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Sample records for southern sonoran desert

  1. Landscape Sustainability in a Sonoran Desert City

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    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.

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

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    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...

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

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    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...

  4. Winter precipitation and fire in the Sonoran Desert

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    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.

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

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

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    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...

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

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    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.

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

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    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...

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

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    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…

  10. 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...

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

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    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

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

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    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

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

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    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.

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

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    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.

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

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    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.

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

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    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.

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

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    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.

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

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    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

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

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    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.

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

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    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.

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

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    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.

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

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    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.

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

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    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%.

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

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    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.

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

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    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.

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

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    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.

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

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    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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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).

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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...

  17. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Freddy MORA

    2007-12-01

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

  19. Factors controlling As and U in shallow ground water, southern Carson Desert, Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Welch, A.H.; Lico, M.S.

    1998-01-01

    Unusually high As and U concentrations (> 100 ??g/L) are widespread in shallow ground water beneath the southern Carson Desert. The high concentrations, which locally exceed 1000 ??g/L, are of concern from a human health standpoint because the shallow ground water is used for domestic supply. Possible affects on wildlife are also of concern because the ground water flows into shallow lakes and marshes within wildlife refuges. Arsenic and U concentrations in ground water of the southern Carson Desert appear to be affected by evaporative concentration, redox reactions, and adsorption. The relation of these elements with Cl suggest that most of the high concentrations can be attributed to evaporative concentration of Carson River water, the primary source of recharge. Some ground water contains higher As and U concentrations that cannot be explained by evaporative concentration alone. Oxidation-reduction reactions, involving metal oxides and sedimentary-organic matter, appear to contribute As, U, inorganic C, Fe and Mn to the ground water. Arsenic in Fe-oxide was confirmed by chemical extraction and is consistent with laboratory adsorption studies. Uranium in both sedimentary-organic C and Fe-oxide coatings has been confirmed by fission tracks and petrographic examination. Arsenic concentrations in the ground water and chemical extracts of aquifer sediments are broadly consistent with adsorption as a control on some dissolved As concentrations. An apparent loss of As from some ground water as evaporative concentration proceeds is consistent with adsorption as a control on As. However, evidence for adsorption should be viewed with caution, because the adsorption model used values for the adsorbent that have not been shown to be valid for the aquifer sediments throughout the southern Carson Desert. Hydrologic and geochemical conditions in the Carson Desert are similar to other areas with high As and U concentrations in ground water, including the Salton Sea basin and

  20. Factors controlling As and U in shallow ground water, southern Carson Desert, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lico, M.S.; Welch, A.H.

    1998-01-01

    100 μg/L) are widespread in shallow ground water beneath the southern Carson Desert. The high concentrations, which locally exceed 1000 μg/L, are of concern from a human health standpoint because the shallow ground water is used for domestic supply. Possible affects on wildlife are also of concern because the ground water flows into shallow lakes and marshes within wildlife refuges. Arsenic and U concentrations in ground water of the southern Carson Desert appear to be affected by evaporative concentration, redox reactions, and adsorption. The relation of these elements with Cl suggest that most of the high concentrations can be attributed to evaporative concentration of Carson River water, the primary source of recharge.Some ground water contains higher As and U concentrations that cannot be explained by evaporative concentration alone. Oxidation-reduction reactions, involving metal oxides and sedimentary-organic matter, appear to contribute As, U, inorganic C, Fe and Mn to the ground water. Arsenic in Fe-oxide was confirmed by chemical extraction and is consistent with laboratory adsorption studies. Uranium in both sedimentary-organic C and Fe-oxide coatings has been confirmed by fission tracks and petrographic examination.Arsenic concentrations in the ground water and chemical extracts of aquifer sediments are broadly consistent with adsorption as a control on some dissolved As concentrations. An apparent loss of As from some ground water as evaporative concentration proceeds is consistent with adsorption as a control on As. However, evidence for adsorption should be viewed with caution, because the adsorption model used values for the adsorbent that have not been shown to be valid for the aquifer sediments throughout the southern Carson Desert.Hydrologic and geochemical conditions in the Carson Desert are similar to other areas with high As and U concentrations in ground water, including the Salton Sea basin and southern San Joaquin Valley of California

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-01

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

  2. [Seasonal variation of Tamarix ramosissima and Populus euphratica water potentials in southern fringe of Taklamakan Desert].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeng, Fanjiang; Zhang, Ximing; Li, Xiangyi; Foetzki, Andrea; Runge, Michael

    2005-08-01

    The measurement of the seasonal and diurnal variations of Tamarix ramosissima and Populus euphratica water potentials in the southern fringe of Taklamakan Desert indicated that there was no apparent water stress for the two species during their growth period, with little change of predawn water potential and some extent decrease of midday water potential. Irrigation once or thinning had no significant effects on the water status of the plants, while groundwater appeared to be a prerequisite for the survival and growth of these species. It is very important to ensure a stable groundwater table for the restoration of Tamarix ramosissima and Populus euphratica in this area.

  3. 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...

  4. Impact of the invasive species Elaeagnus Angustifolia L. on vegetation in Pontic desert steppe zone (Southern Ukraine)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sudnik-Wojcikowska, B.; Moysiyenko, I.; Slim, P.A.; Moraczewski, I.R.

    2009-01-01

    The Irano-Turanian species – Russian olive (Elaeagnus angustifolia L.) – is one of most commonly planted tree in the shelterbelts in southern Ukraine. The consequences of introduction of the species from windbreaks, into areas of different land use in west and central Pontic desert steppe zone are

  5. Neotectonics of the southern Amargosa Desert, Nye County, Nevada and Inyo County, California

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Donovan, D.E.

    1991-05-01

    A complex pattern of active faults occurs in the southern Amargosa Desert, southern Nye, County, Nevada. These faults can be grouped into three main fault systems: (1) a NE-striking zone of faults that forms the southwest extension of the left-lateral Rock Valley fault zone, in the much larger Spotted Range-Mine Mountain structural zone, (2) a N-striking fault zone coinciding with a NNW-trending alignment of springs that is either a northward continuation of a fault along the west side of the Resting Spring Range or a N-striking branch fault of the Pahrump fault system, and (3) a NW-striking fault zone which is parallel to the Pahrump fault system, but is offset approximately 5 km with a left step in southern Ash Meadows. These three fault zones suggest extension is occurring in an E-W direction, which is compatible with the ∼N10W structural grain prevalent in the Death Valley extensional region to the west

  6. [Soil infiltration of snowmelt water in the southern Gurbantunggut Desert, Xinjiang, China].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Shun-jun; Chen, Yong-bao; Zhu, Hai

    2015-04-01

    Soil infiltration of snow-melt water is an important income item of water balance in arid desert. The soil water content in west slope, east slope and interdune of sand dune in the southern Gurbantunggut Desert was monitored before snowfall and after snow melting during the winters of 2012-2013 and 2013-2014. According to the principle of water balance, soil infiltration of snow-melt in the west slope, east slope, interdune and landscape scale was calculated, and compared with the results measured by cylinder method. The results showed that the soil moisture recharge from unfrozen layer of unsaturated soil to surface frozen soil was negligible because the soil moisture content before snowfall was lower, soil infiltration of snow-melt water was the main source of soil water of shallow soil, phreatic water did not evaporate during freezing period, and did not get recharge after the snow melting. Snowmelt water in the west slope, east slope, interdune and landscape scale were 20-43, 27-43, 32-45, 26-45 mm, respectively.

  7. Air-Surface-Ground Water Cycling in an Agricultural Desert Valley of Southern Colorado

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lanzoni, M.

    2017-12-01

    In dryland areas around the world, vegetation plays an important role in stabilizing soil and encouraging recharge. In the Colorado high desert of the San Luis Valley, windstorms strip away topsoil and deposit dust on the surrounding mountain snowpack. Dust-on-snow lowers albedo and hastens melting, which in turn lowers infiltration and aquifer recharge. Since the 1990s, the San Luis Valley has experienced a sharp decline in aquifer levels due to over-development of its water resources. Where agricultural abstraction is significant, the unconfined aquifer has experienced a 9 m (30 ft) drop. Over the course of three years, this dryland hydrology study analyzed rain, snow, surface and ground water across a 20,000 km2 high desert area to establish a baseline of water inputs. δ18O and δ2H were analyzed to develop a LMWL specific to this region of the southern Rockies and isotopic differences were examined in relation to chemistry to understand environmental influences on meteoric waters. This work identifies a repeating pattern of acid rainfall with trace element contaminants, including actinides.To better understand how the area's dominant vegetation responds to a lowered water table, 76 stem water samples were collected from the facultative phreatophyte shrubs E. nauseosa and S. vermiculatus over the summer, fall, spring, and summer of 2015 and 2016 from study plots chosen for increasing depths to groundwater. This research shows distinct patterns of water capture strategy and seasonal shifts among the E. nauseosa and S. vermiculatus shrubs. These differences are most apparent where groundwater is most accessible. However, where the water table has dropped 6 m (20 feet) over the last decade, both E. nauseosa and S. vermiculatus survive only on near-surface snowmelt and rain.

  8. Southern Peru desert shattered by the great 2001 earthquake: Implications for paleoseismic and paleo-El Niño–Southern Oscillation records

    OpenAIRE

    Keefer, David K.; Moseley, Michael E.

    2004-01-01

    In the desert region around the coastal city of Ilo, the great southern Peru earthquake of June 23, 2001 (8.2–8.4 moment magnitude), produced intense and widespread ground-failure effects. These effects included abundant landslides, pervasive ground cracking, microfracturing of surficial hillslope materials, collapse of drainage banks over long stretches, widening of hillside rills, and lengthening of first-order tributary channels. We have coined the term “shattered landscape” to describe th...

  9. Tamarisk control on public lands in the desert of southern California: two case studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    1994-01-01

    As a land manager, the Federal Government faces enormous challenges from exotic pest invasions and associated changes to the structure and stability of native ecosystems (Bureau of Land Management, 1988). On public lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) alone, it is estimated that almost three million hectares are occupied by invasive exotic plant species (weeds). Assuming an annual rate of invasion of 14 percent, 930 hectares of BLM-administered land are infested everyday by weeds (Jerry Asher, personal communication). When one considers the fact that BLM administers only about one-third of the public land in the United States (The Keystone Center, 1991), the magnitude of the problem assumes staggering proportions. The scenario described in the quote above portrays only some of the problems associated with the spread of the exotic plant tamarisk, a species on the California Exotic Pest Plant Council’s list of exotic pest plants of greatest concern (California Exotic Pest Plant Council, 1993). In this paper we review the threats posed by tamarisk invasion and proliferation and examine the traits that make the plant such a successful competitor. In addition, we highlight two tamarisk control efforts conducted by the Bureau of Land Management in the southern California desert.

  10. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-18

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

  12. Effectiveness of post-fire seeding in desert tortoise Critical Habitat following the 2005 Southern Nevada Fire Complex

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeFalco, Lesley; Drake, Karla K.; Scoles-Sciulla, S. J.; Bauer, Kyla L.

    2010-01-01

    In June 2005, lightning strikes ignited multiple wildfires in southern Nevada. The Southern Nevada Fire Complex burned more than 32,000 acres of designated desert tortoise Critical Habitat and an additional 403,000 acres of Mojave Desert habitat characterized as potentially suitable for the tortoise. Mortalities of desert tortoises were observed after the fires, but altered habitat is likely to prolong and magnify the impacts of wildfire on desert tortoise populations. To accelerate the re-establishment of plants commonly used by tortoises for food and shelter, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) distributed seeds of native annual and perennial species in burned areas within desert tortoise Critical Habitat. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) established monitoring plots to evaluate broadcast seeding as a means to restore habitat and tortoise activity compared with natural recovery. Within the standard three-year Emergency and Stabilization Response (ESR) monitoring timeline, seeding augmented perennial seed banks by four to six-fold within a year of seed applications compared with unseeded areas. By the end of the three-year monitoring period, seedling densities of seeded perennial species were 33% higher in seeded areas than in unseeded areas, particularly for the disturbance-adapted desert globemallow (Sphaeralcea ambigua) and desert marigold (Baileya multiradiata). Seeded annuals, in contrast, did not increase significantly in seed banks or biomass production, likely due to low seeding rates of these species. Production of non-native annuals that helped carry the fires was not reduced by seeding efforts but instead was strongly correlated with site-specific rainfall, as were native annual species. The short-term vegetation changes measured in seeded areas were not yet associated with a return of tortoise activity to unburned levels. By focusing on a combination of native species that can withstand disturbance conditions, including species that are found in

  13. Chemical composition and biological activities of Artemisia judaica essential oil from southern desert of Jordan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abu-Darwish, M S; Cabral, C; Gonçalves, M J; Cavaleiro, C; Cruz, M T; Zulfiqar, Ali; Khan, I A; Efferth, T; Salgueiro, L

    2016-09-15

    Artemisia judaica L. (Arabic name: Beithran), is a medicinal and aromatic plant growing in the valley bottoms of desert areas, particularly in the southern desert of Jordan nearest to the Jordan-Saudi Arabia borders and in Wadi Araba in the Southern Badia. In Jordan, A. judaica is widely used in traditional medicine being recommended by aboriginal Bedouins in the North Badia region of Jordan as calmative. Furthermore, it is used for the treatment of stomach ache, heart diseases, sexual weakness, diabetes, gastro-intestinal disorders and external wounding. Additionally, other folk medicines of the Arabic region commonly use this aromatic plant for the treatment of inflammatory-related diseases, for instance fungal infections, diabetes, atherosclerosis, cancer and arthritis. Considering the traditional medicinal uses and the lack of scientific studies addressing the cellular and molecular mechanisms behind A. judaica claimed activities, the present study was designed to validate some of the traditional uses ascribed to this species, specifically the antifungal and anti-inflammatory activities of A. judaica essential oil at doses devoid of cytotoxicity to mammalian cells. Chemical analysis of A. judaica essential oil isolated by hydrodistillation from aerial parts was carried out by gas chromatography (GC) and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The antifungal activity (minimal inhibitory concentrations and minimal lethal concentrations) was evaluated against yeasts, dermatophyte and Aspergillus strains. In order to deeply explore the mechanisms behind the anti-fungal effect of the essential oil, the germ tube inhibition assay and the biofilms formation assay were evaluated using Candida albicans. The assessment of cell viability was accomplished using the 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay in both hepatocytes and macrophages. Furthermore, the in vitro anti-inflammatory potential of A. judaica oil was evaluated by

  14. Desert Dust Outbreaks in Southern Europe: Contribution to Daily PM10 Concentrations and Short-Term Associations with Mortality and Hospital Admissions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stafoggia, Massimo; Zauli-Sajani, Stefano; Pey, Jorge; Samoli, Evangelia; Alessandrini, Ester; Basagaña, Xavier; Cernigliaro, Achille; Chiusolo, Monica; Demaria, Moreno; Díaz, Julio; Faustini, Annunziata; Katsouyanni, Klea; Kelessis, Apostolos G.; Linares, Cristina; Marchesi, Stefano; Medina, Sylvia; Pandolfi, Paolo; Pérez, Noemí; Querol, Xavier; Randi, Giorgia; Ranzi, Andrea; Tobias, Aurelio; Forastiere, Francesco

    2015-01-01

    Background: Evidence on the association between short-term exposure to desert dust and health outcomes is controversial. Objectives: We aimed to estimate the short-term effects of particulate matter ≤ 10 μm (PM10) on mortality and hospital admissions in 13 Southern European cities, distinguishing between PM10 originating from the desert and from other sources. Methods: We identified desert dust advection days in multiple Mediterranean areas for 2001–2010 by combining modeling tools, back-trajectories, and satellite data. For each advection day, we estimated PM10 concentrations originating from desert, and computed PM10 from other sources by difference. We fitted city-specific Poisson regression models to estimate the association between PM from different sources (desert and non-desert) and daily mortality and emergency hospitalizations. Finally, we pooled city-specific results in a random-effects meta-analysis. Results: On average, 15% of days were affected by desert dust at ground level (desert PM10 > 0 μg/m3). Most episodes occurred in spring–summer, with increasing gradient of both frequency and intensity north–south and west–east of the Mediterranean basin. We found significant associations of both PM10 concentrations with mortality. Increases of 10 μg/m3 in non-desert and desert PM10 (lag 0–1 days) were associated with increases in natural mortality of 0.55% (95% CI: 0.24, 0.87%) and 0.65% (95% CI: 0.24, 1.06%), respectively. Similar associations were estimated for cardio-respiratory mortality and hospital admissions. Conclusions: PM10 originating from the desert was positively associated with mortality and hospitalizations in Southern Europe. Policy measures should aim at reducing population exposure to anthropogenic airborne particles even in areas with large contribution from desert dust advections. Citation: Stafoggia M, Zauli-Sajani S, Pey J, Samoli E, Alessandrini E, Basagaña X, Cernigliaro A, Chiusolo M, Demaria M, Díaz J, Faustini A

  15. Desert Dust Outbreaks in Southern Europe: Contribution to Daily PM₁₀ Concentrations and Short-Term Associations with Mortality and Hospital Admissions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stafoggia, Massimo; Zauli-Sajani, Stefano; Pey, Jorge; Samoli, Evangelia; Alessandrini, Ester; Basagaña, Xavier; Cernigliaro, Achille; Chiusolo, Monica; Demaria, Moreno; Díaz, Julio; Faustini, Annunziata; Katsouyanni, Klea; Kelessis, Apostolos G; Linares, Cristina; Marchesi, Stefano; Medina, Sylvia; Pandolfi, Paolo; Pérez, Noemí; Querol, Xavier; Randi, Giorgia; Ranzi, Andrea; Tobias, Aurelio; Forastiere, Francesco

    2016-04-01

    Evidence on the association between short-term exposure to desert dust and health outcomes is controversial. We aimed to estimate the short-term effects of particulate matter ≤ 10 μm (PM10) on mortality and hospital admissions in 13 Southern European cities, distinguishing between PM10 originating from the desert and from other sources. We identified desert dust advection days in multiple Mediterranean areas for 2001-2010 by combining modeling tools, back-trajectories, and satellite data. For each advection day, we estimated PM10 concentrations originating from desert, and computed PM10 from other sources by difference. We fitted city-specific Poisson regression models to estimate the association between PM from different sources (desert and non-desert) and daily mortality and emergency hospitalizations. Finally, we pooled city-specific results in a random-effects meta-analysis. On average, 15% of days were affected by desert dust at ground level (desert PM10 > 0 μg/m3). Most episodes occurred in spring-summer, with increasing gradient of both frequency and intensity north-south and west-east of the Mediterranean basin. We found significant associations of both PM10 concentrations with mortality. Increases of 10 μg/m3 in non-desert and desert PM10 (lag 0-1 days) were associated with increases in natural mortality of 0.55% (95% CI: 0.24, 0.87%) and 0.65% (95% CI: 0.24, 1.06%), respectively. Similar associations were estimated for cardio-respiratory mortality and hospital admissions. PM10 originating from the desert was positively associated with mortality and hospitalizations in Southern Europe. Policy measures should aim at reducing population exposure to anthropogenic airborne particles even in areas with large contribution from desert dust advections. Stafoggia M, Zauli-Sajani S, Pey J, Samoli E, Alessandrini E, Basagaña X, Cernigliaro A, Chiusolo M, Demaria M, Díaz J, Faustini A, Katsouyanni K, Kelessis AG, Linares C, Marchesi S, Medina S, Pandolfi P, P

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  17. Application of Space Technology to Discovery of Ancient Desert Trade Routes in the Southern Arabian Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blom, Ronald; Crippen, Robert; Hedges, George; Zarins, Juris

    1997-01-01

    Over the last decade, an unusual combination of historical research, traditional archaeology, and application of space technolgy has demonstrated the existence of trans-desert trade routes in the sourthern Arabian peninsula.

  18. 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.

  19. Hydrogeologic inferences from drillers' logs and from gravity and resistivity surveys in the Amargosa Desert, southern Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Oatfield, W.J.; Czarnecki, J.B.

    1989-01-01

    The Amargosa Desert of southern Nevada, in the Basin and Range province, is hydraulically downgradient from Yucca Mountain, the potential site of a repository for high-level nuclear waste. Ground-water flow paths and flow rates beneath the Amargosa Desert are controlled in part by the total saturated thickness and the hydraulic properties of basin-fill alluvial sediments. Drillers' logs of water wells completed in alluvium were analyzed to help characterize the hydrogeologic framework underlying the Amargosa Desert. Fractions of coarse-grained sediments, calculated from each of these logs, were contoured using a universal-kriging routine to interpolate values. Results from a previous electrical sounding survey also were contoured, including the estimated depth to Paleozoic basement rocks. The vertical electric sounding results were obtained from individual depth-to-resistivity profiles, from which the average resistivity of the total profile and the resistivity of the upper 75 meters were calculated. the distribution and variations in average resistivity of the total depth correlated reasonably well with the distribution of variations in regional gravity. 24 refs., 17 figs

  20. 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.

  1. Southern Peru desert shattered by the great 2001 earthquake: Implications for paleoseismic and paleo-El Niño–Southern Oscillation records

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keefer, David K.; Moseley, Michael E.

    2004-01-01

    In the desert region around the coastal city of Ilo, the great southern Peru earthquake of June 23, 2001 (8.2–8.4 moment magnitude), produced intense and widespread ground-failure effects. These effects included abundant landslides, pervasive ground cracking, microfracturing of surficial hillslope materials, collapse of drainage banks over long stretches, widening of hillside rills, and lengthening of first-order tributary channels. We have coined the term “shattered landscape” to describe the severity of these effects. Long-term consequences of this landscape shattering are inferred to include increased runoff and sediment transport during postearthquake rainstorms. This inference was confirmed during the first minor postearthquake rainstorm there, which occurred in June and July of 2002. Greater amounts of rainfall in this desert region have historically been associated with El Niño events. Previous studies of an unusual paleoflood deposit in this region have concluded that it is the product of El Niño-generated precipitation falling on seismically disturbed landscapes. The effects of the 2001 earthquake and 2002 rainstorm support that conclusion. PMID:15263069

  2. Southern Peru desert shattered by the great 2001 earthquake: implications for paleoseismic and paleo-El Nino-Southern Oscillation records.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keefer, David K; Moseley, Michael E

    2004-07-27

    In the desert region around the coastal city of Ilo, the great southern Peru earthquake of June 23, 2001 (8.2-8.4 moment magnitude), produced intense and widespread ground-failure effects. These effects included abundant landslides, pervasive ground cracking, microfracturing of surficial hillslope materials, collapse of drainage banks over long stretches, widening of hillside rills, and lengthening of first-order tributary channels. We have coined the term "shattered landscape" to describe the severity of these effects. Long-term consequences of this landscape shattering are inferred to include increased runoff and sediment transport during postearthquake rainstorms. This inference was confirmed during the first minor postearthquake rainstorm there, which occurred in June and July of 2002. Greater amounts of rainfall in this desert region have historically been associated with El Niño events. Previous studies of an unusual paleoflood deposit in this region have concluded that it is the product of El Niño-generated precipitation falling on seismically disturbed landscapes. The effects of the 2001 earthquake and 2002 rainstorm support that conclusion.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Long-term growth of Desert Tortoises (Gopherus agassizii) in a southern Nevada population

    Science.gov (United States)

    Medica, P.A.; Nussear, Kenneth E.; Esque, Todd C.; Saethre, Mary B.

    2012-01-01

    Knowledge of growth rates, age at maturity, and longevity are important aspects of a species life history and are directly applicable to life table creation and population viability analyses. We measured the growth of a cohort of 17 semi-wild Desert Tortoises (Gopherus agassizii) located in Rock Valley, Nevada over a 47-yr period beginning in 1963. The tortoises were initially marked as hatchling and juvenile animals between the years 1963 and 1965 and ranged in size from 47 to 77 mm in plastron length. We assigned ages of 1-4 yr to the tortoises at initial capture based on their body size. These tortoises were recaptured, measured, and weighed approximately annually since their initial capture. Growth of male and female tortoises did not differ significantly until animals reached the age of 23-25 yr. Annual tortoise growth was correlated with the production of ephemeral vegetation, while accounting for size, sex, and repeated measurements of the animals as well as the interval between measurements. However, the production of ephemeral plants was likewise highly correlated (non-linearly) with winter rainfall. Stochastic predation events between 2003 and 2007 decimated this cohort of tortoises. The average age of the long-term surviving tortoises from this cohort was 43 yr with a range of 39-47 yr. Twelve of the tortoises survived to the age of 39 yr and 11 of the 12 reached 40 yr.

  6. Short-Term Space-Use Patterns of Translocated Mojave Desert Tortoise in Southern California.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew L Farnsworth

    Full Text Available Increasingly, renewable energy comprises a larger share of global energy production. Across the western United States, public lands are being developed to support renewable energy production. Where there are conflicts with threatened or endangered species, translocation can be used in an attempt to mitigate negative effects. For the threatened Mojave desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii, we sought to compare habitat- and space-use patterns between short-distance translocated, resident, and control groups. We tested for differences in home range size based on utilization distributions and used linear mixed-effects models to compare space-use intensity, while controlling for demographic and environmental variables. In addition, we examined mean movement distances as well as home range overlap between years and for male and female tortoises in each study group. During the first active season post-translocation, home range size was greater and space-use intensity was lower for translocated tortoises than resident and control groups. These patterns were not present in the second season. In both years, there was no difference in home range size or space-use intensity between control and resident groups. Translocation typically resulted in one active season of questing followed by a second active season characterized by space-use patterns that were indistinguishable from control tortoises. Across both years, the number of times a tortoise was found in a burrow was positively related to greater space-use intensity. Minimizing the time required for translocated tortoises to exhibit patterns similar to non-translocated individuals may have strong implications for conservation by reducing exposure to adverse environmental conditions and predation. With ongoing development, our results can be used to guide future efforts aimed at understanding how translocation strategies influence patterns of animal space use.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Parabolic dune development modes according to shape at the southern fringes of the Hobq Desert, Inner Mongolia, China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guan, Chao; Hasi, Eerdun; Zhang, Ping; Tao, Binbin; Liu, Dan; Zhou, Yanguang

    2017-10-01

    Since the 1970s, parabolic dunes at the southern fringe of the Hobq Desert, Inner Mongolia, China have exhibited many different shapes (V-shaped, U-shaped, and palmate) each with a unique mode of development. In the study area, parabolic dunes are mainly distributed in Regions A, B, and C with an intermittent river running from the south to the north. We used high-resolution remote-sensing images from 1970 to 2014 and RTK-GPS measurements to study the development modes of different dune shapes; the modes are characterized by the relationship between the intermittent river and dunes, formation of the incipient dune patterns, the predominant source supply of dunes, and the primary formation of different shapes (V-shaped, U-shaped, and palmate). Most parabolic dunes in Region A are V-shaped and closer to the bank of the river. The original barchans in this region exhibit "disconnected arms" behavior. With the sand blown out of the riverbed through gullies, the nebkhas on the disconnected arms acquire the external sand source through the "fertile island effect", thereby developing into triangular sand patches and further developing into V-shaped parabolic dunes. Most parabolic dunes in Regions B and C are palmate. The residual dunes cut by the re-channelization of river from transverse dune fields on the west bank are the main sand source of Region B. The parabolic dunes in Region C are the original barchans having then been transformed. The stoss slopes of V-shaped parabolic dunes along the riverbank are gradual and the dunes are flat in shape. The dune crest of V-shaped parabolic dune is the deposition area, which forms the "arc-shaped sand ridge". Their two arms are non-parallel; the lateral airflow of the arms jointly transport sand to the middle part of dunes, resulting in a narrower triangle that gradually becomes V-shaped. Palmate parabolic dunes have a steeper stoss slope and height. The dune crest of the palmate parabolic dune is the erosion area, which forms

  10. Stable isotope evidence for an atmospheric origin of desert nitrate deposits in northern Chile and southern California, U.S.A.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Böhlke, J.K.; Ericksen, G.E.; Revesz, K.

    1997-01-01

    Natural surficial accumulations of nitrate-rich salts in the Atacama Desert, northern Chile, and in the Death Valley region of the Mojave Desert, southern California, are well known, but despite many geologic and geochemical studies, the origins of the nitrates have remained controversial. N and O isotopes in nitrate, and S isotopes in coexisting soluble sulfate, were measured to determine if some proposed N sources could be supported or rejected, and to determine if the isotopic signature of these natural deposits could be used to distinguish them from various types of anthropogenic nitrate contamination that might be found in desert groundwaters. High-grade caliche-type nitrate deposits from both localities have ??15N values that range from -5 to +5???, but are mostly near 0???. Values of ??15N near 0??? are consistent with either bulk atmospheric N deposition or microbial N fixation as major sources of the N in the deposits. ??18O values of those desert nitrates with ??15N near 0??? range from about +31 to + 50??? (V-SMOW), significantly higher than that of atmospheric O2 (+ 23.5???). Such high values of ??18O are considered unlikely to result entirely from nitrification of reduced N, but rather resemble those of modern atmospheric nitrate in precipitation from some other localities. Assuming that limited modern atmospheric isotope data are applicable to the deposits, and allowing for nitrification of co-deposited ammonium, it is estimated that the fraction of the nitrate in the deposits that could be accounted for isotopically by atmospheric N deposition may be at least 20% and possibly as much as 100%. ??34S values are less diagnostic but could also be consistent with atmospheric components in some of the soluble sulfates associated with the deposits. The stable isotope data support the hypothesis that some high-grade caliche-type nitrate-rich salt deposits in some of the Earth's hyperarid deserts represent long-term accumulations of atmospheric deposition

  11. 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...

  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.

    2012-01-01

    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…

  13. The Mormon Peak and Tule Springs Detachments of Southern Nevada and Their Role in Interpreting the Subsurface Structure of the Sevier Desert Basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wernicke, B.; Axen, G. J.

    2007-12-01

    The eastern Sevier front is commonly overprinted by west-dipping normal faults that have been active through much of Cenozoic time. Although examples of disparate age and geometry abound, the Sevier Desert detachment stands out as being: (1) a very large, low-angle structure, (2) probably still active, and (3) at drillable depth, and hence is a prime target for scientific drilling. Among the closest surface-exposed analogs of the detachment are the Miocene Mormon Peak and Tule Springs detachments in southern Nevada, about 250 km SSW of the Sevier Desert. In both areas, the detachments developed within a few km of the basal Sevier thrust. The few traces of the southern Nevada detachments that were identified by reconnaissance mapping in the 1950s were first interpreted as underlying "rootless" gravity-slide masses. Detailed stratigraphic and structural mapping in the 1980s revealed the full extent of these detachments and their close relationship to the basal Sevier thrust. Construction and retrodeformation of cross sections through the two detachments demonstrated that neither fault could represent the base of a surficial slide mass. The key field relationship is the structural contiguity of the hanging walls of the detachments with large mountain range blocks in their down-dip directions. "Rootless" gravity-driven masses of equivalent or larger scale are widely documented, and in contrast to the southern Nevada detachments show clear evidence along their down-dip portions of either riding over the earth's surface (e.g. Heart Mountain, WY; Shadow Valley, CA) or having been internally shortened (e.g. Bearpaw Mountains, MT; Louisiana shelf). A rootless slide origin for the Mormon Peak detachment has been revived based on meso- and microstructural analysis of the fault surface (refs. 1, 2, and 3), but the hypothesis still fails the retrodeformation test at macroscopic scale. The retrodefomed sections indicate that the footwalls of the southern Nevada detachments

  14. 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

  15. Oasis deposits in the southern margin of the Taklimakan Desert and abrupt environmental changes during the last 30 ka

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shu, P.; Li, B.; Wang, H.; Cheng, P.; An, Z.; Zhou, W.; Zhang, D. D.

    2017-12-01

    Taklimakan Desert, the largest arid landform in the Eurasia, is one of the most important dust sources in the world. Growing evidences shows that millennial-scale abrupt climate changes during the last glacial period in the region. However, records on millennial-scale climate and environmental changes remain poorly understood because dating eolian, lacustrine, and fluvial sediments and establishing the reliable environmental proxies from these records are always challenging. Here, we present 32 AMS 14C dates of bulk sediments, grain size, and Rb/Sr ratio parameters from the oasis sequence and dates of bulk loess and charcoal from the upstream source regions to examine the significance of oasis sediments on millennial-scale environmental changes in the Taklimakan Desert. We found that substantial reversal of radiocarbon dates on total organic carbon (TOC) was controlled by source region organic carbon input. Loess hills, alpine meadow north of the study region provided fluvial deposits along drainage system and deflation in the river valleys further provide eolain materials. We argue that early oasis deposits experienced deflation and re-deposition less severe than the younger oasis deposits. After refining radiocarbon age-depth relationships for an age model by Bacon package, proxy records show substantial abrupt fluctuations in climate and environments during the last glacial period, among which three wet intervals, two dry periods are identified. The wetter and warmer conditions during the Holocene facilitated human to occupy the oasis.

  16. 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...

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. On the LiDAR contribution for the archaeological and geomorphological study of a deserted medieval village in Southern Italy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lasaponara, Rosa; Coluzzi, Rosa; Gizzi, Fabrizio T; Masini, Nicola

    2010-01-01

    Airborne laser scanning (ALS) is an optical measurement technique for obtaining high-precision information about the Earth's surface including basic terrain mapping (digital terrain model, bathymetry, corridor mapping), vegetation cover (forest assessment and inventory) and coastal and urban areas. Recent studies examined the possibility of using ALS in archaeological investigations to identify earthworks, although the ability of ALS measurements in this context has not yet been studied in detail. This paper focuses on the potential of the latest generation of airborne ALS for the detection and the spatial characterization of micro-topographic relief linked to archaeological and geomorphological features. The investigations were carried out near Monteserico, an archaeological area in the Basilicata region (Southern Italy) which is characterized by complex topographical and morphological features. The study emphasizes that the DTM-LiDAR data are a powerful instrument for detecting surface discontinuities relevant for investigating geomorphological processes and cultural features. The LiDAR survey allowed us to identify the urban shape of a medieval village, by capturing the small differences in height produced by surface and shallow archaeological remains (the so-called shadow marks) which were not visible from ground or from optical dataset. In this way, surface reliefs and small elevation changes, linked to geomorphological and archaeological features, have been surveyed with great detail

  20. El Niño Variability in the Coastal Desert of Southern Peru during the Mid-Holocene

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fontugne, Michel; Usselmann, Pierre; Lavallée, Danièle; Julien, Michèle; Hatté, Christine

    1999-09-01

    Fourteen organic-rich sedimentary layers in the deposits at Quebrada de los Burros, in coastal southern Peru (Tacna department), lie between two debris-flow units, interpreted to result from El Niño events, at 8980 cal yr B.P. and after 3380 cal yr B.P., respectively. The accumulation of the fine-grained and low-energy sediments of this deposit during the mid-Holocene is incompatible with the occurrence of El Niño events in this region, as these would produce catastrophic flood deposits. The occurrence of organic-rich sediments and evidence of an enhancement of upwelling strength at this time imply the existence of a permanent water supply resulting from an increased condensation of fog at mid-altitudes. These results suggest a lower intensity and, perhaps, a lower frequency of occurrence of the El Niño phenomenon during the mid-Holocene. It is precisely during this period that the most important human settlements are found at this site, probably indicating the presence of reliable supply of fresh water. The chronologies for wetlands in the central south altiplano are out of phase with those indicating increased soil moisture episodes on the coast, implying a long-term difference in climate between these two regions.

  1. Nest site characteristics, nesting movements, and lack of long-term nest site fidelity in Agassiz's desert tortoises at a wind energy facility in southern California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lovich, Jeffrey E.; Agha, Mickey; Yackulic, Charles B.; Meyer-Wilkins, Kathie; Bjurlin, Curtis; Ennen, Joshua R.; Arundel, Terry R.; Austin, Meaghan

    2014-01-01

    Nest site selection has important consequences for maternal and offspring survival and fitness. Females of some species return to the same nesting areas year after year. We studied nest site characteristics, fidelity, and daily pre-nesting movements in a population of Agassiz’s desert tortoises (Gopherus agassizii) at a wind energy facility in southern California during two field seasons separated by over a decade. No females returned to the same exact nest site within or between years but several nested in the same general area. However, distances between first and second clutches within a year (2000) were not significantly different from distances between nests among years (2000 and 2011) for a small sample of females, suggesting some degree of fidelity within their normal activity areas. Environmental attributes of nest sites did not differ significantly among females but did among years due largely to changes in perennial plant structure as a result of multiple fires. Daily pre-nesting distances moved by females decreased consistently from the time shelled eggs were first visible in X-radiographs until oviposition, again suggesting some degree of nest site selection. Tortoises appear to select nest sites that are within their long-term activity areas, inside the climate-moderated confines of one of their self-constructed burrows, and specifically, at a depth in the burrow that minimizes exposure of eggs and embryos to lethal incubation temperatures. Nesting in “climate-controlled” burrows and nest guarding by females relaxes some of the constraints that drive nest site selection in other oviparous species.

  2. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2013-01-01

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

  4. 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

  5. Sedimentary architecture and palaeogeography of lower Slochteren Aeolian cycles from the Rotliegend desert-lake margin (Permian), the Markham area, Southern North Sea

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Belt, F.J.G. van den; Hulten, F.F.N. van

    2011-01-01

    The Rotliegend gas play in the Southern Permian Basin has yielded over 200 gas fields in the Netherlands; they are found in an E-W fairway along the southern flank of the basin. Sandstones generally pinch out basinward, but localized, isolated sands are present north of the main fairway. The

  6. Population, desert expanding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1992-01-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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...

  10. Late Quaternary history of the Atacama Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Comparison of the Diet of Two Desert-living Owls, the Long-eared Owl ( Asio otus and Little Owl ( Athene noctua from Southern Mongolia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dawn M. Scott

    2005-06-01

    Full Text Available The diet of two sympatric owl species, the long-eared owl ( Asio otus and the little owl ( Athene noctua was investigated in an arid area of southern Mongolia using pellet analysis. In total 334 pellets of long-eared owl and 52 pellets of little owl were analysed, revealing the presence of five small mammal species (Dipodidae, three Muridae and one Soricidae, small birds and invertebrate fragments. Accumulative composition plots indicated a batch size of 35 - 60 pellets was sufficient to reveal representative diet composition. Small mammals comprised the largest component of the diet of long- eared owls with four species recorded, Phodopus was the most frequently occurring (85 %, followed by Meriones (33 %. Bird and invertebrate remains were also found in long-eared owl pellets but comprised less than 2 %. In contrast, invertebrates were the highest occurring component of the diet of little owls (35 %, with small mammals occurring in only 40 % of pellets. Meriones was the most frequently recorded small mammal in little owl pellets (23 % and contributed the greatest in terms of overall rodent biomass. There was a highly statistically significant difference in the diet of the two species (÷ 2 = 2043, d.f. = 4, P < 0.001. Levin’s measure of niche breadth was greater for little owls (0.71 than long-eared owls (0.51, but overall the two species had low niche overlap using Levin’s index (0.22. These results are discussed in relation to previous findings of these two species.

  15. Assembly of a micro-hotspot of caenogastropod endemism in the southern Nevada desert, with a description of a new species of Tryonia (Truncatelloidea, Cochliopidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert Hershler

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Newly obtained and previously published sequences of the cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI gene were analyzed to examine the biogeographic assembly of the caenogastropod fauna (belonging to the families Assimineidae, Cochliopidae, and Hydrobiidae of an isolated spring along the lower Colorado River in southern Nevada (Blue Point Spring. Based on available COI clock calibrations, the three lineages that comprise this fauna are 2.78–1.42 million years old, which is roughly coeval or slightly younger than the age of Blue Point Spring (inferred from local fossil spring deposits. Two of the lineages—endemic Pyrgulopsis coloradensis and Assiminea aff. infima—are most closely related to snails in the Death Valley area (well to the west and likely colonized Blue Point Spring by transport on birds. A single haplotype was detected in both of these snails, suggesting that they may have only recently colonized Blue Point Spring. The third lineage—endemic Tryonia infernalis, newly described herein based on morphological and molecular evidence—is most closely related to a geographically proximal species in a lower Colorado River tributary (T. clathrata; the split between these taxa may be the product of vicariance (severance of a prior drainage connection or a separate jump dispersal event. The considerable genetic diversity in T. infernalis (three haplotypes differing by 0.6% mean sequence divergence suggests a possibly lengthy history of local differentiation. Our findings also identify Blue Point Spring as a new micro-hotspot of groundwater-dependent biodiversity in Nevada and will assist ongoing efforts to protect and conserve these imperiled ecosystems.

  16. Assembly of a micro-hotspot of caenogastropod endemism in the southern Nevada desert, with a description of a new species of Tryonia (Truncatelloidea, Cochliopidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hershler, Robert; Liu, Hsiu-Ping; Simpson, Jeffrey S

    2015-01-01

    Newly obtained and previously published sequences of the cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) gene were analyzed to examine the biogeographic assembly of the caenogastropod fauna (belonging to the families Assimineidae, Cochliopidae, and Hydrobiidae) of an isolated spring along the lower Colorado River in southern Nevada (Blue Point Spring). Based on available COI clock calibrations, the three lineages that comprise this fauna are 2.78-1.42 million years old, which is roughly coeval or slightly younger than the age of Blue Point Spring (inferred from local fossil spring deposits). Two of the lineages-endemic Pyrgulopsiscoloradensis and Assimineaaff.infima-are most closely related to snails in the Death Valley area (well to the west) and likely colonized Blue Point Spring by transport on birds. A single haplotype was detected in both of these snails, suggesting that they may have only recently colonized Blue Point Spring. The third lineage-endemic Tryoniainfernalis, newly described herein based on morphological and molecular evidence-is most closely related to a geographically proximal species in a lower Colorado River tributary (Tryoniaclathrata); the split between these taxa may be the product of vicariance (severance of a prior drainage connection) or a separate jump dispersal event. The considerable genetic diversity in Tryoniainfernalis (three haplotypes differing by 0.6% mean sequence divergence) suggests a possibly lengthy history of local differentiation. Our findings also identify Blue Point Spring as a new micro-hotspot of groundwater-dependent biodiversity in Nevada and will assist ongoing efforts to protect and conserve these imperiled ecosystems.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2000-02-07

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

  18. 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...

  19. 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...

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  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. 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

  4. 76 FR 45606 - Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan, Habitat Conservation Plan and Possible Land Use Plan...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-07-29

    ...-N131; 80221-1112-80221-F2] Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan, Habitat Conservation Plan and Possible Land Use Plan Amendment, Southern California: Environmental Impact Statement AGENCY: Fish and..., as amended, for the proposed Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP). The EIS will be a...

  5. Lut Desert, Iran

    Science.gov (United States)

    1981-01-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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)

  8. 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

  9. Desert Pavement Studies

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Haff, Peter

    2003-01-01

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

  10. Desert Pavement Studies

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Haff, P

    2003-01-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. Minerals in deserts

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Smith, G.I.

    1982-01-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. How desert varnish forms?

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-09-01

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

  16. ON PHYTOCOENOTICAL MAPPING OF CASPIAN DESERT REGION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I. SAFRONOVA

    2004-05-01

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

  17. ON PHYTOCOENOTICAL MAPPING OF CASPIAN DESERT REGION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I. SAFRONOVA

    2004-01-01

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

  18. GOPHERUS AGASSIZII (Desert Tortoise)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1997-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Tree planting in deserts and utilization of atomic energy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hattori, Sadao; Minato, Akio; Hashizume, Kenichi; Handa, Norihiko.

    1991-01-01

    Global environment problems are discussed actively, concretely, those are the warming of the earth, the advance of desertification, the damage due to acid rain, the decrease of tropical forests, the pollution of sea, the depletion of ozone layer and so on. Most of these phenomena advance gradually. However, the advance of desertification is different from other phenomena in that the people in the areas concerned are deprived of their living space and even their lives are threatened at this moment. Desertification is advancing on global scale, and its rate is estimated to be 60,000 km 2 yearly. Especially the area where the advance is remarkable is the southern edge of Sahara Desert, which advances southward at 10-30 km in one year. Recently also in Japan, the interest in the prevention of desertification has become high, and the experiment on tree planting in a desert using a huge desert dome of the Institute of Physical and Chemical Research, 'Desert Aquanet concept' of Shimizu Construction Co., Ltd., 'Sahara green belt project' of the Ministry of International Trade and Industry and so on were published. Water and energy for tree planting in deserts, utilization of atomic energy for seawater desalination and the technical fields to which Japan can contribute are reported. (K.I.)

  4. Tree planting in deserts and utilization of atomic energy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hattori, Sadao; Minato, Akio [Central Research Inst. of Electric Power Industry, Tokyo (Japan); Hashizume, Kenichi; Handa, Norihiko

    1991-06-01

    Global environment problems are discussed actively, concretely, those are the warming of the earth, the advance of desertification, the damage due to acid rain, the decrease of tropical forests, the pollution of sea, the depletion of ozone layer and so on. Most of these phenomena advance gradually. However, the advance of desertification is different from other phenomena in that the people in the areas concerned are deprived of their living space and even their lives are threatened at this moment. Desertification is advancing on global scale, and its rate is estimated to be 60,000 km{sup 2} yearly. Especially the area where the advance is remarkable is the southern edge of Sahara Desert, which advances southward at 10-30 km in one year. Recently also in Japan, the interest in the prevention of desertification has become high, and the experiment on tree planting in a desert using a huge desert dome of the Institute of Physical and Chemical Research, 'Desert Aquanet concept' of Shimizu Construction Co., Ltd., 'Sahara green belt project' of the Ministry of International Trade and Industry and so on were published. Water and energy for tree planting in deserts, utilization of atomic energy for seawater desalination and the technical fields to which Japan can contribute are reported. (K.I.).

  5. Physiological adaptation in desert birds

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

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

  6. Supersymmetry without the Desert

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nomura, Yasunori; Poland, David

    2006-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oldemeyer, John L.

    1994-01-01

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

  8. Evolutionary hotspots in the Mojave Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  9. 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

  10. Remote Sensing Field Guide - Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    1991-09-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. EFFECTS OF PLANT SIZE ON PHOTOSYNTHESIS AND WATER RELATIONS IN THE DESERT SHRUB PROSOPIS GLANDULOSA (FABACEAE)

    Science.gov (United States)

    The Jornada del Muerto basin of the Chihuahuan Desert of southern New Mexico, USA, has undergone a marked transition of plant communities. Shrubs such as mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa) have greatly increased or now dominate in areas that were previously dominated by perennial gra...

  13. Invasive species in southern Nevada [Chapter 4

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mathew L. Brooks; Steven M. Ostoja; Jeanne C. Chambers

    2013-01-01

    Southern Nevada contains a wide range of topographies, elevations, and climatic zones emblematic of its position at the ecotone between the Mojave Desert, Great Basin, and Colorado Plateau ecoregions. These varied environmental conditions support a high degree of biological diversity (Chapter 1), but they also provide opportunities for a wide range of invasive species...

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Chihuahuan Deserts Ecoregion: Chapter 27 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 Chihuahuan Desert is the largest of the North American deserts, extending from southern New Mexico and Texas deep into Mexico, with approximately 90 percent of its area falling south of the United States–Mexico border (Lowe, 1964, p. 24). The Chihuahuan Deserts Ecoregion covers approximately 174,472 km2 (67,364 mi2) within the United States, including much of west Texas, southern New Mexico, and a small portion of southeastern Arizona (Omernik, 1987; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1997). The ecoregion is generally oriented from northwest to southeast, with the Madrean Archipelago Ecoregion to the west; the Arizona/New Mexico Mountains, Arizona/New Mexico Plateau, Southwestern Tablelands, and Western High Plains Ecoregions to the north; and the Edwards Plateau and Southern Texas Plains Ecoregions to the east (fig. 1).

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Aborigines of the nuclear desert

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rujula, A. de

    1985-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  1. Russian deserters of World War I

    OpenAIRE

    Os'kin Maksim

    2014-01-01

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

  2. Plantation of desert and renewal of earth with small LMRs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hattori, Sadao; Minato, Akio; Handa, Norihiko; Hashizume, Kenichi.

    1991-01-01

    Desertification is advancing at rapid rate on the earth. The technical development for preventing the desertification has been requested for advanced countries. Particularly in the southern hemisphere, the energy which can restore green in deserts and supply the electric power required for living is necessary. In this paper, the supply of electric power using the small fast reactors which are excellent in the safety and maintainability and the desalting plants required for tree planting in deserts, and further, the regeneration of the earth accompanying it, are discussed. By desertification, yearly 6 million ha of lands are devastated to unrecoverable extent, and those concentrate in the districts where yearly rainfall is little. In order to prevent desertification, it is necessary to stabilize surface soil by tree planting. Further, in order to prevent the deforestation for obtaining energy, the dual purpose plants for power generation and desalting are important. In this paper, the concept of obtaining water resources from sea, carrying out the desalting, supplying the water to the forefront of deserts and forming green belts there by using fast reactors is considered. The present status of desertification, the desalting of seawater by nuclear power, small fast reactors aiming at ultra-safety, the production of green, and the regeneration of the earth are described. (K.I.)

  3. Colonization patterns of soil microbial communities in the Atacama Desert.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crits-Christoph, Alexander; Robinson, Courtney K; Barnum, Tyler; Fricke, W Florian; Davila, Alfonso F; Jedynak, Bruno; McKay, Christopher P; Diruggiero, Jocelyne

    2013-11-20

    The Atacama Desert is one of the driest deserts in the world and its soil, with extremely low moisture, organic carbon content, and oxidizing conditions, is considered to be at the dry limit for life. Analyses of high throughput DNA sequence data revealed that bacterial communities from six geographic locations in the hyper-arid core and along a North-South moisture gradient were structurally and phylogenetically distinct (ANOVA test for observed operating taxonomic units at 97% similarity (OTU0.03), P microbial communities' diversity metrics (least squares linear regression for observed OTU0.03 and air RH and soil conductivity, P PCoA Spearman's correlation for air RH and soil conductivity, P <0.0001), indicating that water availability and salt content are key factors in shaping the Atacama soil microbiome. Mineralization studies showed communities actively metabolizing in all soil samples, with increased rates in soils from the southern locations. Our results suggest that microorganisms in the driest soils of the Atacama Desert are in a state of stasis for most of the time, but can potentially metabolize if presented with liquid water for a sufficient duration. Over geological time, rare rain events and physicochemical factors potentially played a major role in selecting micro-organisms that are most adapted to extreme desiccating conditions.

  4. Palynology in a polar desert, eastern North Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Funder, Svend Visby; Abrahamsen, Niels

    1988-01-01

    history back to c. 7,000 years calBP (6,000 years convBP) in this·extreme environment, which presents the coldest thermal regime where vascular plants can grow. The diagram shows that polar desert developed from sparse high arctic tundra at c. 4,300 years calBP (3,900 years convBP), owing...... to reduced summer heat. Also adjacent parts of high arctic Greenland, Canada and Svalbard suffered environmental decline, and polar deserts- presently restricted to a narrow fringe of land at the shores of the Arctic Ocean-were even more restricted before this time. Like other arctic vegetation types, polar...... desert is highly sensitive to summer temperatures, and its southern limit coincides with the isotherm for mean July temperatures of 3.5'C, A comparison with the Northwest European ice-age pollen record shows no evidence of summers as cold as those now prevailing in the extreme north, and the results...

  5. Desert Pathfinder at Work

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-09-01

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

  6. Ground-water quality and geochemistry, Carson Desert, western Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lico, Michael S.; Seiler, R.L.

    1994-01-01

    Aquifers in the Carson Desert are the primary source of drinking water, which is highly variable in chemical composition. In the shallow basin-fill aquifers, water chemistyr varies from a dilute calcium bicarbonate-dominated water beneath the irrigated areas to a saline sodium chloride- dominated water beneath unirrigated areas. Water samples from the shallow aquifers commonly have dissolved solids, chloride, magnesium, sulfate, arsenic, and manganese concentrations that exceed State of Nevada drinking-water standards. Water in the intermediante basin-fill aquifers is a dilute sodium bicarbonate type in the Fallon area and a distinctly more saline sodium chloride type in the Soda Lake-Upsal Hogback area. Dissolved solids, chloride, arsenic, fluoride, and manganese concen- trations commonly exceed drinking-water standards. The basalt aquifer contains a dilute sodium bicarbonate chloride water. Arsenic concentrations exceed standards in all sampled wells. The concen- trations of major constituents in ground water beneath the southern Carson Desert are the result of evapotranspiration and natural geochemical reactions with minerals derived mostly from igneous rocks. Water with higher concentrations of iron and manganese is near thermodynamic equilibrium with siderite and rhodochrosite and indicates that these elements may be limited by the solubility of their respective carbonate minerals. Naturally occurring radionuclides (uranium and radon-222) are present in ground water from the Carson Desert in concen- tratons higher than proposed drinking-water standards. High uranium concentrations in the shallow aquifers may be caused by evaporative concentration and the release of uranium during dissolution of iron and manganese oxides or the oxidation of sedimentary organic matter that typically has elevated uranium concentrations. Ground water in the Carson Desert does not appear to have be contaminated by synthetic organic chemicals.

  7. 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...

  8. 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 (<...

  9. [Effects of different disturbance modes on the morphological characteristics and aboveground biomass of Alhagi sparsifolia in oasis-desert ecotone].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Hai-Feng; Zeng, Fan-Jiang; Gui, Dong-Wei; An, Gui-Xiang; Liu, Zhen; Zhang, Li-Gang; Liu, Bo

    2012-01-01

    Taking Cele oasis at the southern fringe of Taklimakan Desert as a case, this paper studied the effects of different disturbances (burning in spring, cutting in spring, and cutting in fall) on the morphological characteristics and aboveground biomass of natural vegetation Alhagi sparsifolia in the ecotone of oasis-desert. Burning in spring decreased the A. sparsifolia plant height, crown width, and biomass significantly, being harmful to the regeneration and growth of the vegetation. Cutting in spring decreased the A. sparsifolia plant height, crown width, and biomass but increased the leaf biomass, thorn length, and thorn diameter, whereas cutting in fall decreased the plant height and crown width but increased the ramification amount and biomass of A. sparsifolia. Moderate cutting in fall could benefit the protection of A. sparsifolia at the southern fringe of Taklimakan Desert.

  10. Influence of surface roughness of a desert

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1984-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  12. Medicinal flora of the Cholistan desert: a review

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  13. Rural childhoods in Egypt's desert lands

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Adriansen, Hanne Kirstine

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

  14. 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

  15. Invasive species in southern Nevada [Chapter 4] (Executive Summary)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matthew L. Brooks; Steven M. Ostoja; Jeanne C.. Chambers

    2013-01-01

    Southern Nevada contains a wide range of topographies, elevations, and climatic zones that are emblematic of its position at the ecotone between the Mojave Desert, Great Basin, and Colorado Plateau ecoregions. These varied environmental conditions support a high degree of biological diversity, but they also provide opportunities for a wide range of invasive species. In...

  16. Russian deserters of World War I

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Os'kin Maksim

    2014-10-01

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

  17. Cryophenomena in the Cold Desert of Atacama

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buchroithner, Dr.; Trombotto, Dr.

    2012-04-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sadiq Ali Shah; Yang Zhang

    2011-01-01

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

  19. Desert wildfire and severe drought diminish survivorship of the long-lived Joshua Tree (Yucca brevifolia; Agavaceae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeFalco, L.A.; Esque, T.C.; Scoles-Sciulla, S. J.; Rodgers, J.

    2010-01-01

    Extreme climate events are transforming plant communities in the desert Southwest of the United States. Abundant precipitation in 1998 associated with El Ni??o Southern Oscillation (ENSO) stimulated exceptional alien annual plant production in the Mojave Desert that fueled wildfires in 1999. Exacerbated by protracted drought, 80% of the burned Yucca brevifolia, a long-lived arborescent monocot, and 26% of unburned plants died at Joshua Tree National Park by 2004. Many burned plants old adults with fewer opportunities for plant recruitment, thus imperiling the persistence of this unique plant community.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  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. Deserts

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Graulund, Rune

    2016-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Jari Ojala; Jaakko Pehkonen; Jari Eloranta

    2013-01-01

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

  4. Desert potholes: Ephemeral aquatic microsystems

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  5. Vegetation - Central Mojave Desert [ds166

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  6. Microbial ecology of hot desert edaphic systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-03-01

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

  7. Transport aloft drives peak ozone in the Mojave Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    VanCuren, Richard

    2015-05-01

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

  8. Place Attachment and Tourist Experience in the Context of Desert Tourism – the Case of Wadi Rum

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Allan Mamoon

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available This paper aims to explore the relationship between tourist experience and place attachment in a desert tourism experience. The current study was carried out with a sample of international and domestic visitors in Wadi Rum, Southern Jordan. The results show that there is a significant positive correlation between the nearby constructs of the study units such as the four tourist experience dimensions (education, esthetics, entertainment, and escapism, and the two dimensional place attachments measures (place identity and place dependence. Moreover, the findings also indicate that education factor had a significantly positive relationship with place identity, and there was a significantly positive relationship between escapism factor and place dependence. The findings can be used to develop the tourist experience and place attachment in the context of desert tourism experience. They further help tourism destinations managers, planners and marketers to provide appropriate marketing strategies and enrich their offers to desert tourism participants.

  9. In vitro germination of desert rose varieties(

    OpenAIRE

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Philippe Paillou

    2017-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  12. Apparent Brecciation Gradient, Mount Desert Island, Maine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hawkins, A. T.; Johnson, S. E.

    2004-05-01

    Mount Desert Island, Maine, comprises a shallow level, Siluro-Devonian igneous complex surrounded by a distinctive breccia zone ("shatter zone" of Gilman and Chapman, 1988). The zone is very well exposed on the southern and eastern shores of the island and provides a unique opportunity to examine subvolcanic processes. The breccia of the Shatter Zone shows wide variation in percent matrix and clast, and may represent a spatial and temporal gradient in breccia formation due to a single eruptive or other catastrophic volcanic event. The shatter zone was divided into five developmental stages based on the extent of brecciation: Bar Harbor Formation, Sols Cliffs breccia, Seeley Road breccia, Dubois breccia, and Great Head breccia. A digital camera was employed to capture scale images of representative outcrops using a 0.5 m square Plexiglas frame. Individual images were joined in Adobe Photoshop to create a composite image of each outcrop. The composite photo was then exported to Adobe Illustrator, which was used to outline the clasts and produce a digital map of the outcrop for analysis. The fractal dimension (Fd) of each clast was calculated using NIH Image and a Euclidean distance mapping method described by Bérubé and Jébrak (1999) to quantify the morphology of the fragments, or the complexity of the outline. The more complex the fragment outline, the higher the fractal dimension, indicating that the fragment is less "mature" or has had less exposure to erosional processes, such as the injection of an igneous matrix. Sols Cliffs breccia has an average Fd of 1.125, whereas Great Head breccia has an average Fd of 1.040, with the stages between having intermediate values. The more complex clasts of the Sols Cliffs breccia with a small amount (26.38%) of matrix material suggests that it is the first stage in a sequence of brecciation ending at the more mature, matrix-supported (71.37%) breccia of Great Head. The results of this study will be used to guide isotopic

  13. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-12-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. Desert basins of the Southwest

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2000-01-01

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

  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. Jojoba could stop the desert creep

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1982-03-25

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

  19. CAMEL REARING IN CHOLISTAN DESERT OF PAKISTAN

    OpenAIRE

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

    2009-01-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

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

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

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

  3. Liquid Water Restricts Habitability in Extreme Deserts.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

  4. Preventing desert locust plagues: optimizing management interventions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  5. Abiotic drivers of Chihuahuan Desert plant communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laura Marie Ladwig

    2014-01-01

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

  6. Reclaiming freshwater sustainability in the Cadillac Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoav, Avni; Noa, Avriel-Avni

    2017-04-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Boussaid

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

  9. Geology and geochemistry of the Atacama Desert.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-02-14

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

  10. Data measured on water collected from eastern Mojave Desert, California

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rose, Tim P. [Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)

    2017-08-17

    In March of 2000 field collection of water from the Eastern Mojave Desert resulted in the measurement of stable isotope, radiocarbon, tritium, and limited dissolved noble gases. This work was follow-on to previous studies on similar systems in southern Nevada associated with the Nevada Test Site (Davisson et al., 1999; Rose and Davisson, 2003). The data for groundwater from wells and springs was never formally published and is therefore tabulated in Table 1 in order to be recorded in public record. In addition 4 years of remote precipitation data was collected for stable isotopes and is included in Table 2. These studies, along with many parallel and subsequent ones using isotopes and elemental concentrations, are all related to the general research area of tracing sources and quantifying transport times of natural and man-made materials in the environment. This type of research has direct relevance in characterizing environmental contamination, understanding resource development and protection, designing early detection in WMD related terrorism, and application in forensics analysis.

  11. Climate change induced by Southern Hemisphere desertification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Ye; Yan, Xiaodong

    2017-12-01

    Some 10-20% of global dry-lands are already degraded, and the ongoing desertification threatens the world's poorest populations. Studies on desertification effects are essential for humans to adapt to the environmental challenges posed by desertification. Given the importance of the much larger southern ocean to the global climate and the Southern Hemisphere (SH) climate changes in phase with those in the north, the biogeophysical effects of the SH desertification on climate are assessed using an Earth system model of intermediate complexity, MPM-2. This analysis focuses on differences in climate among the averages of simulations with desert expansion in different latitude bands by year 2000. The localized desertification causes significant global changes in temperature and precipitation as well as surface albedo. On the global scale, cooling dominates the SH desertification effects. However, the biogeophysical effects are most significant in regions with desertification, and the cooling is also prominent in northern mid-latitudes. Desert expansion in 15°-30°S reveals statistically most significant cooling and increased precipitation over the forcing regions during spring. The global and regional scale responses from desertification imply the climate teleconnection and address the importance of the effects from the SH which are contingent on the location of the forcing. Our study indicates that biogeophysical mechanisms of land cover changes in the SH need to be accounted for in the assessment of land management options especially for latitude band over 15°-30°S.

  12. Desert wetlands in the geologic record

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  13. Biology of the Central Desert of Oman

    OpenAIRE

    GHAZANFAR, Shahina A

    2004-01-01

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

  14. Joint by Design: The Western Desert Campaign

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-05-21

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

  15. Extrafloral nectar fuels ant life in deserts

    OpenAIRE

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

    2014-01-01

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

  16. Liquid Water Restricts Habitability in Extreme Deserts

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

  17. The Palm Desert renewable [hydrogen] transportation system

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1998-08-01

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

  18. CAMEL REARING IN CHOLISTAN DESERT OF PAKISTAN

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

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

    2009-05-01

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

  19. 77 FR 65133 - Revisions to the California State Implementation Plan, Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-10-25

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

  20. Nature and origin of secondary mineral coatings on volcanic rocks of the Black Mountain, Stonewall Mountain, and Kane Springs Wash volcanic centers, southern, Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taranik, James V.; Hsu, Liang C.; Spatz, David M.; Chenevey, Michael J.

    1989-01-01

    The following subject areas are covered: (1) genetic, spectral, and LANDSAT Thematic Mapper imagery relationship between desert varnish and tertiary volcanic host rocks, southern Nevada; (2) reconnaissance geologic mapping of the Kane Springs Wash Volcanic Center, Lincoln County, Nevada, using multispectral thermal infrared imagery; (3) interregional comparisons of desert varnish; and (4) airborne scanner (GERIS) imagery of the Kane Springs Wash Volcanic Center, Lincoln County, Nevada.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mao, Xuesong; Wang, Fuchun; Wang, Binggang

    2011-07-01

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

  2. The provenance of Taklamakan desert sand

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Morais Mendonca Teles, Antonio

    2016-07-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Johnson, J. Andrew.

    1991-01-01

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

  5. 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.

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

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

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

    2008-01-01

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

  7. Southern blotting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, T

    2001-05-01

    Southern blotting is the transfer of DNA fragments from an electrophoresis gel to a membrane support (the properties and advantages of the different types of membrane, transfer buffer, and transfer method are discussed in detail), resulting in immobilization of the DNA fragments, so the membrane carries a semipermanent reproduction of the banding pattern of the gel. After immobilization, the DNA can be subjected to hybridization analysis, enabling bands with sequence similarity to a labeled probe to be identified. This appendix describes Southern blotting via upward capillary transfer of DNA from an agarose gel onto a nylon or nitrocellulose membrane, using a high-salt transfer buffer to promote binding of DNA to the membrane. With the high-salt buffer, the DNA becomes bound to the membrane during transfer but not permanently immobilized. Immobilization is achieved by UV irradiation (for nylon) or baking (for nitrocellulose). A Support Protocol describes how to calibrate a UV transilluminator for optimal UV irradiation of a nylon membrane. An alternate protocol details transfer using nylon membranes and an alkaline buffer, and is primarily used with positively charged nylon membranes. The advantage of this combination is that no post-transfer immobilization step is required, as the positively charged membrane binds DNA irreversibly under alkaline transfer conditions. The method can also be used with neutral nylon membranes but less DNA will be retained. A second alternate protocol describes a transfer method based on a different transfer-stack setup. The traditional method of upward capillary transfer of DNA from gel to membrane described in the first basic and alternate protocols has certain disadvantages, notably the fact that the gel can become crushed by the weighted filter papers and paper towels that are laid on top of it. This slows down the blotting process and may reduce the amount of DNA that can be transferred. The downward capillary method described in

  8. Physiological conjunction of allelochemicals and desert plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  9. Physiological conjunction of allelochemicals and desert plants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Avital Yosef Friedjung

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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

  12. Pastoralist rock art in the Black Desert of Jordan

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Brusgaard, N.O.

    2015-01-01

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

  13. Pastoralist rock art in the Black Desert of Jordan

    OpenAIRE

    Brusgaard, N.O.

    2015-01-01

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

  14. The politics of accessing desert land in Jordan

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Naber, Al Majd; Molle, Francois

    2016-01-01

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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

  16. The Desert and the Sown Project in Northern Jordan

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kerner, Susanne

    2014-01-01

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

  17. Algae-production in the desert

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hildebrand, H.

    1988-11-01

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

  18. Background aerosol composition in the Namib desert

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

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

  19. Fog water chemistry in the Namib desert, Namibia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eckardt, Frank D.; Schemenauer, Robert S.

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

  20. Fire history and moisture influences on historical forest age structure in the sky islands of southern Arizona, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jose M. Iniguez; Thomas W. Swetnam; Christopher H. Baisan

    2016-01-01

    Aim: The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of moisture and fire on historical ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa Dougl. ex Laws.) age structure patterns. Location: We used a natural experiment created over time by the unique desert island geography of southern Arizona. Methods: We sampled tree establishment dates in two sites on Rincon Peak and...

  1. Phylogenetic studies of Terfezia pfeilii and Choiromyces echinulatus (Pezizales) support new genera for southern African truffles: Kalaharituber and Eremiomyces.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yael Ferdman; Sharon Aviram; Nurit Roth-Bejerano; James M. Trappe; Varda. Kagan-Zur

    2005-01-01

    The ITS region including the 5.8S rRNA gene as well as the 5' end of the 28S rRNA gene of hypogeous Pezizaceae and Tuberaceae were studied to clarify the generic placement of two southern African desert truffles, Terfezia pfeilii and Choiromyces echinulatus. The results show that...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  3. Investigations of the geohydrology of the waters of the Negev Desert using U-234/U-238 disequilibrium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kronfeld, J.

    1977-11-01

    The attempt to use uranium analysis of the ratio 234 U/ 238 U to investigate the flow pattern and the recharge mechanism of the Nubian Sandstone waters in the Negev Desert is reported. 105 water samples were collected from the Nubian Sandstone, the overlying aquifers and from crystalline rocks in Southern Sinai. The latter is supposed to be the recharge area of the Nubian Sandstone waters. Although the uranium value group discretes water bodies no conclusion can be drawn as to the origin of the Nubian Sandstone waters. Due to the results artesian leakage from the Nubian Sandstone into the overlying aquifers probably can be ruled out

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

  5. Distribution patterns of terricolous and saxicolous lichens in extreme desert conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Temina, M.

    2012-04-01

    The investigation of biodiversity in stressful habitats is of great interest because it elucidates relationships between organisms and their environment, as well as revealing the mechanisms of their survival and adaptation to extreme conditions. Deserts represent such stressful habitats where harsh climate and limited resources greatly influence the formation of biota. In order to understand the link between microscale environmental variability in extreme arid conditions and lichen biodiversity patterns, we conducted the present study. For this purpose, the structure and distribution of lichen communities on soil and cobbles at six stations at "Evolution Canyon" III (EC III), Nahal Shaharut, in the extreme southern Negev, Israel, were examined. The opposite slopes of the canyon represented specific ecological niches characterized by sharply different microclimatic conditions. The following characteristics of lichen communities were studied: species richness, systematic diversity, biogeographical elements, frequencies and distribution of species, their morphological and anatomical characteristics, reproductive strategy, and ecological peculiarities. In the research site three environmental variables were evaluated: soil moisture, and temperatures of soil and cobbles. The Canonical Correspondence Analysis was used to study the influence of these ecological variables on the distribution of lichen species. The lichen diversity of EC III was very poor and comprised 12 species (3 cyanoliches on soil vs. 9 phycolichens on cobbles). Most of them belong to a specific group of arid endemic elements, adapted to survive in extreme arid conditions in the deserts of the Levant. The harsh desert conditions of the canyon negatively influence the reproductive ability of lichens. This influence is expressed in the decreased sizes of fruit bodies in some species, and the frequent occurrence of sterile specimens among lichens found in the canyon. A comparative analysis of structure

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Offer, Z.Y.; Goossens, D.

    2001-01-01

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

  7. Soil micromorphogenesis and Early Holocene paleoclimate at the desert margin of Southern Arabia Micromorfoedafogénesis y paleoclima del Holoceno Inferior en el márgen desértico del sur de Arabia Micromorfogénese do solo e paleoclima inicial do Holoceno na margem deserta do Sul da Arábia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter Kühn

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available The Ramlat as-Sab'atayn desert margin near Ma'rib, Yemen, displays well-preserved Early Holocene paleosols that are documented by micromorphological and pedological data. The buried soils, which are represented by Ahb horizons, indicate soil formation mostly before 8.3 cal ka BP. In contrast, sandy cover sediments without signs of pedogenesis appeared between 8.3 and 6.6 cal ka BP due to increasing aridity. Characteristic micromorphological features of the cover sediments are a single grain microstructure, crystallitic b-fabric, predominant occurrence of fresh sideromelane, and remnants of microlayers. Micromorphological pedogenic features in the buried Ah horizons include a subangular blocky microstructure, undifferentiated b-fabric as a result of enrichment of organic matter and decalcification, and the predominant occurrence of completely altered sideromelane. Most of these horizons appeared to be nearly completely decalcified so that in parts a stipple speckled b-fabric and neoformed clay coatings could be detected as a result of stronger weathering and soil formation. Pedogenic data provide important information about Holocene climate fluctuations, including the amount of precipitation, which was calculated on the basis of geochemical data from buried A, AB and B horizons. The buried paleosols represent moist climate conditions with precipitation ranging from 400 to 600 mm a-1.En los márgenes del desierto Ramlat as-Sab'atayn, cerca de Ma'rib (Yemen, se encuentran paleosuelos del Holoceno Inferior bien conservados que se documentan con datos micromorfológicos y edáficos. Los suelos enterrados, representados por horizontes Ahb, indican que se formaron mayoritariamente antes de hace 8,3 ka. Por el contrario, los sedimentos arenosos que los cubren sin rasgos de edafogénesis se depositaron posteriormente debido a una aridez creciente hasta hace 6,6 ka. Los rasgos micromorfológicos de los sedimentos arenosos están caracterizados por una

  8. Three-dimensional geologic mapping of the Cenozoic basin fill, Amargosa Desert basin, Nevada and California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, Emily M.; Sweetkind, Donald S.

    2014-01-01

    Understanding the subsurface geologic framework of the Cenozoic basin fill that underlies the Amargosa Desert in southern Nevada and southeastern California has been improved by using borehole data to construct three-dimensional lithologic and interpreted facies models. Lithologic data from 210 boreholes from a 20-kilometer (km) by 90-km area were reduced to a limited suite of descriptors based on geologic knowledge of the basin and distributed in three-dimensional space using interpolation methods. The resulting lithologic model of the Amargosa Desert basin portrays a complex system of interfingered coarse- to fine-grained alluvium, playa and palustrine deposits, eolian sands, and interbedded volcanic units. Lithologic units could not be represented in the model as a stacked stratigraphic sequence due to the complex interfingering of lithologic units and the absence of available time-stratigraphic markers. Instead, lithologic units were grouped into interpreted genetic classes, such as playa or alluvial fan, to create a three-dimensional model of the interpreted facies data. Three-dimensional facies models computed from these data portray the alluvial infilling of a tectonically formed basin with intermittent internal drainage and localized regional groundwater discharge. The lithologic and interpreted facies models compare favorably to resistivity, aeromagnetic, and geologic map data, lending confidence to the interpretation.

  9. Water sources for cyanobacteria below desert rocks in the Negev Desert determined by conductivity

    OpenAIRE

    McKay, Christopher P.

    2016-01-01

    We present year round meteorological and conductivity measurements of colonized hypolithic rocks in the Arava Valley, Negev Desert, Israel. The data indicate that while dew is common in the Negev it is not an important source of moisture for hypolithic organisms at this site. The dominance of cyanobacteria in the hypolithic community is consistent with predictions that cyanobacteria are confined to habitats supplied by rain. To monitor the presence of liquid water under the small Negev rocks ...

  10. Integrating Army Aviation into the Combined Arms Team: Operational Art in Desert Shield and Desert Storm

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-05-25

    King of Saudi Arabia. The conversation took place prior to an Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) meeting of Arab Gulf members...Blumberg and Christopher C. French, eds., The Persian Gulf War: Views from the Social and Behavioral Sciences (Lanham, MD: University Press of America...1994), 17. 72 Blumberg and French, The Persian Gulf War, 29. 20 building up forces in northeast Saudi Arabia during Operation Desert Shield, in

  11. In vitro germination of desert rose varieties(

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tatiane Lemos Varella

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available The drought stress resistance is a characteristic of the desert rose and its estimable beauty flowers, which gave it great relevance in the ornamental market. However, the desert rose production and germination is hampered by possible sterility of their male and female flowers and frequent problems in pollination, so the tissue culture is a promising alternative to the propagation of these plants. This study aimed to evaluate the effect of gibberellic acid on four commercial varieties of desert rose (Adenium obesum cultivated in vitro. The seeds of the varieties ‘Orange Pallet’, ‘Carnation violet’, ‘Diamond ring’ and ‘Vermiliont’ were sterilized and inoculated on Water + Agar (T0, medium MS (T1, ½ MS (T2, MS + 0.25 mg L-1 GA3 (T3, MS + 0.5 mg L-1 GA3 (T4, ½ MS + 0.25 mg L-1 GA3 (T5, ½ MS 0.5 mg L-1 GA3 (T6. The seeds germination of A. obesum was initiated on the fourth day of cultivation and on the tenth day was possible to observe the expansion of the cotyledons and leaf expansion with subsequent development of early secondary root. The ‘Orange pallet’ variety germinated 100% of seeds on water + agar and MS ½ + 0.5 mg L-1 of GA3. For ‘Diamond Ring’ and ‘Carnation violet’ the highest rate of germination occurred in treatments MS ½; 0.25 mg L-1 GA3; MS + 0.5 mg L-1 GA3 MS ½ + 0.5 mg L-1 GA3 averaging 80% and 70%, respectively. For ‘Vermiliont’ the best response was in MS and MS ½ + 0.5 mg L-1 GA3 ranging between 70-90% germinated embryos. It was registered different malformations in all treatments like absence of roots and apexes during seedling development. The concentrations of GA3 did not affect significantly the seed germination.

  12. Properties of Desert Sand and CMAS Glass

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bansal, Narottam P.; Choi, Sung R.

    2014-01-01

    As-received desert sand from a Middle East country has been characterized for its phase composition and thermal stability. X-ray diffraction analysis showed the presence of quartz (SiO2), calcite (CaCO3), gypsum (CaSO4.2H2O), and NaAlSi3O8 phases in as-received desert sand and showed weight loss of approx. 35 percent due to decomposition of CaCO3 and CaSO4.2H2O when heated to 1400 C. A batch of as-received desert sand was melted into calcium magnesium aluminosilicate (CMAS) glass at approx. 1500 C. From inductively coupled plasma-atomic emission spectrometry, chemical composition of the CMAS glass was analyzed to be 27.8CaO-4MgO-5Al2O3-61.6SiO2-0.6Fe2O3-1K2O (mole percent). Various physical, thermal and mechanical properties of the glass have been evaluated. Bulk density of CMAS glass was 2.69 g/cc, Young's modulus 92 GPa, Shear modulus 36 GPa, Poisson's ratio 0.28, dilatometric glass transition temperature (T (sub g)) 706 C, softening point (T (sub d)) 764 C, Vickers microhardness 6.3 +/- 0.4 GPa, indentation fracture toughness 0.75 +/- 0.15 MPa.m (sup 1/2), and coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) 9.8 x 10 (exp -6)/degC in the temperature range 25 to 700 C. Temperature dependence of viscosity has also been estimated from various reference points of the CMAS glass using the Vogel-Fulcher-Tamman (VFT) equation. The glass remained amorphous after heat treating at 850 C for 10 hr but crystallized into CaSiO3 and Ca-Mg-Al silicate phases at 900 C or higher temperatures. Crystallization kinetics of the CMAS glass has also been investigated by differential thermal analysis (DTA). Activation energies for the crystallization of two different phases in the glass were calculated to be 403 and 483 kJ/mol, respectively.

  13. Phylogeographic patterns of the desert poplar in Northwest China shaped by both geology and climatic oscillations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeng, Yan-Fei; Zhang, Jian-Guo; Abuduhamiti, Bawerjan; Wang, Wen-Ting; Jia, Zhi-Qing

    2018-05-25

    The effects of historical geology and climatic events on the evolution of plants around the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau region have been at the center of debate for years. To identify the influence of the uplift of the Tianshan Mountains and/or climatic oscillations on the evolution of plants in arid northwest China, we investigated the phylogeography of the Euphrates poplar (Populus euphratica) using chloroplast DNA (cpDNA) sequences and nuclear microsatellites, and estimated its historical distribution using Ecological Niche Modeling (ENM). We found that the Euphrates poplar differed from another desert poplar, P. pruinosa, in both nuclear and chloroplast DNA. The low clonal diversity in both populations reflected the low regeneration rate by seed/seedlings in many locations. Both cpDNA and nuclear markers demonstrated a clear divergence between the Euphrates poplar populations from northern and southern Xinjiang regions. The divergence time was estimated to be early Pleistocene based on cpDNA, and late Pleistocene using an Approximate Bayesian Computation analysis based on microsatellites. Estimated gene flow was low between these two regions, and the limited gene flow occurred mainly via dispersal from eastern regions. ENM analysis supported a wider distribution of the Euphrates poplar at 3 Ma, but a more constricted distribution during both the glacial period and the interglacial period. These results indicate that the deformation of the Tianshan Mountains has impeded gene flow of the Euphrates poplar populations from northern and southern Xinjiang, and the distribution constriction due to climatic oscillations further accelerated the divergence of populations from these regions. To protect the desert poplars, more effort is needed to encourage seed germination and seedling establishment, and to conserve endemic gene resources in the northern Xinjiang region.

  14. Fog deposition to the Atacama desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Westbeld, A.; Klemm, O.; Griessbaum, F.; Sträter, E.; Larrain, H.; Osses, P.; Cereceda, P.

    2010-07-01

    In the Atacama Desert, one of the driest places on earth, fog deposition plays an important role for the water balance and for the survival of vulnerable ecosystems. The eddy covariance method, previously applied for the quantification of fog deposition to forests in various parts of the world, was used for the first time to measure deposition of fog water to a desert. We estimated the amount of water available for the ecosystem by deposition and determined the relevant processes driving fog deposition. This is especially important for the species Tillandsia landbecki living in coastal Atacama at the limit of plant existence with fog and dew being the only sources of liquid water. Between 31 July and 19 August, 2008, measurements were realized in a 31 ha large Tillandsia carpet at Cerro Guanaco, located 15 km south of Iquique, northern Chile. Several data quality assurance procedures were applied. For the values in compliance with the applied criteria, the mean total deposition per hour was determined (0.04 L per m2) for foggy periods. This number was applied to estimate the amount of water deposited during the measuring period, during the entire month of August 2008, and throughout a whole year. For August 2008, a frequency of fog of 16 %, as established during the measuring period, was assumed. The frequency for a whole year was estimated from the differences of the collected amount of water obtained with standard fog collectors installed at Cerro Guanaco in an earlier study. Calculations resulted in an amount of 2.5 L per m2 of deposited fog water for the measuring period. During the entire August, 4.4 L per m2 have likely been available, and for a whole year, a total of 25 L per m2 was estimated to have reached the surface. Inaccuracies could have been caused by the low amount of data applied, and by a possible underestimation of the deposition due to additional formation of radiation fog during the fog events. Three days were used for further analysis because

  15. Desert ants learn vibration and magnetic landmarks.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cornelia Buehlmann

    Full Text Available The desert ants Cataglyphis navigate not only by path integration but also by using visual and olfactory landmarks to pinpoint the nest entrance. Here we show that Cataglyphis noda can additionally use magnetic and vibrational landmarks as nest-defining cues. The magnetic field may typically provide directional rather than positional information, and vibrational signals so far have been shown to be involved in social behavior. Thus it remains questionable if magnetic and vibration landmarks are usually provided by the ants' habitat as nest-defining cues. However, our results point to the flexibility of the ants' navigational system, which even makes use of cues that are probably most often sensed in a different context.

  16. Investigating water resources of the desert: How isotopes can help

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gonfiantini, R.

    1992-01-01

    Newspapers and magazines from time to time write about the enormous reserves of water stored underground in the Sahara, whose rational exploitation would allow the agricultural development of the desert. Although the practical implementation of such projects is rather problematic, it is true that groundwater is relatively abundant under most of the Sahara (as well as in other deserts in the world), but it is seldom easily accessible. What do we really know about these resources of groundwater and how they have accumulated in areas where rainfall is so scarce. What do we know of the hydrological history of the desert. These problems are important for the correct evaluation and use of the groundwater in the desert. Isotope techniques help in their solution, and are described in this document. 6 figs

  17. Investigating water resources of the desert: how isotopes can help

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gonfiantini, R.

    1981-01-01

    Newspapers and magazines from time to time write about the enormous reserves of water stored underground in the Sahara, whose rational exploitation would allow the agricultural development of the desert. Although the practical implementation of such projects is rather problematic, it is true that groundwater is relatively abundant under most of the Sahara (as well as in other deserts in the world), but it is seldom easily accessible. What do we really know about these resources of groundwater and how they have accumulated in areas where rainfall is so scarce. What do we know of the hydrological history of the desert. These problems are important for the correct evaluation and use of the groundwater in the desert. Isotope techniques help in their solution, and are described in this document

  18. Vegetation - Anza-Borrego Desert State Park [ds165

    Data.gov (United States)

    California Natural Resource Agency — The Anza Borrego Desert State Park (ABDSP) Vegetation Map depicts vegetation within the Park and its surrounding environment. The map was prepared by the Department...

  19. The potential of energy farming in the southeastern California desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lew, V.

    1980-04-01

    The use of energy forms to provide future sources of energy for California is considered. Marginal desert lands in southeastern California are proposed for the siting of energy farms using acacia, eucalyptus, euphorbia, guayule, jojoba, mesquite, or tamarisk.

  20. Modeling Agassiz's Desert Tortoise Population Response to Anthropogenic Stressors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mojave Desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) populations are exposed to a variety of anthropogenic threats, which vary in nature, severity, and frequency. Tortoise management in conservation areas can be compromised when the relative importance of these threats is not well underst...

  1. Camelid genomes reveal evolution and adaptation to desert environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Huiguang; Guang, Xuanmin; Al-Fageeh, Mohamed B; Cao, Junwei; Pan, Shengkai; Zhou, Huanmin; Zhang, Li; Abutarboush, Mohammed H; Xing, Yanping; Xie, Zhiyuan; Alshanqeeti, Ali S; Zhang, Yanru; Yao, Qiulin; Al-Shomrani, Badr M; Zhang, Dong; Li, Jiang; Manee, Manee M; Yang, Zili; Yang, Linfeng; Liu, Yiyi; Zhang, Jilin; Altammami, Musaad A; Wang, Shenyuan; Yu, Lili; Zhang, Wenbin; Liu, Sanyang; Ba, La; Liu, Chunxia; Yang, Xukui; Meng, Fanhua; Wang, Shaowei; Li, Lu; Li, Erli; Li, Xueqiong; Wu, Kaifeng; Zhang, Shu; Wang, Junyi; Yin, Ye; Yang, Huanming; Al-Swailem, Abdulaziz M; Wang, Jun

    2014-10-21

    Bactrian camel (Camelus bactrianus), dromedary (Camelus dromedarius) and alpaca (Vicugna pacos) are economically important livestock. Although the Bactrian camel and dromedary are large, typically arid-desert-adapted mammals, alpacas are adapted to plateaus. Here we present high-quality genome sequences of these three species. Our analysis reveals the demographic history of these species since the Tortonian Stage of the Miocene and uncovers a striking correlation between large fluctuations in population size and geological time boundaries. Comparative genomic analysis reveals complex features related to desert adaptations, including fat and water metabolism, stress responses to heat, aridity, intense ultraviolet radiation and choking dust. Transcriptomic analysis of Bactrian camels further reveals unique osmoregulation, osmoprotection and compensatory mechanisms for water reservation underpinned by high blood glucose levels. We hypothesize that these physiological mechanisms represent kidney evolutionary adaptations to the desert environment. This study advances our understanding of camelid evolution and the adaptation of camels to arid-desert environments.

  2. Desert Peak East Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) Project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zemach, Ezra [Ormat Technologies Inc., Reno, NV (United States); Drakos, Peter [Ormat Technologies Inc., Reno, NV (United States); Spielman, Paul [Ormat Technologies Inc., Reno, NV (United States); Akerley, John [Ormat Technologies Inc., Reno, NV (United States)

    2013-09-30

    This manuscript is a draft to replaced with a final version at a later date TBD. A summary of activities pertaining to the Desert Peak EGS project including the planning and resulting stimulation activities.

  3. NOUR. Daylighting and thermal effects of windows in desert houses

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ouahrani, Djamel

    1999-07-01

    This study is on a combined effect of window, the daylighting and the thermal effects, in desert houses. It is comprised of two complementary studies. In the introduction a historical review on the development of using daylight has been carried out in order to place the case study in a historical perspective. The first study is comprehensive and contains two main parts. In the first part a study was carried out on the people and history of the town of Ghardaia in Southern Algeria. This was done in order to understand the architectural form of that region. The second part is experimental and consists of two field studies carried out in Ghardaia. Their aim was to investigate the influence of daylight and temperature on the use of residential houses. This investigation included both traditional and 'modern' houses, the modern having relatively large windows similar to those of the northern part of Algeria, the traditional ones having small or no windows. The second study is also experimental consisting of computer parametric studies on window design from two standpoints, namely daylighting level and thermal effects of windows in desert houses. A typical traditional house is described as it was observed. Then the recorded light values are presented and commented upon. In the second part, three types of modern houses observed in the field studies are presented and compared to the traditional archetype. The comparison especially dwells on the relative effectiveness of the two systems of daylighting. In the third part, focusing on various issues of lighting, the results of interviews with the inhabitants are presented. The historical studies indicate that the process of housing development, in several respects, has reached a certain quality (social, technology, and adaptation to climate) appropriate to the local original context, but that development has slowed down. The results of the lighting study indicate that the use of more windows in modern houses

  4. NOUR. Daylighting and thermal effects of windows in desert houses

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ouahrani, Djamel

    1999-07-01

    This study is on a combined effect of window, the daylighting and the thermal effects, in desert houses. It is comprised of two complementary studies. In the introduction a historical review on the development of using daylight has been carried out in order to place the case study in a historical perspective. The first study is comprehensive and contains two main parts. In the first part a study was carried out on the people and history of the town of Ghardaia in Southern Algeria. This was done in order to understand the architectural form of that region. The second part is experimental and consists of two field studies carried out in Ghardaia. Their aim was to investigate the influence of daylight and temperature on the use of residential houses. This investigation included both traditional and 'modern' houses, the modern having relatively large windows similar to those of the northern part of Algeria, the traditional ones having small or no windows. The second study is also experimental consisting of computer parametric studies on window design from two standpoints, namely daylighting level and thermal effects of windows in desert houses. A typical traditional house is described as it was observed. Then the recorded light values are presented and commented upon. In the second part, three types of modern houses observed in the field studies are presented and compared to the traditional archetype. The comparison especially dwells on the relative effectiveness of the two systems of daylighting. In the third part, focusing on various issues of lighting, the results of interviews with the inhabitants are presented. The historical studies indicate that the process of housing development, in several respects, has reached a certain quality (social, technology, and adaptation to climate) appropriate to the local original context, but that development has slowed down. The results of the lighting study indicate that the use of more windows in modern houses constitutes a

  5. Water appropriation and ecosystem stewardship in the Baja desert

    OpenAIRE

    de las Heras Alejandro; Rodriguez Mario A.; Islas-Espinoza Marina

    2014-01-01

    The UNESCO San Francisco Rock Paintings polygon within El Vizcaino Biosphere Reserve in the Baja California Peninsula derives its moisture from the North American monsoon. There, ranchers have depended on the desert since the 18th century. More recently, the desert has depended on the environmental stewardship of the ranchers who have allayed mining exploitation and archaeological looting. Using a Rapid Assessment Procedure (RAP), climate data, and geographical informa...

  6. MX Siting Investigation. Gravity Survey - Sevier Desert Valley, Utah.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1981-01-24

    Cheyenne, Wyoming. DMAHTC reduces the data to Simple Bouguer Anomaly (see Section A1.4, Appendix Al.0). The Defense Mapping Agency Aerospace Center...Desert Valley, Utah ......... 2 2 Topographic Setting - Sevier Desert Valley, Utah . 3 LIST OF DRAWINGS Drawing Number 1 Complete Bouguer Anomaly...gravity stations were distributed throughout the valley at an approxi- mate interval of 1.4 miles (2.3 km). Drawing 1 is a Complete Bouguer Anomaly

  7. Stable Isotopic Analysis on Water Utilization of Two Xerophytic Shrubs in a Revegetated Desert Area: Tengger Desert, China

    OpenAIRE

    Lei Huang; Zhishan Zhang

    2015-01-01

    Stable isotope studies on stable isotope ratios of hydrogen and oxygen in water within plants provide new information on water sources and water use patterns under natural conditions. In this study, the sources of water uptake for two typical xerophytic shrubs, Caragana korshinskii and Artemisia ordosica, were determined at four different-aged revegetated sites (1956, 1964, 1981, and 1987) in the Tengger Desert, a revegetated desert area in China. Samples from precipitation, soil water at dif...

  8. 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.

  9. Respondence and feedback of modern sand deserts to climate change--A case study in Gurbantunggut Desert

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2000-01-01

    The research on the respondence and feedback of modern sand deserts to the climate change is an important component part in the studies on the global climate change. Deserts respond to the climate change, meanwhile, they affect the climate with their feedback of peculiar environment during the respondence. Many researches on desert climate have been carried out at home and abroad. However, there is little research on the respondence and feedback of modern fixed, semi-fixed and mobile deserts in arid areas to the climate change, in which the factor analysis as well as the parameter changing effects is especially the difficult problem all along. In this note, the parameters of the respondence and feedback of Gurbantunggut Desert to the climate change are measured and analyzed, some variable parameters of water-heat exchange are obtained, and a numerical model of desertification is developed according to a series of climate change of about 40 years and the variable relations of meteorological and physical features of the sand surface in Gurbantunggut Desert.

  10. An electrified dust storm over the Negev desert, Israel

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yair, Yoav; Katz, Shai; Yaniv, Roy; Ziv, Baruch; Price, Colin

    2016-11-01

    We report on atmospheric electrical measurements conducted at the Wise Observatory in Mitzpe-Ramon, Israel (30°35‧N, 34°45‧E) during a large dust storm that occurred over the Eastern Mediterranean region on 10-11 February 2015. The dust was transported from the Sahara, Egypt and the Sinai Peninsula ahead of an approaching Cyprus low. Satellite images show the dust plume covering the Negev desert and Southern Israel and moving north. The concentrations of PM10 particles measured by the air-quality monitoring network of the Israeli Ministry of the Environment in Beer-Sheba reached values > 450 μg m- 3 and the AOT from the AERONET station in Sde-Boker was 1.5 on February 10th. The gradual intensification of the event reached peak concentrations on February 11th of over 1200 μg m- 3 and an AOT of 1.8. Continuous measurements of the fair weather vertical electric field (Ez) and vertical current density (Jz) were conducted at the Wise Observatory with 1 minute temporal resolution. Meteorological data was also recorded at the site. As the dust was advected over the observatory, very large fluctuations in the electrical parameters were registered. From the onset of the dust storm, the Ez values changed between + 1000 and + 8000 V m- 1 while the current density fluctuated between - 10 pA m2 and + 20 pA m2, both on time-scales of a few minutes. These values are significant departures from the average fair-weather values measured at the site, which are ~- 200 V m- 1 and ~ 2 pA m2. The disturbed episodes lasted for several hours on February 10th and the 11th and coincided with local meteorological conditions related to the wind speed and direction, which carried large amounts of dust particles over our observation station. We interpret the rapid changes as caused by the transport of electrically charged dust, carrying an excess of negative charge at lower altitudes.

  11. Environmental considerations in a high desert, crude oil pipeline spill

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lowe, M.A.; Mancini, E.R.; Chamberlain, D.W.; Albright, G.R.

    1993-01-01

    A road grader punctured a high-pressure crude oil pipeline in the California high desert resulting in the release of approximately 4,200 barrels of Alaska North Slope crude oil. Oil sprayed over a steeply sloped hillside and flowed into an adjacent, densely vegetated ephemeral stream channel which carried secondary treatment sewage discharge. Three underflow dams were constructed in the channel within 2.8 km of the site. To ensure containment at the first dam, the sewage discharge was diverted from the channel, eventually to an upland impulse sprinkler irrigation system. Channel water and phase-separated ANS crude oil, impounded behind the first dam, percolated through alluvial sands/gravels to a depth of about five meters. The oil percolated through the soils on the receding surface of the water, affecting soils to an equivalent depth and saturating a horizontally narrow band of stream-bank soils as much as two to four meters into the bank. Stream channel undergrowth and a small number of mature trees were cleared to provide access for cleanup and/or to remove oiled plants. A large number of trees experienced partial leaf-drop within 25 days of the spill while two heavily oiled trees died. New vegetative growth was evident within five weeks of the spill. Site restoration included planting cuttings of five riparian tree species and hydroseeding exposed banks. Total petroleum hydrocarbon concentrations ranged from not detectable to 203,000 parts per million and averaged approximately 25,000 ppm in affected soils as sampled in place and in stockpiles. Approximately 30,000 tons of hydrocarbon-contaminated soil was excavated from the length of the stream channel (3,600 tons) as well as the area behind the first dam and spill site (26,400 tons). All soils were staged on site for waste profiling and final disposition. After treatment, the contaminated soil was beneficially reused as daily cover at a southern California landfill at a turnkey cost of approximately $57/ton

  12. Closed bioregenerative life support systems: Applicability to hot deserts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polyakov, Yuriy S.; Musaev, Ibrahim; Polyakov, Sergey V.

    2010-09-01

    Water scarcity in hot deserts, which cover about one-fifth of the Earth's land area, along with rapid expansion of hot deserts into arable lands is one of the key global environmental problems. As hot deserts are extreme habitats characterized by the availability of solar energy with a nearly complete absence of organic life and water, space technology achievements in designing closed ecological systems may be applicable to the design of sustainable settlements in the deserts. This review discusses the key space technology findings for closed biogenerative life support systems (CBLSS), which can simultaneously produce food, water, nutrients, fertilizers, process wastes, and revitalize air, that can be applied to hot deserts. Among them are the closed cycle of water and the acceleration of the cycling times of carbon, biogenic compounds, and nutrients by adjusting the levels of light intensity, temperature, carbon dioxide, and air velocity over plant canopies. Enhanced growth of algae and duckweed at higher levels of carbon dioxide and light intensity can be important to provide complete water recycling and augment biomass production. The production of fertilizers and nutrients can be enhanced by applying the subsurface flow wetland technology and hyper-thermophilic aerobic bacteria for treating liquid and solid wastes. The mathematical models, optimization techniques, and non-invasive measuring techniques developed for CBLSS make it possible to monitor and optimize the performance of such closed ecological systems. The results of long-duration experiments performed in BIOS-3, Biosphere 2, Laboratory Biosphere, and other ground-based closed test facilities suggest that closed water cycle can be achieved in hot-desert bioregenerative systems using the pathways of evapotranspiration, condensation, and biological wastewater treatment technologies. We suggest that the state of the art in the CBLSS design along with the possibility of using direct sunlight for

  13. Copper isotope fractionation by desert shrubs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Navarrete, Jesica U.; Viveros, Marian; Ellzey, Joanne T.; Borrok, David M.

    2011-01-01

    Copper has two naturally occurring stable isotopes of masses 63 and 65 which can undergo mass dependent fractionation during various biotic and abiotic chemical reactions. These interactions and their resulting Cu isotope fractionations can be used to determine the mechanisms involved in the cycling of Cu in natural systems. In this study, Cu isotope changes were investigated at the organismal level in the metal-accumulating desert plant, Prosopis pubescens. Initial results suggest that the lighter Cu isotope was preferentially incorporated into the leaves of the plant, which may suggest that Cu was actively transported via intracellular proteins. The roots and stems show a smaller degree of Cu isotope fractionation and the direction and magnitude of the fractionations was dependent upon the levels of Cu exposure. Based on this and previous work with bacteria and yeast, a trend is emerging that suggests the lighter Cu isotope is preferentially incorporated into biological components, while the heavier Cu isotope tends to become enriched in aqueous solutions. In bacteria, plants and animals, intracellular Cu concentrations are strictly regulated via dozens of enzymes that can bind, transport, and store Cu. Many of these enzymes reduce Cu(II) to Cu(I). These initial results seem to fit into a broader picture of Cu isotope cycling in natural systems where oxidation/reduction reactions are fundamental in controlling the distributions of Cu isotopes.

  14. Status of the Desert Fireball Network

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  15. Hydrochemical and isotopic characteristics of groundwater in the northeastern Tennger Desert, northern China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Liheng; Dong, Yanhui; Xu, Zhifang; Qiao, Xiaojuan

    2017-12-01

    Groundwater is typically the only water source in arid regions, and its circulation processes should be better understood for rational resource exploitation. Stable isotopes and major ions were investigated in the northeastern Tengger Desert, northern China, to gain insights into groundwater recharge and evolution. In the northern mountains, Quaternary unconsolidated sediments, exposed only in valleys between hills, form the main aquifer, which is mainly made of aeolian sand and gravel. Most of the mountain groundwater samples plot along the local meteoric water line (LMWL), with a more depleted signature compared to summer precipitation, suggesting that mountain groundwater was recharged by local precipitation during winter. Most of the groundwater was fresh, with total dissolved solids less than 1 g/L; dominant ions are Na+, SO4 2- and Cl-, and all mineral saturation indices are less than zero. Evaporation, dissolution and cation exchange are the major hydrogeochemical processes. In the southern plains, however, the main aquifers are sandstone. The linear regression line of δD and δ 18O of groundwater parallels the LMWL but the intercept is lower, indicating that groundwater in the plains has been recharged by ancient precipitation rather than modern. Both calcite and dolomite phases in the plains groundwater are close to saturation, while gypsum and halite can still be dissolved into the groundwater. Different recharge mechanisms occur in the northern mountains and the southern plains, and the hydraulic connection between them is weak. Because of the limited recharge, groundwater exploitation should be limited as much as possible.

  16. Water Sources for Cyanobacteria Below Desert Rocks in the Negev Desert Determined by Conductivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKay, Christopher P.

    2016-01-01

    We present year round meteorological and conductivity measurements of colonized hypolithic rocks in the Arava Valley, Negev Desert, Israel. The data indicate that while dew is common in the Negev it is not an important source of moisture for hypolithic organisms at this site. The dominance of cyanobacteria in the hypolithic community are consistent with predictions that cyanobacteria are confined to habitats supplied by rain. To monitor the presence of liquid water under the small Negev rocks we developed and tested a simple field conductivity system based on two wires placed about 0.5 cm apart. Based on 21 replicates recorded for one year in the Negev we conclude that in natural rains (0.25 mm to 6 mm) the variability between sensor readings is between 20 and 60% decreasing with increasing rain amount. We conclude that the simple small electrical conductivity system described here can be used effectively to monitor liquid water levels in lithic habitats. However, the natural variability of these sensors indicates that several replicates should be deployed. The results and method presented have use in arid desert reclamation programs.

  17. Water sources for cyanobacteria below desert rocks in the Negev Desert determined by conductivity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher P. McKay

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available We present year round meteorological and conductivity measurements of colonized hypolithic rocks in the Arava Valley, Negev Desert, Israel. The data indicate that while dew is common in the Negev it is not an important source of moisture for hypolithic organisms at this site. The dominance of cyanobacteria in the hypolithic community is consistent with predictions that cyanobacteria are confined to habitats supplied by rain. To monitor the presence of liquid water under the small Negev rocks we developed and tested a simple field conductivity system based on two wires placed about 0.5 cm apart. Based on 21 replicates recorded for one year in the Negev we conclude that in natural rains (0.25 mm to 6 mm the variability between sensor readings is between 20 and 60% decreasing with increasing rain amount. We conclude that the simple small electrical conductivity system described here can be used effectively to monitor liquid water levels in lithic habitats. However, the natural variability of these sensors indicates that several replicates should be deployed. The results and method presented have use in arid desert reclamation programs.

  18. Monitoring of desert dune topography by multi angle sensors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yun, J.; Kim, J.; Choi, Y.; Yun, H.

    2011-12-01

    Nowadays, the sandy desert is rapidly expanding world widely and results in a lot of risks in the socio-econimical aspects as well as the anthropogenic activities. For example, the increasing occurrences of mineral dust storm which presumably originated from the sandy deserts in northwest China become a serious threat in human activities as well as public health over Far East Asian area as the interpretation by the MODIS analysis (Zhang et al., 2007) and the particle trajectory simulation with HYSPLYT (HYbrid Single-Particle Lagrangian Integrated Trajectory) (Kim et al., 2011) identified. Since the sand dune activity has been recognized as an essential indicator of the progressive desertification, it is important to establish the monitoring method for the variations of topographic properties by the dune activities such as local roughness. Thus it will provide the crucial data about the extent and the transition of sandy desert. For example, it is well known the aerodynamic roughness lengths Zo which can be driven from the specialized sensor such as POLDER (POLarization and Directionality of the Earth's Reflectances) is essential to understand desert dune characteristics. However, for the multi temporal observation of dune fields, the availability of data set to extract Zo is limited. Therefore, we employed MISR (Multi angle imaging Spectro Radiometer) image sequence to extract multi angle topographic parameters such as NDAI (Normalized Difference Angular Index) or the variation of radiance with the viewing geometry which are representing the characteristics of target desert topography instead of Zo. In our approach, NDAI were expanded to the all viewing angles and then compared over the target sandy desert and the surrounding land covers. It showed very strong consistencies according to the land cover type and especially over the dynamic dune fields. On the other hands, the variation of NDAIs of sandy desert combining with the metrological observations were

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-09-01

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

  20. Production of desert rose seedlings in different potting media

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ronan Carlos Colombo

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Over the past decade the desert rose received fame in the flower market due to its striking and sculptural forms; however, the commercial production of these species is quite recent and little is known about its crop management, including substrates recommendation. The objectives of this study were to investigate the effect of different substrates on desert rose seed germination and production of its seedlings. Experiment I: freshly harvested seeds of desert rose were sown in different substrates e.g. sand, coconut fiber, semi-composted pine bark, sand + coconut fiber, semi-composted pine bark + sand and coconut fiber + semicomposted pine bark. These substrates were evaluated to study the emergence percentage of seeds, initial growth of seedlings and seedling emergence speed index (ESI. Experiment II: desert rose from the experiment I were transferred to plastic pots filled with the same substrates as in experiment I. The pH and electrical conductivity (EC of the substrates were noted every 30 days while the growth parameters of seedlings were recorded after 240 days. Results from experiment I showed higher germination rate and seedling growth in substrates containing semi-composted pine bark. Similarly, in experiment II, better quality seedlings were observed in substrates containing semi-composted pine bark. Thus, for desert rose seed germination and seedling growth, it is recommended to use substrates containing semi-composted pine bark.

  1. Atmospheric Surface Layer Characterization: Preliminary Desert Lapse Rate Study 22-25 August 2000

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Elliott, Doyle

    2003-01-01

    Results of the August 2000 Desert Lapse Rate (DLR) Experiment are presented. The DLR Experiment was performed to document the night-to-day transition effects on the desert Atmospheric Surface Layer (ASL...

  2. The Ocean deserts:salt budgets of northern subtropical oceans and their

    KAUST Repository

    Carton, Jim

    2011-04-09

    The Ocean deserts: salt budgets of northern subtropical oceans and their relationship to climate variability The high salinity near surface pools of the subtropical oceans are the oceanic deserts, with high levels of evaporation and low levels of precip

  3. Out of the Desert: My Journey from Nomadic Bedouin to the Heart of Global Oil

    KAUST Repository

    Al-Naimi, Ali Ibrahim

    2017-01-01

    Arabian deserts. From his first job as a shepherd boy to his appointment to one of the most powerful political and economic jobs in the world, Out of the Desert charts Al-Naimi's extraordinary rise to power.

  4. Desert dust,Ocean spray,Volcanoes,Biomass burning: Pathways of nutrients into Andean rainforests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fabian, P.; Rollenbeck, R.; Spichtinger, N.; Dominguez, G.; Brothers, L.; Thiemens, M.

    2009-04-01

    Regular rain and fogwater sampling in the Podocarpus National Park, along an altitude profile between 1800 and 3185 m, has been carried out since 2002.The research area located in southern Ecuador on the wet eastern slopes of the Andes is dominated by trade winds from easterly directions. The samples, generally accumulated over 1-week intervals, have been analysed for pH,conductivity and major ions(K+,Na+,NH4+,Ca2+,Mg 2+,SO42-,NO3-,PO43). For all components a strong seasonal variation is observed,while the altitudinal gradient is less pronounced. About 35 % of the weekly samples had very low ion contents,at or below the detection limit, with pH generally above 5 and conductivity below 10 uS/cm.10 days back trajectories (FLEXTRA) showed that respective air masses originated in pristine continental areas,with little or no obvious pollution sources. About 65 %,however,were significantly loaded with cations and anions,with pH often as low as 3.5 to 4.0 and conductivity up to 50 uS/cm.Back trajectories showed that respective air masses had passed over areas of intense biomass burning,volcanoes,and the ocean,with even episodic Sahara and/or Namib desert dust interference. Enhanced SO4 2-and NO3- were identified,by combining satellite-based fire pixels with back trajectories,as predominantly resulting from biomass burning. Analyses of oxygen isotopes 16O ,17O ,and 18O of nitrate show that nitrate in fog samples is a product of atmospheric conversion of precursors.For most cases,by using emission inventories, anthropogenic precursor sources other than forest fires could be ruled out,thus leaving biomass burning as the main source of nitrate and sulphate in rain and fogwater. Some SO4 2- ,about 10 % of the total input,could be identified to originate from active volcanoes, whose plumes were sometimes encountered by the respective back trajectories. Enhanced Na +, K + ,and Cl - was found to originate from ocean spray sources.They were associated with strong winds providing

  5. X-36 in Flight over Mojave Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    1997-01-01

    The unusual lines of the X-36 technology demonstrator contrast sharply with the desert floor as the remotely piloted aircraft scoots across the California desert at low altitude during a research flight on October 30, 1997. The NASA/Boeing X-36 Tailless Fighter Agility Research Aircraft program successfully demonstrated the tailless fighter design using advanced technologies to improve the maneuverability and survivability of possible future fighter aircraft. The program met or exceeded all project goals. For 31 flights during 1997 at the Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, California, the project team examined the aircraft's agility at low speed / high angles of attack and at high speed / low angles of attack. The aircraft's speed envelope reached up to 206 knots (234 mph). This aircraft was very stable and maneuverable. It handled very well. The X-36 vehicle was designed to fly without the traditional tail surfaces common on most aircraft. Instead, a canard forward of the wing was used as well as split ailerons and an advanced thrust-vectoring nozzle for directional control. The X-36 was unstable in both pitch and yaw axes, so an advanced, single-channel digital fly-by-wire control system (developed with some commercially available components) was put in place to stabilize the aircraft. Using a video camera mounted in the nose of the aircraft and an onboard microphone, the X-36 was remotely controlled by a pilot in a ground station virtual cockpit. A standard fighter-type head-up display (HUD) and a moving-map representation of the vehicle's position within the range in which it flew provided excellent situational awareness for the pilot. This pilot-in-the-loop approach eliminated the need for expensive and complex autonomous flight control systems and the risks associated with their inability to deal with unknown or unforeseen phenomena in flight. Fully fueled the X-36 prototype weighed approximately 1,250 pounds. It was 19 feet long and three feet high with

  6. Condition-dependent clutch desertion in Great Tit (Parus major) females subjected to human disturbance

    OpenAIRE

    2011-01-01

    Abstract Nest desertion behaviour in relation to body condition and timing of breeding was studied in Great Tit (Parus major) females during two breeding seasons. Desertion, most likely unintentionally provoked by catching females during the incubation period, occurred at a very high rate with 41.2 and 25.6% of deserted first clutches in the two study years. The association between desertion probability, body condition (index calculated as residuals from the regression of body mass...

  7. Nitrogen mineralization across an atmospheric nitrogen deposition gradient in Southern California deserts

    Science.gov (United States)

    L.E. Rao; D.R. Parker; Andrzej Bytnerowicz; E.B. Allen

    2009-01-01

    Dry nitrogen deposition is common in arid ecosystems near urban and agricultural centers, yet its impacts on natural environments are relatively understudied. We examined the effects of N deposition on soil N mineralization across a depositional gradient at Joshua Tree National Park. We hypothesized that N deposition affects N mineralization by promoting...

  8. Predicted fate of tritium residuum from groundwater tracer experiments in the Amargosa Desert, southern Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brikowski, T.

    1993-07-01

    Analytic solutions are used in this study to evaluate potential groundwater transport of tritium used in goundwater tracer tests southwest of the Nevada Test Site. Possible transport from this site is of interest because initial radionuclide concentrations were high and the site is close to goundwater discharge points (12 km). Anecdotal evidence indicates that 90 percent of these tracers were removed by pumping at the completion of the tests; this study examines the probable transport of the tracers with and without the removal. Classical dispersive transport analytic solutions are used, treating the tracer test as a point slug injection. Input parameters for the solutions were measured at the site, and consideration of parameter uncertainty is incorporated in the results. With removal of the tracer, the maximum expected region with above-Safe Drinking Water Act (40 CFR 121) concentrations of tritium extends 5 km from the injection point, and does not reach any sites of public access. Detectable tritium from the tests is likely to have reached the Ash Meadows fault zone, but flow along the fault probably diluted the tracer to below detection limits before arrival at springs along the fault. Arrival at the springs would have occurred 20 to 25 years after the tests. Without removal of the tracer, the solutions indicate that tritium concentrations just above Safe Drinking Water Act standards would have reached the Ash Meadows fault zone. In this case, detectable tritium might have been found in Devil's Hole or Longstreet Spring, the nearest points of possible public exposure

  9. Early performance of Olea europaea cv. Arbequina, Picual and Frantoio in the southern Atacama Desert

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Freddy Mora

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available The cultivars Arbequina, Picual and Frantoio of Olea europaea are cultivated in severalMediterranean countries. In 1999, these cultivars were planted at three locations in the region of Coquimbo,an arid, Mediterranean-like area in Chile. A generalized linear modeling approach was used in view of thenon-normal distribution of the agronomic data sets. Fruit yield (harvests of 2002-2003, precocity (2002 andtree survival (after four growing seasons differed significantly between the cultivars. Arbequina and Picualhad a positive effect on the yield. Picual was the earliest cultivar at two sites. The survival rate of Frantoio washigh at the three sites (90-100%, as opposed to Picual (56-83%. The approach of Generalized Linear Modelswas particularly useful where the assumption of normality was not satisfied. The selection of cultivars ispromising in this arid region of Chile, while the success will depend on the selection of well-adapted genotypesto a particular location.

  10. Prehistory of the southern Bahariya Oasis, Western Desert, Egypt. An outline

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Svoboda, Jiří

    2006-01-01

    Roč. 7, č. 28 (2006), s. 18-30 ISSN 1563-0110. [Early Human Habitation of Central, North and East Asia. Archaeological and Paleoecological Aspects. Gorny Altai, 16.08.2005-25.08.2005] Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z80010507 Keywords : Acheulian * Middle Paleolithic * Epipaleolithic * Bahariya * Egypt Subject RIV: AC - Archeology, Anthropology, Ethnology

  11. 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...

  12. 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...

  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. Growth responses of five desert plants as influenced by biological soil crusts from a temperate desert, China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yuanming; Belnap, Jayne

    2015-01-01

    In almost all dryland systems, biological soil crusts (biocrusts) coexist alongside herbaceous and woody vegetation, creating landscape mosaics of vegetated and biocrusted patches. Results from past studies on the interaction between biocrusts and vascular plants have been contradictory. In the Gurbantunggut desert, a large temperate desert in northwestern China, well-developed lichen-dominated crusts dominate the areas at the base and between the sand dunes. We examined the influence of these lichen-dominated biocrusts on the germination, growth, biomass accumulation, and elemental content of five common plants in this desert: two shrubs (Haloxylon persicum, Ephedra distachya) and three herbaceous plants (Ceratocarpus arenarius, Malcolmia africana and Lappula semiglabra) under greenhouse conditions. The influence of biocrusts on seed germination was species-specific. Biocrusts did not affect percent germination in plants with smooth seeds, but inhibited germination of seeds with appendages that reduced or eliminated contact with the soil surface or prevented seeds from slipping into soil cracks. Once seeds had germinated, biocrusts had different influences on growth of shrub and herbaceous plants. The presence of biocrusts increased concentrations of nitrogen but did not affect phosphorus or potassium in tissue of all tested species, while the uptake of the other tested nutrients was species-specific. Our study showed that biocrusts can serve as a biological filter during seed germination and also can influence growth and elemental uptake. Therefore, they may be an important trigger for determining desert plant diversity and community composition in deserts.

  15. Strategy for the development and management of deserts

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1978-02-01

    Recommendations from the June 1977 Conference on Alternative Strategies for Desert Development and Management apply primarily to arid lands, although some can be applied to true desert with no vegetation as well. The causes of desertification are reviewed and corrective measures suggested for both developed and developing countries. A range of strategies is proposed, but all are based on the efficient use of water and most are concerned with water used for agricultural purposes. The conference papers also addressed water management, agricultural development, field crops versus animal husbandry, grazing, land use and allocation, wild life resources, industry coastal resources, tourism, energy and minerals, and establishing the infrastructure needed to improve and retain desert health.

  16. Concentration of plutonium in desert plants from contaminated area

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Xu Hui; Jin Yuren; Tian Mei; Li Weiping; Zeng Ke; Wang Yaoqin; Wang Yu

    2012-01-01

    The investigation of plutonium in desert plants from contaminated sites contributes to the evaluation of its pollution situation and to the survey of plutonium hyper accumulator. The concentration of 239 Pu in desert plants collected from a contaminated site was determined, and the influence factors were studied. The concentration of 239 Pu in plants was (1.8±4.9) Bq/kg in dry weight, and it means that the plants were contaminated, moreover, the resuspension results in dramatic plutonium pollution of plant surface. The concentration of plutonium in plants depends on species, live stages and the content of plutonium in the rhizosphere soil. The concentration of plutonium in herbage is higher than that in woody plant, and for the seven species of desert plants investigated, it decreases in the order of Hexinia polydichotoma, Phragmites australis, Halostashys caspica, Halogeton arachnoideus, Lycium ruthenicum, Tamarix hispida and Calligonum aphyllum. (authors)

  17. Problems with sampling desert tortoises: A simulation analysis based on field data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freilich, J.E.; Camp, R.J.; Duda, J.J.; Karl, A.E.

    2005-01-01

    The desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) was listed as a U.S. threatened species in 1990 based largely on population declines inferred from mark-recapture surveys of 2.59-km2 (1-mi2) plots. Since then, several census methods have been proposed and tested, but all methods still pose logistical or statistical difficulties. We conducted computer simulations using actual tortoise location data from 2 1-mi2 plot surveys in southern California, USA, to identify strengths and weaknesses of current sampling strategies. We considered tortoise population estimates based on these plots as "truth" and then tested various sampling methods based on sampling smaller plots or transect lines passing through the mile squares. Data were analyzed using Schnabel's mark-recapture estimate and program CAPTURE. Experimental subsampling with replacement of the 1-mi2 data using 1-km2 and 0.25-km2 plot boundaries produced data sets of smaller plot sizes, which we compared to estimates from the 1-mi 2 plots. We also tested distance sampling by saturating a 1-mi 2 site with computer simulated transect lines, once again evaluating bias in density estimates. Subsampling estimates from 1-km2 plots did not differ significantly from the estimates derived at 1-mi2. The 0.25-km2 subsamples significantly overestimated population sizes, chiefly because too few recaptures were made. Distance sampling simulations were biased 80% of the time and had high coefficient of variation to density ratios. Furthermore, a prospective power analysis suggested limited ability to detect population declines as high as 50%. We concluded that poor performance and bias of both sampling procedures was driven by insufficient sample size, suggesting that all efforts must be directed to increasing numbers found in order to produce reliable results. Our results suggest that present methods may not be capable of accurately estimating desert tortoise populations.

  18. Faulting and groundwater in a desert environment: constraining hydrogeology using time-domain electromagnetic data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bedrosian, Paul A.; Burgess, Matthew K.; Nishikawa, Tracy

    2013-01-01

    Within the south-western Mojave Desert, the Joshua Basin Water District is considering applying imported water into infiltration ponds in the Joshua Tree groundwater sub-basin in an attempt to artificially recharge the underlying aquifer. Scarce subsurface hydrogeological data are available near the proposed recharge site; therefore, time-domain electromagnetic (TDEM) data were collected and analysed to characterize the subsurface. TDEM soundings were acquired to estimate the depth to water on either side of the Pinto Mountain Fault, a major east-west trending strike-slip fault that transects the proposed recharge site. While TDEM is a standard technique for groundwater investigations, special care must be taken when acquiring and interpreting TDEM data in a twodimensional (2D) faulted environment. A subset of the TDEM data consistent with a layered-earth interpretation was identified through a combination of three-dimensional (3D) forward modelling and diffusion time-distance estimates. Inverse modelling indicates an offset in water table elevation of nearly 40 m across the fault. These findings imply that the fault acts as a low-permeability barrier to groundwater flow in the vicinity of the proposed recharge site. Existing production wells on the south side of the fault, together with a thick unsaturated zone and permeable near-surface deposits, suggest the southern half of the study area is suitable for artificial recharge. These results illustrate the effectiveness of targeted TDEM in support of hydrological studies in a heavily faulted desert environment where data are scarce and the cost of obtaining these data by conventional drilling techniques is prohibitive.

  19. Local extinction and unintentional rewilding of bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis on a desert island.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benjamin T Wilder

    Full Text Available Bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis were not known to live on Tiburón Island, the largest island in the Gulf of California and Mexico, prior to the surprisingly successful introduction of 20 individuals as a conservation measure in 1975. Today, a stable island population of ∼500 sheep supports limited big game hunting and restocking of depleted areas on the Mexican mainland. We discovered fossil dung morphologically similar to that of bighorn sheep in a dung mat deposit from Mojet Cave, in the mountains of Tiburón Island. To determine the origin of this cave deposit we compared pellet shape to fecal pellets of other large mammals, and extracted DNA to sequence mitochondrial DNA fragments at the 12S ribosomal RNA and control regions. The fossil dung was 14C-dated to 1476-1632 calendar years before present and was confirmed as bighorn sheep by morphological and ancient DNA (aDNA analysis. 12S sequences closely or exactly matched known bighorn sheep sequences; control region sequences exactly matched a haplotype described in desert bighorn sheep populations in southwest Arizona and southern California and showed subtle differentiation from the extant Tiburón population. Native desert bighorn sheep previously colonized this land-bridge island, most likely during the Pleistocene, when lower sea levels connected Tiburón to the mainland. They were extirpated sometime in the last ∼1500 years, probably due to inherent dynamics of isolated populations, prolonged drought, and (or human overkill. The reintroduced population is vulnerable to similar extinction risks. The discovery presented here refutes conventional wisdom that bighorn sheep are not native to Tiburón Island, and establishes its recent introduction as an example of unintentional rewilding, defined here as the introduction of a species without knowledge that it was once native and has since gone locally extinct.

  20. Local extinction and unintentional rewilding of bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis) on a desert island

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilder, Benjamin T.; Betancourt, Julio L.; Epps, Clinton W.; Crowhurst, Rachel S.; Mead, Jim I.; Ezcurra, Exequiel

    2014-01-01

    Bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis) were not known to live on Tiburón Island, the largest island in the Gulf of California and Mexico, prior to the surprisingly successful introduction of 20 individuals as a conservation measure in 1975. Today, a stable island population of ~500 sheep supports limited big game hunting and restocking of depleted areas on the Mexican mainland. We discovered fossil dung morphologically similar to that of bighorn sheep in a dung mat deposit from Mojet Cave, in the mountains of Tiburón Island. To determine the origin of this cave deposit we compared pellet shape to fecal pellets of other large mammals, and extracted DNA to sequence mitochondrial DNA fragments at the 12S ribosomal RNA and control regions. The fossil dung was 14C-dated to 1476–1632 calendar years before present and was confirmed as bighorn sheep by morphological and ancient DNA (aDNA) analysis. 12S sequences closely or exactly matched known bighorn sheep sequences; control region sequences exactly matched a haplotype described in desert bighorn sheep populations in southwest Arizona and southern California and showed subtle differentiation from the extant Tiburón population. Native desert bighorn sheep previously colonized this land-bridge island, most likely during the Pleistocene, when lower sea levels connected Tiburón to the mainland. They were extirpated sometime in the last ~1500 years, probably due to inherent dynamics of isolated populations, prolonged drought, and (or) human overkill. The reintroduced population is vulnerable to similar extinction risks. The discovery presented here refutes conventional wisdom that bighorn sheep are not native to Tiburón Island, and establishes its recent introduction as an example of unintentional rewilding, defined here as the introduction of a species without knowledge that it was once native and has since gone locally extinct.

  1. Local Extinction and Unintentional Rewilding of Bighorn Sheep (Ovis canadensis) on a Desert Island

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilder, Benjamin T.; Betancourt, Julio L.; Epps, Clinton W.; Crowhurst, Rachel S.; Mead, Jim I.; Ezcurra, Exequiel

    2014-01-01

    Bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis) were not known to live on Tiburón Island, the largest island in the Gulf of California and Mexico, prior to the surprisingly successful introduction of 20 individuals as a conservation measure in 1975. Today, a stable island population of ∼500 sheep supports limited big game hunting and restocking of depleted areas on the Mexican mainland. We discovered fossil dung morphologically similar to that of bighorn sheep in a dung mat deposit from Mojet Cave, in the mountains of Tiburón Island. To determine the origin of this cave deposit we compared pellet shape to fecal pellets of other large mammals, and extracted DNA to sequence mitochondrial DNA fragments at the 12S ribosomal RNA and control regions. The fossil dung was 14C-dated to 1476–1632 calendar years before present and was confirmed as bighorn sheep by morphological and ancient DNA (aDNA) analysis. 12S sequences closely or exactly matched known bighorn sheep sequences; control region sequences exactly matched a haplotype described in desert bighorn sheep populations in southwest Arizona and southern California and showed subtle differentiation from the extant Tiburón population. Native desert bighorn sheep previously colonized this land-bridge island, most likely during the Pleistocene, when lower sea levels connected Tiburón to the mainland. They were extirpated sometime in the last ∼1500 years, probably due to inherent dynamics of isolated populations, prolonged drought, and (or) human overkill. The reintroduced population is vulnerable to similar extinction risks. The discovery presented here refutes conventional wisdom that bighorn sheep are not native to Tiburón Island, and establishes its recent introduction as an example of unintentional rewilding, defined here as the introduction of a species without knowledge that it was once native and has since gone locally extinct. PMID:24646515

  2. Two millennia of soil dynamics derived from ancient desert terraces using high resolution 3-D data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Filin, Sagi; Arav, Reuma; Avni, Yoav

    2017-04-01

    Large areas in the arid southern Levant are dotted with ancient terrace-based agriculture systems which were irrigated by runoff harvesting techniques. They were constructed and maintained between the 3rd - 9th centuries AD and abandoned in the 10th century AD. During their 600 years of cultivation, these terraces documented the gradual aggradation of alluvial soils, erosion processes within the drainage basins, as well as flashflood damage. From their abandonment and onwards, they documented 1000 years and more of land degradation and soil erosion processes. Examination of these installations presents an opportunity to study natural and anthropogenic induced changes over almost two millennia. On a global scale, such an analysis is unique as it is rare to find intact manifestations of anthropogenic influences over such time-scales because of landscape dynamics. It is also rare to find a near millennia documentation of soil erosion processes. We study in this paper the aggradation processes within intact agriculture plots in the region surrounding the world heritage Roman-Byzantine ancient city of Avdat, Negev Highlands. We follow the complete cycle of the historical desert agriculture, from the configuration pre-dating the first anthropogenic intervention, through the centuries of cultivation, and up to the present erosion phase, which spans over more than a millennium. We use high resolution 3-D laser scans to document the erosion and the environmental dynamics during these two millennia. The high-resolution data is then utilized to compute siltation rates as well as erosion rates. The long-term measures of soil erosion and land degradation we present here significantly improve our understanding of the mechanism of long-term environmental change acting in arid environments. For sustainable desert inhabitation, the study offers insights into better planning of modern agriculture in similar zones as well as insights on strategies needed to protect such historical

  3. Lizard burrows provide thermal refugia for larks in the Arabian desert

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Williams, JB; Tieleman, BI; Shobrak, M

    A common perception is that desert birds experience greater extremes of heat and aridity than their mammalian counterparts, in part, because birds do not use burrows as a refuge from the desert environment. We report observations of Dunn's Larks (Eremalauda dunni), Bar-tailed Desert Larks (Ammomanes

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-02-15

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

  5. 76 FR 29153 - Revisions to the California State Implementation Plan, Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-05-20

    ... the California State Implementation Plan, Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District AGENCY... approve revisions to the Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District (MDAQMD) portion of the California... approving with the dates that they were adopted by the Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District (MDAQMD...

  6. Managing Fire in the Northern Chihuahuan Desert: A Review and Analysis of the Literature

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gebow, Brooke S.; Halvorson, William L.

    2005-01-01

    Executive Summary This report began as a literature review (Gebow and Halvorson 2001) conducted for fire planners at Carlsbad Caverns National Park who were seeking information about (1) the natural state of park vegetation, (2) northern Chihuahuan Desert natural fire regimes, and (3) fire effects on park plant species. It is the goal of managers there to continue to refine the wildland and prescribed fire program as they learn more about the ecosystems at the park.The park has a history of grazing and then fire suppression in the 20th century. The current effort revisits questions asked by earlier workers at the park, Walter Kittams and Gary Ahlstrand, who began fire studies in the 1970s. This document addresses ecosystems and historical change to those systems in Chihuahuan Desert areas of southeast Arizona, southern New Mexico, west Texas, or in neighboring regions that share the same plant species. It examines fire literature for situations possibly analogous to those at Carlsbad Caverns. It also includes papers that offer advice on extrapolating future ecological trends from past ones (Swetnam et al. 1999) and on resource management decision-making (Grumbine 1997), and other pieces that address broader aspects of fire or landscape change (Goldman 1994; Marston 1996; Mutch 1994, 1995). These more philosophical works were included in the original review at the park's request and have been retained here because they discuss other issues relevant to fire management. Individual reviews of 35 papers, as requested originally by Carlsbad Caverns, appear in Appendix 1. The results section-summary of key findings-discusses historical changes to plant communities then focuses on burn intervals observed or recommended by workers for particular plant communities. Results from a search of the USDA Forest Service's Fire Effects Information System (www.fs.fed.us/database/feis) are also included in this report, supplemented with information from a review conducted by Ahlstrand

  7. Recovery of compacted soils in Mojave Desert ghost towns.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Webb, R.H.; Steiger, J.W.; Wilshire, H.G.

    1986-01-01

    Residual compaction of soils was measured at seven sites in five Mojave Desert ghost towns. Soils in these Death Valley National Monument townsites were compacted by vehicles, animals, and human trampling, and the townsites had been completely abandoned and the buildings removed for 64 to 75 yr. Recovery times extrapolated using a linear recovery model ranged from 80 to 140 yr and averaged 100 yr. The recovery times were related to elevation, suggesting freeze-thaw loosening as an important factor in ameliorating soil compaction in the Mojave Desert. -from Authors

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-02-14

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

  9. Naturalisation, Desert, and the Symbolic Meaning of Citizenship

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lægaard, Sune

    2012-01-01

    of naturalisation requirements as involving notions of desert and asks what these developments imply about the meaning of citizenship. Naturalisation marks the boundary of society understood as a political community, i.e. a civic rather than territorial boundary. How this boundary is policed and on the basis...... that the introduction of naturalisation tests and other desert-based naturalisation requirements imply that citizenship comes to have different symbolic meanings for native born citizens and naturalised citizens because such requirements distinguish between volitional or ‘earned’ and ascriptive or ‘natural’ citizenship...

  10. Multiple factors affect a population of Agassiz's desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) in the Northwestern Mojave Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berry, Kristin H.; Yee, Julie L.; Coble, Ashley A.; Perry, William M.; Shields, Timothy A.

    2013-01-01

    Numerous factors have contributed to declines in populations of the federally threatened Agassiz's Desert Tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) and continue to limit recovery. In 2010, we surveyed a low-density population on a military test facility in the northwestern Mojave Desert of California, USA, to evaluate population status and identify potential factors contributing to distribution and low densities. Estimated densities of live tortoises ranged spatially from 1.2/km2 to 15.1/km2. Although only one death of a breeding-age tortoise was recorded for the 4-yr period prior to the survey, remains of 16 juvenile and immature tortoises were found, and most showed signs of predation by Common Ravens (Corvus corax) and mammals. Predation may have limited recruitment of young tortoises into the adult size classes. To evaluate the relative importance of different types of impacts to tortoises, we developed predictive models for spatially explicit densities of tortoise sign and live tortoises using topography (i.e., slope), predators (Common Raven, signs of mammalian predators), and anthropogenic impacts (distances from paved road and denuded areas, density of ordnance fragments) as covariates. Models suggest that densities of tortoise sign increased with slope and signs of mammalian predators and decreased with Common Ravens, while also varying based on interaction effects involving these predictors as well as distances from paved roads, denuded areas, and ordnance. Similarly, densities of live tortoises varied by interaction effects among distances to denuded areas and paved roads, density of ordnance fragments, and slope. Thus multiple factors predict the densities and distribution of this population.

  11. Provenance and recycling of Arabian desert sand

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-05-01

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

  12. Groundwater mixing and mineralization processes in a mountain-oasis-desert basin, northwest China: hydrogeochemistry and environmental tracer indicators

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Bin; Jin, Menggui; Liang, Xing; Li, Jing

    2018-02-01

    Hydrogeochemistry and environmental tracers (2H, 18O, 87Sr/86Sr) in precipitation, river and reservoir water, and groundwater have been used to determine groundwater recharge sources, and to identify mixing characteristics and mineralization processes in the Manas River Basin (MRB), which is a typical mountain-oasis-desert ecosystem in arid northwest China. The oasis component is artificial (irrigation). Groundwater with enriched stable isotope content originates from local precipitation and surface-water leakage in the piedmont alluvial-oasis plain. Groundwater with more depleted isotopes in the north oasis plain and desert is recharged by lateral flow from the adjacent mountains, for which recharge is associated with high altitude and/or paleo-water infiltrating during a period of much colder climate. Little evaporation and isotope exchange between groundwater and rock and soil minerals occurred in the mountain, piedmont and oasis plain. Groundwater δ2H and δ18O values show more homogeneous values along the groundwater flow direction and with well depths, indicating inter-aquifer mixing processes. A regional contrast of groundwater allows the 87Sr/86Sr ratios and δ18O values to be useful in a combination with Cl, Na, Mg, Ca and Sr concentrations to distinguish the groundwater mixing characteristics. Two main processes are identified: groundwater lateral-flow mixing and river leakage in the piedmont alluvial-oasis plain, and vertical mixing in the north oasis plain and the desert. The 87Sr/86Sr ratios and selected ion ratios reveal that carbonate dissolution and mixing with silicate from the southern mountain area are primarily controlling the strontium isotope hydrogeochemistry.

  13. Fertilizing Southern Hardwoods

    Science.gov (United States)

    W. M. Broadfoot; A. F. Ike

    1967-01-01

    If present trends continue, fertilizing may soon be economically feasible in southern hardwood stands. Demands for the wood are rising, and the acreage alloted for growing it is steadily shrinking. To supply anticipated requests for information, the U. S. Forest Service has established tree nutrition studies at the Southern Hardwoods Laboratory in Stoneville,...

  14. Southern Gothic Literature

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bjerre, Thomas Ærvold

    2017-01-01

    Provides an outline of Southern Gothic Literature, offers an argument about its history and shape, and discusses the scholarly literature surrounding Southern Gothic. Oxford Research Encyclopedia is an online peer-reviewed encyclopedia for researchers, teachers, and students interested in all...... facets of the study of literature...

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2013-01-01

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

  16. Pollination ecology of the rare desert species Eremosparton songoricum (Fabaceae

    Science.gov (United States)

    The pollination ecology of Eremosparton songoricum (Litv.) Vass., a rare desert species endemic to central Asia, was examined by a series of observational studies and manipulative experiments in two natural populations during 2007–2008. Results showed that the duration of flowering lasted 21 and 23 ...

  17. Ecological and evolutionary physiology of desert birds : A progress report

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Williams, JB; Tieleman, BI

    The adaptive significance of mechanisms of energy and water conservation among species of desert rodents, which avoid temperature extremes by remaining within a burrow during the day, is well established. Conventional wisdom holds that arid-zone birds, diurnal organisms that endure the brunt of

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-11-12

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robert L. Minckley

    2013-01-01

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

  20. Electricity from the desert; Strom aus der Wueste

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schwarzburger, Heiko; Ullrich, Sven

    2013-06-15

    The North African sun seems ideal for photovoltaic use. However, photovoltaic modules must withstand extreme loads in the desert. [German] Die Sonne Nordafrikas scheint ideal fuer die Photovoltaik-Nutzung. Jedoch muessen Photovoltaik-Module in der Wueste extremen Belastungen standhalten.

  1. Cutaneous adenocarcinoma in a desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ashraf Abu-Seida

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available This report describes the clinical and histopathological findings of a rare case of cutaneous adenocarcinoma in a 40-year-old desert tortoise. Surgical excision of the neoplasm improved the general health condition and locomotion of the tortoise although recurrence of the neoplasm had been recorded 1 year post-surgery.

  2. Antimicrobial Screening of Some Exotic Tree Species of Rajasthan Desert

    OpenAIRE

    B.B.S. Kapoor* and Shelja Pandita

    2013-01-01

    Antimicrobial screening of ethyl ether and alcoholic extracts of leaves of four selected exotic tree species growing inRajasthan Desert was carried out. Colophospermum mopane, Holoptelea integrifolia, Kigelia pinnata andPutranjiva roxburghii showed positive reactions against bacterial pathogens i.e. Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichiacoli and a fungal pathogen Candida albicans.

  3. Energetics and water relations ofN amib desert rodents

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    and the possible effects of advective fog on the water balance of the .... Table 2 Energy balance of Namib desert rodents in the laboratory on a diet of air-dried bird seed and with, and with, ad lib water. .... responding mercury thermometer.

  4. Analysis of "The Wonderful Desert." Technical Report No. 170.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, G. M.; And Others

    This report presents a text analysis of "The Wonderful Desert," a brief selection from the "Reader's Digest Skill Builder" series. (The techniques used in arriving at the analysis are presented in a Reading Center Technical Report, Number 168, "Problems and Techniques of Text Analysis.") Tables are given for a…

  5. Academic Performance, School Desertion and Emotional Paradigm in University Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sosa, Emma Rosa Cruz; Barrientos, Laura Gática; Castro, Patricia Eugenia García; García, Jesús Hernández

    2010-01-01

    The present work aims to describe academic performance, school desertion and the emotional paradigm of the university students of the accounting school of the Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla (FCPBUAP). We have found that low academic performance is related to students' economic deficiency, which affects their concentration on their…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karpyn, Allison; Young, Candace; Weiss, Stephanie

    2012-02-01

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

  7. Biology of larks (Aves: Alaudidae) in the central Namib Desert ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The biology of six species of larks in the Namib Desert near Walvis Bay, South West Africa, was studied in 1964, 1965 and 1966. 2. All species reproduced following rainfall in summer and autumn months, with the appearance of green grass and abundant insects on which the birds fed. 3. The primarily insectivorous species ...

  8. Learning Desert Geomorphology Virtually versus in the Field

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stumpf, Richard J., II; Douglass, John; Dorn, Ronald I.

    2008-01-01

    Statistical analyses of pre-test and post-test results, as well as qualitative insight obtained by essays, compared introductory physical geography college students who learned desert geomorphology only virtually, in the field and both ways. With the exception of establishing geographic context, the virtual field trip was statistically…

  9. Extreme Arthropods: Exploring Evolutionary Adaptations to Polar and Temperate Deserts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sandro, Luke; Constible, Juanita M.; Lee, Richard E., Jr.

    2007-01-01

    In this activity, Namib and Antarctic arthropods are used to illustrate several important biological principles. Among these are the key ideas that form follows function and that the environment drives evolution. In addition, students will discover that the climates of the Namib Desert and the Antarctic Peninsula are similar in several ways, and…

  10. Is climate change mitigation the best use of desert shrublands?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Susan E. Meyer

    2011-01-01

    In a world where the metrics of the carbon economy have become a major issue, it may come as a surprise that intact cold desert shrublands can sequester significant amounts of carbon, both as biomass and in the form of SOC (soil organic carbon). Xerophytic shrubs invest heavily in belowground biomass, placing fixed carbon in an environment where it turns over only very...

  11. Ecology and utilization of desert shrub rangelands in Iraq

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Thalen, Derk Catharinus Peter

    1979-01-01

    When grazing is the accepted land use, vegetation is the key resource. The present study deals with the desert shrub rangelands of lraq, which contain the major characteristics of such an area, having been under grazing for many centuries. Emphasis is given to the ecology and utilization of the

  12. Distribution and status of the desert-dwelling giraffe ( Giraffa ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The population density and distribution of desert dwelling giraffes was estimated in three study areas in the Hoanib River catchment, northwestern Namibia. Giraffe population densities (0.01 giraffe/km2) were equal to the lowest recorded in Africa with population numbers fluctuating over past decades. Sex ratios, herd sizes ...

  13. Impacts of tracked vehicles on sediment from a desert soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erek H. Fuchs; Karl M. Wood; Tim L. Jones; Brent Racher

    2003-01-01

    Off-road military vehicle traffic is a major consideration in the management of military lands. The objective of this study was to determine the impacts of military tracked M1A1 heavy combat tank vehicles on sediment loss from runoff, surface plant cover, and surface microtopography in a desert military training environment. A randomized block design was used which had...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-04-01

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

  15. Southern Identity in "Southern Living" Magazine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lauder, Tracy

    2012-01-01

    A fantasy-theme analysis of the editors' letters in "Southern Living" magazine shows an editorial vision of valuing the past and showcasing unique regional qualities. In addition, a content analysis of the visual representation of race in the magazine's formative years and recent past validates that inhabitants of the region were portrayed…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belnap, Jayne; Weber, Bettina

    2013-01-01

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

  17. Goods and services provided by native plants in desert ecosystems: Examples from the northwestern coastal desert of Egypt

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laila M. Bidak

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available About one third of the earth’s land surface is covered by deserts that have low and variable rainfall, nutrient-poor soils, and little vegetation cover. Here, we focus on the goods and services offered by desert ecosystems using the northwestern coastal desert of Egypt extending from Burg El-Arab to El-Salloum as an example. We conducted field surveys and collected other data to identify the goods services and provided by native plant species. A total of 322 native plant species were compiled. The direct services provided by these native plants included sources of food, medicine, and energy; indirect vegetation services included promotion of biodiversity, water storage, and soil fertility. The plant diversity in this ecosystem provided economic service benefits, such as sources of fodder, fuel-wood, and traditional medicinal plants. Changes in land use and recent ill-managed human activities may influence the availability of these services and strongly impact biodiversity and habitat availability. Although deserts are fragile and support low levels of productivity, they provide a variety of goods and services whose continuing availability is contingent upon the adoption of rational land management practices.

  18. Effects of subsidized predators, resource variability, and human population density on desert tortoise populations in the Mojave Desert, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esque, Todd C.; Nussear, Kenneth E.; Drake, K. Kristina; Walde, Andrew D.; Berry, Kristin H.; Averill-Murray, Roy C.; Woodman, A. Peter; Boarman, William I.; Medica, Phil A.; Mack, Jeremy S.; Heaton, Jill S.

    2010-01-01

    Understanding predator–prey relationships can be pivotal in the conservation of species. For 2 decades, desert tortoise Gopherus agassizii populations have declined, yet quantitative evidence regarding the causes of declines is scarce. In 2005, Ft. Irwin National Training Center, California, USA, implemented a translocation project including 2 yr of baseline monitoring of desert tortoises. Unusually high predation on tortoises was observed after translocation occurred. We conducted a retrospective analysis of predation and found that translocation did not affect the probability of predation: translocated, resident, and control tortoises all had similar levels of predation. However, predation rates were higher near human population concentrations, at lower elevation sites, and for smaller tortoises and females. Furthermore, high mortality rates were not limited to the National Training Center. In 2008, elevated mortality (as high as 43%) occurred throughout the listed range of the desert tortoise. Although no temporal prey base data are available for analysis from any of the study sites, we hypothesize that low population levels of typical coyote Canis latrans prey (i.e. jackrabbits Lepus californicus and other small animals) due to drought conditions influenced high predation rates in previous years. Predation may have been exacerbated in areas with high levels of subsidized predators. Many historical reports of increased predation, and our observation of a range-wide pattern, may indicate that high predation rates are more common than generally considered and may impact recovery of the desert tortoise throughout its range.

  19. 76 FR 50493 - Notice of Availability of the Record of Decision for the Desert Sunlight Holdings, LLC, Desert...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-08-15

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

  20. The Chemistry and Mineralogy of Atacama Desert soils: A Possible Analog for Mars Soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sutter, B.; Amundson, R.; Ewing, S.; Rhodes, K. W.; McKay, C.

    2002-12-01

    The Atacama Desert of northern Chile is the driest desert in the world, having experienced its present hyper-arid climate since the Miocene. While Mars is vastly more dry and cold than the Atacama, the Atacama environment may be one of the best terrestrial Mars analog environments accessible to researchers. Because of the long-term hyperaridity, the soils retain atmospherically-derived elements, which accumulate to economically valuable quantities. The objective of this work was to examine physical and chemical evolution of the soils of the hyper-arid Atacama Desert to provide insight as to what soil properties may be found on Mars. Three soils were excavated and examined on widely representative landforms along a south to north transect (Copiapo > Altimira > Yungay) that coincides with decreasing moisture levels (~15mm to ~2 mm yr-1, south to north). Total chemical analyses were used to calculate strain (i.e. volume change) and elemental gains or losses (\\tau). Relative to parent material values, the Yungay and Altimira soils have expanded over 400% in certain horizons, while the Copiapo soil has collapsed by as much as 48%. The expansions are driven by elemental gains; the collapse by weathering losses. Calculations of \\tau indicate a 380 000% enrichment in Cl (halite) in the lower horizons, and S enrichments (anhydrite, gypsum) as high as 50 000% in the upper horizons, of the Yungay soil. The Altimira soil had a 110 000% enrichment of S (gypsum) and a 16,000% enrichment of carbonate, reflecting the higher precipitation and the relative solubility of salts. The southern, higher rainfall Copiapo soil had small \\tau values for S (283%) and Cl (63%) in the middle horizons, but significant gains of CaCO3 (\\tau values as high as 4 000% in certain horizons). In general, the type and depth of Cl, S, and CaCO3 enrichment in the soils varied predictably with rainfall. The results of this work, which document enormous atmospherically-derived elemental gains and

  1. Isotopic characterization and genetic origin of crude oils from Gulf of Suez and western desert fields in Egypt

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Abd El Samie, S.G.

    2006-01-01

    Stable carbon isotopes were used to asses the general characteristics of the western desert and Gulf of Suez crude oils in accordance with hydrocarbon generation, source rocks, thermal gradient and maturation level. The carbon isotopic results of all the analyzed oil samples in both areas lie in the range from -29.62 to -24.11 %. The av. σ 13 C values in the Gulf of Suez reaches about -28.6% and -26.4% in western desert. It was accounted a marginal difference between the two areas by about 2.5 : 3% in carbon-13 isotope of the whole oil indicated two distinct oil types of different organic input and varies in the depositional environment. It was found that Gulf of Suez oils are dominated by marine organic matter (plankton algae) deposited in saline environment. The derived oils from the northern and central provinces of the Gulf are isotopically light, higher in sulfur content, lower in API gravity degree and have Pristane/Phytane (Pr/Ph) ratio less than or equal one (Pr/Ph = 1). In the southern province, about 0.5% isotopic enrichment was recorded in the produced oils from shallower depths, associated with gradual increment in API and maturity level as thermal gradient increase. However, low API gravity degree and less maturity of the Gulf of Suez oils could be related to the rifting temperature that forced and accelerated the expulsion rate and hydrocarbon generation prior reaching higher maturation levels. On the other hand, the produced oils from the western desert fields belong mostly to terrestrial organic debris (with minor marine fragment in some basins) deposited at deeper geological formations. It is characterized by isotopic enrichment, paraffinic waxy oils, low in sulphur content, have Pr/Ph = 1, high in API gravity and maturity level. Hydrocarbon generated from the western desert fields has been controlled by time-temperature effect in the source rocks and reservoirs where the humic organic matter are affected by high temperature over longer period of

  2. Correlation of Aerogravity and BHT Data to Develop a Geothermal Gradient Map of the Northern Western Desert of Egypt using an Artificial Neural Network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohamed, Haby S.; Abdel Zaher, Mohamed; Senosy, Mahmoud M.; Saibi, Hakim; El Nouby, Mohamed; Fairhead, J. Derek

    2015-06-01

    The northern part of the Western Desert of Egypt represents the second most promising area of hydrocarbon potential after the Gulf of Suez province. An artificial neural network (ANN) approach was used to develop a new predictive model for calculation of the geothermal gradients in this region based on gravity and corrected bottom-hole temperature (BHT) data. The best training data set was obtained with an ANN architecture composed of seven neurons in the hidden layer, which made it possible to predict the geothermal gradient with satisfactory efficiency. The BHT records of 116 deep oil wells (2,000-4,500 m) were used to evaluate the geothermal resources in the northern Western Desert. Corrections were applied to the BHT data to obtain the true formation equilibrium temperatures, which can provide useful constraints on the subsurface thermal regime. On the basis of these corrected data, the thermal gradient was computed for the linear sections of the temperature-versus-depth data at each well. The calculated geothermal gradient using temperature log data was generally 30 °C/km, with a few local high geothermal gradients in the northwestern parts of the study area explained by potential local geothermal fields. The Bouguer gravity values from the study area ranged from -60 mGal in the southern parts to 120 mGal in the northern areas, and exhibited NE-SW and E-W trends associated with geological structures. Although the northern Western Desert of Egypt has low regional temperature gradients (30 °C/km), several potential local geothermal fields were found (>40 °C/km). The heat flow at each well was also computed by combining sets of temperature gradients and thermal conductivity data. Aerogravity data were used to delineate the subsurface structures and tectonic framework of the region. The result of this study is a new geothermal gradient map of the northern Western Desert developed from gravity and BHT log data.

  3. European Southern Observatory

    CERN Multimedia

    CERN PhotoLab

    1970-01-01

    Professor A. Blaauw, Director general of the European Southern Observatory, with George Hampton on his right, signs the Agreement covering collaboration with CERN in the construction of the large telescope to be installed at the ESO Observatory in Chile.

  4. University of Southern California

    Data.gov (United States)

    Federal Laboratory Consortium — The focus of the University of Southern California (USC) Children''s Environmental Health Center is to develop a better understanding of how host susceptibility and...

  5. Southern African Business Review

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The Southern African Business Review is a refereed and accredited scientific journal of the College of Economic and Management Sciences of the .... The effects of extended water supply disruptions on the operations of SMEs · EMAIL FREE ...

  6. Southern African Business Review

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Southern African Business Review. Journal Home · ABOUT THIS JOURNAL · Advanced Search · Current Issue · Archives · Journal Home > Vol 20, No 1 (2016) >. Log in or Register to get access to full text downloads.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jia, Xiaopeng; Wang, Haibing

    2011-02-01

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

  8. Estimation of groundwater velocities from Yucca Flat to the Amargosa Desert using geochemistry and environmental isotopes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hershey, R.L.; Acheampong, S.Y.

    1997-06-01

    Geochemical and isotopic data from groundwater sampling locations can be used to estimate groundwater flow velocities for independent comparison to velocities calculated by other methods. The objective of this study was to calculate groundwater flow velocities using geochemistry and environmental isotopes from the southern end of Yucca Flat to the Amargosa Desert, considering mixing of different groundwater inputs from sources each and southeast of the Nevada Test Site (NTS). The approach used to accomplish the objective of this study consisted of five steps: (1) reviewing and selecting locations where carbon isotopic groundwater analyses, reliable ionic analysis, and well completion information are available; (2) calculating chemical speciation with the computer code WATEQ4F (Ball and Nordstrom, 1991) to determine the saturation state of mineral phases for each ground water location; (3) grouping wells into reasonable flowpaths and mixing scenarios from different groundwater sources; (4) using the computer code NETPATH (Plummer et al., 1991) to simulate mixing and the possible chemical reactions along the flowpath, and to calculate the changes in carbon-13/carbon-12 isotopic ratios (δ 13 C) as a result of these reactions; and (5) using carbon-14 ( 14 C) data to calculate velocity

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-07-01

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

  10. Contribution to the radioactivity of Um Ara granitic pluton, south-eastern desert, Egypt

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    El Reedy, M.W.; Kamel, A.F.; Mansour, S.E.I.

    1988-01-01

    Um Ara area lies in the southern part of the eastern desert between latitudes 22 0 30' and 22 0 41'N and longitudes 33 0 46' and 33 0 54'E. Several types of granitic varieties ranging from high silica granite (SiO 2 >75%) to low silica granite (SiO 2 68-70%) occur in Um Ara granitic pluton. Surface samples were collected from the high anomalous locations in the pluton together with trenches samples (about 50cm in depth). The U content in the surface samples ranges from 69 to 7 ppm while in trenches samples, it ranges from 38 to 759 ppm. The thorium content on the other hand ranges from 34 to 402 ppm in surface samples and from 158 to 316 ppm in trenches samples. Some samples show no Th contents. The Th/U ratios ranges from 0.065 to 3.137 in surface samples and from 0.386 to 2.590 in trenches samples. An enrichment of U content is the main feature characterising this granitic pluton, it is mainly connected with the fractured zones. Uranium is mostly present as secondary U mineralization accompanied by Fe, Mn and to some extent by carbonate materials. A hydrothermal origin could be considered for this U mineralization in the pluton. Primary U mineralization (pitchblende) together with secondary mineralization was observed in some locations in the area disseminated in the granite, this reflects the syngenetic origin of this granitic type

  11. Spatiotemporal Distribution of Soil Moisture and Salinity in the Taklimakan Desert Highway Shelterbelt

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuan Huang

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Salinization and secondary salinization often appear after irrigation with saline water. The Taklimakan Desert Highway Shelterbelt has been irrigated with saline ground water for more than ten years; however, soil salinity in the shelterbelt has not been evaluated. The objective of this study was to analyze the spatial and temporal distribution of soil moisture and salinity in the shelterbelt system. Using a non-uniform grid method, soil samples were collected every two days during one ten-day irrigation cycle in July 2014 and one day in spring, summer, and autumn. The results indicated that soil moisture declined linearly with time during the irrigation cycle. Soil moisture was greatest in the southern and eastern sections of the study area. In contrast to soil moisture, soil electrical conductivity increased from 2 to 6 days after irrigation, and then gradually decreased from 6 to 8 days after irrigation. Soil moisture was the greatest in spring and the least in summer. In contrast, soil salinity increased from spring to autumn. Long time drip-irrigation with saline groundwater increased soil salinity slightly. The soil salt content was closely associated with soil texture. The current soil salt content did not affect plant growth, however, the soil in the shelterbelt should be continuously monitored to prevent salinization in the future.

  12. Effects of prolonged drought on the vegetation cover of sand dunes in the NW Negev Desert: Field survey, remote sensing and conceptual modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siegal, Z.; Tsoar, H.; Karnieli, A.

    2013-06-01

    Luminescence dating of stable sand dunes in the large deserts of the world has shown several episodes of mobility during the last 30 k years. The logical explanation for the mobility of fixed dunes is severe drought. Though drought length can be estimated, the level of precipitation drop is unknown. The stabilized sand dunes of the northwestern Negev Desert, Israel have been under an unprecedented prolonged drought since 1995. This has resulted in a vast decrease of shrubs cover on the fixed sand dunes, which changes along the rainfall gradient. In the north, an average of 27% of the shrubs had wilted by 2009, and in the drier southern area, 68% of the shrubs had withered. This loss of shrubbery is not expected to induce dune remobilization because the existing bio-crust cover is not negatively affected by the drought. Eleven aerial photographs taken over the drier southern area from 1956 to 2005 show the change in shrub cover due to human impact and the recent severe drought.

  13. Dramatic Demand Reduction In The Desert Southwest

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Boehm, Robert [Univ. of Nevada, Las Vegas, NV (United States); Hsieh, Sean [Univ. of Nevada, Las Vegas, NV (United States); Lee, Joon [Univ. of Nevada, Las Vegas, NV (United States); Baghzouz, Yahia [Univ. of Nevada, Las Vegas, NV (United States); Cross, Andrew [Univ. of Nevada, Las Vegas, NV (United States); Chatterjee, Sarah [NV Energy, Las Vegas, NV (United States)

    2015-07-06

    This report summarizes a project that was funded to the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV), with subcontractors Pulte Homes and NV Energy. The project was motivated by the fact that locations in the Desert Southwest portion of the US demonstrate very high peak electrical demands, typically in the late afternoons in the summer. These high demands often require high priced power to supply the needs, and the large loads can cause grid supply problems. An approach was proposed through this contact that would reduce the peak electrical demands to an anticipated 65% of what code-built houses of the similar size would have. It was proposed to achieve energy reduction through four approaches applied to a development of 185 homes in northwest part of Las Vegas named Villa Trieste. First, the homes would all be highly energy efficient. Secondly, each house would have a PV array installed on it. Third, an advanced demand response technique would be developed to allow the resident to have some control over the energy used. Finally, some type of battery storage would be used in the project. Pulte Homes designed the houses. The company considered initial cost vs. long-term savings and chose options that had relatively short paybacks. HERS (Home Energy Rating Service) ratings for the homes are approximately 43 on this scale. On this scale, code-built homes rate at 100, zero energy homes rate a 0, and Energy Star homes are 85. In addition a 1.764 Wp (peak Watt) rated PV array was used on each house. This was made up of solar shakes that were in visual harmony with the roofing material used. A demand response tool was developed to control the amount of electricity used during times of peak demand. While demand response techniques have been used in the utility industry for some time, this particular approach is designed to allow the customer to decide the degree of participation in the response activity. The temperature change in the residence can be decided by the residents by

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  15. Reference intervals and physiologic alterations in hematologic and biochemical values of free-ranging desert tortoises in the Mojave Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christopher, Mary M.; Berry, Kristin H.; Wallis, I.R.; Nagy, K.A.; Henen, B.T.; Peterson, C.C.

    1999-01-01

    Desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) populations have experienced precipitous declines resulting from the cumulative impact of habitat loss, and human and disease-related mortality. Evaluation of hematologic and biochemical responses of desert tortoises to physiologic and environmental factors can facilitate the assessment of stress and disease in tortoises and contribute to management decisions and population recovery. The goal of this study was to obtain and analyze clinical laboratory data from free-ranging desert tortoises at three sites in the Mojave Desert (California, USA) between October 1990 and October 1995, to establish reference intervals, and to develop guidelines for the interpretation of laboratory data under a variety of environmental and physiologic conditions. Body weight, carapace length, and venous blood samples for a complete blood count and clinical chemistry profile were obtained from 98 clinically healthy adult desert tortoises of both sexes at the Desert Tortoise Research Natural area (western Mojave), Goffs (eastern Mojave) and Ivanpah Valley (northeastern Mojave). Samples were obtained four times per year, in winter (February/March), spring (May/June), summer (July/August), and fall (October). Years of near-, above- and below-average rainfall were represented in the 5 yr period. Minimum, maximum and median values, and central 95 percentiles were used as reference intervals and measures of central tendency for tortoises at each site and/or season. Data were analyzed using repeated measures analysis of variance for significant (P < 0.01) variation on the basis of sex, site, season, and interactions between these variables. Significant sex differences were observed for packed cell volume, hemoglobin concentration, aspartate transaminase activity, and cholesterol, triglyceride, calcium, and phosphorus concentrations. Marked seasonal variation was observed in most parameters in conjunction with reproductive cycle, hibernation, or seasonal

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. S. Arya

    2012-09-01

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

  17. The Plant Genetic Engineering Laboratory For Desert Adaptation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kemp, John D.; Phillips, Gregory C.

    1985-11-01

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

  18. Aircraft and satellite remote sensing of desert soils and landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petersen, G. W.; Connors, K. F.; Miller, D. A.; Day, R. L.; Gardner, T. W.

    1987-01-01

    Remote sensing data on desert soils and landscapes, obtained by the Landsat TM, Heat Capacity Mapping Mission (HCMM), Simulated SPOT, and Thermal IR Multispectral Scanner (TIMS) aboard an aircraft, are discussed together with the analytical techniques used in the studies. The TM data for southwestern Nevada were used to discriminate among the alluvial fan deposits with different degrees of desert pavement and varnish, and different vegetation cover. Thermal-IR data acquired from the HCMM satellite were used to map the spatial distribution of diurnal surface temperatures and to estimate mean annual soil temperatures in central Utah. Simulated SPOT data for northwestern New Mexico identified geomorphic features, such as differences in eolian sand cover and fluvial incision, while the TIMS data depicted surface geologic features of the Saline Valley in California.

  19. Relative abundance of desert tortoises on the Nevada Test Site

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rautenstrauch, K.R.; O'Farrell, T.P.

    1993-01-01

    Seven hundred fifty-nine transects having a total length of 1,191 km were walked during 1981--1986 to determine the distribution and relative abundance of desert tortoises (Gopherus agassizii) on the Nevada Test Site (NTS). The abundance of tortoises on NTS was low to very low relative to other populations in the Mojave Desert. Sign of tortoises was found from 880 to 1,570 m elevation and was more abundant above 1,200 m than has been reported previously for Nevada. Tortoises were more abundant on NTS on the upper alluvial fans and slopes of mountains than in valley bottoms. They also were more common on or near limestone and dolomite mountains than on mountains of volcanic origin

  20. Who Needs Religion When You Have The Desert?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sørensen, Bent

    In my paper I propose to read so-called ‘post-ironic’ texts by authors associated with the Blank Generation and Generation X (including Bret Easton Ellis and Douglas Coupland, as well as less well-known authors such as K.S. Haddock) and examine their use of the desert as a trope for identity...... testing and summation. Perhaps surprisingly, one finds in novels such as Ellis’ Less Than Zero (1984) and Coupland’s Generation X (1991) a reliance on desert locations to provide an alternative to the numerous non-places (in Marc Augé’s sense of the term) that otherwise make up the setting of these works....

  1. Biotechnological Applications Derived from Microorganisms of the Atacama Desert

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Armando Azua-Bustos

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The Atacama Desert in Chile is well known for being the driest and oldest desert on Earth. For these same reasons, it is also considered a good analog model of the planet Mars. Only a few decades ago, it was thought that this was a sterile place, but in the past years fascinating adaptations have been reported in the members of the three domains of life: low water availability, high UV radiation, high salinity, and other environmental stresses. However, the biotechnological applications derived from the basic understanding and characterization of these species, with the notable exception of copper bioleaching, are still in its infancy, thus offering an immense potential for future development.

  2. Ancient photosynthetic eukaryote biofilms in an Atacama Desert coastal cave

    Science.gov (United States)

    Azua-Bustos, A.; Gonzalez-Silva, C.; Mancilla, R.A.; Salas, L.; Palma, R.E.; Wynne, J.J.; McKay, C.P.; Vicuna, R.

    2009-01-01

    Caves offer a stable and protected environment from harsh and changing outside prevailing conditions. Hence, they represent an interesting habitat for studying life in extreme environments. Here, we report the presence of a member of the ancient eukaryote red algae Cyanidium group in a coastal cave of the hyperarid Atacama Desert. This microorganism was found to form a seemingly monospecific biofilm growing under extremely low photon flux levels. Our work suggests that this species, Cyanidium sp. Atacama, is a new member of a recently proposed novel monophyletic lineage of mesophilic "cave" Cyanidium sp., distinct from the remaining three other lineages which are all thermo-acidophilic. The cave described in this work may represent an evolutionary island for life in the midst of the Atacama Desert. ?? Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2009.

  3. Field Performance of Photovoltaic Systems in the Tucson Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orsburn, Sean; Brooks, Adria; Cormode, Daniel; Greenberg, James; Hardesty, Garrett; Lonij, Vincent; Salhab, Anas; St. Germaine, Tyler; Torres, Gabe; Cronin, Alexander

    2011-10-01

    At the Tucson Electric Power (TEP) solar test yard, over 20 different grid-connected photovoltaic (PV) systems are being tested. The goal at the TEP solar test yard is to measure and model real-world performance of PV systems and to benchmark new technologies such as holographic concentrators. By studying voltage and current produced by the PV systems as a function of incident irradiance, and module temperature, we can compare our measurements of field-performance (in a harsh desert environment) to manufacturer specifications (determined under laboratory conditions). In order to measure high-voltage and high-current signals, we designed and built reliable, accurate sensors that can handle extreme desert temperatures. We will present several benchmarks of sensors in a controlled environment, including shunt resistors and Hall-effect current sensors, to determine temperature drift and accuracy. Finally we will present preliminary field measurements of PV performance for several different PV technologies.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2015-01-01

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

  5. Desert Wadis and Smoke from Kuwait Oil Fires, Saudi Arabia

    Science.gov (United States)

    1991-01-01

    Smoke from the Kuwait Oil Fires obscures the view of the desert wadis, Saudi Arabia (29.5N, 42.5E). During the brief Gulf war between Iraq and the Allied forces, many of the oil wells in Kuwait were destroyed and set afire. For several months, those fires burned out of control, spewing smoke and ash for hundreds of miles in many directions depending on the altitude, time of year and the prevailing winds.

  6. The Mystery of the Gun Turret in the Desert

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hoffman, R. D. [Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)

    2015-11-30

    The mystery of the gun turret in the desert began with an ingenious idea: to develop a reusable open-air line of sight diagnostic device to support LLNL’s early nuclear weapons development efforts. Obtained from the Mare Island Navy Shipyard (MINS) in January 1957, the gun turret traveled by ship to the Naval Construction Battalion base at Port Hueneme, California, and then by truck to Area 2 in the Yucca Flats valley at the Nevada Nuclear Security Site (NNSS).

  7. Precipitation Dynamics and Feedback mechanisms of the Arabian Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-05-01

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

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    董光荣; 陈惠忠; 王贵勇; 李孝泽; 邵亚军; 金炯

    1997-01-01

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

  9. Fine-Scale Human Population Structure in Southern Africa Reflects Ecogeographic Boundaries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uren, Caitlin; Kim, Minju; Martin, Alicia R; Bobo, Dean; Gignoux, Christopher R; van Helden, Paul D; Möller, Marlo; Hoal, Eileen G; Henn, Brenna M

    2016-09-01

    Recent genetic studies have established that the KhoeSan populations of southern Africa are distinct from all other African populations and have remained largely isolated during human prehistory until ∼2000 years ago. Dozens of different KhoeSan groups exist, belonging to three different language families, but very little is known about their population history. We examine new genome-wide polymorphism data and whole mitochondrial genomes for >100 South Africans from the ≠Khomani San and Nama populations of the Northern Cape, analyzed in conjunction with 19 additional southern African populations. Our analyses reveal fine-scale population structure in and around the Kalahari Desert. Surprisingly, this structure does not always correspond to linguistic or subsistence categories as previously suggested, but rather reflects the role of geographic barriers and the ecology of the greater Kalahari Basin. Regardless of subsistence strategy, the indigenous Khoe-speaking Nama pastoralists and the N|u-speaking ≠Khomani (formerly hunter-gatherers) share ancestry with other Khoe-speaking forager populations that form a rim around the Kalahari Desert. We reconstruct earlier migration patterns and estimate that the southern Kalahari populations were among the last to experience gene flow from Bantu speakers, ∼14 generations ago. We conclude that local adoption of pastoralism, at least by the Nama, appears to have been primarily a cultural process with limited genetic impact from eastern Africa. Copyright © 2016 by the Genetics Society of America.

  10. Controls on the variability of net infiltration to desert sandstone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heilweil, Victor M.; McKinney, Tim S.; Zhdanov, Michael S.; Watt, Dennis E.

    2007-01-01

    As populations grow in arid climates and desert bedrock aquifers are increasingly targeted for future development, understanding and quantifying the spatial variability of net infiltration becomes critically important for accurately inventorying water resources and mapping contamination vulnerability. This paper presents a conceptual model of net infiltration to desert sandstone and then develops an empirical equation for its spatial quantification at the watershed scale using linear least squares inversion methods for evaluating controlling parameters (independent variables) based on estimated net infiltration rates (dependent variables). Net infiltration rates used for this regression analysis were calculated from environmental tracers in boreholes and more than 3000 linear meters of vadose zone excavations in an upland basin in southwestern Utah underlain by Navajo sandstone. Soil coarseness, distance to upgradient outcrop, and topographic slope were shown to be the primary physical parameters controlling the spatial variability of net infiltration. Although the method should be transferable to other desert sandstone settings for determining the relative spatial distribution of net infiltration, further study is needed to evaluate the effects of other potential parameters such as slope aspect, outcrop parameters, and climate on absolute net infiltration rates.

  11. Study of the microwave emissivity characteristics over Gobi Desert

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yubao, Qiu; Lijuan, Shi; Wenbo, Wu

    2014-01-01

    The microwave emissivity represents the capacity of the thermal radiation of the surface, and it is the significant parameter for understanding the geophysical processes such as surface energy budget and surface radiation. Different land covers have different emissivity properties, and the Gobi Desert in Central Asia seriously impact the sandstorms occur and develop in China, because of its special geographical environment and surface soil characteristics. In this study half-month averaged microwave emissivity from March 2003 to February 2004 over the Gobi Desert has been estimated. Emissivities in this area at different frequencies, polarization and their seasonal variations are discussed respectively. The results showed that emissivity polarization difference decrease as the frequency increases, and the polarization difference is large (0.03–0.127). The H polarization emissivity increases with increasing frequency, but the V-polarized microwave emissivity is reduced with increasing frequency because of the body scattering. In winter, emissivity decreases sharply in snow covered area, especially for higher frequencies (such as 89GHz). In addition, we compared emissivity with MODIS NDVI data at the same time in the Gobi Desert, and the results indicate that NDVI derived the good negative correlation with microwave emissivity polarization difference at 37GHz

  12. Fog deposition to a Tillandsia carpet in the Atacama Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Westbeld, A.; Klemm, O.; Grießbaum, F.; Sträter, E.; Larrain, H.; Osses, P.; Cereceda, P.

    2009-09-01

    In the Atacama Desert, one of the driest places on earth, fog deposition plays an important role for the water balance and for the survival of vulnerable ecosystems. The eddy covariance method, previously applied for the quantification of fog deposition to forests in various parts of the world, was used for the first time to measure deposition of fog water to a desert. In this exploratory study we estimate the amount of water available for the ecosystem by deposition and determine the relevant processes driving fog deposition. This is especially important for the species Tillandsia landbecki living in coastal Atacama at the limit of plant existence with fog and dew being the only sources of water. Between 31 July and 19 August 2008 approximately 2.5 L m-2 of water were made available through deposition. Whole-year deposition was estimated as 25 L m-2. Turbulent upward fluxes occurred several times during the evenings and are explained by the formation of radiation fog. In connection with that, underestimates of the deposition are assumed. More detailed studies covering various seasons and all parameters and fluxes contributing to the local energy balance are suggested. This will help to further develop understanding about the processes of (i) deposition of water to the desert, and (ii) intensification of advection fog through additional formation of radiation fog.

  13. Fog deposition to a Tillandsia carpet in the Atacama Desert

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Westbeld, A.; Klemm, O.; Griessbaum, F.; Straeter, E. [Muenster Univ. (Germany). Inst. of Landscape Ecology; Larrain, H. [Pontificia Univ. Catolica de Chile (Chile). Atacama Desert Center ADC; Univ. Bolivariana, Iquique (Chile); Osses, P.; Cereceda, P. [Pontificia Univ. Catolica de Chile, Santiago de Chile (Chile). Inst. of Geography

    2009-07-01

    In the Atacama Desert, one of the driest places on earth, fog deposition plays an important role for the water balance and for the survival of vulnerable ecosystems. The eddy covariance method, previously applied for the quantification of fog deposition to forests in various parts of the world, was used for the first time to measure deposition of fog water to a desert. In this exploratory study we estimate the amount of water available for the ecosystem by deposition and determine the relevant processes driving fog deposition. This is especially important for the species Tillandsia landbecki living in coastal Atacama at the limit of plant existence with fog and dew being the only sources of water. Between 31 July and 19 August 2008 approximately 2.5 L m{sup -2} of water were made available through deposition. Whole-year deposition was estimated as 25 L m{sup -2}. Turbulent upward fluxes occurred several times during the evenings and are explained by the formation of radiation fog. In connection with that, underestimates of the deposition are assumed. More detailed studies covering various seasons and all parameters and fluxes contributing to the local energy balance are suggested. This will help to further develop understanding about the processes of (i) deposition of water to the desert, and (ii) intensification of advection fog through additional formation of radiation fog. (orig.)

  14. Fog deposition to a Tillandsia carpet in the Atacama Desert

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. Osses

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available In the Atacama Desert, one of the driest places on earth, fog deposition plays an important role for the water balance and for the survival of vulnerable ecosystems. The eddy covariance method, previously applied for the quantification of fog deposition to forests in various parts of the world, was used for the first time to measure deposition of fog water to a desert. In this exploratory study we estimate the amount of water available for the ecosystem by deposition and determine the relevant processes driving fog deposition. This is especially important for the species Tillandsia landbecki living in coastal Atacama at the limit of plant existence with fog and dew being the only sources of water. Between 31 July and 19 August 2008 approximately 2.5 L m−2 of water were made available through deposition. Whole-year deposition was estimated as 25 L m−2. Turbulent upward fluxes occurred several times during the evenings and are explained by the formation of radiation fog. In connection with that, underestimates of the deposition are assumed. More detailed studies covering various seasons and all parameters and fluxes contributing to the local energy balance are suggested. This will help to further develop understanding about the processes of (i deposition of water to the desert, and (ii intensification of advection fog through additional formation of radiation fog.

  15. Transitory microbial habitat in the hyperarid Atacama Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schulze-Makuch, Dirk; Wagner, Dirk; Kounaves, Samuel P.; Mangelsdorf, Kai; Devine, Kevin G.; de Vera, Jean-Pierre; Schmitt-Kopplin, Philippe; Grossart, Hans-Peter; Parro, Victor; Kaupenjohann, Martin; Galy, Albert; Schneider, Beate; Airo, Alessandro; Frösler, Jan; Davila, Alfonso F.; Arens, Felix L.; Cáceres, Luis; Solís Cornejo, Francisco; Carrizo, Daniel; Dartnell, Lewis; DiRuggiero, Jocelyne; Flury, Markus; Ganzert, Lars; Gessner, Mark O.; Grathwohl, Peter; Guan, Lisa; Heinz, Jacob; Hess, Matthias; Keppler, Frank; Maus, Deborah; McKay, Christopher P.; Meckenstock, Rainer U.; Montgomery, Wren; Oberlin, Elizabeth A.; Probst, Alexander J.; Sáenz, Johan S.; Sattler, Tobias; Schirmack, Janosch; Sephton, Mark A.; Schloter, Michael; Uhl, Jenny; Valenzuela, Bernardita; Vestergaard, Gisle; Wörmer, Lars; Zamorano, Pedro

    2018-03-01

    Traces of life are nearly ubiquitous on Earth. However, a central unresolved question is whether these traces always indicate an active microbial community or whether, in extreme environments, such as hyperarid deserts, they instead reflect just dormant or dead cells. Although microbial biomass and diversity decrease with increasing aridity in the Atacama Desert, we provide multiple lines of evidence for the presence of an at times metabolically active, microbial community in one of the driest places on Earth. We base this observation on four major lines of evidence: (i) a physico-chemical characterization of the soil habitability after an exceptional rain event, (ii) identified biomolecules indicative of potentially active cells [e.g., presence of ATP, phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs), metabolites, and enzymatic activity], (iii) measurements of in situ replication rates of genomes of uncultivated bacteria reconstructed from selected samples, and (iv) microbial community patterns specific to soil parameters and depths. We infer that the microbial populations have undergone selection and adaptation in response to their specific soil microenvironment and in particular to the degree of aridity. Collectively, our results highlight that even the hyperarid Atacama Desert can provide a habitable environment for microorganisms that allows them to become metabolically active following an episodic increase in moisture and that once it decreases, so does the activity of the microbiota. These results have implications for the prospect of life on other planets such as Mars, which has transitioned from an earlier wetter environment to today’s extreme hyperaridity.

  16. Microbial communities in a High Arctic polar desert landscape

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Clare M McCann

    2016-03-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Toderich, Kristina; Tsukatani, Tsuneo

    2005-01-01

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

  18. Observation of water and heat fluxes in the Badain Jaran desert, China

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zhang, T.; Wen, J.; Su, Z.; Tian, H.; Zeng, Y.

    Badain Jaran Desert lie in the northwest of the Alashan plateau in western Inner Mongolia of China, between39o20'N to 41o30'N and 100oE to 104oE. It is the 4th largest desert in the world and the second largest desert in China, with an area of 49000 square kilometers and an altitude between 900 and

  19. Mapping of Grocery Stores in Slovak Countryside in Context of Food Deserts

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kristína Bilková

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The paper is focused on mapping grocery stores in the Slovak countryside with an emphasis on identifying potential food deserts in rural areas. Grocery stores are analyzed in the time period 2001–2011. Food deserts in rural areas are identified by two accessibility measures. The results show the development of food retailing in the Slovak countryside and in potentially threatened localities which can be defined as food deserts.

  20. Artemisia pollen-indicated steppe distribution in southern China during the Last Glacial Maximum

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liu Hongyan

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available The Last Glacial Maximum (LGM was the coldest period during the previous 20,000 years. There have been different points of views on steppe distribution during the LGM period in southern China, partly due to the different interpretations of Artemisia occurrences. To make a reliable interpretation of the pollen fossil Artemisia, the modern distribution of Artemisia species and the relationship of pollen with climate and vegetation over a large spatial scale in China was thoroughly analyzed. Information about Artemisia species and pollen distributions used in this paper were collected from published works completed by other researchers as well as ourselves. The southern limit of steppe vegetation during the LGM period was interpreted from the published contour map of Artemisia pollen percentages during the LGM. Artemisia species in China are mostly distributed either in the horizontally distributed steppe regions or in the vertically distributed desert-steppe in the desert region, which indicates a cold and dry climate. The steppe is a distribution center of Artemisia pollen. Fractions of Artemisia in surface pollen assemblages are lower in both the desert and the temperate forest. Neither high Artemisia species cover nor high percentages of Artemisia pollen were found in the coast areas of China. Twenty-five percent of Artemisia pollen in sediments might indicate a local occurrence of steppe vegetation. Percentages of Artemisia pollen in the subtropical and tropical forest are less than 10%. A close relationship between Artemisia pollen and temperate steppe in China is demonstrated. The southern edge of the steppe vegetation during the LGM might be along the middle reach of the Yangtze River. Our results support the hypothesis that the isolated high fraction of Artemisia pollen along the northern edge of the South China Sea was transported from a large source area.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zaigham, N.A.

    2002-01-01

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

  3. Land Resources Evaluation Of The Paleodarainage Delta In Western Desert Of Egypt Using Remote Sensing Data

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Afify, A.A.

    2009-01-01

    The study area was selected to represent the sediments of paleodrainage delta in the Western Desert of Egypt, covering about 15615653 feddans (6561199 hectares). The data of Landsat Enhanced Thematic Mapper (ETM) 2002 were used for delineating the physiographic units to be a base for the soil taxonomic units (all are hyperthermic). These taxonomic units were potentially evaluated for barley and wheat (grain crops), alfalfa (fodder crop), maize, sun flower and olives (oil seed crops). The illustrated flow of the paleodrainage delta starts from the south as undulating delta apex, which most probably was deposited by the paleodrainage from Eastern Desert through the different rock structures. This apex includes soils of Calcic Petrogypsids loamy skeletal, gypsic; Typic Clacigypsids, loamy skeletal, gypsic and Typic Calcigypsids, sandy skeletal, mixed. The unit is profitable for drip irrigated olives as moderately to marginally suitable and for quarrying Oligocene gravel. Gently undulating inter delta includes sediments that was most probably received by reworking and out washing the slopes of delta apex in relatively more recent fluvial eras. The soils are Typic Calcigypsids, fine loamy, mixed; Typic Calcigypsids, loamy skeletal, mixed and Typic Calcigypsids, sandy, mixed. This unit is profitable for drip irrigated olives as highly suitable and sprinkly irrigated alfalfa, maize and sun flower as marginally suitable. Gently undulating to almost flat inter delta is most probably received its sediments from the southern physiographic units by the paleodrainage erosion. The soils are Leptic Haplogypsids, fine loamy, mixed and Leptic Haplogypsid, sandy, mixed. This unit is profitable for drip irrigated olives as moderately suitable. In the middle front of this unit, a township is proposed to be constructed A I Qattara Town . Flat depressed pro delta includes interfered sediments of different paleodrainage eras being received medium soil matrix over relatively old sediments

  4. Estimating Natural Recharge in a Desert Environment Facing Increasing Ground-Water Demands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nishikawa, T.; Izbicki, J. A.; Hevesi, J. A.; Martin, P.

    2004-12-01

    Ground water historically has been the sole source of water supply for the community of Joshua Tree in the Joshua Tree ground-water subbasin of the Morongo ground-water basin in the southern Mojave Desert. Joshua Basin Water District (JBWD) supplies water to the community from the underlying Joshua Tree ground-water subbasin, and ground-water withdrawals averaging about 960 acre-ft/yr have resulted in as much as 35 ft of drawdown. As growth continues in the desert, ground-water resources may need to be supplemented using imported water. To help meet future demands, JBWD plans to construct production wells in the adjacent Copper Mountain ground-water subbasin. To manage the ground-water resources and to identify future mitigating measures, a thorough understanding of the ground-water system is needed. To this end, field and numerical techniques were applied to determine the distribution and quantity of natural recharge. Field techniques included the installation of instrumented boreholes in selected washes and at a nearby control site. Numerical techniques included the use of a distributed-parameter watershed model and a ground-water flow model. The results from the field techniques indicated that as much as 70 acre-ft/yr of water infiltrated downward through the two principal washes during the study period (2001-3). The results from the watershed model indicated that the average annual recharge in the ground-water subbasins is about 160 acre-ft/yr. The results from the calibrated ground-water flow model indicated that the average annual recharge for the same area is about 125 acre-ft/yr. Although the field and numerical techniques were applied to different scales (local vs. large), all indicate that natural recharge in the Joshua Tree area is very limited; therefore, careful management of the limited ground-water resources is needed. Moreover, the calibrated model can now be used to estimate the effects of different water-management strategies on the ground

  5. Environmental isotope studies on groundwater problems in the Thar Desert, India

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nair, A.R.; Navada, S.V.; Rao, S.M.

    1997-01-01

    One of the groundwater problems encountered in arid areas like the Thar Desert in Rajasthan is to know whether the shallow groundwater is being actively recharged. Environmental isotopes particularly tritium are very useful in providing evidence of recent recharge. In the Barmer area, the shallow groundwaters have tritium levels generally in the range 3-6 TU showing modern recharge. Most of the recharge possibly occurs by direct infiltration of precipitation. Indirect recharge through wadis (river channels) could sometimes be an important mechanism of groundwater recharge. Environmental isotope study in Jalore area showed that the shallow groundwaters near the Sukri river course had δ 2 H and δ 18 O are depleted compared to present day precipitation but not as depleted as the present day Himalayan rivers. Carbon-24 values of some of these groundwaters are in the range of 54-58 pMC showing that they possibly represent old river with headwater connection outside the desert. In the Thar, the deep groundwaters which sometimes form the bulk of water supply are generally paleowaters as sown by environmental δ 2 H, δ 18 O, 3 H and 14 C. For example in the Barmer area, deep groundwaters (depth > 150m) have depleted δ 2 H and δ 18 O compared to the shallow groundwaters and present day precipitation. They have negligible 3 H and 14 C model ages ranging from 4000 to 9500 BP. Hence the isotope data of the deep groundwaters indicate they are paleowaters recharged during humid periods in the Holocene. Over-exploitation of deep groundwaters could lead to mixing of shallow and deep groundwaters or influx of waters from adjoining aquifers. In the Bikaner area similar δ 2 H and δ 18 O of the shallow and deep wells and young waters encountered in some of the deep wells indicated mixing between the two aquifers due to heavy exploitation of groundwaters in the area. In a limestone belt of Jodhpur-Nagaur district heavy exploitation of groundwaters is taking place in the southern

  6. Potential for deserts to supply reliable renewable electric power

    Science.gov (United States)

    Labordena, Mercè; Lilliestam, Johan

    2015-04-01

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

  7. Southern pulpwood production, 1962

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joe F. Christopher; Martha E. Nelson

    1963-01-01

    Pulpwood production in the south rose to an all-time high of 25,586,300 cords in 1962-58 percent of the Nation's total. At the year's end, 80 southern pulpmills were operating; their combined daily pulping capacity was more than 52,000 tons. Nine mills outside the region were using wood grown in the South.

  8. Multilingualism in Southern Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peirce, Bonny Norton; Ridge, Stanley G. M.

    1997-01-01

    Reviews recent research in multilingualism in Southern Africa, focusing on the role of languages in education, sociolinguistics, and language policy. Much of the research is on South Africa. Topics discussed include language of instruction in schools, teacher education, higher education, adult literacy, language contact, gender and linguistic…

  9. NREL + Southern California Gas

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Berdahl, Sonja E [National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)

    2017-10-09

    NREL and Southern California Gas Company are evaluating a new 'power-to-gas' approach - one that produces methane through a biological pathway and uses the expansive natural gas infrastructure to store it. This approach has the potential to change how the power industry approaches renewable generation and energy storage.

  10. Tritium water as a marker for the measurement of body water turnover rates in desert livestock, rodent and bird species

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Khan, M.S.; Ghosh, P.K.; Bohra, R.C.

    1990-01-01

    Tritiated water has been used for estimating body water turnover rates (BWTRs) in desert livestock, rodent and birds. BWTRs in relation to adaption of these animal species to desert environment have been discussed. (author). 5 refs., 2 tabs

  11. Sympatric cattle grazing and desert bighorn sheep foraging

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garrison, Kyle R.; Cain, James W.; Rominger, Eric M.; Goldstein, Elise J.

    2015-01-01

    Foraging behavior affects animal fitness and is largely dictated by the resources available to an animal. Understanding factors that affect forage resources is important for conservation and management of wildlife. Cattle sympatry is proposed to limit desert bighorn population performance, but few studies have quantified the effect of cattle foraging on bighorn forage resources or foraging behavior by desert bighorn. We estimated forage biomass for desert bighorn sheep in 2 mountain ranges: the cattle-grazed Caballo Mountains and the ungrazed San Andres Mountains, New Mexico. We recorded foraging bout efficiency of adult females by recording feeding time/step while foraging, and activity budgets of 3 age-sex classes (i.e., adult males, adult females, yearlings). We also estimated forage biomass at sites where bighorn were observed foraging. We expected lower forage biomass in the cattle-grazed Caballo range than in the ungrazed San Andres range and lower biomass at cattle-accessible versus inaccessible areas within the Caballo range. We predicted bighorn would be less efficient foragers in the Caballo range. Groundcover forage biomass was low in both ranges throughout the study (Jun 2012–Nov 2013). Browse biomass, however, was 4.7 times lower in the Caballo range versus the San Andres range. Bighorn in the Caballo range exhibited greater overall daily travel time, presumably to locate areas of higher forage abundance. By selecting areas with greater forage abundance, adult females in the Caballo range exhibited foraging bout efficiency similar to their San Andres counterparts but lower overall daily browsing time. We did not find a significant reduction in forage biomass at cattle-accessible areas in the Caballo range. Only the most rugged areas in the Caballo range had abundant forage, potentially a result of intensive historical livestock use in less rugged areas. Forage conditions in the Caballo range apparently force bighorn to increase foraging effort by

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  13. Substrates and irrigation levels for growing desert rose in pots

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ronan Carlos Colombo

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT In the past decades, desert rose has become a very popular ornamental plant, especially among collectors, due to its exotic and sculptural forms. However, it has been grown on a commercial scale only recently, and little is known about how to best manage it as a container-grown plant, or even which potting medium (substrate to recommend. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the interactions between potting media and irrigation levels for growing desert rose as a potted ornamental plant. The experiment was conducted in a greenhouse using a 6 x 2 factorial arrangement with six replications, six potting media and two irrigation levels. The mixes were characterized by measuring their physical properties, specifically the density and water retention capacity (WRC, as well as chemical properties, such as the pH and electrical conductivity (EC. After 210 days, plant growth and plant water consumption were evaluated and measured. A lower dry density for the vermiculite mixes was observed in comparison to that for the sand mixes. However, WRC ranged from 428 to 528 mL L-1 among the mixes, values considered close to ideal. In general, plant growth exhibited higher increases in mixes consisting of coconut fiber + sand or vermiculite, regardless of the irrigation level. Mixes of vermiculite + coconut fiber and sand + coconut fiber can be used to grow desert rose in pots, as long as irrigation is used to maintain the moisture content of the potting medium (mix between 60-70% and 80-90% of the WRC.

  14. The corrosive well waters of Egypt's western desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clarke, Frank Eldridge

    1979-01-01

    The discovery that ground waters of Egypt's Western Desert are highly corrosive is lost in antiquity. Inhabitants of the oases have been aware of the troublesome property for many decades and early investigators mention it in their reports concerning the area. Introduction of modern well-drilling techniques and replacements of native wood casing with steel during the 20th century increased corrosion problems and, in what is called the New Valley Project, led to an intense search for causes and corrective treatments. This revealed that extreme corrosiveness results from combined effects of relatively acidic waters with significant concentrations of destructive sulfide ion; unfavorable ratios of sulfate and chloride to less aggressive ions; mineral equilibria and electrode potential which hinder formation of protective films; relative high chemical reaction rates because of abnormal temperatures, and high surface velocities related to well design. There is general agreement among investigators that conventional corrosion control methods such as coating metal surfaces, chemical treatment of the water, and electrolytic protection with impressed current and sacrificial electrodes are ineffective or impracticable for wells in the Western Desert's New Valley. Thus, control must be sought through the use of materials more resistant to corrosion than plain carbon steel wherever well screens and casings are necessary. Of the alternatives considered, stainless steel appears to. be the most promising where high strength and long-term services are required and the alloy's relatively high cost is acceptable. Epoxy resin-bonded fiberglass and wood appear to be practicable, relatively inexpensive alternatives for installations which do. not exceed their strength limitations. Other materials such as high strength aluminum and Monel Metal have shown sufficient promise to. merit their consideration in particular locations and uses. The limited experience with pumping in these desert

  15. Desert bighorn sheep lambing habitat: Parturition, nursery, and predation sites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karsch, Rebekah C.; Cain, James W.; Rominger, Eric M.; Goldstein, Elise J.

    2016-01-01

    Fitness of female ungulates is determined by neonate survival and lifetime reproductive success. Therefore, adult female ungulates should adopt behaviors and habitat selection patterns that enhance survival of neonates during parturition and lactation. Parturition site location may play an important role in neonatal mortality of desert bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis mexicana) when lambs are especially vulnerable to predation, but parturition sites are rarely documented for this species. Our objectives were to assess environmental characteristics at desert bighorn parturition, lamb nursery, and predation sites and to assess differences in habitat characteristics between parturition sites and nursery group sites, and predation sites and nursery group sites. We used vaginal implant transmitters (VITs) to identify parturition sites and capture neonates. We then compared elevation, slope, terrain ruggedness, and visibility at parturition, nursery, and lamb predation sites with paired random sites and compared characteristics of parturition sites and lamb predation sites to those of nursery sites. When compared to random sites, odds of a site being a parturition site were highest at intermediate slopes and decreased with increasing female visibility. Odds of a site being a predation site increased with decreasing visibility. When compared to nursery group sites, odds of a site being a parturition site had a quadratic relationship with elevation and slope, with odds being highest at intermediate elevations and intermediate slopes. When we compared predation sites to nursery sites, odds of a site being a predation were highest at low elevation areas with high visibility and high elevation areas with low visibility likely because of differences in hunting strategies of coyote (Canis latrans) and puma (Puma concolor). Parturition sites were lower in elevation and slope than nursery sites. Understanding selection of parturition sites by adult females and how habitat

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-10-01

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

  17. Total vertical sediment flux and PM10 emissions from disturbed Chihuahuan Desert Surfaces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Desert surfaces are typically stable and represent some of the oldest landforms on Earth. For surfaces without vegetation, the evolution of a desert pavements of gravel protects the surface from erosive forces and vegetation further protects the surface in arid and semi-arid rangelands. The suscep...

  18. The water economy of South American desert rodents: from integrative to molecular physiological ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bozinovic, Francisco; Gallardo, Pedro

    2006-01-01

    Rodents from arid and semi-arid habitats live under conditions where the spatial and temporal availability of free water is limited, or scarce, thus forcing these rodents to deal with the problem of water conservation. The response of rodents to unproductive desert environments and water deficits has been intensively investigated in many deserts of the world. However, current understanding of the cellular, systemic and organismal physiology of water economy relies heavily on short-term, laboratory-oriented experiments, which usually focus on responses at isolated levels of biological organization. In addition, studies in small South American mammals are scarce. Indeed xeric habitats have existed in South America for a long time and it is intriguing why present day South American desert rodents do not show the wide array of adaptive traits to desert life observed for rodents on other continents. Several authors have pointed out that South American desert rodents lack physiological and energetic specialization for energy and water conservation, hypothesizing that their success is based more on behavioral and ecological strategies. We review phenotypic flexibility and physiological diversity in water flux rate, urine osmolality, and expression of water channels in South American desert-dwelling rodents. As far as we know, this is the first review of integrative studies at cellular, systemic and organismal levels. Our main conclusion is that South American desert rodents possess structural as well as physiological systems for water conservation, which are as remarkable as those found in "classical" rodents inhabiting other desert areas of the world.

  19. 76 FR 28767 - Desert Southwest Customer Service Region-Rate Order No. WAPA-152

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-05-18

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

  20. 75 FR 13805 - Aspen Group Resources Corp., Commercial Concepts, Inc., Desert Health Products, Inc., Equalnet...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-03-23

    ... Concepts, Inc., Desert Health Products, Inc., Equalnet Communications Corp., Geneva Steel Holdings Corp... securities of Commercial Concepts, Inc. because it has not filed any periodic reports since the period ended... accurate information concerning the securities of Desert Health Products, Inc. because it has not filed any...

  1. Translocation as a conservation tool for Agassiz's desert tortoises: Survivorship, reproduction, and movements

    Science.gov (United States)

    K. E. Nussear; C. R. Tracy; P. A. Medica; D. S. Wilson; R. W. Marlow; P. S. Corn

    2012-01-01

    We translocated 120 Agassiz's desert tortoises to 5 sites in Nevada and Utah to evaluate the effects of translocation on tortoise survivorship, reproduction, and habitat use. Translocation sites included several elevations, and extended to sites with vegetation assemblages not typically associated with desert tortoises in order to explore the possibility of moving...

  2. Validation of SWEEP for creep, saltation, and suspension in a desert-oasis ecotone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wind erosion in the desert-oasis ecotone can accelerate desertification and thus impacts oasis ecological security. Little is known about the susceptibility of the desert-oasis ecotone to wind erosion in the Tarim Basin even though the ecotone is a major source of windblown dust in China. The object...

  3. Resistance to invasion and resilience to fire in desert shrublands of North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matthew L. Brooks; Jeanne C. Chambers

    2011-01-01

    Settlement by Anglo-Americans in the desert shrublands of North America resulted in the introduction and subsequent invasion of multiple nonnative grass species. These invasions have altered presettlement fire regimes, resulted in conversion of native perennial shrublands to nonnative annual grasslands, and placed many native desert species at risk. Effective...

  4. Preliminary survey of bee (Hymenoptera: Anthophila) richness in the northwestern Chihuahuan Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robert L. Minckley; John S. Ascher

    2013-01-01

    Museum records indicate that the peak number of bee species occurs around the Mediterranean Sea and in the warm desert areas of North America, whereas flowering plants are most diverse in the tropics. We examine this biogeographic pattern for the bee species known from a limited area of northeastern Chihuahuan Desert, Mexico/United States. This topographically complex...

  5. 76 FR 29182 - Revisions to the California State Implementation Plan, Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-05-20

    ... ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R09-OAR-2011-0030; FRL-9308-4] Revisions to the California State Implementation Plan, Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District AGENCY... the Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District (MDAQMD) portion of the California State...

  6. 77 FR 11990 - Revisions to the California State Implementation Plan, Mojave Desert Air Quality Management...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-02-28

    ... the California State Implementation Plan, Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District and Yolo-Solano Air Quality Management District AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). ACTION: Proposed rule. SUMMARY: EPA is proposing to approve revisions to the Mojave Desert Air Quality Management...

  7. 77 FR 11992 - Revisions to the California State Implementation Plan, Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-02-28

    ... the California State Implementation Plan, Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District AGENCY... limited disapproval of revisions to the Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District (MDAQMD) portion of...,'' Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management, December 2000. B. Does the rule meet the evaluation...

  8. Brood desertion by female shorebirds : a test of the differential parental capacity hypothesis on Kentish plovers

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Amat, JA; Visser, GH; Perez-Hurtado, A; Arroyo, GM

    2000-01-01

    The aim of this study was to examine whether the energetic costs of reproduction explain offspring desertion by female shorebirds, as is suggested by the differential parental capacity hypothesis. A prediction of the hypothesis is that, in species with biparental incubation in which females desert

  9. Biparentally deserted offspring are viable in a species with intense sexual conflict over care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pogány, Ákos; Kosztolányi, András; Miklósi, Ádám; Komdeur, Jan; Székely, Tamás

    2015-07-01

    Desertion of clutch (or brood) by both parents often leads to breeding failure, since in vast majority of birds care by at least one parent is required for any young to fledge. Recent works in a highly polygamous passerine bird, the Eurasian penduline tit (Remiz pendulinus), suggest that biparental clutch desertion is due to intense sexual conflict over care. However, an alternative yet untested hypothesis for biparental desertion is low offspring viability so that the parents abandon the offspring that have poor prospect for survival. Here we test the latter hypothesis in a common garden experiment by comparing the viability of deserted and cared for eggs. We show that embryonic development does not differ between deserted and cared for eggs. Therefore, sexual conflict over care remains the best supported hypothesis for biparental clutch desertion in penduline tits. Our work points out that conflict over care is a potential - yet rarely considered - cause of biparental nest desertion, and a strong alternative for the traditional explanations of low offspring viability, human disturbance or deteriorating ambient environment. Apart from a handful of species, the intensity of sexual conflict has not been quantified, and we call for further studies to consider sexual conflict as a cause of nest desertion. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Reconstructing the origin of Helianthus deserticola: Survival and selection on the desert floor

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gross, B.L.; Kane, D.L.; Lexer, C.; Ludwig, F.; Rosenthal, D.R.; Donovan, L.A.; Rieseberg, L.H.

    2004-01-01

    The diploid hybrid species Helianthus deserticola inhabits the desert floor, an extreme environment relative to its parental species Helianthus annuus and Helianthus petiolaris. Adaptation to the desert floor may have occurred via selection acting on transgressive, or extreme, traits in early

  11. Wilderness restoration: Bureau of Land Management and the Student Conservation Association in the California Desert District

    Science.gov (United States)

    J. Dan Abbe

    2007-01-01

    The California Desert Protection Act of 1994 was the largest park and wilderness legislation passed in the Lower 48 States since the Wilderness Act of 1964. It designated three national parks and 69 Bureau of Land Management wilderness areas. The California Desert and Wilderness Restoration Project is working to restore and revitalize these lands through a public/...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  14. Giant desiccation fissures on the Black Rock and Smoke Creek Deserts, Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Willden, R.; Mabey, D.R.

    1961-01-01

    Open fissures, from 100 to several hundred feet apart, that have produced polygonal patterns on the Black Rock Desert, Nevada, are believed to be giant desiccation cracks resulting from a secular trend toward aridity in the last few decades. Similar features on the Smoke Creek Desert probably have the same origin.

  15. Seeing desert as wilderness and as landscape—an exercise in visual thinking approaches

    Science.gov (United States)

    John Opie

    1979-01-01

    Based on the components and program of VRVA (Visual Resources Values Assessment), a behavioral history of the visitor's perception of the American desert is examined. Emphasis is placed upon contrasts between traditional eastern "garden-park" viewpoints and contemporary desert scenery experiences. Special attention is given to the influence of John...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hua Fu; Shifang Pei; Yaming Chen; Changgui Wan

    2007-01-01

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

  17. Hydrological indications of aeolian salts in mid-latitude deserts of ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Hydrological indications of aeolian salts in mid-latitude deserts of northwestern China. B Q Zhu. Supplementary data. Figure S1. Photograph views of Quaternary and modern sediments of aeolian and lacustrine/fluvial facies that consisted of clay and sand/silt sand alternations in the Taklamakan and Badanjilin Deserts.

  18. 78 FR 143 - Desert Mining, Inc., Eagle Broadband, Inc., Endovasc, Inc., Environmental Oil Processing...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-02

    ... SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION [File No. 500-1] Desert Mining, Inc., Eagle Broadband, Inc., Endovasc, Inc., Environmental Oil Processing Technology Corp., Falcon Ridge Development, Inc., Fellows... that there is a lack of current and accurate information concerning the securities of Desert Mining...

  19. Variations in Vegetation Structure, Species Dominance and Plant Communities in South of the Eastern Desert-Egypt

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fawzy SALAMA

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available For two successive years, the floristic diversity and vegetation composition in the southern part of the Eastern Desert ofEgypt were investigated through four transects (3 crossing the Eastern Desert and one along the Red Sea. The data collected from 142 stands covering the study area included the species composition, functional groups, chorology and occurrences (Qvalues. A total of 94 plant species belonging to 33 different families were recorded, with Asteracea, Zygophyllaceae, Fabaceae,Poaceae, Chenopodiaceae and Brassicaceae as the largest families. Shrubs represented the largest functional group (39.4%, while perennial herbs represented the smallest ones (12.8%. Species occurrence (Q-value revealed that Zilla spinosa, Acacia tortilis subsp raddiana, Morettia philaeana, Caroxylon imbricatum, Zygophyllum coccineum and Citrullus colocynthis had wide ecological range of distribution (dominant species, Q-values 0.2. Saharo-Arabian chorotype was highly represented (72.6 % in the flora of this area, eventually as mono, bi or pluriregional. Classification of the data set yielded 7 vegetation groups included: (A Zilla spinosa-Morettia philaeana, (B1 Zilla spinosa-Citrullus colocynthis-Morettia philaeana, (B2 Zilla spinosa, (C1Zygophyllum album-Tamarix nilotica, (C2 Zygophyllum coccineum-Tamarix nilotica, (D1 Zilla spinosa-Zygophyllum coccineum and (D2 Zilla spinosa-Acacia tortilis subsp. raddiana-Tamarix aphylla-Balanites aegyptiaca. Certain vegetation groups were assigned to one or more transects. Detrended Correspondence Analysis (DCA revealed that electrical conductivity, sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, chlorides, moisture content, sulphates, pH, organic matter and gravel were the soil variables that affect the species distribution in this study.

  20. Persistence of historical population structure in an endangered species despite near-complete biome conversion in California's San Joaquin Desert.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richmond, Jonathan Q; Wood, Dustin A; Westphal, Michael F; Vandergast, Amy G; Leaché, Adam D; Saslaw, Lawrence R; Butterfield, H Scott; Fisher, Robert N

    2017-07-01

    Genomic responses to habitat conversion can be rapid, providing wildlife managers with time-limited opportunities to enact recovery efforts that use population connectivity information that reflects predisturbance landscapes. Despite near-complete biome conversion, such opportunities may still exist for the endemic fauna and flora of California's San Joaquin Desert, but comprehensive genetic data sets are lacking for nearly all species in the region. To fill this knowledge gap, we studied the rangewide population structure of the endangered blunt-nosed leopard lizard Gambelia sila, a San Joaquin Desert endemic, using restriction site-associated DNA (RAD), microsatellite and mtDNA data to test whether admixture patterns and estimates of effective migration surfaces (EEMS) can identify land areas with high population connectivity prior to the conversion of native xeric habitats. Clustering and phylogenetic analyses indicate a recent shared history between numerous isolated populations and EEMS reveals latent signals of corridors and barriers to gene flow over areas now replaced by agriculture and urbanization. Conflicting histories between the mtDNA and nuclear genomes are consistent with hybridization with the sister species G. wislizenii, raising important questions about where legal protection should end at the southern range limit of G. sila. Comparative analysis of different data sets also adds to a growing list of advantages in using RAD loci for genetic studies of rare species. We demonstrate how the results of this work can serve as an evolutionary guidance tool for managing endemic, arid-adapted taxa in one of the world's most compromised landscapes. Published 2017. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

  1. Persistence of historical population structure in an endangered species despite near-complete biome conversion in California's San Joaquin Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richmond, Jonathan Q.; Wood, Dustin A.; Westphal, Michael F.; Vandergast, Amy; Leache, Adam D.; Saslaw, Lawrence; Butterfield, H. Scott; Fisher, Robert N.

    2017-01-01

    Genomic responses to habitat conversion can be rapid, providing wildlife managers with time-limited opportunities to enact recovery efforts that use population connectivity information that reflects predisturbance landscapes. Despite near-complete biome conversion, such opportunities may still exist for the endemic fauna and flora of California's San Joaquin Desert, but comprehensive genetic data sets are lacking for nearly all species in the region. To fill this knowledge gap, we studied the rangewide population structure of the endangered blunt-nosed leopard lizard Gambelia sila, a San Joaquin Desert endemic, using restriction site-associated DNA (RAD), microsatellite and mtDNA data to test whether admixture patterns and estimates of effective migration surfaces (EEMS) can identify land areas with high population connectivity prior to the conversion of native xeric habitats. Clustering and phylogenetic analyses indicate a recent shared history between numerous isolated populations and EEMS reveals latent signals of corridors and barriers to gene flow over areas now replaced by agriculture and urbanization. Conflicting histories between the mtDNA and nuclear genomes are consistent with hybridization with the sister species G. wislizenii, raising important questions about where legal protection should end at the southern range limit of G. sila. Comparative analysis of different data sets also adds to a growing list of advantages in using RAD loci for genetic studies of rare species. We demonstrate how the results of this work can serve as an evolutionary guidance tool for managing endemic, arid-adapted taxa in one of the world's most compromised landscapes.

  2. Mid-to-Late Holocene Hydrologic Variability in the Southeastern Mojave Desert Using Sediments from Ford Lake

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayer, S. A.; Kirby, M. E.; Anderson, W. T., Jr.; Stout, C.; Palermo, J. A.

    2015-12-01

    The focal point of most lacustrine studies in the Mojave National Preserve (MNP) to date has been on lakes fed by the Mojave River. The source of the Mojave River is found on the northern flank of the San Bernardino Mountains. Consequently, the lakes that receive these waters are predominantly responding to the winter-only coastal southwest United States climate (e.g., Kirby et al., 2015 - Silver Lake); to a lesser degree, these lakes are also influenced by the Mojave's bimodal winter/summer climate. Ford Lake, located in the southeastern Mojave Desert is a small closed basin lake with its drainage basin located exclusively within the Mojave Desert. Therefore, sediment collected from Ford Lake contains a 100% Mojave-only climate signal. A 2.18 m sediment core was collected from the lake's depocenter in May 2015. Sediment analyses at 1 cm contiguous intervals include: magnetic susceptibility (MS), percent total organic matter, percent total carbonate content, and grain size analysis; C:N ratios, C and N isotope (δ13C and δ15N) analyses, and macrofossil counts are determined at 2 cm intervals. The site's age model is based on accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) radiocarbon ages from discrete organic macrofossils or bulk organic carbon. To deconvolve the coastal climate, winter-only signal from the Mojave-only climate signal the data from Ford Lake will be compared to one Mojave River fed lake (Silver) and several southern California lakes (Lower Bear, Lake Elsinore, Dry Lake, and Zaca Lake). Our results will be analyzed in the context of climate forcings such as insolation and ocean - atmosphere dynamics.

  3. 20th-Century Climate Change over Africa: Seasonal Variation in Hydroclimate Trends and Sahara Desert Extent

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nigam, S.; Thomas, N. P.

    2017-12-01

    Twentieth-century trends in seasonal temperature and precipitation over the African continent are analyzed from observational data sets and historical climate simulations. Given the agricultural economy of the continent, a seasonal perspective is adopted as it is more pertinent than an annual-average one which can mask off-setting but agriculturally-sensitive seasonal hydroclimate variations. Examination of linear trends in seasonal surface air temperature (SAT) shows that heat stress has increased in several regions, including Sudan and Northern Africa where largest SAT trends occur in the warm season. Broadly speaking, the northern continent has warmed more than the southern one in all seasons. Precipitation trends are varied but notable declining trends are found in the countries along the Gulf of Guinea, especially in the source region of Niger river in West Africa, and in the Congo river basin. Rainfall over the African Great Lakes - one of the largest freshwater repositories - has however increased. We show that the Sahara Desert has expanded significantly over the 20th century - by 12-20% depending on the season. The desert expanded southward in summer, reflecting retreat of the northern edge of the Sahel rainfall belt; and to the north in winter, indicating potential impact of the widening of the Tropics. Specific mechanisms driving the expansion in each season are investigated. Finally, this observational analysis is used to evaluate the state-of-the-art climate models from a comparison of the 20th-century hydroclimate trends with those manifest in historical climate simulations. The evaluation shows that modeling regional hydroclimate change over the Africa continent remains challenging.

  4. The influence of vegetation, mesoclimate and meteorology on urban atmospheric microclimates across a coastal to desert climate gradient.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crum, Steven M; Shiflett, Sheri A; Jenerette, G Darrel

    2017-09-15

    Many cities are increasing vegetation in part due to the potential for microclimate cooling. However, the magnitude of vegetation cooling and sensitivity to mesoclimate and meteorology are uncertain. To improve understanding of the variation in vegetation's influence on urban microclimates we asked: how do meso- and regional-scale drivers influence the magnitude and timing of vegetation-based moderation on summertime air temperature (T a ), relative humidity (RH) and heat index (HI) across dryland cities? To answer this question we deployed a network of 180 temperature sensors in summer 2015 over 30 high- and 30 low-vegetated plots in three cities across a coastal to inland to desert climate gradient in southern California, USA. In a followup study, we deployed a network of temperature and humidity sensors in the inland city. We found negative T a and HI and positive RH correlations with vegetation intensity. Furthermore, vegetation effects were highest in evening hours, increasing across the climate gradient, with reductions in T a and increases in RH in low-vegetated plots. Vegetation increased temporal variability of T a , which corresponds with increased nighttime cooling. Increasing mean T a was associated with higher spatial variation in T a in coastal cities and lower variation in inland and desert cities, suggesting a climate dependent switch in vegetation sensitivity. These results show that urban vegetation increases spatiotemporal patterns of microclimate with greater cooling in warmer environments and during nighttime hours. Understanding urban microclimate variation will help city planners identify potential risk reductions associated with vegetation and develop effective strategies ameliorating urban microclimate. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  5. Geology of wadi atalla - el missikat area, eastern desert, egypt.

    OpenAIRE

    El Kassas, I. A. [ابراهيم علي القصاص; Bakhit, F. S.

    1989-01-01

    Wadi Atalla-El Missikat area covers about 2,000 Km2 in the central Eastern Desert of Egypt, between latitudes 26° 10' and 26° 40' N, and longitudes 33° 15' and 33° 40' E. The area is mainly formed of basement complex except its extreme south-western corner where it is covered by foreland sediments of Nubian sandstone. The area is structurally complicated where it has been subjected to various stages of successive tectonic movements since the Precambrian times. The basement complex in the stud...

  6. Analysis of desert rose using PIXE and RBS techniques

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Al-Kofahi, M.M.; Hallak, A.B.; Al-Juwair, H.A.; Saafin, A.K.

    1993-01-01

    Particle-induced x-ray emission (PIXE) and Rutherford backscattering spectrometry (RBS) were used to analyse desert rose geological samples. Samples from the rose core and from the rose peripherals were studied. All samples were found to contain C, N, O, Na, Mg, Si, S, Cl, K, Ca, Ti, Mn, Fe and Sr. Core samples were found to contain more silicon than peripheral samples. The extra silicon in the rose core may suggest a mechanism for the formation of the rose through crystal growth on a seed of silicon. (author)

  7. Robot Science Autonomy in the Atacama Desert and Beyond

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, David R.; Wettergreen, David S.

    2013-01-01

    Science-guided autonomy augments rovers with reasoning to make observations and take actions related to the objectives of scientific exploration. When rovers can directly interpret instrument measurements then scientific goals can inform and adapt ongoing navigation decisions. These autonomous explorers will make better scientific observations and collect massive, accurate datasets. In current astrobiology studies in the Atacama Desert we are applying algorithms for science autonomy to choose effective observations and measurements. Rovers are able to decide when and where to take follow-up actions that deepen scientific understanding. These techniques apply to planetary rovers, which we can illustrate with algorithms now used by Mars rovers and by discussing future missions.

  8. Impact of Precipitation Fluctuation on Desert-Grassland ANPP

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liangxu Liu

    2016-11-01

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

  9. Geophysical Reservoir Evaluation of Obaiyed Field, Western Desert, Egypt

    OpenAIRE

    Farag, Mohamed Ibrahim Abdel-Fattah Ibrahim

    2010-01-01

    Die Obaiyed-Gaslagerstätte liegt in der westlichen Wüste Ägyptens, etwa 50 km südlich der Mittelmeerküste. Das produzierte Gas entstammt dem oberen Safa-Member der Khatatba Formation (Mitteljura). Das obere Safa Reservoir ist zu einem wichtigen Ziel in der Erforschung des Obaiyed-Feldes geworden und hat dazu beigetragen, die Exploration im nordwestlichen Teil der Western Desert in Ägypten neu zu beleben. Daher ist das Hauptziel dieser Arbeit ist die Bewertung des Kohlenwasserstoff-Potentials ...

  10. Radon and 'King Solomon's Miners'. Faynan Orefield, Jordanian Desert

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Grattan, J.P.; Gillmore, G.K.; Gilbertson, D.D.; Pyatt, F.B.; Hunt, C.O.; McLaren, S.J.; Phillips, P.S.; Denman, A.

    2004-01-01

    Concentrations of 222 Rn were measured in ancient copper mines which exploited the Faynan Orefield in the South-Western Jordanian Desert. The concentrations of radon gas detected indicate that the ancient metal workers would have been exposed to a significant health risk and indicate that any future attempt to exploit the copper ores must deal with the hazard identified. Seasonal variations in radon concentrations are noted and these are linked to the ventilation of the mines. These modern data are used to explore the differential exposure to radon and the health of ancient mining communities

  11. Invited Commentary: More Surprises From a Gene Desert

    OpenAIRE

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

    2012-01-01

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

  12. Desert pioneers go high tech in uranium project

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1988-01-01

    The Kintyre uranium deposit discovered in 1985 in Western Australia's Great Sandy Desert by CRA Exploration is a highly competitive, easy to mine deposit, estimated at 35,000 tonnes of uranium oxide. Since its discovery CRA has spent $20 million on evaluation drilling and exploration and will spend another $10 million in 1988. Despite its remoteness the latest technology is being used, with sophisticated computer and assaying facilities, including an automatic X-ray fluorescence spectrometer, being established on site. A CRA-built radiometric ore sorter is being tested there which could cut ore processing costs

  13. Variation of Desert Soil Hydraulic Properties with Pedogenic Maturity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nimmo, J. R.; Perkins, K. S.; Mirus, B. B.; Schmidt, K. M.; Miller, D. M.; Stock, J. D.; Singha, K.

    2006-12-01

    Older alluvial desert soils exhibit greater pedogenic maturity, having more distinct desert pavements, vesicular (Av) horizons, and more pronounced stratification from processes such as illuviation and salt accumulation. These and related effects strongly influence the soil hydraulic properties. Older soils have been observed to have lower saturated hydraulic conductivity, and possibly greater capacity to retain water, but the quantitative effect of specific pedogenic features on the soil water retention or unsaturated hydraulic conductivity (K) curves is poorly known. With field infiltration/redistribution experiments on three different-aged soils developed within alluvial wash deposits in the Mojave National Preserve, we evaluated effective hydraulic properties over a scale of several m horizontally and to 1.5 m depth. We then correlated these properties with pedogenic features. The selected soils are (1) recently deposited sediments, (2) a soil of early Holocene age, and (3) a highly developed soil of late Pleistocene age. In each experiment we ponded water in a 1-m-diameter infiltration ring for 2.3 hr. For several weeks we monitored subsurface water content and matric pressure using surface electrical resistance imaging, dielectric-constant probes, heat-dissipation probes, and tensiometers. Analysis of these data using an inverse modeling technique gives the water retention and K properties needed for predictive modeling. Some properties show a consistent trend with soil age. Progressively more developed surface and near-surface features such as desert pavement and Av horizons are the likely cause of an observed consistent decline of infiltration capacity with soil age. Other properties, such as vertical flow retardation by layer contrasts, appear to have a more complicated soil-age dependence. The wash deposits display distinct depositional layering that has a retarding effect on vertical flow, an effect that may be less pronounced in the older Holocene soil

  14. Should I stay or should I go? Female brood desertion and male counterstrategy in rock sparrows

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Griggio, Matteo; Matessi, Giuliano; Pilastro, Andrea

    2005-01-01

    petronia), a species in which females can desert their first brood before the nestlings from the first brood leave the nest. We predicted that the male would either desert the brood first or stay even if this implied the risk of caring for the brood alone. We found that males mated to loaded females did...... not leave but stayed and significantly increased their courtship rate and mate guarding. Unexpectedly, they also increased their food provisioning to the nestlings, even though loaded females did not reduce their nestling-feeding rate. The increase in male feeding rate may be explained as a way for the male...... to reduce the female's propensity to switch mate and desert or to increase her propensity to copulate with the male to obtain paternity in her next brood. Altogether, our results demonstrate that the perception of the risk of being deserted by the female does not necessarily induce males to desert first...

  15. Predicting Pinus monophylla forest cover in the Baja California Desert by remote sensing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathan G. Escobar-Flores

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available The Californian single-leaf pinyon (Pinus monophylla var. californiarum, a subspecies of the single-leaf pinyon (the world’s only one-needled pine, inhabits semi-arid zones of the Mojave Desert (southern Nevada and southeastern California, US and also of northern Baja California (Mexico. This tree is distributed as a relict subspecies, at elevations of between 1,010 and 1,631 m in the geographically isolated arid Sierra La Asamblea, an area characterized by mean annual precipitation levels of between 184 and 288 mm. The aim of this research was (i to estimate the distribution of P. monophylla var. californiarum in Sierra La Asamblea by using Sentinel-2 images, and (ii to test and describe the relationship between the distribution of P. monophylla and five topographic and 18 climate variables. We hypothesized that (i Sentinel-2 images can be used to predict the P. monophylla distribution in the study site due to the finer resolution (×3 and greater number of bands (×2 relative to Landsat-8 data, which is publically available free of charge and has been demonstrated to be useful for estimating forest cover, and (ii the topographical variables aspect, ruggedness and slope are particularly important because they represent important microhabitat factors that can determine the sites where conifers can become established and persist. An atmospherically corrected a 12-bit Sentinel-2A MSI image with 10 spectral bands in the visible, near infrared, and short-wave infrared light region was used in combination with the normalized differential vegetation index (NDVI. Supervised classification of this image was carried out using a backpropagation-type artificial neural network algorithm. Stepwise multiple linear binominal logistical regression and Random Forest classification including cross validation were used to model the associations between presence/absence of P. monophylla and the five topographical and 18 climate variables. Using supervised

  16. Long-Term Observations of Dust Storms in Sandy Desert Environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yun, Hye-Won; Kim, Jung-Rack; Choi, Yun-Soo

    2015-04-01

    Mineral dust occupies the largest portion of atmospheric aerosol. Considering the numerous risks that dust poses for socioeconomic and anthropogenic activities, it is crucial to understand sandy desert environments, which frequently generate dust storms and act as a primary source of atmospheric aerosol. To identify mineral aerosol mechanisms, it is essential to monitor desert environmental factors involving dust storm generation in the long term. In this study, we focused on two major environmental factors: local surface roughness and soil moisture. Since installments of ground observation networks in sandy deserts are unfeasible, remote sensing techniques for mining desert environmental factors were employed. The test area was established within the Badain Jaran and Kubuqi Deserts in Inner Mongolia, China, where significant seasonal aeolian processes emit mineral dust that influences all of East Asia. To trace local surface roughness, we employed a multi-angle imaging spectroradiometer (MISR) image sequence to extract multi-angle viewing (MAV) topographic parameters such as normalized difference angular index, which represents characteristics of the target desert topography. The backscattering coefficient from various space-borne SAR and stereotopography were compared with MAV observations to determine calibrated local surface roughness. Soil moisture extraction techniques from InSAR-phase coherence stacks were developed and compiled with advanced scatterometer (ASCAT) soil moisture data. Combined with metrological information such as the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) ERA interim, correlations between intensity of sand dune activity as a proxy of aeolian processes in desert environments, surface wind conditions, and surface soil moisture were traced. Overall, we have confirmed that tracking sandy desert aeolian environments for long-term observations is feasible with space-borne, multi-sensor observations when combined with

  17. Borehole environmental tracers for evaluating net infiltration and recharge through desert bedrock

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heilweil, V.M.; Solomon, D.K.; Gardner, P.M.

    2006-01-01

    Permeable bedrock aquifers in arid regions are being increasingly developed as water supplies, yet little is generally known about recharge processes and spatial and temporal variability. Environmental tracers from boreholes were used in this study to investigate net infiltration and recharge to the fractured Navajo Sandstone aquifer. Vadose zone tracer profiles at the Sand Hollow study site in southwestern Utah look similar to those of desert soils at other sites, indicating the predominance of matrix flow. However, recharge rates are generally higher in the Navajo Sandstone than in unconsolidated soils in similar climates because the sandstone matrix allows water movement but not root penetration. Water enters the vadose zone either as direct infiltration of precipitation through exposed sandstone and sandy soils or as focused infiltration of runoff. Net infiltration and recharge exhibit extreme spatial variability. High-recharge borehole sites generally have large amounts of vadose zone tritium, low chloride concentrations, and small vadose zone oxygen-18 evaporative shifts. Annual net-infiltration and recharge rates at different locations range from about 1 to 60 mm as determined using vadose zone tritium, 0 to 15 mm using vadose zone chloride, and 3 to 60 mm using groundwater chloride. Environmental tracers indicate a cyclical net-infiltration and recharge pattern, with higher rates earlier in the Holocene and lower rates during the late Holocene, and a return to higher rates during recent decades associated with anomalously high precipitation during the latter part of the 20th century. The slightly enriched stable isotopic composition of modern groundwater indicates this recent increase in precipitation may be caused by a stronger summer monsoon or winter southern Pacific El Nin??o storm track. ?? Soil Science Society of America.

  18. Golden Eagle Monitoring Plan for the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiens, David; Kolar, Patrick; Katzner, Todd

    2018-01-01

    This report describes options for monitoring the status and population trends of the golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) within the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP) area of Southern California in maintaining stable or increasing population in the planning area. The report profiles the ecology of golden eagles in the region and provides a range of potential sampling options to address monitoring needs and objectives. This approach also focused on links between changes in human land-use, golden eagle nesting and foraging habitat conditions, and population dynamics. The report outlines how monitoring data from demographic, prey, and habitat studies were used to develop a predictive demographic model for golden eagles in the DRECP area. Results from the model simulations suggest increases in renewable energy development could have negative consequences for population trajectories. Results also suggest site-specific conservation actions could reduce the magnitude of negative impacts to the local population of eagles. A monitoring framework is proposed including: (1) annual assessments of site-occupancy and reproduction by territorial pairs of golden eagles (including rates at which sites become colonized or vacated over time); (2) estimates of survival, movements, and intensity of use of landscapes by breeding and non-breeding golden eagles; (3) periodic (conducted every two to four years) assessments of nesting and foraging habitats, prey populations, and associations with land-use and management activities; and (4) updating the predictive demographic model with new information obtained on eagles and associated population stressors. The results of this research were published in the Journal of Rapture Research, Wiens, David,Inman, Rich D., Esque, Todd C., Longshore, Kathleen M. and Nussear, Kenneth (2017). Spatial Demographic Models to Inform Conservation Planning of Golden Eagles in Renewable Energy Landscapes. 51(3):234-257.

  19. Southern Universities Nuclear Institute

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anon.

    1977-01-01

    The Southern Universities Nuclear Institute was created in 1961 to provide postgraduate research and teaching facilities for the universities of Cape Town and Stellenbosch. The main research tool is the 6,0 MV Van de Graaff accelerator installed in 1964. Developments and improvements over the years have maintained the Institute's research effectiveness. The work of local research groups has led to a large number of M Sc and doctorate degrees and numerous publications in international journals. Research at the Institute includes front-line studies of basic nuclear and atomic physics, the development and application of nuclear analytical techniques and the application of radioisotope tracers to problems in science, industry and medicine. The Institute receives financial support from the two southern universities, the Department of National Education, the CSIR and the Atomic Energy Board

  20. Southern Alberta system reinforcement

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rehman, A. [Alberta Electric System Operator, Calgary, AB (Canada)

    2008-07-01

    System planning for the Alberta Electric System Operator's (AESO) southern system was discussed in view of the growing interest in developing wind energy resources in the province. While Alberta currently has a total of 11,500 MW of installed wind power, southern Alberta has a very small capability for interconnecting additional wind resources. There are 3 main agencies involved in system planning for the southern region: (1) the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC), (2) the AESO, and (3) the transmission facility owners. Transmission needs are studied by the AESO, who then applies to the AUC for approval. Transmission facility owners also apply to the AUC for approval to construct facilities. The AESO's roles are to operate the wholesale electricity market; plan the transmission system; arrange access for loads and generation; and oversee transmission system operation. The AESO is an independent agency with a public interest mandate. The AESO's queue management process has been designed to facilitate non-discriminatory system access. Development options currently being considered by the AESO include a 240 kV AC transmission line; a 500 kV AC transmission line; a 765 kV AC transmission line; a high voltage direct current (HVDC) system; and a voltage source converter (VSC) HVDC system. Radial and looped configurations are also being considered. The AESO is currently conducting a participant involvement program that involves open houses with the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) and other provincial stakeholders. tabs., figs.

  1. Effect of desertification on productivity in a desert steppe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Zhuangsheng; An, Hui; Deng, Lei; Wang, Yingying; Zhu, Guangyu; Shangguan, Zhouping

    2016-06-14

    Desertification, one of the most severe types of land degradation in the world, is of great importance because it is occurring, to some degree, on approximately 40% of the global land area and is affecting more than 1 billion people. In this study, we used a space-for-time method to quantify the impact of five different desertification regimes (potential (PD), light (LD), moderate (MD), severe (SD), and very severe (VSD)) on a desert steppe ecosystem in northern China to examine the relationship between the productivity of the vegetation and soil properties and to determine the mechanism underlying the effects of desertification on productivity. Our results showed that the effects of desertification on TP (total phosphorus) and AP (available phosphorus) were not significant, and desertification decreased productivity in the desert steppe as a result of direct changes to soil physical properties, which can directly affect soil chemical properties. Therefore, intensive grassland management to improve soil quality may result in the long-term preservation of ecosystem functions and services.

  2. Radiative forcing of the desert aerosol at Ouarzazate (Morocco)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tahiri, Abdelouahid; Diouri, Mohamed

    2018-05-01

    The atmospheric aerosol contributes to the definition of the climate with direct effect, the diffusion and absorption of solar and terrestrial radiations, and indirect, the cloud formation process where aerosols behave as condensation nuclei and alter the optical properties. Satellites and ground-based networks (solar photometers) allow the terrestrial aerosol observation and the determination of impact. Desert aerosol considered among the main types of tropospheric aerosols whose optical property uncertainties are still quite important. The analysis concerns the optical parameters recorded in 2015 at Ouarzazate solar photometric station (AERONET/PHOTONS network, http://aeronet.gsfc.nasa.gov/) close to Saharan zone. The daily average aerosol optical depthτaer at 0.5μm, are relatively high in summer and less degree in spring (from 0.01 to 1.82). Daily average of the Angstrom coefficients α vary between 0.01 and 1.55. The daily average of aerosol radiative forcing at the surface range between -150W/m2 and -10 W/m2 with peaks recorded in summer, characterized locally by large loads of desert aerosol in agreement with the advections of the Southeast of Morocco. Those recorded at the Top of the atmosphere show a variation from -74 W/m2 to +24 W/m2

  3. Orbital radar studies of paleodrainages in the central Namib Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lancaster, N.; Schaber, G.G.; Teller, J.T.

    2000-01-01

    Orbital radar images of the central Namib Desert show clearly the extent of relict fluvial deposits associated with former courses of the Tsondab and Kuiseb rivers. South of the Kuiseb River, radar data show the existence of a drainage network developed in calcrete-cemented late Tertiary fluvial deposits. The sand-filled paleovalleys are imaged as radar-dark tones in contrast to the radar-bright interfluves where the calcreted gravels occur. The drainage network developed as a result of local runoff from indurated gravels and channeled surface and subsurface flow to the sites of the many interdune lacustrine deposits found in the area. (C) Elsevier Science Inc., 2000.Orbital radar images of the central Namib Desert show clearly the extent of relict fluvial deposits associated with former courses of the Tsondab and Kuiseb rivers. South of the Kuiseb River, radar data show the existence of a drainage network developed in calcrete-cemented late Tertiary fluvial deposits. The sand-filled paleovalleys are imaged as radar-dark tones in contrast to the radar-bright interfluves where the calcreted gravels occur. The drainage network developed as a result of local runoff from indurated gravels and channeled surface and subsurface flow to the sites of the many interdune lacustrine deposits found in the area.

  4. Microenvironments and microscale productivity of cyanobacterial desert crusts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia-Pichel, F.; Belnap, Jayne

    1996-01-01

    We used microsensors to characterize physicochemical microenvironments and photosynthesis occurring immediately after water saturation in two desert soil crusts from southeastern Utah, which were formed by the cyanobacteria Microcoleus vaginatus Gomont, Nostoc spp., and Scytonema sp. The light fields within the crusts presented steep vertical gradients in magnitude and spectral composition. Near-surface light-trapping zones were formed due to the scattering nature of the sand particles, but strong light attenuation resulted in euphotic zones only ca. 1 mm deep, which were progressively enriched in longer wavelengths with depth. Rates of gross photosynthesis (3.4a??9.4 mmol O2A?ma??2A?ha??1) and dark respiration (0.81a??3.1 mmol Oa??2A?ma??2A?ha??1) occurring within 1 to several mm from the surface were high enough to drive the formation of marked oxygen microenvironments that ranged from oxygen supersaturation to anoxia. The photosynthetic activity also resulted in localized pH values in excess of 10, 2a??3 units above the soil pH. Differences in metabolic parameters and community structure between two types of crusts were consistent with a successional pattern, which could be partially explained on the basis of the microenvironments. We discuss the significance of high metabolic rates and the formation of microenvironments for the ecology of desert crusts, as well as the advantages and limitations of microsensor-based methods for crust investigation.

  5. Prevalence of Mycoplasma ovipneumoniae in desert bighorn sheep in Arizona

    Science.gov (United States)

    Justice-Allen, Anne E.; Luedtke, Clint J.; Overstreet, Matthew; Cain, James W.; Stephenson, Thomas R.

    2011-01-01

    To assess the potential for an epizootic of pneumonia to result from either natural immigration or translocation, we compared the seroprevalence to Mycoplasma ovipneumoniae in several populations of desert bighorn sheep in Arizona. We collected blood samples and nasal or oropharyngeal swabs from 124 desert bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis nelsoni) from 6 populations in Arizona in 2009 and 2010. M. ovipneumoniae organisms were detected by PCR in 22%, whereas antibodies to M. ovipneumoniae were detected in 47% of tested bighorn sheep. Mycoplasma antibodies were not found in 2 of 6 populations, indicating some bighorn sheep populations in Arizona are naïve to this bacterium. In contrast, others had seroprevalence rates up to 80%. We were able to compare seroprevalence rates and titers over time in 9 individuals (7 individuals included in the 124 bighorn sheep sampled in 2009 and 2010, and 2 individuals originally captured in 2006). Antibody titers persisted for 12 months in individuals from the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge (n = 7) while antibody titers appeared to decline in the Kanab Creek population (n = 2). M. ovipneumoniae is present or has been present in several, but not all, populations of bighorn sheep in Arizona. The results demonstrate the importance of routine health testing for future translocation efforts to reduce disease risk for naive populations.

  6. Radon concentration measurements in the desert caves of Saudi Arabia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Al-Mustafa, Hanan; Al-Jarallah, M.I.; Fazal-ur-Rehman; Abu-Jarad, F.

    2005-01-01

    Beneath the harsh deserts of Saudi Arabia lie dark chambers and complex mazes filled with strange shapes and wondrous beauty. Radon concentration measurements have been carried out in the desert caves of Al-Somman Plateau in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia. Passive radon dosimeters, based on alpha particle etch track detectors with an inlet filter, were used in this study. A total of 59 dosimeters were placed in five caves for a period of six months. Out of 59 dosimeters, 37 could be collected for analysis. Measurements showed significant variations in radon concentrations in caves depending upon their natural ventilation. The results of the study show that the average radon concentration in the different caves ranges from 74 up to 451Bqm -3 . The average radon concentration in four of the caves was low in the range 74-114Bqm -3 . However, one cave showed an average radon concentration of 451Bqm -3 . Radon is not a problem for tourists in the majority of caves. However, sometimes it may imply some limitation to the working time of guides

  7. Radon concentration measurements in the desert caves of Saudi Arabia

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Al-Mustafa, Hanan [Women College, P. O. Box 838, Dammam 31113 (Saudi Arabia); Al-Jarallah, M.I. [Department of Physics, King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, Dhahran 31261 (Saudi Arabia)]. E-mail: mibrahim@kfupm.edu.sa; Fazal-ur-Rehman [Department of Physics, King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, Dhahran 31261 (Saudi Arabia); Abu-Jarad, F. [Radiation Protection Unit, Environmental Protection Department, Saudi Aramco P.O. Box 13027, Dhahran 31311 (Saudi Arabia)

    2005-11-15

    Beneath the harsh deserts of Saudi Arabia lie dark chambers and complex mazes filled with strange shapes and wondrous beauty. Radon concentration measurements have been carried out in the desert caves of Al-Somman Plateau in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia. Passive radon dosimeters, based on alpha particle etch track detectors with an inlet filter, were used in this study. A total of 59 dosimeters were placed in five caves for a period of six months. Out of 59 dosimeters, 37 could be collected for analysis. Measurements showed significant variations in radon concentrations in caves depending upon their natural ventilation. The results of the study show that the average radon concentration in the different caves ranges from 74 up to 451Bqm{sup -3}. The average radon concentration in four of the caves was low in the range 74-114Bqm{sup -3}. However, one cave showed an average radon concentration of 451Bqm{sup -3}. Radon is not a problem for tourists in the majority of caves. However, sometimes it may imply some limitation to the working time of guides.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belnap, Jayne

    2001-01-01

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

  9. A Combined Observational and Modeling Approach to Study Modern Dust Transport from the Patagonia Desert to East Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gasso, S.; Stein, A.; Marino, F.; Castellano, E.; Udisti, R.; Ceratto, J.

    2010-01-01

    The understanding of present atmospheric transport processes from Southern Hemisphere (SH) landmasses to Antarctica can improve the interpretation of stratigraphic data in Antarctic ice cores. In addition, long range transport can deliver key nutrients normally not available to marine ecosystems in the Southern Ocean and may trigger or enhance primary productivity. However, there is a dearth of observational based studies of dust transport in the SH. This work aims to improve current understanding of dust transport in the SH by showing a characterization of two dust events originating in the Patagonia desert (south end of South America). The approach is based on a combined and complementary use of satellite retrievals (detectors MISR, MODIS, GLAS ,POLDER, OMI,), transport model simulation (HYSPLIT) and surface observations near the sources and aerosol measurements in Antarctica (Neumayer and Concordia sites). Satellite imagery and visibility observations confirm dust emission in a stretch of dry lakes along the coast of the Tierra del Fuego (TdF) island (approx.54deg S) and from the shores of the Colihue Huapi lake in Central Patagonia (approx.46deg S) in February 2005. Model simulations initialized by these observations reproduce the timing of an observed increase in dust concentration at the Concordia Station and some of the observed increases in atmospheric aerosol absorption (here used as a dust proxy) in the Neumayer station. The TdF sources were the largest contributors of dust at both sites. The transit times from TdF to the Neumayer and Concordia sites are 6-7 and 9-10 days respectively. Lidar observations and model outputs coincide in placing most of the dust cloud in the boundary layer and suggest significant de- position over the ocean immediately downwind. Boundary layer dust was detected as far as 1800 km from the source and approx.800 km north of the South Georgia Island over the central sub-Antarctic Atlantic Ocean. Although the analysis suggests the

  10. Moderate irrigation intervals facilitate establishment of two desert shrubs in the Taklimakan Desert Highway Shelterbelt in China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Congjuan; Shi, Xiang; Mohamad, Osama Abdalla; Gao, Jie; Xu, Xinwen; Xie, Yijun

    2017-01-01

    Water influences various physiological and ecological processes of plants in different ecosystems, especially in desert ecosystems. The purpose of this study is to investigate the response of physiological and morphological acclimation of two shrubs Haloxylon ammodendron and Calligonum mongolicunl to variations in irrigation intervals. The irrigation frequency was set as 1-, 2-, 4-, 8- and 12-week intervals respectively from March to October during 2012-2014 to investigate the response of physiological and morphological acclimation of two desert shrubs Haloxylon ammodendron and Calligonum mongolicunl to variations in the irrigation system. The irrigation interval significantly affected the individual-scale carbon acquisition and biomass allocation pattern of both species. Under good water conditions (1- and 2-week intervals), carbon assimilation was significantly higher than other treatments; while, under water shortage conditions (8- and 12-week intervals), there was much defoliation; and under moderate irrigation intervals (4 weeks), the assimilative organs grew gently with almost no defoliation occurring. Both studied species maintained similar ecophysiologically adaptive strategies, while C. mongolicunl was more sensitive to drought stress because of its shallow root system and preferential belowground allocation of resources. A moderate irrigation interval of 4 weeks was a suitable pattern for both plants since it not only saved water but also met the water demands of the plants.

  11. Female offspring desertion and male-only care increase with natural and experimental increase in food abundance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eldegard, Katrine; Sonerud, Geir A

    2009-05-07

    In species with biparental care, one parent may escape the costs of parental care by deserting and leaving the partner to care for the offspring alone. A number of theoretical papers have suggested a link between uniparental offspring desertion and ecological factors, but empirical evidence is scarce. We investigated the relationship between uniparental desertion and food abundance in a natural population of Tengmalm's owl Aegolius funereus, both by means of a 5-year observational study and a 1-year experimental study. Parents and offspring were fitted with radio-transmitters in order to reveal the parental care strategy (i.e. care or desert) of individual parents, and to keep track of the broods post-fledging. We found that 70 per cent of the females from non-experimental nests deserted, while their partner continued to care for their joint offspring alone. Desertion rate was positively related to natural prey population densities and body reserves of the male partner. In response to food supplementation, a larger proportion of the females deserted, and females deserted the offspring at an earlier age. Offspring survival during the post-fledging period tended to be lower in deserted than in non-deserted broods. We argue that the most important benefit of deserting may be remating (sequential polyandry).

  12. Neoproterozoic Evolution and Najd‒Related Transpressive Shear Deformations Along Nugrus Shear Zone, South Eastern Desert, Egypt (Implications from Field‒Structural Data and AMS‒Technique)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagag, W.; Moustafa, R.; Hamimi, Z.

    2018-01-01

    The tectonometamorphic evolution of Nugrus Shear Zone (NSZ) in the south Eastern Desert of Egypt was reevaluated through an integrated study including field-structural work and magnetofabric analysis using Anisotropy of Magnetic Susceptibility (AMS) technique, complemented by detailed microstructural investigation. Several lines of evidence indicate that the Neoproterozoic juvenile crust within this high strain zone suffered an impressive tectonic event of left-lateral transpressional regime, transposed the majority of the earlier formed structures into a NNW to NW-directed wrench corridor depicts the northwestern extension of the Najd Shear System (NSS) along the Eastern Desert of Egypt. The core of the southern Hafafit dome underwent a high metamorphic event ( M 1) developed during the end of the main collisional orogeny in the Arabian-Nubian Shield (ANS). The subsequent M 2 metamorphic event was retrogressive and depicts the tectonic evolution and exhumation of the Nugrus-Hafafit area including the Hafafit gneissic domes, during the origination of the left-lateral transpressive wrench corridor of the NSS. The early tectonic fabric within the NSZ and associated highly deformed rocks was successfully detected by the integration of AMS-technique and microstructural observations. Such fabric grain was checked through a field-structural work. The outcomes of the present contribution advocate a complex tectonic evolution with successive and overlapped deformation events for the NSZ.

  13. Preliminary study of the uranium favorability of Mesozoic intrusive and Tertiary volcanic and sedimentary rocks of the Central Mojave Desert, Kern and San Bernardino counties, California

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Leedom, S.H.; Kiloh, K.D.

    1978-02-01

    Numerous, small, low-grade, supergene uranium deposits are found in Tertiary volcanic and sedimentary rocks in the central Mojave Desert of southern California. Large thorium-to-uranium ratios in samples of Mesozoic intrusive rocks exposed in the area indicate that these rocks have been extensively weathered, eroded, and subsequently leached by ground waters, and that they may have been the primary source of uranium for the deposits. The uranium content of samples of volcanic intrusive and extrusive rocks is average for intermediate to silicic rocks, but samples of basalt flows in the area contain six times the average uranium content of mafic igneous rocks. Devitrified tuffs and tuffaceous sedimentary rocks, interbedded with calcareous units, are additional sources of uranium for supergene uranium deposits found in calcareous units. Uranium is also found in accessory minerals in a few Mesozoic quartz-rich pegmatite dikes. Uranium deposits in the central Mojave Desert have been formed by enrichment during diagenetic replacement of Tertiary carbonate rocks; by supergene enrichment along fractures, joints, and bedding planes in Tertiary volcanic and sedimentary rocks; during formation of Holocene caliche; and by deposition within hydrothermally altered shear zones. Within the area, the diagenetic replacement type of deposit has the greatest potential for large, low-grade uranium occurrences. The other type of uranium deposits are small, erratically distributed, and extensively covered by alluvium

  14. Evaluation of great deserts of the world for perpetual radiowaste storage

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Libby, L.M.; Wurtele, M.G.; Whipple, C.G.

    1982-01-01

    Desert sites with a history of seismic stability were studied for storage of radioactive wastes because of the attractive meteorology, proven longterm geological stability, and distance from human population centers. Specific deserts were to be representative of various kinds of world deserts, if substantial information about each desert was available, to examine with respect to transporting, handling, storing, and cooling the radioactive waste, and the site suitability as to geological conditions, water availability, alternative land use, airborne emissions of heat, accidental radioactive emission, and possible socioeonomic impacts. No significant technical obstacles to the use of the world deserts as sites for a retrievable storage facility for 500 years were found. However, given the relatively low level of effort that was allocated between the many technical issues listed above, this study is neither a full risk assessment nor a full environmental impact analysis of such a facility. Assessments for siting the facility were made for five deserts, chosen to be representative of Old World, New World, Australian, interior, coastal, foggy, hot and cold: the Nullarbor Plain of Australia, the Namib in Africa, the Great Basin of the United States represented by the Nevada Test Site, the North Slope of Alaska and Canada, and the Egyptian desert

  15. Urban particle size distributions during two contrasting dust events originating from Taklimakan and Gobi Deserts

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhao, Suping; Yu, Ye; Xia, Dunsheng; Yin, Daiying; He, Jianjun; Liu, Na; Li, Fang

    2015-01-01

    The dust origins of the two events were identified using HYSPLIT trajectory model and MODIS and CALIPSO satellite data to understand the particle size distribution during two contrasting dust events originated from Taklimakan and Gobi deserts. The supermicron particles significantly increased during the dust events. The dust event from Gobi desert affected significantly on the particles larger than 2.5 μm, while that from Taklimakan desert impacted obviously on the particles in 1.0–2.5 μm. It is found that the particle size distributions and their modal parameters such as VMD (volume median diameter) have significant difference for varying dust origins. The dust from Taklimakan desert was finer than that from Gobi desert also probably due to other influencing factors such as mixing between dust and urban emissions. Our findings illustrated the capacity of combining in situ, satellite data and trajectory model to characterize large-scale dust plumes with a variety of aerosol parameters. - Highlights: • Dust particle size distributions had large differences for varying origins. • Dust originating from Taklimakan Desert was finer than that from Gobi Desert. • Effect of dust on the supermicron particles was obvious. • PM_1_0 concentrations increased by a factor of 3.4–25.6 during the dust event. - Dust particle size distributions had large differences for varying origins, which may be also related to other factors such as mixing between dust and urban emissions.

  16. Loess deposits since early Pleistocene in northeast China and implications for desert evolution in east China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Miao; Zhang, Xujiao; Tian, Mingzhong; Liu, Ru; He, Zexin; Qi, Lin; Qiao, Yansong

    2018-04-01

    Loess deposits and deserts are regarded as coupled geological systems and loess deposits on the periphery of deserts can often be used to reconstruct desert evolution. Previous studies of desert evolution in Asia are mainly concentrated in northwest China and the China Loess Plateau, and little is known about long-term desert evolution in east China. In this study, we selected the Sishijiazi loess section in the Chifeng area in northeast China to study the long-term evolution of the desert in east China. A high-resolution magnetostratigraphy combined with optically stimulated luminescence dating indicated that the age of the section base is approximately 1.02 Ma. The Brunhes-Matuyama boundary is at the depth of 39.8 m in loess unit L8, and the upper boundary of the Jaramillo Subchron is at the depth of 60.8 m in paleosol S10. The results of grain-size analysis indicate a coarsening grain-size trend in the past 1.0 Ma. In addition, based on grain-size variations, the desert evolution in east China since ∼1.0 Ma can be divided into three stages: stability from 1.0 to 0.8 Ma, desert recession from 0.8 to 0.5 Ma, and gradual expansion since 0.5 Ma. Our results further indicate that the evolution of desert in east China was mainly controlled by changes in global ice volume, and that the uplift of the Tibetan Plateau may have had an additional effect.

  17. Food deserts in Winnipeg, Canada: a novel method for measuring a complex and contested construct

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joyce Slater

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: "Food deserts" have emerged over the past 20 years as spaces of concern for communities, public health authorities and researchers because of their potential negative impact on dietary quality and subsequent health outcomes. Food deserts are residential geographic spaces, typically in urban settings, where low-income residents have limited or no access to retail food establishments with sufficient variety at affordable cost. Research on food deserts presents methodological challenges including retail food store identification and classification, identification of low-income populations, and transportation and proximity metrics. Furthermore, the complex methods often used in food desert research can be difficult to reproduce and communicate to key stakeholders. To address these challenges, this study sought to demonstrate the feasibility of implementing a simple and reproducible method of identifying food deserts using data easily available in the Canadian context. Methods: This study was conducted in Winnipeg, Canada in 2014. Food retail establishments were identified from Yellow Pages and verified by public health dietitians. We calculated two scenarios of food deserts based on location of the lowest-income quintile population: (a living ≥ 500 m from a national chain grocery store, or (b living ≥ 500 m from a national chain grocery store or a full-service grocery store. Results: The number of low-income residents living in a food desert ranged from 64 574 to 104 335, depending on the scenario used. Conclusion: This study shows that food deserts affect a significant proportion of the Winnipeg population, and while concentrated in the urban core, exist in suburban neighbourhoods also. The methods utilized represent an accessible and transparent, reproducible process for identifying food deserts. These methods can be used for costeffective, periodic surveillance and meaningful engagement with communities, retailers and policy

  18. A study of the depth of weathering and its relationship to the mechanical properties of near-surface rocks in the Mojave Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stierman, D.J.; Healy, J.H.

    1985-01-01

    Weathered granite extends 70 m deep at Hi Vista in the arid central Mojave Desert of southern California. The low strength of this granite is due to the alteration of biotite and chlorite montmorillonite. Deep weathering probably occurs in most granites, although we cannot rule out some anomalous mechanisms at Hi Vista. Geophysical instruments set in these slightly altered rocks are limited by the unstable behavior of the rocks. Thus, tectonic signals from instruments placed in shallow boreholes give vague results. Geophysical measurements of these weathered rocks resemble measurements of granitic rocks near major faults. The rheology of the rocks in which instruments are placed limits the useful sensitivity of the instruments. ?? 1985 Birkha??user Verlag.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  20. CO2 EFFECTS ON MOJAVE DESERT PLANT INTERACTIONS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    L. A. DEFALCO; G. C. FERNANDEZ; S. D. SMITH; R. S. NOWAK

    2004-01-01

    Seasonal and interannual droughts characteristic of deserts have the potential to modify plant interactions as atmospheric CO{sub 2} concentrations continue to rise. At the Nevada Desert FACE (free-air CO{sub 2} enrichment) facility in the northern Mojave Desert, the effects of elevated atmospheric C02 (550 vs. ambient {approx}360 {micro}mol mol{sup -1}) on plant interactions were examined during two years of high and low rainfall. Results suggest that CO{sub 2} effects on the interaction between native species and their understory herbs are dependent on the strength of competition when rainfall is plentiful, but are unimportant during annual drought. Seasonal rainfall for 1999 was 23% the long-term average for the area, and neither elevated CO{sub 2} nor the low production of herbaceous neighbors had an effect on relative growth rate (RGR, d{sup -1}) and reproductive effort (RE, number of flowers g{sup -1}) for Achnatherum hymenoides (early season perennial C{sub 3} grass), Pleuraphis rigida (late season perennial C{sub 4} grass), and Larrea tridentata (evergreen C{sub 3} shrub). In contrast, 1998 received 213% the average rainfall. Consequently, the decrease in RGR and increase in RE for Achnatherum, whose period of growth overlaps directly with that of its neighbors, was exaggerated at elevated CO{sub 2}. However, competitive effects of neighbors on Eriogonum trichopes (a winter annual growing in shrub interspaces), Pleuraphis and Larrea were not affected by elevated CO{sub 2}, and possible explanations are discussed. Contrary to expectations, the invasive annual neighbor Bromus madritensis ssp. rubens had little influence on target plant responses because densities in 1998 and 1999 at this site were well below those found in other studies where it has negatively affected perennial plant growth. The extent that elevated CO{sub 2} reduces the performance of Achnatherum in successive years to cause its loss from the plant community depends more on future pressure

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martina Köberl

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

  2. Water relations and photosynthesis in the cryptoendolithic microbial habitat of hot and cold deserts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palmer, R. J. Jr; Friedmann, E. I.

    1990-01-01

    Two cryptoendolithic microbial communities, lichens in the Ross Desert of Antarctica and cyanobacteria in the Negev Desert, inhabit porous sandstone rocks of similar physical structure. Both rock types adsorb water vapor by physical mechanisms unrelated to biological processes. Yet the two microbial communities respond differently to water stress: cryptoendolithic lichens begin to photosynthesize at a matric water potential of -46.4 megaPascals (MPa) [70% relative humidity (RH) at 8 degrees C], resembling thallose desert lichens. Cryptoendolithic cyanobacteria, like other prokaryotes, photosynthesize only at very high matric water potentials [> -6.9 MPa, 90% RH at 20 degrees C].

  3. Biotic Processes Regulating the Carbon Balance of Desert Ecosystems - Final Report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nowak, Robert S [UNR; Smith, Stanley D [UNLV; Evans, Dave [WSU; Ogle, Kiona [ASU; Fenstermaker, Lynn [DRI

    2012-12-13

    Our results from the 10-year elevated atmospheric CO{sub 2} concentration study at the Nevada Desert FACE (Free-air CO{sub 2} Enrichment) Facility (NDFF) indicate that the Mojave Desert is a dynamic ecosystem with the capacity to respond quickly to environmental changes. The Mojave Desert ecosystem is accumulating carbon (C), and over the 10-year experiment, C accumulation was significantly greater under elevated [CO{sub 2}] than under ambient, despite great fluctuations in C inputs from year to year and even apparent reversals in which [CO{sub 2}] treatment had greater C accumulations.

  4. The Southern Ocean Observing System

    OpenAIRE

    Rintoul, Stephen R.; Meredith, Michael P.; Schofield, Oscar; Newman, Louise

    2012-01-01

    The Southern Ocean includes the only latitude band where the ocean circles the earth unobstructed by continental boundaries. This accident of geography has profound consequences for global ocean circulation, biogeochemical cycles, and climate. The Southern Ocean connects the ocean basins and links the shallow and deep limbs of the overturning circulation (Rintoul et al., 2001). The ocean's capacity to moderate the pace of climate change is therefore influenced strongly by the Southern Ocean's...

  5. Evolution and ecology meet molecular genetics: adaptive phenotypic plasticity in two isolated Negev desert populations of Acacia raddiana at either end of a rainfall gradient

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ward, David; Shrestha, Madan K.; Golan-Goldhirsh, Avi

    2012-01-01

    Background and Aims The ecological, evolutionary and genetic bases of population differentiation in a variable environment are often related to the selection pressures that plants experience. We compared differences in several growth- and defence-related traits in two isolated populations of Acacia raddiana trees from sites at either end of an extreme environmental gradient in the Negev desert. Methods We used random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) to determine the molecular differences between populations. We grew plants under two levels of water, three levels of nutrients and three levels of herbivory to test for phenotypic plasticity and adaptive phenotypic plasticity. Key Results The RAPD analyses showed that these populations are highly genetically differentiated. Phenotypic plasticity in various morphological traits in A. raddiana was related to patterns of population genetic differentiation between the two study sites. Although we did not test for maternal effects in these long-lived trees, significant genotype × environment (G × E) interactions in some of these traits indicated that such plasticity may be adaptive. Conclusions The main selection pressure in this desert environment, perhaps unsurprisingly, is water. Increased water availability resulted in greater growth in the southern population, which normally receives far less rain than the northern population. Even under the conditions that we defined as low water and/or nutrients, the performance of the seedlings from the southern population was significantly better, perhaps reflecting selection for these traits. Consistent with previous studies of this genus, there was no evidence of trade-offs between physical and chemical defences and plant growth parameters in this study. Rather, there appeared to be positive correlations between plant size and defence parameters. The great variation in several traits in both populations may result in a diverse potential for responding to selection pressures in

  6. A preliminaryfloristic checklist of thal desert punjab, pakistan

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shaheen, H.; Qureshi, R.

    2014-01-01

    The floristic survey of the Thal desert, Punjab, Pakistan was carried out during 2010 to 2013. So far, 248 species distributed across 166 genera and 38 families were identified during the report period. Besides, one species viz., Themeda triandra was recorded for the first time from Pakistan. Of them, one fern, 4 monocots and 33 dicots families were determined. The most dominating family was Poaceae that contributed 52 species (21.49%), followed by Fabaceae (34 spp., 13.05%) and Amaranthaceae and Asteraceae (17 spp., 7.02% each). The largest genera were Euphorbia (6 spp.), Cyperus, Eragrostis and Solanum (5 spp. each), Mollugo, Heliotropium and Cenchrus (4 spp. each), Acacia, Prosopis, Tephrosia, Corchorus, Boerhavia and Ziziphus (3 spp. each). This checklist consists of updated systematic families and plants names that will provide a useful starting point for further ecological and bioprospective research of the area under study. (author)

  7. The desert environmental effect on the photovoltaic performance analyzing

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Al Khuffash, K.; Lamont, L.A.; El Chaar, L.

    2014-01-01

    Solar power is commonly accepted to have the highest potential among other renewable energy sources. As a photovoltaic (PV) panel directly converts light into electricity it is preferred over concentrated solar power. However, PV modules are affected by the surrounding climate and implementing it in a desert location may cause an undesired effect. Therefore, this research studies the effect of different weather aspects on the performance of the PV panels, by obtaining a relation between each weather aspect and the performance of the panel. In addition, coating is tested in order to evaluate its effectiveness as a feasible solution for locations which have high dust accumulation. The results showed that coating can be a solution for dust accumulation at high irradiation levels. (author)

  8. Endocrine responses to water restriction in desert sheep

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ahmed, Muna M.M.

    1994-01-01

    For ruminants grazing in semi-arid areas, the maintenance of balanced water and energy metabolism is challenging to productivity.The metabolic effects of water restriction usually stimulate endocrine which control metabolic activity depending on the thermal environment.Radioimmunoasay technique was used to determine the level of endocrine hormones, namely thyroid stimulating hormone(TSH),thyroxine(T4) and cortisol in desert sheep.Intermittent watering every 24h, 48h and 72h increased TSH level during the morning but decreased it during the afternoon.T4 level decreased during both morning and afternoon.The cortisol level was depressed by water restriction during the morning and afternoon but showed an overlapping pattern with that of the control during the afternoon. (Author)

  9. Physiological adaptation for milk production in desert ruminants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shkolnik, A.

    1981-08-01

    The authors have shown that the black goats herded by the Bedouins in the deserts of Israel can graze in sun-scorched conditions even when still 2 days walking distance from any water source. Upon their arrival at a water hole, they consumed volumes of water which were greater than 40% of their dehydrated body weight. After drinking, their body water content was 76% of body weight; after grazing for 4 days with no water, the water content of their body was still within the normal range for ruminants and their body solids were also well maintained. It was concluded that the amount of water consumed by the goats after grazing was not only sufficient to replenish the loss of water incurred by grazing, but to re-establish the body water content at a higher than normal level and thereby provide a water store. Using 51 Cr EDTA to measure the flow of liquid out of the reticulo-rumen, the authors showed that this increased from 73 ml/hr to 250 ml/hr between the 1st and 5th hour after drinking, but even by 5 hours after drinking over 80% of the volume consumed was still in the reticulo-rumen. It is suggested that the rumen plays a major role in the water economy of desert ruminants in that it provides an essential mechanism by which they can store water and circumvent the hazards likely to follow rapid rehydration. Similar findings were obtained in the wild ruminants mentioned above

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  11. Water and water quality management in the cholistan desert

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kahlown, M.A.; Chaudhry, M.A.

    2005-01-01

    Water scarcity is the main problem in Cholistan desert. Rainfall is scanty and sporadic and groundwater is saline in most of the area. Rainwater is collected in man made small storages, locally called tobas during rainy season for human and livestock consumption. These tobas usually retain rainwater for three to four months at the maximum, due to small storage capacity and unfavorable location. After the tobas become dry, people use saline groundwater for human and livestock consumption where marginal quality groundwater is available. In complete absence of water they migrate towards canal irrigated areas till the next rains. During migration humans and livestock suffer from hunger, thirst and diseases. In order to overcome this problem Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR) has introduced improved designs of tobas. The PCRWR is collecting more than 13.0 million cubic meter rainwater annually from only ninety hectare catchment area. As a result, water is available for drinking of human and livestock population as well as to wild life through out the year for the village of Dingarh in Cholistan desert. However, water collected in these tobas is usually muddy and full of impurities. To provide good quality drinking water to the residents of Cholistan, PCRWR has launched a Project under which required quantity of drinkable water will be provided at more than seventy locations by rainwater harvesting, pumping of good and marginal quality groundwater and desalination of moderately saline water through Reverse Osmosis Plants. After the completion of project, more then 380 million gallons of fresh rainwater and more than 1300 million gallons of good and marginal quality groundwater will be available annually. Intervention to collect the silt before reaching to the tobas are also introduced, low cost filter plants are designed and constructed on the tobas for purification of water. (author)

  12. Air biomonitoring by transplanted lichens in the Negev Desert, Israel

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Garty, J.

    1999-01-01

    Thalli of the lichen Ramalina maciformis (Del.) Bory were collected in the Negev Desert in August 1997 and transplanted with their substrate, flintstones, to 24 bio-monitoring sites in the Negev Desert. An assessment of the impact of anthropogenic activities was made by measurements of the concentration of mineral elements in the lichen and by an examination of its physiological status. After a transplantation period of nine months, the lichens were retrieved in April 1998 and the concentration of 22 mineral elements in the thallus was determined by ICP-AES. In addition we examined the following parameters determining the status of the lichen: 1. Electric conductivity indicative of cell membrane integrity; 2. Spectral reflectance response of the thallus expressed as normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) indicative of greenness and health of the thallus; 3. Production of ethylene indicative of stress, 4. Chlorophyll a fluorescence as a means to monitor aspects of photosystem II (PSII) activities in the lichen. Preliminary results show that lichens exposed to air contaminants at a site of toxic waste deposition contain high concentrations of Ca, Cu, Pb and Mn and significant low K concentrations due to leakage of this element from injured cell membranes. Conductivity measurements performed to test the integrity of cell membranes corroborated this assumption. NDVI values indicating damage to chlorophyll were relative low in lichens retrieved from sites near Beer Sheba. The stress-ethylene production was the highest in one site near Beer Sheba. The maximum quantum yield of PSII expressed as fluorescence ratio Fv/Fm was low in two sites in the Ramat Hovav Industrial Area. (author)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  14. Air biomonitoring by transplanted lichens in the Negev Desert, Israel

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Garty, J [Department of Plant Sciences and Institute for Nature Conservation Research, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv (Israel)

    1999-07-01

    Thalli of the lichen Ramalina maciformis (Del.) Bory were collected in the Negev Desert in August 1997 and transplanted with their substrate, flintstones, to 24 bio-monitoring sites in the Negev Desert. An assessment of the impact of anthropogenic activities was made by measurements of the concentration of mineral elements in the lichen and by an examination of its physiological status. After a transplantation period of nine months, the lichens were retrieved in April 1998 and the concentration of 22 mineral elements in the thallus was determined by ICP-AES. In addition we examined the following parameters determining the status of the lichen: 1. Electric conductivity indicative of cell membrane integrity; 2. Spectral reflectance response of the thallus expressed as normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) indicative of greenness and health of the thallus; 3. Production of ethylene indicative of stress, 4. Chlorophyll a fluorescence as a means to monitor aspects of photosystem II (PSII) activities in the lichen. Preliminary results show that lichens exposed to air contaminants at a site of toxic waste deposition contain high concentrations of Ca, Cu, Pb and Mn and significant low K concentrations due to leakage of this element from injured cell membranes. Conductivity measurements performed to test the integrity of cell membranes corroborated this assumption. NDVI values indicating damage to chlorophyll were relative low in lichens retrieved from sites near Beer Sheba. The stress-ethylene production was the highest in one site near Beer Sheba. The maximum quantum yield of PSII expressed as fluorescence ratio Fv/Fm was low in two sites in the Ramat Hovav Industrial Area. (author)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-09-01

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

  17. Density currents as a desert dust mobilization mechanism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Solomos

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available The formation and propagation of density currents are well studied processes in fluid dynamics with many applications in other science fields. In the atmosphere, density currents are usually meso-β/γ phenomena and are often associated with storm downdrafts. These storms are responsible for the formation of severe dust episodes (haboobs over desert areas. In the present study, the formation of a convective cool pool and the associated dust mobilization are examined for a representative event over the western part of Sahara desert. The physical processes involved in the mobilization of dust are described with the use of the integrated atmospheric-air quality RAMS/ICLAMS model. Dust is effectively produced due to the development of near surface vortices and increased turbulent mixing along the frontal line. Increased dust emissions and recirculation of the elevated particles inside the head of the density current result in the formation of a moving "dust wall". Transport of the dust particles in higher layers – outside of the density current – occurs mainly in three ways: (1 Uplifting of preexisting dust over the frontal line with the aid of the strong updraft (2 Entrainment at the upper part of the density current head due to turbulent mixing (3 Vertical mixing after the dilution of the system. The role of the dust in the associated convective cloud system was found to be limited. Proper representation of convective processes and dust mobilization requires the use of high resolution (cloud resolving model configuration and online parameterization of dust production. Haboob-type dust storms are effective dust sources and should be treated accordingly in dust modeling applications.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. J. Hernández

    2016-06-01

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

  20. Southern Pine Beetle Information System (SPBIS)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valli Peacher

    2011-01-01

    The southern pine beetle (SPB) is the most destructive forest insect in the South. The SPB attacks all species of southern pine, but loblolly and shortleaf are most susceptible. The Southern Pine Beetle Information System (SPBIS) is the computerized database used by the national forests in the Southern Region for tracking individual southern pine beetle infestations....

  1. Mid-Cretaceous aeolian desert systems in the Yunlong area of the Lanping Basin, China: Implications for palaeoatmosphere dynamics and paleoclimatic change in East Asia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Gaojie; Wu, Chihua; Rodríguez-López, Juan Pedro; Yi, Haisheng; Xia, Guoqing; Wagreich, Michael

    2018-02-01

    The mid-Cretaceous constitutes a period of worldwide atmospheric and oceanic change associated with slower thermohaline circulation and ocean anoxic events, possible polar glaciations and by a changing climate pattern becoming controlled by a zonal planetary wind system and an equatorial humid belt. During the mid-Cretaceous, the subtropical high-pressure arid climate belt of the planetary wind system controlled the palaeolatitude distribution of humid belts in Asia as well as the spatial distribution of rain belts over the massive continental blocks at mid-low latitudes in the southern and northern hemispheres. Additionally, the orographic effect of the Andean-type active continental margin in East Asia hindered the transportation of ocean moisture to inland regions. With rising temperatures and palaeoatmospheric conditions dominated by high pressure systems, desert climate environments expanded at the inland areas of East Asia including those accumulated in the mid-Cretaceous of the Simao Basin, the Sichuan Basin, and the Thailand's Khorat Basin, and leading the Late Cretaceous erg systems in the Xinjiang Basin and Jianghan Basin. This manuscript presents evidences that allow to reinterpret previously considered water-laid sediments to be accumulated as windblown deposits forming part of extensive erg (sandy desert) systems. Using a multidisciplinary approach including petrological, sedimentological and architectural observations, the mid-Cretaceous (Albian-Turonian) Nanxin Formation from the Yunlong region of Lanping Basin, formerly considered to aqueous deposits is here interpreted as representing aeolian deposits, showing local aeolian-fluvial interaction deposits. The palaeowind directions obtained from the analysis of aeolian dune cross-beddings indicates that inland deserts were compatible with a high-pressure cell (HPC) existing in the mid-low latitudes of East Asia during the mid-Cretaceous. Compared with the Early Cretaceous, the mid-Cretaceous had

  2. Desert Cyanobacteria under simulated space and Martian conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Billi, D.; Ghelardini, P.; Onofri, S.; Cockell, C. S.; Rabbow, E.; Horneck, G.

    2008-09-01

    The environment in space and on planets such as Mars, can be lethal to living organisms and high levels of tolerance to desiccation, cold and radiation are needed for survival: rock-inhabiting cyanobacteria belonging to the genus Chroococcidiopsis can fulfil these requirements [1]. These cyanobacteria constantly appear in the most extreme and dry habitats on Earth, including the McMurdo Dry Valleys (Antarctica) and the Atacama Desert (Chile), which are considered the closest terrestrial analogs of two Mars environmental extremes: cold and aridity. In their natural environment, these cyanobacteria occupy the last refuges for life inside porous rocks or at the stone-soil interfaces, where they survive in a dry, dormant state for prolonged periods. How desert strains of Chroococcidiopsis can dry without dying is only partially understood, even though experimental evidences support the existence of an interplay between mechanisms to avoid (or limit) DNA damage and repair it: i) desert strains of Chroococcidiopsis mend genome fragmentation induced by ionizing radiation [2]; ii) desiccation-survivors protect their genome from complete fragmentation; iii) in the dry state they show a survival to an unattenuated Martian UV flux greater than that of Bacillus subtilis spores [3], and even though they die following atmospheric entry after having orbited the Earth for 16 days [4], they survive to simulated shock pressures up to 10 GPa [5]. Recently additional experiments were carried out at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) of Cologne (Germany) in order to identify suitable biomarkers to investigate the survival of Chroococcidiopsis cells present in lichen-dominated communities, in view of their direct and long term space exposition on the International Space Station (ISS) in the framework of the LIchens and Fungi Experiments (LIFE, EXPOSEEuTEF, ESA). Multilayers of dried cells of strains CCMEE 134 (Beacon Valley, Antarctica), and CCMEE 123 (costal desert, Chile ), shielded by

  3. Vascular flora of saline lakes in the southern high plains of Texas and eastern New Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosen, David J.; Conway, Warren C.; Haukos, David A.; Caskey, Amber D.

    2013-01-01

    Saline lakes and freshwater playas form the principal surface hydrological feature of the High Plains of the Southern Great Plains. Saline lakes number less than 50 and historically functioned as discharge wetlands with relatively consistent water availability due to the presence of one or more springs. Currently, less than ten saline lakes contain functional springs. A survey of vascular plants at six saline lakes in the Southern High Plains of northwest Texas and one in eastern New Mexico during May and September 2009 resulted in a checklist of 49 species representing 16 families and 40 genera. The four families with the most species were Asteraceae (12), Amaranthaceae (8), Cyperaceae (5), and Poaceae (12). Non-native species (Bromus catharticus, Poa compressa, Polypogon monspeliensis, Sonchus oleraceus, Kochia scoparia, and Tamarix ramosissima) accounted for 10% of the total species recorded. Whereas nearly 350 species of vascular plants have been identified in playas in the Southern High Plains, saline lakes contain a fraction of this species richness. The Southern High Plains saline lake flora is regionally unique, containing taxa not found in playas, with species composition that is more similar to temperate desert wetlands of the Intermountain Region and Gulf Coastal Plain of North America.

  4. Metabolic rate, evaporative water loss and thermoregulatory state in four species of bats in the Negev desert.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muñoz-Garcia, Agustí; Larraín, Paloma; Ben-Hamo, Miriam; Cruz-Neto, Ariovaldo; Williams, Joseph B; Pinshow, Berry; Korine, Carmi

    2016-01-01

    Life in deserts is challenging for bats because of their relatively high energy and water requirements; nevertheless bats thrive in desert environments. We postulated that bats from desert environments have lower metabolic rates (MR) and total evaporative water loss (TEWL) than their mesic counterparts. To test this idea, we measured MR and TEWL of four species of bats, which inhabit the Negev desert in Israel, one species mainly restricted to hyper-arid deserts (Otonycteris hemprichii), two species from semi-desert areas (Eptesicus bottae and Plecotus christii), and one widespread species (Pipistrellus kuhlii). We also measured separately, in the same individuals, the two components of TEWL, respiratory water loss (RWL) and cutaneous evaporative water loss (CEWL), using a mask. In all the species, MR and TEWL were significantly reduced during torpor, the latter being a consequence of reductions in both RWL and CEWL. Then, we evaluated whether MR and TEWL in bats differ according to their geographic distributions, and whether those rates change with Ta and the use of torpor. We did not find significant differences in MR among species, but we found that TEWL was lowest in the species restricted to desert habitats, intermediate in the semi-desert dwelling species, and highest in the widespread species, perhaps a consequence of adaptation to life in deserts. Our results were supported by a subsequent analysis of data collected from the literature on rates of TEWL for 35 bat species from desert and mesic habitats. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. [Spatial change of the grain-size of aeolian sediments in Qira oasis-desert ecotone, Northwest China].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Yong Chong; Xu, Li Shuai

    2017-04-18

    In order to understand the environmental influence of oasis-desert ecotone to oasis ecological system, we comparatively analyzed the grain size characteristics of various aeolian sediments, including the sediments in oasis-desert ecotone, shelterbelt and the inside oasis and in Qira River valley. The results showed that the grain size characteristics (including grain-size distribution curve, grain size parameters, and content of different size classes) of sediments in the oasis-desert ecotone were consistent along the prevailing wind direction with a grain-size range of 0.3-200 μm and modal size of 67 μm. All of the sediments were good sorting and mainly composed of suspension components and saltation components, but not denatured saltation and creeping components (>200 μm). They were typically aeolian deposits being short-range transported. The grain sizes of sediments in oasis-desert ecotone were smaller than that in the material sources of Qira River valley and desert (0.3-800 μm), but very similar to those of the modern aeolian deposits in oasis-desert ecotone, shelterbelt and the inside oasis. The denatured saltation and creep components (>200 μm) were suppressed to transport into oasis-desert ecotone because of the high vegetation cover in oasis-desert ecotone. Therefore, like the shelterbelts, the oasis-desert ecotone could also block the invasion of desert. They safeguarded the oasis ecological environment together.

  6. Use of space photographs in deciphering the origin and evolution of the desert

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    El-Baz, F.

    1989-01-01

    Space photographs provide a very useful tool to study deserts and semiarid land because of their coverage and the amount of data they portray about vegetation-free terrain. This is a welcome contribution because we do not understand the desert as we do other types of terrain. Results of wind action, erosion and deposition are clearly portrayed in images obtained from spacecraft. They are indications of the state of the environment and should be studied well in all cases where economic development projects are instituted in deserts and semiarid lands. Furthermore, the history of evolution of the arid landscape in space and time must be considered in order to be able to use more of the desert for the benefit of mankind. (author). 33 refs, 14 figs

  7. Moving Beyond "Food Deserts": Reorienting United States Policies to Reduce Disparities in Diet Quality.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jason P Block

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Jason Block and S. V. Subramanian explore avenues for improving the health of Americans through reducing dietary inequalities and look at whether concern over "food deserts" has been taken too far.

  8. Radiotracer technique for studying the fate of methyl parathion in desert locust

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Garg, A.K.; Sethi, G.R.; Bhatia, Parvathy

    1988-01-01

    The present study, using 14 C-labelled methyl parathion was intended for standardising the procedure of analysis of the insecticide and its metabolites in the desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria Forskal. (author). 5 refs

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foster, Kennith E.

    1980-01-01

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

  10. Thermal design of a fully equipped solar-powered desert home

    KAUST Repository

    Serag-Eldin, M.A.

    2010-01-01

    The paper presents a conceptual design and thermodynamic analysis of a solar-powered desert home. The home is airconditioned and provides all modern comforts and facilities. Electrical power, which drives the entire energy system, is generated

  11. Surface Run-off as a Source of Water Supply in a Desert

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vyacheslav V. Zharkov

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The article looks into methods of obtaining water in the deserts of Central Asia with the help of precipitation. To accomplish this goal, researchers used simple but unconventional structures

  12. [Academic stress, desertion, and retention strategies for students in higher education].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suárez-Montes, Nancy; Díaz-Subieta, Luz B

    2015-04-01

    A systematic review was performed to specify the characteristics of academic stress that affect the mental health of the university population. To do this, recent publications regarding academic stress, student desertion, and retention strategies were examined. Throughout this text, we present the results of the review in terms of the definitions of academic stress, student desertion, and retention strategies. In the same way, we examine the interpretative models with regard to student desertion and approach retention strategies in higher education. We also review retention experiences of several other countries. In terms of Colombia, we present aspects related to student desertion and retention programs from the point of view of the National Ministry of Education and from the experience of some universities with consolidated programs.

  13. Interactions between soil phototrophs and vascular plants in Himalayan cold deserts

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Řeháková, Klára; Čapková, Kateřina; Dvorský, M.; Kopecký, M.; Altman, J.; Šmilauer, P.; Doležal, J.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 115, Dec (2017), s. 568-578 ISSN 0038-0717 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : cold desert * Himalaya * interactions * soil phototrophs Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour OBOR OECD: Ecology Impact factor: 4.857, year: 2016

  14. Lessons learned on solar powered wireless sensor network deployments in urban, desert environments

    KAUST Repository

    Dehwah, Ahmad H.; Mousa, Mustafa; Claudel, Christian G.

    2015-01-01

    The successful deployment of a large scale solar powered wireless sensor network in an urban, desert environment is a very complex task. Specific cities of such environments cause a variety of operational problems, ranging from hardware faults

  15. Desert Net-Structure and Aims of an International Network for Desertification Research

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Akhtar-Schuster, M.; San Juan Mesonada, C.

    2009-01-01

    Desert Net://www.european-desert net.eu) is an interdisciplinary scientific network which was established in October 2006 at the UN premises in Bonn, Germany, by a group of international scientists. The network strives to generate and enhance scientific knowledge and understanding of the biophysical and socio-economic processes of desertification. This international scientific network provides an international platform for scientifically based discussions and exchange of ideas, addressing knowledge gaps, and identifying research areas. Desert Net is also a think tank community which identifies issues and priorities for the sustainable development of dry lands. the paper outlines the current role of Desert Net in the international scientific community and it delineates its role to strengthen the Science/Policy Interface. (Author) 2 refs.

  16. Soil stabilization by a prokaryotic desert crust - Implications for Precambrian land biota

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, S. E.

    1979-01-01

    The ecology of the cyanophyte-dominated stromatolitic mat forming the ground cover over desert areas of Utah and Colorado is investigated and implications for the formation of mature Precambrian soils are discussed. The activation of the growth of the two species of filamentous cyanophyte identified and the mobility of their multiple trichromes upon wetting are observed, accompanied by the production and deposition of a sheath capable of accreting and stabilizing sand and clay particles. The formation of calcium carbonate precipitates upon the repeated wetting and drying of desert crust is noted, and it is suggested that the desert crust community may appear in fossil calcrete deposits as lithified microscopic tubes and cellular remains of algal trichromes. The invasion of dry land by both marine and freshwater algae on the model of the desert crust is proposed to be responsible for the accumulation, stabilization and biogenic modification of mature Precambrian soils.

  17. The economics of hybrid power systems for sustainable desert agriculture in Egypt

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kamel, S.M.; Dahl, C.

    2005-01-01

    Egypt has embarked on an ambitious desert land reclamation program in order to increase total food production. Energy planners for these desert agriculture locations have chosen diesel generation power technology because minimization of the initial capital cost of a power supply system is their top...... priority. This heavy reliance on diesel generation has negative effects on the surrounding environment including soil, groundwater, and air pollution. Although good solar and wind resource prospects exist for the use of cleaner hybrid power systems in certain desert locations, little research has been done...... to investigate the economic potential of such systems in Egypt’s desert agriculture sector. Using optimization software, we assess the economics of hybrid power systems versus the present diesel generation technology in a remote agricultural development area. We also consider the emission reduction advantages...

  18. Prescribed burning to affect a state transition in a shrub-encroached desert grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prescribed burning is a commonly advocated and historical practice for control of woody species encroachment into grasslands on all continents. However, desert grasslands of the southwestern United States often lack needed herbaceous fuel loads for effective prescriptions, dominant perennial gramin...

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

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

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

    2008-01-01

    ...) are cryptic and difficult to detect during surveys, especially the smaller size classes. We conducted comparative surveys to determine whether human or detector dog teams were more effective at locating Desert Tortoises in the wild...

  20. A model for the development of marginal water sources in arid zones: The case of the Negev Desert, Israel

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brimberg, Jack; Oron, Gideon; Mehrez, Abraham

    1993-09-01

    A management model is presented for the optimal development of marginal water sources in arid zones in conjunction with minimizing the dependence on high-quality water. These marginal sources, which may include among others saline groundwater, treated wastewater, and runoff water, are required to augment a limited supply from regional sources. The objective is to minimize operational and capital costs while simultaneously allocating a conventional regional supply in a best way among a set of local sites. A novel aspect is the consideration of water quality as an additional constraint in the decision model. In this way an optimal investment strategy for marginal water source development and use is obtained while satisfying quality requirements at the individual sites. The model formulated takes the form of a mixed binary integer linear problem. The main purpose of the presented model is to delineate a methodology for marginal water considerations and development in arid zones. Water qualities, supply and demand for diverse uses, and related costs are of primary importance. Several simplifying assumptions are made, such as aggregation on an annual basis, in order to cope with the essential features of the problem at a reasonable level of complexity. These assumptions may be relaxed at a later, more detailed stage of analysis. A case study of the Negev Desert in southern Israel is shown. An important conclusion is that saline groundwater production at local demand sites should be increased dramatically. The usefulness of sensitivity analysis in the decision process is also demonstrated.