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Sample records for agricultural landscape southern

  1. Evaluation of the Precision Agricultural Landscape Modeling System (PALMS) in the Semiarid Texas Southern High Plains

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Accurate models to simulate the soil water balance in semiarid cropping systems are needed to evaluate management practices for soil and water conservation in both irrigated and dryland production systems. The objective of this study was to evaluate the application of the Precision Agricultural Land...

  2. Evaluation of the precision agricultural landscape modeling system (PALMS) in the semiarid Texas southern high plains

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Accurate models to simulate the soil water balance in semiarid cropping systems are needed to evaluate management practices for soil and water conservation in both irrigated and dryland production systems. The objective of this study was to evaluate the application of the Precision Agricultural Land...

  3. Evapotranspiration and surface energy balance across an agricultural-urban landscape gradient in Southern California, USA.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shiflett, S. A.; Anderson, R. G.; Jenerette, D.

    2014-12-01

    Urbanization substantially affects energy, surface and air temperature, and hydrology due to extensive modifications in land surface properties such as vegetation, albedo, thermal capacity and soil moisture. The magnitude and direction of these alterations depends heavily on the type of urbanization that occurs. We investigated energy balance variation in a local network of agricultural and urban ecosystems using the eddy covariance method to better understand how vegetation fraction and degree of urbanization affects energy exchanges between the land surface and the atmosphere. We deployed eddy flux systems within a well-irrigated, agricultural citrus orchard, a moderately developed urban zone with a substantial amount of local vegetative cover, and an intensely developed urban zone with minimal vegetative cover and increased impervious surfaces relative to the other two sites. Latent energy (LE) fluxes in the agricultural area ranged from 7.9 ± 1.4 W m-2 (nighttime) to 168.7 ± 6.2 W m-2 (daytime) compared to 10.2 ± 3.5 W m-2 and 40.6 ± 4.1 W m-2, respectively, for the moderately developed urban area. Sensible energy (H) fluxes ranged from -9.1 ± 1.0 W m-2 (nighttime) to 119 ± 7.0 W m-2 (daytime) in the agricultural area compared to 9.6 ± 2.6 W m-2 and 134 ± 6.0 W m-2, respectively, for the moderately developed urban zone. Daytime LE is reduced with increasing urbanization; however, daily cycles of LE are less recognizable in urban areas compared to distinct daily cycles obtained above a mature citrus crop. In contrast, both daytime and nighttime H increases with increasing degree of urbanization. Reduction in vegetation and increases in impervious surfaces along an urbanization gradient leads to alterations in energy balance, which are associated with microclimate and water use changes.

  4. Do we know how to reconcile preservation of landscapes with adaptation of agriculture to climate change? A case-study in a hilly area in Southern Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Menenti, Massimo; Alfieri, Silvia; Basile, Angelo; Bonfante, Antonello; Monaco, Eugenia; Riccardi, Maria; De Lorenzi, Francesca

    2013-04-01

    Limited impacts of climate change on agricultural yields are unlikely to induce any significant changes in current landscapes. Larger impacts, unacceptable on economic or social ground, are likely to trigger interventions towards adaptation of agricultural production systems by reducing or removing vulnerabilities to climate variability and change. Such interventions may require a transition to a different production system, i.e. complete substitution of current crops, or displacement of current crops at their current location towards other locations, e.g. at higher elevations within the landscape. We have assessed the impacts of climate change and evaluated options for adaptation of a valley in Southern Italy, dominated by vine and olive orchards with a significant presence of wheat. We have first estimated the climatic requirements of several varieties for each dominant species. Next, to identify options for adaptation we have evaluated the compatibility of such requirements with indicators of a reference (current) climate and of future climate. This climate - compatibility assessment was done for each soil unit within the valley, leading to maps of locations where each crop is expected to be compatible with climate. This leads to identify both potential crop substitutions within the entire valley and crop displacements from one location to another within the valley. Two climate scenarios were considered: reference (1961-90) and future (2021-2050) climate, the former from climatic statistics, and the latter from statistical downscaling of general circulation models (AOGCM). Climatic data consists of daily time series of maximum and minimum temperature, and daily rainfall on a grid with a spatial resolution of 35 km. We evaluated the adaptive capacity of the "Valle Telesina" (Campania Region, Southern Italy). A mechanistic model of water flow in the soil-plant-atmosphere system (SWAP) was used to describe the hydrological conditions in response to climate for each

  5. Incorporating Bioenergy in Sustainable Landscape Designs Workshop Two: Agricultural Landscapes

    SciTech Connect

    Negri, M. Cristina; Ssegane, H.

    2015-08-01

    The Bioenergy Technologies Office hosted two workshops on Incorporating Bioenergy in Sustainable Landscape Designs with Oak Ridge and Argonne National Laboratories in 2014. The second workshop focused on agricultural landscapes and took place in Argonne, IL from June 24—26, 2014. The workshop brought together experts to discuss how landscape design can contribute to the deployment and assessment of sustainable bioenergy. This report summarizes the discussions that occurred at this particular workshop.

  6. Linguistic Landscapes in Southern Carinthia (Austria)

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rasinger, Sebastian M.

    2014-01-01

    This paper explores the linguistic landscape (LL) in the southern Austrian province of Carinthia, which is home to an autochthonous Slovene minority. Following several decades of political and legal debate known as the "Ortstafelstreit" ("dispute of topographic signs"), recent legislation has strengthened the status of Slovene…

  7. LANDSCAPE MANAGEMENT FOR RESTORATION OF AGRICULTURAL WATERSHEDS

    EPA Science Inventory

    As part of CEAP, we conducted a review of the available literature on landscape management to achieve improvement of water quality, water quantity, soil quality, and air quality in agricultural systems. At least 15 general principles emerged from this review. These principles wil...

  8. Monitoring of Agricultural Landscape in Norway

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wallin, H. G.; Engan, G.

    2012-07-01

    An overall societal aim is to ensure a sustainable use and management of agricultural landscapes. This requires continuous delivery of reliable and up-to-date information to decision-makers. To be able to deliver this information, a monitoring program for agricultural landscapes was initiated in Norway 13 years ago. The program documents and reports on land use / land cover changes from data captured through interpretation of true colour aerial photos using stereo instruments. The monitoring programme is based on a sample of 1000 squares of 1 × 1 km and the entire sample of squares is photographed over a five-year period. Each square is then mapped repeatedly every fifth year to record changes. Aerial photo interpretation is based on a custom classification system which is built up hierarchically, with three levels. The first level comprises seven land type classes: Agricultural land, Bare ground, Semi-natural open vegetation, Unforested wetland vegetation, Forest, Urban areas and Water. These land classes are further divided into 24 land types at level two, and approximately 100 land types at level 3. In addition to land type units we map both line elements like stone fences and point elements like buildings and solitary threes. By use of indicators that describe status and change focusing on themes of particular policy interest, we can report on whether policy aims are being fulfilled or not. Four indicator themes have been in focus hitherto: landscape spatial structure, biological diversity, cultural heritage and accessibility. Our data is stored in databases and most of the data quality check/structure process and analyses are now being made in open source software like PostGIS and PostSQL. To assess the accuracy of the photo-interpretation, ground truthing is carried out on 10 % of the squares. The results of this operation document the benefits of having access to photos of the same area from two different years. The program is designed first and foremost to

  9. A half-century analysis of landscape dynamics in southern Québec, Canada.

    PubMed

    Jobin, Benoît; Latendresse, Claudie; Baril, Alain; Maisonneuve, Charles; Boutin, Céline; Côté, Dominique

    2014-04-01

    We studied landscape dynamics for three time periods (<1950, 1965, and 1997) along a gradient of agricultural intensity from highly intensive agriculture to forested areas in southern Québec. Air photos were analyzed to obtain long-term information on land cover (crop and habitat types) and linear habitats (hedgerows and riparian habitats) and landscape metrics were calculated to quantify changes in habitat configuration. Anthropogenic areas increased in all types of landscapes but mostly occurred in the highly disturbed cash crop dominated landscape. Perennial crops (pasture and hayfields) were largely converted into annual crops (corn and soybean) between 1965 and 1997. The coalescence of annual crop fields resulted in a more homogeneous agricultural landscape. Old fields and forest cover was consistently low and forest fragmentation remained stable through time in the intensive agriculture landscapes. However, forest cover increased and forest fragmentation receded in the forest-dominated landscapes following farm abandonment and the transition of old fields into forests. Tree-dominated hedgerows and riparian habitats increased in areas with intensive agriculture. Observed changes in land cover classes are related to proximate factors, such as surficial deposits and topography. Agriculture intensification occurred in areas highly suitable for agriculture whereas farm abandonment was observed in poor-quality agriculture terrains. Large-scale conversion of perennial crops into annual crops along with continued urbanization exerts strong pressures on residual natural habitats and their inhabiting wildlife. The afforestation process occurring in the more forested landscapes along with the addition of tree-dominated hedgerows and riparian habitats in the agriculture-dominated landscapes should improve landscape ecological value. PMID:24287717

  10. Farming with Grass: Achieving Sustainable Mixed Agricultural Landscapes

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Agriculture in grassland environments is facing multiple stresses from shifting demographics, declining and fragmented agricultural landscapes, declining environmental quality, variable and changing climate, volatile and increasing energy costs, marginal economic returns, and globalization. Grassla...

  11. Redistribution of soil and soil organic carbon on agricultural landscapes

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Patterns of soil organic carbon (SOC) vary widely across the landscape leading to large uncertainties in the SOC budgets for agricultural systems especially for landscapes where water, tillage, and wind erosion redistributes soil and SOC across the landscape. It is often assumed that soil erosion r...

  12. Environment, agriculture, and settlement patterns in a marginal Polynesian landscape

    PubMed Central

    Kirch, P. V.; Hartshorn, A. S.; Chadwick, O. A.; Vitousek, P. M.; Sherrod, D. R.; Coil, J.; Holm, L.; Sharp, W. D.

    2004-01-01

    Beginning ca. A.D. 1400, Polynesian farmers established permanent settlements along the arid southern flank of Haleakala Volcano, Maui, Hawaiian Islands; peak population density (43-57 persons per km2) was achieved by A.D. 1700-1800, and it was followed by the devastating effects of European contact. This settlement, based on dryland agriculture with sweet potato as a main crop, is represented by >3,000 archaeological features investigated to date. Geological and environmental factors are the most important influence on Polynesian farming and settlement practices in an agriculturally marginal landscape. Interactions between lava flows, whose ages range from 3,000 to 226,000 years, and differences in rainfall create an environmental mosaic that constrained precontact Polynesian farming practices to a zone defined by aridity at low elevation and depleted soil nutrients at high elevation. Within this productive zone, however, large-scale agriculture was concentrated on older, tephra-blanketed lava flows; younger flows were reserved for residential sites, small ritual gardens, and agricultural temples. PMID:15210963

  13. Environment, agriculture, and settlement patterns in a marginal Polynesian landscape

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kirch, P.V.; Hartshorn, A.S.; Chadwick, O.A.; Vitousek, P.M.; Sherrod, D.R.; Coil, J.; Holm, L.; Sharp, W.D.

    2004-01-01

    Beginning ca. A.D. 1400, Polynesian farmers established permanent settlements along the arid southern flank of Haleakala Volcano, Maui, Hawaiian Islands; peak population density (43-57 persons per km2) was achieved by A.D. 1700-1800, and it was followed by the devastating effects of European contact. This settlement, based on dryland agriculture with sweet potato as a main crop, is represented by >3,000 archaeological features investigated to date. Geological and environmental factors are the most important influence on Polynesian farming and settlement practices in an agriculturally marginal landscape. Interactions between lava flows, whose ages range from 3,000 to 226,000 years, and differences in rainfall create an environmental mosaic that constrained precontact Polynesian farming practices to a zone defined by aridity at low elevation and depleted soil nutrients at high elevation. Within this productive zone, however, large-scale agriculture was concentrated on older, tephra-blanketed lava flows; younger flows were reserved for residential sites, small ritual gardens, and agricultural temples.

  14. A Landscape Perspective on Sustainability of Agricultural Systems

    SciTech Connect

    Dale, Virginia H; Kline, Keith L; Kaffka, Stephen R; Langeveld, J.W.A.

    2013-01-01

    Landscape sustainability of agricultural systems considers effects of farm activities on social, economic, and ecosystem services at local and regional scales. Sustainable agriculture entails: defining sustainability, developing easily measured indicators of sustainability, moving toward integrated agricultural systems, and offering incentives or imposing regulations to affect farmer behavior. A landscape perspective is useful because landscape ecology provides theory and methods for dealing with spatial heterogeneity, scaling, integration, and complexity. To implement agricultural sustainability, we propose adopting a systems perspective, recognizing spatial heterogeneity, addressing the influences of context, and integrating landscape-design principles. Topics that need further attention at local and regional scales include (1) protocols for quantifying material and energy flows; (2) effects of management practices; (3) incentives for enhancing social, economic, and ecosystem services; (4) integrated landscape planning and management; (5) monitoring and assessment; (6) effects of societal demand; and (7) consistent and holistic policies for promoting agricultural sustainability.

  15. Monitoring the agricultural landscape for insect resistance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Casas, Joseph; Glaser, J. A.; Copenhaver, Ken

    Farmers in 25 countries on six continents are using plant biotechnology to solve difficult crop production challenges and conserve the environment. In fact, 13.3 million farmers, which include 90 percent of the farming in developing countries, choose to plant biotech crops. Over the past decade, farmers increased area planted in genetically modified (GM) crops by more than 10 percent each year, thus increasing their farm income by more than 44 billion US dollars (1996-2007), and achieved economic, environmental and social benefits in crops such as soybeans, canola, corn and cotton. To date, total acres of biotech crops harvested exceed more than 2 billion with a proven 13-year history of safe use. Over the next decade, expanded adoption combined with current research on 57 crops in 63 countries will broaden the advantages of genetically modified foods for growers, consumers and the environment. Genetically modified (GM) crops with the ability to produce toxins lethal to specific insect pests are covering a larger percentage of the agricultural landscape every year. The United States department of Agriculture (USDA) estimated that 63 percent of corn and 65 percent of cotton contained these specific genetic traits in 2009. The toxins could protect billions of dollars of loss from insect damage for crops valued at greater than 165 billion US dollars in 2008. The stable and efficient production of these crops has taken on even more importance in recent years with their use, not only as a food source, but now also a source of fuel. It is in the best interest of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) to ensure the continued efficacy of toxin producing GM crops as their use reduces pesticides harmful to humans and animals. However, population genetics models have indicated the risk of insect pests developing resistance to these toxins if a high percentage of acreage is grown in these crops. The USEPA is developing methods to monitor the agricultural

  16. Natural enemy interactions constrain pest control in complex agricultural landscapes

    PubMed Central

    Martin, Emily A.; Reineking, Björn; Seo, Bumsuk; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf

    2013-01-01

    Biological control of pests by natural enemies is a major ecosystem service delivered to agriculture worldwide. Quantifying and predicting its effectiveness at large spatial scales is critical for increased sustainability of agricultural production. Landscape complexity is known to benefit natural enemies, but its effects on interactions between natural enemies and the consequences for crop damage and yield are unclear. Here, we show that pest control at the landscape scale is driven by differences in natural enemy interactions across landscapes, rather than by the effectiveness of individual natural enemy guilds. In a field exclusion experiment, pest control by flying insect enemies increased with landscape complexity. However, so did antagonistic interactions between flying insects and birds, which were neutral in simple landscapes and increasingly negative in complex landscapes. Negative natural enemy interactions thus constrained pest control in complex landscapes. These results show that, by altering natural enemy interactions, landscape complexity can provide ecosystem services as well as disservices. Careful handling of the tradeoffs among multiple ecosystem services, biodiversity, and societal concerns is thus crucial and depends on our ability to predict the functional consequences of landscape-scale changes in trophic interactions. PMID:23513216

  17. Natural enemy interactions constrain pest control in complex agricultural landscapes.

    PubMed

    Martin, Emily A; Reineking, Björn; Seo, Bumsuk; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf

    2013-04-01

    Biological control of pests by natural enemies is a major ecosystem service delivered to agriculture worldwide. Quantifying and predicting its effectiveness at large spatial scales is critical for increased sustainability of agricultural production. Landscape complexity is known to benefit natural enemies, but its effects on interactions between natural enemies and the consequences for crop damage and yield are unclear. Here, we show that pest control at the landscape scale is driven by differences in natural enemy interactions across landscapes, rather than by the effectiveness of individual natural enemy guilds. In a field exclusion experiment, pest control by flying insect enemies increased with landscape complexity. However, so did antagonistic interactions between flying insects and birds, which were neutral in simple landscapes and increasingly negative in complex landscapes. Negative natural enemy interactions thus constrained pest control in complex landscapes. These results show that, by altering natural enemy interactions, landscape complexity can provide ecosystem services as well as disservices. Careful handling of the tradeoffs among multiple ecosystem services, biodiversity, and societal concerns is thus crucial and depends on our ability to predict the functional consequences of landscape-scale changes in trophic interactions. PMID:23513216

  18. Sustainable pest regulation in agricultural landscapes: a review on landscape composition, biodiversity and natural pest control

    PubMed Central

    Bianchi, F.J.J.A; Booij, C.J.H; Tscharntke, T

    2006-01-01

    Agricultural intensification has resulted in a simplification of agricultural landscapes by the expansion of agricultural land, enlargement of field size and removal of non-crop habitat. These changes are considered to be an important cause of the rapid decline in farmland biodiversity, with the remaining biodiversity concentrated in field edges and non-crop habitats. The simplification of landscape composition and the decline of biodiversity may affect the functioning of natural pest control because non-crop habitats provide requisites for a broad spectrum of natural enemies, and the exchange of natural enemies between crop and non-crop habitats is likely to be diminished in landscapes dominated by arable cropland. In this review, we test the hypothesis that natural pest control is enhanced in complex patchy landscapes with a high proportion of non-crop habitats as compared to simple large-scale landscapes with little associated non-crop habitat. In 74% and 45% of the studies reviewed, respectively, natural enemy populations were higher and pest pressure lower in complex landscapes versus simple landscapes. Landscape-driven pest suppression may result in lower crop injury, although this has rarely been documented. Enhanced natural enemy activity was associated with herbaceous habitats in 80% of the cases (e.g. fallows, field margins), and somewhat less often with wooded habitats (71%) and landscape patchiness (70%). The similar contributions of these landscape factors suggest that all are equally important in enhancing natural enemy populations. We conclude that diversified landscapes hold most potential for the conservation of biodiversity and sustaining the pest control function. PMID:16790403

  19. Modelling pollination services across agricultural landscapes

    PubMed Central

    Lonsdorf, Eric; Kremen, Claire; Ricketts, Taylor; Winfree, Rachael; Williams, Neal; Greenleaf, Sarah

    2009-01-01

    Background and Aims Crop pollination by bees and other animals is an essential ecosystem service. Ensuring the maintenance of the service requires a full understanding of the contributions of landscape elements to pollinator populations and crop pollination. Here, the first quantitative model that predicts pollinator abundance on a landscape is described and tested. Methods Using information on pollinator nesting resources, floral resources and foraging distances, the model predicts the relative abundance of pollinators within nesting habitats. From these nesting areas, it then predicts relative abundances of pollinators on the farms requiring pollination services. Model outputs are compared with data from coffee in Costa Rica, watermelon and sunflower in California and watermelon in New Jersey–Pennsylvania (NJPA). Key Results Results from Costa Rica and California, comparing field estimates of pollinator abundance, richness or services with model estimates, are encouraging, explaining up to 80 % of variance among farms. However, the model did not predict observed pollinator abundances on NJPA, so continued model improvement and testing are necessary. The inability of the model to predict pollinator abundances in the NJPA landscape may be due to not accounting for fine-scale floral and nesting resources within the landscapes surrounding farms, rather than the logic of our model. Conclusions The importance of fine-scale resources for pollinator service delivery was supported by sensitivity analyses indicating that the model's predictions depend largely on estimates of nesting and floral resources within crops. Despite the need for more research at the finer-scale, the approach fills an important gap by providing quantitative and mechanistic model from which to evaluate policy decisions and develop land-use plans that promote pollination conservation and service delivery. PMID:19324897

  20. Comparative biodiversity along a gradient of agricultural landscapes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burel, Françoise; Baudry, Jacques; Butet, Alain; Clergeau, Philippe; Delettre, Yannick; Le Coeur, Didier; Dubs, Florence; Morvan, Nathalie; Paillat, Gilles; Petit, Sandrine; Thenail, Claudine; Brunel, Etienne; Lefeuvre, Jean-Claude

    1998-02-01

    The aim of this study is to compare biodiversity in contrasted landscape units within a small region. In western France agricultural intensification leads to changes in landscape structure: permanent grasslands are ploughed, fields enlarged and surrounding hedgerows removed or deteriorated, brooks are straightened and cleaned. South of Mont Saint Michel Bay, four landscape units have been identified along an intensification gradient. Several taxonomic groups (small mammals, birds, insects and plants) have been used to evaluate the characteristics of biodiversity along this gradient. The hypothesis that intensification of agricultural practices lead to changes in biodiversity has been tested. Biodiversity is measured by the species richness, Shannon's diversity index, equitability and similarity indexes. Our results show that intensification of agriculture does not always lead to a decrease in species richness, but to several functional responses according to taxonomic groups, either no modification, or stability by replacement of species, or loss of species. For most of the studied taxonomic groups species richness does not vary greatly along the gradient. Depending on the landscape structure and farming systems this gradient is probably truncated and does not allow to show major changes in species richness. An alternative hypothesis is that used indexes are not sensitive enough to reveal changes in biodiversity. Nevertheless, similarity indexes reveal that sensitivity to changes varies, invertebrates being more likely to perceive the dynamics of the landscapes studied than vertebrates or plants. These points have to be taken into consideration when elaborating policies for sustainable agriculture or nature conservation.

  1. Agricultural landscape simplification does not consistently drive insecticide use.

    PubMed

    Larsen, Ashley E

    2013-09-17

    The increase in agricultural production over the past 40 y has greatly altered land-use patterns, often resulting in simplified landscapes composed of large swaths of monocultures separated by small fragments of natural lands. These simplified landscapes may be more susceptible to insect pest pressure because of the loss of natural enemies and the increased size and connectivity of crop resources, and a recent analysis from a single year (2007) suggests this increased susceptibility results in increased insecticide use. I broaden the temporal analysis of this connection between landscape simplification and insecticide use by examining cross-sectional and panel data models from multiple decades (US Department of Agriculture Census of Agriculture years 2007, 2002, 1997, 1992, 1987) for seven Midwestern states composed of over 560 counties. I find that although the proportion of county in cropland--my metric for landscape simplification--was positively correlated with insecticide use in 2007, this relationship is absent or reversed in prior census years and when all years are analyzed together. This broader temporal perspective suggests that landscape simplification has inconsistent effects on insecticide use and that multiyear studies will be key to unlocking the true drivers of variation in insecticide application. PMID:24003135

  2. Landscape context and plant community composition in grazed agricultural systems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Temperate humid grazinglands are an important component of the landscape of the northeastern Unites States. Grass-based agriculture is a major contributor to the economy of this region, but little is known about the basic ecology of these grazinglands. During an eight-year survey of 28 farms across ...

  3. A spatio-temporal analysis of landscape dynamics under changing environmental regimes in southern African savannas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bunting, Erin L.

    The United Nations and Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) deem many regions of southern Africa as vulnerable landscapes due to changing climatic regimes, ecological condition, and low adaptive capacity. The savanna ecosystems of southern Africa are of great ecological importance due to the high biodiversity they sustain, their high level of productivity, and the great role they play in the global carbon cycle. Given the dependence of humans on the lands it is essential to explore landscape level trends in patterns and processes in an effort to inform management practices. Even if climate change mitigation strategies were put in place, this is still a region heavily dependent on rain-fed agriculture and tourism of the biological diverse lands. Therefore analysis of climate variability, both interannual and intra-annual, and the changing role it plays on the landscape is critical. This body of research analyzes the role of climate variability and climate on environmental condition and socio-economic development via research on (1) spatial and temporal vegetation patterns, (2) the underlying processes that influence savanna ecosystem resilience, (3) local perception of risk to livelihood development, and (4) potential consequences of climate change on vegetation patterns. As a whole this demonstrates the key role that climate plays on savanna landscapes, which would be highly beneficial when developing conservation or mitigation strategies. Increased climate variability is occurring, but what is still open to debate is the resilience of savanna landscape and vulnerability of socio-economic development.

  4. Optimizing carbon storage and biodiversity protection in tropical agricultural landscapes.

    PubMed

    Gilroy, James J; Woodcock, Paul; Edwards, Felicity A; Wheeler, Charlotte; Medina Uribe, Claudia A; Haugaasen, Torbjørn; Edwards, David P

    2014-07-01

    With the rapidly expanding ecological footprint of agriculture, the design of farmed landscapes will play an increasingly important role for both carbon storage and biodiversity protection. Carbon and biodiversity can be enhanced by integrating natural habitats into agricultural lands, but a key question is whether benefits are maximized by including many small features throughout the landscape ('land-sharing' agriculture) or a few large contiguous blocks alongside intensive farmland ('land-sparing' agriculture). In this study, we are the first to integrate carbon storage alongside multi-taxa biodiversity assessments to compare land-sparing and land-sharing frameworks. We do so by sampling carbon stocks and biodiversity (birds and dung beetles) in landscapes containing agriculture and forest within the Colombian Chocó-Andes, a zone of high global conservation priority. We show that woodland fragments embedded within a matrix of cattle pasture hold less carbon per unit area than contiguous primary or advanced secondary forests (>15 years). Farmland sites also support less diverse bird and dung beetle communities than contiguous forests, even when farmland retains high levels of woodland habitat cover. Landscape simulations based on these data suggest that land-sparing strategies would be more beneficial for both carbon storage and biodiversity than land-sharing strategies across a range of production levels. Biodiversity benefits of land-sparing are predicted to be similar whether spared lands protect primary or advanced secondary forests, owing to the close similarity of bird and dung beetle communities between the two forest classes. Land-sparing schemes that encourage the protection and regeneration of natural forest blocks thus provide a synergy between carbon and biodiversity conservation, and represent a promising strategy for reducing the negative impacts of agriculture on tropical ecosystems. However, further studies examining a wider range of ecosystem

  5. Agricultural landscapes dynamic at the North-West of Russia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guzel, N.

    2012-04-01

    The process of reduction of agrolandscapes has taken place some decades in the North-Western European Russia. During 100 last years the area of agricultural lands have reduced in 1,4 times on the Karelian Isthmus. The most part of it had been abandoned after change of State border after of the Second World War. The processes of overgrowing of the former agricultural lands are studied on the landscapes base. The types of landscapes are distinguished on the based of the morphological relief symptoms, characteristics of the structure rock and the humid regime. Agricultural lands occupy landscapes such as kames, sandy, sandy-loam, clayey plains, sometimes with excess moistening, sandy fluvioglacial plains, loamy morainic plains, mesotrophic and evtrophic peat-bogs. Four stages can be revealed. I - (period to 20 years after termination of agricultural use) - grass-herb meadow with unclosed brush II - (20 - 40) - shrub layer with closed or low-closed canopy and unclosed or low closed small-leaved regrowth III - (40 - 80) - closed small-leaved forest, sometime including the coniferous trees IY - predomination of the coniferous on small-leaved trees Reestablish vegetation successions can be realised by different ways, with different rate, including various trees and ecological groups of species in different landscapes. In the different sites many traits in common are discovered during this processes. The processes taking place in soil of abandoned agricultural lands are expressed more poorly than in vegetation as soil is more "conservative" element of landscape. Now most area occupies former agricultural lands, inhering on III stage and presenting itself small-leaved forest. Over the last decade because of a change in the socio-political situation there has emerged a tendency towards an increase in the area of the cultivated land in the Karelian Isthmus including the secondary development of previously abandoned lands. However, this process is going on spontaneously; there

  6. TMDL Implementation in Agricultural Landscapes: A Communicative and Systemic Approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jordan, Nicholas R.; Slotterback, Carissa Schively; Cadieux, Kirsten Valentine; Mulla, David J.; Pitt, David G.; Olabisi, Laura Schmitt; Kim, Jin-Oh

    2011-07-01

    Increasingly, total maximum daily load (TMDL) limits are being defined for agricultural watersheds. Reductions in non-point source pollution are often needed to meet TMDL limits, and improvements in management of annual crops appear insufficient to achieve the necessary reductions. Increased adoption of perennial crops and other changes in agricultural land use also appear necessary, but face major barriers. We outline a novel strategy that aims to create new economic opportunities for land-owners and other stakeholders and thereby to attract their voluntary participation in land-use change needed to meet TMDLs. Our strategy has two key elements. First, focused efforts are needed to create new economic enterprises that capitalize on the productive potential of multifunctional agriculture (MFA). MFA seeks to produce a wide range of goods and ecosystem services by well-designed deployment of annual and perennial crops across agricultural landscapes and watersheds; new revenue from MFA may substantially finance land-use change needed to meet TMDLs. Second, efforts to capitalize on MFA should use a novel methodology, the Communicative/Systemic Approach (C/SA). C/SA uses an integrative GIS-based spatial modeling framework for systematically assessing tradeoffs and synergies in design and evaluation of multifunctional agricultural landscapes, closely linked to deliberation and design processes by which multiple stakeholders can collaboratively create appropriate and acceptable MFA landscape designs. We anticipate that application of C/SA will strongly accelerate TMDL implementation, by aligning the interests of multiple stakeholders whose active support is needed to change agricultural land use and thereby meet TMDL goals.

  7. TMDL implementation in agricultural landscapes: a communicative and systemic approach.

    PubMed

    Jordan, Nicholas R; Slotterback, Carissa Schively; Cadieux, Kirsten Valentine; Mulla, David J; Pitt, David G; Olabisi, Laura Schmitt; Kim, Jin-Oh

    2011-07-01

    Increasingly, total maximum daily load (TMDL) limits are being defined for agricultural watersheds. Reductions in non-point source pollution are often needed to meet TMDL limits, and improvements in management of annual crops appear insufficient to achieve the necessary reductions. Increased adoption of perennial crops and other changes in agricultural land use also appear necessary, but face major barriers. We outline a novel strategy that aims to create new economic opportunities for land-owners and other stakeholders and thereby to attract their voluntary participation in land-use change needed to meet TMDLs. Our strategy has two key elements. First, focused efforts are needed to create new economic enterprises that capitalize on the productive potential of multifunctional agriculture (MFA). MFA seeks to produce a wide range of goods and ecosystem services by well-designed deployment of annual and perennial crops across agricultural landscapes and watersheds; new revenue from MFA may substantially finance land-use change needed to meet TMDLs. Second, efforts to capitalize on MFA should use a novel methodology, the Communicative/Systemic Approach (C/SA). C/SA uses an integrative GIS-based spatial modeling framework for systematically assessing tradeoffs and synergies in design and evaluation of multifunctional agricultural landscapes, closely linked to deliberation and design processes by which multiple stakeholders can collaboratively create appropriate and acceptable MFA landscape designs. We anticipate that application of C/SA will strongly accelerate TMDL implementation, by aligning the interests of multiple stakeholders whose active support is needed to change agricultural land use and thereby meet TMDL goals. PMID:21547434

  8. Landscape evolution by soil redistribution in a Mediterranean agricultural context

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ciampalini, Rossano; Follain, Stéphane; Le Bissonnais, Yves

    2010-05-01

    Soils and landscapes are frequently subjected to rapid evolutions induced by climate changes and humans disturbances. Early, soil scientists had already sought to identify the dynamic interactions between soils and landscapes. Soil redistribution modelling is an appropriate analyse methodology widely utilized (Kirkby, 1985; Van Oost et al., 2000; Van Rompaey et al., 2001; Minasny and McBratney, 1999; Van Oost et al., 2005; Govers et al., 2006) to understand space time evolution in soil and landscape processes at short and medium term. The aims of this research is to develop a model able to simulate soil evolution as affected by soil redistribution processes (e.g. water-erosion processes and mechanical erosion) and to use pedological knowledge acquired from a field study coupled with the present research. The LandSoil model, here proposed, is an event based model, dimensioned for fine spatial [1 m] and medium [10 -100 years] temporal scales, taking into account a detailed representation of the agricultural landscape structure. It is composed of three modules for soil erosion/redistribution: rill erosion (Souchère et al., 2003); interrill erosion (Cerdan et al., 2002); and tillage erosion based on the mechanistic rules developed by Govers et al., 1994. After each rain and tillage event a new topography is evaluated as well as all the geometric landscape parameters. Specificities of the model are: i) long-term landscape analysis and topography balance after each rainfall; ii) evaluation of water erosion and soil mechanistic redistribution (tillage erosion); iii) taking in consideration of the landscape geometry, especially connectivity, as a significant information in describing the landscape and useful in modelling (Landscape structure management and landscape design); and iv) utilisation of various and different climate scenarios thanks to the event based model. Subsequently we apply this model to study the effect of different scenarios of land management and

  9. Measuring biodiversity and sustainable management in forests and agricultural landscapes

    PubMed Central

    Dudley, Nigel; Baldock, David; Nasi, Robert; Stolton, Sue

    2005-01-01

    Most of the world's biodiversity will continue to exist outside protected areas and there are also managed lands within many protected areas. In the assessment of millennium targets, there is therefore a need for indicators to measure biodiversity and suitability of habitats for biodiversity both across the whole landscape/seascape and in specific managed habitats. The two predominant land uses in many inhabited areas are forestry and agriculture and these are examined. Many national-level criteria and indicator systems already exist that attempt to assess biodiversity in forests and the impacts of forest management, but there is generally less experience in measuring these values in agricultural landscapes. Existing systems are reviewed, both for their usefulness in providing indicators and to assess the extent to which they have been applied. This preliminary gap analysis is used in the development of a set of indicators suitable for measuring progress towards the conservation of biodiversity in managed forests and agriculture. The paper concludes with a draft set of indicators for discussion, with suggestions including proportion of land under sustainable management, amount of produce from such land, area of natural or high quality semi-natural land within landscapes under sustainable management and key indicator species. PMID:15814357

  10. Mapping agricultural landscapes and characterizing adaptive capacity in Central America

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holland, M. B.; Imbach, P. A.; Bouroncle, C.; Donatti, C.; Leguia, E.; Martinez, M.; Medellin, C.; Saborio-Rodriguez, M.; Shamer, S.; Zamora, J.

    2013-12-01

    One of the key challenges in developing adaptation strategies for smallholder farmers in developing countries is that of a data-poor environment, where spatially-explicit information about where the most vulnerable smallholder communities are located is lacking. Developing countries tend to lack consistent and reliable maps on agricultural land use, and have limited information available on smallholder adaptive capacity. We developed a novel participatory and expert mapping process to overcome these barriers and develop detailed national-scale maps that allow for a characterization of unique agricultural landscapes based on profiles of adaptive capacity for smallholder agriculture in each area. This research focuses specifically on the Central American nations of Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Honduras, where our focus is on coffee and basic grains as the two main cropping systems. Here we present the methodology and results of a series of in-depth interviews and participatory mapping sessions with experts working within the broader agricultural sector in each country. We held individual interviews and mapping sessions with approximately thirty experts from each country, and used a detailed survey instrument for each mapping session to both spatially identify distinct agricultural landscapes, and to further characterize each area based on specific farm practices and social context. The survey also included a series of questions to help us assess the relative adaptive capacity of smallholder agriculture within each landscape. After all expert mapping sessions were completed in each country we convened an expert group to assist in both validating and refining the set of landscapes already defined. We developed a characterization of adaptive capacity by aggregating indicators into main assets-based criteria (e.g. land tenure, access to credit, access to technical assistance, sustainable farm practices) derived from further expert weighting of indicators through an online

  11. Complexity of human and ecosystem interactions in an agricultural landscape

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Coupe, Richard H.; Barlow, Jeannie R.; Capel, Paul D.

    2012-01-01

    The complexity of human interaction in the commercial agricultural landscape and the resulting impacts on the ecosystem services of water quality and quantity is largely ignored by the current agricultural paradigm that maximizes crop production over other ecosystem services. Three examples at different spatial scales (local, regional, and global) are presented where human and ecosystem interactions in a commercial agricultural landscape adversely affect water quality and quantity in unintended ways in the Delta of northwestern Mississippi. In the first example, little to no regulation of groundwater use for irrigation has caused declines in groundwater levels resulting in loss of baseflow to streams and threatening future water supply. In the second example, federal policy which subsidizes corn for biofuel production has encouraged many producers to switch from cotton to corn, which requires more nutrients and water, counter to national efforts to reduce nutrient loads to the Gulf of Mexico and exacerbating groundwater level declines. The third example is the wholesale adoption of a system for weed control that relies on a single chemical, initially providing many benefits and ultimately leading to the widespread occurrence of glyphosate and its degradates in Delta streams and necessitating higher application rates of glyphosate as well as the use of other herbicides due to increasing weed resistance. Although these examples are specific to the Mississippi Delta, analogous situations exist throughout the world and point to the need for change in how we grow our food, fuel, and fiber, and manage our soil and water resources.

  12. Landscape patterns and soil organic carbon stocks in agricultural bocage landscapes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Viaud, Valérie; Lacoste, Marine; Michot, Didier; Walter, Christian

    2014-05-01

    Soil organic carbon (SOC) has a crucial impact on global carbon storage at world scale. SOC spatial variability is controlled by the landscape patterns resulting from the continuous interactions between the physical environment and the society. Natural and anthropogenic processes occurring and interplaying at the landscape scale, such as soil redistribution in the lateral and vertical dimensions by tillage and water erosion processes or spatial differentiation of land-use and land-management practices, strongly affect SOC dynamics. Inventories of SOC stocks, reflecting their spatial distribution, are thus key elements to develop relevant management strategies to improving carbon sequestration and mitigating climate change and soil degradation. This study aims to quantify SOC stocks and their spatial distribution in a 1,000-ha agricultural bocage landscape with dairy production as dominant farming system (Zone Atelier Armorique, LTER Europe, NW France). The site is characterized by high heterogeneity on short distance due to a high diversity of soils with varying waterlogging, soil parent material, topography, land-use and hedgerow density. SOC content and stocks were measured up to 105-cm depth in 200 sampling locations selected using conditioned Latin hypercube sampling. Additive sampling was designed to specifically explore SOC distribution near to hedges: 112 points were sampled at fixed distance on 14 transects perpendicular from hedges. We illustrate the heterogeneity of spatial and vertical distribution of SOC stocks at landscape scale, and quantify SOC stocks in the various landscape components. Using multivariate statistics, we discuss the variability and co-variability of existing spatial organization of cropping systems, environmental factors, and SOM stocks, over landscape. Ultimately, our results may contribute to improving regional or national digital soil mapping approaches, by considering the distribution of SOC stocks within each modeling unit and

  13. Stream Metabolism and Aquatic Vegetation in Agriculturally Dominated Landscapes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Munn, M. D.; Bales, J. D.; Waite, I.

    2013-12-01

    Forty-six streams across 7 agricultural areas of the United States were assessed using 2-station whole-stream metabolism techniques and aquatic vegetation measurements. Land use was dominated by agriculture, ranging from 0.1 to 92 percent (mean = 44 percent), with agricultural practices ranging from low intensity pasture to high intensity irrigated agriculture. Streams represented a gradient of nutrient concentrations for TN (0.07- 9.0 mg/L) and TP (0.002-1.7 mg/L). Measures of aquatic vegetation included benthic algal biomass (chlorophyll a/m2) and percent macrophyte cover. Additional data included stream and riparian habitat and basin features. Gross primary production (GPP) ranged from 0.1 to 12 g O2/ m2/ d, with highest production occurring in macrophyte-dominated streams in Idaho and Minnesota, and benthic periphyton-dominated streams in the Ozarks (Arkansas and Missouri). GPP was positively correlated with macrophyte cover (r=0.35), but not with algal biomass. Macrophyte driven systems occurred almost exclusively in open canopy systems where canopy was less than 27 percent. Nutrient concentrations in streams were not determined to be important explanatory variables for GPP; however, modeled estimates of nitrogen and phosphorous inputs to the watershed were related to benthic algal biomass and macrophyte cover in specific agricultural areas. Habitat played a key role in GPP, benthic algal biomass, and macrophyte cover, with indicators of light (for example, canopy cover or suspended sediment), often determined to be significant explanatory variables. Approximately 75 percent of sites had negative net ecosystem production indicating heterotrophic metabolism; intensive agriculture dominated many of these streams. Nutrient management strategies in agricultural landscapes require an understanding of nutrient sources, transport mechanisms, habitat condition, and ecosystem processes in order to make sound decisions on land use practices.

  14. The residence time of intensively managed agricultural landscapes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bowling, Laura; Cherkauer, Keith; Chiu, Chun-mei; Rahman, Sanoar

    2015-04-01

    Much of the agricultural landscape across the Midwestern United States is intensively managed through numerous surface and subsurface drainage improvements, and the growing extraction of groundwater resources. The relatively recent glaciation of the North Central region means that the landscape is less dissected and hydrologically connected than older till areas. Low topographic gradients and underlying dense till which restricts vertical water movement, as well as kettle depressions, have led to poorly drained soils and extensive wetlands within the landscape. Large areas of this land could only be farmed once the excess water was removed through artificial surface and subsurface drainage. Conventional wisdom in the region maintains that subsurface tile drainage reduces the occurrence of peak flow events by increasing soil water storage capacity. At the watershed scale, this view does not take into account the coincident increase in surface drainage and reduction in residence time in surface depressions. This paper explores to what degree water management and irrigation has changed surface and subsurface water storage and residence time over the last century and how this has impacted flow duration throughout the Wabash River system in Indiana, USA. The effects of subsurface tile drains, wetlands and aquifer storage are explicitly represented within the Variable Infiltration Capacity (VIC) macroscale hydrology model. We maintain a focus on the entire Wabash River, a river system of historic importance that is also representative of many similar areas in the till plain region of the agricultural Midwest, which contribute to water quality and flood dynamics of the Mississippi river system. By lowering the water table, surface and subsurface drainage improvements have increased the subsurface storage capacity at the beginning of rain events, but this is overwhelmed by the decrease in surface storage capacity for intermediate to large events, decreasing the current

  15. Problems of Beginning Vocational Agriculture Teachers in the Southern Region. A Project of the Southern Research Conference in Agricultural Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Farrington, William S.

    The drop-out rate of new vocational agriculture teachers and the necessity of a method to determine problem areas that affect the success of beginning teachers were two important concerns of the Southern Research Conference in Agricultural Education. Therefore, a study was conducted to determine what, if any, changes need to be made by teacher…

  16. Spatial heterogeneity in landscape structure influences dispersal and genetic structure: empirical evidence from a grasshopper in an agricultural landscape.

    PubMed

    Gauffre, Bertrand; Mallez, Sophie; Chapuis, Marie-Pierre; Leblois, Raphael; Litrico, Isabelle; Delaunay, Sabrina; Badenhausser, Isabelle

    2015-04-01

    Dispersal may be strongly influenced by landscape and habitat characteristics that could either enhance or restrict movements of organisms. Therefore, spatial heterogeneity in landscape structure could influence gene flow and the spatial structure of populations. In the past decades, agricultural intensification has led to the reduction in grassland surfaces, their fragmentation and intensification. As these changes are not homogeneously distributed in landscapes, they have resulted in spatial heterogeneity with generally less intensified hedged farmland areas remaining alongside streams and rivers. In this study, we assessed spatial pattern of abundance and population genetic structure of a flightless grasshopper species, Pezotettix giornae, based on the surveys of 363 grasslands in a 430-km² agricultural landscape of western France. Data were analysed using geostatistics and landscape genetics based on microsatellites markers and computer simulations. Results suggested that small-scale intense dispersal allows this species to survive in intensive agricultural landscapes. A complex spatial genetic structure related to landscape and habitat characteristics was also detected. Two P. giornae genetic clusters bisected by a linear hedged farmland were inferred from clustering analyses. This linear hedged farmland was characterized by high hedgerow and grassland density as well as higher grassland temporal stability that were suspected to slow down dispersal. Computer simulations demonstrated that a linear-shaped landscape feature limiting dispersal could be detected as a barrier to gene flow and generate the observed genetic pattern. This study illustrates the relevance of using computer simulations to test hypotheses in landscape genetics studies. PMID:25773398

  17. Low-Intensity Agricultural Landscapes in Transylvania Support High Butterfly Diversity: Implications for Conservation

    PubMed Central

    Loos, Jacqueline; Dorresteijn, Ine; Hanspach, Jan; Fust, Pascal; Rakosy, László; Fischer, Joern

    2014-01-01

    European farmland biodiversity is declining due to land use changes towards agricultural intensification or abandonment. Some Eastern European farming systems have sustained traditional forms of use, resulting in high levels of biodiversity. However, global markets and international policies now imply rapid and major changes to these systems. To effectively protect farmland biodiversity, understanding landscape features which underpin species diversity is crucial. Focusing on butterflies, we addressed this question for a cultural-historic landscape in Southern Transylvania, Romania. Following a natural experiment, we randomly selected 120 survey sites in farmland, 60 each in grassland and arable land. We surveyed butterfly species richness and abundance by walking transects with four repeats in summer 2012. We analysed species composition using Detrended Correspondence Analysis. We modelled species richness, richness of functional groups, and abundance of selected species in response to topography, woody vegetation cover and heterogeneity at three spatial scales, using generalised linear mixed effects models. Species composition widely overlapped in grassland and arable land. Composition changed along gradients of heterogeneity at local and context scales, and of woody vegetation cover at context and landscape scales. The effect of local heterogeneity on species richness was positive in arable land, but negative in grassland. Plant species richness, and structural and topographic conditions at multiple scales explained species richness, richness of functional groups and species abundances. Our study revealed high conservation value of both grassland and arable land in low-intensity Eastern European farmland. Besides grassland, also heterogeneous arable land provides important habitat for butterflies. While butterfly diversity in arable land benefits from heterogeneity by small-scale structures, grasslands should be protected from fragmentation to provide

  18. Low-intensity agricultural landscapes in Transylvania support high butterfly diversity: implications for conservation.

    PubMed

    Loos, Jacqueline; Dorresteijn, Ine; Hanspach, Jan; Fust, Pascal; Rakosy, László; Fischer, Joern

    2014-01-01

    European farmland biodiversity is declining due to land use changes towards agricultural intensification or abandonment. Some Eastern European farming systems have sustained traditional forms of use, resulting in high levels of biodiversity. However, global markets and international policies now imply rapid and major changes to these systems. To effectively protect farmland biodiversity, understanding landscape features which underpin species diversity is crucial. Focusing on butterflies, we addressed this question for a cultural-historic landscape in Southern Transylvania, Romania. Following a natural experiment, we randomly selected 120 survey sites in farmland, 60 each in grassland and arable land. We surveyed butterfly species richness and abundance by walking transects with four repeats in summer 2012. We analysed species composition using Detrended Correspondence Analysis. We modelled species richness, richness of functional groups, and abundance of selected species in response to topography, woody vegetation cover and heterogeneity at three spatial scales, using generalised linear mixed effects models. Species composition widely overlapped in grassland and arable land. Composition changed along gradients of heterogeneity at local and context scales, and of woody vegetation cover at context and landscape scales. The effect of local heterogeneity on species richness was positive in arable land, but negative in grassland. Plant species richness, and structural and topographic conditions at multiple scales explained species richness, richness of functional groups and species abundances. Our study revealed high conservation value of both grassland and arable land in low-intensity Eastern European farmland. Besides grassland, also heterogeneous arable land provides important habitat for butterflies. While butterfly diversity in arable land benefits from heterogeneity by small-scale structures, grasslands should be protected from fragmentation to provide

  19. Nutrient mitigation efficiency in agricultural drainage ditches: An influence of landscape properties

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Drainage systems are integral parts of the agricultural landscapes and have the ability to intercept nutrient loading from runoff to surface water. This study investigated nutrient removal efficiency within replicated experimental conventional and controlled (with weirs) agricultural drainage ditche...

  20. Mimicking biochar-albedo feedback in complex Mediterranean agricultural landscapes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bozzi, E.; Genesio, L.; Toscano, P.; Pieri, M.; Miglietta, F.

    2015-08-01

    Incorporation of charcoal produced by biomass pyrolysis (biochar) in agricultural soils is a potentially sustainable strategy for climate change mitigation. However, some side effects of large-scale biochar application need to be investigated. In particular a massive use of a low-reflecting material on large cropland areas may impact the climate via changes in surface albedo. Twelve years of MODIS-derived albedo data were analysed for three pairs of selected agricultural sites in central Italy. In each pair bright and dark coloured soil were identified, mimicking the effect of biochar application on the land surface albedo of complex agricultural landscapes. Over this period vegetation canopies never completely masked differences in background soil colour. This soil signal, expressed as an albedo difference, induced a local instantaneous radiative forcing of up to 4.7 W m-2 during periods of high solar irradiance. Biochar mitigation potential might therefore be reduced up to ˜30%. This study proves the importance of accounting for crop phenology and crop management when assessing biochar mitigation potential and provides more insights into the analysis of its environmental feedback.

  1. Neotectonics, flooding patterns and landscape evolution in southern Amazonia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lombardo, U.

    2014-12-01

    The paper examines the role of neotectonic activity in the evolution of the landscape in southern Amazonia during the Holocene. It uses both new and published data based on the analysis of remote sensing imagery and extensive field work in the Llanos de Moxos, Bolivian Amazon. The study of the region's modern and palaeorivers, ria lakes, palaeosols and topography provides a strong case in favour of the thesis that the northern part of the Llanos de Moxos constitutes the southern margin of the Fitzcarrald Arch and that it has experienced uplift during the Holocene. The paper assesses the extent and timing of the neotectonic activity in light of the new data and reconstructs the evolution of the landscape since the late Pleistocene. The evidence suggests that at least two uplift events took place: a first uplift in the late Pleistocene, which caused the formation of Lake Oceano, and a second uplift during the mid-Holocene, which formed Lake Rogaguado. These two uplifts appear to be linked to the knickpoints observed close to the towns of Guayaramerín and Puerto Siles respectively. The backwater effect due to these uplifts transformed the region's major rivers in seasonal ria lakes, causing the deposition of thick organic clay layers along the Beni, Mamoré and Madre de Dios river banks. I argue that neotectonic episodes could have dramatically changed the drainage of the Llanos de Moxos, determining its flooding regime, soil properties and forest-savannah ecotone. These results stress the need for geomorphologists, palaeo-ecologists and archaeologists to take into account neotectonics when reconstructing the region's past.

  2. Neotectonics, flooding patterns and landscape evolution in southern Amazonia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lombardo, U.

    2014-07-01

    The paper examines the role of neotectonic activity in the evolution of the landscape in southern Amazonia during the Holocene. It uses both new and published data based on the analysis of remote sensing imagery and extensive field work in the Llanos de Moxos, Bolivian Amazon. The study of the region's modern and paleo rivers, ria lakes, paleosols and topography provides a strong case in favour of the thesis that the northern part of the Llanos de Moxos constitutes the southern margin of the Fitzcarrald arch and that it has experienced uplift during the Holocene. The paper assesses the extent and timing of the neotectonic activity in light of the new data and reconstructs the evolution of the landscape since the late Pleistocene. The evidence suggests that at least two uplift events took place: a first uplift in the late Pleistocene, which caused the formation of Lake Oceano, and a second uplift during the mid-Holocene, which formed Lake Rogaguado. These two uplifts appear to be linked to the knickpoints observed close to the towns of Guayaramerín and Puerto Siles respectively. The backwater effect due to these uplifts transformed the region's major rivers in seasonal ria lakes, causing the deposition of thick organic clay layers along the Beni, Mamoré and Madre de Dios river banks. I argue that neotectonic episodes could have dramatically changed the drainage of the Llanos, determining its flooding regime, soil properties and forest-savannah ecotone. These results stress the need for geomorphologists, paleoecologists and archaeologists to take into account neotectonics when reconstructing the region's past.

  3. Port wine landscape: railroads, phylloxera, and agricultural science.

    PubMed

    Macedo, Marta

    2011-01-01

    It is easy to understand why regions that produce very fine goods such as port wine tend to conceal technological and scientific inputs and praise the uniqueness of the terroir. This paper suggests that, during the last decades of the nineteenth century, viticulture in the Douro region of Portugal was as much a product of soil, local farming traditions, and individual entrepreneurship as it was of modern state science and national politics for agricultural improvement. the unprecedented public projects of building a railroad and fighting phylloxera permanently changed the land of port wine. Moreover, those engineering practices of rationalization, simplification, and standardization that were inscribed on Douro's landscape proved essential for the Portuguese experience of modernization and nation-building. PMID:21563604

  4. Carbon storage of headwater riparian zones in an agricultural landscape

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background In agricultural regions, streamside forests have been reduced in age and extent, or removed entirely to maximize arable cropland. Restoring and reforesting such riparian zones to mature forest, particularly along headwater streams (which constitute 90% of stream network length) would both increase carbon storage and improve water quality. Age and management-related cover/condition classes of headwater stream networks can be used to rapidly inventory carbon storage and sequestration potential if carbon storage capacity of conditions classes and their relative distribution on the landscape are known. Results Based on the distribution of riparian zone cover/condition classes in sampled headwater reaches, current and potential carbon storage was extrapolated to the remainder of the North Carolina Coastal Plain stream network. Carbon stored in headwater riparian reaches is only about 40% of its potential capacity, based on 242 MgC/ha stored in sampled mature riparian forest (forest > 50 y old). The carbon deficit along 57,700 km headwater Coastal Plain streams is equivalent to about 25TgC in 30-m-wide riparian buffer zones and 50 TgC in 60-m-wide buffer zones. Conclusions Estimating carbon storage in recognizable age-and cover-related condition classes provides a rapid way to better inventory current carbon storage, estimate storage capacity, and calculate the potential for additional storage. In light of the particular importance of buffer zones in headwater reaches in agricultural landscapes in ameliorating nutrient and sediment input to streams, encouraging the restoration of riparian zones to mature forest along headwater reaches worldwide has the potential to not only improve water quality, but also simultaneously reduce atmospheric CO2. PMID:22333213

  5. Fluxes of carbon dioxide and methane from diverse aquatic environments in an agricultural landscape

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stanley, E. H.; Crawford, J. T.; Loken, L. C.; Casson, N. J.; Gubbins, N. J.; Oliver, S. K.

    2014-12-01

    The contribution of aquatic environments to landscape carbon cycling is particularly apparent in carbon- and water-rich regions. Such areas arguably represent an end member in terms of the relative significance of aquatic carbon cycling, while dry, carbon-poor zones are the likely opposing end member. Not surprisingly, most limnological attention has focused on these former regions, leaving open questions as to how aquatic systems in other locales influence larger-scale carbon dynamics. This includes human-dominated landscapes where agricultural and urban land uses can fundamentally alter carbon dynamics. Surveys of streams, ponds, and lakes in a southern Wisconsin landscape highlight three findings relevant to understanding the role of these aquatic systems in larger-scale carbon dynamics. First, streams and ponds had unexpectedly high summertime concentrations in and fluxes of CO2 and CH4. These values were approximately an order of magnitude greater than for less disturbed, forest and wetland-dominated landscapes in northern Wisconsin. Second, while mean C gas concentrations in lakes were lower than in streams and ponds, detailed spatial measurements demonstrate variability in surface water CO2 (43-1090 ppm pCO2) and CH4 (6-839 ppm pCH4) within a lake on a single day is similar to that observed among 25 streams included in our survey (260-6000 ppm pCO2; 50-600 ppm pCH4). This small-scale heterogeneity highlights a basic challenge for upscaling site-specific data collected at one or a few points to the whole lake and across lakes. Third, while agricultural and urban ecosystems are not necessarily carbon-rich environments, area-specific carbon storage in streams and ponds is substantial (up to 3000-5000 g C per m2). Further, carbon storage was strongly related to CH4 concentrations in streams, as C-rich sediments provided both an environment and substrate to fuel methanogenesis. The picture that emerges of C processing in aquatic environments throughout this human

  6. Proceedings: Rural Sociology Section. Association of Southern Agricultural Workers, 1970.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Auburn Univ., AL. Agricultural Experiment Station.

    Twenty-seven papers relating to rural sociology which were presented at the 1970 annual meeting of the Association of Southern Agricultural Workers are compiled in this volume. Areas emphasized are the educational and occupational aspirations of rural youth, community development and regional planning, and the racial composition and…

  7. Conservation planning in agricultural landscapes: hotspots of conflict between agriculture and nature

    PubMed Central

    Shackelford, Gorm E; Steward, Peter R; German, Richard N; Sait, Steven M; Benton, Tim G

    2015-01-01

    Aim Conservation conflict takes place where food production imposes a cost on wildlife conservation and vice versa. Where does conservation impose the maximum cost on production, by opposing the intensification and expansion of farmland? Where does conservation confer the maximum benefit on wildlife, by buffering and connecting protected areas with a habitable and permeable matrix of crop and non-crop habitat? Our aim was to map the costs and benefits of conservation versus production and thus to propose a conceptual framework for systematic conservation planning in agricultural landscapes. Location World-wide. Methods To quantify these costs and benefits, we used a geographic information system to sample the cropland of the world and map the proportion of non-crop habitat surrounding the cropland, the number of threatened vertebrates with potential to live in or move through the matrix and the yield gap of the cropland. We defined the potential for different types of conservation conflict in terms of interactions between habitat and yield (potential for expansion, intensification, both or neither). We used spatial scan statistics to find ‘hotspots’ of conservation conflict. Results All of the ‘hottest’ hotspots of conservation conflict were in sub-Saharan Africa, which could have impacts on sustainable intensification in this region. Main conclusions Systematic conservation planning could and should be used to identify hotspots of conservation conflict in agricultural landscapes, at multiple scales. The debate between ‘land sharing’ (extensive agriculture that is wildlife friendly) and ‘land sparing’ (intensive agriculture that is less wildlife friendly but also less extensive) could be resolved if sharing and sparing were used as different types of tool for resolving different types of conservation conflict (buffering and connecting protected areas by maintaining matrix quality, in different types of matrix). Therefore, both sharing and sparing

  8. Multi-temporal analysis of an agricultural landscape transformation and abandonment (Lubietová, Central Slovakia)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Masný, Matej; Zaušková, Lubica

    2015-12-01

    Socio-political changes in the countries of Eastern and Central Europe in the era of socialism had significant effects on agricultural landscape. Collectivisation (1950 - 1970) lost almost all of traditional agricultural landscapes. On the other hand, the phenomenon of agricultural abandonment started to be significant after 1989. In the model area (part of The Polana Biosphere Reserve) these two processes that formed the agricultural landscape structure were analysed. The analyses were carried out using orthophotos that represented the landscape structure in 1949, 1986 and 2006. It was found that almost complete extinction of the traditional agricultural landscape represented by a mosaic of narrow fields and permanent grasslands occurred during the period. At the same time, increasing trend of abandonment processes was observed. In 2006, non-forestwoody vegetation covered 48% of agricultural land.Natural reforestation as the final stage of agricultural abandonment extended to 46% on the former agricultural land in 2006. Abandonment processes were the most significant already in the period of socialist agriculture. To describe the changes, landscape metrics such as Number of patches (NP), Mean patch size (MPS), Patch size standard deviation (PSSD) and Mean shape index (MSI) were used.

  9. The Impact of Landscape Complexity on Invertebrate Diversity in Edges and Fields in an Agricultural Area

    PubMed Central

    Evans, Tracy R.; Mahoney, Meredith J.; Cashatt, Everett D.; Noordijk, Jinze; de Snoo, Geert; Musters, C. J. M.

    2016-01-01

    Invertebrate diversity is important for a multitude of ecosystem services and as a component of the larger ecological food web. A better understanding of the factors influencing invertebrate taxonomic richness and diversity at both local and landscape scales is important for conserving biodiversity within the agricultural landscape. The aim of this study was to determine if invertebrate richness and diversity in agricultural field interiors and edges in central Illinois, USA, were related to the complexity of the surrounding landscape. Our results show taxonomic richness and diversity in field edges is positively related to large scale landscape complexity, but the relationship is negative for field interiors. These unexpected results need further study. PMID:26848691

  10. The Impact of Landscape Complexity on Invertebrate Diversity in Edges and Fields in an Agricultural Area.

    PubMed

    Evans, Tracy R; Mahoney, Meredith J; Cashatt, Everett D; Noordijk, Jinze; de Snoo, Geert; Musters, C J M

    2016-01-01

    Invertebrate diversity is important for a multitude of ecosystem services and as a component of the larger ecological food web. A better understanding of the factors influencing invertebrate taxonomic richness and diversity at both local and landscape scales is important for conserving biodiversity within the agricultural landscape. The aim of this study was to determine if invertebrate richness and diversity in agricultural field interiors and edges in central Illinois, USA, were related to the complexity of the surrounding landscape. Our results show taxonomic richness and diversity in field edges is positively related to large scale landscape complexity, but the relationship is negative for field interiors. These unexpected results need further study. PMID:26848691

  11. Predicting biodiversity change and averting collapse in agricultural landscapes.

    PubMed

    Mendenhall, Chase D; Karp, Daniel S; Meyer, Christoph F J; Hadly, Elizabeth A; Daily, Gretchen C

    2014-05-01

    The equilibrium theory of island biogeography is the basis for estimating extinction rates and a pillar of conservation science. The default strategy for conserving biodiversity is the designation of nature reserves, treated as islands in an inhospitable sea of human activity. Despite the profound influence of islands on conservation theory and practice, their mainland analogues, forest fragments in human-dominated landscapes, consistently defy expected biodiversity patterns based on island biogeography theory. Countryside biogeography is an alternative framework, which recognizes that the fate of the world's wildlife will be decided largely by the hospitality of agricultural or countryside ecosystems. Here we directly test these biogeographic theories by comparing a Neotropical countryside ecosystem with a nearby island ecosystem, and show that each supports similar bat biodiversity in fundamentally different ways. The island ecosystem conforms to island biogeographic predictions of bat species loss, in which the water matrix is not habitat. In contrast, the countryside ecosystem has high species richness and evenness across forest reserves and smaller forest fragments. Relative to forest reserves and fragments, deforested countryside habitat supports a less species-rich, yet equally even, bat assemblage. Moreover, the bat assemblage associated with deforested habitat is compositionally novel because of predictable changes in abundances by many species using human-made habitat. Finally, we perform a global meta-analysis of bat biogeographic studies, spanning more than 700 species. It generalizes our findings, showing that separate biogeographic theories for countryside and island ecosystems are necessary. A theory of countryside biogeography is essential to conservation strategy in the agricultural ecosystems that comprise roughly half of the global land surface and are likely to increase even further. PMID:24739971

  12. Temporal biodiversity change in transformed landscapes: a southern African perspective

    PubMed Central

    Chown, Steven L.

    2010-01-01

    Landscape transformation by humans is virtually ubiquitous, with several suggestions being made that the world's biomes should now be classified according to the extent and nature of this transformation. Even those areas that are thought to have a relatively limited human footprint have experienced substantial biodiversity change. This is true of both marine and terrestrial systems of southern Africa, a region of high biodiversity and including several large conservation areas. Global change drivers have had substantial effects across many levels of the biological hierarchy as is demonstrated in this review, which focuses on terrestrial systems. Interactions among drivers, such as between climate change and invasion, and between changing fire regimes and invasion, are complicating attribution of change effects and management thereof. Likewise CO2 fertilization is having a much larger impact on terrestrial systems than perhaps commonly acknowledged. Temporal changes in biodiversity, and the seeming failure of institutional attempts to address them, underline a growing polarization of world views, which is hampering efforts to address urgent conservation needs. PMID:20980320

  13. Landscapes: A Guide to the Landforms and Ecology of Southern Saskatchewan. Reference Manual

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rowe, J. Stan

    A landscape entails more than just a landform. It includes the associated local climates and plant communities. Outlined in a brochure is a resource kit designed to provide information and audiovisual materials to teachers interested in conducting studies in the landscape ecology of Southern Saskatchewan. Two of the items described in the brochure…

  14. Fine-scale spatial genetic structure of common and declining bumble bees across an agricultural landscape.

    PubMed

    Dreier, Stephanie; Redhead, John W; Warren, Ian A; Bourke, Andrew F G; Heard, Matthew S; Jordan, William C; Sumner, Seirian; Wang, Jinliang; Carvell, Claire

    2014-07-01

    Land-use changes have threatened populations of many insect pollinators, including bumble bees. Patterns of dispersal and gene flow are key determinants of species' ability to respond to land-use change, but have been little investigated at a fine scale (<10 km) in bumble bees. Using microsatellite markers, we determined the fine-scale spatial genetic structure of populations of four common Bombus species (B. terrestris, B. lapidarius, B. pascuorum and B. hortorum) and one declining species (B. ruderatus) in an agricultural landscape in Southern England, UK. The study landscape contained sown flower patches representing agri-environment options for pollinators. We found that, as expected, the B. ruderatus population was characterized by relatively low heterozygosity, number of alleles and colony density. Across all species, inbreeding was absent or present but weak (FIS  = 0.01-0.02). Using queen genotypes reconstructed from worker sibships and colony locations estimated from the positions of workers within these sibships, we found that significant isolation by distance was absent in B. lapidarius, B. hortorum and B. ruderatus. In B. terrestris and B. pascuorum, it was present but weak; for example, in these two species, expected relatedness of queens founding colonies 1 m apart was 0.02. These results show that bumble bee populations exhibit low levels of spatial genetic structure at fine spatial scales, most likely because of ongoing gene flow via widespread queen dispersal. In addition, the results demonstrate the potential for agri-environment scheme conservation measures to facilitate fine-scale gene flow by creating a more even distribution of suitable habitats across landscapes. PMID:24980963

  15. Fine-scale spatial genetic structure of common and declining bumble bees across an agricultural landscape

    PubMed Central

    Dreier, Stephanie; Redhead, John W; Warren, Ian A; Bourke, Andrew F G; Heard, Matthew S; Jordan, William C; Sumner, Seirian; Wang, Jinliang; Carvell, Claire

    2014-01-01

    Land-use changes have threatened populations of many insect pollinators, including bumble bees. Patterns of dispersal and gene flow are key determinants of species' ability to respond to land-use change, but have been little investigated at a fine scale (<10 km) in bumble bees. Using microsatellite markers, we determined the fine-scale spatial genetic structure of populations of four common Bombus species (B. terrestris, B. lapidarius, B. pascuorum and B. hortorum) and one declining species (B. ruderatus) in an agricultural landscape in Southern England, UK. The study landscape contained sown flower patches representing agri-environment options for pollinators. We found that, as expected, the B. ruderatus population was characterized by relatively low heterozygosity, number of alleles and colony density. Across all species, inbreeding was absent or present but weak (FIS = 0.01–0.02). Using queen genotypes reconstructed from worker sibships and colony locations estimated from the positions of workers within these sibships, we found that significant isolation by distance was absent in B. lapidarius, B. hortorum and B. ruderatus. In B. terrestris and B. pascuorum, it was present but weak; for example, in these two species, expected relatedness of queens founding colonies 1 m apart was 0.02. These results show that bumble bee populations exhibit low levels of spatial genetic structure at fine spatial scales, most likely because of ongoing gene flow via widespread queen dispersal. In addition, the results demonstrate the potential for agri-environment scheme conservation measures to facilitate fine-scale gene flow by creating a more even distribution of suitable habitats across landscapes. PMID:24980963

  16. Reducing sedimentation of depressional wetlands in agricultural landscapes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Skagen, S.K.; Melcher, C.P.; Haukos, D.A.

    2008-01-01

    Depressional wetlands in agricultural landscapes are easily degraded by sediments and contaminants accumulated from their watersheds. Several best management practices can reduce transport of sediments into wetlands, including the establishment of vegetative buffers. We summarize the sources, transport dynamics, and effect of sediments, nutrients, and contaminants that threaten wetlands and the current knowledge of design and usefulness of grass buffers for protecting isolated wetlands. Buffer effectiveness is dependent on several factors, including vegetation structure, buffer width, attributes of the surrounding watershed (i.e., area, vegetative cover, slope and topography, soil type and structure, soil moisture, amount of herbicides and pesticides applied), and intensity and duration of rain events. To reduce dissolved contaminants from runoff, the water must infiltrate the soil where microbes or other processes can break down or sequester contaminants. But increasing infiltration also diminishes total water volume entering a wetland, which presents threats to wetland hydrology in semi-arid regions. Buffer effectiveness may be enhanced significantly by implementing other best management practices (e.g., conservation tillage, balancing input with nutrient requirements for livestock and crops, precision application of chemicals) in the surrounding watershed to diminish soil erosion and associated contaminant runoff. Buffers require regular maintenance to remove sediment build-up and replace damaged or over-mature vegetation. Further research is needed to establish guidelines for effective buffer width and structure, and such efforts should entail a coordinated, regional, multi-scale, multidisciplinary approach to evaluate buffer effectiveness and impacts. Direct measures in "real-world" systems and field validations of buffer-effectiveness models are crucial next steps in evaluating how grass buffers will impact the abiotic and biotic variables attributes that

  17. Geomorphic Controls of Soil and Carbon Redistribution Across an Agricultural Landscape

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Patterns of soil organic carbon (SOC) vary widely across the landscape leading to large uncertainties in the SOC budget especially for agricultural landscapes where water, tillage, and wind erosion redistributes soil and SOC. It is often assumed that soil erosion results in a loss of SOC from the a...

  18. LANDSCAPE INFLUENCES ON LAKE CHEMISTRY OF SMALL DIMICTIC LAKES IN THE HUMAN DOMINATED SOUTHERN WISCONSIN LANDSCAPE

    EPA Science Inventory

    Changes in landscape heterogeneity, historic landcover change, and human disturbance regimes are governed by complex interrelated landscape processes that modify lake water quality through the addition of nutrients, sediment, anthropogenic chemicals, and changes in major ion conc...

  19. Contrasting perceptions of anthropogenic coastal agricultural landscape meanings and management in Italy and Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Targetti, Stefano; Sherren, Kate; Raggi, Meri; Viaggi, Davide

    2016-04-01

    The Anthropocene concept entails the idea that humans have become the most influential driving factor on the environment. In this context, it is useful to get insights from coastal areas that are affected by a huge impact of human activities in shaping the territory, are prone to several threats linked with climate change, and featured by interlinked economic, cultural and social systems. We compare evidence from three different methods focusing on the perceptions of coastal agricultural landscapes: i) a survey focusing on residents' perceptions of local rural landscape elements; ii) an expert-elicitation multicriteria exercise (Analytic Network Process) focusing on the relationship between economic actors, ecosystem services and local competitiveness; and iii) a Q-methodology survey to identify public discourses concerning management alternatives. The methods were applied in two coastal case studies characterized by land drainage, shoreline barriers and coastal armoring that represent high cultural heritage; created by humans they rely on active management to persist. Moreover, in both the case studies concerns have been raised about the role of agriculture in the rural development context and the perspectives of local stakeholders towards the management of the reclaimed lands. The first area is located on the southern side of the Po River Delta (Emilia Romagna, Italy). The area was reclaimed during the 19th and 20th centuries for agricultural production and is now characterized by intensive agriculture in the hinterlands, an urbanised coastal area with a developed tourism sector, and the presence of remnant wetlands which are mostly included in the Po Delta Natural Park (covering around 30% of the case study). The second area is located in the dykelands of the Bay of Fundy (Nova Scotia, Canada) whose origins go back to the 17th Century when French settlers built the first dykes to reclaim salt marshes for farmland. While some are still farmed, a range of

  20. From Forest Landscape to Agricultural Landscape in the Developing Tropical Country of Malaysia: Pattern, Process, and Their Significance on Policy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abdullah, Saiful Arif; Hezri, Adnan A.

    2008-11-01

    Agricultural expansion and deforestation are spatial processes of land transformation that impact on landscape pattern. In peninsular Malaysia, the conversion of forested areas into two major cash crops—rubber and oil palm plantations—has been identified as driving significant environmental change. To date, there has been insufficient literature studying the link between changes in landscape patterns and land-related development policies. Therefore, this paper examines: (i) the links between development policies and changes in land use/land cover and landscape pattern and (ii) the significance and implications of these links for future development policies. The objective is to generate insights on the changing process of land use/land cover and landscape pattern as a functional response to development policies and their consequences for environmental conditions. Over the last century, the development of cash crops has changed the country from one dominated by natural landscapes to one dominated by agricultural landscapes. But the last decade of the century saw urbanization beginning to impact significantly. This process aligned with the establishment of various development policies, from land development for agriculture between the mid 1950s and the 1970s to an emphasis on manufacturing from the 1980s onward. Based on a case study in Selangor, peninsular Malaysia, a model of landscape pattern change is presented. It contains three stages according to the relative importance of rubber (first stage: 1900-1950s), oil palm (second stage: 1960s-1970s), and urban (third stage: 1980s-1990s) development that influenced landscape fragmentation and heterogeneity. The environmental consequences of this change have been depicted through loss of biodiversity, geohazard incidences, and the spread of vector-borne diseases. The spatial ecological information can be useful to development policy formulation, allowing diagnosis of the country’s “health” and sustainability

  1. From forest landscape to agricultural landscape in the developing tropical country of Malaysia: pattern, process, and their significance on policy.

    PubMed

    Abdullah, Saiful Arif; Hezri, Adnan A

    2008-11-01

    Agricultural expansion and deforestation are spatial processes of land transformation that impact on landscape pattern. In peninsular Malaysia, the conversion of forested areas into two major cash crops--rubber and oil palm plantations--has been identified as driving significant environmental change. To date, there has been insufficient literature studying the link between changes in landscape patterns and land-related development policies. Therefore, this paper examines: (i) the links between development policies and changes in land use/land cover and landscape pattern and (ii) the significance and implications of these links for future development policies. The objective is to generate insights on the changing process of land use/land cover and landscape pattern as a functional response to development policies and their consequences for environmental conditions. Over the last century, the development of cash crops has changed the country from one dominated by natural landscapes to one dominated by agricultural landscapes. But the last decade of the century saw urbanization beginning to impact significantly. This process aligned with the establishment of various development policies, from land development for agriculture between the mid 1950s and the 1970s to an emphasis on manufacturing from the 1980s onward. Based on a case study in Selangor, peninsular Malaysia, a model of landscape pattern change is presented. It contains three stages according to the relative importance of rubber (first stage: 1900--1950s), oil palm (second stage: 1960s--1970s), and urban (third stage: 1980s--1990s) development that influenced landscape fragmentation and heterogeneity. The environmental consequences of this change have been depicted through loss of biodiversity, geohazard incidences, and the spread of vector-borne diseases. The spatial ecological information can be useful to development policy formulation, allowing diagnosis of the country's "health" and sustainability. The

  2. Tracking environmental dynamics and agricultural intensification in southern Mali

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Tappan, G.; McGahuey, M.

    2007-01-01

    The Office de la Haute Valle??e du Fleuve Niger (OHVN) zone in southern Mali is a small but important agricultural production region. Against a background of environmental degradation including decades of declining rainfall, soil erosion, and human pressure on forest resources, numerous farming communities stand out through the use of improved soil and water management practices that have improved agricultural and environmental conditions. Field surveys conducted in 1998-2001 indicated that environmental and agricultural conditions have improved in the past decade. In an effort to better quantify environmental trends, we conducted a study using medium- and high-resolution remotely sensed images from 1965 to 2001 in order to analyze land use and land cover trends in 21 village territories. The trends show clear indications of agricultural intensification and diversification among villages that have received assistance from the OHVN agricultural development agency. Some communities have improved environmental conditions by protecting their forest resources through community management actions. Four decades of remotely sensed images played a practical role in tracking and quantifying environmental and agricultural conditions over time.

  3. A Profile of Southern Agriculture Students. Journal Series No. 1-810032 of the Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dunkelberger, John E.; And Others

    Questionnaires which focused on attributes of undergraduate agriculture students and their reasons for enrolling in agriculture were returned by 3,182 students attending land-grant universities in the South, and a profile of Southern agriculture students evolved. During the 1970's, more women and fewer Blacks enrolled in agricultural curricula.…

  4. Foreword to farming with grass: Achieving sustainable mixed agricultural landscapes

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The Farming with Grass conference was developed to bring together diverse stakeholders in grassland environments to (a) help assess the current condition of agriculture, (b) consider alternative production scenarios for grassland agricultural ecosystems, (c) identify key issues hindering the develop...

  5. Bringing together science and policy to protect and enhance wetland ecosystem services in agricultural landscapes

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Wetland ecosystems operate at the cusp of hydrological and ecological functioning of agricultural landscapes, and provide a range important functions that benefit human societies worldwide. However, agricultural development has led to the drainage, degradation, and loss of vast areas of wetland that...

  6. Landscape-scale forest disturbance regimes in southern Peruvian Amazonia.

    PubMed

    Boyd, Doreen S; Hill, Ross A; Hopkinson, Chris; Baker, Timothy R

    2013-10-01

    Landscape-scale gap-size frequency distributions in tropical forests are a poorly studied but key ecological variable. Currently, a scale gap currently exists between local-scale field-based studies and those employing regional-scale medium-resolution satellite data. Data at landscape scales but of fine resolution would, however, facilitate investigation into a range of ecological questions relating to gap dynamics. These include whether canopy disturbances captured in permanent sample plots (PSPs) are representative of those in their surrounding landscape, and whether disturbance regimes vary with forest type. Here, therefore, we employ airborne LiDAR data captured over 142.5 km2 of mature, swamp, and regenerating forests in southeast Peru to assess the landscape-scale disturbance at a sampling resolution of up to 2 m. We find that this landscape is characterized by large numbers of small gaps; large disturbance events are insignificant and infrequent. Of the total number of gaps that are 2 m2 or larger in area, just 0.45% were larger than 100 m2, with a power-law exponent (alpha) value of the gap-size frequency distribution of 2.22. However, differences in disturbance regimes are seen among different forest types, with a significant difference in the alpha value of the gap-size frequency distribution observed for the swamp/regenerating forests compared with the mature forests at higher elevations. Although a relatively small area of the total forest of this region was investigated here, this study presents an unprecedented assessment of this landscape with respect to its gap dynamics. This is particularly pertinent given the range of forest types present in the landscape and the differences observed. The coupling of detailed insights into forest properties and growth provided by PSPs with the broader statistics of disturbance events using remote sensing is recommended as a strong basis for scaling-up estimates of landscape and regional-scale carbon balance. PMID

  7. Associations of grassland birds with landscape factors in southern Wisconsin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ribic, C.A.; Sample, D.W.

    2001-01-01

    We investigated the association of grassland birds with field- and landscape-level habitat variables in south-central Wisconsin during 1985-1987. Landscape-level variables were measured and digitized at 200, 400 and 800 m from the perimeter of 38 200 m ?? 100 m strip transects. A mixture of field and landscape variables was associated with the density of savannah sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis) and grasshopper sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum). Only landscape variables were associated with the density of bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus), eastern meadowlark (Sturnella magna) and all birds that were grassland species of management concern. Field size was not an important predictor of bird density. Cover-type diversity of the surrounding area was commonly selected in the models for three species and all birds that were grassland species of management concern. Higher bird densities in the transects were associated with landscapes where the cover types were less diverse. Landscapes with low cover type diversity were dominated by grassland, pasture and hay. Field habitat, mean patch size of cover types and distance to woody vegetation were the next most common predictors of avian density. The density of some grassland birds increased as nonlinear woody features such as woodlots and shrub carrs decreased in patch size, decreased in total amount in the landscape and increased in distance from a transect. However, density of other species was positively associated with linear woody features such as the total amount and nearness of hedgerows. The composition of the surrounding landscape, at least out to 800 m, is important in grassland bird management.

  8. Patch occupancy, number of individuals and population density of the Marbled White in a changing agricultural landscape

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lenda, Magdalena; Skórka, Piotr

    2010-09-01

    Metapopulation theory predicts the occurrence of animals in habitat patches. In this paper, we tested predictions based on this theory, including effects of spatial autocorrelation, to describe factors affecting the presence, local number of individuals and density of the Marbled White butterfly Melanargia galathea in habitat patches spread across the agricultural landscape of southern Poland. This agricultural landscape has undergone significant changes in recent decades due to the country's political transformation and is currently characterized by a large proportion of fallow (abandoned) land. We compared 48 occupied habitat patches with 60 unoccupied ones. Positive spatial autocorrelation was found in the number and density of individuals in habitat patches. The probability of patch occupancy was higher for patches that were larger, had a higher proportion of edges, were located closer to the nearest neighbouring local population and to the nearest piece of fallow, contained a smaller area of cut grass, and also had more nectar resources. The number of Marbled Whites in habitat patches was positively related to the patch area, the distance to the nearest fallow and the abundance of nectar resources, but was negatively related to the density of shrubs. The density of individuals was positively related to abundance of flowers, proportion of edge in a patch and distance to the nearest fallow, but it was negatively related to patch area, vegetation height and grass cover. These results indicate that recent land-use changes in agricultural landscapes have had both positive and negative effects on the presence and local number of individuals and density of the Marbled White. These changes affect the metapopulation of the species through changes in habitat quality and landscape connectivity in the area surrounding habitat patches.

  9. Biodiversity conservation and agricultural sustainability: towards a new paradigm of 'ecoagriculture' landscapes.

    PubMed

    Scherr, Sara J; McNeely, Jeffrey A

    2008-02-12

    The dominant late twentieth century model of land use segregated agricultural production from areas managed for biodiversity conservation. This module is no longer adequate in much of the world. The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment confirmed that agriculture has dramatically increased its ecological footprint. Rural communities depend on key components of biodiversity and ecosystem services that are found in non-domestic habitats. Fortunately, agricultural landscapes can be designed and managed to host wild biodiversity of many types, with neutral or even positive effects on agricultural production and livelihoods. Innovative practitioners, scientists and indigenous land managers are adapting, designing and managing diverse types of 'ecoagriculture' landscapes to generate positive co-benefits for production, biodiversity and local people. We assess the potentials and limitations for successful conservation of biodiversity in productive agricultural landscapes, the feasibility of making such approaches financially viable, and the organizational, governance and policy frameworks needed to enable ecoagriculture planning and implementation at a globally significant scale. We conclude that effectively conserving wild biodiversity in agricultural landscapes will require increased research, policy coordination and strategic support to agricultural communities and conservationists. PMID:17652072

  10. Restoration of degraded agricultural terraces: rebuilding landscape structure and process.

    PubMed

    LaFevor, M C

    2014-06-01

    The restoration of severely degraded cropland to productive agricultural capacity increases food supply, improves soil and water conservation, and enhances environmental and ecological services. This article examines the key roles that long-term maintenance plays in the processes of repairing degraded agricultural land. Field measurements from Tlaxcala, Mexico stress that restoring agricultural structures (the arrangements of landforms and vegetation) is alone insufficient. Instead, an effective monitoring and maintenance regime of agricultural structures is also crucial if the efforts are to be successful. Consequently, methods of wildland restoration and agricultural restoration may differ in the degree to which the latter must plan for and facilitate a sustained human involvement. An improved understanding of these distinctions is critical for environmental management as restoration programs that employ the technologies of intensive agriculture continue to grow in number and scope. PMID:24355068

  11. Landscape Context and Plant Community Composition in Grazed Agricultural Systems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Temperate humid grazinglands are an important component of the landscape of the northeastern United States, as well as of the economy of this region, yet unlike their European counterparts, little is known about their basic ecology. During an eight-year survey of 28 farms across the northeastern Uni...

  12. BATS AND BT INSECT RESISTANCE ON AGRICULTURAL LANDSCAPES

    EPA Science Inventory

    A landscape model that utilizes land cover classification data, insect life history, insect movement, and bat foraging pressure is developed that addresses the implementation of genetically modified crops in the Winter Garden region of Texas. The principal strategy for delaying r...

  13. The potential and sustainability of agricultural land use in a changing ecosystem in southern Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hunziker, Matthias; Caviezel, Chatrina; Kuhn, Nikolaus J.

    2015-04-01

    Southern Greenland currently experiences an increase in summer temperatures and a prolonged growing season (Masson-Delmotte et al. 2012), resulting in an increased potential regarding agricultural land use. Subsequently, the agricultural sector is expected to grow. Thereby, a higher hay production and grazing capacity is pursued by applying more efficient farming practices (Greenland Agriculture Advisory Board 2009). However, agricultural potential at borderline ecotones is not only influenced by factors like temperature and growing season but also by other ecologic parameters. In addition, the intensification of land use in the fragile boreal - tundra border ecotone has various environmental impacts (Perren et al. 2012; Normand et al. 2013). Already the Norse settlers practiced animal husbandry in southern Greenland between 986-1450 AD. Several authors mention the unadapted land use as main reason for the demise of the Norse in Greenland, as grazing pressure exceeded the resilience of the landscape and pasture economy failed (Fredskild 1988; Perren et al. 2012). During the field work in summer 2014, we compared the pedologic properties of already used hay fields, grazed land, birch woodland and barren, unused land around Igaliku (South Greenland), in order to estimate the potential and the sustainability of the land use in southern Greenland. Beside physical soil properties, nutrient condition of the different land use types, the shrub woodland and barren areas was analyzed. The results of the study show that the most suitable areas for intensive agricultural activity are mostly occupied. Further on, the fields, which were used by the Norse, seem to be the most productive sites nowadays. Less productive hay fields are characterized by a higher coarse fraction, leading to a reduced ability to store water and to an unfavorable nutrient status. An intensification of the agricultural land use by applying fertilizer would lead to an increased environmental impact

  14. RIPARIAN AREAS OF AN AGRICULTURAL LANDSCAPE IN WESTERN OREGON

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Willamette Valley is a productive, diversified agricultural area in western Oregon. Pastureland and grass seed fields, mostly located on poorly drained soils, account for 60% of the agricultural land in the valley. The size and character of Willamette Valley streams and ass...

  15. Mass-flowering crops dilute pollinator abundance in agricultural landscapes across Europe.

    PubMed

    Holzschuh, Andrea; Dainese, Matteo; González-Varo, Juan P; Mudri-Stojnić, Sonja; Riedinger, Verena; Rundlöf, Maj; Scheper, Jeroen; Wickens, Jennifer B; Wickens, Victoria J; Bommarco, Riccardo; Kleijn, David; Potts, Simon G; Roberts, Stuart P M; Smith, Henrik G; Vilà, Montserrat; Vujić, Ante; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf

    2016-10-01

    Mass-flowering crops (MFCs) are increasingly cultivated and might influence pollinator communities in MFC fields and nearby semi-natural habitats (SNHs). Across six European regions and 2 years, we assessed how landscape-scale cover of MFCs affected pollinator densities in 408 MFC fields and adjacent SNHs. In MFC fields, densities of bumblebees, solitary bees, managed honeybees and hoverflies were negatively related to the cover of MFCs in the landscape. In SNHs, densities of bumblebees declined with increasing cover of MFCs but densities of honeybees increased. The densities of all pollinators were generally unrelated to the cover of SNHs in the landscape. Although MFC fields apparently attracted pollinators from SNHs, in landscapes with large areas of MFCs they became diluted. The resulting lower densities might negatively affect yields of pollinator-dependent crops and the reproductive success of wild plants. An expansion of MFCs needs to be accompanied by pollinator-supporting practices in agricultural landscapes. PMID:27531385

  16. Nitrous oxide emissions and denitrification rates: A blueprint for smart management and remediation of agricultural landscapes.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tomasek, A.; Hondzo, M.; Kozarek, J. L.

    2015-12-01

    Anthropogenic activities have greatly altered the global nitrogen cycle, especially in the agriculturally dominated Midwest, with severe consequences on human and aquatic health. Complete microbial denitrification can be viewed as a nitrogen sink, converting soluble nitrate into inert nitrogen gas. This research aims to quantify and correlate the driving parameters in microbial denitrification and explore the relationship to the abundance of denitrifying genes and the microbial communities at these sites. Denitrifying genes for each step in the denitrification process have been quantified. Data from a field site in Southern Minnesota has been collected throughout the season for two years enabling investigation into the temporal variability of denitrification. Data was collected at two cross-sections across the channel to determine the effect of bank location and moisture content on denitrification. Data were collected in an experimental basin in the summer of 2015 to determine the effect of flooding and benthic organic matter content and quality on microbial denitrification and nitrous oxide production. Four sediment types were investigated in three different flood regimes. After each raising or lowering of the water level, soil cores were taken to determine soil characteristics, the potential denitrification using the denitrification enzyme activity method, nitrous oxide production using a static core method, and the denitrifying gene abundance. Chambers were also deployed over each soil amendment in each flood regime to determine the nitrous oxide production over time. Results from these studies will convey a more complete explanation of denitrification and nitrous oxide production under varying environmental conditions. By determining the driving parameters for microbial denitrification, denitrification hot spots and hot moments can be created and enhanced. One potential consequence of increased denitrification is the possibility of incomplete denitrification

  17. Hydrologic controls on phosphorus and nitrogen biogeochemistry in agricultural landscapes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walter, T.; McPhillips, L. E.; Archibald, J. A.; Anderson, T.; Morris, C. K.

    2012-12-01

    Nonpoint source pollution of nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) is a persistent threat to water resources and aquatic ecosystems. Because they have very different transport properties and, therefore, follow different pathways from the landscape to streams, it has been difficult to develop management strategies that simultaneously control both nutrients. Using a combination of modeling and empiricism, we have evidence that targeting nonpoint source control efforts to the parts of the landscape most prone to saturated (or at least wet) soil conditions has good potential for helping mitigate N and P loads to streams in the Northeastern US. With respect to P, the wet-prone soils represent the parts of the landscape most likely to generate runoff and transport P to streams. So, we have developed a variety of schemes for helping farmers avoid contaminating these areas with P. With respect to N, these areas are denitrification hotspots, so managing these areas in ways that promote carbon accumulation, either naturally or engineered, can maximize their functionality for removing nitrate from water as it flows to streams. We will present our modeling strategies for simulating soil moisture patterns across watersheds, show how we couple hydrological modeling with nutrient transport and biogeochemistry, and summarize strategies and tools we are developing to use our insights into these ecosystem functions to protect water quality.

  18. Durable strategies to deploy plant resistance in agricultural landscapes.

    PubMed

    Fabre, Frédéric; Rousseau, Elsa; Mailleret, Ludovic; Moury, Benoit

    2012-03-01

    The deployment of resistant crops often leads to the emergence of resistance-breaking pathogens that suppress the yield benefit provided by the resistance. Here, we theoretically explored how farmers' main leverages (resistant cultivar choice, resistance deployment strategy, landscape planning and cultural practices) can be best combined to achieve resistance durability while minimizing yield losses as a result of plant viruses. Assuming a gene-for-gene type of interaction, virus epidemics are modelled in a landscape composed of a mosaic of resistant and susceptible fields, subjected to seasonality, and a reservoir hosting viruses year-round. The model links the genetic and the epidemiological processes, shaping at nested scales the demogenetic dynamics of viruses. The choice of the resistance gene (characterized by the equilibrium frequency of the resistance-breaking virus at mutation-selection balance in a susceptible plant) is the most influential leverage of action. Our results showed that optimal strategies of resistance deployment range from 'mixture' (where susceptible and resistant cultivars coexist) to 'pure' strategies (with only resistant cultivar) depending on the resistance characteristics and the epidemiological context (epidemic incidence and landscape connectivity). We demonstrate and discuss gaps concerning virus epidemiology across the agro-ecological interface that must be filled to achieve sustainable disease management. PMID:22260272

  19. Southern pine beetle regional outbreaks modeled on landscape, climate and infestation history

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The southern pine beetle (Dendroctonus fromtalis, SPB) is the major insect pest of pine species in the southeastern United States. It attains outbreak population levels across the landscape at scales ranging from a single forest stand to interstate epidemics. This county level analysis selected and ...

  20. The Importance of Landscape Elements for Bat Activity and Species Richness in Agricultural Areas.

    PubMed

    Heim, Olga; Treitler, Julia T; Tschapka, Marco; Knörnschild, Mirjam; Jung, Kirsten

    2015-01-01

    Landscape heterogeneity is regarded as a key factor for maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem function in production landscapes. We investigated whether grassland sites at close vicinity to forested areas are more frequently used by bats. Considering that bats are important consumers of herbivorous insects, including agricultural pest, this is important for sustainable land management. Bat activity and species richness were assessed using repeated monitoring from May to September in 2010 with acoustic monitoring surveys on 50 grassland sites in the Biosphere Reserve Schorfheide-Chorin (North-East Germany). Using spatial analysis (GIS), we measured the closest distance of each grassland site to potentially connecting landscape elements (e.g., trees, linear vegetation, groves, running and standing water). In addition, we assessed the distance to and the percent land cover of forest remnants and urban areas in a 200 m buffer around the recording sites to address differences in the local landscape setting. Species richness and bat activity increased significantly with higher forest land cover in the 200 m buffer and at smaller distance to forested areas. Moreover, species richness increased in proximity to tree groves. Larger amount of forest land cover and smaller distance to forest also resulted in a higher activity of bats on grassland sites in the beginning of the year during May, June and July. Landscape elements near grassland sites also influenced species composition of bats and species richness of functional groups (open, edge and narrow space foragers). Our results highlight the importance of forested areas, and suggest that agricultural grasslands that are closer to forest remnants might be better buffered against outbreaks of agricultural pest insects due to higher species richness and higher bat activity. Furthermore, our data reveals that even for highly mobile species such as bats, a very dense network of connecting elements within the landscape is

  1. The Importance of Landscape Elements for Bat Activity and Species Richness in Agricultural Areas

    PubMed Central

    Heim, Olga; Treitler, Julia T.; Tschapka, Marco; Knörnschild, Mirjam; Jung, Kirsten

    2015-01-01

    Landscape heterogeneity is regarded as a key factor for maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem function in production landscapes. We investigated whether grassland sites at close vicinity to forested areas are more frequently used by bats. Considering that bats are important consumers of herbivorous insects, including agricultural pest, this is important for sustainable land management. Bat activity and species richness were assessed using repeated monitoring from May to September in 2010 with acoustic monitoring surveys on 50 grassland sites in the Biosphere Reserve Schorfheide-Chorin (North-East Germany). Using spatial analysis (GIS), we measured the closest distance of each grassland site to potentially connecting landscape elements (e.g., trees, linear vegetation, groves, running and standing water). In addition, we assessed the distance to and the percent land cover of forest remnants and urban areas in a 200 m buffer around the recording sites to address differences in the local landscape setting. Species richness and bat activity increased significantly with higher forest land cover in the 200 m buffer and at smaller distance to forested areas. Moreover, species richness increased in proximity to tree groves. Larger amount of forest land cover and smaller distance to forest also resulted in a higher activity of bats on grassland sites in the beginning of the year during May, June and July. Landscape elements near grassland sites also influenced species composition of bats and species richness of functional groups (open, edge and narrow space foragers). Our results highlight the importance of forested areas, and suggest that agricultural grasslands that are closer to forest remnants might be better buffered against outbreaks of agricultural pest insects due to higher species richness and higher bat activity. Furthermore, our data reveals that even for highly mobile species such as bats, a very dense network of connecting elements within the landscape is

  2. Relationships between Rural Inhabitants and Their Landscapes in Areas of Intensive Agricultural Use: A Case Study in Quebec (Canada)

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ruiz, Julie; Domon, Gerald

    2012-01-01

    An understanding of the relationships between local populations and the landscape is crucial for reintroducing the multifunctional character of landscapes in areas of intensive agricultural use. This study proposes to identify and compare the relationships that local populations, both farmers and non-farmers, maintain with their landscapes in…

  3. Ditch network sustains functional connectivity and influences patterns of gene flow in an intensive agricultural landscape.

    PubMed

    Favre-Bac, L; Mony, C; Ernoult, A; Burel, F; Arnaud, J-F

    2016-02-01

    In intensive agricultural landscapes, plant species previously relying on semi-natural habitats may persist as metapopulations within landscape linear elements. Maintenance of populations' connectivity through pollen and seed dispersal is a key factor in species persistence in the face of substantial habitat loss. The goals of this study were to investigate the potential corridor role of ditches and to identify the landscape components that significantly impact patterns of gene flow among remnant populations. Using microsatellite loci, we explored the spatial genetic structure of two hydrochorous wetland plants exhibiting contrasting local abundance and different habitat requirements: the rare and regionally protected Oenanthe aquatica and the more commonly distributed Lycopus europaeus, in an 83 km(2) agricultural lowland located in northern France. Both species exhibited a significant spatial genetic structure, along with substantial levels of genetic differentiation, especially for L. europaeus, which also expressed high levels of inbreeding. Isolation-by-distance analysis revealed enhanced gene flow along ditches, indicating their key role in effective seed and pollen dispersal. Our data also suggested that the configuration of the ditch network and the landscape elements significantly affected population genetic structure, with (i) species-specific scale effects on the genetic neighborhood and (ii) detrimental impact of human ditch management on genetic diversity, especially for O. aquatica. Altogether, these findings highlighted the key role of ditches in the maintenance of plant biodiversity in intensive agricultural landscapes with few remnant wetland habitats. PMID:26486611

  4. Comparative Population Genetic Structure of the Endangered Southern Brown Bandicoot, Isoodon obesulus, in Fragmented Landscapes of Southern Australia

    PubMed Central

    Li, You; Cooper, Steven J. B.; Lancaster, Melanie L.; Packer, Jasmin G.; Carthew, Susan M.

    2016-01-01

    Genetic connectivity is a key factor for maintaining the persistence of populations in fragmented landscapes. In highly modified landscapes such us peri-urban areas, organisms’ dispersal among fragmented habitat patches can be reduced due to the surrounding matrix, leading to subsequent decreased gene flow and increased potential extinction risk in isolated sub-populations. However, few studies have compared within species how dispersal/gene flow varies between regions and among different forms of matrix that might be encountered. In the current study, we investigated gene flow and dispersal in an endangered marsupial, the southern brown bandicoot (Isoodon obesulus) in a heavily modified peri-urban landscape in South Australia, Australia. We used 14 microsatellite markers to genotype 254 individuals which were sampled from 15 sites. Analyses revealed significant genetic structure. Our analyses also indicated that dispersal was mostly limited to neighbouring sites. Comparisons of these results with analyses of a different population of the same species revealed that gene flow/dispersal was more limited in this peri-urban landscape than in a pine plantation landscape approximately 400 km to the south-east. These findings increase our understanding of how the nature of fragmentation can lead to profound differences in levels of genetic connectivity among populations of the same species. PMID:27096952

  5. Comparative Population Genetic Structure of the Endangered Southern Brown Bandicoot, Isoodon obesulus, in Fragmented Landscapes of Southern Australia.

    PubMed

    Li, You; Cooper, Steven J B; Lancaster, Melanie L; Packer, Jasmin G; Carthew, Susan M

    2016-01-01

    Genetic connectivity is a key factor for maintaining the persistence of populations in fragmented landscapes. In highly modified landscapes such us peri-urban areas, organisms' dispersal among fragmented habitat patches can be reduced due to the surrounding matrix, leading to subsequent decreased gene flow and increased potential extinction risk in isolated sub-populations. However, few studies have compared within species how dispersal/gene flow varies between regions and among different forms of matrix that might be encountered. In the current study, we investigated gene flow and dispersal in an endangered marsupial, the southern brown bandicoot (Isoodon obesulus) in a heavily modified peri-urban landscape in South Australia, Australia. We used 14 microsatellite markers to genotype 254 individuals which were sampled from 15 sites. Analyses revealed significant genetic structure. Our analyses also indicated that dispersal was mostly limited to neighbouring sites. Comparisons of these results with analyses of a different population of the same species revealed that gene flow/dispersal was more limited in this peri-urban landscape than in a pine plantation landscape approximately 400 km to the south-east. These findings increase our understanding of how the nature of fragmentation can lead to profound differences in levels of genetic connectivity among populations of the same species. PMID:27096952

  6. Sustainable corn stover harvest strategies for Midwest agricultural landscapes

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    To support emerging U.S. cellulosic bioenergy industries, 239 site-years of data from field studies at 36 sites in seven states were recently summarized in BioEnergy Research by the ARS Resilient Economic Agricultural Practices (REAP) team [formerly the Renewable Energy Assessment Project (REAP) tea...

  7. Landscape ecology of Trypanosoma cruzi in the southern Yucatan Peninsula.

    PubMed

    López-Cancino, Sury Antonio; Tun-Ku, Ezequiel; De la Cruz-Felix, Himmler Keynes; Ibarra-Cerdeña, Carlos Napoleón; Izeta-Alberdi, Amaia; Pech-May, Angélica; Mazariegos-Hidalgo, Carlos Jesús; Valdez-Tah, Alba; Ramsey, Janine M

    2015-11-01

    Landscape interactions of Trypanosoma cruzi (Tc) with Triatoma dimidiata (Td) depend on the presence and relative abundance of mammal hosts. This study analyzed a landscape adjacent to the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve, composed of conserved areas, crop and farming areas, and the human community of Zoh Laguna with reported Chagas disease cases. Sylvatic mammals of the Chiroptera, Rodentia, and Marsupialia orders were captured, and livestock and pets were sampled along with T. dimidiata in all habitats. Infection by T. cruzi was analyzed using mtDNA markers, while lineage and DTU was analyzed using the mini-exon. 303 sylvatic specimens were collected, corresponding to 19 species during the rainy season and 114 specimens of 18 species during dry season. Five bats Artibeus jamaicensis, Artibeus lituratus, Sturnira lilium, Sturnira ludovici, Dermanura phaeotis (Dp) and one rodent Heteromys gaumeri were collected in the three habitats. All but Dp, and including Carollia brevicauda and Myotis keaysi, were infected with predominately TcI in the sylvatic habitat and TcII in the ecotone. Sigmodon hispidus was the rodent with the highest prevalence of infection by T. cruzi I and II in ecotone and domestic habitats. Didelphis viginiana was infected only with TcI in both domestic and sylvatic habitats; the only two genotyped human cases were TcII. Two main clades of T. cruzi, lineages I (DTU Ia) and II (DTU VI), were found to be sympatric (all habitats and seasons) in the Zoh-Laguna landscape, suggesting that no species-specific interactions occur between the parasite and any mammal host, in any habitat. We have also found mixed infections of the two principal T. cruzi clades in individuals across modified habitats, particularly in livestock and pets, and in both haplogroups of T. dimidiata. Results are contradictory to the dilution hypothesis, although we did find that most resilient species had an important role as T. cruzi hosts. Our study detected some complex trends in

  8. Application of the precision agricultural landscape modeling system in semiarid environments

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The Precision Agricultural Landscape Modeling System (PALMS) is a terrain and weather driven, distributed parameter hydrological-biophysical model primarily used in the Midwestern United States. Recently, research was started to evaluate the effectiveness of PALMS on irrigated and on dryland croppin...

  9. A survey of insect assemblages responding to volatiles from a ubiquitous fungus in an agricultural landscape

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We report here a first survey of insect orientation to fungal cultures and and fungal volatiles from a community ecology perspective. We tested whether volatiles from a ubiquitous yeast-like fungus (Aureobasidium pullulans) are broadly attractive to insects in an agricultural landscape. We evaluated...

  10. Increased area of a highly suitable host crop increases herbivore pressure in intensified agricultural landscapes

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    tLandscape simplification associated with agricultural intensification has important effects on economi-cally important arthropods. The declining cover of natural and semi-natural habitats, in particular, hasbeen shown to reduce natural-enemy attack of crop pests, but also in some cases reduced crop...

  11. Simulating semiarid dryland cropping systems using the precision agricultural landscape modeling system

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The Precision Agricultural Landscape Modeling System (PALMS) is a terrain and weather driven, and distributed parameter hydrological-biophysical model primarily used in the Midwestern United States. Recently, research was started to evaluate the effectiveness of PALMS on irrigated and on dryland cro...

  12. Preliminary GIS analysis of the agricultural landscape of Cuyo Cuyo, Department of Puno, Peru

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Winterhalder, Bruce; Evans, Tom

    1991-01-01

    Computerized analysis of a geographic database (GIS) for Cuyo Cuyo, (Dept. Puno, Peru) is used to correlate the agricultural production zones of two adjacent communities to altitude, slope, aspect, and other geomorphological features of the high-altitude eastern escarpment landscape. The techniques exemplified will allow ecological anthropologists to analyze spatial patterns at regional scales with much greater control over the data.

  13. Nectar production in oilseeds: Food for pollinators in an agricultural landscape

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Pollinating insects are in decline throughout the world, driven by a combination of factors including the loss of forage resources. The corn- and soybean-dominated agriculture of the Central and Midwestern US produces a landscape relatively devoid of nectar and pollen resources. Introducing specialt...

  14. Mineralization of soil organic matter in biochar amended agricultural landscape

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chintala, R.; Clay, D. E.; Schumacher, T. E.; Kumar, S.; Malo, D. D.

    2015-12-01

    Pyrogenic biochar materials have been identified as a promising soil amendment to enhance climate resilience, increase soil carbon recalcitrance and achieve sustainable crop production. A three year field study was initiated in 2013 to study the impact of biochar on soil carbon and nitrogen storage on an eroded Maddock soil series - Sandy, Mixed, Frigid Entic Hapludolls) and deposition Brookings clay loam (Fine-Silty, Mixed, Superactive, Frigid Pachic Hapludolls) landscape positions. Three biochars produced from corn stover (Zea mays L.), Ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa Lawson and C. Lawson) wood residue, and switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) were incorporated at 9.75 Mg ha-1 rate (≈7.5 cm soil depth and 1.3 g/cm3 soil bulk density) with a rototiller. The changes in chemical fractionation of soil carbon (soluble C, acid hydrolyzable C, total C, and δ13 C) and nitrogen (soluble N, acid hydrolyzable N, total N, and δ14 N) were monitored for two soil depths (0-7.5 and 7.5 - 15 cm). Soluble and acid hydrolyzable fractions of soil C and N were influenced by soil series and were not significantly affected by incorporation of biochars. Based on soil and plant samples to be collected in the fall of 2015, C and N budgets are being developed using isotopic and non-isotopic techniques. Laboratory studies showed that the mean residence time for biochars used in this study ranged from 400 to 666 years. Laboratory and field studies will be compared in the presentation.

  15. Investigating biodiversity trajectories using scenarios--lessons from two contrasting agricultural landscapes.

    PubMed

    Lindborg, Regina; Stenseke, Marie; Cousins, Sara A O; Bengtsson, Jan; Berg, Ake; Gustafsson, Tomas; Sjödin, N Erik; Eriksson, Ove

    2009-01-01

    Agriculture is the major land use at a global scale. In addition to food production, multifunctionality of landscapes, including values and ecosystem services like biodiversity, recreation and culture, is now focus for management. This study explores how a scenario approach, involving different stakeholders, may help to improve landscape management for biodiversity conservation. Local farmers and executives at the County Administrative Board were invited to discuss rural development and conditions for farmland biodiversity in two Swedish landscapes. The potential biodiversity for three future land use scenarios for the two landscapes was discussed: nature conservation, outdoor recreation and energy production, and compared with current and historical landscapes in each region. Analyses of habitat areas, connectedness and landscape diversity suggested that the energy and recreation scenarios had a negative impact on farmland biodiversity, whereas the nature conservation scenario, the current and historically reconstructed landscapes had a higher potential for biodiversity. The farmers appreciated the nature conservation scenario, but also the energy production scenario and they highlighted the need of increased subsidies for management of biodiversity. The farmers in the high production area were less interested in nature quality per se. The executives had similar opinions as the farmers, but disagreed on the advantages with energy production, as this would be in conflict with the high biodiversity and recreational values. The local physical and socio-economical conditions differ between landscapes and potentially shaped the stakeholders emotional attachment to the local environment, their opinions and decisions on how to manage the land. We stress the importance of incorporating local knowledge, visions and regional prerequisites for different land uses in conservation, since site and landscape specific planning for biodiversity together with a flexible subsidy

  16. Pollinator Interactions with Yellow Starthistle (Centaurea solstitialis) across Urban, Agricultural, and Natural Landscapes

    PubMed Central

    Leong, Misha; Kremen, Claire; Roderick, George K.

    2014-01-01

    Pollinator-plant relationships are found to be particularly vulnerable to land use change. Yet despite extensive research in agricultural and natural systems, less attention has focused on these interactions in neighboring urban areas and its impact on pollination services. We investigated pollinator-plant interactions in a peri-urban landscape on the outskirts of the San Francisco Bay Area, California, where urban, agricultural, and natural land use types interface. We made standardized observations of floral visitation and measured seed set of yellow starthistle (Centaurea solstitialis), a common grassland invasive, to test the hypotheses that increasing urbanization decreases 1) rates of bee visitation, 2) viable seed set, and 3) the efficiency of pollination (relationship between bee visitation and seed set). We unexpectedly found that bee visitation was highest in urban and agricultural land use contexts, but in contrast, seed set rates in these human-altered landscapes were lower than in natural sites. An explanation for the discrepancy between floral visitation and seed set is that higher plant diversity in urban and agricultural areas, as a result of more introduced species, decreases pollinator efficiency. If these patterns are consistent across other plant species, the novel plant communities created in these managed landscapes and the generalist bee species that are favored by human-altered environments will reduce pollination services. PMID:24466050

  17. Managing Nitrogen in Croplands: Implications for Increasing Ecosystem Services in Agricultural Landscapes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jackson, L.

    2011-12-01

    Many agricultural landscapes in the temperate zone are dominated by agroecosystems that are managed with high inputs of agrochemicals, including synthetic nitrogen (N) fertilizers. The process of agricultural intensification increases crop production per unit area, but also often results in loss of environmental quality (such as N contamination of waters, eutrophication, atmospheric N deposition, and emissions of nitrous oxide (N2O), a potent greenhouse gas). Loss of biodiversity and its 'functional homogenization' is another concern. Not only does little land in these landscapes remain in natural ecosystems, but there are negative off-site impacts of intensive agriculture on non-target organisms. Segregating agroecosystems with high-input agricultural production from natural ecosystems (land sparing) is one view to support both food security and biodiversity conservation. But proponents of land sparing rarely address the loss of other ecosystem services, such as those related to environmental quality, health, and human well-being (e.g., livelihoods and cultural values). An emerging view is that increased reliance on ecological processes in agroecosystems ('ecological intensification') is more feasible when the landscape mosaic includes planned and unplanned biodiversity. This requires research on how to support multiple ecosystem services through the integration of agricultural production and biodiversity conservation in the same landscape, and how ecological and physico-chemical processes at various spatial scales are interlinked. It is an enormous challenge to increase reliance on ecological processes for N availability for crop productivity. There are skeptics who think that this will be detrimental for food security, despite benefits for other types of ecosystem services. Using examples from agricultural landscapes in California, mechanisms for ecologically-based N cycling will be discussed, such as: 1) increasing the reservoir of soil organic N and the

  18. Lessons from the past: Paleoecological insights for conserving biodiversity on southern Appalachian landscapes

    SciTech Connect

    Delcourt, H.R.; Delcourt, P.A. )

    1994-06-01

    The southern Appalachian Mountains traditionally have been viewed as a center or origin for endemic species and a refuge for boreal and subtropical species at the peripheries of their ranges. High species richness observed today resulted in large part from shifts in ranges. Populations or rare northern species have persisted in the southern Appalachians since the Pleistocene because of habitat diversity maintained by natural geomorphic disturbances such as shifting stream courses in mountain gaps and landslides on steep slopes that create open glades within an otherwise forested landscape. Modern land use has resulted in a semi-natural landscape mosaic in which increasing fragmentation of forest islands had diminished landscape connectivity, removing travel corridors that were important to the survival of many taxa during the Quaternary. Accelerated climate change in a future Greenhouse world could result in more rapid turnover of species composition along regional ecotones, increasing the probability of local extinction for many species. To conserve biodiversity it is imperative to maintain a landscape matrix in the Appalachians that will maintain connectivity between patches of suitable habitat to allow for future northward range shifts.

  19. Grass buffers for playas in agricultural landscapes: An annotated bibliography

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Melcher, Cynthia P.; Skagen, Susan K.

    2005-01-01

    References on best management practices (BMPs) for agricultural lands were included because certain BMPs are crucial for informing decisions about buffer design/ effectiveness and overall playa ecology. We also included various papers that increase the spectrum of time over which buffer theories and practices have evolved. An unannotated section lists references that we did not prioritize for annotation and references that may be helpful but were beyond the scope of this document. Finally, we provide notes on conversations we had with scientists, land managers, and other buffer experts whom we consulted, and their contact information. We conclude the bibliography with appendices of common and scientific names of birds and plants and acronyms used in both the bibliography. In the annotations, italicized text signifies our own editorial remarks. Readers should also note that much of the work on buffers has been designed using English units of measure rather than metrics; in most cases, their results have been converted to metrics for publication, explaining the seemingly odd or irregular buffer widths and other parameters reported.

  20. An exhaustive inventory of coniferous trees in an agricultural landscape

    PubMed Central

    Rousselet, Jérôme; Roques, Alain; Garcia, Jacques

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Background Various species of forest trees are commonly used for ornamental purposes and are therefore frequently found in non-forest ecosystems. These trees constitute a significant component of the trees outside forests (TOF). Although increasingly recognized as prominent feature of agricultural lands and built-up areas, not much is known, however, about TOF since they are generally absent from forest inventories. New information In the present study, we focus on the coniferous tree species that constitute potential hosts for a forest defoliator, the pine processionary moth Thaumetopoea pityocampa Den. & Schiff. (Lepidoptera, Notodontidae). We carried out an exhaustive inventory of all pines (Pinus spp.), cedars (Cedrus spp.) and Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) in a 22 × 22 km study window located in the open-field region of Beauce in the centre of France. We recorded a total of 3834 individuals or small groups host trees corresponding a density of 7.9 occurrences per 100 ha. We provide the spatial coordinates of the points without differentiation between tree species. PMID:25733964

  1. Measuring and monitoring linear woody features in agricultural landscapes through earth observation data as an indicator of habitat availability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pasher, J.; McGovern, M.; Putinski, V.

    2016-02-01

    The loss of natural habitats and the loss of biological diversity is a global problem affecting all ecosystems including agricultural landscapes. Indicators of biodiversity can provide standardized measures that make it easier to compare and communicate changes to an ecosystem. In agricultural landscapes the amount and variety of available habitat is directly correlated with biodiversity levels. Linear woody features (LWF), including hedgerows, windbreaks, shelterbelts as well as woody shrubs along fields, roads and watercourses, play a vital role in supporting biodiversity as well as serving a wide variety of other purposes in the ecosystem. Earth observation can be used to quantify and monitor LWF across the landscape. While individual features can be manually mapped, this research focused on the development of methods using line intersect sampling (LIS) for estimating LWF as an indicator of habitat availability in agricultural landscapes. The methods are accurate, efficient, repeatable and provide robust results. Methods were tested over 9.5 Mha of agricultural landscape in the Canadian Mixedwood Plains ecozone. Approximately 97,000 km of LWF were estimated across this landscape with results useable both at a regional reporting scale, as well as mapped across space for use in wildlife habitat modelling or other landscape management research. The LIS approach developed here could be employed at a variety of scales in particular for large regions and could be adapted for use as a national scale indicator of habitat availability in heavily disturbed agricultural landscape.

  2. Alternative scenarios of bioenergy crop production in an agricultural landscape and implications for bird communities.

    PubMed

    Blank, Peter J; Williams, Carol L; Sample, David W; Meehan, Timothy D; Turner, Monica G

    2016-01-01

    Increased demand and government mandates for bioenergy crops in the United States could require a large allocation of agricultural land to bioenergy feedstock production and substantially alter current landscape patterns. Incorporating bioenergy landscape design into land-use decision making could help maximize benefits and minimize trade-offs among alternative land uses. We developed spatially explicit landscape scenarios of increased bioenergy crop production in an 80-km radius agricultural landscape centered on a potential biomass-processing energy facility and evaluated the consequences of each scenario for bird communities. Our scenarios included conversion of existing annual row crops to perennial bioenergy grasslands and conversion of existing grasslands to annual bioenergy row crops. The scenarios explored combinations of four biomass crop types (three potential grassland crops along a gradient of plant diversity and one annual row crop [corn]), three land conversion percentages to bioenergy crops (10%, 20%, or 30% of row crops or grasslands), and three spatial configurations of biomass crop fields (random, clustered near similar field types, or centered on the processing plant), yielding 36 scenarios. For each scenario, we predicted the impact on four bird community metrics: species richness, total bird density, species of greatest conservation need (SGCN) density, and SGCN hotspots (SGCN birds/ha ≥ 2). Bird community metrics consistently increased with conversion of row crops to bioenergy grasslands and consistently decreased with conversion of grasslands to bioenergy row crops. Spatial arrangement of bioenergy fields had strong effects on the bird community and in some cases was more influential than the amount converted to bioenergy crops. Clustering grasslands had a stronger positive influence on the bird community than locating grasslands near the central plant or at random. Expansion of bioenergy grasslands onto marginal agricultural lands will

  3. Development and implementation of the Norwegian monitoring programme for agricultural landscapes.

    PubMed

    Dramstad, W E; Fjellstad, W J; Strand, G H; Mathiesen, H F; Engan, G; Stokland, J N

    2002-01-01

    This paper describes the development and implementation of the Norwegian monitoring programme for agricultural landscapes--the '3Q programme'. The main objective of the scheme is to indicate development trends in the agricultural landscape, and their consequences for spatial structure, biodiversity, cultural heritage and accessibility. The monitoring programme aims to give policy feedback and provide data to fulfill international reporting requirements. This paper describes the background to the programme and reasons behind the choice of methods. Results are presented to show the accuracy of the methods employed and the range of indicator values recorded in the programme. Strengths and limitations of the monitoring programme are discussed, and potential future improvements and developments are outlined. Although there remains a potential for methodological improvement, we stress the importance of establishing a baseline to enable the detection of development trends in a rapidly changing environment. PMID:11876074

  4. Human stewardship or ruining cultural landscapes of the ancient Tula wells, southern Ethiopia.

    PubMed

    Tiki, Waktole; Oba, Gufu; Tvedt, Terje

    2011-01-01

    This article uses the concepts of "human stewardship" and "ruined landscape" as a theoretical framework for analysing the community's perception of landscape change in the ancient tula well system of Borana in southern Ethiopia. The ancient tula well system, the main permanent water source, has been in operation for more than five centuries and it closely links human activity and the environment. The welfare of the tula well system and the performance of the Borana pastoral system are directly related. Borana management of the tula wells uses concepts such as laaf aadaa seeraa and laaf bade to differentiate between ‘land managed by customary laws’ (hereafter human stewardship) and ‘lost’ or ‘ruined’ land (laaf bade). The cultural landscapes of the ancient wells have undergone changes from ecosystems featuring ‘human stewardship’ (before the 1960s), that is, laaf aadaa seeraa to ‘ruined landscapes’ (after the 1960s), that is, laaf bade. Our interest is in understanding how the Borana perceive the impact of land use changes from these two conceptual perspectives. In group discussions, key informant interviews and household surveys across five of the nine well clusters, we found that the society described the changed tula cultural landscape in terms of drivers of well dynamics (i.e. use and disuse), break up of land use zonations, patterns of human settlement (traditional versus peri-urban), expansion of crop cultivation, and changes in environmental quality. Using the two concepts, we analysed linkages between changing patterns of land use that transformed the system from laaf aadaa seeraa, which ensured human stewardship, to laaf bade, which resulted in ruined landscapes. From these we analysed environmental narratives that showed how the society differentiated the past human stewardship that ensured sustainable landscape management from the present ruining of tula well cultural landscapes. PMID:21560273

  5. Effects of farm heterogeneity and methods for upscaling on modelled nitrogen losses in agricultural landscapes.

    PubMed

    Dalgaard, T; Hutchings, N; Dragosits, U; Olesen, J E; Kjeldsen, C; Drouet, J L; Cellier, P

    2011-11-01

    The aim of this study is to illustrate the importance of farm scale heterogeneity on nitrogen (N) losses in agricultural landscapes. Results are exemplified with a chain of N models calculating farm-N balances and distributing the N-surplus to N-losses (volatilisation, denitrification, leaching) and soil-N accumulation/release in a Danish landscape. Possible non-linearities in upscaling are assessed by comparing average model results based on (i) individual farm level calculations and (ii) averaged inputs at landscape level. Effects of the non-linearities that appear when scaling up from farm to landscape are demonstrated. Especially in relation to ammonia losses the non-linearity between livestock density and N-loss is significant (p > 0.999), with around 20-30% difference compared to a scaling procedure not taking this non-linearity into account. A significant effect of farm type on soil N accumulation (p > 0.95) was also identified and needs to be included when modelling landscape level N-fluxes and greenhouse gas emissions. PMID:21458123

  6. Ten principles for a landscape approach to reconciling agriculture, conservation, and other competing land uses

    PubMed Central

    Sayer, Jeffrey; Sunderland, Terry; Ghazoul, Jaboury; Pfund, Jean-Laurent; Sheil, Douglas; Meijaard, Erik; Venter, Michelle; Boedhihartono, Agni Klintuni; Day, Michael; Garcia, Claude; van Oosten, Cora; Buck, Louise E.

    2013-01-01

    Landscape approaches” seek to provide tools and concepts for allocating and managing land to achieve social, economic, and environmental objectives in areas where agriculture, mining, and other productive land uses compete with environmental and biodiversity goals. Here we synthesize the current consensus on landscape approaches. This is based on published literature and a consensus-building process to define good practice and is validated by a survey of practitioners. We find the landscape approach has been refined in response to increasing societal concerns about environment and development tradeoffs. Notably, there has been a shift from conservation-orientated perspectives toward increasing integration of poverty alleviation goals. We provide 10 summary principles to support implementation of a landscape approach as it is currently interpreted. These principles emphasize adaptive management, stakeholder involvement, and multiple objectives. Various constraints are recognized, with institutional and governance concerns identified as the most severe obstacles to implementation. We discuss how these principles differ from more traditional sectoral and project-based approaches. Although no panacea, we see few alternatives that are likely to address landscape challenges more effectively than an approach circumscribed by the principles outlined here. PMID:23686581

  7. Importance of wetland landscape structure to shorebirds wintering in an agricultural valley

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Taft, Oriane W.; Haig, Susan M.

    2006-01-01

    Only recently has the influence of landscape structure on habitat use been a research focus in wetland systems. During non-breeding periods when food can be locally limited, wetland spatial pattern across a landscape may be of great importance in determining wetland use. We studied the influence of landscape structure on abundances of wintering Dunlin (Calidris alpina) and Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus) observed on wetlands in the agricultural Willamette Valley of Oregon, USA, during two winters (1999a??2000, 2000a??2001) of differing rainfall. We examined (1) shorebird use within a sample of 100 km2 regions differing in landscape structure (hectares of shorebird habitat [wet, unvegetated]) and (2) use of sites differing in landscape context (area of shorebird habitat within a species-defined radius). For use of sites, we also assessed the influence of two local characteristics: percent of soil exposed and area of wet habitat. We analyzed data using linear regression and information-theoretic modeling. During the dry winter (2000a??2001), Dunlin were attracted to regions with more wetland habitat and their abundances at sites increased with greater area of shorebird habitat within both the site and the surrounding landscape. In contrast, Dunlin abundances at sites were related to availability of habitat at only a local scale during the wet winter (1999a??2000). Regional habitat availability was of little importance in predicting Killdeer distributions, and Killdeer site use appeared unrelated to habitat distributions at both landscape and local scales. Results suggest prioritizing sites for conservation that are located in areas with high wetland coverage.

  8. Landscape-level Connectivity in Coastal Southern California, USA, as Assessed through Carnivore Habitat Suitability

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hunter, R.D.; Fisher, R.N.; Crooks, K.R.

    2003-01-01

    Although the fragmentation of the natural landscape of coastal southern California, USA, is accelerating, large-scale assessments of regional connectivity are lacking. Because of their large area requirements and long dispersal movements, mammalian carnivores can be effective focal species to use when evaluating landscape-level connectivity. Our goal was to make an initial assessment of the extent of landscape-level connectivity in coastal southern California using mountain lions (Felis concolor [Linnaeusl) and bobcats (Felis rufus [Shreber]) as focal species. We first characterized habitat preferences for mountain lions and bobcats from previously derived habitat relationship models for these species; the resulting maps provided a coarse view of habitat preferences for use at regional scales. We then constructed GIS models to evaluate the disturbance impact of roadways and development, major determinants of carnivore distribution and abundance in the south coast region. Finally, we combined the habitat relationship models with the disturbance impact models to characterize habitat connectivity for mountain lions and bobcats in the ecoregion. Habitat connectivity in the ecoregion appeared higher for bobcats than for mountain lions due in part to higher habitat suitability for bobcats in coastal lowland areas. Our models suggest that much of the key carnivore habitat in the coastal southern California is at risk; over 80% of high suitability habitat and over 90% of medium suitability habitat for carnivores is found in the least protected land management classes. Overall, these models allow for (1) identification of core habitat blocks for carnivores and key landscape connections between core areas, (2) evaluation of the level of protection of these areas, and (3) a regional framework within which to develop and coordinate local management and conservation plans.

  9. LandSoil model application for erosion management in sustainable agricultural landscapes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smetanova, Anna; Follain, Stéphane; Raclot, Damien; Le Bissonnais, Yves

    2016-04-01

    Soil erosion and land degradation can lead to irreversible changes and landscape degradation. In order to achieve the sustainability of agricultural landscapes, the land use scenarios might be developed and tested for their erosion mitigation effects. Despite the importance of the long-term scenarios (which are complicated by predictability of climate change in a small scale, its effect on change in soil properties and crops, and the societal behaviour of individual players), the management decision have to be applied already now. Therefore the short-term and medium term scenarios to achieve the most effective soil management and the least soil erosion footprint are necessary to develop. With increasing importance of individual large erosion events, the event-based models, considering soil properties and landscape structures appears to be suitable. The LandSoil model (Ciampalini et al., 2012) - a landscape evolution model operating at the field/small catchment scale, have been applied in order to analyse the effect of different soil erosion mitigation and connectivity management practices in two different Mediterranean catchments. In the soil erosion scenarios the proposed measures targeted soil erosion on field or on catchment scale, and the effect of different extreme events on soil redistribution was evaluated under different spatial designs. Anna Smetanová has received the support of the AgreenSkills fellowship (under grant agreement n°267196). R. Ciampalini, S. Follain, Y. Le Bissonnais, LandSoil: A model for analysing the impact of erosion on agricultural landscape evolution, Geomorphology, 175-176, 2012, 25-37.

  10. Predicted avian responses to bioenergy development scenarios in an intensive agricultural landscape

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Uden, Daniel R.; Allen, Craig R.; Mitchell, Rob B.; McCoy, Tim D.; Guan, Qingfeng

    2015-01-01

    Conversion of native prairie to agriculture has increased food and bioenergy production but decreased wildlife habitat. However, enrollment of highly erodible cropland in conservation programs has compensated for some grassland loss. In the future, climate change and production of second-generation perennial biofuel crops could further transform agricultural landscapes and increase or decrease grassland area. Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) is an alternative biofuel feedstock that may be economically and environmentally superior to maize (Zea mays) grain for ethanol production on marginally productive lands. Switchgrass could benefit farmers economically and increase grassland area, but there is uncertainty as to how conversions between rowcrops, switchgrass monocultures and conservation grasslands might occur and affect wildlife. To explore potential impacts on grassland birds, we developed four agricultural land-use change scenarios for an intensively cultivated landscape, each driven by potential future climatic changes and ensuing irrigation limitations, ethanol demand, commodity prices, and continuation of a conservation program. For each scenario, we calculated changes in area for landcover classes and predicted changes in grassland bird abundances. Overall, birds responded positively to the replacement of rowcrops with switchgrass and negatively to the conversion of conservation grasslands to switchgrass or rowcrops. Landscape context and interactions between climate, crop water use, and irrigation availability could influence future land-use, and subsequently, avian habitat quality and quantity. Switchgrass is likely to provide higher quality avian habitat than rowcrops but lower quality habitat than conservation grasslands, and therefore, may most benefit birds in heavily cultivated, irrigation dependent landscapes under warmer and drier conditions, where economic profitability may also encourage conversions to drought tolerant bioenergy feedstocks.

  11. Agricultural Economics Students at Southern Land Grant Universities.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Adrian, John L.; And Others

    Data were obtained in 1977 via mail questionnaires sent to students at all 1890 and 1860 Land Grant Universities in the South with programs in agriculture, to examine selected background characteristics and subjective perspectives of agricultural economics majors, compared with majors in production sciences and all agriculture curricula. The…

  12. Collaborative evaluation and market research converge: an innovative model agricultural development program evaluation in Southern Sudan.

    PubMed

    O'Sullivan, John M; O'Sullivan, Rita

    2012-11-01

    In June and July 2006 a team of outside experts arrived in Yei, Southern Sudan through an AID project to provide support to a local agricultural development project. The team brought evaluation, agricultural marketing and financial management expertise to the in-country partners looking at steps to rebuild the economy of the war ravaged region. A partnership of local officials, agricultural development staff, and students worked with the outside team to craft a survey of agricultural traders working between northern Uganda and Southern Sudan the steps approach of a collaborative model. The goal was to create a market directory of use to producers, government officials and others interested in stimulating agricultural trade. The directory of agricultural producers and distributors served as an agricultural development and promotion tool as did the collaborative process itself. PMID:22309968

  13. Temporal dynamics influenced by global change: bee community phenology in urban, agricultural, and natural landscapes.

    PubMed

    Leong, Misha; Ponisio, Lauren C; Kremen, Claire; Thorp, Robbin W; Roderick, George K

    2016-03-01

    Urbanization and agricultural intensification of landscapes are important drivers of global change, which in turn have direct impacts on local ecological communities leading to shifts in species distributions and interactions. Here, we illustrate how human-altered landscapes, with novel ornamental and crop plant communities, result not only in changes to local community diversity of floral-dependent species, but also in shifts in seasonal abundance of bee pollinators. Three years of data on the spatio-temporal distributions of 91 bee species show that seasonal patterns of abundance and species richness in human-altered landscapes varied significantly less compared to natural habitats in which floral resources are relatively scarce in the dry summer months. These findings demonstrate that anthropogenic environmental changes in urban and agricultural systems, here mediated through changes in plant resources and water inputs, can alter the temporal dynamics of pollinators that depend on them. Changes in phenology of interactions can be an important, though frequently overlooked, mechanism of global change. PMID:26663622

  14. Ecosystem Services in Agricultural Landscapes: A Spatially Explicit Approach to Support Sustainable Soil Management

    PubMed Central

    Crossman, Neville D.; MacEwan, Richard J.; Wallace, D. Dugal; Bennett, Lauren T.

    2014-01-01

    Soil degradation has been associated with a lack of adequate consideration of soil ecosystem services. We demonstrate a broadly applicable method for mapping changes in the supply of two priority soil ecosystem services to support decisions about sustainable land-use configurations. We used a landscape-scale study area of 302 km2 in northern Victoria, south-eastern Australia, which has been cleared for intensive agriculture. Indicators representing priority soil services (soil carbon sequestration and soil water storage) were quantified and mapped under both a current and a future 25-year land-use scenario (the latter including a greater diversity of land uses and increased perennial crops and irrigation). We combined diverse methods, including soil analysis using mid-infrared spectroscopy, soil biophysical modelling, and geostatistical interpolation. Our analysis suggests that the future land-use scenario would increase the landscape-level supply of both services over 25 years. Soil organic carbon content and water storage to 30 cm depth were predicted to increase by about 11% and 22%, respectively. Our service maps revealed the locations of hotspots, as well as potential trade-offs in service supply under new land-use configurations. The study highlights the need to consider diverse land uses in sustainable management of soil services in changing agricultural landscapes. PMID:24616632

  15. Connectivity in an agricultural landscape as reflected by interpond movements of a freshwater turtle

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bowne, D.R.; Bowers, M.A.; Hines, J.E.

    2006-01-01

    Connectivity is a measure of how landscape features facilitate movement and thus is an important factor in species persistence in a fragmented landscape. The scarcity of empirical studies that directly quantify species movement and determine subsequent effects on population density have, however, limited the utility of connectivity measures in conservation planning. We undertook a 4-year study to calculate connectivity based on observed movement rates and movement probabilities for five age-sex classes of painted turtles (Chrysemys picta) inhabiting a pond complex in an agricultural landscape in northern Virginia (U.S.A.). We determined which variables influenced connectivity and the relationship between connectivity and subpopulation density. Interpatch distance and quality of habitat patches influenced connectivity but characteristics of the intervening matrix did not. Adult female turtles were more influenced by the habitat quality of recipient ponds than other age-sex classes. The importance of connectivity on spatial population dynamics was most apparent during a drought. Population density and connectivity were low for one pond in a wet year but dramatically increased as other ponds dried. Connectivity is an important component of species persistence in a heterogeneous landscape and is strongly dependent on the movement behavior of the species. Connectivity may reflect active selection or avoidance of particular habitat patches. The influence of habitat quality on connectivity has often been ignored, but our findings highlight its importance. Conservation planners seeking to incorporate connectivity measures into reserve design should not ignore behavior in favor of purely structural estimates of connectivity.

  16. Response of benthic algae to environmental gradients in an agriculturally dominated landscape

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Munn, M.D.; Black, R.W.; Gruber, S.J.

    2002-01-01

    Benthic algal communities were assessed in an agriculturally dominated landscape in the Central Columbia Plateau, Washington, to determine which environmental variables best explained species distributions, and whether algae species optima models were useful in predicting specific water-quality parameters. Land uses in the study area included forest, range, urban, and agriculture. Most of the streams in this region can be characterized as open-channel systems influenced by intensive dryland (nonirrigated) and irrigated agriculture. Algal communities in forested streams were dominated by blue-green algae, with communities in urban and range streams dominated by diatoms. The predominance of either blue-greens or diatoms in agricultural streams varied greatly depending on the specific site. Canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) indicated a strong gradient effect of several key environmental variables on benthic algal community composition. Conductivity and % agriculture were the dominant explanatory variables when all sites (n = 24) were included in the CCA; water velocity replaced conductivity when the CCA included only agricultural and urban sites. Other significant explanatory variables included dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN), orthophosphate (OP), discharge, and precipitation. Regression and calibration models accurately predicted conductivity based on benthic algal communities, with OP having slightly lower predictability. The model for DIN was poor, and therefore may be less useful in this system. Thirty-four algal taxa were identified as potential indicators of conductivity and nutrient conditions, with most indicators being diatoms except for the blue-greens Anabaenasp. and Lyngbya sp.

  17. The influence of mistletoes on birds in an agricultural landscape of central Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zuria, Iriana; Castellanos, Ignacio; Gates, J. Edward

    2014-11-01

    Mistletoes are hemiparasitic flowering plants that function as keystone resources in forests and woodlands of temperate regions, where a positive relationship between mistletoe density and avian species richness has been observed. Mistletoes have been less studied in tropical regions and the relationship between birds and mistletoes has seldom been explored in tropical agricultural systems. Therefore, we studied the presence of infected trees and infection prevalence (i.e., number of parasitized trees/total number of trees) by Psittacanthus (Loranthaceae) mistletoes in 23 hedgerows located in an agricultural landscape of central Mexico during the dry and rainy seasons, and investigated the relationship between bird species richness and abundance and the abundance of mistletoes. We found a mean of 74 mistletoe plants per 100-m transect of only one species, Psittacanthus calyculatus. Thirty-one percent of the trees surveyed were infected and tree species differed in infection prevalence, mesquite (Prosopis laevigata) being the most infected species with 86% of the surveyed trees infected. For both seasons, we found a positive and significant association between bird species richness and number of mistletoe plants. The same pattern was observed for total bird abundance. Many resident and Neotropical migratory birds were observed foraging on mistletoes. Our results show that mistletoes are important in promoting a higher bird species richness and abundance in tropical agricultural landscapes.

  18. Pesticide concentrations in frog tissue and wetland habitats in a landscape dominated by agriculture.

    PubMed

    Smalling, Kelly L; Reeves, Rebecca; Muths, Erin; Vandever, Mark; Battaglin, William A; Hladik, Michelle L; Pierce, Clay L

    2015-01-01

    Habitat loss and exposure to pesticides are likely primary factors contributing to amphibian decline in agricultural landscapes. Conservation efforts have attempted to restore wetlands lost through landscape modifications to reduce contaminant loads in surface waters and providing quality habitat to wildlife. The benefits of this increased wetland area, perhaps especially for amphibians, may be negated if habitat quality is insufficient to support persistent populations. We examined the presence of pesticides and nutrients in water and sediment as indicators of habitat quality and assessed the bioaccumulation of pesticides in the tissue of two native amphibian species Pseudacris maculata (chorus frogs) and Lithobates pipiens (leopard frogs) at six wetlands (3 restored and 3 reference) in Iowa, USA. Restored wetlands are positioned on the landscape to receive subsurface tile drainage water while reference wetlands receive water from overland run-off and shallow groundwater sources. Concentrations of the pesticides frequently detected in water and sediment samples were not different between wetland types. The median concentration of atrazine in surface water was 0.2 μg/L. Reproductive abnormalities in leopard frogs have been observed in other studies at these concentrations. Nutrient concentrations were higher in the restored wetlands but lower than concentrations thought lethal to frogs. Complex mixtures of pesticides including up to 8 fungicides, some previously unreported in tissue, were detected with concentrations ranging from 0.08 to 1,500 μg/kg wet weight. No significant differences in pesticide concentrations were observed between species, although concentrations tended to be higher in leopard frogs compared to chorus frogs, possibly because of differences in life histories. Our results provide information on habitat quality in restored wetlands that will assist state and federal agencies, landowners, and resource managers in identifying and implementing

  19. Collaborative Evaluation and Market Research Converge: An Innovative Model Agricultural Development Program Evaluation in Southern Sudan

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    O'Sullivan, John M.; O'Sullivan, Rita

    2012-01-01

    In June and July 2006 a team of outside experts arrived in Yei, Southern Sudan through an AID project to provide support to a local agricultural development project. The team brought evaluation, agricultural marketing and financial management expertise to the in-country partners looking at steps to rebuild the economy of the war ravaged region. A…

  20. Twenty-third Annual Southern Region Research Conference in Agricultural Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lee, Jasper S., Ed.

    The report of the conference proceedings of the Southern Region Research Conference in Agricultural Education has summarized the presentations of 17 speakers. Some topics covered were: private foundation grantsmanship; problems of agricultural teacher reciprocity, certification, and recruiting; pre-teacher attitudes; follow-up studies of…

  1. From "connecting the dots" to "threading the needle:" The challenges ahead in managing agricultural landscapes for environmental quality

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Non point source pollution from agriculture is one of the most challenging problems facing society. In this book chapter, we briefly review the development of “landscape thinking” in agriculture and how this has been incorporated into the USDA Conservation Effects Assessment Program (CEAP). We pre...

  2. The Agricultural Policy/Environmental Extender (Apex) Model: An Emerging Tool for Landscape and Watershed Environmental Analyses

    SciTech Connect

    Gassman, Philip W.; Williams, Jimmy R.; Wang, Xiuying; Saleh, Ali; Osei, Edward; Hauck, Larry; Izaurralde, Roberto C.; Flowers, Joan

    2010-06-01

    The Agricultural Policy Environmental eXtender (APEX) model was developed by the Blacklands Research and Extension Center in Temple, Texas. APEX is a flexible and dynamic tool that is capable of simulating a wide array of management practices, cropping systems, and other land uses across a broad range of agricultural landscapes, including whole farms and small watersheds.

  3. An assessment of landscape changes in Mediterranean region. A case study of Algarve, southern Portugal.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fernandez, Helena; Martins, Fernando; Valín, Maria Isabel; Moreno, Ângela; Pedras, Celestina

    2014-05-01

    Currently, the application of remote sensing techniques is a key factor for the planning and land management to ensure a sustainable development of the regions. Algarve, the most southern region of Portugal is characterized by its Mediterranean climate. This climate is described by irregular precipitation throughout the year with drought during summer months. The regional climate has a profound influence on its particular vegetation and wildlife turning it in a unique habitat for many species. Since the 1970s, increases in tourism have greatly affected the coastal region. This has led to great landscape pressure and urban growth, resulting in population increases due to local economic prosperity. Across Algarve, in recent decades, lawns areas have grown dramatically. Landscape water use has increased mainly because homeowners seldom pay the 'true' cost of water. Continued expansion of water supply is not, therefore, a viable management option in the future, particularly given the anticipated increase in the frequency and severity of droughts in Portugal. There's a need to change the perception of landscape relative to water consumption. Algarve needs a sustainable, 'demand-led' approach to water resource management, focusing on conserving water and using it more efficiently. The water resources available in the Algarve are limited, and decisions regarding sustainability must consider the environment. The aim of this study is to apply the remote sensing techniques to analyse the landscape changes in three municipalities of Algarve (Portugal): Albufeira, Loulé and Faro. The three Landsat images, from April 9th 1973 (Landsat1), March 23th 1989 (Landsat5) and April 26th 2013 (Landsat8) were used. The images were classified based on the radiometric information and the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI). These range of dates of the Landsat images used allowed for the differentiation between classes of the landscape. Land use and water resources are closely

  4. Nutrient Mitigation Efficiency in Agricultural Drainage Ditches: An Influence of Landscape Management.

    PubMed

    Iseyemi, Oluwayinka O; Farris, Jerry L; Moore, Matthew T; Choi, Seo-Eun

    2016-06-01

    Drainage systems are integral parts of agricultural landscapes and have the ability to intercept nutrient loading from runoff to surface water. This study investigated nutrient removal efficiency within replicated experimental agricultural drainage ditches during a simulated summer runoff event. Study objectives were to examine the influence of routine mowing of vegetated ditches on nutrient mitigation and to assess spatial transformation of nutrients along ditch length. Both mowed and unmowed ditch treatments decreased NO3 (-)-N by 79 % and 94 % and PO4 (3-) by 95 % and 98 %, respectively, with no significant difference in reduction capacities between the two treatments. This suggests occasional ditch mowing as a management practice would not undermine nutrient mitigation capacity of vegetated drainage ditches. PMID:27022936

  5. Mapping and determinism of soil microbial community distribution across an agricultural landscape

    PubMed Central

    Constancias, Florentin; Terrat, Sébastien; Saby, Nicolas P A; Horrigue, Walid; Villerd, Jean; Guillemin, Jean-Philippe; Biju-Duval, Luc; Nowak, Virginie; Dequiedt, Samuel; Ranjard, Lionel; Chemidlin Prévost-Bouré, Nicolas

    2015-01-01

    Despite the relevance of landscape, regarding the spatial patterning of microbial communities and the relative influence of environmental parameters versus human activities, few investigations have been conducted at this scale. Here, we used a systematic grid to characterize the distribution of soil microbial communities at 278 sites across a monitored agricultural landscape of 13 km². Molecular microbial biomass was estimated by soil DNA recovery and bacterial diversity by 16S rRNA gene pyrosequencing. Geostatistics provided the first maps of microbial community at this scale and revealed a heterogeneous but spatially structured distribution of microbial biomass and diversity with patches of several hundreds of meters. Variance partitioning revealed that both microbial abundance and bacterial diversity distribution were highly dependent of soil properties and land use (total variance explained ranged between 55% and 78%). Microbial biomass and bacterial richness distributions were mainly explained by soil pH and texture whereas bacterial evenness distribution was mainly related to land management. Bacterial diversity (richness, evenness, and Shannon index) was positively influenced by cropping intensity and especially by soil tillage, resulting in spots of low microbial diversity in soils under forest management. Spatial descriptors also explained a small but significant portion of the microbial distribution suggesting that landscape configuration also shapes microbial biomass and bacterial diversity. PMID:25833770

  6. Nectar resource limitation affects butterfly flight performance and metabolism differently in intensive and extensive agricultural landscapes.

    PubMed

    Lebeau, Julie; Wesselingh, Renate A; Van Dyck, Hans

    2016-05-11

    Flight is an essential biological ability of many insects, but is energetically costly. Environments under rapid human-induced change are characterized by habitat fragmentation and may impose constraints on the energy income budget of organisms. This may, in turn, affect locomotor performance and willingness to fly. We tested flight performance and metabolic rates in meadow brown butterflies (Maniola jurtina) of two contrasted agricultural landscapes: intensively managed, nectar-poor (IL) versus extensively managed, nectar-rich landscapes (EL). Young female adults were submitted to four nectar treatments (i.e. nectar quality and quantity) in outdoor flight cages. IL individuals had better flight capacities in a flight mill and had lower resting metabolic rates (RMR) than EL individuals, except under the severest treatment. Under this treatment, RMR increased in IL individuals, but decreased in EL individuals; flight performance was maintained by IL individuals, but dropped by a factor 2.5 in EL individuals. IL individuals had more canalized (i.e. less plastic) responses relative to the nectar treatments than EL individuals. Our results show significant intraspecific variation in the locomotor and metabolic response of a butterfly to different energy income regimes relative to the landscape of origin. Ecophysiological studies help to improve our mechanistic understanding of the eco-evolutionary impact of anthropogenic environments on rare and widespread species. PMID:27147100

  7. Mapping and determinism of soil microbial community distribution across an agricultural landscape.

    PubMed

    Constancias, Florentin; Terrat, Sébastien; Saby, Nicolas P A; Horrigue, Walid; Villerd, Jean; Guillemin, Jean-Philippe; Biju-Duval, Luc; Nowak, Virginie; Dequiedt, Samuel; Ranjard, Lionel; Chemidlin Prévost-Bouré, Nicolas

    2015-06-01

    Despite the relevance of landscape, regarding the spatial patterning of microbial communities and the relative influence of environmental parameters versus human activities, few investigations have been conducted at this scale. Here, we used a systematic grid to characterize the distribution of soil microbial communities at 278 sites across a monitored agricultural landscape of 13 km². Molecular microbial biomass was estimated by soil DNA recovery and bacterial diversity by 16S rRNA gene pyrosequencing. Geostatistics provided the first maps of microbial community at this scale and revealed a heterogeneous but spatially structured distribution of microbial biomass and diversity with patches of several hundreds of meters. Variance partitioning revealed that both microbial abundance and bacterial diversity distribution were highly dependent of soil properties and land use (total variance explained ranged between 55% and 78%). Microbial biomass and bacterial richness distributions were mainly explained by soil pH and texture whereas bacterial evenness distribution was mainly related to land management. Bacterial diversity (richness, evenness, and Shannon index) was positively influenced by cropping intensity and especially by soil tillage, resulting in spots of low microbial diversity in soils under forest management. Spatial descriptors also explained a small but significant portion of the microbial distribution suggesting that landscape configuration also shapes microbial biomass and bacterial diversity. PMID:25833770

  8. Edges in agricultural landscapes: species interactions and movement of natural enemies.

    PubMed

    Macfadyen, Sarina; Muller, Warren

    2013-01-01

    Agricultural landscapes can be characterized as a mosaic of habitat patches interspersed with hostile matrix, or as a gradient of patches ranging from suitable to unsuitable for different species. Arthropods moving through these landscapes encounter a range of edges, with different permeability. Patches of native vegetation in these landscapes may support natural enemies of crop pests by providing alternate hosts for parasitic wasps and/or acting as a source for predatory insects. We test this by quantifying species interactions and measuring movement across different edge-types. A high diversity of parasitoid species used hosts in the native vegetation patches, however we recorded few instances of the same parasitoid species using hosts in both the native vegetation and the crop (canola). However, we did find overall greater densities of parasitoids moving from native vegetation into the crop. Of the parasitoid groups examined, parasitoids of aphids (Braconidae: Aphidiinae) frequently moved from native vegetation into canola. In contrast, parasitoids of caterpillars (Braconidae: Microgastrinae) moved commonly from cereal fields into canola. Late season samples showed both aphids and parasitoids moving frequently out of native vegetation, in contrast predators moved less commonly from native vegetation (across the whole season). The season-long net advantage or disadvantage of native vegetation for pest control services is therefore difficult to evaluate. It appears that the different edge-types alter movement patterns of natural enemies more so than herbivorous pest species, and this may impact pest control services. PMID:23555737

  9. Modelling effects of chemical exposure on birds wintering in agricultural landscapes: The western burrowing owl (Athene cunicularia hypugaea) as a case study

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Engelman, C.A.; Grant, W.E.; Mora, M.A.; Woodin, M.

    2012-01-01

    We describe an ecotoxicological model that simulates the sublethal and lethal effects of chronic, low-level, chemical exposure on birds wintering in agricultural landscapes. Previous models estimating the impact on wildlife of chemicals used in agro-ecosystems typically have not included the variety of pathways, including both dermal and oral, by which individuals are exposed. The present model contains four submodels simulating (1) foraging behavior of individual birds, (2) chemical applications to crops, (3) transfers of chemicals among soil, insects, and small mammals, and (4) transfers of chemicals to birds via ingestion and dermal exposure. We demonstrate use of the model by simulating the impacts of a variety of commonly used herbicides, insecticides, growth regulators, and defoliants on western burrowing owls (Athene cunicularia hypugaea) that winter in agricultural landscapes in southern Texas, United States. The model generated reasonable movement patterns for each chemical through soil, water, insects, and rodents, as well as into the owl via consumption and dermal absorption. Sensitivity analysis suggested model predictions were sensitive to uncertainty associated with estimates of chemical half-lives in birds, soil, and prey, sensitive to parameters associated with estimating dermal exposure, and relatively insensitive to uncertainty associated with details of chemical application procedures (timing of application, amount of drift). Nonetheless, the general trends in chemical accumulations and the relative impacts of the various chemicals were robust to these parameter changes. Simulation results suggested that insecticides posed a greater potential risk to owls of both sublethal and lethal effects than do herbicides, defoliants, and growth regulators under crop scenarios typical of southern Texas, and that use of multiple indicators, or endpoints provided a more accurate assessment of risk due to agricultural chemical exposure. The model should prove

  10. Modelling effects of chemical exposure on birds wintering in agricultural landscapes: The western burrowing owl (Athene cunicularia hypugaea) as a case study

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Engelman, Catherine A.; Grant, William E.; Mora, Miguel A.; Woodin, Marc

    2012-01-01

    We describe an ecotoxicological model that simulates the sublethal and lethal effects of chronic, low-level, chemical exposure on birds wintering in agricultural landscapes. Previous models estimating the impact on wildlife of chemicals used in agro-ecosystems typically have not included the variety of pathways, including both dermal and oral, by which individuals are exposed. The present model contains four submodels simulating (1) foraging behavior of individual birds, (2) chemical applications to crops, (3) transfers of chemicals among soil, insects, and small mammals, and (4) transfers of chemicals to birds via ingestion and dermal exposure. We demonstrate use of the model by simulating the impacts of a variety of commonly used herbicides, insecticides, growth regulators, and defoliants on western burrowing owls (Athene cunicularia hypugaea) that winter in agricultural landscapes in southern Texas, United States. The model generated reasonable movement patterns for each chemical through soil, water, insects, and rodents, as well as into the owl via consumption and dermal absorption. Sensitivity analysis suggested model predictions were sensitive to uncertainty associated with estimates of chemical half-lives in birds, soil, and prey, sensitive to parameters associated with estimating dermal exposure, and relatively insensitive to uncertainty associated with details of chemical application procedures (timing of application, amount of drift). Nonetheless, the general trends in chemical accumulations and the relative impacts of the various chemicals were robust to these parameter changes. Simulation results suggested that insecticides posed a greater potential risk to owls of both sublethal and lethal effects than do herbicides, defoliants, and growth regulators under crop scenarios typical of southern Texas, and that use of multiple indicators, or endpoints provided a more accurate assessment of risk due to agricultural chemical exposure. The model should prove

  11. Landscape Evidence of Fault Zone Architecture in the Southern Sierra Nevada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krugh, W. C.; Halling, M.; Garcia Ruvalcaba, A. E.; Nguyen, V. C.; Odina, R. M.; Uribe, Z.

    2014-12-01

    In equilibrium, Earth's landscape reflects a balance between rock uplift and erosion. This balance causes geomorphic landforms, such as hillslopes, watersheds, and stream channels, to maintain steady-state geometries that reflect the rate of rock uplift, the erodibility of the underlying bedrock, climate, and the surface processes that formed them. Departure from equilibrium, due to changes in these boundary conditions, causes the landscape to adjust until a new steady-state geometry is established. Geomorphic features can therefore be used as indicators of tectonic activity in areas where the underlying geology, climate, and dominant surface processes can reasonably be assumed to be uniform. In this study, Revs-Up participants utilized ArcGIS® and Matlab® software to characterize key geomorphic features in the southern Sierra Nevada Mountains of eastern California. Watershed boundaries and river longitudinal profiles were extracted from USGS 10m digital elevation models and used to plot watershed slope vs. area relationships. These plots were then used to determine profile concavity and channel steepness index values for watersheds along the southern Sierra Nevada Frontal Fault Zone (SNFFZ). Initial results show a northward increase in the complexity of river longitudinal profiles as well as a northward increase in channel steepness indices. Normalized channel steepness index values are highest within watersheds located along a prominent left step in the Sierra Nevada rangefront. Combined with field data and low-temperature thermochronometry, these results may help to constrain spatial variations in rock uplift associated with the long-term evolution of the southern SNFFZ.

  12. Frugivorous bats maintain functional habitat connectivity in agricultural landscapes but rely strongly on natural forest fragments.

    PubMed

    Ripperger, Simon P; Kalko, Elisabeth K V; Rodríguez-Herrera, Bernal; Mayer, Frieder; Tschapka, Marco

    2015-01-01

    Anthropogenic changes in land use threaten biodiversity and ecosystem functioning by the conversion of natural habitat into agricultural mosaic landscapes, often with drastic consequences for the associated fauna. The first step in the development of efficient conservation plans is to understand movement of animals through complex habitat mosaics. Therefore, we studied ranging behavior and habitat use in Dermanura watsoni (Phyllostomidae), a frugivorous bat species that is a valuable seed disperser in degraded ecosystems. Radio-tracking of sixteen bats showed that the animals strongly rely on natural forest. Day roosts were exclusively located within mature forest fragments. Selection ratios showed that the bats foraged selectively within the available habitat and positively selected natural forest. However, larger daily ranges were associated with higher use of degraded habitats. Home range geometry and composition of focal foraging areas indicated that wider ranging bats performed directional foraging bouts from natural to degraded forest sites traversing the matrix over distances of up to three hundred meters. This behavior demonstrates the potential of frugivorous bats to functionally connect fragmented areas by providing ecosystem services between natural and degraded sites, and highlights the need for conservation of natural habitat patches within agricultural landscapes that meet the roosting requirements of bats. PMID:25830222

  13. Frugivorous Bats Maintain Functional Habitat Connectivity in Agricultural Landscapes but Rely Strongly on Natural Forest Fragments

    PubMed Central

    Ripperger, Simon P.; Kalko, Elisabeth K. V.; Rodríguez-Herrera, Bernal; Mayer, Frieder; Tschapka, Marco

    2015-01-01

    Anthropogenic changes in land use threaten biodiversity and ecosystem functioning by the conversion of natural habitat into agricultural mosaic landscapes, often with drastic consequences for the associated fauna. The first step in the development of efficient conservation plans is to understand movement of animals through complex habitat mosaics. Therefore, we studied ranging behavior and habitat use in Dermanura watsoni (Phyllostomidae), a frugivorous bat species that is a valuable seed disperser in degraded ecosystems. Radio-tracking of sixteen bats showed that the animals strongly rely on natural forest. Day roosts were exclusively located within mature forest fragments. Selection ratios showed that the bats foraged selectively within the available habitat and positively selected natural forest. However, larger daily ranges were associated with higher use of degraded habitats. Home range geometry and composition of focal foraging areas indicated that wider ranging bats performed directional foraging bouts from natural to degraded forest sites traversing the matrix over distances of up to three hundred meters. This behavior demonstrates the potential of frugivorous bats to functionally connect fragmented areas by providing ecosystem services between natural and degraded sites, and highlights the need for conservation of natural habitat patches within agricultural landscapes that meet the roosting requirements of bats. PMID:25830222

  14. Identifying Landscape Areas Prone to Generating Storm Runoff in Central New York Agricultural Fields

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hofmeister, K.; Walter, M. T.

    2015-12-01

    Nonpoint source (NPS) pollution continues to be a leading cause of surface water degradation, especially in agricultural areas. In humid regions where variable source area (VSA) hydrology dominates storm runoff, NPS pollution is generated where VSAs coincide with polluting activities. Mapping storm runoff risks could allow for more precise and informed targeting of NPS pollution mitigation practices in agricultural landscapes. Topographic wetness indices (TWI) provide good approximations of relative soil moisture patterns and relative storm runoff risks. Simulation models are typically used in conjunction with TWIs to quantify VSA behavior. In this study we use empirically derived relationships between TWI values, volumetric water content (VWC) and rainfall frequencies to develop runoff probability maps. Rainfall and soil VWC were measured across regionally representative agricultural areas in central New York over three years (2012-2015) to determine the volume of runoff generated from agricultural fields in the area. We assumed the threshold for storm runoff occurs when the combination of antecedent soil water and rainfall are sufficient to saturate the soil. We determined that approximately 50% of the storm runoff volume is generated from 10% of the land area during spring, summer, and autumn seasons, while the risk of storm runoff generation is higher in the spring and autumn seasons than in the summer for the same area of land.

  15. An insight into space and remote sensing technologies concerning agriculture and landscape analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cuca, Branka; Barazzetti, Luigi; Brumana, Raffaella; Previtali, Mattia

    2015-06-01

    Remote sensing and space technologies are increasingly called to offer innovative solutions for current challenges induced by climatic and global change. One of the main priorities of the European Space Policy regards the economic independence of the old continent in this sector. In terms of research and innovation this inevitably leads to numerous attempts in having independent market of services that would tackle specific needs of the citizens. Agriculture, for example, is one of the sectors majorly subsidized by European funds on national, regional and local level, with the aim to foster a more productive and sustainable development. Due to a large territorial scale at which agricultural phenomena are observed, and thus the spatial resolution required, it is also one of the main sectors that has been monitored from space over the past 30 years. In fact, one of the main missions of USA Landsat satellites was to provide a continuous and systematic overview of the globe for the purposes of an effective monitoring of the environment. This paper represents an overview of the ongoing initiatives in Space research done for the field of agriculture and landscape monitoring. In particular, the paper looks into the future possibilities that will be offered by full, open and free-of-charge data arriving from ongoing Copernicus missions and the contribution of Sentinel satellites to the agricultural sector.

  16. Downstream approaches to phosphorus management in agricultural landscapes: regional applicability and use.

    PubMed

    Kröger, R; Dunne, E J; Novak, J; King, K W; McLellan, E; Smith, D R; Strock, J; Boomer, K; Tomer, M; Noe, G B

    2013-01-01

    This review provides a critical overview of conservation practices that are aimed at improving water quality by retaining phosphorus (P) downstream of runoff genesis. The review is structured around specific downstream practices that are prevalent in various parts of the United States. Specific practices that we discuss include the use of controlled drainage, chemical treatment of waters and soils, receiving ditch management, and wetlands. The review also focuses on the specific hydrology and biogeochemistry associated with each of those practices. The practices are structured sequentially along flowpaths as you move through the landscape, from the edge-of-field, to adjacent aquatic systems, and ultimately to downstream P retention. Often practices are region specific based on geology, cropping practices, and specific P related problems and thus require a right practice, and right place mentality to management. Each practice has fundamental P transport and retention processes by systems that can be optimized by management with the goal of reducing downstream P loading after P has left agricultural fields. The management of P requires a system-wide assessment of the stability of P in different biogeochemical forms (particulate vs. dissolved, organic vs. inorganic), in different storage pools (soil, sediment, streams etc.), and under varying biogeochemical and hydrological conditions that act to convert P from one form to another and promote its retention in or transport out of different landscape components. There is significant potential of hierarchically placing practices in the agricultural landscape and enhancing the associated P mitigation. But an understanding is needed of short- and long-term P retention mechanisms within a certain practice and incorporating maintenance schedules if necessary to improve P retention times and minimize exceeding retention capacity. PMID:23178830

  17. Spatial modelling of the variability of the soil moisture regime at the landscape scale in the southern Qilian Mountains, China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, C.-Y.; Qi, P.-C.; Feng, Z.-D.

    2009-10-01

    The spatial and temporal variability of the soil moisture status gives an important base for the assessment of ecological (for restoration) and economic (for agriculture) conditions at micro- and meso-scales. It is also an essential input into many hydrological processes models. However, there has been a lack of effective methods for its estimation in the study area. The aim of this study was to determine the relationship between the soil moisture status and precipitation and topographic factors. First, this study compared a linear regression model with interpolating models for estimating monthly mean precipitation and selected the linear regression model to simulate the temporal-spatial variability of precipitation in the southern Qilian Mountainous areas of the Heihe River Basin. Combining topographic index with the distribution of precipitation, we calculated the soil moisture regime in the Pailugou catchment, one representative comprehensive research catchment. The modeled results were tested by the observed soil water content for different times. The correlation coefficient between the modeled soil moisture status and the observed soil water content is quite high (e.g. R2=0.76 in June), assuring our confidence in the spatially-modeled results of the soil moisture status. The method was applied to the southern Qilian Mountainous regions. The results showed that the modelled distribution of the soil moisture status reflected the interplay of the local and landscape climate processes. The driest sites occur on some ridges in northern part and western part of the study area, which are very small catchment areas and of low precipitation rates; the wettest are registered in the low river valley of the Heihe River and its major tributaries are in the eastern part due to large accumulating flow areas and higher precipitation rates. Temporally, the bigger variation of the soil moisture status in the study occurs in July and smaller difference appears in May.

  18. Floral resource limitation severely reduces butterfly survival, condition and flight activity in simplified agricultural landscapes.

    PubMed

    Lebeau, Julie; Wesselingh, Renate A; Van Dyck, Hans

    2016-02-01

    Agricultural intensification has a strong negative impact on farmland biodiversity (including flower-visiting insects), but understanding the mechanisms involved in this requires experimental work. We document the impact of nectar limitation on the performance of a flower-visiting insect, the meadow brown butterfly Maniola jurtina. We conducted two types of experiments: a field experiment in agricultural landscapes with grasslands of different management intensity and an experiment in outdoor flight cages in which the nectar supply was simulated. For the field experiment, we introduced an array of nectar resources in intensively managed, nectar-poor meadows and in extensively managed, flower-rich grasslands and counted flower visitors. Despite higher butterfly abundance in the extensive meadows, our introduced nectar sources were more frequently visited in intensive meadows, indicating the lack of floral resources. The 48-h confinement under nectar-poor conditions in the flight cages had a strong negative effect on body condition, flight activity and lifetime survival compared to butterflies under nectar-rich conditions. Female lifespan was reduced by 22% and male lifespan even by 43%. Agricultural landscapes that provide limited amounts of floral nectar, and no high-quality, preferred nectar sources relative to the needs of the flower-visiting species, may create ecological sinks. Regards an insect's performance, the simple presence of nectar is not necessarily functionally adequate. The effectiveness of agri-environmental schemes for flower-visiting insects (e.g. flower strips) could be improved based on ecological and evolutionary insights on the effects of specific nectar quantities and qualities. PMID:26541442

  19. Influence of subsurface drainage on quantity and quality of dissolved organic matter export from agricultural landscapes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dalzell, Brent J.; King, Jennifer Y.; Mulla, David J.; Finlay, Jacques C.; Sands, Gary R.

    2011-06-01

    Despite its importance for aquatic ecosystem function and watershed carbon budgets, little is known about how land use influences dissolved organic matter (DOM) export. We investigated the influence of subsurface soil drainage, widespread in the Midwestern United States, on DOM export from agricultural fields designed to drain water at either 13 mm d-1 (conventional) or 51 mm d-1 (intense). Intense drainage exported 55% (±22%) more dissolved organic carbon (DOC) per year than conventional drainage due to both increased concentration and water yield. DOC export from plots was strongly dependent on precipitation and showed considerable interannual variability. Mean DOC concentrations in drainage water were low (1.62 and 1.87 mg L-1 for conventional and intense treatments), and fluorescence index (FI) measurements showed that it had a microbial source with little evidence of terrestrially derived material, suggesting that flow through deeper, organic-poor soil horizons is important in regulating DOC export from these plots. We compared DOM in subsurface drains with downstream ditch and stream sites. Increases in DOC concentration and molecular weight accompanied by decreasing FI values at downstream sites showed that streams gain a large amount of terrestrially derived DOM during base flow transport through agricultural landscapes, probably from riparian zones. These results show that DOM compositional characteristics change with catchment area and that the relevant observation scale for DOM dynamics is likely to vary among watersheds. This study also demonstrates that land management practices can directly affect DOC via changes to water flow paths. These results are critical for improving model estimates of DOM export from agricultural landscapes as well as predicting how DOC export will respond to changing land use and climate.

  20. Investigating relationships between Landsat-7 ETM + data and spatial segregation of LULC types under shifting agriculture in southern Cameroon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yemefack, Martin; Bijker, Wietske; De Jong, Steven M.

    2006-06-01

    This paper investigates statistical relationships between land use/land cover (LULC), Landsat-7 ETM + imagery and landscape mosaic structure in southern Cameroon where the conversion of tropical rain forest to shifting cultivation leads to dynamic processes, acting on the spatial aggregation of various LULC types. A Global Positioning System (GPS) was used in the field to identify a total of 171 shifting cultivation patches representing eight LULC types in two sub-areas. Because of the lack of a cloud-free image for the date of field sampling, the ETM + imagery was acquired 2 months after field survey, during which it was assumed that no significant changes in LULC occurred (all dry season). Per pixel correlations were developed between spectral reflectance data, vegetation indices and LULC. As an exploratory study, several statistical methods (analysis of variance, means separations (Tukey HSD), principal component analysis (PCA), geo-statistical analysis, image classification and landscape metrics) were applied on point data and sensor images for evaluating the spatial variability within the landscape. Most variables explained 30-72% of LULC variation in the whole dataset. Those variables with high information content of LULC (infrared bands 4, 5, 7 and derived indices and PC1) also showed long ranges (6 km) spatial dependence as compared to those varying only within 1 km range. The results of these statistical analyses suggested the need to group some LULC types and the application of the Maximum Likelihood Classifier (MLC) for supervised classification provided a LULC map with the highest accuracy (81%) after consolidation of perennial LULC types, such as bush fallow, forest fallow and cocoa plantations. Landscape metrics computed from this map showed a high level of patch diversity and connectivity within the landscape and provided input data that can further be used to simulate predictive maps as substitute to cloud-covered sensor imageries. Landsat-7 ETM

  1. Rapid genetic turnover in populations of the insect pest Bemisia tabaci Middle East: Asia Minor 1 in an agricultural landscape.

    PubMed

    Dinsdale, A; Schellhorn, N A; De Barro, P; Buckley, Y M; Riginos, C

    2012-10-01

    Organisms differ greatly in dispersal ability, and landscapes differ in amenability to an organism's movement. Thus, landscape structure and heterogeneity can affect genetic composition of populations. While many agricultural pests are known for their ability to disperse rapidly, it is unclear how fast and over what spatial scale insect pests might respond to the temporally dynamic agricultural landscapes they inhabit. We used population genetic analyses of a severe crop pest, a member of the Bemisia tabaci (Hemiptera: Sternorrhyncha: Aleyrodoidea: Aleyrodidea) cryptic species complex known as Middle East-Asia Minor 1 (commonly known as biotype B), to estimate spatial and temporal genetic diversity over four months of the 2006-2007 summer growing season. We examined 559 individuals from eight sites, which were scored for eight microsatellite loci. Temporal genetic structure greatly exceeded spatial structure. There was significant temporal change in local genetic composition from the beginning to the end of the season accompanied by heterozygote deficits and inbreeding. This temporal structure suggests entire cohorts of pests can occupy a large and variable agricultural landscape but are rapidly replaced. These rapid genetic fluctuations reinforce the concept that agricultural landscapes are dynamic mosaics in time and space and may contribute to better decisions for pest and insecticide resistance management. PMID:22420748

  2. Changes in soil fungal communities across a landscape of agricultural soil land-uses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berthrong, S. T.; Buckley, D. H.; Drinkwater, L. E.

    2012-12-01

    Agricultural management is a major driver of changes in soils and their resident microbial communities, but we do not yet have a clear picture of how agriculture affects soil fungi. This is an important gap in our knowledge since fungi play an important role in many soil processes. Previous research has suggested that organic management practices can lead to an increase in soil fungal community diversity, which could have impacts on soil processes and alter the long term trajectory of soil quality in agricultural systems. Also, the relationship between management effects, biogeography, and soil fungi is not clear. The biogeography of macroscopic species is well described by taxa-area relationships and distance decay models, and recent research has suggested that certain subsets of fungi (e.g. AMF, litter sapotrophs) demonstrate similar patterns. However there is little information on how soil fungi as a whole are distributed across a landscape with soils under different managements. The goal of this project was to examine how different management practices alter soil fungal communities across a landscape of agricultural fields in upstate NY. We asked several specific questions: 1) Do different types of agricultural land-uses lead to divergent or convergent communities of soil fungi? 2) If soil type is held constant, do soil fungal communities diverge with geographic distance? 3) What are the major fungal groups that change in response to soil management, and are they cosmopolitan or endemic across the landscape? We studied these questions across agricultural fields in upstate NY that ranged from conventional corn, organic grains/corn, and long-term pasture. We sampled four fields (conventional, 10 and 20 year organic, and pasture) that had identical soils types and ranged from 100 m to 4 km apart. We utilized a multiplexed pyrosequencing approach on genomic DNA to analyze the structure of the soils' fungal communities. This approach allowed us to study soil fungi

  3. Landscape change in the southern Piedmont: challenges, solutions, and uncertainty across scales

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Conroy, M.J.; Allen, C.R.; Peterson, J.T.; Pritchard, L.J.; Moore, C.T.

    2003-01-01

    The southern Piedmont of the southeastern United States epitomizes the complex and seemingly intractable problems and hard decisions that result from uncontrolled urban and suburban sprawl. Here we consider three recurrent themes in complicated problems involving complex systems: (1) scale dependencies and cross-scale, often nonlinear relationships; (2) resilience, in particular the potential for complex systems to move to alternate stable states with decreased ecological and/or economic value; and (3) uncertainty in the ability to understand and predict outcomes, perhaps particularly those that occur as a result of human impacts. We consider these issues in the context of landscape-level decision making, using as an example water resources and lotic systems in the Piedmont region of the southeastern United States.

  4. Landscape change in the Southern Piedmont: Challenges, solutions and uncertainty across scales

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Conroy, M.J.; Allen, C.R.; Peterson, J.T.; Pritchard, L., Jr.; Moore, C.T.

    2003-01-01

    The southern Piedmont of the southeastern United States epitomizes the complex and seemingly intractable problems and hard decisions that result from uncontrolled urban and suburban sprawl. Here we consider three recurrent themes in complicated problems involving complex systems: (1) scale dependencies and cross-scale, often nonlinear relationships; (2) resilience, in particular the potential for complex systems to move to alternate stable states with decreased ecological and/or economic value; and (3) uncertainty in the ability to understand and predict outcomes, perhaps particularly those that occur as a result of human impacts. We consider these issues in the context of landscape-level decision making, using as an example water resources and lotic systems in the Piedmont region of the southeastern United States. Copyright ?? 2003 by the author(s). Published here under licence by The Resilience Alliance.

  5. Stream Channel Change in an Intensively Managed Agricultural Landscape: Implications for Critical Zone Processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lewis, Q. W.; Rhoads, B. L.; Andresen, W.

    2014-12-01

    During the Anthropocene, humans have had a substantial impact on fluvial systems throughout the world. Perhaps nowhere is the human imprint on stream systems more pronounced than in the intensively managed agriculture landscapes of the midwestern United States. This study examines changes in the structure of the stream network and in the planform dynamics of stream channels within the upper Sangamon River basin in Illinois - a watershed that is part of a new Critical Zone Observatory focusing on intensively managed landscapes (IML-CZO). The research explores changes in network structure as the landscape changed from prairie and forest into drained farmland dominated by row crop agriculture. It also documents the planform dynamics of stream and river channels over the past 80 to 100 years. Results show that the spatial extent of channels within the stream network expanded greatly as land was cleared and drained for agriculture. Expansion of the network into headwater portions of the watershed occurred through the construction of drainage ditches that serve as outlets for tile drainage systems underlying relatively flat, poorly drained farmland. Analysis of planform dynamics reveals that most of these drainage ditches have not changed alignment since initial construction. Although drainage ditches are maintained by local drainage districts, these human-created channels also are remarkably resistant to change in planform over time. The major type of planform change in headwater streams involves artificial straightening of meandering channels to expand the extent of drainage channels. Many sections of the meandering Sangamon River are heavily forested and exhibit little or no planform change over the past 80-100 years. Sections that are most active tend to occur where forest cover is less prevalent due to clearing of trees for pasture or cropland. Overall, the results demonstrate the pronounced imprint of humans on the structure and planform dynamics of a fluvial

  6. REDD+ and climate smart agriculture in landscapes: A case study in Vietnam using companion modelling.

    PubMed

    Salvini, G; Ligtenberg, A; van Paassen, A; Bregt, A K; Avitabile, V; Herold, M

    2016-05-01

    Finding land use strategies that merge land-based climate change mitigation measures and adaptation strategies is still an open issue in climate discourse. This article explores synergies and trade-offs between REDD+, a scheme that focuses mainly on mitigation through forest conservation, with "Climate Smart Agriculture", an approach that emphasizes adaptive agriculture. We introduce a framework for ex-ante assessment of the impact of land management policies and interventions and for quantifying their impacts on land-based mitigation and adaptation goals. The framework includes a companion modelling (ComMod) process informed by interviews with policymakers, local experts and local farmers. The ComMod process consists of a Role-Playing Game with local farmers and an Agent Based Model. The game provided a participatory means to develop policy and climate change scenarios. These scenarios were then used as inputs to the Agent Based Model, a spatially explicit model to simulate landscape dynamics and the associated carbon emissions over decades. We applied the framework using as case study a community in central Vietnam, characterized by deforestation for subsistence agriculture and cultivation of acacias as a cash crop. The main findings show that the framework is useful in guiding consideration of local stakeholders' goals, needs and constraints. Additionally the framework provided beneficial information to policymakers, pointing to ways that policies might be re-designed to make them better tailored to local circumstances and therefore more effective in addressing synergistically climate change mitigation and adaptation objectives. PMID:26921566

  7. Vegetation Water Content Mapping in a Diverse Agricultural Landscape: National Airborne Field Experiment 2006

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cosh, Michael H.; Jing Tao; Jackson, Thomas J.; McKee, Lynn; O'Neill, Peggy

    2011-01-01

    Mapping land cover and vegetation characteristics on a regional scale is critical to soil moisture retrieval using microwave remote sensing. In aircraft-based experiments such as the National Airborne Field Experiment 2006 (NAFE 06), it is challenging to provide accurate high resolution vegetation information, especially on a daily basis. A technique proposed in previous studies was adapted here to the heterogenous conditions encountered in NAFE 06, which included a hydrologically complex landscape consisting of both irrigated and dryland agriculture. Using field vegetation sampling and ground-based reflectance measurements, the knowledge base for relating the Normalized Difference Water Index (NDWI) and the vegetation water content was extended to a greater diversity of agricultural crops, which included dryland and irrigated wheat, alfalfa, and canola. Critical to the generation of vegetation water content maps, the land cover for this region was determined from satellite visible/infrared imagery and ground surveys with an accuracy of 95.5% and a kappa coefficient of 0.95. The vegetation water content was estimated with a root mean square error of 0.33 kg/sq m. The results of this investigation contribute to a more robust database of global vegetation water content observations and demonstrate that the approach can be applied with high accuracy. Keywords: Vegetation, field experimentation, thematic mapper, NDWI, agriculture.

  8. Landscape Planning for Agricultural Nonpoint Source Pollution Reduction I: A Geographical Allocation Framework

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Diebel, Matthew W.; Maxted, Jeffrey T.; Nowak, Peter J.; Vander Zanden, M. Jake

    2008-11-01

    Agricultural nonpoint source pollution remains a persistent environmental problem, despite the large amount of money that has been spent on its abatement. At local scales, agricultural best management practices (BMPs) have been shown to be effective at reducing nutrient and sediment inputs to surface waters. However, these effects have rarely been found to act in concert to produce measurable, broad-scale improvements in water quality. We investigated potential causes for this failure through an effort to develop recommendations for the use of riparian buffers in addressing nonpoint source pollution in Wisconsin. We used frequency distributions of phosphorus pollution at two spatial scales (watershed and field), along with typical stream phosphorus (P) concentration variability, to simulate benefit/cost curves for four approaches to geographically allocating conservation effort. The approaches differ in two ways: (1) whether effort is aggregated within certain watersheds or distributed without regard to watershed boundaries (dispersed), and (2) whether effort is targeted toward the most highly P-polluting fields or is distributed randomly with regard to field-scale P pollution levels. In realistic implementation scenarios, the aggregated and targeted approach most efficiently improves water quality. For example, with effort on only 10% of a model landscape, 26% of the total P load is retained and 25% of watersheds significantly improve. Our results indicate that agricultural conservation can be more efficient if it accounts for the uneven spatial distribution of potential pollution sources and the cumulative aspects of environmental benefits.

  9. Energy and Water Fluxes across a Heterogeneous Landscape in the Southern Great Plains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bagley, J. E.; Williams, I. N.; Kueppers, L. M.; Lu, Y.; Torn, M. S.; Biraud, S.

    2015-12-01

    Fluxes of energy and water between the atmosphere and the land surface influence weather and climate. These fluxes depend on the state of the landscape, which contributes to differences in land-atmosphere coupling strength over space and time. One region with potentially strong land-atmosphere coupling is the Southern Great Plains (SGP) in North America. In this region, managed vegetation plays a key role in moderating the surface energy through effects on surface albedo, transpiration, precipitation interception, and other surface properties. However accurately modeling these effects is challenging because the vegetation in this region is very heterogeneous. Winter wheat is the dominant crop, but pasture, hayfields, corn, and recently introduced crops such as canola cover significant portions of the landscape as well. Winter wheat has a unique phenology with fall planting, maximum leaf area in late spring, and harvest in early summer. This phenology contrasts significantly with most other crops and with pastures and hayfields in the region, which have more typical spring-fall growing seasons. Therefore, to sufficiently model and assess land-atmosphere interactions in this region accurate characterization of differences in the seasonality of water and energy fluxes between vegetation types are necessary. We used observations including eddy covariance flux estimates, soil moisture data, state-of-the-art longwave and shortwave radiation measurements, and other observations available for several facilities within the SGP Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) site in north-central Oklahoma and southern Kansas. We compared the timing and variations in fluxes of water and energy between winter wheat and other land cover types, focusing on vegetation influences on rates of soil dry-down following precipitation events. We found distinct differences in fluxes between winter wheat and other land types. These flux differences had a nonlinear dependency on disparities in

  10. Landscape surrounding human settlements and Anopheles albimanus (Diptera: Culicidae) abundance in Southern Chiapas, Mexico.

    PubMed

    Rodriguez, A D; Rodriguez, M H; Hernandez, J E; Dister, S W; Beck, L R; Rejmankova, E; Roberts, D R

    1996-01-01

    Landscape characteristics that may influence important components of the Anopheles albimanus Wiedemann life cycle, including potential breeding sites, suitable diurnal resting sites, and possible sources of blood meals, were analyzed at 14 villages in a malarious area of southern Mexico. An. albimanus adults were collected weekly in each village using UV-light traps between July 1991 and August 1992. Based on rainfall, the study was divided into 6 seasonal periods. Villages were considered to have high mosquito abundance when >5 mosquitoes per trap per night were collected during any 1 of the 6 seasonal periods. The extension and frequency of 11 land cover types surrounding villages were determined using aerial photographs and subsequently verified through field surveys. Elevation was the main landscape feature that separated villages with low and high mosquito abundance. All villages with high mosquito abundance were below 25 m. Transitional and mangrove land cover types were found only in the high mosquito abundance group. Flooded areas as potential breeding sites and potential adult resting sites in unmanaged pastures were significantly more frequent in areas surrounding villages with high mosquito abundance. No significant differences in density of cattle and horses were found among village groups. Overall, surrounding breeding sites located at low elevations in flooded unmanaged pastures seemed to be the most important determinants of An. albimanus adult abundance in the villages. PMID:8906903

  11. Early maize agriculture and interzonal interaction in southern Peru.

    PubMed

    Perry, Linda; Sandweiss, Daniel H; Piperno, Dolores R; Rademaker, Kurt; Malpass, Michael A; Umire, Adán; de la Vera, Pablo

    2006-03-01

    Over the past decade, increasing attention to the recovery and identification of plant microfossil remains from archaeological sites located in lowland South America has significantly increased knowledge of pre-Columbian plant domestication and crop plant dispersals in tropical forests and other regions. Along the Andean mountain chain, however, the chronology and trajectory of plant domestication are still poorly understood for both important indigenous staple crops such as the potato (Solanum sp.) and others exogenous to the region, for example, maize (Zea mays). Here we report the analyses of plant microremains from a late preceramic house (3,431 +/- 45 to 3,745 +/- 65 14C bp or approximately 3,600 to 4,000 calibrated years bp) in the highland southern Peruvian site of Waynuna. Our results extend the record of maize by at least a millennium in the southern Andes, show on-site processing of maize into flour, provide direct evidence for the deliberate movement of plant foods by humans from the tropical forest to the highlands, and confirm the potential of plant microfossil analysis in understanding ancient plant use and migration in this region. PMID:16511492

  12. Organic Farming Benefits Local Plant Diversity in Vineyard Farms Located in Intensive Agricultural Landscapes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nascimbene, Juri; Marini, Lorenzo; Paoletti, Maurizio G.

    2012-05-01

    The majority of research on organic farming has considered arable and grassland farming systems in Central and Northern Europe, whilst only a few studies have been carried out in Mediterranean agro-systems, such as vineyards, despite their economic importance. The main aim of the study was to test whether organic farming enhances local plant species richness in both crop and non-crop areas of vineyard farms located in intensive conventional landscapes. Nine conventional and nine organic farms were selected in an intensively cultivated region (i.e. no gradient in landscape composition) in northern Italy. In each farm, vascular plants were sampled in one vineyard and in two non-crop linear habitats, grass strips and hedgerows, adjacent to vineyards and therefore potentially influenced by farming. We used linear mixed models to test the effect of farming, and species longevity (annual vs. perennial) separately for the three habitat types. In our intensive agricultural landscapes organic farming promoted local plant species richness in vineyard fields, and grassland strips while we found no effect for linear hedgerows. Differences in species richness were not associated to differences in species composition, indicating that similar plant communities were hosted in vineyard farms independently of the management type. This negative effect of conventional farming was probably due to the use of herbicides, while mechanical operations and mowing regime did not differ between organic and conventional farms. In grassland strips, and only marginally in vineyards, we found that the positive effect of organic farming was more pronounced for perennial than annual species.

  13. Energy budget components, ammonia concentration and flux measurements on an agricultural landscape near Bjerringbro, Denmark

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pogány, Andrea; Weidinger, Tamás.; Bienkowski, Jerzy; Bordás, Árpád.; Bozóki, Zoltán.; Eredics, Attila; Hensen, Arjan; Janku, Krzysztof; Kiss, Győző; Kraai, Aline; Istenes, Zoltán.; Mohácsi, Árpád.; Szabó, Gábor; Schelde, Kirsten; Theobald, Mark

    2010-05-01

    As a part of the NitroEurope common field experiment, energy budget components and ammonia concentrations were measured by various methods on an agricultural field near Bjerringbro, Denmark in April 2009. Several sources of ammonia (pig farms, nearby fertilized fields) were present in the landscape and the field itself was also fertilized with pig slurry during the campaign. Turbulent fluxes were calculated using micrometeorological measurement data (standard meteorological parameters, radiation and surface energy budget components) as well as three different methods: (i) the gradient, (ii) the Bowen ratio and (iii) the eddy covariance method using 15 min average time. Results obtained using different methodologies for flux calculations and local effects on energy budget closure were compared. Instrumentation used for measuring ammonia concentrations included two wet-chemical (AMANDA) instruments and two photoacoustic instruments (a mid-IR CO2 laser based Nitolux and a self-developed near-IR diode laser based WaSul instrument). The WaSul instrument was operated in gradient configuration, which also enables the calculation of ammonia fluxes. The instruments were placed at different points of the field to gain more information on the spatial concentration distribution. Ammonia concentration data measured by the different instruments and wind speed and direction data were used to estimate the location of ammonia sources within the landscape. After fertilization of the field ammonia emission fluxes were calculated from the gradient data.

  14. Landscape planning for agricultural nonpoint source pollution reduction III: Assessing phosphorus and sediment reduction potential

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Diebel, M.W.; Maxted, J.T.; Robertson, D.M.; Han, S.; Vander Zanden, M. J.

    2009-01-01

    Riparian buffers have the potential to improve stream water quality in agricultural landscapes. This potential may vary in response to landscape characteristics such as soils, topography, land use, and human activities, including legacies of historical land management. We built a predictive model to estimate the sediment and phosphorus load reduction that should be achievable following the implementation of riparian buffers; then we estimated load reduction potential for a set of 1598 watersheds (average 54 km2) in Wisconsin. Our results indicate that land cover is generally the most important driver of constituent loads in Wisconsin streams, but its influence varies among pollutants and according to the scale at which it is measured. Physiographic (drainage density) variation also influenced sediment and phosphorus loads. The effect of historical land use on present-day channel erosion and variation in soil texture are the most important sources of phosphorus and sediment that riparian buffers cannot attenuate. However, in most watersheds, a large proportion (approximately 70%) of these pollutants can be eliminated from streams with buffers. Cumulative frequency distributions of load reduction potential indicate that targeting pollution reduction in the highest 10% of Wisconsin watersheds would reduce total phosphorus and sediment loads in the entire state by approximately 20%. These results support our approach of geographically targeting nonpoint source pollution reduction at multiple scales, including the watershed scale. ?? 2008 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

  15. Biodiversity and agriculture in dynamic landscapes: Integrating ground and remotely-sensed baseline surveys.

    PubMed

    Gillison, Andrew N; Asner, Gregory P; Fernandes, Erick C M; Mafalacusser, Jacinto; Banze, Aurélio; Izidine, Samira; da Fonseca, Ambrósio R; Pacate, Hermenegildo

    2016-07-15

    Sustainable biodiversity and land management require a cost-effective means of forecasting landscape response to environmental change. Conventional species-based, regional biodiversity assessments are rarely adequate for policy planning and decision making. We show how new ground and remotely-sensed survey methods can be coordinated to help elucidate and predict relationships between biodiversity, land use and soil properties along complex biophysical gradients that typify many similar landscapes worldwide. In the lower Zambezi valley, Mozambique we used environmental, gradient-directed transects (gradsects) to sample vascular plant species, plant functional types, vegetation structure, soil properties and land-use characteristics. Soil fertility indices were derived using novel multidimensional scaling of soil properties. To facilitate spatial analysis, we applied a probabilistic remote sensing approach, analyzing Landsat 7 satellite imagery to map photosynthetically active and inactive vegetation and bare soil along each gradsect. Despite the relatively low sample number, we found highly significant correlations between single and combined sets of specific plant, soil and remotely sensed variables that permitted testable spatial projections of biodiversity and soil fertility across the regional land-use mosaic. This integrative and rapid approach provides a low-cost, high-return and readily transferable methodology that permits the ready identification of testable biodiversity indicators for adaptive management of biodiversity and potential agricultural productivity. PMID:27064732

  16. Mitigating Nitrous Oxide Emissions from Agricultural Landscape: The Role of Isotopic Techniques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zaman, Mohammad; Nguyen, Minh Long

    2014-05-01

    A review of studies from agricultural landscapes indicate that intensification of agricultural activities, inefficient use of reactive nitrogen (N) fertilizers and irrigation water, increasing human population and changes in their diet (more protein demand), high stocking rate (number of grazing livestock per hectare) and intensive cultivation are the major influencing factors for nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions into the atmosphere. Nitrification (both autotrophic and heterotrophic), denitrification and dissimilatory nitrate reduction to ammonium (DNRA) are the three major microbial processes that produce greenhouse N2O and non-greenhouse gas (N2) and can sometimes occur concurrently in a given soil system. The contribution of N2O production from each of these microbial processes is inconclusive because of the complex interactions between various microbial processes and the physical and chemical conditions in soil microsite (s). Nitrous oxide emissions across an agricultural landscape from different N inputs (chemical fertilizers and animal manure) and soil types are also extremely variable both temporally and spatially and range from 1-20% of the applied N and could therefore represent agronomic loss. The available conventional methods such as acetylene (C2H2) inhibition and helium (He) cannot accurately measure both N2O and N2 and their ratio in a given soil. The use of 15N stable isotopic technique offers the best option to measure both N2O and N2 and to identify their source (nitrification and denitrification) with a greater accuracy. Manipulating soil and fertilizer management practices can minimise these gaseous N losses. For example the combined use of urease inhibitor like (N-(n-butyl) thiophosphoric triamide (nBTPT) (trade name Agrotain®) and nitrification inhibitor dicyandiamide (DCD) with urea (100 kg N ha-1) or animal urine (600 kg N ha-1) was shown to reduce N losses by 39-53 % via denitrification-nitrification-DNRA processes. Other farm management

  17. Railway Embankments as New Habitat for Pollinators in an Agricultural Landscape

    PubMed Central

    Moroń, Dawid; Skórka, Piotr; Lenda, Magdalena; Rożej-Pabijan, Elżbieta; Wantuch, Marta; Kajzer-Bonk, Joanna; Celary, Waldemar; Mielczarek, Łukasz Emil; Tryjanowski, Piotr

    2014-01-01

    Pollinating insect populations, essential for maintaining wild plant diversity and agricultural productivity, rely on (semi)natural habitats. An increasing human population is encroaching upon and deteriorating pollinator habitats. Thus the population persistence of pollinating insects and their associated ecosystem services may depend upon on man-made novel habitats; however, their importance for ecosystem services is barely understood. We tested if man-made infrastructure (railway embankments) in an agricultural landscape establishes novel habitats that support large populations of pollinators (bees, butterflies, hoverflies) when compared to typical habitats for these insects, i.e., semi-natural grasslands. We also identified key environmental factors affecting the species richness and abundance of pollinators on embankments. Species richness and abundance of bees and butterflies were higher for railway embankments than for grasslands. The occurrence of bare (non-vegetated) ground on embankments positively affected bee species richness and abundance, but negatively affected butterfly populations. Species richness and abundance of butterflies positively depended on species richness of native plants on embankments, whereas bee species richness was positively affected by species richness of non-native flowering plants. The density of shrubs on embankments negatively affected the number of bee species and their abundance. Bee and hoverfly species richness were positively related to wood cover in a landscape surrounding embankments. This is the first study showing that railway embankments constitute valuable habitat for the conservation of pollinators in farmland. Specific conservation strategies involving embankments should focus on preventing habitat deterioration due to encroachment of dense shrubs and maintaining grassland vegetation with patches of bare ground. PMID:25054427

  18. Landscape conditions predisposing grizzly bears to conflicts on private agricultural lands in the western USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wilson, S.M.; Madel, M.J.; Mattson, D.J.; Graham, J.M.; Merrill, T.

    2006-01-01

    We used multiple logistic regression to model how different landscape conditions contributed to the probability of human-grizzly bear conflicts on private agricultural ranch lands. We used locations of livestock pastures, traditional livestock carcass disposal areas (boneyards), beehives, and wetland-riparian associated vegetation to model the locations of 178 reported human-grizzly bear conflicts along the Rocky Mountain East Front, Montana, USA during 1986-2001. We surveyed 61 livestock producers in the upper Teton watershed of north-central Montana, to collect spatial and temporal data on livestock pastures, boneyards, and beehives for the same period, accounting for changes in livestock and boneyard management and beehive location and protection, for each season. We used 2032 random points to represent the null hypothesis of random location relative to potential explanatory landscape features, and used Akaike's Information Criteria (AIC/AICC) and Hosmer-Lemeshow goodness-of-fit statistics for model selection. We used a resulting "best" model to map contours of predicted probabilities of conflict, and used this map for verification with an independent dataset of conflicts to provide additional insights regarding the nature of conflicts. The presence of riparian vegetation and distances to spring, summer, and fall sheep or cattle pastures, calving and sheep lambing areas, unmanaged boneyards, and fenced and unfenced beehives were all associated with the likelihood of human-grizzly bear conflicts. Our model suggests that collections of attractants concentrated in high quality bear habitat largely explain broad patterns of human-grizzly bear conflicts on private agricultural land in our study area. ?? 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Impact of climate change on the water cycle of agricultural landscapes in Southwest Germany

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Witte, Irene; Ingwersen, Joachim; Gayler, Sebastian; Streck, Thilo

    2016-04-01

    For agricultural production and life in general, water is a necessity. To ensure food and drinking water security in the future an understanding of the impact of climate change on the water cycle is indispensable. The objective of this PhD research is to assess how higher temperatures, higher atmospheric CO2 concentration and changing precipitation patterns will alter the water cycle of agricultural landscapes in Southwest Germany. As representative key characteristics data evaluation will focus on water use efficiency (WUE) and groundwater recharge. The main research question is whether the positive effect of elevated atmospheric CO2 on WUE will be overcompensated by a decrease in net primary production due to warming and to altered seasonal water availability caused by higher rainfall variability. Elevated atmospheric CO2 stimulates plant growth and improves WUE, whereas higher temperatures are expected to reduce net primary production and groundwater recharge. Another research question referring to groundwater recharge is whether groundwater recharge will increase in winter and decrease in summer in Southwest Germany. Changed groundwater recharge directly affects drinking water supply and is an indicator for possible temporary water shortages in agricultural production. A multi-model ensemble composed of 16 combinations of four crop growth models, two water regime models and two nitrogen models will be calibrated and validated against sets of field data. Field data will be provided by FOR 1965 from 2009-2015 for the Kraichgau region and the Swabian Alb, two contrasting areas with regard to climate and agricultural intensity. By using a multi model ensemble uncertainties in predictions due to different model structures (epistemic uncertainty) can be quantified. The uncertainty related to the randomness of inputs and parameters, the so-called aleatory uncertainty, will be additionally assessed for each of the 16 models. Hence, a more reliable range of future

  20. Net Exchange Ecossistem in Subtropical Agriculture Area in Southern Brazil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roberti, D. R.; Diaz, M.; Webler, G.; Fiorin, J.; de Moraes, O. L. L.; Teichrieb, C.; Amado, T.

    2015-12-01

    Southern Brazil contribute to 38% of Brazilian grain production. In contrast with the rest of the country, the south has a wet, subtropical climate that permits two annual harvests (double cropping system). The soybean and/or maize (summer) and black oat and/or wheat (winter) succession is widely used by farmers in plateau areas. In river natural lowlands, the cultivation of flooded irrigated rice is common. Changes in the land use affect the carbon, water and energy balance, and crop management practices, such as fertilization, water management, harvest and crop residues have influence in carbon exchange between the crop field and the atmosphere. This study quantifies the net exchange ecosystem (NEE) between the atmosphere and the crop cultivations in this wide region of Brazil from 2010 to 2014. We use data from two micrometeorological sites: Cruz Alta, with crop rotation and Cachoeira do Sul, with rice paddy. The carbon flux was analyzed using the eddy covariance method and gap filling procedures. The annual integration of data carbon demonstrates that the agroecosystems in southern Brazil is a acting as an light atmospheric CO2 sink. However, the NEE emissions that occurred in the fallow periods contributed negatively for such annual accumulation. To reduce this loss of CO2, farmers could cultivate plants in fallow periods, because there are favorable weather conditions for growing plants year round. Additionally, other management practices can increase the influx of C, including the production of more dry matter with cover crops by improving management and the immediate harvesting of crop after physiological maturity to reduce the period between maturation and harvest.

  1. Historical land-use and landscape change in southern Sweden and implications for present and future biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Cui, Qiao-Yu; Gaillard, Marie-José; Lemdahl, Geoffrey; Stenberg, Li; Sugita, Shinya; Zernova, Ganna

    2014-09-01

    The two major aims of this study are (1) To test the performance of the Landscape Reconstruction Algorithm (LRA) to quantify past landscape changes using historical maps and related written sources, and (2) to use the LRA and map reconstructions for a better understanding of the origin of landscape diversity and the recent loss of species diversity. Southern Sweden, hemiboreal vegetation zone. The LRA was applied on pollen records from three small bogs for four time windows between AD 1700 and 2010. The LRA estimates of % cover for woodland/forest, grassland, wetland, and cultivated land were compared with those extracted from historical maps within 3-km radius around each bog. Map-extracted land-use categories and pollen-based LRA estimates (in % cover) of the same land-use categories show a reasonable agreement in several cases; when they do not agree, the assumptions used in the data (maps)-model (LRA) comparison are a better explanation of the discrepancies between the two than possible biases of the LRA modeling approach. Both the LRA reconstructions and the historical maps reveal between-site differences in landscape characteristics through time, but they demonstrate comparable, profound transformations of the regional and local landscapes over time and space due to the agrarian reforms in southern Sweden during the 18th and 19th centuries. The LRA was found to be the most reasonable approach so far to reconstruct quantitatively past landscape changes from fossil pollen data. The existing landscape diversity in the region at the beginning of the 18th century had its origin in the long-term regional and local vegetation and land-use history over millennia. Agrarian reforms since the 18th century resulted in a dramatic loss of landscape diversity and evenness in both time and space over the last two centuries leading to a similarly dramatic loss of species (e.g., beetles). PMID:25478148

  2. Historical land-use and landscape change in southern Sweden and implications for present and future biodiversity

    PubMed Central

    Cui, Qiao-Yu; Gaillard, Marie-José; Lemdahl, Geoffrey; Stenberg, Li; Sugita, Shinya; Zernova, Ganna

    2014-01-01

    The two major aims of this study are (1) To test the performance of the Landscape Reconstruction Algorithm (LRA) to quantify past landscape changes using historical maps and related written sources, and (2) to use the LRA and map reconstructions for a better understanding of the origin of landscape diversity and the recent loss of species diversity. Southern Sweden, hemiboreal vegetation zone. The LRA was applied on pollen records from three small bogs for four time windows between AD 1700 and 2010. The LRA estimates of % cover for woodland/forest, grassland, wetland, and cultivated land were compared with those extracted from historical maps within 3-km radius around each bog. Map-extracted land-use categories and pollen-based LRA estimates (in % cover) of the same land-use categories show a reasonable agreement in several cases; when they do not agree, the assumptions used in the data (maps)-model (LRA) comparison are a better explanation of the discrepancies between the two than possible biases of the LRA modeling approach. Both the LRA reconstructions and the historical maps reveal between-site differences in landscape characteristics through time, but they demonstrate comparable, profound transformations of the regional and local landscapes over time and space due to the agrarian reforms in southern Sweden during the 18th and 19th centuries. The LRA was found to be the most reasonable approach so far to reconstruct quantitatively past landscape changes from fossil pollen data. The existing landscape diversity in the region at the beginning of the 18th century had its origin in the long-term regional and local vegetation and land-use history over millennia. Agrarian reforms since the 18th century resulted in a dramatic loss of landscape diversity and evenness in both time and space over the last two centuries leading to a similarly dramatic loss of species (e.g., beetles). PMID:25478148

  3. Land cover, landscape structure, and West Nile virus circulation in southern France.

    PubMed

    Pradier, S; Leblond, A; Durand, B

    2008-04-01

    The transmission of West Nile virus (WNV) is strongly influenced by environmental factors. In France, two endemic areas for WNV have been identified: Camargue and Var. The objective of our study was to test whether landscape characteristics could be associated with the risk of endemic circulation of WNV in these two ecologically different areas. Equine serological data collected during outbreaks in Var (2003) and Camargue (2004) were used. Both areas were marked out in cells of 5 km(2), and data were aggregated for each cell. Sixteen cells, classified as "high" level viral circulation, and 28 cells, classified as "low" level viral circulation were used for the analysis. The Corine Land Cover database (European Environment Agency) was used to evaluate, for each geographic cell, the area covered by 12 land cover classes, as well as the value of 5 landscape metrics (patch richness and density, edge density, the Shannon's diversity index, and interspersion and juxtaposition index (IJI). Multivariate linear generalized regression showed that IJI as well as the surface covered by heterogeneous agricultural areas were significantly higher in high level WNV circulation cells than in low level ones (p = 0.01 and 0.05 respectively). Both variables are indicators of a complex spatial biotope configuration that may favor the co-existence of competent vectors and reservoir hosts: the structure of the landscape thus appeared as a key element in WNV circulation. An internal validation was performed and the model was used to compute a risk map for the French Mediterranean coast. Cells with a probability > 0.8 of having a high level of viral circulation were found near Aix-en-Provence, Beziers, and Perpignan, areas where no serological study has yet been conducted. Equine cases reported in 2006 were all located in the neighborhood of cells having a > 0.8 probability for high WNV circulation status. PMID:18429693

  4. Use of the palm Euterpe edulis martius in landscape units managed by migrants of German origin in Southern Brazil

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background People influence their environments through the manipulation of landscapes and species. Human influence on the landscape may lead to the development of differentiated landscape units that originate from past use and may be related to the presence of certain species. This study investigated the presence of the palm Euterpe edulis and its current and past importance in landscape units established by a community of German descendants located in southern Brazil. The objectives of this study were to characterize the use of the species, to identify the importance of E.edulis for the German immigrant community, to identify past and current uses of E.edulis, to describe the historical use of the landscape, and lastly, to identify landscape units in which E.edulis is found. Methods The researched community is composed of people of German descent residing in southern Brazil. A variety of research tools were used to achieve the objectives of the research. Semi-structured interviews and free-listings were conducted in all family units. The interviews focused on groups of people in the community who had current or historical connection with the species. Group workshops and guided tours were conducted to identify different landscape units. The data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, use-value index, citation frequency, salience index, and informant perception analysis. Results Over the historical period studied, the community demonstrated changes with respect to economic activities. These changes are reflected in the transformation of the landscape. The species E.edulis was and still is very important for people in the community; its importance is reflected in its high use value, citation frequency and salience. The species is found within various landscape units in the community as well as in homegardens and in secondary forests. Conclusions The landscape heterogeneity of this community is influenced by changes in economic activities and by the relationship

  5. Rural Sociology in the South: 1972. Proceedings: Rural Sociology Section, Association of Southern Agricultural Workers.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Voland, Maurice E., Ed.

    The papers presented in this collection are said to represent the major thrusts of research and other scholarly activities of rural sociologists in the South in 1972. Arranged in the order of their presentation at the Rural Sociology Section of the Southern Agricultural Workers meetings, these papers discuss such topics as youth, social change in…

  6. Nitrogen transport within an agricultural landscape: insights on how hydrology, biogeochemistry, and the landscape intersect to control the fate and transport of nitrogen in the Mississippi Delta

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Barlow, Jeannie R.; Kröger, Robert

    2014-01-01

    Nitrogen (N) is a ubiquitous contaminant throughout agricultural landscapes due to both the application of inorganic and organic fertilizers to agricultural fields and the general persistence of nitrate (NO3 ) in oxygenated aqueous environments (Denver et al. 2010; Domagalski et al. 2008; Green et al. 2008; Coupe 2001; Nolan and Stoner 2000). In order to understand why excess N occurs various hydrologic systems (environments), it is important to consider potential sources, the locations of these sources in the watershed, and the timing of the application of sources with respect to the movement of water. To learn how to manage N in a watershed, it is necessary to identify and quantify flow paths and biogeochemical conditions, which ultimately combine to determine transport and fate. If sources, transport mechanisms, and biogeochemical controls were uniformly distributed, it would be possible to manage N uniformly throughout a watershed. However, uniform conditions are rare to nonexistent in the natural world and in the landscape altered for agricultural production. In order to adjust management activities on the landscape to have the greatest effect, it is important to understand the fate and transport N within the intersection of hydrology and biogeochemistry, that is, to understand the extent and duration of the hydrologic and biogeochemical controls as N is routed through and among each hydrologic compartment.

  7. Surface water and groundwater nitrogen dynamics in a well drained riparian forest within a poorly drainged agricultural landscape

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Riparian ecosystems, through their unique position in the agricultural landscape and ability to influence nutrient cycles, can potentially reduce nutrient loading to surface and ground waters. The primary purpose of this study was to determine the efficacy of a well-drained, mixed-deciduous riparia...

  8. Landscape fragmentation and pollinator movement within agricultural environments: a modelling framework for exploring foraging and movement ecology

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Pollinator decline has been linked to landscape change, through both habitat fragmentation and the loss of habitat suitable for the pollinators to live within. One method for exploring why landscape change should affect pollinator populations is to combine individual-level behavioural ecological techniques with larger-scale landscape ecology. A modelling framework is described that uses spatially-explicit individual-based models to explore the effects of individual behavioural rules within a landscape. The technique described gives a simple method for exploring the effects of the removal of wild corridors, and the creation of wild set-aside fields: interventions that are common to many national agricultural policies. The effects of these manipulations on central-place nesting pollinators are varied, and depend upon the behavioural rules that the pollinators are using to move through the environment. The value of this modelling framework is discussed, and future directions for exploration are identified. PMID:24795848

  9. Forest to agriculture conversion in southern Belize: Implications for migrant land birds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Spruce, J.P.; Dowell, B.A.; Robbins, C.S.; Sader, S.A.

    1993-01-01

    Central America offers a suite of neotropical habitats vital to overwintering migrant land birds. The recent decline of many forest dwelling avian migrants is believed to be related in part to neotropical deforestation and land use change. However, spatio-temporal trends in neotropical habitat availability and avian migrant habitat use are largely unknown. Such information is needed to assess the impact of agriculture conversion on migrant land birds. In response, the USDI Fish and Wildlife Service and the University of Maine began a cooperative study in 1988 which applies remote sensing and field surveys to determine current habitat availability and avian migrant habitat use. Study sites include areas in Belize, Costa Rica, Guatemala and southern Mexico. Visual assessment of Landsat TM imagery indicates southern Belize forests are fragmented by various agricultural systems. Shifting agriculture is predominant in some areas, while permanent agriculture (citrus and mixed animal crops) is the primary system in others. This poster focuses on efforts to monitor forest to agriculture conversion in southern Belize using remote sensing, field surveys and GIS techniques. Procedures and avian migrant use of habitat are summarized.

  10. Landscape context mediates influence of local food abundance on wetland use by wintering shorebirds in an agricultural valley

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Taft, Oriane W.; Haig, Susan M.

    2006-01-01

    While it is widely understood that local abundance of benthic invertebrates can greatly influence the distribution and abundance of wetland birds, no studies have examined if wetland landscape context can mediate this relationship. We studied the influence of wetland food abundance and landscape context on use of agricultural wetlands by wintering dunlin (Calidris alpina) and killdeer (Charadrius vociferus) in the Willamette Valley of Oregon, USA, over two winters (1999a??2000, 2000a??2001) of differing rainfall and subsequent habitat distribution. We monitored bird use (frequency of occurrence and abundance) at a sample of wetlands differing in local food abundance (density and biomass) and landscape context [adjacent shorebird habitat (defined as ha of wet habitat with less than 50% vegetative cover and within a 2-km radius) and nearest neighbor distance]. We evaluated predictive models for bird use using linear regression and the Cp criterion to select the most parsimonious model. During the dry winter (2000a??2001), dunlin exhibited greater use of sites with higher invertebrate density and biomass but also with more adjacent shorebird habitat and closest to a wetland neighbor. However, neither landscape context nor food abundance were important predictors of dunlin use during the wet winter (1999a??2000). Use of sites by killdeer was unrelated to either local food abundance or landscape context measures during both winters. Our findings contribute to a growing recognition of the importance of landscape structure to wetland birds and highlight a number of implications for the spatial planning and enhancement of wetlands using a landscape approach.

  11. Vegetation water content mapping in a diverse agricultural landscape: National Airborne Field Experiment 2006

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cosh, Michael H.; Tao, Jing; Jackson, Thomas J.; McKee, Lynn; O'Neill, Peggy

    2010-05-01

    Mapping land cover and vegetation characteristics on a regional scale is critical to soil moisture retrieval using microwave remote sensing. In aircraft-based experiments such as the National Airborne Field Experiment 2006 (NAFE'06), it is challenging to provide accurate high resolution vegetation information, especially on a daily basis. A technique proposed in previous studies was adapted here to the heterogenous conditions encountered in NAFE'06, which included a hydrologically complex landscape consisting of both irrigated and dryland agriculture. Using field vegetation sampling and ground-based reflectance measurements, the knowledge base for relating the Normalized Difference Water Index (NDWI) and the vegetation water content was extended to a greater diversity of agricultural crops, which included dryland and irrigated wheat, alfalfa, and canola. Critical to the generation of vegetation water content maps, the land cover for this region was determined from satellite visible/infrared imagery and ground surveys with an accuracy of 95.5% and a kappa coefficient of 0.95. The vegetation water content was estimated with a root mean square error of 0.33 kg/m2. The results of this investigation contribute to a more robust database of global vegetation water content observations and demonstrate that the approach can be applied with high accuracy.

  12. Tightly-Coupled Plant-Soil Nitrogen Cycling: Comparison of Organic Farms across an Agricultural Landscape.

    PubMed

    Bowles, Timothy M; Hollander, Allan D; Steenwerth, Kerri; Jackson, Louise E

    2015-01-01

    How farming systems supply sufficient nitrogen (N) for high yields but with reduced N losses is a central challenge for reducing the tradeoffs often associated with N cycling in agriculture. Variability in soil organic matter and management of organic farms across an agricultural landscape may yield insights for improving N cycling and for evaluating novel indicators of N availability. We assessed yields, plant-soil N cycling, and root expression of N metabolism genes across a representative set of organic fields growing Roma-type tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum L.) in an intensively-managed agricultural landscape in California, USA. The fields spanned a three-fold range of soil carbon (C) and N but had similar soil types, texture, and pH. Organic tomato yields ranged from 22.9 to 120.1 Mg ha-1 with a mean similar to the county average (86.1 Mg ha-1), which included mostly conventionally-grown tomatoes. Substantial variability in soil inorganic N concentrations, tomato N, and root gene expression indicated a range of possible tradeoffs between yields and potential for N losses across the fields. Fields showing evidence of tightly-coupled plant-soil N cycling, a desirable scenario in which high crop yields are supported by adequate N availability but low potential for N loss, had the highest total and labile soil C and N and received organic matter inputs with a range of N availability. In these fields, elevated expression of a key gene involved in root N assimilation, cytosolic glutamine synthetase GS1, confirmed that plant N assimilation was high even when inorganic N pools were low. Thus tightly-coupled N cycling occurred on several working organic farms. Novel combinations of N cycling indicators (i.e. inorganic N along with soil microbial activity and root gene expression for N assimilation) would support adaptive management for improved N cycling on organic as well as conventional farms, especially when plant-soil N cycling is rapid. PMID:26121264

  13. Tightly-Coupled Plant-Soil Nitrogen Cycling: Comparison of Organic Farms across an Agricultural Landscape

    PubMed Central

    Bowles, Timothy M.; Hollander, Allan D.; Steenwerth, Kerri; Jackson, Louise E.

    2015-01-01

    How farming systems supply sufficient nitrogen (N) for high yields but with reduced N losses is a central challenge for reducing the tradeoffs often associated with N cycling in agriculture. Variability in soil organic matter and management of organic farms across an agricultural landscape may yield insights for improving N cycling and for evaluating novel indicators of N availability. We assessed yields, plant-soil N cycling, and root expression of N metabolism genes across a representative set of organic fields growing Roma-type tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum L.) in an intensively-managed agricultural landscape in California, USA. The fields spanned a three-fold range of soil carbon (C) and N but had similar soil types, texture, and pH. Organic tomato yields ranged from 22.9 to 120.1 Mg ha-1 with a mean similar to the county average (86.1 Mg ha-1), which included mostly conventionally-grown tomatoes. Substantial variability in soil inorganic N concentrations, tomato N, and root gene expression indicated a range of possible tradeoffs between yields and potential for N losses across the fields. Fields showing evidence of tightly-coupled plant-soil N cycling, a desirable scenario in which high crop yields are supported by adequate N availability but low potential for N loss, had the highest total and labile soil C and N and received organic matter inputs with a range of N availability. In these fields, elevated expression of a key gene involved in root N assimilation, cytosolic glutamine synthetase GS1, confirmed that plant N assimilation was high even when inorganic N pools were low. Thus tightly-coupled N cycling occurred on several working organic farms. Novel combinations of N cycling indicators (i.e. inorganic N along with soil microbial activity and root gene expression for N assimilation) would support adaptive management for improved N cycling on organic as well as conventional farms, especially when plant-soil N cycling is rapid. PMID:26121264

  14. Nitrous oxide emissions from agricultural landscapes: quantification tools, policy development, and opportunities for improved management

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tonitto, C.; Gurwick, N. P.

    2012-12-01

    Policy initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) have promoted the development of agricultural management protocols to increase SOC storage and reduce GHG emissions. We review approaches for quantifying N2O flux from agricultural landscapes. We summarize the temporal and spatial extent of observations across representative soil classes, climate zones, cropping systems, and management scenarios. We review applications of simulation and empirical modeling approaches and compare validation outcomes across modeling tools. Subsequently, we review current model application in agricultural management protocols. In particular, we compare approaches adapted for compliance with the California Global Warming Solutions Act, the Alberta Climate Change and Emissions Management Act, and by the American Carbon Registry. In the absence of regional data to drive model development, policies that require GHG quantification often use simple empirical models based on highly aggregated data of N2O flux as a function of applied N - Tier 1 models according to IPCC categorization. As participants in development of protocols that could be used in carbon offset markets, we observed that stakeholders outside of the biogeochemistry community favored outcomes from simulation modeling (Tier 3) rather than empirical modeling (Tier 2). In contrast, scientific advisors were more accepting of outcomes based on statistical approaches that rely on local observations, and their views sometimes swayed policy practitioners over the course of policy development. Both Tier 2 and Tier 3 approaches have been implemented in current policy development, and it is important that the strengths and limitations of both approaches, in the face of available data, be well-understood by those drafting and adopting policies and protocols. The reliability of all models is contingent on sufficient observations for model development and validation. Simulation models applied without site-calibration generally

  15. Silicate weathering and CO2 consumption within agricultural landscapes, the Ohio-Tennessee River Basin, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fortner, S. K.; Lyons, W. B.; Carey, A. E.; Shipitalo, M. J.; Welch, S. A.; Welch, K. A.

    2012-03-01

    Myriad studies have shown the extent of human alteration to global biogeochemical cycles. Yet, there is only a limited understanding of the influence that humans have over silicate weathering fluxes; fluxes that have regulated atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations and global climate over geologic timescales. Natural landscapes have been reshaped into agricultural ones to meet food needs for growing world populations. These processes modify soil properties, alter hydrology, affect erosion, and consequently impact water-soil-rock interactions such as chemical weathering. Dissolved silica (DSi), Ca2+, Mg2+, NO3-, and total alkalinity were measured in water samples collected from five small (0.0065 to 0.383 km2) gauged watersheds at the North Appalachian Experimental Watershed (NAEW) near Coshocton, Ohio, USA. The sampled watersheds in this unglaciated region include: a forested site (70+ year stand), mixed agricultural use (corn, forest, pasture), an unimproved pasture, tilled corn, and a recently (<3 yr) converted no-till corn field. The first three watersheds had perennial streams, but the two corn watersheds only produced runoff during storms and snowmelt. For the perennial streams, total discharge was an important control of dissolved silicate transport. Median DSi yields (2210-3080 kg km-2 yr-1) were similar to the median of annual averages between 1979-2009 for the much larger Ohio-Tennessee River Basin (2560 kg km-2 yr-1). Corn watersheds, which only had surface runoff, had substantially lower DSi yields (<530 kg km-2 yr-1) than the perennial-flow watersheds. The lack of contributions from Si-enriched groundwater largely explained their much lower DSi yields with respect to sites having baseflow. A significant positive correlation between the molar ratio of (Ca2++Mg2+)/alkalinity to DSi in the tilled corn and the forested site suggested, however, that silicate minerals weathered as alkalinity was lost via enhanced nitrification resulting from fertilizer

  16. Model analysis of riparian buffer effectiveness for reducing nutrient inputs to streams in agricultural landscapes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McKane, R. B.; M, S.; F, P.; Kwiatkowski, B. L.; Rastetter, E. B.

    2006-12-01

    Federal and state agencies responsible for protecting water quality rely mainly on statistically-based methods to assess and manage risks to the nation's streams, lakes and estuaries. Although statistical approaches provide valuable information on current trends in water quality, process-based simulation models are essential for understanding and forecasting how changes in human activities across complex landscapes impact the transport of nutrients and contaminants to surface waters. To address this need, we developed a broadly applicable, process-based watershed simulator that links a spatially-explicit hydrologic model and a terrestrial biogeochemistry model (MEL). See Stieglitz et al. and Pan et al., this meeting, for details on the design and verification of this simulator. Here we apply the watershed simulator to a generalized agricultural setting to demonstrate its potential for informing policy and management decisions concerning water quality. This demonstration specifically explores the effectiveness of riparian buffers for reducing the transport of nitrogenous fertilizers from agricultural fields to streams. The interaction of hydrologic and biogeochemical processes represented in our simulator allows several important questions to be addressed. (1) For a range of upland fertilization rates, to what extent do riparian buffers reduce nitrogen inputs to streams? (2) How does buffer effectiveness change over time as the plant-soil system approaches N-saturation? (3) How can buffers be managed to increase their effectiveness, e.g., through periodic harvest and replanting? The model results illustrate that, while the answers to these questions depend to some extent on site factors (climatic regime, soil properties and vegetation type), in all cases riparian buffers have a limited capacity to reduce nitrogen inputs to streams where fertilization rates approach those typically used for intensive agriculture (e.g., 200 kg N per ha per year for corn in the U

  17. [Impacts of landscape patterns on heavy metal contamination of agricultural top soils in the Pearl River Delta, South China].

    PubMed

    Li, Cheng; Li, Fang-bai; Wu, Zhi-feng; Cheng, Jiong

    2015-04-01

    Landscape patterns are known to influence many ecological processes, but the relationship between landscape patterns and soil pollution processes is not well understood. Based on 300 top soil samples, land use and cover map for the Pearl River Delta (PRD) of 2005, this study explored the characteristics and spatial pattern of heavy metal contamination of agricultural top soils and examined the impacts of landscape patterns on the heavy metal contamination in the buffers of soil samples. Research methods included geostatistical analysis, landscape pattern analysis, single-factor pollution indices, and Pearson correlation analysis. We found that: 1) out of the 235 agricultural soil samples, 3.8%, 0.4%, 17.0% and 9.4% samples exceeded the Grade II national standard for As, Pb, Cd and Ni concentrations respectively. High pollution levels were found in three cities, Guangzhou, Foshan and Zhongshan; 2) soils in the farmland were more polluted than those in the forest and orchard land, and there were no differences among different agricultural land use types in contamination level of each heavy metal (except Cd); and 3) the proportion, mean patch area as well as the degree of landscape fragmentation, landscape-level structural complexity and aggregation/connectivity of water at the buffer zone were significantly positively correlated with the contamination level of each of the four heavy metals in agricultural top soils. Part of the landscape pattern of urban land in the buffer zone also positively correlated with Pb and Cd levels (P < 0.05). On the contrary, the proportion, mean patch area and aggregation degree of forest land negatively correlated with soil Pb and Ni levels (P < 0.05); and 4) the closer to the industry land were the soil samples, the more polluted the soils were for Pb, Cd and Ni. Only landscape diversity was found to be positively correlated with soil Cd contamination. The study results provide new information and scientific basis for heavy metal

  18. Intersection of Southern Parkway and Southern Heights, looking toward the ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    Intersection of Southern Parkway and Southern Heights, looking toward the Beechmont Historic District, showing changes in landscaping, northeast - Southern Heights-Beechmont District Landscapes, Louisville, Jefferson County, KY

  19. The MeTIBas project: an example of settlement continuity in a coastal changing landscape of southern Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bavusi, Massimo; Di Leo, Paola; Giammatteo, Tonia; Gioia, Dario; Schiattarella, Marcello

    2016-04-01

    The MeTIBas (Italian acronym for Innovative Methods and Technologies for the Cultural Heritage in the Basilicata region) project aims to develop an innovative geoarchaeological investigation approach for large areas. Analyses of environmental dynamics, palaeoclimatic proxies, spatial and temporal evolution of settlements and, more in general, of the relationships between man and landscape have been carried also through the implementation of a Territorial Information System, drawing-up of an experimental digital geoarchaeological map, and creation of an open geoarchaeological database. The project methods have been applied in the coastal area of Metaponto, which roughly coincides with the ancient territory of the Greek settlement of Metapontum and its chora and includes a region of about 400 sq. km in the Ionian sector of the Basilicata region, southern Italy. The backshore area of the Metaponto coastal plain was characterized by the presence of wide limno-palustrine environments, reclaimed during the first decades of the last century. Geomorphological mapping, GIS-supported statistics, and analysis of the topographic features of the landforms represent the key to extract the settlement rules and the site dynamics of the study area. Site distribution and relationships with landscape elements allow us to investigate the settlement patterns and human activities and choices. A wide archive of archaeological data on the whole study area - from Prehistoric times to Roman age - has been therefore used to connect the wandering or persistence of the ancient sites in relation with different landforms and their changes during the last 5000 years. The layout of the site arrangement clearly traces the main geomorphological features of the area (i.e. settlements along fluvial scarps, sites on the flat surfaces of marine and fluvial terraces, main villages in the coastal plain). From a chronological viewpoint, after a progressive increase of the settlements and other

  20. Landscape response to normal fault growth and linkage in the Southern Apennines, Italy.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roda-Boluda, Duna; Whittaker, Alex

    2016-04-01

    It is now well-established that landscape can record spatial and temporal variations in tectonic rates. However, decoding this information to extract detailed histories of fault growth is often a complex problem that requires careful integration of tectonic and geomorphic data sets. Here, we present new data addressing both normal fault evolution and coupled landscape response for two normal faults in the Southern Apennines: the Vallo di Diano and East Agri faults. By integrating published constraints with new data, we show that these faults have total throws of up to 2100 m, and Holocene throw rates of up to 1 mm/yr at their maximum. We demonstrate that geomorphology is effectively recording tectonics, with relief, channel and catchment slopes varying along fault strike as normal fault activity does. Therefore, valuable information about fault growth and interaction can be extracted from their geomorphic expression. We use the spatial distribution of knickpoints on the footwall channels to infer two episodes of base level change, which can be associated with distinct fault interaction events. From our detailed fault throw profiles, we reconstruct the amount of throw accumulated after each of these events, and the segments involved in each, and we use slip rate enhancement factors derived from fault interaction theory to estimate the magnitude of the tectonic perturbation in each case. From this approach, we are able to reconstruct pre-linkage throw rates, and we estimate that fault linkage events likely took place 0.7 ± 0.2 Ma and 1.9 ± 0.6 Ma in the Vallo di Diano fault, and 1.1 ± 0.1 and 2.3 ± 0.9 Ma in the East Agri fault. Our study suggests that both faults started their activity at 3.6 ± 0.5 Ma. These fault linkage scenarios are consistent with the knickpoint heights, and may relate to soft-linkage interaction with the Southern Apennines normal fault array, the existence of which has been the subject of considerable debate. Our combined geomorphic and

  1. Rates of surface lowering and landscape development in southern South Africa: a cosmogenic view

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Richardson, Janet; Vanacker, Veerle; Lang, Andreas; Hodgson, David

    2016-04-01

    The landscape of southern South Africa is characterised by large-scale erosion surfaces, including extensive pediments and multiple strath terraces, which document discordant river evolution through resistant quarzitic lithologies of the Cape Fold Belt (CFB). The timing and rate of erosion is poorly constrained. New cosmogenic ages from surfaces in South Africa are presented using in situ produced 10Be. Strath terraces in deeply incised rivers at two sites within the CFB indicate slow rates of erosion (1.54 - 11.79 m/Ma), which are some of the lowest rates recorded globally. Four pediment surfaces and a depth profile of the thickest pediment were also dated, and the results indicate that there are low rates of surface lowering on the pediments (0.44 - 1.24 m/Ma). The pediments are long-lived features (minimum exposure ages of 0.47 - 1.09 Ma), and are now deeply dissected. Given the minimum exposure ages, calculated river incision rates (42- 203 m/Ma) suggest that after a long period of geomorphic stability during pediment formation there was a discrete phase of increased geomorphic activity. The calculated minimum exposure ages are considered dubious because: 1) known rates of surrounding river incision (published and ours); 2) the climate conditions and time necessary for ferricrete formation on the pediment surfaces and; 3) the deeply incised catchments in the CFB on which the pediments sit, which all point to the pediments being much older. The pediments are fossilised remnants of a much larger geomorphic surface that formed after the main phase of exhumation in southern Africa. They form a store of sediment that currently sit above the surrounding rivers that have some of the lowest erosion rates in the world. These results indicate that steep topography can prevail even in areas of low erosion and tectonic quiescence, and that whilst cosmogenic dating of landscapes is an exciting development in earth sciences, care is needed especially in ancient settings. We

  2. Wide-area mapping of small-scale features in agricultural landscapes using airborne remote sensing

    PubMed Central

    O’Connell, Jerome; Bradter, Ute; Benton, Tim G.

    2015-01-01

    Natural and semi-natural habitats in agricultural landscapes are likely to come under increasing pressure with the global population set to exceed 9 billion by 2050. These non-cropped habitats are primarily made up of trees, hedgerows and grassy margins and their amount, quality and spatial configuration can have strong implications for the delivery and sustainability of various ecosystem services. In this study high spatial resolution (0.5 m) colour infrared aerial photography (CIR) was used in object based image analysis for the classification of non-cropped habitat in a 10,029 ha area of southeast England. Three classification scenarios were devised using 4 and 9 class scenarios. The machine learning algorithm Random Forest (RF) was used to reduce the number of variables used for each classification scenario by 25.5 % ± 2.7%. Proportion of votes from the 4 class hierarchy was made available to the 9 class scenarios and where the highest ranked variables in all cases. This approach allowed for misclassified parent objects to be correctly classified at a lower level. A single object hierarchy with 4 class proportion of votes produced the best result (kappa 0.909). Validation of the optimum training sample size in RF showed no significant difference between mean internal out-of-bag error and external validation. As an example of the utility of this data, we assessed habitat suitability for a declining farmland bird, the yellowhammer (Emberiza citronella), which requires hedgerows associated with grassy margins. We found that ∼22% of hedgerows were within 200 m of margins with an area >183.31 m2. The results from this analysis can form a key information source at the environmental and policy level in landscape optimisation for food production and ecosystem service sustainability. PMID:26664131

  3. Wide-area mapping of small-scale features in agricultural landscapes using airborne remote sensing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    O'Connell, Jerome; Bradter, Ute; Benton, Tim G.

    2015-11-01

    Natural and semi-natural habitats in agricultural landscapes are likely to come under increasing pressure with the global population set to exceed 9 billion by 2050. These non-cropped habitats are primarily made up of trees, hedgerows and grassy margins and their amount, quality and spatial configuration can have strong implications for the delivery and sustainability of various ecosystem services. In this study high spatial resolution (0.5 m) colour infrared aerial photography (CIR) was used in object based image analysis for the classification of non-cropped habitat in a 10,029 ha area of southeast England. Three classification scenarios were devised using 4 and 9 class scenarios. The machine learning algorithm Random Forest (RF) was used to reduce the number of variables used for each classification scenario by 25.5 % ± 2.7%. Proportion of votes from the 4 class hierarchy was made available to the 9 class scenarios and where the highest ranked variables in all cases. This approach allowed for misclassified parent objects to be correctly classified at a lower level. A single object hierarchy with 4 class proportion of votes produced the best result (kappa 0.909). Validation of the optimum training sample size in RF showed no significant difference between mean internal out-of-bag error and external validation. As an example of the utility of this data, we assessed habitat suitability for a declining farmland bird, the yellowhammer (Emberiza citronella), which requires hedgerows associated with grassy margins. We found that ∼22% of hedgerows were within 200 m of margins with an area >183.31 m2. The results from this analysis can form a key information source at the environmental and policy level in landscape optimisation for food production and ecosystem service sustainability.

  4. Biodiversity in Organic Farmland - How Does Landscape Context Influence Species Diversity in Organic Vs. Conventional Agricultural Fields?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seufert, V.; Wood, S.; Reid, A.; Gonzalez, A.; Rhemtulla, J.; Ramankutty, N.

    2014-12-01

    The most important current driver of biodiversity loss is the conversion of natural habitats for human land uses, mostly for the purpose of food production. However, by causing this biodiversity loss, food production is eroding the very same ecosystem services (e.g. pollination and soil fertility) that it depends on. We therefore need to adopt more wildlife-friendly agricultural practices that can contribute to preserving biodiversity. Organic farming has been shown to typically host higher biodiversity than conventional farming. But how is the biodiversity benefit of organic management dependent on the landscape context farms are situated in? To implement organic farming as an effective means for protecting biodiversity and enhancing ecosystem services we need to understand better under what conditions organic management is most beneficial for species. We conducted a meta-analysis of the literature to answer this question, compiling the most comprehensive database to date of studies that monitored biodiversity in organic vs. conventional fields. We also collected information about the landscape surrounding these fields from remote sensing products. Our database consists of 348 study sites across North America and Europe. Our analysis shows that organic management can improve biodiversity in agricultural fields substantially. It is especially effective at preserving biodiversity in homogeneous landscapes that are structurally simplified and dominated by either cropland or pasture. In heterogeneous landscapes conventional agriculture might instead already hold high biodiversity, and organic management does not appear to provide as much of a benefit for species richness as in simplified landscapes. Our results suggest that strategies to maintain biodiversity-dependent ecosystem services should include a combination of pristine natural habitats, wildlife-friendly farming systems like organic farming, and high-yielding conventional systems, interspersed in structurally

  5. Temporal Beta Diversity of Bird Assemblages in Agricultural Landscapes: Land Cover Change vs. Stochastic Processes

    PubMed Central

    Baselga, Andrés; Bonthoux, Sébastien; Balent, Gérard

    2015-01-01

    Temporal variation in the composition of species assemblages could be the result of deterministic processes driven by environmental change and/or stochastic processes of colonization and local extinction. Here, we analyzed the relative roles of deterministic and stochastic processes on bird assemblages in an agricultural landscape of southwestern France. We first assessed the impact of land cover change that occurred between 1982 and 2007 on (i) the species composition (presence/absence) of bird assemblages and (ii) the spatial pattern of taxonomic beta diversity. We also compared the observed temporal change of bird assemblages with a null model accounting for the effect of stochastic dynamics on temporal beta diversity. Temporal assemblage dissimilarity was partitioned into two separate components, accounting for the replacement of species (i.e. turnover) and for the nested species losses (or gains) from one time to the other (i.e. nestedness-resultant dissimilarity), respectively. Neither the turnover nor the nestedness-resultant components of temporal variation were accurately explained by any of the measured variables accounting for land cover change (r2<0.06 in all cases). Additionally, the amount of spatial assemblage heterogeneity in the region did not significantly change between 1982 and 2007, and site-specific observed temporal dissimilarities were larger than null expectations in only 1% of sites for temporal turnover and 13% of sites for nestedness-resultant dissimilarity. Taken together, our results suggest that land cover change in this agricultural landscape had little impact on temporal beta diversity of bird assemblages. Although other unmeasured deterministic process could be driving the observed patterns, it is also possible that the observed changes in presence/absence species composition of local bird assemblages might be the consequence of stochastic processes in which species populations appeared and disappeared from specific localities in a

  6. Factors affecting songbird nest survival in riparian forests in a Midwestern agricultural landscape

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Peak, R.G.; Thompson, F. R., III; Shaffer, T.L.

    2004-01-01

    We investigated factors affecting nest success of songbirds in riparian forest and buffers in northeastern Missouri. We used an information-theoretic approach to determine support for hypotheses concerning effects of nest-site, habitat-patch, edge, and temporal factors on nest success of songbirds in three narrow (55DS95 m) and three wide (400DS530 m) riparian forests with adjacent grasslandDSshrub buffer strips and in three narrow and three wide riparian forests without adjacent grasslandDSshrub buffer strips. We predicted that temporal effects would have the most support and that habitat-patch and edge effects would have little support, because nest predation would be great across all sites in the highly fragmented, predominantly agricultural landscape. Interval nest success was 0.404, 0.227, 0.070, and 0.186, respectively, for Gray Catbird (Dumetella carolinensis), Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis), Indigo Bunting (Passerina cyanea), and forest interior species pooled (Acadian Flycatcher [Empidonax virescens], Wood Thrush [Hylocichla mustelina], Ovenbird [Seiurus aurocapillus], and Kentucky Warbler [Oporornis formosus]). The effect of nest stage on nest success had the most support; daily nest success for Gray Catbird and Indigo Bunting were lowest in the laying stage. We found strong support for greater nest success of Gray Catbird in riparian forests with adjacent buffer strips than in riparian forests without adjacent buffer strips. Patch width also occurred in the most supported model for Gray Catbird, but with very limited support. The null model received the most support for Northern Cardinal. Riparian forests provided breeding habitat for areas sensitive forest species and grassland-shrub nesting species. Buffer strips provided additional breeding habitat for grassland-shrub nesting species. Interval nest success for Indigo Bunting and area-sensitive forest species pooled, however, fell well below the level that is likely necessary to balance

  7. Factors affecting songbird nest survival in riparian forests in a midwestern agricultural landscape

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Peak, R.G.; Thompson, F. R., III; Shaffer, T.L.

    2004-01-01

    We investigated factors affecting nest success of songbirds in riparian forest and buffers in northeastern Missouri. We used an information-theoretic approach to determine support for hypotheses concerning effects of nest-site, habitat-patch, edge, and temporal factors on nest success of songbirds in three narrow (55-95 m) and three wide (400-530 m) riparian forests with adjacent grassland-shrub buffer strips and in three narrow and three wide riparian forests without adjacent grassland-shrub buffer strips. We predicted that temporal effects would have the most support and that habitat-patch and edge effects would have little support, because nest predation would be great across all sites in the highly fragmented, predominantly agricultural landscape. Interval nest success was 0.404, 0.227, 0.070, and 0.186, respectively, for Gray Catbird (Dumetella carolinensis), Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis), Indigo Bunting (Passerina cyanea), and forest interior species pooled (Acadian Flycatcher [Empidonax virescens], Wood Thrush [Hylocichla mustelina], Ovenbird [Seiurus aurocapillus], and Kentucky Warbler [Oporornis formosus]). The effect of nest stage on nest success had the most support; daily nest success for Gray Catbird and Indigo Bunting were lowest in the laying stage. We found strong support for greater nest success of Gray Catbird in riparian forests with adjacent buffer strips than in riparian forests without adjacent buffer strips. Patch width also occurred in the most-supported model for Gray Catbird, but with very limited support. The null model received the most support for Northern Cardinal. Riparian forests provided breeding habitat for area-sensitive forest species and grassland-shrub nesting species. Buffer strips provided additional breeding habitat for grassland-shrub nesting species. Interval nest success for Indigo Bunting and area-sensitive forest species pooled, however, fell well below the level that is likely necessary to balance juvenile

  8. Reconstruction of Holocene patterns of change in a High Arctic coastal landscape, Southern Sassenfjorden, Svalbard

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sessford, Evangeline G.; Strzelecki, Mateusz C.; Hormes, Anne

    2015-04-01

    Abrupt shifts in sediment supply, relative sea level, permafrost regime, glacier state, snow cover and sea ice conditions associated with Holocene climate changes control processes operating on High Arctic coasts and make reconstructions of their past evolution a significant research challenge. This study attempts to describe the development of the coastal zone in southern Sassenfjorden, Svalbard, throughout the Holocene focusing on the styles of adjustment to major landscape changes. Five marine terraces (MT1-5) are identified and assessed. Spatial and chronological analysis suggests that the highest terrace, MT5, is pre-LGM (Last Glacial Maximum) and that MT4-3 underwent rapid uplift (151 and 11.4 mm/year, respectively) shortly prior to 11 061 ± 174 cal. yr BP and became fully terrestrial by 9100 years ago (as indicated by emergence rates) during the Holocene Thermal Maximum (HTM). Uplift rates for MT2-1 slowed to 5 and 2 mm/year, respectively, with suggested emergence between 7200 and 6800 cal. yr BP. A final 2 m uplift of the relict alluvial plain probably happened during the Medieval Warm Period (1200-950 cal. yr BP). Most recent coastal development (AD 1912-2012) is characterised by episodes of coastal erosion on the cliff and progradation of the Nøiselva delta. Interactions between sea ice, snow cover, permafrost, wind and wave regimes are assessed to understand their implications on future coastal development in a warming climate.

  9. Western juniper and ponderosa pine ecotonal climate-growth relationships across landscape gradients in southern Oregon

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Knutson, K.C.; Pyke, D.A.

    2008-01-01

    Forecasts of climate change for the Pacific northwestern United States predict warmer temperatures, increased winter precipitation, and drier summers. Prediction of forest growth responses to these climate fluctuations requires identification of climatic variables limiting tree growth, particularly at limits of free species distributions. We addressed this problem at the pine-woodland ecotone using tree-ring data for western juniper (Juniperus occidentalis var. occidentalis Hook.) and ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa Dougl. ex Loud.) from southern Oregon. Annual growth chronologies for 1950-2000 were developed for each species at 17 locations. Correlation and linear regression of climate-growth relationships revealed that radial growth in both species is highly dependent on October-June precipitation events that recharge growing season soil water. Mean annual radial growth for the nine driest years suggests that annual growth in both species is more sensitive to drought at lower elevations and sites with steeper slopes and sandy or rocky soils. Future increases in winter precipitation could increase productivity in both species at the pine-woodland ecotone. Growth responses, however, will also likely vary across landscape features, and our findings suggest that heightened sensitivity to future drought periods and increased temperatures in the two species will predominantly occur at lower elevation sites with poor water-holding capacities. ?? 2008 NRC.

  10. The fate of soil organic carbon upon erosion, transport and deposition in agricultural landscapes - A review of different concepts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kirkels, F. M. S. A.; Cammeraat, L. H.; Kuhn, N. J.

    2014-12-01

    Erosion and deposition redistribute large quantities of sediment and soil organic carbon (SOC) in agricultural landscapes. In the perspective of global carbon cycling, the coupling between erosion processes and the fate of SOC is of particular interest. However, different concepts have been proposed to assess the impact of erosion-induced lateral and vertical carbon fluxes. On landscape scale, this resulted in contrasting conclusions if agricultural soils represent either a carbon sink or source. The large global area of arable soil and generally high erosion rates, make these insights important. In this review, we aim to give an overview of the different conceptual relations described governing C dynamics at sites of erosion, along the transport pathway and at depositional sites and the current state of knowledge on the fate of SOC upon erosion, transport and deposition in agricultural landscapes. The impact of erosion on SOC dynamics differs for sites of erosion, deposition and during transport, with further influences by agricultural practices (e.g. tillage and fertilisation). Controlling processes are the detachment of sediment and SOC, net primary production resulting in dynamic replacement and changes in mineralisation upon transport and deposition due to aggregate breakdown and deep burial, respectively. However, the exact magnitude and dominance of these processes are debated, resulting in a controversy whether arable land functions as a sink or source for atmospheric CO2. Global estimations range between a net sink strength of 0.06-1 versus a source of 0.27-1.14 Gt C yr- 1 for agricultural soils. An eco-geomorphologic approach, which encompasses physical- and biological-driven factors (e.g. spatio-temporal variation in biological, geomorphological and biological processes, environmental conditions, mineralisation, and net primary production) is of importance to balance the carbon budget and ascertain sink or source formation at landscape scale. High spatio

  11. Erosional flux from tectonically active landscapes: Case studies from Southern Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roda-Boluda, Duna; D'Arcy, Mitch; Whittaker, Alex; Allen, Philip; Gheorghiu, Delia; Rodes, Angel

    2016-04-01

    Erosion and sediment supply are fundamentally important controls on landscape evolution, governing the denudation of relief, the stratigraphy deposited in basins, and the ultimate destruction of orogens. However, quantifying the rates, timescales, and predominant processes of erosion remains a major challenge in many tectonically active areas. Here, we use Southern Italy as a case study to demonstrate how these challenges can be overcome. We present 15 new 10Be catchment-averaged erosion rates, for systems distributed along 5 active normal faults for which we have excellent constraints on throw rates along strike and uplift history. These footwall catchments have a total relief of up to 1800 m and throw rates up to 1.4 mm/yr. We show that sediment supply estimates based on the 10Be erosion rates agree well with sediment supply predictions based on the fault throw profiles. Our results suggest that about 80% of the material uplifted by the faults is being eroded at a similar magnitude to the fault throw rates, offering new insights into the topographic balance of uplift and erosion in this area. These findings imply that active normal faulting is the primary control on sediment supply in Southern Italy. Our field observations suggest that landslides are an important source of sediment in our study area, and are largely driven by incision in response to fault activity. Using a field-calibrated landslide inventory, we estimate landslide-derived sediment flux for our sampled catchments. These estimates correlate well with total sediment flux estimates, demonstrating quantitatively that landslides must be a major source of sediment. Their erosional signal is adequately captured by the 10Be analyses most likely because of the high frequency of small landslides and their high spatial density in these catchments (typically >10% of the total area), which ensures sufficient sediment mixing. Finally, we use our results to calibrate the BQART model of sediment supply, enabling

  12. A survey of insect assemblages responding to volatiles from a ubiquitous fungus in an agricultural landscape.

    PubMed

    Davis, Thomas Seth; Landolt, Peter J

    2013-07-01

    We report here a first survey of insect orientation to fungal cultures and fungal volatiles from a community ecology perspective. We tested whether volatiles from a ubiquitous yeast-like fungus (Aureobasidium pullulans) are broadly attractive to insects in an agricultural landscape. We evaluated insect attraction to fungal cultures and synthetic compounds identified in fungal headspace (2-methyl-1-butanol, 3-methyl-1-butanol, 2-phenylethanol) in a spearmint (Mentha spicata L.) plantation. Three findings emerged: (1) 1,315 insects representing seven orders and 39 species oriented to traps, but 65 % of trapped insects were Dipterans, of which 80 % were hoverflies (Diptera: Syrphidae); (2) traps baited with A. pullulans caught 481 % more insects than unbaited control traps on average, and contained more diverse (Shannon's H index) and species rich assemblages than control traps, traps baited with Penicillium expansum, or uninoculated media; and (3) insects oriented in greatest abundance to a 1:1:1 blend of A. pullulans volatiles, but mean diversity scores were highest for traps baited with only 2-phenylethanol or 2-methyl-1-butanol. Our results show that individual components of fungal headspace are not equivalent in terms of the abundance and diversity of insects that orient to them. The low abundance of insects captured with P. expansum suggests that insect assemblages do not haphazardly orient to fungal volatiles. We conclude that volatiles from a common fungal species (A. pullulans) are attractive to a variety of insect taxa in an agricultural system, and that insect orientation to fungal volatiles may be a common ecological phenomenon. PMID:23564294

  13. Erosion-vegetation dynamics in the Lucciolabella biancane badland cultural landscape (Southern Tuscany, Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maccherini, Simona; Vergari, Francesca; Santi, Elisa; Marignani, Michela; Della Seta, Marta; Rossi, Mauro; Torri, Dino; Del Monte, Maurizio

    2014-05-01

    In this work we present the results of multidisciplinary and long-lasting investigations on the complex cause-effect relationship among water erosion processes and vegetation cover on the Lucciolabella Natural Reserve, located in Upper Orcia Valley (Southern Tuscany). The area is a Site of Community Importance, where the cultural landscape of biancane badlands - water erosion landforms generated on Plio-Pleistocene marine clay outcrops - is preserved. We explored the direction and rate of change in land use and natural habitats of the biancana badland landscapes over the last 50 years, evaluating the erosion-vegetation dynamics and examining the processes involved in the biancana badland area. Historical information, such as early cadastral documents and diachronically analyzed aerial photographs, has been used to construct a database of the natural trends of modifications relative to habitat and plant species distribution, with the analysis of the consequent variations on the frequency of instability events. Old and recent land use maps were compared by using the TWINSPAN classification. Soil erodibility evaluation on the eroded biancana surfaces, regosols and well-developed vertisols, was carried out together with a decadal erosion monitoring program and the investigation of the physico-chemical properties of parent material. We also considered the effects of a few roots on saturated soil shear strength to introduce direct links between plants and soil processes. Moreover we run the LANDPLANER model in order to deepen the effect of the fragmentation of the vegetation cover on water erosion processes affecting biancana badlands. Long-lasting geomorphological survey and field erosion monitoring highlighted that biancana stations experience a very strong surface lowering rate due to water erosion, attaining an average rate of 2.4 - 2.6 cm/a. Moreover, biancanas in a more juvenile development phase, such as the ones of Lucciolabella Natural Reserve, show the maximum

  14. The Network Of Shelterbelts As An Agroforestry System Controlling The Water Resources And Biodiversity In The Agricultural Landscape

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kędziora, Andrzej

    2015-01-01

    Long-term human activity has led to many unfavourable changes in landscape structure. The main negative effect has been a simplification of landscape structure reflecting the removal of stable ecosystems, such as forests, shelterbelts, strips of meadows and so on, which were converted into unstable ecosystems, mainly farmlands. Thanks to these changes, serious threats have been posed to the sustainable development of rural areas. The most hazardous of these involve a deteriorating of water balance, increased surface and ground water pollution, and impoverishment of biodiversity. An agroforestry system can serve as a toolkit which allows counteracting such negative changes in the landscape. This paper presents the main findings emerge from long-term investigations on the above issues carried out by the Institute for the Agricultural and Forest Environment of the Polish Academy of Sciences.

  15. Applying an agent-based model of agricultural terraces coupled with a landscape evolution model to explore the impact of human decision-making on terraced terrain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Glaubius, Jennifer

    2016-04-01

    Agricultural terraces impact landscape evolution as a result of long-term human-landscape interactions, including decisions regarding terrace maintenance and abandonment. Modeling simulations are often employed to examine the sensitivity of landscapes to various factors, such as rainfall and land cover. Landscape evolution models, erosion models, and hydrological models have all previously been used to simulate the impact of agricultural terrace construction on terrain evolution, soil erosion, and hydrological connectivity. Human choices regarding individual terraces have not been included in these models to this point, despite recent recognition that maintenance and abandonment decisions alter transport and storage patterns of soil and water in terraced terrain. An agent-based model of human decisions related to agricultural terraces is implemented based on a conceptual model of agricultural terrace life cycle stages created from a literature review of terracing impacts. The agricultural terracing agent-based model is then coupled with a landscape evolution model to explore the role of human decisions in the evolution of terraced landscapes. To fully explore this type of co-evolved landscape, human decision-making and its feedbacks must be included in landscape evolution models. Project results may also have implications for management of terraced terrain based on how human choices in these environments affect soil loss and land degradation.

  16. The change of nature and the nature of change in agricultural landscapes: Hydrologic regime shifts modulate ecological transitions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Foufoula-Georgiou, Efi; Takbiri, Zeinab; Czuba, Jonathan A.; Schwenk, Jon

    2015-08-01

    Hydrology in many agricultural landscapes around the world is changing in unprecedented ways due to the development of extensive surface and subsurface drainage systems that optimize productivity. This plumbing of the landscape alters water pathways, timings, and storage, creating new regimes of hydrologic response and driving a chain of environmental changes in sediment dynamics, nutrient cycling, and river ecology. In this work, we nonparametrically quantify the nature of hydrologic change in the Minnesota River Basin, an intensively managed agricultural landscape, and study how this change might modulate ecological transitions. During the growing season when climate effects are shown to be minimal, daily streamflow hydrographs exhibit sharper rising limbs and stronger dependence on the previous-day precipitation. We also find a changed storage-discharge relationship and show that the artificial landscape connectivity has most drastically affected the rainfall-runoff relationship at intermediate quantiles. Considering the whole year, we show that the combined climate and land use change effects reduce the inherent nonlinearity in the dynamics of daily streamflow, perhaps reflecting a more linearized engineered hydrologic system. Using a simplified dynamic interaction model that couples hydrology to river ecology, we demonstrate how the observed hydrologic change and/or the discharge-driven sediment generation dynamics may have modulated a regime shift in river ecology, namely extirpation of native mussel populations. We posit that such nonparametric analyses and reduced complexity modeling can provide more insight than highly parameterized models and can guide development of vulnerability assessments and integrated watershed management frameworks.

  17. Distribution and nesting success of ferruginous hawks and Swainson's hawks on an agricultural landscape in the Great Plains

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We studied nest site land cover associations, and reproductive success of two Buteo species of conservation concern on the southern Great Plains, USA. The study area was in Cimarron County, Oklahoma, where land use is dominated by row crop agriculture, livestock grazing, and Conservation Reserve Pro...

  18. Hillslope response to knickpoint migration in the Southern Appalachians: Implications for the evolution of post-orogenic landscapes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wegmann, S.F.G.; Franke, K.L.; Hughes, S.; Lewis, R.Q.; Lyons, N.; Paris, P.; Ross, K.; Bauer, J.B.; Witt, A.C.

    2011-01-01

    The southern Appalachians represent a landscape characterized by locally high topographic relief, steep slopes, and frequent mass movement in the absence of significant tectonic forcing for at least the last 200 Ma. The fundamental processes responsible for landscape evolution in a post-orogenic landscape remain enigmatic. The non-glaciated Cullasaja River basin of south-western North Carolina, with uniform lithology, frequent debris flows, and the availability of high-resolution airborne lidar DEMs, is an ideal natural setting to study landscape evolution in a post-orogenic landscape through the lens of hillslope-channel coupling. This investigation is limited to channels with upslope contributing areas >2.7 km2, a conservative estimate of the transition from fluvial to debris-flow dominated channel processes. Values of normalized hypsometry, hypsometric integral, and mean slope vs elevation are used for 14 tributary basins and the Cullasaja basin as a whole to characterize landscape evolution following upstream knickpoint migration. Results highlight the existence of a transient spatial relationship between knickpoints present along the fluvial network of the Cullasaja basin and adjacent hillslopes. Metrics of topography (relief, slope gradient) and hillslope activity (landslide frequency) exhibit significant downstream increases below the current position of major knickpoints. The transient effect of knickpoint-driven channel incision on basin hillslopes is captured by measuring the relief, mean slope steepness, and mass movement frequency of tributary basins and comparing these results with the distance from major knickpoints along the Cullasaja River. A conceptual model of area-elevation and slope distributions is presented that may be representative of post-orogenic landscape evolution in analogous geologic settings. Importantly, the model explains how knickpoint migration and channel- hillslope coupling is an important factor in tectonically-inactive (i

  19. Estimation of real evapotranspiration and its variation in Mediterranean landscapes of central-southern Chile

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Olivera-Guerra, L.; Mattar, C.; Galleguillos, M.

    2014-05-01

    Evapotranspiration (ETd) is a key controller in the ecohydrological processes of semi-arid landscapes. This is the case of the dry land in Chile's central-southern zone, where forestry, farming and livestock activities must adapt to precipitation with considerable year-on-year variations. In this study, the spatial distribution of ETd was estimated in relation to the land use map and physical parameters of the soil. The ETd was estimated through the Simplified Surface Energy Balance Index (S-SEBI) using data from weather stations and remote data provided by the ASTER and MODIS sensors for November 2004 and 2006, respectively. The spatial variability of ETd was compared among different plant types, soil textural classes and depths using non-parametric statistical tests. In this comparison, the highest rates of ETd were obtained in the forest covers with values of 7.3 ± 0.8 and 8.4 ± 0.8 mm d-1 for 2004 and 2006, respectively. The lowest values were estimated for pastures and shrublands with values of 3.5 ± 1.2 mm d-1 and for crops with rates of 4.4 ± 1.6 mm d-1. Comparison of the ETd of the native forest covers and plantations of exotic species showed statistically significant differences; however, no great variation was noted, at least in the study months. Additionally, the highest rates of ETd were found in the clay loam textures (6.0 ± 1.8 and 6.4 ± 2.0 mm d-1) and the lowest rates in the sandy loam soils (3.7 ± 1.6 and 3.9 ± 1.6 mm d-1) for 2004 and 2006, respectively. The results enable analysis of the spatial patterns of the landscape in terms of the relation between water consumption, ET and the biophysical characteristics of a Mediterranean ecosystem. These results form part of the creation of tools useful in the optimization of decision-making for the management and planning of water resources and soil use in territories with few measuring instruments.

  20. Characterisation and change detection of the agricultural terraced landscape of Costa Viola (Calabria, Italy) in view of its sustainable management

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Modica, Giuseppe; Praticò, Salvatore; Lanucara, Simone; Di Fazio, Salvatore

    2015-04-01

    The research presented in this paper aimed at the dynamic characterisation of the historical terraced landscape of 'Costa Viola', a coastal region in South Italy, in view of its sustainable management. Here the agricultural terraces, used for vineyards, over time have occupied very steep sites and today are recognised as worthy of protection because of their high cultural and scenic value. During the last century, because of the loss of economic competitiveness, the agricultural terraces have undergone progressive abandonment, followed by landscape deterioration and increase of hydrogeologic risk. As a consequence it has recently emerged the need to support the permanence of terraced agriculture through a sensitive management of the area, based on a precise and updated knowledge of the landscape system and its ongoing dynamics of change. To this end the main characteristics of the Costa Viola dry-stone terraces and the Land Use/Land Cover (LU/LC) evolution between 1955 and 2012 were analysed. Taking into consideration the very steep slopes of Costa Viola and the need to analyse with high precision the historical evolution of the terraced landscape, they were implemented investigation methods coupling the use of precision tools with in-situ detailed surveys. A parallel diachronic study was also carried out, covering nearly 60 years and aiming to identify the local geomorphological processes and forms (such as landslides) through stereoscopic analysis of high resolution historic aerial photograms (1955 and 1976) compared to full colour digital orthophotos (1988, 2006, 2008, 2012), direct on-field verification, analysis of cadastral data and pluviometric data series. The geomorphological processes were analysed also in relation with the changes occurred over time in the agricultural terraces and in the urban/rural interface evolution. They were implemented a geographic database based on PostGIS and a Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI) developed in a GFOSS (Geographic

  1. How agricultural landscape features control the transfer of nutrient and eutrophication risk in headwater catchments?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dupas, Rémi; Delmas, Magalie; Dorioz, Jean-Marcel; Garnier, Josette; Moatar, Florentina; Gascuel-Odoux, Chantal

    2014-05-01

    The degradation of surface water quality due to nitrogen and phosphorus pollution is a major concern for drinking water quality and ecosystems health. Numerous studies have demonstrated that headwater catchments are large contributors of nutrient loads to downstream waters bodies. In terms of scientific understanding of the processes controlling nutrient transfers, headwater catchments are relevant spatial units to study the role of landscape features because of the relatively low contribution of point sources and in-stream processes compared to larger river networks. This paper presents an analysis of the variability in space and time of observed N and P loads for a dataset of 160 headwater catchments at a national level (France). A multivariate statistical analysis was performed to relate observed N and P loads to spatial attributes describing agricultural landscapes and the physical characteristics of the catchments: climate, topography, soils, etc. We identified factors controlling N and P loads and N:P:Si ratios in freshwaters; and specifically spatially described factors, by considering river corridors and interaction between soils and land use attributes. The same catchment dataset is used to calibrate the Nutting model, i.e. a statistical model developed to estimate nutrient emission to surface water, using readily available data in France (Dupas et al., 2013). Nutting is a statistical model linking N/P sources and catchment land and river attributes to estimate mean interannual nitrate-N, total-N, dissolved-P and total-P loads. It allows to extrapolate nutrient loads in unmonitored catchments at a national level and to estimate the risk of eutrophication in freshwaters considering Redfield's (1963) N:P:Si ratios. Results show that N is in excess over silica in 93% of French headwater bodies, and that phosphorus is in excess over silica in 26%-65% of French headwater catchments. This means that between 26% and 63% of French headwaters are at risk of

  2. Effects of spatial orientation of prairie vegetation in an agricultural landscape on curve number values

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Franz, K.; Dziubanski, D.; Helmers, M. J.

    2015-12-01

    The simplicity of the Curve Number (CN) method, which summarizes an area's hydrologic soil group, land cover, treatment, and hydrologic condition into a single number, make it a consistently popular choice for modelers. When multiple land cover types are present, a weighted average of the CNs is used. However, the weighted CN does not account for the spatial distribution of different land cover types within the watershed. To overcome this limitation, it becomes necessary to discretize the model into homogenous subunits, perhaps even to the hillslope scale, leading to a more complex model application. The objective of this study is to empirically derive CN values that reflect the effects of placements of native prairie vegetation (NPV) within agricultural landscapes. We derived CN values using precipitation and runoff data from (May 1 - Sept 30 over a 7 year period (2008 - 2014) for 9 ephemeral watersheds in Iowa (USA) ranging from 0.47 to 3.19 ha. The watersheds were planted with varying extents of NPV (0%, 10%, 20%) in different watershed positions (footslope vs. contour strips), with the rest of the watershed as row crop. The derived CN values from watersheds with all row crop were consistent with published values and watersheds with NPV had an average CN reduction of 6.4%, with a maximum reduction of 11.6%. Four of the six sites with treatment had a lower CN than one calculated using a weighted average of look-up values, indicating that accounting for placement of vegetation within the landscape is important for modeling runoff with the CN method. The derived CNs were verified using the leave-one-year-out method (computing CN using data from 6 of the 7 years, and then estimating runoff on the seventh year with that CN). Nash-Sutcliffe Efficiency (NSE) values for the estimated runoff typically ranged from 0.4-0.6. Our results suggest that the new CNs could confidently be used in future modeling studies to explore the hydrologic impacts of the NPV treatments at

  3. Pre-Hispanic agricultural decline prior to the Spanish Conquest in southern Central America

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taylor, Zachary P.; Horn, Sally P.; Finkelstein, David B.

    2013-08-01

    Archeological and paleoenvironmental records from southern Central America attribute population collapse to the Spanish Conquest about 500 years ago. Paleoclimate records from the circum-Caribbean have shown evidence of severe, regional droughts that contributed to the collapse of the Mayan Civilization, but there are few records of these droughts in southern Central America and no records of their effects on prehistoric populations in the region. Here we present a high-resolution lake sediment record of prehistoric agricultural activities using bulk sediment stable carbon isotopes from Laguna Zoncho, Costa Rica. We find isotopic evidence that agriculture was nearly absent from the watershed approximately 220 years prior to the Spanish arrival in Costa Rica and identify two distinct periods of agricultural decline, 1150-970 and 860-640 cal yr BP, which correspond to severe droughts in central Mexico. We attribute decreases in agriculture to a weakened Central American monsoon, which would have shortened the growing season at Laguna Zoncho, reduced crop yields, and negatively affected prehistoric populations.

  4. Investigating the Environmental Effects of Agriculture Practices on Natural Resources: Scientific Contributions of the U.S. Geological Survey to Enhance the Management of Agricultural Landscapes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    U.S. Geological Survey

    2007-01-01

    The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) enhances and protects the quality of life in the United States by advancing scientific knowledge to facilitate effective management of hydrologic, biologic, and geologic resources. Results of selected USGS research and monitoring projects in agricultural landscapes are presented in this Fact Sheet. Significant environmental and social issues associated with agricultural production include changes in the hydrologic cycle; introduction of toxic chemicals, nutrients, and pathogens; reduction and alteration of wildlife habitats; and invasive species. Understanding environmental consequences of agricultural production is critical to minimize unintended environmental consequences. The preservation and enhancement of our natural resources can be achieved by measuring the success of improved management practices and by adjusting conservation policies as needed to ensure long-term protection.

  5. Using high resolution CIR imagery in the classification of non-cropped areas in agricultural landscapes in the UK

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    O'Connell, Jerome; Bradter, Ute; Benton, Tim G.

    2013-10-01

    With global food demand on course to double in the next 50 years the pressures of agricultural intensification on ecosystem services in highly managed landscapes are increasing. Within an agricultural landscape non-cropped areas are a key component of ecological heterogeneity and the sustainability of ecosystem services. Management of the landscape for both production of food and ecosystem services requires configuring the non-cropped areas in an optimal way, which, in turn requires large scale information on the distribution of non-cropped areas. In this study the Canny edge detection algorithm was used to delineate 93% of all boundaries within 422 ha of agricultural land in south east England. The resulting image was used in conjunction with vegetation indices derived from Color Infra Red (CIR) aerial photography and auxiliary landuse data in an Object Orientated (OO) Knowledge Based Classifier (KBC) to identify non-cropped areas. An overall accuracy of 94.27% (Kappa 0.91) for the KBC compared favorably with 63.04% (Kappa 0.55) for a pixel based hybrid classifier of the same area.

  6. Silicate weathering and CO2 consumption within agricultural landscapes, the Ohio-Tennessee River Basin, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fortner, S. K.; Lyons, W. B.; Carey, A. E.; Shipitalo, M. J.; Welch, S. A.; Welch, K. A.

    2011-09-01

    Myriad studies have shown the extent of human alteration to global biogeochemical cycles. Yet, there is only a limited understanding of the influence that humans have over silicate weathering fluxes; fluxes that have regulated atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations and global climate over geologic timescales. Natural landscapes have been reshaped into agricultural ones to meet food needs for growing world populations. These processes modify soil properties, alter hydrology, affect erosion, and consequently impact water-soil-rock interactions such as chemical weathering. Dissolved silica (DSi), Ca2+, Mg2+, NO3-, and total alkalinity were measured in water samples collected from five small (0.65 to 38.3 ha) gauged watersheds at the North Appalachian Experimental Watershed (NAEW) near Coshocton, Ohio, USA. The sampled watersheds in this unglaciated region include: a forested site (70+ yr stand), mixed agricultural use (corn, forest, pasture), an unimproved pasture, tilled corn, and a recently (<3 yr) converted no-till corn field. The first three watersheds had perennial streams, but the two corn watersheds only produced runoff during storms and snowmelt. For the perennial streams, total discharge was an important control of dissolved silicate transport. Median DSi yields (22.1-30.8 kg ha-1 a-1) were similar to the median of annual averages between 1979-2009 for the much larger Ohio-Tennessee River Basin (25.6 kg ha-1 a-1). Corn watersheds, which only had surface runoff, had substantially lower DSi yields (<5.3 kg ha-1 a-1) than the perennial-flow watersheds. The lack of contributions from Si-enriched groundwater largely explained their much lower DSi yields with respect to sites having baseflow. A significant positive correlation between the molar ratio of (Ca2+ + Mg2)/alkalinity to DSi in the tilled corn and the forested site suggested, however, that silicate minerals weathered as alkalinity was lost via enhanced nitrification resulting from fertilizer additions

  7. Occupancy and abundance of wintering birds in a dynamic agricultural landscape

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Miller, Mark W.; Pearlstine, Elise V.; Dorazio, Robert M.; Mazzotti, Frank J.

    2011-01-01

    Assessing wildlife management action requires monitoring populations, and abundance often is the parameter monitored. Recent methodological advances have enabled estimation of mean abundance within a habitat using presence–absence or count data obtained via repeated visits to a sample of sites. These methods assume populations are closed and intuitively assume habitats within sites change little during a field season. However, many habitats are highly variable over short periods. We developed a variation of existing occupancy and abundance models that allows for extreme spatio-temporal differences in habitat, and resulting changes in wildlife abundance, among sites and among visits to a site within a field season. We conducted our study in sugarcane habitat within the Everglades Agricultural Area southeast of Lake Okeechobee in south Florida. We counted wintering birds, primarily passerines, within 245 sites usually 5 times at each site during December 2006–March 2007. We estimated occupancy and mean abundance of birds in 6 vegetation states during the sugarcane harvest and allowed these parameters to vary temporally or spatially within a vegetation state. Occupancy and mean abundance of the common yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas) was affected by structure of sugarcane and uncultivated edge vegetation (occupancy=1.00 [95%CĪ=0.96–1.00] and mean abundance=7.9 [95%CĪ=3.2–19.5] in tall sugarcane with tall edge vegetation versus 0.20 [95%CĪ=0.04–0.71] and 0.22 [95%CĪ=0.04–1.2], respectively, in short sugarcane with short edge vegetation in one half of the study area). Occupancy and mean abundance of palm warblers (Dendroica palmarum) were constant (occupancy=1.00, 95%CĪ=0.69–1.00; mean abundance=18, 95%CĪ=1–270). Our model may enable wildlife managers to assess rigorously effects of future edge habitat management on avian distribution and abundance within agricultural landscapes during winter or the breeding season. The model may also help

  8. Occupancy and abundance of wintering birds in a dynamic agricultural landscape

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Miller, M.W.; Pearlstine, E.V.; Dorazio, R.M.; Mazzotti, F.J.

    2011-01-01

    Assessing wildlife management action requires monitoring populations, and abundance often is the parameter monitored. Recent methodological advances have enabled estimation of mean abundance within a habitat using presence-absence or count data obtained via repeated visits to a sample of sites. These methods assume populations are closed and intuitively assume habitats within sites change little during a field season. However, many habitats are highly variable over short periods. We developed a variation of existing occupancy and abundance models that allows for extreme spatio-temporal differences in habitat, and resulting changes in wildlife abundance, among sites and among visits to a site within a field season. We conducted our study in sugarcane habitat within the Everglades Agricultural Area southeast of Lake Okeechobee in south Florida. We counted wintering birds, primarily passerines, within 245 sites usually 5 times at each site during December 2006-March 2007. We estimated occupancy and mean abundance of birds in 6 vegetation states during the sugarcane harvest and allowed these parameters to vary temporally or spatially within a vegetation state. Occupancy and mean abundance of the common yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas) was affected by structure of sugarcane and uncultivated edge vegetation (occupancy = 1.00 [95%C?? = 0.96-1.00] and mean abundance = 7.9 [95%C?? = 3.2-19.5] in tall sugarcane with tall edge vegetation versus 0.20 [95%C?? = 0.04-0.71] and 0.22 [95%C?? = 0.04-1.2], respectively, in short sugarcane with short edge vegetation in one half of the study area). Occupancy and mean abundance of palm warblers (Dendroica palmarum) were constant (occupancy = 1.00, 95%C?? = 0.69-1.00; mean abundance = 18, 95%C?? = 1-270). Our model may enable wildlife managers to assess rigorously effects of future edge habitat management on avian distribution and abundance within agricultural landscapes during winter or the breeding season. The model may also help

  9. Exposure of native bees foraging in an agricultural landscape to current-use pesticides.

    PubMed

    Hladik, Michelle L; Vandever, Mark; Smalling, Kelly L

    2016-01-15

    The awareness of insects as pollinators and indicators of environmental quality has grown in recent years, partially in response to declines in honey bee (Apis mellifera) populations. While most pesticide research has focused on honey bees, there has been less work on native bee populations. To determine the exposure of native bees to pesticides, bees were collected from an existing research area in northeastern Colorado in both grasslands (2013-2014) and wheat fields (2014). Traps were deployed bi-monthly during the summer at each land cover type and all bees, regardless of species, were composited as whole samples and analyzed for 136 current-use pesticides and degradates. This reconnaissance approach provides a sampling of all species and represents overall pesticide exposure (internal and external). Nineteen pesticides and degradates were detected in 54 composite samples collected. Compounds detected in >2% of the samples included: insecticides thiamethoxam (46%), bifenthrin (28%), clothianidin (24%), chlorpyrifos (17%), imidacloprid (13%), fipronil desulfinyl (7%; degradate); fungicides azoxystrobin (17%), pyraclostrobin (11%), fluxapyroxad (9%), and propiconazole (9%); herbicides atrazine (19%) and metolachlor (9%). Concentrations ranged from 1 to 310 ng/g for individual pesticides. Pesticides were detected in samples collected from both grasslands and wheat fields; the location of the sample and the surrounding land cover at the 1000 m radius influenced the pesticides detected but because of a small number of temporally comparable samples, correlations between pesticide concentration and land cover were not significant. The results show native bees collected in an agricultural landscape are exposed to multiple pesticides, these results can direct future research on routes/timing of pesticide exposure and the design of future conservation efforts for pollinators. PMID:26520270

  10. Belowground Water Dynamics Under Contrasting Annual and Perennial Plant Communities in an Agriculturally-Dominated Landscape

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mora, G.; Asbjornsen, H.; Helmers, M. J.; Shepherd, G. W.

    2005-12-01

    The conversion from grasslands and forests to row-crops in the Midwest has affected soil water cycling because plant characteristics are one of the main parameters determining soil storage capacity, infiltration rates, and surface runoff. Little is known, however, about the extent of modification of soil water dynamics under different plant communities. To address this important issue, we are documenting soil water dynamics under contrasting perennial and annual plant communities in an agriculturally-dominated landscape. Measurements of soil moisture and depths of uptake of source water were obtained for six vegetative cover types (corn and soybean field, brome pasture, degraded savanna, restored savanna, and restored prairie) at the Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge in Prairie City, Iowa. The depths of uptake of soil water were determined on the basis of oxygen isotope composition of soil water and stem water. Measurements were performed once a month during an entire growing season. Preliminary results indicate that soil water present under the different vegetation types show similar profiles with depth during the dry months. Soil water in the upper 5 cm is enriched in oxygen-18 by about 5 per mil relative to soil water at 100 cm. Our preliminary results also indicate that the isotopic composition of stem water from annual plants is typically higher by about 2 per mil relative to that of stem water from perennial plants during the dry period. Whereas the oxygen isotopic composition for corn stem water is -5.49 per mil, that for elm and oak stem water is -7.62 and -7.51 per mil, respectively. The higher isotope values for corn suggest that annual crop plants are withdrawing water from shallower soil horizons relative to perennial plants. Moreover, our preliminary data suggest lower moisture content in soil under annual plant cover. We propose that the presence of deeper roots in the perennial vegetation allows these plants to tap into deeper water sources when

  11. Characterizing Ice Nucleating Particles Emitted from Agricultural Activities and Natural Landscapes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suski, K. J.; Levin, E. J.; DeMott, P. J.; Kreidenweis, S. M.; Hill, T. C. J.

    2015-12-01

    Soil dust and plant fragment emissions from agricultural harvesting and natural ecosystems are two potentially large, yet unquantified and largely uncharacterized, sources of ice nucleating particles (INPs). Both organic and mineral components have been shown to contribute to the ice-nucleating ability of soil dust, but apart from the likely presence of ice nucleation-active bacteria, little is known about the ice nucleating potential of plant tissues. This work aims to identify and differentiate the organic and inorganic contributions of soil and plant INP sources emitted from harvesting activities and natural landscapes. For this purpose, the CSU Continuous Flow Diffusion Chamber (CFDC) and the Ice Spectrometer (IS) were utilized in a combination of ambient measurements and laboratory studies. Small variability and low INP numbers (< 10 L-1 at -30 °C) characterized measurements made in air over the grazed Pawnee National Grassland in Colorado, while more variable INP over croplands around the DOE-ARM SGP site in Oklahoma appear linked to regional wind, humidity, and rainfall conditions. Harvesting of milo (grain sorghum), soybean, and wheat at an experimental research farm in Kansas resulted in spikes of INPs, with wheat harvesting producing the largest INP concentrations (up to 100 L-1 at -30 °C). In-situ use of heating tubes upstream of the CFDC to deactivate organic INP showed that milo and wheat harvest emissions showed a stronger reduction of INPs at warm temperatures than soybean emissions, suggesting a larger contribution of organics to their INP activity. Further characterization of the sources and organic and inorganic contributions to terrestrially emitted INPs by comparison to laboratory studies on collected soil dust and plant samples will also be presented.

  12. Analysis of Employment Flow of Landscape Architecture Graduates in Agricultural Universities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yao, Xia; He, Linchun

    2012-01-01

    A statistical analysis of employment flow of landscape architecture graduates was conducted on the employment data of graduates major in landscape architecture in 2008 to 2011. The employment flow of graduates was to be admitted to graduate students, industrial direction and regional distribution, etc. Then, the features of talent flow and factors…

  13. Patterns and Drivers of Scattered Tree Loss in Agricultural Landscapes: Orchard Meadows in Germany (1968-2009)

    PubMed Central

    Plieninger, Tobias; Levers, Christian; Mantel, Martin; Costa, Augusta; Schaich, Harald; Kuemmerle, Tobias

    2015-01-01

    Scattered trees support high levels of farmland biodiversity and ecosystem services in agricultural landscapes, but they are threatened by agricultural intensification, urbanization, and land abandonment. This study aimed to map and quantify the decline of orchard meadows (scattered fruit trees of high nature conservation value) for a region in Southwestern Germany for the 1968 2009 period and to identify the driving forces of this decline. We derived orchard meadow loss from 1968 and 2009 aerial images and used a boosted regression trees modelling framework to assess the relative importance of 18 environmental, demographic, and socio-economic variables to test five alternative hypothesis explaining orchard meadow loss. We found that orchard meadow loss occurred in flatter areas, in areas where smaller plot sizes and fragmented orchard meadows prevailed, and in areas near settlements and infrastructure. The analysis did not confirm that orchard meadow loss was higher in areas where agricultural intensification was stronger and in areas of lower implementation levels of conservation policies. Our results demonstrated that the influential drivers of orchard meadow loss were those that reduce economic profitability and increase opportunity costs for orchards, providing incentives for converting orchard meadows to other, more profitable land uses. These insights could be taken up by local- and regional-level conservation policies to identify the sites of persistent orchard meadows in agricultural landscapes that would be prioritized in conservation efforts. PMID:25932914

  14. Patterns and drivers of scattered tree loss in agricultural landscapes: orchard meadows in Germany (1968-2009).

    PubMed

    Plieninger, Tobias; Levers, Christian; Mantel, Martin; Costa, Augusta; Schaich, Harald; Kuemmerle, Tobias

    2015-01-01

    Scattered trees support high levels of farmland biodiversity and ecosystem services in agricultural landscapes, but they are threatened by agricultural intensification, urbanization, and land abandonment. This study aimed to map and quantify the decline of orchard meadows (scattered fruit trees of high nature conservation value) for a region in Southwestern Germany for the 1968 2009 period and to identify the driving forces of this decline. We derived orchard meadow loss from 1968 and 2009 aerial images and used a boosted regression trees modelling framework to assess the relative importance of 18 environmental, demographic, and socio-economic variables to test five alternative hypothesis explaining orchard meadow loss. We found that orchard meadow loss occurred in flatter areas, in areas where smaller plot sizes and fragmented orchard meadows prevailed, and in areas near settlements and infrastructure. The analysis did not confirm that orchard meadow loss was higher in areas where agricultural intensification was stronger and in areas of lower implementation levels of conservation policies. Our results demonstrated that the influential drivers of orchard meadow loss were those that reduce economic profitability and increase opportunity costs for orchards, providing incentives for converting orchard meadows to other, more profitable land uses. These insights could be taken up by local- and regional-level conservation policies to identify the sites of persistent orchard meadows in agricultural landscapes that would be prioritized in conservation efforts. PMID:25932914

  15. Testing the applicability of morphometric characterisation in discordant catchments to ancient landscapes: A case study from southern Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Richardson, J. C.; Hodgson, D. M.; Wilson, A.; Carrivick, J. L.; Lang, A.

    2016-05-01

    The ancient landscapes south of the Great Escarpment in southern Africa preserve large-scale geomorphological features despite their antiquity. This study applies and evaluates morphometric indices (such as hypsometry, long profile analysis, stream gradient index, and linear/areal catchment characteristics) to the Gouritz catchment, a large discordant catchment in the Western Cape. Spatial variation of morphometric indices were assessed across catchment (trunk rivers) and subcatchment scales. The hypsometric curve of the catchment is sinusoidal, and a range of curve profiles are evident at subcatchment scale. Hypsometric integrals do not correlate to catchment properties such as area, circularity, relief, and dissection; and stream length gradients do not follow expected patterns, with the highest values seen in the mid-catchment areas. Rock type variation is interpreted to be the key control on morphometric indices within the Gouritz catchment, especially hypsometry and stream length gradient. External controls, such as tectonics and climate, were likely diminished because of the long duration of catchment development in this location. While morphometric indices can be a useful procedure in the evaluation of landscape evolution, this study shows that care must be taken in the application of morphometric indices to constrain tectonic or climatic variation in ancient landscapes because of inherited tectonic structures and signal shredding. More widely, we consider that ancient landscapes offer a valuable insight into long-term environmental change, but refinements to geomorphometric approaches are needed.

  16. Influence of Antecedent Hydrologic Conditions on Nitrate and Phosphorus Export from a Small Agricultural Catchment in Southern Ontario, Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Macrae, M. L.; English, M. C.; Schiff, S. L.; Stone, M.

    2009-04-01

    The ability of the scientific community to quantify and predict discharge and nutrient transport in a range of settings is confounded by the effects of antecedent hydrologic conditions in upland areas. Previous work has empirically linked spatial variables such as land use, soil type, topography, and drainage characteristics to hydrochemical export from various landscapes (e.g. MCDOWELL et al., 2001; ARHEIMER and LIDEN, 2000; STAMM et al., 1998; JORDAN et al., 1997; WELSCH et al., 2001). However, the specific reasons why similar types of events produce different nutrient export patterns are poorly understood. Nutrient (nitrate, soluble and total phosphorus) transport from agricultural catchments is difficult to quantify and predict because of the influence of variable hydrologic flowpaths and their interaction with varying nutrient pools. This research examines the role of antecedent hydrologic conditions on stream discharge and nitrate (NO3-), soluble reactive phosphorus (SRP) and total phosphorus (TP) export from a small (2.7 km2) first-order agricultural catchment in Southern Ontario, Canada. During 59 events occurring over a two-year sampling period (year-round), runoff ratios ranged from 0-0.99). Runoff ratios increased throughout successive events as conditions became wetter although key indices of antecedent wetness such as water table position, pre-event streamflow and soil moisture did not yield predictive relationships. Nitrate, SRP and TP transport from the catchment increased with antecedent wetness during some periods but decreased with antecedent wetness during other periods. This variability appears to be linked to a combination of the position of water table before and during the event, as well as timing of fertilizer application. It is hypothesized that in general, wetter antecedent hydrologic conditions increase nutrient transport from the catchment by increasing macropore connectivity between surface soil horizons and tile drains, although this

  17. Challenges in linking agricultural soil erosion studies to landscape scale processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, C.-H.; Norton, L. D.; Flanagan, D. C.

    2009-04-01

    have to shift from the annual cycle of crop management and rotation, i.e., a field scale process, to a much longer time scale as sediment transport and deposition processes in the landscape have a very long response time. Agricultural management practices have different response times depending on where the focus is. Crop yield and water conservation can usually be observed in annual cycles. Changes in aggregate stability and soil erodibility can take several years or even decades. It is often observed that sediments eroded from a field are deposited within the field boundary and sediments transported in stream channels may have been those already deposited decades ago in stream banks and flood plains. Without knowing the transient nature of the sediment movement, or a distribution of travel time for the sediments from fields to stream channels, it can be very difficult to assess the conservation or management effects at the watershed scale where geomorphic processes become dominant. In this presentation, we will provide a cursory review of US agricultural soil erosion research and development, which was intended for developing field scale erosion prediction technology. We will then discuss how we propose to address the scaling issue in assessing conservation effects at the watershed scale for sediments.

  18. Monitoring drought occurrences using MODIS evapotranspiration data: Direct impacts on agricultural productivity in Southern Brazil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ruhoff, Anderson

    2014-05-01

    Evapotranspiration (ET), including water loss from plant transpiration and land evaporation, is of vital importance for understanding hydrological processes and climate dynamics and remote sensing is considered as the most important tool for estimate ET over large areas. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) offers an interesting opportunity to evaluate ET with spatial resolution of 1 km. The MODIS global evapotranspiration algorithm (MOD16) considers both surface energy fluxes and climatic constraints on ET (water or temperature stress) to predict plant transpiration and soil evaporation based on Penman-Monteith equation. The algorithm is driven by remotely sensed and reanalysis meteorological data. In this study, MOD16 algorithm was applied to Southern Brazil to evaluate drought occurrences and its impacts over the agricultural production. Drought is a chronic potential natural disaster characterized by an extended period of time in which less water is available than expected, typically classified as meteorological, agricultural, hydrological and socioeconomic. With human-induced climate change, increases in the frequency, duration and severity of droughts are expected, leading to negative impacts in several sectors, such as agriculture, energy, transportation, urban water supply, among others. The current drought indicators are primarily based on precipitation, however only a few indicators incorporate ET and soil moisture components. ET and soil moisture play an important role in the assessment of drought severity as sensitive indicators of land drought status. To evaluate the drought occurrences in Southern Brazil from 2000 to 2012, we used the Evaporative Stress Index (ESI). The ESI, defined as 1 (one) minus the ratio of actual ET to potential ET, is one of the most important indices denoting ET and soil moisture responses to surface dryness with effects over natural ecosystems and agricultural areas. Results showed that ESI captured major

  19. Classification of local- and landscape-scale ecological types in the Southern Appalachian mountains

    SciTech Connect

    McNab, W.H.

    1996-12-31

    Five local ecological types based on vegetative communities and two landscape types based on groups of communities, were identified by integrating landform, soil, and vegetation components using multivariate techniques. Evaluation and several topographic and soil variables were highly correlated with types of both scales. Landscape ecological types based only on landform and soil variables without vegetation did not correspond with types developed using vegetation.

  20. Pesticide exposure on sloths (Bradypus variegatus and Choloepus hoffmanni) in an agricultural landscape of Northeastern Costa Rica.

    PubMed

    Pinnock Branford, Margaret Verónica; de la Cruz, Elba; Solano, Karla; Ramírez, Oscar

    2014-01-01

    Between 2005 and 2008, wild Bradypus variegatus and Choloepus hoffmanni inhabiting an agricultural landscape and captive animals from a rescue center in Northeastern Costa Rica were studied to assess exposure to pesticides. A total of 54 animals were sampled: 42 wild sloths captured at an agricultural landscape and 12 captive animals from a rescue center. Pesticides' active ingredients were determined in three sample matrices: hair, aqueous mixture (paws' wash) and cotton gauze (mouth clean) based on multi-residue gas chromatography methods. Recoveries tests ranged from 73 to 146% and relative standard deviations were less than 20% throughout all the recovery tests. Active ingredients detected in sloths samples were ametryn, chlorothalonil, chlorpyrifos, diazinon, difenoconazole, ethoprophos and thiabendazole. These active ingredients were used in intensive agricultural production for bananas, pineapples and other crops. Blood plasma cholinesterase activity (PChE) was determined by the Ellman method modified for micro plates. Enzyme activity determination was normalized to protein content in the samples according to Bradford method. Wild sloth PChE activity was similar for both species while sloths in captivity showed differences between species. Enzyme activity was significantly lower for two-toed sloths. This study showed that sloths were exposed to pesticides that caused acute and chronic effect in mammals and can also be a threat to other wildlife species. There is a need to better understand the potential effects of exposure to pesticides in sloths and other wild mammal populations, especially those threatened or endangered. More studies in this field must be carried out on the wildlife fauna inhabiting the agricultural landscape and its surroundings. PMID:24579518

  1. Quantify Effects of Integrated Land Management on Water Quality in Agricultural Landscape in South Fork Watershed, Iowa River

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ha, M.; Wu, M. M.

    2014-12-01

    Sustainable biofuel feedstock production — environmental sustainability and economic sustainability — may be achieved by using a multi-faceted approach. This study focuses on quantifying the water sustainability of an integrated landscaping strategy, by which current land use and land management, cropping system, agricultural Best Management Practices (BMPs), and economics play equal roles. The strategy was applied to the South Fork watershed, IA, including the tributaries of Tipton and Beaver Creeks, which expand to 800-km2 drainage areas. The watershed is an agricultural dominant area covered with row-crops production. On the basis of profitability, switchgrass was chosen as a replacement for row crops in low-productivity land. Areas for harvesting agricultural residue were selected on the basis of soil conservation principals. Double cropping with a cover crop was established to further reduce soil loss. Vegetation buffer strips were in place at fields and in riparian areas for water quality control, resource conservation, and eco service improvement. The Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) was applied to evaluate source reduction under various management schemes and land use changes. SWAT modeling incorporated 10-yr meteorological information, soil data, land slope classification, land use, four-year crop-rotation cycle, and management operations. Tile drain and pothole parameters were modeled to assess the fate and transport of nutrients. The influence of landscape management and cropping systems on nitrogen and phosphorus loadings, erosion process, and hydrological performance at the sub-watershed scale was analyzed and key factors identified. Results suggest strongly that incorporating agricultural BMPs and conservation strategies into integrated landscape management for certain energy crops in row-crop production regions can be economical and environmentally sustainable.

  2. Environmental Impacts of the Annual Agricultural Drawdown in Southern Miami-Dade County

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kearns, E. J.; Renshaw, A.; Bellmund, S.

    2008-05-01

    Water managers annually manipulate groundwater storage in Southern Miami-Dade County at the end of the wet season to support agricultural interests. The so-called "agricultural drawdown" in Southern Miami-Dade County involves a 0.8 ft (0.24 m) reduction in groundwater stages via the release of large volumes of water each fall to Biscayne Bay. An average of 21.4 billion gallons (65,800 ac-ft or 8.1x107 m3) of freshwater are released each year from the Biscayne Aquifer via the C-103 and C-102 canals during the drawdown in anticipation of the winter growing season. The side-effects of this groundwater drawdown and loss of stored water are felt primarily by the environment in, and adjacent to, southern Biscayne Bay. Without the rapid drainage of freshwater, these large volumes of water would gradually leak into Biscayne Bay and its low-lying coastal wetlands, providing freshwater flows further into the dry season. The rapid and sudden release of water from the Biscayne Aquifer within a few weeks of the end of the wet season brings about an artificially early start to the dry season. The following dry season is thus unnaturally dry, leading to long periods of dry marshes and high salinities along the shoreline. The result threatens productive estuarine fish and shellfish habitat, enhances predation of nearshore species by marine fish, encourages exotic plant species within the coastal wetland zone, and promotes a loss of wading bird foraging habitat during nesting season. The threat of saltwater intrusion into the Biscayne Aquifer is enhanced by this operational practice as well, since sea levels are at their seasonal maximums in October and November. The effects of the agricultural drawdown, the possible enhancements to the coastal ecosystem that could be realized by its elimination, and its future within the context of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan's Biscayne Bay Coastal Wetlands project will be explored.

  3. Timing and rates of long-term landscape evolution in Southern Argentina

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kollenz, S.; Glasmacher, P. A.

    2013-12-01

    The eastern Argentina South Atlantic passive continental margin is distinguished by a very flat topography. Out of the so called Pampean flat two mountain ranges are arising. These mountain ranges, the Sierras Australes and the Sierras Septentrionales, are located in the State of Buenos Aires south of the capital Buenos Aires. North of the Sierras Septentrionales the Salado basin is located. The Sierras Septentrionales and the Sierras Australes are also divided by a smaller intracratonic basin. Further in the South the Colorado basin is located. The Sierras Australes is a variscian fold belt originated by strong phases of metamorphosis, but till now it is unclear by how many tectonic phases the area was influenced (Tomezzoli & Vilas, 1999). It consists of Proterozoic to Paleozoic rocks. The Sierras Septentrionales consists mainly of Precambrian crystalline rocks. The Precambrian sequences are overlain by younger Sediments (Cingolani, 2010). The aim is to understand the long-term landscape evolution of the area by quantifiying erosion- and exhumation-rates and by dating ancient rock-uplift-events. Another goal is to find out how the opening of the south atlantic took effect on this region. To fulfill this goal, thermochronological techniques, such as fission-track dating and (U-Th-Sm)/He dating has been applied to samples from the region. Because there was no low- temperature thermochronology done in this area, both techniques were applied on apatites and zircons. Furthermore, numerical modeling of the cooling history has provided the data base for the quantification of the exhumation rates. The data-set shows clusters of different ages which can be linked to tectonic activities during late Paleozoic times. Also the thermokinematic modeling is leading to new insights of the evolution of both mountain ranges and shows patterns of ongoing tectonic processes in this region. Caltculated exhumation rates show also varying cooling historys and the influence of tectonics

  4. Timing and rates of long-term landscape evolution in Southern Argentina

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kollenz, Sebastian; Glasmacher, Ulrich A.; Rossello, Eduardo A.; Stoeckli, Danny F.

    2014-05-01

    The eastern Argentina South Atlantic passive continental margin is distinguished by a very flat topography. Out of the so called Pampean flat two mountain ranges are arising. These mountain ranges, the Sierras Australes and the Sierras Septentrionales, are located in the State of Buenos Aires south of the capital Buenos Aires. North of the Sierras Septentrionales the Salado basin is located. The Sierras Septentrionales and the Sierras Australes are also divided by a smaller intracratonic basin. Further in the South the Colorado basin is located. The Sierras Australes is a variscian fold belt originated by strong phases of metamorphosis, but till now it is unclear by how many tectonic phases the area was influenced (Tomezzoli & Vilas, 1999). It consists of Proterozoic to Paleozoic rocks. The Sierras Septentrionales consists mainly of Precambrian crystalline rocks. The Precambrian sequences are overlain by younger Sediments (Cingolani, 2010). The aim is to understand the long-term landscape evolution of the area by quantifiying erosion- and exhumation-rates and by dating ancient rock-uplift-events. Another goal is to find out how the opening of the south atlantic took effect on this region. To fulfill this goal, thermochronological techniques, such as fission-track dating and (U-Th-Sm)/He dating has been applied to samples from the region. Because there was no low- temperature thermochronology done in this area, both techniques were applied on apatites and zircons. Furthermore, numerical modeling of the cooling history has provided the data base for the quantification of the exhumation rates. The data-set show clusters of different ages which can be linked to tectonic activities during late Paleozoic times. Also the thermokinematic modeling is leading to new insights of the evolution of both mountain ranges and shows patterns of ongoing tectonic processes in this region. Calculated exhumation rates show also varying cooling histories and the influence of tectonics

  5. Native wildflower plantings support wild bee abundance and diversity in agricultural landscapes across the United States.

    PubMed

    Williams, Neal M; Ward, Kimiora L; Pope, Nathaniel; Isaacs, Rufus; Wilson, Julianna; May, Emily A; Ellis, Jamie; Daniels, Jaret; Pence, Akers; Ullmann, Katharina; Peters, Jeff

    2015-12-01

    Global trends in pollinator-dependent crops have raised awareness of the need to support managed and wild bee populations to ensure sustainable crop production. Provision of sufficient forage resources is a key element for promoting bee populations within human impacted landscapes, particularly those in agricultural lands where demand for pollination service is high and land use and management practices have reduced available flowering resources. Recent government incentives in North America and Europe support the planting of wildflowers to benefit pollinators; surprisingly, in North America there has been almost no rigorous testing of the performance of wildflower mixes, or their ability to support wild bee abundance and diversity. We tested different wildflower mixes in a spatially replicated, multiyear study in three regions of North America where production of pollinator-dependent crops is high: Florida, Michigan, and California. In each region, we quantified flowering among wildflower mixes composed of annual and perennial species, and with high and low relative diversity. We measured the abundance and species richness of wild bees, honey bees, and syrphid flies at each mix over two seasons. In each region, some but not all wildflower mixes provided significantly greater floral display area than unmanaged weedy control plots. Mixes also attracted greater abundance and richness of wild bees, although the identity of best mixes varied among regions. By partitioning floral display size from mix identity we show the importance of display size for attracting abundant and diverse wild bees. Season-long monitoring also revealed that designing mixes to provide continuous bloom throughout the growing season is critical to supporting the greatest pollinator species richness. Contrary to expectation, perennials bloomed in their first season, and complementarity in attraction of pollinators among annuals and perennials suggests that inclusion of functionally diverse

  6. Some physicochemical properties of surface layer soils shelterbelts in agricultural landscape

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jaskulska, R.; Szajdak, L.

    2009-04-01

    Shelterbelts belong to very efficient biogeochemical barriers. They decrease the migration of chemical compounds between ecosystems. The investigations were carried out in the Chlapowski's Agroecological Park in Turew situated 40 km South-West of Poznań, Poland. This area is located on loamy soils, which contains 70% cultivated fields and 14% shelterbelts and small afforestations. The shelterbelts represent different ages and the content of plants as well as humus quantity in surface layer. The first one is 100-year-old shelterbelt, where predominant species is Crataegus monogyna Jacq., Quercus rober L., and Fraxinus excelsior (L.) and is characterized by a well-developed humus level. The other one is 14-year-old shelterbelt. It includes 13 species of trees and revealed a small amount of humus. The soil under both shelterbelts is mineral, grey-brown podzolic in surface layer compound from light loamy sands and weakly loamy sands. The soil samples were taken from surface layer (0-20 cm). pH 1N KCl, hydrolytic acidity, cation-exchange capacity, total proper area, total organic carbon and dissociation constants were determined in soils. The study showed that the soil under shelterbelts revealed acidic properties. It was observed that soils of 100-year-old shelterbelt characterizing lowest values pH = 4.2 revealed highest values of hydrolytic acidity equaled to 7.8 cmol(+)ṡkg-1. The physicochemical properties of investigated soils shoved specific surface areas (22.8 m2ṡg-1), cationic sorptive capacity (12.9 cmol(+)ṡkg-1). TOC (1.6%) 100-year-old shelterbelt was higher than in 14-year-old shelterbelt. The dissociation constants were determined by potentiometric titration. This investigation revealed that the pK value was the highest in the humus of 100-year-old shelterbelt (pKa = 3.1). However, soils of 14-year-old shelterbelt characterized by the lovest pK equaled to 2.8. The surface layer soils shelterbelts in agricultural landscape with good humus development

  7. Control of the spread of inorganic elements by shelterbelt in agricultural landscape

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Szajdak, L.; Życzyńska-Bałoniak, I.

    2009-04-01

    A better understanding of the impact of shelterbelt on the decrease the quantities of chemical compounds in ground water should increase our ability to predict the improvement of the quality of ground water. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of shelterbelt on the decrease of calcium, magnesium and inorganic carbon in ground water passing through the shelterbelt from adjoining cultivated fields. The investigations were carried out in Turew in Chlapowski's Agroecological Park situated 40 km South-West of Poznań (West Polish Lowland). This area is located on loamy soils, which contains 70% cultivated fields, 12% meadows and pastures and approximately 14% afforestations including well developed network of shelterbelts (mid-field rows of trees afforestation). The established network of shelterbelts in Turew is the unique in Europe. Ground water under cultivated field and shelterbelt from the artificial wells ones a month during 7 years from 2000 to 2006 was sampled and investigated. Ground water under shelterbelt flows away from adjoining cultivated field and passing through the shelterbelt. The first distance of this shelterbelt 104 m long is located on mineral soils (division-autogenic soils, order-brown forest soils, type-hapludalfs, subtype-glossudalfs) next from 104 to 125 m on mineral organic soils (division-hydrogenic soils, order-post-bog, soils, type-mucky soils, subtype-muckous). Calcium, magnesium and mineral carbon quantities have been investigated in the ground water of shelterbelts. The differences among the concentrations of calcium, magnesium and mineral carbon were attributed solely of width of the shelterbelt. Shelterbelt revealed the improvement in the quality of ground water. The biogeochemical barrier in the form of shelterbelt efficiently decreases the concentration of chemical substances calcium to 26%, magnesium to 25% and also mineral carbon 70,5%. Concerns over the environmental impacts of the elements of agricultural

  8. Strong Discrepancies between Local Temperature Mapping and Interpolated Climatic Grids in Tropical Mountainous Agricultural Landscapes

    PubMed Central

    Faye, Emile; Herrera, Mario; Bellomo, Lucio; Silvain, Jean-François; Dangles, Olivier

    2014-01-01

    Bridging the gap between the predictions of coarse-scale climate models and the fine-scale climatic reality of species is a key issue of climate change biology research. While it is now well known that most organisms do not experience the climatic conditions recorded at weather stations, there is little information on the discrepancies between microclimates and global interpolated temperatures used in species distribution models, and their consequences for organisms’ performance. To address this issue, we examined the fine-scale spatiotemporal heterogeneity in air, crop canopy and soil temperatures of agricultural landscapes in the Ecuadorian Andes and compared them to predictions of global interpolated climatic grids. Temperature time-series were measured in air, canopy and soil for 108 localities at three altitudes and analysed using Fourier transform. Discrepancies between local temperatures vs. global interpolated grids and their implications for pest performance were then mapped and analysed using GIS statistical toolbox. Our results showed that global interpolated predictions over-estimate by 77.5±10% and under-estimate by 82.1±12% local minimum and maximum air temperatures recorded in the studied grid. Additional modifications of local air temperatures were due to the thermal buffering of plant canopies (from −2.7°K during daytime to 1.3°K during night-time) and soils (from −4.9°K during daytime to 6.7°K during night-time) with a significant effect of crop phenology on the buffer effect. This discrepancies between interpolated and local temperatures strongly affected predictions of the performance of an ectothermic crop pest as interpolated temperatures predicted pest growth rates 2.3–4.3 times lower than those predicted by local temperatures. This study provides quantitative information on the limitation of coarse-scale climate data to capture the reality of the climatic environment experienced by living organisms. In highly heterogeneous

  9. Groundwater Depletion versus Soil Salinization in Irrigated Agriculture in Semiarid Southern High Plains, Texas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reedy, R. C.; Gates, J. B.; Scanlon, B. R.

    2008-12-01

    Because irrigated agriculture is the primary consumer of global freshwater resources, there is increased emphasis on using more water conservative irrigation application techniques to reduce depletion of water resources while maintaining crop productivity. The objective of this study was to evaluate the impacts of land use change from natural or rainfed agricultural ecosystems to irrigated agricultural ecosystems on water resources and soil salinity using data from the southern High Plains (SHP, 75,000 km2) in Texas, USA as an example. Approximately 11% of the land surface is irrigated with groundwater from the Ogallala (High Plains) Aquifer. Boreholes were drilled beneath irrigated cropland (13 boreholes) and beneath rainfed cropland (19 boreholes) and native vegetation (3 boreholes) to provide baseline control. Unsaturated zone soil samples were analyzed for water content, matric potential, and water-extractable chloride, bromide, sulfate, and nitrate concentrations. Increased drainage beneath irrigated sites displaced pre-existing salt bulges downward to 5 m in fine-grained soils and to greater than profile depths in coarser soils (4 - 17 m). Most irrigated profiles showed salt bulges which are attributed to deficit irrigation. Large inventories of nitrate and high correlations with chloride indicate overapplication of fertilizers and leaching below the root zone. Estimated drainage rates beneath irrigated sites are similar to the range of drainage/recharge rates beneath rainfed agriculture. These results emphasize the potential for soil salinization with deficit irrigation when the irrigation water quality is poor and precipitation is insufficient to flush accumulating salts.

  10. Estimating evapotranspiration over agricultural landscapes with thermal infrared data: comparison of two approaches using Simple Energy Budget and SVAT modeling.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bigeard, G.; Coudert, B.; Jarlan, L.; Er-Raki, S.; Khabba, S.

    2012-04-01

    Evapotranspiration (ET) monitoring presents wide range of applications from agriculture and water resources management to meteorology. Several approaches have been developed to retrieve ET based on a joint use of remote sensing data and land surface modeling, in particular with a SVAT (Soil Vegetation Atmosphere Transfers) model or a SEB (Surface Energy Budget) model. The objective of our work is to estimate spatialized ET fluxes from Thermal Infra-Red (TIR) imagery, focusing on simulating fluxes at low spatial resolution with 2 methodologies: 1. Simulating with a SEB model directly at low resolution (landscape scale: 4km) with TIR forcing. 2. Aggregating high resolution (agricultural field scale) estimates from a SVAT model constrained by TIR data and based on a high spatial resolution database (landcover, LAI, vegetation height, meteorological forcing and irrigation). In a first part we sum up previous results about in-situ capabilities of a SEB model (TSEB, Norman & al. 1995) versus a SVAT model (SEtHyS, described by Coudert & al. 2006) over crops. TSEB is driven directly with TIR forcing and does not consider soil water transfers. SEtHyS doesn't rely on TIR data availability but it has more parameters and requires more inputs for initialization. Simulations of both models were compared to in-situ Eddy-Correlation (EC) fluxes, with data from 3 sites in southern France and Morocco, covering several kinds of cultures, various vegetative states and various meteorological conditions. A sensitivity analysis on inputs was used to better characterize their capabilities and behaviors, and quantify error ranges induced by spatialization. Globally, models provide estimations of latent heat flux (LE) with RMSD of around 55W/m2 for TSEB and 45W/m2 for SEtHyS. Energy fluxes partition in TSEB was shown to be relatively less sensitive to some inputs when using only a single set of parameters. However it has lower performances on rising vegetation and stressed vegetation

  11. High-Resolution Biogeochemical Simulation Identifies Practical Opportunities for Bioenergy Landscape Intensification Across Diverse US Agricultural Regions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Field, J.; Adler, P. R.; Evans, S.; Paustian, K.; Marx, E.; Easter, M.

    2015-12-01

    The sustainability of biofuel expansion is strongly dependent on the environmental footprint of feedstock production, including both direct impacts within feedstock-producing areas and potential leakage effects due to disruption of existing food, feed, or fiber production. Assessing and minimizing these impacts requires novel methods compared to traditional supply chain lifecycle assessment. When properly validated and applied at appropriate spatial resolutions, biogeochemical process models are useful for simulating how the productivity and soil greenhouse gas fluxes of cultivating both conventional crops and advanced feedstock crops respond across gradients of land quality and management intensity. In this work we use the DayCent model to assess the biogeochemical impacts of agricultural residue collection, establishment of perennial grasses on marginal cropland or conservation easements, and intensification of existing cropping at high spatial resolution across several real-world case study landscapes in diverse US agricultural regions. We integrate the resulting estimates of productivity, soil carbon changes, and nitrous oxide emissions with crop production budgets and lifecycle inventories, and perform a basic optimization to generate landscape cost/GHG frontiers and determine the most practical opportunities for low-impact feedstock provisioning. The optimization is constrained to assess the minimum combined impacts of residue collection, land use change, and intensification of existing agriculture necessary for the landscape to supply a commercial-scale biorefinery while maintaining exiting food, feed, and fiber production levels. These techniques can be used to assess how different feedstock provisioning strategies perform on both economic and environmental criteria, and sensitivity of performance to environmental and land use factors. The included figure shows an example feedstock cost-GHG mitigation tradeoff frontier for a commercial-scale cellulosic

  12. Assessing the effect of agricultural land abandonment on bird communities in southern-eastern Europe.

    PubMed

    Zakkak, Sylvia; Radovic, Andreja; Nikolov, Stoyan C; Shumka, Spase; Kakalis, Lefteris; Kati, Vassiliki

    2015-12-01

    Agricultural land abandonment is recognized as a major environmental threat in Europe, being particularly pronounced in south-eastern Europe, where knowledge on its effects is limited. Taking the Balkan Peninsula as a case study, we investigated agricultural abandonment impact on passerine communities at regional level. We set up a standard methodology for site selection (70 sites) and data collection, along a well-defined forest-encroachment gradient that reflects land abandonment in four countries: Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia and Greece. Regardless the different socio-economic and political histories in the Balkans that led to diverse land abandonment patterns in space and time, rural abandonment had a consistent negative effect on bird communities, while regional-level analysis revealed patterns that were hidden at local level. The general trends were an increase of forest-dwelling bird species at the expense of farmland birds, the decline of overall bird species richness, as well as the decline of Species of European Conservation Concern (SPECs) richness and abundance. Many farmland bird species declined with land abandonment, whereas few forest species benefited from the process. In conclusion, our results support CAP towards hampering rural land abandonment and preserving semi-open rural mosaics in remote upland areas, using a suite of management measures carefully tailored to local needs. The maintenance of traditional rural landscapes should be prioritized in the Balkans, through the timely identification of HNV farmland that is most prone to abandonment. We also suggest that coordinated transnational research is needed, for a better assessment of conservation options in remote rural landscapes at European scale, including the enhancement of wild grazers' populations as an alternative in areas where traditional land management is rather unlikely to be re-established. PMID:26379254

  13. Soil management shapes ecosystem service provision and trade-offs in agricultural landscapes.

    PubMed

    Tamburini, Giovanni; De Simone, Serena; Sigura, Maurizia; Boscutti, Francesco; Marini, Lorenzo

    2016-08-31

    Agroecosystems are principally managed to maximize food provisioning even if they receive a large array of supporting and regulating ecosystem services (ESs). Hence, comprehensive studies investigating the effects of local management and landscape composition on the provision of and trade-offs between multiple ESs are urgently needed. We explored the effects of conservation tillage, nitrogen fertilization and landscape composition on six ESs (crop production, disease control, soil fertility, water quality regulation, weed and pest control) in winter cereals. Conservation tillage enhanced soil fertility and pest control, decreased water quality regulation and weed control, without affecting crop production and disease control. Fertilization only influenced crop production by increasing grain yield. Landscape intensification reduced the provision of disease and pest control. We also found tillage and landscape composition to interactively affect water quality regulation and weed control. Under N fertilization, conventional tillage resulted in more trade-offs between ESs than conservation tillage. Our results demonstrate that soil management and landscape composition affect the provision of several ESs and that soil management potentially shapes the trade-offs between them. PMID:27559064

  14. Structure and composition of altered riparian forests in an agricultural Amazonian landscape.

    PubMed

    Nagy, R Chelsea; Porder, Stephen; Neill, Christopher; Brando, Paulo; Quintino, Raimundo Mota; do Nascimento, Sebastiâo Aviz

    2015-09-01

    Deforestation and fragmentation influence the microclimate, vegetation structure, and composition of remaining patches of tropical forest. In the southern Amazon, at the frontier of cropland expansion, forests are converted and fragmented in a pattern that leaves standing riparian forests whose dimensions are mandated by the Brazilian National Forest Code. These altered riparian forests share many characteristics of well-studied upland forest fragments, but differ because they remain connected to larger areas of forest downstream, and because they may experience wetter soil conditions because reduction of forest cover in the surrounding watershed raises groundwater levels and increases stream runoff. We compared forest regeneration, structure, composition, and diversity in four areas of intact riparian forest and four areas each of narrow, medium, and wide altered riparian forests that have been surrounded by agriculture since the early 1980s. We found that seedling abundance was reduced by as much as 64% and sapling abundance was reduced by as much as 67% in altered compared to intact riparian forests. The most pronounced differences between altered and intact forest occurred near forest edges and within the narrowest sections of altered riparian forests. Woody plant species composition differed and diversity was reduced in altered forests compared to intact riparian forests. However, despite being fragmented for several decades, large woody plant biomass and carbon storage, the number of live or dead large woody plants, mortality rates, and the size distribution of woody plants did not differ significantly between altered and intact riparian forests. Thus, even in these relatively narrow forests with high edge: area ratios, we saw no evidence of the increases in mortality and declines in biomass that have been found in other tropical forest fragment studies. However, because of the changes in both species community and reduced regeneration, it is unclear how long

  15. Impact of road network on the structure of a multifunctional forest landscape unit in southern Turkey.

    PubMed

    Eker, Mehmet; Coban, Huseyin Oguz

    2010-01-01

    Forest roads have many kinds of direct and indirect effects such as physical, ecological, and socio-economic effects in landscape scale. In this study the relationship between forest road network and the structure of a multifunctionally planned forest landscape, in the south of Turkey was examined. The aim of the study was to determine whether or not the correlation between road network and landscape structure across a gradient of road density categorical road/no road approach and landscape pattern data from the managed forest landscapes existed. It was concerned with three type polygons that were forest functioning patches, compartments, and stand patches and were associated with higher road density or existing of road network. To quantify the case, it was analyzed whether the spatial structure of forest patches adjacent to roads differs from the spatial structure of forest patches away from roads. GIS was used to integrate quantitative indices of landscape structure. There was little negatively significant relationship between road density and patch area/size, patch perimeter and shape index of patton index (PI) and no correlation with patch number and Fractal Dimension (FD). The forest road network modified spatial pattern of patch shape through PI values. The road network increased the number of patch and decreased mean patch size. The existence of road network was more effective than topography index appearing of PI and FD in the roaded areas. It was indicated to potential reverse impacts of road network on spatial structure of forest compartments in terms of shape index (FD). Highest proportions of harvestable forest areas fall into roaded areas. The results define that road networks are effective on the spatial structure of forest landscape. The forest road network of study area has all probable ecological impacts of forest roads mentioned in context. PMID:20648828

  16. Soil and substrate morphology as witnesses of present and former agricultural landscape management

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chartin, C.; Salvador-Blanes, S.; Hinschberger, F.; Bourennane, H.; Macaire, J.-J.

    2009-04-01

    Water and tillage erosion, combined with the effect of successive regrouping of the land campaigns, have sensibly modified the morphology of cultivated hillslopes. Nowadays, we can still observe over cultivated landscapes various anthropogenic structures (e.g. lynchets) that correspond to former and/or present field limits. The aim of this work is to spatially characterise the geometry of these various structures, and to assess their relation with soil variability. The 10 ha studied site corresponds to an hillslope located in a small calcareous watershed near Tours in the Parisian Basin (France). Soils are mainly Cambisols (calcaric), Epileptic cambisols (calcaric) and Colluvic cambisols. This watershed is characterised by the presence of many soil accumulation structures and has been submitted to an important regrouping of the lands since the 1960's. The existing structures were accurately located and defined through a topographical analysis (slope, profile curvature...), and then related to past and present field limits using aerial photographies and cadastral maps. Two main morphological structures, deeply marked in the topography, are identified. The most remarkable type corresponds to well developed lynchets located at the lower part of field limits. Secondary structures, less marked than lynchets, are linked to field limits which existed at least since 1836, but that disappeared from the 1960's. These secondary structures look like longitudinal bulges placed perpendicularly to the direction of the main slope. A soil survey on these two geomorphic structure types has been performed in order to determine their specific geometry. Lynchets are characterised by a large increase in the thickness of soils: from 35 cm at 24 m upslope to more than 120 cm on its top. But, in some cases, the elevation study shows a topographical discontinuity between the top of the accumulation and the field or road below, discontinuity that is more important than the maximum soil

  17. Spatiotemporal variations in growing season exchanges of CO2, H2O,and sensible heat in agricultural fields of the Southern GreatPlains

    SciTech Connect

    Fischer, Marc L.; Billesbach, David P.; Berry, Joseph A.; Riley,William J.; Torn, Margaret S.

    2007-06-13

    Climate, vegetation cover, and management create fine-scaleheterogeneity in unirrigated agricultural regions, with important but notwell-quantified consequences for spatial and temporal variations insurface CO2, water, and heat fluxes. We measured eddy covariance fluxesin seven agricultural fields--comprising winter wheat, pasture, andsorghum--in the U.S. Southern Great Plains (SGP) during the 2001-2003growing seasons. Land-cover was the dominant source of variation insurface fluxes, with 50-100 percent differences between fields planted inwinter-spring versus fields planted in summer. Interannual variation wasdriven mainly by precipitation, which varied more than two-fold betweenyears. Peak aboveground biomass and growing-season net ecosystem exchange(NEE) of CO2 increased in rough proportion to precipitation. Based on apartitioning of gross fluxes with a regression model, ecosystemrespiration increased linearly with gross primary production, but with anoffset that increased near the time of seed production. Because theregression model was designed for well-watered periods, it successfullyretrieved NEE and ecosystem parameters during the peak growing season,and identified periods of moisture limitation during the summer. Insummary, the effects of crop type, land management, and water limitationon carbon, water, and energy fluxes were large. Capturing the controllingfactors in landscape scale models will be necessary to estimate theecological feedbacks to climate and other environmental impactsassociated with changing human needs for agricultural production of food,fiber, and energy.

  18. The effects of climate change on the demand for municipal water for residential landscaping in Southern Nevada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tchigriaeva, E.; Lott, C.; Rollins, K.

    2013-12-01

    We analyze urban residential water demand for Southern Nevada as a part of the Nevada Infrastructure for Climate Change Science, Education, and Outreach project. The Nevada Climate Change project is a statewide interdisciplinary program which has launched joint research, education, and outreach on the effects of regional climate change on ecosystem services in Nevada with a particular focus on water resources. We estimate a random effect multiple regression model of urban residential water demand in order to better understand how residential water use is impacted by weather conditions and landscape characteristics and ultimately to inform predictions of urban water demand. The project develops a methodology of unification for several datasets from various sources including the Las Vegas Valley Water District (LVVWD), the Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA), Clark County Assessor, and the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) resulting in a sample of 3,671,983 observations for 62,237 households with uninterrupted water use history for Las Vegas urban residents for the period from February 2007 to December 2011. The presented results (i) are significantly robust and in accordance with the economics theories, (ii) support basic empirical knowledge of weather and surface influence on water outdoor consumption, (iii) suggest quantitative measurements for predicting future water use due to climate/temperature changes as well as landscape redesign practices, and (iv) provide quantitative evaluation of the effectiveness of the existing water conservation programs by the Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA). The further study of conservation programs and analysis of interactions between surfaces and weather using the developed approach looks promising.

  19. Using fallout Cesium-137 to understand soil redistribution over agricultural landscapes

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    While it is recognized that soil erosion is highly variable in space and time, studies of the redistribution of soil within a field or watershed are limited. Our studies focus on the use of fallout Cesium-137 to understand pattern of soil movement on the landscape. It is often assumed that eroding...

  20. Spatial analyses of soil properties, terrain, and water dynamics in a semi-arid agricultural landscape

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Quantification of soil-water patterns in space and time is essential for understanding soil hydrological processes and to aid land management decisions. In undulating terrain, dynamics of profile soil water can vary by landscape position in relation to terrain attributes, soil properties, and plant ...

  1. APPLYING THE PATUXENT LANDSCAPE UNIT MODEL TO HUMAN DOMINATED ECOSYSTEMS: THE CASE OF AGRICULTURE. (R827169)

    EPA Science Inventory

    Non-spatial dynamics are core to landscape simulations. Unit models simulate system interactions aggregated within one space unit of resolution used within a spatial model. For unit models to be applicable to spatial simulations they have to be formulated in a general enough w...

  2. Promoting landscape-based crop management for food, feed, and bioenergy with precision agriculture technologies

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Failure to consider natural and anthropogenic soil variability within fields and across landscapes in the development and implementation of soil and crop management systems can limit crop production and degrade soil and water resources. Targeting of management systems based on soil variability is ne...

  3. Regional gene flow and population structure of the wind-dispersed plant species Hypochaeris radicata (Asteraceae) in an agricultural landscape.

    PubMed

    Mix, C; Arens, P F P; Rengelink, R; Smulders, M J M; Van Groenendael, J M; Ouborg, N J

    2006-06-01

    Using microsatellites, we investigated population structure and gene flow of the short-lived, wind-dispersed plant species Hypochaeris radicata in a fragmented agricultural landscape where more than 99% of the nutrient-poor grasslands have disappeared over the last century. We sampled populations in the few remaining high density populations in conservation areas, as well as individuals that occurred, with lower densities, in linear landscape elements, at two spatial scales. In a re-inventory of the landscape, after 3 years, both extinctions and colonizations of populations were observed. Contrary to expectations, no differences in genetic diversity between high and low density populations were observed. Both types of populations had relatively high levels of diversity. Overall genetic differentiation (theta) was 0.04 and significantly different from zero (P < 0.01). A significant isolation-by-distance pattern was found when all populations were simultaneously analysed (r = 0.24, P = 0.013). Isolation by distance was (marginally) significant at the small scale (r = 0.32, P = 0.06), whereas nonsignificant at the large spatial scale (r = -0.05, P = 0.66). A maximization-of-explained-variance procedure resulted in a threshold distance of 3.5 km above which populations were effectively genetically isolated. An additional partial exclusion Bayesian-based assignment test showed that overall 32.3% of the individuals were assigned to their population of origin, 48% were assigned to another population in the area and 19.7% were not assigned. Together, these results suggest high levels of gene flow. Seed dispersal contributes to the observed gene flow up to several hundred metres, which is higher than previously modelled using aerodynamic models on seed dispersal of H. radicata. We discuss the consequences of these results for an evaluation of the probability of persistence of this species in the fragmented landscape. PMID:16689895

  4. Control of the spread of inorganic elements by shelterbelt in agricultural landscape

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Życzyńska-Bałoniak, Irena; Wojciech Szajdak, Lech

    2010-05-01

    water samples were taken from the wells located (a) in the border between adjoining cultivated fields and shelterbelts, and (b) in the distances 62 m, 104 m and 125 m from the edge of the shelterbelt. The concentrations of calciumand magnesium and also mineral carbon were studied by examining ground water filtered by the filter paper Whatman GT/C. The concentrations of calcium and magnesium were investigated by the method by Hermanowicz. Dry masses were isolated by the freeze-dried and drying to the constant of weight at 105oC. Total organic carbon, dissolved organic carbon and mineral carbon were measured on Total Organic Carbon Analyzer 5050A, ASI 5000A auto sampler, SSM - 5000A solid sample module, (Shimadzu, Japan). Total amount of yearly rainfall was in 2000 - 671 mm, 2001 - 544 mm, 2002 - 495 mm, 2003 - 449 mm, 2004 - 672 mm, 2005 - 551 mm, 2006 - 578 mm. Mean temperatures ranged from 9.2 to 13.3oC. The highest temperature +23.5oC was measured in July 2000, and the lowest -6.4oC observed in January 2006. The precision based on replicate analyses, were ± 4% for Ca+2, ± 3% for Mg+2, ± 4% for dry mass. All the determinations were run in triplicate, and the results were averaged. The differences among the concentrations of calcium, magnesium and mineral carbon were attributed solely of width of the shelterbelt. Shelterbelt revealed the improvement in the quality of ground water. Concerns over the environmental impacts of the elements of agricultural landscapes have focused attention on the study of calcium, magnesium, mineral carbon in ground water. These investigations have shown high contents of chemical compounds migrates ground water from cultivated fields. Ground water under cultivated field revealed high concentrations of calcium, which yearly mean contents are equaled from 81.9 to 179.2 mg/l. It was proved that biogeochemical barrier such as shelterbelt efficiency decrease the quantity of chemical compounds in ground water. The highest decrease of determined

  5. Control of the spread of inorganic elements by shelterbelt in agricultural landscape

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Życzyńska-Bałoniak, Irena; Wojciech Szajdak, Lech

    2010-05-01

    water samples were taken from the wells located (a) in the border between adjoining cultivated fields and shelterbelts, and (b) in the distances 62 m, 104 m and 125 m from the edge of the shelterbelt. The concentrations of calciumand magnesium and also mineral carbon were studied by examining ground water filtered by the filter paper Whatman GT/C. The concentrations of calcium and magnesium were investigated by the method by Hermanowicz. Dry masses were isolated by the freeze-dried and drying to the constant of weight at 105oC. Total organic carbon, dissolved organic carbon and mineral carbon were measured on Total Organic Carbon Analyzer 5050A, ASI 5000A auto sampler, SSM - 5000A solid sample module, (Shimadzu, Japan). Total amount of yearly rainfall was in 2000 - 671 mm, 2001 - 544 mm, 2002 - 495 mm, 2003 - 449 mm, 2004 - 672 mm, 2005 - 551 mm, 2006 - 578 mm. Mean temperatures ranged from 9.2 to 13.3oC. The highest temperature +23.5oC was measured in July 2000, and the lowest -6.4oC observed in January 2006. The precision based on replicate analyses, were ± 4% for Ca+2, ± 3% for Mg+2, ± 4% for dry mass. All the determinations were run in triplicate, and the results were averaged. The differences among the concentrations of calcium, magnesium and mineral carbon were attributed solely of width of the shelterbelt. Shelterbelt revealed the improvement in the quality of ground water. Concerns over the environmental impacts of the elements of agricultural landscapes have focused attention on the study of calcium, magnesium, mineral carbon in ground water. These investigations have shown high contents of chemical compounds migrates ground water from cultivated fields. Ground water under cultivated field revealed high concentrations of calcium, which yearly mean contents are equaled from 81.9 to 179.2 mg/l. It was proved that biogeochemical barrier such as shelterbelt efficiency decrease the quantity of chemical compounds in ground water. The highest decrease of determined

  6. Can conservation trump impacts of climate change and extremes on soil erosion in agricultural landscapes

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Preservation of top soil is critical for the long term sustainability of agricultural productivity, food security, and biodiversity. However, today’s growing population and increasing demand for food and fiber is stressing the agricultural soil and water resources. Climate change imposes additional ...

  7. Remote Sensing of Wetland Hydrology: Implications for Water Quality Management in Agricultural Landscapes

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Due to the substantial effect of agriculture on the ability of wetlands to function, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) serves a key role in wetland conservation and restoration. In order for the USDA to allocate funds to best manage wetlands, a better understanding of wetland functioning is ...

  8. Even the smallest non-crop habitat islands could be beneficial: distribution of carabid beetles and spiders in agricultural landscape.

    PubMed

    Knapp, Michal; Řezáč, Milan

    2015-01-01

    Carabid beetles and ground-dwelling spiders inhabiting agroecosystems are beneficial organisms with a potential to control pest species. Intensification of agricultural management and reduction of areas covered by non-crop vegetation during recent decades in some areas has led to many potentially serious environmental problems including a decline in the diversity and abundance of beneficial arthropods in agricultural landscapes. This study investigated carabid beetle and spider assemblages in non-crop habitat islands of various sizes (50 to 18,000 square metres) within one large field, as well as the arable land within the field, using pitfall traps in two consecutive sampling periods (spring to early summer and peak summer). The non-crop habitat islands situated inside arable land hosted many unique ground-dwelling arthropod species that were not present within the surrounding arable land. Even the smallest non-crop habitat islands with areas of tens of square metres were inhabited by assemblages substantially different from these inhabiting arable land and thus enhanced the biodiversity of agricultural landscapes. The non-crop habitat area substantially affected the activity density, recorded species richness and recorded species composition of carabid and ground-dwelling spider assemblages; however, the effects were weakened when species specialised to non-crop habitats species were analysed separately. Interestingly, recorded species richness of spiders increased with non-crop habitat area, whereas recorded species richness of carabid beetles exhibited an opposite trend. There was substantial temporal variation in the spatial distribution of ground-dwelling arthropods, and contrasting patterns were observed for particular taxa (carabid beetles and spiders). In general, local environmental conditions (i.e., non-crop habitat island tree cover, shrub cover, grass cover and litter depth) were better determinants of arthropod assemblages than non-crop habitat island

  9. Long-term landscape stability in southern Tibet inferred from the preservation of a large-scale bedrock peneplain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Strobl, M.; Hetzel, R.; Ding, L.; Zhang, L.

    2010-12-01

    Peneplains constitute a widespread and well developed geomorphic element on the Tibetan Plateau, nevertheless little is known about their formation and the subsequent landscape evolution. In southern Tibet, north of Nam Co (~31°20’N, 90°E), a particularly well-preserved peneplain occurs at an elevation of ~5,300 m in Cretaceous granitoids. The main planation surface has been gradually incised by small streams that formed additional small low-relief surfaces at lower elevations. Fluvial incision of the main peneplain has generated a local relief of up to ~700 m. The progressive incision has led to hillslope gradients that increase with decreasing elevation, i.e. from the main peneplain at ~5,300 m down to the current base level at ~4,600 m, as revealed by field observations and the analysis of digital elevation model (Strobl et al. in press). In order to quantify the landscape evolution of the peneplain region we determined local and catchment-wide erosion rates from the concentration of in situ-produced cosmogenic Be-10. Local erosion rates on the main peneplain and the low-relief bedrock surfaces at lower elevation range from 6 to 12 m/Ma and indicate that the geomorphic surfaces are stable over long periods of time. Spatially integrated erosion rates of small river systems that are incising and eroding headwards into the main peneplain are only slightly higher and range from 11 to 18 m/Ma. Even if river incision has proceeded at a rate that is 2-4 times higher than the catchment-wide erosion rates, i.e. at 30 to 60 m/Ma, it would take about 10 to 20 Ma to generate the local relief of ~700 m observed today. This demonstrates that the major peneplain is a very stable geomorphic element with a minimum age of 10 to 20 Ma and that the landscape in the region has barely been modified by erosion in the last millions of years. Strobl, M., Hetzel, R., Ding, L., Zhang, L., Hampel, A., (in press). Preservation of a large-scale bedrock peneplain suggests long

  10. Use of radar remote sensing (RADARSAT) to map winter wetland habitat for shorebirds in an agricultural landscape

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Taft, Oriane W.; Haig, Susan M.

    2004-01-01

    Many of todays agricultural landscapes once held vast amounts of wetland habitat for waterbirds and other wildlife. Successful restoration of these landscapes relies on access to accurate maps of the wetlands that remain. We used C-band (5.6-cm-wavelength), HH-polarized radar remote sensing (RADARSAT) at a 38A? incidence angle (8-m resolution) to map the distribution of winter shorebird (Charadriiformes) habitat on agricultural lands in the Willamette Valley of western Oregon. We acquired imagery on three dates (10 December 1999, 27 January 2000, and 15 March 2000) and simultaneously collected ground reference data to classify radar signatures and evaluate map accuracy of four habitat classes: (1) wet with 50% vegetation (considered optimal shorebird habitat), (2) wet with > 50% vegetation, (3) dry with 50% vegetation, and (4) dry with > 50% vegetation. Overall accuracy varied from 45 to 60% among the three images, but the accuracy of focal class 1 was greater, ranging from 72 to 80%. Class 4 coverage was stable and dominated maps (40% of mapped study area) for all three dates, while coverage of class 3 decreased slightly throughout the study period. Among wet classes, class 1 was most abundant (about 30% coverage) in December and January, decreasing in March to approximately 15%. Conversely, class 2 increased dramatically from January to March, likely due to transition from class 1 as vegetation grew. This approach was successful in detecting optimal habitat for shorebirds on agricultural lands. For modest classification schemes, radar remote sensing is a valuable option for wetland mapping in areas where cloud cover is persistent.