvidens, 1996-2005), and white-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys leucurus, 2006-2012). For all 3 species, flea-counts per individual varied inversely with the number of days in the prior growing season with >10 mm of precipitation, an index of the number of precipitation events that might have caused a substantial, prolonged increase in soil moisture and vegetative production. Flea-counts per Utah prairie dog also varied inversely with cumulative precipitation of the prior growing season. Furthermore, flea-counts per Gunnison's and white-tailed prairie dog varied inversely with cumulative precipitation of the just-completed January and February. These results complement research on black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) and might have important ramifications for plague, a bacterial disease transmitted by fleas that devastates populations of prairie dogs. In particular, our results might help to explain why, at some colonies, epizootics of plague, which can kill >95% of prairie dogs, are more likely to occur during or shortly after periods of reduced precipitation. Climate change is projected to increase the frequency of droughts in the grasslands of western North America. If so, then climate change might affect the occurrence of plague epizootics

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Season and application rates affect vaccine bait consumption by prairie dogs in Colorado and Utah, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tripp, Daniel W.; Rocke, Tonie E.; Streich, Sean P.; Brown, Nathanael L.; Fernandez, Julia Rodriguez-Ramos; Miller, Michael W.

    2014-01-01

    Plague, a zoonotic disease caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, causes high rates of mortality in prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.). An oral vaccine against plague has been developed for prairie dogs along with a palatable bait to deliver vaccine and a biomarker to track bait consumption. We conducted field trials between September 2009 and September 2012 to develop recommendations for bait distribution to deliver plague vaccine to prairie dogs. The objectives were to evaluate the use of the biomarker, rhodamine B, in field settings to compare bait distribution strategies, to compare uptake of baits distributed at different densities, to assess seasonal effects on bait uptake, and to measure bait uptake by nontarget small mammal species. Rhodamine B effectively marked prairie dogs' whiskers during these field trials. To compare bait distribution strategies, we applied baits around active burrows or along transects at densities of 32, 65, and 130 baits/ha. Distributing baits at active burrows or by transect did not affect uptake by prairie dogs. Distributing baits at rates of ≥65/ha (or ≥1 bait/active burrow) produced optimal uptake, and bait uptake by prairie dogs in the autumn was superior to uptake in the spring. Six other species of small mammals consumed baits during these trials. All four species of tested prairie dogs readily consumed the baits, demonstrating that vaccine uptake will not be an obstacle to plague control via oral vaccination.

  13. Factors influencing uptake of sylvatic plague vaccine baits by prairie dogs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abbott, Rachel C.; Russell, Robin E.; Richgels, Katherine; Tripp, Daniel W.; Matchett, Marc R.; Biggins, Dean E.; Rocke, Tonie E.

    2017-01-01

    Sylvatic plague vaccine (SPV) is a virally vectored bait-delivered vaccine expressing Yersinia pestis antigens that can protect prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.) from plague and has potential utility as a management tool. In a large-scale 3-year field trial, SPV-laden baits containing the biomarker rhodamine B (used to determine bait consumption) were distributed annually at a rate of approximately 100–125 baits/hectare along transects at 58 plots encompassing the geographic ranges of four species of prairie dogs. We assessed site- and individual-level factors related to bait uptake in prairie dogs to determine which were associated with bait uptake rates. Overall bait uptake for 7820 prairie dogs sampled was 70% (95% C.I. 69.9–72.0). Factors influencing bait uptake rates by prairie dogs varied by species, however, in general, heavier animals had greater bait uptake rates. Vegetation quality and day of baiting influenced this relationship for black-tailed, Gunnison’s, and Utah prairie dogs. For these species, baiting later in the season, when normalized difference vegetation indices (a measure of green vegetation density) are lower, improves bait uptake by smaller animals. Consideration of these factors can aid in the development of species-specific SPV baiting strategies that maximize bait uptake and subsequent immunization of prairie dogs against plague.

  14. Climate change and prairie pothole wetlands: mitigating water-level and hydroperiod effects through upland management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Renton, David A.; Mushet, David M.; DeKeyser, Edward S.

    2015-01-01

    Prairie pothole wetlands offer crucial habitat for North America’s waterfowl populations. The wetlands also support an abundance of other species and provide ecological services valued by society. The hydrology of prairie pothole wetlands is dependent on atmospheric interactions. Therefore, changes to the region’s climate can have profound effects on wetland hydrology. The relevant literature related to climate change and upland management effects on prairie pothole wetland water levels and hydroperiods was reviewed. Climate change is widely expected to affect water levels and hydroperiods of prairie pothole wetlands, as well as the biota and ecological services that the wetlands support. In general, hydrologic model projections that incorporate future climate change scenarios forecast lower water levels in prairie pothole wetlands and longer periods spent in a dry condition, despite potential increases in precipitation. However, the extreme natural variability in climate and hydrology of prairie pothole wetlands necessitates caution when interpreting model results. Recent changes in weather patterns throughout much of the Prairie Pothole Region have been in increased precipitation that results in increased water inputs to wetlands above losses associated with warmer temperatures. However, observed precipitation increases are within the range of natural climate variability and therefore, may not persist. Identifying management techniques with the potential to affect water inputs to prairie pothole wetlands would provide increased options for managers when dealing with the uncertainties associated with a changing climate. Several grassland management techniques (for example, grazing and burning) have the potential to affect water levels and hydroperiods of prairie pothole by affecting infiltration, evapotranspiration, and snow deposition.

  15. Spatial variation in keystone effects: Small mammal diversity associated with black-tailed prairie dog colonies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cully, J.F.; Collinge, S.K.; Van Nimwegen, R. E.; Ray, C.; Johnson, W.C.; Thiagarajan, Bala; Conlin, D.B.; Holmes, B.E.

    2010-01-01

    Species with extensive geographic ranges may interact with different species assemblages at distant locations, with the result that the nature of the interactions may vary spatially. Black-tailed prairie dogs Cynomys ludovicianus occur from Canada to Mexico in grasslands of the western Great Plains of North America. Black-tailed prairie dogs alter vegetation and dig extensive burrow systems that alter grassland habitats for plants and other animal species. These alterations of habitat justify the descriptor " ecological engineer," and the resulting changes in species composition have earned them status as a keystone species. We examined the impact of black-tailed prairie dogs on small mammal assemblages by trapping at on- and off-colony locations at eight study areas across the species' geographic range. We posed 2 nested hypotheses: 1) prairie dogs function as a keystone species for other rodent species; and 2) the keystone role varies spatially. Assuming that it does, we asked what are the sources of the variation? Black-tailed prairie dogs consistently functioned as a keystone species in that there were strong statistically significant differences in community composition on versus off prairie dog colonies across the species range in prairie grassland. Small mammal species composition varied along both latitudinal and longitudinal gradients, and species richness varied from 4 to 11. Assemblages closer together were more similar; such correlations approximately doubled when including only on- or off-colony grids. Black-tailed prairie dogs had a significant effect on associated rodent assemblages that varied regionally, dependent upon the composition of the local rodent species pool. Over the range of the black-tailed prairie dog, on-colony rodent richness and evenness were less variable, and species composition was more consistent than off-colony assemblages. ?? 2010 The Authors.

  16. Lesser prairie-chicken avoidance of trees in a grassland landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lautenbach, Joseph M.; Plumb, Reid T.; Robinson, Samantha G.; Hagen, Christian A.; Haukos, David A.; Pitman, James C.

    2016-01-01

    Grasslands are among the most imperiled ecosystems in North America. Reasons that grasslands are threatened include conversion to row-crop agriculture, fragmentation, and changes in fire regimes. The reduction of fire processes in remaining prairies has resulted in tree encroachment and establishment in grasslands, further reducing grassland quantity and quality. Grassland birds have been experiencing precipitous population declines in recent decades, commensurate with landscape changes to grasslands. The lesser prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus Ridgway) is a declining species of prairie grouse of conservation concern. We used second- and third-order habitat selection metrics to test if female lesser prairie-chickens avoid grasslands where trees were present. Our results indicated that female lesser prairie-chickens selected habitats avoiding the nearest trees by 283 m on average, nearly twice as far as would be expected at random. Lesser prairie-chickens were 40 times more likely to use habitats with tree densities of 0 trees ∙ ha− 1 than habitats with 5 trees ∙ ha− 1. Probability of use indicated that lesser prairie-chickens were 19 times more likely to use habitats 1000 m from the nearest tree when compared with using habitats 0 m from the nearest tree. Nest survival was not affected at densities 2 trees ∙ ha− 1. Avoidance of trees could be due to perceived increased predation risk, reduced habitat quality, or a combination of these potentially confounding factors. Preventing further establishment and expansion of trees in landscapes occupied by lesser prairie-chickens could contribute to the continued persistence of the species. Additionally, restoring grasslands through tree removal may facilitate conservation efforts for grassland species such as the lesser prairie-chicken by improving habitat quality and promoting expansion of occupied range.

  17. Vegetation of wetlands of the prairie pothole region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kantrud, H.A.; Millar, J.B.; Van Der Valk, A.G.; van der Valk, A.

    1989-01-01

    Five themes dominate the literature dealing with the vegetation of palustrine and lacustrine wetlands of the prairie pothole region: environmental conditions (water or moisture regime, salinity), agricultural disturbances (draining, grazing, burning, sedimentation, etc.), vegetation dynamics, zonation patterns, and classification of the wetlands.The flora of a prairie wetland is a function of its water regime, salinity, and disturbance by man. Within a pothole, water depth and duration determines distribution of species. In potholes deep enough to have standing water even during droughts, the central zone will be dominated by submersed species (open water). In wetlands that go dry during periods of drought or annually, the central zone will be dominated by either tall emergent species (deep marsh) or midheight emergents (shallow marsh), respectively. Potholes that are only flooded briefly in the spring are dominated by grasses, sedges, and forbs (wet meadow). Within a pothole, the depth of standing water in the deepest, usually central, part of the basin determines how many zones will be present. Lists of species associated with different water regimes and salinity levels are presented.Disturbances due to agricultural activities have impacted wetlands throughout the region. Drainage has eliminated many potholes, particularly in the southern and eastern parts of the region. Grazing, mowing, and burning have altered the composition of pothole vegetation. The composition of different vegetation types impacted by grazing, haying, and cultivation is presented in a series of tables. Indirect impacts of agriculture (increased sediment, nutrient, and pesticide inputs) are widespread over the region, but their impacts on the vegetation have never been studied.Because of the periodic droughts and wet periods, many palustrine and lacustrine wetlands undergo vegetation cycles associated with water-level changes produced by these wet-dry cycles. Periods of above normal

  18. Mine spoil prairies expand critical habitat for endangered and threatened amphibian and reptile species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lannoo, Michael J.; Kinney, Vanessa C.; Heemeyer, Jennifer L.; Engbrecht, Nathan J.; Gallant, Alisa L.; Klaver, Robert W.

    2009-01-01

    Coal extraction has been occurring in the Midwestern United States for over a century. Despite the pre-mining history of the landscape as woodlands, spent surface coalfields are often reclaimed to grasslands. We assessed amphibian and reptile species on a large tract of coal spoil prairie and found 13 species of amphibians (nine frog and four salamander species) and 19 species of reptiles (one lizard, five turtle, and 13 snake species). Two state-endangered and three state species of special concern were documented. The amphibian diversity at our study site was comparable to the diversity found at a large restored prairie situated 175 km north, within the historic prairie peninsula.

  19. 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

  20. Tier 2 guidelines and remediation of Tebuthiuron on a native prairie site

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bessie, K.; Harckham, N.; Dance, T. [EBA Engineering Consultants Ltd., Calgary, AB (Canada); Burk, A. [EnCana Corp., Calgary, AB (Canada); Stephenson, G. [Stantec Consulting, Guelph, ON (Canada); Corbet, B. [Access Analytical Laboratories Inc., Calgary, AB (Canada)

    2009-10-01

    Tebuthiuron is a sterilant used to control vegetation at upstream and midstream petroleum sites. This article discussed the remediation processes used to reclaim a native prairie site contaminated with tebuthiuron. The site was located within a dry mixed grass natural area. A literature review was conducted to establish soil eco-contact guidelines specific to tebuthiuron. A site-specific ecotoxicity assessment was then conducted using a liquid chromatograph to detect tebuthiuron limits in the contaminated soils. A soil sampling technique was used to delineate the affected areas at the site. Site soils were spiked with various concentrations of tebuthiuron ranging from 0.00003 mg/kg to 3000 mg/kg. Test species included a Folsomia candida, an earthworm, and 4 plant species. The study showed that the invertebrate species were less sensitive to tebuthiuron than the plant species. A groundwater assessment showed that tebuthiuron levels exceeded Tier 1 groundwater remediation guidelines. A multilayer hydro-geological model showed that remediation guidelines were orders of magnitude greater than Tier 1 groundwater remediation. A thermal desorption technique was used to remediate the site. 7 refs., 8 figs.

  1. Nutrient addition shifts plant community composition towards earlier flowering species in some prairie ecoregions in the U.S. Central Plains.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lori Biederman

    Full Text Available The distribution of flowering across the growing season is governed by each species' evolutionary history and climatic variability. However, global change factors, such as eutrophication and invasion, can alter plant community composition and thus change the distribution of flowering across the growing season. We examined three ecoregions (tall-, mixed, and short-grass prairie across the U.S. Central Plains to determine how nutrient (nitrogen (N, phosphorus, and potassium (+micronutrient addition alters the temporal patterns of plant flowering traits. We calculated total community flowering potential (FP by distributing peak-season plant cover values across the growing season, allocating each species' cover to only those months in which it typically flowers. We also generated separate FP profiles for exotic and native species and functional group. We compared the ability of the added nutrients to shift the distribution of these FP profiles (total and sub-groups across the growing season. In all ecoregions, N increased the relative cover of both exotic species and C3 graminoids that flower in May through August. The cover of C4 graminoids decreased with added N, but the response varied by ecoregion and month. However, these functional changes only aggregated to shift the entire community's FP profile in the tall-grass prairie, where the relative cover of plants expected to flower in May and June increased and those that flower in September and October decreased with added N. The relatively low native cover in May and June may leave this ecoregion vulnerable to disturbance-induced invasion by exotic species that occupy this temporal niche. There was no change in the FP profile of the mixed and short-grass prairies with N addition as increased abundance of exotic species and C3 graminoids replaced other species that flower at the same time. In these communities a disturbance other than nutrient addition may be required to disrupt phenological

  2. Investigation of the Transcriptome of Prairie Cord Grass, a New Cellulosic Biomass Crop

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kristene Gedye

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Prairie cordgrass ( Bosc ex Link is being developed as a cellulosic biomass crop. Development of this species will require numerous steps, including breeding, agronomy, and characterization of the species genome. The research in this paper describes the first investigation of the transcriptome of prairie cordgrass via Next Generation Sequencing Technology, 454 GS FLX. A total of 556,198 expressed sequence tags (ESTs were produced from four prairie cordgrass tissues: roots, rhizomes, immature inflorescence, and hooks. These ESTs were assembled into 26,302 contigs and 71,103 singletons. From these data were identified, EST–SSR (simple sequence repeat regions and cell wall biosynthetic pathway genes suitable for the development of molecular markers which can aid the breeding process of prairie cordgrass by means of marker assisted selection.

  3. Influence of resource availability on Juniperus virginiana expansion in a forest–prairie ecotone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Despite being native to the United States, Juniperus virginiana has rapidly expanded in prairie ecosystems bringing detrimental ecological effects and increased wildfire risk. We transplanted J. virginiana seedlings in three plant communities to investigate mechanisms driving J. ...

  4. Anticoagulant Prairie Dog Bait Risk Mitigation Measures to Protect Endangered Species

    Science.gov (United States)

    This Web page contains information on how certified pesticide applicators can use anticoagulant prairie dog bait products such as Rozol and Kaput-D while minimizing exposure risks to listed and non-target species.

  5. Investigation of the Transcriptome of Prairie Cord Grass, a New Cellulosic Biomass Crop

    KAUST Repository

    Gedye, Kristene

    2010-09-15

    Prairie cordgrass (Spartina pectinata Bosc ex Link) is being developed as a cellulosic biomass crop. Development of this species will require numerous steps, including breeding, agronomy, and characterization of the species genome. The research in this paper describes the first investigation of the transcriptome of prairie cordgrass via Next Generation Sequencing Technology, 454 GS FLX. A total of 556,198 expressed sequence tags (ESTs) were produced from four prairie cordgrass tissues: roots, rhizomes, immature inflorescence, and hooks. These ESTs were assembled into 26,302 contigs and 71,103 singletons. From these data were identified, EST-SSR (simple sequence repeat) regions and cell wall biosynthetic pathway genes suitable for the development of molecular markers which can aid the breeding process of prairie cordgrass by means of marker assisted selection.

  6. 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.

  7. Impacts of mesquite distribution on seasonal space use of lesser prairie-chickens

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boggie, Matthew A.; Strong, Cody R.; Lusk, Daniel; Carleton, Scott A.; Gould, William R.; Howard, Randy L.; Nichols, Clay T.; Falkowski, Michael J.; Hagen, Christian A.

    2017-01-01

    Loss of native grasslands by anthropogenic disturbances has reduced availability and connectivity of habitat for many grassland species. A primary threat to contiguous grasslands is the encroachment of woody vegetation, which is spurred by disturbances that take on many forms from energy development, fire suppression, and grazing. These disturbances are exacerbated by natural- and human-driven cycles of changes in climate punctuated by drought and desertification conditions. Encroachment of honey mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa) into the prairies of southeastern New Mexico has potentially limited habitat for numerous grassland species, including lesser prairie-chickens (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus). To determine the magnitude of impacts of distribution of mesquite and how lesser prairie-chickens respond to mesquite presence on the landscape in southeastern New Mexico, we evaluated seasonal space use of lesser prairie-chickens in the breeding and nonbreeding seasons. We derived several remotely sensed spatial metrics to characterize the distribution of mesquite. We then used these data to create population-level resource utilization functions and predict intensity of use of lesser prairie-chickens across our study area. Home ranges were smaller in the breeding season compared with the nonbreeding season; however, habitat use was similar across seasons. During both seasons, lesser prairie-chickens used areas closer to leks and largely avoided areas with mesquite. Relative to the breeding season, during the nonbreeding season habitat use suggested a marginal increase in mesquite within areas of low intensity of use, yet aversion to mesquite was strong in areas of medium to high intensity of use. To our knowledge, our study is the first to demonstrate a negative behavioral response by lesser prairie-chickens to woody encroachment in native grasslands. To mitigate one of the possible limiting factors for lesser prairie-chickens, we suggest future conservation

  8. Widespread Use and Frequent Detection of Neonicotinoid Insecticides in Wetlands of Canada's Prairie Pothole Region

    OpenAIRE

    Main, Anson R.; Headley, John V.; Peru, Kerry M.; Michel, Nicole L.; Cessna, Allan J.; Morrissey, Christy A.

    2014-01-01

    Neonicotinoids currently dominate the insecticide market as seed treatments on Canada's major Prairie crops (e.g., canola). The potential impact to ecologically significant wetlands in this dominantly agro-environment has largely been overlooked while the distribution of use, incidence and level of contamination remains unreported. We modelled the spatial distribution of neonicotinoid use across the three Prairie Provinces in combination with temporal assessments of water and sediment concent...

  9. Social isolation induces behavioral and neuroendocrine disturbances relevant to depression in female and male prairie voles

    OpenAIRE

    Grippo, Angela J.; Gerena, Davida; Huang, Jonathan; Kumar, Narmda; Shah, Maulin; Ughreja, Raj; Carter, C. Sue

    2007-01-01

    Supportive social interactions may be protective against stressors and certain mental and physical illness, while social isolation may be a powerful stressor. Prairie voles are socially monogamous rodents that model some of the behavioral and physiological traits displayed by humans, including sensitivity to social isolation. Neuroendocrine and behavioral parameters, selected for their relevance to stress and depression, were measured in adult female and male prairie voles following 4 weeks o...

  10. Progress report: baseline monitoring of indicator species (butterflies) at tallgrass prairie restorations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allain, Larry; Vidrine, Malcolm

    2014-01-01

    This project provides baseline data of butterfly populations at two coastal prairie restoration sites in Louisiana, the Duralde Unit of Lacassine National Wildlife Refuge (hereafter, the Duralde site) and the Cajun Prairie Restoration Project in Eunice (hereafter, the Eunice site). In all, four distinct habitat types representing different planting methods were sampled. These data will be used to assess biodiversity and health of native grasslands and also provide a basis for adaptive management.

  11. Predation of artificial ground nests on white-tailed prairie dog colonies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker, B.W.; Stanley, T.R.; Sedgwick, J.A.

    1999-01-01

    Prairie dog (Cynomys spp.) colonies are unique to prairie and shrub-steppe landscapes. However, widespread eradication, habitat loss, and sylvatic plague (Yersinia pestis) have reduced their numbers by 98% since historical times. Birds associated with prairie dogs also are declining. Potential nest predators, such as coyotes (Canis latrans), swift foxes (Vulpes velox), and badgers (Taxidea taxus), may be attracted to colonies where a high concentration of prairie dogs serve as available prey. Increased abundance of small mammals, including prairie dogs, also may increase the risk of predation for birds nesting on colonies. Finally, because grazing by prairie dogs may decrease vegetation height and canopy cover, bird nests may be easier for predators to locate. In this study, we placed 1,444 artificial ground nests on and off 74 white-tailed prairie dog (C. leucurus) colonies to test the hypothesis that nest predation rates are higher on colonies than at nearby off sites (i.e., uncolonized habitat). We sampled colonies from 27 May to 16 July 1997 at the following 3 complexes: Coyote Basin, Utah and Colorado; Moxa Arch, Wyoming; and Shirley Basin, Wyoming. Differences in daily predation rates between colonies and paired off sites averaged 1.0% (P = 0.060). When converted to a typical 14-day incubation period, predation rates averaged 14% higher on colonies (57.7 ?? 2.7%; ?? ?? SE) than at off sites (50.4 ?? 3.1%). Comparisons of habitat variables on colonies to off sites showed percent canopy cover of vegetation was similar (P = 0.114), percent bare ground was higher on colonies (P 0.288). Although we found the risk of nest predation was higher on white-tailed prairie dog colonies than at off sites, fitness of birds nesting on colonies might depend on other factors that influence foraging success, reproductive success, or nestling survival.

  12. Mountain plover nest survival in relation to prairie dog and fire dynamics in shortgrass steppe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Augustine, David J.; Skagen, Susan K.

    2014-01-01

    Disturbed xeric grasslands with short, sparse vegetation provide breeding habitat for mountain plovers (Charadrius montanus) across the western Great Plains. Maintaining local disturbance regimes through prairie dog conservation and prescribed fire may contribute to the sustainability of recently declining mountain plover populations, but these management approaches can be controversial. We estimated habitat-specific mountain plover densities and nest survival rates on black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) colonies and burns in the shortgrass steppe of northeastern Colorado. Mountain plover densities were similar on prairie dog colonies (5.9 birds/km2; 95% CI = 4.7–7.4) and sites burned during the preceding dormant season (6.7 birds/km2; 95% CI = 4.6–9.6), whereas the 29-day nest survival rate was greater on prairie dog colonies (0.81 in 2011 and 0.39 in 2012) compared to the burned sites (0.64 in 2011 and 0.17 in 2012). Reduced nest survival in 2012 compared to 2011 was associated with higher maximum daily temperatures in 2012, consistent with a previous weather-based model of mountain plover nest survival in the southern Great Plains. Measurements of mountain plover density relative to time since disturbance showed that removal of prairie dog disturbance by sylvatic plague reduced mountain plover density by 70% relative to active prairie dog colonies after 1 year. Plover densities declined at a similar rate (by 78%) at burned sites between the first and second post-burn growing season. Results indicate that black-tailed prairie dog colonies are a particularly important nesting habitat for mountain plovers in the southern Great Plains. In addition, findings suggest that prescribed burning can be a valuable means to create nesting habitat in landscapes where other types of disturbances (such as prairie dog colonies) are limited in distribution and size. 

  13. Influence of richness and seeding density on invasion resistance in experimental tallgrass prairie restorations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nemec, Kristine T.; Allen, Craig R.; Helzer, Christopher J.; Wedin, David A.

    2013-01-01

    In recent years, agricultural producers and non-governmental organizations and agencies have restored thousands of hectares of cropland to grassland in the Great Plains of the United States. However, little is known about the relationships between richness and seeding density in these restorations and resistance to invasive plant species. We assessed the effects of richness and seeding density on resistance to invasive and other unseeded plant species in experimental tallgrass prairie plots in central Nebraska. In 2006, twenty-four 55 m × 55 m plots were planted with six replicates in each of four treatments: high richness (97 species typically planted by The Nature Conservancy), at low and high seeding densities, and low richness (15 species representing a typical Conservation Reserve Program mix, CP25), at low and high seeding densities. There was a significant negative relationship between richness and basal cover of unseeded perennial forbs/legumes and unseeded perennial/annual grasses, abundance of bull thistle (Cirsium vulgare), and the number of inflorescences removed from smooth brome (Bromus inermis) transplants. Invasion resistance may have been higher in the high richness treatments because of the characteristics of the dominant species in these plots or because of greater interspecific competition for limiting resources among forbs/legumes with neighboring plants belonging to the same functional group. Seeding density was not important in affecting invasion resistance, except in the cover of unseeded grasses. Increasing seed mix richness may be more effective than increasing the seeding density for decreasing invasion by unseeded perennial species, bull thistle, and smooth brome.

  14. Wildlife habitat management on the northern prairie landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Douglas H.; Haseltine, Susan D.; Cowardin, Lewis M.

    1994-01-01

    The northern prairie landscape has changed dramatically within the past century as a result of settlement by Europeans. Natural ecosystems have been disrupted and wildlife populations greatly altered. Natural resource agencies control only limited areas within the landscape, which they cannot manage independently of privately owned lands. Wildlife managers need first to set quantifiable objectives, based on the survival, reproduction, and distribution of wildlife. Second, they need to build public support and partnerships for meeting those objectives. Finally, they need to evaluate progress not only with respect to attitudes of the public and partners but, more importantly, of the wildlife response. This paper describes some useful tools for managing information at all phases of this process. We follow by discussing management options at a landscape level. Examples are given that involve agency lands as well as private lands, managed for biological resources and diversity as well as economic sustainability.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Clare Duncan

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Classification of Prairie basins by their hysteretic connected functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shook, K.; Pomeroy, J. W.

    2017-12-01

    Diagnosing climate change impacts in the post-glacial landscapes of the North American Prairies through hydrological modelling is made difficult by drainage basin physiography. The region is cold, dry and flat with poorly developed stream networks, and so the basin area that is hydrologically connected to the stream outlet varies with basin depressional storage. The connected area controls the contributing area for runoff reaching the stream outlet. As depressional storage fills, ponds spill from one to another; the chain of spilling ponds allows water to flow over the landscape and increases the connected area of the basin. As depressional storage decreases, the connected fraction drops dramatically. Detailed, fine-scale models and remote sensing have shown that the relationship between connected area and the depressional storage is hysteretic in Prairie basins and that the nature of hysteresis varies with basin physiography. This hysteresis needs to be represented in hydrological models to calculate contributing area, and therefore streamflow hydrographs. Parameterisations of the hysteresis are needed for large-scale models used for climate change diagnosis. However, use of parameterisations of hysteresis requires guidance on how to represent them for a particular basin. This study shows that it is possible to relate the shape of hysteretic functions as determined by detailed models to the overall physiography of the basin, such as the fraction of the basin below the outlet, and remote sensing estimates of depressional storage, using the size distribution and location of maximum ponded water areas. By classifying basin physiography, the hysteresis of connected area - storage relationships can be estimated for basins that do not have high-resolution topographic data, and without computationally-expensive high-resolution modelling.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Impact of Continuous Cropping on the Diurnal Range of Dew Point Temperature during the Foliar Expansion Period of Annual Crops on the Canadian Prairies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bharat M. Shrestha

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available It is important to increase our knowledge of the role of land use in changing the regional climate. This study asked, “Has the increase in continuous cropping over the past 50 years on the Canadian Prairies influenced the daily mean and range of morning dew point temperatures (Td during the foliar expansion period (from mid-June to mid-July of annual field crops?” We found that there has been a general increase in the decadal average of mean daily Td and in the range of morning Td from the 1960s to the 2000s. The increase in the observed range of Td between the daily minimum value, which typically occurs near sunrise, and the late morning peak was found to be related to the increase in annual crop acreage and consequent decrease in summerfallow area. The relationship was more significant in the subhumid climatic zone than in the semiarid climatic zone, and it was influenced by whether the region was experiencing either wet, normal, or dry conditions.

  2. Relatedness of Macrophomina phaseolina isolates from tallgrass prairie, maize, soybean and sorghum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saleh, A A; Ahmed, H U; Todd, T C; Travers, S E; Zeller, K A; Leslie, J F; Garrett, K A

    2010-01-01

    Agricultural and wild ecosystems may interact through shared pathogens such as Macrophomina phaseolina, a generalist clonal fungus with more than 284 plant hosts that is likely to become more important under climate change scenarios of increased heat and drought stress. To evaluate the degree of subdivision in populations of M. phaseolina in Kansas agriculture and wildlands, we compared 143 isolates from maize fields adjacent to tallgrass prairie, nearby sorghum fields, widely dispersed soybean fields and isolates from eight plant species in tallgrass prairie. Isolate growth phenotypes were evaluated on a medium containing chlorate. Genetic characteristics were analysed based on amplified fragment length polymorphisms and the sequence of the rDNA-internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region. The average genetic similarity was 58% among isolates in the tallgrass prairie, 71% in the maize fields, 75% in the sorghum fields and 80% in the dispersed soybean fields. The isolates were divided into four clusters: one containing most of the isolates from maize and soybean, two others containing isolates from wild plants and sorghum, and a fourth containing a single isolate recovered from Solidago canadensis in the tallgrass prairie. Most of the sorghum isolates had the dense phenotype on media containing chlorate, while those from other hosts had either feathery or restricted phenotypes. These results suggest that the tallgrass prairie supports a more diverse population of M. phaseolina per area than do any of the crop species. Subpopulations show incomplete specialization by host. These results also suggest that inoculum produced in agriculture may influence tallgrass prairie communities, and conversely that different pathogen subpopulations in tallgrass prairie can interact there to generate 'hybrids' with novel genetic profiles and pathogenic capabilities.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-04-01

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

  4. Soil modification by invasive plants: Effects on native and invasive species of mixed-grass prairies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jordan, N.R.; Larson, D.L.; Huerd, S.C.

    2008-01-01

    Invasive plants are capable of modifying attributes of soil to facilitate further invasion by conspecifics and other invasive species. We assessed this capability in three important plant invaders of grasslands in the Great Plains region of North America: leafy spurge (Euphorbia esula), smooth brome (Bromus inermis) and crested wheatgrass (Agropyron cristatum). In a glasshouse, these three invasives or a group of native species were grown separately through three cycles of growth and soil conditioning in both steam-pasteurized and non-pasteurized soils, after which we assessed seedling growth in these soils. Two of the three invasive species, Bromus and Agropyron, exhibited significant self-facilitation via soil modification. Bromus and Agropyron also had significant facilitative effects on other invasives via soil modification, while Euphorbia had significant antagonistic effects on the other invasives. Both Agropyron and Euphorbia consistently suppressed growth of two of three native forbs, while three native grasses were generally less affected. Almost all intra- and interspecific effects of invasive soil conditioning were dependent upon presence of soil biota from field sites where these species were successful invaders. Overall, these results suggest that that invasive modification of soil microbiota can facilitate plant invasion directly or via 'cross-facilitation' of other invasive species, and moreover has potential to impede restoration of native communities after removal of an invasive species. However, certain native species that are relatively insensitive to altered soil biota (as we observed in the case of the forb Linum lewisii and the native grasses), may be valuable as 'nurse'species in restoration efforts. ?? 2007 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

  5. Soil Aggregate Stability and Grassland Productivity Associations in a Northern Mixed-Grass Prairie.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kurt O Reinhart

    Full Text Available Soil aggregate stability data are often predicted to be positively associated with measures of plant productivity, rangeland health, and ecosystem functioning. Here we revisit the hypothesis that soil aggregate stability is positively associated with plant productivity. We measured local (plot-to-plot variation in grassland community composition, plant (aboveground biomass, root biomass, % water-stable soil aggregates, and topography. After accounting for spatial autocorrelation, we observed a negative association between % water-stable soil aggregates (0.25-1 and 1-2 mm size classes of macroaggregates and dominant graminoid biomass, and negative associations between the % water-stable aggregates and the root biomass of a dominant sedge (Carex filifolia. However, variation in total root biomass (0-10 or 0-30 cm depths was either negatively or not appreciably associated with soil aggregate stabilities. Overall, regression slope coefficients were consistently negative thereby indicating the general absence of a positive association between measures of plant productivity and soil aggregate stability for the study area. The predicted positive association between factors was likely confounded by variation in plant species composition. Specifically, sampling spanned a local gradient in plant community composition which was likely driven by niche partitioning along a subtle gradient in elevation. Our results suggest an apparent trade-off between some measures of plant biomass production and soil aggregate stability, both known to affect the land's capacity to resist erosion. These findings further highlight the uncertainty of plant biomass-soil stability associations.

  6. Contrasting nest survival patterns for ducks and songbirds in northern mixed-grass prairie

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grant, Todd; Shaffer, Terry L.; Madden, Elizabeth M.; Nenneman, Melvin P.

    2017-01-01

    Management actions intended to protect or improve habitat for ducks may benefit grassland-nesting passerines, but scant information is available to explore this assumption. During 1998–2003, we examined nest survival of ducks and songbirds to determine whether effects of prescribed fire and other habitat features (e.g., shrub cover and distance to habitat edges) were similar for ducks and passerines breeding in North Dakota. We used the logistic-exposure method to estimate survival of duck and songbird nests (n = 3,171). We used an information-theoretic approach to identify factors that most influenced nest survival. Patterns of nest survival were markedly different between taxonomic groups. For ducks, nest survival was greater during the first postfire nesting season (daily survival rate [DSR] = 0.957, 85% CI = 0.951–0.963), relative to later postfire nesting seasons (DSR = 0.946, 85% CI = 0.942–0.950). Furthermore duck nest survival and nest densities were inversely related. Duck nest survival also was greater as shrub cover decreased and as distance from cropland and wetland edges increased. Passerines had lower nest survival during the first postfire nesting season (DSR = 0.934, 85% CI = 0.924–0.944), when densities also were low compared to subsequent postfire nesting seasons (DSR = 0.947, 85% CI = 0.944–0.950). Parasitism by brown-headed cowbirds (Molothrus ater) reduced passerine nest survival and this effect was more pronounced during the first postfire nesting season compared to subsequent nesting seasons. Passerine nest survival was greater as shrub cover decreased and perhaps for more concealed nests. Duck and songbird nest survival rates were not correlated during this study and for associated studies that examined additional variables using the same dataset, suggesting that different mechanisms influenced their survival. Based on our results, ducks should not be considered direct surrogates for passerines when predicting effects of prescribed fire, shrub cover, and habitat edges on nest survival.

  7. Preserving prairies: Understanding temporal and spatial patterns of invasive annual bromes in the Northern Great Plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashton, Isabel; Symstad, Amy J.; Davis, Christopher; Swanson, Daniel J.

    2016-01-01

    Two Eurasian invasive annual brome grasses, cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) and Japanese brome (Bromus japonicus), are well known for their impact in steppe ecosystems of the western United States where these grasses have altered fire regimes, reduced native plant diversity and abundance, and degraded wildlife habitat. Annual bromes are also abundant in the grasslands of the Northern Great Plains (NGP), but their impact and ecology are not as well studied. It is unclear whether the lessons learned from the steppe will translate to the mixed-grass prairie where native plant species are adapted to frequent fires and grazing. Developing a successful annual brome management strategy for National Park Service units and other NGP grasslands requires better understanding of (1) the impact of annual bromes on grassland condition; (2) the dynamics of these species through space and time; and (3) the relative importance of environmental factors within and outside managers' control for these spatiotemporal dynamics. Here, we use vegetation monitoring data collected from 1998 to 2015 in 295 sites to relate spatiotemporal variability of annual brome grasses to grassland composition, weather, physical environmental characteristics, and ecological processes (grazing and fire). Concern about the impact of these species in NGP grasslands is warranted, as we found a decline in native species richness with increasing annual brome cover. Annual brome cover generally increased over the time of monitoring but also displayed a 3- to 5-yr cycle of reduction and resurgence. Relative cover of annual bromes in the monitored areas was best predicted by park unit, weather, extant plant community, slope grade, soil composition, and fire history. We found no evidence that grazing reduced annual brome cover, but this may be due to the relatively low grazing pressure in our study. By understanding the consequences and patterns of annual brome invasion, we will be better able to preserve and restore

  8. Direct and indirect effects of climate change on a prairie plant community.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter B Adler

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Climate change directly affects species by altering their physical environment and indirectly affects species by altering interspecific interactions such as predation and competition. Recent studies have shown that the indirect effects of climate change may amplify or counteract the direct effects. However, little is known about the the relative strength of direct and indirect effects or their potential to impact population persistence.We studied the effects of altered precipitation and interspecific interactions on the low-density tiller growth rates and biomass production of three perennial grass species in a Kansas, USA mixed prairie. We transplanted plugs of each species into local neighborhoods of heterospecific competitors and then exposed the plugs to a factorial manipulation of growing season precipitation and neighbor removal. Precipitation treatments had significant direct effects on two of the three species. Interspecific competition also had strong effects, reducing low-density tiller growth rates and aboveground biomass production for all three species. In fact, in the presence of competitors, (log tiller growth rates were close to or below zero for all three species. However, we found no convincing evidence that per capita competitive effects changed with precipitation, as shown by a lack of significant precipitation x competition interactions.We found little evidence that altered precipitation will influence per capita competitive effects. However, based on species' very low growth rates in the presence of competitors in some precipitation treatments, interspecific interactions appear strong enough to affect the balance between population persistence and local extinction. Therefore, ecological forecasting models should include the effect of interspecific interactions on population growth, even if such interaction coefficients are treated as constants.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. The development and adoption of conservation tillage systems on the Canadian Prairies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. Awada

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available One of the major agricultural innovations on the Canadian Prairies over the last 40 years has been the introduction of conservation tillage (CT. Conservation tillage-a system that includes minimum and zero tillage (ZT -was introduced as an alternative to traditional (conventional tillage (TT to control soil degradation and to promote agricultural sustainability. The development and adoption of CT systems involved pioneer farmers, engineers, scientists, and farmer associations. By the end of the 1970s, CT started to take shape on the Prairies, but for a number of economic, technical, political and social reasons, the adoption of CT did not occur on any major scale before the 1990s. Today, more than 75% of the Prairie's cropland is under some form of CT with more than 50% under ZT. In this paper, the factors behind the development and adoption of conservation tillage technology on the Prairies in the period between 1930 and 2011 are reviewed. Then, some of the benefits of the adoption of CT on the Prairies are highlighted. The data show that CT and ZT became profitable for the majority of farmers during and after the 1990s, and that the increased use of CT contributed to the dramatic decrease in the area under summerfallow and to the increase in the area sown to canola and pulse crops. These changes contributed to the reduction of all forms of land degradation and to decreases in agricultural greenhouse gas (GHG emissions.

  12. Factors that affect parasitism of black-tailed prairie dogs by fleas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eads, David A.; Hoogland, John L.

    2016-01-01

    Fleas (Insecta: Siphonaptera) are hematophagous ectoparasites that feed on vertebrate hosts. Fleas can reduce the fitness of hosts by interfering with immune responses, disrupting adaptive behaviors, and transmitting pathogens. The negative effects of fleas on hosts are usually most pronounced when fleas attain high densities. In lab studies, fleas desiccate and die under dry conditions, suggesting that populations of fleas will tend to decline when precipitation is scarce under natural conditions. To test this hypothesis, we compared precipitation vs. parasitism of black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) by fleas at a single colony during May and June of 13 consecutive years (1976–1988) at Wind Cave National Park, South Dakota, USA. The number of fleas on prairie dogs decreased with increasing precipitation during both the prior growing season (April through August of the prior year) and the just-completed winter–spring (January through April of current year). Due to the reduction in available moisture and palatable forage in dry years, herbivorous prairie dogs might have been food-limited, with weakened behavioral and immunological defenses against fleas. In support of this hypothesis, adult prairie dogs of low mass harbored more fleas than heavier adults. Our results have implications for the spread of plague, an introduced bacterial disease, transmitted by fleas, that devastates prairie dog colonies and, in doing so, can transform grassland ecosystems.

  13. A proposal to conserve black-footed ferrets and the prairie dog ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Brian; Wemmer, Christen; Biggins, Dean; Reading, Richard

    1990-11-01

    Prairie dogs ( Cynomys spp.) have been poisoned throughout this century because of grazing competition with livestock. Recent evidence showed these early claims were exaggerated, but animal control was already entrenched in government policy. As a result, ongoing government subsidized poisoning has reduced prairie dogs to about 2% of their former distribution. The reduction of prairie dogs diminished species diversity in the arid grasslands of North America, including the potential extinction of the black-footed ferret ( Mustela nigripes). Cost-benefit analysis revealed that poisoning costs more than any grazing benefits accrued. This analysis did not consider the long-term costs of reversing ecosystem degradation, the intangible value of biological diversity as a public benefit, or the depletion of biotic resources as a loss of actual or potential wealth. The government presently finances the poisoning policy and the preservation of endangered species like the black-footed ferret, two apparently conflicting programs. We, therefore, propose an integrated management plan that considers both interests. We propose that federal monies allocated to the poisoning program be converted into a rebate for ranchers who manage livestock while preserving the prairie dog community. This would redirect funds and personnel already allocated to prairie dog eradication to an incentive for ranchers who manage for livestock and wildlife. Livestock interests and grassland biotic diversity would both benefit.

  14. Effects of sexual dimorphism and landscape composition on the trophic behavior of Greater Prairie-Chicken.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Beatriz Blanco-Fontao

    Full Text Available Partitioning of ecological niche is expected in lekking species that show marked sexual size dimorphism as a consequence of sex-specific ecological constraints. However, niche partitioning is uncertain in species with moderate sexual dimorphism. In addition, the ecological niche of a species may also be affected by landscape composition; particularly, agricultural fragmentation may greatly influence the trophic behavior of herbivores. We studied trophic niche variation in Greater Prairie-Chickens (Tympanuchus cupido, a grouse species that shows moderate sex-dimorphism. Greater Prairie-Chickens are native to tallgrass prairies of North America, although populations persist in less natural mosaics of cropland and native habitats. We used stable isotope analysis of carbon and nitrogen in blood, claws and feathers to assess seasonal differences in trophic niche breadth and individual specialization between male and female Greater Prairie-Chickens, and between birds living in continuous and fragmented landscapes. We found that females showed broader niches and higher individual specialization than males, especially in winter and autumn. However, differences between females and males were smaller in spring when birds converge at leks, suggesting that females and males may exhibit similar feeding behaviors during the lekking period. In addition, we found that birds living in native prairies showed greater annual trophic variability than conspecifics in agricultural mosaic landscapes. Native habitats may provide greater dietary diversity, resulting in greater diversity of feeding strategies.

  15. Trichostatin A (TSA) facilitates formation of partner preference in male prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duclot, F; Wang, H; Youssef, C; Liu, Y; Wang, Z; Kabbaj, M

    2016-05-01

    In the socially monogamous prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster), the development of a social bonding is indicated by the formation of partner preference, which involves a variety of environmental and neurochemical factors and brain structures. In a most recent study in female prairie voles, we found that treatment with the histone deacetylase inhibitor trichostatin A (TSA) facilitates the formation of partner preference through up-regulation of oxytocin receptor (OTR) and vasopressin V1a receptor (V1aR) genes expression in the nucleus accumbens (NAcc). In the present study, we tested the hypothesis that TSA treatment also facilitates partner preference formation and alters OTR and V1aR genes expression in the NAcc in male prairie voles. We thus observed that central injection of TSA dose-dependently promoted the formation of partner preference in the absence of mating in male prairie voles. Interestingly, TSA treatment up-regulated OTR, but not V1aR, gene expression in the NAcc similarly as they were affected by mating - an essential process for naturally occurring partner preference. These data, together with others, not only indicate the involvement of epigenetic events but also the potential role of NAcc oxytocin in the regulation of partner preference in both male and female prairie voles. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Assessment of lesser prairie-chicken use of wildlife water guzzlers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boal, Clint W.; Borsdorf, Philip K.; Gicklhorn, Trevor S.

    2014-01-01

    Man-made water sources have been used as a management tool for wildlife, especially in arid regions, but the value of these water sources for wildlife populations is not well understood. In particular, the value of water as a conservation tool for Lesser Prairie-Chickens (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) is unknown. However, this is a relevant issue due to a heightened conservation concern for the species and its occupancy of an arid landscape anticipated to experience warmer, drier springs and winters. We assessed if Lesser Prairie-Chickens would use commercially available wildlife water guzzlers and if there was any apparent selection between two design types. We confirmed that Lesser Prairie-Chickens would use bird friendly designed wildlife water guzzlers. Use was primarily during the lekking-nesting period (March–May) and the brood rearing period (June–July) and primarily by males. Although both designs were used, we found significantly greater use of a design that had a wider water trough and ramp built into the tank cover compared to a design that had a longer, narrower trough extending from the tank.Although we were unable to assess the physiological need of surface water by Lesser Prairie-Chickens, we were able to verify that they will use wildlife water guzzlers to access surface water. If it is found surface water is beneficial for Lesser Prairie-Chickens, game bird friendly designed guzzlers may be a useful conservation tool for the species.

  17. Phenotypic and genetic characterization of wildland collections of western and Searls prairie clovers for rangeland revegetation in the western USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kishor Bhattarai

    2010-01-01

    Western prairie clover [Dalea ornata (Douglas ex Hook.) Eaton & J. Wright] is a perennial legume that occurs in the northern Great Basin, Snake River Basin, and southern Columbia Plateau, whereas Searls prairie clover [Dalea searlsiae (A. Gray) Barneby], also a perennial legume, occurs in the southern Great Basin and surrounding areas. Understanding the genetic and...

  18. Students' Perceptions of a Highly Controversial yet Keystone Species, the Black-Tailed Prairie Dog: A Case Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fox-Parrish, Lynne; Jurin, Richard R.

    2008-01-01

    The authors used a case-study methodology to explore the perceptions of 30 9th-grade biology students relative to black-tailed prairie dogs. The case study, which involved classroom- and field-based experiences that focused on black-tailed prairie dogs, revealed 3 major themes: apathy, egocentrism, and naive conceptions. The authors had hoped that…

  19. Macroinvertebrates in North American tallgrass prairie soils: effects of fire, mowing, and fertilization on density and biomass

    Science.gov (United States)

    M.A. Callaham; J.M. Blair; T.C. Todd; D.J. Kitchen; M.R. Whiles

    2003-01-01

    The responses of tallgrass prairie plant communities and ecosystem processes to fire and grazing are well characterized. However, responses of invertebrate consumer groups. and particularly soil-dwelling organisms, to these disturbances are not well known. At Konza Prairie Biological Station. we sampled soil macroinvertebrates in 1994 and 1999 as part of a long-term...

  20. 75 FR 70021 - South Dakota Prairie Winds Project; Partial Term Relinquishment and Release of Easement for Wind...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-11-16

    ... requested financing for the project from the RUS. PW SD1 has also submitted an application to the Service to...] South Dakota Prairie Winds Project; Partial Term Relinquishment and Release of Easement for Wind Energy... impact statement (FEIS) on the South Dakota Prairie Winds Project issued by the Department of Energy's...

  1. Social recognition is context dependent in single male prairie voles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Da-Jiang; Foley, Lauren; Rehman, Asad; Ophir, Alexander G.

    2013-01-01

    Single males might benefit from knowing the identity of neighbouring males when establishing and defending boundaries. Similarly, males should discriminate between individual females if this leads to more reproductive opportunities. Contextual social cues may alter the value of learning identity. Knowing the identity of competitors that intrude into an animal’s territory may be more salient than knowing the identity of individuals on whose territory an animal is trespassing. Hence, social and environmental context could affect social recognition in many ways. Here we test social recognition of socially monogamous single male prairie voles, Microtus ochrogaster. In experiment 1 we tested recognition of male or female conspecifics and found that males discriminated between different males but not between different females. In experiment 2 we asked whether recognition of males is influenced when males are tested in their own cage (familiar), in a clean cage (neutral) or in the home cage of another male (unfamiliar). Although focal males discriminated between male conspecifics in all three contexts, individual variation in recognition was lower when males were tested in their home cage (in the presence of familiar social cues) compared to when the context lacked social cues (neutral). Experiment 1 indicates that selective pressures may have operated to enhance male territorial behaviour and indiscriminate mate selection. Experiment 2 suggests that the presence of a conspecific cue heightens social recognition and that home-field advantages might extend to social cognition. Taken together, our results indicate social recognition depends on the social and possibly territorial context. PMID:24273328

  2. Climate impacts on the hydrology of prairie wetlands

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Woo, Mingko; Rowsell, R.D.

    1991-01-01

    A study was carried out in the St. Denis National Wildlife Area, 45 km east of Saskatoon, to observe the hydrological processes and the temporal and spatial variability of slough responses to climate. One slough was instrumented for detailed study, showing that the high water level in spring was supported by snowmelt. In summer, rainfall was the major source of water supply, but was exceeded by losses to evaporation and groundwater recharge, leading to a decline of the water table and complete drying by June 13th. The duration that water remains in sloughs varies temporally and spatially. Ephemeral sloughs, deriving water mainly from snowmelt, tend to occupy higher ground, temporary sloughs rely on precipitation and surface runoff, and may receive groundwater discharge during wetter years. Permanent sloughs often occupy lower areas, receiving water from precipitation, lateral runoff, and groundwater discharge which buffers them from year to year fluctuations in precipitation. Tree ring analyses showed that meltwater is the major factor influencing tree growth, correlating the spatial variability of slough inundation to the temporal variability of winter snowfall. A study of slough hydrology is important to the understanding of the responses of Prairie wetlands to climatic variability and change. 17 refs., 2 figs

  3. Managing Water-Food-Energy Futures in the Canadian Prairies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wheater, H. S.; Hassanzadeh, E.; Nazemi, A.; Elshorbagy, A. A.

    2016-12-01

    The water-food-energy nexus is a convenient phrase to highlight competing societal uses for water and the need for cross-sectoral policy integration, but this can lead to oversimplification of the multiple dimensions of water (and energy) management. In practice, water managers must balance (and prioritize) demands for water for many uses, including environmental flows, and reservoir operation often involves managing conflicting demands, for example to maximize retention for supply, reduce storage to facilitate flood control, and constrain water levels and releases for habitat protection. Agriculture and water quality are also inextricably linked: irrigated agriculture requires appropriate water quality for product quality and certification, but agriculture can be a major source of nutrient pollution, with impacts on human and ecosystem health, drinking water treatment and amenity. And energy-water interactions include energy production (hydropower and cooling water for thermal power generation) and energy consumption (e.g. for pumping and water and wastewater treatment). These dependencies are illustrated for the Canadian prairies, and a risk-based approach to the management of climate change is presented. Trade-offs between economic benefits of hydropower and irrigation are illustrated for alternative climate futures, including implications for freshwater habitats. The results illustrate that inter-sector interactions vary as a function of climate and its variability, and that there is a need for policy to manage inter-sector allocations as a function of economic risk.

  4. Assessing diversity of prairie plants using remote sensing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gamon, J. A.; Wang, R.

    2017-12-01

    Biodiversity loss endangers ecosystem services and is considered as a global change that may generate unacceptable environmental consequences for the Earth system. Global biodiversity observations are needed to provide a better understanding of biodiversity - ecosystem services relationships and to provide a stronger foundation for conserving the Earth's biodiversity. While remote sensing metrics have been applied to estimate α biodiversity directly through optical diversity, a better understanding of the mechanisms behind the optical diversity-biodiversity relationship is needed. We designed a series of experiments at Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve, MN, to investigate the scale dependence of optical diversity and explore how species richness, evenness, and composition affect optical diversity. We collected hyperspectral reflectance of 16 prairie species using both a full-range field spectrometer fitted with a leaf clip, and an imaging spectrometer carried by a tram system to simulate plot-level images with different species richness, evenness, and composition. Two indicators of spectral diversity were explored: the coefficient of variation (CV) of spectral reflectance in space, and spectral classification using a Partial Least Squares Discriminant Analysis (PLS-DA). Our results showed that sampling methods (leaf clip-derived data vs. image-derived data) affected the optical diversity estimation. Both optical diversity indices were affected by species richness and evenness (Pguide regional studies of biodiversity estimation using high spatial and spectral resolution remote sensing.

  5. Homicide in the Canadian Prairies: elderly and nonelderly killings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmed, A G; Menzies, Robin P D

    2002-11-01

    To examine the psychosocial and clinical characteristics of male perpetrators of elderly and nonelderly homicides in the Canadian Prairies. We examined data drawn from a study of 901 adult homicide offenders who were incarcerated or on parole between 1988 and 1992 in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. Of those studied, 67 men were convicted of homicide involving 79 elderly victims, and 671 were convicted of homicide involving 675 nonelderly victims. Most perpetrators were single and engaged in irregular patterns of employment at the time of their index offence. Fourteen (20.8%) offenders with elderly victims had a history of psychiatric treatment, compared with 98 (14.6%) offenders with nonelderly victims; however, this difference was not statistically significant. Approximately 30% of both groups were diagnosed with personality disorders. A comparison of the index- offence characteristics showed no significant differences between the 2 groups. Our findings suggest that elderly individuals are more likely to be killed in their own homes by strangers. Social isolation appears to be a significant risk factor in cases of elderly homicide.

  6. 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.

  7. Functional group, biomass, and climate change effects on ecological drought in semiarid grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Scott D.; Schlaepfer, Daniel R.; Bradford, John B.; Lauenroth, William K.; Duniway, Michael C.; Hall, Sonia A.; Jamiyansharav, Khishigbayar; Jia, Gensuo; Lkhagva, Ariuntsetseg; Munson, Seth M.; Pyke, David A.; Tietjen, Britta

    2018-01-01

    Water relations in plant communities are influenced both by contrasting functional groups (grasses, shrubs) and by climate change via complex effects on interception, uptake and transpiration. We modelled the effects of functional group replacement and biomass increase, both of which can be outcomes of invasion and vegetation management, and climate change on ecological drought (soil water potential below which photosynthesis stops) in 340 semiarid grassland sites over 30‐year periods. Relative to control vegetation (climate and site‐determined mixes of functional groups), the frequency and duration of drought were increased by shrubs and decreased by annual grasses. The rankings of shrubs, control vegetation, and annual grasses in terms of drought effects were generally consistent in current and future climates, suggesting that current differences among functional groups on drought effects predict future differences. Climate change accompanied by experimentally‐increased biomass (i.e. the effects of invasions that increase community biomass, or management that increases productivity through fertilization or respite from grazing) increased drought frequency and duration, and advanced drought onset. Our results suggest that the replacement of perennial temperate semiarid grasslands by shrubs, or increased biomass, can increase ecological drought both in current and future climates.

  8. Sediment budgets and source determinations using fallout Cesium-137 in a semiarid rangeland watershed, Arizona, USA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ritchie, Jerry C.; Nearing, Mark A.; Rhoton, Fred E.

    2009-01-01

    Analysis of soil redistribution and sediment sources in semiarid and arid watersheds provides information for implementing management practices to improve rangeland conditions and reduce sediment loads to streams. The purpose of this research was to develop sediment budgets and identify potential sediment sources using 137 Cs and other soil properties in a series of small semiarid subwatersheds on the USDA ARS Walnut Gulch Experimental Watershed near Tombstone, Arizona, USA. Soils were sampled in a grid pattern on two small subwatersheds and along transects associated with soils and geomorphology on six larger subwatersheds. Soil samples were analyzed for 137 Cs and selected physical and chemical properties (i.e., bulk density, rocks, particle size, soil organic carbon). Suspended sediment samples collected at measuring flume sites on the Walnut Gulch Experimental Watershed were also analyzed for these properties. Soil redistribution measured using 137 Cs inventories for a small shrub-dominated subwatershed and a small grass-dominated subwatershed found eroding areas in these subwatersheds were losing -5.6 and -3.2 t ha -1 yr -1 , respectively; however, a sediment budget for each of these subwatersheds, including depositional areas, found net soil loss to be -4.3 t ha -1 yr -1 from the shrub-dominated subwatershed and -0.1 t ha -1 yr -1 from the grass-dominated subwatershed. Generally, the suspended sediment collected at the flumes of the six other subwatersheds was enriched in silt and clay. Using a mixing model to determine sediment source indicated that shrub-dominated subwatersheds were contributing most of the suspended sediment that was measured at the outlet flume of the Walnut Gulch Experimental Watershed. The two methodologies (sediment budgets and sediment source analyses) indicate that shrub-dominated systems provide more suspended sediment to the stream systems. The sediment budget studies also suggest that sediment yields measured at the outlet of a

  9. 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.

  10. Proceedings of the symposium on the management of prairie dog complexes for the reintroduction of the black-footed ferret

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oldemeyer, John L.; Biggins, Dean E.; Miller, Brian J.; Crete, Ronald

    1993-01-01

    The workshop featured a review of current knowledge in the biology of prairie dogs in the context of managing black-footed ferret habitat. The review addressed two main components. The first consisted of a series of papers on prairie dog habitat and biology. The second component of the workshop was a summary of the participants' discussion about managing prairie dog complexes. This discussion was based on the previously identified papers and profited from the participants' expertise on the ecology of black-footed ferrets and prairie dogs. The report provides current and comprehensive information about management of habitat for prairie dogs and black-footed ferrets and is a useful guide for agencies and individuals that manage black-footed ferrets.

  11. Spatial variation in the structure and composition of the herbaceous community in a semiarid region of northeastern Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    KA. Silva

    Full Text Available In the arid and semiarid environments of the world, microhabitats serve as models for the structure of vegetation communities. The goal of this study was to identify differences in the structures of the herbaceous communities growing on a crystalline substrate and those growing on a sedimentary substrate in a semiarid region of northeastern Brazil. One hundred 1 × 1 m plots were established in each area for quantitative sampling, with 69 species recorded in the crystalline area and 76 in the sedimentary area. The average plant density was higher in the sedimentary area, and average diameters and heights were greater in the crystalline area. The families and species with a high Importance Value Index (IVI and a high Mixed Ecological Value Index (MEVI differed between the areas. Of the species with high densities, only four were found in both areas. Shannon-Weiner diversity index values in the crystalline (2.96 nats/ind.-1 and sedimentary (2.89 nats/ind.-1 areas were similar. Evenness values on both substrates were also similar (0.72 and 0.71 in the crystalline and sedimentary areas, respectively. This study shows that variations in plant establishment conditions between crystalline and sedimentary areas in a semiarid region of northeastern Brazil should be considered as structure-modeling factors for the herbaceous community.

  12. Conservation Reserve Program mitigates grassland loss in the lesser prairie-chicken range of Kansas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haukos, David A.; Spencer, David; Hagen, Christian A.; Daniels, Melinda D.; Goodin, Doug

    2017-01-01

    Since the beginning of the 20th century, the overall occupied range of the lesser prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) has declined by 84% commensurate with population trends. Much of this decline has been attributed to the loss and fragmentation of native grasslands throughout the lesser prairie-chicken range. However, quantification of changes in land cover in the distribution of the lesser prairie-chicken is lacking. Our objectives were to (1) document changes in the areal extent and connectivity of grasslands in the identified lesser prairie-chicken range in Kansas, USA, (>60% of extant lesser prairie-chicken population) from the 1950s to 2013 using remotely sensed data and (2) assess the potential of the Conservation Reserve Program (U.S. Department of Agriculture Program converting cropland to permanent cover; CRP) to mitigate grassland loss. Digital land cover maps were generated on a decadal time step through spectral classification of LANDSAT images and visual analysis of aerial photographs (1950s and 1960s). Landscape composition and configuration were assessed using FRAGSTATS to compute a variety of landscape metrics measuring changes in the amount of grassland present as well as changes in the size and configuration of grassland patches. With the exception of a single regional portion of the range, nearly all of the grassland converted to cropland in the lesser prairie-chicken range of Kansas occurred prior to the 1950s. Prior to the implementation of CRP, the amount of grassland decreased 3.6% between the 1950s and 1985 from 18,455 km2 to 17,788 km2. Since 1985, the overall amount of grassland in the lesser prairie-chicken range has increased 11.9% to 19,898 km2 due to implementation of CRP, although the area of grassland decreased between 1994 and 2013 as CRP contracts were not renewed by landowners. Since 1986 grassland in Kansas became more connected and less fragmented in response to the CRP. While the CRP has been successful in

  13. Conservation Reserve Program mitigates grassland loss in the lesser prairie-chicken range of Kansas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Spencer

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Since the beginning of the 20th century, the overall occupied range of the lesser prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus has declined by 84% commensurate with population trends. Much of this decline has been attributed to the loss and fragmentation of native grasslands throughout the lesser prairie-chicken range. However, quantification of changes in land cover in the distribution of the lesser prairie-chicken is lacking. Our objectives were to (1 document changes in the areal extent and connectivity of grasslands in the identified lesser prairie-chicken range in Kansas, USA, (>60% of extant lesser prairie-chicken population from the 1950s to 2013 using remotely sensed data and (2 assess the potential of the Conservation Reserve Program (U.S. Department of Agriculture Program converting cropland to permanent cover; CRP to mitigate grassland loss. Digital land cover maps were generated on a decadal time step through spectral classification of LANDSAT images and visual analysis of aerial photographs (1950s and 1960s. Landscape composition and configuration were assessed using FRAGSTATS to compute a variety of landscape metrics measuring changes in the amount of grassland present as well as changes in the size and configuration of grassland patches. With the exception of a single regional portion of the range, nearly all of the grassland converted to cropland in the lesser prairie-chicken range of Kansas occurred prior to the 1950s. Prior to the implementation of CRP, the amount of grassland decreased 3.6% between the 1950s and 1985 from 18,455 km2 to 17,788 km2. Since 1985, the overall amount of grassland in the lesser prairie-chicken range has increased 11.9% to 19,898 km2 due to implementation of CRP, although the area of grassland decreased between 1994 and 2013 as CRP contracts were not renewed by landowners. Since 1986 grassland in Kansas became more connected and less fragmented in response to the CRP. While the CRP has been successful

  14. Social transfer of alcohol withdrawal-induced hyperalgesia in female prairie voles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walcott, Andre T; Smith, Monique L; Loftis, Jennifer M; Ryabinin, Andrey E

    2018-03-27

    The expression of pain serves as a way for animals to communicate potential dangers to nearby conspecifics. Recent research demonstrated that mice undergoing alcohol or morphine withdrawal, or inflammation, could socially communicate their hyperalgesia to nearby mice. However, it is unknown whether such social transfer of hyperalgesia can be observed in other species of rodents. Therefore, the present study investigated if the social transfer of hyperalgesia occurs in the highly social prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster). We observe that adult female prairie voles undergoing withdrawal from voluntary two-bottle choice alcohol drinking display an increase in nociception. This alcohol withdrawal-induced hypersensitiity is socially transferred to female siblings within the same cage and female strangers housed in separate cages within the same room. These experiments reveal that the social transfer of pain phenomenon is not specific to inbred mouse strains and that prairie voles display alcohol withdrawal and social transfer-induced hyperalgesia.

  15. The effect of listing the lesser prairie chicken as a threatened species on rural property values.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wietelman, Derek C; Melstrom, Richard T

    2017-04-15

    This paper estimates the effect of Endangered Species Act protections for the lesser prairie chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) on rural property values in Oklahoma. The political and legal controversy surrounding the listing of imperiled species raises questions about the development restrictions and opportunity costs the Endangered Species Act imposes on private landowners. Examining parcel-level sales data before and after the listing of the endemic lesser prairie chicken, we employ difference-in-differences (DD) regression to measure the welfare costs of these restrictions. While our basic DD regression provides evidence the listing was associated with a drop in property values, this finding does not hold up in models that control for latent county and year effects. The lack of a significant price effect is confirmed by several robustness checks. Thus, the local economic costs of listing the lesser prairie chicken under the Endangered Species Act appear to have been small. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Magnetic minerals in soils across the forest-prairie ecotone in NW Minnesota

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maxbauer, D.; Feinberg, J. M.; Fox, D. L.; Nater, E. A.

    2016-12-01

    Soil pedogenesis results in a complex assemblage of iron oxide minerals that can be disentangled successfully using sensitive magnetic techniques to better delineate specific soil processes. Here, we evaluate the variability in soil processes within forest, prairie, and transitional soils along an 11 km transect of anthropogenically unaltered soils that span the forest-to-prairie ecotone in NW Minnesota. All soils in this study developed on relatively uniform topography, similar glacial till parent material, under a uniform climate, and presumably over similar time intervals. The forest-to-prairie transition zone in this region is controlled by naturally occurring fires, affording the opportunity to evaluate differences in soil processes related to vegetation (forest versus prairie) and burning (prairie and transitional soils). Results suggest that the pedeogenic fraction of magnetite/maghemite in soils is similar in all specimens and is independent of soil type, vegetation, and any effects of burning. Magnetically enhanced horizons have 45% of remanence held by a low-coercivity pedogenic component (likely magnetite/maghemite) regardless of vegetation cover and soil type. Enhancement ratios for magnetic susceptibility and low-field remanences, often used as indicators of pedogenic magnetic minerals, are more variable but remain statistically equivalent across the transect. These results support the hypothesis that pedogenic magnetic minerals in soils mostly reflect ambient climatic conditions regardless of the variability in soil processes related to vegetation and soil type. The non-pedogenic magnetic mineral assemblage shows clear distinctions between the forest, prairie, and transitional soils in hysteresis properties (remanence and coercivity ratios; Mr/Ms and Bc/Bcr, respectively), suggesting that variable processes in these settings influence the local magnetic mineral assemblage, and that it may be possible to use magnetic minerals in paleosols to constrain

  17. Landscape composition creates a threshold influencing Lesser Prairie-Chicken population resilience to extreme drought

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ross, Beth E.; Haukos, David A.; Hagen, Christian A.; Pitman, James C.

    2016-01-01

    Habitat loss and degradation compound the effects of climate change on wildlife, yet responses to climate and land cover change are often quantified independently. The interaction between climate and land cover change could be intensified in the Great Plains region where grasslands are being converted to row-crop agriculture concurrent with increased frequency of extreme drought events. We quantified the combined effects of land cover and climate change on a species of conservation concern in the Great Plains, the Lesser Prairie-Chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus  ). We combined extreme drought events and land cover change with lek count surveys in a Bayesian hierarchical model to quantify changes in abundance of male Lesser Prairie-Chickens from 1978 to 2014 in Kansas, the core of their species range. Our estimates of abundance indicate a gradually decreasing population through 2010 corresponding to drought events and reduced grassland areas. Decreases in Lesser Prairie-Chicken abundance were greatest in areas with increasing row-crop to grassland land cover ratio during extreme drought events, and decreased grassland reduces the resilience of Lesser Prairie-Chicken populations to extreme drought events. A threshold exists for Lesser Prairie-Chickens in response to the gradient of cropland:grassland land cover. When moving across the gradient of grassland to cropland, abundance initially increased in response to more cropland on the landscape, but declined in response to more cropland after the threshold (δ=0.096, or 9.6% cropland). Preservation of intact grasslands and continued implementation of initiatives to revert cropland to grassland should increase Lesser Prairie-Chicken resilience to extreme drought events due to climate change.

  18. Study on Applicability of Conceptual Hydrological Models for Flood Forecasting in Humid, Semi-Humid Semi-Arid and Arid Basins in China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guangyuan Kan

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Flood simulation and forecasting in various types of watersheds is a hot issue in hydrology. Conceptual hydrological models have been widely applied to flood forecasting for decades. With the development of economy, modern China faces with severe flood disasters in all types of watersheds include humid, semi-humid semi-arid and arid watersheds. However, conceptual model-based flood forecasting in semi-humid semi-arid and arid regions is still challenging. To investigate the applicability of conceptual hydrological models for flood forecasting in the above mentioned regions, three typical conceptual models, include Xinanjiang (XAJ, mix runoff generation (MIX and northern Shannxi (NS, are applied to 3 humid, 3 semi-humid semi-arid, and 3 arid watersheds. The rainfall-runoff data of the 9 watersheds are analyzed based on statistical analysis and information theory, and the model performances are compared and analyzed based on boxplots and scatter plots. It is observed the complexity of drier watershed data is higher than that of the wetter watersheds. This indicates the flood forecasting is harder in drier watersheds. Simulation results indicate all models perform satisfactorily in humid watersheds and only NS model is applicable in arid watersheds. Model with consideration of saturation excess runoff generation (XAJ and MIX perform better than the infiltration excess-based NS model in semi-humid semi-arid watersheds. It is concluded more accurate mix runoff generation theory, more stable and efficient numerical solution of infiltration equation and rainfall data with higher spatial-temporal resolution are main obstacles for conceptual model-based flood simulation and forecasting.

  19. Impact of Prairie Cover on Hydraulic Conductivity and Storm Water Runoff

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herkes, D. M. G.; Gori, A.; Juan, A.

    2017-12-01

    Houston has long struggled to find effective solutions to its historic flooding problems. Conventional strategies have revolved around constructing hard infrastructure such as levees or regional detention ponds to reduce flood impacts. However, there has been a recent shift to explore the implementation of nature-based solutions in reducing flood impacts. This is due to the price of structural mechanisms, as well as their failure to adequately protect areas from flooding during the latest flood events. One alternative could be utilizing the natural water retention abilities of native Texas prairies. This study examines the effect of Texas prairie areas in increasing soil infiltration capacities, thereby increasing floodwater storage and reducing surface runoff. For this purpose, an infiltration study of 15 sites was conducted on lands owned by the Katy Prairie Conservancy within Cypress Creek watershed. Located in Northwest Houston, it is an area which had been heavily impacted by recent flood events. Each sampling site was selected to represent a particular land cover or vegetation type, ranging from developed open space to native prairies. Field test results are then compared to literature values of soil infiltration capacity in order to determine the infiltration benefit of each vegetation type. Test results show that certain vegetation, especially prairies, significantly increase the infiltration capacity of the underlying soil. For example, the hydraulic conductivity of prairie on sandy loam soil is approximately an order of magnitude higher than that of the soil itself. Finally, a physics-based hydrologic model is utilized to evaluate the flood reduction potential of native Texas prairie. This model represents Cypress Creek watershed in gridded cell format, and allows varying hydraulic and infiltration parameters at each cell. Design storms are run to obtain flow hydrographs for selected watch points in the study area. Two scenarios are simulated and compared

  20. Field-level financial assessment of contour prairie strips for enhancement of environmental quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tyndall, John C; Schulte, Lisa A; Liebman, Matthew; Helmers, Matthew

    2013-09-01

    The impacts of strategically located contour prairie strips on sediment and nutrient runoff export from watersheds maintained under an annual row crop production system have been studied at a long-term research site in central Iowa. Data from 2007 to 2011 indicate that the contour prairie strips utilized within row crop-dominated landscapes have greater than proportionate and positive effects on the functioning of biophysical systems. Crop producers and land management agencies require comprehensive information about the Best Management Practices with regard to performance efficacy, operational/management parameters, and the full range of financial parameters. Here, a farm-level financial model assesses the establishment, management, and opportunity costs of contour prairie strips within cropped fields. Annualized, depending on variable opportunity costs the 15-year present value cost of utilizing contour prairie strips ranges from $590 to $865 ha(-1) year(-1) ($240-$350 ac(-1) year(-1)). Expressed in the context of "treatment area" (e.g., in this study 1 ha of prairie treats 10 ha of crops), the costs of contour prairie strips can also be viewed as $59 to about $87 per treated hectare ($24-$35 ac(-1)). If prairie strips were under a 15-year CRP contract, total per acre cost to farmers would be reduced by over 85 %. Based on sediment, phosphorus, and nitrogen export data from the related field studies and across low, medium, and high land rent scenarios, a megagram (Mg) of soil retained within the watershed costs between $7.79 and $11.46 mg(-1), phosphorus retained costs between $6.97 and $10.25 kg(-1), and nitrogen retained costs between $1.59 and $2.34 kg(-1). Based on overall project results, contour prairie strips may well become one of the key conservation practices used to sustain US Corn Belt agriculture in the decades to come.

  1. Ecological consequences of shifting the timing of burning tallgrass prairie.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E Gene Towne

    Full Text Available In the Kansas Flint Hills, grassland burning is conducted during a relatively narrow window because management recommendations for the past 40 years have been to burn only in late spring. Widespread prescribed burning within this restricted time frame frequently creates smoke management issues downwind. A potential remedy for the concentrated smoke production in late spring is to expand burning to times earlier in the year. Yet, previous research suggested that burning in winter or early spring reduces plant productivity and cattle weight gain while increasing the proportion of undesirable plant species. In order to better understand the ecological consequences of burning at different times of the year, plant production and species abundance were measured for 20 years on ungrazed watersheds burned annually in autumn, winter, or spring. We found that there were no significant differences in total grass production among the burns on either upland or lowland topographic positions, although spring burned watersheds had higher grass culm production and lower forb biomass than autumn and winter burned watersheds. Burning in autumn or winter broadened the window of grass productivity response to precipitation, which reduces susceptibility to mid-season drought. Burning in autumn or winter also increased the phenological range of species by promoting cool-season graminoids without a concomitant decrease in warm-season grasses, potentially widening the seasonal window of high-quality forage. Incorporating autumn and winter burns into the overall portfolio of tallgrass prairie management should increase the flexibility in managing grasslands, promote biodiversity, and minimize air quality issues caused by en masse late-spring burning with little negative consequences for cattle production.

  2. Continuous Cropping and Moist Deep Convection on the Canadian Prairies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Devon E. Worth

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Summerfallow is cropland that is purposely kept out of production during a growing season to conserve soil moisture. On the Canadian Prairies, a trend to continuous cropping with a reduction in summerfallow began after the summerfallow area peaked in 1976. This study examined the impact of this land-use change on convective available potential energy (CAPE, a necessary but not sufficient condition for moist deep convection. All else being equal, an increase in CAPE increases the probability-of-occurrence of convective clouds and their intensity if they occur. Representative Bowen ratios for the Black, Dark Brown, and Brown soil zones were determined for 1976: the maximum summerfallow year, 2001: our baseline year, and 20xx: a hypothetical year with the maximum-possible annual crop area. Average mid-growing-season Bowen ratios and noon solar radiation were used to estimate the reduction in the lifted index (LI from land-use weighted evapotranspiration in each study year. LI is an index of CAPE, and a reduction in LI indicates an increase in CAPE. The largest reductions in LI were found for the Black soil zone. They were −1.61 ± 0.18, −1.77 ± 0.14 and −1.89 ± 0.16 in 1976, 2001 and 20xx, respectively. These results suggest that, all else being equal, the probability-of-occurrence of moist deep convection in the Black soil zone was lower in 1976 than in the base year 2001, and it will be higher in 20xx when the annual crop area reaches a maximum. The trend to continuous cropping had less impact in the drier Dark Brown and Brown soil zones.

  3. The scale dependence of optical diversity in a prairie ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gamon, J. A.; Wang, R.; Stilwell, A.; Zygielbaum, A. I.; Cavender-Bares, J.; Townsend, P. A.

    2015-12-01

    Biodiversity loss, one of the most crucial challenges of our time, endangers ecosystem services that maintain human wellbeing. Traditional methods of measuring biodiversity require extensive and costly field sampling by biologists with extensive experience in species identification. Remote sensing can be used for such assessment based upon patterns of optical variation. This provides efficient and cost-effective means to determine ecosystem diversity at different scales and over large areas. Sampling scale has been described as a "fundamental conceptual problem" in ecology, and is an important practical consideration in both remote sensing and traditional biodiversity studies. On the one hand, with decreasing spatial and spectral resolution, the differences among different optical types may become weak or even disappear. Alternately, high spatial and/or spectral resolution may introduce redundant or contradictory information. For example, at high resolution, the variation within optical types (e.g., between leaves on a single plant canopy) may add complexity unrelated to specie richness. We studied the scale-dependence of optical diversity in a prairie ecosystem at Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve, Minnesota, USA using a variety of spectrometers from several platforms on the ground and in the air. Using the coefficient of variation (CV) of spectra as an indicator of optical diversity, we found that high richness plots generally have a higher coefficient of variation. High resolution imaging spectrometer data (1 mm pixels) showed the highest sensitivity to richness level. With decreasing spatial resolution, the difference in CV between richness levels decreased, but remained significant. These findings can be used to guide airborne studies of biodiversity and develop more effective large-scale biodiversity sampling methods.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-05-01

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

  5. Interactions among American badgers, black-footed ferrets, and prairie dogs in the grasslands of western North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eads, David A.; Biggins, Dean E.; Grassel, Shaun M.; Livieri, Travis M.; Licht, Daniel S.; Proulx, Gilbert; Do Linh San, Emmanuel

    2016-01-01

    American badgers (Taxidea taxus) and black-footed ferrets (Mustela nigripes) sometimes occur sympatrically within colonies of prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.) in the grasslands of western North America. From the perspective of a simplified food web, badgers are consumers of ferrets and, to a greater extent, prairie dogs; ferrets are specialized consumers of prairie dogs; and prairie dogs are consumers of vegetation. We review information on the predatory behaviours of badgers, which collectively demonstrate that badgers exhibit complex hunting strategies to improve their probability of capturing prairie dogs and, perhaps, ferrets. We also review studies of interactions between badgers and ferrets, which suggest that there is selective pressure on badgers to compete with ferrets, and pressure on ferrets to compete with and avoid badgers. We then speculate as to how prairie dogs might shape interactions between badgers and ferrets, and how badgers could spread the plague bacterium (Yersinia pestis) among prairie dog colonies. Lastly, we provide recommendations for research on this tractable system of semi-fossorial predators and prey.

  6. Potential Impact of Climate Change on Resilience and Livelihoods in Mixed Crop-Livestock Systems in East Africa

    OpenAIRE

    Mario Herrero; Peter G Jones; Stanley Karanja; Ianetta Mutie; Mariana C Rufino; Philip K Thornton

    2013-01-01

    Climate-induced livelihood transitions in the agricultural systems of Africa are increasingly likely. A recent study by Jones and Thornton (2009) points to the possibility of such climate-induced livelihood transitions in the mixed crop-livestock rainfed arid-semiarid systems of Africa. These mixed systems cover over one million square kilometers of farmland in West Africa, Eastern Africa,...

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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...

  10. 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 ...

  11. 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 ...

  12. 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)

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Midcontinent Prairie-Pothole wetlands and climate change: An Introduction to the Supplemental Issue

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mushet, David M.

    2016-01-01

    The multitude of wetlands in the Prairie Pothole Region of North America forms one of Earth’s largest wetland complexes. The midcontinent location exposes this ecologically and economically important wetland system to a highly variable climate, markedly influencing ponded-water levels, hydroperiods, chemical characteristics, and biota of individual basins. Given their dominance on the landscape and recognized value, great interest in how projected future changes in climate will affect prairie-pothole wetlands has developed and spawned much scientific research. On June 2, 2015, a special symposium, “Midcontinent Prairie-Pothole Wetlands: Influence of a Changed Climate,” was held at the annual meeting of the Society of Wetland Scientists in Providence, Rhode Island, USA. The symposium’s twelve presenters covered a wide range of relevant topics delivered to a standing-room-only audience. Following the symposium, the presenters recognized the need to publish their presented papers as a combined product to facilitate widespread distribution. The need for additional papers to more fully cover the topic of prairie-pothole wetlands and climate change was also identified. This supplemental issue of Wetlands is the realization of that vision.

  16. Status of black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) in Sonora, Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reyna A. Castillo-Gamez; Rafael Arenas-Wong; Luis Castillo-Quijada; Verónica Coronado-Peraza; Abigail Enríquez-Munguia; Mirna Federico-Ortega; Alejandra García-Urrutia; Alba Lozano-Gámez; Romeo Méndez-Estrella; Laura Ochoa-Figueroa; J. R. Romo-León; Guy Kruse-Llergo; Iván Parra-Salazar

    2005-01-01

    Prairie dog is a keystone species throughout the habitat where it occurs, but its populations have declined about 98% in the last century. This species has been considered of international importance for the United States of America, Canada, and Mexico. Only two populations are recorded for Mexico, and the westernmost (isolated by Sierra Madre...

  17. Rainwater deficit and irrigation demand for row crops in Mississippi Blackland Prairie

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gary Feng; Ying Ouyang; Ardeshir Adeli; John Read; Johnie Jenkins

    2018-01-01

    Irrigation research in the mid-south United States has not kept pace with a steady increase in irrigated area in recent years. This study used rainfall records from 1895 to 2016 to determine rainwater deficit and irrigation demand for soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.], corn (Zea mays L.), and cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) in the Blackland Prairie region of Mississippi...

  18. Spread of plague among black-tailed prairie dogs is associated with colony spatial characteristics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, T.L.; Cully, J.F.; Collinge, S.K.; Ray, C.; Frey, C.M.; Sandercock, B.K.

    2011-01-01

    Sylvatic plague (Yersinia pestis) is an exotic pathogen that is highly virulent in black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) and causes widespread colony losses and individual mortality rates >95%. We investigated colony spatial characteristics that may influence inter-colony transmission of plague at 3 prairie dog colony complexes in the Great Plains. The 4 spatial characteristics we considered include: colony size, Euclidean distance to nearest neighboring colony, colony proximity index, and distance to nearest drainage (dispersal) corridor. We used multi-state mark-recapture models to determine the relationship between these colony characteristics and probability of plague transmission among prairie dog colonies. Annual mapping of colonies and mark-recapture analyses of disease dynamics in natural colonies led to 4 main results: 1) plague outbreaks exhibited high spatial and temporal variation, 2) the site of initiation of epizootic plague may have substantially influenced the subsequent inter-colony spread of plague, 3) the long-term effect of plague on individual colonies differed among sites because of how individuals and colonies were distributed, and 4) colony spatial characteristics were related to the probability of infection at all sites although the relative importance and direction of relationships varied among sites. Our findings suggest that conventional prairie dog conservation management strategies, including promoting large, highly connected colonies, may need to be altered in the presence of plague. ?? 2011 The Wildlife Society.

  19. Vegetation dynamics of restored and remnant Willamette Valley, OR wet prairie wetlands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wet prairie wetlands are now one of the rarest habitat types in the Willamette Valley of Oregon, USA. Less than two percent of their historic extent remains, with most having been converted into agricultural fields (Christy and Alverson 2011, ONHP 1983). This habitat is the obl...

  20. Sediment removal by prairie filter strips in row-cropped ephemeral watersheds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matthew J. Helmers; Xiaobo Zhou; Heidi Asbjornsen; Randy Kolka; Mark D. Tomer; Richard M. Cruse

    2012-01-01

    Twelve small watersheds in central Iowa were used to evaluate the eff ectiveness of prairie filter strips (PFS) in trapping sediment from agricultural runoff. Four treatments with PFS of different size and location (100% rowcrop, 10% PFS of total watershed area at footslope, 10% PFS at footslope and in contour strips, 20% PFS at footslope and in contour strips)...

  1. Effects of wind energy development on nesting ecology of greater prairie-chickens in fragmented grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McNew, Lance B; Hunt, Lyla M; Gregory, Andrew J; Wisely, Samantha M; Sandercock, Brett K

    2014-08-01

    Wind energy is targeted to meet 20% of U.S. energy needs by 2030, but new sites for development of renewable energy may overlap with important habitats of declining populations of grassland birds. Greater Prairie-Chickens (Tympanuchus cupido) are an obligate grassland bird species predicted to respond negatively to energy development. We used a modified before-after control-impact design to test for impacts of a wind energy development on the reproductive ecology of prairie-chickens in a 5-year study. We located 59 and 185 nests before and after development, respectively, of a 201 MW wind energy facility in Greater Prairie-Chicken nesting habitat and assessed nest site selection and nest survival relative to proximity to wind energy infrastructure and habitat conditions. Proximity to turbines did not negatively affect nest site selection (β = 0.03, 95% CI = -1.2-1.3) or nest survival (β = -0.3, 95% CI = -0.6-0.1). Instead, nest site selection and survival were strongly related to vegetative cover and other local conditions determined by management for cattle production. Integration of our project results with previous reports of behavioral avoidance of oil and gas facilities by other species of prairie grouse suggests new avenues for research to mitigate impacts of energy development. © 2014 The Authors. Conservation Biology published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of Society for Conservation Biology.

  2. Restoring sand shinnery oak prairies with herbicide and grazing in New Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zavaleta, Jennifer C.; Haukos, David A.; Grisham, Blake A.; Boal, Clint W.; Dixon, Charles

    2016-01-01

    Sand shinnery oak (Quercus havardii) prairies are increasingly disappearing and increasingly degraded in the Southern High Plains of Texas and New Mexico. Restoring and managing sand shinnery oak prairie can support biodiversity, specific species of conservation concern, and livestock production. We measured vegetation response to four treatment combinations of herbicide (tebuthiuron applied at 0.60 kg/ha) and moderate-intensity grazing (50% removal of annual herbaceous production) over a 10-year period in a sand shinnery oak prairie of eastern New Mexico. We compared the annual vegetation response to the historical climax plant community (HCPC) as outlined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Ecological Site Description. From 2 to 10 years postapplication, tebuthiuron-treated plots had reduced shrub cover with twice as much forb and grass cover as untreated plots. Tebuthiuron-treated plots, regardless of the presence of grazing, most frequently met HCPC. Tebuthiuron and moderate-intensity grazing increased vegetation heterogeneity and, based on comparison of the HCPC, successfully restored sand shinnery oak prairie to a vegetation composition similar to presettlement.

  3. Raptor community composition in the Texas Southern High Plains lesser prairie-chicken range

    Science.gov (United States)

    Behney, A.C.; Boal, Clint W.; Whitlaw, Heather A.; Lucia, D.R.

    2012-01-01

    Predation can be a factor in preventing prey population growth and sustainability when prey populations are small and fragmented, and when predator density is unrelated to the density of the single prey species. We conducted monthly raptor surveys from February 2007 to May 2009 in adjacent areas of the Texas Southern High Plains (USA) that do and do not support lesser prairie-chickens (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus), a candidate for protection under the Endangered Species Act. During the summer period corresponding to prairie-chicken nesting and brood-rearing, Swainson's hawks (Buteo swainsoni) were the most abundant raptor. During the lekking and overwintering period, the raptor community was diverse, with northern harriers (Circus cyaneus) being the most abundant species. Raptor abundance peaked during the early autumn and was lowest during the spring. Utility poles were a significant predictor of raptor density at survey points and Swainson's hawks and all raptors, pooled, were found in greater densities in non-prairie-chicken habitat dominated by mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa). Avian predation risk on prairie-chickens, based on presence and abundance of raptors, appears to be greatest during winter when there is a more abundant and diverse raptor community, and in areas with utility poles.

  4. Preliminary study of prairies forested with Eucalyptus sp. at the northwestern Uruguayan soils

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Carrasco-Letelier, L.; Eguren, G.; Castineira, C.; Parra, O.; Panario, D.

    2004-01-01

    The forestation of Uruguayan natural prairie soil does not always ensure an increase of soil carbon sink. - The land cover change of Uruguayan Forestal Plan provoked biogeochemical changes on horizon Au 1 of Argiudols; in native prairies which were replaced by monoculture Eucalyptus sp. plantation with 20 year rotations as trees. Five fields forested and six natural prairies were compared. The results not only show a statistical significant soil acidification, diminution of soil organic carbon, increase of aliphaticity degree of humic substances, and increase of affinity and capacity of hydrolytic activity from soil microbial communities for forested sites with Eucalyptus sp. but also, a tendency of podzolization and/or mineralization by this kind of land cover changes, with a net soil organic lost of 16.6 tons ha -1 in the horizon Au 1 of soil under Eucalyptus sp. plantation compared with prairie. Besides, these results point out the necessity of correction of the methodology used by assigned Uruguayan commission to assess the national net emission of greenhouse gases, since the mineralization and/or podzolization process detected in forested soil imply a overestimation of soil organic carbon. The biochemical parameters show a statistical significant correlation between the soil organic carbon status and these parameters which were presented as essential for the correct evaluation of Uruguayan soil carbon sink

  5. Gallbladder contractility and mucus secretion after cholesterol feeding in the prairie dog

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Li, Y. F.; Moody, F. G.; Weisbrodt, N. W.; Zalewsky, C. A.; Coelho, J. C.; Senninger, N.; Gouma, D.

    1986-01-01

    The purpose of our study was to evaluate changes in gallbladder contractility and mucus secretion in vitro during the early stages of gallstone formation in prairie dogs. Thirty-two animals were divided into five groups. Control animals were fed a trace cholesterol diet. Experimental animals were

  6. Searls prairie clover (Dalea searlsiae) for rangeland revegetation: Phenotypic and genetic evaluations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kishor Bhattarai; Shaun Bushman; Douglas A. Johnson; John G. Carman

    2011-01-01

    Few North American legumes are available for use in rangeland revegetation in the western USA, but Searls prairie clover [Dalea searlsiae (A. Gray) Barneby] is one that holds promise. Commercial-scale seed production of this species could address the issues of unreliable seed availability and high seed costs associated with its wildland seed collection. To evaluate its...

  7. Comparison of cellulosic ethanol yields from midwestern maize and reconstructed tallgrass prairie systems managed for bioenergy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maize- and prairie-based systems were investigated as cellulosic feedstocks by conducting a 9 ha side-by-side comparison on fertile soils in the Midwestern United States. Maize was grown continuously with adequate fertilization over years both with and without a winter rye cover crop, and the 31-spe...

  8. Population status of prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) in the San Pedro River Basin, Sonora

    Science.gov (United States)

    Efren Moreno-Arzate; Carlos A. Lopez Gonzalez; Gerardo Carreon Arroyo

    2013-01-01

    The black tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) is a species of conservation concern for Mexico, the United States and Canada. Populations in Mexico (including those in Sonora), which are considered endangered by the Mexican authority, require additional conservation efforts to maintain them on the long term. Our objective was to determine population size and...

  9. Interactions of raptors and Lesser Prairie-Chickens at leks in the Texas Southern High Plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Behney, Adam C.; Boal, Clint W.; Whitlaw, Heather A.; Lucia, Duane R.

    2011-01-01

    We examined behavioral interactions of raptors, Chihuahuan Ravens (Corvus cryptoleucus), and Lesser Prairie-Chickens (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) at leks in the Texas Southern High Plains. Northern Harriers (Circus cyaneus) and Swainson's Hawks (Buteo swainsoni) were the most common raptors observed at leks. Only 15 of 61 (25%) raptor encounters at leks (0.09/hr) resulted in a capture attempt (0.02/hr). Mean (± SD) time for Lesser Prairie-Chickens to return to lekking behavior following a raptor encounter was 4.2 ± 5.5 min suggesting the disturbance had little influence on lekking behaviors. Lesser Prairie-Chickens engaged in different escape behaviors depending on raptor species and, generally, did not respond to ravens suggesting they are able to assess different predation risks. The raptors in our study area posed little predation risk to lekking prairie-chickens. Behavioral disturbance at leks appears minimal due to the lack of successful predation events, low raptor encounter rates, and short time to return to lekking behavior.

  10. Environmental Impacts of Wind Power Development on the Population Biology of Greater Prairie-Chickens

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sandercock, Brett K. [Kansas State Univ., Manhattan, KS (United States)

    2013-05-22

    This report summarizes the results of a seven-year, DOE-funded research project, conducted by researchers from Kansas State University and the National Wind Coordinating Collaborative, to assess the effects of wind energy development in Kansas on the population and reproduction of greater prairie chickens.

  11. Land use effects on pesticides in sediments of prairie pothole wetlands in North and South Dakota

    Science.gov (United States)

    McMurry, Scott T.; Belden, Jason B.; Smith, Loren M.; Morrison, Shane A.; Daniel, Dale W.; Euliss, Betty R.; Euliss, Ned H. Jr.; Kensinger, Bart J.; Tangen, Brian

    2016-01-01

    Prairie potholes are the dominant wetland type in the intensively cultivated northern Great Plains of North America, and thus have the potential to receive pesticide runoff and drift. We examined the presence of pesticides in sediments of 151 wetlands split among the three dominant land use types, Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), cropland, and native prairie, in North and South Dakota in 2011. Herbicides (glyphosate and atrazine) and fungicides were detected regularly, with no insecticide detections. Glyphosate was the most detected pesticide, occurring in 61% of all wetlands, with atrazine in only 8% of wetlands. Pyraclostrobin was one of five fungicides detected, but the only one of significance, being detected in 31% of wetlands. Glyphosate was the only pesticide that differed by land use, with concentrations in cropland over four-times that in either native prairie or CRP, which were equal in concentration and frequency of detection. Despite examining several landscape variables, such as wetland proximity to specific crop types, watershed size, and others, land use was the best variable explaining pesticide concentrations in potholes. CRP ameliorated glyphosate in wetlands at concentrations comparable to native prairie and thereby provides another ecosystem service from this expansive program.

  12. Intrusion of soil covered uranium mill tailings by whitetail prairie dogs and Richardson's ground squirrels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shuman, R.

    1984-01-01

    The primary objective of the reclamation of uranium mill tailings is the long-term isolation of the matrial from the biosphere. Fossorial and semi-fossorial species represent a potentially disruptive influence as a result of their burrowing habits. The potential for intrusion was investigated with respect to two sciurids, the whitetail prairie dog (Cynomys leucurus) and Richardson's ground squirrel (Spermophilus richardsonii). Populations of prairie dogs were established on a control area, lacking a tailings layer, and two experimental areas, underlain by a waste layer, in southeastern Wyoming. Weekly measurements of prairie dog mound surface activities were conducted to demonstrate penetration, or lack thereof, of the tailings layer. Additionally, the impact of burrowing upon radon flux was determined. Limited penetration of the waste layer was noted after which frequency of inhabitance of the intruding burrow system declined. No significant changes in radon flux were detected. In another experiment, it was found that Richardson's ground squirrels burrowed to less extreme depths when confronted by mill tailings. Additional work at an inactive tailings pile in western Colorado revealed repeated intrusion through a shallow cover, and subsequent transport of radioactive material to the ground surface by prairie dogs. Radon flux from burrow entrances was significantly greater than that from undisturbed ground. Data suggested that textural and pH properties of tailings material may act to discourage repeated intrusion at some sites. 58 references

  13. Interannual variability in the extent of wetland-stream connectivity within the Prairie Pothole Region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melanie Vanderhoof; Laurie Alexander

    2016-01-01

    The degree of hydrological connectivity between wetland systems and downstream receiving waters can be expected to influence the volume and variability of stream discharge. The Prairie Pothole Region contains a high density of depressional wetland features, a consequence of glacial retreat. Spatial variability in wetland density, drainage evolution, and precipitation...

  14. Neonicotinoid insecticide removal by prairie strips in row-cropped watersheds with historical seed coating use

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hladik, Michelle L.; Bradbury, Steven; Schulte, Lisa A.; Helmers, Matthew; Witte, Christopher; Kolpin, Dana W.; Garrett, Jessica D.; Harris, Mary

    2017-01-01

    Neonicotinoids are a widely used class of insecticides that are commonly applied as seed coatings for agricultural crops. Such neonicotinoid use may pose a risk to non-target insects, including pollinators and natural enemies of crop pests, and ecosystems. This study assessed neonicotinoid residues in groundwater, surface runoff water, soil, and native plants adjacent to corn and soybean crop fields with a history of being planted with neonicotinoid-treated seeds from 2008-2013. Data from six sites with the same crop management history, three with and three without in-field prairie strips, were collected in 2015-2016, 2-3 years after neonicotinoid (clothianidin and imidacloprid) seed treatments were last used. Three of the six neonicotinoids analyzed were detected in at least one environmental matrix: the two applied as seed coatings on the fields (clothianidin and imidacloprid) and another widely used neonicotinoid (thiamethoxam). Sites with prairie strips generally had lower concentrations of neonicotinoids: groundwater and footslope soil neonicotinoid concentrations were significantly lower in the sites with prairie strips than those without; mean concentrations for groundwater were 11 and 20 ng/L (p = 0.048) and <1 and 6 ng/g (p = 0.0004) for soil, respectively. Surface runoff water concentrations were not significantly (p = 0.38) different for control sites (44 ng/L) or sites with prairie strips (140 ng/L). Consistent with the decreased inputs of neonicotinoids, concentrations tended to decrease over the sampling timeframe. Two sites recorded concentration increases, however, potentially due to disturbance of previous applications or influence from nearby fields where use of seed treatments continued. There were no detections (limit of detection: 1 ng/g) of neonicotinoids in the foliage or roots of plants comprising prairie strips, indicating a low likelihood of exposure to pollinators and other insects visiting these plants following the cessation of seed

  15. Long-term lesser prairie-chicken nest ecology in response to grassland management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fritts, Sarah R.; Grisham, Blake A.; Haukos, David A.; Boal, Clint W.; Patten, Michael; Wolfe, Don H.; Dixon, Charles; Cox, Robert D.; Heck, Willard R.

    2016-01-01

    Long-term population and range declines from habitat loss and fragmentation caused the lesser prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) to be a species of concern throughout its range. Current lesser prairie-chicken range in New Mexico and Texas is partially restricted to sand shinnery oak (Quercus havardii; hereafter shinnery oak) prairies, on which cattle grazing is the main socioeconomic driver for private landowners. Cattle producers within shinnery oak prairies often focus land management on shrub eradication using the herbicide tebuthiuron to promote grass production for forage; however, herbicide application alone, and in combination with grazing, may affect nest site selection and nest survival of lesser prairie-chickens through the reduction of shinnery oak and native grasses. We used a controlled, paired, completely randomized design study to assess the influence of grazing and tebuthiuron application and their combined use on nest site selection and nest survival from 2001 to 2010 in Roosevelt County, New Mexico, USA at 2 spatial scales (i.e., treatment and microhabitat) in 4 treatments: tebuthiuron with grazing, tebuthiuron without grazing, no tebuthiuron with grazing, and a control of no tebuthiuron and no grazing. Grazing treatment was a short-duration system in which plots were grazed once during the dormant season and once during the growing season. Stocking rate was calculated each season based on measured forage production and applied to remove ≤25% of available herbaceous material per season. At the treatment scale, we compared nest site selection among treatments using 1-way χ2 tests and nest survival among treatments using a priori candidate nest survival models in Program MARK. At the microhabitat scale, we identified important habitat predictors of nest site selection and nest survival using logistic regression and a priori candidate nest survival models in Program MARK, respectively. Females typically used treatments as expected and

  16. Predicting Greater Prairie-Chicken Lek Site Suitability to Inform Conservation Actions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Torre J Hovick

    Full Text Available The demands of a growing human population dictates that expansion of energy infrastructure, roads, and other development frequently takes place in native rangelands. Particularly, transmission lines and roads commonly divide rural landscapes and increase fragmentation. This has direct and indirect consequences on native wildlife that can be mitigated through thoughtful planning and proactive approaches to identifying areas of high conservation priority. We used nine years (2003-2011 of Greater Prairie-Chicken (Tympanuchus cupido lek locations totaling 870 unique leks sites in Kansas and seven geographic information system (GIS layers describing land cover, topography, and anthropogenic structures to model habitat suitability across the state. The models obtained had low omission rates (0.81, indicating high model performance and reliability of predicted habitat suitability for Greater Prairie-Chickens. We found that elevation was the most influential in predicting lek locations, contributing three times more predictive power than any other variable. However, models were improved by the addition of land cover and anthropogenic features (transmission lines, roads, and oil and gas structures. Overall, our analysis provides a hierarchal understanding of Greater Prairie-Chicken habitat suitability that is broadly based on geomorphological features followed by land cover suitability. We found that when land features and vegetation cover are suitable for Greater Prairie-Chickens, fragmentation by anthropogenic sources such as roadways and transmission lines are a concern. Therefore, it is our recommendation that future human development in Kansas avoid areas that our models identified as highly suitable for Greater Prairie-Chickens and focus development on land cover types that are of lower conservation concern.

  17. The innate immune response may be important for surviving plague in wild Gunnison's prairie dogs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Busch, Joseph D.; Van Andel, Roger; Stone, Nathan E.; Cobble, Kacy R.; Nottingham, Roxanne; Lee, Judy; VerSteeg, Michael; Corcoran, Jeff; Cordova, Jennifer; Van Pelt, William E.; Shuey, Megan M.; Foster, Jeffrey T.; Schupp, James M.; Beckstrom-Sternberg, Stephen; Beckstrom-Sternberg, James; Keim, Paul; Smith, Susan; Rodriguez-Ramos, Julia; Williamson, Judy L.; Rocke, Tonie E.; Wagner, David M.

    2013-01-01

    Prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.) are highly susceptible to Yersinia pestis, with ≥99% mortality reported from multiple studies of plague epizootics. A colony of Gunnison's prairie dogs (Cynomys gunnisoni) in the Aubrey Valley (AV) of northern Arizona appears to have survived several regional epizootics of plague, whereas nearby colonies have been severely affected by Y. pestis. To examine potential mechanisms accounting for survival in the AV colony, we conducted a laboratory Y. pestis challenge experiment on 60 wild-caught prairie dogs from AV and from a nearby, large colony with frequent past outbreaks of plague, Espee (n = 30 per colony). Test animals were challenged subcutaneously with the fully virulent Y. pestis strain CO92 at three doses: 50, 5,000, and 50,000 colony-forming units (cfu); this range is lethal in black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus). Contrary to our expectations, only 40% of the animals died. Although mortality trended higher in the Espee colony (50%) compared with AV (30%), the differences among infectious doses were not statistically significant. Only 39% of the survivors developed moderate to high antibody levels to Y. pestis, indicating that mechanisms other than humoral immunity are important in resistance to plague. The ratio of neutrophils to lymphocytes was not correlated with plague survival in this study. However, several immune proteins with roles in innate immunity (VCAM-1, CXCL-1, and vWF) were upregulated during plague infection and warrant further inquiry into their role for protection against this disease. These results suggest plague resistance exists in wild populations of the Gunnison's prairie dog and provide important directions for future studies.

  18. Sylvatic plague vaccine partially protects prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.) in field trials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rocke, Tonie E.; Tripp, Daniel W.; Russell, Robin E.; Abbott, Rachel C.; Richgels, Katherine; Matchett, Marc R.; Biggins, Dean E.; Griebel, Randall; Schroeder, Greg; Grassel, Shaun M.; Pipkin, David R.; Cordova, Jennifer; Kavalunas, Adam; Maxfield, Brian; Boulerice, Jesse; Miller, Michael W.

    2017-01-01

    Sylvatic plague, caused by Yersinia pestis, frequently afflicts prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.), causing population declines and local extirpations. We tested the effectiveness of bait-delivered sylvatic plague vaccine (SPV) in prairie dog colonies on 29 paired placebo and treatment plots (1–59 ha in size; average 16.9 ha) in 7 western states from 2013 to 2015. We compared relative abundance (using catch per unit effort (CPUE) as an index) and apparent survival of prairie dogs on 26 of the 29 paired plots, 12 with confirmed or suspected plague (Y. pestis positive carcasses or fleas). Even though plague mortality occurred in prairie dogs on vaccine plots, SPV treatment had an overall positive effect on CPUE in all three years, regardless of plague status. Odds of capturing a unique animal were 1.10 (95% confidence interval [C.I.] 1.02–1.19) times higher per trap day on vaccine-treated plots than placebo plots in 2013, 1.47 (95% C.I. 1.41–1.52) times higher in 2014 and 1.19 (95% C.I. 1.13–1.25) times higher in 2015. On pairs where plague occurred, odds of apparent survival were 1.76 (95% Bayesian credible interval [B.C.I.] 1.28–2.43) times higher on vaccine plots than placebo plots for adults and 2.41 (95% B.C.I. 1.72–3.38) times higher for juveniles. Our results provide evidence that consumption of vaccine-laden baits can protect prairie dogs against plague; however, further evaluation and refinement are needed to optimize SPV use as a management tool.

  19. Specificity in Sociality: Mice and Prairie Voles Exhibit Different Patterns of Peer Affiliation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beery, Annaliese K.; Christensen, Jennifer D; Lee, Nicole S.; Blandino, Katrina L.

    2018-01-01

    Social behavior is often described as a unified concept, but highly social (group-living) species exhibit distinct social structures and may make different social decisions. Prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster) are socially monogamous rodents that often reside in extended family groups, and exhibit robust preferences for familiar social partners (same- and opposite-sex) during extended choice tests, although short-term preferences are not known. Mice (Mus musculus) are gregarious and colonial, but in brief laboratory tests of social preference they typically prefer social novelty. This preference for novel vs. familiar peers may represent a species-specific difference in social decision-making between mice and prairie voles. However, the tests used to measure preferences in each species differ markedly in duration and degree of contact, such that the behaviors cannot be directly compared. We assessed whether social preferences for novelty or familiarity differed between mice and prairie voles of both sexes when assessed with matching protocols: the sociability/social preference test (SPT) typically used in mice (short, no direct contact), and the partner preference test (PPT) used in voles (long, direct contact). A subset of voles also underwent a PPT using barriers (long, no direct contact). In the short SPT, behavior did not differ between species. In the longer test, pronounced partner preferences emerged in prairie voles, but mice exhibited no social preferences and rarely huddled. No sex differences were evident in either test. Direct physical contact was required for partner preferences in huddling time in voles, but preference for the partner chamber was evident with or without contact. Both prairie voles and mice are social, but they exhibit important differences in the specificity and extent of their social behavior. While mice are often used to study social approach and other behaviors, voles are a more suitable species for the study of selective social

  20. Specificity in Sociality: Mice and Prairie Voles Exhibit Different Patterns of Peer Affiliation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Annaliese K. Beery

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Social behavior is often described as a unified concept, but highly social (group-living species exhibit distinct social structures and may make different social decisions. Prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster are socially monogamous rodents that often reside in extended family groups, and exhibit robust preferences for familiar social partners (same- and opposite-sex during extended choice tests, although short-term preferences are not known. Mice (Mus musculus are gregarious and colonial, but in brief laboratory tests of social preference they typically prefer social novelty. This preference for novel vs. familiar peers may represent a species-specific difference in social decision-making between mice and prairie voles. However, the tests used to measure preferences in each species differ markedly in duration and degree of contact, such that the behaviors cannot be directly compared. We assessed whether social preferences for novelty or familiarity differed between mice and prairie voles of both sexes when assessed with matching protocols: the sociability/social preference test (SPT typically used in mice (short, no direct contact, and the partner preference test (PPT used in voles (long, direct contact. A subset of voles also underwent a PPT using barriers (long, no direct contact. In the short SPT, behavior did not differ between species. In the longer test, pronounced partner preferences emerged in prairie voles, but mice exhibited no social preferences and rarely huddled. No sex differences were evident in either test. Direct physical contact was required for partner preferences in huddling time in voles, but preference for the partner chamber was evident with or without contact. Both prairie voles and mice are social, but they exhibit important differences in the specificity and extent of their social behavior. While mice are often used to study social approach and other behaviors, voles are a more suitable species for the study of

  1. Lesser prairie-chicken fence collision risk across its northern distribution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robinson, Samantha G.; Haukos, David A.; Plumb, Reid T.; Hagen, Christian A.; Pitman, James C.; Lautenbach, Joseph M.; Sullins, Daniel S.; Kraft, John D.; Lautenbach, Jonathan D.

    2016-01-01

    Livestock fences have been hypothesized to significantly contribute to mortality of lesser prairie-chickens (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus); however, quantification of mortality due to fence collisions is lacking across their current distribution. Variation in fence density, landscape composition and configuration, and land use could influence collision risk of lesser prairie-chickens. We monitored fences within 3 km of known leks during spring and fall and surveyed for signs of collision occurrence within 20 m of fences in 6 study sites in Kansas and Colorado, USA during 2013 and 2014. We assessed mortality locations of radio-tagged birds (n = 286) for evidence of fence collisions and compared distance to fence relative to random points. Additionally, we quantified locations, propensity, and frequency of fences crossed by lesser prairie-chickens. We tested for landscape and vegetative characteristics that influenced fence-cross propensity and frequency of global positioning system (GPS)-marked birds. A minimum of 12,706 fence crossings occurred by GPS-marked lesser prairie-chickens. We found 3 carcasses and 12 additional possible instances of evidence of collision during >2,800 km of surveyed fences. We found evidence for a single suspected collision based on carcass evidence for 148 mortalities of transmittered birds. Mortality locations of transmittered birds were located at distances from fences 15% farther than expected at random. Our data suggested minimal biological significance and indicated that propensity and frequency of fence crossings were random processes. Lesser prairie-chickens do not appear to be experiencing significant mortality risk due to fence collisions in Kansas and Colorado. Focusing resources on other limiting factors (i.e., habitat quality) has greater potential for impact on population demography than fence marking and removal.

  2. The predicted influence of climate change on lesser prairie-chicken reproductive parameters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grisham, Blake A.; Boal, Clint W.; Haukos, David A.; Davis, D.; Boydston, Kathy K.; Dixon, Charles; Heck, Willard R.

    2013-01-01

    The Southern High Plains is anticipated to experience significant changes in temperature and precipitation due to climate change. These changes may influence the lesser prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) in positive or negative ways. We assessed the potential changes in clutch size, incubation start date, and nest survival for lesser prairie-chickens for the years 2050 and 2080 based on modeled predictions of climate change and reproductive data for lesser prairie-chickens from 2001-2011 on the Southern High Plains of Texas and New Mexico. We developed 9 a priori models to assess the relationship between reproductive parameters and biologically relevant weather conditions. We selected weather variable(s) with the most model support and then obtained future predicted values from climatewizard.org. We conducted 1,000 simulations using each reproductive parameter's linear equation obtained from regression calculations, and the future predicted value for each weather variable to predict future reproductive parameter values for lesser prairie-chickens. There was a high degree of model uncertainty for each reproductive value. Winter temperature had the greatest effect size for all three parameters, suggesting a negative relationship between above-average winter temperature and reproductive output. The above-average winter temperatures are correlated to La Nina events, which negatively affect lesser prairie-chickens through resulting drought conditions. By 2050 and 2080, nest survival was predicted to be below levels considered viable for population persistence; however, our assessment did not consider annual survival of adults, chick survival, or the positive benefit of habitat management and conservation, which may ultimately offset the potentially negative effect of drought on nest survival.

  3. Canola Root–Associated Microbiomes in the Canadian Prairies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chih-Ying Lay

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available Canola is one of the most economically important crops in Canada, and the root and rhizosphere microbiomes of a canola plant likely impact its growth and nutrient uptake. The aim of this study was to determine whether canola has a core root microbiome (i.e., set of microbes that are consistently selected in the root environment, and whether this is distinct from the core microbiomes of other crops that are commonly grown in the Canadian Prairies, pea, and wheat. We also assessed whether selected agronomic treatments can modify the canola microbiome, and whether this was associated to enhanced yield. We used a field experiment with a randomized complete block design, which was repeated at three locations across the canola-growing zone of Canada. Roots and rhizosphere soil were harvested at the flowering stage of canola. We separately isolated total extractable DNA from plant roots and from adjacent rhizosphere soil, and constructed MiSeq amplicon libraries for each of 60 samples, targeting bacterial, and archaeal 16S rRNA genes and the fungal ITS region. We determined that the microbiome of the roots and rhizosphere of canola was consistently different from those of wheat and pea. These microbiomes comprise several putative plant-growth-promoting rhizobacteria, including Amycolatopsis sp., Serratia proteamaculans, Pedobacter sp., Arthrobacter sp., Stenotrophomonas sp., Fusarium merismoides, and Fusicolla sp., which correlated positively with canola yield. Crop species had a significant influence on bacterial and fungal assemblages, especially within the roots, while higher nutrient input or seeding density did not significantly alter the global composition of bacterial, fungal, or archaeal assemblages associated with canola roots. However, the relative abundance of Olpidium brassicae, a known pathogen of members of the Brassicaceae, was significantly reduced in the roots of canola planted at higher seeding density. Our results suggest that

  4. Modeling Prairie Pothole Lakes: Linking Satellite Observation and Calibration (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwartz, F. W.; Liu, G.; Zhang, B.; Yu, Z.

    2009-12-01

    This paper examines the response of a complex lake wetland system to variations in climate. The focus is on the lakes and wetlands of the Missouri Coteau, which is part of the larger Prairie Pothole Region of the Central Plains of North America. Information on lake size was enumerated from satellite images, and yielded power law relationships for different hydrological conditions. More traditional lake-stage data were made available to us from the USGS Cottonwood Lake Study Site in North Dakota. A Probabilistic Hydrologic Model (PHM) was developed to simulate lake complexes comprised of tens-of-thousands or more individual closed-basin lakes and wetlands. What is new about this model is a calibration scheme that utilizes remotely-sensed data on lake area as well as stage data for individual lakes. Some ¼ million individual data points are used within a Genetic Algorithm to calibrate the model by comparing the simulated results with observed lake area-frequency power law relationships derived from Landsat images and water depths from seven individual lakes and wetlands. The simulated lake behaviors show good agreement with the observations under average, dry, and wet climatic conditions. The calibrated model is used to examine the impact of climate variability on a large lake complex in ND, in particular, the “Dust Bowl Drought” 1930s. This most famous drought of the 20th Century devastated the agricultural economy of the Great Plains with health and social impacts lingering for years afterwards. Interestingly, the drought of 1930s is unremarkable in relation to others of greater intensity and frequency before AD 1200 in the Great Plains. Major droughts and deluges have the ability to create marked variability of the power law function (e.g. up to one and a half orders of magnitude variability from the extreme Dust Bowl Drought to the extreme 1993-2001 deluge). This new probabilistic modeling approach provides a novel tool to examine the response of the

  5. Global warming and prairie wetlands: potential consequences for waterfowl habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poiani, Karen A.; Johnson, W. Carter

    1991-01-01

    The accumulation of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere is expected to warm the earth's climate at an unprecedented rate (Ramanathan 1988, Schneider 1989). If the climate models are correct, within 100 years the earth will not only be warmer than it has been during the past million years, but the change will have occurred more rapidly than any on record. Many profound changes in the earth's environment are expected, including rising sea level, increasing aridity in continental interiors, and melting permafrost. Ecosystems are expected to respond variously to a rapidly changing climate. Tree ranges in eastern North American are expected to shift northward, and seed dispersal may not be adequate to maintain current diversity (Cohn 1989, Johnson and Webb 1989). In coastal wetlands, rising sea level from melting icecaps and thermal expansion could flood salt-grass marshes and generally reduce the size and productivity of the intertidal zone (Peters and Darling 1985). As yet, little attention has been given to the possible effects of climatic warming on inland prairie wetland ecosystems. These wetlands, located in the glaciated portion of the North American Great Plains (Figure 1), constitute the single most important breeding area for waterfowl on this continent (Hubbard 1988). This region annually produces 50-80% of the continent's total duck production (Batt et al. 1989). These marshes also support a variety of other wildlife, including many species of nongame birds, muskrat, and mink (Kantrud et al. 1989a). Prairie wetlands are relatively shallow, water-holding depressions that vary in size, water permanence, and water chemistry. Permanence types include temporary ponds (typically holding water for a few weeks in the springs), seasonal ponds (holding water from spring until early summer), semipermanent ponds (holding water throughout the growing season during most years), and large permanent lakes (Stewart and Kantrud 1971). Refilling usually occurs in spring from

  6. Research and Monitoring Special Use Permit [Minnesota Zoo's Prairie Butterfly Conservation Program on Chase Lake National Wildlife Refuge : 2016

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of the Interior — The Minnesota Zoo’s Prairie Butterfly Conservation Program partners with numerous federal, state, and local agencies to establish the world’s first and only ex situ...

  7. 77 FR 73827 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Listing the Lesser Prairie-Chicken as a Threatened...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-12-11

    ... the lesser prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus), a grassland bird known from southeastern... plants; wind energy development; petroleum production; and presence of roads and manmade vertical structures including towers, utility lines, fences, turbines, wells, and buildings. We will request peer...

  8. Sneutrino mixing

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Grossman, Y.

    1997-10-01

    In supersymmetric models with nonvanishing Majorana neutrino masses, the sneutrino and antisneutrino mix. The conditions under which this mixing is experimentally observable are studied, and mass-splitting of the sneutrino mass eigenstates and sneutrino oscillation phenomena are analyzed

  9. Environmental Assessment: Black-Tailed Prairie Dog Management Cannon Air Force Base and Melrose Air Force Range, New Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-12-01

    requirements are met by metabolizing grazed vegetation. Prairie dogs dig burrows to an average depth of 2-3 meters with some tunnels interconnecting with...the potential to impact non- target species such as mice, kangaroo rats, and some songbirds. Establishing control zones at CAFB and MAFR could not be...Gutierrezia sarothrae), and Russian thistle (Salsola iberica). Water requirements are met by metabolizing grazed vegetation. Prairie dogs dig burrows

  10. Grooming behaviors of black-tailed prairie dogs are influenced by flea parasitism, conspecifics, and proximity to refuge

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eads, David A.; Biggins, Dean E.; Eads, Samantha L.

    2017-01-01

    Grooming is a common animal behavior that aids in ectoparasite defense. Ectoparasites can stimulate grooming, and natural selection can also favor endogenous mechanisms that evoke periodic bouts of “programmed” grooming to dislodge or kill ectoparasites before they bite or feed. Moreover, grooming can function as a displacement or communication behavior. We compared the grooming behaviors of adult female black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) on colonies with or without flea control via pulicide dust. Roughly 91% of the prairie dogs sampled on the non-dusted colony carried at least one flea, whereas we did not find fleas on two dusted colonies. During focal observations, prairie dogs on the non-dusted colony groomed at higher frequencies and for longer durations than prairie dogs on the dusted colonies, lending support to the hypothesis that fleas stimulated grooming. However, the reduced amount of time spent grooming on the dusted colonies suggested that approximately 25% of grooming might be attributed to factors other than direct stimulation from ectoparasites. Non-dusted colony prairie dogs rarely autogroomed when near each other. Dusted colony prairie dogs autogroomed for shorter durations when far from a burrow opening (refuge), suggesting a trade-off between self-grooming and antipredator defense. Allogrooming was detected only on the non-dusted colony and was limited to adult females grooming young pups. Grooming appears to serve an antiparasitic function in C. ludovicianus. Antiparasitic grooming might aid in defense against fleas that transmit the plague bacterium Yersinia pestis. Plague was introduced to North America ca. 1900 and now has a strong influence on most prairie dog populations, suggesting a magnified effect of grooming on prairie dog fitness.

  11. Aerial surveys adjusted by ground surveys to estimate area occupied by black-tailed prairie dog colonies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sidle, John G.; Augustine, David J.; Johnson, Douglas H.; Miller, Sterling D.; Cully, Jack F.; Reading, Richard P.

    2012-01-01

    Aerial surveys using line-intercept methods are one approach to estimate the extent of prairie dog colonies in a large geographic area. Although black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) construct conspicuous mounds at burrow openings, aerial observers have difficulty discriminating between areas with burrows occupied by prairie dogs (colonies) versus areas of uninhabited burrows (uninhabited colony sites). Consequently, aerial line-intercept surveys may overestimate prairie dog colony extent unless adjusted by an on-the-ground inspection of a sample of intercepts. We compared aerial line-intercept surveys conducted over 2 National Grasslands in Colorado, USA, with independent ground-mapping of known black-tailed prairie dog colonies. Aerial line-intercepts adjusted by ground surveys using a single activity category adjustment overestimated colonies by ≥94% on the Comanche National Grassland and ≥58% on the Pawnee National Grassland. We present a ground-survey technique that involves 1) visiting on the ground a subset of aerial intercepts classified as occupied colonies plus a subset of intercepts classified as uninhabited colony sites, and 2) based on these ground observations, recording the proportion of each aerial intercept that intersects a colony and the proportion that intersects an uninhabited colony site. Where line-intercept techniques are applied to aerial surveys or remotely sensed imagery, this method can provide more accurate estimates of black-tailed prairie dog abundance and trends

  12. Longitudinal Trajectories and Inter-parental Dynamics of Prairie Vole Biparental Care

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Forrest D. Rogers

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available For altricial mammalian species, early life social bonds are constructed principally between offspring and their mothers, and the mother-offspring relationship sets the trajectory for offspring bio-behavioral development. In the rare subset of monogamous and biparental species, offspring experience an expanded social network which includes a father. Accordingly, in biparental species fathers also have the potential to influence trajectories of offspring development. Previous semi-natural and laboratory study of one monogamous and biparental species, the prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster, has given insight into the role that mothers and fathers play in shaping behavioral phenotypes of offspring. Of particular interest is the influence of biparental care in the development of monogamous behavior in offspring. Here, we first briefly review that influence. We then present novel research which describes how parental investment in prairie voles changes across sequential litters of pups, and the extent to which it is coordinated between mothers and fathers. We use approximately 6 years of archival data on prairie vole parenting to investigate trajectories and inter-parent dynamics in prairie vole parenting. We use a series of latent growth models to assess the stability of parental investment across the first 4 l. Our findings suggest that prairie voles display sexually dimorphic patterns of change in parental behavior: mothers' investment declines linearly whereas fathers' pattern of change is characterized by initial decline between litters 1 and 2 with subsequent increase from litters 2 to 4. Our findings also support a conclusion that prairie vole paternal care may be better characterized as compensatory—that is, fathers may compensate for decline in maternal investment. Opposing trends in investment between mothers and fathers ultimately imply stability in offspring investment across sequential litters. These findings, combined with previous

  13. Habitat edge, land management, and rates of brood parasitism in tallgrass prairie.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patten, Michael A; Shochat, Eyal; Reinking, Dan L; Wolfe, Donald H; Sherrod, Steve K

    2006-04-01

    Bird populations in North America's grasslands have declined sharply in recent decades. These declines are traceable, in large part, to habitat loss, but management of tallgrass prairie also has an impact. An indirect source of decline potentially associated with management is brood parasitism by the Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater), which has had substantial negative impacts on many passerine hosts. Using a novel application of regression trees, we analyzed an extensive five-year set of nest data to test how management of tallgrass prairie affected rates of brood parasitism. We examined seven landscape features that may have been associated with parasitism: presence of edge, burning, or grazing, and distance of the nest from woody vegetation, water, roads, or fences. All five grassland passerines that we included in the analyses exhibited evidence of an edge effect: the Grasshopper Sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum), Henslow's Sparrow (A. henslowii), Dickcissel (Spiza americana), Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus), and Eastern Meadowlark (Sturnella magna). The edge was represented by narrow strips of woody vegetation occurring along roadsides cut through tallgrass prairie. The sparrows avoided nesting along these woody edges, whereas the other three species experienced significantly higher (1.9-5.3x) rates of parasitism along edges than in prairie. The edge effect could be related directly to increase in parasitism rate with decreased distance from woody vegetation. After accounting for edge effect in these three species, we found evidence for significantly higher (2.5-10.5x) rates of parasitism in grazed plots, particularly those burned in spring to increase forage, than in undisturbed prairie. Regression tree analysis proved to be an important tool for hierarchically parsing various landscape features that affect parasitism rates. We conclude that, on the Great Plains, rates of brood parasitism are strongly associated with relatively recent road cuts

  14. Decline of Hesperia ottoe (Lepidoptera: Hesperiidae in Northern Tallgrass Prairie Preserves

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ann B. Swengel

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available We counted butterflies on transect surveys during Hesperia ottoe flight period in 1988–2011 at tallgrass prairie preserves in four states (Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, divided into units cross-referenced to vegetation type and management history. H. ottoe occurred only in dry and sand prairie types, and was significantly more abundant in undegraded than semi-degraded prairie, and in discontinuous sod (with numerous unvegetated areas due to bare sand and/or rock outcrops than in continuous sod. This skipper was significantly more abundant in small sites compared to medium and large sites, even when the analysis was limited to undegraded prairie analyzed separately by sod type. H. ottoe was significantly under-represented in year-burn 0 (the first growing season after fire compared to an expected distribution proportional to survey effort. However, H. ottoe was also over-represented in fire-managed units compared to non-fire-managed units. However, by far most units and sites were in fire management and most populations declined to subdetection during this study. Peak abundance post-fire occurred in a later year-burn in discontinuous sod and was much higher than in continuous sod. We also analyze H. ottoe status and trend in midwestern prairie preserves by compiling a dataset of our and others’ butterfly surveys from 1974 to 2011. Only 1/9 sites with continuous sod had detectable H. ottoe in recent year(s. In discontinuous sod, 2/6 did, with two sites lacking data for the last few years. The number of years H. ottoe was still detectable after preservation and the number of years to consistent non-detection were both significantly higher in discontinuous than continuous sod. Both measures of population persistence averaged over twice as long in discontinuous than continuous sod, and correlated negatively with prairie size. The year when consistent non-detection began varied over several decades among sites. Despite the currently urgent

  15. Decline of Hesperia ottoe (Lepidoptera: Hesperiidae) in Northern Tallgrass Prairie Preserves.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swengel, Ann B; Swengel, Scott R

    2013-11-20

    We counted butterflies on transect surveys during Hesperia ottoe flight period in 1988-2011 at tallgrass prairie preserves in four states (Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin), divided into units cross-referenced to vegetation type and management history. H. ottoe occurred only in dry and sand prairie types, and was significantly more abundant in undegraded than semi-degraded prairie, and in discontinuous sod (with numerous unvegetated areas due to bare sand and/or rock outcrops) than in continuous sod. This skipper was significantly more abundant in small sites compared to medium and large sites, even when the analysis was limited to undegraded prairie analyzed separately by sod type. H. ottoe was significantly under-represented in year-burn 0 (the first growing season after fire) compared to an expected distribution proportional to survey effort. However, H. ottoe was also over-represented in fire-managed units compared to non-fire-managed units. However, by far most units and sites were in fire management and most populations declined to subdetection during this study. Peak abundance post-fire occurred in a later year-burn in discontinuous sod and was much higher than in continuous sod. We also analyze H. ottoe status and trend in midwestern prairie preserves by compiling a dataset of our and others' butterfly surveys from 1974 to 2011. Only 1/9 sites with continuous sod had detectable H. ottoe in recent year(s). In discontinuous sod, 2/6 did, with two sites lacking data for the last few years. The number of years H. ottoe was still detectable after preservation and the number of years to consistent non-detection were both significantly higher in discontinuous than continuous sod. Both measures of population persistence averaged over twice as long in discontinuous than continuous sod, and correlated negatively with prairie size. The year when consistent non-detection began varied over several decades among sites. Despite the currently urgent need to identify

  16. 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...

  17. Apparent field safety of a raccoon poxvirus-vectored plague vaccine in free-ranging prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.), Colorado, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tripp, Daniel W; Rocke, Tonie E; Streich, Sean P; Abbott, Rachel C; Osorio, Jorge E; Miller, Michael W

    2015-04-01

    Prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.) suffer high rates of mortality from plague. An oral sylvatic plague vaccine using the raccoon poxvirus vector (designated RCN-F1/V307) has been developed for prairie dogs. This vaccine is incorporated into palatable bait along with rhodamine B as a biomarker. We conducted trials in August and September 2012 to demonstrate uptake and apparent safety of the RCN-F1/V307 vaccine in two prairie dog species under field conditions. Free-ranging prairie dogs and other associated small rodents readily consumed vaccine-laden baits during field trials with no apparent adverse effects; most sampled prairie dogs (90%) and associated small rodents (78%) had consumed baits. Visual counts of prairie dogs and their burrows revealed no evidence of prairie dog decline after vaccine exposure. No vaccine-related morbidity, mortality, or gross or microscopic lesions were observed. Poxviruses were not isolated from any animal sampled prior to bait distribution or on sites that received placebo baits. We isolated RCN-F1/V307 from 17 prairie dogs and two deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus) captured on sites where vaccine-laden baits were distributed. Based on these findings, studies examining the utility and effectiveness of oral vaccination to prevent plague-induced mortality in prairie dogs and associated species are underway.

  18. Apparent field safety of a raccoon poxvirus-vectored plague vaccine in free-ranging prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.), Colorado, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tripp, Daniel W.; Rocke, Tonie E.; Streich, Sean P.; Abbott, Rachel C.; Osorio, Jorge E.; Miller, Michael W.

    2015-01-01

    Prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.) suffer high rates of mortality from plague. An oral sylvatic plague vaccine using the raccoon poxvirus vector (designated RCN-F1/V307) has been developed for prairie dogs. This vaccine is incorporated into palatable bait along with rhodamine B as a biomarker. We conducted trials in August and September 2012 to demonstrate uptake and apparent safety of the RCN-F1/V307 vaccine in two prairie dog species under field conditions. Free-ranging prairie dogs and other associated small rodents readily consumed vaccine-laden baits during field trials with no apparent adverse effects; most sampled prairie dogs (90%) and associated small rodents (78%) had consumed baits. Visual counts of prairie dogs and their burrows revealed no evidence of prairie dog decline after vaccine exposure. No vaccine-related morbidity, mortality, or gross or microscopic lesions were observed. Poxviruses were not isolated from any animal sampled prior to bait distribution or on sites that received placebo baits. We isolated RCN-F1/V307 from 17 prairie dogs and two deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus) captured on sites where vaccine-laden baits were distributed. Based on these findings, studies examining the utility and effectiveness of oral vaccination to prevent plague-induced mortality in prairie dogs and associated species are underway.

  19. Mapping wetlands and surface water in the Prairie Pothole Region of North America: Chapter 16

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rover, Jennifer R.; Mushet, David M.

    2015-01-01

    The Prairie Pothole Region (PPR) is one of the most highly productive wetland regions in the world. Prairie Pothole wetlands serve as a primary feeding and breeding habitat for more than one-half of North America’s waterfowl population, as well as a variety of songbirds, waterbirds, shorebirds, and other wildlife. During the last century, extensive land conversions from grassland with wetlands to cultivated cropland and grazed pastureland segmented and reduced wetland habitat. Inventorying and characterizing remaining wetland habitat is critical for the management of wetland ecosystem services. Remote sensing technologies are often utilized for mapping and monitoring wetlands. This chapter presents background specific to the PPR and discusses approaches employed in mapping its wetlands before presenting a case study.

  20. Plague bacterium as a transformer species in prairie dogs and the grasslands of western North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eads, David A.; Biggins, Dean E.

    2015-01-01

    Invasive transformer species change the character, condition, form, or nature of ecosystems and deserve considerable attention from conservation scientists. We applied the transformer species concept to the plague bacterium Yersinia pestis in western North America, where the pathogen was introduced around 1900. Y. pestis transforms grassland ecosystems by severely depleting the abundance of prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.) and thereby causing declines in native species abundance and diversity, including threatened and endangered species; altering food web connections; altering the import and export of nutrients; causing a loss of ecosystem resilience to encroaching invasive plants; and modifying prairie dog burrows. Y. pestis poses an important challenge to conservation biologists because it causes trophic-level perturbations that affect the stability of ecosystems. Unfortunately, understanding of the effects of Y. pestis on ecosystems is rudimentary, highlighting an acute need for continued research.

  1. Respiratory isolation for tuberculosis: the experience of Indigenous peoples on the Canadian prairies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayan, M; Robinson, T; Gokiert, R; Tremblay, M; Abonyi, S; Long, R

    2017-12-21

    Setting: The Prairie provinces of Canada. Objective: To understand how Indigenous peoples with infectious pulmonary tuberculosis living in different community settings in the Prairie provinces of Canada experience respiratory isolation. Design: Using an exploratory qualitative approach, we interviewed participants living in urban centres, non-remote reserve settings and remote and isolated reserve settings. Results: Through qualitative content analysis of 48 interviews, we determined that participants experienced feelings of confinement regardless of the community setting in which they lived. Participants also experienced family and social disconnect, but the experience was more potent for the remote and isolated reserve participants, who were required to be flown out of their home communities to receive treatment, and for those urban centre and non-remote reserve participants who lacked social connections. The roles of past experiences with sanitoria and of family in providing social support are discussed. Conclusions: The conclusions of this study focus on examining isolation policies and improving the hospital isolation experience.

  2. Plague bacterium as a transformer species in prairie dogs and the grasslands of western North America.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eads, David A; Biggins, Dean E

    2015-08-01

    Invasive transformer species change the character, condition, form, or nature of ecosystems and deserve considerable attention from conservation scientists. We applied the transformer species concept to the plague bacterium Yersinia pestis in western North America, where the pathogen was introduced around 1900. Y. pestis transforms grassland ecosystems by severely depleting the abundance of prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.) and thereby causing declines in native species abundance and diversity, including threatened and endangered species; altering food web connections; altering the import and export of nutrients; causing a loss of ecosystem resilience to encroaching invasive plants; and modifying prairie dog burrows. Y. pestis poses an important challenge to conservation biologists because it causes trophic-level perturbations that affect the stability of ecosystems. Unfortunately, understanding of the effects of Y. pestis on ecosystems is rudimentary, highlighting an acute need for continued research. © 2015 Society for Conservation Biology.

  3. Implementation of an advanced digital feedwater control system at the Prairie Island nuclear generating station

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Paris, R.E.; Gaydos, K.A.; Hill, J.O.; Whitson, S.G.; Wirkkala, R.

    1990-05-01

    EPRI Project RP2126-4 was a cooperative effort between TVA, EPRI, and Westinghouse which resulted in the demonstration of a prototype of a full range, fully automatic feedwater control system, using fault tolerant digital technology, at the TVA Sequoyah simulator site. That prototype system also included advanced signal validation algorithms and an advanced man-machine interface that used CRT-based soft-control technology. The Westinghouse Advanced Digital Feedwater Control System (ADFCS) upgrade, which contains elements that were part of that prototype system, has since been installed at Northern States Power's Prairie Island Unit 2. This upgrade was very successful due to the use of an advanced control system design and the execution of a well coordinated joint effort between the utility and the supplier. The project experience is documented in this report to help utilities evaluate the technical implications of such a project. The design basis of the Prairie Island ADFCS signal validation for input signal failure fault tolerance is outlined first. Features of the industry-proven system control algorithms are then described. Pre-shipment hardware-in-loop and factory acceptance testing of the Prairie Island system are summarized. Post-shipment site testing, including preoperational and plant startup testing, is also summarized. Plant data from the initial system startup is included. The installation of the Prairie Island ADFCS is described, including both the feedwater control instrumentation and the control board interface. Modification of the plant simulator and operator and I ampersand C personnel training are also discussed. 6 refs., 14 figs., 3 tabs

  4. Exudate Chemical Profiles Derived from Lespedeza and Other Tallgrass Prairie Plant Species

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-05-01

    Chemical Profiles Derived from Lespedeza and Other Tall- grass Prairie Plant Species. ERDC TN-17-1. Vicksburg, MS: U.S. Army Engineer Re- search and...200-1-52. Washington, DC: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Headquarters, Civil Works. https://www.wbdg.org/ffc/army-coe/public-works-technical-bulletins...ERDC TN-17-1 May 2017 Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited. Exudate Chemical Profiles Derived from Lespedeza and Other

  5. Alcohol’s Effects on Pair-Bond Maintenance in Male Prairie Voles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andre T. Walcott

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Alcohol abuse can have devastating effects on social relationships. In particular, discrepant patterns of heavy alcohol consumption are associated with increased rates of separation and divorce. Previous studies have attempted to model these effects of alcohol using socially monogamous prairie voles. These studies showed that alcohol consumption can inhibit the formation of pair bonds in this species. While these findings indicated that alcohol’s effects on social attachments can involve biological mechanisms, the formation of pair bonds does not properly model long-term human attachments. To overcome this caveat, this study explored whether discordant or concordant alcohol consumption between individuals within established pairs affects maintenance of pair bonds in male prairie voles. Male and female prairie voles were allowed to form a pair bond for 1 week. Following this 1-week cohabitation period, males received access to 10% continuous ethanol; meanwhile, their female partners had access to either alcohol and water or just water. When there was a discrepancy in alcohol consumption, male prairie voles showed a decrease in partner preference (PP. Conversely, when concordant drinking occurred, males showed no inhibition in PP. Further analysis revealed a decrease in oxytocin immunoreactivity in the paraventricular nucleus of alcohol-exposed males that was independent of the drinking status of their female partners. On the other hand, only discordant alcohol consumption resulted in an increase of FosB immunoreactivity in the periaqueductal gray of male voles, a finding suggesting a potential involvement of this brain region in the effects of alcohol on maintenance of pair bonds. Our studies provide the first evidence that alcohol has effects on established pair bonds and that partner drinking status plays a large role in these effects.

  6. Widespread use and frequent detection of neonicotinoid insecticides in wetlands of Canada's Prairie Pothole Region.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anson R Main

    Full Text Available Neonicotinoids currently dominate the insecticide market as seed treatments on Canada's major Prairie crops (e.g., canola. The potential impact to ecologically significant wetlands in this dominantly agro-environment has largely been overlooked while the distribution of use, incidence and level of contamination remains unreported. We modelled the spatial distribution of neonicotinoid use across the three Prairie Provinces in combination with temporal assessments of water and sediment concentrations in wetlands to measure four active ingredients (clothianidin, thiamethoxam, imidacloprid and acetamiprid. From 2009 to 2012, neonicotinoid use was increasing; by 2012, applications covered an estimated ∼11 million hectares (44% of Prairie cropland with >216,000 kg of active ingredients. Thiamethoxam, followed by clothianidin, were the dominant seed treatments by mass and area. Areas of high neonicotinoid use were identified as high density canola or soybean production. Water sampled four times from 136 wetlands (spring, summer, fall 2012 and spring 2013 across four rural municipalities in Saskatchewan similarly revealed clothianidin and thiamethoxam in the majority of samples. In spring 2012 prior to seeding, 36% of wetlands contained at least one neonicotinoid. Detections increased to 62% in summer 2012, declined to 16% in fall, and increased to 91% the following spring 2013 after ice-off. Peak concentrations were recorded during summer 2012 for both thiamethoxam (range:

  7. Widespread use and frequent detection of neonicotinoid insecticides in wetlands of Canada's Prairie Pothole Region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Main, Anson R; Headley, John V; Peru, Kerry M; Michel, Nicole L; Cessna, Allan J; Morrissey, Christy A

    2014-01-01

    Neonicotinoids currently dominate the insecticide market as seed treatments on Canada's major Prairie crops (e.g., canola). The potential impact to ecologically significant wetlands in this dominantly agro-environment has largely been overlooked while the distribution of use, incidence and level of contamination remains unreported. We modelled the spatial distribution of neonicotinoid use across the three Prairie Provinces in combination with temporal assessments of water and sediment concentrations in wetlands to measure four active ingredients (clothianidin, thiamethoxam, imidacloprid and acetamiprid). From 2009 to 2012, neonicotinoid use was increasing; by 2012, applications covered an estimated ∼11 million hectares (44% of Prairie cropland) with >216,000 kg of active ingredients. Thiamethoxam, followed by clothianidin, were the dominant seed treatments by mass and area. Areas of high neonicotinoid use were identified as high density canola or soybean production. Water sampled four times from 136 wetlands (spring, summer, fall 2012 and spring 2013) across four rural municipalities in Saskatchewan similarly revealed clothianidin and thiamethoxam in the majority of samples. In spring 2012 prior to seeding, 36% of wetlands contained at least one neonicotinoid. Detections increased to 62% in summer 2012, declined to 16% in fall, and increased to 91% the following spring 2013 after ice-off. Peak concentrations were recorded during summer 2012 for both thiamethoxam (range: Wetlands situated in barley, canola and oat fields consistently contained higher mean concentrations of neonicotinoids than in grasslands, but no individual crop singularly influenced overall detections or concentrations. Distribution maps indicate neonicotinoid use is increasing and becoming more widespread with concerns for environmental loading, while frequently detected neonicotinoid concentrations in Prairie wetlands suggest high persistence and transport into wetlands.

  8. The relative contribution of climate to changes in lesser prairie-chicken abundance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ross, Beth E.; Haukos, David A.; Hagen, Christian A.; Pitman, James

    2016-01-01

    Managing for species using current weather patterns fails to incorporate the uncertainty associated with future climatic conditions; without incorporating potential changes in climate into conservation strategies, management and conservation efforts may fall short or waste valuable resources. Understanding the effects of climate change on species in the Great Plains of North America is especially important, as this region is projected to experience an increased magnitude of climate change. Of particular ecological and conservation interest is the lesser prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus), which was listed as “threatened” under the U.S. Endangered Species Act in May 2014. We used Bayesian hierarchical models to quantify the effects of extreme climatic events (extreme values of the Palmer Drought Severity Index [PDSI]) relative to intermediate (changes in El Niño Southern Oscillation) and long-term climate variability (changes in the Pacific Decadal Oscillation) on trends in lesser prairie-chicken abundance from 1981 to 2014. Our results indicate that lesser prairie-chicken abundance on leks responded to environmental conditions of the year previous by positively responding to wet springs (high PDSI) and negatively to years with hot, dry summers (low PDSI), but had little response to variation in the El Niño Southern Oscillation and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation. Additionally, greater variation in abundance on leks was explained by variation in site relative to broad-scale climatic indices. Consequently, lesser prairie-chicken abundance on leks in Kansas is more strongly influenced by extreme drought events during summer than other climatic conditions, which may have negative consequences for the population as drought conditions intensify throughout the Great Plains.

  9. GIS habitat analysis for lesser prairie-chickens in southeastern New Mexico

    OpenAIRE

    Johnson, Kristine; Neville, Teri B; Neville, Paul

    2006-01-01

    Abstract Background We conducted Geographic Information System (GIS) habitat analyses for lesser prairie-chicken (LPCH, Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) conservation planning. The 876,799 ha study area included most of the occupied habitat for the LPCH in New Mexico. The objectives were to identify and quantify: 1. suitable LPCH habitat in New Mexico, 2. conversion of native habitats, 3. potential for habitat restoration, and 4. unsuitable habitat available for oil and gas activities. Results We f...

  10. Interannual water-level fluctuations and the vegetation of prairie potholes: Potential impacts of climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Valk, Arnold; Mushet, David M.

    2016-01-01

    Mean water depth and range of interannual water-level fluctuations over wet-dry cycles in precipitation are major drivers of vegetation zone formation in North American prairie potholes. We used harmonic hydrological models, which require only mean interannual water depth and amplitude of water-level fluctuations over a wet–dry cycle, to examine how the vegetation zones in a pothole would respond to small changes in water depth and/or amplitude of water-level fluctuations. Field data from wetlands in Saskatchewan, North Dakota, and South Dakota were used to parameterize harmonic models for four pothole classes. Six scenarios in which small negative or positive changes in either mean water depth, amplitude of interannual fluctuations, or both, were modeled to predict if they would affect the number of zones in each wetland class. The results indicated that, in some cases, even small changes in mean water depth when coupled with a small change in amplitude of water-level fluctuations can shift a prairie pothole wetland from one class to another. Our results suggest that climate change could alter the relative proportion of different wetland classes in the prairie pothole region.

  11. Functional consequences of climate change-induced plant species loss in a tallgrass prairie.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Craine, Joseph M; Nippert, Jesse B; Towne, E Gene; Tucker, Sally; Kembel, Steven W; Skibbe, Adam; McLauchlan, Kendra K

    2011-04-01

    Future climate change is likely to reduce the floristic diversity of grasslands. Yet the potential consequences of climate-induced plant species losses for the functioning of these ecosystems are poorly understood. We investigated how climate change might alter the functional composition of grasslands for Konza Prairie, a diverse tallgrass prairie in central North America. With species-specific climate envelopes, we show that a reduction in mean annual precipitation would preferentially remove species that are more abundant in the more productive lowland positions at Konza. As such, decreases in precipitation could reduce productivity not only by reducing water availability but by also removing species that inhabit the most productive areas and respond the most to climate variability. In support of this prediction, data on species abundance at Konza over 16 years show that species that are more abundant in lowlands than uplands are preferentially reduced in years with low precipitation. Climate change is likely to also preferentially remove species from particular functional groups and clades. For example, warming is forecast to preferentially remove perennials over annuals as well as Cyperaceae species. Despite these predictions, climate change is unlikely to unilaterally alter the functional composition of the tallgrass prairie flora, as many functional traits such as physiological drought tolerance and maximum photosynthetic rates showed little relationship with climate envelope parameters. In all, although climatic drying would indirectly alter grassland productivity through species loss patterns, the insurance afforded by biodiversity to ecosystem function is likely to be sustained in the face of climate change.

  12. Managing prairie dogs by managing plague: a vaccine for the future?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Terry B.; Rocke, Tonie E.; Gober, Pete; Van Pelt, Bill E.; Miller, Michael W.; Tripp, Daniel W.; Abbott, Rachel C.; Bergman, David L.

    2014-01-01

    The Black-footed Ferret Recovery Implementation Team Executive Committee is conducting a project to develop,and (hopefully) eventually implement, a plague vaccination program for prairie dogs. The project is a component of the WesternAssociation of Fish and Wildlife Agencies Grasslands Conservation Initiative. An effective, field-worthy vaccine against plaguecould be the biggest breakthrough in recovery efforts for the black-footed ferret since the 1981 rediscovery of wild ferrets nearMeeteetse, Wyoming. If proven efficacious, the vaccine could help agencies and stakeholder cooperators maintain specificpopulations of prairie dogs at robust levels, thus enhancing range-wide conservation of those species, as well recovery of the ferret,while enabling control of other prairie dog populations to resolve site-specific agricultural and human health concerns. The resultsof laboratory and field-testing in the early stages of developing this vaccine are preliminary but mostly encouraging. A plan forbroad-scale application is being developed for possible use when testing has been completed and (if warranted) the vaccine isregistered for governmental use. An overview of all aspects of the project is discussed.

  13. Evaluation of monkeypox virus infection of prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) using in vivo bioluminescent imaging

    Science.gov (United States)

    Falendysz, Elizabeth A.; Londoño-Navas, Angela M.; Meteyer, Carol U.; Pussini, Nicola; Lopera, Juan G.; Osorio, Jorge E.; Rocke, Tonie E.

    2014-01-01

    Monkeypox (MPX) is a re-emerging zoonotic disease that is endemic in Central and West Africa, where it can cause a smallpox-like disease in humans. Despite many epidemiologic and field investigations of MPX, no definitive reservoir species has been identified. Using recombinant viruses expressing the firefly luciferase (luc) gene, we previously demonstrated the suitability of in vivo bioluminescent imaging (BLI) to study the pathogenesis of MPX in animal models. Here, we evaluated BLI as a novel approach for tracking MPX virus infection in black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus). Prairie dogs were affected during a multistate outbreak of MPX in the US in 2003 and have since been used as an animal model of this disease. Our BLI results were compared with PCR and virus isolation from tissues collected postmortem. Virus was easily detected and quantified in skin and superficial tissues by BLI before and during clinical phases, as well as in subclinical secondary cases, but was not reliably detected in deep tissues such as the lung. Although there are limitations to viral detection in larger wild rodent species, BLI can enhance the use of prairie dogs as an animal model of MPX and can be used for the study of infection, disease progression, and transmission in potential wild rodent reservoirs.

  14. Model estimation of land-use effects on water levels of northern Prairie wetlands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Voldseth, R.A.; Johnson, W.C.; Gilmanov, T.; Guntenspergen, G.R.; Millett, B.V.

    2007-01-01

    Wetlands of the Prairie Pothole Region exist in a matrix of grassland dominated by intensive pastoral and cultivation agriculture. Recent conservation management has emphasized the conversion of cultivated farmland and degraded pastures to intact grassland to improve upland nesting habitat. The consequences of changes in land-use cover that alter watershed processes have not been evaluated relative to their effect on the water budgets and vegetation dynamics of associated wetlands. We simulated the effect of upland agricultural practices on the water budget and vegetation of a semipermanent prairie wetland by modifying a previously published mathematical model (WETSIM). Watershed cover/land-use practices were categorized as unmanaged grassland (native grass, smooth brome), managed grassland (moderately heavily grazed, prescribed burned), cultivated crops (row crop, small grain), and alfalfa hayland. Model simulations showed that differing rates of evapotranspiration and runoff associated with different upland plant-cover categories in the surrounding catchment produced differences in wetland water budgets and linked ecological dynamics. Wetland water levels were highest and vegetation the most dynamic under the managed-grassland simulations, while water levels were the lowest and vegetation the least dynamic under the unmanaged-grassland simulations. The modeling results suggest that unmanaged grassland, often planted for waterfowl nesting, may produce the least favorable wetland conditions for birds, especially in drier regions of the Prairie Pothole Region. These results stand as hypotheses that urgently need to be verified with empirical data.

  15. Grasshopper fecundity responses to grazing and fire in a tallgrass prairie.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laws, Angela N; Joern, Anthony

    2011-10-01

    Grasshopper abundance and diversity vary with management practices such as fire and grazing. Understanding how grasshopper life history traits such as fecundity respond to management practices is key to predicting grasshopper population dynamics in heterogeneous environments. Landscape-level experimental fire and bison grazing treatments at the Konza Prairie Biological Station (Manhattan, KS) provide an opportunity to examine how management affects grasshopper fecundity. Here we report on grasshopper fecundity for nine common species at Konza Prairie. From 2007 to 2009, adult female grasshoppers were collected every 3 wk from eight watersheds that varied in fire and grazing treatments. Fecundity was measured by examining female reproductive tracts, which contain a record of past and current reproductive activity. Body size was a poor predictor of fecundity for all species. Despite large differences in vegetation structure and composition with management regime (grazing and fire interval), we observed little effect of management on grasshopper fecundity. Habitat characteristics (grasshopper density, vegetation biomass, and vegetation quality; measured in 2008 and 2009) were better predictors of past fecundity than current fecundity, with species-specific responses. Fecundity increased throughout the summer, indicating that grasshoppers were able to acquire sufficient nutritional resources for egg production in the early fall when vegetation quality is generally low. Because fecundity did not vary across management treatments, population stage structure may be more important for determining population level reproduction than management regime at Konza Prairie.

  16. Investigation of climate change impacts on Prairie's petroleum industry in Canada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Li, J.B.; Huang, G.H.; Chakma, A.; Huang, Y.F.; Zeng, G.M.

    2002-01-01

    Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba, the three Prairie provinces of Canada, and their economies strongly depend on the petroleum industry. However, climate change may have potential impacts on the sector that could reverberate onto the socio-economic fabric of the provinces. The petroleum industry in the Prairies is faced with a big challenge: how to adapt to the changing climatic conditions so that they maintain or improve their economic and environmental efficiencies. The attitudes of the different stakeholders concerning climate change and the appropriate measures to be implemented by the petroleum industry were obtained through a questionnaire-based survey conducted between February and June 2001. Based on the responses received, a Chi-square statistical test was applied to look at the complex interactions in the results. An analysis of a number of petroleum-related processes and activities vulnerable to climate change was performed. A sound foundation was obtained for the decision-making process on the climate change measures required in the petroleum industry in the Prairies. 14 refs., 7 tabs

  17. Melanocortin Receptor Agonists Facilitate Oxytocin-Dependent Partner Preference Formation in the Prairie Vole.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Modi, Meera E; Inoue, Kiyoshi; Barrett, Catherine E; Kittelberger, Kara A; Smith, Daniel G; Landgraf, Rainer; Young, Larry J

    2015-07-01

    The central melanocortin (MC) system has been widely studied for its effects on food intake and sexual behavior. However, the MC system, and more specifically the MC4 receptor (MC4R), also interacts with neurochemical systems that regulate socioemotional behaviors, including oxytocin (OT) and dopamine. In monogamous prairie voles, OT and dopamine interact to promote partner preference formation, a laboratory measure of an enduring social bond between mates. Here we investigated the effects of MC receptor activation on partner preference formation in prairie voles, as well as the interaction between the MC and OT systems during this process. Peripheral administration of the brain penetrant MC3/4R receptor peptide agonist, Melanotan II (MTII), and the highly selective, small-molecule MC4R agonist, Pf-446687, enhanced partner preference formation in the prairie vole, but not in the non-monogamous meadow vole. MTII-induced partner preferences were enduring, as they were present 1 week after drug manipulation. The prosocial effects of MCR agonists may be mediated, in part, through modulation of OT, as coadministration of an OT receptor antagonist prevented MTII-induced partner preferences. MTII also selectively activated hypothalamic OT neurons and potentiated central OT release. As OT has been shown to enhance some aspects of social cognition in humans, our data suggest that the MC4R may be a viable therapeutic target for enhancing social function in psychiatric disorders, including autism spectrum disorders and schizophrenia, potentially through activation of the OT system.

  18. Partner Loss in Monogamous Rodents: Modulation of Pain and Emotional Behavior in Male Prairie Voles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osako, Yoji; Nobuhara, Reiko; Arai, Young-Chang P; Tanaka, Kenjiro; Young, Larry J; Nishihara, Makoto; Mitsui, Shinichi; Yuri, Kazunari

    2018-01-01

    Pain is modulated by psychosocial factors, and social stress-induced hyperalgesia is a common clinical symptom in pain disorders. To provide a new animal model for studying social modulation of pain, we examined pain behaviors in monogamous prairie voles experiencing partner loss. After cohabitation with novel females, males (n = 79) were divided into two groups on the basis of preference test scores. Half of the males of each group were separated from their partner (loss group), whereas the other half remained paired (paired group). Thus, males from both groups experienced social isolation. Open field tests, plantar tests, and formalin tests were then conducted on males to assess anxiety and pain-related behaviors. Loss males showing partner preferences (n = 20) displayed a significant increase in anxiety-related behavior in the open-field test (central area/total distance: 13.65% [1.58%] for paired versus 6.45% [0.87%] for loss; p partner preferences (r = 0.15). Results indicate that social bonds and their disruption, but not social housing without bonding followed by isolation, modulate pain and emotion in male prairie voles. The prairie vole is a useful model for exploring the neural mechanisms by which social relationships contribute to pain and nociceptive processing in humans.

  19. Assessing range-wide habitat suitability for the Lesser Prairie-Chicken

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jarnevich, Catherine S.; Holcombe, Tracy R.; Grisham, Blake A.; Timmer, Jennifer M.; Boal, Clint W.; Butler, Matthew; Pitman, James C.; Kyle, Sean; Klute, David; Beauprez, Grant M.; Janus, Allan; Van Pelt, William E.

    2016-01-01

    Population declines of many wildlife species have been linked to habitat loss incurred through land-use change. Incorporation of conservation planning into development planning may mitigate these impacts. The threatened Lesser Prairie-Chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) is experiencing loss of native habitat and high levels of energy development across its multijurisdictional range. Our goal was to explore relationships of the species occurrence with landscape characteristics and anthropogenic effects influencing its distribution through evaluation of habitat suitability associated with one particular habitat usage, lekking. Lekking has been relatively well-surveyed, though not consistently, in all jurisdictions. All five states in which Lesser Prairie-Chickens occur cooperated in development of a Maxent habitat suitability model. We created two models, one with state as a factor and one without state. When state was included it was the most important predictor, followed by percent of land cover consisting of known or suspected used vegetation classes within a 5000 m area around a lek. Without state, land cover was the most important predictor of relative habitat suitability for leks. Among the anthropogenic predictors, landscape condition, a measure of human impact integrated across several factors, was most important, ranking third in importance without state. These results quantify the relative suitability of the landscape within the current occupied range of Lesser Prairie-Chickens. These models, combined with other landscape information, form the basis of a habitat assessment tool that can be used to guide siting of development projects and targeting of areas for conservation.

  20. A multivariate analysis of biophysical parameters of tallgrass prairie among land management practices and years

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griffith, J.A.; Price, K.P.; Martinko, E.A.

    2001-01-01

    Six treatments of eastern Kansas tallgrass prairie - native prairie, hayed, mowed, grazed, burned and untreated - were studied to examine the biophysical effects of land management practices on grasslands. On each treatment, measurements of plant biomass, leaf area index, plant cover, leaf moisture and soil moisture were collected. In addition, measurements were taken of the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), which is derived from spectral reflectance measurements. Measurements were taken in mid-June, mid-July and late summer of 1990 and 1991. Multivariate analysis of variance was used to determine whether there were differences in the set of variables among treatments and years. Follow-up tests included univariate t-tests to determine which variables were contributing to any significant difference. Results showed a significant difference (p treatments in the composite of parameters during each of the months sampled. In most treatment types, there was a significant difference between years within each month. The univariate tests showed, however, that only some variables, primarily soil moisture, were contributing to this difference. We conclude that biomass and % plant cover show the best potential to serve as long-term indicators of grassland condition as they generally were sensitive to effects of different land management practices but not to yearly change in weather conditions. NDVI was insensitive to precipitation differences between years in July for most treatments, but was not in the native prairie. Choice of sampling time is important for these parameters to serve effectively as indicators.

  1. Characterization of the oxytocin system regulating affiliative behavior in female prairie voles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ross, H E; Cole, C D; Smith, Y; Neumann, I D; Landgraf, R; Murphy, A Z; Young, L J

    2009-09-15

    Oxytocin regulates partner preference formation and alloparental behavior in the socially monogamous prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster) by activating oxytocin receptors in the nucleus accumbens of females. Mating facilitates partner preference formation, and oxytocin-immunoreactive fibers in the nucleus accumbens have been described in prairie voles. However, there has been no direct evidence of oxytocin release in the nucleus accumbens during sociosexual interactions, and the origin of the oxytocin fibers is unknown. Here we show for the first time that extracellular concentrations of oxytocin are increased in the nucleus accumbens of female prairie vole during unrestricted interactions with a male. We further show that the distribution of oxytocin-immunoreactive fibers in the nucleus accumbens is conserved in voles, mice and rats, despite remarkable species differences in oxytocin receptor binding in the region. Using a combination of site-specific and peripheral infusions of the retrograde tracer Fluorogold, we demonstrate that the nucleus accumbens oxytocin-immunoreactive fibers likely originate from paraventricular and supraoptic hypothalamic neurons. This distribution of retrogradely labeled neurons is consistent with the hypothesis that striatal oxytocin fibers arise from collaterals of magnocellular neurons of the neurohypophysial system. If correct, this may serve to coordinate peripheral and central release of oxytocin with appropriate behavioral responses associated with reproduction, including pair bonding after mating, and maternal responsiveness following parturition and during lactation.

  2. Uptake of C14-atrazine by prairie grasses in a phytoremediation setting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khrunyk, Yuliya; Schiewer, Silke; Carstens, Keri L; Hu, Dingfei; Coats, Joel R

    2017-02-01

    Agrochemicals significantly contribute to environmental pollution. In the USA, atrazine is a widely used pesticide and commonly found in rivers, water systems, and rural wells. Phytoremediation can be a cost-effective means of removing pesticides from soil. The objective of this project was to investigate the ability of prairie grasses to remove atrazine. 14 C-labeled atrazine was added to sterilized sand and water/nutrient cultures, and the analysis was performed after 21 days. Switchgrass and big bluestem were promising species for phytoremediation, taking up about 40% of the applied [ 14 C] in liquid hydroponic cultures, and between 20% and 33% in sand cultures. Yellow Indiangrass showed low resistance to atrazine toxicity and low uptake of [ 14 C] atrazine in liquid hydroponic cultures. Atrazine degradation increased progressively from sand to roots and leaves. Most atrazine taken up by prairie grasses from sand culture was degraded to metabolites, which accounted for 60-80% of [ 14 C] detected in leaves. Deisopropylatrazine (DIA) was the main metabolite detected in sand and roots, whereas in leaves further metabolism took place, forming increased amounts of didealkylatrazine (DDA) and an unidentified metabolite. In conclusion, prairie grasses achieved high atrazine removal and degradation, showing a high potential for phytoremediation.

  3. Direct and indirect responses of tallgrass prairie butterflies to prescribed burning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vogel, Jennifer A.; Koford, Rolf R.; Debinski, Diane M.

    2010-01-01

    Fire is an important tool in the conservation and restoration of tallgrass prairie ecosystems. We investigated how both the vegetation composition and butterfly community of tallgrass prairie remnants changed in relation to the elapsed time (in months) since prescribed fire. Butterfly richness and butterfly abundance were positively correlated with the time since burn. Habitat-specialist butterfly richness recovery time was greater than 70 months post-fire and habitat-specialist butterfly abundance recovery time was approximately 50 months post-fire. Thus, recovery times for butterfly populations after prescribed fires in our study were potentially longer than those previously reported. We used Path Analysis to evaluate the relative contributions of the direct effect of time since fire and the indirect effects of time since fire through changes in vegetation composition on butterfly abundance. Path models highlighted the importance of the indirect effects of fire on habitat features, such as increases in the cover of bare ground. Because fire return intervals on managed prairie remnants are often less than 5 years, information on recovery times for habitat-specialist insect species are of great importance. ?? 2010 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

  4. Interactive effects of chemical and biological controls on food-web composition in saline prairie lakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooper, Ryan N; Wissel, Björn

    2012-11-27

    Salinity is restricting habitatability for many biota in prairie lakes due to limited physiological abilities to cope with increasing osmotic stress. Yet, it remains unclear how salinity effects vary among major taxonomic groups and what role other environmental parameters play in shaping food-web composition. To answer these questions, we sampled fish, zooplankton and littoral macroinvertebrates in 20 prairie lakes (Saskatchewan, Canada) characterized by large gradients in water chemistry and lake morphometry. We showed that salinity thresholds differed among major taxonomic groups, as most fishes were absent above salinities of 2 g L-1, while littoral macroinvertebrates were ubiquitous. Zooplankton occurred over the whole salinity range, but changed taxonomic composition as salinity increased. Subsequently, the complexity of fish community (diversity) was associated with large changes in invertebrate communities. The directional changes in invertebrate communities to smaller taxa indicated that complex fish assemblages resulted in higher predation pressure. Most likely, as the complexity of fish community decreased, controls of invertebrate assemblages shifted from predation to competition and ultimately to productivity in hypersaline lakes. Surprisingly, invertebrate predators did not thrive in the absence of fishes in these systems. Furthermore, the here identified salinity threshold for fishes was too low to be a result of osmotic stress. Hence, winterkill was likely an important factor eliminating fishes in low salinity lakes that had high productivity and shallow water depth. Ultimately, while salinity was crucial, intricate combinations of chemical and biological mechanisms also played a major role in controlling the assemblages of major taxonomic groups in prairie lakes.

  5. Production of germline transgenic prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster) using lentiviral vectors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donaldson, Zoe R; Yang, Shang-Hsun; Chan, Anthony W S; Young, Larry J

    2009-12-01

    The study of alternative model organisms has yielded tremendous insights into the regulation of behavioral and physiological traits not displayed by more widely used animal models, such as laboratory rats and mice. In particular, comparative approaches often exploit species ideally suited for investigating specific phenomenon. For instance, comparative studies of socially monogamous prairie voles and polygamous meadow voles have been instrumental toward gaining an understanding of the genetic and neurobiological basis of social bonding. However, laboratory studies of less commonly used organisms, such as prairie voles, have been limited by a lack of genetic tools, including the ability to manipulate the genome. Here, we show that lentiviral vector-mediated transgenesis is a rapid and efficient approach for creating germline transgenics in alternative laboratory rodents. Injection of a green fluorescent protein (GFP)-expressing lentiviral vector into the perivitelline space of 23 single-cell embryos yielded three live offspring (13 %), one of which (33%) contained germline integration of a GFP transgene driven by the human ubiquitin-C promoter. In comparison, transfer of 23 uninjected embryos yielded six live offspring (26%). Green fluorescent protein is present in all tissues examined and is expressed widely in the brain. The GFP transgene is heritable and stably expressed until at least the F(2) generation. This technology has the potential to allow investigation of specific gene candidates in prairie voles and provides a general protocol to pursue germline transgenic manipulation in many different rodent species.

  6. Elevated naturally occurring arsenic in a semiarid oxidizing system, Southern High Plains aquifer, Texas, USA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Scanlon, B.R.; Nicot, J.P.; Reedy, R.C.; Kurtzman, D.; Mukherjee, A.; Nordstrom, D.K.

    2009-01-01

    of As in other semiarid oxidizing systems is caused by increased pH; however, pH in the SHP aquifer is near neutral (10-90 percentiles, 7.0-7.6). Although many processes, such as competitive desorption with SiO 2 , VO 4 , or PO 4 , could be responsible for local mobilization of As in the SHP aquifer, the most plausible explanation for the regional As distribution and correlation with TDS is the counterion effect caused by a change from Ca- to Na-rich, water as shown by the high correlation between As and Na/(Ca) 0.5 ratios (ρ = 0.57). This change in chemistry is related to mixing with saline water that moves upward from the underlying Dockum aquifer. This counterion effect may mobilize other anions and oxyanion-forming elements that are correlated with As (F, V, Se, B, Mo and SiO 2 ). Competition among the oxyanions for sorption sites may enhance As mobilization. The SHP case study has similar As sources to those of other semiarid, oxidizing systems (original volcanic ash source followed by sorption onto hydrous metal oxides) but contrasts with these systems by showing lack of evaporative concentration and pH mobilization of As but counterion mobilization of As instead in the SHP-S aquifer.

  7. Elevated naturally occurring arsenic in a semiarid oxidizing system, Southern High Plains aquifer, Texas, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scanlon, Bridget R.; Nicot, J.-P.; Reedy, R.C.; Kurtzman, D.; Mukherjee, A.; Nordstrom, D. Kirk

    2009-01-01

    Triassic Dockum aquifer. Mobilization of As in other semiarid oxidizing systems is caused by increased pH; however, pH in the SHP aquifer is near neutral (10–90 percentiles, 7.0–7.6). Although many processes, such as competitive desorption with SiO2, VO4, or PO4, could be responsible for local mobilization of As in the SHP aquifer, the most plausible explanation for the regional As distribution and correlation with TDS is the counterion effect caused by a change from Ca- to Na-rich, water as shown by the high correlation between As and Na/(Ca)0.5 ratios (ρ = 0.57). This change in chemistry is related to mixing with saline water that moves upward from the underlying Dockum aquifer. This counterion effect may mobilize other anions and oxyanion-forming elements that are correlated with As (F, V, Se, B, Mo and SiO2). Competition among the oxyanions for sorption sites may enhance As mobilization. The SHP case study has similar As sources to those of other semiarid, oxidizing systems (original volcanic ash source followed by sorption onto hydrous metal oxides) but contrasts with these systems by showing lack of evaporative concentration and pH mobilization of As but counterion mobilization of As instead in the SHP-S aquifer.

  8. Using occupancy models to investigate the prevalence of ectoparasitic vectors on hosts: an example with fleas on prairie dogs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eads, David A.; Biggins, Dean E.; Doherty, Paul F.; Gage, Kenneth L.; Huyvaert, Kathryn P.; Long, Dustin H.; Antolin, Michael F.

    2013-01-01

    Ectoparasites are often difficult to detect in the field. We developed a method that can be used with occupancy models to estimate the prevalence of ectoparasites on hosts, and to investigate factors that influence rates of ectoparasite occupancy while accounting for imperfect detection. We describe the approach using a study of fleas (Siphonaptera) on black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus). During each primary occasion (monthly trapping events), we combed a prairie dog three consecutive times to detect fleas (15 s/combing). We used robust design occupancy modeling to evaluate hypotheses for factors that might correlate with the occurrence of fleas on prairie dogs, and factors that might influence the rate at which prairie dogs are colonized by fleas. Our combing method was highly effective; dislodged fleas fell into a tub of water and could not escape, and there was an estimated 99.3% probability of detecting a flea on an occupied host when using three combings. While overall detection was high, the probability of detection was always dogs, flea occupancy was heightened in old/natural colonies of prairie dogs, and on hosts that were in poor condition. Occupancy was initially low in plots with high densities of prairie dogs, but, as the study progressed, the rate of flea colonization increased in plots with high densities of prairie dogs in particular. Our methodology can be used to improve studies of ectoparasites, especially when the probability of detection is low. Moreover, the method can be modified to investigate the co-occurrence of ectoparasite species, and community level factors such as species richness and interspecific interactions.

  9. An adaptive approach to invasive plant management on U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service-owned native prairies in the Prairie Pothole Region: decision support under uncertainity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gannon, Jill J.; Moore, Clinton T.; Shaffer, Terry L.; Flanders-Wanner, Bridgette

    2011-01-01

    Much of the native prairie managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) in the Prairie Pothole Region (PPR) is extensively invaded by the introduced cool-season grasses smooth brome (Bromus inermis) and Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis). The central challenge to managers is selecting appropriate management actions in the face of biological and environmental uncertainties. We describe the technical components of a USGS management project, and explain how the components integrate and inform each other, how data feedback from individual cooperators serves to reduce uncertainty across the whole region, and how a successful adaptive management project is coordinated and maintained on a large scale. In partnership with the Service, the U.S. Geological Survey is developing an adaptive decision support framework to assist managers in selecting management actions under uncertainty and maximizing learning from management outcomes. The framework is built around practical constraints faced by refuge managers and includes identification of the management objective and strategies, analysis of uncertainty and construction of competing decision models, monitoring, and mechanisms for model feedback and decision selection. Nineteen Service field stations, spanning four states of the PPR, are participating in the project. They share a common management objective, available management strategies, and biological uncertainties. While the scope is broad, the project interfaces with individual land managers who provide refuge-specific information and receive updated decision guidance that incorporates understanding gained from the collective experience of all cooperators.

  10. Social isolation disrupts innate immune responses in both male and female prairie voles and enhances agonistic behavior in female prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scotti, Melissa-Ann L; Carlton, Elizabeth D; Demas, Gregory E; Grippo, Angela J

    2015-04-01

    Psychosocial stress, specifically social isolation, is an important risk factor for the development of a variety of psychological and physiological disorders. Changes in immune function have been hypothesized to mediate this relationship. The current study used the prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster) model of isolation-induced depressive-like behavior to test whether social isolation led to changes in innate immune function. Specifically, we used hemolytic complement (CH50) and bacteria killing assays to assess innate immunity, in paired or singly housed male and female prairie voles. Further, in a second experiment we tested whether females exposed to an additional short-term social stressor, a resident-intruder trial, would show changes in immune function as well as enhanced hypothalamic pituitary axis (HPA) activity as indicated by elevated plasma corticosterone levels. Socially isolated animals, regardless of sex, had significantly reduced CH50s and bacteria killing ability. Socially isolated females exposed to a resident-intruder stressor also showed reduced CH50s and bacteria killing ability as well as significant increases in aggressive behavior, however, they did not show elevated circulating corticosterone levels. Collectively, these data will help inform our understanding of the relationship between social isolation and physiological and psychological health. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Mixing Ventilation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kandzia, Claudia; Kosonen, Risto; Melikov, Arsen Krikor

    In this guidebook most of the known and used in practice methods for achieving mixing air distribution are discussed. Mixing ventilation has been applied to many different spaces providing fresh air and thermal comfort to the occupants. Today, a design engineer can choose from large selection...

  12. 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.

  13. Dynamic Disturbance Processes Create Dynamic Lek Site Selection in a Prairie Grouse.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Torre J Hovick

    Full Text Available It is well understood that landscape processes can affect habitat selection patterns, movements, and species persistence. These selection patterns may be altered or even eliminated as a result of changes in disturbance regimes and a concomitant management focus on uniform, moderate disturbance across landscapes. To assess how restored landscape heterogeneity influences habitat selection patterns, we examined 21 years (1991, 1993-2012 of Greater Prairie-Chicken (Tympanuchus cupido lek location data in tallgrass prairie with restored fire and grazing processes. Our study took place at The Nature Conservancy's Tallgrass Prairie Preserve located at the southern extent of Flint Hills in northeastern Oklahoma. We specifically addressed stability of lek locations in the context of the fire-grazing interaction, and the environmental factors influencing lek locations. We found that lek locations were dynamic in a landscape with interacting fire and grazing. While previous conservation efforts have treated leks as stable with high site fidelity in static landscapes, a majority of lek locations in our study (i.e., 65% moved by nearly one kilometer on an annual basis in this dynamic setting. Lek sites were in elevated areas with low tree cover and low road density. Additionally, lek site selection was influenced by an interaction of fire and patch edge, indicating that in recently burned patches, leks were located near patch edges. These results suggest that dynamic and interactive processes such as fire and grazing that restore heterogeneity to grasslands do influence habitat selection patterns in prairie grouse, a phenomenon that is likely to apply throughout the Greater Prairie-Chicken's distribution when dynamic processes are restored. As conservation moves toward restoring dynamic historic disturbance patterns, it will be important that siting and planning of anthropogenic structures (e.g., wind energy, oil and gas and management plans not view lek

  14. New insights into the phylogenetics and population structure of the prairie falcon (Falco mexicanus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doyle, Jacqueline M.; Bell, Douglas A.; Bloom, Peter H.; Emmons, Gavin; Fesnock, Amy; Katzner, Todd; LePre, Larry; Leonard, Kolbe; SanMiguel, Phillip; Westerman, Rick; DeWoody, J. Andrew

    2018-01-01

    BackgroundManagement requires a robust understanding of between- and within-species genetic variability, however such data are still lacking in many species. For example, although multiple population genetics studies of the peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus) have been conducted, no similar studies have been done of the closely-related prairie falcon (F. mexicanus) and it is unclear how much genetic variation and population structure exists across the species’ range. Furthermore, the phylogenetic relationship of F. mexicanus relative to other falcon species is contested. We utilized a genomics approach (i.e., genome sequencing and assembly followed by single nucleotide polymorphism genotyping) to rapidly address these gaps in knowledge.ResultsWe sequenced the genome of a single female prairie falcon and generated a 1.17 Gb (gigabases) draft genome assembly. We generated maximum likelihood phylogenetic trees using complete mitochondrial genomes as well as nuclear protein-coding genes. This process provided evidence that F. mexicanus is an outgroup to the clade that includes the peregrine falcon and members of the subgenus Hierofalco. We annotated > 16,000 genes and almost 600,000 high-quality single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the nuclear genome, providing the raw material for a SNP assay design featuring > 140 gene-associated markers and a molecular-sexing marker. We subsequently genotyped ~ 100 individuals from California (including the San Francisco East Bay Area, Pinnacles National Park and the Mojave Desert) and Idaho (Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area). We tested for population structure and found evidence that individuals sampled in California and Idaho represent a single panmictic population.ConclusionsOur study illustrates how genomic resources can rapidly shed light on genetic variability in understudied species and resolve phylogenetic relationships. Furthermore, we found evidence of a single, randomly mating

  15. Deltamethrin flea-control preserves genetic variability of black-tailed prairie dogs during a plague outbreak

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, P.H.; Biggins, D.E.; Eads, D.A.; Eads, S.L.; Britten, H.B.

    2012-01-01

    Genetic variability and structure of nine black-tailed prairie dog (BTPD, Cynomys ludovicianus) colonies were estimated with 15 unlinked microsatellite markers. A plague epizootic occurred between the first and second years of sampling and our study colonies were nearly extirpated with the exception of three colonies in which prairie dog burrows were previously dusted with an insecticide, deltamethrin, used to control fleas (vectors of the causative agent of plague, Yersinia pestis). This situation provided context to compare genetic variability and structure among dusted and non-dusted colonies pre-epizootic, and among the three dusted colonies pre- and post-epizootic. We found no statistical difference in population genetic structures between dusted and non-dusted colonies pre-epizootic. On dusted colonies, gene flow and recent migration rates increased from the first (pre-epizootic) year to the second (post-epizootic) year which suggested dusted colonies were acting as refugia for prairie dogs from surrounding colonies impacted by plague. Indeed, in the dusted colonies, estimated densities of adult prairie dogs (including dispersers), but not juveniles (non-dispersers), increased from the first year to the second year. In addition to preserving BTPDs and many species that depend on them, protecting colonies with deltamethrin or a plague vaccine could be an effective method to preserve genetic variability of prairie dogs. ?? 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

  16. Valuing ecosystem and economic services across land-use scenarios in the Prairie Pothole Regions of the Dakotas, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gascoigne, William R.; Hoag, Dana; Koontz, Lynne; Tangen, Brian A.; Shaffer, Terry L.; Gleason, Robert A.

    2011-01-01

    This study uses biophysical values derived for the Prairie Pothole Region (PPR) of North and South Dakota, in conjunction with value transfer methods, to assess environmental and economic tradeoffs under different policy-relevant land-use scenarios over a 20-year period. The ecosystem service valuation is carried out by comparing the biophysical and economic values of three focal services (i.e. carbon sequestration, reduction in sedimentation, and waterfowl production) across three focal land uses in the region [i.e. native prairie grasslands, lands enrolled in the Conservation Reserve and Wetlands Reserve Programs (CRP/WRP), and cropland]. This study finds that CRP/WRP lands cannot mitigate (hectare for hectare) the loss of native prairie from a social welfare standpoint. Land use scenarios where native prairie loss was minimized, and CRP/WRP lands were increased, provided the most societal benefit. The scenario modeling projected native prairie conversion to cropland over the next 20 years would result in a social welfare loss valued at over $4 billion when considering the study's three ecosystem services, and a net loss of about $3.4 billion when reductions in commodity production are accounted for.

  17. Age at Vaccination May Influence Response to Sylvatic Plague Vaccine (SPV) in Gunnison's Prairie Dogs (Cynomys gunnisoni).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rocke, Tonie E; Tripp, Dan; Lorenzsonn, Faye; Falendysz, Elizabeth; Smith, Susan; Williamson, Judy; Abbott, Rachel

    2015-06-01

    Gunnison's prairie dogs (Cynomys gunnisoni) have been considered at greater risk from Yersinia pestis (plague) infection in the montane portion of their range compared to populations at lower elevations, possibly due to factors related to flea transmission of the bacteria or greater host susceptibility. To test the latter hypothesis and determine whether vaccination against plague with an oral sylvatic plague vaccine (SPV) improved survival, we captured prairie dogs from a C. g. gunnisoni or "montane" population and a C. g. zuniensis or "prairie" population for vaccine efficacy and challenge studies. No differences (P = 0.63) were found in plague susceptibility in non-vaccinated animals between these two populations; however, vaccinates from the prairie population survived plague challenge at significantly higher rates (P plague challenge at a much higher rate than adults (P plague in the C. g. gunnisoni or "montane" populations of Gunnison's prairie dogs, and that SPV could be a useful plague management tool for this species, particularly if targeted at younger cohorts.

  18. SEASON OF DELTAMETHRIN APPLICATION AFFECTS FLEA AND PLAGUE CONTROL IN WHITE-TAILED PRAIRIE DOG (CYNOMYS LEUCURUS) COLONIES, COLORADO, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tripp, Daniel W; Streich, Sean P; Sack, Danielle A; Martin, Daniel J; Griffin, Karen A; Miller, Michael W

    2016-07-01

    In 2008 and 2009, we evaluated the duration of prophylactic deltamethrin treatments in white-tailed prairie dog ( Cynomys leucurus ) colonies and compared effects of autumn or spring dust application in suppressing flea numbers and plague. Plague occurred before and during our experiment. Overall, flea abundance tended to increase from May or June to September, but it was affected by deltamethrin treatment and plague dynamics. Success in trapping prairie dogs (animals caught/trap days) declined between June and September at all study sites. However, by September trap success on dusted sites (19%; 95% confidence interval [CI] 16-22%) was about 15-fold greater than on undusted control sites (1%; CI 0.3-4%; P≤0.0001). Applying deltamethrin dust as early as 12 mo prior seemed to afford some protection to prairie dogs. Our data showed that dusting even a portion of a prairie dog colony can prolong its persistence despite epizootic plague. Autumn dusting may offer advantages over spring in suppressing overwinter or early-spring flea activity, but timing should be adjusted to precede the annual decline in aboveground activity for hibernating prairie dog species. Large colony complexes or collections of occupied but fragmented habitat may benefit from dusting some sites in spring and others in autumn to maximize flea suppression in a portion of the complex or habitat year-round.

  19. Effects of Grazing and Fire Frequency on Floristic Quality and its Relationship to Indicators of Soil Quality in Tallgrass Prairie.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manning, George C; Baer, Sara G; Blair, John M

    2017-12-01

    Fire and grazing are widely used to manage grasslands for conservation purposes, but few studies have evaluated the effects of these drivers on the conservation value of plant communities measured by the floristic quality index (FQI). Further, the influence of fire and grazing on soil properties and functions are difficult for land managers and restoration practitioners to assess. The objectives of this study were to: (1) quantify the independent and interactive effects of grazing and fire frequency on floristic quality in native tallgrass prairie to provide potential benchmarks for community assessment, and (2) to explore whether floristic quality can serve as an indicator of soil structure and function for more holistic ecosystem assessments. A factorial combination of fire frequencies (1-2, 4, and 20 years return intervals) and grazing (by bison or ungrazed) treatments were sampled for plant species composition, and for several indicators of soil quality in lowland tallgrass prairie. Floristic quality, diversity, and richness were higher in grazed than ungrazed prairie over all fire frequencies (P soil bulk density were also higher in grazed prairie soil over all fire frequencies (P soil N were positively correlated with FQI (P soil N pools are more strongly influenced by grazing than fire and that floristic quality can be an indicator of total soil C and N stocks in never cultivated lowland prairie.

  20. Effects of Grazing and Fire Frequency on Floristic Quality and its Relationship to Indicators of Soil Quality in Tallgrass Prairie

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manning, George C.; Baer, Sara G.; Blair, John M.

    2017-12-01

    Fire and grazing are widely used to manage grasslands for conservation purposes, but few studies have evaluated the effects of these drivers on the conservation value of plant communities measured by the floristic quality index (FQI). Further, the influence of fire and grazing on soil properties and functions are difficult for land managers and restoration practitioners to assess. The objectives of this study were to: (1) quantify the independent and interactive effects of grazing and fire frequency on floristic quality in native tallgrass prairie to provide potential benchmarks for community assessment, and (2) to explore whether floristic quality can serve as an indicator of soil structure and function for more holistic ecosystem assessments. A factorial combination of fire frequencies (1-2, 4, and 20 years return intervals) and grazing (by bison or ungrazed) treatments were sampled for plant species composition, and for several indicators of soil quality in lowland tallgrass prairie. Floristic quality, diversity, and richness were higher in grazed than ungrazed prairie over all fire frequencies ( P total N, and soil bulk density were also higher in grazed prairie soil over all fire frequencies ( P total organic C, and total soil N were positively correlated with FQI ( P quality and soil N pools are more strongly influenced by grazing than fire and that floristic quality can be an indicator of total soil C and N stocks in never cultivated lowland prairie.

  1. Use of vegetation sampling and analysis to detect a problem within a portion of a prairie restoration project.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franson, Raymond; Scholes, Chad; Krabbe, Stephen

    2017-01-02

    In June 2005, the Department of Energy (DOE) began establishing the 60-ha Howell Prairie around the disposal cell at the DOE Weldon Spring Site (WSS). Prairies were historically present in the area of the site. Quantitative Cover sampling was used to quantify Total Cover, Native Grass Cover, Non-Native Grass Cover, Native Forb Cover, Non-Native Forb Cover, Warm Season (C 4 Grass), Cool Season (C 3 Grass), Perennial Cover and Annual Cover, Litter, and Bare Ground. Four permanent vegetation sampling plots were established. The first 4 years of vegetation measurements at Howell Prairie were made during above-average rainfall years on burned and unburned plots. The fifth-year (2012) vegetation measurements were made after below-average rainfall. Five years of results not only document the consistency of the restoration effort in three areas, but also demonstrate deficiencies in Grass Cover in a fourth area. The results are not only useful for Howell Prairie, but will be useful for restoration work throughout the region. Restoration work suffers from a lack of success monitoring and in this case from a lack of available reference areas. Floristic Quality Indices are used to make qualitative comparisons of the site to Konza Prairie sites.

  2. Long-term prairie falcon population changes in relation to prey abundance, weather, land uses, and habitat conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steenhof, Karen; Kochert, Michael N.; Carpenter, L.B.; Lehman, Robert N.

    1999-01-01

    We studied a nesting population of Prairie Falcons (Falco mexicanus) in the Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area (NCA) from 1974-1997 to identify factors that influence abundance and reproduction. Our sampling period included two major droughts and associated crashes in Townsend's ground squirrel (Spermophilus townsendii) populations. The number of Prairie Falcon pairs found on long-term survey segments declined significantly from 1976-1997. Early declines were most severe at the eastern end of the NCA, where fires and agriculture have changed native shrubsteppe habitat. More recent declines occurred in the portion of canyon near the Orchard Training Area (OTA), where the Idaho Army National Guard conducts artillery firing and tank maneuvers. Overall Prairie Falcon reproductive rates were tied closely to annual indexes of ground squirrel abundance, but precipitation before and during the breeding season was related inversely to some measures of reproduction. Most reproductive parameters showed no significant trends over time, but during the 1990s, nesting success and productivity were lower in the stretch of canyon near the OTA than in adjacent areas. Extensive shrub loss, by itself, did not explain the pattern of declines in abundance and reproduction that we observed. Recent military training activities likely have interacted with fire and livestock grazing to create less than favorable foraging opportunities for Prairie Falcons in a large part of the NCA. To maintain Prairie Falcon populations in the NCA, managers should suppress wildfires, restore native plant communities, and regulate potentially incompatible land uses.

  3. Age at vaccination may influence response to sylvatic plague vaccine (SPV) in Gunnison’s prairie dogs (Cynomys gunnisoni)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rocke, Tonie E.; Tripp, Daniel W.; Lorenzsonn, Faye; Falendysz, Elizabeth A.; Smith, Susan; Williamson, Judy L.; Abbott, Rachel C.

    2015-01-01

    Gunnison’s prairie dogs (Cynomys gunnisoni) have been considered at greater risk from Yersinia pestis (plague) infection in the montane portion of their range compared to populations at lower elevations, possibly due to factors related to flea transmission of the bacteria or greater host susceptibility. To test the latter hypothesis and determine whether vaccination against plague with an oral sylvatic plague vaccine (SPV) improved survival, we captured prairie dogs from a C. g. gunnisoni or “montane” population and a C. g. zuniensis or “prairie” population for vaccine efficacy and challenge studies. No differences (P = 0.63) were found in plague susceptibility in non-vaccinated animals between these two populations; however, vaccinates from the prairie population survived plague challenge at significantly higher rates (P age, as the prairie group was much younger on average than the montane group. Vaccinates that were juveniles or young adults survived plague challenge at a much higher rate than adults (P ages. These results suggest that host susceptibility is probably not related to the assumed greater risk from plague in the C. g. gunnisoni or “montane” populations of Gunnison’s prairie dogs, and that SPV could be a useful plague management tool for this species, particularly if targeted at younger cohorts.

  4. Flea abundance, diversity, and plague in Gunnison's prairie dogs (Cynomys gunnisoni) and their burrows in montane grasslands in northern New Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Megan M. Friggens; Robert R. Parmenter; Michael Boyden; Paulette L. Ford; Kenneth Gage; Paul Keim

    2010-01-01

    Plague, a flea-transmitted infectious disease caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, is a primary threat to the persistence of prairie dog populations (Cynomys spp.). We conducted a 3-yr survey (2004-2006) of fleas from Gunnison's prairie dogs (Cynomys gunnisoni) and their burrows in montane grasslands in Valles Caldera National Preserve in New Mexico. Our...

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

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

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pedro Carlos Pacheco de Oliveira

    2016-01-01

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

  8. Wind and water erosion control on semiarid lands

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Siddoway, F.H.

    1980-01-01

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

  9. Land-use change, economics, and rural well-being in the Prairie Pothole Region of the United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gascoigne, William R.; Hoag, Dana L.K.; Johnson, Rex R.; Koontz, Lynne M.; Thomas, Catherine Cullinane

    2013-01-01

    This fact sheet highlights findings included in a comprehensive new report (see USGS Professional Paper 1800) which investigated land-use change, economic characteristics, and rural community well-being in the Prairie Pothole Region of the United States. Once one of the largest grassland-wetlands ecosystems on earth, the North American prairie has experienced extensive conversion to cultivated agriculture, with farming becoming the dominant land use in the region over the last century. Both perennial habitat lands and agricultural croplands retain importance economically, socially, and culturally. Greatly increased oil and gas development in recent years brought rises in employment and income but also stressed infrastructure, cost of living, and crime rates. Research described in these reports focuses on land-use dynamics and illuminates how economic variables and rural development in the Prairie Pothole Region might be influenced as land uses change.

  10. Black-footed ferrets and recreational shooting influence the attributes of black-tailed prairie dog burrows

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biggins, Dean E.; Ramakrishnan, Shantini; Goldberg, Amanda R.; Eads, David A.

    2012-01-01

    Black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) plug burrows occupied by black-footed ferrets (Mustela nigripes), and they also plug burrows to entomb dead prairie dogs. We further evaluated these phenomena by sampling connectivity and plugging of burrow openings on prairie dog colonies occupied by ferrets, colonies where recreational shooting was allowed, and colonies with neither shooting nor ferrets. We counted burrow openings on line surveys and within plots, classified surface plugging, and used an air blower to examine subsurface connectivity. Colonies with ferrets had lower densities of openings, fewer connected openings (suggesting increased subsurface plugging), and more surface plugs compared to colonies with no known ferrets. Colonies with recreational shooting had the lowest densities of burrow openings, and line-survey data suggested colonies with shooting had intermediate rates of surface plugging. The extent of surface and subsurface plugging could have consequences for the prairie dog community by changing air circulation and escape routes of burrow systems and by altering energetic relationships. Burrow plugging might reduce prairie dogs' risk of predation by ferrets while increasing risk of predation by American badgers (Taxidea taxus); however, the complexity of the trade-off is increased if plugging increases the risk of predation on ferrets by badgers. Prairie dogs expend more energy plugging and digging when ferrets or shooting are present, and ferrets increase their energy expenditures when they dig to remove those plugs. Microclimatic differences in plugged burrow systems may play a role in flea ecology and persistence of the flea-borne bacterium that causes plague (Yersinia pestis).

  11. Nesting ecology and nest survival of lesser prairie-chickens on the Southern High Plains of Texas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grisham, Blake A.; Borsdorf, Philip K.; Boal, Clint W.; Boydston, Kathy K.

    2014-01-01

    The decline in population and range of lesser prairie-chickens (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) throughout the central and southern Great Plains has raised concerns considering their candidate status under the United States Endangered Species Act. Baseline ecological data for lesser prairie-chickens are limited, especially for the shinnery oak-grassland communities of Texas. This information is imperative because lesser prairie-chickens in shinnery oak grasslands occur at the extreme southwestern edge of their distribution. This geographic region is characterized by hot, arid climates, less fragmentation, and less anthropogenic development than within the remaining core distribution of the species. Thus, large expanses of open rangeland with less anthropogenic development and a climate that is classified as extreme for ground nesting birds may subsequently influence nest ecology, nest survival, and nest site selection differently compared to the rest of the distribution of the species. We investigated the nesting ecology of 50 radio-tagged lesser prairie-chicken hens from 2008 to 2011 in the shinnery oak-grassland communities in west Texas and found a substantial amount of inter-annual variation in incubation start date and percent of females incubating nests. Prairie-chickens were less likely to nest near unimproved roads and utility poles and in areas with more bare ground and litter. In contrast, hens selected areas dominated by grasses and shrubs and close to stock tanks to nest. Candidate models including visual obstruction best explained daily nest survival; a 5% increase in visual obstruction improved nest survival probability by 10%. The model-averaged probability of a nest surviving the incubation period was 0.43 (SE = 0.006; 95% CI: 0.23, 0.56). Our findings indicate that lesser prairie-chicken reproduction during our study period was dynamic and was correlated with seasonal weather patterns that ultimately promoted greater grass growth earlier in the

  12. Regional differences in mu and kappa opioid receptor G-protein activation in brain in male and female prairie voles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, T J; Sexton, T; Kim, S A; Severino, A L; Peters, C M; Young, L J; Childers, S R

    2015-12-17

    Prairie voles are unusual mammals in that, like humans, they are capable of forming socially monogamous pair bonds, display biparental care, and engage in alloparental behaviors. Both mu and kappa opioid receptors are involved in behaviors that either establish and maintain, or result from pair bond formation in these animals. Mu and kappa opioid receptors both utilize inhibitory G-proteins in signal transduction mechanisms, however the efficacy by which these receptor subtypes stimulate G-protein signaling across the prairie vole neuraxis is not known. Utilizing [(35)S]GTPγS autoradiography, we characterized the efficacy of G-protein stimulation in coronal sections throughout male and female prairie vole brains by [D-Ala2,NMe-Phe4,Gly-ol5]-enkephalin (DAMGO) and U50,488H, selective mu and kappa opioid agonists, respectively. DAMGO stimulation was highest in the forebrain, similar to that found with other rodent species. U-50,488H produced greater stimulation in prairie voles than is typically seen in mice and rats, particularly in select forebrain areas. DAMGO produced higher stimulation in the core versus the shell of the nucleus accumbens (NAc) in females, while the distribution of U-50,488H stimulation was the opposite. There were no gender differences for U50,488H stimulation of G-protein activity across the regions examined, while DAMGO stimulation was greater in sections from females compared to those from males for NAc core, entopeduncular nucleus, and hippocampus. These data suggest that the kappa opioid system may be more sensitive to manipulation in prairie voles compared to mice and rats, and that female prairie voles may be more sensitive to mu agonists in select brain regions than males. Copyright © 2015 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria T.S. Frade

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhen Wang

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  17. Contamination of semiarid potiguar reservoirs by harmful bacteria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ermeton Duarte do Nascimento

    2016-04-01

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

  18. Forage preferences in two species of prairie dog (Cynomys parvidens and Cynomus ludovicianus): Implications for hibernation and facultative heterothermy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lehmer, E.M.; Biggins, D.E.; Antolin, M.F.

    2006-01-01

    Several laboratory studies have shown that the ingestion of dietary linoleic (18:2 ??6) acid before winter can promote deep and continuous torpor, whereas excess consumption of ??-linolenic acid (18:3 ??3) can interfere with an animal's ability to reach and maintain low body temperatures during torpor. As mammalian heterotherms obtain linoleic and ??-linolenic acid strictly from the diet, diet selection has been proposed as a mechanism that allows hibernators to ingest levels of linoleic and ??-linolenic acid that promote favorable torpor patterns. Here diet, dietary nutrient content and patterns of forage preference of a representative hibernator, the Utah prairie dog Cynomys parvidens, and a facultative heterotherm, the black-tailed prairie dog Cynomys ludovicianus, were examined under natural field conditions. Diets of black-tailed (BTPD) and Utah prairie dogs (UTPD) differed across seasons (BTPD F26,108=9.59, Pplant species relative to their abundance on colonies in any season. Black-tailed prairie dogs did not consume or avoid consumption of plant species based on levels of total lipids, linoleic acid, ??-linolenic acid or nitrogen. Considering only the plants consumed, black-tailed prairie dogs appeared to prefer plants with low levels of ??-linolenic acid (F1,19=5.81, P=0.03), but there were no detectable relationships between preference and other nutrients. Utah prairie dogs consumed plants higher in ??-linolenic acid (t=1.98, P=0.05) and avoided plants high in linoleic acid (t=-2.02, P=0.04), but consumption-avoidance decisions did not appear to be related to nitrogen or total lipids. Of the plants consumed, Utah prairie dogs again preferred plants high in ??-linolenic acid (F1,17=4.62, P=0.05). Levels of linoleic and ??-linolenic acid were positively correlated in plants consumed by prairie dogs (BTPD Pearson r=0.66, P<0.01; UTPD Pearson r=0.79, P<0.01), reducing the opportunity for independent selection of either lipid. ?? 2006 The Authors.

  19. Autonomic substrates of the response to pups in male prairie voles.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William M Kenkel

    Full Text Available Caregiving by nonparents (alloparenting and fathers is a defining aspect of human social behavior, yet this phenomenon is rare among mammals. Male prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster spontaneously exhibit high levels of alloparental care, even in the absence of reproductive experience. In previous studies, exposure to a pup was selectively associated with increased activity in oxytocin and vasopressin neurons along with decreased plasma corticosterone. In the present study, physiological, pharmacological and neuroanatomical methods were used to explore the autonomic and behavioral consequences of exposing male prairie voles to a pup. Reproductively naïve, adult male prairie voles were implanted with radiotransmitters used for recording ECG, temperature and activity. Males responded with a sustained increase in heart-rate during pup exposure. This prolonged increase in heart rate was not explained by novelty, locomotion or thermoregulation. Although heart rate was elevated during pup exposure, respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA did not differ between these males and males exposed to control stimuli indicating that vagal inhibition of the heart was maintained. Blockade of beta-adrenergic receptors with atenolol abolished the pup-induced heart rate increase, implicating sympathetic activity in the pup-induced increase in heart rate. Blockade of vagal input to the heart delayed the males' approach to the pup. Increased activity in brainstem autonomic regulatory nuclei was also observed in males exposed to pups. Together, these findings suggest that exposure to a pup activates both vagal and sympathetic systems. This unique physiological state (i.e. increased sympathetic excitation of the heart, while maintaining some vagal cardiac tone associated with male caregiving behavior may allow males to both nurture and protect infants.

  20. Characteristics of lesser prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) long-distance movements across their distribution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Earl, Julia E.; Fuhlendorf, Samuel D.; Haukos, David A.; Tanner, Ashley M.; Elmore, Dwayne; Carleton, Scott A.

    2016-01-01

    Long-distance movements are important adaptive behaviors that contribute to population, community, and ecosystem connectivity. However, researchers have a poor understanding of the characteristics of long-distance movements for most species. Here, we examined long-distance movements for the lesser prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus), a species of conservation concern. We addressed the following questions: (1) At what distances could populations be connected? (2) What are the characteristics and probability of dispersal movements? (3) Do lesser prairie-chickens display exploratory and round-trip movements? (4) Do the characteristics of long-distance movements vary by site? Movements were examined from populations using satellite GPS transmitters across the entire distribution of the species in New Mexico, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Colorado. Dispersal movements were recorded up to 71 km net displacement, much farther than hitherto recorded. These distances suggest that there may be greater potential connectivity among populations than previously thought. Dispersal movements were displayed primarily by females and had a northerly directional bias. Dispersal probabilities ranged from 0.08 to 0.43 movements per year for both sexes combined, although these movements averaged only 16 km net displacement. Lesser prairie-chickens displayed both exploratory foray loops and round-trip movements. Half of round-trip movements appeared seasonal, suggesting a partial migration in some populations. None of the long-distance movements varied by study site. Data presented here will be important in parameterizing models assessing population viability and informing conservation planning, although further work is needed to identify landscape features that may reduce connectivity among populations.

  1. Cover Image Identification of Plant Species for Crop Pollinator Habitat Enhancement in the Northern Prairies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diana Bizecki Robson

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Wild pollinators have a positive impact on the productivity of insect-pollinated crops. Consequently, landowners are being encouraged to maintain and grow wildflower patches to provide habitat for important pollinators. Research on plant-pollinator interaction matrices indicates that a small number of “core” plants provide a disproportionately high amount of pollen and nectar to insects. This matrix data can be used to help design wildflower plantings that provide optimal resources for desirable pollinators. Existing interaction matrices from three tall grass prairie preserves in the northern prairies were used to identify core plant species that are visited by wild pollinators of a common insect-pollinated crop, namely canola (Brassica napus L.. The wildflower preferences of each insect taxon were determined using quantitative insect visitation and floral abundance data. Phenology data were used to calculate the degree of floral synchrony between the wildflowers and canola. Using this information I ranked the 41 wildflowers that share insect visitors with canola according to how useful they are for providing pollinators with forage before and after canola flowers. The top five species were smooth blue aster (Symphyotrichum laeve (L. A. & D. Löve, stiff goldenrod (Solidago rigida L., wild bergamot (Monarda fistulosa L., purple prairie-clover (Dalea purpurea Vent. and Lindley’s aster (Symphyotrichum ciliolatum (Lindl. A. & D. Löve. By identifying the most important wild insects for crop pollination, and determining when there will be “pollen and nectar gaps”, appropriate plant species can be selected for companion plantings to increase pollinator populations and crop production.

  2. Evaluation of capture techniques on lesser prairie-chicken trap injury and survival

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grisham, Blake A.; Boal, Clint W.; Mitchell, Natasia R.; Gicklhorn, Trevor S.; Borsdorf, Philip K.; Haukos, David A.; Dixon, Charles

    2015-01-01

    Ethical treatment of research animals is required under the Animal Welfare Act. This includes trapping methodologies that reduce unnecessary pain and duress. Traps used in research should optimize animal welfare conditions within the context of the proposed research study. Several trapping techniques are used in the study of lesser prairie-chickens, despite lack of knowledge of trap injury caused by the various methods. From 2006 to 2012, we captured 217, 40, and 144 lesser prairie-chickens Tympanuchus pallidicinctus using walk-in funnel traps, rocket nets, and drop nets, respectively, in New Mexico and Texas, to assess the effects of capture technique on injury and survival of the species. We monitored radiotagged, injured lesser prairie-chickens 7–65 d postcapture to assess survival rates of injured individuals. Injuries occurred disproportionately among trap type, injury type, and sex. The predominant injuries were superficial cuts to the extremities of males captured in walk-in funnel traps. However, we observed no mortalities due to trapping, postcapture survival rates of injured birds did not vary across trap types, and the daily survival probability of an injured and uninjured bird was ≥99%. Frequency and intensity of injuries in walk-in funnel traps are due to the passive nature of these traps (researcher cannot select specific individuals for capture) and incidental capture of individuals not needed for research. Comparatively, rocket nets and drop nets allow observers to target birds for capture and require immediate removal of captured individuals from the trap. Based on our results, trap injuries would be reduced if researchers monitor and immediately remove birds from walk-in funnels before they injure themselves; move traps to target specific birds and reduce recaptures; limit the number of consecutive trapping days on a lek; and use proper netting techniques that incorporate quick, efficient, trained handling procedures.

  3. Social isolation induces behavioral and neuroendocrine disturbances relevant to depression in female and male prairie voles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grippo, Angela J; Gerena, Davida; Huang, Jonathan; Kumar, Narmda; Shah, Maulin; Ughreja, Raj; Carter, C Sue

    2007-01-01

    Supportive social interactions may be protective against stressors and certain mental and physical illness, while social isolation may be a powerful stressor. Prairie voles are socially monogamous rodents that model some of the behavioral and physiological traits displayed by humans, including sensitivity to social isolation. Neuroendocrine and behavioral parameters, selected for their relevance to stress and depression, were measured in adult female and male prairie voles following 4 weeks of social isolation versus paired housing. In Experiment 1, oxytocin-immunoreactive cell density was higher in the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus (PVN) and plasma oxytocin was elevated in isolated females, but not in males. In Experiment 2, sucrose intake, used as an operational definition of hedonia, was reduced in both sexes following 4 weeks of isolation. Animals then received a resident-intruder test, and were sacrificed either 10 min later for the analysis of circulating hormones and peptides, or 2h later to examine neural activation, indexed by c-Fos expression in PVN cells immunoreactive for oxytocin or corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF). Compared to paired animals, plasma oxytocin, ACTH and corticosterone were elevated in isolated females and plasma oxytocin was elevated in isolated males, following the resident-intruder test. The proportion of cells double-labeled for c-Fos and oxytocin or c-Fos and CRF was elevated in isolated females, and the proportion of cells double-labeled for c-Fos and oxytocin was elevated in isolated males following this test. These findings suggest that social isolation induces behavioral and neuroendocrine responses relevant to depression in male and female prairie voles, although neuroendocrine responses in females may be especially sensitive to isolation.

  4. Life cycle assessment of camelina oil derived biodiesel and jet fuel in the Canadian Prairies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Li, Xue; Mupondwa, Edmund

    2014-01-01

    This study evaluated the environmental impact of biodiesel and hydroprocessed renewable jet fuel derived from camelina oil in terms of global warming potential, human health, ecosystem quality, and energy resource consumption. The life cycle inventory is based on production activities in the Canadian Prairies and encompasses activities ranging from agricultural production to oil extraction and fuel conversion. The system expansion method is used in this study to avoid allocation and to credit input energy to co-products associated with the products displaced in the market during camelina oil extraction and fuel processing. This is the preferred allocation method for LCA analysis in the context of most renewable and sustainable energy programs. The results show that greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from 1 MJ of camelina derived biodiesel ranged from 7.61 to 24.72 g CO 2 equivalent and 3.06 to 31.01 kg CO 2 /MJ equivalent for camelina HRJ fuel. Non-renewable energy consumption for camelina biodiesel ranged from 0.40 to 0.67 MJ/MJ; HRJ fuel ranged from − 0.13 to 0.52 MJ/MJ. Camelina oil as a feedstock for fuel production accounted for the highest contribution to overall environmental performance, demonstrating the importance of reducing environmental burdens during the agricultural production process. Attaining higher seed yield would dramatically lower environmental impacts associated with camelina seed, oil, and fuel production. The lower GHG emissions and energy consumption associated with camelina in comparison with other oilseed derived fuel and petroleum fuel make camelina derived fuel from Canadian Prairies environmentally attractive. - Highlights: • LCA of camelina-derived biodiesel and jet fuel was based on the Canadian Prairies. • Overall, camelina-derived biodiesel had lower GHG emissions than is biojet fuel. • Camelina jet fuel had lower non-renewable energy (NRE) use than its biodiesel. • Camelina biofuels reduced GHG emissions and NRE use

  5. Modelling of seasonal dynamics of Wetland-Groundwater flow interaction in the Canadian Prairies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ali, Melkamu; Nussbaumer, Raphaël; Ireson, Andrew; Keim, Dawn

    2015-04-01

    Wetland-shallow groundwater interaction is studied at the St. Denis National Wildlife Area in Saskatchewan, Canada, located within the northern glaciated prairies of North America. Ponds in the Canadian Prairies are intermittently connected by fill-spill processes in the spring and growing season of some wetter years. The contribution of the ponds and wetlands to groundwater is still a significant research challenge. The objective of this study is to evaluate model's ability to reproduce observed effects of groundwater-wetland interactions including seasonal pattern of shallow groundwater table, intended flow direction and to quantify the depression induced infiltration from the wetland to the surrounding uplands. The integrated surface-wetland-shallow groundwater processes and the changes in land-energy and water balances caused by the flow interaction are simulated using ParFlow-CLM at a small watershed of 1km2 containing both permanent and seasonal wetland complexes. We compare simulated water table depth with piezometers reading monitored by level loggers at the watershed. We also present the strengths and limitations of the model in reproducing observed behaviour of the groundwater table response to the spring snowmelt and summer rainfall. Simulations indicate that the shallow water table at the uphill recovers quickly after major rainfall events in early summer that generates lateral flow to the pond. In late summer, the wetland supplies water to the surrounding upland when the evapotranspiration is higher than the precipitation in which more water from the root zone is up taken by plants. Results also show that Parflow-CLM is able to reasonably simulate the water table patterns response to summer rainfall, while it is insufficient to reproduce the spring snowmelt infiltration which is the most dominant hydrological process in the Prairies.

  6. Life cycle assessment of camelina oil derived biodiesel and jet fuel in the Canadian Prairies

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Li, Xue; Mupondwa, Edmund, E-mail: Edmund.Mupondwa@agr.gc.ca

    2014-05-01

    This study evaluated the environmental impact of biodiesel and hydroprocessed renewable jet fuel derived from camelina oil in terms of global warming potential, human health, ecosystem quality, and energy resource consumption. The life cycle inventory is based on production activities in the Canadian Prairies and encompasses activities ranging from agricultural production to oil extraction and fuel conversion. The system expansion method is used in this study to avoid allocation and to credit input energy to co-products associated with the products displaced in the market during camelina oil extraction and fuel processing. This is the preferred allocation method for LCA analysis in the context of most renewable and sustainable energy programs. The results show that greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from 1 MJ of camelina derived biodiesel ranged from 7.61 to 24.72 g CO{sub 2} equivalent and 3.06 to 31.01 kg CO{sub 2}/MJ equivalent for camelina HRJ fuel. Non-renewable energy consumption for camelina biodiesel ranged from 0.40 to 0.67 MJ/MJ; HRJ fuel ranged from − 0.13 to 0.52 MJ/MJ. Camelina oil as a feedstock for fuel production accounted for the highest contribution to overall environmental performance, demonstrating the importance of reducing environmental burdens during the agricultural production process. Attaining higher seed yield would dramatically lower environmental impacts associated with camelina seed, oil, and fuel production. The lower GHG emissions and energy consumption associated with camelina in comparison with other oilseed derived fuel and petroleum fuel make camelina derived fuel from Canadian Prairies environmentally attractive. - Highlights: • LCA of camelina-derived biodiesel and jet fuel was based on the Canadian Prairies. • Overall, camelina-derived biodiesel had lower GHG emissions than is biojet fuel. • Camelina jet fuel had lower non-renewable energy (NRE) use than its biodiesel. • Camelina biofuels reduced GHG emissions and NRE

  7. Early Intranasal Vasopressin Administration Impairs Partner Preference in Adult Male Prairie Voles (Microtus ochrogaster

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Trenton C. Simmons

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Research supports a modulatory role for arginine vasopressin (AVP in the expression of socially motivated behaviors in mammals. The acute effects of AVP administration are demonstrably pro-social across species, providing the justification for an ever-increasing measure of clinical interest over the last decade. Combining these results with non-invasive intranasal delivery results in an attractive system for offering intranasal AVP (IN-AVP as a therapeutic for the social impairments of children with autism spectrum disorder. But, very little is known about the long-term effects of IN-AVP during early development. In this experiment, we explored whether a single week of early juvenile administration of IN-AVP (low = 0.05 IU/kg, medium = 0.5 IU/kg, high = 5.0 IU/kg could impact behavior across life in prairie voles. We found increases in fecal boli production during open field and novel object recognition testing for the medium dose in both males and females. Medium-dose females also had significantly more play bouts than control when exposed to novel conspecifics during the juvenile period. Following sexual maturity, the medium and high doses of IN-AVP blocked partner preference formation in males, while no such impairment was found for any of the experimental groups in females. Finally, the high-dose selectively increased adult male aggression with novel conspecifics, but only after extended cohabitation with a mate. Our findings confirm that a single week of early IN-AVP treatment can have organizational effects on behavior across life in prairie voles. Specifically, the impairments in pair-bonding behavior experienced by male prairie voles should raise caution when the prosocial effects of acute IN-AVP demonstrated in other studies are extrapolated to long-term treatment.

  8. Plasma progesterone levels and corpus luteum morphology in the female prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foreman, D; Garris, D

    1984-08-01

    Plasma progesterone levels in female prairie dogs were determined by a radioimmunoassay specific for progesterone. Plasma progesterone levels were determined in samples taken before estrus, at estrus, during the luteal phase, and during anestrus from females maintained all year in the laboratory. Progesterone levels were also determined in plasma samples taken in the laboratory from two pregnant and three postparturient females captured in the field. Progesterone levels were low before estrus and continued low during estrus. They rose on the first week after estrus to 0.8 ng/ml or above and continued at or above this level for 9-14 weeks following estrus. Gestation in prairie dogs is 35 days in this species. Progesterone levels of three postparturient females were above 1.0 ng/ml for 7 weeks after their arrival in the laboratory. These females all had uterine scars showing that they had delivered their litters before they were captured. Two females were determined to be pregnant at the time of their capture. These females later reabsorbed their fetuses (determined by laparotomy). Progesterone values of samples from these females were all above 1.0 ng/ml except for one low value in one female which occurred 3 weeks after her capture and after reabsorption of her fetuses was in progress. The cells of the corpus lutea (CL) of nonpregnant, pregnant, and postparturient females had well-developed rings of cytoplasmic basophilia but as the CL regressed this pattern became disorganized and disappeared. The function of this basophilia is not known. The long luteal phase found in female prairie dogs is compared to those found in other species of mammals. This is the first annually breeding rodent reported to have a longer luteal phase that the period of gestation.

  9. Monkeypox disease transmission in an experimental setting: prairie dog animal model.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christina L Hutson

    Full Text Available Monkeypox virus (MPXV is considered the most significant human public health threat in the genus Orthopoxvirus since the eradication of variola virus (the causative agent of smallpox. MPXV is a zoonotic agent endemic to forested areas of Central and Western Africa. In 2003, MPXV caused an outbreak in the United States due to the importation of infected African rodents, and subsequent sequential infection of North American prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus and humans. In previous studies, the prairie dog MPXV model has successfully shown to be very useful for understanding MPXV since the model emulates key characteristics of human monkeypox disease. In humans, percutaneous exposure to animals has been documented but the primary method of human-to-human MPXV transmission is postulated to be by respiratory route. Only a few animal model studies of MPXV transmission have been reported. Herein, we show that MPXV infected prairie dogs are able to transmit the virus to naive animals through multiple transmission routes. All secondarily exposed animals were infected with MPXV during the course of the study. Notably, animals secondarily exposed appeared to manifest more severe disease; however, the disease course was very similar to those of experimentally challenged animals including inappetence leading to weight loss, development of lesions, production of orthopoxvirus antibodies and shedding of similar levels or in some instances higher levels of MPXV from the oral cavity. Disease was transmitted via exposure to contaminated bedding, co-housing, or respiratory secretions/nasal mucous (we could not definitively say that transmission occurred via respiratory route exclusively. Future use of the model will allow us to evaluate infection control measures, vaccines and antiviral strategies to decrease disease transmission.

  10. 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

  11. Constraining water uptake depths in semiarid environments using water stable isotopes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beyer, Matthias; Königer, Paul; Himmelsbach, Thomas

    2017-04-01

    The biophysical process of transpiration recently received increased attention by ecohydrologists as it has been proven the largest flux of the global water balance. However, fundamental aspects related to the questions how and from which sources plants receive their water are not fully understood. Especially the process of plant water uptake from deeper soil and its impact on the water balance requires increased scientific effort. In this study we combined tracer experiments with the analysis of natural isotopic compositions in order to: i) derive a suitable site-specific root water uptake distribution for hydrological modeling; ii) find indicators for groundwater use by specific plants; and iii) evaluate the importance of deep unsaturated zone water uptake using HYDRUS 1D. The bayesian mixing model MixSIAR was applied at a semiarid site with a deep unsaturated zone in northern Namibia in order to identify source water contributions of the most abundant species (A.erioloba, B.plurijuga, C.collinum, S.luebertii and T.sericea). In addition, a previously developed method for the investigation of root water uptake depths based on deuterium labeling (2H2O) at specific depths (0.5 to 4 m) and monitoring of tracer uptake by plants was carried out with a focus on the deeper unsaturated zone. With the experimental results a root water uptake distribution for the lateral root zone was derived which allows to constrain the source water contributions estimated with MixSIAR. Finally, a HYDRUS 1D model was established and unsaturated zone water transport was evaluated. The analysis of the natural isotopic compositions reveals a significant contribution of groundwater (median: 48%) to the isotopic composition of A.erioloba at the end of the dry season indicating the presence of deep tap roots for a number of individuals. All other investigated species obtain their water from the shallow (median: 22%) or deeper (median: 62%) unsaturated zone at this time of the year. The water

  12. Use of Rhodamine B as a biomarker for oral plague vaccination of prairie dogs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernandez, Julia Rodriguez-Ramos; Rocke, Tonie E.

    2011-01-01

    Oral vaccination against Yersinia pestis could provide a feasible approach for controlling plague in prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.) for conservation and public health purposes. Biomarkers are useful in wildlife vaccination programs to demonstrate exposure to vaccine baits. Rhodamine B (RB) was tested as a potential biomarker for oral plague vaccination because it allows nonlethal sampling of animals through hair, blood, and feces. We found that RB is an appropriate marker for bait uptake studies of C. ludovicianus) when used at concentrations 10 mg RB per kg target animal mass. Whiskers with follicles provided the best sample for RB detection.

  13. Conflicting research on the demography, ecology, and social behavior of Gunnison's prairie dogs (Cynomys gunnisoni)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoogland, John L.; Cully, Jack F.; Rayor, Linda S.; Fitzgerald, James P.

    2012-01-01

    Gunnison's prairie dogs (Cynomys gunnisoni) are rare, diurnal, colonial, burrowing, ground-dwelling squirrels. Studies of marked individuals living under natural conditions in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s showed that males are heavier than females throughout the year; that adult females living in the same territory are consistently close kin; and that females usually mate with the sexually mature male(s) living in the home territory. Research from 2007 through 2010 challenges all 3 of these findings. Here we discuss how different methods might have led to the discrepancies.

  14. Transformation of Chlorpyrifos and Chlorpyrifos-Methyl in Prairie Pothole Porewaters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, R. M.; Chin, Y. P.

    2014-12-01

    The prairie pothole region (PPR) extends over approximately 700,000 km2 in the Great Plains region in United States and Canada and is a critical breeding ground for migratory waterfowl, as well as an important ecosystem for diverse invertebrates and aquatic plants (van der Valk, 2003). Consisting of up to 12 million permanent and temporary depressional wetlands, the PPR is negatively impacted by non-point source pesticide pollution due to extensive agricultural development in the region. Recent studies have shown that high (mM) levels of sulfate in the pothole lakes are capable of abiotically reducing dinitroaniline and chloroacetanilide pesticides (Zeng, 2011; Zeng, 2012). In this study the transformation of the organophosphorus pesticide chlorpyrifos (CP) and its analog chlorpyrifos-methyl (CPM) was studied using pore waters sampled from two pothole lakes. CP and CPM have been found to react in the laboratory with sulfur species via a SN2 mechanism, with degradation by sulfur compounds occurring faster than hydrolysis at high pH (Wu, 2006). To date the reaction of CP and CPM in natural environments with sulfur species has not been studied. Chlorpyrifos-methyl underwent rapid degradation in the presence of reduced sulfur species in pore water, while chlorpyrifos degradation occurred at significantly slower rates. Both CP and CPM degradation occurred at comparable rates to what has been previously observed in the laboratory (Wu, 2006). References van der Valk, Arnold G., and Roger L. Pederson. "The SWANCC decision and its implications for prairie potholes." Wetlands 23.3 (2003): 590-596. Wu, Tong, Qiu Gan, and Urs Jans. "Nucleophilic Substitution of Phosphorothionate Ester Pesticides with Bisulfide (HS-) and Polysulfides (Sn2-)." Environmental science & technology 40.17 (2006): 5428-5434. Zeng, Teng, et al. "Pesticide processing potential in prairie pothole porewaters."Environmental science & technology 45.16 (2011): 6814-6822. Zeng, Teng, Yu-Ping Chin, and William

  15. Chlorophacinone residues in mammalian prey at a black-tailed prairie dog colony

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vyas, Nimish B.; Hulse, Craig S.; Rice, Clifford P.

    2012-01-01

    Black-tailed prairie dogs (BTPDs), Cynomys ludovicianus, are an important prey for raptors; therefore, the use of the rodenticide Rozol (0.005% chlorophacinone active ingredient) to control BTPDs raises concern for secondary poisonings resulting from the consumption of contaminated prey by raptors. In the present study, the authors observed Rozol exposure and adverse effects to mammalian prey on 11 of 12 search days of the study. Mammalian hepatic chlorophacinone residues ranged from 0.44 to 7.56 µg/g. Poisoned prey availability was greater than previously reported.

  16. Spatially explicit modeling of lesser prairie-chicken lek density in Texas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Timmer, Jennifer M.; Butler, M.J.; Ballard, Warren; Boal, Clint W.; Whitlaw, Heather A.

    2014-01-01

    As with many other grassland birds, lesser prairie-chickens (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) have experienced population declines in the Southern Great Plains. Currently they are proposed for federal protection under the Endangered Species Act. In addition to a history of land-uses that have resulted in habitat loss, lesser prairie-chickens now face a new potential disturbance from energy development. We estimated lek density in the occupied lesser prairie-chicken range of Texas, USA, and modeled anthropogenic and vegetative landscape features associated with lek density. We used an aerial line-transect survey method to count lesser prairie-chicken leks in spring 2010 and 2011 and surveyed 208 randomly selected 51.84-km(2) blocks. We divided each survey block into 12.96-km(2) quadrats and summarized landscape variables within each quadrat. We then used hierarchical distance-sampling models to examine the relationship between lek density and anthropogenic and vegetative landscape features and predict how lek density may change in response to changes on the landscape, such as an increase in energy development. Our best models indicated lek density was related to percent grassland, region (i.e., the northeast or southwest region of the Texas Panhandle), total percentage of grassland and shrubland, paved road density, and active oil and gas well density. Predicted lek density peaked at 0.39leks/12.96km(2) (SE=0.09) and 2.05leks/12.96km(2) (SE=0.56) in the northeast and southwest region of the Texas Panhandle, respectively, which corresponds to approximately 88% and 44% grassland in the northeast and southwest region. Lek density increased with an increase in total percentage of grassland and shrubland and was greatest in areas with lower densities of paved roads and lower densities of active oil and gas wells. We used the 2 most competitive models to predict lek abundance and estimated 236 leks (CV=0.138, 95% CI=177-306leks) for our sampling area. Our results suggest that

  17. Burning management in the tallgrass prairie affects root decomposition, soil food web structure and carbon flow

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaw, E. A.; Denef, K.; Milano de Tomasel, C.; Cotrufo, M. F.; Wall, D. H.

    2015-09-01

    Root litter decomposition is a major component of carbon (C) cycling in grasslands, where it provides energy and nutrients for soil microbes and fauna. This is especially important in grasslands where fire is a common management practice and removes aboveground litter accumulation. In this study, we investigated whether fire affects root decomposition and C flow through the belowground food web. In a greenhouse experiment, we applied 13C-enriched big bluestem (Andropogon gerardii) root litter to intact tallgrass prairie soil cores collected from annually burned (AB) and infrequently burned (IB) treatments at the Konza Prairie Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) site. Incorporation of 13C into microbial phospholipid fatty acids and nematode trophic groups was measured on six occasions during a 180-day decomposition study to determine how C was translocated through the soil food web. Results showed significantly different soil communities between treatments and higher microbial abundance for IB. Root decomposition occurred rapidly and was significantly greater for AB. Microbes and their nematode consumers immediately assimilated root litter C in both treatments. Root litter C was preferentially incorporated in a few groups of microbes and nematodes, but depended on burn treatment: fungi, Gram-negative bacteria, Gram-positive bacteria, and fungivore nematodes for AB and only omnivore nematodes for IB. The overall microbial pool of root litter-derived C significantly increased over time but was not significantly different between burn treatments. The nematode pool of root litter-derived C also significantly increased over time, and was significantly higher for the AB treatment at 35 and 90 days after litter addition. In conclusion, the C flow from root litter to microbes to nematodes is not only measurable, but significant, indicating that higher nematode trophic levels are critical components of C flow during root decomposition which, in turn, is significantly

  18. Microsatellite Markers in the Western Prairie Fringed Orchid, Platanthera praeclara (Orchidaceae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew A. Ross

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Premise of the study: Primers for 31 microsatellite-containing loci were developed for the threatened orchid Platanthera praeclara to enable characterization of the population genetics of this tallgrass prairie native. Methods and Results: Sixteen polymorphic microsatellite loci were identified from four populations. Six of these loci were not in linkage disequilibrium. The average number of alleles per locus per population ranged from 6.4 to 8.9. Conclusions: The results indicate that six of the polymorphic loci will be useful in future studies of population structure, gene flow, and genetic diversity.

  19. 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

  20. Mixed parentage

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bang Appel, Helene; Singla, Rashmi

    2016-01-01

    Despite an increase in cross border intimate relationships and children of mixed parentage, there is little mention or scholarship about them in the area of childhood and migrancy in the Nordic countries. The international literature implies historical pathologisation, contestation and current...... of identity formation in the . They position themselves as having an “in-between” identity or “ just Danes” in their every day lives among friends, family, and during leisure activities. Thus a new paradigm is evolving away- from the pathologisation of mixed children, simplified one-sided categories...

  1. Diagnosing land management and climate change impacts on snowmelt in semi-arid agricultural cold regions with an improved snowmelt model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harder, P.; Pomeroy, J. W.; Helgason, W.

    2017-12-01

    Spring snowmelt is the most important hydrological event in semi-arid agricultural cold regions, recharging soil moisture and generating the majority of annual runoff. Adoption of no-till agricultural practices means vast areas of the Canadian Prairies, and other analogous regions, are characterized by standing crop stubble. The emergence of stubble during snowmelt will have important implications for the snowpack energy balance. In addition, spatiotemporally dynamic snowcover heterogeneity leads to enhancement of turbulent flux contributions to melt by advection of energy from warm moist bare ground to snow. Stubble emergence and advection are generally unaccounted for in snow models. To address these challenges a stubble-snow-atmosphere surface energy balance model is developed that relates stubble parameters to the snow surface energy balance. Existing fractal understandings of snowcover geometry are applied to a conceptualized boundary layer integration model to estimate a sensible and latent heat advection efficiency. The small-scale nature of stubble-snow-atmosphere interactions makes direct validation of the energy balance terms challenging. However, the energy balance estimates are assessed by comparing to measured snow and stubble surface temperatures, snow surface incoming shortwave radiation and areal average turbulent fluxes. Advection estimates are validated from a two-dimensional air temperature, water vapor and windspeed profiles. Snowcover geometry relationships are validated/updated with unmanned air vehicle observations. Observations for model assessment occurred in 2015 and 2016 on wheat and canola stubble fields in north-central Saskatchewan, Canada. The model is not calibrated to melt rates, yet compares well with available observations, providing confidence in the model structure and parameterization. Sensitivity analysis using the model revealed compensatory relationships in energy balance terms resulting in limited reduction of energy

  2. Mixed Movements

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Brabrand, Helle

    2010-01-01

    levels than those related to building, and this exploration is a special challenge and competence implicit artistic development work. The project Mixed Movements generates drawing-material, not primary as representation, but as a performance-based media, making the body being-in-the-media felt and appear...... as possible operational moves....

  3. Lateral Mixing

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-09-30

    negative (right panel c) and the kinetic energy dissipation is larger than that expected from meterological forcing alone (right panel a). This is...10.1002/grl.50919. Shcherbina, A. et al., 2014, The LatMix Summer Campaign: Submesoscale Stirring in the Upper Ocean., Bull. American Meterological

  4. The influence of environment, sex, and innate timing mechanisms on body temperature patterns of free-ranging black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lehmer, Erin M; Bossenbroek, Jonathan M; Van Horne, Beatrice

    2003-01-01

    Mechanisms that influence body temperature patterns in black-tailed prairie dogs are not well understood. Previous research on both free-ranging and laboratory populations of black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) has suggested that reductions in ambient temperature and food and water deprivation are the primary factors that stimulate torpor in this species. In other species, however, torpor has been shown to be influenced by a multitude of factors, including innate circadian and circannual timing mechanisms, energy status, and reproductive behaviors. Our objective was to clarify the influence of weather, sex, and intrinsic timing mechanisms on the body temperature patterns of free-ranging black-tailed prairie dogs. We monitored body temperatures of eight adult (>1 yr) prairie dogs from November 1999 to June 2000. Prairie dogs showed distinct daily and seasonal body temperature patterns, which reflected changes in ambient temperatures that occurred during these periods. These patterns of daily and seasonal heterothermy suggest that body temperature patterns of black-tailed prairie dogs may be driven by an innate timing mechanism. All prairie dogs entered torpor intermittently throughout winter and spring. Torpor bouts appeared to be influenced by precipitation and reductions in ambient temperature. Our results also suggest that reproductive behaviors and circadian timing may influence torpor in this species.

  5. Responses of prairie arthropod communities to fire and fertilizer: Balancing plant and arthropod conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartley, M.K.; Rogers, W.E.; Siemann, E.; Grace, J.

    2007-01-01

    Fire is an important tool for limiting woody plant invasions into prairies, but using fire management to maintain grassland plant communities may inadvertently reduce arthropod diversity. To test this, we established twenty-four 100 m2 plots in a tallgrass prairie in Galveston County, Texas, in spring 2000. Plots were assigned a fire (no burn, one time burn [2000], two time burn [2000, 2001]) and fertilization treatment (none, NPK addition) in a full factorial design. Fertilization treatments allowed us to examine the effects of fire at a different level of productivity. We measured plant cover by species and sampled arthropods with sweep nets during the 2001 growing season. Path analysis indicated that fertilization reduced while annual fires increased arthropod diversity via increases and decreases in woody plant abundance, respectively. There was no direct effect of fire on arthropod diversity or abundance. Diptera and Homoptera exhibited particularly strong positive responses to fires. Lepidoptera had a negative response to nutrient enrichment. Overall, the negative effects of fire on the arthropod community were minor in contrast to the strong positive indirect effects of small-scale burning on arthropod diversity if conservation of particular taxa is not a priority. The same fire regime that minimized woody plant invasion also maximized arthropod diversity.

  6. Increased rainfall variability and N addition accelerate litter decomposition in a restored prairie.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schuster, Michael J

    2016-03-01

    Anthropogenic nitrogen deposition and projected increases in rainfall variability (the frequency of drought and heavy rainfall events) are expected to strongly influence ecosystem processes such as litter decomposition. However, how these two global change factors interact to influence litter decomposition is largely unknown. I examined how increased rainfall variability and nitrogen addition affected mass and nitrogen loss of litter from two tallgrass prairie species, Schizachyrium scoparium and Solidago canadensis, and isolated the effects of each during plant growth and during litter decomposition. I increased rainfall variability by consolidating ambient rainfall into larger events and simulated chronic nitrogen deposition using a slow-release urea fertilizer. S. scoparium litter decay was more strongly regulated by the treatments applied during plant growth than by those applied during decomposition. During plant growth, increased rainfall variability resulted in S. scoparium litter that subsequently decomposed more slowly and immobilized more nitrogen than litter grown under ambient conditions, whereas nitrogen addition during plant growth accelerated subsequent mass loss of S. scoparium litter. In contrast, S. canadensis litter mass and N losses were enhanced under either N addition or increased rainfall variability both during plant growth and during decomposition. These results suggest that ongoing changes in rainfall variability and nitrogen availability are accelerating nutrient cycling in tallgrass prairies through their combined effects on litter quality, environmental conditions, and plant community composition.

  7. Climate variability and change and water supply on the Canadian Prairies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nicholaichuk, W.

    1991-01-01

    The status of water resources on the Canadian Prairies, the related results of recent climate change studies, and research needs, are reviewed. With climate change, it is expected that farming practices will be pushed northwards, the precipitation/evapotranspiration balance will shift, and changes will occur in streamflow, flood risk and water quality. While all models show a warming trend on the Prairies, they differ on changes that might be expected. Some indicate increases in precipitation while others indicate decreases. Required research needed to improve understanding of the issues includes: models to improve computations of evapotranspiration and evaporation over large areas; reliable models of glacier behavior and responses to climatic variation and change; improved areal measurements for precipitation, evaporation, soil moisture, groundwater and runoff; improvements in global circulation models that include feedback mechanisms based on physical land/atmosphere processes; validation of hydrological processes at different levels; and assessment of the role of landscape in regional processes under natural conditions and human influence. 6 refs., 1 tab

  8. Implications of climate change for wetland-dependent birds in the Prairie Pothole Region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steen, Valerie; Skagen, Susan K.; Melcher, Cynthia P.

    2016-01-01

    The habitats and food resources required to support breeding and migrant birds dependent on North American prairie wetlands are threatened by impending climate change. The North American Prairie Pothole Region (PPR) hosts nearly 120 species of wetland-dependent birds representing 21 families. Strategic management requires knowledge of avian habitat requirements and assessment of species most vulnerable to future threats. We applied bioclimatic species distribution models (SDMs) to project range changes of 29 wetland-dependent bird species using ensemble modeling techniques, a large number of General Circulation Models (GCMs), and hydrological climate covariates. For the U.S. PPR, mean projected range change, expressed as a proportion of currently occupied range, was −0.31 (± 0.22 SD; range − 0.75 to 0.16), and all but two species were projected to lose habitat. Species associated with deeper water were expected to experience smaller negative impacts of climate change. The magnitude of climate change impacts was somewhat lower in this study than earlier efforts most likely due to use of different focal species, varying methodologies, different modeling decisions, or alternative GCMs. Quantification of the projected species-specific impacts of climate change using species distribution modeling offers valuable information for vulnerability assessments within the conservation planning process.

  9. Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center—Celebrating 50 years of science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Austin, Jane E.; Shaffer, Terry L.; Igl, Lawrence D.; Johnson, Douglas H.; Krapu, Gary L.; Larson, Diane L.; Mech, L. David; Mushet, David M.; Sovada, Marsha A.

    2017-10-30

    The Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center (NPWRC) celebrated its 50-year anniversary in 2015. This report is written in support of that observance. We document why and how the NPWRC came to be and describe some of its many accomplishments and the influence the Center’s research program has had on natural resource management. The history is organized by major research themes, proceeds somewhat chronologically within each theme, and covers the Center’s first 50 years of research. During that period, Center scientists authored more than 1,700 publications and reports. More than 1,000 seasonal or temporary field personnel, and more than 100 graduate students, contributed to the Center’s success; many went on to have exemplary careers in natural resource management, conservation, and education. The mission of the Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center today remains true to the original vision: to provide the knowledge needed to understand, conserve, and manage the Nation’s natural resources for current and future generations, with an emphasis on species and ecosystems of the northern Great Plains. The Center’s first 50 years of applied biological research provides a deep scientific foundation on which to address emerging issues for the natural resources in the northern Great Plains and beyond.

  10. Groundwater connectivity of upland-embedded wetlands in the Prairie Pothole Region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neff, Brian; Rosenberry, Donald O.

    2018-01-01

    Groundwater connections from upland-embedded wetlands to downstream waterbodies remain poorly understood. In principle, water from upland-embedded wetlands situated high in a landscape should flow via groundwater to waterbodies situated lower in the landscape. However, the degree of groundwater connectivity varies across systems due to factors such as geologic setting, hydrologic conditions, and topography. We use numerical models to evaluate the conditions suitable for groundwater connectivity between upland-embedded wetlands and downstream waterbodies in the prairie pothole region of North Dakota (USA). Results show groundwater connectivity between upland-embedded wetlands and other waterbodies is restricted when these wetlands are surrounded by a mounding water table. However, connectivity exists among adjacent upland-embedded wetlands where water–table mounds do not form. In addition, the presence of sand layers greatly facilitates groundwater connectivity of upland-embedded wetlands. Anisotropy can facilitate connectivity via groundwater flow, but only if it becomes unrealistically large. These findings help consolidate previously divergent views on the significance of local and regional groundwater flow in the prairie pothole region.

  11. Water resources of the Prairie Island Indian Reservation, Minnesota, 1994-97

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cowdery, Timothy K.

    1999-01-01

    This evaluation of the water resources on the Prairie Island Indian Reservation includes data collected from 8 surface-water sites and 22 wells during 1994–97 and historical data. The Mississippi River and the lakes and wetlands connected to it are separated from the Vermillion River and the lakes and wetlands connected to it by the surficial aquifer on Prairie Island and by Lock and Dam Number 3. These surface-water groups form hydrologic boundaries of the surficial aquifer. The aquifer is 130–200 feet thick, extends to bedrock (the Franconia Formation, which is also an aquifer), and is composed primarily of sand and gravel, but also contains thin, isolated lenses of finer-grained material. Flow in the surficial aquifer is normally from the Mississippi River to the Vermillion River (southwest). During spring snowmelt or heavy rains, a ground-water mound forms in the center of the study area and causes radial ground-water flow toward the surrounding surface waters.

  12. Regional Variation in mtDNA of the Lesser Prairie-Chicken

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagen, Christian A.; Pitman, James C.; Sandercock, Brett K.; Wolfe, Don H.; Robel, Robel J.; Applegate, Roger D.; Oyler-McCance, Sara J.

    2010-01-01

    Cumulative loss of habitat and long-term decline in the populations of the Lesser Prairie-Chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) have led to concerns for the species' viability throughout its range in the southern Great Plains. For more efficient conservation past and present distributions of genetic variation need to be understood. We examined the distribution of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) variation in the Lesser Prairie-Chicken across Kansas, Colorado, Oklahoma, and New Mexico. Throughout the range we found little genetic differentiation except for the population in New Mexico, which was significantly different from most other publications. We did, however, find significant isolation by distance at the rangewide scale (r=0.698). We found no relationship between haplotype phylogeny and geography, and our analyses provide evidence for a post-glacial population expansion within the species that is consistent with the idea that speciation within Tympanuchus is recent. Conservation actions that increase the likelihood of genetically viable populations in the future should be evaluated for implementation.

  13. Breaking sod or breaking even? Flax on the northern Great Plains and Prairies, 1889-1930.

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacFayden, Joshua D

    2009-01-01

    A new thirst for paint and color in cities made extensive flax production profitable in the northern Great Plains and Prairies and contributed to the cultivation of the most fragile grassland ecosystems. The production of flax seed for linseed oil became an early spin-off of the Prairie wheat economy but, unlike wheat, flax vanished from old land after one or two rotations and reappeared in districts with the most new breaking. Officials explained the migrant crop as preparing native grasslands for cultivation or exhausting soil in old land, but farmers brought flax to their new breaking for other reasons. Producers would only put flax on any land when a range of economic and environmental conditions were in place. It was never sown without promise of adequately high prices or in the absence of affordable seed and other inputs. When price allowed, it usually appeared on new breaking because it could be planted later and transported further without upsetting the balance of other activities and without farmers learning many new techniques. Scientists discovered that diseased soil drove flax off old land, not soil exhaustion. Circumventing the disease was possible but costly, and farmers simply replaced flax with the next most lucrative commodity.

  14. Predator selection of prairie landscape features and its relation to duck nest success

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phillips, M.L.; Clark, W.R.; Sovada, M.A.; Horn, D.J.; Koford, Rolf R.; Greenwood, R.J.

    2003-01-01

    Mammalian predation is a major cause of mortality for breeding waterfowl in the U.S. Northern Great Plains, and yet we know little about the selection of prairie habitats by predators or how this influences nest success in grassland nesting cover. We selected 2 41.4-km2 study areas in both 1996 and 1997 in North Dakota, USA, with contrasting compositions of perennial grassland. A study area contained either 15-20% perennial grassland (Low Grassland Composition [LGC]) or 45-55% perennial grassland (High Grassland Composition [HGC]). We used radiotelemetry to investigate the selection of 9 landscape cover types by red fox (Vulpes vulpes) and striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis), while simultaneously recording duck nest success within planted cover. The cover types included the edge and core areas of planted cover, wetland edges within planted cover or surrounded by cropland, pastureland, hayland, cropland, roads, and miscellaneous cover types. Striped skunks selected wetland edges surrounded by agriculture over all other cover types in LGC landscapes (P-values for all pairwise comparisons were foraging efficiency in the interior areas of planted cover and contributed to higher nest success in HGC landscapes. Our observations of predator cover-type selection not only support the restoration and management of large blocks of grassland but also indicate the influence of alternative cover types for mitigating nest predation in the Prairie Pothole Region.

  15. Ecological and Landscape Drivers of Neonicotinoid Insecticide Detections and Concentrations in Canada's Prairie Wetlands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Main, Anson R; Michel, Nicole L; Headley, John V; Peru, Kerry M; Morrissey, Christy A

    2015-07-21

    Neonicotinoids are commonly used seed treatments on Canada's major prairie crops. Transported via surface and subsurface runoff into wetlands, their ultimate aquatic fate remains largely unknown. Biotic and abiotic wetland characteristics likely affect neonicotinoid presence and environmental persistence, but concentrations vary widely between wetlands that appear ecologically (e.g., plant composition) and physically (e.g., depth) similar for reasons that remain unclear. We conducted intensive surveys of 238 wetlands, and documented 59 wetland (e.g., dominant plant species) and landscape (e.g., surrounding crop) characteristics as part of a novel rapid wetland assessment system. We used boosted regression tree (BRT) analysis to predict both probability of neonicotinoid analytical detection and concentration. BRT models effectively predicted the deviance in neonicotinoid detection (62.4%) and concentration (74.7%) from 21 and 23 variables, respectively. Detection was best explained by shallow marsh plant species identity (34.8%) and surrounding crop (13.9%). Neonicotinoid concentration was best explained by shallow marsh plant species identity (14.9%) and wetland depth (14.2%). Our research revealed that plant composition is a key indicator and/or driver of neonicotinoid presence and concentration in Prairie wetlands. We recommend wetland buffers consisting of diverse native vegetation be retained or restored to minimize neonicotinoid transport and retention in wetlands, thereby limiting their potential effects on wetland-dependent organisms.

  16. Social isolation alters central nervous system monoamine content in prairie voles following acute restraint.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McNeal, Neal; Anderson, Eden M; Moenk, Deirdre; Trahanas, Diane; Matuszewich, Leslie; Grippo, Angela J

    2018-04-01

    Animal models have shown that social isolation and other forms of social stress lead to depressive- and anxiety-relevant behaviors, as well as neuroendocrine and physiological dysfunction. The goal of this study was to investigate the effects of prior social isolation on neurotransmitter content following acute restraint in prairie voles. Animals were either paired with a same-sex sibling or isolated for 4 weeks. Plasma adrenal hormones and ex vivo tissue concentrations of monoamine neurotransmitters and their metabolites were measured following an acute restraint stressor in all animals. Isolated prairie voles displayed significantly increased circulating adrenocorticotropic hormone levels, as well as elevated serotonin and dopamine levels in the hypothalamus, and potentially decreased levels of serotonin in the frontal cortex. However, no group differences in monoamine levels were observed in the hippocampus or raphe. The results suggest that social stress may bias monoamine neurotransmission and stress hormone function to subsequent acute stressors, such as restraint. These findings improve our understanding of the neurobiological mechanisms underlying the consequences of social stress.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sylvester, Marc A.

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-12

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

  20. Testing nickel tolerance of Sorghastrum nutans and its associated soil microbial community from serpentine and prairie soils

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Doherty, Jennifer H.; Ji Baoming; Casper, Brenda B.

    2008-01-01

    Ecotypes of Sorghastrum nutans from a naturally metalliferous serpentine grassland and the tallgrass prairie were assessed for Ni tolerance and their utility in remediation of Ni-polluted soils. Plants were inoculated with serpentine arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) root inoculum or whole soil microbial communities, originating from either prairie or serpentine, to test their effects on plant performance in the presence of Ni. Serpentine plants had marginally higher Ni tolerance as indicated by higher survival. Ni reduced plant biomass and AM root colonization for both ecotypes. The serpentine AM fungi and whole microbial community treatments decreased plant biomass relative to uninoculated plants, while the prairie microbial community had no effect. Differences in how the soil communities affect plant performance were not reflected in patterns of root colonization by AM fungi. Thus, serpentine plants may be suited for reclamation of Ni-polluted soils, but AM fungi that occur on serpentine do not improve Ni tolerance. - Ni tolerance of Sorghastrum nutans differs slightly between serpentine and prairie populations and is negatively affected by serpentine soil and root inoculation

  1. Nest Success and Cause-Specific Nest Failure of Grassland Passerines Breeding in Prairie Grazed by Livestock

    Science.gov (United States)

    This manuscript describes two years of field research on ground-nesting songbird species at Zumwalt Prairie Reserve, northeastern Oregon, USA. Cattle-grazing has long been suspected in declines of ground-nesting songbirds in grazed grassland, primarily due to increased trampling...

  2. Droughts may increase susceptibility of prairie dogs to fleas: Incongruity with hypothesized mechanisms of plague cycles in rodents

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eads, David A.; Biggins, Dean E.; Long, Dustin H.; Gage, Kenneth L.; Antolin, Michael F.

    2016-01-01

    Plague is a reemerging, rodent-associated zoonosis caused by the flea-borne bacterium Yersinia pestis. As a vector-borne disease, rates of plague transmission may increase when fleas are abundant. Fleas are highly susceptible to desiccation under hot-dry conditions; we posited that their densities decline during droughts. We evaluated this hypothesis with black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) in New Mexico, June–August 2010–2012. Precipitation was relatively plentiful during 2010 and 2012 but scarce during 2011, the driest spring–summer on record for the northeastern grasslands of New Mexico. Unexpectedly, fleas were 200% more abundant in 2011 than in 2010 and 2012. Prairie dogs were in 27% better condition during 2010 and 2012, and they devoted 287% more time to grooming in 2012 than in 2011. During 2012, prairie dogs provided with supplemental food and water were in 23% better condition and carried 40% fewer fleas. Collectively, these results suggest that during dry years, prairie dogs are limited by food and water, and they exhibit weakened defenses against fleas. Long-term data are needed to evaluate the generality of whether droughts increase flea densities and how changes in flea abundance during sequences of dry and wet years might affect plague cycles in mammalian hosts.

  3. Prescribed fire: A proposed management tool to facilitate black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) colony expansion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Felicia D. Archuleta; Paulette L. Ford

    2013-01-01

    Black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) are considered a keystone species in grassland ecosystems. Through their burrowing activities, they conspicuously alter grassland landscapes and provide foraging, shelter and nesting habitat for a diverse array of grassland species, in addition to serving as prey for the endangered black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes...

  4. 77 FR 57082 - Prairie Rose Wind, LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-09-17

    ... DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. ER12-2542-000] Prairie Rose Wind, LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market- Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket... Rose Wind, LLC's application for market-based rate authority, with an accompanying rate schedule...

  5. A proxy of social mate choice in prairie warblers is correlated with consistent, rapid, low-pitched singing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruce E. Byers; Michael E. Akresh; David I. King

    2015-01-01

    In songbirds, female mate choice may be influenced by how well a male performs his songs. Performing songs well may be especially difficult if it requires maximizingmultiple aspects of performance simultaneously.We therefore hypothesized that, in a population of prairie warblers, the males most attractive to females would be those with superior performance in more than...

  6. 75 FR 44292 - Northern States Power Company; Prairie Island Nuclear Generating Plant, Units 1 and 2; Notice of...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-28

    ... and DPR-60] Northern States Power Company; Prairie Island Nuclear Generating Plant, Units 1 and 2... assessment, and behavioral observation) of the unescorted access authorization program when making the... under consideration to determine whether it met the criteria established in NRC Management Directive (MD...

  7. Assessing the Impact of Climate Variability on Cropland Productivity in the Canadian Prairies Using Time Series MODIS FAPAR

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Taifeng Dong

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Cropland productivity is impacted by climate. Knowledge on spatial-temporal patterns of the impacts at the regional scale is extremely important for improving crop management under limiting climatic factors. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of climate variability on cropland productivity in the Canadian Prairies between 2000 and 2013 based on time series of MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer FAPAR (Fraction of Absorbed Photosynthetically Active Radiation product. Key phenological metrics, including the start (SOS and end of growing season (EOS, and the cumulative FAPAR (CFAPAR during the growing season (between SOS and EOS, were extracted and calculated from the FAPAR time series with the Parametric Double Hyperbolic Tangent (PDHT method. The Mann-Kendall test was employed to assess the trends of cropland productivity and climatic variables, and partial correlation analysis was conducted to explore the potential links between climate variability and cropland productivity. An assessment using crop yield statistical data showed that CFAPAR can be taken as a surrogate of cropland productivity in the Canadian Prairies. Cropland productivity showed an increasing trend in most areas of Canadian Prairies, in general, during the period from 2000 to 2013. Interannual variability in cropland productivity on the Canadian Prairies was influenced positively by rainfall variation and negatively by mean air temperature.

  8. Assessing changes in biomass, productivity, and C and N stores following Juniperus virginiana forest expansion into tallgrass prairie

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Norris, M. D.; Blair, J. M.; Johnson, L. C. [Kansas State Univ., Manhattan, KS (United States); McKane, R. B. [Environmental Protection Agency, Western Ecology Division, Corvallis, OR (United States)

    2001-11-01

    The objective of this study was to assess changes in plant productivity and above-ground plant biomass associated with red cedar forest expansion into areas formerly dominated by tallgrass prairie. Regionally appropriate allometric biomass regression equations were developed for the nondestructive estimation of red cedar biomass in eastern Kansas, followed by quantification of the carbon and nitrogen content of selected biomass components. The equations were applied, along with measurements of leaf litter production, to selected local stands of mature closed-canopy red cedars to estimate above-ground biomass, standing stocks of carbon and nitrogen and annual above-ground net primary productivity. Above-ground plant biomass for these red cedar-dominated sites ranged from 114,100 kg/ha for the youngest stand to 210,700 kg/ha for the oldest. Annual above-ground net primary productivity (ANPP) ranged from 7,250 to 10,440 kg/ha/yr for the oldest and younger red cedar stands respectively. The ANPP in comparable tallgrass prairie sites in this region averages 3,690 k/ha/yr, indicating a large increase in carbon uptake and above-ground storage as a result of the change from prairie to red cedar forests. Comparing these results with similar published data from other sites led to the conclusion that the widespread change from tallgrass to red cedars across the woodland-prairie ecotone has important consequences for regional carbon storage.37 refs., 3 tabs., 3 figs.

  9. Investigating temporal patterns of a native bee community in a remnant North American bunchgrass prairie using blue vane traps.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kimoto, Chiho; Debano, Sandra J; Thorp, Robbin W; Rao, Sujaya; Stephen, William P

    2012-01-01

    Native bees are important ecologically and economically because their role as pollinators fulfills a vital ecosystem service. Pollinators are declining due to various factors, including habitat degradation and destruction. Grasslands, an important habitat for native bees, are particularly vulnerable. One highly imperiled and understudied grassland type in the United States is the Pacific Northwest Bunchgrass Prairie. No studies have examined native bee communities in this prairie type. To fill this gap, the bee fauna of the Zumwalt Prairie, a large, relatively intact remnant of the Pacific Northwest Bunchgrass Prairie, was examined. Native bees were sampled during the summers of 2007 and 2008 in sixteen 40-ha study pastures on a plateau in northeastern Oregon, using a sampling method not previously used in grassland studies-blue vane traps. This grassland habitat contained an abundant and diverse community of native bees that experienced marked seasonal and inter-annual variation, which appears to be related to weather and plant phenology. Temporal variability evident over the entire study area was also reflected at the individual trap level, indicating a consistent response across the spatial scale of the study. These results demonstrate that temporal variability in bee communities can have important implications for long-term monitoring protocols. In addition, the blue vane trap method appears to be well-suited for studies of native bees in large expanses of grasslands or other open habitats, and may be a useful tool for monitoring native bee communities in these systems.

  10. Contributions of seed bank and vegetative propagules to vegetation composition on prairie dog colonies in western South Dakota

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emily R. Helms; Lan Xu; Jack L. Butler

    2012-01-01

    Characterizing the contributions of the seed bank and vegetative propagules will enhance our understanding of community resiliency associated with prairie dog disturbances. Our objective was to determine the effects of ecological condition (EC) and distance from burrows on the soil seed bank and vegetative propagules. Based on species composition of the extant...

  11. Resource selection models are useful in predicting fine-scale distributions of black-footed ferrets in prairie dog colonies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eads, David A.; Jachowski, David S.; Biggins, Dean E.; Livieri, Travis M.; Matchett, Marc R.; Millspaugh, Joshua J.

    2012-01-01

    Wildlife-habitat relationships are often conceptualized as resource selection functions (RSFs)—models increasingly used to estimate species distributions and prioritize habitat conservation. We evaluated the predictive capabilities of 2 black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes) RSFs developed on a 452-ha colony of black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) in the Conata Basin, South Dakota. We used the RSFs to project the relative probability of occurrence of ferrets throughout an adjacent 227-ha colony. We evaluated performance of the RSFs using ferret space use data collected via postbreeding spotlight surveys June–October 2005–2006. In home ranges and core areas, ferrets selected the predicted "very high" and "high" occurrence categories of both RSFs. Count metrics also suggested selection of these categories; for each model in each year, approximately 81% of ferret locations occurred in areas of very high or high predicted occurrence. These results suggest usefulness of the RSFs in estimating the distribution of ferrets throughout a black-tailed prairie dog colony. The RSFs provide a fine-scale habitat assessment for ferrets that can be used to prioritize releases of ferrets and habitat restoration for prairie dogs and ferrets. A method to quickly inventory the distribution of prairie dog burrow openings would greatly facilitate application of the RSFs.

  12. Fine-scale habitat use of reintroduced black-footed ferrets on prairie dog colonies in New Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chipault, Jennifer G.; Biggins, Dean E.; Detling, James K.; Long, Dustin H.; Reich, Robin M.

    2012-01-01

    Black-footed ferrets (Mustela nigripes) are among the most endangered animals in North America. Reintroductions of captive-born ferrets onto prairie dog (Cynomys spp.) colonies are crucial to the conservation of the species. In September 2007, captive-born ferrets were released on a black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) colony at the Vermejo Park Ranch, New Mexico. Ferret kits experimentally released in areas of comparatively low and high prairie dog burrow densities were located via spotlight surveys. Some maturing ferret kits were subsequently translocated to areas of low and high burrow densities on nearby prairie dog colonies. For 2 months, fine-scale habitat use was quantified by mapping all burrow openings within a 30-m radius of each ferret location. Spatial statistics accounted for autocorrelation in the burrow densities in areas used by ferrets. It was hypothesized that ferrets would select areas of high burrow densities within colonies; however, burrow densities in areas used by ferrets were generally similar to the available burrow densities. Because ferrets used areas with burrow densities similar to densities available at the colony level and because of the potential energetic benefits for ferrets using areas with high burrow densities, releasing ferrets on colonies with high burrow densities might increase reintroduction success.

  13. 78 FR 62300 - Prairie Breeze Wind Energy LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-10-15

    ... DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. ER14-25-000] Prairie Breeze Wind Energy LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket... Breeze Wind Energy LLC's application for market-based rate authority, with an accompanying rate schedule...

  14. "A Prairie Childhood" by Edith Abbott: An Excerpt from "The Children's Champion," a Biography of Grace Abbott

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sorensen, John

    2003-01-01

    Grace Abbott's courageous struggles--to protect the rights of immigrants, to increase the role of women in government, and to improve the lives of all children--are filled with adventurous tales of the remarkable human ability to seek out suffering and to do something about it. "A Prairie Childhood" is an excerpt from the Grace Abbott biography…

  15. Elevated CO2 and warming induce substantial and persistent declines in forage quality irrespective of warming in mixed grass prairie

    Science.gov (United States)

    Increasing atmospheric [CO2] and temperature are expected to affect the productivity, species composition, biogeochemistry, and therefore the quantity and quality of forage available to herbivores in rangeland ecosystems. Both elevated CO2 (eCO2) and warming affect plant tissue chemistry through mul...

  16. Effects of Altered Seasonality of Precipitation on Grass Production and Grasshopper Performance in a Northern Mixed Prairie.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Branson, David H

    2017-06-01

    Climatic changes are leading to differing patterns and timing of precipitation in grassland ecosystems, with the seasonal timing of precipitation affecting plant biomass and plant composition. No previous studies have examined how drought seasonality affects grasshopper performance and the impact of herbivory on vegetation. We modified seasonal patterns of precipitation and grasshopper density in a manipulative experiment to examine if seasonality of drought combined with herbivory affected plant biomass, nitrogen content, and grasshopper performance. Grass biomass was affected by both precipitation and grasshopper density treatments, while nitrogen content of grass was higher with early-season drought. Proportional survival was negatively affected by initial density, while survival was higher with early drought than with full-season drought. Drought timing affected the outcome, with early summer drought increasing grass nitrogen content and grasshopper survival, while season-long and late-season drought did not. The results support arguments that our knowledge of plant responses to seasonal short-term variation in climate is limited and illustrate the importance of experiments manipulating precipitation phenology. The results confirm that understanding the season of drought is critical for predicting grasshopper population dynamics, as extreme early summer drought may be required to strongly affect Melanoplus sanguinipes (F.) performance. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America 2017. This work is written by US Government employees and is in the public domain in the US.

  17. Spatial heterogeneity and scale-dependent habitat selection for two sympatric raptors in mixed-grass prairie.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atuo, Fidelis Akunke; O'Connell, Timothy John

    2017-08-01

    Sympatric predators are predicted to partition resources, especially under conditions of food limitation. Spatial heterogeneity that influences prey availability might play an important role in the scales at which potential competitors select habitat. We assessed potential mechanisms for coexistence by examining the role of heterogeneity in resource partitioning between sympatric raptors overwintering in the southern Great Plains. We conducted surveys for wintering Red-tailed hawk ( Buteo jamaicensis ) and Northern Harrier ( Circus cyanea ) at two state wildlife management areas in Oklahoma, USA. We used information from repeated distance sampling to project use locations in a GIS. We applied resource selection functions to model habitat selection at three scales and analyzed for niche partitioning using the outlying mean index. Habitat selection of the two predators was mediated by spatial heterogeneity. The two predators demonstrated significant fine-scale discrimination in habitat selection in homogeneous landscapes, but were more sympatric in heterogeneous landscapes. Red-tailed hawk used a variety of cover types in heterogeneous landscapes but specialized on riparian forest in homogeneous landscapes. Northern Harrier specialized on upland grasslands in homogeneous landscapes but selected more cover types in heterogeneous landscapes. Our study supports the growing body of evidence that landscapes can affect animal behaviors. In the system we studied, larger patches of primary land cover types were associated with greater allopatry in habitat selection between two potentially competing predators. Heterogeneity within the scale of raptor home ranges was associated with greater sympatry in use and less specialization in land cover types selected.

  18. Fire and nitrogen effects on Purple Threeawn (Aristida purpurea)abundance in northern mixed-grass prairie old fields

    Science.gov (United States)

    Purple threeawn (Aristida purpurea Nutt. varieties) is a native grass capable of increasing on rangelands, forming near monocultures, and creating a stable state. Productive rangelands throughout the Great Plains and Intermountain West have experienced increases in purple threeawn abundance, reduci...

  19. Parity mixing

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Adelberger, E.G.

    1975-01-01

    The field of parity mixing in light nuclei bears upon one of the exciting and active problems of physics--the nature of the fundamental weak interaction. It is also a subject where polarization techniques play a very important role. Weak interaction theory is first reviewed to motivate the parity mixing experiments. Two very attractive systems are discussed where the nuclear physics is so beautifully simple that the experimental observation of tiny effects directly measures parity violating (PV) nuclear matrix elements which are quite sensitive to the form of the basic weak interaction. Since the measurement of very small analyzing powers and polarizations may be of general interest to this conference, some discussion is devoted to experimental techniques

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Barnhart, Kevin Scott

    2013-10-01

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

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

    KAUST Repository

    Yadav, Brijesh Kumar; Hassanizadeh, S Majid

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    de la Fuente Mario

    2015-01-01

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

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

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Herling, MC

    2009-11-01

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

  4. Continuous Long-Term Modeling of Shallow Groundwater-Surface Water Interaction: Implications for a Wet Prairie Restoration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wijayarathne, D. B.; Gomezdelcampo, E.

    2017-12-01

    The existence of wet prairies is wholly dependent on the groundwater and surface water interaction. Any process that alters this interaction has a significant impact on the eco-hydrology of wet prairies. The Oak Openings Region (OOR) in Northwest Ohio supports globally rare wet prairie habitats and the precious few remaining have been drained by ditches, altering their natural flow and making them an unusually variable and artificial system. The Gridded Surface Subsurface Hydrologic Analysis (GSSHA) model from the US Army Engineer Research and Development Center was used to assess the long-term impacts of land-use change on wet prairie restoration. This study is the first spatially explicit, continuous, long-term modeling approach for understanding the response of the shallow groundwater system of the OOR to human intervention, both positive and negative. The GSSHA model was calibrated using a 2-year weekly time series of water table elevations collected with an array of piezometers in the field. Basic statistical analysis indicates a good fit between observed and simulated water table elevations on a weekly level, though the model was run on an hourly time step and a pixel size of 10 m. Spatially-explicit results show that removal of a local ditch may not drastically change the amount of ponding in the area during spring storms, but large flooding over the entire area would occur if two other ditches are removed. This model is being used by The Nature Conservancy and Toledo Metroparks to develop different scenarios for prairie restoration that minimize its effect on local homeowners.

  5. The parasitic eyeworm Oxyspirura petrowi as a possible cause of decline in the threatened lesser prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicholas R Dunham

    Full Text Available Lesser prairie-chickens (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus have been declining range wide since the early 1900's despite efforts to establish conservation and improve their habitat. In early 2014, the lesser prairie-chicken was listed as a threatened species under the U.S Endangered Species Act and the need to find out why they are declining is more important than ever. Nine hunter shot lesser prairie-chickens were donated and sampled for the presence or absence of the eyeworm Oxyspirura petrowi, a known parasite that can cause damage to the eye of its host, and common environmental contaminants. Eyeworm infection was found in 7 of 9 birds (78% infection rate with an infection range between 0-16 O. petrowi per bird. Breast, liver, and fat tissue samples from the lesser prairie-chickens were analyzed for the frequency of 20 organochlorine pesticides. Femurs and livers were also tested on these birds for metal contaminants. Pesticides were found in several samples above the detection limits but were still in the low ng/g range. Notable was the ubiquitous presence of endrin aldehyde across all tissues. One femur showed 5.66 µg/g of lead (Pb but this is still relatively low. No liver samples had elevated mercury (Hg above detection limits. The presence of these organochlorines is consistent with the historic use of pesticides in this region. With pesticide and metals found in such low levels and parasitic nematode infections at rather high levels, it is recommended that these parasites be further evaluated as a contributing factor to the decline of the lesser prairie-chicken.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-08-01

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

  7. Seasonally Feed-Related Aflatoxins B1 and M1 Spread in Semiarid Industrial Dairy Herd and Its Deteriorating Impacts on Food and Immunity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Saideh Mozafari

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available To comparatively determine the levels of aflatoxin (AF B1 in feedstuffs and of AFM1 in milk from semiarid industrial cattle farms in northeastern Iran during four seasons and to elucidate the effects of mixed AFB1 and AFM1 on bovine granulocytes, 72 feedstuffs (concentrate, silage, and totally mixed ration (TMR and 200 bulk milk samples were simultaneously collected for ELISA-based AFs detection. Isolated blood and milk neutrophils (n=8/treatment were also preincubated with mix of 10 ng/ml AFB1 and 10 ng/ml AFM1 for 12 h; the impact was assessed on neutrophils functions. AFB1 levels in feedstuffs averaged 28 μg/kg (4–127 μg/kg, with TMR maximal (38±6.3 μg/kg, concentrate (32±6.5 μg/kg, and silage (16±1.5 μg/kg. The levels of AFB1 and AFM1 in feedstuffs and milk averaged 42±9.3, 27±2.8, 26±4.1, and 18.5±2.8 μg/kg and 85±7.3, 62±6.1, 46±6.2, and 41±6.5 ppb μg/kg in winter (maximal, autumn, spring, and summer, respectively. Mix of AFB1 and AFM1 weakened various functions of granulocytes. It adds new reason why during winter semiarid raised food-producing animals show more immune-incompetence.

  8. Controls on the geochemical evolution of Prairie Pothole Region lakes and wetlands over decadal time scales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldhaber, Martin B.; Mills, Christopher T.; Mushet, David M.; McCleskey, R. Blaine; Rover, Jennifer

    2016-01-01

    One hundred sixty-seven Prairie Pothole lakes, ponds and wetlands (largely lakes) previously analyzed chemically during the late 1960’s and early to mid-1970’s were resampled and reanalyzed in 2011–2012. The two sampling periods differed climatically. The earlier sampling took place during normal to slightly dry conditions, whereas the latter occurred during and immediately following exceptionally wet conditions. As reported previously in Mushet et al. (2015), the dominant effect was expansion of the area of these lakes and dilution of their major ions. However, within that context, there were significant differences in the evolutionary pathways of major ions. To establish these pathways, we employed the inverse modeling computer code NetpathXL. This code takes the initial and final lake composition and, using mass balance constrained by the composition of diluting waters, and input and output of phases, calculates plausible geochemical evolution pathways. Despite the fact that in most cases major ions decreased, a subset of the lakes had an increase in SO42−. This distinction is significant because SO42− is the dominant anion in a majority of Prairie Pothole Region wetlands and lakes. For lakes with decreasing SO42−, the proportion of original lake water required for mass balance was subordinate to rainwater and/or overland flow. In contrast, lakes with increasing SO42− between the two sampling episodes tended to be dominated by original lake water. This suite of lakes tended to be smaller and have lower initial SO42−concentrations such that inputs of sulfur from dissolution of the minerals gypsum or pyrite had a significant impact on the final sulfur concentration given the lower dilution factors. Thus, our study provides context for how Prairie Pothole Region water bodies evolve geochemically as climate changes. Because wetland geochemistry in turn controls the ecology of these water bodies, this research contributes to the prediction of the

  9. Results from three years on the prairie - improving management through volunteer-collected data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hadley, N.; Force, A.; Holsinger, K.

    2017-12-01

    Citizen science is a nascent and diversifying field with the ability to support wide-ranging outcomes from volunteer education and empowerment to data-driven decisions. Adventure Scientists is a nonprofit organization that focuses on the latter. We approach citizen science through a solutions-oriented lens, in which quality data can influence decisions leading to improved policy, land management and business practices. All our work is interdisciplinary, as we collaborate with partners in government, academia, industry and nonprofits to help fill their data collection needs. In addressing our partners' data needs, it is critical that we align any newfound knowledge with tangible outcomes. Therefore, our projects and partnerships incorporate concrete theories of change and involve the collaborations and relationships necessary to support decision-making. In this presentation, we will highlight Landmark, a landscape-scale project spanning 30,000 acres of North American prairie in Montana, to illustrate one example of a partnership that resulted in improved management from our volunteer-collected data. This was a multi-year citizen science project, where we assisted the American Prairie Reserve's effort to create the largest grasslands and wildlife protected area in the continental U.S. Our partners identified a need to better understand the extent and diversity of wildlife inhabiting and migrating through the space. To provide this enhanced understanding, we helped design and implement a program to collect key wildlife data on the prairie. We recruited, trained and managed specialized volunteers from the outdoor adventure community. Volunteers were responsible for collecting data year-round on animals moving through the landscape to support their management and protection. After three years of data collection and over 19,000 wildlife observations made while monitoring 29 species, the grasslands preserve is now moving forward with an expansive wildlife dataset to

  10. Effects of exogenous hormones on spermatogenesis in the male prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foreman, D

    1998-01-01

    Male prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) breed anually and have complete testicular regression. Changes in the seminiferous tubules during the annual cycle have been described recently (Foreman, 1997). This is the first description of spermatogenesis in such a species. The definition of tubular stages during the cycle allows for evaluation of the effects of exogenous hormones, hemicastration, and hemicryptorchidism on spermatogenesis during the annual cycle. Hemicastration was performed during stages of the annual cycle to determine effects of exogenous hormones on remaining testes. Hemicryptorchidism was also done during stages of the annual cycle. FSH, LH, and testosterone were given in high and low doses for short- or long-term treatment periods during stages of the annual cycle. Testicular weights and counts of cell types in tubules of control and treated testes were made on testis tissues. Hemicastration during the out-of-season period does not cause compensatory hypertrophy of the remaining testis, but during recrudescence, hypertrophy of the remaining testis occurs. Hemicastration does not prevent loss of weight by the remaining testis during regression. The seminiferous epithelium of hemicryptorchid prairie dog testes shows damage during spermatogenic activity but not during testicular inactivity. Similarly, hemicryptorchid 15-day-old rat testes do not show damage from hemicryptorchidism. Long-term treatment with FSH preparations during testicular inactivity increased testis weights, spermatogonial proliferation, and spermatocyte differentiation in conjunction with Sertoli cell differentiation. Short-term treatments with low doses increased spermatogonial proliferation and abnormal meiotic activity. Both long- and short-term treatments with LH caused increased sloughing of germ cells and stimulated Leydig and Sertoli cells. Testosterone propionate injections stimulated Sertoli secretions but not Leydig cell activity. Hemicastration during inactivity does

  11. Geophysical Investigation of an Abandoned Cemetery: Teachers Discover Evidence of Unmarked Graves in Prairie View, TX

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henning, A. T.; Sawyer, D. S.; Baldwin, R.; Kahera, A.; Thoms, A.

    2007-12-01

    In July 2007, a group of nineteen K-12 teachers investigated an abandoned cemetery in Prairie View, Texas, utilizing ground-penetrating radar (GPR) to image the subsurface. In a period of two weeks, the group acquired and interpreted 59 GPR profiles in Wyatt Chapel Cemetery and surrounding areas in order to determine the local stratigraphy and try to locate unmarked graves. The sandy soil in this area is ideally suited for GPR investigations and numerous geophysical anomalies were identified. Wyatt Chapel Cemetery is located adjacent to the campus of Prairie View A&M University in Prairie View, TX, and is thought to have originated as a slave burial ground in the 1850's. Participants in a summer course at Rice University conducted a geophysical investigation of the site. Participants were in-service K-12 teachers from urban Houston school districts where the majority of students are members of historically underrepresented minority groups. Recruitment efforts targeted educators who are currently teaching science without a science degree. Participants included elementary, middle and high school teachers. This summer experience is followed by a content-intensive academic year course in Physical Geology. GPR is an excellent tool for investigating the sandy soil encountered at Wyatt Chapel Cemetery. The stratigraphy in the area consists of 3-6 feet of reddish-brown, medium-grained sand overlying a light gray, highly compacted clay. The sand-clay boundary appears as a strong reflector on the GPR profiles. Participants identified numerous anomalies in the GPR data and two were excavated. One consisted of a pair of bright hyperbolae, suggesting two edges of a metal object. This excavation resulted in the discovery of a metal plank thought to be a burial cover. The second anomaly consisted of a break in the horizon representing the top of the clay layer, and subsequent excavation revealed a grave shaft. Participants experienced the process of science first-hand and used

  12. Occurrence of toxin-producing cyanobacteria blooms in a Brazilian semiarid reservoir

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I. A. S. Costa

    Full Text Available We report the occurrence of cyanobacterial blooms and the presence of cyanotoxins in water samples from the Armando Ribeiro Gonçalves reservoir (06° 08’ S and 37° 07’ W, located in the state of Rio Grande do Norte, in the semiarid region of northeastern Brazil. The cyanobacterial species were identified and quantified during the rainy and dry seasons in the year 2000. Cyanotoxins such as microcystins, saxitoxins and cylindrospermopsins were analyzed and quantified using HPLC and ELISA methods. The mixed toxic blooms of Cylindrospermopsis raciborskii, Microcystis spp (M. panniformis, M. protocystis, M. novacekii and Aphanizomenon spp (Aphanizomenon gracile, A. cf. manguinii, A. cf. issastschenkoi were persistent and represented 90-100% of the total phytoplankton species. Toxic cyanobacterial blooms from the Armando Ribeiro Gonçalves reservoir were analyzed and found to have three phases in relation to the annual cycle. During the rainy season, an intense toxic bloom of Cylindrospermopsis raciborskii was recorded along with saxitoxins (3.14 µg.L-1. During the transition period, between the rainy and dry seasons, different species of Microscytis occurred and microcystin as high as 8.8 µg.L-1 was recorded. In the dry season, co-dominance of Cylindrospermopsis raciborskii, Microcystis spp and Aphanizomenon spp occurred and the concentrations of saxitoxin remained very low. Our results indicate the presence of microcystins (8.8 µg.L-1 and saxitoxins (3.14 µg.L-1 into the crude water, with increasing concentrations from the second fortnight of April to late May 2000. The occurrence of toxic blooms in this reservoir points to a permanent risk of cyanotoxins in supply waters, indicating the need for the implementation of bloom control measures to improve the water quality. Exposure of the local population to cyanotoxins through their potential accumulation in fish muscle must also be considered.

  13. Climate Change Sensitivity of Multi-Species Afforestation in Semi-Arid Benin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Florent Noulèkoun

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available The early growth stage is critical in the response of trees to climate change and variability. It is not clear, however, what climate metrics are best to define the early-growth sensitivity in assessing adaptation strategies of young forests to climate change. Using a combination of field experiments and modelling, we assessed the climate sensitivity of two promising afforestation species, Jatropha curcas L. and Moringa oleifera Lam., by analyzing their predicted climate–growth relationships in the initial two years after planting on degraded cropland in the semi-arid zone of Benin. The process-based WaNuLCAS model (version 4.3, World Agroforestry Centre, Bogor, Indonesia was used to simulate aboveground biomass growth for each year in the climate record (1981–2016, either as the first or as the second year of tree growth. Linear mixed models related the annual biomass growth to climate indicators, and climate sensitivity indices quantified climate–growth relationships. In the first year, the length of dry spells had the strongest effect on tree growth. In the following year, the annual water deficit and length of dry season became the strongest predictors. Simulated rooting depths greater than those observed in the experiments enhanced biomass growth under extreme dry conditions and reduced sapling sensitivity to drought. Projected increases in aridity implied significant growth reduction, but a multi-species approach to afforestation using species that are able to develop deep-penetrating roots should increase the resilience of young forests to climate change. The results illustrate that process-based modelling, combined with field experiments, can be effective in assessing the climate–growth relationships of tree species.

  14. Evaluating pasture and soil allowance of manganese for Kajli rams grazing in semi-arid environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khan, Zafar Iqbal; Ahmad, Kafeel; Ashraf, Muhammad; Naqvi, Syed Ali Hassan; Seidavi, Alireza; Akram, Nudrat Aisha; Laudadio, Vito; Tufarelli, Vincenzo

    2015-03-01

    The current research on the manganese (Mn) transfer from soil to plant as well as to grazing Kajli rams in the form of sampling periods was carried out under semi-arid environmental conditions. Forage, soil and blood plasma samples were collected during 4 months of the year after a 1-month interval, and Mn concentrations were assessed after wet digestion using an atomic absorption spectrophotometer. Results showed that Mn concentration in soil ranged from 48.28 to 59.44 mg/kg, with incoherent augment and decline across sampling periods, and effect of sampling period on soil Mn was also found to be significant (P soil appeared higher than the critical value and sufficient for forage crop requirement. The Mn concentration in forage ranged between 24.8 and 37.2 mg/kg, resulting deficient based on the requirement allowance of Mn for livestock grazing animals, therein with almost unchanged forage Mn concentration. The Mn values in blood plasma of rams varied from 0.066 to 0.089 mg/l, with a consistent increase based on sampling period, and the effect of sampling periods on plasma Mn was found to be highly significant (P soil and plant species amassing capability on the transport of Mn in the soil-plant-animal system. Results indicated a much higher accumulation rate at the sampling characterized by vegetation dominated by legumes in comparison to grasses, crop residues and mixed pasture and a pronounced seasonal supply of Mn at the four sampling period of grazing land of diverse botanical composition.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-04-01

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

  16. Use of macroinvertebrates to identify cultivated wetlands in the Prairie Pothole Region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Euliss, Ned H.; Mushet, David M.; Johnson, Douglas H.

    2001-01-01

    We evaluated the use of macroinvertebrates as a potential tool to identify dry and intensively farmed temporary and seasonal wetlands in the Prairie Pothole Region. The techniques we designed and evaluated used the dried remains of invertebrates or their egg banks in soils as indicators of wetlands. For both the dried remains of invertebrates and their egg banks, we weighted each taxon according to its affinity for wetlands or uplands. Our study clearly demonstrated that shells, exoskeletons, head capsules, eggs, and other remains of macroinvertebrates can be used to identify wetlands, even when they are dry, intensively farmed, and difficult to identify as wetlands using standard criteria (i.e., hydrology, hydrophytic vegetation, and hydric soils). Although both dried remains and egg banks identified wetlands, the combination was more useful, especially for identifying drained or filled wetlands. We also evaluated the use of coarse taxonomic groupings to stimulate use of the technique by nonspecialists and obtained satisfactory results in most situations.

  17. The influence of grazing on surface climatological variables of tallgrass prairie. Final Technical Report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Seastedt, T.R.; Dyer, M.I.; Turner, C.L.

    1992-01-01

    Mass and energy exchange between most grassland canopies and the atmosphere are mediated by grazing activities. Ambient temperatures can be increased or decreased by grazers. Data have been assembled from simulated grazing experiments on Konza Prairie Research Natural Area and observations on adjacent pastures grazed by cattle show significant changes in primary production, nutrient content, and bidirectional reflectance characteristics as a function of grazing intensity. The purpose of this research was to provide algorithms that would allow incorporation of grazing effects into models of energy budgets using remote sensing procedures. The approach involved: (1) linking empirical measurements of plant biomass and grazing intensities to remotely sensed canopy reflectance, and (2) using a higher resolution, mechanistic grazing model to derive plant ecophysiological parameters that influence reflectance and other surface climatological variables

  18. Creation of artificial spawning grounds downstream of the Riviere-des-Prairies Spillway

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Verdon, R.

    1991-01-01

    The creation of artificial spawning grounds is often considered a valuable means of mitigating impact on fish populations. In 1985, following reconstruction of the Riviere-des-Prairies spillway, granular material from the access road was used to create a new spawning area for resident fish. This 0.5 hectare spawning bed was used over the following years by walleye, sauger, longnose and white suckers, and lake sturgeon for reproduction. It was also used as a fry habitat by sturgeon and sucker. Since the reproductive success of the fish depends largely on stable flow conditions, the quality of the habitat is strongly related to the spillway flow regime. Operating procedures compatible with power generation can optimize the spawning success of desirable fish species. Details are presented of site design, construction, fish monitoring, and spillway operation. 4 refs., 7 figs., 1 tab

  19. Radiative surface temperatures of the burned and unburned areas in a tallgrass prairie

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Asrar, G.; Harris, T.R.; Lapitan, R.L.; Cooper, D.I.

    1988-01-01

    This study was conducted in a natural tallgrass prairie area in the Flint Hills of Kansas. Our objective was to evaluate the surface radiative temperatures of burned and unburned treatments of the grassland as a means of delineating the areas covered by each treatment. Burning is used to remove the senescent vegetation resulting from the previous year's growth. Surface temperatures were obtained in situ and by an airborne scanner. Burned and unburned grass canopies had distinctly different diurnal surface radiative temperatures. Measurements of surface energy balance components revealed a difference in partitioning of the available energy between the two canopies, which resulted in the difference in their measured surface temperatures. The magnitude of this difference is dependent on the time of measurements and topographic conditions. (author)

  20. Feeding ecology of arctic-nesting sandpipers during spring migration through the prairie pothole region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eldridge, J.L.; Krapu, G.L.; Johnson, D.H.

    2009-01-01

    We evaluated food habits of 4 species of spring-migrant calidrid sandpipers in the Prairie Pothole Region (PPR) of North Dakota. Sandpipers foraged in several wetland classes and fed primarily on aquatic dipterans, mostly larvae, and the midge family Chironomidae was the primary food eaten. Larger sandpiper species foraged in deeper water and took larger larvae than did smaller sandpipers. The diverse wetland habitats that migrant shorebirds use in the PPR suggest a landscape-level approach be applied to wetland conservation efforts. We recommend that managers use livestock grazing and other tools, where applicable, to keep shallow, freshwater wetlands from becoming choked with emergent vegetation limiting chironomid production and preventing shorebird use.

  1. Which fireballs are meteorites - A study of the Prairie Network photographic meteor data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wetherill, G. W.; Revelle, D. O.

    1981-11-01

    With the exception of three recovered meteorites with photographic fireball data (Pribram, Lost City, Innisfree), there is generally little information regarding the location of meteorites in the solar system prior to their impact on the earth. An investigation is conducted with the objective to identify those fireballs (bright meteor) data from the Prairie Network. The investigation is based on the belief that many small ordinary chondrites must be present among the photographed bright fireballs. Observations of the recovered fireballs are used to identify characteristics of their dynamics while passing through the atmosphere. In this way criteria are established for identifying those fireballs with similar dynamical characteristics. On the basis of the studies, a catalog is provided of fireballs which have a high probability of being ordinary chondrites or other strong meteorites.

  2. Cold war legacy: sub-surface investigation of unsaturated prairie soil radiologically contaminated in 1951

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sims, D.J.; Andrews, W.S.; Wang, Z.; Creber, K.A.M.

    2003-01-01

    An unintentional release of fission products (FPs) from a buried storage tank in 1951 resulted in 6.7 L of liquid, bearing radioactive material, being spilled into unsaturated prairie soil at a depth of 3.7 m. Since then, the site has been undisturbed. In October 2001, boreholes were drilled and soil samples were recovered for analysis. Gamma well logging showed higher than background radiation readings at a depth of 3.5 m (corresponding to the storage container location) and a peak reading at 4.7 m (attributed to the breakthrough curve). The soil was determined to be predominantly lean clay with a silty sand layer between 4.4 and 5.1 m. Future work includes radiochemical analysis, soil column simulation, determination of distribution coefficients and transport modelling. (author)

  3. Effects of Wind Energy Development on Nesting Ecology of Greater Prairie-Chickens in Fragmented Grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    McNew, Lance B; Hunt, Lyla M; Gregory, Andrew J; Wisely, Samantha M; Sandercock, Brett K

    2014-01-01

    Wind energy is targeted to meet 20% of U.S. energy needs by 2030, but new sites for development of renewable energy may overlap with important habitats of declining populations of grassland birds. Greater Prairie-Chickens (Tympanuchus cupido) are an obligate grassland bird species predicted to respond negatively to energy development. We used a modified before–after control–impact design to test for impacts of a wind energy development on the reproductive ecology of prairie-chickens in a 5-year study. We located 59 and 185 nests before and after development, respectively, of a 201 MW wind energy facility in Greater Prairie-Chicken nesting habitat and assessed nest site selection and nest survival relative to proximity to wind energy infrastructure and habitat conditions. Proximity to turbines did not negatively affect nest site selection (β = 0.03, 95% CI = −1.2–1.3) or nest survival (β = −0.3, 95% CI = −0.6–0.1). Instead, nest site selection and survival were strongly related to vegetative cover and other local conditions determined by management for cattle production. Integration of our project results with previous reports of behavioral avoidance of oil and gas facilities by other species of prairie grouse suggests new avenues for research to mitigate impacts of energy development. Efectos del Desarrollo de la Energía Eólica sobre la Ecología de Anidación de Gallinas de la Gran Pradera en Pastizales Fragmentados Resumen Se calcula que la energía eólica aportará el 20% de las necesidades energéticas de los Estados Unidos para el 2030, pero nuevos sitios para el desarrollo de energía renovable pueden traslaparse con hábitats importantes de poblaciones declinantes de aves de pastizal. La gallina de la Gran Pradera (Tympanuchus cupido) es una especie de ave obligada de pastizal que se pronostica responderá negativamente al desarrollo energético. Usamos un diseño ADCI modificado para probar los impactos del desarrollo de la energía e

  4. A projection of lesser prairie chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) populations range-wide

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cummings, Jonathan W.; Converse, Sarah J.; Moore, Clinton T.; Smith, David R.; Nichols, Clay T.; Allan, Nathan L.; O'Meilia, Chris M.

    2017-08-09

    We built a population viability analysis (PVA) model to predict future population status of the lesser prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus, LEPC) in four ecoregions across the species’ range. The model results will be used in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's (FWS) Species Status Assessment (SSA) for the LEPC. Our stochastic projection model combined demographic rate estimates from previously published literature with demographic rate estimates that integrate the influence of climate conditions. This LEPC PVA projects declining populations with estimated population growth rates well below 1 in each ecoregion regardless of habitat or climate change. These results are consistent with estimates of LEPC population growth rates derived from other demographic process models. Although the absolute magnitude of the decline is unlikely to be as low as modeling tools indicate, several different lines of evidence suggest LEPC populations are declining.

  5. Conserving Prairie Pothole Region wetlands and surrounding grasslands: evaluating effects on amphibians

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mushet, David M.; Neau, Jordan L.

    2014-01-01

    The maintenance of viable and genetically diverse populations of amphibians in the Prairie Pothole Region of the United States depends on upland as well as wetland over-wintering and landscape level habitat features.Prairie pothole wetlands provide important amphibian breeding habitat while grasslands surrounding these wetlands provide foraging habitat for adults, overwintering habitat for some species, and important connectivity among breeding wetlands.Grasslands surrounding wetlands were found to be especially important for wood frogs and northern leopard frogs, while croplands dominated habitat utilized by Great Plains toads and Woodhouse’s toads.Habitat suitability mapping highlighted (1) the influence of deep-water overwintering wetlands on suitable habitat for four of five anuran species encountered; (2) the lack of overlap between areas of core habitat for both the northern leopard frog and wood frog compared to the core habitat for both toad species; and (3) the importance of conservation programs in providing grassland components of northern leopard frog and wood frog habitat.Currently, there are approximately 7.2 million acres (2.9 million hectares, ha) of habitat in the PPR identified as suitable for amphibians. WRP and CRP wetland and grassland habitats accounted for approximately 1.9 million acres (0.75 million ha) or 26 percent of this total area.Continued loss of amphibian habitat resulting from an ongoing trend of returning PPR conservation lands to crop production, will likely have significant negative effects on the region’s ability to maintain amphibian biodiversity. Conversely, increases in conservation wetlands and surrounding grasslands on the PPR landscape have great potential to positively influence the region’s amphibian populations.

  6. Prerequisites for understanding climate-change impacts on northern prairie wetlands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anteau, Michael J.; Wiltermuth, Mark T.; Post van der Burg, Max; Pearse, Aaron T.

    2016-01-01

    The Prairie Pothole Region (PPR) contains ecosystems that are typified by an extensive matrix of grasslands and depressional wetlands, which provide numerous ecosystem services. Over the past 150 years the PPR has experienced numerous landscape modifications resulting in agricultural conversion of 75–99 % of native prairie uplands and drainage of 50–90 % of wetlands. There is concern over how and where conservation dollars should be spent within the PPR to protect and restore wetland basins to support waterbird populations that will be robust to a changing climate. However, while hydrological impacts of landscape modifications appear substantial, they are still poorly understood. Previous modeling efforts addressing impacts of climate change on PPR wetlands have yet to fully incorporate interacting or potentially overshadowing impacts of landscape modification. We outlined several information needs for building more informative models to predict climate change effects on PPR wetlands. We reviewed how landscape modification influences wetland hydrology and present a conceptual model to describe how modified wetlands might respond to climate variability. We note that current climate projections do not incorporate cyclical variability in climate between wet and dry periods even though such dynamics have shaped the hydrology and ecology of PPR wetlands. We conclude that there are at least three prerequisite steps to making meaningful predictions about effects of climate change on PPR wetlands. Those evident to us are: 1) an understanding of how physical and watershed characteristics of wetland basins of similar hydroperiods vary across temperature and moisture gradients; 2) a mechanistic understanding of how wetlands respond to climate across a gradient of anthropogenic modifications; and 3) improved climate projections for the PPR that can meaningfully represent potential changes in climate variability including intensity and duration of wet and dry periods. Once

  7. Quantifying the Impact of geographically isolated wetlands on the downstream hydrology of a Canadian Prairie watershed

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muhammad, A.; Evenson, G. R.; Boluwade, A.; Jha, S. K.; Rasmussen, P. F.

    2016-12-01

    Hydrological processes are highly complex and strongly nonlinear and cannot be represented through simple means. Models are built to replicate these processes. However, models due to various sources of uncertainty including their structural capability often lead to inaccurate results. The aim of this study is to setup the soil water assessment tool (SWAT) for a watershed that is dominated by potholes in the Prairie region of Canada. The potholes not connected to the stream, also known as geographically isolated wetlands (GIWs), are dynamic in nature leading to a fill and spill situation due to varying surface runoff conditions. Significant land use changes have resulted in almost 70% of wetlands being lost and have posed threat of flooding to downstream areas. While some studies were devoted to identify the presence of potholes only few have explored the impacts of wetlands on the downstream hydrology. In this study, we follow Evenson et al., (2016) approach of modifying SWAT model. The modification enhances structural capability of SWAT while depicting the dynamics of wetlands at HRUs level. Redefining the formation of HRUs in such way effectively captures the spatial presence of potholes. We then routed the potholes' fill and spill hydrology to direct the flow to the potholes immediately downstream. The model was calibrated for 2005-2008 and verified over 2009-2011 at a daily time step. We tested our model with three land use change scenarios by varying the presence of potholes and evaluated its impact on the downstream hydrograph. We foresee a significant improvement in replicating stream flow using this novel approach. We believe that it will effectively improve the predictive power of SWAT for this highly complex sub basin (Upper Assiniboine catchment at Kamsack) located in Canadian Prairie.

  8. Gallbladder filling and emptying during cholesterol gallstone formation in the prairie dog. A cholescintigraphic study

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pellegrini, C.A.; Ryan, T.; Broderick, W.; Way, L.W.

    1986-01-01

    We studied gallbladder bile flow before, during, and after cholesterol gallstone formation in the prairie dog using infusion cholescintigraphy with /sup 99m/Tc-diethyl iminodiacetic acid. In 18 fasting animals partitioning of bile between gallbladder and intestine was determined every 15 min for 140 min, and gallbladder response to cholecystokinin (5 U/kg X h) was calculated from the gallbladder ejection fraction. Ten prairie dogs were then placed on a 0.4% cholesterol diet and 8 on a regular diet, and the studies were repeated 1, 2, and 6 wk later. The proportion of hepatic bile that entered the gallbladder relative to the intestine varied from one 15-min period to the next, and averaged 28.2% +/- 5.1% at 140 min. Partial spontaneous gallbladder emptying (ejection fraction 11.5% +/- 5.6%) was intermittently observed. Neither the number nor the ejection fraction of spontaneous gallbladder contractions changed during gallstone formation. By contrast, the percent of gallbladder emptying in response to cholecystokinin decreased from 72.1% +/- 5% to 25.9% +/- 9.3% (p less than 0.025) in the first week and was 14.3% +/- 5.5% at 6 wk (p less than 0.01 from prediet values, not significant from first week). Gallbladder filling decreased from 28.2% +/- 5.1% to 6.7% +/- 3% (p less than 0.01), but this change was only observed after 6 wk, when gallstones had formed. This study shows that bile flow into the gallbladder during fasting is not constant; the gallbladder contracts intermittently; gallbladder emptying in response to exogenous cholecystokinin is altered very early during gallstone formation; and gallbladder filling remains unaffected until later stages, when gallstones have formed

  9. Vulnerability of breeding waterbirds to climate change in the Prairie Pothole Region, U.S.A.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valerie Steen

    Full Text Available The Prairie Pothole Region (PPR of the north-central U.S. and south-central Canada contains millions of small prairie wetlands that provide critical habitat to many migrating and breeding waterbirds. Due to their small size and the relatively dry climate of the region, these wetlands are considered at high risk for negative climate change effects as temperatures increase. To estimate the potential impacts of climate change on breeding waterbirds, we predicted current and future distributions of species common in the PPR using species distribution models (SDMs. We created regional-scale SDMs for the U.S. PPR using Breeding Bird Survey occurrence records for 1971-2011 and wetland, upland, and climate variables. For each species, we predicted current distribution based on climate records for 1981-2000 and projected future distributions to climate scenarios for 2040-2049. Species were projected to, on average, lose almost half their current habitat (-46%. However, individual species projections varied widely, from +8% (Upland Sandpiper to -100% (Wilson's Snipe. Variable importance ranks indicated that land cover (wetland and upland variables were generally more important than climate variables in predicting species distributions. However, climate variables were relatively more important during a drought period. Projected distributions of species responses to climate change contracted within current areas of distribution rather than shifting. Given the large variation in species-level impacts, we suggest that climate change mitigation efforts focus on species projected to be the most vulnerable by enacting targeted wetland management, easement acquisition, and restoration efforts.

  10. Identification of subpopulations of prairie voles differentially susceptible to peer influence to decrease high alcohol intake.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anacker, Allison M J; Ryabinin, Andrey E

    2013-01-01

    Peer influences are critical in the decrease of alcohol (ethanol) abuse and maintenance of abstinence. We previously developed an animal model of inhibitory peer influences on ethanol drinking using prairie voles and here sought to understand whether this influential behavior was due to specific changes in drinking patterns and to variation in a microsatellite sequence in the regulatory region of the vasopressin receptor 1a gene (avpr1a). Adult prairie voles' drinking patterns were monitored in a lickometer apparatus that recorded each lick a subject exhibited during continuous access to water and 10% ethanol during periods of isolation, pair housing of high and low drinkers, and subsequent isolation. Analysis of fluid consumption confirmed previous results that high drinkers typically decrease ethanol intake when paired with low drinkers, but that a subset of voles do not decrease. Analysis of bout structure revealed differences in the number of ethanol drinking bouts in the subpopulations of high drinkers when paired with low drinkers. Lickometer drinking patterns analyzed by visual and by cross-correlation analyses demonstrated that pair housing did not increase the rate of subjects drinking in bouts occurring at the same time. The length of the avpr1a microsatellite did not predict susceptibility to peer influence or any other drinking behaviors. In summary, subpopulations of high drinkers were identified, by fluid intake and number of drinking bouts, which did or did not lower their ethanol intake when paired with a low drinking peer, and these subpopulations should be explored for testing the efficacy of treatments to decrease ethanol use in groups that are likely to be responsive to different types of therapy.

  11. Modelling surface-water depression storage in a Prairie Pothole Region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hay, Lauren E.; Norton, Parker A.; Viger, Roland; Markstrom, Steven; Regan, R. Steven; Vanderhoof, Melanie

    2018-01-01

    In this study, the Precipitation-Runoff Modelling System (PRMS) was used to simulate changes in surface-water depression storage in the 1,126-km2 Upper Pipestem Creek basin located within the Prairie Pothole Region of North Dakota, USA. The Prairie Pothole Region is characterized by millions of small water bodies (or surface-water depressions) that provide numerous ecosystem services and are considered an important contribution to the hydrologic cycle. The Upper Pipestem PRMS model was extracted from the U.S. Geological Survey's (USGS) National Hydrologic Model (NHM), developed to support consistent hydrologic modelling across the conterminous United States. The Geospatial Fabric database, created for the USGS NHM, contains hydrologic model parameter values derived from datasets that characterize the physical features of the entire conterminous United States for 109,951 hydrologic response units. Each hydrologic response unit in the Geospatial Fabric was parameterized using aggregated surface-water depression area derived from the National Hydrography Dataset Plus, an integrated suite of application-ready geospatial datasets. This paper presents a calibration strategy for the Upper Pipestem PRMS model that uses normalized lake elevation measurements to calibrate the parameters influencing simulated fractional surface-water depression storage. Results indicate that inclusion of measurements that give an indication of the change in surface-water depression storage in the calibration procedure resulted in accurate changes in surface-water depression storage in the water balance. Regionalized parameterization of the USGS NHM will require a proxy for change in surface-storage to accurately parameterize surface-water depression storage within the USGS NHM.

  12. Identification of subpopulations of prairie voles differentially susceptible to peer influence to decrease high alcohol intake

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Allison M.J. Anacker

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Peer influences are critical in the decrease of alcohol (ethanol abuse and maintenance of abstinence. We previously developed an animal model of inhibitory peer influences on ethanol drinking using prairie voles and here sought to understand whether this influential behavior was due to specific changes in drinking patterns and to variation in a microsatellite sequence in the regulatory region of the vasopressin receptor 1a gene (avpr1a. Adult prairie voles’ drinking patterns were monitored in a lickometer apparatus that recorded each lick a subject exhibited during continuous access to water and 10% ethanol during periods of isolation, pair housing of high and low drinkers, and subsequent isolation. Analysis of fluid consumption confirmed previous results that high drinkers typically decrease ethanol intake when paired with low drinkers, but that a subset of voles do not decrease. Analysis of bout structure revealed differences in the number of ethanol drinking bouts in the subpopulations of high drinkers when paired with low drinkers. Lickometer drinking patterns analyzed by visual and by cross-correlation analyses demonstrated that pair housing did not increase the rate of subjects drinking in bouts occurring at the same time. The length of the avpr1a microsatellite did not predict susceptibility to peer influence or any other drinking behaviors. In summary, subpopulations of high drinkers were identified by fluid intake and number of drinking bouts, which did or did not lower their ethanol intake when paired with a low drinking peer, and these subpopulations should be explored for testing the efficacy of treatments to decrease ethanol use in groups that are likely to be responsive to different types of therapy.

  13. Life cycle assessment of camelina oil derived biodiesel and jet fuel in the Canadian Prairies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xue; Mupondwa, Edmund

    2014-05-15

    This study evaluated the environmental impact of biodiesel and hydroprocessed renewable jet fuel derived from camelina oil in terms of global warming potential, human health, ecosystem quality, and energy resource consumption. The life cycle inventory is based on production activities in the Canadian Prairies and encompasses activities ranging from agricultural production to oil extraction and fuel conversion. The system expansion method is used in this study to avoid allocation and to credit input energy to co-products associated with the products displaced in the market during camelina oil extraction and fuel processing. This is the preferred allocation method for LCA analysis in the context of most renewable and sustainable energy programs. The results show that greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from 1 MJ of camelina derived biodiesel ranged from 7.61 to 24.72 g CO2 equivalent and 3.06 to 31.01 kg CO2/MJ equivalent for camelina HRJ fuel. Non-renewable energy consumption for camelina biodiesel ranged from 0.40 to 0.67 MJ/MJ; HRJ fuel ranged from -0.13 to 0.52 MJ/MJ. Camelina oil as a feedstock for fuel production accounted for the highest contribution to overall environmental performance, demonstrating the importance of reducing environmental burdens during the agricultural production process. Attaining higher seed yield would dramatically lower environmental impacts associated with camelina seed, oil, and fuel production. The lower GHG emissions and energy consumption associated with camelina in comparison with other oilseed derived fuel and petroleum fuel make camelina derived fuel from Canadian Prairies environmentally attractive. Crown Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Application of the new keystone-species concept to prairie dogs: How well does it work?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kotliar, N.B.

    2000-01-01

    It has been suggested that the keystone-species concept should be dropped from ecology and conservation, primarily because the concept is poorly defined. This prompted Power et al. (1996) to refine the definition: keystone species have large effects on community structure or ecosystem function (i.e., high overall importance), and this effect should be large relative to abundance (i.e., high community importance). Using prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.) as an example, I review operational and conceptual difficulties encountered in applying this definition. As applied to prairie dogs, the implicit assumption that overall importance is a linear function of abundance is invalid. In addition, community importance is sensitive to abundance levels, the definition of community, and sampling scale. These problems arise largely from the equation for community importance, as used in conjunction with removal experiments at single abundance levels. I suggest that we shift from the current emphasis on the dualism between keystone and nonkeystone species and instead examine how overall and community importance vary (1) with abundance, (2) across spatial and temporal scales, and (3) under diverse ecological conditions. In addition, I propose that a third criterion be incorporated into the definition: keystone species perform roles not performed by other species or processes. Examination of how these factors vary among populations of keystone species should help identify the factors contributing to, or limiting, keystone-level functions, thereby increasing the usefulness of the keystone-species concept in ecology and conservation. Although the quantitative framework of Power et al. falls short of being fully operational, my conceptual guidelines may improve the usefulness of the keystone-species concept. Careful attention to the factors that limit keystone function will help avoid misplaced emphasis on keystone species at the expense of other species.

  15. Inter-annual to multi-decadal variability in prairie water resources over the past millennium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sauchyn, D.

    2008-01-01

    In the Prairie Provinces, declining levels have been recently recorded for various rivers and lakes, and further reductions are projected. These trends reflect human impact in terms of increasing water consumption and possibly anthropogenic climate change. From the coupling of hydrological models and climate change scenarios, researchers have projected lower future summer flows as global warming brings shorter warmer winters and longer and generally drier summers to western Canada. However, the detection and interpretation of trends from gauge records and model outputs are constrained by the relatively short perspective of decades and the uncertainties associated with projecting climate change and its impacts on hydrological regimes. A longer perspective on inter-annual to multi-decadal variability in water resources is available from moisture-sensitive tree-ring chronologies. We have established a dense network of low elevation chronologies spanning the headwaters of the Saskatchewan, Missouri, Churchill and Mackenzie River basins. Standardized tree-ring width for a large sample of trees and sites is a strong regional signal of annual and seasonal hydroclimate, and an especially good proxy of low water levels. Proxy streamflow records, up to 800 years in length, show quasi-periodic variability at inter-annual to multi-decadal scales that correspond to the tempo of sea-surface temperature anomalies. The industrial sponsors of our research, Manitoba Hydro and EPCOR, anticipate the use of our tree-ring reconstructions for informing forecasts of future water supplies and planning adaptation to climate change. Engineers from these companies, and more than 50 other water managers and planners from the Prairie Provinces, attended a workshop in March 2008 to explore potential applications of paleo-hydrological records to water resource management. (author)

  16. Patterns and drivers for wetland connections in the Prairie Pothole Region, United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vanderhoof, Melanie; Christensen, Jay R.; Alexander, Laurie C.

    2017-01-01

    Ecosystem function in rivers, lakes and coastal waters depends on the functioning of upstream aquatic ecosystems, necessitating an improved understanding of watershed-scale interactions including variable surface-water flows between wetlands and streams. As surface water in the Prairie Pothole Region expands in wet years, surface-water connections occur between many depressional wetlands and streams. Minimal research has explored the spatial patterns and drivers for the abundance of these connections, despite their potential to inform resource management and regulatory programs including the U.S. Clean Water Act. In this study, wetlands were identified that did not intersect the stream network, but were shown with Landsat images (1990–2011) to become merged with the stream network as surface water expanded. Wetlands were found to spill into or consolidate with other wetlands within both small (2–10 wetlands) and large (>100 wetlands) wetland clusters, eventually intersecting a stream channel, most often via a riparian wetland. These surface-water connections occurred over a wide range of wetland distances from streams (averaging 90–1400 m in different ecoregions). Differences in the spatial abundance of wetlands that show a variable surface-water connection to a stream were best explained by smaller wetland-to-wetland distances, greater wetland abundance, and maximum surface-water extent. This analysis demonstrated that wetland arrangement and surface water expansion are important mechanisms for depressional wetlands to connect to streams and provides a first step to understanding the frequency and abundance of these surface-water connections across the Prairie Pothole Region.

  17. Climate Effects on Plant Range Distributions and Community Structure of Pacific Northwest Prairies

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bridgham, Scott D. [Univ. of Oregon, Eugene, OR (United States); Johnson, Bart [Univ. of Oregon, Eugene, OR (United States)

    2013-09-26

    Pacific Northwest (PNW) prairies are an imperiled ecosystem that contain a large number of plant species with high fidelity to this habitat. The few remaining high-quality PNW prairies harbor a number of sensitive, rare, and endangered plant species that may be further at-risk with climate change. Thus, PNW prairies are an excellent model system to examine how climate change will affect the distribution of native plant species in grassland sites. Our experimental objectives were to determine: (i) how climate change will affect the range distribution of native plant species; (ii) what life history stages are most sensitive to climate change in a group of key indicator native species; (iii) the robustness of current restoration techniques and suites of species to changing climate, and in particular, the relative competitiveness of native species versus exotic invasive species; and (iv) the effects of climate change on carbon and nutrient cycling and soil-microbial-plant feedbacks. We addressed these objectives by experimentally increasing temperature 2.5 to 3.0 ºC above ambient with overhead infrared lamps and increasing wet-season precipitation by 20% above ambient in three upland prairie sites in central-western Washington, central-western Oregon, and southwestern Oregon from fall 2010 through 2012. Additional precipitation was applied within 2 weeks of when it fell so precipitation intensity was increased, particularly during the winter rainy season but with minimal additions during the summer dry season. These three sites also represent a 520-km natural climate gradient of increasing degree of severity of Mediterranean climate from north to south. After removing the extant vegetation, we planted a diverse suite of 12 native species that have their northern range limit someplace within the PNW in each experimental plot. An additional 20 more wide-spread native species were also planted into each plot. We found that recruitment of plant species within their ranges

  18. A comparison of cellulosic fuel yields and separated soil-surface CO2 fluxes in maize and prairie biofuel cropping systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nichols, Virginia A.

    It has been suggested that strategic incorporation of perennial vegetation into agricultural landscapes could provide ecosystem services while maintaining agricultural productivity. To evaluate potential use of prairie as a Midwestern cellulosic feedstock, we investigated theoretical cellulosic fuel yields, as well as soil-surface carbon dioxide emissions of prairie-based biofuel systems as compared to maize-based systems on fertile soils in Boone County, IA, USA. Investigated systems were: a maize-soybean rotation grown for grain only, continuous maize grown for grain and stover both with and without a winter rye cover crop, and a 31-species reconstructed prairie grown with and without spring nitrogen fertilization for fall-harvested biomass. From 2009-2013, the highest producing system was N-fertilized prairie, averaging 10.4 Mg ha -1 yr-1 above-ground biomass with average harvest removals of 7.8 Mg ha-1 yr-1. The unfertilized prairie produced 7.4 Mg ha-1 yr-1, averaging harvests of 5.3 Mg ha-1 yr-1. Lowest cellulosic biomass harvests were realized from continuous maize systems, averaging 3.5 Mg ha -1 yr-1 when grown with, and 3.7 Mg ha-1 yr-1 when grown without a winter rye cover crop, respectively. Un-fertilized prairie biomass and maize stover had equivalent dietary conversion ratios at 330 g ethanol kg-1 dry biomass, but N-fertilized prairie was lower at 315. Over four years prairie systems averaged 1287 L cellulosic ethanol ha-1 yr-1 more than maize systems, with fertilization increasing prairie ethanol production by 865 L ha-1 yr-1. Harvested biomass accounted for >90% of ethanol yield variation. A major hurdle in carbon cycling studies is the separation of the soil-surface CO2 flux into its respective components. From 2012-2013 we used a shading method to separate soil-surface CO2 resulting from oxidation of soil organic matter and CO2 derived from live-root activity in three systems: unfertilized prairie, N-fertilized prairie, and continuous maize

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-09-01

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

  2. Perceptions of termites in urban areas of semiarid Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Avany Bezerra Gusmão

    2014-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  4. Population differences in host immune factors may influence survival of Gunnison's prairie dogs (Cynomys Gunnisoni) during plague outbreaks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Busch, Joseph D.; Van Andel, Roger; Cordova, Jennifer; Colman, Rebecca E.; Keim, Paul; Rocke, Tonie E.; Leid, Jeff G.; Van Pelt, William E.; Wagner, David M.

    2011-01-01

    Over the past 40 yr, epizootics of plague (Yersinia pestis) in northern Arizona have reduced populations of the Gunnison’s prairie dog (Cynomys gunnisoni), with the exception of a large population found in the Aubrey Valley (AV). To examine potential mechanisms accounting for their survival, we collected prairie dog serum samples in 2005–2006 from AV and a neighboring population near Seligman (SE), Arizona. We quantified gene expression at 58 diverse immune proteins using a multiplexed enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay panel. We found a subset of proteins important in coagulation and inflammation (tissue factor [TF], calbindin [Cal], and thrombopoietin [TPO]) and T-cell responses (CD40L and CD40) that were present in AV at levels two to eight times greater than SE. These results suggest that AV and SE animals might differ in their ability to mount an immune response.

  5. Evidence for 20th century climate warming and wetland drying in the North American Prairie Pothole Region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Werner, B.A.; Johnson, W. Carter; Guntenspergen, Glenn R.

    2013-01-01

    The Prairie Pothole Region (PPR) of North America is a globally important resource that provides abundant and valuable ecosystem goods and services in the form of biodiversity, groundwater recharge, water purification, flood attenuation, and water and forage for agriculture. Numerous studies have found these wetlands, which number in the millions, to be highly sensitive to climate variability. Here, we compare wetland conditions between two 30-year periods (1946–1975; 1976–2005) using a hindcast simulation approach to determine if recent climate warming in the region has already resulted in changes in wetland condition. Simulations using the WETLANDSCAPE model show that 20th century climate change may have been sufficient to have a significant impact on wetland cover cycling. Modeled wetlands in the PPR's western Canadian prairies show the most dramatic effects: a recent trend toward shorter hydroperiods and less dynamic vegetation cycles, which already may have reduced the productivity of hundreds of wetland-dependent species.

  6. Evidence for 20th century climate warming and wetland drying in the North American Prairie Pothole Region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Werner, Brett A; Johnson, W Carter; Guntenspergen, Glenn R

    2013-09-01

    The Prairie Pothole Region (PPR) of North America is a globally important resource that provides abundant and valuable ecosystem goods and services in the form of biodiversity, groundwater recharge, water purification, flood attenuation, and water and forage for agriculture. Numerous studies have found these wetlands, which number in the millions, to be highly sensitive to climate variability. Here, we compare wetland conditions between two 30-year periods (1946-1975; 1976-2005) using a hindcast simulation approach to determine if recent climate warming in the region has already resulted in changes in wetland condition. Simulations using the WETLANDSCAPE model show that 20th century climate change may have been sufficient to have a significant impact on wetland cover cycling. Modeled wetlands in the PPR's western Canadian prairies show the most dramatic effects: a recent trend toward shorter hydroperiods and less dynamic vegetation cycles, which already may have reduced the productivity of hundreds of wetland-dependent species.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-04-01

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

  8. Patterns of surface burrow plugging in a colony of black-tailed prairie dogs occupied by black-footed ferrets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eads, David E.; Biggins, Dean E.

    2012-01-01

    Black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) can surface-plug openings to a burrow occupied by a black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes). At a coarse scale, surface plugs are more common in colonies of prairie dogs occupied by ferrets than in colonies without ferrets. However, little is known about spatial and temporal patterns of surface plugging in a colony occupied by ferrets. In a 452-ha colony of black-tailed prairie dogs in South Dakota, we sampled burrow openings for surface plugs and related those data to locations of ferrets observed during spotlight surveys. Of 67,574 burrow openings in the colony between June and September 2007, 3.7% were plugged. In a colony-wide grid of 80 m × 80 m cells, the occurrence of surface plugging (≥1 opening plugged) was greater in cells used by ferrets (93.3% of cells) than in cells not observably used by ferrets (70.6%). Rates of surface plugging (percentages of openings plugged) were significantly higher in cells used by ferrets (median = 3.7%) than in cells without known ferret use (median = 3.2%). Also, numbers of ferret locations in cells correlated positively with numbers of mapped surface plugs in the cells. To investigate surface plugging at finer temporal and spatial scales, we compared rates of surface plugging in 20-m-radius circle-plots centered on ferret locations and in random plots 1–4 days after observing a ferret (Jun–Oct 2007 and 2008). Rates of surface plugging were greater in ferret-plots (median = 12.0%) than in random plots (median = 0%). For prairie dogs and their associates, the implications of surface plugging could be numerous. For instance, ferrets must dig to exit or enter plugged burrows (suggesting energetic costs), and surface plugs might influence microclimates in burrows and consequently influence species that cannot excavate soil (e.g., fleas that transmit the plague bacterium Yersinia pestis).

  9. Assessing the Impact of Climate Variability on Cropland Productivity in the Canadian Prairies Using Time Series MODIS FAPAR

    OpenAIRE

    Taifeng Dong; Jiangui Liu; Jiali Shang; Budong Qian; Ted Huffman; Yinsuo Zhang; Catherine Champagne; Bahram Daneshfar

    2016-01-01

    Cropland productivity is impacted by climate. Knowledge on spatial-temporal patterns of the impacts at the regional scale is extremely important for improving crop management under limiting climatic factors. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of climate variability on cropland productivity in the Canadian Prairies between 2000 and 2013 based on time series of MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) FAPAR (Fraction of Absorbed Photosynthetically Active Radiation...

  10. Stable occupancy by breeding hawks (Buteo spp.) over 25 years on a privately managed bunchgrass prairie in northeastern Oregon, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kennedy, Patricia L.; Bartuszevige, Anne M.; Houle, Marcy; Humphrey, Ann B.; Dugger, Katie M.; Williams, John

    2014-01-01

    Potential for large prairie remnants to provide habitat for grassland-obligate wildlife may be compromised by nonsustainable range-management practices. In 1979–1980, high nesting densities of 3 species of hawks in the genus Buteo—Ferruginous Hawk (Buteo regalis), Red-tailed Hawk (B. jamaicensis), and Swainson's Hawk (B. swainsoni)—were documented on the Zumwalt Prairie and surrounding agricultural areas (34,361 ha) in northeastern Oregon, USA. This area has been managed primarily as livestock summer range since it was homesteaded. Unlike in other prairie remnants, land management on the Zumwalt Prairie was consistent over the past several decades; thus, we predicted that territory occupancy of these 3 species would be stable. We also predicted that territory occupancy would be positively related to local availability of nesting structures within territories. We evaluated these hypotheses using a historical dataset, current survey and habitat data, and occupancy models. In support of our predictions, territory occupancy of all 3 species has not changed over the study period of ∼25 yr, which suggests that local range-management practices are not negatively affecting these taxa. Probability of Ferruginous Hawk occupancy increased with increasing area of aspen, an important nest structure for this species in grasslands. Probability of Swainson's Hawk occupancy increased with increasing area of large shrubs, and probability of Red-tailed Hawk occupancy was weakly associated with area of conifers. In the study area, large shrubs and conifers are commonly used as nesting structures by Swainson's Hawks and Red-tailed Hawks, respectively. Availability of these woody species is changing (increases in conifers and large shrubs, and decline in aspen) throughout the west, and these changes may result in declines in Ferruginous Hawk occupancy and increases in Swainson's Hawk and Red-tailed Hawk occupancy in the future.

  11. Marked disparity in the epidemiology of tuberculosis among Aboriginal peoples on the Canadian prairies: The challenges and opportunities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Long, Richard; Hoeppner, Vernon; Orr, Pamela; Ainslie, Martha; King, Malcolm; Abonyi, Sylvia; Mayan, Maria; Kunimoto, Dennis; Langlois-Klassen, Deanne; Heffernan, Courtney; Lau, Angela; Menzies, Dick

    2013-01-01

    BACKGROUND: While it is established that Aboriginal peoples in the prairie provinces of Canada are disproportionately affected by tuberculosis (TB), little is known about the epidemiology of TB either within or across provincial borders. METHODS: Provincial reporting systems for TB, Statistics Canada censuses and population estimates of Registered Indians provided by Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada were used to estimate the overall (2004 to 2008) and pulmonary (2007 to 2008) TB rates in the prairie provinces. The place of residence at diagnosis of pulmonary TB cases in 2007 to 2008 was also documented. RESULTS: The age- and sex-adjusted incidence of TB in Registered Indians was 52.6 per 100,000 person-years, 38 times higher than in Canadian-born ‘others’. Incidence rates in Registered Indians were highest in Manitoba and lowest in Alberta. In Alberta and Saskatchewan, on-reserve rates were more than twice that of off-reserve rates. Rates in the Métis and Registered Indians were similar in Saskatchewan (50.0 and 52.2 per 100,000 person-years, respectively). In 2007 to 2008, approximately 90% of Canadian-born pulmonary TB cases in the prairie provinces were Aboriginal. Outside of one metropolitan area (Winnipeg, Manitoba), most Registered Indian and Métis pulmonary TB cases were concentrated in a relatively small number of communities north of the 53rd parallel. Rates of pulmonary TB in 11 of these communities were >300 per 100,000 person-years. In Manitoba, 49% of off-reserve Registered Indian pulmonary cases were linked to high-incidence reserve communities. INTERPRETATION: The epidemiology of TB among Aboriginal peoples on the Canadian prairies is markedly disparate. Pulmonary TB is highly focal, which is both a concern and an opportunity. PMID:23717818

  12. Size and shape information serve as labels in the alarm calls of Gunnison's prairie dogs Cynomys gunnisoni

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. N. SLOBODCHIKOFF, William R. BRIGGS, Patricia A DENNIS, Anne-Marie C. HODGE

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Some animals have the capacity to produce different alarm calls for terrestrial and aerial predators. However, it is not clear what cognitive processes are involved in generating these calls. One possibility is the position of the predator: Anything on the ground receives a terrestrial predator call, and anything in the air receives an aerial predator call. Another possibility is that animals are able to recognize the physical features of predators and incorporate those into their calls. As a way of elucidating which of these mechanisms plays a primary role in generating the structure of different calls, we performed two field experiments with Gunnison’s prairie dogs. First, we presented the prairie dogs with a circle, a triangle, and a square, each moving across the colony at the same height and speed. Second, we presented the prairie dogs with two squares of differing sizes. DFA statistics showed that 82.6 percent of calls for the circle and 79.2 percent of the calls for the triangle were correctly classified, and 73.3 percent of the calls for the square were classified as either square or circle. Also, 100 percent of the calls for the larger square and 90 percent of the calls for the smaller square were correctly classified. Because both squares and circles are features of terrestrial predators and triangles are features of aerial predators, our results suggest that prairie dogs might have a cognitive mechanism that labels the abstract shape and size of different predators, rather than the position of the predator [Current Zoology 58 (5: 741-748, 2012].

  13. A multi-year comparison of IPCI scores for prairie pothole wetlands: implications of temporal and spatial variation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Euliss, Ned H.; Mushet, David M.

    2011-01-01

    In the prairie pothole region of North America, development of Indices of Biotic Integrity (IBIs) to detect anthropogenic impacts on wetlands has been hampered by naturally dynamic inter-annual climate fluctuations. Of multiple efforts to develop IBIs for prairie pothole wetlands, only one, the Index of Plant Community Integrity (IPCI), has reported success. We evaluated the IPCI and its ability to distinguish between natural and anthropogenic variation using plant community data collected from 16 wetlands over a 4-year-period. We found that under constant anthropogenic influence, IPCI metric scores and condition ratings varied annually in response to environmental variation driven primarily by natural climate variation. Artificially forcing wetlands that occur along continuous hydrologic gradients into a limited number of discrete classes (e.g., temporary, seasonal, and semi-permanent) further confounded the utility of IPCI metrics. Because IPCI scores vary significantly due to natural climate dynamics as well as human impacts, methodology must be developed that adequately partitions natural and anthropogenically induced variation along continuous hydrologic gradients. Until such methodology is developed, the use of the IPCI to evaluate prairie pothole wetlands creates potential for misdirected corrective or regulatory actions, impairment of natural wetland functional processes, and erosion of public confidence in the wetland sciences.

  14. Validating DNA Polymorphisms Using KASP Assay in Prairie Cordgrass (Spartina pectinata Link Populations in the U.S.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hannah eGraves

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs are one of the most abundant DNA variants found in plant genomes and are highly efficient when comparing genome and transcriptome sequences. SNP marker analysis can be used to analyze genetic diversity, create genetic maps, and utilize marker-assisted selection breeding in many crop species. In order to utilize these technologies, one must first identify and validate putative SNPs. In this study, 121 putative SNPs, developed from a nuclear transcriptome of prairie cordgrass (Spartina pectinata Link, were analyzed using KASP technology in order to validate the SNPs. Fifty-nine SNPs were validated using a core collection of 38 natural populations and a phylogenetic tree was created with one main clade. Samples from the same population tended to cluster in the same location on the tree. Polymorphisms were identified within 52.6% of the populations, split evenly between the tetraploid and octoploid cytotypes. Twelve selected SNP markers were used to assess the fidelity of tetraploid crosses of prairie cordgrass and their resulting F2 population. These markers were able to distinguish true crosses and selfs. This study provides insight into the genomic structure of prairie cordgrass, but further analysis must be done on other cytotypes to fully understand the structure of this species. This study validates putative SNPs and confirms the potential usefulness of SNP marker technology in future breeding programs of this species.

  15. Evaluation of Yersinia pestis transmission pathways for sylvatic plague in prairie dog populations in the western U.S.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richgels, Katherine L. D.; Russell, Robin E.; Bron, Gebbiena; Rocke, Tonie E.

    2016-01-01

    Sylvatic plague, caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, is periodically responsible for large die-offs in rodent populations that can spillover and cause human mortalities. In the western US, prairie dog populations experience nearly 100% mortality during plague outbreaks, suggesting that multiple transmission pathways combine to amplify plague dynamics. Several alternate pathways in addition to flea vectors have been proposed, such as transmission via direct contact with bodily fluids or inhalation of infectious droplets, consumption of carcasses, and environmental sources of plague bacteria, such as contaminated soil. However, evidence supporting the ability of these proposed alternate pathways to trigger large-scale epizootics remains elusive. Here we present a short review of potential plague transmission pathways and use an ordinary differential equation model to assess the contribution of each pathway to resulting plague dynamics in black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) and their fleas (Oropsylla hirsuta). Using our model, we found little evidence to suggest that soil contamination was capable of producing plague epizootics in prairie dogs. However, in the absence of flea transmission, direct transmission, i.e., contact with bodily fluids or inhalation of infectious droplets, could produce enzootic dynamics, and transmission via contact with or consumption of carcasses could produce epizootics. This suggests that these pathways warrant further investigation.

  16. Final performance report to the Department of Energy by Prairie View A ampersand M University High Energy Physics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Judd, D.J.

    1992-01-01

    The High Energy Physics (HEP) group at Prairie View A ampersand M University is a collaboratory with Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab), and the universities listed below. The purpose of this collaboration is to contribute to the understanding of heavy quark hadroproduction. Our efforts began in the early 1980's at Fermilab with the study of the charmonium states, J/ψ and χ, (DE-FG-86ER-40297) and presently with the continued studies of the charmonium system and direct photon production (Fermilab experiment E705) and new studies on bottom production (Fermilab experiment E771) in the High Intensity Laboratory (Proton-West Area) of Fermilab. The Prairie View group will, as a part of their task, be directly responsible for a major part of the PWC system upgrade by developing the electronics for the readouts of the PWC pad chambers. Six in all, these chambers, are a part of new multilevel triggering scheme and represents a departure from the triggering methodology of the previous trigger processors in earlier experiments. The Prairie View group is also involved with the Bottom Collider Detector (BCD) Collaboration which is proposing to study bottom production at the Fermilab Collider and at the Superconducting Super Collider (SSC)

  17. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Klaij, M.C.

    1983-01-01

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

    To put the

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2001-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Guentner, A

    2002-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  6. Determining Hydroperiod for Boreal and Prairie Pothole Wetlands using SAR, Optical and LiDAR Remote Sensing Data Fusion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montgomery, J. S.; Hopkinson, C.; Brisco, B.; Patterson, S.; Chasmer, L.; Mahoney, C.

    2017-12-01

    Cultivation, irrigation networks, and infrastructure have all greatly impacted the ecology and hydrology of the Prairie Pothole and Boreal regions of western Canada. Due to sub-humid climate and high potential evaporation, many wetlands in these natural regions are seldom continuously occupied by water, and are often confined to local depressions. In the Boreal region, wetlands may be difficult to monitor due to their remote location, whereas prairie wetlands have highly varying degrees of surface water and soil saturation throughout the year. This study examines how high-resolution Lidar, Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR), and optical data can be utilized in spatial-temporal studies to classify wetlands based on water extent, riparian vegetation, and topographic characteristics. An intensity (dB) threshold routine was used to extract open surface water extent to determine hydroperiod. Digital Elevation Models (DEM) are used with a topographic position index to infer local depressions, while Digital Surface Models (DSMs) are used to characterise vegetation structural characteristics within and proximal to wetlands. The proposed framework provides an index of wetland permanence and wetland class, where permanence varies seasonally and annually. Boreal wetland hydroperiod is less variable than that found in prairie pothole wetlands, most notably the semi-permanent class, varying by only 2%, compared to >50% in prairie pothole wetlands. For years studied, prairie pothole wetlands reached maximum water extent following major rainfall events. Seasonal and semi-permanent wetlands were found to have greater change in surface water between years than temporary wetlands (75.3% and 59.1% from average respectively). The lowest frequency of water pixel inundation for seasonal and semi-permanent wetlands was found to be in the year with the most precipitation during the growing season (2013, 384mm), compared to 2014 (289mm), and 2015 (310mm). A combination of statistical analyses

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Janiele França Vasconcelos

    2014-12-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Janiele França Vasconcelos

    2014-08-01

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

  9. Quantifying Hydroperiod, Fire and Nutrient Effects on the Composition of Plant Communities in Marl Prairie of the Everglades: a Joint Probability Method Based Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhai, L.

    2017-12-01

    Plant community can be simultaneously affected by human activities and climate changes, and quantifying and predicting this combined effect on plant community by appropriate model framework which is validated by field data is complex, but very useful to conservation management. Plant communities in the Everglades provide an unique set of conditions to develop and validate this model framework, because they are both experiencing intensive effects of human activities (such as changing hydroperiod by drainage and restoration projects, nutrients from upstream agriculture, prescribed fire, etc.) and climate changes (such as warming, changing precipitation patter, sea level rise, etc.). More importantly, previous research attention focuses on plant communities in slough ecosystem (including ridge, slough and their tree islands), very few studies consider the marl prairie ecosystem. Comparing with slough ecosystem featured by remaining consistently flooded almost year-round, marl prairie has relatively shorter hydroperiod (just in wet-season of one year). Therefore, plant communities of marl prairie may receive more impacts from hydroperiod change. In addition to hydroperiod, fire and nutrients also affect the plant communities in the marl prairie. Therefore, to quantify the combined effects of water level, fire, and nutrients on the composition of the plant communities, we are developing a joint probability method based vegetation dynamic model. Further, the model is being validated by field data about changes of vegetation assemblage along environmental gradients in the marl prairie. Our poster showed preliminary data from our current project.

  10. 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.

  11. Effects of organic amendments on the mobility of Pb and Zn from mine tailings added to semi-arid soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barajas-Aceves, M; Rodríguez-Vázquez, R

    2013-01-01

    The effects of mine tailings and three organic amendments (compost, bokashi and vermicompost) on the mobility factor for Pb and Zn and on the potential C and N mineralization in semi-arid agricultural and rangeland soils were examined. During the experiment, soil samples were analyzed periodically for CO(2)-C evolution, inorganic N, dehydrogenase activity and percent Pb and Zn mobility during 169 d of incubation. The dehydrogenase activity and CO(2)-C evolved were strongly inhibited by mine tailings mixed with organic compost in both agricultural and rangeland soils (37 to 43 %), followed by N mineralization in treatments with mine tailings plus bokashi or compost (13 to 26.5 %) at 169 d incubation. The highest % mobility of Pb and Zn were observed in soils amended with mine tailings alone, while the lowest was observed in agricultural soils treated with vermicompost plus mine tailings. The CO(2)-C evolved was fitted to first order E, while the cumulative N mineralization was fitted to the linearized power function. Mine tailings were found to influence the potential C and N mineralization rate constants in both soils. The models for C and N mineralization could be used to evaluate the effects of mine tailings, which include intrinsic parameters in the soil.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-31

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

  13. Classifying the hydrologic function of prairie potholes with remote sensing and GIS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rover, Jennifer R.; Wright, C.K.; Euliss, Ned H.; Mushet, David M.; Wylie, Bruce K.

    2011-01-01

    A sequence of Landsat TM/ETM+ scenes capturing the substantial surface water variations exhibited by prairie pothole wetlands over a drought to deluge period were analyzed in an attempt to determine the general hydrologic function of individual wetlands (recharge, flow-through, and discharge). Multipixel objects (water bodies) were clustered according to their temporal changes in water extents. We found that wetlands receiving groundwater discharge responded differently over the time period than wetlands that did not. Also, wetlands located within topographically closed discharge basins could be distinguished from discharge basins with overland outlets. Field verification data showed that discharge wetlands with closed basins were most distinct and identifiable with reasonable accuracies (user’s accuracy = 97%, producer’s accuracy = 71%). The classification of other hydrologic function types had lower accuracies reducing the overall accuracy for the four hydrologic function classes to 51%. A simplified classification approach identifying only two hydrologic function classes was 82%. Although this technique has limited success for detecting small wetlands, Landsat-derived multipixel-object clustering can reliably differentiate wetlands receiving groundwater discharge and provides a new approach to quantify wetland dynamics in landscape scale investigations and models.

  14. Hydrogeochemistry of prairie pothole region wetlands: Role of long-term critical zone processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldhaber, Martin B.; Mills, Christopher T.; Morrison, Jean M.; Stricker, Craig A.; Mushet, David M.; LaBaugh, James W.

    2014-01-01

    This study addresses the geologic and hydrogeochemical processes operating at a range of scales within the prairie pothole region (PPR). The PPR is a 750,000 km2portion of north central North America that hosts millions of small wetlands known to be critical habitat for waterfowl and other wildlife. At a local scale, we characterized the geochemical evolution of the 92-ha Cottonwood Lake study area (CWLSA), located in North Dakota, USA. Critical zone processes are the long-term determinant of wetland water and groundwater geochemistry via the interaction of oxygenated groundwater with pyrite in the underlying glacial till. Pyrite oxidation produced a brown, iron oxide-bearing surface layer locally over 13 m thick and an estimated minimum of 1.3 × 1010 g sulfate (SO42 −) at CWLSA. We show that the majority of this SO42− now resides in solid-phase gypsum (CaSO4•2H2O) and gypsum-saturated groundwater.

  15. Aquatic-macroinvertebrate communities of Prairie-Pothole wetlands and lakes under a changed climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    McLean, Kyle I.; Mushet, David M.; Renton, David A.; Stockwell, Craig A.

    2016-01-01

    Understanding how aquatic-macroinvertebrate communities respond to changes in climate is important for biodiversity conservation in the Prairie Pothole Region and other wetland-rich landscapes. We sampled macroinvertebrate communities of 162 wetlands and lakes previously sampled from 1966 to 1976, a much drier period compared to our 2012–2013 sampling timeframe. To identify possible influences of a changed climate and predation pressures on macroinvertebrates, we compared two predictors of aquatic-macroinvertebrate communities: ponded-water dissolved-ion concentration and vertebrate-predator presence/abundance. Further, we make inferences of how macroinvertebrate communities were structured during the drier period when the range of dissolved-ion concentrations was much greater and fish occurrence in aquatic habitats was rare. We found that aquatic-macroinvertebrate community structure was influenced by dissolved-ion concentrations through a complex combination of direct and indirect relationships. Ion concentrations also influenced predator occurrence and abundance, which indirectly affected macroinvertebrate communities. It is important to consider both abiotic and biotic gradients when predicting how invertebrate communities will respond to climate change. Generally, in the wetlands and lakes we studied, freshening of ponded water resulted in more homogenous communities than occurred during a much drier period when salinity range among sites was greater.

  16. Optimal portfolio design to reduce climate-related conservation uncertainty in the Prairie Pothole Region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ando, Amy W; Mallory, Mindy L

    2012-04-24

    Climate change is likely to alter the spatial distributions of species and habitat types but the nature of such change is uncertain. Thus, climate change makes it difficult to implement standard conservation planning paradigms. Previous work has suggested some approaches to cope with such uncertainty but has not harnessed all of the benefits of risk diversification. We adapt Modern Portfolio Theory (MPT) to optimal spatial targeting of conservation activity, using wetland habitat conservation in the Prairie Pothole Region (PPR) as an example. This approach finds the allocations of conservation activity among subregions of the planning area that maximize the expected conservation returns for a given level of uncertainty or minimize uncertainty for a given expected level of returns. We find that using MPT instead of simple diversification in the PPR can achieve a value of the conservation objective per dollar spent that is 15% higher for the same level of risk. MPT-based portfolios can also have 21% less uncertainty over benefits or 6% greater expected benefits than the current portfolio of PPR conservation. Total benefits from conservation investment are higher if returns are defined in terms of benefit-cost ratios rather than benefits alone. MPT-guided diversification can work to reduce the climate-change-induced uncertainty of future ecosystem-service benefits from many land policy and investment initiatives, especially when outcomes are negatively correlated between subregions of a planning area.

  17. Do interactions of land use and climate affect productivity of waterbirds and prairie-pothole wetlands?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anteau, Michael J.

    2012-01-01

    Availability of aquatic invertebrates on migration and breeding areas influences recruitment of ducks and shorebirds. In wetlands of Prairie Pothole Region (PPR), aquatic invertebrate production primarily is driven by interannual fluctuations of water levels in response to wet-dry cycles in climate. However, this understanding comes from studying basins that are minimally impacted by agricultural landscape modifications. In the past 100–150 years, a large proportion of wetlands within the PPR have been altered; often water was drained from smaller to larger wetlands at lower elevations creating consolidated, interconnected basins. Here I present a case study and I hypothesize that large basins receiving inflow from consolidation drainage have reduced water-level fluctuations in response to climate cycles than those in undrained landscapes, resulting in relatively stable wetlands that have lower densities of invertebrate forage for ducks and shorebirds and also less foraging habitat, especially for shorebirds. Furthermore, stable water-levels and interconnected basins may favor introduced or invasive species (e.g., cattail [Typha spp.] or fish) because native communities "evolved" in a dynamic and isolated system. Accordingly, understanding interactions between water-level fluctuations and landscape modifications is a prerequisite step to modeling effects of climate change on wetland hydrology and productivity and concomitant recruitment of waterbirds.

  18. Voluntary locomotor activity mitigates oxidative damage associated with isolation stress in the prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fletcher, Kelsey L; Whitley, Brittany N; Treidel, Lisa A; Thompson, David; Williams, Annie; Noguera, Jose C; Stevenson, Jennie R; Haussmann, Mark F

    2015-07-01

    Organismal performance directly depends on an individual's ability to cope with a wide array of physiological challenges. For social animals, social isolation is a stressor that has been shown to increase oxidative stress. Another physiological challenge, routine locomotor activity, has been found to decrease oxidative stress levels. Because we currently do not have a good understanding of how diverse physiological systems like stress and locomotion interact to affect oxidative balance, we studied this interaction in the prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster). Voles were either pair housed or isolated and within the isolation group, voles either had access to a moving wheel or a stationary wheel. We found that chronic periodic isolation caused increased levels of oxidative stress. However, within the vole group that was able to run voluntarily, longer durations of locomotor activity were associated with less oxidative stress. Our work suggests that individuals who demonstrate increased locomotor activity may be better able to cope with the social stressor of isolation. © 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  19. Indicators of wetland condition for the prairie pothole region of the United States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guntenspergen, G R; Peterson, S A; Leibowitz, S G; Cowardin, L M

    2002-09-01

    We describe a study designed to evaluate the performance of wetland condition indicators of the Prairie Pothole Region (PPR) of the north central United States. Basin and landscape scale indicators were tested in 1992 and 1993 to determine their ability to discriminate between the influences of grassland dominated and cropland dominated landscapes in the PPR. Paired plots were selected from each of the major regions of the PPR. Among the landscape scale indicators tested, those most capable of distinguishing between the two landscapes were: 1) frequency of drained wetland basins. 2) total length of drainage ditch per plot, 3) amount of exposed soil in the upland subject to erosion, 4) indices of change in area of wetland covered by water, and 5) number of breeding duck pairs. Basin scale indicators including soil phosphorus concentrations and invertebrate taxa richness showed some promise: however, plant species richness was the only statistically significant basin scale indicator distinguishing grassland dominated from cropland dominated landscapes. Although our study found a number of promising candidate indicators, one of our conclusions is that basin scale indicators present a number of implementation problems. including: skill level requirements, site access denials, and recession of site access by landowners. Alternatively, we suggest that the use of landscape indicators based on remote sensing can be an effective means of assessing wetland integrity.

  20. Variable effects of dipteran parasitoids and management treatment on grasshopper fecundity in a tallgrass prairie.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laws, A N; Joern, A

    2012-04-01

    Grasshoppers host a number of parasitoids, but little is known about their impact on grasshopper life history attributes or how those impacts may vary with land use. Here, we report on a three-year survey of nine grasshopper species in a tallgrass prairie managed with fire and bison grazing treatments. We measured parasitoid prevalence and the impact of parasitoid infection on grasshopper fecundity to determine if grasshopper-parasitoid interactions varied with management treatment. Adult female grasshoppers were collected every three weeks from eight watersheds managed with different prescribed burning and grazing treatments. Grasshopper fecundity with and without parasitoids was estimated through dissections of reproductive tracts. Dipteran parasitoids from two families (Nemestrinidae and Tachinidae) were observed infecting grasshoppers. We found significant effects of grazing treatment, but not burn interval, on grasshopper-parasitoid interactions. Parasitoids were three times more abundant in watersheds with bison grazing than in ungrazed watersheds, and the relative abundance of nemestrinid and tachinid flies varied with grazing treatment. Parasitoid prevalence varied among grasshopper species from grasshopper fecundity, with stronger effects on current reproduction than on past reproduction. Furthermore, current fecundity in parasitized grasshoppers was lower in grazed watersheds compared to ungrazed watersheds. Nemestrinid parasitoids generally had stronger impacts on grasshopper fecundity than tachinid parasitoids, the effects of which were more variable.

  1. Density mediates grasshopper performance in response to temperature manipulation and spider predation in tallgrass prairie.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laws, A N; Joern, A

    2017-04-01

    Species interactions are often context-dependent, where outcomes require an understanding of influences among multiple biotic and abiotic factors. However, it remains unclear how abiotic factors such as temperature combine with important biotic factors such as density-dependent food limitation and predation to influence species interactions. Using a native grassland - grasshopper - wolf spider model food chain in tallgrass prairie, we conducted a manipulative field experiment to examine how predator-prey interactions respond to manipulations of temperature, grasshopper density, and food chain length. We find that grasshopper performance responses to temperature and predator treatments were density dependent. At high densities, grasshopper survival decreased with increased temperature when no spiders were present. When spiders were present, grasshopper survival was reduced, and this effect was strongest in the cooled treatment. In contrast, grasshopper survival did not vary significantly with spider presence or among temperature treatments at low grasshopper densities. Our results indicate that context-dependent species interactions are common and highlight the importance of understanding how and when key biotic and abiotic factors combine to influence species interactions.

  2. Cryptic sexual dimorphism in spatial memory and hippocampal oxytocin receptors in prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rice, Marissa A; Hobbs, Lauren E; Wallace, Kelly J; Ophir, Alexander G

    2017-09-01

    Sex differences are well documented and are conventionally associated with intense sex-specific selection. For example, spatial memory is frequently better in males, presumably due to males' tendency to navigate large spaces to find mates. Alternatively, monogamy (in which sex-specific selection is relatively relaxed) should diminish or eliminate differences in spatial ability and the mechanisms associated with this behavior. Nevertheless, phenotypic differences between monogamous males and females persist, sometimes cryptically. We hypothesize that sex-specific cognitive demands are present in monogamous species that will influence neural and behavioral phenotypes. The effects of these demands should be observable in spatial learning performance and neural structures associated with spatial learning and memory. We analyzed spatial memory performance, hippocampal volume and cell density, and hippocampal oxytocin receptor (OTR) expression in the socially monogamous prairie vole. Compared to females, males performed better in a spatial memory and spatial learning test. Although we found no sex difference in hippocampal volume or cell density, male OTR density was significantly lower than females, suggesting that performance may be regulated by sub-cellular mechanisms within the hippocampus that are less obvious than classic neuroanatomical features. Our results suggest an expanded role for oxytocin beyond facilitating social interactions, which may function in part to integrate social and spatial information. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Abundance and density of lesser prairie-chickens and leks in Texas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Timmer, Jennifer M.; Butler, M.J.; Ballard, Warren; Boal, Clint W.; Whitlaw, Heather A.

    2013-01-01

    Lesser prairie-chickens (LEPCs; Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) have experienced population declines due to both direct and indirect habitat loss, including conversion of native rangeland to cropland and disturbance from energy development. Our objectives were to 1) determine the current density of LEPC leks and LEPCs within the Texas (USA) occupied range, including areas with high potential for wind-energy development; and 2) find new leks. To estimate lek and LEPC density, we employed a line-transect-based aerial survey method using a Robinson 22 helicopter to count leks. We surveyed 26,810.9 km of transect in the spring of 2010 and 2011 and we detected 96 leks. We estimated a density of 2.0 leks/100 km(2) (90% CI = 1.4-2.7 leks/100 km(2)) and 12.3 LEPCs/100 km(2) (90% CI = 8.5-17.9 LEPCs/100 km(2)) and an abundance of 293.6 leks (90% CI = 213.9-403.0 leks) and 1,822.4 LEPCs (90% CI = 1,253.7-2,649.1 LEPCs) for our sampling frame. Our best model indicated that lek size and lek type (AIC(c) wt = 0.235) influenced lek detectability. Lek detectability was greater for larger leks and natural leks versus man-made leks. Our statewide survey efforts provide wildlife managers and biologists with population estimates, new lek locations, and areas to target for monitoring and conservation.

  4. Prioritizing bird conservation actions in the Prairie Hardwood transition of the Midwestern United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thogmartin, Wayne E.; Crimmins, Shawn M.; Pearce, Jennie

    2014-01-01

    Large-scale planning for the conservation of species is often hindered by a poor understanding of factors limiting populations. In regions with declining wildlife populations, it is critical that objective metrics of conservation success are developed to ensure that conservation actions achieve desired results. Using spatially explicit estimates of bird abundance, we evaluated several management alternatives for conserving bird populations in the Prairie Hardwood Transition of the United States. We designed landscapes conserving species at 50% of their current predicted abundance as well as landscapes attempting to achieve species population targets (which often required the doubling of current abundance). Conserving species at reduced (half of current) abundance led to few conservation conflicts. However, because of extensive modification of the landscape to suit human use, strategies for achieving regional population targets for forest bird species would be difficult under even ideal circumstances, and even more so if maintenance of grassland bird populations is also desired. Our results indicated that large-scale restoration of agricultural lands to native grassland and forest habitats may be the most productive conservation action for increasing bird population sizes but the level of landscape transition required to approach target bird population sizes may be societally unacceptable.

  5. Optimal portfolio design to reduce climate-related conservation uncertainty in the Prairie Pothole Region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ando, Amy W.; Mallory, Mindy L.

    2012-01-01

    Climate change is likely to alter the spatial distributions of species and habitat types but the nature of such change is uncertain. Thus, climate change makes it difficult to implement standard conservation planning paradigms. Previous work has suggested some approaches to cope with such uncertainty but has not harnessed all of the benefits of risk diversification. We adapt Modern Portfolio Theory (MPT) to optimal spatial targeting of conservation activity, using wetland habitat conservation in the Prairie Pothole Region (PPR) as an example. This approach finds the allocations of conservation activity among subregions of the planning area that maximize the expected conservation returns for a given level of uncertainty or minimize uncertainty for a given expected level of returns. We find that using MPT instead of simple diversification in the PPR can achieve a value of the conservation objective per dollar spent that is 15% higher for the same level of risk. MPT-based portfolios can also have 21% less uncertainty over benefits or 6% greater expected benefits than the current portfolio of PPR conservation. Total benefits from conservation investment are higher if returns are defined in terms of benefit–cost ratios rather than benefits alone. MPT-guided diversification can work to reduce the climate-change–induced uncertainty of future ecosystem-service benefits from many land policy and investment initiatives, especially when outcomes are negatively correlated between subregions of a planning area. PMID:22451914

  6. Effects of herbivory on the reproductive effort of 4 prairie perennials

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bradley Kate L

    2002-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Herbivory can affect every aspect of a plant's life. Damaged individuals may show decreased survivorship and reproductive output. Additionally, specific plant species (legumes and tissues (flowers are often selectively targeted by herbivores, like deer. These types of herbivory influence a plant's growth and abundance. The objective of this study was to identify the effects of leaf and meristem removal (simulated herbivory within an exclosure on fruit and flower production in four species (Rhus glabra, Rosa arkansana, Lathyrus venosus, and Phlox pilosa which are known targets of deer herbivory. Results Lathyrus never flowered or went to seed, so we were unable to detect any treatment effects. Leaf removal did not affect flower number in the other three species. However, Phlox, Rosa, and Rhus all showed significant negative correlations between seed mass and leaf removal. Meristem removal had a more negative effect than leaf removal on flower number in Phlox and on both flower number and seed mass in Rosa. Conclusions Meristem removal caused a greater response than defoliation alone in both Phlox and Rosa, which suggests that meristem loss has a greater effect on reproduction. The combination of leaf and meristem removal as well as recruitment limitation by deer, which selectively browse for these species, is likely to be one factor contributing to their low abundance in prairies.

  7. Technoeconomic analysis of biojet fuel production from camelina at commercial scale: Case of Canadian Prairies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xue; Mupondwa, Edmund; Tabil, Lope

    2018-02-01

    This study undertakes technoeconomic analysis of commercial production of hydro-processed renewable jet (HRJ) fuel from camelina oil in the Canadian Prairies. An engineering economic model designed in SuperPro Designer® investigated capital investment, scale, and profitability of producing HRJ and co-products (biodiesel, naphtha, LPG, and propane) based on biorefinery plant sizes of 112.5-675 million L annum -1 . Under base case scenario, the minimum selling price (MSP) of HRJ was $1.06 L -1 for a biorefinery plant with size of 225 million L. However, it could range from $0.40 to $1.71 L -1 given variations in plant capacity, feedstock cost, and co-product credits. MSP is highly sensitive to camelina feedstock cost and co-product credits, with little sensitivity to capital cost, discount rate, plant capacity, and hydrogen cost. Marginal and average cost curves suggest the region could support an HRJ plant capacity of up to 675 million L annum -1 (capital investment of $167 million). Crown Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. A model for backscattering characteristics of tall prairie grass canopies at microwave frequencies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bakhtiari, S.; Zoughi, R.

    1991-01-01

    We have developed a discrete microwave scattering model, describing the radar backscattering coefficient from two treatments (burned and unburned) of tall prairie grass canopies at VV (electric field vector of the transmitted and received signals are vertically oriented) and HH (electric field vector of the transmitted and received signals and horizontally oriented) polarizations, based on the physical, biophysical, and geometrical characteristics of such canopies. Grass blades are modeled as thin and finite dielectric ellipsoids with arbitrary orientations. Scattering by an individual grass blade is formulated using a generalization of the Rayleigh—Gans approximation with a quasistatic solution for the expansion of the interior field. By associating, with each grass blade, various appropriate distribution functions, the relative orientation, location, height, cross section, and permittivity of each grass blade is taken into account. This makes for a more realistic overall description of the canopy. Kirchhoff's surface scattering is used to model the backscatter from the soil surface. An incoherent summation of the effect of grass blades and soil surface is adopted to obtain the total canopy backscattering coefficient, taking into account the attenuation experienced by the signal as it travels through the canopy. The results of this model are given for 1.5, 5, and 10 GHz (L-, C-, and X-band). Although for the shorter wavelengths (X-band) the Rayleigh—Gans criteria is not totally satisfied, nevertheless, the limited available measured X-band data compare relatively well with the results of this model both quantitatively and qualitatively. (author)

  9. Monitoring rock glacier dynamics and ground temperatures in the semiarid Andes (Chile, 30°S)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brenning, Alexander; Azócar, Guillermo F.; Bodin, Xavier

    2013-04-01

    Rock glaciers and mountain permafrost are widespread in the high semiarid Andes of Chile, where they concentrate greater amounts of ice than glaciers. Rock glaciers are of particular interest because in some cases the permafrost they contain might be in a degrading in response to climatic warming. This could result in increased dynamics and even to destabilization, which has been observed on some rock glaciers in the studied area. Displacement rates and active-layer temperatures of two rock glaciers as well as ground surface temperatures of the periglacial environment in the upper Elqui valley have been monitored since summer 2009/10 with funding from the Chilean Dirección General de Aguas. Differential GPS measurements of 115 points on the surface of two rock glaciers since April 2010 showed horizontal displacements of up to 1.3 m/a on the Llano de las Liebres rock glacier and up to 1.2 m/a on the Tapado rock glacier. General velocity patterns are consistent with the morphological evidence of activity (e.g., front slopes, looseness of debris) and for the Tapado complex, a clearly distinct activity from the debris-covered glacier was observed. Temperature measurements in four boreholes indicate active-layer depths of about 2.5 m at the highest locations on the Tapado rock glacier (~4400 m a.s.l.) and about 8 m near the front of the Llano rock glacier (3786 m a.s.l.). Spatial patterns of mean ground surface temperature (MGST) were analyzed with regards to influences of elevation, potential incoming solar radiation, location on ice-debris landforms (rock and debris-covered glaciers), and snow cover duration using linear mixed-effects models. While accounting for the other variables, sites with long-lasting snow patches had ~0.4°C lower MGST, and ice-debris landforms had ~0.4-0.6°C lower MGST than general debris surfaces, highlighting important local modifications to the general topographic variation of ground thermal conditions.

  10. Mixed Connective Tissue Disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mixed connective tissue disease Overview Mixed connective tissue disease has signs and symptoms of a combination of disorders — primarily lupus, scleroderma and polymyositis. For this reason, mixed connective tissue disease ...

  11. Fluid mixing III

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Harnby, N.

    1988-01-01

    Covering all aspects of mixing, this work presents research and developments in industrial applications, flow patterns and mixture analysis, mixing of solids into liquids, and mixing of gases into liquids

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

  13. Mixed plastics recycling technology

    CERN Document Server

    Hegberg, Bruce

    1995-01-01

    Presents an overview of mixed plastics recycling technology. In addition, it characterizes mixed plastics wastes and describes collection methods, costs, and markets for reprocessed plastics products.

  14. 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.,

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linda Kennedy; Dan Robinett

    2013-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  19. 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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2004-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2000-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nikiema, A.

    2005-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    van Marken Lichtenbelt, Wouter David

    1991-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Marken Lichtenbelt, Wouter David

    1991-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ammar, Adham Ali

    2017-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tessema, Z.K.

    2011-01-01

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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2002-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zougmoré, R.

    2003-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  19. 1 Title page Title: Groundwater quality in a semi-arid region of India ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    64

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

  20. 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...