WorldWideScience

Sample records for sonoran desert region

  1. Comparative phylogeography reveals deep lineages and regional evolutionary hotspots in the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood, Dustin A.; Vandergast, Amy G.; Barr, Kelly R.; Inman, Richard D.; Esque, Todd C.; Nussear, Kenneth E.; Fisher, Robert N.

    2013-01-01

    Aim: We explored lineage diversification within desert-dwelling fauna. Our goals were (1) to determine whether phylogenetic lineages and population expansions were consistent with younger Pleistocene climate fluctuation hypotheses or much older events predicted by pre-Pleistocene vicariance hypotheses, (2) to assess concordance in spatial patterns of genetic divergence and diversity among species and (3) to identify regional evolutionary hotspots of divergence and diversity and assess their conservation status. Location: Mojave, Colorado, and Sonoran Deserts, USA. Methods: We analysed previously published gene sequence data for twelve species. We used Bayesian gene tree methods to estimate lineages and divergence times. Within each lineage, we tested for population expansion and age of expansion using coalescent approaches. We mapped interpopulation genetic divergence and intra-population genetic diversity in a GIS to identify hotspots of highest genetic divergence and diversity and to assess whether protected lands overlapped with evolutionary hotspots. Results: In seven of the 12 species, lineage divergence substantially predated the Pleistocene. Historical population expansion was found in eight species, but expansion events postdated the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) in only four. For all species assessed, six hotspots of high genetic divergence and diversity were concentrated in the Colorado Desert, along the Colorado River and in the Mojave/Sonoran ecotone. At least some proportion of the land within each recovered hotspot was categorized as protected, yet four of the six also overlapped with major areas of human development. Main conclusions: Most of the species studied here diversified into distinct Mojave and Sonoran lineages prior to the LGM – supporting older diversification hypotheses. Several evolutionary hotspots were recovered but are not strategically paired with areas of protected land. Long-term preservation of species-level biodiversity would

  2. Temperature and Heat-Related Mortality Trends in the Sonoran and Mojave Desert Region

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Polioptro F. Martinez-Austria

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Extreme temperatures and heat wave trends in five cities within the Sonoran Desert region (e.g., Tucson and Phoenix, Arizona, in the United States and Ciudad Obregon and San Luis Rio Colorado, Sonora; and Mexicali, Baja California, in Mexico and one city within the Mojave Desert region (e.g., Las Vegas, Nevada were assessed using field data collected from 1950 to 2014. Instead of being selected by watershed, the cities were selected because they are part of the same arid climatic region. The data were analyzed for maximum temperature increases and the trends were confirmed statistically using Spearman’s nonparametric test. Temperature trends were correlated with the mortality information related with extreme heat events in the region. The results showed a clear trend of increasing maximum temperatures during the months of June, July, and August for five of the six cities and statically confirmed using Spearman’s rho values. Las Vegas was the only city where the temperature increase was not confirmed using Spearman’s test, probably because it is geographically located outside of the Sonoran Desert or because of its proximity to the Hoover Dam. The relationship between mortality and temperature was analyzed for the cities of Mexicali, Mexico and Phoenix. Arizona.

  3. Landscape Sustainability in a Sonoran Desert City

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chris A. Martin

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available The objective of this paper is to discuss concepts of landscape sustainability in the Phoenix metropolitan area. Phoenix is situated in the greater Salt River Valley of the lower Sonoran Desert in the southwest United States. In this paper I use the ecological frameworks of ecosystem services and resiliency as a metric for understanding landscape sustainability. An assessment of landscape sustainability performance benchmarks were made by surveying research findings of scientists affiliated with the Central Arizona Phoenix Long Term Ecological Research Project (CAP LTER. In Phoenix, present day emphases on cultural, aesthetic, and habitat formation ecosystem services within an arid ecoregion of low natural resilience coupled to a complex matrix of socioeconomic stratification, excessive landscape water use and pruning practices has had the undesired effect of degrading landscape sustainability. This has been measured as mixed patterns of plant diversity and human-altered patterns of carbon regulation, microclimate control, and trophic dynamics. In the future, sustainable residential landscaping in desert cities such as Phoenix may be fostered through use of water-conserving irrigation technologies, oasis-style landscape design motifs, recycling of landscape green waste, and conservative plant pruning strategies.

  4. Temporal patterns in species flowering in Sky Islands of the Sonoran Desert ecoregion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Theresa M. Crimmins; Michael A. Crimmins; C. David. Bertelsen

    2013-01-01

    Highly variable moisture conditions in the Sonoran Desert play a significant role in shaping the composition and phenology of plants in this water-limited region. The flowering patterns of plants of the Finger Rock trail, located in the Santa Catalina Mountains of southern Arizona, have been very carefully documented on approximately a weekly basis for nearly three...

  5. Organic Chemistry and the Native Plants of the Sonoran Desert: Conversion of Jojoba Oil to Biodiesel

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daconta, Lisa V.; Minger, Timothy; Nedelkova, Valentina; Zikopoulos, John N.

    2015-01-01

    A new, general approach to the organic chemistry laboratory is introduced that is based on learning about organic chemistry techniques and research methods by exploring the natural products found in local native plants. As an example of this approach for the Sonoran desert region, the extraction of jojoba oil and its transesterification to…

  6. Characterization of the Sonoran desert as a radiometric calibration target for Earth observing sensors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Angal, Amit; Chander, Gyanesh; Xiong, Xiaoxiong; Choi, Tae-young; Wu, Aisheng

    2011-01-01

    To provide highly accurate quantitative measurements of the Earth's surface, a comprehensive calibration and validation of the satellite sensors is required. The NASA Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Characterization Support Team, in collaboration with United States Geological Survey, Earth Resources Observation and Science Center, has previously demonstrated the use of African desert sites to monitor the long-term calibration stability of Terra MODIS and Landsat 7 (L7) Enhanced Thematic Mapper plus (ETM+). The current study focuses on evaluating the suitability of the Sonoran Desert test site for post-launch long-term radiometric calibration as well as cross-calibration purposes. Due to the lack of historical and on-going in situ ground measurements, the Sonoran Desert is not usually used for absolute calibration. An in-depth evaluation (spatial, temporal, and spectral stability) of this site using well calibrated L7 ETM+ measurements and local climatology data has been performed. The Sonoran Desert site produced spatial variability of about 3 to 5% in the reflective solar regions, and the temporal variations of the site after correction for view-geometry impacts were generally around 3%. The results demonstrate that, barring the impacts due to occasional precipitation, the Sonoran Desert site can be effectively used for cross-calibration and long-term stability monitoring of satellite sensors, thus, providing a good test site in the western hemisphere.

  7. Extending a field-based Sonoran desert vegetation classification to a regional scale using optical and microwave satellite imagery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shupe, Scott Marshall

    2000-10-01

    Vegetation mapping in and regions facilitates ecological studies, land management, and provides a record to which future land changes can be compared. Accurate and representative mapping of desert vegetation requires a sound field sampling program and a methodology to transform the data collected into a representative classification system. Time and cost constraints require that a remote sensing approach be used if such a classification system is to be applied on a regional scale. However, desert vegetation may be sparse and thus difficult to sense at typical satellite resolutions, especially given the problem of soil reflectance. This study was designed to address these concerns by conducting vegetation mapping research using field and satellite data from the US Army Yuma Proving Ground (USYPG) in Southwest Arizona. Line and belt transect data from the Army's Land Condition Trend Analysis (LCTA) Program were transformed into relative cover and relative density classification schemes using cluster analysis. Ordination analysis of the same data produced two and three-dimensional graphs on which the homogeneity of each vegetation class could be examined. It was found that the use of correspondence analysis (CA), detrended correspondence analysis (DCA), and non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMS) ordination methods was superior to the use of any single ordination method for helping to clarify between-class and within-class relationships in vegetation composition. Analysis of these between-class and within-class relationships were of key importance in examining how well relative cover and relative density schemes characterize the USYPG vegetation. Using these two classification schemes as reference data, maximum likelihood and artificial neural net classifications were then performed on a coregistered dataset consisting of a summer Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) image, one spring and one summer ERS-1 microwave image, and elevation, slope, and aspect layers

  8. Winter precipitation and fire in the Sonoran Desert

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rogers, G.F.; Vint, M.K.

    1987-01-01

    Historical fire and climate records from the Arizona Upland portion of the Tonto National forest were used to test the hypothesis that fires burn larger areas in the Sonoran Desert after two wet winters than after one. We found that many more hectares burn in years following two winters that are wetter than normal, than during any other years. We agree with other ecologists, that desert fire occurrence is probably related to increased production of winter annual plants, and we suggest ways that the relationship may be clarified.

  9. Phylogeography of the Cactophilic Drosophila and Other Arthropods Associated with Cactus Necroses in the Sonoran Desert

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Therese A. Markow

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Studies on the population genetics, phylogenetic relationships, systematics and evolution of arthropods that inhabit necrotic tissue of cacti in the Sonoran Desert of North America are reviewed. These studies have focused upon several species of insects (orders Diptera and Coleoptera and arachnids (order Pseudoscorpiones. For most taxa studied, little genetic structure and high dispersal ability are found in populations inhabiting the mainland and Baja California peninsula regions of the Sonoran Desert, consistent with the availability of the rotting cactus microhabitat which is patchily distributed and ephemeral. There is evidence, however, that the Gulf of California, which bisects the Sonoran Desert, has played a role in limiting gene flow and promoting speciation in several taxa, including histerid beetles, whereas other taxa, especially Drosophila nigrospiracula and D. mettleri, apparently are able to freely cross the Gulf, probably by taking advantage of the Midriff Islands in the northern Gulf as dispersal “stepping stones”. Genetic evidence has also been found for historical population expansions dating to the Pleistocene and late Pliocene in several taxa. Overall, these studies have provided important insights into how arthropods with different life history traits, but generally restricted to a necrotic cactus microhabitat, have evolved in an environmentally harsh and tectonically active region. In addition, they suggest some taxa for further, and more detailed, hypothesis driven studies of speciation.

  10. From Fireproof Desert to Flammable Grassland: Buffelgrass Invasion in the Sonoran Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Betancourt, J. L.

    2007-12-01

    Only a few decades ago, the Sonoran Desert of northwestern Mexico and southern Arizona was considered mostly fireproof, a case of not enough fine fuel to connect the dominant shrubs and cacti. This has changed with invasions by non-native, winter annual and summer-flower perennial grasses that are rapidly transforming fireproof desert into flammable grassland. Of particular concern is buffelgrass, Pennisetum ciliare, a fire-prone and invasive African perennial grass that has already converted millions of hectares across Sonora since the mid-1960s and has made quick headway in southern and central Arizona beginning in the 1980s. Near Tucson and Phoenix, AZ, buffelgrass invasion is proceeding exponentially, with population expansion (and the costs of mitigation) more than doubling every year. As this conversion progresses, there will be increased fire risks, lost tourist revenue, diminished property values, insurmountable setbacks to conservation efforts, and the threat of large ignition fronts in desert valleys routinely spreading into the mountains. Although somewhat belated, an integrated, multi-jurisdictional effort is being organized to reduce ecological and economic impacts. My presentation will summarize the history and context of buffelgrass introduction and invasion, the disconnect in attitudes and policies across state and international boundaries, ongoing management efforts, the role of science and responsibilities of scientists, accelerated spread with changing climate, and impacts to regional ecosystems and economies. This narrative may serve as a template for other semi-arid lands where buffelgrass and similar grasses have become invasive, including Australia, South America, and many islands in the Pacific Ocean (including Hawaii), Indian Ocean, and Caribbean Sea.

  11. Evidence of aqueous secondary organic aerosol formation from biogenic emissions in the North American Sonoran Desert.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Youn, Jong-Sang; Wang, Zhen; Wonaschütz, Anna; Arellano, Avelino; Betterton, Eric A; Sorooshian, Armin

    2013-07-16

    This study examines the role of aqueous secondary organic aerosol formation in the North American Sonoran Desert as a result of intense solar radiation, enhanced moisture, and biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs). The ratio of water-soluble organic carbon (WSOC) to organic carbon (OC) nearly doubles during the monsoon season relative to other seasons of the year. When normalized by mixing height, the WSOC enhancement during monsoon months relative to preceding dry months (May-June) exceeds that of sulfate by nearly a factor of 10. WSOC:OC and WSOC are most strongly correlated with moisture parameters, temperature, and concentrations of O 3 and BVOCs. No positive relationship was identified between WSOC or WSOC:OC and anthropogenic tracers such as CO over a full year. This study points at the need for further work to understand the effect of BVOCs and moisture in altering aerosol properties in understudied desert regions.

  12. Cytogeography of Larrea tridentata at the Chihuahuan-Sonoran Desert ecotone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robert G. Laport; Robert L.. Minckley

    2013-01-01

    The long separation of the Chihuahuan and Sonoran Deserts is reflected in the high species richness and endemism of their floras. Although many endemic species from both deserts reach their distributional limits where the Sierra Madre Occidental massif fragments into smaller mountain complexes in northern Mexico and adjoining areas of the United States, indicator...

  13. Disturbance and Plant Succession in the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts of the American Southwest

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Scott R. Abella

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Disturbances such as fire, land clearing, and road building remove vegetation and can have major influences on public health through effects on air quality, aesthetics, recreational opportunities, natural resource availability, and economics. Plant recovery and succession following disturbance are poorly understood in arid lands relative to more temperate regions. This study quantitatively reviewed vegetation reestablishment following a variety of disturbances in the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts of southwestern North America. A total of 47 studies met inclusion criteria for the review. The time estimated by 29 individual studies for full reestablishment of total perennial plant cover was 76 years. Although long, this time was shorter than an estimated 215 years (among 31 individual studies required for the recovery of species composition typical of undisturbed areas, assuming that recovery remains linear following the longest time since disturbance measurement made by the studies.

  14. Water quality monitoring for high-priority water bodies in the Sonoran Desert network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Terry W. Sprouse; Robert M. Emanuel; Sara A. Strorrer

    2005-01-01

    This paper describes a network monitoring program for “high priority” water bodies in the Sonoran Desert Network of the National Park Service. Protocols were developed for monitoring selected waters for ten of the eleven parks in the Network. Park and network staff assisted in identifying potential locations of testing sites, local priorities, and how water quality...

  15. Anthropogenic water sources and the effects on Sonoran Desert small mammal communities

    OpenAIRE

    Aaron B. Switalski; Heather L. Bateman

    2017-01-01

    Anthropogenic water sources (AWS) are developed water sources used as a management tool for desert wildlife species. Studies documenting the effects of AWS are often focused on game species; whereas, the effects on non-target wildlife are less understood. We used live trapping techniques to investigate rodent abundance, biomass, and diversity metrics near AWS and paired control sites; we sampled vegetation to determine rodent-habitat associations in the Sauceda Mountains of the Sonoran Desert...

  16. Late Pleistocene paleohydrology near the boundary of the Sonoran and Chihuahuan Deserts, southeastern Arizona, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pigati, Jeffery S.; Bright, Jordon E.; Shanahan, Timothy M.; Mahan, Shannon

    2009-01-01

    Ground-water discharge (GWD) deposits form in arid environments as water tables rise and approach or breach the ground surface during periods of enhanced effective precipitation. Where preserved, these deposits contain information on the timing and elevation of past ground-water fluctuations. Here we report on the investigation of a series of GWD deposits that are exposed in discontinuous outcrops along a ???150-km stretch of the San Pedro Valley in southeastern Arizona, near the boundary of the Sonoran and Chihuahuan Deserts. Chronologic, isotopic, geochemical, faunal assemblage (ostracodes and gastropods), and sedimentological evidence collectively suggest that the elevation of the regional water table in the valley rose in response to a change in climate ???50 ka ago and remained relatively high for the next ???35 ka before falling during the B??lling-Aller??d warm period, rebounding briefly during the Younger Dryas cold event, and falling again at the onset of the Holocene. The timing of these hydrologic changes coincides closely with variations in ??18O values of calcite from a nearby speleothem to the west and changes in lake levels at pluvial Lake Cochise to the east. Thus, in southeastern Arizona, the assumption that changes in climate are reflected in all aspects of the hydrologic cycle of a region simultaneously is validated. The timing of these changes also broadly coincides with variations in the GISP2 ??18O record, which supports the hypothesis that atmospheric teleconnections existed between the North Atlantic and the deserts of the American Southwest during the late Pleistocene.

  17. diurnal and seasonal water relations of the desert phreatophyte prosopis-glandulosa (honey mesquite) in the Sonoran Desert of California

    OpenAIRE

    Nilsen, E. T.; Sharifi, M. R.; Rundel, P. W.; Jarrell, W. M.; Virginia, R. A.

    1983-01-01

    Diurnal and Seasonal water relations were monitored in a population of Prosopis glandulosa var. torreyana in the Sonoran Desert of southern California. Prosopis glandulosa at this research site acquired its water from a ground water source 4-6 m deep. Measurements of diurnal and seasonal cycles of aboveground environmental conditions, soil moisture, and soil water potential (to 6 m depth) were taken to ascertain environmental water availability and water stress. Leaf water potential, leaf con...

  18. Structure, agency, and the transformation of the Sonoran Desert by buffelgrass (Pennisetum ciliare): An application of land change science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brenner, Jacob C.

    A regional land transformation is underway in the Sonoran Desert of southwestern North America as a result of the conversion of native rangeland to exotic pasture. In northwestern Sonora, Mexico the process involves clearing native vegetation for cultivation of buffelgrass (Pennisetum ciliare). Southern African buffelgrass was introduced to Sonora through the United States in the 1950s with generous support from the Mexican federal and Sonoran state governments. The ascendance of buffelgrass as a range management tool in Sonora has been conditioned by an international political economy of beef production. However, land use decisions regarding buffelgrass are also conditioned by factors internal to the ranch household. This research examines the expansion of buffelgrass in the Sonoran Desert, addressing its extent and drivers. Through the use of systematic interviews with ranchers, key informant interviews with government officials, and an examination of northern Mexico's cattle ranching history and policy, the dissertation documents why buffelgrass has spread as a policy program and management choice. This part of the work addresses a "structure-agency debate" in human-environment geography. Next the research turns to landscape impacts of buffelgrass cultivation, through vegetation plot and transect sampling. The extent, cover, and density of buffelgrass inside and outside fenced pastures are examined, confirming the hypothesis that disturbance facilitates invasion from pastures onto surrounding lands. Finally, the research employs novel methods of remote sensing and geographic information science using a 1973-2006 time series of Landsat imagery to characterize the patterns and temporal trajectories of land change by buffelgrass across the site. Object-based image processing techniques are combined with traditional maximum likelihood techniques and classification tree analysis to address the difficult task of distinguishing buffelgrass from other prevalent land

  19. Effects of drought on shrub survival and longevity in the northern Sonoran Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowers, Janice E.

    2005-01-01

    Permanent vegetation plots in the northern Sonoran Desert, USA, provided an opportunity to assess the effects of recent drought on desert shrubs and to examine survival in relation to rainfall variability during the past 76 years. Survival and maximum longevity of six species were determined for eight intercensus periods between 1928 and 2004. Average annual survival was Ambrosia deltoidea, 0.9167 ?? 0.0415; Encelia farinosa, 0.7952 ?? 0.0926; Janusia gracilis, 0.9334 ?? 0.0247; Krameria grayi, 0.9702 ?? 0.0270; Larrea tridentata, 0.9861 ?? 0.0174; and Lycium berlandieri, 0.9910 ?? 0.0077. The longest-lived species were Larrea, Lycium, and Krameria, with average maximum life spans of 330, 211, and 184 years. Janusia, Ambrosia, and Encelia were much shorter lived, with average maximum longevity of 53, 40, and 16 years. Winter rain equalled or exceeded 90% of the long-term average accumulation except during 1948 to 1959 (65% of average) and from 2001 to 2003 (49% of average). Summer rain did not drop below 90% of the average accumulation in any period. The 1950s drought caused modest declines in survival of Ambrosia, Encelia, Janusia, Krameria, and Lycium. The effects of the recent drought were much more pronounced, resulting in sharp declines in survival and maximum longevity of Ambrosia, Encelia, Krameria, and Larrea, and modest declines for Lycium. Despite heightened mortality during the recent severe drought, 72% of the deaths observed between 1928 and 2004 occurred during periods of average or better-than-average rain, providing support for the idea that demography of shrubs in arid regions is influenced by continuous as well as episodic processes.

  20. Modeling Soil-Landscape Relations in the Sonoran Desert, Arizona, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Regmi, N. R.; Rasmussen, C.

    2015-12-01

    Digital soil mapping (DSM) techniques that integrate remotely sensed surface topography and reflectance, and map soil-landscape associations have the potential in improve understanding of critical zone evolution and landscape processes. The goal of this study was to understand the soil-geomorphic evolution of Quaternary alluvial and eolian deposits in the Sonoran Desert using a data-driven DSM technique and mapping of soil-landscape relationships. An iterative principal component analysis (iPCA) data reduction routine was developed and implemented for a set of LiDAR elevation- and Landsat ETM+-derived environmental covariates that characterize soil-landscape variability. Principal components that explain more than 95% of the soil-landscape variability were then integrated and classified based on an ISODATA (Iterative Self-Organizing Data) unsupervised technique. The classified map was then segmented based on a region growing algorithm and multi-scale maps of soil-landscape relations were developed, which then compared with maps of major arid-region landforms that can be identified on aerial photographs and satellite images by their distinguishing tone and texture, and in the field by their distinguishing surface and sub-surface soil physical, chemical and biological properties. The approach identified and mapped the soil-landscape variability of alluvial and eolian landscapes, and illustrated the applicability of coupling covariate selection and integration by iPCA, ISODATA classifications of integrated layers, and image segmentation for effective spatial prediction of soil-landscape characteristics. The approach developed here is data-driven, cost- and time-effective, applicable for multi-scale mapping, allows incorporation of wide variety of covariates, and provides accurate quantitative prediction of wide range of soil-landscape attributes that are necessary for hydrologic models, land and ecosystem management decisions, and hazard assessment.

  1. Comparison of trailside degradation across a gradient of trail use in the Sonoran Desert.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rowe, Helen Ivy; Tluczek, Melanie; Broatch, Jennifer; Gruber, Dan; Jones, Steve; Langenfeld, Debbie; McNamara, Peggy; Weinstein, Leona

    2018-02-01

    As recreational visitation to the Sonoran Desert increases, the concern of scientists, managers and advocates who manage its natural resources deepens. Although many studies have been conducted on trampling of undisturbed vegetation and the effects of trails on adjacent plant and soil communities, little such research has been conducted in the arid southwest. We sampled nine 450-m trail segments with different visitation levels in Scottsdale's McDowell Sonoran Preserve over three years to understand the effects of visitation on soil erosion, trailside soil crusts and plant communities. Soil crust was reduced by 27-34% near medium and high use trails (an estimated peak rate of 13-70 visitors per hour) compared with control plots, but there was less than 1% reduction near low use trails (peak rate of two to four visitors per hour). We did not detect soil erosion in the center 80% of the trampled area of any of the trails. The number of perennial plant species dropped by less than one plant species on average, but perennial plant cover decreased by 7.5% in trailside plots compared with control plots 6 m off-trail. At the current levels of visitation, the primary management focus should be keeping people on the originally constructed trail tread surface to reduce impact to adjacent soil crusts. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Remote sensing of Sonoran Desert vegetation structure and phenology with ground-based LiDAR

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sankey, Joel B.; Munson, Seth M.; Webb, Robert H.; Wallace, Cynthia S.A.; Duran, Cesar M.

    2015-01-01

    Long-term vegetation monitoring efforts have become increasingly important for understanding ecosystem response to global change. Many traditional methods for monitoring can be infrequent and limited in scope. Ground-based LiDAR is one remote sensing method that offers a clear advancement to monitor vegetation dynamics at high spatial and temporal resolution. We determined the effectiveness of LiDAR to detect intra-annual variability in vegetation structure at a long-term Sonoran Desert monitoring plot dominated by cacti, deciduous and evergreen shrubs. Monthly repeat LiDAR scans of perennial plant canopies over the course of one year had high precision. LiDAR measurements of canopy height and area were accurate with respect to total station survey measurements of individual plants. We found an increase in the number of LiDAR vegetation returns following the wet North American Monsoon season. This intra-annual variability in vegetation structure detected by LiDAR was attributable to a drought deciduous shrub Ambrosia deltoidea, whereas the evergreen shrub Larrea tridentata and cactus Opuntia engelmannii had low variability. Benefits of using LiDAR over traditional methods to census desert plants are more rapid, consistent, and cost-effective data acquisition in a high-resolution, 3-dimensional context. We conclude that repeat LiDAR measurements can be an effective method for documenting ecosystem response to desert climatology and drought over short time intervals and at detailed-local spatial scale.

  3. Anthropogenic water sources and the effects on Sonoran Desert small mammal communities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aaron B. Switalski

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Anthropogenic water sources (AWS are developed water sources used as a management tool for desert wildlife species. Studies documenting the effects of AWS are often focused on game species; whereas, the effects on non-target wildlife are less understood. We used live trapping techniques to investigate rodent abundance, biomass, and diversity metrics near AWS and paired control sites; we sampled vegetation to determine rodent-habitat associations in the Sauceda Mountains of the Sonoran Desert in Arizona. A total of 370 individual mammals representing three genera and eight species were captured in 4,800 trap nights from winter 2011 to spring 2012. A multi-response permutation procedure was used to identify differences in small mammal community abundance and biomass by season and treatment. Rodent abundance, biomass, and richness were greater at AWS compared to control sites. Patterns of abundance and biomass were driven by the desert pocket mouse (Chaetodipus penicillatus which was the most common capture and two times more numerous at AWS compared to controls. Vegetation characteristics, explored using principal components analysis, were similar between AWS and controls. Two species that prefer vegetation structure, Bailey’s pocket mouse (C. baileyi and white-throated woodrat (Neotoma albigula, had greater abundances and biomass near AWS and were associated with habitat having high cactus density. Although small mammals do not drink free-water, perhaps higher abundances of some species of desert rodents at AWS could be related to artificial structure associated with construction or other resources. Compared to the 30-year average of precipitation for the area, the period of our study occurred during a dry winter. During dry periods, perhaps AWS provide resources to rodents related to moisture.

  4. Anthropogenic water sources and the effects on Sonoran Desert small mammal communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Switalski, Aaron B; Bateman, Heather L

    2017-01-01

    Anthropogenic water sources (AWS) are developed water sources used as a management tool for desert wildlife species. Studies documenting the effects of AWS are often focused on game species; whereas, the effects on non-target wildlife are less understood. We used live trapping techniques to investigate rodent abundance, biomass, and diversity metrics near AWS and paired control sites; we sampled vegetation to determine rodent-habitat associations in the Sauceda Mountains of the Sonoran Desert in Arizona. A total of 370 individual mammals representing three genera and eight species were captured in 4,800 trap nights from winter 2011 to spring 2012. A multi-response permutation procedure was used to identify differences in small mammal community abundance and biomass by season and treatment. Rodent abundance, biomass, and richness were greater at AWS compared to control sites. Patterns of abundance and biomass were driven by the desert pocket mouse ( Chaetodipus penicillatus ) which was the most common capture and two times more numerous at AWS compared to controls. Vegetation characteristics, explored using principal components analysis, were similar between AWS and controls. Two species that prefer vegetation structure, Bailey's pocket mouse ( C. baileyi ) and white-throated woodrat ( Neotoma albigula) , had greater abundances and biomass near AWS and were associated with habitat having high cactus density. Although small mammals do not drink free-water, perhaps higher abundances of some species of desert rodents at AWS could be related to artificial structure associated with construction or other resources. Compared to the 30-year average of precipitation for the area, the period of our study occurred during a dry winter. During dry periods, perhaps AWS provide resources to rodents related to moisture.

  5. Sonoran Desert winter annuals affected by density of red brome and soil nitrogen

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salo, L.F.; McPherson, G.R.; Williams, D.G.

    2005-01-01

    Red brome [Bromus madritensis subsp. rubens (L.) Husn.] is a Mediterranean winter annual grass that has invaded Southwestern USA deserts. This study evaluated interactions among 13 Sonoran Desert annual species at four densities of red brome from 0 to the equivalent of 1200 plants ma??2. We examined these interactions at low (3 I?g) and high (537 I?g NO3a?? g soila??1) nitrogen (N) to evaluate the relative effects of soil N level on survival and growth of native annuals and red brome. Red brome did not affect emergence or survival of native annuals, but significantly reduced growth of natives, raising concerns about effects of this exotic grass on the fecundity of these species. Differences in growth of red brome and of the three dominant non nitrogen-fixing native annuals at the two levels of soil N were similar. Total species biomass of red brome was reduced by 83% at low, compared to high, N levels, whereas that of the three native species was reduced by from 42 to 95%. Mean individual biomass of red brome was reduced by 87% at low, compared to high, N levels, whereas that of the three native species was reduced by from 72 to 89%.

  6. Does urbanization influence the spatial ecology of Gila monsters in the Sonoran Desert?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kwiatkowski, M.A.; Schuett, G.W.; Repp, R.A.; Nowak, E.M.; Sullivan, B.K.

    2008-01-01

    To assess whether urbanization influences the spatial ecology of a rare and protected venomous reptilian predator, the Gila monster Heloderma suspectum, we compared home range (HR) size and movement parameters at three sites varying in degree of urbanization in the Sonoran Desert. We predicted that the urban population of H. suspectum would exhibit smaller HRs, avoid human structures and show less movement. Multivariate analysis indicated that males generally exhibited larger HRs and had higher movement rates and activity levels than females at all three sites. Contrary to our predictions, however, HR size and movement parameters did not vary across the sites in relation to the level of urbanization. At the urban site, individuals often crossed narrow roads and regularly used artificial structures as refuges for extended periods. Furthermore, the population sex ratio at the urban site was female-biased, consistent with the expectation that occupation of larger HRs and higher movement rates results in higher mortality for males in urbanized areas. Gila monsters did not appear to alter certain aspects of their spatial ecology in response to low levels of human activity but additional work will be required to assess population viability and possible effects in the long term and with higher levels of urbanization.

  7. Thermal biology of Pacific cicada killers, Sphecius convallis Patton, in the Upper Sonoran Desert.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coelho, Joseph R; Holliday, Charles W; Hastings, Jon M; Phillips, Christy M

    2016-04-01

    A comprehensive investigation of the Pacific cicada killer, Sphecius convallis Patton, was undertaken to examine the behavioral and physiological mechanisms by which they are able to complete their life cycle in the thermal extremes of the Upper Sonoran Desert. S. convallis were endothermic, exhibiting elevated and relatively constant thorax temperatures during many activities. Males basked in trees at dawn to warm up, then used a variety of behaviors and perching strategies to maintain thorax temperature during territorial behavior. The thorax temperature of females was highest during provisioning and orientation flights, somewhat lower while investigating burrows, and lowest while digging burrows. The optimal thorax temperature for flight was about 40°C, which was approximated most closely by males resting in the shade during the afternoon. In mating clusters, the mated male was the hottest, the female was coolest and the other males were intermediate. Wasps lost about 5% of body mass during heating treatments, and may use evaporative water loss for cooling. Pacific cicada killers use a complex suite of behavioral and physiological adaptations to regulate body temperature during their nesting season. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Genetic Diversity and Population Genetics of Mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae: Culex spp. from the Sonoran Desert of North America

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edward Pfeiler

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The population genetics and phylogenetic relationships of Culex mosquitoes inhabiting the Sonoran Desert region of North America were studied using mitochondrial DNA and microsatellite molecular markers. Phylogenetic analyses of mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI from mosquitoes collected over a wide geographic area, including the Baja California peninsula, and mainland localities in southern Arizona, USA and Sonora, Mexico, showed several well-supported partitions corresponding to Cx. quinquefasciatus, Cx. tarsalis, and two unidentified species, Culex sp. 1 and sp. 2. Culex quinquefasciatus was found at all localities and was the most abundant species collected. Culex tarsalis was collected only at Tucson, Arizona and Guaymas, Sonora. The two unidentified species of Culex were most abundant at Navojoa in southern Sonora. Haplotype and nucleotide diversities in the COI gene segment were substantially lower in Cx. quinquefasciatus compared with the other three species. Analysis of molecular variance revealed little structure among seven populations of Cx. quinquefasciatus, whereas significant structure was found between the two populations of Cx. tarsalis. Evidence for an historical population expansion beginning in the Pleistocene was found for Cx. tarsalis. Possible explanations for the large differences in genetic diversity between Cx. quinquefasciatus and the other species of Culex are presented.

  9. Physiological response of Cucurbita pepo var. pepo mycorrhized by Sonoran desert native arbuscular fungi to drought and salinity stresses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Citlalli Harris-Valle

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Plants response to symbiosis with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF under water stress is important to agriculture. Under abiotic stress conditions native fungi are more effective than exotics in improving plant growth and water status. Mycorrhization efficiency is related to soil fungi development and energy cost-benefit ratio. In this study, we assessed the effect on growth, water status and energy metabolism of Cucurbita pepo var. pepo when inoculated with native AMF from the Sonoran desert Mexico (mixed isolate and field consortium, and compared with an exotic species from a temperate region, under drought, low and high salinity conditions. Dry weights, leaf water content, water and osmotic potentials, construction costs, photochemistry and mycorrhization features were quantified. Under drought and low salinity conditions, the mixed isolate increased plant growth and leaf water content. Leaf water potential was increased only by the field consortium under drought conditions (0.5-0.9 MPa. Under high salinity, the field consortium increased aerial dry weight (more than 1 g and osmotic potential (0.54 MPa, as compared to non-mycorrhized controls. Plants inoculated with native AMF, which supposedly diminish the effects of stress, exhibited low construction costs, increased photochemical capacity, and grew larger external mycelia in comparison to the exotic inoculum.

  10. Plant population and habitat characteristics of the endemic Sonoran Desert cactus Peniocereus striatus in Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, Arizona

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Greta; Rutman, Sue; Munson, Seth M.

    2010-01-01

    Peniocereus striatus (Brandegee) Buxb. (Cactaceae) is an endemic Sonoran Desert cactus that reaches its northern range limit in southwestern Arizona. One U.S. population occupies a small area of Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument near the U.S./Mexico international boundary, which has been monitored since 1939. An extensive survey conducted in 2002, covering 177 ha, resulted in the discovery of 88 new plants, in addition to the relocation of 57 plants found in previous surveys. Despite potential increases in population size and spatial distribution, mean plant height and number of basal stems has not significantly changed in recent years. Bud scars revealed that a majority of the population was sexually mature. Peniocereus striatus occurrence increased with decreasing slope, spanned every slope aspect, and was highest on rocky soils, but was noticeably low on west and northwest slopes and areas where severe land degradation had previously occurred. Over half of P. striatus plants were nursed by shrubs and subshrubs, while 40% occurred under leguminous trees. A severe frost in January 2002 top-killed 19% of the population, with the greatest damage in drainage bottoms. However, long-term (1944–2002) climate records show that there has been an overall increase in the number of frost free days in the region, which, coupled with land use change, has implications for the future health of this population.

  11. Genetic Diversity and Population Genetics of Mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae: Culex spp.) from the Sonoran Desert of North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pfeiler, Edward; Flores-López, Carlos A.; Mada-Vélez, Jesús Gerardo; Escalante-Verdugo, Juan; Markow, Therese A.

    2013-01-01

    The population genetics and phylogenetic relationships of Culex mosquitoes inhabiting the Sonoran Desert region of North America were studied using mitochondrial DNA and microsatellite molecular markers. Phylogenetic analyses of mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) from mosquitoes collected over a wide geographic area, including the Baja California peninsula, and mainland localities in southern Arizona, USA and Sonora, Mexico, showed several well-supported partitions corresponding to Cx. quinquefasciatus, Cx. tarsalis, and two unidentified species, Culex sp. 1 and sp. 2. Culex quinquefasciatus was found at all localities and was the most abundant species collected. Culex tarsalis was collected only at Tucson, Arizona and Guaymas, Sonora. The two unidentified species of Culex were most abundant at Navojoa in southern Sonora. Haplotype and nucleotide diversities in the COI gene segment were substantially lower in Cx. quinquefasciatus compared with the other three species. Analysis of molecular variance revealed little structure among seven populations of Cx. quinquefasciatus, whereas significant structure was found between the two populations of Cx. tarsalis. Evidence for an historical population expansion beginning in the Pleistocene was found for Cx. tarsalis. Possible explanations for the large differences in genetic diversity between Cx. quinquefasciatus and the other species of Culex are presented. PMID:24302868

  12. One hundred and six years of population and community dynamics of Sonoran Desert Laboratory perennials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodriguez-Buritica, Susana; Raichle, Helen; Webb, Robert H.; Turner, Raymond M.; Venable, Larry

    2013-01-01

    This data set constitutes all information associated with the Spalding-Shreve permanent vegetation plots from 1906 through 2012, which is the longest-running plant monitoring program in the world. The program consists of detailed maps of all Sonoran Desert perennial plants in 30 permanent plots located on Tumamoc Hill, near Tucson, Arizona, USA. Most of these plots are 10 m × 10 m quadrats that were established by Volney Spalding and Forrest Shreve between 1906 and 1928. Analyses derived from these data have been pivotal in testing early theories on plant community succession, plant life history traits, plant longevity, and population dynamics. One of the major contributions of this data set is the species-specific demographic traits that derived from estimating individual plant trajectories for more than 106 years. Further use of these data might shed light on spatially explicit population and community dynamics, as well as long-term changes attributable to global change. Data presented here consist of digital versions of original maps created between 1906 and 1984 and digital data from recent censuses between 1993 and 2012. Attributes associated with these maps include location and coverage of all shrubs, and in some cases, plant height. In addition, we present plot-specific summaries of plant cover and density for each census year and all other information collected, including seedling counts, grass coverage, and annual species enumerations. We reference the repeat photography of these plots, which began in 1906; these images are stored at the Desert Laboratory Collection of Repeat Photography in Tucson. Initial data collection consisted of grid-mapping the plots manually on graph paper; starting in 1993, Total Stations (which allow a direct digitalization, and more accurate mapping) were used to survey root crowns and canopies.

  13. Sonoran Desert ecosystem transformation by a C4 grass without the grass/fire cycle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olsson, Aaryn D.; Betancourt, Julio; McClaran, Mitchel P.; Marsh, Stuart E.

    2012-01-01

    Aim Biological invasions facilitate ecosystem transformation by altering the structure and function, diversity, dominance and disturbance regimes. A classic case is the grass–fire cycle in which grass invasion increases the frequency, scale and/or intensity of wildfires and promotes the continued invasion of invasive grasses. Despite wide acceptance of the grass–fire cycle, questions linger about the relative roles that interspecific plant competition and fire play in ecosystem transformations. Location Sonoran Desert Arizona Upland of the Santa Catalina Mountains, Arizona, USA. Methods We measured species cover, density and saguaro (Carnegiea gigantea) size structure along gradients of Pennisetum ciliare invasion at 10 unburned/ungrazed P. ciliare patches. Regression models quantified differences in diversity, cover and density with respect to P. ciliare cover, and residence time and a Fisher's exact test detected demographic changes in saguaro populations. Because P. ciliare may have initially invaded locations that were both more invasible and less diverse, we ran analyses with and without the plots in which initial infestations were located. Results Richness and diversity decreased with P. ciliare cover as did cover and density of most dominant species. Richness and diversity declined with increasing time since invasion, suggesting an ongoing transformation. The proportion of old-to-young Carnegiea gigantea was significantly lower in plots with dominant P. ciliare cover. Main conclusions Rich desert scrub (15–25 species per plot) was transformed into depauperate grassland (2–5 species per plot) within 20 years following P. ciliare invasion without changes to the fire regime. While the onset of a grass–fire cycle may drive ecosystem change in the later stages and larger scales of grass invasions of arid lands, competition by P. ciliare can drive small-scale transformations earlier in the invasion. Linking competition-induced transformation rates with

  14. Predictions of soil-water potentials in the north-western Sonoran Desert

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Young, D.R.; Nobel, P.S.

    1986-03-01

    A simple computer model was developed to predict soil-water potential at a Sonoran Desert site. The variability of precipitation there, coupled with the low water-holding capacity of the sandy soil, result in large temporal and spatial variations in soil-water potential. Predicted soil-water potentials for depths of 5, 10 and 20 cm were in close agreement with measured values as the soil dried after an application of water. Predicted values at a depth of 10 cm, the mean rooting depth of Agave deserti and other succulents common at the study site, also agreed with soil-water potentials measured in the field throughout 1 year. Both soil-water potential and evaporation from the soil surface were very sensitive to simulated changes in the hydraulic conductivity of the soil. The annual duration of soil moisture adequate for succulents was dependent on the rainfall as well as on the spacing and amount of individual rainfalls. The portion of annual precipitation evaporated from the soil surface varied from 73% in a dry year (77 mm precipitation) to 59% in a wet year (597 mm). Besides using the actual precipitation events, simulations were performed using the figures for total monthly precipitation. Based on the average number of rainfalls for a particular month, the rainfall was distributed throughout the month in the model. Predictions using both daily and monthly inputs were in close agreement, especially for the number of days during a year when the soil-water potential was sufficient for water absorption by the succulent plants (above -0.5 MPa).

  15. Long-term changes in abundances of Sonoran Desert lizards reveal complex responses to climatic variation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flesch, Aaron D; Rosen, Philip C; Holm, Peter

    2017-12-01

    Understanding how climatic variation affects animal populations and communities is essential for addressing threats posed by climate change, especially in systems where impacts are projected to be high. We evaluated abundance dynamics of five common species of diurnal lizards over 25 years in a Sonoran Desert transition zone where precipitation decreased and temperature increased across time, and assessed hypotheses for the influence of climatic flux on spatiotemporal variation in abundances. We repeatedly surveyed lizards in spring and summer of each year at up to 32 sites, and used hierarchical mixture models to estimate detection probabilities, abundances, and population growth rates. Among terrestrial species, abundances of a short-lived, winter-spring breeder increased markedly by an estimated 237%-285% across time, while two larger spring-summer breeders with higher thermal preferences declined by up to 64%. Abundances of two arboreal species that occupy shaded and thus sheltered microhabitats fluctuated but did not decline systematically. Abundances of all species increased with precipitation at short lag times (1-1.5 years) likely due to enhanced food availability, but often declined after periods of high precipitation at longer lag times (2-4 years) likely due to predation and other biotic pressures. Although rising maximum daily temperatures (T max ) are expected to drive global declines of lizards, associations with T max were variable and weak for most species. Instead, abundances of all species declined with rising daily minimum temperatures, suggesting degradation of cool refugia imposed widespread metabolic or other costs. Our results suggest climate warming and drying are having major impacts on lizard communities by driving declines in species with traits that augment exposure to abiotic extremes and by modifying species interactions. The complexity of patterns we report indicates that evaluating and responding to the influence of climate change

  16. Distance-decay relationships partially determine diversity patterns of phyllosphere bacteria on Tamarix trees across the Sonoran Desert [corrected].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Finkel, Omri M; Burch, Adrien Y; Elad, Tal; Huse, Susan M; Lindow, Steven E; Post, Anton F; Belkin, Shimshon

    2012-09-01

    Dispersal limitation in phyllosphere communities was measured on the leaf surfaces of salt-excreting Tamarix trees, which offer unique, discrete habitats for microbial assemblages. We employed 16S rRNA gene pyrosequencing to measure bacterial community dissimilarity on leaves of spatially dispersed Tamarix specimens in sites with uniform climatic conditions across the Sonoran Desert in the Southwestern United States. Our analyses revealed diverse bacterial communities with four dominant phyla that exhibited differential effects of environmental and geographic variables. Geographical distance was the most important parameter that affected community composition, particularly that of betaproteobacteria, which displayed a statistically significant, distance-decay relationship.

  17. Deserts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belnap, Jayne; Webb, Robert H.; Esque, Todd; Brooks, Matthew L.; DeFalco, Lesley; MacMahon, James A.

    2016-01-01

    The deserts of California (Lead photo, Fig. 1) occupy approximately 38% of California’s landscape (Table 1) and consist of three distinct deserts: the Great Basin Desert, Mojave Desert, and Colorado Desert, the latter of which is a subdivision of the Sonoran Desert (Brown and Lowe 1980). The wide range of climates and geology found within each of these deserts result in very different vegetative communities and ecosystem processes and therefore different ecosystem services. In deserts, extreme conditions such as very high and low temperatures and very low rainfall result in abiotic factors (climate, geology, geomorphology, and soils) controlling the composition and function of ecosystems, including plant and animal distributions. This is in contrast to wetter and milder temperatures found in other ecosystems, where biotic interactions are the dominant driving force. However, despite the harsh conditions in deserts, they are home to a surprisingly large number of plants and animals. Deserts are also places where organisms display a wide array of adaptations to the extremes they encounter, providing some of the best examples of Darwinian selection (MacMahon and Wagner 1985, Ward 2009). Humans have utilized these regions for thousands of years, despite the relatively low productivity and harsh climates of these landscapes. Unlike much of California, most of these desert lands have received little high-intensity use since European settlement, leaving large areas relatively undisturbed. Desert landscapes are being altered, however, by the introduction of fire following the recent invasion of Mediterranean annual grasses. As most native plants are not fire-adapted, they Many do not recover, whereas the non-native grasses flourish. Because desert lands are slow to recover from disturbances, energy exploration and development, recreational use, and urban development will alter these landscapes for many years to come. This chapter provides a brief description of where the

  18. Soil texture drives responses of soil respiration to precipitation pulses in the sonoran desert: Implications for climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cable, J.M.; Ogle, K.; Williams, D.G.; Weltzin, J.F.; Huxman, T. E.

    2008-01-01

    Climate change predictions for the desert southwestern U.S. are for shifts in precipitation patterns. The impacts of climate change may be significant, because desert soil processes are strongly controlled by precipitation inputs ('pulses') via their effect on soil water availability. This study examined the response of soil respiration-an important biological process that affects soil carbon (C) storage-to variation in pulses representative of climate change scenarios for the Sonoran Desert. Because deserts are mosaics of different plant cover types and soil textures-which create patchiness in soil respiration-we examined how these landscape characteristics interact to affect the response of soil respiration to pulses. Pulses were applied to experimental plots of bare and vegetated soil on contrasting soil textures typical of Sonoran Desert grasslands. The data were analyzed within a Bayesian framework to: (1) determine pulse size and antecedent moisture (soil moisture prior to the pulse) effects on soil respiration, (2) quantify soil texture (coarse vs. fine) and cover type (bare vs. vegetated) effects on the response of soil respiration and its components (plant vs. microbial) to pulses, and (3) explore the relationship between long-term variation in pulse regimes and seasonal soil respiration. Regarding objective (1), larger pulses resulted in higher respiration rates, particularly from vegetated fine-textured soil, and dry antecedent conditions amplified respiration responses to pulses (wet antecedent conditions dampened the pulse response). Regarding (2), autotrophic (plant) activity was a significant source (???60%) of respiration and was more sensitive to pulses on coarse- versus fine-textured soils. The sensitivity of heterotrophic (microbial) respiration to pulses was highly dependent on antecedent soil water. Regarding (3), seasonal soil respiration was predicted to increase with both growing season precipitation and mean pulse size (but only for pulses

  19. Water supplementation affects the behavioral and physiological ecology of Gila monsters (Heloderma suspectum) in the Sonoran Desert.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Jon R; DeNardo, Dale F

    2009-01-01

    In desert species, seasonal peaks in animal activity often correspond with times of higher rainfall. However, the underlying reason for such seasonality can be hard to discern because the rainy season is often associated with shifts in temperature as well as water and food availability. We used a combination of the natural climate pattern of the Sonoran Desert and periodic water supplementation to determine the extent to which water intake influenced both the behavioral ecology and the physiological ecology of a long-lived desert lizard, the Gila monster (Heloderma suspectum) (Cope 1869). Water-supplemented lizards had lower plasma osmolality (i.e., were more hydrated) and maintained urinary bladder water reserves better during seasonal drought than did control lizards. During seasonal drought, water-supplemented lizards were surface active a significantly greater proportion of time than were controls. This increased surface activity can lead to greater food acquisition for supplemental Gila monsters because tail volume (an index of caudal lipid stores) was significantly greater in supplemented lizards compared with controls in one of the two study years.

  20. Remote Sensing of Sonoran Desert Vegetation Structure and Phenology with Ground-Based LiDAR

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joel B. Sankey

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Long-term vegetation monitoring efforts have become increasingly important for understanding ecosystem response to global change. Many traditional methods for monitoring can be infrequent and limited in scope. Ground-based LiDAR is one remote sensing method that offers a clear advancement to monitor vegetation dynamics at high spatial and temporal resolution. We determined the effectiveness of LiDAR to detect intra-annual variability in vegetation structure at a long-term Sonoran Desert monitoring plot dominated by cacti, deciduous and evergreen shrubs. Monthly repeat LiDAR scans of perennial plant canopies over the course of one year had high precision. LiDAR measurements of canopy height and area were accurate with respect to total station survey measurements of individual plants. We found an increase in the number of LiDAR vegetation returns following the wet North American Monsoon season. This intra-annual variability in vegetation structure detected by LiDAR was attributable to a drought deciduous shrub Ambrosia deltoidea, whereas the evergreen shrub Larrea tridentata and cactus Opuntia engelmannii had low variability. Benefits of using LiDAR over traditional methods to census desert plants are more rapid, consistent, and cost-effective data acquisition in a high-resolution, 3-dimensional context. We conclude that repeat LiDAR measurements can be an effective method for documenting ecosystem response to desert climatology and drought over short time intervals and at detailed-local spatial scale.

  1. Evaluating process domains in small arid granitic watersheds: Case study of Pima Wash, South Mountains, Sonoran Desert, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seong, Yeong Bae; Larson, Phillip H.; Dorn, Ronald I.; Yu, Byung Yong

    2016-02-01

    This paper provides support for the concept of geomorphic process domains developed by Montgomery (1999) by linking geomorphic processes to ecological variations seen in the Pima arid granitic watershed of the Sonoran Desert, Phoenix, Arizona. Closer joint spacing shows a statistically significant correlation with lower percentages of mineral grain attachment as measured by digital image processing of backscattered electron microscope imagery. Lower mineral grain attachment leads to more frequent spalling of rock surfaces, as measured by varnish microlamination (VML) ages of the last spalling event. In contrast, more distant joint spacing leads to in situ 10Be erosion rates of 3.4-8.5 mm/ka and the emergence of low domes and kopje granitic landforms; these low domes also serve as knickpoints along ephemeral washes. Distant jointing thus plays a key role in generating the bare bedrock surfaces that funnel limited precipitation to bedrock margins - enhancing the canopy cover of perennial plants next to the bare bedrock. Joint-influenced geomorphic processes at Pima Wash generate four distinct process domains: (PD1) armored drainage divides; (PD2) slopes with different granite landforms; (PD3) mid- and upper basin channels that mix knickzones, strath floodplains, and sandy alluvial sections; and (PD4) the main ephemeral channel transitioning to the piedmont. Distant jointing promotes bedrock exposure and rock armoring along drainage divides in PD1 that then concentrates runoff and promotes perennial plant growth. More distant joint spacing on slopes in PD2 promotes exposure of granitic bedrock forms that shed overland flow to their margin and promotes flora and fauna growths along the margins of low granitic domes and kopjes. Similarly, wider joint spacing along ephemeral washes in PD3 leads to knickpoints, which in turn act to concentrate moisture immediately downstream. The stream terraces in PD4 influence the ecology through xeric desert pavements on terrace treads

  2. Urban birds in the Sonoran Desert: estimating population density from point counts

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karina Johnston López

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available We conducted bird surveys in Hermosillo, Sonora using distance sampling to characterize detection functions at point-transects for native and non-native urban birds in a desert environment. From March to August 2013 we sampled 240 plots in the city and its surroundings; each plot was visited three times. Our purpose was to provide information for a rapid assessment of bird density in this region by using point counts. We identified 72 species, including six non-native species. Sixteen species had sufficient detections to accurately estimate the parameters of the detection functions. To illustrate the estimation of density from bird count data using our inferred detection functions, we estimated the density of the Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto under two different levels of urbanization: highly urbanized (90-100% of urban impact and moderately urbanized zones (39-50% of urban impact. Density of S. decaocto in the highly-urbanized and moderately-urbanized zones was 3.97±0.52 and 2.92±0.52 individuals/ha, respectively. By using our detection functions, avian ecologists can efficiently relocate time and effort that is regularly used for the estimation of detection distances, to increase the number of sites surveyed and to collect other relevant ecological information.

  3. Soil, Vegetation, and Seed Bank of a Sonoran Desert Ecosystem Along an Exotic Plant ( Pennisetum ciliare) Treatment Gradient

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abella, Scott R.; Chiquoine, Lindsay P.; Backer, Dana M.

    2013-10-01

    Ecological conditions following removal of exotic plants are a key part of comprehensive environmental management strategies to combat exotic plant invasions. We examined ecological conditions following removal of the management-priority buffelgrass ( Pennisetum ciliare) in Saguaro National Park of the North American Sonoran Desert. We assessed soil, vegetation, and soil seed banks on seven buffelgrass site types: five different frequencies of buffelgrass herbicide plus hand removal treatments (ranging from 5 years of annual treatment to a single year of treatment), untreated sites, and non-invaded sites, with three replicates for each of the seven site types. The 22 measured soil properties (e.g., pH) differed little among sites. Regarding vegetation, buffelgrass cover was low (≤1 % median cover), or absent, across all treated sites but was high (10-70 %) in untreated sites. Native vegetation cover, diversity, and composition were indistinguishable across site types. Species composition was dominated by native species (>93 % relative cover) across all sites except untreated buffelgrass sites. Most (38 species, 93 %) of the 41 species detected in soil seed banks were native, and native seed density did not differ significantly across sites. Results suggest that: (1) buffelgrass cover was minimal across treated sites; (2) aside from high buffelgrass cover in untreated sites, ecological conditions were largely indistinguishable across sites; (3) soil seed banks harbored ≥12 species that were frequent in the aboveground vegetation; and (4) native species dominated post-treatment vegetation composition, and removing buffelgrass did not result in replacement by other exotic species.

  4. Regeneration of roots from callus reveals stability of the developmental program for determinate root growth in Sonoran Desert Cactaceae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shishkova, Svetlana; García-Mendoza, Edith; Castillo-Díaz, Vicente; Moreno, Norma E; Arellano, Jesús; Dubrovsky, Joseph G

    2007-05-01

    In some Sonoran Desert Cactaceae the primary root has a determinate root growth: the cells of the root apical meristem undergo only a few cell division cycles and then differentiate. The determinate growth of primary roots in Cactaceae was found in plants cultivated under various growth conditions, and could not be reverted by any treatment tested. The mechanisms involved in root meristem maintenance and determinate root growth in plants remain poorly understood. In this study, we have shown that roots regenerated from the callus of two Cactaceae species, Stenocereus gummosus and Ferocactus peninsulae, have a determinate growth pattern, similar to that of the primary root. To demonstrate this, a protocol for root regeneration from callus was established. The determinate growth pattern of roots regenerated from callus suggests that the program of root development is very stable in these species. These findings will permit future analysis of the role of certain Cactaceae genes in the determinate pattern of root growth via the regeneration of transgenic roots from transformed calli.

  5. Status of groundwater quality in the Borrego Valley, Central Desert, and Low-Use Basins of the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts study unit, 2008-2010: California GAMA Priority Basin Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parsons, Mary C.; Hancock, Tracy Connell; Kulongoski, Justin T.; Belitz, Kenneth

    2014-01-01

    Groundwater quality in the approximately 963-square-mile Borrego Valley, Central Desert, and Low-Use Basins of the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts study unit was investigated as part of the Priority Basin Project of the Groundwater Ambient Monitoring and Assessment (GAMA) Program. The study unit is located in southern California in San Bernardino, Riverside, San Diego, and Imperial Counties. The GAMA Priority Basin Project is being conducted by the California State Water Resources Control Board in collaboration with the U.S. Geological Survey and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. The GAMA Borrego Valley, Central Desert, and Low-Use Basins of the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts study was designed to provide a spatially unbiased assessment of the quality of untreated (raw) groundwater in the primary aquifer system. The assessment is based on water-quality and ancillary data collected by the U.S. Geological Survey from 52 wells (49 grid wells and 3 understanding wells) and on water-quality data from the California Department of Public Health database. The primary aquifer system was defined by the depth intervals of the wells listed in the California Department of Public Health database for the Borrego Valley, Central Desert, and Low-Use Basins of the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts study unit. The quality of groundwater in the primary aquifer system may be different from that in the shallower or deeper water-bearing zones; shallow groundwater may be more vulnerable to surficial contamination. This study assesses the status of the current quality of the groundwater resource by using data from samples analyzed for volatile organic compounds (VOCs), pesticides, and naturally occurring inorganic constituents, such as major ions and trace elements. This status assessment is intended to characterize the quality of groundwater resources in the primary aquifer system of the Borrego Valley, Central Desert, and Low-Use Basins of the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts study unit, not the

  6. Water-use efficiency and relative growth rate mediate competitive interactions in Sonoran Desert winter annual plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gremer, Jennifer R; Kimball, Sarah; Keck, Katie R; Huxman, Travis E; Angert, Amy L; Venable, D Lawrence

    2013-10-01

    A functional approach to investigating competitive interactions can provide a mechanistic understanding of processes driving population dynamics, community assembly, and the maintenance of biodiversity. In Sonoran Desert annual plants, a trade-off between relative growth rate (RGR) and water-use efficiency (WUE) contributes to species differences in population dynamics that promote long-term coexistence. Traits underlying this trade-off explain variation in demographic responses to precipitation as well as life history and phenological patterns. Here, we ask how these traits mediate competitive interactions. • We conducted competition trials for three species occupying different positions along the RGR-WUE trade-off axis and compared the effects of competition at high and low soil moisture. We compared competitive effect (ability to suppress neighbors) and competitive response (ability to withstand competition from neighbors) among species. • The RGR-WUE trade-off predicted shifts in competitive responses at different soil moistures. The high-RGR species was more resistant to competition in high water conditions, while the opposite was true for the high-WUE species. The intermediate RGR species tended to have the strongest impact on all neighbors, so competitive effects did not scale directly with differences in RGR and WUE among competitors. • Our results reveal mechanisms underlying long-term variation in fitness: high-RGR species perform better in years with large, frequent rain events and can better withstand competition under wetter conditions. The opposite is true for high-WUE species. Such resource-dependent responses strongly influence community dynamics and can promote coexistence in variable environments.

  7. Regional Landscape System Protection in the Urbanising Desert Southwest: Lessons from the Phoenix Metropolitan Region, USA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura Musacchio

    2004-06-01

    Full Text Available Since the late nineteenth century, landscape protection in the deserts of the Southwest, United States of America, like many places worldwide, has been driven by the conservation of landscape icons, such as unusual geological features in wilderness areas. Yet, in the past two decades, leading conservation scholars worldwide have called for a shift in this paradigm to one that emphasises landscape systems, which is based on holistic landscape ecology. The shift in emphas is to landscape systems opens new opportunities to protect desert landscape systems at the regional scale rather than just remnant patches at the local scale. In this paper, the authors present, for public consideration, a typology of the five major desert landscapes that can be used as the bas is for protecting regional landscape systems in the deserts of the Southwest. As a case study, several representative examples of recent regional open space plans from the Phoenix metropolitan area are analysed and compared with the typology in order to understand how successfully the projects have addressed protection of the regional landscape system in the Sonoran Desert.

  8. High water-use efficiency and growth contribute to success of non-native Erodium cicutarium in a Sonoran Desert winter annual community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kimball, Sarah; Gremer, Jennifer R; Barron-Gafford, Greg A; Angert, Amy L; Huxman, Travis E; Venable, D Lawrence

    2014-01-01

    The success of non-native, invasive species may be due to release from natural enemies, superior competitive abilities, or both. In the Sonoran Desert, Erodium cicutarium has increased in abundance over the last 30 years. While native species in this flora exhibit a strong among-species trade-off between relative growth rate and water-use efficiency, E. cicutarium seems to have a higher relative growth rate for its water-use efficiency value relative to the pattern across native species. This novel trait combination could provide the non-native species with a competitive advantage in this water-limited environment. To test the hypothesis that E. cicutarium is able to achieve high growth rates due to release from native herbivores, we compared the effects of herbivory on E. cicutarium and its native congener, Erodium texanum. We also compared these two species across a range of environmental conditions, both in a common garden and in two distinct seasons in the field, using growth analysis, isotopic compositions and leaf-level gas exchange. Additionally, we compared the competitive abilities of the two Erodium species in a greenhouse experiment. We found no evidence of herbivory to either species. Physiological measurements in a common environment revealed that E. cicutarium was able to achieve high growth rates while simultaneously controlling leaf-level water loss. Non-native E. cicutarium responded to favourable conditions in the field with greater specific leaf area and leaf area ratio than native E. texanum. The non-native Erodium was a stronger competitor than its native congener in a greenhouse competition experiment. The ability to maintain relatively higher values of water-use efficiency:relative growth rate in comparison to the native flora may be what enables E. cictarium to outcompete native species in both wet and dry years, resulting in an increase in abundance in the highly variable Sonoran Desert.

  9. Drought-caused delay in nesting of Sonoran Desert birds and its facilitation of parasite- and predator-mediated variation in reproductive success

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCreedy, Chris; van Riper, Charles

    2015-01-01

    As our understanding of climate change has increased, so has our awareness of the impacts of these changes on biotic systems. Climate models are nearly unanimous in their predictions for increased drought frequency in southwestern North America, and delays in nest initiation due to drought may influence nesting success and productivity for many Sonoran Desert bird species. In southeastern California and western Arizona in 2004–2009, we found negative correlations for 13 of 13 species between nest initiation date and rainfall accumulation during the preceding 4-month winter rainy season. Nesting was delayed more than 3 weeks for some species during extreme droughts in 2006 and 2007. During 2004–2009, we found a significant negative effect of nest initiation date on nest survival probability (β̂ = −0.031 ± 0.005 SE, P nesting delay in nesting success and productivity, in 2010 we conducted a manipulative experiment with Black-tailed Gnatcatchers (Polioptila melanura; BTGN) and Verdins (Auriparus flaviceps; VERD). Following a wet winter, we delayed clutch initiation dates for treatment pairs to match first-egg dates that we observed during droughts in 2006 and 2007. Nest initiation date had a significant negative effect on nest survival of both species (BTGN: β̂ = −1.18 ± 0.27 SE, P nest predation and Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater) parasitism were the most common causes of nest failure, we conclude that the impacts of climate change–caused drought on annual reproductive output in the Sonoran Desert will be further compounded by parasitism and predation for Black-tailed Gnatcatchers and by predation for Verdins.

  10. Regional Landscape System Protection in the Urbanising Desert Southwest: Lessons from the Phoenix Metropolitan Region, USA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura Musacchio

    2004-12-01

    Full Text Available Through the lens of holistic landscape ecology, the authors present for public consideration a desert landscape typology and plan assessment criteria. As a case study, historical trends in open space planning and two contrasting examples of recent open space plans from the Phoenix metropolitan area were analysed and compared to the typology in order to understand how successfully the open space planning efforts had addressed protection of the regional landscape system in the Sonoran Desert. We also developed an approach for the analysis of the landscape ecological component of plans that was based on Baer's general plan assessment criteria (1997. Our results indicate the desert landscape typology is a valuable step as part of a plan assessment of two regional, open space plans, but more importantly, the assessment criteria presented in this paper could be used as the foundation for a more thorough assessment method of the landscape ecological component of plans. The desert landscape typology and plan assessment criteria presented in this paper can be used to increase understanding about how the decision making of planners and designers has influenced the temporal and spatial dimensions of landscape legacies, trajectories and transformations, such as connectivity and fragmentation of open space.

  11. Restoration of eroded soil in the Sonoran Desert with native leguminous trees using plant growth-promoting microorganisms and limited amounts of compost and water.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bashan, Yoav; Salazar, Bernardo G; Moreno, Manuel; Lopez, Blanca R; Linderman, Robert G

    2012-07-15

    Restoration of highly eroded desert land was attempted in the southern Sonoran Desert that had lost its natural capacity for self-revegetation. In six field experiments, the fields were planted with three native leguminous trees: mesquite amargo Prosopis articulata, and yellow and blue palo verde Parkinsonia microphylla and Parkinsonia florida. Restoration included inoculation with two of plant growth-promoting bacteria (PGPB; Azospirillum brasilense and Bacillus pumilus), native arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi, and small quantities of compost. Irrigation was applied, when necessary, to reach a rainy year (300 mm) of the area. The plots were maintained for 61 months. Survival of the trees was marginally affected by all supplements after 30 months, in the range of 60-90%. This variation depended on the plant species, where all young trees were established after 3 months. Plant density was a crucial variable and, in general, low plant density enhanced survival. High planting density was detrimental. Survival significantly declined in trees 61 months after planting. No general response of the trees to plant growth-promoting microorganisms and compost was found. Mesquite amargo and yellow palo verde responded well (height, number of branches, and diameter of the main stem) to inoculation with PGPB, AM fungi, and compost supplementation after three months of application. Fewer positive effects were recorded after 30 months. Blue palo verde did not respond to most treatments and had the lowest survival. Specific plant growth parameters were affected to varying degrees to inoculations or amendments, primarily depending on the tree species. Some combinations of tree/inoculant/amendment resulted in small negative effects or no response when measured after extended periods of time. Using native leguminous trees, this study demonstrated that restoration of severely eroded desert lands was possible. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. A 30-year chronosequence of burned areas in Arizona: effects of wildfires on vegetation in Sonoran Desert Tortoise (Gopherus morafkai) habitats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shryock, Daniel F.; Esque, Todd C.; Chen, Felicia C.

    2015-01-01

    Fire is widely regarded as a key evolutionary force in fire-prone ecosystems, with effects spanning multiple levels of organization, from species and functional group composition through landscape-scale vegetation structure, biomass, and diversity (Pausas and others, 2004; Bond and Keeley 2005; Pausas and Verdu, 2008). Ecosystems subjected to novel fire regimes may experience profound changes that are difficult to predict, including persistent losses of vegetation cover and diversity (McLaughlin and Bowers, 1982; Brown and Minnich, 1986; Brooks, 2012), losses to seed banks (Esque and others, 2010a), changes in demographic processes (Esque and others, 2004; DeFalco and others, 2010), increased erosion (Soulard and others, 2013), changes in nutrient availability (Esque and others, 2010b), increased dominance of invasive species (Esque and others, 2002; Brooks and others, 2004), and transitions to alternative community states (Davies and others, 2012). In the deserts of the Southwestern United States, fire size and frequency have increased substantially over the last several decades because of an invasive grass/fire feedback cycle (Schmid and Rogers, 1988; D’Antonio and Vitousek, 1992; Swantek and others, 1999; Brooks and Matchett, 2006; Esque and others, 2010a), in which invasive annual species are able to establish fuel loads capable of sustaining large-scale wildfires following years of high rainfall (Esque and Schwalbe, 2002). Native perennial vegetation is not well-adapted to fire in these environments, and widespread, physiognomically dominant species such as creosote bush (Larrea tridentata), Joshua tree (Yucca brevifolia), giant saguaro cactus (Carnegiea gigantea), and paloverde (Parkinsonia spp.) may be reduced or eliminated (Brown and Minnich, 1986; Esque and others, 2006; DeFalco and others, 2010), potentially affecting wildlife populations including the Sonoran and federally threatened Mojave Desert Tortoises (Gopherus morafkai and Gopherus agassizii

  13. Studies of geology and hydrology in the Basin and Range province, southwestern United States, for isolation of high-level radioactive waste: characterization of the Sonoran region, California

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bedinger, M.S.; Sargent, Kenneth A.; Langer, William H.

    1989-01-01

    The Sonoran region of California lies west of the Colorado River and adjoins the Mojave Desert on the west, Death Valley on the northwest, and the Salton trough on the south. The region is arid with annual precipitation ranging from less than 80 millimeters to as great as 250 millimeters in one mountain range; annual free-surface evaporation is as great as 2,500 millimeters. The characteristic basin and range topography of the region was caused by a mid-Tertiary period of intense crustal extension, accompanied by volcanic eruptions, clastic sedimentation, faulting, and tilting. Potential host media for isolation of high-level radioactive waste include granite and other coarsegrained plutonic rocks, ash-flow tuff, and basalt and basaltic andesite lava flows. Thick sections of the unsaturated zone in basin fill, intrusive, and volcanic rocks appear to have potential as host media. The region is bordered on the west by areas of relatively greater Quaternary faulting, vertical crustal uplift, and seismicity. The region has a few areas of Quaternary volcanic activity. Geothermal heat flows of 2.5 heat-flow units or greater and one earthquake of magnitude 6-7 have been recorded. The region includes topographically closed basins as well as basins that drain to the Colorado River. Dry lakes and playas occupy the closed basins. Ground-water recharge and surface runoff are small because of the small amount of precipitation and great potential evaporation. Natural ground-water discharge is by evaporation in the basin playas and by underflow to the Colorado River. Dissolved-solids concentration of ground water generally is less than 500 milligrams per liter, and much of it is of the sodium bicarbonate type. Ground water is saline in many of the playas, and chloride or sulfate is the predominant anion. Small tonnages of ore have been produced from numerous precious and fewer base-metal deposits. (author)

  14. Drawing a line in the sand: Effectiveness of off-highway vehicle management in California's Sonoran desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Custer, Nathan; Defalco, Lesley A.; Nussear, Kenneth E.; Esque, Todd C.

    2017-01-01

    Public land policies manage multiple uses while striving to protect vulnerable plant and wildlife habitats from degradation; yet the effectiveness of such policies are infrequently evaluated, particularly for remote landscapes that are difficult to monitor. We assessed the use and impacts of recreational vehicles on Mojave Desert washes (intermittent streams) in the Chemehuevi Desert Wildlife Management Area (DWMA) of southern California. Wash zones designated as open and closed to off-highway vehicle (OHV) activity were designed in part to protect Mojave desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) habitat while allowing recreation in designated areas. OHV tracks were monitored in washes located near access roads during winter and early spring holidays – when recreation is typically high – and at randomly dispersed locations away from roads. Washes near access roads had fewer vehicle tracks within closed than open zones; further away from roads, OHV tracks were infrequent and their occurrence was not different between wash designations. Washes were in better condition in closed zones following major holidays as indicated by less vegetation damage, presence of trash, and wash bank damage. Furthermore, the frequency of washes with live tortoises and their sign was marginally greater in closed than open wash zones. Collectively, these results suggest that low impacts to habitats in designated closed wash zones reflect public compliance with federal OHV policy and regulations in the Chemehuevi DWMA during our study. Future monitoring to contrast wash use and impacts during other seasons as well as in other DWMAs will elucidate spatial and temporal patterns of recreation in these important conservation areas.

  15. New microsatellite loci isolated via next-generation sequencing for two endangered pronghorn from the Sonoran Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Munguia-Vega, Adrian; Klimova, Anastasia; Culver, Melanie

    2013-01-01

    We isolated 16 novel microsatellite loci in two subspecies of endangered desert pronghorns (Antilocapra americana sonoriensis and Antilocapra americana peninsularis) using a shotgun pyrosequencing approach. All and 87.5 % of the loci were polymorphic within each subspecies, respectively. The mean number of alleles per locus was 4.86 (range 2–8) and 2.5 alleles per locus (range 1–4 alleles), and observed heterozygosity ranged from 0.13 to 0.78 (mean 0.48) and 0.00 to 0.61 (mean 0.31), respectively. We did not find significant linkage disequilibrium among loci pairs and only one locus deviated significantly from Hardy–Weinberg equilibrium in peninsularis.

  16. Estimating Winter Annual Biomass in the Sonoran and Mojave Deserts with Satellite- and Ground-Based Observations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bradley C. Reed

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Winter annual plants in southwestern North America influence fire regimes, provide forage, and help prevent erosion. Exotic annuals may also threaten native species. Monitoring winter annuals is difficult because of their ephemeral nature, making the development of a satellite monitoring tool valuable. We mapped winter annual aboveground biomass in the Desert Southwest from satellite observations, evaluating 18 algorithms using time-series vegetation indices (VI. Field-based biomass estimates were used to calibrate and evaluate each algorithm. Winter annual biomass was best estimated by calculating a base VI across the period of record and subtracting it from the peak VI for each winter season (R2 = 0.92. The normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI derived from 8-day reflectance data provided the best estimate of winter annual biomass. It is important to account for the timing of peak vegetation when relating field-based estimates to satellite VI data, since post-peak field estimates may indicate senescent biomass which is inaccurately represented by VI-based estimates. Images generated from the best-performing algorithm show both spatial and temporal variation in winter annual biomass. Efforts to manage this variable resource would be enhanced by a tool that allows the monitoring of changes in winter annual resources over time.

  17. Constancy of local spread rates for buffelgrass (Pennisetum ciliare L.) in the Arizona Upland of the Sonoran Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olsson, Aaryn D.; Betancourt, Julio L.; Crimmins, Michael A.; Marsh, Stuart E.

    2012-01-01

    In North American deserts, grass invasions threaten native vegetation via competition and altered fire regimes. Accurate prediction and successful mitigation of these invasions hinge on estimation of spread rates and their degree of constancy in time and space. We used high-resolution aerial photographs from 11 sites in the Santa Catalina Mountains, southern Arizona to reconstruct the spread of buffelgrass (Pennisetum ciliare), a C4 perennial bunchgrass, since 1980. The total area infested was fit to a logistic model and residuals of the model were compared to climatic factors of the corresponding and lagged time periods. Infestations grew from small colonizing patches in the 1980s to 66 ha in 2008, doubling every 2.26–7.04 years since 1988. Although buffelgrass germination, establishment and distribution are favored by wet summers and warm winters, climate variables did not predict spread rates. Buffelgrass has grown at a constant rate, at least since 1988, when much of its expansion took place. In the study area, minimum requirements are met almost every year for germination and reproduction, establishing a consistent baseline for spread that manifests as a constant spread rate.

  18. Rock-colonizing plants: abundance of the endemic cactus Mammillaria fraileana related to rock type in the southern Sonoran Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blanca R. Lopez; Yoav Bashan; Macario Bacilio; Gustavo. De la Cruz-Aguero

    2009-01-01

    Establishment, colonization, and permanence of plants affect biogenic and physical processes leading to development of soil. Rockiness, temperature, and humidity are accepted explanations to the influence and the presence of rock-dwelling plants, but the relationship between mineral and chemical composition of rocks with plant abundance is unknown in some regions. This...

  19. ON PHYTOCOENOTICAL MAPPING OF CASPIAN DESERT REGION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I. SAFRONOVA

    2004-05-01

    Full Text Available The phytoecological map (l :2.500.000 for Desert Region, including the Caspian Lowland and the Mangyshlak. has been compiled. It gives an idea of latitudinal differentiation cf vegetation. Edaphic variants and lithological composition in low mountains. The legend has been constructed according to zonal-typological principle e using an ecological-phytocoenotic classification. Heterogeneity of vegetation is reflected by means of territoria1 units (complex, series, combination and additional marks above the vegetation background. In the northern subzone vegetation is fairly monotonous and characterized by prevalence of wormwood communities (Artemisia of subgenus Seriphidium, joined in three formations: Artemisia lerchiana, A. arenaria. A. pauciflora. Small areas are occupied by shrub deserts of Calligollum aphyllum and Tamarix ramosissima. To southward of 47° N in the middle subzone on the Caspian Lowland the communities of halophyte perennial saltworts essential1y dominate, and to less extent-wormwood communities of hemipsammophytic Artemisia terrae-albae and psammophytic Artemisia arenaria and A. lerchiana. Deserts of Mangyshlak are much diverse. Dwarf semishrubs are presented by species of perennial saltworts (Anabasis salsa, Nanophyton erinaceum,Arthrophytum lehnwnianum, Salsola orientaUs and wonnwood (Artemisia terrae-albae, A. gurganica. A. santolina. To southward of 43° N in the southern subzone dwarf semishrub Salsola gemmascens and Artemisia kemrudica corrnnunities prevail.

  20. ON PHYTOCOENOTICAL MAPPING OF CASPIAN DESERT REGION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I. SAFRONOVA

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available The phytoecological map (l :2.500.000 for Desert Region, including the Caspian Lowland and the Mangyshlak. has been compiled. It gives an idea of latitudinal differentiation cf vegetation. Edaphic variants and lithological composition in low mountains. The legend has been constructed according to zonal-typological principle e using an ecological-phytocoenotic classification. Heterogeneity of vegetation is reflected by means of territoria1 units (complex, series, combination and additional marks above the vegetation background. In the northern subzone vegetation is fairly monotonous and characterized by prevalence of wormwood communities (Artemisia of subgenus Seriphidium, joined in three formations: Artemisia lerchiana, A. arenaria. A. pauciflora. Small areas are occupied by shrub deserts of Calligollum aphyllum and Tamarix ramosissima. To southward of 47° N in the middle subzone on the Caspian Lowland the communities of halophyte perennial saltworts essential1y dominate, and to less extent-wormwood communities of hemipsammophytic Artemisia terrae-albae and psammophytic Artemisia arenaria and A. lerchiana. Deserts of Mangyshlak are much diverse. Dwarf semishrubs are presented by species of perennial saltworts (Anabasis salsa, Nanophyton erinaceum,Arthrophytum lehnwnianum, Salsola orientaUs and wonnwood (Artemisia terrae-albae, A. gurganica. A. santolina. To southward of 43° N in the southern subzone dwarf semishrub Salsola gemmascens and Artemisia kemrudica corrnnunities prevail.

  1. Groundwater-quality data in the Borrego Valley, Central Desert, and Low-Use Basins of the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts study unit, 2008-2010--Results from the California GAMA Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mathany, Timothy M.; Wright, Michael T.; Beuttel, Brandon S.; Belitz, Kenneth

    2012-01-01

    Groundwater quality in the 12,103-square-mile Borrego Valley, Central Desert, and Low-Use Basins of the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts (CLUB) study unit was investigated by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) from December 2008 to March 2010, as part of the California State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) Groundwater Ambient Monitoring and Assessment (GAMA) Program's Priority Basin Project (PBP). The GAMA-PBP was developed in response to the California Groundwater Quality Monitoring Act of 2001 and is being conducted in collaboration with the SWRCB and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). The CLUB study unit was the twenty-eighth study unit to be sampled as part of the GAMA-PBP. The GAMA CLUB study was designed to provide a spatially unbiased assessment of untreated-groundwater quality in the primary aquifer systems, and to facilitate statistically consistent comparisons of untreated-groundwater quality throughout California. The primary aquifer systems (hereinafter referred to as primary aquifers) are defined as parts of aquifers corresponding to the perforation intervals of wells listed in the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) database for the CLUB study unit. The quality of groundwater in shallow or deep water-bearing zones may differ from the quality of groundwater in the primary aquifers; shallow groundwater may be more vulnerable to surficial contamination. In the CLUB study unit, groundwater samples were collected from 52 wells in 3 study areas (Borrego Valley, Central Desert, and Low-Use Basins of the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts) in San Bernardino, Riverside, Kern, San Diego, and Imperial Counties. Forty-nine of the wells were selected by using a spatially distributed, randomized grid-based method to provide statistical representation of the study unit (grid wells), and three wells were selected to aid in evaluation of water-quality issues (understanding wells). The groundwater samples were analyzed for organic constituents (volatile

  2. Wildlife survey and monitoring in the Sky Island Region with an emphasis on neotropical felids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sergio Avila-Villegas; Jessica Lamberton-Moreno

    2013-01-01

    The Sky Island region of southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico consists of isolated mountain ranges separated by deserts and grasslands. It mixes elements from five major ecosystems: the Rocky Mountains, Sierra Madre Occidental, the Sonoran and Chihuahuan deserts and the Neotropics. Here some Neotropical species reach their northern ranges, such as jaguars...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-06-01

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

  4. 76 FR 8730 - Desert Southwest Customer Service Region-Rate Order No. WAPA-151

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-02-15

    ... DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Western Area Power Administration Desert Southwest Customer Service Region.... Jack Murray, Rates Manager, Desert Southwest Customer Service Region, Western Area Power Administration... ancillary service rates for the Desert Southwest Customer Service Region in accordance with section 302 of...

  5. 76 FR 28767 - Desert Southwest Customer Service Region-Rate Order No. WAPA-152

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-05-18

    ... DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Western Area Power Administration Desert Southwest Customer Service Region..., Desert Southwest Customer Service Region, Western Area Power Administration, P.O. Box 6457, Phoenix, AZ... Customer Service Region, Western Area Power Administration, P.O. Box 6457, Phoenix, AZ 85005-6457, (602...

  6. Epifluorescent direct counts of bacteria and viruses from topsoil of various desert dust storm regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonzalez-Martin, Cristina; Teigell-Perez, Nuria; Lyles, Mark; Valladares, Basilio; Griffin, Dale W.

    2013-01-01

    Topsoil from arid regions is the main source of dust clouds that move through the earth's atmosphere, and microbial communities within these soils can survive long-range dispersion. Microbial abundance and chemical composition were analyzed in topsoil from various desert regions. Statistical analyses showed that microbial direct counts were strongly positively correlated with calcium concentrations and negatively correlated with silicon concentrations. While variance between deserts was expected, it was interesting to note differences between sample sites within a given desert region, illustrating the 'patchy' nature of microbial communities in desert environments.

  7. The Riparianness of a Desert Herpetofauna

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charles H. Lowe

    1989-01-01

    Within the Mojave, Sonoran, and Chihuahuan Desert subdivisions of the North American Desert in the U.S., more than half of 143 total amphibian and reptilian species perform as riparian and/or wetland taxa. For the reptiles, but not the amphibians, there is a significant inverse relationship between riparianness (obligate through preferential and facultative to...

  8. 76 FR 59682 - Desert Southwest Customer Service Region-Western Area Lower Colorado Balancing Authority-Rate...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-09-27

    ... DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Western Area Power Administration Desert Southwest Customer Service Region... CONTACT: Mr. Jack Murray, Rates Manager, Desert Southwest Customer Service Region, Western Area Power... Customer Service Region Network Integration Transmission Service Rate Schedules PD-NTS3 and INT-NTS3 for P...

  9. Oxalosis in wild desert tortoises, Gopherus agassizii

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacobson, Elliott R.; Berry, Kristin H.; Stacy, Brian; Huzella, Louis M.; Kalasinsky, Victor F.; Fleetwood, Michelle L.; Mense, Mark G.

    2009-01-01

    We necropsied a moribund, wild adult male desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) with clinical signs of respiratory disease and elevated plasma biochemical analytes indicative of renal disease (blood urea nitrogen [415 mg/dl], uric acid [11.8 mg/dl], sodium >180 mmol/l] and chloride [139 mmol/l]). Moderate numbers of birefringent oxalate crystals, based on infrared and electron microscopy, were present within renal tubules; small numbers were seen in colloid within thyroid follicles. A retrospective analysis of 66 additional cases of wild desert tortoises was conducted to determine whether similar crystals were present in thyroid and kidney. The tortoises, from the Mojave and Sonoran deserts, were necropsied between 1992 and 2003 and included juveniles and adults. Tortoises were classified as healthy (those that died due to trauma and where no disease was identified after necropsy and evaluation by standard laboratory tests used for other tortoises) or not healthy (having one or more diseases or lesions). For all 67 necropsied tortoises, small numbers of crystals of similar appearance were present in thyroid glands from 44 of 54 cases (81%) and in kidneys from three of 65 cases (5%). Presence of oxalates did not differ significantly between healthy and unhealthy tortoises, between age classes, or between desert region, and their presence was considered an incidental finding. Small numbers of oxalate crystals seen within the kidney of two additional tortoises also were considered an incidental finding. Although the source of the calcium oxalate could not be determined, desert tortoises are herbivores, and a plant origin seems most likely. Studies are needed to evaluate the oxalate content of plants consumed by desert tortoises, and particularly those in the area where the tortoise in renal failure was found.

  10. Disturbance to desert soil ecosystems contributes to dust-mediated impacts at regional scales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pointing, Stephen B.; Belnap, Jayne

    2014-01-01

    This review considers the regional scale of impacts arising from disturbance to desert soil ecosystems. Deserts occupy over one-third of the Earth’s terrestrial surface, and biological soil covers are critical to stabilization of desert soils. Disturbance to these can contribute to massive destabilization and mobilization of dust. This results in dust storms that are transported across inter-continental distances where they have profound negative impacts. Dust deposition at high altitudes causes radiative forcing of snowpack that leads directly to altered hydrological regimes and changes to freshwater biogeochemistry. In marine environments dust deposition impacts phytoplankton diazotrophy, and causes coral reef senescence. Increasingly dust is also recognized as a threat to human health.

  11. Gopherus agassizii: Desert tortoise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berry, Kristen H.; Swingland, Ian Richard; Klemens, Michael W.

    1989-01-01

    The desert tortoise is one of four allopatric North American tortoises. It occurs in the Mojave and Sonoran deserts of the southwestern United States and Mexico.Auffenberg (1976) divided the genus Gopherus (consisting of four species, G. agassizi, G. berlandieri, G.flavomarginatus, and G. polyphemus) in two osteological groups. Bramble (1982), using morphological and palaeontological data, divided the genus Gopherus into two separate complexes, each with two species. He established a new genus, Scaptochelys, for agassizi and berlandieri, retaining Gopherus for polyphemus and flavomarginatus. Bour and Dubois (1984) noted that Xerobates Agassiz had priority over Scaptochelys Bramble. Using mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), Lamb et al. (1989) evaluated the evolutionary relationships of the North American tortoises, particularly the desert tortoise. They concluded that the mtDNA analysis provides strong support for generic recognition of the two distinct species groups described by Bramble (1982).Until a few decades ago, the desert tortoise was widespread at lower elevations throughout the Mojave and Sonoran deserts of the U.S.A. In the northern and western parts of the geographic range, large and relatively homogeneous populations with densities exceeding 1,000/sq km extended throughout parts of California, and probably into Nevada and Utah. In terms of biomass, the tortoise played an important role in the ecosystems. In most areas, numbers have declined dramatically and the extent of populations has been reduced. Most populations are now isolated and low in numbers. Conservation of the desert tortoise is a highly visible and political issue in the U.S.A., but not in Mexico.

  12. Spatial and temporal changes in desertification in the southern region of the Tengger Desert from 1973 to 2009

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guan, Qingyu; Guan, Wenqian; Yang, Jing; Zhao, Shilei; Pan, Baotian; Wang, Lei; Song, Na; Lu, Min; Li, Fuchun

    2017-07-01

    The sandy land in the southern region of the Tengger Desert is adjacent to cities and towns, and land desertification poses a threat to the livelihood and production of local residents. To determine dynamic changes in local desertification, five periods (1973, 1987, 1992, 2001, and 2009) of remote sensing data are studied by remote sensing (RS) and geographic information system (GIS). The desert contraction area is primarily centered around three units (Wuwei, Gulang, and Jingtai) and nearby regions of Zhongwei City. The primary desert expansion areas include the west side of Helan Mountain (WSHM), the Central Mountainous Area (CMA), and the eastern and western Zhongwei units far from towns. From 1973 to 2009, the degree of change in the contracting part of the primary desert expansion unit showed an increasing trend; in brief, most of the desert (especially after 2001) has been developing in a direction in which desertification has been gradually controlled. The primary desert expansion areas are less affected by human activity, but they are primarily controlled by natural factors (especially wind and terrain). The desert contraction areas occur around the towns and nearby regions with frequent human activity; desertification is primarily controlled by human factors. With rapid economic development (especially after 2000), the scale of the cultivated area, town, and ecological protection engineering has gradually expanded, and the latter two are primarily built on a previous desert, which is the root cause of the reduction in the desert areas around the towns and the shrinkage toward north of border. Therefore, reasonable and effective human activity in the southern region of the Tengger Desert is playing a crucial role in preventing desertification.

  13. Solar cell degradation under open circuit condition in out-doors-in desert region

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Boussaid

    Full Text Available The reliability of solar cells is an important parameter in the design of photovoltaic systems and particularly for cost estimation. Solar cell degradation is the result of various operating conditions; temperature is one of most important factors. Installed PV modules in desert regions are subjected to various temperature changes with significant gradient leading to accelerated degradation. In the present work, we demonstrate the influence of open-circuit condition on the degradation of PV modules. The experiment is carried out in the desert region of ADRAR (southern Algeria using two modules IJISEL of single-crystal silicon. A continuous monitoring allows analysis of both performances of modules for duration of 330 days. The module in open-circuit condition reaches higher temperature means than the module in charging condition; therefore, it undergoes a higher degradation. By simulation, we found that the life of a PV module (whose power output is close to 50% in a condition of an open-circuit in the desert region could be reduced to 4 years, and that has a significant impact on economy. Keywords: WEIBULL, Photovoltaic, Degradation, Open-circuit, Single-crystal, Silicon

  14. Long-term ecosystem monitoring and change detection: the Sonoran initiative

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robert Lozar; Charles Ehlschlaeger

    2005-01-01

    Ecoregional Systems Heritage and Encroachment Monitoring (ESHEM) examines issues of land management at an ecosystem level using remote sensing. Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC), in partnership with Western Illinois University, has developed an ecoregional database and monitoring capability covering the Sonoran region. The monitoring time horizon will...

  15. Critical pathways of change in fruit export regions at desert margin (Chile)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Frederiksen, Peter

    The purpose is to elucidate how critical pathways function in a fruit export region at the desert margin in Chile. The region was investigated at the system level as an open land system with managed fruit plantations in a geographically complex valley. Data collection procedures included total...... change changed pathways. Pathways resulted from a combination of global value chains, the adoption of innovations, past climate change, and regional conditions at different scales. Main pathways of change were upgrade and downgrade of the fruit export region and irrigation systems, whereas the breaking...... areas and not in others. The probable future is expected to be increased separation of intraregional pathways and a more imbalanced region. The conclusion is that openness is the main property responsible for critical pathways of change in the region....

  16. Sensitivity of Sahelian Precipitation to Desert Dust under ENSO variability: a regional modeling study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jordan, A.; Zaitchik, B. F.; Gnanadesikan, A.

    2016-12-01

    Mineral dust is estimated to comprise over half the total global aerosol burden, with a majority coming from the Sahara and Sahel region. Bounded by the Sahara Desert to the north and the Sahelian Savannah to the south, the Sahel experiences high interannual rainfall variability and a short rainy season during the boreal summer months. Observation-based data for the past three decades indicates a reduced dust emission trend, together with an increase in greening and surface roughness within the Sahel. Climate models used to study regional precipitation changes due to Saharan dust yield varied results, both in sign convention and magnitude. Inconsistency of model estimates drives future climate projections for the region that are highly varied and uncertain. We use the NASA-Unified Weather Research and Forecasting (NU-WRF) model to quantify the interaction and feedback between desert dust aerosol and Sahelian precipitation. Using nested domains at fine spatial resolution we resolve changes to mesoscale atmospheric circulation patterns due to dust, for representative phases of El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO). The NU-WRF regional earth system model offers both advanced land surface data and resolvable detail of the mechanisms of the impact of Saharan dust. Results are compared to our previous work assessed over the Western Sahel using the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) CM2Mc global climate model, and to other previous regional climate model studies. This prompts further research to help explain the dust-precipitation relationship and recent North African dust emission trends. This presentation will offer a quantitative analysis of differences in radiation budget, energy and moisture fluxes, and atmospheric dynamics due to desert dust aerosol over the Sahel.

  17. Sediment grain-size characteristics and relevant correlations to the aeolian environment in China's eastern desert region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Chunlai; Shen, Yaping; Li, Qing; Jia, Wenru; Li, Jiao; Wang, Xuesong

    2018-06-15

    To identify characteristics of aeolian activity and the aeolian environment in China's eastern desert region, this study collected surface sediment samples from the main desert and sandy lands in this region: the Hobq Desert and the Mu Us, Otindag, Horqin, and Hulunbuir sandy lands. We analyzed the grain-size characteristics and their relationships to three key environmental indicators: drift potential, the dune mobility index, and vegetation cover. The main sediment components are fine to medium sands, with poor (Hulunbuir) to moderate (all other areas) sorting, of unimodal to bimodal distribution. This suggests that improved sorting is accomplished by the loss of both relatively coarser and finer grains. Since 2000, China's eastern desert region has generally experienced low wind energy environmental conditions, resulting in decreased dune activity. In the Hobq Desert, however, the dry climate and sparse vegetation, in conjunction with the most widely distributed mobile dune area in the eastern desert region, have led to frequent and intense aeolian activity, including wind erosion, sand transport, and deposition, resulting in conditions for good sediment sorting. In the Mu Us, Otindag, and Horqin sandy lands, mosaic distribution has resulted from wind erosion-dominated and deposition-dominated aeolian environments. In the Hulunbuir Sandy Land, high precipitation, low temperatures, and steppe vegetation have resulted in well-developed soils; however, strong winds and flat terrain have created an aeolian environment dominated by wind erosion. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  18. Regional signatures of plant response to drought and elevated temperature across a desert ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Munson, Seth M.; Muldavin, Esteban H.; Belnap, Jayne; Peters, Debra P.C.; Anderson, John P.; Reiser, M. Hildegard; Gallo, Kirsten; Melgoza-Castillo, Alicia; Herrick, Jeffrey E.; Christiansen, Tim A.

    2013-01-01

    The performance of many desert plant species in North America may decline with the warmer and drier conditions predicted by climate change models, thereby accelerating land degradation and reducing ecosystem productivity. We paired repeat measurements of plant canopy cover with climate at multiple sites across the Chihuahuan Desert over the last century to determine which plant species and functional types may be the most sensitive to climate change. We found that the dominant perennial grass, Bouteloua eriopoda, and species richness had nonlinear responses to summer precipitation, decreasing more in dry summers than increasing with wet summers. Dominant shrub species responded differently to the seasonality of precipitation and drought, but winter precipitation best explained changes in the cover of woody vegetation in upland grasslands and may contribute to woody-plant encroachment that is widespread throughout the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. Temperature explained additional variability of changes in cover of dominant and subdominant plant species. Using a novel empirically based approach we identified ‘‘climate pivot points’’ that were indicative of shifts from increasing to decreasing plant cover over a range of climatic conditions. Reductions in cover of annual and several perennial plant species, in addition to declines in species richness below the long-term summer precipitation mean across plant communities, indicate a decrease in the productivity for all but the most drought-tolerant perennial grasses and shrubs in the Chihuahuan Desert. Overall, our regional synthesis of long-term data provides a robust foundation for forecasting future shifts in the composition and structure of plant assemblages in the largest North American warm desert.

  19. [Succession pattern of artificial vegetation community and its ecological mechanism in an arid desert region].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Cailin; Li, Zizhen

    2003-09-01

    Focusing on the artificial vegetation protection system of the Shapotou section of Baotou-Lanzhou railway in the arid desert region of China, this paper examined the dynamics of dominant plant species and the succession pattern of artificial plant community in the process of establishing and developing regional artificial vegetation. It also studied the driving force and the ecologically intrinsic mechanism of the community succession. The results demonstrated that the species composition of the artificial vegetation dramatically changed after 40 years of succession, from original artificial plant community of shrub and semi-shrub to artificial-natural desert plant community with annual herb dominated. During the process of succession, the importance values of artificial shrubs, such as Caragana korshinskii and Hedysarum scoparius, decreased and gradually retreated from the artificial plant community, while the naturally multiplied annual herb, such as Eragrostis poaeoides, Bassia dasyphylla, Salsola ruthenica, Chloris virgata and etc., were presented one after another and gradually became dominant. Besides, Artemisia ordosica always played a key role in the community due to its ability of naturally sowing and self-replacement. This type of succession pattern was closely related to the shortage of precipitation resource in this region and the formation of soil crust which inhibited the reproduction of shrub and perennial herb with deep root systems. This study provided a theoretical ground for realizing persistent development of artificial plant community.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuki Sofue

    2018-02-01

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

  1. Effects of desert wildfires on desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) and other small vertebrates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esque, T.C.; Schwalbe, C.R.; DeFalco, L.A.; Duncan, R.B.; Hughes, T.J.

    2003-01-01

    We report the results of standardized surveys to determine the effects of wildfires on desert tortoises (Gopherus agassizii) and their habitats in the northeastern Mojave Desert and northeastern Sonoran Desert. Portions of 6 burned areas (118 to 1,750 ha) were examined for signs of mortality of vertebrates. Direct effects of fire in desert habitats included animal mortality and loss of vegetation cover. A range of 0 to 7 tortoises was encountered during surveys, and live tortoises were found on all transects. In addition to desert tortoises, only small (reptiles (11 taxa) were found dead on the study areas. We hypothesize that indirect effects of fire on desert habitats might result in changes in the composition of diets and loss of vegetation cover, resulting in an increase in predation and loss of protection from temperature extremes. These changes in habitat also might cause changes in vertebrate communities in burned areas.

  2. Metformin, an Anthropogenic Contaminant of Seidlitzia rosmarinus Collected in a Desert Region near the Gulf of Aqaba, Sinai Peninsula

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hassan, Ahmed R; El-Kousy, Salah M; El-Toumy, Sayed A

    2017-01-01

    A phytochemical investigation of Seidlitzia rosmarinus collected along the shoreline of the Gulf of Aqaba in the remote southern desert region of the Sinai peninsula has revealed the presence of the registered drug metformin (4). However, analysis of the (14)C content revealed the drug to be an a......A phytochemical investigation of Seidlitzia rosmarinus collected along the shoreline of the Gulf of Aqaba in the remote southern desert region of the Sinai peninsula has revealed the presence of the registered drug metformin (4). However, analysis of the (14)C content revealed the drug...

  3. Metformin, an Anthropogenic Contaminant of Seidlitzia rosmarinus Collected in a Desert Region near the Gulf of Aqaba, Sinai Peninsula

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hassan, Ahmed R.; El-Kousy, Salah M.; El-Toumy, Sayed A.

    2017-01-01

    A phytochemical investigation of Seidlitzia rosmarinus collected along the shoreline of the Gulf of Aqaba in the remote southern desert region of the Sinai peninsula has revealed the presence of the registered drug metformin (4). However, analysis of the (14)C content revealed the drug to be an a...

  4. Atmospheric Transport of Arid Aerosol from Desert Regions of Central Asia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Boris; Solomon, Paul; Sitnov, Sergei; Grechko, Evgeny; Maximenkov, Leonid; Artamonova, Maria; Pogarski, Fedor

    2010-05-01

    using a grid of 160*120*30 points. The obtained meteorological fields were used in the HYPACT model; the source of Lagrangian particles was located over the Aral Sea region. As the result for 2008 11 days were detected when aerosol from the Aral Sea was actively transported to the observation sites. Comparative chemical analysis of aerosol samples at the stations of observation and soil samples from the Aral Sea region would confirm the presence of emissions and regional transport. It should be noted that the main source of aerosol in Central Asia is Taklamakan desert. Average value and AOT variability over it several times higher than corresponding AOT values over the rest of the region. The greatest variability aerosol over Taklamakan observed from late March to mid-May. For example, on April 22, 2008 average of the AOT in cell 5° x 5° over the western part of Taklamakan - value reached 3,171. AOT virtually throughout the region positively correlated with AOT over Taklamakan desert. The most noticeable effect makes an aerosol of Taklamakan found in the south-east Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan in the east and north of the Tibetan highlands. The impact of the Aral Sea area is restricted significantly less. In doing so, AOT in the central part of the region reveals a weak negative correlation with the AOT over the Aral Sea.

  5. Bacterial Diversity within the Extreme Arid Atacama Desert Soils of the Yungay Region, Chile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Connon, S. A.; Lester, E. D.; Shafaat, H. S.; Obenhuber, D. C.; Ponce, A.

    2006-12-01

    Surface and subsurface soil samples analyzed for this study were collected from the hyper-arid Yungay region of the Atacama Desert, Chile. This is the first report of microbial diversity from DNA extracted directly from these extremely desiccated soils. Our data shows that 94% of the 16S rRNA genes cloned from these soils belong to the Actinobacteria phylum. A 24-hour time course series showed a diurnal water activity (aw) cycle that peaked at 0.52 in the early predawn hours, and ranged from 0.08 0.01 during the day. All measured water activity values were below the level required for microbial growth or enzyme activity. Total organic carbon (TOC) levels in this region were just above the limits of detection and ranged from 220 660 μg/g of soil. Phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) levels indicated cellular biomass ranging from 2 ×105 to 7 ×106 cell equivalents per gram of soil. The culturable counts were low with most samples showing no growth on standard plates of R2A medium; the highest single count was 47 colony forming units (CFU) per gram.

  6. Comparison of Public Perception in Desert and Rainy Regions of Chile Regarding the Reuse of Treated Sewage Water

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniela Segura

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available The objective of this study was to compare the public perception in desert and rainy regions of Chile regarding the reuse of treated sewage water. The methodology of this study consisted of applying a survey to the communities of San Pedro de Atacama (desert region and Hualqui (rainy region to identify attitudes about the reuse of sewage water. The survey was applied directly to men and women, 18 to 90 years old, who were living in the studied communities. The results indicate that inhabitants of San Pedro de Atacama (desert region were aware of the state of their water resources, with 86% being aware that there are water shortages during some part of the year. In contrast, only 55% of residents in Hualqui (rainy region were aware of water shortages. With respect of the reuse of treated sewage water, 47% of respondents in San Pedro de Atacama understood the concept, as compared to 27% in Hualqui. There was more acceptance of using treated sewage water for non-potable purposes than as drinking water.

  7. Gopherus agassizii (Desert Tortoise). Non-native seed dispersal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ennen, J.R.; Loughran, Caleb L.; Lovich, Jeffrey E.

    2011-01-01

    Sahara Mustard (Brassica tournefortii) is a non-native, highly invasive weed species of southwestern U.S. deserts. Sahara Mustard is a hardy species, which flourishes under many conditions including drought and in both disturbed and undisturbed habitats (West and Nabhan 2002. In B. Tellman [ed.], Invasive Plants: Their Occurrence and Possible Impact on the Central Gulf Coast of Sonora and the Midriff Islands in the Sea of Cortes, pp. 91–111. University of Arizona Press, Tucson). Because of this species’ ability to thrive in these habitats, B. tournefortii has been able to propagate throughout the southwestern United States establishing itself in the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts in Arizona, California, Nevada, and Utah. Unfortunately, naturally disturbed areas created by native species, such as the Desert Tortoise (Gopherus agassizii), within these deserts could have facilitated the propagation of B. tournefortii. (Lovich 1998. In R. G. Westbrooks [ed.], Invasive Plants, Changing the Landscape of America: Fact Book, p. 77. Federal Interagency Committee for the Management of Noxious and Exotic Weeds [FICMNEW], Washington, DC). However, Desert Tortoises have never been directly observed dispersing Sahara Mustard seeds. Here we present observations of two Desert Tortoises dispersing Sahara Mustard seeds at the interface between the Mojave and Sonoran deserts in California.

  8. Community-based restoration of desert wetlands: the case of the Colorado River delta

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osvel Hinojosa-Huerta; Mark Briggs; Yamilett Carrillo-Guerroro; Edward P. Glenn; Miriam Lara-Flores; Martha Roman-Rodriguez

    2005-01-01

    Wetland areas have been drastically reduced through the Pacific Flyway and the Sonoran Desert, with severe consequences for avian populations. In the Colorado River delta, wetlands have been reduced by 80 percent due to water management practices in the Colorado River basin. However, excess flows and agricultural drainage water has restored some areas, providing...

  9. Deaths in the Desert: The Human Rights Crisis on the U.S.--Mexico Border

    Science.gov (United States)

    Androff, David K.; Tavassoli, Kyoko Y.

    2012-01-01

    Many would acknowledge that immigration is a major issue in the United States and that immigration reform should be a priority. However, there is little attention to the human rights crisis on the U.S.-Mexican border. As a result of tightened border security since 1994, it is estimated that over 5,000 migrants have died in the Sonoran desert. The…

  10. COMPOSITION AND FEATURES OF GEOGRAPHICAL DISTRIBUTION OF FAUNA OF ORIBATID MITES (ACARIFORMES, ORIBATIDA) IN THE TETHYS DESERT-STEPPE REGION

    OpenAIRE

    G. M. Abdurakhmanov; E. Z. Davudova; Yu. Yu. Ivanushenko; A. G. Abdurakhmanov

    2016-01-01

    Aim. The aim is to identify the similarities and differences of fauna of oribatid mites (Acariformes, Oribatida) in the Tethys desert-steppe region and analyze geographic relationships of the studied area.Methods. For the research, we used the materials collected for 5 years (2008-13) by the members of the stuff of the Department of Biology and Biodiversity (Grikurova A.A.) in the territory of the Republic of Dagestan. In addition, we referred to personal collections and publications includin...

  11. Late Miocene (Proto-Gulf) Extension and Magmatism on the Sonoran Margin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gans, P.; MacMillan, I.; Roldan-Quintana, J.

    2003-12-01

    Constraints on the magnitude and character of late Miocene (Proto-Gulf) deformation on the Sonoran margin of the Gulf of California extensional province are key to understanding how and when Baja California was captured by the Pacific plate and how strain was partitioned during the early stages of this transtensional rift system. Our new geologic mapping in southwestern Sonora and 40Ar/39Ar dating of pre-, syn-, and post-tectonic volcanic units indicate that late Miocene deformation and volcanic activity were largely restricted to a NW-trending, 100-120 km wide belt adjacent to the coast. Inboard of this belt, NW-SE extension is mainly older (>15 Ma) and occurred in an intra-arc or back-arc setting. Proto-Gulf deformation within the coastal belt was profoundly transtensional, with NW-striking, dextral strike slip faults operating in concert with N-S and NNE-striking normal and oblique slip faults to produce an inferred NW or NNW tectonic transport direction. The total amount of late Miocene NW directed dextral shear within the coastal belt is still poorly constrained, but may exceed 100 km. The locus of deformation and volcanic activity migrated westward or northwestward within the Sonoran coastal belt. in the eastern portion (Sierra Libre and Sierra El Bacatete) major volcanic activity commenced at ˜13.0 Ma and peaked at 12.0 Ma, and major faulting and tilting is bracketed between 12.0 and 10.6 Ma. Further west in the Sierra El Aguaje/San Carlos region, major volcanic activity commenced at 11.5 Ma and peaked at 10.5 Ma, and most faulting and tilting is bracketed between 10.7 and 9.3 Ma. On the coastal mountains northwest of San Carlos, rift related faulting and tilting continued after 8.5 Ma. Voluminous late Miocene (13-8 Ma) volcanic rocks within the Sonoran coastal belt were erupted from numerous centers (e.g. Sierra Libre, Guaymas, Sierra El Aguaje). These thick volcanic sections are compositionally diverse (basalt to rhyolite, with abundant dacite and

  12. Fire Impacts on the Mojave Desert Ecosystem: Literature Review

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fenstermaker Lynn

    2012-01-01

    The Nevada National Security Site (NNSS) is located within the Mojave Desert, which is the driest region in North America. Precipitation on the NNSS varies from an annual average of 130 millimeters (mm; 5.1 inches) with a minimum of 47 mm (1.9 inches) and maximum of 328 mm (12.9 inches) over the past 15 year period to an annual average of 205 mm (8.1 inches) with an annual minimum of 89 mm (3.5 inches) and maximum of 391 mm (15.4 inches) for the same time period; for a Frenchman Flat location at 970 meters (m; 3182 feet) and a Pahute Mesa location at 1986 m (6516 feet), respectively. The combination of aridity and temperature extremes has resulted in sparsely vegetated basins (desert shrub plant communities) to moderately vegetated mountains (mixed coniferous forest plant communities); both plant density and precipitation increase with increasing elevation. Whereas some plant communities have evolved under fire regimes and are dependent upon fire for seed germination, plant communities within the Mojave Desert are not dependent on a fire regime and therefore are highly impacted by fire (Brown and Minnich, 1986; Brooks, 1999). As noted by Johansen (2003) natural range fires are not prevalent in the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts because there is not enough vegetation present (too many shrub interspaces) to sustain a fire. Fire research and hence publications addressing fires in the Southwestern United States (U.S.) have therefore focused on forest, shrub-steppe and grassland fires caused by both natural and anthropogenic ignition sources. In the last few decades, however, invasion of mid-elevation shrublands by non-native Bromus madritensis ssp. rubens and Bromus tectorum (Hunter, 1991) have been highly correlated with increased fire frequency (Brooks and Berry, 2006; Brooks and Matchett, 2006). Coupled with the impact of climate change, which has already been shown to be playing a role in increased forest fires (Westerling et al., 2006), it is likely that the fire

  13. Carbon and Nitrogen Stable Isotope Values for Plants and Mammals in a Semi-Desert Region of Mongolia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hannah Davie

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Little information exists on the isotopic signatures of plants and animals in Mongolia, limiting the application of stable isotope analysis to wildlife biology studies. Here we present plant and mammal carbon (δ 13 C and nitrogen (δ 15 N isotope values from a desert-steppe region of southeastern Mongolia. We analyzed 11 samples from 11 plant species and 93 samples from 24 mammal species across Ikh Nart Nature Reserve, and compared these numbers to isotope values reported from other areas of Mongolia. Our plant and mammal 13 C and 15 N values were similar to those from a similar arid steppe region and more enriched than those from less arid habitats. Habitat variation within and between study sites has an important infl uence on δ 13 C and δ 15 N variation. Our results supplement current knowledge of isotopic variation in Mongolia and provide a reference for future stable isotope research in Mongolia and similar Asian steppe ecosystems.

  14. Floristic diversity and vegetation analysis of Wadi Arar: A typical desert Wadi of the Northern Border region of Saudi Arabia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osman, Ahmed K; Al-Ghamdi, Faraj; Bawadekji, Abdulhakim

    2014-12-01

    Wadi Arar in the Northern border region of Saudi Arabia is one of the most important Wadis of the Kingdom. The present study provides an analysis of vegetation types, life forms, as well as floristic categories and species distribution. A total of 196 species representing 31 families of vascular plants were recorded. Compositae, Gramineae and Leguminosae were the most common families. Therophytes and chamaephytes are the most frequent life forms, indicating typical desert spectrum vegetation. The distribution of these species in the different sectors of the Wadi as well as the phytochoria for the recorded species is provided. Ninety-one species (46.5%) are typical bi-regional. Furthermore, about 105 species (53.5%) are mono- or pluriregional taxa. The highest number of species (136 or 69.5%) was recorded for annual plants, while the lowest number of species (60% or 30.5%) was recorded for perennial, short perennial or annual to biennial species.

  15. Thirteen years of Aeolian dust dynamics in a desert region (Negev desert, Israel): analysis of horizontal and vertical dust flux, vertical dust distribution and dust grain size

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Offer, Z.Y.; Goossens, D.

    2004-01-01

    At Sede Boqer (northern Negev desert, Israel), aeolian dust dynamics have been measured during the period 1988–2000. This study focuses on temporal records of the vertical and horizontal dust flux, the vertical distribution of the dust particles in the atmosphere, and the grain size of the

  16. The prospection of uranium and thorium ores in desert country and in equatorial forest regions of the Union Francaise

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lecoq, J.J.; Bigotte, G.; Hinault, J.; Leconte, J.R.

    1958-01-01

    Since it was founded, the D.R.E.M. has carried out important prospection work in the overseas territories which now make up the Communaute Francaise. This work, now involving almost a million km 2 , represents an experiment scarcely equalled throughout the world. Research in these territories presents both general and technical difficulties, which are especially severe in countries with extreme climates: deserts or dense equatorial forests. The adaptation of various methods of radioactive ore prospection to these regions is described, and also the results obtained. Three particular examples are given in detail: - general exploration in the Hoggar, and reconnoitring of particular indications; - general exploration in the equatorial forest of French Guyana; - detailed study of a sign of uraniferous occurrences and its surroundings in the equatorial zone (Mounana deposit near Franceville (Gabon)). (author) [fr

  17. Lut Desert, Iran

    Science.gov (United States)

    1981-01-01

    Iran is a large country with several desert regions. In the Dasht-E-Lut (Lut Desert) (30.5N, 58.5E) an area known as Namak-Zar, about 100 miles east of the city of Kerman, is at the center of this photograph. Some of the world's most prominent Yardangs (very long, parallel ridges and depressions) have been wind eroded in these desert dry lake bed sediments. At the left of the photo is a large field of sand dunes at right angles to the wind.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  19. 76 FR 80961 - Notice of Availability of the Record of Decision for the Sonoran Solar Energy Project, Arizona

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-12-27

    ...;AZA34187] Notice of Availability of the Record of Decision for the Sonoran Solar Energy Project, Arizona... Management (BLM) announces the availability of the Record of Decision (ROD) for the Sonoran Solar Energy... view the final EIS at the following Web site: http://www.blm.gov/az/st/en/prog/energy/solar/sonoran...

  20. Wide ranges of functional traits in the flora from the central region of Sonora: A diversity to be explored

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cesar Hinojo Hinojo; Alejandro E. Castellanos; Jose M. Llano. Sotelo

    2013-01-01

    Although the Sonoran Desert does not have the highest plant species richness, it has been documented with the highest growth form diversity from the North American deserts. It is not known if this high growth form diversity could also harbor a high functional diversity. In this study we characterize the ecophysiological functional traits of photosynthetic capacity,...

  1. Source apportionment of PM₁₀ and PM₂.₅ in a desert region in northern Chile.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jorquera, Héctor; Barraza, Francisco

    2013-02-01

    Estimating contributions of anthropogenic sources to ambient particulate matter (PM) in desert regions is a challenging issue because wind erosion contributions are ubiquitous, significant and difficult to quantify by using source-oriented, dispersion models. A receptor modeling analysis has been applied to ambient PM(10) and PM(2.5) measured in an industrial zone ~20 km SE of Antofagasta (23.63°S, 70.39°W), a midsize coastal city in northern Chile; the monitoring site is within a desert region that extends from northern Chile to southern Perú. Integrated 24-hour ambient samples of PM(10) and PM(2.5) were taken with Harvard Impactors; samples were analyzed by X Ray Fluorescence, ionic chromatography (NO(3)(-) and SO(4)(=)), atomic absorption (Na(+), K(+)) and thermal optical transmission for elemental and organic carbon determination. Receptor modeling was carried out using Positive Matrix Factorization (US EPA Version 3.0); sources were identified by looking at specific tracers, tracer ratios, local winds and wind trajectories computed from NOAA's HYSPLIT model. For the PM(2.5) fraction, six contributions were found - cement plant, 33.7 ± 1.3%; soil dust, 22.4 ± 1.6%; sulfates, 17.8 ± 1.7%; mineral stockpiles and brine plant, 12.4 ± 1.2%; Antofagasta, 8.5 ± 1.3% and copper smelter, 5.3 ± 0.8%. For the PM(10) fraction five sources were identified - cement plant, 38.2 ± 1.5%; soil dust, 31.2 ± 2.3%; mineral stockpiles and brine plant, 12.7 ± 1.7%; copper smelter, 11.5 ± 1.6% and marine aerosol, 6.5 ± 2.4%. Therefore local sources contribute to ambient PM concentrations more than distant sources (Antofagasta, marine aerosol) do. Soil dust is enriched with deposition of marine aerosol and calcium, sulfates and heavy metals from surrounding industrial activities. The mean contribution of suspended soil dust to PM(10) is 50 μg/m(3) and the peak daily value is 104 μg/m(3). For the PM(2.5) fraction, suspended soil dust contributes with an average of 9.3

  2. COMPOSITION AND FEATURES OF GEOGRAPHICAL DISTRIBUTION OF FAUNA OF ORIBATID MITES (ACARIFORMES, ORIBATIDA IN THE TETHYS DESERT-STEPPE REGION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. M. Abdurakhmanov

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Aim. The aim is to identify the similarities and differences of fauna of oribatid mites (Acariformes, Oribatida in the Tethys desert-steppe region and analyze geographic relationships of the studied area.Methods. For the research, we used the materials collected for 5 years (2008-13 by the members of the stuff of the Department of Biology and Biodiversity (Grikurova A.A. in the territory of the Republic of Dagestan. In addition, we referred to personal collections and publications including" Catalogue of oribatid mites of the Caucasus" by Shtanchaeva U.Ya., Subias L.S. To analyze the similarities of fauna of the Tethys region we made a comprehensive analysis based on Jaccard similarity coefficient.Results. As a result of the research we gave the composition of fauna, held a brief overview on oribatid mites and their resettlement and migration. In Tethys region, we identified 381 genera of oribatid uniting 1506 species, one third of which is endemic (501 species. Despite the fact that the fauna of the oribatid in the Caucasus is studied unevenly, the greatest variety of species is observed here. The smallest amount of diversity compared with the Caucasian species is observed in the Mediterranean countries and Central Asia, which shows the peculiarities of the genesis and geographic distribution.Conclusion. The dendrogram of similarity of the oribatid mites genera in the Tethys region demonstrates the tremendous role of coastal and island ecosystems of the Tethys Ocean, followed by the enrichment of the diversity as well as independent species shaping.

  3. Effects of altered temperature and precipitation on desert protozoa associated with biological soil crusts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Darby, Brian J; Housman, David C; Zaki, Amr M; Shamout, Yassein; Adl, Sina M; Belnap, Jayne; Neher, Deborah A

    2006-01-01

    Biological soil crusts are diverse assemblages of bacteria, cyanobacteria, algae, fungi, lichens, and mosses that cover much of arid land soils. The objective of this study was to quantify protozoa associated with biological soil crusts and test the response of protozoa to increased temperature and precipitation as is predicted by some global climate models. Protozoa were more abundant when associated with cyanobacteria/lichen crusts than with cyanobacteria crusts alone. Amoebae, flagellates, and ciliates originating from the Colorado Plateau desert (cool desert, primarily winter precipitation) declined 50-, 10-, and 100-fold, respectively, when moved in field mesocosms to the Chihuahuan Desert (hot desert, primarily summer rain). However, this was not observed in protozoa collected from the Chihuahuan Desert and moved to the Sonoran desert (hot desert, also summer rain, but warmer than Chihuahuan Desert). Protozoa in culture began to encyst at 37 degrees C. Cysts survived the upper end of daily temperatures (37-55 degrees C), and could be stimulated to excyst if temperatures were reduced to 15 degrees C or lower. Results from this study suggest that cool desert protozoa are influenced negatively by increased summer precipitation during excessive summer temperatures, and that desert protozoa may be adapted to a specific desert's temperature and precipitation regime.

  4. Analysing the mechanisms of soil water and vapour transport in the desert vadose zone of the extremely arid region of northern China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Du, Chaoyang; Yu, Jingjie; Wang, Ping; Zhang, Yichi

    2018-03-01

    The transport of water and vapour in the desert vadose zone plays a critical role in the overall water and energy balances of near-surface environments in arid regions. However, field measurements in extremely dry environments face many difficulties and challenges, so few studies have examined water and vapour transport processes in the desert vadose zone. The main objective of this study is to analyse the mechanisms of soil water and vapour transport in the desert vadose zone (depth of ∼350 cm) by using measured and modelled data in an extremely arid environment. The field experiments are implemented in an area of the Gobi desert in northwestern China to measure the soil properties, daily soil moisture and temperature, daily water-table depth and temperature, and daily meteorological records from DOYs (Days of Year) 114-212 in 2014 (growing season). The Hydrus-1D model, which simulates the coupled transport of water, vapour and heat in the vadose zone, is employed to simulate the layered soil moisture and temperature regimes and analyse the transport processes of soil water and vapour. The measured results show that the soil water and temperatures near the land surface have visible daily fluctuations across the entire soil profile. Thermal vapour movement is the most important component of the total water flux and the soil temperature gradient is the major driving factor that affects vapour transport in the desert vadose zone. The most active water and heat exchange occurs in the upper soil layer (depths of 0-25 cm). The matric potential change from the precipitation mainly re-draws the spatio-temporal distribution of the isothermal liquid water in the soil near the land surface. The matric potential has little effect on the isothermal vapour and thermal liquid water flux. These findings offer new insights into the liquid water and vapour movement processes in the extremely arid environment.

  5. Spatial and temporal constraints on regional-scale groundwater flow in the Pampa del Tamarugal Basin, Atacama Desert, Chile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jayne, Richard S.; Pollyea, Ryan M.; Dodd, Justin P.; Olson, Elizabeth J.; Swanson, Susan K.

    2016-12-01

    Aquifers within the Pampa del Tamarugal Basin (Atacama Desert, northern Chile) are the sole source of water for the coastal city of Iquique and the economically important mining industry. Despite this, the regional groundwater system remains poorly understood. Although it is widely accepted that aquifer recharge originates as precipitation in the Altiplano and Andean Cordillera to the east, there remains debate on whether recharge is driven primarily by near-surface groundwater flow in response to periodic flood events or by basal groundwater flux through deep-seated basin fractures. In addressing this debate, the present study quantifies spatial and temporal variability in regional-scale groundwater flow paths at 20.5°S latitude by combining a two-dimensional model of groundwater and heat flow with field observations and δ18O isotope values in surface water and groundwater. Results suggest that both previously proposed aquifer recharge mechanisms are likely influencing aquifers within the Pampa del Tamarugal Basin; however, each mechanism is operating on different spatial and temporal scales. Storm-driven flood events in the Altiplano readily transmit groundwater to the eastern Pampa del Tamarugal Basin through near-surface groundwater flow on short time scales, e.g., 100-101 years, but these effects are likely isolated to aquifers in the eastern third of the basin. In addition, this study illustrates a physical mechanism for groundwater originating in the eastern highlands to recharge aquifers and salars in the western Pampa del Tamarugal Basin over timescales of 104-105 years.

  6. Geology, selected geophysics, and hydrogeology of the White River and parts of the Great Salt Lake Desert regional groundwater flow systems, Utah and Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rowley, Peter D.; Dixon, Gary L.; Watrus , James M.; Burns, Andrews G.; Mankinen, Edward A.; McKee, Edwin H.; Pari, Keith T.; Ekren, E. Bartlett; Patrick , William G.; Comer, John B.; Inkenbrandt, Paul C.; Krahulec, K.A.; Pinnell, Michael L.

    2016-01-01

    The east-central Great Basin near the Utah-Nevada border contains two great groundwater flow systems. The first, the White River regional groundwater flow system, consists of a string of hydraulically connected hydrographic basins in Nevada spanning about 270 miles from north to south. The northernmost basin is Long Valley and the southernmost basin is the Black Mountain area, a valley bordering the Colorado River. The general regional groundwater flow direction is north to south. The second flow system, the Great Salt Lake Desert regional groundwater flow system, consists of hydrographic basins that straddle

  7. Source apportionment of PM10 and PM2.5 in a desert region in northern Chile

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jorquera, Héctor; Barraza, Francisco

    2013-01-01

    Estimating contributions of anthropogenic sources to ambient particulate matter (PM) in desert regions is a challenging issue because wind erosion contributions are ubiquitous, significant and difficult to quantify by using source-oriented, dispersion models. A receptor modeling analysis has been applied to ambient PM 10 and PM 2.5 measured in an industrial zone ∼ 20 km SE of Antofagasta (23.63°S, 70.39°W), a midsize coastal city in northern Chile; the monitoring site is within a desert region that extends from northern Chile to southern Perú. Integrated 24-hour ambient samples of PM 10 and PM 2.5 were taken with Harvard Impactors; samples were analyzed by X Ray Fluorescence, ionic chromatography (NO 3 − and SO 4 = ), atomic absorption (Na + , K + ) and thermal optical transmission for elemental and organic carbon determination. Receptor modeling was carried out using Positive Matrix Factorization (US EPA Version 3.0); sources were identified by looking at specific tracers, tracer ratios, local winds and wind trajectories computed from NOAA's HYSPLIT model. For the PM 2.5 fraction, six contributions were found — cement plant, 33.7 ± 1.3%; soil dust, 22.4 ± 1.6%; sulfates, 17.8 ± 1.7%; mineral stockpiles and brine plant, 12.4 ± 1.2%; Antofagasta, 8.5 ± 1.3% and copper smelter, 5.3 ± 0.8%. For the PM 10 fraction five sources were identified — cement plant, 38.2 ± 1.5%; soil dust, 31.2 ± 2.3%; mineral stockpiles and brine plant, 12.7 ± 1.7%; copper smelter, 11.5 ± 1.6% and marine aerosol, 6.5 ± 2.4%. Therefore local sources contribute to ambient PM concentrations more than distant sources (Antofagasta, marine aerosol) do. Soil dust is enriched with deposition of marine aerosol and calcium, sulfates and heavy metals from surrounding industrial activities. The mean contribution of suspended soil dust to PM 10 is 50 μg/m 3 and the peak daily value is 104 μg/m 3 . For the PM 2.5 fraction, suspended soil dust contributes with an average of 9.3

  8. Critical Reflectance Derived from MODIS: Application for the Retrieval of Aerosol Absorption over Desert Regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wells, Kelley C.; Martins, J. Vanderlei; Remer, Lorraine A.; Kreidenweis, Sonia M.; Stephens, Graeme L.

    2012-01-01

    Aerosols are tiny suspended particles in the atmosphere that scatter and absorb sunlight. Smoke particles are aerosols, as are sea salt, particulate pollution and airborne dust. When you look down at the earth from space sometimes you can see vast palls of whitish smoke or brownish dust being transported by winds. The reason that you can see these aerosols is because they are reflecting incoming sunlight back to the view in space. The reason for the difference in color between the different types of aerosol is that the particles arc also absorbing sunlight at different wavelengths. Dust appears brownish or reddish because it absorbs light in the blue wavelengths and scatters more reddish light to space, Knowing how much light is scattered versus how much is absorbed, and knowin that as a function of wavelength is essential to being able to quantify the role aerosols play in the energy balance of the earth and in climate change. It is not easy measuring the absorption properties of aerosols when they are suspended in the atmosphere. People have been doing this one substance at a time in the laboratory, but substances mix when they are in the atmosphere and the net absorption effect of all the particles in a column of air is a goal of remote sensing that has not yet been completely successful. In this paper we use a technique based on observing the point at which aerosols change from brightening the surface beneath to darkening it. If aerosols brighten a surface. they must scatter more light to space. If they darken the surface. they must be absorbing more. That cross over point is called the critical reflectance and in this paper we show that critical reflectance is a monotonic function of the intrinsic absorption properties of the particles. This parameter we call the single scattering albedo. We apply the technique to MODIS imagery over the Sahara and Sahel regions to retrieve the single scattering albedo in seven wavelengths, compare these retrievals to ground

  9. The impact of desert solar power utilization on sustainable development

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sadiq Ali Shah; Yang Zhang

    2011-01-01

    This paper evaluates the prospects of developing a solar based desert economy in the deserts of solar-rich countries. The potential deserts are analysed to study their positive impact on the sustainable development processes in these regions. The sustainability of the processes is established on the basis of self-contained nature of energy generation, environmental emission reduction and desert land reclamation. (authors)

  10. An elevated large-scale dust veil from the Taklimakan Desert: Intercontinental transport and three-dimensional structure as captured by CALIPSO and regional and global models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Shimizu

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available An intense dust storm occurred during 19–20 May 2007 over the Taklimakan Desert in northwestern China. Over the following days, the space-borne lidar CALIOP tracked an optically thin, highly elevated, horizontally extensive dust veil that was transported intercontinentally over eastern Asia, the Pacific Ocean, North America, and the Atlantic Ocean. A global aerosol transport model (SPRINTARS simulated the dust veil quite well and provided a three-dimensional view of the intercontinental dust transport. The SPRINTARS simulation revealed that the dust veil traveled at 4–10 km altitudes with a thickness of 1–4 km along the isentropic surface between 310 and 340 K. The transport speed was about 1500 km/day. The estimated dust amount exported to the Pacific was 30.8 Gg, of which 65% was deposited in the Pacific and 18% was transported to the North Atlantic. These results imply that dust veils can fertilize open oceans, add to background dust, and affect the radiative budget at high altitudes through scattering and absorption.

    The injection mechanism that lifts dust particles into the free atmosphere is important for understanding the formation of the dust veil and subsequent long-range transport. We used a regional dust transport model (RC4 to analyze the dust emission and injection over the source region. The RC4 analysis revealed that strong northeasterly surface winds associated with low pressures invaded the Taklimakan Desert through the eastern corridor. These winds then formed strong upslope wind along the high, steep mountainsides of the Tibetan Plateau and blew large amounts of dust into the air. The updraft lifted the dust particles farther into the upper troposphere (about 9 km above mean sea level, MSL, where westerlies are generally present. The unusual terrain surrounding the Taklimakan Desert played a key role in the injection of dust to the upper troposphere to form the dust veil.

  11. Climatic variation and tortoise survival: has a desert species met its match?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lovich, Jeffrey E.; Yackulic, Charles B.; Freilich, Jerry; Agha, Mickey; Austin, Meaghan; Meyer, Katherine P.; Arundel, Terence R.; Hansen, Jered; Vamstad, Michael S.; Root, Stephanie A.

    2014-01-01

    While demographic changes in short-lived species may be observed relatively quickly in response to climate changes, measuring population responses of long-lived species requires long-term studies that are not always available. We analyzed data from a population of threatened Agassiz’s desert tortoises (Gopherus agassizii) at a 2.59 km2 study plot in the Sonoran Desert ecosystem of Joshua Tree National Park, California, USA from 1978 to 2012 to examine variation in apparent survival and demography in this long-lived species. Transect-based, mark-recapture surveys were conducted in 10 of those years to locate living and dead tortoises. Previous modeling suggested that this area would become unsuitable as tortoise habitat under a warming and drying climate scenario. Estimated adult population size declined greatly from 1996 to 2012. The population appeared to have high apparent survival from 1978 to 1996 but apparent survival decreased from 1997 to 2002, concurrent with persistent drought. The best model relating apparent survivorship of tortoises ≥18 cm over time was based on a three year moving average of estimated winter precipitation. The postures and positions of a majority of dead tortoises found in 2012 were consistent with death by dehydration and starvation. Some live and many dead tortoises found in 2012 showed signs of predation or scavenging by mammalian carnivores. Coyote (Canis latrans) scats and other evidence from the site confirmed their role as tortoise predators and scavengers. Predation rates may be exacerbated by drought if carnivores switch from preferred mammalian prey to tortoises during dry years. Climate modeling suggests that the region will be subjected to even longer duration droughts in the future and that the plot may become unsuitable for continued tortoise survival. Our results showing wide fluctuations in apparent survival and decreasing tortoise density over time may be early signals of that possible outcome.

  12. Effects of an invasive plant on a desert sand dune landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barrows, C.W.; Allen, E.B.; Brooks, M.L.; Allen, M.F.

    2009-01-01

    Given the abundance of non-native species invading wildland habitats, managers need to employ informed triage to focus control efforts on weeds with the greatest potential for negative impacts. Our objective here was to determine the level of threat Sahara mustard, Brassica tournefortii, represents to meeting regional goals for protecting biodiversity. Sahara mustard has spread throughout much of the Mojave and lower Sonoran Deserts. It has occurred in southern California's Coachella Valley for nearly 80 years, punctuated by years of extremely high abundance following high rainfall. In those years the mustard has clear negative impacts on the native flora. Using mustard removal experiments we identified reductions in native plant reproduction, shifting composition increasingly toward Sahara mustard while decreasing the fraction of native species. High between-year variance in precipitation may be a key to maintaining biodiversity as the mustard is less abundant in drier years. Sahara mustard impacts to the native fauna were much less evident. Of the animal species evaluated, only the Coachella Valley fringe-toed lizard, Uma inornata, demonstrated a negative response to mustard abundance; however the impacts were short-lived, lasting no more than a year after the mustard's dominance waned. Without control measures the long-term impacts to desert biodiversity may rest on the changing climate. Wetter conditions or increased periodicity of high rainfall years will favor Sahara mustard and result in reduced biodiversity, especially of native annual plants. Drier conditions will keep the mustard from becoming dominant but may have other negative consequences on the native flora and fauna. ?? 2008 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

  13. Ranching and conservation in the Santa Cruz River Region, Sonora: Milpillas Case Study (Ganaderia y Conservacion en la Region del Rio Santa Cruz, Sonora: El Caso del Grupo Milpillas)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joaquin Murrieta-Saldivar

    2006-01-01

    The Sonoran Institute (SI) is a non-profit organization working with people toward common conservation goals. Two objectives guide the work of the Sonoran Institute in the Santa Cruz River Region in Sonora, Mexico: to establish projects with community participation that can result in tangible and long-lasting benefits to the environment, and to ensure success by...

  14. A method for assessing the physical recovery of Antarctic desert pavements following human-induced disturbances: a case study in the Ross Sea region of Antarctica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Neill, Tanya A; Balks, Megan R; López-Martínez, Jerónimo; McWhirter, Judi L

    2012-12-15

    With increasing visitor numbers an understanding of the impacts of human activities in Antarctic terrestrial environments has become important. The objective of this study was to develop a means for assessing recovery of the ground surface desert pavement following physical disturbance. A set of 11 criteria were identified to assess desert pavement recovery. Assessed criteria were: embeddedness of surface clasts; impressions of removed clasts; degree of clast surface weathering; % overturned clasts; salt on underside of clasts; development of salt coatings; armouring per m(2); colour contrast; evidence of subsidence/melt out; accumulation of salt on cut surfaces; and evidence of patterned ground development. Recovery criteria were assigned a severity/extent rating on a scale from zero to four, zero being highly disturbed, and four being undisturbed. A relative % recovery for each criteria was calculated for each site by comparison with a nearby undisturbed control area, and an overall Mean Recovery Index (MRI) was assigned to each pavement surface. To test the method, 54 sites in the Ross Sea region of Antarctica were investigated including areas disturbed by: bulldozer scraping for road-fill, contouring for infrastructure, geotechnical investigations, and experimental treading trial sites. Disturbances had occurred at timescales ranging from one week to 50 years prior to assessment. The extent of desert pavement recovery at the sites investigated in this study was higher than anticipated. Fifty of the 54 sites investigated were in an intermediate, or higher, stage of desert pavement recovery, 30 sites were in an advanced stage of recovery, and four sites were indistinguishable from adjacent control sites (MRI = 100%). It was found that active surfaces, such as the gravel beach deposits at the Greenpeace World Park Base site at Cape Evans, the aeolian sand deposits at Bull Pass, and the alluvial fan deposits of the Loop Moraine field campsite, recovered relatively

  15. Bioremediation of contaminated mixtures of desert mining soil and sawdust with fuel oil by aerated in-vessel composting in the Atacama Region (Chile)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Godoy-Faundez, Alex; Antizar-Ladislao, Blanca; Reyes-Bozo, Lorenzo; Camano, Andres; Saez-Navarrete, Cesar

    2008-01-01

    Since early 1900s, with the beginning of mining operations and especially in the last decade, small, although repetitive spills of fuel oil had occurred frequently in the Chilean mining desert industry during reparation and maintenance of machinery, as well as casual accidents. Normally, soils and sawdust had been used as cheap readily available sorbent materials of spills of fuel oil, consisting of complex mixtures of aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbons. Chilean legislation considers these fuel oil contaminated mixtures of soil and sawdust as hazardous wastes, and thus they must be contained. It remains unknown whether it would be feasible to clean-up Chilean desert soils with high salinity and metal content, historically polluted with different commercial fuel oil, and contained during years. Thus, this study evaluated the feasibility of aerated in-vessel composting at a laboratory scale as a bioremediation technology to clean-up contaminated desert mining soils (fuel concentration > 50,000 mg kg -1 ) and sawdust (fuel concentration > 225,000 mg kg -1 ) in the Atacama Region. The composting reactors were operated using five soil to sawdust ratios (S:SD, 1:0, 3:1, 1:1, 1:3, 0:1, on a dry weight basis) under mesophilic temperatures (30-40 deg. C), constant moisture content (MC, 50%) and continuous aeration (16 l min -1 ) during 56 days. Fuel oil concentration and physico-chemical changes in the composting reactors were monitored following standard procedures. The highest (59%) and the lowest (35%) contaminant removals were observed in the contaminated sawdust and contaminated soil reactors after 56 days of treatment, respectively. The S:SD ratio, time of treatment and interaction between both factors had a significant effect (p < 0.050) on the contaminant removal. The results of this research indicate that bioremediation of an aged contaminated mixture of desert mining soil and sawdust with fuel oil is feasible. This study recommends a S:SD ratio 1:3 and a correct

  16. Bioremediation of contaminated mixtures of desert mining soil and sawdust with fuel oil by aerated in-vessel composting in the Atacama Region (Chile).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Godoy-Faúndez, Alex; Antizar-Ladislao, Blanca; Reyes-Bozo, Lorenzo; Camaño, Andrés; Sáez-Navarrete, César

    2008-03-01

    Since early 1900s, with the beginning of mining operations and especially in the last decade, small, although repetitive spills of fuel oil had occurred frequently in the Chilean mining desert industry during reparation and maintenance of machinery, as well as casual accidents. Normally, soils and sawdust had been used as cheap readily available sorbent materials of spills of fuel oil, consisting of complex mixtures of aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbons. Chilean legislation considers these fuel oil contaminated mixtures of soil and sawdust as hazardous wastes, and thus they must be contained. It remains unknown whether it would be feasible to clean-up Chilean desert soils with high salinity and metal content, historically polluted with different commercial fuel oil, and contained during years. Thus, this study evaluated the feasibility of aerated in-vessel composting at a laboratory scale as a bioremediation technology to clean-up contaminated desert mining soils (fuel concentration>50,000 mg kg(-1)) and sawdust (fuel concentration>225,000 mg kg(-1)) in the Atacama Region. The composting reactors were operated using five soil to sawdust ratios (S:SD, 1:0, 3:1, 1:1, 1:3, 0:1, on a dry weight basis) under mesophilic temperatures (30-40 degrees C), constant moisture content (MC, 50%) and continuous aeration (16 l min(-1)) during 56 days. Fuel oil concentration and physico-chemical changes in the composting reactors were monitored following standard procedures. The highest (59%) and the lowest (35%) contaminant removals were observed in the contaminated sawdust and contaminated soil reactors after 56 days of treatment, respectively. The S:SD ratio, time of treatment and interaction between both factors had a significant effect (pcontaminant removal. The results of this research indicate that bioremediation of an aged contaminated mixture of desert mining soil and sawdust with fuel oil is feasible. This study recommends a S:SD ratio 1:3 and a correct nutrient balance

  17. Study of atmospheric scattering and absorbing aerosols at 550 nm over nearby western Indian tropical sites of Thar Desert effected region

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vyas, B. M.; Saxenna, Abhishek; Panwar, Chhagan

    2016-01-01

    The first time experimental results based on spaced satellite observations of different kinds of aerosols properties have been described over two different contrast environmental conditions locations in western tropical Indian region specifically first at Jaisalmer (26.90°N, 69.90°E, 220 m above mean sea level (amsl)) located in central Thar dessert vicinity of western Indian site over Indian Thar Desert region and another at Udaipur (24.6° N, 73.7° E, 560 m amsl) site concerning to semi-urban and semi arid place of hilly areas. The daily values of aerosols optical depth absorption at 500nm (AOD abs 500nm), aerosols optical depth extinction at 500nm (AOD ext 500nm) along with aerosols optical depth at 500nmon (AOD 500nm) of eleven year period from Jan., 2004 to Dec., 2014 are basis of primary database of the present investigation. From the synthesis if the above database and the basis of rigorous statistical approach, following some of interesting facts are noted (i) larger annual monthly AOD variation of 0.93 is noted over JSM when compared to observed annual monthly change in AOD cycle, over UDP, of only 0.50 clearly indicating the more impact of desert influence activities about more than double times over JSM than UDP (ii) The higher abundance of absorbing aerosols occurrences about two time higher are seen in JSM in comparison to UDP. It indicates the clear evidence of strong optical absorption properties of useful solar mid visible wavelength at 550nm as the results of presence of more availability of dust aerosols as mineral natural type in pre-monsoon to post-monsoon over JSM which is also more predominant over JSM than the UDP region located far away from desert activity regime (iii) The greater sharing of extinction solar radiation effect on aerosols are more effective in pre-monsoon in UDP in reference to over JSM, where as in case of UDP, the aerosols effect through the scattering mechanism gradually reduce from monsoon to winter months as compared

  18. Study of atmospheric scattering and absorbing aerosols at 550 nm over nearby western Indian tropical sites of Thar Desert effected region

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vyas, B. M., E-mail: bmvyas@yahoo.com; Saxenna, Abhishek; Panwar, Chhagan [Department of Physics, M.L. Sukhadia University, Udaipur-313001 (India)

    2016-05-06

    The first time experimental results based on spaced satellite observations of different kinds of aerosols properties have been described over two different contrast environmental conditions locations in western tropical Indian region specifically first at Jaisalmer (26.90°N, 69.90°E, 220 m above mean sea level (amsl)) located in central Thar dessert vicinity of western Indian site over Indian Thar Desert region and another at Udaipur (24.6° N, 73.7° E, 560 m amsl) site concerning to semi-urban and semi arid place of hilly areas. The daily values of aerosols optical depth absorption at 500nm (AOD abs 500nm), aerosols optical depth extinction at 500nm (AOD ext 500nm) along with aerosols optical depth at 500nmon (AOD 500nm) of eleven year period from Jan., 2004 to Dec., 2014 are basis of primary database of the present investigation. From the synthesis if the above database and the basis of rigorous statistical approach, following some of interesting facts are noted (i) larger annual monthly AOD variation of 0.93 is noted over JSM when compared to observed annual monthly change in AOD cycle, over UDP, of only 0.50 clearly indicating the more impact of desert influence activities about more than double times over JSM than UDP (ii) The higher abundance of absorbing aerosols occurrences about two time higher are seen in JSM in comparison to UDP. It indicates the clear evidence of strong optical absorption properties of useful solar mid visible wavelength at 550nm as the results of presence of more availability of dust aerosols as mineral natural type in pre-monsoon to post-monsoon over JSM which is also more predominant over JSM than the UDP region located far away from desert activity regime (iii) The greater sharing of extinction solar radiation effect on aerosols are more effective in pre-monsoon in UDP in reference to over JSM, where as in case of UDP, the aerosols effect through the scattering mechanism gradually reduce from monsoon to winter months as compared

  19. Chemical constituents of Cenchrus ciliaris L. from the Cholistan desert, Pakistan

    OpenAIRE

    Ashraf Muhammad Aqeel; Mahmood Karamat; Yusoff Ismail; Qureshi Ahmad Kaleem

    2013-01-01

    The Cholistan Desert is an extension of the Great Indian Desert, covering an area of 26,330 km2. The desert can be divided into two main geomorphic regions: the northern region, known as Lesser Cholistan, constituting the desert margin and consisting of a series of saline alluvial flats alternating with low sand ridges/dunes; and the southern region, known as Greater Cholistan, a wind-resorted sandy desert comprised of a number of old Hakra River terraces w...

  20. Mites (Acari Associated with the Desert Seed Harvester Ant, Messor pergandei (Mayr

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kaitlin A. Uppstrom

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Mites (Acari associated with the seed harvester ant Messor pergandei were investigated in the Sonoran desert of Arizona. At least seven representatives of the mite genera Armacarus, Lemanniella, Petalomium, Forcellinia, Histiostoma, Unguidispus, and Cosmoglyphus are phoretically associated with M. pergandei. Most of these morphospecies show preference for specific phoretic attachment sites and primarily use female alates rather than male alates for dispersal. Five mite morphospecies were found in low numbers inhabiting the chaff piles: Tydeidae sp., Procaeculus sp., Anystidae sp., Bakerdania sp., and Tetranychidae sp. The phoretic Petalomium sp. was observed consuming fungus growing on a dead queen, but the roles of the other mite species remain mostly unresolved.

  1. Seasonal variations in plant water status of four desert halophytes from semi-arid region of Karachi

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Aziz, I.; Gul, B.; Gulzar, S.; Khan, A

    2011-01-01

    Halophytes in arid and semi arid zones of the world are often subjected to extremely variable drought, salinity and temperature. These fluctuations may bring about changes in their osmoregulation and gas exchange responses besides other physiological and biochemical processes. The purpose of this study was to detect temporal changes in plant water status and osmotic adjustment in four desert halophytes viz., Suaeda fruticosa, Heliotropium curassavicum, Haloxylon stocksii and Atriplex stocksii from an inland community at Karachi University Campus. During the dry period (November to January) water and osmotic potentials of all test species increased with higher values in A. stocksii (salt secretor) than those of S. fruticosa and H. stocksii (salt includer) and H. curassavicum (salt excluder). Proline increased substantially and was highest in H. curassavicum followed by A. stocksii in comparison to the two salt includers. The lowering of osmotic potential corresponded to an increase in Na and Cl, lower stomatal conductance and chlorophyll content indicating reduced gas exchange during the dry period. The increase in proline may have little role in osmoreglation but could contribute in scavenging reactive oxygen species. (author)

  2. Enhancing and restoring habitat for the desert tortoise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abella, Scott R.; Berry, Kristin H.

    2016-01-01

    Habitat has changed unfavorably during the past 150 y for the desert tortoise Gopherus agassizii, a federally threatened species with declining populations in the Mojave Desert and western Sonoran Desert. To support recovery efforts, we synthesized published information on relationships of desert tortoises with three habitat features (cover sites, forage, and soil) and candidate management practices for improving these features for tortoises. In addition to their role in soil health and facilitating recruitment of annual forage plants, shrubs are used by desert tortoises for cover and as sites for burrows. Outplanting greenhouse-grown seedlings, protected from herbivory, has successfully restored (>50% survival) a variety of shrubs on disturbed desert soils. Additionally, salvaging and reapplying topsoil using effective techniques is among the more ecologically beneficial ways to initiate plant recovery after severe disturbance. Through differences in biochemical composition and digestibility, some plant species provide better-quality forage than others. Desert tortoises selectively forage on particular annual and herbaceous perennial species (e.g., legumes), and forage selection shifts during the year as different plants grow or mature. Nonnative grasses provide low-quality forage and contribute fuel to spreading wildfires, which damage or kill shrubs that tortoises use for cover. Maintaining a diverse “menu” of native annual forbs and decreasing nonnative grasses are priorities for restoring most desert tortoise habitats. Reducing herbivory by nonnative animals, carefully timing herbicide applications, and strategically augmenting annual forage plants via seeding show promise for improving tortoise forage quality. Roads, another disturbance, negatively affect habitat in numerous ways (e.g., compacting soil, altering hydrology). Techniques such as recontouring road berms to reestablish drainage patterns, vertical mulching (“planting” dead plant material

  3. Regional and temporal variability of melts during a Cordilleran magma pulse: Age and chemical evolution of the jurassic arc, eastern mojave desert, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barth, A.P.; Wooden, J.L.; Miller, David; Howard, Keith A.; Fox, Lydia; Schermer, Elizabeth R.; Jacobson, C.E.

    2017-01-01

    Intrusive rock sequences in the central and eastern Mojave Desert segment of the Jurassic Cordilleran arc of the western United States record regional and temporal variations in magmas generated during the second prominent pulse of Mesozoic continental arc magmatism. U/Pb zircon ages provide temporal control for describing variations in rock and zircon geochemistry that reflect differences in magma source components. These source signatures are discernible through mixing and fractionation processes associated with magma ascent and emplacement. The oldest well-dated Jurassic rocks defining initiation of the Jurassic pulse are a 183 Ma monzodiorite and a 181 Ma ignimbrite. Early to Middle Jurassic intrusive rocks comprising the main stage of magmatism include two high-K calc-alkalic groups: to the north, the deformed 183–172 Ma Fort Irwin sequence and contemporaneous rocks in the Granite and Clipper Mountains, and to the south, the 167–164 Ma Bullion sequence. A Late Jurassic suite of shoshonitic, alkali-calcic intrusive rocks, the Bristol Mountains sequence, ranges in age from 164 to 161 Ma and was emplaced as the pulse began to wane. Whole-rock and zircon trace-element geochemistry defines a compositionally coherent Jurassic arc with regional and secular variations in melt compositions. The arc evolved through the magma pulse by progressively greater input of old cratonic crust and lithospheric mantle into the arc magma system, synchronous with progressive regional crustal thickening.

  4. Microbial rRNA sequencing analysis of evaporative cooler indoor environments located in the Great Basin Desert region of the United States†

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lemons, Angela R.; Hogan, Mary Beth; Gault, Ruth A.; Holland, Kathleen; Sobek, Edward; Olsen-Wilson, Kimberly A.; Park, Yeonmi; Park, Ju-Hyeong; Gu, Ja Kook; Kashon, Michael L.; Green, Brett J.

    2017-01-01

    Recent studies conducted in the Great Basin Desert region of the United States have shown that skin test reactivity to fungal and dust mite allergens are increased in children with asthma or allergy living in homes with evaporative coolers (EC). The objective of this study was to determine if the increased humidity previously reported in EC homes leads to varying microbial populations compared to homes with air conditioners (AC). Children with physician-diagnosed allergic rhinitis living in EC or AC environments were recruited into the study. Air samples were collected from the child's bedroom for genomic DNA extraction and metagenomic analysis of bacteria and fungi using the Illumina MiSeq sequencing platform. The analysis of bacterial populations revealed no major differences between EC and AC sampling environments. The fungal populations observed in EC homes differed from AC homes. The most prevalent species discovered in AC environments belonged to the genera Cryptococcus (20%) and Aspergillus (20%). In contrast, the most common fungi identified in EC homes belonged to the order Pleosporales and included Alternaria alternata (32%) and Phoma spp. (22%). The variations in fungal populations provide preliminary evidence of the microbial burden children may be exposed to within EC environments in this region. PMID:28091681

  5. Aborigines of the nuclear desert

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rujula, A. de

    1985-01-01

    The chart of 'stable nuclides' extends from Hydrogen, to Z proportional 98, A proportional 263. It contains another island of stability - neutron stars - in a narrow range around Z proportional 10 56 , A proportional 10 57 . In between lies a supposedly barren region encompassing more than 50 orders of magnitude. This desert may be populated by strange quark balls: Stable single bags containing similar proportions of u, d and s quarks. These balls are candidates for the constituency of the 'dark mass' in galaxies and in the Universe. We describe seven ways to search for these possible inhabitants of the nuclear desert. (orig.)

  6. Population, desert expanding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1992-01-01

    The conditions of desert expansion in the Sahara are highlighted. On the southern border the desert is growing at a rate of 3-6 miles/year. This growth is encroaching on arable land in Ethiopia and Mauritania. The region loses up to 28,000 sq miles/year of farmland. 33% of Africa's fertile land is threatened. Land-use patterns are responsible for the deterioration of the soil. Traditional practices are not effective because the practices are not suitable for permanent farming. Farmers also have stopped environmentally sound practices such as letting the fields remain fallow in order to renew soil fertility. Nomads overgraze areas before moving on. A recent study by the World Bank's Africa Region Office was released; the report details some of the links between rapid population growth, poor agricultural performance, and environmental degradation. Soil conditions are such that valuable topsoil is blow away by the wind because the layer is too thin. Vegetation at the desert's edge is used for cooking purposes or for heating fuel. Tropical and savannah areas are depleted when tree replacement is inadequate. Only 9 trees are planted for every 100 removed. The report emphasized the role of women and children in contributing to population pressure by increased fertility. Women's work load is heavy and children are a help in alleviating some of the burden of domestic and agricultural work. There is hope in meeting demographic, agricultural, food security, and environmental objectives over the next 30 years if the needs of women are met. The needs include access to education for young women, lessening the work loads of women, and decreasing child mortality through improved health care and access to safe water.

  7. Phylogeographic Structure of a Tethyan Relict Capparis spinosa (Capparaceae) Traces Pleistocene Geologic and Climatic Changes in the Western Himalayas, Tianshan Mountains, and Adjacent Desert Regions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Qian; Zhang, Ming-Li; Yin, Lin-Ke

    2016-01-01

    Complex geological movements more or less affected or changed floristic structures, while the alternation of glacials and interglacials is presumed to have further shaped the present discontinuous genetic pattern of temperate plants. Here we consider Capparis spinosa, a xeromorphic Tethyan relict, to discuss its divergence pattern and explore how it responded in a stepwise fashion to Pleistocene geologic and climatic changes. 267 individuals from 31 populations were sampled and 24 haplotypes were identified, based on three cpDNA fragments (trnL-trnF, rps12-rpl20, and ndhF). SAMOVA clustered the 31 populations into 5 major clades. AMOVA suggests that gene flow between them might be restricted by vicariance. Molecular clock dating indicates that intraspecific divergence began in early Pleistocene, consistent with a time of intense uplift of the Himalaya and Tianshan Mountains, and intensified in mid-Pleistocene. Species distribution modeling suggests range reduction in the high mountains during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) as a result of cold climates when glacier advanced, while gorges at midelevations in Tianshan appear to have served as refugia. Populations of low-altitude desert regions, on the other hand, probably experienced only marginal impacts from glaciation, according to the high levels of genetic diversity.

  8. Phylogeographic Structure of a Tethyan Relict Capparis spinosa (Capparaceae Traces Pleistocene Geologic and Climatic Changes in the Western Himalayas, Tianshan Mountains, and Adjacent Desert Regions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qian Wang

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Complex geological movements more or less affected or changed floristic structures, while the alternation of glacials and interglacials is presumed to have further shaped the present discontinuous genetic pattern of temperate plants. Here we consider Capparis spinosa, a xeromorphic Tethyan relict, to discuss its divergence pattern and explore how it responded in a stepwise fashion to Pleistocene geologic and climatic changes. 267 individuals from 31 populations were sampled and 24 haplotypes were identified, based on three cpDNA fragments (trnL-trnF, rps12-rpl20, and ndhF. SAMOVA clustered the 31 populations into 5 major clades. AMOVA suggests that gene flow between them might be restricted by vicariance. Molecular clock dating indicates that intraspecific divergence began in early Pleistocene, consistent with a time of intense uplift of the Himalaya and Tianshan Mountains, and intensified in mid-Pleistocene. Species distribution modeling suggests range reduction in the high mountains during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM as a result of cold climates when glacier advanced, while gorges at midelevations in Tianshan appear to have served as refugia. Populations of low-altitude desert regions, on the other hand, probably experienced only marginal impacts from glaciation, according to the high levels of genetic diversity.

  9. Nationwide desert highway assessment: a case study in China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mao, Xuesong; Wang, Fuchun; Wang, Binggang

    2011-07-01

    The natural environment affects the construction of desert highways. Conversely, highway construction affects the natural environment and puts the ecological environment at a disadvantage. To satisfy the variety and hierarchy of desert highway construction and discover the spatio-temporal distribution of the natural environment and its effect on highway construction engineering, an assessment of the natural regional divisions of desert highways in China is carried out for the first time. Based on the general principles and method for the natural region division, the principles, method and index system for desert highway assessment is put forward by combining the desert highway construction features and the azonal differentiation law. The index system combines the dominant indicator and four auxiliary indicators. The dominant indicator is defined by the desert's comprehensive state index and the auxiliary indicators include the sand dune height, the blown sand strength, the vegetation coverage ratio and the annual average temperature difference. First the region is divided according to the dominant indicator. Then the region boundaries are amended according to the four auxiliary indicators. Finally the natural region division map for desert highway assessment is presented. The Chinese desert highways can be divided into three sections: the east medium effect region, the middle medium-severe effect region, and the west slight-medium effect region. The natural region division map effectively paves the way for the route planning, design, construction, maintenance and ongoing management of desert highways, and further helps environmental protection.

  10. Phenological Characterization of Desert Sky Island Vegetation Communities with Remotely Sensed and Climate Time Series Data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stuart E. Marsh

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Climate change and variability are expected to impact the synchronicity and interactions between the Sonoran Desert and the forested sky islands which represent steep biological and environmental gradients. The main objectives were to examine how well satellite greenness time series data and derived phenological metrics (e.g., season start, peak greenness can characterize specific vegetation communities across an elevation gradient, and to examine the interactions between climate and phenological metrics for each vegetation community. We found that representative vegetation types (11, varying between desert scrub, mesquite, grassland, mixed oak, juniper and pine, often had unique seasonal and interannual phenological trajectories and spatial patterns. Satellite derived land surface phenometrics (11 for each of the vegetation communities along the cline showed numerous distinct significant relationships in response to temperature (4 and precipitation (7 metrics. Satellite-derived sky island vegetation phenology can help assess and monitor vegetation dynamics and provide unique indicators of climate variability and patterns of change.

  11. Ploidy race distributions since the Last Glacial Maximum in the North American desert shrub, Larrea tridentata

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunter, K.L.; Betancourt, J.L.; Riddle, B.R.; Van Devender, T. R.; Cole, K.L.; Geoffrey, Spaulding W.

    2000-01-01

    1 A classic biogeographic pattern is the alignment of diploid, tetraploid and hexaploid races of creosote bush (Larrea tridentata) across the Chihuahuan, Sonoran and Mohave Deserts of western North America. We used statistically robust differences in guard cell size of modern plants and fossil leaves from packrat middens to map current and past distributions of these ploidy races since the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). 2 Glacial/early Holocene (26-10 14C kyr BP or thousands of radiocarbon years before present) populations included diploids along the lower Rio Grande of west Texas, 650 km removed from sympatric diploids and tetraploids in the lower Colorado River Basin of south-eastern California/south-western Arizona. Diploids migrated slowly from lower Rio Grande refugia with expansion into the northern Chihuahuan Desert sites forestalled until after ???4.0 14C kyr BP. Tetraploids expanded from the lower Colorado River Basin into the northern limits of the Sonoran Desert in central Arizona by 6.4 14C kyr BP. Hexaploids appeared by 8.5 14C kyr BP in the lower Colorado River Basin, reaching their northernmost limits (???37??N) in the Mohave Desert between 5.6 and 3.9 14C kyr BP. 3 Modern diploid isolates may have resulted from both vicariant and dispersal events. In central Baja California and the lower Colorado River Basin, modern diploids probably originated from relict populations near glacial refugia. Founder events in the middle and late Holocene established diploid outposts on isolated limestone outcrops in areas of central and southern Arizona dominated by tetraploid populations. 4 Geographic alignment of the three ploidy races along the modern gradient of increasingly drier and hotter summers is clearly a postglacial phenomenon, but evolution of both higher ploidy races must have happened before the Holocene. The exact timing and mechanism of polyploidy evolution in creosote bush remains a matter of conjecture. ?? 2001 Blackwell Science Ltd.

  12. Immune indexes of larks from desert and temperate regions show weak associations with life history but stronger links to environmental variation in microbial abundance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horrocks, Nicholas P C; Hegemann, Arne; Matson, Kevin D; Hine, Kathryn; Jaquier, Sophie; Shobrak, Mohammed; Williams, Joseph B; Tinbergen, Joost M; Tieleman, B Irene

    2012-01-01

    Immune defense may vary as a result of trade-offs with other life-history traits or in parallel with variation in antigen levels in the environment. We studied lark species (Alaudidae) in the Arabian Desert and temperate Netherlands to test opposing predictions from these two hypotheses. Based on their slower pace of life, the trade-off hypothesis predicts relatively stronger immune defenses in desert larks compared with temperate larks. However, as predicted by the antigen exposure hypothesis, reduced microbial abundances in deserts should result in desert-living larks having relatively weaker immune defenses. We quantified host-independent and host-dependent microbial abundances of culturable microbes in ambient air and from the surfaces of birds. We measured components of immunity by quantifying concentrations of the acute-phase protein haptoglobin, natural antibody-mediated agglutination titers, complement-mediated lysis titers, and the microbicidal ability of whole blood. Desert-living larks were exposed to significantly lower concentrations of airborne microbes than temperate larks, and densities of some bird-associated microbes were also lower in desert species. Haptoglobin concentrations and lysis titers were also significantly lower in desert-living larks, but other immune indexes did not differ. Thus, contrary to the trade-off hypothesis, we found little evidence that a slow pace of life predicted increased immunological investment. In contrast, and in support of the antigen exposure hypothesis, associations between microbial exposure and some immune indexes were apparent. Measures of antigen exposure, including assessment of host-independent and host-dependent microbial assemblages, can provide novel insights into the mechanisms underlying immunological variation.

  13. 77 FR 2744 - Announcement of Funding Awards for the Rural Innovation Fund Program for Fiscal Year 2010

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-19

    ... Alliance, 300,000 Inc. 5 AZ San Carlos Housing Authority 300,000 6 AZ International Sonoran Desert 300,000....com or engineer.com ">[email protected] engineer.com . The International Sonoran Desert Alliance (ISDA) in... outsourcing. Jackson County is designated as a Distressed County by the Appalachian Regional Commission and is...

  14. A long-term vegetation history of the Mojave-Colorado Desert ecotone at Joshua Tree National Park

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holmgren, Camille A.; Betancourt, Julio L.; Rylander, Kate A.

    2010-01-01

    Thirty-eight dated packrat middens were collected from upper desert (930–1357 m) elevations within Joshua Tree National Park near the ecotone between the Mojave Desert and Colorado Desert, providing a 30 ka record of vegetation change with remarkably even coverage for the last 15 ka. This record indicates that vegetation was relatively stable, which may reflect the lack of invasion by extralocal species during the late glacial and the early establishment and persistence of many desert scrub elements. Many of the species found in the modern vegetation assemblages were present by the early Holocene, as indicated by increasing Sørenson's Similarity Index values. C4 grasses and summer-flowering annuals arrived later at Joshua Tree National Park in the early Holocene, suggesting a delayed onset of warm-season monsoonal precipitation compared to other Sonoran Desert and Chihuahuan Desert localities to the east, where summer rains and C4 grasses persisted through the last glacial–interglacial cycle. This would suggest that contemporary flow of monsoonal moisture into eastern California is secondary to the core processes of the North American Monsoon, which remained intact throughout the late Quaternary. In the Holocene, northward displacement of the jet stream, in both summer and winter, allowed migration of the subtropical ridge as far north as southern Idaho and the advection of monsoonal moisture both westward into eastern California and northward into the southern Great Basin and Colorado Plateau.

  15. Shrubland carbon sink depends upon winter water availability in the warm deserts of North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biederman, Joel A.; Scott, Russell L.; John A. Arnone,; Jasoni, Richard L.; Litvak, Marcy E.; Moreo, Michael T.; Papuga, Shirley A.; Ponce-Campos, Guillermo E.; Schreiner-McGraw, Adam P.; Vivoni, Enrique R.

    2018-01-01

    Global-scale studies suggest that dryland ecosystems dominate an increasing trend in the magnitude and interannual variability of the land CO2 sink. However, such model-based analyses are poorly constrained by measured CO2 exchange in open shrublands, which is the most common global land cover type, covering ∼14% of Earth’s surface. Here we evaluate how the amount and seasonal timing of water availability regulate CO2 exchange between shrublands and the atmosphere. We use eddy covariance data from six US sites across the three warm deserts of North America with observed ranges in annual precipitation of ∼100–400mm, annual temperatures of 13–18°C, and records of 2–8 years (33 site-years in total). The Chihuahuan, Sonoran and Mojave Deserts present gradients in both mean annual precipitation and its seasonal distribution between the wet-winter Mojave Desert and the wet-summer Chihuahuan Desert. We found that due to hydrologic losses during the wettest summers in the Sonoran and Chihuahuan Deserts, evapotranspiration (ET) was a better metric than precipitation of water available to drive dryland CO2 exchange. In contrast with recent synthesis studies across diverse dryland biomes, we found that NEP could not be directly predicted from ET due to wintertime decoupling of the relationship between ecosystem respiration (Reco) and gross ecosystem productivity (GEP). Ecosystem water use efficiency (WUE=GEP/ET) did not differ between winter and summer. Carbon use efficiency (CUE=NEP/GEP), however, was greater in winter because Reco returned a smaller fraction of carbon to the atmosphere (23% of GEP) than in summer (77%). Combining the water-carbon relations found here with historical precipitation since 1980, we estimate that lower average winter precipitation during the 21st century reduced the net carbon sink of the three deserts by an average of 6.8TgC yr1. Our results highlight that winter precipitation is critical to the annual carbon balance of these

  16. Aeromycobiota of Western Desert of Egypt | Ismail | African Journal ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The prevalence of airborne mycobiota at six different regions of Western desert (5 regions) and Eastern desert (1) of Egypt was determined using the exposed-plate method. A total of 44 genera, 102 species and one variety in addition to some unidentified yeasts and dark sterile mycelia were collected. Of the above, only 5 ...

  17. Origins and ecological consequences of pollen specialization among desert bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Minckley, R L; Cane, J H; Kervin, L

    2000-02-07

    An understanding of the evolutionary origins of insect foraging specialization is often hindered by a poor biogeographical and palaeoecological record. The historical biogeography (20,000 years before present to the present) of the desert-limited plant, creosote bush (Larrea tridentata), is remarkably complete. This history coupled with the distribution pattern of its bee fauna suggests pollen specialization for creosote bush pollen has evolved repeatedly among bees in the Lower Sonoran and Mojave deserts. In these highly xeric, floristically depauperate environments, species of specialist bees surpass generalist bees in diversity, biomass and abundance. The ability of specialist bees to facultatively remain in diapause through resource-poor years and to emerge synchronously with host plant bloom in resource-rich years probably explains their ecological dominance and persistence in these areas. Repeated origins of pollen specialization to one host plant where bloom occurs least predictably is a counter-example to prevailing theories that postulate such traits originate where the plant grows best and blooms most reliably Host-plant synchronization, a paucity of alternative floral hosts, or flowering attributes of creosote bush alone or in concert may account for the diversity of bee specialists that depend on this plant instead of nutritional factors or chemical coevolution between floral rewards and the pollinators they have evolved to attract.

  18. Living Spaces: In the Desert, In the Future, In the Mountains, In the Polar Regions, In Space, On the Water. Living Spaces Series.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stewart, Gail

    Each of the 6 separate books in this classroom series for juveniles introduces students to the variety of living spaces people have adapted in order to survive in a hostile environment. The illustrated guides examine several cultures which have developed and thrived in these environments. (1) "In the Desert" looks at: The San of the…

  19. Immune indexes of larks from desert and temperate regions show weak associations with life history but stronger links to environmental variation in microbial abundance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Horrocks, N.P.C.; Hegemann, A.; Matson, K.D.; Hine, K.; Jaquier, S.; Shobrak, M.; Williams, J.B.; Tinbergen, J.M.; Tieleman, B.I.

    2012-01-01

    Immune defense may vary as a result of trade-offs with other life-history traits or in parallel with variation in antigen levels in the environment. We studied lark species (Alaudidae) in the Arabian Desert and temperate Netherlands to test opposing predictions from these two hypotheses. Based on

  20. Immune Indexes of Larks from Desert and Temperate Regions Show Weak Associations with Life History but Stronger Links to Environmental Variation in Microbial Abundance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Horrocks, Nicholas P. C.; Hegemann, Arne; Matson, Kevin D.; Hine, Kathryn; Jaquier, Sophie; Shobrak, Mohammed; Williams, Joseph B.; Tinbergen, Joost M.; Tieleman, B. Irene

    2012-01-01

    Immune defense may vary as a result of trade-offs with other life-history traits or in parallel with variation in antigen levels in the environment. We studied lark species (Alaudidae) in the Arabian Desert and temperate Netherlands to test opposing predictions from these two hypotheses. Based on

  1. 76 FR 54711 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Bald Eagles Nesting in Sonoran Desert Area of...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-09-02

    ... Royal Palm Road, Suite 103, Phoenix, AZ 85021; telephone, 602-242-0210; facsimile, 602- 242-2513...)). ``Take'' includes ``pursue, shoot, shoot at, poison, wound, kill, capture, trap, collect, destroy, molest... or in any manner, pursue, hunt, take, capture, kill, attempt to take, capture, or kill, possess...

  2. The Effect of Climate and Spittlebug (aeneolamia albofasciata) on Buffelgrass (cenchrus cilaris L.) Productivity in the Sonoran Desert

    OpenAIRE

    Martin-Rivera, Martha H.

    1994-01-01

    I conducted field studies during 1984-1988 to determine how (1) precipitation amount and distribution affect buffelgrass [Cenchrus ciliaris L. (Link) l productivity, (2) summer rainfall amount and distribution and temperature influenced the spittlebug (Aeneolamia albofasciata Lalleman) life cycle, and (3) summer burning affects spittlebug densities and buffelgrass productivity. Experiment I was conducted from 1985 through 1988. Forage samples collected at 15 -day intervals were separated i...

  3. The Chameleon Concept: Modeling Quaternary Geomorphic Surfaces Using Laboratory, Field, and Imaging Spectrometry in the Lower Colorado Sonoran Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-11-01

    Oblique aerial photographs of dry deciduous tropical forest at the STRI Tropical Research Crane at the Parque Natural Metropolitano, Republic of Panama...Research Crane at the Parque Natural Metropolitano, Republic of Panama. ......................... 134 58. Original (a) and synthetic (b and c) tropical... Parque Natural Metropolitano, Republic of Panama. 133 b. Double canopy tropical forest diversity as seen from the can- opy crane gondola

  4. A phylogenetic analysis of basal metabolism, total evaporative water loss, and life-history among foxes from desert and mesic regions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, J B; Muñoz-Garcia, A; Ostrowski, S; Tieleman, B I

    2004-01-01

    We measured basal metabolic rate (BMR) and total evaporative water loss (TEWL) of species of foxes that exist on the Arabian Peninsula, Blanford's fox (Vulpes cana) and two subspecies of Red fox (Vulpes vulpes). Combining these data with that on other canids from the literature, we searched for specialization of physiological traits among desert foxes using both conventional least squares regression and regressions based on phylogenetic independent contrasts. Further, we explored the consequences of reduced body size of foxes on life history parameters such as litter size and neonate mass. For Blanford's foxes, Red foxes from the central desert of Arabia, and Red foxes from the more mesic Asir mountains, body mass averaged 1,285 +/- 52 g, 1,967 +/- 289 g, and 3,060 +/- 482 g, respectively, whereas mean BMR, during summer, was 304.5 +/- 32.3 kJ/day, 418.0 +/- 32.4 kJ/day, and 724.1 +/- 120.2 kJ/day (+/- SD). An analysis of covariance with body mass as a covariate showed no statistical differences in BMR among foxes. Analysis of covariance indicated that Red fox from the Asir mountains had a higher TEWL than Red foxes from central Arabia or than Blanford's foxes also from the mountains. Comparisons of all species of desert and mesic foxes showed no significant differences in BMR, nor did desert foxes have a significantly lower BMR than other carnivores. TEWL of desert foxes was lower than other more mesic carnivores; deviations in TEWL ranged from -17.7% for the Fennec fox (Fennecus zerda) to -57.4% for the Kit fox (Vulpes velox). Although desert foxes have a BMR comparable to other more mesic species, it appears that desert foxes do have a smaller body mass, lowering overall energy requirements. We attribute this reduction in body size to the "resource limitation hypothesis" whereby natural selection favors smaller individuals in a resource-limited environment, especially during periods of severe food shortage. However, until common garden experiments are performed

  5. COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF THE COMPOSITION OF THE TERRESTRIAL FAUNA AND FLORA OF THE TETHYS DESERT-STEPPE REGION OF PALEARARTICS, BIOGEOGRAPHIC BOUNDARIES OF THE CAUCASUS. MESSAGE 1. TERRESTRIAL FAUNA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. M. Abdurakhmanov

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Aim. The aim is to conduct a comparative analysis of the composition of the terrestrial fauna of the Tethys desert-steppe region of the Palearctic.Materials and methods. The work was based on the materials collected in different republics and regions of the Caucasus and the south of the European part of Russia during 50 years (from 1961 to 2016 which are kept in various domestic and foreign institutions. Catalogs on the studied model groups were also used to conduct the research. In making the dendrograms, a cluster analysis based on the Jaccard coefficient was used.Results. A detailed analysis was carried out by model groups of the animals of the Eastern and Western Thethys complexes of the desert-steppe region of the Palearctic. Comparative analysis has shown that a significant number of species and genera of the discussed territories is characterized by an exceptionally high ratio of endemic species and superspecies taxa. Indicators of endemism in model groups fluctuate depending on the population's ability to resettle. High endemism of faunas of darkling beetles, ground beetles, click beetles and land snails in the Eastern Tethys complex was noted.Conclusion. The Caucasus (in a new interpretation is characterized by a high percentage of endemism for the studied model groups. A large number of the common Tethys genera and species in all model groups attests to their fundamental role in the overall composition of the biota against the background of powerful autochthonous centers of species-formation and, most importantly, the formation and functioning of the Palaearctic desert-steppe belt as the Tethys ocean reduced. 

  6. Beaver dams, hydrological thresholds, and controlled floods as a management tool in a desert riverine ecosystem, Bill Williams River, Arizona

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andersen, D.C.; Shafroth, P.B.

    2010-01-01

    Beaver convert lotic stream habitat to lentic through dam construction, and the process is reversed when a flood or other event causes dam failure. We investigated both processes on a regulated Sonoran Desert stream, using the criterion that average current velocity is distribution and repeated censuses of dams along the 58-km river. The ratio fell from 19:1 when no beaver dams were present to probability of major damage at low (attenuated) flood magnitude. We conclude that environmental flows prescribed to sustain desert riparian forest will also reduce beaver-created lentic habitat in a non-linear manner determined by both beaver dam and flood attributes. Consideration of both desirable and undesirable consequences of ecological engineering by beaver is important when optimizing environmental flows to meet ecological and socioeconomic goals. ?? 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  7. Birds and conservation significance of the Namib Desert's least ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    -long Namib Desert and it remains the least known coastal wetland on a desert coast rich in shorebirds. Two surveys of the Baia dos Tigres region in 1999 and 2001 indicated a rich wetland bird diversity consisting of 25 species, with a total of ...

  8. The Desert and the Sown Project in Northern Jordan

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kerner, Susanne

    2014-01-01

    The desert and sown project, which started in 1999 and continued in 2008-2009, studied the region between the settled areas east of Irbid and Ramtha and the surrounding desert at Mafraq (northern Jordan). Large parts of the material comes from the Palaeolithic period, while some smaller tells date...

  9. Landscape-scale distribution and density of raptor populations wintering in anthropogenic-dominated desert landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duerr, Adam E.; Miller, Tricia A.; Cornell Duerr, Kerri L; Lanzone, Michael J.; Fesnock, Amy; Katzner, Todd E.

    2015-01-01

    Anthropogenic development has great potential to affect fragile desert environments. Large-scale development of renewable energy infrastructure is planned for many desert ecosystems. Development plans should account for anthropogenic effects to distributions and abundance of rare or sensitive wildlife; however, baseline data on abundance and distribution of such wildlife are often lacking. We surveyed for predatory birds in the Sonoran and Mojave Deserts of southern California, USA, in an area designated for protection under the “Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan”, to determine how these birds are distributed across the landscape and how this distribution is affected by existing development. We developed species-specific models of resight probability to adjust estimates of abundance and density of each individual common species. Second, we developed combined-species models of resight probability for common and rare species so that we could make use of sparse data on the latter. We determined that many common species, such as red-tailed hawks, loggerhead shrikes, and especially common ravens, are associated with human development and likely subsidized by human activity. Species-specific and combined-species models of resight probability performed similarly, although the former model type provided higher quality information. Comparing abundance estimates with past surveys in the Mojave Desert suggests numbers of predatory birds associated with human development have increased while other sensitive species not associated with development have decreased. This approach gave us information beyond what we would have collected by focusing either on common or rare species, thus it provides a low-cost framework for others conducting surveys in similar desert environments outside of California.

  10. Monitoring the long term stability of the IRS-P6 AWiFS sensor using the Sonoran and RVPN sites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chander, Gyanesh; Sampath, Aparajithan; Angal, Amit; Choi, Taeyoung; Xiong, Xiaoxiong

    2010-10-01

    This paper focuses on radiometric and geometric assessment of the Indian Remote Sensing (IRS-P6) Advanced Wide Field Sensor (AWiFS) sensor using the Sonoran desert and Railroad Valley Playa, Nevada (RVPN) ground sites. Imageto- Image (I2I) accuracy and relative band-to-band (B2B) accuracy were measured. I2I accuracy of the AWiFS imagery was assessed by measuring the imagery against Landsat Global Land Survey (GLS) 2000. The AWiFS images were typically registered to within one pixel to the GLS 2000 mosaic images. The B2B process used the same concepts as the I2I, except instead of a reference image and a search image; the individual bands of a multispectral image are tested against each other. The B2B results showed that all the AWiFS multispectral bands are registered to sub-pixel accuracy. Using the limited amount of scenes available over these ground sites, the reflective bands of AWiFS sensor indicate a long-term drift in the top-of-atmosphere (TOA) reflectance. Because of the limited availability of AWiFS scenes over these ground sites, a comprehensive evaluation of the radiometric stability using these sites is not possible. In order to overcome this limitation, a cross-comparison between AWiFS and Landsat 7 (L7) Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+) was performed using image statistics based on large common areas observed by the sensors within 30 minutes. Regression curves and coefficients of determination for the TOA trends from these sensors were generated to quantify the uncertainty in these relationships and to provide an assessment of the calibration differences between these sensors.

  11. Desert Pavement Studies

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Haff, Peter

    2003-01-01

    Combining plan view information from aerial photography showing details of stream channels on desert pavement surfaces with process-based erosion models, a high-resolution, synthetic topography DEM...

  12. Desert Pavement Studies

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Haff, P

    2003-01-01

    Combining plan view information from aerial photography showing details of stream channels on desert pavement surfaces with process-based erosion models, a high-resolution, "synthetic topography" DEM...

  13. Reclaiming freshwater sustainability in the Cadillac Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sabo, John L.; Sinha, Tushar; Bowling, Laura C.; Schoups, Gerrit H.W.; Wallender, Wesley W.; Campana, Michael E.; Cherkauer, Keith A.; Fuller, Pam L.; Graf, William L.; Hopmans, Jan W.; Kominoski, John S.; Taylor, Carissa; Trimble, Stanley W.; Webb, Robert H.; Wohl, Ellen E.

    2010-01-01

    Increasing human appropriation of freshwater resources presents a tangible limit to the sustainability of cities, agriculture, and ecosystems in the western United States. Marc Reisner tackles this theme in his 1986 classic Cadillac Desert: The American West and Its Disappearing Water. Reisner's analysis paints a portrait of region-wide hydrologic dysfunction in the western United States, suggesting that the storage capacity of reservoirs will be impaired by sediment infilling, croplands will be rendered infertile by salt, and water scarcity will pit growing desert cities against agribusiness in the face of dwindling water resources. Here we evaluate these claims using the best available data and scientific tools. Our analysis provides strong scientific support for many of Reisner's claims, except the notion that reservoir storage is imminently threatened by sediment. More broadly, we estimate that the equivalent of nearly 76% of streamflow in the Cadillac Desert region is currently appropriated by humans, and this figure could rise to nearly 86% under a doubling of the region's population. Thus, Reisner's incisive journalism led him to the same conclusions as those rendered by copious data, modern scientific tools, and the application of a more genuine scientific method. We close with a prospectus for reclaiming freshwater sustainability in the Cadillac Desert, including a suite of recommendations for reducing region-wide human appropriation of streamflow to a target level of 60%.

  14. Jojoba could stop the desert creep

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1982-03-25

    The Sahara desert is estimated to be expanding at a rate of 5km a year. The Sudanese government is experimenting with jojoba in six different regions as the bush has the potential to stop this ''desert creep''. The plant, a native to Mexico, is long known for its resistance to drought and for the versatile liquid wax that can be extracted from its seeds. It is estimated that one hectare of mature plants could produce 3000 kg of oil, currently selling at $50 per litre, and so earn valuable foreign currency.

  15. Simulated variations of eolian dust from inner Asian deserts at the mid-Pliocene, last glacial maximum, and present day: contributions from the regional tectonic uplift and global climate change

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shi, Zhengguo; Liu, Xiaodong; An, Zhisheng [Chinese Academy of Sciences, State Key Laboratory of Loess Quaternary Geology (SKLLQG), Institute of Earth Environment, Xi' an (China); Yi, Bingqi; Yang, Ping [Texas A and M University, College Station, TX (United States); Mahowald, Natalie [Cornell University, Ithaca, NY (United States)

    2011-12-15

    Northern Tibetan Plateau uplift and global climate change are regarded as two important factors responsible for a remarkable increase in dust concentration originating from inner Asian deserts during the Pliocene-Pleistocene period. Dust cycles during the mid-Pliocene, last glacial maximum (LGM), and present day are simulated with a global climate model, based on reconstructed dust source scenarios, to evaluate the relative contributions of the two factors to the increment of dust sedimentation fluxes. In the focused downwind regions of the Chinese Loess Plateau/North Pacific, the model generally produces a light eolian dust mass accumulation rate (MAR) of 7.1/0.28 g/cm{sup 2}/kyr during the mid-Pliocene, a heavier MAR of 11.6/0.87 g/cm{sup 2}/kyr at present, and the heaviest MAR of 24.5/1.15 g/cm{sup 2}/kyr during the LGM. Our results are in good agreement with marine and terrestrial observations. These MAR increases can be attributed to both regional tectonic uplift and global climate change. Comparatively, the climatic factors, including the ice sheet and sea surface temperature changes, have modulated the regional surface wind field and controlled the intensity of sedimentation flux over the Loess Plateau. The impact of the Tibetan Plateau uplift, which increased the areas of inland deserts, is more important over the North Pacific. The dust MAR has been widely used in previous studies as an indicator of inland Asian aridity; however, based on the present results, the interpretation needs to be considered with greater caution that the MAR is actually not only controlled by the source areas but the surface wind velocity. (orig.)

  16. Managed flood effects on beaver pond habitat in a desert riverine ecosystem, bill williams river, Arizona USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andersen, D.C.; Shafroth, P.B.; Pritekel, C.M.; O'Neill, M. W.

    2011-01-01

    The ecological effects of beaver in warm-desert streams are poorly documented, but potentially significant. For example, stream water and sediment budgets may be affected by increased evaporative losses and sediment retention in beaver ponds. We measured physical attributes of beaver pond and adjacent lotic habitats on a regulated Sonoran Desert stream, the Bill Williams River, after ???11 flood-free months in Spring 2007 and Spring 2008. Neither a predicted warming of surface water as it passed through a pond nor a reduction in dissolved oxygen in ponds was consistently observed, but bed sediment sorted to finest in ponds as expected. We observed a river segment-scale downstream rise in daily minimum stream temperature that may have been influenced by the series of ??100 beaver ponds present. Channel cross-sections surveyed before and after an experimental flood (peak flow 65 m3/s) showed net aggradation on nine of 13 cross-sections through ponds and three of seven through lotic reaches. Our results indicate that beaver affect riverine processes in warm deserts much as they do in other biomes. However, effects may be magnified in deserts through the potential for beaver to alter the stream thermal regime and water budget. ?? Society of Wetland Scientists 2011.

  17. Fog water chemistry in the Namib desert, Namibia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eckardt, Frank D.; Schemenauer, Robert S.

    This study documents the ion concentrations and ion enrichment relative to sea water, in Namib Desert fog water, with the purpose of establishing its suitability for future fogwater collection schemes, while also examining claims that Namib Desert fog water carries exceptionally high concentrations of sulphate, which may be responsible for the formation of gypsum deposits in the desert. The work suggests that Namibian fog water is at least as clean as has been reported from other coastal deserts in South America and Arabia, and provides a source of very clean water for the coastal desert region of south-western Africa. It does not appear that fog is an efficient sulphur source for the formation of the gypsum deposits, unless rare events with high concentrations of marine sulphur compounds occur.

  18. Linking stream flow and groundwater to avian habitat in a desert riparian system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merritt, David M; Bateman, Heather L

    2012-10-01

    Increasing human populations have resulted in aggressive water development in arid regions. This development typically results in altered stream flow regimes, reduced annual flow volumes, changes in fluvial disturbance regimes, changes in groundwater levels, and subsequent shifts in ecological patterns and processes. Balancing human demands for water with environmental requirements to maintain functioning ecosystems requires quantitative linkages between water in streams and ecosystem attributes. Streams in the Sonoran Desert provide important habitat for vertebrate species, including resident and migratory birds. Habitat structure, food, and nest-building materials, which are concentrated in riparian areas, are provided directly or indirectly by vegetation. We measured riparian vegetation, groundwater and surface water, habitat structure, and bird occurrence along Cherry Creek, a perennial tributary of the Salt River in central Arizona, USA. The purpose of this work was to develop an integrated model of groundwater-vegetation-habitat structure and bird occurrence by: (1) characterizing structural and provisioning attributes of riparian vegetation through developing a bird habitat index (BHI), (2) validating the utility of our BHI through relating it to measured bird community composition, (3) determining the riparian plant species that best explain the variability in BHI, (4) developing predictive models that link important riparian species to fluvial disturbance and groundwater availability along an arid-land stream, and (5) simulating the effects of changes in flow regime and groundwater levels and determining their consequences for riparian bird communities. Riparian forest and shrubland vegetation cover types were correctly classified in 83% of observations as a function of fluvial disturbance and depth to water table. Groundwater decline and decreased magnitude of fluvial disturbance caused significant shifts in riparian cover types from riparian forest to

  19. Minerals in deserts

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Smith, G.I.

    1982-01-01

    Almost any kind of mineral deposit can occur in desert areas, and the lack of vegetation and soil cover makes finding them easier. Some kinds of deposits, though, are more likely to occur in deserts than elsewhere. Some of these result from processes genetically related to the present desert climate that improved lower grade deposits of ore. One such process, termed secondary enrichment, is most effective in areas with deep water tables, and many low-grade copper, silver, and uranium deposits have been converted into mineable ore by the downward migration and redeposition of soluble metals. In a desert terrane, placer processes are effective whenever running water flowing over steep slopes erodes outcropping ore bodies and transports and concentrates the heavier ore minerals at lower levels, thus converting low-grade or hard-to-mine bedrock deposits into economically workable concentrations. Other kinds of deposits are better preserved in deserts because the lower rainfall at the surface, and the lower volume of flow and the greater depths to groundwater, result in less destruction of soluble ores; deposits of salines and phosphates are the most notable ores affected by these factors. Still other ore deposits are created as a consequence of the arid climate, mostly because the high evaporation rates operating on standing bodies of water produce brines that can lead directly to concentrations of salts and indirectly to secondary minerals, such as zeolites, that are produced by reaction of silicate minerals with saline waters

  20. Productivity of selected plant species adapted to arid regions. [Crassulacean metabolizing plants; Agave deserti and Ferocactus acanthodes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nobel, P.S.

    1980-01-01

    The biomass potential of selected arid region species for alcohol production merits careful consideration. The basis for this interest is the current low agronomic use of arid lands and the potential productivity of certain species adapted to these lands. Plants displaying Crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) are particularly interesting with reference to biomass for fuel in regions with low rainfall, because plants with this photosynthetic process are strikingly efficient in water requirements. For CAM plants, CO/sub 2/ fixation occurs primarily at night, when tissue surface temperature and hence transpirational water loss is less than daytime values. For Agave deserti in the Sonoran desert, the water-use efficiency (mass of CO/sub 2/ fixed/mass of water transpired) over an entire year is an order of magnitude or more larger than for C-3 and C-4 plants. This indicates how well adapted CAM species are to arid regions. The potential productivity per unit land area of CAM plants is fairly substantial and, therefore, of considerable economic interest for arid areas where growth of agricultural plants is minimal.

  1. A potential predator-prey interaction of an American badger and an Agassiz's desert tortoise with a review of badger predation on turtles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Amanda L.; Puffer, Shellie R.; Lovich, Jeffrey E.; Tennant, Laura A.; Arundel, Terry; Vamstad, Michael S.; Brundige, Kathleen D.

    2016-01-01

    The federally threatened Agassiz’s desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) was listed under the U.S. Endangered Species Act in 1990, but thus far, recovery efforts have been unsuccessful (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service [USFWS] 2015). Predation has been identified as a contributing factor to declining G. agassizii populations range-wide (e.g., Esque et al. 2010, Lovich et al. 2014). Understanding and managing for predator-prey dynamics is thus an important part of the recovery and conservation of this threatened species (USFWS 2011). Desert tortoises have a host of predators at all stages of their life cycle. Over 20 species of birds, mammals, and reptiles have been recorded as known or suspected predators (Woodbury and Hardy 1948, Luckenbach 1982, Ernst and Lovich 2009). American badgers (Taxidea taxus, family: Mustelidae) are confirmed excavators of desert tortoise nests (Turner and Berry 1984). They are also suspected predators of adult desert tortoises, a possibility which has been presented in some studies but without empirical verification (Luckenbach 1982, Turner and Berry 1984). Active mostly at night, badgers are solitary, secretive predators (Lindzey 1978, 1982; Armitage 2004) that are extremely difficult to observe in predatory encounters. Recently, strong circumstantial evidence presented by Emblidge et al. (2015) suggests that badgers do prey on adult Agassiz’s desert tortoises based on observations of more than two dozen dead tortoises in the Western Mojave Desert of California. In this note, we present another case of potential badger predation on a large adult desert tortoise in the Sonoran Desert of California. Collectively, these recent two cases potentially indicate that badger predation may be more common and widespread than previously thought. In addition, we review the worldwide literature of badger predation on turtles in general and summarize reported badger observations in Joshua Tree National Park, where our observation occurred, over a

  2. How desert varnish forms?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perry, Randall S.; Kolb, Vera M.; Lynne, Bridget Y.; Sephton, Mark A.; Mcloughlin, Nicola; Engel, Michael H.; Olendzenski, Lorraine; Brasier, Martin; Staley, James T., Jr.

    2005-09-01

    Desert varnish is a black, manganese-rich rock coating that is widespread on Earth. The mechanism underlying its formation, however, has remained unresolved. We present here new data and an associated model for how desert varnish forms, which substantively challenges previously accepted models. We tested both inorganic processes (e.g. clays and oxides cementing coatings) and microbial methods of formation. Techniques used in this preliminary study include SEM-EDAX with backscatter, HRTEM of focused ion beam prepared (FIB) wafers and several other methods including XRPD, Raman spectroscopy, XPS and Tof-SIMS. The only hypothesis capable of explaining a high water content, the presence of organic compounds, an amorphous silica phase (opal-A) and lesser quantities of clays than previously reported, is a mechanism involving the mobilization and redistribution of silica. The discovery of silica in desert varnish suggests labile organics are preserved by interaction with condensing silicic acid. Organisms are not needed for desert varnish formation but Bacteria, Archaea, Eukarya, and other organic compounds are passively incorporated and preserved as organominerals. The rock coatings thus provide useful records of past environments on Earth and possibly other planets. Additionally this model also helps to explain the origin of key varnish and rock glaze features, including their hardness, the nature of the "glue" that binds heterogeneous components together, its layered botryoidal morphology, and its slow rate of formation.

  3. Global Warming: The Instability of Desert Climate is Enhancing in the Northwest Area in China: A Case Study in the Desert Area in Northwestern China

    OpenAIRE

    Zhao-Feng Chang; Shu-Juan Zhu; Fu-Gui Han; Sheng-Nnian Zhong; Qiang-Qiang Wang; Jian-Hui Zhang

    2013-01-01

    To disclose the relation between the sandstorms change and the temperature changes, a case study in the desert area in northwestern china is investigated. The results showed that: the instability of climate in Minqin desert area is enhancing in the arid desert region in northwest China. Mainly as follows: Variation the annual extreme maximum temperature increasing. Variation of extreme minimum temperature also an increasing trend. Average visibility of sandstorms significantly reduced and the...

  4. Pollen spectrum, a cornerstone for tracing the evolution of the eastern Central Asian desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Kai-Qing; Xie, Gan; Li, Min; Li, Jin-Feng; Trivedi, Anjali; Ferguson, David K.; Yao, Yi-Feng; Wang, Yu-Fei

    2018-04-01

    The temperate desert in arid Central Asia (ACA) has acted as a thoroughfare for the ancient Silk Road and today's Belt and Road, linking economic and cultural exchanges between East and West. The interaction between human sustainable development and the dynamic change in the desert ecosystem in this region is an area of concern for governments and scientific communities. Nevertheless, the lack of a pollen spectrum of the dominant taxa within the temperate desert vegetation and a corresponding relation between pollen assemblages and specific desert vegetation types is an obstacle to further understanding the formation and maintenance of this desert ecosystem. In this work, we link pollen assemblages to specific desert vegetation types with a new pollen spectrum with specific pollen grains, specific plant taxa and related habitats, providing a solid foundation for further tracing the evolution of the desert ecosystem in eastern arid Central Asia.

  5. GOPHERUS AGASSIZII (Desert Tortoise)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    JAMES L. BOONE, DANNY L. RAKESTRAW, AND KURT R. RAUTENSTRAUCH

    1997-01-01

    GOPHERLTS AGAISSIZII (Desert Tortoise). Predation. A variety of predators, most notably coyotes (Canis Iatrans) and Common Ravens (Corvis corau) have been reported to prey on hatchling desert tortoises (Emst et al. 1994). Turtles of the United States and Canada (Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C. 578 pp.). Here, we report an observation of a hatchling tortoise, fitted with a radiotransmitter, that was preyed upon by native fire ants (Solenopsis sp.) in the eastern Mojave Desert at Yucca Mountain, Nevada (36 degrees 50 minutes N, 116 degree 25 minutes E). On 8/27/94, tortoise No.9315 (carapace length = 45 mm, age = 5 d) was found alive with eyes, chin, and parts of the head and legs being eaten by ants. The tortoise was alive, but lethargic, and responded little when touched. Eight of 74 other radiomarked hatchlings monitored at Yucca Mountain during 1992-1994 were found dead with fire ants on their carcass 3-7 days after the hatchlings emerged from their nests. It is not known whether those tortoises were killed by ants or were being scavenged when found. While imported fire ants (S. invicta) have long been known to kill hatchling gopher tortoises (G. polyphemus; Mount 1981. J. Alabama Acad. Sci. 52: 71-78), native fire ants have previously not been implicated as predators of desert tortoises. However, only 1 of 75 (or at worst 9 of 75) was killed by fire ants, suggesting that although fire ants do kill hatchlings, they were not important predators on desert tortoises during this study. Tortoise specimens were deposited at the University of California at Berkeley

  6. Desert Pathfinder at Work

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-09-01

    The Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX) project celebrates the inauguration of its outstanding 12-m telescope, located on the 5100m high Chajnantor plateau in the Atacama Desert (Chile). The APEX telescope, designed to work at sub-millimetre wavelengths, in the 0.2 to 1.5 mm range, passed successfully its Science Verification phase in July, and since then is performing regular science observations. This new front-line facility provides access to the "Cold Universe" with unprecedented sensitivity and image quality. After months of careful efforts to set up the telescope to work at the best possible technical level, those involved in the project are looking with satisfaction at the fruit of their labour: APEX is not only fully operational, it has already provided important scientific results. "The superb sensitivity of our detectors together with the excellence of the site allow fantastic observations that would not be possible with any other telescope in the world," said Karl Menten, Director of the group for Millimeter and Sub-Millimeter Astronomy at the Max-Planck-Institute for Radio Astronomy (MPIfR) and Principal Investigator of the APEX project. ESO PR Photo 30/05 ESO PR Photo 30/05 Sub-Millimetre Image of a Stellar Cradle [Preview - JPEG: 400 x 627 pix - 200k] [Normal - JPEG: 800 x 1254 pix - 503k] [Full Res - JPEG: 1539 x 2413 pix - 1.3M] Caption: ESO PR Photo 30/05 is an image of the giant molecular cloud G327 taken with APEX. More than 5000 spectra were taken in the J=3-2 line of the carbon monoxide molecule (CO), one of the best tracers of molecular clouds, in which star formation takes place. The bright peak in the north of the cloud is an evolved star forming region, where the gas is heated by a cluster of new stars. The most interesting region in the image is totally inconspicuous in CO: the G327 hot core, as seen in methanol contours. It is a truly exceptional source, and is one of the richest sources of emission from complex organic molecules in the

  7. Spatial probability models of fire in the desert grasslands of the southwestern USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fire is an important driver of ecological processes in semiarid environments; however, the role of fire in desert grasslands of the Southwestern US is controversial and the regional fire distribution is largely unknown. We characterized the spatial distribution of fire in the desert grassland region...

  8. Desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii dietary specialization decreases across a precipitation gradient.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ian W Murray

    Full Text Available We studied the plant resource use between and within populations of desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii across a precipitation gradient in the Sonoran Desert of Arizona. The carbon and nitrogen stable isotope values in animal tissues are a reflection of the carbon and nitrogen isotope values in diet, and consequently represent a powerful tool to study animal feeding ecology. We measured the δ(13C and δ(15N values in the growth rings on the shells of tortoises in different populations to characterize dietary specialization and track tortoise use of isotopically distinct C4/CAM versus C3 plant resources. Plants using C3 photosynthesis are generally more nutritious than C4 plants and these trait differences can have important growth and fitness consequences for consumers. We found that dietary specialization decreases in successively drier and less vegetated sites, and that broader population niche widths are accompanied by an increase in the dietary variability between individuals. Our results highlight how individual consumer plant resource use is bounded under a varying regime of precipitation and plant productivity, lending insight into how intra-individual dietary specialization varies over a spatial scale of environmental variability.

  9. Using motion-sensor camera technology to infer seasonal activity and thermal niche of the desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agha, Mickey; Augustine, Benjamin; Lovich, Jeffrey E.; Delaney, David F.; Sinervo, Barry; Murphy, Mason O.; Ennen, Joshua R.; Briggs, Jessica R.; Cooper, Robert J.; Price, Steven J.

    2015-01-01

    Understanding the relationships between environmental variables and wildlife activity is an important part of effective management. The desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii), an imperiled species of arid environments in the southwest US, may have increasingly restricted windows for activity due to current warming trends. In summer 2013, we deployed 48 motion sensor cameras at the entrances of tortoise burrows to investigate the effects of temperature, sex, and day of the year on the activity of desert tortoises. Using generalized estimating equations, we found that the relative probability of activity was associated with temperature (linear and quadratic), sex, and day of the year. Sex effects showed that male tortoises are generally more active than female tortoises. Temperature had a quadratic effect, indicating that tortoise activity was heightened at a range of temperatures. In addition, we found significant support for interactions between sex and day of the year, and sex and temperature as predictors of the probability of activity. Using our models, we were able to estimate air temperatures and times (days and hours) that were associated with maximum activity during the study. Because tortoise activity is constrained by environmental conditions such as temperature, it is increasingly vital to conduct studies on how tortoises vary their activity throughout the Sonoran Desert to better understand the effects of a changing climate.

  10. Water/Pasture Assessment of Registan Desert (Kandahar and Helmand Provinces)

    OpenAIRE

    Toderich, Kristina; Tsukatani, Tsuneo

    2005-01-01

    The desolate desert in Afghanistan's Kandahar and Helmand Provinces was previously populated by thousands of pastoralists until a devastating drought decimated animal herds and forced them to live as IDPs (Internally Displaced Persons) on land bordering the desert. Through funding from UNAMA (United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan), this report assesses conditions in the Registan Desert and border regions to devise solutions to the problems facing Registan Kuchi nomads. A work plan ...

  11. Mineral compositions and sources of the riverbed sediment in the desert channel of Yellow River.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jia, Xiaopeng; Wang, Haibing

    2011-02-01

    The Yellow River flows through an extensive, aeolian desert area and extends from Xiaheyan, Ningxia Province, to Toudaoguai, Inner Mongolia Province, with a total length of 1,000 km. Due to the construction and operation of large reservoirs in the upstream of the Yellow River, most water and sediment from upstream were stored in these reservoirs, which leads to the declining flow in the desert channel that has no capability to scour large amount of input of desert sands from the desert regions. By analyzing and comparing the spatial distribution of weight percent of mineral compositions between sediment sources and riverbed sediment of the main tributaries and the desert channel of the Yellow River, we concluded that the coarse sediment deposited in the desert channel of the Yellow River were mostly controlled by the local sediment sources. The analyzed results of the Quartz-Feldspar-Mica (QFM) triangular diagram and the R-factor models of the coarse sediment in the Gansu reach and the desert channel of the Yellow River further confirm that the Ningxia Hedong desert and the Inner Mongolian Wulanbuhe and Kubuqi deserts are the main provenances of the coarse sediment in the desert channel of the Yellow River. Due to the higher fluidity of the fine sediment, they are mainly contributed by the local sediment sources and the tributaries that originated from the loess area of the upper reach of the Yellow River.

  12. Physiological adaptation in desert birds

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Williams, JB; Tieleman, BI; Williams, Joseph B.

    We call into question the idea that birds have not evolved unique physiological adaptations to desert environments. The rate at which desert larks metabolize energy is lower than in mesic species within the same family, and this lower rate of living translates into a lower overall energy requirement

  13. The evolution of deserts with climatic changes in China since 150 ka B.P.

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    董光荣; 陈惠忠; 王贵勇; 李孝泽; 邵亚军; 金炯

    1997-01-01

    According to the bioclimatic zones, dune mobility and the fabric characteristics of stratigraphic sedimentary facies, the deserts in China are divided into Eastern, Western, Central and Northwestern deserts. Based on the records of stratigraphical facies, climatic proxies, historical data, etc. in each desert region, the evolution of deserts with climatic changes in time and space since 150 ka B. P. in China are dealt with; then the evolution of deserts in relation to the glacial climatic fluctuations caused by solar radiation changes, underlying surface variation and their feedback mechanism is discussed through comparison with global records; finally, in consideration of global wanning due to increasing of greenhouse gases such as CO2, the possible tendency of the evolution of deserts and the climatic changes is discussed.

  14. Response of deep groundwater to land use change in desert basins of the Trans-Pecos region, Texas, USA: Effects on infiltration, recharge, and nitrogen fluxes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robertson, Wendy Marie; Böhlke, John Karl; Sharp, John M.

    2017-01-01

    Quantifying the effects of anthropogenic processes on groundwater in arid regions can be complicated by thick unsaturated zones with long transit times. Human activities can alter water and nutrient fluxes, but their impact on groundwater is not always clear. This study of basins in the Trans-Pecos region of Texas links anthropogenic land use and vegetation change with alterations to unsaturated zone fluxes and regional increases in basin groundwater NO3−concentrations. Median increases in groundwater NO3− (by 0.7–0.9 mg-N/l over periods ranging from 10 to 50+ years) occurred despite low precipitation (220–360 mm/year), high potential evapotranspiration (~1570 mm/year), and thick unsaturated zones (10–150+ m). Recent model simulations indicate net infiltration and groundwater recharge can occur beneath Trans-Pecos basin floors, and may have increased due to irrigation and vegetation change. These processes were investigated further with chemical and isotopic data from groundwater and unsaturated zone cores. Some unsaturated zone solute profiles indicate flushing of natural salt accumulations has occurred. Results are consistent with human-influenced flushing of naturally accumulated unsaturated zone nitrogen as an important source of NO3− to the groundwater. Regional mass balance calculations indicate the mass of natural unsaturated zone NO3− (122–910 kg-N/ha) was sufficient to cause the observed groundwater NO3− increases, especially if augmented locally with the addition of fertilizer N. Groundwater NO3− trends can be explained by small volumes of high NO3− modern recharge mixed with larger volumes of older groundwater in wells. This study illustrates the importance of combining long-term monitoring and targeted process studies to improve understanding of human impacts on recharge and nutrient cycling in arid regions, which are vulnerable to the effects of climate change and increasing human reliance on dryland ecosystems.

  15. Supersymmetry without the Desert

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nomura, Yasunori; Poland, David

    2006-01-01

    Naturalness of electroweak symmetry breaking in weak scale supersymmetric theories may suggest the absence of the conventional supersymmetric desert. We present a simple, realistic framework for supersymmetry in which (most of) the virtues of the supersymmetric desert are naturally reproduced without having a large energy interval above the weak scale. The successful supersymmetric prediction for the low-energy gauge couplings is reproduced due to a gauged R symmetry present in the effective theory at the weak scale. The observable sector superpotential naturally takes the form of the next-to-minimal supersymmetric standard model, but without being subject to the Landau pole constraints up to the conventional unification scale. Supersymmetry breaking masses are generated by the F-term and D-term VEVs of singlet and U(1) R gauge fields, as well as by anomaly mediation, at a scale not far above the weak scale. We study the resulting pattern of supersymmetry breaking masses in detail, and find that it can be quite distinct. We construct classes of explicit models within this framework, based on higher dimensional unified theories with TeV-sized extra dimensions. A similar model based on a non-R symmetry is also presented. These models have a rich phenomenology at the TeV scale, and allow for detailed analyses of, e.g., electroweak symmetry breaking

  16. Influence of shrubs on soil chemical properties in Alxa desert steppe, China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hua Fu; Shifang Pei; Yaming Chen; Changgui Wan

    2007-01-01

    Alxa desert steppe is one of severely the degraded rangelands in the Northwest China. Shrubs, as the dominant life form in the desert steppe, play an important role in protecting this region from further desertification. Chemical properties of three soil layers (0 to 10, 10 to 20 and 20 to 30 cm) at three locations (the clump center [A], in the periphery of shrub...

  17. Livestock grazing and the desert tortoise in the Mojave Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oldemeyer, John L.

    1994-01-01

    A large part of the Mojave Desert is not in pristine condition, and some current conditions can be related to past grazing-management practices. No information could be found on densities of the desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) or on vegetative conditions of areas that had not been grazed to allow managers a comparison of range conditions with data on tortoises. Experimental information to assess the effect of livestock grazing on tortoises is lacking, and researchers have not yet examined whether the forage that remains after grazing is sufficient to meet the nutritional needs of desert tortoises.

  18. Mine water supply assessment and evaluation of the system response to the designed demand in a desert region, central Saudi Arabia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yihdego, Yohannes; Drury, Len

    2016-11-01

    The efficient use of water resources in arid region has become highly relevant in the evaluation and mining planning, since the exploration phase to closure. The objective of the numerical groundwater model was to assess the potential for groundwater extraction to meet mine water demand from one of the driest area in the world. Numerical groundwater models were used to assess groundwater resource. Modelling was undertaken using MODFLOW-SURFACT code, an advanced MODFLOW based code, within the framework of Visual MODFLOW version 4.6. A steady state model was developed to assess the regional groundwater flow pattern and to calibrate the recharge and hydraulic conductivity parameters in the model. The model was calibrated with a correlation of coefficient of 0.997, and root-mean-squared error is 0.3 m. A transient simulation model was used to predict the impact of 1.5 million cubic metre/year extraction for 10 years on the main aquifer hydrogeological regime, including after cession of pumping. Modelling simulated four hydrogeological scenarios. Model results for the 'worst case' scenario suggested that the Saq Sandstone aquifer should be capable of supplying the mine water demand (1.5 million cubic metre (MCM)/year) for 10 years. However, the long-term water-level drawdown shows a continuous decrease without achieving steady state conditions; thus, the majority of water is being taken from aquifer storage, and in the long term, there will be a mutual interference from a borefield located to the north of the model area. In this area, the hydraulic gradient is relatively steep and over-pumped for more than 28 years. Other scenario shows that there will be a recovery of around 8 m out of the 11.6-m drawdown, after 18 years of cession of pumping, implying that the aquifer will be stressed and a large percentage of water taken from aquifer storage. To minimise hydrogeological impacts, it is recommended to laterally spread out production bores, bores should be located

  19. Evolutionary hotspots in the Mojave Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vandergast, Amy G.; Inman, Richard D.; Barr, Kelly R.; Nussear, Kenneth E.; Esque, Todd C.; Hathaway, Stacie A.; Wood, Dustin A.; Medica, Philip A.; Breinholt, Jesse W.; Stephen, Catherine L.; Gottscho, Andrew D.; Marks, Sharyn B.; Jennings, W. Bryan; Fisher, Robert N.

    2013-01-01

    Genetic diversity within species provides the raw material for adaptation and evolution. Just as regions of high species diversity are conservation targets, identifying regions containing high genetic diversity and divergence within and among populations may be important to protect future evolutionary potential. When multiple co-distributed species show spatial overlap in high genetic diversity and divergence, these regions can be considered evolutionary hotspots. We mapped spatial population genetic structure for 17 animal species across the Mojave Desert, USA. We analyzed these in concurrence and located 10 regions of high genetic diversity, divergence or both among species. These were mainly concentrated along the western and southern boundaries where ecotones between mountain, grassland and desert habitat are prevalent, and along the Colorado River. We evaluated the extent to which these hotspots overlapped protected lands and utility-scale renewable energy development projects of the Bureau of Land Management. While 30–40% of the total hotspot area was categorized as protected, between 3–7% overlapped with proposed renewable energy project footprints, and up to 17% overlapped with project footprints combined with transmission corridors. Overlap of evolutionary hotspots with renewable energy development mainly occurred in 6 of the 10 identified hotspots. Resulting GIS-based maps can be incorporated into ongoing landscape planning efforts and highlight specific regions where further investigation of impacts to population persistence and genetic connectivity may be warranted.

  20. The prospection of uranium and thorium ores in desert country and in equatorial forest regions of the Union Francaise; La prospection des minerais d'uranium et de thorium dans les pays desertiques et dans les regions de foret equatoriale de l'Union Francaise

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lecoq, J J; Bigotte, G; Hinault, J; Leconte, J R [Commissariat a l' Energie Atomique, Saclay (France). Centre d' Etudes Nucleaires

    1958-07-01

    Since it was founded, the D.R.E.M. has carried out important prospection work in the overseas territories which now make up the Communaute Francaise. This work, now involving almost a million km{sup 2}, represents an experiment scarcely equalled throughout the world. Research in these territories presents both general and technical difficulties, which are especially severe in countries with extreme climates: deserts or dense equatorial forests. The adaptation of various methods of radioactive ore prospection to these regions is described, and also the results obtained. Three particular examples are given in detail: - general exploration in the Hoggar, and reconnoitring of particular indications; - general exploration in the equatorial forest of French Guyana; - detailed study of a sign of uraniferous occurrences and its surroundings in the equatorial zone (Mounana deposit near Franceville (Gabon)). (author) [French] Depuis sa creation, la D.R.E.M. poursuit un effort important de prospection dans les territoires d'outre-mer qui constituent maintenant la Communaute Fran ise. Ces travaux qui interessent maintenant pres d'un million de km{sup 2} constituent une experience qui a peu d'equivalent dans le monde. Les recherches dans ces territoires presentent des difficultes, sur le plan general et sur le plan technique, particulierement ardues dans les pays a climats excessifs: deserts ou forets equatoriales denses. On decrit l'adaptation des diverses methodes de prospection des minerais radioactifs a ces regions et les resultats qu'elles ont fournis. Trois exemples particuliers sont donnes en detail: - Exploration generale au Hoggar, et reconnaissance d'indices particuliers. - Exploration generale en foret equatoriale en Guyane fran ise. - Etude detaillee d'un indice uranifere et de ses environs en zone equatoriale (gisement de Mounana pres de France-ville (Gabon)). (auteur)

  1. The prospection of uranium and thorium ores in desert country and in equatorial forest regions of the Union Francaise; La prospection des minerais d'uranium et de thorium dans les pays desertiques et dans les regions de foret equatoriale de l'Union Francaise

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lecoq, J.J.; Bigotte, G.; Hinault, J.; Leconte, J.R. [Commissariat a l' Energie Atomique, Saclay (France). Centre d' Etudes Nucleaires

    1958-07-01

    Since it was founded, the D.R.E.M. has carried out important prospection work in the overseas territories which now make up the Communaute Francaise. This work, now involving almost a million km{sup 2}, represents an experiment scarcely equalled throughout the world. Research in these territories presents both general and technical difficulties, which are especially severe in countries with extreme climates: deserts or dense equatorial forests. The adaptation of various methods of radioactive ore prospection to these regions is described, and also the results obtained. Three particular examples are given in detail: - general exploration in the Hoggar, and reconnoitring of particular indications; - general exploration in the equatorial forest of French Guyana; - detailed study of a sign of uraniferous occurrences and its surroundings in the equatorial zone (Mounana deposit near Franceville (Gabon)). (author) [French] Depuis sa creation, la D.R.E.M. poursuit un effort important de prospection dans les territoires d'outre-mer qui constituent maintenant la Communaute Fran ise. Ces travaux qui interessent maintenant pres d'un million de km{sup 2} constituent une experience qui a peu d'equivalent dans le monde. Les recherches dans ces territoires presentent des difficultes, sur le plan general et sur le plan technique, particulierement ardues dans les pays a climats excessifs: deserts ou forets equatoriales denses. On decrit l'adaptation des diverses methodes de prospection des minerais radioactifs a ces regions et les resultats qu'elles ont fournis. Trois exemples particuliers sont donnes en detail: - Exploration generale au Hoggar, et reconnaissance d'indices particuliers. - Exploration generale en foret equatoriale en Guyane fran ise. - Etude detaillee d'un indice uranifere et de ses environs en zone equatoriale (gisement de Mounana pres de France-ville (Gabon)). (auteur)

  2. Remote Sensing Field Guide - Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    1991-09-01

    experienced boatmen. Most river water, even in deserts, contains Giardia micro -organisms that can cause serious diarrhea. Sich water should be boiled...water. The solutes and suspended micro -matter can be moved up and down by an oscillating water table and redeposited or precipitated at differ- ent...McCauley, U.S. Geological Survey, Desert Studies Group, Flagstaff, AZ, Nov 1973. B. Servicio Aerofotografia Nacional del Peru (on back). / ...... CONN:MFI

  3. Beaver dams, hydrological thresholds, and controlled floods as a management tool in a desert riverine ecosystem, Bill Williams River, Arizona

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andersen, D.C.; Shafroth, P.B.

    2010-01-01

    Beaver convert lotic stream habitat to lentic through dam construction, and the process is reversed when a flood or other event causes dam failure. We investigated both processes on a regulated Sonoran Desert stream, using the criterion that average current velocity is beaver pond length (determined by the upstream lentic-lotic boundary position) to dam size, and coupling that to the dam-size frequency distribution and repeated censuses of dams along the 58-km river. The ratio fell from 19:1 when no beaver dams were present to beaver. We investigated the dam failure-flood intensity relationship in three independent trials (experimental floods) featuring peak discharge ranging from 37 to 65 m3 s-1. Major damage (breach ??? 3-m wide) occurred at ??? 20% of monitored dams (n = 7-86) and a similar or higher proportion was moderately damaged. We detected neither a relationship between dam size and damage level nor a flood discharge threshold for initiating major damage. Dam constituent materials appeared to control the probability of major damage at low (attenuated) flood magnitude. We conclude that environmental flows prescribed to sustain desert riparian forest will also reduce beaver-created lentic habitat in a non-linear manner determined by both beaver dam and flood attributes. Consideration of both desirable and undesirable consequences of ecological engineering by beaver is important when optimizing environmental flows to meet ecological and socioeconomic goals. ?? 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  4. The provenance of Taklamakan desert sand

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rittner, Martin; Vermeesch, Pieter; Carter, Andrew; Bird, Anna; Stevens, Thomas; Garzanti, Eduardo; Andò, Sergio; Vezzoli, Giovanni; Dutt, Ripul; Xu, Zhiwei; Lu, Huayu

    2016-03-01

    Sand migration in the vast Taklamakan desert within the Tarim Basin (Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous region, PR China) is governed by two competing transport agents: wind and water, which work in diametrically opposed directions. Net aeolian transport is from northeast to south, while fluvial transport occurs from the south to the north and then west to east at the northern rim, due to a gradual northward slope of the underlying topography. We here present the first comprehensive provenance study of Taklamakan desert sand with the aim to characterise the interplay of these two transport mechanisms and their roles in the formation of the sand sea, and to consider the potential of the Tarim Basin as a contributing source to the Chinese Loess Plateau (CLP). Our dataset comprises 39 aeolian and fluvial samples, which were characterised by detrital-zircon U-Pb geochronology, heavy-mineral, and bulk-petrography analyses. Although the inter-sample differences of all three datasets are subtle, a multivariate statistical analysis using multidimensional scaling (MDS) clearly shows that Tarim desert sand is most similar in composition to rivers draining the Kunlun Shan (south) and the Pamirs (west), and is distinctly different from sediment sources in the Tian Shan (north). A small set of samples from the Junggar Basin (north of the Tian Shan) yields different detrital compositions and age spectra than anywhere in the Tarim Basin, indicating that aeolian sediment exchange between the two basins is minimal. Although river transport dominates delivery of sand into the Tarim Basin, wind remobilises and reworks the sediment in the central sand sea. Characteristic signatures of main rivers can be traced from entrance into the basin to the terminus of the Tarim River, and those crossing the desert from the south to north can seasonally bypass sediment through the sand sea. Smaller ephemeral rivers from the Kunlun Shan end in the desert and discharge their sediment there. Both river run

  5. Trajectory and rate of desert vegetation response following cattle removal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robert L. Minckley

    2013-01-01

    Cattle have grazed continuously over the past three centuries in the Sky Island region and most work has focused on how these grazers have affected riparian and grassland habitats. I examined the effects of grazing on a fuller spectrum of desert habitats that occur in the close proximity to the San Bernardino Valley of Mexico and the United States. Plots in each of...

  6. Natural product diversity of actinobacteria in the Atacama Desert.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rateb, Mostafa E; Ebel, Rainer; Jaspars, Marcel

    2018-02-14

    The Atacama Desert of northern Chile is considered one of the most arid and extreme environment on Earth. Its core region was described as featuring "Mars-like" soils that were at one point deemed too extreme for life to exist. However, recent investigations confirmed the presence of diverse culturable actinobacteria. In the current review, we discuss a total of 46 natural products isolated to date representing diverse chemical classes characterized from different actinobacteria isolated from various locations in the Atacama Desert. Their reported biological activities are also discussed.

  7. Water use sources of desert riparian Populus euphratica forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Si, Jianhua; Feng, Qi; Cao, Shengkui; Yu, Tengfei; Zhao, Chunyan

    2014-09-01

    Desert riparian forests are the main body of natural oases in the lower reaches of inland rivers; its growth and distribution are closely related to water use sources. However, how does the desert riparian forest obtains a stable water source and which water sources it uses to effectively avoid or overcome water stress to survive? This paper describes an analysis of the water sources, using the stable oxygen isotope technique and the linear mixed model of the isotopic values and of desert riparian Populus euphratica forests growing at sites with different groundwater depths and conditions. The results showed that the main water source of Populus euphratica changes from water in a single soil layer or groundwater to deep subsoil water and groundwater as the depth of groundwater increases. This appears to be an adaptive selection to arid and water-deficient conditions and is a primary reason for the long-term survival of P. euphratica in the desert riparian forest of an extremely arid region. Water contributions from the various soil layers and from groundwater differed and the desert riparian P. euphratica forests in different habitats had dissimilar water use strategies.

  8. 76 FR 50493 - Notice of Availability of the Record of Decision for the Desert Sunlight Holdings, LLC, Desert...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-08-15

    ... DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management [CACA-48649, LLCAD06000 L51010000 ER0000... right-of-way (ROW) application CACA-48649 for the Desert Sunlight Solar Farm Project (DSSF). The DSSF is... (CACA-052682) where the project would interconnect with the SCE regional transmission system. The DSSF...

  9. Environmental Consequences of an Industry Based on Harvesting the Wild Desert Shrub Jojoba.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foster, Kennith E.

    1980-01-01

    Described are the economic and agricultural issues surrounding the cultivation of desert plants, principally the jojoba, as a source of fuel. The article examines the environmental impacts of an industry based on arid-region cultivation of such plants. (RE)

  10. Isolation of 18 Microsatellite Loci in the Desert Mistletoe Phoradendron californicum (Santalaceae Via 454 Pyrosequencing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juan M. Arroyo

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Premise of the study: Microsatellite primers were developed for the parasitic mistletoe Phoradendron californicum to investigate to what extent population genetic structure depends on host tree distribution within a highly fragmented landscape. Methods and Results: Fourteen unlinked polymorphic and four monomorphic nuclear microsatellite markers were developed using a genomic shotgun pyrosequencing method. A total of 187 alleles plus four monomorphic loci alleles were found in 98 individuals sampled in three populations from the Sonoran Desert in the Baja California peninsula (Mexico. Loci averaged 13.3 alleles per locus (range 4–28, and observed and expected heterozygosities within populations varied from 0.167–0.879 and 0.364–0.932, respectively. Conclusions: Levels of polymorphism of the reported markers are adequate for studies of diversity and fragmentation in natural populations of this parasitic plant. Cross-species amplifications in P. juniperinum and P. diguetianum only showed four markers that could be useful in P. diguetianum.

  11. Deaths in the desert: the human rights crisis on the U.S.-Mexico border.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Androff, David K; Tavassoli, Kyoko Y

    2012-04-01

    Many would acknowledge that immigration is a major issue in the United States and that immigration reform should be a priority. However, there is little attention to the human rights crisis on the U.S.-Mexican border. As a result of tightened border security since 1994, it is estimated that over 5,000 migrants have died in the Sonoran desert. The criminalization of immigration has resulted in a human rights crisis in three areas: (1) the rise of deaths and injuries of migrants crossing the border in harsh and remote locations, (2) the use of mass hearings to prosecute apprehended migrants, and (3) abuses of migrants in immigration detention. These policies and practices have serious repercussions for the affected vulnerable population. Despite recent legislation designed to discourage undocumented immigration, such as Arizona's Senate Bill 1070, the deterrence strategy has not diminished migration--it has only increased the suffering and deaths of migrants. Humanitarian groups are working to prevent more deaths but also have been targeted for criminalization. The profession's ethics compel social workers to work with humanitarian organizations to prevent more deaths and to advocate for humane immigration reform.

  12. Molecular mechanisms of foliar water uptake in a desert tree.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Xia; Zhou, Maoxian; Dong, Xicun; Zou, Songbing; Xiao, Honglang; Ma, Xiao-Fei

    2015-11-12

    Water deficits severely affect growth, particularly for the plants in arid and semiarid regions of the world. In addition to precipitation, other subsidiary water, such as dew, fog, clouds and small rain showers, may also be absorbed by leaves in a process known as foliar water uptake. With the severe scarcity of water in desert regions, this process is increasingly becoming a necessity. Studies have reported on physical and physiological processes of foliar water uptake. However, the molecular mechanisms remain less understood. As major channels for water regulation and transport, aquaporins (AQPs) are involved in this process. However, due to the regulatory complexity and functional diversity of AQPs, their molecular mechanism for foliar water uptake remains unclear. In this study, Tamarix ramosissima, a tree species widely distributed in desert regions, was investigated for gene expression patterns of AQPs and for sap flow velocity. Our results suggest that the foliar water uptake of T. ramosissima occurs in natural fields at night when the humidity is over a threshold of 85 %. The diurnal gene expression pattern of AQPs suggests that most AQP gene expressions display a circadian rhythm, and this could affect both photosynthesis and transpiration. At night, the PIP2-1 gene is also upregulated with increased relative air humidity. This gene expression pattern may allow desert plants to regulate foliar water uptake to adapt to extreme drought. This study suggests a molecular basis of foliar water uptake in desert plants. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Annals of Botany Company.

  13. Localized extinction of an arboreal desert lizard caused by habitat fragmentation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Munguia-Vega, Adrian; Rodriguez-Estrella, Ricardo; Shaw, William W.; Culver, Melanie

    2013-01-01

    We adopted a species’ perspective for predicting extinction risk in a small, endemic, and strictly scansorial lizard (Urosaurus nigricaudus), in an old (∼60 year) and highly fragmented (8% habitat remaining) agricultural landscape from the Sonoran Desert, Mexico. We genotyped 10 microsatellite loci in 280 individuals from 11 populations in fragmented and continuous habitat. Individual dispersal was restricted to less than 400 m, according to analyses of spatial autocorrelation and spatially explicit Bayesian assignment methods. Within this scale, continuous areas and narrow washes with native vegetation allowed high levels of gene flow over tens of kilometers. In the absence of the native vegetation, cleared areas and highways were identified as partial barriers. In contrast, outside the scale of dispersal, cleared areas behaved as complete barriers, and surveys corroborated the species went extinct after a few decades in all small (less than 45 ha), isolated habitat fragments. No evidence for significant loss of genetic diversity was found, but results suggested fragmentation increased the spatial scale of movements, relatedness, genetic structure, and potentially affected sex-biased dispersal. A plausible threshold of individual dispersal predicted only 23% of all fragments in the landscape were linked with migration from continuous habitat, while complete barriers isolated the majority of fragments. Our study suggested limited dispersal, coupled with an inability to use a homogeneous and hostile matrix without vegetation and shade, could result in frequent time-delayed extinctions of small ectotherms in highly fragmented desert landscapes, particularly considering an increase in the risk of overheating and a decrease in dispersal potential induced by global warming.

  14. Molecular mechanisms of foliar water uptake in a desert tree

    OpenAIRE

    Yan, Xia; Zhou, Maoxian; Dong, Xicun; Zou, Songbing; Xiao, Honglang; Ma, Xiao-Fei

    2015-01-01

    Water deficits severely affect growth, particularly for the plants in arid and semiarid regions of the world. In addition to precipitation, other subsidiary water, such as dew, fog, clouds and small rain showers, may also be absorbed by leaves in a process known as foliar water uptake. With the severe scarcity of water in desert regions, this process is increasingly becoming a necessity. Studies have reported on physical and physiological processes of foliar water uptake. However, the molecul...

  15. Reestablishing healthy food retail: changing the landscape of food deserts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karpyn, Allison; Young, Candace; Weiss, Stephanie

    2012-02-01

    The term "food desert" was formally introduced into the lexicon in 1995 and has come to describe areas with limited access to affordable nutritious foods, particularly areas in lower-income neighborhoods. The definition has led to the development of national and regional maps that focus efforts on equity in food access. Recognition of food deserts also marks a strategic change in public health's approach to obesity prevention. Today's emphasis on prevention has shifted away from individual responsibility to the role of the environment in health promotion. A number of solutions are underway to address food deserts, including public–private financing programs, industry commitments, as well as local and regional efforts to put healthy food within reach. The promise of financing programs to facilitate development of healthy food markets in underserved communities is rooted in their potential to alleviate the grocery gap and address underlying environmental contributors to obesity and diet-related diseases, such as obesity and diabetes. As food desert mapping and related interventions expand, there remains a need for ongoing investigation of impacts and the mechanisms by which impacts are achieved.

  16. Challenge theme 1: Understanding and preserving ecological resources: Chapter 3 in United States-Mexican Borderlands: Facing tomorrow's challenges through USGS science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moring, J. Bruce; Papoulias, Diana M.; van Riper, Charles

    2013-01-01

    The notable biodiversity within the United States–Mexican border region is driven by the wide variety of natural landscapes in the area and its biologically unique transition zone of habitats for xeric, temperate, and subtropical species. Six diverse ecoregions cover the length of the border (fig. 3–1): California Coastal Sage, Chaparral, and Oak Woodlands; Sonoran Desert; Madrean Archipelago; Chihuahuan Desert; Southern

  17. Russian deserters of World War I

    OpenAIRE

    Os'kin Maksim

    2014-01-01

    Desertion is one of the most active forms of ordinary resistance of the people to the state pressure during the low-popular war which is conducting for the purposes unclear for the people. At the same time, mass desertion is a manifestation of «total» war in the world conflicts of the XX century. During World War I in all armies of the world there was the desertion often accepting mass character. In the Russian army, as well as in other, deserters appeared from the war beginning. Desertion sca...

  18. Gopherus Agassizii (Desert Tortoise). Predation/Mountain Lions (Pre-Print)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Paul D. Greger and Philip A. Medica

    2009-01-01

    sized Mountain Lion. By comparison, a 2 year old male Mountain Lion salvaged on NTS had an upper intercanine bite width of 45 mm, and a 6 month old kitten measured 35mm respectively. The Mountain Lion (Puma concolor) is the only predator that exists in southern Nevada that could possibly have a bite with a gap between its upper canine teeth that large (Murmann et al. 2006. J. Forensic Sci. 51:846-860). The appearance of the shell remains in Figure 1A is similar to that depicting Jaguar (Panthera onca) predation, on the Amazonian Tortoise (Geochelone denticulata) as illustrated by Emmons (1989. J. Herpetol. 23:311-314) with the majority of the carapace broken open and the plastron still intact. Predation of Desert Tortoises by Mountain Lions was also documented in 1993 in southern Arizona (Little Shipp Wash Plot), where 7 of 8 carcasses found were attributed to Mountain Lion predation (Averill-Murray et al. 2002. In. T.R.Van Devender [ed.], The Sonoran Desert Tortoise: Natural History, Biology, and Conservation, pp.109-134. University of Arizona Press and Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, Tucson, Arizona). Similarly, predation by a Mountain Lion has been reported on the Argentine Tortoise (Chelonoidis chilensis) in Argentina (Acosta et al. 2004. Herpetol. Review 35:53-54), and a Mountain Lion kitten was observed to kill and consume a portion of the carapace of a Texas Tortoise (Gopherus berlandieri) in west Texas (Adams et al. 2006. Southwestern Nat. 51:581-581). Over the past 45 years this Desert Tortoise population has been monitored yearly, with no prior evidence of predation to tortoises within the fenced enclosures. On several occasions other predators such as Bobcats (Lynx rufus) have been observed within the study enclosures for as long as a week. Evidence of Kit Fox (Vulpes macrotus) sign has been observed on numerous occasions, and a Spotted Skunk (Spilogale putorius) and Longtail Weasels (Mustela frenata) have been captured and released (B.G. Maza, pers. comm

  19. Influence of surface roughness of a desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sud, Y. C.; Smith, W. E.

    1984-01-01

    A numerical simulation study, using the current GLAS climate GCM, was carried out to examine the influence of low bulk aerodynamic drag parameter in the deserts. The results illustrate the importance of yet another feedback effect of a desert on itself, that is produced by the reduction in surface roughness height of land once the vegetation dies and desert forms. Apart from affecting the moisture convergence, low bulk transport coefficients of a desert lead to enhanced longwave cooling and sinking which together reduce precipitation by Charney's (1975) mechanism. Thus, this effect, together with albedo and soil moisture influence, perpetuate a desert condition through its geophysical feedback effect. The study further suggests that man made deserts is a viable hypothesis.

  20. Biological soil crusts as an integral component of desert environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belnap, Jayne; Weber, Bettina

    2013-01-01

    The biology and ecology of biological soil crusts, a soil surface community of mosses, lichens, cyanobacteria, green algae, fungi, and bacteria, have only recently been a topic of research. Most efforts began in the western U.S. (Cameron, Harper, Rushforth, and St. Clair), Australia (Rogers), and Israel (Friedmann, Evenari, and Lange) in the late 1960s and 1970s (e.g., Friedmann et al. 1967; Evenari 1985reviewed in Harper and Marble 1988). However, these groups worked independently of each other and, in fact, were often not aware of each other’s work. In addition, biological soil crust communities were seen as more a novelty than a critical component of dryland ecosystems. Since then, researchers have investigated many different aspects of these communities and have shown that although small to microscopic, biological soil crusts are critical in many ecological processes of deserts. They often cover most of desert soil surfaces and substantially mediate inputs and outputs from desert soils (Belnap et al. 2003). They can be a large source of biodiversity for deserts, as they can contain more species than the surrounding vascular plant community (Rosentreter 1986). These communities are important in reducing soil erosion and increasing soil fertility through the capture of dust and the fixation of atmospheric nitrogen and carbon into forms available to other life forms (Elbert et al. 2012). Because of their many effects on soil characteristics, such as external and internal morphological characteristics, aggregate stability, soil moisture, and permeability, they also affect seed germination and establishment and local hydrological cycles. Covering up to 70% of the surface area in many arid and semi-arid regions around the world (Belnap and Lange 2003), biological soil crusts are a key component within desert environments.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aloah J Pope

    2015-08-01

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

  2. Bacterial Rhizosphere Biodiversity from Several Pioneer Desert Sand Plants Near Jizan, Saudi Arabia

    KAUST Repository

    Osman, Jorge R.; Zelicourt, Axel de; Bisseling, Ton; Geurts, Rene; Hirt, Heribert; DuBow, Michael S.

    2016-01-01

    Life in arid regions and, in particular, hot deserts is often limited due to their harsh environmental conditions, such as large temperature fluctuations and low amounts of water. These extreme environments can influence the microbial community present on the surface sands and any rhizosphere members surrounding desert plant roots. The Jizan desert area, located in Saudi Arabia, supports particular vegetation that grows in the large sandy flat terrain. We examined five different samples, four from the rhizosphere of pioneer plants plus a surface sand sample, and used pyrosequencing of PCR-amplified V1-V3 regions of 16S rDNA genes from total extracted DNA to reveal and compare the bacterial population diversity of the samples. The results showed a total of 3,530 OTUs in the five samples, calculated using ≥ 97% sequence similarity levels. The Chao1 estimation of the bacterial diversity fluctuated from 637 to 2,026 OTUs for a given sample. The most abundant members found in the samples belong to the Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes and Proteobacteria phyla. This work shows that the Jizan desert area of Saudi Arabia can contain a diverse bacterial community on the sand and surrounding the roots of pioneer desert plants. It also shows that desert sand microbiomes can vary depending on conditions, with broad implications for sandstone monument bacterial communities

  3. Bacterial Rhizosphere Biodiversity from Several Pioneer Desert Sand Plants Near Jizan, Saudi Arabia

    KAUST Repository

    Osman, Jorge R.

    2016-04-08

    Life in arid regions and, in particular, hot deserts is often limited due to their harsh environmental conditions, such as large temperature fluctuations and low amounts of water. These extreme environments can influence the microbial community present on the surface sands and any rhizosphere members surrounding desert plant roots. The Jizan desert area, located in Saudi Arabia, supports particular vegetation that grows in the large sandy flat terrain. We examined five different samples, four from the rhizosphere of pioneer plants plus a surface sand sample, and used pyrosequencing of PCR-amplified V1-V3 regions of 16S rDNA genes from total extracted DNA to reveal and compare the bacterial population diversity of the samples. The results showed a total of 3,530 OTUs in the five samples, calculated using ≥ 97% sequence similarity levels. The Chao1 estimation of the bacterial diversity fluctuated from 637 to 2,026 OTUs for a given sample. The most abundant members found in the samples belong to the Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes and Proteobacteria phyla. This work shows that the Jizan desert area of Saudi Arabia can contain a diverse bacterial community on the sand and surrounding the roots of pioneer desert plants. It also shows that desert sand microbiomes can vary depending on conditions, with broad implications for sandstone monument bacterial communities

  4. Invited Commentary: More Surprises From a Gene Desert

    OpenAIRE

    Wacholder, Sholom; Yeager, Meredith; Liao, Linda M.

    2012-01-01

    Pleiotropy across the 8q24 region is perhaps the most intriguing of the genome-wide association findings relating to cancer. This region of chromosome 8 is a gene desert, far from any recognized genes. Guarrera et al., whose work is reported in this issue (Am J Epidemiol. 2012;175(6):479–487), took an epidemiologic approach to learn more about the 8q24 region. They capitalized on their ascertainment of other endpoints in members of the cohort at the Turin site of the European Prospective Inve...

  5. Desert farming benefits from microbial potential in arid soils and promotes diversity and plant health.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martina Köberl

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: To convert deserts into arable, green landscapes is a global vision, and desert farming is a strong growing area of agriculture world-wide. However, its effect on diversity of soil microbial communities, which are responsible for important ecosystem services like plant health, is still not known. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We studied the impact of long-term agriculture on desert soil in one of the most prominent examples for organic desert farming in Sekem (Egypt. Using a polyphasic methodological approach to analyse microbial communities in soil as well as associated with cultivated plants, drastic effects caused by 30 years of agriculture were detected. Analysing bacterial fingerprints, we found statistically significant differences between agricultural and native desert soil of about 60%. A pyrosequencing-based analysis of the 16S rRNA gene regions showed higher diversity in agricultural than in desert soil (Shannon diversity indices: 11.21/7.90, and displayed structural differences. The proportion of Firmicutes in field soil was significantly higher (37% than in the desert (11%. Bacillus and Paenibacillus play the key role: they represented 96% of the antagonists towards phytopathogens, and identical 16S rRNA sequences in the amplicon library and for isolates were detected. The proportion of antagonistic strains was doubled in field in comparison to desert soil (21.6%/12.4%; disease-suppressive bacteria were especially enriched in plant roots. On the opposite, several extremophilic bacterial groups, e.g., Acidimicrobium, Rubellimicrobium and Deinococcus-Thermus, disappeared from soil after agricultural use. The N-fixing Herbaspirillum group only occurred in desert soil. Soil bacterial communities were strongly driven by the a-biotic factors water supply and pH. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: After long-term farming, a drastic shift in the bacterial communities in desert soil was observed. Bacterial communities in agricultural

  6. An ecological study of food desert prevalence and 4th grade academic achievement in New York State school districts

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seth E. Frndak

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Background. This ecological study examines the relationship between food desert prevalence and academic achievement at the school district level. Design and methods. Sample included 232 suburban and urban school districts in New York State. Multiple open-source databases were merged to obtain: 4th grade science, English and math scores, school district demographic composition (NYS Report Card, regional socioeconomic indicators (American Community Survey, school district quality (US Common Core of Data, and food desert data (USDA Food Desert Atlas. Multiple regression models assessed the percentage of variation in achievement scores explained by food desert variables, after controlling for additional predictors.Results. The proportion of individuals living in food deserts significantly explained 4th grade achievement scores, after accounting for additional predictors. School districts with higher proportions of individuals living in food desert regions demonstrated lower 4th grade achievement across science, English and math. Conclusions. Food deserts appear to be related to academic achievement at the school district level among urban and suburban regions. Further research is needed to better understand how food access is associated with academic achievement at the individual level.

  7. Microbial communities in a High Arctic polar desert landscape

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Clare M McCann

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available The High Arctic is dominated by polar desert habitats whose microbial communities are poorly understood. In this study, we used next generation sequencing to describe the α- and β-diversity of polar desert soils from the Kongsfjorden region of Svalbard. Ten phyla consistently dominated the soils and accounted for 95 % of all sequences, with Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria and Chloroflexi being the dominant lineages. In contrast to previous investigations of Arctic soils, Acidobacterial relative abundances were low as were the Archaea throughout the Kongsfjorden polar desert landscape. Lower Acidobacterial abundances were attributed to the circumneutral soil pH in this region which has resulted from the weathering of the underlying carbonate geology. In addition, we correlated previously measured geochemical variables to determine potential controls on the communities. Soil phosphorus, pH, nitrogen and calcium significantly correlated with β-diversity indicating a landscape scale lithological control of soil nutrients which in turn influenced community composition. In addition, soil phosphorus and pH significantly correlated with α- diversity, specifically the Shannon diversity and Chao 1 richness indices.

  8. DESERT ECOSYSTEMS: MAPPING, MONITORING & ASSESSMENT USING SATELLITE REMOTE SENSING

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. S. Arya

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Desert ecosystems are unique but fragile ecosystems , mostly vulnerable to a variety of degradational processes like water erosion, vegetal degradation, salinity, wind erosion , water logging etc. Some researchers consider desertification to be a process of change, while others view it as the end result of a process of change. There is an urgent need to arrest the process of desertification and combat land degradation. Under the auspices of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD, Space Applications Centre, Ahmedabad has undertaken the task of mapping, monitoring and assessment of desertification carrying out pilot project in hot and cold desert regions in drylands on 1:50,000 scale followed by systematic Desertification Status Mappaing (DSM of India on 1:500,000 scale.

  9. The Plant Genetic Engineering Laboratory For Desert Adaptation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kemp, John D.; Phillips, Gregory C.

    1985-11-01

    The Plant Genetic Engineering Laboratory for Desert Adaptation (PGEL) is one of five Centers of Technical Excellence established as a part of the state of New Mexico's Rio Grande Research Corridor (RGRC). The scientific mission of PGEL is to bring innovative advances in plant biotechnology to bear on agricultural productivity in arid and semi-arid regions. Research activities focus on molecular and cellular genetics technology development in model systems, but also include stress physiology investigations and development of desert plant resources. PGEL interacts with the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), a national laboratory participating in the RGRC. PGEL also has an economic development mission, which is being pursued through technology transfer activities to private companies and public agencies.

  10. Potential for deserts to supply reliable renewable electric power

    Science.gov (United States)

    Labordena, Mercè; Lilliestam, Johan

    2015-04-01

    To avoid dangerous climate change, the electricity systems must be decarbonized by mid-century. The world has sufficient renewable electricity resources for complete power sector decarbonization, but an expansion of renewables poses several challenges for the electricity systems. First, wind and solar PV power are intermittent and supply-controlled, making it difficult to securely integrate this fluctuating generation into the power systems. Consequently, power sources that are both renewable and dispatchable, such as biomass, hydro and concentrating solar power (CSP), are particularly important. Second, renewable power has a low power density and needs vast areas of land, which is problematic both due to cost reasons and due to land-use conflicts, in particular with agriculture. Renewable and dispatchable technologies that can be built in sparsely inhabited regions or on land with low competition with agriculture would therefore be especially valuable; this land-use competition greatly limits the potential for hydro and biomass electricity. Deserts, however, are precisely such low-competition land, and are at the same time the most suited places for CSP generation, but this option would necessitate long transmission lines from remote places in the deserts to the demand centers such as big cities. We therefore study the potential for fleets of CSP plants in the large deserts of the world to produce reliable and reasonable-cost renewable electricity for regions with high and/or rapidly increasing electricity demand and with a desert within or close to its borders. The regions in focus here are the European Union, North Africa and the Middle East, China and Australia. We conduct the analysis in three steps. First, we identify the best solar generation areas in the selected deserts using geographic information systems (GIS), and applying restrictions to minimize impact on biodiversity, soils, human heath, and land-use and land-cover change. Second, we identify

  11. Rural childhoods in Egypt's desert lands

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Adriansen, Hanne Kirstine

    Based on fieldwork in Egypt’s desert lands, this paper discusses rural childhoods in an area experiencing rapid social and cultural change. Since 1987, the Egyptian Government has made new villages in the desert as a means to increase agricultural production and solving problems of unemployment....... Many settlers move to the Mubarak villages in order to give their children a good start in life. The desert villages are associated with a type of ‘rural idyll’. The process of settling in the desert impacts upon the children’s possible pathways to adulthood and their identities and social......’s new roles impact upon the children’s lives. The social contexts shaping the desert childhoods are in some ways more similar to contexts in ‘developed’ countries than in other parts of rural Egypt. The paper ends up by contrasting ideas of rural childhoods in Egypt with those found in ‘developed...

  12. Spatial, temporal, and density-dependent components of habitat quality for a desert owl.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aaron D Flesch

    Full Text Available Spatial variation in resources is a fundamental driver of habitat quality but the realized value of resources at any point in space may depend on the effects of conspecifics and stochastic factors, such as weather, which vary through time. We evaluated the relative and combined effects of habitat resources, weather, and conspecifics on habitat quality for ferruginous pygmy-owls (Glaucidium brasilianum in the Sonoran Desert of northwest Mexico by monitoring reproductive output and conspecific abundance over 10 years in and around 107 territory patches. Variation in reproductive output was much greater across space than time, and although habitat resources explained a much greater proportion of that variation (0.70 than weather (0.17 or conspecifics (0.13, evidence for interactions among each of these components of the environment was strong. Relative to habitat that was persistently low in quality, high-quality habitat buffered the negative effects of conspecifics and amplified the benefits of favorable weather, but did not buffer the disadvantages of harsh weather. Moreover, the positive effects of favorable weather at low conspecific densities were offset by intraspecific competition at high densities. Although realized habitat quality declined with increasing conspecific density suggesting interference mechanisms associated with an Ideal Free Distribution, broad spatial heterogeneity in habitat quality persisted. Factors linked to food resources had positive effects on reproductive output but only where nest cavities were sufficiently abundant to mitigate the negative effects of heterospecific enemies. Annual precipitation and brooding-season temperature had strong multiplicative effects on reproductive output, which declined at increasing rates as drought and temperature increased, reflecting conditions predicted to become more frequent with climate change. Because the collective environment influences habitat quality in complex ways

  13. Strategic sustainable development of groundwater in Thar desert of Pakistan

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zaigham, N.A.

    2002-01-01

    Thar Desert forms the extreme southeastern part of Pakistan, covering about 50,000 km/sup 2/ area. It is one of the densely populated deserts of the world. Population of Thar is living primarily on limited agricultural products and by raising goats, sheep, cattle, and camels. The region is characterized by parallel chains of the NE-SW trending parabolic stable sanddunes having desertic varieties of vegetation, generally on windward sides, up to the crests. Interdunal areas are favourable for agricultural activities, where crops are mainly dependent on rainwater. Average rainfall is significant but inconsistent, due to recurrent drought-cycles causing inverse impact on food-production and socio-economic development. In spite of extensive groundwater- exploration projects, accomplished by a number of organizations, the water-crisis of the region could not be controlled, most probably due to lack of systematic exploration and development of deep groundwater potential. Management of the available water- resources is also not adequate, even to sustain a short period of drought-cycle. On recurrence of a drought-cycle, a significant section of the population is compelled to migrate towards other parts of the Sindh province, which affects their socio-economic stability. An integrated research study, based on geo-electric scanning, drilling and seismic-data analyses, has been carried out to delineate subsurface hydro-geological conditions beneath the Thar Desert. Regional gradient maps of surface elevation, top of subsurface Oxidized Zone, top of coal-bearing formation(s) and the deeply buried basement have been prepared, covering almost the whole of That Desert. These gradient maps, analyzed in conjunction with the annual rainfall data, reveal the existence of encouraging subsurface hydrogeological conditions, associated with the sedimentary sequences and the basement. From the results of the study, it is observed that perch water aquifers, commonly being utilized

  14. Russian deserters of World War I

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Os'kin Maksim

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Desertion is one of the most active forms of ordinary resistance of the people to the state pressure during the low-popular war which is conducting for the purposes unclear for the people. At the same time, mass desertion is a manifestation of «total» war in the world conflicts of the XX century. During World War I in all armies of the world there was the desertion often accepting mass character. In the Russian army, as well as in other, deserters appeared from the war beginning. Desertion scales in the Russian army explained as objective factors - diffi cult fights, shortage of supply, defeat at the front, and subjective - unwillingness to participate in war, melancholy for the house, desire to help a family the work. Desertion in different years of war had various forms. If at the beginning of war there were mainly «self-arrows», in 1915, during defeats at the front - evasion from entrenchments. By the end of 1916, because of the general fatigue from war, desertion takes the real form - flight from the front to the back. After February revolution desertion becomes mass in which hundreds thousands military personnel take part already. Disorder of army and development of revolutionary process extremely strengthen desertion scales that is explained by the actual lack of punishment for this crime. Destruction of the Russian state during revolution became the main reason of coming to power of Bolsheviks, an exit of Russia from war and the army demobilization which essential part in 1917 already deserted from the front.

  15. Ozone Transport Aloft Drives Surface Ozone Maxima Across the Mojave Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    VanCuren, R. A.

    2014-12-01

    A persistent layer of polluted air in the lower free troposphere over the Mojave Desert (California and Nevada) drives spring and summer surface ozone maxima as deep afternoon mixing delivers ozone and ozone precursors to surface measurement sites 200 km or more downwind of the mountains that separate the deserts from the heavily populated coastal areas of California. Pollutants in this elevated layer derive from California source regions (the Los Angeles megacity region and the intensive agricultural region of the San Joaquin Valley), and from long-range transport from Asia. Recognition of this poorly studied persistent layer explains and expands the significance of previously published reports of ozone and other pollutants observed in and over the Mojave Desert, resolves an apparent paradox in the timing of ozone peaks due to transport from the upwind basins, and provides a new perspective on the long-range downwind impacts of megacity pollution plumes.

  16. An Integrated Multi-Sensor Approach to Monitor Desert Environments by UAV and Satellite Sensors: Case Study Kubuqi Desert, China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, J.; Lin, C. W.; vanGasselt, S.; Lin, S.; Lan, C. W.

    2017-12-01

    Expanding deserts have been causing significant socio-economical threats by, e.g., hampering anthropogenic activities or causing decline of agricultural productivity. Countries in the Asian-Pacific regions in particular have been suffering from dust storms originating in the arid deserts of China, Mongolia and central Asia. In order to mitigate such environmental interferences by means of, e.g. combat desertification activities and early warning systems, the establishment of reliable desert monitoring schemes is needed. In this study, we report on a remote sensing data fusion approach to constantly and precisely monitor desert environments. We have applied this approach over a test site located in the Kubuqi desert located in Northeast China and which is considered to be a major contributor of dust storms today. In order to understand spatial and temporal trends of desertification, the planimetric distribution and 3D shape and size of sand dunes were reconstructed using Digital Terrain Models (DTM) derived from stereo observations made by Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV). Based on this, the volumetric change of sand dunes was directly estimated through co-registered DTMs. We furthermore derived and investigated topographic parameters, such as the aerodynamic roughness length, the protrusion coefficient, the Normalized Difference Angular Index, and the phase coherence derived from spaceborne optical/synthetic aperture radar (SAR) remote sensing assets with the calibration index from UAV observation. Throughout such a multi-data approach, temporal changes of a target's environmental parameters can be traced, analyzed and correlated with weather conditions. An improved understanding of aeolian processes in sand deserts will be a valuable contribution for desertification combat activities and early warning systems for dust storm generation. Future research needs to be conducted over more extensive spatial and temporal domains, also by combining investigations on the

  17. Minimal watering regime impacts on desert adapted green roof plant performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kovachich, S.; Pavao-Zuckerman, M.; Templer, S.; Livingston, M.; Stoltz, R.; Smith, S.

    2011-12-01

    Roof tops can cover one-fifth of urban areas and can greatly alter the movement of matter and energy in cities. With traditional roofing methods and materials, roof tops readily absorb heat and as a result, buildings and the surrounding urban area heat to unnaturally high temperatures. It is hypothesized that extensive green roofs would have wide-ranging benefits for arid environments. However, little is known about the cost of water use associated with green roof installations and how to balance energy reduction needs with water costs in this water limited environment. We are conducting a pilot study to test whether a) green roofs with native plants and environmentally-responsible watering regimes will prove successful in arid environments and if b) green roofs provide ecosystem services with responsible water application. Three species of Sonoran Desert natives, Dyssodia pentachaeta (groundcover), Calliandra eriophylla (shrub), and Hesperaloe parviflora (succulent) have been planted in experimental plots [1 m2 model houses and roofs, replicated in triplicate] with two sandy, rocky desert soil mixtures (light mix: 60% expanded shale and heavy mix: organic and sandy mix with 50% shale) at the Biosphere 2 campus near Oracle, Az. The green roofs are watered by two different techniques. The first technique provides "smart watering", the minimal amount of water needed by green roof plants based on precipitation and historical data. The second watering technique is considered heavy and does not take into account environmental conditions. Preliminary data from the experimental plots shows a 30% decrease in daytime roof top temperatures on green roofs and a 10% decrease in interior temperatures in buildings with green roofs. This trend occurs with both watering regimes (heavy and light). This finding suggests that additional irrigation yields no extra heat reduction and energy savings. In order to explain this phenomenon more clearly, we use co-located temperature and

  18. Deserts

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Graulund, Rune

    2016-01-01

    , comic sketches and lyrical reveries; travel writing is now a crucial focus for discussion across many subjects within the humanities and social sciences. An ideal starting point for beginners, but also offering new perspectives for those familiar with the field, The Routledge Companion to Travel Writing...

  19. Fluvial-aeolian interactions in sediment routing and sedimentary signal buffering: an example from the Indus Basin and Thar Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    East, Amy E.; Clift, Peter D.; Carter, Andrew; Alizai, Anwar; VanLaningham, Sam

    2015-01-01

    Sediment production and its subsequent preservation in the marine stratigraphic record offshore of large rivers are linked by complex sediment-transfer systems. To interpret the stratigraphic record it is critical to understand how environmental signals transfer from sedimentary source regions to depositional sinks, and in particular to understand the role of buffering in obscuring climatic or tectonic signals. In dryland regions, signal buffering can include sediment cycling through linked fluvial and eolian systems. We investigate sediment-routing connectivity between the Indus River and the Thar Desert, where fluvial and eolian systems exchanged sediment over large spatial scales (hundreds of kilometers). Summer monsoon winds recycle sediment from the lower Indus River and delta northeastward, i.e., downwind and upstream, into the desert. Far-field eolian recycling of Indus sediment is important enough to control sediment provenance at the downwind end of the desert substantially, although the proportion of Indus sediment of various ages varies regionally within the desert; dune sands in the northwestern Thar Desert resemble the Late Holocene–Recent Indus delta, requiring short transport and reworking times. On smaller spatial scales (1–10 m) along fluvial channels in the northern Thar Desert, there is also stratigraphic evidence of fluvial and eolian sediment reworking from local rivers. In terms of sediment volume, we estimate that the Thar Desert could be a more substantial sedimentary store than all other known buffer regions in the Indus basin combined. Thus, since the mid-Holocene, when the desert expanded as the summer monsoon rainfall decreased, fluvial-eolian recycling has been an important but little recognized process buffering sediment flux to the ocean. Similar fluvial-eolian connectivity likely also affects sediment routing and signal transfer in other dryland regions globally.

  20. Precipitation Dynamics and Feedback mechanisms of the Arabian Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burger, Roelof; Kucera, Paul; Piketh, Stuart; Axisa, Duncan; Chapman, Michael; Krauss, Terry; Ghulam, Ayman

    2010-05-01

    The subtropical Arabian desert extends across the entire Peninsula. The Arabian desert finds itself in the downward branch of the Hadley cell with persistent subsidence. This stabilizes the atmosphere and lowers the relative humidity. The result is a strongly capped convective boundary layer and an extremely dry mid troposphere. Most of the area experience very little rainfall, generally below 100 mm per year, resulting in the largest uninterrupted sand desert in the world. However, local factors such as an unbroken 1000 km escarpment along the Red Sea, rocky mountains between 2000 and 3000 m, and gravel plains cut by wadis, causes micro climates with significant altered precipitation characteristics. Altitude oases with annual rainfall between 200 mm and 500 mm are found on the Asir mountains in the south west and over the Jebel Akdhar mountains on the Gulf coast of Oman. This region receives most of its rainfall in the Northern Hemisphere summer driven by a monsoon trough and the ITCZ. During summer, moist surface winds from the Red Sea converges with dry easterlies triggering convection along the Asir escarpment on a daily basis. Clear mornings grow into a layer of Altocumulus stratiformis cumulogenites by noon, which usually last until sunset. This cloud deck interacts with large severe convective cells which grow to the top of the troposphere by mid afternoon. The north experience a mediterranean climate with eastward propagating midlatitude cyclones causing wintertime rainfall. Characteristic cloud bands form over the northern interior. Vertically layered embedded convective cells that are not coupled with the surface propagate on north easterly tracks. This result in another oasis with annual rainfall exceeding 200 mm. Surface based convection causes isolated thunderstorms during spring and early summer, but cloud bases increase as the season progress until the evaporating downdraft causes dust storms. In-situ measurements, WRF model runs, radiosonde ascends

  1. Desertions in nineteenth-century shipping: modelling quit behaviour

    OpenAIRE

    Jari Ojala; Jaakko Pehkonen; Jari Eloranta

    2013-01-01

    Ship jumping in foreign ports was widespread throughout the age of sail. Desertion by seamen was illegal, it occurred abroad, and men who deserted only seldom returned home. We analyse desertion quantitatively and link it to the broader question of quit behaviour and labour turnover. Though the better wages paid at the foreign ports were the main reason for desertion, the regression model of the determinants of desertion indicates that outside opportunities, such as migration, and monetary in...

  2. Desert potholes: Ephemeral aquatic microsystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chan, M.A.; Moser, K.; Davis, J.M.; Southam, G.; Hughes, K.; Graham, T.

    2005-01-01

    An enigma of the Colorado Plateau high desert is the "pothole", which ranges from shallow ephemeral puddles to deeply carved pools. The existence of prokaryotic to eukaryotic organisms within these pools is largely controlled by the presence of collected rainwater. Multivariate statistical analysis of physical and chemical limnologic data variables measured from potholes indicates spatial and temporal variations, particularly in water depth, manganese, iron, nitrate and sulfate concentrations and salinity. Variation in water depth and salinity are likely related to the amount of time since the last precipitation, whereas the other variables may be related to redox potential. The spatial and temporal variations in water chemistry affect the distribution of organisms, which must adapt to daily and seasonal extremes of fluctuating temperature (0-60 ??C), pH changes of as much as 5 units over 12 days, and desiccation. For example, many species become dormant when potholes dry, in order to endure intense heat, UV radiation, desiccation and freezing, only to flourish again upon rehydration. But the pothole organisms also have a profound impact on the potholes. Through photosynthesis and respiration, pothole organisms affect redox potential, and indirectly alter the water chemistry. Laboratory examination of dried biofilm from the potholes revealed that within 2 weeks of hydration, the surface of the desiccated, black biofilm became green from cyanobacterial growth, which supported significant growth in heterotrophic bacterial populations. This complex biofilm is persumably responsible for dissolving the cement between the sandstone grains, allowing the potholes to enlarge, and for sealing the potholes, enabling them to retain water longer than the surrounding sandstone. Despite the remarkable ability of life in potholes to persist, desert potholes may be extremely sensitive to anthropogenic effects. The unique limnology and ecology of Utah potholes holds great scientific

  3. Vegetation - Central Mojave Desert [ds166

    Data.gov (United States)

    California Natural Resource Agency — The Department of Defense and the other desert managers are developing and organizing scientific information needed to better manage the natural resources of the...

  4. Microbial ecology of hot desert edaphic systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Makhalanyane, Thulani P; Valverde, Angel; Gunnigle, Eoin; Frossard, Aline; Ramond, Jean-Baptiste; Cowan, Don A

    2015-03-01

    A significant proportion of the Earth's surface is desert or in the process of desertification. The extreme environmental conditions that characterize these areas result in a surface that is essentially barren, with a limited range of higher plants and animals. Microbial communities are probably the dominant drivers of these systems, mediating key ecosystem processes. In this review, we examine the microbial communities of hot desert terrestrial biotopes (including soils, cryptic and refuge niches and plant-root-associated microbes) and the processes that govern their assembly. We also assess the possible effects of global climate change on hot desert microbial communities and the resulting feedback mechanisms. We conclude by discussing current gaps in our understanding of the microbiology of hot deserts and suggest fruitful avenues for future research. © FEMS 2015. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  5. Status of the Desert Fireball Network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Devillepoix, H. A. R.; Bland, P. A.; Towner, M. C.; Cupák, M.; Sansom, E. K.; Jansen-Sturgeon, T.; Howie, R. M.; Paxman, J.; Hartig, B. A. D.

    2016-01-01

    A meteorite fall precisely observed from multiple locations allows us to track the object back to the region of the Solar System it came from, and sometimes link it with a parent body, providing context information that helps trace the history of the Solar System. The Desert Fireball Network (DFN) is built in arid areas of Australia: its observatories get favorable observing conditions, and meteorite recovery is eased thanks to the mostly featureless terrain. After the successful recovery of two meteorites with 4 film cameras, the DFN has now switched to a digital network, operating 51 cameras, covering 2.5 million km2 of double station triangulable area. Mostly made of off-the-shelf components, the new observatories are cost effective while maintaining high imaging performance. To process the data (~70TB/month), a significant effort has been put to writing an automated reduction pipeline so that all events are reduced with little human intervention. Innovative techniques have been implemented for this purpose: machine learning algorithms for event detection, blind astrometric calibration, and particle filter simulations to estimate both physical properties and state vector of the meteoroid. On 31 December 2015, the first meteorite from the digital systems was recovered: Murrili (the 1.68 kg H5 ordinary chondrite was observed to fall on 27 November 2015). Another 11 events have been flagged as potential meteorites droppers, and are to be searched in the coming months.

  6. Observed 20th Century Desert Dust Variability: Impact on Climate and Biogeochemistry

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mahowald, Natalie [Cornell University; Kloster, Silvia [Cornell University; Engelstaedter, S. [Cornell University; Moore, Jefferson Keith [University of California, Irvine; Mukhopadhyay, S. [Harvard University; McConnell, J. R. [Desert Research Institute, Reno, NV; Albani, S. [Cornell University; Doney, Scott C. [Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), Woods Hole, MA; Bhattacharya, A. [Harvard University; Curran, M. A. J. [Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre; Flanner, Mark G. [University of Michigan; Hoffman, Forrest M [ORNL; Lawrence, David M. [National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR); Lindsay, Keith [National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR); Mayewski, P. A. [University of Maine; Neff, Jason [University of Colorado, Boulder; Rothenberg, D. [Cornell University; Thomas, E. [British Antarctic Survey, Cambridge, UK; Thornton, Peter E [ORNL; Zender, Charlie S. [University of California, Irvine

    2010-01-01

    Desert dust perturbs climate by directly and indirectly interacting with incoming solar and outgoing long wave radiation, thereby changing precipitation and temperature, in addition to modifying ocean and land biogeochemistry. While we know that desert dust is sensitive to perturbations in climate and human land use, previous studies have been unable to determine whether humans were increasing or decreasing desert dust in the global average. Here we present observational estimates of desert dust based on paleodata proxies showing a doubling of desert dust during the 20th century over much, but not all the globe. Large uncertainties remain in estimates of desert dust variability over 20th century due to limited data. Using these observational estimates of desert dust change in combination with ocean, atmosphere and land models, we calculate the net radiative effect of these observed changes (top of atmosphere) over the 20th century to be -0.14 {+-} 0.11 W/m{sup 2} (1990-1999 vs. 1905-1914). The estimated radiative change due to dust is especially strong between the heavily loaded 1980-1989 and the less heavily loaded 1955-1964 time periods (-0.57 {+-} 0.46 W/m{sup 2}), which model simulations suggest may have reduced the rate of temperature increase between these time periods by 0.11 C. Model simulations also indicate strong regional shifts in precipitation and temperature from desert dust changes, causing 6 ppm (12 PgC) reduction in model carbon uptake by the terrestrial biosphere over the 20th century. Desert dust carries iron, an important micronutrient for ocean biogeochemistry that can modulate ocean carbon storage; here we show that dust deposition trends increase ocean productivity by an estimated 6% over the 20th century, drawing down an additional 4 ppm (8 PgC) of carbon dioxide into the oceans. Thus, perturbations to desert dust over the 20th century inferred from observations are potentially important for climate and biogeochemistry, and our understanding

  7. Observed 20th century desert dust variability: impact on climate and biogeochemistry

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. M. Mahowald

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available Desert dust perturbs climate by directly and indirectly interacting with incoming solar and outgoing long wave radiation, thereby changing precipitation and temperature, in addition to modifying ocean and land biogeochemistry. While we know that desert dust is sensitive to perturbations in climate and human land use, previous studies have been unable to determine whether humans were increasing or decreasing desert dust in the global average. Here we present observational estimates of desert dust based on paleodata proxies showing a doubling of desert dust during the 20th century over much, but not all the globe. Large uncertainties remain in estimates of desert dust variability over 20th century due to limited data. Using these observational estimates of desert dust change in combination with ocean, atmosphere and land models, we calculate the net radiative effect of these observed changes (top of atmosphere over the 20th century to be −0.14 ± 0.11 W/m2 (1990–1999 vs. 1905–1914. The estimated radiative change due to dust is especially strong between the heavily loaded 1980–1989 and the less heavily loaded 1955–1964 time periods (−0.57 ± 0.46 W/m2, which model simulations suggest may have reduced the rate of temperature increase between these time periods by 0.11 °C. Model simulations also indicate strong regional shifts in precipitation and temperature from desert dust changes, causing 6 ppm (12 PgC reduction in model carbon uptake by the terrestrial biosphere over the 20th century. Desert dust carries iron, an important micronutrient for ocean biogeochemistry that can modulate ocean carbon storage; here we show that dust deposition trends increase ocean productivity by an estimated 6% over the 20th century, drawing down an additional 4 ppm (8 PgC of carbon dioxide into the oceans. Thus, perturbations to desert dust over the 20th century inferred from observations are potentially important for climate and

  8. In vitro germination of desert rose varieties(

    OpenAIRE

    Tatiane Lemos Varella; Gizelly Mendes Silva; Kaliane Zaira Camacho Maximiliano da Cruz; Andréia Izabel Mikovski; Josué Ribeiro da Silva Nunes; Ilio Fealho Carvalho; Maurecilne Lemes Silva

    2015-01-01

    The drought stress resistance is a characteristic of the desert rose and its estimable beauty flowers, which gave it great relevance in the ornamental market. However, the desert rose production and germination is hampered by possible sterility of their male and female flowers and frequent problems in pollination, so the tissue culture is a promising alternative to the propagation of these plants. This study aimed to evaluate the effect of gibberellic acid on four commercial varieties of dese...

  9. Late Quaternary history of the Atacama Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Latorre, Claudio; Betancourt, Julio L.; Rech, Jason A.; Quade, Jay; Holmgren, Camille; Placzek, Christa; Maldonado, Antonio; Vuille, Mathias; Rylander, Kate A.; Smith, Mike; Hesse, Paul

    2005-01-01

    Of the major subtropical deserts found in the Southern Hemisphere, the Atacama Desert is the driest. Throughout the Quaternary, the most pervasive climatic influence on the desert has been millennial-scale changes in the frequency and seasonality of the scant rainfall, and associated shifts in plant and animal distributions with elevation along the eastern margin of the desert. Over the past six years, we have mapped modern vegetation gradients and developed a number of palaeoenvironmental records, including vegetation histories from fossil rodent middens, groundwater levels from wetland (spring) deposits, and lake levels from shoreline evidence, along a 1200-kilometre transect (16–26°S) in the Atacama Desert. A strength of this palaeoclimate transect has been the ability to apply the same methodologies across broad elevational, latitudinal, climatic, vegetation and hydrological gradients. We are using this transect to reconstruct the histories of key components of the South American tropical (summer) and extratropical (winter) rainfall belts, precisely at those elevations where average annual rainfall wanes to zero. The focus has been on the transition from sparse, shrubby vegetation (known as the prepuna) into absolute desert, an expansive hyperarid terrain that extends from just above the coastal fog zone (approximately 800 metres) to more than 3500 metres in the most arid sectors in the southern Atacama.

  10. Characterizing dust aerosols in the atmospheric boundary layer over the deserts in Northwest China: monitoring network and field observation

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Q.; Matimin, A.; Yang, X.

    2016-12-01

    TheTaklimakan, Gurbantunggut and BadainJaran Deserts with the total area of 43.8×104 km2 in Northwest China are the major dust emission sources in Central Asia. Understanding Central Asian dust emissions and the interaction with the atmospheric boundary layer has an important implication for regional and global climate and environment changes. In order to explore these scientific issues, a monitoring network of 63 sites was established over the vast deserts (Taklimakan Desert, Gurbantunggut Desert and Badain Jaran Desert) in Northwest China for the comprehensive measurements of dust aerosol emission, transport and deposition as well as the atmospheric boundary layer including the meteorological parameters of boundary layer, surface radiation, surface heat fluxes, soil parameters, dust aerosol properties, water vapor profiles, and dust emission. Based on the monitoring network, the field experiments have been conducted to characterize dust aerosols and the atmospheric boundary layer over the deserts. The experiment observation indicated that depth of the convective boundary layer can reach 5000m on summer afternoons. In desert regions, the diurnal mean net radiation was effected significantly by dust weather, and sensible heat was much greater than latent heat accounting about 40-50% in the heat balance of desert. The surface soil and dust size distributions of Northwest China Deserts were obtained through widely collecting samples, results showed that the dominant dust particle size was PM100within 80m height, on average accounting for 60-80% of the samples, with 0.9-2.5% for PM0-2.5, 3.5-7.0% for PM0-10 and 5.0-14.0% for PM0-20. The time dust emission of Taklimakan Desert, Gurbantunggut Desert and Badain Jaran Desert accounted for 0.48%, 7.3%×10-5and 1.9% of the total time within a year, and the threshold friction velocity for dust emission were 0.22-1.06m/s, 0.29-1.5m/s and 0.21-0.59m/s, respectively.

  11. Clean power from deserts. The DESERTEC concept for energy, water and climate security

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2009-07-01

    The main challenge for the future is to reclaim energy from renewable and clean sources in environmentally compatible ways. Here the deserts of the earth can play a key role. They receive about 700 times more energy from the sun than humankind consumes by burning fossil fuels, day by day. Deserts are the places with the best solar radiation conditions and with the least possible impact of collector deployment onto the biosphere on earth. In deserts, clean power can be produced by solar thermal power plants (CSP) in a truly sustainable way and at any volume of conceivable demand. Power can be transmitted with low losses by high voltage direct current (HVDC) lines to more than 90% of the world's population. This gives the deserts a new role: Together with the many other forms of accessible renewable energy the newly utilized desert would enable us to replace fossil fuels and thus end the ongoing destruction of our natural living conditions. To put this into practice, countries with deserts, countries with high energy demand and countries with technology competence must cooperate. This is an opportunity for the Mediterranean riparian regions of Europe, the Middle East and North Africa (EUMENA) to form a community for energy, water and climate security. With the political will, EUMENA countries could now launch 'EUMENA-DESERTEC' Program, to bring humankind back into balance with its environment, by putting deserts and technology into service for energy, water and climate security. This would be an important step towards creating a truly sustainable civilization.

  12. Lithium abundance patterns of late-F stars: an in-depth analysis of the lithium desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aguilera-Gómez, Claudia; Ramírez, Iván; Chanamé, Julio

    2018-06-01

    Aims: We address the existence and origin of the lithium (Li) desert, a region in the Li-Teff plane sparsely populated by stars. Here we analyze some of the explanations that have been suggested for this region, including mixing in the late main sequence, a Li dip origin for stars with low Li abundances in the region, and a possible relation with the presence of planets. Methods: To study the Li desert, we measured the atmospheric parameters and Li abundance of 227 late-F dwarfs and subgiants, chosen to be in the Teff range of the desert and without previous Li abundance measurements. Subsequently, we complemented those with literature data to obtain a homogeneous catalog of 2318 stars, for which we compute masses and ages. We characterize stars surrounding the region of the Li desert. Results: We conclude that stars with low Li abundances below the desert are more massive and more evolved than stars above the desert. Given the unexpected presence of low Li abundance stars in this effective temperature range, we concentrate on finding their origin. We conclude that these stars with low Li abundance do not evolve from stars above the desert: at a given mass, stars with low Li (i.e., below the desert) are more metal-poor. Conclusions: Instead, we suggest that stars below the Li desert are consistent with having evolved from the Li dip, discarding the need to invoke additional mixing to explain this feature. Thus, stars below the Li desert are not peculiar and are only distinguished from other subgiants evolved from the Li dip in that their combination of atmospheric parameters locates them in a range of effective temperatures where otherwise only high Li abundance stars would be found (i.e., stars above the desert). Full Tables 1 and 3 are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (http://130.79.128.5) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/614/A55This paper includes observations collected at The McDonald Observatory and

  13. Medicinal flora of the Cholistan desert: a review

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hmeed, M.; Ashraf, M.; Nawaz, T.; Naz, N.; Ahmad, M.S.A.; Al-Quriany, F.; Younis, A.

    2011-01-01

    The Cholistan desert can be divided into two distinct regions on the basis of topography, soil type and texture, and vegetation structure: the northern Lesser Cholistan and southern Greater Cholistan. The desert is characterized by large saline compacted areas with alluvial clay, sandy ridges and dunes, and semi-stabilized to frequently shifting dunes. The climate is subtropical, harsh, hot and arid, and influenced by seasonal monsoons. Vegetation cover on the sand dunes is comprised by a few tussock-forming grasses including Cenchrus ciliaris, Panicum turgidum and Lasiurus scindicus, along with perennial shrubs Calligonum polygonoides, Leptadenia pyrotechnica and Aerva javanica. Interdunal flats are dominated by grasses, mainly Cymbopogon jwarancusa, Sporobolus ioclados, Panicum antidotale, and Ochthochloa compressa, and tall shrubs Calligonum polygonoides and Capparis decidua. Vegetation of saline patches is specific, dominated by halophytes mainly belonging to family Chenopodiaceae (Amaranthaceae). Many plants of the Cholistan desert, including Neurada procumbens, Aerva javanica, Capparis decidua, Cleome brachycarpa, Dipterygium glaucum, Gisekia pharnacioides, Suaeda fruticosa, Achyranthes aspera, Aerva javanica, Alhagi maurorum, Calotropis procera, Capparis decidua, Zaleya pentandra, Mollugo cerviana, Ziziphus mauritiana, Boerhavia procumbens, Cressa cretica and Crotalaria burhia, are frequently used by the local inhabitants to cure chronic and acute diseases. A variety of medicinally important chemical compounds have been extracted and identified from the plants of the Cholistan desert, including terpenes and triterpenoids, sterols and steroids, phenolics, flavonoids, gums and resins, quinones, anthocyanidines, saponins, antioxidants and fatty acids. Habitat degradation, intensive agricultural practices and over exploitation of resources pose a serious threat to the diversity of ethno botanically important plant species. Allopathic medicines are generally

  14. Are There High Meteorite Concentrations in the Atacama Desert/Chile?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scherer, P.; Delisle, G.

    1992-07-01

    We have visited numerous regions of the Atacama desert between Copiapo (27 degrees, 15'S) and Calama (22 degrees, 25'S) to assess their potential as a high-yield meteorite concentration surface, easily exploitable by search efforts within a reasonable time frame. According to our observations, this desert is characterized by the following features: a) A high percentage of the desert consists of sloping surfaces on which soil movement occurs, presumably by very infrequent, though heavy rain. b) Vast areas of the desert are covered by a dm-thick sand layer of dark colour. Since the sand is too coarse-grained to be transported by wind it presumably resulted from in-situ weathering of rock debris derived from nearby mountains. We suspect that impacting smaller objects can easily penetrate the sand layer. c) The sand layer is typically dotted by rocks, fist-size or smaller, that are covered by a thick layer of desert paint (reddish-brown to black colour). Most country rocks are of volcanic origin (rhyolite, andesite, basalt) and are typically of grey to black colour. A noticeable colour contrast in particular to potential stony meteorites is almost nonexistent. d) Soil salts with a potential to speed up weathering processes are ubiquitous near the surface. e) The Pampa de Mejillones, 45 km north of Antofagasta, is one of the few light-coloured areas in the Atacama desert. The surface, being of Mio-Pliocene age, consists of an almost continuous layer of light-brown fossil shells (bivalves and gastropodes). Fluvially transported dark rocks from adjacent outcrops rest on top. The latter material is covered again by desert paint. Few meteorite discoveries have been reported from this area (Pampa (a),(b),(c)). f) Numerous old tire tracks, in particular around mines in operation, crisscross most areas of the Atacama. Undetected objects such as large masses of iron bodies are not likely to have remained undiscovered in great numbers any more. We conclude that the potential of

  15. Transport aloft drives peak ozone in the Mojave Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    VanCuren, Richard

    2015-05-01

    Transport of anthropogenic pollution eastward out of the Los Angeles megacity region in California has been periodically observed to reach the Colorado River and the Colorado Plateau region beyond. In the 1980s, anthropogenic halocarbon tracers measured in and near the Las Angeles urban area and at a mountain-top site near the Colorado River, 400 km downwind, were shown to have a correlated seven-day cycle explainable by transport from the urban area with a time lag of 1-2 days. Recent short term springtime intensive studies using aircraft observations and regional modeling of long range transport of ozone from the Southern California megacity region showed frequent and persistent ozone impacts at surface sites across the Colorado Plateau and Southern Rocky Mountain region, at distances up to 1500 km, also with time lags of 1-2 days. However, the timing of ozone peaks at low altitude monitoring sites within the Mojave Desert, at distances from 100 to 400 km from the South Coast and San Joaquin Valley ozone source regions, does not show the expected time-lag behavior seen in the larger transport studies. This discrepancy is explained by recognizing ozone transport across the Mojave Desert to occur in a persistent layer of polluted air in the lower free troposphere with a base level at approximately 1 km MSL. This layer impacts elevated downwind sites directly, but only influences low altitude surface ozone maxima through deep afternoon mixing. Pollutants in this elevated layer derive from California source regions (the Los Angeles megacity region and the intensive agricultural region of the San Joaquin Valley), from long-range transport from Asia, and stratospheric down-mixing. Recognition of the role of afternoon mixing during spring and summer over the Mojave explains and expands the significance of previously published reports of ozone and other pollutants observed in and over the Mojave Desert, and resolves an apparent paradox in the timing of ozone peaks due to

  16. HIGH FOLIAR NITROGEN IN DESERT SHRUBS: AN IMPORTANT ECOSYSTEM TRAIT OR DEFECTIVE DESERT DOCTRINE?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nitrogen concentrations in green and senesced leaves of perennial desert shrubs were compiled from a worldwide literature search to test the validity of the doctrine that desert shrubs produce foliage and leaf litter much richer in nitrogen than that in the foliage of plants from...

  17. Tree establishment along an ENSO experimental gradient in the Atacama desert

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Squeo, F.A.; Holmgren, M.; Jimenez, L.; Alban, L.; Reyes, J.; Gutierrez, J.R.

    2007-01-01

    Questions: (1) What are the roles of regional climate and plant growth rate for seedling establishment during ENSO rainy pulses along the western coast of South America? (2) What is the water threshold for tree seedling establishment in these arid ecosystems? Location: Atacama Desert, western South

  18. Natural Radioactivity Levels in Environmental Samples in North Western Desert of Egypt

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    El-Daly, A.; Hussein, A.S.

    2009-01-01

    Soil and sediment samples were collected from North western desert of Egypt. Gamma spectroscopy was used to determine the concentration of naturally occurring radionuclides 238 U, 232 Th and 40 K. The hazard index due to these radionuclides has been calculated. The measurement results obtained from this study indicate that the region has background radioactivity levels within natural limits

  19. The Australian Desert Fireball Network: a new era for planetary science

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Bland, P.A.; Spurný, Pavel; Bevan, A.W.R.; Howard, K.T.; Towner, M.C.; Benedix, G.K.; Greenwood, R.C.; Shrbený, Lukáš; Franchi, I.A.; Deacon, G.; Borovička, Jiří; Ceplecha, Zdeněk; Vaughan, D.; Hough, R.M.

    2012-01-01

    Roč. 59, č. 2 (2012), s. 177-187 ISSN 0812-0099 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA205/08/0411 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z10030501 Keywords : desert fireball network * nullarbor region * observed meteorite falls Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics Impact factor: 1.468, year: 2012

  20. Resource pulses in desert river habitats: productivity-biodiversity hotspots, or mirages?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Free, Carissa L; Baxter, Greg S; Dickman, Christopher R; Leung, Luke K P

    2013-01-01

    Resource pulses in the world's hot deserts are driven largely by rainfall and are highly variable in both time and space. However, run-on areas and drainage lines in arid regions receive more water more often than adjacent habitats, and frequently sustain relatively high levels of primary productivity. These landscape features therefore may support higher biotic diversity than other habitats, and potentially act as refuges for desert vertebrates and other biota during droughts. We used the ephemeral Field River in the Simpson Desert, central Australia, as a case study to quantify how resources and habitat characteristics vary spatially and temporally along the riparian corridor. Levels of moisture and nutrients were greater in the clay-dominated soils of the riverine corridor than in the surrounding sand dunes, as were cover values of trees, annual grasses, other annual plants and litter; these resources and habitat features were also greater near the main catchment area than in the distal reaches where the river channel runs out into extensive dune fields. These observations confirm that the riverine corridor is more productive than the surrounding desert, and support the idea that it may act as a refuge or as a channel for the ingress of peri-desert species. However, the work also demonstrates that species diversity of invertebrates and plants is not higher within the river corridor; rather, it is driven by rainfall and the accompanying increase in annual plants following a rain event. Further research is required to identify the biota that depend upon these resource pulses.

  1. A New Infrared Desert Dust Index over French Guyana Rain forest: First results

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molinie, J.; Barnacin, E.; Henry, J. L.; Gobinddass, M. L.; Panechou-Pulcherie, K.; Feuillard, T.; Nagau, J.

    2017-12-01

    Recently a NASA researcher showed the role of desert dust contribution for the Amazonian rain forest. In another hand, desert dust impact population health when PM 10 level reached values around and upper the PM 10 threshold of the 50 µg m-3, established by the World Health Organization (WHO). Infrared Desert Dust Index (IDDI) developed by Legrand with Meteosat infrared images, allow the following of desert dust plumes over semi-arid land. In French Guiana the WHO threshold is currently overpass in measurements done by ORA air quality network, in the two main towns located close to the coast. For inland population, it is very difficult to have continuous dust measures due to the low infrastructure supplies. We need to develop a tools in order to follow the crossing of desert dust over the French Guyana rain forest, from the coast to inland villages. Following the IDDI concept and comparing with VIIRS AOT EDR result over the same area, a modified IDDI for Amazonian region (IDDI_A) has been proposed to identify the dusty pixels over the forest. Despite of high cloud presence, a good correlation between AOT EDR and IDDI_A was obtained. The IDDI_A calculation has been applied over French Guiana area for different PM 10 level at Cayenne, a town along the coast.

  2. Draft Genome Sequence of the Phosphate-Solubilizing Bacterium Pseudomonas argentinensis Strain SA190 Isolated from the Desert Plant Indigofera argentea

    KAUST Repository

    Lafi, Feras Fawzi; Alam, Intikhab; Geurts, Rene; Bisseling, Ton; Bajic, Vladimir B.; Hirt, Heribert; Saad, Maged

    2016-01-01

    Pseudomonas argentinensis strain SA190 is a plant endophytic-inhabiting bacterium that was isolated from root nodules of the desert plant Indigofera argentea collected from the Jizan region of Saudi Arabia. Here, we report the genome sequence of SA

  3. Cyanobacterial composition and spatial distribution based on pyrosequencing data in the Gurbantunggut Desert, Northwestern China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Bingchang; Li, Renhui; Xiao, Peng; Su, Yangui; Zhang, Yuanming

    2016-03-01

    Cyanobacteria are the primary colonizers and form a dominant component of soil photosynthetic communities in biological soil crusts. They are crucial in improving soil environments, namely accumulating soil carbon and nitrogen. Many classical studies have examined cyanobacterial diversity in desert crusts, but relatively few comprehensive molecular surveys have been conducted. We used 454 pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA to investigate cyanobacterial composition and distribution on regional scales in the Gurbantunggut Desert. The relationship between cyanobacterial distribution and environmental factors was also explored. A total of 24,973 cyanobacteria partial 16S rRNA gene sequences were obtained, and 507OTUs were selected, as most OTUs had very few reads. Among these, 347 OTU sequences were of cyanobacteria origin, belonging to Oscillatoriales, Nostocales, Chroococcales, and uncultured cyanobacterium clone, respectively. Microcoleus vaginatus, Chroococcidiopsis spp. and M. steenstrupii were the dominant species in most areas of the Gurbantunggut Desert. Compared with other desert, the Gurbantunggut Desert differed in the prominence of Chroococcidiopsis spp. and lack of Pseudanabaenales. Species composition and abundance of cyanobacteria also showed distinct variations. Soil texture, precipitation, and nutrients and salt levels affected cyanobacterial distribution. Increased precipitation was helpful in improving cyanobacterial diversity. A higher content of coarse sand promoted the colonization and growth of Oscillatoriales and some phylotypes of Chroococcales. The fine-textured soil with higher nutrients and salts supported more varied populations of cyanobacteria, namely some heterocystous cyanobacteria. The results suggested that the Gurbantunggut Desert was rich in cyanobacteria and that precipitation was a primary regulating factor for cyanobacterial composition on a regional scale. © 2016 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  4. GOES-R Advanced Baseline Imager: spectral response functions and radiometric biases with the NPP Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite evaluated for desert calibration sites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pearlman, Aaron; Pogorzala, David; Cao, Changyong

    2013-11-01

    The Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI), which will be launched in late 2015 on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite R-series satellite, will be evaluated in terms of its data quality postlaunch through comparisons with other satellite sensors such as the recently launched Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) aboard the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership satellite. The ABI has completed much of its prelaunch characterization and its developers have generated and released its channel spectral response functions (response versus wavelength). Using these responses and constraining a radiative transfer model with ground reflectance, aerosol, and water vapor measurements, we simulate observed top of atmosphere (TOA) reflectances for analogous visible and near infrared channels of the VIIRS and ABI sensors at the Sonoran Desert and White Sands National Monument sites and calculate the radiometric biases and their uncertainties. We also calculate sensor TOA reflectances using aircraft hyperspectral data from the Airborne Visible/Infrared Imaging Spectrometer to validate the uncertainties in several of the ABI and VIIRS channels and discuss the potential for validating the others. Once on-orbit, calibration scientists can use these biases to ensure ABI data quality and consistency to support the numerical weather prediction community and other data users. They can also use the results for ABI or VIIRS anomaly detection and resolution.

  5. Biological Soil Crusts: Webs of Life in the Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belnap, Jayne

    2001-01-01

    Although the soil surface may look like dirt to you, it is full of living organisms that are a vital part of desert ecosystems. This veneer of life is called a biological soil crust. These crusts are found throughout the world, from hot deserts to polar regions. Crusts generally cover all soil spaces not occupied by green plants. In many areas, they comprise over 70% of the living ground cover and are key in reducing erosion, increasing water retention, and increasing soil fertility. In most dry regions, these crusts are dominated by cyanobacteria (previously called blue-green algae), which are one of the oldest known life forms. Communities of soil crusts also include lichens, mosses, microfungi, bacteria, and green algae. These living organisms and their by-products create a continuous crust on the soil surface. The general color, surface appearance, and amount of coverage of these crusts vary depending on climate and disturbance patterns. Immature crusts are generally flat and the color of the soil, which makes them difficult to distinguish from bare ground. Mature crusts, in contrast, are usually bumpy and dark-colored due to the presence of lichens, mosses, and high densities of cyanobacteria and other organisms.

  6. Desert basins of the Southwest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leake, Stanley A.; Konieczki, Alice D.; Rees, Julie A.H.

    2000-01-01

    Ground water is among the Nation’s most important natural resources. It provides drinking water to urban and rural communities, supports irrigation and industry, sustains the flow of streams and rivers, and maintains riparian and wetland ecosystems. In many areas of the Nation, the future sustainability of ground-water resources is at risk from overuse and contamination. Because ground-water systems typically respond slowly to human actions, a long-term perspective is needed to manage this valuable resource. This publication is one in a series of fact sheets that describe ground-water-resource issues across the United States, as well as some of the activities of the U.S. Geological Survey that provide information to help others develop, manage, and protect ground-water resources in a sustainable manner. Ground-water resources in the Southwest are among the most overused in the United States. Natural recharge to aquifers is low and pumping in many areas has resulted in lowering of water tables. The consequences of large-scale removal of water from storage are becoming increasingly evident. These consequences include land subsidence; loss of springs, streams, wetlands and associated habitat; and degradation of water quality. Water managers are now seeking better ways of managing ground-water resources while looking for supplemental sources of water. This fact sheet reviews basic information on ground water in the desert basins of the Southwest. Also described are some activities of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) that are providing scientific information for sustainable management of ground-water resources in the Southwest. Ground-water sustainability is defined as developing and using ground water in a way that can be maintained for an indefinite time without causing unacceptable environmental, economic, or social consequences.

  7. Cryophenomena in the Cold Desert of Atacama

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buchroithner, Dr.; Trombotto, Dr.

    2012-04-01

    The study area of the Valle de Barrancas Blancas in the High Atacama Andes of Chile (68°39' W, 27°02' S), a kind of Patagonian "bajo sin salida", shows well preserved landforms resulting from a combination of slope, eolian, lacustrine/litoral, fluvial, glacial and periglacial regimes. They permit the reconstruction of geomorphological processes within this isolated catchment of approximately 160 km2. The mean annual air temperature varies between -2 and -4 °C and the precipitation is approximately 150 mm/a. Snowfall is frequent but the snow is quickly sublimated, redeposited and/or covered by cryosediments, i.e. mainly pumice pebbles. Water bodies present icings, even in summer. Regarding its climatic conditions the study area represents an extremely cold desertic region. Extremophile microfauna was also found. The area displays both in situ mountain permafrost and creeping permafrost. The active layer is 30 to 45 cm thick. It is a periglacial macro-environment where interdependent processes, and not only cryogenic processes but also erosion and eolian deposition and the action of fluvial washout mainly caused by precipitation, accumulation, retransportation/redeposition and melting of snow, play an important role. The cryogenic geomorphology of the Valle de Barrancas Blancas is varied and contains microforms such as patterned ground and microforms caused by cryoturbation, as well as mesoforms like rockglaciers and cryoplanation surfaces. Slopes are strongly affected by gelifluction. New cryoforms in South America and in the Southern Hemisphere like the Atacama Pingo (Pingo atacamensis) and Permafrosted Dunes ("Dunas heladas") were found. Intense niveo-eolian processes participate in the erosion of preexisting landforms, in the formation of subterraneous ice layers, and the retransportation/redeposition of snow and sediments. Studies of this periglacial environment are crucial for the understanding of Tundrean paleoenvironments and Martian conditions.

  8. Diversity and Community Composition of Vertebrates in Desert River Habitats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Free, C. L.; Baxter, G. S.; Dickman, C. R.; Lisle, A.; Leung, L. K.-P.

    2015-01-01

    Animal species are seldom distributed evenly at either local or larger spatial scales, and instead tend to aggregate in sites that meet their resource requirements and maximise fitness. This tendency is likely to be especially marked in arid regions where species could be expected to concentrate at resource-rich oases. In this study, we first test the hypothesis that productive riparian sites in arid Australia support higher vertebrate diversity than other desert habitats, and then elucidate the habitats selected by different species. We addressed the first aim by examining the diversity and composition of vertebrate assemblages inhabiting the Field River and adjacent sand dunes in the Simpson Desert, western Queensland, over a period of two and a half years. The second aim was addressed by examining species composition in riparian and sand dune habitats in dry and wet years. Vertebrate species richness was estimated to be highest (54 species) in the riverine habitats and lowest on the surrounding dune habitats (45 species). The riverine habitats had different species pools compared to the dune habitats. Several species, including the agamid Gowidon longirostris and tree frog Litoria rubella, inhabited the riverine habitats exclusively, while others such as the skinks Ctenotus ariadnae and C. dux were captured only in the dune habitats. The results suggest that, on a local scale, diversity is higher along riparian corridors and that riparian woodland is important for tree-dependent species. Further, the distribution of some species, such as Mus musculus, may be governed by environmental variables (e.g. soil moisture) associated with riparian corridors that are not available in the surrounding desert environment. We conclude that inland river systems may be often of high conservation value, and that management should be initiated where possible to alleviate threats to their continued functioning. PMID:26637127

  9. Spectral identification and quantification of salts in the Atacama Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, J. K.; Cousins, C. R.; Claire, M. W.

    2016-10-01

    Salt minerals are an important natural resource. The ability to quickly and remotely identify and quantify salt deposits and salt contaminated soils and sands is therefore a priority goal for the various industries and agencies that utilise salts. The advent of global hyperspectral imagery from instruments such as Hyperion on NASA's Earth-Observing 1 satellite has opened up a new source of data that can potentially be used for just this task. This study aims to assess the ability of Visible and Near Infrared (VNIR) spectroscopy to identify and quantify salt minerals through the use of spectral mixture analysis. The surface and near-surface soils of the Atacama Desert in Chile contain a variety of well-studied salts, which together with low cloud coverage, and high aridity, makes this region an ideal testbed for this technique. Two forms of spectral data ranging 0.35 - 2.5 μm were collected: laboratory spectra acquired using an ASD FieldSpec Pro instrument on samples from four locations in the Atacama desert known to have surface concentrations of sulfates, nitrates, chlorides and perchlorates; and images from the EO-1 satellite's Hyperion instrument taken over the same four locations. Mineral identifications and abundances were confirmed using quantitative XRD of the physical samples. Spectral endmembers were extracted from within the laboratory and Hyperion spectral datasets and together with additional spectral library endmembers fed into a linear mixture model. The resulting identification and abundances from both dataset types were verified against the sample XRD values. Issues of spectral scale, SNR and how different mineral spectra interact are considered, and the utility of VNIR spectroscopy and Hyperion in particular for mapping specific salt concentrations in desert environments is established. Overall, SMA was successful at estimating abundances of sulfate minerals, particularly calcium sulfate, from both hyperspectral image and laboratory sample spectra

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nowak, Robert S.

    2007-12-19

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

  11. Preliminary study of N[sub 2]O flux over irrigated Bermudagrass in a desert environment. [USA - Arizona

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Matthias, A.D.; Artiola, J.F.; Musil, S.A. (Arizona University, Tucson, AZ (USA). Dept. of Soil and Water Science)

    1993-04-01

    The increase of atmospheric nitrous oxide is believed to be related to human activities, including increased agricultural use of nitrogen (N) fertilizers and irrigation. The purpose of this study was to evaluate N[sub 2]O flux (F(N)) into the atmosphere using chamber and gradient profile methods over an irrigated, N fertilized, bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon cv. 'Midiron') field in the Sonoran Desert of Arizona. For the gradient profile method it was hypothesized that locally stable atmospheric conditions would enhance N[sub 2]O concentration differences sufficiently (more than approximately) 4 nl l[sup -1] to be resolved by gas chromatographic analysis of air samples collected at two heights (0.05 and 3.3 m) over the field. Significant differences (205 and 30 nl l[sup -1]) in mean concentration occurred during two sampling intervals in late afternoon and early morning of a 24 h period on 18-19 July 1991. During those intervals the surface layer was stable and relatively large F(N) estimated by the chamber method (371 and 48 ng m[sup -2] s[sup -1]) were comparable with F(N) estimated by the gradient profile method (283 and 101 ng m[sup -2] s[sup -1]). Simulations based on similarity theory indicate that resolution of N[sub 2]O concentration differences less than l nl l[sup -1] was required, but could not be achieved, when the surface layer was unstable and/or F(N) was small. Analysis also indicates that uncertainty of F(N) estimated by the chamber method was reduced slightly by estimation of temporal variation of vapour pressure in chamber air.

  12. CAMEL REARING IN CHOLISTAN DESERT OF PAKISTAN

    OpenAIRE

    I. ALI, M. SHAFIQ CHAUDHRY1 AND U. FAROOQ

    2009-01-01

    The camel is one of the typical and the best adopted animals of the desert, capable of enduring thirst and hunger for days and is the most patient of land animals. For desert nomads of Pakistani Cholistan, it is a beloved companion, a source of milk and meat, transport facility provider and a racing/dancing animal, thus, playing an important role in the socioeconomic uplift of the local community. Camels of Marrecha or Mahra breed are mainly used for riding and load carrying but may be traine...

  13. For a Sustainable Future: Indigenous Transborder Higher Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quijada, Adrian; Cassadore, Edison; Perry, Gaye Bumsted; Geronimo, Ronald; Lund, Kimberley; Miguel, Phillip; Montes-Helu, Mario; Newberry, Teresa; Robertson, Paul; Thornbrugh, Casey

    2015-01-01

    The U.S.-Mexico border region of the Sonoran Desert is home to 30 Native nations in the United States, and about 15 Indigenous communities in Mexico. Imposed on Indigenous peoples' ancestral lands, the border is an artificial line created in 1848, following the war between the U.S. and Mexico. Tohono O'odham Community College (TOCC) seeks to…

  14. Soil moisture and biogeochemical factors influence the distribution of annual Bromus species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jayne Belnap; John M. Stark; Benjamin M. Rau; Edith B. Allen; Susan Phillips

    2016-01-01

    Abiotic factors have a strong influence on where annual Bromus species are found. At the large regional scale, temperature and precipitation extremes determine the boundaries of Bromus occurrence. At the more local scale, soil characteristics and climate influence distribution, cover, and performance. In hot, dry, summer-rainfall-dominated deserts (Sonoran, Chihuahuan...

  15. Biogeography of amphibians and reptiles in Arizona

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eric W. Stitt; Theresa M. Mau-Crimmins; Don E. Swann

    2005-01-01

    We examined patterns of species richness for amphibians and reptiles in Arizona and evaluated patterns in species distribution between ecoregions based on species range size. In Arizona, the Sonoran Desert has the highest herpetofauna diversity, and the southern ecoregions are more similar than other regions. There appear to be distinct low- and mid-elevational...

  16. H-O isotopic and chemical characteristics of a precipitation-lake water-groundwater system in a desert area

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jin, Ke; Rao, Wenbo; Tan, Hongbing; Song, Yinxian; Yong, Bin; Zheng, Fangwen; Chen, Tangqing; Han, Liangfeng

    2018-04-01

    The recharge mechanism of groundwater in the Badain Jaran Desert, North China has been a focus of research and still disputable in the past two decades. In this study, the chemical and hydrogen (H) and oxygen (O) isotopic characteristics of shallow groundwater, lake water and local precipitation in the Badain Jaran Desert and neighboring areas were investigated to reveal the relationships between various water bodies and the recharge source of shallow groundwater. Isotopic and hydrogeochemical results show that (1) shallow groundwater was associated with local precipitation in the Ayouqi and Yabulai regions, (2) lake water was mainly recharged by groundwater in the desert hinterland, (3) shallow groundwater of the desert hinterland, Yabulai Mountain and Gurinai Grassland had a common recharge source. Shallow groundwater of the desert hinterland had a mean recharge elevation of 1869 m a.s.l. on the basis of the isotope-altitude relationship and thus originated chiefly from lateral infiltration of precipitation in the Yabulai Mountain. It is further concluded that shallow groundwater flowed towards the Gurinai Grassland according to the groundwater table contour map. Along the flow pathway, the H-O isotopic variations were primarily caused by the evaporation effect but chemical variations of shallow groundwater were affected by multiple factors, e.g., evaporation effect, dilution effect of occasional heavy-precipitation and dissolution of aquifer evaporites. Our findings provide new insight into the groundwater cycle and benefit the management of the limited water resources in the arid desert area.

  17. Gravity, magnetic, and physical property data in the Smoke Creek Desert area, northwest Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tilden, Janet E.; Ponce, David A.; Glen, Jonathan M.G.; Chuchel, Bruce A.; Tushman, Kira; Duvall, Alison

    2006-01-01

    The Smoke Creek Desert, located approximately 100 km (60 mi) north of Reno near the California-Nevada border, is a large basin situated along the northernmost parts of the Walker Lane Belt (Stewart, 1988), a physiographic province defined by northwest-striking topographic features and strike-slip faulting. Because geologic framework studies play an important role in understanding the hydrology of the Smoke Creek Desert, a geologic and geophysical effort was begun to help determine basin geometry, infer structural features, and estimate depth to Pre-Cenozoic rocks, or basement. In May and June of 2004, and June of 2005, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) collected 587 new gravity stations, more than 160 line-kilometers (100 line-miles) of truck-towed magnetometer data, and 111 rock property samples in the Smoke Creek Desert and vicinity in northwest Nevada, as part of an effort to characterize its hydrogeologic framework. In the Smoke Creek Desert area, gravity highs occur over rocks of the Skedaddle Mountains, Fox Range, Granite Range, and over portions of Tertiary volcanic rocks in the Buffalo Hills. These gravity highs likely reflect basement rocks, either exposed at the surface or buried at shallow depths. The southern Smoke Creek Desert corresponds to a 25-mGal isostatic gravity low, which corresponds with a basin depth of approximately 2 km. Magnetic highs are likely due to granitic, andesitic, and metavolcanic rocks, whereas magnetic lows are probably associated with less magnetic gneiss and metasedimentary rocks in the region. Three distinctive patterns of magnetic anomalies occur throughout the Smoke Creek Desert and Squaw Creek Valley, likely reflecting three different geological and structural settings.

  18. Bacterial diversity of surface sand samples from the Gobi and Taklamaken deserts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    An, Shu; Couteau, Cécile; Luo, Fan; Neveu, Julie; DuBow, Michael S

    2013-11-01

    Arid regions represent nearly 30 % of the Earth's terrestrial surface, but their microbial biodiversity is not yet well characterized. The surface sands of deserts, a subset of arid regions, are generally subjected to large temperature fluctuations plus high UV light exposure and are low in organic matter. We examined surface sand samples from the Taklamaken (China, three samples) and Gobi (Mongolia, two samples) deserts, using pyrosequencing of PCR-amplified 16S V1/V2 rDNA sequences from total extracted DNA in order to gain an assessment of the bacterial population diversity. In total, 4,088 OTUs (using ≥97 % sequence similarity levels), with Chao1 estimates varying from 1,172 to 2,425 OTUs per sample, were discernable. These could be grouped into 102 families belonging to 15 phyla, with OTUs belonging to the Firmicutes, Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, and Actinobacteria phyla being the most abundant. The bacterial population composition was statistically different among the samples, though members from 30 genera were found to be common among the five samples. An increase in phylotype numbers with increasing C/N ratio was noted, suggesting a possible role in the bacterial richness of these desert sand environments. Our results imply an unexpectedly large bacterial diversity residing in the harsh environment of these two Asian deserts, worthy of further investigation.

  19. Drop Out or Self-Exclusion? An Analysis of drop out causes in Mexico’s Sonoran High School Students

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elba Abril Valdez

    2008-05-01

    Full Text Available The scholar drop out is not an individual decision. It is conditioned by contextual factors which are identified and analyzed in this research paper among high school students. A survey was applied to 147 high school students to know their family situation, scholar history, reasons why they drop out and their future plans, among other relevant reasons. The results indicated that 86% of the surveyed students abandoned the school between the first and the third semester. Their grade average during the last semester studied was 7.49. The main reasons of the desertion of these students were: economic factors, failure in some subjects, and the lack of interest in their studies. 93% of the participants were not satisfied with the academic level they reached. Nonetheless, they did not plan to resume their studies. The results demonstrated the necessity of an intervention model based on educational policies with higher incentives to add to the school system, flexibility of the transit among subsystems and restructuration of the communication network among the principal actors.

  20. Impact of Precipitation Fluctuation on Desert-Grassland ANPP

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liangxu Liu

    2016-11-01

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

  1. Health effects of particulate air pollution and airborne desert dust

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lelieveld, J.; Pozzer, A.; Giannadaki, D.; Fnais, M.

    2013-12-01

    Air pollution by fine particulate matter (PM2.5) has increased strongly with industrialization and urbanization. In the past decades this increase has taken place at a particularly high pace in South and East Asia. We estimate the premature mortality and the years of human life lost (YLL) caused by anthropogenic PM2.5 and airborne desert dust (DU2.5) on regional and national scales (Giannadaki et al., 2013; Lelieveld et al., 2013). This is based on high-resolution global model calculations that resolve urban and industrial regions in relatively great detail. We apply an epidemiological health impact function and find that especially in large countries with extensive suburban and rural populations, air pollution-induced mortality rates have been underestimated given that previous studies largely focused on the urban environment. We calculate a global premature mortality by anthropogenic aerosols of 2.2 million/year (YLL ≈ 16 million/year) due to lung cancer and cardiopulmonary disease. High mortality rates by PM2.5 are found in China, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Indonesia. Desert dust DU2.5 aerosols add about 0.4 million/year (YLL ≈ 3.6 million/year). Particularly significant mortality rates by DU2.5 occur in Pakistan, China and India. The estimated global mean per capita mortality caused by airborne particulates is about 0.1%/year (about two thirds of that caused by tobacco smoking). We show that the highest premature mortality rates are found in the Southeast Asia and Western Pacific regions (about 25% and 46% of the global rate, respectively) where more than a dozen of the most highly polluted megacities are located. References: Giannadaki, D., A. Pozzer, and J. Lelieveld, Modeled global effects of airborne desert dust on air quality and premature mortality, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss. (submitted), 2013. Lelieveld, J., C. Barlas, D. Giannadaki, and A. Pozzer, Model calculated global, regional and megacity premature mortality due to air pollution by ozone

  2. Divining Jordan's desert waters | IDRC - International Development ...

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

    ... in the area have a long history of being water-conservers, and the idea of using the ... Dr Abu-Jaber examined is covered by an ancient, volcanic rock called basalt. ... When a desert cloudburst drops rain on the area, the raindrops quickly roll ...

  3. Liquid Water Restricts Habitability in Extreme Deserts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cockell, Charles S; Brown, Sarah; Landenmark, Hanna; Samuels, Toby; Siddall, Rebecca; Wadsworth, Jennifer

    2017-04-01

    Liquid water is a requirement for biochemistry, yet under some circumstances it is deleterious to life. Here, we show that liquid water reduces the upper temperature survival limit for two extremophilic photosynthetic microorganisms (Gloeocapsa and Chroococcidiopsis spp.) by greater than 40°C under hydrated conditions compared to desiccated conditions. Under hydrated conditions, thermal stress causes protein inactivation as shown by the fluorescein diacetate assay. The presence of water was also found to enhance the deleterious effects of freeze-thaw in Chroococcidiopsis sp. In the presence of water, short-wavelength UV radiation more effectively kills Gloeocapsa sp. colonies, which we hypothesize is caused by factors including the greater penetration of UV radiation into hydrated colonies compared to desiccated colonies. The data predict that deserts where maximum thermal stress or irradiation occurs in conjunction with the presence of liquid water may be less habitable to some organisms than more extreme arid deserts where organisms can dehydrate prior to being exposed to these extremes, thus minimizing thermal and radiation damage. Life in extreme deserts is poised between the deleterious effects of the presence and the lack of liquid water. Key Words: Deserts-Extremophiles-Stress-High temperatures-UV radiation-Desiccation. Astrobiology 17, 309-318.

  4. Preventing desert locust plagues: optimizing management interventions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Huis, van A.; Cressman, K.; Magor, J.I.

    2007-01-01

    Solitarious desert locusts, Schistocerca gregaria (Forskål) (Orthoptera: Acrididae), inhabit the central, arid, and semi-arid parts of the species¿ invasion area in Africa, the Middle East, and South-West Asia. Their annual migration circuit takes them downwind to breed sequentially where winter,

  5. Abiotic drivers of Chihuahuan Desert plant communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laura Marie Ladwig

    2014-01-01

    Within grasslands, precipitation, fire, nitrogen (N) addition, and extreme temperatures influence community composition and ecosystem function. The differential influences of these abiotic factors on Chihuahuan Desert grassland communities was examined within the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge, located in central New Mexico, U.S.A. Although fire is a natural...

  6. Geology and geochemistry of the Atacama Desert.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tapia, J; González, R; Townley, B; Oliveros, V; Álvarez, F; Aguilar, G; Menzies, A; Calderón, M

    2018-02-14

    The Atacama Desert, the driest of its kind on Earth, hosts a number of unique geological and geochemical features that make it unlike any other environment on the planet. Considering its location on the western border of South America, between 17 and 28 °S, its climate has been characterized as arid to hyperarid for at least the past 10 million years. Notably dry climatic conditions of the Atacama Desert have been related to uplift of the Andes and are believed to have played an important role in the development of the most distinctive features of this desert, including: (i) nitrates and iodine deposits in the Central Depression, (ii) secondary enrichment in porphyry copper deposits in the Precordillera, (iii) Li enrichment in salt flats of the Altiplano, and (iv) life in extreme habitats. The geology and physiography of the Atacama Desert have been largely shaped by the convergent margin present since the Mesozoic era. The geochemistry of surface materials is related to rock geochemistry (Co, Cr, Fe, Mn, V, and Zn), salt flats, and evaporite compositions in endorheic basins (As, B, and Li), in addition to anthropogenic activities (Cu, Mo, and Pb). The composition of surface water is highly variable, nonetheless in general it presents a circumneutral pH with higher conductivity and total dissolved solids in brines. Major water constituents, with the exception of HCO 3 - , are generally related to the increase of salinity, and despite the fact that trace elements are not well-documented, surface waters of the Atacama Desert are enriched in As, B, and Li when compared to the average respective concentrations in rivers worldwide.

  7. Origin of water in the Badain Jaran Desert, China: new insight from isotopes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Xiujie; Wang, Xu-Sheng; Wang, Yang; Hu, Bill X.

    2017-09-01

    To better understand the origin of water in the Badain Jaran Desert, China, water samples were collected from lakes, a spring and local unconfined aquifer for analyses of radiocarbon (14C), tritium (3H), stable hydrogen and oxygen isotope ratios (δ2H - δ18O), and d-excess values ( = δ2H - 8δ18O). A series of evaporation experiments were also conducted in the desert to examine how the isotopic signature of water may change during evaporation and infiltration under local environmental conditions. The results show that the lakes in the southeastern sand dune area are fed by groundwater discharging into the lakes and that local groundwater, on the other hand, is derived primarily from modern meteoric precipitation in the region. Although dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) in groundwater yielded very old radiocarbon ages, the presence of detectable amounts of tritium in groundwater samples, together with their δ2H, δ18O and d-excess characteristics, strongly suggests that the old radiocarbon ages of DIC do not represent the residence time of water in the aquifer but are the result of addition of old DIC derived from dissolution of ancient carbonates in the aquifer. The data do not support the hypothesis that the water in the Badain Jaran Desert was sourced in remote mountains on the northern Tibetan Plateau. This study also finds no support for the hypothesis that present-day water resources in the desert were recharged by the precipitation that fell in the past during the early Holocene when the climate was much wetter than today. Instead, this study shows that both groundwater and lake water originated from meteoric precipitation in the region including mountainous areas adjacent to the desert under the modern climatic condition.

  8. Origin of water in the Badain Jaran Desert, China: new insight from isotopes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    X. Wu

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available To better understand the origin of water in the Badain Jaran Desert, China, water samples were collected from lakes, a spring and local unconfined aquifer for analyses of radiocarbon (14C, tritium (3H, stable hydrogen and oxygen isotope ratios (δ2H – δ18O, and d-excess values ( = δ2H – 8δ18O. A series of evaporation experiments were also conducted in the desert to examine how the isotopic signature of water may change during evaporation and infiltration under local environmental conditions. The results show that the lakes in the southeastern sand dune area are fed by groundwater discharging into the lakes and that local groundwater, on the other hand, is derived primarily from modern meteoric precipitation in the region. Although dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC in groundwater yielded very old radiocarbon ages, the presence of detectable amounts of tritium in groundwater samples, together with their δ2H, δ18O and d-excess characteristics, strongly suggests that the old radiocarbon ages of DIC do not represent the residence time of water in the aquifer but are the result of addition of old DIC derived from dissolution of ancient carbonates in the aquifer. The data do not support the hypothesis that the water in the Badain Jaran Desert was sourced in remote mountains on the northern Tibetan Plateau. This study also finds no support for the hypothesis that present-day water resources in the desert were recharged by the precipitation that fell in the past during the early Holocene when the climate was much wetter than today. Instead, this study shows that both groundwater and lake water originated from meteoric precipitation in the region including mountainous areas adjacent to the desert under the modern climatic condition.

  9. Deciphering the Role of Desert Dust in the Climate Puzzle: The Mediterranean Israeli Dust Experiment (MEIDEX)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levin, Zev; Joseph, Joachim; Mekler, Yuri; Israelevich, Peter; Ganor, Eli; Hilsenrath, Ernest; Janz, Scott

    2002-01-01

    Numerous studies have shown that aerosol particles may be one of the primary agents that can offset the climate warming induced by the increase in the amount of atmospheric greenhouse gases. Desert aerosols are probably the most abundant and massive type of aerosol particles that are present in the atmosphere worldwide. These aerosols are carried over large distances and have various global impacts. They interact with clouds, impact the efficiency of their rain production and change their optical properties. They constitute one of the primary sources of minerals for oceanic life and influence the health of coral reefs. They have direct effects on human health, especially by inducing breathing difficulties in children. It was lately discovered that desert particles carry pathogens from the Sahara desert over the Atlantic Ocean, a fact that may explain the migration of certain types of diseases. Aerosols not only absorb solar radiation but also scatter it, so that their climatic effect is influenced not only by their physical properties and height distribution but also by the reflectivity of the underlying surface. This latter property changes greatly over land and is low over ocean surfaces. Aerosol plumes are emitted from discrete, sporadic sources in the desert areas of the world and are transported worldwide by the atmosphere's wind systems. For example, Saharan dust reaches Mexico City, Florida, Ireland, Switzerland and the Mediterranean region, while Asian dust reaches Alaska, Hawaii and the continental United States. This means that in order to assess its global effects, one must observe dust from space. The Space Shuttle is a unique platform, because it flies over the major deserts of our planet, enabling measurements and remote sensing of the aerosols as they travel from source to sink regions. Such efforts must always be accompanied by in-situ data for validation and calibration, with direct sampling of the airborne particles. MEIDEX is a joint project of

  10. Provenance and recycling of Arabian desert sand

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garzanti, Eduardo; Vermeesch, Pieter; Andò, Sergio; Vezzoli, Giovanni; Valagussa, Manuel; Allen, Kate; Kadi, Khalid A.; Al-Juboury, Ali I. A.

    2013-05-01

    This study seeks to determine the ultimate origin of aeolian sand in Arabian deserts by high-resolution petrographic and heavy-mineral techniques combined with zircon U-Pb geochronology. Point-counting is used here as the sole method by which unbiased volume percentages of heavy minerals can be obtained. A comprehensive analysis of river and wadi sands from the Red Sea to the Bitlis-Zagros orogen allowed us to characterize all potential sediment sources, and thus to quantitatively constrain provenance of Arabian dune fields. Two main types of aeolian sand can be distinguished. Quartzose sands with very poor heavy-mineral suites including zircon occupy most of the region comprising the Great Nafud and Rub' al-Khali Sand Seas, and are largely recycled from thick Lower Palaeozoic quartzarenites with very minor first-cycle contributions from Precambrian basement, Mesozoic carbonate rocks, or Neogene basalts. Instead, carbonaticlastic sands with richer lithic and heavy-mineral populations characterize coastal dunes bordering the Arabian Gulf from the Jafurah Sand Sea of Saudi Arabia to the United Arab Emirates. The similarity with detritus carried by the axial Tigris-Euphrates system and by transverse rivers draining carbonate rocks of the Zagros indicates that Arabian coastal dunes largely consist of far-travelled sand, deposited on the exposed floor of the Gulf during Pleistocene lowstands and blown inland by dominant Shamal northerly winds. A dataset of detrital zircon U-Pb ages measured on twelve dune samples and two Lower Palaeozoic sandstones yielded fourteen identical age spectra. The age distributions all show a major Neoproterozoic peak corresponding to the Pan-African magmatic and tectonic events by which the Arabian Shield was assembled, with minor late Palaeoproterozoic and Neoarchean peaks. A similar U-Pb signature characterizes also Jafurah dune sands, suggesting that zircons are dominantly derived from interior Arabia, possibly deflated from the Wadi al

  11. Desert rose: building material of cupolas in the Souf in Algeria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Azil, C.; Djebri, B.; Rovero, L.

    2018-05-01

    In the Souf of Algeria, the roofs of all constructions are arranged like corbelled domes, built with local particular material to this region, which is the desert rose. These cupolas describe a unique landscape of historic centres. Such constructions include a widespread and precious heritage that deserves protection to save this urban landscape which constitutes an element of identity of heritage built upon the material as well as the immaterial of the local know-how. Unfortunately, these architectural elements have undergone alterations that devalue the urban landscape and destabilize the buildings. However, the structural system that provides stability and endurance to this day remains an open question. In this, paper, we describe the role of desert rose cupolas in the construction of a single urban landscape and we contribute to this knowledge. Then, we explain the role of the availability of the materials locals (desert rose and tafza) to appearance ad emergence of construction with cupolas typology. In addition, we describe these materials locals, and the method to them usage. In the end, we have traced the process of construction of these cupolas by corbelling which is mounted by successive courses of the desert rose and the plaster mortar.

  12. The effects of drying following heat shock exposure of the desert moss Syntrichia caninervis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Shu-Jun; Liu, Chun-Jiang; Jiang, Ping-An; Cai, Wei-Min; Wang, Yan

    2009-03-15

    Desert mosses are components of biological soil crusts (BSCs) and their ecological functions make assessment and protection of these mosses a high-ranking management priority in desert regions. Drying is thought to be useful for desert mosses surviving heat shock. In this study, we investigated the role of drying by monitoring the responses of physiological characters and asexual reproduction in the typical desert moss Syntrichia caninervis. Heat significantly decreased chlorophyll content and weakened rapid recovery of photochemical activity, and increased carotenoid content and membrane permeability. Lethal temperatures significantly destroyed shoot regeneration potential. In comparison with heat alone, drying significantly increased protonema emergence time and depressed protonema emergence area. Drying combined with heat accelerated water loss, followed by a decrease of photosynthetic activity. Drying had different influences on membrane permeability at different temperatures. When moss leaves were subjected to a combined stress of drying and heat shock, photosynthesis was maintained mainly due to the effects of drying on physiological activity although the cellular morphological integrity was affected. Drying caused opposing effects on moss physiological and reproductive characteristics. On the one hand, drying caused a positive synergistic effect with heat shock when the temperature was below 40 degrees C. On the other hand, drying showed antagonism with heat shock when the moss was subjected to temperatures higher than 40 degrees C. These findings may help in understanding the survival mechanism of dessert mosses under heat shock stress which will be helpful for the artificial reconstruction of BSCs.

  13. The effects of drying following heat shock exposure of the desert moss Syntrichia caninervis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Xu Shujun; Liu Chunjiang; Jiang Pingan; Cai Weimin; Wang Yan

    2009-01-01

    Desert mosses are components of biological soil crusts (BSCs) and their ecological functions make assessment and protection of these mosses a high-ranking management priority in desert regions. Drying is thought to be useful for desert mosses surviving heat shock. In this study, we investigated the role of drying by monitoring the responses of physiological characters and asexual reproduction in the typical desert moss Syntrichia caninervis. Heat significantly decreased chlorophyll content and weakened rapid recovery of photochemical activity, and increased carotenoid content and membrane permeability. Lethal temperatures significantly destroyed shoot regeneration potential. In comparison with heat alone, drying significantly increased protonema emergence time and depressed protonema emergence area. Drying combined with heat accelerated water loss, followed by a decrease of photosynthetic activity. Drying had different influences on membrane permeability at different temperatures. When moss leaves were subjected to a combined stress of drying and heat shock, photosynthesis was maintained mainly due to the effects of drying on physiological activity although the cellular morphological integrity was affected. Drying caused opposing effects on moss physiological and reproductive characteristics. On the one hand, drying caused a positive synergistic effect with heat shock when the temperature was below 40 deg. C. On the other hand, drying showed antagonism with heat shock when the moss was subjected to temperatures higher than 40 deg. C. These findings may help in understanding the survival mechanism of dessert mosses under heat shock stress which will be helpful for the artificial reconstruction of BSCs

  14. Hominin dispersal into the Nefud Desert and Middle palaeolithic settlement along the Jubbah Palaeolake, Northern Arabia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael D Petraglia

    Full Text Available The Arabian Peninsula is a key region for understanding hominin dispersals and the effect of climate change on prehistoric demography, although little information on these topics is presently available owing to the poor preservation of archaeological sites in this desert environment. Here, we describe the discovery of three stratified and buried archaeological sites in the Nefud Desert, which includes the oldest dated occupation for the region. The stone tool assemblages are identified as a Middle Palaeolithic industry that includes Levallois manufacturing methods and the production of tools on flakes. Hominin occupations correspond with humid periods, particularly Marine Isotope Stages 7 and 5 of the Late Pleistocene. The Middle Palaeolithic occupations were situated along the Jubbah palaeolake-shores, in a grassland setting with some trees. Populations procured different raw materials across the lake region to manufacture stone tools, using the implements to process plants and animals. To reach the Jubbah palaeolake, Middle Palaeolithic populations travelled into the ameliorated Nefud Desert interior, possibly gaining access from multiple directions, either using routes from the north and west (the Levant and the Sinai, the north (the Mesopotamian plains and the Euphrates basin, or the east (the Persian Gulf. The Jubbah stone tool assemblages have their own suite of technological characters, but have types reminiscent of both African Middle Stone Age and Levantine Middle Palaeolithic industries. Comparative inter-regional analysis of core technology indicates morphological similarities with the Levantine Tabun C assemblage, associated with human fossils controversially identified as either Neanderthals or Homo sapiens.

  15. Fresh vegetables from the desert

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Campen, J.B.

    2016-01-01

    In the Middle East, food security and food safety are high on the agenda since
    the food crisis of 2007-2008. Food is mainly imported from nearby countries.
    Especially during the summer the prices of fresh produce are high, because
    there is not much production in the region itself.

  16. Recent invasion of buffel grass (Cenchrus ciliaris of a natural protected area from the southern Sonoran Desert Invasión reciente de zacate buffel (Cenchrus ciliaris en un área natural protegida del desierto sonorense

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erick De la Barrera

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available The Centro Ecológico de Sonora is a natural protected area where the natural vegetation remained undisturbed at least until 1997. Since then, Cenchrus ciliaris has become a prominent element of the vegetation because of disturbance. Climate, soil properties, population structure and biological activity for C. ciliaris were studied to gain understanding of the ecological mechanisms that favored the invasion by this exotic grass. Mean air temperature and annual rainfall were 24.8°C and 302 mm. The soil was a loamy-sand that was poor in most nutrients, but particularly rich in phosphorus. Pennisetum ciliare was the most abundant species at the Centro Ecológico, representing over one third of total plant ground cover. Basal area for individual plants ranged from less than 1 cm² to almost 1 m². Living leaves per plant increased with precipitation, peaking at 199 leaves in March 2005, and no living leaves were found after 103 days without rain. The environmental conditions prevalent at Centro Ecológico are very favorable for C. ciliaris, whose establishment was apparently triggered by a major disturbance caused by the development of housing projects.El Centro Ecológico de Sonora es un área natural protegida donde la vegetación autóctona permaneció sin disturbios por lo menos hasta 1997. Desde entonces, Cenchrus ciliaris se ha convertido en un elemento prominente de la vegetación. Se estudiaron el clima, las propiedades del suelo, la estructura de la población y la actividad biológica de C. ciliaris, como una aproximación al entendimiento de los mecanismos ecológicos que favorecieron la invasión por este pasto exótico. La temperatura media del aire y la precipitación anual fueron de 24.8 °C y 302 mm. El suelo fue una arena limosa pobre en minerales, pero particularmente rica en fósforo. Cenchrus ciliaris fue la especie herbácea más abundante en el Centro Ecológico, representando más de un tercio de la cobertura vegetal. El área basal de plantas de esta especie osciló desde menos de 1 cm² hasta casi 1 m². El número de hojas vivas por planta aumentó con la precipitación, con un máximo de 199 hojas en Marzo de 2005, y no se encontraron hojas vivas después de 103 días sin lluvia. Las condiciones ambientales del Centro Ecológico son muy favorables para C. ciliaris, cuyo establecimiento en este sitio aparentemente fue inducido por un disturbio causado por la construcción de vivienda.

  17. Controls on sediment production in two U.S. deserts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belnap, Jayne; Walker, Beau J.; Munson, Seth M.; Gill, Richard A.

    2014-01-01

    Much of the world’s airborne sediment originates from dryland regions. Soil surface disturbances in these regions are ever-increasing due to human activities such as energy and mineral exploration and development, recreation, suburbanization, livestock grazing and cropping. Sediment production can have significant impacts to human health with particles potentially carrying viruses such as Valley Fever or causing asthma or other respiratory diseases. Dust storms can cause decreased visibility at the ground level, resulting in highway accidents, and reduced visual quality in park and wildland airsheds. Sediment production and deposition is also detrimental to ecosystem health, as production reduces soil fertility at its source and can bury plants and other organisms where it is deposited. Therefore, it is important to understand how we can predict what areas are prone to producing sediment emissions both before and after soil surface disturbance. We visited 87 sites in two deserts of the western U.S. that represented a range of soil texture and surface cover types. We used a portable wind tunnel to estimate the threshold friction velocity (TFV) required to initiate sediment transport and the amount of sediment produced by the tunnel at a set wind speed. Wind tunnel runs were done before and after soil surface disturbance with a four-wheel drive vehicle. Results show that most undisturbed desert soils are very stable, especially if covered by rocks or well-developed biological soil crusts, which make them virtually wind-erosion proof. Particles at disturbed sites, in contrast, moved at relatively low wind speeds and produced high amounts of sediment. Silt was an important predictor of TFV and sediment production across all sites, whereas the influence of rock cover and biological soil crusts was site-dependent. Understanding the vulnerability of a site after disturbance is important information for land managers as they plan land use activities and attempt to

  18. Controls on sediment production in two U.S. deserts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belnap, Jayne; Walker, Beau J.; Munson, Seth M.; Gill, Richard A.

    2014-09-01

    Much of the world’s airborne sediment originates from dryland regions. Soil surface disturbances in these regions are ever-increasing due to human activities such as energy and mineral exploration and development, recreation, suburbanization, livestock grazing and cropping. Sediment production can have significant impacts to human health with particles potentially carrying viruses such as Valley Fever or causing asthma or other respiratory diseases. Dust storms can cause decreased visibility at the ground level, resulting in highway accidents, and reduced visual quality in park and wildland airsheds. Sediment production and deposition is also detrimental to ecosystem health, as production reduces soil fertility at its source and can bury plants and other organisms where it is deposited. Therefore, it is important to understand how we can predict what areas are prone to producing sediment emissions both before and after soil surface disturbance. We visited 87 sites in two deserts of the western U.S. that represented a range of soil texture and surface cover types. We used a portable wind tunnel to estimate the threshold friction velocity (TFV) required to initiate sediment transport and the amount of sediment produced by the tunnel at a set wind speed. Wind tunnel runs were done before and after soil surface disturbance with a four-wheel drive vehicle. Results show that most undisturbed desert soils are very stable, especially if covered by rocks or well-developed biological soil crusts, which make them virtually wind-erosion proof. Particles at disturbed sites, in contrast, moved at relatively low wind speeds and produced high amounts of sediment. Silt was an important predictor of TFV and sediment production across all sites, whereas the influence of rock cover and biological soil crusts was site-dependent. Understanding the vulnerability of a site after disturbance is important information for land managers as they plan land use activities and attempt to

  19. Desert wetlands in the geologic record

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pigati, Jeff S.; Rech, Jason A.; Quade, Jay; Bright, Jordon; Edwards, L.; Springer, A.

    2014-01-01

    Desert wetlands support flora and fauna in a variety of hydrologic settings, including seeps, springs, marshes, wet meadows, ponds, and spring pools. Over time, eolian, alluvial, and fluvial sediments become trapped in these settings by a combination of wet ground conditions and dense plant cover. The result is a unique combination of clastic sediments, chemical precipitates, and organic matter that is preserved in the geologic record as ground-water discharge (GWD) deposits. GWD deposits contain information on the timing and magnitude of past changes in water-table levels and, therefore, are a potential source of paleohydrologic and paleoclimatic information. In addition, they can be important archeological and paleontological archives because desert wetlands provide reliable sources of fresh water, and thus act as focal points for human and faunal activities, in some of the world's harshest and driest lands. Here, we review some of the physical, sedimentological, and geochemical characteristics common to GWD deposits, and provide a contextual framework that researchers can use to identify and interpret geologic deposits associated with desert wetlands. We discuss several lines of evidence used to differentiate GWD deposits from lake deposits (they are commonly confused), and examine how various types of microbiota and depositional facies aid in reconstructing past environmental and hydrologic conditions. We also review how late Quaternary GWD deposits are dated, as well as methods used to investigate desert wetlands deeper in geologic time. We end by evaluating the strengths and limitations of hydrologic and climatic records derived from GWD deposits, and suggest several avenues of potential future research to further develop and utilize these unique and complex systems.

  20. Biology of the Central Desert of Oman

    OpenAIRE

    GHAZANFAR, Shahina A

    2004-01-01

    A biological survey of the central desert of Oman was done using long distance transects. Vegetation was sparse and consisted of 200+ plant species, 22 species of mammals, 17 species of reptiles and amphibians, and more than 50 species of birds (migratory and resident). Three main vegetation types were identified based on ground substrate and the dominance of species. These were communities with Acacia Willd., Zygophyllum L., and open woodlands of Prosopis cineraria (L.) Druce. Over-grazing a...

  1. Joint by Design: The Western Desert Campaign

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-05-21

    Introduction Seated in a dusty tent, finally cooling in the Egyptian night, the “Desert Fox” had a serious problem. German Lieutenant General Erwin...Complexity: A Platform for Designing Business Architecture , 2nd ed. (Amsterdam: Elsevier, 2006), 30-32. 65 Lewin, Montgomery, 121. 29 Allies...Benghazi and Tobruk, and the Egyptian port of Matruh were operating at 60 percent of their potential capacity. By the end of August, the Axis loss rate of

  2. Extrafloral nectar fuels ant life in deserts

    OpenAIRE

    Aranda-Rickert, Adriana; Diez, Patricia; Marazzi, Brigitte

    2014-01-01

    Interactions mediated by extrafloral nectary (EFN)-bearing plants that reward ants with a sweet liquid secretion are well documented in temperate and tropical habitats. However, their distribution and abundance in deserts are poorly known. In this study, we test the predictions that biotic interactions between EFN plants and ants are abundant and common also in arid communities and that EFNs are only functional when new vegetative and reproductive structures are developing. In a seasonal dese...

  3. Regional Advection Perturbations in an Irrigated Desert (RAPID) Experiment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Debruin, H.A.R.; Hartogensis, O.K.; Allen, R.G.; Kramer, J.W.J.L.

    2005-01-01

    The RAPID field experiment took place in August - September 1999 at a site 25km south of Twin Falls, Idaho, USA. The experiment concerned micrometeorological observations over extensive, well-irrigated fields covered with the fast-growing crop alfalfa. During daytime, on a number of days the

  4. [Water parameters of desert xeric shrubs in west Erdos region].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xiao; Wang, Ying-chun; Zheng, Rong

    2007-05-01

    By using PV technique, this paper studied the turgor pressure (psi P), cell elastic modulus (epsilon), and relative cell volume (RCV) of super xerophytes Potaninia mongolica, Reaumuria soongorica, Tetraena mongolica and Zygophyllum xanthoxylon in west Alashan, with the relationships among the parameters analyzed. The results showed that R. soongorica had the strongest ability to maintain maximum turgor pressure (a = 2.4593). The four plants maintained their turgor pressure by different ways, i.e., P. mongolica maintained it by elastic adjustment (epsilon max = 8.4005 MPa), R. soongorica by osmotic adjustment (psi pi100 = -3.1302 MPa; psi0 = -3.5074 MPa), T. mongolica by both osmotic and elastic adjustment, and Z. xanthoxylon by osmotic adjustment, which had weak adjustment ability. The cell wall of P. mongolica was soft and highly elastic, benefiting to the water absorption by root and stem and to the fast water transmission. T. mongolica also had relatively soft and high elastic cell wall, and its psi P, and epsilon changed slowly with decreasing RCV, suggesting that this plant had strong ability of holding water and resisting dehydration.

  5. Tree production in desert regions using effluent and water harvesting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin M. Karpiscak; Gerald J. Gottfried

    2000-01-01

    Treated municipal effluent combined with water harvesting can be used for land restoration and enhancing the growth of important riparian tree species. Paired studies in Arizona are assessing the potential of growing trees using mixtures of effluent and potable water. Trees are grown in the field and in containers. Initial results from the field show high survival for...

  6. How much Carbon is Stored in Deserts? AN Approach for the Chilean Atacama Desert Using LANDSAT-8 Products

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernández, H. J.; Acuña, T.; Reyes, P.; Torres, M.; Figueroa, E.

    2016-06-01

    The Atacama Desert in northern Chile is known as the driest place on Earth, with an average rainfall of about 15 mm per year. Despite these conditions, it contains a rich variety of flora with hundreds of species characterised by their extraordinary ability to adapt to this extreme environment. These biotic components have a direct link to important ecosystem services, especially those related to carbon storage and sequestration. No quantitative assessment is currently available for these services and the role of the desert in this matter remains unclear. We propose an approach to estimate above-ground biomass (AGB) using Landsat-8 data, which we tested in the Taparacá region, located in the northern section of the desert. To calibrate and validate the models, we used field data from 86 plots and several spectral indexes (NDVI, EVI and SAVI) obtained from the provisional Landsat-8 Surface-reflectance products. We applied randomised branch sampling and allometry principles (non-destructive methods) to collect biomass samples for all plant biological types: wetlands, steppes, shrubs and trees. All samples were dried in an oven until they reached constant weight and the final values were used to extrapolate dry matter content (AGB) to each plot in terms of kg m-2. We used all available scenes from September 2014 to August 2015 to calculate the maximum, minimum and average value for each index in each pixel within this period. For modeling, we used the method based on classification and regression trees called random forest (RF), available in the statistical software R-Project. The explained variance obtained by the RF algorithm was around 80-85%, and it improved when a wetland vector layer was used as the predictive factor in the model to reach the range 85-90%. The mean error was 1.45 kg m-2 of dry matter. The best model was obtained using the maximum and mean values of SAVI and EVI indexes. We were able to estimate total biomass storage of around 8 million tons

  7. HOW MUCH CARBON IS STORED IN DESERTS? AN APPROACH FOR THE CHILEAN ATACAMA DESERT USING LANDSAT-8 PRODUCTS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. J. Hernández

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available The Atacama Desert in northern Chile is known as the driest place on Earth, with an average rainfall of about 15 mm per year. Despite these conditions, it contains a rich variety of flora with hundreds of species characterised by their extraordinary ability to adapt to this extreme environment. These biotic components have a direct link to important ecosystem services, especially those related to carbon storage and sequestration. No quantitative assessment is currently available for these services and the role of the desert in this matter remains unclear. We propose an approach to estimate above-ground biomass (AGB using Landsat-8 data, which we tested in the Taparacá region, located in the northern section of the desert. To calibrate and validate the models, we used field data from 86 plots and several spectral indexes (NDVI, EVI and SAVI obtained from the provisional Landsat-8 Surface-reflectance products. We applied randomised branch sampling and allometry principles (non-destructive methods to collect biomass samples for all plant biological types: wetlands, steppes, shrubs and trees. All samples were dried in an oven until they reached constant weight and the final values were used to extrapolate dry matter content (AGB to each plot in terms of kg m-2. We used all available scenes from September 2014 to August 2015 to calculate the maximum, minimum and average value for each index in each pixel within this period. For modeling, we used the method based on classification and regression trees called random forest (RF, available in the statistical software R-Project. The explained variance obtained by the RF algorithm was around 80-85%, and it improved when a wetland vector layer was used as the predictive factor in the model to reach the range 85-90%. The mean error was 1.45 kg m-2 of dry matter. The best model was obtained using the maximum and mean values of SAVI and EVI indexes. We were able to estimate total biomass storage of around 8

  8. Liquid Water Restricts Habitability in Extreme Deserts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cockell, Charles S.; Brown, Sarah; Landenmark, Hanna; Samuels, Toby; Siddall, Rebecca; Wadsworth, Jennifer

    2017-04-01

    Liquid water is a requirement for biochemistry, yet under some circumstances it is deleterious to life. Here, we show that liquid water reduces the upper temperature survival limit for two extremophilic photosynthetic microorganisms (Gloeocapsa and Chroococcidiopsis spp.) by greater than 40°C under hydrated conditions compared to desiccated conditions. Under hydrated conditions, thermal stress causes protein inactivation as shown by the fluorescein diacetate assay. The presence of water was also found to enhance the deleterious effects of freeze-thaw in Chroococcidiopsis sp. In the presence of water, short-wavelength UV radiation more effectively kills Gloeocapsa sp. colonies, which we hypothesize is caused by factors including the greater penetration of UV radiation into hydrated colonies compared to desiccated colonies. The data predict that deserts where maximum thermal stress or irradiation occurs in conjunction with the presence of liquid water may be less habitable to some organisms than more extreme arid deserts where organisms can dehydrate prior to being exposed to these extremes, thus minimizing thermal and radiation damage. Life in extreme deserts is poised between the deleterious effects of the presence and the lack of liquid water.

  9. The Palm Desert renewable [hydrogen] transportation system

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chamberlin, C.E.; Lehman, P. [Humboldt State Univ., Arcata, CA (United States). Schatz Energy Research Center

    1998-08-01

    This paper describes the Schatz Energy Research Center (SERC) progress on the Palm Desert Renewable Hydrogen Transportation System Project for the period June 1997 through May 1998. The project began in March 1996. The goal of the Palm Desert Project is to develop a clean and sustainable transportation system for a community. The project demonstrates the practical utility of hydrogen as a transportation fuel and the proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell as a vehicle power system. The project includes designing and building 4 fuel cell powered vehicles, a solar hydrogen generating and refueling station, and a fuel cell vehicle diagnostic center. Over this last year, SERC has built a fuel cell powered neighborhood electric vehicle and delivered it to the City of Palm Desert. The design of the hydrogen refueling station is near completion and it is anticipated that construction will be complete in the fall of 1998. The vehicles are currently being refueled at a temporary refueling station. The diagnostic center is being designed and maintenance procedures as well as computer diagnostic programs for the fuel cell vehicles are being developed. City employees are driving the vehicles daily and monitoring data are being collected. The drivers are pleased with the performance of the vehicles.

  10. CAMEL REARING IN CHOLISTAN DESERT OF PAKISTAN

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I. ALI, M. SHAFIQ CHAUDHRY1 AND U. FAROOQ

    2009-05-01

    Full Text Available The camel is one of the typical and the best adopted animals of the desert, capable of enduring thirst and hunger for days and is the most patient of land animals. For desert nomads of Pakistani Cholistan, it is a beloved companion, a source of milk and meat, transport facility provider and a racing/dancing animal, thus, playing an important role in the socioeconomic uplift of the local community. Camels of Marrecha or Mahra breed are mainly used for riding and load carrying but may be trained for dancing or racing. Berella is another heavy and milch breed of camel famous for milk production and can produce upto 10-15 liters of milk per day. This breed is also suitable for draught purpose, though comparatively slow due to heavy body. The present paper also describes the traditional camel rearing system used by nomads of Cholistan desert. Some aspects of camel health, production, feeding, socio-economic values, marketing and some constraints and suggestions are also given so that the policy makers may consider them for the welfare of this animal.

  11. Isotope hydrological investigation of Moghra and Ain El-Sharip environment, north western desert, Egypt

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Aly, A.I.M.; Nada, A.; Awad, M.; Salman, A.B.; Hamza, M.S.

    1991-01-01

    Groundwater samples collected from some localities in the vicinity of Moghra and Ain El-Sharip in the north western desert were subjected to chemical and to isotopic analyses. The combination of the hydrochemical data with the isotopic compositions of deuterium, oxygen-18 and tritium shows that the groundwater in this region represents a mixture of water recharged from different sources including : Nile, sea and paleo-waters.5 fig.,2 tab

  12. Aeromagnetic Geophysical Investigation In El-Faiyum District, Western Desert, Egypt

    OpenAIRE

    El Awady, M. M. [محمد محمد العوضي; Bakrah, A.; El-Etr, H.

    1985-01-01

    The present paper deals with the interpretation of the aeromagnetic survey executed over the Faiyum area. Western Desert, Egypt. Qualitative as well as quantitative interpretation of the aeromagnetic data were carried out to obtain more information about the crystalline basement structure and the local structure in the sedimentary section. The analysis of the constructed magnetic maps which include the total intensity map, the vertical map, the regional map, the residual map, the second verti...

  13. The Impact of Desert Dust Aerosol Radiative Forcing on Global and West African Precipitation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jordan, A.; Zaitchik, B. F.; Gnanadesikan, A.; Dezfuli, A. K.

    2015-12-01

    Desert dust aerosols exert a radiative forcing on the atmosphere, influencing atmospheric temperature structure and modifying radiative fluxes at the top of the atmosphere (TOA) and surface. As dust aerosols perturb radiative fluxes, the atmosphere responds by altering both energy and moisture dynamics, with potentially significant impacts on regional and global precipitation. Global Climate Model (GCM) experiments designed to characterize these processes have yielded a wide range of results, owing to both the complex nature of the system and diverse differences across models. Most model results show a general decrease in global precipitation, but regional results vary. Here, we compare simulations from GFDL's CM2Mc GCM with multiple other model experiments from the literature in order to investigate mechanisms of radiative impact and reasons for GCM differences on a global and regional scale. We focus on West Africa, a region of high interannual rainfall variability that is a source of dust and that neighbors major Sahara Desert dust sources. As such, changes in West African climate due to radiative forcing of desert dust aerosol have serious implications for desertification feedbacks. Our CM2Mc results show net cooling of the planet at TOA and surface, net warming of the atmosphere, and significant increases in precipitation over West Africa during the summer rainy season. These results differ from some previous GCM studies, prompting comparative analysis of desert dust parameters across models. This presentation will offer quantitative analysis of differences in dust aerosol parameters, aerosol optical properties, and overall particle burden across GCMs, and will characterize the contribution of model differences to the uncertainty of forcing and climate response affecting West Africa.

  14. Resource Pulses in Desert River Habitats: Productivity-Biodiversity Hotspots, or Mirages?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Free, Carissa L.; Baxter, Greg S.; Dickman, Christopher R.; Leung, Luke K. P.

    2013-01-01

    Resource pulses in the world's hot deserts are driven largely by rainfall and are highly variable in both time and space. However, run-on areas and drainage lines in arid regions receive more water more often than adjacent habitats, and frequently sustain relatively high levels of primary productivity. These landscape features therefore may support higher biotic diversity than other habitats, and potentially act as refuges for desert vertebrates and other biota during droughts. We used the ephemeral Field River in the Simpson Desert, central Australia, as a case study to quantify how resources and habitat characteristics vary spatially and temporally along the riparian corridor. Levels of moisture and nutrients were greater in the clay-dominated soils of the riverine corridor than in the surrounding sand dunes, as were cover values of trees, annual grasses, other annual plants and litter; these resources and habitat features were also greater near the main catchment area than in the distal reaches where the river channel runs out into extensive dune fields. These observations confirm that the riverine corridor is more productive than the surrounding desert, and support the idea that it may act as a refuge or as a channel for the ingress of peri-desert species. However, the work also demonstrates that species diversity of invertebrates and plants is not higher within the river corridor; rather, it is driven by rainfall and the accompanying increase in annual plants following a rain event. Further research is required to identify the biota that depend upon these resource pulses. PMID:24124446

  15. Analyzing energy-water exchange dynamics in the Thar desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raja, P.; Singh, Nilendu; Srinivas, C. V.; Singhal, Mohit; Chauhan, Pankaj; Singh, Maharaj; Sinha, N. K.

    2017-07-01

    Regions of strong land-atmosphere coupling will be more susceptible to the hydrological impacts in the intensifying hydrological cycle. In this study, micrometeorological experiments were performed to examine the land-atmosphere coupling strength over a heat low region (Thar desert, NW India), known to influence the Indian summer monsoon (ISM). Within the vortex of Thar desert heat low, energy-water exchange and coupling behavior were studied for 4 consecutive years (2011-2014) based on sub-hourly measurements of radiative-convective flux, state parameters and sub-surface thermal profiles using lead-lag analysis between various E-W balance components. Results indicated a strong (0.11-0.35) but variable monsoon season (July-September) land-atmosphere coupling events. Coupling strength declined with time, becomes negative beyond 10-day lag. Evapotranspiration (LE) influences rainfall at the monthly time-scale (20-40 days). Highly correlated monthly rainfall and LE anomalies (r = 0.55, P < 0.001) suggested a large precipitation memory linked to the local land surface state. Sensible heating (SH) during March and April are more strongly (r = 0.6-0.7) correlated to ISM rainfall than heating during May or June (r = 0.16-0.36). Analyses show strong and weak couplings among net radiation (Rn)-vapour pressure deficit (VPD), LE-VPD and Rn-LE switching between energy-limited to water-limited conditions. Consistently, +ve and -ve residual energy [(dE) = (Rn - G) - (SH + LE)] were associated with regional wet and dry spells respectively with a lead of 10-40 days. Dew deposition (18.8-37.9 mm) was found an important component in the annual surface water balance. Strong association of variation of LE and rainfall was found during monsoon at local-scale and with regional-scale LE (MERRA 2D) but with a lag which was more prominent at local-scale than at regional-scale. Higher pre-monsoon LE at local-scale as compared to low and monotonous variation in regional-scale LE led to

  16. 77 FR 65133 - Revisions to the California State Implementation Plan, Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-10-25

    ... the California State Implementation Plan, Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District AGENCY... limited disapproval of revisions to the Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District (MDAQMD) portion of.... * * * * * (c) * * * (379) * * * (i) * * * (E) Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District. (1) Rule 1159...

  17. Draft Genome Sequence of Enterobacter sp. Sa187, an Endophytic Bacterium Isolated from the Desert Plant Indigofera argentea

    KAUST Repository

    Lafi, Feras Fawzi; Alam, Intikhab; Geurts, Rene; Bisseling, Ton; Bajic, Vladimir B.; Hirt, Heribert; Saad, Maged

    2017-01-01

    Enterobacter sp. Sa187 is a plant endophytic bacterium, isolated from root nodules of the desert plant Indigofera argentea, collected from the Jizan region of Saudi Arabia. Here, we report the genome sequence of Sa187, highlighting several genes involved in plant growth–promoting activity and environmental adaption.

  18. Draft genome sequence of Enterobacter sp. Sa187, an endophytic bacterium isolated from the desert plant Indigofera argentea

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lafi, Feras F.; Alam, Intikhab; Geurts, Rene; Bisseling, Ton; Bajic, Vladimir B.; Hirt, Heribert; Saad, Maged M.

    2017-01-01

    Enterobacter sp. Sa187 is a plant endophytic bacterium, isolated from root nodules of the desert plant Indigofera argentea, collected from the Jizan region of Saudi Arabia. Here, we report the genome sequence of Sa187, highlighting several genes involved in plant growth-promoting activity and

  19. Draft Genome Sequence of Enterobacter sp. Sa187, an Endophytic Bacterium Isolated from the Desert Plant Indigofera argentea

    KAUST Repository

    Lafi, Feras Fawzi

    2017-02-17

    Enterobacter sp. Sa187 is a plant endophytic bacterium, isolated from root nodules of the desert plant Indigofera argentea, collected from the Jizan region of Saudi Arabia. Here, we report the genome sequence of Sa187, highlighting several genes involved in plant growth–promoting activity and environmental adaption.

  20. Map showing areas of visible land disturbances caused by two military training operations in the Mojave Desert, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prose, D.V.

    1986-01-01

    This map shows areas that retain visible land disturbances produced during two military armored-vehicle training operations in the Mojave Desert, California. The map documents the lasting visual effects these operations have on this arid region and provides a data base for monitoring changes in the extent of visual disturbances in the future.

  1. The Use of Water During the Crew 144, Mars Desert Research Station, Utah Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Morais Mendonca Teles, Antonio

    2016-07-01

    Well. from November 29th to December 14th, 2014, the author conducted astrobiological and geological surveys, as analog astronaut member of the international Crew 144, at the site of the Mars Society's Mars Desert Research Station, located at a remote location in the Utah desert, United States. The use of water for drinking, bathing, cleaning, etc., in the crew was a major issue for consideration for a human expedition to the planet Mars in the future. The author would like to tell about the factors of the rationalized use of water.

  2. Cost estimates for Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm: a budgetary analysis

    OpenAIRE

    Johnson, J. Andrew.

    1991-01-01

    Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm (DS/DS) presented unique challenges for estimating the cost of that conflict. This analysis reviews the cost estimates and methodologies developed for that purpose by DoD, CBO and GAO. It considers the budget climate and the role of foreign cash and in-kind contributions. Finally, it reviews the budgeting innovations used to provide and monitor DS/DS defense spending. At the outset of the crisis, costs were estimated to determine the defense funding requir...

  3. Airborne desert dust and aeromicrobiology over the Turkish Mediterranean coastline

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griffin, Dale W.; Kubilay, Nilgün; Kocak, Mustafa; Gray, Mike A.; Borden, Timothy C.; Shinn, Eugene A.

    2007-01-01

    Between 18 March and 27 October 2002, 220 air samples were collected on 209 of 224 calendar days, on top of a coastal atmospheric research tower in Erdemli, Turkey. The volume of air filtered for each sample was 340 liters. Two hundred fifty-seven bacterial and 2598 fungal colony forming units (CFU) were enumerated from the samples using a low-nutrient agar. Ground-based dust measurements demonstrated that the region is routinely impacted by dust generated regionally and from North Africa and that the highest combined percent recovery of total CFU and African dust deposition occurred in the month of April (93.4% of CFU recovery and 91.1% of dust deposition occurred during African dust days versus no African dust present, for that month). A statistically significant correlation was observed (peak regional African dust months of March, April and May; rs=0.576, P=0.000) between an increase in the prevalence of microorganisms recovered from atmospheric samples on dust days (regional and African as determined by ground-based dust measurements), versus that observed on non-dust days. Given the prevalence of atmospherically suspended desert dust and microorganisms observed in this study, and that culture-based studies typically only recover a small fraction (

  4. Deserts and holy mountains of medieval Serbia: Written sources, spatial patterns, architectural designs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Popović Danica

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available Essential concepts in Christian thought and practice, the desert and holy mountain denote a particular kind of monastic and sacral space. They are secluded from the world, intended for asceticism, and ambivalent in nature they are inhospitable and menacing zones populated with demons, but also a monastic paradise, places for spiritual conversion and encounter with the divine. From earliest times, deserts and holy mountains had a few distinguishing characteristics. All forms of monastic life, from communal to solitary, were practiced side by side there. Monks of a special make-up and distinction known as holy men who were also often founders of illustrious communities, future saints and miracle-workers acted there. Furthermore these locales were important spiritual and bookmaking centre's, and therefore, strongholds of Orthodoxy. When trying to research Serbian material on this topic, we face a specific situation: few surviving sources on the one hand, and devastated monuments on the other. The ultimate consequence is that the entire subject has been neglected. Therefore the study of the Serbian deserts and holy mountains requires a very complex interdisciplinary approach with systematic field work as its essential part. It should address the following issues: corroboration, on the basis of written sources, of the reception of the concept of the monastic desert and holy mountain in a particular, regional, context; the distinct means and mechanisms employed in their physical realization; interpretation of their function; the recognition of patterns preserved in the surviving physical structures. Even the results obtained so far appear to be relevant enough to become included in the sacral topography of the Christian world. The author of this study gives particular attention to the detailed analysis of written sources of various genres - diplomatic sources, hagiographic material, liturgical texts, observation notes - in order to establish the

  5. Temporal 222Rn distributions to reveal groundwater discharge into desert lakes: Implication of water balance in the Badain Jaran Desert, China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luo, Xin; Jiao, Jiu Jimmy; Wang, Xu-sheng; Liu, Kun

    2016-03-01

    How lake systems are maintained and water is balanced in the lake areas in the Badain Jaran Desert (BJD), northeast of China have been debated for about a decade. In this study, continuous 222Rn measurement is used to quantify groundwater discharge into two representative fresh and brine water lakes in the desert using a steady-state mass-balance model. Two empirical equations are used to calculate atmospheric evasion loss crossing the water-air interface of the lakes. Groundwater discharge rates yielded from the radon mass balance model based on the two empirical equations are well correlated and of almost the same values, confirming the validity of the model. The fresh water and brine lakes have a daily averaged groundwater discharge rate of 7.6 ± 1.7 mm d-1 and 6.4 ± 1.8 mm d-1, respectively. The temporal fluctuations of groundwater discharge show similar patterns to those of the lake water level, suggesting that the lakes are recharged from nearby groundwater. Assuming that all the lakes have the same discharge rate as the two studied lakes, total groundwater discharge into all the lakes in the desert is estimated to be 1.59 × 105 m3 d-1. A conceptual model of water balance within a desert lake catchment is proposed to characterize water behaviors within the catchment. This study sheds lights on the water balance in the BJD and is of significance in sustainable regional water resource utilization in such an ecologically fragile area.

  6. Δ17O Isotopic Investigation of Nitrate Salts Found in Co-Occurrence with Naturally Formed Perchlorate in the Mojave Desert, California, USA and the Atacama Desert, Chile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lybrand, R. A.; Parker, D.; Rech, J.; Prellwitz, J.; Michalski, G.

    2009-12-01

    Perchlorate is both a naturally occurring and manmade contaminant that has been identified in soil, groundwater and surface water. Perchlorate directly affects human health by interfering with iodide uptake in the thyroid gland, which may in turn lower the production of key hormones that are needed for proper growth and development. Until recently, the Atacama Desert, Chile was thought to be the only location where perchlorate salts formed naturally. Recent work has documented the occurrence of these salts in several semi-arid regions of the United States. This study identified putatively natural sources of perchlorate in the Mojave Desert of California. Soil samples were collected from six field sites varying in geologic age. The co-occurrence of perchlorate and nitrate in caliches from the Atacama Desert and soils from the Mojave Desert was also investigated. Although the former are richer in NO3-, near-ore-grade (~5%) deposits occur in the vicinity of Death Valley National Park. Weak but significant correlations exist between ClO4- and NO3- at both locations, but the perchlorate levels are much higher (up to 800 mg/kg) in the Chilean samples than in California (atmospheric origin for the Atacama nitrate salts, and a mixture between biological nitrate and atmospherically-derived nitrate for the Mojave samples. When corrected for the percentage of atmospheric nitrate measured in the Atacama samples, the Mojave samples still contain much lower perchlorate concentrations than would be expected if the occurrence of perchlorate correlated strictly with atmospherically derived nitrate. These results indicate that the variation in the origins of the nitrate salts is not the only factor influencing perchlorate distribution in these environments. These findings suggest that there are other geologic differences in landform age and stability that are crucial to understanding the co-occurrence of nitrate and perchlorate between the two locations.

  7. Desert Testing of Military Materiel.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1981-08-01

    ria’ he I’ilrrts’ tar long Periord,, eseil’ fticn o% cred bV humi111d air ott (tic (tif of Miexico if no ss leis ’irisrng uplift ot thai tiurild air...I lic ’Aaa etni; -e t W. li lic ’ n- -mmititmi i’.o. pim ) protile A ithuin a region. It rvti he vithtr greIs ot A- .n -Nro ,!, ’ill 111itt Ic ,ic Int...ditions) or cross-countrN itr ott the htigltu~is I road-load cottdiiiotist. An tru ;iesie,mddiion it a.h i operaiton Is that amphtbious sehiclcs, such as

  8. Are Wildlife Detector Dogs or People Better at Finding Desert Tortoises (Gopherus Agassizii)?

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Nussear, Kenneth E; Esque, Todd C; Heaton, Jill S; Cablk, Mary E; Drake, Kristina K; Valentin, Cindee; Yee, Julie L; Medica, Philip A

    2008-01-01

    .... Recent studies highlight the effectiveness of trained detector dogs to locate wildlife during field surveys, including Desert Tortoises in a semi-natural setting. Desert Tortoises (Gopherus agassizii...

  9. Structure and Optical Properties of the Atmospheric Boundary Layer over Dusty Hot Deserts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chalermthai, B.; Al Marzooqi, M.; Basha, G.; Ouarda, T.; Armstrong, P.; Molini, A.

    2014-12-01

    Strong sensible heat fluxes and deep turbulent mixing - together with marked dustiness and a low substrate water content - represent a characteristic signature of the atmospheric boundary layer (ABL) over hot deserts, resulting in "thicker" mixing layers and peculiar optical properties. Beside these main common features however, desert boundary layers present extremely complex local structures that have been scarcely addressed in the literature, and whose understanding is essential in modeling processes such as transport and deposition of dust and pollutants, local wind fields, turbulent fluxes and their impacts on the sustainable development, human health and solar energy harvesting in these regions. In this study, we explore the potential of the joint usage of Lidar Ceilometer backscattering profiles and sun-photometer optical depth retrievals to quantitatively determine the vertical aerosol profile over dusty hot desert regions. Toward this goal, we analyze a continuous record of observations of the atmospheric boundary layer height from a single lens LiDAR ceilometer operated at Masdar Institute Field Station (24.4425N 54.6163E, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates), starting March 2013, and the concurrent measurements of aerosol optical depth derived independently from the Masdar Institute AERONET sun-photometer. The main features of the desert ABL are obtained from the ceilometer range corrected backscattering profiles through bi-dimensional clustering technique we developed as a modification of the recently proposed single-profile clustering method, and therefore "directly" and "indirectly" calibrated to obtain a full diurnal cycle climatology of the aerosol optical depth and aerosol profiles. The challenges and the advantages of applying a similar methodology to the monitoring of aerosols and dust over hyper-arid regions are also discussed, together with the issues related to the sensitivity of commercial ceilometers to changes in the solar background.

  10. Subcritical Water Extraction of Amino Acids from Atacama Desert Soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amashukeli, Xenia; Pelletier, Christine C.; Kirby, James P.; Grunthaner, Frank J.

    2007-01-01

    Amino acids are considered organic molecular indicators in the search for extant and extinct life in the Solar System. Extraction of these molecules from a particulate solid matrix, such as Martian regolith, will be critical to their in situ detection and analysis. The goals of this study were to optimize a laboratory amino acid extraction protocol by quantitatively measuring the yields of extracted amino acids as a function of liquid water temperature and sample extraction time and to compare the results to the standard HCl vapor- phase hydrolysis yields for the same soil samples. Soil samples from the Yungay region of the Atacama Desert ( Martian regolith analog) were collected during a field study in the summer of 2005. The amino acids ( alanine, aspartic acid, glutamic acid, glycine, serine, and valine) chosen for analysis were present in the samples at concentrations of 1 - 70 parts- per- billion. Subcritical water extraction efficiency was examined over the temperature range of 30 - 325 degrees C, at pressures of 17.2 or 20.0 MPa, and for water- sample contact equilibration times of 0 - 30 min. None of the amino acids were extracted in detectable amounts at 30 degrees C ( at 17.2 MPa), suggesting that amino acids are too strongly bound by the soil matrix to be extracted at such a low temperature. Between 150 degrees C and 250 degrees C ( at 17.2 MPa), the extraction efficiencies of glycine, alanine, and valine were observed to increase with increasing water temperature, consistent with higher solubility at higher temperatures, perhaps due to the decreasing dielectric constant of water. Amino acids were not detected in extracts collected at 325 degrees C ( at 20.0 MPa), probably due to amino acid decomposition at this temperature. The optimal subcritical water extraction conditions for these amino acids from Atacama Desert soils were achieved at 200 degrees C, 17.2 MPa, and a water- sample contact equilibration time of 10 min.

  11. The Holocene Geoarchaeology of the Desert Nile in Northern Sudan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woodward, Jamie; Macklin, Mark; Spencer, Neal; Welsby, Derek; Dalton, Matthew; Hay, Sophie; Hardy, Andrew

    2016-04-01

    Invited Paper Forty years ago Colin Renfrew declared that "every archaeological problem starts as a problem in geoarchaeology" (Renfrew, 1976 p. 2). With this assertion in mind, this paper draws upon the findings from field research in two sectors of the Nile Valley of Northern Sudan dedicated to the exploration of human-environment interactions during the middle and late Holocene. This part of the Nile corridor contains a rich cultural record and an exceptionally well preserved Holocene fluvial archive. A distinctive feature of these records is the variety of evidence for interaction between desert and river over a range of spatial and temporal scales. This interaction presented both challenges and opportunities for its ancient inhabitants. This paper will present evidence for large-scale landscape changes driven by shifts in global climate. It will also show how we have integrated the archaeological and geological records in the Northern Dongola Reach and at Amara West - where long-term field projects led by archaeologists from the British Museum have recognised the importance of a sustained commitment to interdisciplinary research to achieve a fully integrated geoarchaeological approach across a range of scales. The former project is a large-scale landscape survey with multiple sites across an 80 km reach of the Nile whilst the latter has a strong focus on a single New Kingdom town site and changes in its environmental setting. By combining multiple archaeological and geological datasets - and pioneering the use of OSL dating and strontium isotope analysis in the Desert Nile - we have developed a new understanding of human responses to Holocene climate and landscape change in this region. Renfrew, C. (1976) Archaeology and the earth sciences. In: D.A. Davidson and M.I. Shackley (eds) Geoarchaeology: Earth Science and the Past, Duckworth, London, 1-5.

  12. Strategies to address the desertion university from Information Technologies and Communications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edna Rocio Ramirez Saavedra

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available The article presents general objective describe the main components of a strategy by the use of Information Technology and Communications (TIC to address the problem of the undergraduate student desertion of universities in Colombia. it is the purpose of proposing a strategy to avoid duplication of efforts and resources expenses when determining whether a student is at risk of dropping out. The overall methodological development was approached from heuristics and the projectile area, the specific methodology to establish three phases, planning, design and development were defined. Through this article the institutions of higher education may have a strategy to address the problem of undergraduate student desertion. Regionally the study may be used as a reference for implementing new strategies to help reduce dropout rates from the experiences of other institutions in the country.

  13. VEGETATIVE GROWTH AND EARLY PRODUCTION OF SIX OLIVE CULTIVARS, IN SOUTHERN ATACAMA DESERT, CHILE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Freddy MORA

    2007-12-01

    Full Text Available Tree survival, early fruit production, vegetative growth and alternate bearing were examined in six different olive cultivars (Barnea, Biancolilla, Coratina, Empeltre, Koroneiki and Leccino under intensive agronomic conditions i southern Atacama Desert, in the Coquimbo Region of Chile. The cultivars were evaluated over four successive years and had a high survival rate (93% confi rming their potential for these dry-lands. Fruit production (recorded over the growing seasons 2002-2003, vegetative growth (2000-2003 and alternate bearing differed signifi cantly among cultivars. Olive selection in intensively managed planting at the southern part of the Atacama Desert depends on matching specifi c cultivars to sites on which they perform the best.

  14. Physiological conjunction of allelochemicals and desert plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yosef Friedjung, Avital; Choudhary, Sikander Pal; Dudai, Nativ; Rachmilevitch, Shimon

    2013-01-01

    Plants exchange signals with other physical and biological entities in their habitat, a form of communication termed allelopathy. The underlying principles of allelopathy and secondary-metabolite production are still poorly understood, especially in desert plants. The coordination and role of secondary metabolites were examined as a cause of allelopathy in plants thriving under arid and semiarid soil conditions. Desert plant species, Origanum dayi, Artemisia sieberi and Artemisia judaica from two different sources (cultivar cuttings and wild seeds) were studied in their natural habitats. Growth rate, relative water content, osmotic potential, photochemical efficiency, volatile composition and vital factors of allelopathy were analyzed at regular intervals along four seasons with winter showing optimum soil water content and summer showing water deficit conditions. A comprehensive analysis of the volatile composition of the leaves, ambient air and soil in the biological niche of the plants under study was carried out to determine the effects of soil water conditions and sample plants on the surrounding flora. Significant morpho-physiological changes were observed across the seasons and along different soil water content. Metabolic analysis showed that water deficit was the key for driving selective metabolomic shifts. A. judaica showed the least metabolic shifts, while A. sieberi showed the highest shifts. All the species exhibited high allelopathic effects; A. judaica displayed relatively higher growth-inhibition effects, while O. dayi showed comparatively higher germination-inhibition effects in germination assays. The current study may help in understanding plant behavior, mechanisms underlying secondary-metabolite production in water deficit conditions and metabolite-physiological interrelationship with allelopathy in desert plants, and can help cull economic benefits from the produced volatiles.

  15. Physiological conjunction of allelochemicals and desert plants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Avital Yosef Friedjung

    Full Text Available Plants exchange signals with other physical and biological entities in their habitat, a form of communication termed allelopathy. The underlying principles of allelopathy and secondary-metabolite production are still poorly understood, especially in desert plants. The coordination and role of secondary metabolites were examined as a cause of allelopathy in plants thriving under arid and semiarid soil conditions. Desert plant species, Origanum dayi, Artemisia sieberi and Artemisia judaica from two different sources (cultivar cuttings and wild seeds were studied in their natural habitats. Growth rate, relative water content, osmotic potential, photochemical efficiency, volatile composition and vital factors of allelopathy were analyzed at regular intervals along four seasons with winter showing optimum soil water content and summer showing water deficit conditions. A comprehensive analysis of the volatile composition of the leaves, ambient air and soil in the biological niche of the plants under study was carried out to determine the effects of soil water conditions and sample plants on the surrounding flora. Significant morpho-physiological changes were observed across the seasons and along different soil water content. Metabolic analysis showed that water deficit was the key for driving selective metabolomic shifts. A. judaica showed the least metabolic shifts, while A. sieberi showed the highest shifts. All the species exhibited high allelopathic effects; A. judaica displayed relatively higher growth-inhibition effects, while O. dayi showed comparatively higher germination-inhibition effects in germination assays. The current study may help in understanding plant behavior, mechanisms underlying secondary-metabolite production in water deficit conditions and metabolite-physiological interrelationship with allelopathy in desert plants, and can help cull economic benefits from the produced volatiles.

  16. Screening the Egyptian desert actinomycetes as candidates for new ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    In a screening program to study the antimicrobial activities of desert actinomycetes as potential producers of active metabolites, 75 actinomycete strains were isolated from the Egyptian desert habitats and tested. Out of the isolated 75 organisms, 32 (42.67%) showed activity against the used test organisms.

  17. Pastoralist rock art in the Black Desert of Jordan

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Brusgaard, N.O.

    2015-01-01

    This paper discusses the current problems that exist with the rock art research of the Black Desert in Jordan and presents some preliminary field results of the author’s research on the petroglyphs. It also explore the possibilities that the rock art affords to learn more about the elusive desert

  18. Pastoralist rock art in the Black Desert of Jordan

    OpenAIRE

    Brusgaard, N.O.

    2015-01-01

    This paper discusses the current problems that exist with the rock art research of the Black Desert in Jordan and presents some preliminary field results of the author’s research on the petroglyphs. It also explore the possibilities that the rock art affords to learn more about the elusive desert societies and the limitations about studying rock art in archaeologically unfamiliar territories.

  19. The politics of accessing desert land in Jordan

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Naber, Al Majd; Molle, Francois

    2016-01-01

    With the dramatic increase of the population in Jordan, the value of land has rocketed up. Urban sprawl into semi-desert or desert areas, initially not surveyed or settled by the British and considered as state land, has brought to the surface the problematic status of those lands. Likewise, the

  20. Desert tortoise use of burned habitat in the Eastern Mojave desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drake, Karla K.; Esque, Todd C.; Nussear, Kenneth E.; DeFalco, Lesley; Scoles, Sara; Modlin, Andrew T.; Medica, Philip A.

    2015-01-01

    Wildfires burned 24,254 ha of critical habitat designated for the recovery of the threatened Mojave desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) in southern Nevada during 2005. The proliferation of non-native annual grasses has increased wildfire frequency and extent in recent decades and continues to accelerate the conversion of tortoise habitat across the Mojave Desert. Immediate changes to vegetation are expected to reduce quality of critical habitat, yet whether tortoises will use burned and recovering habitat differently from intact unburned habitat is unknown. We compared movement patterns, home-range size, behavior, microhabitat use, reproduction, and survival for adult desert tortoises located in, and adjacent to, burned habitat to understand how tortoises respond to recovering burned habitat. Approximately 45% of home ranges in the post-fire environment contained burned habitat, and numerous observations (n = 12,223) corroborated tortoise use of both habitat types (52% unburned, 48% burned). Tortoises moved progressively deeper into burned habitat during the first 5 years following the fire, frequently foraging in burned habitats that had abundant annual plants, and returning to adjacent unburned habitat for cover provided by intact perennial vegetation. However, by years 6 and 7, the live cover of the short-lived herbaceous perennial desert globemallow (Sphaeralcea ambigua) that typically re-colonizes burned areas declined, resulting in a contraction of tortoise movements from the burned areas. Health and egg production were similar between burned and unburned areas indicating that tortoises were able to acquire necessary resources using both areas. This study documents that adult Mojave desert tortoises continue to use habitat burned once by wildfire. Thus, continued management of this burned habitat may contribute toward the recovery of the species in the face of many sources of habitat loss.

  1. Algae-production in the desert

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hildebrand, H.

    1988-11-01

    The company Koor Food Ltd. (Israel) developed in co-operation with the Weizmann-Institute (Israel) a production-plant for the industrial cultivation of algae in the desert area of Elat. For almost a year now, they succeed in harvesting large amounts of algae material with the help of the intensive sun and the Red Sea water. The alga Dunaliella with the natural US -carotine, as well as the alga Spirulina with the high content of protein find their market in the food-, cosmetic- and pharma-industry. This article will give a survey of a yet here unusual project.

  2. Background aerosol composition in the Namib desert

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Annegarn, H.J.; Sellschop, J.P.F.; Van Grieken, R.E.; Winchester, J.W.

    The sulfur content of atmospheric particulate matter in non-urban areas is apparently rising above natural levels in the Northern Hemisphere. Sulfur emissions to the atmosphere are also increasing with increasing combustion of fossil fuels. Current research is being focussed not only on gaseous sulfur dioxide, but also on particulate forms, including sulfates and sulfuric acid. A global network of non urban studies using proton induced X-ray emission (PIXE) of which the sampling site at Gobabeb in the Namib desert is one, are developing a data base on which questions of natural levels of sulfur can be answered

  3. Rocks, climate and the survival of human societies in hyper-arid and arid environments - Are the human civilization in deserts at a permanent risk of collapse?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoav, Avni; Noa, Avriel-Avni

    2017-04-01

    The great challenges of living in the arid and hyper arid regions worldwide are the shortage of water, limited resources and the permanent uncertainty of the desert climate. These challenges are known as the main weaknesses of desert societies that are prone, according to the existing paradigm, to a permanent risk of collapse. However, in the Middle East deserts, human societies are known since prehistoric times and during the entire hyper-dry Holocene. This hints that the simple paradigm of desert societies' high vulnerability to harsh desert environments needs to be better examined. In this context we examine three case studies: 1. The Southern Sinai region in Egypt: In this region, the annual precipitation fluctuates between 20-50 mm/y. However, in this highly mountainous area, desert agriculture plots including orchards were constructed, located mainly around the byzantine monastery of Santa Katerina. During the last 1500 years, much of the water supply needed for humans and agriculture was generated from runoff developed on exposed granite rocks. 2. The southern Jordan region south of Petra: Much of this wide area connecting the deserts of the Arabian Peninsula and southern Jordan receive only 20-30 mm/y. However, the main caravan route established by the Arabian tribes during the first millennia BC managed to cross this land, supplying the water needs of many camels. Most of this water was stored in large cisterns dug into the sandstone rock formations exposed along the route, especially within the Disi Formation. 3. The Negev Highlands of southern Israel: This region is divided between the hyper arid region to the south, receiving 70-80 mm/y, and the arid region to the north receiving 90-130 mm/y. During the last two millennia, the hyper arid area was used for camel grazing and goats herds, while the northern sector was used for the construction of agriculture plots, agriculture farms and even desert towns. All these activities were sustained by runoff

  4. Plant responses to an edaphic gradient across an active sand dune/desert boundary in the great basin desert.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rosenthal, D.M.; Ludwig, F.; Donovan, L.A.

    2005-01-01

    In arid ecosystems, variation in precipitation causes broad-scale spatial heterogeneity in soil moisture, but differences in soil texture, development, and plant cover can also create substantial local soil moisture heterogeneity. The boundary between inland desert sand dunes and adjacent desert

  5. Molluscs as evidence for a late Pleistocene and early Holocene humid period in the southern coastal desert of Peru (14.5°S)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mächtle, Bertil; Unkel, Ingmar; Eitel, Bernhard; Kromer, Bernd; Schiegl, Solveig

    2010-01-01

    The southern Peruvian coastal desert around Palpa, southern Peru (14.5°S) is currently characterized by hyper-arid conditions. However, the presence of two species of molluscs ( Scutalus, Pupoides) and desert-loess deposits indicates the past development of semi-desert and grassland ecosystems caused by a displacement of the eastern desert margin due to hydrological changes. Radiocarbon dating shows that the transition to a semi-arid climate in the southern Peruvian coastal desert took place during the Greenland interstadial 1, ˜ 13.5 cal ka BP. At the beginning of the Holocene, the mollusc fauna vanished due to increasing humidity and the development of grasslands. Dust particles were fixed by the grasses, as indicated by abundant Poaceae phytoliths, and desert loess was formed. The humid period we observe here is out of phase with the palaeoenvironmental records from the Titicaca region, which indicates dry conditions at that time. This paper offers a new idea for this contradiction: an orbitally driven meridional shift of the Bolivian high might have altered the moisture supply across the Andes.

  6. The different influence of the residual layer on the development of the summer convective boundary layer in two deserts in northwest China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Zhao; Bo, Han; Shihua, Lv; Lijuan, Wen; Xianhong, Meng; Zhaoguo, Li

    2018-02-01

    The development of the atmospheric boundary layer is closely connected with the exchange of momentum, heat, and mass near the Earth's surface, especially for a convective boundary layer (CBL). Besides being modulated by the buoyancy flux near the Earth's surface, some studies point out that a neutrally stratified residual layer is also crucial for the appearance of a deep CBL. To verify the importance of the residual layer, the CBLs over two deserts in northwest China (Badan Jaran and Taklimakan) were investigated. The summer CBL mean depth over the Taklimakan Desert is shallower than that over the Badan Jaran Desert, even when the sensible heat flux of the former is stronger. Meanwhile, the climatological mean residual layer in the Badan Jaran Desert is much deeper and neutrally stratified in summer. Moreover, we found a significant and negative correlation between the lapse rate of the residual layer and the CBL depth over the Badan Jaran Desert. The different lapse rates of the residual layer in the two regions are partly connected with the advection heating from large-scale atmospheric circulation. The advection heating tends to reduce the temperature difference in the 700 to 500-hPa layer over the Badan Jaran Desert, and it increases the stability in the same atmospheric layer over the Taklimakan Desert. The advection due to climatological mean atmospheric circulation is more effective at modulating the lapse rate of the residual layer than from varied circulation. Also, the interannual variation of planetary boundary layer (PBL) height over two deserts was found to covary with the wave train.

  7. Discriminating patterns and drivers of multiscale movement in herpetofauna: The dynamic and changing environment of the Mojave desert tortoise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sadoti, Giancarlo; Gray, Miranda E; Farnsworth, Matthew L; Dickson, Brett G

    2017-09-01

    Changes to animal movement in response to human-induced changes to the environment are of growing concern in conservation. Most research on this problem has focused on terrestrial endotherms, but changes to herpetofaunal movement are also of concern given their limited dispersal abilities and specialized thermophysiological requirements. Animals in the desert region of the southwestern United States are faced with environmental alterations driven by development (e.g., solar energy facilities) and climate change. Here, we study the movement ecology of a desert species of conservation concern, the Mojave desert tortoise ( Gopherus agassizii ). We collected weekly encounter locations of marked desert tortoises during the active (nonhibernation) seasons in 2013-2015, and used those data to discriminate movements among activity centers from those within them. We then modeled the probability of movement among activity centers using a suite of covariates describing characteristics of tortoises, natural and anthropogenic landscape features, vegetation, and weather. Multimodel inference indicated greatest support for a model that included individual tortoise characteristics, landscape features, and weather. After controlling for season, date, age, and sex, we found that desert tortoises were more likely to move among activity centers when they were further from minor roads and in the vicinity of barrier fencing; we also found that movement between activity centers was more common during periods of greater rainfall and during periods where cooler temperatures coincided with lower rainfall. Our findings indicate that landscape alterations and climate change both have the potential to impact movements by desert tortoises during the active season. This study provides an important baseline against which we can detect future changes in tortoise movement behavior.

  8. [Spatial variation of soil carbon and stable isotopes in the southern margin desert of Junggar Basin, China].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Na; Xu, Wen Qiang; Xu, Hua Jun; Feng, Yi Xing; Li, Chao Fan

    2017-07-18

    The southern margin desert of Junggar Basin in the central arid region of Asia was selec-ted as the study area. To gain insight into the distribution characteristic of stable carbon isotope and the relationship between the change of soil carbon and the distance to oasis of soil organic carbon (SOC) and soil inorganic carbon (SIC), three belt transects were set according to the distance between the desert and the oasis in edge, middle and hinterland of the desert respectively, and collected the soil profile samples with depth of 2 m. The results indicated that the SOC content reduced with the soil depth, and the variation with the distance to oasis was the edge> the middle> the hinterland. The δ 13 C value of SOC varied in the range of -21.92‰ to -17.41‰, and decreased with the depth; the range in the middle and hinterland was -25.20‰ to -19.30‰, and increased then declined with the depth. Therefore, we could infer that the C3 plants played a dominant role in the central of desert, and had experienced the succession from C3 plants to C4 plants. The average content of SIC was 38.98 g·kg -1 in the edge of desert, which was about 6.01 folds as large as the content in the hinterland. This indicated that a large number of SIC with 0-2 m depth were clustered in the edge of the desert. The δ 13 C value of SIC increased first then decreased with the soil depth, and enriched in the bottom layer, which was mainly affected by the original carbonate content and soil carbon dioxide.

  9. Marine resource reliance in the human populations of the Atacama Desert, northern Chile - A view from prehistory

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, Charlotte L.; Millard, Andrew R.; Gröcke, Darren R.; Standen, Vivien G.; Arriaza, Bernardo T.; Halcrow, Siân E.

    2018-02-01

    The Atacama Desert is one of the most inhospitable terrestrial environments on Earth, yet the upwelling of the Humboldt Current off the coast has resulted in the presence of a rich marine biota. It is this marine environment which first enabled the human settlement of the northern Atacama Desert, and continues to form the basis of regional economies today. In this paper we explore how the desert has shaped human dietary choices throughout prehistory, using carbon and nitrogen isotope analysis of human bone collagen (n = 80) to reconstruct the diets of the inhabitants of the Arica region of the northern Atacama. This area is one of the driest parts of the desert, but has been generally understudied in terms of dietary adaptation. Statistical analysis using FRUITS has allowed deconvolution of isotopic signals to create dietary reconstructions and highlight the continued importance of marine resources throughout the archaeological sequence. Location also appears to have played a role in dietary choices, with inland sites having 10-20% less calories from marine foods than coastal sites. We also highlight evidence for the increasing importance of maize consumption, coinciding with contact with highland polities. In all periods apart from the earliest Archaic, however, there is significant variability between individuals in terms of dietary resource use. We conclude that marine resource use, and broad-spectrum economies persisted throughout prehistory. We interpret these results as reflecting a deliberate choice to retain dietary diversity as a buffer against resource instability.

  10. Ecological restoration and recovery in the wind-blown sand hazard areas of northern China: relationship between soil water and carrying capacity for vegetation in the Tengger Desert.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, XingRong; Zhang, ZhiShan; Tan, HuiJuan; Gao, YanHong; Liu, LiChao; Wang, XingPing

    2014-05-01

    The main prevention and control area for wind-blown sand hazards in northern China is about 320000 km(2) in size and includes sandlands to the east of the Helan Mountain and sandy deserts and desert-steppe transitional regions to the west of the Helan Mountain. Vegetation recovery and restoration is an important and effective approach for constraining wind-blown sand hazards in these areas. After more than 50 years of long-term ecological studies in the Shapotou region of the Tengger Desert, we found that revegetation changed the hydrological processes of the original sand dune system through the utilization and space-time redistribution of soil water. The spatiotemporal dynamics of soil water was significantly related to the dynamics of the replanted vegetation for a given regional precipitation condition. The long-term changes in hydrological processes in desert areas also drive replanted vegetation succession. The soil water carrying capacity of vegetation and the model for sand fixation by revegetation in aeolian desert areas where precipitation levels are less than 200 mm are also discussed.

  11. Airborne particle accumulation and composition at different locations in the northern Negev desert.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Offer, Z.Y.; Goossens, D.

    2001-01-01

    Atmospheric desert dust was collected over 36 months in ground-level collectors at four stations in the northern Negev desert, Israel. Three stations (Shivta, Sede Boqer and Avdat) are located in the desert itself whereas the fourth station (Sayeret Shaked) is situated at the desert fringe, in the

  12. Nine-year spatial and temporal evolution of desert dust aerosols over South and East Asia as revealed by CALIOP

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. Proestakis

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available We present a 3-D climatology of the desert dust distribution over South and East Asia derived using CALIPSO (Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observation data. To distinguish desert dust from total aerosol load we apply a methodology developed in the framework of EARLINET (European Aerosol Research Lidar Network. The method involves the use of the particle linear depolarization ratio and updated lidar ratio values suitable for Asian dust, applied to multiyear CALIPSO observations (January 2007–December 2015. The resulting dust product provides information on the horizontal and vertical distribution of dust aerosols over South and East Asia along with the seasonal transition of dust transport pathways. Persistent high D_AOD (dust aerosol optical depth values at 532 nm, of the order of 0.6, are present over the arid and semi-arid desert regions. Dust aerosol transport (range, height and intensity is subject to high seasonality, with the highest values observed during spring for northern China (Taklimakan and Gobi deserts and during summer over the Indian subcontinent (Thar Desert. Additionally, we decompose the CALIPSO AOD (aerosol optical depth into dust and non-dust aerosol components to reveal the non-dust AOD over the highly industrialized and densely populated regions of South and East Asia, where the non-dust aerosols yield AOD values of the order of 0.5. Furthermore, the CALIPSO-based short-term AOD and D_AOD time series and trends between January 2007 and December 2015 are calculated over South and East Asia and over selected subregions. Positive trends are observed over northwest and east China and the Indian subcontinent, whereas over southeast China trends are mostly negative. The calculated AOD trends agree well with the trends derived from Aqua MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer, although significant differences are observed over specific regions.

  13. From Desert to Dessert: Why Australian Dust Matters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunter, K. A.; Mackie, D. S.; Boyd, P. W.; McTainsh, G. H.

    2006-12-01

    The growth of some types of phytoplankton in several parts of the world ocean, including much of the Southern Ocean, is limited by the supply of iron. Large Australian dust storms uplift, transport and abrade soils, to produce aeolian dust that is a significant source iron to the Southern Ocean. Atmospheric processes that enhance the dissolution of iron from aeolian dusts are of interest and have been studied for material from major dust producing regions like the Sahara, Gobi and Australian deserts; the reported solubility of iron from aeolian dusts ranges from <0.01% to 80%. The characteristic red soils, sands and dusts from Australia are generally believed to consist of quartz grains with a coating of fine grains and crystals of iron oxides, primarily hematite and goethite. The precise mineralogy of soil and dust grain coatings is poorly understood and it also not well known how the coatings are altered during uplift and transport to the ocean. Current models to understand the processes operating during the transport and atmospheric processing of dust include some generalisations and simplifications that are not always warranted and our work has shown the overlooked complexity of the system. Models for aeolian-iron dissolution based on Northern Hemisphere data commonly include the pollutants SOx and NOx. The modern Southern Hemisphere is less polluted and thus resembles past environmental systems. The dissolution of iron from soils of the Saharan, Gobi and Australian deserts in the presence of protons only (i.e. without SOx and NOx) occurs in two phases. The first, faster phase, representing up to 20% of total iron is via a surface-controlled mechanism. The rate determining variable is the exposed surface area of the iron oxides and not the size of the underlying quartz grain. The second, slower, phase of dissolution occurs via the transport-controlled formation of a leached layer. During the simulated aeolian abrasion of Australian soils from dust producing

  14. Cumulative biological impacts framework for solar energy projects in the California Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Frank W.; Kreitler, Jason R.; Soong, Oliver; Stoms, David M.; Dashiell, Stephanie; Hannah, Lee; Wilkinson, Whitney; Dingman, John

    2013-01-01

    This project developed analytical approaches, tools and geospatial data to support conservation planning for renewable energy development in the California deserts. Research focused on geographical analysis to avoid, minimize and mitigate the cumulative biological effects of utility-scale solar energy development. A hierarchical logic model was created to map the compatibility of new solar energy projects with current biological conservation values. The research indicated that the extent of compatible areas is much greater than the estimated land area required to achieve 2040 greenhouse gas reduction goals. Species distribution models were produced for 65 animal and plant species that were of potential conservation significance to the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan process. These models mapped historical and projected future habitat suitability using 270 meter resolution climate grids. The results were integrated into analytical frameworks to locate potential sites for offsetting project impacts and evaluating the cumulative effects of multiple solar energy projects. Examples applying these frameworks in the Western Mojave Desert ecoregion show the potential of these publicly-available tools to assist regional planning efforts. Results also highlight the necessity to explicitly consider projected land use change and climate change when prioritizing areas for conservation and mitigation offsets. Project data, software and model results are all available online.

  15. Iron Mineralogy and Speciation in Clay-Sized Fractions of Chinese Desert Sediments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Wanyi; Zhao, Wancang; Balsam, William; Lu, Huayu; Liu, Pan; Lu, Zunli; Ji, Junfeng

    2017-12-01

    Iron released from Asian desert dust may be an important source of bioavailable iron for the North Pacific Ocean and thereby may stimulate primary productivity. However, the Fe species of the fine dusts from this source region are poorly characterized. Here we investigate iron species and mineralogy in the clay-sized fractions (iron phases (ferrihydrite and lepidocrocite) and reducible iron oxides (dominated by goethite) are 0.81 wt % and 2.39 wt %, respectively, and Fe dissolved from phyllosilicates extracted by boiling HCl (dominated by chlorite) is 3.15 wt %. Dusts originating from deserts in northwestern China, particularly the Taklimakan desert, are relatively enriched in easily reducible Fe phases, probably due to abundant Fe contained in fresh weathering products resulting from the rapid erosion associated with active uplift of mountains to the west. Data about Fe speciation and mineralogy in Asian dust sources will be useful for improving the quantification of soluble Fe supplied to the oceans, especially in dust models.

  16. In situ metabolism in halite endolithic microbial communities of the hyperarid Atacama Desert

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alfonso F Davila

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available The Atacama Desert of northern Chile is one of the driest regions on Earth, with areas that exclude plants and where soils have extremely low microbial biomass. However, in the driest parts of the desert there are microorganisms that colonize the interior of halite nodules in fossil continental evaporites, where they are sustained by condensation of atmospheric water triggered by the salt substrate. Using a combination of in situ observations of variable chlorophyll fluorescence and controlled laboratory experiments, we show that this endolithic community is capable of carbon fixation both through oxygenic photosynthesis and potentially ammonia oxidation. We also present evidence that photosynthetic activity is finely tuned to moisture availability and solar insolation and can be sustained for days, and perhaps longer, after a wetting event. This is the first demonstration of in situ active metabolism in the hyperarid core of the Atacama Desert, and it provides the basis for proposing a self-contained, endolithic community that relies exclusively on non-rainfall sources of water. Our results contribute to an increasing body of evidence that even in hyperarid environments active metabolism, adaptation and growth can occur in highly specialized microhabitats.

  17. Ultrasound-assisted extraction of polyphenols from native plants in the Mexican desert.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wong Paz, Jorge E; Muñiz Márquez, Diana B; Martínez Ávila, Guillermo C G; Belmares Cerda, Ruth E; Aguilar, Cristóbal N

    2015-01-01

    Several plants that are rich in polyphenolic compounds and exhibit biological properties are grown in the desert region of Mexico under extreme climate conditions. These compounds have been recovered by classic methodologies in these plants using organic solvents. However, little information is available regarding the use of alternative extraction technologies, such as ultrasound. In this paper, ultrasound-assisted extraction (UAE) parameters, such as the liquid:solid ratio, solvent concentration and extraction time, were studied using response surface methodology (RSM) for the extraction of polyphenols from desert plants including Jatrophadioica,Flourensiacernua, Turneradiffusa and Eucalyptuscamaldulensis. Key process variables (i.e., liquid:solid ratio and ethanol concentration) exert the greatest influence on the extraction of all of the phenolic compounds (TPC) in the studied plants. The best conditions for the extraction of TPC involved an extraction time of 40min, an ethanol concentration of 35% and a liquid:solid ratio ranging from 8 to 12mlg(-1) depending on the plant. The highest antioxidant activity was obtained in the E. camaldulensis extracts. The results indicated the ability of UAE to obtain polyphenolic antioxidant preparations from desert plants. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. Mapping Palaeohydrography in Deserts: Contribution from Space-Borne Imaging Radar

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Philippe Paillou

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Space-borne Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR has the capability to image subsurface features down to several meters in arid regions. A first demonstration of this capability was performed in the Egyptian desert during the early eighties, thanks to the first Shuttle Imaging Radar mission. Global coverage provided by recent SARs, such as the Japanese ALOS/PALSAR sensor, allowed the mapping of vast ancient hydrographic systems in Northern Africa. We present a summary of palaeohydrography results obtained using PALSAR data over large deserts such as the Sahara and the Gobi. An ancient river system was discovered in eastern Lybia, connecting in the past the Kufrah oasis to the Mediterranean Sea, and the terminal part of the Tamanrasett river was mapped in western Mauritania, ending with a large submarine canyon. In southern Mongolia, PALSAR images combined with topography analysis allowed the mapping of the ancient Ulaan Nuur lake. We finally show the potentials of future low frequency SAR sensors by comparing L-band (1.25 GHz and P-band (435 MHz airborne SAR acquisitions over a desert site in southern Tunisia.

  19. 10Be in desert sands, falling dust and loess in China

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shen, C.D.; Beer, J.; Kubik, P.W.; Sun, W.D.; Liu, T.S.; Liu, K.X.

    2010-01-01

    Cosmogenic 10 Be is produced in the atmosphere, and deposits onto the surface of the earth mainly through wet precipitation and dust. Based on the analysis of 10 Be in Chinese loess, we believe that 10 Be in loess is composed of two components: locally precipitated atmospheric 10 Be, and windblown 10 Be adsorbed on the surface of silt grains. On the Loess Plateau, 10 Be concentrations in loess and paleosol range from (1.4 to 2.8) x 10 8 atoms/g and (2.7 to 4.5) x 10 8 atoms/g, respectively. To investigate the sources of 10 Be in loess, we measured 10 Be in sand grains from deserts in western China and falling dust from the deposition regions. The results show that the 10 Be concentrations in sand and dust are (1.1-5.1) x 10 7 atoms/g and (1.3-2.8) x 10 8 atoms/g, respectively. Loess and paleosol on the Loess Plateau both contain inherited 10 Be adsorbed on silt grains from dust; most of the windblown deposited loess materials do not directly come from the Gobi and other sand deserts, but mainly from the loess-desert transitional zones, which are characterized by silt and dust holding areas.

  20. Aridification of the Sahara desert caused by Tethys Sea shrinkage during the Late Miocene

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Zhongshi; Ramstein, Gilles; Schuster, Mathieu; Li, Camille; Contoux, Camille; Yan, Qing

    2014-09-01

    It is widely believed that the Sahara desert is no more than ~2-3 million years (Myr) old, with geological evidence showing a remarkable aridification of north Africa at the onset of the Quaternary ice ages. Before that time, north African aridity was mainly controlled by the African summer monsoon (ASM), which oscillated with Earth's orbital precession cycles. Afterwards, the Northern Hemisphere glaciation added an ice volume forcing on the ASM, which additionally oscillated with glacial-interglacial cycles. These findings led to the idea that the Sahara desert came into existence when the Northern Hemisphere glaciated ~2-3 Myr ago. The later discovery, however, of aeolian dune deposits ~7 Myr old suggested a much older age, although this interpretation is hotly challenged and there is no clear mechanism for aridification around this time. Here we use climate model simulations to identify the Tortonian stage (~7-11 Myr ago) of the Late Miocene epoch as the pivotal period for triggering north African aridity and creating the Sahara desert. Through a set of experiments with the Norwegian Earth System Model and the Community Atmosphere Model, we demonstrate that the African summer monsoon was drastically weakened by the Tethys Sea shrinkage during the Tortonian, allowing arid, desert conditions to expand across north Africa. Not only did the Tethys shrinkage alter the mean climate of the region, it also enhanced the sensitivity of the African monsoon to orbital forcing, which subsequently became the major driver of Sahara extent fluctuations. These important climatic changes probably caused the shifts in Asian and African flora and fauna observed during the same period, with possible links to the emergence of early hominins in north Africa.

  1. Aridification of the Sahara desert caused by Tethys Sea shrinkage during Late Miocene

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Z.; Ramstein, G.; Schuster, M.; Li, C.; Contoux, C.; Yan, Q.

    2014-12-01

    It is widely believed that the Sahara desert is no more than ~2-3 million years (Myr) old, with geological evidence showing a remarkable aridification of north Africa at the onset of the Quaternary ice ages. Before that time, north African aridity was mainly controlled by the African summer monsoon (ASM), which oscillated with Earth's orbital precession cycles. Afterwards, the Northern Hemisphere glaciation added an ice volume forcing on the ASM, which additionally oscillated with glacial-interglacial cycles. These findings led to the idea that the Sahara desert came into existence when the Northern Hemisphere glaciated ~2-3 Myr ago. The later discovery, however, of aeolian dune deposits ~7 Myr old suggested a much older age, although this interpretation is hotly challenged and there is no clear mechanism for aridification around this time. Here we use climate model simulations to identify the Tortonian stage (~7-11 Myr ago) of the Late Miocene epoch as the pivotal period for triggering north African aridity and creating the Sahara desert. Through a set of experiments with the Norwegian Earth System Model and the Community Atmosphere Model, we demonstrate that the African summer monsoon was drastically weakened by the Tethys Sea shrinkage during the Tortonian, allowing arid, desert conditions to expand across north Africa. Not only did the Tethys shrinkage alter the mean climate of the region, it also enhanced the sensitivity of the African monsoon to orbital forcing, which subsequently became the major driver of Sahara extent fluctuations. These important climatic changes probably caused the shifts in Asian and African flora and fauna observed during the same period, with possible links to the emergence of early hominins in north Africa.

  2. Water sources for cyanobacteria below desert rocks in the Negev Desert determined by conductivity

    OpenAIRE

    McKay, Christopher P.

    2016-01-01

    We present year round meteorological and conductivity measurements of colonized hypolithic rocks in the Arava Valley, Negev Desert, Israel. The data indicate that while dew is common in the Negev it is not an important source of moisture for hypolithic organisms at this site. The dominance of cyanobacteria in the hypolithic community is consistent with predictions that cyanobacteria are confined to habitats supplied by rain. To monitor the presence of liquid water under the small Negev rocks ...

  3. Integrating Army Aviation into the Combined Arms Team: Operational Art in Desert Shield and Desert Storm

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-05-25

    King of Saudi Arabia. The conversation took place prior to an Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) meeting of Arab Gulf members...Blumberg and Christopher C. French, eds., The Persian Gulf War: Views from the Social and Behavioral Sciences (Lanham, MD: University Press of America...1994), 17. 72 Blumberg and French, The Persian Gulf War, 29. 20 building up forces in northeast Saudi Arabia during Operation Desert Shield, in

  4. In vitro germination of desert rose varieties(

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tatiane Lemos Varella

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available The drought stress resistance is a characteristic of the desert rose and its estimable beauty flowers, which gave it great relevance in the ornamental market. However, the desert rose production and germination is hampered by possible sterility of their male and female flowers and frequent problems in pollination, so the tissue culture is a promising alternative to the propagation of these plants. This study aimed to evaluate the effect of gibberellic acid on four commercial varieties of desert rose (Adenium obesum cultivated in vitro. The seeds of the varieties ‘Orange Pallet’, ‘Carnation violet’, ‘Diamond ring’ and ‘Vermiliont’ were sterilized and inoculated on Water + Agar (T0, medium MS (T1, ½ MS (T2, MS + 0.25 mg L-1 GA3 (T3, MS + 0.5 mg L-1 GA3 (T4, ½ MS + 0.25 mg L-1 GA3 (T5, ½ MS 0.5 mg L-1 GA3 (T6. The seeds germination of A. obesum was initiated on the fourth day of cultivation and on the tenth day was possible to observe the expansion of the cotyledons and leaf expansion with subsequent development of early secondary root. The ‘Orange pallet’ variety germinated 100% of seeds on water + agar and MS ½ + 0.5 mg L-1 of GA3. For ‘Diamond Ring’ and ‘Carnation violet’ the highest rate of germination occurred in treatments MS ½; 0.25 mg L-1 GA3; MS + 0.5 mg L-1 GA3 MS ½ + 0.5 mg L-1 GA3 averaging 80% and 70%, respectively. For ‘Vermiliont’ the best response was in MS and MS ½ + 0.5 mg L-1 GA3 ranging between 70-90% germinated embryos. It was registered different malformations in all treatments like absence of roots and apexes during seedling development. The concentrations of GA3 did not affect significantly the seed germination.

  5. Properties of Desert Sand and CMAS Glass

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bansal, Narottam P.; Choi, Sung R.

    2014-01-01

    As-received desert sand from a Middle East country has been characterized for its phase composition and thermal stability. X-ray diffraction analysis showed the presence of quartz (SiO2), calcite (CaCO3), gypsum (CaSO4.2H2O), and NaAlSi3O8 phases in as-received desert sand and showed weight loss of approx. 35 percent due to decomposition of CaCO3 and CaSO4.2H2O when heated to 1400 C. A batch of as-received desert sand was melted into calcium magnesium aluminosilicate (CMAS) glass at approx. 1500 C. From inductively coupled plasma-atomic emission spectrometry, chemical composition of the CMAS glass was analyzed to be 27.8CaO-4MgO-5Al2O3-61.6SiO2-0.6Fe2O3-1K2O (mole percent). Various physical, thermal and mechanical properties of the glass have been evaluated. Bulk density of CMAS glass was 2.69 g/cc, Young's modulus 92 GPa, Shear modulus 36 GPa, Poisson's ratio 0.28, dilatometric glass transition temperature (T (sub g)) 706 C, softening point (T (sub d)) 764 C, Vickers microhardness 6.3 +/- 0.4 GPa, indentation fracture toughness 0.75 +/- 0.15 MPa.m (sup 1/2), and coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) 9.8 x 10 (exp -6)/degC in the temperature range 25 to 700 C. Temperature dependence of viscosity has also been estimated from various reference points of the CMAS glass using the Vogel-Fulcher-Tamman (VFT) equation. The glass remained amorphous after heat treating at 850 C for 10 hr but crystallized into CaSiO3 and Ca-Mg-Al silicate phases at 900 C or higher temperatures. Crystallization kinetics of the CMAS glass has also been investigated by differential thermal analysis (DTA). Activation energies for the crystallization of two different phases in the glass were calculated to be 403 and 483 kJ/mol, respectively.

  6. Chemical mass balance source apportionment of fine and PM10 in the Desert Southwest, USA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea L. Clements

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available The Desert Southwest Coarse Particulate Matter Study was undertaken in Pinal County, Arizona, to better understand the origin and impact of sources of fine and coarse particulate matter (PM in rural, arid regions of the U.S. southwestern desert. The desert southwest experiences some of the highest PM10 mass concentrations in the country. To augment previously reported results, 6-week aggregated organic speciation data that included ambient concentrations of n-alkanes, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, organic acids, and saccharides were used in chemical mass balance modeling (CMB. A set of re-suspended soil samples were analyzed for specific marker species to provide locally-appropriate source profiles for the CMB analysis. These profiles, as well as previously collected plant and fungal spore profiles from the region, were combined with published source profiles for other relevant sources and used in the CMB analysis. The six new region-specific source profiles included both organic and inorganic species for four crustal material sources, one plant detritus source, and one fungal spore source.Results indicate that up to half of the ambient PM2.5 was apportioned to motor vehicles with the highest regional contribution observed in the small urban center of Casa Grande. Daily levels of apportioned crustal material accounted for up to 50% of PM2.5 mass with the highest contributions observed at the sites closest to active agricultural areas. Apportioned secondary PM, biomass burning, and road dust typically contributed less than 35% as a group to the apportioned PM2.5 mass. Crustal material was the primary source apportioned to PM10 and accounted for between 50–90% of the apportioned mass. Of the other sources apportioned to PM10, motor vehicles and road dust were the largest contributors at the urban and one of the rural sites, whereas road dust and meat cooking operations were the largest contributors at the other rural site.

  7. Fog deposition to the Atacama desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Westbeld, A.; Klemm, O.; Griessbaum, F.; Sträter, E.; Larrain, H.; Osses, P.; Cereceda, P.

    2010-07-01

    In the Atacama Desert, one of the driest places on earth, fog deposition plays an important role for the water balance and for the survival of vulnerable ecosystems. The eddy covariance method, previously applied for the quantification of fog deposition to forests in various parts of the world, was used for the first time to measure deposition of fog water to a desert. We estimated the amount of water available for the ecosystem by deposition and determined the relevant processes driving fog deposition. This is especially important for the species Tillandsia landbecki living in coastal Atacama at the limit of plant existence with fog and dew being the only sources of liquid water. Between 31 July and 19 August, 2008, measurements were realized in a 31 ha large Tillandsia carpet at Cerro Guanaco, located 15 km south of Iquique, northern Chile. Several data quality assurance procedures were applied. For the values in compliance with the applied criteria, the mean total deposition per hour was determined (0.04 L per m2) for foggy periods. This number was applied to estimate the amount of water deposited during the measuring period, during the entire month of August 2008, and throughout a whole year. For August 2008, a frequency of fog of 16 %, as established during the measuring period, was assumed. The frequency for a whole year was estimated from the differences of the collected amount of water obtained with standard fog collectors installed at Cerro Guanaco in an earlier study. Calculations resulted in an amount of 2.5 L per m2 of deposited fog water for the measuring period. During the entire August, 4.4 L per m2 have likely been available, and for a whole year, a total of 25 L per m2 was estimated to have reached the surface. Inaccuracies could have been caused by the low amount of data applied, and by a possible underestimation of the deposition due to additional formation of radiation fog during the fog events. Three days were used for further analysis because

  8. Desert ants learn vibration and magnetic landmarks.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cornelia Buehlmann

    Full Text Available The desert ants Cataglyphis navigate not only by path integration but also by using visual and olfactory landmarks to pinpoint the nest entrance. Here we show that Cataglyphis noda can additionally use magnetic and vibrational landmarks as nest-defining cues. The magnetic field may typically provide directional rather than positional information, and vibrational signals so far have been shown to be involved in social behavior. Thus it remains questionable if magnetic and vibration landmarks are usually provided by the ants' habitat as nest-defining cues. However, our results point to the flexibility of the ants' navigational system, which even makes use of cues that are probably most often sensed in a different context.

  9. Water and vapor transfer in vadose zone of Gobi desert and riparian in the hyper arid environment of Ejina, China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Du, C.; Yu, J.; Sun, F.; Liu, X.

    2015-12-01

    To reveal how water and vapor transfer in vadose zone affect evapotranspiration in Gobi desert and riparian in hyper arid region is important for understanding eco-hydrological process. Field studies and numerical simulations were imported to evaluate the water and vapor movement processes under non isothermal and lower water content conditions. The soil profiles (12 layers) in Gobi desert and riparian sites of Ejina were installed with sensors to monitor soil moisture and temperature for 1 year. The meteorological conditions and water table were measured by micro weather stations and mini-Divers respectively in the two sites. Soil properties, including particles composition, moisture, bulk density, water retention curve, and saturated hydraulic conductivity of two site soil profiles, was measured. The observations showed that soil temperatures for the two sites displayed large diurnal and seasonal fluctuations. Temperature gradients with depth resulted in a downward in summer and upward in winter and became driving force for thermal vapor movement. Soil moistures in Gobi desert site were very low and varied slowly with time. While the soil moistures in riparian site were complicated due to root distribution but water potentials remained uniform with time. The hydrus-1D was employed to simulate evapotranspiration processes. The simulation results showed the significant difference of evaporation rate in the Gobi desert and riparian sites.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-10

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

  12. Home in the heat: Dramatic seasonal variation in home range of desert golden eagles informs management for renewable energy development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Braham, Melissa A.; Miller, Tricia A.; Duerr, Adam E.; Lanzone, Michael J.; Fesnock, Amy; LaPre, Larry; Driscoll, Daniel; Katzner, Todd E.

    2015-01-01

    Renewable energy is expanding quickly with sometimes dramatic impacts to species and ecosystems. To understand the degree to which sensitive species may be impacted by renewable energy projects, it is informative to know how much space individuals use and how that space may overlap with planned development. We used global positioning system–global system for mobile communications (GPS-GSM) telemetry to measure year-round movements of golden eagles (Aquila chrysaetos) from the Mojave Desert of California, USA. We estimated monthly space use with adaptive local convex hulls to identify the temporal and spatial scales at which eagles may encounter renewable energy projects in the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan area. Mean size of home ranges was lowest and least variable from November through January and greatest in February–March and May–August. These monthly home range patterns coincided with seasonal variation in breeding ecology, habitat associations, and temperature. The expanded home ranges in hot summer months included movements to cooler, prey-dense, mountainous areas characterized by forest, grasslands, and scrublands. Breeding-season home ranges (October–May) included more lowland semi-desert and rock vegetation. Overlap of eagle home ranges and focus areas for renewable energy development was greatest when eagle home ranges were smallest, during the breeding season. Golden eagles in the Mojave Desert used more space and a wider range of habitat types than expected and renewable energy projects could affect a larger section of the regional population than was previously thought.

  13. Characterization of the transcriptome, nucleotide sequence polymorphism, and natural selection in the desert adapted mouse Peromyscus eremicus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew D. MacManes

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available As a direct result of intense heat and aridity, deserts are thought to be among the most harsh of environments, particularly for their mammalian inhabitants. Given that osmoregulation can be challenging for these animals, with failure resulting in death, strong selection should be observed on genes related to the maintenance of water and solute balance. One such animal, Peromyscus eremicus, is native to the desert regions of the southwest United States and may live its entire life without oral fluid intake. As a first step toward understanding the genetics that underlie this phenotype, we present a characterization of the P. eremicus transcriptome. We assay four tissues (kidney, liver, brain, testes from a single individual and supplement this with population level renal transcriptome sequencing from 15 additional animals. We identified a set of transcripts undergoing both purifying and balancing selection based on estimates of Tajima’s D. In addition, we used the branch-site test to identify a transcript—Slc2a9, likely related to desert osmoregulation—undergoing enhanced selection in P. eremicus relative to a set of related non-desert rodents.

  14. Investigating water resources of the desert: How isotopes can help

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gonfiantini, R.

    1992-01-01

    Newspapers and magazines from time to time write about the enormous reserves of water stored underground in the Sahara, whose rational exploitation would allow the agricultural development of the desert. Although the practical implementation of such projects is rather problematic, it is true that groundwater is relatively abundant under most of the Sahara (as well as in other deserts in the world), but it is seldom easily accessible. What do we really know about these resources of groundwater and how they have accumulated in areas where rainfall is so scarce. What do we know of the hydrological history of the desert. These problems are important for the correct evaluation and use of the groundwater in the desert. Isotope techniques help in their solution, and are described in this document. 6 figs

  15. Investigating water resources of the desert: how isotopes can help

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gonfiantini, R.

    1981-01-01

    Newspapers and magazines from time to time write about the enormous reserves of water stored underground in the Sahara, whose rational exploitation would allow the agricultural development of the desert. Although the practical implementation of such projects is rather problematic, it is true that groundwater is relatively abundant under most of the Sahara (as well as in other deserts in the world), but it is seldom easily accessible. What do we really know about these resources of groundwater and how they have accumulated in areas where rainfall is so scarce. What do we know of the hydrological history of the desert. These problems are important for the correct evaluation and use of the groundwater in the desert. Isotope techniques help in their solution, and are described in this document

  16. Vegetation - Anza-Borrego Desert State Park [ds165

    Data.gov (United States)

    California Natural Resource Agency — The Anza Borrego Desert State Park (ABDSP) Vegetation Map depicts vegetation within the Park and its surrounding environment. The map was prepared by the Department...

  17. The potential of energy farming in the southeastern California desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lew, V.

    1980-04-01

    The use of energy forms to provide future sources of energy for California is considered. Marginal desert lands in southeastern California are proposed for the siting of energy farms using acacia, eucalyptus, euphorbia, guayule, jojoba, mesquite, or tamarisk.

  18. Modeling Agassiz's Desert Tortoise Population Response to Anthropogenic Stressors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mojave Desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) populations are exposed to a variety of anthropogenic threats, which vary in nature, severity, and frequency. Tortoise management in conservation areas can be compromised when the relative importance of these threats is not well underst...

  19. Camelid genomes reveal evolution and adaptation to desert environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Huiguang; Guang, Xuanmin; Al-Fageeh, Mohamed B; Cao, Junwei; Pan, Shengkai; Zhou, Huanmin; Zhang, Li; Abutarboush, Mohammed H; Xing, Yanping; Xie, Zhiyuan; Alshanqeeti, Ali S; Zhang, Yanru; Yao, Qiulin; Al-Shomrani, Badr M; Zhang, Dong; Li, Jiang; Manee, Manee M; Yang, Zili; Yang, Linfeng; Liu, Yiyi; Zhang, Jilin; Altammami, Musaad A; Wang, Shenyuan; Yu, Lili; Zhang, Wenbin; Liu, Sanyang; Ba, La; Liu, Chunxia; Yang, Xukui; Meng, Fanhua; Wang, Shaowei; Li, Lu; Li, Erli; Li, Xueqiong; Wu, Kaifeng; Zhang, Shu; Wang, Junyi; Yin, Ye; Yang, Huanming; Al-Swailem, Abdulaziz M; Wang, Jun

    2014-10-21

    Bactrian camel (Camelus bactrianus), dromedary (Camelus dromedarius) and alpaca (Vicugna pacos) are economically important livestock. Although the Bactrian camel and dromedary are large, typically arid-desert-adapted mammals, alpacas are adapted to plateaus. Here we present high-quality genome sequences of these three species. Our analysis reveals the demographic history of these species since the Tortonian Stage of the Miocene and uncovers a striking correlation between large fluctuations in population size and geological time boundaries. Comparative genomic analysis reveals complex features related to desert adaptations, including fat and water metabolism, stress responses to heat, aridity, intense ultraviolet radiation and choking dust. Transcriptomic analysis of Bactrian camels further reveals unique osmoregulation, osmoprotection and compensatory mechanisms for water reservation underpinned by high blood glucose levels. We hypothesize that these physiological mechanisms represent kidney evolutionary adaptations to the desert environment. This study advances our understanding of camelid evolution and the adaptation of camels to arid-desert environments.

  20. Desert Peak East Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) Project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zemach, Ezra [Ormat Technologies Inc., Reno, NV (United States); Drakos, Peter [Ormat Technologies Inc., Reno, NV (United States); Spielman, Paul [Ormat Technologies Inc., Reno, NV (United States); Akerley, John [Ormat Technologies Inc., Reno, NV (United States)

    2013-09-30

    This manuscript is a draft to replaced with a final version at a later date TBD. A summary of activities pertaining to the Desert Peak EGS project including the planning and resulting stimulation activities.

  1. Economic analysis of critical habitat designation for the desert tortoise (Mojave population)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schamberger, Mel; MacGillvray, Timothy J.; Draper, Dirk D.

    1993-01-01

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service emergency 1isted the Mojave population of the desert tortoise as endangered on August 4, 1989. The Mojave population formally was listed as threatened on April 2, 1990. The Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended, requires that the economic benefits and costs and other relevant effects of critical habitat designation be considered. The Secretary of the Interior may exclude from designation areas where the costs of designation are greater than the benefits, unless the exclusion would result in extinction of the species. Desert tortoises are threatened by an accumulation of human-and disease-related mortality accompanied by habitat destruction, degradation, and fragmentation. Many desert tortoises are illegally collected for pets, food, and commercial trade. Others are accidentally struck and killed by vehicles on roads and highways or are killed by gunshot or vehicles traveling off-highway. Raven predation on hatchling desert tortoises has increased as raven populations in the desert have risen. An upper respiratory tract disease is suspected to be a major cause of mortality in the western Mojave Desert. This presumably incurable affliction presumably is thought to be spread through the release of infected tortoises into the desert. The Service has proposed designating critical habitat in nine counties within four states. The 12 critical habitat units encompass 6.4 million acres of land, more than 80% federally owned. This region is economically and demographically diverse. Most of the land is sparsely settled and characterized as a hot desert ecosystem. Major industries in the region include entertainment and lodging (primarily in Las Vegas), property development to accommodate the rapid population growth, and services. Millions of rural acres in the region are leased by the federal government for livestock grazing and used for mining. Overall economic benefits to the affected states derived from cattle and sheep grazing in the

  2. Water appropriation and ecosystem stewardship in the Baja desert

    OpenAIRE

    de las Heras Alejandro; Rodriguez Mario A.; Islas-Espinoza Marina

    2014-01-01

    The UNESCO San Francisco Rock Paintings polygon within El Vizcaino Biosphere Reserve in the Baja California Peninsula derives its moisture from the North American monsoon. There, ranchers have depended on the desert since the 18th century. More recently, the desert has depended on the environmental stewardship of the ranchers who have allayed mining exploitation and archaeological looting. Using a Rapid Assessment Procedure (RAP), climate data, and geographical informa...

  3. MX Siting Investigation. Gravity Survey - Sevier Desert Valley, Utah.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1981-01-24

    Cheyenne, Wyoming. DMAHTC reduces the data to Simple Bouguer Anomaly (see Section A1.4, Appendix Al.0). The Defense Mapping Agency Aerospace Center...Desert Valley, Utah ......... 2 2 Topographic Setting - Sevier Desert Valley, Utah . 3 LIST OF DRAWINGS Drawing Number 1 Complete Bouguer Anomaly...gravity stations were distributed throughout the valley at an approxi- mate interval of 1.4 miles (2.3 km). Drawing 1 is a Complete Bouguer Anomaly

  4. Australian wild rice reveals pre-domestication origin of polymorphism deserts in rice genome.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gopala Krishnan S

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Rice is a major source of human food with a predominantly Asian production base. Domestication involved selection of traits that are desirable for agriculture and to human consumers. Wild relatives of crop plants are a source of useful variation which is of immense value for crop improvement. Australian wild rices have been isolated from the impacts of domestication in Asia and represents a source of novel diversity for global rice improvement. Oryza rufipogon is a perennial wild progenitor of cultivated rice. Oryza meridionalis is a related annual species in Australia. RESULTS: We have examined the sequence of the genomes of AA genome wild rices from Australia that are close relatives of cultivated rice through whole genome re-sequencing. Assembly of the resequencing data to the O. sativa ssp. japonica cv. Nipponbare shows that Australian wild rices possess 2.5 times more single nucleotide polymorphisms than in the Asian wild rice and cultivated O. sativa ssp. indica. Analysis of the genome of domesticated rice reveals regions of low diversity that show very little variation (polymorphism deserts. Both the perennial and annual wild rice from Australia show a high degree of conservation of sequence with that found in cultivated rice in the same 4.58 Mbp region on chromosome 5, which suggests that some of the 'polymorphism deserts' in this and other parts of the rice genome may have originated prior to domestication due to natural selection. CONCLUSIONS: Analysis of genes in the 'polymorphism deserts' indicates that this selection may have been due to biotic or abiotic stress in the environment of early rice relatives. Despite having closely related sequences in these genome regions, the Australian wild populations represent an invaluable source of diversity supporting rice food security.

  5. Vegetation and climate history during the last millennium derived from Anggertu Lake, Tengger Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duan, F.; An, C.; Zhao, Y.; Wang, W.; Cao, Z.

    2017-12-01

    Studying the climate changes during the last millennium can help us to understand current relationship between human-social activities and natural environment changes, and improve projections of future climate. Pollen assemblages, loss-on-ignition (LOIorg at 550 °C) and grain size data collected from sediment core (AGE15A) from the center of Anggertu lake (eastern Tengger Desert, Inner Mongolia) are presented to reconstruct regional vegetation and climate history during the last millennium. Results show that: 1) desert or desert steppe dominated by Artemisia and Amaranthaceae expanded around this region during the period of 988 1437 A.D., indicating a generally dry climate condition with two short humid periods (1003 1082 A.D. and 1388 1437 A.D). These two wet periods are characterized by relatively high vegetation cover and bio-productivity, reflected by high pollen concentrations and LOIorg. Increase in the steppe or meadow vegetation communities (Poaceae, Cyperaceae) and vegetation cover during the period of 1437 2015 A.D. suggest a wetting trend, as also indicated by gradually finer grain size. The relatively high LOI indicate a high bio-productivity during this interval. And then unstable lacustrine environment was found with frequent fluctuations in pollen concentration and grain size since 1842 A.D.. 2) This study recorded a relatively dry Medieval Warm Period (MWP; 1082 1388 A.D.) and a wet Little Ice Age (LIA; 1437 1842 A.D.), which is generally consistent with climate characteristics in arid central Asia (ACA). 3) Increased Amaranthaceae and high abundance of Poaceae were related to overgrazing and agricultural activities at that time to some extent. Thus vegetation evolution of the lake region was influenced by human activities and climate changes.

  6. Australian wild rice reveals pre-domestication origin of polymorphism deserts in rice genome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krishnan S, Gopala; Waters, Daniel L E; Henry, Robert J

    2014-01-01

    Rice is a major source of human food with a predominantly Asian production base. Domestication involved selection of traits that are desirable for agriculture and to human consumers. Wild relatives of crop plants are a source of useful variation which is of immense value for crop improvement. Australian wild rices have been isolated from the impacts of domestication in Asia and represents a source of novel diversity for global rice improvement. Oryza rufipogon is a perennial wild progenitor of cultivated rice. Oryza meridionalis is a related annual species in Australia. We have examined the sequence of the genomes of AA genome wild rices from Australia that are close relatives of cultivated rice through whole genome re-sequencing. Assembly of the resequencing data to the O. sativa ssp. japonica cv. Nipponbare shows that Australian wild rices possess 2.5 times more single nucleotide polymorphisms than in the Asian wild rice and cultivated O. sativa ssp. indica. Analysis of the genome of domesticated rice reveals regions of low diversity that show very little variation (polymorphism deserts). Both the perennial and annual wild rice from Australia show a high degree of conservation of sequence with that found in cultivated rice in the same 4.58 Mbp region on chromosome 5, which suggests that some of the 'polymorphism deserts' in this and other parts of the rice genome may have originated prior to domestication due to natural selection. Analysis of genes in the 'polymorphism deserts' indicates that this selection may have been due to biotic or abiotic stress in the environment of early rice relatives. Despite having closely related sequences in these genome regions, the Australian wild populations represent an invaluable source of diversity supporting rice food security.

  7. Multi-scale forcing and the formation of subtropical desert and monsoon

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. X. Wu

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available This study investigates three types of atmospheric forcing across the summertime subtropics that are shown to contribute in various ways to the occurrence of dry and wet climates in the subtropics. To explain the formation of desert over the western parts of continents and monsoon over the eastern parts, we propose a new mechanism of positive feedback between diabatic heating and vorticity generation that occurs via meridional advection of planetary vorticity and temperature. Monsoon and desert are demonstrated to coexist as twin features of multi-scale forcing, as follows. First, continent-scale heating over land and cooling over ocean induce the ascent of air over the eastern parts of continents and western parts of oceans, and descent over eastern parts of oceans and western parts of continents. Second, local-scale sea-breeze forcing along coastal regions enhances air descent over eastern parts of oceans and ascent over eastern parts of continents. This leads to the formation of the well-defined summertime subtropical LOSECOD quadruplet-heating pattern across each continent and adjacent oceans, with long-wave radiative cooling (LO over eastern parts of oceans, sensible heating (SE over western parts of continents, condensation heating (CO over eastern parts of continents, and double dominant heating (D: LO+CO over western parts of oceans. Such a quadruplet heating pattern corresponds to a dry climate over the western parts of continents and a wet climate over eastern parts. Third, regional-scale orographic-uplift-heating generates poleward ascending flow to the east of orography and equatorward descending flow to the west. The Tibetan Plateau (TP is located over the eastern Eurasian continent. The TP-forced circulation pattern is in phase with that produced by continental-scale forcing, and the strongest monsoon and largest deserts are formed over the Afro-Eurasian Continent. In contrast, the Rockies and the Andes are located over the western

  8. Multi-scale forcing and the formation of subtropical desert and monsoon

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. X. Wu

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available This study investigates three types of atmospheric forcing across the summertime subtropics that are shown to contribute in various ways to the occurrence of dry and wet climates in the subtropics. To explain the formation of desert over the western parts of continents and monsoon over the eastern parts, we propose a new mechanism of positive feedback between diabatic heating and vorticity generation that occurs via meridional advection of planetary vorticity and temperature. Monsoon and desert are demonstrated to coexist as twin features of multi-scale forcing, as follows.

    First, continent-scale heating over land and cooling over ocean induce the ascent of air over the eastern parts of continents and western parts of oceans, and descent over eastern parts of oceans and western parts of continents. Second, local-scale sea-breeze forcing along coastal regions enhances air descent over eastern parts of oceans and ascent over eastern parts of continents. This leads to the formation of the well-defined summertime subtropical LOSECOD quadruplet-heating pattern across each continent and adjacent oceans, with long-wave radiative cooling (LO over eastern parts of oceans, sensible heating (SE over western parts of continents, condensation heating (CO over eastern parts of continents, and double dominant heating (D: LO+CO over western parts of oceans. Such a quadruplet heating pattern corresponds to a dry climate over the western parts of continents and a wet climate over eastern parts. Third, regional-scale orographic-uplift-heating generates poleward ascending flow to the east of orography and equatorward descending flow to the west.

    The Tibetan Plateau (TP is located over the eastern Eurasian continent. The TP-forced circulation pattern is in phase with that produced by continental-scale forcing, and the strongest monsoon and largest deserts are formed over the Afro-Eurasian Continent. In contrast, the Rockies and the Andes are

  9. Stable Isotopic Analysis on Water Utilization of Two Xerophytic Shrubs in a Revegetated Desert Area: Tengger Desert, China

    OpenAIRE

    Lei Huang; Zhishan Zhang

    2015-01-01

    Stable isotope studies on stable isotope ratios of hydrogen and oxygen in water within plants provide new information on water sources and water use patterns under natural conditions. In this study, the sources of water uptake for two typical xerophytic shrubs, Caragana korshinskii and Artemisia ordosica, were determined at four different-aged revegetated sites (1956, 1964, 1981, and 1987) in the Tengger Desert, a revegetated desert area in China. Samples from precipitation, soil water at dif...

  10. Historic distribution and challenges to bison recovery in the northern Chihuahuan Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    List, Rurik; Ceballos, Gerardo; Curtin, Charles; Gogan, Peter J.; Pacheco, Jesus; Truett, Joe

    2007-01-01

    Ecologists and conservationists have long assumed that large grazers, including bison (Bison bison), did not occur in post-Pleistocene southwestern North America. This perception has been influential in framing the debate over conservation and land use in the northern Chihuahuan Desert. The lack of an evolutionary history of large grazers is being used to challenge the validity of ranching as a conservation strategy and to limit the protection and reintroduction of bison as a significant component of desert grassland ecosystems. Archeological records and historical accounts from Mexican archives from AD 700 to the 19th century document that the historic range of the bison included northern Mexico and adjoining areas in the United States. The Janos-Hidalgo bison herd, one of the few free-ranging bison herds in North America, has moved between Chihuahua, Mexico, and New Mexico, United States, since at least the 1920s. The persistence of this cross-border bison herd in Chihuahuan Desert grasslands and shrublands demonstrates that the species can persist in desert landscapes. Additional lines of evidence include the existence of grazing-adapted grasslands and the results of experimental studies that document declines in vegetation density and diversity following the removal of large grazers. The Janos-Hidalgo herd was formed with animals from various sources at the turn of the 19th century. Yet the future of the herd is compromised by differing perceptions of the ecological and evolutionary role of bison in the Desert Grasslands of North America. In Mexico they are considered native and are protected by federal law, whereas in New Mexico, they are considered non-native livestock and therefore lack conservation status or federal protection. Evidence written in Spanish of the presence of bison south of the accepted range and evidence from the disciplines of archaeology and history illustrate how differences in language and academic disciplines, in addition to

  11. Late Holocene Hydrologic Variability in the southeast Mojave Desert using sediments from Ford Lake, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leidelmeijer, J.; Kirby, M.; Anderson, W. T., Jr.; Mayer, S. A.; Palermo, J. A.; Stout, C.; Shellhorn, A.; Weisberg, G.; Rangel, H.; Hess, B.

    2017-12-01

    Most published lacustrine studies located in the Mojave Desert focus on lakes that receive the majority of their water from the Mojave River (e.g., Silver Lake, Cronese Lakes, Soda Lake, etc). Consequently, these Mojave River-fed lake sites record coastal hydroclimatic signals rather than a solely Mojave-only signal. The reason for this signal-disconnect is that the Mojave River is sourced in the San Bernardino Mountains, where annual precipitation is dictated by coastal hydroclimates. Therefore, much remains unknown about how the Mojave Desert changed during the Holocene at sub-millennial time scales. To address this problem and fill in an important geographical gap, we focus on Ford Lake in the southeastern Mojave Desert. Ford Lake is an internally drained, closed basin, and it is completely disconnected from the Mojave River. As a result, it represents one of the first lakes studied in the Mojave Desert with a climate signal that is 100% Mojave. Sediments from Ford Lake provide valuable context for understanding hydroclimatic variability exclusive to the Mojave Desert. To date, two hand-dug 1.5 m trenches (depocenter and littoral zone) and 3 overlapping sediments cores from the lake's depocenter have been sampled. The total core length is 3.55 m and bottomed in coarse alluvium, suggesting we captured the complete lacustrine sediment package. Initial results by Mayer (2016) focused on the most recent 1200 calendar years before present, or the upper 2.16 m. Mayer (2016) found evidence for increased run-off (wetter climate) during the Little Ice Age and reduced run-off (drier climate) during the Medieval Climatic Anomaly. Here, we complete the study, improving age control using sediment charcoal. Grain size, magnetic susceptibility, percent total organic matter, percent total carbonate content, C:N ratios and C and N isotopic analyses are (will be) measured at 1 cm contiguous intervals. The Ford Lake record has been (will be) compared to pre-existing regional

  12. Citizen-Scientist Led Quartz Vein Investigation in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve, Scottsdale, Arizona, Resulting in Significant Geologic Discoveries and a Peer-Reviewed Report Coauthored and with Maps by Citizen-Scientists.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gruber, D.; Gootee, B.

    2016-12-01

    Citizen-scientists of the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Field Institute originated and led this project to study milky quartz deposits. Milky quartz veins of all sizes are visible throughout the McDowell Sonoran Preserve (Scottsdale, Arizona) and are commonly found in Arizona Proterozoic rocks. No research on milky quartz has been done locally and little is known about its formation and emplacement history. Working with Brian Gootee, research geologist with the Arizona Geological Survey (AZGS), a citizen science team identified candidate study sites with large quartz veins and then conducted aerial balloon photography followed by geologic mapping, basic data collection, photo-documentation, and sampling from two sites. Samples were analyzed with a UV lamp, Geiger counter, and x-ray fluorescence spectrometer. Petroscopic analysis and interpretation of the samples were done by Gootee. Daniel Gruber, the citizen-science project leader, and Gootee summarized methodology, sample analyses, and interpretation in a report including detailed geologic maps. Analysis of samples from one site provided evidence of several events of Proterozoic quartz formation. The other site hosted pegmatite, cumulates, graphic granite and orbicular granite in association with milky quartz, all discovered by citizen scientists. The milky quartz and surrounding pegmatites in granite at this site trace the progression of late-stage crystallization at the margin of a fractionated granite batholith, providing an exemplary opportunity for further research into batholith geochemistry and evolution. The project required 1000 hours of citizen-science time for training, field work, data organization and entry, mapping, and writing. The report by Gootee and Gruber was reviewed and published by AZGS as an Open File Report in its online document repository. The citizen scientist team leveraged the time of professional geologists to expand knowledge of an important geologic feature of the McDowell Mountains.

  13. Radiatively-driven processes in forest fire and desert dust plumes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Weinzierl, Bernadett Barbara

    2008-07-01

    -volatile components and contain absorbing material. After regional-scale transport from the Sahara to South-western Europe, the volatile fraction in the dust plume did not significantly increase. The lofted forest fire plumes were found during ITOP at altitudes between 3 and 9 km above sea level (ASL), while the lofted desert dust plumes were found during SAMUM between 1 and 6 km ASL. The transition of the aerosol plumes to the free tropospheric background above and below the plumes was remarkably sharp and characterised by strong inversions. Within a height range of 200-300 m, the particle concentrations decreased by more than one order of magnitude. The results of plume dilution were evident only in the upper part of the lofted forest fire and desert dust plumes. The daily mean heating rates in the forest fire and desert dust plumes showed maximum values of {proportional_to}0.2 K day{sup -1} and {proportional_to}0.24 K day{sup -1}, respectively. Vertical profiles of the heating rate suggest that the processes caused by the interaction between the aerosol particles and the solar radiation stabilise the plume itself and decelerate plume dilution. Apparently, the aerosol in such plumes ages in an almost ''closed'' system, where suppressed entrainment of condensable gases from the surface inhibits particle nucleation and the formation of coated particles inside the plume. The processes described tend to extend the lifetime of the layer allowing the transport over long distances. (orig.)

  14. Exhibiting Western Desert Aboriginal painting in Australia’s public galleries: an institutional analysis, 1981-2002

    OpenAIRE

    Jim Berryman

    2012-01-01

    This paper documents and analyses the exhibition history of Aboriginal painting in Australia’s public art galleries over a two-decade period. It concentrates on Western Desert acrylics but is not confined to this movement or region alone. Based on a review of catalogues from key exhibitions, it identifies three interpretative frameworks used by curators to validate the presence of Aboriginal painting in the contemporary art realm. These modes of interpretation are called the aesthetic, ethnog...

  15. Respondence and feedback of modern sand deserts to climate change--A case study in Gurbantunggut Desert

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2000-01-01

    The research on the respondence and feedback of modern sand deserts to the climate change is an important component part in the studies on the global climate change. Deserts respond to the climate change, meanwhile, they affect the climate with their feedback of peculiar environment during the respondence. Many researches on desert climate have been carried out at home and abroad. However, there is little research on the respondence and feedback of modern fixed, semi-fixed and mobile deserts in arid areas to the climate change, in which the factor analysis as well as the parameter changing effects is especially the difficult problem all along. In this note, the parameters of the respondence and feedback of Gurbantunggut Desert to the climate change are measured and analyzed, some variable parameters of water-heat exchange are obtained, and a numerical model of desertification is developed according to a series of climate change of about 40 years and the variable relations of meteorological and physical features of the sand surface in Gurbantunggut Desert.

  16. Investigating the mysteries of groundwater in the Badain Jaran Desert, China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xu-Sheng; Zhou, Yanyi

    2018-03-01

    The Badain Jaran Desert (BJD) in China is a desert with impressive sand dunes and a groundwater situation that has attracted numerous researchers. This paper gives an overview of the mysteries of groundwater in the BJD that are exhibited as five key problems identified in previous studies. These problems relate to the origin of the groundwater, the hydrological connection between the BJD and the Heihe River Basin (HRB), the infiltration recharge, the lake-groundwater interactions, and the features of stable isotope analyses. The existing controversial analyses and hypotheses have caused debate and have hindered effective water resources management in the region. In recent years, these problems have been partly addressed by additional surveys. It has been revealed that the Quaternary sandy sediments and Neogene-Cretaceous sandstones form a thick aquifer system in the BJD. Groundwater flow at the regional scale is dominated by a significant difference in water levels between the surrounding mountains and lowlands at the western and northern edges. Discharge of groundwater from the BJD to the downstream HRB occurs according to the regional flow. Seasonal fluctuations of the water level in lakes are less than 0.5 m due to the quasi-steady groundwater discharge. The magnitude of infiltration recharge is still highly uncertain because significant limitations existed in previous studies. The evaporation effect may be the key to interpreting the anomalous negative deuterium-excess in the BJD groundwater. Further investigations are expected to reveal the hydrogeological conditions in more detail.

  17. Synthesis, Characterization, and Application of Superhydrophobic Sands in Desert Agriculture

    KAUST Repository

    Reihmer, Joel W.

    2017-04-01

    A sustainable supply of fresh water for the human population is a global concern. Intriguingly, about 70% of the total fresh water consumed in the world annually is claimed by agriculture alone; this fraction is even higher in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, where natural regeneration of groundwater is the slowest. Thus, there is a serious need for innovative materials and technologies to enhance the efficiency water usage in agriculture. To this end, plastic mulches have been employed across the developed world to minimize evaporative loss of water from top-soils. While plastic mulches are inexpensive, they do require specialized farm machinery for installation and long processing times. On one hand, plastic mulches have proven to increase crop yields, but on the other their non-biodegradability poses serious environmental concerns. In response, development of low-cost bio-/photo-degradable artificial mulches remains an area of intense research. In this thesis, we report on a novel superhydrophobic material exploiting inexpensive simple components to reduce the amount of water required for irrigation in agriculture by suppressing evaporative losses from the top-soil. Our material consists of ordinary beach sand coated with < 20 nm thick layer of paraffin wax. We synthesized and extensively characterized our material and applied them as mulches for tomato and barley plants at the KAUST greenhouse. We found that when a ~5 mm thick layer of superhydrophobic sand was placed onto the top-soil in pots, it dramatically suppressed evaporative losses and significantly enhanced the yields. Our preliminary field-scale experiments with tomatoes and barley crops at the Hada Al Sham site corroborate these results. Our approach might find applications in desert agriculture and other fields and alleviate water stress in the MENA region.

  18. Draft Genome Sequence of the Plant Growth-Promoting Cupriavidus gilardii Strain JZ4 Isolated from the Desert Plant Tribulus terrestris

    KAUST Repository

    Lafi, Feras Fawzi

    2016-07-28

    We isolated the plant endophytic bacterium Cupriavidus gilardii strain JZ4 from the roots of the desert plant Tribulus terrestris, collected from the Jizan region, Saudi Arabia. We report here the draft genome sequence of JZ4, together with several enzymes related to plant growth-promoting activity, environmental adaption, and antifungal activity.

  19. Draft Genome Sequence of the Plant Growth-Promoting Cupriavidus gilardii Strain JZ4 Isolated from the Desert Plant Tribulus terrestris

    KAUST Repository

    Lafi, Feras Fawzi; Bokhari, Ameerah; Alam, Intikhab; Bajic, Vladimir B.; Hirt, Heribert; Saad, Maged

    2016-01-01

    We isolated the plant endophytic bacterium Cupriavidus gilardii strain JZ4 from the roots of the desert plant Tribulus terrestris, collected from the Jizan region, Saudi Arabia. We report here the draft genome sequence of JZ4, together with several enzymes related to plant growth-promoting activity, environmental adaption, and antifungal activity.

  20. Draft Genome Sequence of the Phosphate-Solubilizing Bacterium Pseudomonas argentinensis Strain SA190 Isolated from the Desert Plant Indigofera argentea

    KAUST Repository

    Lafi, Feras Fawzi

    2016-12-23

    Pseudomonas argentinensis strain SA190 is a plant endophytic-inhabiting bacterium that was isolated from root nodules of the desert plant Indigofera argentea collected from the Jizan region of Saudi Arabia. Here, we report the genome sequence of SA190, highlighting several functional genes related to plant growth-promoting activity, environment adaption, and antifungal activity.

  1. Desert springs: deep phylogeographic structure in an ancient endemic crustacean (Phreatomerus latipes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michelle T Guzik

    Full Text Available Desert mound springs of the Great Artesian Basin in central Australia maintain an endemic fauna that have historically been considered ubiquitous throughout all of the springs. Recent studies, however, have shown that several endemic invertebrate species are genetically highly structured and contain previously unrecognised species, suggesting that individuals may be geographically 'stranded in desert islands'. Here we further tested the generality of this hypothesis by conducting genetic analyses of the obligate aquatic phreatoicid isopod Phreatomerus latipes. Phylogenetic and phylogeographic relationships amongst P. latipes individuals were examined using a multilocus approach comprising allozymes and mtDNA sequence data. From the Lake Eyre region in South Australia we collected data for 476 individuals from 69 springs for the mtDNA gene COI; in addition, allozyme electrophoresis was conducted on 331 individuals from 19 sites for 25 putative loci. Phylogenetic and population genetic analyses showed three major clades in both allozyme and mtDNA data, with a further nine mtDNA sub-clades, largely supported by the allozymes. Generally, each of these sub-clades was concordant with a traditional geographic grouping known as spring complexes. We observed a coalescent time between ∼2-15 million years ago for haplotypes within each of the nine mtDNA sub-clades, whilst an older total time to coalescence (>15 mya was observed for the three major clades. Overall we observed that multiple layers of phylogeographic history are exemplified by Phreatomerus, suggesting that major climate events and their impact on the landscape have shaped the observed high levels of diversity and endemism. Our results show that this genus reflects a diverse fauna that existed during the early Miocene and appears to have been regionally restricted. Subsequent aridification events have led to substantial contraction of the original habitat, possibly over repeated Pleistocene

  2. Closed bioregenerative life support systems: Applicability to hot deserts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polyakov, Yuriy S.; Musaev, Ibrahim; Polyakov, Sergey V.

    2010-09-01

    Water scarcity in hot deserts, which cover about one-fifth of the Earth's land area, along with rapid expansion of hot deserts into arable lands is one of the key global environmental problems. As hot deserts are extreme habitats characterized by the availability of solar energy with a nearly complete absence of organic life and water, space technology achievements in designing closed ecological systems may be applicable to the design of sustainable settlements in the deserts. This review discusses the key space technology findings for closed biogenerative life support systems (CBLSS), which can simultaneously produce food, water, nutrients, fertilizers, process wastes, and revitalize air, that can be applied to hot deserts. Among them are the closed cycle of water and the acceleration of the cycling times of carbon, biogenic compounds, and nutrients by adjusting the levels of light intensity, temperature, carbon dioxide, and air velocity over plant canopies. Enhanced growth of algae and duckweed at higher levels of carbon dioxide and light intensity can be important to provide complete water recycling and augment biomass production. The production of fertilizers and nutrients can be enhanced by applying the subsurface flow wetland technology and hyper-thermophilic aerobic bacteria for treating liquid and solid wastes. The mathematical models, optimization techniques, and non-invasive measuring techniques developed for CBLSS make it possible to monitor and optimize the performance of such closed ecological systems. The results of long-duration experiments performed in BIOS-3, Biosphere 2, Laboratory Biosphere, and other ground-based closed test facilities suggest that closed water cycle can be achieved in hot-desert bioregenerative systems using the pathways of evapotranspiration, condensation, and biological wastewater treatment technologies. We suggest that the state of the art in the CBLSS design along with the possibility of using direct sunlight for

  3. Copper isotope fractionation by desert shrubs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Navarrete, Jesica U.; Viveros, Marian; Ellzey, Joanne T.; Borrok, David M.

    2011-01-01

    Copper has two naturally occurring stable isotopes of masses 63 and 65 which can undergo mass dependent fractionation during various biotic and abiotic chemical reactions. These interactions and their resulting Cu isotope fractionations can be used to determine the mechanisms involved in the cycling of Cu in natural systems. In this study, Cu isotope changes were investigated at the organismal level in the metal-accumulating desert plant, Prosopis pubescens. Initial results suggest that the lighter Cu isotope was preferentially incorporated into the leaves of the plant, which may suggest that Cu was actively transported via intracellular proteins. The roots and stems show a smaller degree of Cu isotope fractionation and the direction and magnitude of the fractionations was dependent upon the levels of Cu exposure. Based on this and previous work with bacteria and yeast, a trend is emerging that suggests the lighter Cu isotope is preferentially incorporated into biological components, while the heavier Cu isotope tends to become enriched in aqueous solutions. In bacteria, plants and animals, intracellular Cu concentrations are strictly regulated via dozens of enzymes that can bind, transport, and store Cu. Many of these enzymes reduce Cu(II) to Cu(I). These initial results seem to fit into a broader picture of Cu isotope cycling in natural systems where oxidation/reduction reactions are fundamental in controlling the distributions of Cu isotopes.

  4. Water Sources for Cyanobacteria Below Desert Rocks in the Negev Desert Determined by Conductivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKay, Christopher P.

    2016-01-01

    We present year round meteorological and conductivity measurements of colonized hypolithic rocks in the Arava Valley, Negev Desert, Israel. The data indicate that while dew is common in the Negev it is not an important source of moisture for hypolithic organisms at this site. The dominance of cyanobacteria in the hypolithic community are consistent with predictions that cyanobacteria are confined to habitats supplied by rain. To monitor the presence of liquid water under the small Negev rocks we developed and tested a simple field conductivity system based on two wires placed about 0.5 cm apart. Based on 21 replicates recorded for one year in the Negev we conclude that in natural rains (0.25 mm to 6 mm) the variability between sensor readings is between 20 and 60% decreasing with increasing rain amount. We conclude that the simple small electrical conductivity system described here can be used effectively to monitor liquid water levels in lithic habitats. However, the natural variability of these sensors indicates that several replicates should be deployed. The results and method presented have use in arid desert reclamation programs.

  5. Water sources for cyanobacteria below desert rocks in the Negev Desert determined by conductivity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher P. McKay

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available We present year round meteorological and conductivity measurements of colonized hypolithic rocks in the Arava Valley, Negev Desert, Israel. The data indicate that while dew is common in the Negev it is not an important source of moisture for hypolithic organisms at this site. The dominance of cyanobacteria in the hypolithic community is consistent with predictions that cyanobacteria are confined to habitats supplied by rain. To monitor the presence of liquid water under the small Negev rocks we developed and tested a simple field conductivity system based on two wires placed about 0.5 cm apart. Based on 21 replicates recorded for one year in the Negev we conclude that in natural rains (0.25 mm to 6 mm the variability between sensor readings is between 20 and 60% decreasing with increasing rain amount. We conclude that the simple small electrical conductivity system described here can be used effectively to monitor liquid water levels in lithic habitats. However, the natural variability of these sensors indicates that several replicates should be deployed. The results and method presented have use in arid desert reclamation programs.

  6. Monitoring of desert dune topography by multi angle sensors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yun, J.; Kim, J.; Choi, Y.; Yun, H.

    2011-12-01

    Nowadays, the sandy desert is rapidly expanding world widely and results in a lot of risks in the socio-econimical aspects as well as the anthropogenic activities. For example, the increasing occurrences of mineral dust storm which presumably originated from the sandy deserts in northwest China become a serious threat in human activities as well as public health over Far East Asian area as the interpretation by the MODIS analysis (Zhang et al., 2007) and the particle trajectory simulation with HYSPLYT (HYbrid Single-Particle Lagrangian Integrated Trajectory) (Kim et al., 2011) identified. Since the sand dune activity has been recognized as an essential indicator of the progressive desertification, it is important to establish the monitoring method for the variations of topographic properties by the dune activities such as local roughness. Thus it will provide the crucial data about the extent and the transition of sandy desert. For example, it is well known the aerodynamic roughness lengths Zo which can be driven from the specialized sensor such as POLDER (POLarization and Directionality of the Earth's Reflectances) is essential to understand desert dune characteristics. However, for the multi temporal observation of dune fields, the availability of data set to extract Zo is limited. Therefore, we employed MISR (Multi angle imaging Spectro Radiometer) image sequence to extract multi angle topographic parameters such as NDAI (Normalized Difference Angular Index) or the variation of radiance with the viewing geometry which are representing the characteristics of target desert topography instead of Zo. In our approach, NDAI were expanded to the all viewing angles and then compared over the target sandy desert and the surrounding land covers. It showed very strong consistencies according to the land cover type and especially over the dynamic dune fields. On the other hands, the variation of NDAIs of sandy desert combining with the metrological observations were

  7. Tree planting in deserts and utilization of atomic energy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hattori, Sadao; Minato, Akio; Hashizume, Kenichi; Handa, Norihiko.

    1991-01-01

    Global environment problems are discussed actively, concretely, those are the warming of the earth, the advance of desertification, the damage due to acid rain, the decrease of tropical forests, the pollution of sea, the depletion of ozone layer and so on. Most of these phenomena advance gradually. However, the advance of desertification is different from other phenomena in that the people in the areas concerned are deprived of their living space and even their lives are threatened at this moment. Desertification is advancing on global scale, and its rate is estimated to be 60,000 km 2 yearly. Especially the area where the advance is remarkable is the southern edge of Sahara Desert, which advances southward at 10-30 km in one year. Recently also in Japan, the interest in the prevention of desertification has become high, and the experiment on tree planting in a desert using a huge desert dome of the Institute of Physical and Chemical Research, 'Desert Aquanet concept' of Shimizu Construction Co., Ltd., 'Sahara green belt project' of the Ministry of International Trade and Industry and so on were published. Water and energy for tree planting in deserts, utilization of atomic energy for seawater desalination and the technical fields to which Japan can contribute are reported. (K.I.)

  8. Tree planting in deserts and utilization of atomic energy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hattori, Sadao; Minato, Akio [Central Research Inst. of Electric Power Industry, Tokyo (Japan); Hashizume, Kenichi; Handa, Norihiko

    1991-06-01

    Global environment problems are discussed actively, concretely, those are the warming of the earth, the advance of desertification, the damage due to acid rain, the decrease of tropical forests, the pollution of sea, the depletion of ozone layer and so on. Most of these phenomena advance gradually. However, the advance of desertification is different from other phenomena in that the people in the areas concerned are deprived of their living space and even their lives are threatened at this moment. Desertification is advancing on global scale, and its rate is estimated to be 60,000 km{sup 2} yearly. Especially the area where the advance is remarkable is the southern edge of Sahara Desert, which advances southward at 10-30 km in one year. Recently also in Japan, the interest in the prevention of desertification has become high, and the experiment on tree planting in a desert using a huge desert dome of the Institute of Physical and Chemical Research, 'Desert Aquanet concept' of Shimizu Construction Co., Ltd., 'Sahara green belt project' of the Ministry of International Trade and Industry and so on were published. Water and energy for tree planting in deserts, utilization of atomic energy for seawater desalination and the technical fields to which Japan can contribute are reported. (K.I.).

  9. Production of desert rose seedlings in different potting media

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ronan Carlos Colombo

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Over the past decade the desert rose received fame in the flower market due to its striking and sculptural forms; however, the commercial production of these species is quite recent and little is known about its crop management, including substrates recommendation. The objectives of this study were to investigate the effect of different substrates on desert rose seed germination and production of its seedlings. Experiment I: freshly harvested seeds of desert rose were sown in different substrates e.g. sand, coconut fiber, semi-composted pine bark, sand + coconut fiber, semi-composted pine bark + sand and coconut fiber + semicomposted pine bark. These substrates were evaluated to study the emergence percentage of seeds, initial growth of seedlings and seedling emergence speed index (ESI. Experiment II: desert rose from the experiment I were transferred to plastic pots filled with the same substrates as in experiment I. The pH and electrical conductivity (EC of the substrates were noted every 30 days while the growth parameters of seedlings were recorded after 240 days. Results from experiment I showed higher germination rate and seedling growth in substrates containing semi-composted pine bark. Similarly, in experiment II, better quality seedlings were observed in substrates containing semi-composted pine bark. Thus, for desert rose seed germination and seedling growth, it is recommended to use substrates containing semi-composted pine bark.

  10. Atmospheric Surface Layer Characterization: Preliminary Desert Lapse Rate Study 22-25 August 2000

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Elliott, Doyle

    2003-01-01

    Results of the August 2000 Desert Lapse Rate (DLR) Experiment are presented. The DLR Experiment was performed to document the night-to-day transition effects on the desert Atmospheric Surface Layer (ASL...

  11. The Ocean deserts:salt budgets of northern subtropical oceans and their

    KAUST Repository

    Carton, Jim

    2011-04-09

    The Ocean deserts: salt budgets of northern subtropical oceans and their relationship to climate variability The high salinity near surface pools of the subtropical oceans are the oceanic deserts, with high levels of evaporation and low levels of precip

  12. Out of the Desert: My Journey from Nomadic Bedouin to the Heart of Global Oil

    KAUST Repository

    Al-Naimi, Ali Ibrahim

    2017-01-01

    Arabian deserts. From his first job as a shepherd boy to his appointment to one of the most powerful political and economic jobs in the world, Out of the Desert charts Al-Naimi's extraordinary rise to power.

  13. Phylogeographic patterns of the desert poplar in Northwest China shaped by both geology and climatic oscillations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeng, Yan-Fei; Zhang, Jian-Guo; Abuduhamiti, Bawerjan; Wang, Wen-Ting; Jia, Zhi-Qing

    2018-05-25

    The effects of historical geology and climatic events on the evolution of plants around the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau region have been at the center of debate for years. To identify the influence of the uplift of the Tianshan Mountains and/or climatic oscillations on the evolution of plants in arid northwest China, we investigated the phylogeography of the Euphrates poplar (Populus euphratica) using chloroplast DNA (cpDNA) sequences and nuclear microsatellites, and estimated its historical distribution using Ecological Niche Modeling (ENM). We found that the Euphrates poplar differed from another desert poplar, P. pruinosa, in both nuclear and chloroplast DNA. The low clonal diversity in both populations reflected the low regeneration rate by seed/seedlings in many locations. Both cpDNA and nuclear markers demonstrated a clear divergence between the Euphrates poplar populations from northern and southern Xinjiang regions. The divergence time was estimated to be early Pleistocene based on cpDNA, and late Pleistocene using an Approximate Bayesian Computation analysis based on microsatellites. Estimated gene flow was low between these two regions, and the limited gene flow occurred mainly via dispersal from eastern regions. ENM analysis supported a wider distribution of the Euphrates poplar at 3 Ma, but a more constricted distribution during both the glacial period and the interglacial period. These results indicate that the deformation of the Tianshan Mountains has impeded gene flow of the Euphrates poplar populations from northern and southern Xinjiang, and the distribution constriction due to climatic oscillations further accelerated the divergence of populations from these regions. To protect the desert poplars, more effort is needed to encourage seed germination and seedling establishment, and to conserve endemic gene resources in the northern Xinjiang region.

  14. Desert Dust and Health: A Central Asian Review and Steppe Case Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Troy Sternberg

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available In Asian deserts environmental and anthropomorphic dust is a significant health risk to rural populations. Natural sources in dry landscapes are exacerbated by human activities that increase the vulnerability to dust and dust-borne disease vectors. Today in Central and Inner Asian drylands, agriculture, mining, and rapid development contribute to dust generation and community exposure. Thorough review of limited dust investigation in the region implies but does not quantify health risks. Anthropogenic sources, such as the drying of the Aral Sea, highlight the shifting dust dynamics across the Central EurAsian steppe. In the Gobi Desert, our case study in Khanbogd, Mongolia addressed large-scale mining’s potential dust risk to the health of the local population. Dust traps showed variable exposure to particulates among herder households and town residents; dust density distribution indicated that sources beyond the mine need to be considered when identifying particulate sources. Research suggests that atmospheric dust from multiple causes may enhance human particulate exposure. Greater awareness of dust in greater Central Asia reflects community concern about related health implications. Future human well-being in the region will require more thorough information on dust emissions in the changing environment.

  15. Degradation and performance evaluation of PV module in desert climate conditions with estimate uncertainty in measuring

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fezzani Amor

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The performance of photovoltaic (PV module is affected by outdoor conditions. Outdoor testing consists installing a module, and collecting electrical performance data and climatic data over a certain period of time. It can also include the study of long-term performance under real work conditions. Tests are operated in URAER located in desert region of Ghardaïa (Algeria characterized by high irradiation and temperature levels. The degradation of PV module with temperature and time exposure to sunlight contributes significantly to the final output from the module, as the output reduces each year. This paper presents a comparative study of different methods to evaluate the degradation of PV module after a long term exposure of more than 12 years in desert region and calculates uncertainties in measuring. Firstly, this evaluation uses three methods: Visual inspection, data given by Solmetric PVA-600 Analyzer translated at Standard Test Condition (STC and based on the investigation results of the translation equations as ICE 60891. Secondly, the degradation rates calculated for all methods. Finally, a comparison between a degradation rates given by Solmetric PVA-600 analyzer, calculated by simulation model and calculated by two methods (ICE 60891 procedures 1, 2. We achieved a detailed uncertainty study in order to improve the procedure and measurement instrument.

  16. Desert Dust and Health: A Central Asian Review and Steppe Case Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sternberg, Troy; Edwards, Mona

    2017-11-03

    In Asian deserts environmental and anthropomorphic dust is a significant health risk to rural populations. Natural sources in dry landscapes are exacerbated by human activities that increase the vulnerability to dust and dust-borne disease vectors. Today in Central and Inner Asian drylands, agriculture, mining, and rapid development contribute to dust generation and community exposure. Thorough review of limited dust investigation in the region implies but does not quantify health risks. Anthropogenic sources, such as the drying of the Aral Sea, highlight the shifting dust dynamics across the Central EurAsian steppe. In the Gobi Desert, our case study in Khanbogd, Mongolia addressed large-scale mining's potential dust risk to the health of the local population. Dust traps showed variable exposure to particulates among herder households and town residents; dust density distribution indicated that sources beyond the mine need to be considered when identifying particulate sources. Research suggests that atmospheric dust from multiple causes may enhance human particulate exposure. Greater awareness of dust in greater Central Asia reflects community concern about related health implications. Future human well-being in the region will require more thorough information on dust emissions in the changing environment.

  17. X-36 in Flight over Mojave Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    1997-01-01

    The unusual lines of the X-36 technology demonstrator contrast sharply with the desert floor as the remotely piloted aircraft scoots across the California desert at low altitude during a research flight on October 30, 1997. The NASA/Boeing X-36 Tailless Fighter Agility Research Aircraft program successfully demonstrated the tailless fighter design using advanced technologies to improve the maneuverability and survivability of possible future fighter aircraft. The program met or exceeded all project goals. For 31 flights during 1997 at the Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, California, the project team examined the aircraft's agility at low speed / high angles of attack and at high speed / low angles of attack. The aircraft's speed envelope reached up to 206 knots (234 mph). This aircraft was very stable and maneuverable. It handled very well. The X-36 vehicle was designed to fly without the traditional tail surfaces common on most aircraft. Instead, a canard forward of the wing was used as well as split ailerons and an advanced thrust-vectoring nozzle for directional control. The X-36 was unstable in both pitch and yaw axes, so an advanced, single-channel digital fly-by-wire control system (developed with some commercially available components) was put in place to stabilize the aircraft. Using a video camera mounted in the nose of the aircraft and an onboard microphone, the X-36 was remotely controlled by a pilot in a ground station virtual cockpit. A standard fighter-type head-up display (HUD) and a moving-map representation of the vehicle's position within the range in which it flew provided excellent situational awareness for the pilot. This pilot-in-the-loop approach eliminated the need for expensive and complex autonomous flight control systems and the risks associated with their inability to deal with unknown or unforeseen phenomena in flight. Fully fueled the X-36 prototype weighed approximately 1,250 pounds. It was 19 feet long and three feet high with

  18. Condition-dependent clutch desertion in Great Tit (Parus major) females subjected to human disturbance

    OpenAIRE

    2011-01-01

    Abstract Nest desertion behaviour in relation to body condition and timing of breeding was studied in Great Tit (Parus major) females during two breeding seasons. Desertion, most likely unintentionally provoked by catching females during the incubation period, occurred at a very high rate with 41.2 and 25.6% of deserted first clutches in the two study years. The association between desertion probability, body condition (index calculated as residuals from the regression of body mass...

  19. Hydrogeochemical and stream-sediment survey (NURE). Preliminary report on the Smoke Creek Desert Basin pilot study (Nevada)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1976-01-01

    The Lawrence Livermore Laboratory (LLL) is conducting a hydrogeochemical and stream-sediment survey in the seven western states as part of ERDA's National Uranium Resources Evaluation (NURE) Program. The objective of this survey is to develop a geochemical data base for use by the private sector to locate regions of anomalous uranium content. Prior to wide area coverage, several pilot studies are being undertaken to develop and evaluate sampling and analytical techniques. The second through fifth of these studies were conducted in four playa basins in Nevada, selected to represent different regional geology and uranium occurrence. This study in the Smoke Creek Desert Basin, characterizes igneous surface geology with known uranium occurrences. The Smoke Creek Desert Basin is the largest of the four playa basins and contains an areaof about 2700 square kilometers (1003 square miles). The basin is bordered on the east by the Fox Hills and on the north and east by the Granite Ranges which are characterized by granite, pegmatites, and Tertiary rocks very similar to the lithology of the Winnemucca Basin boundary ranges (study UCID-16911-P-2). On the west the Desert is bordered by an area of extensive basalt flow. There is no known uranium occurrence in the area, and metallization of any kind is scarce. This study is applicable to the western igneous portion of the Basin and Range Province which includes southeastern Oregon, western Nevada, and southeastern California. This report contains only analytical data and sample locations

  20. Biodiversity of Rock Varnish at Yungay, Atacama Desert, Chile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuhlman, K.; Venkat, P.; La Duc, M.; Kuhlman, G.; McKay, C.

    2007-12-01

    Rock varnish is a very slow-growing nanostratigraphic coating consisting of approximately 70% clay and 30% iron and manganese oxides of fine-grained clay minerals rich in manganese and iron oxides, which forms on the surfaces of rocks in most semi-arid to hyper-arid climates. Rock varnish has even been postulated to exist on Mars based on surface imagery from several landed missions, and is considered a potential biomarker. However, the mechanism of varnish nucleation and growth remains unknown. Whether or not microbes are involved in the nucleation and growth of rock varnish, the detection of microbes using cultivation or cultivation- independent techniques has demonstrated that varnish provides a microhabitat for microbes. We hypothesized that rock varnish in the Mars-like Yungay region of the Atacama Desert may provide such a microhabitat for microbial life where none has been found to date in the surface soil (< 1 cm). The presence of microbes was investigated using adenosine triphosphate (ATP) assay techniques and culture-independent biomolecular methods. High levels of both total and intracellular ATP were associated with the rock varnish while negligible ATP was found in the surrounding surface soil, suggesting that viable organisms were present. Total DNA was extracted from ground varnish and surrounding surface soil and subjected to trifurcate polymerase chain reactions (PCR). No DNA was recovered from the soil. Amplicons were used to generate ribosomal DNA (rDNA) clone libraries, which suggest the presence of numerous phylogenetically distinct microorganisms in eight Eubacterial clades, Alphaproteobacteria, Betaproteobacteria, Gammaproteobacteria, Cytophaga-Flavobacterium- Bacteroides (CFB), Chloroflexi (green non-sulfur bacteria (GNS)), Gemmatimonadetes, Actinobacteria and Cyanobacteria. The diversity of bacteria found and presence of cyanobacteria suggests that rock varnish provides a niche environment for a cryptoendolithic microbial community where

  1. Comparison of remote sensing indices for monitoring of desert cienegas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Natalie R.; Norman, Laura M.; Villarreal, Miguel; Gass, Leila; Tiller, Ron; Salywon, Andrew

    2016-01-01

    This research considers the applicability of different vegetation indices at 30 m resolution for mapping and monitoring desert wetland (cienega) health and spatial extent through time at Cienega Creek in southeastern Arizona, USA. Multiple stressors including the risk of decadal-scale drought, the effects of current and predicted global warming, and continued anthropogenic pressures threaten aquatic habitats in the southwest and cienegas are recognized as important sites for conservation and restoration efforts. However, cienegas present a challenge to satellite-imagery based analysis due to their small size and mixed surface cover of open water, exposed soils, and vegetation. We created time series of five well-known vegetation indices using annual Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) images retrieved during the April–June dry season, from 1984 to 2011 to map landscape-level distribution of wetlands and monitor the temporal dynamics of individual sites. Indices included the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), the Soil-Adjusted Vegetation Index (SAVI), the Normalized Difference Water Index (NDWI), and the Normalized Difference Infrared Index (NDII). One topographic index, the Topographic Wetness Index (TWI), was analyzed to examine the utility of topography in mapping distribution of cienegas. Our results indicate that the NDII, calculated using Landsat TM band 5, outperforms the other indices at differentiating cienegas from riparian and upland sites, and was the best means to analyze change. As such, it offers a critical baseline for future studies that seek to extend the analysis of cienegas to other regions and time scales, and has broader applicability to the remote sensing of wetland features in arid landscapes.

  2. Exhibiting Western Desert Aboriginal painting in Australia’s public galleries: an institutional analysis, 1981-2002

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jim Berryman

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available This paper documents and analyses the exhibition history of Aboriginal painting in Australia’s public art galleries over a two-decade period. It concentrates on Western Desert acrylics but is not confined to this movement or region alone. Based on a review of catalogues from key exhibitions, it identifies three interpretative frameworks used by curators to validate the presence of Aboriginal painting in the contemporary art realm. These modes of interpretation are called the aesthetic, ethnographic and the ownership discourses. Despite being a problematic art at odds with conventional art-historical classifications, Aboriginal painting was elevated to a position of prominence in Australian art history. Institutionally, Western Desert painting found legitimacy in the dominant aesthetic legacy of modernism. This modernist art historiography overrode the minority interests of cultural pluralism and critical postmodernism.

  3. Changes in the Pincate Reserve ecosystems: Invasion of non-native plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Denise Z. Avila-Jimenez

    2005-01-01

    Over the years, humans have modified the Sonoran Desert by introducing invasive plants that prosper in disturbed and non-disturbed habitats. These invaders modify the dynamics and structure of populations and the composition of communities, which in turn can result in radical changes in wildlife habitat. The natural landscape of the Sonoran Desert is characterized by...

  4. The floral hosts and distribution of a supposed creosote bush specialist, Colletes stepheni Timberlake (Hymenoptera: Colletidae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colletes stepheni Timberlake, previously thought to be a narrow oligolege of Larrea (creosote bush) of limited distribution in the Sonoran Desert, is found to be a much more widely distributed psammophile of the Sonoran, Mojave and Great Basin Deserts that utilizes two unrelated plant pollen sources...

  5. Growth responses of five desert plants as influenced by biological soil crusts from a temperate desert, China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yuanming; Belnap, Jayne

    2015-01-01

    In almost all dryland systems, biological soil crusts (biocrusts) coexist alongside herbaceous and woody vegetation, creating landscape mosaics of vegetated and biocrusted patches. Results from past studies on the interaction between biocrusts and vascular plants have been contradictory. In the Gurbantunggut desert, a large temperate desert in northwestern China, well-developed lichen-dominated crusts dominate the areas at the base and between the sand dunes. We examined the influence of these lichen-dominated biocrusts on the germination, growth, biomass accumulation, and elemental content of five common plants in this desert: two shrubs (Haloxylon persicum, Ephedra distachya) and three herbaceous plants (Ceratocarpus arenarius, Malcolmia africana and Lappula semiglabra) under greenhouse conditions. The influence of biocrusts on seed germination was species-specific. Biocrusts did not affect percent germination in plants with smooth seeds, but inhibited germination of seeds with appendages that reduced or eliminated contact with the soil surface or prevented seeds from slipping into soil cracks. Once seeds had germinated, biocrusts had different influences on growth of shrub and herbaceous plants. The presence of biocrusts increased concentrations of nitrogen but did not affect phosphorus or potassium in tissue of all tested species, while the uptake of the other tested nutrients was species-specific. Our study showed that biocrusts can serve as a biological filter during seed germination and also can influence growth and elemental uptake. Therefore, they may be an important trigger for determining desert plant diversity and community composition in deserts.

  6. Strategy for the development and management of deserts

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1978-02-01

    Recommendations from the June 1977 Conference on Alternative Strategies for Desert Development and Management apply primarily to arid lands, although some can be applied to true desert with no vegetation as well. The causes of desertification are reviewed and corrective measures suggested for both developed and developing countries. A range of strategies is proposed, but all are based on the efficient use of water and most are concerned with water used for agricultural purposes. The conference papers also addressed water management, agricultural development, field crops versus animal husbandry, grazing, land use and allocation, wild life resources, industry coastal resources, tourism, energy and minerals, and establishing the infrastructure needed to improve and retain desert health.

  7. Concentration of plutonium in desert plants from contaminated area

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Xu Hui; Jin Yuren; Tian Mei; Li Weiping; Zeng Ke; Wang Yaoqin; Wang Yu

    2012-01-01

    The investigation of plutonium in desert plants from contaminated sites contributes to the evaluation of its pollution situation and to the survey of plutonium hyper accumulator. The concentration of 239 Pu in desert plants collected from a contaminated site was determined, and the influence factors were studied. The concentration of 239 Pu in plants was (1.8±4.9) Bq/kg in dry weight, and it means that the plants were contaminated, moreover, the resuspension results in dramatic plutonium pollution of plant surface. The concentration of plutonium in plants depends on species, live stages and the content of plutonium in the rhizosphere soil. The concentration of plutonium in herbage is higher than that in woody plant, and for the seven species of desert plants investigated, it decreases in the order of Hexinia polydichotoma, Phragmites australis, Halostashys caspica, Halogeton arachnoideus, Lycium ruthenicum, Tamarix hispida and Calligonum aphyllum. (authors)

  8. Lizard burrows provide thermal refugia for larks in the Arabian desert

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Williams, JB; Tieleman, BI; Shobrak, M

    A common perception is that desert birds experience greater extremes of heat and aridity than their mammalian counterparts, in part, because birds do not use burrows as a refuge from the desert environment. We report observations of Dunn's Larks (Eremalauda dunni), Bar-tailed Desert Larks (Ammomanes

  9. 76 FR 29153 - Revisions to the California State Implementation Plan, Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-05-20

    ... the California State Implementation Plan, Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District AGENCY... approve revisions to the Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District (MDAQMD) portion of the California... approving with the dates that they were adopted by the Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District (MDAQMD...

  10. Desertification of forest, range and desert in Tehran province, affected by climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eskandari, Hadi; Borji, Moslem; Khosravi, Hassan; Mesbahzadeh, Tayebeh

    2016-06-01

    Climate change has been identified as a leading human and environmental crisis of the twenty-first century. Drylands throughout the world have always undergone periods of degradation due to naturally occurring fluctuation in climate. Persistence of widespread degradation in arid and semiarid regions of Iran necessitates monitoring and evaluation. This paper aims to monitor the desertification trend in three types of land use, including range, forest and desert, affected by climate change in Tehran province for the 2000s and 2030s. For assessing climate change at Mehrabad synoptic station, the data of two emission scenarios, including A2 and B2, were used, utilizing statistical downscaling techniques and data generated by the Statistical DownScaling Model (SDSM). The index of net primary production (NPP) resulting from Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) satellite images was employed as an indicator of destruction from 2001 to 2010. The results showed that temperature is the most significant driving force which alters the net primary production in rangeland, forest and desert land use in Tehran province. On the basis of monitoring findings under real conditions, in the 2000s, over 60 % of rangelands and 80 % of the forest were below the average production in the province. On the other hand, the long-term average changes of NPP in the rangeland and forests indicated the presence of relatively large areas of these land uses with a production rate lower than the desert. The results also showed that, assuming the existence of circumstances of each emission scenarios, the desertification status will not improve significantly in the rangelands and forests of Tehran province.

  11. Advanced Photogrammetry to Assess Lichen Colonization in the Hyper-Arid Namib Desert.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hinchliffe, Graham; Bollard-Breen, Barbara; Cowan, Don A; Doshi, Ashray; Gillman, Len N; Maggs-Kolling, Gillian; de Los Rios, Asuncion; Pointing, Stephen B

    2017-01-01

    The hyper-arid central region of the Namib Desert is characterized by quartz desert pavement terrain that is devoid of vascular plant covers. In this extreme habitat the only discernible surface covers are epilithic lichens that colonize exposed surfaces of quartz rocks. These lichens are highly susceptible to disturbance and so field surveys have been limited due to concerns about disturbing this unusual desert feature. Here we present findings that illustrate how non-destructive surveys based upon advanced photogrammetry techniques can yield meaningful and novel scientific data on these lichens. We combined 'structure from motion analysis,' computer vision and GIS to create 3-dimensional point clouds from two-dimensional imagery. The data were robust in its application to estimating absolute lichen cover. An orange Stellarangia spp. assemblage had coverage of 22.8% of available substrate, whilst for a black Xanthoparmelia spp. assemblage coverage was markedly lower at 0.6% of available substrate. Hyperspectral signatures for both lichens were distinct in the near-infra red range indicating that Xanthoparmelia spp. was likely under relatively more moisture stress than Stellarangia spp. at the time of sampling, and we postulate that albedo effects may have contributed to this in the black lichen. Further transformation of the data revealed a colonization preference for west-facing quartz surfaces and this coincides with prevailing winds for marine fog that is the major source of moisture in this system. Furthermore, a three-dimensional 'fly through' of the lichen habitat was created to illustrate how the application of computer vision in microbiology has further potential as a research and education tool. We discuss how advanced photogrammetry could be applied in astrobiology using autonomous rovers to add quantitative ecological data for visible surface colonization on the surface of Mars.

  12. Optical characteristics of desert dust over the East Mediterranean during summer: a case study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. Balis

    2006-05-01

    Full Text Available High aerosol optical depth (AOD values, larger than 0.6, are systematically observed in the Ultraviolet (UV region both by sunphotometers and lidar systems over Greece during summertime. To study in more detail the characteristics and the origin of these high AOD values, a campaign took place in Greece in the frame of the PHOENICS (Particles of Human Origin Extinguishing Natural solar radiation In Climate Systems and EARLINET (European Aerosol Lidar Network projects during August–September of 2003, which included simultaneous sunphotometric and lidar measurements at three sites covering the north-south axis of Greece: Thessaloniki, Athens and Finokalia, Crete. Several events with high AOD values have been observed over the measuring sites during the campaign period, many of them corresponding to Saharan dust. In this paper we focused on the event of 30 and 31 August 2003, when a dust layer in the height range of 2000-5000 m, progressively affected all three stations. This layer showed a complex behavior concerning its spatial evolution and allowed us to study the changes in the optical properties of the desert dust particles along their transport due to aging and mixing with other types of aerosol. The extinction-to-backscatter ratio determined on the 30 August 2003 at Thessaloniki was approximately 50 sr, characteristic for rather spherical mineral particles, and the measured color index of 0.4 was within the typical range of values for desert dust. Mixing of the desert dust with other sources of aerosols resulted the next day in overall smaller and less absorbing population of particles with a lidar ratio of 20 sr. Mixing of polluted air-masses originating from Northern Greece and Crete and Saharan dust result in very high aerosol backscatter values reaching 7 Mm-1 sr-1 over Finokalia. The Saharan dust observed over Athens followed a different spatial evolution and was not mixed with the boundary layer aerosols mainly originating from

  13. Advanced Photogrammetry to Assess Lichen Colonization in the Hyper-Arid Namib Desert

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Graham Hinchliffe

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available The hyper-arid central region of the Namib Desert is characterized by quartz desert pavement terrain that is devoid of vascular plant covers. In this extreme habitat the only discernible surface covers are epilithic lichens that colonize exposed surfaces of quartz rocks. These lichens are highly susceptible to disturbance and so field surveys have been limited due to concerns about disturbing this unusual desert feature. Here we present findings that illustrate how non-destructive surveys based upon advanced photogrammetry techniques can yield meaningful and novel scientific data on these lichens. We combined ‘structure from motion analysis,’ computer vision and GIS to create 3-dimensional point clouds from two-dimensional imagery. The data were robust in its application to estimating absolute lichen cover. An orange Stellarangia spp. assemblage had coverage of 22.8% of available substrate, whilst for a black Xanthoparmelia spp. assemblage coverage was markedly lower at 0.6% of available substrate. Hyperspectral signatures for both lichens were distinct in the near-infra red range indicating that Xanthoparmelia spp. was likely under relatively more moisture stress than Stellarangia spp. at the time of sampling, and we postulate that albedo effects may have contributed to this in the black lichen. Further transformation of the data revealed a colonization preference for west-facing quartz surfaces and this coincides with prevailing winds for marine fog that is the major source of moisture in this system. Furthermore, a three-dimensional ‘fly through’ of the lichen habitat was created to illustrate how the application of computer vision in microbiology has further potential as a research and education tool. We discuss how advanced photogrammetry could be applied in astrobiology using autonomous rovers to add quantitative ecological data for visible surface colonization on the surface of Mars.

  14. Seedling establishment in a masting desert shrub parallels the pattern for forest trees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, Susan E.; Pendleton, Burton K.

    2015-05-01

    The masting phenomenon along with its accompanying suite of seedling adaptive traits has been well studied in forest trees but has rarely been examined in desert shrubs. Blackbrush (Coleogyne ramosissima) is a regionally dominant North American desert shrub whose seeds are produced in mast events and scatter-hoarded by rodents. We followed the fate of seedlings in intact stands vs. small-scale disturbances at four contrasting sites for nine growing seasons following emergence after a mast year. The primary cause of first-year mortality was post-emergence cache excavation and seedling predation, with contrasting impacts at sites with different heteromyid rodent seed predators. Long-term establishment patterns were strongly affected by rodent activity in the weeks following emergence. Survivorship curves generally showed decreased mortality risk with age but differed among sites even after the first year. There were no detectable effects of inter-annual precipitation variability or site climatic differences on survival. Intraspecific competition from conspecific adults had strong impacts on survival and growth, both of which were higher on small-scale disturbances, but similar in openings and under shrub crowns in intact stands. This suggests that adult plants preempted soil resources in the interspaces. Aside from effects on seedling predation, there was little evidence for facilitation or interference beneath adult plant crowns. Plants in intact stands were still small and clearly juvenile after nine years, showing that blackbrush forms cohorts of suppressed plants similar to the seedling banks of closed forests. Seedling banks function in the absence of a persistent seed bank in replacement after adult plant death (gap formation), which is temporally uncoupled from masting and associated recruitment events. This study demonstrates that the seedling establishment syndrome associated with masting has evolved in desert shrublands as well as in forests.

  15. Food Desert Census Tract Polygons, Region 9, 2000, US EPA Region 9

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — Census Tract Data - Census 2000 This data layer represents Census 2000 demographic data derived from the PL94-171 redistricting files and SF3. Census geographic...

  16. Desert water harvesting to benefit wildlife: a simple, cheap, and durable sub-surface water harvester for remote locations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rice, William E

    2004-12-01

    A sub-surface desert water harvester was constructed in the sagebrush steppe habitat of south-central Idaho, U.S.A. The desert water harvester utilizes a buried micro-catchment and three buried storage tanks to augment water for wildlife during the dry season. In this region, mean annual precipitation (MAP) ranges between about 150-250 mm (6"-10"), 70% of which falls during the cold season, November to May. Mid-summer through early autumn, June through October, is the dry portion of the year. During this period, the sub-surface water harvester provides supplemental water for wildlife for 30-90 days, depending upon the precipitation that year. The desert water harvester is constructed with commonly available, "over the counter" materials. The micro-catchment is made of a square-shaped, 20 mL. "PERMALON" polyethylene pond liner (approximately 22.9 m x 22.9 m = 523 m2) buried at a depth of about 60 cm. A PVC pipe connects the harvester with two storage tanks and a drinking trough. The total capacity of the water harvester is about 4777 L (1262 U.S. gallons) which includes three underground storage tanks, a trough and pipes. The drinking trough is refined with an access ramp for birds and small animals. The technology is simple, cheap, and durable and can be adapted to other uses, e.g. drip irrigation, short-term water for small livestock, poultry farming etc. The desert water harvester can be used to concentrate and collect water from precipitation and run-off in semi-arid and arid regions. Water harvested in such a relatively small area will not impact the ground water table but it should help to grow small areas of crops or vegetables to aid villagers in self-sufficiency.

  17. Assessment of two physical parameterization schemes for desert dust emissions in an atmospheric chemistry general circulation model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Astitha, M.; Abdel Kader, M.; Pozzer, A.; Lelieveld, J.

    2012-04-01

    Atmospheric particulate matter and more specific desert dust has been the topic of numerous research studies in the past due to the wide range of impacts in the environment and climate and the uncertainty of characterizing and quantifying these impacts in a global scale. In this work we present two physical parameterizations of the desert dust production that have been incorporated in the atmospheric chemistry general circulation model EMAC (ECHAM5/MESSy2.41 Atmospheric Chemistry). The scope of this work is to assess the impact of the two physical parameterizations in the global distribution of desert dust and highlight the advantages and disadvantages of using either technique. The dust concentration and deposition has been evaluated using the AEROCOM dust dataset for the year 2000 and data from the MODIS and MISR satellites as well as sun-photometer data from the AERONET network was used to compare the modelled aerosol optical depth with observations. The implementation of the two parameterizations and the simulations using relatively high spatial resolution (T106~1.1deg) has highlighted the large spatial heterogeneity of the dust emission sources as well as the importance of the input parameters (soil size and texture, vegetation, surface wind speed). Also, sensitivity simulations with the nudging option using reanalysis data from ECMWF and without nudging have showed remarkable differences for some areas. Both parameterizations have revealed the difficulty of simulating all arid regions with the same assumptions and mechanisms. Depending on the arid region, each emission scheme performs more or less satisfactorily which leads to the necessity of treating each desert differently. Even though this is a quite different task to accomplish in a global model, some recommendations are given and ideas for future improvements.

  18. Recovery of compacted soils in Mojave Desert ghost towns.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Webb, R.H.; Steiger, J.W.; Wilshire, H.G.

    1986-01-01

    Residual compaction of soils was measured at seven sites in five Mojave Desert ghost towns. Soils in these Death Valley National Monument townsites were compacted by vehicles, animals, and human trampling, and the townsites had been completely abandoned and the buildings removed for 64 to 75 yr. Recovery times extrapolated using a linear recovery model ranged from 80 to 140 yr and averaged 100 yr. The recovery times were related to elevation, suggesting freeze-thaw loosening as an important factor in ameliorating soil compaction in the Mojave Desert. -from Authors

  19. Naturalisation, Desert, and the Symbolic Meaning of Citizenship

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lægaard, Sune

    2012-01-01

    of naturalisation requirements as involving notions of desert and asks what these developments imply about the meaning of citizenship. Naturalisation marks the boundary of society understood as a political community, i.e. a civic rather than territorial boundary. How this boundary is policed and on the basis...... that the introduction of naturalisation tests and other desert-based naturalisation requirements imply that citizenship comes to have different symbolic meanings for native born citizens and naturalised citizens because such requirements distinguish between volitional or ‘earned’ and ascriptive or ‘natural’ citizenship...

  20. Multiple factors affect a population of Agassiz's desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) in the Northwestern Mojave Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berry, Kristin H.; Yee, Julie L.; Coble, Ashley A.; Perry, William M.; Shields, Timothy A.

    2013-01-01

    Numerous factors have contributed to declines in populations of the federally threatened Agassiz's Desert Tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) and continue to limit recovery. In 2010, we surveyed a low-density population on a military test facility in the northwestern Mojave Desert of California, USA, to evaluate population status and identify potential factors contributing to distribution and low densities. Estimated densities of live tortoises ranged spatially from 1.2/km2 to 15.1/km2. Although only one death of a breeding-age tortoise was recorded for the 4-yr period prior to the survey, remains of 16 juvenile and immature tortoises were found, and most showed signs of predation by Common Ravens (Corvus corax) and mammals. Predation may have limited recruitment of young tortoises into the adult size classes. To evaluate the relative importance of different types of impacts to tortoises, we developed predictive models for spatially explicit densities of tortoise sign and live tortoises using topography (i.e., slope), predators (Common Raven, signs of mammalian predators), and anthropogenic impacts (distances from paved road and denuded areas, density of ordnance fragments) as covariates. Models suggest that densities of tortoise sign increased with slope and signs of mammalian predators and decreased with Common Ravens, while also varying based on interaction effects involving these predictors as well as distances from paved roads, denuded areas, and ordnance. Similarly, densities of live tortoises varied by interaction effects among distances to denuded areas and paved roads, density of ordnance fragments, and slope. Thus multiple factors predict the densities and distribution of this population.

  1. Modification of REE distribution of ordinary chondrites from Atacama (Chile) and Lut (Iran) hot deserts: Insights into the chemical weathering of meteorites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pourkhorsandi, Hamed; D'Orazio, Massimo; Rochette, Pierre; Valenzuela, Millarca; Gattacceca, Jérôme; Mirnejad, Hassan; Sutter, Brad; Hutzler, Aurore; Aboulahris, Maria

    2017-09-01

    The behavior of rare earth elements (REEs) during hot desert weathering of meteorites is investigated. Ordinary chondrites (OCs) from Atacama (Chile) and Lut (Iran) deserts show different variations in REE composition during this process. Inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) data reveal that hot desert OCs tend to show elevated light REE concentrations, relative to OC falls. Chondrites from Atacama are by far the most enriched in REEs and this enrichment is not necessarily related to their degree of weathering. Positive Ce anomaly of fresh chondrites from Atacama and the successive formation of a negative Ce anomaly with the addition of trivalent REEs are similar to the process reported from Antarctic eucrites. In addition to REEs, Sr and Ba also show different concentrations when comparing OCs from different hot deserts. The stability of Atacama surfaces and the associated old terrestrial ages of meteorites from this region give the samples the necessary time to interact with the terrestrial environment and to be chemically modified. Higher REE contents and LREE-enriched composition are evidence of contamination by terrestrial soil. Despite their low degrees of weathering, special care must be taken into account while working on the REE composition of Atacama meteorites for cosmochemistry applications. In contrast, chondrites from the Lut desert show lower degrees of REE modification, despite significant weathering signed by Sr content. This is explained by the relatively rapid weathering rate of the meteorites occurring in the Lut desert, which hampers the penetration of terrestrial material by forming voluminous Fe oxide/oxyhydroxides shortly after the meteorite fall.

  2. Domesticated proboscidea parviflora: a potential oilseed crop for arid lands

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Berry, J.; Bretting, P.K.; Nabhan, G.P.; Weber, C.

    1981-01-01

    Wild and domesticated Proboscidea parviflora were evaluated as oilseed crops for arid lands through chemical and biological analyses. Domesticated plants grown in the Sonoran desert bore seed containing 35-40 per cent oil and 23-27 per cent protein. Yield per hectare was estimated at 1000 kg of oil and 675 kg of protein, quantities which compare favourably with other crops. An ephemeral life cycle and certain characteristics of the fruit and seed allow this plant to grow in xeric habitats unsuitable for many other plants. Several Proboscidea species hybridize with P. parviflora and could be used in future crop breeding. Rapid germination and higher oil and protein content of seed make the domesticated P. parviflora superior to the wild form as a crop. Domesticated P. parviflora thus shows promise as an oilseed crop for the Sonoran Desert and possibly for other arid regions. (Refs. 22).

  3. NOUR. Daylighting and thermal effects of windows in desert houses

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ouahrani, Djamel

    1999-07-01

    This study is on a combined effect of window, the daylighting and the thermal effects, in desert houses. It is comprised of two complementary studies. In the introduction a historical review on the development of using daylight has been carried out in order to place the case study in a historical perspective. The first study is comprehensive and contains two main parts. In the first part a study was carried out on the people and history of the town of Ghardaia in Southern Algeria. This was done in order to understand the architectural form of that region. The second part is experimental and consists of two field studies carried out in Ghardaia. Their aim was to investigate the influence of daylight and temperature on the use of residential houses. This investigation included both traditional and 'modern' houses, the modern having relatively large windows similar to those of the northern part of Algeria, the traditional ones having small or no windows. The second study is also experimental consisting of computer parametric studies on window design from two standpoints, namely daylighting level and thermal effects of windows in desert houses. A typical traditional house is described as it was observed. Then the recorded light values are presented and commented upon. In the second part, three types of modern houses observed in the field studies are presented and compared to the traditional archetype. The comparison especially dwells on the relative effectiveness of the two systems of daylighting. In the third part, focusing on various issues of lighting, the results of interviews with the inhabitants are presented. The historical studies indicate that the process of housing development, in several respects, has reached a certain quality (social, technology, and adaptation to climate) appropriate to the local original context, but that development has slowed down. The results of the lighting study indicate that the use of more windows in modern houses

  4. NOUR. Daylighting and thermal effects of windows in desert houses

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ouahrani, Djamel

    1999-07-01

    This study is on a combined effect of window, the daylighting and the thermal effects, in desert houses. It is comprised of two complementary studies. In the introduction a historical review on the development of using daylight has been carried out in order to place the case study in a historical perspective. The first study is comprehensive and contains two main parts. In the first part a study was carried out on the people and history of the town of Ghardaia in Southern Algeria. This was done in order to understand the architectural form of that region. The second part is experimental and consists of two field studies carried out in Ghardaia. Their aim was to investigate the influence of daylight and temperature on the use of residential houses. This investigation included both traditional and 'modern' houses, the modern having relatively large windows similar to those of the northern part of Algeria, the traditional ones having small or no windows. The second study is also experimental consisting of computer parametric studies on window design from two standpoints, namely daylighting level and thermal effects of windows in desert houses. A typical traditional house is described as it was observed. Then the recorded light values are presented and commented upon. In the second part, three types of modern houses observed in the field studies are presented and compared to the traditional archetype. The comparison especially dwells on the relative effectiveness of the two systems of daylighting. In the third part, focusing on various issues of lighting, the results of interviews with the inhabitants are presented. The historical studies indicate that the process of housing development, in several respects, has reached a certain quality (social, technology, and adaptation to climate) appropriate to the local original context, but that development has slowed down. The results of the lighting study indicate that the use of more windows in modern houses constitutes a

  5. Apparent Brecciation Gradient, Mount Desert Island, Maine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hawkins, A. T.; Johnson, S. E.

    2004-05-01

    Mount Desert Island, Maine, comprises a shallow level, Siluro-Devonian igneous complex surrounded by a distinctive breccia zone ("shatter zone" of Gilman and Chapman, 1988). The zone is very well exposed on the southern and eastern shores of the island and provides a unique opportunity to examine subvolcanic processes. The breccia of the Shatter Zone shows wide variation in percent matrix and clast, and may represent a spatial and temporal gradient in breccia formation due to a single eruptive or other catastrophic volcanic event. The shatter zone was divided into five developmental stages based on the extent of brecciation: Bar Harbor Formation, Sols Cliffs breccia, Seeley Road breccia, Dubois breccia, and Great Head breccia. A digital camera was employed to capture scale images of representative outcrops using a 0.5 m square Plexiglas frame. Individual images were joined in Adobe Photoshop to create a composite image of each outcrop. The composite photo was then exported to Adobe Illustrator, which was used to outline the clasts and produce a digital map of the outcrop for analysis. The fractal dimension (Fd) of each clast was calculated using NIH Image and a Euclidean distance mapping method described by Bérubé and Jébrak (1999) to quantify the morphology of the fragments, or the complexity of the outline. The more complex the fragment outline, the higher the fractal dimension, indicating that the fragment is less "mature" or has had less exposure to erosional processes, such as the injection of an igneous matrix. Sols Cliffs breccia has an average Fd of 1.125, whereas Great Head breccia has an average Fd of 1.040, with the stages between having intermediate values. The more complex clasts of the Sols Cliffs breccia with a small amount (26.38%) of matrix material suggests that it is the first stage in a sequence of brecciation ending at the more mature, matrix-supported (71.37%) breccia of Great Head. The results of this study will be used to guide isotopic

  6. Overview about polluted sites management by mining activities in coastal-desertic zones

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reyes, Arturo; Letelier, María Victoria; Arenas, Franko; Cuevas, Jacqueline; Fuentes, Bárbara

    2016-04-01

    In Chile the main mining operations as well as artisanal and small-scale mining (copper, gold and silver) are located in desert areas. A large number of abandoned polluted sites with heavy metals and metalloids (Hg, Pb, Cu, Sb, As) remain in coastal areas close to human centers. The aim of this work was to identify the best remediation alternatives considering the physic-chemical characteristics of the coastal-desertic soils. The concentrations of above mentioned pollutants as well as soil properties were determined. The results showed variable concentration of the pollutants, highest detected values were: Hg (46.5 mg kg-1), Pb (84.7 mg kg-1), Cu (283.0 mg kg-1), Sb (90 mg kg-1), As (2,691 mg kg-1). The soils characteristic were: high alkalinity with pH: 7.75-9.66, high electric conductivity (EC: 1.94-118 mScm-1), sodium adsorption ratio (SAR: 5.07-8.22) and low permeability of the soils. Coastal-desertic sites are potential sources of pollution for population, and for terrestrial and marine ecosystems. Exposure routes of pollution for the population include: primary, by incidental ingestion and inhalation of soil and dust and secondary, by the ingestion of marine sediments, sea food and seawater. Rehabilitation of coastal-desertic sites, by using techniques like soil washing in situ, chemical stabilization, or phytostabilization, is conditioned by physic-chemical properties of the soils. In these cases the recommendation for an appropriate management, remediation and use of the sites includes: 1) physic chemical characterization of the soils, 2) evaluation of environmental risk, 3) education of the population and 3) application of a remediation technology according to soil characteristic and the planned use of the sites. Acknowledgments: Funding for this study was supported by the Regional Council of Antofagasta under Project Estudio de ingeniería para la remediación de sitios abandonados con potencial presencia de contaminantes identificados en la comuna de

  7. Volcanic materials superconductivity in desert areas of the states of Sonora and Baja California

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Holguín, Aldo

    2017-01-01

    Research was conducted to find materials in their natural state at room temperature and exhibit the effects of superconductivity in the volcanic region of deserts Altar in Sonora and Baja California Norte. 100 were collected at random samples of materials from different parts of the region and underwent tests to determine their electromagnetic parameters of electrical resistance, magnetism, temperature and conductivity. Only it has been found that the effects of superconductivity in them is only present at very low temperatures corroborating what has been done in other investigations, however no indication that there is a material or combination of materials that can produce the effects of superconductivity other temperatures so it is suggested to continue the search for such materials and / or develop a technique at room temperature to allow mimic the behavior of atoms when superconductivity occurs at. (paper)

  8. Exploring the brown dwarf desert: new substellar companions from the SDSS-III MARVELS survey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grieves, Nolan; Ge, Jian; Thomas, Neil; Ma, Bo; Sithajan, Sirinrat; Ghezzi, Luan; Kimock, Ben; Willis, Kevin; De Lee, Nathan; Lee, Brian; Fleming, Scott W.; Agol, Eric; Troup, Nicholas; Paegert, Martin; Schneider, Donald P.; Stassun, Keivan; Varosi, Frank; Zhao, Bo; Jian, Liu; Li, Rui; Porto de Mello, Gustavo F.; Bizyaev, Dmitry; Pan, Kaike; Dutra-Ferreira, Letícia; Lorenzo-Oliveira, Diego; Santiago, Basílio X.; da Costa, Luiz N.; Maia, Marcio A. G.; Ogando, Ricardo L. C.; del Peloso, E. F.

    2017-06-01

    Planet searches using the radial velocity technique show a paucity of companions to solar-type stars within ˜5 au in the mass range of ˜10-80 MJup. This deficit, known as the brown dwarf desert, currently has no conclusive explanation. New substellar companions in this region help assess the reality of the desert and provide insight to the formation and evolution of these objects. Here, we present 10 new brown dwarf and 2 low-mass stellar companion candidates around solar-type stars from the Multi-object APO Radial Velocity Exoplanet Large-Area Survey (MARVELS) of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey III. These companions were selected from processed MARVELS data using the latest University of Florida Two Dimensional pipeline, which shows significant improvement and reduction of systematic errors over previous pipelines. The 10 brown dwarf companions range in mass from ˜13 to 76 MJup and have orbital radii of less than 1 au. The two stellar companions have minimum masses of ˜98 and 100 MJup. The host stars of the MARVELS brown dwarf sample have a mean metallicity of [Fe/H] = 0.03 ± 0.08 dex. Given our stellar sample we estimate the brown dwarf occurrence rate around solar-type stars with periods less than ˜300 d to be ˜0.56 per cent.

  9. Groundwater geochemistry of nile delta-desert interface 1.isotope hydrology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hussein, M.F.; Nada, A.A.; Awad, M.A.

    1995-01-01

    Sustenance and environmental protection of groundwater supply is of major concern in the integral environmental development in the arid to sub-arid regions in the Nile basin. Isotope data ( 18O , 2H and 3H ) of groundwater in the west of the Nile delta indicates the contribution of palaeo groundwater component (in the range 0.1 - 0.8 with means of 0.39 and 0.52 for tahrir and khatatbah, respectively) along with sub recent recharge from the delta aquifer and recent recharge from irrigation conveyance canals in desert. Isotope mixing model (developed as Two-input table using excel TM spreads heat on apple Macintosh TM) is proposed to explain the apparent discrepancies in groundwater isotopic composition of khatatbah and tahrir areas assuming the contribution of two isotopically different palaeo-oples with two isotopically similar maind delta groundwater poles. About 0.30% 1 8 O depletion per 10 Km downstream is detected and low northward groundwater recharge is suggested along 75 Km of the western strip of rosetta Nile. Higher sub-recent recharge from the main delta aquifer is believed to take place in khatatbah than tahrir whereas the last is believed to be replenished at present from the irrigation/ drainage network and irrigated fields with higher pollution risk for groundwater system in tahrir aquifer is exposed to northern marine intrusion. Lowering of the piezo metric level is to be expected in the newly exploited desertic areas under over pumping. 9 figs

  10. Survival of a planet in short-period Neptunian desert under effect of photoevaporation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ionov, Dmitry E.; Pavlyuchenkov, Yaroslav N.; Shematovich, Valery I.

    2018-06-01

    Despite the identification of a great number of Jupiter-like and Earth-like planets at close-in orbits, the number of `hot Neptunes' - the planets with 0.6-18 times of Neptune mass and orbital periods less than 3 d - turned out to be very small. The corresponding region in the mass-period distribution was assigned as the `short-period Neptunian desert'. The common explanation of this fact is that the gaseous planet with few Neptune masses would not survive in the vicinity of host star due to intensive atmosphere outflow induced by heating from stellar radiation. To check this hypothesis, we performed numerical simulations of atmosphere dynamics for a hot Neptune. We adopt the previously developed self-consistent 1D model of hydrogen-helium atmosphere with suprathermal electrons accounted. The mass-loss rates as a function of orbital distances and stellar ages are presented. We conclude that the desert of short-period Neptunes could not be entirely explained by evaporation of planet atmosphere caused by the radiation from a host star. For the less massive Neptune-like planet, the estimated upper limits of the mass-loss may be consistent with the photoevaporation scenario, while the heavier Neptune-like planets could not lose the significant mass through this mechanism. We also found the significant differences between our numerical results and widely used approximate estimates of the mass-loss.

  11. Determination of phase compositions in ceramics from Gobi desert using complementary diffraction techniques

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gilles, R.; Hoelzel, M.; Siouris, I.M.; Katsavounis, S.; Visser, D.; Brunelli, M.

    2013-01-01

    The city Khara Khoto is located in the Gobi desert in Inner Mongolia. This city was deserted in the late 14th century and rediscovered in the beginning of the 20th century. In the present study, ceramic sherds typical for the Khara Khoto area have been analysed using neutrons, laboratory X-ray diffraction, synchrotron radiation X-ray diffraction as well as optical microscopy as complementary probes in extracting information on the mineral phase compositions as well as on the firing conditions during the pottery production. The data evaluation was performed with the standard diffraction analysis package GSAS and the new developed program AmPhOrAe. The dominating phase is mullite (∼60 %) compared to a variable mixture of SiO 2 quartz and cristobalite phases (∼35 %) and feldspar as a minority phase. Refiring experiments on one of the sherds allow estimating the firing temperatures of the ceramics within the region of 1,150 and 1,250 deg C. (author)

  12. Legal immigrants: invasion of alien microbial communities during winter occurring desert dust storms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weil, Tobias; De Filippo, Carlotta; Albanese, Davide; Donati, Claudio; Pindo, Massimo; Pavarini, Lorenzo; Carotenuto, Federico; Pasqui, Massimiliano; Poto, Luisa; Gabrieli, Jacopo; Barbante, Carlo; Sattler, Birgit; Cavalieri, Duccio; Miglietta, Franco

    2017-03-10

    A critical aspect regarding the global dispersion of pathogenic microorganisms is associated with atmospheric movement of soil particles. Especially, desert dust storms can transport alien microorganisms over continental scales and can deposit them in sensitive sink habitats. In winter 2014, the largest ever recorded Saharan dust event in Italy was efficiently deposited on the Dolomite Alps and was sealed between dust-free snow. This provided us the unique opportunity to overcome difficulties in separating dust associated from "domestic" microbes and thus, to determine with high precision microorganisms transported exclusively by desert dust. Our metagenomic analysis revealed that sandstorms can move not only fractions but rather large parts of entire microbial communities far away from their area of origin and that this microbiota contains several of the most stress-resistant organisms on Earth, including highly destructive fungal and bacterial pathogens. In particular, we provide first evidence that winter-occurring dust depositions can favor a rapid microbial contamination of sensitive sink habitats after snowmelt. Airborne microbial depositions accompanying extreme meteorological events represent a realistic threat for ecosystem and public health. Therefore, monitoring the spread and persistence of storm-travelling alien microbes is a priority while considering future trajectories of climatic anomalies as well as anthropogenically driven changes in land use in the source regions.

  13. Three-dimensional geologic mapping of the Cenozoic basin fill, Amargosa Desert basin, Nevada and California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, Emily M.; Sweetkind, Donald S.

    2014-01-01

    Understanding the subsurface geologic framework of the Cenozoic basin fill that underlies the Amargosa Desert in southern Nevada and southeastern California has been improved by using borehole data to construct three-dimensional lithologic and interpreted facies models. Lithologic data from 210 boreholes from a 20-kilometer (km) by 90-km area were reduced to a limited suite of descriptors based on geologic knowledge of the basin and distributed in three-dimensional space using interpolation methods. The resulting lithologic model of the Amargosa Desert basin portrays a complex system of interfingered coarse- to fine-grained alluvium, playa and palustrine deposits, eolian sands, and interbedded volcanic units. Lithologic units could not be represented in the model as a stacked stratigraphic sequence due to the complex interfingering of lithologic units and the absence of available time-stratigraphic markers. Instead, lithologic units were grouped into interpreted genetic classes, such as playa or alluvial fan, to create a three-dimensional model of the interpreted facies data. Three-dimensional facies models computed from these data portray the alluvial infilling of a tectonically formed basin with intermittent internal drainage and localized regional groundwater discharge. The lithologic and interpreted facies models compare favorably to resistivity, aeromagnetic, and geologic map data, lending confidence to the interpretation.

  14. Desert Perennial Shrubs Shape the Microbial-Community Miscellany in Laimosphere and Phyllosphere Space.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martirosyan, Varsik; Unc, Adrian; Miller, Gad; Doniger, Tirza; Wachtel, Chaim; Steinberger, Yosef

    2016-10-01

    Microbial function, composition, and distribution play a fundamental role in ecosystem ecology. The interaction between desert plants and their associated microbes is expected to greatly affect their response to changes in this harsh environment. Using comparative analyses, we studied the impact of three desert shrubs, Atriplex halimus (A), Artemisia herba-alba (AHA), and Hammada scoparia (HS), on soil- and leaf-associated microbial communities. DNA extracted from the leaf surface and soil samples collected beneath the shrubs were used to study associated microbial diversity using a sequencing survey of variable regions of bacterial 16S rRNA and fungal ribosomal internal transcribed spacer (ITS1). We found that the composition of bacterial and fungal orders is plant-type-specific, indicating that each plant type provides a suitable and unique microenvironment. The different adaptive ecophysiological properties of the three plant species and the differential effect on their associated microbial composition point to the role of adaptation in the shaping of microbial diversity. Overall, our findings suggest a link between plant ecophysiological adaptation as a "temporary host" and the biotic-community parameters in extreme xeric environments.

  15. Pollination ecology of the rare desert species Eremosparton songoricum (Fabaceae

    Science.gov (United States)

    The pollination ecology of Eremosparton songoricum (Litv.) Vass., a rare desert species endemic to central Asia, was examined by a series of observational studies and manipulative experiments in two natural populations during 2007–2008. Results showed that the duration of flowering lasted 21 and 23 ...

  16. Ecological and evolutionary physiology of desert birds : A progress report

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Williams, JB; Tieleman, BI

    The adaptive significance of mechanisms of energy and water conservation among species of desert rodents, which avoid temperature extremes by remaining within a burrow during the day, is well established. Conventional wisdom holds that arid-zone birds, diurnal organisms that endure the brunt of

  17. Electricity from the desert; Strom aus der Wueste

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schwarzburger, Heiko; Ullrich, Sven

    2013-06-15

    The North African sun seems ideal for photovoltaic use. However, photovoltaic modules must withstand extreme loads in the desert. [German] Die Sonne Nordafrikas scheint ideal fuer die Photovoltaik-Nutzung. Jedoch muessen Photovoltaik-Module in der Wueste extremen Belastungen standhalten.

  18. Cutaneous adenocarcinoma in a desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ashraf Abu-Seida

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available This report describes the clinical and histopathological findings of a rare case of cutaneous adenocarcinoma in a 40-year-old desert tortoise. Surgical excision of the neoplasm improved the general health condition and locomotion of the tortoise although recurrence of the neoplasm had been recorded 1 year post-surgery.

  19. Antimicrobial Screening of Some Exotic Tree Species of Rajasthan Desert

    OpenAIRE

    B.B.S. Kapoor* and Shelja Pandita

    2013-01-01

    Antimicrobial screening of ethyl ether and alcoholic extracts of leaves of four selected exotic tree species growing inRajasthan Desert was carried out. Colophospermum mopane, Holoptelea integrifolia, Kigelia pinnata andPutranjiva roxburghii showed positive reactions against bacterial pathogens i.e. Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichiacoli and a fungal pathogen Candida albicans.

  20. Energetics and water relations ofN amib desert rodents

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    and the possible effects of advective fog on the water balance of the .... Table 2 Energy balance of Namib desert rodents in the laboratory on a diet of air-dried bird seed and with, and with, ad lib water. .... responding mercury thermometer.

  1. Analysis of "The Wonderful Desert." Technical Report No. 170.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, G. M.; And Others

    This report presents a text analysis of "The Wonderful Desert," a brief selection from the "Reader's Digest Skill Builder" series. (The techniques used in arriving at the analysis are presented in a Reading Center Technical Report, Number 168, "Problems and Techniques of Text Analysis.") Tables are given for a…

  2. Academic Performance, School Desertion and Emotional Paradigm in University Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sosa, Emma Rosa Cruz; Barrientos, Laura Gática; Castro, Patricia Eugenia García; García, Jesús Hernández

    2010-01-01

    The present work aims to describe academic performance, school desertion and the emotional paradigm of the university students of the accounting school of the Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla (FCPBUAP). We have found that low academic performance is related to students' economic deficiency, which affects their concentration on their…

  3. Biology of larks (Aves: Alaudidae) in the central Namib Desert ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The biology of six species of larks in the Namib Desert near Walvis Bay, South West Africa, was studied in 1964, 1965 and 1966. 2. All species reproduced following rainfall in summer and autumn months, with the appearance of green grass and abundant insects on which the birds fed. 3. The primarily insectivorous species ...

  4. Learning Desert Geomorphology Virtually versus in the Field

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stumpf, Richard J., II; Douglass, John; Dorn, Ronald I.

    2008-01-01

    Statistical analyses of pre-test and post-test results, as well as qualitative insight obtained by essays, compared introductory physical geography college students who learned desert geomorphology only virtually, in the field and both ways. With the exception of establishing geographic context, the virtual field trip was statistically…

  5. Extreme Arthropods: Exploring Evolutionary Adaptations to Polar and Temperate Deserts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sandro, Luke; Constible, Juanita M.; Lee, Richard E., Jr.

    2007-01-01

    In this activity, Namib and Antarctic arthropods are used to illustrate several important biological principles. Among these are the key ideas that form follows function and that the environment drives evolution. In addition, students will discover that the climates of the Namib Desert and the Antarctic Peninsula are similar in several ways, and…

  6. Is climate change mitigation the best use of desert shrublands?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Susan E. Meyer

    2011-01-01

    In a world where the metrics of the carbon economy have become a major issue, it may come as a surprise that intact cold desert shrublands can sequester significant amounts of carbon, both as biomass and in the form of SOC (soil organic carbon). Xerophytic shrubs invest heavily in belowground biomass, placing fixed carbon in an environment where it turns over only very...

  7. Ecology and utilization of desert shrub rangelands in Iraq

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Thalen, Derk Catharinus Peter

    1979-01-01

    When grazing is the accepted land use, vegetation is the key resource. The present study deals with the desert shrub rangelands of lraq, which contain the major characteristics of such an area, having been under grazing for many centuries. Emphasis is given to the ecology and utilization of the

  8. Distribution and status of the desert-dwelling giraffe ( Giraffa ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The population density and distribution of desert dwelling giraffes was estimated in three study areas in the Hoanib River catchment, northwestern Namibia. Giraffe population densities (0.01 giraffe/km2) were equal to the lowest recorded in Africa with population numbers fluctuating over past decades. Sex ratios, herd sizes ...

  9. Impacts of tracked vehicles on sediment from a desert soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erek H. Fuchs; Karl M. Wood; Tim L. Jones; Brent Racher

    2003-01-01

    Off-road military vehicle traffic is a major consideration in the management of military lands. The objective of this study was to determine the impacts of military tracked M1A1 heavy combat tank vehicles on sediment loss from runoff, surface plant cover, and surface microtopography in a desert military training environment. A randomized block design was used which had...

  10. Hydrogeologic inferences from drillers' logs and from gravity and resistivity surveys in the Amargosa Desert, southern Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Oatfield, W.J.; Czarnecki, J.B.

    1989-01-01

    The Amargosa Desert of southern Nevada, in the Basin and Range province, is hydraulically downgradient from Yucca Mountain, the potential site of a repository for high-level nuclear waste. Ground-water flow paths and flow rates beneath the Amargosa Desert are controlled in part by the total saturated thickness and the hydraulic properties of basin-fill alluvial sediments. Drillers' logs of water wells completed in alluvium were analyzed to help characterize the hydrogeologic framework underlying the Amargosa Desert. Fractions of coarse-grained sediments, calculated from each of these logs, were contoured using a universal-kriging routine to interpolate values. Results from a previous electrical sounding survey also were contoured, including the estimated depth to Paleozoic basement rocks. The vertical electric sounding results were obtained from individual depth-to-resistivity profiles, from which the average resistivity of the total profile and the resistivity of the upper 75 meters were calculated. the distribution and variations in average resistivity of the total depth correlated reasonably well with the distribution of variations in regional gravity. 24 refs., 17 figs

  11. Experimental and numerical investigations of soil water balance at the hinterland of the Badain Jaran Desert for groundwater recharge estimation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hou, Lizhu; Wang, Xu-Sheng; Hu, Bill X.; Shang, Jie; Wan, Li

    2016-09-01

    Quantification of groundwater recharge from precipitation in the huge sand dunes is an issue in accounting for regional water balance in the Badain Jaran Desert (BJD) where about 100 lakes exist between dunes. In this study, field observations were conducted on a sand dune near a large saline lake in the BJD to investigate soil water movement through a thick vadose zone for groundwater estimation. The hydraulic properties of the soils at the site were determined using in situ experiments and laboratory measurements. A HYDRUS-1D model was built up for simulating the coupling processes of vertical water-vapor movement and heat transport in the desert soil. The model was well calibrated and validated using the site measurements of the soil water and temperature at various depths. Then, the model was applied to simulate the vertical flow across a 3-m-depth soil during a 53-year period under variable climate conditions. The simulated flow rate at the depth is an approximate estimation of groundwater recharge from the precipitation in the desert. It was found that the annual groundwater recharge would be 11-30 mm during 1983-2012, while the annual precipitation varied from 68 to 172 mm in the same period. The recharge rates are significantly higher than those estimated from the previous studies using chemical information. The modeling results highlight the role of the local precipitation as an essential source of groundwater in the BJD.

  12. Experimental study on water transport observations of desert riparian forests in the lower reaches of the Tarim River in China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Yaning; Li, Weihong; Zhou, Honghua; Chen, Yapeng; XinmingHao; Fu, Aihong; Ma, Jianxin

    2017-06-01

    Studying the water use processes of desert riparian vegetation in arid regions and analyzing the response and adaptation strategies of plants to drought stress are of great significance for developing ecological restoration measures. Based on field monitoring and test analyses of physiological ecological indicators of dominant species (Populus euphratica and Tamarix chinensis) in the desert riparian forest in the lower reaches of the Tarim River, the water relations of P. euphratica and T. chinensis under drought stress are discussed and some water use strategies put forward. The results show that (1) concerning plant water uptake, desert riparian forests depend mainly on groundwater to survive under long-term water stress. (2) Concerning plant water distribution, the survival of P. euphratica and nearby shallow root plants is mainly due to the hydraulic lift and water redistribution of P. euphratica under drought stress. (3) Concerning plant water transport, P. euphratica sustains the survival of competitive and advantageous branches by improving their ability to acquire water while restraining the growth of inferior branches. (4) Concerning plant transpiration, the sap flow curves of daily variations of P. euphratica and T. chinensis were wide-peak sin and narrower-peak respectively. T. chinensis has better environmental adaptability.

  13. Habitat Effect on Allometry of a Xeric Shrub (Artemisia ordosica Krasch in the Mu Us Desert of Northern China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Weiwei She

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Allometric models are useful for assessment of aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP and aboveground biomass (AGB of forests and shrubs, and are widely implemented in forest inventory and management. Multiple forms of allometric models have been used to estimate vegetation carbon storage for desert shrubland, but their validity for biomass estimation has not been tested at a region scale with different habitats. To verify the validity of habitat-specific models, general models (combining data from all habitats/sites, and previously developed models for biomass prediction, we developed both general models and habitat-specific models for aboveground biomass and ANPP of Artemisia ordosica Krasch, a dominant shrub of the Mu Us Desert. Our results showed that models based on crown area or canopy volume consistently explained large parts of the variations in aboveground biomass and ANPP. Model fitting highlighted that general allometric models were inadequate across different habitats, and habitat-specific models were useful for that specific habitat. Previous models might be inappropriate for other sites because of site quality differences. There was a strong habitat effect on the allometric relationships of A. ordosica. Although our study is a case in point, the results indicate that allometric models for desert shrubs should be used with caution and require robust validation if adopted from other studies or applied to different sites/habitats.

  14. Desert dust and anthropogenic aerosol interactions in the Community Climate System Model coupled-carbon-climate model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. Mahowald

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Coupled-carbon-climate simulations are an essential tool for predicting the impact of human activity onto the climate and biogeochemistry. Here we incorporate prognostic desert dust and anthropogenic aerosols into the CCSM3.1 coupled carbon-climate model and explore the resulting interactions with climate and biogeochemical dynamics through a series of transient anthropogenic simulations (20th and 21st centuries and sensitivity studies. The inclusion of prognostic aerosols into this model has a small net global cooling effect on climate but does not significantly impact the globally averaged carbon cycle; we argue that this is likely to be because the CCSM3.1 model has a small climate feedback onto the carbon cycle. We propose a mechanism for including desert dust and anthropogenic aerosols into a simple carbon-climate feedback analysis to explain the results of our and previous studies. Inclusion of aerosols has statistically significant impacts on regional climate and biogeochemistry, in particular through the effects on the ocean nitrogen cycle and primary productivity of altered iron inputs from desert dust deposition.

  15. Goods and services provided by native plants in desert ecosystems: Examples from the northwestern coastal desert of Egypt

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laila M. Bidak

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available About one third of the earth’s land surface is covered by deserts that have low and variable rainfall, nutrient-poor soils, and little vegetation cover. Here, we focus on the goods and services offered by desert ecosystems using the northwestern coastal desert of Egypt extending from Burg El-Arab to El-Salloum as an example. We conducted field surveys and collected other data to identify the goods services and provided by native plant species. A total of 322 native plant species were compiled. The direct services provided by these native plants included sources of food, medicine, and energy; indirect vegetation services included promotion of biodiversity, water storage, and soil fertility. The plant diversity in this ecosystem provided economic service benefits, such as sources of fodder, fuel-wood, and traditional medicinal plants. Changes in land use and recent ill-managed human activities may influence the availability of these services and strongly impact biodiversity and habitat availability. Although deserts are fragile and support low levels of productivity, they provide a variety of goods and services whose continuing availability is contingent upon the adoption of rational land management practices.

  16. Effects of subsidized predators, resource variability, and human population density on desert tortoise populations in the Mojave Desert, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esque, Todd C.; Nussear, Kenneth E.; Drake, K. Kristina; Walde, Andrew D.; Berry, Kristin H.; Averill-Murray, Roy C.; Woodman, A. Peter; Boarman, William I.; Medica, Phil A.; Mack, Jeremy S.; Heaton, Jill S.

    2010-01-01

    Understanding predator–prey relationships can be pivotal in the conservation of species. For 2 decades, desert tortoise Gopherus agassizii populations have declined, yet quantitative evidence regarding the causes of declines is scarce. In 2005, Ft. Irwin National Training Center, California, USA, implemented a translocation project including 2 yr of baseline monitoring of desert tortoises. Unusually high predation on tortoises was observed after translocation occurred. We conducted a retrospective analysis of predation and found that translocation did not affect the probability of predation: translocated, resident, and control tortoises all had similar levels of predation. However, predation rates were higher near human population concentrations, at lower elevation sites, and for smaller tortoises and females. Furthermore, high mortality rates were not limited to the National Training Center. In 2008, elevated mortality (as high as 43%) occurred throughout the listed range of the desert tortoise. Although no temporal prey base data are available for analysis from any of the study sites, we hypothesize that low population levels of typical coyote Canis latrans prey (i.e. jackrabbits Lepus californicus and other small animals) due to drought conditions influenced high predation rates in previous years. Predation may have been exacerbated in areas with high levels of subsidized predators. Many historical reports of increased predation, and our observation of a range-wide pattern, may indicate that high predation rates are more common than generally considered and may impact recovery of the desert tortoise throughout its range.

  17. Moisture availability over the past five centuries indicated by carbon isotopes of Tamarix taklamakanensis leaves in a nebkha profile in the Central Taklimakan Desert, NW China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lang, Lili; Wang, Xunming; Hua, Ting; Zhang, Caixia

    2013-12-01

    We inferred moisture availability changes from 1555 to 2010 in the Central Taklimakan Desert (NW China) using Chinese tamarisk (Tamarix taklamakanensis) litter deposited within a nebkha that developed in this region. The litter δ13C trends revealed fluctuations of moisture availability: From 1555 to 1785, moisture availability was higher than the long-term average, but from 1555 to 1570, 1585 to 1620, 1640 to 1660, 1675 to 1700, and 1730 to 1755, this region experienced periods with lower than average moisture availability. From 1785 to 1850, significant moisture availability changes occurred, and the region experienced the lowest moisture availability since 1555. From 1850 to the present, the δ13C trends suggested that moisture availability increased. Our results also showed that although moisture availability in this region is controlled by precipitation and evaporation in the Central Taklimakan Desert, temperature variations in the adjacent Kunlun Mountains (whose glacier and snowmelt runoff are dominant water sources for the study area) were potentially more important. Water from these mountains plays an important role in moisture availability due the region’s extremely low precipitation. In addition, although previous studies suggested that the Tarim Basin and its adjacent areas experienced a wet climate for the past several centuries, this suggestion was inconsistent with the reconstructed moisture availability changes in the Central Taklimakan Desert. The moisture availability in the Central Taklimakan was more closely related to temperature variations in the adjacent mountain regions.

  18. Remote sensing and geophysical investigations of Moghra Lake in the Qattara Depression, Western Desert, Egypt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khan, Shuhab D.; Fathy, Mohamed S.; Abdelazeem, Maha

    2014-02-01

    The Western Desert covers two-thirds of the land area of Egypt and occupies one of the driest regions of the Sahara. Seven depressions within the desert - Siwa, Qattara, Fayum, Bahariya, Farafra, Dakhla, and Kharga - may represent parts of old drainage systems with deflation, extensive erosion, and possibly, some tectonic activity. Oases with freshwater exist in these depressions. Geological and geophysical investigations in the Qattara Depression indicate the presence of buried fluvial channels with southeast to northwest flow directions from the highland areas. The origin of these fluvial systems, as well as the origin of the depressions themselves, is still unresolved, and many ideas have been suggested. Moghra Lake at the northeastern tip of the Qattara basin may be a remnant of a larger paleolake, including the mouth of a paleo-river. We present here the results of our recent work in this area using ALOS PALSAR radar remote sensing data, which indicated the presence of buried channels that may have fed the larger Moghra paleolake. Ground penetrating radar (GPR) data along 2D profiles were acquired; the migrated GPR sections identified a major paleochannel with numerous minor channels at its margins. GPR interpretations are verified by field observations, trenching, and stratigraphic information from outcrop data. Potential field analyses identify possible aquifers that are controlled by regional structures. Density contrasts within the sedimentary units, physical boundaries of uplifted basement blocks and depths to causative sources were also identified. This work contributes to the reconstruction of paleodrainage of this region and helps in understanding processes involved in the formation of the Qattara Depression.

  19. Genetic population structure of the desert shrub species lycium ruthenicum inferred from chloroplast dna

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chen, H.; Yonezawa, T.

    2014-01-01

    Lycium ruthenicum (Solananeae), a spiny shrub mostly distributed in the desert regions of north and northwest China, has been shown to exhibit high tolerance to the extreme environment. In this study, the phylogeography and evolutionary history of L. ruthenicum were examined, on the basis of 80 individuals from eight populations. Using the sequence variations of two spacer regions of chloroplast DNA (trnH-psbA and rps16-trnK) , the absence of a geographic component in the chloroplast DNA genetic structure was identified (GST = 0.351, NST = 0.304, NST< GST), which was consisted with the result of SAMOVA, suggesting weak phylogeographic structure of this species. Phylogenetic and network analyses showed that a total of 10 haplotypes identified in the present study clustered into two clades, in which clade I harbored the ancestral haplotypes that inferred two independent glacial refugia in the middle of Qaidam Basin and the western Inner Mongolia. The existence of regional evolutionary differences was supported by GENETREE, which revealed that one of the population in Qaidam Basin and the two populations in Tarim Basin had experienced rapid expansion, and the other populations retained relatively stable population size during the Pleistocene . Given the results of long-term gene flow and pairwise differences, strong gene flow was insufficient to reduce the genetic differentiation among populations or within populations, probably due to the genetic composition containing a common haplotype and the high number of private haplotypes fixed for most of the population. The divergence times of different lineages were consistent with the rapid uplift phases of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau and the initiation and expansion of deserts in northern China, suggesting that the origin and evolution of L. ruthenicum were strongly influenced by Quaternary environment changes. (author)

  20. Analysis of Seasonal and Annual Change of Vegetation in the Indian Thar Desert Using Modis Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santra, P.; Chkraborty, A.

    2011-09-01

    The western part of India, specifically the dry region, will play an important role in determining the Indian monsoon and even global climate patterns. Drastically change in land use pattern of the region has been observed during last few decades. In this paper, an effort was made to track the seasonal as well as annual changes of vegetation pattern in Jaisalmer district using MODIS normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) products. Apart from this, ground data on vegetation were also collected under vegetation carbon pool assessment programme of ISRO-IGBP. It was found that during the hot summer month of May, the area under NDVI class 0-0.1 is reduced from 98% during 2003 to 95% during 2009 with a simultaneous increase in area under NDVI class 0.1-0.2 from 2 to 5%. During the month of September, area under NDVI class 0.2-0.3 increased from almost negligible during May to 34-39% during normal or surplus rainfall year but only to 3% during a deficit year. From the ground data on vegetation biomass, it was found that Prosopis juliflora and Acacia senegal are the most abundant trees in Jaisalmer region of the desert. The sites with NDVI value ≥ 0.2 were mostly found with Prosopis juliflora tree. Among shrubs, the most abundant species was Calotropis procera and Zizyphus numularia. From this study, it has been found that MODIS NDVI products may be used to quickly assess the vegetation changes in response to rainfall as well as due to anthroprogenic interventions in desert.

  1. The Mojave Desert: A Martian Analog Site for Future Astrobiology Themed Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salas, E.; Abbey, W.; Bhartia, R.; Beegle, L. W.

    2011-01-01

    Astrobiological interest in Mars is highlighted by evidence that Mars was once warm enough to have liquid water present on its surface long enough to create geologic formations that could only exist in the presense of extended fluvial periods. These periods existed at the same time life on Earth arose. If life began on Mars as well during this period, it is reasonable to assume it may have adapted to the subsurface as environments at the surface changed into the inhospitable state we find today. If the next series of Mars missions (Mars Science Laboratory, the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter proposed for launch in 2016, and potential near surface sample return) fail to discover either extinct or extant life on Mars, a subsurface mission would be necessary to attempt to "close the book" on the existence of martian life. Mars is much colder and drier than Earth, with a very low pressure CO2 environment and no obvious habitats. Terrestrial regions with limited precipitation, and hence reduced active biota, are some of the best martian low to mid latitude analogs to be found on Earth, be they the Antarctic dry valleys, the Atacama or Mojave Deserts. The Mojave Desert/Death Valley region is considered a Mars analog site by the Terrestrial Analogs Panel of the NSF-sponsored decadal survey; a field guide was even developed and a workshop was held on its applicability as a Mars analog. This region has received a great deal of attention due to its accessibility and the variety of landforms and processes observed relevant to martian studies.

  2. An electrified dust storm over the Negev desert, Israel

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yair, Yoav; Katz, Shai; Yaniv, Roy; Ziv, Baruch; Price, Colin

    2016-11-01

    We report on atmospheric electrical measurements conducted at the Wise Observatory in Mitzpe-Ramon, Israel (30°35‧N, 34°45‧E) during a large dust storm that occurred over the Eastern Mediterranean region on 10-11 February 2015. The dust was transported from the Sahara, Egypt and the Sinai Peninsula ahead of an approaching Cyprus low. Satellite images show the dust plume covering the Negev desert and Southern Israel and moving north. The concentrations of PM10 particles measured by the air-quality monitoring network of the Israeli Ministry of the Environment in Beer-Sheba reached values > 450 μg m- 3 and the AOT from the AERONET station in Sde-Boker was 1.5 on February 10th. The gradual intensification of the event reached peak concentrations on February 11th of over 1200 μg m- 3 and an AOT of 1.8. Continuous measurements of the fair weather vertical electric field (Ez) and vertical current density (Jz) were conducted at the Wise Observatory with 1 minute temporal resolution. Meteorological data was also recorded at the site. As the dust was advected over the observatory, very large fluctuations in the electrical parameters were registered. From the onset of the dust storm, the Ez values changed between + 1000 and + 8000 V m- 1 while the current density fluctuated between - 10 pA m2 and + 20 pA m2, both on time-scales of a few minutes. These values are significant departures from the average fair-weather values measured at the site, which are ~- 200 V m- 1 and ~ 2 pA m2. The disturbed episodes lasted for several hours on February 10th and the 11th and coincided with local meteorological conditions related to the wind speed and direction, which carried large amounts of dust particles over our observation station. We interpret the rapid changes as caused by the transport of electrically charged dust, carrying an excess of negative charge at lower altitudes.

  3. Inverted stream channels in the Western Desert of Egypt: Synergistic remote, field observations and laboratory analysis on Earth with applications to Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zaki, Abdallah S.; Pain, Colin F.; Edgett, Kenneth S.; Giegengack, Robert

    2018-07-01

    Inverted relief landforms occur in numerous regions on Mars, ranging in age from Noachian to more recent Amazonian periods (channel features on Earth form, and the geologic records they preserve in arid settings, can yield insights into the development of inverted landforms on Mars. Inverted channel landforms in the Western Desert of Egypt are well represented across an area of ∼27,000 km2. We investigated inverted channel features at seven sites using remotely-sensed data, field observations, and lab analysis. Inverted channel features in the Western Desert record fluvial environments of differing scales and ages. They developed mainly via inversion of cemented valley floor sediment, but there is a possibility that inverted fluvial landforms in the Dakhla Depression might have been buried, lithified, and exhumed. A few examples, in the southeastern part of the Western Desert, record, instead, a resistance to erosion caused by surface armouring of uncemented valley floor sediment. We show that the grain-size distribution for investigated and reviewed inverted channels is highly variable, with boulders that are commonly 0.35 - 1 m in size; large particles provide high porosity that influences the cementation mechanism. The studied inverted channel sediments are mainly cemented with ferricrete, calcrete, gypcrete, and silcrete. Inverted channels are valuable for the reconstruction of paleoclimate cycles or episodes on Earth and Mars; observations from the Western Desert, when offered as analogs, add to the growing list of Earth examples that provide suites of observables relevant to reconstruction of paleoenvironmental conditions on Mars.

  4. Oasis deposits in the southern margin of the Taklimakan Desert and abrupt environmental changes during the last 30 ka

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shu, P.; Li, B.; Wang, H.; Cheng, P.; An, Z.; Zhou, W.; Zhang, D. D.

    2017-12-01

    Taklimakan Desert, the largest arid landform in the Eurasia, is one of the most important dust sources in the world. Growing evidences shows that millennial-scale abrupt climate changes during the last glacial period in the region. However, records on millennial-scale climate and environmental changes remain poorly understood because dating eolian, lacustrine, and fluvial sediments and establishing the reliable environmental proxies from these records are always challenging. Here, we present 32 AMS 14C dates of bulk sediments, grain size, and Rb/Sr ratio parameters from the oasis sequence and dates of bulk loess and charcoal from the upstream source regions to examine the significance of oasis sediments on millennial-scale environmental changes in the Taklimakan Desert. We found that substantial reversal of radiocarbon dates on total organic carbon (TOC) was controlled by source region organic carbon input. Loess hills, alpine meadow north of the study region provided fluvial deposits along drainage system and deflation in the river valleys further provide eolain materials. We argue that early oasis deposits experienced deflation and re-deposition less severe than the younger oasis deposits. After refining radiocarbon age-depth relationships for an age model by Bacon package, proxy records show substantial abrupt fluctuations in climate and environments during the last glacial period, among which three wet intervals, two dry periods are identified. The wetter and warmer conditions during the Holocene facilitated human to occupy the oasis.

  5. Implications of high altitude desert dust transport from Western Sahara to Nile Delta during biomass burning season

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Prasad, Anup K., E-mail: aprasad@chapman.ed [School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Schmid College of Science, Chapman University, Orange, CA 92866 (United States); Center of Excellence in Earth Observing, Chapman University, Orange, CA 92866 (United States); El-Askary, Hesham [School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Schmid College of Science, Chapman University, Orange, CA 92866 (United States); Center of Excellence in Earth Observing, Chapman University, Orange, CA 92866 (United States); Department of Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Science, Alexandria University, Moharem Bek, Alexandria 21522 (Egypt); National Authority for Remote Sensing and Space Science (NARSS), Cairo (Egypt); Kafatos, Menas [School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Schmid College of Science, Chapman University, Orange, CA 92866 (United States); Center of Excellence in Earth Observing, Chapman University, Orange, CA 92866 (United States)

    2010-11-15

    The air over major cities and rural regions of the Nile Delta is highly polluted during autumn which is the biomass burning season, locally known as black cloud. Previous studies have attributed the increased pollution levels during the black cloud season to the biomass or open burning of agricultural waste, vehicular, industrial emissions, and secondary aerosols. However, new multi-sensor observations (column and vertical profiles) from satellites, dust transport models and associated meteorology present a different picture of the autumn pollution. Here we show, for the first time, the evidence of long range transport of dust at high altitude (2.5-6 km) from Western Sahara and its deposition over the Nile Delta region unlike current Models. The desert dust is found to be a major contributor to the local air quality which was previously considered to be due to pollution from biomass burning enhanced by the dominant northerly winds coming from Europe. - New evidence of desert dust transport from Western Sahara to Nile Delta during black cloud season and its significance for regional aerosols, dust models, and potential impact on the regional climate.

  6. Implications of high altitude desert dust transport from Western Sahara to Nile Delta during biomass burning season

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Prasad, Anup K.; El-Askary, Hesham; Kafatos, Menas

    2010-01-01

    The air over major cities and rural regions of the Nile Delta is highly polluted during autumn which is the biomass burning season, locally known as black cloud. Previous studies have attributed the increased pollution levels during the black cloud season to the biomass or open burning of agricultural waste, vehicular, industrial emissions, and secondary aerosols. However, new multi-sensor observations (column and vertical profiles) from satellites, dust transport models and associated meteorology present a different picture of the autumn pollution. Here we show, for the first time, the evidence of long range transport of dust at high altitude (2.5-6 km) from Western Sahara and its deposition over the Nile Delta region unlike current Models. The desert dust is found to be a major contributor to the local air quality which was previously considered to be due to pollution from biomass burning enhanced by the dominant northerly winds coming from Europe. - New evidence of desert dust transport from Western Sahara to Nile Delta during black cloud season and its significance for regional aerosols, dust models, and potential impact on the regional climate.

  7. Dramatic Demand Reduction In The Desert Southwest

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Boehm, Robert [Univ. of Nevada, Las Vegas, NV (United States); Hsieh, Sean [Univ. of Nevada, Las Vegas, NV (United States); Lee, Joon [Univ. of Nevada, Las Vegas, NV (United States); Baghzouz, Yahia [Univ. of Nevada, Las Vegas, NV (United States); Cross, Andrew [Univ. of Nevada, Las Vegas, NV (United States); Chatterjee, Sarah [NV Energy, Las Vegas, NV (United States)

    2015-07-06

    This report summarizes a project that was funded to the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV), with subcontractors Pulte Homes and NV Energy. The project was motivated by the fact that locations in the Desert Southwest portion of the US demonstrate very high peak electrical demands, typically in the late afternoons in the summer. These high demands often require high priced power to supply the needs, and the large loads can cause grid supply problems. An approach was proposed through this contact that would reduce the peak electrical demands to an anticipated 65% of what code-built houses of the similar size would have. It was proposed to achieve energy reduction through four approaches applied to a development of 185 homes in northwest part of Las Vegas named Villa Trieste. First, the homes would all be highly energy efficient. Secondly, each house would have a PV array installed on it. Third, an advanced demand response technique would be developed to allow the resident to have some control over the energy used. Finally, some type of battery storage would be used in the project. Pulte Homes designed the houses. The company considered initial cost vs. long-term savings and chose options that had relatively short paybacks. HERS (Home Energy Rating Service) ratings for the homes are approximately 43 on this scale. On this scale, code-built homes rate at 100, zero energy homes rate a 0, and Energy Star homes are 85. In addition a 1.764 Wp (peak Watt) rated PV array was used on each house. This was made up of solar shakes that were in visual harmony with the roofing material used. A demand response tool was developed to control the amount of electricity used during times of peak demand. While demand response techniques have been used in the utility industry for some time, this particular approach is designed to allow the customer to decide the degree of participation in the response activity. The temperature change in the residence can be decided by the residents by

  8. Managing Fire in the Northern Chihuahuan Desert: A Review and Analysis of the Literature

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gebow, Brooke S.; Halvorson, William L.

    2005-01-01

    Executive Summary This report began as a literature review (Gebow and Halvorson 2001) conducted for fire planners at Carlsbad Caverns National Park who were seeking information about (1) the natural state of park vegetation, (2) northern Chihuahuan Desert natural fire regimes, and (3) fire effects on park plant species. It is the goal of managers there to continue to refine the wildland and prescribed fire program as they learn more about the ecosystems at the park.The park has a history of grazing and then fire suppression in the 20th century. The current effort revisits questions asked by earlier workers at the park, Walter Kittams and Gary Ahlstrand, who began fire studies in the 1970s. This document addresses ecosystems and historical change to those systems in Chihuahuan Desert areas of southeast Arizona, southern New Mexico, west Texas, or in neighboring regions that share the same plant species. It examines fire literature for situations possibly analogous to those at Carlsbad Caverns. It also includes papers that offer advice on extrapolating future ecological trends from past ones (Swetnam et al. 1999) and on resource management decision-making (Grumbine 1997), and other pieces that address broader aspects of fire or landscape change (Goldman 1994; Marston 1996; Mutch 1994, 1995). These more philosophical works were included in the original review at the park's request and have been retained here because they discuss other issues relevant to fire management. Individual reviews of 35 papers, as requested originally by Carlsbad Caverns, appear in Appendix 1. The results section-summary of key findings-discusses historical changes to plant communities then focuses on burn intervals observed or recommended by workers for particular plant communities. Results from a search of the USDA Forest Service's Fire Effects Information System (www.fs.fed.us/database/feis) are also included in this report, supplemented with information from a review conducted by Ahlstrand

  9. Coupled Environmental Processes and Long-term Performance of Landfill Covers in the northern Mojave Desert

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    David Shafer; Michael Young; Stephen Zitzer; Eric McDonald; Todd Caldwell

    2004-05-12

    Evapotransiration (ET) covers have gained widespread acceptance as a closure feature for waste disposal sites, particularly in the arid and semi-arid regions of the southwestern U.S. But as landforms, ET covers are subject to change over time because of processes such as pedogenesis, hydrologic processes, vegetation establishment and change, and biological processes. To better understand the effects of coupled process changes to ET covers, a series of four primary analog sites in Yucca Flat on the Nevada Test Site, along with measurements and observations from other locations in the Mojave Desert, were selected to evaluate changes in ET covers over time. The analog sites, of varying ages, were selected to address changes in the early post-institutional control period, the 1,000-year compliance period for disposal of low-level and mixed low-level waste, and the 10,000-year compliance period for transuranic waste sites.

  10. Long-Term Monitoring of Desert Land and Natural Resources and Application of Remote Sensing Technologies

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hamada, Yuki [Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States); Rollins, Katherine E. [Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)

    2016-11-01

    Monitoring environmental impacts over large, remote desert regions for long periods of time can be very costly. Remote sensing technologies present a promising monitoring tool because they entail the collection of spatially contiguous data, automated processing, and streamlined data analysis. This report provides a summary of remote sensing products and refinement of remote sensing data interpretation methodologies that were generated as part of the U.S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Land Management Solar Energy Program. In March 2015, a team of researchers from Argonne National Laboratory (Argonne) collected field data of vegetation and surface types from more than 5,000 survey points within the eastern part of the Riverside East Solar Energy Zone (SEZ). Using the field data, remote sensing products that were generated in 2014 using very high spatial resolution (VHSR; 15 cm) multispectral aerial images were validated in order to evaluate potential refinements to the previous methodologies to improve the information extraction accuracy.

  11. Hydration status and diurnal trophic interactions shape microbial community function in desert biocrusts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Minsu; Or, Dani

    2017-12-01

    Biological soil crusts (biocrusts) are self-organised thin assemblies of microbes, lichens, and mosses that are ubiquitous in arid regions and serve as important ecological and biogeochemical hotspots. Biocrust ecological function is intricately shaped by strong gradients of water, light, oxygen, and dynamics in the abundance and spatial organisation of the microbial community within a few millimetres of the soil surface. We report a mechanistic model that links the biophysical and chemical processes that shape the functioning of biocrust representative microbial communities that interact trophically and respond dynamically to cycles of hydration, light, and temperature. The model captures key features of carbon and nitrogen cycling within biocrusts, such as microbial activity and distribution (during early stages of biocrust establishment) under diurnal cycles and the associated dynamics of biogeochemical fluxes at different hydration conditions. The study offers new insights into the highly dynamic and localised processes performed by microbial communities within thin desert biocrusts.

  12. Coupled Environmental Processes and Long-term Performance of Landfill Covers in the northern Mojave Desert

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    David Shafer; Michael Young; Stephen Zitzer; Eric McDonald; Todd Caldwell

    2004-01-01

    Evapotransiration (ET) covers have gained widespread acceptance as a closure feature for waste disposal sites, particularly in the arid and semi-arid regions of the southwestern U.S. But as landforms, ET covers are subject to change over time because of processes such as pedogenesis, hydrologic processes, vegetation establishment and change, and biological processes. To better understand the effects of coupled process changes to ET covers, a series of four primary analog sites in Yucca Flat on the Nevada Test Site, along with measurements and observations from other locations in the Mojave Desert, were selected to evaluate changes in ET covers over time. The analog sites, of varying ages, were selected to address changes in the early post-institutional control period, the 1,000-year compliance period for disposal of low-level and mixed low-level waste, and the 10,000-year compliance period for transuranic waste sites

  13. Hydration status and diurnal trophic interactions shape microbial community function in desert biocrusts

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Kim

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Biological soil crusts (biocrusts are self-organised thin assemblies of microbes, lichens, and mosses that are ubiquitous in arid regions and serve as important ecological and biogeochemical hotspots. Biocrust ecological function is intricately shaped by strong gradients of water, light, oxygen, and dynamics in the abundance and spatial organisation of the microbial community within a few millimetres of the soil surface. We report a mechanistic model that links the biophysical and chemical processes that shape the functioning of biocrust representative microbial communities that interact trophically and respond dynamically to cycles of hydration, light, and temperature. The model captures key features of carbon and nitrogen cycling within biocrusts, such as microbial activity and distribution (during early stages of biocrust establishment under diurnal cycles and the associated dynamics of biogeochemical fluxes at different hydration conditions. The study offers new insights into the highly dynamic and localised processes performed by microbial communities within thin desert biocrusts.

  14. Desert Mazâr: Sacred Sites in Western China (Essay to Accompany Photo Essay

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rahilä Dawut

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Despite its reputation as one of the most inhospitable areas in the world, the Tarim Basin has been home to thriving agricultural and mercantile communities since the early centuries of the Common Era, when oasis cities were linked in a lucrative network of Eurasian trade. Today, the Tarim is home to China’s Uyghurs, a Turkic-speaking Muslim community whose ancestral ties to the region date back to at least the ninth century CE. For them, the Taklamakan is sacred land, enveloping the political and religious heroes of a storied past who are buried in countless mausoleums (in Uyghur: mazâr that dot the desert landscape. It is the power believed to emanate from these shrines that New York–based photographer Lisa Ross has captured so vividly in her images over the course of several journeys to China’s west.

  15. Diversity and richness of benthic insects in three cold desert spring-streams

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gaines, W.L.; Cushing, C.E. [Pacific Northwest Lab., Richland, WA (United States)

    1993-05-01

    The authors examined species diversity and richness in three cold desert spring-streams, and showed that species diversity was similar and species richness was lower than in similar-size streams from other and or semi-arid regions. Species diversity in the spring-streams increased with increasing stream size and substratum diversity, but declined as distance increased from the nearest large source. However, this latter relationship is difficult to quantify because the nearest large source was the Columbia River, or one of its reservoirs, that has environmental conditions very different from those found in the study streams. It is more likely that the main source of colonizers for the spring-streams studied were other nearby small springs that could provide sources or stepping stone habitats for colonizers. Species diversity declined after winter spates, and the low species diversity and richness values appear to be greatly influenced by these events.

  16. Thresholds of Detection and Identification of Halite Nodule Habitats in the Atacama Desert Using Remote Imaging

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phillips, M. S.; Moersch, J. E.; Cabrol, N. A.; Davila, A. F.

    2018-01-01

    The guiding theme of Mars exploration is shifting from global and regional habitability assessment to biosignature detection. To locate features likely to contain biosignatures, it is useful to focus on the reliable identification of specific habitats with high biosignature preservation potential. Proposed chloride deposits on Mars may represent evaporitic environments conducive to the preservation of biosignatures. Analogous chloride- bearing, salt-encrusted playas (salars) are a habitat for life in the driest parts of the Atacama Desert, and are also environments with a taphonomic window. The specific geologic features that harbor and preserve microorganisms in Atacama salars are sub- meter to meter scale salt protuberances, or halite nodules. This study focuses on the ability to recognize and map halite nodules using images acquired from an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) at spatial resolutions ranging from mm/pixel to that of the highest resolution orbital images available for Mars.

  17. Mid-Holocene Climate and Culture Change in the Atacama Desert, Northern Chile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grosjean, Martin; Núñez, Lautaro; Cartajena, Isabel; Messerli, Bruno

    1997-09-01

    Twenty archaeological campsites intercalated between more than 30 debris flows caused by heavy rainfall events between 6200 and 3100 14C yr B.P. have recently been discovered at Quebrada Puripica in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile. This record provides detailed information about extreme, short-lived climatic events during the hyperarid mid-Holocene period. For the first time, we found evidence of continuous human occupation in this area, filling the regional hiatus in the Atacama basin ("Silencio Arqueologico") between 8000 and 4800 14C yr B.P. The transformation of Early Archaic hunters into the complex Late Archaic cultural tradition was an adaptive process. During this time, the site was a local ecological refuge with abundant resources in a generally hostile environment.

  18. Remote sensing experiment in West Africa. [drought effects on desert agriculture and vegetation in Niger

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macleod, N. H.

    1974-01-01

    There are substantial needs of the Sahelien Zone to detail the state of regional agricultural resources in the face of a sixth year of serious drought conditions. While most of the work has been done in the Republic of Niger, the principles which have emerged from the analysis seem to be applicable to much of the Sahel. The discussion relates to quite specific rehabilitation and development initiations under consideration in Niger which are based in part upon direct analysis of ERTS imagery of the country, in part on field surveys and on discussions with Nigerian officials and technicians. Again, because the entire Sahelien Zone (including Niger) has large zones of similar ecologic characteristics, modificiations of the approaches suggested for Niger are applicable to the solution of rehabilitation of the desert, the savannah and the woodlands of West Africa in general.

  19. Water-table fluctuations in the Amargosa Desert, Nye County, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Paces, James B.; Whelan, Joseph

    2001-01-01

    Pleistocene ground-water discharge deposits approximately 20 km southwest of Yucca Mountain were previously thought to represent pluvial water-table rises of 80 to 120 m. Data from new boreholes at two of the three discharge sites indicate that the modern water-table is at depths of only 17 to 30 m and that this shallow water is part of the regional ground-water flow system rather than being perched. Calcite in equilibrium with this modern ground water would have isotopic compositions similar to those in Pleistocene calcite associated with the discharge deposits. Carbon and uranium isotopes in both ground water and discharge deposits imply that past discharge consisted of a mixture of both shallow and deep ground water. These data limit Pleistocene water-table fluctuations at the specified Amargosa Desert discharge sites to between 17 and 30 m and eliminate the need to invoke large water-table rises

  20. Reference intervals and physiologic alterations in hematologic and biochemical values of free-ranging desert tortoises in the Mojave Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christopher, Mary M.; Berry, Kristin H.; Wallis, I.R.; Nagy, K.A.; Henen, B.T.; Peterson, C.C.

    1999-01-01

    Desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) populations have experienced precipitous declines resulting from the cumulative impact of habitat loss, and human and disease-related mortality. Evaluation of hematologic and biochemical responses of desert tortoises to physiologic and environmental factors can facilitate the assessment of stress and disease in tortoises and contribute to management decisions and population recovery. The goal of this study was to obtain and analyze clinical laboratory data from free-ranging desert tortoises at three sites in the Mojave Desert (California, USA) between October 1990 and October 1995, to establish reference intervals, and to develop guidelines for the interpretation of laboratory data under a variety of environmental and physiologic conditions. Body weight, carapace length, and venous blood samples for a complete blood count and clinical chemistry profile were obtained from 98 clinically healthy adult desert tortoises of both sexes at the Desert Tortoise Research Natural area (western Mojave), Goffs (eastern Mojave) and Ivanpah Valley (northeastern Mojave). Samples were obtained four times per year, in winter (February/March), spring (May/June), summer (July/August), and fall (October). Years of near-, above- and below-average rainfall were represented in the 5 yr period. Minimum, maximum and median values, and central 95 percentiles were used as reference intervals and measures of central tendency for tortoises at each site and/or season. Data were analyzed using repeated measures analysis of variance for significant (P < 0.01) variation on the basis of sex, site, season, and interactions between these variables. Significant sex differences were observed for packed cell volume, hemoglobin concentration, aspartate transaminase activity, and cholesterol, triglyceride, calcium, and phosphorus concentrations. Marked seasonal variation was observed in most parameters in conjunction with reproductive cycle, hibernation, or seasonal

  1. Aircraft and satellite remote sensing of desert soils and landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petersen, G. W.; Connors, K. F.; Miller, D. A.; Day, R. L.; Gardner, T. W.

    1987-01-01

    Remote sensing data on desert soils and landscapes, obtained by the Landsat TM, Heat Capacity Mapping Mission (HCMM), Simulated SPOT, and Thermal IR Multispectral Scanner (TIMS) aboard an aircraft, are discussed together with the analytical techniques used in the studies. The TM data for southwestern Nevada were used to discriminate among the alluvial fan deposits with different degrees of desert pavement and varnish, and different vegetation cover. Thermal-IR data acquired from the HCMM satellite were used to map the spatial distribution of diurnal surface temperatures and to estimate mean annual soil temperatures in central Utah. Simulated SPOT data for northwestern New Mexico identified geomorphic features, such as differences in eolian sand cover and fluvial incision, while the TIMS data depicted surface geologic features of the Saline Valley in California.

  2. Relative abundance of desert tortoises on the Nevada Test Site

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rautenstrauch, K.R.; O'Farrell, T.P.

    1993-01-01

    Seven hundred fifty-nine transects having a total length of 1,191 km were walked during 1981--1986 to determine the distribution and relative abundance of desert tortoises (Gopherus agassizii) on the Nevada Test Site (NTS). The abundance of tortoises on NTS was low to very low relative to other populations in the Mojave Desert. Sign of tortoises was found from 880 to 1,570 m elevation and was more abundant above 1,200 m than has been reported previously for Nevada. Tortoises were more abundant on NTS on the upper alluvial fans and slopes of mountains than in valley bottoms. They also were more common on or near limestone and dolomite mountains than on mountains of volcanic origin

  3. Who Needs Religion When You Have The Desert?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sørensen, Bent

    In my paper I propose to read so-called ‘post-ironic’ texts by authors associated with the Blank Generation and Generation X (including Bret Easton Ellis and Douglas Coupland, as well as less well-known authors such as K.S. Haddock) and examine their use of the desert as a trope for identity...... testing and summation. Perhaps surprisingly, one finds in novels such as Ellis’ Less Than Zero (1984) and Coupland’s Generation X (1991) a reliance on desert locations to provide an alternative to the numerous non-places (in Marc Augé’s sense of the term) that otherwise make up the setting of these works....

  4. Biotechnological Applications Derived from Microorganisms of the Atacama Desert

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Armando Azua-Bustos

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The Atacama Desert in Chile is well known for being the driest and oldest desert on Earth. For these same reasons, it is also considered a good analog model of the planet Mars. Only a few decades ago, it was thought that this was a sterile place, but in the past years fascinating adaptations have been reported in the members of the three domains of life: low water availability, high UV radiation, high salinity, and other environmental stresses. However, the biotechnological applications derived from the basic understanding and characterization of these species, with the notable exception of copper bioleaching, are still in its infancy, thus offering an immense potential for future development.

  5. Ancient photosynthetic eukaryote biofilms in an Atacama Desert coastal cave

    Science.gov (United States)

    Azua-Bustos, A.; Gonzalez-Silva, C.; Mancilla, R.A.; Salas, L.; Palma, R.E.; Wynne, J.J.; McKay, C.P.; Vicuna, R.

    2009-01-01

    Caves offer a stable and protected environment from harsh and changing outside prevailing conditions. Hence, they represent an interesting habitat for studying life in extreme environments. Here, we report the presence of a member of the ancient eukaryote red algae Cyanidium group in a coastal cave of the hyperarid Atacama Desert. This microorganism was found to form a seemingly monospecific biofilm growing under extremely low photon flux levels. Our work suggests that this species, Cyanidium sp. Atacama, is a new member of a recently proposed novel monophyletic lineage of mesophilic "cave" Cyanidium sp., distinct from the remaining three other lineages which are all thermo-acidophilic. The cave described in this work may represent an evolutionary island for life in the midst of the Atacama Desert. ?? Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2009.

  6. Field Performance of Photovoltaic Systems in the Tucson Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orsburn, Sean; Brooks, Adria; Cormode, Daniel; Greenberg, James; Hardesty, Garrett; Lonij, Vincent; Salhab, Anas; St. Germaine, Tyler; Torres, Gabe; Cronin, Alexander

    2011-10-01

    At the Tucson Electric Power (TEP) solar test yard, over 20 different grid-connected photovoltaic (PV) systems are being tested. The goal at the TEP solar test yard is to measure and model real-world performance of PV systems and to benchmark new technologies such as holographic concentrators. By studying voltage and current produced by the PV systems as a function of incident irradiance, and module temperature, we can compare our measurements of field-performance (in a harsh desert environment) to manufacturer specifications (determined under laboratory conditions). In order to measure high-voltage and high-current signals, we designed and built reliable, accurate sensors that can handle extreme desert temperatures. We will present several benchmarks of sensors in a controlled environment, including shunt resistors and Hall-effect current sensors, to determine temperature drift and accuracy. Finally we will present preliminary field measurements of PV performance for several different PV technologies.

  7. Local extinction and unintentional rewilding of bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis on a desert island.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benjamin T Wilder

    Full Text Available Bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis were not known to live on Tiburón Island, the largest island in the Gulf of California and Mexico, prior to the surprisingly successful introduction of 20 individuals as a conservation measure in 1975. Today, a stable island population of ∼500 sheep supports limited big game hunting and restocking of depleted areas on the Mexican mainland. We discovered fossil dung morphologically similar to that of bighorn sheep in a dung mat deposit from Mojet Cave, in the mountains of Tiburón Island. To determine the origin of this cave deposit we compared pellet shape to fecal pellets of other large mammals, and extracted DNA to sequence mitochondrial DNA fragments at the 12S ribosomal RNA and control regions. The fossil dung was 14C-dated to 1476-1632 calendar years before present and was confirmed as bighorn sheep by morphological and ancient DNA (aDNA analysis. 12S sequences closely or exactly matched known bighorn sheep sequences; control region sequences exactly matched a haplotype described in desert bighorn sheep populations in southwest Arizona and southern California and showed subtle differentiation from the extant Tiburón population. Native desert bighorn sheep previously colonized this land-bridge island, most likely during the Pleistocene, when lower sea levels connected Tiburón to the mainland. They were extirpated sometime in the last ∼1500 years, probably due to inherent dynamics of isolated populations, prolonged drought, and (or human overkill. The reintroduced population is vulnerable to similar extinction risks. The discovery presented here refutes conventional wisdom that bighorn sheep are not native to Tiburón Island, and establishes its recent introduction as an example of unintentional rewilding, defined here as the introduction of a species without knowledge that it was once native and has since gone locally extinct.

  8. Local extinction and unintentional rewilding of bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis) on a desert island

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilder, Benjamin T.; Betancourt, Julio L.; Epps, Clinton W.; Crowhurst, Rachel S.; Mead, Jim I.; Ezcurra, Exequiel

    2014-01-01

    Bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis) were not known to live on Tiburón Island, the largest island in the Gulf of California and Mexico, prior to the surprisingly successful introduction of 20 individuals as a conservation measure in 1975. Today, a stable island population of ~500 sheep supports limited big game hunting and restocking of depleted areas on the Mexican mainland. We discovered fossil dung morphologically similar to that of bighorn sheep in a dung mat deposit from Mojet Cave, in the mountains of Tiburón Island. To determine the origin of this cave deposit we compared pellet shape to fecal pellets of other large mammals, and extracted DNA to sequence mitochondrial DNA fragments at the 12S ribosomal RNA and control regions. The fossil dung was 14C-dated to 1476–1632 calendar years before present and was confirmed as bighorn sheep by morphological and ancient DNA (aDNA) analysis. 12S sequences closely or exactly matched known bighorn sheep sequences; control region sequences exactly matched a haplotype described in desert bighorn sheep populations in southwest Arizona and southern California and showed subtle differentiation from the extant Tiburón population. Native desert bighorn sheep previously colonized this land-bridge island, most likely during the Pleistocene, when lower sea levels connected Tiburón to the mainland. They were extirpated sometime in the last ~1500 years, probably due to inherent dynamics of isolated populations, prolonged drought, and (or) human overkill. The reintroduced population is vulnerable to similar extinction risks. The discovery presented here refutes conventional wisdom that bighorn sheep are not native to Tiburón Island, and establishes its recent introduction as an example of unintentional rewilding, defined here as the introduction of a species without knowledge that it was once native and has since gone locally extinct.

  9. Local Extinction and Unintentional Rewilding of Bighorn Sheep (Ovis canadensis) on a Desert Island

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilder, Benjamin T.; Betancourt, Julio L.; Epps, Clinton W.; Crowhurst, Rachel S.; Mead, Jim I.; Ezcurra, Exequiel

    2014-01-01

    Bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis) were not known to live on Tiburón Island, the largest island in the Gulf of California and Mexico, prior to the surprisingly successful introduction of 20 individuals as a conservation measure in 1975. Today, a stable island population of ∼500 sheep supports limited big game hunting and restocking of depleted areas on the Mexican mainland. We discovered fossil dung morphologically similar to that of bighorn sheep in a dung mat deposit from Mojet Cave, in the mountains of Tiburón Island. To determine the origin of this cave deposit we compared pellet shape to fecal pellets of other large mammals, and extracted DNA to sequence mitochondrial DNA fragments at the 12S ribosomal RNA and control regions. The fossil dung was 14C-dated to 1476–1632 calendar years before present and was confirmed as bighorn sheep by morphological and ancient DNA (aDNA) analysis. 12S sequences closely or exactly matched known bighorn sheep sequences; control region sequences exactly matched a haplotype described in desert bighorn sheep populations in southwest Arizona and southern California and showed subtle differentiation from the extant Tiburón population. Native desert bighorn sheep previously colonized this land-bridge island, most likely during the Pleistocene, when lower sea levels connected Tiburón to the mainland. They were extirpated sometime in the last ∼1500 years, probably due to inherent dynamics of isolated populations, prolonged drought, and (or) human overkill. The reintroduced population is vulnerable to similar extinction risks. The discovery presented here refutes conventional wisdom that bighorn sheep are not native to Tiburón Island, and establishes its recent introduction as an example of unintentional rewilding, defined here as the introduction of a species without knowledge that it was once native and has since gone locally extinct. PMID:24646515

  10. Fifty years after Welles and Welles: Distribution and genetic structure of Desert Bighorn Sheep in Death Valley National Park

    Science.gov (United States)

    Epps, Clinton W.; Wehausen, John D.; Sloan, William B.; Holt, Stacy; Creech, Tyler G.; Crowhurst, Rachel S.; Jaeger, Jef R.; Longshore, Kathleen M.; Monello, Ryan J.

    2013-01-01

    The status of desert bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis nelsoni) populations in the mountains around Death Valley was first evaluated in 1938, shortly after designation of Death Valley National Monument. However, the most comprehensive evaluation of bighorn sheep in the region was conducted by Ralph and Florence Welles during 1955-1961. They documented patterns of use at water sources and other focal areas around Death Valley and roughly estimated numbers of bighorn sheep from observational data. Data collection on bighorn sheep in the area since that time has

  11. Estimates of primary productivity over the Thar Desert based upon Nimbus-7 37 GHz data - 1979-1985

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choudhury, B. J.

    1987-01-01

    An empirical relationship has been determined between the difference of vertically and horizontally polarized brightness temperatures noted at the 37 GHz frequency of the Nimbus-7 SMMR and primary productivity over hot arid and semiarid regions of Africa and Australia. This empirical relationship is applied to estimate the primary productivity over the Thar Desert between 1979 and 1985, giving an average value of 0.271 kg/sq m per yr. The spatial variability of the productivity values is found to be quite significant, with a standard deviation about the mean of 0.08 kg/sq m per yr.

  12. Phylogeographic and population genetic structure of bighorn sheep ( Ovis canadensis ) in North American deserts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buchalski, Michael R; Sacks, Benjamin N; Gille, Daphne A; Penedo, Maria Cecilia T; Ernest, Holly B; Morrison, Scott A; Boyce, Walter M

    2016-06-09

    Fossil data are ambiguous regarding the evolutionary origin of contemporary desert bighorn sheep ( Ovis canadensis subspecies). To address this uncertainty, we conducted phylogeographic and population genetic analyses on bighorn sheep subspecies found in southwestern North America. We analyzed 515 base pairs of mtDNA control region sequence and 39 microsatellites in 804 individuals from 58 locations. Phylogenetic analyses revealed 2 highly divergent clades concordant with Sierra Nevada ( O. c. sierrae ) and Rocky Mountain ( O. c. canadensis ) bighorn and showed that these 2 subspecies both diverged from desert bighorn prior to or during the Illinoian glaciation (~315-94 thousand years ago [kya]). Desert bighorn comprised several more recently diverged haplogroups concordant with the putative Nelson ( O. c. nelsoni ), Mexican ( O. c. mexicana ), and Peninsular ( O. c. cremnobates ) subspecies. Corresponding estimates of effective splitting times (~17-3 kya), and haplogroup ages (~85-72 kya) placed the most likely timeframe for divergence among desert bighorn subspecies somewhere within the last glacial maximum. Median-joining haplotype network and Bayesian skyline analyses both indicated that desert bighorn collectively comprised a historically large and haplotype-diverse population, which subsequently lost much of its diversity through demographic decline. Using microsatellite data, discriminant analysis of principle components (DAPC) and Bayesian clustering analyses both indicated genetic structure concordant with the geographic distribution of 3 desert subspecies. Likewise, microsatellite and mitochondrial-based F ST comparisons revealed significant fixation indices among the desert bighorn genetic clusters. We conclude these desert subspecies represent ancient lineages likely descended from separate Pleistocene refugial populations and should therefore be managed as distinct taxa to preserve maximal biodiversity. Los datos de fósiles sobre el origen evolutivo

  13. Desert Wadis and Smoke from Kuwait Oil Fires, Saudi Arabia

    Science.gov (United States)

    1991-01-01

    Smoke from the Kuwait Oil Fires obscures the view of the desert wadis, Saudi Arabia (29.5N, 42.5E). During the brief Gulf war between Iraq and the Allied forces, many of the oil wells in Kuwait wer