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Sample records for sonoran pronghorns antilocapra

  1. Pronghorn (Antilocapra americana) Reintroduction and Management Plan [DRAFT

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of the Interior — Pronghorn (Antilocapra americana) have been a component of North America’s grasslands for millions of years and have thus created a niche for themselves in remaining...

  2. 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.

  3. Assessment of Pronghorn movements and strategies to promote highway permeability : US Highway 89.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-05-01

    Pronghorn (Antilocapra americana) movements were investigated with Global Position System (GPS) : telemetry from 2007 to 2008 along a 28-mile stretch of U.S. Highway 89 in northern Arizona to develop : strategies to enhance permeability with future h...

  4. social scents in hand-reared pronghorn (antilocapra americana)

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    )_ Hand-raised ... the yearlings was presented three times in the S.:lme fashion, and finally that or the other yearling. This amounted to nine .... simultaneously with the appearance of the dorsal scent in the males. Also, at S days of age males. R.

  5. Running energetics in the pronghorn antelope.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindstedt, S L; Hokanson, J F; Wells, D J; Swain, S D; Hoppeler, H; Navarro, V

    1991-10-24

    The pronghorn antelope (Antilocapra americana) has an alleged top speed of 100 km h-1, second only to the cheetah (Acionyx jubatus) among land vertebrates, a possible response to predation in the exposed habitat of the North American prairie. Unlike cheetahs, however, pronghorn antelope are distance runners rather than sprinters, and can run 11 km in 10 min, an average speed of 65 km h-1. We measured maximum oxygen uptake in pronghorn antelope to distinguish between two potential explanations for this ability: either they have evolved a uniquely high muscular efficiency (low cost of transport) or they can supply oxygen to the muscles at unusually high levels. Because the cost of transport (energy per unit distance covered per unit body mass) varies as a predictable function of body mass among terrestrial vertebrates, we can calculate the predicted cost to maintain speeds of 65 and 100 km h-1 in an average 32-kg animal. The resulting range of predicted values, 3.2-5.1 ml O2 kg-1 s-1, far surpasses the predicted maximum aerobic capacity of a 32-kg mammal (1.5 ml O2 kg-1 s-1). We conclude that their performance is achieved by an extraordinary capacity to consume and process enough oxygen to support a predicted running speed greater than 20 ms-1 (70 km h-1), attained without unique respiratory-system structures.

  6. Effects of climate change on long-term population growth of pronghorn in an arid environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gedir, Jay V.; Cain, James W.; Harris, Grant; Turnbull, Trey T.

    2015-01-01

    Climate often drives ungulate population dynamics, and as climates change, some areas may become unsuitable for species persistence. Unraveling the relationships between climate and population dynamics, and projecting them across time, advances ecological understanding that informs and steers sustainable conservation for species. Using pronghorn (Antilocapra americana) as an ecological model, we used a Bayesian approach to analyze long-term population, precipitation, and temperature data from 18 populations in the southwestern United States. We determined which long-term (12 and 24 months) or short-term (gestation trimester and lactation period) climatic conditions best predicted annual rate of population growth (λ). We used these predictions to project population trends through 2090. Projections incorporated downscaled climatic data matched to pronghorn range for each population, given a high and a lower atmospheric CO2 concentration scenario. Since the 1990s, 15 of the pronghorn populations declined in abundance. Sixteen populations demonstrated a significant relationship between precipitation and λ, and in 13 of these, temperature was also significant. Precipitation predictors of λ were highly seasonal, with lactation being the most important period, followed by early and late gestation. The influence of temperature on λ was less seasonal than precipitation, and lacked a clear temporal pattern. The climatic projections indicated that all of these pronghorn populations would experience increased temperatures, while the direction and magnitude of precipitation had high population-specific variation. Models predicted that nine populations would be extirpated or approaching extirpation by 2090. Results were consistent across both atmospheric CO2 concentration scenarios, indicating robustness of trends irrespective of climatic severity. In the southwestern United States, the climate underpinning pronghorn populations is shifting, making conditions increasingly

  7. Diet composition, quality and overlap of sympatric American pronghorn and gemsbok

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cain, James W.; Avery, Mindi M.; Caldwell, Colleen A.; Abbott, Laurie B.; Holechek, Jerry L.

    2017-01-01

    Species with a long evolutionary history of sympatry often have mechanisms for resource partitioning that reduce competition. However, introduced non-native ungulates often compete with native ungulates and competitive effects can be exacerbated in arid regions due to low primary productivity. Our objectives were to characterize diet composition, quality, and overlap between American pronghorn Antilocapra americana and introduced non-native gemsbok Oryx gazella in southcentral New Mexico, USA. Severe drought occurred between 2010 and 2011, which allowed us to evaluate drought impacts on diet composition, quality, and overlap. Using feces collected from each species, we assessed diet composition and overlap with microhistological analysis and diet quality using fecal nitrogen (FN) and fecal 2,6-diaminopimelic acid (FDAPA). Pronghorn diet was primarily composed of shrubs in the cool—dry season (64.5%) then shifted to forbs in the warm—dry (64.7%) and warm—wet (54.1%) seasons. Pronghorn diet also shifted to shrubs during drought (50.7%). Gemsbok diets were evenly distributed across forage types. Fifty-three percent of the species of plants consumed by pronghorn and gemsbok were shared; diet overlap averaged 0.44 ± 0.06 (SE) and 0.49 ± 0.06 during the warm—dry seasons of 2010 and 2011, respectively. During drought, key forage species shared between pronghorn and gemsbok included yucca Yucca spp., prickly pear Opuntia spp., globemallow Sphaeralcea coccinea and horsenettle Solanum elaeagnifolium, comprising 50% of the pronghorn and 40% of the gemsbok diets. Fecal nitrogen and FDAPA decreased in pronghorn by 26% and 27% between the warm—dry season of 2010 (non-drought) and the warm—dry season of 2011 (drought), respectively. Drought had little effect on dietary quality for gemsbok. Gemsbok can use forage with lower nutritional content giving them an advantage over pronghorn, particularly during drought periods. Pronghorn are more dependent upon

  8. Health evaluation of a pronghorn antelope population in Oregon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunbar, M.R.; Velarde, Roser; Gregg, M.A.; Bray, M.

    1999-01-01

    During 1996 and 1997, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service conducted a study to determine the cause(s) of population decline and low survival of pronghorn antelope (Antilocapra americana) fawns on Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge (HMNAR) located in southeastern Oregon (USA). As part of that study, blood, fecal, and tissue samples from 104 neonatal fawns, 40 adult does, and nine adult male pronghorns were collected to conduct a health evaluation of the population. Physiological parameters related to nutrition and/or disease were studied. No abnormalities were found in the complete blood cell counts of adults (n = 40) or fawns (n = 44 to 67). Serum total protein and blood urea nitrogen (BUN) levels were lower compared to other pronghorn populations. Does had mean BUN values significantly lower (P the does' marginal values in about 3 days Whole blood, serum and liver selenium (Se) levels were considered marginal to low in most segments of the pronghorn population. However, serum levels of vitamin E (range 1.98 to 3.27 ??g/ml), as determined from the does captured in March, were apparently sufficient to offset any signs of Se deficiency. No clinical signs of Cu or Se deficiency were observed. Fifty-five of 87 dead fawns were necropsied. Trauma, due to predation by coyotes (Canis latrans), accounted for 62% of the mortality during mid-May to mid-July of each year. Other causes included predation by golden eagles (Aquila chrysaetos) (4%), dystocia (2%), septicemic pasteurellosis (4%), starvation (5%), and unknown (23%). Adult females were tested for serum neutralizing antibodies to Brucella spp. (n = 20, negative), Leptospira interrogans (n = 20, negative), bluetongue virus (n = 20, 35% positive), epizootic hemorrhagic disease virus (n = 20, 30% positive), respiratory syncytial virus (n = 18, negative), parainfluenza virus type 3 (n = 18, 67% positive), infectious bovine rhinotracheitis (n = 18, negative), and bovine viral diarrhea (n = 18, negative). Considering the

  9. Septicemic pasteurellosis in free-ranging neonatal pronghorn in Oregon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunbar, Michael R.; Wolcott, Mark J.; Rimler, R.B.; Berlowski, Brenda M.

    2000-01-01

    As part of a study to determine the cause(s) of population decline and low survival of pronghorn (Antilocapra americana) neonates on Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge (HMNAR), Oregon (USA), 55 of 104 neonates captured during May 1996 and 1997 were necropsied (n = 28, 1996; n = 27, 1997) to determine cause of death. Necropsies were conducted on fawns that died during May, June, or July of each year. The objectives of this study were to report the occurrence and pathology of pasteurellosis in neonates and determine if the isolated strain of Pasteurella multocida was unique. Septicemic pasteurellosis, caused by P. multocida, was diagnosed as the cause of death for two neonates in May and June 1997. Necropsy findings included widely scattered petechial and ecchymotic hemorrhages found over a large portion of the subcutaneous tissue, meninges of the brain, epicardium, skeletal muscle, and serosal surface of the thorasic and abdominal cavities. Histological examination of lung tissues revealed diffuse congestion and edema and moderate to marked multifocal infiltrate of macrophages, neutrophils, and numerous bacteria within many terminal bronchioles and alveoli. Pasteurella multocida serotypes A:3,4, and B:1 were isolated from several tissues including lung, intestinal, thorasic fluid, and heart blood. Each B:1 isolate had DNA restriction endonuclease fingerprint profiles distinct from isolates previously characterized from domestic cattle, swan (Olor spp.), moose (Alces alces), and pronghorn from Montana (USA). This is the first report of pasteurellosis in pronghorn from Oregon and the B:1 isolates appear to be unique in comparison to DNA fingerprint profiles from selected domestic and wild species.

  10. Comparing habitat suitability and connectivity modeling methods for conserving pronghorn migrations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erin E Poor

    Full Text Available Terrestrial long-distance migrations are declining globally: in North America, nearly 75% have been lost. Yet there has been limited research comparing habitat suitability and connectivity models to identify migration corridors across increasingly fragmented landscapes. Here we use pronghorn (Antilocapra americana migrations in prairie habitat to compare two types of models that identify habitat suitability: maximum entropy (Maxent and expert-based (Analytic Hierarchy Process. We used distance to wells, distance to water, NDVI, land cover, distance to roads, terrain shape and fence presence to parameterize the models. We then used the output of these models as cost surfaces to compare two common connectivity models, least-cost modeling (LCM and circuit theory. Using pronghorn movement data from spring and fall migrations, we identified potential migration corridors by combining each habitat suitability model with each connectivity model. The best performing model combination was Maxent with LCM corridors across both seasons. Maxent out-performed expert-based habitat suitability models for both spring and fall migrations. However, expert-based corridors can perform relatively well and are a cost-effective alternative if species location data are unavailable. Corridors created using LCM out-performed circuit theory, as measured by the number of pronghorn GPS locations present within the corridors. We suggest the use of a tiered approach using different corridor widths for prioritizing conservation and mitigation actions, such as fence removal or conservation easements.

  11. Comparing habitat suitability and connectivity modeling methods for conserving pronghorn migrations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poor, Erin E; Loucks, Colby; Jakes, Andrew; Urban, Dean L

    2012-01-01

    Terrestrial long-distance migrations are declining globally: in North America, nearly 75% have been lost. Yet there has been limited research comparing habitat suitability and connectivity models to identify migration corridors across increasingly fragmented landscapes. Here we use pronghorn (Antilocapra americana) migrations in prairie habitat to compare two types of models that identify habitat suitability: maximum entropy (Maxent) and expert-based (Analytic Hierarchy Process). We used distance to wells, distance to water, NDVI, land cover, distance to roads, terrain shape and fence presence to parameterize the models. We then used the output of these models as cost surfaces to compare two common connectivity models, least-cost modeling (LCM) and circuit theory. Using pronghorn movement data from spring and fall migrations, we identified potential migration corridors by combining each habitat suitability model with each connectivity model. The best performing model combination was Maxent with LCM corridors across both seasons. Maxent out-performed expert-based habitat suitability models for both spring and fall migrations. However, expert-based corridors can perform relatively well and are a cost-effective alternative if species location data are unavailable. Corridors created using LCM out-performed circuit theory, as measured by the number of pronghorn GPS locations present within the corridors. We suggest the use of a tiered approach using different corridor widths for prioritizing conservation and mitigation actions, such as fence removal or conservation easements.

  12. Influence of Habitat and Intrinsic Characteristics on Survival of Neonatal Pronghorn.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher N Jacques

    Full Text Available Increased understanding of the influence of habitat (e.g., composition, patch size and intrinsic (e.g., age, birth mass factors on survival of neonatal pronghorn (Antilocapra americana is a prerequisite to successful management programs, particularly as they relate to population dynamics and the role of population models in adaptive species management. Nevertheless, few studies have presented empirical data quantifying the influence of habitat variables on survival of neonatal pronghorn. During 2002-2005, we captured and radiocollared 116 neonates across two sites in western South Dakota. We documented 31 deaths during our study, of which coyote (Canis latrans predation (n = 15 was the leading cause of mortality. We used known fate analysis in Program MARK to investigate the influence of intrinsic and habitat variables on neonatal survival. We generated a priori models that we grouped into habitat and intrinsic effects. The highest-ranking model indicated that neonate mortality was best explained by site, percent grassland, and open water habitat; 90-day survival (0.80; 90% CI = 0.71-0.88 declined 23% when grassland and water increased from 80.1 to 92.3% and 0.36 to 0.40%, respectively, across 50% natal home ranges. Further, our results indicated that grassland patch size and shrub density were important predictors of neonate survival; neonate survival declined 17% when shrub density declined from 5.0 to 2.5 patches per 100 ha. Excluding the site covariates, intrinsic factors (i.e., sex, age, birth mass, year, parturition date were not important predictors of survival of neonatal pronghorns. Further, neonatal survival may depend on available land cover and interspersion of habitats. We have demonstrated that maintaining minimum and maximum thresholds for habitat factors (e.g., percentages of grassland and open water patches, density of shrub patches throughout natal home ranges will in turn, ensure relatively high (>0.50 neonatal survival rates

  13. Influence of habitat and intrinsic characteristics on survival of neonatal pronghorn

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacques, Christopher N.; Jenks, Jonathan A.; Grovenburg, Troy W.; Klaver, Robert W.

    2015-01-01

    Increased understanding of the influence of habitat (e.g., composition, patch size) and intrinsic (e.g., age, birth mass) factors on survival of neonatal pronghorn (Antilocapra americana) is a prerequisite to successful management programs, particularly as they relate to population dynamics and the role of population models in adaptive species management. Nevertheless, few studies have presented empirical data quantifying the influence of habitat variables on survival of neonatal pronghorn. During 2002–2005, we captured and radiocollared 116 neonates across two sites in western South Dakota. We documented 31 deaths during our study, of which coyote (Canis latrans) predation (n = 15) was the leading cause of mortality. We used known fate analysis in Program MARK to investigate the influence of intrinsic and habitat variables on neonatal survival. We generated a priori models that we grouped into habitat and intrinsic effects. The highest-ranking model indicated that neonate mortality was best explained by site, percent grassland, and open water habitat; 90-day survival (0.80; 90% CI = 0.71–0.88) declined 23% when grassland and water increased from 80.1 to 92.3% and 0.36 to 0.40%, respectively, across 50% natal home ranges. Further, our results indicated that grassland patch size and shrub density were important predictors of neonate survival; neonate survival declined 17% when shrub density declined from 5.0 to 2.5 patches per 100 ha. Excluding the site covariates, intrinsic factors (i.e., sex, age, birth mass, year, parturition date) were not important predictors of survival of neonatal pronghorns. Further, neonatal survival may depend on available land cover and interspersion of habitats. We have demonstrated that maintaining minimum and maximum thresholds for habitat factors (e.g., percentages of grassland and open water patches, density of shrub patches) throughout natal home ranges will in turn, ensure relatively high (>0.50) neonatal survival rates

  14. Indirect effects and traditional trophic cascades: a test involving wolves, coyotes, and pronghorn.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berger, Kim Murray; Gese, Eric M; Berger, Joel

    2008-03-01

    The traditional trophic cascades model is based on consumer resource interactions at each link in a food chain. However, trophic-level interactions, such as mesocarnivore release resulting from intraguild predation, may also be important mediators of cascades. From September 2001 to August 2004, we used spatial and seasonal heterogeneity in wolf distribution and abundance in the southern Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem to evaluate whether mesopredator release of coyotes (Canis latrans), resulting from the extirpation of wolves (Canis lupus), accounts for high rates of coyote predation on pronghorn (Antilocapra americana) fawns observed in some areas. Results of this ecological perturbation in wolf densities, coyote densities, and pronghorn neonatal survival at wolf-free and wolf-abundant sites support the existence of a species-level trophic cascade. That wolves precipitated a trophic cascade was evidenced by fawn survival rates that were four-fold higher at sites used by wolves. A negative correlation between coyote and wolf densities supports the hypothesis that interspecific interactions between the two species facilitated the difference in fawn survival. Whereas densities of resident coyotes were similar between wolf-free and wolf-abundant sites, the abundance of transient coyotes was significantly lower in areas used by wolves. Thus, differential effects of wolves on solitary coyotes may be an important mechanism by which wolves limit coyote densities. Our results support the hypothesis that mesopredator release of coyotes contributes to high rates of coyote predation on pronghorn fawns, and demonstrate the importance of alternative food web pathways in structuring the dynamics of terrestrial systems.

  15. Sub-lethal effects of energy development on a migratory mammal—The enigma of North American pronghorn

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jon P. Beckmann

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available To meet societal demands for energy, ∼50,000 gas sites are developed annually in North America, among which many are in western less-developed and wildlife rich areas. To evaluate effects of increasing energy infrastructure requires sufficiently robust study designs, an onerous issue given the vastness of scale, limited funds, and an abject dearth of baseline data. Here we address these issues, first by discussion of the type of approaches needed to develop proper inference about potential effects of energy footprints, and subsequently through an empirical approach by examining the biological performances of more than 370 GPS radio-collared adult female pronghorn (Antilocapra americana. A rigorous attempt to examine if industrial development has any impact on pronghorn is based on three assumptions: (i late-winter body mass reflects a period of inadequate food availability because winter habitat is altered; (ii variation between population segments reflects spatial differences in food availability, increased energetic costs, or varying survival rates between gas field and non-developed sites; and (iii reproductive correlates including physiological and immunological markers and adult survival are lower at sites varying in habitat quality. Our study area situated in one of the world’s premier wildlife regions–the southern Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem–harbors approximately 100,000 wintering ungulates, some of North America’s longest migrations, and two of the continent’s largest gas fields. We compared the response of five variables between wild pronghorn in control (not disturbed and experimental (developed gas fields with well pads, roads, and traffic sites—pregnancy, chronic stress, immune function, body mass, and adult survival. Despite shifts in animal movements, which included avoidance of energy infrastructure where development is occurring at the highest densities inside two of the largest natural gas fields in North America

  16. Complete genome sequence of pronghorn virus, a pestivirus

    Science.gov (United States)

    The complete genome sequence of Pronghorn virus, a member of the Pestivirus genus of the Flaviviridae, was determined. The virus, originally isolated from a pronghorn antelope, had a genome of 12,287 nucleotides with a single open reading frame of 11,694 bases encoding 3898 amino acids....

  17. RELAP-7 and PRONGHORN Initial Integration Plan

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    J. Ortensi; D. Andrs; A.A. Bingham; R.C. Martineau; J.W. Peterson

    2012-05-01

    Modern nuclear reactor safety codes require the ability to solve detailed coupled neutronicthermal fluids problems. For larger cores, this implies fully coupled 3-D spatial dynamics with appropriate feedback models that can provide enough resolution to accurately compute core heat generation and removal during steady and unsteady conditions. The reactor analyis code PRONGHORN is being coupled to RELAP-7 as a first step to extend RELAP's current capabilities. This report details the mathematical models, the type of coupling, and the testing that will be used to produce an integrated system. RELAP-7 is a MOOSE-based application that solves the continuity, momentum, and energy equations in 1-D for a compressible fluid. The pipe and joint capabilities enable it to model parts of the PCU system. The PRONGHORN application, also developed on the MOOSE infrastructure, solves the coupled equations that define the neutron diffusion, fluid flow, and heat transfer in a 3-D core model. Initially, the two systems will be loosely coupled to simplify the transition towards a more complex infrastructure. The integration will be tested with the OECD/NEA MHTGR-350 Coupled Neutronics-Thermal Fluids benchmark model.

  18. Landowner and permit-holder perceptions of wildlife damage around the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory. A survey of INEEL neighbors about elk, mule deer, pronghorn antelope, and depredation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Roush, D.E. Jr. [Environmental Science and Research Foundation, Inc., Idaho Falls, ID (United States); Beaver, D.E. [Univ. of Idaho, Moscow, ID (United States). Coll. of Forestry, Wildlife, and Range Sciences

    1998-06-01

    Property-owners (N = 220) around the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (INEEL) in southeastern Idaho were surveyed about depredation, control methods and economic issues related to use of the area by elk (Cervus elaphus), mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus), and pronghorn antelope (Antilocapra americana). Depredation was defined as damage to privately-owned crops, forage, and fences and irrigation equipment by these animals. The focus on the three ungulate species was prompted by concerns that elk, which had recolonized the INEEL since 1984, were responsible for an inordinate amount of unprecedented damage to agricultural operations. As the INEEL is a US Department of Energy (DOE) reserve with little public hunting access, there have been calls for removal of elk from this land. This study`s objective was to quantify the wildlife damage occurring on agricultural operations adjacent to the INEEL and to characterize the damage attributed to each big game species. Responses from 70.2% of the target population indicate an evenness of opinion, by which the authors mean that various opinions were represented equitably, toward these animals and wildlife damage Total estimated wildlife damage in 1996 was between $140,000 and $180,000 It was attributed foremost to elk, although pronghorn antelope were viewed nearly as damaging. Respondents placed high values in big game animals and wished to see them continue to inhabit these lands. For managing depredation, adjusting hunting seasons was preferred.

  19. Polonium assimilation and retention in mule deer and pronghorn antelope

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sejkora, K.J.

    1982-01-01

    Excretion kinetics and tissue distribution of polonium-210 in mule deer and pronghorn were studied. Each animal in a captive herd of 7 mule deer and 2 pronghorn received an intraruminal injection of 4.4 μCi of polonium chloride. Feces and urine were collected periodically over a 43-day period and daily excretion rate for each pathway was regressed as a function of time. Assimilation fractions of 0.40 and 0.51 were calculated for mule deer (n=2) and 0.60 for a pronghorn. Body burden retention functions were calculated from integrated excretion rate functions. Polonium burdens in muscle, liver, and kidney were calculated as a fraction of body burden from serially-sacrificed animals. Background tissue burdens in mule deer were comparable to those of other ruminants reported in the literature. Hypothetical cases were assumed which combined feeding rate of mule deer, forage concentrations of polonium, retention function, tissue burden fraction, and human intake to estimate human radiation dose. 26 references

  20. Characterization of a novel pestivirus originating from a pronghorn antelope.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vilcek, S; Ridpath, J F; Van Campen, H; Cavender, J L; Warg, J

    2005-03-01

    A unique pestivirus, isolated from a pronghorn antelope (Antilocopra americana), was characterized. Serum neutralization studies suggested that this virus was antigenically related to pestiviruses. Genomic characteristics, unique to pestiviruses, indicated that this virus belongs to the Pestivirus genus. These characteristics included the organization of the 5' untranslated region (5'-UTR), the presence and length of a viral Npro coding region, conservation of cysteine residues in Npro, conservation of predicted amino acid sequences flanking the cleavage sites between viral polypeptides Npro and C and between C and Erns and conservation of predicted hydrophobicity plots of Npro protein. While this data indicated the virus belongs to the Pestivirus genus, phylogenetic analysis in 5'-UTR, Npro and E2 regions suggested that it is the most divergent of the pestiviruses identified to date. This conclusion was also supported by the amino acid identity in coding regions. The corresponding values were much lower for the comparison of pronghorn pestivirus to other pestivirus genotypes than only between previous recognized genotypes. These results suggest the virus isolated from pronghorn antelope represents a new pestivirus genotype. It also represents the only pestivirus genotype first isolated from New World wildlife.

  1. Pronghorn virus, genomic and antigenic characterization and detection in free ranging ungulates in the US

    Science.gov (United States)

    Objective: In addition to the recognized/classic species within the pestivirus genus there are putative species. One of these is pronghorn virus (PHV). PHV was first isolated from an immature, blind pronghorn antelope in the state of Wyoming. The objectives of these studies were to determine leve...

  2. Ecology and behavior of pronghorn in the Red Desert, Wyoming with reference to energy development

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Deblinger, R.D.

    1988-01-01

    Pronghorn in the Red Desert were not negatively impacted by the Sweetwater Uranium Mining Project or other human activities associated with mining. A proportion of the pronghorn population habituated to the mine site and inhabited lands adjacent to the mine their entire lives. Other pronghorn remained wary of mining activities and migrated around the mine without difficulty. Distribution patterns in the Red Desert varied seasonally and yearly. Generally, pronghorn used northern portions of the study area during summer and central to southern portions during winter. Summer range was used traditionally, while winter ranges were chosen opportunistically. Initial fall migration movement and total distances traveled were dictated by weather. Specifically, snow accumulation and temperatures determined fall migration timing and length of travel. Similarly, pronghorn migrated back to summer ranges as soon as snow melted

  3. Initial Coupling of the RELAP-7 and PRONGHORN Applications

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    J. Ortensi; D. Andrs; A.A. Bingham; R.C. Martineau; J.W. Peterson

    2012-10-01

    Modern nuclear reactor safety codes require the ability to solve detailed coupled neutronic- thermal fluids problems. For larger cores, this implies fully coupled higher dimensionality spatial dynamics with appropriate feedback models that can provide enough resolution to accurately compute core heat generation and removal during steady and unsteady conditions. The reactor analysis code PRONGHORN is being coupled to RELAP-7 as a first step to extend RELAP’s current capabilities. This report details the mathematical models, the type of coupling, and the testing results from the integrated system. RELAP-7 is a MOOSE-based application that solves the continuity, momentum, and energy equations in 1-D for a compressible fluid. The pipe and joint capabilities enable it to model parts of the power conversion unit. The PRONGHORN application, also developed on the MOOSE infrastructure, solves the coupled equations that define the neutron diffusion, fluid flow, and heat transfer in a full core model. The two systems are loosely coupled to simplify the transition towards a more complex infrastructure. The integration is tested on a simplified version of the OECD/NEA MHTGR-350 Coupled Neutronics-Thermal Fluids benchmark model.

  4. Evaluation of Brucella abortus strain RB51 and strain 19 in pronghorn antelope

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elzer, P.H.; Smith, J.; Roffe, T.; Kreeger, T.; Edwards, J.; Davis, D.

    2002-01-01

    Free-roaming elk and bison in the Greater Yellowstone Area remain the only wildlife reservoirs for Brucella abortus in the United States, and the large number of animals and a lack of holding facilities make it unreasonable to individually vaccinate each animal. Therefore, oral delivery is being proposed as a possible option to vaccinate these wild ungulates. One of the main problems associated with oral vaccination is the potential exposure of nontarget species to the vaccines. The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of two Brucella vaccines, strain 19 (S19) and the rough strain RB51 (SRB51), in pregnant pronghorn antelope. We conclude that S19 and SRB51 rarely colonize maternal and fetal tissues of pregnant pronghorn and were not associated with fetal death. Oral delivery of either vaccine at this dose appears to be nonhazardous to pregnant pronghorn.

  5. History of pronghorn population monitoring, research, and management in Yellowstone National Park

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keating, Kim A.

    2002-01-01

    Pronghorn antelope in Yellowstone National Park (YNP) persist in a small population that historically has experienced recurrent, sometimes dramatic declines. They apparently are isolated from other pronghorns, depend partly on private lands for winter range, experience heavy predation of fawns, and concentrate during winter in a relatively small area, thereby increasing their vulnerability to factors like disease or locally extreme weather. Overall, the situation raises serious concerns about the long-term viability of this population. Although such concerns are not new, evidence of a dramatic population decline since 1991 and continued poor recruitment has created a renewed sense of urgency.

  6. Plutonium in the lungs of pronghorn antelope near a nuclear fuel reprocessing plant

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Markham, O.D.; Dickson, R.L.; Autenrieth, R.E.

    1979-01-01

    The lungs of pronghorn antelope which are common on the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL) site were sampled as a bioindicator of plutonium in the environment near the Idaho Chemical Processing Plant which is located on the INEL site. Lungs were collected from September 1972 to December 1976 and analyzed for Pu. The source of Pu found in the lungs could be determined from a study of the 238 Pu/ 239-240 Pu ratio as there is a higher proportion of 238 Pu in the chemical plant releases than in world-wide fallout in the soils of Southeastern Idaho. Results indicate that 238 Pu from the chemical plant is being deposited in lungs and possibly other tissues of pronghorn. Only a proportion of the animals close to the plant had detectable quantities. Concentrations were near the detection limits and do not constitute a health hazard to the pronghorn. Meaningful comparisons can be made to radiation protection standards since pronghorn lungs are similar in size to man's. (author)

  7. 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.

  8. 78 FR 12777 - Endangered Species; Marine Mammals; Receipt of Applications for Permit

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-02-25

    ...-export semen samples, from captive-held and wild specimens of Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) to Canada for... bactrianus) Peninsular pronghorn (Antilocapra americana peninsularis) Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) African wild...

  9. Genetic isolation between the Western and Eastern Pacific populations of pronghorn spiny lobster Panulirus penicillatus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seinen Chow

    Full Text Available The pronghorn spiny lobster, Panulirus penicillatus, is a circumtropical species which has the widest global distribution among all the species of spiny lobster, ranging throughout the entire Indo-Pacific region. Partial nucleotide sequences of mitochondrial DNA COI (1,142-1,207 bp and 16S rDNA (535-546 bp regions were determined for adult and phyllosoma larval samples collected from the Eastern Pacific (EP(Galápagos Islands and its adjacent water, Central Pacific (CP(Hawaii and Tuamotu and the Western Pacific (WP(Japan, Indonesia, Fiji, New Caledonia and Australia. Phylogenetic analyses revealed two distinct large clades corresponding to the geographic origin of samples (EP and CP+WP. No haplotype was shared between the two regional samples, and average nucleotide sequence divergence (Kimura's two parameter distance between EP and CP+WP samples was 3.8±0.5% for COI and 1.0±0.4% for 16S rDNA, both of which were much larger than those within samples. The present results indicate that the Pacific population of the pronghorn spiny lobster is subdivided into two distinct populations (Eastern Pacific and Central to Western Pacific, with no gene flow between them. Although the pronghorn spiny lobster have long-lived teleplanic larvae, the vast expanse of Pacific Ocean with no islands and no shallow substrate which is known as the East Pacific Barrier appears to have isolated these two populations for a long time (c.a. 1MY.

  10. 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...

  11. 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.

  12. Strontium-90 concentrations in pronghorn antelope bones near a nuclear fuel reprocessing plant

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Markham, O.D.; Halford, D.K.

    1980-01-01

    Metacarpal bones were collected from pronghorn antelope near a nuclear fuel reprocessing plant and adjacent areas on the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL) Site in Southeastern Idaho. Control bones were collected from offsite animals at higher elevations. Average concentrations in metacarpals were 9.6+-2.8(SE) pCi/g(ash) within 10 km of the Idaho Chemical Processing Plant (ICPP), 4.0+-0.9pCi/g for animals on the remainder of the INEL Site and 5.5+-1.0pCi/g for control animals. ICPP atmospheric releases of 90 Sr appeared to have caused a significant (P 90 Sr concentrations in antelope bones within 10 km of the ICPP as compared to bones of other INEL antelope. However, the ICPP antelope bone 90 Sr concentrations were not statistically different from that occurring in bones of the control animals from higher elevations. Antelope near the ICPP received approximately double the radiation dose to bone compared to doses received by other INEL antelope as a result of 90 Sr in bone. Strontium-90 in bone from both fallout and ICPP sources resulted in an estimated average radiation dose of 40 mrad/yr to edosteal cells and 20 mrad/yr to active bone marrow. (author)

  13. 75 FR 5732 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Establishment of a Nonessential Experimental...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-02-04

    ... pronghorn will be fitted with Geographic Positioning System (GPS) platform telemetry collars. It is expected... captive facilities, and monitoring and tracking released Sonoran pronghorn in the release areas, including...

  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. 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...

  16. 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.

  17. 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...

  18. 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...

  19. 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…

  20. Genetic Isolation among the Northwestern, Southwestern and Central-Eastern Indian Ocean Populations of the Pronghorn Spiny Lobster Panulirus penicillatus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Muhamad Fadry Abdullah

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available The pronghorn spiny lobster Panulirus penicillatus is a highly valuable species which is widely distributed in Indo-West Pacific and Eastern Pacific regions. Mitochondrial DNA control region sequences (566–571 bp were determined to investigate the population genetic structure of this species in the Indian Ocean. In total, 236 adult individuals of Panulirus penicillatus were collected from five locations in the Indian Ocean region. Almost all individuals had a unique haplotype. Intrapopulation haplotype (h and nucleotide (π diversities were high for each locality, ranging from h = 0.9986–1.0000 and π = 0.031593–0.043441. We observed distinct genetic isolation of population located at the northwestern and southwestern edge of the species range. Gene flow was found within localities in the central and eastern region of the Indian Ocean, probably resulting from an extended planktonic larval stage and prevailing ocean currents.

  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. 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...

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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...

  10. 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.

  11. 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%.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  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. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  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. 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.

  2. 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).

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 76 FR 53484 - Notice of Availability of the Draft Resource Management Plan/Draft Environmental Impact Statement...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-08-26

    ... was designated. Scoping issues identified include wilderness characteristics, livestock grazing, recreational target and sports shooting, travel management, and energy development. Five alternatives are... 15 to July 15, or as determined by the Sonoran Pronghorn Recovery Team). Minor land-use...

  7. Vertebrate behavior and ecology. Progress report, July 1, 1976--June 30, 1977

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tester, J.R.; Siniff, D.B.

    1977-07-01

    Progress is summarized under six subprojects; engineering design and development; statistical procedures and quantitative methods for analysis of ecological and behavioral data; coexistence and population dynamics of selected vertebrates; application of radiotelemetry to selected problems in vertebrate censusing and population study; fish response to alterations in water quality resulting from power production; and seasonal migrations and habitat selection of the pronghorn antelope (Antilocapra americana).

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Characterizing the spatial structure of endangered species habitat using geostatistical analysis of IKONOS imagery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wallace, C.S.A.; Marsh, S.E.

    2005-01-01

    Our study used geostatistics to extract measures that characterize the spatial structure of vegetated landscapes from satellite imagery for mapping endangered Sonoran pronghorn habitat. Fine spatial resolution IKONOS data provided information at the scale of individual trees or shrubs that permitted analysis of vegetation structure and pattern. We derived images of landscape structure by calculating local estimates of the nugget, sill, and range variogram parameters within 25 ?? 25-m image windows. These variogram parameters, which describe the spatial autocorrelation of the 1-m image pixels, are shown in previous studies to discriminate between different species-specific vegetation associations. We constructed two independent models of pronghorn landscape preference by coupling the derived measures with Sonoran pronghorn sighting data: a distribution-based model and a cluster-based model. The distribution-based model used the descriptive statistics for variogram measures at pronghorn sightings, whereas the cluster-based model used the distribution of pronghorn sightings within clusters of an unsupervised classification of derived images. Both models define similar landscapes, and validation results confirm they effectively predict the locations of an independent set of pronghorn sightings. Such information, although not a substitute for field-based knowledge of the landscape and associated ecological processes, can provide valuable reconnaissance information to guide natural resource management efforts. ?? 2005 Taylor & Francis Group Ltd.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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)

  6. 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.

  7. Final Environmental Impact Statement for Proposed Barry M. Goldwater Range East Range Enhancements (Including First and Second Record of Decision)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    pronghorn are present, the mission would be rescheduled or cancelled. This system is currently in place at North TAC and South TAC and Sonoran...cancelled or rescheduled . In addition to standard monitoring, remote control cameras will be used to ensure no pronghorn are present on or near the track...N N Mobile home parks Y N N N N N Transient lodgings Y N(1) N(1) N(1) N N Public Use Schools Y N(1) N(1) N N N Hospitals and nursing

  8. Whooping crane preyed upon by golden eagle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Windingstad, Ronald M.; Stiles, Harry E.; Drewien, Roderick C.

    1981-01-01

    The Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) is the largest predatory bird in North America and is well known for its predatory abilities. Attacks have been reported on mammals such as whitetail jackrabbits (Lepus townsendi) (McGahan 1967, J. Wildl. Mgmt. 31: 496), pronghorn antelope (Antilocapra americana) (Bruhns 1970, Can. Field-Natur. 84: 301), Mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) (Kelleher and O'Malia 1971, Auk 88: 186), and Great Blue Herons (Ardea herodias) (Carnie 1954, Condor 56: 3). This communication describes an attack on an immature Whooping Crane (Grus americana) by a Golden Eagle and the subsequent necropsy findings.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Behavioral responses associated with a human-mediated predator shelter.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Graeme Shannon

    Full Text Available Human activities in protected areas can affect wildlife populations in a similar manner to predation risk, causing increases in movement and vigilance, shifts in habitat use and changes in group size. Nevertheless, recent evidence indicates that in certain situations ungulate species may actually utilize areas associated with higher levels of human presence as a potential refuge from disturbance-sensitive predators. We now use four-years of behavioral activity budget data collected from pronghorn (Antilocapra americana and elk (Cervus elephus in Grand Teton National Park, USA to test whether predictable patterns of human presence can provide a shelter from predatory risk. Daily behavioral scans were conducted along two parallel sections of road that differed in traffic volume--with the main Teton Park Road experiencing vehicle use that was approximately thirty-fold greater than the River Road. At the busier Teton Park Road, both species of ungulate engaged in higher levels of feeding (27% increase in the proportion of pronghorn feeding and 21% increase for elk, lower levels of alert behavior (18% decrease for pronghorn and 9% decrease for elk and formed smaller groups. These responses are commonly associated with reduced predatory threat. Pronghorn also exhibited a 30% increase in the proportion of individuals moving at the River Road as would be expected under greater exposure to predation risk. Our findings concur with the 'predator shelter hypothesis', suggesting that ungulates in GTNP use human presence as a potential refuge from predation risk, adjusting their behavior accordingly. Human activity has the potential to alter predator-prey interactions and drive trophic-mediated effects that could ultimately impact ecosystem function and biodiversity.

  12. Oil and gas development influences big-game hunting in Wyoming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dorning, Monica; Garman, Steven L.; Diffendorfer, James E.; Semmens, Darius J.; Hawbaker, Todd J.; Bagstad, Kenneth J.

    2017-01-01

    Development from extracting oil and gas resources can have unintended effects on multiple ecosystem functions, with cascading effects on wildlife, ecosystem services, and local economies. Big-game hunting opportunities may be closely related to these effects, but empirical analyses of impacts of energy development on hunting are limited. We examined the influence of oil and gas development density on harvest efficiency, or harvest per unit of hunter effort, within all hunt areas in Wyoming, USA, from 2008 to 2014 for 3 big-game species: elk (Cervus canadensis), mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus), and pronghorn (Antilocapra americana). Using harvest/hunter day as the response variable, we compared linear mixed-effects models for each species that included total well density (i.e., all wells constructed up to the year of record), active well density (i.e., only those wells currently producing oil or gas in that year), or neither as a predictor variable. We used well densities as indicators of development in the absence of data specifying the locations of other oil and gas infrastructure (e.g., roads, well pads). Models also accounted for the fixed effects of road density, hunter density, proportion of the area that is public land with unrestricted hunter access, proportion of the area that is forested, year of observation, and random effects of variation among hunt areas nested within associated game herd units. Presence of oil and gas wells had a positive influence on harvest efficiency for elk and mule deer. Although there was no overall effect to pronghorn, there was a negative influence of wells on juvenile pronghorn harvest efficiency. Changes in harvest efficiency due to expanding oil and gas development could alter the time spent hunting by hunters and their chances of harvesting an animal. This could have subsequent impacts on hunter satisfaction, game populations, and economic revenue generated from recreational hunters.

  13. Re-evaluating neonatal-age models for ungulates: does model choice affect survival estimates?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Troy W Grovenburg

    Full Text Available New-hoof growth is regarded as the most reliable metric for predicting age of newborn ungulates, but variation in estimated age among hoof-growth equations that have been developed may affect estimates of survival in staggered-entry models. We used known-age newborns to evaluate variation in age estimates among existing hoof-growth equations and to determine the consequences of that variation on survival estimates. During 2001-2009, we captured and radiocollared 174 newborn (≤24-hrs old ungulates: 76 white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus in Minnesota and South Dakota, 61 mule deer (O. hemionus in California, and 37 pronghorn (Antilocapra americana in South Dakota. Estimated age of known-age newborns differed among hoof-growth models and varied by >15 days for white-tailed deer, >20 days for mule deer, and >10 days for pronghorn. Accuracy (i.e., the proportion of neonates assigned to the correct age in aging newborns using published equations ranged from 0.0% to 39.4% in white-tailed deer, 0.0% to 3.3% in mule deer, and was 0.0% for pronghorns. Results of survival modeling indicated that variability in estimates of age-at-capture affected short-term estimates of survival (i.e., 30 days for white-tailed deer and mule deer, and survival estimates over a longer time frame (i.e., 120 days for mule deer. Conversely, survival estimates for pronghorn were not affected by estimates of age. Our analyses indicate that modeling survival in daily intervals is too fine a temporal scale when age-at-capture is unknown given the potential inaccuracies among equations used to estimate age of neonates. Instead, weekly survival intervals are more appropriate because most models accurately predicted ages within 1 week of the known age. Variation among results of neonatal-age models on short- and long-term estimates of survival for known-age young emphasizes the importance of selecting an appropriate hoof-growth equation and appropriately defining intervals (i

  14. Comparación de dos métodos de liberación del berrendo,Antilocapra americana (Artiodactyla: Antilocapridae) en Coahuila, México

    OpenAIRE

    Sotelo Gallardo, Hugo; Contreras Balderas, Armando J.; Treviño, Alejandro Espinosa

    2017-01-01

    ResumenLa reintroducción de especies desaparecidas de mamíferos en sus hábitats históricos ha sido recientemente de gran interés. Desde 1967 se han realizado varios intentos de reintroducción del berrendo en México, ninguno ha sido exitoso. El objetivo de este estudio es proveer información que contribuya a evaluar el éxito de la liberación. El estudio se sustentó en el monitoreo de 100 individuos (70 hembras y 25 machos) capturados en Nuevo México E.U.A. y liberados en Maderas del Carmen, Co...

  15. Recolonizing wolves and mesopredator suppression of coyotes:impacts on pronghorn population dynamics

    OpenAIRE

    Berger, Kim Murray; Conner, Mary M.

    2015-01-01

    Food web theory predicts that the loss of large carnivores may contribute toelevated predation rates and, hence, declining prey populations, through the process ofmesopredator release. However, opportunities to test predictions of the mesopredator releasehypothesis are rare, and the extent to which changes in predation rates influence preypopulation dynamics may not be clear due to a lack of demographic information on the preypopulation of interest. We utilized spatial and seasonal heterogenei...

  16. DOE Zero Energy Ready Home Case Study: Mandalay Homes — Pronghorn Ranch, Prescott Valley, AZ

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    none,

    2014-09-01

    The builder has certified 20 homes to DOE Zero Energy Ready Home program and plans are underway for 50 more. Winner of a Production Builder prize in the 2014 Housing Innovation Awards, the homes achieved a HERS score of 48 without photovoltaics (PV) or HERS 25 with 3.5 kW PV included.

  17. Seasonal foraging ecology of non-migratory cougars in a system with migrating prey.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L Mark Elbroch

    Full Text Available We tested for seasonal differences in cougar (Puma concolor foraging behaviors in the Southern Yellowstone Ecosystem, a multi-prey system in which ungulate prey migrate, and cougars do not. We recorded 411 winter prey and 239 summer prey killed by 28 female and 10 male cougars, and an additional 37 prey items by unmarked cougars. Deer composed 42.4% of summer cougar diets but only 7.2% of winter diets. Males and females, however, selected different proportions of different prey; male cougars selected more elk (Cervus elaphus and moose (Alces alces than females, while females killed greater proportions of bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis, pronghorn (Antilocapra americana, mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus and small prey than males. Kill rates did not vary by season or between males and females. In winter, cougars were more likely to kill prey on the landscape as: 1 elevation decreased, 2 distance to edge habitat decreased, 3 distance to large bodies of water decreased, and 4 steepness increased, whereas in summer, cougars were more likely to kill in areas as: 1 elevation decreased, 2 distance to edge habitat decreased, and 3 distance from large bodies of water increased. Our work highlighted that seasonal prey selection exhibited by stationary carnivores in systems with migratory prey is not only driven by changing prey vulnerability, but also by changing prey abundances. Elk and deer migrations may also be sustaining stationary cougar populations and creating apparent competition scenarios that result in higher predation rates on migratory bighorn sheep in winter and pronghorn in summer. Nevertheless, cougar predation on rare ungulates also appeared to be influenced by individual prey selection.

  18. A Retrospective Assessment of a Failed Collaborative Process in Conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kretser, Heidi E; Beckmann, Jon P; Berger, Joel

    2018-04-21

    Collaboration provides one tool for managing the complicated and often the contentious natural resource issues. Successful collaborative arrangements involve a mix of actors bringing key attributes to the table: power, capacity, motivation, mandate, and synergy. These attributes, if missing or if one overshadows the rest, can derail the collaborative process and/or the conservation outcomes. We offer a case study of natural gas field development impacts on America's only endemic ungulate-pronghorn (Antilocapra americana)-winter range in the Upper Green River Basin (UGRB), Wyoming, USA. We illustrate how a collaborative process can go awry, given asymmetries between the relative strengths and the associated attributes of actors, and the subsequent extent to which this imbalance created an unfavorable situation for continued collaboration. The case study reveals disagreements on technical data and potential insight on agency capture operating at a local scale. Despite these process challenges, some conservation outcomes resulted from work generated by the collaboration. Our experience underscores the importance of defining a clear purpose for collaborative processes at the outset, articulating specific roles, ensuring transparency among actors, and flexibility for long-term management as possible ways, in which the groups involved in collaborations to manage natural resources can complement each other's strengths and strive for better conservation outcomes.

  19. Wildlife mitigation and monitoring report Gunnison, Colorado, site

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1997-04-01

    The Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project is administered by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE); its purpose is to cleanup uranium mill tailings and other contaminated material at 24 UMTRA Project sites in 10 states. This report summarizes the wildlife mitigation and monitoring program under way at the Gunnison UMTRA Project, Gunnison, Colorado. Remedial action at the Gunnison site was completed in December 1995 and is described in detail in the Gunnison completion report. The impacts of this activity were analyzed in the Gunnison environmental assessment (EA). These impacts included two important game species: the pronghorn antelope (Antilocapra americans) and sage grouse (Wentrocerus urophasianus). Haul truck traffic was predicted to limit antelope access to water sources north of the Tenderfoot Mountain haul road and that truck traffic along this and other haul roads could result in antelope road kills. Clearing land at the disposal cell, haul road and borrow site activities, and the associated human activities also were predicted to negatively impact (directly and indirectly) sage grouse breeding, nesting, loafing, and wintering habitat. As a result, an extensive mitigation and monitoring plan began in 1992. Most of the monitoring studies are complete and the results of these studies, written by different authors, appear in numerous reports. This report will: (1) Analyze existing impacts and compare them to predicted impacts. (2) Summarize mitigation measures. (3) Summarize all existing monitoring data in one report. (4) Analyze the effectiveness of the mitigation measures

  20. 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.

  1. Artisanal Sonoran cheese (Cocido cheese): an exploration of its production process, chemical composition and microbiological quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cuevas-González, Paúl F; Heredia-Castro, Priscilia Y; Méndez-Romero, José I; Hernández-Mendoza, Adrián; Reyes-Díaz, Ricardo; Vallejo-Cordoba, Belinda; González-Córdova, Aarón F

    2017-10-01

    The objective of this study was to explore and document the production process of artisanal Cocido cheese and to determine its chemical composition and microbiological quality, considering samples from six dairies and four retailers. Cocido cheese is a semi-hard (506-555 g kg -1 of moisture), medium fat (178.3-219.1 g kg -1 ), pasta filata-type cheese made from raw whole cow's milk. The production process is not standardized and therefore the chemical and microbiological components of the sampled cheeses varied. Indicator microorganisms significantly decreased (P pasteurize milk. Nevertheless, since Cocido cheese is a non-ripened, high-moisture product, it is a highly perishable product that could present a health risk if not properly handled. © 2017 Society of Chemical Industry. © 2017 Society of Chemical Industry.

  2. Ecological survey for the siting of the Mixed and Low-Level Waste Treatment Facility and the Idaho Waste Processing Facility

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hoskinson, R.L.

    1994-05-01

    This report summarizes the results of field ecological surveys conducted by the Center for Integrated Environmental Technologies (CIET) on the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL) at four candidate locations for the siting of the Mixed and Low-Level Waste Treatment Facility (MLLWTF) and the Idaho Waste Processing Facility (IWPF). The purpose of these surveys was to comply with all Federal laws and Executive Orders to identify and evaluate any potential environmental impacts because of the project. The boundaries of the candidate location were marked with blaze-orange lath survey marker stakes by the project management. Global Positioning System (GPS) measurements of the marker stakes were made, and input to the Arc/Info reg-sign geographic information system (GIS). Field surveys were conducted to assess any potential impact to any important species, important habitats, and to any environmental study areas. The GIS location data was overlayed onto the INEL vegetation map and an analysis of vegetation classes on the locations was done. Results of the field surveys indicate use of Candidate Location number-sign 1 by pygmy rabbits (Sylvilagus idahoensis) and expected use by them of Candidate Locations number-sign 3 and number-sign 9. Pygmy rabbits are categorized as a C2 species by the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). Two other C2 species, the ferruginous hawk (Buteo regalis) and the loggerhead shrike (Lanius ludovicianus) would also be expected to frequent the candidate locations. Candidate Location number-sign 5 at the north end of the INEL is in the winter range of a large number of pronghorn antelope (Antilocapra americana)

  3. 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.

  4. 75 FR 20377 - Notice of Availability of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Sonoran Solar...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-19

    ... solar conditions existed (night time, cloud cover, etc.), and would provide up to 25 percent of annual... pipeline. A thermal energy storage (TES) system may also be installed to supplement electrical output... molten salt as its energy storage medium. The proposed SSEP would include a number of related facilities...

  5. 76 FR 65532 - Notice of Availability of the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Sonoran Solar...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-10-21

    ... conditions existed (night time, cloud cover, etc.), and would provide up to 25 percent of the annual total.... A thermal energy storage (TES) system may also be installed to supplement electrical output during... salt as its energy storage material. The proposed SSEP would include a number of related facilities and...

  6. 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...

  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. Classifications using a combination of ERS-1 imagery and elevation, slope, and aspect data were superior to classifications carried out using Landsat TM data alone. In all classification iterations it was consistently found that the highest classification accuracy was obtained by using a combination of Landsat TM, ERS-1, and elevation, slope, and aspect data. Maximum likelihood classification accuracy was found to be higher than artificial neural net classification in all cases.

  8. Ethnopharmacologie du désert de Sonoran : des aliments médicaments dans une tribu O’odham

    OpenAIRE

    Cudel, Evelyne; Ruchter, M

    2014-01-01

    Note portant sur l’auteur Note portant sur l’auteur Cette communication a pour objectifs : D’examiner la relation plante-nutrition chez l’être humain dans le contexte d’une étude sur l’historique du diabète de type II dans une tribu du sud-ouest des Etats-Unis ; De présenter l’étiologie du diabète de type II dans le groupe O’odham du sud-ouest des Etats-Unis dans son contexte historique et la multiplicité des facteurs impliqués ; D’examiner l’importance de l’alimentation O’odham traditionnel...

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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...

  12. 75 FR 78093 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 12-Month Finding on a Petition To List the Sonoran...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-12-14

    ..., inadequacy of existing regulations, altered fire regimes, off-highway vehicle use, drought, and climate... enhance soil fertility, improve water infiltration into soils, and prevent or lessen effects from wind and... often shared with other native reptiles, including other tortoises (Averill-Murray et al. 2002a, pp. 136...

  13. 75 FR 8601 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 12-Month Finding on a Petition To List the Sonoran...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-02-25

    ... the ways of life, belief systems, perceptions, cognitive processes, and other means of organizing and... Protection Act (16 U.S.C. 668- 668d). This law prohibits the take, possession, sale, purchase, barter, or offer to sell, purchase or barter, transport, export or import, of any bald eagle, alive or dead...

  14. 77 FR 25791 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 12-Month Finding on a Petition To List the Sonoran...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-05-01

    ... the ways of life, belief systems, perceptions, cognitive processes, and other means of organizing and... Protection Act (16 U.S.C. 668-668d). This law prohibits the take, possession, sale, purchase, barter, or offer to sell, purchase or barter, transport, export or import, of any bald eagle, alive or dead...

  15. 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...

  16. 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.

  17. The Proterozoic of NW Mexico revisited: U-Pb geochronology and Hf isotopes of Sonoran rocks and their tectonic implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solari, L. A.; González-León, C. M.; Ortega-Obregón, C.; Valencia-Moreno, M.; Rascón-Heimpel, M. A.

    2018-04-01

    Several Proterozoic basement units crop out in the Sonora State of NW Mexico, and the same can be correlated with crustal provinces of southern Laurentia in the neighboring southwestern USA. Zircon U-Pb and Hf isotopic determinations in more than 300 grains separated from igneous and metaigneous rocks from these units indicate that the crystalline basement in Sonora is made up of different components, which are from west to east: (1) The Caborca-Mojave province to the west, characterized by the so-called Bámori Complex, have U-Pb ages between 1696 and 1772 Ma, with moderately juvenile to slightly evolved ɛHf values, yielding T DM ages of ca. 2.1-2.4 Ga; (2) in the intermediate area, east of Hermosillo, the Palofierral and La Ramada orthogneiss units yield an age of 1640 and 1703 Ma, respectively, both having juvenile ɛHf with the Palofierral overlapping the depleted mantle curve at ca. 1.65 Ga; and (3) in the northeastern Sonora, samples from the southern extension of the Mazatzal province, represented by the Pinal Schist, yielded ages between 1674 and 1694 Ma, with moderately juvenile to juvenile ɛHf values and a T DM age of ca. 1.9 Ga. In addition, a suite of post-tectonic granites was also studied in Caborca (San Luis granite) as well as in northeastern Sonora (Cananea granite), both yielding ages of ca. 1.44 Ga with moderately juvenile ɛHf values ranging from -1 to +8 and T DM dates of ca. 1.8-1.9 Ga and 1.6-1.7 Ga, respectively. These two isotopically contrasting provinces may imply the existence of a Proterozoic paleo-suture. However, if the Palofierral gneiss, of which the Hf signature straddles the depleted mantle array, is taken as the source for the 1.44 Ga Cananea granite, then the location of such a suture zone should lay farther south than the proposed trace of the Mojave-Sonora megashear.

  18. 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

  19. 77 FR 43218 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 90-Day Finding on a Petition To List the Sonoran...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-07-24

    ... our files, supporting that mechanical or chemical removal of invasive plant species is a threat to the... magdalenensis) as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act), and to... or commercial information indicating that listing this species may be warranted. Therefore, with the...

  20. Weather and Prey Predict Mammals' Visitation to Water.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Grant Harris

    Full Text Available Throughout many arid lands of Africa, Australia and the United States, wildlife agencies provide water year-round for increasing game populations and enhancing biodiversity, despite concerns that water provisioning may favor species more dependent on water, increase predation, and reduce biodiversity. In part, understanding the effects of water provisioning requires identifying why and when animals visit water. Employing this information, by matching water provisioning with use by target species, could assist wildlife management objectives while mitigating unintended consequences of year-round watering regimes. Therefore, we examined if weather variables (maximum temperature, relative humidity [RH], vapor pressure deficit [VPD], long and short-term precipitation and predator-prey relationships (i.e., prey presence predicted water visitation by 9 mammals. We modeled visitation as recorded by trail cameras at Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico, USA (June 2009 to September 2014 using generalized linear modeling. For 3 native ungulates, elk (Cervus Canadensis, mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus, and pronghorn (Antilocapra americana, less long-term precipitation and higher maximum temperatures increased visitation, including RH for mule deer. Less long-term precipitation and higher VPD increased oryx (Oryx gazella and desert cottontail rabbits (Sylvilagus audubonii visitation. Long-term precipitation, with RH or VPD, predicted visitation for black-tailed jackrabbits (Lepus californicus. Standardized model coefficients demonstrated that the amount of long-term precipitation influenced herbivore visitation most. Weather (especially maximum temperature and prey (cottontails and jackrabbits predicted bobcat (Lynx rufus visitation. Mule deer visitation had the largest influence on coyote (Canis latrans visitation. Puma (Puma concolor visitation was solely predicted by prey visitation (elk, mule deer, oryx. Most ungulate visitation peaked during

  1. Weather and Prey Predict Mammals’ Visitation to Water

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, Grant; Sanderson, James G.; Erz, Jon; Lehnen, Sarah E.; Butler, Matthew J.

    2015-01-01

    Throughout many arid lands of Africa, Australia and the United States, wildlife agencies provide water year-round for increasing game populations and enhancing biodiversity, despite concerns that water provisioning may favor species more dependent on water, increase predation, and reduce biodiversity. In part, understanding the effects of water provisioning requires identifying why and when animals visit water. Employing this information, by matching water provisioning with use by target species, could assist wildlife management objectives while mitigating unintended consequences of year-round watering regimes. Therefore, we examined if weather variables (maximum temperature, relative humidity [RH], vapor pressure deficit [VPD], long and short-term precipitation) and predator-prey relationships (i.e., prey presence) predicted water visitation by 9 mammals. We modeled visitation as recorded by trail cameras at Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico, USA (June 2009 to September 2014) using generalized linear modeling. For 3 native ungulates, elk (Cervus Canadensis), mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus), and pronghorn (Antilocapra americana), less long-term precipitation and higher maximum temperatures increased visitation, including RH for mule deer. Less long-term precipitation and higher VPD increased oryx (Oryx gazella) and desert cottontail rabbits (Sylvilagus audubonii) visitation. Long-term precipitation, with RH or VPD, predicted visitation for black-tailed jackrabbits (Lepus californicus). Standardized model coefficients demonstrated that the amount of long-term precipitation influenced herbivore visitation most. Weather (especially maximum temperature) and prey (cottontails and jackrabbits) predicted bobcat (Lynx rufus) visitation. Mule deer visitation had the largest influence on coyote (Canis latrans) visitation. Puma (Puma concolor) visitation was solely predicted by prey visitation (elk, mule deer, oryx). Most ungulate visitation peaked during May and

  2. Modelling landscape-scale erosion potential related to vehicle disturbances along the U.S.-Mexico border

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villarreal, Miguel; Webb, Robert H.; Norman, Laura M.; Psillas, Jennifer L.; Rosenberg, Abigail S.; Carmichael, Shinji; Petrakis, Roy E.; Sparks, Philip E.

    2014-01-01

    Decades of intensive off-road vehicle use for border security, immigration, smuggling, recreation, and military training along the USA–Mexico border have prompted concerns about long-term human impacts on sensitive desert ecosystems. To help managers identify areas susceptible to soil erosion from anthropogenic activities, we developed a series of erosion potential models based on factors from the Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE). To better express the vulnerability of soils to human disturbances, we refined two factors whose categorical and spatial representations limit the application of the USLE for non-agricultural landscapes: the C-factor (vegetation cover) and the P-factor (support practice/management). A soil compaction index (P-factor) was calculated as the difference in saturated hydrologic conductivity (Ks) between disturbed and undisturbed soils, which was then scaled up to maps of vehicle disturbances digitized from aerial photography. The C-factor was improved using a satellite-based vegetation index, which was better correlated with estimated ground cover (r2 = 0·77) than data derived from land cover (r2 = 0·06). We identified 9,780 km of unauthorized off-road tracks in the 2,800-km2 study area. Maps of these disturbances, when integrated with soil compaction data using the USLE, provided landscape-scale information on areas vulnerable to erosion from both natural processes and human activities and are detailed enough for adaptive management and restoration planning. The models revealed erosion potential hotspots adjacent to the border and within areas managed as critical habitat for the threatened flat-tailed horned lizard and endangered Sonoran pronghorn.

  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. Ground-Water Flow Model of the Sierra Vista Subwatershed and Sonoran Portions of the Upper San Pedro Basin, Southeastern Arizona, United States, and Northern Sonora, Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pool, D.R.; Dickinson, Jesse

    2007-01-01

    A numerical ground-water model was developed to simulate seasonal and long-term variations in ground-water flow in the Sierra Vista subwatershed, Arizona, United States, and Sonora, Mexico, portions of the Upper San Pedro Basin. This model includes the simulation of details of the groundwater flow system that were not simulated by previous models, such as ground-water flow in the sedimentary rocks that surround and underlie the alluvial basin deposits, withdrawals for dewatering purposes at the Tombstone mine, discharge to springs in the Huachuca Mountains, thick low-permeability intervals of silt and clay that separate the ground-water flow system into deep-confined and shallow-unconfined systems, ephemeral-channel recharge, and seasonal variations in ground-water discharge by wells and evapotranspiration. Steady-state and transient conditions during 1902-2003 were simulated by using a five-layer numerical ground- water flow model representing multiple hydrogeologic units. Hydraulic properties of model layers, streamflow, and evapotranspiration rates were estimated as part of the calibration process by using observed water levels, vertical hydraulic gradients, streamflow, and estimated evapotranspiration rates as constraints. Simulations approximate observed water-level trends throughout most of the model area and streamflow trends at the Charleston streamflow-gaging station on the San Pedro River. Differences in observed and simulated water levels, streamflow, and evapotranspiration could be reduced through simulation of climate-related variations in recharge rates and recharge from flood-flow infiltration.

  5. Plant Guide: Arrowleaf balsamroot (Balsamorhiza sagittata [Pursh] Nutt.)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Derek Tilley; Loren St. John; Nancy Shaw

    2012-01-01

    A wide variety of wildlife utilizes arrowleaf balsamroot. Deer, elk, bighorn sheep and pronghorn eat the leaves, stems and flowers. Arrowleaf balsamroot can be used to improve spring and summer forage in open rangelands. Ogle and Brazee (2009) list arrowleaf balsamroot as desired forage for cattle, sheep, elk, and pronghorn in spring and summer. Young tissues of...

  6. Uncertainties in risk assessment and decision making

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Starzec, Peter; Purucker, Tom; Stewart, Robert

    2008-02-01

    confidence interval under different assumptions regarding the data structure. The results stress the importance to invoke statistical methods and also illustrate how the choice of a wrong methodology may affect the quality of risk assessment and foundations for decision making. The uncertainty in assessing the volume of contaminated soil was shown to be dependant only to a low extent on the interpolation technique used for the specific case study analyzed. It is, however, expected that the uncertainty may increase significantly, if more restrictive risk criteria (lower guideline value) are applied. Despite a possible low uncertainty in assessing the contaminated soil volume, the uncertainty in its localization can be substantial. Based on the demo example presented, it comes out that the risk-based input for decision on soil treatment may vary depending on what assumptions were adopted during interpolation process. Uncertainty in an ecological exposure model with regard to the moving pattern of a receptor in relation till spatial distribution of contaminant has been demonstrated by studies on pronghorn (Antilocapra americana). The results from numerical simulations show that a lack in knowledge on the receptor moving routes may bring about substantial uncertainty in exposure assessment. The presented concept is mainly applicable for 'mobile' receptors on relatively large areas. A number of statistical definitions/methods/concepts are presented in the report of which some are not elaborated on in detail, while readers are referred to proper literature. The mail goal with the study has been rather to shed more light on aspects related to uncertainty in risk assessment and to demonstrate potential consequences of wrong approach than to provide readers with formal guideline and recommendations. However, the outcome from the study will hopefully contribute to the further work on novel approaches towards more reliable risk assessments

  7. 76 FR 61266 - Special Regulations; Areas of the National Park System, Grand Teton National Park, Bicycle Routes...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-10-04

    ... Yellowstone National Park, Grand Teton is at the heart of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, and includes the... elk, moose, bison, pronghorn, grizzly and black bears, grey wolves, and coyotes. Other species such as...

  8. Final Environmental Assessment for Stormwater Drainage Project on F. E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyoming

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-05-01

    Taxidea taxus), raccoon (Procyon lotor hirtus), porcupine (Erethizon dorsatum), red fox (Vulpes vulpes), coyote (Canus latrans), and Wyoming ground...squirrel (Spermophilus elegans). A relatively large herd of pronghorn antelope inhabits the base. Although the pronghorn on the installation are a...part of the larger Iron Mountain herd , most reside on the installation year-round. The Storm Water Drainage Project, Draft Environmental Assessment

  9. 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.

  10. 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...

  11. 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...

  12. 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...

  13. 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...

  14. Tightly Coupled Multiphysics Algorithm for Pebble Bed Reactors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Park, HyeongKae; Knoll, Dana; Gaston, Derek; Martineau, Richard

    2010-01-01

    We have developed a tightly coupled multiphysics simulation tool for the pebble-bed reactor (PBR) concept, a type of Very High-Temperature gas-cooled Reactor (VHTR). The simulation tool, PRONGHORN, takes advantages of the Multiphysics Object-Oriented Simulation Environment library, and is capable of solving multidimensional thermal-fluid and neutronics problems implicitly with a Newton-based approach. Expensive Jacobian matrix formation is alleviated via the Jacobian-free Newton-Krylov method, and physics-based preconditioning is applied to minimize Krylov iterations. Motivation for the work is provided via analysis and numerical experiments on simpler multiphysics reactor models. We then provide detail of the physical models and numerical methods in PRONGHORN. Finally, PRONGHORN's algorithmic capability is demonstrated on a number of PBR test cases.

  15. Plant Guide: Gooseberryleaf globemallow (Sphaeralcea grossulariifolia [Hook. and Arn.] Rydb.)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Derek Tilley; Loren St. John; Dan Ogle; Nancy Shaw

    2012-01-01

    Globemallow species are grazed opportunistically by pronghorn antelope, deer, elk, and bighorn sheep (Beale and Smith, 1970; Rumbaugh and others, 1993). The leaves, fruits and seeds are eaten by rodents, rabbits and birds (Pendery and Rumbaugh, 1986). Palatability of globemallow species has been rated desirable to preferred in spring and summer for sheep and antelope...

  16. A serosurvey for ruminant pestivirus exposure conducted using cattle sera collected for brucellosis surveillance in the United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Four species of ruminant pestivirus are currently circulating in the United States (U.S.): Bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) types 1 and 2 (predominant host cattle), Border disease virus (BDV) (predominant host sheep) and the Pronghorn virus (sporadically detected in wild ruminants). A third bovin...

  17. 78 FR 4435 - Notice of Availability of the Restoration Design Energy Project Record of Decision/Approved...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-22

    ... RMP (2008); Kingman Resource Area RMP (1995); Lake Havasu Field Office RMP (2007); Lower Sonoran RMP...) class from VRM class III to VRM class IV for lands within the 2,550-acre SEZ, and remove the Special...

  18. Human Adaptation Along the Columbia River 4700 - 1600 BP. A Report of Test Excavation at River Mile 590, North Central Washington.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1984-01-01

    drove their herds through te lands. Indian agents were forced to make on-the-spot adjudications and hostile feelings abounded on both sides (Oliphant...chubs/suckers) occur frequently in low numbers; bison, pronghorn, muskrat, beaver, porcupine and snakes are rare. Modified Bone. The amount of modified...Group Descriptions L. Turtle, deer and either porcupine or muskrat present, either deer or turtle predominant M. Salmon and deer are predominant elements

  19. Administrative Structure of the Second Empire: The Case of Imperial Administration in Sonora

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zulema Trejo

    2008-04-01

    Full Text Available Among the many different aspects that made up Mexico's Second Empire, this work seeks to describe and analyze its administra­tive structure, both at the national and departmental levels. For analyzing the departmental level, the author chose the case of So­nora, focusing on conflicts between Sonoran imperial officials and the commissioner of the Eighth Territorial division, in order to stress the pragmatism and autonomy that characterized Sonoran officials all along the nineteenth century,  regardless of the type of government adopted at the national level.

  20. Archeological Investigations in Cochiti Reservoir, New Mexico. Volume 1. A Survey of Regional Variability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1977-06-01

    pear Opuntia spp. Cholla Upper Sonoran Deciduous Quercus gambeiii Gambels oak Cercocarpus sp. Mountain mahogany Upper Sonoran Deciduous Mixture of Upper...x P’unus melanocarpe x Quercus spp. x x x Rhui tilobata x x Ribes spp. x x x x Rosa spp. x Rubus paruiflorus x Rubus arizonensis x Rudbeckia...laciniata x x Rumex spp. Sambucus spp. x x x Smilacina amplexicaulis x Typha latifolia x x x Vitis arizonica x x Yucca $pp. x TABLE 11.2.4 NUMBER OF EDIBLE

  1. Chapter 8: Fire and nonnative invasive plants in the Interior West bioregion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peter M. Rice; Guy R. McPherson; Lisa J. Rew

    2008-01-01

    The Interior West bioregion is bounded on the east by the eastern slope of the Rocky Mountains from Canada south to Mexico and on the west by the eastern foothills of the Cascade Range in Washington and Oregon and the eastern foothills of the Sierra Nevada in California. The bioregion includes the Chihuahuan, Sonoran, and Mojave hot deserts and the Great Basin cold...

  2. HLA-DQ genetic risk gradient for type 1 diabetes and celiac disease in north-western Mexico

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M.E. Mejía-León

    2015-04-01

    Conclusion: The Sonoran population has a distinctive HLA-DQ allele distribution due to its ancestry. The HLA-DQ8 combinations with DQ2 or one of its alleles conferred the highest risk for both diseases and T1D and CD frequently appear together.

  3. Encuentro de Linguistica en el Noroeste (2nd, Hermosillo, Mexico, November 18-20, 1992). Memorias Tomos 1 y 2 (Conference on Linguistics in the Northwest [2nd, Hermosillo, Mexico, November 18-20, 1992]. Papers Volumes 1 and 2).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sonora Univ. (Mexico), Dept. of Letters and Linguistics.

    Papers in these volumes were presented at a Mexican conference on linguistics. Most papers are in Spanish; the English translations of the titles include the following: "Directions in Contemporary Semantics" (L. Lara); "Regular Accentuation in Spanish" (C. Braithwaite); "Syntactic Order in Sonoran" (D. Brown); "Speech Datives or Interest/Not of…

  4. 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...

  5. Verde River hydrology [Chapter 3

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daniel G. Neary; Alvin L. Medina

    2012-01-01

    The Central Arizona Highlands are a distinct biogeographic, climatic, and physiographic province that forms a diverse ecotone between the more extensive Colorado Plateau to the north and the Sonoran Desert ecoregions to the south (Ffolliott 1999). The Highlands coincide closely to the Arizona Transition Zone identified by ecologists, geologists, and others (Karlstrom...

  6. 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...

  7. 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…

  8. 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...

  9. 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...

  10. 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,...

  11. 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

  12. Chapter 2. The Intermountain setting

    Science.gov (United States)

    E. Durant McArthur; Sherel K. Goodrich

    2004-01-01

    This book is intended to assist range managers throughout the Intermountain West (fig. 1). The areas of greatest applicability are the Middle and Southern Rocky Mountains, Wyoming Basin, Columbia and Colorado Plateaus, and much of the basin and range physiographic provinces of Fenneman (1981) or about 14° latitude, from the Mohave, Sonoran, and Chihuahuan...

  13. 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…

  14. 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...

  15. Patterns of growth and mortality in the endangered Nichol's Turk's Head Cactus (Echinocactus horizonthalonius var. nicholii L. Benson; Cactaceae) in Southeastern Arizona

    Science.gov (United States)

    M. E. McIntosh; L. A. McDade; A. E. Boyd; P. D. Jenkins

    2007-01-01

    Nichol’s Turk’s Head Cactus (Echinocactus horizonthalonius var. nicholii L. Benson; Cactaceae) occurs in a few isolated populations in the Sonoran desert of southcentral Arizona (Pima and Pinal counties). The populations of this variety are disjunct from the more widespread variety that occurs in the Chihuahuan desert of Texas and...

  16. REVIEW OF THE FISHERIES OF THE SALTON SEA, CALIFORNIA, USA: PAST, PRESENT, FUTURE. (R826552)

    Science.gov (United States)

    The Salton Sea is an endorheic, 980-km2 salt lake in the Sonoran Desert of southern California. The historical fish community switched from freshwater to marine species as salinity increased due to evaporation and brackish water inflows. Three species, bairdiella (<...

  17. Efficacy of an antiviral compound to inhibit replication of multiple pestivirus species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newcomer, Benjamin W; Marley, M Shonda; Ridpath, Julia F; Neill, John D; Boykin, David W; Kumar, Arvind; Givens, M Daniel

    2012-11-01

    Pestiviruses are economically important pathogens of livestock. An aromatic cationic compound (DB772) has previously been shown to inhibit bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) type 1 in vitro at concentrations lacking cytotoxic side effects. The aim of this study was to determine the scope of antiviral activity of DB772 among diverse pestiviruses. Isolates of BVDV 2, border disease virus (BDV), HoBi virus, pronghorn virus and Bungowannah virus were tested for in vitro susceptibility to DB772 by incubating infected cells in medium containing 0, 0.006, 0.01, 0.02, 0.05, 0.1, 0.2, 0.39, 0.78, 1.56, 3.125, 6.25, 12.5 or 25μM DB772. The samples were assayed for the presence of virus by virus isolation and titration (BDV and BVDV 2) or PCR (HoBi, pronghorn and Bungowannah viruses). Cytotoxicity of the compound was assayed for each cell type. Complete inhibition of BVDV 2, BDV, and Pronghorn virus was detected when DB772 was included in the culture media at concentrations of 0.20μM and higher. In two of three tests, a concentration of 0.05μM DB772 was sufficient to completely inhibit HoBi virus replication. Bungowannah virus was completely inhibited at a concentration of 0.01μM DB772. Thus, DB772 effectively inhibits all pestiviruses studied at concentrations >0.20μM. As cytotoxicity is not evident at these concentrations, this antiviral compound potentially represents an effective preventative or therapeutic for diverse pestiviruses. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. Environmental Impact Analysis Process. Deployment Area Selection and Land Withdrawal/Acquisition DEIS. Chapter III. Part I. Affected Environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1980-12-01

    oodrat x Yeootos ;epxda K Porcupine £retizon dorsatux RABITS Black-tailed Jackrabbit x x Lepus californicu$ Desert Cottontail a x x Slv ilaqu...Neocoma sucropus X K White-throated Woodrat .V. uIb~qula K K X 1orway Bt RCtus no*#eqieoa K K 4UMOUS oiS -Nba ms~gc-1.8 x Porcupine tre Chison Soreatum K...and 200 in Potter counties (Travis, 1980). An annual aerial census of pronghorn shows that the bulk of the antelope herd is found in the northern

  19. Emerging pestiviruses infecting domestic and wildlife hosts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ridpath, Julia F

    2015-06-01

    Until the early 1990 s there were just three recognized species in the pestivirus genus, bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV), border disease virus (BDV) and classical swine fever virus (CSFV). Subsequently BVDV were divided into two different species, BVDV1 and BVDV2 and four additional putative pestivirus species have been identified, based on phylogenetic analysis. The four putative pestivirus specices, listed in chronological order of published reports, are Giraffe (isolated from one of several giraffes in the Nanyuki District of Kenya suffering from mucosal disease-like symptoms), HoBi (first isolated from fetal bovine serum originating in Brazil and later from samples originating in Southeast Asia), Pronghorn (isolated from an emaciated blind pronghorn antelope in the USA), and Bungowannah (isolated following an outbreak in pigs, resulting in still birth and neonatal death, in Australia). In addition to the emergence of putative new species of pestivirus, changes in host and virulence of recognized or 'classic' pestiviruses have led to reevaluation of disease control programs and management of domestic and wildlife populations.

  20. 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).

  1. Unusual etiology of gastrointestinal symptoms: the case of jojoba butter

    OpenAIRE

    Minckler, Michael R; Fisher, Joseph; Bowers, Rachel; Amini, Richard

    2017-01-01

    Michael R Minckler,1 Joseph Fisher,2 Rachel Bowers,2 Richard Amini1 1Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Arizona, 2College of Medicine, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, USA Background: Jojoba butter is cyanogenic and has gained attention among herbal supplement consumers due to claims that it may aid in weight loss. Jojoba butter is extracted from the seeds of jojoba shrubs found in the Sonoran Desert. The seeds have long been recognized as inedible, however clinical symptoms f...

  2. Conservation efforts and possibilities for increased collaboration in the Santa Cruz River watershed

    Science.gov (United States)

    Claire A. Zugmeyer; Emily M. Brott

    2013-01-01

    Attendees of the annual Santa Cruz River Researchers’ Day meetings have identified a need to expand collaboration, partnership, and sharing of lessons learned across the watershed. To help guide this interest, Sonoran Institute organized a symposium on 2 May 2012 entitled “Santa Cruz River Conservation.” The symposium had simultaneous Spanish/English translation and...

  3. Installation Mapping Enables Many Missions: The Benefits of and Barriers to Sharing Geospatial Data Assets

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-01-01

    Sonoran Institute, and Instituto del Medio Ambiente y el Desarrollo Sustentable del Estado de Sonora with support from Department of Defense... Mexico , has an Environmental Data Management System (EDMS) web site for managing and mapping shared site data for environmen- tal cleanup of UXO and...San Pedro River Basin in southeastern Arizona and northern Mexico . Many believe that the presence of large-scale groundwater pumping in the nearby

  4. Where Language Touches the Earth: Folklore and Ecology in Tohono O'odham Plant Emergence Narratives

    OpenAIRE

    Hughes, Jennifer L.

    1996-01-01

    The historical and ecological relationships between the Tohono O'odham and the Sonoran desert landscape are expressed in the stories they tell. The Tohono O'odham have lived in the deserts of southwestern Arizona and northern Mexico for centuries, interacting with their environment and gaining intimate knowledge of desert botanical communities. Many of these interactions are dramatized in their traditional oral narratives. I have characterized those traditional oral narratives that illustrate...

  5. US Highway 395 Widen Median and Shoulder and Install Rumble Strips Project Environmental Assessment, Edwards Air Force Base, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-12-16

    Topography of the area varies from rugged rocky mountaintops, surrounded by gravel-laden alluvial fans and aprons, to sand and clay deposits in flat valley...disposal practices resulted in releases or disposal of organic solvents that have affected groundwater. A sanitary landfill is also located in this...Great Basin scrub, Sonoran Desert scrub and desert dunes with sandy flats, dunes and sandy areas around clay slicks with Sarcobatus (greasewood

  6. Abundance and food habits of cougars and bobcats in the Sierra San Luis, Sonora, Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hugo Luna Soria; Carlos A. Lopez Gonzalez

    2005-01-01

    Cougars (Puma concolor) and bobcats (Lynx rufus) are present throughout the Sky Islands of the Sonoran desert. We determined the abundance and food habits in northeastern Sonora, Mexico. Abundance indicated that cougars were common (4.19±5.57 cougars/100 km2 and 0.05±0.05 scats/km). According to the scat index, bobcats were more...

  7. In vitro anti-mycobacterial activity of nine medicinal plants used by ethnic groups in Sonora, Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robles-Zepeda, Ramón Enrique; Coronado-Aceves, Enrique Wenceslao; Velázquez-Contreras, Carlos Arturo; Ruiz-Bustos, Eduardo; Navarro-Navarro, Moisés; Garibay-Escobar, Adriana

    2013-11-25

    Sonoran ethnic groups (Yaquis, Mayos, Seris, Guarijíos, Pimas, Kikapúes and Pápagos) use mainly herbal based preparations as their first line of medicinal treatment. Among the plants used are those with anti-tuberculosis properties; however, no formal research is available. Organic extracts were obtained from nine medicinal plants traditionally used by Sonoran ethnic groups to treat different kinds of diseases; three of them are mainly used to treat tuberculosis. All of the extracts were tested against Mycobacterium tuberculosis H37Rv using the Alamar Blue redox bioassay. Methanolic extracts from Ambrosia confertiflora, Ambrosia ambrosioides and Guaiacum coulteri showed minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) values of 200, 790 and 1000 μg/mL, respectively, whereas no effect was observed with the rest of the methanolic extracts at the concentrations tested. Chloroform, dichloromethane, and ethyl acetate extracts from Ambrosia confertiflora showed a MIC of 90, 120 and 160 μg/mL, respectively. A. confertiflora and A. ambrosioides showed the best anti-mycobacterial activity in vitro. The activity of Guaiacum coulteri is consistent with the traditional use by Sonoran ethnic groups as anti-tuberculosis agent.For these reasons, it is important to investigate a broader spectrum of medicinal plants in order to find compounds active against Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

  8. Proposed revision to the taxonomy of the genus Pestivirus, family Flaviviridae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Donald B; Meyers, Gregor; Bukh, Jens; Gould, Ernest A; Monath, Thomas; Scott Muerhoff, A; Pletnev, Alexander; Rico-Hesse, Rebecca; Stapleton, Jack T; Simmonds, Peter; Becher, Paul

    2017-08-01

    We propose the creation of seven new species in the genus Pestivirus (family Flaviviridae) in addition to the four existing species, and naming species in a host-independent manner using the format Pestivirus X. Only the virus species names would change; virus isolates would still be referred to by their original names. The original species would be re-designated as Pestivirus A (original designation Bovine viral diarrhea virus 1), Pestivirus B (Bovine viral diarrhea virus 2), Pestivirus C (Classical swine fever virus) and Pestivirus D (Border disease virus). The seven new species (and example isolates) would be Pestivirus E (pronghorn pestivirus), Pestivirus F (Bungowannah virus), Pestivirus G (giraffe pestivirus), Pestivirus H (Hobi-like pestivirus), Pestivirus I (Aydin-like pestivirus), Pestivirus J (rat pestivirus) and Pestivirus K (atypical porcine pestivirus). A bat-derived virus and pestiviruses identified from sheep and goat (Tunisian sheep pestiviruses), which lack complete coding region sequences, may represent two additional species.

  9. U.S. Geological Survey 2013 assessment of undiscovered resources in the Bakken and Three Forks Formations of the U.S. Williston Basin Province

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaswirth, Stephanie B.; Marra, Kristen R.

    2014-01-01

    The Upper Devonian Three Forks and Upper Devonian to Lower Mississippian Bakken Formations comprise a major United States continuous oil resource. Current exploitation of oil is from horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing of the Middle Member of the Bakken and upper Three Forks, with ongoing exploration of the lower Three Forks, and the Upper, Lower, and Pronghorn Members of the Bakken Formation. In 2008, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) estimated a mean of 3.65 billion bbl of undiscovered, technically recoverable oil resource within the Bakken Formation. The USGS recently reassessed the Bakken Formation, which included an assessment of the underlying Three Forks Formation. The Pronghorn Member of the Bakken Formation, where present, was included as part of the Three Forks assessment due to probable fluid communication between reservoirs. For the Bakken Formation, five continuous and one conventional assessment units (AUs) were defined. These AUs are modified from the 2008 AU boundaries to incorporate expanded geologic and production information. The Three Forks Formation was defined with one continuous and one conventional AU. Within the continuous AUs, optimal regions of hydrocarbon recovery, or “sweet spots,” were delineated and estimated ultimate recoveries were calculated for each continuous AU. Resulting undiscovered, technically recoverable resource estimates were 3.65 billion bbl for the five Bakken continuous oil AUs and 3.73 billion bbl for the Three Forks Continuous Oil AU, generating a total mean resource estimate of 7.38 billion bbl. The two conventional AUs are hypothetical and represent a negligible component of the total estimated resource (8 million barrels of oil).

  10. Informing recovery in a human-transformed landscape: Drought-mediated coexistence alters population trends of an imperiled salamander and invasive predators

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hossack, Blake R.; Honeycutt, Richard; Sigafus, Brent H.; Muths, Erin L.; Crawford, Catherine L.; Jones, Thomas R.; Sorensen, Jeff A.; Rorabaugh, James C.; Chambert, Thierry

    2017-01-01

    Understanding the additive or interactive threats of habitat transformation and invasive species is critical for conservation, especially where climate change is expected to increase the severity or frequency of drought. In the arid southwestern USA, this combination of stressors has caused widespread declines of native aquatic and semi-aquatic species. Achieving resilience to drought and other effects of climate change may depend upon continued management, so understanding the combined effects of stressors is important. We used Bayesian hierarchical models fitted with 10-years of pond-based monitoring surveys for the federally-endangered Sonoran Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma mavortium stebbinsi) and invasive predators (fishes and American Bullfrogs, Lithobates catesbeianus) that threaten native species. We estimated trends in occupancy of salamanders and invasive predators while accounting for hydrological dynamics of ponds, then used a two-species interaction model to directly estimate how invasive predators affected salamander occupancy. We also tested a conceptual model that predicted that drought, by limiting the distribution of invasive predators, could ultimately benefit native species. Even though occupancy of invasive predators was stationary and their presence in a pond reduced the probability of salamander presence by 23%, occupancy of Sonoran Tiger Salamanders increased, annually, by 2.2%. Occupancy of salamanders and invasive predators both declined dramatically following the 5th consecutive year of drought. Salamander occupancy recovered quickly after return to non-drought conditions, while occupancy of invasive predators remained suppressed. Models that incorporated three time-lagged periods (1 to 4 years) of local moisture conditions confirmed that salamanders and invasive predators responded differently to drought, reflecting how life-history strategies shape responses to disturbances. The positive 10-year trend in salamander occupancy and their

  11. The herpetofauna of Sonora, Mexico, with comparisons to adjoining states

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Enderson, E. F.

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Situated in the topographically complex transition between the Neotropics and the temperate biomes of North America,the state of Sonora, Mexico, has an extraordinarily diverse herpetofauna. Surprisingly little research has been conductedon the state’s amphibians and reptiles and many systematic and biogeographic questions remain unanswered. Tofacilitate future research, we provide a checklist of Sonora’s herpetofauna, documenting species presence based onmuseum specimens, our fieldwork, and published research. Sonora’s herpetofauna is placed in a regional biogeographicperspective via a checklist for the six adjoining states together with faunal analyses. A total of 402 species ofamphibians and reptiles are recorded from these seven states. Sonora has the greatest species richness (187 species,followed by Chihuahua (169 species, and Sinaloa (146 species. Sonora's herpetofauna is most similar to that ofChihuahua, with which it shares a long border. Eleven biogeographic affinity-based faunal groups are recognized. Ofthese, three are dominant in Sonora: a core group classified as "Sonoran" demonstrates strong affinity to SonoranDesertscrub and Sinaloan Thornscrub communities; a Tropical group - with many species reaching their northerndistributional limits in the state; and a Madrean group consisting largely of montane species. Our state-level faunalanalysis provides some evidence of peninsular depauperization of the herpetofauna on the Baja California peninsula duein part to the small number of Neotropical species present in Baja California Sur. Our faunal analysis points towarddistinctive mainland and peninsular Sonoran Desert herpetofaunas centered on Sonora and the Baja CaliforniaPeninsula, respectively, each with about 50 non-insular species, and each with species-level endemism nearing 50%.

  12. Merchants, Prices and Salaries in Sonora during the Late Colonial Period. Description of a Captive Trade Circuit

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José Refugio de la Torre Curiel

    2008-10-01

    Full Text Available This paper offers a critical view on the existence of regional markets and the New Spain market,  based on the analysis of the presence, in the state of Sonora, of different forms of participation in the deals that depended on, and nurtured, the local trade circuits. Sonoran economies are shown to have been part of a captive trade net managed at a distance from the center of New Spain by Mexico City merchants, and locally manipulated by several middlemen who transferred the system's operational costs to the final consumers through mechanisms such as salaries in kind and compulsory indebtedness.

  13. Assessing the geologic and climatic forcing of biodiversity and evolution surrounding the Gulf of California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dolby, Greer; Bennett, Scott E. K.; Lira-Noriega, Andres; Wilder, Benjamin T.; Munguia-Vega, Adrian

    2015-01-01

    For almost a century the Baja California peninsula (Peninsula), Gulf of California (Gulf), and broader Sonoran Desert region (figure 1) have drawn geologists and biologists alike to study its unique physical and evolutionary processes (e.g., Wittich 1920; Darton 1921; Nelson 1921; Johnston 1924; Beal 1948; Durham and Allison 1960). The challenge remains to untangle the long, intricate, and at times enigmatic geological and climatological histories that have shaped the high levels of endemism and biodiversity observed in the region today (Van Devender 1990; Grismer 2000; Riddle et al. 2000).

  14. 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.

  15. Altertoxins with potent anti-HIV activity from Alternaria tenuissima QUE1Se, a fungal endophyte of Quercus emoryi

    OpenAIRE

    Bashyal, Bharat P.; Wellensiek, Brian P.; Ramakrishnan, Rajesh; Faeth, Stanley H.; Ahmad, Nafees; Leslie Gunatilaka, A. A.

    2014-01-01

    Screening of a small library of natural product extracts derived from endophytic fungi of the Sonoran desert plants in a cell-based anti-HIV assay involving T-cells infected with the HIV-1 virus identified the EtOAc extract of a fermentation broth of Alternaria tenuissima QUE1Se inhabiting the stem tissue of Quercus emoryi as a promising candidate for further investigation. Bioactivity-guided fractionation of this extract led to the isolation and identification of two new metabolites, alterto...

  16. 131I concentrations in air, milk and antelope thyroids in southeastern Idaho

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Markham, O.D.; Halford, D.K.; Bihl, D.E.

    1980-01-01

    Iodine-131 concentrations were determined in air, milk, and antelope (Antilocapra americana) thyroids from southeastern Idaho during 1972-77. Samples were collected in the vicinity of the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory Site which has 17 operating nuclear reactors, a fuel reprocessing plant, and a nuclear waste management facility. Samples were also collected from control areas. During the study, fallout occurred from five People's Republic of China above-ground nuclear weapon detonations. All 131 I detected in air and milk samples was attributed to fallout from the Chinese nuclear tests. 131 I was detected in low-volume air samples following only one of the five detonations while 131 I was detected in milk following four of the detonations. 131 I occurred in antelope thyroids during all five of the fallout periods and following at least one atmospheric release from facilities at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory Site. Thyroids were the most sensitive indicators of 131 I in the environment followed by milk and then air. Maximum concentrations in thyroids, milk, and air were 400, 20 and 4 times higher respectively than their respective detection limits. (author)

  17. Incorporating population viability models into species status assessment and listing decisions under the U.S. Endangered Species Act

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Conor P. McGowan

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Assessment of a species' status is a key part of management decision making for endangered and threatened species under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. Predicting the future state of the species is an essential part of species status assessment, and projection models can play an important role in developing predictions. We built a stochastic simulation model that incorporated parametric and environmental uncertainty to predict the probable future status of the Sonoran desert tortoise in the southwestern United States and North Central Mexico. Sonoran desert tortoise was a Candidate species for listing under the Endangered Species Act, and decision makers wanted to use model predictions in their decision making process. The model accounted for future habitat loss and possible effects of climate change induced droughts to predict future population growth rates, abundances, and quasi-extinction probabilities. Our model predicts that the population will likely decline over the next few decades, but there is very low probability of quasi-extinction less than 75 years into the future. Increases in drought frequency and intensity may increase extinction risk for the species. Our model helped decision makers predict and characterize uncertainty about the future status of the species in their listing decision. We incorporated complex ecological processes (e.g., climate change effects on tortoises in transparent and explicit ways tailored to support decision making processes related to endangered species.

  18. Incorporating population viability models into species status assessment and listing decisions under the U.S. Endangered Species Act

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGowan, Conor P.; Allan, Nathan; Servoss, Jeff; Hedwall, Shaula J.; Wooldridge, Brian

    2017-01-01

    Assessment of a species' status is a key part of management decision making for endangered and threatened species under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. Predicting the future state of the species is an essential part of species status assessment, and projection models can play an important role in developing predictions. We built a stochastic simulation model that incorporated parametric and environmental uncertainty to predict the probable future status of the Sonoran desert tortoise in the southwestern United States and North Central Mexico. Sonoran desert tortoise was a Candidate species for listing under the Endangered Species Act, and decision makers wanted to use model predictions in their decision making process. The model accounted for future habitat loss and possible effects of climate change induced droughts to predict future population growth rates, abundances, and quasi-extinction probabilities. Our model predicts that the population will likely decline over the next few decades, but there is very low probability of quasi-extinction less than 75 years into the future. Increases in drought frequency and intensity may increase extinction risk for the species. Our model helped decision makers predict and characterize uncertainty about the future status of the species in their listing decision. We incorporated complex ecological processes (e.g., climate change effects on tortoises) in transparent and explicit ways tailored to support decision making processes related to endangered species.

  19. The dazed and confused identity of Agassiz’s land tortoise, Gopherus agassizii (Testudines: Testudinidae with the description of a new species and its consequences for conservation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert Murphy

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available We investigate a cornucopia of problems associated with the identity of the desert tortoise, Gopherus agassizii Cooper. The date of publication is found to be 1861, rather than 1863. Only one of the three original cotypes exists, and it is designated as the lectotype of the species. Another cotype is found to have been destroyed in the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and subsequent fire. The third is lost. The lectotype is genetically confirmed to be from California, and not Arizona, USA as sometimes reported. Maternally, the holotype of G. lepidocephalus Ottley et Velázques Solis, 1989 from the Cape Region of Baja California Sur, Mexico is also from the Mojavian population of the desert tortoise, and not from Tiburon Island, Sonora, Mexico as previously proposed. A suite of characters serve to diagnose tortoises west and north of the Colorado River, the Mojavian population, from those east and south of the river in Arizona, USA and Sonora and Sinaloa, Mexico, the Sonoran population. Species recognition is warranted and because G. lepidocephalus is from the Mojavian population no names are available for the Sonoran species. Thus, a new species, Gopherus morafkai sp. n., is named and this action reduces the distribution of G. agassizii to only 30% of its former range. This reduction has important implications for the conservation and protection of G. agassizii, which may deserve a higher level of protection.

  20. Vascular Plant and Vertebrate Inventory of Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, Cecilia A.; Powell, Brian F.; Halvorson, William L.

    2007-01-01

    Executive Summary We summarized inventory and monitoring efforts for plants and vertebrates at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument (NM) in Arizona. We used data from previous research to compile complete species lists for the monument and to assess inventory completeness. There have been 1,031 species of plants and vertebrates observed at the monument. Most of the species on the list are documented by voucher specimens. There are 59 non-native species established in the monument: one mammal, three birds, and 55 non-native plants. Most non-native plant species were first recorded along roads. In each taxon-specific chapter, we highlight areas that contribute disproportionately to species richness or that have unique species for the monument. Of particular importance are Quitobaquito Springs and Pond, which are responsible for the monument having one of the highest number of bird species in the Sonoran Desert Network of parks. Quitobaquito also contains the only fish in the monument, the endangered Quitobaquito pupfish (Cyprinodon eremus). Other important resources for the plants and vertebrates include the xeroriparian washes (e.g., Alamo Canyon) and the Ajo Mountains. Based on the review of past studies, we believe the inventories of vascular plants and vertebrates are nearly complete and that the monument has one of the most complete inventories of any unit in the Sonoran Desert Network.

  1. Madrean Archipelago Ecoregion: Chapter 28 in Status and trends of land change in the Western United States--1973 to 2000

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruhlman, Jana; Gass, Leila; Middleton, Barry

    2012-01-01

    The Madrean Archipelago Ecoregion (Omernik, 1987; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1997), also known as the “Madrean Sky Islands” or “Sky Islands,” covers an area of approximately 40,536 km2 (15,651 mi2) in southeastern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico (fig. 1). The ecoregion is bounded on the west by the Sonoran Basin and Range Ecoregion, on the east by the Chihuahuan Deserts Ecoregion, and on the north by the Arizona/New Mexico Mountains Ecoregion. This area of basin-and-range topography is one of the most biologically diverse in the world (Koprowski, 2005; Skroch, 2008). Although the mountains in the ecoregion bridge the Rocky Mountains to the north and the Sierra Madre Occidental in Mexico to the south (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1997), the lower elevations act as a barrier to species dispersal. Nevertheless, the geographic convergence of these two major continental mountain ranges, as well as of the Chihuahuan Desert to the east and the Sonoran Desert to the west, forms the foundation for ecological interactions found nowhere else on Earth (Skroch, 2008).

  2. Food habits of pumas in northwestern Sonora, Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosas-Rosas, O. C.; Valdez, R.; Bender, L.C.; Daniel, D.

    2003-01-01

    It is questionable whether food-habits studies of pumas conducted in the southwestern United States can be extrapolated to northwestern Mexico, because of differences in management, distribution, and abundance of wildlife. We determined food habits of pumas (Puma concolor) in the Sonoran Desert of northwestern Sonora, Mexico. Based on studies in the western United States, we hypothesized that desert mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) were the major food source of pumas in Sonoran Desert habitats of Mexico. The study area supports populations of desert mule deer, white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), lagomorphs (Lepus spp. and Sylvilagus audubonii), collared peccary (Pecari tajacu), and the largest population (???300 individuals) of desert bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis) in Sonora. Based on pugmark characteristics, we recorded 3 different adult resident pumas in approximately 90 km2. We analyzed 60 puma fecal samples collected September 1996-November 1998. Primary prey items based on frequency of occurrence and estimated biomass consumed were desert bighorn sheep (40% and 45%, respectively), lagomorphs (33%, 19%), deer (17%, 17%), and collared peccary (15%, 11%). The high percentage of desert bighorn sheep in puma diets may be due to high abundance relative to mule deer, which declined in number during our study. No differences were found in puma diets between seasons (??22=2.4526, P=0.2934). Fluctuations in mule deer populations in northwestern Sonora may influence prey selection by pumas.

  3. 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.

  4. HLA-DQ genetic risk gradient for type 1 diabetes and celiac disease in northwestern Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mejía-León, M E; Ruiz-Dyck, K M; Calderón de la Barca, A M

    2015-01-01

    Type 1 diabetes (T1D) and celiac disease (CD) are the 2 most common autoimmune childhood diseases that share their HLA-DQ2 and DQ8 genetic origin. There has currently been an increase in both diseases worldwide. In children from the low-population State of Sonora (15 inhabitants/km(2)) in north-western Mexico, there is no information on their genetic risk or the distribution of the related alleles in the general population. To compare the HLA-DQ allele frequency in a representative sample of newborns from Sonora with that of T1D and CD patients to determine the risk gradient, and to identify the presence of celiac autoimmunity in the T1D group. The study included 397 Sonoran newborns, with 44 cases of T1D, and 25 CD cases. The CD and T1D cases were clinically diagnosed by specialists at the Hospital Infantil del Estado de Sonora, and the autoantibodies were determined by ELISA. Whole blood was collected, gDNA was extracted, and HLA-DQ2 and DQ8 were typed by PCR-SSP. The risk gradient was calculated by comparing the allele frequencies of the cases with those of the newborns. The Sonoran HLA-DQ risk heterodimer proportion was 16.1% for HLA-DQ2 and 13.6% for HLA-DQ8, with an HLA-DQ2:HLA-DQ8 ratio of 1.2:1. The DQ8/DQ2 genotype represented a 1:14 risk for T1D, whereas the DQ8/DQB1*0201 combination showed a 1:6 risk for CD. The prevalence of CD autoimmunity in T1D children was 7%. The Sonoran population has a distinctive HLA-DQ allele distribution due to its ancestry. The HLA-DQ8 combinations with DQ2 or one of its alleles conferred the highest risk for both diseases, and T1D and CD frequently appear together. Copyright © 2015 Asociación Mexicana de Gastroenterología. Published by Masson Doyma México S.A. All rights reserved.

  5. Long-term dust climatology in the western United States reconstructed from routine aerosol ground monitoring

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. Q. Tong

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available This study introduces an observation-based dust identification approach and applies it to reconstruct long-term dust climatology in the western United States. Long-term dust climatology is important for quantifying the effects of atmospheric aerosols on regional and global climate. Although many routine aerosol monitoring networks exist, it is often difficult to obtain dust records from these networks, because these monitors are either deployed far away from dust active regions (most likely collocated with dense population or contaminated by anthropogenic sources and other natural sources, such as wildfires and vegetation detritus. Here we propose an approach to identify local dust events relying solely on aerosol mass and composition from general-purpose aerosol measurements. Through analyzing the chemical and physical characteristics of aerosol observations during satellite-detected dust episodes, we select five indicators to be used to identify local dust records: (1 high PM10 concentrations; (2 low PM2.5/PM10 ratio; (3 higher concentrations and percentage of crustal elements; (4 lower percentage of anthropogenic pollutants; and (5 low enrichment factors of anthropogenic elements. After establishing these identification criteria, we conduct hierarchical cluster analysis for all validated aerosol measurement data over 68 IMPROVE sites in the western United States. A total of 182 local dust events were identified over 30 of the 68 locations from 2000 to 2007. These locations are either close to the four US Deserts, namely the Great Basin Desert, the Mojave Desert, the Sonoran Desert, and the Chihuahuan Desert, or in the high wind power region (Colorado. During the eight-year study period, the total number of dust events displays an interesting four-year activity cycle (one in 2000–2003 and the other in 2004–2007. The years of 2003, 2002 and 2007 are the three most active dust periods, with 46, 31 and 24

  6. Intercomparison of 30+ years of AVHRR and Landsat-5 TM Surface Reflectance using Multiple Pseudo-Invariant Calibration Sites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santamaría-Artigas, A. E.; Franch, B.; Vermote, E.; Roger, J. C.; Justice, C. O.

    2017-12-01

    The 30+ years daily surface reflectance long term data record (LTDR) from the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) is a valuable source of information for long-term studies of the Earth surface. This LTDR was generated by combining observations from multiple AVHRR sensors aboard different NOAA satellites starting from the early 1980s, and due to the lack of on-board calibration its quality should be evaluated. Previous studies have used observations from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) over pseudo-invariant calibration sites (PICS) as a calibrated reference to assess the performance of AVHRR products. However, this limits the evaluation to the period after MODIS launch. In this work, the AVHRR surface reflectance LTDR was evaluated against Landsat-5 Thematic Mapper (TM) data using observations from 4 well known pseudo-invariant calibration sites (i.e. Sonoran, Saharan, Sudan1, and Libya4) over an extended time period (1984-2011). For the intercomparison, AVHRR and TM observations of each site were extracted and averaged over a 20 km x 20 km area and aggregated to monthly mean values. In order to account for the spectral differences between sensors, Hyperion hyperspectral data from the Sonoran and Libya4 sites were convolved with sensor-specific relative spectral responses, and used to compute spectral band adjustment factors (SBAFs). Results of the intercomparison are reported in terms of the root mean square difference (RMSD) and determination coefficient (r2). In general, there is good agreement between the surface reflectance products from both sensors. The overall RMSD and r2 for all the sites and AVHRR/TM combinations were 0.03 and 0.85 for the red band, and 0.04 and 0.81 for the near-infrared band. These results show the strong performance of the AVHRR surface reflectance LTDR through all of the considered period. Thus, remarking its usefulness and value for long term Earth studies. Figure 1 shows the red (filled markers

  7. Trends in landscape and vegetation change and implications for the Santa Cruz Watershed

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villarreal, Miguel; Norman, Laura M.; Webb, Robert H.; Turner, Raymond M.

    2013-01-01

    Monitoring and characterizing the interactive effects of land use and climate on land surface processes is a primary focus of land change science, and of particular concern in arid Wells Distribution in Shallow Groundwater Areas Pumping Trends Increase Streamflow Extent Declines 27 environments where both landscapes and livelihoods can be impacted by short-term climate variability. Using a multi-observational approach to land-change analysis that included landownership data as a proxy for land-use practices, multitemporal land-cover maps, and repeat photography dating to the late 19th century, we examine changing spatial and temporal distributions of two vegetation types with high conservation value in the southwestern United States: grasslands and riparian vegetation. Our study area is the bi-national Santa Cruz Watershed, a topographically complex watershed that straddles the Sonoran Desert and the Madrean Archipelago Ecoregions. In this presentation we focus on historical changes in vegetation and land use in grasslands and riparian areas of the Madrean Ecoregion (San Raphael Valley, Cienega Creek, Sonoita), and compare changes in these areas to changes in the warmer and drier Sonoran Ecoregion. Analysis of historical photography confirms major 20th century vegetation shifts documented in other research: woody plant encroachment, desertification of grasslands, and changing riparian and xeroriparian vegetation occurred in both ecoregions following human settlement. However, vegetation changes over the past decade appear to be more subtle and some of the past trajectories appear to be reversing; most notable are recent mesquite declines in xeroriparian and upland areas, and changes from shrubland to grassland area in the Madrean ecoregion. Land cover changes were temporally variable, reflecting broad climate changes. The most dynamic cover changes occurred during the period from 1989 to 1999, a period with two intense droughts. The degree of vegetation change

  8. Radioecological investigations of uranium mill tailings systems. Progress report, September 1, 1979-September 30, 1980

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Whicker, F.W.

    1980-01-01

    The initial 13 months of this program have been devoted to staffing, development of a radiochemistry capability, development of a mill tailings reclamation study, studies on hydraulic properties of soils, initiation of plant uptake studies, preparation for metabolic studies with deer and antelope, and sample collections. Through the addition of new personnel and equipment, we are rapidly developing analytical capabilities for 238 U, 230 Th, 226 Ra, 210 Pb and 210 Po in matrices such as soil, water, plant material, and animal tissues. A 4 acre study site was developed in cooperation with the Pathfinder Mines Corp. at the Shirley Basin Uranium Mine in Wyoming. The study site is designed for investigations on the influence of various kinds and thicknesses of mill tailings soil covers on the integrity of reclaimed tailings and inherent radionuclides. Studies on the hydraulic properties of various soil materials were conducted and data analysis is in progress. Plots and procedures for conducting plant uptake studies on uranium and progeny were established and long-term investigations have been initiated. A colony of tame mule deer and pronghorn antelope has been developed for studies on the uptake and retention of 210 Pb and 210 Po. Numerous collections of soil, vegetation and water from the Shirley Basin Uranium Mine environs were conducted and radiochemical assay is in progress

  9. WLCI researchers employ new approaches to help managers conserve deer migrations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Leslie A.; Kauffman, Matthew J.

    2012-01-01

    Elk, mule deer, pronghorn antelope, moose, and bighorn sheep are iconic animals of the American West. These hooved animals, known as ungulates, commonly travel 30–60 miles between seasonal ranges. These migrations between winter and summer ranges are vital for survival and reproduction. As habitat fragmentation continues, the conservation of ungulate migration routes has received considerable attention in the West and across the globe. For example, it is estimated that many ungulate migration routes in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem have already been lost. The traditional migration routes of Wyoming ungulates are threatened by unprecedented levels of energy development and by increasing levels of rural ranchette development (including fences, structures, and roads). In the past, migration corridors have been mapped based primarily on the expert opinions of state game managers, but long-term conservation of Wyoming's ungulate migration routes requires a better understanding of migration ecology and more sophisticated management tools. Wyoming Landscape Conservation Initiative (WLCI) researchers investigated the migration of a large mule deer herd across the Dad and Wild Horse winter ranges in southwest Wyoming, where 2,000 gas wells and 1,609 kilometers of pipelines and roads have been proposed for development.

  10. HUBUNGAN PANJANG-BERAT DAN FAKTOR KONDISI LOBSTER BATU (Panulirus penicillatus DI PERAIRAN SELATAN GUNUNG KIDUL DAN PACITAN

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Moh Fauzi Fauzi

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Perairan di sebelah selatan Gunung Kidul dan Pacitan merupakan daerah penangkapan lobster yang cukup potensial. Analisis hubungan panjang berat, faktor kondisi dan sebaran kisaran panjang lobster batu (Panulirus penicillatus di perairan tersebut dilakukan pada bulan Maret 2010 hingga Maret 2012. Pengukuran panjang-berat terhadap 1.803 individu lobster batu menunjukkan pola pertumbuhan yang bersifat allometrik negatif. Faktor kondisi lobster memiliki kesamaan antara jenis kelamin jantan dan betina dan terdapat kecenderungan menurunnya faktor kondisi dengan bertambahnya panjang (umur. Panjang karapas dominan berada pada kisaran antara 45-50mm. Lobster betina yang membawa telur ditemukan pertama kali pada kelas panjang karapas antara 35-40mm. The waters in the south of Gunung Kidul and Pacitan were indicated as a potentially fishing ground of spiny lobster. Analysis of Length-weight relationship, condition factor and distribution of the pronghorn spiny lobster (Panulirus penicillatus in those waters were conducted in March 2010 through March 2012. Length-weight measurements on 1.803 individual lobsters showed allometric negative growth patterns. Lobster have in common condition factor between male and female, and there is a tendency condition factor decreased with increasing length (age. Dominant carapace length is in the range between 45-50mm. Female lobsters carrying eggs were first discovered in the class of carapace length between 35-40mm.

  11. Parallel multiphysics algorithms and software for computational nuclear engineering

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gaston, D; Hansen, G; Kadioglu, S; Knoll, D A; Newman, C; Park, H; Permann, C; Taitano, W

    2009-01-01

    There is a growing trend in nuclear reactor simulation to consider multiphysics problems. This can be seen in reactor analysis where analysts are interested in coupled flow, heat transfer and neutronics, and in fuel performance simulation where analysts are interested in thermomechanics with contact coupled to species transport and chemistry. These more ambitious simulations usually motivate some level of parallel computing. Many of the coupling efforts to date utilize simple code coupling or first-order operator splitting, often referred to as loose coupling. While these approaches can produce answers, they usually leave questions of accuracy and stability unanswered. Additionally, the different physics often reside on separate grids which are coupled via simple interpolation, again leaving open questions of stability and accuracy. Utilizing state of the art mathematics and software development techniques we are deploying next generation tools for nuclear engineering applications. The Jacobian-free Newton-Krylov (JFNK) method combined with physics-based preconditioning provide the underlying mathematical structure for our tools. JFNK is understood to be a modern multiphysics algorithm, but we are also utilizing its unique properties as a scale bridging algorithm. To facilitate rapid development of multiphysics applications we have developed the Multiphysics Object-Oriented Simulation Environment (MOOSE). Examples from two MOOSE-based applications: PRONGHORN, our multiphysics gas cooled reactor simulation tool and BISON, our multiphysics, multiscale fuel performance simulation tool will be presented.

  12. Species longevity in North American fossil mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prothero, Donald R

    2014-08-01

    Species longevity in the fossil record is related to many paleoecological variables and is important to macroevolutionary studies, yet there are very few reliable data on average species durations in Cenozoic fossil mammals. Many of the online databases (such as the Paleobiology Database) use only genera of North American Cenozoic mammals and there are severe problems because key groups (e.g. camels, oreodonts, pronghorns and proboscideans) have no reliable updated taxonomy, with many invalid genera and species and/or many undescribed genera and species. Most of the published datasets yield species duration estimates of approximately 2.3-4.3 Myr for larger mammals, with small mammals tending to have shorter species durations. My own compilation of all the valid species durations in families with updated taxonomy (39 families, containing 431 genera and 998 species, averaging 2.3 species per genus) yields a mean duration of 3.21 Myr for larger mammals. This breaks down to 4.10-4.39 Myr for artiodactyls, 3.14-3.31 Myr for perissodactyls and 2.63-2.95 Myr for carnivorous mammals (carnivorans plus creodonts). These averages are based on a much larger, more robust dataset than most previous estimates, so they should be more reliable for any studies that need species longevity to be accurately estimated. © 2013 International Society of Zoological Sciences, Institute of Zoology/Chinese Academy of Sciences and Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd.

  13. Numerical taxonomy of the genus Pestivirus based on palindromic nucleotide substitutions in the 5' untranslated region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giangaspero, Massimo; Harasawa, Ryô

    2007-12-01

    The palindromic nucleotide substitutions (PNS) at the three variable loci (V1, V2 and V3) in the 5' untranslated region (UTR) of Pestivirus RNA have been considered for taxonomical segregation of species, through the evaluation of 430 genomic sequences. On the basis of qualitative and quantitative secondary structure characteristics, six species have been identified: Bovine viral diarrhea virus 1 (BVDV-1), Bovine viral diarrhea virus 2 (BVDV-2), Classical swine fever virus (CSFV), Border disease virus (BDV), the tentative species Giraffe and a new proposed taxon named Pronghorn. The first step was qualitative and consisted in the characterization of the different positions of the three stems and loops in the 5' UTR sequences of all the strains under consideration belonging to the genus. Secondary structure sequences showing divergent base-pair combinations have been aligned for comparison. Palindromic positions have been characterized according to changes in nucleotide base-pairs identifying low-variable positions (LVP) including base-pairs present in less than 80% of the genus. The second step was quantitative, allowing the identification of genomic groups by clustering the base-pair combinations according to LVP. Relatedness among types was evaluated to identify homogeneous groups. Cross comparisons between types within the genus have been evaluated by computing the divergence percentage thus clarifying borderline and multirelated sequences.

  14. Distribution of the Sonora Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma mavortium stebbinsi) in Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hossack, Blake R.; Muths, Erin L.; Rorabaugh, James C.; Lemos Espinal, Julio A.; Sigafus, Brent H.; Chambert, Thierry A.; Carreon Arroyo, Gerardo; Hurtado Felix, David; Toyos Martinez, Daniel; Jones, Thomas R.

    2016-01-01

    The Sonoran Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma mavortium stebbinsi Lowe, 1954) was listed as federally endangered in the USA in 1997 (USFWS 1997). In the USA, the distribution of A. mavortium stebbinsi is limited to the San Rafael Valley (approximately 567 km2), between the Sierra San Antonio (called the Patagonia Mountains in Arizona) and Huachuca Mountains, and south of the Canelo Hills, Arizona (Fig. 1). The USA listing was triggered by loss of natural wetland habitats, threats from invasive predators, frequent die-offs from disease, introgression with the introduced Barred Tiger Salamander (A. mavortium mavortium), and small range and number of breeding sites that increases susceptibility to stochastic events (USFWS 1997). Small population sizes and limited gene flow have caused inbreeding, which may further reduce population viability and the potential for recovery (Jones et al. 1988; Storfer et al. 2014). 

  15. Unravelling long-term vegetation change patterns in a binational watershed using multitemporal land cover data and historical photography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villarreal, Miguel L.; Norman, Laura M.; Webb, Robert H.; Boyer, Diane E.; Turner, Raymond M.

    2011-01-01

    A significant amount of research conducted in the Sonoran Desert of North America has documented, both anecdotally and empirically, major vegetation changes over the past century due to human land use activities. However, many studies lack coincidental landscape-scale data characterizing the spatial and temporal manifestation of these changes. Vegetation changes in a binational (USA and Mexico) watershed were documented using a series of four land cover maps (1979-2009) derived from multispectral satellite imagery. Cover changes are compared to georeferenced, repeat oblique photographs dating from the late 19th century to present. Results indicate the expansion of grassland over the past 20 years following nearly a century of decline. Historical repeat photography documents early-mid 20th century mesquite invasions, but recent land cover data and rephotography demonstrate declines in xeroriparian/riparian mesquite communities in recent decades. These vegetation changes are variable over the landscape and influenced by topography and land management.

  16. Birds of the US-Mexico borderlands: Distribution, ecology and conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruth, Janet M.; Brush, Tim; Krueper, David J.

    2008-01-01

    The concept for this volume began as a scientifi c symposium at the North American Ornithological Conference (NAOC) in Veracruz, Mexico in October 2006. The symposium was entitled “Avian Distributional Change, Anthropogenic Challenges, and Recent Avian Research and Technological Advances within the US–Mexico Border Region,” and was cochaired by two of us (DJK and TB) along with Carol Beardmore (Sonoran Joint Venture) and Bill Howe (USDI Fish and Wildlife Service). In light of the importance of the borderland region for birds and bird conservation, and because of the great need for additional information about this poorly studied region, we have compiled this volume to present new information about bird distribution, ecology, and conservation.

  17. Jojoba seed meal proteins associated with proteolytic and protease inhibitory activities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shrestha, Madan K; Peri, Irena; Smirnoff, Patricia; Birk, Yehudith; Golan-Goldhirsh, Avi

    2002-09-25

    The jojoba, Simmondsia chinensis, is a characteristic desert plant native to the Sonoran desert. The jojoba meal after oil extraction is rich in protein. The major jojoba proteins were albumins (79%) and globulins (21%), which have similar amino acid compositions and also showed a labile thrombin-inhibitory activity. SDS-PAGE showed two major proteins at 50 kDa and 25 kDa both in the albumins and in the globulins. The 25 kDa protein has trypsin- and chymotrypsin-inhibitory activities. In vitro digestibility of the globulins and albumins resembled that of casein and soybean protein concentrates and was increased after heat treatment. The increased digestibility achieved by boiling may be attributed to inactivation of the protease inhibitors and denaturation of proteins.

  18. Unusual etiology of gastrointestinal symptoms: the case of jojoba butter.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Minckler, Michael R; Fisher, Joseph; Bowers, Rachel; Amini, Richard

    2017-01-01

    Jojoba butter is cyanogenic and has gained attention among herbal supplement consumers due to claims that it may aid in weight loss. Jojoba butter is extracted from the seeds of jojoba shrubs found in the Sonoran Desert. The seeds have long been recognized as inedible, however clinical symptoms following ingestion are not well documented. This report describes a patient who developed restlessness and gastrointestinal complaints following ingestion of homemade jojoba seed butter. The patient's presentation following ingestion is discussed, as well as effective workup and treatment. In our case, the patient was monitored and received fluid resuscitation, lorazepam, and diphenhydramine for symptomatic therapy. This case describes the gastrointestinal sequela and effective management following ingestion of jojoba butter.

  19. Development and Characterization of 10 Microsatellite Loci in the Giant Cardon Cactus, Pachycereus pringlei (Cactaceae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carina Gutiérrez Flores

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Premise of the study: Microsatellite primers were developed for the cardon, a giant columnar cactus (Pachycereus pringlei of the Sonoran Desert, to investigate intraspecific genetic patterns of diversity and population structure. Methods and Results: Using 454 GS-FLX technology and bioinformatics tools, microsatellite primers were successfully identified on 282 reads, including di-, tri-, tetra-, penta-, and hexanucleotides. A set of 10 primers were characterized on 80 individuals collected in two areas of the Baja California peninsula, Mexico. All 10 loci were polymorphic, with a mean of 6.3 alleles per locus and overall levels of observed and expected heterozygosities ranging from 0.41 to 0.59 and from 0.40 to 0.57, respectively. Alleles per individual plant ranged from one to four, suggesting a polyploidal genome. Conclusions: These loci should be useful for future investigations of population structure, genetic diversity, and gene flow in the cardon cactus.

  20. 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.

  1. Vascular Plant and Vertebrate Inventory of Chiricahua National Monument

    Science.gov (United States)

    Powell, Brian F.; Schmidt, Cecilia A.; Halvorson, William L.; Anning, Pamela

    2009-01-01

    This report summarizes the results of the first comprehensive inventory of vascular plants and vertebrates at Chiricahua National Monument (NM) in Arizona. This project was part of a larger effort to inventory vascular plants and vertebrates in eight National Park Service units in the Sonoran Desert Network of parks in Arizona and New Mexico. In 2002, 2003, and 2004 we surveyed for plants and vertebrates (amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals) at Chiricahua NM to document the presence of species within the boundaries of the monument. Because we used repeatable study designs and standardized field methods, these inventories can serve as the first step in a biological monitoring program for the monument. This report is also the first summary of previous research from the monument and therefore it provides an important overview of survey efforts to date. We used data from our inventory and previous research to compile complete species lists for the monument and to assess inventory completeness. We recorded a total of 424 species, including 37 not previously found at the monument (Table 1). We found 10 species of non-native plants and one non-native mammal. Most non-native plants were found along the western boundary of the monument. Based on a review of our inventory and past research at the monument, there have been a total of 1,137 species of plants and vertebrates found at the monument. We believe the inventories of vascular plants and vertebrates are nearly complete and that the monument has one of the most complete inventories of any unit in the Sonoran Desert Network. The mammal community at the monument had the highest species richness (69 species) and the amphibian and reptile community was among the lowest species richness (33 species) of any park in the Sonoran Desert Network. Species richness of the plant and bird communities was intermediate. Among the important determinants of species richness for all groups is the geographic location of the monument

  2. 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.

  3. Arizona/New Mexico Mountains Ecoregion: Chapter 10 in Status and trends of land change in the Western United States--1973 to 2000

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruhlman, Jana; Gass, Leila; Middleton, Barry

    2012-01-01

    As the name suggests, the Arizona/New Mexico Mountains Ecoregion includes much of the mountainous regions of these two states, plus a very small part in the Guadalupe Mountains of northwestern Texas. Several isolated areas of higher terrain in Arizona and New Mexico are also included in the ecoregion, which occupies approximately 108,432 km2 (41,866 mi2) (Omernik, 1987; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1997). The ecoregion is bounded on the south by the Sonoran Basin and Range, Madrean Archipelago, and Chihuahuan Deserts Ecoregions; to the north, the ecoregion is both bounded and surrounded by the Arizona/New Mexico Plateau Ecoregion (fig. 1). The ecoregion encompasses the largest contiguous ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) forest in the United States (Strom and Fulé, 2007), which stretches from Williams, Arizona, along the Mogollon Rim, Arizona, into southwestern New Mexico, north and west of Silver City, New Mexico.

  4. 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.

  5. From Porfirist Rulers to Presidents of the Republic in the Period of the Revolution. Exploring the Rise and Fall of "Sonorism"

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ignacio Almada Bay

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents an inquiry into the predominance achived by Sonoran revolutionaries -known as "sonorismo" by some authors -between 1920 and 1935 in national political history. It foregrounds their origins according to four elements: the survival of certain old regime practices in a local order resulting from the interaction of strong aboriginal groups, a white, scattered minority, and a weak governmental presence, where no one had control and, therefore, violence and informality, and opportunism and ad hoc solutions ruled; the forming of bonds and solidaruty for the production and control of violence and access to power, centered on kinship networks; the training of public servants in the context of the transition from a vague social concensus to the concentration of power in the hands of governmental authorities, when occupying municipal positions during the porfiriato in their hme state.

  6. Unusual etiology of gastrointestinal symptoms: the case of jojoba butter

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Minckler MR

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Michael R Minckler,1 Joseph Fisher,2 Rachel Bowers,2 Richard Amini1 1Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Arizona, 2College of Medicine, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, USA Background: Jojoba butter is cyanogenic and has gained attention among herbal supplement consumers due to claims that it may aid in weight loss. Jojoba butter is extracted from the seeds of jojoba shrubs found in the Sonoran Desert. The seeds have long been recognized as inedible, however clinical symptoms following ingestion are not well documented. Case report: This report describes a patient who developed restlessness and gastrointestinal complaints following ingestion of homemade jojoba seed butter. The patient’s presentation following ingestion is discussed, as well as effective workup and treatment. In our case, the patient was monitored and received fluid resuscitation, lorazepam, and diphenhydramine for symptomatic therapy. Conclusion: This case describes the gastrointestinal sequela and effective management following ingestion of jojoba butter. Keywords: jojoba butter, simmondsin, cyanoglycoside, anorectic

  7. 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.

  8. Seedling responses to water pulses in shrubs with contrasting histories of grassland encroachment.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steven R Woods

    Full Text Available Woody plant encroachment into grasslands has occurred worldwide, but it is unclear why some tree and shrub species have been markedly more successful than others. For example, Prosopis velutina has proliferated in many grasslands of the Sonoran Desert in North America over the past century, while other shrub species with similar growth form and life history, such as Acacia greggii, have not. We conducted a glasshouse experiment to assess whether differences in early seedling development could help explain why one species and not the other came to dominate many Sonoran Desert grasslands. We established eight watering treatments mimicking a range of natural precipitation patterns and harvested seedlings 16 or 17 days after germination. A. greggii had nearly 7 times more seed mass than P. velutina, but P. velutina emerged earlier (by 3.0±0.3 d and grew faster (by 8.7±0.5 mg d⁻¹. Shoot mass at harvest was higher in A. greggii (99±6 mg seedling⁻¹ than in P. velutina (74±2 mg seedling⁻¹, but there was no significant difference in root mass (54±3 and 49±2 mg seedling⁻¹, respectively. Taproot elongation was differentially sensitive to water supply: under the highest initial watering pulse, taproots were 52±19 mm longer in P. velutina than in A. greggii. Enhanced taproot elongation under favorable rainfall conditions could give nascent P. velutina seedlings growth and survivorship advantages by helping reduce competition with grasses and maintain contact with soil water during drought. Conversely, A. greggii's greater investment in mass per seed appeared to provide little return in early seedling growth. We suggest that such differences in recruitment traits and their sensitivities to environmental conditions may help explain ecological differences between species that are highly similar as adults and help identify pivotal drivers of shrub encroachment into grasslands.

  9. Source apportionment and environmental fate of lead chromates in atmospheric dust in arid environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meza-Figueroa, Diana; González-Grijalva, Belem; Romero, Francisco; Ruiz, Joaquin; Pedroza-Montero, Martín; Rivero, Carlos Ibañez-Del; Acosta-Elías, Mónica; Ochoa-Landin, Lucas; Navarro-Espinoza, Sofía

    2018-03-07

    The environmental fate of lead derived from traffic paint has been poorly studied in developing countries, mainly in arid zones. For this purpose, a developing city located in the Sonoran desert (Hermosillo, Mexico), was chosen to conduct a study. In this paper the lead chromate (crocoite) sources in atmospheric dust were addressed using a combination of Raman microspectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and Pb isotope measurements. A high concentration of Pb and Cr as micro- and nanostructured pigments of crocoite is reported in yellow traffic paint (n=80), road dust (n=146), settled dust in roofs (n=21), and atmospheric dust (n=20) from a developing city located in the Sonoran Desert. 10 samples of peri-urban soils were collected for local geochemical background. The paint photodegradation and erosion of the asphaltic cover are enhanced by the climate, and the presence of the mineral crocoite (PbCrO 4 ) in road dust with an aerodynamic diameter ranging from 100nm to 2μm suggests its integration into the atmosphere by wind resuspension processes. A positive PbCr correlation (R 2 =0.977) was found for all studied samples, suggesting a common source. The Pb-isotope data show signatures in atmospheric dust as a product of the mixing of two end members: i) local soils and ii) crocoite crystals as pigments in paint. The presence of lead chromates in atmospheric dust has not been previously documented in Latin America, and it represents an unknown health risk to the exposed population because the identified size of crystals can reach the deepest part of lungs. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. 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.

  11. Predicting Treatment Windows for Invasive Buffelgrass in Southern Arizona using MODIS and Climate Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wallace, C.; Weltzin, J. F.; Skirvin, S. M.; Patrick-Birdwell, C.; Raichle, H.

    2014-12-01

    The increasing spread and abundance of an invasive perennial grass, buffelgrass (Pennisetum ciliare), represents an important shift in the vegetation composition of the Sonoran Desert in southern Arizona. Buffelgrass out-competes native species and alters fire regimes, and its control and management is a high-priority issue for resource managers who seek to preserve the unique and iconic Sonoran Desert flora. Herbicidal treatment of buffelgrass is most effective when the vegetation is actively growing; however, the erratic timing and length of active buffelgrass growth periods in southern Arizona confound effective management decision-making. The goal of our research is to enable the strategic application of buffelgrass herbicide by using remote sensing data to detect when and where buffelgrass is photosynthetically active. We integrated ground-based observations of buffelgrass phenology (green-up and senescence) in the Tucson, Arizona area with climate information and Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) satellite imagery at 250m spatial and both 8-day and 16-day composite temporal resolution to understand dynamics, relationships and resonance between these disparate datasets during 2011 to 2013. Fourier harmonics analysis was used to derive land surface phenology (LSP) metrics from MODIS Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI) greenness data and to quantify the temporal patterns of the climate and phenophase abundance datasets. Regression analyses and statistical tests were used to identify correlations between temporal patterns of the data sets. Our results reveal strong correlations between the observed greenness of in-situ buffelgrass and satellite LSP metrics, confirming that MODIS-EVI data can be a useful indicator of active buffelgrass growth at multiple scales. The analysis also reveals strong harmonics between precipitation and greenness, but with a lagged response, suggesting that precipitation can be a predictor of the location and intensity of

  12. Changes in food processing and occlusal dental wear during the early agricultural period in northwest Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watson, James T

    2008-01-01

    Crown dimensions and occlusal surface wear rate and wear plane were evaluated using paired first and second mandibular molars from a sample of 84 Early Agricultural period (1600 B.C.-A.D. 200) skeletons from northwest Mexico. Although this period represents a major shift in subsistence strategies in the Sonoran Desert, from food-foraging to agriculture, archaeological and dental pathology studies have identified this period as one of relative dietary stability. It was therefore predicted that very little variation in occlusal wear would have occurred between the early phase (San Pedro: 1600-800 B.C.) and late phase (Cienega: 800 B.C.-A.D. 200). Comparison of crown diameters identified some phenotypic differences between sexes but not between archaeological phases. Molar occlusal surfaces were then divided into four quadrants, and wear scores recorded for each quadrant. Principle axis analysis was performed between total wear scores of paired, adjacent first and second mandibular molars to assess rate and occlusal wear plane over time. The analysis demonstrated that both wear rate and wear plane increased from the early to the late phase of the Early Agricultural period. These results indicate that although diet may have indeed remained stable during this period in the Sonoran Desert increases in the rate of wear and wear plane may reflect changes in food-processing techniques. It is suggested that more intensive processing of agricultural products during the Cienega phase simultaneously softened the diet to create more tooth-contact wear and introduced more grit to cause faster and more angled wear on the molar occlusal surfaces. (c) 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  13. Prevalence of Asthma in School Children on the Arizona-Sonora Border.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carr, Tara F; Beamer, Paloma I; Rothers, Janet; Stern, Debra A; Gerald, Lynn B; Rosales, Cecilia B; Van Horne, Yoshira Ornelas; Pivniouk, Oksana N; Vercelli, Donata; Halonen, Marilyn; Gameros, Mercedes; Martinez, Fernando D; Wright, Anne L

    Mexican-born children living in the United States have a lower prevalence of asthma than other US children. Although children of Mexican descent near the Arizona (AZ)-Sonora border are genetically similar, differences in environmental exposures might result in differences in asthma prevalence across this region. The objective of this study was to determine if the prevalence of asthma and wheeze in these children varies across the AZ-Sonora border. The International Study of Asthma and Allergy in Children written and video questionnaires were administered to 1753 adolescents from 5 middle schools: Tucson (school A), Nogales, AZ (schools B, C), and Nogales, Sonora, Mexico (schools D, E). The prevalence of asthma and symptoms was compared, with analyses in the AZ schools limited to self-identified Mexican American students. Compared with the Sonoran reference school E, the adjusted odds ratio (OR) for asthma was significantly higher in US schools A (OR 4.89, 95% confidence interval [CI] 2.72-8.80), B (OR 3.47, 95% CI 1.88-6.42), and C (OR 4.12, 95% CI 1.78-9.60). The adjusted OR for wheeze in the past year was significantly higher in schools A (OR 2.19, 95% CI 1.20-4.01) and B (OR 2.67, 95% CI 1.42-5.01) on the written questionnaire and significantly higher in A (OR 2.13, 95% CI 1.22-3.75), B (OR 1.95, 95% CI 1.07-3.53), and Sonoran school D (OR 2.34, 95% CI 1.28-4.30) on the video questionnaire compared with school E. Asthma and wheeze prevalence differed significantly between schools and was higher in the United States. Environmental factors that may account for these differences could provide insight into mechanisms of protection from asthma. Copyright © 2016 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. The Colorado Plateau III: integrating research and resources management for effective conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sogge, Mark K.; van Riper, Charles

    2008-01-01

    Roughly centered on the Four Corners region of the southwestern United States, the Colorado Plateau covers an area of 130,000 square miles. The relatively high semi-arid province boasts nine national parks, sixteen national monuments, many state parks, and dozens of wilderness areas. With the highest concentration of parklands in North America and unique geological and ecological features, the area is of particular interest to researchers. Derived from the Eighth Biennial Conference of Research on the Colorado Plateau, this third volume in a series of research on the Colorado Plateau expands upon the previous two books. This volume focuses on the integration of science into resource management issues, summarizes what criteria make a successful collaborative effort, outlines land management concerns about drought, provides summaries of current biological, sociological, and archaeological research, and highlights current environmental issues in the Four Corner States of Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and Utah. With broad coverage that touches on topics as diverse as historical aspects of pronghorn antelope movement patterns through calculating watershed prescriptions to the role of wind-blown sand in preserving archaeological sites on the Colorado River, this volume stands as a compendium of cuttingedge management-oriented research on the Colorado Plateau. The book also introduces, for the first time, tools that can be used to assist with collaboration efforts among landowners and managers who wish to work together toward preserving resources on the Colorado Plateau and offers a wealth of insights into land management questions for many readers, especially people interested in the natural history, biology, anthropology, wildlife, and cultural management issues of the region.

  15. Common functional correlates of head-strike behavior in the pachycephalosaur Stegoceras validum (Ornithischia, Dinosauria and combative artiodactyls.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eric Snively

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Pachycephalosaurs were bipedal herbivorous dinosaurs with bony domes on their heads, suggestive of head-butting as seen in bighorn sheep and musk oxen. Previous biomechanical studies indicate potential for pachycephalosaur head-butting, but bone histology appears to contradict the behavior in young and old individuals. Comparing pachycephalosaurs with fighting artiodactyls tests for common correlates of head-butting in their cranial structure and mechanics. METHODS/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Computed tomographic (CT scans and physical sectioning revealed internal cranial structure of ten artiodactyls and pachycephalosaurs Stegoceras validum and Prenocephale prenes. Finite element analyses (FEA, incorporating bone and keratin tissue types, determined cranial stress and strain from simulated head impacts. Recursive partition analysis quantified strengths of correlation between functional morphology and actual or hypothesized behavior. Strong head-strike correlates include a dome-like cephalic morphology, neurovascular canals exiting onto the cranium surface, large neck muscle attachments, and dense cortical bone above a sparse cancellous layer in line with the force of impact. The head-butting duiker Cephalophus leucogaster is the closest morphological analog to Stegoceras, with a smaller yet similarly rounded dome. Crania of the duiker, pachycephalosaurs, and bighorn sheep Ovis canadensis share stratification of thick cortical and cancellous layers. Stegoceras, Cephalophus, and musk ox crania experience lower stress and higher safety factors for a given impact force than giraffe, pronghorn, or the non-combative llama. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Anatomy, biomechanics, and statistical correlation suggest that some pachycephalosaurs were as competent at head-to-head impacts as extant analogs displaying such combat. Large-scale comparisons and recursive partitioning can greatly refine inference of behavioral capability for fossil animals.

  16. A serosurvey for ruminant pestivirus exposure conducted using cattle sera collected for brucellosis surveillance in the United States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bauermann, Fernando V; Ridpath, Julia F; Dargatz, David A

    2017-01-01

    Four species of ruminant pestivirus are currently circulating in the United States: Bovine viral diarrhea virus 1 and 2 (BVDV-1, -2; predominant host: cattle), Border disease virus (BDV; predominant host: sheep), and pronghorn virus (sporadically detected in wild ruminants). A third bovine pestivirus called HoBi-like virus has been detected in cattle and water buffalo in South America, Asia, and Europe. To date, no isolations of HoBi-like viruses from U.S. cattle have been reported. To assess exposure, 2,000 cattle sera, collected between 2014 and 2015 as part of the U.S. brucellosis surveillance program, were tested for antibodies against BVDV-1, BVDV-2, and HoBi-like viruses. In addition, RNA was extracted and tested by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction for the presence of pestiviruses; all samples tested negative. The percent of VN-positive samples was 91.3% for BVDV-1, 89.3% for BVDV-2, and 84.9% for HoBi-like viruses. Because the 3 bovine pestiviruses are antigenically cross-reactive, the comparative level of antibody against each pestivirus species was determined. Based on comparative titers, samples were segregated into 6 categories: no titers (7.6%), titers clearly higher against BVDV-1 (22.2%), titers substantially higher against BVDV-2 (9.1%), BVDV-1 and BVDV-2 titers equivalent but substantially higher than HoBi titers (25.7%), titers substantially higher against HoBi-like viruses (0%), and equivocal (35.4%). Titers tended to be higher against BVDV-1 than BVDV-2. However, the overall percentage of animals with titers below levels considered protective against acute bovine pestivirus infection were ~11% for BVDV-1, 12% BVDV-2, and 18% for HoBi-like virus.

  17. 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

  18. The Tenebrionidae of California: A Time Sensitive Snapshot Assessment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rolf Aalbu

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Due to a diversity of habitats and its geologic history, the US state of California hosts a spectacular assemblage of darkling beetle species (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae. In addition to being part of the California Floristic Province, one of 34 global biodiversity hotspots identified by Conservation International, California also has additional areas which are parts of the Great Basin, Mojave, and Sonoran deserts. California is divided into nine floristic regions. Each region is assessed in terms of faunal composition and endemism. A “snapshot” of our present knowledge of the Tenebrionidae indicates that 447 currently recognized species, representing 108 genera, occur in California of which one hundred and ninety are endemic. California is compared to other nearby regions in diversity and endemism. An analysis of currently valid species vs a more realistic species account based on unpublished records of likely synonyms and known species yet to be described in the scientific literature is presented. The California Floristic Region, rather than other more arid parts of California, has the highest number of total and endemic species. Because of their high diversity and endemism, tenebrionids could potentially provide a valuable tool for monitoring the environment for conservation purposes.

  19. Bacillus pumilus ES4: candidate plant growth-promoting bacterium to enhance establishment of plants in mine tailings

    Science.gov (United States)

    de-Bashan, Luz E.; Hernandez, Juan-Pablo; Bashan, Yoav; Maier, Raina

    2014-01-01

    Three plant growth-promoting bacteria (PGPB; Bacillus pumilus ES4, B. pumilus RIZO1, and Azospirillum brasilense Cd) were tested for their ability to enhance plant growth and development of the native Sonoran Desert shrub quailbush (Atriplex lentiformis) and for their effect on the native bacterial community in moderately acidic, high-metal content (AHMT) and in neutral, low metal content natural tailings (NLMT) in controlled greenhouse experiments. Inoculation of quailbush with all three PGPB significantly enhanced plant growth parameters, such as germination, root length, dry weight of shoots and roots, and root/shoot ratio in both types of tailings. The effect of inoculation on the indigenous bacterial community by the most successful PGPB Bacillus pumilus ES4 was evaluated by denaturating gradient gel electrophoresis (PCR-DGGE) fingerprinting and root colonization was followed by specific fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH). Inoculation with this strain significantly changed the bacterial community over a period of 60 days. FISH analysis showed that the preferred site of colonization was the root tips and root elongation area. This study shows that inoculation of native perennial plants with PGPB can be used for developing technologies for phytostabilizing mine tailings. PMID:25009362

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Final supplement to the final environmental statement related to construction of Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station Units 1, 2 and 3 (Docket Nos. STN 50-528, STN 50-529, and STN 50-530)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1976-02-01

    The proposed action is the issuance of construction permits to the Arizona Public Service Company for the construction of the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station, Units 1, 2, and 3. Preparation of the 3800-acre site will involve the clearing of up to 2500 acres of land, 1500 of which will ultimately be developed during the lifetime of the station. About 2200 site acres, previously devoted to agriculture, will be excluded from this land use. Soil disturbance during construction of the station, transmission lines, and water conveyance pipeline will tend to promote erosion and increase siltation local ephemeral water courses. Stringent measures will be taken to minimize these effects (Sec. 4.5). Station, transmission line, and water pipeline construction will kill, remove, displace, or otherwise disturb involved flora and fauna, and will eliminate varying amounts of wildlife breeding, nesting, and forage habitat. These will not be important permanent impacts to the population stability and structure of the involved local ecosystems of the Sonoran desert; however, measures will be taken to minimize such effects as do results from the proposed action. 26 refs., 1 fig., 20 tabs

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Evolution at the tips: Asclepias phylogenomics and new perspectives on leaf surfaces.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fishbein, Mark; Straub, Shannon C K; Boutte, Julien; Hansen, Kimberly; Cronn, Richard C; Liston, Aaron

    2018-03-01

    Leaf surface traits, such as trichome density and wax production, mediate important ecological processes such as anti-herbivory defense and water-use efficiency. We present a phylogenetic analysis of Asclepias plastomes as a framework for analyzing the evolution of trichome density and presence of epicuticular waxes. We produced a maximum-likelihood phylogeny using plastomes of 103 species of Asclepias. We reconstructed ancestral states and used model comparisons in a likelihood framework to analyze character evolution across Asclepias. We resolved the backbone of Asclepias, placing the Sonoran Desert clade and Incarnatae clade as successive sisters to the remaining species. We present novel findings about leaf surface evolution of Asclepias-the ancestor is reconstructed as waxless and sparsely hairy, a macroevolutionary optimal trichome density is supported, and the rate of evolution of trichome density has accelerated. Increased sampling and selection of best-fitting models of evolution provide more resolved and robust estimates of phylogeny and character evolution than obtained in previous studies. Evolutionary inferences are more sensitive to character coding than model selection. © 2018 The Authors. American Journal of Botany is published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of the Botanical Society of America.

  8. Impact of global climate change on ecosystem-level interactions among sympatric plants from all three photosynthetic pathways. Terminal report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nobel, P.S.

    1997-12-17

    The proposed research will determine biochemical and physiological responses to variations in environmental factors for plants of all three photosynthetic pathways under competitive situations in the field. These responses will be used to predict the effects of global climatic change on an ecosystem in the northwestern Sonoran Desert where the C{sub 3} subshrub Encelia farinosa, the C{sub 4} bunchgrass Hilaria rigida, and the CAM succulent Agave deserti are co-dominants. These perennials are relatively short with overlapping shallow roots facilitating the experimental measurements as well as leading to competition for soil water. Net CO{sub 2} uptake over 24-h periods measured in the laboratory will be analyzed using an environmental productivity index (EPI) that can incorporate simultaneous effects of soil water, air temperature, and light. Based on EPI, net CO{sub 2} uptake and hence plant productivity will be predicted for the three species in the field under various treatments. Activity of the two CO{sub 2} fixation enzymes, Rubisco and PEPCase, will be determined for these various environmental conditions; also, partitioning of carbon to various organs will be measured based on {sup 14}CO{sub 2} labeling and dry weight analysis. Thus, enzymatic and partitioning controls on competition among sympatric model plants representing all three photosynthetic pathways will be investigated.

  9. Selected wild strains of Agaricus bisporus produce high yields of mushrooms at 25°C.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Navarro, Pilar; Savoie, Jean-Michel

    2015-01-01

    To cultivate the button mushroom Agaricus bisporus in warm countries or during summer in temperate countries, while saving energy, is a challenge that could be addressed by using the biological diversity of the species. The objective was to evaluate the yield potential of eight wild strains previously selected in small scale experiments for their ability to produce mature fruiting bodies at 25°C and above. Culture units of 8 kg of compost were used. The yield expressed as weight or number per surface unit and earliness of fruiting were recorded during cultivation in climatic rooms at 17, 25 or 30°C. Only strains of A. bisporus var. burnettii were able to fruit at 30°C. At 25°C they produced the highest yields (27 kg m(-2)) and had best earliness. The yields at 25°C for the strains of A. bisporus var. bisporus ranged from 12 to 16 kg m(-2). The yield ratios 25°C/17°C ranged from 0.8 to 1.2. The variety burnettii originated in the Sonoran Desert in California showed adaptation for quickly producing fruiting bodies at high temperature when humidity conditions were favorable. Strains of the variety bisporus showed interesting potentials for their ability to produce mature fruiting bodies at higher temperature than present cultivars and might be used in breeding programs. Copyright © 2012 Revista Iberoamericana de Micología. Published by Elsevier Espana. All rights reserved.

  10. Jojoba: a potential crop for Australia

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dunstone, R.L.; Begg, J.E.

    1983-01-01

    Jojoba is an arid zone, perennial shrub native to the Sonoran desert. About 50% of seed weight consists of a high quality liquid wax which has been shown to be suitable for industrial applications ranging from the manufacture of cosmetics to high-pressure lubricants. Research in this country has investigated the physiological basis of the species adaptation to arid conditions and temperature extremes, and the environmental control of flowering and fruit growth. Jojoba can be established on a large scale by direct seeding or by transplanting seedlings using methods that have proved successful over several seasons. The yield that growers might expect from the unselected plant material currently used is estimated from overseas data. The future development of jojoba depends upon improved methods of choosing plantation sites and the selection of well-adapted plant lines. Variation in habit, yield characteristics and flowering time is available to the plant breeder. Plant improvement can be achieved by vegetative propagation of selected clones or by controlled crossing. Although there are many proposed uses for the wax, future market size and price structure are unknown. 33 references.

  11. EFECT OF THE INOCULATION OF Rhodococcus fascians AND Azospirillum halopraeferens IN GERMINATION OF PALO FIERRO (Olneya tesota A. Gray UNDER GREENHOUSE CONDITIONS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edgar Omar Rueda Puente

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available The growth-promoting bacteria in plants (BGPB are a group of different species of bacteria can increase plant growth and productivity. Which can benefit plants through their own bacterial metabolism (phosphate solubilizing, producing hormones or fixing nitrogen. At present, desertification is a growing phenomenon worldwide, afforestation is one of the common solutions to combat this problem. Trees for reforestation are initially grown in greenhouses or nurseries. Among numerous reforestation practices, there is an alternative that inoculation with PGPB. Is a forest species that is endemic Olneya tesota Sonoran Desert, which is in danger of extinction. The objective was to evaluate the effect of bacteria growth promoter in plants with Rhodococcuis fascians and Azospirillum halopraeferens on germination and emergence of Ironwood under four salt concentrations (0, 0.25, 0.5 and 0.75 M NaCl under greenhouse conditions. Were obtained ironwood seeds in the region of Santa Ana, Sonora. Under greenhouse conditions was evaluated emergence percentage, germination rate, height, plant root length, fresh and dry weight of plant, number of bacterial cells attached to the root system, fresh and dry weight of the root. The results indicate that the germination percentage and other variables evaluated decreased as salinity increases. However, these changed positively to inoculation with bacteria R. fascians and A. halopraeferens.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Importance of neutral processes varies in time and space: Evidence from dryland stream ecosystems.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaoli Dong

    Full Text Available Many ecosystems experience strong temporal variability in environmental conditions; yet, a clear picture of how niche and neutral processes operate to determine community assembly in temporally variable systems remains elusive. In this study, we constructed neutral metacommunity models to assess the relative importance of neutral processes in a spatially and temporally variable ecosystem. We analyzed macroinvertebrate community data spanning multiple seasons and years from 20 sites in a Sonoran Desert river network in Arizona. The model goodness-of-fit was used to infer the importance of neutral processes. Averaging over eight stream flow conditions across three years, we found that neutral processes were more important in perennial streams than in non-perennial streams (intermittent and ephemeral streams. Averaging across perennial and non-perennial streams, we found that neutral processes were more important during very high flow and in low flow periods; whereas, at very low flows, the relative importance of neutral processes varied greatly. These findings were robust to the choice of model parameter values. Our study suggested that the net effect of disturbance on the relative importance of niche and neutral processes in community assembly varies non-monotonically with the severity of disturbance. In contrast to the prevailing view that disturbance promotes niche processes, we found that neutral processes could become more important when the severity of disturbance is beyond a certain threshold such that all organisms are adversely affected regardless of their biological traits and strategies.

  15. 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.

  16. First records of Eupompha imperialis (Wellman, 1912 (Coleoptera: Meloidae in Mexico

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    López-Estrada, E. Karen

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Three populations of Eupompha imperialis (Wellman, 1912 were located in the Mexican states of Baja California and Sonora, in close proximity to the Mexico-USA border. These populations represent the first records for E. imperialis in Mexico. The specimens were observed in sandy areas of the Sonoran Desert, associated with flowering Tiquilia palmeri (Boraginaceae. These new records suggest that, despite the rarity of some species of Eupomphini, further exploration of the northernmost areas of Sonora and Baja California may increase the number of species of Eupomphini and other tribes of Meloidae present in Mexico.Se localizaron tres poblaciones de Eupompha imperialis (Wellman, 1912 en los estados mexicanos de Baja California y Sonora, en las proximidades de la frontera México-Estados Unidos. Estas poblaciones representan los primeros registros de E. imperialis en México. Los ejemplares de E. imperialis se observaron en zonas arenosas del desierto de Sonora, asociados a ejemplares en flor de Tiquilia palmeri (Boraginaceae. Estos nuevos registros sugieren que, a pesar de la rareza de algunas especies de Eupomphini, el desarrollo de nuevas exploraciones en las áreas más septentrionales de Sonora y Baja California permitiría incrementar el número de especies de Eupomphini y de otras tribus de Meloidae presentes en México.

  17. Fugitive emissions control on dry copper tailing with crushed rock armor

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Haase, E.F.

    1992-01-01

    Four inactive copper tailing impoundments totalling 1,900 acres near Ajo in southwestern Arizona were covered on horizontal surfaces with a 2 in. nominal thickness of crushed rock to control particulate emissions. The tailings are typically dominated by sand-sized particles but may also include significant PM 10 fractions towards the centers of the impoundments. The technology was selected by Phelps Dodge Corporation, after investigation of several alternatives, as a permanent and practical cover that essentially eliminates fugitive emissions. It simulates the natural desert pavement that characterizes this arid area of the Sonoran Desert. Rocky overburden was crushed to minus 3 in. diameter and broadcast on dry surfaces of tailing impoundments with all-terrain, balloon-tired spreaders. Stony residues in the rock armor tend to cement together following rainfall, forming a crust that enhances surface stability and erosion control. Slopes with windblown tailing deposition were covered to a nominal 6 in. thickness by conventional dozer pushing and blading of minus 10 in. rock over the sides. Athel trees, planted extensively since 1970 on two of the four inactive impoundments, provided partial control of fugitives, but were subjected to harsh environmental conditions, including abrasion from saltating particles. The rock armor functions as a mulch which is expected to improve water relations for existing vegetation and areas seeded with native species. New surface microenvironments, and the virtual elimination of surface creep and saltation, are expected to support native plant growth under favorable climatic conditions

  18. Plants and ventifacts delineate late Holocene wind vectors in the Coachella Valley, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griffiths, P.G.; Webb, R.H.; Fisher, M.; Muth, Allan

    2009-01-01

    Strong westerly winds that emanate from San Gorgonio Pass, the lowest point between Palm Springs and Los Angeles, California, dominate aeolian transport in the Coachella Valley of the western Sonoran Desert. These winds deposit sand in coppice dunes that are critical habitat for several species, including the state and federally listed threatened species Uma inornata, a lizard. Although wind directions are generally defined in this valley, the wind field has complex interactions with local topography and becomes more variable with distance from the pass. Local, dominant wind directions are preserved by growth patterns of Larrea tridentata (creosote bush), a shrub characteristic of the hot North American deserts, and ventifacts. Exceptionally long-lived, Larrea has the potential to preserve wind direction over centuries to millennia, shaped by the abrasive pruning of windward branches and the persistent training of leeward branches. Wind direction preserved in Larrea individuals and clones was mapped at 192 locations. Compared with wind data from three weather stations, Larrea vectors effectively reflect annual prevailing winds. Ventifacts measured at 24 locations record winds 10° more westerly than Larrea and appear to reflect the direction of the most erosive winds. Based on detailed mapping of local wind directions as preserved in Larrea, only the northern half of the Mission-Morongo Creek floodplain is likely to supply sand to protected U. inornata habitat in the Willow Hole ecological reserve.

  19. Vascular Plant and Vertebrate Inventory of Montezuma Castle National Monument

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, Cecilia A.; Drost, Charles A.; Halvorson, William Lee

    2006-01-01

    Executive Summary We summarize past inventory efforts for vascular plants and vertebrates at Montezuma Castle National Monument (NM) in Arizona. We used data from previous research to compile complete species lists for the monument and to assess inventory completeness. There have been 784 species recorded at Montezuma Castle NM, of which 85 (11%) are non-native. In each taxon-specific chapter we highlight areas of resources that contributed to species richness or unique species for the monument. Of particular importance are Montezuma Well and Beaver and Wet Beaver creeks and the surrounding riparian vegetation, which are responsible for the monument having one of the highest numbers of bird species in the Sonoran Desert Network of park units. Beaver Creek is also home to populations of federally-listed fish species of concern. Other important resources include the cliffs along the creeks and around Montezuma Well (for cliff and cave roosting bats). Based on the review of past studies, we believe the inventory for most taxa is nearly complete, though some rare or elusive species will be added with additional survey effort. We recommend additional inventory, monitoring and research studies.

  20. "Pesadillas de la noche, amanecer de silencio": Miguel Méndez and Margarita Oropeza

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Debra A. Castillo

    2001-01-01

    Full Text Available In many border-related discussions—whether philosophical, anthropological, critical, or fictional—there are typical themes or narrative tics: allusions to the flexible geography that makes the border region both an isolated territory and an analogue for the postmodern condition, the puzzlement over how to understand the role of the "maquiladoras" 'assembly plants' and the area's industrial boom, the awareness of a vast movement of people both north and south, a persistent and nagging phobia about feminization, and about female sexuality. In this paper I will explore these concerns with reference to two novels: Arizonan Miguel Méndez's well-known 1974 novel Peregrinos de Aztlán (Pilgrims in Aztlán , a fragmentary fiction set in Tijuana, and Sonoran Margarita Oropeza's 1992 novel Después de la montaña (After the Mountain , which begins with a woman crossing the border at San Isidro and concerns itself with her life as a migrant in California. Méndez's nightmare-wracked re-invention of the cacaphonous voices of the many migrant souls who define Tijuana by night finds its counterpart in Oropeza's focus on a single migrant women whose meditations on her mostly domestically oriented dreams jostle against her literal and metaphorical silencing in both U.S. and Mexican communities. At the same time, each novel evokes a geopolitical and cultural space of multiple crossings, one that is far more heterogeneous than conventionally transnational.

  1. Altertoxins with potent anti-HIV activity from Alternaria tenuissima QUE1Se, a fungal endophyte of Quercus emoryi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bashyal, Bharat P; Wellensiek, Brian P; Ramakrishnan, Rajesh; Faeth, Stanley H; Ahmad, Nafees; Gunatilaka, A A Leslie

    2014-11-01

    Screening of a small library of natural product extracts derived from endophytic fungi of the Sonoran desert plants in a cell-based anti-HIV assay involving T-cells infected with the HIV-1 virus identified the EtOAc extract of a fermentation broth of Alternaria tenuissima QUE1Se inhabiting the stem tissue of Quercus emoryi as a promising candidate for further investigation. Bioactivity-guided fractionation of this extract led to the isolation and identification of two new metabolites, altertoxins V (1) and VI (2) together with the known compounds, altertoxins I (3), II (4), and III (5). The structures of 1 and 2 were determined by detailed spectroscopic analysis and those of 3-5 were established by comparison with reported data. When tested in our cell-based assay at concentrations insignificantly toxic to T-cells, altertoxins V (1), I (3), II (4), and III (5) completely inhibited replication of the HIV-1 virus at concentrations of 0.50, 2.20, 0.30, and 1.50 μM, respectively. Our findings suggest that the epoxyperylene structural scaffold in altertoxins may be manipulated to produce potent anti-HIV therapeutics. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. The tenebrionidae of california: a time sensitive snapshot assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aalbu, Rolf L; Smith, Aaron D

    2014-01-01

    DUE TO A DIVERSITY OF HABITATS AND ITS GEOLOGIC HISTORY, THE US STATE OF CALIFORNIA HOSTS A SPECTACULAR ASSEMBLAGE OF DARKLING BEETLE SPECIES (COLEOPTERA: Tenebrionidae). In addition to being part of the California Floristic Province, one of 34 global biodiversity hotspots identified by Conservation International, California also has additional areas which are parts of the Great Basin, Mojave, and Sonoran deserts. California is divided into nine floristic regions. Each region is assessed in terms of faunal composition and endemism. A "snapshot" of our present knowledge of the Tenebrionidae indicates that 447 currently recognized species, representing 108 genera, occur in California of which one hundred and ninety are endemic. California is compared to other nearby regions in diversity and endemism. An analysis of currently valid species vs a more realistic species account based on unpublished records of likely synonyms and known species yet to be described in the scientific literature is presented. The California Floristic Region, rather than other more arid parts of California, has the highest number of total and endemic species. Because of their high diversity and endemism, tenebrionids could potentially provide a valuable tool for monitoring the environment for conservation purposes.

  3. Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station, Units 1, 2 and 3 (Docket Nos. STN 50-528, STN 50-529 and STN 50-530): Final environmental statement

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1975-09-01

    The proposed action is the issuance of construction permits to the Arizona public Service Company for the construction of the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station, Units 1, 2, and 3. Preparation of the 3800-acre site will involve the clearing of up to 2500 acres of land, 1500 of which will be prominently devoted to station facilities. An additional 1200- to 1300-acre evaporation pond will ultimately be developed during the lifetime of the station. About 2200 site acres, previously devoted to agriculture, will be excluded from this land use. Soil disturbance during construction of the station, transmission lines, and water conveyance pipeline will tend to promote erosion and increase siltation in local ephemeral water courses. Stringent measures will be taken to minimize these effects. The total radiation dose to construction workers is estimated to be 15 man-rem. This dose is a small fraction of the approximately 470 man-rem which will be received by the construction force over the same period from natural background radiation. Station, transmission line, and water pipeline construction will kill, remove, displace, or otherwise disturb involved flora and fauna, and will eliminate varying amounts of wildlife breeding, nesting, and forage habitat. These will not be important permanent impacts to the population stability and structure of the involved local ecosystems of the Sonoran desert; however, measures will be taken to minimize such effects as do result form the proposed action

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  5. Quantifying the timescales over which exogenous and endogenous conditions affect soil respiration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barron-Gafford, Greg A; Cable, Jessica M; Bentley, Lisa Patrick; Scott, Russell L; Huxman, Travis E; Jenerette, G Darrel; Ogle, Kiona

    2014-04-01

    Understanding how exogenous and endogenous factors and above-ground-below-ground linkages modulate carbon dynamics is difficult because of the influences of antecedent conditions. For example, there are variable lags between above-ground assimilation and below-ground efflux, and the duration of antecedent periods are often arbitrarily assigned. Nonetheless, developing models linking above- and below-ground processes is crucial for estimating current and future carbon dynamics. We collected data on leaf-level photosynthesis (Asat ) and soil respiration (Rsoil ) in different microhabitats (under shrubs vs under bunchgrasses) in the Sonoran Desert. We evaluated timescales over which endogenous and exogenous factors control Rsoil by analyzing data in the context of a semimechanistic temperature-response model of Rsoil that incorporated effects of antecedent exogenous (soil water) and endogenous (Asat ) conditions. For both microhabitats, antecedent soil water and Asat significantly affected Rsoil , but Rsoil under shrubs was more sensitive to Asat than that under bunchgrasses. Photosynthetic rates 1 and 3 d before the Rsoil measurement were most important in determining current-day Rsoil under bunchgrasses and shrubs, respectively, indicating a significant lag effect. Endogenous and exogenous controls are critical drivers of Rsoil , but the relative importance and the timescale over which each factor affects Rsoil depends on above-ground vegetation and ecosystem structure characteristics. © 2014 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2014 New Phytologist Trust.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. A survey of environmental and occupational work practices in the automotive refinishing industry of a developing country: Sonora, Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Velázquez, Luis; Bello, Dhimiter; Munguia, Nora; Zavala, Andrea; Marin, Amina; Moure-Eraso, Rafael

    2008-01-01

    The automotive repair and refinishing industry has been studied intensively in industrialized countries, in part due to use of hazardous chemicals such as isocyanates and solvents, but little is known about industry practices in the developing world. The main objective of this paper was to investigate environmental and occupational work practices of this industry in a developing region, Sonora, Mexico. An integrated survey approach maximizes the opportunity for identifying risks as well as reducing risks. This investigation included detailed workplace visits to 41 body shops and 6 paint suppliers, as well as a survey of shop owners and 24 workers. Information was collected on work practices, level of technology in the shops, use of personal protective equipment, consumption and handling of hazardous chemicals and waste, hazard communication, and environmental consciousness. Most shops had little capital, outdated technology for exposure control, poor working conditions, high potential for exposure to hazardous chemicals, and little awareness of environmental and occupational health and safety. We concluded that work practices in the Sonoran auto refinishing industry are unsustainable and may pose a health risk to workers and the environment.

  10. Eolian deposition cycles since AD 500 in Playa San Bartolo lunette dune, Sonora, Mexico: Paleoclimatic implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ortega, Beatriz; Schaaf, Peter; Murray, Andrew; Caballero, Margarita; Lozano, Socorro; Ramirez, Angel

    2013-12-01

    Records of past climatic changes in desert environments are scarce due to the poor preservation of biological proxies. To overcome this lack we consider the paleoenvironmental significance and age of a lunette dune at the eastern rim of Playa San Bartolo (PSB) in the Sonoran Desert (Mexico). Thermoluminescence and optical stimulated luminescence (TL and OSL) provide the chronology of lunette dune development. Mineralogical, geochemical (major, trace and REE element concentrations) and rock magnetic analyses allow for the assessment of sediment provenance and changes in the composition of the PSB dune over time. The upper 6 m of dune accumulation occurred over the past 1.5 ka, largely during AD 500-1200, a period that correlates with the Medieval climatic anomaly (AD 300-1300). Variability in composition of dune sediments is attributed to changes in sediment sources. Sand sized deposits are mainly eroded from granitoids from nearby outcrops. Sandy silt deposits, rich in evaporative minerals, resulted after the flooding of PSB, later deflation and accumulation of both detritic and authigenic components in the dune. These findings suggest that main dune accretion occurred during regionally extended drought conditions, disrupted by sporadic heavy rainfall.

  11. Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station, Units 1, 2 and 3 (Docket Nos. STN 50-528, STN 50-529 and STN 50-530): Draft supplement to the Final environmental satement

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1975-11-01

    The proposed action is the issuance of construction permits to the Arizona Public Service Company for the construction of the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station, Units 1, 2, and 3. Preparation of the 3800-acre site will involve the clearing of up to 2500 acres of land, 1500 of which will be permanently devoted to station facilities. An additional 1200- to 1300-acre evaporation pond will ultimately be developed during the lifetime of the station. About 2200 site acres, previously devoted to agriculture, will be excluded from this land use. Soil disturbance during construction of the station, transmission lines, and water conveyance pipeline will tend to promote erosion and increase siltation in local ephemeral water courses. Stringent measures will be taken to minimize these effects. Station, transmission line, and water pipeline construction will kill, remove, displace, or otherwise disturb involved flora and fauna, and will eliminate varying amounts of wildlife breeding, nesting, and forage habitat. These will not be important permanent impacts to the population stability and structure of the involved local ecosystems of the Sonoran desert; however, measures will be taken to minimize such effects as do result from the proposed action. The pumping of groundwater will cause a local drawdown of about 1 ft/yr, less than that currently occurring; hence, the impact is considered acceptable. 1 fig., 20 tabs

  12. 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.

  13. Orientations of terminal cladodes of Platyopuntias

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nobel, P.S.

    1982-01-01

    The orientations of terminal unshaded cladodes of 23 species of platyopuntias were observed in North America, South America, Australia, and Israel. When the seasonality of rainfall favored cladode development in the winter and the site was located above 27/sup 0/N, the cladodes tended to face north-south (five cases, P < .001 for each). In all other cases without topographical blockage of incoming radiation, the tendency was to face east-west. For example, terminal cladodes of Opuntia phaeacantha var. discata and O. stricta tended to face north-south in Israel but east-west in the United States (P > .001). Such dissimilar orientation patterns also occurred for cladodes of 0. chlorotica at two sites in the Sonoran Desert and for O. basilaris var. basilaris developing at different seasons at a single site. Contrary to previously published observations, cladodes of O. ficus-indica and O. compressa had a significant tendency to orient (P > .001). When topographical features affected the direction of prevailing photosynthetically active radiation (PAR), the preferred orientation of terminal cladodes was changed accordingly. The preferred direction always maximized the interception of PAR, which is often a limiting factor in the productivity of cacti, even in a putatively high radiation environment.

  14. Biodiversity losses and conservation trade-offs: Assessing future urban growth scenarios for a North American trade corridor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villarreal, Miguel; Norman, Laura M.; Wallace, Cynthia S.A.; Boykin, Kenneth

    2013-01-01

    The Sonoran Desert and Apache Highlands ecoregions of North America are areas of exceptionally high plant and vertebrate biodiversity. However, much of the vertebrate biodiversity is supported by only a few vegetation types with limited distributions, some of which are increasingly threatened by changing land uses. We assessed the impacts of two future urban growth scenarios on biodiversity in a binational watershed in Arizona, USA and Sonora, Mexico. We quantified and mapped terrestrial vertebrate species richness using Wildlife Habitat Relation models and validated the results with data from National Park Service biological inventories. Future urban growth, based on historical trends, was projected to the year 2050 for 1) a “Current Trends” scenario and, 2) a “Megalopolis” scenario that represented a transnational growth corridor with open-space conservation attributes. Based on Current Trends, 45% of existing riparian woodland (267 of 451species), and 34% of semi-desert grasslands (215 of 451 species) will be lost, whereas, in the Megalopolis scenario, these types would decline by 44% and 24% respectively. Outcomes of the two models suggest a trade-off at the taxonomic class level: Current Trends would reduce and fragment mammal and herpetofauna habitat, while Megalopolis would result in loss of avian-rich riparian habitat.

  15. Implications of seed size for seedling survival in Carnegiea gigantea and Ferocactus wislizeni (Cactaceae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowers, Janice E.; Pierson, E.A.

    2001-01-01

    Larger seeds have been shown to convey benefits for seedling survival but the mechanisms of this process are not well understood. In this study, seed size and seedling survival were compared for 2 sympatric cactus species, Carnegiea gigantea (Engelm.) Britt. & Rose and Ferocactus wislizeni (Engelm.) Britt. & Rose, in laboratory and field experiments in the northern Sonoran Desert. Both species have small seeds, but Ferocactus seeds are nearly twice as long and 3 times as heavy as those of Carnegiea. The difference in size is perpetuated after germination: new Ferocactus seedlings have 4 times the estimated volume of new Carnegiea seedlings. In an outdoor experiment, annual survivorship of both species was low but was 6 times higher for Ferocactus (6 seedlings, 8.1%) than Carnegiea (1 seedling, 1.4%). The pattern of seedling mortality in relation to temperature and rain suggests that, after the initial flush of seed and seedling predation, drought and heat took a greater toll on Carnegiea than Ferocactus seedlings, probably because the larger seedling volume of Ferocactus conferred greater drought tolerance. In addition, F. wislizeni could become established without benefit of nurse plants whereas C. gigantea could not; this might reflect differential tolerance to high soil temperatures.

  16. Does Ferocactus wislizeni (Cactaceae) have a between-year seed bank?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowers, Janice E.

    2000-01-01

    Field and laboratory experiments at Tumamoc Hill, Tucson, Arizona, U.S.A., demonstrated that Ferocactus wislizeni, a common perennial cactus in the northern Sonoran Desert, has a between-year seed bank. In laboratory studies, F. wislizeni seeds lost dormancy during storage at room temperature and had a light requirement for germination. Field experiments suggested that as much as 2% of the annual seed crop might escape post-dispersal predation even when unprotected; where suitable safe sites exist, a higher percentage might escape. Germination of seed recovered monthly from above- and below-ground components of an artificial seed bank showed that seeds can survive at least 18 months in and on the soil. Seed banks enable F. wislizeni to take advantage of favorable rains and temperatures throughout the growing season, thus increasing the number of opportunities for germination. Moreover, seed banks enable F. wislizeni to respond hugely when the climate seems especially favorable, thus producing the large cohorts necessary to compensate for high seedling mortality. (C) 2000 Academic Press.

  17. Aerobic characteristics of red kangaroo skeletal muscles: is a high aerobic capacity matched by muscle mitochondrial and capillary morphology as in placental mammals?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dawson, Terence J; Mifsud, Brock; Raad, Matthew C; Webster, Koa N

    2004-07-01

    Marsupials and placentals together comprise the Theria, the advanced mammals, but they have had long independent evolutionary histories, with the last common ancestor occurring more than 125 million years ago. Although in the past the marsupials were considered to be metabolically 'primitive', the red kangaroo Macropus rufus has been reported to have an aerobic capacity (VO2max) comparable to that of the most 'athletic' of placentals such as dogs. However, kangaroos travel at moderate speeds with lower relative cost than quadrupedal placentals. Given the long independent evolution of the two therian groups, and their unusual locomotor energetics, do kangaroos achieve their high aerobic capacity using the same structural and functional mechanisms used by (athletic) placentals? Red kangaroo skeletal muscle morphometry matched closely the general aerobic characteristics of placental mammals. The relationship between total mitochondrial volume in skeletal muscle and VO2max during exercise was identical to that in quadrupedal placentals, and differed from that in bipedal humans. As for placentals generally, red kangaroo mitochondrial oxygen consumption at VO2max was 4.7 ml O2 min(-1) ml(-1) of mitochondria. Also, the inner mitochondrial membrane densities were 35.8 +/- 0.7 m2 ml(-1) of mitochondria, which is the same as for placental mammals, and the same pattern of similarity was seen for capillary densities and volumes. The overall data for kangaroos was equivalent to that seen in athletic placentals such as dogs and pronghorns. Total skeletal muscle mass was high, being around 50% of body mass, and was concentrated around the pelvis and lower back. The majority of the muscles sampled had relatively high mitochondrial volume densities, in the range 8.8-10.6% in the major locomotor muscles. Again, capillary densities and capillary blood volumes followed the pattern seen for mitochondria. Our results indicate that the red kangaroo, despite its locomotion and extreme

  18. INL Results for Phases I and III of the OECD/NEA MHTGR-350 Benchmark

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gerhard Strydom; Javier Ortensi; Sonat Sen; Hans Hammer

    2013-09-01

    The Idaho National Laboratory (INL) Very High Temperature Reactor (VHTR) Technology Development Office (TDO) Methods Core Simulation group led the construction of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Modular High Temperature Reactor (MHTGR) 350 MW benchmark for comparing and evaluating prismatic VHTR analysis codes. The benchmark is sponsored by the OECD's Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA), and the project will yield a set of reference steady-state, transient, and lattice depletion problems that can be used by the Department of Energy (DOE), the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), and vendors to assess their code suits. The Methods group is responsible for defining the benchmark specifications, leading the data collection and comparison activities, and chairing the annual technical workshops. This report summarizes the latest INL results for Phase I (steady state) and Phase III (lattice depletion) of the benchmark. The INSTANT, Pronghorn and RattleSnake codes were used for the standalone core neutronics modeling of Exercise 1, and the results obtained from these codes are compared in Section 4. Exercise 2 of Phase I requires the standalone steady-state thermal fluids modeling of the MHTGR-350 design, and the results for the systems code RELAP5-3D are discussed in Section 5. The coupled neutronics and thermal fluids steady-state solution for Exercise 3 are reported in Section 6, utilizing the newly developed Parallel and Highly Innovative Simulation for INL Code System (PHISICS)/RELAP5-3D code suit. Finally, the lattice depletion models and results obtained for Phase III are compared in Section 7. The MHTGR-350 benchmark proved to be a challenging simulation set of problems to model accurately, and even with the simplifications introduced in the benchmark specification this activity is an important step in the code-to-code verification of modern prismatic VHTR codes. A final OECD/NEA comparison report will compare the Phase I and III

  19. Species characterization in the genus Pestivirus according to palindromic nucleotide substitutions in the 5'-untranslated region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giangaspero, Massimo; Harasawa, Ryô

    2011-06-01

    The palindromic nucleotide substitutions (PNS) at the three variable loci (V1, V2 and V3) in the 5'-untranslated region (UTR) of the Pestivirus genome have been considered for taxonomical segregation of the species, through the evaluation of 534 strains. On the basis of qualitative and quantitative secondary structure characteristics, species have been identified within the genus, determining genetic distances between species isolates, clarifying borderline and multirelated sequences, and characterizing and clustering the Pestivirus strains showing unexpected genomic sequences. Nine genomic groups have been identified: the species Bovine viral diarrhea virus 1 (BVDV-1), Bovine viral diarrhea virus 2 (BVDV-2), Border disease virus (BDV) and Classical swine fever virus (CSFV) and the tentative species Pronghorn, Giraffe, Bovine viral diarrhea virus 3 (BVDV-3) (HoBi group), Border disease virus 2 (BDV-2) (Italian small ruminant isolates) and Bungowannah. Palindromic positions have been characterized according to changes in nucleotide base-pairs identifying low variable positions (LVP) including base-pairs present in less than 80% of the genus. The determination of divergence between single strain sequences or genetic groups was obtained easily by comparing base-pairing combinations from aligned secondary structures. This provided clear information such as the level of heterogeneity within a species, the relatedness between species, or facilitating the characterization and clustering of specific strains. The BVDV-1 and BDV species resulted heterogeneous, showing isolates located on a borderline in the species. Within the BVDV-2 species, two main genogroups were identified, with strains showing common sequence characteristics to both groups (multirelated strains). They could be allocated correctly by quantitative analysis. Similarly, the relation between CSFV and BDV species appeared very clearly. Also in this case, ambiguous strain sequences could be clustered in the

  20. The effect of scale on the interpretation of geochemical anomalies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Theobald, P.K.; Eppinger, R.G.; Turner, R.L.; Shiquan, S.

    1991-01-01

    The purpose of geochemical surveys changes with scale. Regional surveys identify areas where mineral deposits are most likely to occur, whereas intermediate surveys identify and prioritize specific targets. At detailed scales specific deposit models may be applied and deposits delineated. The interpretation of regional geochemical surveys must take into account scale-dependent difference in the nature and objectives of this type of survey. Overinterpretation of regional data should be resisted, as should recommendations to restrict intermediate or detailed follow-up surveys to the search for specific deposit types or to a too limited suite of elements. Regional surveys identify metallogenic provinces within which a variety of deposit types and metals are most likely to be found. At intermediate scale, these regional provinces often dissipate into discrete clusters of anomalous areas. At detailed scale, individual anomalous areas reflect local conditions of mineralization and may seem unrelated to each other. Four examples from arid environments illustrate the dramatic change in patterns of anomalies between regional and more detailed surveys. On the Arabian Shield, a broad regional anomaly reflects the distribution of highly differentiated anorogenic granites. A particularly prominent part of the regional anomaly includes, in addition to the usual elements related to the granites, the assemblage of Mo, W and Sn. Initial interpretation suggested potential for granite-related, stockwork Mo deposits. Detailed work identified three separate sources for the anomaly: a metal-rich granite, a silicified and stockwork-veined area with scheelite and molybdenite, and scheelite/powellite concentrations in skarn deposits adjacent to a ring-dike complex. Regional geochemical, geophysical and remote-sensing data in the Sonoran Desert, Mexico, define a series of linear features interpreted to reflect fundamental, northeast-trending fractures in the crust that served as the prime

  1. Vascular Plant and Vertebrate Inventory of Tumacacori National Historical Park

    Science.gov (United States)

    Powell, Brian F.; Albrecht, Eric W.; Halvorson, William L.; Schmidt, Cecilia A.; Anning, Pamela; Docherty, Kathleen

    2005-01-01

    Executive Summary This report summarizes the results of the first comprehensive biological inventory of Tumacacori National Historical Park (NHP) in southern Arizona. These surveys were part of a larger effort to inventory vascular plants and vertebrates in eight National Park Service units in Arizona and New Mexico. From 2000 to 2003 we surveyed for vascular plants and vertebrates (fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals) at Tumacacori NHP to document presence of species within the administrative boundaries of the park's three units. Because we used repeatable study designs and standardized field techniques, these inventories can serve as the first step in a long-term monitoring program. We recorded 591 species at Tumacacori NHP, significantly increasing the number of known species for the park (Table 1). Species of note in each taxonomic group include: * Plants: second record in Arizona of muster John Henry, a non-native species that is ranked a 'Class A noxious weed' in California; * Amphibian: Great Plains narrow-mouthed toad; * Reptiles: eastern fence lizard and Sonoran mud turtle; * Birds: yellow-billed cuckoo, green kingfisher, and one observation of the endangered southwestern willow flycatcher; * Fishes: four native species including an important population of the endangered Gila topminnow in the Tumacacori Channel; * Mammals: black bear and all four species of skunk known to occur in Arizona. We recorded 79 non-native species (Table E.S.1), many of which are of management concern, including: Bermudagrass, tamarisk, western mosquitofish, largemouth bass, bluegill, sunfish, American bullfrog, feral cats and dogs, and cattle. We also noted an abundance of crayfish (a non-native invertebrate). We review some of the important non-native species and make recommendations to remove them or to minimize their impacts on the native biota of the park. Based on the observed species richness, Tumacacori NHP possesses high biological diversity of plants, fish

  2. Herbarium collection-based phylogenetics of the ragweeds (Ambrosia, Asteraceae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Michael D; Quiroz-Claros, Elva; Brush, Grace S; Zimmer, Elizabeth A

    2018-03-01

    Ambrosia (Asteraceae) is a taxonomically difficult genus of weedy, wind-pollinated plants with an apparent center of diversity in the Sonoran Desert of North America. Determining Ambrosia's evolutionary relationships has been the subject of much interest, with numerous studies using morphological characters, cytology, comparative phytochemistry, and chloroplast restriction site variation to produce conflicting accounts the relationships between Ambrosia species, as well as the classification of their close relatives in Franseria and Hymenoclea. To resolve undetermined intra-generic relationships within Ambrosia, we used DNA extracted from tissues obtained from seed banks and herbarium collections to generate multi-locus genetic data representing nearly all putative species, including four from South America. We performed Bayesian and Maximum-Likelihood phylogenetic analyses of six chloroplast-genome and two nuclear-genome markers, enabling us to infer monophyly for the genus, resolve major infra-generic species clusters, as well as to resolve open questions about the evolutionary relationships of several Ambrosia species and former members of Franseria. We also provide molecular data supporting the hypothesis that A. sandersonii formed through the hybridization of A. eriocentra and A. salsola. The topology of our chloroplast DNA phylogeny is almost entirely congruent with the most recent molecular work based on chloroplast restriction site variation of a much more limited sampling of 14 North American species of Ambrosia, although our improved sampling of global Ambrosia diversity enables us to draw additional conclusions. As our study is the first direct DNA sequence-based phylogenetic analyses of Ambrosia, we analyze the data in relation to previous taxonomic studies and discuss several instances of chloroplast/nuclear incongruence that leave the precise geographic center of origin of Ambrosia in question. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. 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.

  4. Simulating long-term effectiveness and efficiency of management scenarios for an invasive grass

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jarnevich, Catherine S.; Holcombe, Tracy R.; Cullinane Thomas, Catherine; Frid, Leonardo; Olsson, Aaryn D.

    2015-01-01

    Resource managers are often faced with trade-offs in allocating limited resources to manage plant invasions. These decisions must often be made with uncertainty about the location of infestations, their rate of spread and effectiveness of management actions. Landscape level simulation tools such as state-and-transition simulation models (STSMs) can be used to evaluate the potential long term consequences of alternative management strategies and help identify those strategies that make efficient use of resources. We analyzed alternative management scenarios for African buffelgrass (Pennisetum ciliare syn. Cenchrus ciliaris) at Ironwood Forest National Monument, Arizona using a spatially explicit STSM implemented in the Tool for Exploratory Landscape Scenario Analyses (TELSA). Buffelgrass is an invasive grass that is spreading rapidly in the Sonoran Desert, affecting multiple habitats and jurisdictions. This invasion is creating a novel fire risk and transforming natural ecosystems. The model used in this application incorporates buffelgrass dispersal and establishment and management actions and effectiveness including inventory, treatment and post-treatment maintenance. We simulated 11 alternative scenarios developed in consultation with buffelgrass managers and other stakeholders. The scenarios vary according to the total budget allocated for management and the allocation of that budget between different kinds of management actions. Scenario results suggest that to achieve an actual reduction and stabilization of buffelgrass populations, management unconstrained by fiscal restrictions and across all jurisdictions and private lands is required; without broad and aggressive management, buffelgrass populations are expected to increase over time. However, results also suggest that large upfront investments can achieve control results that require relatively minimal spending in the future. Investing the necessary funds upfront to control the invasion results in the most

  5. The influence of climatic variability on local population dynamics of Cercidium microphyllum (foothill paloverde)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowers, Janice E.; Turner, R.M.

    2002-01-01

    This study investigated correlations among climatic variability, population age structure, and seedling survival of a dominant Sonoran Desert tree, Cercidium microphyllum (foothill paloverde), at Tucson, Arizona, USA. A major goal was to determine whether wet years promote seedling establishment and thereby determine population structure. Plant age was estimated from basal circumference for a sample of 980 living and dead trees in twelve 0.5-ha plots. Ages ranged from 1 to 181 years. Age frequency distribution showed that the population is in decline. Most (51.2%) of the 814 living trees were 40-80 years old; only 6.5% were younger than 20 years. The average age of the 166 dead trees was 78 years. Fifty-nine percent of dead trees were aged 60-100 years. Survival of newly emerged seedlings was monitored for 7 years in a 557-m2 permanent plot. Mean survival in the 1st year of life was 1.7%. Only 2 of 1,008 seedlings lived longer than 1 year. Length of survival was not correlated with rainfall. Residual regeneration, an index of the difference between predicted and observed cohort size, showed that regeneration was high during the first half of the twentieth century and poor after the mid-1950s. Trends in regeneration did not reflect interannual variation in seasonal temperature or rain before 1950, that is, in the years before urban warming. Taken together, the seedling study and the regeneration analysis suggest that local population dynamics reflect biotic factors to such an extent that population age structure might not always be a reliable clue to past climatic influences.

  6. Satellite Image-based Estimates of Snow Water Equivalence in Restored Ponderosa Pine Forests in Northern Arizona

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sankey, T.; Springer, A. E.; O'Donnell, F. C.; Donald, J.; McVay, J.; Masek Lopez, S.

    2014-12-01

    The U.S. Forest Service plans to conduct forest restoration treatments through the Four Forest Restoration Initiative (4FRI) on hundreds of thousands of acres of ponderosa pine forest in northern Arizona over the next 20 years with the goals of reducing wildfire hazard and improving forest health. The 4FRI's key objective is to thin and burn the forests to create within-stand openings that "promote snowpack accumulation and retention which benefit groundwater recharge and watershed processes at the fine (1 to 10 acres) scale". However, little is known about how these openings created by restoration treatments affect snow water equivalence (SWE) and soil moisture, which are key parts of the water balance that greatly influence water availability for healthy trees and for downstream water users in the Sonoran Desert. We have examined forest canopy cover by calculating a Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), a key indicator of green vegetation cover, using Landsat satellite data. We have then compared NDVI between treatments at our study sites in northern Arizona and have found statistically significant differences in tree canopy cover between treatments. The control units have significantly greater forest canopy cover than the treated units. The thinned units also have significantly greater tree canopy cover than the thin-and-burn units. Winter season Landsat images have also been analyzed to calculate Normalized Difference Snow Index (NDSI), a key indicator of snow water equivalence and snow accumulation at the treated and untreated forests. The NDSI values from these dates are examined to determine if snow accumulation and snow water equivalence vary between treatments at our study sites. NDSI is significantly greater at the treated units than the control units. In particular, the thinned forest units have significantly greater snow cover than the control units. Our results indicate that forest restoration treatments result in increased snow pack

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Models of invasion and establishment of African Mustard (Brassica tournefortii)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berry, Kristin H.; Gowan, Timothy A.; Miller, David M.; Brooks, Matthew L.

    2015-01-01

    Introduced exotic plants can drive ecosystem change. We studied invasion and establishment ofBrassica tournefortii (African mustard), a noxious weed, in the Chemehuevi Valley, western Sonoran Desert, California. We used long-term data sets of photographs, transects for biomass of annual plants, and densities of African mustard collected at irregular intervals between 1979 and 2009. We suggest that African mustard may have been present in low numbers along the main route of travel, a highway, in the late 1970s; invaded the valley along a major axial valley ephemeral stream channel and the highway; and by 2009, colonized 22 km into the eastern part of the valley. We developed predictive models for invasibility and establishment of African mustard. Both during the initial invasion and after establishment, significant predictor variables of African mustard densities were surficial geology, proximity to the highway and axial valley ephemeral stream channel, and number of small ephemeral stream channels. The axial valley ephemeral stream channel was the most vulnerable of the variables to invasions. Overall, African mustard rapidly colonized and quickly became established in naturally disturbed areas, such as stream channels, where geological surfaces were young and soils were weakly developed. Older geological surfaces (e.g., desert pavements with soils 140,000 to 300,000 years old) were less vulnerable. Microhabitats also influenced densities of African mustard, with densities higher under shrubs than in the interspaces. As African mustard became established, the proportional biomass of native winter annual plants declined. Early control is important because African mustard can colonize and become well established across a valley in 20 yr.

  10. Value and Resilience in the Case of 'Invasive' Tamarix in the Colorado River Riparian Corridor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loring, P. A.; Gerlach, S.; Zamora, F.

    2009-12-01

    A common premise of science for conservation and sustainability is an assumption that despite any human definitions of value, there are ecological first principles, e.g., resilience, which must be understood if sustainability is to be possible. As I show here, however, pursuits such as restoration, conservation, and sustainability remain tangled in (and sometimes at odds with one another regarding) many value-laden decisions regarding the equity, justice, and morality of human-environment interactions. These include such important decisions as: what should be restored or sustained and for whom, how and by whom, and at what cost. This paper uses examples from the lower Colorado River Riparian Corridor, in particular the issue of the so-called ‘invasive’ saltcedar (Tamarix spp.), to illustrate some of the implicit value judgments common to the practice of managing ecosystems. There are many possible perspectives to be taken on a matter like Tamarix, each implicitly or explicitly representing different worldviews and agendas for the ecosystems in question. Resilience theory provides one such perspective, but as I show here, it proves incapable of producing recommendations for managing the corridor that are free of subjective valuations. I end with a case study of habitat and Tamarix management practices in the Mexican portion of the Colorado River Delta, highlighting the proven potential when up-front values are explicitly coupled to the practice of sustainability science, rather than left as details for 'good governance,' a realm presently imagined as separate from science, to sort out. Map of the Colorado River Delta. The Sonoran Institute manages projects in the Mexican portion of the Colorado River Delta region, along the Rio Hardy, the mainstem of the Colorado River in Baja California, MX and in the Cienega de Santa Clara wetlands, Sonora, MX. Map courtesy of Water Education Foundation. www.watereducation.org

  11. 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

  12. Simulating long-term effectiveness and efficiency of management scenarios for an invasive grass

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Catherine S. Jarnevich

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Resource managers are often faced with trade-offs in allocating limited resources to manage plant invasions. These decisions must often be made with uncertainty about the location of infestations, their rate of spread and effectiveness of management actions. Landscape level simulation tools such as state-and-transition simulation models (STSMs can be used to evaluate the potential long term consequences of alternative management strategies and help identify those strategies that make efficient use of resources. We analyzed alternative management scenarios for African buffelgrass (Pennisetum ciliare syn. Cenchrus ciliaris at Ironwood Forest National Monument, Arizona using a spatially explicit STSM implemented in the Tool for Exploratory Landscape Scenario Analyses (TELSA. Buffelgrass is an invasive grass that is spreading rapidly in the Sonoran Desert, affecting multiple habitats and jurisdictions. This invasion is creating a novel fire risk and transforming natural ecosystems. The model used in this application incorporates buffelgrass dispersal and establishment and management actions and effectiveness including inventory, treatment and post-treatment maintenance. We simulated 11 alternative scenarios developed in consultation with buffelgrass managers and other stakeholders. The scenarios vary according to the total budget allocated for management and the allocation of that budget between different kinds of management actions. Scenario results suggest that to achieve an actual reduction and stabilization of buffelgrass populations, management unconstrained by fiscal restrictions and across all jurisdictions and private lands is required; without broad and aggressive management, buffelgrass populations are expected to increase over time. However, results also suggest that large upfront investments can achieve control results that require relatively minimal spending in the future. Investing the necessary funds upfront to control the invasion

  13. Navigating the tip of the genomic iceberg: Next-generation sequencing for plant systematics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Straub, Shannon C K; Parks, Matthew; Weitemier, Kevin; Fishbein, Mark; Cronn, Richard C; Liston, Aaron

    2012-02-01

    Just as Sanger sequencing did more than 20 years ago, next-generation sequencing (NGS) is poised to revolutionize plant systematics. By combining multiplexing approaches with NGS throughput, systematists may no longer need to choose between more taxa or more characters. Here we describe a genome skimming (shallow sequencing) approach for plant systematics. Through simulations, we evaluated optimal sequencing depth and performance of single-end and paired-end short read sequences for assembly of nuclear ribosomal DNA (rDNA) and plastomes and addressed the effect of divergence on reference-guided plastome assembly. We also used simulations to identify potential phylogenetic markers from low-copy nuclear loci at different sequencing depths. We demonstrated the utility of genome skimming through phylogenetic analysis of the Sonoran Desert clade (SDC) of Asclepias (Apocynaceae). Paired-end reads performed better than single-end reads. Minimum sequencing depths for high quality rDNA and plastome assemblies were 40× and 30×, respectively. Divergence from the reference significantly affected plastome assembly, but relatively similar references are available for most seed plants. Deeper rDNA sequencing is necessary to characterize intragenomic polymorphism. The low-copy fraction of the nuclear genome was readily surveyed, even at low sequencing depths. Nearly 160000 bp of sequence from three organelles provided evidence of phylogenetic incongruence in the SDC. Adoption of NGS will facilitate progress in plant systematics, as whole plastome and rDNA cistrons, partial mitochondrial genomes, and low-copy nuclear markers can now be efficiently obtained for molecular phylogenetics studies.

  14. Covariance of oxygen and hydrogen isotopic compositions in plant water: species effects

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cooper, L.W.; DeNiro, M.J.

    1989-01-01

    Leaf water becomes enriched in the heavy isotopes of oxygen and hydrogen during evapotranspiration. The magnitude of the enrichment has been shown to be influenced by temperature and humidity, but the effects of species—specific factors on leaf water enrichment of D and 18 O have not been studied for different plants growing together. Accordingly, to learn whether leaf water enrichment patterns and processes for D and 18 O are different for individual species growing under the same environmental conditions we tested the proposal that leaf waters in plants with crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) show higher slopes (m in the leaf water equation °D = m ° 18 O + b) than in C 3 plants. We determined the relationships between the stable hydrogen (°D) and oxygen (° 18 O) isotope ratios of leaf waters collected during the diurnal cycle of evapotranspiration for Yucca schidigera, Ephedra aspera, Agave deserti, Prunus ilicifolia, Yucca whipplei, Heteromeles arbutifolia, Dyckia fosteriana, Simmondsia chinensis, and Encelia farinosa growing at two sites in southern California. Slopes (m in the above leaf water equation) ranged from 1.50 to 3.21, compared to °8 for meteoric water, but differences in slope could not be attributed to carboxylation pathway (CAM vs. C 3 ) nor climate (coastal California vs. Sonoran Desert). Higher slopes were correlated with greater overall ranges of leaf water enrichment of D and 18 O. Water in plants with higher slopes also differed most from unaltered meteoric water. Leaf water isotope ratios in plants with lower slopes were better correlated with temperature and humidity. The findings indicate that m in the aforementioned equation is related to the overall residence time for water in the leaf and proportions of water subjected to repeated evapotranspiration enrichments of heavy isotopes

  15. Lessons for Integrated Water Resources Management from the San Pedro HELP Basin on the U.S.-Mexico Border

    Science.gov (United States)

    Browning, A.; Goodrich, D.; Varady, R.; Richter, H.

    2007-12-01

    The San Pedro Basin sits within an intermountain ecotone with the Sonoran and Chihuahuan Deserts to the west and east and the Rocky Mountain and Sierra Madre Mountain habitats to the north and south. The headwaters of the basin originate in northern Sonora and flow north into southeast Arizona. As the region's only remaining perennial stream, the San Pedro River serves as an international flyway for over 400 bird species. It is one of the western hemisphere's most ecologically diverse areas with some 20 different biotic communities, and "possesses one of the richest assemblages of land mammal species in the world." Large mining, military, and municipal entities are major users of the same groundwater resources that maintain perennial flow in the San Pedro. This presentation describes empirical evidence of the positive impacts on watershed management of scientists and policy researchers working closely with water managers and elected officials in a functioning HELP basin. We posit that when hydrologists help watershed groups understand the processes controlling water quality and quantity, and when managers and stakeholders connect these processes to social, economic and legal issues then transboundary cooperation in policymaking and water management is most effective. The distinctive physical and socioeconomic characteristics of the basin as well as differences in institutional regulations, water law issues, and their local implementations in Arizona and Sonora are discussed. We illustrate how stakeholders and scientific researchers in both countries strive to balance ecosystem needs with human demands to create new, integrated basin management. Finally, we describe how the accomplishments of the San Pedro collaborative process, including the use of environmental-conflict-resolution tools, have contributed to the UNESCO HELP (Hydrology for the Environment, Life, and Policy) agenda.

  16. Emerging ecological datasets with application for modeling North American dust emissions

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCord, S.; Stauffer, N. G.; Garman, S.; Webb, N.

    2017-12-01

    In 2011 the US Bureau of Land Management (BLM) established the Assessment, Inventory and Monitoring (AIM) program to monitor the condition of BLM land and to provide data to support evidence-based management of multi-use public lands. The monitoring program shares core data collection methods with the Natural Resources Conservation Service's (NRCS) National Resources Inventory (NRI), implemented on private lands nationally. Combined, the two programs have sampled >30,000 locations since 2003 to provide vegetation composition, vegetation canopy height, the size distribution of inter-canopy gaps, soil texture and crusting information on rangelands and pasture lands across North America. The BLM implements AIM on more than 247.3 million acres of land across the western US, encompassing major dust source regions of the Chihuahuan, Sonoran, Mojave and Great Basin deserts, the Colorado Plateau, and potential high-latitude dust sources in Alaska. The AIM data are publicly available and can be used to support modeling of land surface and boundary-layer processes, including dust emission. While understanding US dust source regions and emission processes has been of national interest since the 1930s Dust Bowl, most attention has been directed to the croplands of the Great Plains and emission hot spots like Owens Lake, California. The magnitude, spatial extent and temporal dynamics of dust emissions from western dust source areas remain highly uncertain. Here, we use ensemble modeling with empirical and physically-based dust emission schemes applied to AIM monitoring data to assess regional-scale patterns of aeolian sediment mass fluxes and dust emissions. The analysis enables connections to be made between dust emission rates at source and other indicators of ecosystem function at the landscape scale. Emerging ecological datasets like AIM provide new opportunities to evaluate aeolian sediment transport responses to land surface conditions, potential interactions with

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Variation in chromosome number and breeding systems: implications for diversification in Pachycereus pringlei (Cactaceae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carina Gutiérrez-Flores

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Polyploidy, the possession of more than two sets of chromosomes, is a major biological process affecting plant evolution and diversification. In the Cactaceae, genome doubling has also been associated with reproductive isolation, changes in breeding systems, colonization ability, and speciation. Pachycereus pringlei (S. Watson, 1885 Britton & Rose, 1909, is a columnar cactus that has long drawn the attention of ecologists, geneticists, and systematists due to its wide distribution range and remarkable assortment of breeding systems in the Mexican Sonoran Desert and the Baja California Peninsula (BCP. However, several important evolutionary questions, such as the distribution of chromosome numbers and whether the diploid condition is dominant over a potential polyploid condition driving the evolution and diversity in floral morphology and breeding systems in this cactus, are still unclear. In this study, we determined chromosome numbers in 11 localities encompassing virtually the entire geographic range of distribution of P. pringlei. Our data revealed the first diploid (2n = 22 count in this species restricted to the hermaphroditic populations of Catalana (ICA and Cerralvo (ICE Islands, whereas the tetraploid (2n = 44 condition is consistently distributed throughout the BCP and mainland Sonora populations distinguished by a non-hermaphroditic breeding system. These results validate a wider distribution of polyploid relative to diploid individuals and a shift in breeding systems coupled with polyploidisation. Considering that the diploid base number and hermaphroditism are the proposed ancestral conditions in Cactaceae, we suggest that ICE and ICA populations represent the relicts of a southern diploid ancestor from which both polyploidy and unisexuality evolved in mainland BCP, facilitating the northward expansion of this species. This cytogeographic distribution in conjunction with differences in floral attributes suggests the distinction of

  20. Biological and Proteolytic Variation in the Venom of Crotalus scutulatus scutulatus from Mexico

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miguel Borja

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Rattlesnake venoms may be classified according to the presence/absence and relative abundance of the neurotoxic phospholipases A 2 s (PLA 2 s, such as Mojave toxin, and snake venom metalloproteinases (SVMPs. In Mexico, studies to determine venom variation in Mojave Rattlesnakes (Crotalus scutulatus scutulatus are limited and little is known about the biological and proteolytic activities in this species. Tissue (34 and venom (29 samples were obtained from C. s. scutulatus from different locations within their distribution in Mexico. Mojave toxin detection was carried out at the genomic (by PCR and protein (by ELISA levels for all tissue and venom samples. Biological activity was tested on representative venoms by measuring LD 50 and hemorrhagic activity. To determine the approximate amount of SVMPs, 15 venoms were separated by RP-HPLC and variation in protein profile and proteolytic activity was evaluated by SDS-PAGE (n = 28 and Hide Powder Azure proteolytic analysis (n = 27. Three types of venom were identified in Mexico which is comparable to the intraspecific venom diversity observed in the Sonoran Desert of Arizona, USA: Venom Type A (∼Type II, with Mojave toxin, highly toxic, lacking hemorrhagic activity, and with scarce proteolytic activity; Type B (∼Type I, without Mojave toxin, less toxic than Type A, highly hemorrhagic and proteolytic; and Type A + B, containing Mojave toxin, as toxic as venom Type A, variable in hemorrhagic activity and with intermediate proteolytic activity. We also detected a positive correlation between SVMP abundance and hemorrhagic and proteolytic activities. Although more sampling is necessary, our results suggest that venoms containing Mojave toxin and venom lacking this toxin are distributed in the northwest and southeast portions of the distribution in Mexico, respectively, while an intergradation in the middle of both zones is present.

  1. Identification of factors influencing the restoration of cyanobacteria-dominated biological soil crusts.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chongfeng Bu

    Full Text Available Biological soil crusts (BSCs cover >35% of the Earth's land area and contribute to important ecological functions in arid and semiarid ecosystems, including erosion reduction, hydrological cycling, and nutrient cycling. Artificial rapid cultivation of BSCs can provide a novel alternative to traditional biological methods for controlling soil and water loss such as the planting of trees, shrubs, and grasses. At present, little is known regarding the cultivation of BSCs in the field due to lack of knowledge regarding the influencing factors that control BSCs growth. Thus, we determined the effects of various environmental factors (shade; watering; N, P, K, and Ca concentrations on the growth of cyanobacteria-dominated BSCs from the Sonoran Desert in the southwestern United States. The soil surface changes and chlorophyll a concentrations were used as proxies of BSC growth and development. After 4 months, five factors were found to impact BSC growth with the following order of importance: NH4NO3 ≈ watering frequency>shading>CaCO3 ≈ KH2PO4. The soil water content was the primary positive factor affecting BSC growth, and BSCs that were watered every 5 days harbored greater biomass than those watered every 10 days. Groups that received NH4NO3 consistently exhibited poor growth, suggesting that fixed N amendment may suppress BSC growth. The effect of shading on the BSC biomass was inconsistent and depended on many factors including the soil water content and availability of nutrients. KH2PO4 and CaCO3 had nonsignificant effects on BSC growth. Collectively, our results indicate that the rapid restoration of BSCs can be controlled and realized by artificial "broadcasting" cultivation through the optimization of environmental factors.

  2. Hydrologic variability governs population dynamics of a vulnerable amphibian in an arid environment.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erin R Zylstra

    Full Text Available Dynamics of many amphibian populations are governed by the distribution and availability of water. Therefore, understanding the hydrological mechanisms that explain spatial and temporal variation in occupancy and abundance will improve our ability to conserve and recover populations of vulnerable amphibians. We used 16 years of survey data from intermittent mountain streams in the Sonoran Desert to evaluate how availability of surface water affected survival and adult recruitment of a threatened amphibian, the lowland leopard frog (Lithobates yavapaiensis. Across the entire study period, monthly survival of adults ranged from 0.72 to 0.99 during summer and 0.59 to 0.94 during winter and increased with availability of surface water (Z = 7.66; P < 0.01. Recruitment of frogs into the adult age class occurred primarily during winter and ranged from 1.9 to 3.8 individuals/season/pool; like survival, recruitment increased with availability of surface water (Z = 3.67; P < 0.01. Although abundance of frogs varied across seasons and years, we found no evidence of a systematic trend during the 16-year study period. Given the strong influence of surface water on population dynamics of leopard frogs, conservation of many riparian obligates in this and similar arid regions likely depends critically on minimizing threats to structures and ecosystem processes that maintain surface waters. Understanding the influence of surface-water availability on riparian organisms is particularly important because climate change is likely to decrease precipitation and increase ambient temperatures in desert riparian systems, both of which have the potential to alter fundamentally the hydrology of these systems.

  3. Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station Units 1, 2, and 3: Draft environmental statement (Docket Nos. STN 50-528, 529, and 530)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1975-04-01

    The proposed action is the issuance of construction permits to the Arizona Public Service Corporation for the construction of the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station, Units 1, 2 and 3. Preparation of the 3880-acre site will involve the clearing of up to 2500 acres of land, 1500 of which will be permanently devoted to station facilities. An additional 1200- to 1300-acre evaporation pond will ultimately be developed during the lifetime of the station. About 2200 site acres, previously devoted to agriculture, will be excluded from this land use (Sec. 4. 1). Soil disturbance during construction of the station, transmission lines, and water conveyance pipeline will tend to promote erosion and increase siltation in local ephemeral water courses. Stringent measures will be taken to minimize these effects (Sec. 4.5). Station, transmission line, and water pipeline construction will kill, remove displace, or otherwise disturb involved flora and fauna, and will eliminate varying amounts of wildlife breeding, nesting, and forage habitat. These will not be important impacts to the population stability and structure of the involved local ecosystems of the Sonoran desert; however, measures will be taken to minimize such effects (Sec. 4.3 and 4.5). Approximately 60 acres of agricultural land will be temporarily affected by construction in transmission corridors. The great majority can be returned to that use upon completion of construction, thus the impact is considered minor. Similarly, most grazing lands affected along these corridors, as well as along the water pipeline corridor, can eventually be returned to that use. New archaeological resources could be discovered along the path of final transmission corridor alignments. The applicant will take measures to locate and protect such resources if they exist. 75 refs., 24 figs., 65 tabs

  4. Vascular Plant and Vertebrate Inventory of Coronado National Memorial

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, Cecilia A.; Powell, Brian F.; Swann, Don E.; Halvorson, William L.

    2007-01-01

    We conducted inventories for amphibians and reptiles, birds, and mammals; and summarized past inventories for vascular plants at Coronado National Memorial (NM) in Arizona. We used our data as well as data from previous research to compile species lists for the memorial, assess inventory completeness, and make suggestions on future monitoring efforts. There have been 940 species of plants and vertebrates recorded at Coronado NM (Table 1), of which 46 (5%) are non-native. The species richness of the memorial is one of the highest in the Sonoran Desert Network of park units, third only to park units that are two and one-half (Chiricahua National Monument), 19 (Saguaro National Park) and 70 (Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument) times larger in area. The high species diversities are due to the large elevational gradient, overlap of bigeographical regions, wide range of geology and soils, and diverse vegetation communities present at the memorial. Changes in species composition have occurred at the memorial over the last 20 years in all major taxonomic groups. These changes are likely due to increases in grassy plant species (both native and non-native) at the lower elevations of the memorial. We suspect that grassy plant cover has increased because of changes in grazing intensity, introduction of some non-native species, and a recent fire. All recent vertebrate inventories have yielded grassland obligate species not previously recorded at the memorial. Based on the review of past studies, we believe the inventory for most taxa, except bats, is nearly complete, though some rare or elusive species will likely be added with additional survey effort.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Molecular and phenotypic diversity in Chionactis occipitalis (Western Shovel-nosed Snake), with emphasis on the status of C. o. klauberi (Tucson Shovel-nosed Snake).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood, D.A.; Meik, J.M.; Holycross, A.T.; Fisher, R.N.; Vandergast, A.G.

    2008-01-01

    Chionactis occipitalis (Western Shovel-nosed Snake) is a small colubrid snake inhabiting the arid regions of the Mojave, Sonoran, and Colorado deserts. Morphological assessments of taxonomy currently recognize four subspecies. However, these taxonomic proposals were largely based on weak morphological differentiation and inadequate geographic sampling. Our goal was to explore evolutionary relationships and boundaries among subspecies of C. occipitalis, with particular focus on individuals within the known range of C. o. klauberi (Tucson Shovel-nosed snake). Population sizes and range for C. o. klauberi have declined over the last 25 years due to habitat alteration and loss prompting a petition to list this subspecies as endangered. We examined the phylogeography, population structure, and subspecific taxonomy of C. occipitalis across its geographic range with genetic analysis of 1100 bases of mitochondrial DNA sequence and reanalysis of 14 morphological characters from 1543 museum specimens. We estimated the species gene phylogeny from 81 snakes using Bayesian inference and explored possible factors influencing genetic variation using landscape genetic analyses. Phylogenetic and population genetic analyses reveal genetic isolation and independent evolutionary trajectories for two primary clades. Our data indicate that diversification between these clades has developed as a result of both historical vicariance and environmental isolating mechanisms. Thus these two clades likely comprise 'evolutionary significant units' (ESUs). Neither molecular nor morphological data are concordant with the traditional C. occipitalis subspecies taxonomy. Mitochondrial sequences suggest specimens recognized as C. o. klauberi are embedded in a larger geographic clade whose range has expanded from western Arizona populations, and these data are concordant with clinal longitudinal variation in morphology. ?? 2007 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

  8. Using state-and-transition modeling to account for imperfect detection in invasive species management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frid, Leonardo; Holcombe, Tracy; Morisette, Jeffrey T.; Olsson, Aaryn D.; Brigham, Lindy; Bean, Travis M.; Betancourt, Julio L.; Bryan, Katherine

    2013-01-01

    Buffelgrass, a highly competitive and flammable African bunchgrass, is spreading rapidly across both urban and natural areas in the Sonoran Desert of southern and central Arizona. Damages include increased fire risk, losses in biodiversity, and diminished revenues and quality of life. Feasibility of sustained and successful mitigation will depend heavily on rates of spread, treatment capacity, and cost–benefit analysis. We created a decision support model for the wildland–urban interface north of Tucson, AZ, using a spatial state-and-transition simulation modeling framework, the Tool for Exploratory Landscape Scenario Analyses. We addressed the issues of undetected invasions, identifying potentially suitable habitat and calibrating spread rates, while answering questions about how to allocate resources among inventory, treatment, and maintenance. Inputs to the model include a state-and-transition simulation model to describe the succession and control of buffelgrass, a habitat suitability model, management planning zones, spread vectors, estimated dispersal kernels for buffelgrass, and maps of current distribution. Our spatial simulations showed that without treatment, buffelgrass infestations that started with as little as 80 ha (198 ac) could grow to more than 6,000 ha by the year 2060. In contrast, applying unlimited management resources could limit 2060 infestation levels to approximately 50 ha. The application of sufficient resources toward inventory is important because undetected patches of buffelgrass will tend to grow exponentially. In our simulations, areas affected by buffelgrass may increase substantially over the next 50 yr, but a large, upfront investment in buffelgrass control could reduce the infested area and overall management costs.

  9. Paleoproterozoic mojaveprovince in northwestern Mexico? Isotopic and U-Pb zircon geochronologic studies of precambrian and Cambrian crystalline and sedimentary rocks, Caborca, Sonora

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lang, Farmer G.; Bowring, S.A.; Matzel, J.; Maldonado, G.E.; Fedo, C.; Wooden, J.

    2005-01-01

    Whole-rock Nd isotopic data and U-Pb zircon geochronology from Precambrian crystalline rocks in the Caborca area, northern Sonora, reveal that these rocks are most likely a segment of the Paleoproterozoic Mojave province. Supporting this conclusion are the observations that paragneiss from the ??? 1.75 Ga Bamori Complex has a 2.4 Ga Nd model age and contains detrital zircons ranging in age from Paleo- proterozoic (1.75 Ga) to Archean (3.2 Ga). Paragneisses with similar age and isotopic characteristics occur in the Mojave province in southern California. In addition, "A-type" granite exposed at the southern end of Cerro Rajon has ca 2.0 Ga Nd model age and a U-Pb zircon age of 1.71 Ga, which are similar to those of Paleoproterozoic granites in the Mojave province. Unlike the U.S. Mojave province, the Caborcan crust contains ca. 1.1 Ga granite (Aibo Granite), which our new Nd isotopic data suggest is largely the product of anatexis of the local Precambrian basement. Detrital zircons from Neoproterozoic to early Cambrian miogeoclinal arenites at Caborca show dominant populations ca. 1.7 Ga, ca. 1.4 Ga, and ca. 1.1 Ga, with subordinate Early Cambrian and Archean zircons. These zircons were likely derived predominately from North American crust to the east and northeast, and not from the underlying Caborcan basement. The general age and isotopic similarities between Mojave province basement and overlying miogeoclinal sedimentary rocks in Sonora and southern California is necessary, but not sufficient, proof of the hypothesis that Sonoran crust is allochthonous and was transported to its current position during the Mesozoic along the proposed Mojave-Sonora megashear. One viable alternative model is that the Caborcan Precambrian crust is an isolated, autochthonous segment of Mojave province crust that shares a similar, but not identical, Proterozoic geological history with Mojave province crust found in the southwest United States ?? 2005 Geological Society of America.

  10. Consequences of buffelgrass pasture development for primary productivity, perennial plant richness, and vegetation structure in the drylands of Sonora, Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franklin, Kimberly; Molina-Freaner, Francisco

    2010-12-01

    In large parts of northern Mexico native plant communities are being converted to non-native buffelgrass (Pennisetum ciliare) pastures, and this conversion could fundamentally alter primary productivity and species richness. In Sonora, Mexico land conversion is occurring at a regional scale along a rainfall-driven gradient of primary productivity, across which native plant communities transition from desert scrub to thorn scrub. We used a paired sampling design to compare a satellite-derived index of primary productivity, richness of perennial plant species, and canopy-height profiles of native plant communities with buffelgrass pastures. We sampled species richness across a gradient of primary productivity in desert scrub and thorn scrub vegetation to examine the influence of site productivity on the outcomes of land conversion. We also examined the influence of pasture age on species richness of perennial plants. Index values of primary productivity were lower in buffelgrass pastures than in native vegetation, which suggests a reduction in primary productivity. Land conversion reduced species richness by approximately 50% at local and regional scales, reduced tree and shrub cover by 78%, and reduced canopy height. Land conversion disproportionately reduced shrub species richness, which reflects the common practice among Sonoran ranchers of conserving certain tree and cactus species. Site productivity did not affect the outcomes of land conversion. The age of a buffelgrass pasture was unrelated to species richness within the pasture, which suggests that passive recovery of species richness to preconversion levels is unlikely. Our findings demonstrate that land conversion can result in large losses of plant species richness at local and regional scales and in substantial changes to primary productivity and vegetation structure, which casts doubt on the feasibility of restoring native plant communities without active intervention on the part of land managers.

  11. Physiological integration of parents and ramets of Agave deserti: Carbon relations during vegetative and sexually reproductive growth

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tissue, D.T.

    1989-01-01

    Agave deserti is a semelparous perennial occurring in the northwestern Sonoran Desert that flowers after 50-55 years, but propagates primarily vegetatively by ramets. Shading ramets in the field to light compensation for two years did not decrease their relative growth rate compared with unshaded ramets. However, parents experienced a 30% decrease in total nonstructural carbohydrate (TNC) level, indicating that carbohydrates were translocated from parents to ramets. Parents were also shaded in the field for two years and about 10% of the growth of the shaded parents was attributed to TNC received from their attached, unshaded ramets indicating bidirectional translocation of carbohydrates between parents and ramets. The amount of carbon imported by a ramet from its parent, measured using 14 CO 2 techniques, was related to its photosynthetically active radiation environment, shaded ramets received 2.1 times more carbon than unshaded ramets, and was inversely related to the mass of the ramet, small ramets received up to 4.5 times more carbon than large ramets. The physiological integration of parents and ramets allows ramets to draw upon the reserves of the parent, thereby facilitating ramet growth and establishment in a resource-limited environment. Rosettes of Agave deserti must attain a minimum size (> 1,000 g dry mass) to initiate flowering, unless they are connected to a large flowering parent. Ramets that flower precociously can not complete formation of their inflorescence unless partially supported by carbon supplied by their attached parent. TNC reserves of the parent provided 70% of the carbon required to produce its own inflorescence, typically 4 m tall and 1.5 kg in dry mass, and CO 2 uptake by the leaves and the inflorescence provided the remaining 30%

  12. An Innovative Collaboration on Dark Skies Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, Constance E.; Mayer, M.; EPO Students, NOAO

    2011-01-01

    Dark night skies are being lost all over the globe, and hundreds of millions of dollars of energy are being wasted in the process.. Improper lighting is the main cause of light pollution. Light pollution is a concern on many fronts, affecting safety, energy conservation, cost, human health, and wildlife. It also robs us of the beauty of viewing the night sky. In the U.S. alone, over half of the population cannot see the Milky Way from where they live. To help address this, the National Optical Astronomy Observatory Education and Public Outreach (NOAO EPO) staff created two programs: Dark Skies Rangers and GLOBE at Night. Through the two programs, students learn about the importance of dark skies and experience activities that illustrate proper lighting, light pollution's effects on wildlife and how to measure the darkness of their skies. To disseminate the programs locally in an appropriate yet innovative venue, NOAO partnered with the Cooper Center for Environmental Learning in Tucson, Arizona. Operated by the largest school district in Tucson and the University of Arizona College of Education, the Cooper Center educates thousands of students and educators each year about ecology, science, and the beauty and wonders of the Sonoran Desert. During the first academic year (2009-2010), we achieved our goal of reaching nearly 20 teachers in 40 classrooms of 1000 students. We gave two 3-hour teacher-training sessions and provided nineteen 2.5-hour on-site evening sessions on dark skies activities for the students of the teachers trained. One outcome of the program was the contribution of 1000 "GLOBE at Night 2010” night-sky brightness measurements by Tucson students. Training sessions at similar levels are continuing this year. The partnership, planning, lesson learned, and outcomes of NOAO's collaboration with the environmental center will be presented.

  13. Cochliotoxin, a Dihydropyranopyran-4,5-dione, and Its Analogues Produced by Cochliobolus australiensis Display Phytotoxic Activity against Buffelgrass (Cenchrus ciliaris).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masi, Marco; Meyer, Susan; Clement, Suzette; Cimmino, Alessio; Cristofaro, Massimo; Evidente, Antonio

    2017-05-26

    Buffelgrass (Pennisetum ciliare or Cenchrus ciliaris) is a perennial grass that has become highly invasive in the Sonoran Desert of southern Arizona. In the search for novel control strategies against this weed, strains of the foliar fungal pathogen Cochliobolus australiensis from buffelgrass have been screened for their ability to produce phytotoxic metabolites that could potentially be used as natural herbicides in an integrated pest management strategy. A new phytotoxin, named cochliotoxin, was isolated from liquid culture of this fungus together with radicinin, radicinol, and their 3-epimers. Cochliotoxin was characterized, essentially by spectroscopic methods, as 3-hydroxy-2-methyl-7-(3-methyloxiranyl)-2,3-dihydropyrano[4,3-b]pyran-4,5-dione. Its relative stereochemistry was assigned by 1 H NMR techniques, while the absolute configuration (2S,3S) was determined applying the advanced Mosher's method by esterification of its hydroxy group at C-3. When bioassayed in a buffelgrass coleoptile elongation test and by leaf puncture bioassay against the host weed and two nontarget grasses, cochliotoxin showed strong phytotoxicity. In the same tests, radicinin and 3-epi-radicinin also showed phytotoxic activity, while radicinol and 3-epi-radicinol were largely inactive. All five compounds were more active in leaf puncture bioassays on buffelgrass than on the nontarget grass tanglehead (Heteropogon contortus), while the nontarget grass Arizona cottontop (Digitaria californica) was more sensitive to radicinin and 3-epi-radicinin. Cochliotoxin at low concentration was significantly more active on buffelgrass than on either native grass, but the difference was small.

  14. Mapping presence and predicting phenological status of invasive buffelgrass in southern Arizona using MODIS, climate and citizen science observation data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wallace, Cynthia S.A.; Walker, Jessica; Skirvin, Susan M.; Patrick-Birdwell, Caroline; Weltzin, Jake F.; Raichle, Helen

    2016-01-01

    The increasing spread and abundance of an invasive perennial grass, buffelgrass (Pennisetum ciliare), represents a critical threat to the native vegetation communities of the Sonoran desert in southern Arizona, USA, where buffelgrass eradication is a high priority for resource managers. Herbicidal treatment of buffelgrass is most effective when the vegetation is actively growing, but the remoteness of infestations and the erratic timing and length of the species’ growth periods confound effective treatment. The goal of our research is to promote buffelgrass management by using remote sensing data to detect where the invasive plants are located and when they are photosynthetically active. We integrated citizen scientist observations of buffelgrass phenology in the Tucson, Arizona area with PRISM precipitation data, eight-day composites of 250-m Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) satellite imagery, and aerially-mapped polygons of buffelgrass presence to understand dynamics and relationships between precipitation and the timing and amount of buffelgrass greenness from 2011 to 2013. Our results show that buffelgrass responds quickly to antecedent rainfall: in pixels containing buffelgrass, higher correlations (R2 > 0.5) typically occur after two cumulative eight-day periods of rain, whereas in pixels dominated by native vegetation, four prior 8-day periods are required to reach that threshold. Using the new suite of phenometrics introduced here—Climate Landscape Response metrics—we accurately predicted the location of 49% to 55% of buffelgrass patches in Saguaro National Park. These metrics and the suggested guidelines for their use can be employed by resource managers to treat buffelgrass during optimal time periods.

  15. Variation in chromosome number and breeding systems: implications for diversification in Pachycereus pringlei (Cactaceae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gutiérrez-Flores, Carina; la Luz, José L León-de; León, Francisco J García-De; Cota-Sánchez, J Hugo

    2018-01-01

    Polyploidy, the possession of more than two sets of chromosomes, is a major biological process affecting plant evolution and diversification. In the Cactaceae, genome doubling has also been associated with reproductive isolation, changes in breeding systems, colonization ability, and speciation. Pachycereus pringlei (S. Watson, 1885) Britton & Rose, 1909, is a columnar cactus that has long drawn the attention of ecologists, geneticists, and systematists due to its wide distribution range and remarkable assortment of breeding systems in the Mexican Sonoran Desert and the Baja California Peninsula (BCP). However, several important evolutionary questions, such as the distribution of chromosome numbers and whether the diploid condition is dominant over a potential polyploid condition driving the evolution and diversity in floral morphology and breeding systems in this cactus, are still unclear. In this study, we determined chromosome numbers in 11 localities encompassing virtually the entire geographic range of distribution of P. pringlei . Our data revealed the first diploid (2n = 22) count in this species restricted to the hermaphroditic populations of Catalana (ICA) and Cerralvo (ICE) Islands, whereas the tetraploid (2n = 44) condition is consistently distributed throughout the BCP and mainland Sonora populations distinguished by a non-hermaphroditic breeding system. These results validate a wider distribution of polyploid relative to diploid individuals and a shift in breeding systems coupled with polyploidisation. Considering that the diploid base number and hermaphroditism are the proposed ancestral conditions in Cactaceae, we suggest that ICE and ICA populations represent the relicts of a southern diploid ancestor from which both polyploidy and unisexuality evolved in mainland BCP, facilitating the northward expansion of this species. This cytogeographic distribution in conjunction with differences in floral attributes suggests the distinction of the diploid

  16. 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.

  17. The vascular flora and floristic relationships of the Sierra de La Giganta in Baja California Sur, Mexico La flora vascular y las relaciones florísticas de la sierra de La Giganta de Baja California Sur, México

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José Luis León de la Luz

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available The Sierra de La Giganta is a semi-arid region in the southern part of the Baja California peninsula of Mexico. Traditionally, this area has been excluded as a sector of the Sonoran Desert and has been more often lumped with the dry-tropical Cape Region of southern Baja California peninsula, but this classical concept of the vegetation has not previously been analyzed using formal documentation. In the middle of the last century, Annetta Carter, a botanist from the University of California, began explorations in the Sierra de La Giganta that lasted 24 years, she collected 1 550 specimens and described several new species from this area, but she never published an integrated study of the flora. Our objectives, having developed extensive collections in the same area over the past years, are to provide a comprehensive species list and description of the vegetation of this mountain range. We found a flora of 729 taxa, poorly represented in tree life-forms (3.1%, a moderate level (4.4% of endemism, and the dominance of plants in the sampling plots is composed mainly for legume trees and shrubs. Additionally, using a biogeographical approach, we compare our list with other known lists of plants from 5 areas, 3 in the Cape Region, 1 in the Sonoran Desert, and other in the thornscrub area of NW Mexico. We conclude that the La Giganta flora has a mixed composition, primarily made up of plants shared with the lowlands of the southern Cape Region, but also share an important proportion of the flora with the desert mountains of the central peninsula and some with the Sonoran desertscrub of mainland Mexico. Consequently we support that the La Giganta flora is part of a floristic continuum along the volcanic mountains of the southern peninsula that eventually could be considered a new eco-region in the same peninsular land.La sierra de La Giganta se localiza en el estado de Baja California Sur, México, en una región semi-árida. Tradicionalmente, esta

  18. Historical explanation of the origin of the herpetofauna of Mexico Explicación histórica del origen de la herpetofauna de México

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oscar Flores-Villela

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available A hypothesis of historical area relationships for Mexico, Central, and South America was investigated by a cladistic biogographic analysis using 10 taxon cladograms of the herpetofauna of Mexico. A hypothesis is presented based on previous narrative biogeographic scenarios and compared with the general area cladograms (GACs obtained using reconciled trees of COMPONENT 2.0 and Brooks Parsimony Analysis (BPA. For tree reconciliation, 1 000 trees were saved after the analysis. BPA yielded 18 GACs (CI = 0.805, RI= 0.549. The GAC derived from tree reconciliation is more or less pectinate and has only 3 groups of 2 areas each. These groups consist of the Chihuahuan and Sonoran deserts as sister areas on the one hand (DCHI, DSON, and the Sierra Madre Oriental and Occidental as sister areas on the other (SMOR, SMOC. This latter clade is sister to the Chihuahuan and Sonoran desert clade. The third group has the Transvolcanic Belt and Sierra Madre del Sur as sister areas (TVA, SMEX. The GAC obtained by BPA showed 4 main groups of areas: the first is comprised of the Pacific coast of Mexico and the Balsas Depression (PCBAL, the Sierra Madre del Sur (SMEX, and the Transvolcanic Belt (TVA; the second group includes the Sierra Madre Oriental (SMOR, Sierra Madre Occidental (SMOC, Sonoran (DSON and Chihuahuan deserts (DCHI; the third comprised the Highlands of Chiapas and Guatemala (CHIG, the Eastern Lowlands, on the Atlantic coast (ELL and the Semiarid Lands of Tamaulipas-Texas (TAMS; the fourth group contains the Western Lowlands, in the Pacific coast (WLL and northern South America (SA; the Talamanca Ridge (TALA is isolated at the base of the 3 first groups. The GAC from narrative biogeography contains 3 groups: the first has areas of northern Mexico (DSON, DCHI, TAMPS, the second has areas from central Mexico (PCBAL, SMOR, SMOC, TV A, and third has areas from southern Mexico and Central America (SMEX, CHIG, TALA, WLL, ELL, SA. In general, the GAC from the

  19. A Distinctive and Host-Restricted Gut Microbiota in Populations of a Cactophilic Drosophila Species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martinson, Vincent G; Carpinteyro-Ponce, Javier; Moran, Nancy A; Markow, Therese A

    2017-12-01

    Almost all animals possess gut microbial communities, but the nature of these communities varies immensely. For example, in social bees and mammals, the composition is relatively constant within species and is dominated by specialist bacteria that do not live elsewhere; in laboratory studies and field surveys of Drosophila melanogaster , however, gut communities consist of bacteria that are ingested with food and that vary widely among individuals and localities. We addressed whether an ecological specialist in its natural habitat has a microbiota dominated by gut specialists or by environmental bacteria. Drosophila nigrospiracula is a species that is endemic to the Sonoran Desert and is restricted to decaying tissues of two giant columnar cacti, Pachycereus pringlei (cardón cactus) and Carnegiea gigantea (saguaro cactus). We found that the D. nigrospiracula microbiota differs strikingly from that of the cactus tissue on which the flies feed. The most abundant bacteria in the flies are rare or completely absent in the cactus tissue and are consistently abundant in flies from different cacti and localities. Several of these fly-associated bacterial groups, such as the bacterial order Orbales and the genera Serpens and Dysgonomonas , have been identified in prior surveys of insects from the orders Hymenoptera, Coleoptera, Lepidoptera, and Diptera, including several Drosophila species. Although the functions of these bacterial groups are mostly unexplored, Orbales species studied in bees are known to break down plant polysaccharides and use the resulting sugars. Thus, these bacterial groups appear to be specialized to the insect gut environment, where they may colonize through direct host-to-host transmission in natural settings. IMPORTANCE Flies in the genus Drosophila have become laboratory models for microbiota research, yet the bacteria commonly used in these experiments are rarely found in wild-caught flies and instead represent bacteria also present in the food

  20. Groundwater quality in the Colorado River basins, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dawson, Barbara J. Milby; Belitz, Kenneth

    2012-01-01

    Groundwater provides more than 40 percent of California’s drinking water. To protect this vital resource, the State of California created the Groundwater Ambient Monitoring and Assessment (GAMA) Program. The Priority Basin Project of the GAMA Program provides a comprehensive assessment of the State’s groundwater quality and increases public access to groundwater-quality information. Four groundwater basins along the Colorado River make up one of the study areas being evaluated. The Colorado River study area is approximately 884 square miles (2,290 square kilometers) and includes the Needles, Palo Verde Mesa, Palo Verde Valley, and Yuma groundwater basins (California Department of Water Resources, 2003). The Colorado River study area has an arid climate and is part of the Sonoran Desert. Average annual rainfall is about 3 inches (8 centimeters). Land use in the study area is approximately 47 percent (%) natural (mostly shrubland), 47% agricultural, and 6% urban. The primary crops are pasture and hay. The largest urban area is the city of Blythe (2010 population of 21,000). Groundwater in these basins is used for public and domestic water supply and for irrigation. The main water-bearing units are gravel, sand, silt, and clay deposited by the Colorado River or derived from surrounding mountains. The primary aquifers in the Colorado River study area are defined as those parts of the aquifers corresponding to the perforated intervals of wells listed in the California Department of Public Health database. Public-supply wells in the Colorado River basins are completed to depths between 230 and 460 feet (70 to 140 meters), consist of solid casing from the land surface to a depth of 130 of 390 feet (39 to 119 meters), and are screened or perforated below the solid casing. The main source of recharge to the groundwater systems in the Needles, Palo Verde Mesa, and Palo Verde Valley basins is the Colorado River; in the Yuma basin, the main source of recharge is from

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Distinctive channel geometry and riparian vegetation: A geomorphic classification for arid ephemeral streams

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sutfin, N.; Shaw, J. R.; Wohl, E. E.; Cooper, D.

    2012-12-01

    Interactions between hydrology, channel form, and riparian vegetation along arid ephemeral streams are not thoroughly understood and current stream classifications do not adequately represent variability in channel geometry and associated riparian communities. Relatively infrequent hydrologic disturbances in dryland environments are responsible for creation and maintenance of channel form that supports riparian communities. To investigate the influence of channel characteristics on riparian vegetation in the arid southwestern United States, we develop a geomorphic classification for arid ephemeral streams based on the degree of confinement and the composition of confining material that provide constraints on available moisture. Our conceptual model includes five stream types: 1) bedrock channels entirely confined by exposed bedrock and devoid of persistent alluvium; 2) bedrock with alluvium channels at least partially confined by bedrock but containing enough alluvium to create bedforms that persist through time; 3) incised alluvium channels bound only by unconsolidated alluvial material into which they are incised; 4) braided washes that exhibit multi-thread, braided characteristics regardless of the composition of confining material; and 5) piedmont headwater 0-2nd order streams (Strahler) confined only by unconsolidated alluvium and which initiate as secondary channels on piedmont surfaces. Eighty-six study reaches representing the five stream types were surveyed on the U.S. Army Yuma Proving Ground in the Sonoran Desert of southwestern Arizona. Non-parametric multivariate analysis of variance (PERMANOVA) indicates significant differences between the five stream types with regards to channel geometry (i.e., stream gradient, width-to-depth ratio, the ratio between valley width and channel width (Wv/Wc), shear stress, and unit stream power) and riparian vegetation (i.e., presence and canopy coverage by species, canopy stratum, and life form). Discriminant analysis

  4. Avian thermoregulation in the heat: evaporative cooling capacity of arid-zone Caprimulgiformes from two continents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Talbot, William A; McWhorter, Todd J; Gerson, Alexander R; McKechnie, Andrew E; Wolf, Blair O

    2017-10-01

    Birds in the order Caprimulgiformes (nightjars and allies) have a remarkable capacity for thermoregulation over a wide range of environmental temperatures, exhibiting pronounced heterothermy in cool conditions and extreme heat tolerance at high environmental temperatures. We measured thermoregulatory responses to acute heat stress in three species of Caprimulgiformes that nest in areas of extreme heat and aridity, the common poorwill ( Phalaenoptilus nuttallii : Caprimulgidae) and lesser nighthawk ( Chordeiles acutipennis : Caprimulgidae) in the Sonoran Desert of Arizona, and the Australian owlet-nightjar ( Aegotheles cristatus : Aegothelidae) in the mallee woodlands of South Australia. We exposed wild-caught birds to progressively increasing air temperatures ( T a ) and measured resting metabolic rate (RMR), evaporative water loss (EWL), body temperature ( T b ) and heat tolerance limit (HTL; the maximum T a reached). Comparatively low RMR values were observed in all species (0.35, 0.36 and 0.40 W for the poorwill, nighthawk and owlet-nightjar, respectively), with T b approximating T a at 40°C and mild hyperthermia occurring as T a reached the HTL. Nighthawks and poorwills reached HTLs of 60 and 62°C, respectively, whereas the owlet-nightjar had a HTL of 52°C. RMR increased gradually above minima at T a of 42, 42 and 35°C, and reached 1.7, 1.9 and 2.0 times minimum resting values at HTLs in the poorwill, nighthawk and owlet-nightjar, respectively. EWL increased rapidly and linearly as T a exceeded T b and resulted in maximum rates of evaporative heat dissipation equivalent to 237-424% of metabolic heat production. Bouts of gular flutter resulted in large transient increases in evaporative heat loss (50-123%) accompanied by only small increments in RMR (<5%). The cavity-nesting/roosting owlet-nightjar had a lower HTL and less efficient evaporative cooling compared with the species that nest and/or roost on open desert surfaces. The high efficiency of gular

  5. Hierarchical, quantitative biogeographic provinces for all North American turtles and their contribution to the biogeography of turtles and the continent

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ennen, Joshua R.; Matamoros, Wilfredo A.; Agha, Mickey; Lovich, Jeffrey E.; Sweat, Sarah C.; Hoagstrom, Christopher W.

    2017-01-01

    and endemism concentrated along the more stable Gulf of México and Atlantic (south of the last permafrost maximum) coasts. Although distribution data indicate two aquatic turtles are most cold tolerant (i.e., Chrysemys picta, Chelydra serpentina), aquatic turtles overall show the most restriction to warmer, wetter climates. Sequential addition of semiaquatic and terrestrial turtles into analyses shows, as expected, that these taxa flesh out turtle faunas in climatically harsh (e.g., grasslands) or remote (e.g., California, Sonoran Desert) regions. The turtle assemblages of southwestern versus southeastern North America are distinct. But there is a transition zone across the semiarid plains of the Texas Gulf Coast, High Plains, and Chihuahuan Desert, including a strong boundary congruent with the Cochise Filter-Barrier. This is not a simple subdivision of Neotropical versus Nearctic taxa, as some lineages from both realms span the transition zone.

  6. Paleomagnetic data from the Caborca terrane, Mexico: Implications for Cordilleran tectonics and the Mojave-Sonora megashear hypothesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molina Garza, Roberto S.; Geissman, John W.

    1999-04-01

    Two ancient magnetizations have been isolated in rocks of the Caborca terrane, northwest Mexico. The characteristic magnetizations of Neoproterozoic and Paleozoic miogeoclinal shelf-strata, arc-derived Lower Jurassic marine strata, and Jurassic volcanic and volcaniclastic rocks are of dual polarity and east-northeast declination (or south-southwest) and shallow inclination. Magnetizations in Neoproterozoic and Paleozoic miogeoclinal strata are interpreted as secondary (J*) and to be of similar age to those observed in Lower and Middle Jurassic rocks. Remanence acquisition is bracketed between about 190 and 160 Ma. The overall mean (D=15.0°, I=8.5° n=38 sites; six localities; k=19.1, α95=5.5°) suggests a moderate to large clockwise rotation of 12 to 50° (depending on reference direction assumed) of the Caborca terrane, and rocks of the Sonoran segment of the Cordilleran volcanic arc, with respect to the North America craton. When compared with expected inclinations, observed values are not anomalously steep, arguing against statistically significant southward latitudinal displacement of the Caborca block after remanence acquisition. Late Cretaceous intrusions yield primary, dual-polarity steep inclination ``K'' magnetizations (D=341.4°, I=52.3° n=10 sites; five localities; k=38.3, α95=7.9°) and have locally remagnetized Neoproterozoic and Jurassic strata. When present, secondary (K*) magnetizations in Neoproterozoic strata are of higher coercivity and higher unblocking temperature than the characteristic (J*) magnetization. Importantly, the regional internal consistency of data for Late Cretaceous intrusions suggests that effects of Tertiary tilt or rotation about a vertical axis over the broad region sampled (~5000 km2) are not substantial. Late Cretaceous primary (K) magnetizations and secondary (K*) magnetizations yield a combined mean of D=348.1°, I=50.7° (N=10 localities; 47 sites; k=53.5, α95=6.7°), indicating at most small (displacement is near

  7. 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

  8. Prevalence and associated risk factors for Giardia and Cryptosporidium infections among children of northwest Mexico: a cross-sectional study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luis Quihui-Cota

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background G. intestinalis and Cryptosporidium spp. are responsible for gastrointestinal infections worldwide. Contaminated food, feces, drinking water and predictors such as poverty, cultural and behavioral aspects have been involved in their transmission. Published studies about these infections are limited in Mexico. Cananea, Sonora is located in northwest Mexico and is one of the regions with the lowest marginalization index in the Sonora state. However, its rate of gastrointestinal infections increased from 48.7/1000 in 2003 to 77.9/1000 in 2010 in the general population. It was estimated that the prevalence of giardiasis can range from 20 to 30% in the Sonoran childhood population. However, the prevalence of giardiasis and cryptosporidiosis are unknown in Cananea, Sonora and they are likely contributing to its gastrointestinal infections rates. Methods A total of 173 children (average age 8.8 ± 2.8 years participated in this cross-sectional study. Anthropometric measurements and stool analysis were performed. Socioeconomic, cultural and symptomatology information were collected. The association between the risk factors and intestinal parasitic infections was analyzed by multivariate analysis using the STATA/SE package at a significance level of p ≤ 0.05. Results More than half of the children (n = 103, 60% had intestinal parasitic infections. Cryptosporidium spp. showed the highest prevalence (n = 47, 27%, which was followed by G. intestinalis (n = 40, 23%. Children with giardiasis and cryptosporidiosis had lower H/A and BMI/A Z scores than children who were free of these infections. Children with giardiasis were at higher risk (OR = 4.0; 95%CI = 1.11–13.02; p = 0.030 of reporting abdominal pain, and children who drank tap water were at higher risk (OR = 5.0; 95% CI = 1.41–17.20; p = 0.012 of cryptosporidiosis. Conclusions This was the first epidemiological study conducted in

  9. Growth parameters of microalgae tolerant to high levels of carbon dioxide in batch and continuous-flow photobioreactors

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Westerhoff, P.; Hu, Q.; Esparza-Soto, M.; Vermaas, W. [Dept. of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Tempe, AZ (United States)

    2010-07-01

    Microalgae can be cultured in photobioreactors to sequester carbon dioxide and produce potentially valuable biomaterials. The goal of the present study was to identify and utilize microalgal strains that are capable of tolerating up to 20% CO{sub 2} (gas phase) concentrations under variable light or flue-gas blend conditions and reactor configurations to produce biomass. Scenedesmus sp. and Chlorella sp., both cultured from a Sonoran desert mineral spring, grew well and tolerated exposure to a gas mixture containing up to 20% CO{sub 2} applied continuously in batch reactors to the culture. Experiments were conducted with simulated coal-powered acidic flue gases containing SOx/NOx at concentrations of 200 to 350 ppmV. Microalgae did not grow well without pH control, and high levels (> 250 mM) of nitrite or sulphite in the liquid media inhibited algal growth. Pseudo steady-state experiments were also conducted using helical tubular and flat-plate photobioreactors with continuous flow (water and gas) and with artificial or natural sunlight. With a 2 d hydraulic residence time (HRT), the helical tubular photobioreactor produced 0.50 {+-} 0.11 g C d{sup -1} (0.056 {+-} 0.012 g C L{sup -1} d{sup -1}) dry-weight cell mass during continuous fluorescent-lamp irradiance and 0.048 {+-} 0.018 g C L{sup -1} d{sup -1} during 12 h light/darkness cycling. The flat-plate photobioreactor (2 d HRT) produced 0.42 {+-} 0.28 g C L{sup -1} d{sup -1} with artificial lighting and with natural sunlight; a 4 d HRT produced 0.14 {+-} 0.02 g C L{sup -1} d{sup -1}. Reactor modelling indicated that a threshold of reactor size (i.e. HRT) and reactor depth (path-length of light) exists based upon the optical density of the cells in the water column and their growth rates.

  10. Caracterización fisicoquímica de los aceites crudos de algunas semillas de leguminosas del desierto sonorense

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ortega-Nieblas, M.

    1995-02-01

    Full Text Available The Sonoran desert has a great variety of nutritional native plants, mainly from the leguminous family. Although in ancient times their products were used as food by native Americans, there is little information about their potential as a food source. For this reason, oils from the following seeds were studied: Acacia famesiana (huizache, Mimosa grahamii (gatuña, Cercidium microphyilium (palo verde 1, Cercidium sonorae (brea, Parkinsonia aculeata (palo verde 2, Olneya Tesota (palo fierro and Prosopis juliflora (mezquite.
    Oils were extracted from the seeds with hexane, and contents ranged from 8.5 to 23.5 %. The physicochemical studies showed mostly unsaturated oils, as demonstrated by the iodine index, (101-147 units. Indexes of acidity, peroxides and free fatty acids were low and within the accepted values. Fatty acids were separated and quantified by gas chromatography. Linoleic and oleic acids were found to predominate. All extracted crude oils were of good quality, comparable to those from soybean, com, sunflower and carthamus.

    El desierto de Sonora cuenta con una gran variedad de plantas silvestres principalmente de la familia leguminosae de las cuales se tiene poca información acerca de su potencial como fuente nutricional. Por lo que se estudiaron los aceites de las semillas: Acacia famesiana (huizache, Mimosa grahamii (gatuña, Cercidium microphyilium (palo verde 1, Cercidium sonorae (brea, Parkinsonia aculeata (palo verde 2, Olneya Tesota (palo fierro y Prosopis juliflora (mezquite.
    Los aceites de cada semilla se extrajeron con hexano, obteniéndose de 8.5 a 23.5 %. Estos mostraron un alto grado de insaturación reflejado en los índices de lodo, de 101 a 147. Los índices de acidez, peróxidos y ácidos grasos libres fueron bajos y dentro de los valores aceptables. Al cuantificar los ácidos grasos por

  11. Volatile organic compound emissions from Larrea tridentata (creosotebush

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Guenther

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available We present results from the CREosote ATmosphere Interactions through Volatile Emissions (CREATIVE 2009 field study in southern Arizona aimed at quantifying emission rates of VOCs from creosotebush (Larrea tridentata during the summer 2009 monsoon season. This species was chosen because of its vast distribution in North and South American deserts and because its resins have been reported to contain a rich set of volatile organic compounds (VOC. While a variety of ecosystems have been investigated for VOC emissions, deserts remain essentially unstudied, partially because of their low biomass densities and water limitations. However, during the North American monsoon, a pronounced increase in rainfall from an extremely dry June (80 mm occurs over large areas of the Sonoran desert in the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico. We observed a strong diurnal pattern of branch emissions and ambient concentrations of an extensive suite of VOCs with maxima in early afternoon. These include VOCs typically observed in forest sites (oxygenated VOCs and volatile isoprenoids as well as a large number of other compounds, some of which have not been previously described from any plant including 1-chloro-2-methoxy-benzene and isobutyronitrile. Although generally considered to be derived from anthropogenic sources, we observed emissions of aromatic compounds including benzene, and a broad range of phenolics. Dimethyl sulfide emissions from creosotebush were higher than reported from any previously studied plant suggesting that terrestrial ecosystems should be reconsidered as an important source of this climatically important gas. We also present direct, primary emission measurements of isoprene and its apparent oxidation products methyl vinyl ketone, methacrolein, and 3-methyl furan (the later three compounds are typically assumed to form from secondary reactions within the atmosphere, as well as a group of compounds considered to be fatty acid

  12. Índices de oxidación en aceites de algunas leguminosas del desierto sonorense

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vázquez-Moreno, L.

    2001-02-01

    Full Text Available The oxidation process of crude and refined oils from wild leguminous seeds: Prosopis juliflora (mezquite, Mimosa grahamii (gatuña, Acacia constricta, (vinorama Olneya tesota, (palo fierro Cercidium praecox (palo de brea and Parkinsonia aculeata (palo verde were evaluated during storage for 122 days, using corn and soybean oils as controls. Peroxide, Iodine, Acid and p-Anisidine values were determinated during 122 days of storage at room temperature. The wild leguminous raw oils showed results similar to those for the corn raw oil and lower than those of soybean raw oil. This behavior was similar for refinated oils. The rancid odor was detected after 5 days of storage in soybean oil and 40 days in vinorama oil, on the contrary, mezquite, palo verde and palo of brea oils presented this odor after 62 days, and for gatuña’s oil needed 135 days. Our results indicate that legume seed of Sonoran Desert could be a good alternative as source of oil.El proceso de oxidación fue evaluado durante el almacenamiento de los aceites crudos y refinados de las semillas de leguminosas silvestres: Prosopis juliflora (mezquite, Mimosa grahamii (gatuña, Acacia constricta (vinorama, Olneya tesota (palo fierro, Cercidium praecox (palo de brea y Parkinsonia aculeata (palo verde. Los aceites de maíz y soja fueron empleados como controles. Se determinó el índice de peróxido (I.P., de Yodo (I.I., de acidez (I.A, y valor de p-Anisidina (p-A durante 122 días de almacenamiento a temperatura ambiente. Los aceites crudos de leguminosas silvestres mostraron valores de estos índices similares a los del aceite de maíz crudo y menores que los del aceite de soja crudo. Este comportamiento también fue observado para los aceites refinados. El olor a rancio se presentó en el aceite de soja a los 5 días de almacenamiento, en el de vinorama a los 40 días, en el de mezquite, palo verde y palo de brea a los 62 días y en el de gatuña a los 135 días. Los valores

  13. Adapting to Climate Change: Reconsidering the Role of Protected Areas and Protected Organisms in Western North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graumlich, L. J.; Cross, M. S.; Hilty, J.; Berger, J.

    2007-12-01

    With the recent publication of the 2007 Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), little doubt remains among scientists that the global climate system is changing due to human influence and that climate change will have far-reaching and fundamental impacts on ecosystems and biodiversity. Arguably the best-documented evidence linking 20th Century warming trends to changes in physical and biological systems comes from the mountains of western North America (e.g., Figure SPM1 in Summary of Working Group 11 Report). In the West, ecosystem impacts include changes in the distribution of species as well as changing functional linkages between species such as the synchrony between flower emergence and pollinating insects. These climate impacts, when combined with other environmental stressors (e.g., altered disturbance regimes, land-use change and habitat fragmentation) portend an amplification of species extinction rates. One of the great challenges in adapting to climate change is developing and implementing policies that enhance ecological resilience in the face of these change. Clearly, the current system of nature reserves in Western North America is a fundamental asset for maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem services. However, the fixed- boundary nature of these protected areas presents a problem as species' ranges shift with future climate change. The loss of species whose ranges move outside of fixed park boundaries and the arrival of other species that move into protected areas could lead to significant turnover of species diversity, new species assemblages, and altered functionality. In short, reserves that were designed to protect particular species or communities may no longer serve their intended purpose under a changing climate. In this talk, we use case studies from the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and the Sonoran Desert Ecosystem to define strategies for enhancing ecological resilience to climate change at

  14. Vascular Plant and Vertebrate Inventory of Tonto National Monument

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albrecht, Eric W.; Powell, Brian F.; Halvorson, William L.; Schmidt, Cecilia A.

    2007-01-01

    This report summarizes the results of the first biological inventory of plants and vertebrates at Tonto National Monument (NM). From 2001 to 2003, we surveyed for vascular plants and vertebrates (amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals) at Tonto NM to record species presence. We focused most of our efforts along the Cave Springs riparian area, but surveyed other areas as well. We recorded 149 species in the riparian area, and 369 species overall in the monument, including 65 plant species and four bird species that were previously unrecorded for the monument. We recorded 78 plant species in the riparian area that previous studies had not indicated were present there. Several species of each taxonomic group were found only in the riparian area, suggesting that because of their concentration in this small area these populations are vulnerable to disturbance and may be of management concern. Four of the bird species that we recorded (Bell's vireo, yellow warbler, summer tanager, and Abert's towhee) have been identified as riparian 'obligate' species by other sources. Bird species that are obligated to riparian areas are targets of conservation concern due to widespread degradation of riparian areas in the desert southwest over the last century. The flora and fauna of the riparian area would benefit from continued limited public access. The dependence of the riparian area on the spring and surface flow suggests monitoring of this resource per se would benefit management of the riparian area's flora and fauna as well. The monument would benefit from incorporating monitoring protocols developed by the Sonoran Desert Network Inventory and Monitoring program rather than initiating a separate program for the riparian area. Park managers can encourage the Inventory and Monitoring program to address the unique monitoring challenges presented by small spatial areas such as this riparian area, and can request specific monitoring recommendations. We suggest that repeat

  15. Vascular Plant and Vertebrate Inventory of Tuzigoot National Monument

    Science.gov (United States)

    Powell, Brian F.; Albrecht, E.W.; Halvorson, William Lee; Schmidt, Cecilia A.; Anning, P.; Docherty, K.

    2005-01-01

    Executive Summary From 2002 to 2004, we surveyed for plants and vertebrates (amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals) at Tuzigoot National Monument (NM) and adjacent areas in Arizona. This was the first effort of its kind in the area and was part of a larger effort to inventory vascular plants and vertebrates in eight National Park Service units in Arizona and New Mexico. In addition to our own surveys, we also compiled a complete list of species that have been found by previous studies. We found 330 species, including 142 that had not previously been recorded at the monument (Table 1). We found 39 species of non-native plants, 11 non-native fishes, three non-native birds, and one non-native species each of amphibian and mammal. Based on our work and that of others, there have been 597 species of plants and vertebrates found at the monument. The bird community at the monument had the highest species richness of any national park unit in central and southern Arizona. We found all other taxa to have intermediate species richness compared to other park units in the region. This extraordinary species richness observed for birds, as well as for some other taxa, is due primarily to Tavasci Marsh and the Verde River, two critical sources of perennial water, which provide habitat for many regionally rare or uncommon species. The location of the monument at the northern edge of the Sonoran Desert and at the southern edge of the Mogollon Rim also plays an important role in determining the distribution and community composition of the plant and vertebrate communities. Based on our findings, we believe the high number of non-native species, especially fish and plants, should be of particular management concern. We detail other management challenges, most notably the rapid increase in housing and associated commercial development near the monument, which will continue to impact the plant and vertebrate communities. Based on our data and a review of past studies, we believe the

  16. Vascular Plant and Vertebrate Inventory of Casa Grande Ruins National Monument

    Science.gov (United States)

    Powell, Brian F.; Albrecht, Eric W.; Schmidt, Cecilia A.; Halvorson, William L.; Anning, Pamela; Docherty, Kathleen

    2006-01-01

    Executive Summary This report summarizes results of the first comprehensive biological inventory of Casa Grande Ruins National Monument (NM) in southern Arizona. Surveys at the monument were part of a larger effort to inventory vascular plants and vertebrates in eight National Park Service units in Arizona and New Mexico. In 2001 and 2002 we surveyed for vascular plants and vertebrates (amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals) at Casa Grande Ruins NM to document the presence, and in some cases relative abundance, of species. By using repeatable study designs and standardized field techniques, which included quantified survey effort, we produced inventories that can serve as the basis for a biological monitoring program. Of the National Park Service units in the region, no other has experienced as much recent ecological change as Casa Grande Ruins NM. Once situated in a large and biologically diverse mesquite bosque near the perennially flowing Gila River, the monument is now a patch of sparse desert vegetation surrounded by urban and commercial development that is rapidly replacing agriculture as the dominant land use in the area. Roads, highways, and canals surround the monument. Development, and its associated impacts, has important implications for the plants and animals that live in the monument. The plant species list is small and the distribution and number of non-native plants appears to be increasing. Terrestrial vertebrates are also being impacted by the changing landscape, which is increasing the isolation of these populations from nearby natural areas and thereby reducing the number of species at the monument. These observations are alarming and are based on our review of previous studies, our research in the monument, and our knowledge of the biogeography and ecology of the Sonoran Desert. Together, these data suggest that the monument has lost a significant portion of its historic complement of species and these changes will likely intensify as

  17. Numerical simulation of "an American haboob"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vukovic, A.; Vujadinovic, M.; Pejanovic, G.; Andric, J.; Kumjian, M. R.; Djurdjevic, V.; Dacic, M.; Prasad, A. K.; El-Askary, H. M.; Paris, B. C.; Petkovic, S.; Nickovic, S.; Sprigg, W. A.

    2014-04-01

    A dust storm of fearful proportions hit Phoenix in the early evening hours of 5 July 2011. This storm, an American haboob, was predicted hours in advance because numerical, land-atmosphere modeling, computing power and remote sensing of dust events have improved greatly over the past decade. High-resolution numerical models are required for accurate simulation of the small scales of the haboob process, with high velocity surface winds produced by strong convection and severe downbursts. Dust productive areas in this region consist mainly of agricultural fields, with soil surfaces disturbed by plowing and tracks of land in the high Sonoran Desert laid barren by ongoing draught. Model simulation of the 5 July 2011 dust storm uses the coupled atmospheric-dust model NMME-DREAM (Non-hydrostatic Mesoscale Model on E grid, Janjic et al., 2001; Dust REgional Atmospheric Model, Nickovic et al., 2001; Pérez et al., 2006) with 4 km horizontal resolution. A mask of the potentially dust productive regions is obtained from the land cover and the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) data from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS). The scope of this paper is validation of the dust model performance, and not use of the model as a tool to investigate mechanisms related to the storm. Results demonstrate the potential technical capacity and availability of the relevant data to build an operational system for dust storm forecasting as a part of a warning system. Model results are compared with radar and other satellite-based images and surface meteorological and PM10 observations. The atmospheric model successfully hindcasted the position of the front in space and time, with about 1 h late arrival in Phoenix. The dust model predicted the rapid uptake of dust and high values of dust concentration in the ensuing storm. South of Phoenix, over the closest source regions (~25 km), the model PM10 surface dust concentration reached ~2500 μg m-3, but

  18. Connections between transport in events and transport at landscape-structuring timescales

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-12-01

    Complex spatial and temporal variability can arise in the critical zone when feedbacks occur at multiple time scales between transported materials and the landscape and soils through which it is transported. This is clearly illustrated where geomorphic transport processes, soil development, and vegetation interact in semi-arid shrublands. Here we use soil and terrain data and a numerical model of overland flow on semi-arid hillslopes to show that microtopography can generate spatial variations in the dominance of transport processes operating at different timescales, with consequences for the direction of resource redistribution between functional units within these ecosystems. Conceptual and numerical models of the redistribution of mineral, organic and water have mostly been developed on low-gradient alluvial fans and pediments. These have focused on the fluvial transport of resources from the inter-spaces between shrub canopies to the areas below the canopy in those few storm events that generate significant run-off. These processes are believed to produce a mosaic of resource islands in which biota are concentrated. We investigated the spatial distribution of soil properties (including organic matter and soil hydraulic properties), vegetation, and microtopography on two steeper hillslopes of contrasting lithology (one granite, one schist) in the Sonoran desert foothills of the Catalina Mountains. Three hypotheses were developed through iteration between fieldwork and data analysis. These tested whether there were significant differences in soil composition and hydraulic properties below- and between-canopy, whether the surface soil organic matter was directly associated with above-ground biomass, and whether soil organic matter distributions measured along transects below shrubs showed downslope asymmetries indicative of the processes that create them. Data from these sites were used in a numerical model to investigate how these structures could be related to

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. A paleomagnetic investigation of vertical-axis rotations in coastal Sonora, Mexico: Evidence for distributed transtensional deformation during the Proto-Gulf shift from a subduction-dominated to transform-dominated plate boundary in the Gulf of California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herman, Scott William

    The history of late Miocene (Proto-Gulf) deformation on the Sonoran margin of the Gulf of California is key to understanding how Baja California was captured by the Pacific plate and how strain was partitioned during the Proto-Gulf period (12.5-6 Ma). The Sierra el Aguaje and Sierra Tinajas del Carmen are located in southwestern coastal Sonora, Mexico, and represent the eastern rifted margin of the central Gulf of California. The ranges are composed of volcanic units and their corresponding volcaniclastic units which are the result of persistent magmatic activity between 20 and 8.8 Ma, including three packages of basalt and andesite that make excellent paleomagnetic recorders. Based on cross cutting relations and geochronologic data for pre-, syn-, and post-tectonic volcanic units, most of the faulting and tilting in the Sierra El Aguaje is bracketed between 11.9 and 9.0 Ma, thus falling entirely within Proto-Gulf time. A paleomagnetic investigation into possible vertical axis rotations in the Sierra el Aguaje has uncovered evidence of clockwise rotations between ~13º and ~105º with possible translations. These results are consistent with existing field relations, which suggest the presence of large (>45°) vertical axis rotations in this region. This evidence includes: a) abrupt changes in the strike of tilted strata in different parts of the range, including large domains characterized by E-W strikes b) ubiquitous NE-SW striking faults with left lateral-normal oblique slip, that terminate against major NW-trending right lateral faults, and c) obliquity between the general strike of tilted strata and the strike of faults. These rotations occurred after 12 Ma and largely prior to 9 Ma, thus falling into the Proto-Gulf period. Such large-scale rotations lend credence to the theory that the area inboard of Baja California was experiencing transtension during the Proto-Gulf period, rather than the pure extension that would be the result of strain partitioning

  2. Prevalence and associated risk factors for Giardia and Cryptosporidium infections among children of northwest Mexico: a cross-sectional study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quihui-Cota, Luis; Morales-Figueroa, Gloria Guadalupe; Javalera-Duarte, Aarón; Ponce-Martínez, José Antonio; Valbuena-Gregorio, Edith; López-Mata, Marco Antonio

    2017-10-30

    G. intestinalis and Cryptosporidium spp. are responsible for gastrointestinal infections worldwide. Contaminated food, feces, drinking water and predictors such as poverty, cultural and behavioral aspects have been involved in their transmission. Published studies about these infections are limited in Mexico. Cananea, Sonora is located in northwest Mexico and is one of the regions with the lowest marginalization index in the Sonora state. However, its rate of gastrointestinal infections increased from 48.7/1000 in 2003 to 77.9/1000 in 2010 in the general population. It was estimated that the prevalence of giardiasis can range from 20 to 30% in the Sonoran childhood population. However, the prevalence of giardiasis and cryptosporidiosis are unknown in Cananea, Sonora and they are likely contributing to its gastrointestinal infections rates. A total of 173 children (average age 8.8 ± 2.8 years) participated in this cross-sectional study. Anthropometric measurements and stool analysis were performed. Socioeconomic, cultural and symptomatology information were collected. The association between the risk factors and intestinal parasitic infections was analyzed by multivariate analysis using the STATA/SE package at a significance level of p ≤ 0.05. More than half of the children (n = 103, 60%) had intestinal parasitic infections. Cryptosporidium spp. showed the highest prevalence (n = 47, 27%), which was followed by G. intestinalis (n = 40, 23%). Children with giardiasis and cryptosporidiosis had lower H/A and BMI/A Z scores than children who were free of these infections. Children with giardiasis were at higher risk (OR = 4.0; 95%CI = 1.11-13.02; p = 0.030) of reporting abdominal pain, and children who drank tap water were at higher risk (OR = 5.0; 95% CI = 1.41-17.20; p = 0.012) of cryptosporidiosis. This was the first epidemiological study conducted in children in the region of Cananea, Sonora in northwest Mexico. The

  3. Modeling the Climate and Hydrological Controls of the Expansion of an Invasive Grass Over Southern Arizona

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mathias, A.; Niu, G.; Zeng, X.

    2013-12-01

    Climate change has an effect on the resilience of ecosystems and the occurrence of ecological perturbations (e.g. spread of invasive species, wildfires). Changes in vegetation in turn can interrupt regional scale climate patterns and alter the spatial and temporal propagation of ecological disturbances. Understanding the controls of vegetation change are essential for predicting future changes, and for setting conservation and restoration targets. Vegetation change in transition zones between ecological regions is a significant indicator of future shifts in the composition of neighboring plant communities. The Walnut Gulch Experimental Watershed is in a grassland-shrubland transition zone between the Sonoran and Chihuahuan Desert in Southern Arizona. During the past decade, at some sites the cover of the invasive Lehmann lovegrass (Eragrostis lehmanniana) drastically increased and the abundance of native vegetation decreased, causing a major decline in biodiversity. Focusing on a catchment scale (Kendall Site), we used an individual based vegetation model (ECOTONE) and a coupled vegetation-3D surface/subsurface hydrology model (ECOTONE-CATHY) to simulate vegetation change. We set up the models with soil and climatological data (NLDAS and AmeriFlux), incorporated initial conditions of species and biomass distribution and species parameters for the site. Using ECOTONE we tested our hypothesis that a combination of dry years and subsequent wet period caused Lehmann lovegass to have advantage over the natives. In ECOTONE species composition and species distribution of plant communities arise from dynamic interactions of individual plants with species specific traits through intra- and interspecific competition for resources (H2O, nitrogen) and their interaction with the environment (precipitation and temperature). Our results indicate that the competitive advantage of Lehmann lovegrass stems from its ability to withstand dryer conditions during establishment and due to

  4. Cyanobacteria toxins in the Salton Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carmichael, Wayne W; Li, RenHui

    2006-04-19

    The Salton Sea (SS) is the largest inland body of water in California: surface area 980 km2, volume 7.3 million acre-feet, 58 km long, 14-22 km wide, maximum depth 15 m. Located in the southeastern Sonoran desert of California, it is 85 m below sea level at its lowest point. It was formed between 1905 and 1907 from heavy river flows of the Colorado River. Since its formation, it has attracted both people and wildlife, including flocks of migratory birds that have made the Salton Sea a critical stopover on the Pacific flyway. Over the past 15 years wintering populations of eared grebe (Podiceps nigricollis) at the Salton Sea, have experienced over 200,000 mortalities. The cause of these large die-offs remains unknown. The unique environmental conditions of the Salton Sea, including salinities from brackish freshwater at river inlets to hypersaline conditions, extreme daily summer temperatures (>38 degrees C), and high nutrient loading from rivers and agricultural drainage favor eutrophic conditions that encourage algal blooms throughout the year. A significant component of these algal blooms are the prokaryotic group - the Cyanophyta or blue-green algae (also called Cyanobacteria). Since many Cyanobacteria produce toxins (the cyanotoxins) it became important to evaluate their presence and to determine if they are a contributing factor in eared-grebe mortalities at the Salton Sea. From November 1999 to April 2001, 247 water and sediment samples were received for phytoplankton identification and cyanotoxin analyses. Immunoassay (ELISA) screening of these samples found that eighty five percent of all water samples contained low but detectable levels of the potent cyclic peptide liver toxin called microcystins. Isolation and identification of cyanobacteria isolates showed that the picoplanktonic Synechococcus and the benthic filamentous Oscillatoria were dominant. Both organisms were found to produce microcystins dominated by microcystin-LR and YR. A laboratory strain

  5. Overview of the Kinematics of the Salton Trough and Northern Gulf of California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stock, J. M.

    2016-12-01

    In the Salton Trough and Northern Gulf of California, transtensional rifting is leading to full continental plate breakup, as a major continental block is being transferred to an oceanic plate. Since at least 6 Ma this region has taken up most of the plate boundary slip between the Pacific and North America plates at this latitude. We review the structural history of plate separation, as constrained by many recent studies of present and past fault configurations, seismicity, and basin development as seen from geology and geophysics. Modern activity in the USA is dominated by NW-striking strike-slip faults (San Andreas, San Jacinto, Elsinore), and subsidiary NE-striking faults. There is an equally broad zone in Mexico (faults from the Mexicali Valley to the Colorado River Delta and bounding the Laguna Salada basin), including active low-angle detachment faults. In both areas, shifts in fault activity are indicated by buried faults and exhumed or buried earlier basin strata. Seismicity defines 3 basin segments in the N Gulf: Consag-Wagner, Upper Delfin, and Lower Delfin, but localization is incomplete. These basins occupy a broad zone of modern deformation, lacking single transform faults, although major strike-slip faults formed in the surrounding continental area. The off-boundary deformation on the western side of the plate boundary has changed with time, as seen by Holocene and Quaternary faults controlling modern basins in the Gulf Extensional Province of NE Baja California, and stranded Pliocene continental and marine basin strata in subaerial fault blocks. The eastern side of the plate boundary, in the shallow northeastern Gulf, contains major NW-striking faults that may have dominated the earlier (latest Miocene-early Pliocene) kinematics. The Sonoran coastal plain likely buries additional older faults and basin sequences; further studies here are needed to refine models of the earlier structural development of this sector. Despite > 250 km of plate

  6. Role of Transtension in Rifting at the Pacific-North America Plate Boundary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stock, J. M.

    2011-12-01

    Transtensional plate motion can be accommodated either in a localized zone of transtensional rifting or over a broader region. Broader zones of deformation can be classified either as diffuse deformation or strain partitioning (one or more major strike-slip shear zones geographically offset from a region of a extensional faulting). The Pacific-North America plate boundary in southwestern North America was transtensional during much of its history and has exhibited the full range of these behaviors at different spatial scales and in different locations, as recorded by fault motions and paleomagnetic rotations. Here we focus on the northern Gulf of California part of the plate boundary (Upper and Lower Delfin basin segments), which has been in a zone of transtensional Pacific-North America plate boundary motion ever since the middle Miocene demise of adjacent Farallon-derived microplates. Prior to the middle Miocene, during the time of microplate activity, this sector of North America experienced basin-and-range normal faults (core complexes) in Sonora. However there is no evidence of continued extensional faulting nor of a Gulf-related topographic depression until after ca 12 Ma when a major ignimbrite (Tuff of San Felipe/ Ignimbrite of Hermosillo) was deposited across the entire region of the future Gulf of California rift in this sector. After 12 Ma, faults disrupted this marker bed in eastern Baja California and western Sonora, and some major NNW-striking right-lateral faults are inferred to have developed near the Sonoran coast causing offset of some of the volcanic facies. However, there are major tectonic rotations of the volcanic rocks in NE Baja California between 12 and 6 Ma, suggesting that the plate boundary motion was still occurring over a broad region. By contrast, after about 6 Ma, diminished rotations in latest Miocene and Pliocene volcanic rocks, as well as fault slip histories, show that plate boundary deformation became localized to a narrower

  7. Hacia una síntesis biogeográfica de México Toward a synthesis of Mexican biogeography

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juan J. Morrone

    2005-12-01

    ón biótica del componente Neotropical se relacionan con el desarrollo de los istmos de Tehuantepec y Panamá y la inundación de las tierras bajas de Nicaragua y de la Península de Yucatán.Recognition of biotic components constitutes the first step toward a synthetic biogeographic theory. In Mexico we can characterize three main biotic components, each one having a particular combination of different biotic elements. The Nearctic component (Nearctic region includes the arid subtropical areas in the north of the country, in the Californian, Baja Californian, Sonoran, Mexican Plateau and Tamaulipan biogeographic provinces. This component is dominated by the original element (Old Northern or Paleoamerican, together with one of more recent dispersal (Nearctic and a third of ancient Neotropical origin. Vicariant events associated with the biotic evolution of the Nearctic component are related to the uplift of the Sierra Madre Occidental, which separated the Chihuahuan desert from the Sonoran and Mojave deserts; and the expansion of the Sea of Cortes, separating the Peninsula of Baja California from the continental mainland. The Transitional component (Mexican Transition Zone includes basically montane areas in central Mexico, which are assigned to the Sierra Madre Oriental, Sierra Madre Occidental, Transmexican Volcanic Belt, Balsas basin and Sierra Madre del Sur biogeographic provinces. In this component, the Paleoamerican, Nearctic, Tropical Mesoamerican and Montane Mesoamerican elements coexist. Vicariant events associated with the biotic evolution of the Transitional component are the development of the Sierras Madre and the volcanism of the Transmexican Volcanic Belt. The Neotropical component (Neotropical region includes humid and subhumid tropical areas of southern Mexico, assigned to the Mexican Pacific Coast, Mexican Gulf, Chiapas and Yucatan Peninsula biogeographic provinces. In it the Tropical Mesoamerican element predominates, but Nearctic and Antillean

  8. Geology of Joshua Tree National Park geodatabase

    Science.gov (United States)

    Powell, Robert E.; Matti, Jonathan C.; Cossette, Pamela M.

    2015-09-16

    The database in this Open-File Report describes the geology of Joshua Tree National Park and was completed in support of the National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and in cooperation with the National Park Service (NPS). The geologic observations and interpretations represented in the database are relevant to both the ongoing scientific interests of the USGS in southern California and the management requirements of NPS, specifically of Joshua Tree National Park (JOTR).Joshua Tree National Park is situated within the eastern part of California’s Transverse Ranges province and straddles the transition between the Mojave and Sonoran deserts. The geologically diverse terrain that underlies JOTR reveals a rich and varied geologic evolution, one that spans nearly two billion years of Earth history. The Park’s landscape is the current expression of this evolution, its varied landforms reflecting the differing origins of underlying rock types and their differing responses to subsequent geologic events. Crystalline basement in the Park consists of Proterozoic plutonic and metamorphic rocks intruded by a composite Mesozoic batholith of Triassic through Late Cretaceous plutons arrayed in northwest-trending lithodemic belts. The basement was exhumed during the Cenozoic and underwent differential deep weathering beneath a low-relief erosion surface, with the deepest weathering profiles forming on quartz-rich, biotite-bearing granitoid rocks. Disruption of the basement terrain by faults of the San Andreas system began ca. 20 Ma and the JOTR sinistral domain, preceded by basalt eruptions, began perhaps as early as ca. 7 Ma, but no later than 5 Ma. Uplift of the mountain blocks during this interval led to erosional stripping of the thick zones of weathered quartz-rich granitoid rocks to form etchplains dotted by bouldery tors—the iconic landscape of the Park. The stripped debris filled basins along the fault zones.Mountain ranges

  9. Simulated Vegetation Response to Climate Change in California: The Importance of Seasonal Production Patterns

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, J. B.; Pitts, B.

    2013-12-01

    summarized MC1 outputs under the four climate change projections also by computing statistics by EPA Level 3 Ecoregions. MC1 predicts the greatest shift of vegetation types for the drier biomes of California, including the Sonoran Desert and the Eastern Cascade Slopes and Foothills. Strong shifts are predicted for forest biomes, including the Sierra Nevada (42-74%), and the Coast Range (24-40%). The simulated shifts in vegetation types are mediated by simultaneous changes in live vegetation carbon, which in turn are driven by simulated net primary production (NPP) at a monthly time step. MC1's poor skill in reproducing seasonal variations of NPP when compared to MODIS monthly GPP values suggests that the resulting vegetation type shifts are likely inaccurately predicted by MC1. Improving MC1's algorithm for NPP to more closely track seasonal variations in MODIS GPP should result in more reliable predictions of vegetation response to climate change.

  10. Participatory Scenario Planning for the Cienega Watershed: Embracing Uncertainty in Public Lands Management in the U.S. Southwest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartmann, H.; Morino, K.; Bodner, G.; Markstein, A.; McFarlin, S.

    2013-12-01

    Land managers and communities struggle to sustain natural landscapes and the benefits they provide--especially in an era of rapid and unpredictable changes being driven by shifts in climate and other drivers that are largely outside the control of local managers and residents. The Cienega Watershed Partnership (CWP) is a long-standing multi-agency partnership involved in managing lands and resources over about 700,000 acres in southeast Arizona, surrounding the Bureau of Land Management's Las Cienegas National Conservation Area. The region forms a vital wildlife corridor connecting the diverse ecosystems of the Sonoran and Chihuahuan deserts and grasslands with the Sierra Madrean and Rocky Mountain forests and woodlands. The CWP has long-standing forums and relationships for considering complex issues and novel approaches for management, including practical implementation of adaptive management, development of monitoring programs and protocols, and the use of nested objectives to adjust management targets. However, current plans have objectives and strategies based on what is known or likely to become known about natural and socio-cultural systems; they do not incorporate uncertainties related to rapid changes in climate or have well developed feedback mechanisms for routinely reconsidering climate information. Since 2011, more than 50 individuals from over 20 federal and local governments, non-governmental organizations, and private landowners have participated in scenario planning for the Cienega Watershed. Scenario planning is an important tool for (1) managing risks in the face of high volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity; (2) integrating quantitative climate projections, trend and impact assessments, and local expertise to develop qualitative scenario narratives that can inform decisions even by simply provoking insights; and (3) engaging jurisdictions having different missions, objectives, and planning processes. Participants are helping to

  11. The Brahea edulis palm forest in Guadalupe Island: A North American fog oasis? El palmar de Brahea edulis de Isla Guadalupe: ¿Un oasis de niebla en Norteamérica?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    PEDRO P GARCILLÁN

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Fog is a factor that affects deeply the structure of vegetation of coastal deserts. Guadalupe is an oceanic island located 260 km off the coast of Baja California, and is one of the few places of the Sonoran Desert coasts with scarped coastal topography and frequent fog. With the aim to identify the effect of fog on the community of the palm forest (palmar of Brahea edulis located in the northern tip of the island: (1 we analyzed the richness and composition of vascular plants in the palmar compared to the remainder of the island, and (2 we analyzed the altitudinal variation of the abundance of palms, herbs and mosses to identify if there is altitudinal variation of the vegetation. Although species composition was not different between palmar and the rest of island, species richness and vascular plant cover were greater in the palmar. On the other hand, we found a clear altitudinal zonation of the vegetation in the palmar that is similar to that found in South American fog-driven plant communities such as the lomas. Thus, the palmar community of Guadalupe Island may be considered as a fog oasis, one of the very few that occur in North America.La niebla es un factor que afecta profundamente la estructura de la vegetación de los desiertos costeros. Guadalupe es una isla oceánica a 260 km de la costa de Baja California y constituye uno de los pocos lugares de la costa del Desierto Sonorense donde se reúnen una topografía escarpada próxima a la costa y una alta frecuencia de nieblas. Con el objeto de identificar el efecto de la niebla sobre la comunidad del palmar de Brahea edulis presente en la ladera norte de la isla: (1 analizamos la diferencia de la riqueza y la composición de plantas vasculares del palmar respecto del resto de la isla, y (2 analizamos la variación altitudinal de la abundancia de palmas, plantas acompañantes y musgo para determinar si existe variación altitudinal de la vegetación. Encontramos que, aunque la composici

  12. Evaluación de la calidad del aceite de once semillas de leguminosas del desierto sonorense

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ortega-Nieblas, M.

    1996-06-01

    Full Text Available In order to generate information that lead to an efficient and diversifícate use of the natural resources that the Sonoran Desert offers, as it is the great variety of Leguminosae or Fabaceae plants, oils from seeds or Prosopis chilensis, Prosopis velutina (mezquite, Cercidium floridium (palo azul, Cercidium praecox (palo de brea, Acacia constricta (vinorama, Acacia cymbyspina (chirahui, Acacia occidentalis (tesota, Acacia mcmurphy (tepehuaje, Desmanthus palmeri (mezquitillo, Caesalpinia caladenia (palo dorado, and Caesalpinia pumila (palo piojo were analyzed. The oils were extracted from each seed with hexane, and their physicochemical characteristics were evaluated. The oil content varied from 9 to 16% in the different seeds. Their indexes of acidity, peroxides and free fatty acid content were low and within the accepted values. Fatty acids separated by gas chromatography predominating indicate the oleic and linoleic. All analyzed crude oils were of good quality, comparable to commercial and oils of wild legume seeds from the same region.

    A fin de generar información que conduzca a un uso eficiente y diversificado de los recursos naturales que ofrece el Desierto Sonorense, como es la gran variedad de plantas de la familia Leguminosae ó Fabaceae, se analizaron los aceites de las semillas: Prosopis chilensis, Prosopis velutina (mezquite, (palo azul, Cercidium praecox (palo de brea, Acacia constricta (vinorama, Acacia cymbyspina (chirahui, Acacia occidentalis (tésota, Acacia mcmurphy (tepeguaje, Desmanthus palmeri (mezquitillo, Caesalpinia caladenia (palo dorado, y Caesalpinia pumila (palo piojo. Los aceites de cada semilla fueron extraídos con hexano, se evaluaron las características fisico-químicas de calidad y la cuantificación de ácidos grasos por cromatografía de gases. El contenido de

  13. Plate boundary deformation at the latitude of the Salton Trough - northern Gulf of California (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stock, J. M.

    2013-12-01

    characteristics suggest that the zone of strike-slip faults related to past plate boundary deformation extends eastward into SW Arizona and beneath the Sonoran coastal plain. 3) 'New' crust and mantle lithosphere at the plate boundary, in the Salton Trough and the non-oceanic part of the northern Gulf of California, varies in seismic velocity structure and dimensions, both within and across extensional segments. Details of within-segment variations imaged by SSIP (e.g., Ma et al., and Han et al., this meeting) are attributed to active fault patterns and small scale variations in hydrothermal activity and magmatism superposed on a more uniform sedimentation. Differences between the Imperial Valley rift segment and the north Gulf of California segments may be due to more involvement of low angle normal faults in the marine basins in the south (Martin et al., 2013, Tectonics), as well as differences in lower crustal or mantle lithospheric flow from the adjacent continental regions.

  14. Vegetation inventory, mapping, and classification report, Fort Bowie National Historic Site

    Science.gov (United States)

    Studd, Sarah; Fallon, Elizabeth; Crumbacher, Laura; Drake, Sam; Villarreal, Miguel

    2013-01-01

    A vegetation mapping and characterization effort was conducted at Fort Bowie National Historic Site in 2008-10 by the Sonoran Desert Network office in collaboration with researchers from the Office of Arid lands studies, Remote Sensing Center at the University of Arizona. This vegetation mapping effort was completed under the National Park Service Vegetation Inventory program which aims to complete baseline mapping inventories at over 270 national park units. The vegetation map data was collected to provide park managers with a digital map product that met national standards of spatial and thematic accuracy, while also placing the vegetation into a regional and even national context. Work comprised of three major field phases 1) concurrent field-based classification data collection and mapping (map unit delineation), 2) development of vegetation community types at the National Vegetation Classification alliance or association level and 3) map accuracy assessment. Phase 1 was completed in late 2008 and early 2009. Community type descriptions were drafted to meet the then-current hierarchy (version 1) of the National Vegetation Classification System (NVCS) and these were applied to each of the mapped areas. This classification was developed from both plot level data and censused polygon data (map units) as this project was conducted as a concurrent mapping and classification effort. The third stage of accuracy assessment completed in the fall of 2010 consisted of a complete census of each map unit and was conducted almost entirely by park staff. Following accuracy assessment the map was amended where needed and final products were developed including this report, a digital map and full vegetation descriptions. Fort Bowie National Historic Site covers only 1000 acres yet has a relatively complex landscape, topography and geology. A total of 16 distinct communities were described and mapped at Fort Bowie NHS. These ranged from lush riparian woodlands lining the

  15. San Pedro River Aquifer Binational Report

    Science.gov (United States)

    Callegary, James B.; Minjárez Sosa, Ismael; Tapia Villaseñor, Elia María; dos Santos, Placido; Monreal Saavedra, Rogelio; Grijalva Noriega, Franciso Javier; Huth, A. K.; Gray, Floyd; Scott, C. A.; Megdal, Sharon; Oroz Ramos, L. A.; Rangel Medina, Miguel; Leenhouts, James M.

    2016-01-01

    use new and existing research to define the general hydrologic framework of the Binational San Pedro Aquifer (BSPA), to gather hydrogeological and other relevant data in preparation for future work such as an updated groundwater conceptual model and budget and to establish the basis for a binational numerical model. The specific objectives are as follows:Understand the current state of knowledge with respect to climate, geology, soils, land cover, land use, and hydrology of the aquifer in its binational context;Compile and create a database of scientific information from both countries;Identify data gaps and identify what data would be necessary to update, in a subsequent phase, the hydrologic model of the aquifer system, including surface- and groundwater interactions on a binational level.The BSPB is one of the most studied basins in the region, and a database of publications has been compiled as part of this project. Previous studies include topics that range from geophysics and hydrogeology to biology and ecosystem services. The economic drivers on each side of the border are quite different. In the Arizona 4 portion of the basin military and tourism dominate while in the Sonoran portion, mining is the most important industry. Water management is also different in the two countries. In Mexico, primary authority for management of water resources devolves from the federal government. In the United States, primary authority rests with the states except in cases of interstate surface waters. Binational waters are not currently jointly managed by the two countries except in cases where treaties have been negotiated such as for the Rio Grande and Colorado Rivers. Thus, there is currently no binational coordination or treaty governing the management of groundwater.

  16. Geographical and climatic limits of needle types of one- and two-needled pinyon pines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cole, K.L.; Fisher, J.; Arundel, S.T.; Cannella, J.; Swift, S.

    2008-01-01

    . Pinus monophylla and californiarum-type needles occur in regions with high winter precipitation. Pinus edulis and fallax-type needles are found in regions with high monsoon precipitation. Areas supporting californiarum-type and fallax-type needle distributions are additionally characterized by a more extreme May-June drought. Main conclusions: These pinyon needle types seem to reflect the amount and seasonality of precipitation. The single needle fascicle characterizing the fallax type may be an adaptation to early summer or periodic drought, while the single needle of Pinus monophylla may be an adaptation to summer-autumn drought. Although the needles fit into four distinct categories, the parent trees are sometimes less easily classified, especially near their ancestral Pleistocene ranges in the Mojave and northern Sonoran deserts. The abundance of trees with both one- and two-needled fascicles in the zones between P. monophylla, P. edulis and fallax-type populations suggest that needle fascicle number is an unreliable characteristic for species classification. Disregarding needle fascicle number, the fallax-type needles are nearly identical to P. edulis, supporting Little's (1968) initial classification of these trees as P. edulis var. fallax, while the californiarum-type needles have a distinctive morphology supporting Bailey's (1987) classification of this tree as Pinus californiarum.

  17. Institutions and Societal Impacts of Climate in the Lower Colorado and San Pedro Basins of the U.S.-Mexico Border Region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Varady, R. G.; Wilder, M.; Morehouse, B. J.; Garfin, G. M.

    2007-05-01

    along the border remains highly vulnerable to changes driven by high population growth rates, migration and border enforcement, expansion into fire prone wildland-urban interface areas, invasions of exotic ecosystem-altering species, and climate changes. This is especially true for rural populations lacking alternatives to their usual water sources or to alternative means of earning a living when, for example crops fail. The paper will examine the impacts of transborder water- management institutions in the San Pedro and Lower Colorado basins, including the Delta region. In particular, the authors will assess the palpable trend toward (1) more transboundary institutional cooperation (e.g., CRICA, the Colorado River International Conservation Area effort), and (2) more community-based conservation and research efforts (e.g., the University of Arizona, NOAA-supported Climate Assessment for the Southwest project; in conjunction with new projects by the Arizona-based Sonoran Institute and Pronatura in Mexico to do restoration in particular zones, working closely with communities and local groups, such as the Asociacion Ecologica de Usuarios del Rio Hardy y Colorado (AHEURYC). Finally, the paper will seek to identify new climate-related responsibilities and actions that may be needed to respond to likely climatic change.

  18. Biomization and quantitative climate reconstruction techniques in northwestern Mexico—With an application to four Holocene pollen sequences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ortega-Rosas, C. I.; Guiot, J.; Peñalba, M. C.; Ortiz-Acosta, M. E.

    2008-04-01

    New paleovegetation and paleoclimatic reconstructions from the Sierra Madre Occidental (SMO) in northwestern Mexico are presented. This work involves climate and biome reconstruction using Plant Functional Types (PFT) assigned to pollen taxa. We used fossil pollen data from four Holocene peat bogs located at different altitudes (1500-2000 m) at the border region of Sonora and Chihuahua at around 28° N latitude (Ortega-Rosas, C.I. 2003. Palinología de la Ciénega de Camilo: datos para la historia de la vegetación y el clima del Holoceno medio y superior en el NW de la Sierra Madre Occidental, Sonora, Mexico. Master Thesis, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, México D.F.; Ortega-Rosas, C.I., Peñalba, M.C., Guiot, J. Holocene altitudinal shifts in vegetation belts and environmental changes in the Sierra Madre Occidental, Northwestern Mexico. Submitted for publication of Palaeobotany and Palynology). The closest modern pollen data come from pollen analysis across an altitudinal transect from the Sonoran Desert towards the highlands of the temperate SMO at the same latitude (Ortega-Rosas, C.I. 2003. Palinología de la Ciénega de Camilo: datos para la historia de la vegetación y el clima del Holoceno medio y superior en el NW de la Sierra Madre Occidental, Sonora, Mexico. Master Thesis, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, México D.F.). An additional modern pollen dataset of 400 sites across NW Mexico and the SW United States was compiled from different sources (Davis, O.K., 1995. Climate and vegetation pattern in surface samples from arid western U.S.A.: application to Holocene climatic reconstruction. Palynology 19, 95-119, North American Pollen Database, Latin-American Pollen Database, personal data, and different scientific papers). For the biomization method (Prentice, I.C., Guiot, J., Huntley, B., Jolly, D., Cheddadi, R., 1996. Reconstructing biomes from paleoecological data: a general method and its application to European pollen data at 0 and

  19. Biogeografía de la Zona de Transición Mexicana con base en un análisis de árboles reconciliados Biogeography of the Mexican Transition Zone based on a reconciled trees analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alejandra Miguez-Gutiérrez

    2013-03-01

    of the Mexican Transition Zone through 3 hypotheses of regionalization. We used a reconciled trees method based on the phylogenies of 10 genera of beetles, gymnosperms, lizards and snakes. Seven general area cladograms were generated using assumptions 0 and 1 and the Nelson and majority consensus. They showed 2 groups of areas, 1 with Neotropical affinities and the other with Nearctic affinities. The Sierra Madre del Sur resulted as the sister area of the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt. Other constant patterns were the area that involves Tamaulipas and Texas as sister area of the Chihuahuan and Sonoran deserts, and the highlands of Chiapas and Guatemala were always recovered as the sister area of the Talamanca ridge. Our results suggest that the most important vicariant events within the Mexican Transition Zone are the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt, which divides the majority of the endemism areas with Neartic affinities (north to this from those endemism areas of Neotropical affinities (south to this and the Tehuantepec Isthmus; which together with the Nicaraguan depression isolates Nuclear Central America. Other patterns appear in either regionalization proposal, but not within the 3, and require future studies in order to find well supported explanations. Even though our results have appeared in previous hypotheses, there are worth due to the fact that we include phylogenetic information of different taxa, we employed reconciled trees, an insufficiently used method, and we searched for congruence between results using 3 regionalization proposals.

  20. Saccharide Composition in Fine and Coarse Particulate Matter and Soils in Central Arizona and Use of Saccharides as Molecular Markers for Source Apportionment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jia, Y.; Clements, A.; Fraser, M.

    2009-04-01

    The desert southwestern United States routinely exceeds health-based standards for coarse particulate matter [1]. PM10 concentrations are high in both urban and rural areas and are believed to originate from fugitive dust emissions from agricultural fields and roads and soil erosion from the surrounding desert locations. Soil together with its associated biota contains a complex mixture of biogenic detritus, including plant detritus, airborne microbes comprised of bacteria, viruses, spores of lichens and fungi, small algae, and protozoan cysts [4][5], which can mostly become airborne when winds are strong enough and soil dry enough to be re-entrained into the atmosphere [3]. Other potential sources to PM10 may include primary biological aerosol particles (PBAPs), given a multitude of flower, grass, and fungal species that thrive in the Sonoran desert and actively release pollens and spores throughout the year [2]. However, because soil and fugitive dust is also believed to contain a large number of these biological particles and is considered as a secondary host of PBAPs [3] [4], the role and contribution of PBAPs as a direct ambient PM source in the desert southwest have not been clearly stated or investigated. In an effort to identify and assess the relative contribution of these and other major PM sources in the southwestern US region, and particularly to assess the contribution from soil and fugitive dust, a series of ambient PM samples and soil samples were collected in Higley, AZ, USA, a suburb of the Phoenix metropolitan area which has seen rapid urban sprawl onto agricultural lands. Because of their suggested ability to track biologically important organic materials from natural environment [4][6][7][8][9][10], saccharides were chosen as the key compounds to trace the release of soil dusts into the atmosphere, and to elucidate other major sources that contribute to the PM levels in this location in the arid southwestern US. To this end, saccharide compounds

  1. Evaluación oxidativa de las mezclas de aceites de leguminosas del Desierto de Sonora con aceites de maíz y soja durante su almacenamiento

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vázquez-Moreno, L.

    2001-12-01

    Full Text Available During storage, oils from seeds of wild legumes of the Sonoran Desert have shown greater stability than oils derived from conventional sources. In this work, oxidation process was evaluated during the storage (122 day of mixtures of oils: Mezquite Prosopis juliflora, Gatuña Mimosa grahamii, Palo fierro Olneya tesota, Vino rama Acacia constricta, Palo de brea Cercidium praecox and Palo verde Parkinsonia aculeata with oils from soy and maize. Ratios were 1:1, 2:1 and 3:1. Evaluated parameters included: Peroxides (P.V., Iodine (I.V., Acid (A.V., p-Anisidine (p-A values. Results showed that mixtures containing wild and maize oil showed 2-4 meq/Kg as initial values of iodine, while after 122 days of storage the value was 4-7 meq/Kg. Mixtures containing soy oil presented 3-6 meq-Kg initially, and 8-15 meq-Kg were detected at the end experiment. No differences were observed in I.V. and A.V. values in maize mixtures. On the contrary, mixtures containing soy oil presented increments in I.V. Also, A.V. presented a slight increment in 1:1 mixtures. p-Anisidine values presented and small increment in maize mixtures (3:1 ratio while this increment was larger in mixtures containing soy oils and Gatuña or Palo fierro oil. These latter oils when were mixed with maize oils presented the lowest increments in all evaluated indexes.The oils of palo fierro and blended gatuña with oil of corn didn’t present changes in their concentration in the palmitic and araquidic acid during the storage. The concentration of the oleic acid in the mezquite oils (3:1, gatuña (1:1, 2:1 and 3:1, vinorama (3:1, as well as the linoleic and erucic acids in gatuña in their three mixtures didn’t present changes neither alteration during the storage, for what you are considered the oils of palo fierro, gatuña and vinorama the most stable in the present study.Los aceites de semillas de leguminosas silvestres han mostrado mayor estabilidad que algunos aceites convencionales

  2. 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